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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  April 22, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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this is an epic battle for the soul and cooperation of michael cohen. >> target of the prosecution, the mounting pressure on trump's personal attorney and the question kellyanne conway just would not answer. >> what does the president have to hide that he's worried that michael cohen will flip over? >> the comey memos and the political pelril they could pos for republicans. and what may be ahead for the president. >> mr. cohen has acted like he is above the law. he has considered himself an -- >> it's going to make it absolutely impossible for him to serve out the balance of his
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term without a doubt, and i think resignation is going to be his only option. >> a bold statement there. a good day to all of you. i'm amlex witt here at msnbc world headquarters. here's what's happening. we begin this hour with two big stories we're following out of the white house. first, officials pushing back on critics who say the u.s. has given up too much in agreeing to meeting with kim jong-un. here's what legislative aide mark short told my colleague chuck todd earlier. >> we've given him the meeting. that in itself is a huge give. what have we gotten in return? >> i would say, one, is an agreement to stop testing, which is something north korea has not done before. we also, though, have cautious optimism, chuck. we are cautious. you heard the president say many times we're going to keep up maximum pressure. we're not going to stop that until they denuclearize. >> and the white house also hitting back at reports that president trump is worried michael cohen will end up cooperating with the special
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counsel. >> the president has expressed concern that someone he likes and respects and worked with for many, many years has been subject to an fbi raid that the president himself called a disgrace and is overwrought. he believes overwrought at the time. he's got great compassion for a situation like that. people will say the president is not loyal to anybody. that is just not false. you see that in his posture towards and his words about michael cohen. >> for details and analysis joining me now, nbc white house correspondent jeff bennett, and jeremy peters from "the new york times." welcome to all three of you. jeff in west palm beach, not a far from where the president is saying. the president firing off new comments today about north korea. let's get to the meat of what he's saying. >> reporter: hey there, alex. the president sent out two seemingly contradictory tweets. i'll read part of the first one for you. he says, wow, we haven't given up anything, and they have
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agreed to denuclearization. so great for world, site closure and no more testing. then about 15 minutes later, the president sent out another tweet tempering his enthusiasm a bit. he says this, we're a long way from conclusion on north korea, maybe things will work out, maybe they won't. only time will tell, but the work i'm doing now should have been done a long time ago. we should point out the announcement from the north koreans did not include a pledge of denuclearization when they said they would, in fact, suspend testing of some nuclear missiles and longer range missiles and shut down a testing site. it's worth noting that world leaders, particularly those in the region, reacted to that news with some skepticism, with some caution, suggesting that the north koreans might be posturing, might be trying to buy some time as they have in the past. remember, it was, what, six years ago that north korea backed away from a similar denuclearization agreement. but here, at least judging from the president's earlier comments, it appears he's going
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all in on this as white house officials get all the pieces in place for this summit he says is on track to happen by late may or early june. >> so we said there were two big stories. the other hot topic, the president's attorney michael cohen and whether or not he's going to flip on the president. what's the latest you're hearing? >> reporter: well, you heard kellyanne conway there in the open to the show suggest that the president thinks that michael cohen is being treated unfairly, getting a bad rap. not just from investigators but from those of us in the media. that is what accounts for the president's aggressive defense of michael cohen. i can tell you, having spoken to people close to the president, to this question of what concerns the president, and not to put too fine a point on it, but michael cohen, the president's long-time attorney and fixer, as has been said countless times before, is the connection point between the president and the two scandals that have dogged him the most. on the one hand, you have russia. cohen, as we know, tried to arrange business dealings for a trump tower in moscow that never came to be. cohen, as we also know,
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facilitated those payments to stormy daniels and karen mcdougal, who allege sexual encounters with the president. so that is the thing that we're told concerns the president the most. this is a scandal, apart from the mueller probe, this is the thing that really gets under his skin. we should also say that we've talked to several sources who are close to the president and to michael cohen who tell us that if faced with significant criminal charges or significant jail time, that michael cohen would not remain loyal to the president. >> jeff bennett, thank you very much from west palm beach. jeremy, i want to start with you here and discuss north korea. what do you make of the president's new tweets today? >> well, i think that something has gotten lost a little bit in the analysis of what exactly the united states is or isn't giving up by meeting with north korea. remember, this was a line that
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the obama administration took. when barack obama was running for president in 2008, he said one of his foreign policy shifts would be to start getting in the room with the bad guys. and they tried. they tried that with north korea. they tried that in libya. it didn't work. so trump is trying that as well. i think that it's a little unfair to criticize trump for taking this meeting that obama and other democrats at the time said that they would have taken themselves. so yes, we haven't really given anything up. i think trump is right about that. holding a meeting isn't really capitulation, alex. >> you have a point there for sure. >> do you think the president knows that he's reaching when he says north korea is denuclearizing and is just trying to inflate the accomplishment in a sense? he's trying to get that message out, or do you think he doesn't know the distinction? >> well, i think that the president is trying to make the
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argument that he has brought -- that he has gotten north korea to do more than any other administration has been able to do and that denuclearization is on the table. now, of course, the problem with that is north korea has come to the negotiating table with prior administrations, and north korea has made promises. but it just hasn't kept them. that's the issue. even though the u.s. hasn't really given something to north korea, they have given them a bit of legitimacy by going to meet with north korea. what you do as a sitting president, you're giving them something they've never gotten before. that's an acknowledgment. that's putting them on this world stage. so that is something that they have given to north korea. >> i must say, the way he goes about undermining his predecessors at the end of this tweet, that just ruffles many
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feathers. that said, i'm going to switch gears here with you, jeremy, and go to this new book by your colleague. she covered the hillary clinton campaign. the book is called "chasing hillary: ten years, two presidential campaign, and one intact glass ceiling." she's alleging some of the men on the clinton campaign trail were sexist towards her. were you at all aware of these allegations? >> no. >> no? >> no. >> not at all? >> no, i didn't cover hillary clinton. >> okay. all right. so there's that. you didn't hear that. did the clinton campaign think that "the new york times" was at all maybe against the campaign for some reason? would there ever be a reason to think that? >> the relationship between the clintons and "the new york times" has a long history, going back to their grievances over the way they felt -- "the times" that covered white water. they always complained, like any white house has, about the coverage that they get.
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i think in the case of clintons, however, it's magnified by the fact the clintons tend to see enemies real and perceived everywhere they look. we weren't really any different than a lot of other people they had issues with that they saw as trying to undermine them politically. we're just a big institutional player. >> yeah, absolutely. ayesha, let's go to some just-released audio recordings. they're right now casting new doubts on the president's wealth and his business. the former "forbes" reporter who released these recordings, which he now believes they are part of an interview with donald trump, explains why he thinks trump was eager to get on the "forbes" 400 list. this was back in the year 1984. >> he used the "forbes" 400 and this statement of inflated assets to borrow billions and billions of dollars which he used to build atlantic city and overleverage himself. i think the reason he's not releasing his tax returns is because it would show he's not
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at the level of success he claims. >> okay. that's a pretty bold claim. why do you think we haven't heard from the president? why hasn't he been pushing back on these recordings? >> well, i think he probably doesn't want to open up that box because we don't believe that -- or it's not clear that john barron exists. so who is making these calls on his behalf? i'm sure he doesn't want to get into that. also, it does raise the serious question here about the president's tax returns and what the speculation has been. the reason why president trump has kind of went against years of tradition and not released his tax returns is because there's something in there that he would find embarrassing, and some people have speculated it may be he's not as rich as he says he is. of course, we don't know that until he actually releases them. >> okay. here's another part of the recordings that have been released. here it is.
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>> so overall, jeremy, how damning do you think these recordings are, if they are, in fact, donald trump posing as this alias john barron? >> not all that much, in the scheme of things. we'll be on to the next scan doll or indictment or legal clouds over this administration before too long. we knew about john barron during the presidential campaign. there was another tape very similar to this. i think michael cohen poses a far larger threat. >> before i let you go, i want to get to stormy daniels' attorney michael avenatti, who says in order for michael cohen to save himself, he's going to
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have to turn on the president. what are your sources telling you? i want to have you both answer this. ayesha, you can go first. >> i think right now it's unclear exactly where michael cohen stands. i think clearly if he's going to face serious time, there could be issues there for the president and issues with whether he's going to make the decision to cooperate. i think when you see these tweets from the president, it seems that's what's on his mind. you know, it he trying to reassure michael cohen that he should stand firm and that he shouldn't cooperate, and also when he talks about giving out pardons, is he reminding michael cohen he does have that power. >> jeremy, your thoughts on this? >> well, my sources tell me, alex, that there is real concern inside the trump administration that michael cohen's personal life will have an effect on his decision of whether or not to cooperate. he has two young kids and a wife whom i'm told has never really been all that fond of mr. trump
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and has bristled at the way he's been abusive toward michael cohen. so i think it's all going to come down to a question of just what kind of information, improprieties the feds have dug up on michael cohen. he is one of these people who said effectively, i will fall on my sword for mr. trump. he's one of these aides you see in trump world a lot. it's a certain type where they derive their social and professional worth from their relationship with donald trump. and that's really all they have. that's michael cohen. so i don't know. the president also could pardon him. as alan dershowitz raised today, you could pre-emptively pardon mike come hen, and that's the end of this. >> okay. always a good discussion with the two of you. thank you so much. why republicans may be regretting the push to release james comey's memos.
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that's next. before we head to a break, take a look at this photo. first lady melania trump, the obamas and clintons supporting the bush family after the funeral for former first lady barbara bush. a reminder that bipartisan can exist. it's a good picture. we'll be right back. at gillette for 20 years. i bet i'm the first blade maker you've ever met. there's a lot of innovation that goes into making our thinnest longest lasting blades on the market. precision machinery and high-quality materials from around the world. nobody else even comes close. it's about delivering a more comfortable shave every time. invented in boston, made and sold around the world. now starting at $7.99. gillette. the best a man can get. (vo)just one touch.ith with fancy feast creamy delights, she can have just the right touch of real milk. easily digestible, it makes her favorite entrées even more delightful. fancy feast creamy delights. love is in the details.
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question. i don't know enough about michael cohen. >> let's go now to the latest on the president's potential legal problems and what will trump attorney michael cohen do. that, of course, the big question. but an even bigger question is would the president offer cohen a pardon. let's get right into it with msnbc contributor and former assistant watergate special prosecutor jill wine-banks, who always has answers for us. a good afternoon to you. if the president pardons cohen, does that then lead to a potential constitutional crisis? >> if the president pardons cohen, cohen would have no fifth amendment privilege left, so he could be forced to testify. so that actually endangers the president. now, it is also true that the president could then -- if michael cohen refuses to testify and is held in contempt of court, could pardon the contempt as well. then you'd be in an endless cycle of pardon, contempt, pardon, contempt. at some point, americans are
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going to rise up and say that's obstruction of justice, which is exactly what it would be. >> does the president have the ultimate power of pardon, jill, or is that a dangerous move? given the obvious conflict of interest in this matter, is there any kind of check in his authority? >> there is. the president does have unlimited powers, except he cannot use them to obstruct justice. so he could pre-emptively pardon cohen, as was being suggested earlier, a few mince ago. that's what happened when president ford pre-emptively pardoned president nixon. president ford took over, pardoned nixon, and therefore barred us from indicting nixon. we didn't indict him when he was the sitting president, but we could have, as soon as he resigned. he was just an ordinary citizen then and could have been indicted. but because of the pardon, we were pre-empted from that. now, could he be indicted for
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state crimes, that seems to now be an issue that's been raised by the attorney general of new york. i'm hoping that gets resolved so that if he is pre-emptively pardoned, either by the president or vice president, or if cohen is pre-emptively pardoned, i'm hoping that new york can work out a way that it could bring charges so that justice can be done. >> okay. "the new york times" came out with this article, as rod rosenstein battles to protect mueller, his tactics could cost the justice department. they continue to write, mr. rosenstein has risked eroding the justice department's historic independence from political meddling. what's your assessment in how rosenstein's been handling this situation? >> actually, i think he is doing his best to protect the independence of the special counsel and therefore the independence of the department of justice. the department of justice is not
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the president's lawyer. it's the united states' lawyer. the department must remain independent, just as the fbi has to remain independent. they cannot do the bidding of the president for political purposes. so he has been protecting them, and i hope it does not risk his career. i think that if rosenstein is fired for any reason, that it will lead to the same protest that would have happened if mueller were fired. i know that indivisible and other organizations are set to take to the streets if that happens. >> do you think rosenstein might be compromising the justice department in his attempts to assure the president that he's not under investigation, or when he does that, is she just doing it as if it's a snapshot of time? he can say, mr. president, you're not under investigation then parenthetically or the subtext could be today. but that doesn't mean you wouldn't be three days from now,
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right? >> yes, absolutely. of course, we don't know what rosenstein is actually saying to the president. i would be very surprised that he said you aren't under investigation or that you aren't a subject or that you aren't -- saying you're not a target is one thing. saying that you're not a subject and that you're not under investigation, when it seems quite apparent to anyone who's paying attention that the evidence is circling the president, it's getting closer and closer and tighter and tighter. so i can't imagine saying he's not under investigation. >> i want to get your reaction to the president's tweet in which he claims that james comey broke the law with respect to classified information. right there is the president's tweet. from what we know from the memos, does the president have a case at all? >> not from what i know about the memos. and i heard comey speak live in chicago on friday night. my assessment of him is that he's a very accurate teller of
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facts. he reports the facts. i don't agree with his judgment when he did what he did during the election, in that reporting that trump was under investigation or the trump campaign and reporting that hillary was back under investigation. that was bad judgment. but it doesn't make the facts b inaccurate. his facts seem to be very accurate in terms of his meetings with the president. and he has claimed that nothing he released was classified. that he redacted anything that had any classified information. so there is no there there when we talk about what the president is tweeting. >> but also, james comey has said numerous times these were what he considered to be personal memos. so my question is, does he have the authority, does he have the right to write these personal memos? here's an article that was written for "the hill."
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all fbi agents sign a statement affirming that all information acquired by me in connection with my official duties with the fbi and all official material to which i have access remain the property of the united states of america. so back to these personal memos, does comey have reason to be concerned because of what he signed? >> well, that is a very interesting question because let's assume he was keeping a personal diary of his daily activities, which is what this really was. he met with the president. that's a dramatic event. and he was keeping a personal diary of it. yet, he only had that meeting with the president because he was the director of the fbi. so that's a very tricky question as to whether he does or doesn't. what he has revealed has no classification attached to it or didn't at the time because he was the one creating it, and he is the one who decided whether it was classified.
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but that additional thing about the fbi may raise an issue, and he may have to face the truth. oftentimes in defending democracy and in protecting america, people have to take a risk on saying something that could possibly be a violation and they'd have to face the consequences. >> all right. jill wine-banks, always good to talk with you. thank you so much. >> thank you. new today, republican congressman devin nunes, chair of the house intelligence committee, is doubling down on his theory that deep state actors unfairly targeted the trump campaign by launching an investigation into possible collusion with russia. >> what is this? what is this about? this was about a counterintelligence investigation that was at the height of a political campaign where you opened up an investigation using these intelligence services to spy on the other campaign. it's really serious stuff.
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>> joining me now is a former cia clandestine service office who served both in moscow. with a welcome to you, let's talk about the odds that a political campaign was targeted in this way. does this sort of thing happen routinely? >> absolutely not. it's nonsense. we have people, you know, thousands and thousands of public servants out there operating on behalf of the constitution and supporting whoever happens to be in power. the notion that they would spy on american citizens or on another political party, another political party that could soon be in power, that really upsets me. this is very much out of the russian playbook where they try to muddy the waters, put out false information, suggest hyperpartisanship so that people are confused and don't know what's right and wrong. i'll tell you what he just said is very, very wrong. >> i want to point out also, let's look at the time that this all happened. the trump campaign was not leading in the polls.
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it was not seen as a political threat to the democrats overall in terms of the win. what would be the motivation here? >> again, i think either he's confused or he's trying to confuse people. in fact, if there was an investigation, it was an investigation against hillary clinton for her e-mail server. the investigation of people tied to trump came, you know, long after that in late summer, early fall of 2016 and has been clear based on what we learned last time mr. nunes put out a memo. i think he was embarrassed by that to find out, in fact, that the fisa warrants were done under the letter of the law through judges and everybody else. >> yeah. okay. i want to go to the comey memos now and the book. i spoke with former u.s. ambassador to russia just this last hour. talk about the prospects of whether the allegations in the dossier could have actually happened. of course, the one item he said he knows that when he was in russia over a two-year period,
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he was there at the ritz hotel. they undertook extraordinary measures for privacy. he talked about bringing in equipment from the united states to build something so they could speak freely and without being listened to or observed. your sense of the possibility of the whole prostitute matter being true given your experience in moscow. what do you think? >> i don't know if the prostitute matter with mr. trump is truce, but i don't know with 100% certainty that the russians try to set people up. they look at people's weaknesses, try to take advantage of those. if there's high-profile people visiting russia, they will listen to their talks in the rooms, listen to their phone calls. they will interview everybody they talk to, and they will try to set them up. the russian kgb had a thing they called swallows that were profession people who would try to do this. and whether or not it's true -- it is true that the four people that were mentioned in the steele dossier who had some sort of conspiratorial role, according to the dossier, were carter page, michael flynn,
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michael cohen, and mr. manafort. all of them are under serious legal scrutiny. so something bad went on. it's not crazy to be looking into it. >> you know, as i was listening to michael mcfall and things they did, i'm curious because you were there in the intelligence community. what kind of measures did you take to make sure you weren't being surveilled? >> i was being surveilled. so you know, our houses were bugged with audio and video. we were followed 24/7. that's not hyperbole. if i went out to walk my dog, i had a crowd of people following. everybody we talked to would be interviewed. in the cia, because we're trying to handle sources in that environment, we have to go through extraordinary measures that when we meet someone who's willing to help us that it's done secretly and clandestinely. it's very, very difficult. >> yeah, i know. i've seen the movies. no, just kidding. you always think, really, it has
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to be that convoluted? i'm sure it does. anyway, let's talk about the president, who's been tweeting relentlessly about the comey memos. saying that the comey book should never have been written. i want to take a listen to what senator susan collins told my colleague chuck todd a bit earlier today. here's that. >> don't write a book in the middle of an investigation. >> you think this is potentially disruptive to the mueller probe? >> that's what worries me. i cannot imagine why an fbi director would seek to essentially cash in on a book when the investigation is very much alive. he should have waited to do his memoir. >> do members of the intel community feel the same way? >> you know, i don't know. i don't go back to ask my former colleagues that question, but i certainly understand what she's saying. you know, if you wrest with a pig, everybody's going to get muddy. mr. comey certainly was really well respected in the fbi and in the intelligence community. by writing this book and getting
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involved in this partisan atmosphere, i can see that his credibility may be questioned. i don't question what he wrote. it seems to be quite accurate. in fact, we've now seen the memos, and i think the memos fit with what he's been saying. but whether he should have leaked that material, i don't think it was classify tied, but probably shouldn't have done it. >> on a very light note, i'm going to say i would love to listen to a conversation between you and howard dean. he also talked about wrestling with a pig and everybody getting muddy. just like 30 minutes ago. here we go again. >> sorry. i should have listened. >> it's okay. john, thank you so much. we'll see you again. meantime, coming up, reaction to the author of a new book who says she faced sexism from members of the clinton campaign. and show time for stormy daniels. is she winning the public relations battle against the president? i saw the change in rich when we moved into the new house.
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now to the controversy surrounding porn star stormy daniels. the long-time adult entertainer closing out a whirlwind week that began at a hearing for president trump's personal lawyer and ended with bodyguards hustling her into a strip club for one of her performances. what "washington post" reporter francis sellers reflected on it
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earlier. >> the consistency, i think, is s somebody who knows how to perform and whether on national television or to an audience kno knows in a club knows how to engage directly with the people sitting in front of her. >> let's bring in marjory clifton, founder of spike the water cooler, and republican strategist lauren zelt, managing director of fp1 strategies. i want to apologize in advance if this seems short. we had studio issues. marjory, what do you think stormy daniels and her lawyers' end game is here? do you think they're both on the same page with whatever that end game is? >> well, i think it's a pretty bold statement to say we've got something that's an impeachable offense. what we've learned is you can't take a president down just by not liking his personal activities and the way he runs his personal life. so you know, i think publicity absolutely is the name of the game. you don't go out unless you've got something. i think for stormy daniels, she's shoort of acknowledged,
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look, i'm a businesswoman, but there's an important point to be made. there must be something there that's coming. what they do with it, i guess we're waiting to see. >> her latest strip club quote was reported on. here's the quote on the reporting. while the bar area is populated mainly by men, the queue forming to meet daniels after the show in baltimore is more than a third female. quote, you're a feminist, icon, gushes one young woman. why do you think she has that effect? >> look, i think she's inserted herself with the help of a very capable attorney into our national dialogue. this is quite the week for mr. avenatti. i have to say, watching him, especially at that press conference on monday, i almost feel like i'm watching a modern day version of the musical "chicago" where he's playing billy flynn, right. mr. avenatti really knows how to control the press. i think he's doing it, you know, at a very pivotal moment in our time, especially when we have women's empowerment coming to the forefront. i don't know that i'd call stormy daniels a feminist icon,
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but to some women, that's their right. >> let's talk about someone who is a feminist icon to many. that would be hillary clinton. this relative to "the new york times" report. a book titled "chasing hillary." in this book, she alleges that some of the men on the clinton campaign trail were sexist towards her. and i asked congresswoman debbie dingell about that. here's what she told me. >> at times there were people that made me feel like i didn't know what i was talking about. i think subsequently to that, many people, including both the president and secretary clinton v said debbie was right the entire campaign, and john podesta. but i don't -- i don't know at times if it was as much sexist as it was they knew what they were doing. all those numbers and all that qualification, it doesn't come up with really understanding what's in people's hearts and souls. sometimes some of the men in
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that campaign i think didn't understand how working men and women in this country felt. >> due to time constraints, i want both of you to answer this question. you first, marjory. what's your reaction? >> i thought she pointed out really smartly it's a question of was it that they were smart strategists in the room and we all want to be at the able, we all want to be the voice heard, or was there sexism at play. i think this is a national conversation, so it's bringing it to light in a lot of arenas. i think most women and men understand that we all carry implicit bias. we're all carrying things we have to work hard to correct and understand. as women, we've got to also use our filter to understand, is this about my gender or is this actually about my knowledge and place at the table. so i think, you know, she's being opportunistic and hitting an important time of conversation about the role of women. look, i think hillary clinton, like most women in leadership roles, acknowledge that we even have to work to understand and think about roles differently
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and how we pay people and also how we acknowledge the balance of family life because that is a challenge. men aren't necessarily born understanding that because that was not the role they've traditionally played. i think it's a big culture change that's happening, and it's good to talk about, good to understand. i will say i've personally worked with john podesta and others. they're some of the most i think understanding. they have daughters that are very smart and professional women too. i think they're all part of that learning curve with us all. so that's my take. >> laura, your thoughts on this? >> you know, i agree with marjory on a lot of it. this isn't the first time we had heard, you know, rue mormors of sexism and other things around the hillary clinton campaign. but look, for the longest time, politics has been a boy sport. whether or not we want to admit it, it's true. ic i think we're making progress in that. like her or not, kellyanne conway was the first woman to be at the helm of a republican
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presidential campaign. obviously a lot of prominent women on hillary's staff too. we are coming to a point where i think this is changing, but this isn't the first time we've heard these allegations. >> okay. ladies, thank you so much. appreciate both your voices on this. president trump wrongly says north korea has agreed to denuclearization. will he have all the facts if he meets with kim jong-un? hi, i'm bob harper,
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criticizing how the president is handling north korea's freeze of nuclear and long-range missile testing. >> we've given him the meeting. that in itself is a huge give. what have we gotten in return? >> i would say for one is an agreement to stop testing, which is something north korea has not done before. we also, though, have cautious optimism, chuck. we are cautious. >> joining me now is congressman jerry conaway, virginia democrat. welcome to you, sir, on this sunday. you heard it. it's never been done before. there's a head line from february 29 of 2012. north koreans agree to freeze nuclear work, u.s. to give aid. is mr. trump giving away too much by holding this meeting? >> well, there's certainly a risk of that. this is an enormous gamble by a very unprepared president who's been all over the lot on the subject of north korea. so this president we know doesn't read.
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he gets impatient in briefings, and he doesn't have a team in place to deal with korea. we don't have an ambassador in seoul, south korea. we don't have an assistant secretary for the region. we don't have an assistant secretary for arms control and international security. we don't have a secretary of state. and we have a brand new national security adviser who has always fav favored the kinetic option, the military option, when it comes to north korea. other than that, what could go wrong? >> look, the president may not read a lot, but we know he tweets a lot. he's been doing so today, saying the u.s. has not given up anything and north korea agreed to denuclearization. i'm going to take it from what you just said, you're not satisfied here's clear on what's happening in north korea. how much does that concern you? >> very much. for example, take the tweet you just cited. north korea didn't agree to denuclearization. that's what we want. that's what south korea and japan want. but all they agreed to do was stop testing because they're pretty satisfied they've got what they want already.
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they don't need to test anymore. and so, yeah, it's good to agree not to test anymore, but they haven't made any agreement, and what we really worry about is short-range and intermediate missile technology that could reach many of our allies in the asia-pacific region. of course, as chuck todd pointed out, kim jong-un already has gotten something from us, which is the enormous stature, the enormous elevation by having the president of the united states come to him and meet with him, the first president to do so. so maybe good can come out of that, maybe ultimately denuclearization is achievable. count me a skeptic. i don't think there's anything we've got that kim jong-un is going to use or accept and roll back like we did in iran his entire nuclear program. >> speaking of meetings, i want to talk about cia director mike pompeo, his meeting with kim jong-un. the president said that pompeo established a good relationship.
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do you think that's plausible? >> i think he was only there for one day. so i guess friendships can be spawned in one day, but this was more a logistics meeting. the idea you'd send the future potential secretary of state, the current cia director, to work out the logistics, this is not kissinger going to beijing and spending weeks in preparation for a trip. i think he went twice, not once. he met with all the leadership, and he worked through all the of the issues before nixon was able to go to beijing. no such preparation is being done here. so i'm pretty skeptical about that too. >> can i ask you about the confirmation vote taking place tomorrow on mike pompeo and also the fact the senate foreign relations committee, your counterpart there in the senate, has said they weren't going to endorse him? how complicating is that? how do you expect the vote to go? >> it certainly is not a vote of confidence. if i were mike pompeo, i'd be very concerned about that. the committee's jurisdiction, majority of the members,
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including at least one republican, are apparently going to vote down nomination for secretary of state. i don't think we've ever seen that in american history. it's a terrible blot on his record. and i think it's a real blow to his credibility in attempting to represent the united states in diplomatic missions like the one he just had to pyongyang. >> all right. thank you so much for your time, sir. coming up next, starbucks and the racial bias education for all employees. can that make a difference? >> vo: they're getting more out of life by starting with miracle-gro potting mix and plant food. together, guaranteed to produce three times the harvest. more to enjoy... to share. three times the harvest. one powerful guarantee. miracle-gro.
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find new roads at your local chevy dealer. how can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that prop pull gates freedom and justice for all, so unjust to so many of the people living there. how can you not be in a rage when you know you're always at risk of death in the streets or enslavement in the prison system? >> former quarterback colin kaepernick receiving an award for amnesty international for his work for racial injustice. joining me now, university of
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maryland, college park. jason, i'm glad to have you on to talk about this. i want your reaction first to colin kaepernick's comments. there's no question this is a fair characterization but do his comments not take into account any of the advancements that have been made over time? >> i think there's a difference really between a nationalist and patriot, colin kaepernick falls into the latter category, what he's saying that we have a lot of work that needs to be done on our nation and we shouldn't just be satisfied with certain things that certain advancements that we've made. >> i know this article was not about the starbucks incident per se but does raise many questions how police in philadelphia handled it. you write as a black person in america, you learn early on many mitigating factors will force -- won't necessarily save you.
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your youth won't save you, running with your back turned won't save you, even being female won't save you. how do you explain this? it is not simple at all. >> yeah, well, i think there are a lot of factors we see even in war, we treat children differently and women differently. it seems at home, particularly for african-americans, latinos and other groups, sometimes it feels like you don't even get the same consideration that someone in another country would. so i think that we just need to really work on some of the biases that we have, some are explicit, some are implicit but these are things that need to be improved. >> it is may 29, all of starbucks companies across the nation will be closed for this racial sensitivity training. what do you think needs to be done to make you go into a starbucks and deduct a change or feel like something positive happened?
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>> i would say this is a start and we have to understand, if you've been building up biases for 30 or 40 years, they are not going to be corrected in a four-hour training, but what it does show, starbucks actually is making a commitment to actually try and address these issues and that you know, when you have an issue, you can complain to the corporation and you'll be listened to. that's what colin kaepernick's point was and many have said, you can't brush over these issues, these are things that need to be addressed that people need to be listened to and need to be treated as human beings and citizens in this country. >> jason nichols, i need to have you on once again. we're out of time for this one but i would love to hear your thoughts on this and more. come see me again, okay? >> thank you so much, alex. >> north korea and syria, two of the topics addressed with madeleine albright in the next hour here on msnbc live.
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you'll want to tap out of your regular life and go binge. for you. go binge. i got this. thank you. call back next week. amy are these timesheets still... you're not amy. i am now. [snaps] don't miss the greatest week in tv. show me watchathon. binge now with on demand or the xfinity stream app until april 22nd. that's a wrap for me this hour. i've been having the best chat with your guest here, don't want to stop talking with him, i have to clear it for you. >> thank you very much. i'm david gura in new york. trouble ahead, the white house seems increasingly concerned michael cohen will flip on president trump. how close will the vote be for mike pompeo to be his next secretary of state? the french connection, frenched from


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