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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  April 2, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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that wraps up this hour and more news with hallie jackson. >> the answer is, yes, that was some handoff. thank you, stephanie. i appreciate that. i'm hallie jackson in washington where the subpoenas start today because breaking right now the house oversight committee is getting ready to meet as we speak on capitol hill. that is on the left side of your screen. set to authorize those subpoenas against key white house officials, including jared kushner. new reaction from him overnight and speaker pelosi this morning about the attorney general blowing right through the democrats deadline for the russia report. down south, the scramble meantime ahead of that potential border shut down. we are live here with the white house spokesperson and live on the ground talking with folks on alert and worried about their livelihoods. >> in a week, they could be out of. >> they might have to close down. the accusations throwing a wrench into 2020 and a new interview with the key
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presidential contender with joe biden and where she thinks this should go next. >> there are very different levels of allegations. the ones we have heard about so far. these women feel demeaned and that's not okay. >> we have our team covering every angle of all of this and we start this morning with the subpoena showdown on capitol hill. democrats flexing their muscle against the trump administration. you have first the house oversight committee meeting right now. that is what you're looking at. expected to start issuing subpoenas at any minute to five current white house employees. employees that were allegedly involved in overruling career officials and handing out more than two dozen security clearances to folks who a whistleblower says, should have been denied. not the only subpoena action we're watching. the house judiciary committee is gearing up, too. the doj will almost certainly miss today's deadline to hand it over while nbc news has learned that four progressive groups are activating protest plans across the country to demand that full
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report be made public. speaker pelosi speaking rather definitively on that just in the last few minutes. >> i understand sources and methods, but that's no excuse for hiding the truth from the american people. there will be a release of the mueller report. >> and with that, nbc's kasie hunt in the hallways where there is a lot of action on a lot of fronts this morning. >> indeed, hallie, there is. as you showed nancy pelosi already weighing in this morning and this just kind of underscores that democrats are not going to let this go. and there really are two tracks going on here. you pointed out that we are waiting on house oversight which has taken it upon itself to investigate essentially everything that is not russia and collusion and what would have fallen under robert mueller's purview. it's issues like corruption and abuse of power and, of course, those security clearances that
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you and our colleagues at the white house have been covering so closely. jared kushner, in particular, our reporting that the career officials who make these decisions were overruled to give him and many others 25 in total people security clearances when perhaps they did not deserve them or when the civil servant said, you know, we don't think this is a wise move. there is a whistleblower involved at this point. that is the action that we are watching today. but you also point out that there is that deadline of today from the house judiciary committee to turn over the unredacted mueller report and its under lying information. that is going to expire today and we know that the house judicialiary committee plans to vote on wednesday to authorize the chairman jerry nadler to send subpoenas for the full report that ninformation from a handful of top white house officials. this doesn't guarantee that those subpoenas are going to be sent a prolonged court battle
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over it if they end up having to go that route. but they clearly want to at least send a message that this is unacceptable. republicans, of course, pushing back. they're arguing that the bar summary fully exonerates the president and there is no need to go through any of this. take a look at gjim jordan, the ranking member on the oversight committee and speaking about the judiciary subpoenas. take a look. >> this is where they are at because the mueller report was not the bombshell they had hoped it would be. when you have the head of the intelligence committee and the head of the judiciary committee make public material that is not consistent with the law, that's just wrong. just plain wrong. >> so, hallie, just to put a finer point on it. democrats are arguing that, in fact, there is precedent for them to see the material in the mueller report. first of all, congress has a right to classified information, but they also have in certain circumstances viewed grand jury material. it did not become public, but something congress did eventually have access to.
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>> kasie hunt, stay close to a camera and i'm sure we'll check back in with you. appreciate it. let me bring in msnbc contributor ken delaney, nbc intelligence and national security reporter and ann white house correspondent for "washington post" and politics reporter for "daily beast." guys, let's start with the conversation related to this subpoena security clearance issue. interestingly, jared kushner is responding to this. we don't often hear from kushner and we don't often hear from him talking about security clearances in these meetings. i want to play for you what he had to say. >> i can't comment for the white house's process but i can say over the last two years that i've been here, i've been accused of all different types of things and all those things have turned out to be false. >> joyce, kushner dismissing concerns about these clearances. is he right to do so? >> he's absolutely wrong.
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security clearances, this is not a political football. it's not a partisan process. and this white house which has destroyed so many guard rails has destroyed guard rails here, as well, with the president inserting his own judgment to replace that of career officials. and it's not something that is irrelevant and not something that is minor. it goes to ensuring the integrity of our country's practices, policies and, most important information. if you have folks who have conflicted loyalties, you open up a whole host of problems. we don't need to do that. we need to let the career officials make decisions of who is a security risk and who isn't. >> ken delaney, you have reported and you are sharing with us on things that could end up raising concerns when it comes to these clearances and lay that out and i think we have images to help you do that. >> there is a whole section in the guidelines on foreign influence. and our sources tell us, that was the main issue at play, which is why the career security
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officials will recommend it against granting jared kushner a top secret clearance. he has a massive business empire and no one is saying he has divided loyalties. he is subject to conflicts of interest. the "washington post" reported that four governments were overheard discussing ways to manipulate kushner through these foreign business entanglements here. he is not accused of wrongdoing. the trump administration is accused of gross rry violating norms here. >> a lot of otargets that the oversight committee and the judiciary subpoenas are trying to go after here and we can show you some of them here. ken, explain sort of what we knew in february. you and my colleague, peter a x alexa alexander, broke this story initially. >> so, what we first learned is that two career security specialists at the white house had taken a look at jared kushner's security clearance and
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their supervisor a man named carl klein overruled them. what "new york times" reported is that he did that at president trump. >> the president denies this. he said on camera, i didn't have anything to do with it. >> it is pretty clear that happened. what we also reported at the time that as many as 30 other cases recommendations were over ruled. this whistleblower has gone to the committee and edis she participated in 25 of those decisions. now, three of those people were senior white house officials ivanka trump and the other people may have been mid-level emmroipie employees. we could only find one or two examples of where this happened in other white houses. >> security clearance is not the only thing we're watching. you may have seen that live shot of elijah comings he is leading this hearing that is starting now and house judiciary going after the mueller report. i want to play a little bit for
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not just what elijah cummings but where these battles go next and about these subpoenas. watch. >> we noticed the mark up for wednesday morning to these subpoenas and i assume we will be issuing subpoenas. >> i said from the very beginning that i would not be trying to pass out subpoenas like i was passing out, you know, candy at christmastime. but we will do whatever we have to do. >> betsy, you covered the doj. what are you hearing from your sources there. >> nadler has been pushed back. remember he tried to preempti preemptively, doj believes they called his bluff and nadler ended up not using that subpoena on the threat the way he initially threatened to. when matt whittaker came in for
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another closed door meeting with nadler's team part of the agreement that was reached before that conversation was that a transcript would not be kept and the result was that meeting generated a he said/she said that was not particularly productive for nadler's end. so thus far he has not been effective at using these specific legal tools to force doj to give him the goods. that may change, if he subpoenas the mueller report. but that would tee up a very complex legal battle that the justice department is very much geared up for. >> nancy pelosi is confident that the public will see something and ann and joyce, i want to play what she had to say at this political breakfast. watch. >> what gives you the confidence to say that there will be, that you will see this? >> our old friend, public sentiment. >> yeah. i mean, nancy pelosi is saying here, look, folks. it might not be, certainly won't be today, might not be tomorrow. but you will see a significant
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chunk of this report and you will see the parts of it that the audience she is speaking to is most interested in. yes, it's a political playbook breakfast, beutshe's addressing the progressive wing of the party and addressing the 2020 candidates and she's addressing everybody to whom what they think is most important in the mueller report is paramount. >> if it is a legal battle, it will take a while and that's interesting because the president said he was committed to letting the people see the report. it would have been real easy for the justice department to go to the judge as the report was being ready to get an order permitting the release of grand jury that they did not tells us they were not fully committed to letting congress or the public see the report. >> joyce vance, ken, we appreciate you both being with us. anne and betsy, stick around. a lot more to get to in the show including new reporting that joe
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biden's aides may be sensing a conspiracy after a second woman publicly accuses the former vp of getting too close for comfort. will it motivate biden to bow out or fire him to jump in. the upther democrat who could step into it. we'll ask white house principal deputy press secretary hogan what that means for the millions of people who depend on this law for their care. s thadd. it's cheese as it should be. -it's our confident forever plan. -welcome to our complete freedom plan. -it's all possible with a cfp professional. ♪ -find your certified financial planner™ professional at
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well, gone are the days of the daily white house press briefing, but a deputy press secretary hogan gidley join us on set today. good to have you back. your second time here with us. i want to start like we did last time going over factual questions to lay some grounds of the case. >> so, let me start with security clearances and some of these questions on the mueller report, as well. bill barr was at the white house yesterday for an event. did he speak with the president? >> not to my knowledge. >> they did not talk about the mueller report. >> no, not to my knowledge. >> did jared kushner get a clearance even after officials said he should not? >> i am not aware of his level of rank or any type of security clearance for anybody because we don't talk about it. we don't talk about it internally and we don't have those conversations to the media and we sure don't talk about the process itself. i mean, the requests for these 25 security clearances are the
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documentation about them is just absolutely ridiculous. >> will the white house cooperate with that request or no? >> these requests are ridiculous. this is about someone's personal, confident, private information. there are 4.2 million employees both at the military level at the civilian level that have to fill out some of these forms and have some level of security clearance. this precedent would make it possible for members of congress any time they want to make a political point and play political games to bring that information forward. that is ridiculous and we will not play that game. >> you're saying the white house will not cooperate. that is a no. >> we had a briefing with him on the actual process. >> he's asking for documents. are you going to hand that over or no? >> we explained to him the process and he didn't want to hear any of it because all he wants to do is take those 25 names instead of get to the
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bottom of anything substantive. he wants to embarrass top officials and a mueller report with no collusion and complete and total exoneration and they want to focus on something to embarrass this president and we're not going to do it. >> get the factual basis. will you hand over the documents they want or no? >> we do not discuss security clearances. >> that is not an answer to the question. >> we have cooperated with mr. cummings what he is doing is unprecedented and we're not going to play that game. >> sounds like a no to me. let me ask you about health care. the white house was insisting the president is going to unveil his plan for health care to congress that the health secretary was working on it and it would happen this year. now, the president overnight says, just kidding, it will be after 2020 now. why is he punting? >> he didn't punt -- >> he pushed it off for another year and a half. >> there wouldn't be a vote until 2020 because democrats are in control of the house and probably won't bring it up. he is very clear about what he wants. democrats sold obamacare on a bunch of lies and a bunch of
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empty promises and premiums have sky rocketed and people have a health care card but don't have health care coverage. this president wants to change that and he talked about it many times. >> does he have a plan to replace it? >> he is working on those pieces with members of congress and they want to have something in place and, again, he was talking about a vote on it and it most likely will not come until 2020. >> plan before then. >> potentially so. >> potentially so. >> i don't have an announcement for you right here. >> pretty soft language. >> the president is very clear about what he wants and we have to right the wrongs of obamacare and a court ruling that says the entire thing could be unconstitutional. he has to give families better choices and more control. >> that is an argument that republicans made in 2018 and it didn't work. >> and swept to the house. >> you're thinking the 2010 model not 2018. >> this is not about obamacare. >> it is about obamacare.
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>> democrats aren't talking about obamacare. a takeover of the health care -- that would kick off 180 million people off their coverage and make private insurance illegal. trust me on that for 2020. >> not all democrats believe that, first of all. i want to ask you about other topics, in addition to health care. the president's tweets on puerto rico that happened this morning. some confusion over them. the president said puerto rico got $91 billion for the hurricane. that's not true. why is he using that number? >> $91 million in pledges. >> he said they got $91 billion and half of that is an estimate on what is to come. >> that mun a eoney is coming t. they received more money than any state or territory in history for a rebuild. >> that's not true. >> 100%. >> louisiana got more after that hurricane. that's not a true fact. >> they have not come to $91 billion with all we've done in that country. systematic mismanagement of the goods and services we sent to them. you've seen food rotting in the
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ports and their governor has done a horrible job. he is trying to find someone to take the blame off of him for not having a good grid and not having a good system in that country. >> these are things that are not true. just from a factual basis because hurricane katrina the recovery effort cost more than what is happening in puerto rico. let's lay the facts out here. let me ask you about another fact. president trump said that puerto rico is only taking from the usa. that's part of his tweet. you and i agree that he knows they are u.s. citizens. >> correct. >> does he believe they are not equal u.s. citizens. why taking from the u.s. when they are part of the u.s.? >> i was in the senate lunch when he addressed this topic and he thoeold the people you need vote for this bill. they want more than we have already given, part of our federal relief packages for future budgets, as well. vote for that, it protects the
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farmers. vote for this and provide the money to puerto rico. >> the president said puerto ricans are taking from the usa. puerto rico is part of the united states. people who live in puerto rico are u.s. citizens. you're rolling your eyes and i don't know why you're rolling your eyes. confusion over why the president would say this and how he views the people of puerto rico. >> he has actually already traveled to puerto rico after this hurricane. >> and talked a lot of bad things about puerto rico. >> he has given them a lot of money and mismanaged this money and that's what he is upset about. >> they believe they need to have this recovery. >> when there are food, goods and urves iiand urves ise s and urves iervices in the ports rotting in the sun. >> why hasn't the white house dispersed the money that they allocated to help puerto rico? why not? >> they can't handle what we have given them already. they are letting food rot in the
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ports. >> i want to ask you about something else the president has on his mind. the border battle. we do have a live report from on the ground there because there is new pushback, as you know, from republicans and the business community over this threat to shut down the southern border altogether. the u.s. chamber of commerce has warned that closing the border would inflict severe economic harm on u.s. families, workers, farmers, manufacturers all across the u.s. you have border state senators and people who support the president. john cornyn of texas and martha mcsally of arizona unintended consequences that you have to keep trade and travel going otherwise people at home could see a spike in prices at the super market. mariana fills us in on what is happening down at el paso, texas. you're talking to small business owners in the area, right? >> hallie, business owners who have real economic concerns. take a look at the numbers. trade between the u.s. and
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mexico exceeds $1.7 billion daily. nearly half of vegetables and 40% of the fruit we import comes from mexico. so, naturally, those business owners that work in agriculture that work in produce, many of whom supported the president are in the words of some of the folks we talked to yesterday panicked a that prospect that the president will follow through with this threat to close the border. >> we might even have to close down for that matter. we might have to close down 50% of the businesses in the united states as far as it is concerned. president trump is doing some very good things, but this is not one of the good things he's doing. >> for us as a company, it will affect it a lot because 75% of our customers are restaurant owners and grocery store owners. so, down the line is just going to affect everybody. >> it's not just business
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owners, hallie. it's also consumers. just look at the pack line of traffic coming in from jubehind me. these are people coming to work and shop in the united states. they tell me many of them that the livelihood of the border depends on the fluidity and vitality between these sister cities something that could change, if, indeed, the president follows through on what he tweeted. >> that is still an if. hogan, you listen to that here those business owner concerns. the chamber of commerce is worried and people who live along the border are concerned. why won't the president pull back on this threat to shut down the border? they're concerned about the threat to seal the border. >> they ought to be because 4,000 people coming in one day. on your air, the secretary of the department of homeland security even said that this was a crisis situation. >> sure, nobody disagrees with
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that. the secretary also said a massive trade impact. he also said a devastating economic impact. >> correct. democrats are ignoring this problem. we've got to do something about it. we're looking at every possible thing the president can do within his legal authority. this is one of those things whether we shut down a port of entry or many parts of entry is still remained to be seen. but we have to do something to protect the american people. this situation is untenable. these children are being ravaged and women being hurt so badly and we have to fix it. >> he will threaten to shut down the border. >> everything is on the table. >> very quickly before i let you go, back to puerto rico. right before we went to her, i think you referred to puerto rico as that -- slip of the tongue. >> slip of the tongue is not on purpose, hallie.
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it is a touratoerritory and the mismanaged. could a second allegation of inappropriate touching tank his hopes before his candidacy gets off the ground? guess who decided not to run but might change his mind.t to run t might change his mind. it would mean the world to them, and they will love you forever. so how are you enjoying your it's just lovely.ament? i'm here to let all these folks know how easy it is to save money on their car insurance with geico- oi oi oi set the pick! kick it outside!! shoot the three! shoot the three!! yessssssss!!!!!! are you...ok? no, no i'm not. i think i pulled a hammy. could we get some ice? just one cube of ice? geico®. proud partner of ncaa march madness®. and i don't add trup the years.s.
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>> these women feel demeaned and that's not okay. so, if vice president biden does choose to run for president of the united states, i imagine this is a conversation he will be having to have with the american people. >> i don't think it's disqualifying, but i think it's important for the vice president and others to understand is it isn't what you intended. it's how it was received. >> so, that was, of course, 2020 candidate and senator kirsten gillenbrand. a second woman has now come forward accusing the former vice president of inappropriate behavior. she's a former congressional aide and she said this happened while she was volunteering at a 2009 political fund-raiser in connecticut. it wasn't sexual, but, quote, he did grab me by the head and put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with
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me. nbc has not verified this incident. all eyes are focused on joe biden this morning and on his next move, especially if you're michael bloomberg. bloomberg might still run for president, especially if biden winds up not getting in. joining me now, msnbc contributor adrian, former director of strategic communications for hillary clinton's 2016 campaign and msnbc contributor and tim miller is also here and anne and betsy are on set joining me, as well. adrian, let me start with you and sort of this response from democrats here. as politico puts it, democrats are agonizing over what to do. this is something she was asked about just a little bit ago and i want to play you her response. >> are you open to seeing people have those conversations or being removed from the opportunity to run? >> i think if he decides to run, these are conversations that the american people will want to have to ask him his perspective. >> adrian, what do you make of
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this? >> well, look, joe biden is somebody who has had a very and has a very unique ability to connect with people. he is able to show empathy, he is able to connect in a way that many people aren't. so, i think with that being said, we have seen a major cultural shift from the last time joe biden ran for president and the statement addressed he is sorry if he made anyone feel uncomfortable. i think nancy pelosi hit this on the head by saying, he needs to address and maybe change his behaviors but, again, i don't want to detract from the fact that i think many people are drawn to somebody like joe biden because he is so warm and engaging and able to comfort some people during some very difficult times. >> you talked about the idea as speaker pelosi talked about biden needs to address some of this. he, of course, the former vice president himself has not publicly addressed this on camera. we had a couple statements. do you think he needs to talk about this publicly and when? >> i think he does. and i think his team will
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probably make him, put him in a situation where he can address this publicly some time in the near future. but, again, never ran for president as a frontrunner status. ran for president twice before and should he run this time again he will come into the race as a frontrunner. all his actions, including his entire voting record will be scrutinized more than it ever has before. i think we need to be cognizant of the political, you know, motivations behind some people when it comes to making these accusations. >> imi >> tim, the ap points out i believe you're making a reference to lucy flores and the fact that she was a buernie sanders supporter in 2016. she is not politically motivated in that sense, although politics plays a part in why she is talking about this. aides to joe biden as the ap are pointing out strike a more aggressive tone with one blasting right wing trolls from misrepresenting pictures of biden online and one that comes to mind, of course, the one
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where he is hugging his grandson after the death of his father at the funeral. what is the republican move here, tim? is it sit back and let this play out? >> well, look, i think there's kind of a two-prong defect there. i think a lot of the center right republicans like myself. you know, biden is an appealing option, considering, you know, how far the left of the party is. what he has to worry about is attacking these right-wing trolls is what they should do and is fair game and trump has normalized this within the party. this is the main stream of discourse on the right now. you can call them trolls, if you want, but, look, that's coming straight from the white house. they did that adam schiff mean came straight from the press secretary this week. this is the right right now. so, this might not be fair to joe biden and i would say it's not fair to joe biden. but the democrats need to think about given president trump's
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extreme vulnerability with umpteen women accusing him of sexual harassment, do you want to nominate somebody that allows republican trolls, if you will, to muddy the waters on this. not fair to president biden, but is a fair political calculation. >> yeah, it takes a lot of democrats about two moves to get to, wait a minute. donald trump calls women darling repeatedly on stage and dozens of women have accused him of sexual impropriety at the very least. but for joe biden, you know, this whole issue just throws into high relief that he's 76 years old and that his political instincts, his political dna is in many ways from a different political era. >> michelle goldberg writes along those lines and that it is the wrong time for joe biden. quote, i don't think, she says, biden's is a me too story but if he was more oblivio --
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>> a lot of politicians in their 70s and i can't think of one that has been accused of walking up behind a woman he did not know and kissing the back of her head. >> it's just really weird and biden's behavior that these female democrats have brought forward on the record is not typical, it's not something that his age justifies. it's not like you get a pass once you enter your 70s and you're allowed to nuzzle noses with women who you're not friends with. and i think that, you know, a lot of throat clearing about this, but the reality is the facts are very simple. democratic women who are on the same electoral side that biden is on have gone on the record to say that he touched them in ways that while not crossing the line into illegal activity. >> or sexual harassment. >> or sexual harassment has made
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them feel. >> i just want to add, that's true. it is democratic women who are on his side and, you know, i don't want to diminish the credibility of those accusations, but it isn't fair to say that there isn't a political motivation now. right. he was the vice president not that long ago. it's not like nuzzling noses with women was appropriate three years ago when he was the vice president of the united states. and there weren't any democrats speaking out about this at that time. so, that does make you wonder if it is democratic women who would prefer to have a different standard next time which means there is some political motivation here. >> adrienne, very quickly, do you think this discourages joe biden from running or will he still? >> not only discourage him but his team made it emphatically clear it will have no bearing on his decision to run. >> thanks for that conversation and anne and betsy stick around. chicago voters are heading to the polls right now and whichever way that election
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goes, it will make history which is why we're talking about it. we're live in michelle obama's old neighborhood with the two african-american women fighting to be the next mayor. a memorial for nipsey hussle an apparent fight caused the panic last night. officials are identifying this person, eric holder as the alleged shooter in sunday's attack that left the grammy nominated rapper dead outside his los angeles store. e.een or which egg has 6 times more vitamin d, 10 times more vitamin e, and 25% less saturated fat? only eggland's best. which egg is so special, i'd never serve my family anything else? for me, it's only eggland's best. better taste, better nutrition, better eggs.
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so, if it's tuesday, voters are voting. today in chicago where the polls are open and people are ready to make a historic choice. no matter what. because for the first time an african-american women will be elected to be the next mayor in the nation's third largest city. morgan radford is joining us now from chicago. so, it's really interesting, morgan, because no matter what history made and a lot of interesting nuance in this race. >> that's right, hallie. people are aware of what a big deal this election is because it's election day here in chicago for the city's new mayor. polling stations like this and behind me they have been open since 6:00 a.m. and people have been filing in for the past four hours and, hallie, they are excited. this is history in the making. lori lightfoot and facing off against toni preckwinkle and people want to see change and they think it can start today. chicago locked in a groundbreaking battle.
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lori lightfoot and toni prekkwiprek preckwinkle to become the city's fir first. >> that is unbelievable. >> reporter: leading in the polls lightfoot positioning herself as a progressive candidate who could also become the city's first openly gay mayor. >> it will define, i hope with my election, the dawn of a new era in chicago. >> reporter: preckwinkle also hoping to leave her mark on the city. >> i think it's historic. i'm a history teacher and i can appreciate the history of it. >> reporter: lightfoot supporters say she's just what the city needs. a fresh face that could shake up a stale political machine. >> to grow up and see someone that looks like me and able to make a big impact on chicago and hopefully make some real changes, i think is so important. >> reporter: but lightfoot's critics say she doesn't have
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enough experience to fight the issues that have left the city in crisis. like the crime and violence that have plagued two-term mayor rahm emanuel. >> i have decided not to seek re-election. >> what about critics who have attacked you saying you're not going to protect the city's most vulnerable, specifically young black men who are getting shot. >> first of all, i'm a black woman and i have two brothers. one of whom has spent most of his life locked up in somebody's prison. so, the plight of young black boys and men is very personal to me. >> reporter: her opponent is fighting her own challenges as a veteran of chicago politics. >> some have criticized you of being the old establishment who doesn't represent change. what do you say? >> i got elected on my first try as an independent democrat and i have been an independent democrat my whole life. >> reporter: with just hours to go, voters say they're looking for change and that today chicago will get it. >> did you think you would see this day? >> no.
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no. never did. i'm 77 years old and i never thought i'd see it. but i'm seeing it today. >> well, hallie, as you can see, this is a very personal election for a lot of the people here on the ground. already more than 1120,000 vote have been cast. >> morgan radford in chicago for us, thank you. up next, senate democrats unveil a constitutional amendment to get rid of the electoral college. since this thing has almost no chance of passing, are they just wasting their time? are you in good hands?
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important role of the a.b.a. . portant role of the a.b.a. you are looking live right now on the left side of your screen at the senate floor are democrats are unveiling an amendment to get rid of the electoral college. it's been led by dick durbin, dia dianne feinstein and kirsten gillibra gillibrand. this thing has a zero percent chance of happening. constitutional amendments needs a 2/3 major majority and ratification by 38 states. it's an interesting political maneuver here for those democrats. joining me to talk about why,
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jeffrey rosen, president and ceo of the national constitution center. thank you very much for coming back on the show. let's start with this. this has come up in two of the last three presidential elections. donald trump and george w. bush lost the popular vote but won the electoral college. explain the basic arguments for and against this. >> absolutely. so the argument against the electoral college is the one that you addressed, that it's anti-democratic. we've had two presidents recently who have won the election while losing the popular votes. it's happened five times throughout american history. and as late as 1970, there was a bipartisan consensus that the electoral college should be eliminated. senator birch buy introduced amendment in 1969. president richard nixon supported it, but it failed by
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four votes because you need 2/3 to pass and basically in those days, southerners in the senate wanted tod want wanted to keep the electoral college. the argument against it is allows small states to hijack democracy and prevent the people's will from happening. the argument for it is it's good to good support in small states as well as big ones. if we had popular vote, new york, california and texas would determine the election and you wouldn't campaign in the smaller states. therefore it encourages values like federalism and broad based campaigns. those are the arguments before and against it basically. >> okay. as you know, this has been playing out not just in the senate, but also in the 2020 campaign trail. we put together a list of candidates who have said they would be open to abolishing the electoral college. we laid out how high a bar you have to clear so this would happen. it's a really high bar. are democrats at this point just
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wasting their time? >> well, no. it's never a waste of time to introduce constitutional amendments that people support. it's also the case that the margins in the swing states are so small it's possible you could have an electoral college loser who is a republican, not a democrat. it shouldn't be a partisan issue. but the math is not in favor of getting 38 states to ratify. therefore, it's unlikely to pass. a more productive way to get around the electoral college in the short-term is called the compact of the states. 13 states plus the district of columbia have pledged today give their votes to the winner of the popular vote, representing 181 electoral votes. if you had just a few more it might go into effect. they could be voluntary way of achieving the same end but it also faces a high bar. >> explain why. >> you'd need something like 237
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electoral votes to win, and the same small votes who don't want to vote for an amendment is unlikely to join the compact of the states. the math is tricky. it's a quirk of our federal system that the electoral college, which was originally passed to create a group of wise white men who were supposed to choose the best candidate regardless of the people has come to serve a very different purpose. it doesn't seem consistent with the increased inclusiveness of american democracy which has reached out to include previously excluded groups. because of the politics of it at the moment, republicans favor it and democrats don't. and the constitution is very hard to amend. it's interesting, the last justice scalia said it's too hard to amend the constitution, we should be able to do stuff people want that's easier to get through. but the electoral college may be an issue that has strong support for ending it, but not enough to pass through the constitutional hurdles. >> jeffrey rosen, thank you. coming up, president trump decides to punt on healthcare until after the 2020 election.
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we're taking you live to a clinic in west virginia where half the patients are uninsured. what do they think as their healthcare hangs in the balance? first we'll be back with more on what our sources are saying. back with more on what our sources are saying tell your doctor if you have a history of scarring or are taking medicines that decrease the body's immune response or that can prolong bleeding. common side effects include injection-site redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, firmness, lumps/ bumps, bruising, discoloration, or itching. as with all fillers, there is a rare risk of unintentional injection into a blood vessel, which can cause vision abnormalities, blindness, stroke, temporary scabs or scarring. juvéderm it. ♪ lets go!
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two of the best reporters in the biz are back. i love this segment because it gives you a chance on what you're digging in on. >> multiple people in dhs tell me that the department's intelligence office, a member of
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the american intelligence community has shut down a unit of analysts focused on domestic terrorism and home-grown violent extremism. they we that unit has been disbanded and people in dhs have told me there's concerns. >> what are you working on? >> nato. the nato secretary general is in town at the joint invitation of mitch mcconnell of nancy pelosi to address congress tomorrow. my sources are telling me that the reason for that is a bipartisan, large bipartisan group of lawmakers wanted to have a show of solidarity with nato this week, which is the 70th anniversary of the alliance's founding.
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donald trump is not hosting a big party. >> congress is hosting for sure. thank you both for bringing it, much appreciated. that does it for us. much more with my colleague in new york. >> sorry, you caught me mid cough there. have a good rest of your day. >> good luck. good morning, craig melvin is on assignment. we're following today's big stories on the hill. repeal and replace. president trump was a healthcare fight, yes, again. only now he doesn't want it this year and he's putting the rest of his party on the spot. security check right now. house democrats are holding an oversight hearing. they demand a key former white house official tell all about what appears to be a lax system of security clearances. border threat. the president promises he's going to shut down the border with mexico, even if economists say he's playing with dynamite. can he even close the border? that's the big question. we begin with what may be


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