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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  November 4, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PST

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competitive and it will be interesting to see how they come out tomorrow. >> that's for sure. mark murray, thank you for joining us. that does it for us this hour. thanks to all of you for being with us. i'm headed to the white house for the nats event, chris jansing, might be busy for us this afternoon in d.c. >> already a lot going on. good morning, i am chris jansing in for craig melvin at msnbc headquarters in new york, defiance and stonewalling. a new front emerges, several are refusing to show up to testify on the hill today despite subpoenas issued last night. so how will house democrats respond? plus, as a majority of americans back the impeachment fight a growing number support removing the president from office could he still survive impeachment and win the election? what our brand new polling reveals about the answer to that question. and warning signs flashing for democrats. while new national polls may spell trouble for the president, new numbers from key battleground states show
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democrats may be in a little bit more trouble in 2020. we're going to start this morning, though, in a new era of defiance by the president and his allies. a big escalation in the battle between the white house and democrats over the impeachment inquiry. what was originally set to be the busiest deposition day on the hill turns out to be a bust because all four witnesses scheduled to testify and again we've confirmed they were subpoenaed have nevertheless refused to show up. and that's not all. "the washington post" reports that officials in the white house budget office will stand together to stonewall subpoenas or requests from congress in coming days. as the testimony fight plays out in washington, in new york the president's personal lawyer rudy giuliani continues the mission that sparked the impeachment firestorm in the first place. nbc has learned that giuliani met with a former ukrainian official just last week who has pushed conspiracy theories about
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the democratic national committee and the 2016 election. we've got a lot to get to this hour and the perfect people to make sense of it you will, nbc's kristen welker at the house. nbc's national political reporter josh letterman broke that story about rudy giuliani. on set with me here politico's congressional reporter melanie zanona. kristen, now we have the acting white house chief of staff being key to all of this. one of today's scheduled witnesses is a senior adviser to mick mulvaney. the upcoming omb defiance we're expecting is led by a mulvaney protege. and of course omb is at the center of the impeachment inquiry because that's the office that froze ukraine funds that congress had appropriated. so lay out this defiance for us. >> reporter: well, chris, this fits in line with the broader strategy that we've seen here executed by the white house over the past several weeks, essentially blocking witnesses
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from testifying. you remember that letter that went out in the beginning of these proceedings from the white house counsel which said they believe the proceedings are illegitimate and therefore they don't have to comply. that sort of fits in with all of this, the president declaring for some of these witnesses executive privilege. we can now report that all four witnesses who were called to be on capitol hill today have been subpoenaed and they are refusing to comply with the subpoenas. take a look at the list. john eisenberg, the nsc legal adviser, he's significant because essentially another official who testified last week said that they reported their concerns to eisenberg, and he told that person not to share their concerns with anyone about that july 25th phone call. michael ellis, another nsc legal adviser who might be able to shed light on that and to your point, robert blare, a mulvaney adviser, brian mccormick who works with the omb, they would know about the aid being withheld, the timeline of it and
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what, if any, direction they were given. now, president trump is going to be departing a little bit later on today for lexington, kentucky for a political event there. it's a chance for us to ask him about all of this, chris. >> josh, you have a new report out just hours ago. nbc news. here's the headline. amid impeachment circumstances the pro-trump search for dirt on ukraine, the biden's 2016 election goes on. so to be clear as witnesses were testifying just last week about giuliani's activities related to ukraine he was still meeting with a former ukrainian official? >> yeah, chris, you think they might be keeping their head down with this circumstances swirling around them but, in fact, that's not the case. we've learned just this past week rudy giuliani met in his new york city offices with a guy named andre telezenko, a former diplomat, worked in the embassy in washington in 2016, he witnessed the embassy conspiring with a dnc operative to cook up
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dirt about paul manafort. he says he was basically a witness to a crime and that the only one who's really willing to listen to him is giuliani. even though he says their most recent meeting wasn't focused on investigations he says they talked about ukrainian politics, about the new zelensky administration, quote/unquote reforms that need to be made. we're learning on the ground in ukraine that a group of lawmakers is pushing for a new investigation within their parliament into this 2016 alleged meddling as well as the bidens. so we spoke with one of the key lawmakers who's been leading that push, a member of parliament. i want you to hear what he said when he asked him why now? >> ukraine was involved in like the biggest scandal, i guess, in recent u.s. political history, let alone ukrainian. most of my colleagues here pretend it doesn't exist. >> and, chris, even though he
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acknowledges he is a supporter of president trump's he says that's not why he's pushing for a new investigation. we should note that many of the ukrainian members of parliament have former ties with paul manafort. >> going back to giuliani for a moment, our theme today, josh, is defiance. it really almost boggles the mind. you have, frankly, a number of republicans who have been so concerned for such a long time about rudy giuliani, about the role that he has played in all this and the position they feel he has put the president in with these ties to ukraine. seems not even to realize there's an impeachment probe going on. >> not only is there an impeachment probe going on but according to "the new york times" reporting giuliani is under investigation by prosecutors in new york, two of his associates have been arrested for alleged campaign finance violations relating to their work on influencing u.s. and ukraine relations. there's a lot of heat right now. one thing we see time and again
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from trump and his associates is even in the face of that heat a lot of times they don't back down. they keep moving forward. >> which brings us, melanie, to the idea that frankly there's so many different levels of defiance that are going on here. but let's go back to the whole idea of subpoenas are issued. they don't show up. what is the house going to do now? >> well, democrats have to make a choice here. do they want the courts to intervene and try to compel some of these witnesses to come forward? but that could be a lengthy process. could go well beyond into 2020, democrats don't want to do. their other option is to add that to an article of impeachment, say that this is evidence that they're obstructing justice and obstructing congress and they move on and i the tell you a lot of democrats on capitol hill right now feel like they have enough evidence. they have had this parade of witnesses who have been coming forward over the last few weeks, and even though they're hitting a wall this week, they think they have enough, they want to pin down a few star witnesses to come forward so they can make their case publicly to the
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american people and they want to have this wrapped up before the end of the year. >> one of the ways they said they're going to make their case is to release the transcripts of these depositions, the intel chair at dam schiff said last week they could be released as soon as this week. are they on track to do that? >> we're hearing it could come as soon as today. we're looking out for that right now. it's unclear if it will be released transcript by transcript or if they will sort of do it all at once in a big batch but that is the huge story line right now and of course republicans and trump are now seizing on this and claiming without evidence that democrats can somehow alter the transcripts, which is nonsense because there were democrats and republicans in the room, the witnesses are coming back and looking over their own transcripts and testimony. but this is just another way that republicans are trying to lay the groundwork for their defense strategy. >> talk a little bit more about that, kristen welker, about what their plan is and how concerned they are or are not about these depositions being made public. >> reporter: you've seen part of their plan play out over the
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weekend and past several weeks with president trump essentially trying to discredit or undercut some of these witnesses, trying to paint them, chris, as never trumpers. that was the case with vindman who testified. he, of course, is a war veteran, someone who's highly respected by people on both sides of the aisle who corroborated some of the concerns about that july 25th phone call between president trump and the president of ukraine, take a listen to what president trump had to say about him over the weekend. >> what evidence do you have that colonel vindman is a never trumper? >> we'll be showing that to you real soon, okay? >> reporter: so he continues to tease that there's some information coming out about colonel vindman. so far we have not seen any evidence of what he is saying and so far he hasn't moved that ball forward. we'll have to see if today yields any new information. but by all accounts, chris, there's just no evidence of
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that. but that has been the big talking point here at the white house and by president trump himself. >> kristen welker, melanie zanona, thanks to both of you. breaking news, president trump may have to turn over his taxes to new york state prosecutors. the president's legal team just lost an appeal to conceal his taxes in an investigation into hush money payments leading up to the 2016 election. i want to bring in nbc justice correspondent pete williams and nbc correspondent for investigations tom winter who has been following this case closely throughout. pete, start with the obvious, walk us through this decision. >> this is a unanimous decision by three judges on the second circuit court of appeals, and they basically say the president can't put a stop to this by claiming that he's immune from a grand jury subpoena. it may be this appeals court says that a president can't be indicted while in office but that's a separate question here because, number one, this is just a grand jury subpoena for
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documents. secondly, it's not a subpoena directed at the president himself. it's directed at the trump organization and a separate one at the accounting firm so it's not against the president. thirdly, it doesn't have anything to do with the president's official duties. so for all those reasons, they say, the president is not immune from this kind of a subpoena. this early in a criminal investigation. they note, for example, that presidents have been subpoenaed in the past. president jefferson, president clinton, president nixon, all had to turn materials over. and they say in an interesting footnote that the past six presidents dating back to carter all voluntarily released their tax returns. they say the only thing they note is that it's unlikely to impair the president in performing his official duties by turning over his tax returns. and by the way, early on when the district attorney sought this material the trump organization did begin to turn material over in response to the subpoena but it all stopped as
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soon as the da asked for the taxes. that's when this court fight began. so, chris, i think this has the supreme court written all over it. >> yeah. >> undoubtedly they'll appeal to the supreme court. so this is going to be the first of these cases involving all these various investigations to get to the supreme court. now, of course, it's not a guarantee the court will take the case but if it does, you know, i think the cards are sort of stacked against the president at this point given previous supreme court rulings, especially in the nixon case when he had to turn over white house tapes. >> tom, how did we get here? >> well, chris, basically, as pete laid out for you there was a grand jury subpoena process sought by the -- or garage subpoena, i should say, sought by the manhattan district attorney, this is an investigation there's been looking into these hush money payments as you said when you were introducing us. so this investigation is a look in to see whether or not anybody in the trump organization, including, because we know that the president's children are
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involved in that organization, up to the president somehow filed false business returns, that's something that a state prosecutor can look at. was there any sort of an issue here both from a tax standpoint and also from a business records standpoint, was there some sort of illegal behavior here? now, this is not a major felony charge that the state prosecutor could bring but it is an interesting investigation and one that the district attorney here cyrus france is entitled to bring. two pieces of information since we just started talking. first, frost, a spokesperson for the manhattan district attorney cyrus vance says they're going to decline comment on the ruling at this point and then our colleague kristen welker says a statement from jay sekulow the president's attorney -- >> let me go to kristen. kristin, some reaction from the white house to this? >> reporter: chris and tom, this just came in within the last minute. let me read this to you, from jay sekulow, underscores the point pete was making. he says "the decision of the
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second circuit will be taken to the supreme court. the issue raised in this case, go to the heart of our republic. the constitutional issues are significant." so that's the defiance you're hearing from the president and his legal team and of course this issue of the president's tax returns have loomed large frankly since the president was a candidate when there were calls for him to release his tax returns. it is obviously different because this is a part of a case that is under way in new york, which tom is talking about now. but again, the trump legal team signaling they plan to take this all the way to the supreme court, could have implications as president trump enters his reelection campaign, chris. >> also -- >> chris, can i just make one other quick point here? >> sure. >> while this court says the da can seek this material the da and the trump lawyers agreed that the da wouldn't seek anything until at least the supreme court had to chance to decide whether to take this case. >> what kind of timing are we looking at, pete?
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is there any way to predict? >> well, they've agreed that they will do this very quickly, within a matter of a week or so, their documents up to the supreme court, this is going to move very, very quickly. >> wow, okay, let me bring in chuck rosenberg, former u.s. attorney and former senior fbi official and msnbc contributor. i want you to weigh in on this at the end of the day what do you think is the president going to have to turn over his taxes? >> probably so, chris, first of all, and pete alluded to this and he's absolutely right there's no requirement that the supreme court take this case. the parties can ask the supreme court to review it. but they can decline it and whether or not they decline it will turn in part how the second circuit, the federal appellate court blow it wrote its opinion. it seems to be a rather narrow opinion that a subpoena to a third party, in this case the trump accounting firm, maizers, has to turn over records relevant to mr. trump. the subpoena wasn't served on
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president trump. the supreme court -- i'm sorry, second circuit isn't saying a president can be charged. they're just saying the organization, the accounting firm that received the subpoena has to turn the stuff over to a district attorney who has a legitimate ongoing criminal investigation. that doesn't seem extraordinary to me. and because it's not extraordinary it's entirely possible the supreme court doesn't even take it. >> of course jay sekulow sees it a little bit differently than you do, chuck. i am quoting what he gave us as a statement that constitutional issues involved in this are significant. >> i understand why he would say it. i'm not sure he's right. so what i'd like to do as soon as i get off set is read the second circuit opinion and see how narrow or broad it is, although it seems narrow in the way pete described it, see if it conflicts with other circuit court opinions, might be a reason the supreme court would take a case when there's a conflict between circuits. if the supreme court declines to review it then the second circuit's opinion is final.
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and the accounting firm has to turn over the records. >> one of the things that the president has talked about, chuck, is how complicated these documents are. obviously for the average person, and we know what our tax return looks like, it may be just a few pages long, his are literally volumes, we can assume, given his business interests and personal interests. so where would -- let's assume that they have a plan in place for the minute this gets -- if it does indeed get to their offices where do you start with a trove like that? >> sure, that's a great question. when i was a federal prosecutor, chris, i used to do among other things white collar work involving criminal tax. we had a number of salespeople people. including special agents from the irs schooled in this stuff to work through complicated tax returns. i guarantee the district attorney in manhattan has similar capabilities, similar folks who can help them work through tax returns.
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by the way, the mere fact that the accounting firm turns it over to the district attorney doesn't mean they become public. when we received documents, including tax records and criminal investigations, we had to keep that private and only if we charged somebody, if those documents become public. that will be the case here too. if the accounting firm that has to turn it over and the second circuit word is final we don't automatically see them. >> tom, you've covered these cases and when you're looking at a place like let's say the southern district of new york where you're looking at things like wall street, you're looking at, you know, headquarters for major corporations around the world, where you have some of these most high profile issues that have come to this district before, tell us what you know about how experienced they are, how set they are and how they get set for something like this. >> the manhattan district
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attorney's office who's involved in this case, they don't want to be in a position where they have to answer to a state judge why documents that were received under grand jury secrecy rules, why those documents came out in public. as chuck rightly put it for folks that somehow this goes to the supreme court, if it does, and it doesn't go in the president's favor, that, you know, a couple of days later we're going to be on tv talking about and looking at the president's tax returns, that's not going to happen. those documents have to be turned over under grand jury secrecy rules. to put a bow under what pete and chuck were alluding to earlier with respect to this decision, and i know chuck was interested in this, the judges here directly dressed the issues of what they're ruling on here and they say this appeal does not require us to consider whether the president is immune to indictment and prosecution while in office nor to consider whether the president may lawfully be ordered to produce documents for a use in a state
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criminal proceeding. they don't address those issues. really, this is very narrowly focused on the issue of a third party subpoena here. and what the state can do in leading up to it from an investigative -- for the next investigative step standpoint. you're not getting in here, and this was argued in the -- before the second circuit, before these judges whether or not theoretically the president could shoot somebody on fifth avenue and be prosecuted. they're not addressing that issue here. they're very specific to the narrow point that pete laid out when initially discussing this opinion. >> and when you look, pete, at the difference between the legal reality and the political statement the idea that it does not include whether or not a president is immune from some sort of indictment while in office makes all the difference in the world. >> so it is a very narrow holding, and here's the phrase that sums it up, presidential immunity does not bar the enforcement of a state grand jury subpoena directing a third
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party to produce non-privileged material even when the subject matter under investigation pertains to the president. that's the holding here. so what the president came in and said is you can't ask us to do this because you have no power to subpoena this material from us. if they lose that, with your forbearance, chris, i would like to ask chuck a question. could then if they lose this and they have to comply could they then go back and move to quash the subpoena saying to the prosecutors in essence you don't need this in your investigation, this is more than you need, overbroad? >> they could try that, pete, i don't think it would succeed, look, they took -- they chose their tactic, they chose to go to the court of appeals. it looks like they're trying to get the supreme court to hear it. i imagine they would be foreclosed. now, look, that doesn't mean they couldn't file some frivolous motion in state court that a judge would have to rule upon. but i think they picked this
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path it looks like so far they've lost, i imagine that if the supreme court declines to hear it then they are -- the accounting firm will have to turn over the records and that will be that. >> and understanding, chuck, you're a former u.s. attorney, you certainly know the way that folks on the other side think. so what do you think will be the argument that we get from them? >> well, i think what they will say is that even having a third party turn over records impedes upon the president's ability to do his work. by the way, that argument was taken care of, i think addressed, in the 2000 department of justice opinion from the office of legal counsel that held that a sitting president can't be charged. one of the footnotes out of the department of justice in 2000, in fact was footnote 36, chris, the department of justice said there's nothing that precludes a sitting president from being investigated. either by a grand jury or by congress. and so i just don't think that
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the president's lawyers prevail, whether it's in the second circuit or in the supreme court. i think they've lost this one. >> did you just cite a footnote by number? >> afraid so. >> so that's the legality of it. i want to go back to that if i have time but i want to bring in elise jordan, who we all know, former white house aide to george w. bush. the politics of this as well. at a time when it wasn't so clear necessarily that donald trump would be the next president of the united states he nevertheless made a decision that a lot of people in the political realm would have advised him against. he said no. now he said i'm not going to do anything, you know, while it's being looked at by the irs. having said that there was no precedent for that, and complicated. so complicated but from a political perspective what are supporters of the president thinking now that this ruling has come out? >> supporters of donald trump likely won't even flinch at this
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but i think that politically it's risky terrain, and, you know, tom and chuck and pete were counseling that even if this doesn't go to the supreme court it's not like we're going to be suddenly be analyzing the nuances of his returns and what he didn't pay and this and that. politically though everyone knows what it means to pay taxes and they don't like it. having this issue come up over and over again isn't necessarily a good thing for trump just because it draws into glaring contrast his business practices which are a little complicated and murky, and not so good at a time when he -- his image is already quite tarnished. >> there are all kinds of things, kristen welker, as you well know people have said about, well, if we got the tax returns of donald trump we may find out, number one, he's not worth anywhere near as much as he says he's worth. we're there as -- as we were just saying, potentially some
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murky business practices here. did he pay virtually no tax and how will that be looked at among white collar workers who feel like they're paying their fair share of taxes, all sorts of things but do we know really what has made the president nervous about releasing his taxes? >> we don't, chris. he says he's not going to release them because he's under another. we know that past presidents have released their tax returns when they're under audit. but elise hits the nail on the head, the fact that for his supporters they are not going to be concerned about this. they will be defiant right along with president trump. but it's really those swing voters, the undecided voters, the purple states, quite frankly, where the president has to be concerned about what sort of optics this may bring because undoubtedly his democratic challengers, as they duke it out in the primary, are going to make an issue of this, will likely seize upon this.
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once, in fact, there is a democratic nominee this could become more fodder to say what is the president hiding? we've heard those sorts of arguments from democrats in the past. it's not going to shake his core supporters. but it could give fresh material for the democrats, chris. >> so we're just about out of time, chuck rosenberg. under what circumstances would you see these tax returns being made public? >> sure. so imagine one day that somebody from the trump organization, a member of the firm, a member of the family is charged with a crime and that person decides to go to trial, as is their right, we saw this in the paul manafort case, by the way, at that point, because the state, the district attorney has the burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt they would have to introduce evidence into the public record. then and only then, i imagine, might we see these documents. now, it depends on who's charged and whether they go to trial and what the government needs to prove its case. >> so once again the big headline in the breaking news today is that the president has
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lost an appeal in his new york tax case. this looks headed to the supreme court, kristen welker, tom winter, pete williams, chuck rosenberg, thanks to all of you. elise jordan, you're going to stay with us. fantastic having all of you here. coming up, talking about the new polls raising new alarms for democrats and their chances in 2020 in key battleground states while at the same time president trump's unique and implausible take on the impeachment fight is out there. here's what he told reporters about the latest polls. >> mr. president, according to several recent polls more americans want you to be impeached and removed from office. a number of americans who don't. >> you're reading the wrong polls. mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. i love you! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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you can see where things happen, before they happen. ♪ with esri location technology, you can see what others can't. ♪ annoepidemic fueled by juul use with their kid-friendly flavors. san francisco voters stopped the sale of
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flavored e-cigarettes. but then juul, backed by big tobacco, wrote prop c to weaken e-cigarette protections. the san francisco chronicle reports prop c is an audacious overreach, threatening to overturn the ban on flavored products approved by voters. prop c means more kids vaping. that's a dangerous idea. vote no on juul. no on big tobacco. no on prop c. if you're a democrat who is seriously worried that donald trump might get reelected, two new polls out show that, first, you're definitely not alone and second, you may have reason to be nervous. new polling by "the new york times" in sienna college finds trump still highly competitive in a number of key battleground states. among likely voters president trump is either up or even in a matchup against senators bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. his biggest challenger, former
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vice president joe biden who beats the president in five of six battleground state matchups. but even at that remains within the margin of error. i want to bring in michael star hopkins, a strategist who served on campaigns of barack obama and hillary clinton, and worked for john delaney. and elise jordan, a rm former aide in george w. bush's administration and an msnbc political analyst. michael, among likely voters, in battleground matchups with 2020 democrats president trump beats elizabeth warren in michigan, pennsylvania, wisconsin, florida, north carolina. they're even in arizona. bernie sanders wins in michigan but loses to the president or ties him in the other five states. and joe biden, who democrats have concerns about, beats trump in all battleground matchups except n except north carolina.
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we've got a president under water nationally but at the times, sienna results and other data, it suggests that -- maybe it's grown since 2016. what's going on? >> you know, i wrote about this for a column coming out later this afternoon, neither party can be confident they're going to win the presidential election coming up. on one side a president is historically unpopular, perpetually under investigation and on the other side you have a democratic party struggling to find their message. you have joe biden who has issues with the hunter biden scandal and whether he's, you know, ready to assume the presidency and then you have elizabeth warren and questions about whether or not she's radical, whether bernie sanders is too radical. it should be a landslide for democrats and it's becoming more and more of a toss-up. >> no doubt that the too far left argument has been made successfully against elizabeth warren but there's another word, elise, horribly fraught word, is that likability is hurting
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elizabeth warren according to this "new york times" analysis. 41% of voters who support biden but not warren, 41% say they agree with this statement, are you ready? women who run for president just aren't that likable. unpack that for me. >> it is sad that we're going into yet another presidential election and women have the burden of societal bias against them and that's what we see reflected in these attitudes but they're hard attitudes to shake and democrats will ignore these attitudes to their own electoral peril. it has to be grappled with and dealt with that there are a lot of voters who aren't that comfortable still yet with female president with having a woman at top and -- does that
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mean they don't vote for the candidate they think is the best and they let these views seep into their own world view or are they simply being pragmatic? i don't know the answer to that. i do know that you hear this frequently, and it is something that republican strategists think that ultimately could hurt elizabeth warren in the end and it's something that i certainly feel sorry about that as a woman, as an american. but it's the raw truth of it. >> yeah, and michael, one person who has repeatedly disparaged polling generally is, of course, the president. he was asked about his thoughts on the polls that most americans are swinging back toward backing impeachment and also moving toward removing him from office. listen to what he had to say. >> mr. president, according to several recent polls more americans want you to be impeached and removed from office -- >> you're reading the wrong polls. let me tell you. i have the real polls. i have the real polls.
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the cnn polls are fake. the fox polls have always been lousy. i tell them they ought to get themselves a new pollster. but the real polls, you look at the polls that came out this morning, people don't want anything to do with impeachment. it's a phony scam. it's a hoax. >> you know, i wonder, michael, his own internals may be reflect -- the times found there's little evidence of any of the democrats making significant progress toward winning back working class white voters, the ones that defected from the democrats last time. so what are the democrats not doing or saying to win them back? >> well, i think democrats have to be better with talking to moderates, especially in the middle of the country, and i think that moderates -- >> what does that mean? we all say they have to be better at it. we've spent a lot of time strategizing but it doesn't seem to be working. >> well we'll use medicare for all as an example. a bunch of the presidential
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candidates have backed medicare for all which eliminates private insurance. candidates like amy klobuchar and john delaney supported a system which would allow you to keep your private insurance but that hasn't caught on yet. what the moderates will have to do is tell a story or a narrative to outflank the progressives and talk about why these issues matter in terms of values. >> there's another fascinating part of this, and that is a new associated norc center for a public affairs research poll and i want to ask you, elise, about the anxiety. i hear all the time when i go out and, you know, talk to people and other parts of america outside of new york city, they're tired, they're exhausted, even republicans tell me they wish the president would back off. but look at the anxiety. 67% of democrats report being anxious, even 45% of republicans, both sides, pretty frustrated over what they see. is there a real world impact of
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this? >> i think it's just that time of the campaign season for democrats to be anxious and to really wonder what's going to happen. >> you don't think this is any different than we've seen in the past. >> i spoke to a democratic strategist last week who was actually reassuring on this point and said this is just completely normal, at this point in the cycle, democrats are going to be super anxious and on pins and needles about their primary way that republican voters simply are not. >> why, why are republicans not so nervous? >> i think that, you know, we see some of the fundamental differences in republican and democrats playing out every day in the political campaign season. i think this is just yet another indicator of how republican and democrats can be fundamentally different. >> didn't even get to beto o'rourke getting out of the race. elise jordan, michael starr hopkins, great seeing both of
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you, thanks. some of the president's allies are betting even if he's impeached it won't hurt his reelection chances. our now nbc news polling could provide insight into whether that hold up. steve kornacki joins us. the head of one of the most famous companies in the world is out of a job this morning after revealing a consensual relationship with an employee. is there more to this story though? whose tech makes life easier by automatically adding technical patterns on charts and helping you understand what they mean. don't get mad, get e*trade.
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decision day and a unique question is hanging over this race. president trump might end up surviving impeachment but can he survive the election? new nbc news "wall street journal" polling may have the answer. i want to bring in msnbc national political correspondent steve ckonacki, what stands out for you in this poll? >> a couple things, chris. the impeachment story has dominated washington for the last few weeks, all of the different bits of testimony, the different revelations about trump, ukraine policy. but if you look at his approval rating, you wouldn't know anything had happened either way. 45% in our poll. i think it was 43% the last time we checked in but basically this is the range in our poll that donald trump has been operating in pretty much his entire presidency. he's ranged from the mid-40s to the high 30s, that's kind of been this very tight and narrow range. you're not seeing the numbers drop here, not really seeing much. you have this question.
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should he be impeached and removed from office? 49% now say yes. trump should be impeached and removed from office. 46% say no. another way of looking at that is is 49/46 split looks like this, doesn't it? 2016 election. hillary clinton zbgot 48% of th vote. a question of opinion on impeachment and removal is converging on that fault line we saw on election day on 2016, the fault line defining the last two years, does opinion on impeachment converge there and does it stop there? i think that's the key question for trump in terms of the politics of surviving impeachment, if it stays here, that's a scary number for any president but it reflects that kind of divide and that kind of divide means republicans are united behind trump. if he wants to survive impeachment that's what he needs. he needs republicans to stay behind him, to keep republican officials behind him. if that number starts to move
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up, that support number moves up into the 50s, five, ten points higher than it is now that would scramble the politics, but right now you're seeing a divide on impeachment that looks like the divide that's defined our politics since 2016. >> so really no movement in voter sentiment? >> again, if you had polled impeachment a while back this number was down in the 30s. it's definitely moved. the question is does it stop here or does it keep moving? >> we're less than a year away. we've pointed that out. where do the democrats stand in this latest round of polling and vis-a-vis donald trump? >> this is the national poll here, our nbc "wall street journal" poll, biden in first place. a couple things i think stand out here, again, this is the national poll. it looks different in the early states, always keep that in mind but nationally biden has stabilized here. a couple weeks ago we were talking about warren potentially overtaking biden and now consistently you've seen a small but clear lead for him over warren. i think the other key though in this national poll is right there. bernie sanders. remember about a month ago all the talk about bernie sanders with the health scare, oldest
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candidate in the field, was his support going to fade out? the answer is no. sanders third place. up 20%, a couple points behind warren and polling for him in the early states, new hampshire and iowa that's been encouraging as well. for sanders i think there's a dramatic statement there. biden, warren, sanders. as we say in those early state polls it does look different than initially. >> pete buttigieg moving in the early state polls. >> only 6% for buttigieg nationally. every long shot candidate, the same strategy, can you win iowa, break out in iowa, break out in new hampshire? one or both of those early states if you do you see the number move up. there are questions with buttigieg outside iowa where he's doing well. can he appeal to heavy black south carolina, we'll see. >> steve come in, have a seat, you're going to stick around, and i want to bring in trent
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spinner, he has his eyes on the primary in new hampshire less than 100 days away. does this poll refwlelect what you've seen from new hampshire voters on the ground, the difference between national polls and early state polls. >> it's exactly the opposite in new hampshire, the university of new hampshire a few days ago had bernie sanders in first place and joe biden in third place. what was interesting, biden dropped nine points from the last time they did this poll, nine points, putting pete buttigieg in striking distance of biden. what was interesting that even though biden dropped voters in a new hampshire thought he was the most electable. now grain of salt on all of this, four out of five people have not made a decision. anything can happen. >> anything can happen and you could make the argument, in fact you have made the argument, that it isn't necessarily about who wins. >> right. i mean, here's the thing. bernie sanders is from neighboring vermont, elizabeth warren is from neighboring massachusetts.
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the biden campaign is already making this argument that, well, they have a neighboring state, like -- >> advantage. >> advantage. >> yeah. >> and the clinton campaign made that exact same argument about bernie sanders last time, sanders won in new hampshire by 22 points. the question is whether or not that's true. some granite staters say i'm not voting for him because he lives next door. we'll see how that plays out. the other thing that's interesting if biden losing new hampshire and biden loses iowa the campaign is saying they have a strategy to win the election to win the nomination without those two states. >> i kind of channeled you a little bit, steve kornacki, remembering new hampshire has a terrible record of predicting presidents, right, and unless they were an incumbent on the democratic side. only about 50/50 at predicting the eventual democratic nominee. throwing out some names, sanders, clinton, kerry, gore, dukakis, hart. what is new hampshire about when
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you look at the big picture? >> my question has been is there a candidate out there who could put together the one two punch of winning iowa and winning new hampshire? and i think that has been the magic combination sort of in modern history on the democratic side, four candidates who have done that for open democratic nominations. all four went on to win the democratic nomination. sanders and warren have that backyard advantage in new hampshire. but if one of them were to win iowa turn that around and say it is hard to then see them losing new hampshire. eight days later. and if you win iowa, and you win new hampshire, and you think of the bandwagon effect that comes with that, and you think of the sort of disaster that sort of signals for other candidates potentially you could see the party start to fall in line behind one of those candidates quickly potentially. >> we never know what's going to happen over the next 300 days or so. but politico has an interesting piece, dems tiptoe around
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pocahontas and hunter as trump licks his chops. some of the party -- making the front runner show how they'd handle the gop go-to attacks and i wonder if you hear about those things as you talk to folks on the ground in new hampshire. >> that's absolutely a concern. most people when they raise what do you really care about? number one, is they call it abt, anything but trump. and so they just want to pick the candidate who's going to win, and if they have to -- if they have if they have to put aside some of their pet issues -- >> some of them have said if i have to hold my nose and vote for a democrat, they will. >> i think they want to hear answers and i think think're al they're also holding up who they're going to vote for until they understand that this candidate or that candidate is
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definitely electable. >> fascinating stuff. thank you. still ahead, one of the most recognizable companies in the world mcdonald's now rocked by a change at the top. the ceo is out after admitting a consensual affair with an employee. as we head to break, a familiar and comforting sight. less than two weeks after breaking his pelvis in a fall, look at this. former president jimmy carter back at church in georgia yesterday teaching sunday school. during his 45-minute lesson the 95-year-old spoke candidly about his battle with brain cancer back in 2015. >> i found i was absolutely and completely at ease with death. it didn't really matter to me whether i died or lived except i was going to miss my family and miss teaching sunday school
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you get more thansion yourfree, you get everything you need for your home at a great price, the way it works best for you, i'll take that. wait honey, no. when you want it. you get a delivery experience you can always count on. you get your perfect find at a price to match, on your own schedule. you get fast and free shipping on the things that make your home feel like you. that's what you get when you've got wayfair. so shop now! a dramatic firing in the midst of the me too movement. the ceo of mcdonald's is out of
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a job today. steve easterbrook was fired for violating company policy by having a consensual relationship with an employee. mcdonald's shares rose 96% under his leadership. easterbrook writes, quote, this was a mistake given the values of the company, i agree with the board it is time for me to move on. these were both very short statements, both from mcdonald's and easterbrook himself. what more do we know? >> mcdonald's did announce easterbrook was out effective immediately for demonstrating poor judgment. he's off the company's board of directors. easterbrook helped to reinvigorate the brand. most importantly he's been at
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the forefront of a lot of upgrade across the country with self-order kiosks and modernized stores. the successor has been key in the turn around plan as well which is why some analysts think he's a logical successor. he first came in 2015 to mcdonald's overseeing global strategy, business development and innovation. workers' groups have pushed the company not only for higher wages but also for more accountability for sexual harassment claims. in a statement, the group said that this show that is the problem with the company's culture is it is being rotten from top to bottom. easterbrook did say this relationship was consensual. however, it violated company policy.
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>> the interesting phrase values of the company, i presume it's very clearly stated in company policy that you can't get involved with a subordinate? >> the company didn't make clear what the violation in complete detail was, just that this violated company policy because it was a consensual relationship between the ceo and a worker at mcdonald's. we do know that the board met on friday and voted to terminate steve easterbrook. as we get more details we'll bring them to you. as you mentioned in the me too movement a very interesting development here. we've got a disturbing new surveillance video that shows a group carrying a white nationalist flag and recording a propaganda video in front of the emmett till memorial in summit, mississippi. they can be heard making arguably racist statements.
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emmett till was 14 years old when he was beaten and lynched by two white men who were not convicted of the crime but later admitted the brutal murder. the till memorial has been a frequent target of racist acts. they had to make it bulletproof because it replaced a sign that had been riddled with 20 bull s bullets. in california people are preparing for the next round of wildfires with the fire risk high. the president of the united states once again yesterday going after state officials. >> you got fires eating away at california every year because management is so bad. the governor doesn't know. he's like a child. he doesn't know what he's doing. i've been telling him this for two years. they've got to take care of it. >> a series of tweets from the president criticizing the governor and congressman adam schiff accusing them of failing
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to manage the state's forests causing a recent strain of wildfires. andrea mitchell reports starts right now. >> right now, defiance. the president loses a court decision on his tax returns and will appeal to the supreme court as the white house defies impeachment subpoenas and targets the whistleblower. >> the whistleblower gave a very inaccurate report about my phone call. my phone call was perfecto. the whistleblower should be revealed. >> battlegrounds. joe biden breaks through against the president in key battleground states but slips farther behind in iowa and new hampshire while warren and buttigieg climb. >> on day one there's going to be no chance for on the job training. >> here's the good news. i have the biggest


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