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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  July 12, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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that wraps up this very busy hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. i hand you off to my dear friend and colleague mr. peter alexander. >> quiet friday. good morning to you. i am peter alexander. breaking news from the white house just moments ago the labor secretary alex acosta, resigning his post, his appearance alongside president trump on the white house south lawn. comments we will see for the first time within the next few moments. his resignation coming after days of furor over a non-prosecution agreement and a plea deal that he struck with the financier, multimillionaire
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jeffrey epstein more than a decade ago while he served as u.s. attorney in florida. those agreements allowed epstein to avoid federal sex crimes charges in exchange for an 18-month jail sentence and registering as a sex offender. ultimately, he served 13 months of that sentence. and during it he was allowed to go to his office for 12 hours a day, six days a week. earlier this week, following new charges against epstein and new questions about that deal, acosta defended it saying it was either that or, quote, rolling the dice in a courtroom with no guarantee epstein would face any consequences. >> simply put, the palm beach state attorneys office was ready to let epstein walk free, no jail time. without the work of our prosecutors, epstein would have gone away with just that state charge. >> nbc news justice
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correspondent pete williams is in our washington bureau. elliot williams, attorney general, ann bremner, susan del persio and wanda summers, national political reporter for the a.p. and kimberly atkins, senior washington news correspondent for npr. a ton of news breaking within the last few minutes. pete, help us set the stein and understand how we got to this point. a lot of questions being raised about acosta's role after the new charges were filed, the new indictment here in new york city. >> well, i think the problem here is the news conference that he had two days ago, the one you attended just didn't put this to rest and wasn't as persuasive as perhaps he had hoped. i think there were two problems that were often cited by his
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critics. one is his statement that the u. s. attorneys' office could let him walk oren tkors this deal where he would have just a year basically in and out of prison. but ignoring the fact, or not -- down playing the fact that the federal government could have filed its own charges and kept investigating. many people thought his explanation for why the government didn't do that, why he didn't endorse further investigation and charges wasn't persuasive. and secondly, his decision to basically say if he had to do it all over again, he would have done the same thing. not saying perhaps in retrospect maybe this wasn't the greatest idea. so he had this morning standing next to the president outside the white house it was his decision to step down. as you know, as a white correspondent, things are never that similar. >> yeah. >> reporter: so perhaps the next few hours we will find out what led to this. he is still under sort of
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investigation under the office of professional responsibility. he said quite surprisingly at that news conference even though the investigation was started several months ago, the investigators haven't yet talked to him. i can't imagine the results are imminent or that the white house knew what the results would be. . >> pete, thanks for that. kimberly, i want to bring you in for a second. we know it was intended not for the reporters in the room, not for everyone watching in the room but the guys sitting in the oval office. president trump has been notably silent over the last 48 hours since the news conference took place. which to those like myself who cover the white house is a cue of the way he is thinking of confidence in a man who 48 hours earlier said had done an excellent job. he could be forced to leave or to resign. the president whose key phrase
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is "the apprentice" said you're fired, trying to distance himself from this resignation. it's another acting position now at the labor department for president trump. >> yes. . we know president trump has no problem staffing up with acting positions. there are many, as you point out. but in this case the president did want alex acosta to go and give a full throated defense of himself and really fight back. we know this president is located to look as if he is caving to calls from democrats or others to make a move as they were calling for alex acosta's resignation. but we know this president likes to see someone -- likes to defend people who defend themselves. and he was looking for that sort of fight. it doesn't always work. we have seen it happen. rex tillerson spoke to reporters after unflattering story came out about comments he made to the president. that wasn't enough.
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brett kavanaugh came out and forcefully defend himself. that inning whatted the tide and caused the white house to fully back him. >> right. >> so in this case it seems like it wasn't enough. in this case pete is right. we will see in the hours ahead exactly what led up to this decision. but it's also worth remembering that there are republicans in the white house and on the hill who just weren't happy with acosta's performance in his position, too. i think all of these factors just built up and made his continuing in that position untenable. . >> you're exactly right. it was here on msnbc news we reported on white house officials and those familiar with this matter, there were frustrations with alex acosta separate from this plea deal, realtiy related to the pace in deregulation. the remarks on the south lawn,
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which we will play for our audience, he explained it, as if this was a quick way to put a period at the end of the sentence and move on. he had a relationship to jeffrey epstein in the old days. he didn't like that his name was tied in to this. >> that might have been the final straw. he did not give a great press conference, as was discussed. he did have detractors in the white house. i don't think the president really wants to have that, especially during a re-election year. he is up for re-election. and to have this kind of issue rounding him given his past is very hurtful. >> spencer kuvin is an attorney for three of the alleged victims, victims in the controversial 2008 plea deal.
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just want to get your reaction to alex acosta officially resigning as labor secretary. >> good morning. thank you for having me on. i think this is absolutely fantastic news. you know, while the wheels of justice turn slow, the hope is that everyone was responsible for such an awful deal back in 2008 will be held accountable for what they did and not taking care of these young girls in the time that they absolutely should have been taken care of. >> mr. kuvin, you had a chance to watch the remarks. we will play the president's comments in moments. you had a chance to to speak to your clients, some of the alleged victims. what was their experience seeing acosta try to defend the plea deal which dates back more than a decade. >> in speaking to at least one of my clients, she was incredibly frustrated because it appeared as though he was trying to rewrite history. his office just completely dropped the ball in 2007 and
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2008 and entered into this deal because he was afraid of epstein's lawyers at the time. and he never consulted with any of the victims. even when he was in his press conference, he never explained why he failed to talk to any of the victims and get their input on what they were doing. he kept them in the dark. as the federal judge said in the southern district, he broke the law. >> have you heard from -- we heard from alex acosta when he was offered an opportunity to apologize. he declined. but he did direct a message to those watching and to the victims basically saying to others, please come forward. have you heard from new young women, perhaps certainly not now a decade later, they may not be girls in him. but adult women coming forward with their experiences as it relates to jeffrey epstein. . >> i have not yesterday. i would parrot the new york u.s. attorneys office and mr. acosta's statements that if anyone is a victim of mr. epstein, they should come
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forward and come forward directly to the authorities that can make a difference in this case. but i can tell you the u. s. attorneys' office has also spoken with one of my former clients, and she's ready, willing, and able to testify in the new york case if they ask her to. . >> spencer kuvin is an attorney who represents three of the alleged victims of stkwrefry epstein dating back to the 2008 plea deal. mr. kuvin, i appreciate your time. i want to bring in ann bremner, she is an attorney who specializes in sex crimes. we have spoken in cases not too dissimilar from this one. . >> right. >> i want to get your take as you heard from alex acosta there, the last couple of days, what frustrated you in the fact that this was able to effectively follow through the cracks that this man was given a sentence of 13 months where he was going home -- or going to his office six out of seven days for 12 hours each of the days. >> it's outrageous.
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a bad beginning makes a bad ending for mr. acosta, giving mr. epstein the sweetheart deal of the century. at the end it catches up with him like karma. at least now we have some justice with him going forward with the charges in the southern district of new york. i would say there's three things in life that are certain, death, taxes and karma. maybe that's what has caught up with him now. >> as you heard from him on this date, i asked him the question in the course of the news conference. one of the fundamental questions is he made it look like a choice, like he was a white knight who swooped in to help save the case or to the state attorneys office who was failing in its effort and was going to let this guy walk free. i asked acosta why he didn't just keep investigating. was there anything that would have precluded him at that time instead of taking a deal or a rolling of the dice, as he described it, from continuing to pursue the case? >> nothing, zero.
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he had a 53-page indictment ready. there was nothing that would stop him. basically what he had to say was dishonest during his press conference. and keeping it secret violates victims rights laws, federal and state. a judge just found that. victims have a right to know and have input. >> i want to bring in elliot willia williams. certainly critics of the handling of that case, the co conspirators, the other women who were involved in this situation, the recruiters, as they were in this situation, none of them were prosecuted. they, as part of that plea deal, they were all free to go on their way. was that something that struck you as well? . >> many things struck me and struck many former prosecutors about this. and, look, epstein -- pardon me, acosta still has many questions to answer on behalf of victims whose rights were not protected here. but let's be clear, peter, this was not a big moral stand by alex acosta on behalf of
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victims. he became a distraction to the president. he became a distraction to the administration, and he had to go. and that's what this came down to. this was never about taking account or taking responsibility for the poor law enforcement decision he made. what that leads to and to piggyback on what was said at the top of the segment, we have another major cabinet led by an acting official -- so you have departments of labor. >> yeah. >> homeland security and the deputy, the defense department, and the deputy. 9 whose chief of staff. the weekend as we go into custom raids oren forcement, customs and border protection, i.c.e., u.n. ambassador. you are now talking millions of american federal employees and billions of dollars. >> and why is that a problem for our audience? within moments we will have the president, so excuse me if i interrupt you. why is it a problem to have all the acting positions in why is
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it okay for the president just to say you be the acting guy in that role for now? >> this is not policy wonk stuff, peter. you need to know who is in charge. if this were a small business you would not have an acting person running it. if it was a large business, you would not. who is making the decisions? who has accountability? what you are doing is putting accountability in the hands of people who weren't vetted by the united states senate or the american people. that's the way our system is supposed to work. so it sounds like process. . >> yeah. >> it sounds like government wonk speak. this is bad management and bad for the function of the day-to-day lives of millions and millions of americans. >> elliot, the president alongside the former labor secretary just moments ago on the south lawn. let's take a listen. >> he's done a fantastic job. he's a friend of everybody in the administration.
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and i got a call this morning early from alex. and i think he did a very good job yesterday. under a lot of pressure, he did a fantastic job. and he explained it. he made a deal that people were happy with. 12 years later, they're not happy with it. you'll have to figure all of that out. but the fact is he has been a fantastic secretary of labor. and alex called me this morning and wanted to see me. and i said, well, we have the press right out here. perhaps you just want to say it to the press. but i just want to let you know this was him, not me, because i'm with him. he's a tremendous talent. he's a hispanic man. he went to harvard, a great student. and in so many ways i just hate what he is saying now pause we're going to miss him. but, please, alex. >> thank you, mr. president. over the last week, i have seen a lot of coverage at the
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department of labor. and what i have not seen is incredible job creation that we have seen in this economy, more than 5 million jobs. i haven't seen that. workplace injuries are down, bucking a trend. workplace fatalities are down. the lowest number of fatalities in mining. i have seen coverage in this case that is over 12 years old that has vetting at multiple levels of the department of justice. going forward, i do not think it is right for this administration's labor department to have epstein as the focus rather than the incredible economy that we have today. and so i called the president this morning. i told him that i thought the right thing was to step aside. cabinet positions are temporary trusts. it would be selfish for me to stay in this position and
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continue to talk about this case that is 12 years old rather than the amazing economy we have right now. so i submitted my resignation to the president effective seven days from today, effective one week from today, earlier this morning. >> (inaudible). >> there is no need at all as far as i'm concerned. i watched alex yesterday. i thought alex did a great job. you know, you can always second-guess people and say it should have been tougher. they do it with me all the time. i would make a great deal with anybody. then they say, like the democrats, oh, it could have been better. i got $1.2 billion settlement, fine, from a company, from zte. and the next day -- and everybody couldn't believe it. the next day the democrats said, oh, he should have got more. you can always second-guess. that's what people do. i just want to tell you this is
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a person that i've gone to know. there hasn't been an ounce of controversy at the department of labor until this came up. and he's doing this not for himself. he is doing this for the administration. and, alex, i think you'll agree. i said you don't have to do this. he doesn't have to do this. >> (inaudible). >> i do. and we have, as everybody knows, we have pat pazella, who is a deputy. he will be acting for a period of time. i think you know pat. he's a good man, highly recommended by alex. but pat is going to be acting. and we have already informed him. >> (inaudible). >> yes. i did have a falling out a long time ago. the reason doesn't make any difference, frankly. but i haven't spoken to him in
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probably 15 years or more. i wasn't a big fan of jeffrey epstein. that, i can tell you. now you look the remnants hurt this man. and i hate to see it happen. i will say this, and i say it again and i say it loud and clear, alex acosta was a great secretary of labor. what he's done with plans and you see the plans coming one after another, you're just about done with the 401(k). >> that's correct. >> and that happened. things that nobody would even think of. but it's very sad. he wants the focus to be on accomplishments, not what you're talking about. . >> (inaudible). well, alex believed that. i'm willing to live with anything, john. i think you know me. i have lived through things that you wouldn't believe. alex felt that way. and he also felt, we're doing so
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well, the economy, the stock market just hit the highest point yesterday in the history of our country. our unemployment numbers are the best they have ever been. if you look at specifically certain groups, african-american, asian, hispanic. the best unemployment numbers in the history of our country. you know, there are so many good things that he didn't want to distract from that. and i understand that 100%. (inaudible). >> the what? . >> (inaudible). >> so paul ryan was not a talent. he wasn't a leader. when the people in freedom and great congressman wanted to go after the dems for things that they did very badly, he wouldn't give subpoenas. whereas nancy pelosi hands them out like they're cookies. paul ryan was a lame duck for a
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long time as speaker. he was unable to raise money. he lost control of the house. the only success paul ryan had was the time that he was with me, because we got taxes cut. i got regulation cuts. i did that mostly without him. but for paul ryan to be complaining is pretty amazing. i remember they in wisconsin, a state that i won where i stood up and made a speech and then i stpwraoused him and they booed him off the stage, 10,000 people. for him to be going out and opening his mouth is pretty incredible. but maybe he gets paid for that. who knows? maybe he gets paid. >> (inaudible). >> so, people come into our country illegally. we're taking them out legally. it's very simple. it's noting something i like doing. but people have come into our country illegally.
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we're focused on criminals. we're focused on -- if you look at ms-13. but when people come into our country, we take those people out and we take them out very legally. they all have papers. and it's a process. and i have an obligation to do it. they came in illegally, they go out legally. what the democrats should be doing now is they should be changing the hoopholes. they should be changing asylum. they should be changing asylum. there's so many things. now, let me give you the good news. mexico has done an outstanding job so far. the border is down 30%. that is one week inclusive where they have gone it together. june comes just came out. it will be 30% down. it is going to be down more and more. they have 21,000, and i say
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21,000 mexican soldiers on the borders. both their southern border and our southern border. the laws are so bad the democrats have to help us fix the immigration laws. because of the job that mexico is doing, yes, they maybe didn't because of tariffs but they're doing a great job, and i appreciate it. >> (inaudible). >> no, no. who said that? >> democrats -- >> anything you do, the democrats will say it's not good. in the meantime, they had a disaster. they had the laws that are so bad. catch and release. you look at the different laws. visa lottery. that was a chuck schumer law. it was a disaster. a lottery. you pick them out. a lottery.
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the democrats have caused tremendous problems. what they have let china get away with. for years and years, china has been ripping us off. they're not ripping us off in him. right now companies are fleeing china because of the tariffs. and right now we're taking in billions of dollars. and, by the way, our people are not paying for it. they're paying for it. they're paying for it by depressing their currency and they're putting a lot of money. look, nobody has ever done what i've done with china, and that's fine. and we'll get along with china. but you know, when i see a guy like biden who is weak and in effective, and everybody that knows him knows he's a weak man, he's an in effective man, president xi laughs at guys like that. now, with that being said, i would say this, president xi, putin, all of these guys go to bed at night and they pray that joe biden or somebody like him becomes president so they can continue to rip off our country.
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>> (inaudible). >> no, i had no idea. i had no idea. i haven't spoken to him in many, many years. >> (inaudible). >> i've already talked about the epstein matter. i gave a press conference that, according to the media, was longer than any other cabinet official in this administration. the i will reiterate what i said previously. my point here today is we have an amazing economy. we have unemployment lower than we have seen literally in my lifetime. and the focus needs to be on this economy and job creation and the workplace and mining. that's where this needs to focus, not on this matter.
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>> we are looking into it. the platforms are absolutely in my opinion 100% crooked. they are 100% dishonest. that's my opinion. and something is going to be done. but i can tell you from personal experience, i see it. i had something happen this morning. i won't tell you about it yet. but these platforms are 100% dishonest. >> (inaudible). >> i was not a fan of jeffrey epstein. and you watched people yesterday saying i threw him out of a club. i didn't want anything to do with him. that was many, many years ago. it shows you one thing, that i have good taste. okay.
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now, other people they went all over with him. they went to his island. they went all over the place. he was very well-known in palm beach. whatever his island was, whatever it is, i was never there. find out the people that went to the island. but jeffrey epstein was not somebody that i respected. i lu him out. i think the great james patterson, who is a member of mar-a-lago many the statement that many years ago i threw him out. i'm not a fan of jeffrey epstein. >> (inaudible). >> yes. yeah. >> (inaudible). >>. >> you know what, you know, they came in illegally. we have millions of people standing in line waiting to be citizens of this country. they have taken tests, studied, learned english, they have done
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so much. they have been waiting seven, eight, nine years. we have some waiting 10 years. it is not fair that someone walks the line and now they become citizens. >> (inaudible). >> well, i wish the british ambassador well. some people just told me too bad. but they said he actually said very good things about me, sort of referring to other people. and i guess i quoted lindsey graham today. he said things that were pretty nice from the british ambassador. look, i wish the british ambassador well. but they have to stop their leaking problems there just like they have to stop them in our country. >> (inaudible). >> we're not giving warning. no, we're not giving warning. there is nothing to be secret about. can i tell you what? there's nothing to be secret about? i.c.e. is law enforcement. they're great patriots. they have a tough job. nothing to be secret about.
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if the word gets out, it gets out. because hundreds of people know about it. it's a major operation. so if the word gets out, it gets out. it starts on sunday. and they're going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them in prison or put them in prison in the countries they came from. we're focused on criminals as much as we can. >> how many? >> for instance, ms-13, very important. we're taking them out by the thousands. we've already been taken -- we didn't stop this. we have been taking criminals out for the last year. these people have been here for many years, ms-13. we're taking them out by the thousands and we're getting them out. >> (inaudible). >> i think we'll have it in the end where it will actually be
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more accurate. pause we have information gone through other means, whether you look at social security or other places, we have -- including loan applications. we have information that's probably more accurate than the information we could get by going in and asking somebody, are you a citizen? a lot of people aren't going tell the truth. >> (inaudible). >> no. no. not only didn't i back down, i backed up. anybody else would have given this up a long time ago. the problem is we had three very unfriendly courts. they were judges that weren't exactly in love with this whole thing, and they were wrong. but it would have taken a long time to get through the courts. you understand that better than anybody, john. it would have taken a long time back up to the supreme court. so i asked, is there any way? and somebody said there's a way that might be better. it might be more accurate. they explained it. and i said, then why are we
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wasting time? we will be in court the next two years. what are we wasting time for? by law, we have to have the printing done. so the printing is started. we are already finding out who the citizens are and who they are not? when i heard this, i said i think that's actually better. i think what we're doing is actually better. and only the fake news, which there is plenty would say differently. . >> (inaudible). >> these are great professionals. these are people who have done this for a long time. we're really looking for criminals as much as we can. we're trying to find the criminal population, which has been coming into this country over the last 10 years. we know who they are too. we've been taking them out by the thousands, specifically gang members from ms-13 and other
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gangs. we have been taking them out by the thousands. so we are really specifically looking for bad players. but we're also looking for people that came into our country not through a process. they just walked over a line. they have to leave. >> (inaudible). >> some do. no, no. the mayors in sanctuary cities like a mayor like de blasio, who is probably the worst mayor in the country, from new york, i don't even know what his attitude is. nobody does pause he doesn't work very hard. nobody knows what the hell he does. but a guy like de blasio probably wouldn't want the raid. most players do. you know why, they don't want crimes in their cities or states. >> (inaudible).
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>> so nobody has treated the military better than president trump. nobody. nobody has even come close. and you see that with budgets, with the pay increases. and you see that with medical. but you know where you see it more than anyplace is with the vets. because the vets never had choice. they didn't have choice before. >> (inaudible). >> wait, wait, wait. for 44 years -- wait, wait. for 44 years -- we are looking at that. for 44 years they have tried to get veterans tkhoeus. i got it. nobody else could have gone it. >> (inaudible). >> say it. >> (inaudible). >> well, i think how many bites at the apple do you get? we've gone through 500 witnesses, 2,500 subpoenas.
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i've let them interview my lawyers. because i had nothing to do with russia. now that's come out. no collusion. but how many -- how many people and how many times -- and this has been going on for two and a half years. rush limbaugh said there's nobody else in the world that he knows that could have taken it. on top of taken it, i've been a great president. i've done more -- listen, listen. i've done more in two and a half years than any other president. nobody is even close, including, we just said, veterans choice. and all of the other things i've gone. but for two and a half years, so now they make a speech. now they want to have it again. they want a go again and again and again because they want to hurt the president for the election because i see what i'm running against. you've got sleepy joe biden. he doesn't have the energy to be president. and the people that are nipping on his heels, they don't have what it takes. and i can tell you that china and russia, and i've been
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rougher on russia than any president in the last 50 years, china and russia and try north korea where i have a relationship. you don't have a man testing nuclear in him. you have a man -- >> (inaudible). >> wait, wait. you have a man that was so happy to see me. that's a good thing, not a bad thing. you have a man that doesn't smile a lot. but when he saw me, he smiled. he was happy. a man that when he came into office all he was doing before under obama was testing nuclear weapons and blowing up mountains. and now he's not doing it. there's nothing he can say. he's written a report. the report said no collusion. and it said effectively no obstruction. because there's no obstruction. and the other thing is very interesting. so they find out there's no collusion. the whole thing is about collusion. so they find out there's no
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collusion. now, actually it was different. it was bad crimes committed by the other side. we'll find out about that. i'm sure that's being looked at right now. so, so there's no collusion. and there's no obstruction. now, we have a great attorney general now. he's strong and he's smart. and he read it and he studied it, along with rod rosenstein, who worked on it from the beginning. and rod rosenstein and bill barr said there's no obstruction. that's interesting. number one, there's no crime. and how do you obstruct when there's no crime? also take a look at one other thing. it's a thing called article 2. nobody ever mentions article 2. it gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before. we don't even talk about article 2. so they ruled no collusion, no obstruction. very simple.
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>> (inaudible). >> by the way, you can only get so many bites at the apple. we have to get on to running a country. you got immigration, infrastructure, drug prices. the democrats aren't working. all they're doing is trying to hurt people like alex acosta, a man who has done -- i man -- >> (inaudible). >> i have no idea. are you a democrat? >> i'm not, no. >> i had no idea. you know what i know about alex? he was a great student at harvard. he's hispanic, which i so near. pause maybe it was a little tougher for him. and maybe not. but he did an unbelievable job as the secretary of labor. that's what i know about him. i know one thing. he did a great job. and until this came up, there was never an ounce of problem with this very good man. go ahead. >> and let me just add -- let
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me -- let me just add, you know, i hear a lot about how individuals -- before our interview, we had never met, we had never talked. the president selected me, as it should be done. it wasn't that we knew each other. it's not that we had a longstanding relationship. and i think that's a testament to his selection process. . >> what do you make of the infighting going on with democrats in congress, nancy pelosi, alex andra owe cassio cortes. >> i think cortes is being very disrespectful for someone who has been there a long time. i deal with nancy pelosi a lot and we go back and forth and it's fine. but i think that a group of people is being very
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disrespectful to her. and you know what, i don't think that nancy can let that go on. a group of people that came -- i don't know where they came from. i'm looking at this omar from minnesota. and if half of the things they're saying about her are true, she shouldn't even be in office. but cortez should treat nancy pelosi with respect. she should not be doing what she's doing. and i'll tell you something about nancy pelosi that you know better than i do. she is not a racist, okay? she is not a racist. for them to call her a racist is a disgrace. . >> (inaudible). >> very importantly, today, in a few hours, vice president pence and the head of homeland security are taking the press and congresspeople into
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detention centers. and we're the ones that said they were crowded. they are crowded pause we have a lot of people. but they're in good shape. and the reason is because the fake news "new york times" wrote phony stories. what border patrol is doing -- they have become nurses and janitors and doctors. and they're not trained for that. what they have done is so incredible. so they're touring detention centers. and that was my idea. because i read a phony story in the "new york times" today -- or the other day about the detention centers about the conditions. and i had people calling me up at the highest levels from border patrol and i.c.e. almost crying about that phony story. and they never saw anything. they have phony sources. they don't even have sources. they write whatever they want. the "new york times" is a very dishonest newspaper. they write what they want. and what they do is a tremendous disservice to this country.
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they are truly the enemy of the people. i'll tell you that. they are the enemy of the people. and what they wrote about detention centers is unfair. now, i believe it's going to be the center they wrote about. but we're taking a tour. i would love to be there but i'm going to ohio, wisconsin. i'll be going. i'll be going. but i've seen it. i've seen it. and these secenters are -- to he ocasio saying they are drinking out of toilets, she made that up. that's a phony story. she made that up. i've been with i.c.e. and i've been with border patrol. they love the people coming across the border. and i've seen it. they love them. >> (inaudible). so, one of the reasons democrats don't want to have a census is
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because the number of people in the united states for many years -- you know, for years you have heard 11 million. it's far greater than that. but we'll find out. because i'm going to do something much more accurate than -- the way we did it in the census would never have been very accurate. what we are doing will be much more accurate. >> (inaudible). >> the wall is being built. the wall is being built. we had a couple of good decisions. we had one bad decision. it's very tough. again, paul ryan let us down. paul ryan was a terrible speaker. frankly, he was a baby. he didn't know what the hell he was doing. the wall let us down. in all fairness, the problem when we had both houses in the senate you need 60 votes. well, we don't have 60 votes. we had 51 last night. now we have 53. pause we won during the '18 election, which nobody wants to say. just so you understand.
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so the wall is being built. we had one setback, one tremendous victory. and i had a tremendous victory rarely covered by the press. two days ago i won the emoluments case. that was the biggest case of them all. i won the emoluments case. people don't know that my being president i lose billions of dollars -- and especially in money i can't make because i don't do deals. but i lose billions of dollars. but another thing, i get a salary of 400 or $450,000 a year. i don't think any other president has ever given up -- that's a lot of money. almost half a million dollars. i don't think anybody say i would give up my salary. i'm not looking for credit. but i give up my salary. i get zero. i get zero. but you know what makes me happy? that we're doing a great job. and i want to thank alex acosta. he was a great, great secretary.
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. >> (inaudible). >> iran better be careful. they're treading on very dangerous territory. iran, if you're listening, you better be careful. >> (inaudible). >> i had a big one yesterday.
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>> you've been listening to donald trump on the white house south lawn. you saw him dripping with sweat at the end of more than 30 minutes of speaking to reporters on a series of topics. of course the major headline was the president standing beside his now former labor secretary, alex acosta, saying despite tremendous pressure, he thought acosta did a fantastic job explaining his role in the plea deal as it related to jeffrey epstein. the president, as you just heard, said acosta is resigning. you see our panel right now. hans nichols was on the south lawn. elliot williams is joining us right now. we have juan that summers, susan del persio. kimberly atkins as well. hans, i want to start with you if i can. you were on the lawn right now. it was sort of remarkable again defend acosta in spite of the details and the fact checks and the way he defined his role in
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the plea deal. he would he thought he had done a terrific job. >> and accepted his resignation. that is the story coming out of this. the president could have rejected that resignation offer from acosta. clearly this is choreographed. the president doesn't want anyone question his work on the labor market, on what he thinks is doing so well. that is the economy and the job market. peter, just to give you a sense of the chaos out there, i asked him right away, how do you think acosta did? how do you think your labor secretary did? his first response it wasn't clear that he was going to resign. he was speaking in the past tense. that was an indication that something happened. then acosta explained that he offered his resignation letter. then we had to clarify what is going on here. the president said, yes, he's resigning. but he went out of his way to praise him. this was something for the ages in terms of south lawn press depan chd
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departur departures. 30 minutes. it was baking hot out there. but the president wanted to take questions and put his spin on the epstein case, that is that he kicked him out of a club in mere law tkpoe and the clearly wants to move on. >> a lot about the relationship between those two men. the democratic congressman eric swalwell of california. he is notably a member of the intelligence and judiciary committees, as well as a former 2020 presidential candidate. congressman swalwell, i appreciate your being here. we heard the president say moments ago about alex on costa. take a listen. >> he is a person that i have gone to know. there hasn't been an ounce of controversy at the department of labor until this came up. and he's doing this not for merz. he is doing this for the administration. and, alex, i think you'll agree, i said you don't have to do this. he doesn't have to do this. >> that was president trump
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defending his now former labor secretary. your reaction to the news this morning? >> oh, he had to do this. because of the teal that he had given mr. epstein who was a predator, not worthy of that deal. i was a prosecutor. i never would have engaged the way that mr. epstein and counsel was able to engage with with a u.s. attorney. that was unusual in itself. and not to notify the victims as well. i'm going to say something i don't know if other democrats would say. but thank you, secretary acosta, for doing the right thing. for doing something that wilbur ross, bill barr and others will not do, which is come forward and resign and allow us to have an administration that follows the law. . >> congressman, as it relates to the president's relationship with jeffrey epstein, what struck me is that on multiple occasions he said he wasn't a big fan. but never from this president in the course of the last 72 hours has there been so much scrutiny
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have we heard from president trump, he was a despicable man. a terrible man. i'm glad he's off the streets. did you note that as well? >> i did note that. the last public reporting of these two that. the last public reporting these two individuals is that the two of them were at a party with a bunch of young women, it sounds like it was a beauty contest, you know, birds of a feather in the say president who has over two dozen credible sexual assault allegations against him. and i think, you know, that speaks for itself. >> you serve on the judiciary committee among others. you're among those members who are scheduled to hear from the former special counsel robert mueller next wednesday. there's been some reporting from some members of those committees that there are conversations about potentially delaying that hearing. do you know anything about that right now? >> well, i just talked to our chairman and all i can tell you is our chairman will do everything he can to make sure that special counsel comes before congress, that we hear from him. he lays out the accounts of the
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trump campaign and the russian interactions and the efforts to cover it up. but, you know, there are not firm details right now on anything more than that that i can say. >> we haven't had a chance to see you since you decided to withdraw your name from the race for president on the democratic side. which democrat do you think would be the best candidate to defeat donald trump? >> i think it has to be a candidate, one, who is confident. you just saw a very confident man stand on that lawn for 30 minutes. i don't agree with anything he said, but he has a lot of energy and he's the best puncher ever in american politics. so we need a confident who's confident, we need a confident who saw then tick? >> who is that candidate? >> well, we need a candidate also who i think say next generation candidate. so authentic, confident, next generation, there's a bunch of them. i'm not going to name names but we do have this in the mix here and i'm excited now to just watche watch as a congressman and who's children's future will be
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determined by who we pick. >> thanks for your time. eric swalwell thanks for sharing your views with her. susan, you were watching with me as we heard from the president a short time ago. he has frustrations with a lot of folks, paul ryan, joe biden he criticized as well. the only guy he wouldn't really criticize is joe epstein. >> i'm happy you asked that question to the congressman. how is it possible that he has not called on epstein? he says i'm not a fan. he should be calling out for the crimes he's accused of. he has no problem going after other people. this goes to a bigger problem and why he's hurting so much with suburban woman. he's a misogynist who only stands behind men and says oh, i don't know, they say they didn't do it. this is just another example. i think this press conference which was a only had pohodgepods and some other things he brought up was to get the subject matter, to get the conversation changed. >> to try to turn the page.
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lonna som iemers, i want to bri you in. it's continuing news as we continue with the resignation of the secretary of the department of labor. lonna, there's a new acting position in the president's cabinet. >> they both are incredibly significant. you heard the president in that stunning 30 minutes on the south lawn actually name check alex acosta's heritage and say that, you know, maybe a harvard, that may have made things harder on hip. but i want to focus on your second question. there's this long list of officials. these are folks who have not gone through the senate confirmation process who have not had the ability to be questioned about their record, which is an important part of the senate's role as checks and balances which is missing. and the trump administration there is something that the president is clearly comfortable to continue to do, to allow them to go on for months in in many cases in these acting roles.
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it will be curious to see just how swiftly he replaces acosta as he's headed out the door next week. >> elliot, the president wanted to focus on the economy and all the other items in the course of his comments there. but this story is not done. the scrutiny on jeffrey epstein, his relationship to president trump, not the only high-level politician that he's had a relationship over the course of the years. the scrutiny continues. there are more women coming forward and likely more stories to be told. >> absolutely, peter if the you notice, both the president and mr. acosta cited this $5 million jobs figure. we've created 5 million jobs. and this week has been a distraction from talking about that. if they truly believe that this has been a distraction, if that's what mr. acosta believes, he should go to one of the women who jeffery epstein recruited from in front of her high sool at age 14, took to his house to
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master fwhat front of h masturbate in front of her at his house and tell her her story has been a distraction. if that's his final act as a public serve vapt, he should be asamed with himself. >> it's not more clear whether the president was moreup set about handling that case in florida or the way acosta handle his news conference which was meant for a audience of one. >> it was that he don't enough to defend himself or to give a reason for his actions when he was in charge of the acosta case. and i'm sure people around the president reminded him heading into an election being connected to this epstein case, particularly when they're trying to appeal to women, would be political politically disastrous. i also want to reiterate, not only is there not anyone of hispanic background in the president's cabinet anymore, he only has two cabinet secretaries of color, secretary chao at
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transportation and secretary carson carson at hud. very few people of color in his administration, that's a problem. >> on the week where they're supposed to be enforcing new raids by i.c.e. to our team, we thank you very much. we appreciate your being here for that breaking news. again, alex acosta is out as secretary of labor. and still ahead, families are bracing for the storm. i.c.e. officials are getting ready to launch those mass immigration raids. on sunday president addressing that as well as his new food with the former house speaker paul ryan. much more on all of it at the top of the hour right here on msnbc. at the top of the hour right here on msnbc. little things can be a bi. little things can be a bi. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable.
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. thanks for watching this hour of msnbc live. right now, more breaking news with my colleague craig melvin. >> we'll see you tomorrow morning on today, my friend. always good to have you here. craig melvin, msnbc headquarters in new york city. we're following breaking news at the white house. once again on a friday, president trump's labor secretary alex acosta is out. he resigned just moments ago. he and the president talked to reporters on the south lawn of the white house for about 30 minutes. >> he has been a fantastic secretary of labor and alex called me this morning and he wanted to see me. and i actually


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