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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  July 24, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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look." "morning joe" starts right now. >> i think there's been at times a disconnect between the way we see the president and how much we love the president and the way some of you perhaps see the president. i think he's got some of the best political instincts in the world and in history. he's done a phenomenal job for the american people. the people i grew up with, they so identify with the president and love him. i lot of president. i lot of president. i'm very, very loyal to the president. i love the mission that president has. i saw the love that people have for the president. the president has really good karma. he's genuinely a wonderful human being. i've seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tire. i've seen him at madison square guarden with a top coat on and standing in the key and hitting foul shots and swishing them. he sinks three foot putts, the president is a winner. most savvy person in the white house is the president of the united states. i'm hoping to learn from him. i lot of president. the president is phenomenal with the press. and he's a great communicator.
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he is an unbelievable politician. i love the president. i know he's picking up about 300,000 followers a day, god bless him. people love him. it has been a very successful life experience for president trump to be president trump. thank you. >> the newly minted white house communications director communicating his love for the president on friday anthony scaramucci. also hit the sunday shows and jumped into the dangerous waters of trying to manage a message in the middle of a presidential tweet storm. we're going to see how he d meanwhile, just off this morning, jared kushner is said to answer questions today from staffers of the senate intel committee. but he just released a very long statement detailing his encounters with russia's ambassador and kremlin linked lawyer. we're looking through it right now. john is reading it. can you give us a nugget yet? it's very long. >> it's quite long.
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jared kushner seems to be saying here the following things, one, i was in charge mostly with contacts with foreigners and foreign governments and foreign contacts during the campaign. almost all of those were in response to incoming calls and e-mails not me reaching out to those people. he gives an account of when he first met kissly as at the mayflower hotel. he says briefly meaningless. then he gives an accounting of the meeting that is in contention which he essentially says i don't know what it was b i showed up a little bit late. they talked about adoptions a little bit and i didn't really want to be there and no big deal. again that, is a very, very rough account. it is many pages long. i'm still absorbing. >> this was just put out moments ago. i guess they're preparing for this meeting but also potentially preparing this all night. good morning, everyone. it's monday, july 24th. it's always action packed on "morning joe." joe has the morning off. with us we have analyst for nbc
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news, john heilemann, associate editor of "commentator magazine," clint watts, former white house press secretary to president obama now msnbc political analyst, josh earnest. and nbc news capitol hill correspondent casey hunt joins us and david ignacious is with us as well. president trump put his message out on twitter sending 19 tweets from his personal account alone. and among the ten he sent 8:30 on saturday morning was this one. "while all agree the u.s. president has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is leaks against us. fake news." the president's lawyer had denied any accusation of pardons as nonsense.
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after "the washington post" reported trum health care plan asked advisors about pardoning powers. a member of trump's outside legal team continued to make that argument yesterday. the new communications director anthony scaramucci said the president had discussed the issue with him. >> we have not and continue to not have conversations with the president of the united states regarding pardons. pardons have not been discussed. and pardons are not on the table. >> i'm in the oval office with the president the last week. we're talking about that. he says he brought that up, he said, but he zdoesn't have to b pardoned. there is nobody around him that has to be pardoned. he was making the statement about the power of pardon. >> why is he tweeting about pardons? >> well, i think the unfortunately he may have had a conversation in the oval office or somewhere about it and then people rush out to leak that information to people. it's very unprofessional and very harmful. i think that the gist of that
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leak basically -- or that tweet, i should say, is that he's not going to pardon anybody. he just doesn't like the fact he has a two minute conversation in the oval office or in his study and people are running out and leaking that. >> all right. josh, first of all, how is anthony scaramucci doing? you can see how what a careful dance it is. >> it is a careful dance. i think we learned and hopefully anthony learned on sunday morning the difference between being an outside advocate for the president of the united states on cable television and being responsible for managing the entire messaging operation of the white house. it's a real problem when you're out there saying something different than either the president is tweeting or the white house press secretary is also taking on television on just a different channel. remember, they had conflicting messages as it relates to whether or not president trump would approve of and sign this russia sanctions bill that is making its way throughout congress. >> and i would say you have to pace yourself in that job.
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i mean, you know from being in the position of press secretary the incoming is unbelievable. this president could change on a dime in the middle of your speaking on tv is what we learned over the past six months. >> one way or another, look, there are a variety of things that made shawn spicer's job really hard. certainly one of them is constantly income a position and being worried about being undermined by the president without any warning. on twitter. and the question really is shawn spicer never had the kind of relationship with president trump that mr. scaramucci clearly has. and so the question is what kind of -- how will that affect the dynamic of his ability to lead the operation? and how effective will anthony be in using some of that good will he has with the president to give sarah a better shot here. >> anthony scaramucci had quite a career before this job.
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and it was not necessarily connected with trump. i will say his tone appears to be -- i just hope he hasn't taken any type of loyalty oath. i mean, i don't know if that ever really exists. but there certainly was discussion of that. david, i'm going to go to you. i'm curious, we have a lot of other things to talk about with you, but what you thought about the president's tweet about pardoning. >> i felt the fact that he confirmed that there had been a discussion as reported last week with his aides by saying my pardoning powers are absolute, clearly told us that he is extremely agitated about this investigation. he then called it a phoney russia witchunt. he isn't able in his own mind to get free of it. it nags at him.
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he has i had son-in-law going to testify this morning in a crucial bit of testimony which we're still trying to unravel what he wants to say. i thought the tweet showed us that president, however much he talks about governing and getting back to his agenda, is himself personally preoccupied. he's trying to get order out of the chaos of his white house with scaramucci. good luck with that. the initial day scaramucci was disagreeing with his own press secretary. it's clear that the splits in this administration and this white house, in fact, go much deeper. these are really now quite bitter rivalries. the white house chief of staff is clearly undercut by at pointment pointhe appoint ma appoint. of scaramucci. so it's a white house that really is -- the cracks are showing more now. >> i agree.
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i'll talk more about this later. but anthony scaramucci has a huge opportunity here to do the right thing. i feel like he's missed a few opportunities in ee raisirasing tweets and love for the president. how about love for the country? how about because i love the country and i want to do the right thing and leave it at that? i feel this repettive obsession with saying he loves trump is concerning although it is just the beginning and we will see how it plays out. clint, with the testimony that is happening today, jared kushner releasing a huge statement. we're pouring through it. what are your big concerns heading into this week? >> i think what i want to know with kushner is if you remember back, it's hard to remember all the revelations. we were talking about a secret communications channel with russia. why would we need to set that up? why would kushner need to set that up? if i was in the intel committees that, is the top thing i drive on.
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the other one is the financial connections. whether he has personal connections or not, how much debt, how much money transactions, what kind of real estate deals do we have with this country? >> there's an account as you get deeper into this statement by jared kushner, there's an account of that matter. his version again, i'll summarize. his version is meaning with kislyak in december, a meeting he claims kislyak wanted, asked for repeatedly. he did not. he said he didn't have time to schedule it for about a week. finally got on the calendar. he went. they talked. kislyak told him that he wanted, he, kislyak, had information from russian generals about the situation in syria that he wanted to convey to the incoming administration. and he, kislyak, asked if there was a secure line into the transition that they could use in order to convey that information. kushner and michael flynn who was also in the meeting replied to him that, no, there is no such secure line. at which point kushner says he
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then asked is there a secure line that you might have so we can have this conversation? he then claims kislyak said no and that was the end of the conversation. just reading you the kushner version. >> this all came out in the past hour. so we're doing our best to get through it. clearly jared kushner is looking to clear his name and move on. today kushner expected to answer questions from staff of the senate intelligence committee as we mentioned investigating russia. the interview will be conducted behind closed doors and kushner will not be under oath. that june 2016 meeting at trump you to we are donald trump jr. and a russian lawyer expected to be at the top of the agenda. as we've been saying just in this morning is a copy of the statement to congressional investigators. he's expected to say that trump jr. invited him to the meeting but at that time he did not know who else would be there. and didn't read the entire e-mail. the only concern about that is
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the subject line was pretty clear. >> the first word was russia. >> the first word was rush yachlt "a rifd at the meeting a little late. when i got there the person who has since been identified as a russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on u.s. adoptions of russian children. i had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well spent at this meeting. looking for an excuse to leave, kushner says he e-mailed an assistant to call his cell. he claimed there were ten minutes or so and that he had never met with the russian attorney before that meeting nor has he spoken with her since. kushner could also face questions over transparency. we learned late friday that his financial forms were revised to include almost 80 assets that were omitted in previous disclosures. kushner has also had to update his security clearance forms several times to include previously undisclosed meetings with foreign nationals. he's expected to tell the congressional panel, "i did not
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collude nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded with any foreign government. i had no improper contacts. i have not relied on russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. i have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my sf-86 form. above and beyond what is required. hopefully this puts these matters to rest." casey, anything else standing out to you? >> i'm just trying to wrap my head around this entire statement and what it means in context. i would say that this is essentially the chaos and sloppiness defense. essentially jared kushner is explaining away point by point all of the concerning things and we just ticked through some of them. and offering his version of events that essentially makes things that may seem to be problematic simply the result of somebody overlooking something, of the chaos of the campaign in the case of the sf-8 6.
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he said the assistant hit too soon because they misinterpret the his instructions and that resulted he is entangled in trying to explain yes didn't list the contacts. you just mentioned in that statement him wanting to leave the meeting with the russian lawyer. there was an e-mail that was sent so there is a paper trail where he says can you please call me on my cell? need an excuse to get away. he said that's because he walked into the meeting and immediately decided it was a waste of time, not that he decided there was something that was potentially problematic and that he needed to remove himself from the situation. and i will say from my reporting on how this is going talking to members of the committee privately, this is to a certain extent i think the opening that republicans who want to find a reason to defend the president are looking to give them. they're essentially saying, look, there couldn't be a collusion here because nobody was in any position to collude. everybody was drinking out of a fire hose. so i think that's the direction
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you're going to see this go over the course of today. >> clint, the sf-86? >> yeah. one of my bigger problems with all of this is the sf-86. that is your essentially your own personal testimony about your qualifications, you know, your history, work history. i just know from having worked in government, i probably have filled out a dozen sf-86s in my career. if i made those kinds of mistakes, i'd be immediately flagged or, you know, held out for review. and probably rejected. and so i think that's a major oversight. and now we're looking at someone who has been tasked we normous responsibility in this administration to solve what are supposedly many different foreign policy technical issues. we put it all to rest on this one person and now we're finding out that this are hundreds of contacts, lots of financial disclosure forms that have not been filled out yet we're putting this person in charge of this. >> so we're reading a really long statement put out this morning by jared kushner who
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expected to answer questions from the senate intelligence committee staff today. noah, you write in kmen taker yish kmen taker yishgs you write this, if the 2016 presidential election cycle demonstrated anything, it was that republicans suffer if a crippling lack of imagination. the ordeal should have established that the unprecedent the is not impossible. even now republicans seem as though they're trying to convince themselves that their eyes are lying to them but they're not. the tempo of the investigation into president trump is accelerating and the nightmare scenario is eminently imaginable. only could congressional republicans overt disaster and then being clear about the actions they're prepared to take if trump insti gates a crisis of constitutional legitimacy, they have to summon them publicly. if they're so concerned that
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norms and tradition that's preserved the rule of law in this republic for 240 years are in jeopardy, they must say so." know yashgs you kn noah, one more move like he fires mueller, something like that, are republicans ready to step up? is that question you're asking? >> that is the question i'm asking. i'm not sure of the answer. that "new york times" interview suggested he threw kind of a brushback pitch at the special counsel's office and in order to make a move against thash he has to move against the department of justice, suggest that rose enstein would have to fire mueller. if he is not so inclined, then he would have to ask for a resignation from the department of justice. then we get into a territory where we're talking about the 1973 analogy don't seem so hyperbolic anymore. republicans are free to, very eager to criticize this president on background, on condition of anonymity. >> what will they do when it
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matters? david, on the russia angle, you had kellyanne conway, not sure why but she was interviewed talking about the russia story being just a joke or something. i forget her words. i don't really listen to them. but also anthony scaramucci talking about the president not sold on -- first of all, just characterize for us, do you it this russia story is a big story? >> i think it is one. more to the point, it's a story that's being investigated by a special counsel highly respected lawyer robert mueller. he is now commanding the resources of the fbi, of a staff of top investigators and prosecutors that he's assembled. so it's very real. it's an on going investigation. i last week was at a conference in aspen, colorado, where almost all of the top current and former national security officials were in attendance.
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almost every one of them said emphatically that they endorsed the conclusion of the u.s. intelligence committee that there was russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. that's president -- something that president trump even now is uncomfortable doing. in one of tweets over the weekend he referred again to the phoney russia witch hunt and scaramucci said in one of his interviews that when he talked with the president the president says it may have happened. it may not have happened. they may have done it. they may not have done it. it's still this ambiguous uncertain tone not reflected by any of his intelligence aides. so, yes, this is something that the top analysts of intelligence say is real, that's being investigated by our congress and by the special counsel. the president really stands alone in his insistence that this is a witchunt and phoney. >> yeah. i'm hearing from the white house as well that jared kushner is
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really working on trying to be transparent. there are a lot of different forms that he's addressing in this statement. which you're still reading. how many pages is it? >> it's about 11 pages at least. and i think i want to go back to the earlier thing that i said. i was a little confused about one thing. the first meeting with kislyak was not problematic. he gets set up and set up quickly after trump had won. the meeting with the russian banker was the one that kushner claims he kept trying to put off. kislyak meeting took place and the account i gave of the question about the secure communications channel that i gave before is accurate, at least to what jared kushner's version of it s the gorkov meeting, he claims in the statement that he does not say explicitly, at least that i can find, that he never met or knew of sergei gorkov. he suggested strongly. the way he talks about it is if he were a stranger and he claims the reason he took the meeting was because kislyak kept wanting
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him to take the meeting. and he was bothering him, badgering him to get it on the calendar and saying you have to see him. you have to see him. he has a direct line to putin. if you met him, you'll have insight into how putin sees things. jared kushner said he relented and the meeting got on the schedule. nothing was, again, kushner claims, no discussion of business of his businesses. no discussion of finances, his finances. only a sort of general discussion of u.s.-russia relations and some giving of gifts including a bag of dirt. >> so i'm communicating with several people who are hopeful that we get through all of jarrjared kushner's statement. he's looking at full transparency. my biggest question is how he doesn't know what this don jr. meeting is about had when it's in the subject line of the e-mail. that i guess he is saying in this statement and he will say today that he didn't read the e-mail. you see subject lines when you
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open up your -- you can't help but to read them. >> right. >> i'm just so curious as to how they get around that. >> it raises questions. the other part of this that has to be unraveled is for all of the efforts on the part of jared kushner and others to explain away all the conversations, what's very difficult to explain away are the policy decisions the trump white house has made in the first six months with regard to russia. >> right. >> we've seen all along, even, you know, jared kushner appears to acknowledge that there were conversations about relaxing sanctions against russia. >> right. >> david's up into reported at the end of last week that trump administration made a policy decision to withdraw support that they previously been providing to syrian rebel who's are fighting the assad regime, something the putin regime sought a long time. they're coordinating on a cease-fire in regions of sear yashgs something that putin has sought for a long time. and we know that trump administration is openly considering returning the diplomatic facilities that were closed by the obama
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administration. these are facilities that were -- they're described as diplomatic facilities. they were closed because we know the russians used these facilities on american soil to spy on americans zbhchlt right. >> so this is the thing that is difficult to explain away. the policy decisions are not going in the direction of getting tough on russia. >> and for someone like clint, they're not explained away, they raise questions. >> so i think kushner's statement is good. we get this sort of transparency. i believe his account of these things. if you look at it from the other side, which is more dangerous? that they were knowingly being influence order unwittingly being influenced? if you look at this and these meetings that he described, if i'm on the russia side, i'm going to look at diplomatic, information, intelligence, military, economic. i have kislyak in a diplomatic meeting. i have the chief banker on the other side. i have flynn and talking about syria coordination and now i have a lawyer showing up in trump tower doing intelligence activities. from the russian perspective this is a full spectrum
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influence separation and n. that six month period. they contacted kushner and he may very well not even realize what's happening to him with all these meetings. >> i know. i wonlder if he didn't know what was meeting is about, isn't this the kind of meeting where, and i know it's easy to say things in hindsight, i would say, you know what? we shouldn't be having this meeting. >> i think your point -- >> i'm out of here. >> i think the point about the subject line of the e-mail is going to come up. he does say that, you know, common practice, don jr. asked him to come by the meeting. we often swung by each other's meetings. it came at the end of a long e-mail chain which he did not read the e-mail. >> that i get. >> he says he looked at his -- he went back and reviewed the calendar and the calendar says the meeting was calendared as meeting don jr./jared kushner with no other names of the attendees. i'm not disputing. that he has a paper trail. but to your point, the e-mail subject line was itself said something about the topic of the meeting.
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>> that's all i read sometimes. >> yes. he does not address that in the statement. i'm sure he's going to be asked about that today. >> still ahead, we have so much to get through. still ahead on "morning joe," we're continuing to pour over jared kushner's 11-page statement ahead of his meeting with the senate intelligence committee. members of the judiciary committee, democratic senator richard blumenthal of connecticut is calling for attorney general jeff sessions to testify under oath. but first, let's go to bill karins track something fast moving storms. bill? >> good morning. we may have a tornado overnight in maryland of all places. i want to show you the picture from bay island. this is near kent island out in the chesapeake. there are numerous homes that have significant roof damage. power is out to the area. there was one house fire. we're still waiting for confirmation it was a tornado. it was definitely radar indicated. this was 1:00 in the morning.
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we'll get better pictures at day break. still one flash flood warning outside of philadelphia. a flash flood watch has been dropped now for trenton and philly and much of new jersey. new york city still under a flash flood watch. 18 million people included. the heavy rain is now ending in new york city. so that's good. but out on long island, a lot of heavy rain. all the heavy rain on i-95 now from southern new york and connecticut and rhode island and boston. we'll have trouble at the airports to day. i don't think new york is going to be too bad now that rain is exiting. near boston and harvard, that's where the heaviest rain s other weather stories, the big heat wave is over. its not chillly. 92 in st. louis is bearable. 96 oklahoma city. unusually cool air in the great lakes. enjoy it, chicago, detroit. that will be in areas of new england come tomorrow. not a lot of big weather stories after the heavy rain this morning. we're actually watching a pretty quiet weather week. nothing forming in the tropics either. remember the peak of the hurricane season is soon approaching. washington, d.c., you have the strong storms roll through last night. we're even seeing breaks.
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i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. all right. we're going through this statement put out by jared kushner who is obviously answering a lot of questions before staffers and the senate intelligence committee today. and we're pouring through where he focused on where the questioning is going to come from. casey hun kasey hunt, you were reading it. what stands out you to at this point? >> there are a couple things where he denies essentially instead of offering a defense or an explanation, he is denying he did something that is potentially questionable. we touched on this earlier. but setting up that back channel with the russians, it's reported that is his idea. he in the statement denies it was his suggestion. he says that this came at the
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request of the people with whom he was speaking. that they did not have a way to securely speak to him. he was asked did they have a secure line into the office that's they were working out of at the time? he says that didn't happen. and it was put off until after the inauguration. i think that is a potentially important detail. he also denies that he spoke on the phone with ambassador kislyak between april and november of 2016. so while the campaign was going on. that, of course, was when he did meet kislyak in person at that mayflower hotel meeting. he says that lart he couldn't even remember the ambassador's name and he had to ask staffer what's the name was so that he could then eventually reach out once the timing was more appropriate during the transition period. there is also a little interesting new tidbit here. he says he received during the campaign in october of 2016. an e-mail from somebody going by
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guchafer 400. he said that e-mail existed and he also said he showed it to a secret service agent who told him he shouldn't do anything about it. he should just ignore it. so that tells me that perhaps the committee is asking questions around this and the reason i took no action upon being con fronted with this at the time, he was very much in the news as being an agent of the russian government potentially meddling in the election. and he essentially offers an explanation and says i asked law enforcement about it. they told me to do nothing, so i d these are the key points poinlly that you can see him pressed on today. >> david and then john, we'll go to you. but, you know, just in -- right in the past few minutes some communication with the white house, i'm hearing this is really an effort for full transparency and to really clear his name. does this raise more questions or help clear things up? >> well, i think it does give a clear account of the key dates
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and meetings in question. compared to what we got from the president trump and from some of those in the administration. this is relatively straight forward. it is clear he is being counselled to deliver testimony. the testimony is today in secret. but here's a fairly detailed prepared statement as it were by jared kushner. just a couple things that have struck me as i've quickly read through this morning. first, on the question of his contacts with the russians after the election. as i read this document, he's saying that russian ambassador kislyak said that he had some special information from russian generals from russian military officials about the war in syria. that he wanted to convey to kushner russia's views about the military situation that was so sensitive that it couldn't go
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through other channels so can we have a secret channel. that is a puzzler. this is information that presumably you want to check with the u.s. side with secretary kerry. there were extensive u.s.-russian discussions going on at that time. the second point that comes clear in this is he says that his failure to disclose his foreign contacts, contacts with kislyak and other russians was inadvertent when he first filed this sf-86 form. one of the things he uses to justify that, gosh, i left off a lot of other stuff, too. >> right. >> i had no foreign contacts, for example. he tells us that in this period after the election he met with b.b. netanyahu, the prime minister. he had a lot of secret conversations going on. he is using those other secret conversations to justify the fact that he didn't talk about this. >> that's not making me more
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comfortable. how about you? >> not more comfortable. this characterizes him as a man who is acted on by others. his dad wanted him to manage all these contacts. kislyak called him up. he didn't do that. so he's portraying himself as the person helping his dad who others are calling or requesting bringing the meetings. >> i think this point that david is making is very important in both of the post election meetings on the secure communications channel and on the meeting with gorkov, what kushner is saying is kislyak did it. he suggested the communications channel. kislyak wanted me to meet this russian banker. both those things may or may not be true. but the one person who is not going to be called before a congressional -- to give congressional testimony is sergey kislyak. whether there this is a true account or false account, it is a convenient account for kushner to lay off initiating the
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meetings and bringing up potentially problematic overtours and putting it all on the former russian ambassador and saying, hey, you know, i was just listening. go talk to kislyak who is now back in moscow. >> conveniently left last week. >> yeah. >> i wonder, does the awe shucks i forgot it and didn't see it, i just didn't include it inadvertent zshgs that wo inadvertent, does that work when you're an fbi investigator trying to put all the dots together and the question of russia and whether or not this president putin has some sort of influence over him is prevailing during the campaign? it's really it exploded on our show quite frankly when donald trump the candidate talked so kindly about putin and could not pull back from it. >> yeah, i think the question i have is which is more dangerous? somebody who knew what they were doing or somebody that wasn't aware of what was going on around them? i think what we're seeing here is this family style business is being run like a mortgage
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company and yet we're funneling all the national security efforts of our entire country on one guy who admits and n. the very first page here this was new to him. he had no real experience with him. so i think the more important question for america is why didn't someone in the trump team say, hey, let's get some experienced ambassador, a veteran, a foreign policy person to work with jared kushner so he's not stepping into a diplomatic meeting, an intel meeting, military engage ment and economic meeting with putin's banker within the first four months? >> good question. >> the last segment josh said a variety of things that were disconcerting when it comes to this administration's approach to rush yachlt the totality of this administration's approach is a little more confusing. the cutting off of support for syrian rebels which was decision was made fewer than 24 hours after they met putin is concerning. you also have an administration that is saying the conflict in ukraine is a russian ukrainian conflict. that is providing missile interseptemberors to poland.
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they're doing a lot of things that russia doesn't like. so you have a conflicting image here. it seems to me that communications crisis in the white house thooz do with how the president feels like he's being perceived on russia and throes do with what they're actually doing when it comes to rush yachlt. >> -- russia. >> can the president be indicted? a memo says yes. it was written when bill clinton was president. "new york times" reporter has details on that straight ahead on "morning joe." when this bell rings... ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions,
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good afternoon. good afternoon. this was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period. you're shaking your head. i appreciate it. with respect to -- over the -- one second. you don't get to just yell out questions. we're going to raise our hands like good boys and girls. >> denmark -- points. >> with that, i'll take some questions.
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steve? collin? >> collin is not here. >> david jackson. >> david is not here. >> okay. this is silly. okay. next. stop shaking your head again. shawn! shawn! shawn! >> come on saen. >> that's just -- he will be missed. but at the same time, josh, it's not an easy -- he was put in a bad position from day one. >> he was put in a terrible position from the first day before he had a chance to get started. you go at him in a position and making false claims about the inauguration that were disproved and then walking out without taking any questions. there are so many challenge that's we can sift through that sean faced. one thing that i think they need to try to fix is their body language towards the press. right? so much of what sean engaged in was hostile back and forth and then he would flee the room. they ended that sort of comedic
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montage of him fleeing aevensnsg questions. that vignette about him answering the questions among the bushes and insisting the lights turned out this whole trend of insisting on off camera briefings, it makes the press team and the communications operation look like they're scared to defend the president. it's a bad look. and nobody's going to be successful in defending the president if you look scared to do so in a public setting. and that is one thing i thought was effective about anthony's performance on friday. he was willing to go out there and he basically said, i'm going to take as many questions as i k went out there. he was announced at 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m. he was out there on the record taking questions. he dodge md of them. but, you know, he's been in the job for four hours. that's one thing that will make their performance better. it also will be good for our democracy to see this back and forth. that is what we need from people who are in this job is a commitment to publicly airing and litigating and defending and
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arguing what it is the add smgs doing and why they're doing it. >> go ahead, noah. >> the scaramucci appointment seems to be an effort to deescalate the president, right? the communications shop is aimed squarely at pleasing the president. and the president's strategy is to antagonize the press. >> i have to say, what worries me about this and i was hopeful when i heard about the scaramucci change, it seems like when sean spicer walked out there he had taken a loyalty oath. that was beyond loyalty to country when he walked out there and talked about things. it went down hill from. there you've got to be able to say this is not in the best interest of the country or the president. and with all this i love him, i love him, i love him, i'm concerned. there is some sort of spoken or unspoken loyalty pledge. koib wron i could be wrong.
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>> loyalty oath appeared to go in one direction. >> yes. >> president trump didn't have confidence in sean's ability to handle the job. when i first got offered the job, president obama said i'm not going to watch your briefings. is there any information you need for your briefing, come and find me. that is an indication he had confidence in my ability to use my discretion to go and do the job in the way that i thought was most effective. it is clear that trump never gave sean the opportunity to exercise his own discretion. >> we're forgetting the third thing that president obama told you, do not hold briefings in the shrubbery. >> that was outlawed from the beginning. >> republican donors are prepared to cut big checks in the mid terms and one of the top targets, members of their own party. "the washington post" robert costa has new details about serious fractures in the gop. we'll be right back.
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all right. president trump tweeted a moment ago. he said drain the swamp. should be change to drain the suer. it's actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with fake news. but andrew mccarthy wrote trump has themselves, not sessions to blame for the littleless mueller investigation. president trump accomplished island one thing by railing on attorney general sessions. he added to the growing. no one with self-respect wants to work in a place where the boss not only won't back you up but will turn on you with a vengeance. especially when there's a need to divert attention from his own shortcomings. whether we're talking about the shoddy behavior that intensifies calls for a special counsel or about the selection of officials who made key decisions that have armed the special counsel with limitless jurisdiction, the
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president only has himself to blame. deb ignatius, your thoughts on that and trump's latest tweet which just happened? >> i think mccarthy has summarized something that's crucial. the president is the person who keeps reigniting this fire that bothers him so much. his pressure on comey, his ultimate decision to fire comey. his misstatements about why he fired comey. he's correcting them with a bomb shell he fired for russia. this latest round of tweets coming back again and again to the phony. this is a coming out of donald trump's cell phone. it is not an outside imposition on him. it's something he's creating. one indication of the point that he's making that this environment trump created makes it hard for him to hire quality
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people is the situation surrounding reince priebus. the appointment of anthony scar much chi was a direct rejection of pre bus's advice, interests. he's really kind of standing out there alone, and it's speculated, i've been told that one reason is the white house has not been able to find a quality person to be an effective chief of staff that had been willing to do it. they've knocked on many doors but people don't feel comfortable working for this man. >> coming up, jared kushner doesn't deny he discussed back channel communications with moscow but insists it was russia's idea. that's one of several take aways from his newly released statement. we'll go through it next on "morning joe." whoooo.
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unusual bruising, or tingling. if you've had spinal anesthesia, watch for back pain or any nerve or muscle-related signs or symptoms. do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. tell your doctor before all planned medical or dental procedures... ...and before starting xarelto®-about any conditions, such as kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. it's important to learn all you can... ...to help protect yourself from a stroke. talk to your doctor about xarelto®. there's more to know™. welcome back to "morning joe." it is monday, july 24th. joe has the morning off. with us, national affairs analyst john hailman. he's heading up the tweet desk this morning. the president tweeting this morning, again -- >> we have a new tweet. after one year of investigation with capital z ski zero being
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found we should blame ourselves, not russia. i would be prized if that were a quote from chuck schumer, but we'll see. >> knnoah rothman is with us, clint watts, josh earnest, kasie hunt, david ignatius and robert costa. thank you so all for joining us. we'll start with the latest news this morning. the president's son-in-law and senior advisor jared kushner is out with an 11-page statement ahead of his meeting with the senate intelligence committee today. the meeting will be behind closed doors. in his statement released very early this morning, kushner denies colluding with russia. and says he is unaware of anyone in the campaign who did.
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he says he was swamped with e-mails from foreign officials during the campaign, and even more so during the transition. he details four meetings during that period including two with russian ambassador kislyak, none of which he requested. he writes on november 16th, my assistant received a request from a meeting from the russian ambassador. i could not even recall the ambassador's name previous to this request. he insists he did not set up a secure back channel with russians, though he acknowledged he asked about an existing communications channel in order to try to keep open dialogue with the russians on syria. on the june 2016th meeting with a russian lawyer, he's expected to say that trump junior invited him to the meeting but at the time he didn't know anyone else would be there and did not read the entire e-mail about that
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meeting. the statement reads, quote, i arrived at the meeting a little late. when i got there the person who has since been identified as a russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on u.s. adoptions of russian children. i had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well spent at this meeting. looking for an excuse to leave, kushner says he e-mailed an assistant to call his cell. he claims he was there for ten minutes or so and had never met with the russian attorney before that meeting for has he spoken with her since. and not to nitpick, but when you read that, he's on e-mail in that meeting. so he does look at his e-mail, and you can't miss subject lines on your phone. that's the only thing you see. i'm a little bit -- i mean, listen, you're the one who made a life of asking questions in your mind about -- does that -- i don't know if that washes missing the subject line. >> i don't think it does, but i
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think it's also just emblematic of how loose this entire operation ran up to inauguration and how it still runs today. i'm not sure anyone in the team knows on a daily basis what they're getting themselves into, and collectively, i'm not sure any one part of the trump team knows what somebody else on the team is doing. >> david, looking at this statement and remembering the questions about russia that were raised in the campaign and early in this administration, is it possible that he just sort of didn't know what was going on? >> well, russia was a big issue at the time that these meetings were taking place. it was regularly brought up in the campaign. kushner has concluded that the evidence that he's presenting is sufficient to clear in the mind of a prosecutor the idea that he with criminal intent sought to violate the law. i've just learned since we began
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our view of these documents that in addition to the 11-page statement that we've received, kushner is going to turn over all of the e-mail traffic he had with russian ambassador sergey kislyak which will presumably support his argument that it was disk kislyak who proposed the meetings and is going to turn over 10 years of contacts with foreign officials which will be a trove of material that i'm sure people will pore over. disclosing that much information, lawyers don't let clients do that unless they have some confidence that the information will survive, and if you get caught -- >> unless your don junior's lawyer. >> that's a different case. >> he just unloaded the most incriminating e-mail i've ever seen anyone unload. >> he did that because kushner had disclosed the meeting. it was kushner who put that meeting out there.
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anyway, it's -- this material is out there now, and whether it's accurate or not, if you supply this material to a congressional committee under subpoena, you're in trouble if it turns out to be false. >> yeah. no. absolutely. what did the don junior subject line say? >> subject line was russia -- clinton -- private and confidential. >> i don't know how you get around that. kasie hunt, jump in. >> to kick up on what david was saying and you've been saying this as well throughout the morning. this is clearly a concerted effort on the part of team kushner for transparency. the statement says kushner doesn't want to be somebody who leaked to the press to defend himself and argues this statement that he's making now amounts to that defense, and david ignatius is right. this meeting was disclosed, the don junior meeting and that's
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what's caused all this snowballing around these questions. but i think that there are some portions of this statement where it's clear that there isn't e-mail traffic. they have been poring through over the last months records. they delayed this testimony before the committee to try to identify everything they had so they could come and say hey, look, here it is, but the account of that secret back channel, for example, relies on kislyak's account of the meeting. it's unlikely the committee will receive it. there are some points of this that are he said she said even if the stuff that can be backed up with documents ends up being totally nailed down. >> all right. clint, so, looking through it? >> look at the leverage that russia has on us. i mean, both in terms of this and if yo you go back to the g-20, we're going back to the russian version of accounts and contacts and they seem more reliable than our country. that puts us in a dangerous
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position. much like kasey said, when you look through this, it's either incompetence or they have a lot influence over this administration. i'm asking what other country did we have four or five meetings with in the runup to inauguration day? i'm not aware of any with this sort of focus. that's troubling to me. also this administration has had no russia policy. put together nothing tangible with russian metaling, and a sanctions bill went through that the congress overroad our president on. he would not co-op to. >> given the fact that kushner release third down statement and he's going to be meeting with staff members privately, refresh -- how would you characterize kushner's role in the trump universe? >> he remains a true confidant,
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and in spite of some of the controversies and struggles over the russia questions, he remains close to president trump. there is a gaffe between how the white house is trying to support jared kushner and how congressional republicans are approaching this. congressional republicans are frustrated privately and often publicly with how the white house is pursuing russian policy. they are pursuing their own sanctions legislation. they're trying to push this administration to move in a more hawkish direction when it comes to russia. when you look at the bipartisan leaders of the intelligence committee, they're trying to be right in track with mueller's special counsel. they seem to be pursuing tougher questions of kushner. >> president trump spent much of his weekend putting his message out on twitter sending 19 tweets from his personal account alone.
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among the 10 in the morning was this one. we'll all agree the u.s. president has the complete power to pardon. why think of that when only crime so far is leaks against us, fake news. the president's lawyer denied any discussion of pardons as nonsense after "the washington post" reported trump asked advisors about pardoning powers. a member of the outside legal team continued to make the argument yesterday, but his new communications director, scaramucci, said the president had discussed the issue with him. >> we have not and i continue to not have conversations with the president of the united states regarding pardons. pardons have not been discussed, and pardons are not on the table. >> i'm in the oval office with the president the last week. we're talking about that. he says he brought that up. he said, but he doesn't have to be pardoned. there's nobody around him that
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has to be pardoned. he was just making the statement about the power of pardon. >> why is he tweeting about pardons? >> well, i think that unfortunately, he may have had a conversation in the oval office or somewhere about it, and then people rush out to leak that information to people. it's very unprofessional and harmful. and i think that the gist of that leak basically, or that tweet, i should say, is that he's not going to pardon anybody. he just doesn't like the fact that he has a two-minute conversation in the oval office or in his study, and that people are running out and leaking that. >> no. with all due respect, he's tweeting about it. if you could bring the tweet up again, it's fascinating. it's absolutely fascinating, and i can't imagine any member of the press that wouldn't have ten, 20, thirt30 questions abous tweet. while all agree the u.s. president has the complete power to pardon. why think of that? why are you thinking of is what
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one might think. one might ask why you are thinking about it so much to tweet about it and why are you talking about it with your communications director? these are really important questions that members of the press have every right to ask and possibly if they are responsible, possibly one might think they should ask those questions. what was the tweet over the weekend? i have a question for noah about it, about disloyalty or loyalty among his party? >> i'm going to read that tweet and then after noah, i want to come back to the president's tweet from five minutes ago. i believe this is the one you were referring to from 14 hours ago where he said it's very sad that republicans even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their president. i think that's the one you're referring to. >> the question one might have after a tweet like that is why does he need to say that? what do they need to protect him from? what do you need protection
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from? and what in the world has he done for any republicans at this point? what could they say? what's on their long list of favors that they need to return to this president? >> those are all good questions. it's hard to identify a republican carried over the line by president trump. just a hand full you could make a good argument for. secondly, we think this has to do with the russian sanctions bill. and that is probably going to be passed by a veto approved majority. the president is hindered by this. it takes some authority away from the white house ten as extraordinary and almost unprecedented. that's something the president has a right to be frustrated by. >> i don't think we do loyalty ple pledges to people. i think it's for the country. i think there's that concern that perhaps maybe there's a delusional quality to some of these tweets that some might argue is not the best for the politicians who are working to try and make this country better
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whether they're democrats or republicans and the president. >> there's a cottage industry of fact checking the tweets. 90% of congressional republican candidates in the 2016 election outperformed president trump in their district. this is also true of most republican senators who are in battle ground states. rob portman, john mccain, pat toomey, ron johnson. they did better in their states than president trump did. if anything, it was them carrying president trump across the finish line. the second thing is, and this relates to the sanctions we were just talking about. president obama when he was negotiating the iran deal, it was controversial, and we did rely heavily on democrats and some republicans to give president obama the latitude so he had leverage with iran to negotiate this deal. the problem is republicans don't trust president trump to use that leverage and that latitude
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effecti effectively. >> i'm going to get to talking about the tweet. back to the pardon tweet. >> not the pardon tweet. i raised the tweet where this one from 20 minutes ago where he talked about schumer saying that democrats should blame ourselves not russia. in this instance, the president is reporting accurately. in fact, schumer's quote over the weekend in the washington post, very interesting as the democrats have put out their new agenda and slogan, this was a schumer quote over the weekend. worthy of discussion on the show later today. when you lose to somebody, this is smumer. when you lose to somebody, referring to trump who has a 40% popularity, you don't blame other things, comey, russia, you blame yourself. what did we do wrong? people didn't know what we stood for, just that we were against trump and still believe that. senator schumer taking a pretty strong shot there, i think, in a not vailed way to hillary clinton. the president's tweet on
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schumer, accurate. >> okay. bob costa, republicans trying to navigate toward the midterms. take it. >> mika, to build on josh's point, this perhaps is not only about russia sanctions and the white house's frustrations with how congressional republicans are handling it. it's about the stalled agenda with regard to health care. health care is something the president and his advisors have been trying to check off for months. they want to move onto infrastructure or at least tax reform over the next few months. the vote are not there yet on capitol hill. and you see a white house that just hasn't been able to make it happen with health care. and those tweets are revealing of the president venting about republican senators not falling in line. he believes he has political capital with the party's base in spite of being outperformed in some states. he thinks that capital means something. it seems like some republicans senators don't share that same view. >> is it possible that there's anybody in the white house,
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anybody in the republican party, i'll just lee it to that, who thinks the president tweeting is a good thing and that he should continue to do so? >> yes. >> who? >> i think it's steve bannon. i see this, the tweet thing as what we should call american active measures. this is actually the russian play book in russia. which is you isolate your base to a set of news stories and news opinions, and you push that to them, and you're starting to seedy v-- see divergence. when you're looking at a war on the media and the war on the opposition. he's bubbling his base so they're only looking at his information sources. and schumer is the new susan rice. >> honestly, his base hates it. his base dislikes it when they tweet, majority of them. we don't have a poll to suggest
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they support him when he tweets. >> you're not on twitter. >> the people on twitter enjoy it. >> it creates a war where he's the one that's the victim. >> one other person who i think at least based on the comments he's made so far at his new job, and this is not insignificant, it sounds like scaramucci likes it that the president tweets. he says the president is a great communiq communiq communique or the. >> i think he likes the approach that trump has going directly to the people and using twitter. >> david, clint is talking about something that could be incredibly dangerous. >> it's dangerous. it's disruptive. the disruptive part is what some of trump's closest advisors like about the tweets. they recognize the damage they do to the normal conduct of
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policy, but they think keeping people on edge, having these surprises, having this unpredictable, erratic person in the white house gives them an advantage. there's less and less evidence that that's true. i'm struck by the way in which the president in this latest tweet and in his comments last week with the new york times about attorney general sessions puts so much focus on personal loyalty. this complaint in the latest one that republicans do very little to protect their president, this anger that they're disloyal, and i think that theme is going -- is getting more and more powerful in his mind. it seems like that's one reason for scaramucci with his almost slavish, i love this guy. this guy is great. i love him. it's the cult of loyalty for somebody who is embattled. >> yeah. i'm very worried about that as you watch these new names come
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into the white house. you'd hope they would bring a fresh perspective. kasie hunt, on capitol hill when members of congress and republican senators, especially the republicans on both the house and the senate, they see a tweet like that, do they go oh, i'd better be more loyal? i mean, is that what we've got there? at some point are they going to, perhaps, have to separate themselves a little bit? >> no. this is the kind of thing that makes them very angry and makes them feel as though the president doesn't understand the imperatives of governing. it doesn't make any sense for their president of their party to be attacking them, and, look, can i say one thing as well on the scaramucci, the turnover question? remember, sean spicer was never of trump world in kind of the keep-seeded way that anthony scaramucci. i, other reporters who worked in washington for a long time have
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known spicer for years. that's not true of scaramucci, and the same can be said for members of congress. sean spicer was somebody that a lot of members of congress knew. reince priebus is somebody they talked to all the time. that was very little unit in the white house. that is under siege, and david was talking about the difficulty in trying to figure out what to do about reince priebus if they want to take him out of the white house. if they were to break that link, then it would further emphasize this split that bob costa has been reporting this. this distance between congressional republicans and the white house. every step that the president and his administration take away from people like sean spicer, away from people like reince priebus and toward this idea that they're now going to punish elected republicans whether it's dean heller, these other people that the president was tweeting about over the weekend, that is very much underscoring the divide. i don't think it's going to make
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it any easier for the president to govern the country. >> real quick, i'll add that sometimes it's best to step back. because this trump administration, this trump year we're all living, because of the cadence and the approach of the president, it can seem strange. yet, if you look at president obama in the early part of his administration, his battle with democrats, president clinton, his battle with his own party in 1993 over health care. george h.w. bush battling with conservative republicans, it's always been a trend for first-term presidents to really have problems with their own party, especially if they have the majority. so these tweets are unusual because of how they're done. carrying republicans on their back, all of that. of course it's out of the mainstream, but the actual action n this tension is something we've seen in history quite a few times. >> yeah. all right. >> i'll just be the joe scarborough voice for this on this topic. which is the difference is that republicans know that donald trump is not a republican.
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and part of the reason why i agree with bob, there's -- this is not totally without pres deb dent, but it's more severe and extreme and the break is more understoodment tall. the president doesn't care about the party. republicans know that the president doesn't have the long-term interest of the party in mind because he's not really -- he's not a conservative by ideology. he's not a past member of the party or a donor of the party. there's a different culture and ideological orientation between the republican party and president trump. in the past when there's been splits, democrats looked at president obama and said he's one of us. the same is true about george w. bush. this is a different thing and portends something poshlly mo fundamentally in the fracture. >> obama was trying to manage 59 senators.
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the problem was not with the democratic majority. it was the moderate senators where they had some tension with president obama whether it was with regard to the size of the stimulus, whether a public option should be included in the health care plan, how to handle climate change and some of those votes. >> the friction. exa exactly. >> it was whether or not the president could succeed in bringing people on board. >> robert costa, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe." ahead of kushner's meeting today with staffers from the senate intel committee, we're learning new details about the russian lawyer at the center of the june 2016 meeting with kushner. trump junior, and paul manafort. we are joined for that next on "morning joe."
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advertising, great suspicions about the russians and what they do, and a lot of this, to me, had kind of the standard textbook trade craft long employed by the russians or the soviets, and now into the russians. so i don't find it surprising that these connections are trying to -- are coming out. >> former direction of national intelligence, james clapper saying trump junior's meeting with benjamin netanyahu w-- natalia veselnitskaya textbook message. veselnitskaya represented a military unit founded by the russian federal security service in 2002. the service known as the fsb as
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the successor by the kgb and was once headed by the president vladimir putin. the report says there is no evidence that natalia veselnitskaya works with them. julia, tell us more about this. you're finding out more about this russian lawyer that jarod had no idea he was meeting with. >> well, what's interesting about this report is that it fills out a little bit of the background of natalia veselnitskaya who, again, was not a very well-known figure even in moscow. and what this report indicates is that she was a participant in the other activities that the fsb is well-known to engage in at least to russian. we think of it as a den of spies. russians often think of it as a den of thieves. it's a big, corrupt empire with
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fsb agents, with the power of the state at their back exappropriating businesses, land, running extortion rackets, and it seems like she was part of this kind of world where she was helping fsb officers rest away control of a valuable piece of land in the moscow region. so this is a story more about corruption than espionage, but it kind of shows the circles she ran in in moscow. >> julia, also at the aspen security forum on friday, you asked the current director of national a question. we'll play a bit. >> i don't know if you know about an hour and a half ago "the washington post" broke a story saying that u.s. intelligence intercepts show that attorney general sessions spoke to russian -- then russian ambassador kislyak about
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campaign-related issues. this is some of the collection you were talking act. do you have any comment on this? >> i just learned about it also. i saw the headline. i have come to the point where i no longer put any stock in headlines or breaking news. first thing i'm doing -- [ applause ] >> i'm sorry. >> wow. so update us on the situation with jeff sessions. and how he plays into all of this. that was a great dodge, i guess. >> when all else fails, fake news, i guess. well, attorney general jeff sessions, it seems like, has been repeatedly misleading the public, congress, about when he met with kislyak, what they talked about, in what capacity they were speaking. we had a report about this back
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in june about how nobody was meeting with senators j then senator sessions during the 2016 campaign. so he was in march 2016, he was -- it was announced that he was going to be head of the trump campaign's national security advisory board, and then immediately he starts meeting with all these ambassadors whereas before march he had not been meeting with anybody, and nobody meeting with him thought he was meeting -- thought they were meeting with him as a senator. everybody was meeting with him to talk about the campaign. he has been misleading congress and the american public. >> it seems he's lost, david ignatius, some of the support of the president. what is exactly happening with jeff sessions right now? >> well, he seems to be, as the old water gate saying goes, twisting slowly in the wind. he's hanging onto his job, whether the president is thinking about firing him, we
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don't know. i wanted to ask julia, i was there with you, julia, at that session in aspen where we heard almost all of the leading national security figures both current and former. we listened to a remarkable smackdown of president trump by james clapper, and john brennan, the former directors of national intelligence and the cia. what was your feeling about the views of the current intelligence officials? do you think they're prepared to stand up to donald trump if he tries to lean on them to try to get them to be loyal in the way he's clearly leaning on jeff sessions? what do you think? >> that's a great question. i think it was striking to hear these officials talk repeatedly about how food the people working for them are, how they know what the ruefle of law is.
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how they're dedicated to serving the constitution. how they know they'll do the right thick and continue to do the right thing. and they would never really talk about the president so much. there was some really masterful acrobatics going on. but what wasn't said was, you know, this guy -- we're not sure he can be relied on to do the right thing, and that he knows what the rule of law is, so we're going to rely on the kind of staff of all these agencies to plug ahead and keep doing the right thing. it was quite stunning what wasn't said, and when you have some of the top -- when you have dhs secretary general kelley saying i wasn't part of the campaign, that's quite a stunning distancing of yourself from the commander in chief that you serve. >> clint watts? >> yeah. same with what you were saying, julia. in terms of standing up to the president, what's your take away
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from what we heard last week in aspen where we saw everybody. we heard the trump's generals talk. we heard the intel officials. where do you think the system breaks? we've seen the president batter all of his intel agency at one time or another. who is the backbone, do you think, or where does it stop inside the administration? >> reporter: >> i think everybody is trying to tread water. this is what it sounded like. they're trying to tread water and inlate their staff as much as they can from the politics of it. which is, again, when you're inlati insulating yourself from the administration you serve, they were trying to say business as usual, but it was clear it was not. >> right. i thought it was fascinating when we were there watching how the military leaders, they responded to some of the questions versus the appointees. it will be interesting to see where it goes in the future. >> it is incredible.
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julia, thank you so much. still ahead this morning, a top government scientist spoke out on climate change and says he was sidelined by the white house for doing so. joel clint calls himself a whistle blower, and he joins us just ahead. . . ♪ this is a story about mail and packages. and it's also a story about people. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you
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for me, i would tell people that's the president. he's 71 years old. we're not going to change him. he's our guy, and so learn how to work with and operate with him. >> all right. the latest wave of national polls has shown president trump struggling in favorable and approval rating. a tracking poll shows him around 39%. the president averaged a 38.8% approval rating in the second quarter, lower than any other president over the same terms since gallop began polling in 1945. now, a new usa today poll shows the nation's split over whether he should be removed from office. 42-42. there's no credible effort to impeach the president as of this point. i guess the first thing i find interesting is they're asking that question, noah.
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what do you make of the polls we're seeing? >> it's not the first poll to ask that question, and i think it's a credible question to ask at this stage, because republicans in congress seem eager to handcuff the president ahead of their own party. there's a reason for that, and it's a noble and justified reason. secondly democrats are working on an economic message. it doesn't really exist yet, and their pitch has been we're going to constrain this president, and the top of that list is going to be an impeachment threat. it's an important and valid question. >> josh, i'll put you in a terrible position. if you were working in the white house right now and saw the poll numbers, what would be the first three things you would tell this administration to do to turn these numbers around? >> right. the first thing they have to do is they have to go and repair the relationships on capitol hill. they have to figure out a way to get political capital. maybe that means trump traveling for to demonstrate his show of force and his influence with the electorate and maybe that's going to congressional districts
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that are represented by democrat and being tough on them or maybe a place represented by republicans and bucking them up. the second thing is i think he has a find a legislative win. he has to find a way to deliver. he spent a year and a half making a bunch of promises. he's been in office six months and has nothing to show for it other than a supreme court nomination. >> what's the win on the horizon? >> i don't know. >> noah? >> i don't know what the win is. >> it could be infrastructure. >> infrastructure? >> but the white house -- >> that's the back of the list. >> the white house isn't leading on it. >> everything is backed up behind health care. >> by the white house's own choice. this would be an opportunity for them to get a win. >> the president is going to make a statement at 3:15 today on health care. all right. up next, a senator didn't support jeff session's nomination but doesn't want him to be forced to quit.
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the connecticut democrat weighs in on the president's dressing down on his own attorney general. that's next on "morning joe." blumenthal. blumenthal.
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find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. joining us now member of the armed services and judiciary committee, richard blumenthal of connecticut. great to have you on the show this morning. as of friday last week, also this week, donald trump junior and paul manafort were coming to capitol hill to speak, but that's changed? >> they are no shows for the committee hearing. the expectation was they would testify voluntarily. >> and publicly? >> and publicly and under oath. which i think is vitally important. jared kushner will be at the intelligence committee today, but it will be privately, and it will not be under oath. i think subpoenas are going to be necessary for trump junior
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and for paul manafort to appear and the other witnesses who were at that early june 2016 meeting. and possibly subsequent meetings, and i will support chairman grassley for the witnesses and documents. >> kasie hunt has a question. >> what can the judiciary committee accomplish that the senate intelligence committee can't? there's been conversations about how the senate intelligence committee is doing it job. what can you on the judiciary committee accomplish that they can't? >> great question. what we can do and it's our mission to do, is to get to the bottom of any obstruction of justice that was involved in comey's firing and other events surrounding it. what we can do is make sure that there is legislation if necessary to more adequately protect the fbi director.
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as you know, christopher ray was approved unanimous sly, but my feeling was our obligation now is to safeguard the independence of the fbi and bob mueller. >> before we go to david ignatius, you mentioned subpoenas might be necessary. what would it take to issue a subpoena to paul manafort and donald trump junior and would it have the support necessary to happen? >> i believe it would have the support, and what's necessary is that simply the chairman and the ranking member approve a subpoena, enforcement of it would require a vote of the committee, but i think there is very strong bipartisan support for subpoenas, compulsory testimony if necessary on the part of donald trump junior and paul manafort and every member
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of the meeting. >> and possibly jared kushner. >> i think mandatory, kushner. >> i want to see about president trump's assertion and his tweet over the weekend about his pardoning power. is he right in claiming that it's absolute? what do you think about his ability to pardon himself, and then finally, if you just give us your sense of what the reaction would be if the president took this next step and sought to fire special counsel robert muleeller? >> first great question about pardon power. any of us who have dealt with the constitution, there are few powers if any that are absolute. there's never been a court case on the pardon power as it applies to the president himself. and there's nothing in the constitution that specifically deals with it. my feeling is the better
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argument is on the side that he lacks that power to pardon himself. and. if he pardons assistants, it could well be regarded as an of for improper reasons. i feel he lacks the power to pardon himself. you know, he could be pardoning himself for all kinds of crimes that do not even relate to his official duties, and i think there are some limits on the pardon power. what would happen if he fired bob mueller? i think there would be an absolute firestorm reaction on both sides of the aisle, and i would hope to lead efforts to establish legislation that put in place a special prosecutor, much has happened in watergate, with very likely a three-judge panel picking the special prosecutor. nothing novel or unprecedented about it. that would have very strong bipartisan support.
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one thing for sure is this investigation will not end if it the president fires bob mueller. it will continue. >> john -- >> senator, correct me if i'm wrong, last week in the midst of everything that was happening with the trump interview with the "new york times", some of the tweets he sent, i believe last week you were suggesting at one point maybe on twitter, maybe someplace else, that the president was effectively engaged in a crime that we were witnessing unfolding of obstruction of justice playing out before our very eyes. is that correct? >> i have suggested repeatedly that the specter of injustice are designed to intimidate and threaten the special prosecutor because he is engaging right before our eyes in real-time in efforts to threaten the special prosecutor by raising this issue of conflict of interest. >> i think the very substantive arguments, but do you think there's anything improper in the
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notion that both in his sbif with the tiemds and subsequently that notion that he is trying to wall off the question of his finances and say i will consider a -- if he starts to look at my personal finances. whether or not you think that's the right thing for mueller to look at, do you think there's something wrong with the president suggesting that's off limits? >> there is something wrong about it because it is an effort by -- setting limits on the authority of the investigator. now, he completely lacks legal authority to set limits, but raising publicly that effort is wrong in my view. possibly evidence of what he wants to grant. by the way, financial items are very relevant because the playbook of the russians is to suborn officials and individuals by engaging financially with them.
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the individuals in that june 2016 meeting, included russian business associates. there is clear circumstantial connection. zroo wow. josh ernest. >> senator, i was going to ask you about a different investigative function that the judiciary committee has jurisdiction over, which is u.s. attorneys. much was made of the trump administration announcement that they were firing u.s. attorneys all across the country. there is one speculation that one of the reasons that president trump was interested in making sure that the u.s. attorney from the southern district of new york was fired is because he could potentially be looking into some of either the trump organization's activities or president trump's activities himself. where are you in terms of your conversations with the trump administration about starting to staff up those important professional positions in the sugs governme u.s. government? >> there have been effectively, josh, no appointees for most of
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those positions. it's another example of lack of leadership on the part of the white house. those positions are absolutely critical to enforcement. i was united states attorney for connecticut for four and a half years. they are the ones in the trenches. if you want to stimey the administration of justice, the best way to do it is to stop the appointment of those kinds of appointe appointees. they are critical to any investigative or prosecutorial work. >> a lot going on. difficult times. senator richard bloomenthal, always good to see you. thank you for coming on the show this morning. >> thank you. still ahead, jared kushner's meeting with senate staffers over russia may be in private, but he is making sure everyone knows his side of the story. we're going to have much more ahead on his new statement out very early this morning. 11 pages long. plus, the president claims republicans are "doing very little to protect their president." how far will he go to protect himself? we'll have more on that ahead on
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see how we're fighting to outsmart cancer at cancercenter.com/outsmart hey dad, come meet the new guy. the new guy? what new guy? i hired some help. he really knows his wine. this is the new guy? hello, my name is watson. you know wine, huh? i know that you should check vineyard block 12. block 12? my analysis of satellite imagery shows it would benefit from decreased irrigation. i was wondering about that. easy boy. nice doggy. what do you think? not bad. welcome back. it is monday, july 24th. joe has the morning off. we have msnbc john heilman, he is heading up the tweet desk this morning. commentary magazine's noah rothman is with us. former fbi special agent and msnbc contributor clint watts.
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former white house press secretary to president obama now an msnbc political analyst josh ernest. >> political reporter for the washington post we'll start with the latest news this morning. the president's son-in-law and senior advisor jared kushner is out with an 11-page statement. ahead of his meeting with the senate intelligence committee today. the meeting is going to be held behind closed doors, but in his statement released very early this morning kushner denies colluding with russia and says i is unaware of anyone in the campaign who did. he says he was swamped with emails from foreign officials during the campaign, and even more so during the transition. he details four meetings during that period, including two with
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russian ambassador sergei kislyak, none of which he says he requested. he writes, "on november 16, 2016 my assistant cede a request for a meeting from the russian ambassador. previous to receiving this request, i could not even recall the russian ambassador's name." kushner also insists he did not set up a secure back channel with russians, though he acknowledged he asked about an existing communications channel in order to try and keep open dialogue with the russians on syria. on the june 2016 meeting trump tower meeting with russian lawyer, he is expected to say that trump jr. invited him to the meeting but at the time he did not read the entire e-mail about that meeting and didn't know who else would be there. >> he was talking about a ban on u.s. adoptions much russian children.
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i had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well spent at this meeting. looking for an excuse to leave kushner says he e-mailed an assistant to call his cell. he claims he was there for "ten minutes or so" and that he had never met with the russian attorney before that meeting, nor has he spoken with her since. not to knit peck, but even when you read that, he is on e-mail in that meeting. he does look at his e-mail. you can't miss subject line on your phone. that's the only thing you see. i'm a little bit -- i mean, listen wrrks you're the one who made a life of asking questions in your mind and try to get the -- does that -- i don't know if that washes, the missing the subject line. collectively, i'm not sure that
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any one part of the trump team knows what anybody else -- >> david, looking at this statement, and remembering the questions about russia that were raised in the campaign and early in this administration, is it possible that he just sort of didn't know what was going on? >> well, russia was a big issue at the time that these meetings were taking place. it was regularly brought up in the campaign. kushner has concluded that evidence that he is presenting is sufficient to clear in the mind of a prosecutor the idea that he with criminal intent sought to violent the lay. i just learned since we began our view of these documents that in addition to the 11-page statement that we've received, kushner is going to turnover all of the e-mail traffic he had with russia ambassador sergei
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kislyak, which will presumably support his argument that it was kislyak who proposed these meetings. in addition, he is going to turnover ten years of contacts he had with foreign officials, which will be a troef of material that people i'm sure will pour over. disclosing that much information, lawyers don't let clients do that unless they have some confidence that the information will survive. if you get caught -- >> unless you are don jr.'s lawyer. okay? it just saying. >> that's a different case. this material is out there now, and whether it's accurate or not, if you supply this material to a congressional committee under subpoena, you are in trouble if it turns out to be false. >> yeah.
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no, absolutely. what did the don jr. subject line say? >> subject line was russia-clinton-private and confidential. >> i just -- i don't know how you get around that. this is clearly a concerted effort for dem straightable. the statement ichts says that kushner doesn't want to be somebody who leaks to the press to defend himself and argues this statement that he is making now amounts to that defense and david is right. this meeting was disclosed that the don injury meeting, and that's what to a certain extent has caused all of this snowballing around these questions.
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they have been pouring through records. they delayed this testimony to try to identify everything that they had so that they could come and say, hey, look, here it is. the account of that secret back channel, for example, relies on kislyak's account of the meeting, which it's unlikely that the committee will ever receive. there are some points of this that are he-said-she-said. even if the stuff that can be backed up with documents end up being totally nailed down. >> all right. looking through it -- >> look at the leverage that russia has on us. i mean, both in terms of this and if you go back to the g-20, we are now requesting to the russian account of versions of meetings and contacts, and they seem more reliable than our own country. that puts us in a dangerous position. much like casey said, when you look back through this, it's either incompetent or they have a lot of influence on top of this administration. if i'm looking at this, i'm asking what other country did we have four or five meetings with in the run-up to inauguration
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day? i'm not aware of any with this sort of contact and this sort of focus. there's been nothing tanning ilk when we have russian meddling. denies it. we have a sanctions bill that just went through that the congress actually overroad our president on, and he would not really cop to. >> given the fact that jared kushner has released this 11-page statement and he will be speaking to senate intelligence committee staff members today, privately. refresh us on exactly where or how would you characterize at this point kushner's role in the trump universe? in spite of some of the controversies and struggles over the russia questions, he remains close to president trump. there is a gap between how the white house is trying to support jared kushner and how
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congressional republicans are approaching this. congressional republicans are frustrated privately and often publicly with how the white house is pursuing russia policy. they are pursuing their own sanctions legislation. they're trying to push this administration to move in a more hawkish direction when it comes to russia. when you look at senator burr and senator warner, the bipartisan leaders of the intelligence committee, they're trying to be right in track with bob mueller special counsel. this is not a committee that is -- has been watered down at least in the eyes of the public or their fellow lawmakers. they essential team to be pursuing tougher questions of kushner. >> president trump spent much of his weekend putting his message out on twitter sending 19 tweets from his personal account alone, and among the ten he sent before 8:30 on saturday morning, was this one. while all agree the u.s. president has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is leaks
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against us, fake news." the president denied any discussion of pardons as nonsense after the washington post reported trump had asked advisors about pardoning powers. a member of trump's outside legal team continued to make that argument yesterday, but his new communications director anthony scaramucci said the president had discussed the issue with him. >> we continue to not have -- pardons have not been discussed there's nobody around him that has to be pardoned. he was just making the statement about the power of pardon. >> why is he tweeting about pardons? >> well, i think, unfortunately, he may have had a conversation in the oval office or somewhere
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about it, and then people rush out to leak that information to people. this is very unprofessional and very harmful, and i think that the gist of that leak basically -- i mean, or that tweet, i should say, is that he is not going to pardon anybody. he just doesn't like the fact that he has a two-minute conversation in the oval office or in his study and that people are running out and leaking that. >> no. with all due respect, he is tweeting about it. if you can bring the tweet up again, it's fascinating. it's absolutely fascinating, and i can't imagine any member of the press that wouldn't have ten, it 20, 30 questions about this tweet. all agree the u.s. president has the complete power to pardon, why think of that? why are you thinking about that is what one might ask. one might ask why are you thinking about it so much to tweet about it? why are you talking about it with your communications director? these are really important questions that members of the press have every right to ask and possibly if they are
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possible one might think they should ask those questions. what was the tweet over the weekend? i have a question for noah about it. about disloyalty or loyalty among his party. >> coming up, i'm going to read that tweet to you. it's very sad that republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their president. >> so why -- >> i think that's the one you're referring to. >> i think the question one might have after a tweet like that is why does he need to say that? what do they need to protect hem from? what do you need protection from? what in the world, noah, has he done for any republicans at this point? what could they say? what's on their long list of favors that they need to return to this president? can you think of any? >> those are all really good questions. it's hard to identify a republican who was carried over the line by donald trump. there are probably a couple you could make an argument for. just a handful. >> next. >> secondly, we i this it's sufficiently cryptic, but we think this has to do with the russian saekzs bill, and that is
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probably going to be passed by a veto proof majority. the president is hindered by this. it takes some authority away from the white house, and it's kind of extraordinary and almost unprecedented. >> i don't think we do loyalty pledges to people. it's for the country. i think there's a concern here that maybe perhaps there's a delusional quality to some of these tweets that some might argue is not the best for the politicians who are working to try and make this country better, whether democrats or republicans. and the president. >> there's a cottage industry of fact checking president trump's tweets. there's an important note with respect to this tweet. 90% of kjsal republican candidates in the 2016 election outperformed president trump in their district. this is also true of most republican senators who are in battleground states. marco rubio, rob portman, john mccain, pat toome.
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they all did berth in their states than president trump did. >> right. >> if anything, it was them carrying president trump across the finish line. there's that issue. the second thing is, and i do think this relates to the sanctions we were just talking about, president bottom, when he was negotiating the iran deal, it was controversial. we did rely heavily on democrats and even some republicans to give president obama the latitude so that he had leverage with iran to negotiate this deal. the problem is that republicans in their own party in congress don't trust president trump to use that leverage and that late day tud effe-- latitude effecti. >> bob costa, republicans trying to navigate toward the midterms. take it. >> to build on josh's point, this perhaps is not only about russia sanctions and the white house's frustrations with how congressional republicans are handling that. it's also about the stalled agenda and particularly with regard to health care. health care is something the president and his advisors have
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been trying to check off for months. they want to move on to infrastructure or at least tax reform over the next few months, but the votes just are not there yet on capitol hill. you see a white house that just hasn't been able to make it happen with health care and those tweets are revealing of the president really venting about republican senators not falling in line. he believes he has political capital with the party's base in spite of being outperformed in some states. he think that capital means something. it seems like some republican senators do not share that same view. >> still ahead on "morning joe" the "new york times" obtained a decades old memo about whether presidents can be indicted. and it's probably not what the white house wants to hear right now. reporter charlie savage explains that straight ahead. first, here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill. >> good morning to you. there was a reported tornado overnight, and now we're getting the pictures. it definitely looks like tornado damage. this is in maryland. this is kent island. it's just to the east of
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annapolis. you can see a lot of trees down. we have minor roof damage. a couple of homes have significant damage too. there was one injury. no fatalities reported. that was at 1:00 in the morning. i'm sure that's scary to a ton of people. that storm system that produced that tornado is now racing through southern new england. new york city is out of the heavy rain, but la guardia airport, one hour delays going into la guardia, and that heavy rain will continue to move through new england as we go throughout the day. by 5:00 p.m. notice the heavy rain primarily just up in maine. that's it. cloudy scattered showers behind it. keep in mind. the ride to, who is going home. still warm and humid from about d.c., baltimore southward. easily feeling like 90 to about 100 degrees. cooler, dryer air in the great lakes, and then tomorrow behind the storm that moves through areas of new england. temperatures will be much cooler tomorrow. only 75, 66 today. then tomorrow it will be just similar to that. again, a little relief from the heat for some areas of the country, but the southern half of the country not so lucky. you're still stuck in the summer
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swelter. washington d.c., looks like your forecast will be clearing out and heating up through the rest of the day, where you've watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. i no longer live with the uncertainties of hep c. wondering, what if? i let go of all those feelings. because i am cured with harvoni. harvoni is a revolutionary treatment for the most common type of chronic hepatitis c. it's been prescribed to more than a quarter million people. and is proven to cure up to 99% of patients who have had no prior treatment with 12 weeks. certain patients can be cured with just 8 weeks of harvoni. before starting harvoni, your doctor will test to see if you've ever had hepatitis b, which may flare up and cause serious liver problems during and after harvoni treatment. tell your doctor if you've ever had hepatitis b, a liver transplant, other liver or kidney problems, hiv or any other medical conditions and about all the medicines you take including herbal supplements.
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don't let directv now limit your entertainment. xfinity gives you more to stream to more screens. zbliefrmgt we're pouring through where he is focused on perhaps where the questioning is going to come from. casey hunt, you're reading it. david ignacius, everyone is pouring through this here. what stands out to you at this point? >> well, there are a couple of things where he denies. instead of offering a defense or allegation, he is denying that he did something that is potentially questionable, and i know we touched on this earlier. setting up a channel with the russians, it's been reported that that was his idea. he essentially in the statement
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denies that it was his suggestion. he says that this came at the request of the people with whom he was speaking, that they did not have a way to securely speak to him. he was asked did they have a secure line into the offices that they were working out of at the time. he says that didn't happen and that it was put off until after the inauguration. i think that's a potentially important detail. he also denies that he spoke on the phone with ambassador kislyak between april and november of 2016. while the campaign was going on. that, of course, was when he did meet kislyak in person at that mayflower hotel meeting, but he says that later he couldn't even remember the ambassador's name, and he had to ask staffers what the name was so that he could then eventually reach out once the timing was more appropriate during the transition period. there's also a little interesting new tidbit here. he says he received during the campaign in october of 2016 an e-mail from somebody going by u
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guccifer400. he said he showed the e-mail to a secret service agent who told him he shouldn't do anything about it. he should just ignore it. that tells me the competemittee asking questions about this. he essentially offers an explanation and says, look, i asked law enforcement about it. they told me to do nothing, so i did. i think these are some of the key points potentially that you could see impressed on today. >> david, i'm hearing this as really an effort for full transparency and to really clear his name. does this raise more questions, or help clear things up? >> well, i think it does give a clear account of the key dates and meetings in question compared to what we've gotten
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from the president trump and from some others in the administration. this is relatively straight forward. it does seem clear that he is being counselled to deliver testimony. the testimony is today in secret, but here's a fairly detailed prepared statement, as it were, by gerald kushner. there are a couple of things that struck me as i quickly read through this. first, his contacts were with the russians after the election. as i read this document, he is saying that the russian ambassador sergei kislyak said that he had some special information -- the war in syria that he wanted convey to kushner russia's views about the military situation that was so sensitive that it couldn't go through other channels, so can we have some secret channel? is really is a puzzler.
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this is information that he would want to check with the u.s. side with, with secretary kerry, there were extensive u.s.-russian discussions going on at that time. zplee said he met with the king of jordan. he met with a foreign minister of mexico. he had a lot of secret conversations going on. it's interesting he is using those other secret was conversations to justify the thakt fa he didn't talk about the others. >> that's not making me more comfortable. how about you? >> not a lot more. the final thing is this characterizes jared kushner as a
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man who was acted on by others. you know, well, his dad wanted him to manage all these contacts. ki kislyak called him up. he didn't do that. he is portraiting himself as the person helping his dad who others are calling requesting bringing to meetings. coming up on "morning joe" is the white house choosing silence over science? we'll talk about the government official turned self-described whistle blower who says he faced retaliation for speaking out. joel clement joins the conversation straight ahead on "morning joe." i love spending time with my grandson. but my bladder leakage was making me feel like i couldn't fully participate. most of the products i used worked,
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>> guys, good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. you're shaking your head. i appreciate it. with respect to over the -- one second. >> you don't get to -- we're going to raise our hands like big boys and girls. >> denmark as a a designated --
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>> bashir al assad. >> david jackson. >> david is not mere. >> amman javers. >> okay. i'm -- this is silly. okay. next. stop shaking your head again. [ yelling ] >> it's just -- he will be missed, but at the same time, josh, it's not an easy -- he was put in a bad position from day one. >> you are making false claims about the inauguration that were easily disproved and then walking out without taking any questions. there are so many challenges that we could sift through that sean faced, but one of the things they need to try to fix is their body language toward the press. right? so much of what sean engaged in
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was hostile back and forth, and then he would flee the room. they ended that comedic montage that was not intended to make him look good of him fleeing from answering questions. that's why the vignette about him answering questions about the bushes and him insisting that the lights be turned out. this whole trend of insisting on off camera breechings. it makes the press team and the communications operation look like they're scared to defend the president, and it's a bad look. nobody is going to be successful in defending the president if you look red sent or scared to do so in a public setting. that's -- that was one of the things that i thought was effective about anthony's performance on friday. he was willing to go out there, and he basically said i'm going to try to take as many questions as i can, and he went out there on camera on the record taking questions. now, he dodged many of them, but also he had been in the job for four hours. hopefully -- that says one thing that will make their performance better. it also will be good for our democracy to see this back and forth. that is what we need from people
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who are in this job as a commitment to publicly airing and litigating and defending and arguing what it is the administration is doing and why they're doing it. it seems like when sean spicer walked out there, he had taken a loyalty oath that was beyond loyalty to country. when he walked out there and talked about crowd size. it went downhill from there. you've got to -- you've got to be able to say when this is not in in the best interest of the country or the president, and with all this i love him. i love him. i love him. i'm concerned. there is some sort of spokesen or unspoken loyalty pledge. i could be wrong.
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i hope i am. >> one of the hard things about, again, the -- >> it's hard. >> -- position that sean was in was loyalty oath appeared to go in one direction, right? >> yes. >> president trump didn't appear to have much confidence in it sean spicer to handle his job. when i first got this -- when i first got offered the job, president obama told me two things. he said, one, i'm not going to watch your briefings, and, two, if there's ever information you need for your briefings, come and find me, and i'll work with you. he had confidence in my ability to use my discretion to go and do the job in the way that i thought was most effective. it is clear that trump never gave sean the opportunity to exercise his own discretion. >> you are forgetting about the third thing that president obama told you, which is do not hold briefings in the should beer sh. >> no stealing frigs. coming up on "morning joe" separating fact from fiction in the russia probe. our legal analyst ari melburg joins charlie savage at the table. they break down the terms like indictment, collusion, and obstruction. next on "morning joe." for your heart...
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>> somebody said to me yesterday, and i won't tell you who, that if the rushzans actually hacked this situation and spilled out those emails, you would have never seen it. you would have never had any evidence of them, meaning they're super confident in their deception skills and hacking. >> i don't know who this anonymous person is that said if the russians had done it, we wouldn't have been able to detect it, but it is the unanimous -- it's the -- >> how about it was the president? >> okay. >> the new white house communications director revealing the source that he wouldn't reveal was the president. joipgs now nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. all morning we've been digging into the statement that jared kushner released ahead of his meeting in 90 minutes with the senate intel committee staff. what stood out to you, kristen? >> hi there. good morning. well, i think a couple of
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things. first of all, jared kushner expected to say in no uncertain terms that he didn't collude with the russians and that he has nothing to hide. he is going to talk about four different meetings that he had with russians, but he is going to give new details about two of the most heavily scrutinized. the first one relates to the russian ambassador. he had that meeting during the campaign in 2016 at the mayflower hotel. he is going to say it was such a brief meeting that later after the fact he didn't even remember the name of the russian ambassador. let me read you a direct quote. he says on november 16th, 2016 my assistant received a request for a meeting from the russian ambassador. as i mentioned before, previous to receiving this request, i couldn't even recall the russian ambassador's name. and then he is going to get into more details about perhaps one of the most hotly discussed meetings. that meeting with don jr., with the russian lawyer in which she said -- or it was stated in an e-mail that he would receive dirt on hillary clinton.
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jared kushner says that he heard about this meeting through word of mouth and that it showed up on his calendar. he says that he did receive part of the e-mail exchange, but he didn't read the entire exchange, so he never saw the part about dirt on hillary clinton. he is also going to say that he got to that meeting late. when he got there, they were discussing russian adoptions. he wanted to leave early. this is what he is going to say. i'm looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work. i actually e-mailed an assistant from the meeting after i had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote "can you please call me on my cell? need excuse to get out of meeting." he is also going to discuss two more matters. he will deny that he ever tried to set up a back channel with russian officials. that gets a little bit murkier because he does acknowledge that he wanted to discuss united states policy in syria with russian officials, and then he is going to say, look, it he initially submitted a security clearance form that didn't contain all of the details about these meetings. he will say because his assistant made a mistake and
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submitted the form prematurely. he will cover a lot of ground. i think he is going to be very definitive, but he will face a lot of tough questions. important to point out, again, i know we can talk about this all morning long, but this meeting is behind closed doors. he is not going to go under oath. however, lying to congress violates the law. it is critical from his perspective and from a legal perspective that everything he goes on the record with is trueful today. >> kristen welker, thank you very much. joining us now msnbc chief legal krbt and host of "the beat" which premiers today at 6:00 right here on msnbc. "the beat" with ari melber. >> i like the beach better. >> he wants to go to the beach. >> the beach was taken. >> trademarked there. >> now it's going to be great. we look forward to watching you. >> thank you. >> also with us, national security and legal reporter of the "new york times", charlie savage. charlie has been digging into
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questions that would make any white house a little bit uneasy. especially this one. >> we don't know in the president can be indicted while he -- there's nothing in the constitution that talks about that. the widespread consensus has been that a president can't be indicted. that no matter what bob mueller finds about trump, he cannot go to a grand jury and ask for an indictment while the president remains in the white house.
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>> what's interesting is i used a freedom of information act request to go into the national archives of the kenneth starr whitewaterl lewinski files, and they did a deep study of this question. a nearly 60-page memo that takes on that justice department analysis and comes out the other way. it has some really strong arguments for why that's probably not correct. this raises a degree of ambiguity around this question, and as mueller's team approaches they have to decide are we going to cooperate, are we going to stonewall, are we going to fight? how fullsome are we going to be when we talk to investigators?
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are we going to put forth maybe some spin that might veer into alternative facts or just admit that things might not be great? it may be that this ambiguity affects things because even though it's unlikely, i would think, that mueller would try to indied president trump, no matter what the facts were, as a matter of prosecutorial discretion, it may be that he has that option if he decides it's necessary. >> all right. so then to ari, obviously i want to know what you make of charlie's assessment here. do you agree, disagree? also, what do you make of the fact that the president had a small conversation at the very least and tweeted about pardoning. why are we even talking about this? let's -- because i can ultimately probably predict this president blaming it on us or what he likes to call the fake news, says which you could argue is based on the white house
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often put out fake information. >> if you put the tweet back up on the screen, this is a classic presidential tweet for this era because of its internal logical inconsistency. i point you to the middle of it. why think of that, the argument being we shouldn't be talking about pardons, which is a direct reference to the first few words of the tweet, it is thing he brought up, which are pardons. >> as for charlie's reporting, digging into the archives, this is more of a theoretical constitutional question. this is our long-running national law school since january, and the general view of the constitution has been the
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only person who is not subject to traditional federal indictment is the president, and that is not because he is above the law. it's because to the extent that he commits serious crimes in office, he would be indicted by the house and tried by the senate. it is not really to say that there's no rule. it's that the rule is because of his unique position at the top of the constitutional federal system, there's a different process. number two, hamilton and those memos from the d.o.j. from two different parties, i should mention, that charlie cited, basically refer to the fact that there's a widespread view that if removed from office, the president can be indicted afterwards. the whole point here is not that you are above the law. it's that you have a unique role during those four or eight years. >> which is known as impeachment. >> that's what i'm talking about with the house. the house indictment would be the impeachment. the senate is the trial. >> josh. >> well, it seems to me the other question is that the -- one of the basis of our constitution -- you're the legal expert here. so is charlie. it's the rule of law, and that nobody is above the rule of law.
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>> in some ways it comes out of the -- and everybody being subject to it. >> there's common law on that. the whied that you can't sit in judgment of yourself, and secondly, charlie, i imagine your reporting looked into this. the memos from the d.o.j. looking at this and the federalist papers talk about the notion of, as i mentioned, a president potentially being prosecuted when he leaves office. obviously if self-pardons exist, and you had a criminal president, that wouldn't work or make any sense because they would have already pardoned themselves. all of that discussion from hamilton on seems to presuppose no self-pardon. >> it presoeupposes trk but the constitution doesn't say that. the question is whether this premise that is derived from logic, you can't be -- the conflict of interest to pardon
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yourself. what is tit that turns it into n unwritten rule that restricts this otherwise broad power granted to the president to pardon federal offenses? the justice department a few days before nixon resigned stated that it seems like a president shouldn't be able to pardon himself, but there's really nothing behind that sentence other than it just seems like it's wrong, and it's not necessarily clear the things that seem wrong are also the law. what we would need to know is for -- is to have a test of this. you would have to have, say, president trump purporting to pardon himself, and then some time later someone trying to indict and prosecute him, and then the courts would finally have an opportunity to tell us whether this is what the constitution means or not. unless and until that happens, it's just law professors arguing with each other, and it's one more cloud of uncertainty surrounding what you refer to earlier as the sort of long constitutional law exam that we've been living through for the last six months.
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>> all right. it's way down the road. i mean, if anything, if at all, it's way too early, although the president tweeted about it. >> he is bringing it up where. >> i don't know what to do. stop. >> people in josh's old job used to say no hypotheticals. >> no hypotheticals. >> the president puts a lot of hypos in his tweets. >> they all say he is worried about stuff. just stop. if there's nothing to worry about. the "new york times" charlie savage, thank you very much. ari, stay with us if you can. >> sure. >> let's turn to dominik following the stories driving the market today. what are you looking at? >> here's hypotheticals. the global economy isn't really going gang busters, but it's steady. that's the latest report from the international monetary fund. it's keeping its hypothetical forecast for world growth unchanged for both this year and next. things are getting better in places like china, japan, and europe, but in the u.s. and the u.k., things are starting to slow down a little bit more than previously thought. part of that u.s. forecast cut has to do with policy out of
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washington where the imf says stimulating programs like potential tax reform could be offset by proposed spending cuts. watch that. also, european markets generally weaker today. one of the big reasons why is a drop in shares of big german automakers, like volkswagen, bmw, daimler, which is the parent company of mercedes. regulators are looking into allegations that they and others have been working together and colluding to do things like agree on suppliers or even fix diesel prices on emissions systems. bmw has rejected the allegations. others have yet to comment. asian ride-hailing company grab is getting a big cash infusion. it said it expects to raise around $2.5 billion in cash from big investors. that includes chinese ride hailing company dd and soft bank. the company is one of the biggest rivals for, who else, uber in that region. keep an eye on shares of anybody out there associated with ride hailing. that's going to be a fun one to watch. back to you. >> interesting.
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cnbc's dominik chu, thank you very much. our next guest says he was punished by the trump white house for his warnings about climate government scientist he was reassigned to another job -- in accounting. and now he's telling his story. he joins us next. and packages. and it's also a story about people. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you ♪
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>> i don't think the government scientists can predict with certainty. there isn't a model that exists today that can predict today's weather. >> can you tell me how much warming government scientists working for our government preticket for the end of the century under a business as usual scenario? >> can you tell me, sir, whether or not china increased its co2 between now and 203 in the agreement and by what? i will be glad to give you that answer. >> one of those government scientist, joel clement, used to be the director of policy analysis at the u.s. interior department. he claims he was recently reassigned to a lesser position for speaking out about the dangers of climate change. i'm not sure why zinke was afraid to there. just a fact that he was asked about. anyhow, clements is now senior a visor at the department's office
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of resources revenue. joel joins us. also with us, author and nbc news political analyst annan. good to have you with us. tell us your story about why you first of all started to speak out but when you started to see a change in your job status. >> yes. well, i work on the effects of climate change upon in particular in this case describing the alaska native villages that are poised, on the brink of permafrost in alaska, next superstorm could take them right out. the three villages that i mentioned are about to melt out into the arctic ocean. in disclosing this information, talking about this quite frequently in public situations and to leadership and interior and the white house, this led to a retaliation on their part. and i have to say the job they reassigned me to is the office that collects royalty checks from the fossil fuel industry so it was a very blatant
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reassignment of the climate change guy. >> i'm going to read the statement here at responding to your op-ed, and you can take it for the next question from there. but this is in response to interior secretary ryan zinke, spokeswoman heather swift tells "morning joe," "the department does not comment on ongoing matters such as whistle-blower complaints. we look forward to working with the office of special counsel to address any questions they might have on this matter." in response to the shuffling of senior executive service ryan zinke's spokeswoman heather swit tells "morning joe" the purpose of the senior executive service is to ensure the executive management of the government of the united states is responsive to the need, policies, and goals of the nation and otherwise is of the highest quality. senior executives are the highest paid employees in the federal government and signed up for the senior executive service know they could be called upon to work in different positions at any time. congress meant for the ses to be a mobile force that are capable
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of taking on different assignments to meet the needs of the agency. >> let me just jump in to say we all know that when we sign up. senior executive service is absolutely meant to be a mobile workforce. reassignments are not uncommon. a mass reassignment like they've done at doi's, that raises some eyebrows and of course doing it in retaliation is unlawful. >> that what do you think? >> i'm going to ask you a question about the kind of anthropology of where you work and not just your situation but the situation of other civil servants, your friends and champions leagues. this is a nation of laws so we have an ideal of an independent civil service that works for whoever the president is. but a nation of laus you see an administration doing things that are not normal and distorting reality and going in dangerous directions, there's also an obligation to speak out and not provide consent to bad things. how are you see not just yourself but others grappling with the moral dilemmas of the trump era? >> this has been a big challenge for a lot of civil servants,
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people in these jobs feel very strongly about these roles and want to stay serving. don't want to just run. a lot of them are think dog i stay or do i go? have i been asked to do things i don't feel comfortable with and my hope is that by speaking out i can help them find a voice, know their rights, reach out and hook for help. >> what exactly do you say you're being retaliated for? >> i disclosed this information about effects of climate change upon these villages in the arctic and my work was to coordinate the federal enga engagement on that problem and it's a serious problem. they're on the brink. there are some serious consequences to neglecting the federal role in this case, one superstorm and we have refugees in the country. i speak often about this and i believe they retaliated. >> to clarify, according to the june 15th you said you ear one of about 50 senior department employees who got letters saying
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they were getting involuntary reassignment. not just your own experience, what's the story with the other 39? were they also in some way being retaliated against or moved for other reasons? >> i won't speculate about most of them. i will say mine was probably the most flagrant. there was clearly an intent to get me to quit. many others were moved across the country, at great taxpayer expense. it costs a lot to move an employee across the country. some had health concerns and had to come to d.c. to plead their case. they cheerily didn't plan it effectively. >> what what can american citizens who believe in facts do to support people like you working in our government? >> last thursday the union of scientists put out a report on the systemic abuse of regulations as it relates to scientists and subject matter experts in the government. read those reports. learn as much as you can.
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please understand that civil servant are there as you said through administrations to try and keep the ship of state going. it doesn't turn on a dime so they can take a little comfort there. but speak out. >> we have to have your back. >> absolutely. >> joel clement, thank you very much. ari melber, we'll be watching the premiere of "the beat." ♪ we got the beat >> anand, thank you so much. that does it for us this morning. >> good morning. jared kushner set to be grilled by senate investigators in one hour and a statement leased. how does he explain all those russia contacts? how about some friendly fire? president trump attacking republic

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