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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  August 7, 2018 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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an ohio congressional seat up for grabs. should be a win for republicans. the party's held it for more than three decades. president trump won the district by 11 points. but it's neck and neck. what it all could mean for november. also, record-setting wildfires. fires burning in northern california. nearly the size of los angeles. the biggest in the history of that state. are bad environmental laws to blame for the fast-moving blaze like the president suggests? we'll dig into that in just a bit. but we start with what may be the biggest day of testimony in the paul manafort trial. later today, the defense expected to cross examine the prosecution's key witness rick gates. today and monday, manafort' key deputy testified how he hid his money from the irs. but he had made an important admission the defense is likely to harp on today.
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the courthouse in alexandria. ken dilanian has followed this from day one. set this up for us. what is the defense planning? what have we learned from rick gates both today and monday? >> well, yesterday, craig, rick gates walked on the stand and introduced himself to the jury by saying he had committed crimes with paul manafort. he described how he'd been indicted along with manafort on these bank and tax charges. he has pled guilty to a lesser charge. he's cooperating. they laid all that out for the jury. they talked about all the bad things he's done including lying to the fbi and, as you mentioned, a crime that prosecutors did not know about until gates reported it to them, that he'd been embezzling from manafort. gates was defrauding manafort by padding his expense accounts. yesterday was the introduction. today, gates and the prosecution is walking the jury through the details of this alleged tax and
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bank fraud. it's very powerful because it isn't just gate's words. it's documents including e-mails with mr. manafort's own words showing that he had knowledge of these frauds, that he knew there were bank accounts outside the reach of the irs. that he knew gates was wiring money from these overseas bank accounts to pay for luxury items like suits and big screen televisions and there was an e-mail introduced just before we broke for launch where manafort was complaining about his tax liability. and the way they came up with, mr. gates said, was they disguised income as loans. and that's fraud. now, where the defense will attack this testimony is that gates was involved in that conduct. gates was the one filing the paperwork. he was engaged with the accountants. it looks like the defense will say this is all gates and not manafort. the problem is there's a lot of evidence tying manafort, including e-mail evidence. >> what are we seeing about body
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language, demeanor, facial ex-expressie expre expresses, anything like that? >> paul manafort was staring bullets at rick gates, his former protegee. who worked for him for ten years. started for him as an intern. and gates was not looking at manafort. gates does not look in manafort's direction, even though they're about ten feet apart. he's talking to the jury. manafort is glaring at him. manafort has been an active participant in his defense. he's taking notes. he's talking to his lawyers. holding a pen. but gates is not engaging with his former mentor, ilanian outs courthouse. we'll check in with you throughout the afternoon. let's bring in jill winebanks. mimi roker is with us, former assistant u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. and michael steele, former rnc chairman. all of them msnbc contributors and analysts. mimi, gates admitting he
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embezzled this money from manafort, estimates it was in the, quote, hundreds of thousands of dollars. what can the defense do with that kind of admission? >> well, it's not a great admission for the government, you know, it's one thing to put a cooperator on the stand who admits to committing crimes with the defendant he's testifying against. then the government says obviously, you know, the defendant picked this guy, we didn't. the reason he's here on the stand is because he committed crimes with this person and he needs to explain why the defendant is guilty. that's the only way to get that testimony. now you have gates lying to manafort. so manafort is going to use that to say, right, he lied to me, and that's how you know that he also lied about, you know, the tax fraud and the bank fraud. he's the one who was really doing it. i, manafort, didn't know about it. here's why that's not going to work. first of all, as ken said, there's a lot of documentary evidence, including e-mails, that show that manafort was the one directing it. and it just further goes to the
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point that, you know, you lie down with fleas, you wake up with fleas. >> my grandma used to say if you run with dogs, you get fleas. >> it's very true here. look, it's like who did trump pick to be his campaign manager? who did his campaign manager pick to be his deputy? this is the kind of person we're dealing with. it's not a surprise he would then also defraud manafort. >> jill, it would not seem as if things are going especially well for the former campaign chairman paul manafort. how would you characterize the trial so far for him? >> i would say that the evidence has gone in very well and that there is a very compelling and complete case based open the documents. and that's important because in criminal cases, you do have criminals testifying against each other. i can only think of one case that i ever had where i had a completely untainted,
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completely -- he was actually a lawyer who had been extorted in the presence of his client. and that's the only time that i ever had someone who was not at all involved in a crime testifying. because in white collar cases, that's who the witnesses are. and juries understand that. mimi is correct, this is a definitely worst situation than just i did crimes with him. because it's i did crimes with him and against him. i think the jury will get over that and will see based on the documents, based on the e-mails, and based on the facts that the person who benefited was not the witness. the person who benefited was paul manafort. so he's the only one who had anything to gain from this. and there's enough evidence of his being very hands on that it will go. the one thing that does concern me is the judge has been more than strict. he's been i think unfair in what he's kept out.
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you can argue that he's trying to prevent reversible error. but really i think he's hurting the prosecution case because they're not being able to put in all the evidence that would be relevant to the juror's decision in this case. >> evidence like what? >> for example, he's not allowing all the evidence of what paul manafort spent his money on. and where he got the money from. and how he was directly involved. so i think there have been some things and also the judge has been very vocal in -- yelling at the prosecution in the way that demeans it. even comments that he's made, like i wouldn't know except if it came from men's warehouse. or you didn't fool my wife. that really i think undermines the prosecution and makes them look weaker and less effective in front of the jury. now it's not clear all of those things were said in front of the jury. but if they were, they would have a definite impact on how the jury views the case.
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>> michael steele, what's going to make president trump most nervous about everything we've heard so far? >> everything you've heard so far. and what has yet to be said. there's a lot for the president to be nervous about here. largely because this is the predicate to the more important and the bigger case that's going to be brought by mueller that lays out the full narrative of what the president's team did on his behalf or what the president himself may have done on the airplane. and while mueller and russia and all of that is not part of this conversation in the virginia courthouse, it is -- or it may be even in the d.c. courthouse when we get to that. it is one of the footprints and is one of many footprints that gates is laying out there that will tie into not just the manafort narrative but in subsequent narratives as well
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that -- about how these characters behaved. how they dealt -- and did business. and i think that that is the most important part to laying down the argument of why the president's actions on that airplane in dictating that memo was consistent with what we've seen up to that point. and afterwards. i think there's a lot for the president to be concerned about here. even though russia's not a part of this particular trial. >> we have now heard some russian names associated with russia's efforts against the west. one witness saying manafort never repaid a $10 million loan from an oligarch named oleg deripaska. the u.s. imposed sanctions on him and 23 others. charges include attempting to subvert western democracies and malicious cyber activities. sanctions were later eased on deripaska. also reports that manafort gave a colleague with ties to a
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russian intelligence signatory authority over some cyprus accounts. does this give us an indication what mueller might want from paul manafort? >> i think it gives us a small window, you know, we're getting just a little bit of what mueller probably would want to get from manafort. but yes, absolutely, manafort's connections to deripska, whose names keep coming up in terms of being involved in the attacks on our election and, you know, with deripaska, is someone who greatly wanted the sanctions eased. a great motive to interfere in our election. i think that give us a real hint. it also is important, as we keep coming back to, you know, manafort being in debt to deripaska at the time he took the no pay job from donald trump
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i think is going to be an important part of this story as well. >> michael, hope hicks, potential witness in the case. apparently was on air force one this weekend with the president. is that what a smart defense attorney would advice? >> no, i don't even get, you know, sometimes these folks operated in orbit where they're just totally in space by themselves. and disconnected from everything else that's going on around them. i don't know what animated or motivated hope hicks to reinsert herself into this particular narrative at this point in time as this trial is kicking off with manafort and as mueller is laying down, at least giving signs out there that there are folks in trump's space that are now much more in his cross hairs. i don't understand it. i would think, given that she's spoken before to special, you
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know, prosecutor that, you know, you would create some distance, not reinvolve her. but that's the sense that i think a lot of trump's people feel and maybe hope herself feels, that there's a newness to some degree from all of this other stuff that has nothing to do with what they did on behalf and for the president. they do believe that this is the witch hunt. they do believe that there's nothing to this. and i think that's a very dangerous position to take. >> there are reports, unconfirmed by this network, that hope hicks is in line to replace john kelly as chief of staff. you buy that? >> no. no. why? i mean, kelly -- kelly just got the sign off to say, hey, i'm with the president through the 2020 re-elect. so, you know, the idea now that, you know, hope's going to come back and be chief of staff with even less qualifications than
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reince priebus had and we know how that turned out, i just don't see that. the president wants to be his own chief of staff. i think that's well established at this point. the one thing he can do to allow him to do that successfully, and i put that in quotation marks, is to have someone in there who at least can get the machine to work and operate on a day-to-day basis, controlling it and coordinating the cabinet, doing those other things on the hill. i just don't see hope hicks filling that role. no disrespect to her. but no government experience. no real relationship with capitol hill. i don't see how she steps in and would be an effective chief of staff even as donald trump is calling all the shots. >> michael steele, thank you. record-setting wildfires. one fire burning in california right now. that is nearly the size of los angeles. it's the largest fire in the history of california. and believe it or not, right
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now, it's actually getting worse. plus, voice of the people on this tuesday. a democrat with a congressional race that's been held by a republican for more than three decades. what that could portend for november. and next target. exclusive reporting from nbc news shows the trump administration's next immigration target. millions of people trying to move here legally. yeah... but popping these things really helps me...relax. please don't, i'm saving those for later. at least you don't have to worry about renters insurance. just go to geico.com. geico helps with renters insurance? good to know. been doing it for years. that's really good to know. i'll check 'em out. get to know geico. and see how easy homeowners and renters insurance can be. so let's promote our summer travel deal on choicehotels.com like this. surfs up.
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what is now the largest wildfire in california history is showing no sign of letting up. two major fires have now joined, creating what's being called the mendocino complex fire and get this, it's nearly the size of the sprawling city of los angeles. the second largest city in this country. the fire's scorched through more than 290,000 acres. more than 450 square miles. officials say at this point it's just 20% contained as well. 11,000 structures are being threatened by these blazes. and the associated press says some 14,000 firefighters right now are battling those fires throughout the state. nbc's joel fryer is keeping a very close eye on it from california. what can you tell us right now? it's just after 10:00 there on the west coast. firefighters anywhere gaining an upper hand on this thing? >> you know, craig, it's going to take some time.
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this fire, the mendocino complex fire, has grown at an incredible rate. it has more than doubled in size in just the past four days. fueled by the fact that we're experiencing a lot of heat right now in california. triple digit customers. low humidity. and the winds have really picked up. and incredibly dry conditions. the mendocino county complex fire remains a concern. most of the growth has happened on the north side of the fire, where it's basically heavy forested area with no homes. the major concern is the southern end of the fire, which is closer to residential areas. crews are working hard to put out hot spots to make sure the fire doesn't spread into the residential areas. already this morning we have seen a few neighborhoods have been allowed to return home after being evacuated. so that is a positive sign. with conditions ripe for fire throughout this week here in california, certainly concerns remain high, craig.
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>> we put up a map that showed some of the other areas throughout california, where wildfires are raging right now. we're focusing of course on this largest one. but there's a number of wildfires all over california. as you know, president trump has weighed in via his favorite method, twitter, tweeting, california wildfires being magnified and made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. the president's comments there on social media, joe, how are those comments being received there in california? >> bottom line, craig, they're not being received very well. there was one headline in the "l.a. times" which called it, quote, a strikingly ignorant tweet, one expert also weighing in, saying it boggles the mind. bottom line what appears to be happening here is there is a genuine debate going on in california over the issue of water allocate that pits largely republicans against democrats and the governor here, jerry
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brown. experts say that's a separate issue from whether water is actually available to fight these wildfires, cal fire will tell you just be reassured. we have plenty of water. there are no issues with water supplies or resources here. in fact, keep in mind, take the mendocino complex fire. that is actually burning pretty close to a decent sized lake. so that is one resource for firefighters. the other thing to keep in mind is water is obviously incredibly important when fighting a fire. it's not the only tool that's used. oftentimes these aerial attacks we see on the fire, they're using retardants. and one of the most important factors in trying to contain the fire is the fact that all those crews are on the ground. they're digging containment lines through the vegetation to keep the fire from spreading. all those things come together to try to control a massive fire like this one we're seeing burning now. >> joe fryer for us there, in california. this is one of, if not the most, important story that we're following today.
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so in just a few minutes, we are going to be talking to an official there in california on the ground, working to get these fires under control. we'll ask how helpful it was to blame state environmental laws for making the fires worse. the first person to survive alzheimer's disease is out there. and the alzheimer's association is going to make it happen by funding scientific breakthroughs, advancing public policy, and providing local support to those living with the disease and their caregivers. but we won't get there without you. join the fight with the alzheimer's association.
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a special election for the vacated congressional seat in ohio's 12th congressional district. it's drawing natural attention. president trump stumping for balderson on saturday. less than one point separating the two candidates according to the latest polls. msnbc's garrett haake on the ground for us in columbus, ohio. wins the district by 11 points in 2016. why is that not carried over to the election? what are you hearing there? >> yes, craig, that's been one of the questions we've had for voters here. it's been a steady stream at this precinct. voters here are not used to seeing us here. they're not used to their races being a story.
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that's how dominant republicans have been here. really for a generation. you talk about president trump winning by 11 points here. pat teabury, the former congressman here, used to regularly win by 25 or 30 points. something has changed here. donald trump has been a big part of it and tonight's race will be much closer than that. >> troy balderson. he is the guy. he is the guy that's going to do things. >> reporter: president trump on saturday delivering a buckeye boost for republican troy balderson, now locked in a bruising battle with democrat danny o'connor in this last election before the midterms. >> danny o'connor, that's a beauty, he's another beauty. this is what we're fighting. >> reporter: balderson unabashedly riding the coattails of a president who won this district by 11 points. >> i'm not tired of winning. >> reporter: for a candidate who even some republicans say has failed to fully connect with voters -- >> time-out. i lost my screen that was popping up.
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>> reporter: the gop cavalry has been key. surrogate visits, tv ads and millions of dollars spent by supportive super pacs. republicans hope saturday's presidential visit brought a last-minute boost of unthesism. >> major excitement. they were excited to see him up there. >> reporter: but excitement democrats here have in spades. about 31-year-old candidate dannyo'connor. >> this district has been republican since before you were born. why would it change now? >> i think because we're having conversations. >> reporter: he focused on core democratic issues like health care and social security. and tried to keep his distance from washington, vowing not to support pelosi for speaker. how much is donald trump on the ballot in this race? >> well, he's not -- when i'm looking someone in the eye on their doorstep or here in a restaurant, i'm asking them what they're worried about. to them, it's policy issues,
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it's bread and butter stuff they talk about around the kitchen table. >> reporter: supporters believe that temperance may be key to peeling away votes from the district's well educated typically republican suburbs where some lifelong gop voters are ready to turn their backs on party. do you recognize your republican party when you look at washington right now? >> not at all. >> reporter: not at all? >> not at all. i do not. i just feel that both the house and the senate have been neutered. i don't know what they're thinking. >> craig, these two candidates are going to face off again in november no matter what happens here tonight. so part of the reason we care so much about this race, this district looks so much like other battleground districts all around the country, right? it's got these wealthy, well educated suburban voters in one corner of it. it's got voters who went more towards president trump in the other corner of it.
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we'll learn so much about what motivated districts like this. the strategists are going to use to help decide who keeps control of congress in the fall. >> garrett haake, in the middle of it in ohio. primary voters all heading to the polls to cast their ballots. let's bring in chuck douglas. talk show host from wtoh radio. kimberly atkins, not a talk show host, but she is chief washington reporter for the boston herald. and jeremy peters, reporter for "the new york times," msnbc contributor, could very well host a radio host at some point i'm sure. you spend a lot of time talking to folks there on your radio show. what are the issues driving them to the polls today? and why has there been such a comparatively tepid response? >> i think what's driving people is not necessarily as much local
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as most of us, or many of us, would like it to be. i think all the speculation about this being a reflection about how they feel about washington and congress and the president and so forth. i really do believe that ultimately that is more of a catalyst for getting anybody to the polls that goes today than what may be going on down the street. and i agree with the report that just ran. we're going to learn a lot tonight based on how people -- how many people vote and how they vote. i'm looking forward to getting the info. >> you're getting the sense, it sounds like there in ohio where you are, you're getting the sense this is going to be another election where people aren't necessarily voting for something, they're voting against a whole heck of a lot? >> i think that is probably gist of a lot of mind-sets out there. that's kind of been the campaign on both sides too. you know, the republican, the platform, if you vote democrat, you're voting for nancy pelosi. that's essentially been what we heard here. from the opposite side, if you vote for the republican, you vote for more of the same you're
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getting with trump right now in the current administration. so it's, you know, it's -- that's been kind of the way that people have been motivated to get involved. i just personally am hoping for a strong turnout. it bothers me to see 18% of people turn out at the polls, even in presidential elections, 24% to 26%. that's just not acceptable. the world is the world but the united states needs participation of its people. and when people don't get out to the polls and they complain the next day about what's going on, big frustration for me. >> that has become the american way unfortunately. kimberly, president trump has had a fair amount of success with his primary endorsements. this is not a primary we're talking about here in ohio but he had had success. what about in a special election, in a general election, like what we're seeing in ohio? do we think that the president's success is going to necessarily translate? >> that's hard to say. we've seen already in special
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elections where the president has gotten involved and come out on the losing side in several states. i think what really we are seeing here, both republicans and democrats, are paying close attention to, is that this particular ohio district, while it's very hard to draw national conclusions from one race, this district has a little something for everyone to watch. it has suburban voters, especially suburban women just outside columbus. do they peel off? you have working class folks who voted for obama and then voted for trump. do they go back to the democrats? how strong is the support for trump in the more rural areas? will they turn out? will democrats be able to turn out as well? these are all little factors that are all going to factor in in november that a lot of people are keeping an eye on just to see what the tea leaves hold. >> jeremy, what's at stake for president trump in the sixth
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congressional? has the closeness of the ohio race, does it already signal a victory of sorts for democrats? >> i think if republicans lose, craig, you are going to see a panic shutter through the party. because this is a kind of race they should not even be fearing a loss of. what you have going on here i think are three different dynamics. you have what was alluded to at the top of the show about the way that there are traditional kind of wealthier, well educated republicans in the suburbs who might be turned off by the party of trump and therefore will stay home. you also have the fact that there are democrats who are going to be energized by donald trump's very presence there. they see him and they want to vote against him. and by going there, he only motivated them more. we saw that dynamic play out in the pennsylvania special election a few months ago, which the democrat ended up winning there. and then you have another factor that doesn't get quite as much
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attention. and that's whether or not trump popularity is translating to the republican candidates. that voters who really like trump see these kind of stale typical central casting republicans who don't really do it for them the way that trump did. and i think that's what you have here in balderson. republicans will complain that he's not the most ideal candidate. although you heard him say that a lot more recently, which tells me they're quite worried about this race. but donald trump spent his entire political career attacking the republican party, attacking the leadership. why should we expect his voters to turn around and be supportive of these congressional candidates? there's just really no congressional wing, no congressional effect here, of donald trump's popularity so far. >> michigan's primary, also today, john james, he's the guy that's being supported by president trump in this
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particular race in his bid for a senate seat there. president trump tweet, calling him spectacular. adding, quote, rarely have a seen a candidate with such great potential. is that, endorsement likely to help john james today? >> think we'll have to see. i hate to keep saying that. in these primaries, this is also a key that we're watching tonight. do the trump candidates, the more trump supporting candidates, beat out some of the more sort of establishment republicans who we have seen in some of these districts. on the democratic side are some of the more progressive candidates who are launching challenges. are they going to beat out some of the more moderate democrats? all of these are questions that are in play that are really important to the future of both parties and we'll get a little glimpse of what voters have to say about it tonight. >> if he does win, jeremy, he's going to be facing three term
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incumbent debbie stabenow, right? >> i actually went to high school with john james. i was interviewing him for friday on this article i was writing. we discovered we were a year apart empty sain the same high >> that's a hell of a class, "new york times" reporter, candidate. >> the hope there is if trump's endorsement put him over the top in what was a pretty tight primary, one that has trump's endorsement that he would be competitive against debbie stabenow. she won her last re-election by to points. could james be the time to appeal to michigan voters? remember, trump carried the state in 2016. i don't know. it's going to be awfully tough. i think especially in the city of detroit, i don't think donald trump quite has the brand name that you'd want if you were a republican running for election in the city of detroit. so we'll see. but i think it's going to be tough if -- even if he does win
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tonight. >> jeremy, kimberly, and chuck douglas, host of wtoh radio. what's the name of the show? >> chuck davis radio, 98.9 fm, the answer in columbus. >> that's the radio voice there. thank you, guys, appreciate it. new exclusive reporting from nbc news. the trump administration's next immigration target. people legally, legally, trying to enter the country. he talked to spike lee, the director of the new film called "the black klansman." and the man who inspired the film. he was a detective in colorado who joined the kkk, infiltrated the ku klux klan. it's not a story that's locked in the past. >> history repeats itself and i feel we're in a very tumt muult
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time. >> are you talking about the latest development? >> i got a phone call from david duke. >> yesterday? so what did he want to tell you? >> he wanted to talk about the fact that he's concerned about how he's going to be portrayed in this film. he complimented spike. he said, i've always respected spike lee. which would -- which surprised the heck out of me. >> be sure to watch my interview with john david washington, the actor who plays ron stallworth, that's tomorrow morning on the "today" show and of course right here on msnbc as well. this is the ocean. just listen. (vo) there's so much we want to show her. we needed a car that would last long enough to see it all. (avo) subaru outback.
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higher! parents aren't perfect, but then they make us kraft mac & cheese and everything's good again. the legal immigration system, more than 20 million immigrants could be affected. the administration is expected to issue a proposal just weeks from now that would make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens if they have ever used popular welfare programs. the administration is including obamacare in this list of welfare programs. nbc's national security and justice reporter julia ainsley joins me with her exclusive reporting. and jolenea maxwell, director of progressive programming at sirius xm, also an msnbc
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political analyst. this is a proposal that's going to hit immigrants working jobs that don't pay enough to support their families especially hard. you report those earns 250% above the poverty level could be affected. how is the administration justifying targeting immigrants who are potentially self-such fshant? >> i want to be clear about who though would affect. they're trying to get legal permanent status, which would be a green card, or they're trying to become u.s. citizens through the naturalization process. for a lot of these people, they're working in low-wage jobs and they have to use some social safety nets. obamacare being one of them. it doesn't necessarily mean they're destitute. a lot of these cases, they could be making as much as 250% of the poverty level to qualify for some of the programs that the government is talking about using now as disqualifiers for citizenship and green cards. so that means a number of
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things. but mainly it's that vast pool. immigration advocates are already gearing up for this. we're expecting it to be rolled out from the white house within coming weeks. then a 90-day comment period. those advocates are saying this is going to affect so many people. not just immigrants who have been on those programs in the past. but also any immigrants who live with people. people in their household who have been on those programs. so they can't -- i cannot underscore enough, craig, how big of a pool this is we're talking about, when we talk about the impact of a policy like this. >> to be clear, this does not require some sort of congressional approval? >> that's right. it's just a rulemaking process. what they're doing is just redefining the term "public charge." that is a term that was coined in the 1800s when we didn't want immigrants, think ellis island time, coming to the united states who couldn't support themselves. who would be more of a drain on the country than a support. so that term public charge is
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used at a time when we didn't have nearly the number of social safety nets or programs we do now. it's being redefined now to be much broader. >> the thing is, appears to directly contradict what the president said himself about migrants who are coming through the system. a reminder. >> i want people coming in, you know, people don't say this and they certainly don't report it. but i want people coming in to our country, but i want them coming in based on merit. we want people to come into our country but we want them to come into our country based on merit. >> i want people to come into our country because our country's doing so well. and we have companies moving into our country like at numbers that nobody's seen in a long time. we need work remembers. >> all right, again, that's just the president in his own words over last two months. the irony of the whole thing is that president trump's crackdown
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on illegal immigration is that the numbers have been trending down steadily since 2000. here's the thing. not to conflate the two here, illegal immigration and legal immigration, both of which the president's apparently targeting, what's accomplished by doing this? >> this is a move to pander to his base. he ran on curbing illegal immigration. but steven miller, for many years, has been trying to implement. is or push policies that would affect legal immigrants. this entire time the administration has been implementing their vision they ran on. folks have been saying a lot of this is rooted racism. you saw the president reject two deals to protect daca recipients. that was the moment, famously, when he called african nations "s" hole countries. we can't forget, steven miller, who is essentially associated with white nationalists, it setting the policy agenda for an
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administration. you're going to get policies like this that are intentional cruel to specific groups of people. there was a haitian immigrant in julia's piece today who has a daughter who is disabled. so he's working 80 hours a week. he's trying to get legal status and keep his green card protections but he has a disabled child that needs benefits from the programs that are articulated in the policy draft that would mean that he would not get that protected status. when you're talking about programs like obamacare, right, that's not welfare. obamacare is health care for folks. if you used obamacare and now it's going to put your immigration status in jeopardy, that's something that's wholly problematic. again, steven miller is the one setting this policy. >> thank you. julia ainsley, solid reporting there, thank you so much. we're going to go back to our top story. one of our top stories i should say. we're going to talk to a man who
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is helping to organize the fight against that record-setting wildfire in california. that's right after this. i'm ray and i quit smoking with chantix. i tried to quit smoking for years on my own. i couldn't do it. i needed help. for me, chantix worked. it did. chantix, along with support, helps you quit smoking. chantix, without a doubt, reduced my urge to smoke. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. some people had changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts or actions with chantix. serious side effects may include seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking or allergic and skin reactions which can be life-threatening. stop chantix and get help right away if you have any of these. tell your healthcare provider if you've had depression or other mental health problems. decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. the most common side effect is nausea. i don't think about cigarettes anymore.
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the mendocino complex fire is now larger than the cities of philadelphia and new york city combined. mark gir duch chi of emergency services joins us from the state's operation center right now. mark, bring us up to speed on where we are right now with regards to getting this thing under control? what are your biggest concerns? >> good morning. really right now our concern continues to be the weather and the basically the conditions that we're seeing with very, very high temperatures and low humidity and the potential for wind that gets behind the fire and continues to drive the fire. so our priorities are being set around insuring that we try to remain in front of this and we get the resources in the right place to be able to deal with that part of it. >> this is now the biggest fire
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in a state that's unfortunately become pretty well known for wildfires. breaking a record we should note it was only set a few months ago at least as i understand it. what is it that is making this fire in particular so much worse than previous fires? >> well, you're right, last year of course we had catastrophic fires in california and record setting thomas fire in ventura, santa barbara county the new record. this year it's the men do seen no complex, the conditions we're seeing are driven by a changing climate. the kind of ongoing impacts to the fuel bed, the lack of moisture in the fuel, because of the increased temps and kind of wind events that we're seeing, these have been unprecedented.
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i mean in carr fire, next to the mendocino fire, we saw a tornado drop down in the middle of that fire and reaching speeds of 143 miles per hour. and causing so much damage. we've not seen that kind of activity to that level before. and this really is now a year after year where we have maybe never seen maybe 100,000 or 150,000 acre fire, maybe once every several years. we are now seeing this every year. >> you're citing climate change as the primary culprit here. as you note president trump tweeted about this and he said the fires had been caused by the lack of free flowing water coming from the north and said it's being magnified by bad environmental laws. what do you make of that? >> actually it's a really a distraction from what we're focusing on, fighting the fire. there's plenty of water to fight
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the fire. both the mendocino and carr fire are next to the largest r reservoirs and the water that does flow through is part of the natural progression of the way the water flows to the ocean. we use that water as it comes through our communities from everything from the urban needs to agriculture. and of course, for fire fighting. water has not been an issue here and really the issue here has been really getting enough boots on the ground and getting resources which we are -- which we are getting. we've got tremendous commitment by all of our local agencies in california and we've got almost 17 or 18 states now across the street the united states and internationally and resources from auz tra australia and new lands. >> prayers to boots on the ground and folks in harm's way there in california. keep us posted, sir and we'll be right back.
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katy tur standing by. see you tomorrow. >> welcome back to vacation. >> thanks for having me. >> good to see you, craig melvin z . >> you're sweet. i miss this. >> i know, so do i. >> good stuff. >> it is 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in columbus, ohio where the gop is wondering why is this so hard. right now in a closely watched special election in

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