tv Morning Joe MSNBC January 24, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST
alongside lewis bergdorf, "morning joe" starts right now. >> i was going to fire comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. and in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> quote i was going to fire comey, i said to myself you know, this russia thing is a made-up story. this morning, and for the foreseeable future we're going to hear a lot of stories about russia, none of which are made up. we have an nbc news exclusive with significant developments on the growing number of top officials now cooperating with bob mueller's investigation. "the new york times" has reported that attorney general jeff sessions was grill fodor hours last week. and a piece in the "washington post" that says the president asked the acting fbi director how he voted in the 2016
election. it all ties into this huge headline -- bob mueller seeks to question president trump about michael flynn and jim comey's departures. we've got the three reporters with those by-lines and each of those big stories on "morning joe." national political reporter for nbc news carol lee. "new york times" reporter michael schmidt and "washington post" reporter covering national security, devlin barrett. and we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle and former fbi special agent clint watts along with willie, joe and me. let's get to it. it was a day of revelations in the russia probe with suggestions that special counsel robert mueller is closely examining whether president trump obstructed justice when he fired former fbi director james comey. the "washington post" reports that mueller is seeking to question president trump in the coming weeks about the firing of comey, and former national
security adviser michael flynn. comey was interviewed by the special counsel late last year, a source close to him tells nbc news focusing on memos comey drafted after private meetings with the president. comey testified that trump asked him for loyalty and to let go of the fbi's investigation into flynn's contact with russians. the president has denied asking comey to pledge allegiance to him. and last month, tweeted that he never asked comey to stop investigating flynn. yesterday, "the new york times" was first to report that attorney general jeff sessions was questioned by the special counsel's office last week. a person familiar with those discussions told the "times" that the special counsel appeared most interested in asking questions about comey and flynn. yesterday president trump was asked about the special counsel talking to a sitting cabinet member. >> no, i'm not at all surprised.
no, i didn't, but i'm not at all concerned. thank you all very much. >> so there we are. joe? >> yeah, so here we are, michael schmidt, it seems that the focus based on your reporting, the people you spoke with, had to do with donald trump actually obstructing justice in the investigation itself. explain. >> there are two big buckets of mueller's investigation, one is the russia question and one is the obstruction bucket. the thing is, is that there's just a lot more things in the obstruction bucket that relate to the president's conduct than there is on russia. there's not a lot of things we know about trump's efforts to collude with russians, but there are a lot of questions about different things that he has done in office. whether it was the comey firing. whether it was trying to get rid of sessions. all of these things, the president's long-time obsession with loyalty. these are the questions that
mueller really has to drill down on. and are the things that current and former white house officials who are being interviewed by the special counsel are being pressed about. >> so carol lee -- >> go ahead, joe, sorry. >> willie, you go ahead. >> i was going to carol lee, the one-year anniversary of michael flynn's interview with the fbi. you've got fresh reporting this morning about what he said about it, what he didn't say about it. when the white house found out about it. and what the implications of that might be for how they describe that series of events. >> what we wanted to do was go back and look at this very significant moment and see what else we could learn about what happened at that time the because if you look at it, it's the first moment where the russian investigation really knocked on the white house door. we hadn't, it was only four days in. but there was a very small amount of time where it wasn't as inside the white house as we're so used to now. and what we learned is that michael flynn took, did this interview with the two fbi
agents, and didn't tell anyone. he didn't mention to anybody that this had been put on his schedule. he seemed by sources say overly confident. in the interview, he didn't take a lawyer with him. typically if the fbi shows up in this way, national security counsel lawyer would be notified and perhaps sit in on the meeting. he didn't have his personal lawyer in. he didn't say anything to anyone, including the president. and they only learned about it two days later when sally yates showed up at the white house to warn white house counsel don mcgann that michael flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail to the russians because he wasn't honest about his conversations with the russian ambassador. so this really set into motion a number of events after that. we know that then the president invited james comey over to the white house to have dinner. you know, then later you know, flynn remains in his post and still no one really understands what went into that, what happened in that fbi interview. we know that source told thaus don mcgann didn't even ask
michael flynn whether he was truthful to the fbi. it was only later after he had already left that they got an indication that he had lied. and so if you look at that moment -- then ironically this interview with michael flynn was set up by mccabe's office. now he is, all kind of come full circle, because he's in the president's crossharris at this time. we've seen this ramping up of the president's frustration with his own justice department. >> then there's a new development last night about andrew mccabe, the deputy fbi director has been heavily criticized by president trump, who alleges that mccabe was influenced by donations to his wife's virginia state senate campaign three years ago. the "washington post" reports that while mccabe served as acting fbi director after the firing of james comey, president trump summoned him to the oval office, and asked who he voted for in the 2016 election. mccabe, who was considered to
replace comey said he didn't vote. according to several anonymous current and former u.s. officials sourced in the report. mccabe, who has spent more than two decades at the fbi, found the conversation with trump disturbing, said one former u.s. official. and one person said that trump/mccabe conversation is of interest to special counsel robert mueller. both the white house and the fbi declined the to comment. devlin, this is your reporting. all these pieces were just reporting them at this point. it's very hard to -- try and not come to a conclusion. but when you tie them together, where is bob mueller potentially going with this? >> well i think the mccabe conversation is of interest to mueller. it gets at one of the basic questions that mueller's investigation is trying to answer. which is, what did the president want out of the fbi? what exactly did he want out of
the fbi? and as much as the president clearly has a lot of dislike and a long-running dislike for andrew mccabe personally, it also raises the question was the president trying to get some sort of assurance as to what the fbi would be doing in a post-comey environment. >> mike barnicle in. >> devlin, his longstanding antipathy toward mccabe, what is the root of that? did he know mccabe prior to running for president or becoming president? >> not at all. it stems from the late days of the campaign, it came out that andy mccabe's wife had run for a state legislature seat in 2015 as a democrat. and for that race, because this race was in virginia, she got a lot of money from political action committee run by terry mcauliffe. terry mcauliffe, as most folks know, is a very close ally of the clintons. and basically when the
then-candidate trump heard that, he started attacking mccabe on the stump. and what's clear, you know from the, what's clear from both the president's tweets and frankly what he does in private, is that he has never let go of this an mouse for mccabe personally. and it comes out in a bunch of different ways. including this meeting in the oval office. >> clint watts, let's try to put some of this together. i've been writing down notes. because there's so much going on here. and there's so many things that are outside the norms for a president and his allies, who are now at war with the fbi. you have of course the new news, donald trump goes up to the acting fbi director and says how did you vote? extraordinarily inappropriate. does violence to the constitutional norms. and the rule of law. he asks comey. remember for the loyalty. he then asked comey to drop the
investigation of his national security adviser. after he admits that he knows that his national security adviser committed a crime. by lying to the fbi. then of course, he fired comey. and then if you look at what happened yesterday, and i want you to talk about this, this is the most troubling thing, that the republicans now are so desperate, because they see that donald trump is going to have to go and actually tell the truth. try to tell the truth for once, or fall into what his associates call the perjury trap. which means they know that donald trump is a liar. they brought up -- republicans are talking about this secret society inside the fbi? they sound like crackpots. that bill buckley kicked out of the conservative movement back in the early 1960s. like you know, the illuminati. harry potter and ron weasley,
all because of a fbi agent who sent text messages to a friend. and we have "the wall street journal" this morning, the same fbi agent was hesitant to join robert mueller's team because quote my gut sense is there's nothing there. and yet, there is a declared, lou dobbs said it, a declared war from the right on the fbi and the justice department. >> yeah, it's absolutely baffling why would you want to destroy a u.s. institution. and it's indicative of what we've seen that donald trump has learned nothing after the firing of comey. we saw the triggering of the special counsel based on the firing of comey. and then he walks right back to the acting deputy, the acting fbi director, mccabe and is trying to figure out, are you on my team, can i coerce you or push you in a way that's not in
line with justice and doesn't represent the american people well. every time we see somebody from the trump team or the campaign go in to get interviewed, suddenly there's a rash of gop outrage about text messages or attacking the fbi as an institution. i don't know how that's good for the country. ultimately it damages our ability to do law enforcement and push for justice. but it's indicative of how this team -- >> in this case, clint, they're going after an fbi agent who said he didn't want to be involved in this probe. because there was no "there" there. and when they start talking about secret societies inside the intel agencies, this is what erdogan did in turkey, to go after and persecute the military. and his intel services. this is what erdogan did to destroy democracy step by step, piece by piece in turkey. i mean what -- are republicans going to sit back and allow this
to happen? are the board members of news koerp going to allow fox news to declare war on the fbi? >> we've heard republicans show up on "morning joe" say that they're going to purge it and that's what we see in the third world and that's what we see is the discrediting through conspiracies. make the conspiracy and look for evidence to justify it. but also leave out evidence to the contrary. >> and that's what the conversation between the president, and andrew mccabe was about. where are your loyalties, where are your wife's loyalties. carol lee, if you look as joe said at just the list of information we got yesterday. the people we know that mueller has spoken to. james comey last year. jeff sessions last week. mike pompeo, former acting attorney general, sally yates, steve bannon later this month and looking at the president
sometime very soon. when you look at that graphic we have up right now, what does that tell you? this has reached the highest reaches of government. and is knocking on the door of the oval office. >> it has, and the thing that it says to me to go back to what michael was talking about with these two buckets of the investigation, you have the obstruction piece and the russia piece. you can see the number of people who have been roped into being interviewed and being focus of this investigation. being questioned. because of the president's own actions. that have nothing to do with russia's meddling in the election and whether there was collusion with the trump campaign. so the c.i.a. director, he would not, he was specifically interviewed because they wanted to know about his conversations and anything that he had to do with the firing of james comey. so all, you see every, each step of the way the president just
increasingly expanded this case of obstruction. that he essentially created with his own actions. so that's, that's partially what i see when i see the number of people who have been interviewed, there was always going to be a set number of people who were interviewed based on the russia investigation focused on collusion. and possible collusion and the meddling in the election. and then there's this whole other group of people. because of what the president himself has done. >> and michael schmidt, while you're reporting focuses on obstruction of justice, that doesn't mean that bob mueller doesn't have information on donald trump possibly colluding with russia. we don't know that at this point, do we? >> no. we have far less clarity into that. the, the reason why we know much more about obstruction is because it's all happened since the time that the president was in office. there are all these white house officials that interacted with him, some of it played out publicly. a lot of the things that president has said privately he simply tweets about as well.
will often be reporting about things that are about potential obstruction, we'll find out he did something in private that he simply just talked about publicly so that's why there's so much more there. look, there's so much that we don't know we never knew that a guy named george papadopoulos was going to plead guilty last year. it kind of surprised us, and i wouldn't be surprised if there was something else to come. >> mike barnicle, i want to go down this list again. it needs to sink in. americans need to understand just what is going on. >> people say i like his tax cuts. i like how he tells it like it is. and a lot of educated people, who should know better, brush over the constitutional norms. the violations of how we have run our government for 200 years. brush past those, because they
think the united states having a gdp of 2.9%, instead of 2.7%, in the third quarter of 2018, is really worth it. is it really worth it when you have a president of the united states who actually demands a loyalty of his fbi director? a president of the united states who then fires that fbi director because he doesn't get the loyalty of? a president of the united states who admits to knowing his national security adviser has committed a federal crime? but that same president of the united states then going to the fbi director and pressuring him not to press charges against the national security adviser, who he later admits knows that he committed a federal crime. and then going to tell the russian foreign minister and the russian ambassador to the united states -- inside the oval office -- that he had to fire
his fbi director and that should put, take pressure off of them. and then talking to nbc's lester holt and telling him that he knew he had to fire james comey because there was this investigation that he knew he had to get behind him. and then sending his troops out to go on fox news, to go in front of cameras on capitol hill, and attack the fbi. to talk about a purge of the fbi. just like again, right-wingers don't like it. that is the language of joseph stalin. that is the language of dictators. you add all of this up and then add up now, the whisperings of secret societies, like harry potter and ron weasley are getting together at the fbi and are creating a secret society. the person who they have playing the role as harry potter in this tinfoil illuminati is the guy who said he didn't want to be in
the mueller investigation, because there wasn't any "there" there. this -- i will ask it again, what do the directors of news corp. think when they have lou dobbs on the air declaring that now is the time to go to war with the fbi and the justice department? mike? >> joe, in every investigation from homicide on the street corner to investigating what's going on in washington, d.c. right now, there are phases and there are patterns that investigators follow. the obstruction of justice phase that michael was speaking about that you've just been speaking to, is one phase. and it might be approaching some sort of a conclusion. that we don't know, the russia stuff is another phase of mueller's investigation. but the pattern, the pattern is pretty clear throughout. and the pattern is this. with you the president of the united states confusing the department of justice, and the
fbi, with michael cohen, his personal lawyer. who swears personal loyalty to donald trump. and donald trump expects personal loyalty from agencies of government that have been independent since the inception of the united states of america. devlin, your story in front of the "washington post" today gets to the root of that, when you have an acting fbi director being asked by the president of the united states who he voted for. in the prior fall election. in your reporting, what sense do you get from fbi agents out of the department of justice, about what this is doing, the idea that, that a 20-year bureaucrat, assistant director of the fbi, acting director of the fbi is attacked by the president of the united states in tweet after tweet. the morale of the bureau must be devastated. >> i think a lot of people at the fbi feel under siege. the funny thing is when you talk to them about the way the
president talks to andy mccabe and about andy mccabe. none of them are particularly surprised at this point. but it is a sense of siege. and it's also a sense of isolation. think about one of the stranger things that the whole thing has created is that the fbi is very isolated from the white house. and the white house is very estranged from the justice department. and the doj and the fbi are actually pretty disant from each other right now. that's a bad environment for the government to be operating in. but that is the environment we are in. and that is the kind of thing that frankly worries folks at the fbi, at the justice department. and you know, they're frustrated, i would say. but i think they've gotten used to it at this point. >> yup, desensitized. and there are a lot of republicans and lawmakers on capitol hill who should be a lot more worried about this. i don't understand why they're not. >> and mika, if you look at what andrew mccabe has done in serving this country, he was in the new york field office and
the s.w.a.t. team. he investigated and had a key role in investigating counterterrorism after september 11th. he held management positions in the counterterrorism division, and the fbi national security branch. he was, he was the first director of the high-value detainee interrogation group to get information from al qaeda, to try to stop the next attack. and he played a key role in investigating the boston marathon bombing and bringing those terrorists to justice. look at this man's face. this man dedicated his life to you and to your family. keeping you safe from terror attacks in new york city, in washington, d.c., across the country. serving with the federal bureau
of investigation. and because donald trump has completely blown through every single barrier, every single constitutional protection, now some are attacking this american hero because it just fits their political, their political message of the day. it's despicable, mika. it's despicable. >> and the bigger picture will end this block with a question, with so much at stake, so much at stake, it's one thing to look at this president as a bumbling idiot who tweets and says stupid things and is inappropriate, misogynistic, racist and embarrassing, that's one way of looking at it. but my question is, when is it okay to say that what we are witting before our eyes are the rudimentary beginnings of the destruction of a democracy? when should we be worried that this is happening? i say now. >> you should be worried and
willie geist, when you have fox news declaring war in their words on the fbi and the justice department, the deep state there, when you have people talking about secret societies inside of the fbi, that's, that is out of what erdogan's playbook -- erdogan's playbook that he used in turkey to undermine that democracy. and to go after political rivals in his government. they're doing it here in america. right now. >> bob goodlatt, a republican congressman, talking about a conspiracy between of the texts between lisa page and peter struck, the two fbi agents. ron johnson, the senator from wisconsin, to come out on tv and throw out there irresponsibly that an informant told him about a secret society and that proves there's so much smoke here and there's a conspiracy, a secret
society he said, of fbi agents who meet off-site, away from government buildings, to theoretically, i don't know how the argument goes. plan the takedown of donald trump and his presidency? what a terribly irresponsible thing to say without presenting any evidence to defend it. >> we know, it's interesting, hold on, mike, it is interesting there was another senator from wisconsin, that would hold up pieces of paper and throw out allegations. wasn't there? >> yeah, joe mccarthy, 1952, '53, the mccarthy hearings, the preds of the united states, dwight eisenhower, quite late in the game stood up the way he should have came up and came to a lawyer, joseph welch to stand up and say senator, have you no sense of decency. but ron johnson's comments as willie pointed out, are truly,
deeply irresponsible. and we're talking about tampering with the institutions of government that have always been independent. the federal bureau of investigation. the department of justice, they do not belong to the office of the president. they belong to the united states of america. they are charged with operating independently and they're being tampered with daily. >> all right. the "washington post" devlin barrett, thank you very much. carol lee, thank you as well. we'll be reading the exclusive nbc news report that you and kristen welker have out this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," former vice president joe biden sounds off on russia's election interference. why he says republican leaders share some of the blame in not stopping moscow's meddling. plus from the deep state to secret societies, we'll talk more about the continued attacks on the justice department and what they mean for american democracy and the rule of law. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. >> it may be time to declare war, outright against the deep state and clear up the rot in
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find all the answers you're looking for - because getting what you need should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. i sat down with president trump on friday and offered him quite a bit. he made an offer for a wall. i said if we do full d.r.e.a.m.ers, we'll give you the deal and he basically agreed. so we were close. then he pulled out and backed off. so now i've taken the wall off the table because they backed out of that deal. and then he shut the government down. >> okay, so push for immigration reform appears to be back to the drawing board. the senate top democrat withdraws his wall offer and the president treats about cryin' chuck. that's all next on morning joe.
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so quickly when it comes to trump, it's important we step back and add context yet again to what's going on right now. you actually have a fox news host calling for war against the men and women of the federal bureau of investigation. and calling for war against the men and women, the professionals who work at the justice department. at the same time, you actually have a gop senator pushing out murky allegations about a secret society inside the fbi. that is plotting a coup against donald trump. and this all happens on the day that they start a hashtag #releasethememo, in which russian bots start going to push forward hashtag that the freedom caucus is trying to undermine the reputation of the men and
women of the fbi. all on the same day, not a coincidence, that we find out that donald trump is going to have to testify under oath to bob mueller. how does this look for professionals inside the fbi and at justice who have dedicated their entire life to protecting americans from terrorist attacks? >> i think it's got to be baffling, if you're inside the government at this point. you're asking why would you do this for america? if you're the chief executive of the united states, and for all the leaders in congress, why would you want to erode u.s. institution? so what you see, we've talked about this before, joe, on the show, what you see with russian influence and russian active measures is they don't create the narratives, they just piggyback on it. when they see a u.s. institution under attack by other u.s. elected officials, this is a home run for them. they don't have to create the narrative of dissension, they just amplify it. but over the grandeur scheme of
this, we're also talking about an attorney general and a president that have taken on a crime and justice sort of approach, and yet the main arm to do that across this country is the federal bureau of investigation. these are the people taking on the opioid crisis, they're the ones dealing with terrorism around the world. white collar crime. and you're eroding their ability to do their job. if you're an fbi agent in trump country going out today and trying to run a lead or build an informant or do anything to enforce a good standard of justice, you just got your job made significantly harder by the leader of your country. and that will have lasting effect on this country. >> we're going to be following this part of the story throughout the morning. but now to this senate majority leader chuck schumer said he's taking funding for the wall off the table in upcoming daca negotiations. schumer said he had offered to give trump $25 billion for the wall. and border security.
in exchange for a deal on daca. but deputy white house press secretary hogan gidley said the offer quote never existed. president trump hit back at schumer in a tweet last night. saying quote cryin' chuck schumer fully understands especially after his humiliating defe defeat, that if there is no wall, there is no daca. we must have safety and security together with a strong military for our great people. joining us now, former treasury official and "morning joe" economic analyst steve rattner. and joe, he had a skiing accident. he's on crutches. >> oh no. >> just like our trip to the e.r. this weekend, he was at a ski slope and then the e.r. >> can i tell you my funny story. i get to the bottom of this hill with my bad leg, i end up in this clinic in jackson hole, wyoming. the doctor comes in and looks at me and says, i know you from somewhere. >> is that good or bad? >> and he said i know you from somewhere.
and i said only if you watch a lot of cable news. and he says you're the chart man. you're the chart man. so there are chart watchers in jackson hole, wyoming. >> thank god, and i'm sure they gave you special care because your charts are amazing. and also with us white house correspondent for pbs news hour. yanish and the commentator for the "washington examiner" and american enterprise institute tim carney. good to have you all on board. one of those mornings there's too many dots to connect and it's best we don't. just put the dots out there. >> it's very interesting, donald trump tweeted out what he tweeted out yesterday that cryin' chuck knew that he lost if you look at a nbc news survey, 58% of americans believe that either donald trump or the republican congress were responsible for the shutdown. 39% believe the democrats were.
so you add up congressional republicans and president trump, the republicans on that list, far outnumber the democrats. but you know, let's go to, let's go to our ski expert first. and just, steve i'm going to ask you, why would chuck schumer feel the need to say what he said yesterday? it didn't seem to be especially constructive. i know he was getting pressure from his base. isn't that the point, when they ask you, to say you know what? everything's on the table. we want to move towards a negotiation. everything is on the table. instead of -- you know, sounding a bit petulant like the president and saying "i'm taking it back." >> the democrats are in a somewhat awkward position. they are divided. you've got these ten red-state democrats up for re-election, who are very worried about their future. and you have a bunch of centrist democrats who are saying we don't think shutdowns are good for the country, good for
anybody. and then you have the progressives who want to shut down the government essentially permanently until they get daca. and so it's really been a tough, it's been a bit of a tough row. so i think the reason he took that off the table was because essentially now he wants to start the negotiations from, from zero rather than from already having given up the wall so by bringing this back, he's got something else, another chip to try it play with the president. what i worry about is if the sentiment in the democratic caucus against shutdowns persist, then even when you get to february, the next deadline, that the democrats may not really have the firepower to stop the president on some of these issues. and i, so i think the democrats are on their back foot at the moment. >> tim carney, it's going to be tough enough getting anything through the senate, we hear that maybe you know, there will be 65, 70 senators voting for a bill. but that means absolutely nothing in the house. if you don't have tough border protection.
if you don't have what the president wants with the wall. and the only way this thing gets dragged through the house of representatives and passes, would be if donald trump pressured them, right? >> that's right. the wall is everything for donald trump. and that's, i think why chuck schumer wanted to take it off the table. because for a huge part of his base, opposing donald trump is everything. so if the wall is in there, i have trouble seeing house -- now of course when i say the wall, that's a vague concept. and we can get into that later. if a satisfactory wall is in there, i have trouble seeing house republicans bucking donald trump's main campaign promise. and there's enough of the sort of lobbyist base in both parties that wants as much relief for illegals, including daca, as possible. so i think separating this out and putting a small immigration deal on the table outside of government funding has a real chance of passing. and that schumer is in a tough situation where he also wants to pass something that does daca. but he knows that he has a base
out there that their number one priority is do not give any wins to donald trump. and a wall would be that win. >> so tim, you sound a bit more positive than noah rothman and other people on the set yesterday in that if there is something that's at least called the wall, that donald trump can go back to his base and say -- i g got that wall i promised you. then you believe, like i believe, that donald trump will get that passed through the house. >> yeah, and i mean there's other, there's tons of immigration provisions that could be put in. but at the "examiner" we've editorialized repeatedly, let's make this a small deal and this is kind of how the senate is supposed to work, too, right? don't have it all be legislated on government shutdown. you want something on immigration, these other guys want something on immigration, rather than it just be a republican bill with some democrats or a democrat bill with some republicans, both sides look at it, maybe these guys don't go along, these guys don't go along, but both people have something to offer. they use that to get it across
the finish line, rather than using the threat of a government shutdown to get it across the finish line. >> help me understand this. the entire point for democrats inserting immigration into the government shutdown conversation was to get protections for daca recipients. they didn't happen, but they got a promise from mitch mcconnell that there would be a conversation about that and they could work out some kind of a deal. we know, as the president has said over and over, the president says new york city wall new york city deal there has to be border security if you want me to keep daca recipients in this country. so if you take the wall off the table, chuck schumer, where's the deal? >> essentially right now, there is no deal. yesterday i talked to white house spokesperson hogan gidley who told me that schumer's offer to the president was like hogan telling you he was going to give the readers of pbs news hour $1 million. so he was saying that schumer never made an offer he was talking about, an authorization, but nota a real appropriation
and that the idea that the democrats were making two solid points when they shut down the government. said that they were tired of having really short-term spending deals and they really wanted the daca fix to be included in that. they didn't get either one of those things and they reopened the government. so it leaves the democrats essentially looking weak, even to their own base there were so many emails that went out from liberal groups saying the democrats took a bad deal. opened the government too quickly. and with the white house saying essentially that the president is not going to stop until he gets $33 billion in border security funding, including $18 billion for the wall, i don't know how this is going to continue. >> hey, tim in the past five or six days we've had endless discussions about daca. we've seen the government shutdown, we've seen increased amounts of verbiage from the white house and from the senate about this issue. and i can't think of a time in the recent past, when we've had proof positive that the system has become so dysfunctional, so
broken, that you have an issue, daca, where 90% of americans want it done. where most republicans, sensible republicans and there are a lot of them, want it done. we're nearly all democrats want it done. and it might not get done. >> no. and i think it's a very good point, especially because the spending bills, there's a super majority in the senate that agreed with those, every provision in the continuing resolution. including long-term extension of children's health insurance, federally subsidized children's health insurance. why wasn't it getting passed? because the senate has gone from being 100 individuals, they thought of themselves as we're all sort of scholars, this is a roman senate. to instead being two individuals, and those two are chuck schumer and mitch mcconnell. that the partisanship that has, that, the party leaders control the senate nearly entirely. you throw in the fact that
everything gets filibustered. they haven't nuked the filibuster on legislation yet. so instead of there being a situation where let's have an amendment vote. let's have a debate. a debate and an amendment vote? that's the last thing these party leaders want to trot out there on the floor. because a tough vote is the last thing one of these vulnerable 2018 democrats wants to have to face. so i think it's broken. the government. mostly you can point to the fact that the u.s. senate is broken. it does not function as the senate was thought was going to function. >> let me say a couple of things. mike on your point about the last time we've had this on guns. we had a 90/10 issue on guns and we couldn't get anything done. it's odd to me that the elected representatives of the people don't seem to want to do what the people want them to do. secondly on the current situation, there's an easy, there was a trade. there was a deal, right, between the democrats and trump until he reneged on it. which you do daca, get money for border security.
trump request call it a wall, the democrats can call it enhanced border security and life goes on. so i think there's a deal out there. not withstanding what chuck said yesterday, which is all part of the negotiation, which isn't that hard to do. think what we learned the other day which is troubling to those of us who want to see daca get done, who have concerns about the wall is that the senate democrats are not actually completely united. they're not completely following chuck schumer. they're worried about their own re-election prospects, they're worried about their perception. i think the challenge for the democrats is going to be holding together firmly enough to get a good deal out of the president. i think that's going to be the give and take and that's what we should watch for in february. >> you know, i agree with tim, mika, that there is a deal to be made here. and it's a pretty easy deal. if you can drain the emotion out of it. on one side, you've got daca. it's a 90/10 issue. and unlike the gun issue, even though we talked about it for months and months and months,
there are just some members in the house and the senate, the republican party, that will never, ever negotiate. and there's nothing you can trade for that. daca, you got a issue. you are going to have the next two years, pictures of young adults being dragged out by i.c.e., dragged out of the country, there is going to be these nightmare scenes that's complete gut republican standing. it was out of detroit. last week of a 39-year-old being ripped away from his family. those are the sort of things that when ronald reagan would see them on evening news, it would drive his aids crazy. that's why ronald reagan won 49
states. that's why i think it makes a lot of sense for republicans, okay, we'll give you daca and you give our president the wall of what ever that maybe, it maybe a couple of miles of barbed fence or whatever they want to call the wall, they call it and everybody wins and they move forward. this should be easy. >> if it is not, it is time that republicans address that they have a much bigger problem on their hands with this white house. >> tim carney and allison, thank you both. still ahead, we'll talk to joe manchin credited with ending the government shut down. can he help prevent another shutdown in two weeks. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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fired because of the russian investigation, i was fired in some way to change or the endeavor is to change the russian investigation being conducted. >> that's the subject of one of several stories we are following on the russia investigation this morning. we'll have more as robert mueller reportedly narrows his interests in donald trump and plus an nbc exclusive one year after flynn's interview with the fbi. we'll tell you who else is cooperating with the special counsel investigation. "morning joe" is coming right back. about her joints. but now that she's taking osteo bi-flex, she's noticing a real difference in her joint comfort. with continued use, it supports increased flexibility over time. karen: "she's single." it also supports wonderfully high levels of humiliation in her daughter. karen: "she's a little bit shy." in just 7 days,
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top of the hour, there is new reporting on multiple fronts this morning, all pointing to a special counsel drawing ever closer to the white house. an nbc news exclusive has new details of the stunning fall of michael flynn. we learned that jeff sessions spent hours last week answering questions in the russia investigation. and the washington post details an encounter in the oval office where president trump probed the acting fbi director about his political leanings. welcome back to "morning joe," it is wednesday, january 24th. we us, we have clint watts and michael schmidt and ari melber
and department of defense now on nbc news national security analyst, germany bash and former u.s. attorney, joyce vans. we'll get to all those developments regarding to russia. first, the fallout, president trump and republican allies continue to allege biassed at the fbi. the chairman of the senate homeland security, republican ron johnson, released more texts belonging to peter strzok for despairing trump with messages with lisa page where he's romantically involved.
last night at 10:54 p.m. eastern time, president trump tweeted, "where are the 50,000 important text messages between fbi's lovers, lisa page and peter strzok? blaming samsung." we'll cooperate any investigation. that's the second time trump over stated the number of texts with the justice department says that's the overall number of messages found on fbi servers. regardless, republican chairmen in the house and senate say they see evidence of conspiracy in the white house. >> we are missing texts running from when the russia
investigation was launched right up to the point where you have the mueller investigation being launched. >> what's missing is important but what's also there is important. it is manifest biassed not just against trump but against his kids and business interest. there is a tax where they hope that the trump hotels fail. that's a level of bias that you rarely see. >> what this is all about is further evidence of corruption, more than biassed, corruption at the highest level of the fbi and secret society. we have an informant talking about a group that were holding secret meetings off site. >> there is so much smoke here. >> a secret meeting off-site of the justice department and you have an informant saying that? >> correct. >> is there anything more about that? >> we are digging into it.
again, this is bias ambassadcor at the highest level of the fbi. robert mueller used to run the fbi. he's in no position to do an investigation over this kind of misconduct. i think at this point in time we should be looking at a special counsel to under take this investigation. >> filling in for president trump, ron johnson, joe? >> it is unbelievable. he actually did, we talked about another senator from wisconsin that would throw out outrageous allegatio allegations. that's what ron johnson was doing right there. clint watts talking about a secret society that was planning -- basically, planning a coup against the president of
the united states. asked if he has any more information and he says we'll have to dig into it. i wrote down other things. we have corruption at the highest levels at the fbi. a secret society trying to take down donald trump and i told you already that fox is declaring that war must be declared on the fbi and the justice department. this is breathtaking all because donald trump was called to testify by mueller. i cannot even begin to imagine the danger, not only to the fbi but our law enforcement officers and this country in general. >> it is really fascinating because it is the same techniques of subversion used by authoritarians when they're trying to under mind any sorts of resistance when they have in their power. we are seeing congress taken
part in this as well. what we have seen them do with these text messages, for example, they take some to support their stories. they don't name what the secret society is. it is been called deep stated and terminology changes but they never pin it down with evidence. what will be fascinating is the fbi will disclose this investigation. this will all ultimately come to the surface. never in the line of attack are we seeing americans being put first. what's good for america is reenforcing institutions. if there is something wrong at the fbi, it is been corrected. we should know the investigation of the first thing that mueller did. and these interviews are continuing to pick up. we see the gop yelling louder and louder in this vein and the
intensity of the investigation is going. >> and fox. >> and jeremy bash, clint is exactly right. these personal texts were sane. they were taken off the investigation. there is no participation by them in the investigation. of course, the republicans and those on fox that are calling for the destruction of the fbi declaring war on the fbi saying it is corrupted at its highest levels. there is no evidence in that and there will not be any evidence in that and at the end of the investigation, my question is will these people come back and circle around and apologize for the men and women dedicating their lives and give their lives in this country? >> cyeah, i have to stick up wih the men and women of the fbi, joe. they do defend us at the front line and investigating terrorism and counter intelligence threats to our country.
what we have seen here is that the war against the fbi is really a war launched by three elements. one is the russian federation and the second is the trump organization, i hate to say is the third is by some members of the hill of congress who wanted to fend the president at all cause. i predict joe and mika, the next 24 hours, you will see a trending hashtag used by russian twitter box that says where are the messages and the same way releasing the nunes memo -- >> lets, lets tell jeremy explain if you will how the freedom caucus and their hashtag that they were promoting release the memo was actually picked up and promoted by russian intel
agencies. >> that's right, senator dine an feinstein and adam schiff sent a letter which they laid out this evidence shows that a think tank have reviewed the twitter activity of russian linked bots automatic fake accounts and released the memo hashtag was the top trending twitter hashtag by those russian linked accounts. it was used a hundred more times than any russian linked twitter accounts. this is fuelled by the russian federation. >> ari, we saw in that series of clips that we played of republicans speaking on capitol hill yesterday about the fbi, the arguments have laid out exclusively. have johnson say that bob mueller used to run the fbi. how could we trust him to
investigate based on what we said that the fbi have been corrupted. the congressman from texas say on fox today. i am not saying that actually happened, it is something that we should look into. they're soften the ground right now. consider the source and don't trust it. >> i don't know if they are buying their tinfoil in bulk. there is plenty of tinfoil has to go around. we have seen it before in a variety of context. the bad news of the trump white house is this looks like the o.j. defense. so you attack the investigating agency. in the o.j. defense, there was evidence by the way. that did not change the under lining evidence in the criminal trial. this is a trillion probe. so even if you want to grant the most open mind to the concept
that there may be some where of a conflict that needs to recuse. mcquaid is getting a lot on fire. he did by the way recused from clinton related matters because his wife was involved. it is not a criminal thing but even if you grant that, it does not get you to where they want to go which is to try to change the under lining facts that are under review. that's why they are interviewing on obstruction and ron johnson gave the game away. x, y, z, text forttinfoil and t means no one can run the investigation. >> republicans, i guess is ta n taking an oath. speaking of mcquaid, there is this news last night of mcquaid.
he was influenced by donations to his wife's virginia state campaign three years ago. while he served as acting fbi director after the firing of james comey, president trump summoned him to the oval office and asked who he voted for in the 2016 election. mccabe considered to replace comey says he did not vote. he spent two decades of the fbi found the conversation with trump is disturbing. both the white house and the fbi declined a comment. i want to take it to joyce vans if i could. why would this be an interesttof
mueller. >> this is a stunning investigation even though the president and the vice president are not required to avoid political activity. this is an unprecedented kind of conversation to have with one of the president's campaign employee. mueller and his team will be interested in pushing down on this investigation to learn whether or not it is some indication of the president's state of mind. was he so involved in the political context and was that relationship, part of his effort, in effort to struck the fbi investigation. deciding whether or not he was someone in essence sign up for the president's team. did this contribute to this overall state of mind and at the end of the day, bob mueller's obsession of whether obstruction
occurred? >> you do have the special counsel investigators looking into obstruction charges against the president and his people. >> look, there is a lot of stuff that mueller needs to look at in that area. we know far more that leads us to question whether the president obstructed justice than we do of his connection to russia. there is so many different things from the comey firing to his demand of loyalty and long time obsession with sessions' decision to recuse himself and who was overseeing the investigation. there is a lot of things in that area that raised questions. if you are bob mueller, you need to turn over every single stone to make sure you have to look at every matter. that's what comes up. a lot of interviews have gone into see the special counsel. >> so michael schmidt, you have
republicans on the hill that's trying to attack the fbi and trying to under mind the fbi and talking about quotes, secret society where people go off and destroy the trump presidency. you have devin nunes during the back and forth with the white house several months ago. if you are talking about trying to under mind an investigation against the president, can't and i will open it up to everybody as well as you, can mueller look into communications between ron johnson and devin nunes and communications between these people who are openly attacked to investigators. is ron johnson now putting himself in the middle of an obstruction investigation by doing these? are the other people doing the same thing? i will ask you and i will ask
joy vance. >> i am not sure. my guess is mueller would not want to go near something like that. there are legitimate questions about how the fbi handled the the investigation and things that went on. the problem is because there is not bipartisan support for a true investigation on capitol hill, every time there is a question that's looked at at a partisan lens, we are not going to get as large view -- the republicans are not going to buy to both parties trying to work together to get to this matter. >> joyce, wall street journal has struck saying -- wait, i am not sure if i want to be apart of mueller's investigation.
>> yeah, that text messages is really interesting. it certainly put to rest of this idea there is a deep state inside the fbi. look, i agree over sight of the fbi and what they did is fair game and everyone in the government needs to be transparent and open up their processes. with that said, mueller's job is to be put together all evidence of anyone who may have been involved in obstruction efforts. he will follow that evidence where it leads. he will be looking at this core of concerns lodged in the white house and he will have to make a decision when he has all the facts together, were there criminal acts, is it so different that it should be prosecuted. who is it involved? is it one person or one conspiracy. looks like what we are hearing of all the interviews of the point of this investigation at
least to those obstruction charges trying to decide was there criminal conduct and who was involved and if so, do we need to file charges? >> jeremy bash, there was such a fire host reporting of this special counselinvestigation, i want to sit through with you because you are so good at it. comey had an interview and bannon is on schedule to be interviewed and salley yates and mike pompeo and the list goes on and on. which of those strike you the most significant? >> none are surprising. they're all natural witnesses. why when the president asked to engage in the ethical conduct of staying in the investigation, the president had no business doing that. the other reporting that i want to touch on willie is the
investigation a year today. the lead of that story that fli flynn did not give an interest of the fbi. that means when the president fired yates and invited comey for the candle light dinner and told comey to drop the investigation, he knew that flynn had met with the fbi and lied to the fbi. jeremy bash, joy vance, thank you both and michael schmidt and ari, stay with us. a new poll shows 39% of the people blamed democrats and far more pin the blame on congressional republicans and the president. we'll run through those numbers straight ahead, you are watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. now you can join angie's list for free.
i sat down with president trump on friday and offered him quite a bit. i said if we do dreamers, we'll give you the deal. he basically agreed. and then he backed out that deal and he shut ts the government down. >> senate minority chuck schumer says president trump is ta says he's taking the wall off the table. deputy white house press secretary hogan refuted his claim saying the offer never existed. president trump hit back at chuck schumer at a tweet last night. "crying chuck schumer fully
understands especially after his humiliating defeat that if there is no wall, there is no daca. jo joining us now is rick tyler and the professor at the university of texas, and steve and michael is back at the table as well. i feel that everyone is bidding on a house on a tv show or something. >> i don't understand -- yeah. i mean a couple of things i don't understand. donald trump cannot read or cannot at least add numbers. if you look at the poll, nbc survey monkey poll, 56% americans blamed donald trump and only 39% blamed the democrats. you add those two bottom numbers
up. republicans get 56% of the blame and congressional democrats, 39%. that requires everybody to put up those numbers. the second thing i don't really understand is why chuck schumer would go out there and say i am taking the wall off the table. i understand that may have been good for his base but he needed to say to his base. hey, just stay calm. we need to get the deal done, just trust me, i am working this thing right now. whep when he says that, he will get the exact response that he got from the president of the united states. the spokesperson, i think it was counter productive for him to do that. victoria, for liberal activist to that are pressuring chuck schumer on this wall issue, why not just give them the wall which we know is not really going to be a wall. it is going to be basically
something made out of -- paper clips and as i say 30 ball burying. it is not going to be a berlin wall, it is going to be something that allows donald trump that i built the wall and on that, you win daca. should that be easy for democrats to do? >> it should in theory, i view the wall as an expensive useless toy but it is part of donald trump's tantrum. he knows he has to give it to his base. i think that's a small price to pay in humanitarian cost and economic ones to give him the juan and we get the dreamers. if we push close to 1 million dreamers in the shadow. that's going to be a multi billion economic hit here for us in the united states. it is a small price to pay, i
don't like the idea of it but sometimes you got to do the horse trading. >> right. >> rick tyler, is this an easy horse trade to make in you got daca and some conservative congressional districts, i understand that, but it is an issue around the rest of the country. why not if you are a democrat say okay, we are giving his wall whatever that is and in exchange we actually do a deal on daca and maybe we expand it out to get the dreamers in as well. that seems to be a win-win for everybody. >> you would think so, joe. chuck schumer puts all his cards on the table that's why you saw him withdraw yesterday. he gave donald trump essentially what he wanted and still nobody knows what donald trump really is. donald trump and chuck schumer wanted to get a deal, they went back to their respected camps and got pressured. everybody wants to solve daca.
the republicans want something in return for it and that's border security so that we don't have future daca. i think that sounds wholly reasonable. i really don't think you need a wall per se, we need border security. the way to keep people coming over from mexico to the united states is no t tt the wall, it cut-off the incentives of getting them paid. so there is a lot of things you can do. one to require employees to only do electronic transfers to their bank account when they pay them. it is simple. people go to the atm. you would be surprise quickly highw how people come to compliance. >> victoria, do you see where it is happening given where this issue sits at our country of a
90/10 issue. is there a negotiation, is there a legal or a lack of a deal that allows that to happen and we have images of that morning and the morning after of children and young people of teenagers being forced back out of the country? >> that's my nightmare, willie, that's the nightmare that i will wake up to if no deal is found. i am optimistic that if the wall that donald trump wants for the wall is given to him, a solution is found for daca. if it is not then i think dreamers are going to be a fair game. when donald trump came in and he changed through his executive orders, a lot of immigration laws of what we saw is he changed the priority system to where non-dreamers are in the same category as being eligible for deportation.
if you are a dreamer after march 5th, you are a fair game as someone previously not a dreamer. a month or two months from now, we don't get that deal, that cannot be happening. >> on rick, border security, we all want border security, it is worth noting that immigratio immigration -- believe it or not -- [ inaudible ] >> it seems to me the wall or the border security or whatever you want to call it is an easy part of the deal. it is a straightforward trade where it should be. the harder part is daca and immigration. a simple deal would be daca but then you have republicans who want chain migration dealt with and diversity lottery to be dealt with. that gets complicated. then you have the problem of the house of representatives.
you remember 2013 i believe would not pass the senate immigration compromise because there is more hard line. how do you see those politics immigration playing out in the republican party. >> and you referred to the game of eight passed overwhelmingly in the senate. it was not brought up in the house which makes, it actually makes schumer deal with trump sort of meaningless, he's saying -- i am sorry, sure, i will give you a vote in the senate, there is no guarantee of what to come in the house. there is been a negative migration to the united states from mexico. that illustrates my point. people come here because of the money and opportunity and when the money and opportunity are lacking then people won't come. so i think to get rid of the economic incentives would be a much more effective way to keep people coming here illegally than a wall. though i do agree that we need border security.
the democrats, simple to say and i think daca should pass because these people who are here who came, their parents brought them here illegally did not do anything illegal on their own and the government have looked the other way and all these years so we need to do something to fix that. we don't want to create a situation where we continue to have people come in and we have to solve the problem over and over again that happened in 1986 when we promised we have border security and we won't be dealing of immigration, that actually never happened. these are all reasonable things to get done. what you are seeing is power politics, interfering with good policies. >> rick tyler and victoria, thank you both for being on this morning. ahead of our next hour, we'll talk to our former mexico president, he joneins us onset this hour, on the fast moving
development of the russian investigation. democratic jim heinz joins us on the table next on "morning joe." [ click, keyboard clacking ] [ click, keyboard clacking ] [ keyboard clacking ] [ click, keyboard clacking ] ♪ good questions lead to good answers. our advisors can help you find both. talk to one today and see why we're bullish on the future. yours.
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two students are dead after a student opened fire in kentucky. shots rang out before 8:00 local time when the student entered the school. the suspect was taken immedia immediately by the first officer on the scene. >> i see fire aaw fire and i tu around and ran into the weight room. it was just scary -- just scary. >> authorities have not publicly identify the suspect but they say he will be charged with two counts of murder and several counts of attempted murder. so far no motive have been given for shooting yet.
another school shootings and one in texas. >> it keeps ongoing on and on. it seems unfortunately that too many republicans and especially donald trump remains silent when that happens. yesterday is a great example, americans want to hear from their president. they want to be sued and told everything is okay especially those people in kentucky, they got words of condolence from the canadian president before the president of the united states. the president of the united states tweeted out a lie of 50,000 texts of lovers from the fbi of a misleading tweet. more importantly than that, why is the president of the united states doing that instead of focusing on his job which is not only be the commander in chief but as we learn from ronald
reagan and others the comforter chief. >> it is an easy thing to do. that was a decision not to comment about that. he obviously knew about it and briefed about everything. i don't know because he does not want to be seen as sympathetic of gun control advocates and his motive motives. again, you have teenagers running inside their schools and teachers running to save their lives. >> children are being gunned down wild in school. this has happened before where people are gunned down and he remained silent. when someone committed an act of terror then he immediately tweeted furiously it is terrorism even if it is not or even if he had no clue that it is terrorism. you look at the number of school
shootings and the number of americans that are killed by gunfire, the act of terror in this country, he's obsessed on that instead of -- and not calling for gun control, i am calling for human decency here. he cannot bring himself of being human decency when students are being gunned down. >> joining us now is jim himes. congressman, it is good to see you this morning, thanks for being here. >> so much ground to cover on this. >> good morning. i want to ask you something of what we have been talking about this morning. this is a pattern that we have seen overtime but especially yesterday from your republican
colleagues planting the seeds of doubt of the fbi and its competence and its intentions and suggesting there is malicious intent here that there is some kind of secret society that they put a meeting outside to plot the take down of president trump and his white house. what do you make of comments like that when you hear from people like ron johnson? >> it is disturbing. there as campaign to de-legitimatize. people like ron johnson are coming up with mad conspiracy theory of secret society. devin nunes producing memos and big rumors. the president said it is a hoax. you would not tell stbannon noto
come before the committee. instead, they obstructed the investigation by congress by claiming all sorts of executive privilege. there is been this campaign to de-legitimatize the fbi if and when mueller comes up with an indictment, they can say hey, mueller was compromised. >> when you look at our front story today that you have ongoing efforts by the president of the united states to go ask for a political information partisan loyalty by what was then. the acting fbi director, so comey is out over russia by the president's own words and the new guy is questioned by his republican loyalties. do you view that as ongoing evidence to obstruct? >> with respect organization that should be political. >> let me hang it up there.
inappropriate is the word that's used and i think the viewers understand inappropriate. the question is, does this report have the evidence to intent of obstruct? >> this report does not trouble me as much as the president looking at jim comey who ultimately reported to him and said i need your loyalty or asking somebody's political affiliation is beyond inappropriate. it shows state of mind but i am not sure in of itself is evidence of obstruction. >> what do you think of the most significant development of the russia investigation given the fact that mueller focusing now of what appears of the departure of comey and flynn. >> it points out of two things going on, there is ongoing investigation of the fbi and two congressional investigation around the nature of contacts with americans on the trump campaign of russia. we know george papadopoulos and
flynn and don jr. , there was contact, whether it is collusion, we'll decide down the road. you got the parallel tracts that we were talking about, did the president or the president's people tried to obstruct the investigation. there is a way to deal with an investigation which is everybody goes in front of the investigators and lets tell them everybody and get past this. don't let people go in front of the investigation, when you get worried of the investigators, you start slamming down. >> undermining their credits. >> there is a process issue which you have been speaking to and there is a stanubstance iss of what happened at the end. lets assume of what we read and heard of james comey about this and that is true. lets say he did told comey to take it easy on flynn and all of that stuff. what is the appropriate remedy in your mind? >> if there is obstruction -- >> well, i am asking you if
there is obstruction, what do you do about it? >> i am on the committee investigating and asking this question, i am not going to say it is clearly obstruction, there is meddling points in the direction of possible obstruction. if there is a case to be made about obstruction, that was one of the articles impeachment against richard nixon. if the president engaged in an attempt of the most severe attack that we have against our democracy at the time, remember it is have very very -- >> here, we have he says she says and i don't know how the movie ends. we have the effort of ron johnson and devin nunes, anybody that do not have the the information or the facts milwaukmaking an attempt to sliam the fbi.
that's going to create uncertainty of the minds of the american people. >> is the funny part here that we also have tapes but they were made by lester holt? i mean the president said something on tv that if it were a secret tape and -- we found the secret tape of him saying russia was on my mind when i found the fbi director. >> it is kind of a good point. >> don jr. meeting where he's looking and excited of getting dirt about hillary clinton, yeah, it was all about e-mails. maybe they're not tapes. >> it is tapes and it is called reality tv. we got them. nbc joe. >> and following up on ari, we are talking so much of what bob mueller may be digging into and all the investigations and depositions and all discoveries that he's going through. my god, with the lester holt's
tape, you have his intent, you laid out clearly and with the sarah huckabee sanders' statement the next day, where he wanted to finish and finally the smoking gun of all smoking guns the white house released a conversation between donald trump and the russian foreign minister and the russian ambassador of the united states. congressman, you got the president of the united states saying hey, i got the pressure off. this guy is a real nut job. i fired him. so now the pressure is off on this investigation so guess what? donald trump colluding with the government of the two people that were inside that oval office. >> it is kind of obvious, is it? >> well, i am not going to say it is obvious. >> at a minimum of everything
you cataloged, we need more discipline of how any campaign or transition makes contact with any organization. again, the idea that the idea that there is never anything there and joe, you listed all the contacts. t >> and the next level that we just described here of the three pieces of evidence is trump on tape going, look, i am going to obstruct justice, okay? everybody listen, lester, are you rolling? i am going to obstruct justice. >> mika, i am telling you, follow up on what ari said, this is the sort of thing when i was an attorney and we were digging through old depositions or we were digging through discovery or digging through documents, this would be the sort of thing
that you would pull out of a thick file. >> right. >> and you would run down and going to your senior partner and say, i found busted. except for the fact he did it in plain sight. he admitted it in plain sight with lester holt, with the russian foreign minister, with the russian ambassador of the united states, and then had his white house spokesperson do it. >> all right. member of the house intel committee jim himes you didn't say that, we did. thank you very much for being on the show this morning. still ahead this morning, senator joe manchin joins the show. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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in director comey and most importantly the rank-and-file of the fbi had lost confidence in their director. >> i can tell you also that director comey enjoyed broad support within the fbi. and still does to this day. >> well, i can speak to my own personal experience. i've heard from countless members of the fbi that are grateful and thankful for the president's decision, and i think that, you know, we may have to agree to disagree. >> last year then acting fbi director andrew mccabe andrew mccabe directly contradicted sarah huckabee sanders over morale at the fbi. now "the washington post" reports that when president trump brought mccabe to the white house for a get to know you meeting he asked mccabe who he voted for in the 2016 election. we wonder if that meeting happened before or after mccabe's testimony. either way, it's another potentially interesting data point for the special counsel. we'll speak to the reporter who broke that story.
we're also following several other key developments in the russian investigation, what bob mueller wants to ask the president, new names added to the list of those cooperating in the probe. all while to be republicans on capitol hill continue to say it's the fbi which needs to be investigated. a very busy hour of "morning joe" is just ahead. we are the tv doctors of america, and we may not know much about medicine, but we know a lot about drama. from scandalous romance, to ridiculous plot twists. (gasping) son? dad! we also know you can avoid drama by getting an annual check-up. so we're partnering with cigna to remind you to go see a real doctor. go, know, and take control of your health. it could save your life. doctor poses! dad! cigna. together, all the way.
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i was going to fire comey knowing there was no good time to do it. and, in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> quote, i was going to fire comey. i said to myself, you know, this russia thing is a made up story. this morning and for the foreseeable future we'll hear a lot of stories about russia none of which are made up. we have an nbc news exclusive with significant developments on the growing number of top officials now cooperating with bob mueller's investigation. the "new york times" has reported attorney general jeff sessions was grilled for hours last week. and a piece in "the washington post" that says the president asked the acting fbi director how he voted in the 2016 election. it all ties into this huge
headline, bob mueller now seeks to question president trump about michael flynn and james comey's departure. we have the three reporters with those bye lines and each of those big stories right here on "morning joe". national political reporter for "morning joe," "the washington post" reporter and michael schmidt. also with us nbc contributor mike dabarnacle. it was a day of revelations in the russia probe with suggestions that special counsel robert mueller is closely examining whether president trump obstructed justice when he fired former fbi director james comey. "the washington post" reports mueller is seeking to question president trump in the coming weeks about the firing of comey, and former national security adviser michael flynn. comey was interviewed by the
special counsel late last year. a source close to nbc news focusing on memos comey drafted after private meetings with the president. comey testified trump asked him for loyalty and to let go of the fbi's investigation into flynn's contact with russians. the president has denied asking comey to pledge allegiance to him. and last month tweeted that he never asked comey to stop investigating flynn. yesterday the "new york times" was first to report that attorney general jeff sessions was questioned by the special counsel's office last week. a person familiar with those discussions told the "times" that the special counsel appeared most interested in asking questions about comey and flynn. yesterday president trump was asked about the special counsel talking to a sitting cabinet member. >> thank you.
no, at all. i didn't. but i'm not at all concerned. thank you very much. >> so there we are. joe? >> yes. so here we are. michael schmidt it seems that the focus based on your reporting, the people you spoke with had to do with donald trump actually obstructing justice in the investigation itself. explain. >> there are two big buckets of mueller's investigation. one is the russia question and one is the obstruction bucket. the thing is there's a lot more in the obstruction bucket that relate to the president's conduct than there is on russia. there's not a lot of things we know about trump's efforts to collude with russians but a lot of questions about different things that he has done in office, whether it was a comey firing, whether it was trying to get rid of sessions. all these things, the president's long time obsession with loyalty, these are the questions that mueller really has to drill down on and things
that current and former white house officials who are being interviewed by the special counsel are being pressed about. >> i was going to carol lee. this is the one year anniversary of michael flynn's interview with the fbi. you have fresh reporting just this morning about what he said about it, what he didn't say about it, when the white house found out about it, and what the implications might be for how they described that series of events. >> yeah. what we wanted to do is go back and look at this significant moment and see what else we could learn about what happened at that time because if you look at it, it's the first moment where the russian investigation really knocked on the white house door. it was only four days in, but there was a very small amount of time where it wasn't as inside the white house as we're so used to now. what we learned is that michael flynn did this interview with the two fbi agents and didn't tell anyone. he didn't mention to anybody
this had been put on his schedule. he seemed like overly confident in the interview. he didn't take a lawyer with him typically the national security counsel would be there. he didn't have his personal lawyer. he didn't say anything to anyone including the president. they learned about it two days later when sally yates showed up two days later to warn that michael flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail by the russians because he wasn't honest with his conversations with the russian ambassador. this set into motion a number of events after that. we know that then the president invited james comey over to the white house to have dinner. you know then later flynn remains in his post and still no one really understands exactly what went into -- what happened in that fbi interview. we know a source told us that he didn't ask michael flynn if he
was truthful to the fbi and it was only later after he already left they got an indication that he had lied. so, if you look at that moment -- then ironically this interview with michael flynn was set up by mccabe's office and now he is, you know -- it's all kind of come full circle because he's in the president's cross-hairs at this time and we're seeing this ramping up of the president's frustration with his own justice department. >> then a new development late last night about andrew mccabe andrew mccabe, the deputy fbi director has been heavily criticized by president trump who alleges that mccabe was influenced by donations to his wife's virginia state senate campaign three years ago. "the washington post" reports that while mccabe served as acting fbi director after the firing of james comey president trump summoned him to the oval office and asked who he voted for in the 2016 election. mccabe who was considered to replace comey said he didn't
vote, according to several anonymous current and former u.s. officials sourced in the report. mccabe who has spent more than two decades at the fbi found the conversation with trump disturbing, said one former u.s. official. and one person said that trump-mccabe conversation is of interest to robert mueller. both the white house and fbi declined to comment. this is your reporting, devlin. all these pieces were reporting them at this point. it's very hard to, to try and not come to a conclusion, but when you tie them together, where is bob mueller potentially going with this? >> well, i think the mccabe conversation is of interest to mueller because it gets at one of the basic questions that mueller's investigation is trying to answer, which is what did the president want out of the fbi? what exactly did he want out of the fbi? and as much as the president
clearly has a lot of dislike and a long running dislike for andrew mccabe andrew mccabe personally, it also raises the question of, you know, was the president trying to get some sort of assurance as to what the fbi would be doing in a post-comey environment. >> mike barnacle. >> devlin his long stand iing dislike of mccabe -- >> this stems from in the late days of the campaign it came out that andrew mccabe andrew mccabe's wife ran for a state legislature seat in 2015 as a democratic. for that race because that race was in virginia she got a lot of money from political action committee run by terry mcauliffe. terry mcauliffe is a close ally of the clintons. basically when the president, then candidate trump heard that he started attacking mccabe on
the stump and what's clear, you know -- what's clear from the president's tweets and what he does in private is that he has never let go of this ani mrmus mccabe. >> clint watt let's bring you in here and try to put some of this together. i've been writing down notes, because there's so much going on here. and there's so many things that are outside the norms for a president and his allies who are now at war with the fbi. you have, of course, new news donald trump goes up to the acting fbi director and says how did you vote. extraordinarily inappropriate. does violence to the constitutional norms and the rule of law. he asked comey, remember, for the loyalty. he then asked comey to drop the investigation of his national
security adviser after he admits that he knows that his national security adviser committed a crime by lying to the fbi. then he fired comey. then if you look at what happened yesterday and i really want you to talk about this, this is the most troubling thing. the republicans now are so desperate because they see that donald trump is going to have to go and actually tell the truth, try to tell the truth for once or fall into what his associates call the perjury trap. republicans are talking about this secret society inside the fbi. they sound like crack pots, you know, that bill buckley kicked out of the conservative movement back in the early 1960s. the ill lilluminati, free mason harry potter all because of an fbi agent who sent text messages
to a friend and we have the "wall street journal" this morning, that same fbi agent was hesitant to join robert mueller's team because quote, my gut sense is there's nothing there. and yet there is a declared lou dobb said it, a declared war from the right on the fbi and the justice department. >> yeah. it's absolutely baffling why you would want to destroy a u.s. institution. donald trump has learned nothing after the firing of comey. we saw the triggering of the special counsel based on the firing of comey and then he walks right back to the acting fbi director mccabe and is essentially trying to figure out are you on my team k-i coerce y you, can i push you in a way that doesn't represent the american people very well.
every time we see somebody from the trump team or campaign going to get interviewed suddenly there's a rash of gop outrage either about text messages or attacking the fbi as an institution. i don't know how that's good for the country. ultimately it damages our ability to do law enforcement and really push for justice but it's indicative about how this team is playing. >> in this case, clint, they are going after an fbi agent who said he didn't want to be involved in this probe because there was no there there. when they start talk about secret societies inside the intel agencies this is what erdogan did in turkey to go after and persecute the military and his intel services. that's what he did to destroy democracy step by step, piece by piece in turkey. i mean are republicans really going to sit back and allow this to happen.
are the board members of newscorp going to allow fox news to quote declare war on the fbi? >> it's a classic tactic of authoritarians. republicans have showed up here on "morning joe" or msnbc and talk about a purge of the fbi, cleansing it so that only those loyal to them can be in charge. that's what we see in the third world. then what we see is discrediting through conspiracy. look for evidence to justify it but leave out evidence to the contrary. >> still ahead on "morning joe" our graphics team is running out of room to show all the officials talking to special counsel. we'll run through them with more of that exclusive reporting. you're watching "morning joe". we'll be right back. over the years, paul and i have met regularly with our ameriprise advisor. we plan for everything from retirement to college savings.
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growing list of people being interviewed by the special counsel. >> the list of people we got. comey last year. jeff sessions last week. mike pompeo, sally yates. steve bannon later this month and obviously he's looking at mueller for an interview with the president. when you look at that graphic what does that tell you this has reached the highest reaches of government and is knocking on the door of the oval office. >> it has. the thing it says to me is, to go back to what michael was talking about the two buckets of the investigation where you have the obstruction piece and russian piece you can see the number of people being roped into being interviewed and the focus of this investigation, being questioned because of the president's own actions that have nothing to do necessarily with the russia's meddling in the election and whether there's
collusion with the trump campaign. so the cia director, he was specifically interviewed because they wanted to know about his conversations and anything that he had to do with the firing of james comey. and so all you see each step of the way president the increasingly expanded this case of obstruction that he essentially created with his own actions and so that's partially what i see when i see the number of people who have been interviewed is there was always a set number of people to be interviewed based on the collusion and mudslideling in the election and then this other group of people because of what the president himself has done. >> michael schmidt while your reporting focuses on obstruction of justice that doesn't mean bob mueller doesn't have information on donald trump possibly colluding with russia. we don't know that at this
point, do we? >> no. we have far less clarity into that. the reason why we know much more about obstruction because it all happened since the time that the president was in office. there are all these white house officials that interacted with him. some of it played out publicly. a lot of things that the president has said privately he simply tweets about as well. often we'll be reporting about things about a potential obstruction, we'll find out he did something in private that he simply just talked about publicly. so that's why there's so much more there. look, there's so much that we don't know. we never knew a guy that george papadopoulos would plead guilty last year. it surprised us. i wouldn't be surprised if there was something else to come up. coming up on "morning joe" we're joined live by senator joe manchin. trying to break through the partisan split on capitol hill. >> he had like a talking stick. he had talking stick that susan
you know, in age of trump, clint, things come at us so quickly. it's important to add some context yet again to what's going on right now. you actually have a fox news host calling for war against the men and women of the federal bureau of investigation and calling for war against the men and women, the professionals who work at the justice department. at the same time you actually have a gop senator pushing out murky allegations about a secret society inside the fbi that is plotting a coup against donald trump. and this all happens on the day
that they start a hash tag release the memo which russian bots, russian bots start going to push forward hash tag that the freedom caucus is trying to move forward to undermine the reputation of the men and women at the fbi, all on the same day and it's not a coincidence that we find out that donald trump is going to have to testify under oath to bob mueller. how does this look for professionals inside the fbi and at justice who dedicated their entire life to projecting americans from terrorist attacks. >> i think it's got to be baffle field goal you're inside the government at this point because you're asking why would you do this for america? if you're the chief executive for the united states and all the leaders in congress why would you want to erode a u.s. institution. what you see, we've talked about this before on the show, what
you see with russian influence and russian active measures is they don't create the narratives they just piggyback on it. when they see a u.s. institution under attack by other u.s. elected officials that's a home run for them. they don't have to create the narrative of dissense. they just amplify it. over the grander scheme of this we're talking about an attorney general and president that took on a crime and justice approach and the main arm across this country is the federal bureau of investigation. these are the people taking on the opioid crisis. they are the ones dealing with terrorism around the world, white collar crime. and you're eroding their ability to do their job. if you're an fbi agent in trump country going out today and you're trying to run a lead or build an informant are a do anything to enforce a good standard of justice, you just got your job made significantly harder by the leader of your country. and that will have lasting effect on this country.
get this low-mileage lease on this 2018 cadillac cts from around $469 per month. visit your local cadillac dealer. this is a talking stick, and it comes from africa. i really needed people to listen to one another and a way to control the debate. and believe it or not, this is enormously effective. >> whoa, whoa, wait a minute. you had a magic stick that makes senators work together the whole time? and then you only bring it out after the shutdown? what the hell, susan collins.
by the way, guys, i don't know what she's talking about. but we don't use talking sticks in africa. i feel susan collins got bamboozled by some random guy in the street. take this stick, the spirits of our ancestors will bring you together for $500. africans don't use talking sticks susan collins. we use microphones. we haven't used talking sticks since 2007. joining us now democratic senator joe manchin of west virginia. he reportedly told his colleagues yesterday while he intends to run for re-election he added quote, this place sucks. senator manchin, always good to see you, sir. did you say that? >> i sure did willie. mika knows i talk like that from
time to time. >> it raises the question if that place suck, why do you want to go back? >> i'm trying to make it better. i get so frustrated at times. there's so many good people here. so many sensible, reasonable people that want to do the right thing. and we've allowed the power to accumulate between two people, the majority leader and minority leader and i don't think the system was ever designed to have that much power in two people's hands and we get frustrated. we're not in on negotiations sometimes. chuck has been great with the caucus, we try to work with him but at the end of the day basically it's two people making those decisions. we want more input. that's where the common cause coalition came together. we figured hey, it was so -- we were so excited to be in one room and talking and working together. susan and i did this in 2013. we thought it would being a great to come back again. we were at a stalemate. people weren't talking. no movement was made. it was a time to open up
government. not a time to shut down the government. i was opposed from the beginning to shut down the government. but that did not justify the way this was done. >> you've been, senator, as long as we've known you a person that felt this way about washington given a place you came where you were governor and you were used to getting things done. is there any hope you can glean, any sunshine you can shine about what happened in that room with that talking stick and if that might be applied to future conversations and future discussions. >> first, you need good coordination to catch it. when the stick comes to you you have to catch it. >> did somebody drop it and broke it? >> i don't know about that. i was there. i've been in every meeting. when it goes across. the room is pretty good size. rather than walking around, if you're sitting beside somebody
the stick goes back and forth. we started throwing basketballs from that day forward. much easier to catch. it put order to everything. hold on you'll get your turn when the ball comes to you or your stick comes to you. that's your turn to talk. so it really put -- it was a light way to have the level of lightness that needed to be done in that room. it helped. we had a good time with it. i'll tell you one thing we started working together. we know we won't throw these kids out. these kids don't know any other home but america. they are americans. their parents brought them here as little kids or babies. what happens beyond that is what all the talking is about and how far do you go? should they be able to bring other people in? i think that's going to be tightened up a lot. the borders have to be secured. the borders have to be secured, guys and we're going to vote to secure the borders. there will be some wall.
some technology. we'll do whatever it takes to secure our borders. >> so, senator, first of all, we haven't talked since your brother won a national championship and did it in extraordinary physician. he does not flinch. incredible. secondly i got to ask you a question and you're exactly right. the senate wasn't set up to have two people run it, to have no regular order, to have four or five people go behind closed doors, decide what major legislation will be passed and then shove it down everybody else's throat. you all are starting to take back power, i guess. why is has it devolved in the way it has where that's not a democratic institution, it's an institution run by a handful of people. >> so many ways to explain it. you do tuned process up here because you've been here but the senate is much different than
the house. house to works on simple majority. if you have 218 democrats or republicans they don't have to talk to the other side. but the senate was always designed to be a bipartisan and cool things off a little bit from our frame toers george washington, the purpose was to make sure there was a cooling off period. if the senate works no different than the house and it takes gimmick like budget reconciliation we're no better. it will be partisan. we must stop that. i'm not blaming anybody how we got to where we've come to and ultimately the power lies in the majority because they set the agenda. but don't you think if something comes through, a committee process, the committee votes on it and two-thirds or more of the committee approves that that it should absolutely go to the floor for a vote? it shouldn't be up to one person making the decision. do you vote on this or not? do i put this on the agenda? it would help our leadership from having all the pressure put
on two office. the two offices are being bombarded unmercifully by saying you can stop this. no. i'm sorry the rules don't give me that type of power. we got to take this place back and make it work and protect each other for the sake of the country. >> senator, you and doug jones met with the president a couple of days ago and you came out of that, correct me if i'm wrong feeling genuinely he want as deal on daca. >> i believe that. >> he wants that. if that's true do you think he has the ability to stand up to the hard-liners around him, especially in the white house? >> i hope so. i mean right now he has secretary nielsen, seems to me she's the point person for the white house coming over and working. she's well-liked and well thought of and regarded and i think it will be a trustful, meaningful dialogue back and
forth. mika, the whole thing comes down to how much further do they go? i keep going back to the 2013 piece of legislation we all voted for. it would have taken a major, major change in immigration across the country, 11 million people if this, once they went and paid their fine for breaking the law by coming here illegally and have not committed a crime. they were working. they were paying taxes. there was like a 13 year pathway, 12 or 13 year pathway for citizenship and if they messed up during that period of time they were deported out. we took care of the daca and dreamers. we put $42 billion to secure the border more than has ever been recommended or talked about since. so when he a pathway of fixing this. that didn't happen because the house would not take it up. the senate passed it in a bipartisan way. now if you're trying to pull off -- you did this in 2013. how about doing this? that was an inclusive approach. now they are taking just daca,
about 700,000. if you put dreamers up to 2 million plus. put all the people that are allowed to come with them if they have a pathway of legalization that's an awful lot of more people coming in that have not been vetted. recognizing 700,000 children that came here as babies, their parents broke the law and came other illegal, i get that. but the kids don't know any other place but america, this beautiful country as their own. i think everyone is sympathic and wants that to be taken care of. it's all the nuances around it. cooler heads will prevail. mike? >> i want to get back to this place sucks. >> mike, you talk straight. i one that. >> i get the notion about the senate being run by two people and everybody wants to it be more inclusive in terms of decision make. but do you personally -- you sort of live in the middle. you represent a state that's in the middle.
america seems to live in the middle on a lot of things and yet you belong to a party that's increasingly reactions of donald trump moving further left. i wonder if you feel any sense of concern or discomfort or whatever that at some point the democratic party might move too far to the left and away from you? >> well, the national -- i'm not a washington democrat. i'm a west virginia democrat and i'm a rule democrat. that's what the washington democrats steam have a hard time grasping. that's why we're in the minority. chuck schumer has been fair and open. he understands exactly. i can't speak for the republican caucus because i'm not in that republican caucus but the senate caucus, the democratic caucus chuck is trying make it more inclusive. he understands it. he's willing to stand up there and take a hit. listen you might have 30 people moving this way and five or ten of us moving this way. he understands and respects that. i really appreciate that. i'll speak up.
they know that. they've been very receptive. they one that i'm not changing, i'll never change. it's all about west virginia. i said this, mike, if i can go home and explain it i'll vote for it. one time one of the leaders came up to me and said this will be a party line vote and i said what does that mean when i first got here. harry told me, we all stick together. i said let me see the bill. i read the bill. i said harry on my best day i can't sell this crap to west virginia. that's as honest as i can be. once they figured joe will be joe, i'll vote for west virginia. i don't work for you. i don't work for the washington democrats. i work for west virginia, democrats, republican, mountain party, everybody and i'll do that. i'll continue to do that. >> senator joe manchin thank you for trying so hard not to make that place suck. >> we'll make this place work, you watch. >> thank you very much. thank you, joe. our next guest has never minced
words when it comes to president trump's border wall. vincente fox is calling the president the west's most powerful false prophet. the president of mexico joins us next. dynamic performance, so you can own the road. aggressive styling, so you can break away from everyone else. the bold lexus is. experience amazing.
cursed on live television. we hope he doesn't do that here. i don't think he well so he's lost his voice. so we'll try to get through this. don't bother this. in his new book "let's move on beyond fear and false prophets" he writes what concerns more about trump. all false prophets create a heightened sense of looming danger that allows them to consolidate forea tragic end. historically the reaction of the panicked people is to retreat to their respective tribes and there you see the rise of protectionism, populism, zenophobia, racism and homophobia with the reactions of increased hate speech and violence towards anything foreign. today trump is the west's most powerful false prophet. i think that's really well put. you saw it with the carnage
speech, the way he's laid out his presidency is to make everything seem a lot worse than it is and that he's somehow the savior and now even makes very misleading false statements about the state of our economy or the state of our country, again, to prop himself up. is that part of being a false prophet? >> it is. it is. it's based on fear. >> right. >> fear. when you have fear then you react in favor of the authoritarian. i'm sorry for my voice. >> no problem. we can hear you. >> and that's the case with trump. >> right. >> i think this nation, i sense it has fear since 2011 and sees enemies every where, even mexico, your neighbor. so that's something that trump is abusing of, taking van of. >> abusing details. mexico, more people are going
the other way across the border. first of all. and saying mexico will pay for the wall is not only possibly incredibly untrue or maybe just complicated and not true, but even more so, setting up even more of a sense of hatred between the people. >> we don't care about a wall being built in the united states, paid by u.s. taxpayers. we don't care. but it's a waste of money. it doesn't work. it doesn't work at all for people. >> it's a toy he wants. >> right. >> it's his toy. >> i lost my voice on tv two weeks ago. i know what it sound like going through puberty on tv. >> a former head of state has
taken an aggressive approach. the tone you've had with this president. any part of you that fought as a diplomat, somebody who is head of state that perhaps i shouldn't be sodiplomat, as a head of state, that i shouldn't be so -- you signed the book "yours in resistance." what compelled you to go so hard against donald trump? >> we are offended. we mexicans, 120 million people, we've been offended. so we want to explain what we are -- what mexico is all about. and we really are a trustful neighbor to the united states, that we are a solid partner, that we can work together, that we can make out of north america the most competitive region in the world. that leads me to say the truth about mexico and mexicans.
>> let me read from your book. you say, do not fear donald trump, fight. don't give up, never give up hope, never give up on the american dream. history is on our side. have faith in each other. there is something good helping out there. i can feel it, trust me. i helped usher in democracy in mexico so i know what momentum feels like. for millennia, those in power have used religious faith to oppress and divide. you say trump is used the myths of division. the book is "let's move on." former president vicente fox, thank you very much and good luck with your voice. >> i'm sorry. >> no problem. up next, president trump is headed to davos tonight. but his treasury secretary is already there and making
headlines. stephanie ruhle says what steve mnuchin just said about the dollar is such a big deal that she can't wait until 9:00 to talk about it. we're going to bring her in next along with brian sullivan. we're back in two minutes. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i don't eat the way i should. so, i drink boost. boost high protein nutritional drink has 15 grams of protein to help maintain muscle and 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d. boost high protein be up for it like you do sometimes, grandpa? and puffed... well, when you have copd, it can be hard to breathe. it can be hard to get air out, which can make it hard to get air in. so i talked to my doctor. she said... symbicort could help you breathe better, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. symbicort helps provide significant improvement of your lung function. symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day.
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today. he's touting the u.s. economy before he departs. he tweeted this morning, tremendous investment by companies from all over the world being made in america. there has of your been anythi-- been anything like it. jobs, jobs, jobs. meanwhile treasury secretary steve mnuchin is already making headlines in davos, telling reporters there that a weaker dollar is better for trade. joe? >> i am so confused. stephanie ruhle, let's bring you in. though, yes, it is true, i do defeat nobel prize winning economists in debates. >> you do. >> and i leave them sulking. i'm not really that great with econ 101. but even i know, you don't want your treasury secretary to say this, duo you, at davos?
>> joe, that is exactly is. it is true, a weaker dollar suits president trump's america first agenda. but steve mnuchin is not a president trump surrogate doing cable tv. he's lost the advantage of having the u.s. being the world's currency. people in the administration have said this is steve mnuchin going rogue, a result of steve mnuchin having no advisers, no experience, and a skeletal staff. it will clearly impact the markets and it's a huge break from protocol with treasury secretaries before him, not to mention wilbur ross being on tv saying we are in a trade ross. maybe wilbur ross has been falling asleep in meetings, because last i checked, president trump says we're not. >> oh, my god. >> we look forward to hearing a lot more on this topic from you
later on. brian, let me bring you in. there are so many people that didn't think this treasury secretary was up to the task of being treasury secretary, that he was beneath it. did he just prove his critics right? >> i don't know if he did or not, joe. i know you guys like to bring up historical figures from the world of politics. here is one for you, lloyd bentsen. >> oh, my -- >> yes, mika, lloyd bentsen was the last treasury secretary to reference the dollar in any way. it's not law, but it's policy, treasury secretaries simply do not comment on the dollar. here is the thing. wilbur ross coming out and saying that yeah, troops are on the ramparts of a trade war. mnuchin coming in and making comments about the dollar. if there is a strategy, and i don't know if there is, but if there is a strategy, it would seem like the two are kind of front running the president, to say i am willing to take a tough stand on trade and maybe even
use the u.s. dollar as a short or medium term weapon in that fight. this would be really -- lloyd bentsen? >> you know, this is like watching an "snl" episode, watching all your reactions to this. let's do final thoughts. i'll start with willie and barnicle at the table. >> wilbur ross also said, sully, to andrew sorkin, there's a good chance nafta will be renegotiated. is that actually going to happen, will they go in and peel apart nafta? >> they could. and if they get a deal, it might not kill it totally but it might be unilateral, instead of bilateral. it could be just the u.s. and mexico or the u.s. and canada. not trilateral, i should say. you'll have "naf" on one side
and "ta" on the other. >> mike barnicle, final thoughts? >> it's every day, and multiple times every day that something happens out of the white house, or somebody employed by the president of the united states, in this case it's steve mnuchin in davos, and it always involves an element of chaos. chaos and disruption every day. >> i will say i think steve mnuchin and his wife posed with the dollar, with her in black gloves, they miat the mint. i may sound catty, but about the most tone deaf thing i ever saw anyone ever do. final thoughts, joe. >> if you want to know, the big headline from yesterday is the president found out he was going to be questioned by the independent counsel, and on cue, his henchmen on tv and in congress, his most pathetic
henchmen, started attacking the men and women of the fbi, started talking about a secret society, that harry potter and ron weasely were meeting somewhere in a cave trying to undermine the president of the united states. this is the stuff of dictators. this is how erdogan went after democracy a decade ago. this is how democracies start to die. it's up to responsible members of the media and responsible members of the republican party to fight back. >> let's have those harvard professors back on, how democracies do. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. >> i'll disagree with mika, i happened to love that picture of secretary mnuchin and his wife at the mint. coming