tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC June 18, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT
president's plan to meet with china's leader. >> plus, america is sending 1,000 more troops to the middle east after last week's oil tanker attacks but does the evidence support retaliation against iran? and trump's threat. the president promising mass arrests of undocumented immigrants next week just as his 2020 campaign officially begins. let's start there. president trump is preparing to head to florida today to launch his re-election campaign with a rally at orlando's amway center where supporters lined up 40 hours ahead of tonight's event. >> they are calling it 45 fest. there has been a major focus on the promises not kept from the president's 2016 campaign. his wall is unbuilt. the debt is expanding rather than being paid down. the affordable care act has not been replaced. a senior member of the president's 2020 campaign sees those unfulfilled promises, wait for it, as a good thing.
>> the president's 2020 campaign to make sure we can continue to work on those things that he has done. it's been a great two and a half years and we're looking forward to another great four more years on top of this. >> surprising. joining us now is nbc news political reporter monica alba. what exactly are you hearing from people at the rally? what are they most excited to hear the president talk about? because he is not leading with the economy or infrastructure and health care. he is going big on immigration. >> reporter: hey there, guys. that's right and is actually a theme i've heard repeatedly here from the folks who as you said have been lined up for hours, some of them since last night, battling the elements. we've had thunderstorms here and an extreme heat but, of course, these are the president's most loyal supporters, the people who voted for him in 2016 in critical battleground florida and also neighboring states who want to hear from the president and are echoing much of the signage we've already seen
inside. these people are talking about promises made, promises kept. they talk a lot about immigration. they want four more years. take a listen to what a couple had to say to me about why they are so staunchly supporting the president again for 2020. >> republican electoral success under this president, the party did pick up a senate seat in the last election but lost 40 seats in the house, control of that chamber. it lost eight governorships. are you hearing concern among the president's supporters about that? >> you know, it is interesting, ali. i don't hear much about that, but there is a special attention on some of the democrats who are running and of course we're here in florida, where next week nbc will host the first democratic debate over two nights. interestingly, some of the people i talked to here today told me they planned to go to miami. they planned to drive, take the train, make their way there to
protest those democratic candidates and they are going to try to elevate president trump's message and be there. so not as much a discussion here about what happened in 2018, they are definitely more forward looking, talking about what they're going to do to try to combat some of the strategies and some of the democrats we'll see here of course very soon in a matter of days. >> thank you. the president is going to launch his re-election campaign for 2020 tonight. he has a cloud over his head right now because there has been a brand new breaking news development. >> indeed there is. the president acting secretary of defense patrick shanahan is now pulling himself out of the confirmation process. a tweet coming from the president, acting secretary of defense patrick shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family. i thank pat for his outstanding
service and we'll be naming secretary of the army mark esper to be new acting secretary of defense. i know mark and i have no doubt he will do a fantastic job. we heard a week ago when the president was overseas he had been floating different names. is it that or really the road block pat shanahan has come up against in the confirmation process? >> reporter: i think there are some road blocks, steph, and of course nbc news first reported last week that the president seemed to be having second thoughts about officially nominating patrick shanahan because the white house had yet to submit his nomination to the senate. so we asked, in fact, i asked the president, himself, if he was having any hesitations. he said, no. it has to go through the normal process. that was last week. this is today. we know that there were some concerns about his security clearance, that that was one of the things that was holding this
process up. as you point out, steph, president trump, while he was in normandy at the d-day celebrations, was talking to officials and aides close to him and talking about potential replacements for shanahan. mark esper was the name that did rise to the forefront. so certainly this is very significant news for this administration, for the president as he deals with what he has called a crisis at the border, as he deals with the iran crisis, the threat from north korea, and, of course, this instability at the top of the defense department has been something that has loomed large over this administration. president trump clearly wants to move forward with a new nominee. right now of course he is saying that the acting defense secretary will be mark esper. again, just to highlight, that was really the name that we were hearing last week when we initially did this reporting, that president trump was having second thoughts about officially nominating him and now here the final confirmation that shanahan has pulled himself out of the
process. >> can we completely attribute it to the president having second thoughts or is this a case of lack of vetting strikes again? i mean -- >> let's talk about the specific issue, right? this was a police report or complaint from 2010 in which both shanahan and his former wife alleged that the other used force on them in the course of a very heated argument. whether that's the case wlan shanahan is a credible witness, how did that, how was that not clearer ahead of time? is that a failure in the system? >> reporter: well, it raises questions about the system and it is of course not the first time, ali. that will undoubtedly be among the things the administration has to take a very hard look at moving forward. and of course we have seen this with past nominees who president trump has picked. so, clearly, as you point out, that background check, those things that were raised as background check, now he denied any wrongdoing in that. nonetheless, it was undoubtedly
one of the factors that held up his security clearance and ultimately his nomination, ali and steph. >> all right. we'll continue to follow these developments. as it stands the acting secretary of defense has taken his name out of contention for nomination as secretary of defense. the president announcing that he is naming the secretary of the army, mark esper, to be, again, the new acting secretary of defense. right? you never know what that means in this administration. often you'd say you are appointing someone and that person will then be the nominee for the position. it's never obvious with this administration whether the person put into an acting role is actually supposed to be that person on an ongoing basis. >> it appears in terms of this administration it's -- that's actually the audition period. >> correct. >> then couple that with vetting. we've had a few road blocks. >> absolutely. we'll continue to cover that for you. ahead of tonight's big event in florida president trump is pushing one of his most prominent and controversial issues, immigration. last night the president announced a massive new
immigration enforcement action declaring, quote, next week i.c.e. will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the united states. >> the president sees immigration as a cornerstone pitch ahead of every election like his campaign launch in 2015. remember this? >> they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. they're bringing drugs. they're bringing crime. they're rapists. it is coming from more than mexico. it's coming from all over south and latin america. it's coming probably, probably from the middle east. but we don't know because we have no protection. we have no competence. we don't know what's happening. it's got to stop. >> remember the caravans? the president was pressing on the caravans just before the 2018 midterms, this time promising to end birth right
citizenship. >> the criminals, the drug dealers. we will keep them all out of our country. we will get rid of all of this. we will end, finally, birth right, citizenship. what they did to the mexican military in breaking through the border, these are tough people. these are not angels. these are not little angels. these are tough people. and we're not letting them into our country. they're not coming in illegally. >> joining us now, nbc news correspondent, you spend an extraordinary amount of time at the border and you understand this situation there. who is this a top issue for? if the president is making this the central focus of his next campaign, not health care, not the economy, not education, who does this serve?
>> honestly, i don't know. what i will tell you is who it doesn't serve is even the president's base. this will be family separation by a different name if donald trump goes through with it. you have 11 million people living in this country illegally, undocumented folks. many have american citizen children. when donald trump systematically separated thousands of migrant children from their parents at the border even his most fervent supporters found it disgusting and despicable. going into american communities, leaving american children behind, and sending their parents back to the countries they came from is in some cases decades ago. >> while the kids are at school. >> while the parents are at work, going to and from work, they step outside of their homes for what i call these i.c.e. targeted enforcement operations. one thing i want to say is operationally is almost impossible to deport millions of people from the united states of america at any one time. the all-time high was president obama who was called the deporter-in-chief 400,000 people
he deported back in 2012. i don't know if president trump is feeling inadequate like he hasn't been able to hit that mark or whatever it is but donald trump's tweet storm last night is not based on reality at these agencies. number two, we should be skeptical and on guard about it because these are real lives at stake. >> let's talk about the organizational capacity. there are a couple things going on. one is the capacity to detain all of these people, to process them, do something with them. there is a remarkable backlog for those legally entitled to hearings and i assume we're not doing away with all law in the united states. there are still people in line for hearings and a shortage of judges that have not been made up for. so can this happen if it were something more than just a political statement? >> not on the scale donald trump says, millions. it is just factually impossible to make this happen. two things we should think about. one is the humanitarian crisis going on along the southern border. what he's talking about has nothing to do with that whatsoever. the humanitarian crisis going on now has filled up all the beds
in i.c.e. detention to the point where the interior removals the president would like to do, there aren't enough beds to put all the people he says are going to snatch from their communities and ultimately deport. the reason i do think we should just be careful about this is president eisenhower in the 1950s executed operation wetback as despicable as that sounds and deported a million mexicans back to mexico. it is not unheard of to deport people in huge numbers like that but at this moment in time whatever the president says you can't do it right now. >> what did it do for eisenhower politically? we know that much of this is the mastermind of the steven miller sweep. kirsten nielsen, former homeland secretary, was ousted because she didn't want to put, to implement this. she said, legally you couldn't do it, logistically, and knowing the pushback we saw from zero tolerance it didn't make sense. why now do they think it makes sense? >> well, in the case of "operation wetback" look at
the name. it gins up racism. "wetback" is a derogatory term and it was an official government policy. don't put it past donald trump as administration to try something like that again. but at the end of the day, what i think, what i hope is it'll backfire spectacularly just like the separation policy did. insofar as it will literally ruin the lives of people who are the fabric of american society. >> that is the point i'm getting at to you, ali. the zero tolerance policy, the president put an end to it. his own daughter senior adviser ivanka trump said it was the lowest point in the administration. look at the midterms, right? the 2018 midterms were a failure for president trump. why would he double down in that same direction? >> probably gets the crowds who like that sort of thing really worked up, right? the president as we know does rally spectacularly well. he's going to have one tonight. this line works for him. it's an emotional, visceral line. whether you really believe it or you're really into it, it feels like something he is doing. >> in florida, a state of
immigrants, think about -- >> florida seems like the wrong place to sell it. >> think about all the people who suffered the consequences of hurricane maria in puerto rico where they couldn't vote in a presidential election. now they live in florida and they can. >> yes. he thinks that this hard line, hard right immigration policy, is a winning message, winning strategy for him. but just like with the caravan you're not able to scare enough people in this country to understand who your friends and who your neighbors and your co-workers are. many are undocumented people living in this country. what he is saying is he wants to basically ruin their lives. >> jacob, thank you for your coverage of this. >> the day after the midterms he went silent on those three -- we didn't hear about them for weeks. >> absolutely right. all right. we're following breaking news as we told you about earlier. the acting defense secretary patrick shanahan is withdrawing his nomination. what we're learning about that ahead. and president trump is moving the markets with his tweets once again. ♪
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all right. welcome back to "velshi and ruhle" we continue to follow breaking news. acting defense secretary pat shanahan is pulling his name out of the confirmation process. >> president trump tweeted earlier that shanahan, quote, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family. i thank pat for his outstanding
service and will be naming secretary of the army mark esper to be the new acting secretary of defense. i know mark and i have no doubt he will do a fantastic job. we'll continue to update you on this breaking story. it stands out to me, when patrick shanahan decided to take the job, he had the same time constraints, he had the same family obligations. the president time and again is in a situation where he has people who have to step out or pull out before confirmation. >> for things that you otherwise would have -- this is not a judgment on whether patrick shanahan is responsible for anything that the reports are that's been done. there is a conversation about reporting about the fact that he and his wife both complained about each other to the police about a violent incident in 2010. there are conflicting reports about that. that is secondary to the idea that shanahan knew this was there. and why this stuff doesn't come out in vetting continues to be a mystery. >> why put the administration in
that position? >> esper, by the way, being named as acting defense secretary, which again does not necessarily mean this is the person donald trump wants to be the next defense secretary. he was a senior executive at raytheon so has been involved in the defense industry as well which often happens. we'll continue to get you more information on that as it develops. we're following another big story as well. the markets. take a look at where they are right now. this upward movement 1.3% and relatively stead ail day. about 340 points right now. comes on the heels of a trump tweet about, quote, a very good conversation with president xi of china, adding we will have an extended meeting next week at the g20 in japan. our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting. you remember last week, stephanie, donald trump saying, i'm not sure i'm going to meet xi in g20 and basically saying if he doesn't agree to a meeting or we don't get something done there we'll impose greater tariffs.
>> xi hadn't agreed either. >> now it looks like they both agreed and will have a meeting. >> the white house says the two leaders discussed the importance of leveling the playing field for u.s. farmers and other workers through a fair and reciprocal economic relationship. that sounds good. the question is, what does that mean to both sides? >> it sounds more like american language than chinese language. >> they don't like what's happening. they do not like this trade war. >> right but you notice the language didn't talk about chinese farmers or workers so it sounds like an american crafted statement. last hour we heard from the white house economic adviser larry kudlow about the market's performance and current state of the trade war. >> he says talk is better than no talk. no guarantees. all the unfair, nonreciprocal trading practices with china have to change. >> of course as a reminder larry kudlow fiercely opposed the tariffs even within months or
weeks from when he got this white house appointment, so he has since got onboard with the president. >> almost all of the president's advisers with the exception of peter nav asarro and the commer secretary. >> specifically larry kudlow for decades. joining us now cnbc washington correspondent, and what is the story? >> reporter: the president says he'll have this meeting and if you are parcing who said what the chinese were very careful to say today's phone call was requested by the white house. the white house is silent on that point. sarah sanders told me this was a regularly scheduled call between the president and president xi jinping of china but putting that little extra dig in there, by china, suggesting it was trump who wanted the call. nevertheless they both agreed to meet and that sent the stock market higher as you saw a few seconds ago. investors loved this and liked the idea of the two sides talking and possibly coming to
agreement but we are not really expecting next week an actual agreement here. we are just expecting the two leaders to talk and if there is any breakthrough to happen it will probably have to happen between the two principles here, the two big dogs getting in the arena together and hashing this thing out but no one is expecting a finalized, negotiated trade treaty next week. still, it is seen as encouraging that they are going to talk. >> while we love looking at you and talking to you we had you up for about a quarter of the screen and the other three-quarters taken over by the dow. i want to ask you this. when you look at this 1.3% gain steady all day, two interesting things are going to happen. we'll have a meeting with china and the fed might cut rates tomorrow. >> reporter: yes. >> cutting rates is a remarkable thing which would be seen by the president as a victory, right? ever since he got into office. before he got into office he thought rates were too low and then decided rates shouldn't go up. what does this market performance say to you? is this china or is this rates going down tomorrow?
>> definitely china. the market move today was a response to the president's tweet on china. we saw it really accelerate after that tweet. also there is this expectation now that the fed might be in a little more dovish posture than it used to be. not necessarily an expectation of a rate cut but just that they're more amaenl to it and maybe later this year we'll see them actually cut. the white house is arguing two things simultaneously. one is that the economy is great, fabulous, and wonderful, and going gang busters. the other one is we absolutely have to raise interest rates which is something you do when you -- cut interest rates which is something you do when you are worried the economy is going to stall. both of those things can't be true necessarily. what the president wants is an interest rate cut ahead of his re-election campaign which he is announcing tonight. he feels that will add a real fire to this economy and take it to new heights and that'll help his re-election chances. there is a political component to this. at the same time they're arguing the economy is already terrific. >> it's always been a challenge for that exact point. the president, sarah sanders saying it is the strongest, greatest economy ever. they can point to wages slowly
going up, to unemployment being very low, but the president has been unhappy with fed chair jay powell. blo bloomberg reporting earlier the white house had been looking for a way to possibly legally demote jay powell if the president was unable to fire him, which is what he wanted to do. i want to share what larry kudlow said earlier about this. >> i'm aware of it, and the reason i'm going to comment is it is a six-month-old story. and allegedly, allegedly -- i'm not going to confirm or deny anything. i'm just not going to comment. it allegedly happened six months ago. >> the white house today is not considering demoting the chairman of the federal reserve? >> that is correct. but i will not confirm that we ever did. >> he is not confirming. he is not denying.
we know the president has considered jay powell to be an adversary. he's angry that jay powell doesn't, quote-unquote, work for him. is that at all impacting the markets today? >> absolutely. i think that markets are sort of worried about the tension between the white house and the fed and they want to have a nice balance of power there. they want the fed to remain independent. i was the one asking larry kudlow that question in that clip that you just played. what you heard him saying was the classic, you know, washington nondenial, denial. he is saying on the one hand that story is six months old and he almost caught himself. he said it happened, it allegedly happened six months ago but then saying he is not going to confirm or deny whether it ever happened. the important point he says is it is not happening now. right? so they're not denying necessarily that it happened six months ago but they're simply refusing to confirm it and sort of trying to move past this with the idea this is old news. but it would be unprecedented for a white house to demote a sitting fed chair for any reason whatsoever. there is some question about whether that is even legal or not.
the law says the president can remove the fed chair for cause, quote-unquote, but doesn't define what cause means. everyone has always assumed that means you failed to show up for work or did something horrible. in this case the white house was looking at demoting him to a regular member of the board and potentially promoting their own person to be chair of the fed. the irony here in all of this is jay powell is already the president's pick. so this is a lot of scheming and maneuvering. >> you remember the two other picks that tried, that the president tried to put on the fed board which didn't work out. >> herman cain and stephen moore. >> thanks. >> stephen moore who cowrote the book "trump-onomics" and said he'd be there to focus on the president's economic agenda undermining the fed should be independent. the market is up and i'm up two bucks. when you say unprecedented, you owe me $2. >> let's move on to a different story. if you thought facebook was already powerful wait till you hear this. today the social media network announced plans to help launch a
digital currency in 2020 marking one of the company's most aggressive moves yet to push beyond digital advertising. >> the new currency called libra will be governed by 28 wide ranging partners including companies like visa, spotify, and uber. so now facebook will not only have access to your social data but your financial transactions. thus far it's only been the banking industry that has that data and the banking industry is highly regulated. >> a very big difference. >> joining us now the nbc technology correspondent, jake ward. 28 partners. we say it all the time. facebook under the gun. they're in trouble. they aren't in trouble with the likes of visa, uber, and i can't remember who else. >> spotify. >> all these different companies getting involved. for me, the second i read this news i thought, wow. they're becoming their own nation. that's what it feels like. they are creating a currency to govern a user base of
2.2 billion people. the incredible power that is going to leverage and i think what is really interesting and we have to get a little bit into the weeds to make it clear is that it creates all of these weird financial possibilities, these new financial vehicles. you think leverage backed securities are weird we'll get into the weirdest cryptocurrency, second markets and stuff, that is going to govern this stuff. the fundamental thing to understand, why they're doing this, is that they say the 1.3 billion people in the world do not have access to a bank but even if you do and you live outside of the united states we americans just don't realize it is really hard to get your money on to the web, hard to buy stuff and sell stuff virtually when you are not dealing in american dollars. >> right. >> they're trying to get all of those people not dealing in american dollars on to their platform. >> perfect example dell computer will take bitcoin because they sell computers in nigeria and russia where credit cards won't -- you can't buy a dell computer from the united states so they'll take bitcoin. this idea is anybody anywhere can buy anything. we used to have these sort of
underground dark web markets in which you really could buy anything. >> that's right. in this case imagine that you have, so they have this whole consortium doing the payments and technology and transfer and banking. they're going to tie it to currency so it won't fluctuate as much as it has with bitcoin and other things. here's the part that i find really weird. so there is a thing that came up under the jobs act, obama's jobs act had a provision that would allow you, say you wanted to start a grocery store and didn't have enough money and you wanted to raise money. you could offer shares in your grocery store online, right? crowd investing it's called. it has really flown under the radar because there hasn't been a big enough reach for it to scale and it costs too much to market if you're offering it cheaply. facebook is the perfect solution to that. out of this is going to come this crazy, secondary world of investment opportunities, using cryptocurrency. >> except, in the traditional world of investing it is highly
regulated. kyc, know your customer, is a major portion of the industry. based on just so we can explain it, based on you have to take a licensing exam so you are not selling super risky products to senior citizens on a fixed income. who is going to regulate this? >> that is what kick-starter does. it's not regulated and people start their businesses. >> when you do a kick-starter you do not own a share in the company. it's like the npr pledge drive. you get a t-shirt. in this case you're talking about ownership of a company. there is a little s.e.c. regulation that goes into it right now, called regulation a plus for a $50 million investment. this is right. i'm going to owe you two bucks. it is unprecedented. this is going to be a regulatory -- >> four bucks. >> i'm going to -- >> there you go. >> thank you, jake. have you made that as understandable as anybody af talked to, more so. thanks for being with us, live on set, jake ward, our tech
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welcome back to "velshi and ruhle" we continue to follow breaking news. the acting secretary patrick shanahan is pulling his name out of the confirmation process. there is a new acting defense secretary to be named. until mark esper is named i guess patrick shanahan remains acting. >> let's get a reaction from our 2020 candidate. >> presidential candidate julian castro happens to be with us former hud secretary under president obama, former mayor of san antonio. secretary, look. we have escalating tensions with iran. we have an ongoing issue with north korea. we have no named defense secretary. we now have a new acting defense secretary. we're not really ever sure around here whether an acting defense secretary is meant to become the actual defense secretary. is there any concern that you have about that spot not being filled and basically john bolton who is the president's national security adviser seems to be setting military policy at the
moment? >> one of the things that has been very clear from the beginning of this administration is that this president doesn't take being commander-in-chief as seriously as he should. look at alt vacancies we've seen, ambassadorial posts, a whole bunch of posts in the state department. we are not able to be as well represented or strong as we could be as a country in our diplomatic efforts. we're tryi or trying to gather partners because this president has not done the hard work of actually appointing people to these posts. when he has, several cabinet secretaries and others have had to resign because of ethics issues. this gentleman that you just mentioned today who is withdrawing his nomination because of what sounds like it might be a domestic violence issue in his past, it has been total chaos. and the ones that are hurt because of it are americans who depend on steady leadership, our
allies who need our leadership, and also our men and women in uniform who are out there on the line who are depending on strong leadership here at home. and they're just not getting it. this is just one more example. >> let's talk about i.c.e. the president will have members of i.c.e. working overtime next week as he is calling for raids looking to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants. if elected, you are calling for the breakup of i.c.e. if i.c.e. were to be broken up, how would you deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants already here and those thousands crossing the border? >> as you know, i was the first 2020 candidate to release a comprehensive immigration plan and i have a completely different vision for how we'll do this than this president. i think what people on different sides of the aisle can acknowledge is that this president has failed. he came in saying that he was going to take care of this, quote-unquote, immigration problem. and he hasn't.
in our name, little children have been separated from their mothers. people are in cages. so to answer your question, what i would do is, number one, i would make sure that we maintain border security and i believe that our border is as secure as it ever has been. i would ensure we maintain it. secondly, i would treat people with compassion and common sense and not with cruelty. i would make sure that we don't separate families, that we don't put people in cages, that we treat them like human beings. i would also get to the root of the problem. number one, we got to create an immigration judiciary, court system, that has enough judges and support staff to actually get through the asylum claims so that people are not waiting in limbo for years and years. we got to get to the base challenge in countries like honduras and el salvador and guatemala. people are coming over to the united states because they can't find safety and opportunity there.
we need to partner with those countries. i've called for a 21st century marshal plan so people can be safe and find opportunities at home instead of coming here. >> those countries are in desperate straits and if they weren't we probably wouldn't see them leaving to that degree. however, you were mayor of san antonio and to the extent that a very large portion of people who claim asylum at the southern border who ultimately get a lawyer and a hearing after years in many cases, most of them are not granted asylum. and so what would you do? you're president. say 70% are still not getting granted asylum. would you cause them to leave the country? >> well, not everybody does get asylum. >> most people don't. >> that's right. and this is an important point. but i do believe that when they make their asylum claim that we should respect that claim. yeah, i don't think everybody is arguing that everybody that claims asylum or wants asylum or to come into the united states
is going to be able to do that. >> so what do you do with all of those immigrants who are, who don't get asylum? where do you send them? >> well, some people, some of the folks who are here in the united states as they wait for that claim to be adjudicated are going to be living with family members. some may have -- there are also other visas that may be available to some of them. i would make sure we exhaust the opportunities for folks to be able to apply for visas that may apply to them. for instance if somebody has been a victim of domestic violence and helped the authorities to catch that perpetrator of domestic violence, there is a visa that applies to that. so we need to improve that system as well. but if your question is, is everybody going to be able to stay in the country? then of course not. there are going to be some people that do not. i would work a lot harder so that, number one, we expand our visa system so that more people
can come in. we expand the number of people who get asylum in this country. and we treat people who are here with respect and humanely, with compassion, and not cruelly the way that this president has been doing. >> and just, i know we're out of time, but then what do you say to those americans who say, they understand the importance for compassion and opening things up, but to those americans who say they, themselves, are not getting ample health care, their kids don't go to good schools, and they're not having their basic needs met or being treated with compassion. how will we have the capacity to help others? >> well, that's why we need to ensure that everybody who wants medicare in this country can get it. that's why i put out an education plan that ensures that no matter who you are in this country, no matter whether you live in a rural community or an urban one that you can get a great public school education. these two things are not mutually exclusive. we can be humane and live up to the best of our ideals with people who are fleeing desperate circumstances and trying to find a better life and treat them
humanely and something we can be proud of. and also ensure that we provide great opportunity and an economic boost to people and families and communities throughout the united states. that's what i'm about and why i'm running for president. i was one of those americans that grew up in a family that was struggling that knows what it's like to wonder if we'll be able to pay the rent. that goes to the public schools and has also been able to achieve my dreams. i want to make sure that no matter who you are you can achieve your dreams, too. >> secretary, you were the secretary of housing and urban development so it is a topic you know a lot about and a topic that would really help bridge the wealth gap in this country. it's a big struggle. today you're launching a three-part plan to make housing more affordable and to end homelessness including expanding and reforming the housing choice voucher program, creating a renter's tax credit, expanding pell grants to cover housing, expanding access to mental health care. you are releasing part two now
with us i believe. what is that? what does that entail? >> well, part two actually involves the fair housing component of this and also making sure that we're aware of how housing plays with other important quality of life issues like the environment that you grow up around. i was just in flint a few days ago and going back to flint and listening to the progress that's been made since the flint water crisis started and the progress that still needs to be made was a very powerful reminder that too often times where somebody lives determines something is straight forward but significant as whether they have clean water to drink or clean air to breathe, so we want to embrace policies that ensure that no matter what neighborhood you live in that you have clean air, you have clean water. that you don't, you know, get asthma or some other affliction because of where you live. that we address all of those things by connecting the dots of
policy in a smart way. it also says, no matter the color of your skin or your gender identity or your sexual orientation when you go out and you look for an apartment, or you look for a house, you should be treated the same way no matter who you are. >> how do you plan to pay for all of this? >> what is the question? >> how do you plan to pay for this plan. >> yeah, so during the course of the campaign, we're going to release our plan on how we would pay for not only this housing plan but also education and the other plans that i've released but just to give you a preview, number one, i would repeal and replace the trump tax cuts. that's one part of it. but as you know it is not nearly enough. secondly, i would close some of the major loopholes in our tax code. i would raise the top marginal tax rate. and then i would look for other ways that we've created revenue to fund some of these programs that aren't necessarily just in the tax code. a very good example is the national housing trust fund, which i mentioned in my housing
plan. the national housing trust fund is funded by a transaction fee on the government sponsored entities, fannie mae and freddie mac. every time they do a transaction a little bit of money goes into a housing trust fund for people that are extremely low income. basically, people making less than 30% of an area median income. that is not directly in the tax code but that is one innovative way that we can fund a housing program. i would look for those opportunities on top of the tax code opportunities to provide revenue for these plans. >> all right. >> julian castro former secretary of housing and urban development, good to see you. thank you for joining us. >> good to be with you. we have more on that breaking news, acting defense secretary patrick shanahan's nomination officially withdrawn. what we are learning about the surprise announcement, why it happened, and a bit more about the man who will replace him.
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welcome back. we are following breaking news this hour, president trump announcing a shakeup in the defense department leadership as tensions with iran are heating up. just moments ago the president tweeted that patrick shanahan would not go forward with his confirmation process. instead, he's decided to devote more time to his family. >> shanahan is going to be replaced by secretary of the army mark esper according to the president. the former boeing executive ran -- that is shanahan by the way -- ran the pentagon since james mattis's resignation in december and recently told reporters shanahan's nomination was moving forward in the senate though the republican chair of the armed services committee said no official nomination has been received. >> joining us now, our nbc news pentagon reporter and hans nichols live at the courthouse. courtney, you reported last
month that the president may have been having second thoughts about shanahan as defense secretary. why was that a month ago and only in the last few days did we learn there may be a bit of a personal hiccup with regard to the confirmation the confirmation and vetting process? >> so my colleague carol lee and leigh ann caldwell and i were digging into this for some time. the reality is president trump made patrick shanahan the acting secretary of defense more than six months ago now. and it was months before he actually said he was going to nominate him. then fast forward to after the nomination, weeks and weeks later, there still was no formal nomination. part of that is the process. it wasn't after his name -- after president trump said he was going to nominate him, the fbi began the background check. just the basic checks before someone is actually officially nominated and then goes through the confirmation process. for cabinet level job like secretary of defense. but, still, weeks and weeks went
by. we started asking around and it seemed as if for some reason the fbi investigation was not complete. they were still looking into things and that's when they started hearing more and more rumors and more and more people talking about the president being not fully on board with patrick shanahan getting the nomination. during that time we kept hearing more and more about mark esper, the secretary of the army. we know that president trump has watched mark esper on tv several times. he thinks he does a very good job. he looks the part. as for has the background for this kind of a job, he was a west point grad. he served in the army. did at least one deployment to the middle east during the gulf. has a great relationship with the hill, including working on the hill for senator bill frist and then senator chuck hagel. it's not a big surprise. what we heard so far today, we've not gotten the official statement from the acting secretary of defense but we heard from the -- from president trump that he wants to spend more time with his family.
we should note he's not married. his average ended in divorce about a decade ago and his children are grown. >> courtney, thank you for that. hans, this is interesting because we're moving a thousand troops to the middle east. under normal circumstances, the movement of 1,000 troops isn't necessarily a big deal except we're moving them at a time when we're talking about increased tensions with iran. we're moving from one acting defense secretary to another. give me the relevance of this troop deployment. >> the relevance is being generated from the centcom commander. courtney is out in the region. this is what officials will tell you is signal demand. they have a demand for more defensive troops to serve as a deterrent to iran's aggressive behavior. this was shanahan approving this request, but it came up from general mckenzie. in a lot of ways what you've seen in the pentagon over the last 2 1/2 years, even more acutely in the last six months is the power of the joint staff as well as the combatant commanders. the forces and the generals
actually directing these troops. because you have -- have had an acting secretary there, one frankly that didn't have a lot of experience, you had a lot of senior officials in uniform making these decisions. guys? >> hans, thanks very much. courtney kube as well. joining ining us now, malco. >> crypt logic intelligence. >> that's incredible. in the gulf and former under secretary of state for political affairs and nbc global affairs contributor ambassador wendy sherman whose title hasn't changed. ambassador sherman led the u.s. team that negotiated the iran nuclear deal. >> never in the last two years have i pronounced a word and you have not. this is my winning day. i want to point it out. this has never happened. >> we should end the show early now. this is great. wendy, you worked very hard on this deal. not only did you work that hard on it, this had been in the works for years. the whole world thought for a very long time, for about ten
years, that if we can get into a place where we can talk with iran, we might be able to have more influence than not talking to iran. promptly president trump gets out of this deal and then says we should talk to iran and now we're headed down this road of military escalation. >> indeed. you've got it exactly right, ali. what's happening here is what i call the hard hard-liners in our administration are escalating this situation, and iran's hard-liners, the islamic revolutionary guard and qods force. we have the hard, hard-liners in the american context spiraling each other up and it could lead us to war. we're all hard liners when it comes to iran. the human rights abuss to their people, the american citizens. we want all of that to end. this is not the way to do it and having an acting secretary of defense, again, doesn't help.
>> so malcolm, let's go to the justification for the new deployment. these tanker attacks. put on your cryptologic intel hat and give us a sense of why they are doing this and the fact that we have an acting defense secretary. if you're john bolton, maybe that's good news. maybe the path is clear for you to do whatever the heck you want. >> well, first, i'll give you my intelligence hat. none of you are cleared for my cryptologic hat, but the -- well, the level of intelligence that we're looking at, and that has been presented thus far by secretary of state pompeo is relatively generic. they are atributing iran's culpability on to these attacks strictly on the basis of the fact that it was unidentified whoever carried out these attacks. iranian ships responded to these attacks, took people off the boat and then ten hours after that removed an explosive. that is not decisive intelligence. i've seen a lot of intelligence. i worked the iran mission for a very long time. i've been involved in direct
combat with the iranian navy. we generally have really strong intelligence when we start threatening activities. the problem is, this administration's level of, how can i put it, their inability to bring facts to light that people can trust. and that's what's missing here right now is that the information that's been shown thus far should not be enough to have a drum beat to war. this was not u.s. ships that were attacked. these were not u.s. interests could be anything. and now they're starting to make noise like when i was there 20 years ago or more for the tanker wars to take iran on in a naval combat or air strikes. that's why they're bringing in new forces. >> we're starting to treat everything as if it's an american interest in the persian gulf. one thing that's very interesting is tom cotton on the armed services committee and the intelligence committees. he's an ally of the president. floated as a potential cia
director when mike pompeo was named secretary of state. he actually said that war with iran would be simple because they can be beaten in two strikes. as you mentioned, nobody is carrying iran's water here. but i think it's dangerous for us to say anything can be beaten with two strikes. >> two strikes? >> it's absolutely absurd. he knows it's absurd. senator cotton has long wanted to join john bolton in waging a war against iran. we are in a really tough spot here, and i hope that everybody is paying attention and saying to their members of congress, slow this spiral down. let's de-escalate the situation. >> let's hope what they're saying. we did have a deal that was aimed toward de-escalating the situation with them. thank you ambassador wendy sherman and malcolm. now some breaking news in philadelphia. multiple law enforcement sources tell nbc that what could be a
$750 million worth of cocaine has now been seized at a shipping yard. >> sources say at least 15,000 kilos of the drug was found in shipping containers aboard a cargo ship docked in south philly. jonathan di enst joins us now. that's a remarkable seizure. >> it's a huge seizure. customs, homeland security, homeland police all converging on that port. it was traveling from south america through the caribbean up to philadelphia where much of the drugs were supposed to continue on to europe next. this is the second major seizure in philadelphia this year. back in march there was one where $38 million worth of cocaine was seized. now three quarters of a billion dollars of cocaine. unclear if the two cases are linked. certainly they're looking into it, but they're been tracking this shipment. some reports that some of the drugs may have been loaded from boats to that ship so that it
couldn't be caught at port at the entry point so we're still trying to learn more about how this drug organization was operating. >> how incredible. >> how big is that, physically? >> this was seven full containers -- >> how big is a container? >> huge. i mean, these are those huge -- >> like the ones they pout a back of a truck? >> yes, you see the picture. seven of those filled with cocaine that were loaded onto this ship. and the seizure taking place and the search ongoing at this hour. just a massive takedown. >> so i'm under 100 kilos so 1500 of me if that helps you conceptualize it better. >> they thought they were going to get that through. jonathan, thanks for reporting on that. >> what a story this hour. >> a lot of stories. and a really interesting title that i couldn't pronounce. >> i forgot it already. i was gloeating. shouldn't have done that. >> i'll be back here at 3:00.
>> i'll be in this seat at 9:00 a.m. eastern tomorrow. right now kasie hunt in washington, d.c., picks up coverage. great to see both of you. good afternoon. i'm kasie hunt in for katy tur. it's 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in florida where tonight president trump will hold the second most important rally his political career. as new polling out minutes ago shows him losing that state in head-to-head matchups. quinnipiac's numbers show the president trailing joe biden and bernie sanders and in a too close to call contest with elizabeth warren, beto o'rourke, kamala harris and pete buttigieg. in orlando, the crowd has already gathered, some camping overnight to get into tonight's rally. when donald trump announced his run for the white house four years ago, his bid seemed all but impossible. and his election win completely improbable. now as he prepares to run for a second term, will his 2016 victory prove to be a