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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  December 10, 2018 2:00am-3:01am PST

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this sunday, sex, lies appeand the russia investigation. federal prosecutors say michael cohen paid off women to remain silent about their affairs with, in coordination and at the direction of individual 1, donald trump. the president denies it. >> sir, did you direct michael cohen to commit any violations of law? >> no, no. >> prosecutors also say mr. trump's russia connections began sooner than we knew with a russian offering his campaign political synergy and synergy on a government level. >> the last thing i want is help from russia on a campaign. >> and he insists things are going his way in robert mueller's investigation. >> we're very happy with what we
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are reading because there was no collusion whatsoever. >> how much political and legal peril is president trump actually facing? will republicans stick by him? and will democrats feel obligated to take up impeachment? joining me this morning, independent senator angus king of maine who caucuses with the democrats and republican senator rand paul of kentucky. plus, power grab. republican legislatures in michigan and wisconsin try to roll back the impact of november's election results by stripping power from newly elected democrats. >> we will not just lie down and accept this. >> my guest this morning, the incoming democratic governor of wisconsin, tony evers. joining me for insight and analysis are peggy noonan, eddie glaude, jr., of princeton university, kimberly atkins, and jonah goldberg, senior editor at "national review." welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press."
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>> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press." . good sunday morning. shortly after the filings by special counsel robert mueller and special prosecutors in new york were released friday evening, president trump tweeted in the third person. totally clears the president. thank you. well, not really. not even close. in fact this is how the usually supportive "new york post" put it. donald and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. well, the court filings technically are about michael cohen and paul manafort, the most consequential player in this drama is really the person identified as individual 1, donald trump. federal prosecutors say individual 1 directed cohen to make illegal payments to women with whom the president had affairs. that would be a felony. and they describe how cohen corrected the timeline of contacts with russia about the moscow tower project, admitting they started earlier and lasted
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longer than previously known. taken together, the filings suggest that contrary to mr. trump's repeated claims of innocence, he faces potentially serious legal and political jeopardy. and they raise the specter that mr. trump could eventually be considered an unindicted co-conspirator. an aominous phrase linked to richard nixon. >> did you direct michael cohen -- >> no, no. >> growing peril for the president in two areas. number one, illegal campaign contributions. federal prosecutors in new york say that president trump directed michael cohen to commit two felonies, illegal hush money payments to porn actress stormy daniels and former playboy bunny karen mcdougal to keep alleged affairs quiet. prosecutors say, quote, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of individual
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1. mr. trump initially denied knowing about the payments. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> once he admitted knowing about them, he denied directing them. >> he made the deal. he made the deals. and by the way, he pled to two counts that aren't a crime. >> then there are the alleged contacts with russia, which may hold even greater peril for the president. mr. trump has repeatedly denied any contacts. >> i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge, no person that ideal with does. >> but in a separate filing, mueller's team says in september 2015, cohen conferred with individual 1, mr. trump, about contacting the russian government before reaching out to gauge russia's interest in a meeting between trump and vladimir putin. mr. trump actually talked about a potential meeting that september in a phone interview on "meet the press." >> your outside counsel intimated that you may have a meeting with the russian president. do you plan on trying to do that. >> well, i had heard that he
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wanted to meet with me, and certainly i am open to it. i would love to do that if he wants to do that. >> in the end, prosecutors say the meeting did not take place. but as discussions about trump tower moscow were gaining momentum, in november 2015, prosecutors say cohen spoke with a russian national who claimed to be a trusted person in the russian federation who promised the campaign political synergy, and synergy on a government level. the individual again pushed for a meeting between mr. trump and russian president putin. it did not occur, prosecutors say, because mr. trump was pursuing a similar deal with business associate felix sader. also from mueller's team, cohen admitted circulating false congressional testimony to white house staff and mr. trump's legal counsel before submitting it. and mueller's team also says mr. trump's former campaign chairman, paul manafort, lied about five separate issues, even after he pleaded guilty and
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agreed to cooperate. mr. trump has spent the last week attacking the special counsel investigation. asked why the president is so upset, trump ally roger stone tells "the new york times" he has finally figured out that this is about him. and joining me now is senator angus king of maine, an independent who caucuses with the democrats. also part of the intelligence committee there. senator king, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> great to be with you, chuck. >> well, obviously a pretty eventful week. at the end of it you have the justice department, if you will, in the southern district of new york, pretty explicitly implicating the president in a crime. and michael cohen then adding to it saying that his testimony, false testimony to congress, was something that was known in advance by some folks in and around the president. what are your takeaways from this week's developments, and what should congress now do? >> well, i think you outlined in
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your tape there many of the questions that are raised by those filings, and they're really a separate series of filings, but the cohen ones are pretty disturbing. the key phrase to me is directed by individual 1, which everyone knows is president trump. directed by implicates the president in a felony. now, the president can have some defenses left. i think we should make it clear, he could claim it wasn't knowingly or willful, he didn't understand. it was his own money, he didn't think it was a violation of campaign finance laws, but it's still a pretty serious matter. but i've got to say, chuck, i think the filing last week that should be most troubling to the white house weren't the ones made on friday, but the ones made with regard to general flynn earlier in the week because, number one, robert mueller felt that his cooperation has been of such an extent that he recommended no jail time, a kind of
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prosecutorial pardon, if you will. 19 meetings with the special counsel, and a lot of redacted pieces in the filing that was made last week. that's the one i think that really raises some very difficult questions that go to the heart of the question of whether there were relationships between the trump campaign, president trump and the russian government during the campaign in 2016, because flynn was, as they say in "hamilton" in the room where it happens. >> do you know something we don't, given your access to intelligence, your access to michael flynn and obviously the own investigation that you're a part of in the senate intelligence committee? >> i suspect i do know things that you don't, but i'm not -- everything i'm saying, and i'm glad you asked that question, is based on public reporting, not on any inside information that i have. for example, i don't know what was redacted from those flynn documents. so, yes, we've had, as you know,
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our committee is working quietly and diligently on many of these same issues, but everything that i'm sharing with you is based on public information and the filings that we've seen from these individuals. >> given that the government has -- is now saying the weight of the government is behind the charges that the president helped direct michael cohen to commit that crime, and as you said there are still a defense there for the president, he can claim he didn't know it was a crime or at least a breaking of a campaign finance crime. do you believe there's already enough to start an impeachment inquiry? that doesn't mean he would be impeached. in fact is congress almost obligated to open an inquiry at this point? >> i don't think so. i think impeachment is entirely different from criminal prosecution. and as you know, the justice department made a decision years ago in an opinion that a sitting president could not and should not be indicted.
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and so whether the president will ever face criminal charges with regard to this matter is an open question. but impeachment essentially, chuck, is a political issue and i don't think that the -- well, let me put it this way. i don't think that there's evidence yet available to the public where there would be more or less a consensus that this was an appropriate path. my concern is that if impeachment is moved forward on the evidence that we have now, at least a third of the country would think it was just political revenge and a coup against the president. that wouldn't serve us well at all. the best way to solve a problem like this to me is elections. >> let me ask you this, the whole point of the impeachment process was if because of this idea that you can't necessarily hold a president to the same rule of law that you can hold other individuals and that the one means to dealing with a president who commits crimes is
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through the impeachment process, if you don't go through it, isn't this congress' way of saying, well, yes, he committed some crimes, but politically it's uncomfortable so, you know, if you're popular enough or if you have a big enough base, you can get away with committing crimes? >> well, interestingly, i have to point out parenthetically that what you just articulated is exactly brett kavanaugh's position on this issue when he was going through his confirmation hearing, that a president shouldn't be indicted or even investigated. impeachment is the remedy. there's a certain irony there, i think. but, you know, the standard in the constitution is high crimes and misdemeanors. it's a very high standard. and andrew johnson impeachment -- >> the word misdemeanor -- when people say it's a high crime. high crimes and misdemeanors. that encompasses -- you could
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argue that encompasses the entire -- >> i don't read it that way. and here's why. if you go back to andrew johnson's impeachment, the very first one back in 1867, the danger, chuck, is that we don't want to create a precedent where the congress unseats -- a congress of one party unseats the president of another party for essentially political reasons. if that starts to happen, if that happens, then we've changed our system. we've become a kind of parliamentary system because you're overturning the will of the voters. so i'm a conservative when it comes to impeachment. i think it's a last resort and only when the evidence is clear of a really substantial legal violation. >> let me ask you a couple of other things. >> we may get there, but we're not there now. >> the president's nominee for attorney general, william barr, who's served in that post before in the bush 41 administration, there's a report from yahoo! news that the president initially reached out to mr.
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barr as a potential defense attorney in the mueller probe of is that enough in your mind to demand recusal of oversight of the mueller probe if he is attorney general? >> i want to hear more about, number one, that allegation. what were the details. but also from mr. barr himself. i think his hearings will be very important. i'd be surprised if the senate confirms an individual who doesn't commit to protecting the integrity of special counsel mueller. i think that's going to be a kind of litmus test for any nominee for attorney general, and we'll see how mr. barr handles those questions. >> are you right now, are you in a wait-and-see mode or could you see yourself supporting mr. barr? >> i'm in a wait-and-see mode. i want to see the hearings. i think it's very important to determine how he -- how he answers the question about the
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integrity, as i say, of the mueller investigation. and again, chuck, the president himself should want the mueller investigation to go to completion. it's the way to clear his name. if it's terminated prematurely through his attorney general or his actions, it will leave a cloud over him for the rest of his time in office, and i think could be very damaging to him politically. if he's as innocent as he says he is, he ought to want this thing to go to completion. >> okay, senator king, the independent who caucuses with the democrats from main. thanks for coming on and sharing your views. appreciate it. joining me from across the aisle is senator rand paul of kentucky. senator paul, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> good morning, chuck. thanks for having me. >> let me start where i left off with senator king. based on these federal documents that you've seen from michael cohen at this point, if he wasn't president, do you think individual 1 would have also been indicted along with michael
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cohen? >> you know, i think that's interesting about this is people forget history. the federal elections commission actually ruled on this with john edwards. they actually came up with a ruling and said that, you know what, the paying of his mistress was not a campaign finance violation. but i think it's bigger than this. and i think we have to decide in our society if -- there are thousands and thousands of rules, it's incredibly complicated campaign finance. we have to decide whether or not criminal penalties are the way we should approach criminal finance. i personally think if someone makes an error in filing paperwork or not categorizing a campaign contribution correctly, it shouldn't be jail time, it ought to be a fine. it's just like a lot of other things we've done in washington, we've overcriminalized campaign finance. >> let me ask you about the allegation that michael cohen had circulated his false testimony to congress in advance so people in and around the president, perhaps his lawyers, perhaps him, knew in advance that michael cohen was going to lie to congress.
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>> about what issue? >> about the issue of the trump tower moscow project. >> i don't -- i guess i don't -- >> how does that sit with you? >> i guess i don't quite understand it because i don't know what's illegal about trying to build a hotel in russia. so this is pretty common, and i see no problem with someone running for president trying to build a hotel somewhere. now, if you are asking and saying i will give you something in exchange for letting us build a hotel, that would be wrong. but i haven't heard any evidence of that. just trying to build a hotel somewhere, i can't imagine how that would be criminal. >> but -- >> or why you'd lie about it if it's not criminal. >> that's what i'm curious about. why do you think the story keeps changing in and around the president if all these things are as innocent as you've said. >> right. >> why does he keep changing his story? >> i think it goes back to this whole idea of prosecutorial abuse. cohen is facing -- they're
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saying he's getting this long sentence of four years. oh, my goodness, he's getting a really, really short sentence. they're threatening him with 20 years or life in prison for tax evasion and shortening to four years. they keep getting the story to change but maybe that's because the prosecutors pressure him say if you don't give him something on trump, you get 20 years. if you give us something on trump, you get four years. so this is prosecutorial abuse, i think, and that's why his story keeps shifting. it makes no sense. the president was talking to the media openly about the deal in russia in 2015. why would it make a difference whether he still was talking to people in 2016 versus 2015. so really i think we're trying to make and find a crime. this has been my overall complaint about having these special prosecutors is that really they find a person and they look for a crime. traditional justice in our country is someone steals something from the grocery store and you have a crime, you try to find out who did it.
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with the special prosecutor you decide we're going after someone, the president, and we're going to squeeze as many people as we can until we can try to get a person. and that's why i'm against these special prosecutors. i think they're a huge mistake and i think they're a huge abuse of government power. >> the reason he was appointed was to investigate russian interference, it wasn't to investigate the president. >> well, but then why is he investigating tax evasion and whether or not you filed as a federal lobbyist? all the stuff that's been done to either manafort or flynn or any of the others really seems to be about other subjects and really what they did to flynn, i think, was unconscionable and i'm hoping that means mueller has a conscious. maybe it's not that flynn gave so much information. maybe mueller has a conscience and knows how unfair it is what they did to flynn. he was never discussing anything illegal but it gets tied up in talking to the fbi whether he was explicit, even though the original fbi agent said they did
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not think he was being duplicitous, they did not think he was lying. so it's very troubling what these special prosecutors can do. i tell people this. if a special prosecutor went after your life for the last 40 years, not you in particular but anybody, i think they could dredge up accusations. so i'm absolutely against it and i think it's a miscarriage of justice and we should not have special prosecutors going after one person. and if we get this way and if we're going to prosecute people and put them in jail for campaign finance violations, we've become a banana republic where every president gets prosecuted and everybody gets thrown in jail when they're done with office. >> let me ask you this. you're a strict constitutionalist. i think you would probably take that as a compliment when it comes to your -- >> absolutely. >> -- purified reading. does that mean this belongs in congress' hands and it's up to congress to investigate these crimes and not a special prosecutor? >> yes. and the other thing is crimes can be investigated as well. if there are crimes that are being committed. but without a special
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prosecutor, what happens is you investigate crimes. you don't go to this whole idea of sort of conspiracy. here's the danger of conspiracy and we're discussing this right now with reforming our drug laws. what they do is, you know, an unfortunate young woman is transferring money from her boyfriend, who's a drug dealer, gets caught up. they add conspiracy to it and t add 10 or 15 or 20 years and now this woman is in life for exchanging some money with a drug dealer. so we have to be wary of what we do with conspiracy because it adds a lot of years to sentences and we compound these sentences. we have nonviolent people in prison. there was a guy that sold marijuana and got caught for his third time and got 55 years in prison. that's not right. >> i want to go to saudi arabia. you've been one of the advocates of getting america out of the war in yemen. i want to play for you the president's friendliness to saudi arabia. i'm curious if this bothers you. take a listen. >> i like the saudis, they're
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very nice. they buy my apartments, you wouldn't believe it. i make a lot of money with them. they buy all sorts of my stuff. all kinds of toys from trump. they'll pay me anything. they have nothing but money. >> are you at all concerned that the president's positions in saudi arabia have -- are impacted by his own financial dealings with them? >> i think that when we're dealing with arms, that no personal financial dealings should have anything to do with the decision. really not even the finances of the country. i think selling arms should have to deal solely with our national security, not jobs, not money, nothing. and i really think that the war in yemen that we have no vital national security interest, and not only that, i think our involvement in this terrible war is one of the things that engenders more terrorism. as more people die from starvation, as people pick up bomb fragments and on the bomb fragment it says made in
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america, it creates more terrorism. so i think it's a risk to be involved with the saudis and we should not be aiding and abetting their bombing of civilian areas. yemen is one of the poorest countries on the planet. 80% of the food comes through a port. pompeo told them three weeks ago quit bombing civilian ports. what have had saudis done? they have dropped 300 more bombs on civilian areas since then. the saudis are not good actors and will not respond unless we quit selling them arms. i would also expel the saudi ambassador. the saudi ambassador should go home. that would send a strong message that we're displeased with what they're doing. >> and finally on the president's nomination of william barr. it's been noted that he has an expansive view of executive power. when i heard that, i thought, uh-oh, he may have trouble getting rand paul's vote for confirmation. am i correct? >> uh-oh is right. i'm concerned that he's been a big supporter of the patriot act which lowered the standard for spying on americans and even went so far to say that the
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patriot act is pretty good but we should go further. i'm disturbed that he's a fan of taking people's property without a conviction. many poor people in our country have cash taken from them and the government says prove to us where you got the cash and you can get it back, but the burden is on the individual. it's called civil asset forfeiture and he's a big fan of that. i haven't made a decision yet on him. but the first things i've learned about him being for more surveillance of americans is very, very troubling. >> senator rand paul, thanks for coming on and sharing your views. much appreciate it. >> thank you. when we come back, how much legal and political peril is president trump facing, and will the ♪ ignition sequence starts. 10... 9... guidance is internal. 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
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are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. welcome back, the panel is here.
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eddie glaude, peggy noonan, peggy atkins and jonah goldberg. we went into the way back machine for the campaign. here's a great paul manafort quote during the convention that now you just have to see two years later. >> so dob clear, mr. trump -- so to be clear mr. trump has no financial relationships with any russian oligarchs. >> that's what he said. that's what i -- that's obviously what our position is. >> we're a long way from there, kimberly. >> really. yes, we really are. there's always a tweet, there's always a quote when it comes to paul manafort. obviously what we saw this week, usually when files come out and they paint a picture of what's going on, they call them speaking indictments. this is like a shouting indictment of the broad category robert mueller is looking into, including these ever-denied
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connections with russians, business deals with riussians that president trump denied having. if people have been lying to congress, lying to investigators about that, that is a big problem for the president. >> let me put up sort of the quick bullet points of michael flynn -- of the michael flynn sentencing memo from earlier this week plus michael cohen's. in michael flynn, we learned that there are three vex investigations he's been cooperating on. the mueller probe, the criminal probe thought to be the kidnapping of the turkish cleric and a third undisclosed investigation from the michael cohen cooperation agreement we learned of more contacts with russian interests during the campaign, more discreet russian-related matters, more contacts with the white house with 2017 and 2018. i think perhaps the most damning thing in there, jonah goldberg, the idea that his prepared testimony to congress when he knew was false, had been circulated among those in and
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around the president. >> yeah, you did get the sense that, like, if you flash the cameras to the white house counsel's office this week, you see lloyd bridges and airplane to say i picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. it seemed like the wheels not only came off the bus but flew off the bus. i've got to say, though, just trying to take a step back from the craziness of the week, you know, i don't like the way we are talking about impeachment right now. it is -- impeachment has become -- or all of this stuff. we are basically outsourcing our moral, our political judgment to legalisms. as a conservative who i think has invested quite a bit of time and energy criticizing the clintons and bill clinton for his behavior, this week just basically absolutely confirmed that the president of the united states paid off a porn star and playboy model to hide an affair during a run for the presidential campaign. and the response from many people on my side of the aisle
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is, well, maybe it's technically not legal -- >> as you heard there from rand paul. >> or campaign finance laws shouldn't be treated as criminal things, they should be treated as fines. but the problem for conservativism for republicans is when you make that point, it's true. but you're outsourcing all your moral judgment, all other things to those considerations. and frankly, you know, barack obama was guilty of campaign finance offenses. that doesn't mean he should have been impeached. we're just taking the conversation out of where it belongs. >> campaign finance questions in this instance are tied to his election. so part of the issue is the legitimacy of the democratic process. and so caught between the kind of hesitancy of senator angus king and the defense of senator rand paul, one wonders, one worries whether or not folks will take up their responsibility to address this issue at its core it seems to me. >> it seems to me the news of
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friday, the filings of friday, to me the big headline is not the payoffs to women with whom individual 1 was alleged to have had relationships, it's much more that trump world we see again, it is demonstrated before us again, trump world does not do well with sunlight. it's like there's a series of rocks -- >> they'd be great vampires is what you're saying. >> no. i'm saying there's a bunch of rocks or slates in trump world. you pick one up and you're always seeing bugs and spiders and worms. do you know what i mean? there's always something, the serious part is russia. it looked to me on friday that that all needs to be developed, and it's going to go somewhere or not. but that's the serious stuff. >> let's go to this issue of impeachment. it was interesting to hear angus
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king's hesitance. rand paul believes there should be no mueller but if you have to do it, you should do it in congress. how do democrats do this? what is the consequences of saying angus king is right, let the voters decide in 2020. what are the consequences of that? >> that's why this lever is there. there are very few checks on a president of t president. even the impeachment process, it's incredibly difficult to take a president out of office. that's why it's never happened. >> probably should be. >> exactly. it's done by design. we're hearing a lot about, well, there's no way that he's going to be convicted in the senate, so why try. that's like saying, oh, we live in a district where people aren't upset by these crimes. we're not going to charge them because he's probably not going to be convicted. no. you charge the crime and let the process go through. if house members find impeachable offenses, it is not
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just the right thing to do, it's their duty to bring that and let the senate vote as the senate votes. >> i don't see how the house democrats resist it. >> as a plipolitical matter, it just too tempting and the base wants it. >> the base may punish them if they don't. >> consider jerrold nadler who was on the judiciary committee in 1998 who said, yeah, clinton may have lied under oath and per injured himself but these were lies about covering up sex. those while technically impeachable do not rise to the gravity of the level of impeachment. there are going to be all sorts of double standards that apply. the best thing for the democrats is for mueller to find something of real weight that would justify going to impeachment. >> you have conspiracy, you have obstruction, you have campaign finance and emolumentes. and we're seeing it's not going to be a shoe that's going to drop, it's going to be an
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anville. if democrats do not pursue this, they will be held accountable for abdicating their responsibility. i understand the politics. it goes to the moral question, the ethical question. democracy is at stake. if seems to me if democrats don't take their responsibility seriously, they will be held responsible for what happens. >> but the responsibility is to do investigations or to move quickly to impeach -- >> investigations. >> well, mueller is doing the investigation, right? >> we do know he's directed criminal behavior. that's clear. so the machine ry needs to star to move. we're going to pause. when we come back, we're going to turn to another story. it's the attempt by state republicans to strip power from newly elected democrats in the midwest. it's ♪ traders -- they're always looking for advantages. the smart ones look to fidelity to find them.
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welcome back. we're going to turn to a couple of end runs around the november election results. in wisconsin a republican legislature has approved a set of bills that essentially would strip some power from the newly elected governor and attorney general. why, you might ask? the newly elected governor, tony evers, and the newly elected attorney general are newly elected democrats. scott walker has indicated that he does plan to sign the bills that would among other things give the republican legislature control over major appointments and reduce early voting, which tends to benefit the democrats in wisconsin, down to two weeks. the republican legislature is also doing the same thing. this has happened before in many a legislature. democrats have done this in the past to republican governors in
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lame duck sessions in other states. joining me from the state capitol of madison is wisconsin's incoming governor, tony evers. governor-elect evers, welcome to "meet the press." >> good morning, chuck. >> let me start with this. you said you were going to personally lobby scott walker, the governor who you defeated, to veto this legislation. how have those talks gone? have you met with him? >> i communicated with governor walker over the telephone a few days ago, and laid out my position that vetoing the legislation was going to be an important thing not only for -- to make sure that our -- what happened last november, the vote of the people of wisconsin, is actually upheld and we're putting people in front of politics, but also it's just bad legislation. i made that pitch, and he was noncommittal. i know publicly he's said in other arenas that he plans to sign most or all of it.
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so i'm not particularly encouraged at this point in time. but it's around scott walker's legacy. he has the opportunity to change us and validate the will of the people that voted on november 6. >> did you negotiate with him? did you say, look, i know x is really important to you, i get that. but what's with y and z here? did you go to him and say, look, i really think this part is just crazy. please voe teto that. if you want to keep this, i get it. >> no. i talked about a few areas that are really important that actually republican business leaders have talked about, that would take away power and implicate -- and make economic development much more difficult in the state of wisconsin, but the entire thing is a mess. it's a hot mess. and i believe that he should veto the entire package. in fact at least three or four of the pieces that are in there now, he has vetoed previously.
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and so it makes no sense to me. you know, he's been a long-time public servant and he has a legacy here, so we're hopeful that he will veto the whole thing. >> i'm curious, after you were elected and quickly we heard word that the republican speaker and the republican majority leader in the legislature there were considering these bills, did you reach out to them personally before the bill started going? and if you did, what was that conversation like? >> well, i met with robin voss, the speaker, much before those words -- that rumor came down the pike. no, i haven't had a chance to talk -- i mean it was last minute. it was one of these here's a rumor and then here's the bills that have been worked on for several months. but, you know, chuck, if scott walker had won this election, we wouldn't be sitting here talking to you today. >> is there any part -- you
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know, one of the things that the speaker said, he goes, well, in hindsight maybe we gave the governor too much power. take the partisan hat off a minute. all right. i know that perhaps many people read that comment tongue in cheek. but do you believe he's right? >> well, there are things in that bill that really had nothing to do with giving scott walker anything. so, no, i don't agree with that. you know, we have balanced power in the state of wisconsin. legislature and both sides are republican, i'm a democrat, the attorney general is a democrat. i view this as completely different than what robin voss believes, and that is that we are trying to invalidate the will of the people. the people of wisconsin voted for me because they knew that i was for good schools and good transportation system and good health care. they didn't -- they didn't elect me to fight over administrative powers in the state of wisconsin vis-a-vis the republican
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majority. no, i think this gets us off to a bad start. i think it's a mistake, but we'll continue working to get the people of wisconsin to convince scott walker to think about his legacy and make sure that he vetoes this language. >> democratic congressman glenn moore said the legislators who enengineered this coup, their actions amount to a smash and grab hijacking of the voters' will. >> a coup seems strong, but the fact of the matter is as i just said, if scott walker won this election and he did not, i did, we wouldn't be sitting here talking about this today. scott walker wouldn't be sitting here talking about, geez, they're trying to balance the power here. so no, i think it is directly related to a win by a democrat, and that would be me. we need to have this vetoed.
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>> one of their rationales has been, well, governor-elect evers margins all came from two cities, madison and milwaukee. we have to represent the rest of the state. what do you say to that charge? and more importantly, you won a very narrow election. how do you reach -- >> of course. >> how do you reach across this divided state at this point? >> it would have been a lot easier without this legislation, i'll tell you that. i have reached -- in my present job as state superintendent, that's a statewide elected position. i've reached across the aisle on all numbers of issues. that's part of my dna. i'm an educator. so i always try to find common ground and i'll continue to do that going forward. but i won the election. any way you slice it, i won the election. and i actually narrowed some of the votes outstate and i won lots of those counties outstate in the past. i am the governor and i will be
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the governor of the state of wisconsin and represent all people. >> if he doesn't veto this legislation, do you plan to sue? do you really think you have standing? >> all issues are on the table. i'm not making any promises one way or the other, but we're looking at all options at the table. i need to stand up for the people of wisconsin. there's 2.6 million people that voted in this last election, and they expect me to do that. so we're going to pursue this. >> governor-elect tony evers, democrat from wisconsin, thanks for coming on, sharing your views. good luck when you actually take the oath. >> thanks, chuck. when we come back, the one when we come back, the one issue on which democrats are ♪ junior achievement reaches young people all over the world to prepare them for the future of work. we go into classrooms and we teach entrepreneurial skills and leadership skills. when you actually create a business when you're in your teens, it raises your self-confidence.
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now that you know the truth... are you in good hands? and an ice with 70-megawatts, 35 mules, but we brought power to the people- redefining what that meant from one era to the next. over 90 years later we continue to build as one of the nation's largest investors in infrastructure. we don't just help power the american dream. we're part of it. this is our era. this is america's energy era. nextera energy welcome back. data download time. president trump's tough talk on trade has been big news this week, which made us wonder where exactly do americans stand on trade? guess what, a lot more complicated than you may think.
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at the most basic level americans claim they like trade. a whopping 74% say trade is good for the united states. only 21% believe it's bad. and support for trade generally goes up when your party is in the white house. republican support for trade hovered in the 60s during the obama presidency, but when president trump in office, now 81% of republicans say trade is good. that's only 10 points more than democrats. majorities of both parties believe trade is good. but, we do start to see some sharp partisan divides when we get specific. as with president trump's leading issue right now, tariffs. remember, he's a tariff man. for generations, it was democrats who were for using tariffs and for protectionism. republicans were opposed to that. now 74% of republicans say the trump administration's increased tariffs are a good thing for the country, while 81% of democrats say they're a bad thing. so what's driving these trends?
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behind support for the tariffs are groups that have made up president trump's base, white men, men over 50 and those without a bachelor's degree. these were the same folks, by the way, for protectionism 30 years ago. they just were registered democrats then. their views haven't changed, they changed parties. they're also electoral implications here looking regionally. the tariff issue is most hotly contested in the midwest. not surprising, given that area has long been the manufacturing sector's home and was also crucial to president trump's upset victory in 2016. look, the pew numbers suggest it is democrats who are now the free traders, a label long owned and cherished by the chamber of commerce wing of the republican party. now it's republicans who are the, quote unquote, better dealers with foreign countries. what detractors might call old-style democratic protectionism, which was a cornerstone of mr. trump's campaign for president. when we come back, some potential democratic 2020 candidates are finding out what
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it's like to play in the big leagues. the vetting has begun. >> announcer: coming up, end game and postgame, brought to game and postgame, brought to you by boeing. game and postgame, brought to you by boeing. 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. for ai that can do more with your data, choose watson. hello. the best ai for the job.
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end game, brought to you by boeing. continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire. back in end game. on earth 2 this would be a very comfortable conversation because the end of the midterms you talk about 2020. it seems odd to talk about 2020 when we're in the midst of who knows what's going to happen in this upcoming congress. however, the race does seem to have started and already democrat on democrat crime has begun. beto o'rourke, elizabeth warren and kamala harris all starting to see what happens when you do become a presidential candidate. every little thing becomes a headline. kamala harris had an aide who
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had a sexual harassment issue. all of a sudden elizabeth warren is finding out that aides to her are starting to talk to the press, questioning some decisions on this dna thing. and there's beto, where a whole bunch of bernie sanders supporters are going, uh-oh, let's start making the case he's not a real progressive. kimberly, i want to start with the elizabeth warren stuff. this is your beat, "boston herald." is there a split inside warren world here? what are -- is there something we're seeing here or you've seen for a while that we're only seeing now? >> look, i think and sadly enough we're two years out of the presidential election. i think what elizabeth warren's biggest problem is people are already getting tired of her. the presidential buzz around her has been going on for so long, and the pushback that she got after that terrible dna rollout, i would think that the staffers are trying to protect their future jobs and trying to distance themselves. >> her chief of staff is apparently meeting with beto
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o'rourke. >> oh, my goodness. >> i think she's unpopular in massachusetts. voters in massachusetts hate it when their leaders run -- that's why mitt romney couldn't get re-elected governor. that's why duval patrick's popularity -- ask michael dukak dukakis. that happens to everyone. but elizabeth warren possibly didn't realize how high her political perils were and sort of floated things that really fell early. and in a field this big, people immediately start looking at the next best thing. >> obviously it's the beto phenomenon that seems to be upending all of this. what do you make of beto? >> i asked a bunch of democrats on election night, tell me, what is beto's magic? these were people in new york who had been volunteering to make phone calls for him. they had been on the phone banks. they had been working hard for him. the best answer i got was that he reminds me of bobby kennedy with a certain youthfulness and
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seriousness. his magic so far is lost on me. i think he was dinged a little bit -- >> he may not be trying to get your vote yet. >> that's possible. >> in fairness. >> rahm emanuel dinged him a little bit, right? either this week or last when he said, beto o'rourke, he lost, right? we don't need a loser. to me the headline on 2020 in the democrats is, are they going to look just like the republicans in '16? the republicans had 17 candidates for president, which was an indication their party was breaking up. how many candidates are the democrats going to have this year, 20? >> i would also indicate there were so many candidates because they thought hillary was beatable. this time i think a lot of people think mr. trump is beatable. >> i would expect rahm emanuel to ding beto o'rourke because in some ways what we're going to see this election season in 2020 is the fight within the democratic party for the soul of the democratic party. so we've talked about the republicans being overrun by trumpism. there is an ideological battle
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being waged, right? so the progressive wing of the democratic party is trying to pull the party to the left. rahm emanuel is the poster child of the folks that they want to represent. so i expect him to say what he said. but beto o'rourke is interesting to me because of how he speaks. he's not running away from certain issues. he's not running away from, quote unquote, identity questions. he's not running away from issues mike medicare for all. but questions about fossil fuel is real. you have to ask certain kinds of questions. >> everybody is going to have a wart when this is all done. the question is how focused will we be on that person's wart. >> in 2016 you had a collective action problem on the republican side where all you needed was a sticky plurality to get the nomination. donald trump i don't think got a majority of republican primary votes anywhere. >> until very late. >> so i don't know if it's
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kamala harris, beto o'rourke, i don't know who it is, but could be appealing to the progressive hungry base of the democratic party and win the nomination for the exact same collective action problems or structure issues, and then be so far to the left and get the nomination that it makes it at least easier for donald trump to run against them. i'm not saying that donald trump is a shoo-in to win or anything. >> that's the same logic that donald trump said would make it much easier for hillary clinton to win the election. that's a good place to stop the conversation there. thank you very much. that's all we have for today. thanks for watching. for those of you celebrating hannukah, we wish you a happy eighth night tonight. or as we might say the seventh miracle. and we'll be back next week, because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." >> announcer: you can see more end game and postgame on the "meet the press" twitter account.
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. winter's wallop. a major snowstorm slams the southeast burying the carolinas and virginia. hundreds of flights cancel and thousands without power this morning. a look at the chaos as millions begin to dig their way out. why the man tapped to reace president trump's chief of staff is pulling himself out of the running. here history in the making. we'll listen in on the first ever recording of wind on mars. the nfl playoff picture comes into focus. the wild day on the gridiron. from overtime nail biters to a last second heart break. we will have the biggest moments from subpoenaed. "early today"


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