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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  June 18, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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this sunday, the russia probe grows. is president trump under investigation for possible obstruction of justice? the president says he is a victim of a witch hunt. >> do you believe you're under investigation now? special counsel robert mueller and president trump are building their legal teams. how serious is the threat to mr. trump's presidency? we'll get points of view from all sides this morning. jay seculow, from president trump's legal team. republican senator marco rubio, and senator angus king.
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plus that shoing at a republican baseball practice reminds us that toxic rhetoric can turn to real violence. both parties say it's time to tone things down. >> let us always remember that our job is to serve and represent the whole of the american people. >> but how long will that sentiment last? and georgia on our minds. why tuesday's special congressional election is the biggest test yet for the trump presidency. joining me for insight and analysis are david brooks of the "new york times," amy walter, regina of the "washington post" and danielle pletka. welcome to sunday, it's "meet the press. >> the longest running show in television his celebrating it's 70th year. good sunday morning and happy father's day to all of the dads out there. before we get to our main story of the show, we want to update
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you on the progress of one father in particular. congressman steve scalise who was shot at the republican baseball practice on wednesday. his condition has improved from critical to serious. after undergoing yet another surgery, the hospital says he is more responsive and speaking with his loved ones. now, back to our main focus this morning, president trump has been in office for less than five months, and now they are under investigation for possible object jukz of justice. t the president shot back on twitter, seeming to acknowledge that fact was true. but then his special counsel said, when president trump said i am being investigated for firing the fbi director, that was not an acknowledgment that he was being investigated for firing the fbi director. there is another bizarre twitter turn as the white house and special counsel robert mueller's team has been lawyering up,
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preparing for what appears to be a long battle with potentially historic implications. throw in word that mueller is also looking into the president's son-in-law's business dealings and potential action with the russians, and you have an increasely enveloped in crisis capping a week on how thin the line can be between talk and violence. >> let us always remember that our job is to serve and represent the whole american people. >> on a week when political rancorrespond turned to tragedy, the horrific shooting of members of congress is a reminder that our toxic politics can turn violence. >> we do well to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capitol is here because, above all, they love our country. >> but mr. trump undercut his calls for unity, lashing out at his own justice department and
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at special counsel robert mueller, who is now investigating the president for possible obstruction of justice. on thursday mr. trump called the investigation the single greatest witch hunt in american political history, led by some very bad and conflicted people. >> do you believe that you are under investigation now? >> on friday he doubled down, saying, i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. it's an apparent reference to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who is not leading the investigation and it contradicts what mr. trump himself told nbc's lester holt about why he fired james comey. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. and, in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> on friday the president added a new powerhouse lawyer, john
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dowd, to his legal defense team after the "washington post" reported that mueller is also investigating trump's son-in-law jared kushner and his business dealings. an attorney for kushner tells nbc news, we do not know what this report refers to. it would be standard practice for the special counsel to examine financial records to look for anything related to russia. ironically, as a candidate, trump warned that electing his opponent would produce endless investigations. the biggest scandal since watergate, cover-ups, and an inability to govern. >> hillary is likely to be under investigation for many years, probably concluding in a criminal trial. >> reporter: but now it's mr. trump facing a protracted federal investigation led by a special counsel who most members of the president's own party support. >> i have a lot of confidence in bob mueller. i think it was a good choice. >> reporter: is muller's probe a witch hunt? >> i don't view it that way. >> it's not a witch hunt. >> joining me now is a member of
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president trump's legal team, jay seculow. mr. seculow, welcome to "meet the press" and happy father's day. >> happy father's day, chuck. >> let me get some clarity here. the president tweeted this week, i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. when did the president become aware that he was officially under investigation by the special counsel? >> the president is not under investigation by the special counsel. the tweet from the president was in response to the five anonymous sources that were purportedly leaking information to the "washington post" about a potential investigation of the president. but the president, as james comey said in his testimony and as we know as of today, the president has not been and is not under investigation. >> well, i go back to the tweet. then why did he say he was?
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i mean, he just mistweeted? are we not to take him at his word? >> the president's tweet was in response to the "washington post" story. so the "washington post" issued a story that had five anonymous sources which they never identify what agencies those sourcesriginad out of. the response from the esen using social media, was about at story. but let me be very clear here as it has been since the beginning. the president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction. >> okay. and why is the president confused? is this just that he thinks the media is correct here or not? i'm confused by this. why is he not taking your legal advice or other legal advice saying, mr. president, you're not under investigation so why tweet this? this is why there is confusion. >> chuck, i think you're reading more into the tweet than what's there. the president sent out that tweet directly in response to the "washington post" story with the five anonymous, unnamed sources from unnamed agencies.
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that's why he put that in the tweet. look, the president has been, as you know, very effective in utilizing social media. but i want to be very clear here and very direct. the president has not been and is not under investigation. and the tweet was in response to the "washington post" story with no named sources whatsoever. in fact, as you know, chuck, no named agencies whatsoever. >> let me go to something else to that tweet. he said, by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. i assume that is a reference to the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein. the president himself said he was going to fire the fbi director regardless of whatever the deputy attorney general or the attorney general said, so i'm confused there. who made the recommendation to fire james comey? was it the president's decision or was it the recommendation of the deput attorney general? >> first of all, the president ultimately makes the decision.
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that's what he is as president of the united states. there is collaborative discussion and a very thorough process. i'm holding in my hand the letter that was sent from the attorney general of the united states with the memorandum from the deputy attorney general of the united states regarding the situation involving former fbi director comey. in that recommendation is a recommendation for removal. now, as you know, presidents have the ability to think about these situations not in a vacuum. there is a process. when he met with his attorney general, when he met with his deputy attorney general and reviewed their recommendations of what they thought the appropriate course of action should be, both were convinced -- as i say, long and very persuasive document that james comey should be removed. here's the irony, chuck, i think this is important. if the leaks were correct about this investigation. those were leaks, they're not substantiated and we have no knowledge of an investigation. if those leaks were correct,
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here's what the legal theory would have to be and this would raise a serious constitutional issue right from the beginning. you would have had the president of the united states reviewing a letter and recommendations from his department head. and that would be the attorney general of the united states, as well as others. i'm sure he had consultation with other people and that's the nature of these issues. and he made a determination based on that consultation, based on a deliberative process to terminate the fbi director. >> that's not what the president said to lester holt. the president said to lester holt that he had already made the decision to fire james comey. so i'm confused here. you just said he asked for this consultation, which, by the way, let me also say here, mr. roe rosenstein, in his prepared statement, in his testimony to congress last month said, my memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination. so i am confused by your rationale here.
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>> let me just state two things. number one, the letter to the president of the united states from the attorney general of the united states is, therefore, i must recommend that you remove director james comey and identify an experienced and qualified individual to lead the great men and women of the fbi. that's pretty unqualified. attached to that is a memorandum from the -- not this case, the deputy attorney general's office where he lays out the reason of his concern and recommendation for removal is the handling of the hillary clinton matter. but let's take a look at what you just said. here's what you just said. the president made the decision before. let's assume for the sake of argument there was all kinds of decisions being discussed. but this crystallized that decision. the fact of the matter is the president, under the constitution, has the authority to make that decision. now, he has these two memorandums from his attorney general and his deputy attorney general. so here's the theory of this purported case from the "washington post." i mean, just think about this for a minute. so the president of the united states takes action to remove
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the fbi director, and he has a recommendation from his attorney general 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 take that action. that's not constitutional. that's not the way the constitution wos. >> your question is going to be, though, what was the reason behind the firing? so let me ask you this. was the reason having to do with his handling of the russia investigation? or was it having to do with his handling of the clinton e-mail investigation? the reason i ask you this is the memo that was written, the rationale by the deputy attorney general, did not discuss russia. the president, in his interview with my colleague lester holt, said it was about russia. which is it? >> well, the memorandum from the attorney general, you're right, it's about the hillary clinton matter which was basis enough upon which he could be terminated and was, in fact, terminated. that's what the document says.
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but you raised an interesting point on the lester holt interview. when the president gave that full interview to lester holt, he said to lester holt from nbc news, your colleague, he said in light of all of this, the removal of james comey -- in fact, he knew it -- was going to lengthen the amount of time this investigation would take, but he thought it was in the best interests of the american people. so he was fully aware that if, in fact, he took this action, he would see a lengthening or could see a lengthening of the process. so you cannot view this in my mind, chuck, or any reasonable person's mind, especially someone that's representing the president of the united states, these things in a vacuum. there are multiple factors that come to exist. let me tell you the factors that came to exist here. the president made the determination to remove the director of the fbi after consultation with others and that determination is protected by the constitution, period. >> let me ask you this. why does the president seem to act as if he is so concerned
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abouthis investigation if he did nothing wrong. if he knows he did nothing wrong, then he shouldn't be afraid of this investigation. it's being led by professionals, a guy like robert mueller who is not a political guy, you know he's not a partisan guy. i'm just sort of curious. why doesn't the president embrace this investigation if he's innocent? >> because every day the "washington post" and the "new york times" are utilizing supposed leaked information about supposed investigations of the president of the united states. so his legal team and the president responds. but when you see a tweet, okay, or a utilization of social media, the president has -- i mean, his social media reach is over 100 million. a little over what are probably watching us today, i know you have good ratings, but reaches a lot of people. so that tweet takes, let's say, 15 seconds. this is not taking up the president of the united states' day. he's responding to what he sees in the media in a way that he thinks is appropriate to talk to the people who put him in office. >> again, you didn't answer the
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question. if the president is innocent, why is he afraid of this investigation? >> he's not afraid of the investigation, there is no investigation. i want to be clear here. >> there is an investigation into what russia did in the 2016 election. >> and he told james comey, when james comey was still the fbi director and james comey testified to this, to continue that probe, find out what happened there. he's not worried about this, but there is not an investigation of the president of the united states, period. >> jay sekulow, member of the president's legal team, i will leave it there. thanks for coming out this morning on this father's day. i appreciate it. >> thanks, chuck. joining me now, senator marco rubio who is a member of the senate intelligence community. senator, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you, sir. >> let me begin on the latest of the russian probe. the president tweeted, i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. senator diane feinstein, your
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colleague on the intel committee, put up this press release on friday. the message the president is sending through his tweets is thatbelieves the rule of law does not apply to him and anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired. that's undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the president's oath of office. pretty rough words from her. she doesn't normally use language like that. do you concur with her sentiment? >> i think everybody just needs to keep watching this but take a deep breath, too, because the fbi is going to do its job. the fbi doesn't sit around all day and read tweets. the fbi is going to do their job, mueller is going to do his job, and she's on the committee with me, the senate intelligence committee is doing its job. the best will happen for the country, the president, and it's a very thorough and credible investigation that reveals everything. that's the best thing that can happen, i really believe that, including for the president. that's what's going to happen, i believe. >> this week alone, i think he referred to the russian investigation as a witch hunt, i
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want to say six or seven times. that's not embracing the investigation, and that's not adding to the credibility of the investigation. that seems to be an attempt to undermine the credibility of the investigation. does that concern you? >> look, one thing we've learned, i think, from the testimony of multiple people now is the president is pretty fired up about this, okay? from every pronouncement we have seen, he feels very strongly that he did nothing wrong, and he wants people to say that because he feels very strongly about it. i don't think that's a mystery. and he's expressing himself in that way. that said, that in no way is going to impede any of this work from continuing. it's going to happen. you've never seen a single member of law enforcement or the administration come forward and say anything different. this is going to move forward. we're going to get the full truth out there, and i repeat, i believe that is the best thing that can happen for the president and for this administration, is for evytng to come out, and i believe that it will. so you don't believe these tweets are intended to send a warning to either special counsel mueller or the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein? >> i have no basis on which to
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make a decision on what his intent is. i can tell you what its impact is. and i can also tell you what the president -- i don't think it's any mystery he feels pretty strongly about the fact he did nothing wrong and he's trying to get multiple people to say that publicly because they've told him that, apparently, in private, so he wants them to say that publicly. this in no way will impede the work. the work is moving forward and it's important for us to understand that. if that changes, we'll have a different conversation on the air, but that's not what's happening right now. >> do you think the president's legal team is disputing the notion that he's currently under investigation for obstruction of justice. do you think it would be appropriate for the special counsel at this point considering the confusion behind the firing of the fbi director, do you think it would be appropriate if he were investigating the president on this? an investigation doesn't mean guilt, an investigation simply means investigating. do you think it's an appropriate investigation? >> you said it doesn't mean
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guilt, but a lot of times that's how it's portrayed. nobody wants to be under investigation even if you did nothing wrong, because it has negative connotations. that said, i think they should look at everything. i think it will be good for the president, good for the country to have a full and credible investigation so no one can ever say, you didn't look at this, or you didn't look at that. that's what needs to happen, i believe that will happen, and the result of that will be good for america s we ca move on to take on some of the other important issues confronting us. >> there has been some concern by some of your colleagues that the administration doesn't take this very seriously what russia did. i want to play for you a response from the attorney general earlier this week that was quite stunning. here it is. >> i know nothing but what i've raid read in the paper. i've never received a detailed briefing on how our hacking occurred, how information was alleged to have influenced the campaign. >> did you find it startling that a member of the national
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security council hasn't had a briefing on what russia did to -- in the election -- what the intelligence committee said? it seemed to be stunning to me that a member of the president's national security council, because that would imply that the president's national security council isn't even discussing this issue. >> yes. the initial reaction people would have is, wow, someone in the attorney general has not even been briefed on russia's interference? then you realize the reverse, if he had been briefed, what we would be talking about today is whether that was appropriate because he's recused from having anything to do with the 2016 election in russia. it's kind of a catch-22, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't in regards to that. as far as russia hacking the election, the president doesn't believe it, i don't believe it, almost everybody else does. >> think about what you just said, the president doesn't
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believe it. you believe it, you've seen the evidence. how stunning is that to you that the president of the united states disputes the evidence of 17 intelligence agencies in this country? >> again, ultimately, at the end of the day, he has a right to his opinion on these issues. bottom line is we're going to continue to do our work. you saw this week that the senate voted on sanctions, and the president will have to make a decision about whether he'll sign that or not. i hope he does. i believe there are sufficient votes in place to encourage him to do so. but in the end, we're going to do what we believe is right. that's what we're always going to do. we'll have disagreements with the president from time to time, and hopefully, by the way, his conclusion on that will change when we issue our report. >> the more the administration tries to soften the sanctions in the house, at any point do you understand if some people see that as circumstantial evidence in this probe? >> i could understand how some people would make that argument. i could also tell you, though, that i personally believe that at the core, the resistance is not the president. i don't think the president himself has a problem with
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additional sanctions on russia. i think the concern actually comes from the state department and for the following reason. they argue that they are trying to get the russians to be more cooperative on a number of fronts and that this could set us back. it's a legitimate argument. i thought about it, i don't agree with it. you saw the majority of my colleagues didn't agree with it this week. >> senator marco rubio, as always, sir, thank you for coming on and sharing your views. by the way, happy father's day. >> thank you. thank you. >> you got it. when we come back, we'll hear from the third side, if you will. senator angus king who is one of the democrats. and more news on the shooting that representative scalise was a part of this week. >> we are angered by our shock. we are angered by the attack. an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
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>> i'm not taubi italking about campaign, i'm talking about what the russians did. you received no briefing on the rusians in the election of 2016? >> no, i don't believe i did. >> there was senator angus king of maine questioning attorney general jeff sessions about what, if anything, he learned about the russian hacking of the u.s. election. senator king, welcome back to the show, sir. >> chuck, good to be with you. >> your colleague, marco rubio, i asked him to react to that answer the attorney general gave to you, and while he acknowledged that might be stunning or surprising to some that the attorney general didn't get briefed that it was a catch-22, that if he were, hey, he's recused himself and it would be getting him too involved. is that a fair defense of the attorney general in this?
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>> i don't think so, because the attorney general didn't recuse himself, i think, until sometime in march, and we're talking about a period where he was a senior foreign policy adviser to the president through the election, through the transition, through january into february. i can't imagine coming into office with this fact of the russian engagement in our election and not digging into it. i believe it's one of the most serious attacks we've had on our country in recent years, and the president doesn't seem interested in it, either. mr. comey testified he had nine interactions with him before he was fired. in none of those did the president say, what did the russians do, how did they do it, what do you think about it and what can we do about it? this is serious stuff. all this trump-comey and obstruction to justice is really covering up what i believe is
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the big story. >> do you believe that's an action of denial in and of itself? >> i'm not going to be talking about circumstantial evidence one way or another, but i think the president has in his mind this isn't real, and i just wish he would sit down quietly with some of the professionals, mike rogers at nsa or people at the fbi who did the investigation or talk to jim clapper, one of the most credible people ever to serve in the united states government and get the facts and quit denying it. i think he thinks it undermines his election, and, you know, we got to put that aside. the al problem here, chuck, is the russians aren't going away. this isn't a one-off deal. they're going to come after us in 2018, 2020, and as marco rubio keeps saying in the committee, this could very easily work in the opposite way. putin is not a republican. >> given the various tweets this week that the president -- and i've put them up a few times, i won't repeat them again here, but the idea that he's upset apparently with the deputy attorney general and his managing, i guess, of the
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special counsel. do you, number wurnone, think t deputy attorney general needs to recuse himself because he was at least consulted on the comey firing? >> well, i don't know about recuse himself. that's going to be his decision, but i think definitely he's going to be interviewed by the special counsel because of his involvement with the president, and you put your finger on it in the prior discussion. >> can you oversee an investigation that you're going to be a witness on? >> well, you know, i don't know quite what oversee means in that context. bob mueller has special, more or less, independence, and he's going to pursue this. your long discussion with the president's lawyer is just going to be a matter of time. we don't need to decide or argue about it today, whether or not the president is under investigation. mueller will investigate what he thinks is important and we'll find out in a matter of time whether he's following up on the question of obstruction of justice. >> one of the tweets this week the president sort of indicated
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that the collusion aspect of the investigation is over. now they're coming after him on obstruction of justice. let me ask you this. where is the senate intel committee on this investigation timetablewise? are you in the beginning of this investigation, the middle of it? you know, i know you don't know the exact end date of when you think you'll be able to draw a conclusion, but at least give me some sense of where you are. >> well, first i can say categorically that the collusion or cooperation aspect of the investigation is not over. and as far as that goes, i would say we're 20% into it, just to throw a number at it. a lot of people have said, when do you think you'll be done? maybe end of the year. this is a very complex matter involving thousands of pages of intelligence documents, lots of witnesses. there is a lot of information yet to go. >> what's the difference, in your mind, between collusion and coordination? >> well, i think that's a crucial question. i think the question -- well, both of those are disturbing if
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either exists. let's take coordination, which i think is a lighter word than collusion, but the real question is, were there people in the trump campaign, not necessarily the president or the candidate, who were in contact with the russians and sort of sharing information and cooperating in terms of how the russians were acting in the latter stages of the campaign? and that's the question that we're looking at. but don't forget, chuck, the underlying question is that the russians tried to screw around with our elections and also with the state election system, which i find really scary. we're going to have a hearing on that this week, and that may ultimately be the most dangerous part of this. >> we keep hearing more and more on that as well. unfortunately, i'm running a little bit late on time. senator king, as always, sir, thank you for coming on for interviews. and happy farether's day, sir. >> same to you, sir.
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>> thank you. a special congressional election in suburban atlanta. how the results there could spread far beyond georgia. as we go to break, here's congressman jim himes of connecticut on the day of gunfire. >> we had town hall meetings and people shouting, and this morning is a real world reminder that as leaders, we are responsible for trying to set as civil and as constructive a tone as we can. (vo) pro plan bright mind adult 7+ promotes alertness and mental sharpness in dogs 7 and older. (ray) the difference has been incredible.
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welcome back, david brooks
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is here. danielle plet eugene thomas of the "washington post." welcome to all of my guests. you heard all of the interviews, do you have any better sense of where the president is on this investigation? >> i'm getting more uncomfortable with this whole deal thinking maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves and i'm bothered by the lack of emerging evidence that there was collusion and coordination with the trump white house. what's happened is we've surrounded the president with this legal mine field, and donald trump being donald trump, steps all over the legal mine field and blows them up six ways from sunday. there is a lot of shade i behavior that don't rise to watergate level, and i'm just afraid we're being swallowed up by the politics of scandal when there is less and less evidence that there was collusion. it bothers me.
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>> i'm absolutely with you on that. i thought the most striking part was when david sekulow is that president trump is very clear with his use of social media. the problem is the social media is what got him into the predicament he's in. the whole reason we're having this discussion in the first place is he tweeted out the possibility that there are tapes of jim comey, right? the fact he went on television and said what he said to lester holt, the fact he tweeted the tweet you talked about today on this show. so that at the end of the day, what evidence is there is not quite as -- going to be as relevant as what he's doing during the investigation, not what the investigation is actually about. >> is there a fog? >> there is a fog, but i don't see why we should be that concerned that we don't have the smoking gun yet. we're still clearing away the smoke. it seems to me the investigation
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will go on and either they will find evidence of collusion or they will not. but obstruction of justice is not a small matter, and there are ways to go through an investigation without obstructing justice. the president's tweets are statements by the president of the united states. they can't be ignored or dismissed as, well, that's just social media. in fact, i can arg they're more important than the sort of chopped and processed statements that come out of the white house press office or out of his attorneys. these come from the mind and mouth of the president of the united states. >> dani? >> i have to say something first. happy birthday, sophie. that's my middle daughter, she's turning 18 today. let's talk about what we're here to talk about. i think david is exactly right. all along what you hear behind the scenes in washington is, there isn't any "there" there, about the russian collusion, the russian investigation.
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all we're talking about all the time is donald trump stepping on those mines, donald trump tweeting, donald trump's lawyers trying to keep up with what he's actually saying. we're not keeping up with what the russians did. we should be talking about iran or the uss fitzgerald or scalise or something like that today. instead we're talking about the president's tweets this morning. >> but one element of the investigation that bob mueller is conducting is financial dealings with russian state sponsored businesses or whatever by principals in the trump campaign, presumably including the president, including jared kushner. there is a lot being investigated here, and i think it's premature to say there's no "there" there. >> i don't think any of us want to suggest there was no misbehavior by eherillary clinton or by donald trump or by people around them.
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the point is we know in washington, d.c. that once you have a special prosecutor, it will become about the investigation. no one ever gets put in prison or charged for the crime. they get charged for lying to the prosecutors or for obstruction. >> you know, it's interesting on the witch hunt thing, he has said it a bunch of times and somebody sent this morning a reminder. i think the president -- here is a headline in the "washington post" from july 1963. nixon sees witch hunt, sources say. it sound like you believe, david, it does seem the more focus there is on the obstruction of justice, is it or isn't it, does it actually benefit him because there is not a focus on what the russians did? >> there is an underlying problem here. i do think it's semi witch hunt unless there is actual evidence of collusion. the problem with trump is he is
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a person who values personal loyalty. he is basically a tribal mentality, and he's surrounded by a modern government which is a governor of laws. so he walks over every single legal structure and we seizuurr him with the legal structure he's walking all over. i have 960 problems and the russian collusion happens to be number 547. >> if you look back to monica lewinsky and the grand jury, you talked about the leaks coming from ken starr's office, going after ken starr personally. none of that is new. what is new is the president is making it that much harder for his defenders and marco rubio comes on there with a very good point which is, let's just let this investigation play out. the president himself is preventing it. >> this president can't compartmentalize.
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>> well, i don't think he understands what being president is all about. presidenting is difficult. what you really need to do is focus -- >> is that a word, presidenting? >> it felt good. look, what this is about is actually governance. he doesn't want to govern, he wants to campaign. if what you want to do is campaign, then you have to fight all the time. the other stuff is boring. >> interesting. we're going to pause it here. when we come back, why tuesday's vote in george jia will be the t important special election ever. or maybe not. we'll be right back.
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welcome back. data download time. the hotly anticipated special election in the georgia sixth congressional district is finally here. this tuesday all eyes turn to democrat john ossoff and karen handel. depending how you look at it, this could be a well-hyped
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outlyer for 2016. this is a kind of test for the democrats' must-win if they are going to take the house back in 2018. tom price won this district by 23 points and where donald trump struggled. in fact, there are 23 districts where a republican won the house seat but hillary clinton won the presidential vote. if ossoff wins here, it suggests republicans in those districts have a lot to worry about. second, education. republicans are losing educated voters. of the 10 top districts for college-educated voters, dems won 9 and republicans won 1. if they can't take back this, their outlook is slim. so far nearly $40 million have been spent on tv ads alone in one house race. that's 20 million more than the total spent on the most expensive house race in american
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history. it's unique. next, there is no popular incumbent running. that does matter. tom price won 62% of the vote in this district in november, but 118 republicans in congress did even better in their district. so the georgia 6 is more the exception than the rule. and don't forget, with all the national attention on this house race, turnout is likely to be much higher than an average midterm race. so folks, look. we're living in an unpredictable political time and there is no telling what the fall of 2018 had look like. so no matter who wins tuesday, there will be a spin for both sides. don't be surprised if the big win tuesday night comes out of the south carolina fifth congressional district. don't forget, there is a special election there, too. when we come back, what are the chances that that awful shooting at the republican baseball practice this week will actually lead to a change in tone in washington and across the country? to amaze his audience.
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this. a lot of it really, truly is going to be about the psychological impact that this race has. is it going to make democrats more excited, turn out more candidates running, raise more money for the party committees, or if they lose, is it a way to sort of tamp down that enthusiasm? >> david brooks, a lot of people are probably looking at it in washington through the prism of his russian problems and all this stuff with the president. number one issue being a debate if there's health care. health care's future for the republicans might be what's on the ballot tuesday. >> that's my theme of the morning is we do get frustrated with the big bombs. but the reporting i see, why aren't you guys getting anything done for us? the economy is slender, health care, you're not doing anything for us, and the democrats winning over college-educated republicans is the key. >> the health care, it's interesting. will they pay a price, senate
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republicans, for doing this under a way that they criticize democrats for? here's a little montage from that criticism. >> democratic leadership work behind csed doors out of of public view. >> it's being written behind closed doors without input from anyone. and in an effort to jam it past not only the senate but the american people. >> there's no conversation. and no one knows what's in this bill but one senator. >> that was all in 2009. >> yeah. >> now democrats are throwing -- look, i know you're shocked that hypocrisy is taking place in washington among the two major parties. will voters punish republicans for that or not? >> i don't know. i don't know if they'll punish republicans for that or punish republicans for the house bill which is wildly unpopular throughout the country. i don't know if some republicans will be punished for not getting
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anything done if in fact this doesn't go through. so in other words, i think republicans are much more vulnerable on the health care issue than democrats are right now. it's hard to see how anything they do really helps them a lot politically. >> i think the bigger problem for the republicans is not simply the health care vote but effectiveness. at the end of the day they haven't done anything that we need to see them do. and that's going to be what they need to bring to the people is here's what we accomplished. i think even if it's controversial, if they accomplish something, they will have a good argument. >> i -- i mean, this health care bill is epically unpopular. it's like 17% among independents. that's horrific. >> we said the same thing -- >> lost the house in 2010. >> obamacare. >> right. >> but as a political issue, i think it is going to be very difficult to defend. we know what happens when you take major legislation and shove it through on the purely partisan vote, you lose politically. >> the health -- the hospital
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providers they need the coverage. right now obamacare is built into their business models and if it's -- if that gets ripped away -- i'm not talking about left "d" -- they're in a panic. that's how people vote. i think this is a ruinous bill. they're keeping it secret because i'm about to hit you, but i'm not going to tell you and then i'm going to hit you and so you're going to vote on itnyway. have it open in the open from the beginning. >> what was buried this week when he met -- when the president met with the senate republicans. he called the house bill mean. and is that how you win over the freedom caucus? >> it's staggering to watch the president. we were back to talking about what the president tweets and says about things behind closed doors and leaks again. >> leaks again. >> we're going to pause and after i want to talk about whether washington will change or not based on what happened. back in 45 seconds. >> coming up, "meet the press" end game, brought to you by boeing. always working to build something better.
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"meet the press" end game is brought to you by boeing. always working to build something better. >> back now with end game. david, after this shooting, eight members have been shot in the history of congress, two in the last six years after both gabby giffords and steve scalise, the immediate reaction by nonpartisans has our politics gotten too vitriolic. i think we all believe that's a yes. will it change? >> i don't think so. 1970 they asked people, would you mind if your son or daughter married somebody of the opposing party it was like yes 5% politics is an argument about tax rates. how we structure health care bills. it's important -- but not your
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soul. so if you turn to religion you get this lunatic who starts shooting people. >> we don't disagree anymore on issues that's not the issue that over the last 30 years we have pulled apart idz logically or or on -- ideologically or on the policy. we have pulled apart the feelings that we dislike more each other. and the president said, you know, what brings people to washington is their love of country. and that i think that's fair. but they may love -- we may love our country but we don't love each other and that's the bigger problem. >> you brought up the president. i wonder if he's done enough. here's ted nugent pledging to change his tone. take a listen to this. >> i cannot and i will not and i encourage even my friends/enemy on the left in the democrat and liberal world that we have got to be civil to each other. >> the reason i point this out, ted nugent said it. look, he's in the hall of fame
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of incendiary rhetoric. president trump never said i'm going to tone it down this week. it would have helped. >> yeah. i guess it would have helped. i mean, i think what the underlying force is -- they're more important here frankly -- >> totally agree. >> we have self-sorted my political views geographically. we tend to live around people who think we do. we can't imagine living where people don't think the way we do. as that continues, i just think we become more tribal. that's where we are. >> donald trump actually gave a good speech and a good comment this week and he deserves credit for that. the bigger problem is that there are larger officials growing in our society. it's not left and right, but it's racial and class. very much income and education levels and that amplified by social media and the feeling that people have that they're in the game against others is really what makes this so toxic. >> well, think about all the ads
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that are run by the very people who are denouncing all of the incivility in washington. only 20% of all ads run are positive ads. the grand majority are attack ads. >> paul ryan super pac used the kathy griffin thing. look, if you're outraged by it, it was disgusting, don't put it in a paid ad. >> i would say though when we talk about violence, that doesn't come from bad ads. violence comes from's laltded angry guys who feel insignificant and invisible and sort of psychopathic. they don't understand other people's emotions. they want to shoot somebody to prove they exist to themselves and willing to kill themselves while doing it. >> how many presidents did we lose in the 20th century, throughout the century, so that kind of violence -- the one thing to remind people, even though it's the anger, disagreement but there's a lot of civility in washington actually paul ryan and nancy pelosi talk all the time. >> not only that, i actually -- i think this is real in
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congress. i think this hit them in a way that -- how could it not? >> i agree. >> this hit them in a different way. regardless of whether we change, publicly, i feel like this going to change back congress a little bit first. >> when you spoke to men -- members on thursday and friday, there was a different tone. i don't think that was artificial. >> i get the sense as i had said, if you see somebody on your side saying something vitriolic, tell them no and i think the members will do that. >> okay. >> i'm going to be -- >> you can be pollyanna. i think we'll go back the our old ways very soon. >> i want to say very soon. that's all we have for today. thank you for watching. happy father's day to both of you. >> and to you. >> ando all the dads out there, we're back next week. if it's sunday it's "meet the press." is "meet the prs."
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very good sunday to you. i'm richard lui in new york city. welcome to "pulse of america" where your voice can be heard in realtime. here are the stories we want to get your pulse on today. down and dirty two days until the special election in georgia. a conservative pac uses the shooting of republican congressman steve scalise in an attack ad. president trump tweets say he's being invested in the -- investigated in the russia probe and now one of the l

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