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tv   First Look  MSNBC  November 13, 2019 2:00am-3:00am PST

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analysis. so for this night that's our broadcast on a tuesday evening. thank you so much for being here with us. and good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. this morning, the public phase of the impeach probe gets underway as two witnesses prepare to testify. republican allies are bracing themselves. plus, new reporting by "the new york times" that amid the impeachment probe, the president has consideredprobe, the presidt has considered firing the intelligence community inspector general whom he appointed. and from the northwest to the mideast, millions of americans are being hit with an arctic cold front that is shattering records. ♪ good wednesday morning, everybody, it's november 13th,
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i'm yasmin vossoughian. ayman is on assignment. it's a historic day as public impeachment hearings get under way. donald trump is the fourth president to face impeachment by the house of representatives, the third in recent times. today's testimony will open with testimony from acting ambassador bill taylor and george kent. taylor is the one who texted gordon sondland that ukraine would be crazy, and taylor testified it was his, quote, clear understanding that ukraine would not receive its military aid until ukraine's president assumed the allegations. next testimony will be george kent. he told lawmakers in closed-door testimony that president trump
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wanted nothing less than to go to a microphone and say to the investigations of biden and clinton. and as for the format, adam schiff and devin nunes will have 45 minutes each to questions the witnesses. schiff has said he will delegate his time goldman. before becoming an analyst, goldman spent decades in the southern district of new york prosecutes criminals. and one of the big lessons of the mueller investigation for democrats was their failure, quote, to get to the meat early on. and let the witness tell the story. however one aide involved in this process said this, this is a much better and easier story for us to tell than the mueller report. this will be the opposite of that, calling it, quote, prime time television. in a staff memo circulated
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monday night among the three house committees conducting an ukraine investigation outlining several points that the lawmakers claim will undermine the democrats' case for impeachment, the memo first published by axios lays out what you see as four key pieces of evidence. the summary of the july 25th call with the leader of ukraine shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure. it says that both president trump and ukraine president said there was no pressure on the call. the government claimed the yugian government was not aware of the assistance at the time of the call and that the security assistance was ultimately released without trump investigating the political rivals. the memo also says that trump's state of mind clears him from guilt, providing contacts that claim os to show trump's deep seeded, genuine and reasonable
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skepticism of taxpayer and foreign aid, independent of and preceding any mention of potential investigations of ukraine's interference in the 2016 elections, or hunter biden's involvement with burisma. the memo concludes that the evidence gathered does not establish an impeachable offense. and a handful of republican senators say they will not watch the impeachment hearings in the house and yesterday. they explained why. >> this is bull [ bleep ] they're doing damage to the president right now. this is a political exercise that's different than anything that's ever happened when it comes to trying to impeach a president. this is a calculated effort to dirty up trump. do the damage and then decide to impeach. it's dangerous for the presidency as an institution. i don't like him. if you really want to impeach him, do what we did with president nixon. >> the evidence is coming through an investigation process in the house.
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there's not opposing counsel that offers different points of view. but when it reaches -- if it does reach the senate and takes on more of a trial-type environment, that's when both sides present the facts as they see them and those can be weighed in a balanced manner which is what i intend to do at that point. >> tomorrow, i'm going to be paying attention on what we're doing in the senate. >> i don't have time to watch that tomorrow. it will be worth it when they decide to give due process to a minority, the same way that we did with clinton and nixon involved. >> i think it's a political side show, and i've got more important things to do. >> oh, no, not at all. >> i'm sharing a committee in environment. >> it's going to be a drama-filled day to say the least. president trump has considered firing the intelligence community inspector general. telling "the new york times" that it tells from i.g. michael
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atkinson teams the interactions with ukraine to be credible. trump first expressed dissatisfaction with atkinson a person he personally appointed, and then in recent weeks has continued to raise with aides the possibility of actually firing him. according to the times' sources, he does not know why he shared it with congress and believes the inspector general has been disloyal. the "times" notes it's unclear however it has progressed. two people familiar with the case insist that trump was just venting and that atkinson's removal was never under serious consideration. let's talk about some of this. joining me now from washington editor for bloomberg anna edgerton. anna, good morning to you. for joining us on this pretty
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historic day, to say the least. it would not be the first time president trump has considered and then acted on firing an intelligence community official like atkinson. what would a potential decision like this mean for an ongoing impeachment inquiry? >> well, there's two things why it's not surprising from this president. one, you mentioned he expects loyalty from everyone in the executive branch as if it were a economy. of course, it's not, it's the united states government. and also he has lashed out at the whistle-blower and everyone surrounding the whistle-blower, including those who gave him or her information. those with the impeachment inquiry would be a possible addition to it the obstruction of congress articles if they get to that in articles of impeachment. >> talk us through this day that we have ahead of us. of course hearing 41st from ambassador bill taylor and then george kent. what are you expecting? give us the ticktock of what we're likely to see today?
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>> so, the hearing will start at 10:00 a.m. there will be 45 minutes for chairman adam schiff to open. and possibly open questions to his staff on the intelligence community. devin nunes, the ranking republican on the committee will also have 45 minutes and he'll also pass some of the questions to his staff. we do expect the democrats to try to highlight how these witnesses are unimpeachable character, career public servants. very trustworthy in the eyes of the american public. and republicans will try 0 do the opposite. question how the witnesses, bill taylor and george kent had their information, whether or not they had first hand knowledge about whether or not the conversations the president was having about ukraine. >> it is surprising, so many members of the senate, republicans, say they're not watching today's testimony considering this could very well land on their desks in the future. anna, i'll talk to you in a bit. john bolton recently
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collided president trump and his family members during a speaking event for morgan stanley hedge fund clients. telling nbc news that both suggested his both boss' approach on policy on turkey is voted by personal or financial purposes. he also called trump unreasonable for refusing to sanction turkey, despite bipartisan support on that after the president purchased a missile defense system. according to six people who were at the event, the national security adviser questioned trump's qualifications for applying his business acumen to foreign policy. adding that such issues c driv views. and bolton also derided i vvank trump and jared kushner. and "the washington post" is reporting that one of rudy
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giuliani's two associates lev parnas said he discussed ukraine at a private dinner for super pac donors back in 2018. the post reports that parnas along with igor fruman indicted for finance fraud told associates that they spoke to trump at the dinner and said that then u.s. ambassador to the ukraine marie yovanovitch was hostile. according to people to his event.ap that parnas said trump reacted pretty strongly to the news and suggested that yovanovitch be fired. the post notes that parnas suggests he and fruman has more personal interaction with the president and possibly more on his views over ukraine, than the white house has acknowledged as of yet. parnas, the white house and a lawyer for fruman declined to comment. still ahead, the supreme court is ready to the push to
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end the daca program. plus, new polling on where the public stands on the impeachment probe as we enter the very first phase of the inquiry. those stories and, of course, a check of your weather when we come back. i am the twisting thundercloud. i am royalty of racing, i am alfa romeo.
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welcome back. the supreme court appears like throw letted tru ethe trump administration follow through on his plan to end daca. the federal program that has allowed more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants known as dreamers to avoid deportation, the court's liberal justice question the court's rationale for ending the program. but it appeared the court's five conservative justices were inclined to rule that the department of homela ended in 2018. and cannot second-guess this decision. meanwhile, outside of the court,
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hundreds of reapply every two years. a ruling in the case is not likely until the spring of 2020. joining me now to talk through this, msnbc legal analyst danny cevallos. danny, good morning to you for joining us. >> good morning. >> what do you think is the factor here, even owe the supreme court is leaning here? >> two things can be true at the same time. first, daca can be unlawful. and also, the trump administration may have arrived at this decision unlawfully or violated the administrative procedures act. and these are the two main arguments in this case. one, the government is saying, look, you can't review our decision court, it's not even within your power. because this is an administrative policy decision that we made. on the other hand, as pointed out by one of the justices in oral argument yesterday, if they made a legal decision, then that must be reviewable. after all, that's what the courts are for.
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but ultimately, it may all be for naught, if daca can be removed by the current administration. after all, it was just an executive order created by a prior administration. with executive orders each successive president giveth and he can taketh away. >> what happens with the 800,000 daca recipients since the trump administration decided to end the program and have not necessarily known what their future was going to look like, since it's been in the court system, what happens to them if the supreme court decides to end this program? >> legally, it's a less significant argument before the court, but practically speaking, it may be the most important argument before the court. because even if daca can ultimately be rescinded, it will leave all of those folks, by some counts, 700,000 people, but if you add in their parent, children, loved ones, now, we're talking about millions of people. then the effects of rescinding daca are going to be incredible
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broad. there is why we've seen so much public support for daca, because there are just so many people in the united states who are affected by it. >> i want to switch gears here and talk about the public phase of the impeachment inquiry here. we're hearing from george kent and bill taylor, bill taylor being first this morning. what are you going to be looking out in all of this? >> the amazing thing for people like bill taylor, we already have a preview of what they're going to be talking about. and it's no surprise to me that the witnesses are starting with bill taylor. they have given the moat damning testimony against the administration. on the one hand, however, a lot of bill taylor's information comes secondhand. but on the other hand, he paints a very scary picture, at least in his view, of what was going on with foreign policy, with ukraine and the withholding aid. >> what is the theory of the democrats knowing they have
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closed-door depositions from both bill taylor and george kent, knowing part of the story that they're going to be telling in this public forum today? >> it makes their job a little easier in the sense they have a huge transcript to pick and choose from. and really put together a razor-sharp questioning, so they can get out exactly the information they want. and, remember, these public hearings in a sense are really about pr. a lot of this information has already been gained from these witnesses. so this is about pageantry. this is about getting the public interested and educating the public about what democrats and republicans have found in the course of this investigation. look for them to put their best foot forward on both sides. >> finally, i just want to get your take on the decision to have daniel goldman doing most of the questioning for the democrats. you have sat on a panel with daniel. i've been on air with him many times. what do you make -- how is that going to change the q & a?
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how is that going to change the narrative this morning having someone like daniel do the q & a? >> first, i'm honestly buy lly . i've been on a panel with him, he's excellent. the former federal prosecutor with so much experience prosecuting casing, particularly organized crime cases but here in the southern district which ask one of the most highly esteemed districts in the nation, he's somebody who has experience putting together a direct examination, and building the blocks necessary, during examination torsi elicit exactl the information needs without any surplusage. >> does it seem likes there less bias involves? considering a former prosecutor is doing the questioning versus a congress member? >> it may not feel like that for republicans because you have somebody who is an expert questioner who has built a
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career off of building cases and direct examination and cross-examination. so republicans can argue that they've been essentially -- they've cherry picked the very best person to ask questions to make the very worst case against republicans. >> danny cevallos, thanks as always. it's a big day ahead. still ahead, everybody, she embellished her resume and had her face on a fake cover of "time" magazine. unbelievable. then she ended up with a job. guess where? at the state department. a story that's once again raising questions about the administration's vetting process. that's next. i am alfa romeo.
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welcome back. a senior trump administration official is under fire after it appears she embellished her resume in the latest incidence of lax vetting by the administration. nbc news reports that a dispute assistant secretary in the state department, you see her there, mina chang, exaggerated her accomplishments some of which include this, inventing a roll on a u.n. panel that she was never featured on and implying she had testified before congress. she didn't. she also claimed to have addressed both republican and national democratic conventions in 2016. she didn't. but she spoke at separate events. chang described herself as a ceo of a network. but tax filing for her organization offered no concrete information about overseas projects.
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and shows a budget of less than $300,000 with a very small staff. she also called herself a harvard business school alumni. according to the university, chang completed a seven-week course back in 2016 and does not hold a degree from the institution. she also touted a "time" magazine cover of herself which a "time's" spokesperson called not authentic. let's get a check of your weather on nbc meteorologist bill karins who i can assure you is actually a meteorologist, right? you are, right? >> i am. there was a lot of painful physics in that class included that i clearly remember and scarred by, yes. so, let's talk about this winter wallop. whatever you want to call it. yesterday, it left its mark in areas of ohio. still cleaning up in many areas of the great lakes. the east coast got frigid. becaus of the relate slippery
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conditions. the roads. ohio, there was a 50-car pileup. we did have one death with that. here's some of the aftermath pictures. temperatures were down, windchills were in the single digits and highs were only in the low 30s. you see the sun was out melting the roads there but a little too late there. let's get into the numbers. what's amazing about this outbreak is how widespread it i is. windchill's below freezing. in the areas of great lakes and new england that includes portions of 18 different states. that's different than a cold outbreak say, january or february. that's what's unusual about this event. detroit still at negative 1. chicago, at 0. roanoke, 11. what's interesting, an area like new orleans, 22. houston is below freezing overnight and your whirl indchi
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down, too. we'll warm up in the 50s in the south. teens in buffalo, syracuse, burlingt burlington, vermont, new york and d.c., in the 30s. this wasn't a hyped event. it delivered, it was painful and still is. >> it's the opposite. >> it's a wake-up call. >> it's actually the antithesis of a wake-up call. still ahead, how trump's re-election team is getting involved and new reporting that president trump wants to fire mick mulvaney. but mulvaney has hinted to associates that he can't be let go because he knows too much. those stories and more. rotein. low sugar. tastes great! high protein. low sugar. so good! high protein. low sugar. mmmm, birthday cake! pure protein. the best combination for every fitness routine.
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♪ welcome back, everybody. i'm yasmin vossoughian. ayman is on assignment. let's start with the top stories. a person close to the white house telling nbc news, ahead of the impeachment hearings, president trump's feeling has been seething. distancing himself from the witnesses arguing that none of them had any direct knowledge of the president's thinking. president trump has several counterprogramming events that may help keep him from reacting to the public hearings in legal time. today, he's going to meet with the turkish president erdogan. and later in the evening, trump will hold a rally in louisiana.
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trump's campaign is planning to have a swarm of staffers help coordinate the hearings to help create pushback on it. at least 20 staffers are expected to be monitoring every word and every potential viral moment that they can use. in that interview with npr yesterday, house committee chair adam schiff suggested there's enough evidence to impeach president trump for bribery. watch this. >> i don't think any decision has been made on the ultimate questions about whether the articles of impeachment should be brought. but on the basis of what the witnesses have had to say so far, there are any number of potentially impeachable offenses including bribery, including high crimes and misdemeanors. as the founders understood, bribery was not as we understand it in law today. it was much broader. it connoted the breach of the public trust in a way where you're offering official acts for some personal or political reason. and not in the nation's interest. >> so, let's talk through some
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polls here. a majority of americans say they approve of house democrats' impeachment inquiry. according to the latest cb cbs/yougovern poll, 53% agree. and 43% said trump deserves to be impeached up one point since october. by party that includes 12% of republicans, 35% of independents and 80% of democrats. and there's also support for the public impeachment hearings which are scheduled to begin today with 47%, just under half, supporting the opening hearings. 42% backing a mix of open and closed hearings. and 11 saying they want only closed hearings. however, americans are divided over the house democrats' handling of the probe. 48% said they have handled it well. 52% said they have handled it poorly. they're also split on the probe
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itself with 39% saying it's a political distraction. 25% saying it's a critical matter. and 20% saying it's serious but not critical. and rudy giuliani has published an op-ed in "the wall street journal" entitle the "case for the impeachment defense." rudy giuliani writes this in part, that's a false narrative built on selectively lead testimony from adam schiff closed-door intelligence committee hearings. the manner in which he and speaker nancy pelosi are conducting this impeachment investigation is unprecedented. constitutionally questionable and an affront to american fair play. if the american people are allowed to see the facts of the matter, the truth will prevail. but if the allegations against joe and hunter biden aren't fully investigated we won't have
quote
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equal justice under the law. politicians of both the right. and attorney general william barr dismissed the president's involvement with ukraine? >> you can comment on -- >> i'm not going to talk about what's going on inside the beltway. >> all right. according to "the washington post," some of president trump's senior advisers has been counseling him to not fire acting white house steve of staff mick mulvaney amidst the impeachment probe. three people familiar with it telling the post that trump has been threatening to fire mulvaney for weeks. senior advisers have cautioned trump removing mulvaney at a sensitive time to be perilous because mulvaney played a pivotal role in ukraine. and mulvaney's relationship with trump has been under new scrutiny this week, after he tried to join a lawsuit asking
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the court whether he should comply with a subpoena from the house democrats. he later with drew that request and saying mulvaney will comply with the order not to testify. and mulvaney has said there's no easy way for trump to fire him on the probe, the implication being that he just knows too much about the president's pressure campaign to force ukraine to provide information. joining me anna edgerton. this is for mick mulvaney saying he knows too much, to me, it seems like a public threat here, without necessarily directly threatening the president? >> yeah, that's right. he's not wrong, he does know a lot. mick mulvaney had that press conference to which he kind of admitted to a quid pro quo. but also to hold up this aid to
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ukraine which is the central allegation of ukraine. he does have that firsthand knowledge, republicans are saying that current witnesses don't actually have. >> i want to circle back to the impeachment hearings as we know it's going to be a major day amidst this impeachment inquiry. what are you expecting to see today? >> yeah. it's hard to overstate the importance of today's hearing. it's the first public hearing. this is when democrats are really going to be making their case to the american people. you pulled up the poll numbers earlier, and this is the chance that democrats have to shift the favor of impeachment. we'll definitely see some political sparring but hopefully, we'll see some substance as well and some presentation of the actual facts behind this case. >> when you have so many republicans both in the house and senate basically saying they're not going to be watching these impeachment hearings today, is there any -- is there
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any idea at all that you feel as if republicans could feasibly shift their mind-set on the narrative about ukraine, considering where they're at right now? >> well, yeah, it's been an interesting almost divide between senate and house republicans. you have that rundown of senate republicans saying they weren't going to watch. but bloomberg has reported that senate republicans have left himself room and a lot have said they're not going to weigh in. but it's not inconceivable that some of them could change their mind on actual articles of impeachment and vote in favor of the president. because that's where they're going to be thinking about their legacy. about where they stand at this historic moment. >> great seeing you, anna. still ahead, the landscape appears to be changes in idaho's democratic race as mayor pete
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buttigieg skyrockets. plus, investors were closely watching the president's remarks yesterday. and the key fed chair and no stranger to the president's attacks. your "first look" at "morning joe" is back in a moment. people were afraid i was contagious. i was covered from head to toe. i was afraid to show my skin. it was kind of a shock after... i started cosentyx. i wasn't covered anymore. four years clear. five years now. i just look and feel better. see me. cosentyx works fast to give you clear skin that can last. real people with psoriasis look and feel better with cosentyx. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop
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experience amazing at your lexus dealer. high protein. low sugar. tastes great! high protein. low sugar. so good! high protein. low sugar. mmmm, birthday cake! pure protein. the best combination for every fitness routine. welcome back. mayor pete buttigieg surges to first place in iowa in a new monmouth poll, buttigieg up 14 points sitting at 22 superiors leading the democratic primary field. unbelievable. he's tied with former vice president joe biden who sits at 19%, down seven points. elizabeth warren has 18%, down two points. senator bernie sanders up five points at 13%. amy klobuchar is up two points in iowa.
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and the former new york city mayor michael bloomberg has taken another step at potentially throwing his hat into the 2020 race. bloomberg through to arkansas to enter the state's marked democratic primary ahead of the filing deadline. a spokesperson for bloomberg confirms with nbc news that he was in fact in arkansas to file paperwork for the march 3rd democratic ballot. and axios also tweeted out this photo of bloomberg signing the paperwork. and arkansas marks the second ballot where bloomberg appears. bloomberg has not officially said whether he will run in 2020. let's get a check on your weather now with nbc meteorologist bill karins. i can sum it up for you, it's cold. >> yeah, the wind. >> i don't mind it being cold, it's when it's windy. >> it feels like february 2nd. >> february 2nd.
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i'm looking forward to mardi gras time. spring. >> gee, look at that, yucking it up, who new? >> wild and crazy guy. >> wild and crazy guy. >> yeah, watch out for those weather guys. already 100 records broken this morning. yesterday, we had 57 record lows broken. as yasmin said, it's cold. it's going to continue that way much of the day. windchill values in the teens in atlanta. tallahassee, feels like 26. new york city, 16, cleveland's at 7. as we go throughout the day it will improve a little bit. it won't be as windy in the northeast like yesterday so it will make it feel more bearable. new york city did break a record low. burlington at 21. and detroit at 30. we're still melting the snow for a few days and stick around into the weekend. the polar air will retreat and get better towards the weekend. chicago, you struggle, though, only in the 30s all the way into
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saturday. areas in ohio valley will jump up to 50 in nashville. the next big weather event, it's not a huge deal. it will start raining in texas by thursday. by thursday afternoon it spreads from mississippi, southern alabama, to georgia. the thing about this storm, if you have weekend plans say savannah, myrtle beach, outer banks, this is going to linger, rain on friday. then the system sits here and stalls. not going to be a pretty saturday anywhere from jacksonville, florida, up through the coastal carolinas. virginia you're on the edge of it, d.c. i think you remain dry for now. we have to keep a closer i and see what happens for the upcoming weekend. forecast for today, yasmin ruined the whole thing when she said it's cold. >> it's amazing, i still talked for two minutes after you ruined it. >> thank you, bill. still ahead, steven miller is the chief architect of the president's immigration policy.
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now newly uncovered emails after what's described as the, quote, most racist policy that has influenced his decision. we'll get into that, next. next. we're more of the plan, invest and protect kind of help... voya. helping you to and through retirement. wow! giving one. how did you guys...? >>don't ask. the lexus december to rembember sales event get 0 percent apr for 60 months on all 2019 models. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. tthe bad news? our so will this recital.day. new depend® fit-flex underwear offers your best comfort and protection guaranteed. because, perfect or not, life's better when you're in it. be there with depend®. make family-sized meals fast, and because it's a ninja foodi,
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xfi advanced security. welcome back. a newly uncovered email showing how white house senior adviser steven miller pushed the website breitbart to cover white nationalist content in the years 2015 to 2016.
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a branch of the law center report showed that more than 80% of the 900 emails obtained that miller sent related to race or immigration. they characterized miller with being obsessed with, quote, white genocide. miller sent those emails working for the trump administration and now plays a direct role in informing the immigration policy. the emails were sent to katie mccue who was fired from the publication for moving anti-muslim tweets. in the emails, miller suggested she look into white nationalist websites, righting about the site popular among neo-nazis. and shared that he was up set that amazon removed confederate merchandise from its site. upon hearing on the news, alexandria ocasio-cortez called on miller to resign. the white house denounced the report calling the " ing the fb
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right and clearly an attempt at anti-semiti anti-semitism. according to "the washington post," a senior white house official involved in the project said there will be a wall cam, and it will launch next year. setting up webcams goes against obstructions from the u.s. army corps and customs because they do not want their technicals visible to competitors. they also show that cameras would show u.s. work crews violating mexican sovereignty because they must somehow go south of the border to maneuver the vehicles and heavy quilt. kushner has purchased forward that the wall cam claiming is proving that trump has not failed on his 2016 campaign. and president trump gave a much anticipated speech at the
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discussed among other things the trade dispute with china. julianna tatelbaum joins us. good morning. >> good morning. >> what did you learn from the president yesterday? >> well, the president, i would say, failed to deliver just what wall street had been expecting. he did mention china situation in new york, but he didn't really give any concrete guidance in terms of what's going to happen next on the trade front. instead, he once again bashed the federal reserve calling on jerome powell to adjust rates lower highlighting negative interest rates outside of the u.s. namely in europe, and he also pointed to the economic strength of the united states suggesting that the economic revival that's been underway during his presidency comes down in large part to those 2017 tax cuts. so putting it all together, the market was somewhat disappointed with the lack of tangible commentary on the trade front.
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you can see that in the market reaction yesterday. we did see stocks overall edge higher but the moves were broadly contained. we're going to be in for a bit of a pull back today. >> you're talking about fed chair obviously jerome powell. he is actually headed to capitol hill to speak with the congressional joint economic chi. what can we expect to hear from him? >> exactly. so today all eyes are on jerome powell, and he's going to be giving his take on the current economic outlook. one feature of that outlook is of course inflation and the expectations there. right alongside comments from jerome powell, we're also going to be keeping an eye on a key indicator of inflation trends, and that's the consumer price indexme index. if inflation comes in hotter than estimates, it could raise concerns about whether the fed's current policy is too easy. keep an eye out from jerome powell. aside from all of that, one
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thing i want to highlight for investors is cisco earnings. this is an important company in terms of the impact of the china/u.s. trade war on the u.s. economy. last quarter they saw that revenues in china fell 25%, so keep an eye on those earnings later today to get a sense of how the trade war is impacting real business. >> live from london for us, thank you juliana, great seeing you. "axios's" editor in chief nick johnson and coming up on moe "morning joe" the first public impeachment hearing. plus, congressman tim ryan of is set to make a major announcement on air. stand by for that. "morning joe" is just moments away. that. "morning joe" is just moments away ♪oh there's no place like home for the holidays.♪
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welcome back, everybody. joining us from washington with a look at "axios" a.m. nicholas johnson. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> talk to us about "axios's" one big thing. >> today's one big thing is the gop's ditch rudy strategy. a new strategy emerging to somehow keep the president safe for a impeachment survival strategy is to separate him from the ukraine shenanigans by blaming them all on rudy giuliani throwing him under the bus. republicans we are talking to are saying that rudy giuliani was doing a lot of these things on his own. one republican even used the word going rogue on a lot of these ukraine dealings communicating with some of the folks in the diplomatic core, state department officials saying this is an impeachment of donald trump, and donald trump was involved with these kind of things, rudy giuliani was. look for the republicans to possibly taking the steps of saying giuliani was acting on
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his own, if there was anyone at fault in these kind of issues it was the president's personal attorney. >> what is the president -- >> what does the president think of this approach? >> the president isn't terribly happy. he's a little bit frustrated with the slippery slope strategy. you go from it wasn't proper, it wasn't impeachable. well, actually it was impeachable. if it was impeachable, is it worthy of a conviction. the president would like a much stronger defense from his republican allies on the facts of this case and that nobody did anything wrong, that the call was as the president loves to say perfect, and there was no quid pro quo. he doesn't want republicans trying to mount a defense on the process or on the fringes of this kind of case such as going after rudy giuliani. he wants a full throated defense of the president himself. >> what is "axios" learning, what do they know about the president's mind-set and
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especially today heading into the public testimony from bill taylor and george kent? >> i think you can see i mentioned he's calling on republicans to mount a defense. he's taken to twitter quite a lot recently as we built up to these hearings coming up this week calling on republicans to shy away completely from any kind of equivocation on the defense of the president. what the president wants and what the president is pushing house members on he'll be lobbying personally senate members today on is to come to the forefront to defend the president's actions. to yield no quarter at all to democrats on what was conducted and how the president discussed these things with ukraine. this comes back to this slippery slope concern. to yield anything on any of these kinds of issues. somewhat inappropriate but not impeachable, that opens the door to wavering republicans for democrats to attack to push forward to make this an impeachable crime and something they would push the senate to convict upon. >> where do democrats believe they stand as of this morning? >> democrats are telling us
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they're looking for a mueller report on steroids in the hearings today. they're looking -- they're very excited about the fact that the mueller report was a lot of confusing names, a lot of back door issues that was difficult to explain. when you get down to it, nobody read all 400 pages. what they're hoping for is real career diplomats saying explicit moments of real crimes and misdemeanors, things that were done that these unimpeachable witnesses heard about. this is the first moment we're really going to bring the public all the way in. what i'm going to be watching for is that moment that sort of catches the public's attention. it's like thinking back to the watergate hearings in the senate. what did the president know and when did he know it? i'm really looking for a clarifying moment of that. that's what democrats are definitely going to push for. >> we're going to be reading "axios" a.m. in a little bit. you can sign up for the news letter at "axios".com. i'm yasmin vossoughian, "morning joe" starts right now.
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did you ever have any doubt about the fitness of this president? >> i never did. >> anybody wants to come in, dictators, it's okay. >> any doubt about his mental acuity? >> i never american energy independence. >> any question about his truthfulness, his ability to tell the truth cincinnati. >> billions and billions of dollars in tariffs that china is paying for. we're not paying. >> i never had any concern on whether he could handle the job. >> i just close my eyes and i sign it. >> what about his truthfulness? did you think he was a

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