tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 11, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
i think how much i can do to help change people's lives. i may not benefit from those breakthroughs, but i'm sure going to... i'm bringing forward a treatment for alzheimer's disease, yes, in my lifetime, i will make sure. >> i'm keir simmons at msnbc world headquarters in new york. it's a busy saturday with major developments on the russia front. president trump is again trying to stamp out any suggestion that russia meddled in the 2016 presidential race. the president was seen chatting with vladimir putin at the asia pacific economic summit earlier today. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders confirming this is one of multiple informal conversations between the two leaders during the trip.
but that there will be no formal meeting. while en route to vietnam earlier, trump was asked by reporters aboard air force one, whether he had spoken to putin about u.s. election influence, referring to putin, the president said, quote, he said he didn't meddle. i asked him again. you can only ask him so many times. he said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. let's bring in nbc news chris jansing who is live on the ground in hanoi, following the president's trip. chris, in that 26-minute briefing, the president made a lot of headlines. >> yeah, and it wasn't about the two things that the white house said from the very beginning that they wanted to focus on, coming here to asia, and that is north korea and trade. instead, he got wrapped up in a lot of questions about vladimir putin and his influence on the election. he said, as you saw, he pressed him again and he denied repeatedly, vladimir putin. in fact, the president said, you can only ask him so many times, and it sort of becomes the point of diminishing returns.
he himself, president trump, said that this was a politically motivated hit job. he called out barack obama, he called out hillary clinton, who he said in her dealings with the russians, was in way over here head, and he called out all of those intelligence agencies that have agreed with evidence that russia did indeed -- was involved in achffecting the 201 election. so much has been said about this, and there's been so much pushback by the intelligence agencies, so much reporting, as you know, keir, about how american intelligence officers feel about this, about constantly being questioned in their assessments, that the former cia director, general michael hayden, actually took to twitter after the president's comments to say he'd been in touch with the cia now. there's been absolutely no change in the assessment, that they have had all year, which is that, indeed, russians interfered with the election in 2016. the president said it's time to move on, and the reason is that
it's taking away from diplomatic efforts, something that could cost millions of lives. keir? >> and we're going to try to unpack the president's comments through the next hour, but i want to ask you, white house reporters following trump on this trip were shut out of this asia pacific forum. why? >> reporter: well, according to the white house, this was a decision made locally. sarah huckabee sanders told our folks that she didn't know anything about it until after it happened. having said that, there have already been concerns raised on this trip, as you well know, in china, for the joint press conference with xi, the press did not get to answer questions. usually when a u.s. president goes and has a meeting like that with a head of state, each country gets to ask two questions, has two reporters each ask two questions, one each, to each leader. that did not happen this time. so xi said that the reaction was that the president came back and was able to talk to reporters
for 25, 26 minutes, but again, keir, if you want to stay focused on the subject at hand, the white house has said all along, leading up to and going into this 12-day asian trip, they wanted that focus to be not where it was. they wanted it to be on north korea, and they wanted it to be on trade. keir? >> and for viewers who haven't noticed, it's 5:00 a.m. there in vietnam. chris jansing working -- >> yes, it is. >> -- very, very hard. thank you, my friend. to dig deeper, let's bring in barbara mcquaid, alex sights wold, eugene scott, and sarah westwood, white house correspondent for the washington examiner. eugene, one expert calls the president's approach to russia and putin, unilateral disarmament. did you try and help us make some sense of whether there's any political good sense that
you detect here in the way president trump continues to approach russia and president putin? >> well, i certainly think he is fighting for the integrity of his election here. i mean, there's more information coming out consistently regarding the investigation led by mueller that it's bringing some of his operations during the campaign or should i say, the operations of his team into question. and i think the president who's consistently been defensive when it comes to his election, is trying to make a case that he rightfully belongs in the white house. and he's primarily, i believe, trying to make a case to the trump supporters who are still on the trump train, who he hopes remain on it, because he's hoping to be re-elected in 2020. >> alex, do you believe trump's refusal to admit russian meddling is an attempt to distance himself from mueller's investigation? >> i do, yeah. i think we should take everything that donald trump says with a grain of salt, including him saying that he believes vladimir putin. regardless of whether he does or
not, i think what he's trying to do is undercut the sense of urgency about this investigation, tell his supporters that there's nothing to this, don't believe anything that's coming out of that investigation. and he's saying this, of course, right as the investigation is ramping up, sights on michael flynn, his former national security adviser. already indicted paul manafort, the former campaign manager. so i think he's trying to expapped the frame of possible things here with mueller on one side and him on the other side, saying, not only is the investigation wrong but the entire idea of russian irpt feerns is wrong to begin with, regardless of what my intelligence officials say. >> and barbara, what's the legal perspective on the way trump continues to baffle people, many people, in his approach to russia? >> well, i think it undermines public confidence in our legal system and in our intelligence commu community when he continues to dispute the findings of 17 intelligence agencies that did find that russia meddled in our election. i think it's incredibly
unpatriotic to try to lie to the american people and say that it didn't happen. just to make himself look stronger politically in the eyes of his backers. >> while en route to hanoi, the president commented to on the u.s. intelligence community's findings. saying, they're political hacks, so you look at it and then you have brennan and clapper and you have comey, comey's proven now to be a liar, and he's proven to be a leaker. so you look at that and you have president putin very strongly vehemently says he has nothing to do with that. is the president suggesting putin's claims are more believable than those of his own intelligence community. >>? president trump has always been critical of the intelligence community, specifically the obama administration intelligence leaders who became critical of president trump when he left office. trump is someone as you know who is very sensitive to personal
criticism. this goes to what he said, how forcefully he pushed back on election meddling, is why the white house decided not to have a bilateral meeting between trump because they wanted to avoid this situation. president trump still found a way to bring it into the conversation, but this is something they were hoping to avoid this time. >> and crucially, we still, even in this case, i think i'm right in saying, don't know exactly what the conversation was. i mean, we don't have a transcript, right? >> right. we're not going to have a transcript of it because it was an informal meeting. because it wasn't a bilateral meeting. so you wouldn't have the typical structure of a read-out given to reporters and the diplomatic community like you would in a formal bilateral meeting. but remember, that an informal conversation at the g20 summit in july at hamburg, germany, was
just as problematic for trump because we found out after the fact the public wasn't informed it took place and it caused similar problems for the white house over the summer. >> barbara, do you think mueller's investigators will be paying attention to the comments that president trump makes? >> well, you know, what he says in the public domain can't be used as false statements, for example, but they absolutely can be used as admissions at any trial down the road. so i think they absolutely are paying attention to it. i'm sure they document every day what he says on twitter, what he says publicly, and they keep it to use it for clues as to what's on his mind, but also in building any obstruction of justice case that they have against him later. any of those statements can be used against him which is why any lawyer would be advising president trump to stop talking. >> and mueller's team will be looking into whether trump's national security adviser michael flynn met with senior turkish officials just weeks before donald trump's
inauguration about a potential quid pro quo in which flynn would be paid to carry out directives from ankara, secretly, while in the white house. i guess it seems like a simple question, really. if true, what could this mean for michael flynn, barbara, and for the trump white house? >> these would be very, very serious crimes. i think there has been speculation that he could be charged with failing to register as a foreign agent, but this is a completely different kind of crime. this is either conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which is punishable by up to life in prison, or it's accepting a $15 million bribe from a foreign adversary to engage in an official act. either way, this is a very serious crime if the facts merit it, and certainly it's worthy of additional investigation. but if so, very, very serious crime. and it also, i think, impacts the potential obstruction of justice charge. if president trump knew that this was part of the fbi's investigation, and when he asked jim comey to let the thing go
with flynn, if he's talking about this, then i think the obstruction case also becomes much bigger. >> and again and again we've seen revelations that haven't shifted the politics. does the michael flynn revelation, or alleged revelation, shift things, or did the elections this week have more of an effect on the gop? >> i certainly think the elections this week of those things, had a bigger effect, because michael flynn has been problematic for the gop for almost a year at this point. but what the election showed in many states and districts that even the republican party was hoping to either win or do at least better in, it's that they don't have the mandate that they thought they did when they were elected in november. and that there are american voters who will quickly stay at home or vote against the republican party if this party continues to fail to produce some type of significant legislation that ends up making america great again. >> talk about just in simple
political terms, the impact of president trump and whether we're seeing more about that impact, specifically that it appears, judging by the election this week, that perhaps president trump really motivates democratic voters. >> right, i think the election was kind of the first sign since trump's election last year, that rules of political gravity do still apply in the trump era. that when you have a president who has approval ratings in the 30s, his party does lose power. this is what you would expect to happen, but we really weren't sure until now. exit polls show that overwhelmingly people who said they were voting because of donald trump, 2-1, they had a negative feeling about donald trump, there was this huge outpouring of support for democrats in the suburbs, the same place that we saw backlash to trump last year among republicans and independents. there's a clear path that was laid out, began on tuesday for democrats to have a very good year next year in the midterm
elections, a lot can change between then, but it's the first real concrete evidence that things could really start to turn against trump very badly at the elections next see it, sarah, is that overstating? ? >> . >> i think the democrats had concerns, this anti-trump resistance, was not going to translate into turn-out, wasn't going to translate into electoral gains. and tuesday showed democrats that there is a way to harness that energy into something concrete. so that's probably the strategy that they will pursue, heading into the mid terms. >> all right, the political landscape continues to shift at a dizzying pace. barbara mcquaid, alexicize wold, eugene scott, and sarah, thank you for spending some of your saturday for me. several lawmakers call for roy moore to drop out of the
race after allegations of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl. >> this is so wrong on so many levels. this is where all politicians, whether republican or democrat, this is an issue of right versus wrong. those people need to stand up and say, this is wrong. we get there are some responsibilities of love you gotta do on your own. and some you shouldn't have to shoulder alone. like ensuring your family is protected, today and tomorrow, no matter what the future brings. see how life insurance from lincoln can help start protecting your family's financial future now, at lincolnfinancial.com. the market.redict but through good times and bad... ...at t. rowe price... ...we've helped our investors stay confident for over 75 years. call us or your advisor. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture.
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welcome back. on the offensive, roy moore lashing out again at "the washington post," calling its reporting of alleged sexual misconduct a politically motivated smear campaign. >> they're desperate. this article is a prime example of fake news. an attempt to divert attention from the true issues which affect our country. >> moore was speaking at a veterans day event. his first public appearance since "the washington post" detailed allegations that he initialled a sexual encounter with a freen-year-old girl in 1979, an accusation he denies. republicans now on damage control, many of them distancing themselves from their party's embattled candidate, calling for
roy moore to drop out of the senate race, despite the political fall-out, roy moore said he's still in it to win it. i want to bring in vaughn hillyard, kirstin hagland, and charlie sykes. vaughn, i want to start with steve bannon. take a listen to what he said yesterday. >> you know, is it just a coincidence that the washington post did the hit on judge moore? that just a complete random thing in the universe. judge moore, i'm standing with him. >> does that resonate with folks there? >> it does. you add in on top of that, the fact that he's running on the fact that the public here in alabama has known who roy moore is now for decades. he's been in the public spotlight as a judge, he's run
for multiple elected offices before. so he's running on the fact that you know me, i'm this good guy, at this point, this stuff is 40 years old and he's trying to undermine the credibility of the women who have come forward to "the washington post." he said just this morning that we should expect to see ref lagedzs in t lage alations in the coming days as it pertains to the credibility of these individuals. and yesterday, suggesting other stories are going to come out in the future. you go around birmingham, talking to the voters, and you saw that round of applause, standing ovation for him upon his arrival to the event this morning, there seems to be steadfast support for roy moore locally. he's not an unknown commodity. and when it comes to the prospect of voting for a democrat, for many of these people here, it seems like there's little chance of that. >> kirstin, republicans urging moore to drop out, many of them. that's not a surprise, really, is it? many of themmi will be not worrd he might lose the next election,
but that he might win and turn up in the senate? >> right. and they do have measures to remove him if he does get elected. there have been about 15 senators removed by the senate since 1989, so it's rare, and it was related to issues of their election, not necessarily their conduct. but we can all agree here, this is not a usual political environment we have right now. so expect anything to happen. what is good news, at least from the federal level, the national level, the senate fundraising commit he has pulled back their support for this man. it's so incredibly frustrating, as a young member of the republican party and as a conservative, to see these kind of characters continue to be put up for election. we need better candidates. i think that's something that finally people are getting, especially republican senators and say afor the long-term healh of the party, these are not the people we need representing us. we need people who are forward-thinking, that are younger, and who will say, it doesn't matter that it was 40
years ago, it's still wrong. >> can you just try and help us understand a little bit what is going on there, where people are still supporting him? many people who describe themselves as christians. i'm a father of young girls, 5-year-old girls. this is the kind of thing that horrifies me. it must horrify anyone. surely at some point the politics stops and you have to think about it in terms of just being a parent, being a human being, if you like. >> i think it would have made a difference if the revelations had come out before during the primary, when there was someone else to choose from. but just to give you a little bit of insight, especially among conservatives in the south, when you pit a republican, even when all these allegations come out against a democrat, it's a similar d.c. as similar thing, a lot of people went to the polls and voted because they could stomach that more than a democrat. that's something that needs to change amongst a lot of constituents. >> it's really a stark testament to how polarized the politics
is, isn't it? >> yes, absolutely. we have to go forward from here. it will be interesting to see if the write-in candidate gets some traction. luther strange is being pushed to run as a write-in. it would probably split the vote and they might get a democrat. but this shows it's not politically motivated. why would democrats want to waste times on revelations in a district in a state that is ur -- purely red. >> do democrats have any leverage at all, or are they stuck with this choice? >> they have no leverage over him and it's hard to think of any good best case scenario for them. i do think he'll stay in the race. i think he ought to drop out. i think he's completely disqualified. i thought that before the revelations. but he's going to be in the race and i think there's a chance he's going to win because of this tribal politics, the moral rock that we've seen -- look, i don't know why anyone's surprised by this.
the dye was cast when republicans decided that they were going to embrace the "access hollywood" video president, right? we have seen the willingness of republicans to do this in the past, plus what you're seeing, they're turning this into a referendum on the left-wing smear media attempt. but the real danger is what roy moore is going to do to the republican party nationally. because should he be elected and should he be seated, this is going to taint republicans all over the country. and so this is one of these moments of choosing and i'm afraid that a lot of republicans think that they've immunized themselves by doing that, if true, he should drop out. well, the if true gives them the out, but the allegations are credible and the republican party is looking at a midterm election and what happened in virginia, this can create a
wave. >> the if true question and the innocent until proven guilty question, this isn't a court, this is politics. we've got a vote coming, so in a sense, i guess, you could argue that roy moore should face the voters and see how the voters feel about these allegations. >> exactly. again, the innocent until proven guilty is in a court of criminal law. this is something that the voters of the state of alabama are going to have to decide. but the national republicans were kind of hiding behind the if true. and i understand the point they're making, but there's going to be no definitive evidence. this is not going to a court of law. this is not going to be litigated. they have to decide whether or not these women might be lying. they have to decide whether or not this credible reporting should be believed. and what's interesting right now, is, you juxtapose everything else in society, all of the other revelations coming out about people in journalism and in hollywood, you know, how
in fact it's destroyed their careers. how in fact, we have believed the women who are coming forward, and yet for whatever reason, conservative republicans have decided they want to be the outlier and they want to strabeg back and say, these women are lying, that it's bogus, it's fake, it's going to be ugly for republicans. >> you've been listening to the conversation. reflect if you will on how it tallies with what you're hearing from voters, when you speak to voters there and they say, we still support roy moore. what do they say? >> they say that the roy moore we're discussing right now is not the roy moore that they know. this man has gone back to the '70s, '80s, the '90s. over the last 20 years, people have known him for a long time. i talked to the rnc committee man, paul reynolds, who represents alabama, and he said nobody better challenge as a write-in candidate, because the voters in alabama, just a couple
of weeks ago, selected this man over luther strange. they said they knew who this man was. he was pushed out of being chief justice of the supreme court twice. a man that said homosexual acts should be illegal. despite all that, the voters voted for him. whether that changes course, there's been little indication to suggest otherwise. they say he's a good noble man and they want him to serve as their senator. >> it just sums up the profound challenges that the republican party faces. >> and it does. and also that the gop is very, very divided. culturally what people see as laudable traits in their potential senators are very different in alabama than they are in utah or in michigan, or in massachusetts. you know, we have a very, very divided country right now. and the fact, which was just mentioned, that some of those very more far right kind of stances, especially socially, that then justice roy moore took, that makes him a hero in their eyes. so we have to look with at least
try seek first to understand where these voters are coming from. didn't make any of his actions right or noble, about ybut we n have compassion for these women, they didn't go to "the post." the "t "the post" came to them. they're having to relive and relitigate this on a national stage and having a man say essentially that they're all liars. >> it's easy to forget while we get buried in the politics, understandably, that these are people with real stories and real pain. just talk, though, if you can, about whether removing roy moore would set an historic precedent. >> well, no. the united states senate has to do it. it is as kirsten mentioned, very unusual. but the republican party really has to make some decisions. because what we're seeing now, can we just step back for a moment. this is not normal that you have a candidate who is credibley
accused of pedophilia, who is being embraced by one of the major political parties in our country and might be elected to the united states senate. this is a real reflection of the win at all costs, moral rot in our politics. so this is something the united states senate is going to have to confront, should he be elected. >> we should say again, he denies it, but it's a poignant point to end on. thank you all for joining us. >> thanks. next, a new sex scandal rocks hollywood, and comedian louis c.k. breaks his silence. and on this veterans' day, america salutes the brave men and women who serve our country. ♪ ♪ paying less for my medicare? i'm open to that. lower premiums? extra benefits? it's open enrollment. time to open the laptop... ...and compare medicare health plans. why? because plans change, so can your health needs.
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i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free. it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. just a few dabs is clinically proven to seal out more food particles. try super poligrip free. ♪ here are some of the stories we're covering this hour on msnbc. we're learning more about president trump's view of the allegations that russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. the president said that he thinks russian president vladimir putin is very insulted by the reports.
the president also says the putin claims that he absolutely did not meddle in our election. vice president mike pence marked this veterans day by laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. he also helped clean the vietnam veterans memorial. the vice president says that we should thank veterans for their courage and our freedom. and the head of puerto rico's emergency management agency has resigned, the move comes a day after the puerto rican governor demanded unsigned letters of resignation from his cabinet. abnor gomez took a vacation less than a month after hurricane maria devastated the island in mid september. hollywood's moment of truth regarding sexual harassment continues one month after the harvey weinstein story first broke. today networks are cutting ties with comedian louis c.k., after he admitted sexual misconduct, and actors elaine page and anthony edwards are some of the latest to speak out. steve patterson is in los angeles today with more.
>> this morning, cutting ties, from netflix to hbo, and now fx, media companies distancing themselves from louis c.k. after bombshell allegations of sexual misconduct. >> i would just ask them out. >> reporter: yesterday the comedian coming clean. these stories are true, he writes in his statement, addressing five women who told "the new york times" they were asked to, or had to watch him master bait without consent. the power i had over these women is that they admired me, and i wielded that power irresponsibly. the comic, part of a sexual misconduct scandal sweeping across hollywood. friday, actor anthony edwards, known for his role in er, writing he was molested as a child actor by broadway producer gary goddard. >> i was molested by him, my best friend was raped by him and this went on for years. his spokesperson said gary is
saddened by the false allegations. ellen page is also speaking out, accusing brett ratner of homophobic and abusive behavior. outing her as gay when she was 18. page said the director told a woman next to her, you should blank her to make her realize she's gay. legendary actress tippi hedren said she isn't surprised by any of it. she spoke out for years against alfred hitchcock, describing sexual harassment, which she wrote about in our autobiography. >> it's one of these and he started talking and said, i'll ruin your career and i said, do what you have to do. >> reporter: as the course of accusations build, hed rein is encouraging others to stand up and add their voice. >> absolutely speak out. get as loud as you can. >> steve patterson reporting there, thank you, steve. next, a roadblock for
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what's your body of proof? 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 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. >> i also have come here to this peninsula to deliver a message directly to the leader of the north korean dictatorship. the weapons you're acquiring are not making you safer. they are putting your regime in grave danger. every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face. >> a stern warning from president trump to north korea, delivered from the front lines of the north korean crisis. trump is in asia, to unite regional leaders behind the u.s. campaign to denuclearize north korea, an effort he says, could use russia's help. he told reporters earlier today, because of the lack of the relationship that we have with russia, because of this artificial thing that's happening with this democratic
inspired thing, we could really be helped a lot, tremendously, with russia, having to do with north korea. for more now on this, joining us, major general robert scales, and msnbc national security analyst evelyn farcas. i want to read you a statement. there's nothing america first about taking the word of a kgb colonel over that of the american intelligence community. there's no principled realism in cooperating with russia to prop up the murderous assad regime, which remains the greatest obstacle to a political solution that would bring an end to the bloodshed in syria. vladimir putin, he says, does not have america's interests at heart. to believe otherwise is not only naive, but also places our national security at risk. senate john mccain there. what is your reaction? >> well, i think he's right. and i don't think -- look, just
to be sure, i e-mailed a dear friend of mine who probably is the -- one of the -- one of the most renowned experts in strategic intelligence, and i said, just tell me again, make me -- convince me that the russians have, in fact interfered with our elections. and he said absolutely. he said every measure of intelligence, human intelligence, electronic intelligence, cyber intelligence, all firmly support the contention that the russians are involved. secondly, very interesting, he said, look, the russians have been doing this for 150 years. alexander ii, czar ever the late 19th century used disinformation as an art form. so the contention that somehow the idea that vladimir putin is not interfering in our elections is absolutely 100% false. >> and it's politics and intelligence and diplomacy that goes with the territory, doesn't
it? what president trump is trying to say is that the domestic issue that it's created is getting in the way of him pursuing a successful foreign policy. >> yeah. >> is there any truth to that, do you think? >> well, yeah, actually, there is. russia is the second most powerful country in the world. it's got 7,000 nuclear weapons. and the country covers 11 time zones. even though an ex-kgb lieutenant colonel is in charge of the country right now, that does not absolve the united states, painful though it may be, to engage with the leader of russia, just as we tried to engage with the leaders of the soviet union in the dark days of the '70s and '80s. having said that, we should never, never try to seek russia's help without understanding what they're ulterior motive is, which is to compete with the united states and to eampt race trase the sta
embarrassment of the cold war. no, we're in it as a balancing power in the world, to engage the russians. we should never, ever be diluted, though, by the ultimate intent of russia, to be a strategic competitor with us. >> earlier i spoke with ambassador chris hill. he was very involved in the six-party talks aimed at revolve solving the north korea crisis. listen to what he has to say and we'll talk afterwards. >> i can tell you, the north korean issue was never helped by the russians. the russians never really engaged, never really did anything to kind of move us forward, unlike the chinese who really did try within their boundaries. >> evelyn, is trump trying to elevate russia's role with north korea? >> yes, he is. i was watching from the senate, from the senate armed services committee during the entire eight years of the bush administration when they had ongoing negotiations with the
north koreans. they had a little bit much succe -- of success for a little while because of sanctions. the russians were almost a bystander. it was six-party talks, so they were one of the six parties in the talks, but the russians were not heavily engaged at that time. from 2000, basically from the early 2000s, putin was still relatively new in office. he had not yet found his sea legs and he had not yet decided that russia was in a hard-core adversarial relationship with the united states. now he's motivated to show that russia's great again, that russia can stand up to the united states, although in the case of north korea, we are on the same page with the russians, or we should be. but the russians have not been as willing to be quietly helpful or let us take the lead this time around. now they're continuing to engage in trade with north korea. they're making -- they make unhelpful comments repeatedly with regard to north korea. so the russians are not our
friends. they are really in an adversarial relationship with us. doesn't mean we can't talk to them or we shouldn't try to get them to be more cooperative. >> putting themselves at the center of key international issues is part of the strategy, isn't it? that's their way, the whole point, to say to washington, we're here in the middle east, we're here on the korean peninsula, you can't ignore us, right? >> yes, they have two audiences. vladimir putin and his cronies, you know, the kremlin crowd, they want to maintain power. and one of the ways that they're going to maintain power right now, when the russian economy is dragging, basically because there's no innovation, and that oil price is low and they're a petro, chemical state, because of that, they now need to rely on nationalism to stay in power. they need to tell the russian people, we're making russia great again. so that's important domestically, but it's also important because they have real national pride and they don't want a unipolar system where the united states is the only boss
in town. so the unfortunate thing, though, is that the russian government right now sees its interests as opposed to ours in many areas, first and foremost, ukraine. but even in syria, we have very narrow agreement in syria, we don't have broad agreement, as senator mccain pointed out. and on north korea, we should have agreement, but here the russians have not been very helpful, around the edges, less helpful than they've been willing to be in the past. >> major general scales, can you set out a road map. trump suggested we risk insulting putin if we continue to press him on interference. and there is something there, you're not going to get the russians to admit it, even if you put all the evidence on the table in front of them. so what's the way forward? >> well, part of the art of disinformation is to conduct an information campaign and then serially deny it. that's just part of the game.
and that's exactly what the russians are doing. and the one other thing this guy told me, which is very informative, he said the russians have handled this whole caper in a very amateurish way, which is unusual for a president who used to be a kgb officer. in many ways, the russians have done themselves damage by the ham-handed nature of their disinformation campaign, and by their obsession with denying any involvement in it. so on the one hand, interfering with our election was absolutely horrific. on the other hand, the amateurish way that they conducted this campaign has opened them up to the rest of the world, particularly the western world, not to trust sputnik, not to watch rt, and always treat anything coming out of russia with a grain of salt. >> it's a great point.
you can exaggerate the strength of russia, the diplomatic prowess of russia, if you like. great conversation. major general robert scales and evelyn farcas, thank you. and we'll be right back. small businesses show their love to you. with some friendly advice, a genuine smile and a warm welcome they make your town... well, your town. that's why american express is proud to be the founding partner of small business saturday. a day where you get to return that love, because shopping small makes a big difference. so, on november 25th get up, get out, and shop small.
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on tuesday democratic candidate for governor ralph northam swept the board in virginia besting his republican rival by nine points. democrats also saw major gains in virginia's house of delegates and in races in new jersey and washington. both parties have wondered if these victories set up the stage for a democratic coup in 2018, or if republicans simply didn't turn out in large enough numbers to be competitive. joining me, senior adviser to the democratic party and back with us, the "washington post"'s eugene scott. everyone is trying to figure out, was this a referendum on
donald trump? don't talk to us politically. talk to us as a democratic strategist. >> yes. i think it was. i think what you saw was a motivated electorate which has to be very nerve-racking for the gop and i think also demming were successful in convincing or conveying to voters that you have to take a look at this grand experiment, which was electing donald trump. i think voters met it with some measure of inkra jewelty. saw it in new york. were able to shift and say to voters that, look at your republican representatives. they can't have it both ways. can't walk that fine line and say that they support donald trump but don't really support donald trump when it comes to things that they care about. and i think constantly calling that out and being able to present good alternatives, a good bench and a strong message, i think that was what you saw in
virginia, new jersey, new york and it's a road map for 2018, no question about it. >> two issues, though. one, donald trump's base does not seem to be shifting away from him and, two, not substantially, anyway -- and, two, democrats are still seriously divided? >> i think -- i don't think that the democrats are as confided as -- as people make us out to be. look, we did have a tough narrative going into this election. no question about it, and the lecti election was great being able to reverse that. many governors, here in new york, governor cuomo and in new jersey and in virginia and down ballot. that's i think the important point to be made here. all of our down ballot races, people are looking at more now because they want this balance. they want whatever's going on in washington, d.c. to have balance
locally. so this sort of bernie/hillary divide, the tensions that are there, i think end of the day, voters are saying, these are competent individuals, strong message, strong on policy and we need that in our governance right now. >> and political parties are often united by success. a clip of former dnc chairman donna brazile on "realtime with bill mareyer" take a look. >> 35% of all voters were people of color. we continue the trend, next year we'll see a blue wave across america. >> eugene, do you agree? is 2018 destined for a blue wave? >> definitely agree a turnout game. reality, when it comes to midterms the people who vote are more likely people in the demographics that tend to vote republican. the problem clinton had in 2016 in part among many was her not
being able to motivate the obama coalition. we saw tuesday many of those people turned out. if they continue to, democrats will see more success next year. >> a recent poll found public opinion of the democratic party at its lowest in more than 25 years stands in contrast with the major wince on tuesday. is the democratic brand helpful to these candidates? >> i think it is. keith elson said that the democrat party is a party of social and economic justice. i think as more and more of our rights are being whittled away with this government, i think that the democratic party becomes the viable, powerful alternative to what voters are seeing in washington, d.c. right now. and as i said, when you look at what's happening locally, we are trying to build back a lot of the democratic losses in state houses over the last eight years. there's no question that we've taken a hit to our brand. you know, the parties struggled
financially across the country the last eight to ten years. president obama acknowledged that. you had bernie sanders running against the party. grass roots, have seen what to do to move forward and correct the wrongs over the last few years but there isn't the type of tension i think a lot of folks called out, because we're a party of issues and have been telling that to voters for a while and see the results in these races. not a moment to gloat. there's still a lot of work to be done bit i think we're that party of social and economic justice keith elson has been talking about. >> eugene, 30 seconds? is he right? >> what's true, very aware that they have a popularity issue, but so does the republican party. so i don't think the republican party is in advantage in this situation. i think both parties realize voters don't view them favorably and really have to make their cases strongly in 2018. >> that's right. >> thank you to you both.
that wraps it up this hour here at msnbc. i'm keir simmons. stay with us for updates and breaking news as it happens, and you can follow me on facebook and on twitter. there it is. joy reid is next. have a great night. i don't think anybody knows it was russia that broke into the dnc. she's saying, russia, russia, russia, but i don't -- maybe it was. it could be russia, but it could also be china and lots of other people. could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. okay? >> donald trump has never believed russia meddled in the election, never believed the conclusions of the fbi, cia, nsa and director of national intelligence overseeing all 17 u.s. intelligence agencies. never believed russia meddled in the election. he does believe -- vladimir putin. he believes president vladimir putin.