tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC August 14, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
viewe viewers. >> even if we lose the vote, the country knows where both sides stand on the issue of gun reform. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. hi, steph. >> hi, willie. it's wednesday, august 14, 2019. new reporting that at least one candidate is in talks to drop their presidential bid for a potential senate run, looking to flip a hotly contested seat blue as another candidate is on the verge of missing next month's debate. and she'll be joining me in just a few minutes, detailing how she will make the stage and what will happen if she doesn't. but one thing that does not seem to be fading is the issue of gun safety. with a former frontrunner rebooting his campaign this morning, and that is going to be his central issue. i must start with nbc's garrett
haake in dallas, texas. you know i'm talking about beto o'rourke kicking off his candidate reboot this morning. what's his game plan? >> reporter: that's right, he will have a major speech tomorrow in el paso, recentering his campaign and focusing it almost exclusively on the danger he believes is imposed by donald trump. they want to talk about gun control, they want to talk about racism, they want to talk about white supremacy. them to hold the president accountable and they want to hold us accountable, too. he called out the media. i think he fundamentally sees this race in a different way. it's time to get serious, essentially a no more mr. nice beto. he's going to be going after trump directly in his speech, more so on the campaign trail, and the campaign says he'll be campaigning in a bit of a different way. how do you make the argument that the president is giving language that is causing violence and then go to the state fair and eat pork chops?
no, i think we'll sigh differee different kimd r kind of campai o'rourke. this is not someone who sits down and puts pen to paper, but it speaks to the seriousness of which they're approaching his return to the campaign trail for the first time since that shooting in el paso, which really shook this candidate. >> garrett, it speaks to your sensibility that you choose pork chops over corn dogs. these calls for beto o'rourke to head home, they're not really from those who don't have confidence in him, they're saying come home and run for senate. >> ye >> reporter: yeah, and that's not happening. everyone around his campaign that i spoke to in the last several weeks say that's not happening now, it's not happening ever. they say you could change it to sunday if you wanted to work around that race, but jeffrey hagar, one of the first candidates to get in that race, think he can beat the other
candidates. if you think this president is an existential threat to what this country stands for, how do you not put all your resorurces in going after him. >> kate payne, eastern iowa reporter for iowa public radio and co-host of the podcast "caucus land," and commentary editor. joel, to you first. what do you think about this reset for beto? >> look, i think it makes plenty of sense, and i think the advantage here, and advantage is a tough word to use given the circumstances that his hometown was attacked. i think the advantage here is he gets to approach the campaign trail with a sense of purpose that i think a lot of folks feel he did not have before. there is a renewed sense of energy behind an o'rourke candidacy. there are specific issues that he feels like i think there is a
real purpose of uniting behind. i honestly think you'll see a refreshed bait eto. this is the beto that was successful against ted cruz. the leadership of his campaign, i actually know one of them who worked with me in 2018, and he's a good one to be a candidate. >> beto was in his hometown in el paso over the weekend, obviously still dealing with the fallout of the shooting. was there any talk of beto even though he wasn't there? >> that certainly was a big decision for congressman o'rourke to not come to the state. it was a huge weekend of campaigning here with the state fair. there was also a gun control forum that was held in the wake of these two shootings. congressman o'rourke was able to send a video message and weigh
in on some of these events. his staff certainly was representing him and holding a moment of silence, even, at one of these events, an acknowledgment of those victims, so he was still extending himself into the state of iowa, trying to keep himself present in some way. >> nola, this weekend the houston chronicle echoed this sentiment calling on beto to come home and run for senate. they wrote this. would you beat john cornyn, who is seeking his fourth term? it wouldn't be easy. you would have to do better than you did against cruz, but a lot has changed since 2018. you had a lot to do with that and trump is no longer rock solid in texas. neither are the republicans who support him. if he is intent to getting trump out of the white house, he has to stay in the race. but is that actually the case? when you think about,
for example, how strong mitch mcconnell is, why not run for senate?
you could be very powerful. >> i don't think he would be. a lot has changed since 2018 -- >> that he would be powerful in the senate? >> he's not going to win. he managed a very successful performance against ted cruz, got into a two-point race. john cornyn is not ted cruz. john cornyn is not mistrusted by his voters in the state. ted cruz has a reputation that is -- texans and generally americans are skeptical of him. john cornyn is not that. what happened in 2018, beto o'rourke was running for texas senate. he was appealing to his voters. beto o'rourke has taken a series of far left positions on issues and on rhetorical flourishes. we're talking about a second reset of the beto campaign. he was attacked by the left for not being serious enough on that "vanity fair" cover. he's now going
to get serious about gun control. he's been talking about racism
and health care. how do you go back and reset yourself a third or fourth time? i don't think it's a well-fated campaign. >> do you think his calculation would be pretty tough to beat john cornyn and he stands to lose twice? >> i don't think so. i think beto could mount a strong campaign but no stronger than hagar. i think the topics of the race are different and donald trump will be at the top of that ticket. there are more rank and file republicans that will come out whenever you have the president, who is a republican president top of the ticket. that is one factor running against him. i do think he has had to modify his message to a national democratic audience, so noah is right there. beto needs to refine his message generally speaking, right? he's been all over the place this campaign season, this primary season. he has a focus now.
he has a couple issues on guns, on immigration that he feels like, i think, he got a handle on. so if he can focus around those issues, whatever office he's running for, i think he's going to be stronger. >> let's talk about some other candidates potentially going home, noah, john hickenlooper. in talks to end his presidential bid and possibly run for senate back in colorado. good move? >> yeah, hickenlooper has done the opposite that o'rourke has done. he's not pegging himself by embracing far left policy proposals -- >> and he's taken a lot of criticism for it from the left. >> unlike john cornyn, john hickenlooper is really vulnerable in california. it's a trending blue state, but i think he's a little to the right of the state's electorate, and it could benefit votethe
environment by a point or two. it would be a good grab for democrats who have been flailing on the recruiting side. they just lost stacey abrams in georgia. it might not matter for democrats, but these are big cruising missiles for democrats, and that's one where they can feel good about themselves. >> mayor pete buttigieg was the last to speak in iowa. he was at the iowa state fair yesterday. how did he do, kate? >> aid pretty sizeable crowd, maybe not as large as some of the candidates who went over the weekend with larger attendance, but -- >> it was a weekday. >> it's true. it's true. and of course the crowd size is unscientific. but mayor pete took some time, actually, maybe more so than some of the other candidates to take questions from folks who came to listen. it was more of a town hall sort of experience for folks who came to hear from him. notably he called, as he has before, for a constitutional amendment to get dark money, so-called dark money out of
politics as well as to undo the filibuster in the senate. and those issues seem to resonate with people. >> all right, kate, you were there all weekend and yesterday. after seeing all of these candidates present, who do you think there was the most enthusiasm for? who is everybody talking about? >> so, again, at the state fair, it's difficult to gauge exactly which attendees are there for which events. crowd sizes, again, unscientific. that being said, there were a number of people numbering in the thousands, we would say, for biden, sanders, warren, booker and harris. something that did set aside senator warren is while many supporters come to listen to the soapbox speeches and many reporters come and listen to the candidates after they get off the stage and tour the fairgrounds, the scale of the
supporters who were following senator warren minutes after she left that stage, following her throughout the fair seemed unmatched. >> yeah, stephanie, really quickly. elizabeth warren is building a machine there in iowa. she is, if you talk to other candidates in campaigns, which i have, they'll tell you she has the strongest campaign from top to bottom. she's been the most organized -- >> she's gotten a lot of obama folks, hasn't she? >> a lot of obama folks and a lot of key aides with experience in new hampshire. warren is building a machine and i think there is a grudging respect among other democratic campaigns that she is going to be someone to be dealt with here. >> thank you, all. we have to go from iowa to hong kong where overseas security has ramped up at the hong kong airport. it is back in business this morning after two days of demonstrations which forced a cancellation of hundreds of flights and led to violent
clashes with hong kong police. janice frayer is at the airport. janice, describe the scene today compared to what we've seen the last couple of days. >> reporter: today is relatively calm. the airport is back in business, flights are going as scheduled after two days of cancellations that cathay pacific 250 passengers stranded. they wanted to make sure the swarm of protesters, the huge crowds would not return for a third day and possibly disrupt operations. so they were restricting access to the airport, allowing people in who had a flight ticket or could prove they had a reason to be here, and they have allowed a small group of protesters to stay. you can see them behind me, numbering probably in the dozens now, but they've been told they have to stay within this defined area, otherwise they'll be seen as violating that injunction. what a difference from last
night. the chaos of when riot squads entered the airport trying to make arrests, officers being beaten, one with his own baton, he drew a gun. there had already been a shift in the mood among the protesters over the course of the evening. many of them accusing some in the crowd of being suspected chinese spies, and today there is a degree of trepidation because of the violence that did happen last night. it's been feeding propaganda in chinese state media today, portraying the protesters as radicals, as rioters and calling for punishment. beijing has been telegraphing over the course of a number of days that they have a range of options before them. it's unclear the steps that they'll take. they're apparently doing a drill with security forces at the airport in guanjo tonight to show how mainland police would
quell riots at an airport. so a lot of messaging happening here, stephanie, about what beijing might do, the options it has before them in order to bring these protests to what they call a timely end. >> a timely end with a show of force. janice mackie frayer joining us from congrehong kong. thank you. official meetings about gun control. does it matter when the man in the white house doesn't talk about it? there has been 34,676 incidents of gun violence so far this year and that number includes 7 hi 7-year-old xavier gonzalez as he was playing in front of his house. kpai xavier died one day before he was to start second grade.
he is the second child fatally shot since june of this year. she once had an "a" rating in the nra. we have one question for her. how is she going to stay in the presidential race? kirsten gillibrand, next. e presidential race? kirsten gillibrand, next (mom vo) especially at this age. (big sister) where are we going? (mom vo) it's a big, beautiful world out there. (little sister) woah... (big sister) wow. see that? (mom vo) sometimes you just need a little help seeing it. (avo) the three-row subaru ascent. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. get zero percent during the subaru a lot to love event.
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calls between members of the trump administration and top senators from both parties. but the question remains if any of that talk will actually lead to legislation. at the gun safety forum in iowa over the weekend, 2020 contender senator kirsten gillibrand said it will take a whole lot of pressure, not just from lawmakers, but from voters across the nation. >> if every one of you spends the next four weeks speaking out, using social media to be heard, tweeting at mitch mcconnell saying, mitch, call the vote, mitch, call the vote, he could call us back into congress today. we could pass universal background checks today. we could ban assault weapons, we could ban large magazines, we could have a federal anti-trafficking law today. >> new york senator and democratic presidential candidate kirsten gillibrand joins me now. senator, welcome. i want to get to guns in just a moment, but i have to ask. two weeks left to qualify for the third debate. what's your strategy to get there? >> well, being on your show, first of all, and asking all
your viewers to go to kirstengillibrand.com and support us. we have less than 30,000 supporters needed to get to that debate stage. we just had our first qualifying poll out of iowa, and i expect to make the debate stage. and the reason i do is because i'm leading the debates on a lot of issues that we can't afford to lose. it's why i'm headed to missouri on sunday to do a town hall on women's reproductive freedom. they only have one health care center that allows for abortions in that state, and women there are suffering. i'm lifting up issues that others aren't, and i'm going to make a difference in this democratic debate. >> specifically, what are you offering voters that no other contenders are? >> i have a very different story than others. not only do i lead the fights that others won't on women's rights, on gay rights, on getting money out of politics, clean elections to attack real political corruption at the root and at the core of what's wrong in washington.
and i also come from a red district. my first house race was 2-1 republican, and i won it twice with a 24-point margin and then brought my whole state together and had the highest vote percentage just winning as a candidate against trump. you have to be able to lead on issues that need leadership, like women's rights, and then also bring the whole country together to get things done. >> i want to actually talk about that. you went from a red district to representing all of new york and bring it back to guns. i want to share what stenny hoyer said yesterday speaking about the urgency to get something done on gun reform. >> i've been in politics a long time. it takes no courage to put on the senate floor a bill that is supported by 90-plus percent of
americans. what takes courage is to look a special interest group in the eye and say, enough is enough! it is time to act. >> so as somebody who had an "a" rating from the nra, you were able to remove yourself from the sneer of influence. you are in a different situation because you went from that conservative district to representing all of new york. do you believe someone like mitch mcconnell can pull himself from that sphere? help us understand the power the nra has. >> so the problem with washington and the nra is the greed and corruption that's at the root of it. the nra cares far more about gun sales than keeping our kids safe in our schools, than keeping worshippers safe in their place of worship, than keeping a kid on a park bench safe from a stray bullet. that's the reality of the nra. and so we need to fight against
money and politics. we need publicly funded elections. but we also need leadership. and that's why we need to fight against mitch mcconnell by asking. we need a vote on it right now. if we had a vote today, we could pass universal background checks, we could ban assault rifles and large magazines, and we could pass my federal gun anti-traf hif anti-trafficking bill which the last time we got 60 votes out of 62 needed. we were only two votes shy. so i believe these controversial measures are ones we could pass into law if mitch mcconnell would have the courage, as steny said, to call us back in, take a vote and we can do things to protect americans. we shouldn't be able to live in a world where it's not safe to go back-to-school shopping at a walmart or where it's not safe to go to a concert. that's the reality of america today, and we need to fight against gun violence in all its forms, and we need to come together as leaders to get things done now. >> then level set for us, what's
the reality of the nra? every day we hear more about nra members who do care about universal background checks, and they do care about safety. for your average gun owner out there, gun sales is not their priority, yet former senator claire mccaskill today said mitch mcconnell is not going to do anything because he's owned by the nra. what does that mean? >> it means the nra has poured thousands of dollars in the congressional campaign for decades. it means they communicate to their members and mislead their members, telling them that democrats or any common-sense republican who is for gun reform is going to take away their hunting rifles. it's just not true. it's a lie, and you don't need to choose between whether you can have a strong second amendment tool out for hunting versus making sure guns can get off the streets out of the hands of gang members, stop the
trafficking of weapons into communities with gun violence and ban military-style weapons that are used to kill large numbers of people very quickly. it's not surprising that in these last two shooting incidents, so many people were killed within minutes, within seconds. it's outrageous that we don't crack down on the assault weapons as well as getting guns out of the hands of criminals and those who should not have them. >> i want to turn to immigration, because yesterday acting director of u.s. citizenship and immigration services, ken cuccinelli, changed the words to the statue of liberty poem saying what it really is, is give me your poor and tired who can stand on their own two feet. he doubled down on this last night. let's share it. >> of course, that poem was referring back to people coming from europe where they had class-based societies where people were considered wretched
if they weren't in the right class. >> first we have to remind our audience that currently the vast majority of new immigrants coming into this country are not even eligible for welfare. but for you, as a senator and as a new yorker, what's your response? >> i think it's outrageous and deeply troubling. the statue of liberty to a lot of people stands for this beacon of light and hope, this greatness of america that allows people to come here who need our help. send us your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. that's what the statue of liberty means, and it's not come here if you're wealthy. it's not come here if you're going to help trump's budget. like, honestly, it's the most absurd thing i've ever heard. so what we want to do is restore what this country stands for. we used to believe that you should treat others the way you want to be treated.
we should care about the least of us. we used to believe in the golden rule, but not with trump. trump is dividing us on every racial and socioeconomic line. he's a president who actually punches down, and i believe we need a president who is brave, someone who stands up to do things for the right reasons. we could be helping refugees who need our help. we could have a humanitarian process at our boarder. we should never be separating children from their parents. we can have community-based systems to actually deal with these challenges in a humanitarian way. so president trump is making us a smaller country, a weaker country, and he's doing it because he's small-minded. >> senator, thank you so much for joining me this morning. democratic presidential candidate and new york senator kirsten gillibrand. >> thank you. next, president trump finally admits americans are the ones paying for his tariffs as he delays imposing his latest
round of tariffs until after the holiday shopping season. but why that might not be enough to calm the markets or stop a recession. money and politics are next. recession. money and politics are next. fights cancer, repairs shattered bones, relieves depression, restores heart rhythms, helps you back from strokes, and keeps you healthy your whole life. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you. from the day you're born bleech! aww! awww! ♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft for the win win.
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news. markets have opened one minute ago and they're already down 433 points, wiping out yesterday's massive rally. that rally came, of course, because the president announced delaying the next round of chinese tariffs. well, that rally is clearly short-lif short-lived. this morning on cnbc, secretary wilbur ross weighed in on the president's decision. >> nobody wants to take any chance of disrupting the christmas season. >> so you're saying we didn't extract anything from china to do this. there was no quid pro quo. >> there was no quid pro quo. this was a decision made to do what we decided to do, namely just be a little extra protected. >> no quid pro quo. translation, the president bid against himself. i have the perfect guest to talk this over, rufus yerska. he's the president of the
foreign council, kayla. i have to start with wilbur ross. wilbur saying, listen, we cannot disrupt the christmas season. this administration has been saying all along, china. china has been paying us billions in tariffs. if that was the case, the christmas season wouldn't matter. so what exactly is wilbur ross telling us especially since china gaive us nothing here? >> he's telling us what he heard from the president and a few of his economic advisers in the last day, that they want to make very sure there is not an impact on the christmas season, that they are not the grinches who have this economic impact they say doesn't exist this whole time. he's saying there is no quid pro quo, there were no concessions made on the call, but it's the decision of how the united
states is going to treat huawei going forward. you might see china announce some agricultural purposes, you might have friendlier thawing of relationships going forward, or you might have an escalation going the other direction. >> how do you thaw relationships going forward when it's so evident what the president is saying. i want to share what the president said recently. >> they pour money into our system. they pour it in. because they do that, you're not paying for those tariffs, china is paying for those tariffs. >> our people haven't paid so we're taking in billions of dollars. we're taking in billions and billions of dollars from china. >> they're paying us billions and billions of dollars from tariffs which is fine with me. >> so you have no coherent fiscal strategy. the president is flip-flopping on tariffs, and just yesterday he made it clear he cares a whole lot more about preserving the markets than he's committed to this trade war.
>> so we know the president looks at this issue through the lens of the stock market when the president announced these new tariffs by tweet. the stock market went from 1.5%. it went on a high in july. this is a fiber created by the whole cloth of the president. it's interesting to see him at those rallies. he's lying to them. that's what your sequence of clips is telling us, so i think someone got to him over the last few days since the stock market took a shift lower that it is his base that will be adversely affected by any new tariffs that are focused on consumer goods -- >> it's not just his base. >> but politically, where did he move these tariffs? we know manufacturers and farmers are bearing the brunt of the existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of chinese goods. what comes next? it's the consumer that will be faced with the 10% on 300
billion consumer goods. that doubly hits his base in middle america, if you think about it, because we know farming is being adversely affected. that's why all the billions of dollars we're collecting in tariffs are being socialized, are being pushed back to farmers right now. what comes next? this is what you have to think about. if we do have these consumer tariffs are there going to be tax cuts for individuals? do they need a bailout? does that come next? i think these are important issues to focus on as we go into the election. >> the reason why they haven't seen a consumer issue yet is because china is devaluing its currency. that has brought prices down. that has spared the consumer. >> rufus, put your chinese hat on. let's say your china's trade rep. how did you see the president's decision yesterday? it should have been a very vulnerable day for china when you look at hong kong and how
volatile it is, yet it's the president who was blamed. >> this whole strategy is looking chaotic and incoherent, pretty directionless. the only americans that i can think of that could have been happy with this sort of on again-off again tariff action of the last several days are maybe the day traders, i don't know. it doesn't help our consumers, it doesn't help our farmers, it doesn't get us closer to a deal with china. and from the chinese point of view, they're looking at the trump administration's inconsistency. one of the things we're taught as trade negotiators is don't ever let the other side see that you're negotiating with yourself. i don't see that this brings us any closer to a deal with china can. i think they sit back and let trump negotiate with themselves for a period of time. i think that both sides are still very dug in on their positions, and, you know, it's
not clear that the trump administration has a coherent strategy for getting to a positive ending with china. >> so what do you think china's next move is? do you think we're going to get any sort of deal before 2020? especially if you factor in the conflict going on there. >> i think it's looking less and less likely. look, their strategy on china was always a big gamble from the start. instead of sort of trying to build a coalition of free market democracies to build stronger trade rules and press china in the right direction, instead of joining tpp and doing those kinds of things, we did the exact opposite. we actually sort of fought some mini trade wars with our best allies while at the same time fighting a unilateral action against china on the theory that if we piled tariffs on china high enough, they would eventually capitulate and do what we want. i think that now it's pretty clear that that strategy is not
succeeding, and, you know, now within the trump administration there are clearly some -- there's a lot of discord and a lot of worry about what the effects are, because everybody knew all along that tariffs aren't really good for our economy or their economy. the only rationale for using them is if you think it helps to move the other party in the right direction and you can eventually get rid of the tariffs. >> one person who felt that way was larry kudlow. a month before he joined the administration, he wrote about what a terrible idea tariffs were. he's now the president's closest economic adviser. so who is the president listening to when you see him make moves like he did yesterday, clearly showing that propping up the stock market is his number one priority? >> well, the president also said around the time larry kudlow and that news came out, he said, don't worry, larry agrees with me that tariffs are a good tactic. so perhaps larry got more than he bargained for. >> did he agree with the
president? >> i believe, and he has said, and the president has said that tariffs were a negotiating tactic, but they are clearly very much more than a negotiating tactic. they are the blunt instrument that the president prefers to use in every scenario, whether it's immigration, whether it's national security, whether it's trade. so he has made it clear he likes it, he gets the results he desires, he believes, and he thinks they're effective. >> but what's happening today, then, dan? the argument, whether it's bank of america or david solomon, ceo of goldman. he said we could tip into recession if the president stays on this path with trade wars. yesterday he said, okay, guys, i'm not saying on the path, i'm retreating. yet the market is down now, what, 400? >> i think you have to go back to july 31st and that's the issue. we're seeing a global deceleration of economic data. we see it in production this week in the u.s. in china manufacturing data is
going back to levels they haven't seen since 2002. we see really week data out of germany. what's happening here is while we think we have this great economy, and this is why i take huge issue with larry kudlow, he's basically lying to the american people every time he comes on air and says the americans are crushing it. we're basically just seeing a global deceleration in economic activity. further tariffs just make the ability to accelerate that. >> stephanie, i think it's important the banner say the markets are triggering a recession warning. the thing that happened this morning that is causing the market to sell off is 12 to 18 months down the road. >> thank you very much, kayla taushie, dan nathan. they are questioning whether the guards watching jeffrey epstein were asleep. plus a new lawsuit filed by
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my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. and this is me now! any physical changes to this man's appearance are purely coincidental. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ this morning a brand new lawsuit has been filed against one of jeffrey epstein's closest associates following his death. jennifer rose filed a civil lawsuit against british sociali
socialiteghi sr ghislaine maxwe helped in a sex trafficking ring of underage girls. this as investigators continue to take a closer look at the actions of the prison guards and an administration who were supposed to be keeping track of epstein in his cell the morning that he died. my dear friend, pete williams. pete, there is new information about the guards. the people who are tasked with monitoring epstein, the highest profile prisoner in federal jail here in new york. these guards were potentially asleep? >> that's what the federal authorities are investigating. there are now three investigations going on as of today, one by the fbi, one by the justice department inspector general and now an after-action team from the bureau of prisons has arrived, all of them looking at what went wrong here. two of the guards who were on duty that night, presumably the two that were watching jeffrey epstein or were supposed to, have been placed on administrative leave.
the warden has been temporarily reassigned while all of this is going on. so the question is, were these two guards, in fact, checking every 30 minutes? we know that isn't true. we know that several hours went by, at least, between checks and now authorities are looking at whether these two guards were, in fact, asleep, but nonetheless, later checked the logs to indicate they were actually looking at jeffrey epstein every 30 minutes. that's one of the main focuses of the investigation. several other questions, why wasn't there a cellmate? why was he allowed to go off suicide watch even though he had apparently an earlier attempt? and the separate team from the bureau of prisons will be looking at what were the factors that led to his deciding to take his own life again, which is apparently the case here. so lots of investigative activity at this prison. one problem here, stephanie. you may well say, gee, it's been several days since this happened, why don't they know all the answers? one of the reasons, apparently,
is that some of the people involved are not agreeing to answer questions as they are required to do -- >> why? why would they not answer questions? if they were simply doing their jobs guarding, as i said, one of the highest profile people in prison, why are they suddenly not answering questions? >> well, they may not have been doing their jobs. that's one of the issues here. the union representation may also complicate it. but under the federal rules, if you work for the federal government, and of course people in the bureau of prisons work for the justice department, you're required to answer questions from the inspector general unless you plead the fifth. that may be part of what's going on here. some of these folks have retained legal counsel, and so it's going a bit more slowly to try to get all the answers. >> what are the actual consequences? let's say they were asleep. let's say they weren't properly staffed. what would the consequences be for anyone involved? because there were a whole lot of people who wanted jeffrey
epstein dead. >> the consequences for sleeping on the job could be administrative sanctions, could be firing. if, in fact, it turns out they falsified the logs, that's a federal crime. they could be prosecuted for it. but beyond just the specific facts here, what we're being told by the justice department and others involved in this investigation repeatedly is that as they look more and more into this, they're finding things were worse and worse. undoubtedly there will be big changes that the prison as well, and it's been a long time coming. >> big changes in the prison and no jeffrey epstein to talk about any of the extraordinarily powerful people in his circle. pete williams, thank you so much. now we have to turn back to china. the chinese government accusing u.s. lawmakers, including republican senator mitch mcconnell and democratic house speaker nancy pelosi of inciting chaos in hong kong after they voiced their strong support for pro-democracy protesters.
china did not name president trump. that is probably because the president went out of his way not to pick sides. listen. >> the hong kong thing is a very tough situation. very happens. but i'm sure it will work out. i hope it works out for everybody, including china, by the way. i hope it works out for everybody. >> chris hill is a foreman u.s. ambassador to iraq and south korea. and a former state department official who currently works at the university of denver. white house senior director and state department senior adviser in the obama administration. and noah is back with us. ambassador, when we see protesters in hong kong holding up the u.s. flag, what does it mean to them when the president basically says, good luck to you guys? >> well, indeed. the united states has, over the years, over the decades really, tended to support human rights advocacy. i mean, across the board it's supported it. we have a president, however,
who kind of prides himself on throwing away all the accomplishments of his predecessors and in so doing is essentially saying we don't care about that. on the other hand, it's not as if he's kind of become friends with the chinese. you have to recall his entire east asia strategy the endopacific strategy is to encircle china and contain china, sort of a 1950s approach to the soviet union. so on the one hand, he said i don't care about human rights. on the other hand, he said i don't care about engaging china. and what he has tried to do is to create a circumstance everybody joins in this kind of cold war type effort against china. the problem is most countries in asia recognize the importance and the complexity of china and they would like to see a u.s. that is engaged rather than with these cartoon strokes. >> i want to share what commerce secretary wilbur ross said
yesterday. very similar sentiment to the president. >> it's not that we're not watching it. it's a question of what role is the u.s. in that matter? this is an internal matter. >> wilbur ross says it's an internal matter. does it help the president and ross in trade negotiations with china that they are not condemning them. >> i'm not sure what donald trump is doing right now is helping anyone in america and certainly not the protesters in hong kong. >> does it help his realizes with china? >> you would have to have a consistent policy and point of view and not be led by the day-to-day emotions of the president to have anything move in china. we would lookic to sit as analysts and those of us from the diplomatic and think there is a broader grand strategy when there is not. the president shows he likes strong moves by people. even though hong kong is more aligned with our interests, it is part of the maintaining free markets. it is not an integral part of china.
it is actually a territory. the integration is part of the program. post colonial project, yada, yada. we are moving tanks in. this looks good. this feels good. because it's probably the kind of thing he would personally like to see and do with protesters here in the united states. this is largely driven by his personality and his politics. he doesn't like to look weak when markets suddenly take a dip, he looks weak. he doesn't want to take a hit on christmas with consumer sales and have people upset with him. >> noah, you have been writing about this saying donald trump keeping quiet about hong kong maybe to avoid complicating trade negotiations, if that is what he is doing, china is not giving any credit for it. >> the media has been attacking the state department and the cia saying they are behind the protests. >> say that again. i don't think our audience realizes that. help us understand state-run media, how they're portraying
this. >> state-run chinese communist media suggesting, implying that the cia and state department are behind these protests. it is a divergence. they have dispatched diplomats to talk to the protesters. they have been attacked and harassed by mainland authorities and mainland media. the president, however, has been taking a very different approach to this saying these are riots, invaluable gift to mainland media saying the president xi has been acting responsibly. we support autonomy. we support their political authority and the liberalized regimes. to do that is advo indication to
the president. >> give us historical perspective why it is so important for the united states to support that autonomy. i don't know. maybe it is an internal issue. maybe we wish them the best. >> the nighted kingdom, britain and china reached an agreement. the u.s. supported it. everybody supported it. on the creation of broad autonomy for hong kong in the context of being a part of china. the idea if hong kong was successful, we would see some type of similarity in moving ahead with taiwan. this does touch on very sensible u.s. interests in taiwan and frankly in the whole region on the question of what kind of china are we going to have in the future. >> ambassador, no what, thank
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