tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC October 17, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PDT
trump and the big lie. >> interesting. let's switch gears here, don. i want to ask you about actor matthew mcconaughey who's toying with the idea of running for governor of texas. the "l.a. times" is out with a new article today, and it reads, while the actor is on the sidelines, some who want to occupy the office have either placed themselves in a holding pattern or are wringing their hands about his possible run. mcconaughey is seen as a potential lock for democrats who have not won statewide office since 1994, even if he has not publicly revealed his position on many key issues facing texans. what do you make to have that? he hasn't even given any indication of what party he would be running for. but if he ran as a democrat, could that be the candidate needed to finally flip the state blue? don, that's you. are you frozen? can you hear me? there we go? >> the lesson of donald trump,
of course, he was an appointed person, but the bigger lesson that's a nonpartisan one is that we should elect people in executive capacity who have experience running the unwieldly piece of government, who have administrative experience, who have political experience. that stuff matters when you're making decisions about corporate finance and real people's ability to get ahead in this country. therefore, ill have a very difficult time, even if he's a democrat who can raise up the place of people out there, i would have a very difficult time getting enthusiastic about a matthew mcconaughey personality, because about a cult of personality rather than the cult of people. >> maybe he needs to bring you on as an adviser if he does, anyway. don, susan, david, thank you so much. good to see you. and a very good day to all of you again from msnbc world headquarters here in new york.
welcome, everyone, to alex witt reports. former president bill clinton has been released from a california hospital after being treated for a serious non-covid related infection. clinton's doctor says his fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to new york to finish his course of antibiotics. a source with knowledge of the situation told nbc news, clinton had been admitted on tuesday after being diagnosed with a urological infection that had spread to his bloodstream. meanwhile, we are two days from a critical vote that could shape the path forward for the january 6th select committee's investigation into the capitol riot. the committee will vote tuesday on whether to hold steve bannon in criminal contempt after the former trump aide refused to show up for a deposition. if it passes, the full house will then vote on it before heading to the u.s. attorney of washington, d.c. earlier today, committee member adam kinzinger made clear the message they intend to send with this action. >> this potential criminal contempt referral or will be
criminal contempt referral for steve bannon is the first shot over the bow, it's very real, but it says to anybody else coming in front of the committee, don't be able to think that you're just going to be able to walk away and we'll forget about you. we're not. >> and president biden could be one step closer to reaching an agreement in congress for his build back better plan, but it could come at the cost of the lynch opinion from his climate change agenda. due to opposition from moderate democratic senator joe manchin. house committee chair john yarmouth told us earlier today what that could mean for negotiations. >> there's a renewed understanding with both progressives and moderates that we have to get done what we can get done. that taking 80% of what we want is a pretty good victory at this point. >> more breaking news to share on the reported kidnapping of americans in haiti. 17 missionaries, again, we're
told, mostly americans, have believed to have been abducted yesterday afternoon in a town just east of port-au-prince. nbc's sam brock joining me now. sam, another welcome. i know nbc news, we are still working to independently confirm these details. but how about you? what are you learning there? >> i'm in miami right now, alex. and we've learned within the next couple of hours, there will be a protest in this area this afternoon, condemning the deportation of haitian americans that were trying to escape this kind of violence and calling for the u.s. government to intervene in haiti. we'll be chatting with folks later today on that. but the u.s. state department right now is only confirming reports of the kidnapping, not the actual kidnapping itself. so that remains to be seen. we are working those channels. we've asked the white house if the president has been briefed on this. they would not confirm one way or the other. the white house appearing to defer to state on this. it comes out as "the washington
post" that a prayer alert over a whatsapp chain that was in haiti saying that they were being abducted and held by armed gang member. this is men, women, and children. we are still trying to identify that. but we know that haiti right now is rife with gang activity. it has been for years. and it has only gotten worse since the president there was assassinated back in july. there was an earthquake in august that killed some 2,200 people. haiti right now. i spoke with a woman who runs a orphanage and she describes having to take a helicopter because of their gang-infested roads. here's how this woman describes what they're seeing on the ground in haiti. >> we just have to be very careful, because you just never know what's going to happen and when it's going to happen, especially after what -- you can tell from what happened yesterday, with the missionaries. so we're here, we're trying to
help the people of haiti, because the help is needed and the need is there, but it's just very scary at the same time. because you want to do something right, and to see other people preventing you from doing what you're trying to do to help the people. >> reporter: and that orphanage, alex, was founded after a loved one, a family member, brittany, died in 2010 from the earthquake there. so you can just imagine all the things that this country has had to endure. and they wanted to preserve her legacy. she wanted to help the people of haiti. the children there right now are growing up with this reality in the back of their mind, their life could be threatened on any given day. that's what's happening right now in haiti. and it's another reminder of that with this potential kidnapping. >> throng you, it's horrifying, it's heartbreaking. it's really a lot of bad things. thank you so much, though, sam brock, for the report. joining me now, illinois congressman raja krishnamoorthi, a democratic member of the house oversight and house committees.
i'm curious to your reaction to this developing situation in haiti. we have "the new york times" reporting that while the country is accustomed to lawlessness, the abduction of such a large group has shocked the officials because of its brazenness. how unusual is this? >> unfortunately, it's very common now in haiti, alex. at least 628 people have been kidnapped since the first of the year. dozens of foreigners. oftentimes, they're doing it even without face coverings, meaning they don't really care who knows their identity at this point. and so it's brazen, it's common, and if the reports are true that 17 americans have been kidnapped, including children, we have to get them back immediately. and we have to hold those accountable who did the kidnapping, because we don't want open season on americans or anybody at this point with regard to kidnappings. >> i'm wondering, why are they doing this? is it always a ransom for money,
a ransom for goods, a ran some for some sort of political opportunity? and are most of these people who are kidnapped, are they returned safely? >> it appears that it's mainly ran some for money. i heard reports of people being kidnapped and the ransom is like $100. and i think that the economic situation is so dire in haiti that this has become a local cottage industry at this point, alex. >> i mean, what can the u.s. do about this? what's our responsibility here? >> with regard to the immediate situation, i think that the u.s. has to work with local authorities. again, if this is true, that they have to work with local authorities and secure the release, leaving all options on the table for getting these americans back. and then i think they have to
make this gang, apparently it's called 400 mowazo or something to that effect, they have to pay. they cannot be allowed to continue with this. because there are a lot of americans in haiti, as you know, who are trying to do god's work in trying to help locals, and we can't allow for continued kidnappings. long-term, of course, we have to stabilize the situation and that requires a lot of diplomacy, but also economic assistance and security assistance to get the situation and the country back on its feet. >> congressman, i'll ask you to stay with me and i'll ask you to weigh in on activities there in just a moment. back with you in just a sec. julie tsirken joining me now. what are you expecting? >> we're expecting the criminal
referral to pass out of the committee on tuesday night before it heads to a vote, before the full house soon after we don't yet know the exact time, but it will happen swiftly, we are told, and it's sure to be a long and tedious process if the department of justice agrees to prosecute this. but listen, alex, members on the committee, democrats, are all too familiar with conducting oversight of the trump administration, or should i say, trying to conduct oversight of the trump administration. they know how difficult it's been over the last few years with the impeachment and the russia investigation to get trump allies to comply with their subpoenas and they're tired of it. adam schiff is on the house select committee. he's also the chairman of the intelligence committee. here's what he had to say this morning about this. >> and we'll pass it out of the committee on tuesday. i don't know the date that we'll take it up on the floor. we hope to take it up very soon, but we're not messing around here. we're moving very expeditiously. to me, this is an early sign of whether our democracy is
recovering, whether it's true that no one is above the law. that the rule of law has to apply. we're going to go after anyone that doesn't provide information that they're lawfully compelled to, to our committee. >> reporter: schiff is a member of the committee. he wants this to wrap up quickly, because the committee doesn't have all the time in the world. and he went on to say there, it's in part because of fears of what happened in this capital on january 6th could happen again soon with all the rhetoric being stowed still by president trump, by steve bannon, and by his allies. alex? >> thank you for that report. back to raja krishnamoorthi. how do you see the criminal contempt process playing out with steve bannon? do you think he will be held in criminal contempt or could he run out the clock with court challenges? >> he will definitely try, but i
agree with chairman schiff that now we have to move very quickly to refer this matter to the justice department. the one difference between now and what happened previously when the trump administration was in charge is now we actually have a justice department that is likely to take up the criminal referral. of course, mr. bannon is likely to challenge it in the courts, and that's why we have to hustle at this point before he tries to run out the clock. but one thing is for sure, that steve bannon, to the fact that he had a hand in masterminding january 6th or knew about what was going to happen and consulted with the president about it, needs to testify and needs to produce information to the committee, because the american people want to know the truth about january 6th. >> and that specific committee has said that mark meadows and kash patel are cooperating in some way. do you have any insight into what that exactly means and how important is their testimony in your mind?
what kind of questions do you still want answered? >> i think it's very important. mr. meadows was the president's chief of staff. and the biggest question that i have is what did they know before january 6th in the lead up to january 6th, and why is it the case that on january 6th, it took hours and hours, up to five hours from the time that the capitol police and the metropolitan police department requested assistance from the d.c. national guard and the time that they actually arrived on the scene. i questioned acting defense secretary, or former acting defense secretary chris miller about it, and he had no good answers, except that we know that the president was aware of what was happening, and stid stihl did not command the d.c. national guard to come to the assistance of local authorities in ending the insurrection. >> and having said just that,
committee chair bennie thompson told cnn last week, subpoenaing donald trump, that is still not off the table. today, committee member adam kinzinger confirmed if the trump has a piece of information that they need, they will certainly subpoena him. how critical do you think it is for the committee to hear directly from donald trump? >> i think that option should not be taken off the table. as you know, the former president is going to claim executive privilege over everything that he said and all of his information related to january 6th. i would argue that executive privilege would not apply because the executive privilege only applies when national security matters might compel them. and in this case, the opposite is true, that national security would argue for him producing information to the committee, so we can prevent such an insurrection from happening again.
>> and it seems the biden administration is very much in sync can that, as well. before you go, sir, on friday, i know you took part in a chicago-based oversight committee hearing regarding the recent failures of the united states postal service. what did you learn about the issues slowing mail service? i ask on behalf of everyone as the holidays approach. >> what i learned is that louis dejoy is at the heart of why we've had a mail slowdown. he's worsened delivery standards and he's raising rates e. it's a horrible recipe for any kind of business model. and i think the best christmas present that we can deliver to the american people is giving them a new post master general before the holiday season. because unless we do, unfortunately, the current modes of the postal service will continue throughout that season. >> we'll see if the board of the postal service agrees with you at some point. illinois congressman raja
krishnamoorthi, good to see you. thank you so much. he's been called a party crasher since he came to politics, but will the former president also ruin the party for the gop former president also ruin the party for the go ♪ i'm way ahead of schedule with my trusty team ♪ ♪ there's heather on the hedges ♪ ♪ and kenny on the koi ♪ ♪ and your truck's been demolished by the peterson boy ♪ ♪ yes -- ♪ wait, what was that? timber... [ sighs heavily ] when owning a small business gets real, progressive helps protect what you've built with affordable coverage. people with moderate to severe psoriasis, or psoriatic arthritis, are rethinking the choices they make like the splash they create the way they exaggerate the surprises they initiate. otezla. it's a choice you can make. otezla is not an injection or a cream it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable, with reduced redness, thickness,
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. will donald trump play the role of spoiler for republicans in virginia governor's race? that is the new headline from yahoo! news and it comes after the former president inserted himself right smack dab in the middle of that race, just weeks before the election that could set the scene for 2020 and beyond. joining me now, michael steele, former chairman of the rnc and an msnbc political analyst. good to see you, my friend. let's get right into this year. because donald trump dove right into the race this week, calling into an event, endorsing glenn youngkin, perhaps not surprisingly, but previously after criticizing him because he didn't quite welcome his support
enthuse enthusiastically enough. he has tried to play it both ways, take his endorsement, but not talk about it too much when it comes to donald trump. what's the logic there and might trump spoil this for the republicans? >> the logic there is reflected in the polling that shows this race a lot tighter than a lot of people thought it would be, certainly given the fact that the democrats had enjoyed a lot of success in virginia over the last few years. so now you have a businessman, republican, who has been able to connect more importantly with northern virginia voters, and so that sort of sets this thing in motion, where you're right, youngkin wants to be able to say, you know, those things that northern virginia voters who tend to shy away from trumpism and trump, particularly, that makes them feel comfortable with him. but at the same time, say to the rest of the state, particularly the southwestern portions of the state, i'm with you! i'm a trump guy. see, i got his endorsement. what muddles that is your point
about the president coming into it and saying, hey, this is my guy, too. the reason trump does that, he's seeing and hearing the same thing about this race, that republicans can win. what trump is betting that "a," youngkin wants, "b," i want to be able to claim credit for the win that sets up the narrative for 2022 around the country for those races that republicans trying to shy away from, do the heisman with trump a little bit. but in reality, that's not necessarily how the narrative is going to go. >> see, now, this kind of feels like the gavin newsom recall election in california to me. knowing that youngkin is close to mcauliffe, that is going to gin up the base of the democrats and they're going to say, we've got to get to the polls and vote. look at what happened in california. it was a landslide. >> and that's actually a very, very real concern for a lot of republicans across the state
that are looking at this race as an opportunity in virginia, having lost the house and senate and having lost the governor race over the last few years, they want the win. so right now they're on the cusp, but you have the president inserting himself in such a bold-faced way, that a lot of those northern virginia republicans are going to go, you're really a trump guy. you're just a trump guy in disguise right now, and we don't know if we want to buy that. so it could very much drive that base. keep in mind, virginians have been voting for several weeks now, because they had this early voting period underway, so we don't know exactly how that's going being shaped in terms of how this race will look as well. two, three weeks ago, youngkin was in a very strong rhetorical position and that could gave him some votes that could help him. >> there are a couple of events i want to go through then. first one, this is making headlines for this particular
moment. take a look at this, michael. >> i also want to invite kim from chesapeake. she's carrying an american flag that was carried at the peaceful rally with donald j. trump on january 6th. i ask you all to rise and join us as mark lloyd leads us in the pledge. >> face the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag -- >> what do you make of that one? >> disgusting. and i want to know, which flag was that? was that flag that beat cops upside the head? was that the flag that was used to break windows on the capitol? was that the flag that was used to desecrate our constitutional norms? which flag was that? and it's absolutely appalling that these folks think that we're going to stand and salute your insurrection? are you kidding me?
again, this is the narrative that's taken hold inside the gop. there is no outrage inside the leadership. you haven't heard the leadership say anything about this. they're mute on this subject and at some point, i'm hoping that the american people look at this and say, okay, someone's got to be held accountable. because otherwise, what the american people are allowing to happen is a set-up for 2022 and 2022 and 2024, where in 2025, a whole bunch of folks will be whining and gnashing their teeth when president trump is standing on the portico taking his second oath of office. >> and here's another thing that happened, donald trump telling republicans, don't vote in 2022 or 2024. if the republican party doesn't solve the -- i'm falsely
lamenting here -- the 2020 voter fraud, what's your reaction to that one? >> if i'm ron daniels, i'm sitting there going, wait, you're telling our voters not street? okay, great. this is the same guy, by the way, who told georgians to vote for stacey abrams. he's endorsed stacey abrams, he's telling republicans not to vote. and they look at guys like me and they say we're rhinos? the only republican in name only from day one, america, has been donald trump. he's icu the republican mantra and its system to perpetuate himself. you can't ask for more evidence than that. >> you speak of georgia, so we bring up the picture of what's happening right now. there's stacey abrams and she's out there. one of the big-name democrats that are coming in these last couple of weeks before the election, as we show you, she's campaigning live right now with terry mcauliffe there in virginia, everybody. can i ask you a question?
i have heard through the rumor mill, my friend, that you are considering a run yourself. is it governor of maryland that you are considering? >> i am. we're in the final stages and hopefully will have something to say in the next ten days or so. so it's been an interesting process by the way, for getting a feel for how my state is and how that will look and feel in a potential governor's run, but it's been interesting, exciting and there's a lot of crazy still that you have to contend with, but we're taking a look at it. since donald trump endorsed stacey abrams and stacey abrams has endorsed mr. mcauliffe, as donald trump by extension endorsed mr. mcauliffe in the virginia race even though he says he has likes youngkin.
i don't know? this is our politics today. >> it's like the bouncing ball. that means in my introduction, i mistakenly identified you as an msnbc analyst, because you can't be that anymore now that you're considering a run. that's right, that's right. i have been off the msnbc payroll clock for quite some time since i announced my exploratory committee and hopefully, you know, we'll see where the ball bounces in the next few weeks. >> sorry, it just rolled off the tongue. i guess i didn't get the memo. >> it's all good! >> good luck! that means you have to come on all the time and we'll talk about the race. thank you so much, michael steele. good to see you, my friend. 90% of the world's goods are shipped by sea and you probably wouldn't care until now, thus the problem with the shipping log jam and it's not getting any better. jam and it's not gettingy better there's a lot to deal with. not just unpredictable relapses. all these other things too. it can all add up. kesimpta is a once-monthly at-home injection... that may help you put these rms challenges in their place.
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growing backlog of the global supply chain. dozens of container ships are idle near those ports of los angeles and long beach as they wait to unload and now there is concern about how this could damage the economy. nbc's scott cohn is in long beach, california, for us. scott, the ripple effects this issue is having on the rest of the economy, there's got to be a bunch of them. >> reporter: yeah, that's for sure. the chief one, alex, is inflation. and let me illustrate. behind me, the oocl bangkok, a ship from hong kong that they are now unloading. this is one of the ships stuck at see and they're now getting everything unloaded. it will probably take them about three days to unload all of the containers. that doesn't count getting the cargo to where it ultimately needs to be. i can see offshore, about ten more container ships just in my view, there's about 60 or so out there. you can get a sense of how long it's going to take to clear this. and one thing we know in the economy, time is money. >> what we're clearly seeing and
with manufacturers in the united states, for instance, they're succeeding in passing on higher prices. their unput prices are higher, at least double digits higher than a year ago, in some cases, triple digits higher, depending on the commodity, so it's killing their margins, they're passing that on to the customers and it's sticking. >> here's another aspect. one of the reasons we have this is a shortage of workers. it means workers have more leverage and bargaining power than they have in years. so we're starting to see now simmering labor disputes, what some in the labor movement are calling strike-tober. you have workers threatening to strike, whether it's john deere workers making tractors, cereal workers making cereal, coal miners in alabama, they averted the strike here in southern california and in hollywood with the film workers, but it gives you a sense of that. if they win wage gains in these wage disputes and they probably
will, that's more inflation, more pressure on prices. a lot of folks haven't experienced inflation. the last time we saw it in this country really was back in the '70s. it can be wrenching and it can be really damaging to the overall economy. >> starting with the gas prices, which a lot of people count on. scott cohn, thank you very much for that. let's turn now to jonathan lemire, who's at the white house for us. an msnbc political analyst. one of our favorites, jonathan. good to have you here. we'll start with the supply chain issues. transportation secretary pete buttigieg has certainly been making the rounds this morning, talking about the administration's plan to fix these major backups. i spoke with an economy writer yesterday who said, there's really not a lot that any president can do about this. this is a function of emerging from the covid virus. but is there any way to sell that message if that is the truth? >> yeah, great to see you, as well, alex. and this is something that the administration has been monitoring quietly for some months, believing this would
become a problem. the supply chain issues leading to delays in productsing received. we're also, of course, twinning that with some inflatio with inflation, so prices are more expensive. and there is a limit to what they can do. the port of long beach, los angeles area, 24/7. there was a deal that the government helped make happen. but there are only things around the edges that they are able to do to get things to flow more freely. and they are worried. they recognize, this is how this works. president biden is fond of quotingquote ing harry s. truman saying, the buck stops here. they are concerned that as this continues to get worse and there's sbrooed talk of potentially delays around the holidays, there are some retailers who are suggesting that they do their christmas shopping now, which is an attack line seized upon the right, i should add, that they are concerned about where this goes and they're going to try to do what they can and hope those conditions keep improving from the pandemic that some of these bottle necks will ease on their
own. >> let me ask you about what's happening with democrats likely to drop the clean electricity program for the massive spending bill. this is due to opposition from one senator joe manchin. does this signal to you, though, that this deal might get done soon rather than later now, and without this, is it still a win for the white house? >> it's certainly a complicated moment right now. there is increasing pressure to get this wrapped soon. the transportation bill funding runs out at the end of the month. democrats want to see these measures, both of them, i deally, the infrastructure package as well as the larger reconciliation bill be done or close to done by the end of the month, by the deadline that speaker pelosi sets. one of them is on climate change. that is a concern that the white house has here. that if these measures all out of the bill, how can the president go there and meet with other world leaders and incredibly say the u.s. is doing all it can to combat climate change. they haven't committed to removing those yet, but aides
are spending time looking for other measures that would perhaps reduce measures and satisfy senator manchin, who represents virginia, a heavy cold state. but it goes to show how much he and his colleagues wield over this process. but there's time running out. there's growing impatience about the negotiations. look for the president to get more personally involved. >> i'm curious at that point, what is your read on the level of frustration for the president. he keeps trying to bring all of these disparate sides together, but the sides are pretty rigid. is the president really still optimistic? >> the party line at the end of the day is there won't be a democratic lawmaker either in the house or the senate who would cast a vote to a submarine the agenda of a president of their own party. they still believe that's true. but you're right, these are two sides, progressives particularly in the house, but some like senator sanders and senator warren are very far apart.
they've acknowledged the size of the reconciliation package will shrink. it's not going to be worth $3.5 trillion. aides i've talked to suggest it will be closer to $2 trillion. they're hoping that's enough. they can get this done but it's a juggling act right now and they're running out of time. >> so when does this get done? we heard about halloween being a self-imposed deadline. does it done by then? >> they want to have the vote on the infrastructure bill by then, but in order to do that, you have to have if not just the reconciliation bill done to sign off on the bipartisan bill. the reconciliation package may include the debt ceiling raise, which runs out in december. that could be longer, but they want to have something by the end of the month, so also the president can head to europe and tout the accomplishment. >> absolutely. all right, jonathan lemire at the white house, thank you so much, my friend.
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we're not messing around here. we're moving very expeditiously. to me, this is an early sign of whether our democracy is recovering, whether it's true that no one is above the law. that the rule of law must apply. so we intend to go after anyone who doesn't provide information that they're lawfully compelled
to, to our committee. >> california congressman adam schiff there, talking with my colleague, jonathan capehart a bit earlier on the house january 6th select committee. right now the investigation into the attack on the capitol is heating up. the select committee is set to vote tuesday rather to allow steve bannon for federal criminal contempt charges. bannon is refusing to comply with the committee, and he could face up to $100,000 fine for not cooperating. let's turn now to betsey woodruff swann. she's a national correspondent for politico and an msnbc contributor. with steve bannon refusing to comply with the subpoena, he's using claims of executive privilege. bannon wasn't even part of the white house on january 6th, hadn't been for a long time. does he have any leg on which to stand? >> it's going to be tough for bannon to argue in court or trump to argue in court. that executive privilege means he doesn't have to play ball
with this subpoena. with the one big caveat that the federal judiciary has become much more conservative over the last four years during the trump administration, an executive privilege is a thorny, complex, and vague legal issue that hasn't been super clearly defined. all of that throat clearing aside, though, this is a really tough one for bannon to win. in part because trump isn't even president anymore. there are arguments that even conservative legal experts will make that you can't claim can executive privilege if you're not the executive. and second, to your point, bannon wasn't an executive branch official. so this is really tough for him. >> so what was he doing around january 6th? what kind of affiliation did he have with this particular event? what do we know about that? >> the select committee is interested in him in part because he was a podcaster who was very much involved in much of the rhetoric that ended up being quite incendiary in the
lead up to january 6 president and the select committee has telegraphed that they're interested in something called a war room that he was connected to at a hotel in washington that was close by to the white house around that weekend when january 6th played out. war room is a common term that many different political groups use to describe communications hubs, but we know that the select committee is interested in the kind of communication that he was doing leading up to the rally and then attack on the capitol. that's why he's a major focus. >> okay. you heard it on friday with president biden saying that he believes that the justice department should prosecute those who defy congressional subpoenas, those like steve bannon. but the doj pushed back reaffirming their independence from any white house influence. this became a talking point why, betsy. does it have anything to do with the memory that we all have of the cozy relationship between the trump white house and the doj? >> certainly, biden's comments about the doj potentially
bringing charges against people who defy these subpoenas obviously rankled senior officials over at the justice department. part of the reason that biden named merrick garland as attorney general is because he wanted someone there running the department, who would be totally apolitical and who hadn't ever been part of his political -- of biden's political ambitions. biden put garland in place at doj, specifically so that he would help the department reassert its independence from political institutions. and that -- the result of that is, the result of that project, moving forward, effectively, is this uncomfortable moment, where biden, at least in the justice department's view, overstepped by suggesting a particular prosecution should take place and the justice department succinctly, firmly, and politely pushed back and said, the president's allowed to say what he wants to say, to paraphrase doj, but we're not going to be deciding how to bring cases or
who to bring cases against based on anything that the white house tells us. >> which given the last four years, five years, almost, is refreshing. betsy woodruff, thank you, my friend. suing donald trump. he has been trying to dodge tomorrow's deposition with all of his legal might with no luck. the tough questions he might face, next. k. the tough questions he might face, next ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark. but with our new multi-cloud experience, you have the flexibility you need to unveil them to the world. ♪ to unveil them to the world. it only takes a second for an everyday item to become dangerous. tide pods child-guard pack helps keep your laundry pacs in a safe place and your child safer. to close, twist until it clicks.
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well, tomorrow donald trump is expected to sit for a deposition as part of a 2015 lawsuit filed by protesters. they claim trump security guards roughed them up during this protest outside of trump tower before he took office. a lawyer for the protesters says he is convinced trump will show up. >> we have every reason to believe that mr. trump will be there on monday morning and submit to trial examination by video deposition as per the court's order. his counsel have been
cooperative this week in terms of setting up the logistics for that. obviously it involves things like secret service clearance and getting videographers and court reporters into security. >> joining us now, an msnbc legal analyst. tali, thanks for joining me. it looks like this deposition is a go. what do you think lawyers will ask donald trump? >> well, the question at the heart of this case is whether donald trump directed his security to assault the protesters who have brought this lawsuit. and, you know, it's interesting because it's a low profile case from the presidential campaign. but it does represent the first time that donald trump is going to be asked a question like that under oath. and i think that a world of lawyers, prosecutors, investigators, are going to be listening for that answer. >> okay. so when you say whether the
president directed them to rough these people up, how could that be verbally expressed? because we've heard donald trump saying himself, in rallies over the years, he would like to knock somebody out, or he's going to rough somebody up. is that the kind of thing that could get him into trouble legally here? would it have to be "i want you to beat them up"? how is that going to work, the interpretation of what he said? >> well, the protesters who have sued him are going to want to use the kind of evidence that you've just described, alex, where we can impute to him the direction of his organization based on the stuff that he's said. what i think they would get into in the deposition is more trying to understand, how does he run his company, how regularly does he direct his security to do one thing or another?
and those questions about how he runs his organization, what kind of manager he is, are really swirling around in a lot of the litigations and lawsuits that involve him. >> we know that six of the protesters, tali, in this lawsuit are of mexican origin. could trump's rhetoric play a role in a civil case like this? >> absolutely it can, because it really goes to the issue of whether this was an intentional, a concerted effort to beat up these protesters driven by racial animus, or whether something happened that was unanticipated and out of control. and that's what they're going to be exploring in the course of this case. >> so depending on what he says and how he says it, come tomorrow, is there any way he could get into bigger trouble than where it stands right now? >> yes.
i think that if he does in fact testify under oath, you know, give the deposition tomorrow, where the judge has said at the extremes he could have until the end of the month, then his next strategy, i anticipate, will be to try to keep whatever he said hidden, to keep it sealed and not disclosed, because as i said earlier, whatever he says there about how he directed his security could be really interesting to the people who want to know how else he runs his affairs. you know, alex, i was just thinking, it would probably take us all afternoon to list all of the litigations and investigations that involve donald trump right now, ranging from january 6 to the defamation suits by jean carroll and summer servos. >> can you give me a yes/no
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