tv Meet the Press MSNBC May 14, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
this sunday, the firing of james comey. why did president trump do it? and why now? was it based on a justice department recommendation? the administration said this -- >> because of the actions that the deputy attorney general outlined -- >> the president accepted the recommendation of his deputy attorney general. >> but then, president trump said this. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey. >> did it have to do with the russia investigation? the administration said this -- >> you want this to be about russia when this is about, this sunday. the firing of james comey. why did president trump do it and why now? was it based on a justice department recommendation. >> the president accepted the recommendation of his deputy attorney general. >> then president trump said this. >> regardless of recommendation i was going to fire comey. >> did it have to do with the russian investigation. the administration said this. >> you want this to be about
russia when this is about quote restoring confidence. >> this absolutely has nothing to do with any investigation into russia. >> that's not what this is about. >> then president trump said this. >> this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> so what's the real story? joining me this morning. secretary of state rex tillerson and senator lindsey graham and democratic senate minority leader chuck schumer. and brand new numbers about what a very skeptical public is now thinking. and west wing shake-up watch. a report this morning says a frustrated president trump is considering firing many of his top white house aides. we'll get the latest. joining me for inside analysis are nbc news white house correspondent, hallie jackson. "washington post" columnist, and katty kay from bbc and matthew, editor of the washington "free beacon." it's sunday "meet the press." >> this is "meet the press" with
chuck todd. >> good sunday morning and happy mother's day to all the mom's out there. after the firing of the fbi director, james comey, conflicting administration explanations and open disagreement about what comey and president trump said to each other at what is now an infamous dinner, but what feels like a perfect capstone to a whiplash week. tweeting james comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversation before he starts leaking to the press. are there tapes? here's what trump later told fox news. >> that i can't talk about. all i want is for comey to be honest. >> just something else for congress to try to subpoena, all of which leads us to our brand new nbc news "wall street journal" poll just finished overnight. 29% of those we polled say they approve of president trump's decision to fire james comey, 38% say they disapprove. roughly a third say they don't know enough to say. that tells you the story has not
quite penetrated the national consciousness when you have undecided that high. and 6% say it gives them a more favorable thinking of donald trump. finally the most troubling number, 46% say they agree president trump fired comey to slow down the russian investigation, while 38% buy the original investigation from the white house that it was done over legitimate concerns how comey handle the hillary clinton e-mail issue. there's now a report this morning that a frustrated president trump is considering firing many of his top white house aides. it all adds up to a week at best the administration has a communications problem, or at worst, it is facing accusations of obstruction of justice. >> regardless of recommendation i was going to fire comey. >> donald trump contradicted his own white house aides and his vice president adding to questions about why the
president chose to fire fbi director james comey when he did. >> no one from the white house. that was a doj decision. >> he took the recommendation seriously and he made a decision based on that. >> president trump made the right decision at the right time. to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general. >> but in an interview with lester holt on thursday, the president said not only had he already decided to fire comey before getting deputy attorney general rod rosenstein's recommendation, he had the russia investigation on his mind when he did. >> when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story, an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election they should have won. >> reporter: mr. trump also said he pressed comey in a private dinner on january 27th to tell him if he was under investigation. the dinner was held three days after the fbi interviewed now former national security advisor
mike flynn and one day after acting attorney general sally yates briefed the white house, warning them flynn could be blackmailed by russian contacts. >> i think he asked for the dinner and wanted to stay on as the fbi head. i said, i'll consider. we'll see what happens. we had a very nice dinner, and at that time he told me you are not under investigation. >> in fact, sources close to comey say the president invited him to the white house in a last minute request, either on the day of or day before and asked comey if he would be loyal. comey refused to pledge loyalty but promised to be honest. >> did you ask that question? >> no, no, i didn't. i don't think it would be a bad question to ask. >> then on friday came the president's warning. james comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. the second ranking democratic senator, dick durbin, calls that
a thinly veiled threat that could be a violation of federal law. democrats are asking the president to hand over any recordings. >> president trump is dangerous. dangerous because he may be obstructing justice in terms of the investigation. >> joining me now is senator lindsey graham of south carolina. senator, welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning. >> you're laughing. i assume it's dark comedy these days. >> why did i agree to do this? >> oh, because you're a glutton for punishment, sir. >> okay. >> welcome. let me start here. the president said that russia was on his mind when he was making this decision. how concerning is that to you when it comes to him admitting that was among the things in his mind when he made this decision to fire james comey? >> i think we need to have comey come before the judiciary committee and clear the air. did the president ever say anything to the director of the fbi that would be construed as trying to impede the investigation? the president called me about the firing and referenced the
comey testimony last week and jute dishry committee about how bad it was. that's all i know. but i think it's time to call the fbi director and the country at large and have him explain what happened at that dinner. if there are any tapes, they need to be handed over. you can't be cute about tapes. if there are any tapes of this conversation, they need to be turned over. i doubt there are, but we need to clear the air also. >> let me put up that tweet where the president put the word "tapes" in quotes, so we don't quite know what that means. did you think that constituted a threat to comey? >> i think it was inappropriate. i think it requires somebody like me, a republican, to call comey before the judiciary committee to let him explain that conversation. right now, i do not believe president trump is a target or subject of any investigation regarding collusion with the russians. that's what i believe. but this tweet has to be answered. i would advise the president not to tweet or comment about the
investigation as we go forward. the russians did interfere in our election. i don't think they changed the outcome. i have no evidence of collusion. the president needs to back off and let the investigation go forward. we need to call comey and get to the bottom of all of this. i think it's time for an fbi agent to lead the fbi. when you talk about a new person to lead the fbi, how about an fbi agent not above reproach. >> why do you think it has to be an fbi agent at this point? why not a u.s. attorney, prosecutor, somebody like that? >> it could be. it could be a lot of people. how about the idea of an fbi agent leading the fbi, promoting within the ranks? there's so many good agents, men and women out there capable of leading the agency. this is up to the president. he has a duty and obligation to pick somebody beyond reproach outside the political lane. i think he'll do that, i hope he'll do that.
i'm ready to move on and pick a new fbi agent. i have no evidence the president colluded with the russians at all. nobody on the campaign i know of has colluded with the russians. we don't know all the evidence yet. we need to continue forward and protect these investigations. >> while staying on the fbi director, eight people interviewed yesterday at the justice department, one of them a colleague of yours, senator john cornyn. two were women, could be the first woman to head the fbi. a former fbi agent and former member of congress. let me ask you this. in this political environment, do you think it's the right time to have the first ever fbi director who had a political -- elected political background which is what it would be if either mike rogers or john cornyn were named? >> no. i think it's now time to pick somebody that comes from within the ranks or such a reputation that has no political background at all that can go into the job on day one. who does the fbi director work
for? to me, it's like appointing a judge. the president actually appoints a judge but the judge is loyal to the law. the president appoints the fbi director but the fbi director has to be loyal to the law. john cornyn is a wonderful man under normal circumstances would be a superb choice to be fbi director. these are not normal circumstances. we have a chance to reset as a nation, the president has a chance to clean up the mess he mostly created. he really did his staff a disservice by changing the explanation. i would encourage the president to pick somebody we can all rally around, including those who work in the fbi. >> let me ask you something about russian interference. later in the show i had a show with the secretary of state, rex tillerson. i conducted it yesterday. he would not give an explanation why the issue of russian interference wasn't even brought up during his meeting with foreign minister lavrov.
we went back and forth and not once was it thought of as a top priority. can we move on with russia if we can't confront them on this? >> i don't know. secretary tillerson did a masterful job talking about the threat of north korea. i understand wanting to engage the russians and syria because they're part of the solution if we find one. i'm 1,000% the russians interfered in our election. it was the intelligence service that hacked into podesta's e-mail. they did try to undercut clinton. i don't think they changed the outcome. and i do not believe we could go forward as a nation until we punish russia. i have bipartisan sanctions against russia for interfering in our election, and my goal is to put it on the president's desk and i hope he would embrace it. russia didn't change the outcome of the election, but they sure as hell tried, and i want to
punish the russians and i hope the president will see their interference as a threat to our democracy. >> i want to talk about the investigation. the nbc "wall street journal" poll, i will read it to you. i know you don't have a screen. who should investigate russian interference? only 15% think it should be you folks in congress, senator. 78%, a bipartisan group of people would like to see an independent commission or a special prosecutor. do you understand why the public doesn't trust now the politicians to do this? >> yeah. but here's what i think about the investigation. right now, it is a counter-intelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation, so you don't need a special prosecutor. i trust deputy rothenstein to do this. if he gets to the point he can't do it and it becomes a criminal investigation, we will have a special prosecutor. and independent commission takes it outside of congress. i think the intel and judiciary committee, we're doing a good job. i want to keep it inside the congress.
i'd like a select committee where we all work together. right now i see no need for a special prosecutor. it's not a criminal investigation. i see no need for an independent commission yet. >> you have called for a special counsel a number of times during the obama years for the clinton e-mails, targeting reporters and leaks and white house leaks and investigations and the idea joe sestak may have gotten a job offer in exchange -- my point is where did all those meet the test for special counsel but this one doesn't. >> this is a counter-intelligence investigation. we're not investigating a crime yet. if it becomes a criminal investigation of the trump campaign colluding with the russians and mr. rothenstein doesn't believe he can do the job, then we'll have a special counsel. there is a process in place. i'm not worried about polling or anything other than trying to get the right answer. the russians did it, they need
to be punished. trump is not a target of this investigation yet. leave this investigation alone. congress is doing a good job, in my view. if it gets to the point we can't, then we'll take it outside of congress. >> you have been looking at the president's finances. the president has made a big deal he sent you a certified letter from his accountant, all that means is you signed for it. >> right. >> that's fine. in this case, shouldn't you want to see the tax returns from one of these llcs that run a golf course? there's a report from north carolina that the trump national golf course may have been financed with russian money. that won't be in the president's tax return, that will be in that llc of trump national in charlotte that has that. are you going to be able to get your hands on those records? >> i have yet to find any evidence of improper business dealings between the trump organization and russia regarding the election or anything else.
however, if you can show me there's reason for that, there's a suspicion of that, then we need to get financial documents. i can't ask for documents unless i have a reason, but the president should turn over his tax returns. he should do that. i don't have a reason to subpoena them. if i get that reason, i'll do it. but he should turn over his tax returns. he should do that now. >> all tax returns, not just personal will you tell llc? that's where this will be, not in his personal tax return if that's there. >> if you can show me a need to do that i will do it. i can't say on television based on your question that's a good idea. i'm open minded to all things russia. the bottom line is i think russia tried to affect our election and undermine our democracy and i've yet to find collusion between the trump campaign and russia. there's a "washington post" story that comey went to burr to get more agents and more money. that's not true. there are a lot of things being
said true or half-truths. let the process work. i promise the people of south carolina, the people of the united states, i do care about this. i have nobody to punish or reward other than get to the facts. >> senator lindsey graham. i hope you don't regret coming on now. i appreciate you coming on. >> happy mother's day. >> that's the most important message
to say. there you go. >> happy mother's day. >> appreciate it. to the other side of the aisle, senate democratic leader chuck schumer of new york. i hope you're a little more enthusiastic about being on than senator graham was? >> i didn't see senator graham. but i want to join him in wishing all the moms of america, yours, chuck, and particularly mi mine, god willing, who will turn 89 in three weeks. >> all right. let me go to the issue of a special prosecutor. why do you believe it needs to
be done? as you know, senator ben sass indicated if you do that it is sending a message you don't trust the intel committee to do their work, a vote of no confidence there. shouldn't you let them do their job to see if they can do it without a special prosecutor? >> well, there are two separate lines of activity here. one is the oversight function of the intelligence committee, they're doing their job. mark warner has done a very good job. i had some differences it would senator burr and in the last week, some people tell me he was very upset with comey's firing, and i hope it continues. they can't prosecute. the special counsel of the justice department has the ability to prosecute people for violations of wall. they go on in tandem. one shouldn't step on the other. i know they're talking to each other now, the fbi was with the intelligence committee to make sure no one's granted immunity. it's two separate issues. we very much need a special prosecutor, chuck, we need
someone who is independent of the justice department to get to the bottom of this. i say one more thing. the silence of my republican colleagues on this issue is sort of deafening. this is not an issue of party, this is an issue of country, foreign interference in the elections is a very, very serious thing, and we should get to the bottom of it. where's the howard baker of 2017? we desperately need one. >> one of your democratic colleagues, sheldon senator whitehouse, said the following why he's a little skeptical of a special counsel. take a listen. >> if you have something going like that, look at the special counsel rule, you have to bring in somebody new outside the department. they have the choice to make their own decision they want to start from fresh perhaps. >> his concern is that everything starts over. you're suddenly hitting a reset button and sets the investigation back. >> look, i love sheldon whitehouse. i have a great deal of respect
for him. he's one of the great lawyers around. you can easily -- and there have been many instances where a special prosecutor comes in, they're in charge, they're the shield so there's no outside interference or direction, but at the same time, the same investigators who have been working on this continue to work on it, and that's how i imagine it will work. let's remember, special prosecutor has four abilities an internal justice department doesn't. first, he or she makes the decisions day to day on who to subpoena, who to examine, what questions to ask, no outside interference. second, can only be fired for cause. third, has the ability, if there's interference, someone's trying to thwart the investigation from up above, they can make sure that doesn't happen and investigate that. fourth, they have to report to congress. there are a lot of advantages over a special prosecutor. if you look at the department of justice guidelines, there's never a more important time, a more appropriate time for a special prosecutor than in this situation.
>> senator warner, who's the vice chair of the intel committee conducting the intel investigation, he said unless the deputy attorney rosenstein appoints a special prosecutor, do you think it will be difficult to get support for a new fbi director? do you plan on linking those two issues, not trying to tell the democratic senators withhold support until there's a special prosecutor named? >> each democratic senator will make up his or her own mind, but i think the two are very much related. if you have an independent special prosecutor, then you really have the ability to get to the bottom of this. so it matters in terms of who the fbi director is. you need both of them to have a lot of courage, to resist any pushback not to do the investigation. you need both to be very experienced, that's important as well. and i think both should be nonpartisan, not from either political party. those would be my criteria.
i think the two are linked because they're both involved in one of the most serious investigations we've seen in a very long time. >> there's eight candidates interviewed yesterday. two have an electoral background, sitting senator, john cornyn, former member of congress, some have bipartisan backgrounds like a fran townsend, served in the clinton and bush administration. anybody jump out as a favorite of yours you could foresee supporting? >> you know, i've generally made it a practice, chuck, of not commenting on nominees publicly. let's see who they nominate. as i said, certainly somebody not of a partisan background, certainly somebody of great experience, and certainly somebody of courage. >> what did you make of the merrick garland suggestion? >> not going to comment on any of them. i like him as a justice, though, he's very good on that d.c. circuit. i don't know if he'd want to leave. >> you think that was a little too cute at that point? >> no comment.
i'm smiling. >> senator chuck schumer, i will leave it there. senate democratic leader, thanks for coming on "meet the press" to share your
views. when we come back, signs of a big white house shake-up. yet more reporting this morning that president trump may be prepared to do a little more housecleaning in one part of the west wing. as we go to break, a moment from president trump's commencement address this morning at liberty university in lynchburg, virginia. >> being an outsider is fine, embrace the label. it's the outsiders who change the world and make a real and lasting difference. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college.
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the found of axios, he joins me. you will throw some more wood here on the fire. a whole shake-up you say is coming soon. walk us through it. i think we will put up the four positions that could be on the firing line including the chief of staff. >> you talk to the same people we do. you have a president so frustrated he's getting nothing done, that he hates the coverage, feels like he's being ill-served by his staff. in the last couple daisies talked about getting on the phone getting rid of everyone from steve bannon to rinse priebus to his white house lawyer, don mcgann. he's even frustrated with his cabinet officials talked about getting upstaged with top officials including his friend, wilbur ross. but the thing is he's just frustrated. the thing for the white house, he's the product. he's the pitchman.
he's the producer, and firing the stagehands, i think that denied a fundamental -- >> we know this happens a lot. is this a timeline here? something he's moving on quickly or, like comey, could happen in a day or a month? >> we never know. we had this three weeks ago, we know he wants steve bannon out and jared kushner wants steve bannon out. they're worried about the optics of doing it. when he vents and gets frustrated, he really gets frustrated. you never know if he's blowing off steam, it is coming. >> it's clear to me the circle that shrunk around the president. >> i think you saw that with the comey decision, based on what we saw steve bannon was not in the loop with this. there's pushback with his allies. the point is this circle is shrinking. the president is frustrated. when he gets frustrated he vents and spitballs. how realistic is it as a
question? since sean spicer's first press briefing i get a text every 10 days that says spicer is gone. this feels different and even those in spicer's corner say this is a different situation. i would not understate talking about the timing of the importance of this foreign trip. the president has an extraordinarily busy week, four leaders this week and then heads to the west coast. >> this trumpian, my god, everybody is focused on comey. let me do a white house shake-up and maybe everybody with focus there, act two. figuring out timing with president trump is impossible. look at the comey firing, right? awful, terrible timing. you ask for this report that's supposed to be the cover story. later that day he's out. the timing was awful. it created the appearance of all sorts of conflicts. then, of course, he schedules
the lester holt interview and decides to blurt out what sounded like a confession to a lot of people to objestruction justice. i think your point, jim, you have no idea when this is going to happen or might happen. it does feel different. it feels like something has to give in this white house. >> the other part the more somebody gets talked about getting fired the less the president wants to do it. >> the more we bring it up. matthew, you wrote a great column on friday that may summarize this whole thing best. you hear it all the time. president trump hasn't been tested or faced a real crisis. the events of the last few weeks made me want to turn that formulation around. trump doesn't face crises so much as manufacture them. in a way he is the crisis and his presidency in danger of not being defined not by any legislative or diplomatic achievement but his handling of diplomatic obstacles he creates for himself. >> you have the most principal dictionariable -- unpredictable and impulsive president since theodore
roosevelt, president before the 24-hour news cycle. people are worried about president trump's policies when he took office. he's a businessman, he will manage like a businessman. now we come to the reverse, many republicans find with president trump's policies mainly conventional conservative policies with a few trumpian twists. you hear a lot of complaints from republicans about the management. >> i wrote this week perhaps it's the president's thin skin getting in the way of his presidency. there may be nothing behind the firing of jim comey. it may have nothing to do with russia, it may have nothing to do with hillary clinton's e-mails. it may be the psychology of the president that cannot bear the idea this man was not loyal to him, went on television and hit the sweet spot of undermining somehow the president's electoral victory. the problem is without a straight story, conspiracy theories will fill the vacuum. we're not getting the straight story and not getting the facts from the white house and leaving them wide open to the criticism this was somehow nefarious. >> on top of this, he thinks so
small, for all the rage against the media. he remains this past week obsessed with coverage. he spends so much time watching sean spicer's performance and probably watching our performance. when you think small and do big, it's hard to do in life. >> that's something katty was implying. the worst thing comey said in that testimony, hallie, mildly nauseous. it came close to comey agreeing with the clinton narrative comey cost her the election. >> despite it not being james comey's intention to make it that, but that was the day this president kicked another gear. he may have wanted to fire comey but wednesday was it. >> he may never accept this investigation of russian meddling exists separate from any question of hillary clinton having lost the election and whether she ran a bad campaign or not.
>> the question of whether that reaction gets in the way of his presidency is that it leads to a lack of competence in the white house. he can't overcome his personal feelings to run the white house. >> a showboat and grandstander. there's only one star of the show we're in. it's president trump. >> i will leave it there. >> a little breaking news this morning, appreciate you getting up. thank you. up next, president trump says the russia story is fake news and a witch hunt. does the secretary of state, rex tillerson, agree? my interview with him after the break. but first here's senator warren's commencement address at the university of massachusetts. >> study up because knowing something about an issue makes a difference. go online and read the facts, not the alternative facts, the real facts. ♪
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welcome back. when president trump fired james comey a lot of democrats jumped to the thought that he was trying to stymie the investigation on a possible russia collusion in the trump campaign. i sat down with secretary of state rex tillerson and asked him whether he agrees with the president the russia story
is fake news and a witch hunt. >> chuck, the president, i think, has made it clear that he
feels it's important we re-engage with russia. the relationship with russia, as he has described and i have described as well, i think at an all time low point since the end of the cold war with a very low level of trust. i think the world and it's in the interests of the american people and russia and the rest of the world we do something to see if we cannot improve the relationship between the two greatest nuclear powers in the world. the president, i think, has committed to make an effort in that regard and he has certainly asked me to make it an important effort as well. >> i understand that. you look at what's happening in the western european nations, france and germany and italy and accusations of russian interested interference in their democratic process. what message does it send to those countries that their number one ally, the president of the united states, their president, fired the man at the agency that was looking into the very problem they're dealing
with, russian interference in the democracy? >> chuck, from what i hear from leaders of the other nations, europe and more broadly the subject of russia comes up in all of our conversations is all the other nations want the u.s. and russia to work towards improving our relationship as well for all the reasons i just mentioned. i think it is largely viewed it is not healthy for the world and not healthy for us for the american national security to remain healthy at this low level. whether we can improve it remains to be seen. it's going to take some time, it's going to take lot of hard work. but i think the president is committed, rightly so, and i'm committed with him as well to see if we can do something to put us on a better footing with our relationship with russia. >> can you get on a better footing if you don't address this issue of russian interference? your counterpart, foreign
minister, mr. lavrov, said you guys didn't even talk about this issue of russian interference in our election because, as he put it, president trump himself says it's fake news so it's not an issue. why haven't you brought it up with him? >> chuck, i think we have such a broad range of important issues that have to be addressed in the u.s.-russia relationship. obviously the interference in the election is one of those. i think it's been well documented, pretty well understood the nature of that interference here and elsewhere. these are not new tactics on the part of the russian government directed not only at us but at others. again, i think we have to look at this relationship in its broadest contours and there are many, many important areas which require our attention if we are to bring it back to a relationship that we believe is necessary for the security of the u.s. >> mr. secretary, this is fundamental. they interfered with our democracy. i just don't understand how this is not a top issue for you to deal with, with them, in order
to essentially start with a clean slate. can't start with a clean slate until either they own up to what they did or we punish them in a way they won't do this again. >> chuck, i think it's important to understand we're not trying to start with a clean slate. terms like having a reset are overused. you cannot reset, you cannot erase the past. you cannot start with a clean slate and we're not trying to start with a clean slate. we're starting with the slate we have and all the problems on that slate. we don't dismiss any of them, we don't give anyone a free pass on any one of them. they're part of the entire nature of the discussions we're having with the russians. there are a large number of issues we have to get around to addressing in order to put this relationship back together if that is indeed possible. >> during your confirmation hearings you made clear you hadn't, obviously, been briefed on the intelligence reports, the
17 different agencies that came to the conclusions that the russians did make an effort to interfere in this election. obviously, there's an investigation going along to see if there's any collusion in this interference. since you became secretary of state in february, have you seen this intelligence now? is it clear in your mind that it is a fact the russians interfered in our elections? >> i have seen the intelligence reports, chuck, yes, i don't think there's any question that the russians were playing around in our electoral processes. again, as those intelligence reports also have indicated, it's inconclusive as to what, if any, effect it had. >> i understand about the impact, but the fact they got into it, what should the repercussions be now in your mind? >> they're just part of that broader landscape of conversations, chuck. the real impact is it serves yet again to undermine the trust between the united states and russia. as i have said and the president has said, you know, we're at a
very, very low level of trust between our two countries right now. so what we're exploring is how do we begin the process of restoring that trust? ultimately, it will touch on all these issues. >> i want to give you a chance to respond to an op-ed senator john mccain wrote, where he invoked your name, sir. in a recent address to state department employees, secretary of state rex tillerson said conditioning our foreign policy too heavily on values creates obstacles to advance our national interests. mccain goes on to write, with those words, secretary tillerson sent a message to oppressed people everywhere. don't look to the united states for hope. our values make us sympathetic to our plight and when it's convenient we might officially express that sympathy. pretty tough words from senator mccain. what do you say in response? >> first, i would say if anyone has earned their right to express their views, senator mccain has. i have great respect to the senator. i think the point that i was making, chuck, in that message to state department employees is
an important one to understand. and that is that america's values of freedom, treatment of people, human dignity, freedom of expression throughout the world, those are our values. those are enduring values. they're part of everything we do. and, in fact, they serve as the guidepost and they serve as the boundaries as we develop our foreign policy approaches and our diplomatic efforts. but i make a distinction between values and policy. a policy has to be tailored to the individual situation, to the country, to its circumstances broader issues that we are addressing in terms of events of our national security interest, our national economic interest, so policies have to be adaptable. they have to change, they have to adjust to conditions, but our values can never change. our values can never be put in a position of having to be compromised. so the values guide our policy, but if we put our values in front of our policies and say, this is our policy, we have no
room to adapt to changing circumstances to achieve our ultimate objective. but if we put our values in front of our policies and say, this is our policy, we have no room to adapt to changing circumstances to achieve our ultimate objective. if we are successful to achieving our ultimate diplomatic and national security objectives, we will create the condition for advancement and freedom of countries all over the world. >> secretary tillerson, i know you're busy and have this big trip head of you. >> thanks, chuck. i want to wish all the mothers out there a happy mother's day, particularly my own mother, my wife, and my two daughter-in-laws, the mothers of my two
grandchildren. mr. tillerson also made the point that any decision to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem would not be made for some time. you can see a lot more of this interview on our website on meetthepress.com. coming up, could we see makings of a democratic wave next year? a light note here at will
farrell's commencement address at usc. >> this is not my first commencement speech. the institutions to which i have spoken at previously include briman's school of nursing, hollywood deejay academy and trump university. i'm still waiting to get paid from trump university. you rea. with the united mileageplus explorer card, you'll get a free checked bag, 2 united club passes... priority boarding... and 50,000 bonus miles. everything you need for an unforgettable vacation. the united mileageplus explorer card. imagine where it will take you.
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welcome back. "data download" time. millennials have been putting their generational stamp on american politics and other places, but on this day we're looking at how generations have changed mothers and politics. just about all new mothers are millennials, 82% of all births were to mothers born between 1981 and 1997. that's generation y or the millennials. in the 10 years since there's a
5% increase in numbers of new moms that are unmarried. now means more than a third of all new mothers are unmarried. 32% of millennial mothers had a bachelors degree or more and 5% increase since 2005. more than 60% of new moms are in the labor force. that's a six-point jump in 10 years. 2015 millennial moms are more racially and ethnically diverse. what does all this mean? as millennials start to dominate motherhood, it could change our politics. 10 years ago political strategists focused on security moms, concerned about their children's safety in a post-9/11 world. those issues have been strengths for republicans. but millennial moms who work more could be focused on other priorities. perhaps it's child care, family leave and equal pay. for now those are areas of strength for the democrats. bottom line, demographics of moms are changing radically before our eyes, we showed you
that quick snapshot, and along the way may change our politics. back in a moment. the end game and choppy halls at republican town halls that might, might turn into a wave for democrats next year. >> we need a bipartisan select committee to investigate this. when are you going to open your eyes? when are you going to decide to be an american and not a politician? coming up, meet the "press end game." brought to you by boeing. always working to build something better. uh trail mix. wow minty. p3 snacks. the more interesting way to get your protein. ...one of many pieces in my life. so when my asthma symptoms kept coming back on my long-term control medicine. i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment with breo. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms. breo is for adults with asthma not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine,
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. back now with end game and the panel. so town halls have been home to health care rants, now special prosecute or ones. take a look guys. >> we have oversight committees in the house, in the senate -- [ boos ] >> are you about ready to call for an independent counsel and if not what will it takes? [ cheers and applause ] >> right now i don't think we need an independent counsel. [ boos ] there's been zero shred of evidence, zero shred of evidence that the president -- that there's been any collusion with russia. >> we need a bipartisan select committee to investigate this. when are you going to open your eyes? when are you going to decide to be an american and not a politician? [ cheers and applause ] >> the atmospherics right now, matthew, to be a republican member of congress going into a
town hall. two weeks ago you were getting your head chopped off over health care, now it's on this. the timing of all of this, this is when incumbents decide whether to run again or challengers decide whether to run or not. boy, it's probably a good time to be a democrat and a bad time to be a republican. >> it's not very encouraging. the town halls have been attracting probably the most partisan and motivated democrats, some of the numbers in your poll suggest that actually the comey firing may not have the political impact that a lot of people think, one clip you didn't have, which i thought summed up kind of the weird politics of this week, was when stephen colbert mentioned the comey firing and his crowd broke out into applause. and he had to kind of say, no, no, it's bad. the truth is, many people have conflicting views of james comey, including this president and so it might not have the political valance of the health care fight. >> we'll put up the president's job approval rating on here in
our poll he was even -- his disapproval was 54% now, it was 54% in our last poll. as charlie cook might say, he trades in a narrow trading range on his job approval, but that tells you the core hasn't left him. >> well, the one number we have seen shift -- and this is what democrats are pointing to when they think there is the prospect of a wave election coming up -- is the strongly disapprove number and that number has increased significantly just in the last couple weeks. so that would suggest that there -- we don't have numbers for enthusiasm, how likely people are to vote, that's the proxy number. if you strongly disapprove -- that's at about 51%, strongly approve is 25% -- that suggests those people may turn out and vote in the midterms. >> even democratic operatives i've been talking in the last 48 hours or so acknowledge nobody is going to go to the polls in 2018 and vote based on comey and what happened this week. our numbers reflect that. but number one, what you spoke to, chuck, mobilize and get sort of more enthusiastic -- not
voters but the people who could run, the recruitments, the candidates for people to come out and run. the other part of it is when you tally up incidents in democratic views like the comey firing, when you add that to whatever else might happen over the next year, pointing to congress as a rubber stamp on the president's actions, they believe that is the messaging that could be effective for them come 2018. >> it's an accretion of things, i think. and, look, i think it's a better time to be a democratic political organizer out of the grass-roots than a republican political organizer at the grass-roots. the question is, how do you quantify the enthusiasm? do you find the right candidates, as you say? so let's look again in three or four or six months and see where things stand but right now is the potential there? yeah, the potential is there. >> and the arguments the democrats are making is that the midterms will be the first time people have had a chance to do something about trump since the inauguration and that that may -- even though you're seeing
some enthusiasm decline in the protests, the numbers are smaller, when you get to an election where people feel they can take action, that may drive people to the polls. >> trump's core is solid but the danger to the gop is that it might not transfer to the republican party. indeed, donald trump won the presidential differentiating himself from the republican party. and that's similar to his predecessor, right? barack obama always maintained that gut connection with his base, with his constituency. it didn't translate into the democratic party which was devastated over his eight years. >> and you bring up -- it gets me to this point. i want to get this charlie sykes "new york times" op-ed into the discussion here. he talks about this issue of what's happening on the right where there isn't conservative intellectualism, it's just anti-trumpism. he writes "the real heart of anti-anti-trumpism is the delight and frustration and anger of his opponents. if liberals hate something it must be wonderful and worthy of aggressive defense. each controversy reinforces the division and distrust and mr. trump counts on that." but charlie sykes is lamenting the fact, matthew, and i want
you to chime in on this, first, that conservatives have lost what they -- what it means to be a conservative. >> i think many people come to conservatism for different reasons and i think a lot of them are driven by opposition to the left. that's why a lot of 2 conservative movement ended up supporting donald trump because as -- whatever his flaws as a candidate, they thought he would be kind of a battering ram against the left. there are others, like charlie sykes, who thinks it's more important to keep principles intact than win victories. >> to me that's what it's going to be, republican parties divided by those like a ben sasse. >> even those -- like you heard lindsey graham on the russia question, for example, even those who are most dedicated too sort of upholding what had been their prior principles and least connected with donald trump are not ready to jump ship yet. they're not -- lindsey graham is not calling for an independent commission or a special prosecutor yet. so there's a lot of -- there's
distance yet to cover, i think, before you see any sort of mass defections. >> and i wonder how that plays out when we look ahead to 2018 on the republican side with one gop operative telling me "you might see people redistance themselves from donald trump the way you saw that happen during 2016 if this continues on the way it is." >> except you've got several congressmen who are running who are less popular than the president so how do they run on something like health care when people don't want to necessarily distance themselves from donald trump. >> that's a good question. there's a lot of unfinished business, health care, tax reform. >> i've got unfinished business. that's all we have for today. happy mother's day to all of our moms out there -- mine, my wife, who's a great mother, katty, happy mother's day to you here. look at that. >> thank you, all four of my kids are home. and all of washington is united behind one wall -- it's john wall. good luck, buddy. we'll see you tomorrow and see you next sunday because if it's
sunday it's "meet the press." " press." you can see more end game and before we hit the beach, i've gotta hit the loo. we can't stay here! why? terrible toilet paper! i'll never get clean! way ahead of you, big daddy. aww. (avo) charmin ultra strong. it's washcloth-like texture helps clean better. it's four times stronger and you can use less. beautiful view. thanks to charmin. and you, honeybear. awwwww. (avo) we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin? and we're partnering with cigna to help save lives. we are the tv doctors of america. by getting you to a real doctor for an annual check-up. so go, know, and take control of your health. doctor poses. learn your key health numbers, and take control today.
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i know this is sudden, but they say: if you love something... set it free. see you around, giulia ♪ >> good sunday to you, hope you're having a great day so far. i'm richard lui in new york city and welcome to the pulse of america where your voice can be heard in realtime. the short list for fbi director expands to eight. president trump says he will make a decision possibly as soon as this week. will the new chief have enough independence in a trump administration? president trump says the russia investigation was part of his decision to let james comey go as fbi director. we'll play the exclusi