tv Deadline White House MSNBC November 15, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
close. i'll see you back here at 11:00 with stephanie ruhle and at 3:00 p.m. eastern. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace begins right now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. president trump just wrapped up his first public remarks since his 12-day trip to asia. if you missed it, it went a little something like this. dear diary, they liked me. they really, really liked me. >> everywhere we went our foreign hosts greeted the american delegation, myself included, with incredible warmth, hospitality and most importantly, respect. and this great respect showed very well our country is further evidence that america's renewed confidence and standing in the world has never been stronger than it is right now. >> joining us to break all of this down in washington, axios
national political reporter jonathan swann and katy tur and the author of the book "unbelievable." "new york times" political reporter jeremy peters, elise jordan from the george w. bush white house and former adviser to rand paul and brets stevens, "new york times" op-ed columnist. we talked in the break about a couple of the stops in this asia trip. it looked to me watching this like he sought to import some of the features and benefits of state-run media back to the u.s. >> the problem with the president is that he mistakes flattery with respect. and i think there was clearly a kind of strong man envy at work here that people like duterte in the philippines, of course xi in china could command that level of flattery from their media that he never has access to back here at home.
>> and katy, you covered this man longer than all of us here combined. there is always a degree of projection. and it seemed to me by announcing, i guess after lunch today, that he was going to make a statement, there was a lot of speculation he might seek to stop the bleeding over the roy moore scandal that's rip apart the party nationally by weighing in or trying to lead the party out of that crisis. that he may weigh in on behalf of beleaguered jeff sessions who is getting it for lying to congress three times about russia. who is getting it from the right for not taking a stand about his special counsel bup it was the self-congratulations. >> people have been waiting for him to make a comment on roy moore. a man who has been accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl and attacking a 16-year-old girl, running for senator in the republican party. somebody that donald trump has endorsed. it was time for the president to come out and make a statement on this. after all, we've heard from
almost all of the republicans in the national party and even at the local level. he did not do that. clearly what was happening here is that he has been -- had been watching cnn. had been watching the -- reading "the new york times," watching whatever -- whatever other networks he watches in the mornings. didn't feel like this report card for his asia trip was up to snuff or what he felt it should be. and this was a -- what was it? 35-minute rant? diatribe? or self-congratulations for how well he did? it was me, me, me, me, me. he referred to himself in the third person. he talked of being able to eat the forbidden city. nobody has been able to do that before. it's clear that foreign leaders are now seeing and realizing what we in the press knew covering him. donald trump is very easily flattered. and if you play to his ego, if you tell him he's great, if you
roll out the red carpet, you can manipulate the situation. >> you can get him to wear a shiny blue shirt and -- >> you can get him to answer a question he doesn't want to answer as long as you start with a flattering question first. >> let me ask you, jeremy, he wasn't just flattered on the world stage. a lot of people think he was played. vladimir putin re-upped his, you know, who, me, isn't me? i didn't meddle in your elections and he said, i believe him. i really believe him. this in terms of america's standing in the world was nothing short of a calamity. putin going home from the summit saying, i don't know about the rest of those national security stiffs, but i got the president eating out of the palm of my hand. >> right. as everyone has already pointed out, trump is susceptible to flattery. this trip was short on tangible results and outcomes. what you have here is something entirely consistent with a president who has insisted he'd withdraw the nation from the rest of the world.
this is not george w. bush's presidency or his republican party. it's the republican party is now led by a man who is repudiating a generation of republican foreign policy doctrine. and that is, we're not the world's policeman anymore. we don't care about human rights, duterts. we'll not go after president xu for human rights abuses in his country. maybe we'll be friends with the north korean dictator, although it's not clear anything clear happened with regard to north korea either. in terms of laying out any specific achievements on this trap, it's been lacking so far. it was classically trump. it was self-indulgent, hyperbollic and the version of events he sees in his head. >> he never lets it go. he's like a dog with a bone on his own press conference. and the better thing to do might have been to sit down with a friendly reporter and engage in a q&a. this was a spectacle. and it's worth indicting staff
work today, too. a stronger staff would have said, there president, i understand you're exasperated but there was a sex scandal that dominated coverage of the republican party. you can -- you happen to have standing in alabama among republicans to call on roy moore to get out and he might listen to you. you could come back and solve a political problem, or you can come back and stop the bleeding. you've got republican former officials of justice departments screaming at the top of their lungs. a fox news anchor trying to shut down talk of a special counsel over the faux scandal. there were opportunities for him today. there were actually things he could do to help himself. and i wonder how they let him walk out and give such a ridiculous speech. >> i'm just going to go there. the poor staff work was obvious just in the physical evidence of donald trump having to open his water bottle. why didn't someone pour him a glass of water? this is just little things with this white house that actually matter because it goes -- a
misspelling in a press release and then that is just indicative of the broader lack of discipline within the white house. stop the bleeding, yes. he could have done that, but donald trump doesn't want to do that because he loves burning things to the ground. >> the staff has no control over him, too. >> but someone wrote that and loaded it into the teleprompter. >> if he does not want to address it he is not going to address it. he very rarely doesn't answer shouted questions. only when he's in a particularly controlled mood or only when he really does not want to weigh in on something. and he walked right by reporters. the staff could control him or influence him to a degree but ultimately donald trump is going to do what donald trump wants to do. it's always been that way. like the water bottle thing. that's just absurd. what you'll get -- we've got to go back and figure out when he sniffs. it's usually an intense moment when he has to be selling -- >> sorry. we're all okay.
>> nobody was hurt. >> but it just is going to open the door to a number of water bottle things, a number of memes across social media of donald trump making fun of marco rubio for the same thing. donald trump and marco rubio drinking water bottles side by side which he mocked rubio for. >> this is a panic per foforman. it's reminiscent of richard nixon's world tour just before he resigned in 1974. remind people when your popularity is collapsing, where your man in alabama is going down, you're the president and you have all the trappings of the presidency and important people abroad like you and respect you. so i was watching that. i was watching his unwillingness to address the moore issue. the entire presentation was a sense that something is kind of.
>> let me ask you. i appreciate and understand what the goal was. he didn't feel when he took in, as katy tur said, his media diet. we know he's reading documents, not watching tv. that didn't turn out to be true for very many days. he obviously took in some american media this morning and didn't like what he saw. wanted to sort of re-up his own accomplishments from the trip. and even if he is speaking straight to that base of 33% of die-hard trump voters, this message is going to be filtered down and diluted by the time is gets to them. why this tactic? why not bring in some friendly radio hosts and talk them up about what he did on trade. this was not a direct hit for him in any way, shape or form? >> in a way, he had to do it because he came out and teased this big announcement. this was an amazing 48 hours.
he teases a big announcement. every lobbyist in d.c., everyone in the business community, trade community are running around trying to figure out what he's going to do. is he going to put some tariffs on china? is there going to be a trade war? speculation -- >> i sort of love the image of that. like a bunch of tarantulas in a bowl running around. i love that detail. >> this is what it was. i had to spend 24 hours figuring out what was going on. and finally at about 8:00 last night i get to the bottom of it after a full day of phone calls which is there is nothing to see here. and we wrote that this morning which is he's literally going to give a recap of his asia trip and obviously turned it into a ten-month tour of his time on the world stage. foerng policy under trump as he sees it and his version of the year of trump. he didn't have anything
spectacular on a substantive basis to say from this trip. >> what do you think steve bannon wants him to do when he finally speaks out about roy moore? >> i've been trying to get to the bottom of this. let's just say steve bannon who is in japan on his way back is uncharacteristically quiet at the moment. usually when i text him about stuff like this he'll respond, you're just part of the "morning joe" msnbc swamp crowd. not so much in the last 24 hours. he's definitely from what i can tell uneasy about the situation. my expectation and the expectation of allies of his is he'll probably end up tripling down and supporting roy moore all the way through but my sense is this is not a comfortable situation, particularly when sean hannity jumps off the island and if you've lost hannity, you are truly, you
know, in a really tough spot. when you lose hannity, this is not a good situation. >> this i know to be true. jeremy, you spent a long time with steve bannon. a fantastic interview. >> thank you. >> but it was before the roy moore revelations, right? before "the washington post" story broke? >> yes, it was. i have a sense, though, of where st steve is at the moment. jonathan is right. anything other than trickling down at this point would be surprising to people around steve. i -- >> does he have kids? >> does he have children? yes. he has a daughter. he does. >> so he's going to go down as a guy that was for roy moore, someone who engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old? >> it's incredibly problematic if what he's endeavoring to do, as he says is to build a credible political movement that will challenge the republican leadership. he's acknowledged the need to improve on what republicans did in 2010 when they ran candidates
not ready for primetime. you can't build a movement with crazy people. you certainly can't build them with people accused of molesting a child. >> bannon has already built a movement with crazy people. that's called the president of the united states. so this is a strategy that has succeeded. i mean, look. there's still a very good chance -- >> and we should point out. we should never stop reminding people that donald trump himself is accused of sexual misconduct. so steve bannon already represents -- >> they weathered that storm. >> they weathered that storm. you double down. >> that's the lesson that steve learned from -- >> they had bill clinton as a foil in that situation. they had the ability to come out and the next day, at the debate and bring out the bill clinton accusers and say if i'm accused, he's also accused. why are you going to believe mine and not believe his. >> donald trump was already seen as a new yorker who, you know, free wheeling, on the cover of
"playboy," had such incredibly high unfavorables. being religious is so key to roy moore's existence. it's everything for him. a two-ton granite statue he hauled around the entire country and fought with alabama, got kicked off the court twice. this is so central to who roy moore is. and i think that people -- the people of alabama care a lot more than maybe we even realize. i still have faith in the good men and women -- >> i really hope you're right. i have had wonderful experiences in alabama. this is also about cultural resentment. who are you going to believe? judge roy moore who stood up for the ten commandments or those lying jerks at "the washington post" who will say and do anything? and to a large extent, it ceases to be about roy moore's misdoings and more about alabama versus an establishment that wants to see this guy fail. >> exactly. mitch mcconnell putting his finger on the scale.
remember how much of a factor mcconnell was in the primary campaign. that's why roy moore won, in large part because this was seen -- well, he was tainted by corruption, of course, but the mcconnell factor was deeply important here. bringing it back to trump, however, what was the most interesting thing in donald trump's statement or this statement that sarah huckabee sanders issued was not that it was inappropriate and this could be disqualifying. it was that allegations from 40 years ago shouldn't ruin a person's life. i'm told there's a deep reticence to get involved and deny roy moore because he feels he was persecuted with these allegations of women who accused him of wrongdoing and he's reluctant to get involved, as bret was hinting at, as being seen as an outsider wading into what is ultimately a local affair and you can't overstate how much resentment that could breed among the base. >> and side with the insiders as well. donald trump ran as an outsider. side with mitch mcconnell after
he already lost with -- >> and you look at roy moore. he's going right off the donald trump/steve bannon playbook. coming out and saying it's me against everybody else. i've united republicans and democrats. they don't want me in because i'm protecting your rights. i'm fighting for you, and they just have their own self-interest. that message resonated among donald trump voters. it would resonate among a number of alabama voters who just don't want to believe anybody outside of their circle. >> i do think that sean hannity has been a game changer here. his interview was the most damning evidence against roy moore. conducted by someone who is very trusted among republican alabama voters. and he's given his 24 hours notice, and roy moore sure hasn't done anything to clear his name. >> we should bring our viewers up to date who may not have caught sean hannity. he's given roy moore 24 hours to
prove his innocence more or less. but i want to show you, we've got some of what you're talking about. we've got some voters in alabama speaking to just this. >> i'm sad for our state. i'm also sad for my community of christians because i think his platform, the foundation of moral law and his -- the evangelicals that are supporting him, i think christ wouldn't recognize them. and it's -- it's just an embarrassment. >> i historically have tended to vote republican. >> we both have. but we don't recognize ourselves in the republican party anymore. >> jonathan swan, i watched roy moore at what was billed as a revival last night. straight out of true detectives season one. but i wonder how bannon, moore, trump have hard wired evangelicals to stay on their side? is it by branding all of the media as fake news to make them
immune to facts or is it some shared value set? >> i think it's the former. there were some very telling man on the street interviews that i saw from the local abc affiliate in alabama where people were just flat out didn't believe it. they just said, well, it's all fake. it's all fake news. it's "the washington post" and unfortunately, this is where we're at. for a lot of these voters, particularly the most hard-core elements of the republican base, they just don't believe anything that they read in the mainstream media. they've been conditioned over many, many years. trump is not -- trump has taken it to another level but he's not new in doing that. and, you know, there was one voter -- that's one pocket. frankly, there are others who i've seen interviewed who actually do seem like maybe they believe it. but still don't care. one of them said this is alabama. i don't care if a guy shot barack obama, i'd still vote for him. that was in an nbc story.
so, you know, we just have now partisan politics have become so engrained and so toxic and so weaponized that it overwhelms anything, frankly. >> voters have been conditioned to believe that if there is not your chosen letter in front of the person's name then you cannot trufst them no matter what. there's a great divide. this is an exceptional case because this man has been accused of truly heinous things. but a lot of people out there, and there are liberals as well, they don't want to believe what they don't like to hear from other newsed my ed mmedia. look at the robo calls. the person purporting to be a "washington post" reporter. bernie bernstein with that accent that is -- sounds like a pretty clear that it's a put-on. what sort of message is that trying -- is that attempting to send to alabama voters saying, i'll pay you if you have any
information on roy moore. and don't worry. we're not going to investigate this. it was a caricature of what people might want to think is a journalist. somebody elite. somebody from new york. somebody with the kind of name that ends in stein who sounds like this, who will give you money and doesn't really care about the truth. >> but this is also a consequence. this is blowback, if you will, of the trump administration war on the idea that there's a system of knowledge that facts are ascertain able. there's a way of distinguishing facts from falsehood. the claim that all the news is fake is coming back to haunt them because, in fact, the news isn't fake. and they're not paying sufficient potential attention to the signals there are deep problems in the candidates that continue to try to support and elect. they are moving towards becoming
unelectable because they're not getting the information they need to make intelligent political choices in their primaries and in the election. >> roy moore may well be electable. i'd not rule out a victory. the poll last night that came out -- >> polls are all over the place. thainge >> they're all over the place. in a race like this, people are going to be changing their mind. >> i want to lay out another scenario that was teased out by a trump ally outside the white house. trump is desperate, restive, eager to be rid of jeff sessions. he's been angry at him since he recused himself. he himself has been briefed on the unsteady performance yesterday where he got incoming from the democrats, for giving untruthful testimony, from the republicans for seeming to appear reluctant in the questioning from jim jordan to appoint a special counsel to investigate hillary clinton and uranium one.
i don't know if it goes up to the president's level but a conversation in the white house about whether jeff sessions solves two problems at once. whether he is -- that if mitch mcconnell can guarantee the president that there are enough votes to expel moore once elected, as you have said. there's a lot of people presuming that he will still be elected. that if he can move jeff sessions out of the cabinet, put him back in the senate, he saves the seat, keeps it in the republican cabinet and could recess appoint an ally that can carry out his political desires at the justice department. >> if you're jeff sessions, why would you do that? you heard the emotion in his voice yesterday. listening to him describe how much he loves that department. how much he cherishes that job. i'm told that he has, despite the daily torments from president trump and the indignities and humiliation, he loves that job. they're going to have to fire him. i do not think that jeff
sessions is going to just go back to the senate with his head down. >> so ivanka trump is weighing in on the roy moore scandal. according to ap, she is saying, quote, there's a special place in hell for people who prey on children. i have yet to see a valid explanation, and i have no reason to doubt the victims' accounts. she did not call for moore to exit the race. i guess it's lost on me why people can't simply -- and i guess mcconnell deserves credit for saying, i believe the women. that's all you have to say. i mean, why can't the white house just say, i believe the women. >> because donald trump doesn't want -- because women have come out and accused him. and then he is put in an uncomfortable scenario where he has to explain why the women who have accused him should not be believed and the women who have accused roy moore should be believed. >> so how does the conversation go with him and mitch mcconnell who has said -- >> the default is not to believe the women. how does the conversation go? let me think about it.
and then he doesn't do anything. maybe he's going to come out and say something. maybe this ivanka statement is the beginnings of something happening. but they've always catched it. and we haven't heard from the president himself. we say this all the time. nothing the white house says means anything until donald trump comes out and says it himself. >> and not off a teleprompter. >> and not off a teleprompter because, well, yeah, you're right. >> then it's still meaningless. >> so i think we wait for the three phases. there's a spokesperson's comment on said event. then the president addresses from teleprompter. we wait one more day and then donald trump tweets about it and we know how he really feels. >> or does something after he's asked. >> exactly. >> it's like charlottesville. you read something off the teleprompter. a rehearsed statement that is supposed to kind of walk back the mess you made the day before and the next day when he has a reporter in front of him, when he really wants to get what's on his mind off his back, he'll just start talking again or
start tweeting. he has a hard time staying away from whatever we're talking about on tv. and if this is continuing to be the conversation, and it doesn't go anywhere, i imagine we'll see an early morning or late night tweet one of these days. >> and donald trump backed into a corner is impulsive, reckless donald trump. and amazing to cover. we're all manning the trump twitter feed because i would guess that his expectation was that he would come back from a speech like that and want not just -- he gets au s angry when good press -- if fox news made him happy, he'd be thrilled. he wants accolades across the media spectrum. he goes back and is flipping around and doesn't like what he hears, he's likely to start tweeting at anyone and everywhere that we're not paying attention to all his great accomplishments where you said he was simply flattered by dictators. and where do we take this white house in terms of addressing the
two big scandals that have been awaiting his imprint. >> the scenario you outlined is probably going to happen where he -- the sarah huckabee sanders speaks, then donald trump gives canned remarks and then the twitter response. when he feels he's trying to not -- he's being forced into saying something that he doesn't really believe. when the truth comes out, it's usually ugly and it's an uproar. >> this is what you're seeing is donald trump scared. if i were donald trump, god forbid, but if i were donald trump, i would just be praying that roy moore would solve his political problem by voluntarily stepping down because right now, if trump is forced to make a statement, okay, either he's going to have to say, i believe the women, and i think katy laid out the problems for him in that course, or he's going to have to
defend roy moore which would cause an uproar. and if he then defends roy moore and roy moore goes down, he ends up looking like a loser which is the one thing donald trump fears the most, especially coming out of his failed endorsement of luther strange. >> perfect way to put it. he fears looking like a loser more than he fears not believing victims of sexual assault. jonathan swan, thanks for spending time with us. when we come back, an update from the banana republic. how some longtime justice department officials are reacting to the prospect of being weaponized by the president to punish his former political opponent. (♪) (♪) it all starts with a wish.
clinton approved the sale to the russians. a quid pro quo. the accusation is predicated on the charge that secretary clinton approved the sale. she did not. a committee of nine evaluated the sale. the president approved the sale. the nuclear regulatory commission and others had to offer permits, and none of the uranium was exported for use by the u.s. to russia. that is uranium one. >> that was schep smith debunking one of the president's theories. now even his own attorney general suggesting there is no basis, based on what we know now to do that. elise, let me get you to weigh in on how extraordinary -- both of you, as republicans -- how extraordinary for a fox news anchor to rebuke the real whole purpose that animated one of
there primetime anchor's entire program. >> shep smith is a native of my hometown in mississippi, too. he has always done this when there are contentious issues. he'll go through and dissect and bear down to the truth. i give him props for that. i think it's something that fox will be well served to do for more of their audiences. >> we've been talking since the hour started about -- we've all been talking about how one of the problems with roy moore is people simply don't believe "the washington post" they believe shep smith. >> i've known him for a long time. hee he's a first class journalist and a credit to his network. when all you do is listen to sean or laura or rush or other names you can mention, you inhabit a parallel universe in which everything that's being told to you by the times or "wall street journal" or nbc or any other reputable news organization is automatically
suspect. the problem is that even if these organizations occasionally make mistakes, they're not trafficking in fake news. we are not deliberately trying to misguide any readers. that's a distinction that's been lost on them. when they fail to understand that, at a certain point, reality has a way of biting them in the back. >> we've got someone joining us who writes a lot of those stories. let's bring in "new york times" reporter matt. i want to read something that struck me this morning. it was a quote from the deputy special counsel in the scooter libby probe. he wrote, i think the vast majority of people at doj would be completely disgusted and demoralized by it, writing about a special counsel investigation into hillary clinton over uranium one. they don't like feeling like they are political tools to be used by the president. this is true even if the people in the justice department happen to actually feel more inclined
to the political party of whatever president they deserse. but the department abhors the idea of being politicized and weaponized. >> that's absolutely right. what's being suggested on a special counsel for uranium one is sort of two degrees. it's not just to say there should be an investigation. investigations happen all the time. sometimes there are charges. sometimes there are not. this is saying this is such an unusual situation that even the career prosecutors and the political appointed -- politically appointed supervisor at the justice department can't handle this. so it needs to go to a special prosecutor. and that is what i think is unusual. even if you are of the political persuasion to say this absolutely needs to be investigated by the justice department, it's an extra step to say there needs to be a special prosecutor. >> i worked in a white house
that a special counsel was appointed to investigate the leak of valerie plame's name. the premise there was we couldn't investigate ourselves that it happened on our watch. in this case, there's a special counsel looking into donald trump's ties to washington because he fired the head of the fbi who was running that investigation. when they throw this out there, it sounds like jim jordan doesn't even understand the law enforcement case or the legal case to even be asking for a special counsel to look into hillary clinton. >> sure. well, the most obvious situation is where there's a conflict at senior leadership of the justice department between what's being investigated and their role as somebody who would oversee the investigation. i don't necessarily see that in the uranium one case but let's also remember that that letter that was sent to the justice department saying we're going to look at the possibility of a special counsel was sent the day before jeff sessions was due to
testify in an oversight hearing, before a committee where many republicans have been clamoring for a special counsel and where jeff sessions was speaking to an audience of one, the president of the united states who is not happy with his performance, and the president himself has said there should be a special counsel. so i don't know that just because there was a letter saying they're going to consider a special counsel, i don't think we need to assume there definitely will be. and jeff sessions himself cast doubt on that. >> i wonder how alarming it is. i talked to a couple of former justice department officials who worked at the highest levels of both bush administrations and one who worked also in the reagan administration who said that it is sort of the tearing apart of the judiciary and it started with the attack on judge curiel. it's been accelerated by, in the wake of the terrorist attack in new york city, two weeks ago on halloween, where he got involved by calling for the death penalty
and making decision that are usually left to law enforcement. and now in his sort of departure statement, we have it. on his way out of town, he called -- he criticized, reupped this critique you hear from sean hannity and others on the doj and fbi. >> i'm really not involved with the justice department. ides like to let it run itself. but, honestly, they should be looking at the democrats. they should be looking at podesta and all of that dishonesty. they should be looking at a lot of things. and a lot of people are disappointed in the justice department, including me. >> not a lot of people. >> such a mind blowing comment. i'm not involved in the justice department. you run the justice department. >> truth be told, he's probably not. >> this is not the most engaged nitty-gritty to the details president. >> you run the justice department and you detest your own justice department.
we have to talk about international comparison because this smacks of nothing so much as what the former president of ukraine, the russian stooge, mr. yanukovich did to his opponent timoshenko by criticizing her behavior and ultimately throwing her in jail for a number of years. one of the ways in which we distinguish ourselves as a democracy from countries like ukraine or what ukraine used to be in russia is that we don't criminalize politics. we don't allow those who take office or usually allow those who take office from persecuting their political opponents for their own political gain. so this is -- for a guy like donald trump who constantly says he needs to restore america to greatness, he has a very shaky idea of what, in fact, it is that makes america great start, with an ironclad respect for the rule of law. >> and i heard that your interview with bannon. karl rove, say what you will about him.
steeped in american political history. he'd read about every presidential campaign and, again, say what you will about his tactics and same with david axelrod. he was a brilliant political tactician but also really, really smart about american political history. these guys are sort of, you know, like blindfolded and with their ears -- they don't have any sense. this was bob corker's original indictment that he doesn't seem to understand what this country stands for. >> you know what it is? it's the clintons. they're political catnip for this type of conservative. you see it with the reaction to judge moore. what about bill clinton? he had relations with an intern in the white house. they can't help themselves. every time there is a republican scandal, the answer is always, well, what did bill clinton do? what did hillary clinton do? you're seeing the same thing. >> so long to bring this up, too, which is it's almost surprising. donald trump brought up uranium one and his ilk brought it up during the campaign and it was shot down so many times by me and other reporters in our own
reporting. and then it went dark. they didn't really bring it up again until recently. it goes to show you how desperate they've become to push back on the special counsel in the russia investigation and what has been coming out and dripping out from that. there's a really important distinction to make between a special counsel -- this special counsel that's investigating russia and the trump campaign. it is because jeff sessions had to recuse himself. there's no reason why jeff sessions would have to recuse himself or anybody from the fbi recuse themselves from investigating uranium one if they really wanted to investigate uranium one. >> and there's not a single report. matt appuzzo jump in. there's not a single report from law enforcement or any prosecutor of any efforts to conduct an investigation being thwarted, are there? >> i'm not aware of one. and again, to nicolle's point, there's a difference between there should be an investigation
and we need a special counsel. and if you are a -- if you are a trump republican, the problem with the president inserting himself into justice department decision making and justice department policies that have typically been off limits to presidents, the problem with that is, if the justice department goes the way you want it to go and they appoint a special counsel or open an investigation, the whole outcome of that is going to be called into questions and tainted because the president has dipped his toes into that water or jumped two feet into that water. and that's -- and that is the problem. that is the reason there's tipcally a red line around the justice department when it comes to criminal investigations. presidents don't weigh in, and when they, do it's a big deal because it calls into question the motives of career prosecutors. >> what matt is just describing was described to me by a former
justice department official as a president's involvement in doj matters is like dropping a live wire in a swimming pool. everyone gets electrocuted and dies. it taints the whole pool and i want to ask you since you covered uranium one, it came from the book "clinton cash." we know donald trump -- >> peter schweitzer. >> there were meethss between peter schweitzer and campaign officials. i'm not remembering if donald trump was in those meetings. they were spotted at a dine are at one point. and that's when this got thrown out there as a test to see whether anybody would bite. donald trump has been trying to get involved in the doj and the fbi since day one. and he has made no secret about his desire to direct them to do his bidding. he says it in radio interviews.
he says it just then. and contradicts himself in one sentence. i have no involvement, but i am really disappointed. i want to let them run themselves but i think they should do this. it's just the way he operates. and he'll bring up things when it's politically expedient for him to do so. during the campaign it was all lock her up, lock her up. president trump gets elected president, we're not going to do that. she ran a tough campaign. we're going to let her go. when things get hairy for him, hillary clinton once again. it's their way, the republicans' way, donald trump's way of taking some of the heat off his own shoulders. >> matt apuzzo, let me give you the last word, since you're breaking a lot of these stories on the russia investigation, but can you just wink or give us some sort of sign if you've got any scoop coming down the pipeline that might sort of be happening at the same time as katy tur suggests that the president is trying to distract by reviving these very old allegations from the clinton
cash book? >> i don't think the uranium one issue is tied to anything that any reporter is working on. i don't think that's what's happening here. look, i think there's clearly a frustration inside the white house that they can't get out from under russia. and with the justice department from the white house, i think they feel the president feels that jeff sessions is the cause of a lot of the problems of the president. he's the reason we have bob mueller. that's the way he sees this. what you're seeing is that frufrteration. trump's lawyers have told him, you can't go after mueller. lay off mueller. that's our best chance of getting out from under this. and i think this is a manifestation of the president's frustration and republican frustration. >> somebody needs to buy him a punching bag. matt apuzzo, thank you. we have to sneak in one more break. we'll be right back.
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why do you think they are giving me this trouble? why do you think i'm being harassed by media and by people pushing forward allegations in the last 28 days of this election? after 40-something years of fighting this battle, i'm now facing allegations. that's all the press want to talk about. >> women who can teach you about the word harassment, judge moore. we're coming up on the top of the hour when in alabama, there will be a press conference from the moore campaign. he's not expected to withdraw from my understanding, but we're going to go to an expert. von hillier joins us from montgomery, alabama. what do you expect to hear from the campaign at 5:00?
>> i want to set up what we're looking at there. this is at the alabama gop headquarters. you have philip who is a -- now serving as an adviser to roy moore. the candidate himself will not be there. he was the counsel to him on the ten commandments case and the case in which the judge refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses. a campaign official would only tell me he's going to address recent allegations. roy moore is attending a fund-raiser tonight. we don't know where it is. this campaign is very limited on funds being outspent 11 to 1 on the air waves. the other event that's also happening at the alabama gop headquarters, several are phoning in, is a 21-member committee. this is the alabama republican party. they have the opportunity, they contend, to remove roy moore from the ballot if this 21-member committee votes to do so. it essentially then gets sent to the secretary of state and if roy moore were to win the race because his name is already on the ballot, the secretary of state would then find the
election to be null and void. this committee, however, to be clear is not expected to do that. the rnc committee man, paul reynolds, told me the only than that's going to remove himself from this race is roy moore himself. i talked to another committee talked to another committeewoman who told me "i think people should be able to speak what they believe. either we have rights as individuals or we don't and i don't want to turn that over into a nameless group" meaning this 21-member committee. nicolle, over in huntsville, fifth congressional district represented by mel brooks, a group of 35 to 40, about, republican activists that voted for a resolution, unanimously, to say they back roy moore. four of those committee members appearing today were a part of that. it's very unlikely the alabama gop will remove him as a candidate today. nonetheless, the roy moore campaign has scheduled this press conference to start at the exact same time at that meeting.
i hope that made sense. >> made tons of sense. thank you for your reporting from there. we'll keep calling on you. i guess you're working 24/7 any other this point. thanks for spending some time with us. i want you to speak to what we're hearing about his -- his supporters. it is a combination of, sadly what he did wasn't that bad and i don't believe what he did, but we've talked a lot about the second. not that much about the first. >> you're seeing the state committee really dig in, and they seem to be fully behind him. i think that clearly this is a mistake in the long term, as these claims have a lot of voracity and force and i fully believe the women and i think most people do. you're going to see a month in which voters are going to have these messages hammered in, and we'll just have to see how they respond to that after they're hearing over and over these allegations. the new allegations he was banned from the local mall.
a lot of creepy behavior, that you start to think of in personal terms. >> let me show you one of roy moore's lawyers who got pretty personal with one of our colleagues here. >> why would he need permission from any of these girls' mothers, if he weren't underage? >> sure. that's a good question. culturally speaking i will say there's differences. looked up ali's background, awesome you have such a diverse background. cool to read lou that. >> what does ali's background have to do with dating a 14-year-old? >> i'm not finished with the contents of it. >> please answer. what does ali's -- ali velshi's back ground have to do with dating under -- children, 14-year-old girls? >> sure. in other countries, there's arrangement through parents for what we would -- >> ali from canada. from canada. >> and ali's also spent time in other countries. >> so have i.
>> and it's not a bad thing. >> i don't know where you're going with this. >> i -- katy -- first of all, we love ali. >> ali's from canada. disclaimer. that was -- that was a man who was desperately trying to dig himself out of a hole. >> he looked like he was digging himself into a hole. >> into a hole and then trying to dig himself out of a hole. so cool you have such a diverse background. i don't understand how other cultures have child marriage is a good defense. even if you just take it out of ali. other cultures have child marriage is a. >> defengood defense, yeah, mayy moore dated undercaged girls or inappropriately touch add 14-year-old. i don't see how that is okay. other cultures aren't america's cultures. >> i resent that man is going on air acting like in the south we think it's okay to date, molest
underage men and women, little boys, little girls. that is prepottsterous and why e campaign is so damaging to alabama. >> in that guy's hands, if his legal defense, then he is screwed. >> starting over the weekend when i first started reporting on this, people were saying that to me. well, it was a different generation. a different time. the age of consent -- the age of consent is 16 in alabama. >> let me challenge you. challenge you. he was asked to stay away from the mall. he was lurking around the mull. this is not, let's not malign alabama, the circuit -- >> build this in -- >> creep you enough in the '70s and early '80s he was asked to stay away from the mall. >> and somebody accused of, standing up for -- no. that's not what i'm saying. what i'm saying is we need to factor this in when we start talking about whether or not we think roy moore will ultimately
prevail here. there is a willingness to give him the benefit of the doubt culturally speaking people at this table, myself included, have a very hard time understanding. >> the worst thing that can happen this committee of 21 people disqualifies it. republican voters of alabama made a choice. they need to stick to that choice through the election. and there is someone else in the race, a democrat running against him. and he also deserves to have the opponent that -- he's gotten. >> and there was great reporting on roy moore's history as chief justice in alabama and a number of cases where he tried to water down the rape shield law. there was a case where a man pleaded guilty to raping a 12-year-old girl, and in one of this dissents, roy moore said, that man should have been able to tell the court that the girl was sexually active and that she had an std.
he said that that should have been a part of the case. as it it was somehow mitigating for that 12-year-old girl to have been sexually active, somehow made it okay, or was some sort of defense for a grown man to rape a 12-year-old girl. i mean, he has a history in that state of not only saying what we would consider outrageous things about 9/11 or about muslims, et set ray set ra but sisson 0 a court placing blame on 12-year-old girl for being raped by a grown man. >> put him on, threw him off, on again. >> and still in the fight. alabama, can you do better. we have to sneak a break but will be right back.
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we're out of time. i could talk to my friends here forever. my thanks to katy tur, jeremy peter, elise and brett. that does it for our hour. "mtp daily" starts now. hi, chuck. i stole katy tur. so jealous she does nor shyour stole her for mine. >> islet you do on days that are notmo monday. >> thank you, nicolle. if it's wednesday, more answers from roy moore. at least we expect some any minute now. tonight, the roy moore campaign sunder more pressure. will they relent, or will the gop? and where does the president stand? with stell don't know. >> should roy moore resign, mr. president? plus, how health care is getting tangled up in