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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  April 24, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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that does it for us this hour of msnbc live. for now, much more with my colleague craig melvin up in new york. >> hey, always good to see you, hallie jackson. craig melvin here msnbc headquarters in new york city. a busy day on the road for president trump and the democratic presidential candidates. president trump heading to atlanta any moment now for a summit on opioids. he leaves behind, though, a massive fight over subpoenas. we'll look at whether the president can thwart the will of house democrats to compel white house staff to testify. we're also live in new mexico, along the southern border. president trump went patrolling the area and now is promising to send more armed troops. and she the people. a brand new presidential forum for and by women of color it has now nabbed the biggest names in the democrat 2020 field. we'll talk about one of the hosts about what is in store for
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the candidates at this historic event. we start right now with president trump about to leave the white house, live look there at joint base andrews. we are told the president is not there just yet. he is still at the white house. again, president trump heading to atlanta, georgia, leaving behind what may be a new challenge to congressional oversight of the white house. last night the president telling "the washington post" he may keep his aides from testifying before congress since he's already cooperated with special counsel robert mueller's probe. quote, there's no reason to go any further and especially in congress where it's very partisan. obviously very partisan. i don't want people testifying to a party, because that is what they're doing if they do this. peter alexander on his post at white house. jeff bennett there for us at little. mr. alexander, i will start with you. did the president have anything to add to what he might do when congress does call administration officials to testify? >> reporter: well, we may hear from him in his own words just moments from now he'll be
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boarding marine one. reporters are staking him out there. if he says anything we'll turn that around for you right away. of course, one of the moves the president might make is to try to exert executive privilege in effect to try to prevent his former white house counsel don mcgahn from testifying before congress. critics will point out the fact that mcgahn was allowed to speak to robert mueller, executive privilege wasn't exerted then, why would the circumstances be any different now? but the president also tweeted today that he would be willing to go even further, suggesting if the democrats try to impeach him, that he would try -- he would in effect take this to the supreme court. our colleague, our expert on all these things, pete williams, follows up with a note he just shared with us that said a couple things. to sort of fact check the president's insistence there. he said, if the house began impeachment proceedings or even voted to impeach, which is like a formal charge, there would be nothing to appeal. separately, he says, if the senate were to convict him, no court would have the power to hear the case.
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we can report right now the president has now exited the white house. he is speaking to reporters, craig. as soon as we hear what he says there we'll pass it on to you. >> all right. just got that word as well. we'll turn that around. again, president trump there chatting before heading down to atlanta. mr. alexander, don't go far. we'll obviously want to chew it over with you. what do we know about what congress is prepared to do here if the white house does in fact refuse the request or multiple requests? >> reporter: right. here's the deal. here is an important bit of context. it used to be, craig, please in administrations past, that just the mere threat of a congressional subpoena would be enough to compel, cajole, coerce, even shame an administration into cooperation or even, you know, into complying with those congressional demands. but this white house, not so much. so what you have are house democrats trying to figure out ways to add some teeth to their oversight demands.
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you have some house democrats on these relevant committees thinking about maybe issuing fines to those administration, members of the administration who ignore or don't comply with those subpoenas. but even as they're sort of undertaking those conversations, those considerations, they're trying to walk a very fine line here, trying not to turn the committees into subpoena factories, because the fear is that they would play into president trump's talking points about all of this and, of course, as we know, he views this as a political -- a partisan pursuit rather than a substantive one, craig. >> all right. goeff bennett there for us on the hill. thank you. this new interview from president trump is raising a lot of questions about where this stand joif goes, whether it could lead to a constitutional crisis even. i want to bring in jeffrey rosen, president and ceo of the national constitution center, also a professor at george washington university law school. always good to have your insight, sir.
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thanks for being with me. let's start with a simple question. can the president simply refuse requests from congress for members of his administration to testify? >> no. it's not that simple. as you noted, the president already allowed don mcgahn to talk to the special counsel and many people will argue he waived any claims of executive privilege over mcgahn's testimony. the u.s. v. nixon case during the watergate era said courts balance the executive's need for secrecy against the public's need to know. it's a complicated question. simply saying i don't want them to testify is not going to cut it. >> once you waive the executive privilege, from a legal aspect, you can't reassert that privilege? >> not over that particular conversation. in other words, if you're saying, i need the privilege to protect my secret deliberations, once you've already allowed someone to talk about those deliberations, then you have no interest in secrecy. i mean, there is a series of other questions about whether congress is allowed to get the
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notes of foreign policy deliberations and the nixon court said when the president is talking to foreign leaders then his privilege is at its height. so there will be different balances struck when he tries to assert it against different people. don mcgahn is a different case. he already testified and therefore has no privilege in that case. >> what recourse would congress have? what recourse is there for congress who would ultimately decide if an administration figure must appear if called? >> well, congress, if the president asserts privilege, could appeal the exercise of privilege and it could go up to the supreme court, leading to a kind of u.s. v. nixon type confrontation. interesting, there hasn't been an important case about congressional subpoenas since the late 19th century. congress broadly does have the right to get stuff to legislate but not necessarily to investigate, so there are complicated questions there. one thing that is absolutely
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clear, when it comes to impeachment, the president has absolutely no ability to appeal to the supreme court. the court has nothing to do with impeachment. it is purely a congressional matter and the court would refuse to hear any case the president tried to take up regarding impeachment. >> we are still of course waiting to hear from president trump. we're told that the president is taking some questions right now from reporters. we do not know precisely what it is he is going to say. if you could just do me a favor and stick around a few more moments the president might say something that requires some legal analysis, shall we say. stick around if you could, jeff, please. as the president's team figures out how to deal with the ongoing investigations. there are some new questions about how seriously they're taking the security of our elections in the wake of robert mueller's report. the "new york times" reporting the former homeland security tried to focus on preparing for new and different forms of election interference ahead of 2020. quote, president trump's chief of staff told her not to bring
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it up in front of the president. nick mulvany made it clear mr. trump still equated any public discussion of russian activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory. nbs's peter alexander stuck around. he has new reporting on this from the white house. what are you hearing, peter? >> reporter: craig, the white house is pushing back vigorously against this story right now. the initial report from -- the white house is pushing back against the "new york times" report i should say. what we initially heard in the "new york times" report was the following. that according to a senior administration official mick mulvany said to kirstjen nielsen then the homeland security secretary, referring to the 2020 election, that it wasn't a good subject in his words according to the report and should be kept below the president's level. well, this response from mick mulvany the chief of staff to president trump, acting chief of staff i guess specifically.
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he said the following on the record. quote, i don't recall anything along those lines happening in any meeting, but unlike the obama administration who knew about russian actions in 2014 and did nothing the trump administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections and we've already taken many steps to prevent it in the future. some of the on-the-record comments from mick mulvany the acting white house chief of staff. this is significant because it underlies a point we already know that the president has significant frustrations with any focus on russian interference in the course of the last election and he views any public discussion about russian efforts, hostile efforts, to try to interfere, even with the upcoming election, as an effort to try to undercut the legitimacy of his 2016 victory. behind me right now you hear marine one taking off as we speak. the president took a few questions from reporters. you see that right now as they get the tape in place to play it for you. but i'll tell you specifically on the topic of the house
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subpoenas what we've been talking about in the course of this conversation earlier he said, i say it's enough. get back to infrastructure. get back to cutting taxes. get back to lowering drug prices. this really is the message that the white house and the president's allies, republicans, in congress are trying to deliver as well trying to say effectively after the rel eefs the mueller report that this should be case closed, it should be, craig, time to move on, and the democrats are obviously pushing back against that suggesting they have a responsibility to complete their oversight duties and continue to investigate this and potentially as the debate continues to impeach the president. craig? >> peter, you've been covering this president for a long time now. you also cover the most prominent lawmakers in this country on both sides of the aisle. there's talk of impeachment. do you get the sense that democrats are marching in ernestt toward that or do you get the sense that there is
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still very much this wide chasm inside that party over whether to proceed with impeachment? >> reporter: well, craig, there is definitely a divide. you can witness the differences between some of the candidates on the campaign trail and some of the others who are serving in congress right now. some of the democrats who are on the campaign trail running to try to defeat president trump in 2020 the message as they visit with democrats around the country. hey, this guy should be defeated or impeached. kamala harris has said that. elizabeth warren has said that. pete buttigieg sort of backed off a little bit and said obviously he deserves to be impeached but that decision will be left to congress. it was bernie sanders who expressed concerns that any discussion about impeachment takes away from the other topics the democrats should be focusing on right now. obviously, this is going to be up to the house democrat ib leadership, nancy pelosi, who has been very careful in the way she has framed this. i think the efforts by democrats like pelosi recognizing that this issue would be divisive, it would be political, and could potentially undermine the
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democrats' efforts to defeat president trump in 2020, is to make it clear that they want to thoroughly, in the words of pelosi on a conference call this week, strongly and aggressively, investigate president trump but saying their duty is to find the facts and leaving the decision about impeachment until later. it buys them a little bit of time, allows them to say to their audience and, frankly, the american people, we are doing our job, wherever that job takes us. >> peter alexander for us there from the lawn of the white house. peter, thank you. president trump departing from the white house just a few moments ago boarding marine one, heading to joint base andrews where he will be boarding airforce one for that quick trip down to atlanta, georgia. this was the scene just a few moments ago. president trump with first lady melania trump leaving the white house to make that trip. again, the president did stop. he did as he has started to do pretty much every time he leaves the white house now, stop and make a statement, maybe take a
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few questions from reporters as well. this time, no exception. president trump spending some time talking about the subpoenas, spending some time as well talking about the economy of the country. again, this was just a few moments ago, moments before the president left for that trip down to atlanta for the opioid summit. let's listen in here. >> mr. president! >> so, the stock market and our country from an economic standpoint is doing the best probably it's ever done. we're hitting new highs again. we've hit new highs i guess close to or over a hundred times since i'm president, from the time of the election. unemployment numbers are the best they've ever been, by far. we have almost 160 million people working today in the united states.
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that's more than we've ever had working in our country before. we're doing well on trade. we're doing well with china. things are going good. i'm bringing the first lady, right now she has worked very hard on the opioid crisis. we're down about 17% from last year, which is pretty amazing. we're down 17% with the opioid problem. it's a big problem. it's a big addiction. and we're handling it. the doctors are working with us. the labs are working. the clinics are working. the pharmaceutical companies are working with us. we've made a tremendous amount of progress. john, go ahead. [ inaudible question ] >> well, the subpoena is ridiculous. we have been -- i have been the most transparent president and administration in the history of our country by far. we just went through the mueller witch hunt, where you had really
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18 angry democrats that hate president trump. they hate him with a passion. they were contributors in many cases to hillary clinton. hate him with a passion. how they picked this panel i don't know. and they came up with no collusion and they actually also came up with no obstruction. but our attorney general ruled based on the information there was no obstruction. so you have no collusion, no obstruction. now we're finished with it and i thought after two years we'd be finished with it. no, now the house goes and starts subpoenaing. they want to know every deal i've ever done. now, mueller, i assume, for $35 million, checked my taxes, checked my financials, which are great by the way, you know they're great. all you have to do is go look at the records. they're all over the place. but they checked my financials and they checked my taxes i assume.
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it was the most complete investigation probably in the history of our country. i think i read where they interviewed 500 people. i say, it's enough. get back to infrastructure. get back to cutting taxes. get back to lowering drug prices. that's what, really, what we should be doing. we're fighting all the subpoenas. look, these aren't like impartial people. the democrats are trying to win 2020. they're not going to win with the people that i see and they're not going to win against me. the only way they can maybe luck out, and i don't think that's going to happen, it might make it even the opposite is what a lot of people are saying, the only way they can luck out is by constantly going after me on nonsense. but they should be really focused on legislation, not the things that have been -- this has been litigated, just so you understand -- this has been
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litigated for the last two years almost since i got into office. now, if you want to litigate, go after the dnc, crooked hillary, the dirty cops, all of these things. that's what should be litigated because that was a rigged system. and i'm breaking down -- i am breaking down the swamp. if you look at what's happening, they're getting caught. they're getting fired. who knows what's going to happen from now on, but i hope it's very strong. if you look at drain the swamp, i am draining the swamp. thank you very much. >> and there you have it. president trump boarding marine one for that hop over to joint base andrews where he will board airforce one for that trip down to atlanta for the opioid summit. he did spend just a few moments talking about the opioid crisis in this country. first lady melania trump's
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efforts to fight addiction. but the bulk of what we just heard there devoted to what we've been talking about here, the idea that some of the president's closest aides and advisers will be subpoenaed by congress to testify. president trump indicating he is going to be, quote, fighting all the subpoenas, his words. he also spent some time doing as this president has become accustomed to doing, framing all of this in political terms, spending some time talking about the witch hunt that was. robert mueller's investigation, again, witch hunt of course the president's language there but also saying it was the most thorough investigation in the history of america. this is something that caught my ear, peter alexander. he said he assumed bob mueller checked his finances, checked his tax returns as well. what, if anything, do we know about that assumption? >> reporter: well, it's obvious that the president is trying to push back on the efforts to pursue his tax returns.
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you know that he's received a lot of help from the treasury secretary who has effectively taken the administration, the white house, the president's line that they're not going to play along with this effort by democrats in their opinion to try to access the president's tax returns. there's no evidence that robert mueller reviewed them in any form. but the president wants to make it look like, hey, this has already been dealt with and is already behind us. this is all the reason why we need to move forward now. you hit the most important sound bite in there, which is we are fighting all the subpoenas right now. and they are multiple subpoenas right now. the first we know as it relates to the former white house counsel don mcgahn, effectively the star witness in the mueller report. we also know the white house, the administration has directed a former white house official, karl klein, the guy overseeing the security, the personal security office in charge of the security clearances, the house democrats wanted him to come forward as well because they wanted to view what took place in the security clearance
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process here including the president overriding the objections of some of the career officers there to give clearances to, among others, his son-in-law jared kushner. these are a couple examples of where the democrats want more answers at this time and the president is basically trying to say, hey, you guys had your chance. mueller did everything he wanted. of course he's ignoring the house responsibility, the oversight committee, the other committees led by democrats all of whom in the house right now trying to pursue this process further. you can see this tact. it is one of defiance and one the president is going to continue over the course of the remaining 18 months as evidenced by our conversations with his allies here, which is to stall, force this thing to the courts, and really hope these issues dissolve in the minds of the voters and the american audience over the course of the many months before those questions that do get kicked to the courts can be resolved. craig? >> mr. rosen is still with me as well. jeff rosen president and ceo of the national constitution
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center, george washington university law school professor as well. professor rosen, you heard the president there. again, he plans to fight all the subpoenas. what do you make of what we just heard there? >> it's really important to note that not all subpoenas are alike. we've already talked about executive privilege and don mcgahn but when it comes to pre-presidential conduct, his finances, his conversations with donald j. trump, his son, the trump foundation, none of that can be covered by executive privilege because it took place before he became president. the attempt to get the tax returns will be litigated under the terms of the congressional law allowing congress to subpoena anyone's tax returns and will involve the balancing test there. so there are a lot of complicated legal battles ahead, on some grounds stronger than others, but it is not at all simple in any case and in some cases the house democrats will, indeed, be able to get the testimony they seek. >> we should probably, perhaps, clear up some confusion for folks who might be watching at
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home and see this image of president trump, who just deplaned marine one. now he is boarding airforce one and a few moments ago, literally, we showed you the president there taking questions from reporters. that was taped. this is, in fact, a live look there at the tarmac at joint base andrews where president trump and the first lady are boarding airforce one. they are bound for atlanta, georgia. there is an opioid summit that is taking place there. president trump, again, spending just a few moments talking about the opioid crisis and drug prices and doctors and some strides that have been made with regards to the addiction that plagues so much of this country, but the bulk of what we just heard there, the bulk of the president's time spent talking about the stock market and the jobs numbers and the economy before talking about the subpoenas. a big thanks to peter alexander
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at the white house. mr. rosen, thank you as well for sticking around to help us dissect some of what we just heard from president trump. before he left the white house, the president was also back on twitter this morning raising the temperature on the crisis at our southern border, posted three times about the crisis saying, he is sending armed soldiers to the border. three defense department officials say the pentagon is waiting for an official request for more troops. we'll go to sunland park, new mexico where armed militia detained residents against the wishes of local authorities. you were here yesterday as members of the rogue group were asked to leave private property. what's the latest with this group now and what happened there? >> reporter: you know, they had a rough few days, craig. they were camped out just a quarter mile in that direction. we have video from yesterday. we saw union pacific police come to the camp and tell those
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individuals, three of them, part of that militia, that they had to move out of the area. they gave them 30 minutes. they were assisted by state police. now, those individuals take issue with us calling them militia. the problem with them taking issue with that is when you look at these videos they're posting online they are holding migrants in place and they are doing so heavily armed, wearing military gear. they have a high level of communications. they have very sophisticated equipment. they certainly look like a militia. now, their leader was arrested last week. we understand from his lawyer that he was beat up in jail yesterday. the camp has been disintegrated. they are nowhere to be found. craig, we're trying to figure out if they're still in the area. they said they would remain in the area and continue to run these, quote-unquote, operations or patrols but it seems this morning they've packed up and gone somewhere else. >> cal perry, do keep us posted, sir. you know her by one name, omarosa, the former white house aide, who will join us to talk
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about what the president does not want his former aides to talk about in public. we'll also get her thoughts on what we just heard from the president there as he left for atlanta. and a live report from houston as well. on the she the people forum. why women of color are so crucial to the success of the democrats who are running for president. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, every day can begin with flakes. it's a reminder of your struggles with psoriasis. but what if your psoriasis symptoms didn't follow you around? that's why there's ilumya. with just 2 doses, a majority of people were clear or almost clear. and over time, even more people were clear or almost clear. all with dosing 4 times a year... after 2 initial doses. plus, ilumya was shown to have similar risks of infections compared to placebo. don't use if you are allergic to ilumya or any of its ingredients. before starting treatment,
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when it comes to dealing with congress the word of the week at the white house seems to be resist. just a few moments ago president trump called congressional subpoenas of his aides ridiculous. this week the white house also told an official to not cooperate, refuse to cooperate with congressional subpoenas related to security clearance and "the washington post" reports treasury secretary steve mnuchin missed a deadline for providing trump's tax returns to a house panel. i'm joined by someone who knows the president better than most, omarosa manigault-newman senior white house official and author of "unhinged" now out in paperback edition i'm just told. apparently people are buying this thing still. this is a clear strategy,
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omarosa. what is the thought behind it, to slow it down, rile up the base with another fight? >> it's simple. he wants to run down the clock and thinks people will stop being concerned about it. we should really not just focus on what he is telling people to do or say but how he's asked people to destroy documents, to destroy e-mails, in my case two boxes of campaign-related materials the white house still has in their possession that they claim they don't have or don't know what happened to it. >> what was in the boxes? >> all e-mails related to the campaign that i'm sure congress will be as interested as the mueller team was. >> were you ever told or encouraged to destroy potential evidence? >> i wasn't told directly but they were very clear about not wanting us to share those things. right after the campaign, the day after, they took our e-mails down and told us we had no access to it. wouldn't even allow us to get lists off. they were certainly working to try to hide the things we now know are involved with this
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investigation. >> you were cited in the mueller report when the special counsel writes, quote, within the trump campaign aides reacted with enthusiasm to reports of the hacks. you are cited with giving that information in a footnote. who reacted? >> first of all, they boil down all those hours of investigation to a one line. but really they wanted to look, as of the last time i was here i told you they were very specific about the time frame at our e-mails and how we reacted to the notices that those releases were going to come. there was quite excitement from the communications team. in fact, they were prepping for that and telling us to prepare for talkers that would come and how we were to address it when we went out on cable news. >> was there material information provided to the special counsel's office that was omitted from the report? >> what do you mean? >> well, did you give anything to the special counsel and you were surprised it didn't show up
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in his final report? >> well, the report is a summary, so let's be clear. everything is not in there. my legal team was very clear. everything they asked for, everything they wanted to know, tell the truth and give it to them quickly, which is what i did. and so they have everything from me and i see that many of my colleagues, hopefully, provided that information as well. but this isn't the full picture. i believe the full report needs to be released unredacted. >> the redacted portions in the report, as you flip through it, were there some areas redacted and you thought, oh, i know precisely what this is? >> well, i was filling in the blanks of some of the names i thought. i could be wrong but particularly stuff related to my good friend who as you know is getting ready to report to jail next month. >> were you surprised at all about what was omitted or what was included? >> you know what i was surprised about and i continue to be surprised about when i listen to the president is when he says there was no obstruction when it is so very clear that he was
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partaking in activities that were immoral, unethical, and illegal. >> have you heard from congress about being interviewed? testifying? >> sure. they're coming. they just subpoenaed don mcgahn and so i'm sure the rest of us that are mentioned in the report will be receiving them. i will say here and now that i am very eager to share all of the information that i shared with robert mueller's team and i will share that information with congress. >> are you still involved in a legal battle with the administration? >> i am. i'm still in arbitration with donald trump. the lengths he has gone to try to stop my book from being published, to silence me, is pretty incredible. the fact that all these months later i'm still in arbitration, that he is drawing it out, trying to intimidate me but i'm not a girl that scares very easily, so bring it on. >> we'll leave it there. omarosa manigault-newman, again, the book is out in paperback edition. there it is. always good to see you.
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a live report from houston, the first ever presidential forum focused on women of color. hear how the eight candidates attending today will address a powerful democratic constituency. meanwhile, tomorrow, perhaps you've heard. vice president joe bind expected to officially get in the race. we'll talk about his plan to go from zero funding and endofrsments to front-runner. delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. look for savings on boost® in your sunday paper. hey allergy muddlers... achoo! your sneezes turn heads? try zyrtec... starts working hard at hour one... and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day. zyrtec muddle no more.
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publicly official tomorrow. according to sources close to former vice president joe biden he will be announcing his run for president tomorrow in an online video. the first event expected monday at a local union hall in pittsburgh. so what can we expect now that joe biden is finally diving into the race? i'm joined by a staff writer for "the atlantic" who has written extensively about biden's kpending campaign. also msnbc contributor, big thanks to both of you. isaac, i'll start with you sir. it does seem like there's been some -- these false starts if you will getting this campaign off the ground. why? >> well, this is a process that has been playing out for joe biden intensely over the last couple of weeks, last couple months, over the last two and a half years. and, of course, it goes back to when he decided not to run in 2015 and the 2016 election.
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but he has been wanting to run for president almost since the day he was elected to the senate in 1972 and had the runs in 1988 that got cut short because of the plagiarism scandal and then of course in 2008 when he ran and got about 1% in the iowa caucuses. this is something that he has struggled with how to make happen. there were a number of other campaigns he almost launched for president in the years in between. >> and here's the thing about spending so much time in public service. you have a body of work. you have a record. what are some of the likely issues that a joe biden is going to have to deal with once he officially declares tomorrow? >> well, he'll have to deal with the crime bill, the implications of the crime bill. he's going to have to deal with the anita hill hearing. he's going to have to in some ways, craig, bear the burden of representing a democratic party that has been challenged, that he in some ways embodies, unlike
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a tim ryan or a mayor pete or amy klobuchar. he embodies the clintonesque democratic party even though he calls himself an obama democrat. so in some ways not only will he have to defend his record against an activist base that is very suspicious of his overall politics in some ways, he's going to have to in some ways bear the burden of the split, the ideological split that's evident in the party now. in some ways he why 'em bodies it in a way no other candidate embodies the old guard as it were. so he has a really uphill climb to make. >> professor, it sounds like you think that perhaps the party has left joe biden. the party's left him behind. >> you know, i think it's -- i don't know what everybody thinks because of the name recognition and how he is polling that he is going to do well, he's the front-runner. i don't know how he'll occupy that lane when he stands over
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and against mayor pete and tim ryan and amy klobuchar, folks trying to occupy that lane. i think there is a push to kind of resist the corporate kind of democrats, the old guard that's trying to hold on to the party, that has the party by the throat in some sort of way, and biden represents that group. he is still talking about, you know, the coalition that folks are trying to say, no. we need to go the route of, you know, stacey abrams, not the old route of trying to simply get white workers to come back to the party. i think he has an enormous challenge ahead of him. i'm interested to see what happens. >> i think a lot of experts are pointing to fundraising, some of these early fundraising numbers encouraging folks to keep a very close eye on those because we might be able to glean just how strong a candidate joe biden is by looking at some of these fundraising numbers. why might fundraising be a potential issue for a guy like joe biden in this crowded field?
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>> well, on the polling question, there is a theory that joe biden is very much attuned to that, in fact, more of the party and more of america is where he is and what is represented by the louder voices that have emerged in the party in the last couple years and he would point to the fact that a number of swing districts, the ones that put the democrats in, the majority in the house, were won not by the people on the far left of the party but by people like him. so he is the candidate who is in touch actually with where the party is. we'll see if that proves true. on the fundraising question, it is a question of how much enthusiasm there is for joe biden at this point, who is running for the third time, who is 77 years old, who is trying to make this case that there is a way back from the -- to the
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pre-trump days where things were in better shape for the democratic party and for the country. that is what he is going to need to do not just in terms of showing enthusiasm but to pay for the operations that are going to be here. bernie sanders has $18 million in the bank already. it's just the first quarter of this. he has a massive digital operation. other candidates do as well. pete buttigieg from nowhere raised $7 million. beto o'rourke $9 million. amy klobuchar and elizabeth warren who are further back in the money race but incredibly impressive raising $6 million, each one of them. biden has to do that and he has to do that very quickly to pay for a staff that is going to have to build up very, very quickly. >> thank you. always good to have your insight. thank you as well. in just a few hours, eight democratic presidential candidates will be taking the stage at an historic forum, a forum that is focused on women of color. it's called she the people and it aims to connect candidates
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with minority female voters who will be crucial in picking the 2020 democratic presidential nominee. i'm joined now by a member of the honorary host committee of the "she the people" forum and also of course the former ceo, the 2008 democratic national convention committee. first of all, let's start with the forum here. why was it -- do you personally think it was formed to help create a summit like this? >> thanks for having me on here on the campus of texas southern university one of our nation's premier universities and it was important to me because we know that women of color are 20 million strong in terms of their voting power and it is important that the issues and concerns we have as voters are front and center in this particular presidential race. we know that we are active. we are responsible for the change in the house in 2018. we've elected a record number of
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women to congress. and now we are looking for parties, democrat and republican, to show us what they're going to do to address the concerns that we have. so we're looking forward to hearing what these eight candidates will have to say today. >> hillary clinton talked about bias and sexism here in new york city at the time 100 summit yesterday. i want to play a little bit of what she said and we'll talk about it on the other side. >> i think people don't understand unconscious bias. what i would say is -- there is outright nasty sexism and mass oj any. all during 2016 online people would say i sure would vote for a woman, just not that woman. and now all of a sudden some of those women they said they would support, they're running and oh, i'm not voting for that woman. >> right now there are as you are probably acutely aware, five major female candidates to take over the white house in 2020.
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>> yes. >> senator harris, senator warren, senator gillibrand, congresswoman gabbert, and senator klobuchar. have you seen a change in the party in terms of acceptance and support among the female candidates? >> you know, i think it's wonderful and historic that we have so many stellar women running for the presidency but while we have made tremendous progress i think we have a long way to go as a nation in putting women on the same playing field, making sure the playing field is level for any woman, whether running for congress or whether they're running a business. we see it in the way the stories are being reported, the attention being paid to some of the male candidates over and above those of the women candidates. but we're hopeful. we saw a change in november in terms of leadership in the kr escess and we're hopeful our administration will continue to progress down that path of addressing unconscious bias both in terms of sex and race.
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>> senator kamala harris has made the support of hbcus a focus of her campaign. she was in my neck of the woods over the weekend. senator elizabeth warren just pledged $50 million to hbcus. how important is it to invest in these schools to try and increase the black vote? >> absolutely. these hbcus play a pivotal role in our nation in terms of educating and producing some of our best leaders and giving people of color and not just hbcus but minority serving institutions including those that serve the native american community and the latino american community. they produce leaders. they produce the next generation of folks who are going to move our country forward. so it's really important for us. it was important for us to have this right here on an hbcu campus to demonstrate that commitment. we've been very pleased to hear
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senator warren and senator harris speak about hbcus in such specific terms in terms of what they're going to do to help strengthen and grow these institutions. >> appreciate you. thank you so much for your time. good luck there. >> thanks, craig. >> good luck with the forum. come back soon. president trump on his way to atlanta to talk opioids as the feds drop the first ever charges against a drug company ceo. will this case set the stage for more prosecutions? your mammoth masterpiece. and...whatever this was. because we make our meat with the good of the deli and no artificial preservatives. make every sandwich count with oscar mayer deli fresh.
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right now president trump in the air headed to atlanta. this was the scene a few moments ago before he boarded marine one air force one. the president an first lady will be talking about prescription drug and heroin abuse. this afternoon's opioid summit comes on the heels of the first drug trafficking charges ever against a pharmaceutical distributor. two have been charged with helping fuel the ongoing opioid crisis in this country. >> from 2012 to 2017, it shipped
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tens of millions of highly addictive oxycodone pills that it knew were illegally dispensing narcotics. >> in 2017, the centers for disease control says more than 70,000 people died from drug over doses in the united states. last year alone, opioids single handedly accounted for 48,000 deaths. nbc news legal contributor joins me now. walk us through this case. what's the likelihood it becomes a model to become other top drug executives. >> this case is unique. you normally have insulation if you're really high up in the food chain. someone like a ceo doesn't face charges but this ceo who resigned in 2017 is charged with criminal trafficking, conspiracy to violate narcotics laws, conspiracy to defrauds the united states .
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if convicted he's looking at a minimum of ten years in federal prison. what's amazing by this prosecution is you wouldn't see it for somebody in that traditional sense in the boardroom and what we call the sea suite. you would see something like this a low level street dealer. we know this is being pursued rigorously not only in criminal courts but civil carts. purdu pharma is part of 2,000 lawsuits that have going after the pharmaceutical companies for their con tri bu-- contribution to the deaths. >> the company increased their oxycodone sales from 5 million to 42 million.
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fentanyl from 63,000 to 1.3 million. this is a company that knowingly distributed to pharmacists. this is way to change the way prescription drugs are distributed, how they're handled? >> this is a long over due, overall of how the regulation should be done. in this particular case, craig, the chief compliance officer, that's the irony. the chief compliance officer is put into these big companies to make sure you monitor compliance with state and federal regulations. inside the company they had internal red flags going off. that's exactly the reason why they are saying somebody like dow who was the ceo knew what was going on. chose profits over people. that's the reason why he's looking at criminal exposure but the chief compliance officer pled guilty last friday and is cooperating with federal authorities. we have a guy inside. we have an insider who can lead
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the prosecution to where the bodies are buried. >> always enjoy your analysis. thank you. in our next hour, andrea mitchell will be interviewing former governor of virginia to talk 20 and also talk about that big announcement from joe biden tomorrow. g announcement from jo tomorrow six months, six pushups ready. up. up. down. down. ah ah! that's one. up. that's two. down. down. get down, get down. shaving has been difficult for me. i have very sensitive skin, and i get ingrowing hairs. so it's a daunting task. oh i love it. it's a great razor. it has that 'fence' in the middle. it gives a nice smooth shave. just stopping that irritation... that burn that i get is really life changing.
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that's it. that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. i'll see you tomorrow morning on today. andrea mitchell standing by here
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in new york city. >> thanks. president trump stone walls congress refusing to obey se a subpoenas. >> we're fighting all the subpoenas. these aren't like imparabtial people. the democrats are trying to win 2020. >> it's not about politics. it's about patriotism. there's a threat to our democracy in terms of our constitution. don't ask, don't tell. the white house denying that top officials were told not to raise their concerns about russian election interference in 2020 with the president because it rehiends minds him. >> i'm worried about multiple foreign


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