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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  November 18, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PST

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and gave us the bathroom we've always wanted. call 925-233-6471 and save $1000 off your complete bathroom remodel this sunday lashing out at mueller. president trump says he's finished answering the special counsel's written questions. >> i write the answers. my lawyers don't write answers, i write answers. >> and depogoes back on the att against robert mueller. >> it's a hoax. the whole thing is a hoax. there was no collusion. >> with more indictments expected soon, democrats woman a bim to protect mueller. mitch mcconnell says no. lindsey graham says the investigation is safe. could a showdown over mueller lead to a shutdown of the government. this morning i'll talk to south carolina republican senator lindsey graham. plus the cia determines that saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman ordered the murder of
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journalist jamal khashoggi. but will president trump accept that conclusion. >> we also have a great ally in saudi arabia. also, the democrats ohio hope. >> let them hear what we say. let them see what we do. >> is sherrod brown the democrat who can win back ohio and working class voters in the midwest? >> that is the blueprint for america for 2020. >> he sounds like he's running for president. is he? my interview this morning with senator sherrod brown of ohio. and mapquest, why both parties can find encouraging signs and danger signals for 2020. joining me are nbc news white house correspondent hallie jackson, rich lowry, editor of "national review." yamiche alcindor, and cnbc editor at large, john harwood. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in
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washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. well, a good sunday morning, everybody. for nearly two months we've heard little from special counsel robert mueller, nor have we heard much about mueller from president trump. they both went quiet. it's possible the silence has worked in mr. trump's favor. the midterm exit poll found that 46% of those polled disapproved of mueller's handling of the russia investigation. that's of course almost exactly equal to the president's job rating and the republican house vote share. just 41% approved of the mueller probe. but with the midterm elections over, the president unloaded this week on mueller and his investigation both in tweets and in an interview with "the daily caller." what led to the outburst? is it because new indictments are expected soon, possibly including the president's son, donald trump jr.? is the prospect of a democrat majority in the house launching a ton of investigations? is it the bipartisan criticism of his choice of matt whitaker to be the acting attorney
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general, or is it the fact that he had to answer any written questions at all from mueller which he acknowledged doing this week. whatever the reason mr. trump is turning up the temperature again on the special counsel just as the prospect of a government shutdown gets linked to over whether we want to protect mueller from the president. >> have you submitted your answers to the special counsel? >> no, we do that next week. they're all done. >> president trump revealing that after nearly a year of negotiations, he has answered written questions from robert mueller. >> i write the answers. my lawyers don't write answers, i write answers. >> mr. trump accused prosecutors of setting a perjury trap. >> i'm sure they're tricked up. gee, was the weather sunny or was it rainy? instead it may have been a good day, it was rainy, therefore he told a lie, he perjured himself. >> on thursday the president tweeted without evidence that mueller's team is screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want.
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>> on twitter yesterday seemed a bit agitated about what you might be perceiving the mueller investigation -- >> no, i'm not agitated. it's a hoax. >> and in an interview with can the the daily caller" when asked with who's he considering for a permanent replacement for jeff sessions, the president brought up a mueller probe saying it's something that should have never been brought. it's an illegal investigation. >> in theory it's not an investigation of me, but it's -- as far as i'm concerned, i like to take everything personally because you do better that way. >> this week lawyers challenging the legality of acting attorney general matt whitaker's appointment took their case to the supreme court. >> i think a lot of the questions involving mr. whitaker and the acting a.g. could be eliminated if we had a nominee. >> as a commentator on cnn he defended ways to weaken the mueller probe by defunding it and vox said that he privately provided advice to the president last year on how he might be able to pressure the justice department to investigate mr. president trump's political
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adversaries, including hillary clinton, and even pressure the justice department to name a second special counsel to investigate her. >> why in the world we would be so sangwine about this is beyond me. >> jeff flake says he will not vote for any more of the president's nominees until the senate protects mueller's job. >> he's suggested ways to diminish the probe, to starve it of funding, for example. >> and there's this threat from democrats. >> if whitaker does not recuse himself, we democrats are going to attempt to add legislation to the must-pass spending bill in the lame duck session that will prevent acting attorney general whitaker from interfering with the mueller investigation in any way. >> but so far republican senate leader mitch mcconnell is refusing to bring any mueller bill to the floor. >> we know how the president feels about the mueller investigation, but he's never said he wants to shut it down. >> and joining me now is
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republican senator lindsey graham of south carolina, who is likely to be the next head of the judiciary committee next year. senator graham, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you very much. >> and i don't mean to get ahead of things on judiciary. i know that that is not a done deal yet, but it is likely. >> not yet. >> let me start with something that senator mcconnell said there at the end of our piece, that the president, despite all of the noise the president hasn't threatened to shut it down. he has quite a bit on twitter wanted it shut down, has sort of said in the ether he would like it to be shut down. are you confident the president or the acting attorney general is not going to shut down this probe? >> i'm very confident. it would be a disaster for the republican party, for the mueller investigation to be terminated or shut down or played with. it's close to the end, let's see what he finds. i can understand why the president doesn't like the investigation. he feels wronged by it.
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i remember the clinton/ken starr episode pretty well. this is standard practice. but i think most republicans on capitol hill and democrats believe that mr. mueller should be allowed to do his job and i have no indication he's going to be interfered with at all. >> i know you said you would support this bill, essentially the mueller protection bill. i think you voted for it in committee. >> yeah. >> in the judiciary. democrats have talked about connecting it to the spending bill and using their votes in the house that will be needed as leverage. do you support that move? >> not really, but i think mitch should bring it to the floor and let's vote on it. jeff flake says he's not going to support judges until we get a vote on the mueller protection bill, which i wrote, by the way. some people think it's up constituti -- unconstitutional. i feel good about it. i think the best thing the senate can do is bring it to the floor and vote on it. >> why won't the senator do that? he seems pretty adamant.
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we've had our own reporting on this. senator flake and senator mcconnell got into it a little bit. you were probably in the room. what can you tell us about why senator mcconnell is the roadblock here? >> well, he thinks it's unconstitutional. he thinks it's not necessary. again, i helped draft the bill with senator booker. i think it's constitutional and i'd like to vote on it. having said all that, i don't see any indication at all that the mueller probe is going to be interfered with my mr. whitaker or president trump. but he's the majority leader, not me. if it were up to me, we'd be voting on the bill and see where the votes are at. >> do you think the gambit by democrats to connect it to the spending bill will change senator mcconnell's mind? >> oh, i don't know. once you give into that kind of stuff it never ends. it might be counterproductive because as majority leader they have a thousand demands. if they link all of them to shut down the government, it's probably counterproductive to threaten that, i would think. >> you met with the new acting
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attorney general. >> yeah. >> a couple things. you said that it would be a mistake, a disaster for republicans earlier in our interview here. >> yeah. >> that if they even messed with it at all. are you confident that the new acting attorney general is letting the probe go? he's not going to touch funding, not going to interfere at all? >> yeah, i am. he said that he's going to support the regular order of process. under the law, special counsels report to the deputy attorney general and any recommendations are sent up to the attorney general, in this case the acting attorney general. he said he's going to let regular order prevail here. in other words, he's not going to reach out and try to stop the investigation. >> so he's letting -- >> he's not going to cut out of funding. >> does this mean rod rosenstein still oversees mueller? >> he's in the chain of command. the initial report comes to the deputy attorney general. whatever the request is by the special counsel. that goes up to the acting attorney general for final approval. he's in the chain of command,
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but the final decision-making would be by mr. whitaker. >> after meeting with him, if the president nominated him as a permanent replacement, could you imagine supporting him? >> too early to tell. you know, he was a u.s. attorney for five and a half years, he was sessions' deputy for a year and a half. he said some things that would probably be problematic to be confirmed. but having said that, i was very impressed with his attitude, his professionalism, and he's got a very solid resume. so i would encourage the president to pick somebody fairly soon so we can have a permanent attorney general going into the first part of next year. >> does that mean not mr. whitaker when you say you'd like him to nominate someone very soon? >> no, that's up to the president. you asked me about mr. whitaker. i have nothing against him. i don't know if he's the best choice. you hear about mr. barr, former attorney general. that's a good choice. there are a lot of good names out there. i would encourage the president to start 2019 as soon as we can with a new attorney general that he has confidence in and we can get confirmed.
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>> the fact that you name dropped the former attorney general, mr. barr, does that mean that's your preference? that's your first choice? >> no, it means i read the paper and his name is in it a lot. that's all. it won't be me, let's start with that. it's not going to be me. he's got a lot of good choices, i'm not one of them. >> i take your point on that one. let me ask you about, you have indicated an openness to a second special counsel. you're now -- >> yeah. >> -- likely going to be head of the judiciary committee. why jump to a second special counsel? why can't you do it first? why can't it be done in congress before you decide you need a special counsel? >> well, the one thing i'm not suggesting is that we go back and try to reprosecute secretary clinton. that's not what i'm suggesting. i am suggesting that the people at the department of justice and fbi in the early stages of the russian investigation, the dossier was used to get a fisa warrant that i think was very
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inappropriate. there seems to be some political bias about how the clinton e-mail investigation was handled. we need to get to the bottom of all that, but i'm not suggesting that we prosecute her. and let me take a shot at this and maybe you're right, maybe the committee can do it. but i'll let you know more early next yorear. we're definitely going to look at this stuff. >> speaking of the committee, it feels as if senators grassley and feinstein, the relationship broke apart, okay. and we can come up with a lot of theories as to why. what are you going to do to repair the damage that was done during the kavanaugh hearings in the judiciary committee? >> well, the kavanaugh hearings were -- i think did a lot of damage to the committee and to the judiciary, and we've got to start off over. the good thing about elections, chuck, is it's a restart, it's a reset of democracy. we've got a new group of people coming in, it's a fresh start. i like diane. i don't think she did anything inappropriate individually in the kavanaugh hearing. i will work with her the best i
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can. prison and sentencing reform, i know you're going to ask me about that. >> i am. i'll get to that, i promise. >> i think it's something we can do in the lame duck here. >> yeah. >> but i promised diane and all the democrats on the committee to try to find a way to do something on immigration. there are a lot of things we could do on that committee in a bipartisan fashion. >> what it really means is you're in the middle of a lot of stuff. in fact i do have a lot to get to here. i want to go to saudi arabia here for a minute. >> yeah. >> we here at nbc news have confirmed that the cia has concluded that the crown prince himself, mohammed bin salman, ordered the assassination of "the washington post" journalist and columnist jamal khashoggi. do you accept that assessment? >> i haven't been briefed, but i believe from day one that 15 people, 18, whatever the number was, they don't get on two airplanes, go to turkey and chop a guy up in the consulate who's a critic of the crown prince
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without the crown prince having known about it and sanctioned it. if you know anything about saudi arabia and anything about mbs, the fact that he didn't know about it is impossible for me to believe. if he is going to be the face and the voice of saudi arabia going forward, i think the kingdom will have a hard time on the world stage. they're an important ally, but when it comes to the crown prince, he's irrational, he's unhinged, and i think he's done a lot of damage to the relationship between the united states and saudi arabia. and i have no intention of working with him ever again. >> well, the president seems hesitant to name mbs, which is what he is affectionately known, mohammed bin salman for viewers, but i notice that he was not on the sanctions list. is that a mistake? >> well, i want to see what the cia says, but i'm working with senator menendez to invoke the
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magnitsky act for all concerned. we're not going to make these 15 saudi security agents the fall guy here. i'm going to do whatever i can to place blame where i believe it lies. i'm going to put it at the feet of the crown prince, who has been a destructive force in the mideast. he 'embargoed qatar, he put the prime minister of lebanon under house arrest. clearly this guy is a wrecking ball when it comes to the mideast and a relationship with the united states. i hate to say that because i had a lot of hope for him for being the reformer that saudi arabia needs. but that ship has sailed as far as lindsey graham is concerned. >> why do you think the president and jared kushner, his son-in-law, who i know became quite close to mbs, why are they so insistent on trying to salvage mbs here? >> well, i think it's an important relationship. i'm not telling saudi arabia who to make crown prince or who to put in charge of their country,
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it's up to them. i am trying to tell them and the world that when it comes to the crown prince that exists today, i think he has been -- he has shown a lack of appreciation for the relationship. he stepped all over our values, he's put us in a box. i'll leave it up to the president to find out how to handle saudi arabia from the executive branch side. from the legislative branch side, we're going to do as much as we can as hard as we can to send a signal to the world this is not the way we expect an ally to act. what happened in turkey violates every norm of civilized society, and it will not stand. if john mccain were alive today, he'd be the first one saying that. >> the crown prince's brother is of course the ambassador to the united states. his phone call to khashoggi is one of the pieces of evidence used to conclude that, yes, this was an order from mbs. should he be welcomed back to the united states ever again as
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an ambassador? >> no. >> all right, fair enough. let me move to criminal justice reform. i had a feeling that would be your answer to that question. >> there's a theme in my answers here, i think. >> oh, yes. no, no, no, i think it's pretty crystal clear where you stand on this. let me ask you about the prison reform bill. politico wrote this about tom cotton's opposition to it. on thursday he stepped up his public pot shots at what he's called a jail break proposal. it's ape countercampaign that one fellow senator believes came at the request of majority leader mitch mcconnell. do you believe the majority leader is trying to quietly kill this bill in the lame duck? >> no, not really, because tom cotton has had this view from day one. what we're talking about is basically creating a new sentencing system that will give african-american male and hispanic male detainees a chance
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to get out of jail, earning their way out of jail. they have been in jail 30 and 40 years for three nonviolent drug-related offenses, and change our sentencing system to make it more humane and more productive. tom has been on the other side of this. there's 80 votes for this. it's the most bipartisan piece of legislation in the congress today. it would make prisons a better place to get people the skills they need to not go back to prison, and it will also change the way we put people in jail. the average sentence in america is eight times higher than anywhere else in the world. for nonviolent offenders, we've got people in jail 30 and 40 years. some of them need to get out of jail and go back to work. i'm urging mitch mcconnell, put this bill on the floor. if you put it on the floor, we'll get 80 votes. we'll get most republicans and almost all democrats. let's do it before the end of the year and the president is behind it. so mr. president, pick up the phone and call the republican leadership of the house and the senate and say we still run this
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place. bring this bill to the floor. senator cotton can have his say and we'll vote him down. >> but this, you believe the president is going to have to start lobbying mitch mcconnell. >> yes. >> because you have done everything you could and haven't been able to get him to budge? >> yeah. you know what, the country needs to heal here. one way to bring this country together after the midterms is to focus on something that matters. i never dreamed that this many republicans and democrats would embrace sentencing reform and prison reform. three strikes and you're out has not worked. now is the time to get it right. let's start 2019 on a positive note. i'm urging senator mcconnell to bring the bill to the floor of the senate. it would get 80 votes. mr. president, pick up the phone and push the republican leadership. the republicans are the problem here, not the democrats. cory booker has been very helpful in getting us to yes. there's been some compromises to keep it from being a jailbreak. so i'm ready to vote. >> senator lindsey graham, you had your caffeine this morning, sir. much appreciated.
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welcome back. panelists here, c nbc editor at large, rich lowry. and yamiche alcindor, and hallie jackson. and rich lowry, editor of national review. i want to react a little bit to lindsey graham. john harwood, there was a bit of a theme in the various questions, whether it is the mueller protection bill, up to mitch mcconnell, criminal justice reform bill, up to mitch mcconnell. you saw the passion of lindsey graham. he is ready to fight on one. and not fight as much on the other. >> i was fascinated by his
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vehemence on the prison reform bill. and mitch mcconnell reflects some resistance in the republican base but if we look at the results of the midterm election, we can see the country moving toward the spirit of criminal justice reform. in florida, when ron desantis was elected governor and it appears that rick scott was elected senator, more than 60% of floridians voted to restore voting rights for felons. 1.5 million people. that is to the detriment of the republican party. yet republican and democratic voters came together to do it. i think whether or not this criminal justice reform bill happens in this lame dumb, -- lame duck or some point down the road, we're headed down that direction. >> he wants the president to pick up the phone and call mitch mcconnell to tell him to do that. >> there are people inside the white house trying to push this, notably jared kushner, who is the big driver when it comes to the bill we're talking about, mitch mcconnell told kushner according to a white house
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official, in september-ish, don't do this before the midterms. if you hold off, making the commitment, i will give you a floor vote, i will give you a whip count, not a floor vote but at least a whip count and if you can get there, we will do it after the midterms. will he keep his word to jared kushner? an interesting one. >> notably on the other side of the ledger, he was markedly cool about his own proposal to attack mueller which is zero chance of republican support in the senate and two, it is probably unconstitutional and i don't know how you can constrain the president from inquiring of an executive official of this nature and if you want a theory that the president can't influence, you have to do it out of congress. >> if i could bring you back to criminal justice quickly, i was at the capitol all week talking to lawmakers about this criminal justice bill. and make it very clear, this is a criminal justice bill that could be the most significant criminal justice reform of a generation. people at the national action network, who is the party, who is the organization of al sharpton, there were a lot of lawmakers there that were very,
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very weary of this. they wanted a lot more sentencing reforms when the house bill passed. come back to friday, i had a long conversation with cory booker and he said i am going to be behind this bill, i don't care about the politics, he doesn't care about the fact that this might be looked like a win for president trump, and it is because people think that families who were sentenced and who had these issues in the '90s and '80s deserve to be able to have some of these sentences on crack cocaine and cocaine and power cocaine redone. >> it sounds like that lindsey graham was saying the same thing, saying, hey, democrats aren't standing in the way here. it is republicans. >> i want to go to the idea of the democrats using the budget, john, to force a mueller vote here. is that worth the capital that they would be spending? >> doubt it. i don't think that democrats right after an election in which they have won control of the house of representatives want to make a shutdown their first priority. by the same token, i don't think we are going to have a shutdown
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because they don't fund the wall. i think the, these threats, are made kind of casually these days. i think both parties have learned that it is a losing game. and i would not expect to happen. >> you are way too optimistic. but i think it is funny, i mean december 7 for the spending bill deadline why do i have a feeling we will stretch this to close to the christmas eve witching hour. >> because you've been on watch. a rodeo. i think there will be some movement this coming week. i spoke with a source familiar with the matter overnight who tells me that the president's legal team expects to submit the answers to robert mueller's written questions before thanksgiving. so we're looking at probably tuesday or wednesday that we will all learn that the president has submitted that. i'm curious to see what the framing of that will be, and if the president's team says now we're done because there are a couple of critical pieces of context, they did not relate to obstruction of justice, because the president's legal team refused to engage on that with robert mueller, despite being a key piece to the investigation. and then they're written
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questions and the president's team can figure out what they want to do. the president told reporters on the south lawn, as far as what happens next, you have not talked about whether or not to sit down with robert mueller, that's not true. we know for months, the president has had the conversations and the legal team doesn't want him to and the president is saying this morning, this is probably it. there will probably be no more questions, written or in person at all, nothing es on obstruction. and a huge caveat. this is a president who can change his mind and might. >> i'm flattered that you think it is -- >> well, rich, you know, we only know the president's version of all of this. we don't know why he did the written answers. did he do it under threat of subpoena? did he do it because he knows a subpoena is coming, it is not coming? mueller hasn't spoken. that is a big reminder here. >> there has clearly been some back and forth of the questions. which you would expect of any special counsel. and any president. but i think the most under-discussed story is up to this point, despite trump pounding on mueller, constantly,
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the white house has cooperated with this probe, and i think it is really impossible to shutter the probe at this point because if you fire mueller he will show up in january as the first witness before the judiciary committee and tell everything he knows. so it is too late. >> then what, then why do this whitaker dance? at the end of the day? why do that? because it now seems more head scratching all the time. >> it was i think primarily an act of vengeance against jeff sessions who he never forgave for the recusal. >> i don't get the sense that matt whitaker will be the person that will end up being named permanently. >> lindsey graham seemed to be psyched about it. >> pam bondy seems to come up again and again and john rat cliff. >> and i think it comes back to the fact that the president could not stand one more day with jeff sessions. i mean the jeff sessions, the reporting is that jeff sessions had offered to resign multiple time, the reporting is that the president has berated him in front of other cabinet members. and of course, we have all seen
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him on twitter saying this guy is getting on my nerves and he needs to go. >> the president over time has increasingly yielded to his visceral impulses, and i think matt whitaker reflects that. >> i got to ask quickly, mbs, do you think the united states government, under president trump, will sanction mbs? >> no. >> echo. >> so how does this get resolved? that is, lindsey graham, not going to carry water for saudi arabia. that was crystal clear, as he, you know, i love the abrupt answer he gave to me about mbs's brother. >> right that i would never work with him again. >> where does this go? >> the question is, that is exactly the question is, our reporting is, as a source familiar with the matter tells us that the cia has made a determination and mbs is behind it and his son-in-law has a -- >> and contradicted his former deputy. >> and the conclusion is not
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final, of course, right, but this administration has had a history, in the past, of when controversial things come up, you sort of back burner it, back burner it, back burner it, and i wonder if that is something that may end up happening hooer. >> that's what it feels like. we will pause here. when we come back, ohio looks more and more republican. and can the democrats even win the state in a presidential election? sherrod brown thinks he can win the state because he just won it, but is he running for president? the democratic senator from ohio joins me next. so, they say that ai is the building block of the future. super. but today you're building wind turbines. morning sir. chief, the blade isn't passing quality gate. that's why you work with watson. i detect frictional loss on the midspan. it can detect the tiniest defects from just a few images to help production stay on time and on budget. i optimized the fiberglass finish to reduce frictional loss and maximize airflow. i was also part of the maximizing.
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now that you know the truth... are you in good hands? welcome back. the midterm elections mark the beginning of the 2020 presidential race and there is no shortage of democrats who have suggested they're interested in running against president trump. it is such a long list, i, as you can see, i have to use a scroll. but one hurdle any democrat faces is ohio. president trump won the state by eight points and ohio held on to the congressional seats and won every statewide raise last week, except one. >> that is the blueprint for america for 2020. >> a hint perhaps that sherrod
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brown wants to run and knows how to win as a democrat in an increasingly red state? brown has been the subject of growing speculation about a possible presidential campaign and he joins me now from cleveland. senator brown, welcome back to "meet the press." >> good to be back. thanks. >> you were out this week, talking about another race in 2018, and it was in georgia, and stacey abrams, it was before she had acknowledged her defeat. she has now admitted defeat. didn't call it a concession. i want to ask you something you said this week about georgia. let me play it. >> if stacey abrams doesn't win in georgia, they stole it. it is clear. it is clear. i say that publicly. it is clear. >> strong language. to cloe th-- throw that out the. you believe today, that this is a stolen race, basically brian kemp is somebody who is illegally governor-elect of georgia. >> i think if you look to the
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lead-up of the election, i was a secretary of state in ohio 30 years ago, i know what you do as secretary of state, you encourage people to vote, you don't purge millions of voters and you don't close down polling places in rural areas where voters have difficulty getting to the polls which is mostly low income areas, due you don't do voters, have happened all over the country, you have seen the voter suppression all over the country and you end with the secretary of state of georgia should have recused himself from running that election, as a former resident, former president jimmy carter said he should. and clearly he did everything he could to put his thumb on the scale, and won that election. quote-unquote, won that election. by only about a point. >> i guess i would ask this. couldn't you bring up all of those issues, lay all of that out, without using the word stolen? and i throw that out there, because we have enough distrust
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in our institutions as it is. >> okay, chuck, don't do the false equivalency of the, you know, the lack of respect, and institutions, and we have a president that attacks your profession, day after day after day, if you saw the earlier part of my election night speech, you would have heard me thank the media and you would have seen hundreds of people in ohio, and the democratic, at this election night gathering, turn around and clap for the media. we see a president that goes after the courts. that goes after the judicial system. a president that says, as the votes were counted, that something has been wrong with the elections. he criticizes the elections that way. so don't play this false equivalency, because a former secretary of state like me said that about this election, which clearly is an effort to suppress the vote, not of people who look like you and me, chuck, the people of color, especially, and it has happened, i will spend your air time, i don't mean to
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lecture -- >> no, no, no. >> spend your air time critical of those people who are trying to suppress the vote. >> and we spend a lot of time criticizing that, i'm just asking about choice of words and language but i take your point. let's talk about the presidency. you seem to be very comfortable now saying, yes, okay, people are calling me. it is something i'm thinking about. what are the reasons, what are the reasons you're going to tick through to decide whether you're going to do this or not? >> well we've known each other long enough and i think you know that i've not had this lifelong desire to be president. my dream was to play center field for the cleveland indians. i think that door is probably shut by now. >> analytics aside though, you never know, we need a lot more players these days. >> i will talk to bill james and see if it is still possible. election night and after the election, connie and i heard from so many people around the country, including some, a lot of labor activists, a lot of democratic party activists, a lot of citizens that think that
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a message, not just a message, but a career fighting for workers, where the dignity, i won my election, because i talk about the dignity of work, whether you swipe a badge, or punch a clock, whether you work for tips, or whether you work on a salary, whether you're taking care of parents and aging parents or raising children, we don't pay enough attention to the dignity of work. too many people in this country work hard every day. pay their dues. never get ahead. don't have the kind of retirement security they should. that's why i won ohio. who i run or not, i'm hopeful that narrative, that message, begins to be a part of that narrative, among my colleagues, who want to be president, who have dreamed of it, frankly, for longer than i have. >> you know, a lot of them, do you think an elizabeth warren could carry ohio, joe bide couldn't carry ohio, with your message? >> i think that if people carry this message of the dignity of work, of honoring people and respecting work, make the
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contrast between the phony populism of donald trump, where the white house looks like a retreat for wall street executives, and the real populism, where populism is not racist, it it is not anti-semitic, it doesn't push some people down to lift others up, i think any one of them can win my state, if they make that contrast, between the phony populism of donald trump, and the dignity of work and all that we stand for and have the -- the democratic party has always been the party of, we have your back, of working families, and that's what i fight for every day in the senate. >> you won your re-election. and a person that you first defeated to get into the united states senate, someone you defeated handily, mike dewine, also won the governorship. and it is clear that there were some people who voted for both of you. who do you think was the dewine/brown voter and why do you think richard struggled? >> i think ohio is becoming a, it is just becoming a more and more conservative state.
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trump won the state by almost double digits. obviously i won enough of those voters because i don't look at people as trump voters or clinton voters, i looked at voters as workers and citizens, and i think that, it has been my, it has been my career of fighting for workers, that really helped me win that race, and maybe some of those people apparently voted for mike dewine, too. i don't really know that. but i do know that a career where i've spoken out, one of my first votes in congress was against the north american free trade agreement, and i supported it 20 years ago, i supported marriage equality and opposed the iraq war. a long career of, as a progressive, outspoken, getting things done, always through the prism of workers. >> you know, if you run and win the presidency, a republican governor would appoint your replacement and believe it or not, you know, a slate, somebody's slate, it is actually
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writing that is a reason you shouldn't win. writing this. ultimately, the question hanging over brown isn't whether he is a good candidate or each a great one, it is whether he is so much better than the other 2020 contenders that it would be worth waving his senate seat good-bye. is that a reason for to you decide yes or no? is that even a fair reason to throw at you? >> well, i think a lot of people have a lot of time on their hands to project that out. >> i do, too, actually. >> actually, more than 24 months. 26 months. whatever. i don't know. connie and i are still thinking about this. it is an intensely personal decision. with my wife, and my children. my grandchildren don't know enough to know what it means. but it would change their lives. and i need to be aware of all of that. as i make this decision. >> let me ask you a couple of things about the upcoming lame duck session. do you think democrats should leverage their votes, particular lin in the house, for this spending bill, with the mueller protection bill, in the senate? >> i don't know, i listened to your interview with lindsey, i do say the priorities in the
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lame duck, one of the major priorities is sentence reform and prison reform. >> are you all in on that? >> what's that? >> are you all in on that? >> of course. i have been all in on that for years. and of course, that is as important of a thing that we can do right now. when you have a president, and the president and virtually all democrats, i think, in both houses, and enough republicans, republican leaders like the future chairman of the judiciary committee engaged, senator mcconnell ought to do the people's business here and do it right. >> that should be priority one over the mueller protection bill in your mind? >> that is priority one to me, yes. >> all right. senator sherrod brown, when should we expect an answer? >> i have no timetable. as i said, it is personal, it is sitting down with connie and my family and really figuring things through but thank you for asking. >> all right, bob, somebody from ohio a cleveland indian and an interesting connection between ohio and iowa.
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>> there it is. >> sherrod brown, democrat from ohio, we will be watching. thanks for come canned on an sharing your views, sir. coming up, ohio may be getting reader but other states are looking bluer. the midterms are changing for the 250k service members who transition out of the u.s. military every year... ...one of the toughest parts is the search for a job that takes advantage of the skills you've gained while serving. you can now search with the phrase 'jobs for veterans' directly on google... ...and then enter your military occupational specialty code. google brings together job openings from across the web that match the skills you gained in your military role. just click to apply and use your experience to guide your future. metastatic breast cancer is relentless, but i'm relentless too. mbc doesn't take a day off, and neither will i. and i treat my mbc with new everyday verzenio- the only one of its kind that can be taken every day. in fact, verzenio is a cdk4 & 6 inhibitor
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welcome back. data download time. let's talk about how the map of presidential swing states has changed following this year's midterm election. some states may be surrendering their position on the battle ground map and other states may be stepping in. look at the 2018 exit polls. republican won white voter bis ten points. while democrats won hispanic voters by 40. democrats also had a 20 point advantage among college educated voters and democrats and republicans were even among those without a four year degree. what does this mean for 2020? let's start with ohio. which has voted for the winner in every presidential election since 1964. a true swing state and bellwether. but now, it looks safer for republicans. in 2016, donald trump won the state by a surprising eight points. in 2018, both republicans in competitive house races in the state held on. republican mike dewine won the
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open race for governor by four points and the incumbent democratic senator sherrod brown held his seat but is he an outlier. this makes a lot of sense. ohio is lot whiter than the nation as a whole with a much smaller hispanic population and lower than the national average for bachor's degrees. on the flip side, colorado, a state that has moved squarely to the blue column. in 2016, hillary clinton won the state by a relatively narrow five point margin. in 2018, the one competitively held gop seat flipped blue pretty easily and the democrat from boulder won the governorship by ten points. and in many ways, colorado is the inverse of ohio. it is more diverse. with a much higher hispanic population. and it is above the national average for college education. so which states could be taking the place of ohio and colorado in the 2020 battleground map? here are three candidates that could replace them. two are red, arizona and georgia. and one is blue, minnesota. it is all more evidence that the 2018 midterms were less about a
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wave and more about a realignment that is remaking the way we understand american politics, at least in the era of donald trump. when we come back, the battle for speaker of the house. you know the old saying, you can't beat somebody wi ♪ can i get some help. watch his head. ♪ i'm so happy. ♪ whatever they went through, they went through together. welcome guys. life well planned. see what a raymond james financial advisor can do for you.
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back now with "end game,"
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all right, ohio. john harwood, i had a democratic strategist who said they wouldn't spent another dime there ever again. sherrod brown obviously thinks his victory that is the reason why you need a guy like sherrod brown. what do you say? >> well, you might want to spend a few dimes if sherrod brown is the nominee. but look, the states that are drifting away from the democratic party are states that are older, whiter, more blue collar. iowa is exhibit a. >> iowa is exhibit b. >> i was just going to be. that is a good misspeak there. >> exactly. >> so i think democrat, as you suggested in the data download, they are going to be looking at other targets, especially in the sun belt, to try to make up for some of the prospects this dehave anymore. >> and is there room for sherrod brown in this race? >> there might be. i mean he is someone who isn't going to cancel himself out. in other ways, when you look at someone who is comparing kamala harris and cory booker or
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elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. i don't know if he will get the traction of the other people. i know there are a lot of people who are looking at the democratic party and think whack you learn from the midterms is that you should be doing diversity, not just talking about it. so i don't know what that means but he is also someone who is very personable. and someone who is kind of telling it like it is. you got to go back and forth and it is not equivalency and the right idea that brian kemp stole the election and that's the fiery speak that i think the democratic base wants to hear. >> rich, your column this week, you talked about the president, and you said he is both too populist and not populist enough, you heard sherrod brown basically, he wants to run to take the work back and he believes he can redefine it in a different way. explain what you mean by that, that two populist and not -- too populist and not populist enough and does it leave an opening. >> i think trump relies on stylistic populism overwhelmingly what is repulsive to the women, and possibly the
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urbans. and you can look at the cost of education, health care, that has cross-over appeal to the working clags and the suburbs, but trump's personality is so overwhelming, it makes it hard to do that. >> that is one flame that comes up again and again, when you talk about somebody who can tell it like it is, and populist, and democrats being reached out to by various campaigns and as well as republicans, who do you think could beat donald trump and there is one name, you know ho it, joe biden. and that is one on the republican side, and by the way, it is so early. >> well, i don't know, 2014. donald trump is not on the radar yet. >> that is donald trump. >> and i think the democrats in 2020 are going to be able to beat donald trump. is, he is polarizing. he has a base, but he is not a popular president and i think the democrats are going to be able to -- >> i think donald trump is in the same position now that hillary clinton was at this point in time and why you have
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17 republicans running last time and my list is up to 34 in my scroll there. >> and steady state, there is an electoral path for donald trump but heavily reliant on a democratic candidate that is unacceptable. >> i want to talk about nancy pelosi. she met with a potential opponent, the congresswoman from ohio, and what i found interesting was i think nancy pelosi had a big impact on marcia about the job. take a listen. >> i'm weighing the enormity of what this job entail, the constant traveling, being away from home all the time with the constituent, the fundraising, i just have to decide if i really want to do this, because it consumes your life. she's done it well. she enjoys doing it. i have to decide if i want to do that too. >> that doesn't sound like somebody ready to run. >> that sounded like somebody who, nancy pelosi opened up her calendar and rolodex and said can you do this. and nancy pelosi, the reason why she was a target of republicans, a lot of times, are because there are some people who say it is because the fact that she is a woman and there is that argument that i will acknowledge, there is also the
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idea that some people say that republicans don't like nancy pelosi because she is so effective, she is an effective fundraiser, she is an effective person, who can rally the base, she can whip those votes, and harley ruda who said he doesn't want to vote for her and isn't going to vote to her, and when i asked during an interview, and she raised a lot of money for your campaign, and it was said, well, she does that for everybody. >> i put together a comp of all of the numbers and they're all figuring out how to get to yes. take a learn. >> i'm uncommitted. i have deep respect anded a admiration pe losy. >> let's see who is running. >> i won't be voting for nancy pe losy but she has been an effective speaker up to this point. >> i wouldn't be voting for her. nancy pelosi lass done tremendous things for this country, and as speaker, and as minority leader and i have tremendous respect for her. >> where is the ground swell to dump her? i don't see it.
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>> there is a big difference between what people will do behind closed doors next wednesday, and that is a point that folks miss, when they can stand up to say i don't want to vote for her and whether you actually do it on the floor in the beginning of january and that's a big difference. >> another key difference, one reason that john boehner was deposed because the rebels against him had an activity and media echo system that was encouraging them to do that and complete opposite on the democratic side. if these moderates don't buckle, they are going to get hit so hard for being sexist and all of the rest, and ungrateful and all of the rest of it. >> she will be the speaker because the parts of the job that make her vulnerable, her public image, are simply not that important. this is an inside job. the part that she is good at is advancing the democratic agenda. >> all right, i got one more thing i want to bring up before we go. and that is, the republican party does not touch the pacific ocean, and much of the pacific ocean anymore. let me show you this map. it is not just orange county that has gone all blue there is now not a single congressional
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district in california represented by republicans that touches the pacific ocean. in fact, duncan hunter's doesn't. it is jamie up in washington's third district. that is how far north you have to go, john harwood, to find a republican, that represents the pacific ocean. >> look, republicans will have to figure this out. and i think the thing that breaks the logjam in our politics right now is when the republican party, in a concerted way, begins to appeal to votes outside the existing base of whites. that hasn't happened. we thought it would happen after 2012. that is going to be the next phase of the republican party. has to. >> california republicans lost their lone latino assembly member in the sweep of california. great job, guys. thanks very much. that's all we have for today. thanks for watching. have a happy and safe thanksgiving. it is our best holiday to bring people together. use it to do that, everybody. see you next week. because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." what's a gig of data?
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plus, get $200 back when you buy a new smart phone. it's simple, easy, awesome. click, call or visit a store today. ♪ hi, everyone. paul burmeister from our nbc studios. grand prix from russia is coming up. beginning with college football, yesterday third ranked notre dame looking to stay unbeatened against third ranked syracuse at yankee stadium. looking for dexter williams. irish up 7-0. lots more where that came from. the irish up 29-0. they go on to win impressively 36-3. e

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