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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  March 1, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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cannot just rely on being formulaic but it can challenge them to question their current life. >> sir, i thank you for coming on. winston duke in a great movie, one of the great movies ever. you'll rt be part of it. i got that message you just described. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> russia is a ruse. >> news that is more charges may be coming. > jared's doing some very important things for our country. >> as the calls for the president's son-in-law to resign grow louder >> my name is jared kushner. >> tonight nbc news reports that robert mueller is planning to charge russians for hacking the dnc. word yet of another white house departure and how jared kushner's troubles keep growing. then. >> congressman nunes, he think some day he's going to be greatly honored for what he's
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done. >> new reporting of devin nunes conspireing to stop the senate investigation of trump and the russians. as the stock market plunges and some democrats celebrate, what to make of the trade war the president just started. >> listen, [ bleep ] tax you 25%. >> when "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. special counsel robert mueller is getting ready to charge the russian operatives who stole democratic e-mails and released them to the public to influence the 2016 election. current and former officials familiar with the matter tell nbc news like the indictment a couple weeks ago against the russians who waged "information warfare against the u.s. during the election," the possible new charges are expected to rely heavily on secret intelligence gathered by the cia, fbi, national security agency and the department of homeland security. according to nbc sources, the charges could come in the next few weeks or months. the more mueller's probe advances the more chaotic it
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seems to get in the white house. the past few days seem to have been especially turbulent even by the standards already set by this administration. and that is not just the view from the outside i haston to add. sources close to the president tell axios that is, i'm quoting, he's in a bad place, mad as hell about the internal chaos and the sense things are unraveling. they always feel like that so who knows. hope hicks is leaving, one of the president's longest serving aides and closest confidantes. the president is at war publicly with his attorney general who he calls mcgeough apparently behind his back said attorney general has refused to use the department of justice as of yet or as far as we know to pursue criminal investigations of the president's political foes. and now five sources are telling msnbc that the president's national security adviser may get the boot as early as next month. h.r. mcmaster replaced michael flynn last year after just 24
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days on the job. michael flynn, of course, having pleaded guilty to a felony. according to buzzfeed, many other staffers are leaded for the exits as the white house spins out of control. today this was how chief of staff john kelly described leaving his old job as homeland security secretary to work an the white house. >> the last thing i wanted to do is walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of homeland security but i did something wrong and god punished me i guess. >> that is a funny joke. i guess. meanwhile, one of the few remaining aides within the president's inner circle is under pressure and scrutiny from every direction, the president's son-in-law, senior adviser jared kushner who appears to be a key figure in the mueller investigation. he took meetings with russian nationals both during the campaign and during the transition. ones he did not disclose initially in his background check paperwork and he has denied any wrongdoing. >> let me be very clear, i did
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not collude with russia, nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. i had no improper contacts. i have not relied on russian funds for my businesses. and i have been fully transparent in providing all requested information. >> in just the last few days, he was stripped of his top secret security clearance having been unable to pass an fbi background check a bit of a red flag. we learned from "the washington post" that foreign officials had discussed ways to manipulate kushner in four different countries through his inexperience and family real estate business which has been deep in debt and staved for capital. looking for people to lend it money. then on top of all of that, "the new york times" breaks the news that that same business received half a billion dollars in loans, billion with a b from firms whose chief executives met with kushner at the white house. kushner's job according to administration is still safe. >> jared's done an outstanding
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job. i think he's been treated unfair flip he's a high quality person. he works for nothing just so nobody ever reports that, but he gets zero. he doesn't get a searle. jared is truly outstanding. >> senator ron wyden a democrat from oregon sits on both the senate intelligence and finance committees. senator, there are lots of folks calling for jared kushner to resign. are you among them? >> certainly i think there are a whole host of questions with respect to his financial entanglements. you know, when you're doing security clearance reviews, those kinds of entanglements really almost make you a magnet for blackmail and foreign efforts to compromise you. so i think it was very appropriate the action that was taken this week with respect to his security clearance. snipe wasn't it too late though? he's spent 14 months looking at
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the nation's most sensitive secrets. >> what i can tell you is i think bob mueller is just getting started. and it's on a whole host of issues, for example, the new report that you all just broke tonight shows that this russian hacking was a very serious crime against our country. and it was a crime that donald trump both cheered and applauded. and at this point, it's almost hard to be shocked anymore. you read about jared kushner's entangleme entanglements, you read about the daily revelation. you try to be very specific on the issues that are most recent and for example, on the new report that you all are breaking here just in the last hour or so what i want to know with respect to that russian hack is did any americans know in advance. >> you sit on the intelligence committee. and so you have access to classified information the rest
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of us don't. i'm going to ask you a question that i think you can answer without betraying that which is are you confident that the intelligence exists that would allow mueller to make a spec case to make a specific charge against those persons or entities responsible for the hack? >> i can't comment on the specifics of what bob mueller is looking at, but what i can tell you, chris, is look at how he has gone about his job. you have this decorated war hero. he served democrats and republicans. he's done everything by the book. i'm particularly pleased that he's focusing on what i call the follow the money issues. because follow the money is counter intelligence 101. that's how you compromise people. unfortunately, the republicans on the hill aren't work on those follow the money issues. for example, cnn is now running a report that michael cohen who
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is the money man for president trump, he might not even be brought back to the senate intelligence committee when we were led to believe earlier that he would be. so the fact is, bob mueller works on the criminal side. it's our job on the intelligence committee to tell the story to the american people and we're going to do it. >> again, just so if you can answer it this way. do we know who did this? say that. does the american government know who pulled off the hacks? >> what i can do is not comment on what bob mueller is looking at specifically. what i can say, however, is that he is going about this inquiry in the kind of deliberative fashion where i don't think he's going to miss anythinging. > senator ron wyden, thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> for more on the president's son-in-law, i'm joined by jill wine-banks, an msnbc legal analyst and david jolly, former republican congressman from
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florida. david, one thing that's remarkable here is when you zook out to the context here, jared is part of a broader problem in the white house. there's 30 trump aides who lost their top secret clearance. it's very clear the entire process was a train wreck. the rob porter case was a canary in the coal mine. done mcgan didn't have permanent clearance for ten months. i want to play you the way candidate trump talked about the handling of classified info during the campaign. take a lis. >> and the secretary of state was extremely careless and negligent in handling our classified secrets. we can't have someone in the oval office who doesn't understand the meaning of the word confidential or classified. in my administration, i'm going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. >> i mean, it's like he
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traveli traveled into the future. >> sure, donald trump is a liar. we know that. he has mishandled, he has been careless with classified information and he has surrounded himself with people to borrow from david frum. he surrounded himself with a bunch of d list talents willing to accept a certain amount of disloyalty to demonstrate incompetent on the world stage including his own son-in-law in jared kushner and people like those who are left from sarah huckabee sanders who is a pathological liar to kellyanne conway who talked about alternative facts to steven miller and his white nationalism. this is nothing that should surprise us tonight one year into this administration. this president has not treated confidential information and classified information with the fidelity that past presidents have. and at the end of the day, on a day when we are facing new threats from russia, when we are facing evolving threats from north korea, facing an evolving middle east crisis, we have a president who does not
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understand the significance of the powers he holds as commander in chief. >> david's talking about carelessness and carelessness obviously was the critique you saw from the president there. there's also the question from jared kushner if there was something more than carelessness. marcy wheeler is a national security journalist and wrote this piece, mueller appears to be assessing whether kushner was actually serving the interests of his family and foreign governments. do you think he has criminal exposure at this moment? >> i think he has a lot of criminal exposure. and that is certainly one theory of it. given his meetings with a russian banker and his requests for a back channel from the russian embassy and his meetings that led to, were, discussions about offering a job in the white house to companies that ended up loaning him, as you noted, one-half billion dollars. those are things that could easily be considered criminal acted. i think he may be held
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accountable. he's hidden all of his relationships with russia. he has revised his statement about who he had contacts with numerous times. and i doubt that they're correct even now. so we need to keep looking at him, mueller is exactly pursuing the right path. >> david, you looked like you wanted to say something. >> sure, when we talk about security clearances and we're talking about jared kushner, when we talk about security clearances the real issue is national security. fundamental to a security clearance if there is not some very specific event are debts, trkly by foreign nation states, infidelity and substance abuse. those are the top three issues when it comes to security clearances. and this administration we know at least the first two are on the line. we know with jared kushner, international debts are on the line. this person will never have a security clearance, a top security clearance. that affects the counsel that the president of the united states is receiving tonight. >> jill, there's a real question
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here about the next phase in the mueller investigation particularly as it pertains to the news we have that he's preparing hacking charges. at some level, that is not surprising. what do you think the factors are about deciding when he would bring those charges which is the one crime we kind of all know happened because we saw it happen in front of us. >> that's been clear since the intelligence services have told us you that the russians hacked our system. and that the white house is doing nothing to prevent it. and i would say the sooner that mueller acts the better because we need to do something and i was very happy when senator wyden said that it is the congress' job to bring the story to the public. it is mueller's job to bring criminal charges. we shouldn't forget that they need to do something in congress to change the laws to protect us from what the russians are doing. and if the white house won't involve themselves in it, congress still has to do it.
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so i'm very happy that they're focusing on that. >> do you think, david, that mueller's charges, the first round of charges against russian actors were he to indict the hackers, does that buy him political capital and support from the public at large, republican leaners and republican office holders? >> it should. you don't have to look further than devin nunes who should be siding with mueller but instead apologizing for donald trump and leaking classified information to try to undermine mueller's investigation. the republicans have gone all-in to try to undermine mueller. why it's important, chris, of course it's important about 2016. but hillary clinton said this recently. this is about 2018. what are we doing about 2018? we have heard intel officials within this administration suggest that donald trump is not going to do anything about 2018. this is a national security moment. if this was pearl harbor, we would respond but this president is not responding to the threat of an attack from russia just six months from now.
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>> jill wine-banks and david jolly, thank you both. up next, a new report house republicans leaked senator mark warner's text messages to derail the russian investigation. that is wild. mueller's team is reportedly preparing more indictments in his probe. we'll have both stories in two minutes. n won't stop him from keeping up. because at a dr. scholl's kiosk he got a recommendation for our best custom fit orthotic to relieve his foot, knee, or lower back pain, from being on his feet. by reducing shock and stress on his body with every step. so look out world, dad's taking charge. dr. scholl's. born to move.
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want to bring you a fox news alert. democratic senator mark warner of virginia foxx news has learned texted with a russian oligarch lobbyist in an effort to contact account author of the trump dossier christopher steele because you can't make this up. >> i guess you can't. trump tv wen after the top democrat in the senate intelligence committee last month trying to discredit mark warner based on his private text messages with a russian lobbyist from whom he was seeking information for the committee's work. leaders of the committee reported lid know who leaked those tests that appeared on
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trump tv there. according to "new york times" today, they concluded several weeks ago it was republicans on the house intel committee. that committee is, of course, led by devin nunes whose hometown newspaper calls him trump's stooge. they would not confirm the report when asked about it today. joining me democratic member of the house intelligence committee, same committee as nunes, eric swalwell of california. did your republican colleagues leak private tests of your democratic senator counter part? >> well, chris, good evening. they are not denying it. that is what is most concerning to me is they issued a statement today only taking issue with what they called the absurd nature of the story but they didn't deny what was alleged in the story. it also would not be the first time that we have read in the papers updates to our investigation. we've seen the selective leaking to the washington examiner where democrats have learned for the
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first time about witness who are coming in. but this just shows the american people what we're up against, the snow we have to plow which is that donald trump has free legal counsel in the on the house intelligence committee. and that's what we're up against every day. >> i'm asking you who make -- what do you believe? do you believe that your clinics leaked these texts? >> again, they're not denying it, chris. >> you do believe it? >> they would deny it if they didn't. that's kind of how had i see it. >> am i wrong that's nuts? guess. >> it's nuts but it's not even the biggest nut in this investigation. so we just plow forward because that's the best that we can do be an we hope if they don't get their act straight by november, that you know, we do this investigation the right way and that the american people will be protected from future russian interference. >> i should say a little more context, richard burren an mark
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warner, the folks the chair and ranking member of the senate side were so perturbed by the leak they demanded a rare meeting with speaker paul ryan last month to inform him of their finding telling paul ryan sort of come get your boy. they're leaking stuff about us. there's also this -- i want to ask your thought on this. a few days before that story came out which was spent about 24 hours in the news cycle among trump somehow des crediting, julian assange dm someone he thought was sean hannity saying there would be big news on mark warner. what do you make of that? >> again it, looks like they're all working in concert is what i see. which reminds me of what happened frank frankly in the fall of 2016 where you have roger stone intimating leaks coming out against john podesta. you have the billy bush tape that came out october 8th and assange started leaking the
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wikileaks podesta e-mails. it does appear that there is an effort as i said unfortunately, that effort now includes and has included the house intelligence committee where we're supposed to be independent and putting in place reforms so that this doesn't happen enabling further i think interference for the 2018 midterm elections. >> i want to ask you about white lies which is the phrase of the week in.ways. >> that's not a fragrance. >> no, it's not a fragrance. >> and there is -- there was a report shortly after hope hicks testimony before your committee earlier in the week she had admitted to telling white lies on behalf of the president but nothing substantive. your colleague congressman rooney, republican, was angry at the way that you went about asking hope hicks questions. i want to read his account of what happened. and get your response. so rooney said that swalwell went through the phone book asking hicks whether a litany of 50 people including the entire trump family had ever asked
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hicks to lie. hicks gave a blanket response by declining to answer in each instance. she wasn't going to respond to those questions and she shouldn't have. is rooney wrong? >> yes, i also think it's unfortunate her testimony the white lies part was leaked out but when mr. rooney came forward and said it was unfair to even ask the question, i believe that the public needs to know the context which is it is a completely fair question to ask somebody has your boss ever asked you to lie. if you have to take two time-outs to device and come up with an answer, then we already know the answer. i wanted to know whether donald trump has asked her to lie, whether she has observed him asking others to lie and also whether any other principals on the campaign like donald trump jr. or ivanka or paul manafort, steve bannon, michael flynn, jared kushner have asked her to lie. she refused to answer each time. >> i just want to make clear rooney's characterization was
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accurate. you asked directly if they asked her to lie. she just refused to answer is what happened. >> any individual who has not been forth coming in the russia investigation who has made an assertion that's been proved false, asked her if one of those individuals asked her to lie. she refused to answer for each individual. if the answer was no, i think she would have plainly said no. >> that's a fair point. congressman eric swalwell, thank four joining me. >> nbc news reporting tonight h.r. mcmaster could soon be out joining the nearly 40 people who have already left the trump administration. who exactly is left to run the country. a special all-in discussion right after this. uncertainties of hep c. wondering, "what if?" i let go of all those feelings. because i am cured with harvoni. harvoni is a revolutionary treatment for the most common type of chronic hepatitis c. it's been prescribed to more than a quarter million people. and is proven to cure up to 99% of patients
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and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california. been working all weekend very diligently, very hard that general h.r. mcmaster will become the national security adviser. he's a man of tremendous talent
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and tremendous experience. >> the man you see there sitting next to the president who took over as national security adviser after michael flynn was fired but before he was indicted may be leaving as soon as next month. nbc news now reporting tonight the white house is preparing to replace h. referring mcmaster, a move according to our reporting orchestrated by chief of staff john kelly and defense secretary james mattis according to five sources. if he leaves, the president would need to fill that position for a third time and mcmaster would join 37 administration officials hoshs have resigned or been fired under trump. for more on what is happening inside this white house, andrea bernstein, wmic co-host of the podcast trump, inc. doing great reporting on trump's inner circle, phillip rucker and richard painter, chief white house ethics lawyer for president george w. bush. phillip, i'll start with you about the mcmaster reporting. you know, the first thing i thought when i saw the story was
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the tweet directed at mcmaster about his speech about russia interference which seemed very much in the genre of tweets the president sends to jeff sessions who we know he despises. but mcmaster sort of works in the white house in a way that sessions doesn't. do you think he's on his way out? >> he could be, chris. we know that mcmaster works daily with president trump. he briefs him on all number of national security matters and there's a real lack of chemistry there. trump has been frustrated with mcmaster at times over many months really from the beginning and they've not really gotten along particularly well. yet, mcmaster has stayed in this job in part because he's not made any huge errors and there's not been a ready heir an apparent consensus choice to replace him. we'll see if that happens now. there's also tension between mcmaster and others in the national security orbit including defense secretary jim mattis. it may just be his time is up here. we'll have to see. >> richard, you worked in the
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white house. we got the numbers here are the turnover rate is off the charts. it's 34% in the first year for trump. and we should note there are more vacancies at very high levels particularly in the agencies than almost any other administration. what -- i guess there's two schools of thought. one is like it's better no people than bad people and the other is there's got to be someone to run the government and this will catch up to people. >> yes, you need good people. mcmaster he's one of the good people. there aren't a lot of good people in this administration because nobody wants to work for donald trump. he's impossible to work for. and when the good people leave, who are they going to replace him with? this is a very bad situation. it's a big problem for our national security. and vladimir putin is looking at us like we're vulnerable. he's already attacked our country once in the election of 2016. he's developing new missiles. and we have constant turnover in
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our national defense apparatus. this is a very bad situation. a president who doesn't care to understand foreign policy or national security issues. >> richard's question who is going to replace him, the thing i think about too, do you want to walk into a situation in which the next day bob mueller might knock on your door about some conversation can you overheard. >> people do keep taking jobs in the trump administration. one of the sort of interesting sub texts of this mcmaster story is that in the big west story about jared kushner and how four other four countries might have tried to compromise him through his business ties one of the sort of subplots that emerged was that mcmaster was not informed of jared kushner's activities. and it seemed to be sort of. >> and was not happy with it and kept saying hey, home boy, what are you doing. >> why are you having these meetings? you could be vulnerable. you haven't been fully briefed. so it has been a roiling subplot
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this week who is going to sort of win out in all of this. then mcmaster also had the misfortune of seemingly contradicting his boss, the president on russia investigation. all of this has been sort of royaling this week as seems like mcmaster has been trying to actually exert control over the national security of the country. >> phil, i'm of a few minds. on one level you can make a contarian case that the weakness of american institutions have been illustrated by the last year. you can make a contrarian case there's some sort of strength and durability because given the level of chaos in the white house, the country is functioning at large at a higher level of sort of competent than would be represented by what's happening in that building. >> and that's because of so many other professionals especially in the military but people like mat dis, mcmaster, secretary of state rex tillerson who also has
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been at odds with the president at times, they're trying to keep things in order. they're trying to sort of shut out the noise from their boss, try to ignore the tweets when they can and keep the government functioning and protecting the american people. these are high stakes issues. mcmaster is dealing with the north korean nuclear threat every day. he's also got his own threat a few doors down in the oval office. it's a lot to manage. >> there's in this amazing power point presentation from the contractors, the construction industry trade group. they're putting together a presentation to say here's how to deal with the trump administration. there's a slide that says the trump administration is being run like a bad family-owned small business. this is not me. this is the general contractors trade industry group telling members how to deal. they said autocratic leader employees operate in fear, loyalty exalted overall, family members untouchable, frank
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criticism discouraged, lack of delegation -- >> that does sound like we have been doing in the trumping podcast which is a podcast we're doing with pro publica. >> at the small family business they ran. >> people who work there have said to us that it was seat of the pants. it was chaos. there was a story one of his former employees told us how he went to hong kong to meet with financiers and donald trump hired someone else to set up a meeting with the very people his staff were meeting with. this has been a constant theme. the questions raised who is making sure that the interests of the nation are being put before the interests of any private business, and it's coming up again with this kushner story because even if everything was lines were drawn. >> that's exactly right. >> questions remain about the sort of whose interest was kushner acting in, whose interest is president trump acting in. it's because of a structural instability not necessarily
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because of any particular thing. >> that's a great point. who is doing the jobs and who are they working for, richard. you were just nodding your head. >> yes. this is a way you run a banana republic. you have a strong man and his family are running everything. and making a lot of money in their bys. and who make sure that ought government officials are loyal to them. and it's easy to core are up those types of countries i guess that's the direction these people want to take the united states. we're going to take a global superpower and degrade it into a banana republic. but as a i say, the only person who will come out ahead on this is putin. and we are in very, very serious trouble when our national security is at risk and people are leaving the government simply because they can't get along with the president who just about nobody can get along with. and then we have jared kushner running around cutting business deals all over the world, collecting money. he's keeply in debt to a whole
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bunch of people who want something out of the united states government. he can't even get a security clearance. bob mueller is on his tail. this is just a complete disaster in a little over a year. what these people have done to degrade our country. >> one last note because we've seen a lot of reporting on kushner and the question where national security and public interest, private interest are meeting you. new reporting that the fbi has counter intelligence investigation or at least counter intel folks at fbi are looking into an ivanka trump business deal, looking into the negotiations surrounding trump international tower and hotel in vancouver opened about a month after the president was sworn in, that's a licensing deal. it involves a malaysian expat and money moving around that has people a little worried. that's the latest front. finally, i have not seen ivanka named in stories like this. this seems like a new thing. >> it does. it's not totally surprising because just like her husband, jared kushner, just like her father, the president, ivanka
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trump has a global business footprint. she has products that are made around the world. she is involved in hotels around the world. and other branding opportunities around the world. and that's an opportunity for scrutiny and an opportunity for potential problems for her financially. >> and they are all still have financial ties with their companies and that is the concern that there are no blind trusts, there's no. >> nothing. >> no separation. >> they're still. >> conflict of interest doesn't mean you threw a case. it means that people don't know whose interest you're working in. that seems to be what's going on here. >> andrea, phillip, richard, thank you all for joining us. a surprise announcement how america's allies are reacting to trump's trade war coming up and the luxurious life of being a public servant in the trump administration is tonight's thing 1, thing 2 next. with the united mileageplus explorer card,
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thing 1 tonight the high flying epa administrator scott pruitt is clipping his wings. he's been if the news repeatedly for using public money to fly first class. he said his security detail requested it because we live in a very toxic environment politically. in other words, nonrich people had the audacity to yell at him and tell him he was doing a better job, better than to stay up front with the risch folks apparently cool with him. pruett now says he's given his security detail new instructions. >> what i've told them going forward is this. there's a change occurring. you're going to accommodate the security threats as they exist. you're going to accommodate those in all ways up to and including flying coach and that's going to happen on my very next flight. >> wow. he's going to fly coach. big concession here. he has ordered his security detail to explore options up to and including coach. that's drastic. whatever that means. the next flight will be in coach however. after that, you never know where
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you might see scott pruitt. but while scott pruitt suffers with the masses in coach, ben carson now says he is trying to return his dinette set that cost the public $31,000. that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
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hud secretary ben carson initially said he didn't know anything about the $31,000 dining room purchased for his office and had no intention to return it. what a difference a day and the house oversight probe makes. today he issued a statement the dining room is used for business lunchons with a wide variety of people and groups. the furniture is worn and characterized as unsafe. i left this matter alone to concentrate on bigger issues. i was surprised to find out the set had been ordered. i have requested the order be cancelled. the agency says they are working to rescind the order. in the grand scheme of the hud budget, $31,000 is not a massive amount. president trump is proposing a nearly $7 billion cut to the hud
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budget and to be fair to mr. carson, he doesn't know anything about those matters either. >> why would the secretary of hud not give the number, the amount that you're cutting from housing vouchers, mr. carson? you're the secretary of hud. >> because we. >> you're making the cut. >> because we've already talked about the total amount of the cuts. >> well, the total amount does not help meet when it comes to the housing it vouchers. i have people who use housing vouchers and i need to be able to explain to them, mr. carson, how much the cut portends for them. >> i don't want to open the book and look at the numbers. don't we need that cable box to watch tv? nope. don't we need to run? nope. it just explodes in a high pitched 'yeahhh.' yeahhh!
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in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. that's going to turn around and bite the american citizens with much higher taxes, much higher costs, and it's going to discombobulate our whole international trading system. so i'm very upset about it as you can see. and i think it's very inadvisable. >> that was senator orrin hatch who once profusely praised trump as a heck of a leader called him one of the best he's ever served under. that's him beg eg the president not to follow through with his very sudden announcement today of steep new steel and aluminum tariffs and hatch is not the only one freaking out. other republicans were blind sided by the news. speaker paul ryan urging the president to consider the unintended consequences of his
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idea while trade partners like the eu and canada have promised retaliation. what a trade war might mean, i want to talk to stephanie celton who analyzes the american economy. and dan dicker and leo gerard, the international president of the united steel workers which came out in favor of those tariffs today. dan, let me start with you. good idea, bad idea? >> it's a horrible idea. it's one of the worst i think trump's come up with. the idea is obviously to protect steel our domestic steel and aluminum manufacturers. what happens is the price of steel and aluminum go up for everybody. and that in turn gets responded to by other countries by increasing tariffs on things that we send to other countries particularly china because this is without a doubt, it's directed at china despite the fact it's annoying the canadians right now. it's designed to annoy the
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chinese. and that's really where it's going to end up with a trade war going on with the chinese. so costs go up for everyone. jobs get lost on balance here in this country, jobs get lost on balance in other countries. and for everybody, the consumer costs for just about everything start to expand. just from a little tariff on steel and aluminum. >> leo, obviously you support these tariffs and have been working on this for a long time. make the case for the tariffs right after we take this quick break. don't go anywhere. slow down for. put the phone away, and use a knife and fork for. and with panera catering, it's food worth sharing. panera. food as it should be. and with panera catering, it's food worth sharing. let's see. if this pack, and this pack, have the same number of bladder leak pads, i bet you think the bigger one is better, right? actually, it's bulkier. always discreet doesnneed all that bulk to protect. because it's made differently . the super absorbent core quickly turns liquid to gel,
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we'll be imposing tariffs on steel imports and aluminum imports. 25% for steel. it will be 10% for aluminum. it will be for a long period of tim time. >> you're the president of the steelworkers union. what do you say to people who say it's bad for everyone else besides union members? >> i'm tired of hearing hypocritical comments like the one dan just made. the fact of the matter is we're in a dam trade war. china is running close to $400 billion a year in trade deficit. china produced $1.2 billion tons of steel and can only consume 700 billion tons of steel. the rest of that steel is flooding the markets around the world. china has been cheating.
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china has been destroying jobs. i praise the president for taking action against china. let me remind you this. we have $100 billion trade deficit with south korea, who has been making tubular goods from steel products that were banned in america. so they're transforming and transshipping steel. i agree with dan that canada is not the enemy. they have a balanced trade agreement with the united states, not just on steel but basically all manufactured goods. as the president looks at this tariff and said there will be more discussion, that we look at bringing justice from those countries that cheat and he identified 12 of them. if you need to be in business by cheating, if you need to be in business by having steel that's dumped and subsidized in a noncompetitive market then you ought not to be in it. so, we're very aggressive about having some justice brought to the steel industry but not at the expense of those that are fair traders.
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>> i want to tease apart a few things. the biggest importer of steel is canada. i want to be clear, leo, you don't think they should be hit with this tariff? >> canada and the u.s. have the same level. >> right. >> the steel that goes back and forth across the border is about the same levels because they ship steel to canada and make an auto part, they send that auto part back, canada sends steel. canada is not the issue. the issue is china, south korea, mexico, those countries that don't play by the rules. for dan of all people to say we're going to get into a trade war, what the hell do you think it is when we have a wealth transfer of 450 to $500 billion a year to china? we're making china a world superpower at the expense of american workers and canadian workers. if i sound pissed off, it's because i am. >> obviously, there's -- let's talk about the china cheating
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problem. it's a smarter part of the larger problem, in that people feel like china has been getting an advantage. what do you say to that? >> they're probably right. there's a legitimate case to be made that china does not engage in what we would describe in any sense of imagination of free trade. >> in terms of the way they subsidize industries and protect from -- >> we're not even talking about currency manipulation or those other things. yes, he has a legitimate beef. i would just say that there are other ways to protect american jobs. start by looking at income inequality, wage stagnation, maintaining a healthy, robust u.s. economy is probably the best way to serve the interests of the steelworkers and other workers across this country. i would think investing in, you know, modernizing of the u.s. infrastructure, high speed rail. there are lots of things that the trump administration could have done to address the concerns of steelworkers and other workers in this country who are hurting without risk of
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doing the kinds of things that will hurt potentially u.s. consumers and other industry. >> with all due respect -- >> go ahead, leo. >> -- the fact of the matter is that we're being asked to compete against countries that cheat. slip away from steel to aluminum. china said they'll dominate in solar panels even if they have to -- canada is not the one that cheats. canada should not get cut in this. at the same time, we should be outraged that we're losing jobs in this country as a result of companies that cheat, countries that cheat and that is causing us lost jobs. we should build all that infrastructure but not with chinese junk. >> leo, you have a point. he does have a point. here is the thing. using tariffs to fix this is like taking a sledge hammer to open up a bird cage. will you get the cage open but there may not be much bird left
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when you do. and this is exactly what tariffs. >> wait. leo, let dan finish. >> you will create a trade war that is overt, not under the radar, but overt. president trump has taken -- >> we're now in a trade war, dan. >> one second, leo. president trump has taken the only subtle way of getting at the chinese, tpp, and thrown that under the bus. that's the first problem. he has nothing left but this kind of sledge hammer. and the bottom line is going to be -- and this is true. and i don't want to be hyperbolic about this. you do get the point where tariffs lead to trade wars, trade wars can lead to cold wars and cold wars can, in certain circumstances, lead to hot wars. i'm trying not to be hyperbolic about this. you will get a trade war, an overt one, chinese to americans and will, in some way, impact or stress more our institutions that are already stressed. >> with all due respect, with all due respect, how do you sit
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back and say that it's okay to have a country that is continuously running about a $500 billion -- >> no one says it's okay. i'm saying tariffs are not an answer. >> you're justifying it. america has had five top-level meetings about steel with china. china made about 500 million tons of steel when we started. five high-level meetings in those 15 years. each of those meetings china promised to reduce their consumption so there would be market forces. they went from 500 million tons to 1.2 billion tons and you're telling me that american workers ought to turn their back on that and say we'll go build a high-speed rail and, damn it, with chinese rail and chinese cars? stand up for american workers. stand up for fair trade. >> there's also a question, right, of, stephanie, people that consume this deal. leo, from your perspective, i get that entirely, right?
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>> dan, the steel is being dumped in the american market. american steelworkers can make -- >> 200,000 people make steel in the united states. 7 million people need steel in order to make what they make, automobiles to make planes. >> listen to common sense. >> to make tools. all that have requires steel to be made. what will happen is that the cost of that steel will go up to such a degree that you will lose more jobs than you will save by these tariffs. >> that's malarkey, to quote joe biden. let me give you a whole bunch of examples. they tried to build the bridge from san francisco to oakland to chinese steel. it had to go back three times because it wouldn't hold a weld. but it was the lowest price. you're trying to say to us that the people who make steel at the lowest man hour per ton should accept that china has a right to dump its steel into our market and aluminum into our market at lower than the cost of production and that, we should just suck it up and eat it up.
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you're wrong and the steelworkers will fight for our members, fight for a job and fight for are fair trade. and we're going to fight for those who cheat and get frozen out of this market for a lousy 25% duty. if they don't want the duty, stop the damn cheating. >> stephanie, dan dicker and leo gerard. that's it for my hour. here is rachel maddow. >> thank you, my friend. >> you bet. a bunch of new stories have broken late today and into this evening. nicolle wallace was first to report today based on five sources that national security adviser h.r. mcmaster is on his way out of the white house. we will have more on that in a moment. nbc news also first to report today on the next round of criminal charges that are expected from the robert mueller special counsel investigation. we will have more on that in a moment as well. we've got some exclusive reporting tonight on this show about a trump administration official who