tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC April 4, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
today. >> this is for "andrea mitchell reports." >> and i need those hugs. right now -- mission accomplished? the president argued with his own military leaders about withdrawing u.s. troops from syria. reluctantly agreed with the top brass to stay a little while longer, this after causing a national security scramble with his comments on tuesday. >> i want to get out. i want to bring our troops back home. i want to start rebuilding our nation. think of it -- $7 trillion over 17-year period, we have nothing. nothing. except death and destruction. it's a horrible thing. so it's time. it's time. inside the mueller probe. robert mueller says the president is not a criminal target in the russia probe but is a subject. critics say this may be to lure him into an interview with the special counsel. >> he is now considered a "subject," not a "criminal target." but somewhere if the middle, that means, in brief, someone
whose intent is not necessarily known. and 50 years later, marking a half century since dr. martin luther king jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the lorraine motel in memphis as the march for civil rights continues and an eyewitness speaks out for the first time with lester holt. >> he had the most pleasant expression on his face. his eyes were open. and, you know, the night before he had seen the mountaintop. >> and i've seen the promised land. i may not get there with you, but i wantou to know the night that we as a people will get to the promised land. good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. nbc news has learned that president trump agreed to stay in syria a while longer,
reluctantly. but he was angry when his military advisors argued against what he had told the world earlier in the day, that he wants out of syria, thinks the mission is all but accomplished. >> as far as syria's concerned, our primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of isis. we've almost completed that task. so it's time. it's time. we were very successful against isis. will be successful against anybody militarily. but sometimes it's time to come back home. and we're thinking about that very seriously. >> even as the top general in charge of the war was saying across town that there is a lot more to do. >> a lot of very good military progress made over the last couple years. but again the hard part i think is in front of us and that is stabilizing these areas, consolidating our gains, getting people back into their homes,
addressing the long-term issues of reconstruction. >> joining me now is nbc's kristen welker at the white house. nbc's national security and military reporter, courtney kube at the pentagon and barry mccaffrey, a refired four-star general joining us from seattle. kristen, first let's look at this statement from the press secretary sarah huckabee sanders that was released about an hour ago is so extraordinarily -- i guess altered by the president's -- reflecting the president's anger at this saying the military mission to eradicate isis in syria is coming to a rapid end with isis being almost completely destroyed, that in itself contradict being the military comments. the united states and our partners will tip to consult with our allies and friends regarding future plans.
kristen, how do you square the circle? it seems to be from carol lee and courtney's reporting, and your reporting, that the national security team had to scramble after the president said we're getting out. >> they did. they had to convince him, andrea, that that wasn't the best course of action, that it ultimately could leave a vacuum in syria. yesterday during the press conference, it was echoed by the statement of sarah sanders, the narrative that isis is almost defeated. military analysts, experts and the national security team essentially arguing that, look, the united states still needs to have a presence there to not only finish the job, but to make sure that isis doesn't come back in stronger form. this is also notable, andrea, remember as a candidate, president trump was very clear,
he never wanted to show his hands on what he wanted to do militarily. now in fact he's doing exactly that, effectively saying that he wants to leave syria as soon as possible. during the campaign as well, though, he also did argue for less u.s. engagement in some of these -- what he would see as foreign wars. so it is not entirely at odds with that candidate trump that we met on the campaign trail. but again, andrea, really pitting the president against his own military advisors and own top officials on this very critical issue. >> courtney, you were talking to the director of national intelligence on the record today. what dan coats was saying about the facts that there was going to be a statement from the white house. now the statement from the white house seems to be altering reality to reflect the president's reluctance and at his own military commanders over this. >> yeah. i was surprised this morning at this meeting, this breakfast with reporters, with director of national intelligence dan coats. he said that in fact there had
been a significant -- his word -- meeti ining at the whit house about syria and a question had been made about whether the u.s. military would stay or not. we know a little bit more about that decision since the discussion with dan coats this morning. it seems what president trump agreed to -- and reluctantly, as you said in the open, but that he agreed to keep u.s. troops there to continue to get rid ever the physical presence of u sis. i think that's the distinction here. kristen really hit the nail on the head that once the actual presence of isis is gone, that doesn't mean that they are defeated. it means there is still the potential for a vacuum. and when you look at the other actors that are already in syria, that's iran, that's russia, that's hezbollah, that's a pretty frightening prospect. but what we do know is that president trump has said he's willing to let the u.s. military stay to continue to fight this little pocket of isis that
exists in sort of the middle lower euphrates river valley right near the border in eastern syria near the border with iraq. the problem is, many isis fighters -- we don't even know how many. if it is in the hundreds, potentially the thousands -- have gone underground already. despite the fact, one, that their land has been taken away, there will still be isis fighters, certainly in syria and certainly in the region. that's the big question -- what happens next. >> general mccaffrey, i want to just show all of us, our viewers, what happens next. because if there is a vacuum to be filled, if u.s. troops withdraw precipitously, look at what happened today in ankara, turkey. you have rouhani, putin and erdogan all at a joint newser today. that's the scene. if we can take a closer shot and look at the three of them sitting there. the fact is the russians and the iranians are the powers remaining there and the syrian kurds who have been our allies
on the ground? they are the enemies of erdogan. so they are also getting wiped out. general mccaffrey? >> well, look. i think you just made the most important comment. if we pull out now, we are ceding the ground to a minority shia government of assad, which has exploited and terrorized the huge nation of syria, mostly sunni-arab. we're abandoning our kurdish allies who suffered some 4,000 killed, while helping us kill 60,000 isis fighters. we're also leaving a revolutionary guard and a russian armed forces as the dominant force on the ground. so it doesn't make any sense, this short step from achieving some form of stability, to pull out. >> how do you explain the president's reluctance, his desire to pull out -- we understand that that reflects
his positions about iraq and about other military vochl involvements overtseas. but he seems to be flying in the face of general mattis and other military advisors and the way the white house framed this statement today, the mission to eradicate isis is coming to a rapid end. that's not what he's getting from the intelligence brief. >> i think that's right. it was an impulsive comment. i think it finds a sympathetic ear many among americans. we've been there a long time. this war on terror, we've had 60,000 u.s. killed and wounded. we spent $1 trillion. there is a reluctance to remained mired down in what are very complex contending factions. you need a scorecard to understand who's fighting who in syria in particular. but at the end of the day, look, we have to understand we have vital national security interests at stake here. we have a very small footprint
on the ground. a couple thousand u.s. forces in syria. 8,000 or 9,000 in iraq. 8,000 or 9,000 in afghanistan. significant naval and air power presence in the region. we can't solve this problem. we sure don't want it to get worse. that's why general votel basically said, look, we've got some hard work ahead of us. >> i want to ask while we have you and just reflect with all of you on the president's other statement about sending u.s. troops to the southern border, the mexicans are demanding an explanation, they're really upset. what is the point of doing that now? not that it is unprecedented, but why now? is it to try to offset criticism that he hasn't built the wall? general mccaffrey, what's the military imperative for sending u.s. troops to the southern border? >> look, i've been working on the u.s.-mexican border issue for 15 years now. we've always had some national guard presence supporting the border patrol, i.c.e., customs
agents, et cetera, engineers, surveillance assets, et cetera. as a general statement, we do not want the u.s. armed forces, which are structured and trained, to destroy enemy units, to avert to a law enforcement mission. we absolutely don't want them collecting evidence or detaining people. we don't want them with an armed presence on the border. so -- by the way, there's no money in the department of defense budget to do significant enhancements of the border. we do have a problem. 300,000 people apprehended illegally crossing the border. we need law enforcement institutions of the size and funding to deal with this issue. >> barry mccaffrey, courtney kube, kristen welker, thank you all. markets have been bouncing around on wall street earlier,
right now the dow is down -- i guess around 60 points, reacting to china announcing it is slapping tariffs on $50 billion of u.s. goods retaliating for president trump's tariffs on chinese exports, all sparking real fears of a trade war, an economic threat that commerce secretary wilbur ross tried to brush off today on cnbc. >> think about it. even shooting wars end with negotiations. somebody sends a treaty with someone else. it has whatever terms it has. so it wouldn't be surprising at all if the net outcome of all this is some sort of a negotiation. >> joining me now, cnbc's john harwood. the markets may have stabilized temporarily because larry kudlow came out to the lawn and tried to calm things down. one of his first -- maybe his first public comments since becoming economic advisor. so thank goodness that somebody who understands the markets and trade wars is actually in there right now.
but john harwood, the politics of all of this seems to be driving the president rather than the economics. >> well, this is a president who is looking at a very difficult mid-term election. the one thing -- the one play he knows and likes to call repeatedly is things that reinforce his base. so in that base slapping tariffs on china, say he's getting tough with them -- >> and china's misbehaved, will is no question about that. >> no question. is of a piece of him saying the democrats messed up my wall, i'm sending troops to the border. it is consistent with saying i want the troops to come home because i want to rebuild the country. he's trying to give those white working class supporters of his who he said he was going to focus on them, trying to demonstrate that he is focusing on them. the problem is, markets have an ear with the powerful forces -- business forces in the republican party. that creates a lot of pushback. larry kudlow came out and said, you know what? these tariffs may never take
effect. >> the consumer products that would be affected by this, i don't think the president -- or some of his advisors, lighthizer, wilbur ross and others, realize their base is much affected by propane, whiskey, cornflour, beef, a lot of things we get from china. >> yes, china cheats and they are a behemoth. yes, amazon is a behemoth and they've cut themselves a good deal with the postal service. but the lower prices amazon gives you like the lower prices china gives you are what makes the lives of millions and millions of americans better. they may impact small numbers of people that deal with trade. as you know, is that a small number of jobs get lost and a lot of people get a smaller benefit than that. so if you're one of the people who lost their jobs, it is a catastrophe. if you're the rest of country, you think, this cheap stuff is good but you don't feel it as
strongly as the people who lost their jobs. >> the politics of trade. we're going to see a lot more of that, john harwood. >> you bet. >> thank you so much. coming up, the russia investigation. president remains in robert mueller's sights. exclusive reporting from "the washington post." you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. whether it's a big thing, small thing, or something unexpected, pnc will be right there when you need us. because when it comes to your finances, if you focus on today, tomorrow has a way of working itself out. if you focus on today, if yor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough, it may be time for a change. ask your doctor about entyvio, the only biologic developed
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that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. at this point in the investigation, it is believed that the suspect was upset with policies and practices of youtube. this appears to be the motive for this incident.
i'd very much like to thank and recognize the numerous local and federal agencies -- new details on the youtube shooting at the campus in san bruno, california. the gunwoman took her own life. she regularly posted videos on youtube and been complaining on social media that youtube was suppressing those videos. nbc correspondent steve patterson joins me now. steve, this is an extraordinary -- unprecedented attack on youtube and what more do we know about her motive. >> it is -- and police are still combing through social media, executing search warrants to try to narrow down and nail down that moment, although they just said, as you just saw in that press conference, that they believe that this is anger directed at the policies and practices of youtube that she was angry about. not anybody particularly inside the headquarters building behind
me where those shots were fired but actually aimed at the product of youtube itself. as we've been mentioning all morning, she was a prolific poster on youtube, posted about veganism, posted about animal rights. had multiple accounts where she posted dozens of videos. and as of late, she had felt like youtube was clamping down on her page views, suppressing her free speech, and so she had been using youtube as of late to sort of demonstrate against the company rather than expose her views and sort of express the way she had been before. her family had warned at some level, at some agency level, that she was angry at youtube and that she could be taking a road trip from southern cal up to the bay area to headquarters. whether or not that tip was acted upon, we're not sure at this point. police did say that they are looking at that as possible evidence leading to this
shooting. again, looking through -- combing through evidence that they've collected at the scene. the scene's now been released back to youtube. we've seen employees walking in and out of buildings on the surrounding campus. some good news that's recently come out, of those three shooting victims, not including obviously the apparent suicide from the suspected shooter, two of those victims have been treated and released from the hospital. one male victim remains in critical condition at the hospital at this point. but police, again, still sorting through the evidence they've collected to try to nail down the motive, although they do believe it is this anger directed at youtube itself, again not anybody inside the building that was working that day when those shots rang out. >> steve patterson, thank you so much from youtube headquarters in san bruno just outside san francisco. coming up, inside the russia investigation. a "washington post" exclusive about what robert mueller is up to next on "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us. patrick woke up with a sore back.
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"washington post" reporting that mueller told the president's lawyers last month he is under investigation as a "subject" of the russia probe, but not considered a "criminal target." not at this point. although former prosecutors say that can quickly change. the move could signal mueller is ramping up pressure to try to get a face to face interview with the president. joining me now, msnbc political analyst philip rucker and "washington post" white house bureau chief, part of the team that broke this story, eugene robinson. phil, your big scoop last night, your team, tell me what you think is the significance, as we've been looking through all of your reporting from you and carol and the rest. >> so the significance here is that the special counsel's team has conveyed to president trump's lawyers that he is not, as of this moment, at least, a target of this investigation. rather, he is a subject of the
investigation, meaning his actions that he's taken are under review as part of the broader russia probe but that there is not enough evidence that the special counsel's team has as of right now to bring charges against him as a target of the investigation. this may be interpreted -- and has been interpreted, frankly, by some of the president's advisors as a way to almost bait trump into sitting for that interview that we know he wants to do with mueller's team. there's some disagreement on legal team right now about whether the president should sit for the interview. but he is eager to do it, and it assurance from mueller's team that as of now he is a target could be an incentive for trump to come forward and do that interview. but there is fear among some of the legal advisors, according to the reporting of my colleagues that this could be a big of a trick and that if the president were to sit for this interview, he would potentially put himself in greater legal peril based on what he says in that interview. >> we all know that the president has his own version, whether it's on twitter or in
person, of some realities. we've seen that. whether that's deliberate or not. his ability to be absolutely straightforward in an interview, even with his lawyer present, even if it is not a grand jury interview, even if they've negotiated some sort of a different venue for him. >> that's right. >> doesn't that create huge perils, where if he says anything wrong he could be in the same jeopardy that bill clinton ended up in? >> yeah, tremendous risk for the president. donald trump, as you know, as i know, as all of our viewers know, is not somebody who always sticks to the facts necessarily. he's prone to exaggerate, he's prone to misstate things. 's prone frankly in some cases to represent absolute falsehoods and to lie. so there is a risk here in sit ig for the interview with mueller. and there is a danger for him legally that if he says something in this interview, he could suddenly turn from being just the subject of this probe to actually being a target. he could provide evidence in that interview. that's one of the reasons that at least some of his lawyers and
legal advisors are urging him strongly not to do this interview with mueller. >> we know that john dowd resigned and maybe, in part, because of this conflict that he wasn't listening to dowd's advice not to sit down with robert mueller. eugene robinson, there is a legal question, a constitutional question, as to whether the president could ever be criminally prosecuted for -- >> exactly. >> -- while in office or for something he did in office. but that doesn't mean that mueller will not be writing a report, which could implicate him in a criminal conspiracy. >> exactly. >> and then that would be a secret report according to the "washington post" news reporting on this. a secret report given to rod rosenstein, who could then decide to make it public. >> right. and who i believe might have some obligation to turn it over to -- >> has an obligation to turn it over to congress. >> right. to congress. both the committee heads and
ranking members. so, look. if there's a report, it is not going to stay private, right? when there is a report. one thing that -- phil rucker was saying and you were saying, one thing we don't quite know, i think, is whether bob mueller thinks a sitting president can be charged. and therefore, could he in any event be a "target," per se, rather than just a "subject." and we don't know if he's drawing an actual semantic difference between subject and target or if there's greater meaning there. we do know that he is being investigated. we know he is the subject of the investigation. >> there is also a disconnect on the subject of russia in general, phil and eugene. this is, in part, what the president had to say about how he's handled vladimir putin so far. here he is with the baltic leaders who are right on the border with russia and feel more threatened than anyone else in nato by russia, their neighbor.
let's watch. >> nobody's been tougher on russia than i have, and you can -- and i know you're nodding, yes, because everyone agrees when they think about it. there's nobody been tougher on russia. and with that being said, i think i could have a very good relationship with president putin. i think. it's possible i won't. and you will know about it, believe me. this room will know about it before i know about it. it's a real possibility that i could have a good relationship. and remember this -- getting along with russia is a good thing. >> and then, just to put an exclamation point on this, h.r. mcmaster in one of his last interviews before he leaves the white house -- or not an interview -- a speech at the
atlantic council. here is what he had to say about russia last night. >> russia brazenly and implausibly denies its actions. and we have failed to impose
sufficient costs. the kremlin's confidence is growing, as its agent cs conduc their sustained campaigns to undermine our confidence in ourselves and in one another. russian aggression is strengthening our resolve and our confidence. we might all help mr. putin understand his grave error. >> it seems that that is
in direct conflict to the president saying he's been tougher on russia than anybody. eugene? >> well, he hasn't been tougher on russia than almost anybody, right? he simply hasn't been. that's simply not true. certainly in the current russia situation. and of course, there was that little matter of the cuban missile crisis. of ronald reagan, tear down this wall. you know, compared to any of that? no. donald trump has -- he won't say a bad word about vladimir putin.
so that's just the fact. but what an extraordinary thing for national security advisor to say on his way out the door. right? that we have not done right thing. >> phil, just quickly, what you're hearing from inside as john bolton takes over. i imagine bolton would disagree with what mcmaster just said. >> i think that's right. bolton based on his public views certainly agrees with the assessment that h.r. mcmaster just gave yesterday at the atlantic council. just to underscore something, the trump administration in recent weeks has become tougher on russia. but the president himself personally has not. he has failed to confront putin in his phone call and in fact congratulated him on an election that the u.s. does not view as a free and fair democratic election. and so his administration officials are taking actions with removing those diplomats with closing the consulate, rather. but not the president. >> phil rucker, thanks so much. eugene robinson, thanks to both
of you. coming up, early exit? president trump's secret battles with his own military over syria. stay with us on msnbc. we just switched to geico and got more. more? they've been saving folks money for over 75 years. a company you can trust. geico even helped us with homeowners insurance. more sounds great. gotta love more... right, honey? yeah! geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more. ♪ with expedia you could book a flight, hotel, car and activity all in one place. ♪
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z540r at your john deere dealer today. years ago, a single chemical weapons attack would have united us in shock and anger. it would have been enough for us to take immediate action. now we have a regime that uses
chemical weapons practically every other week. our lack of action has consequences when we let one regime off the hook, others take notice. >> u.n. ambassador
nikki haley address egg the u.n. security council exactly a year after the syrian regime attacked its own people with chemical weapons killing and injuring hundreds of children. nick rasmussen, welcome to a different team but a lot of the same subjects. it is great to have you here. >> thank you. it is great to be here, andrea. >> there was an extraordinary statement from the white house today saying basically that the war in isis is almost won, they were almost eradicated, we'll just stay there for a short time in syria. that does not reflect the reaction that according to all of our information, military and certainly according to what
general votel said almost at the same time the president was speaking yesterday about a complete withdrawal. >> well, you can certainly understand from the president's perspective why he would want to downsize the commitment that we have on the ground in syria and why there is a tremendous pull to try to pull troops out. yet if you look objectively at the situation we are talking about a situation where there is still a significant isis problem we're dealing with. when you use words like "defeat" and "destroy," it is a pretty high bar to get to in terms of eliminating a terrorist organization. and whatever great progress we've made, i don't think you could say at this point that we have hit that mark yet. >> and in fact, they are there. they may be underground. they will erupt when u.s. troops leave. >> the way i think of it is, they have been displaced from their territorial headquarters very successful, and that does make life difficult for isis. it has been disruptive and they've certainly been degraded. another "d" word.
i'm using lots of "d" words. but that's a long way from being destroyed or having the threat from isis. that's the big thing, having threat eliminated. >> isn't there a risk in declaring victory too soon? >> that's what i worry about. because if you begin the process of taking troops out, if you begin the process of downsizing our presence on the ground, the first thing you lose is intelligence insight, the ability to figure out what's going on, what level of threat we still face, and whether there is a resurgence under way that you might somehow miss. so those are risks you would take on if you moved to quickly to a withdrawal scenario. >> and if we leave as precipitously as the president was indicating -- soon -- at least before he is a down with general mattis yesterday, i understand there was a very angry session at the national security council yesterday. if we withdraw too quickly, who fills that vacuum? >> well, one thing we haven't talked about at all in the course of this brief conversation is al qaeda and
something that wasn't a feature of the conflict several years ago but now is. al qaeda. in many ways the center of gravity for al qaeda's global leadership has begun to shift from afghanistan and pakistan to syria, taking advantage of the conflict, taking advantage of the chaos. and so you're not just dealing with managing an isis problem in syria. you're dealing with managing an al qaeda problem as well. in many ways, al qaeda remains a potent threat with a global agenda and with a large roster of strong, well-connected terrorists with al qaeda connections on the ground in syria looking to do bad things. >> and what about russia? >> and obviously the other downside of pulling out our troops in the near or medium term is that it is just simply going to leave the playing field to other countries who are working against our interests. obviously russia and iran are at the top of that list. if we lose the ability to have some say, some influence in the
ultimate political outcome if syria, that will be to our detriment and we'll probably pay a price for that. >> so russia and iran, and in fact erdogan, turkey, moving against the syrian kurds who have been our allies on the ground. this really hurts the local forces that have been fighting this battle. >> you're absolutely right. and to show one small bit of sympathy for where the president's mind must be at, obviously no one can paint for him a process that takes us to a successful outcome in syria. and so from his perspective, he's wondering is this an indefinite commitment? is this something i'm signed up to for the duration of my presidency? i can see why that is an unacceptable prospect for him. but if you look hard at the threats we're facing, it just may turn out that way. >> nick rasmussen, great to have you here as an nbc news counterterrorism analyst. thank you so much. >> thank you. great to be here. coming up -- the unfinished dream. 50 years after the assassination of dr. martin luther king jr.
"nbc nightly news" anchor lester holt spoke to one woman who witnessed his murder around has never spoken about it before. >> i'm standing there looking up at this great giant in my life, and what sounded like a truck backfiring. but i never took my eyes off of him. i heard somebody say, "get down! get down!" but i saw him being lifted up and thrown back. lester, i can't tell you how my little feet got up to that balcony, but i remember stepping over his body to where the wound was. i checked -- let's take a look at some numbers:
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>> lester, i can't tell you how my little feet got up to that balcony, but i remember stepping over his body to where wound was. i checked for a pulse, which was just literally no beat at all. >> and 50 years later, after dr. martin luther king jr. was killed on that balcony at the lorraine motel in memphis, his death led, of course, to an eruption of violent protests around the country and to soul searching for many americans both in and outside the movement. nbc special news correspondent has more from memphis on dr. king's legacy. >> there was just something about him that made us know that he was headed to great places. >> reporter: after college, king joined his father at ebenezer baptist church as a minister.
when i was a young reporter in atlanta i came here to ebenezer baptist to hear dr. king preach one sunday morning. as he began to soar, his father leaned forward and said, "make it plain, son. make it plain." the reverend rafael warnok is king's current successor in the pulpit here. >> his model was to redeem the soul of america. >> joining me now, more morniar and eleanor holmes-norton, helped organize the march on washington and other events in dr. king's life. welcome, both. >> good morning. >> good morning, mayor morial and to both of you. thinking back, we all remember where we were. you were an organizer in the student non-violent coordinating committee with dr. king. what vernon jordan was remembering there when he said we all knew he was going to be great, they were kids together
in atlanta. they were in the same neighborhood growing up. think back to those days. >> well, we might have thought we were young people but this man, this preacher, was barely older than we were. barely olde we were. we were college students when he was assassinated, and yet his extraordinary leadership, his grav us to made him seem an elder. an elder in the civil rights movement, but as we look back on his life, his vision of social justice was so broad that even after he led in accomplishing the civil rights act, his vision stretched to poverty, to the vietnam war early when most people thought it was all right. his vision was so broad that in a real sense, we are simply remembering today the highlight of it. we're not remembering his entire
vision and some of the sadness that he was not able to accomplish that whole vision. >> in fact, as congresswoman norton just alluded to this those years of '67, he was so controversial. he was going up against lyndon johnson and the vietnam war and an accepted wisdom. and his march with the sanitation workers in memphis was not that popular nationally. . so he really reflected that in his finaler is hon many the night he died that he had seen the mountain top but wouldn't get to the promised land himself. >> i was 10 years old when dr. king was assassinated. i remember the reaction of my mother and father of horror, disbelief and anger. but as you mention, at that point in 1967, dr. king had made two distinct, if you will,
expansions of his message and his work transitioning from civil rights to human rights. it includes the poor people's campaign for economic justice. which was lost in late '67 and early 1968. and his decision exactly one year before his death on april 4th, 1967, at riverside to break with president johnson in. opposition to the war in vietnam, those steps meant that martin luther kick was no longer confining himself to solely racial justice but an expanded effort for human rights. it was at the inception of that work, which the memphis campaign was all about, that he was assassinated. and i think that means that today we have to renew this fire and passion for economic justice. >> that's such an important
reminder. i know you're there and we hear the sound of the memorial service, which has just started this hour there at the museum. so when e we talk about his legacy, it's the unfinished business, how he was in transition, we see him now as the great monument on the ellipse here across from the jefferson memorial, but that's not who dr. king was at his death. i was a young reporter. i had just worked on writing a story about his final speech, the final sermon when he heard about the assassination and immediately in the city of philadelphia, there was widespread agony, grief, protest and running out to collect in r interviews. my first year as a reporter, to see that and then thinking about indianapolis and that night with bobby kennedy and in june his death in 1968 was just an overwhelming time. >> one decade that shook us in
so many ways. it was the decade of social action in a way we had not seen before or after. you would have thought martin luther king can saw the 1964 civil rights act and all the rest, the 1965 voting rights act. if you are a civil rights leader and you have accomplish ed that to be sure the fair housing act didn't get acted until after, shortly after and because of this assassination, but you saw the two great civil rights bills in 100 years come out of your work seems to me you would have said well done. but look what he did. he was discontented with that vision of justice. i don't think we have seen a leader like him who didn't understand rest on your laurels and go drink from that well.
instead, he took e nnormous ris in being among the first to come out against the vietnam war. and going after poverty, which we're still trying to conquer today at a finding young people having to take to jobs, often after a college education, going after the greatest challenge of american capitalism. when you have already accomplished something that no man or woman had accomplished, it tells you that he was willing to risk everything for social justice and he knew it because he virtually saw his own assassination in his last words, this that last sermon. >> it's amazing that prediction. mark, as the former mayor of a city, you have seen it all. >> reporter: i would add one
thing that is really critical to understanding the poor people's campaign and the fight for economic justice. it was an intentional effort by dr. king to bring together poor whites, r poor blacks and poor latinos. he saw the poor people's campaign as multiracial in his dimension. i think we have to recognize that that provides for us today a blueprint and a road map about what the current fight for economic justice needs to be about. >> thank you both so very much. we'll be right back. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪
thank you for being with us. follow us on twitter. craig melvin takes it over in new york. >> andrea, thank you. craig melvin here in new york city. honoring his legacy. today we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of dr. martin luther king jr. protesters kr r demanding the same things he demanded during his life. how far have we come? plus target or subject. a new report says the russia special counsel's team told the president he's not a target of his investigation, but a subject instead. does that mean he's safe? and trade war, get ready to spend more at the grocery store. china. slapped the u.s. with a new round of tariffs. the white house says we're not this a trade