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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  October 26, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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republican primary. that's the bottom line. it's not that you have to be with the president on policy, you can't question his behavior and still be a republican in good standing. >> do i wish these, these differences wouldn't be happening out in the public? yeah, i think people should settle their differences personally. i think it's better that way. i think it's in our interest to have party unity so we can continue to work forward on an agenda. >> well, if you listen to anything jeff flake said yesterday, his problems go far deeper than personal differences as the house speaker would like to describe it. for now the president is getting cover on capitol hill at least as long as the sweet smell of tax cuts happening in the air. good morning, everyone, it's thursday, october 26ing, welcome to "morning joe." we have mike barnicle and from
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michigan school of public policy, former democrat tick columnist harold ford jr. and chris tip anderson, columnistened new poll numbers on the president we will get to and paul ryan as you know still seems to be like staying right in a very, very clear lane away from criticizing the president. frame the morning for us. >> well, you know, first of all, you talked about the sweet smell of tax cuts. we had bob corker on several kwooex weeks ago, even before his feud with president trump. he was talking about how this was going to make trying to pass health care look like a spring picnic and bob corke will be on today, he's sounding the alarm on the hymn. he wants tax cuts to pass. but at the same time he knows they will try to close $4,000 of loopholes, lots of luck. we will be talking to bob corker there.
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mika, i think barnacle and willie would both agree, the most important story out there was an incredible world series, mark barnical, it was a home-run derby. it was like a mid-summer's treat at the all star break except this was in october. >> exactly right a. mid-summer's treat. thank god for baseball, it rescues us once again from our reality headlines last night. dodgers versus astros, the dodger's manager makes a mess of the game taking his daughter out in the 4th inning. two-run home run. dodgers and astros back and forth for the 8th, 9th, 10th inning. they come back short in the bottom of the 11th. the series tied at one. >> man. >> mika what are your thoughts?
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>> i just, i don't know. . >> it's a great game. >> someone has no rooting interest in the series, you want a good series, it looks like it's shaping up to be that way. >> houston has had a nice year, it's tough to see. >> why would he take that picture out in your estimation? >> baseball is now a sport. it's so infused with stats. more than any other sport. you have stats for everything. the spin rate on a baseball t. percentage of curves they can get a hitter out. sometimes you get so wrapped up in the data that you are given that you don't take a look out with your eyes and see the human being on the mound. they kept him in. he goes to his bullpen, crushes his bullpen, has to bring if maybe the best relieve ken lee jansen in, in the 8th inning instead of the 9th inning and boom. >> it's really. >> mika, you know, it's a lot
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like this show, you save the matrix for everything. you know, it's like willie and i are working ten hours agree dand it's all about numbers, it's all about data, we dig into the da that. every question that's asked. every segment that comes up, it's saber matrix for television. >> i can't believe how long you guys go on and on about this. >> i wish we had a camera on mika's face when we were talking, there was physical pain on mika's face president trump's job approval numbers have taken hit. it fell to a new low to 38% approve. down four points in september. trump's disapproval rating hit a new high of 57%. he has seen a dip among his core supporters, there has been an 8-point drop among whites and ep
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van gel cal voters and 6 drop among other three groups, conservative, men and white voters, stop me whenever you want to. still. >> i'll actually stop right now go to kristen, yeah, you do polls all the time. again, trump voters still supporting about 87%. republicans still support him for the most part. these numbers are still only, but man is he bleeding independents and of course this is a low for fox news poll. he was at 32% in a poll earlier this month, gallup. they usually have around 36, 37, 38 t. base is holding but he's losing everybody else, isn't he? >> reporter: i think people are looking for the win. you told us there was gentleman to be all this winning, where is the when? for the most part, trump voters don't hold him responsible for that. they look at capitol hill. they look at democrats, they look at congressional leaders.
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they say this is what's causing the winning to have not happened in the way we promised. voters who were not trump voters, maybe were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. maybe he didn't participate in the last election. they are now wondering, where are the wins. >> so that's why this tax reform question is so interesting. because it's a chance to get something threw congress, the chance to find an issue that republicans are fairly unified on. it could give the president that kind of a win. yet from my vantage point, it doesn't seem the president is as focused as he is on say a fight with a gold star family and things like that. i think that's what you are seeing in these number, voters saying, where's the win? >> and, of course, that is so critical, willie, for the president to be focused if he wants to pass tax reform. he thinks it will be easy, as bob corker will be telling us when he comes on the show and
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other senators that i have been talking to have been saying, they're trying to close loopholes like trademarks of dollars in loophole, k street is going to swarm all over this place, will you have republicans in these bucklings, he said, this is going to be tough. you need a president that is focused non-stop, that's bringing people in, that's explaining -- not just bringing them in, going you are beautiful. this is great. this is the greatest bill ever. explain, hey, listen, this is what will be tough. this is what you can tell your constituents, if you pass your tax reform, x, y, z will happen. he was never able do that on health care reform who will believe he can do it on tax reform? >> he said on his trip last night, we will get tax reform by the end of the year, he has to have something open the board, he can go back to gorsuch. that was a big win driven largely by mitch mcconnell.
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we can dispute some numbers, harold, but he and not republicans, the reason a lot haven't crossed him in a way bob corker, jeff flake and john mccain have, they also feed something to go back to their voters and constituents and say you voted us in, we're doing it, otherwise that i don't have much to show, it's not just the president. >> i would agree with all you said, there is a long tradition in politics, campaigning one way and governing another. to a large extent, both of the parties, most are struggling with it. jeff flake was defeated in the occupation senate 12 years ago, they both campaign in ways they are not governing. you have a group of republicans who campaign on anti-immigration, anti-this anti-. that that group of people now want to see republicans deliver.
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they want a toy riev and govern differently. democrats have it on their side as well, obama wanted to close guantonomo bay and do some things, have you this collision of reality, it's campaigning and governing. it's a level we're talking about here with this president. he's confronting it. now you have u.s. senator versusing conscious calls saying i can't live up to or better live down to the way that i campaigned 12, 16 years ago. so when these realities collide, this is what you get. hopefully it signals there will be an upending with the way parties operate and there will be more adherence to the way you campaign, which may make campaigning more honest going forward, that's what i hope comes out of this honestly republican senator jeff flake of arizona says he hopes his rejection of president trump's falsehood and reckless attacks will be a tipping point.
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but for most members of his party it was another day. trump tweeted -- and in interviews, flake and bob corker's colleagues, once harsh critics of trump agreed. >> the president has his own way of communicating. look, it's worked. he's getting things dodge. he -- done. he's performing. he's not a cookie cutter. i think the republicans need a leader who takes the reigns, so long as his goals are the same and they are. >> i try not to make it about personalities or, you know, someone saying someone has less than a perfect character than they do. that's a little of the pot calling the kettle black as we tend to think, oh, somehow, you know, i'm so perfect that i can criticize another person's
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character. one of the things the media missed on all this they keep saying senator so and so is a conservative, why is there such a disagreement? because we made this about personality and less about policy. >> i think it's unfortunate -- the nastiness that pervades washington right now and the political battles of personality that consume seemingly every minute of the media attention, and an awful lot of the time and energy here in this town. it's like you're back in junior high. i really don't care who passed the note to the cute girl in pig tails. we got a job to do, dam it. and so all of this nonsense -- i got nothing to say on it. everyone shut up and do your job. >> so joe, i feel like i'd rather hear from you, the republican turned independent, because i don't think it's going to carry much wake coming from me. but i feel there is such a disconnect here at the three gentleman we just heard from are
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putting massive blinders on and disregarding behavior that defies humanity. we're not talking about bickering here, are we? >> well, we actually heard, willie geist, tv's willie geist, the last gentleman who spoke today donald trump would have us believe reading about his father in the papers released on the jfk asass fakes, if you believe donald trump, ted cruz' father. >> right. >> had something to do with the jfk assassination. ted cruz' wife derided by donald trump as being up attractive. ted cruz insulted time and time again by donald trump and him trying to sort of paint everything with a broad brush is
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sad. first of all, you wonder why he doesn't feel the need more to defend his family. how he does that, that's up for ted cruz to think about. jim imhoff said the president has his on way of communicating. yes, he lie, yes, he says he's going to strip licenses from news outlets with whom he disagrees, he uses stalinist phrases and calls the press the enemy of the people, calls other people the enemy of the people. he actually questions the legitimacy of the judicial branch and specific federal judicial judges. if barack obama had done any of these things, jim imhoff would have held eight-year hearings on it. so. yes, he does have his own way of communicating and imhoff says it works. actually no, the president has record low approval ratings. the republican party has its
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widest split in the generic ballot they've ever had with the democratic party and congress's approval is sitting at 14% and almost a record low there. what he says said is patently false, jim imhoff. there is no reason to follow this guy. he se destroying the republican part party. if you just, as i said before, look at the data. >> jim imhoff, he said, maybe we do better, he's talking about flake and corker. maybe we do better, the people that don't like him, talking about trump, leave and replace them. that's him saying few don't like what the president is doing, maybe you should follow jeff flake out the door? >> the striking aspect. we showed three united states senator, jim imhoff, rand paul and cruz and ted cruz. the striking thing about the three of them is they are so filled with fear, the fear of
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getting tweeted against the fear of the noise, of the bannon wing of the republican party. i mean it's as if they are in a house that's on fire and they don't sense that the fire is eventually going to get to the room that they're in. kristen, in the polling that you've done with regard to donald trump, to the president of the united states, and his status with the elderly people, with independents, with whomever, does the issue of incompetence ever come up? because that would seem to be his true weakness in the long run, incompetence the fact that they can't get anything done with him as president? >> i think for voters that already didn't like donald trump, that sort of baked into the cake for them. for voters who did vote for donald trump, again, you've seen a handsful of them bleeding away, which is why his approvals used to be north of 40% are south of 40%, but among republican voters and the times of voters that senior imhoff or
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cruz is talking to, those comments they made are the sorts of things i will hear in focus groups from republican voters, that they just want to see things get done. >> that they get that the president tweets and they don't really like it. but you know what, i want to see things get done. in their perspective, they're not, you don't really hear people say, well, there is a co-equal branch of government. senators have every right to speak their mind. they want to see things get done. they view it as a distraction, they don't think the as far as making these comments are having any everything on changing the president's behavior so what's the point of it? which i think is an interesting architect. right. i believe if you disagree with this president. speak out by all means, i think it's also valid to say if you speak on the senate floor and give a speech that's love they the president doesn't change his behavior f. you haven't changed the minds of the people in your party, eight distraction? i think it's a fair question. >> so the vulnerability you
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pointed to it's okay if things get done. what if things don't get done, how quickly does that go down? is. >> reporter: i think if we get to the ends of the year, oba obamacare is in place the wall is still fought built, i do think you will start to see more folks going okay, okay, maybe it's not mostly the president's fault, but he needs to do something different if he want toss make this work. and that may be when you see those numbers get closer and closer to the mid to low 30s now to a story that protect overnight involving someone you see around this table every day, cnn is reporting allegations regarding our friend mark halperin over a decade ago, unnamed sources detailing unwanted advances and inappropriate behavior. hal person apologized for the pain his actions caused and said i will take a step pack from my day-to-day work while i properly
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address the situation. we will be following this story as it develops. i'm sure we will be talking about it again when we know more about it still ahead on "morning joe" the chaerm of the foreign relations committee, bob corker joins us, senate democrat chris coons, who is warning that republican jeff flake's exit from the senate should scare democrats and the chairman of the house freedom caucus, congressman mark meadows will be our guest as well. but first, bill kierans, with a check on the forecast. bill. >> reporter: good morning to you, mia, a heads up to the northeast and the mid-atlantic. if you have weekend plans sunday, we have a big storm coming. first getting to the current storm which is still soaking areas from connecticut up through maine. this has been like a 24-hour rain event. it will continue through the day today. here's 5:00 p.m. still raining from albany up through burlington, hit and miss showers as the steadier rains come to an end, i don't think we will get flooding the only
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exception, if maine, the leaves come down, the other area of interest. there is associated. this is the origins of our big sunday storm in the northeast. right now, it's a tropical disturbance off anything raunic. i'm not concerned it will become a tropical storm or a hurricane or anything like that. the thing that is important all of that moisture and rain is in south florida on saturday and then it gets drawn right up the eastern seaboard as we go through sun. this will become a pretty big storm over new englanded on sunday, gusts maybe as high as 60 miles an hour and three-to-five inches of rain. in the mountains as much as six inches of rain. we will have possible power outages and tree damage as we go into sunday into monday in the northeast. keep that in mind for your week plan. washington, are you looking to avoid that big storm on sunday, probably rain food, today looks
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like a gorgeous day, though, you are watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. zplmplts
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accused of obstructing justice to theat the fbinuclear war, and of violating the constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become? i'm tom steyer, and like you, i'm a citizen who knows it's up to us to do something. it's why i'm funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment. a republican congress once impeached a president for far less. yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger
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who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it.
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. because everything's a reality show. president trump is set to embark on his first age of business as president next month with stops in china, south korea, vietnam and philippines. it comes at a time with extremely high tensions with north korea, which is bounds to be a major topic of discussion during the trip. yesterday a senior official told the u.n. the u.s. should take a threat from the foreign minister pyongyang would detonate a hydrogen bomb adding it has
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always brought its words in action. joining us from seoul, south korea, kir simmons reporting from inside north korea. here, defending is jim mattis is arriving today, what's at stake with this trip? >> reporter: yeah, a lot. a great deal. actually, he's really going to have north korea the top of his agenda with three u.s. carrier gripes now operating in the region and general joint chiefs general dunford was expected to arrive here just in the past few hours t. president, of course, as you say, due to come to the region next month, so i mean is this the most intense region in the world right now? yes, absolutely it is, mika, we spent a week in north korea and the insights that we gained by having that time there were really a platform for us, i got
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to say, i think one of the things we experienced inside that country. you ask, we've bought the to speak to a lot of people. admittedly people in pyongyang and in that social circ, certain etch lons of society, you ask any question, they very quickly come back to telling you about their admiration and respect for the supreme leader kim jong-un. they will little you about the importance for them of the ideology of self reliance, they are clearly as they tell us, convinced they may need to go to war and frankly they would be prepared to go for that ideology, you never know the people what they are telling you, whether there are layers there, in terms of what we've experienced, that is the kind of
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strength we've experienced. >> hey, keir, it's willie, i'm curious, people walking seoul and the streets as well, they live with the threat of north korea just over their border every day, but what is their sense right now? is it an elevated sense of fear they feel the rhetoric has been ratcheted up? >> reporter: you know, people in seoul have lived with this for so long, it's important to remember north korea has had nuclear capability and to attack this city for a very long time. so it isn't now people here i guess in a way one of the issues in the u.s. is that i think people at times fail to really understand the history of this region and in that, particularly in washington, they kind of fail the american people, i guess there would be some people that
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say history started during the obama era. in north korea, history goes back to 1945 to 1950. as far as they're concerned, for example the korean war never ended. so if you don't understand that, if you don't understand the region and the pressure for some time and the role of history here the roam of communism in the u.s. and how that played out over time, i don't think you begin to get to a place where you might be able to run it back. let me say one other thing, though the positive thing. up with thing with north koreans are very interested of what we think of them, we went around and they had gifts given by leaders around the world they are interested. many say they would like peace while they are prepared for war. >> keir sim mops, thank you very
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much meanwhile, in a rare message, kim jong-un yesterday september his congratulations to chinese president xi jinping following xi's victory. and the north korean leader wasn't the only one. president trump tweeted that he quote spoke to president xi of china to congratulate him on his extraordinary elevation. also discussed north korea and trade, two very important subjects. trump also later added, quote, some might call him king of coin. this rise is something that virtually never happened in china. you may recall trump also praised turkey's erdogan after his consolidation of power earlier this year. >> this virtually never happens in china. they call him chairman mao because he had an expansive board. he was just a figurehead.
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no, maybe it's historical ignorance. i don't know, but the one thing we do know is while we have a president who is trying to strip licenses from networks or says he's going to look into strip licenses from networks that disagree with him, something he can't do, or he challenges the first amendment, he challenges the free press every single day, he attacks journalists every single day. he attacks federal judges every day, he attacks the under pings of our constitution every single day, he praises dictators and china, dictators in the philippines, tyrants, who have actually taken a country that your father believed could be a lynchpen to the new middle east and europe and turkey and has completely turned it into a
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despottic regime, which actually punishes journalists more than just about any other country. mika, it's -- the trend is unmistakable. >> thank you. >> this man worships autocrats. he admires them. he admires them seizing power and he has very little respect for whom -- people that run western-style democracies, he gets if fights with the merkels, he gets if fights with the macrons. he gets if fights with the mays. he doesn't get in fights with tyrants, of course, you know, it speaks actually to his intentions when you hear him stripping licenses from networks with whom he disagrees. >> i think you nailed it. you talk to anybody from a countries not built on the foundations of democracy, they will tell you this is how it
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starts. i'm saying it very calmly. you look at the trend, it is unmistakable coming up, should democrats be scared? >> hold on, i got to say one thing, guy, one thing, though, this is where it's important. i'm so sorry to interrupt, but here's the difference between the united states and china. here's the difference between the united states and turkey, here's the difference between the united states and the philippines. right now people watching this show have the ability to start organizing and they have the ability to start recruiting candidates and they have the ability to put candidates up, to run for election, whether they're republicans or independents or democrats, who say no to donald trump's view of the constitution and who says no to his praising of autocrats and tyrants aacross the gobi. that's what we can celebrate it's so depressing.
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let's celebrate the fact that this morning where you were sitting right now you can make a difference. can you either run for congress or you can run for the senate, or can you help somebody do it by even knocking on doors, making phone calls, it doesn't matter what party they are. if they say no to trump-ism, and you think that's something that's important to you. you have a chance to check this tie towards the sort of autocracy that donald trump celebrates seemingly every day coming up, should people with scared that jeff flake is retire sfk that's what senator koonce is say anything a new "new york times" op-ed. we'll ask him why next on "morning joe." zplmplts
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(tires screeching) (bell mnemonic)
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. welcome back to "morning joe," joining us now democrat senator chris coons of delaware who writes a piece for the "new york times" titled "why jeff
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flake's exit should scare democrats." good morning, it's good to see you, you write flake's retiring is deeply principaled to me. he represents a retiring party. senator imhoff said maybe this should be the trend, talking about donald trump, if you don't like it, maybe you should leave. >> i serve with senator flake and for corker, although we disagree on a wide rain him of things, senator flake is a western republican, a conservative, from different faiths from different value frames. we have served very well together on the foreign relations committee because we share a compliment to america's role in the world that leads the fight for noble freedom that leads based on our commitment to open societies, to free press, to human rights, not just our narrow national self interests. i think senator flake saw clearly the threat to that position that donald trump's
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international policies present and that made it harder and harder for him to be successful in a primary campaign. if the voices are missing from the other side of the bias in the foreign relations committee and if as for imhoff is saying, only those who are mindly loyal to president trump should continue to serve as republicans in the senate, then i'm gravely concerned what that says for marc remaining the beacon of freedom in the world. >> he was pretty honest on this show yesterday, why not stick around and fight donald trump if this is how you feel. he said, plainly, i can't win. i can't win this primary fight inside the state of arizona, do you view a as an opportunity for democrats? maybe a democrat can when a seat in arizona or tennessee, if steve bannon and that wing of the party want toss primary every republican senator except for ted cruz, isn't that good for you a and the democrats? >> well, it's food in a narrow sense. that's right. my election was certainly
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facilitated by a divisive primary that led them to choose a candidate for the general election who wasn't very competitive and i'm good friends with congress woman kiersten cinema who would make a great senator, exactly the point of my piece that we shouldn't be celebrating just the pharaoh partisan victory of campaigning one seat or losing one seat in thea. we should be looking at this, democrats and republicans as patriots and asking whether what jeff flake has been saying about our presidenten in p isn't true and something that calls us to action and to work towing in a way that strengthens the role of the senate going forward. >> senator, good morning, harold ford, let's turn to issues for one moment, two of them. how are things going with the negotiations between carden and corker around iran, around iran and two, we had keir simmons awaiting general mattis' visit
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anticipating president trump next week. where do you stands there and what is your thinking of diplomacy? we are getting reports it's failing on the north korea part. >> well, harold, i am very concerned about the ways the president has under mined his secretary of state, secretary rex tillerson and made it harder and harder pursuing with north korea by engage income a personal barrage of attacks on kim jong-un the leader of north korea. i do think there are ongoing conversations between cramer corker and ranking member carden on the senate foreign relations committee about our path forward now president trump dessertified part of the jcpoa under a statute we have. it started off a period of 60 days where we will be looking hard in the senate at what else we could be doing to reign in iran's bad behavior in the region. i oppose renegotiating, reopening the jcpoa. all of our european allie versus communicated to us that they won't welcome that.
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they won't participate in that. i am clear about the real threat iran poses to our interests, our allie israel, to the people and the security of the region by supporting terrorism. we've given president trump strong tools. when the senate voted 98-2 passed a few sanctions law t. president hasn't yet taken that up to impose sanctions against russia or use it as strongly as i think he should against iran. i think will you see bipartisan work in supporting and strengthening our multilateral actions against eve i think we will save the jcpoa and that will support diplomacy against north korea. >> senator chris coons, thank you very much for being on the show. coming up, joe biden is giving new signals about 2020. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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multiple officials tell nbc news the trump administration is moving to using drones in the fight against terrorists in niger. the plan had opinion under consideration since before that deadly ambush earlier there month. but that incident ramped up urgency within the administration to take more aggressive action. three u.s. officials tell nbc news the u.s. government is now pushing niger to allow armed droeps at u.s. bases in t-- dro. bases in the country. they tell nbc news the ambushed control was conducted a far more complex counter terrorism mission than previously believed. it may have been tracking a suspected isis militant in support of a second and more
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secretive joint u.s. and french special operations team working in the area. here is president trump yesterday when asked about the mission. >> did you authorize the mission? >> no, i didn't. not specifically. but i have generals that are great generals. these are great fighters. these are warriors. i gave them authority to do what's right so that we win. that's the authority they v. i want to win and we're going to win. my generals and my military, they have the decision-making ability. as far as the incident we are talking about, i have been seeing it like you have been seeing it. i have been getting reports. they have to pleat the enemy and they meet them tough and that's what happened. >> can you -- >> yeah. >> could you kind of describe what he just said? >> sure, again. and again, you kind of look at
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history, mike barnicle remember when harry s. truman says when the buck stops somewhere across the potomac but not that desk. this is the second time he's done this he says i didn't authorize this mission that went badly. he blamed the generals for what happened in yemen. of course, we will now say the obligatory i've never heard a president of the united states, i've never heard a commander in chief speak so spou ardley and pass the buck to generals, pretending as if we don't have civilian of the military in this country, which has been a hallmark of our nation for over 40 years. here he goes again trying to blame generals for this mission that he obviously authorized. >> yeah, joe, clearly, there is an element in the president's job the commandner chief job he doesn't understand or adhere to. he certainly did authorize that mission in a sense, whether he realizes it or not t. larger
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issue, though, we have been operating as a nation around the globe in many, many countries around the globe, so many countries that the average american certainly doesn't know and clearly some of the united states senators don't know without a renewal of the authorization of the use of force force troops. there are a couple occupation senators engaged trying to get that back on the docket for a vote now for a couple of years at least. it has to be renewed. we have to look at our role in the world, especially militarily, because again as referenced again and ape gen, last week by general kelly the latest. fewer tan 1% of the people in this country serve in the united states military are if danger, their families here at home, knowing that their sons an daughters and husbands and fathers are out in the world performing dangerous operations when the rest of us, we can get gas, get coffee in the morning. we are remotely isolated from the realities of the dangers
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they face each and every day. >> harold, as you know the president couldn't authorize every operation, this is a case in niger and the american people at large, you take a look at ma american troops are in harm's way every day, and they are dotted all over africa and southeast asia and the middle east. there are american women and men going on missions like this that don't prove to be fatal in the end every day. it's one more reminder how far spread we are and how few people are out there doing it on behalf of the rest of us. >> our previous guest chris coons have been a proponent of this. it's astonishing the president doesn't get it or he wants credit when it goes well and deflects blame when it doesn't. if you have a family member
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serving, and you heard the president say that, probably the most disturbing thing he said was i'm watching and learning this on television just like you. that can't be reassuring to a citizen or citizen with a family member in the military that the commander in chief is disavowing responsibility and suggesting that he's learning all about this via media reports, the same media he calls fake media. the coming up, the trump campaign tries to distance himself from the company whose ceo admits to trying to help wikileaks release hillary clinton's e-mails. "morning joe" is back in just a moment. hi, i'm joan lunden with a place for mom
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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. i will tell you this. russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. let's see that happen. you may recall that request from then candidate donald trump during the summer of 2016. now the trump campaign is trying to down play the connection with the head of a data firm who admits trying to team up with wikileaks. the daily beast was the first to report that alexander nixa reached out offering the firm's help releasing hillary clinton's
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33,000 missing e-mails. on twitter he confirmed the offer that was made and that he declined. trump's campaign released a statement claiming it relied on the rnc and the data experts as, quote, our main source for data analytics but failed to mention the campaign paid the company almost $6 million for the services. the firm is also partly owned by the mercer family which has close tied to steve bannon. mike pence, jared kushner, and others tied to team trump, in fact, steve bannon was once on the board of cambridge analytics and divested his interest in the company to join the trump white house. any link you see that might point, actually strike you in some way? >> this is what's fascinating. i am not normally in the business of the trump campaign
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puts out a press release and i defend. what's interesting is in the republican data and polling worlds, this idea that the trump campaign and the company had less of a close relationship than meets the eye rings true. one of the complaints that you will hear in republican data and polling circles is that came bridge analytica has always oversold their role about we have fascinating techniques and we practice the dark arts. and a lot of it was overblown. now that the trump campaign is coming out and saying that officially because the company has gotten themselves in a little of a mess with the wikileaks folks, in a way i actually find the trump campaign's press release credible. it aligns with what other folks have been chattering about in these circles for months? . >> i'll give you the other side of the story from what i heard from people inside the trump campaign very high up in the
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trump campaign dragged time and time again that they had a great relationship with this company, and that cambridge an lit ka was going to make the difference. they were going to find voters nobody else could find in florida, north carolina, ohio, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. so throughout the summer months, i was told time and time again that the press's description of the trump campaign is being less than tech savvy was wrong and it would be cambridge analytica that was going to make the difference. >> coming up, a new poll shows the president's support is eroding among several groups that went big for him the me election. we'll have the new numbers, plus senator bob corker and mark meadows joins us. we're back in 60 seconds. g wher. it's never been easier.
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>> i think the press makes me more uncivil than i am. people don't understand. i went to an i'vy league college. i was a nice student. i did very well. i'm a very intelligent person. the fact is, i think -- i really believe, i think the press creates a different image of donald trump than the real person. >> welcome back to "morning joe." it is thursday, october -- [ laughter ] in. >> i went to an ivy league college. >> i was trying not to say anything snarky, joe, because it's a morning show and i'm happy. >> you should be. i went to an ivy league college. i'm a very intelligent person. i did not go to an ivy league
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college, as i told the students at harvard when we were up there a couple weeks ago, i went to the university of alabama, and we affectionately call harvard the university of alabama of the north. i may not be the smartest guy in the world, but i can listen to the president's statements and read his tweets. he's not a civil man. we are not the ones going in and pressing his fingers on the tweets. it's just -- again -- we talked about the big lie a couple of days ago. even though it's funny, because he's so insecure that he has to tell people he went to an ivy league college and he's a very intelligent man. the sad part is this is another day of lying. this is another example. willie geist, this is another example of where -- you know,
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right is wrong. black is white. left is right. up is down. it is the big high concept where i can lie. i can say whatever i want to say, even about the smallest of things. and i will define my own reality and since it's a personality cult, people who follow me will go yeah, listen to him, he says he's a civil guy. it's just the mean people in the press that make him be that way. >> i don't understand the link between civility and an ivy education. you can be smart and uncivil at the same time. this is him talking about gold star families and him saying the things he says in his own words. these aren't interpretations. these are reporting of uncivility directly from the mouth and twitter fingers of the president. >> can we just go back to this ivy league comment one more
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second. it's so outrageous he feels that it's necessary to constantly prove his i.q. whether it's an i.q. stand off with rex tillerson or to brag about the ivy league. i think he has a legitimate chip on his shoulder because he transferred in to penn from florida. >> i think it goes back to the example of someone who buys a real slick, expensive sports car. >> does show want to buy a sports car? >> no. that's the example. the president obviously needs to cover for something that's severely lacking. that's what guys -- anyhow. >> the president talked about the specifics of his body on a stage. >> yes. hands. you know, obviously everything he says it's the opposite, and he doesn't want people to know. but joe, i just want to remind you that you are a harvard fellow. >> uh-huh. yeah. and, again, again, the
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importance of that is what? that ha varvard is what? the university of alabama of the north? >> yes. >> that sort of -- roll tide. that's sort of circling, a perfect circle there. i have now been to the two best institutions -- >> exactly -- >> with crimson in their name. >> with us, we have elise jordan, political writer for the new york times, nick confisori, writer on pbs, robert costa. another controversial month as taken on donald trump's approval rating. the approval rating fell to a new low, down four points in september. the disapproval rating hit a new high of 57%. and a steep drop among independent voters from last month, approval down 15 points
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to 30 %. and disapproval up to 5 5%. a poll asked voters for their opinion of the president. 63% say he is not honest or trustworthy. 60% said he does not care about people like me. and that he lacks the knowledge, judgment, and compassion to serve effectively. joe? >> bob costa, as far as our stories, we seem to be covering every day whether it's about bob corker or jeff flake, the numbers that matter there are obviously the republicans that are staying with this president, and right now it's still roughly eight out of ten. that's enough to keep most republicans in line. especially in red districts. but you look at the fox news numbers falling off just like gallop has had, even -- hasn't had him in the 40s in a very
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long time. and it looks like his base only strategy really has blocked him out from about two-thirds of the electorate. what's the feeling on the hill? what's the feeling around washington about the fact that this man remains mired with these low approval numbers? >> there's a contrast when i'm talking to republican lawmakers when them and president trump. they see in president trump someone who is relentless in his combative personality, always on conservative social media. he's part of the culture. the lawmakers worry they don't have the ability to be everywhere and involved in everything like president trump is. and if they don't get a tax cut through and they just have to run on the confirmation of gorsuch in 2018, they're going to be in a very limited spot politically to make their case. >> "the new york times" is reporting the president's brand
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of hard edged nationalism with the gut level cultural appeals and hard lines on trade and immigration is taking root within his adopted party. those uneasy with grieve answer politics are giving in or giving up the fight. here's the president speaking yesterday from the white house about the party's unity. >> we have great unity. if you look at the meeting yesterday, we had virtually every senator, including john mccain. we had a great conversation yesterday about the military. i think we had a -- i called it a love fest. it was almost a love nefest. maybe it was. but standing ovations. there is great unity. if you look at the democrats with bernie sanders and hillary clinton, that's a mess. honestly, when you look at -- when you take a look at what's happened with hillary clinton and bernie sanders and the hatred and the division and the an
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animosity, honestly, the republicans are very, very well united. >> so elise, yesterday in the wake of jeff flake's speech and bob corker's comments, i guess the question among some republicans was is this a crack in the ice? are jeff flake and bob corker and john mccain and george w. bush's speech earlier in the peek a sign of things to come. a republican of oklahoma said maybe we do better by having some of the people who just don't like president trump leave and replace them. so rather than this being a great movement away from trump, at least among senate republicans, it looks like flake and corker for the moment are outliers. >> i think they are and the kul l louse a lot of senate republicans a making, oppose the president why? we know how this president responds to criticism.
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you get a public lashing. you get into a public back and forth, and does it change anything? i could be more effective if i just keep -- lay low and try to just not make waves but actually use what influence i have. >> look, willie, it's not a fight for the soul of the gop. the fight is over trump one. what you have here is a rump of governing wing republicans who are going to stand against him and then leave. they've put their line in the sand on the way out. and across the country, it's becoming more and more trump's party. there are trump people running for office, and the people who replace these senators are probably going to be more in -- less in the mold of mccain or trump. >> trump won. triple byline story in the
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washington post. you were in the byline about some establishment senators putting on a plan to take on steve three shirts and the plan he has to run against incumbent republicans. how many are in the ghost army taking on steve bannon? >> you saw in the alabama senate race the super pac aligned with majority leader mcconnell spent over $10 million to try to boost the incumbent luther strange. he was defeated. and because of how that played out, there's a new effort afoot in washington with the senate leadership fund and other establishment republican forces to try to give some kind of support to veteran seasoned lawmakers like senator corker and senator flake, people nervous about 2018 and pull them back from the edge of retirement or walking away, and that comes
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through a social media campaign. it comes through money in the campaigns as well. >> joe? >> all right. let's bring right now the chairman of the house freedom caucus. congressman, always great to talk with you. let's start -- first, i have to ask you, did you go to an ivy league college? >> no, i didn't. so i was actually down at the university of south florida in tampa. >> good for you. good for you. in god's country. that's good. that's very good to know. let me ask you a couple questions. everybody is talk about tax reform. i want to talk about something that's always concerned me and always concerned conservatives. that is the deficit. a report came out a couple days ago that the deficit is exploding upward. it's higher than expected this year. close to $700 billion. it's expected to be a trillion dollars faster than expected for lots of reasons. even with dynamic scoring on these tax cuts you're talking
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act, the deficit still explodes. what can be done to move us back to a direction where we can even start talking about balanced budgets again? >> well, joe, maybe you need to leave from behind the desk and come back and run for congress again. we know that you were -- >> oh, no. >> oh, no. -- a fiscal hawk. washington d.c. does one thing well. that's spend money, and very few times have they showed restraint. you know the budget we passed out of the house actually had 20 $3 billion in mandatory spending cuts. in the senate, nothing cut. the deficit continues to increase, and we as we look at tax reform, the 1 -- $1.5 trillion in the budget that will pass later in the house does not shed a good light in terms of the deficit. the strategy employed not only by the white house but by many
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conservative members is trying to return much of that money back to the taxpayer, make sure we give them back their money. it's theirs to begin with, and hopefully get the economy going so that what we can do is actually broaden the base and actually increase the amount of revenue because of growth, and then continue to make some fiscal decisions going on. but i've been here long enough. you were here where you got to see that very few times when it comes to cutting a program, can you make that happen. i think the biggest thing for us is making sure that we don't grow the size of government going forward in the next ten to fifteen years. if we just cap that at about a 2.75% rate, we can balance over 15 even with the tax cut. that's what i'm hopeful we can do. >> won't the tax cut actually increase the deficit and make it go up even more? >> well, in the -- >> in the scoring.
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>> even with dynamic scoring, i want to be honest. shortly in the short run, it does that. i can make the case with gdp growth over a 16-year period that it will balance over that length of time. but in the short-run, we will see an increase in deficit. it's not something that i espouse or think is necessarily the best way, but it's the only thing that we can get through a gop-led snootenate, and it's no just gop senators. if you looked at the democrat budget voted on in the house, it had 10 trillion in new spending and increased the deficit threefold on what we'll be voting on today. there's not a lot of fiscal restraint. you have to take an approach to hopefully increase the gdp growth. we've got a very aggressive progrowth tax reform plan that's being rolled out in the coming days here that hopefully will
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get us back on the right track. >> to make this tax reform package pass, you and republicans in the senate and any democrat that wants to cooperate, you're going to have to close about $4 trillion in tax loopholes. that is going to cause -- i promise you -- the greatest mass migration from k street to capitol hill that you have seen in your time on capitol hill. and while you may disagree with some of the things bob corker has said, i don't, but you may. the one thing that bob corker says that you should agree with is that that's going to make tax reform every bit as tough as passing health care reform. that while it unites the party, do you have 218 members that are going to be able to say no to all the lobbyist groups when you start closing trillions of
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dollars in tax loopholes? >> joe, you're spot on, and everything you just said, i wouldn't disagree with a single thing. i can tell you i've met with senator corker on a number of things. he is, indeed, a deficit hawk. i went over to meet with him and talk to him about really this budget agreement that they have in the senate. but you're right. i mean, we have already started to see, but we are going to see legions of k street lobbyists coming in. that's why it's important for members of freedom caucus to make sure their voices are heard. we believe our lobbyists are the millions of forgotten american men and women back home that don't have hob ylobbyists. we had probably ten or 15 cfos here yesterday from companies talking about what they want to see. the interesting thing is what i've shared is everybody is for
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cutting out the corporate loopholes unless it's their corporate loophole. i'm very aggressive, willing to stand up to a lot of the special interest carveouts and making sure we're doing that and meeting with democrats to see if we can find some common ground to not only address that, but make sure that we put more money in those middle income wage earner's pockets and not just special interests here on capitol hill. >> all right. university of south florida, mark meadows. thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. >> good luck closing those 4 trillion in tax loopholes. >> we need your help. come on back. >> okay. i won't be doing that. thank you. mika, back to you. you know, this is for anybody that's been on capitol hill before, and has seen tax reform or any variation of it where
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you're starting to change the tax code to give tax cuts to one group or take tax cuts away from one group, that is when the most intense lobbying comes. it's why we're going to be talking to bob corker about, mark meadows is right. he's a deficit hawk. and i personally, i don't know how they get the votes to close $4 trillion in tax loopholes. if they can do it, god bless them, but i don't think they can. >> all right. bob costa, you have new reporting on the republican civil war that's already shaping next year's midterms along deeply personal lines. allies of mitch mcconnell are engaging in a new assault aimed at discrediting former trump chief strategist steve bannon. former mcconnell chief of staff has described steve bannon as a white supremacist. and after a challenger danny
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tarkanian challenged. the mcconnell aligned senate leadership fund tweeted back here's another pledge for danny tarkanian to sign backing bannon over ex-wife charges. it includes a blistering headline claiming that bannon is, quote, anti semitic. bannon has denied the claims filed by his wife in a 2007 court statement. and "the washington post" reports a bannon confidant said he responded to the attack on his character with laughter. costa, tell us more. what's going on here? >> mika, we saw what happened with alabama. the bannon movement on the right side of the gop, it moved from being a nuisance for the senate leadership to being a problem they have to address. when i'm talking to my top sources in washington, they say we have to deal with bannon.
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we can't be disrupting our entire play book and stoking unrest about leader mcconnell. they're really thinking hard about how do they push back on him personally and on his allies to try to make sure they preserve this narrow 52-seat majority. >> all right. well, at this point, though, the personal attacks on steve bannon, i mean, there have been some incredible stories that have been reported here. where does this cross into the personal and the situation with his -- i'm not asking joe this. i'm asking costa, just curious with his ex-wife. is it part of this? >> the senate leadership fund tweeted this story, and it's trying to bring up all these old former controversies about bannon. the point of the attacks is to make bannon toxic for candidates like tarkanian. this is the senate gop leadership saying wait a second before you really move close to
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bannon. he's a toxic figure. >> yep. joe? >> you know, mike barnicle, i don't know why they would have to go into his personal life and his -- and make personal attacks against a guy where sort of a he said she said in divorce documents when they have charlottesville. when they have the things that he printed at breitbart. if you want to make somebody toxic, there is no he said she said when you go to what he printed in breitbart, some of it under -- what he said -- and stated openly, anti semitic. >> doesn't this get back to what we've been talking about for days if not months. it's the fact that the republican party, especially within the senate, a huge percentage is co-raled and put in a corner by fear and by a loud group of republicans who are not the majority of the
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republicans, but a very loud group led by steve bannon who can shout down any common sense anecdote to the policies of paralysis that's seized washington d.c.? >> yeah. you know, willie, my personal feeling is right now everybody is freaking out about steve bannon and obsessing about steve bannon. what what i see, you have a guy that's doing everything we can do to find the most unelectable republicans, the type of republicans that people like claire mccaskill have dreamed of. my prediction, democrats are going to romp in 2018 if steve pann bannon gets his way, and the day after everybody will go of course. of course this was obvious. steve bannon was getting people wildly out of the mainstream, people kicked off the bench twice and people this and that. i mean, this, to me, seems to be
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e t the equivalent of the manager letting players have vodka in the world series. >> and yet, people are running scared. if you look at roy moore in alabama and the departure of jeff flake, the announcement of that the other day, steve bannon and the people who work with them and the people who share his world view were celebrating. you know that better than i do. they were celebrating the departure of jeff flake. we got this one. now let's move around the country and get more. to joe's point, you could make the case as senator coons that it opens the door to a democrat perhaps winning in some places where they don't normally win. for the moment steve bannon feels like he's winning. >> and you have to look at senator mccain who gave a speech last week where he said he took on bannon right at bannon. he called it half baked spurious nationalism taking over the gop.
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mccain is staying. he's fighting bannon. it is intriguing as a reporter to watch all this candor, but the candor happens when the republican senators choose to retire. >> i would like to point out i think steve bannon is a brilliant media strategists. he jumps into a campaign in the final three months and manages to create this narrative that he won the election. angering donald trump. he manages to say that oh, he pushed roy moore to the finish line when roy moore has been a known quantity for decades in alabama. and he's been doing his whacky business down there for ages. so i'm curious how this is going to end when races are on the line and they have to win because steve bannon certainly didn't win in mississippi. >> nick, this better be good. >> i read this washington post stories and i have flash backs when the democrats were sure they could sink trump with his attacks on his character and past. mitch mcconnell's personal
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superpac funded by rich guys is coming after me and my family. i suspect it will be effective in the knife fight. >> robert kos can a, thank you for being on. still ahead on "morning joe," the senate's top voice on foreign relations. republican bob corker joins the conversation. how he's charting american policy overseas on behalf of a president with whom he deeply disagrees. but first, new york times columnist tom friedman joins the table. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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29 past the hour joining us now, tom friedman. tom, your recent piece for the new york times is entitled general mattis stand up to trump or he'll drag you down. why mattis specifically, and tell us a little more about what you think the ramifications of kind of, like, operating as if
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everything is normal and everything is okay in the white house? >> well, mika, when this administration started i did a column saying there are five people there who could be a source of restraint on the president. pompeo, kelly, tillerson, mcmaster and mattis. most of them generals, as it were. and i think what's happened is they've gone down like bowling pins except mattis. tillerson had to explain why he hasn't been castrated which means he was. kelly blew himself up last week. mcmaster doesn't seem to have much of a relationship with the president, and pompeo, has i think sold his soul. he told us the intelligence committee is determined the intelligence agencies -- mattis is the last man standing. i think he's the last person in the administration the president is really afraid of and who hasn't sold his soul on this issue.
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>> so how is it possible given what we know about these generals and about their service, how is it possible that he hasn't already tried? i mean, how can all this time, and all that has happened and all this all that's been side and transpired, go by and he hasn't tried yet? >> that, i have no idea, but listening to your conversation before i came in, it's interesting to me, there's kind of three identity issues playing out now. one is among republicans. what does it mean to be a republican? and that is this fight between bannon and mcconnell and those you talked about. the second is between republicans and democrats. republicans say the problem is between us and them. forget about this other stuff. we have to get our tax bill through. i don't want to talk about anything else. and the third is a conversation i think that's going on with flake and corker your next guest, but also a lot of other people, and we have a president now who is attacking the two
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fundamental pillars of our country, truth and trust. if there's no truth, we can't have a democracy, and if there's no trust in our institutions and there's republicans and democrats saying what trump is doing, the danger is he's attacking the two pillars of our democracy. and, therefore, none of this other stuff counts. which one of the struggles is going to predominate. but what i was writing about in the column is there's got to be someone there who stands up for truth and trust. >> there's a wisdom that's become gospel that if you think it's bad right now at the white house with these generals around, wait until you see it without the generals around. in other words, you should want -- you may have disagreements with them on specific matters, but you should want them around to contain the president for lack of a better word. do you buy into that? >> when this started, i did, but i wonder now. i don't see the proof. where is the defense of truth and trust?
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i don't see what we're getting. i wonder if -- i don't know what they're going to do, but if they leave and say you can govern with your kids and sarah huckabee sanders, go for it, let's see how that works out. but i think this issue of truth and trust is the alarm bell that people are really ringing. i think it's hugely important. we still haven't had a real crisis yet. the only crisis are the ones donald trump has created. what happens when trump has to look into the camera and say i had to bomb north korea? trust me. when pompeo comes out who has boldfaced lied and said the three intelligence agencies russi concluded russians had no influence on your election. >> you mentioned sarah huckabee sanders. in a crisis, you mention pompeo, how does that work from the press office? from the podium as it has so far -- i mean, given her
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performance so far and sean spicer before her? and does that play a role in what you're talking about? >> absolutely. i've said this on the show before. there's a distinct between moral authority and formal authority. so we have a president who has formal authority. he's still president of the united states, but we has no moral authority. sarah huckabee sanders has no moral authority. all that debate with kelly, what it was about, was i think he blew up his moral authority and so she basically took out his uniform and said no, but he's got this formal authority. a lot of people said wait a minute. when you blow up your moral authority, you cannot use a general's uniform to clean up the mess of the president. and all of this now is just daily gris for the news. wait until we have a crisis. when you find we have a president with formal authority and no moral authority. >> is the press in the white house credible? >> i don't hang out there, but
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not in my mind. >> we're talking truth and trust. trump is talking rage and grievance. there's a big part of the country that wants to hear it. that feels trust with washington has been broken over and over again. trust and terruth are not alway terms associated with that place. how do you address that? how do you make them an audience for truth and trust again? >> i just came from london. i was there for the past couple of days. want to see what happens when someone wins office or a national position and they only have one paragraph? they got their rage paragraph. in london it was brexit. we're going to get out of the eu. everything is going to be fine. it's all going to be good. and then the morning after comes and it turns out they have no second paragraph. they have no way of delivering on it. london today politically -- i was educated there. i got married there. it is in a mess i have never
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seen before. because they have no idea how to actually do brexit. now, when i listen to bannon, all the things about globalists and free trade, we're going to wreck all this stuff. they have no second paragraph. if steve bannon, what's your plot if i -- how are we going to do this? grow incomes for middle class people while we disconnect in a connected world, and show me some place on the planet other than north korea where it's working. he has no second paragraph to your question. rage and we're going to push back on the system. when you elect people who have no second paragraph, what you get is brexit. and what you got in london today, ask them how is it working out for you? >> joe in. >> well, tom, you know, no second paragraph. no plan b. a lot of people would say very little character. if that's the case, aren't you better with a general mattis and
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a general kelly being in there and at times having to bite their tongue, at times having to bow their head, and endure instead of having the gorkas and bannons of the world, the mike flynns of the world? perhaps it's not a zero sum game. and if there is a crisis with north korea, i'm wondering, how much do they have to endure so we're better off that they're there instead of the mike flynns and the steve bannons of the world? >> joe, i'm sure that's the case. i just hope they are truly exercising the influence that we want them to exercise. i don't think that's so clear anymore. >> all right. tom friedman, thank you very much. his latest book "thank you for being late" is out in paperback. >> up next, new reporting from thy time magazine that refers to the president's crew as the wrecking
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welcome back to "morning joe." while the president tweets his cabinet is rewriting the rules of government. that is the argument made in the new time magazine cover story
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titled "the wrecking crew". joining us now, michael duffy. michael, good morning. good to see you who are we talking about specifically? obviously this was part of the promise made by people like steve bannon, we're going to tear down the establishment and rebuild it in our own vision. >> they did promise to do it. and we could have picked any department. we picked epa. housing, and education to look at some of the things that were a systematic dismantling. this is most dramatic at epa to scott pruitt. he's looking at admission standards to pesticides to the kind of rules that power plants and coal plants have to abide by. and we can see across the board that they replaced a kind of concern about health for a concern about the health of
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companies. so that's -- they're not trying to hide it. it's easy to see. it's true at other places as well. and beneath the diversion and division of this white house, there's a pretty systematic change at a lower level. >> and this is not something done in the shadows. in fact, when donald trump talks about his long list of achievements over the first nine months he includes deregulation. he said we promised deregulation. we have it. you talk about ben carson at hud and betsy devos at education. >> in the obama era they put forth a set of legal standards for what has to be shown or proven on college campuses to generate convictions of sexual say sa assault. it looks like the education department under devos will raise it up to a higher standard
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either beyond a shadow of doubt or something that requires more evidence to be put on the table. that will change that conversation on the campuses at a time when this is really in the news. i think that's most telling there. at hud, it depends on who gets federal subsidies and why, and for how long. that seems to be changing. but, again, we could have chosen almost any department and looked at this. >> michael, one of the elements in this very valuable edition of time magazine, let's go back to education. last week to very little notice, devos seemed to go along with eliminating 72 stipulations having to do with special needs children. that affects an enormous number of parents and children themselves across this country. and i sometimes worry, i don't know whether you worry at all about the fact that we are hit with a niagra of stories out of washington having to do with the president and his behavior, and are we -- do you think that we are ignoring some of the
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elements within the media, as our job, some of the elements you raise with this issue? >> yeah, i think one of the powerful elements of trump's way of i would say, quote, governing is that diversion is such a big part of it. he diverts, i think, when he wants to divert from his own actions or lack of action. but it also keeps a lot of reporters looking in one direction when there are substantive things happening elsewhere that will have effect. the 70 or 72 ability disability they're reviewing or suspending have been in place for closer to 25 years. it goes back to the first bush era, and so, yeah, who can keep up? and a lot of the news organizations are pressed for resources at time like this. so it's harder to keep track of them. that's why we thought it would be good to shine a light on them now. >> michael duffy, thank you so
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much. the new issue of time is "the wrecking crew how trump's panel is dismantling government as we know it". joe biden has been making campaign appearances for fellow democrats lately, but what about his own political projects? the editor and chief of "in style" tells us about her conversation with the former vice president. "morning joe" is coming right back. america's beverage companies have come together to
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witness katy perry. witness katy perry become a legal witness. witness katy perry and left shark. or a card shark. grandma? witness katy perry work. witness katy perry firework. witness katy perry swish. witness katy perry... aaaaaaw look at that dog! katy perry: with music videos and behind the scenes footage, xfinity lets you witness all things me. in an interview with "in style" magazine, joe biden explained what he has to offer the presidency, saying, quote, i think this moment in american history fits into my wheelhouse and the strengths that i have. i am, i think most people will say, fairly knowledgeable about american foreign policy. i'm pretty good at diplomacy internationally and bringing people together, cutting through and settling things. i think what people are looking
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for most, and i hope i have it, is authenticity. the editor in chief of "in style" magazine, laura brown who conducted that interview joins us now. good morning. >> good morning. >> is it a departure for "in style? >> a progression i would say. i'm focusing on inspiring people. i think there are a few more inspiring in this country and particularly in this climate. >> joe biden fits into this category? >> very much. when we heard he released a book, detailing the last year when beau was alive, his son, and how he was managing the illness of his son with his job, rather big job. so the minute we heard that was coming out, we kind of jumped. we're very flattered. >> what struck you from your interview. >> he is very -- you know him. very much at ease in his skin and a very, very frank and
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straightforward person. what struck me was he has this uncle joe persona, this rockwellian -- i put him in a levi shirt. he does have a statesmanship with those ray bans on, incredible. very tall and quite imposing. he's got an ease in his skin. after 44 years in public service, you have to have that. >> seems like he was fairly open about the potential of running for president. >> very much. that's the question everybody is asking. he was open in saying 3 1/2 years from the time of the interview to the next election is a long time in politics. i am still mourning my son. my family is still mourning. i don't know. we're going to see how we do. she said my health, only 75, my health is pretty good. it's a huge effort, a huge mental and physical effort that i still don't understand.
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i think he's reconciling all of that. >> had you met him prior to the interview? >> yes. i met him twice over the course of the interview. i met him in his kitchen actually. he has a jazzy espresso maker. he made me a coffee and gave me a tour of the place. it seems like they're still getting used to being out of d.c. here is my gate and here is what i do when i don't have to do this all day. he has the jacket, the vp jacket with the patches. he had them on. he said, i guess i better take them off. he took them off and put them in his pocket. >> did it strike will you at all how relatively normal he is. >>? i think he's famously normal and approachable, yeah. when you're on that stage physically and metaphorically, i can understand it could be removed. i think he just doesn't have that technology. he's a very warm person, the consoler-in-chief given his personal losses and he
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understands others. i think that's honestly where he draws his power and his strength is from being with people and engaging with people. he's a recounter, he loves telling stories, loves giving hugs. jill told me i'm a little touchy feely with people. my mom said never let people go by without saying something nice to them. what's wrong with that. >> he was with john mccain when he gave him the award. he spoke about the state of affairs as john mccain did in the country. talking with him, what's his general feeling about the early trump years? >> he said he was trying to give it a year. a lot of people were going to wish for the best. now he's like, we can't. basically he said -- he got very worked up and said silence is complicity and gave a number of examples about that. he was like, they're throwing a sheep skin over democracy. they start with undermining the media, then the courts, and we
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have to stand up and we have to fight. he was just very -- he speaks so passionately. it was kind of upsetting and inspiring to hear him speak like that. at the end he was like, we've got to stand up. we've got to fight. that's what he's doing. that's what he's motivating the rest of us to do. >> you can read the interview with former vice president joe biden in "in style." laura brown thank you. we can't wait to see you, you'll be speaking at "know your value" at the grand hyatt. he's also a judge -- >> i'll be judging you. >> we're not judging one another. joe and willie and laura will be judging the bonus competition along with our other guests. great interview with the vice president, thank you. joe? >> i think joe biden -- getting back to joe biden, i think, mika, and you and i know the guy. he is a guy that can win
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wiscons wisconsin, certainly can win pennsylvania going away, be strong in ohio, win michigan. those are the sort of states joe biden would have never lost in 2016. but the question for joe biden is a question for a lot of republicans. can he get through a primary process that's moved much further left than joe biden is comfortable being on the campaign trail. >> i think one thing might be is that maybe he can this time given everything. maybe things have adjusted. it might have been tougher last time around. president trump's approval rating hits another low in a new fox poll. we'll have those numbers. what's taking the trump administration so long to implement the sanctions the president reluctantly signed into law two months ago. senator bob corker, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee wants to know. he joins us to talk about it this morning, among other
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the bottom line is i would run a campaign i could be proud of, 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 and still be a republican in
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good standing. >> do i wish these differences wouldn't be happening out in the public? yeah. i think people should settle their differences personally. i think it's better that way. i think it's in our interest to have party unity so we can corporate to work for an agenda. >> if you listen to anything jeff flake said yesterday, his problems with the president go far deeper than personal differences as the house speaker described it. for now the president is getting cover on capitol hill, at least as long as the sweet smell of tax cuts still hang in the air. good morning everyone. it's thursday, october 26. welcome to "morning joe." with us we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle, msnbc political analyst and professor at the university of michigan school of public policy, former democratic congressman harold ford, junior, and columnist at "the washington examiner," kristen anderson. joe, we have new poll numbers
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out on the president that we're going to get to. paul ryan, as you know, still likes to be staying in a very, very clear lane away from criticizing the president. frame the morning for us. >> first of all, you talked about the sweet smell of tax cuts. we had bob corker on several weeks ago, even before his dispute with president trump. he was talking about how this was going to make trying to pass health care look like a spring picnic. and bob corker is going to be on today. he's sounding the alarm on the hill. he wants tax cuts to pass, but at the same time he knows they're going to try to close $4 trillion worth of loopholes, lots of luck. so we'll be talking to bob corker there. mika, i think barnicle and willie would both agree the most important story out there was an incredible world series. mike barnicle, the home run -- it was a home run derby.
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it was like mid summer's treat at the all-star break, except this was in october. >> you got that exactly right. a mid summer's treat. thank god for baseball. it rescues us once again for the reality of our everyday headlines. last night dodgers versus astros, dave roberts, the dodgers manager makes a mess of the game by taking his starter out in the fourth inning. the game ends in the 11th inning, george springer, two-run home run. dodgers and astros back and forth for the eighth, ninth, tenth and 11th innings. they come up short in the bottom of the 11th. the astros go back to texas for the next three games with the series tied at one. >> man. >> mika, what are your thoughts? >> i just -- i -- >> eight home runs? >> a great home run. >> no rooting interest in the series, you just want a good series. looks like it's shaping up that
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way. >> houston has had a tough year. i think roberts has had a heck of a year. why would he take that pitcher out in your estimation? >> baseball is a sport so infused with stats, more than any other sport. we have the spin rate on a baseball, the percentage of curves that can get a hitter out, sliders that can get a hitter out. sometimes you're so wrapped up in the data that you don't take a look with your eyes. he goes to the bullpen, crushes his bullpen, ends up having to bring in maybe the best relief in major league babe, janson in in the eighth instead of the ninth inning. boom. >> mika, it's a lot like this show. we use sabre matrix for everything. willie and i are working ten hours a day, and it's all about numbers, all about data. we dig into the data. every question that's asked,
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every segment that comes up. it's sabre matrix for television. >> i can't believe how long you guys can go on and on about this. >> i wish we had an isolated camera on mika's face. there was a look of physical pain. >> bullpen, whatever. okay. president trump's job approval numbers have taken a hit this month. the president's approval rating fell to a new low in the fox news poll, just 38% approve, down four points in september. trump's disapproval rating hit a new high 57%. trump has also seen a dip among his core supporters, an eight-point drop among white evangelical voters. also down eight points among whites without a college degree and six-point drop among conservatives, men and white voters. joe, stop me whenever you want to. >> i'll actually stop right now and go to kristen.
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kristen, you do polls all the time. trump voters still support him 87%. republicans still supporting for the most part, eight out of ten supporting. those numbers are holding. man, is he bleeding independents. this is a low for a fox poll. he was at a 32% earlier this month. gall gallup. the base is holding, but he's losing everybody else, isn't he if. >> people are looking for, where is the win? you told us there would be all this winning. where is the win. for the most part, trump's own voters don't hold him responsible. they look at capitol hill, democrats, congressional leaders. they say this is what's causing the winning to have not happened in the way we were promised. voters who were not trump voters but maybe give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe didn't participate in the last
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election, the observers of politics. they are wondering where are the wins. that's why this tax reform question is so interesting because it's a chance to get something through congress, a chance to find an issue that republicans are fairly unified in. it could give the president that kind of a win, and yet from my vantage point, it doesn't seem as though the president is as focused on that as he is on, say, a fight with a gold star family and things like that. i think that's what you're seeing in these numbers, voters saying where is the win. >> of course, that is so critical, willie, for the president to be focused if he wants to pass tax reform. he thinks it's going to be as easy as the donors want tax reform, so give us tax reform. again, as bob corker will be telling us when he comes on the show and other senators that i've been talking to have been saying, they're trying to close loopholes, like trillions of dollars in loopholes. k. street is going to swarm all
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over this place. you'll have becomes' knees buckling. he said this is going to be tough. you need a president focused non-stop, that's bringing people in, that's explaining -- not just bringing them in and saying you're beautiful, this is great, this is the greatest bill ever. but explaining, this is going to be tough, but this is what you can tell your constituents, if we pass this tax reform, x, y and z is going to happen. he was never able to do that on health care reform. there's no reason to believe he'll be able to do it on tax reform. >> he made that promise reportedly last night to a group of donors, saying we'll have tax reform by the end of the year. he's got to have something on the board by the end of his first year. he can go back to gorsuch, driven largely by mitch mcconnell, of course. he can talk about the strength of the economy. we can dispute some of those numbers, harold. but he and senate republicans, and the reason a lot of them haven't crossed him in a way that bob corker and jeff flake and john mccain have is they also need something to go back to their voters and constituents
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with and say, look, you voted us in to do tax reform, we're doing it. otherwise they don't have much to show either. it's not just the president. >> i would agree with all you said. there's a long tradition in politics, campaigning one way and governing another. to a large extent, both of the parties, but the republicans, it's manifesting itself in the biggest and most pervasive way are struggling with it. jeff flake is a friend i served with in congress. bob corker who defeat ed me for the united states senate almost 12 years ago, they both campaigned in ways that they're not governing. you have republicans who campaigned on anti immigration, anti this, n anti that. they arrived there and want to kof earn differently. democrats have it on their side as well. obama wanted to close guantanamo bay and other things and did not. there were voters that were upset. you have the collision of reali
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realities, campaigning and governing. at the level we're talking about here with this president, he's confronting it. now you have these u.s. senators who are having conscience calls saying i can't live up to, or better yet, live down to the way i campaigned for 12, 16 years ago. when these realities collide, this is what you get. hopefully it's a signal and there will be more adherence to the way you campaign which may make campaigning more honest going forward. that's what i hope comes out of this. >> still ahead on "morning joe," president trump is set to clear the release of files related to the jfk assassination, the murder he once linked to the father of a politician. that politician, ted cruz is defending the president and attacking the media. the brave new world in republican politics is next on "morning joe." for the holidays, we get a gift for mom and dad. and every year, we split it equally.
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except for one of us. i write them a poem instead. and one for each of you too. thats actually yours. that one. yeah. regardless, we're stuck with the bill. to many, words are the most valuable currency. last i checked, stores don't take "words." some do. not everyone can be that poetic voice of a generation. i know right? such a burden. the bank of america mobile banking app. the fast, secure and simple way to send money. bp uses flir cameras - a new thermal imagining technology - to inspect difficult-to-reach pipelines, so we can detect leaks before humans can see them. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
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when you clock out, i'll clock in... sensing and automatically adjusting to your every move. there. i can also help with this. does your bed do that? i'm the new sleep number 360 smart bed. let's meet at a sleep number store. accused of obstructing justice to theat the fbinuclear war, and of violating the constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become? i'm tom steyer, and like you, i'm a citizen who knows it's up to us to do something. it's why i'm funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment. a republican congress once impeached a president for far less.
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yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it. start here. at fidelity, we let you know where you stand, so when it comes to your retirement plan, you'll always be absolutely...clear. it's your retirement. know where you stand. you'll always be absolutely...clear. tais really quite simple.est it comes in the mail, you pull out the tube and you spit in it, which is something southern girls are taught you're not supposed to do. you seal it and send it back and then you wait for your results. it's that simple.
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republican senator jeff flake of arizona said he hoped his defiant rejection of president trump's falsehoods, reckless behavior and personal attacks would be a, quote, tipping point. for most members of his party, it was just another day as president trump tweeted, jeff flake with an 18% approval rating in arizona said a lot of my colleagues have spoken out. really? they just gave me a standing o. in interviews yesterday many of flake and bob corker's colleagues some of whom were harsh critics of trump agreed. >> the president has his own way of communicating. look, it's worked. he's getting things done. he's perform iing. he's not the cookie cutter, and i think republicans need to have a leader that takes the reigns and does things the way he wants, so long as his goals are
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the same, and they are. >> i try not to make it abiliou personalities or somebody has less of character. that's the pot calling the kettle black. we tend to think i'm so perfect i can criticize another person's character. one of the things the media has missed on all this, they keep saying senator so and so is a conservative, why is there such a disagreement? because we made this ability personalities and less about policy. >> i think it's unfortunate the nastiness that pervades washington right now and the political battles of personality that consume seemingly every minute of the media attention and an awful lot of the time and energy here in this town. >> it's like you're back in junior high. i really don't care who passed a note to the cute girls in pig tails. we've got a job to do, damn it. all of this nonsense -- i've got
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nothing to say about it. everyone shut up and do your job. >> so joe, i feel like i want to hear from you, the republican turned independent because i don't think it's going to carry much weight coming from me. i feel like there's such a disconnect here, the three gentlemen we just heard from are putting massive blinders on and disregarding behavior that defies humanity. we're not talking about bickering here, are we? >> well, we actually heard, willie geist, the last gentleman who spoke today, donald trump would have us believe is going to be reading about his father in the papers released on the jfk assassination. if you believe donald trump, ted cruz's father had something to do with the jfk assassination. ted cruz's wife derided by
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donald trump as being unaguirre attractive. ted cruz assaulted time and time again by donald trump. him trying to paint everything with a broad brush is sad. first of all, you wonder why he doesn't feel more of a need to defend his family. exactly how he does that, that's up for ted cruz to figure out. we heard jim inhofe say the president had his own way of communicating. yes, he lies, and yes, he says he's going to strip licenses from news outlets with whom he disagrees. he uses stalinist phrases and calls the press the enemy of the people, calls other people the enemy of the people. he actually questions the legitimacy of the judicial branch and specific federal judicial judges. if barack obama had done any of
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these things, jim inhofe would have held eight-year hearings on it. yes, he does have his own way of communicating, and inhofe says it works. actually, no. the president has record low approval ratings. the republican party has its widest split in the generic ballot as they've ever had with the democratic party and congress's approval is now sitting at 14%, an almost record low there. what he said is patently false. jim inhofe, there is no reason to follow this guy. he's destroying the republican party. if you just, as i said before, look at the data. >> well, jim inhofe went a step further, mike. this is his quote yesterday. talking about flake and corker, maybe we do better by having some of the people who don't like him, talking about trump, leave and replace them. that's jim inhofe saying if you
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don't like hat the president is doing, maybe you should follow jeff flake out the door. >> we just showed jim inhofe, rand paul and ted cruz. the striking thing about the three of them is they are so filled with fear, the fear of getting tweeted against, the fear of the noise of the bannon wing of the republican party. it's as if they are in a house that's on fire and this they don't sense the fire is eventually going to get into the room that they're in. krist kristen, in the polling that you've done with regard to donald trump, the president of the united states and his status with elderly people, with independents, with whomever, does the issue of incompetence ever come up? that would seem to be his true weakness in the long run, incompetence, the fact that they can't get anything done with him as president. >> i think for voters who
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already didn't like donald trump, that's sort of baked into the cake for them. for voters who did vote for donald trump, again, you've seen a handful of them bleeding away, which is why his approval ratings that used to be just north of 40%, are now a little south of 40%. among republican voters and the types of voters that a senator inhofe or a senator cruz is talking to, those comments they made are the sorts of things that i will hear in focus groups from republican voters, that they just want to see things get done, that they get that the president tweets and they don't really like it. but you know what? i just want to see things get done. in their perspective, they're not -- you don't hear people say, well, there's a coequal branch of government and senators have every right to speak their mind. they just want to see things get done and they view it as a distraction. they don't think the senators coming out and making these comments are having any effect on actually changing the president's behavior, so what's the point of it which i think is an interesting argument, right? i believe if you disagree with this president, speak out by all
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means, but i think it's also valid to say, if you speak on the senate floor and you give a speech that's lovely, that the president doesn't change his behavior. if you haven't changed the minds of people in your party, is it a distraction? i think it's a fair question. >> the vulnerability that you just indicated, that you pointed to, it's okay if things get done. what if things don't get done? how quickly does it come down? >> that's where the wheels come off. if tax reforms don't get done, obamacare still in place, no major movement on tax reform, the wall is still not built, i do think you'll start to see more folks going okay, okay, maybe it's not mostly the president's fault, but he needs to do something different if he wants to make this work. that may be when you see those numbers get closer and closer to the mid to low 30s. coming up on "morning joe," on his asia trip next month, president trump will visit china, whose leader he is congratulating for consolidating
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power. it comes amid new threats from north korea. we'll get the latest reporting from the region next. in a few moments, senator bob corker will be our guest. dad: molly, can you please take out the trash? (sigh) ( ♪ ) dad: molly! trash! ( ♪ ) whoo! ( ♪ )
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>> i'd rather not say, but you'll be surprised. >> because everything is a reality show. president trump is set to embark on his first asia visit as president next month with stops in china, japan, south korea, vietnam and the philippines. it comes during a time of extremely high tensions with north korea which is bound to be a major topic of discussion during the trip. yesterday a senior north korean official told cnn that the u.s. should, quote, take literally a recent threat from north korea's foreign minister that pyongyang would detonate a hydrogen bomb over the pacific ocean, adding the dprk, quote, has always brought its words into action. joining us from seoul, south korea, nbc news foreign correspondent keir simmons.
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defense secretary jim mattis is arriving in south korea today. what's at stake with this trip? >> reporter: a lot. a great deal. he's going to have north korea top of his agenda with three u.s. carrier groups now operating in the region and chairman joint chiefs general dunford was expected to arrive here just in the past few hours. the president, of course, as you say dur to come to the region next month. is this the most tense region in the world right now? absolutely it is. we spent a week in north korea and the insights that we gained by having that time there were really impactful for us i've got to say. i think one of the things to say is just the strength of ideology that we experienced inside that
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country, we got to speak to a lot of people, admittedly people in pyongyang and in that kind of social circle, if you like, the higher echelons of north korean society. you ask if people question any question, and they quickly come back to telling you about their admiration and respekd for the supreme leader kim jong-un. they will tell you about the importance for them of ideology of self reliance. they are clearly, as far as they tell us, convinced that they may need to go to war and frankly, they would be prepared to die for that ideology. you never know in north korea whether what people are telling you is what they really think or whether there are layers there, but in terms of what we experience, that is the kind of strength that we experience. coming up on "morning joe," senator bob corker is standing by.
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he joins the conversation live on "morning joe."
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all this stuff you see on a daily basis on twitter this and twitter that, forget about it. let's focus on improving people's lives and doing what we said we would do that accomplish that. that's what we're focused on. are you going to ask about this? >> keep the blinders on. house speaker paul ryan reacting on tuesday to president trump's attacks on bob corker and bob corker hitting right back. the chairman of the foreign relations committee, senator bob corker of tennessee joins us now. joe? >> hey, bob. senator, thank you for being with us. i want to ask you the same question i asked mark meadows a guy who said like you is a deficit hawk. i asked him how in the world they were going to be able to
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close $4 trillion in tax loopholes without getting stampeded by people on k. street. he seemed to admit that it was going to be a real problem. how do you -- i know you want to pass this tax reform bill badly. how do you do that? how do you close $4 trillion in loopholes and how do you stop this from busting a hole in the debt? >> joe, let me walk through and make it simple. i think because of the actions on the senate floor to move past the parliamentarian, people are not really understanding what's happening here, so if i could just take a moment. we passed through a budget that gave $1.5 trillion headroom to the tax writers. it was moved past things you know about, static scoring, those kind of things. half a trillion of that was to align us with current policy. what did in the senate was pass something that allows for $1 trillion in dynamic scoring.
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it's got to be achieved or people like mark meadows and myself likely would not support it. but i think it can be achieved. what we've done is allowed for $1 trillion in potential dynamic scoring if we do this the right way. there's actually $5 trillion that has to be dealt here with to achieve the goals that have been laid out. $4 tril i don't know, 80% of what we're doing is closing loopholes. i'm all in. this is going to be -- if we do it right, it's going to be the biggest tax wright, re-tax write since 1986. you're right. we'll have to close $4 trillion of special interest, and some of these, by the way, have been in the code for years. that is going to be tough work. that's the spinach of this deal. people keep focusing on the senate budget and not understanding that the real work is getting ready to take place where the tax writers write out
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of the code $4 trillion in benefits to individuals and to businesses to reform the code to make up 80% of what it's going to take for us to actually do what we want to do to get corporate rates down to 20%, deal with the territorial issues, deal with pass-throughs. i'm all in. i'm excited about this. but joe, i do see some fear in people's eyes. you've been around here and you understand what's getting ready to take place. >> that's what i told congressman meadows. he's never seen the human wave from k. street over to capitol hill like he's going to see now. he's also going to get a lot of angry calls, and you are and everybody else from constituents because closing tax loopholes sure feels like tax increases to the people whose tax write-offs are being taken away. give us examples of some of the
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mover popular tax write-offs this bill will have to close. >> i was just on a sister program to you. i'll talk about the ones out there publicly. i want to give the tax writers as much chance for success as we possibly can and them to lay it all out at one time so they aren't piecemeal divided. one of the big ones is state and local taxes, $1.2 to $1.3 billion. if you start eroding this, you're saying we're not going to get here. i had a great meeting the other day with our tax writing folks who i have a lot of respect for. they've gotten about $3.6 trillion of tough stuff that has to be done to close loopholes. they're still trying to get another $400 billion. when they do that, they're getting into the quick, getting into some really, really tough measures that are going to be
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highly controversial. if you don't do it, you don't achieve what's been laid out in this tax reform package. >> willie geist. >> senator corker, let me ask you if i could, the white house privately and in some ways publicly has said the reason you've been lashing out against them lately is you asked president trump if you could be secretary of state and he denied that request. sarah sanders was asked this question on tuesday. she said, yes, that is my understanding. did you ask president trump if you could be his secretary of state? >> i've been on your program numbers of times. they interviewed me for the position. i was absolutely -- i thought rex tillerson was an inspired choice. i think you saw me in his hearings almost answering his questions for him. i was thrilled with the person they selected, especially after i've seen how they've treated him. that's a ridiculous thing.
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i don't think rex tillerson has a closer friend on capitol hill, closer supporter, someone who wants to see diplomatic activities to succeed than bob corker. he knows that. the white house knows that. president trump has -- anyway, it's a ridiculous assertion. >> the argument is twofold, one that you've been criticizing him because you were not made secretary of state and you were frustrated by that, but also, you're not coming back, not running for re-election so you feel liberated. would you have said all the things you said this week if you did have to face the voters again? >> did you see the chattanooga rotary club interview that i gave when i was still contemplating whether i was going to run again or not? >> yes. >> did you see earlier comments i made about chaos? this has been building for a long time. i had a private dinner with the president. i've played golf with the president. i've intervened when the staff has asked me to intervene, when
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he's getting ready to go off the rails which happens, as you know, often. look, i've done a lot of things privately. this has just continued to build. but i think the thing that has probably caused me to be most critical is kneecapping his secretary of state when we're trying to deal with north korea in a manner that doesn't lead us to a regional, global conflict. when you end up putting yourself in a position where you're not supporting trying to resolve, especially with china, this issue diplomatically, you basically are taking the country to a binary choice which can, in fact, lead to war. that's when i began -- i think when he got upset with me was when i talked -- i don't know why. i complimented his national security team for keeping us from chaos. look, i don't want to rehash all of that. i've got stuff to do here, tax reform. we've got issues to deal with with iran.
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one thing i don't get up in the morning and think about is what's happening at the white house relative to out bursts. >> as you know, your relationship with the president is critically important as chairman of the committee that you chair -- >> it is not important. >> you made your kmernts on tuesday and then went to that lunch. did you speak to the president at the lunch? have you spoken to him since you made your comments on tuesday? >> so look, i sat in my same seat i sit in every week at lunch. the president came into the room from another door and it was on the far side. i have not spoken to him. look, i'm constantly in touch with tillerson, with pence, with mnuchin who was just in my office recently on the tax issues. to be honest, my relationship with the president is not relevant. i'm dealing with the principals who conduct foreign policy, and i hope more and more he'll leave these issues to them.
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mnuchin, gary cohn from time to time -- the way we feel about each other which is not particularly positive, is irrelevant to me carrying out the responsibilities i have here. totally irrelevant. >> what might be relevant is the potential that our democracy is being threatened in any way. and i wonder -- i wonder if you could help me understand what's going on with some of your republican colleagues, some who say it's a lot easier to speak the way bob corker does because he's leaving. it's maybe -- you want to get that? >> i'll call later. >> that's not the president, is it? is it easier to say because you're leaving, or is that an excuse on their part? one of your republican colleagues even said that the president doesn't lie, he speaks in hyperbole. what's going on? >> look, i've said about all i
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need to say. i don't want to create a whole other series of 48, 72 hours' worth of stories. >> i understand that. >> i've been very clear about how i feel about all of this. i think when you have a governing model that's about dividing the country, when it's about resentment, when you only focus on keeping your base solid to the extent of really alienating other people, instead of trying to bring our nation together, to bring out the better angels in our citizens, i just got an e-mail from a great friend of mine at a university last night talking about the wonderful young people there, typically presidents try to be aspirational in what they do, they try to bring out the best in our country. again, i've already said this before, i hope it isn't like repeated 80 times in the media over the next 72 hours. but that to me is not happening, and i'm going to continue to
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rail against that in an appropriate way. i don't want to have an ongoing, quote, unquote, feud. that's not who we are as air mans kachlt it doesn't just affect us, by the way. i'm hearing from people in europe. it affects the world. we are the greatest nation on earth. typically our presidents understand that and they try to bring that out, not just in our country, but they understand the place our country has in affecting everything else. i don't think we're ever going to see that. that's what's been disappointing, especially since working towards this is something we began in private, became a little more public and obviously now very public. but i want to focus on the work i have to do. i have months to do everything i possibly can to make this country as great as it can be and to make sure our role in the foreign relations committee and
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the world is what it's supposed to be. i just don't wake up in the morning thinking about -- >> how to feud. >> that's right. >> mike, go ahead. >> senator, let's get to the work that you're doing. as we speak right now, a third carrier group arrived in the sea of japan, that's three united states aircraft carriers in the sea of japan. what's going on and when is the united states senate going to get around to redoing the act of force which is now 16 years old. >> first of all, the obama administration felt they had the legal authority to do what they're doing against isis based on the '01 aumf and the '02 aumf. i agree with them. the trump administration believes they have have the abili ability, recently four soldiers killed based on those a umfs. i agree with them.
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i think they have the legal authority. what we're going to do, to answer your question, on monday night of next week, we have tillerson and mattis coming in. we have a hearing on this very topic. as you know jeff flake and tim kaine have an aumf they've offered. there have been other people that have done the same. we're going to begin this debate about what congress's role should actually be. whether you think you have the legal authority or not, should we be involved as we move into different countries dealing especially with isis. so that's one issue. the second issue is going to be, in something like north korea, what is it the president can do without any input from congress? i think people would be shocked to know what those things are. we've got some members like senator markey, he's concerned about what a president can do with launching a nuclear weapon in 120 seconds. all of these things will be discussed.
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i'm not particularly laying out a position right now. but we're going through a series of hearings to do exactly what it is you're requesting. i do hope we'll be able to update the aumf. i do. that takes 60 votes in the senate and takes the house -- there's a lot of division over what powers the commander-in-chief should have. but we're going begin that process monday. i appreciate you highlighting it. i have a feeling it will be highly watched. >> senator bob corker, thank you so much. good to have you on the show. >> thank you. up next, why does vladimir putin want to control ukraine? ask stalin. pulitzer prize winner ann applebaum sugge explains what i means for washington's approach to washington next on "morning joe."
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51 past. joining us now, pulitzer prize winning historian ann applebaum, author of "red famine, stalin's war on the ukraine." you spent six years on this book and your time cing could not be more perfect to have to releasing now. joe, take it away.
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>> thank you. anne, it's a remarkable work and absolutely chilling. can you explain how a famine began in the soviet union and stalin actually had a chance to alleviate that suffering. he could have done several things which you lis, including asking for foreign aide like he did in 1921, but instead he actually accelerating the famine and it led to 5 million deaths. how did he do that and explain why did he do that. >> that's right. the famine was caused more generally by chaos by his agricultural policy, forcing state farms. then he made the decision to widen and deepen it specifically in ukraine. he saw ukraine as kind of competition for the bolsheviks. he worried about ukrainian nationalism, he worried about peasant rebellion.
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he put a kind of cordon around ukraine and had add series of searches. this was a famine caused by teams of people going house to house and taking people's food and leaving them to starve to death. >> and it was -- it really was the use of famine as a device of war and you saw that it was ruthlessly effective and by the end of it, 5 million russians were dead. what was it, 3.9 in the ukraine? >> yes, it's 5 million total and then about 3.9 million in the ukraine. >> the death of the idea of ukraine yan nation, but also, there was a second part of this. talk about stalin hunting intellectuals and artists and other free thinkers. >> yes, the famine was half of a policy. the other half, as you say, was his attack on intellectuals,
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writers, artists, anybody who had any kind of independent mind or any -- who might prove a political challenge to the leadership. his idea was to eliminate all political opposition and he feared in particularly ukraine where they had a separate national identity and a history in 1917, ukraine had had its own government, so he sought to eliminate that and make sure the bolsheviks were the only one in power. >> can you explain the bafflement, complete bafflement of actually communist in ukraine that would write polite letters to joseph stalin, asking is the starvation of our people now official policy? >> people really couldn't believe it and there were letters in the archives, peasants and others would write in to moscow and say, don't you know this is happening, surely you're not aware of it. some of them would say, well, you know it must be -- the
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bourgeois i must is there done this, it can't be the soviet state that carried this out. many people throughout the soviet union and the world would have trouble believing the state could actually carry this out, could organize a famine and kill so many people. stalin tried to cover it up. for many years the cover-up worked. >> here we are, 35 years later, with vladimir putin, ukraine very much in the headlines, based on the way he's treated that country. how does it relate to what we saw in the past? what's the historical path that got us to where we are today? >> so there is a clear relationship. the feeling that stalin had that ukraine is not just a fara way country where there could be some problems or distant problems but it's actually an existential challenge to him. this is something similar to what putin feels to ukraine. when he saw in 2014 all those young people waving flags and calling for rule of law and democracy, he thought that could happen here. this is something that could
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happen here in moscow, and that was why he then invaded crimea. they're related countries, related languages and he couldn't stand the idea they would take a different path or european path. >> you've been working on this book for six years, studying ukrainian history and then watching as the presidency campaign unfolded. what did you think when paul manafort was made campaign manager of president trump's campaign? >> anybody who worked on ukraine in previous years knew who he was because he was the main adviser to the pro-russian president, the one who had carried out these authoritarian changes and he was the one people were protesting against in 2014. he lived in kiev for many years. he had a big staff there. he was a well-known figure there. my first thought when he was appointed as campaign manager, i wrote this at the time in "the
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washington post," this was going to be the crimeanization of the u.s. >> they wrote, a great crime in front of us. and then the annex conversation of crimea right in front of us, and yet different technique, propaganda, misinformation. is this somehow embedded in the story of ukraine? >> oh, yes, absolutely, so the soviet disinformation and cover-up and propaganda techniques had very much been adopted and adapted and sort of reformed for the modern cyberworld by the modern russian security services. it's a little bit different now. their tactics are different. they don't use mass murder anymore as a tactic, which stalin did. you can see this desire to divide people, create scapegoats. as you saw with the -- when
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facebook released the kind of ads that the russianings wes we buying and using in the united states, were defined by setting them against other americans. this is a very old soviet tactic. >> the book is "red famine, stalin's war on ukraine." thank you for being on the show. on tomorrow's show, new jersey governor chris christie joins the conversation, and we thank you for joining us today. that does it for us for now. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage in just a few moments.
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hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning, a party divided. the president downplaying any split between himself and moderate members of party. >> we have actually in the republican party in a true sense, we have great unity. >> at the same time, he's also hitting back on calls for him to be more civil. >> the press makes me more uncivil than i am. i went to an ivy league college. i'm a very intelligent person. >> going to an ivy league college, being an intelligent person doesn't make you civil. a national overdose. public trump expected to announce a public health emergency on opioids. >> if we had a terrorist organization killing 42

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