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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  October 4, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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waking up to this morning. we start with capitol hill where the intelligence commit inspector general has just arrived. he's telling house democrats behind closed doors more about the whistle-blower complaint against the president and the president himself may have something to say about the whole thing. he's getting ready to leave the white house again this hour, practically daring the house speaker to impeach him. the white house ready to send her a letter maybe today defying today's document deadline. as thor the bomb shells, plural, dropping overnight, the text messages that seem to show u.s. ambassadors making the ukrainian president's visit to the white house contingent on investigating the president's political opponents. we'll tell you why house democrats are so mad. we've got our team on the hill, and slooalong with analysis. jeff ben it is on the hill where we just saw the intelligence inspector walk in. josh lederman is here with new
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reporting on the text messages. >> jeff, let me start with you, the intelligence community inspector general just walking in, right? >> yeah, right past us about 20 minutes ago, hallie. and michael adkinson is the inspector general who determined that the whistle-blower complaint was urgent and credible. so he is likely to give members of the house intelligence committee during this briefing, he is likely to give them the fullest accounting of the complaint and how it was handled short of this commit hearing from the whistle-blower him or herself. and on that front i can tell you i reached out to the attorney for the whistle-blower who says that the negotiations are still ongoing for any sort of meeting between the whistle-blower and congress. now, adam schiff, the chairman of the house intelligence committee, says he wants to know more from adkinson about how he handled this complaint and how he sought to corroborate the details that are alleged within it. here's what people should know about michael adkinson. he brings decades of experience looking into high stakes cases
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involving elected officials. he worked in private practice for decades before that. and i'm told that he decided to work for the federal government after 9/11. so people who know him regard him very highly, saying he's well respected and a straight shooter. the other point that they make is that one of the reasons why the whistle-blower complaint came to light is because of adkinson himself. after the acting dni would not permit him to transmit that complaint to congress under the typical fashion, within seven days, adkinson then flagged congress that there was this issue that he was unable to resolve within the normal realm of his duties. that is how congress came to learn of it. i'm told that adkinson still maintains that the whistle-blower complaint is legitimate and raises grave issues that congress should be aware of. >> jeff, i know you're staying close to a camera. josh, i want to turn to you, you were up literally all night going through dozens of pages of text messages that have been
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released. i want to make sure people hear these because it's important to understand why congressional democrats are so upset. we're going to take 90 seconds to talk through the most important texts. we're starting with a text from a former special envoy to ukraine, curt volker, and cool ver says had break fast with rudy this morning, teeing up call with urmac. he's an aide to the ukrainian president. he adds most important is for zelensky to say that he will help investigation. two days later, a guy named bill taylor texts, quote, president zelensky is sensitive about ukraine being taken seriously, not merely as an instrument in washington reelection politics. listen for taylor's name. he's a career diplomat and with one that seems to be sounding the alarm as we go. let's fast forward to the morning of president trump's july phone call with president zelensky. that's on the 25th.
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volker sends this text to zelensky's aide and this may be the most important message, quote, heard from white house, assuming president z, zelensky, convinces trump he will investigate/get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down a date for a visit to washington. a couple weeks later volker sends the u.s. ambassador the actual language they wanted zelensky to use in making the announcement about an investigation, the phrasing, we intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes, including those involving the 2016 elections. we should point out zelensky never said that statement. he never said those words. bill taylor, there's the name again, the top u.s. diplomat in ukraine, he send this stext saying i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with the political campaign. hours later he replies, the
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president has been clear, no quid pro quos of any kind and then writes i suggest we stop the back and forth by text. josh, democrats are pointing to this as extremely significant in the interactions between ukraine, the u.s., and the government's official kpatcapac and the president's personal attorney rudy giuliani moving forward. >> yeah, three take-aways. first of all, this was not some type of vague insinuation about what the trump administration wanted from the ukrainians. it's pretty much laid out there in black and white, pure and simple from those text messages. and there's an if then statement that's built into those texts that you just read. if the ukrainian government agrees to commit publicly to this investigation, then the ukrainian leader could have the coveted visit to the white house. we've known there was one senior u.s. official who was pushing back on this, saying this does not seem right to me, i'm not
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comfortable with this. tried to put it in writing in the text messages so that there would be some type of documentation of it, and was shot down by the u.s. ambassador to the eu, gordon sun lin. and last by, this is something i've never seen before in all my years of covering foreign policy and diplomacy. you actually have u.s. officials drafting a verbatim statement that they then want a foreign leader to utterer in exchange for the u.s. doing what that leader wants and inviting him to the white house. they want him to actually go out there in front of cameras and read a statement that's been written by u.s. officials. these are all things that are very alarming to house democrats who are looking into impeachment and they plan to ask more questions about. >> josh, thank you for the breakdown of the key text messages. i want to go now to hans nichols at the white house. hans, in just about 25 minutes from now, we may hear from the president. he has been very defiant this morning, perhaps unsurprisingly, as the white house hits this deadline to maybe defy these
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house requests for documents. >> there are two things happening in the white house this morning, maybe a third when we hear from the president in a little bit. number one, is white house are all but daring congress to change this and make it a more formal impeachment inquiry. the white house's view is that that triggers a certain level of legality that requires more responses, but it also gives the white house access to what capitol hill has, to congressional documents. and then you have the president trotting out this new line on twitter and he appears to be making a distinction between investigating someone for what he says is alleged corrupt behavior and investigating a potential political opponent. i'm going to read you the tweet. as president i have an obligation to end corruption, even if that means requesting the help of a foreign country or countries. it is done all the time. this has nothing to do with politics or political campaign against the bidens. this does have to do with their corruption. in those last two sentences, you
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really see the challenge for the white house, because one of the reasons you don't typically have a president call for investigations is precisely to avoid that appearance. they're doing it for political reasons. in the past the norm has been not even to comment on investigations taking place at the department of justice or the fbi. now we have the president publicly calling foreign countries to investigate a potential political opponent. the president is trying to fire wall that off saying they did something wrong, i have an absolute obligation to do that. that is a difficult argument to make. and again on all of this, we may hear from the president and the story could change dramatically in the next 35 or 40 minutes. >> it feels a little like groundhog day when we were teeing up the president 24 hours ago when he then very publicly called on another country, china, to investigate his political rival. hans, stay close to the camera. i want to bring in now some experts well versed in the national security field, former capitol hill and administration insiders, katrina mulligan and
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managing director for international security and at the center for progress. she served on the national security council and on the division at doj. ja mill is also with us, senior council on the house intelligence committee. he's the founder and kmekt director of the national security institute at george mason and boy, are we glad to have you put this into perspective. katrina, let's talk about the texts. the president says this is about rooting out corruption and it isn't about my political m maneuverings. >> the first one and probably is most important thing is that they also tend to reveal that the ukraine was also uncomfortable with what they were being asked to do here. and that gives you additional insight into whether or not this is just routine, ordinary business of the sort that's conducted through diplomacy all the time or whether this is really something out of the ordinary. i think it was clearly the
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latter. the second thing in the text messages is the word thanks, period, at the end of the very last one that you read where you have gordon responding and he's saying let's do this -- >> let's do this off text, thanks, period. >> that's a red flag to you? >> it's a red flag to me because anybody in the federal government who has ever gotten an email with thanks, period, knows that they're not being thanked. >> what do you make of it? >> she's right, i think the key challenge is what the president is going to say is joe biden did the same thing. he was investigating corruption, he said i'm going to hold a billion dollars back. he's going to say i'm doing the same thing. i was going to investigate corruption. it's not about politics, it's not about joe biden or the upcoming campaign. >> false equivalency. >> hard to know. >> joe biden wasn't looking for information on a political rival
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at the time and seeking a foreign government to help him. >> you're right about that and that is the hard question that the american public and our representatives in congress are going to have to figure out. the president out there and he's saying i want them to investigate. >> he's putting it on the south lawn of the white house. so you make an interesting point here, because it is up now to congress. we know the facts. the facts aren't really in question here. it's not a mystery as to what happened. the president himself is talking about what happened and we have direct source documents explaining sort of line by line how this went down. can you pull back for a second and just explain why it would be so concerning if the president is asking this foreign government for help to find dirt on a political rival, to investigate a political rival from a national security perspective? >> it could be catastrophically bad as katrina was laying out. if the president is looking for private gain and using his public office for private gain, even if that private gain is
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political, that's a huge problem. we generally think that the role of the president and the role of the administration and the role of even congress is not to do things that are in the political interest but do things that are in the national interest. and when you're using your office to do things for personal gain that's a problem. and that's the president's criticism of joe biden. he says he was using his public office for private gain. if he's doing the same or worse in an electoral setting, that's a huge problem and that's the issue is democrats are raising in the house today. >> you have "the new york times" headline that ukraine this morning is set to review the criminal case of the owner of this firm, the one that hunter biden sat on the board of that is at the center of some of this. what message does this send to other world leaders when they're hearing the president say these things and seeing text messages that are now being revealed from curt volker and bill taylor and others? >> for one thing, and we saw this morning a statement from officials in china saying they're not going to investigate or get involved in domestic u.s.
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politics, it's humiliating. it's humiliating for america. and for the president. but i think the other thing that we can't get lost in this, is that there are now all kinds of countries around the world reviewing transcripts of phone calls with our president and trying to find evidence that they can use to leverage our president for the things that they want, whether that's our adversaries like china and russia or whether it's ukraine. we've seen that they also have transcripts and readouts from this call. and to the extent that they deviate in any way from what's been released from the white house, you can bet that's going to create some leverage to get what they want. and that is exactly where we should not be. >> it's great to have your expertise on the show. we want to share with you some breaking news from the extreme court just in the newsroom. the justices are saying they will decide the fate of a controversial abortion law in louisiana.
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it's a law some women's groups say leaves just a single doctor to perform abortions in the entire state. it requires any doctor offering the procedure to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. this is certainly going to be something to watch. the first major abortion case in front of the court since brett kavanaugh joined the bench. the hearings will be held early next year, a decision likely by late june. up next on the show, after our new nbc reporting that the white house will demand an impeachment inquiry vote before turning over any documents, we're talking about the florida congresswoman lois frankel about whether she supports it. we've got our eyes on a couple of cameras, one on capitol hill and the other on the white house. trump about to leave, may talk about our colleagues on the south lawn. 's tough to quit smod turkey. so chantix can help you quit slow turkey.
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the impeachment fight between congress and the white house may get hotter, much hotter as soon as today. with house democrats set to subpoena the white house for these documents related to ukraine, and the white house in turn plans to send house speaker nancy pelosi a letter, according to one of our sources, saying they're not going to turn over any documents until the full house officially votes to formally open an impeachment inquiry. i want to bring in florida congresswoman lois frankel who came out in support of
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impeachment proceedings last week. great to have you back on the show. thank you. >> thank you. thanks for having me. >> lots to discuss, but let me start with what i just laid out. the white house saying they would like to see the house formally vote on an impeachment inquiry. should the house speaker just do that? >> again, thanks for having me here. i was with the house speaker yesterday and she -- with a group and she spoke extensively on this. and her plan right now is to allow the intelligence committee to take the lead, and if they vote articles of impeachment it will come to the floor. >> can i play devil's advocate here? would it lend the inquiry more legitimacy? why not just hold the vote, get it out of the way and then take the argument line away from the white house altogether? why not just do that? >> well, i don't think we should take our cues from the white house. they're not directing this. there is plenty of information that we have right now, including a confession by the
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president of the united states that he abused his power to interfere with the election and get a foreign government to do him a favor, to make up dirt on a political opponent, and we're not going to take our directives from the president of the united states on how we're going to proceed. i feel very comfortable that we're going to do this fairly and quickly. >> so do you believe the speaker has then ruled out a full house vote on this impeachment inquiry? that's not on the table? >> i think right now things are moving so quickly, there's something new every minute. >> so that sounds like a no, that it is off the table, right? >> you'll have to ask her, but from what i've heard, yes, i would say for now it's off the table. >> let me ask you about the text messages we've been talking about. i know they're very extensive and there's a lot to sift through. do you believe that this back and forth between the former special envoy curt volker,
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between the ukrainian envoy, do you believe this shows quid pro quo? >> well, it looks like it does, but i want to emphasize this, there's no need to show a quid pro quo to bring the impeachment inquiry. this president asked for a favor for ukraine to dig up political dirt on his chief rival. he asked them to interfere with elections. he abused his power. those are all impeachable offenses. the fact that there may be quid pro quo, yes, i think that's obviously an issue, but we're dealing simply with the man's confessed. he's confessed to the crime and i think what these hearings will do and the subpoenas and getting some more documents and getting witnesses, it will corroborate what we already know. >> so based on what you just said, based on what we have seen
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from the president and the call to china to investigate, based on the text messages and everything else, what you have in front of you right now, would you be comfortable now saying, yes, you will vote yes on articles of impeachment? >> you know, you're asking me if i'm supposed to be a juror here, yes, i would be comfortable in going forward. of course we would then from proceedings within the chamber of the congress. hallie, i want to add something to this. i happen to have been in ukraine the exact same days, the exact same days that joe biden was there to discuss pushing back on ukrainian corruption. and i was there on a bipartisan mission and we were directed by the state department to talk to the then-ukrainian government exactly on the point that joe
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biden is now famously having talked to them about, which is the corruption that was going on in ukraine. and the corruption had to do with their president, with their officials, and there was a big pushback by republicans and democrats. so this is sort of a red herring. this is an attempt by donald trump to basically destroy his top political rival. >> some of your colleagues on the house intelligence committee are hearing behind closed doors in the next six minutes or so from the inspector general of the intelligence community, michael adkinson. what do you hope they get out of him? what do you hope he says to your colleagues here today? >> well, i don't want to put word in his mouth. i think we should just seek the truth. this is -- and i was with constituents yesterday for the first time at a town hall. all the folks wanted to talk about was impeachment.
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the first time -- >> where were your constituents? were they all in favor of it? is that what they were saying? >> yeah, i've had many, many town halls. i am in a democratic area. but the fact of the matter is, when i usually go to town halls all people want to talk about is the cost of health care, which is still obviously a big issue. the fact of the matter is, all people wanted to do is talk about impeachment. they are so anxious and worried and so -- when you ask me what do i hope for and what i want is to get to the truth. i want transparency. i want the facts to come forward. and then we'll take it from there. >> okay. congresswoman lois frankel, i appreciate your perspective joining us today. up next on the show, another whistle-blower comes forward. this time inside the irs. new reporting on what it has to do with the president's taxes. but first check out this painting, evolved parliament, shows british politicians as
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pennsylvania avenue. my colleagues are gathered on the south lawn as we speak. they're waiting for the president to leave for walter reed medical center. on his way out in two minutes or so, he could stop and take questions. i've got my phone close. then on capitol hill you have the intelligence community just starting his meeting with lawmakers, briefing the intelligence commit behind closed doors about the whistle-blower complaint. i want to go back to jeff ben it on capitol hill. explain this to me. lawmakers are in the room. have you seen them head in? >> reporter: hallie, we have, in fact, seen them bawalk into the briefing room where the ig will speak to them in private about how he handled the whistle-blower complaint. we expect that to start right about how at 10:30 and we expect
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it will last at least for a few hours. we also expect adam schiff, the chairman of the commit to brief the reporters at the bottom of the staircase once this all wraps up. i'll tell you i spoke to a person close to adkinson in just the last hour examine this person reminded me of something that adkinson said during the senate confirmation, he encouraged a whistle-blower program to encourage people to come forward. that is precisely what he has done. and he also pushed back against the unsubstantiated allegation that the whistle-blower complaint form had been changed to allow secondhand information. adkinson said that was not true. the same form has been in place since may of 2018. and he also made clear it's perfectly fine for whistle-blower to include secondhand information. he says it's up to the ig to determine whether the information relayed in the complaint is credible, which in this case he did. >> jeff bennett, appreciate it.
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i want to go to hans nichols over at the white house. >> reporter: the latest is the president of the united states appears to be suggesting that the whistle-blower was a cia agent. he's quoting ed rollins, republican operative on that. nbc news is not saying that. hallie, as you remember from a few days ago, you asked specifically if the president knew who this whistle-blower was, and he said we're investigating into a whistle-blower. so it leeseems like the identitf the whistle-blower is of importance to the president. we just heard the helicopters land here on the south lawn and we're expecting the president to depart at any moem. but once again, the president adding new lines of attacks on twitter as he really seems to be quarterbacking the impeachment strategy himself from both his comments on the south lawn. but what he's putting out there on twitter. and the comment we got this morning is he's really making this fine distinction on why you can investigate a former sitting
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vice president. >> hans nickel, appreciate that. jeff, thanks to you both. we'll keep an eye on the president's departure. we also have new reporting this morning on a second government whistle-blower. this time over at the ira. here's the deal. a career irs official says they were told that a treasury appointee tried to interfere with the audit of the president's tax returns. that's according to the "washington post" citing multiple people familiar with the matter. we have confirmed the complaint is circulating on capitol hill where the post says it's alarming some congressional democrats. as for the white house, they say they're dismissing this whole thing as hearsay and politically motivated. with me somebody who knows the irs like nobody else, served as a commissioner in the trump administration as well as the obama administration, thank you for being with us. let me start here. did you ever witness any kind of political interference during your time in the trump administration?
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>> no. >> what kind of safeguards were put in place plk for the president. >> the tax returns for the president and vice president for years have been kept under lock and key. they're not available to anyone, and in fact nobody's tax returns are available even to irs employees. so if you want to say your uncle's or your brother's or your close friend's return, that's a firing offense. so everyone's returns are protected and the presidents and vice presidents particularly. >> so the employees are supposed to be walled off from the returns? >> yes. political employees are walled off. >> so how unusual and potentially problematic do you view this whistle-blower complaint, if true? >> if true, i know nothing about the complaint and what's gone on, but it would be highly inappropriate for any political appointee outside the irs to be making an inquiry about anybody's tax return or the status of any aud nature they're going through. >> based on what you know about the way the irs works, when this
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whistle-blower talks about interference with one of these audits, what could that be? what are sort of the universe of options there? >> well, it's hard to know what would happen, if you were outside the irs, the question is what you would know about the status of any particular audit, the question is whether you're trying to simply make sure that it gets done appropriately and quickly, wanting to know what the status is. whether you know enough to try to change a potential outcome. as i say, there's a wide spectrum of what you might be inquiring. it could be relatively simple of how's it going. >> we mentioned that this is circulating over on the hill and the deputy inspector general at the treasury department was not about it at a hearing last month. watch. >> there are news reports out there that a whistle-blower, someone came forward. we can't confirm or deny that we may or may not be doing
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anything. i can tell you any time we do get an allegation in this realm we investigate it aggressively. >> you know this process. where does this go from here? what happens next? >> well, obviously there are a lot of moving pieces. the inspector general is the appropriate person to review this. secretary mnuchin said when he was asked about it that he had turned the issue over to the inspector general. when i worked for him, he was always very careful to make sure in any discussions that we had, he didn't give any details about any particular taxpayer or audit. so i think the secretary was well aware that there was a line that shouldn't be crossed. >> former irs commissioner, thank you very much for your expertise here on the show. i appreciate that. coming up here, new reporting today on who exactly ordered the u.s. ambassador to ukraine yanked out, and the controversial voice in the president's ear apparently the whole time. we also want to get a quick check of the markets with job numbers just out this morning. you can see the dow up a little bit, 126, 127.
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that is because partly of those new numbers from the labor department showing the economy added 136,000 jobs in september. that's a little below expectations from economists who were looking for 145,000 more jobs. but check out the unemployment rate, fell to 3.5%. that is the lowest in five decades. jill has entresto, a heart failure medicine that helps her heart so she can keep on doing what she loves. in the largest heart failure study ever, entresto was proven superior at helping people stay alive and out of the hospital. it helps improve your heart's ability to pump blood to the body. don't take entresto if pregnant; it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren or if you've had angioedema with an ace or arb. the most serious side effects are angioedema,
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johnsbut we're also a cancer fighting, hiv controlling, joint replacing, and depression relieving company. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you. we are watching new protests in hong kong today. look at what is happening after
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the city's top official use emergency powers to ban face masks from rallies. you can see thousands of demonstrators wearing masks went out into the street to protest the ban and in some cases setting fires in the road. the masks are become a hallmark of these anti-government demonstrators over the past four months. the ban itself takes effect saturday and it's punishable by a year in jail. >> we're getting new insight this morning into just what and who triggered that controversial ouster of the u.s. ambassador to ukraine earlier this year. the "wall street journal" how reporting president trump is the one who ordered marie yavanovic last may because of intense pressure from the white house. why did he want her out? according to the journal, it was for undermining the president and obstructing efforts to get ukraine to investigate joe
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biden. that's something giuliani has since confirmed in an interview. sources also tell the journal the state department was told last spring that removing her was a priority for the president and something secretary of state mike pompeo supported. here's president trump on the whole thing right before that article dropped. >> i heard very bad things about her and i don't know if i recalled her, but i heard very bad things about her for a long period of time. not good. >> a week from today the ambassador will be on capitol hill for a deposition. this is a rescheduled appearance after her first one was abruptly postponed earlier this week. i want to bring in now ambassador the former nato deputy secret general who served as u.s. ambassador to russia and the george w. bush administration. ambassador, thank you for being with us. >> it's a pleasure. >> you know the diplomatic field
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well. what is your reaction to this reporting from the journal that yovanovitch was yanked by order of president trump himself? >> it's just an outrage and we cease to be surprised by what this president is doing. but it's really irregular to have the president of the united states based on bogus information coming from his personal lawyer to recall a fine, talented and reputable american ambassador. >> by the way -- i'm sorry, ambassador. i was going to say she seemed to have the support of a lot of people inside the state department who have been coming to her defense privately since some of them feel they can't do it publicly. is that a fair assessment? >> absolutely. i signed a letter with about 30 other diplomats and officials. one of her main priorities was fighting corruption in ukraine. so the idea that she wasn't fighting corruption is really a bogus argument.
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but i think it also adds to the picture that we're learning now from the texts that have come out that president trump did basically hijack u.s. policy towards ukraine for the sake of his partisan and personal interests. and used the possibility of a meeting with him as leverage against the president of ukraine in order to get him to launch this investigation against the bidens. and clearly the ukrainians were freaked out about this and the u.s. embassy was obviously put in a very uncomfortable position. but this has consequences because ukraine is a country at war with russia that's facing tremendous dangers from russian aggression and the president is basically saying he doesn't care about that, he's just going to pursue his personal political agenda in ukraine and even sack a very talented u.s. ambassador if it comes to that. >> apparently with somebody whispering in his ear outside of the structures and confines of the white house or the state department, and that's his attorney, rudy giuliani.
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it's been reported that giuliani was telling the paper he pushed pompeo, the secretary of state, to support her removal by threatening his standing with the president, saying i believe he should know the president's orders to fire her were being blocked by the state department. does it worry you how much influence somebody not in the administration could have on a top official like the ambassador? >> definitely. i mean, the fact that rudy giuliani has been promoting these repeatedly debunked stories coming out of ukraine, including this whole idea that the server for crowdstrike somehow was in ukraine itself is outrageous, but to actually use this as part of a case against a very possible u.s. ambassador who was representing the u.s. well, totally bipartisan in her approach to the job, is o outrageous. and secretary pompeo's role in this is looking suspect as well. particularly when he's basing his decision on hearsay and
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false reports. >> ambassador, thank you very much for being on with us. i appreciate it. coming up, one of the 2020 front-runners may be leading the pack of contenders in the polls but not in how much cash he's hauling in. new fundraising numbers just out. plus we've just learned president trump is stopping and talking with reporters on the white house sauouth lawn. we are going to be back with the latest on what he is saying. we're going to sneak in a break first. first. (kickstart my heart by motley crue)) (truck honks)
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washington and a few miles from where i am sitting, president trump behind the facade of the white house is on the south lawn speaking with reporters before his trip over to walter reed. we know so far that he's talked about job numbers, it means the reporters in front of him are shouting questions. you know how this goes. we can't show you this live. we have to tape it and then everybody runs back in and we play out the tape and we'll have it for you the second that we get it. we've also got phones and our team on the south lawn, kristen welker and others texting and emailing us updates. we'll let you know as we get them. the president is talking job numbers and we have some other numbers to talk about this
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morning on the 2020 democratic primary. you've got joe biden's latest fundraising numbers. he's pulling in some $15 million in the last quarter. that's a little down from the previous quarter, putting him behind bernie sanders and pete buttigieg, but there's number t morning, $8 million. that is how much the president's campaign is spending on this tv ad against joe biden and they're airing it in a couple key states, iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, nevada. it goes after the former bp on those baseless, unfounded claims of corruption. i want to bring in mike memoli who is here in washington covering the biden camp. ali vitali is covering elizabeth warren. apologies to you, mike, in case we have to interrupt you. >> i know how this works. >> you know how this works, my friend. the president is clearly going after joe biden. his campaign is going after joe biden. i know the biden campaign is furious with the fact that the media is even covering what the president is saying about joe biden.
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how are they planning to fight back? what's the effect as you talk to advisers there? >> you put your finger on it which is you've seen the biden campaign itself has been working overdrive since these allegations first started surfacing about what the president and the allies think the vice president did in ukraine. they've been very forceful behind the scenes, especially in rebutting those accusations. what we're seeing is an effort by the president to pick his opponent. they think this is about a president who fears joe biden. what we haven't heard from as much is from the vice president himself, and this is something that a lot of democrats think is a mistake. he's only had a handful of public events in the past few weeks. we did see him two nights ago in reno, late east coast time deliver his most forceful rebuttal against this, he'll put his reputation and integrity up against donald trump any day of the week.
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rem >> mike, thank you for that. i want to, as promised, get over to hans nichols at the white house north lawn. we are getting a little more information about to what the president is saying to reporters here. >> reporter: after doing a victory lap on the jobs numbers, the president is repeating his argument he made earlier on twitter. and that is that he doesn't care about the biden campaign but cares about corruption. that's why he had the authority, why he was justified in asking the ukraine president to look into what happened in the 2016 campaign and also what happened as relates to the bidens and hunter biden. it's a version of the argument the president has been trotting out. he's making it more forcefully in front of the cameras right now. he's still talking so we'll get more on this. hallie, just to bring you up to speed on the latest nbc news reporting, according to multiple officials, the emerging strategy inside the white house to counter what's happening with this impeachment inquiry is really stymied by one person,
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that is donald trump. when they come up with a strategy being lead by nick mulvaney and jared kushner, kushner coordinating with the republican campaign on this, the trump campaign and the rnc, one of the challenges they're having is the president seems to shift the debate, shift the strategy almost at a whim's notice, a moment's notice. while they're working on a strategy and crafting it all week and having these meetings, it's unclear if it will have any effect because the president can change it so quickly. that's leading outside groups, in the words of a source of my colleague monica alba, is to muddy the waters. that's really what the republican strategy appears to be right now, in the face of this unique approach from president trump. we'll get more of his approach in a little bit. he's still talking out there on the lawn. hallie? >> what's also interesting, hans, and i'm getting this in from our team on the south lawn, the president says his concerns about joe biden, these baseless
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claims he's made, would not be tied to this attempt to get a trade deal with china. that's something raised over the last 24 hours, as the president suggested that he wants and said out loud in front of people that he wants china to investigate joe biden, days before top chinese negotiators are here to work together on this massively important trade deal. >> it's one thing for the president to say that on thursday, say it's none connected with these trade talks. today he appears he's trying to segregate those comments and saying i was calling upon the chinese, encouraging them to investigate joe biden, but that's not at all related to these trade talks. again, we're going to have to look closely at what the president is not just saying, but what he's doing. he's used his departures on the south lawn to publicly call for an investigation by china into one of his potential opponents in 2020. and that's no small thing, hallie. >> hans, thank you much. we'll take another quick break. we'll be back with more on this
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president trump is still on the white house south lawn talking with reporters. this is the second day in a row where the president held a q&a session -- actually this hour. we're tracking it based on notes we're getting from my colleagues at our nbc white house unit who are throughout who are the pool reporters as well. we can't bring it to you live. we will the second we can turn it around. it depends on when the president stops speaking. so far he's insisted that the
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foreign calls he held with president xi of china have been appropriate despite the president just yesterday calling on president xi to investigate his political rival joe biden for claims that the biden campaigns called dismantled conspiracy theory. i got another note in the last ten seconds or so that the president is talking about mitch mcconnell, talking about also whether the justice department is investigating joe biden. this is something that has been raised by one lawmaker. it is not clear if the doj is. the president himself is saying you have to ask attorney general bill barr. i want to bring back in mike memoli who coffers the biden campaign. what we're hearing a lot of from the president today, it seems, are his tweets come to life as it relates to his defense of why he thinks it's okay to ask a foreign government for help investigating a political rival. >> one of the interesting things he's telling our colleagues is, listen, this is not about politics. this is about his genuine interest in cleaning up
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corruption around the world and dealing with the former vice president. there there are biden allies saying they may turn the tables and talk about his own family and whether he's profiting on the presidency. >> mike memoli, appreciate that. chris jansing in new york, it looks like you, my friend, are going to be able to have that taped playback of the president's remarks on the white house south lawn. i imagine those will be coming in the next few minutes, although it depends on how long the president speaks. >> as fast as humanly possible our folks will get that tape turned around. hallie jackson, thank you so much. good morning. i'm chris jansing in for craig melvin apt msnbc headquarters in new york. a flood of new headlines have emerged since we saw you this time yesterday, each more damaging for him, while offering democrats more bread crumbs to follow in the impeachment inquiry. all this can seem


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