tv MSNBC Live With David Gura MSNBC November 18, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST
we hit the top of the hour which means i'm out of time. >> good day to all of you. i'm richard lui. thanks for stopping by. this hour for you, president trump's legal team saying he will submit written answers to robert mueller in the russia investigation by thanksgiving. what the president is saying about those questions and his answers. we have that.
reports say the commander in chief may be considering some cabinet changes in the near future amid reporting of his frustrations with the midterm results. the growing nightmare in california. the death toll now at 79, at least with nearly 1300 still unaccounted for in the state. now the threat of flooding has displaced residents facing the possibility of being forced to evacuate yet again. we're going to start this hour with the news out of the white house regarding the russia investigation. president trump legal team plans to submit answers to special counsel robert mueller by this thursday. yes, that's something. according to a source familiar with the proceedings. the update information coming out as the president discussed a wide range of topics this morning in a fox news interview touching on topics from his mood to a potential cabinet shake up to his acting attorney general view of the mueller probe. >> i did not know he took views on the mueller investigation as
such. >> when you found that out. >> i don't think it has any affect. those statements can be viewed either way. i don't think -- >> he says there's no collusion. >> chris, i'll tell you what -- >> you can starve the investigation. >> what do you do when a person is right? there is no collusion. >> yjeff, let's start with you. there was a lot to that interview, wasn't there? >> there was. you saw the president talk about how he plans to answer these questions, these written questions from the robert mueller special counsel team but he also talked about the man who is now overseeing robert mueller's work. that's acting attorney general matt whittaker. the president said he didn't flow of his track record being a
staunch critic. he was a quantity around the west wing. when president trump appointed him, he did it outside the line of succession. he went around rod rosenstein. that suggests there's something about matt whittaker that the president happens to like. there's this pressure the president is facing from the other side of pennsylvania avenue, from republicans and democrats who want him to nominate a replacement for whittaker, a full-time ag. they think it's important he do that to really neutralize the argument that some democrats are making that matt whittaker might take steps to undermine the russia probe. >> as we lead up to thursday in part of what he did say, the president in this interview on fox news regarding having an interview with mueller that wasn't necessarily in the car. it's one of the things that was said in the back and forth.
what do you make of what is going to happen after thursday? >> i think it's hard to predict what his answers are going to be. depending on the answers, we'll have more know. he's done everything to stop this investigation and was just said, it doesn't pass the smell test or in my case, i say the red face test that he didn't know what whittaker stood for which was trying to stop this investigati investigation. the thing that comes to my mind is it was on the day before thanksgiving that we learned during watergate that there was an 18-minute gap in the tape of a critical conversation. i'm just like wondering is this the pre-thanksgiving surprise and it will be interesting to see what the results are. >> it will be the equivalent of
it. there's the other pieces just within the last two or three days. that is papadopoulos. george papadopoulos, former campaign adviser to trump. he's asked for his sentence to be delayed. those 14 days he has to serve. some say that may say something about what mueller is doing and what might happen with mueller. >> i think it's hard know what is up with papadopoulos. he's parted ways with his lawyer. he seems to be making a lot of -- first of all, you can't take back a plea agreement as far as i know and kind of get out of it and say you no longer -- >> that may be his hope. >> i think he's being manipulated by someone to muddy the waters. on twitter he is spreading while conspiracy theories about a deep
state coup against trump. i have my own theories about who is pushing him in that direction. i think that papadopoulos is the other shoe to drop. more worrying for trump is we keep seeing intimations that roger stone is about to be indicted. jerome corsi said he thinks he will be indicted. >> manafort. >> manafort cooperating. michael cohen testifying in front of grand jury in d.c. you see the sort of noose tightening. i think the most obvious explanation for what's happening is that donald trump commit crimes in his quest to become president. those crimes are close to being revealed and he's doing whatever he can to make sure that even if mueller knows what's happening that never becomes public. one thing that whittaker could do is stone wall the release of the report.
>> or choke it off in terms of funding. jeff, if there was a blood pressure meter, you might have one to measure in terms of what the president might be going through now. there's all these items that we discussed. let's add in this to the stew. there's julian assange and that mistake that was made appears in the cop by pasy paste and how t might be adding to the tension when talk about the russia case. fill that out for us and what the implications might be. >> it was donald trump who famously during the campaign said i love wikileaks. it was wikileaks that released the hacked e-mails of the dnc. this is another situation. sort of like when it comes to vladmir putin where the president said one thing but his administration acts in a different way. the secretary of state, mike pompeo, back when he was head of the cia referred to wikileaks as an intelligence, a nefarious
intelligence organization. jeff sessions said that julian assange was a top target of his. they tried to bring case against limb. we'll have to see how this entire thing with wikileaks resolves. democrats, especially on the house side, when they come into power in the new congress are watching this and adam schiff who is likely the next chair of the house intelligence committee today was on the suntds shday s and talking about how he will hold the administration to account and expose any attempts to shut down the russia investigation. president trump today in the last half hour said this on twitter. he said so funny to see little adam schiff talking about the fact that attorney general matt whittaker was not approved by the senate but not mentioning the fact that bob public schooler was not approved by the senate. bob mueller doesn't have to be senate approved to have that position but adam schiff claps back says that's a good one. was that like your answers to mr. mueller's questions or did you write this one yourself.
sort of a sick burn there from adam schiff. the two men who will be intense rivals come january when democrats take control of the house. >> jill, what do you think? >> i think it's odd that the president went out of his way say he wrote those answers to the questions because the defense he would have had is my lawyers misunderstood me if he gets caught in something that's untrue. he is responsible even if his lawyers drafted it because he's the one signing off on it. it may not make that big of a difference and he may have wanted to make himself look bigger than he was. i think he's behaving in very strange ways and his attacks going back to whining and harping on hillary clinton again and on the witch hunt and was just said, it is not true that mueller is not senate confirmed. he was confirmed by the senate
for fbi director. that's something whittaker has never been through and mueller doesn't need any senate confirmation for the position he's in but whittaker does. we have a question of whether he's legally appointed but we have a lot of conflicts. those are real conflicts with whittaker. they aren't with mueller. there are many reasons why whittaker may have to recuse himself which would really drive president trump crazy, i'm sure. he has real conflicts in terms of what he's said already. >> how far the new congress will take this, michelle. >> right. i think that the house is obviously going to investigate. they will investigate both the underlying sub ststantive issue. i believe jerry nadler said they will want to know everything surrounding the appointment of
this guy. kind of what internal communications there were about his previous views, whether or not he would recuse himself. whittaker is in a difficult position. you have trump basically signaling you have my blessing to shut down the russia investigation. he said in that interview with chris wallace, it would be fine with me if he wanted to interfere. there's other parts of the government that will hold whittaker accountable including for obstruction of justice. >> moderate republicans in the senate right now. >> a moderate republican. or a conservative republican with a shred of decency. we're talking about jeff flake. >> lindsey graham also saying he would support what jeff flake is doing so far. thank you to all three. good conversation. turning to breaking news in
california. displaced victims of the deadly camp fire may be forced to evacuate for the second time. this time from large tent city due to the pockssibility of flooding rain. the death toll stands at 76 with three more across the state in other fires. more than 1200 all set across the state are still missing. the camp fire which is still burning northeast of sacramento has torched over 149,000 acres. that's the size of the entire city of chicago. joining us now scott cone in paradise. it's a town that's been burned down by flames. scott, when you and i were talking yesterday, there's also the concern of missing and be very interested in where we're at with that right now. the number has gone up by 300. >> reporter: right. the authorities are cautioning us not to put too much into
that. some of that may be duplicate names. some may be people already connected with relatives. let me show you what we're dealing with and why we're talk about second evacuations. this is what's left of the evergreen mobile home park in paradise. basically destroyed. that's a community building there. a lot of people from paradise went down the road to chico to this parking lot of a walmart. set up a tent city. it's supposed to rain later in the week. that was never an official evacuation site. people are being encouraged to mov move to shelters. they haven't been ordered to lever b leave but they are being encouraged to. there are no sfrss there. what you see behind me, multiply that by 10,000, the number of stu structures destroyed here.sfrss.
what you see behind me, multiply that by 10,000, the number of structures destroyed here.esfrs. what you see behind me, multiply that by 10,000, the number of structures destroyed here.rsfrs. what you see behind me, multiply that by 10,000, the number of structures destroyed here.vsfrs. what you see behind me, multiply that by 10,000, the number of structures destroyed here.isfrs. what you see behind me, multiply that by 10,000, the number of structures destroyed here.csfrs. what you see behind me, multiply that by 10,000, the number of structures destroyed here.esfrs. what you see behind me, multiply that by 10,000, the number of structures destroyed here. ther. what you see behind me, multiply that by 10,000, the number of structures destroyed here. people told the president about what is becoming an increasingly desperate situation. >> scott, the reporting also is that right now the forensic teams are on the ground. they are working quite hard. this is why we are seeing the death count go up since yesterday as well. i imagine that's a lot of what the activity is day to day. this in advance of up to four inches of rain in just 48 hours. >> reporter: it's kind of a mixture of activities. we're sort of transitioning here. the fire is at 60% containment. they started to lift some of the evacuation orders. you may be able to hear the sound of chain saws. they are clearing debris. there are utility crews in here and fire crews coming in here to make sure there aren't any hot spots even as they go through the town lot to lot to try and find human remains.
people are being cautioned and look out for human reports. report them. don't disturb them. it's a horrible situation in this town called paradise. coming up, democrats continue to add to their gains. i'm joined by one of two of the first native memamericans elect to congress. later more intrigue at the white house. emotions running high and rumors of a staff shake up. d rumors of a staff shake up.
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day 12 of the midterms. breaking news on a very topic this hour regarding the florida senate race between incumbent bill nelson and governor rick scott. ali has been tracking this for days. you have some news for us, my friend. >> reporter: yes. we've known since the noon deadline hit that the vote margin between rick scott and bill nelson was not reversing. rick scott was in the lead the whole time. rick scott said he spoke to senator nelson and the senator graciously conceded. now that the campaign is truly behind us, that's where we need
the leave it. my focus will not be on looking backwards but doing what i ran on, making washington work. that's been his slogan for the entire senate race. they have been saying they don't know where the votes could have come from. they have been consistently confident they would be the ones that prevail in this race. so much so that rick scott went to washington last week for new member orientation on the hill. bill nelson had an uphill climb for himself. >> down do to 10,000 votes ther. nearly two weeks after the midterms adding to their national sweep of the house. two races were called in
democrats favor in orange county. formerly a republican bastion. ronald reagan said it's a place where good republicans go to die. thank you for being with us and congratulations to you. i know you've been quite busy in recent days. it's probably been very exciting. one of the things i want to start is the very idea of so many new members. about the same number during the 2010 tea party wave. what's the energy like? >> thank you for having me. every one is so excited.
there was a lot of excitement going through orientation this past week. it can sometimes be long and arduous but the spirits were high. i think every one is anxious to get to work. >> what would be the typical first timer purpose, an idea in terms of the next two years of what you want to get done? >> in new mexico i campaigned a lot on climate change and renewable energy as well as public health care and schools. there's a lot on our agenda that we like to accomplish. i think democrats being in the majority will get some things done this time around. >> you know it's the first week or so when you can kind of identify the mood of the folks
around you and who you'll get along with. we have 128 women in the new congress. we also have 90 veterans also in new congress. you come from a military family yourself. >> i do. >> these might be said to be the cl collaborative groups. the ones that are used to get stuff done. would you disagree? >> i completely agree. i've been working for the last 20 years in my state on issues advocating for issues in our state legislature. getting out the vote in underrepresented communities. i feel confident about my ability to build relationships. i'm going to congress to do just that. i also feel that we have a job to do for the american people and that's absolutely holding this administration accountable.
i think that's another piece to what folks want us to accomplish. >> oeearly on, but i have to as you. there were a good number of democrats and a smaller number of republicans. have you been hanging out with a couple of those rs? >> there were several of pieces to our othrientation where we we all together. i've been on a few news shows with a few republicans. of course, we want to work together to make sure we're getting things done. that's absolutely something that we're all set on. also, holding this administration accountable, making sure we're working on the issues. climate change, of course being the big one with all the fires in california and the other defr
stati -- devastation we're seeing. we're going to stay true to our values and stand firm when it comes to our agenda. >> the more lunches will be better with all folks from all different parts of the country. quickly because i have to ask you this. there's the thing being talked about and who will be the speaker. who needs to be in the leadership behind the speaker for you to feel comfortable? >> i have stated i am supporting leader pelosi. i feel like there's been talk about yes, we need more diversity and with the number of women of color who have come into congress this time around. >> you? >> yes, me. i'm also proud to support barbara lee. she's running as caucus chair this time around. she'd be the first african-american woman to lead our kacaucus. those other positions, those other leadership positions that
are going to be filled by women and women of color, i think that will truly add to the diversity and the representation that we need in leadership. >> would you like to take one of those? >> i'm running for a freshman seat. it's not talked about too much. it's a freshman representative on the steering and policy kp committee. i have my hat in the ring for that. >> i appreciate your time today. thank you for stopping by. >> thank you. >> much luck. up next, the white house could be on the verge of some major staff shake ups as rumors swirl inside the west wing amid reports of increasing frustration from the president. we'll dive into the latest reporting. sident we'll dive into thlae test reporting. make a smart choice.
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it was a pretty long interview today that aired on fox. the president saying there's many as five members of his leadership, including the cabinet, that he might make a change with. the president is reportedly frustrated, angry and resentful in the oval office on top of that. according to several new reports, homeland security secretary could be asked to resign soon and john kelly may be on his way out as well. here is what the president said about kelly just this morning. >> look, we get along well. there's certain things i love
what he does and there's things i don't like that he does. that aren't his strength. he works so hard. he's doing an excellent job in many ways. there's a couple of things where it's not his strength. it's not his fault. >> such as? >> i haven't thought about john in terms of this. john will want to move on. john many move on. >> 2020 is no longer written in stone. >> could happen. it could be. let's see what happens. >> he also said as many as three, four or five, maybe just two but he's very clearly laying out what is typical during halftime? >> yeah. it's clearly time for change. it took bill clinton a year and a half to figure out that he needed to really empower a white
house chief of staff in the form of leon panetta. i'm afraid donald trump may have drawn all the wrong conclusions from his first two years. john kelly's failure has ultimately been that he's abdicated the most responsibility the chief of staff which is to tell the president what he doesn't want to hear. no competent white house chief of staff would have signed off on making whittaker acting attorney general given the compromises he had. kelly couldn't be bothered to tell trump to go to arlington on veterans day which trump complained about. it's the chief of staff's job to tell the president hard truths. i don't think john kelly is able to do it. >> if he were to have told the president this, the question might be did the president listen. therefore what should john kelly done what the president didn't
listen to his advice? >> with unemployment at historic low, it seems the least safe jobs in america are across the president's administration. what could john kelly have done is find somebody better for the job? the justice department has over 100,000 people. there's u.s. toeattorneys. there's assistant state's attorney attorneys general and many people could have filled the role and not have had the level of conflicts personal and professional because they seem to cut across a lot of things about mr. whittaker that seem to render him unfit for the job. absolutely, the white house chief of staff needs to have been able to step in and tell the president no and say for the good of one of core functions of government which is keeping people safe you've got to install someone who can run this department well. >> not traditional in terms of
the appointee and replacement after dismissing him. this is what the president said on another network today. take a listen. >> did you know before you appointed him, that he had that record and was so critical of robert mueller? >> i did not know that. i did not know he took views on mueller investigation as such. >> when you found that out? >> i don't think it has any affect. if you look at statement, those statements can really be viewed either way. i don't think it koultd have -- >> he says there's no collusion. he says you can starve the investigation. >> he's right. what do you do when a person is right, there is no collusion. he said it. if he said there's no collusion, he's right. >> cart before the horse here in the way the answer was. >> if trump didn't know what
whittaker had said about the counsel's investigation then obviously kelly should have told him. i suspect that trump knew more than he's saying there. there's a more fundamental problem here than whittaker. that is donald trump is not the first president to come into office thinking he has all the answers. most presidents get over there. most learn there's a big difference between campaigning which is dividing and demonizing and governing which is organizing coalitions to get things done. donald trump needs a chief of staff who can help him figure that out. >> quickly to you elliot. >> it defies logic and defies reason given all the statements the president made about collusion and the mueller investigation that the person he put into the role of attorney general after the attorney general had recused because of his conflicts. it defies reason. the president certainly knew about that and folks in the
white house knew. some grown up in the room needed to explain this individual is conflicted and not serve in this role and he's not getting that kind of advice. >> thank you both so much. coming up, thousands of troops may be forced to spend the holidays away from their families to patrol the southern border. this because of orders from the president despite calls to send them home for thanksgiving. we'll get a military perspective, next. t a military perspective, next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ comfort. what we deliver by delivering.
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