MSNBC Co-Hosts Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi Get Into Tense Clash Over Uber, NBA Controversies


MSNBC Live co-anchors Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle got into a fairly heated argument over companies taking money from countries like Saudi Arabia and China.

Velshi and Ruhle were handing over to anchor Katy Tur on Monday afternoon when Tur made a comment about their report on Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi downplaying the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as a “mistake” in an interview with Axios on HBO about Uber’s financial ties with Saudi Arabia. (Khosrowshahi later apologized for his remarks).

Tur commented “don’t forget the NBA and what’s happening in Hong Kong. Money corrupts.” Velshi agreed but Ruhle did not, saying the two situations were not the same, “the NBA is not the same as Uber and Saudi Arabia.”

“China and the NBA is exactly the same as Uber and Saudi Arabia,” Velshi pushed back. “It’s the exactly same thing. Somebody from the NBA said it’s OK to quiet people down because the NBA depends on china for revenue. Uber said killing Khashoggi was a mistake. … it’s exactly the same thing.”

“The NBA didn’t say that. The NBA was in a position where China’s mad at them and the United States is mad at them, right? This isn’t just – you can’t say the NBA and jump from that saying it’s okay with Jamal Khashoggi,” Ruhle said.

“OK, you can say that I can’t say it, but I’m quite comfortable saying the NBA compromised its principles because it makes a lot of money off of China and has decided that China’s human rights abuses are not actually a serious thing,” Velshi said.

“So then what would you say about Disney and Apple and Delta?” Ruhle asked.

“They’re all in the same position. That’s my point. If you take money from a country, you don’t have to change your values because you took money from them, right?” Velshi said.

“If China is saying American owners of NBA teams can’t criticize that country, can’t support what’s happening in Hong Kong – when that gets called into question and your free speech gets limited because of money … it’s a good question,” Tur chimed in.

“Money doesn’t have to corrupt … you can take the money and not make the wrong decision,” Velshi said.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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