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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  November 7, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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this month. and headlines of lime abuse certainly don't help make the case to keep those scooters around. and given new york city's traffic legendary potholes and packed streets, hoboken may be laying the ground work to block lime from operating in the city that never sleeps. so in the words of my colleague rachel maddow, watch this space. that wraps things up for this hour. ali velshi. >> so the lime thing, you just drop them wherever they go. the problem is, new york sideways are used to capacity. right? so you can't sort of have intersections like corners. >> everything in new york is used to capacity. >> that's my issue with lime. i have no dog in this hunt. if people like it, it's fine. but people just drop them wherever they go and generally speaking in midtown manhattan, there's no space on a sidewalk to add five or six extra scooters. >> and they can go pretty fast. >> yeah. >> it's november 7th. we start with breaking news. we have just had the release of the deposition transcript of george kent.
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the deputy assistant secretary of state. this is what nbc news has learned from an official working on the impeachment inquiry. kent is a deputy assistant secretary of state, as i said. who worked on ukraine and five other countries. he told lawmakers he was to -- told to lay low after raising concerns about rudy giuliani's involvement in ukraine. george kent is going to be one of the first people to testify in open hearings. he is scheduled to testify before congress on november 13th. joining me now from capitol hill, msnbc's garrett haake. garrett, i imagine we've just received this in the time that i was walking to the studio. so i don't know what, if anything, you've had a chance to look at yet. but what do we know so far about george kent? >> yeah. ali, this is becoming a regular feature here with me and you these afternoons. kent's testimony, as far as i've been able to skim through the summary here, does a couple things for democrats. kent is angry. that's clear. he talks about a smear campaign being run by corrupt ukrainians and a person who he thinks is
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apparently pretty knee deep in this himself, rudy giuliani. the campaign to push out ambassador yovanovitch and he is not happy about it. he also talks about his unfolding understanding of the aid for -- aid for dirt scheme, as democrats have sort of short handed it here between the president and the president of ukraine as he is learning about it in real time back in washington and talking to folks including bill taylor on the ground in ukraine. he describes the conversation. he backs up marie yovanovitch, the conversation she had with gordon sondland where sondland had told her that she should tweet her support for president trump if she's interested in keeping her job. and he discusses at least as far as i've gotten in the summary here a bit more philosophically how everything about this runs counter to american foreign policy. broadly speaking about how america tries to push countries like ukraine to follow the rule of law. he says anytime you're pushing for investigations, specific actions by a country like this,
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as opposed to doing something like supporting judges or courts or processes, he basically makes the argument that when the u.s. tries to fight corruption in other countries, we do it by supporting their court systems. by discouraging political investigations. we don't find specific incidents that we want to have investigated and push for those investigations. and that's exactly what happens in this case. we got teamwork here. i just got my paper copy in my hand here. so i'm going to continue to go through it. but what kent does here and what i think is important in the big picture is when he appears in public next wednesday with bill taylor, he'll provide the washington counterbalance to everything taylor can describe that was happening on the ground in ukraine. their two accounts buttress each other and as i'm reading this, i also see the first mention of alexander vindman as someone who had raised alarms here. those alarms had apparently gotten to kent as well. i'm going to do a little light reading, ali, and get back to you with more. >> we will figure out more of what george kent said. garrett haake on capitol hill. i want to bring in former u.s.
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ambassador to the united nations nancy soderberg. she served as deputy national security advisor under president clinton. ambassador, good to see you again. thank you for joining us. we are learning a lot about what these various people at the state department, at the department of defense, our ambassadors, and people in the white house gleaned from not just the phone call in question between president trump and president zelensky of ukraine. but all of the stuff going on around it and we are getting a much clearer picture of the elevated role that rudy giuliani had in advancing the president's needs in ukraine. that in itself is damning because rudy giuliani does not work for the u.s. government. rudy giuliani does not work for the state department. >> exactly. and i think it's very clear that there was a quid pro quo when president trump held up military aid for dirt on biden. that's pretty much been established and even the republicans are having a hard time running away from that story.
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they're going to have an even harder time saying no big deal. that's just fine. it's not fine. and the pieces of the puzzle that have yet to come out are who is paying for rudy giuliani's salary galavanting around? i believe it was most likely a russian mob boss of ukrainian -- former ukrainian who was in charge of a lot of the oil money. multibillionaire living now in vienna. his name is vertesh who was paying the salary of the two thugs that are now under arrest. i suspect he was also paying giuliani's salary. and this outside shadow foreign policy that the president was trying to do, precisely to circumvent ambassador yovanovitch, the u.s. ambassador who was ousted because she wasn't playing along with his scheme. and what you're seeing is the career foreign service officials are standing up and saying, no, this is wrong and here's what happened and the truth's going to come out and the president better get his defense going because i -- i would not want to
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be trying to defend the quid pro quo that clearly existed. but you've got the whole bizarre giuliani actions going on, which he's now under criminal investigation for. and the other question is, what is william barr doing? he's bouncing around the world trying to drum up some kind of bizarre investigation against the democrats in the 2016 election. we don't know. where is he? what's happening? i hope congress will ask some questions about that. >> it seems barr's a bit frustrated with rudy giuliani. it seems that barr, according to recording from "the washington post," that president trump tweeted as a lie, demured when it was suggested by the white house that he hold a press conference to absolve donald trump of any responsibility in this. however, william barr was mentioned in the phone call. the word corruption was not mentioned in the famous phone call between donald trump and zelensky, which is ironic because donald trump said it was all about corruption. but he mentioned giuliani and he
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mentioned bill barr. in your world, when you were with the state department, when you were a representative to the united nations, under what circumstances would the attorney general be involved in your dealings with other countries? >> quite a bit. it's not unusual to have the attorney general, the justice department involved in the interagency process. the national security council has representatives of the pentagon, the cia, the commerce department depending on what the issue is. but almost always someone from the, you know, attorney general's office would be part of it. i've sat in on many national security meetings with the representatives of the justice department because they have a role in developing policy and then when the president decide that policy -- a role in car carrying it out. what is bizarre here is they seem to have been working outside that policy process. they wanted secrecy in what they were doing. they wanted deniability in what they were doing so they cut out that interagency process and the career people and tried to run their own shadow operation,
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which is just blown up on them. and they frankly don't know how to handle it. the story changes every day. >> there's a reference to this in the transcript i want to read to you a series of questions and answers. question heer is a member of congress or a lawyer. we don't have the name. the answer comes from the testimony of george p. kent. on may 14th, rudy giuliani told ukrainian journalists that the ambassador was recalled because she was part of the efforts against the president. were you aware of mr. giuliani's statements at the time? the answer is i do not know that. i saw the statement at the time. but i did see an interview that he gave with the ukrainian publication that expressed a variant of that opinion. question, what was your reaction to mr. giuliani's statement? to which mr. giuliani -- mr. kent says -- mr. giuliani at that point had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about ambassador yovanovitch. so this was a continuation of his campaign of lies. the questioner says, so you did
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not think that it was true at the time that the ambassador was removed because she was part of the efforts against the president? kent says, i believe mr. giuliani, a u.s. citizen, has first amendment rights to say whatever he wants. but he is a private citizen. his assertions and allegations against former ambassador yovanovitch were without basis, untrue. period. have you ever seen in your diplomatic life something like this? that a -- not just a private citizen but a private citizen representing donald trump, a president, is somehow interfering in this very sophisticated department of state process? >> i mean, it would be the keystone cops if it weren't so serious. and i think the -- what's going to come out and i think the investigators and the press is going to dig a little bit deeper of where did this conspiracy theory originate? it's from the ukrainian oligarchs who are on the outs because putin's kroeny in kiev got ousted and you have a new, cleaner government coming in
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there and they didn't like that. they wanted to get rid of yovanovitch, who was standing up to the corruption. they wanted to get rid of people who had been replaced on the board of these oil companies. remember, bill perry was trying to put some of his own guys on that board. they're all trying to get back into the treasure trove of oil money. and frankly, they're using giuliani and the president to do it. and it didn't work but it might have worked, in which case that would be extremely dangerous. but this whole shadow operation that giuliani was orchestrating is going to all come to light and it's going to be dirty money flowing through a very corrupt scheme. >> the other thing that came out of this was a conversation about a call on july 18th, 2019, when an office of management and budget official announced that the acting chief of staff, mick mulvaney, at the direction of president had put a hold on all security assistance to ukraine. george kent describes it as being a hold, not a freeze. there was a representative of the office of management and budget. i was at the state department in a secure video conference. i did not recognize the face and
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i believe the individual representing omb at the time was not normally the person who did. it was the summer vacation cycle and he just stated to the rest of those participants either in person or video screens that the head of the office of management and budget, who was the acting chief of staff mick mulvaney, at the direction of the president had put a hold on all security assistance to the ukraine. this, of course, is central to the whole thing because not only did that happen but when asked, because this was congressionally approved money, congress was not given clarity as to why congressionally-approved money would have been delayed. that's a serious business because when you are representing the country as an employee of the state department, that is not -- you don't really get to meddle in stuff that congress decide. >> well, you can hold up money for good reasons. but there's no good reason to have held up this money to ukraine. i've never in my decades of service in the government seen anyone hold up aid for personal
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or political gain. and what i think the white house is making a major mistake trying to refuse to have people testify. trying to make up stories. it's all going to come true. you can't have actions in the government like this that remain secret. so there will be congressional investigations, press investigations. more people will come forward and say here's why that aid was held up and the only reason that aid was held up is because the president wanted the ukrainians to help them dig up dirt on the bidens. that's all going to come out and it is highly unusual. that is going to be the basis of the impeachment of this president. we'll see what the senate does. the other question here is, where is mike pompeo? all of the people who are out front talking about this earlier on have disappeared. you haven't heard from giuliani in a long time. and mike pompeo has got a really tough choice on his hands. he's wanting to back the president because he's probably going to go run for the senate and wants the president's
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support in his bid for the senate. and yet, he's not doing his job as secretary of state defending his own people, participating in u.s. foreign policy that is actually in the u.s. national interest, not the president's political interest. so he is caught in a real between a rock and a hard place. and we'll see what type of decisions that he ends up making. in the end, the career foreign service officers are the heroes here. saying, this was not in our international security interests. they're telling the truth and this new stories that keep coming out every day are not going to work. and the administration should deal with the truth and come up and say this is what we did. try and defend it if they want. but these coverups are always what get people in trouble in these investigations. you had gordon sondland had to come back and correct his statement because he lied about what he knew and whether he was part of the holding up in the military aid. he was. the three amigos were at the center of this. so what did they all know? in the end, people have to choose between covering up for
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the president or trying to protect themselves. and in the end, they will all lawyer up and try and protect themselves. >> that is, by the way, the only thing we've heard from rudy giuliani yesterday. he tweeted he's got a lawyer but he -- all he was doing he said was defending his client. it is notable that he keeps on saying all he was doing was defending his client. his client is the president of the united states, not the united states of america. >> that's probably going to be -- exactly. these guys are all -- the coverup is always what gets these guys in trouble because they go out and think they can hide the truth. you've got roger stone being tried right now. you got michael cohen. you have a got paul manafort, all who lied to these investigators. so that he so that's a strong message to anyone involved in this. when you're before congress, tell the truth. pull the band-aid off. let it out there. that's really the only way these things get resolved. and people make the mistake over and over again to think that they can shade the truth and protect either themselves or the president. it never works. and it won't here either. >> ambassador nancy soderberg.
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thank you for joining us. >> anytime. >> former u.s. ambassador to the united nations. served as deputy national security advisor under president clinton. i want to move on to the next thing we're doing as donald trump -- as trump, trump's son, and gop allies come to the president's defense by attacking the credibility of the whistle-blower who sparked the impeachment inquiry. several current and former intelligence officials are calling for action. demanding that cia director take a stand. so far, she and the director of national intelligence joseph mcguire have been publicly silent as donald trump jr. tweeted a name that is purported to be the whistle-blower's identity by right-wing news organizations. nbc news is not naming the whistle-blower until the whistle-blower goes public because of safety concerns. mark, a recently retired cia senior intelligence service officer who oversaw operations in europe and russia. mark, you know, in the movie
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which is the only place most of us interact with cia agents, the head of the agency would be sticking up for their people. it is odd that the one thing we know about the whistle-blower, we believe to know is that this person is or was a cia employee. why nothing from the boss? >> so, ali, first of all, it's good to be here and i think you have to look at this in the context of we're watching a graduate school, graduate level class on leadership that kind of spans across various united states government national security agencies. so we've already seen kind of the failure of secretary of state pompeo and secretary of defense esper not protecting their personnel under withering partisan attacks. so that's really the course of action that you wouldn't choose. when it comes to the intelligence community, now it's kind of their turn, you know, in the barrel. so you have a whistle-blower in an essence the intelligence community leadership, which is
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of course acting dni chief mcguire and then director of the cia hasball. it's really going to be incumbent on them in some fashion to take a different track. a different course. i think under pompeo's and espers failed. we don't want to see this in the intelligence community. let me give you kind of a scenario that i think it would work in terms of showing support because ultimately under the statute, i think it's going to be incumbent on mcguire to say very clearly that the whistle-blower, the identity should not be revealed. and in addition, you know, he should very publicly and i know he did speak back in september in a hearing but it's november 7th. it's a long time ago. >> and it's -- it's trickling out. the fact is, people are doing this now. and there's real danger in this politicized climate, we know that people do crazy things. so it's not just the intimidation, which is sort of a message to everybody else who might be a whistle-blower. don't do this or we'll come after you. but this person could face real
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danger. >> and that's where i think, you know, a public statement. when i say public statement, it's not necessarily for the media. i think mcguire has to talk to all the intelligence community personnel and very clearly say two things. one is that we're going to protect the identity. you know, it's also clear that the whistle-blower has, you know, outstanding legal representation and that's something that the rank and file will be looking to. and then the final point is there will be kind of physical security protection. but there is another piece of this too and i think you have to -- it's more nuanced with -- with director hasball. now, she can't necessarily come out and defend the whistle-blower because that almost acknowledges his or her affiliation and, you know, i don't know the affiliation, i don't know the name. and so that's almost irrelevant. but what i think she can do is that she really has, and we've seen this especially when i was there, she has a fairly productive relationship with the white house. i think, you know, she is seen as non-partisan. she has given the president very candid advice. so i think it's very possible and i think it's likely she will tell, in private, the president to have him and his allies back
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off. you know, at the end of the day, this is kind of a seminal moment in the leadership of both mcguire and hasball. >> so you can, without defending the whistle-blower's actions or arguing that you think they did the right thing, you can defend the process by which a whistle-blower comes through. and i would imagine that hasball and all intelligence leaders should be able to subscribe to the idea that there should be a process by which people who see wrongdoing should be able to report it. >> that's right. and that's, you know, that's critical to uphold that. now, look at the end of the day, if -- if, you know, this entire process falls apart and it looks like, you know, it certainly might be. what would the recourse be for someone who did have some kind of problem? you know, the traditional whistle-blower channels are very important. you know, what would you want them to do? you know, perhaps the media would like if they came to the media. but there's counterintelligence concerns, as well. so the whistle-blower statute, it's really important to protect them. >> you make an important point,
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mark. you can't just have people go to the media with everything. intelligence officials may say that wouldn't be a safe way of doing this for people involved or for national intelligence purposes. so if they don't have a process, it's not like normal people who can go to the media if something is wrong in their company. i if it's a major corporation. >> that's right. absolutely. this is a tried and true process and we've seen it work in the past. so it's critical for this to continue as well. and look, i can't stress enough, all eyes are on both mcguire and hasball right now. look, i think they're going to do the right thing. so while i've talked about, you know, secretary pompeo and secretary esper, i think both mcguire and hasball will go forward. director hasball is someone who is a career cia officer. she does have the support of the rank and file. and, you know, most importantly, i think she's, you know, as we call it dancing through the raindrops. she's somehow forged a productive relationship with the white house while also keeping the agency healthy and in stata. so i expect her to do the right thing here. interesting point, again as we take a look across the
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government, that would be very unlike some of her states in defense. >> mark is a former senior intelligence officer with the cia. served more than 26 years with the federal government. up next, democratic presidential candidate tom steyer reportedly offered campaign contributions to a local politician in iowa in exchange for their endorsement. and we'll continue to pore through the transcript of george kent. you're watching msnbc. f george kent you're watching msnbc. with rheumatoid arthritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr, a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz can lower your ability to fight infections like tb; don't start xeljanz if you have an infection. taking a higher than recommended dose of xeljanz for ra can increase risk of death. serious, sometimes fatal infections, cancers including lymphoma, and blood clots have happened.
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steyer is accused of trying to exchange money for endorsements. but nbc news confirms the campaign says it was just a miscommunication. a top aide for tom steyer in iowa, pat murphy, is accused of privately offering campaign contributions to local politicians in exchange for endorsing steyer's 2020 white house bid. now, there's no evidence that lawmakers accepted any offer or received any funds from steyer's campaign. murphy released a statement saying in part as a former legislator, i know how tricky the endorsement process can be for folks in iowa. it was never my intention to make my former colleagues uncomfortable and i apologize for any miscommunication on my part. steyer's campaign has also
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released a statement which it has said tom has not made any individual contributions to candidates in iowa this year and he will not be making any contributions. our campaign policy is clear that we will not engage in this kind of activity and anyone who does is not speaking for the campaign or does not know our policy. end quote. we should note paying for endorsements is not strictly illegal but it could violate campaign finance laws if the payments are not disclosed. nbc news 2020 campaign embed my friend is in iowa and joins me in the latest. maura, what is the story all about? >> hey. so pointing out the aide in question is actually the former speaker of the state house here in iowa. so he knows how the state works. in that statement, he said he apologized for the miscommunication but he did not explicitly deny that he offered any campaign money or any money to local legislators for their endorsement of tom steyer. it's tbd where his status stands
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with the campaign now. but the campaign tells me that they've reiterated this policy that you just read to murphy. i also spoke with the former state rep roger thomas. he's the only iowa legislator that has endorsed steyer here. and he told me, he said i can positively assure you that i did not receive any compensation from mr. steyer or anyone involved in his campaign. he also confirmed that he did not receive an offer for any compensation for this endorsement. ali. >> all right. there was another issue a couple days ago with a steyer campaign staffer downloading something from a computer that was the property of another presidential campaign. i think the kamala harris campaign? >> right. you're right. it's not been the best week for the steyer campaign. we can definitely say that. so in south carolina, one of the staffers on steyer's state team there formerly worked for the south carolina democratic party. he says because of a glitch in the system when he was downloading volunteer data, he meant to download steyer's. he accidentally downloaded
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harris's. the state party says that wasn't the case and that it was intentional. anyway, despite all this back and forth, he ended up resigning from the campaign. tom steyer personally called kamala harris to apologize. then we saw the next day the harris campaign actually sending fundraising e-mails to raise money off this incident. so not the best week for tom steyer's campaign. of course, after we've seen lots and lots of criticism from various kacandidates. and i think lots of candidates are wanting to be on that -- that national stage. so that's kind of the status of where we're at with the steyer campaign here. >> good to see you, my friend. mara in des moines, iowa for us. at the start of the hour, we got transcripts. remember, kent is a career official at the state department serving as deputy assistant secretary who expressed concerns with the administration's ukraine policy.
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he said he told a co-worker who was asking about the situation this, quote, if you're asking me, have we ever gone to the ukrainians and asked them to investigate or prosecute individuals for political reasons? the answer is, i hope we haven't and we shouldn't because that goes against everything that we are trying to promote in post-soviet states for the last 28 years, which is promotion of the rule of law. end quote. back with me now, nbc's garrett haake who has been digging through the latest transcript. garrett, what stands out to you here? >> ali, i think there are four main things that kent is going to do for democrats as they pursue this impeachment case here. first, he further outlines the role of rudy giuliani in ukraine. he says he was almost unmissable in ukraine in the spring. he was running around giving interviews. he was with his two now indicted associates calling for additional investigations. bad-mouthing ambassador yovanovitch. all of which was the first thing that raised george kent's antenna here that there might be something strange going on. then over the course of the
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summer, he talks about this secondary channel that gets set up between secretary perry, kurt volker, and ambassador sondland who basically come into ukraine and say we're going to call the shots now. this is alarming to kent and he describes a number of ways in which he sees them edging out regular ukraine policy. he describes something that i'll sort of just say is almost like kurt volker getting pulled to the dark side here. volker starts engaging with rudy giuliani because volker thinks he can manage this problem. that's something that kent and taylor, who he's clearly allied with, disagree with. then in august, before he is fully read in on the transcript or the notes about the phone call later released by the white house. so a month after the phone call happens but before he's fully briefed on it, kent decide he's essentially had enough. and he raises a flag of his own. writes a memo and says that he's concerned there is an effort to initiate politically-motivated prosecutions that were injurious to the rule of law, both ukraine and u.s. so he starts to raise
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that flag before even knowing about this -- the full details of this conversation between the president of the united states and the president of ukraine. and then the last thing is stuff that's all happened since the investigation starts. he takes issue in his deposition with the way that the state department handled their quest for his testimony. and the request for documents and other information that he has. that's important because that might go in that other bucket that democrats are trying to develop. possibly, another article of impeachment related to obstruction. kent really was displeased with the way the state department characterized congress's bullying state department officials. he says, look, i'm a state department official. i wasn't bullied by congress. i was upset by the way the state department described this. i wanted to come and testify. so some really interesting material here and it's so clear in reading this why he will sit side by side with bill taylor. the two really buttress each other. they were clearly allies in how they were dealing with issues in ukraine at the time and they have a similar view of the situation. one from on the ground in
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ukraine, that's taylor. and kent today managing the situation from washington and watching control of ukraine policy get pulled out of his hands and into this other group. sondland and volker and giuliani who had been watching develop power with the president and in foreign policy since the spring. >> i think the comment that was interesting. george kent presents this differently and that is that he felt it was incorrect to do this in ukraine. not just because it was incorrect but very specifically that the u.s. efforts in ukraine, a country that is at war with an adversary in russia, this just was counterproductive to the type of work that the united states has been trying to do in eastern europe. >> right. i mean, this is somebody who has spent his career dealing with eastern europe. the former soviet states. and he talks about how u.s. policy since, you know, the late '80s, early '90s has been to develop institutions in these countries. to develop the rule of law in countries that not only didn't have them but weren't countries until the soviet union fell
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apart. so all this time, u.s. has encouraged countries like ukraine to develop their institutions. develop their courts. develop how they prosecute. and not to pursue politically-minded investigations, which has been almost a tradition in ukraine where the one regime would come in and investigate their former rivals. he has spent his career trying to steer these former soviet republics away from that kind of behavior. and here he describes them being steered right back towards it by rudy giuliani and his allies within the administration. >> all right. garrett, thanks very much. let you go back to parsing through the document. garrett haake on capitol hill for us. coming up, senator chris van holland joins me. you are watching msnbc. d joins e you are watching msnbc i didn't have to call and i didn't have to come get you. because you didn't have another heart attack. not today. you took our conversation about your chronic coronary artery disease to heart. even with a stent procedure,
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tell your doctor if you've had mental health problems. the most common side effect is nausea. quit smoking slow turkey. talk to your doctor about chantix. accountability organization is now looking -- office -- is now looking into whether president trump's decision to put a hold on military assistance to ukraine violated federal appropriations law. the wall street journal reports the investigation follows a question from maryland democratic senator chris van hollen about whether the administration's failure to inform congress about the hold violated legal notification requirements. senator van hollen joins me now. senator, thank you for joining us. one of the comments i've seen, the observations that i've seen coming from your republican colleagues in the senate and the house is that there's no law broken here. nothing is illegal. i think something that came out in george kent's deposition, the
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transcript here is interesting. and it is the discussion about somebody from the office in management and budget telling the state department that this money is being held up. congress approved that money. and congress was not given a reasonable explanation as to why there was a hold on this money. that's what you're taking issue with. >> well, that's right. there are different pieces to this, ali. one is just violations of the appropriations process. gao issued opinion back in 2018 saying that presidents could not arbitrarily impound money or essentially run out the clock on moneys like the ukraine moneys that had been dually appropriated by the congress. so we've asked them to look into that question about whether or not there was a violation of the appropriations process. that, of course, is separate from the gross abuse of power that we see when the president essentially used the withholding
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of important military assistance to ukraine to essentially coerce them, pressure them into interfering in our elections on our behalf. so two distinct issues but both important ones. >> what's the consequence of it being illegal, if that's what the gao determines? >> well, that's one of the problems. there's been no enforcement mechanism over the years. in fact, just in the budget committee yesterday, we were working on a piece of budget process legislation. i offered an amendment that was accepted that it would at least create some enforcement mechanism. essentially, penalize folks who were withholding money illegally after it's been appropriated by the congress. so we're trying to put in a penalty. but that does not exist right now, which is why this has been a back and forth over many years between congress and the executive branch. we want to settle this very clearly. the gao, as i said, had
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previously issued their legal opinion that presidents could not run out the clock. and illegally impound money that had been appropriated by congress. >> while we're talking about appropriations, donald trump earlier this week seemed to dangle the possibility of a government shutdown related to appropriations but having to do with the impeachment. let's just listen together. >> there is a genuine concern democrats believe that you will hold up funding for the government because you're so upset about impeachment. is that something that could be a possibility? >> i don't think they believe that at all. it depends on the negotiation. i wouldn't commit to anything. it depends on what the negotiation is. >> you're a member of the appropriations committee. is there any chance of -- of government activity becoming a part of this conversation? >> well, we're very nervous that president trump will try and shut down the government, as he
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did earlier this year back in march. i would just remind people that back then, we actually had what we thought was an agreement. we had an agreement between republicans and democrats in the house and the senate. republicans, including senator mcconnell, thought that president trump had signed off on it. but once we passed it here, the president pulled the rug out from everybody and shut down the government. so when you're dealing with a president who is so erratic and unstable in many ways, that is always a risk. now, if you left this process to members of congress, democrats and republicans, i'm confident that we could get it done. there are negotiations going on right now between the house and the senate. but the best way to avoid a government shutdown is to keep president trump out of this discussion. obviously, ultimately, he has to sign the bill. but let's see how much progress we can make ourselves.
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>> senator, let's just talk about a plan that you have unveiled along with senator sharon brown of ohio and congressman don buyer of virginia. a proposal that would put a surtax on the richest people in the country. here's how it would work. under the plan, married couples with incomes over $2 million and individuals with income over $1 million would be subject to an additional 10% surtax. the aim here is to bring in $635 billion over ten years. what's the point here? >> well, the point here is to ask the very wealthiest americans to do more to invest in the success of the rest of the country. we need to increase our investments in things like education. early education, k through 12, deal with college affordability. make sure we do not cut medicare and medicaid, like republicans have proposed. and i can think of no better way to do this than ask those who
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are doing extremely well, we're talking about 0.2% of american households. right? so 98 -- excuse me -- 99.8% of t taxpayers will not pay an additional dime. >> yep. >> but we think it's important that we move our country forward. that we make these important investments. and we're asking those who have the most to do more for everybody else in the country. the idea is to raise wages and close the income gap. do it by making these important investments so everybody can succeed. >> so where do you fall in the various other proposals that are out there? congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez has suggested a higher marginal tax rate on high earners. elizabeth warren has her proposals. bernie sanders has his proposals. where does this fit into that larger discussion? >> well, this would effectively be a higher marginal tax rate on
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individuals who earn more than $1 million a year or couples that earn more than $2 million a year. right? it's a surtax, right? so if you're currently paying 37%, you would be paying 47%. one of the important features of this proposal is that we're not just covering income generated by work but we're generating income by asking people who make money off of money to also contribute. so you'd have a 10% surtax on that investment income. right now, very wealthy people make a lot of money off their money and we don't see any reason why people who earn a paycheck should be penalized relative to them. so that's why this proposal has a 10% surtax on millionaires. on their additional income, including income from investment sources. >> senator, good to talk to you. thank you for joining me. senator chris van hollen of maryland who is a member of the budget and appropriations
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committee. all right. coming up, my very frank conversation with a group of wisconsin gun owners on where they draw the line between gun control and their gun rights. plus, a look at whether the democrats focus on winning back the vote of white working class men is misdirected. and they should be instead looking to women of color. but first, a judge ordered president trump to pay $2 million for using his trump foundation charity to further his 2016 presidential campaign. in response to the judge's ruling, a spokesperson for the foundation said that in addition to paying the $2 million judgment, the trump foundation will donate an additional $2 million to a number of quote, worthy organizations. we will be right back. organizas we wilbel right back. i was on the fence about changing from a manual to an electric toothbrush. but my hygienist said going electric could lead to way cleaner teeth. she said, get the one inspired by dentists, with a round brush head. go pro with oral-b. oral-b's gentle rounded brush head removes more plaque along the gum line. for cleaner teeth and healthier gums. and unlike sonicare, oral-b is the first electric toothbrush brand
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there have been calls for new gun control laws in the wake of mass shootings in el paso, texas, dayton, ohio, virginia beach, virginia, and other parts of the country. this afternoon, gun control advocates are rallying at the wisconsin state capitol in madison. they called on lawmakers to use a special session called by governor tony evers to take up bills mandating universal background checks and allowing judges to temporarily seize guns from people who pose a threat. otherwise, known as red flag laws. i recently traveled to wisconsin and sat down with eight gun owners. some of them only own one rifle. one man owns 100 guns. but all of them have opinions about what should be done about guns in america. we traveled to southeastern wisconsin and assembled a panel
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of eight gun owners. men, women, democrats, republicans. ranging in age from 19 to 67. among them, a retired police officer, current school superintendent, and a nursing home activities director. all with differing opinions. >> who here thinks we need changes in laws? >> why? why do we need changes in laws? that's silly. >> i think there needs to be some changes from the universal background check and i know there was a ten-year ban on assault rifles. i don't know why we need those guns. if people want to shoot them, maybe there's a range where they can go and they can check out the gun, shoot them, enjoy that. >> larry, you have month than a hundred guns. talk to me about that because that seems unusual to me. >> i shoot a lot of target shooting, shoot competitively, shoot for sports, for hunting. each one requires a different
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firearm. >> brian, how many guns do you have? >> nine? >> for what? >> hunting, home defense, and just for fun. >> bob, what do you think about people who think that the issue is too many guns? too many people with too many guns? >> you know, the amount of guns i don't think is the problem. i think if you are using them for what they are intended for, it's no problem. i think it's that people don't care anymore. >> let's talk about red flag laws. who thinks that they're a good idea? >> i do to a point. >> talk to me about that. >> it really comes down to the person who's going to be calling yo in say, hey, this person's talking about robbing something or doing a mass shooting or committing harm to him or herself. i can see a point of law enforcement stepping in. >> do you think that if well executed, these red flag laws, would that be something you would support? >> if you had red flag laws, if
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the individual is calling wolf, as long as there is some pretty severe consequences for somebody that goes through that motion, and then whatever the legal expense and everything for that person to get riz rights back are paid by that person. i could accept that to some level. >> it's kind of scary. like, you know somebody that has mental illness and they have a gun. what are they capable of? so i think i could get behind it. >> talk to me about how you thought about that problem. guns and safety in schools. do you think about this issue about school shootings? >> i think it'd be good like if they did every six months' training or every year training for teachers. put guns in their hands. >> putting guns in teachers' hands scares me because i have teachers that don't want to use the epi pen if they had to. and now we're going to ask them to carry a gun and potentially what they do with that gun could affect their whole life, right? they could shoot a student by accident. >> we need to do something more than what we are doing now.
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i know everybody doesn't like the idea of firearms in schools. but a trained professional. something to take that temptation away. if i decide i'm going to go on a mass shooting, i'm going to go someplace where i know they're not going to shoot back at me. >> so you're not worried about more people having guns, that's not a concern for anybody here? >> as long as they are trained and go through hunter safety or something like that, no. >> i want to talk to you about the decision that some companies have made. walmart, dick's, in the wake of shootings at their properties or with weapons that have been bought from them. what do you all think of that? >> walmart stopped selling them, you can gee to fleet farm. it's the same people that want to get them and will get them. they're still going to get them. >> so now this is their way out to say we can be the hero, we are going to get rid of all this stuff. >> they still sell alcohol. [ laughter ] >> culturally there's a shift, right? big companies are saying, look, we are not going to support
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this. it may not stop things, but we got to do something. it's little pieces that may have a bigger impact at some point. >> let me ask you about a proposal that's been floated out there by a presidential candidate or more about gun buybacks. who thinks that's a good idea? [ laughter ] >> if they're willing to pay me a million bucks. >> let me ask you about the election. how big an issue for all of you is this? if this is in your top three, put up your hand? okay. is anybody's top one? >> as far as? >> the thing that would most determine who you vote for. >> oh, yeah. don't mess with my rights to protect my family by trying to take away my firearms. >> that's my discussion with eight gun owners in wisconsin. it was a much longer discussion, but it was very enjoyable.
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all right. while different wings of the democratic party feud over how to beat donald trump in 2020, one organization is making the argument that the real key to success is increasing support for women of color. this organization seeks to mobilize women of color. the group argues that higher turnout from women in color in critical states like michigan, wisconsin, and pennsylvania, could build a firewall to stop president trump in 2020. joining me now amy alison who is the founder of she the people. she also serves as the president of democracy in color, an organization that focuses on racial justice. amy, thank you for being with me. >> thanks for having me. >> amy, what does success look like for your group? >> success looks like elevating the turnout of women of color who are one of four voters in battleground states. frankly, the democrats in general cannot win the white house without the high turnout of women of color. so our strategy is to build a
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massive network of a million women of color focusing on the states that you mentioned along with georgia, arizona, florida, and texas. and with a massive voter engagement effort over 12 months, we can elevate the turnout of women of color and deliver those states. we could have a situation like 2016 where the democrats win the popular vote and lose electoral votes. and so really it's going to come down to those seven states if the democrats are going to be successful or not. >> talk to me about the greatest impediment to engaging women of color to the extent that they will vote or run and the area in which you have the greatest success. >> so much of our work has been in making the political power of black women, asian-american women, latinas visible to the democrats because, frankly, although they are the most likely voters to vote for democrats, until after the losses in 2016, they were never
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really acknowledged campaign to engaged particularly. so the biggest impediment is ignoring the communities and our issues and making some assumptions about how we'll show up, how many of us will show up. and that's been really deadly for democrats trying to win in states like michigan where they missed the mark by about 10,000 votes. the biggest impediment is awareness. it's also trying to come to voters too late. you know, it's 12 months out. this week marks 12 months into the big election next year. and we're not waiting for the old playbook where you come to communities of women of color six, eight weeks before election day. we are engaging now because we know just like with the midterms when women of color's turnout is higher, it was 37% higher just last year. democrats won incredible victories, that's possible, but it's going to take a year to make that happy. >> there is another group called
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american bridge, which is embarking on a $50 million effort to soften donald trump's support or increase democratic support among white working-class voters in the mid-est. they say we understand that we may not win these voters back entirely, but if we don't make inroads into these areas, the senate could be lost for a decade. they're making the very same point you are about getting specific blocks of voters. is that counter to the work you are doing or is it a both? in other words, do democrats, can they hold both thoughts at the same time that they've got to do well amongst white working-class voters in the midwest and women of color in these swing states? >> what was very important to note is the operative phrase for that group is we understand we may not win those voters. women of color are six times more likely to vote for democrats than white men. and the truth is the best bet investment in time is to center on women of color who are most
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likely to be progressives, most likely to vote for democrats. so my argument is if you've got $50 million, put your bet on those who -- you don't have to convince you have to change their mind about their politics. you just have to organize, inspire, and get them to the polls. and that is what democrats should be 100% focused on. it's not that white voters aren't important. it's that we have the numbers to win in battleground states and to win the electoral college votes. but we have to invest deeply in those most likely to carry that vote. and the democratic party has historically underinvested in women of color. and that's been to their own detriment. and it's time to turn things around. we got a year to do it. >> aimee, thank you for joining me. she is the founder of she the people and the president of democracy in color. before we go, let's have a quick check of the markets as the trading winds down for the day. stocks rallied to record highs today after the world's two
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largest economies, the u.s. and china, reportedly agreed to remove existing trade tariffs. although they said that it's heading toward the first phase of it. we don't really know what that phase is. but we'll keep an eye on it. markets are off their highs, but we will have new records on all three indices. that wraps up the hour for me. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace begins right now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. brand-new transcripts out in the last hour from one of the witnesses in the impeachment probe who painted with explicit detail the jarring and disturbing picture of a foreign policy process hijacked by the president's political allies. george kent, a senior state department official in charge of ukraine policy testified about being sidelined by acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney in favor of the three amigos. that would be gordon sondland, the ambassador to the e.u., energy secretary rick perry, and kurt volker, special envoy to


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