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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  March 10, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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way here to pennsylvania where he will speak at a campaign style rally at a hotly contested congressional race happening within in the hour. we'll bring when it happens live. i'm frances rivera. and "all in" with chris haze is next. have a good one. tonight on "all in." >> are you going to talk to mueller? >> i'm looking forward to it actually. >> reporter: new reporting the president wants a deal in return for talking to the mueller probe. then five days after defying the special counsel. >> they're trying to set up a perjury case against roger stone and i'm not going to have it. >> look who just showed up to his grand jury interview. plus, the white house blows off a republican investigation. reaction to the president's decision to meet with kim john-un and today's huge and historic loss for the nra as a gun control bill becomes law in florida. >> let's get the rest of the country to follow our lead and make school safe. >> when "all in" starts right
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now. of good evening from chicago. i'm chris hayes. you can rail against robert mueller all you want but actually defying the special counsel is another matter. this morning, former trump campaign aide sam nunberg, you might have heard of him showed up at a federal court in washington where he was expected to testify before a grand jury in the russia investigation. it has been just four days since nunberg vowed not to cooperate with the subpoena from mueller going on a media blitz to broadcast his defiance. >> i'm not cooperating. arrest me. >> you're not cooperating, arrest you? >> yeah. i'm not cooperating. you're more than happy -- you're going to arrest me, arrest me because know what? i'm not a fan of donald trump, jake, and you know this. >> you had a big falling out. >> i'm not a fan of his. you know what? when they start asking for stuff
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like this trump is right. it's a witch hunt. >> but nunberg apparently changed his mind appearing in court today and telling reporters earlier that he would turn over subpoenaed documents to investigators after an initial meeting with mueller's team two weeks ago, he told katy tur he thinks the special counsel is building a case against the president. >> you sat there in that room being questioned by mueller's investigators. i want to hear directly from you, do you think that they will have something on the president? >> i think they may. >> why? >> i think he may have done something during the election but i don't know that for sure. >> why do you think that? >> i can't explain it unless you were in there. >> if nunberg's turn around this week is any indication, the president himself may not be able to avoid a face-to-face with mueller's team. it's been two months since the president's lawyers were in initial talks with investigators about a trump interview. as far as we can tell, those
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tukes are still unresolved. "the wall street journal" reports this today, that the president's lawyers are trying to use a potential interview as leverage to induce mueller to wrap up the russia probe. among the conditions, they are reportedly considering is that the special counsel commit to a date for concluding at least the trump-related portion of the investigation. of mueller's office declined to comment while the president's outside lawyer disputed the story to nbc news. but it's clear that as mueller continues to bear down on the white house was no immediate end in sight, the president finds himself more and more isolated inside his own administration. there's been an exodus of senior aides first secretary rob porter admitted domestic abuse scandal, then communications director hope hicks and now economic adviser gary cohn a few days ago. in recent days, the president has appeared to be winging it on high stakes policy matters, imposing tariffs on little more than a whim and committing
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himself to nuclear diplomacy with kim jong-un. now he is planning to clean house of few high level staff that remain by his side. first to go with be kelly and h.r. mcmaster they say both of which trump has clashed for months. next are jared kushner and ivanka trump. the white house today was asked about the president's general state of mind. >> president's in a great mood. the president's been in a great mood because we've had not just a successful couple of days, we've had a successful year and we're focused on making sure we have seven more. >> gabe sherman is a contributor and also a special correspondent for "vanity fair" who wrote the new report on trump's "clean reset," and betsy woodruff is a political reporter for "\"the
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daily beast." gabe, your reaction to sarah sanders today in the briefing not disputing the idea mcmaster is on the way out something others have reported along sort of in line with that. take a listen and i want to get your reaction. >> reporter: would we assume then that general mcmaster will remain national security adviser throughout the duration of the negotiations? >> i have no reason to believe otherwise. >> and that means, so it could be in the fall of this year, it could be later, but he'll still be on there to advise? >> i don't have a crystal ball to predict the future. but the president's national security adviser is general mcmaster. he's a valued member of the president's team and an important part of this process. >> not getting anywhere -- >> he's not leaving anytime soon. >> not that i'm aware of. >> what do you think, gabe? >> if i was general mcmaster, that would not inspire a lot of confidence in my job security. look, chris, this is clear that the president has wanted to clean house for months now. he is surrounded by people that
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he doesn't know and doesn't feel they have loyalty to him and he is desperate to bringing in people back from the good old campaign days, back from new york who he can feel comfortable with and clearly as we saw earlier this week, you know, he has had conversations with sebastian goreka, he's on the phone routinely with corey lewandowski, former campaign manager, dave bosse, former deputy campaign manager. clearly this a president who wants to bring in people that feel they would allow him to be the impulse hiv freewheeling executive he fashions himself to be. >> betsy, i have a theory. it has to do with the tax cuts. the first year of the domestic policy agenda of president trump was outside of scuttling tpp off the bat and the emigration stuff, the large portion of it was essentially mike pence, paul ryan, mitch mcconnell domestic
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policy and the tax cut bill was the ultimate example of that. once that was done, gary cohn says good-bye. and there's really a question of what the shared project between the donald trump white house and the republican party is and that gives trump kind of leeway to just follow his instincts wherever they take him. >> that's a good point. one of the interesting things we're seeing on the congressional side of this whole story is that mitch mcconnell is telegraphing that the single thing he caress about for the indefinite future is confirming judges which obviously, that takes nominations from the white house but we're not talking about complex legislative negotiating. we're not talking about anything where the president's art of the deal background is going to come in handy. mcconnell is just pushing through these district and circuit court level federal judges that will have extraordinary power for the rest of their lives deciding what laws actually mean. that in and of itself is massively consequential. at the same time it highlights like you pointed out this rift
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in sort of this diversions perhaps of interests between your traditional george w. bush style republicans on capitol hill and president trump who seems to be sort of going his own way, doing things his own way and kicking his heels up a little bit. >> yeah, and he seems to be on both the tariffs and the announcement on north korea, gabe, you know, following his impulses i guess is the most sort of charitable way to describe it. >> what's so troubling to many people close to the president is that these two develops significant policy decisions were made outside of the policy making process. there was not buy-in from the relevant stakeholders. we saw just yesterday morning tillerson said there would not be talks with north korea. and what did we have at the end of the day, a very dramatic white house announcement that donald trump had agreed to sit down with jong-un. this is a president breaking
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down all barriers. what the risk is that this is not a came. this is not a joke. we are now talking about an impulsive executive who is dealing with the highest stakes issue which is nuclear diplomacy. >> betsy, your point about judges i think is a good one. it's so sort of indicative to me when they were in the shared project of repealing obamacare tax cuts, reigning him in was so important. at this point, i'm not sure what the incentive is even op their sort of on the congressional end. he's going to nominate judges and we'll confirm them. and maybe he'll do a lot of crazy stuff in the white house and we'll cross our fingers and see what happens. that seems to be the attitude at the moment. >> let's remember relations between capitol hill and the white house have never been ideal. additionally, anytime it's an election year and even under the trump presidency, capitol hill all but shuts down. they just don't accomplish very much. we should not expect to see
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anything major happening in the coming months. one thing i can tell you is folks and speaker of the house paul ryan's inner circle are operating the assumption that' they're going to lose the house. the polling is mixed but speaking broadly, it doesn't look great for republicans. especially when you have a tax bill that puts republicans in blue states. blue state republicans are necessary for republicans to keep control of the house. when you have a tax bill that puts those guys and gals' careers on the line, people all of a sudden just stop being chatty and cooperative. and the result is that people in paul ryan's circle and mcconnell's circle may feel less compelled to try to reign in the president and keep him focused on specific projects. >> i seriously imagine a month from now, it's like corey lewandowski and seb gorka and donald trump in an empty white house. running the entire u.s. government. sort of making decisions on the fly which is a distaupic version.
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gabe and betsy, thank you both. ben ja man wittes is a legal analyst and editor-in-chief of the law fair blog. the news from the "wall street journal." the president's attorney pushes back on this idea. the headline was trump's lawyers seek deal we lawyer tore seek end to russia probe. the most comical nugget was the idea of trading an the president's availability for a date certain deadline to wrap up the investigation. do you think that's going to fly? >> well, the fact that you found it amusing is sort of gives a sort of answer to the question. look, federal investigations don't end by negotiation on timelines for interviews with subjects of the investigation. that's not how it works. the mueller investigation will end when bob mueller's done. and the president, short of the ability to fire him, in has really no ability to control that. it's not up to him.
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no matter what he thinks. and so his lawyers certainly have some leverage to, you know, to negotiate the terms of an interview or the terms in which he would answer questions to the investigation, but that is not a condition they're going to be able to attach to an interview. >> do you think the president's leverage about that interview increases or decreases over time? like the longer he draws it out, is he in a better or worse position? >> that's a really interesting question. i don't think time is on anybody's side in this negotiation. it's not on mueller's side because people want resolution to this. and the longer it drags out, of course, the more people will suspect that you know, there may be political ambitions to the investigation. i happen to think that's nonsense but i do think that's always the risk for a prosecutor in this situation.
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similarly, it's really not on trump's side either because the mueller investigation is hanging over his entire presidency. and it is you know, a real disease for the presidency that he cannot get this thing behind him. and so the longer he drags it out, the worse it hurts. and also the more the drip, drip, drip of day-to-day stories damages him. so i don't think time is really on anybody's side. it's probably less on the president's side than mueller's. but i think the fact that nobody has as interest in a protracted negotiation much less a lengthy litigation which is what would happen if mueller had to issue a subpoena tends to mitigate toward a negotiated resolution i would suspect relatively quickly. >> you have followed this case as closely as anyone. i wonder what your mental model is of the scope of this investigation because i have to
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say tracking it myself, we've now got an intermediary for the qatari government and a meeting in the saychelles in the indian ocean, there's a dutch lawyer from skadden arps who has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. sometimes it seems enormously sprawling and i wonder how it can wrap up at any point given the sort of strands and tentacles we just get glimpses of. >> right. so this is a really important point. we know what mueller has done. and we know from witnesses and their lawyers about certain things that he's asked questions about. but what we don't know is what the connective tissue is between things that he's asking questions about and things that he may do. so for example, you know that there are questions being asked
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of cooperating witness about the meeting in the seychelles. does that mean there's an expansion of the investigation or does that mean it's fundamentally a russia issue where there's a russia leapt to that meeting. so it's hard to tell actually how much had the investigation is expanding and how much there's just a lot of information there in that core russia matter that they are working their way through. >> benjamin wittes, thank you. >> good to see you. ahead, putting the scale and scope of today's big loss for the nra into perspective as they announce tonight immediately upon losing they're suing the state of florida for passing gun safety laws in the wake of the parkland massacre. full details ahead. next, after making a spectacle of announcing the president's plans to meet with kim jong-un, is the white house already walking it back. >> that in two minutes. not just being in the military, but at home. she thinks she's the boss.
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concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of north korea. the president has accepted that invitation on the basis that we have concrete and verifiable steps. >> less than 24 hours after historic news of a planned summit between trump and kim jong-un, the first time in the history of those two countries the leaders met face-to-face, the white house appeared to walk back the commitment only for senior segregation administration officials walk back the walkback leaving everyone asking what exactly is the game plan here. confusion over the meeting criteria underscores the administration's lack of preparation for this high stakes face-to-face nuclear nuclear diplomacy. if it feels like the meeting came out of nowhere, that appears to be what happened. washington post reporting that "trump personally intervened into a security briefing intended for top deputies inviting sat south korean officials into the oval office where he agreed on the spot to a historic but exceedingly risky
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summit with kim jong-un." jeffrey lewis is an expert in nonproliferation in east asia, columnist at foreign policy where he wrote today that donald trump agreeing to meet with kim jong-un is like "richard nixon going to china but if nixon were a moron." which is a funny line. i like that as a starting place, because i think it seems worthwhile to start with the exercise of separating the policy from the individual implementing it. let's start with the policy. it does not seem crazy to me to agree to a face-to-face meeting with kim jong-un given how intractable this problem is and given how long the north koreans have saw the that the kind of meeting. > i think it absolutely makes sense to pursue diplomacy, the question is, when you deliver the president, you know, i think the thing that most of
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us have bought is that the north koreans more than anything else value a visit from a sitting president. so at least in the past, that's the big deliveriable we have. that's the biggest thing we have to offer that we should probably trade for the biggest concession. so it's a good idea to do it. but front loading and giving it away, that's where i start to have a questions whether there's anybody really at home. >> well, let me ask about this. the u.s. coverage of this is focused understandably on the president and kim jong-un but the south koreans are obviously an incredibly interested party here having more to lose than anyone else from north korea and from a war on the korean peninsula. moon jae-in, the president of south korea, has been very clear on this. seeking rapprochement using the olympics to pave the way. it was their summit that seemed to pave the way. they do seem to be four square behind this, right? >> yeah, i think they're driving this. if you look at the things they attributed to kim jong-un from that meeting, he was con vival
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and positive but didn't say all that much. the south koreans have been very entrepreneurial in making the case there is something here if only we will push hard enough. so yeah, i think they are fully behind this policy. i'm not against diplomacy. i think we do need this kind of engagement. i get nervous when the president pops into a meeting and you know, suddenly declares he's going to up end that careful work and fix it himself. >> now let's talk about the individual who will -- apparently south koreans were over for a deputy's briefing. the president pops in, invites them in and before they even lay out the case basically says i'll do it. cuts off the sort of discussion. and now there's a real question who is around? we don't have an ambassador to south korea. how does it get built? can you build the plane in mid-air essentially? >> the first thing you have to start with is what is it we're trying to achieve. my worry is that when the president seems to talk about it, he seems to act like he would be going to north korea to pick up kim jong-un's weapons.
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i don't think that's what the north koreans have in mind. i don't think north koreans have intention of relinquishing the weapons. they're interested in reducing tensions. you have to get to a point where there is some productive purpose for the meeting where we're going to agree on something. the worst case scenario is for donald trump to show up, have unrealistic expectations and come home disappointed you know and trying to decide who is at fault. he's not going to blame himself, he's probably go to blame kim jong-un. >> there's also the question whether this happens. we saw the president sit on live television and i'm going to sign a daca bill. he said people are too squared of the nra and i'm going to endorse gun control legislation. he's said i can't wait to sit down with robert mueller. none of those have happened. it seems like there's ample room for this to be memory holed by the white house. >> yeah, i think the reason that you see the walkback and then the unwalkback of the walkback is that you know, the president was freelancing and got way out of ahead of where everybody
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else. there are probably a lot of people on staff who don't want him to go. they have to have their own deliberation and work it out. i think there's a substantial chance actually that as it becomes clear that this is not about kim jong-un giving up weapons there's trump's interest may wane. on the other hand, you know, 10,000 people in a pyongyang stadium holding up cards that make a picture of his face, he may like that. >> jeremy scahill, the writer for the intercept said i can totally see trump going full dennis rodman on a trip to north korea. which cracked me up. jeffrey lewis, thank you for your time. >> coming up, the trump administration's stonewalling on yet another big scandal setting up a white house showdown. i'll explain right after this. begins to change which may cause trouble with recall. - learning from him is great... when i can keep up! - anncr: thankfully, prevagen helps your brain and improves memory.
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are you troubled by rob porter's employment in the white house? >> yes. who knew what when and to what extent and if you knew it in 2017 and the bureau briefed him three times, then how in the hell was he still employed? the security clearance is a separate issue. it's an important issue but separate. how do you have any job if you have credible allegations of domestic abuse? >> the white house is now refusing to cooperate with the request from the republican
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chairman of the house oversight committee. trey gowdy sent a letter valentine's day to the white house giving chief of staff john kelly two weeks to answer questions on why rob porter, the former white house staff secretary and accused spouse abuser, was allowed to work with an interim security clearance for so long. last night the talking points, the white house just refused the request. a move that prompted the top democrat on the house oversight committee eli outcummings topping ask gowdy to issue a subpoena or step aside to allow the rest of the committee to vote on it. i want to bringing in political science professor cristina greer and sam seder, host of the majority report. cristina, there's a fascinating thing happening between this white house and the republican-controlled congress in terms of oversight. there has been none and then it seemed maybe there would be a little bit. what is your bet what we see as the next step from congress here?
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>> we've been talking about this over a year. my biggest worry and biggest fear is that the house is not going to do their job as mandated by the constitution. so a lot of committees are either giving the public the run around and they're saying they may investigate things. i think part of the problem is, there are no adults in the room. on the executive side or on the legislative side. so there's no one be really putting the feet to the fire to make the republicans in the house real follow through in these committees. the democrats are trying. i think we're not going to see any movement till actually after the midterms. and if the democrats take over the house, really forward movement with these committees to have some sort of success with all of the scandals. we don't have time to list all of the different scandals that are currently going on this particular white house. >> sam, you're nodding your head. >> yeah, i agree. in fact, i wouldn't even go as far as saying it's not a question of there's no adults in the room. there are adults.
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it's just that their incentive structure is such they have no incentive to pursue this white house whatsoever. this is the same dynamic why every single republican elected official who is not resigning was not going to buck donald trump. and in fact, the most surprising thing to me in this drama involving this committee is that trey gowdy felt like he had to perform like he was going to provide oversight. right? there was a day or two where i was like i wonder what his angle is? it turns out just it was very convenient to pretend like he was going to provide oversight. now that it requires a slight bit of effort or that he can shift the blame outside of himself, there's nothing. >> partly right was that the rob porter scandal stuck for a long time. we saw a picture of a woman with a black eye and we saw this individual standing next to the president. he had been allowed to work and warned by the fbi four times.
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we never got resolution. john kelly told a story that doesn't hold up what he did with that. i wonder also, i mean, cristina, there's something that's changed structurally as a political science professor. this is something you think about. the constitutional design at the beginning was a rivalry between the branches and that's largely been replaced by a partisan rivalry that congress in the control of the -- that congress in the control of the president's party is sort of looking out to help the president and vice versa. and i don't see anything changing that. right? >> here's what worries me and keeps me up at night. the constitution is laid out as essentially an equestion lateral triangle, legislative, executive and judicial branches. pull out the eighth grade geometry if you have to. >> i'm trying. >> what's happening is that we see there abdication of the legislative branch. this is what george washington warned us about during his
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farewell address. he said if we actually don't pay attention to the structure that the framers have laid out and allow this red state, blue state, red team, blue team partisanship to take over our politics, we are on a dangerous road and weakening our democracy by the moment. what we're seeing with the republicans is you know, donald trump is like the anti-midas. everything he touches turns to rust and every person around him is willing to prostrate themselves in front of him but their careers suffer. we've talked about many republicans are essentially bracing themselves for an embarrassment in november. not only because of the national tide that the party of the president usually loses seats during midterm. but this particular president is so erratic and i think those little tax cuts, the $1.50 that a lot of republicans are seeing in their paychecks is not going to be enough by the time midterms come around. they're going to see, look, we're constantly distracted. we're talking about north korea today because we're talking
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about you know, a porn star yesterday. i think we've seen the power of white supremacy hold through this administration for quite some time. i do think by november when people go to the polls there's going to be a certain level of frustration with elected officials not behaving the way they should and could. >> sam, betsy said they're sort of planning to lose the house which that may or may not happen. what i do think is happening and gowdy poking his head up to play with the idea of oversight as part of that, i think this partnership has become a silent and estranged one in the wake of the tax cut passing. they don't have anything they're doing jointly. the deregulatory agenda is happening. mcconnell will ram his judges through. at this point, it's not like they're turning against him but there's a kind of like we'll go our separate lanes. >> it's a holding pattern sort of like a four corners in. >> that's exactly right. >> there's no agenda here.
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i think to a certain extent, and they should be, the republican party is probably sort of amazed they were able to do these tax cuts. >> absolutely. >> and everything else we're going to mitigate the damage and hold the ball in the corner of the court and hope that we can maintain the senate, today dean heller floated some rumor that anthony kennedy was going to retire over the summer. that signals heller has a problem with fund-raising and wanted to get the early funders in now and then with floating this possibility that if kennedy leaves, there's going to be an open he seat on the supreme court and to a large extent, mitch mcconnell says he was responsible for donald trump because he kept merrick garland out of that spot. so this is the dynamic going on. i think we're going to see a lot of this. frankly, you know, you just raised white supremacy. i think we're going to see donald trump return back to that
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agenda of waiting for a black african excuse me, an african-american athlete to come out and say something that he can spend two or three weeks talking about. this is what they're looking for, the culture war. >> in the absence of legislative action, the culture war will get more intense. thanks for joining us. >> thanks, chris. coming up, the spending habits of trump's best people. back in the headlines. guess which cabinet secretary is explaining $130,000 for office doors? trump's best people ahead and why drain the swamp when you can subsidize a ferry on it? jared kushner is tonight's thing 1, thing 2 next. e lederhosen. when i first got on ancestry i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. the big surprise was we're not german at all. 52% of my dna comes from scotland and ireland. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt.
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of thing 1 tonight, donald trump changes his mind about a lot of things but one issue where he's been unwavering is infrastructure. >> we have to rebuild our country. we have to rebuild our roads and our bridges and our tunnels. >> we would build new roads and bridges and tunnels and highways all throughout our land. >> we're going to make our infrastructure modernized. >> infrastructure, we're going to start spending on infrastructure big. and not like we have a choice. it's not like oh, gee, let's hold off. >> we can rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and we will. >> well, there's a perfect project ready to go right now in trump's home state. rebuilding the crumbling century old rail tunnel underneath the hudson river connecting new york
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and new jersey. the tunnel serves about 200,000 passengers every weekday. and it's key to 20% of the nation's gdp. fixing it seems like a no-brainer. right? so it was, well, surprising when president trump told republicans in congress not to fund a project to build new tunnels. "the washington post" calls it a direct challenge to a key political rival new york senator chuck schumer who has been among the most powerful and vocal backers of federal funding for the project. so while a project that democrats and republicans say is essential to a fifth of our economy's is out at least for now, there is a smaller one nearby that the trump administration curiously does seem interested in. and would it surprise you if jared kushner was somehow involved? that's thing 2 in 60 seconds. -ahh. -the new guy. -whoa, he looks -- -he looks exactly like me. -no. -separated at birth much? we should switch name tags, and no one would know who was who.
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but elsewhere in the tri-state area, down the jersey shore in long branch, the trump administration is involved in a much smaller infrastructure project developing a ferry service that would bring passengers to the doorstep of a resort co-owned by none other than jared kushner, the president's son-in-law who along with solving middle east peace has been known to advise his pops on infrastructure. the federal transit administration has been advising the town of long branch with the project which as the a.p. notes places the federal government in the wuk -- the awkward position of helping to steer a project that would benefit trump's son-in-law. since the value of those condos co-owned by kushner could rise as much as 50% if the project is completed. and given kushner's role advising trump on policy issues ranging from middle east peace to infrastructure, some question whether those small town business ties now pose a conflict of interest. rebuilding america, one kushner project at a time. are finding themselves in a chevrolet
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we have to get the best people. we can no longer be so politically correct. you know, we do things today. we're so politically correct. people are afraid to an walk, to talk. we need to get the best and the finest and if we don't, we'll be in trouble for a long period of time. >> from time to time, we like to quickly collect in on the various people working in the trump administration. you know, the best people. like for instance, oil and gas industry darling scott pruitt,
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the climate change skeptic in charge of the epa. new york times" reported today he sought to stage public debates challenging climate change science possibly to be broadcast live. though the president expressed enthusiasm for the idea, not surprising, it was reportedly killed by john kelly and other top officials. another of trump's best people is nick mulvaney who is currently doing double duty as budget director and the acting director of the consumer financial protection bureau which he once called a sick, sad joke. in january, mulvaney's cfpb dropped an investigation into a payday lend that contributed to his congressional campaigns. the a.p. reports two days later, the ceo of said company who resigned wrote mulvaney asking to be put in charge of the
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cfpb. to be put in charge of the cfpbc citing her in-depth experience of what an investigation is like. no word yet whether they plan to take her up on the offer. then there's the head of the department of the interior, ryan zinke key to demands a special flag be raised whenever he's in the interior department building. it was reported the department is spending $139,000 todd upgrade three sets of double doors in his office. spokesperson claims zinke was not aware of the contract. that news comes shortly after under ben carson, the department of hud place add order for a $31,000 dining room set. carson sought to cancel the order in the wake of media scrutiny. speaking of hud, a senior adviser is spreading a false conspiracy that hillary clinton's campaign chairman was a satanist. that adviser john gibbs still has his job, but he has set his twitter to private. it was my very first car accident.
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when we sit here and think about how hard it is to vote, push the green button, push the red button, i remind myself that
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this isn't hard. putting your kid in the ground is hard. this is a button. >> this week, for the first time in more than two decades, florida lawmakers defied the nra. the republican-controlled house and senate passed new gun restrictions, a law signed today by florida's republican governor rick scott. a big "l" for the nra's king pin in florida former president marian hammer described as the most influential gun lobbyist in the united states. hours after the bill signing hammer and the nra announced they are suing florida. with me now, contributor to "new yorker" magazine michael spies, the author of the profile. politico mark caputo and avery gardner, co-president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. mark, starting with you. i have been reading your coverage of this closely. you have the lay of the land there. it was a real open question
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about whether this was going to happen or not, as my understanding was. what was determinative ultimately. >> crisis. most legislative bodies react to crisis. in the middle of the florida legislative session and you have 17 people who are killed in a mass shooting, 14 of them kids, it is almost impossible to ignore. still, i have been a reporter in florida for 20 years, and i grew up in the state. i have never seen them pass gun control. the idea that a florida legislature controlled by republicans and florida republican governor would sign any measure of gun control no matter how slight, is mind-blowing, yet it happened. >> michael, you talk about how marian hammer has been able to kind of keep a lock on that state and that is a model for other states. what methods has she used, and why did they fail here? >> i think what made this instance completely different
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and a total aberration from other sessions or other opportunities to pass legislation is that the republicans are fairly united in jumping off the cliff together. i think you had some 67 republicans with a or a plus ratings combined in the house and senate who decided to support this bill. and it's pretty difficult to punish all of them. it's usually, when you have a couple people who are straying from the flock, you can focus on two, three, one person. but that's a really, really high number. and it's also important to point out that the folks who were carrying those bills are in line to become the house speaker next year, the senate president next year. if she wants to start punishing their respective members, you know, you are going to wind up in a situation that's going to be an all-out war. >> great point. it's like a legislative wildcat strike. if everyone goes, right? >> right. >> then you can't do anything to them.
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>> right. >> avery, mark's point here about the singularity of what happened in parkland, the incredible horror of that massacre there, there are two ways to interpret this as a one-off or the start of something. >> i think this is the start of something. we look back to october 1, vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in history of the country and the congress and states did nothing. then a few weeks later, a church in texas in sutherland springs where people were massacred at church. i think those two events having happened so close in time to parkland are part of why we are seeing a different reaction now both in florida and in other states and at the federal level. the american people were fed up after vegas, they were fed up after sutherland springs and now they're really fed up. >> there is a three-day waiting period for gun purchases in this, minimum age raised to 21 to buy a firearm.
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bans bump stock sales. funds school police officers and allows sheriffs to arm some school personnel. the last one was controversial. some groups opposing it some whipping against it. rick scott saying he might veto that. how controversial is that provision? >> it's huge. the bill needed democrats votes both in the senate where it passed only by one vote, and in the house. we spent hours and hours listening to debate and discussion over the one provision, the quote, arming teachers provision. had it not been in the bill it's safe to assume it would have gotten more democratic support, maybe less republican support. it was probably put in to curry support from republicans. it was controversial. i need to say one thing. this is a voluntary program. most of florida's big urban
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counties will not participate. they have already said they aren't. it won't be in a lot of the counties, a lot of the places where you have big minority populations where people are concerned about racial profiling and disproportionate treatment of minority students in classrooms and by the police. >> good point. yeah, please go ahead. >> i was going to say, we are already hearing from activists all over florida that they will now take their effort to the local districts and say, really, you don't want to participate in this voluntary program. it is not going to make your school safer. it has a real risk of having a disproportionate burden on students of color. i think we'll see now a lot of the activism that we were having in tallahassee move to local districts to say, okay, don't participate in this part of the law, it's really not going to do much to keep children safer and it really could do a lot of harm. >> michael, do you agree with avery's assessment of this as something more than a one-off? >> it's at this point pretty
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hard to tell. it is worth pointing out that, while relative to what's happened in florida over the last couple of decades, it is a big deal that these modest reforms passed. there were a whole lot of amendments that democrats tried to add onto the bill that were shot down, including obviously setting new restrictions on magazines, banning assault weapons. for that matter, i think, narrowing the definition of what is an assault weapon. so it's hard to tell, but i am not sure. i think it's -- to me, it seems like it, in florida, anyway, that this is a really unique moment and that it was pretty difficult for them not to act but ultimately what they did was, in the grand scheme of things, you know, you mentioned this earlier, and certainly it is worth celebrating some of the reforms that got into that bill. still, you know, still modest for them. >> and mark, what's interesting
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now is the politics of this continue. they don't just sign it and walk away. because of the nra's lawsuit today, now you have rick scott, governor of florida, who will have to send his state solicitor general to defend this thing in court. >> right. well, actually the florida attorney general pam bondi who is named. >> pam bondi. >> right, noted liberal! she, in the end, rick scott will probably run for senate. one of the things he has been doing through a variety of policies included by not limited to offshore oil drilling is starting to turn more to the left or to the center. the more it looks like he is, quote, defying the nra, the happier rick scott is as he looks to a general election. >> i am sorry, chris. >> i have to stop you, avery, because i have to give the show over to rachel. thank you all for joining me tonight. really quick. this is my last chance to remind everyone in the new york area that this sunday i will be at an event in brooklyn for the launch of my book.
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tickets are just ten bucks. there is a talk and q and a. it will be a lot of fun. hope to see you there. that's "all in" for this evening and this week. the "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. have an excellent weekend. >> you too. happy to have you all here. happy friday. the "washington post" has just broken news that robert mueller, the special counsel investigating the russian attack on our election in 2016 and whether or not the trump campaign was involved, robert mueller and his investigators according to the "washington post" obtained a personal letter written from president trump to president vladimir putin. a typed letter that reportedly has a handwritten postscript on the bottom. i don't know why robert mueller's team has been able to obtain this document. if you think about it,


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