tv Morning Joe MSNBC June 19, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT
>> so there was one person on the sunday shows talking on behalf of the president and it wasn't a cabinet secretary, it wasn't press secretary, it was one of his lawyers? >> is he a lawyer? >> i don't know. but we do know it did not go well. >> short of a floater, isn't he? has anybody actually said he's a lawyer? >> he's a lawyer. >> no, i mean a lawyer, but one of the president's lawyers. he plays a layer. >> did the white house say we are putting out the president's lawyer to speak to you? no. we'll play the full exchange for you just with ahead. good morning, everyone. >> you could be the president's lawyer. >> i don't believe he's officially part of the legal team. i think he's part of the legal pr team. >> talk about talking on behalf of an administration. >> so what you mean then is he hasn't gone around and told all of the people that work for donald trump that they do not need to get legal representation
despite the fact that he doesn't represent them which would, you know, i think open yourself up to an ethics complaint. >> i think one of the people who is the lawyer for the president told the rest of the team not to get lawyers, although they have not quite sensibly decided to get lawyers. >> because by telling donald trump's workers not to get lawyers, what you are in fact doing is offering legal advice that actually works against the best interests of the other people and for your client. if you're not careful, that could have legal ramifications. >> as you can see, we have john heilemann, a plig wriler from the "new york times" and also press secretary for president obama, josh earnest. >> josh -- >> who speaks on behalf of the president? >> it is fascinating because we didn't really get an
announcement that jay secretaar with everybody. >> but there has been no announcement that he is part the trump team. >> well, first of all, there are a lot of people who are reluctant to defend the president on tv, so it probably isn't easy to find peesh who are willing to take the rest and try to gend him defend him on telev the difficult task of refuting what the president tweeted about. but are you going to get sawed at the he intoes. so it's not easy to convince people to get out there. >> his job is to be on tv for the president i think. >> who is speaking for the white house if you had to guess? >> it should be the press secretary. we see the deputy press secretary making more appearances now. but even they are in a position where they are referring all the questions to president trump's legal team anyway even though this is the main question that white house reporters are asking. so this is a situation where the
white house right now, certainly a president that is preoccupied bioptics, looks like shall be who is just one step ahead of the law. they are scrambling to try to convince people that they don't have anything to hide even though they are hiding their cards quite closely. >> a lot to cover this morning. we'll get to that a little more. but first, there is another deadly incident in london where are a van drove into a group of pedestrians near a mosque early this morning london time. it's being investigated as a possible act of terrorism. we'll bring in keir simmons live from the scene in a moment. but first, over the weekend, president trump tried to put some focus on his agenda tweeting about jobs, business and making america great again. >> that's what you want him do, right? >> sure. despite what he called a witch hunt. and while the president pointed to health care and tax reform plans, it was his tweet from
friday that is still taking up all the oxygen in washington. friday morning shortly after we went off the air, he posted, quote, i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director, witch hunt. that appeared to be a shot at deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who wrote a memo used to justify the removal of james comey, though the president later told lester holt if you remember in that interview that he was going to fire comey raurl rerls t regardless of the recommendation. trump legal team member -- is he speaking for -- like did the white house put him out? >> don't know. >> yes. >> so the white house put him out? >> yes, as a legal key member or tv lawyer? >> that is a question. he did a lot of -- he was on almost every show yesterday. >> matt lolock was a tv lawyer.
>> it's reported that the president likes him a great gra deal. >> why not the press secretary? >> you're now reaching the limits of my knowledge. >> he is the guy that they have put forward to be the main flack camper on this case because as you said earlier, they can't find someone else who wants to do it and the people who are actually working in the white house are worried about the president trump's evaluation and performance on tv and jay secreta secretais a guy -- >> but matlock would be pretty good. >> is matlock still alive? >> nothing matters. fake news. he's alive. >> so the president of the united states put out a tweet saying he's being investigated
and sekulow tried his best to explain why the president would post that tweet. >> the president takes action based on numerous events swh, including recommendations from his attorney general and the deputy attorney general's i've. he takes the action that they also by the way recommended, and now he's being investigated by the department of justice because the special counsel under the special counsel rig lagss reports still to the department of justice, not an independent counsel, so he is being be investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him t-to-ta by the agency who recommended the termination. so that is the constitutional threshold question here. and that's why i said no investigation -- >> dwha's t what's the question? you've said that he is now being investigated after being -- >> no, he's not being investigated. >> you gist are sajust said thag investigated. >> let me be chris crystal clea.
we are not aware of any investigation of the president of the united states. period. >> you just said two times that he's being investigated. >> . the context of the tweet, i just gave you legal theory of how the contusikocon constitution w. if it is correct that the president about is being investigated, he will be investigated for taking action that an agency told him to take. so that is protected under the constitution as his article 1 power. so i appreciate you trying to rephrase it, but i'm just being really -- >> i didn't rephrase it. the tape will speak for itself. you said he is being investig e investigated and it's not -- wait a minute. there is also th of what he said to comey when comey was still the fbi director. so there is more than just the fact that he fired comey. >> chris, let's me be clear. you asked me a question about what the president trump's tweet was regarding the deputy attorney general of the united states are you. that's what you asked me. and i responded to what that
legal theory would be. so i do not appreciate you putting words in my mouth when i've been crystal clear that the president is not and has not been under investigation. i don't think i could be any clearer than that. >> well, you don't know that he's not under investigation again sir. >> i cannot read -- you're right, i can't read the minds of the special prosecutor. >> so we're in agreement, you don't know whether he's under investigation. >> chris, that is -- [ everybody talking at once ] >> even though he did say he's under investigation twice. if rob reiner would made a spinal tap for of politics, it would look a lot like that. >> the webest moment is when he caught and he does a reset and says i want to make this chris cal clear. and whenever anyone says that, i want to make this as muddy and confusing as possible. >> but he did say two times the president was under investigation. the president admitted in a tweet that he was under
investigation. and i mean this seriously. i wonder who -- and ild be honest with you, i get this feeling with bill clinton so obviously lied. i wonder who they think is actually believing that they are not lying other than their most hardened base when trump says he's being investigated, jay sekulow says it twice. >> look, i think -- >> and then they go, oh, wait, no, no he's not being investigated. >> i think they are devoted to creating an alternative narrative about this investigation, because there is an audience for that and the base is important when u're under fire. i'm not saying i think it, but that is the point of it. >> but it is just on -- with ooit it's on transcript. it's right there. you are entitled to your own opinions, but as ronald reagan
said, facts are facts. i can't believe somebody at home would be dumb enough go, oh, yeah, even though they are all admitting they are under investigation now we believe they are not. >> and one other data point is when jim comey was of it offing before congress about whether or not he believed that bob mueller was going investigate for potential obstruction of justice, grekter er twrekt dir said he was sure that they would. so even the person previously leading the investigation is also sure that this is something. so this really isn't something to be debated. i do think -- because it is a faskt. i do think that it raises questions about what the long term impact will be on the ability of the trump white house to advance their agenda and certainly on the political standing of congressional republicans who have to bewarely eyeing the election calendar. >> i don't understand why they
have to put a lawyer out to say that. >> again, i think he's probably the only one willing do it and he got compensated heavily. >> are you saying that the press secretary refuses to speak? >> i'd be very -- >> i wouldn't blame him either. >> that would be very wise. >> first person manning up inside the white house. >> every time they go out -- >> let's sdwrus nojust note thet he's not under investigation sort of fights the claim that there is a witch hunt. because if you were not undecember investigation, wouldn't be much of a witch hunt. you either have to have the witch hunt -- >> either you have the torches as they are running the -- puritans are running through the woods of massachusetts looking for witches or they're not? you can't have a witch hunt without an actual witch. >> correctly.unfortunately, the went on tv and said i'm a witch. >> i weigh me than that sack
of fthers. >> newt gingrich made the case that any case against trump would be point onless. >> technically the president of the united states cannot obstruct justice. the president of the united states is the chief executive officer of the united states. if he wants to firt fe the fbi director, all he has to do is fire him. >> but that's not what gingrich believed in april of 1998 when president trump -- >> this is good. >> when bill clinton was in office and he was in charge of congress. >> what you have lived through for 2 1/2 long years is the most systemic deliberate obstruction of justice coverup, an effort to avoid the truth, we have ever seen in american history. and the time has come to say to the democrats and to say to the president quit undermining the law in the united states.
>> that really could apply to today. >> so that is obstruction of justice he said. >> i believe the obstruction of just you tis wice was also one articles of impeachment against president nixon. so seems like we have a couple press departments jucedents in . new to the overnight breaking news out of london where one person is dead after a van rammed into a group people in a crowded sidewalk. the incident happened early this morning near a mosque in the finsbury park neighborhood in the northern section. two people were also hurt. police say that a 48-year-old man was arrested at the scene and that the incident is being treated as a terror attack and the counterterrorism command is investigating. >> it marks the latest such incident in recent months to hit the uk following the london van and stabbing attacks, and the
manchester bombing. >> let's go live to kyrgios similar onkeir simmons. bring us up to speed on the investigation. >> reporter: what we think happened is that this vehicle mounted the sidewalk on the street behind me here and rammed into a group of people who were leaving evening prayers. thousand, there a there ar reports that h then waived and looked proud of himself. some stunnin stories emerging, one that i'll share is that what is being said is that people gathered around and arrested him themselves if you like, but then prevented others from attacking him and waited for the police to arri arrive. so an extra act of lawfulness in this terrible scenario. and another thing we're seeing, you mentioned that the police are talking about this as suspectedi terrorist attack.
of course what we've seen is a seer ries of outrages in this c and other cities that have been carried out by islamic extremists against all kinds of innocent people. this looks like it was targeted at the muslim community and the way it is being debt wialt with viewed as crucial here. >> all right. thank you kyrgios simmonyou kei. it looks like an attack of revenge which of course is deeply concerning. >> and we'll be following this story throughout the morning. >> by the way, alex just reminded me of yet another sort of contradiction the day after comey testified, he said he lied about me. he was lying about me. and i'm vindicated. the old quote from are the member of parliament, one of my favorites, that half the lies our enemies say about us aren't
even true. all right. still ahead -- >> you can use that one. >> former nato commander retired admiral on the deadly collision involving the navy destroyer off japan. and also with us, long time diplomat retired ambassador nick burns. and we'll look ahead to tomorrow's special election in georgia. most expensive house race in history. >> what are you thinking right now? how do you handicap that one? >> i hate to use the most clicée of politics, there is almost no one left undecided in the race. so you have so much money down there, you have everyone focused on the one thing that matters which is turnout. it really is just -- if he wins, it will be a gar beganian thing. >> and i'll say ossoff. i think the president is so low that he's discouraged some of his own supporters.
and that the base will feel what's the point at this moment to come out in our full strength. >> looking at the body language ever congressional republicans, is terrible. they will say that it will be a late night. so obviously i think that is a good indication for jon ossoff. my fellow missourian is handed down there today. and i think that is an indication that jon ossoff is running squarely on democratic values and that's a good thing for our party. >> i can't remember a congressional race like this where it is winner take all, there is no spinning. if the democrats win, they have won a solidly republican seat that, you know, price won by 20 plus points. if the republicans win, this is a seat that donald trump only won by one point in the fall.
and it will be a garganian win for rms if they win. a massive win. same way the democrats. so the stakes really are high. >> we'll dig into that more later. but first bill karins has a check on the forecast. a lot of active weather around the country. first the severe weather in the northeast. rain in pittsburgh, but later today, 60 million people at risk before all of the i-95 corridor. we'll get a line ever strong storms. everybody will pretty much get hit. about a half hour period of torrential rain, lightning and strong winds. and that includes d.c., philadelphia, baltimore, new york, la late tonight towards bn and richmond. the other story is the extreme heat. 33 million people affected by the historic heat wave in the west. potential for all time record highs in phoenix. we'll be around 120. and finally we could have tropical development in the gulf of mexico as we go throughout the next couple days.
80%, 90 pr% chance this will bee a tropical storm. waters are warm enough to support a tropical storm even a low end hurricane. but most long range commuters think that it will most likely threaten the northern gulf. so louisiana, mississippi, coastal florida, you have the potential for flooding as we go throughout the middle of the week. there is good weather in the great lakes as we go throughout the day today. soew york city all the way down to d.c., be prepad for major flight delays and strong thunderstorms. i was playing golf a couple days ago...
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in serious condition undergoing another surgery over the weekend. he continues to show signs of improvement and is more responsive even speaking with loved ones. >> that is great news. >> his twitter account posted that he spent saturday watching lsu baseball playing in the college world ri. matt mike mika also continues to recover. and we were talking about tomorrow's special election in georgia. the shooting is playing a role flp in that race. >> the unhinged left is endorsing shooting republicans. when will it stop? it won't because the shame leftists are becoming jon ossoff and they win, they win. stop them now.
stop nancy pelosi. vote karen handel for congress. >> so i can tell you that both campaigns have vigorously disavowed that and that is one of the problems with the third party ads. i'm sure it happened to president obama at times. where somebody will put up an ad, i remember somebody put up an ad in my first campaign and i picked up the phone and started screaming and they said we can't talk to you, this is a third party ad. i said well i'm going to kick your ass when the campaign is over if it runs another day. i mean, that is obviously something that i am sure everybody is horrified by it. i was horrified how over the weekend people on the left and people on the right, on twitter especially. it's gross. let the man recover with his family and we'll have a -- if you were offended by what the
pope's position is on social issues and you got a guy from a catholic state that is actually believing what the catholicing church sa church says, take it up with sim six months from now. >> take it up with him when he's back in congress. that is a vigorous debate we should continue to have. and when i was at the white house podium, i famously had a couple exchanges through the media with congressman scalise and his office. we have our profound political differences. but he did not at all deserve what happened to him and we all as americans have are to be rooting for his recovery. we absolutely are. we have a political system to resolve our differences without violence. that is the whole point of politics. we engage in debate, we decide who wins and loses by who gets the most votes. >> i've got differences with steve scalise, with bernie sanders on lot of sues.
but i can't imagine in aillion years starting a political debate and attacking a guy whose family is surrounding him in a hospital bed fighting for his life any more than i can believe that somebody is low enough to use that tragedy to try to pick up a couple votes in a race. >> well, it's all part of what we do here and it's something that we really need to think about how we do what we do. when it comes to conspiracy they'rist e theorists or opinion issue, it has to stay within guardrails that we create for ourselves. we don't want this to be the wild west of politics, the megaphone of cable tv and twitter. >> and i hope that nancy pelosi and paul ryan have come out and said some things that will try
to work together and -- i do think that we have to start holding the leaders on both sides accountable to what their members say. some of the outrageous things that they say. and make them call them out. and i hope they do call them out and they will find out that their party will be stronger in the end i think. >> i think that civility in politics is something that some partisans attack and say it's a cover for bad stuff you and i think that we're seeing right now in our politics around the country just a moment where we understand that the ability of people to work out their differences through a political process, and to not make politics a totalizing thing that brings in everything else in your life that becomes a catastrophe if you lose. it's important, it's essential to the american experiment and democracy anywhere. and i see the stuff on twitter and it turns my stomach and it makes me think that twitter is not real life and we can't make twitter and real life the same.
>> and it's not real life. it's a small subset. and that's what a lot of times people that watch available of cable news 24 hours a day, people on twitter 24 hours a day, people that are, you know, on online 24 hours a day and get all hyped up and are the xhos about stream, those people don't reflect where most of america is. that's why i think americans would be in for a surprise on a level that france is if people started to daring to actually run as independents. sorry, but nobody will believe this what you nobody is -- we're just not as divided as twitter and primetime cable news would have us believe. >> or even as our congress reflects. we've had enormous polarization in our politics, but the country by all available evidence that we know from public be opinion research, the country is not as polarizeds ed as our political
process. >> you have the most extreme on the right, most extreme on the left. >> ahead we'll bring out robert costa with his latest reporting on the special election in georgia. plus nicolle wallace joins the congress. we'll play a little game. this will be fun. get ready. we'll rank the top five trump tweets that have done the most self-inflicted damage to his presidency so far. it's tough, we have about ten. we have to get it down to five.
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34 past the hour. the navy has identified the seven sailors who died after a sd destroyer collided with a much larger fiphilippine merchant sh early saturday morning. >> how did this happen? i don't understand this at all. >> well, the seven sailors who ranged in age from 19 to 37 years old were found in flooded berthing compartments where they sleep. three other sailors wounded
including the ship's commanding officer. the incident occurred roughly 56 nautical miles southwest of the yokosuka. most of the damage to the "uss fitzgerald" is below the water line and the crew had to fight to keep the vessel from sinking. let's bring in dean of fletcher school of law at tufts university, retired four star navy admiral, james good to have you on the show. >> thanks. >> first of all, any sense of how this could happen and what the questions are here? >> indeed. i commanded one of these ships. a sister ship to the fitzgerald some years ago, so i know that ship very well. worth pointing out that the actual point of impact was exactly where the captain's cab pin was. so middle of the night, he was in that cabin, that is why he is so grievously injured. the reason it happened is think of it as an 8 or 16 lane highway
where the cars are moving at speed, but there is no traffic separation scheme. everybody can kind of go anywhere they want to. this is open ocean. a lot of ships pass through, 600 a day, and they are moving pretty quick be. and if anybody acts erratically or zips in the wrong direction, you could end up with a collision. actually it's surprising to me this kind of thing doesn't happen more often. we have an incident like this about once a decade. it's very rare. >> and now let's move to a different topic here but also many developments out of syria this morning. yesterday u.s. backed coalition forces shot down a pro syrian regime fighter jet, forces loyal to ass apparently attacked syrian democratic forces who are composed mainly of kurds and backed by the u.s. two hours later, a syrian jet made a bombing run and was shot done by an american warplane. now moscow is warning the u.s.
not to use force on government troops there. meanwhile the "wall street journal" reports israel has been given secret aid to rebel commanders, everything from cash to food to medical supplies. it's part of a broader play by israel to preserve a buffer zone along the fractious shared border dolan heights. and add iran to the equation. they launched missiles in response attacks on a holy shrine and iran's parliament earlier this moment guard claims they have killed a number ever people and destroyed weapons. >> so admiral,of people and destroyed weapons. >> so admiral, if appeat appeart least 15 minutes united states and iran were on the same side. russians are warning us to back down. i suspect that is not going to
happen so long as general mattis and the president have made wiping isis out one of their top objectives. >> exactly. and let's face it, the fact that our influence, our interests coincided briefly here with iran doesn't change what a is an unbelievably murky picture. i'm struck by the relatively be nine quality of the russians objections to the shoot down of the syrian jet. i think the russians know that if they edge in on where u.s. forces are operating, the key here is that a our forces are embedded as trainer, mentors moving the syrians along, we will defend them. so that fighter, back to sea power, it was operating from an aircraft carrier george w. bush in the eastern medical terrain kran. you will see more of this. what we really want to avoid is a u.s. shooting down a russian
aircraft. i think both sides will work hard to deconflict that. we have a deconfliction line in place. but it's monday you c, it's mur it's syria. >> and let's also bring in nick burns, he is professor of diplomacy and international relations at the kennedy school of government. good to have you on board. >> john heilemann has a question with for you. >> yeah, mr. ambassador, it's notable that this is not something that happens every day. we haven't had a u.s. shootdown of a hostile jet in around a decade i think. so again from a standpoint of again a casual observer, you look at that and you say is this a sign of some kind of escalation that is at work here or is this sort of a random kind of one off that no one should read too much into? >> i think it's indicative of a larger problem. syria is a relatively small country. you have the fighting forces of russia, iran, hezbollah and syrian government on wong side.
you ha one side. you have the united states, sue any oig and kurdish groups that we support. and yestday looks like the iranians and the americans are beginningo bump up against each other, iranians trying to extend a land corridor from iraq into syria and then lebanon. so as the admiral said, we've done a good job, the obama and trump administrations, in deacon flektsing with russia. we have to deconflict with iran, as well. because the iranian forces are directly supporting forces that are fighting our forces. our special forces but also the groups that we support is a big challenge. we don't have a way to talk to the iranians. and secretary kerry had established a diplomatic channel into the iranian foreign ministry, the trump administration hasn't used that and one thing they might want to consider doing is establishing a channel. there is no live loss here, but we don't want to see our forces
collide. >> so admiral, back to you for a second. just back to the first question joe asked you about the iran are attack. does it mean a greater role for iran in that region, do we think that it will escalate more or is this just you tit for tat to push them back off more domestic attacks? >> unfortunately, i think it's the latter. there is huge immediate i can't coverage of the surface to surface missile launches in tehran, in the kachcapital. they want to show they are striking back, but what iran wants is to dominate baghdad into syria, kdamascus, i can't men. they have a large geopolitical play and they will continue
driving in that political play. >> admiral, thank you very much. bha ambassador, stay with us. >> still ahead -- >> i get loong great wialong grf them them. the buy apartments from me. >> are the president's business ties playing a role in middle east policy? probably not. just don't look there. look at a new report about whether an unfolding report is colored by the president's portfolio. could it be? >> yes, it could.
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president trump's numerous ties to the persian gulf region are coming under new scrutiny. new york times reports that trump has had business dealings with royals from saudi arabia for over two decades. has earned millions from golf courses in the uae and has tried for years to enter the boomin y market. and as hostilities have broken out, trump has chosen to support both saudi arabia and the uae, the two countries in which he has the most business ties. the "times" writes critics say his singular decision to hold on to his global business empire inevitably casts a doubt on his motives especially when his public actions dovetail with his business interests. the white house declined to comment on the questions about the appearance of conflicts of interest. president trump is the first president in four decades to retain his personal business interests since entering the
oval office. >> so let's go through these really quickly. you can look at the philippis, turkey, saudi arabia. look at these countries where they have questionable civil rights positions, questionable human rights positions. and yet the president time and time again where there are business interests seems to turn a blind eye. we were joking about it, but it's a shame he didn't have a trump tower in better lane, nato would be much stronger today if he did. >> i think there is actually a simple way to look at this. i think that the president's foreign policy on these countries is shaped by his business experience in them. what is good for his business this russia and saudi arabia and qatar is good for him and good for the country. i'm not sure he makes a broader distinction on policy than sdwrus just if it's good for my people, items good for me.
if it's good for me, it's good for you. >> and if you were in a white house that -- what would the chief of staff or the press secretary say to the president about the appearance even? >> this is why it's become a cliché talking point for politician flacks in d.c., we want take-to-avo to avoid the appearance of impropriety. this is in. because it does raise questions in the minds of americans and around the world about your intentions. there is another way to shed some light on how important this is. when president obama announced the first u.s. military action against isil targets in syria, he was criticized for delaying the commencement of that action, but the reason he delayed it was because he wanted to make sure that the united states would be joined by muslim majority countries. and when that strike was carried out, u.s. military pilots were joined in the air by qatar military pilot, emirati and
saudi military pilots. an indication of how you important it is to keep our coalition together and our partners unified because it benefits our national security, certainly benefits our campaign and our broader narrative about the work the united states is doing with the rest of the world to confront extremists like isil. >> and ambassador, the rest of the world has to be looking at decisions donald trump has made, words of comfort that he's provided for tyrants across the globe and looking at a guy who has a property in the philippines. he has another property in turkey, has been doing business with saudi arabia for years now, and it doesn't take a great imagination to see how those dots all line up, and i mean, it almost looks as if donald trump is actually still a businessman
first and could be using the white house to further his business interests for when he gets out of the white house. it's starting to look that stark. >> i think this is increasingly problematic. you're right, for the trump administration. we haven't had a president in decades, half a century who hasn't separated himself from his prior business. now there are trump properties and the president has active bids interests and you have a collision with foreign policy decisions. i agree very much with josh. you don't want the president, there to be any perception of a conflict of interest. look at president obama. he was so rigorous about this. for everybody around him in his administration as was george w. bush. and this is an unfortunate situation. it doesn't help the u.s. image around the world. >> and how do you justify, mika, again, turning a blind eye to all the abuse in turkey and the philippines and, yet, condemning
germany and france? it just, again. >> there is not america lead. . >> it doesn't make sense unless you look at his existing business contacts. >> also the russian government granted extensions to a number of donald trump's trademarks that were seto expire. "theew york times" reports six trademar origiy obtained by trump between the years 1996 and 2007 were for hotels and branding deals that never materialized. each was set to expire last year. in april of 2016 the trump organization petitioned the russian government for extensions. each trademark was granted a new ten-year term with four of the approvals coming on november 8th. otherwise known as election day here in the u.s. the times notes the renewal of
russia trademarks is generally a routine matter. there's no suggestion of favoritism amid the public records made available. >> except for the fact that the trump sons have been quite clear that a lot of their money, i think, don junior said the majority of their money came from russia back in, what, 2009. >> eric trump said something a couple years later and called it fake news. >> it's one of the -- of all the questions, i mean, there are deep questions. there are superficial questions. this question of how to square with the president said about his ties financially with russia and how to square with his sons have said in these instances in 200 and 2009 is one of the most obvious unanswered questions. only anybody has ever asked donald trump about it. i would love to hear the next time a president does a press
question to ask this question in a direct way. it's hard to understand. >> i have a spokesperson who said the company will not be spe speak seeking any new business opportunities in russia. president trump said he has no business interests in russia telling lester holt, i have nothing to do with russia. i have no investments in russia, none whatsoever. >> well, that's just not what his sons have said. >> it's also an important distinction. he's saying h doesn -- >> they didn't zbl-- >> if they are the major buyers of his projects. >> i have nothing to do with russia. >> that's a business deal with russia, basically. >> right. i think if you're looking at the language, what he's saying in the statement, he doesn't have investments in russia, but his sons have said well, russia has major investments here. >> which seems like it would give russia more leverage over trump and his family, not less. >> all right. >> ambassador, thank you very
much. >> ambassador, how are things going? we have to go. that's why i'm going to ask you another question. >> exactly. >> a lot of criticism of rex tillerson over the weekend on a variety of issues. what's happening at the state department? are we in trouble? is the state department withering on the vine? >> well, there isn't the senior leadership there at the undersecretary and assistant secretary level. they haven't appointed people to these positions. rex tillerson wants to cut the state department budget by a third. congress, republicans want to restore the funding and now the state department is saying they don't want it. morale is pretty low at foggy bottom. >> that's horrible. >> ambassador, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> "the washington post" brings us the latest reporting on tomorrow's key special election in georgia as democrats try to flip gingrich's former seat, and the trump legal team becomes the
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to the tweet than what's there. the president sent out the tweet in response to the washington post story with the five anonymous unnamed sources from unnamed agencies. that's why he put that in the tweet. the president has been as you know, very effective in using social media. i want to be very clear here and very direct. the president has not been and is not under investigation.
>> he's been effective. >> welcome back to "morning joe." >> who is that? >> it's monday, june 19th. with us a national affairs analyst, a political writer for the new york times, a former white house press secretary to president obama now our political analyst, and joining the conversation, a new york times reporter and political reporter for the new york post. good to have you all. >> one of the most expensive not the most expensive congressional race ever and one of the most important special elections certainly since 2009 for ted kennedy's old seat is coming tomorrow. what are you seeing down there? georgia? >> good morning. i was there last week in atlanta. we'll fly there later today. i see two main things on the
republican side when moderate republicans stick with trump and go for karen handel. this is the district the president only won by one percentage point. it's full of suburban republicans. will they really come out and support this republican agenda that is stalled on the democratic said this is an important moment for democrats as well. they're trying to jump start their own party, going after the health care bill on the republican side this week. they're trying to get some kind of momentum to send a signal to other democrats that 2018 will be a big year. >> and i saw that republicans' big ee biggest concern is the lack of action on the hill and with the president. the failure to be able to get anything substantial done. >> i went down to atlanta and went to places like roswell, georgia. i thought i was going to perhaps hear more about the russia
probes and how that's a cloud over this administration from republicans. it turns out that many republicans i spoke with, they give the president at least for now, the benefit of the doubt when it comes to russia. what they expressed more frustration than i thought i would hear was about health care not being repealed, tax cuts not being repealed. they wondered is it worth it to have a republican majority in each chamber and the white house is nothing to going to get done? that was the main frustration. >> quickly, what do you pick up from the suburban republicans you spoke with? are many of them still sticking with donald trump or are they getting impatient? >> they're not sticking with trump in a passionate way. they believe in these republican priorities and ideas. they want to see their taxes lowered. they would like to see more stability and a different kind of temperament out of the white house, but they're not embracing the democrats yet.
jon ossoff's challenge in the next 24 is convincing the republicans who are actually skittish about president trump's leadership to switch sides, even though they may not be totally aligned with what democrats are proposing. >> we're following that special election, also we'll go live to london. there's another deadly incident being investigated as an act of terrorism. a van drove into pedestrians near a mosque. >> before we go to the russia investigation, can we talk a little bit more about ossoff? i can only speak as a republican that's voted in republican primaries for a long time. looking at those two candidates, even with my disgust of everything that's happened in the trump administration, i know that people in that district like people in my district, like me, would be a lot more comfortable with a 55-year-old
southern democratic businessman that was cut more out of the cloth of a jimmy carter or zel miller when he was a democrat than jon ossoff who j jeremy peters, i'm sorry, you judge how people look. i joked when i first saw him, and i'm sure -- >> he's youthful -- >> he's a great guy, but there are pictures where he looks like he could have been a walk on in reds -- >> got a great head of hair. >> but you never trust people with a lot of hair. but you know what i'm saying? he doesn't fit the prototype southern democrat that wins. >> he doesn't. and he doesn't live in the district. >> if i'm a republican and i'm angry at trump for everything he's done, i still would have trouble -- i'm speaking for the people in that district and my old district -- going i'm going to vote for a guy who looks like
he might be a bernie sanders democrat. >> he has a couple things going for him. one is the republican candidate karen handel is not exciting a lot of conservatives. she's one for state office twice and lost. she's been around a long time. she's a more country club republican, not exactly cut from trump's mold. ossoff, though, has a big problem in the way he's being portrayed by republicans. exactly what you put your finger on right there. it's not just that he's young and inexperienced and doesn't seem like a yellow dog democrat. he's being portrayed as a tool of nancy pelosi san francisco, manhattan, elite democratic interest. >> when lawton chiels ran for government, nobody said he was a tool of anybody because they knew he was a tough, southern, same with bob graham, my states, those are the type of guys or women if you had them in the
south thawere sort of these centrists that were strong, and you didn't have to worry about who was going to control lawton when he went to washington d.c. or bob graham. >> you look at the biography of the guy, there's so much value placed on ties to business in those kind of districts that if he had a little bit of private sector experience that felt relatable, it would help him. and he's not actually from the district. he doesn't live there. it has a carpet bagger feel and it gets reinforced by san francisco money coming in. it's probably a narrow favorite, but there are a lot of ways if he was a little better suited to the district, i think he would be able to win this race. >> i'm only bringing this up because we're sitting here looking from 40,000 feet and looking at the district, and so
often it really is personal. >> it's about the candidate. >> it's about the candidates and when you walk into the room, who do you relate to? it's one of the first things i saw in politics. you walk into a room and know immediately, oh, i got this these people. or you walk into a room, like we have, and mika whispers duck. they're not going to like you. and you just know. here so much of it has to do with a gut instinct. i'm looking at this guy and the pictures and everything else. he might be a wonderful guy. maybe he is a centrist, but i know it's going to be a big leap, if they're country club republicans, certainly a hard right republicans, to vote for jon ossoff. >> it points to a bigger problem were democrats in the upcoming elections. they want a certain kind of win, a win that tells donald trump he's losing. that makes them feel tt the
de is turning. but. in a lot of these places t winning message is not a pure anti-trump message. it's more of a getting things done message, there's all this money flowing into these races but they still can't find the best candidates for a lot of these districts. if they can't recruit the best candidates, they can't retake the house. >> josh, one of the great things i love that barack obama said after the democrats lost is he said sometimes you go to the counties where you're going to lose by 50 so you only lose by 25. then you add it up and you win. you don't always go for the grand slam. if democrats had a business person that could say, hey, you know me. i go to your church. i've been at the chamber of commerce for all these years, the guys in d.c. are crazy, and donald trump is not getting
anything done, the republicans are like way out there. we need to pave some roads around here. we need to get things working again. we need to get tax cuts for small business owners. that democrat would be 25 points right now. but the democrats in d.c. don't seem to be recruiting those type of candidates. >> i think they're trying. just to pick up o what nick was saying, you're right. one of the reasons the outcome of this race is so significant is it will boost democratic recruitment efforts in congressional areas like this across the country that other washington democrats can go go to people thinking act getting in the race and say even if somebody like jon ossoff who is not out of central casting -- >> for this district. >> for this district. if he can win in these places, then you if you have your military background or if you're a small business owner, you're the kind of person that is out
of central casting that can win and that's why you should run. that's something to look for. democrats are hoping this won't just make them feel better. it's going to benefit their recruitment efforts as they try to build a team that can take the majority. >> i'm glad you talked about military. a seth moulton. if seth moulton were running in this district, this isn't just about being from this district. what if a guy like seth moulton were running, somebody with a background like that -- >> i don't disagree with this conversation. >> they'd be up by two points right now. >> bob, you want to chime in? >> joe, to build on that point, think about when the democrats took back the house in from 20 6 2006. they did it with veterans. here's the challenge for democrats. in 2010 democrats were wiped out not only of the u.s. house but
of state legislatures across the country. and they could have been there to have state reps that are senators. s the not there. it was depleted in 2010. that's why they don't have the lawmakers in states to turn to at a potential wave election. >> that's a great point. they were wiped out in 2010. those who survived were wiped out in 2014. there was almost a record setting landslide on the state and national level. you've got to rebuild the bench. >> if democrats are successful tomorrow, there's still so much work to do still. let's go to the -- >> but it helps. >> it helps. it will be lucky. >> i'm not knocking jon ossoff at all. if he were running in the northeast or out west, it would be something different, but they will say if that guy can win in that district, you can win in kansas. >> yeah. i think the other point here is
even tom coal, who is a republican member of congress and knows a lot about winning congressional races he said this race is a referendum on trump. even if jon ossoff is not out of central casting out of this district, there's no denying he would be very different than president trump and not somebody who is going to rubber stamp his agenda. and you could make the case that someone like the republican candidate would. >> we'll get to the breaking news out of london where one person is dead after a van rammed into a group of muslims after a prayer. the incident happened early this morning near a mosque in the fins bury park neighborhood. ten other people were also injured. let's go live to london. bill neely is standing by. bill, what are you hearing from officials so far in the investigation? >> reporter: good morning. this is britain's fourth terror attack in as many months and the third one in london in which a
vehicle was used as a weapon. this one was different. it appears a group of religious worshippers was targeted. there is a mosque behind me. last night around midnight a man in a white van accelerated in that van, mounted the sidewalk, and rammed deliberately into a group of people, as you say, at least ten people were injured. one man died at the scene. although, police are unclear whether it was hit by a van or actually died of a heart attack. witnesses i spoke to are in no doubt this was deliberate. the man accelerated to a speed of perhaps 50 miles per hour. people in the crowd dragged the man to the ground. he was fighting. they were fighting with him. he bit some of them. he was shouting i want to kill muslims. some people in the crowd and the imam were determined this man should be handed over to police intact. no more revenge should be put on
him. he was handed over to police. again, a witness i spoke to said as he was being handed over to police he said, i'll do it again, and then he made a gesture at the crowd. people here are not surprisingly angry. they're also scared, because the momentum of these attacks is growing. and as one man said to me, we muslims feel under great threat, because we're blamed for some incidents and now we're deliberately targeted in this one. london this morning very much on edge. >> all right. bill neely, thank you very much. and still ahead on "morning joe," amazingly, admitting he's under investigation may actually not be the president's most self-destructive tweet. we'll break down the definitive list straight ahead. >> counting down the hits. we'll have a long distance dedication to barack obama who started all of it when we return.
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over the weekend president trump tried to put focus on his agenda tweeting about jobs, business and making america great again despite what he called a witch hunt. while the president pointed to his health care and tax reform plans it was his tweet from friday that's taking up all the oxygen in washington. because they are his words, his official statements. >> mika, listen, sometimes you just need to break it down. can you read the first four words? >> yes. the president tweets this. these are the president's official words. i am being investigated. >> okay. >> for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. those are the president's words, and everybody wanted to know about the president's words. why would he say that? apparently it was a shot at the
deputy attorney general who wrote a memo used to justify the removal of james comey. wait a minute. then the president told lester holt he would have fired comey anyway, regardless of the recommendation. really, where's the truth? he says he's being investigated. these are the president's words. yesterday a member of the president's legal team -- >> we think -- >> so a lawyer, stepped out to try to best explain why the president would post a tweet saying he's being investigated. >> i want to hear this. >> takes action based on numerous events including recommendations from his attorney general and the deputy attorney general's office. he takes the action they also, by the way, recommended, and now he's being investigate bid the department of justice because the special council under the regulations reports still to the department of justice. so he's being investigated for
taking the action that the deputy attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the termination. >> first of all, you said he is being investigated -- >> no. >> you just said he's being investigated. >> no. chris, i said that the -- let me be clear so you understand. we have not received for are we aware of any investigation of the president of the united states. >> you just said two times he's being investigated. >> no. the context of the tweet i just gave you the legal theory of how the constitution works. if, in fact, it was correct, that the president was being investigated, he would be investigated for taking action an agency told him to take. >> hold on for a second. >> mr. slippery. >> okay. look. i have all of this evidence right here. i have all of this evidence right here, and it is right here. i've got all this evidence. i'm holding this paper.
that means what i am saying is official, and i got it from a certified letter that the president said, and it's all in these documents right here, and also this is -- >> why are you waving a chinese takeout menu? >> what we have here, the president says it's in these papers. i am being investigated, chris. >> how about chris wallace? >> i like it. he didn't let him go from his lies. >> well, it's just like -- >> and the president's statement, the president said he's being investigated. >> nobody -- think about it. there are no men in the white house, literally no real men, i've said it before, nobody can get him to stop tweeting. maybe bring in a woman. maybe just one. >> stop that. >> who can get this guy to stop tweeting and shooting himself in the foot. >> help us out here. >> where do you want me to go here? >> i'm just trying to change the
subject. >> the tweets are interesting. >> they are. >> you have to read them at face value. >> and they can't stop him from saying things that hurt himself. >> there was reporting this weekend that everybody has just given up inside the white house. they have tried a thousand different ways, and now they have -- >> this guy is destroying in. >> they literally have given up. >> it took them a long time to realize that donald trump was not going to change. the moment that i think is pivotal, and we've seen it in past administrations, the moment when you have to start -- everybody has to start hiring lawyers and they start looking at i'm -- whether i did anything whereon or not, i'm going to be taking on legal bills to defend myself from a situation where in some cases i've done nothing wrong but on my government salary, i'm goi to be payg back for lawyer bills for the rest of my life.
>> one paid $8 million. and a lot of people i talked to decided not to go into the white house because they don't want to do that in legal fees. >> as a reporter, i like the tweets. i get a direct line into the president's mind i have to ask josh what the president thought, and he would spin it. i actually get a main line to the president's mind. it's the first time ever in modern history. >> the interesting thing is the president always says well, the media hates when we do this. no. the media loves. the media loves when he tweets. on so many levels. his supporters don't. and the people who work for him don't, and the people who want him to succeed do not, but the media love hearing what he's saying. you can have all the spokes people saying he's not under investigation, but if the president says i am under investigation, boom, you're off to the races. >> joining us from washington
now, former justice department spokesperson and now msnbc security analyst, matthew miller. break down what the president said. is there any way to look at it? >> no. it doesn't matter what the president says about whether or not he's under investigation he wouldn't necessarily know. the fact that "the washington post" reported it with pretty definitive sourcing, i think it's clear the president is under investigation. for his lawyer to come out and make this cliaim, one of the things that's strange about this situation is the president keeps hiring lawyers with no criminal experience. he's now being investigated for a criminal offense. the lawyer that went out and represented him yesterday like the lawyer marc kasowitz that came out, doesn't have any criminal experience. i presume he was hired because he has a lot of experience talking on tv. and it makes you wonder if
you're going to hire someone for that, they ought to be good at talking on tv. i don't think that's what we saw yesterday. >> no. it was a sad showing. we're adding friday's tweet to the top five tweets by the president since he took office that have done the most self-inflicted damage. this is tough. you have to decide between these, and we have others. here are the other four we've chosen and then we'll debate the order. in february there was an attack against his own spy agencies writing information is being illegally given to the failing new york times and washington post by the intelligence community. nsa and fbi just like russia. that's pretty bad. when you insult the intelligence community, they usually come back to bite you. that's pretty self-inflicted. >> and then he called them very un-american in his next tweet. >> that's true. >> and he also compared them to nazis. >> although, that was before he
took office, so it doesn't qualify for the terms here. >> and then we move on -- >> after he was elected but before he took office. >> and then i tweet that i think we'll be looking back on years from now. mika, the most self-destructive, i think. >> yes. terrible. just found out that obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory. nothing found. this is mccarthyism. trump asked how low has president obama gone to tap my phones during the sacred election process. this is nixon water gate bad or sick guy. >> sacred. the election whose results he initially refused to say he would honor at the debate when he was asked. >> this is my fite one. >> coming up here is john's favorite. >> he's just shot his feet off. >> the president seemed to threaten the former fbi by
tweeting james comey better hope there's no tapes of our conversations before he starts talking about them. >> james comey responded. john says that's his. and the president called his executive order on immigration, quote, a travel ban. an appeals court said okay, we believe you. it is a travel ban despite what everybody else in your administration is saying. and, well, the supreme court is taking note too. and so there you go. >> it's -- >> when do we order these up? we have attacks on the intel community. first of all, john, your pick is the comey tapes? >> yeah. i think you look at that one. again, we have -- we have comey saying under oath that that tweet was what caused him to ask a friend of his to leak his m o memos that are now going to be -- around which the obstruction of justice case
resolves, and comey was provoked by this tweet. special prosecutor, the on trux case, that tweet let loose the whirlwind. >> it really did. >> i'm sort of with him, but i'm putting in a bid for the attacks on the intel campaign. that is the gift that keeps on giving bad gifts back. if you take a dump on those guy, they're going to go to war with you, and that's been going on for a long time now. >> and he did. >> prebreakfast image i don't want to -- >> and we had actually -- we're going to go back and find the tape, but early after he got elected, we warned him do not attack the intel community. don't listen to your national security adviser, they will get you, and don't attack the press. he's done both. do you have a favorite here? >> what about when he was tweeting at arnold
schwarzenegger for having terrible ratings for "the celebrity apprentice". it was while he was president. that was a bad one. >> but it's not as stupid as attacking the intel community. that will bite you right back in the butt. >> legally, the one that's most problematic for him is calling it a travel ban. because the supreme court now, i think this will be the first supreme court case when they point to a record of presidential tweets. that's pretty bad. >> yep. >> what do you have? >> i'm going to go with the obama one because i think lying a about a former president is an egregious act. i have to go with nick as well on the intel community. while we chuckle a little bit here, this is sad for our country that this is our president and these are his tweets. >> i'm going to play the type and cite the one of accusing
president obama of falsely accusing him of wiretapping trump tower. not just because the bad or sick guy makes me laugh every time somebody reads it, but one of the things that's serious about this is we have trust with the american people. about how the intelligence community is going to use our -- this remarkable technology and this remarkable influence, this remarkable power to be able to keep us safe. and to falsely accuse them of using that technology, using that power to spy on americans is destructive in terms of eroding trust between the government and the population. it's also going to make it harder for congress who has to renew surveillance programs before the end of the year. it's sewing doubt that's destructive. >> matt miller, looking at this cluster of tweets, i'm worried about a person who would do this. i'm worried about that persons on a number of levels. >> of course. and the same thing that
reporters can do and the rest of the public can do which is find evidence of what the public is thinking, prosecutors can do it too. if you look at the list, the one we'll see in the most damaging way is the comey tweet about tapes. he wasn't just revealing the existence of a taping system. he was trying to intimidate a witness in a potential case against him. when he's being investigated for obstruction of justice, that tweet alone wouldn't qualify for a criminal charge, but it goes with everything else that shows his state of mind. i think you'll see that tweet come up again in a judicial and impeachment, in some context down the road. >> we even had conservative thought leader come on and say if donald trump's ever impeached, it will go back to that tape tweet. we have a tie right here. tamerlin tsarna -- i have to say because everything else flows out of it, i have to say the obama tweet is the most destructive.
that also i have a -- mine which actually is going to cause him, even though his tweet about the federal courts, i've heard from conservative federal judges across the land that it's not just the liberals who are angry at donald trump for questioning the independents of the judiciary, and it's amazing if you look at just about every court, major court decision that's gone against him including the supreme court decision on voter i.d. that could have gone the other way. i don't think he's going to get the benefit of the doubt not only from the intel community but i think the courts will be after him. >> and conservatives are worried about -- >> the show they're independent and they're not going to be cowed by a president. >> they're worried anthony kennedy is paying close attention and every time he sees an attack on the courts, he's delaying his retirement. >> this is not a rogue member of congress. this is the president of the united states. >> i know. >> listen, i like this a lot.
>> you do? >> yeah. i don't think i can do ossoff. >> that's pretty good. >> it's getting there. >> small shoulders. okay. millennial shoulders. >> they're all very well groomed and they have small shoulders. >> okay. there we go. >> all right. >> we need to do this much more. thank you matt miller. >> thank you. >> coming up, one of the senate's top republicans pumping the brakes on health care. why some in the gop are saying not so fast. we'll bring robert costa back into the conversation when "morning joe" comes right back. okay. got it. rumor confirmed. they're playing. -what? -we gotta go.
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binge dvr'd shows, while painting your toes. on demand laughs, during long bubble baths. tv on every screen is awesome. the all-new xfinity stream app. all your tv at home. the most on demand, your entire dvr, top networks, and live sports on the go. included with xfinity tv. xfinity the future of awesome. where you can cook up something behind closed doors and rush it for a vote on the floor, especially on an issue like this. the first step in this may be crafted among a small group of
people, but everyone will get to weigh in. it's going to take days and weeks to work through that in the senate. >> senator marco rubio speaking yesterday about the senate's health care bill where a small group of 13 gop senators are working on legislation behind closed doors. republican senators say they hope to pass legislation before the july 4th recess. which means a vote could come within the next two weeks. one of the issues deals with obamacare's expansion of medicaid which was gutted in the house version of the bill. democrats will be holding the senateloor le into the night today to speak against the republican's plan a process. bob costa, what's going on? how in the world can this get done by july 4th in a way that has anything meaningful in it? >> reporter: mika, mitch mcconnell is trying to set a target to get the vote there. behind the scenes there is not consensus on what to do with rolling back the medicaid
expansion. senators like rob portman of ohio are reluctant to go along with the house version of this repeal legislation, and the republicans like senator rubio was talking about over the weekend, they're a little nervous about having this thing clouded in secrecy. there could be a political cost to that. for the democrats, what they're doing today on the senate floor, maybe holding up procedural routines or not attending meetings out of protests, it's intertwined with georgia. this could be a big week for democrats mounting the charge on health care, maybe winning a seat in a special election. that could set the tone for 2018. republicans have a promise to the base, despite the problems, they seem to be inching forward to try to pass a bill. >> and the hypocrisy problem bob alluded to is huge. there's tape after tape after tape of statements from 2009
when they are slamming barack obama for. republican senators are pessimistic. forget about a july 4th vote. this got overlooked a couple weeks ago when mitch mcconnell said i don't think we have 50. that means he was counting on mike pence to break the tie. that shows you the thin margin. >> do we know anything about what is behind closed doors, this deal? >> some parts have been discussed. one issue is to delay and slow roll of phaseout of the medicaid expansion. what's interesting about that is actuly the hse version was more straightforward and honest. they wanted to cut the programs off quicker. the senate is talking about doing -- as i've heard, is to essentially delay the consequences of their own bill out past the horizon of being held accountable for it. this is on top of doing the
whole thing in secret. it's one sense of the economy being rearranged. no one has seen it exempt lobbyists and others. >> i want to try to bring these two things together. we know that if ossoff wins, there's going to be panic among house republicans looking forward 2018. what does mitch mcconnell in the context of health care say and do if jon ossoff wins on tuesday? >> the majority leader could be in a very difficult situation, john. because if you look at ossoff's closing pitch, he is not talking about russia. he is not talking about putin. he is not talking about the special counsel, bob mueller. he's talking about health care. if he's able to win by leading on health care in his district. that's not going to make it easy in summertime before the senators go home to their states
for recess for town halls to get an unpopular bill for the senate. and every time they try to move center right, they lose a mike lee or land paul on the conservative side. >> on some level, i think the reality is mitch mcconnell wants to get this thing done even if it means the thing doesn passed, just get on, move on. i think in his heart o hearts, that's the most desirable outcome for a lot of senate republicans, take a vote and move on. kill this thing off as quickly and quietly as we can even though it's impossible on some level. >> bob, thank you. up next, the pentagon is trying to figure out how a navy destroyer collided with a container ship over the weekend. we'll go live to japan for the deadly incident that killed seven american sailors. we'll be right back.
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destroyer collided with a much larger merchant ship off the coast of japan early saturday morning. the seven sailors who ranged in age from 19 to 37 were found in flooded birme pts where they sleep. >> the incident occurred 56 nautical miles in japan. most of the damage the "uss fitzgerald" is below the keel of the ship. nbc news correspondent janice makki joins us where the ship docked. what's the latest? >> well, investigators are trying to answer the very big question of how is it that an advanced u.s. warship with sophisticated communications technology that was fully functioning at the time, a watch crew was on duty. how is it it could collide with a container ship more than three
types its size when the weather was clear? investigators, three separate investigations are looking into these issues. one of them being the timeline. there are conflicting reports on when the crash might have happened. the u.s. navy officers here were telling us that they said that it happened at about 2:20 in the morning. but japan's coast guard officials said it might have been closer to 1:30. it might shed light on the records for the cargo ship. it changed course a number of times, and then did a u-turn before heading to tokyo. so they're going to be looking at all these aspects of the invest to try to figure out what happened and whether intelligence was involved. the "uss fitzgerald" took a huge hit. the damage is significant. we were at the port yesterday and looked at the ship of the distance.
the starboard side is crushed. there's a huge gash near the keel. most of the damage is below the water line where the sleeping quarters were. there were over 100 were asleep at the time of the crash. a lot of different questions that have yet to be answered, but navy officials here are saying that their focus now, of course, is offering support for the families of those seven sailors who were killed. >> nbc's janice mackey frayer, thank you so much. nick, we've been talking about lawyers and legal matters all morning long. your piece is entitled how michael flynn's disdain for limits led to a legal quagmire. explain your reporting this morning. >> so our goal here was to figure out, you know, how did this general who was a decorated battle field commander end up in the middle of a counter intelligence investigation? how does that happen? what we found was that the same traits that served him well in the military, a sense of impatience with the bureaucracy, of cutting across boundaries, actually may have been some of
the same qualities that got him into trouble in his brief career as a consultant. he took on lots of different clients. a russian interest, a russian spyware lab. you know, r.t. you seemed not to perceive that these could be a problem for him. >> no sense of boundary that the election day op ed on turkey, that's when he is getting paid money by turkey. he is also going to be the national security advisor. i mean, that is just -- we were -- josh was talking about appearances of impropriety. nobody would do that. >> that's right. i was told by a senior member of the campaign that they were surprised when they published that. he had gotten clearance for it somehow, and he was desperate to get the election over with what's interesting in that case as well, he was relatively apparently hands off on the turkey job.
he handed it over to his team, and his team wasn't sure what to do with legal requirements, with the lobbying registration, with the foreign agent act disclosure, and they stumbled around for a bit and then got into a lot of trouble over it, as you can see. >> john. >> well, you know, just continuing the questions. the piece is great, and there are still -- i mean, the -- you can now understand a lot more about flynn thanks to you, and others doing this reporting. still to me one of the fundamental questions yet to be understood is what is it that donald trump fears from michael flynn? he is putting himself in extraordinary legal and political risk in trying to -- we now know that comey said at the time that trump himself was not under investigation.
again, my story, if somebody wants to give me immunity, he'll tell my story. i think it also goes back to the fact that there is no business that this man had being the national security advisor in the first place. his distinguishing feature in addition to a decorated military career was his success in going on television and colorfully trashing the obama administration. that is how everybody heard -- it's how i heard of it the first time. >> and hillary clinton. >> and hillary clinton. it's how mr. trump heard of him the first time and saw that guy on tv and thought i need to bring that guy on board. that is not how you choose a national security advisor. >> they traveled everywhere together. apparently he was the person who could calm trump down, is what we were told by family members. >> that's how she got her job too. you just go to fox news and there's your cabinet. >> still ahead this morning, president trump tells the world he is under investigation. >> all right. well, that settles that. so he is under investigation. >> then says he isn't after saying he is.
twice. >> you mean after president trump said he was under investigation or the lawyer that said he wasn't under investigation said he is you should investigation? >> he is. the lawyer says he is, and then add midhe wouldn't know. >> i would be -- >> why did he go on tv? >> this is like an abbott and costello routine. who is on first, right? all very confusing. i'm very confused. >> where is the press secretary? >> i need intelligence to kind of straighten this out. >> morningo coming right back. . >> they cannot arrest a husband and wife for the same crime. >> yeah, i don't think that that's true, dad. >> really? >> i got the worst [ bleep ] attorneys. reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business,
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what if we lived in a world like that? (crowd applauding) ♪ we know a place that's already working on it. ♪ sfliefrmt now he is being invested, so he is being investigated. >> it wasn't a cabinet secretary. it wasn't the press secretary. it was one of his lawyers. >> well, was he -- is he a lawyer? >> i don't know. >> but i do know it did not go well. >> he is sort of a floater. isn't he? has anybody actually said he is a lawyer? has anybody officially said -- they have said he is not a lawyer. >> i know he is a lawyer, but one of the president's lawyers.
>> does the white house say he is a lawyer. >> he plays a president's lawyer on tv. >> did they say- we'll play the full exchange for you just ahead. good morning, everyone. >> you could be the president's lawyer. >> i don't believe he has been -- he is part of officially of the legal team. i think he is part of the legal pr team. >> you can talk about talking on behalf of the administration. >> what mean then, john, is he hasn't gone around and told all of the people that work for donald trump that they do not need to get legal representation despite the fact he doesn't represent them, which would, you know, i think open yourself up to an ethics complaints. >> i think one of the people who is the lawyer told the team not to get lawyers, although they have now quite sensibly gotten lawyers. >> by telling them want to get lawyers is you are working legal
advice that works against the best interest of the other people. if you're not careful, that could have legal ramifications, and people could file ethics complaints. >> we have national affairs analyst and nbc john hellman, political writer for the "new york times", nick, and white house press secretary to president obama. now a msnbc political analyst jo josh ernest. >> who speaks on behalf of the president? >> it is fascinating because we haven't really gotten an announcement to say that a conservative lawyer that we've known for some time. >> argue with everybody about the president being under investigation or not. >> there's no really -- there's been no announcement that he is part of -- >> why is a lawyer being put out? >> first of all, there are-people who are reluctant to go out and defend the president on tv. it probably isn't too easy to find people who aring to go and take the risk and try to defend him on television. do the difficult task of trying to refute something that the president himself tweeted just 48 hours earlier. there's also this question about are you going to get sawed off
at the knees the next time the president picks up his smartphone? it's not easy to convince people to go out there. maybe if you -- >> very honestly -- >> if you have a retainer, then maybe it's easy to get him to go and appear on "meet the press." >> his job is to be on tv for the president. >> who is -- >> it should be the press secretary. we see the deputy press secretary making more appearances now. even they are in a position where they are referring all these questions to president trump's legal team yway, even though this is the main question that white house reporters are asking. this is a situation where the president is preoccupied with optics looks like someone who is one step hfd the law. they are trying to convince everybody that they don't have anything to hide, even though they're hiding their cards quite closely. >> over the weekend president trump tried to put some focus on his agenda, tweeting about jobs, business, and making america great again. >> that's great. that's what you wanted to do, right? >> sure.
despite what he called a witch hunt. >> oh. >> and while the president pointed to his health care and tax reform plans, it was his tweet from friday that is still taking up all the oxygen in w h washingt washington. friday morning shortly after we went off the air, he posted "i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director! witch hunt." that appeared to be a shot at deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who wrote a memo used to justify the removal of james comey. though the president later told lester holt, if you remember in that interview, that he was going to fire comey regardless of the recommendation. yesterday trump legal team member -- this is the gentleman we started with -- >> is he a member? i guess is he a member. >> did the white house put him out? >> i don't know. >> yes. >> did they? >> oh, so the white house put him out? a lawyer. >> assist a legal -- he is a legal team member, or is he just a tv lawyer? >> to speak to us. to speak to the media? >> he did a lot of -- >> you know, efls on almost
every show yesterday. it was almost a full begin ginsburg yesterday. >> matlock was a lawyer. >> the president likes him a great deal. >> he likes matlock a great deal? >> i think he might like matlock and -- >> why not the press secretary? why not the people that he has hired to speak for the president? >> you're now reaching the limits of my knowledge. >> he is the guy they've put forward to be the main flack catcher on this because, as you said earlier, they can't find anyone else who wants to do it. the people who are actually working in the white house are worried about the president's evaluation of their performance on tv, and jay is a guy who can go out there and throw some spears back and did a good job for the president. >> if you're not going to get a guy that's on the legal team, you might as well -- matlock would be pretty good. georgia primary is coming up. it all comes together. >> he would find the real culprit at the very end. >> is matlock still alive?
>> nothing matters. fake news. he is alive. fake news. >> so the president of the united states put out a tweet saying he is being investigated. >> yes. >> he tried his best to explain why the president would post that tweet. >> he said he is not being investigated. >> the president takes action based on numerous events, including recommendations from his attorney general and the deputy attorney general's office. he takes the action that they also, by the way, recommended and now he is being investigated by the department of justice because the special counsel under the special counsel regulations reports still to the department of justice. not an independent counsel. he is being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general ask deputy attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the termination. so that's the constitutional threshold question here. that's why as i said, no one -- >> what's the question? >> you stated some facts. first of all, you have now said that he is being investigated after saying that you didn't -- >> no. >> you just said --
>> no, he is not being investigated. >> you just said he is being investigated. >> no, credits. i said that the -- let me be crystal clear so you are completely understanding. we have not received nor are we aware of any investigation of the president of the united states. >> sish, you just said two teemgtimes that he is being investigated. >> no. the context of the tweet. i just gave you the legal theory, chris, of how the constitution works. if, in fact, it was correct that the president was being investigated, he would be investigating for taking action that an agency told him to take. that is protected under the constitution as his article one power. that's all i said. i appreciate you trying to rephrase it. >> i didn't rephrase it. the tape will speak for itself. you said he is being investigated, and it's not -- >> chris. no, chris. >> it's not jay. it's not just being investigated for firing comey. there is also the question of what he said to comey when comey was still the fbi director. there's more than just the fact that he fired comey.
>> let me be clear, you asked me a question what the president's tweet was regarding the deputy attorney general of the united states. that's what you asked me. i responded to what that legal theory would be. i do not appreciate you putting words in my mouth when i have been crystal clear that the president is not and has not been under investigation. i don't think i could be any clearer than that. >> you doin't know that he is nt under investigation, again, sir. >> you're right, chris. i can't read the mind of the special prosecutor. >> so we're in agreement. >> i have not been notified. no one has been notified that he is. >> you don't know whether he is under investigation or not. >> even though he did say, john heilman, that he is und investigation. if rob reiner were to make a spinal tap for politics, it would look a lot like that. >> the britney spears moment is the moment that he gets caught, and he does a reset and says i want to make this crystal clear. you know that means i want to make this as muddy and confusing
as possible. >> it's a nixonian let me make this perfectly clear. he did say fwo times the president was under investigation. the president admitted in a tweet he was under investigation. i mean this seriously. i wonder who they -- i'll be honest with you. i got this feeling with bill clinton, who so obviously lied. i wonder who they think is actually believing that they are not lying other than their most hardened base when trump says he is being investigated. president trump says he is being investigated. jay seclo says it twice. then they go, oh, wait, no, no, no, he is not being investigated. >> i think they are devoted to creating an alternative narrative about this investigation, about these facts because there is an audience for that. the base is important when you are under fire. i'm not saying i believe it, but that's the point of it. >> but it is just on -- just on
transcript. >> i know. >> it's right there. like, i'm sorry. you are entitled to your own opinions, but as ronald reagan said facts are stubborn things. facts are facts. they've all said he is being investigated. they can't weasel their way out of it, and i can't believe somebody sitting at home would be dumb enough to go, oh, yeah, even though they're all admitting they're under investigation, now we're going to believe they're not under investigation. >> this is the other data point they have here. that's when jim comey is -- that's whether or not he believed that bob mueller would voeft for potential obstruction of justice. director comey said he was "sure that they would." i obviously can't speak to what is behind the scenes conversations they may have had, but even the person who was previously leading the investigations is -- and this is a supposed victim of the obstruction of justice is also sure that this -- this really isn't something to be debated. i do think that because it is a fact, i do think that it raises some questions about what the long-term impact is going to be
on the ability of the trump white house to advance their agenda and certainly on the political standing of congressional republicans who have to be warily eyeing the election counsel. >> i don't understand why they have to put a lawyer out to says that. >> well, again, i think probably is the only one who is willing to do it. he got compensated handily for doing it. >> are you saying the press team -- the press secretary? >> i wouldn't -- >> that would be very -- >> i wouldn't blame him either. that would be the first person manning up inside the white house. >> every time they go out, they get blindsided. >> let's just note that the idea that he is not under investigation sort of fights the claim that there's a witch hunt. if he were not under investigation, there wouldn't be much of a witch hunt. you have to either have a witch hunt -- >> either you have the torches and red cross -- the pure tans are running through the woods of massachusetts looking for witches or tho witches or they're not.
unfortunately, as brian klaus said, the witch went on tv and said, hey, lester, i am a witch. >> i weigh more than that sack of feathers. >> exactly. >> here's another one. >> we're off to the rates, my friends. >> remember forrer house speaker newt grinning rich made the case that any investigation of donald trump for obstruction of justice would be pointless. >> technically the president of the united states cannot obstruct justice. president of the united states is the chief executive officer of the united states. he wants to fire the fbi director, all he has to do is fire him. >> that -- that's not what gingrich believed in april of 1998 when president bill clinton was in office. >> this is good. the red sox won last night, by the way. beat the astros again. >> what you have lived through for two and a half long years is the most systematic deliberate obstruction of justice coverup and effort to avoid the truth we
have ever seen in american history, and the time has come to say to the democrats and to say to the president quit undermining the law in the united states. >> that really could apply to today. >> so that's obstruction of justice. that's sort of another one of these spinal tap moments. >> i think obstruction of justice was you'll be familiar with this, was one of the articles impeachment against president clinton. i believe that was also one of the articles of impeachment against president nixon. seems like we got a couple of precedents just in the last 40 years where presidents -- >> still ahead, congressman steve scalise is improving, but our nation's politics may not be. we'll get an update on his condition, and we'll also show you a new political ad in georgia's special election race that looks to use last week's shooting for political advantage. first, let's go to bill karens with a check on the forecast. bill. >> good monday morning, guys. very busy weather monday.
we have severe storms to worry about, extreme heat wave. maybe something in the tropics too. first thing is first, rainy morning for you in pittsburgh. these storms will intensify later on today. this is a huge number. 60 million people at risk of severe storms. wind damage and also flash flooding is the biggest risk. this area of orange includes d.c., philadelphia, baltimore, and new york is in the enhanced risk. that's where there will be more numerous storms. how about the west? we're in the peak of our heat wave. 33 million people affected from sack meramento to phoenix. temperatures could be record-breakin sacramento you'lbe close if not tied. bakersfield, you'll crush it. palm springs and phoenix, near record highs for the day. then tomorrow is the peak of it. this is what phoenix hits 120. you'll easily beat your record high of 116. rememb remember, phoenix all-time record high is 122. it kind of lingers. in vegas, phoenix, and you have be to right along the coast in california to avoid that. i did hint and mention that something could be developing in
the tropics and gulf of mexico. hurricane aircraft will fly into this massive clouds and thunderstorms later on today. we'll find out if we're going to have formation. right now they're giving odds of about 80% to 90% that we could get our next tropical system out of that. if anything, it's just going to bring heavy rain to the gulf coast and does not look to be a big wind threat. watch out in tallahassee to new orleans. a lot of heavy rain and flooding later on this week. if you have airport plans in areas of the northeast, especially between 3:00 p.m. and about 8:00 p.m., new york city included, we'll have to watch out for some significant delays from the thunderstorms rolling through. top of the rock, showing you nice conditions in, no. a different story this afternoon. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. look closely. hidden in every swing, every chip, and every putt, is data that can make the difference between winning and losing. the microsoft cloud helps the pga tour turn countless points of data
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according to the hospital where he is being treated, he remains in serious condition undergoing another surgery over the weekend. he conties to show signs of improvement and is more responsive, even speaking with loved ones. >> unhinged left is -- when will it stop? it won't. if john osoff wins on tuesday because the same unhinged left is cheering last week's shooting are all backing john osoff, and if he wins, they been. stop them. stop them now. stop john osof.
stop nancy pelosi. vote karen handel for congress. vote principal leadership project -- >> so i can tell you that both campaigns have vigorously disavowed that. i can tell you, that's one of the problems with the third party ads. >> i pibld up the found and called. they said we can't talk to you. this is a third party ad. i said, well, i'm going to kick your ass when the campaign is over if it runs another day. that is something i am sure everybody is horrified. i was horrified over the weekend. people on the left and people on the right on twitter especially trying to make hay out of this. it's gross and disgusting. we'll have a policy debate six months. if you are offended by what the
pope's position is on social issues and you got a guy from a catholic state that is actually believing what the catholic church says, take it up with him six months from now. >> let's wait until he recovers and is back in congress. i famously had a couple of exchanges through the media with congressman scalise in his office. we have a profound political difference. he did not at all deserve what happened to him, and we all as americans haveo be rooting f his recovery. we absolutely are. we engage in a public debate. we decide who wins and loses by who gets the most votes. we don't resolve those differences at the end of a gun barrel. >> we don't. certainly we have differences with steve scalise with a lot of issues. i have differences with bernie sanders on a lot of issues. i know all of us feel this way.
i can't malk in a million years starting a political debate and attacking a guy whose family surrounded him in a hospital bed fighting for his life more than i can believe anybody is low enough to use that tragedy to try to pick up a couple of votes in the race. >> it's all part of what we do here and it's something we really need to think about how we do what we do when it comes to conspiracy they'orists or wh it comes to opinions on issues. it has to stay within guardrails that we create for ourselves. we don't want this to be the wild west of politics. the mega phone of cable tv and fwitser. we capital we can't do it. >> i hope that nancy pelosi employ paul ryan have come out
and said some things that we're going to try to work together some of the outrageous things they say and make them call him out, and i hope they do call him out. they'll find out that their party will be stronger in the end, i think. >> look, i think that, you know, civility in politics is something that some partisans attack and say it's a cover for bad stuff, and i think we're seeing right now in our politics around the country just a moment where we understand and not making politics a totalizing thing that brings in everything else in your life that becomes a catastrophe if you lose. it's important. it's essential to the american experiment and democracy anywhere. i see this stuff on twitter, and it turns my stomach. it makes me think that twitter is not real life, skps we can't make twitter and real life the
same. >> coming up on "morning joe" an update from london where yet another deadly incident is being investigated as terror. nbc's kier simmons is on the scene. "morning joe" is coming right back. when you booked this trip, you didn't know we had over 26,000 local activities listed on our app. or that you could book them right from your phone. a few weeks ago, you still didn't know if you were gonna go. now the only thing you don't know, is why it took you so long to come here. expedia. everything in one place, so you can travel the world better. excuse me, are you aware of what's happening right now? we're facing 20 billion security events every day.
now to the overnight breaking news where one person is dead after a van rammed into people on a drouded sidewalk. the incident happened early this morning near a mochk in the city's northern section. ten people were also hurt. police say that a 48-year-old man was arrested at the scene and that the incident is being treated for now as a terror attack. counterterrorism command is investigating. let's go to london and nbc news correspondent kier simmons. kier. >> the van went down the street behind me here, mounted the sidewalk, and rammed into those people. as you mentioned, ten were injured. eight taken to the hospital. one man has died. now, jeremy corbin, the leader of the opposition and the prime minister have both been here in recent hours. in fact, this is jeremy corbin's constituen constituency. his constituency office is just
along the street. locals tell me his favorite restaurant just here and the prime minister is still here. she is described this attack as every bit as sickening as the number of attacks we've seen in london, but a number of stories too that are quite striking that are emerging. one that it appears that people were gathered around a man who had collapsed prior to the attack and were trying to help him. those good samaritans, if you like, members of this muslim community were then, it appears, hit by the van in this attack. then afterwards as this man appeared to wave and look proud of himself, a crowd gathered around and a number of people decided to arrest him, carry out the citizens arrest. others wanted to, as you can imagine, very angry, take out a vengeance on him. as i understand it from what witnesses say here, others in the crowd prevented that and assured that the police arrived and this man was arrested.
a stunning act of lawfulness in the midst of this outrage which the police say they are investigating as a suspected terrorist attack. >> abc's kier simmons. thank you so much. greatly appreciate it. still ahead, "new york times" columnist frank brunhy sums up the state of american politics on social media. "i'm okay. you are pure evil." how the web has deepened divisions and why he says the president is an enormous part of the problem. we'll read from frank's piece and bring in conservative commentator charlie sykes when "morning joe" comes right back.
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"over the past decade in particular the internet and social media have changed the game. they speed people to like-minded warriors and give them the impression of broader company or sturdier validation than really exist. our language is growing coarser. our images too. even if they're only rarely a -- to else voo, they're always a pathway from high-minded engage the. lately trump and his children have been playing the victims of all of this, but save your tears. he has been an enormous part of the oblem. om before hicaidacy to the present, for more and more americans, the other side isn't merely misguided in the extremely. it's evil in the absolute and virtue is measured by the starkness with which that evil is labelled and revialed. there are emotional satisfactions to this. there is also a terrible price." >> it's something we've been talking about for ten years now. social media, cable news, talk
radio. you go on-line, it reinforces all of your preexisting prejudices. by the he wanted of the day the other side is not wrong. they're evil. >> i think the difference now is that the president is a part of it. he did not step up and rise to the occasion when he became president and put down this sort of silly part of his personality. in fact, it's become even more exaggerated. i think it's fuelling the fire. >> i will say after the shooting he was very restrained. i think most people were glad he spoke the way he did. he needs to carry that forward. i know it's -- it goes against -- if he and his children who complain about the bitterness in plekz and ignore all the things he did over the past several years want there to be sort of an easing of tensions, it starts at the top and he is going to have to contribute like he did after the shooting. >> for them to complain about this when he is the biggest p
purveyor of lies on the internet and of attacking people, of bullying people, it's really disturbing. it makes me wonder if they think they're in a dirch set of rulff rules than others. that feeds into the concern about the presidency. >> we have a secretary right now that he compared to a child molester, and we have a united states senator from texas who he ran against who suggested his father killed j.f.k. perhaps, you know, just put the stone down. clean up your glass house. we all -- listen, there's enough hatred that's being spread around all over the place. you can't just point to one sour source. you know, the example will start at the top. let's bring in michael u mike luke, and in milwaukee we have author, conservative commentator, and msnbc contributor charlie sykes. mike lupika, let's start with you, and theb i will auto go to charlie, the three of us are the only ones old enough to remember the cold war. we spent a good chunk of our lives in the cold war wre we
were told our ente lives fro the day we were born that iwas a binary choice. you were either for the soviet union or for the united states of america. we see now it's a multi-polar world. i have been saying for some time we are not as divided as a country as we think we are. everybody right now thinks they just have a binary choice. they don't realize that what happened in france is going to happen here sooner rather than later. >> and, joe, what we're just talking about with frank's piece, you know, it's the meryl streep thing. when she says what she says, it's not just that she said something that hurt the president's feeling. she was also a bad actress now. when you say something that people disagree with, you then get to ascribe a whole set of believes that may or may not be real, and josh and i were talking about it. we were just talking about it. it's why i thought president obama's speech after the policemen were shot in dallas was his best. he is talking about this. how the first instinct when
something happens now in this country is everybody goes to their corners and gets ready to fight. >> right. and charlie sykes, i remember people playing clips of this network of george w. bush after 9/11 going to an islamic center. i believe it might have been a mosque. basically embracing the muslim community in this country. it was wasn't as historic as it may be today. we talked about this off line about our good conservative friends that we have respected and trusted and their views for 20, 30 years who now don't even sound remotely conservative and are just following a man instead of what they followed their entire life. it is -- you have talked about it. it's really disheartening. >> yeah. >> it is disheartening, and i tried to be an optimist, and i know it's early in the morning, but i had this gut sense that
everything that is happening that is bad is about to get worse. in part, it is because the president is the role model in chief, and it's not just that we have retreated to our corners and our alternative reality bubbles. it is getting darker all the time, and many of the most positive voices -- you know, when we're just asking them that question, zwroe, is thinking of who are among the best and most principled conservatives in america. one would be dennis prager who just wrote a peterson about how we are at civil war. in other words, we don't just disagree with one another. we are waging this twilight struggle for civilization, and everything is at stake. the more you get that binary choice, the more the dark rhetoric becomes the point of the realm, the more divided we're going to get, and i don't see that even an uns dent from last week is going to fundamentally change that. i appreciate the positive sentiments, but when you think about what president trump and his supporters have done to
coarsen the culture and coarsen the political dialogue, it's hard to know how we come back from that. >> well, i -- >> i completely agree with you. >> i don't. i do think we can come back from it. >> i hope so. >> i understand the negative side. i really do. the positive side, john heilman, at least for me, there are some conservatives i just -- i have been banging my head. you know, we've been fighting each other for years. you know, they are, like, you are a this and that. it's almost as chaotic as a baptist deacon meeting that's trying to fire a preacher. you are all -- y'all believe the same thing, but it's even nastier because of that. now there's a bright dividing line. i know the people that speak truth to power even when their side is in power, so there is a plus side to this too. i actually can see who are principled conservatives now and who follow power blindly. >> have you been surprised by
how small that cadre is? >> it's small, but it's growing. i will tell you, john mccain is a guy that once told mike barnacle, the only thing that he hated about the forestall being sunk in pensacola bay is i wasn't chained to it when it was going down. john mccain and i have had some really tough times. >> a little harsh. >> this has provided me an opportunity and john mccain an opportunity when we look at each other, we know. like, we're shoulder to shoulder. we're on the same side. the constitution matters. all of that other nonsense, put it aside. he loves america first. ben sr. ass loves america fir--. there are times where he has shown device towards the president, and i hope he will do it a lot more moving forward. >> i keep wondering what it is if you think about the -- there's another group -- another sub-cadre where you think that they might end up on your side,
right? what would trump have to do to get those people? obviously there are some people that will be with trump forever, and there are those that have been against him in the way that you describe him in a principled way consistently. a much smaller group. there's another group that's to play for. what would -- given all the things he has done -- >> it's not about trump and you have seen this. unfortunately, it's about sheer politics. it's when republicans start losing special elections and donald trump's numbers go down. unfortunately, it's that calculated. only then will some of these people show political courage. i want tax reform. i want regulatory reform. i want infrastructure reform. i want a lot of these policies that trump is talking about, where i want even about policy. it's about when you question the independence of the federal judiciary, when you call the press enemies of the people. >> on twitter. >> unfortunately, this has been the essence of donald trump's political strategy since his first day in the race, and in
some ways even before he got in the race. this idea of so colorfully and harshly criticizing barack obama and then using those same tactics to one by one knock out his republican opponents in the primary. >> can you imagine obama tweeting everything he thought every second like this? >> it would require a whole lot more than 140 characters. communication styles are different. >> there's that. it wouldn't be possible. >> it wouldn't. look, if we are looking for a bay to be opt mythsic here, says this is the other thing that we can point to, which is that having donald trump at the center of this discussion for four years, i think it does highlight and crystallize in a real way the dangers and the down side of somebody who is constantly playing on the fears and ang zbliets of the american people to try to boost his own political standing. >> and mixing lie after lie after lie to the point where the conversation can't -- just keeps going into nowhere. >> maybe we'll find a leader that is ready to apell to people's ambitions and hopes again. that would be a welcome.
whether that's democrat or republican three years from now, that would be a nice sense. >> i do think what is surprising is republicans just being cynical. that more republicans understand there is a huge, huge opening for a republican with principle that stans up to this president and calls out the lies every day aggressively. that is the next leader of the republican party. we're going to continue this conversation. >> stay with us. >> charlie, stay with us. >> we want to get to the new york stock exchange right now and cnbc's sarah eisen. the white house is expected to meet with top tech ceos today. what's on the agenda? >> yes. and this should be fascinating because there's been a bit of an uncomfortable relationship between big tech and this administration. this is the first meeting, guys, of the american technology council led by senior advisor jared kushner. on the agenda immigration. modernizing the government's technology infrastructure, preventing sierer attacks against government systems.
basically ways big tech can help make the u.s. government operate more efficiently. we are expecting the top names to be there, including tim cook of apple, jeff basos of amazon, fresh off of announcing his deal to buy whole foods on friday. eric schmidt. a lot of guys hillary clinton supporters where, some members of this council have been angry about some of the administration's moved like pulling out of the paris climate agreement. elan musk of tesla actually pulled out of advisory counc tim cook hasaid before on the record more important to engage. axian has an interesting angle about how they're trying to prevent the danger of becoming the devils of trumpism's nationalist wing. also wanted to exmention, the brexit talks officially started today in brussels. negotiators from the e.u. and e.u.k. are meeting. they've got a shot clock now march 29th, 2019.
the last day for the u.k. in the year. as far as big business and the markets are concerned, one big issue to watch here is how much they prioritize the single market. the u.k. staying in approximate europe's market without tariffs or any kind of -- any kind of obstacle. that's a big one, whether they prioritize that over immigration. back to you. >> sarah eisen. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> all right. we have some breaking news now related to syria. russia's defense ministry says it will treat u.s.-led coalition planes and drones operating west of the euphrates and syria as targets. >> good luck with that. i'm going to say good luck with that, russia. >> and shoot nthem down. >> good luck with that. >> it mz could after a retaliation after they shot down a pro-assad regime fighter judge et that attacked u.s.-backed force yesterday. in a statement the russian defense ministry says those actions are an act of "military
aggression" against syria's sovereignty. adding the kremlin will stop cooperating with u.s. military in syria and will no longer exchange intelligence meant to prevent midair collisions. >> all right. well, let's see how that works out for the russians. >> first it was speakers on college campuses. now a performance of julius ceasar in central park. protesters on both sides of the political divide looking to stamp out free speech when they don't like what's being said. we'll talk about that. this urs this, you are all invited, every single one of you, you can catch -- >> talk about stamping out free speech. >> they're going to be at a new venue thursday night. they'll be at the cutting room here in new york city. that's kind of exciting. the special performances to mark the release of joe's new ep entitled "mystified." it's going to be good. join us. back with much more "morning joe." i was playing golf days ago...
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the production was controversial, one because they had caesar, who was killed, resemble the president. >> donald trump. they had one that resembled barack obama several years ago. >> the protesters called it, quote, the normalization of political violence against the right and the blood of steve scalise is on your hands. the production closed yesterday but not without being disrupted again by supporters of the president. joining us from los angeles, from dailywire.com, syndicated columnist ben shapiro. over the weekend he criticized these protest prs the right saying they adopt the tactics of the left. >> we've haven't criticizing what's happened -- what happened at middlebury and -- i say "we," we around the set but conservatives have, what's happening in berkeley all the time. then as you pointed out, these people on the alt-right have hijacked some of the worst
trades of the far left and what they did with this play. talk about it. >> career opposing i idiot snowflake, and i speak at places like cal state, los angeles, near riot there, university of wisconsin, people try to storm the stage. i've always said this is not free speech when you're trying to sensor somebody else's free speech. the right does it and there are mainstream members saying this is just turnabout is fair play. no, if it's wrong when the left does it, it's wrong when you do this. this notion that trying to pronote snowflakery from the right will combat that from the left is so stupid because this stuff hasn't helped the left. even bernie sanders and elizabeth warren came out against people trying to shut do a coulter at berkeley. if the right starts to embrace those tactics, then the right is going to be just as guilty as the left in this political impasse we find ourselves in. >> we're getting bashed all weekend. i saw not really from the right, it's not the right, they're not
conservatives. it's the alt-right. >> that's no shock. the alt-right is not a movement. it's a grievance movement that is driven in response to the multicultural left and they are promoting, again, this notion that two wrongs make a right and that if the left does it we should do it because that means we're going to be fighting back against the left. the best way to fight back against things that are bad is to do good things sh not to do equally bad things in the same way. >> you'd hope the president would hear that. >> charlie, it's nick. question for you and ben. i've always suspected part of what's happening with the alt-right but also with the conservative talk radio world is the profit motive. you have these new media stars and they're driven to these stunts. i wonder how much of what we're seeing here is trying to appeal and fire folks up just to make some money. >> well, there's two elements here. ben is absolutely right. first of all, you have the dumb
extremism there. my advice is people, you need to read a damn book once in a while and it's william shakespeare. but you're right, almost all of the incentives now on the extremes of the media are for these kinds of, you know, be the most bombastic, the most reckless, stage these kinds of stunts because you would normally think you would take a deep breath and go do you rea y really -- do conservatives who have spent so long making the case for tolerance and free speech, do you really want to be storming the stage of a william shakespeare play to shout it down? does this make any sense? this may make sense in the mind of people like sean hannity, but real. >> and the moral of the play, by the way, is not that he's assassinated and it all turns out great. the moral is he's killed and everything goes to pot. >> how many of these protesters have actually read this play? how many could tell you what century william shakespeare
wrote, what century julius cesar lived? this is cringe worthy but apparently some people think they can monetize this, get clicks and some notoriety. >> charlie makes a great point and i'm not making fun of your age, i wish i was, as young as you are, but old guys like us, mike lupica -- >> definitely mike lupica. >> we can remember back to the 1980s one of the most important books. >> old guy. >> one of the most important books was the closing of the american mind. and we conservatives were fighting against this type of -- we conservatives -- so after fighting that fight for 30 years, why would we adopt their tactics, ben? >> so true. >> i think some members of the right have been driven to extremes by a feeling of frustration, which is not justified. i think right now what we're
seeing also is an attempt to appeal to anger and extremism on both sides because of profit motive, political motive, whether it's joy reed saying what she said about steve scalise or the play, everybody is making bank off the anger of the public because you always make money justifying people about their anger. maybe we should say maybe your anger is not that justified? the fact is there's a play going on you don't like, you have the option of putting on a counter play. but this notion of shutting down somebody's speech because we don't like what was said, this is the end of the first amendment and the practice of law. and we are going to come to blows. >> there's a lot of amendments to the constitution that may be a threat to us right now. the first amendment is not one of them. i've said to josh before, sometimes the first amendment is like a great big rock and when you left it up, some really lousy things come crawling out from underneath it. but unfortunately, we have to protect their rights too. >> that's the purpose of the
first amendment. >> that's right. >> the whole point. >> the entire point is to allow -- one of the cases we studied, one of the first things we studied in constitutional law were nazis having the first amendment right to march in illinois despite the fact it was deemly offensive to just about everybody. >> there's benefit to our society to expose these ideas and debate them and make a collective decision as a society what's right and what's wrong. if you have so much confidence and conviction in your point of view, why not allow it to debate with someone else? >> i'll go to both of our guests remote and ask you both, we have agreed there's great consensus around t table about th oblem. neither one of you is a public policymaker, but what's the thing that could turn the tide and bring us back? charlie, go first. what can be done to reverse this trend? >> the trend of intolerance? again, you know, stick to the
principle that in fact ideas and words should not be shouted down. we should not embrace the hecklers' veto. what's really startling about this is people like ben shapiro have been so eloquent and so high-profile in saying that conservatives support the first amendment. look, if there's a venn diagram between left and right about the things we share, it's probably a small overlap, but you would think tolerance and free speech would be among the things we agree on. >> but, ben, you make the point basically that the market incentives now are towards intolerance. so how we reverse those market incentives because the market incentives are very powerful. >> eventually it comes down to the voters and to us, the consumers. we'll have to determine that words are not violence unless they expressly advocate violence. this is a dangerous thing the left embraced for 20 years and the right is starting to embrace it. once we equate word with violence, pretty soon we'll be
equating violence with violence because it won't just stay words. >> the closing of the american mind. >> do you remember that? >> oh my gosh. yes, i do. >> charlie sikes, ben shapiro, thank you. >> uplifting conversation to end the morning on. >> that does it for us this morning. >> i'm optimistic. you can say you're not. >> i'm glad you are because you know a lot. i'm hoping you're right. stephanie picks up the coverage -- >> very sweet. she's never been that nice to me. >> thank you. good morning. we've got a lot to cover this morning starting with a legal blitz. president trump's personal lawyer in a full-court press. >> the president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction. the president is not under investigation. the president is not and has not been under investigation. >> directly contradicting the president's tweet that he is under investigation. the most expensive house race ever is taking its final turn. the last hours are here. will democrats take the republican seat? that race is getting even