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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  October 4, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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dealing with the former vice president. there there are biden allies saying they may turn the tables and talk about his own family and whether he's profiting on the presidency. >> mike memoli, appreciate that. chris jansing in new york, it looks like you, my friend, are going to be able to have that taped playback of the president's remarks on the white house south lawn. i imagine those will be coming in the next few minutes, although it depends on how long the president speaks. >> as fast as humanly possible our folks will get that tape turned around. hallie jackson, thank you so much. good morning. i'm chris jansing in for craig melvin apt msnbc headquarters in new york. a flood of new headlines have emerged since we saw you this time yesterday, each more damaging for him, while offering democrats more bread crumbs to follow in the impeachment inquiry. all this can seem overwhelming. we'll walk you through this
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including the so-called smoking texts between u.s. and ukrainian ambassadors. i'll speak with someone who knows both the men involved. joe biden pushes back against the president's uns unsubstantiated claims against his family. another whistle blown, this time from a career irs official on reported attempts to interfere on the audits of president trump or vice president pence. the president speaking the reporters before he leaves the white house, already talking about joe biden, already talking about nancy pelosi. it's the latest in an overwhelming amount of information we've got in the past 24 hours. here are some of the key developments as we wait to get that tape of the president. americans woke up to the blockbuster news house democrats releasing text messages between state department officials and ukrainian president's top aide, giving new impetus to the impeachment investigation.
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those texts show officials felt president trump would not meet with president zelensky unless ukraine promised to investigate joe biden. this is key. ukrainian official bill taylor wrote, quote, as i said on the phone, i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. the texts were handed over to lawmakers by former u.s. envoy to the ukraine, kurt volker. he is a figure central to the impeachment inquiry. he testified on the hill for nine hours yesterday, implicating president trump's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani in a shadow shakedown in ukraine. as president trump left the white house yesterday, he committed publicly the act that's at the heart of the impeachment investigation, calling on not one, but two foreign governments to investigate an election rival. this time dragging china into the mix. that brings us to what's happening right now. on capitol hill the intel community's chief watch dog is
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briefing lawmakers as we speak on what he knows about the whistle-blower complaint, one he calls credible. this is also deadline day. house democrats prepared to issue a subpoena to the trump administration demanding records on the president's call with ukraine. and at the white house this moment, officials are set to send a letter to nancy pelosi, the speaker of the house, arguing the president will ignore any demands until there's an official impeachment vote. so an awful lot going on. we have terrific people to unpack it all for you through the hour. i want to bring in msnbc correspondent garrett haake in capitol hill, white house correspondent hans nichols and nbc news reporter josh lederman. i know the notes from various members of the pool come in fast and furious, hans. what are the headlines from the president so far? >> reporter: i think the newest headline is he's trying to distance himself from the text messages that josh reported
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about overnight that shows there was an effort by two u.s. ambassadors, two u.s. diplomats to try to pressure the ukrainians to publicly state that they were doing an investigation of the bidens and of corruption and the withholding of a potential presidential visit or a visit to the white house, an audience with the president. that's the newest. we also have the atmospherics around all this, the president claiming he has the support of mitch mcconnell. he says republicans are unified. he's noting that 95% of republicans are still supporting him, and that's an indication potentially of where his head may be. it's clear that house democrats are going down to impeachment. what the president appears to be focused on right now is his firewall in the senate, his red wall in the senate, having to make sure he's not impeached and convicted by the senate. they would need two-thirds. of course, he's giving a verbal exposition of what he said on twitter earlier, and that is he
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didn't want to investigate the bidens, he just wanted to investigate corruption. that seems to be the emergency settled strategy of the president, that he wasn't doing this for political reasons. his only north star on this was corruption. we'll see to what extent that's corroborated by all these investigations and to what extent there might be evidence that could contradict what the president is claiming right now on the south lawn. >> a lot of these different notes come out. there are a number of different people in the pool, all trying to keep track of what the president says in realtime. one of the notes paraphrases the president saying, i don't care about biden's campaign, i care about corruption. i don't care about politics, i've made clear. we'll wait to hear from the president himself. in the meantime, garrett, over to you. the impeachment inquiry moves forward. tell me what's happening where you are now? michael atkinson behind closed doors. why is he important to the impeachment case and what are
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they expecting to learn today? >> reporter: atkinson was the first person to investigate the whistle-blower's complain. he got the complaint, conducted the investigation, handed it over to the acting dni and is the one who deemed it urgent and credible. you can argue he's probably less important to the overall impeachment effort now than he was, say, a month ago, because now democrats have all of these primary source documents. they have the transcript. they have the whistle-blower's original complaint and they have these incriminating comments that keep coming from the president of the united states. that said, atkinson can in theory at least shed light on how he conducted his investigation. whether he talked to anyone who corroborated the whistle-blower's complaints along the way and can move democrats conducting this investigation from a to b just in how he got to the point. that's if he is allowed to speak freely. he may still be restricted in
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what he can tell lawmakers about the specification of his investigation. we'll find out more as the lawmakers start to leave and information starts to leak out of that secure room a few floors below where i'm standing right now. >> there were no leaks. there were definite releases of information in the form of text messages, josh, that we saw this morning. tell me what we're learning about those text messages between the ukrainian aide and the state department officials. >> for those who want to make this seem like this whole issue with the ukrainians was just rudy giuliani essentially freelancing separate from the trump administration, that is not going to be possible now because of these text messages which really sucked the air out of that argument. in some of these text messages, we see u.s. ambassadors at a very high level talking about how they can get the ukrainians to agree to publicly commit to launch this investigation into the president's political opponents and even haggling with
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a top aide to the ukrainian leader over the sequencing. what's going to come first? is the u.s. going to announce they'll come have their visit or announce this investigation first? one text on august 10th we see andreier mack, top aide to the president of ukraine saying once we have a date we'll call a press briefing. including, among other things burisma and election meddling in investigations. burisma is the ukrainian gas company that hunter biden bought into. kurt volker, the u.s. ambassador for negotiations until his abrupt navigations replies sound great. in another text message we also see, chris, realtime concerns being raised by another senior diplomat, bill taylor who at the time was the top u.s. diplomat in ukraine. he is telling another u.s. diplomat there, are we now
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saying that security assistance and a white house meeting are are conditioned on investigations? and that other diplomat, political appointee, gordon sondland replies call me. >> i want to go back to hans nichols. i'm getting a note that the president is boarding marine 1 right now. as i've been going through these notes, he has repeatedly said this is not about politics for me. yet it looks from this last batch of notes like he's attacking joe biden. >> he's attacking joe biden in remarkably personal terms. this is one of the challenges for the president. he's claiming on the one hand this isn't about politics, he's just interested in rooting out corruption. in the next breath he goes on to question biden's intelligence in stark terms. i hear the helicopter. it's lifting off. we'll get this tape to you shortly. one other quick note, the president seemed to be punting on whether or not his justice department would actually investigate the bidens for their
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roles in china as well as ukraine. if the justice department goes ahead and launches a formal inquiry or investigation into the bidens based on activities that happened during the obama administration, that would mark a significantly new chapter in this entire saga. it would be an indication that attorney general bill barr is doing the president's bidding, taking the president's hint that he wants so sort of investigation. the rotors are whirling. that means i'm going to slow myself down and we can get that tape to you quickly. >> okay. in the meantime. and we'll go to that tape as soon as we get it. my thanks to hans who will stay with us. garrett and josh, thanks to both of you. let me bring in emily farkas deputy assistant secretary for russia and ukraine, msnbc contributor and former congressman from florida carlos curbelo. we're hearing from the president, evelyn, he is not backing down on what william
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taylor called a crazy plan to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. trump says, look, this is legit. this isn't about politics. we're asking for help to uncover corruption. you know a lot of these players. you know the region so well. lau do you see this? >> chris, this is really so unfortunate, and i really have to feel for the ukrainians, because all of this got them in such a bind, where they're being asked to interfere in our elections. a statement about rooting out corruption in and of itself would be fine. as we can see from the back and forth, these guys certainly had an inkling if not some of them definitely knew. it looks like sondland was the master, i guess orchestrater or coordinator. in a way i would almost substitute his name for pompeo, because i want to know where is pompeo. i think where slaunld slaunld is
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where pompeo is. to mention that company and to mention 2016 just serves not only the purposes of president trump and his personal political agenda, but also the purposes of the kremlin. >> because congressman, that's not all. in these text messages we see two of trump's top envoys hard at work crafting a statement that they want the president of ukraine to sign off on saying ukraine would pursue those investigations into trump's political rivals with a big push from rudy giuliani apparently. >> chris, this new narrative that this was not about a political campaign, that this was not about the bidens is very difficult to believe. first of all, the president has been obsessed with joe biden for months. clear clearly biden is the democratic candidate that the president fears the most, and he's been taking shots at biden's credibility, attacking him based
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on his age for months and months and months. secondly, in order for this to be even a little credible, the president would have mentioned other potential corruption cases in this conversation with the president of ukraine, but it's very clear that there was one issue that he was focused on, which was hunter biden's participation in this ukrainian company. so this new narrative is probably based on legal advice the president is receiving to protect himself as this process unfolds in congress. but i think for anyone watching carefully, this is very difficult to believe. >> so you've got volker and sondland. he's not a dip cat, has no security clearance, doesn't even work for the white house. all of them trying to placate the president. it takes a career diplomat to
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write, as i said on the phone, i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. bill taylor also wrote, are we now saying that security assistance and white house meetings are conditioned on investigations. evelyn, it seems to me the easy and quick answer to that should be no, but it was five hours later i think that finally the response came trump wants no quid pro quos. >> and that really feels like a lot like a cover your rear end kind of exercise. >> cya, as we call it. >> exactly. sondland woke up and realized, oh, this might be on whatsapp -- i think it's on whatsapp. >> and they thought apparently they were not going to come out. he's still thinking i better not have that hanging out there because bill taylor is a career foreign service officer. he was put into the embassy where he still sits as far as
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i'm aware because trump forced out masha yavanovitch, ambassador yavanovitch because she wasn't doing what he wanted with regard to looking into all this fake garbage that giuliani was whispering in president trump's ear. bill taylor is not afraid of anything, a career foreign service guy, working at the u.s. institute for peace, a sleepy assignment in washington, d.c. he's past retirement age. he knows what's right and what's wrong, and i think he understood some of the motivations of the people involved may not have been so bad, on the ukrainian side, maybe volker, butt it doesn't matter. they went down a road they shouldn't have gone down. taylor said hold on a minute. >> clearly the ukrainian president was not going to go down -- he did not want to be seen as being in the pocket or being somehow trying to influence a u.s. election. >> ultimately bravo to president
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zelensky and his team because it seems they were the ones who finally said no, forget it. of course, what they jeopardized was this meeting at the white house with president trump. we follow, of course, later when he met with president trump at the u.n., it didn't go well for him. i don't know if a meeting at the white house would have been much better. of course they were worried about what would happen with the assistance, but they had a sense they had friends elsewhere and the assistance would come through. we'll find out. we need secretary pompeo on the record, is what i think. >> he's out traveling. all of this comes -- you wake up this morning -- i can't tell you how many people said to me, congressman, i woke up this morning and there's all these text messages. yesterday you had the president standing on the lawn of the white house publicly saying to china and ukraine, you know, i think it would be a good idea if you investigated the bidens. and i wonder how you think this information that we've learned
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over the past 24 hours, whether it's the president's statements or what they got behind closed doors with these text messages yesterday from volker, what they mean for the case that nancy pelosi and adam schiff are laying out for impeachment. >> well, yesterday the president unveiled another part of his strategy which is to publicly state what he has been saying in these private calls and kind of make people believe that because he can say it publicly, that it's okay. obviously for congressional democrats, the challenge here is spoker pelosi has told her colleagues over and over again, we have to take this seriously. obviously democrats shoulder on the be enthusiastic about anything that's happening in our country. but, chris, there's a pass/fail test here for house republicans and senate republicans as well. forget impeachment for a second. is it okay for the president of the united states to use the levers of power to help his
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political campaign, to turn other governments against american citizens, in this case joe biden and his son. this is a simple question with a simple answer. of course it is not okay. before republicans even begin contemplating the impeachment question, they should be able to state clearly and unequivocally that what has happened here is wrong, that the president is way out of bounds and that for small government conservatives, this idea of using the power of the state to publish political opponents is just totally unacceptable. >> carlos, thank you. here is the president just a short time ago. >> -- they're the best numbers we've had in over 50 years, the unemployment number is down to 3.5%. that goes way, way back. we haven't had numbers like this in a long time. wanls are up by almost 3%.
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that's a fantastic increase for everybody out there working. we're very happy about those numbers. the stock market is substantially up, as it was yesterday. and our country does well. europe is not doing well. asia is doing poorly, to put it mildly, and we continue to do very well. we're the miracle. the unemployment numbers just came out, 3.5% unemployment and that is a tremendous number, the lowest in over 50 years. so very happy. i think very important, again, i'll say, wages are up. when i was running wages were nowhere. they were going down and people were having two and three jobs and making less money than they made 20 years before. no wages are up. we're very happy about that. one other thing having to do with poland. poland is a country, great people, we have a lot of polish
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americans living in the united states. i've just signed -- i will soon be signing and signed certain preliminary applications. we will be giving a full visa waiver to poland. that means that people from poland can easily travel there and people from here can easily go back and forth. they can each -- people from the u.s., people from poland can very easily go back and forth between the united states and poland. so they eve been trying to get this for many, many decades. and i got it for the polish people in honor of the polish people in the united states and in poland. so we or very lap pi with that. >> adam schiff got four pinocchios by the post this morning for lying. >> i heard adam schiff got four pinocchios. that's good. he should have gotten them 2 1/2 years ago. that's a very nice question. let me shake your hand. that's a very nice question. almost surprised. i figured that was a trick
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question. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> we'll be issuing a letter. as everybody knows we've been treated very unfairly, very differently from anybody else, if you go over not only history, you go over any aspect of life, you'll see how unfairly we've been treated. we've done a fantastic job. everything to me is about corruption. we want to figure out what happened with 2016. as you know there's a lot of work going on with that. i don't care about biden's campaign, but i do care about corruption. his campaign, that's up to him. politics that's up to them. i don't care about politics. politics, as i think i made clear, and yesterday somebody asked me a question and i gave an answer. but always in the form of corruption. what i want to do and i think i have an obligation to do and probably a duty to do, corruption. we are looking for corruption. when you look at what biden and his son did, and when you look at other people, what they've done, and i believe there was
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tremendous corruption with biden, but i think there was beyond -- i mean beyond corruption having to do with the 2016 campaign and what these low lives did to so many people, to hurt so many people in the trump campaign which was successful despite all the -- fighting us. despite all the unfairness. so we're looking at corruption, not looking at politics, looking at corruption. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> i don't know. somebody said a long time ago -- was that in 2017? i don't know. you'll have to tell me when. when i speak to foreign leaders, i speak in an appropriate way. if you notice, they don't mention the call that i had with the president of ukraine. they don't mention that because it was so good. the only time they mentioned it was when adam schiff made it up. you talk about pinocchios.
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that should get ten pinocchios. he made up a story. it was a phony story, adam schiff. so they don't talk about that anymore. when this came out it was quid pro quo. well, there was none. also yesterday the ambassador who i heard was tremendous and a tremendous person, he was 100% for what we're saying, 100%. if you look, he also said there was no quid pro quo. that's the whole ball game. but now the democrats don't bring that up anymore. look, they never thought i was going to release the phone call between the ukrainian president and myself. when i released that call, they were jumping around like you wouldn't believe. they didn't know how to respond. and then they found out -- and then they found out that the call itself was so bad for them. it was a perfect call. there was nothing -- we hand
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that call out. we've handed that call out to people and they say, wow, this is incredible. we're very proud of that call. when i speak to a foreign leader, i speak in an appropriate manner. now, we're also doing trade deals with china and deals with a lot of people for the country. so i'm not looking to insult people, i can tell you that. but we can probably find that out. >> -- deal with the chinese if they investigate biden? >> no, it has nothing to do with it. i want to do a trade deal with china, but only if it's good for our country. it could happen. as you know, they're very much coming over next week as i understand it. i'd like to do a trade deal with china, but only if it's a great trade deal. one thing has nothing to do at this point. >> you want the house to proceed with impeachment -- >> i wouldn't mind. the way they're doing it,
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they've taken away our rights. even though many of them don't want to vote, they have no choice. they have to follow their leadership. then we'll get it to the senate and we're going to win. the republicans have been very unified. this is the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country. so we beat the one that started immediately. we went through two years of mueller, and that came out like a ten. it came out perfect. a few days go by and they start this nonsense. this is just as ridiculous. so the democrats unfortunately, they have the votes. they could vote very easily even though most of them, many of them don't believe they should do it. and i do believe that because of what they're doing with pelosi and their real leaders, aoc plus three, that's their real leaders. i believe they'll pay a tremendous price at the polls. we saw the first glimpse of it
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two weeks ago in a great state, north carolina. we saw a great look at what's going to happen. in new mexico we had a race, dan bishop was down 17 points with three weeks to go and he won easily. the other man, as you know, greg murphy was up by a little bit and won by a massive amount, 20% or something, maybe higher. the big key is i have to campaign there. if you look at what happened, two races, we won both of them and won them easily. one was almost tied and the other was a big, big lead. that one turned and became a landslide.
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>> [ inaudible question ]. >> well, i don't know about mitch. i have a lot of respect for mitch mcconnell. i saw his statements and he thinks this is unfair. i saw his statement yesterday that he put out where he read my phone conversation and he thought it was a wonderful conversation, and it was. but see the democrats don't talk about that anymore. they troo to go to other things. these people are looking for anything they can get because they know they're going to lose the election, and we're in election season now. for them to be doing this now, it's never been done. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> so we're dealing with north korea. they want to meet. it's probably being set up as we speak. we'll let you know. but north korea would like to do
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something, iran would like to do something. we have a lot of countries in a very good position now despite the witch hunt that hurts our country and hurts america. iran wants to do something, north korea wants to do something and china would like to do something. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> that you'd have to ask -- is the justice department investigating joe biden? that you'd have to ask attorney general barr. i can tell you just as an observer, what i saw biden do with his son he's pillaging these countries and he's hurting us. how would you like to have joe biden negotiating the china deal if he took it over from me after the election? he would give them everything. he would give them everything. how would you like to have that? joe biden was just roll out the red carpet and give them
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everything. so again, this doesn't pertain to anything but corruption and that has to do with me. i don't care about politics. i don't care about anything but i do care about corruption. to have somebody take out a billion and a half dollars out of china who is totally unfit -- he's unfit. to have him get a billion and a half dollars, to have him and now hearing the number of 50,000 a month, now i'm hearing the number of $50,000 a month is very low. it's a much higher number that biden's son was getting per month. in fact, it's much higher. for him -- for him as a totally unqualified person to be getting hundreds of thousands a month is very, very sad. so again, is the justice department investigating that, i just don't know.
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>> flawed naud question. >> well, i think they follow the leader. one thing with the democrats i give them credit for. a lot of them don't want it. you know that. you interview them. a lot of them are in trump districts where i won and they won after, when i wasn't running. i'm going to win them big. my polls are through the roof. you know why? because of this phony witch hunt. if you look at what happened with the fund-raising -- we've set a record, the republicans, because people are sick and tired of it. i got a call the other night from pastors, the biggest pastors, evangelical christians, they said we've never seen our religion so electrified. they said they've never seen anything like it. churches, joining hundreds of thousands of people. that's a large extent because of you and your partner, the democrats. >> do you think it will pass the
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snous. >> well, i think this, we have great -- we have a great relationship in the senate. i have a 95% approval rating in the republican party. i believe the senate and i haven't spoken to that many senators, but i believe the senators look at this as a hoax, a witch hunt. it's a disgrace. it should have never happened, just like russia collusion delusion should have never happened. that was a witch hunt. just like that, should have never happened. i think the senate, i think they feel the republican party has been treated very, very badly. now, in the house they have the majority. they all vote with aoc plus three. nancy pelosi is petrified of them. she's afraid she's going to lose her position. nancy pelosi will lose her speakership right after the election when the republicans take over the house.
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>> sir, can we talk about the text messages that included holding off a visit to the white house. >> the one text message i saw -- i don't even know most of these ambassadors. i didn't even know their names. but the text message that i saw from ambassador sundland who is highly respected was there's no quid pro quo. he said that. he said, by the way, it almost sounded like in general. he said, by the way, there's no quid pro quo and there isn't. now for biden there would be. but listen to this, there is no pro quo. that was the text message i saw and that nullified everything. >> have you had foreign leaders for any corruption investigation that don't involve your political ap points? >> we would have to look. what i asked for and will always ask for is anything having to do
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with corruption with respect to our country. if a foreign country can help us with respect to corruption and corruption probes, i don't care if it's biden or anybody else, but if they can help us. if biden is corrupt, if his son is corrupt -- when his son takes out billions of dollars, has no experience, just got fired from the navy. when they do that, that's no good. just to finish your question, anything having to do with corruption, i actually feel i have an obligation to do that. >> is someone advising you it is okay to solicit the help of other governments to investigate a potential political opponent? >> i didn't say anything is okay. >> is somebody advising you that? >> if we feel there's corruption like i feel there was in the 2016 campaign -- there was tremendous corruption against me. if we feel there's corruption, we have the right to go to a
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foreign country -- >> including mr. putin, sir? would you acknowledge mr. put tin as well? >> i was investigated, me, me, in my campaign. i ran, i won. i was investigated. you won't say that, will you? i was investigated. i was investigated and they think it could have been by uk. they think it could have been by australia. they think it could have been by italy. so when you get down to it, i was investigated by the obama administration, by the obama administration i was investigated. so when these people talk -- as far as i'm concerned, what i want to look at and what we want to investigate, anything having to do with corruption. >> [ inaudible question ].
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>> i view china as someone we're trying to make a deal with. we have a good chance of making a deal with. we've had good moments with china, bad moments with china. right now we're at an important stage in terms of possibly making a deal. if we make it, it will be the biggest trade deal ever made, if we plake it. i view china as somebody we deal with on the world stage. i would like to get along with china if we can. if can, that's great. if we can't, that's okay, too. what we're doing is negotiating a very tough deal. if the deal is not going to be 100% for us, we're not going to make it. and i will say this, i will say this, i will say this, china very much wants to make this deal. china is getting killed. the tariffs are killing china. what's happened is they have now 3 million loss of jobs, their chains are broken up.
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if you look at their supply chain, it's a disaster. companies are going to other countries including us. china right now is a total disaster. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> no, no. let me tell you. i'm only interested in corruption. i don't care about politics. i don't care about biden's politics. i never thought biden was going to win, to be honest. i picked somebody else a long time ago. we'll see what happens. but i never thought biden was going to win. but i don't care. frankly, if he won, i'd be very happy. i think he'd be an easy opponent. i never thought biden was going to win. i don't care about politics. i do care about corruption and this whole thing is about corruption. this whole thing, this whole
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thing is about corruption. >> [ inaudible ]. >> this is about corruption. this is not about politics. this is about corruption. if you look and read our constitution and many other things, i have an obligation to look at corruption. i have an actual obligation and a duty. >> -- going to cooperate with the house -- >> i don't know. that's up to the lawyers. i know the lawyers think they've never seen anything so unfair, never seen anything so unjust. i've been president now for almost three years and i've been going through this for almost three years. it's almost become like a part of my day. but in the meantime, we have the best economy we've ever had. we have the best job numbers
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we've had in 51 years, the best unemployment numbers that we've had in a half a century, the best numbers that we've ever had african-american, hispanic american, asian-american, women, everything. we have the best numbers that we've had in many, many, many decades. you know what? people understand that. people are working, they're making money. if you look at one very important number that was just announced, wages up 3%. that's unheard of. that's unheard of. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> i didn't hear you. go. go. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> we're investigating corruption. we're not investigating campaigns. i don't care about his campaign. as i said, i didn't think and i
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don't think biden is going to win, i don't think. and maybe to answer your question, when you say who is going to win, i'd rather not make a prediction but i do have a feeling about somebody. i didn't think -- i've watched biden over the years and biden is not the brightest person. i never thought he was going to win. i never felt he was going to win. if you look at his other two campaigns, he was a one percenter. got very few votes. he got taken off the garbage heap by obama. obama took him off the garbage heap. i never thought that biden, i didn't think biden was going to win. i guess everybody has a shot. but i don't think he would be frankly my toughest opponent here. and just to finish off, just to finish off, i don't think that he will win. i didn't think he was going to
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win and i don't think he's going to win. >> -- what do you think about facing elizabeth warren? >> it's fine. it's fine. she's a socialist and maybe worse than that. but we'll see. i haven't seen these poll numbers. i haven't seen biden's poll numbers. look, joe biden was never going to make it. he was never going to make it. he tried it twice. he's at 1%. there's a reason. when i announced i went to number one, day one and i stayed there the entire primary season. i never was off center stage. i was never given credit for that, but that's okay, except by steve. the only one that gave me credit was steve. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> who? >> [ inaudible question ]. >> no. they were trying to set up a meeting. he wanted sanctions lifted and i said you must be kidding. rouhani wanted a meeting at the
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u.n. we did talk. i didn't speak to him personally. our sides talked. he wanted sanctions lifted or partially lifted and i said no. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> we're watching venezuela very, very closely. the people are suffering and we're watching it very closely. we're also giving big aid to venezuela. one thing, i'm now going to walter reid hospital. we're going to be giving out five purple hearts to unbelievably brave young people. some of you are going over. i think some of you are going over, so we can talk further over there. although when we're there, i would like you to respect the process. we're giving out purple hearts to very brave people, wounded warriors, people that have been -- just incredible people. i'll be back here in probably two hours.
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president trump speaking to the press for 23:24 with a consistent message, this is not about politics. it's about corruption and yet talking a lot about his main political opponent, joe biden. you heard in the ep, asked about else, he made a brief comment and a quick turn to joe biden. some of his toughest language yet about his son hunter biden, saying he is pillaging those countries, talking about the very countries that yesterday the president also stood on that lawn and called on to investigate, investigate joe biden, investigate hunter biden. we're talking about ukraine where, let's be clear, multiple investigations have shown no wrongdoing, and china -- let's be clear about that as well. joe biden is not the only child
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with financial interest in china. in fact, it is the president's daughter ivanka trump who even after she closed her business which wasn't doing well, she got very valuable patents in china. so let me go to nbc's kelly o'donnell who is one of the reporters questioning the president. he left there. that's still the tape we're looking at. he has landed already and is giving out those awards that he mentioned to you, that he mentioned just a few seconds ago. kelly o'donnell, a couple of key questions there, one i think was about whether or not -- what his rationale was, frankly, that you asked him for involving foreign countries in all of this. give me your headline, what he told you and what you read into what you heard over the last 23 minutes or so. >> reporter: well, there was a
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real shift, chris. this was a rigorous back-and-forth with the president, trying to get him to focus on specifics. he's certainly willing to take a lot of questions, as we just saw and willing to talk at great length. but to try to pinpoint him on specific issues where we're trying to learn new facts and expand our understanding, that can be very, very challenging. what the president is offering now is a revised strategy, that this is not about political opponents like a joe biden or the biden family as a part of his own domestic political agenda. this is about a broader search for rooting out corruption, especially when it has something to do with the president himself. i repeatedly asked limb which countries he discussed this with. he could clearly hear my questions and did not want to engage on which specific countries he's discussed this with. at the same time he was willing in taking questions from our
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colleague that the issue of china and this investigation in terms of trade, he sees as two separate things. that will be something that we'll have to learn more about. he says those are distinct issues. he also asked what non-political rivals have you questioned any foreign government about for corruption, and the president said, we'll have to look into that. implicit in that response is that he recognizes talking about the bidens is, in fact, talking about political rivals. also tried to get at other issues here, and what the president wants to say, i was asking him about the text messages. it was frustrating because this is new information, some of which is certainly harmful to the administration, talking about making these arrangements with ukraine, for ukraine to have a statement about an vaks and withholding, for example, a visit to the white house. i asked the president about that, pushed him repeatedly on
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it. you heard his response, that this was a matter of not even knowing the specific state department officials and that no quid pro quo, which is contained in the text messages as bell. but you have to read through all of it to see the sort of exchange or bartering that appeared to be going on. >> i think it is critical that he said -- i think he said it a couple of times, i only read one text message. so whether or not randomly that's the one he saw or that's the only one he was given. that helps his case. >> trying to get the president to focus on some of these issues -- we've been hearing him talk about the biden allegations he's been promulgating for a couple of weeks now. so letting him have his moment to say what he wishes to say, but trying to get new information, and that was kind of a verbal wrestling match on the south lawn today. again, the president takes a lot of questions, trying to elicit new information can be
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challenging. to say that this was not about politics, but about corruption appears to be one defense that the white house is going to try to put forward, that the president in his foreign policy portfolio can make those inquiries of foreign leaders and trying to draw the line that it is about some larger issue and not about the specific players, in this case the bidens. it was quite a back-and-forth. the president notably was choosing who he would respond to. he would take some questions that were on topics that were maybe not as hot burner as perhaps some of us would want to get on these issues. he took a range of topics, for example. he also spoke about venezuela and north korea. certainly important issues, but he was more comfortable grabbing those questions perhaps than some of the repeated things. i also wanted to ask him about his tweet about the whistle-blower today that alludes to employment of the whistle-blower.
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he could hear me say that question and he declined to engage. chris. >> kelly o'donnell out on the lawn with the president. let me bring back evelyn par cass and former congressman carlos curbelo. i think kelly pointed, evelyn, to what we were talking about when one of the reporters asked very specifically, can you tell us of any investigation not involving political opponents and he didn't have an answer for that. >> no, because, chris, it's not about corruption. yes there's corruption. there's corruption here, too. it's about foreign interference. this is about getting a country to interfere again in our elections. he's using this subterfuge. if he really cared about foreign corruption, he would immediately pass some laws or put out an executive order requiring transparency of ownership of property in the united states. we have a very bad reputation
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internationally because we allow a lot of money laundering because of lack of transparency. also, he would release his taxes, there are a lot of questions about whether he laundered money for overseas russians. this is about foreign interference. everybody needs to be clear about that. >> it is also about messaging. the one thing the president does and you heard him there, he's on message, he said that so many times, i wish i counted, over and over and over again this is about corruption. when you talk to folks who look at this very carefully, one thing that they will acknowledge, democrats i talked to, is that these alternative narratives that he puts out there do take hold in spite of facts. and the second thing, and it relates to yesterday being on that -- in that same spot on the south lawn of the white house and asking foreign governments to get involved, it's almost as if, if he does this stuff out in
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the open, it doesn't seem to resonate sometimes as much as if we find out it happened behind closed doors as it did on tape with president nixon. i wonder if you think that the kind of messaging that henixon. i wonder if you think the kind of messaging he puts out there, will, well into 2020 and up until election day, likely give cover to republicans who know better, frankly. >> chris, first i have to say, kelly o'donnell is right. there was a dramatic shift in the president's discourse, in his tone. this is a president who is typically unscripted, unplugged, who, to his credit, will take almost any question. today that was different. the president was being very choosey as to which questions he responded to. he was sticking to talking points, saying over and over again that this had nothing to do with the biden family, nothing to do with politics or campaigns. that is not typical for this
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president. this is a president who is rarely on defense. his strategy is almost always offense. so there was a marked difference today. and i think what that reveals is that this is a president under legal advice. this is a president who now understands there are serious risks with what he did. and this is also a president who probably understands that at least some congressional republicans are uncomfortable with the idea of the president using his power, his office, to investigate other americans, t help his political campaign. still the president is out there attacking the bidens, still saying there was nothing wrong with his conversations and using the strategy of just kind of saying openly what previous presidents or what typical politicians would refrain from saying. but this was definitely a president on defense today
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versus the president we saw yesterday, clearly on offense. >> congressman curbelo, evelyn farkas, thank you for sticking with us through the hour. we really do appreciate it. coming up, we'll dig a little bit deeper into what politico calls the smoking texts that both parties have seized on. elp you quit slow turkey. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting. chantix reduces the urge so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. stop chantix and get help right away if you have changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions, seizures, new or worse heart
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some new impeachment ammunition for democrats and republicans in the form of text messages from u.s. official about ukraine. this morning presidential historian jon meacham gave a sobering reminder of how this will be seen in history. >> the line from the right is going to be that the president has been crystal clear, no quid pro quo. they're going to cherry pick that and run with it. the president's opponents will take some of the rest of it and run with that. and we're going to end up, i think, once again, in this arena where where you stand determines what you believe, no matter what the facts show you. >> joining me now, david drucker, senior political correspondent for "the washington examiner" and former congressman steve israel.
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david, the sound of silence has been deafening on the republican side. but look, when the president says like he did today repeatedly, this is about corruption, you have tv talk show hosts, you have conservative blogs, you have some of the fringe facebook groups, all of them then who will then believe and continue that narrative. so are we going to see any change from any of the republicans based on, frankly, what's happened over the past 24 hours? >> right. if you're looking for change in concern from republicans i would look more to the u.s. senate where there has been or caution about how they defend the president and what they say rather than what you see from the house of representatives. >> caution or fear, david? >> could be a mixture of both. for now i would say caution. i don't think they're so much fearful because they don't yet believe impeachment will cause a major political problem for them. but they're more delicate about what the president has said. the politics of this, and the
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congressman probably understands this better than i do, will all fall on where independents and swing voters are. as jon meacham said, everyone will go to their corner, that's where we're headed with how the fight is breaking out. ultimately swing voters and independents who don't like the president all that much but were cautious and suspicious of impeachment will determine how much of a problem this is for the republicans and the president or not. >> maybe you've been talking to folks out there, but obviously, steve, they're back home in their districts. we're seeing what we didn't see in the last break which is a lot of people asking them about impeachment. have you talked to folks? what should their message be? >> first of all, i've talked to both republicans and democrats. >> okay. >> and look, 35% of the american electorate is locked into donald trump no matter how bad he does. >> shoot somebody on fifth avenue. >> 45% locked in against him, no matter what good he does.
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this is about the 20% who has not yet decided. and what i'm saying and hearing from colleagues is, among those independent voters who have not yet made a judgment, this sordid affair is just not playing well. you see it in general polls. >> not playing well for trump? >> not playing well for trump. you're seeing support for impeachment increase among independents. you're seeing support for impeachment stay where it is, high, among democrats. the tenor is that people believe an impeachment inquiry, let me qualify this, not impeachment, but impeachment inquiry is congress doing its job, exercising its constitutional oversight responsibility and they need to get to the bottom of this. >> we have only have 15 seconds left. where, david drucker, do you see the movement could be away from trump most significantly, the people that he won over and won the presidency with? >> you're looking at suburban voters, college educated voters, and women.
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he did a lot better with those voters in 2016 than people remember, and that's where he's already vulnerable. then what you want to watch. >> i wish we had more time. the president took up a lot of it today. we appreciate you very much. that's going to wrap up this hour of "msnbc live." "andrea mitchell reports" starts now. hey, andrea. >> hi, chris. and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," quid-pro-oh. new text messages reveal how the u.s. government was pressuring ukraine, while taylor writes "i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a campaign." >> the quid pro quo is clear in these texts, not only do you need to open an investigation, mr.

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