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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  October 25, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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you will of our nation. i think that will be the contribution that hurts our nation most. >> do you think the president is debasing the nation in. >> i don't think there's any question. >> it is time for our come policity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end. it is often said that children are watching. well, they are. and what are we become the to do about that? when the next generation asks us, why didn't you do something? why didn't you speak up? what are we going to say? mr. president, i rise today to say enough. >> two top republicans yesterday calling on their colleague toss take a hard look in the mirror. good morning, everyone, it's wednesday, october 25th. welcome to "morning joe." with us we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnical.
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nbc news and host of case ki d.c., thank you, now. >> nice work, guys. >> especially today. case ki hunt. along with joe, will lid and me. what a day yesterday. >> what a day in every way. you had so many things going on the president going to capitol hill. we actually should probably start with casey, because, what a day, it will be for a capitol hill reporter, kasie, you have a day where the president is coming up on the hill, bob corke as willie and mike and i were saying yesterday, bob came in hot yesterday. >> reporter: that's an understatement. >> and then jeff flake delivered a speech on the senate floor that you said and many others said people would be remembering years from now. >> reporter: i think that's right, joe. i mean, look, this was -- this was a day, my head was spinning by the end of the day, because where we started all the way through to bob corker the president had just left capitol hill and suddenly i was
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listening in my ear to you know what we had playing and the words that jeff flake had for the president were incredibly serious, incredibly an attempt to put this in historical perspective and give sois to his frustration and, you know what he was seeing around and this was a guy who was incredibly well liked, well respected, incredibly conservative, with the most conservative voting records, but who owned the respect from his colleagues the game of eight, took political risks. i think the senators in both parties i talked to yesterday came away with a real sense of loss around this retirement. >> far beyond a rebuke. >> far beyond a rebuke this shows the insanity that has overtaken the republican party. i always -- >> the white house. >> joke with people that come sand a, you are liberal. i sed say i am a 95% rating,
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jeff flake supposed to be a liberal, some goons at fox news, i won't mention his names are attacking, jeff flake has a 96% lifetime conservative rating. he is the conservative's conservative. he is the champion and has been his entire life of small government, of free trade. i mean, so, when jeff flake becomes too liberal for your party, your party is headed towards the tar pits. exactly what's happening here, we haven't even talked about bob corker. >> you know, joe, it's hard to measure promote e moments like this in terms of history, history is a long hall. it's not hard to measure this moment in terms of what is going on right now within the republican party. this the a slow slide of principle conservatism among
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republicans that has been an honorable part of your party for many, many years a. slow slide of that principle conservatism into something that resembles a dumpster fire. i mean, with people like bannon are doing within the republican party, the lack of cohesion, the lack of a voice within the republican party, other than people like jeff flake and bob corker. it's truly an astounding moment politically. >> to your point, joe, have you pro-trump conservatives, conservatives defending new york democrat donald trump, against a 96% approval rating against jeff flake. it's turned upsidedown. >> he's been a conservative, be i the way, his whole life there not trump we are talking about. >> when donald trump was giving money to chuck schumer and nancy pelosi and giving over $100,000 a year to the dnc and supporting pro choice candidates and pro gun control candidates, jeff flake, bob corker, they've all been consistent.
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>> this is the end of eight or nine days. we are live income extraordinary times, we know that. the last eight or nine days, if you start with john mccain's speech in philadelphia and go forward, i'm only talking about republican, this doesn't include barack obama and joe biden. >> president bush's speech. >>. >> from john mccain, george w. bush, jeff flake yesterday, these are republicans who felt the need and come occupant and re-affirm, not just conservative values, american values, what is happening right now not who we are. i don't know, have we seen anything like there? nine months, ten months into a presidency where members of his own party are coming out lining up to criticize him this way. >> you haven't. let's make no mistake of it. what we are seeing here is the political suicide. it's the coming in of the republican party where you are losing guys who are temperamentally moderate? right. >> who have 96% conservative ratings and can when states in arizona which are shifting and
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it can be replaced by conspiracy theorists getting plane away at the polls. you have steve bannon getting people that have been convicted of crimes, served time in jail as his alternative. it is -- this is an act of nilism. what happens to the republicans who remain there? do they give donald trump a stand ogvation yesterday after saying he was a threat to the constitution every day behind the scenes? as jeff flake said yesterday, the poll line yesterday, which we're going to play a lot of it, this is not normal. >> well, and that's the point i wanted to make, exactly that. you talk about the threat to conservatism the threat to the republican party and what damage republicans are doing to themselves, what jeff flake is talking about, what he's pointing to is a bigger problem that these are truly dangerous times and that we're living in
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anably right now where things are beginning to slip away if we don't stand up for what is right. >> are bob corker and jeff flake, are they the san andreas fault line the fourth quarter of a political party, a major political party, a historic moment r. they the fault line? are there going to be more senator toss come as jeff flake said yesterday on the floor of the senate, you know, who else is there? why didn't you say, do something? why didn't you speak up? >> why? so here is some of republican senator jeff flake of arizona's speech open the senate floor yesterday, after he announced he will retire rather than seek re-election. >> i rise today with no small measure of regret, regret because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse,
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regret because of the courseness of our leadership. we must never adjust to to the present courseness of our national die lock with the tone set at the top. the personal attacks the threats against principles, freedoms and institution, the flagrant disregard for truth and decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have been elected to serve. none of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal. we must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that that is just the way things are now. it is also clear to me for the moment that we have given in or given up on the core principles in favor of a more viscerally satisfying anger and receptment
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to be clear, the anger and resentment that the people feel at the royal mess that we've created are justified, but anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy. without fear of the consequences, and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe or palatable, we must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. they are not normal. reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused and count ten nance as telling it leak it is, when it is actually just reckless outrageous and undignified. and when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else. it is dangerous to a democracy. i am aware that there is a segment of my party that
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believes that anything short of complete and unquestioning loyalty to a president who belongs to my party is unacceptable and suspect. if i have been critical, it is not because i relish criticizing the behavior of the president of the united states. if i have been critical, it is because i believe it is my obligation to do so. >> and senator flake will be joining us later on in the show. >> you know, jeff flake talking about again this lifetime conservative whose dedicated his adult life to conservatism. conservatism the way ronald reagan saw it. conservatism the way barry goldwater saw it, the way russell kirk saw it a. conservatives conservatives by any stretch of the imagination, a guy, willie, who was seen by some as being a trouble-maker because he was too conservative. he was too unyielding, when it
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came to cutting spending. i remember he was -- he sort of had a reputation in the house as being too far out there, too right wing. >> wow. >> and he's having to explain to his constituents that when he goes against donald trump, it's for, you know, reasons that have to do with protecting his beliefs, his conservative beliefs that he's held his entire lifetime that donald trump hasn't held even in the five years he's ban republican, but this personality cult is, you can really see it in this story with jeff flake. here you have a guy that people knew. they knew him forever. they knew he was conservative. he's got a 96% lifetime conservative rating, but donald
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trump as we have been saying around the table for two years, since he went down the escalators, he's not a conservative and yet there is this personality cult that trump is trying to inspire and that he does in part by lying every day and convincing people that lies are the truth and we just showed some of it yesterday. we can, i can pick up five things he said yesterday. >> you stopped the show yesterday and said this is just a lie. when he tweeted. >> there is a fever in the republican party that has nothing to do with conservatism. it has nothing to do with idea ochlth it has nothing to do with good policy. it has absolutely nothing to do with the constitution of the united states and it is bringing this party to its knees and will cause its destruction soon. >> we have over and over again for what, exactly? why?
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what's the cost of doing what jeff flake did yesterday? we saw the cult personality almost after yesterday's speech, conservative republicans saying it's easy for this guy to do this he had an 18% approval rating at home. he was going to lose liss race, he saw the writing on the wall, he said,ly get out now before i have to lose a race, now i will find courage. that's not fair. he wrote an entire book going after trump. but there the a reflex among high republicans, because they still believe they need to work with donald trump to get tax reform. if they want to get an agenda through, they believe they need the president. >> why can't you work with someone but stick to what's right and sometimes tell them what they feel is wrong? when did a relationship become a one-way street? why is working with president trump having to declare some sort of loyalty oath and literally throw your entire self-respect down the toilet in
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order to work with him? i've never seen a relationship like that, that seems healthy. >> i've never seen such cowardice, actually, among the leaders of the republican party. it is cowardice, they believe if they cross donald trump he may tweet something bad, hold on. >> let's see. >> you have the most powerful people in america afraid to stand up to the obscene behavior of donald trump, his threats, full frontal threats against the constitution of the united states because they are afraid. >> afraid. >> of a tweet and what they would find and he would respect them more and they can get a better negotiation. but they're cowards. you know, is it al opundit
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tweeted yesterday in a post-apocalyptic walk, spooe speaker paul ryan could be seen wandering around amid the ashes saying, staying focused on tax reform. staying focused on tax reform. >> oh god. >> mitch mcconnell, after up with of the most extraordinary days, in senate, recent senate history, mike, said there's a lot of talk. let's just stay focused on tax reform. >> they are. >> tuque to mitch mcconnell. >> his uncle mitch. >> they are joking. >> thank you, mike. >> bob corker, george bush, at what point do you have an obviously giex as a leader of this party to weigh in on these very serious criticisms of the president? >> what i have an obligation to do is to try to achieve the
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greatest cohesion i can among 52 republican toss try to achieve for the american people the agenda we set out to achieve and tax reform is what we are about. we're going to concentrate on what our agenda is and not any of these other distractions that you all may be interested in. >> all of this stuff you see on a daily basis on twitter this, twitter. that forget about it. let's focus on helping people, improving people's lives, doing the things that we said we would do that accomplishes that. are you going to ask about this? >> mike, it's not twitter. >> what is wrong with them? they are voices. >> you are stalk u talking about a united states senator that they know, that paul ryan worked with, that was a fellow traveler, going on the senate floor and saying that the president of the united states was a threat to not only societal norms, but
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constitutional norms. and paul ryan and mitch mcconnell said, oh, you guys get distracted by twitter. this has nothing to do with twitter this has to do with a united states senator delivering one of the most significant speeches on the senate floor in decades, perhaps? decades? >> not that it matters that paul ryan was talking about corker. >> if i am wrong, if i am being melodramatic here. >> you are not. >> maybe a more important senate speech in the last decade, because this was the end of a movie. this was our mr. smith goes to washington, where you had a senator saying on the floor the president of the united states in his party was a threat to constitutional norms, societal norms, and our children. >> yeah. >> while we're at a point and
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you spoke earlier to this, where one major political party is fractureing right in front of under the circumstances. we're at a moment when cowardice on the floor of trump's conscience, where truth seems to be less powerful than the fear of a tweet from the white house and kasie, i would ask you, i've herd rumblings over the last 12 almost 24 hours now about resentment towards jeff flake's speech on the floor of the senate from other members of the senate, because they fear it could interfere with tax cuts. what do you hear? >> i think that, yes, there is potential resentment and issues around the agenda, this idea, but i honestly, i think what joe was pointing to and mike what you said about the very the splirnting of this party before our very eyes, these leaders, mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, they made a bet they could outlast donald trump and what is
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happening is that the people who would consider themselves to be a part of the governing, we may -- jeff flake i think we call it the human decency wing of the republican party are fought going to have a home at this rate any more in this republican party. it's because of where their voters are, that's driving frustration among the rank and file in the senate, they're having been led by mitch mcconnell. they go home, their voters say, why are you standing up more for president trump. >> paul ryan and mitch mcconnell's approval ratings are sink. they are becoming less popular, a huge problem the president is taking over the party. >> that is going to leave so many people with no place to go. as you said, jeff flake is not a democrat. so where do people like that no in our politics? it's increasingly clear that they are homeless and we may be witnessing, jeff flake said on the store today or yesterday, excuse me, i think this was a moment, we'll get over it.
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i'm not so sure we aren't seeing a fundamental restructuring. >> as you look at the splintering, make no mistake, this is a win steve bannon for him and his movement. breitbart was a victory, they believe they have claimed a scout. jeff bannon was the top of the hit list. they believe this clears the way tore kelly ward the person they want to become the senator from arizona, they think this is the first sign that their vision of the republican party, their vision of conservatism is winning. >> it's insanity is what it is, it's insanity and steve bannon doesn't want to grill the republican party. he said as much. he wants to destroy the party. he declared himself as elittleinist. he wants to tear things down. i have to say, he's not doing it. a segment of the republican party is doing it a. large segment is doing it.
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and they have, they have fallen in line. this is a personality kuchlt our constitution right now, constitutional norms are being threatened every day and challenged every day, people from the podium are lying every single day. every single day they lie from the white house podium. >> every single day. >> and republicans know with their children watching that they are lying. my friends know. i that you can to them. >> how do they do that? >> i talk to them. they say, whatever we're embarrassed, but he's better than hillary clinton. he's not running against harrisburg hearing, he's running the country. let my say that one more time, donald trump is not running against hillary clinton anymore. he's running your country and my country, your children's country. right. so stop the linear thinking. this is not 2016. we're deep into 2017, we're in trouble we've had less job growth over the past six months than in years.
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north korea and the united states could be on the verge of a nuclear showdown t. president is challenging constitutional norms every day, hillary clinton is in chappaqua. all right. never to threaten you and your paranoid existence again. worry about today. worry about the constitution, worry about the things you told me when i ran for four times that you cared about. because all you ever told me you cared about was the constitution of the united states. it doesn't seem that way, mika, it doesn't seem that way now. >> it doesn't. >> c'mon, get some smelling salts. you know, watch the crimson tide when again this weekend. go to church on sunday. >> what are they holding on to? >> pray for this country and pray that we actually get some leaders that your children can look up to. we don't have them right now. we'll be right back. knowing where you stand has never been easier.
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. >> when you talked about the president's big policy initiatives, that will be how history judges him, so far he has none that made it through the legislative process. >> it's not true. no courses went through legislative process. i would say that's a big historical moment. >> i don't know if that's a policy issue? >> something that has a lasting legacy, probably beyond any other individual piece of lemslation. >> i'm thinking of health care or for example tax reform that have not been completed at least not yet on capitol hill the lack of support from somebody leak bob corker might make that a lot more difficult, given that does the president feel like he's winning? >> i think he feels like america is winning. there's also a lot of things beyond the stockmarket the fact that the unemployment levels have dropped, it's a big thing the fact that 1.7 million new jobs were created since donald trump was elected. those are positive things in the
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economy. we didn't say it was fixed. i think we have been more successful in these first nine months than obama was in eight years. >> it's hard to watch. it's just hard to watch. >> crying? >>. >> his glasses fogged up. >> tears and smoot on my glasses. >> how every day that is done and one has to say hi to the kids at the end of the day, the president is lying. >> just stop having him. >> don't do it. walk out. but where does this end? like does this lead to some amazing position, jobs somewhere? what is sean spicer up to neighborhood, let's talk about baseball. i don't want to talk about that what i just heard, last night the dodgers, man. >> last night, kershaw, dodgers versus astros, 110 degrees on the field the ball game played
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pristinely, crisply, two hours and 28 minutes, dodgers win, that's baseball. >> i like it. i have no idea what you are talking about. >> strikeouts, tonight the astros. >> i bet it's the truth. >> ver happeneder. >> is that true? >> yes. >> my god, it's amazing, i love hearing a fact that is true from that is true, justin verlander will be pitching. >> verlander is pitching tonight, mike, tell me, who is as dominant as verlander in the playoffs? pedro? >> pedro actually not pedro, bob gibson. >> do you have to go back to '67 and 'skating, bob gibson? >> for sheer dominance. >> those braves guys? >> no, let me tell you something, god bless him. i loved him. i followed him all year, but they did not perform in the playoffs the way they performed. >> in the early '90s? >> minnesota years?
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>> one of the greatestest ace noucers ever? >> he is stunningly great. he will bring you inside the baseball game. you would understand it and appreciate it. and the end of the story was, i think smoltz said he will throw in the low outside, double or nothing, triple or nothing, quadruple or nothing. now he will throw in a low outside curve, or slider, whatever. he's going to throw it off into the dugout and glavin is like okay triple or nothing. he puts it right there. the paul comes right at their feet. okay. those guys know where to put the ball. >> savants. >> verlander, man, ver lander is in the bat zone right now.
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>> yes, he s. >> all right. i think this is about enough. >> throw the ball guy. >> did you guys literally can go on forever about it. i don't understand. >> by the way, maybe we should. >> no! >> how great, how great also these games aren't being played on adult swim 14, you cull l actually can go, above adult swim. >> what is adult swim? sounds like porn. what is adult swim? >> you go to fox. >> i finally found those games in the third inning every night. now channel 5 it's good. >> no, seriously, i don't know where these channels are on my. so. mike luppic says, hershheiser in '88. >> yes. >> another dodger. >> i love the dodgers.
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>> sow think the greatest world seri series, you liked you seen was 67? >> no, 75. 75. >> i think 75 p 75 was the greatest world series of my lifetime. i think baseball was sinking in popularity. it brought back baseball. game six did you do it for me. what about you? what's the greatest? >> it's the strange thing to say the yankees lost, 2001 will always be me most special world series given the circumstances after 9/11, playing those games in new york. problem playing that pitch with a flat jack on. they broke our heart, gonzalez broke our heart. >> broke america's heart. you know, actually, so my dad i told me dad. >> i'm up for that. >> it's the first time -- >> milli. go on.
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>> the first time ever for the yankees, it was after 9/11, my dad was rooting for arizona, i evidence, dad, you do realize, outside the state of arizona the only people rooting for the diamondbacks right now are al qaeda. he goes, i don't care, i hate the yankees. so i root for the yankees the first time and they lose. >> thanks, a lot. >> yeah. >> thanks, dad! you and osamma. >> if you were in the village the 14 one? >> i was. >> coming up -- >> are the diplomat's efforts to avoid nuclear disaster between the united states and north korea collapsing? >> some night knees for you. whole talk to senior chris murphy about the new report plus his take on the president battling with two of his committee members, jeff flake and chairman bob corker. we're back in a moment.
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in an nbc news exclusive report this morning, multiple sources say diplomatic efforts between the united states and north korea are on the verge of collapsing in the words of one u.s. official on their last
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legs. pyongyang has reportedly shunned talks with the u.s. after president trump increased his public attacks on north korean leader kim jong-un. according to officials, a top american diplomat has been warning congress of the breakdown in meetings on capitol hill a. congressional aide who has spoken with eun directly tells nbc the diplomat is searching for a hail mary in an attempt to restore dialogue the breakdown in talks may explain repeat comments from members of congress on both side, including senator bob corker, who warned that trump was under cutting diplomatic efforts. the growing tensions come as president trump prepares for his first official trip to asia next month. trump's schedule is set to include visit toss japan, south korea and china, where north korea is expected to be at the top of the agenda. joining us from walk, democratic
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senator chris murphy from connecticut, also with us at the table, the co-founder, a partner in the strategic consulting firm rice, hadley gates, which as the name suggests features former secretary of state condoleeza rice and secretary of defense bob gates, good to have you both on board, senator mur first, i'll start with you about exactly how you would characterize the nature of the situation with north korea right noud and do you think president trump's name-calling at the leader of north korea has pushed this i think so to a dangerous level? >> it's not surprising that our negotiations are on life support right now. president trump is deploying what is perhaps the borest negotiating strategy in the history of the american presidency. it's not just that he is out there calling this guy names, it's that he is publicly undercutting his department of
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state by tweeting out that rex tillerson does not have his support and cannot talk, negotiate on his behalf. >> so, no, what should we, do obviously going back to 1994, we've had one failed effort after another in new york, what is the right path forward? obviously, we agree it's not doing what donald trump is doing? >> you got to empower your diplomats, trump is not wrong to make it clear to the north koreans we have a military option, we can take them out if they would attack or threat on the attack us or our allies, you have to empower your diplomat toss do the work. you got to communicate the previous nuclear deals the other presidents have signed are still good, you are not incentivizing the north koreans the enter into their own agreement. eighth combination of military threats, bilateral, economic
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sanctions, with i this president cannot put toke, because she out there insulting all of the allies who would work with us on sanctions and empowering your diplomats. he is doing nothing of the things necessary to achieve a real diplomatic break through on north korea. >> it feels like for many years north korean leaders have been viewed at as crazy and laughed at by people by their outrageous claims and everything else. where are you in terms of how serious to take rhetoric out of north korea? the things they've said for many years they're now saying have a little more weight behind them? are you concerned about a nuclear confrontation or any confrontation with north korea right now? >> absolutely and we shouldn't be laughing at the rhetoric coming out. i think kim jong-un is more dangerous and more erratic than his father and grandfather. also, you know, we are in the third u.s. presidential administration, fourth that's trying to resolve this problem,
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the nuclear threat from north korea is only getting worse and worse. i do agree with senator murphy we need to support our diplomats. it's going to, however, all credit to joseph heun for keeping those channels opened. you need south korea, japan, china, all on board, especially china and i would say if there is one very narrow silver lining in all this i was just in d.c. and heard that at least the conversations between the u.s. and the chinese on north korea are the most detailed and the most scenario planning we've ever done. not to say that that will resolve it. but at least some form of diplomacy is still being given a chance despite the presidency. >> wouldn't you say kim jong-un is more erratic and dangerous, could you look at, for instance, whatted to gadhafi? when he -- wlapdz hat happened gadhafi when he gave up his
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wmds, if he want toss stay alive this may be the most rational thing for him to do? >> it's a good point, if regime survival is your goal, clearly having nuclear weapons a decent way to do. that as long as you don't deploy them. i think are you right, both what senator murphy said, backing out of the iran deal doesn't give us a whole lot of credibility. backing out, you know, gadhafi gave up his nuclear weapons. we then invaded libya. >> that doesn't give us a lot of credible here. i do think diplomacy is the only way ford and i'm glad that there are still efforts being made. >> so senator murphy, diplomacy is the only way forward, empow ter diplomats as you just said the secretary of state was in pakistan yesterday, an allie, not an allie? we're not sure, north korea on the precipice of we don't know what? if you were asked, if you were overseas in london and some member of the cabinet in great
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britain or germany asked you to define american foreign policy in those areas, could you define it? >> you know, american foreign policy is completely incoherent today. i actually was overseas this weekend. i was in ukraine. i was in estonia, which holds the eu pretty right now. all they wanted to ask me about is whether the trump administration had their back. ukraine doesn't know whether trump is with russia or them, the eu doesn't know whether trump is trying to break them up or trying to strengthen them. like i said, if you want any diplomatic path on north korea, you have to put in place a series of multilateral sanctions with china that will ultimately bring them to the table. and this president is a historically weak position to rally the world to a crisis like this. so, no, there is no way for me to explain what american foreign policy is abroad but they are asking. >> before we lot you go, senator, let's talk about las vegas and the after math where
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we heard there was a possibly for perhaps some regulation on these bump stocks that allowed semi automatic weapons be turned into automatic weapons, which of course i'm sure the overwhelming majority of americans would support. just like after new town, 90% of americans support it and still support expanded backgrounds checks. what's happening with that legislation that even the nra said might be acceptable to them? >> so joe, as you know, when the senate used to work 15 or 20 years ago, can you bring an amendment up like one that bans bump stocks at virtually any time, because the senate doesn't work any longer, we can't bring that measure for a vote, if we could, it would be pass so the breakdown in the senate is partially responsible for our inability to move gun legislation that enjoys the broad support of the american public, but i'm introducing today new ledges tlax would
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expand background checks supported by 90% of the american public, one of my worries is i think the gun lobby wants us to only be focusing on the policy solution that would have addressed the last highly public mass shooting t. reality is on that day that 50-something people lost their lives in las vegas, another 80 people around the country lost their live toss gun violence and background checks is the most operative public policy to stop that. >> i'm curious, 18 pike bloomberg says, while we focus on the massive shootings, that it's actually the day in, day out shootings that we should focus most on, would your bill to expand background checks, would that make it more difficult. for terrorists from let's say isis or al qaeda to be able purchase guns in america and then go shoot other americans? >> yeah, one of the most important public solution toss terrorism today is expanded background checks, why? isis and al qaeda have been
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explicitly clear in their online materials that would be recruits in america should go to gun shows and buy expensive powerful weapons to shoot american civilians. so isis is basically told terrorists who to you get guns. >> they have said it. let mae ask you. what about domestic abusers, people that beat up their wives or spouses, would your gun legislation, would it make it harder for domestic abusers, people that beat up tear spouses or their children to get their hands on guns? >> the good news is we have lots of data on this question, in states that have 47 background checks, 47% less women die by a gun in the hands of their partner. >> would yours take care of that? would yours that, protect the women from domestic abusers? >> you can argue if you had a national universal background check, you would see a massive
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diminution by women killed by domestic partners the once that have it -- >> about your gun legislation, would it make it harder for parents that abuse and beat up their clrn to get their hands on gun? >> yeah t. fact of the matter is, when a gun is nearby and are you in that moment of fury as a domestic abuseer, you grab it. people get killed. you make sure people that have a history of domestic violence can't go online, you save lives. that's not me saying it. that's what the data says. >> that sounds like a bill everybody even my republican friends can get behind. that's why 90% of americans, nine ought u out of ten support that. >> thank you. appreciate it we mentioned the president's upcoming visit to asia, his 12-day, five-nation trip next month. his first as president. it's already being cut short before it begins t. white house announced yesterday trump will miss the key east asia summit in
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the philippines and instead head home t. reason for his absence there is no reason for his absence. >> anya, help us understand. >> help us understand not only this, give us the state, what itself state of the state department? >> yeah, go. >> there is a very important trip for the president. i'm glad that he's going. he's going to visit japan, south korea, china, philippines, very important trip. i agree he should have stay food tr east -- should have stayed for the east asia summit. they tried to get increasingly involved to show we are there, to show our partners worried about north korea we are there. to show china they don't run the show single handedly, the more you show up and stay, particular at a summit moved in order to accommodate the american president the more we can be successful. >> anyamanuel, thank you for
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being on. senator jeff flake joins us next hour, plus, conservative senator mike lee weighs in and the state of the republican party under m writing in, talking about the greatest pitching performance in postseason. you have to talk about '91. >> we'll be right back.
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dismissive of the atlanta braves pitching in the 1990s. it was extraordinary. i watched baseball to watch the braves pitch. >> best pitching staff ever. >> delivered one of the great performances. smoltz was extraordinary, glavin and adding maddox was unbelievable. '91 series remains, i think, the greatest world series in my lifetime. as far as pitching performances go, i remember in 2007, the red sox went down 3-1 against the
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indi indians in the alcs. i remember joe being upset. i said don't worry. it's going to game seven. how do you know that? because josh beckett will win game five. did he. curt schilling will win game six. it's all down to game seven. you don't even have to watch the next two games. we're getting to game seven and sure enough. >> well, you had pedro martinez coming out of the bullpen in the alcs and shutting them down. amazing performances have been amazing. '68 detroit tigers. >> wins game one, five and seven. not one, four and seven. and hits a home run. they beat the cardinals. they were down 3-1. came back and won 4-36789. >> don larson was pretty good in 1956. perfect game against the
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dodgers. >> that wasn't bad. >> koufax in '65 and 2001, randy johnson was untouchable in that series. >> in your lifetime of watching baseball, mike, have there been any pitchers more dominant than koufax in the early to mid '60s and gibson in the late 60s? >> pedro martinez in '98 and '99 was the most dominant. >> who was that? alex was saying we have to go to break. >> pedro martinez in '98 and '99. >> and maddox. braves pitching staff. >> so fun to watch, too. >> i'm going to throw it right there. and he did. coming up, rnc wants you to know that hillary clinton's campaign and the dnc helped to fund that trump dossier. never mind who got it going in the first place. they sent out a statement and overlooked the fact that the republicans funded it first. jeff flake joins us live.
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complicit or silent. >> the man of the moment, senator jeff flake, will join us live in a few moments. welcome back to "morning joe." it is wednesday, october 25th. with us, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle, white house correspondent and host of raise d.c., kasie hunt, joins us. somebody do it like -- >> kcdc in the morning. >> that's much better. thank you. the show is so good. you do such a great job. and the title, we love it. >> sundays, 7:00 to 9:00. >> and also joining the conversation, crowd republican and communication director for ted cruz's 2016 campaign, now msnbc political contributor, rick tyler and writer for the playbook, jake thurman.
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>> maybe we can have a light breeze, waves breaking on shore. okay. so, willie, quickly -- >> proud republican. >> you're a republican. >> that would be a niche. i'm not sure i can occupy it. >> i was a republican. jeff flake, 96% acu rating. not sufficiently conservative to be a republican anymore. i've had jackals running around -- this is new. i've had jackals running around saying i wasn't significantly conservative. really haven't changed my positions. what's going on with this party? >> i don't know. if you're upset with your member, you don't agree with them and need to agree with them 100% of the time, you should run. maybe can you get somewhere. this party is becoming untethered from its morings, right? like a boat moring has a
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foundation. people can disagree a little bit among different principles. >> sure. >> but basically they have a north star of a guiding post to where they're going. i've just been surprised to the degree -- and i said it all through the primary, that donald trump has no ideological moaring. he doesn't have any guiding principles. you never know what he's going to do. we shouldn't be surprised by it. >> i don't want to put you on the spot but i'm going to put you on the spot. ted cruz has been saying everything during the campaign that we've been saying. he's not a conservative, he never will be a conservative. birtherism in 2007, gave to chuck schumer in 2010, hundreds of thousands to the dnc. >> among others. said hillary clinton was great president, would make a great president. >> don't we need ted cruz to say that now?
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the only people who are saying that, and then they go, okay i quit. no. i need people that are there to say -- i commend jeff flake, bob corker. >> i agree. >> stay in the fight. i need somebody to say that and stay in the piet. >> in real time. >> people need to speak out against donald trump. >> what does that require? >> what do you mean? >> courage. >> well, it does. >> leadership. everything you were sent there to do. >> you have to think about -- one thing i keep thinking about through all of this -- we've gone through a civil war, two world wars, korea, vietnam, watergate. >> great depression, recessions. >> the country will survive this, too. so it's a real -- it's a great test to our constitution. our government is supposed to work when we have governing majorities where the people support what the government is doing. it's not working precisely for the reason that we don't. >> so, somebody made a great
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point several months ago that jeff flake seemed to make yesterday, kasie hunt. and that is -- i mean, i remember during impeachment people were going, this is -- no, the constitution actually planned this. so we've got a game plan for impeachment. relax. and everything worked out, whether it was a horrific mistake or not to impeach president clinton, it worked out. the constitution of the united states and our founders, hamilton and madison, especially, they anticipated a tyrr tyrannical president. what jeff flake pointed out, they did not anticipate an
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obseqiobse obsequious congress in the face of a tyrannical president. what the obsequious, what the timid say privately every day. >> that's what john mccain said in a floor speech where he said we have to be the strong co-equal nonsubordinate branch of government. i will say, joe, that the founders also talked about at the very beginning of our country is the potential danger of political parties and the way that that would potentially screw up the system that they were so very carefully planning. and one of the things you're seeing -- we're talking about the republicans for good reason and the splintering of the party that is taking place kind of before our very eyes. but do you know what? a rejection is happening on the
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left as well. bernie sanders almost beat hillary clinton in a primary without actually being a democrat. and, to a certain extent, being affiliated with a party is causing voters to be incredibly angry. that's what they're mad at mitch mcconnell about. this is a guy -- mitch mcconnell has become the major boogie man in a lot of these states and that's making governing completely impossible. i also think you're right about the cult of personality. this is not an issue of policy. if donald trump cares about his policy agenda, this is not the way to get it through. to fight with bob corker this way, to, you know, say things about people like jeff flake. jeff flake was going to vote for his policy agenda. but now he's empowered and, frankly, john mccain, jeff flake, bob corker, they don't have anything to lose. they could run the senate if they wanted to. >> there's your majority right there, those three. so, willie, following up on what kasie said, when i switched from being a republican to an
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independent, i learn eed -- sho to me -- that my hometown, a very republican town, now is a third undeclared. i think it's like a third republican, a third undeclared and a third democratic. and that's happening more and more. more and more people are walking away from political party. >> and that's happening before trump. >> before trump. >> yeah. we would lead you to believe after trump that would be more enhanced, people walking away from parties that don't feel represent who they are and they're not going to vote down the line for a party but the things they believe in, the people they believe in. i'll ask you, jake. up on capitol hill i heard privately some applause from members of the senate but also some people saying it must be nice to find courage on your way out the door, talking about jeff flake and bob corker. when you don't have to run you don't have to be afraid. you can say whatever you want.
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will jeff flake, bob corker and john mccain end up being outliers as critics of president trump? >> there are two ways to look at it. mike drop moment that breaks the ice. count me as a skeptic. we've been thinking that's been coming the last couple of years. the other line of thinking -- you see this with mitch mcconnell and paul ryan yesterday. i asked paul ryan at his press conference. before flake and when the president was warring with corker, you know, you told us you were going to be the sober kind of even-handed leaders of a unified government when you were trying to convince voters to vote for you. now we have the president at war with a republican senator on twitter and mitch mcconnell was asked something similar at his press conference and he said we're about tax cuts. ignore what's going on on twitter. that's kind of the view that a lot of people take. i want to note how stunning this is. i covered jeff flake in the house. he was the tea party before the tea party was a party.
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>> oh, my god, yeah. >> this isn't an overstatement. jeff flake was single handedly responsible for getting earmarks out of congress. he fought that fight. the leaders hated him. so to say -- for him to say to the arizona republic it's basically unconscionable what i would have to do to win re-election in arizona and with a good conscience, i can't do that. i don't think people realize how important of a statement that is for a senator like flake, who has been in congress since 2001 to make. very conservative guy. >> here is the white house response to that as well as to bob corker's opposition. take a look. >> does the president believe there should be a loyalty test for republican senators? does he demand -- you mentioned several times -- >> their loyalty should be to the american people and the agenda that those people elected them to carry out. >> i think that is where their loyalty lies.
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>> i hope we see that in their vote. i would have to look into their voting records. i haven't spoken with him directly since the announcement by senator flake, but i think that based on previous statements and certainly based on the lack of support that he has from the people of arizona, it's probably a good move. >> the people of this country didn't elect somebody to be weak. they elected somebody to be strong. and when he gets hit, he's going to hit back. >> we've heard enough. >> stop that. stop that. stop that. >> here is the thing, joe. i'm curious, everyone is talking about flake and corker. oh, my gosh, can you believe the bravery? what do you tell your children when someone is lying or someone is maligning people? what if your children did that? what would you say to them? why is it -- we're really in a bad place if the president of the united states is allowed to
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act so erratically and it is a big story when somebody stands up to common decency. >> and so what was your take on sarah huckabee sanders? >> she didn't have any real ideological response as to why the president was opposed to -- she couldn't point to a single vote -- in other words the president's whole job is to get a legislative agenda passed. executive orders are fine but as we can see, they've been undone. to leave a legacy, to get real change, it has to be legislation. >> here is the thing. >> she couldn't point to a single vote. >> they can never name a single vote. they never can. >> it's all personality. >> let's say you're a rhino. name a single thing i'm a liberal on. they can't name a single thing. jeff flake is going through it now. i've gone through it 15, 20 years. they can't name a single thing. it's not about votes. it's not about ideology.
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it's about a personality cult. and it's about the worshipping of power. there were so many small government republicans when george w. bush was running up. >> you need to explain that, what a small government republican is. >> a small government republican -- >> i don't know that your viewers will know anymore. >> a small government conservative gets concerned when a republican or a democrat, for instance, expands medicare part d and you have a $7 trillion unfunded mandate. do you remember when that happened? >> i do. >> those of us who complained about that were called rhinos. those of us who complained about george w. bush and republican congress taking a $175 surplus and turn it into a deficit were called rhinos for attacking george w. bush. but if you put us in power again -- we know we lost our minds then. but next time we won't worship power. we won't worship the man at the white house.
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we won't worship abilities to go into the white house and shake hands with the president. this time we'll be real conservatives. and it's even worse. you've got a guy that has a 96% conservative rating, that sarah huckabee sanders can't point to a single vote that he has made that is not conservative. he's leaving washington and republicans are cheering because he's not sufficiently conservative. he doesn't bow to the knees of a guy that gave money to chuck schumer. >> who is a democrat. >> just the last time -- who has been a lifetime democrat. >> and trump has now put at risk tax reform. every republican agrees if you don't get some kind of tax bill passed by 2018, what are these members going to run on? he has marginalized, as we said, three senators, mccain, corker and flake, who will all be senators until january of 2019. >> all right. let's go republican senator jeff flake, the man we've been
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talking about, of arizona right now. you know, jeff, you were the tea party before the tea party. i was, in '95, also with a group of people that were the tea party before the tea party came into existence. how bizarre is it that in 2017 a guy like you that was loathed by leadership because you were such a pain in the ass when it came to small government now suddenly you're a part of washington, you're a part of the establishment. you are not sufficiently conservative? >> i'm not sure when that transformation happened but all of a sudden, yeah. i'm a rhino, republican in name only. republicans have changed quite a bit, that's all i can say. >> sarah huckabee sanders couldn't name a single vote that would make you insufficiently conservative. your rating is 96%.
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tell me, when did the breakdown between the white house and you start in earnest? >> well, during the campaign. the president, the first statement he made when he ran, one of the first ones, talked about mexican migrants as being rapists and then went on to talk about john mccain, how he couldn't be respected. and i spoke out then. and then the judge born in indiana with mexican heritage, that he couldn't judge fairly because of that heritage. those things, i spoke out on. and i keep asking myself and those who don't like it, at which point should i not have spoken out? i didn't get off on the right foot, i guess, with the administration back in the campaign. but that's completely different from policy. the problem is, it seems now to be conservative you have to be angry. and it's a different type of
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politics than we're used to, you and me. >> senator flake, it's willie geist. good to see you this morning. even among the many people who applauded your speech yesterday there are those who said why is he leaving then? if he feel this is way, we need him in the fight. talk, if you will, about the consideration not to seek re-election. many people wish you would stay there and push back against president trump from washington and not from the outside. >> the bottom line is that if i were to run a campaign that i can could be proud of and where i didn't have to cozy up to the president and his positions or his behavior, i could not win in a republican primary. that's the bottom line. it's not that you just have to meet with the president on policy. you can't question his behavior and still be a republican in good standing, apparently, in a republican primary. so, you know, in poll after poll, you'll see that majority of republican primary voters --
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that's kind of a subset of a subset -- are firmly behind the president's policies. not only that, if you ask them as a whole what their most important policy item is, it's are you standing with the president? and they take any criticism of the president as somehow something that's not conservative. and that's what's got to change. it really does. and i hope to be able to in the next 14 months speak out continually. i hope my colleagues do as well. we're entering a time we're normalalizing bafr we shouldn't normalalize. >> do you think that's unique to arizona? >> no, it's not. >> that you can't go out, be who you are, a principle conservative, offer your ideas on policy but say i disagree with president trump on a, b, and c. it's not good enough to be a principle conservative anymore?
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>> i think it may be more pronounced in arizona but it's not unique. my colleagues are finding that as well. it's really changed, the type of politics that we are expected to engage in. >> yeah. not even sure we would call it politics. normalizing behavior we shouldn't be normalizing. last week, we had a senator on, talking about health care. i couldn't get a straight answer and i said has the president ever lied? he said the president doesn't lie, that the president speaks in hyperbole. is that what you mean by normalizing behavior that we shouldn't be normalizing? >> i think so. i said in the speech last night
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that we are excusing undignified, outrageous, reckless speech and behavior as telling it like it is. you know, the president is not politically correct. that's not right. i think we ought to say this is speech that is reckless and it's undignified. and until we do, we are complicit in normalizing that kind of behavior. >> senator, yesterday you said why didn't you do something? why didn't you speak up, in reference to this point in time politically. your colleagues, it's very rare to hear any of your colleagues, other than senator corker this week, senator mccain, speak up. is it fear? is it cowardice? is it ambition? do you know what it is? why so silent in the republican majority in the senate? >> well, a lot of it -- there
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was a joke that paul ryan made in the speech, i think, at the dinner last week that he has to wake up and read tweets and see which ones he has to deny he saw. and there is some fatigue about it as well. there's so much coming out, you can't respond to everything. and i understand that. but on the whole, we can't continue to just remain silent when the president keeps go iin on like this. there is a fatigue about it. there really is. there's just so much. you can't respond to everything. but on the important things we need to stand up. >> kasie? >> kasie hunt, senator flake. nice so see you this morning. there are many people who are supportive of you that i have heard from but who also have something of a critical question or statement. they're saying actions speak louder than words.
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what do you do now to actually make a change in the leadership? what do you do behind the scenes in the senate? what can you do in politics going forward? >> certainly if the president carries forward on some of the threats that he has made -- for example, on the first amendment, to go after, you know, news organizations, pull their license when he doesn't like the news that they're providing, if there are things on the policy front, boy, we better stand up on that. and i'm confident that we will. it's more on normalizing the behavior side that i think we have fallen down on as a whole. so i hope that we speak out and just say, this is undignified. this is beneath the office of the president. we've got to stand up. bob corker has been concerned about our foreign policy. we've got to have foreign policy that's predictable and sober and consistent, particularly at this
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time, with north korea and the situations we've facing worldwide. these things matter. they matter a great deal. that's why bob is so concerned and i share these concerns. >> senator jeff flake, thank you for being on the show this morning. >> thanks for having me. >> thank you so much. politico's jake sherman, last word to you. what do you think? >> i think it's going to be a big problem for president trump. he has three people, like kasie said, completely stripped of any immediate political consideration, a huge tax bill that's unpaid for. a lot of items that the president wants to get through that are not part of traditional conservative orthodox, and people like flake, corker and mccain could stop that. we'll see if they do. >> i think there was a poll out yesterday that showed the tax plan only has a 28% approval rating. if that, in fact, is the case, you name three, bob corker, john mccain, jeff flake. then add lisa murkowski, susan
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collins. are they really going to want to vote for a tax bill that has a 28% approval rating? and, as bob corker said even before he and trmp started going after each other as aggressively as they did, bob corker said it blows a hole in the deficit. >> the people i talk to behind the scenes don't understand why markets and political pundits across the spectrum think this is a done deal. tax reform is not a done deal. there's murkowski, collins. concerns from people like portman. there's a whole host of concerns. and then you have the house, which is on a completely -- not a completely different page, reading a different book than the senate, in many cases. in republican leadership i'm probably getting text messages that i'm being too negative. this isn't negativity. this is reality. you have members of congress who are literally afraid that the president could undermine everything they're doing with one tweet because of something
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he sees on capabble news. this is not something i'm making up. >> real. >> this is actual fear that members are talking about every day if you go up to capital hill. >> he did it a couple of days ago. >> did it yesterday. >> people trying to figure out about changing the rules for 401(k)s. donald trump tweets something out. okay. let's mark that one off our list. >> it's unhinged. it's really unhinged behavior. i can't think of a ceo or a business owner that would get by -- small business owner that would get by behaving this way. >> no. >> it's extremely unhinged. >> yes, it is. >> jake sherman, thank you very much. kasie hunt, kacie d.c., thank you. >> kacie d.c. >> look. >> there gu. >> slow roll but okay. we'll make it more dramatic and violent. i like it. >> "thunderstruck."
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>> love it. thank you, kacie. coming up -- is it still on? >> yeah. we're playing it to break. you play it to break. you got kacie walking out of the arena. you put a cape on her, okay? >> all right. i'm sorry. monster truck rally. >> here we go. >> thank you. and now she's going to start throwing stuff around. >> she will trash the studio. coming up, new probes linked to hillary clinton. investigation of an investigation. the top democrat on the house oversight committee, elijah cummings, weighs in on "morning joe." another day of work. why do you do it? it's not just a pay check, you actually like what you do. even love it. and today, you can do things you never could before. ♪ ♪ you're developing ai applications on the cloud. finding insights hidden in decades of medical documents.
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i'm just wondering, mika, president trump is tweeting
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about jeff flake one minute after he's off the air. >> what a -- part of the research that eventually led to the dossier leading to allegations against then candidate donald trump and his ties to rug russia. service began in april last year and concluded before the november election. the washington post was first to report this story. of course, "the post" said the fusion's research was first funded by republicans, unknown republican client during the gop primary was trying to get information on donald trump and after donald trump won the republican primary, then democrats picked up on the republican research and moved forward. the rnc, of course, was quick to publicize the article. but it's interesting. they left -- willie, they left out a line. would you like to guess what line the rnc left out? >> that they initiated the research? >> yes, that this was a
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republican project, that republicans initiated, that republicans funded, that republicans kept going until he won the republican primary. >> what does he win for that correct answer? >> president trump has strongly denied allegations in the dossier that his campaign colluded with russia and other s salacious allegations against him. some of those have been debunked. >> but some of the claims in the dossier have also been proven. >> that's right. not everything in it has been debunked. some of it has been proven and we know that they're still looking at elements of the dossier. it's not completely history. >> no. >> and the president just tweeted, clinton campaign and dnc paid for research that led to ant tie trump fake news dossier. >> actually, that's false. what led to it was republican -- that led to it because the republicans actually started it.
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this was the republicans, and an unknown republican fund this had dossier. after donald trump won the nomination, democrats picked it up. looks like washington finally did something in a bipartisan way. congratulations, d.c. >> all right. joining us now, democratic congressman and ranking member of the house oversight committee elijah cummings and national political reporter for nbc news, carol lee. >> carol lee, the dossier, first of all, still being investigated by mueller, the fbi and others. this dossier that the republicans started. >> right. we know that mueller has talked to steele, author of the doss r dossier, and it's still very much in the mix of this investigation. i think what this story is going to do is -- and we've seen a little bit of this from the press secretary -- is fuel donald trump's allegations that
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the fbi -- because the story also says the fbi then took -- hired steele to continue the research on the dossier. for donald trump this will confirm his allegation allegations that the fbi, clint campaign and democrats colluded on this dossier and his supporters will believe that, too. >> of course, that's a lie. it started with the republicans. does anybody know what republican campaign? have we confirmed what republican campaign funded this? >> no. and that is something that i know reporters all across washington have been looking at since this first came up. who was the original public client? one of the reasons this isn't going to end -- if you look at the house republicans have subpoenaed fusion gps' financial records to try to determine who the clients were on this dossier. and that is tied up in court but is supposed to be resolved in coming days. >> one thing to look at, though, is that the attorney that was
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representing the clinton campaign and the dnc denied to reporters, as you know, carol, repeatedly, that they have anything to do with this dossier, which does raise questions. what concerns do you have about this latest reporting that the republican party initiated but that the clinton campaign and dnc pick ed up on this information with an intel firm that reached tout a british intelligence officer to dig dirt on president trump? >> i've got to tell you, it -- you know, all of this, to me, is unfortunately a distraction from the things that we need to be doing. and i've not spent a lot of time concentrating on those kinds of issues. i'm concentrating more on things like drugs and trying to make sure that drugs are priced properly. but certainly all of this concerns me. but i think the american people need to understand the whole roll that russia is now playing
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in our elections and will continue to play. and they need to keep in mind that the highest ranking law enforcement person in the country has said basically -- and that is attorney general sessions, that there is no investigation from his office's standpoint. we have got a lot of distracting going on here. and i warn the american people -- i'm saying it very clearly. they need to listen to corker. they need to listen to flake and listen very carefully because they are basically telling what they see and what they believe. >> also yesterday, congressman, house republicans launched two new investigations involving -- breitbart and fox news suggests that money was being funneled to the clintons while the u.s. was deciding whether to allow a russian firm to buy control of
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american uranium facilities t gets murky because the company selling the facilities donated millions to clintons. >> is this a canadian that he was so close to? someone he was completely tied up with? >> yes and there's no evidence that hillary clinton played a role in the state department there. trying to scheme its way into the u.s. energy business. back in march the president tweeted asking why the intel committee wasn't looking into the deal. and now it is. >> this is just the beginning of this probe. we are not going to jump to any conclusions that the time. but one of the things, as you know, that we're concerned about is whether or not there was an fbi investigation, was there a doj investigation and, if so,
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why was congress not informed of this matter? >> house oversight and judiciary committees have launched a joint effort to investigate the clinton e-mail investigation, including the fbi's decision not to bring charges. congressman cummings, do you share chairman nunez's concerns about this uranium story? >> we all have to -- i think it's no problem in looking into it. but, again, i emphasize, ladies and gentlemen, you know -- i mean, it's coming over like a bulletin. please, understand, our electoral system is under attack. >> right. >> now we're going back to -- wait a minute. hold on. we're going back to hillary clinton. again, i believe this is a distraction. they can put that on the back burner for a moment. we've got elections coming up. we've got the american people wanting their business to be done and we can't even basically get any real investigation into
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how to prevent this electoral interference from russia and putin from happening again. >> but, elijah. >> come on now. >> can't we do two things at once? >> yeah but -- >> hold on. the country trying to steal our election this past year also appears to be the country, even "the new york times" reported in 2015, that we were going to sell u.s. uranium production facilities to a russian firm? that doesn't make sense, does it? >> doesn't make sense. like i said, joe, it's fine to look into things but at the same time, i think you have to prioritize what you're looking into. you said can't we do more than one thing at one time? i agree. we can. but the fact is that on this -- with the area of interference with our elections basically we're doing nothing. it's not two things at one time.
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and there's something wrong with that picture. i don't care how you look at it. this is -- there has been a constant attack on our democracy. wave got to get it through our heads. and i think some of the things that are happening now are basically unpatriotic, and taking our democracy apart. that's real. >> congressman, can we return to reality for a second and talk about opioids and prescription drug prices and the fact that hundreds of americans -- >> so many americans are dying every day from opioids. >> yes. >> yes. >> what do we do about that? what can congress do about that, about prescription drug prices, about the fact that some opioids are cheaper as a result of drug companies lowering the price on the cheapest of opioids, and much more available. >> first of all, the president has a commission which is headed up by chris christie. and i've got to say much of their report, i agree with.
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one of the things they said is this should be declared a national emergency. the president has said that tomorrow he will declare it a national emergency. but that's not going to be enough, just to say some words and have a press conference. a drug called nalaxone, that can reverse an opioid overdose, needs to -- first responders wanted to have it so they could save lives, they jacked the price up, big time. one of the things that they can do is bring the price down and save some lives. another thing that we've got to do is we've got to make sure that we fund mental health at the same time that we fund drug
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addiction. drug addiction and mental health goes hand in hand. a lot of times it doesn't get the parody that the physical health issues enjoy. so we've got a lot of things to do. it will be interesting to see what the president comes up with tomorrow. as far as drug prices are concerned, bernie sanders, congressman dogget and i will be introducing legislation to make sure that hhs can negotiate medicare drug prices with the pharmaceuticals. that will bring prices down substantially. >> congressman elijah cummings, thank you very much. good to see you here. >> good to see you. carol, do you know anything about this uranium story? canadian firm wanted to sell a u.s. uranium production
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facilities to a russian firm. because it's extraordinary, it has to get a sign off from the state department. >> national security. >> national security review, et cetera, et cetera. canadians that were doing this gave $2 million to the clinton foundation. a russian bank paid $500,000 for bill clinton to come over and give a 30-minute speech, do whatever, take a couple of pictures. now maybe some people say this is approved below cabinet agency. i don't know. that does seem like something -- i've been saying all morning, hillary clinton is not running anymore. but this actually looks like something that congress might want to look into. right? >> even elijah cummings didn't dismiss that idea, saying it was worthy of looking into. this sort of thing typically wouldn't go to cabinet secretary level. so there's no evidence that hillary clinton actually was in the mix in terms of making this
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type of decision. but, you know, the question of whether the fbi looked into this and, if so, didn't tell congress about it, you know, is a real one and worth asking. you know, it looks like we have not confirmed this. the fbi looked into this. and whether that was significant or not is another thing. fbi looks into things all the time. it doesn't necessarily mean it rises to a significant level. >> you can figure out pretty quickly who signed off on this, whether it got up to hillary clinton or one of her people or not. that could be a pretty short investigation. >> and that's probably what they'll do. andrew mitchell will be joining the table when "morning joe" returns. paying less for my medicare? i'm open to that. lower premiums? extra benefits? it's open enrollment.
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shouldn't we get our phones and internet from the same company? that's why xfinity mobile comes with your internet. you get up to 5 lines of talk and text at no extra cost. so all you pay for is data. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit, or go to xfinitymobile.com. with us now, host of "andrea mitchell reports," an treea mitchell. you went down to cuba,ed with officials about the sonic attacks against u.s. officials. what did you learn? >> well, what we learned is that it is still a mystery. they say they have really pored 2,000 people into it, scientists, mathematicians, doctors, that they can't figure it out. they're asking why won't the u.s. share medical records with no names so their doctors can
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talk to the physicians in miami and elsewhere who treated these 24 diplomats who had a variety of ailments, some minor, some hearing problems, minor hearing problems that went away, some profound. >> we originally had seen news reports originally pin it directly on cuban officials, the cuban government. we backed off that a bit. >> quite a bit. >> what is the u.s. government's position right now on this? are they willing to say that the cuban government was not involved? >> what they're saying, what general kelly said last week in the briefing, what officials are saying at the state department is that cuba should be able to prevent this or solve it, given their form of government, given the power of their security forces. what cuba is saying is that they just don't understand it. and we talked to medical experts here. we talked to physicists yesterday who say that there is no sonic weapon that exists that could do what has been described. yes, israel has something called the scream, an enormous thing
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that's carried around on a pickup truck and that with 80 decibels plus will cause damage this is an allegedly covert, silent zzzzz kind of gra grasshopper sound. it wouldn't penetrate the body. nobody can figure it out. they checked toxins, poisons. i asked them, are there hardliners in your government who believe raul went too far with obama in the opening and therefore they're trying to sabotage the relationship? which clearly has been sabotaged. it's tattered right now. they say, no, no, we're monolithic. that's probably not true. but the bottom line was when i asked them, could it be another government, could it be russia who when they saw this relationship between russia and
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cuba with trump selection could be undercut? and they said, we haven't ruled anything out. >> let's talk about the other big msnbc report this morning. there may be talks in north korea. tell us about that. >> that's the most important development we've seen on the north korean front. joseph yun who tried to get others out and succeeded only after warmbier was on death's door. he tried to completely cut something off with the president's tweets saying, rex, you're wasting your time. mattis is the only one with any credibility that's not been undercut by the president saying, we have to have a diplomatic solution. yes, the military option, but i think after the u.n. speech by president trump, rocket man, all the slurs, they have to save face. that's the first time we saw any north korean leader in three generations since the creation of this hideous state go on television and personally attack
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the u.s. they've always done it through -- i call it the lady in pir pink who shows up in the dress, the propaganda lady on north korean tv. but that's the bottom line. we have so ramped it up with the threats and the insults that there is no diplomatic option right now. >> so carol, what is the state of diplomacy right now? because we've always heard it has to go through china, china has to be a willing partner. direct negotiations with north korea are not the solution. maybe part of the solution but not the final solution to this problem. what's going on right now in the talks with china? >> well, china still has not come to -- gotten to the place where this administration would like them to be. the president is going to visit china soon and so there will be a push there once again. the thing that's so interesting about this story on north korea by our colleagues is that it shows, a, that the president's
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tweets are having an actual tangible impact, that it's not just this war of words. and then it shows for all the talk of secretary tillerson and secretary mattis and john kelly, the chief of staff, being this sort of stabilizing force on the president, this diplomat decided he needed to go to congress and sound these alarms and get them to intervene. clearly he wasn't getting the effect that he felt like he needed from within the administration, so that kind of takes things to another level. it also gives us an indication of why senator corker initiated this latest round of a spat with the president. >> andrea, i'm curious. looking back, have you ever seen anything like this flake attacking a sitting president of his own party on the floor of the united states senate? >> i haven't. joe, you looking back, i have never seen anything quite like this with a conservative, true
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conservative, jeff flake is not some wild-eyed liberal or -- for him to do this, he has been very active on a diplomatic engagement with cuba. i was down there with him. he is one of many republicans. there are many from the midwest, the grain states, who have interest, but jeff flake as a matter of foreign policy thought it made no sense. the real concern, by the way, is also in congress. they've had briefings and i've been told they've had classified briefings in the last few weeks, and the fbi was in havana just last week. classified briefings saying cuba was not responsible. the question now is how political is this becoming? because the decision by the state department to withdraw entirely from cuba, that's a little bit more understandable when we didn't know what it was. but to kick the cubans out and basically shut down their
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embassy, they've got three or four people still there. so relations are really being tattered and there is a fear that cuba will now be put back on tert ror lihe terror list. north korea is not on the terror list. so flake is worried about this. north korea as well. >> so the thought that russia may have done this to get between cuba and the united states if that's, in fact, what happened, well, they got exactly what they wanted. andrea mitchell, thank you so much. >> thank you, joe. >> we'll be watching you this morning on msnbc. carol lee, thank you. carol said she she could talk about the philadelphia eagles. coming up, they wanted to talk about tax reform but they
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couldn't shake the president attacking members of the republican party. senator mike lee is here. we want to know if his legs are tired from all the talks. "morning joe" coming right back. [bell rings] every year we take a girl's trip. remember nashville? kimchi bbq. amazing honky tonk? i can't believe you got us tickets. i did. i didn't pay for anything.
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introducing xfinity mobile. you only pay for data and can easily switch between pay per gig and unlimited. no one else lets you do that. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit or go to xfinitymobile.com. it's a sad place from my perspective for our nation, and i think the worst of it is going to be just pulling the basing, if you will, over our nation. i think that will be the contribution that hurts our nation most. >> do you think our president is debasing the nation? >> i don't think there's any question. >> it is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end. it is often said that children are watching. well, they are. and what are we going to do
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about that? when the next generation asks us, why didn't you do something? why didn't you speak up? what are we going to say? mr. president, i rise today to say, enough. >> two top republicans yesterday calling on their colleagues to take a hard look in the mirror. good morning, everyone. it's wednesday, october 25th. welcome to "morning joe." with us we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mark barnacle, nbc reporter and host of "kcdc," kasie hunt. >> what a day yesterday. you had so many things going on. the president going to capitol hill. we should probably start with kacie because what a day to be a capitol reporter, kacie. you have a day with the
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president coming up on the hill. bob corker, as willie and mike and i were just saying, bob came in hot yesterday. >> that's an understatement. >> and then jeff flake delivered his speech on the senate floor that you said and many others said people would be remembering years from now. >> i think that's right, joe. i mean, look, this was a day -- my head was spinning by the end of the day because where we started all the way through to bob corker, the president had just left capitol hill, and suddenly i was listening in my ear to what we had playing, and the words that jeff flake had for the president were incredibly serious, incredibly an attempt to put this in historical perspective and give voice to his frustration and, you know, what he was seeing around him. this is a guy who is incredibly well liked, well respected,
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incredibly conservative, somebody with one of the most conservative voting records but who had earned the respect of his democratic colleagues, was a member of the gang of 8, took political risks on immigration. and i think that the senators in both parties that i talked to yesterday came away with a real sense of loss around this retirement. >> far beyond a rebuke. >> far beyond a rebuke. and this shows the insanity that has overtaken the republican party. i always -- >> and the white house. >> i always say i've got a 95% conservative rating and i've hardly changed positions. jeff flake, who is supposed to be this big liberal, like some goons at fox news, i won't mention names. jeff flake has a 96% lifetime conservative rating. he is the conservative of conservatives. he is the champion, and has been his entire life, of small government, of free trade. i mean, so when jeff flake
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becomes, mike, too liberal for your party, your party is headed towards the tarpits. which is exactly what's happening here and we haven't even talked about bob corker. >> you know, joe, it's hard to measure moments like this in terms of history because history is such a long haul. but it's not hard to measure this moment in terms of what is going on right now within the republican party. this is a slow slide of principal conservatism among republicans that has baeen an honorable part of your party for many years. a slow slide of conservatism into something that resembles a dumpster fire. what people like bannon are doing within the republican party, the lack of cohesion, the lack of a voice within the republican party other than people like jeff flake and bob corker. it's truly an astounding moment politically. >> to your point, joe, you have pro-trump conservatives
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defending new york democrat donald trump against 96% approval rating conservative jeff flake. things are turned upside down. >> he's been a conservative, by the way, his whole life. he had a 96% conservative rating when donald trump was giving money to chuck schumer and nancy pelosi and giving $100,000 a year to the dnc and supporting pro-life candidates and pro-gun candidates, jeff flake and bob corker have always been consistent. >> the last eight or nine days, especially, if you start with john mccain's speech in philadelphia and go forward -- i'm only talking about republicans. this doesn't include barack obama and joe biden. >> president bush's speech. >> right, you go from president bush, jeff flake, bob corker yesterday, these are republicans that feel the need to come out
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and reaffirm american values, to say what's happening right now is not who we are. are we seeing something like this nine months into the presidency where members of his own party are coming out about his presidency. >> it's political suicide. it's the coming end of the republican party where you are losing guys who are temperamentally moderate, who have 96% conservative ratings and can win states like arizona, which is shifting. and they can be replaced by conspiracy theorists who are going to get blown away at the polls. you've got steve bannon getting people who have been convicted of crimes, served time in jail, as hissal alternate ti alaltern. this is an act of annihilism, and what happens to the republicans that remain there? did they really give donald
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trump a standing ovation after saying he was a threat to the constitution every day behind the scenes? as jeff flake said yesterday, the poll line yesterday, which we're going to play a lot of it, this is not normal. >> well, and that's the point i wanted to make. exactly that. you talk about the threat to conservatism, the threat to the republican party and what damage republicans are doing to themselves. what jeff flake is talking about, what he's pointing to is a bigger problem, that these are truly dangerous times, and that beer living in an age right now where things are beginning to slip away if we don't stand up for what is right. >> are bob corker and jeff flake, are they the san andreas fault line of a major political party, an historic moment? are they the fault line? are there going to be more senators to come? as jeff flake said yesterday on the floor of the senate, who
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else is there? why didn't you do something? why didn't you speak up? >> why? so here is republican senator jeff flake of arizona's speech on the senate floor yesterday after he announced he will retire rather than seek reelection. >> i rise today with no small measure of regret. regret because of the state of our disunion. regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics. regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership. we must never repress to the coarseness of our dialogue with the tone set at the top. the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms and institution. the flagrant disregard for truth and decency. the reckless provocations most often for the pettiest and most
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personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have been elected to serve. none of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal. we must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that that is just the way things are now. it is also clear to me for the moment that we have given in or given up on the core principles in favor of a more viscerally satisfied anger and resentment. to be clear, the anger and resentment that the people feel at the royal mess that we've created are justified, but anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy. without fear of the consequences and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe or palatable, we must stop pretending that the degradation
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of our politics and actions of some in our executive branch are normal. they are not normal. reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as telling it like it is when it is actually just reckless, outrageous and undignified. and when such behavior emanates from the top muof our governmen it is something else. it is dangerous to a democracy. i am aware that there is a segment of my party that believes that anything short of complete and unquestioning loyalty to a president who belongs to my party is unacceptable and suspect. if i have been critical, it is not because i relish criticizing the behavior of the president of the united states. if i have been critical, it is because i believe it is my obligation to do so. >> and senator flake will be joining us later on in the show.
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>> you know, jeff flake talking about, again, this lifetime conservative who has dedicated his adult life to conservatism, conservatism the way ronald reagan saw it, conservatism the way barry goldwater saw it, the way william buckley saw it, the way russell kirk saw it. a conservative's conservative by any stretch of the imagination, a guy, willie, who actually was seen by some as being a troublemaker because he was too conservative. he was too unyielding when it came to cutting spending. i remember he sort of had a reputation in the house as being too far out there, too right wing. and he's having to splacexplain his constituents that when he goes against donald trump, it's for, you know, reasons that have
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to do with protecting his beliefs, his conservative beliefs he's held his entire lifetime that donald trump hasn't held even in the five years he's been a republican. but this personality cult, you can really see it in this story with jeff flake. because here you have a guy that people knew. and they knew him forever, and they knew he was conservative, and he's got a 96% lifetime conservative rating. but donald trump, as we have been saying around this table for two years, since he went down the escalators, he's not a conservative. and yet there is this personality cult that trump is trying to inspire and that he does in part by lying every day and convincing people that lies are the truth, and we just showed some of it yesterday. i could pick out five things he
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said yesterday -- >> yhe stopped it yesterday and said, this is just a lie. he tweeted. >> it has nothing to do with conservatism, it has nothing to do with idealogy, it has nothing to do with good policy, it has absolutely nothing to do with the constitution of the united states, and it is bringing this party to its knees and will cause its destruction soon. >> and if you ask over and over again, for what exactly? what's the cost of doing what jeff flake did yesterday? but we saw the cult personality immediately after jeff flake's speech yesterday, conservatives coming out and saying, it's easy for this guy to do this, he had an 18% approval rating at home, he was going to lose the race. so he saw the writing on the wall and said, i'm going to get out now before i lose. that's not fair. he's been going after trump
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since the campaign. there is a reflex right now among high-ranking republicans. they still believe they need to work with donald trump to get tax reform. if they want to get an agenda through, they believe they still need the president so they're going to stick it aside. >> why can't you work with someone and also stick to what's right and tell them what's wrong? when did a relationship become a one-way street? why is working with donald trump, having to declare some sort of loyalty oelath, and literally throw your entire self-respect down the toilet in order to work with him? i've never seen a relationship like that that seems healthy, ever. >> i've never seen such cowardice among the leaders of the republican party, and it is cowardice. they believe if they cross donald trump he may tweet something bad. you've got some of the most powerful people in america afraid to stand up to the
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obscene behavior of donald trump. his threats, full frontal threats against the constitution of the united states because they are afraid of a tweet. and what they would find if they cross donald trump and got in his face is that he would actually respect them more and they could get a better negotiation, but they're cowards. >> still ahead on "morning joe," our interview this morning with senator jeff flake. his decision to step down from the senate and what he hopes to hear now from his fellow republicans. but first bill karens with a check on the weather. there was a flash flood warning and we had three inches in one hour. it's going to be in and out of boston and cape cod the rest of the day. maine, portland, boston
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included, back down to providence. new york city, you look clear now. the rain is gone. let's talk about the next storm. this blue, that is snow. we've got a little wintry blast coming down from the north. get ready for your first snows in the areas of minnesota. about 1 to 3 inches is likely and areas of northern michigan, too. here's the map and unfortunately we're breaking these out. the pink isolated spots could even get to 4 inches. how about the cold blast behind this? did you watch the world series last night? 103 at first pitch. that was a record. today a little cooler but still hot, around 94 degrees. didn't get enough rain that we actually needed. now it's just kind of cool and fall-like. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ that's it? yeah.
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senator jeff flake hasn't
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been afraid to speak his mind about the president. and that was before he decided to walk away from washington. we spoke just a short time ago with the arizona republican who calls president trump a danger to democracy. >> you know, jeff, you were the tea party before the tea party. i was, in '95, also with a group of people that were the tea party before the tea party came into existence. how bizarre is it that in 2017 a guy like you that was loathed by leadership because you were such a pain in the ass when it came to small government, now suddenly you're a part of washington, you're a part of the establishment, you are not sufficiently conservative. >> yeah, i'm not sure when that transformation happened, but all of a sudden, yeah. i'm a rhino, a republican in name only. politics have changed quite a
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bit, that's all i can say. >> sarah huckabee sanders couldn't name a single vote that you took that would make you insufficiently conservative. your rating is 96%. tell me, when did the breakdown between the white house and you start in ernest? >> during the campaign, the first statement the president made when he ran, one of the first ones, was talking about mexican migrants as being rapists and then went on to talk about john mccain, how he couldn't be respected. i spoke out then. and then the judge born in indiana with mexican heritage, that he couldn't judge fairly because of that heritage. those things i spoke out on. and i keep asking myself and those who don't like it, at which point should i not have spoken out? so i didn't get off on the right foot, i guess, with the
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administration back in the campaign. but that's completely different from policy. the problem is, it seems now to be conservative, you have to be angry. and it's a different type of politics than we're used to, you and me. >> senator flake, it's willie geist. good to see you this morning. among the many people who applauded your speech yesterday, there are many who said, why is he leaving, then? if he feels this way, we need him in the fight. talk about your decision not to seek reelection because there are people who wish you would stay there and fight president trump from washington and not from the outside. >> the bottom line is if i could run a campaign i could be proud of and where i didn't have to cozy up to the president and his positions or his behavior, i could not win in a republican primary. that's the bottom line. it's not that you have to just be with the president on policy, you can't question his behavior
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and still be a republican in good standing, apparently, in a republican primary. so, you know, in poll after poll, you'll see that a majority of republican primary voters, that's kind of a subset of a subset, are firmly behind the president's policies, but not just that. if you ask them as a whole what their most important policy item is, it's, are you standing with the president? and they take any criticism of the president as somehow something that's not conservative, and that's what's got to change, it really does, and i hope to be able to, in the next 14 months, speak out continually. i hope my colleagues do as well because we're entering a time where normwe're normalizing behr we shouldn't normalize and it's not going to be good for the country. >> do you think it's unique for
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arizona? >> no, it's not. >> you said it's extraordinary you can't just go out and be a principle conservative, but i disagree with the president on a, b and c. it's not good enough to be a principle conservative anymore. >> i think it may be in other states but it's not unique. some of my colleagues are finding the same. if you ask them in their polling and their experiences anecdotally as well. it's really changed over the last couple of years, the type of politics that we are expected to engage in. i just think it's not healthy. >> i'm not even sure we would call it politics. senator, you say we're normalizing behavior we shouldn't be normalizing. last week we had another fellow senator on, bill cassidy, who we were talking about health care, and i couldn't get a straight answer out of him so i just asked him, has the president ever lied? and he said that the president
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doesn't lie. the president speaks in hyperbole. is that what you mean by normalizing behavior that we shouldn't be normalizing? >> yeah, i think so. i said in the speech last night that, you know, we are excusing undignified, outrageous and reckless speech and behavior as telling it like it is. you know, the president is not politically correct. that's not right. i think we ought to say, this is speech that is reckless and it's undignified. and until we do, we are complicit in normalizing that kind of behavior. >> senator, yesterday you said, why didn't you do something? why didn't you speak up, in reference to this point in time politically. your colleagues, it's very rare to hear any of your colleagues,
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like senator corker this week, senator mccain, speak up. is it fear? is it cowardice? is it ambition? do you know what it is? why so silent among the republican majority in the senate? >> well, a lot of it -- there was a joke that paul ryan made in the speech, i think, at the dinner last week that he has to wake up and read tweets and see which ones that he has to deny he saw. there is some fatigue about it as well. there's just so much coming out, you can't respond to everything, and i understand that. but on the whole, we can't continue to just remain silent when the president keeps going on like this. there is a fatigue about it, there really is. there's just so much and you can't respond to everything, but on the important things, we need to stand up. >> kacie? >> senator flake, kasie hunt. nice to see you this morning.
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there are many people who are supportive of you that i've heard from but who also have something of a critical question or statement. they're saying actions speak louder than words. what do you do now to actually make a change in the leadership? what do you do behind the scenes in the senate, what can you do in politics going forward? >> well, certainly if the president carries forward on some of the threats that he's made, for example, on the first amendment to go after, you know, news organizations, pull their license if he doesn't like the news they're providing, if there are things on the policy front, boy, we had better stand up on that and i'm confident that we will. it's more on the normalizing the behavior side that i think that we've fallen down on as a whole. and so i hope that we speak out and just say, this is undignified. this is beneath the office of the president. we've got to stand up. but bob cowhat bob corker has b
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concerned about is our foreign policy. we've got to have foreign policy that's predictable and sober and consistent, particularly at this time, with north korea and the situations we're facing worldwide. these things matter. they matter a great deal. and that's why bob is so concerned and i share these concerns. >> senator jeff flake, thank you for being on the show this morning. >> thanks for having me. coming up next, republican senator and constitutional conservative mike lee on where the republican party goes from here. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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we must be unafraid to stand up and speak out as if our country depends on it, because it does. >> i would just have to say there is not much of a divide in the republican conference in the united states senate. i think most of us in the conference are very comfortable with the direction that this chief executive of our nation and this head of our party wants to take us.
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>> senator jeff flake is raising a huge red flag, but his republican colleague roger wicker says there's nothing to see here. joining us now, republican senator mike lee of utah. very good to have you on the show, mike. senator, is there something to see here? what do you make of what senator jeff flake did yesterday? >> not every republican agrees on every issue, not every republican president agrees, either, with other republican senators or with the president of the united states in every instance. on the whole, i think there is a commitment within the republican party to fight for limited government. fight to restore separation of powers and federalism, these constitutional principles that are structural in nature and that have made our country strong over time. i hope to continue to fight for those. insofar as the president is willing to fight for those things, i'll stand with him in that effort. >> are you seeing evidence of that, and how could you count on it if you do given the fact -- and senator flake talked about the fact that things are being
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normalized like lying and maligning people, things that shouldn't be normalized are being normalized. so how could you count on anything that is coming -- specially from the president of the united states if those two things happen to be true? >> i understand those concerns, and i get it. it's not my style to engage in personal attacks with people. the fact is the president is there to do a particular job. the president has, in fact, fought to drain the swamp. for every new regulation he's put in place, he's taken down 16. that's not nothing, especially in the light of the fact we've been drifting toward a deviant path in our constitutional structure over the last 80 years. we've seen the cost of complying with federal regulations go from $3 billion a year just 20 years ago to $2 trillion today. a disproportionate burden of that is being held up by america's poor and middle class who pay for it also with diminished wages,
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unemployment and underemployment. what i'm here to do is to fight for america's working families, america's moms and dads and to make sure they get the tax reform and the regulatory relief they need and deserve. >> so i understand what you're saying. i guess where i feel a disconnect is, for example, and i'll try to make it really specific. your colleague, bob corker, the president tweeted something that was completely untrue and attacked your colleague. >> yeah. look, that's a problem. i don't like this tit for tat going on between the president -- >> it's more than that, he attacked your colleague and lied about him. isn't that where you step up and say, no, sir, i can't have this happening to my colleague? >> i don't think it should happen, and i think that's something the two of them need to work out between them, and insofar as one of them is saying something untruthful or unfair about the other, they ought to cease and desist.
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>> so you think this is between senator bob corker and the president and this isn't a big problem? because i could branch it out to a couple other lies to completely unhinged, unpredictable behavior by the head of your party that i think some might argue is damaging your party and is making a farce of conservatism. >> sure. look, i understand the concern. and if we were all to chase every squirrel that comes running along in the form of a personal dispute or a mischaracterization of someone's integrity or intent, we would be very busy doing that and not focusing on the government, on that which we need to reform internally. on a government that has become increasingly burdensome on american families, r for their taxes and pay for this burdensome cost of federal regulations. that's what we need to restore in america, is the constitutional structure. and that's where my focus is. >> i just -- yes or no, tit for
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tat, i just want to understand what that means. does the president of the united states lie? has he ever lied? >> i'm certain that he has, but my purpose to come here today is not to focus on those things. my purpose is to call on my colleagues, whether republicans or democrats, to get behind the agenda of trying to reform the government and make it work for the poeceople rather than the or way around. also to call on my colleagues in congress to pass meaningful tax reform including, and especially, an increased child tax credit, raising that child tax credit to $2,000 per child so we can get rid of the burdensome parent tax penalty that's little known, very seldom understood, but absolutely needs to be reformed and undone. >> willie. >> senator lee, it's willie geist. good to talk to you this morning. i want to point out to our viewers that you come from her line of questioning in an interesting position, that you never endorsed donald trump for president. when the "access hollywood"
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tapes came out a year ago this month, you asked him to step aside. you said, your conduct, sir, is a distraction. i'm curious what you think as a respected and principal conservative yourself to hear someone like steve bannon say someone like jeff flake has no place in conservative congress. this guy has a 96% conservative approval rating. what do you make of the shape of the republican party right now, where people like jeff flake are being run out of congress? >> first of clear that jeff flake is not being run out of congress. he made a decision -- >> he feels like he can't win a race. >> he made the decision not to run again, and i respect that. i like and respect the fact that, as he pointed out in his speech yesterday, no one is irreplaceable, no one is indispensable, and we're fooling ourselves if we think we are. he made a decision that was best for him and best for his family and i salute him for that. i do think it's best for us as a
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party to remain focus on the fact that the federal government has become too big and too expensive in large part because of the sense of purveyance. i wrote my book to remind people of our origins. the origins of our country are built on knees notithese notion have to protect people from our government. to do that we have to put a structure of a round government to prevent it from being too big, too burdensome, too intrusive of the people's libertys. that's what we lost in the republican party and i hope we can regain that. >> you mentioned tax reform. the president has to get something on the board that he thinks might be tax reform after the failure of repeal and replacement of obamacare. you couldn't get votes on obamacare. what makes you think you'll get 50 votes or 51 or 52 republicans to come around on this tax reform bill? >> i do think we can get there on tax reform. i think we can get there partly
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because we have to. we have to show the american people that we can lead, we can make a real dimfference. i also think we can get there if we include a reformed child tax credit for parents. >> do you think the president of the united states, donald trump, has a governing philosophy, and if so, what do you think it is? >> i think his government philosophy is all about draining the swamp. meaning he's recognizing something so many americans -- >> get rid of jeff flake? >> that was not the president's decision, that was jeff flake's decision. i respect and applaud jeff flake for making a decision that was right for him. the president's philosophy is we need to drain the swamp, meaning we have too much power that's being taken away from the american people in two steps. first, as it's been taken away from him at the state and local level and moved to washington, and within washington, it's been surrendered, voluntarily relinquished, dedicated to
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members of bureaucrats. this has been very good for a small handful of elites. six of our nation's ten wealthiest counties are suburbs of washington, d.c., in an area that does nothing, it's no do i understand of hub. the money is here just because the power is here transferred to the hands of the elite. donald trump wants to drain that swamp and i think that is an indelible endeavor and a legitimate governing philosophy. >> so you can clearly articulate a philosophy. what if you were back in utah teaching high school civics -- they probably don't teach high school civics anywhere in america today -- >> except for utah tech. we still teach it there. >> okay, great. you stand up in a high school civics class. who would you hold up as a role model for high school students, jeff flake or president trump as to where we are? >> i think i could point out aspects of both of their
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personalities, aspects of their careers as someone who stood up for what they believed in. i think that's what we have to maintain focus on is what people stand for, what their actual policies are. >> senator mike lee, thank you very much for being on the show. thank you for everything. >> thank you. rick teller, what do you think? >> i appreciate the fact that jeff flake tried to go back to policies and everything that he wanted to get done, and mike lee is a conservativconservative, i an admirable guy, but what's getting in the way is his colleague, jeff flake, didn't have a philosophical difference, didn't have an idealogical difference. he's calling for a fundamental call to human decency that there should be mutual respect and we should treat -- leaders should treat each other with respect, and you have the president of the united states verbally attacking members of his own party. and that is going to get in the
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way of everything mike lee wants to get. i'll make a prediction. if we continue on this course, we won't see any tax reform because the president will simply make it impossible to get it. it has a low approval rating now. >> anything goes with him, and i think it's a choice to operate with blinders on, it's a choice to try to stay focused and get something done. paul ryan has made that choice. i don't think it works. we're dealing with far more crazy a situation. >> in your back and forth with senator lee and his conversation with us, the thing about that is senator lee is not alone in this. they talk about draining the swamp, and yes, the president has a specific idealogy, philosophy they can point to. they can't really point to it, but they never reference the word "character." and it's critical in terms of every aspect of our lives, not just in politics. >> i also think it's -- well,
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you know, it's less than forthcoming to call things a tit for tat. we're talking about gold star families. we're talking about sitting u.s. senators. we're talking about people serving this country. this isn't a tit for tat. the president is maligning them and bullying them and acting in ways that are not normal. up next, senator clair mccaskill is already facing one gop challenger for 2018, but now it seems there is another republican she's got to watch out for, literally. we'll explain, next on "morning joe."
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close call on capitol hill yesterday as republican senator
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corey gardner tried approximate owl out of the lot as senator mccaskill pulled out in front of them. we were able to catch mccaskill's great response. take a >> i don't know. it's probably the only shot you've got to take me out. [ laughing ] >> first of all, kasie there with a camera rolling. >> she turns her head, like somebody in new york does. what are you doing? >> are you trying to kill me? >> she's like if you come at the queen, you best not miss. >> that is a kansas city prosecutor right there. >> i love her. coming up next, it's being called a defining moment for the republican party, so how different is president trump from the last two republicans to hold the office? we're going to ask two women who knew them both well, jenna bush hager and barbara bush. now, is this why they're on? >> no, they have an amazing book. >> okay. >> they'll join us next on "morning joe." >> okay, we're going to talk about the book.
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>> we were much nicer to our mom. >> we were much nicer to our mom when we went to college for sure. we write both about some of the things we regret saying to our precious mom. >> don't you hate it? you think back and you're like -- >> why? why did we do that. >> can i ask why are girls so mean to their moms? and it's universal, by the way. >> i don't know. but i will say i have two daughters now and so i will experience it. but right now they love me and so i'm just going to live in that moment. >> and enjoy every second of it. so why did you guys set out to write this together? it's so nice, it's such a good idea. and what experiences do you draw on that you think might help others? >> go ahead, sissy. >> well, we decided to write it i think after we looked at last year. no matter what political party you're in, we felt like women weren't being lifted up. and i woke up with my sister in my bed the morning after the election, because my husband was traveling, and we had a meeting
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and we thought, you know what, if everybody had a person like i have in barbara, if every woman had somebody that made me feel like i'm enough, which is what barbara has always done for me, then maybe we'd be in a better place. and it's not just politically, i have two little girls and i want them to see that they can be anything they want to be. and i know they have each other. so that was one of the other reasons why we wrote it. we wrote it for them as a love letter to each other and as a love letter to them. >> barbara? >> same reason. we have just been so lucky that we've had a partner in everything that we've done. since we're twins, we've always had the same viewpoint on the world and our life has been extraordinary and out of the ordinary in many ways and then extremely normal with my mom's family in midland, texas. and so for every first day of school or every inauguration or convention, we had someone by our side. >> thank goodness, because there were some really awkward times. >> i can imagine. >> willie, it's quite a coincidence, the morning after the election, we woke up
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together and we said the same thing to each other. >> only girls do slumber parties, guys. >> but still, the same conclusion. >> don't listen to them. >> jenna, my wife, christina, was reading this last night so late. she woke me up, she was crying and then she was laughing. i had to tell her to turn off the light. people are loving this book. talk a little bit both of you, jenna, you first, about growing up under such abnormal circumstances but trying to keep some normalcy. i mean you were kids when your dad was governor and you grew up in the spotlight in the white house and went to college with secret service agents and all the rest of is, but you've come out the other end such gracious people. >> thank you. >> normal sounds like a vanilla word, but it's true and i mean it as a compliment. that you're grounded. >> we'll say on the street, i love you on the "today" show, you're so normal. is that -- i thought i was extraordinary? >> you've been told all your life you were extraordinary. >> but you're both grounded i guess is the word. >> i think one of the things in writing this book that we
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reflected on is that we really did have a normal childhood, a very normal one, even though when we were born our grandpa was vice president. we didn't really know any different. we lived in dallas, texas. our dad was home at 5:00 to be with us. i think we didn't feel the spotlight illuminated on us until we were in college. and it was a shock. and i don't think we were -- i think we were all very naive. >> secret service people like following you around in college. >> yes. one of barbara's secret service men did come to our event last night. >> that's so sweet. >> we became like brothers. >> they became like our brothers. we spent so much time with them and i write about this in the book, but i was with them on 9/11. the secret service -- they were out of new york, my guys were, because i was in connecticut. so i was with them when they were finding out the news and calling their families to make sure that they were okay in new york city. and so it was this very humanizing moment for these guys that had trailed me around and
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maybe i wasn't thrilled to have them. and then when we went through that together, then we were kind of brother and sister and saw the humanity in each other. >> we've got to ask. one of our favorite clips here. your dad still makes us laugh, right? so run the clip. do you have the clip? >> we're nervous. >> no, don't worry. >> okay. so your dad telling jokes. >> what's he doing? >> making barack obama laugh while poor bill clinton is up there trying to save the world. that's your dad. >> the best part is that you can tell like my dad is the student, you know, the class clown and president obama is like the "a" student who's trying hard not to get in trouble. >> but he can't help himself. he's got that smile, grinning ear to ear and you can see all his teeth. >> kind of like finding out george was going to run for president. what some. >> i love seeing all of them together because i think it shows that people, no matter where you come from, if you're the highest level or like
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barbara does with her work can bring people together to do good, we can still do that. i think we've forgotten that. >> thank you, guys. >> thank you for having us. >> great work. >> and we appreciate you all and the obamas, the clintons, the trumps, everybody that -- they don't realize what a sacrifice it is when somebody in the family decides to serve the country. thank you, guys. >> and what an amazing privilege it is. >> it is a remarkable privilege, but we thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and you are extraordinary. don't worry. your mom is right. >> thank you very much. >> the book is -- >> by the way, your grandparents, oh, my god. >> extraordinary people. >> the book is "sisters first, stories from a wild and wonderful life." jenna bush hager and barbara bush, thank you so much. i'm giving it to my daughters. >> thank you. >> oh, is the show over? that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks, mika. hi

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