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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  June 1, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT

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louis burgdorf and ayman mohyeldin. "morning joe" starts right now. >> good morning. it is thursday, june isst. can you believe it? welcome to "morning joe." we have veteran column and msnbc contributor mike barnicle, national political correspondent for nbc news and msnbc steve kornacki is with us. he's doing okay, joe. also white house correspondent for the associated press julie pace is with us from washington along with willie, joe and me. joe, we've got the big countdown to 3:00 today where he'll do his reveal about whether or not this country will stay in the paris accord or join i believe nicaragua and syria -- >> two really good countries to follow. >> proud moment. >> when i was young my dad held me on his knees and said one day this country, one day we'll be in the same class and nicaragua
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and libya. i don't know exactly where we should start this show. >> i do. >> i'm going to ask willie. willie, what was the name -- what name did donald trump take back when he used to lie about sex -- >> john miller. >> he'd say he was john miller and call news organizations and say i'm calling for donald trump and he would brag about his sexual prowess or trying to clean things up. >> ewh. >> i guess compensate. >> he did his john miller routine yesterday with the rnc. fortunately they didn't brag about his sex life, but they're not doing that anymore. but did you see that statement the rnc put out? it was just kind of nice to know donald still cares and watches us despite what he said.
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that was a vitriolic statement. it made me sad. did you see that? >> i did. it was a weird day on both sides where you had hillary clinton trashing the dnc. we'll play some of that. donald trump comes out and tweets about hillary clinton, all this could have played out a year ago. feels like we're still in the 2016 campaign. i'd just be happy to get out of it. >> it's really weird. i think most americans would like to leave 2016 behind them forever. hillary clinton, i don't know why she's blaming the dnc. they rigged the election against bernie sanders. >> let's just leave it. come on, joe. >> i'm just saying it's crazy. they rig it so bernie loses. i will say this, larry johnson -- what did he call himself? >> john miller. >> when efs lying about his sex life in the pass. with apologies to john miller
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and john miller's dupes over at the rnc, you'll have to turn to another network if you want to see water the water skiing squirrel at the wabash festival in marietta, georgia. instead we're leading with the fbi and the investigation into russia. >> good call. the russian questions are mounting this morning as the white house says it will no longer be answering them. >> wait, wait. hold on. he said they're not going to answer questions, but if you're not going to answer questions -- i'm sorry -- john miller needs to stop tweeting about it. john miller is still tweeting about the russian investigations. how does trump tweet about it, but yet you're not going the talk about it. >> i think lawyers are going to soon close in and get that phone from him. they're going to try really hard. because every time he does it can and possibly will be used
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against him. he might want to stop. >> it will be used against him. >> anyhow, a source close to james comey tells nbc news that the fired fbi director is, quote, cleared for takeoff by special counsel robert mueller to testify before the senate intelligence committee. that testimony is expected to come next week despite questions of whether the newly-appointed mueller would seek to block comey from speaking out while the investigation is on going. the "wall street journal" cites a single anonymous source who claims comey will say that president trump asked him to back off the investigation into former national security advisor michael flynn. flynn stepped down in february after "the washington post" reported that he had misled vice president mike pence specifically about whether he had spoken with the russian ambassador about relieving sanctions. meanwhile, special counsel robert mueller is beginning to step up his investigation in.
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andr andrew weismann is joining the investigation. this after the trump administration said it will no longer take questions on matters related to rush. >> did the president engage in obstruction of justice in repeated meetings with james comey? >> our job, we are focused in the president's agenda. going forward, all questions on these matters will be referred to outside counsel, marc kasowitz. >> first of all, very interesting on the "wall street journal" article. single course, my guessing is it's a pretty good single source. they're using what donald trump used in retweeting an article about jared kushner yesterday. ready for takeoff. the white house hasn't shown any sense of depth, any intelligence at all from the very beginning
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of this russian process, but mueller telling comey he's, quote, ready for takeoff. then you look at the people he's bringing in to help in the investigations, not good news for the white house at all and certainly not good news when you look into the background of the investigator, the attorney that bob mueller hired yesterday. >> there's no good news for the white house at all whenever the word russia comes up. comey's testimony next week certainly will be much-watched tv, fact-based. there will be very few adjectives. he's a very direct guy. he's clearly been waiting for this opportunity. and the idea that any questions about russia are going to a designated hitter, lawyer marc kasowitz. that's probably the best the white house can do in terms of deflecting the everyday niagara of stories about russia and the trump administration. >> steve kornacki, the house panel issued seven subpoenas. james comey going to testify
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next week. this is relentless for the white house. meanwhile, they're doing things like yesterday flirting with the idea of returning those two diplomatic compounds that president obama kicked the diplomats out of in late december because of their meddling in the election. why would they continue to do things like this publicly that shows them taking the side of russia? >> i'm thinking back to when mueller was announced as the special prosecutor and there was a school of thought that this would be good news, at least in the short term for the trump administration because it would take russia out of the news, the investigation would go behind the scenes. guess what? we clearly haven't moved on to other things. a lot of that has to do with what the white house has done. you talk about the news with the compound. another example where it just becomes, if nothing else, if there's nothing else to it, a question of appearance. >> as willie mentioned, the late december action obama took against russia in retaliation
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for russia meddling in the election are back in the spotlight. t"the washington post" reports that the trump administration is moving to restore russia's control of two diplomatic compounds in new york and maryland. president obama shut them down in december saying they were being used by russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes. last week the russian embassy in washington tweeted, russia is seeking to return its diplomatic property in the united states asap. otherwise we will have to take countermeasures. ave. meeting with president trump early last month, foreign minister sergey lavrov said in a press conference said he believes everyone understands in trump administration's that these are illegitimate actions. also moscow has reportedly discussed with the trump administration the lifting of construction restrictions on the u.s. consulate in st. petersburg. the latest reporting is rex tillerson told lavrov and kislyak that there's no linkage
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in negotiating the fates of the u.s. consulate and the russian compounds here in the u.s. joe, it kind of makes it hard to believe that putin doesn't have anything on trump. there's no -- there seems to be no guardrails here. >> thinking about the timing. steve, willie, talking about the poor timing of this decision, especially where we are right now in the investigation. think about the fact, again, you always have to put this in context. you have donald trump in the oval office with the russian ambassador to the united states, kislyak, and the foreign minister, lavrov, and that picture took place the day after james comey was fired when the russian story really exploded. then he goes in, he reveals classified information. he doesn't let u.s. reporters in the room.
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you can go on and on. they make these decisions time and time again in a way that makes it appear that they're hostages, that he's vladimir putin's hostage. why did they have that meeting in the oval office? because putin told trump he needed that meeting in the oval office. so here you have trump really in legal jeopardy, in such legal jeopardy he's having to bring in his own attorneys, having to worry about where this investigation goes in the future. what does he do, mika? he's talking about returning two properties to russia that were seized correctly by barack obama after they tried to interfere and they did interfere in our 2016 political election. >> it's unbelievable. it's hard to fathom. meanwhile the investigation continues in congress. the house intelligence committee issued seven subpoenas in its
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investigation of russian meddling, including into leaks about the story. four subpoenas are related to trump's inner circle including michael flynn and personal attorney michael cohn. while the three others went to the nsa, fbi and cia seeking information on any requests, unmasking requests in classified material made by former national security adviser susan rice, former cia director john brennan and former u.n. ambassador samantha power. a democratic aide ton intelligence committee tells nbc that the unmasking subpoenas were sent under the authority of republican chairman devin nunes who recused himself from the russian investigation but is still investigating leaks of classified materials. this week the los angeles times revealed that nunes told a republican fund-raising dinner in april that democrats want a russia investigation to justify hillary clinton's loss.
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>> they want to continue the narrative that vladimir putin and donald trump are best friends and that's the reason he won because hillary clinton could never have lost on her own and it has to be someone else's fault. they have tried to destroy the russia investigation, have never been serious about it. one of the great things aside from this russian investigation, i can finally say what i want to say. >> julie page, it's interesting to watch what's going on in the house intel committee. democrats want to look after donald trump and the people around him and republicans more focused on the issue of unmasking. if you look at the three subpoenas they put out of national security agencies. there's even inside this house intel panel a divide on what the probe is. >> exactly. this is pushed by the white house. they want republicans in this public hearings in particular to not be asking witnesses about russian interference in the elections or possible
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connections between trump associates and russia. they want them to ask questions about who is leaking information to the press, who in the obama administration may have been unmasking the identities of trump campaign officials. pushing that does not make this story go away in part because, as we mentioned earlier, trump himself continues to talk about this on twitter. when we were traveling abroad he talked about the leak of classified information to the russians that came from israel. even if the white house tries to institute a policy where they're not asking questions and trying to push the congressional questioning in a certain direction, as long as the president himself continues to weigh in on this, this is going to make this much more difficult for them and it's going to continue to stir controversy. >> mike barnicle, you hear devin nunes talk there and he's parroting what donald trump s says. he's being a dupe for donald trump who keeps going back to,
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oh, this whole russia investigation is trying to justify hillary clinton losing the election. i don't know anybody that thinks that. nobody is concerned about hillary clinton losing the election in these investigations. what they're concerned about is russia's influence in this country and the fact the trump administration has had meeting after meeting after meeting with russian officials and they haven't disclosed them or outright lied to them. i just wonder how much worse the republican party is look and how bad are they going to look if they have these investigations and you actually have russian interference and a cyber war against american democracy which, by the way, was dr. brzezinski's first tweet warning that this was coming. how bad will it look if we have russia trying to subvert our democracy or democratic process
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and all they're talking about are leaks and unmasking. >> it gets to the question that eventually the republican party will have to as a political entity define what they stand for in the year 2017. we don't know what they stand for because they are largely silent in the wake of everything you just spoke to. and the fact is that the trump white house today is totally e preoccupied with one thing. it's not the paris accord. it's not afghanistan. it's russia and their involvement with russia and the president's personal involvement with russia. if you look at his tweets over the past couple days, there's one tweet either yesterday or the day before where he basically accuses john brennan and james clapper of lying under oath. it's absurd, the continuation of this spectacle involving russia. >> well, it's absurd and absurd that, mika, this man who, again, a democrat until 2011, until he
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discovered birtherism, he takes over the republican party in a hostile takeover, and now they're just following him off the cliff. >> it's amazing. >> i do wonder, the next time a republican comes on any show on any network and they start bitching about leaks from the fbi, i would ask them, what do they say when there were leaks coming out of the fbi regularly during hillary clinton's investigation into her e-mail server for over a year? where were the complaints then? where were the complaints when leaks were coming out of the fbi during the obama administration? it happened all the time. it happened with the cia. this happens all the time. so now suddenly they're more concerned about this. they weren't concerned about it when it was happening against hillary. suddenly we're supposed to stop,
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we're supposed to say we don't care that russia interfered with our democracy. it's a james carvey, look at the bird over there, look at the bird over there. no. we're going to keep looking at how vladimir putin is trying to undermine our democracy. republican, for your well-being politically, you probably should, too. >> two members of the senate judiciary committee are looking into the investigation of an undisclosed meeting between attorney general jeff sessions and russian ambassador sergey kislyak. >> are you kidding me? >> took place on the sidelines of the april 2016 foreign policy speech in washington, d.c. sessions volunteered in his senate confirmation hearing that he had not met with russian officials. but when meetings with kislyak at his office in september and at the republican convention last july were revealed, sessions said they were part of
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his official duties. nor did he include the meetings on his security clearance forms saying he was told as a senator he did not have to. cnn was first to report that congressional investigators were looking into the april 26th meeting at the mayflower hotel. last night on msnbc senator al franken revealed to lawrence o'donnell that he and senator patrick leahy had heard about the meeting and sent a private letter asking then fbi director james comey to investigate. >> did you know about that meeting in the mayflower when you sent that letter to the fbi director? >> yes. it had been characterized one way. we had some reason to believe that wasn't the case. it had been described in a way that he could plausibly say i don't remember that. but what's coming out today, i believe, is that that may not be the case. if this is true, that would be
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extremely disturbing. >> so, joe, al franken can remember a meeting that jeff sessions is just remembering now? is that what it boils down to? >> what it boils down to is that for some reason that we don't understand, that we don't know yet, but we will, because bob mueller is on the case, for some reason they keep lying about meetings they have had with russian officials. they keep forgetting meetings that they have had with russian officials. jeff sessions actually removes himself from the russian investigation because he did not tell the truth under oath, and then we find out that he had yet another meeting with a russian official. this kislyak, why is it that they keep forgetting that they have a meeting with the most prominent russian official in
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washington, d.c.? willie geist, again, we've been saying this for months now. if there is no there there, then why do they keep lying about things they could tell the truth about and be fine? >> it's possible these meetings were innocuous and part of his duties. but if that's the case, why did you testify they didn't happen under oath, forcing yourself to recuse yourself from this investigation into russia and why did you only admit to the meetings after "the washington post" came out and reported them? again, they create this world where they do things that raise suspicion, and if there's nothing there, why do they continue to deny them and when they know they're not true, julie pace, this isn't the first time with jeff sessions. who knows how many more of these meetings there are? how can he sit january 20th in congress and testify they hadn't happened? >> it's pretty baffling. this extra meeting, this april meeting with kislyak las been
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floating around for a little while. the justice department denies it happened. it's hard to give them the benefit of the doubt on this because we've seen this story play out so many times so far, where a meeting pops up. it's denied and suddenly someone remembers that something happened. kislyak is not an unforgettable guy if you met him. he's a big personality, well known around washington in diplomatic circles, in political circles. certainly now, if you are jeff sessions or flynn else who worked on the trump campaign or is in the trump white house and you had a meeting with him or another russian official, the best thing to do right now would be to put that out proactively because these meetings will come out. the u.s. tracks russian officials who are near the u.s. >> julie, why don't they put it out? this keeps happening over and over again. at some point why doesn't a lawyer in the white house, why doesn't a political person in the white house call ifr body together and say, listen, this
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is how it ends, they always find out about our meetings and when they find out about our meetings, it makes us look even guiltier, so why don't we put it all out there. you talk about the drip, drip, drip effect of this. it's actually all these lies that turned our attention to the russia scandal and makes it look like it really is a scandal, like they really are covering something up. >> absolutely. that's what makes this so baffling. it would be cleaner and easier if you just had people, jared kushner, sessions, whoever else had these meetings, come out and put it on the table, these are the conversations we have, this is what we discussed. if they are pretty innocuous, it's hard to imagine why they wouldn't recommend that. but for some reason that doesn't happen. it's the drip, drip, the constant revelation and the fact that we only get confirmation from the administration after these stories get reported in the press that makes it
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particularly curious. >> i would love a newspaper, and maybe they already have done this investigation. i haven't seen it. but jeff sessions, a guy from alabama th's not on a relevant committee, armed services but he wasn't on foreign affairs, suddenly is seeing the russian ambassador all the time the second he gets involved in the donald trump campaign. >> but he can't remember. >> maybe he played football in alabama. we play a lot of football in the south. maybe he got hit hard one time, closed head injury. maybe that part of his brain is a little jogged right now. i would like that man right there, would like investigators to dig in and see how many meetings he had with russian ambassadors and russian foreign ministers and russian officials before he got involved in donald
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trump's campaign. he's been in washington for decades, right? >> part of his duties. >> he's been a senator for decades. so i would just -- i have "the new york times" or "the washington post" or the "wall street journal", i hope they'll just look into it and see how many times jeff sessions met with russian officials starting the day before he got involved with donald trump going back all his years. >> they could do a side bar story on whether attorney general sessions, how does he define the meaning of the word recusal. >> right, that, too. that would be good. we'll work on it, joe. still ahead on "morning joe," this tweet was not a promo for abc's "the bachelor," 3:00, a rose garden ceremony, will the president choose paris? we'll talk about the impending decision which is like a
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countdown to a made-for-tv' rent. >> paris or nicaragua. >> perhaps he thinks we're that dumb. we'll be joined later by former secretary of state james baker. first, vladimir putin is speaking out, saying the russian state has never been involved in hacking. we'll be joined by chief global correspondent bill neely who will help us look through the lens of moscow. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. the new guy? what new guy? i hired some help. he really knows his wine. this is the new guy? hello, my name is watson. you know wine, huh? i know that you should check vineyard block 12. block 12? my analysis of satellite imagery shows it would benefit from decreased irrigation. i was wondering about that. easy boy. nice doggy. what do you think? not bad. and it's also a story mail aabout people what do you think?
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i'm hearing from a lot of people, both way, both ways, believe me. >> are you meeting with the russians, sir? >> i'm hearing from a lot of people both ways. >> will he have a formal cabinet meeting or formal review before he makes that decision? >> that will obviously be up to the president to decide. >> the president met with european leaders last week obviously. did those discussions from the
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german chancellor and others influence his decision making on the paris climate agreement? >> as i mentioned, the president has taken input from a lot of individuals to help formulate his decision making. i don't think whether it's a personnel decision or any other action that we tend to get ahead of. the president is the ultimate decider. >> this afternoon at 3:00 in the rose garden, president trump will announce his decision whether or not he will keep the united states in the paris climate accord. joining us onset, nbc news chief global correspondent bill neely. good to have you in new york. >> good to be here. >> let's talk about the fallout, the reaction in europe to last week's trip by the president at the g7. a lot of people saw in angela merkel's comments her frustration with the united states, and basing that in paris, whether or not donald trump decides to stay or go. the broader withdrawal of the united states from europe and the west, what's the feeling
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right now about president trump and europe? >> i talked to one diplomat ic and he said that's probably one of the worst -- certainly early trip by any president since world war ii elbowing the month nag gran president was telling. shaming nato leaders in front of each other, bullying angela merkel. a lot of what trump said european leaders expect, spending more on collective defense. we get that. remember why germany only spends 1.2% or whatever it is of gdp on defense, because we discouraged germany from having a military after world war ii and they didn't want to build up their military. in general, complete dismay in europe. going back to russia, there is vladimir putin sitting in the kremlin saying this is marvelous, i don't have to do
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very much because this alliance is cracking from the inside. he must have looked yesterday or heard sean spicer say i'm not taking any more questions on russia. let's talk to the lawyers because if vladimir putin wants to undermine western values like freedom of the press, it's happening. he doesn't have to move troops into estonia. he just needs to drip a little more poison into the western body politic and watch the chaos unfold. >> that's what i wanted to ask you about. given the russian involvement in the election, we hear so much is the motive here just to create havoc in the american election, just to have chaos in this country or was there a grander purpose at least potentially to that? you seem to be suggesting maybe he's realizing that right now. >> yeah. i remember talking to a russian senator in january. i said what do you think of trump's election. he said it was like a christmas present to us wrapped in gold
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paper. the problem is we don't know what's inside. they do know what's inside now. it's not quite what they expected. they thought this would be a president who would be their guy, who would possibly lift sanctions. that doesn't look like it's happening at the minute. yet, everything vladimir putin wants to achieve, destroy nato if possible, certainly divide it, weaken the west wing, undermine western values is happening with a little election meddling from him, but also just watching the divisions in the united states play out and not do much at all. >> joe, i'll throw it to you with an observation of bill neely's analysis about how badly this trip went even in terms of the optics. one thing we can say about donald trump is he knows how to produce and plan the visuals and seems overly obsessed with the big reveal. yet, the optics of his trip were
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so bumbling and out of step with the dignity these trips usually should require, and also the respect. >> mika, he's in over his head. he is not now producing a reality tv show. he's not now a guy that can point at people and say, you're fired. mika, bill brought up a great point, elbowing aside the newest member of nato was one of the low points. him yanking macron's arm when they first met each other and grabbing him and looking extraordinarily insecure was another. it was one bad seen after another. i wanted to ask bill, bill, we obviously are very concerned about what's going on right now with russia, with our relationship with nato.
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i am curious, though, we saw in "the new york times" yesterday a report that italy was moving more into russia's sphere, that elements are actually moving closer there. is italy the exception? while trump is a bumbler and while europeans have no patience for him, there's not a danger that, say, merkel will move closer to russia's orbit, is it? it's more that merkel feels europe has to go it alone. >> italy is an interesting case because russia is funding some of the far right parties certainly in italy. it's putting seed money into those parties just like it did with the far right in the netherlands. there's evidence that russia is interfering in all sorts of ways in different elections. it does now look like angela
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merkel is well ahead of martin schultz and will probably be re-elected in september insofar as we can trust the polls, but she had good regional victories recently. but, you know, she made a political statement a few days ago. it was said to be for domestic consumption, as europeans we need to look out for ourselves, that we cannot rely anymore on the united states. i'm not so sure that that was completely for domestic consumption. i think that's the conclusion they came to after, for example, a discussion about the paris climate accord which, as mitt romney said yesterday, is not just about the climate. this is a statement about american leadership in the world. >> bill, you're talking about how merkel is doing well right now in her re-election efforts. how much did donald trump help elect angela merkel -- reelect
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merkel? how big of a lift has his buffoonery been for merkel in her re-election efforts. a lot of people over the last year suggested she may not win. >> it's certainly a frosty relationship. there's no love lost between the two of them. he wouldn't shake her hand in the oval office. she can certainly stand tall in berlin and say i'm not particularly a friend of donald trump and i want to distance himself, because he's distanced himself from her. >> it's merkel and ma krone holding up nato at the moment. >> they're certainly holding up the european union. france and germany, let's face it, need each other at the moment. the european union is not out of all its crises. you have to look at greece and see that on going financial
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crisis is still there. what strikes me, i was in saudi arabia and israel as well, and the president almost didn't put a foot wrong in terms of what he was supposed to do, what he was supposed to say, how he looked in jerusalem, touching the wall and all of those things. then he goes to europe and it's a totally different -- >> the ugly american. >> it's a totally different president. >> there are two images there. you're absolutely right. >> it's pretty simple. we talked about it before, mika, donald trump is very comfortable with autocrats. he is not comfortable with democratically elected leaders. you can look at the meetings he's had. for the most part, if you're an autocrat or run a totalitarian government, donald trump admires you and treats you with great respect. if you run a western democracy, then you get no respect at all. i will say, again, i think at the end of the day as far as germany is concerned, the great takeaway for german domestic
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politics is that donald trump proved what a buffoon he is by helping reelect angela merkel. his sorry, pathetic, humiliating, embarrassing performance will help reelect the one person he wanted re-elected least. >> we have an event at the german embassy tonight. it will be interesting to hear reflections from there. >> bill neely, thank you very much. coming up, a tale of two polls, the president's approval rating ticks up and so do requests for impeachment. steve kornacki helps us reconcile that ahead. it. rumor confirmed. they're playing. -what? -we gotta go. -where? -san francisco. -when? -friday. we gotta go. [ tires screech ] any airline. any hotel. any time. go where you want, when you want with no blackout dates.
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he is the greatest communicator as a president we have ever had. >> we are just thrilled with what he's accomplished. >> the president's historic speech with met with nearly universal praise. in the short space of three days, trump carried out a revolution. >> his great strength, his ability to bring people together. >> prsz has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy which is infectious to those around him, he has an
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unparalleled ability to communicate with people whether speaking to a group of three or an arena of 5,000. he is brilliant with a great sense of humor and an amazing ability to make people feel special and aspire to be more than even they thought possible. >> this guy's got more stamina than anybody i've ever met. >> he just absorbs information. i've never seen a more brilliant communicator, a more natural connector. >> kvfefe. >> you can see donald trump's frustration. i was joking before about here is the name he used -- >> john miller. >> john miller. i'm sorry i keep forgetting that. i'm serious, this john miller 2017 version. he's getting so frustrated at all the bad news because he's doing such a pathetic job, he's
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forthing people to go out -- >> and call him magnetic. >> -- and say these things. we joke about the name of the guy he used to lie about his sex life. i forget his name again. larry miller or something. the serious part of this is that this is the language of autocrats. this is the language of dictators. >> to have robots spewing that. >> this is a language employed by stooges in north korea, iran, russia and coming to a country like turkey soon, and countries like turkey. this guy does not understand democratic norms, democratic values. he does not understand that we are not a nation of men, we are a nation of laws. it's completely foreign to him. >> you're right. just ahead, we'll read from matt lewis's great new piece in "the
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daily beast" on why conservatives won't dance to the dear leader donald trump tune. that's ahead, plus steve kornacki and polls. need we say more? >> he's so angry.
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a new politico morning consult poll shows support for impeachment of the president is ticking up five points, 43% for, 45% against. but steve kornacki -- >> it's interesting. on one hand the impeachment numbers tell you a lot about the intensity. it's not just the democrats especially against him, it's that they're really, really against him in that polarization. the other thing that's notable is last week we had a lot of stories about trump's approval rating falling back into the 30s and we were asking the question is this the sort of new norm, is it going to get lower, will there be republican defections. we saw it did tick up again.
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the thing i noticed when you look at this, if you look at the trajectory of the trump presidency, basically the low water mark. he's hit it a couple times there. you can see in the blue there low water marks 35%. in the high water mark for his approval rating during his presidency, 45%. he's been in the low mid 40s for a little bit of it too. the interesting thing is if you compare that, that 35 to 45 range with what we saw last year in the presidential election, trump versus hillary clinton you see the same range. donald trump would plummet to 36%, low point hit in the middle of july right before the election, his high point against clinton at least before election day was 43%. so i do wonder when i look at that, we're bouncing between the same range, approval rating versus election. it does lead me to ask in the big picture has thatasic vide thawe saw revealed on election day f all the noise and all the chaos of the last six months has that basic divide really changed much. >> and he does, steve, still
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seem to have that bedrock of support of people who aren't going anywhere still with him three, four months into this right now. we had a harvard poll yesterday showed something like 71%, 72% of republicans still believe in what he's doing. people who voted for him are still with him. is there a moment where that changes? >> i realized when i looked at that too, the graphs, we asked that in the campaign and we hit a moment where his support among republicans dropped even into the 60s at some points. said this is the thing that will turn republicans off and what happened was they kept bouncing back to him. he'd have the "access hollywood" tape would come out, the whole dispute about the mexican judge and make the comments, you see numbers drop but a week later they rise back up. overall number back in the 40s against clinton and that would be because republicans would come home. it looks like in this gallup poll just from last week to this week that account changes as republican support went back up
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last week. >> steve, let me ask you, when trump's at 35%, 36%, 37%, who has left him? are those republicans? are those independents? are they the suburban republicans most likely that have moved away from him when he's at 35%, 36%, 37%? >> it does look like that it's republicans or republican-leaning independent voters, call themselves independents but typically vote for republican. it does look like there is a type of soft republican voter. i can't tell from the gallop one a more specific profile than that. i will say when you look back in the campaign it looked like the republicans who really came home to trump in the end did live in the suburbs because the clinton campaign expected -- you used to hear them say there's no way we're going to lose pennsylvania, sure he'll do good in the rural areas but we're going to win the philly suburbs. >> and, julie, we've learned all too well as important from covering the white house if that's your focus to keep your eyes on america and to keep your
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eyes on the pulse of where people are especially now, even now. you hear hillary clinton talking about why she lost. and there are a lot of reasons why she lost. some are the points she's making. the others are in the rest of america are across this country every corner of this country everybody matters. >> and we found this as we've gone out and reported around the country since trump has taken office as he makes these major decisions, as he engages in some of these controversies like firing comey, we go out and talk to voters in ohio, in iowa, in florida. and we have found that trump voters generally have stuck with him. they are still confident that he will be able to follow through on some of these campaign promises. but i think what's really important to remember in these numbers is that whether we're talking about trump at 35% or trump at 41%, 42%, we're talking about a president with -- who's in a pretty weak position politically right now. these are not strong numbers for a president at this stage in his
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tenure. he's just so early right now, he should still be in something of a honeymoon period. if he doesn't follow through on health care repeal, if he can't make progress on tax reform, which is going to be extremely diicult, do you not just see republican voters start to move away from him, but do you see some of these republican lawmakers willing to give him the benefit of the doubt start to move away and start to say, hey, i can't walk the plank for a guy who's got a 40% approval rating. >> i just don't know how much longer they can do that. julie pace, thank you very much. coming up, is russia about to get their two compounds back? accused of being nests for spies. we're going to dig into the new wave of reporting on the probe into russia. and later, we're joined by former white house chief of staff james baker to get his take on how the trump white house is functioning. "morning joe" is back after this. ♪ art. it can be sculpted, bringing to life beautiful detail.
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[ eerie music ] [ guitar plays ] [ music abruptly ends ] [ alarm beeping ] [ guitar plays again ] [ music abruptly ends ] [ alarm beeping ] [ guitar plays again ] [ drum beats ] [ upbeat music ] she is real. the mummy. rated pg-13. do you think people should be concerned that the president posted somewhat of an incoherent tweet last night and then it stayed up for hours? >> no. >> why did it stay up so long? is no one watching this? >> i think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant. blake. >> no, no, no. nobody knew what he meant.
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>> sorry. no one knows what he means. >> what is that like, joe? >> i don't know. i would rather eat -- >> i think he said something before the show that really kind of summed it up. >> uh-oh. >> you know what you said. >> what was that? what'd i say? >> it's like -- >> oh! oh, yeah. >> like kids mess in their pants and saying i meant to do that. >> well, yes, it would be like somebody pooping their pants and people looking at it saying that's modern art, don't you understand? i am making a statement against russian aggression in crimea. and so this is my statement. and if you don't get it, then there's something wrong with you and not me. >> thank you, spicy. everybody knew what it meant. >> you feel i'm going to make another statement and i'm going to sit down in my pants and it will then be modern art and i will hang it on your wall. and if you don't -- >> that's what covfefe, if
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anybody wants to know, that small group knows what covfefe is, poopy pants. >> the problem is with you all, not the person that does it. >> oh, my god, how low is he going to go? >> he does a verbal version of that every day, but it's not just him. unfortunately now donald trump has people doing that rhetorically in their pants every day -- >> okay. all right. it's enough. >> i started this. i take responsibility. >> mika's the one that asked. i was going to quote -- i was going to actually quote shakespeare this morning but mika's the one that asked me to bring this up. >> it's really a great way of putting it. >> yes, if i told you by the way we're fellows at harvard. >> we are harvard fellows. no covfefe your pants, please. with us we have msnbc
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contributor michael barnacle. national correspondent steve kornacki rethinking his appearance this morning and join the conversation news and finance anchor at yahoo. when i see the exclamation point i want to yell it. >> it excites you doesn't it? >> sort of, yeah. the russia allegations are mounting just as the white house says it will no longer be answering them. a source to james comey tells nbc news that the fired fbi director is, quote, cleared for take off by special council robert mueller to testify before the senate intelligence committee thachlt testimony is expected to come next week despite questions of whether the newly appointed mueller would seek to block comey from speaking out while the investigation is ongoing. "the wall street journal" cites a single anonymous source who claims comey will say that president trump asked him to back off the investigation into former national security advisor michael flynn. flynn stepped down in february after "the washington post" reported he misled vice
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president pence specifically about whether he had spoken with the russian ambassador about relieving sanctions. meanwhile, special council robert mueller is beginning to staff up his investigation of russian meddling. andrew wiesman who oversaw the justice department's corporate fraud and foreign bribery investigations in its criminal division is joining the investigation. this as white house press secretary sean spicer said yesterday that the trump administration will no longer take questions on matters related to russia. >> did the president engage in obstruction of justice in repeated meetings with james comey? >> our job, we are focused on the president's agenda. and all, going forward, all questions on these matters will be referred to outside council marc kasowitz. >> yeah, you know, biana, that's actually -- the media doesn't like it, but that's exactly what they should be doing.
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it puts spicer in a much better position because trump never keeps him in the loop and when he does he lies to him anyway. so refer it to outside council. >> calling it a witch hunt, a much better answer, i agree with you, for sean spicer instead of making us look stupid when he says that the president eats russian dressing. there's some sort of conspiracy going on. but it still begs the question, what is the lawyer going to be doing now, marc kasowitz if the president continues to tweet. we're going to be asking questions what involvement if any the president had with the russians. it doesn't help we're constantly hearing drip, drip, every single day about these newly revealed meetings that seem to have taken place and people have forgotten about them. there's some sort of amnesia when it comes to russian diplomats and only russian diplomats that's confounded the
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entire city. >> and so many of these questions, these leaks we've heard to newspapers over the last few weeks can be answered next week by james comey. we can ask him were you asked to give a loyalty pledge, congress can ask him were you pressured to back off the investigation as reported in "the wall street journal." so we'll get some answers next week. meanwhile, "the washington post" reports the trump administration is moving to restore russia's control of two diplomatic compounds in new york and maryland. president obama you'll remember shut them down in december saying they were being used by russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes. last week the russian embassy in washington tweeted this. russia is seeking to return its diplomatic property in the u.s. asap, otherwise we will have to take countermeasures. after meeting with president trump early last month foreign minister sergey lavrov believes everyone understands in trump's administration these are illegitimate actions, joe. while all this is going on, all the questions swirling around russia and the trump administration, they're looking at giving a little relief to the
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russian government. >> yeah, it really is unbelievable. and mike barnicle, we talk they seem to bend themselves over backwards either by forgetting meetings they had with russian officials or taking a meeting with russian ambassador and foreign minister the day after you fired james comey and bragged that you've killed the russian investigation. then you go inside and in the meeting you say, hey, listen, i was under investigation, i was under a lot of pressure, but don't worry, i'm not under investigation anymore. i fired that nutcase. and so now this whips into even higher gear. mueller comes in and what do they do? they try to give relief to putin and russia by returning these two facilities that were taken away because they were meddling in our elections. i'm sorry, this guy seems like he has a gun held to his head by vladimir putin. and he has to act in a way that
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makes him look even more guilty. >> jim, joe baker will be here in a few minutes, when he was secretary of state i think he'll bear out the time the president to be president of the united states. this self-induced chaos that donald trump has caused himself in his administration, this niagra of russian stories we get seemingly every hour of every day is clearly interrupting this presidency from goals and objectives that he ought to be concentrating on. there was a horrific -- >> and mike -- >> -- bombing in kabul, afghanistan. we have the paris accord. how much time has he spent listening to truly, truly well informed people about both sides of this? i don't know. >> right. and the most remarkable thing about all this is most of these wounds are self-inflicted. and you can go all the way back to not the original sin but
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certainly something that really started the cascade of these stories and that was his lie about barack obama tapping his phones. >> correct. >> right. >> and then all of the lies that flowed out of that. think about how many of these things are self-inflicted wounds. they reach out to russian contacts. they lie about reaching out to russian contacts. they lie on their disclosure forms. they lie before congress. they keep lying about russian contacts. they're not lying about contacts they had with the chinese. they're not lying about contacts they had with the saudis. but they keep lying about contacts they've had with the russians. so it's a self-inflicted wound. they shoot themselves in the foot day after day after day. >> and if i could just weigh-in to when these compounds were initially seized, you respond to -- you see vladimir putin's response and i think the obama administration was puzzled because instead of expelling and doing the reciprocal expelling
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u.s. diplomats, he embraced them and invited them and their children in moscow to a new year's party at the kremlin. so this is sort of all makes sense now. i know that obama officials were puzzled when this initially happened, but if we're seeing this and us returning them, it makes sense. it's rubbing our faces in it. exactly. >> meanwhile, the investigation continues in congress the house intelligence committee issued seven subpoenas in its investigation of russian meddling including into leaks about the story. four subpoenas are related to trump's inner circle including michael flynn and personal attorney michael cohen. while the other three went to the nsa, fbi and cia. seeking information on any requests, unmasking requests in classified material made by former national security advisor susan rice, former cia director john brennan and former u.n. ambassador samantha power. democratic aide on the
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intelligence committee tells nbc that the unmasking subpoenas were sent under the authority of republican chairman devin nunes who recused himself from the russian ya investigation but still investigating leaks of classified materials. steve kornacki, sift through all of this. >> just listening to this, the thing that keeps running through my head somebody said to me a couple weeks ago during all this one of the particular eruptions in this, if there's anybody in the world who's capable of generating this much smoke without there being an actual fire, it might be donald trump. i don't know what to make of it and i think the mueller investigation is obviously going to answer a lot of questions. but you also have this component where donald trump unlike any other president we had doesn't think strategically in conventional political terms and there's no strategic organization coming from anybody on trump's team. you can almost see a scenario, why do they keep shooting themselves in the foot. i wonder sometimes is it because
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he has such a sense of i don't know, a aggrievement -- >> so your point there are lawyers i know who want to close in on the president's tweets. willie geist. >> 18 hours ago sean spicer said all questions will be directed to an attorney -- >> so the attorney is tweeting because the president would not about russia because remember they're not answering any questions. so i'm sure it's the attorney, right? >> the president just tweeted the following. the big story is the, quote, unmasking and surveillance, end quote, of people that took place during the obama administration. so that actually falls in line with the last story you were doing because the house intel committee as we said last hour is divided along party lines. democrats want to look into the problems between trump and russia, republicans are looking into unmasking. >> this goes back to what joe has been saying all along, there's a 90/10 sort of situation when it comes to the gravity of the problem right now. and it seems that some at least
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are trying to make this a 50/50 type of situation. >> yeah. joe -- >> one thing clear i think to a lot of people surrounding this including people involved in the investigation is that at the base level there is an inordinate fear of michael flynn in this presidency. an inordinate fear. >> okay. joe, what can -- why can't he stop tweeting? >> well, he has a problem, doesn't he? i mean he really does. he has no discipline. nobody can stop him from tweeting. he's a day trader -- he's not even a day trader. >> a moment by moment trader. >> he's a penny stock minute trader. and he can't stop himself. and it's what gets him in trouble day in and day out. i think it's up to the
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republican party and the house and the republican party in the senate and republican leaders across the country to decide whether they're comfortable with this, whether they're comfortable continuing to back somebody's every erratic statement. as "the wall street journal" said yesterday, it was masterful. if he doesn't discipline himself soon, he's going to destroy any built-in advantage he has and the republicans on capitol hill just shouldn't follow him. they should go on with their own business. because there's no way to plan around this madness. and it is absolute madness. >> still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> i also think i was the victim of a very broad assumption i was going to win. i was swimming against a historic tide. it's very difficult, historically, to succeed a two-term president of your own party. cause, you ow, we're itchy people, we le chae in america. >> it's june and hillary clinton
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is giving her unvarnished take on how she lost still. and president trump is still responding. again, attacking crooked hillary. we'll dig into that. and later, former secretary of state james baker joins us to give us his appraisal of the president's performance abroad. but first, congressman joe crowley joins us. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ nah. what else? what if we hire more sales reps? ♪ nah. what else? what if we digitize the whole supply chain? so people can customize their bike before they buy it. that worked better than expected. i'll dial it back. yeah, dial it back. just a little. live business, powered by sap. when you run live, you run simple.
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the russians historically in the last couple of decades and then increasingly, you know, are launching cyber attacks. and they are stealing vast amounts of information. the russians in my opinion and based on the intel and counterintel people i've talked to could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided. and here's -- >> guided by americans? >> guided by americans. we went and told everybody we could find in the middle of the summer the russians were messing
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with the election. and we were basically shooed away. remember, you know, comey was more than happy to talk about my e-mails, but he wouldn't talk about investigation into the russians. so people went to vote on november 8th having no idea that there was an active counterintelligence investigation going on of the trump campaign. i set up my campaign. and we have our own data operation. i get the nomination, so i'm now the nominee of the democratic party. i inherit nothing from the democratic party. >> what do you mean nothing? >> i mean it was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency. its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. >> whoa. joining us now is the chair of the democratic caucus congressman joe crowley. congressman, we've heard hillary clinton blame comey, there's
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russia, there's wikileaks, there's lots of reasons as to why things went wrong and where she feels they went wrong especially. we haven't heard her talk about the dnc. what do you make of that? >> i think there are a lot of things that contributed to the loss. and i think she would even suggest that maybe her performance wasn't the best. >> right, no -- >> but having said that. and she's a very dear friend of mine and i admire her greatly, i do think there were a number of things that went on in the national election. i think we'll be analyzing this for maybe years to come, i think. books have yet to be written about what happened during all this time. i do think it was a strong influence of russia in this election. all the top intelligence agencies have said that. the only person who keeps denying it or not acknowledging is the president. >> i know. but what about her analysis about the dnc? because i guess some might argue that the dnc rigged it against bernie sanders. i mean, there's lots of narratives out there.
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what do you know? and do you agree with her? >> politics is a tough business. i've been in it a good bit myself. i understand how difficult it can be. if it was bankrupt then, i don't know what state it's in now. we're in rebuilding mode obviously after that loss. and i think the focus really now for the dnc has to be not about what happened in the last election but the election now and that's individual congressional districts, it's hand-to-hand combat. it's not a national election, it's all politics, it's local. that's where we're going to be successful in districts is putting aside all the russian issues, that's a washington issue. what we've been telling our folks and candidates to do is focus on local issues and leave the washington stuff to washington. >> although secretary clinton didn't mention him by name, she implied in some of her comments yesterday which was an extraordinary performance of her breaking down why she may have lost and what she's going to be doing going forward suggests perhaps president obama and the white house didn't do enough in terms of campaigning and getting the vote out for her. do you think he bears some responsibility for her loss? >> well, i saw the president in that last month or so
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ferociously trying to push back against what they were fearing could ultimately happen and in fact did happen. again, i think if we're going to continue to look back on what was or could have been or what didn't happen, look, it took -- i'm still not over the results of the election. i think many americans particularly democrats are not fully there yet. but i do think if we get bogged down in this, it's going to make our work even more difficult in unifying the party and moving forward. that's what i'm about. >> well, i understand that, but then i think the question for both joes might be an i'll turn to joe scarborough, how does hillary clinton perhaps lead the way? we're only asking these questions right now because she raised it. we're very clear on -- go ahead. >> yeah, i mean, mika, she keeps bringing it up. and this is a woman that's contributed a great deal to our country over the past four decades. she has so much to be proud of as her role not only in the
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white house but also as u.s. senator. >> uh-huh. >> joe can talk about what a great job she did for the people of new york. >> first lady. >> republicans that worked with her said she was one of the hardest workers and had great admiration for her, generals that worked with her had great admiration for her wherever you went in washington people who worked with her had great admiration for her. but joe, she keeps going out and she keeps blaming this on comey, russia, misogyny, now the dnc. and, my god, if you're a democrat, 2018 is really, i mean, it is one of the most critical midterm elections probably in the past 40 or 50 years. shouldn't all democrats forget about -- >> welearn from 2016 but use the democratic forums to help
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democrats stop what donald trump's doing in washington. >> i couldn't agree with you more, joe. books will be written about this in years to come and i look forward to reading many of them if not all of them, but what we have to learn is how we win in 2018. and i think it's critical in order to bring balance back to washington that democrats are successful in 2018. and it's not going to be a national election. it's going -- part of this is a referendum on the president. part of this is a referendum on the inability of the republicans in the house to get things done, but it's also about local politics. you know, the old tip, all politics are local, i think the russia is an important issue for the american people. they are focused on it. but they're more concerned about the economy, concerned about putting food on the table, can they afford college, when they graduate college can they pay the student loan, can they have a job and most importantly, i think, joe, when you have a job, is it me or you grew up are your parents able to connect with their grandchildren? that's real happiness. and i don't think we focus enough on those issues.
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that's what we have to get back to. >> i should adhere in terms of hillary going after the dnc, the guy who ran the dnc data operation has taken strong exception to what she said yesterday and he was on twitter last night saying that his operation was trying to warn the clinton campaign. they were missing the signs in wisconsin, michigan. the clinton campaign, he says, didn't want to hear that from them. congressman, let me ask you quickly, hillary clinton, as far as i'm concern she is the candidate she can break this down any way she wants. but from a standpoint of a democrat looking ahead to 2018 and looking ahead to 2020, if you take all ft things she's put out there off the table, take wikileaks, comey, russia, take that off the table, what was the biggest failure of the clinton campaign that your party can learn from? >> i think not recognizing we had to have a presence in states we took for granted, whether it's michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania. real concerns about the future of pennsylvania potentially becoming a right to work state
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after this election. hope that doesn't happen. and it shouldn't have happened in the first place. i think places like west virginia, look at the map and you can see where we once were strong and we now have little or no presence at all. i think that's what we need to be focusing on. >> good point. joe. >> and, joe, also states that you had didn't focus on and subsets in those states that barack obama focused on and that other democrats have focused on, white working class americans who have felt ignored and left behind by the democratic party. we had joe biden, the vice president, warning us at the dnc that white working class americans were being ignored by the clinton campaign. we had ed rendell at the dnc saying, on tv, that pennsylvania is in play and they need to focus more on white working class americans, and not completely ignore them. how important is that, getting the white working class voters that voted for barack obama and
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then vote for donald trump back in the democratic fold? >> uh-huh. i think, joe, that we as democrats think of ourselves as the big ten party. we think we're going like this and reality a lot of people around the country think we're just going like this and moving the tent around. one day they're in the tent, the other day they're out. i think we failed not just to white voters. i think we need a message that speaks to all voters. and that's what i'm about working on, an economic message, a jobs message. the need for a real infrastructure bill that has just been waiting in washington. we beg the president if there's one thing we could work on maybe it's infrastructure. apparently we had to do health care reform debacle now tax form which is much more difficult. and then maybe we'll get to infrastructure. at some point there needs to be some effort to try to do something on behalf of the american people. they're suffering. they want jobs. they want long-term jobs, jobs for the future. not shovel ready projects but
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projects long term decades long that can put kids through school and college and bring back the american team. >> chair of the democratic caucus joe crowley. >> thank you, my condolences to you as well. >> thank you very much. coming up, former secretary of state james baker is here with us on set, along with tom brokaw. "morning joe" returns in a moment. a millie dresselhaus doll! happy birthday, sweetie! oh, millies. trick or treat! we're so glad to have you here. ♪ what if we treated great female scientists
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well, this is quite an honor. joining us now former secretary of state treasury secretary and white house chief of staff james baker. we also have nbc news senior correspondent tom brokaw along with mike barnicle, willie geist and of course joe and me. mr. secretary, from a chief of staff perspective, i'd love to know how you would characterize how this administration is being run. >> well, i think they're getting some things done. and i have to confess to you that i voted for donald trump because -- >> my goodness. >> i'm a republican. and i'm a conservative. and i thought the country was moving in the wrong direction. they've done some things right
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and they've done some things wrong. which you might expect of any administration. basically i think the most important thing is that the president empower a strong chief of staff give him or her the authority to run the place and then back them up. and that they find a way to impose some sort of message discipline on the administration. >> if that person isn't reince priebus, who do you think could fill that position given the dynamics? >> i'm not saying it shouldn't be reince priebus. reince priebus did a very fine job running the rnc. and did a good job in the campaign. but he needs to be empowered. i said back in february, you got all these power centers in this white house, and they overlap and they overlap across domestic and international things. and so everybody is fighting for turf and jockeying for position. and he really needs to get a
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handle on that. we had a little of that in the reagan administration in the first months. and president reagan was pretty good about saying, huh-uh, here's the way it's going to be. >> but how do you control a president who likes to tweet? by the way, on his last middle eastern trip he made a very strong speech in saudi arabia, for example, about the need of the islamic world to get together. and then he goes to europe and he kind of unwinds the relationship between the united states and europe. and that gets the big play back here. >> well, that gets the big play because the atlantic alliance has been the foundation of peace and security in europe for over 40 years. it's really important that we keep it going. and keeping it going and healthy means you have to manage it. and you have to work it. and you have to stick with it. there were plenty of disagreements when we were doing all that stuff with europe, but you don't take those disagreements public. there are ways to get that done, i think. >> joe has a question for you. joe. >> yeah, mr. secretary, how
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important is it to have a chief of staff that goes in and has a power to hire and fire? has the power to say to the president, listen, i'll run this place, you run the country but you've got to let me run this place. how important is that for any chief of staff? >> it's very, very important, joe. it's what i said when i was answering mika's question. he needs to empower a strong chief of staff. when reagan -- you know, i led two campaigns against ronald reagan then he asked me to be his white house chief of staff. and he let me staff the white house. and i staffed it with people who understood government, who'd been in washington before and who wanted to get things done. and i think that's one of the reasons we were able to get something done. >> willie. >> does this remind you maybe an extreme version of what we had the first year or so of bill
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clinton's administration where there wasn't order in clinton's administration and he saw himself in the center of all activity, the door was always open, people were always coming to him. is that the problem instead of having the type of structure you set up and eisenhower set up where it was a pyramid? >> that's part of the problem. but you need someone -- he needs to deputize and give authority to someone to run that white house. and they badly need to prioritize the things that they're going to focus on. >> right. >> and the focus is shifting back and forth every day. one day it's tax reform, one day it's health care, one day it's russia. and you really need to keep the focus -- keep your eye on the ball. that's the only way you're going to get stuff through the congress. and we judge our presidents on the basis of how much of their policy proposals they can get
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enacted into law. >> mr. secretary, you're known as one of the great wise men of the republican party and of american politics more broadly. has that white house called you? has the president of the united states picked up the phone and reached out to you since he became president? >> no, but i did meet with him in may during the election campaign. >> has anyone reached out to you from the white house? >> no, but i've been in there. to see gary cohn about a carbons dividend proposal that i think would be a perfect solution to this paris agreement problem. and i met at the time priebus was there, conway was there, cohn was there. but they didn't adopt the proposal. >> if you got to sit across that desk in the oval office from donald trump this afternoon, for example, beyond hiring a strong chief of staff, what would you say to him? what would you tell him about being president? >> well, i think that it would be good if there were a peer in
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there, a peer, that could look at him and say, you know, ronald reagan wrote in his book one thing he liked about jim baker he would tell me what i thought even though i didn't want to hear it. and george bush said the same thing, that's the most important quality that i think an assistant or chief of staff certainly can present to the president. you've got to be able to say this doesn't make sense, don't do it. i'm not sure there's anybody in there now that can say that to the president. >> should he bag the climate change treaty? >> i don't think -- i would hope not. i'm with secretary of state tillerson on that. i think we ought to stay in it and renegotiate it. if it's too onerous, fine. do like we're doing with nafta. make it better. there's nothing wrong with doing that. another possibility i would think would be to send it to the
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senate. obama should have sent it to the senate. it is a treaty. come on. and he wanted to slip it through as an executive agreement. so president trump could say, huh-uh, we're going to send it to the senate and we'll see if the american people are behind it. if the senate doesn't vote for it, can't support it, we know that the american people might have serious reservations. >> mr. secretary, none of us here have a clue as to the daily tick tock of the presidency in that oval office. you do. could you school us on the importance of managing a president's time? what happens during the course of the day and what could be done to sort of minimize the chaos that seems to surround this oval office? >> well, to the extent there may be chaos in there and i'm not acknowledging that it's chaos, but there are overlapping responsibilities and authorities. what he needs to do is make sure that he enforces message discipline on that white house. and that means to some extent on
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himself as well. >> yeah. >> so that you can prioritize what your focus is. and he needs to resolve these internal conflicts. not ever going to get anything done jointly if you don't get rid of all that internal conflict. >> did you have the power to say no to people who wanted to see the president who came to your office first? did you have the power to say no? >> yes. we had an understanding with the president -- we had an understanding. any cabinet officer that needed to see the president could see him within 24 hours or maybe less if it was urgent. and any one of them could see him alone if they wanted to. >> right. >> but we had a deal with the president that he would debrief us on any of those meetings that he had with anybody alone, whether it's bill casey or al -- whoever it might be. >> tom brokaw, do you agree? and do you think this president has the capacity to -- what's
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the word, sort of give himself a little bit of space between him and someone else who then is given the right to make decisions? >> well, i would hope so. there was all the talk he was going to pivot and become more presidential, but what we're say seeing based on the experiences of people in new york and other places had, he's operating as he did kind of wildcat entrepreneur in the real estate business. and he doesn't have much tolerance for hearing a contrary point of view. one of mr. baker's great lines in my judgment is you don't go into a negotiation without looking at the issues through the eyes of your opponent to try to understand that first. and you don't see that with him. i think the country more than anything else longs for the divisions in washington to be healed and people to talk to each other. doesn't mean they're going to arrive at the same place at the same time, but you ought to have some kind of a civil discourse. >> you know, the president has a good team. he has selected a very good cabinet. he has some really good people in there.
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he needs to empower them. >> right. >> and listen to them. >> and not undermine them. >> and, you know, that may be difficult because as tom indicated he's been a sole proprietor, very successful businessman, ran a good business, did well. but he was the ultimate power and the ultimate authority. he didn't even have a board of directors to which he had to answer. >> right. >> nor stockholders, public stockholders. so he's not used to doing it that way. >> and not used to listening. >> we've been asking chief of staff questions. now i'm going to ask you a secretary of state question, which is the america first posture of the trump white house. we saw it again last week at nato. we saw it at the g7. is that an effective way to conduct ourselves in the world? >> it's not an ineffective way in my view if you do it right. you have to be careful that you don't turn into an isolationist or into a totally protectionist administration. but look, nobody thought that
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donald trump could win the presidency. he did it and he did it in effect almost all by himself. very few people would have told you on election night that he's going to be our next president. so he felt the pulse of the american people. and that's what the pulse is. now, there are ways to do that. there are ways to safeguard america's interests without totally withdrawing from the world the way we did in the aftermath of world war i, which generated a world war ii. >> does it concern you, for example, to hear chancellor merkel last week -- >> that concerns me, but i don't -- well, that concerns me, but i don't think that the president is entirely to blame for that. it's a two-way street. germany is running a humongous trade surplus that they ought not to be running against everybody, not just against us. but the atlantic alliance is -- was the basis of peace and security in europe for the full
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40 years -- and it's really important that the united states and germany maintain a good relationship. >> joe, jump back in. >> well, mr. secretary, we're talking about germany here and mika and i hosted an atlantic council meeting one year where there were so many germans that were so grateful to your old friend george h.w. bush for standing up for the reunification of germany when the french and so many other people were standing in the way. but he was insistent. modern germany really in large part owes a great deal to george h.w. bush. and we all do. could you reflect on the presidency of george h.w. bush, a one-term president who the further we get away from the four years he served the more we realize what a great president he actually was on the world
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stage? >> well, thank you for saying that, joe, because one of the great joys of my 87th year of life is that i'm seeing the public begin to appreciate what george h.w. bush did in his one-term presidency. and do so during his lifetime. it's really rewarding to see that because i tell people -- of course i'm bias, but i tell people he was the very best one-term president we've ever had and one of the very best presidents of all time. you look at some of the things he did, german unification was quite an accomplishment when you think about it, joe. you mentioned some of the people who were against it. you said the french. yeah, the french were against it, but also the brits were against it. and also the soviet union was against it. and america and germany together got that done. very narrow window of opportunity. and we got it done and that was because of the leadership of george h.w. bush.
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>> secretary james baker, thank you so much. and tom brokaw, thank you as well. >> i haven't had a chance, neither has jim, to say how much we share the loss of your father. >> thank you very much. thank you so much. >> yeah, your dad and i did a lot of interviews together through the years. and we miss him. >> he was tough too, right? >> he was plenty tough. >> challenged you. >> even if he disagreed he would say, huh-uh, that's not it -- >> we miss that so much. thank you. thank you both. >> thanks, guys. still to come, we'll go live to the white house as we tick down to the president's big announcement on the paris climate accord. more "morning joe" when we come back.
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all right. from secretary baker to this. a new poll asked when high profile members of the administration speak, do they help or hurt the president? >> 61% said the president hurts his cause when he speaks, 42% said the same of sean spicer and
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40% of kellyanne conway. e bestessenger for the esident, the vice president, who 53% say helps the message for the white house. and former campaign manager corey lewandowski's who may return to a white house role. here's what he said about the president's ability to promote his vision. >> when you so a president who is so active and articulate and so good at communicating with the meeting sometimes you have staff that needs to keep up with him and it's much easier if you have someone has a preexisting -- >> any one want to talk or should i go to break. >> that goes against everything that secretary baker said. he's clearly a yes man saying what the president wants to hear and there in line the problem. >> still ahead the most interesting man on twitter, subpoenas fly over the russian
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investigations and are the russians about to get two party houses back and if so, for what reasons would they need these. and from the tense climate inside the white house to the uncertain future to the landmark paris deal, all that coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe." i didn't know where i was from ethnically. so we sent that sample off to ancestry. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture. i put the gele on my head and i looked into the mirror and i was trying not to cry. because it's a hat, but it's like the most important hat i've ever owned. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com.
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people, both ways. both ways. believe me. i'm hearing from a lot of people both ways. >> will he have a formal cabinet meeting or formal review before he makes that decision? >> that will obviously be up to the president to decide. >> the president met with european leaders last week obviously, did those discussions from the germany chancellor and others influence his decision making on the paris climate agreement? >> as i mentioned the president has taken input from a lot of individuals to help formulate his decision making. i don't think whether it's a personnel decision or any other action that we tend to get away of, the president is the ultimate decider. >> and good morning it is thursday june 1st. can you believe this. welcome to "morning joe." we have veteran columnist mike
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barnicle, steve cor knack can i is with us and he's doing okay, joe. also julie pays is with us from washington along with willie, joe and me and joe. we got the big count down to 3:00 today where he'll do his reveal about whether or not this country will stay in the paris accord or join i believe nicaragua and syria. >> two really good countries to follow. >> proud moment. >> when i was young, my daddy held me on his knee and said, son, this country, one day we'll be in the same class as nicaragua and libya. i'm very concerned, though. i'm concerned. i don't know exactly where we should start this show. >> i do. >> i'm going to ask willie. willie, what was the name of -- what name did donald trump take back when he used to lie about
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john sacks -- >> john miller. he would say he was john miller. he would call news organizations and i'm calling for donald trump and he would brag about his sexual prowess or trying to clean things up, i guess. i guess compensate. any way, so just this john miller guy. he did this john miller routine yesterday with the rnc. fortunately they didn't brag about his sex life but they're not doing that any more. did you see that statement, the rnc put out? it was so -- it was just nice to know that donald still cares and watches us despite what he says that was a visit tri ollic statement. he made me sad. did you see that? >> i did. it was a weird side on both sides where you had hillary clinton trashing the dnc and donald trump comes out and
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tweets about hillary clinton. i would be happy to get out of it. >> yeah, it's really weird. most americans would like to leave 2016 behind them forever. hillary clinton, i don't know why she's blaming the dnc. they rigged the election against bernie sanders. >> let's just leave it. come on, joe. >> it's crazy. they rig it so bernie loses and she's complaining. >> stop. >> this larry johnson what did he -- >> john miller. >> john miller that's it when he was lying about his sex life in the past, so with apologies to john miller and john miller's dupes over at the rnc. you'll have to turn to another network if you want to see wally the water skiing skirl at the wol bash festival in georgia. instead we are leading with the fbi and the investigations.
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>> good call. the russia questions just as the white house says it will no longer be answering them. a -- >> hold on. they're not going to answer questions but if you're not going to answer questions, then -- i'm sorry, john miller, john miller needs to stop tweeting about it. john miller is still tweeting about the russian investigations, so how does trump tweet about it but yet you're not going to talk about it? >> i think lawyers are going to soon close in and get that phone from him. they're going to try really hard because every time he does can and possibly will be used against him so he might want to stop. >> it'll be used against him. >> any how, a source close to james comey tells msnbc news that the fired director is cleared for takeoff to testify before the senate intelligence
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committee. that testimony is expected to come next week despite questions whether the nully appointed mueller with seek to block comey while the investigation is ongoing. "the washington post" cites a single unanimous source that says that president trump asked him to backoff investigation into michael flynn. flynn stepped down in february after "the washington post" reported that he had misled vice president mike pence specifically about whether he had spoken with the russian ambassador about relieving sanctions. special council robert mueller is beginning to step up his investigation of russian meddling. andrew wiseman in its criminal z-ifgs is joining the investigation. this as white house president secretary sean spicer said yesterday that the trump administration will no longer take questions on matters related to russia. >> did the president engage in
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obstruction of justice in repeated meetings with james comey? >> our job -- we are focused on the president's agenda and all going forward all questions on these matters will be referred to outside counsel mark kasowitz. >> all right. first of all, very interesting on the "the wall street journal" article, single source, my guessing it's a pretty good single source but they're using what donald trump used in retweeting an article about jared kushner yesterday but ready for takeoff. the white house just hasn't shown any sense of doubt, any intelligence at all from the very beginning of this russian process, but mueller telling comey he's quote ready for takeoff and then you look at the people that he's bringing in to help with the investigations, not good news for the white house at all and certainly not good news when you look into the background of the investigator, the attorney that bob mueller
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hired yesterday. >> there's no good news for the white house at all whenever the word russia comes up. comey's testimony next week certainly will be must watch tv. it will be fact base. very few adjectives. he's a very direct guy. he's clearly been waiting for this opportunity and the where'd that any questions about russia are now going to a designated hitter, a lawyer, that's probably that the best the white house can do at this stage in terms of deflecting the everyday niagara of stories about russia and the trump administration. >> and steve kornacki has issued seven subpoenas in this investigation. james comey going to testify next week. this is relentless for the white house and meanwhile they're doing things yesterday of returning those two diplomatic compounds that president obama kicked the diplomats out of because of their meddling in the election. why do they continue to do things like this publicly that
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show them taking the side of russia? >> it's funny, i'm thinking back when mueller was announced at the special prosecutor and this was supposed to be good news for the white house now this investigation would go behind the scenes. we wouldn't hear about it for a while. guess what? we clearly haven't moved on and a lot of that has to do with what the white house has done. you talk about the news with the compound. if nothing else, if there's nothing else to it, the question of appearance. >> so as willie mentioned as those late december actions the obama administration took against russia for retaliation for meddling in the 2016 election and cyberattacks are now back in the spotlight. the trump administration is moving to restore russia's control of two diplomatic compounds in new york and maryland. president obama shut them down in december saying they were being used by russian personnel for intelligence related
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purposes. last week the russian embassy in washington tweeted, russia is seeking to return its diplomatic property in the united states a sap. otherwise we will have to take counter measures. after meeting with president trump early last month, everyone understands and trump's administration that these are illegitimate actions. moscow is reportedly discussed with trump administration the lifting of construction sanctions but the latest reporting is that rex tillerson told lav revolver and kislyak that there's no linkage in negotiating the fates of the u.s. consewell yait. it makes it hard to believe that putin doesn't have anything on trump. there's no -- there seems to be no guard rails here. >> think about the timing again.
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steve, willie, we're talking about the poor timing of this decision especially where we are right now in the investigation. think about the fact again you always have to put this in context. you have -- you have donald trump in the oval office with the russian ambassador to the united states and the foreign minister and that picture took place the day after james comey's was fired when this -- when the russian story really exploded, then he goes in, he reveals classified information, he doesn't let u.s. reporters in the room and you can go on and on. they make these decisions time and time again in a way that makes it appear that they're hostages, that he's vladimir putin's hostage. why did they have that meeting in the oval office? because putin told trump he
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needed that meeting in the oval office and so here you have trump really in legal jeopardy, in such legal jeopardy that he's having to bring in their own attorneys, he's having to worry about where this investigation goes in the future and he's talking about returning two properties to russia that were seized correctly by barack obama after they tried to interfere and they did interfere in our 2016 political election. >> it's hard to fathom. still ahead on "morning joe," new reports of yet another unclosed meeting between jeff sessions and russian officials and later, as the federal russia probe nears jared kushner, "time" magazine has new reporting on one of the president's closest advisors and why he prefers to work in the background. but first here's bill karen's with a check on the forecast.
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>> it's june 1st already. for me that means the beginning of hurricane season. the peak of it is august, september, october. you can see we have a ways to go before it really ramps up. we'll ease into it. the forecast for the hurricane season is pretty much average to maybe slightly above average. it's really the hurricanes and major hurricanes that are most destructive. we're averaging about. we don't know yet and that's the important thing. so let's get into today's forecast. very gloomy weather from the great lakes, the northeast. pittsburgh we had clouds for seven of the last ten days, d.c. eight out of the last ten. boston was cloudy for nine to ten and unfortunately we got that pattern coming back at us at the end of this weekend. you have today and tomorrow where temperatures are starting to be nice and then the cool weather's going to return. new york city 74, sunday rain comes in late.
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d.c.'s not bad. most of the rain should be late sunday night. pittsburgh, you could get rained out on your sunday plans and boston it looks like friday and sunday book ends for your chances of rains. there is some great weather out there to start our june. warm temperatures cover the map and it doesn't get much better than chicago today with 77 and sunny degrees. new york city that big orange glowing thing in the sky will return at least shortly during the afternoon. you're watching "morning joe," will be right back. when this bell rings... ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected. that's the power of and.
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april 2016 foreign policy speech. sessions volunteered in his senate confirmation hearing that he had not met with russian officials, but when meetings with kislyak at his office in september and at the republican convention last july were revealed, sessions said they were part of his official duties. nor did he include the meetings on his security clearance forms saying he was told that as a senator he did not have to. cnn was first to report that congressional investigators were looking into the april 26th meeting at the may flower hotel and last night on msnbc senator al franken revealed that he and senator patrick leahy had heard about the meeting and sent a private letter asking then fbi director james comey to investigate. >> did you know about that meeting on the may flower when you sent that letter to the fbi director? >> yes and now being characterized one way but we had
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some reason to believe that wasn't the case, it had been described in a way that he could applausably say i don't remember that but coming out today i believe is that may not be the case and if -- if this is true that would be extremely disturbing. >> so joe, al franken can remember a meeting that jeff sessions is just remembering now, is that what it boils down to? >> what it boils down to is that for some reason that we don't understand that we don't know yet but we will, because bob mueller's on the case, for some reason, they keep lying about meetings they have had with russian officials. they keep forgetting meetings that they've had with russian officials. jeff sessions removes himself
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from the russian investigation because he did not tell the truth under oath and then we find out that he had yet another meeting with a russian official. this kislyak, why is it that they keep forgetting that they have a meeting with the most prominent russian official in washington, d.c. willie geist, i mean, again, we've been saying this for months now. if there is no there there, then why do they keep lying about things that they could tell the truth about and be fine? >> it's possible that these meetings were inknockus and part of his duties but if that's the case why did you testify they didn't have under oath forcing yourself to recuse yourself from this investigation and why did you only admit to the meetings after "the washington post" came out and reported them. they create this world where they do things that raise suspicion and if there's nothing there then why do they continue to deny them and when they know
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they're not true, this isn't the first time with jeff sessions. who knows how many more of these meetings are, how could he sit in january the 10th -- january the 20th in congress and testify that they hadn't happened. >> it's pretty baffling and this extra meeting, this april meeting with kislyak has been floating around for a while, the justice department denies that it happened. it's hard to give them the benefit of the doubt because we've seen this story play out where a meeting pops out, it's denied and suddenly someone remembers that something happens. kislyak is not an unforgettable guy if you met him, he's a big personality, he's well-known around washington, in diplomatic circles and political circles and certainly now, if perjeff sessions or any one else who worked on the trump campaign and you had a meeting with him or another washington official, the best thing to do right now is put that out proactively because
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these meetings will come out -- >> julie, why don't they put it out? this keeps happening over and over again. at some point why doesn't a lawyer in the white house, why doesn't a political person in the white house call everybody together, hey, listen, this is how it ends. they always find out about our meetings and when they find out it makes us look even guiltier, so what don't we put it all out there? we've seen -- you talk about the drip, drip, drip effect of this. it's actually all of these lies that have actually turned our attention to the russia scandal and makes it look like it really is a scandal, like they really are covering something up. >> absolutely. that what does make this so baffling. it would be cleaner and easier if you just had people, jared kushner, sessions, whoever else may have had these meetings just come out and put it on the table. these were the conversations we had. this is what we discussed. if they are pretty innocuous,
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it's hard to imagine what a lawyer in the white house or outside counsel wouldn't recommend that, but if for some reason that doesn't happen and it's the drip, drip, the constant revelation and the fact that we only get confirmation from the administration after these stories get reported in the press that makes it particularly curious. >> coming up on "morning joe," will president trump blow up the paris climate accord? all eyes are on the white house as the president gets ready to make an announcement today. bill nilly joins us with that when "morning joe" continues. you totanobody's hurt, new car. but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it.
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this afternoon at 3:00 in the rose garden, president trump will announce his decision whether or not he will keep the united states in the paris climate accord. joining us now on set, bill nilly. good to have you here in new york. >> good to be here. >> let's talk about the fallout and reaction in europe to the president's trip. a lot of people saw in merkle's comments her frustration with the united states and basing that in paris, whether or not donald trump decides to stay or go. the broader withdraw of the
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united states from europe, from the west. what's the feeling right now about president trump and europe? >> i took to one british diplomat who said it was probably the worst trip to europe by any -- certainly early trip by any president since world war ii. it was awkward, it was a disaster. elbowing the president was somehow symbolic of the whole thing, shaming the nato leaders in front of each other, bullying merkle, a lot of what trump said european leaders except spending more on spending collective defense. remember why germany only spends 1.2% of its gdp on defense, because we all discouraged germany from having a military for decades after world war ii but in general, there was dismay, complete dismay in europe and going back to russia,
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there is vladimir putin sitting in the kremlin thinking, this is marvelous. i don't actually have to do very much pause this alliance is cracking from the inside. he must've heard sean spicer saying i'm not taking any more questions on russia, let's talk to the lawyers. he doesn't have to do anything. he doesn't have to move troops into estonia or do anything. he just needs to drip more poison into the western body politic and watch the chaos unfold. >> that's what i wanted to ask you about. given the russian involvement in the election last year we heard so much about the motive here just to create hey voc in the american election, just to have chaos in this country or was there a grander purpose potentially to that and you seem to be suggesting that maybe he's realizing that right now. >> i remember talking to russian senator in january and i said what do you think of trump's
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election? he said it was like a christmas present to us wrapped in gold paper but the problem is we don't know what's inside. well, they do know what's inside. it's not quite what they expected. they thought here was a president who would be their guy who would possibly lift sanctions. that doesn't look like it's happening at the minute and yet everything vladimir putin wants to achieve, destroy nato if possible, divide it and weaken, weaken the west wing, undermine western values, is happening with a little election meddling from him, but also just watching the divisions in the united states play out and not do much at all. >> and joe, i'll throw it to you with just an observation about how bad this trip went even in terms of the optics. this is a president, one thing we can say about donald trump is he knows how to produce and plan the visuals and symbols and, in fact, seems overly obsessed with
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the reveal, the big reveal and yet his -- the optics of his trip were so bumblg and out of step with the dignity that these trips usually should require and also the respect. >> he's in over his head. he is not now producing a reality tv show. he's not now a guy that can just point at people and say you're fired and mika, bill brought up a great point, elbowing aside, the newest member of nato was one of the low points. him yanking macron's arm when they first met each other and grabbing him and looking extraordinarily insecure was another. it was one bad scene after another and i wanted to ask bill, bill, we obviously are very concerned about what's
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going on right now with russia, with our relationship with nato. i am curious, we saw in the "the new york times" yesterday a report that italy was moving more into russia's sphere, that elements are actually moving closer there, but is italy the exception? while trump's a bumler and why europeans have no patience for him, there's not a danger that saying merkle is going to move closer to russia's orbit, it's more that merkle feels that europe has to go it alone. >> it's an interesting case because russia is funding some of the far right party certainly in italy. it's putting seed money into those parties just like it did with the far right in the netherlands. there is evidence that russia is interfering in all sorts of ways
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in different elections. it does now look like merkle is well ahead of martin schultz and will probably be re-elected in september and so far as we can trust the polls but she had good regional victories recently, but she made a political statement a few days ago, it was said to be for domestic consumption that we as europeans we need to look out for ourselves, that we cannot rely any more on the united states. i'm not so sure that was completely for domestic consumption. i think that's the conclusion they came to after, for example, a discussion about the paris climate accord, which as mitt romney said yesterday, this is not about a climate, this is a statement about american leadership in the world. >> in a moment we'll get a live report from the white house and later some of the biggest corporations in the world urge the president to stay in the paris climate agreement. meanwhile another giant business
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. >> i don't think we can get into covfefe right now -- >> i thought it was a hidden message to the russians. >> that was hillary clinton speaking yesterday in california. joining us now from the white house peter alexander. good morning. so the trump administration is saying the president's now infamous tweet was intentional, that it's meaning was known only by a small group, inside joke. >> do we have to say it again? >> reporter: so willie and mika, the white house has now said that it's no longer answering questions about the russian investigation but it did at least indulge a couple questions about this gibberish tweet since less than 24 hours ago.
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here's what sean spicer said defending that overnight indecipher rabl tweet during an offcamera briefing. >> do you think people should be concerned that the president posted somewhat of an incoherent tweet last night and that it stayed up for hours? >> no. >> why did it stay up so long? is no one watching this? >> i think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant. blake? >> reporter: he said basically a small group of people know exactly what he meant there. he was asked to explain that to a wider group of people and the press secretary sean spicer declined on that but to punctuate this point about the challenges of twitter. you'll remember during that briefing yesterday spicer said they're not talking about russia because they want to focus on the president's aagenda which is more challenging to do when the president tweets about a topic that the off the agenda as he did just this morning.
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we'll show you specifically about this issue. the big story is the unmasking and surveillance of people that took place during the obama administration. so so much for that effort to not talk about anything russia and to direct all those questions to his outside counsel mark kasowitz. this underlines this whole issue for this president. particularly challenging when the president views himself the best communicator in his own orbit. monmouth poll that demonstrates the skills of the president's delivery message. the president by a significant margin is actually hurting himself. 61%, say he hurts hielf. with his message. 33% say he helped. 42% say sean spicer hurts more than he helps. >> thank you, peter.
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mike pence has been pushed out three or four times to say things not to be true but he still is the most trusted voice according to that poll. >> joining the table and contributing editor at the weekly standard, john padoritz. i think since we have spicy on camera trying to make sense of covfefe which we pretty much figure at the top of the 7:00 hour on "morning joe," so that small group is now a larger group that knows what covfefe is but i would like to show you a set of sound bytes we put together because you tweeted yesterday about lying that nobody's ever lied like this before and we want to show you some of the administration officials really taking a message from their boss because it's almost striking the way they're stepping up for him and
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other supporters as well. take a look. >> he's the greatest communicator as a president. >> we are just thrilled with what he's accomplished. >> the president's historic speech was met with nearly universal praise. in the short space of three days trump carried out a semi-revolution. >> his ability to bring people together. >> he's built great relationships throughout his life and treats everyone with respect. he is brilliant with a great sense of humor and amazing ability to make people feel special and aspire to be more than even they thought possible. >> this guy's got more stamina than anybody i've ever met. he's got perfect genes. >> he just absorbs information. i'm never seen a more brilliant communicator and natural connecter. >> i wouldn't call that lying. i don't know what that is that is this bizarre, you know -- it's like the people around stalin or something, not that he's anything remotely like stalin but the motion if you
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ever use an adjective that was out of place you would be sent to the goulah. there's this notion that you learn in life when you see people sort of rising above their natural station and you think, it can't possibly be that you can -- people suck up too much and they're too -- no one you can't be too obseekus and trump's inner staff is taking that too an entirely new level. there was literally no way that you can be too seek kweeus. covfefe meant something and his inner circle knows what it means. it means as long ago at 2016 and through the midst of time spent a lot of time twisting themselves into pretzels to make sure that what they said was
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factually correct even if it was wildly misleading because. >> right. >> that was the line that you weren't supposed to cross or you would lose public confidence -- >> this is a tweet the president took down right when he woke up. he obviously fell asleep on his phone or something and did it right before he fell asleep. he was suffering from jet lag. he had just finished his trip. his unbelievable trip and then around 5:00 to 6:00 and wakes up and turns on "morning joe," he looks at his phone and deletes it and sean spicer still wants to drill down that there's a small group of people who knew what covfefe means even though the president took it down hastily the moment he woke up. >> because he had too obviously. spicer knows his client. spicer knows his boss and you don't say, look he made a mistake. he's human. it was late, he was tired, whatever. >> so that is -- you say everything that he does is a choice as was chosen, was
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considered and is a genius move. >> it goes back to political -- i had an article a couple of months ago that every day before sean spicer goes by the podium, he walks by the oval office and what would you like to hear today? so this goes back to this notion that he's speaking to an audience of one and a lot of these points he's making or dictated by the president himself. >> the statement you read before sounds like it was dictated by trump, the way that trump's doctors report a year and a half ago sounded like trump himself had written it for the doctor. there's one smart element to this which is it's all a dust storm so the whole point is that trump thrives in making chaos or he thinks he thrives in making chaos and all of this we're talking about covfefe, we'll talk about he said mark kasowitz
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was the one to talk about trump but trump tweets about russia. you said you won't talk about it, but trump talked about it and everything is just dust and the whole point of actually having to convey information to the american people and to the world about the policies of the administration are going to effect becomes a secondary matter. >> they may want to be a smoke screen but it's not changing the reporting on the front page of every newspaper every day which is another story about russia. they can't put up a smoke screen strong enough to block that out. i do want to read that piece, it's titled while conservatives won't dance to the dear leader donald trump tune. conservatives who are turned off by the trump cult of personality prize things like the rule of law and balance of power part and we instead celebrate the
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system and institutions that check the accumulation of power. we see descent as patriotic. we say the may sonic i am pulses of some americans. we believe it's not healthy to put politicians on a pedestal. we believe you should expect your leaders and pray for them but not to them. matt continues. it's one thing to suck up to your boss at the office, it's another thing entirely to suck up to a president. part of the reason for this is that trump's team views him arizona the boz as the ceo of the country, it undermines the system the founding fathers put in place to keep any one person from gaining too much power. the people who suck up for him might work for trump but we do not. he works for us. and we shouldn't ever let him forget it. joe? >> john, it really is -- what is workers do, what his minions do for him is more in line with what you see in autocratic countries. this is not the language.
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this is not the traditional of american democracy where no man or woman is above the law. this is something that would be much more fitting let's say for turkey's leader that sends his goons out to beat up people in america's streets. >> i think in some sense there's -- you need to be careful -- other white houses are very worshipful of the president who served in them in some ways. in fact, the trump white house is leaking so much you can say there seem to be plenty of people in there who are very worried by him and by the behavior of the white house and are trying to get it out to the american people what's going on in there, much more than the obama or the bush white houses before him. it's this bizarre quality of, you know, hero worship and slavish vocabulary on the part of people who are going before the cameras and humiliating themselves to do in order to remain in proximity to power.
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that humiliation ritual of, you know, sort of like your tongue rolling out with slavish admiration, that's a new thing. it's not like tony snow when he was for bush or dana perino or the guys for obama like that they weren't wildly admiring of the president that they were speaking for. just the tone and the tenure and the spirit. >> the seriousness. >> had a different quality to it, like a normal quality. >> it did have a different quality to it. this really is -- this sort of language, this sort of fawning is -- is unprecedented. i think i've been disappointed. i know a lot of people have been disappointed in what general mcmaster and general kelly have said over the past couple of days talking about back channels with russia being normal, but that's -- that does happen in every administration. you do have officials that try
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to spin things in the most favorable light and even though it's dis hearting coming from these american heros at the same time there is a normalcy to that just like it happened with the clinton administration, it happened in the bush administration. there is, though, no normalcy with this dear leader language. that's what seems so disturbing to me. >> it's more disturbing about what he said about what he needs as a person with his aides, what he needs from his aides as to strong counsel, good judgment, sensible guidance, what he needs from them is constant -- a constant stream of thatta boys and boy you're great and this is fantastic. if they say it this way in public, imagine the way they have to talk to him in private. >> good lord. we'll continue this conversation. let's go live now though to the new york stock exchange and sara
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eisen, how's the business sector reacting to the possibility of president trump pulling the u.s. out of the paris climate agreement. >> big business is speaking out and lobbying president trump to stay inside the paris climate. the argument says it helps u.s. competitiveness on a scale and protects american jobs. we know those are all issues that are front and center for this president both on the campaign and as president. today, companies about 25 of them signing a letter taking out a full page add in the d.c. arguing to stay in companies that include apple, facebook and google. it's not just technology companies, though. it's companies across the spectrum. that even includes energy companies like bp, shell, exxon and chevron all urging president trump to stay in and even though it might ultimately limit their exploration they want the
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consistency of the policy and the u.s. at the table. coal companies have been asking president trump to stay in, also some of his closest ceo advisors, elon musk of tesla threatening to leave if the president stays out. also wanted to mention aetna could be the next big company to bail on the state of connecticut. apparently aetna is in talks with other states to move its headquarters away from hartford. it's been there for more than 150 years. the state of connect's finances and economic outlook isn't great and companies want talent from major urban centers. just last year general electric left fairfield connecticut and moved to boston and now aetna could be the next big one to do so. >> thank you. that's big. up next "time" magazine's deep dive into the country's most famous son-in-law. we're back in just a moment.
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doesn't make sense, don't do it. i'm not sure there's anybody in there now that can say that to the president. >> well, that was former secretary of state james baker speaking with us last hour on the most important quality of a president's inner circle. joining us now, editor at large for "time" magazine carl vick who wrote this week's cover story a profile of arguably the closest member of trump's inner circle entitled "the good son the trials of jared kushner." thank you very much for being on the show this morning. tell us about the good son, how good is he? >> he's the good son to his father charles kushner who more than ten years ago went through a great literal trial where he was convicted of 18 felony counts having to do with illegal campaign contributes, tax evasion but mostly this very nasty family business where there was -- he was a tape and a
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prostitute and all kinds of sordid stuff and jared the eldest stuff and 22, 23 years old and suddenly his father is going to prison and jared is running their big real estate company out in new jersey. and that was sort of the crucible he came through. he then like builds the company bigger, moves it to new york, visits his father every -- he's the good son, visits his father every weekend in prison in alabama. and then they -- the family together sets this course with jared in front as transformative, sort of redemptive and very ambitious course of moving what had been a jersey company into manhattan and built buying trophy buildings and basically over time becoming quite a successful firm. a trajectory not so different than donald trump's own coming in from queens and inheriting a
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company that his father had had and building success in manhattan. >> does he have the sense, carl, that a lot of people have pointed out he's not -- not that he's not good at what he does outside the white house but not qualified to assume the responsibilities put on his desk, middle east peace, for example. is there any sense that he's overwhelmed by everything he's been given? >> i don't think he gives people the impression that he is. he's supremely self-confident and in a much quieter and different way and sort of modern high-tech start-up kind of model silicon valley. a brother who is big in it. but he's done this, too, and he sees himself that way. but he's very confident and i don't think he would give any sense of being overwhelmed but -- and his people in the white house says, you know, there's a cartoon of him like carrying the whole world on his
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shoulders because trump talks him up and gives him a portfolio but as a practical matter it's less. he manages a few people who run a few different things. >> you had a few tweets that had a theory about the kushner/russia connections. >> right. >> can you lay that out for us. >> trump and -- i think the idea of my sense is that the great anxiety in the trump world from the minute that he started running for office was that the forces of the establishment were going to come and take it away interest him illegitimately. they were the rnc would do it, other campaigns would do it, ted cruz tried to figure out a way to do it in iowa by sending out a false message about how ben carson was dropping out and ted cruz did this stuff in the south, where he got more delegates even though trump got more votes and there was hillary and the -- he said he wouldn't necessarily abide by the results of the election because they were going to steal it and if you look at all of that and all this stuff about the connections
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with russia behind the door, if you look at it and say it's all innocent, jared's connections are innocent, all these connections are all innocent, trump's paranoia about this has apparently in my sense summoned the thing he most feared on himself, which is that the forces inside the government that don't like him, he doesn't like, the intelligence community, the fbi and all that, really are now it appears with leaks and various other things, going after him to he delegitimize his presidency and unseat him. his own paranoia has summoned the very threat to himself that he most feared. >> going to the connection between jared and russia and russian businessmen in particular, what is his tie to the russian business community? i know that he and his wife are very good friends with russia's richest oligarch.
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his wife was a guest of theirs at the inauguration. how far back does his relationship, do you know, go with russian businessmen and can this be described as just a business relationship, a business meeting he happened to have and didn't disclose? >> i don't know. my reporting didn't take me to that. i know there's like people know of the relationship the trumps have had or the trump organization has had with russian businessmen and bankers, but the kushner piece and all of the russian piece, the white house stand is that this was -- this was a mistake and oversight and innocently done. but there's so many missing -- the banker who he did meet with, who is trained as a spy, it's -- some of this goes to if you're supremely confident and in a position of power you're going to be a target and maybe an easy one. >> we will find out more in the weeks to come.
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carl vick, thank you very much. john, thank you as well. before we go today, joe, wrap up what you think we've learned in the course of three hours? >> well, you know, i think everybody is trying to grapple at what's going on, why do the lies continue, why do the meetings with russians keep getting misstated, whether it's on disclosure forms or testimony or in interviews. it's just -- you're left even with this cover story with "time" magazine, on -- whether it is incompetence. maybe it is incompetence mixed with arrogance and that negligent state craft on a historic scale but there are too many questions and too many loose threads that it doesn't make sense, that this is just them being incompetent. i'm talking about the entire administration from flynn to trump onward. what do you think?
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>> and, of course, never covfefe and say it's okay. that would be the other thing we learned today. that does it for us. >> we did learn that. >> stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> never covfefe. thanks. good morning. i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover today, starting with going public. james comey now cleared to testify next week while new subpoenas are issued some to obama officials over leaks as hillary clinton alleges americans must have been helping the russians. >> the russians could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided and here's -- >> guided by americans? >> guided by americans. >> compound interest, remember those russian spy compounds the obama administration seized? well the new report overnight says the trump white house plans to give them back. deadline paris, today, president trump set to announce whether the u.s. is in

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