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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  August 10, 2019 4:00am-5:01am PDT

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good morning, you're at msnbc world headquarters. >> it's 7:00 in the east. 4:00 on the west coast. here's what's happening. in iowa democrats descend on the hawkeye state in what could be the earliest test for the presidential run. new information on tell pa so killings one week later as the community gears up for a protest march. details coming up. >> gun battle. the president, the nra and congress. will the two mass shootings lead to new regulations or will the moment pass yet again. >> another day another north korean missile test, another letter from kim jong-un as well. making sense of the trump policy approach after this latest incident. happening right now, growing outrage over the largest immigration raid in the state. 680 people arrested, half remain custody. yesterday president trump defended the raids as a possible deterrent. >> i want people to know that if
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they come in to the united states illegally they are getting out, they are going to be brought out. it serves as a very good deterrent. if people come in to our country illegally they are going out. >> child welfare service are grappling with children separated from their parents. i.c.e. officials say they did not notify child protective services because it might have tipped off the immigrants of their plans. >> new reporting from "the washington post" that a construction company with the trump organization has relied on undocumented immigrants for nearly two decades. joining us now is white house reporter for axios and chief washington correspondent for bloomberg news. good morning, guys. >> good morning. >> i want to ask you about the timing of the raids. was there any consideration to at least postpone these arrests especially coming at a time when the country is clearly reeling from the mass shootings in el paso and dayton? >> the problem with the raids and the timing of it, last time
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there were these planned raids and they leaked. a lot of fire on the dhs secretary, acting dhs secretary. this time around, yes the timing of this, especially after these mass shootings and especially with one of them occurring in el paso where a lot of people who were targeted and the suspect said that he had targeted mexicans who had posted this manifesto online, the timing of it really is not playing well for this administration, so it has been, i think, a bit of an issue politically. with the timing of this. but, again, i think that these raids, they try not to give any sort of lead up to it and show any sort of public reaction to this ahead of it. >> in the meantime, kevin the president said these i.c.e. raids serve as a deterrent in his words. it's clearly an established
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policy. but what about the president speaking so openly about it? is that part of the plan? >> yes. look from a policy standpoint i spoke all week with administration officials including officials at the department of homeland security. yesterday i interviewed ken cuccinelli who is overseeing a large part of these raids and what they argue is that they are trying to follow the law. that they are trying to carry out the law. the second point i would make here i pressed cuccinelli, i said what about these images that we're seeing of kids, of children who are being separated from their parents. you know what he told me? he said well, quote-unquote we're all uncomfortable with those images but i think that it's difficult to talk about this issue through the political lens. but you can't look at these policies in a vacuum and you're seeing how virtually every
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single democratic presidential candidate this week is taking this out on the campaign trail and saying essentially that they would reverse course on these particular sets of policies. but the question becomes well what do you do in the meantime in term of the month of september, for example, when lawmakers return from recess and i just don't see it. i don't see any type of bipartisan immigration reform getting done in the short term. >> elena how does this new report from "the washington post" about a construction company that worked for the trump organization using undocumented workers, how does this form how president trump plans his strategy post-recess? >> i have to give it to dave. his incredible reporting consistently on this issue. i would argue that honest lew it doesn't form these policies. if anything the administration after these, you can ask the
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white house how is this lining up with the policies that this president is implementing and there really is no connect that the president, what's going on in his personal life or businesses especially over the past several years is not affecting his policy. he's still just as hard on immigration as he expects to deliver on his promises that he had. his rhetoric is strong as ever in 2016 and continues to be ahead of 2020 in the campaign season as a winning issue. he'll try to crack down hard on immigration. again, the timing of this with those mass shootings isn't the best but speaking the to kevin's point they see this as helping the american people, serving as a deterrent, and i don't think that this report is really going to change anything from a policy perspective. >> but the optics of all of it is terrible. pulling off this i.c.e. raid a week after you had that guy that
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was killing mexicans, targeting mexicans. let's talk about the gun be debate right now. president trump on friday said that he has influenced, rallied republicans around stronger background checks but the president promised to lead on tougher gun control measures before as we all know. your guys hearing any sort of indication that this will go anywhere or is this just kind of -- he'll go on vacation for two weeks and disappear as it has many times before. >> not just on president trump but there's pressure on senator leader mitch mcconnell. telling a local kentucky radio program he is, in fact, going to put bipartisan gun reform legislation on the agenda the top of beyond when lawmakers return back from congressional recess. there are some areas of consensus that have emerged. one is on red flag laws, grant money provide to some states in order to encourage them to pass
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policies that would limit the ability of folks who suffer from severe mental illness or who have previous cases of showing signs of violence to obtain a weapon. the second is on information sharing and former sharing between the public and the private-sector. in this case social media companies. to work with federal law enforcement to flag potential acts of crimes on social media platforms. big tech officials were at the white house yesterday meeting about this. third and finally, is on the issue pertaining to universal background chegs. there are some differences regarding universal background checks. some areas of consensus are starting to emerge. >> there's a question of where the nra stands on everything. according to "the washington post" a white house official said trump asked some advisors and lawmakers this week about
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whether the nra had enduring clout and an internal leadership about the bill. what does this say about the direct influence of the nra? we know it's been very powerful over this president in the not so distant past. >> definitely. we saw, you know, last time when the president came out forcefully saying that he wanted to crackdown on background checks and after the mass shooting he had a meeting with the nra and pulled back his stance on that. they are definitely influential. i would argue that, you know, the nra has lost a lot of power and influence under this administration. it's really stark especially when you look at the money that they poured into the president's campaign to hope that he would get elected. i do think from conversations i've had with people, the president is very serious about this. i know a lot of people especially on the hill are all eyes are on the president.
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nothing is really going -- everything is taking their cue from the president. nothing will change until president trump gives some sort of cover for republicans to follow his lead. and so definitely the nra and wane lapeer is really pushing the president hard not to go too far in any sort of policy that might come forward but negotiations are still occurring on that. >> to follow up on your point what makes this any different than parkland. we remember back in parkland he vowed that background checks were fully back and few days later there's a late night nra meeting, and he flips his position. >> right. >> why wouldn't that just happen again? >> it definitely could. i think this time there's a lot of pressure especially from people inside the white house. and people close to the president who are trying to tell him we need to do something here and i think he's really working internally. the there had been talk of potentially some sort of executive order being floated
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around. now i think he's really trying to work with congress behind-the-scenes on getting something forward. but i think that especially given the 2020 race and the campaign, he recognizes that this issue is something that he will not win on unless they take some sort of decisive action. again it's unclear that the president could flipflop on this or he could take his cues from the nra and other outside forces trying to pressure him how this will play with his base. so i think it's definitely something you have to be watching, especially within this administration. the president could think one thing and be committed to one thing and then hours later have a call from someone and change his mind. it's hard to really say what he'll do one way or the other. i think everyone is in this holding pattern now trying to take their cues from him. >> kevin, if there's a protest in the hampton's its because someone is wearing the wrong linen. last night president trump had a
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fundraiser. he raised $12 million. there was a protest. >> were they wearing linen? >> i don't know. rnc chair saying they raised $2 million more than they original lie expected. of course, you know there's a big backlash. people are upset because this was held by the billionaire owner of soulcycle and equinox. will this brand shaming have any long term impact on the president's fundraising and fundraisers? >> no. i don't. also, this is such a fascinating issue. i mean just how politics is now in soulcycle studios. this is part of a broader cultural trend in terms of as you alluded to brand shaming. from a business economic point has been going on, trending in this direction foreclose to a decade now. everything from, you know, i'm thinking of the kendall jenner
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pepsi ad and this is something that sea level executives have been grappling with for quite some time. and it's a function of yes, the political climate that we find ourselves in, but also the social media type as taylor swift referred to it the cancel culture. this is a really nuance, i think, sign of the times. >> it is. also means that you'll be able to get a room at that 9:00 soulcycle class. a bike. >> a bike. a room? >> media room now. we don't know. but you're right. the economic impact of this has been proven the to be pretty minimal. we saw that with nike and the controversy as well. >> and chick-fil-a. >> this morning we're learning
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new details about the man accused of shooting and killing 22 people in that el paso walmart one week ago today. newly unsealed court documents reveal what happened when police closed in on the suspect. >> reporter: we all have seen that video of police closing in in and arresting that accused gunman. thanks to newly released arrest documents we're learning that in that moment he confessed to police. when police closed in the accused el paso gunman did not try to run. instead the man who police say just moments earlier murdered 22 people at a nearby walmart calmly told police, i'm the shooter. in a newly released arrest affidavit he spells out his racist motive telling officers in his words he was targeting mexicans. >> just forthcoming with information from what we saw
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initially, definitely indicative of a hate crime. >> reporter: today three more victims will be laid to rest. a 56-year-old woman who leaves behind four children. and a couple who died shielding their 2-month-old son. earlier this week president trump visited el paso and met with the family. this morning a photo from that meeting is drawing backlash tweeted by first lady melania trump it shows her holding the orphaned infant. president trump standing alongside them, smiling and flashing a thumbs up. a pose he used in other white house photos throughout the day. >> that horrible creepy picture of him with a thumbs up with melania holding an orphaned infant, i think says it all. >> reporter: the criticism came fast. many calling his pick the you're the with the infant insensitive. the baby's one cal tells "the
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washington post" the president of just there as a human being, consoling us and giving his condolences adding that his slain brother the child's father was very supportive of president trump. and this morning walmart is now making changes to the way it markets violent video games. the store says they will not show any signs or displays that shows violence but they say they will not stop selling the games themselves. >> thank you. the iowa state fair, who is pass, who is failing one of the biggest early tests in their runoff to the presidential race. a live report coming up next. cascade platinum's unique actionpacs dissolve quickly... remove stuck-on food. . . for sparkling-clean dishes, the first time.
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new perspective on how voters are feeling about expanding background checks for gun purchase as proposal the president says he now supports. a poll from politico taken after last weekend's shooting found 90% of registered voters support requiring background checks on all gun sales that includes 96% of democrats and 89% of republicans. >> but the president of the national rifle association has reportedly warned trump that background checks will not be popular with the base. >> the nra has over the years taken a very, very tough stance on everything and i understand it. it's a slippery slope. they think you approve one thing
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it leads to bad things. i don't agree. >> joining me now is vice president of policy with the brady center to prevent gun violence. does it come down the influence of the nra of the president and republican party? how influential is the nra now? >> i think what we're seeing is the nra is on a steady slide down and really consistently since 2013. these polls are no different than all the polls we've been seeing time and time again and consistently proving through the elections that we've seen really since sandy hook. there's overwhelming support for these policies even beyond just a universal background check that we want to see. you see high capacity magazine, assault weapons bans. americans are fed up with turning on their tv day in and day out and seeing the cost of inaction which is human lives.
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and the time to act is now. >> it is. but then that said these sort of proposals that are out there will it make a difference. some republicans and congress support the so-called red flag laws which would allow states to temporarily confiscate firearms from people who are deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves and others and you see the polling there. it has widespread support. 90% of voters. you follow this topic. would the red flag laws really make a difference? would it have made a difference a week ago or in dayton or el paso? >> listen, we know that extremist laws work and not only is that policy, you know, just completely designed with leading up to at who is at risk of
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extreme behavior but when these laws are in place they do save lives. we saw studies out of duke university subjects to these risk warrant laws are 40 times more likely to die by suicide. we've seen time and time again shooters where in 2015 sort of shooting that really sparked this into the national consciousness, you know the parents were calling and saying i'm really worried that my son is at risk of doing something harmful. but he didn't meet the criteria of involuntary committed. he was dangerous but we know the diagnosis itself is not what makes him dangerous and there's something more here. and those behavioral risk factors really, when they are evaluated and the courts look at them and remove those guns temporarily we save lives. these policies safe lives. that's the thing so frustrating about the inaction here in washington.
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>> i covered so many of these shootings and oftentimes the first question as communities mourn is about banning assault weapons. so you see here according to this poll 70% of register sferd voters support the ban. 88% democrats, 55% republicans. is the assault weapons ban here is that even realistic to talk about given the current political climate even though we have the support you see in the numbers. >> i don't think we can afford not to talk about all of these options. what we have here in america is such a complex problem it requires comprehensive solutions. we shown be taking assault weapons ban off the table or high magazine rifles off the table. we don't want to see a bait and switch where we're allowing for nra carve outs to weaken the bill. the american people are fed up.
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frankly i was in the chamber, in the gallery in 2013 when a majority of u.s. senators voted in favor of these policies, but because of some parlor tricks and procedural filibusters those policies weren't able to be enacted. it's not only time for mitch mcconnell to come back and vote on these policies it's incumbent on the senate to do a simple majority vote in favor of these as well. if breath kavanaugh can be appointed for a lifetime appointment on the supreme court why can't we have a simple up or down vote on policies that will save lives while we're facing so much death. >> getting rid of the filibuster rule there. thank you. >> thank you very much. coming up at noon eastern time stephanie ruhle will speak with mike bloomberg who has spent tens of millions of
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. now to the morning headlines. breaking overnight new concerns over north korea's fire power. military officials confirm two missiles were launched at dawn this morning into the east sea by kim jong-un's regime. it's believed to be a test of new short range missiles capabilities and a show of force while u.s.-south koreans conduct joint military exercises. new this morning the armed man who sparked panic at a missouri walmart thursday is now being charged with making a terrorist threat. according to court documents he told police he wanted to know if walmart honored the second amendment. the 20-year-old walked into the store in a ballistic vest and carrying an ar style rifle. and andrew yang will be around longer. he beat his rivals. ninth candidate to qualify for the september debate. his campaign said he made the
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conduct with 2% support. the democratic national committee has yet to make it all official, by the way among the candidates expected at a third debate in houston next month are joe biden, kamala harris, of course. bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. more on that race for the 2020 nomination. democratic candidates are flooding the iowa state fair, one of my favorite campaign trails. they are filling up on fried foods hoping to get the attention of voters. we go live to des moines. two questions for you. is anyone able to break into biden's lead here and what kind of food are you eating? >> reporter: well, you mentioned andy yang was eat. he had a nice turkey leg to go around with the other food. the question is can anybody
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break into joe biden's lead. they have this kernel corn pull where folks put a kernel in a jar and joe biden's can has been quite full these last several days. this fairgrounds here has been very much a playground, a camping playground for presidential candidates over the decades. this year there's a different feel to this place particularly in the wake of the mass shootings last week and these conversations around here have suddenly struck a much more serious tone. 21 presidential candidates. one state fair. a political affair. mixed in with pork chops, butter cows and funnel cakes. the iconic event for presidential hopefuls marred by the recent mass shootings in el
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paso and dayton. beto o'rourke missing the town fair to help his home town heal. julio castro claiming racism is a key issue. >> the president has brought this environment that has given rise to white nationalism. >> reporter: against an otherwise colorful backdrop, stern rebukes of president trump. >> we expect more out of our pre-schoolers now than we do the president of the united states. >> reporter: at a dinner put on by iowa democrats on friday night, joe biden weighed in. >> donald trump offers no moral leadership. he has no interest in unifying the country. >> reporter: five months from the iowa caucus, the tenor of this election serious. >> we need background checks. >> reporter: kamala harris on a campaign bus tour across the state. >> i think the american people are right to say look enough of the words. show me action. >> reporter: new polling shows a
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clear top five in the state. the famed popcorn poll was wean the actual polls. >> who did you put in your kernel poll? biden. >> biden. >> kamala harris. >> elizabeth warren. >> reporter: there's time for others to pop. >> kirsten gillebrand. >> reporter: all this in a state president trump won in 2016 where some voters remain loyal. >> you're going to vote for him again next year? >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: kamala harris and elizabeth warren will be gracing the fairgrounds later today. there is however a gun violence forum that was put together quite quickly in the last week. taking place down the road in downtown des moines. 17 candidates will be taking part in that. >> thank you so much. developing this morning democrats in the house ramping up pressure on the senate to act on that gun reform we've been talking about. >> more than 200 lawmakers are
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signing a letter to mitch mcconnell urging him to call votes on two house passed bills that would strengthen background checks for gun purchases. joining me now is texas representative. thank you for being here. >> good morning. >> congressman you joined your colleagues in making this call to the senate. how do you think that these bills would help prevent gun violence like the ones we've had in the last week? >> these bills would help a lot. i mean first of all, they would enhance background checks to make it to where people couldn't go around the system to be able to purchase guns. like for instance private gun sales, gun shows. and purchase weapons through those particular platforms they would have to go through someone that has a federally licensed firearm, a federal firearms license. and that would help out a lot. and then the charleston loophole. that's the enhanced background
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check, the other bill that we've already passed, we sent to the senate and it would stop what happened in charleston, south carolina where that particular killer was able to purchase guns just because of a glitch in the system. and we've sent these to mitch mcconnell. we've sent them to the senate on the republican side. they need to take action on these now. it's not going to be perfect. i don't think you can craft any perfect bill. but we've seen too many instances where people are able to go and purchase hand guns legally and then be able to commit mass atrocities and that has to stop. >> the president also tweeting on friday, serious discussions are taking place between house and leadership. how likely is it that something will actually move forward here? >> well, you know, i think that if mitch mcconnell wants to show northwestern public right now at a time where they really need to see his leadership the most that
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he's serious about this, that he would bring the senate back now to pass the two pieces of legislation that we talked about earlier. he says we need to have a conversation about guns. but i would say that we need to have more than a conversation. we've been talking a long time now. we need action. we need to be serious about this. if you look at the polling out there, even republicans support measures such as restricting assault style weapon purchases. even republicans overwhelmingly support background checks along with democrats and independents. we need to look at these numbers and he needs to get moving. >> are house and senate leadership actually talking to each other to do something here? >> i do believe that house and senate leadership are talking. but, again, it's one thing to talk. we need action. this is very, very serious. this could happen again at any time. i think with these mass shootings in particular i think if they shape the american
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psyche in the way other killings don't because people need to feel their personal safety is well enough to where they can go shopping and buy groceries. if you can't do that it's going to have effects on our economy and just the way we interact with each other that will negatively impact our country. >> congress mapp, what do you make of the president's performance as he was there in your state this past wednesday? visiting the hospital and the subsequent campaign style video and the thumbs up photos that have come out? >> i was sickened when i saw the thumbs up photo. it's like he absolutely just does not live in the reality that the rest of us live in. the president needs the to start listening to people outside of the people that cheer him on at these rallies. he needs to listen to people that have been affected by tragedies that have happened in our country, whether it's shootings, whether it's people that have lost everything in hurricanes. he really just needs to be more
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conscious -- >> you live there in the state where 22 people died a week ago. >> yes. >> the accused shooter is from your area. do you think the president had the tone right? >> no, i don't think that he set the tone right at all. it took him so long to even respond initially to the shootings. i don't know what he was waiting for. and then, of course, the leaders there told him it was not a good idea to visit el paso and he came anyway and gave a thumbs up picture. he didn't set the right tone at all. he neetds to start listening to people outside of the people that he gets pumped up at these rallies. i know there are people inside of the white house that would like for him to change his tone. of course, there are those of us on the democratic side would like him to change his tone. but the american people has had it. they want to see a real president and not someone who is just so out of touch with reality that they think they are starting their own the tv show. >> congressman, thank you.
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appreciate your time. >> rear just getting started but much more ahead this morning on msnbc. at the top of the hour we have david gura. >> we're continuing to follow what happened at those poultry processing plants in mississippi, i.c.e. raids that swept up hundreds of workers. another big piece in "washington post" looking how the trump others relied on undocumented workers. one reporter who broke that story will join us and talk about the hypocrisy. there was a moment in el paso where a reporter asked beto o'rourke about a question what president trump could do to make things better. the media critic jarvis wrote a great piece about how reporters should cover this president. he's going to join us on set as well. great group this morning. hope you stay with us.
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>> david, thank you. 2020 candidates ramping up their attack on the president. the political strategy behind tying him to white supremacy and whether it could backfire. sfx: upbeat music a lot of clothes you normally take to the cleaners aren't dirty dirty. they just need a quick refresh. try new febreze clothing quick dry mist. it eliminates odors and refreshes lightly-worn clothing. breathe happy febreze... la la la la la. staining be done... behr presents: outdone yourself. and stay done through every season.
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i can go head to head with donald trump on the economy, and expose him fo what he is: a fraud and a failure. is the president a white supremacist? >> he is. he's also made that very clear. >> he's a man who cozies up to the white supremacists. he calls them fine fellows. >> do you agree? >> i do.
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>> i think he is. i think it's very clear by his actions and at best he's empowering white nationalists. >> very clear the president's actions and words have conveyed a very strong sentiment to many, many americans that he has white supremacists believes and that's the only standard we can go by. >> 2020 candidates are taking their criticism of president trump up another notch in the aftermath of the latest mass shooting. joining us now is democratic strategist and republican strategist. it to start with you. according to axios at least six are calling the president a white supremacist. others are saying he's encouraging white supremacy. axios reporting that the trump campaign officials the there think that this would help them with mainstream republicans who think democrats are going too far. what do you think? >> i think that democrats are right to acknowledge that words matter especially so when they are spoken by the leader of the free world. and while the president's words
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have been irresponsible, i worry -- i don't want democrats to fall into trap of making the prosecution against this president about those comments. i think there are plenty of other things to criticize him on in the last two and a half years. i don't think this should be the tip of the spear as it relates to the argument about why he should be replaced in the white house. >> what do you make of 2020 candidates giving noncommittal answers on whether donald trump is a white supremacist. >> they have the same concerns i'm voicing right now that the american public within 24/7 news cycle can only ingest and sensitize so much information and there's much more salient points to be made on what this president can be doing on gun control, on climate change and immigration reform. they want to focus on those
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issues at hand as opposed to making it about his character which most americans can look at their television sets and come to the same conclusion that these democrats have. >> justin, is it fair to say the president's rhetoric has contributed to the current environment here? >> well, look people who want to believe that are going to believe that. people who don't want to believe that aren't going to believe that. it's foolish for democrats to use this language because it's really problematic to group that helped put donald trump into the white house are white working class voters in states like pennsylvania, ohio, wisconsin, michigan. and also white women voted for donald trump more, a majority than voted for donald trump over hillary clinton. so for democratic candidates, if they want to defeat donald trump, this type of rhetoric is not going to help them win the election. i don't understand why they are doing it. >> justin, what if this is actually what they believe? what's to say that sharing your
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true beliefs ought to come at the expense of political calculus. >> sure. they should feel free to do that. if they want to win the primary lose the general that's absolutely their choice. if they want to speak what they actually believe then hats off to them but i think they should all realize that's poemly going to come at a coast of re-electing donald trump. >> they are not necessarily attacking the folks that you pointed out there. trump's base. in essence attacking white supremacists. they are not necessarily branding all of those people working class folks white folks that got him in the white house as white supremacists. >> of course they aren't. people who elected donald trump and put him in the white house are the people in those states that i mentioned wisconsin, ohio, pennsylvania and michigan who voted for barack obama twice and then switched and voted for donald trump to be president. and if i were advising a democratic presidential candidate, i would tell them
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that we need to make sure that we're not losing those voters as we try to win this primary. >> howard, what do you make of that? is that something you would agree with? >> i think justin and i are saying the same thing about the political calculus and advice we would give to democratic candidates. and while many of us who are watching this president these last several years would agree about what we think about his character and the statements he's made. there's a different question being asked about whether or not it's the winning argument in a general election come 2020. >> you know it's also interesting too, joe biden has not called donald trump a white supremacist and i don't think he will. >> why not? >> because for the reasons i just stated. i think the way he can win the election is to win those voters that voted for obama and him twice and then switch and voted for donald trump in those states and i think done want to lose those votes. >> got it. >> all right, howard and justin,
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thank you. >> president trump surely doesn't seem to be bothered by north korea's flury of missile tests but should he be? that's next. that's next. the tasks at hand. but this year, there's a more thrilling path to follow. (father) kids... ...change of plans! (vo) defy the laws of human nature... the summer of audi sales event get exceptional offers now! liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, hmm. exactly. so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ [ referee whistle sounds ] ♪ sport dr[ cheering ]s when you need the fuel to be your nephew's number one fan.
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i really would. i think we'll have another meeting. he really wrote a beautiful three page from top to bottom, a really beautiful letter. and maybe i'll release the results of the letter, but it was very positive. >> a three-page beautiful letter. that was after president trump made that statement yesterday. kim jong-un launched two beautiful projectiles into the east sea. >> victor cha, good morning. >> morning. >> so how do you square this, the image of the beautiful letter that he's not releasing, he's not telling us what it says, and then the image of weapons going up near japan and south korea? >> it's an image of a failed policy. i mean, this is the fifth round of missile tests in the last, what, 17 days? and then these letters going back and forth, they have a lot
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of niceties in them, but you cannot actually negotiate a denuclearzation agreement with north korea through love letters. i mean, there have to be actual meetings between experts which has not happened yet. >> victor, you know this area and you know that region in particular and you know the kim family or have studied them for years. this is different, though, over the years. this sort of tactic that is taking place as far as the letters coming from kim jong-un. what exactly is he doing at this point? >> well, there are a couple of things. it's a great question. the first is that donald trump has given him a pass on launching anything except the long range ballistic missile or doing a nuclear test. so the north korean leader is perfecting his short range capabilities. he's designing mobility to show basically he can attack anything in south korea and japan
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including u.s. troops in both countries. the second thing he's doing is that in this diplomacy, this bromance of love letters, this is keeping the united states at bay while he's accumulating more nuclear weapons. just because he's not testing nuclear weapons doesn't mean he's not building more. and a lot of the reports, the media reports says he may have amassed as many as 12 more new weapons since the first meeting between trump and singapore last summer. so this doesn't amount to a successful policy. and i think the president is increasingly on his own with regard to this policy and his advisers i think feel skeptical about north korean intentions. >> victor, we have joint military exercise planned for tomorrow between the u.s. and south korea. and you've said this is a failed policy in the trump white house. if you were given an opportunity to tell the president, advise the president, what would be your advice given that you've got these joint military drills coming up? >> so i think the joint military
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drills, resuming them is a good thing. they happen suspended after the singapore summit. the second thing is we have to consolidate our decision with our two allies, japan and south korea, the ones who are targets of these missile tests. their bilateral relationship isn't very good right now and we need to be, all three of us, on the same page if we're going to have a good policy with north korea. >> thank you so much for your insight. it's great to have you on. ahead in just minutes, breaking the cycle of high caliber carnage and inaction. ben
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all right. we are a ul out of time for this hour of msnbc. >> time now for "up" with david gura. good morning, david. >> this is "up." i'm david gura. on this saturday morning, most of the 2020 democratic presidential contenders are in iowa demanding gun policy change in the aftermath of those two mass shootings. >> i will not let the slaughter of our fellow citizens just disappear within the next media cycle. >> on the campaign trail, they continue to call out president trump for the divisive role he's playing. >> he has no interest in unifying the country. instead, he's publicly and