that why did he say he was? i mean, was this he just mistweeted? are we not to take him at his word? >> no. the president's tweet was in response to the washington post story. you're reading more into the tweet than what was there. the tweet was in response to the washington post story with no named sources whatsoever. >> good morning and happy father's day from a.m. joy. it is sunday morning and you know what that means. church? well, only f the saints who dvr us unsteinstead of watching. no, friends. sunday morning has come to mean the obligatory a.m. tweet storm by none other than your commander in tweet. trump took to twitter from camp david, the government owned retreat in the maryland mountains where he dared to venture for the first time, going rustic rather than regal and boasting his agenda is doing
well, despite the witch hunt. that witch hunt, of course, refers to special council robert mueller's investigation. a widening probe that includes whether trump attempted to obstruct justice by interfering with the fbi's possible collusion. you just heard from a member of trump's legal team who is making the sunday news show rounds defending his client as the federal investigations heat up. joining me now is civil rights attorney, and business and political marketing consultant, none of whom i could actually hear right now. so i'm going to go ahead and let david start off. and david if you could just walk us through what the defense as you understand it is so far from the white house. >> well, this is a key point. when you're the subject of an fbi investigation, you don't always know. they don't call up and say, by
the way, we're investigating you. so the fact that jay comes out and says on the sunday morning shows, including on "meet the press" that the president is not under investigatio well, jay may not be i a position to know. i mean, if the president is calling the fbi and saying i immediate you to tell me, i demand to know if you are looking at me for obstruction of justice or not, then that's a whole other problem. so any lawyer would look at that statement and see it more as bluff and bluster than anything else and certainly it's a day of jay serving his client, donald trump, who is probably watching and making it look like he's fighting for him. even] though this tweet storm is interesting because i think it is kind of restrained. he does call it a witch hunt but he's not lashing out at anyone. this is donald trump's bone of con sengs to his lawyers that he's going to dial back from 13 to 11 on the tweet storms on a
sunday morning. >> he's going to have this legal team, which now includes three people that we know of getting involved. i want to let you guys know at the table here to add to our legal fire power. but i want to explain the newest member. you may know him from tv. this is him on "meet the press" earlier today. >> think about this for a minute. so the president of the united states takes action to remove the fbi director and he has a recommendation from his attorney general ral and deputy attorney general to take that action. he's now according to the washington post being investigated by the same department who told him to taek that action. that's not constitutionally. that's not the way the constitution works. >> so, lisa, that's an interesting construction, right? essentially what the president's defense is going to be is that it was rod rosenstein who told him or recommended -- either recommended or told him to fire
the i director. how does that wash with you, lisa? >> well, one of the ways that trump has made america great again is by getting full employment for lawyers. he's certainly been good for my profession. a lot of us have jobs now, right? listen, the problem that trump's lawyers have are trump's own words in his tweets, in his lester holt interview and they are trying to dial it back and put some spin on it because that's what lawyers do. but the bottom line is that trump admitted that russia was on his mind when he fired comey. his own lawyers are lawyering up right now. everybody right now is lawyering up. why is mike pence lawyering up if there is not a serious investigation going on right now. >> and ari, to that point, nine people so far have gotten legal counsel in this case. donald trump himself, mike pence, michael cohen, michael caputo, paul manafort, jared
kushner all have attorneys. the way the new yorker described what's being done to rod rosenstein right now is as follows. it says it is classic trump. he insnared rosen spine in a scheme. now that rosenstein has tried to correct his error, trump is using rosenstein's role in the scheme to push him aside. what are your thoughts? >> that's excellent because there is a narrative about donald trump that he doesn't know what he's doing and then there are patterns like this that suggest he knows exactly what he's doing. according to the white house time line, he decided to fire jim comey. but first he met with the deputy attorney general on a monday, t this wrien bill of health, so to speak about his decision from the deput attorney general and then fired him the next day. so that would suggest some awareness about how to do this. i think that what is interesting about the "meet the press" interview this morning is he is
describing things, if true, might form a defense. take donald trump and the politics out of it. people are familiar with even trapment trapment, right? if an fbi agent comes up to you and says, here, hold this bag and you find out there is contraband on it and then they want to arrest you for it, you seem trapped. that seems to be the suggest about this incident, if it were true. the problem is, according to the president of the united states, it is not true. it is not what happened. he made the decision anyway. he was going to fire him anyway. so that's the limits of that defense. as for the lawyers, this is how i would put it. there is nothing wrong with getting a lawyer. but what it tells us is that multiple people have come to the view that their interests may depart from the white house interests. >> and, you know, i'm glad to have you here because out of all of us you might be the person most personally acquainted.
does this wash with the way he's always operated? literally, he says affirmatively out of his own mouth, regardless of what rosenstein said, i was going to fire comey. he tells the russian foreign minister, he was a nutjob. i fired him to get out from under russia. he tells lester holt, i was thinking about russia when i was firing him. and then he turns around and has his lawyers say, no no, rosenstein made me do it. >> i would say donald trump first of all is benefitting from the fact that people think that he's stupid, that he doesn't know what he's doing. so that allows him to excuse certain behaviors, which i think ultimately to my point benefit him. but i would say this. i think there has been a departure from what i've seen, from what i seen how he did business and how he operated. but the one thing that's remained consistent is that donald trump takes advantage of
people. donald trump uses people and donald trump is strategic about using people. if you look at trump university and the fraudulence around that. if you look at some of not paying contractors. this behavior, taking advantage, using people, throwing them under the bus, not accepting responsibility, engaging in corrupt conduct, that's all been consistent. and, so, i think his behavior right now is that pattern remains the same. i think where you see a departure is that he was a lot more, i guess, artful in his approach and artful in the way he communicated when i was around him. i think that as he's gotten older, he's not as artful and not as strategic, but he still is -- he still plays his games and he still behaves a certain way. >> and david, you can add to that as well because this is also somebody that has been able
to wriggle out of touchy financial situations by being able to c a deal. the bankruptcy courts would have come for mira la go, but he turned it into a dues paying club. so he's been able to skate on the financial end. do you think that's the reason he thinks he could just cut a deal, tell some stories and get out of this? >> when you run your own business, even if it is owned by the banks, you have a lot more control over the matters. his whole problem is he treats it as he thinks it could be a business and he could order people to do things, which is why he thought getting rid of comey would probably go well and not cause the difficulty it has. tara just talked about why he has been able to find the escape clause and come out with millions while he screwed people
around him out of money he owes them. but at the same time, he has this complete streak of vengence and rath. he has said over and over again that the key to business is screwing your enemies ten times more than they screw you. i really think he gets into a box where he wants now to destroy comey. he thinks he has. and he's kind of, i think, annoyed that comey has resurrected in the hiring of robert mueller, who is about as close to james comey as one can be without being james comey. so he wants to crush his enemies and at the same time he has these responsibilities as president and he's up against the fbi, which is different than being up against the new jersey gaming commission. >> i want to turn to our legal experton this because the other issue here is i think americans are accustomed to, especially this week seeing legal cases rolling through that involve celebrity and wealth that americans are accustomed to
see people who have means skate when it comes to issues of law. do you think there is also a certain arrogance at work in the legal team here that may not understand when you are dealing in the political realm, obstruction of justice took down richard nixon. it's not so easy. >> that's right. and scooter lib by and martha stewart. one of the things we know about donald trump is it is all about him, it is all about protects himself and protects himself from what? well, from an underlying investigation. you know, the ironic thing here is that the first investigation appears to have been into michael flynn, not into donald trump. but because he chose to meddle in that investigation, according to james comey under oath, now it is donald trump himself who was under investigation. and because he cannot stop himself from talking to lester holt on twitter and elsewhere, we have these wonderful admissions that he has made and no matter how many white male lawyers he surrounds himself with, some of whom are qualified
and some of whom are not, they cannot escape donald trump's own admissions. >> at the same time, though, lisa says it is a clear case for obstruction of justice. yesterday they actually differed from one another on that case. i want to play you a quick cut of the two of them and get your response. >> i don't think it is obstruction at all. i think it may be one piece in the puzzle that could lead up and add up to on strungs. but i still stay with the fact that he's allowed to fire who he wants to fire. i don't think it rises to the level of corrupt intent. >> if donald trump were one of the round the way boys who they used to prosecute in the bronx, he would be on his way for obstruction of justice. >> nick akerman was on the panel too and agreed with paul that it was a clear case of obstruction
of justice. is that what the president is sort of hanging his hat on right now? >> that certainly helps him. everything changed this week because he is under criminal inquiry for his conduct in office. before the washington post broke this story on wednesday, we didn't know. but it looked like things from the past, the campaign, or his aids and not him. so if folks watch your show, you have been a laser on a lot of the pieces of evidence. but the evidence can pile up and people might not do anything about it. it is an extraordinary change this week that this evidence is being reviewed as a criminal matter. it took bill clinton 1,500 days to get to that point. it took richard nixon 1,800 days. 147 days for donald trump. the question is not whether you can fire. the question is why you fire. >> right. >> and take donald trump and the politics out of it. everyone knows if you have an at will contract at a job you could be fired for no reason.
literally no reason. but you can't be fired for an illegal reason. so if your employer says we're firing you because of your race or we're firing you because you had to serve a tour of duty in the military for this job, those are two illegal reasons. the question i don't think we know the answer, that's what the investigation is going to probe, is why was he fire was it forn the wds of e statute, a corrupt intent, to shut down an investigation with far-reaching implications. >> much like in the case of the muslim travel ban, the person providing the most damning evidence of why he did what he did, that was donald trump. >> thank you very much. we'll be back later in the show and be sure to tune in to ari's new show "the point," must-see tv. tonight's edition is watergate. seems rather relevant. that is tonight on msnbc. all right. and trump also tweeted about his
poll numbers this morning, citing a new poll that puts his approval rating at 50% and saying that's higher than o's numbers. obsessed with president obama much? well, see if you can spot the outlier. and coming up the chances are russians hacked into election systems in your state. more on that next. (dog) mmm. this new beneful grain free is so healthy... oh! farm-raised chicken! that's good chicken. hm!? here come the accents. blueberries and pumpkin.
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but why? nothing has been happening. nothing extraordinary. so what's the reason for debate on new sanctions? >> the obama administration actually answered that very question back in october using the red phone to warn russia there could be consequences or would be consequences for hacking our election. this week the senate voted 98-2 to impose new sanctions, part of those very consequences. and according to a new bloomberg article, russia's intrusion was more extennive than we thought. they attacked elections in 39 states in the months leading up to the election, twice as many as previously reported. joining me now is one of the reporters on that story and senior policy advisor for the counter extremism project. jordan, i'm going to start with you. it was your article that inspired us to do this segment. a title of it is russia cyber
hacks on u.s. electoral system far wider than previously known. those 39 states that were attacked, what are some of the major states that were attacked? and what was done to them? >> sure. thanks for having me, joy. the key message here is at least 39 states were not just attacked but in many cases actively breached by the same russian group -- i should say the tip of the store for this was illinois. illinois was the first to discover these attacks in early july of 2016. took a couple weeks to investigate and then the federal government began sending those digital fingerprints out to the rest of the states that were willing to receive them. and this really consumed the obama white house as signatures started coming back indicating that, again, at least 39 states had either active infections or attacks from this exact same group. we had a number of states that were hit. illinois was the main one. california, florida had
indications as well. we don't have the full list. but at least 39, potentially all of them. >> just to be clear, are we talking about going in and deleting people off the voter rolls? changing names? >> that's the b thing. the reason illinois is so significant is that what they discovered was not just an intrusion into the voter registration database there. but the ability to change it is extraordinary valuable to an election hacker. that's what illinois saw. you know, unfortunately what they saw was these attackers, again these russian state sponsored attackers were trying to alter or delete information, such as people's names and addresses. and the point of that is if you altered or delete that information on election day, if somebody goes to the polls and tries to vote, they are not going to be in the database. >> you and i talked about this a lot. when people say, oh, it is not a big deal that russia attacked our electoral system because they didn't hack into voting
machines and change the votes, meaning you went in and clicked clinton and flipped it to trump because that didn't happen, this is not such a big deal. but you have talked often about the fact there were ways in which the russian attack could have flipped the election. either by changing people's minds or by deleting people off the rolls, right? >> you don't have to physically change the vote to actually be successful. such the simple act of delegitimizing our core is enough. so the fact that the russians were in there, the fact they were detected, the fact that they warned the russians they should stop this and i think they probably did and, look, the other thing, joy, is as of january 2017, one of the last things president obama did is add the federal election into the infrastructure. if we don't have confidence in the vote in the fact that you
put a vote in and it's going to be counting, then that delegitimizes the whole process. if the russians can change the perception this is a legitimate voting system, they have won. >> and tara, you are a former cia military analyst. we only know about this information because of somebody named reality winner. and that is a real name. and she was charged -- he was a former intelligence contractor. there is her mug shot there. she is going to remain in jail until her trial. but we know about it because of her. does it surprise you that we haven't seen the white house, the president of the united states, more concerned about this? this seems pretty alarming, and we learned from recent testimony, including by the former director of the fbi that this is something that donald trump has never asked about. he doesn't seem curious about asking his cia analyst or fbi analysts about this topic. >> you are right.
this was not just a breach on the electoral system. this was a three-prong attack by russia. we saw them basically target voters in different states with bots on line and messaging and now we have this third prong, which was basically breaching our electoral system, the infrastructure itself. and that's sort of the new part of this story. and also the extent to which they did it. this wasn't just one small county. this was 39 states. while it is troublesome the way we found out this information was through a leak essentially of classified information and that individual does need to be prosecuted because that is unacceptable, this is not new information. we know russia has been attacking and trying to attack our election basically through a variety of mechanisms, so that's not new. james comey presented extremely definitive testimony. he didn't need to elaborate. his confidence was so high. this comes on the heels of 16 intelligence agencies all in agreement. this is not a partisan decision.
this is something that is happening. it is going to continue to happen and until the united states creates a deterrent to russia doing this, whether that's sanctions or preventive defense i have measures on the cyber security side, we're going to be in for this round two in the next election. >> you mentioned sanctions, tara. i want to get your rnse to the fact that now there h been a vote on additional sanctions. it went 98-2. this is what is in the new sanctions bill that just passed the senate. it targets individuals tied to malicious cyber activity and requires donald trump to ease sanctions against russia. it gives congress 30 days to block donald trump from easing sanctions against russia and allows to white house to take action against companies that aid russian energy export pipelines. do you think that is an effective response? >> i think we do need to have sanctions in place in general in the cyber realm. we haven't traditionally had strong policy measures in place
as to what happens when these types of attacks happen. you have seen north korea very active on this front. so i do think the united states needs to have these measures in place, whether it's overt measures or more covert measures on the cyber side, they are important components. >> and this was a vote that congress decided to tie to additional sanctions against iran, which was problematic for at least one of the two senators who said no. bernie sanders and rand paul were the only two no votes against the bill. senator sanders issued a statement saying that it was iran part of it that caused him to vote no. he said i voted for sanctions in the past. i believe these new sanctions could endanger the important nuclear agreement signed between the united states and iran. in addition to that, you had
rand paul say that he voted against this bill because he thinks there is no point in tweaking russia's nose in his words. what do you think of that? >> i mean, look, we should be -- we should have the most severe sanctions against russia as we possibly can. there is no reason not to. i don't think that -- i don't think that sanctions are going to deter russia. tara mentioned three prongs. there is a fourth prong here. right now if you are in moscow or russian intelligence, there is no daylight in the belief that you believe that you recruited u.s. persons to be part of this campaign. the fourth prong is in fact the targeting and i believe the recruitment of u.s. persons. you are thinking michael flynn was probably one of your assets. you are looking at this and saying, we could get him into the white house. the reality is the russians are very good at identifying u.s. persons and the best way to sidestep cyber security is to get people. today we talk about sanctions and all this strong language. but as of yet we have not spent
one more on counter intelligence. and that is perhaps the biggest message. we can talk about sanctioning but until we build up our counter intelligence capability, we have left the door wide open for this stuff to happen again. >> given that we do not have a white house that seems terribly interested in doing that because they don't believe -- at least the president of the united states does not believe russia is a threat in this way, it seems like this is one more thing that falls to the states. what are the states doing to protect themselves against these kinds of cyber attacks? >> absolutely. it is an interesting question. my biggest take-away was that russia was targeting the states and their voter registration databases. but they discovered it is actually at the county level where this kind of tampering would have the greatest effect. so my big fear is going into 2018 and going into 2020 what the russians did in 2016 was
reconnaissance and one of the things they likely figured out was if you really want to do some damage, you do it at the county level and i think we have to face the facts that states are going to be better prepared than counties and counties are unprepared to secure their systems against these kinds of attacks. >> and i bet they're short of cash to do it, too. pretty scary. jordan robertson, and tara mueller, thank you. up next, the russians aren't the only ones trying to mess around with the voter rolls. the republicans know a thing or two about that as well. they actually know that game very well. more on that when we come back.
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integrity. >> in just a few days, voting comes to a close in the special election in georgia's sixth congressional district. a race cost a whopping $40 million and counting, making it the most expensive single house race ever. the republican candidate has bragged about her efforts to make it harder to vote when she was georgia's secretary of state seven years ago and instituted a major purge of the voter roles. >> you were secretary of state, you used the system cross check which eliminated a lot of voters. >> we made sure that illegal voters are not on our rolls. >> did you find any? >> yes, in fact we did. >> did you arrest anyone? >> as a matter of fact, several people were brought before the state elections board. >> fact check, georgia did not convict a single double voter. >> joining me now is the
investigator journalist and film maker. greg, always great to talk to you. i want to play one more clip from your piece about karen handle's role in potential ver suppression. before i do that, let's go to cut three. they did an article about karen and it says seven years ago he was chief elections officer. he was a top advocate for an innovative method of voter suppression. she even tried to prevent democratic candidates from appearing on the state's ballots. >> what she did is she instituted the voter i.d. law. we know in wisconsin from studies that we lost 300,000, mostly young people, poor people, voters of color. guess how they vote? in georgia it was even worse. and under her and her successor, who is running as a republican
candidate for governor, they began raiding and impeding the voter registration groups. like, for example, there is a group in the sixth congressional district in georgia which was called 10,000 koreans vote. the corrkorean american communis a solid community. they tried to register thousands of voters. the voters names never appeared on the voter rolls and when the group complained, the group's lawyers complained, they raided their offices. the state police and georgia bureau of investigation came in, grabbed their files, grabbed their computers and threatened them with criminal charges which never occurred, never happened. but in the meantime they shut down the voter registration drive and those korean americans, who would have made the difference even in the first round, their names were missing, never got on.
and karen handle has continued. when he was secretary of state, he was pushing and later adopted this system called cross check, where they removed thousands of people in georgia's sixth congressional district. so he's cleansing the voter rolls of voters of color, voters she doesn't like and she runs in the district where she bleached the voter roles. >> this is an article you wrote in rolling stone explaining how cross check works. a whole lot of people named james brown are suspected of voting twice. according to cross check, james willy brown is supposed to be the same voter as james arthur brown. james clifford brown is the same as james lynn brown. one in six hispanics, one in seven asian americans and one in five americans landing on the list. how many states are using this
and is georgia still using this? >> oh, yeah. and karen is proud they were removing people. this is donald trump's claim, by the way, that three million people voted twice illegally because they found a james brown in georgia and they found a james brown in detroit. different middle names, different ages, that didn't matter. they were removing them from the voter rolls. i went right into georgia's sixth congressional district where they were removing the koreans for example have names like david kim, very, very common name. they are removing a lot of asian americans from the voter roles in the geoia sixth. that example of james bwn actually comes from e georgia six. they removed people named james brown and she is proud of it. it is a crime. you go to jail for votiing twic. they didn't arrest anyone. they didn't convict anyone. they took away their voting rights by the thousands. >> i want to talk about one
other thing. i'm racing through a little bit to get in as much as possible. you talk about the fact that when karen handle was secretary of state, she ignored warnings about the integrity of the electronic voting system. the election center fills a key role in georgia state-wide election procedure, which makes it a potential target of a systemic attack. in 2017 the threat became real. key equipment was not touched, but a lawsuit was filed in which worried parties demanded paper ballots for the sixth district. the plaintiffs lost but concerns about the election system bubbled up. they don't have paper ballots and you're saying they probably should. >> not only they should have paper ballots. after all, it's one race. there's absolutely no reason to use these vulnerable electronic
machines. i should tell you, this is not just about georgia. in ohio just before the presidential election, i uncovered that the ohio state officials in many counties and gop officials turned off the anti-hacking software on their voting machines. i was in a courtroom when they admitted this to a ju what's happening is think about this. arealking about machines that are vnee and they turn off the anti-hacking software. they know these things are vulnerable. it is more expensive to use the machines than a simple piece of paper for this tuesday run-off. >> let me play one more clip. this is on a voter registration group with disappearing ballots. this is crazy. take a look. >> voting rights group registered literally tens of thousands of minority voters, but strangely the voter forms simply vanished. >> we registered 86,419 voter registration forms. >> how many again?
>> 86,419. there are 46,000 of the folks we have registered who have made it and 40,000 of them are missing. and you know what they told us? we don't know what you're talking about. what forms? >> just for context, this is the break down demographically of the sixth congressional district. 60% of the people are college graduates. 70% are white. 13% are african-americans. have you been able to tell whose ballots are disappearing? >> that was the new georgia project, that's an african-american registration group. so almost all of the people they register are low income and african-americans and students. then you had the other group, which was 10,000 korean votes and the asian american legal advocacy committee, and they were put out of business by the state with threats of criminal action, including the woman you saw. she's facing criminal charges by
the state. why? because when she said where a our voters, our 4000 missing voters, 40, 000, they said we don't know where they are. she said well we have photocopies of the forms. they said, oh, we are going to come and arrest you for photocopies voter registration charges. that's not a crime. but they're just trying to intimidate the registration drives for voters of color. >> do not assume that just because you registered to vote that your job is done. this is some scary stuff. check your voter registration. vote early and early vote so you could make sure you are on the rolls. this is serious stuff. thank you. really appreciate your time. >> coming up in our next hour, tone versus action in washington and malcolm nance becomes a jedi. more a.m. joy after the break.
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today marks the final day of the 2017 men's u.s. open and the winning golfer will claim a record $12 million perk that tees up the u.s. women's open less than a month from now in new jersey and if the location looks familiar, it's because this is where donald trump still spends many weekends at the trump national golf club women's advocacy group urged the lgpa to sever ties with trump and move the women's open out of trump national. the organization said quote a sexist serial abuser should not host the most prestigious event in america. let's talk about how it came to
be the women's golf tournament is played at a trump golf f resort. >> this is a collision between donald trump's former life and his present life. in his former life as a man who was a golf course entrepreneur, he owns many of them. he was very friendly to the lgpa. he was a booster and friends with golfers and gave them financial advice. there are a number of lesser tournaments held at his clubs over the years and that is sort of the way this works. you show that you can host attorney ttournaments and prese course that is really competitive and you move up the chain and you get bigger and better tournaments and in 2012, this was years ago, that the usga different from the lgpa with the u.s. open both men and women given by the united states golf association.
it's run by the usga and not the lpga. so this is really the usga and it's their show. >> i imagine this is a contract between the usga and trump association. how does it not violate the clauses about foreign governments, not necessarily about u.s. business. is there nothing untoward about the usga? they are not doing business with a rich guy but the president of the united states. it's weird to have the name of the president of the united states on the physical property of the golf course when a national tournament is being played. isn't that contract at all being questioned? >> it hasn't been so far and the executive director of the usga is adamant the tournament will be held there. we're getting a little tight if they move it that the schedule is a little tight. it's almost impossible. i think it will be more interesting to see what happens, will there be protests? you know, i tonight have to tell
you bedminster is right outside new york city. it's not a particularly hospitable place and ultraviolet chartered a small plane to fly over the men's course yesterday and trailed a banner that said dump trump. so, you know, i can't imagine there won't be some sort of protest. >> the of picks of donald trump in the infamous "access hollywood" video said what he would do to women, peeping at teenage girls, calling the former ms. universe a fat pig. on and on and on. he's not someone friendly to women and a new guy on the scene, either. there have been protests, "usa today" reporting there were protests last sunday at a high-priced fundraiser fortomar
golf course. i'm sure he doesn't want to see otests. >> it's fairly easy to lockdown a golf course because you can limit the access roads to it. patrons who come to the golf tournament are subjected to screening anyway. it's also important here to note that female golfers, you know, have been very supportive of the president. there have been a couple writers over the last couple months since the inauguration who have done informal polls of women golfers who will be playing and they said sure, i'd play a round of golf with the president and they remember that he was supportive of them long before, you know, the "access hollywood" videoand long before the presidential campaign for better or worse. >> that's interesting. irony never seizes. cindy, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thanks, joy. up next, we're talking tone. the trump and twitter library and a book too hot for tv.
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this country could be turned down a little bit. the tone. >> the tone is used a lot this morning and sometimes we feel like we're sort of victims of the tone. >> we can set a tone to tell the nation we should disagree. but we don't ever do this. >> i'm going to say i think the tone does need to change. we've all been reminded in a really horrible way about the necessity to maintain the right tone here. >> bring the tone or the rhetoric down. >> tone down the rhetoric. >> tone it down. >> welcome back to "a.m. joy" in a rare display of bipartisan agreement, that coalesced around one topic, time for a total shift in the politics but shortly after the shooting chris collins struck a different note from the chorus by placing the
game on the other side of the isle. >> i try to look for a silver lining in any tragedy like this. i can only hope the democrats do tone down the rhetoric, that the rhetoric has been outrageous of the finger pointing, the -- just the tone and the angst and anger directed at donald trump, his supporters, really then, you know, some people react to things like that. they get angry, as well. >> collins later walked back that statement expressing regret for having pointed the finger at his democratic colleagues. but his heat of the moment reaction under scored the truth in washington especially when the gop's leader is a president who a day after the shooting was back to attacking democrats on twitter. and after trump's son and some of his supporters on the far right piled on with blame for the media, the hollywood left and even shakespeare in the
park, it didn't take long for the very real political division to resurface, the day of the shooting a republican state representative from colorado used the incident to solicit donations. and calling the left out of control and unamerican. after show of solidarity, house minority leader nancy pelosi had strong words for opponents that would try to poll lit sitize th attack. >> the comments made by republican colleagues are outrageous. the dignity of the job they hold. beneath the dignity of the respect we would like congress to command. how dare they say such a thing? how dare they? >> joining me now, republican strategist evan and eric from media matters and national republican consultant kate dawson and business and political consultant. where to begin?
i -- evan, i find it incredibly ironic to hear republicans furrow brow 'tis k 'tis king the other side on tone. he reminded us of a chief art h architect of tone. this is mark sanford. >> i would argue the president is partially, not in any way totally but partially to blame for demons unleashed. >> not to go on too long but let's listen to donald trump just talking about the media. >> by the way, some of the media is terrific, but most of it, 70%, 75% is absolute dishonest, absolute scum. she's back there, little katy, she's back there. what a lie it was. no. what a lie -- katy tur.
this sleazy guy from abc. he's a sleaze. i have a running war with the media. they are among the most dishonest human beings on earth. >> one more. one more montage, one more because we're talking about tone and tone starts at the top, from the head, donald trump targeting protesters at some rallies. >> who is protesting? anybody? >> right here! >> get out of here. get them out. [ cheers ] >> get them out. >> how hold is this? get out of here. get out of here. still wearing diapers. look at this kid. if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out o them, would you? i promise you, i will pay for e legal fees, i promise. >> how is it republicans have the cheek to blame democrats for the tone in washington? >> first of all, donald trump attacking katy tur, i'm with
tur. i think the tone is very bad on both sides to the '90s. i'm not condoning when republicans said. it's absolutely wrong. however, democrats themselves have also said some pretty outrageous things. you have people saying george bush wants to kill people or wants to send americans to die for oil. you have kanye saying george bush doesn't care about african americans. you have former representative joe garcia in the house of representatives saying the gop is the taliban. republicans are not the taliban. we don't want to kill the poor and minorities. we do care about helping people but we differ on policy and i think it is a symptom of the overall problem. i think both sides of the isle need to step back. i do not defend republicans who said that. i think what chris collins said is wrong. the only person responsible for wednesday's shooting is the shooter. >> you used my least favorite term and christened them, both sides. both sides is ridiculous. for one thing, the criticisms of
george w. bush is because we were involved in a war for which the pretext was a completely false made up pretext. saying that iraq was involved in 9/11 and so i think the anger and criticism was -- wait a minute, people were being sent to die in a war based on something not true and ginning up america's emotions on 9/11. are you saying that's the equivale equivalent, ted nugent on barack obama, saying he should suck on my machine gun. >> this does not justify going out and saying that george bush is mentally retarded or having cartoonest from the pittsburg pittsburgh -- plenty of protestors on the left side he was mentally retarded and painted as a monkey. the agenda is sensitive a.
>> if you're saying it is the same there is an equivalent between hanging barack obama and calling him a witch doctor and hitler and saying hey, you can't cut meals on insensitive. >> republicans are evil and the taliban and they have a war on women. have you noticed how we can't get a bill passed? >> what are the bills you're attempting to pass? is it not cutting meals on wheels, sesame street and going after medicaid that helps the poor? i do not see the equivalent? >> we have fox news walking back from the idea, the fair and balanced slogan because they said it was the subject of ridicule. is it both sides or equal? >> no, you did a good run down. you know, we have fox news. what did they spend this week doing? they spend the week laying the premise that trump should
hire -- fire the special prosecutor, right? the acting fbi director was the quote ringleader of the campaign to oust trump. so nobody on fox is trying to step back from the tone. no one from foxs saying hey, let's be responsle andhings like that. and, you know, you've got people running onto the stage and shakespeare in the park because they don't disagree. republicans are so upset about tone, where are they when a reporter was body slammed in the primary -- >> putting out statements saying it was wrong. >> i didn't see it. reporter -- >> what planet are you on? >> that reporter was ridiculed daily by the right wing media, by a sissy, by fox news. >> saying it was wrong. >> paul ryan barely got up enough courage to say -- >> so he did it but not enough to your satisfaction. >> absolutely. >> that's outrageously ridiculous. >> let let get my other two guests in here. we're friends so we can have arguments. we're good. you know, it does feel like
you're trying -- you have people on the right, republicans trying to sort of make themselves the victim. they seem to crave this idea of being the victims of hate but you do have breitbart saying -- having headlines that feminism makes women ugly. going after black lives matter, going after black people and essentially painting after condition americans just massive criminals.ban obsession with th black panther party saying they are responsible for the problem of elections and calling people violent. these are things we know happen. why now are republicans attempting to make themselves the victims when we saw death threats on members of congress for pasting universal health bills. there is a record here. >> the question is why now are republicans trying to be kind and sensitive? >> no, why are they suddenly -- why is ted nugent,hy is ted nugent who said obama should suck on his machine gun who said
hillary clinton should be hanged, who said that if barack obama was reelected, he would be dead or in jail. he says i want us to change the tone. really? >> well, you know, i guess people can ask forgiveness later. >> he didn't ask for forgiveness. he's asking the left to change their tone. he didn't ask for forgiveness. he said the left needs to change its tone. >> well, we're going to spend a lot of time on tone and i'm going to throw that in the trash can and spend time on primaries because that's what this is about. you got two basis on both sides. you got a hard left base, hard right base and that's who elects these people and these redistricting places in congress. so you got -- when you're speaking with tone, you're speaking to the base. that's who is listening to you. that's who elects you in the tight primaries. we'll see the one in georgia. i think republicans will win because of the district. that's where this tone is coming from and until you get into the
supporters of these individuals on both sides that are looking for that tone and that outrageousness and not looking for the prospects of pretty good legislation, i don't think you're going to see a change. now, as far as hollywood, ted nugent, i don't think ted has been elected to anything, as far as those are concerned, you can't control our conduct and the manners we have, both of those have been thrown out the window in politics. modern day. >> he hasn't been elected in anything but sure been to the white house and well of congress for state of the union addresses and that's while he was threatening the president and a woman who wanted to be president. so i'm just going to leave that there and go to ra. the end of the day, this is about winning elections and you're a political consultant in the state of new jersey. you know politics at the end of the day about getting your basic sight in. this is literally about exciting the base and the tonal shift isn't going to change because people figured out this is how you do it? >> i think the tone is going to
stay the way it is, frankly. and i think he's right in part that yes, it is about speaking to your base, particularly for republicans when donald trump came out, one of the fist thirs things he did, mexicans were rapist. it would doom his campaign and saw it did not doom his campaign. in fact, he went on to be president saying that in other despicable things like that. clearly, the republicans have realized and donald trump knows that there is a certain large, very large segment of the base that absolutely wants to hear these things and as long as they continue to hear these things, then they will continue to support donald trump in the absence, in the absence of real policy occurring, in the absence of actual changes and improvements in their lives. so i think that that's a real problem particularly for the gop when it comes to more moderate voters. i think and one of the things i'm concerned about is that
republicans are using this sort of tone thing telling democrats to watch their tone as a way to stop very sharp criticisms of things that should be criticized. democrats should be criticizing a health care bill that's being drafted in the dark that has the potential to have 23 million americans lose their health coverage. democrats should be attacking that. democrats should be sharply attacking the fact that multiple people under the trump -- in the trump administration have some sort of clout of suspicion of corruption around them. multiple people, this early into an administration, those should be things that democrats should be criticizing. democrats should be criticizing a budget that hurts the poor and hurts people who have been left and already been left behind in this country. so this sort of democrats watch their tone thing, i think is more about trying to silence democrats around issues they should be addressing. >> i'm going to give that lady the word
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