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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  May 8, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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republican primary tonight and he has two opponents, he could, that means the republicans will give up on that and they say joe manchin, the democrat, will be re-elected. >> mike allen, live in washington, d.c., we'll be reading axios a.m. in just a little while and you, too, can sign up for the news letter by going to axios.com. >> that does it for us on this tuesday, i'm yasmin vossoughian, along side ayman mohyeldin, "morning joe" starts right now. it is turs, may 8th, welcome to "morning joe" to say we have a lot to cover this morning is an understatement. new overnight, attorney general's attorney general, eric schneiderman has resigned, among allegations that he physically abused four women. he announced his resignation within hours of the allegations being printed by "the new yorker." president trump tweeted that he will be announcing today at 2:00
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his decision on whether the u.s. will stay in the iran nuclear agreement. and a tease by president trump's legal team. reportedly picking the one-year anniversary of special counsel robert mueller's appointment. to announce whether the president will grant investigators an interview. today voters in a number of states head to the polls in primary elections and it's the west virginia gpa race that has republicans in washington very nervous. can the very controversial don blankenship win the primary? and first lady melania trump launches a new children's well-being initiative called be best. but did she borrow from michelle obama again? with us to start things off, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle. pulitzer prize-winning historian and the soul of america, the author of "the soul of the america: the battle for our better angels" jon meachum and
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elise jordan. good to have you all on board. joe, a lot going on. kind of all over the map this morning. >> yeah, all over the map this morning of course, a lot of the news last night about new york's democratic attorney general. a story comes out in the new yorker and a couple of hours later, the democratic party forces him to resign. unanimously. it really is what a bizarre world we live in that donald trump is accused of sexually harassing dozens of women and admits he sexually assaults women on tape and yet people like mike pence talk about what a great christian he is and how he loves starting meetings with a prayer. it's strange that the party of mike pence is fine with, with people like donald trump. and you have the party of nancy pelosi and hollywood, all of those godless types according to
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republicans. who actually hold a politician accountable. for abusing women. even -- listen even the allegations, just the allegations of abusing women while in relationships with them. but very interesting. i'm sure that everybody inside the trump white house will be disciplined enough to actually attack eric schneider man, given they work for a man who has abused women throughout his entire life according to my gosh, dozens, dozens of said women. >> yeah. and there's -- obviously an ongoing legal issues pertaining to women at this point as well. we'll get to all of that in just a moment. we given with a reported tension inside the white house over rudy giuliani's numerous media appearances over the past week. giuliani denies that the
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appearances have caused alarm in the white house but two sources familiar with the president's thinking tell nbc's kristen welker that the president is finally, i've added that word, beginning to lose patience with some of giuliani's recent interviews, in which he has at times contradicted the president and the administration. one source says quote the president still has confidence in rudy, but rudy will need nor discipline to keep the president's confidence. trump attorney jay sekulow says giuliani continues to provide valuable counsel to the president and the legal team. and press secretary sarah sanders had this to say. >> is the president pleased with the appearances of rudy giuliani over the last few days? >> i didn't speak with him specifically about his feelings about it. but certainly feels that he's an added member, added value member to his outside special counsel.
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>> so you will be hearing, joe, from sarah sanders a lot of these words. which we've heard before. but you're going to be certain to hear them all the time now. "i have no knowledge of." "not that i've heard." "i've not heard specifically." "i've not something i've spoke ton the president about." if she says that about everything, what is she standing there for? the job has lost all of its credibility, at least with her in it. >> she's been lied to so many times, it's actually, actually that's the best thing for her to do at least, because she's vouched for donald trump before and she's always been put in a bad position. because donald trump is, she knows, is you know, as we all know, he lice all the time. he lives in a post-truth world and unfortunately for those around donald trump, the rest of us do not live in a post-truth world. if you repeat donald trump's lies every day, well, we already
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know that about donald trump. but you're going to have to live with that for the rest of your life. mike barnicle, it's interesting that donald trump went out as he was leaving the white house, a few days ago and said rudy needs to get his story straight. he just came on and he needs to get his story straight. well rudy got his story straight and he went out and said hey, yeah, there are probably more women, we could expect more women that could happen, yeah. more women may come forward in the future. so now donald trump is upset about that. and reports again, may be the latest version of the mooch. he may be on his way out. >> the more this continues. the presidency as theater, you have to ask the question -- are we being played by donald trump and rudy giuliani? because every day giuliani says something that is so odd and so at odds with the law, as we know it, that you wonder, are they just continuing this thing to
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keep us preoccupied with things that are going on in public, giuliani talking about donald trump -- >> mike, i wish they were that smart. they're not that smart. donald trump said during the transition that rudy giuliani was losing it. that he was a couple of steps behind. >> he said a few other things. >> that he was falling asleep five minutes into meetings. everybody around donald trump said he was drinking too much. donald trump suggested as much. that was two years ago. and the fact that donald trump brought this guy in two years later despite his own reservations about him, almost two years ago, that's not any, it's not 3-d chess. that's not even checkers, that's a monkey throwing poo against the wall and it doesn't usually turn out well. >> i did not say winningly, i
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think they're just doing this and we're going along with it. look what we're not talking about. we're not talking about severe cuts to the chips. children's health improvement act. we're not talking really, and we will today, about iran and why three allies, britain, great britain, france and germany are not going along with what we are appear to be doing. this is, this is just a classic shell game. that they perhaps unwittingly. >> as joe mentioned, one of the things that giuliani opened the door for reporters to ask the white house about, was whether this is potentially more unknown payouts to women who claim to have had affairs with the president. >> you said he, this is a regular arrangement he had with michael cohen. did michael cohen make other payments to women for the president? >> i have no knowledge of that. think if it was necessary, yes, he made payments for the
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president, he conducted business for the president. >> is that possible, are there other women out there who received money from the president to stay quiet? >> i'm not aware of any other activity. but i would refer to you rudy giuliani to respond to any of those questions. or anybody else on the president's outside counsel. >> you've been in his circle for a long time now. you were on the campaign. is that anything that came across your desk? >> i'm not aware of anything like that, i would refer to you the president's outside counsel. >> jon meachum, this may get us, it's crazy like mike said. it may distract us from talking about the iran deal for about five minutes or so. but this is actually significant. what rudy giuliani has said according to jonathan turley and many other legal experts, he's gotten in the middle of their narrative and there are real legal consequences to this stormy daniels lawsuit. michael cohen is now wrapped inside of it.
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and again, a lot of people a lot smarter than i am, when it comes to these sort of matters are saying that this actually may be an existential threat to the president of the united states. and putting rudy giuliani in there, a man who can't keep his story straight, when you're already in that sort of legal jeopardy, why i just, it's like putting pat paulson in as your attorney general instead of john mitchell in 1973, how do you like that reference, meachum? >> it's very good. we could do a. mitchell palmer later. we could play attorney general jeopardy. >> i'm not a lawyer, you are. but i have a sense that it's never a good day when your lawyer has his office raided by special counsel who used to run the fbi. i'm just a simple country guy. but i just don't think that's actually a good thing to happen. i think this is what rumsfeld used to call a known unknown.
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think all of this is an interesting way is kind of the taking of the rupert murdoch culture, to washington, where if, "the new york post" kind of volume and if i may leveling of nuance, actually is now running the government. so you know is this "goodfellas" meets c-span? is that rudy and trump? it kind of is. they're just doing what they do. what do they fall back on? on a roy cohn strategy of fight fight fight. and it reality is doesn't really matter. because the reality is what's in the paper or what's on the screen. at this particular moment. and it goes back to the report in the "new york times," at the end of last year, that peter and maggie and other folks on the story, who said trump had said to the staff during the
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transition, let's treat every day as the episode of a tv show in which i vanquish my rivals. if you're busy vanquishing, to go to mike's point, you can't be busy building. >> what comes with that, elise, with being street fighters and counterpunchers is the truth often evaporates or the truth doesn't matter. in the course of counterpunching and fighting. so you have somebody like on his very first day as attorney, rudy giuliani going on "hannity." and in the course of trying to squash the idea there were campaign finance violation, explaining why it may be a violation to pay off stormy daniels. and the scope of what rudy giuliani thought his job was expanded. he was up on a stage spitting on a mock iran deal. pretending he was ripping it up. he wasn't being an attorney, he was being what jon described, a new york guy who will fight whatever the fight of the day is for donald trump. >> afounsed the return of
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kidnapped americans from north korea before the national security did. he completely is out in front of his skis. i really think that the wild card with all of this is it remains the women. and you see this over the past year, with so many women around the country saying we're sick of it, we're sick of men in power abusing us. and it happened last night with new york attorney general eric schneiderman. and i think that the drum beat is going to continue. rudy giuliani has given them an opening. for more women who have potentially been paid off to come forward and it's not going to stop. >> did rudy giuliani go 0 on tv yesterday? he probably wasn't allowed on, right? do anyone see him? he couldn't help himself. he called up. >> it's the difference, the behavior here is the difference between jon referenced it, between reacting and acting. they react to a wave of headlines each day. they react to it and the next
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day, a new wave, new reactions. president trump's legal team has reportedly picked the anniversary of special counsel robert mueller's appointment to announce whether the president will grant of investigators an interview. rudy giuliani tells the "wall street journal" they aim to decide by may 17 whether the president testifies -- okay. can i -- >> can i just -- >> please. >> this is the vernacular in which we live. this is reality tv. it's a show. two men on may 17th, we'll let you know if we're going to let the constitution survive. >> tune in at 2:00 p.m. to the iran nuclear deal. >> james madison, you're fired. >> in an informal four-hour practice session, mr. trump's lawyers were only able to walk him through two questions. given the frequent interruptions on national security matters. along with mr. trump's
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loquaciousness, one person familiar with the matter said -- yes? >> mika, he's very smart. where did he go? he went to bucknell, i think in. >> no, fordham, good school. >> he fordham, a really good school. and this goes back to again, the fact that donald trump again everybody around trump is scared of robert mueller. and they think that robert mueller is too smart for donald trump. they think that robert ruler will run circles around him. because mueller is a st. paul's man and went to printston. they don't think trump can keep up with him. at the end of the day i guarantee you that the supreme court of the united states is not going to be announcing their
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season premiere of "subpoena." the reality tv show. because willie geist, it is, it's going to be on netflix, it's going to be far more than likely it's going to be a very short, about 13-second version of "peaky blinders" it's going to be violent scene and they're going to say the president has to actually sit for, the deposition. >> then that's the end of their show. >> based on the report about them trying to go through a series of questions in a mock interview with robert mueller, there's a 100% chance that the president of the united states whl would incriminate himself in an interview with robert mueller. think about the "fox & friends" interview and can you imagine what would happen in that interview? i wouldn't put him in that room for $ million.
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>> he did it with lester holt. >> he it hurts me, there's nobody on set, so does everybody on set agree with donald trump's lawyer? that just because robert mueller is smarter than donald trump, or has a better education than donald trump, that donald trump's too stupid to sit across the table from him? because it seems to me, that's what everybody is saying. if i were donald trump, i would make sure i proved to them that i was not that dumb. >> rudy is not going to tell him he's that dumb. rudy will back him. >> there is no way that donald trump can sit in front of mueller and plead the fifth. i don't think that is politically viable. but willie, you are suggesting what all of donald trump's lawyers have suggested all along, that donald trump is just not smart enough to sit in front of robert mueller, and not be abused. >> well i didn't quite put it
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that way. but what i do know is that donald trump thinks he can talk himself out of anything. he spent his entire life doing that he think his charm trumps all. if you'll forgive the pun and that's not going to work with somebody like bob mueller who is armed with months and perhaps years' worth of facts and information about what he thinks donald trump may have done in terms of colluding with russia or obstructing justice after the fact. who can tell donald trump that? who's the one who sits and says, i think this is a bad idea. i think this is the one time, mr. trump, where you're not your own best advocate. he'll never listen to that, he wants to sit across from bob mueller. >> joe -- >> yeah? >> let me ask you when you say that you can't see president trump taking the fifth amendment. why would he be unafraid to take the fifth amendment? look at where he is today and look what he's done. look what he's been publicly accused of doing. why would taking the fifth
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amendment, do you think hurt him among his core constituency? >> well first of all, because they heard him say that only the mob takes the fifth amendment. but also for donald trump the secret has always been strength. you have to appear strong. appear stronger than you are. going back to what bill clinton told the democrats in the 1990s, better to be strong and wrong than weak and right. so taking the fifth would make donald trump appear to be extraordinarily weak and also a hypocrite in a way that could show again you show the clips from the convention all the clips of him saying you only take the fifth if you're guilty. i think it puts him in a bad place. so at least that's my opinion. >> all right. >> by the way, mika, i may have it wrong. maybe donald trump didn't start it at bucknell or did he start at sarah lawrence and then go to penn?
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>> no, fordham. >> good school. and then he went to penn and he graduated from penn after -- five deferments on the same day that 40 americans were killed in vietnam. that's right, okay. >> still ahead on "morning joe" -- new york attorney general eric schneiderman has resigned in the wake of abuse allegations. we'll dig into the implications there. we're counting down to president trump's announcement about the iran nuclear deal. admiral james tstavridis joins us. so, that goal you've been saving for,
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now be won in the east. the whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed. >> president harry truman, 73 years ago today, proclaiming the ve day as the allies of world war ii accepted the final and unconditional surrender of nazi germany, which he described as a campaign against evil forces that had imprisoned the bodies and broken the lives of millions upon millions. truman called upon the country to dedicate the day to prayer for the memories of those who had given their lives to make victory possible. >> jon meachum, with who an extraordinary day. reading your, your book, "soul of america" as we talk about the presidency and the importance of the presidency.
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many people look at that date and see that clip and they think about what was. i'm fascinated by the history of what was going to be. my mother told me when fdr died, they were from the deep south, the rural south, in dalton, georgia, and my mother brorn in '32 in the depths of the great depression, she said that their family went home and sat and listened to the radio. and it was like a king had died. they couldn't imagine america moving forward without fdr. and good democrats that they were, they had contempt for harry truman. they thought there they were in dalton, georgia, saying he's just a bumpkin. he can't do the wonderful things that roosevelt did for us. and yet you look at from that
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date from 1945, to what harry truman did over the next three years, culminating in '48 and '49. from the marshall plan to defending berlin's freedom. it's one of the most remarkable turn-arounds in history. as far as the judgment of a man that, that i can think of. at least in 20th-century america, this man he he evolveded from a simple senator that no one had respect for. to someone who created the post-war world. >> and set in motion that at least in terms of the highest levels, a good bit of what became the civil rights movement on the presidential side. he was shocked when. >> was a son of missouri, he had ancestors who loved robert e.
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lee, hated abraham lincoln. truman himself used racial slurs in private. but he started getting reports, shortly after becoming president, that these returning gis, african-americans, who had served their country in the great struggle against tyranny. if you think about a struggle that represented mechanized genocide and ended with the nuclearization of the world. the capacity to destroy the whole world. it's hard to imagine a larger series of events. harry truman is hearing reports that returning gis in the south are being lynched, pulled off trucks in missouri. there was a man, a sergeant in south carolina i think who was blinded by a policeman's nightstick for being on, in the wrong bus at the wrong time and truman was told about it. he said my god, i had no idea it was as bad as that. he decided if we were going to fight for liberty abroad, we had to practice it to the best of
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our ability at home. and the integration of the military was one of the most important things that unfolded. on president roosevelt. when truman gave that speech. he had been president for all they've weeks. and in dalton, georgia, your family was probably 100 miles or so maybe 1350 miles away from warm springs, which is where fdr decide. "new york times" wrote on the day that roosevelt died that men will thank god on their knees 100 years from now that franklin roosevelt was in the white house and he was there and i think they will succeed that harry truman was the one who succeeded him. >> mike barnicle, you look at the men and the women in the streets of times square and you think of the stories of them celebrating, what it took on d-day and beyond to defeat adolf hitler and nazi ter tyranny, an
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extraordinary story and one that we've gotten to know better in our generation, with the work of people like tom brokaw, steven spielberg and tom hanks and all of their incredible works. with the greatest generation. and what an extraordinary generation that was. >> joe, you know, it wasn't much difference between what occurred in your household with your mother in dalton, georgia, and what occurred on the street where i grew up. a long ways away from dalton, georgia in massachusetts. it is this, i think it's the epitome of what happened in both places, further proof that america is an idea. before it's anything else, it's an idea. on that day, in 1945, v-e day, i grew up later on, on a street where there were seven gold star families. seven families on one street. families from originally from russia, from greece, from
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finland, from italy, from ireland. america, the idea of america, and i don't think there has ever been, i would defer to mr. meachum on this, a greater juxtaposition in proof of the strength of the american idea. than franklin delano roosevelt being followed by harry s. truman, a has beenerdasher from missouri. a man who very few people knew, and very pew few people knew the content of the man when he assumed the presidency and look what turned out. look at the gift he was to america. taking the first steps to integrate the united states military. taking the initial steps to protect and defend berlin. and to take the advance against the creeping power of the soviet union. harry s. truman. >> you look at the marshall plan. you look at all of the things this man did. in 1947 especially, but from '47 to '49, mika, it is extraordinary. the post-war world that your
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father spent his entire life dedicated to. pushing back against the spread of communism. the most evil ideology in the history of mankind. responsible for the deaths of over 100 million people who lived under communism. that entire post-war world was started by a has beberdasher ou independence, missouri, named harry s. truman. talk about the soul of america what an extraordinary story. >> as we look back, coming up next, we will look forward as the future of the iran deal is in question. admiral james tstaff reads will join us next. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even "close claws." (driver) so, we took your shortcut, which was a bad idea.
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president trump will announce his decision this afternoon on whether to recertify the iran nuclear deal. joining us former nato supreme allied commander. now the dean of the fletcher school of law and diplomacy at tufts university. retired four-star navy admiral, general james stavridis. admiral, great to see you as always. 2:00 p.m., the president announced yesterday, today, will be the time when he announces whether or not he stays in the
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iran deal. he has called it the worst deal in history. he's threatened for a long time now to rip it up. do you expect he'll change his mind? or will he compelled or pushed by anyone around him to stay in the deal? >> who knows where he's going to break? he's so unpredictable. i think the bet is that he's going to pull out. before we get to that, i just want to jump back to victory in europe day. 73rd anniversary. talking about harry truman. another figure who looms large in that landscape is dwight eisenhower. i was the 16th supreme allied commander. he was the 1st supreme allied commander of nato. this institution that kept the united states and europe together. that's a vital part of the post world war ii structure that joe was just talking about. i mention all that in the context of the greatest damage of pulling out of this deal.
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is the potential to truly fracture the trans-atlantic alliance. other reasons to stay in the deal. the knock-on effect with north korea and what is iran going to do if we pull out and reimpose sanctions. my bet is that today he will pull out. pushed by john bolton and somewhat by mike pompeo, it's a mistake. >> pompeo and bolton. two big critics of the iran deal. what does it look like if the united states pulls out if you have our european allies and russia and china still in the deal without the united states. does that change anything for iran? >> it certainly does. and when you dpin a process like this. it's like kicking open a door in a completely black room. you don't know what's going to be inside the room. the variables and patterns of
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time that emerge from this decision are difficult to discern. i will say that first it will depend on what the iranians do. and what their reaction is. it is highly likely in my view that they will begin to reenrich uranium. if the europes decide to side with the pact, with the agreement, i think the iranians will take a pause and see if they can garner economic benefits from staying in it by dealing with european partners and business entities. see paragraph 1 about why we don't want to be in this position. to divide the alliance. so the short answer to the question is unpredictable. lastly there are tactical implications here. jim mattis and the pentagon will be putting his forces on alert throughout the region. it's possible the iranians will ratchet up in a military way that would have impact on our
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forces, all very unpredictable. >> elise jordan here. i was struck by how quickly when french president macron gave remarks to reporters after meeting with president trump and said you know he is going to leave the nuclear agreement. and that was a big push that macron had made when he was over here to try to come up with some kind of side agreement to make it a workable situation and it seems like there have been several openings for the administration to perhaps secure more favorable terms. but president trump has seemed adamant all along he was going 0 rip up the deal. how do this affect our standing going into negotiations with north korea? >> this is the key future question, elise and you're ride to raise it. if you're kim jong un and you're watching the united states pull out of this deal, why on earth would you place any faith in an agreement from the president who has made it very personal.
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it's very personal to change positions, it's very personal to dismantle anything that smacks of the legacy of barack obama. it's very personal in terms of his standing and stature globally as he sees himself. i think president macron has it about right. which is we're going to pull out. it's going to have i think a terrible knock-on effect in terms of north korea. and you know, perhaps worst of all, it demonstrates more unpredictability emanating from the center of our government. and that's a bad place for us to be in the international sphere. >> maech snum. >> admiral, i'm trying to remember, elections are choices, they have implications, the world understands that. can you think of any analogous agreement out of which we pulled because of a change of administration? i can't. >> i cannot, jon. and i think that whenever you
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decide to take policy personally and that's what i feel like has happened here, another example of it would be pulling out of the trans-pacific partnership. where we're in the western pacific. we're seeing the influence of china grow and grow as a result of us stepping out of that. i think nafta could be the next hammer blow to fall in this process of stepping away from sensible agreements. and jon, you're the historian. to me, this smacks of the 1920s and '30s when the united states rejected the league of nations, walked away from europe and effectively built walls, the holly smoot tariffs, how did that work out? we crack the the world economy, created fascism and can you drop a plum line to the start of world war ii, it's the isolationist tendencies that worry me here.
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still ahead, the stakes are high for the gop in today's primaries in west virginia, president trump and top republicans are worried. that a win by don blankenship today, could mean a loss late they are year. steve kornacki is here to break down his chances. and the manhattan district attorney's office confirmed to nbc news they have opened an investigation into the allegations against new york attorney general eric schneiderman. we'll have the latest. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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i think i've demonstrated that i will stand up against the establishment. no matter who it is. and encouraging west virginians to not let anyone tell them who to vote for. because while west virginia really loves trump, it's his policies that they love. and i'm basically trumpier than trump when it comes to those policies. >> u.s. senate candidate don
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blankenship responding to president trump's call for his defeat in today's republican u.s. senate primary. joining us now, national political correspondent for nbc news and msnbc steve kornacki. editor in chief of axios, nicholas johnston and political reporter for nbc news and msnbc, alex us. >> the story that's emerging in the last couple of days is in west virginia. it's the late momentum that blankenship has in this race. a three-way race, when you look at the public polling, it looked like he had faded back to third place, ten days ago. it looked like the effort from the republican establishment to suppress him was working. what's happened since then? he's dominated the coverage the last week of the race. he had a stylistically well received debate performance that got him some attention. the comments about cocaine mitch, the comments about his
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words here, china people owning the label that came to him of bigotry that came with that. he's dominated the coverage. this race has been all about him. the weird situation is we do not have a public poll, an nbc poll, a media organization poll that shows him leading this race there are internal polls that are panicking republicans from rival campaigns. that suppose lid show him taking the lead in this race. in some cases, the reporting in some cases, we haven't seen those polls. there's a sense there's a momentum here. there's clearly a sense of panic among republicans. we haven't seen the polls. so there's a little suspense and mystery tonight. >> nick, you look at blankenship there. not exactly with reaganesque charisma. >> i love the message -- >> i love the line. i'm trumpier than trump this is how these insurgencies unfold. trump is the great way to run is
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against washington. i can't wait until president trump is primaried in the presidential election, says i'm nor president trump than president trump is. >> they're tapping into also ta overt bigotry in the case of blankenship talking about "china people" and mitch mcconnell's china family. alex, let's talk about who's getting behind these candidates and who's not. we saw the president going out and saying wachovia don't vote for this blankenship guy because he can't win a general election against joe manchin. we've seen members of the house run away from him but not in the senate. what's up with that dynamic? >> it can be confusing for people watching this election because you have two completely parallel universes playing out in the house and the senate. we've heard so much over the past year and a half or so about the potential blue wave coming, democratic energy, and that's true in the house. the senate is a different story. part of that is that you have these gop primaries going on but the other bart is that the map
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these senate races will be fought over are overwhelmingly in trumpy states, west virginia, north dakota, montana, indiana. the battle for the house, meanwhile, is playing out in the suburbs in places like california, new york, new jersey. so you have this dynamic where house republicans are running from trump, democrats in the house are pledging to be a check on trump. in the senate it's the opposite, democrats talking about how much they want to work with trump and republicans want to hold trump as close as possible. so it's an incredible dynamic that could lead to a historic unusual bit of trivia which is if democrats win back the house while losing a seat or two in the senate which is the totally possible outcome, it would be the first time in american history one party has flipped a chamber while losing seats in the other chamber. >> what's your read on west virginia if rain republicans don't select blankenship. joe manchin, man, that guy is west virginia.
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he was a successful governor, elected senator and he's not afraid to shake it up, not afraid to roll up his sleeves, not afraid to punch pretty darn hard. is it really a foregone conclusion that if blankenship loses this seat goes red or does manchin have a pretty good shot? >> manchin is absolutely in the game no matter who gets nominated. joe manchin is as you're saying the type of democrat who for decades, for generations dominated west virginia politics. it's no state in the country has moved more sharply and more decisively from one party to the other than west virginia over the last generation from a democratic state voter from michael dukakis believe it or not in 1988 to one where every county lined up in 2016. he won it by 42 points in 2016. so manchin in the last decade, he's faced head winds before. in 2010 he had to run for a --
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to complete a term there in the senate in 2010, big republican midterm here. obama was president, head winds against the democratic party, manchin did win that race by ten points so he survived something like this before, to me he's an incumbent, an analysis talking about the trump state democrats here. every one of those trump state democrats has one thing in common. the best thing to happen to them policeally in 2018 is the fact that trump got elected in 2016 because the midterm election tends to work for the out party so it's a little bit of an advantage there for manchin you otherwise wouldn't have. >> nick, i'm still debating and i wonder if today is going to be a bellwether of sorts, whether it's helpful to be an insurgent candidate in the donald trump area or harmful. and you look at indiana, too, and you've got representative todd rokita, his closing ad was calling the mueller investigation a witch-hunt and digging into the trumpian narrative. does it help that much this
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year? >> i think in primaries that's absolutely the way to run. in both the republicans and the democratic side you have people in democratic parties running against nancy pelosi now. so there is an anti-washington anti-party leadership sentiment but then the question is how does that play out in the general election. the parties want to get the middle-of-the-road candidates who can win in november, not may or june or july. and that's where what the tension is and we'll learn a lot this afternoon around evening. >> we don't have public polling that brings us up to speed in the last few days but there are internal polls we learn about yesterday to show blankenship in west virginia tied for the lead, a statistical tie for the lead. what would it say about the modern republican party if you had the president of the united states who backed roy moore using roy moore as the example of what not to do in a primary. what would it say about the current republican party and what would people in washington say about the republican party if he does in fact win tonight.
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>> it would be another data point in that favor in just a few months. before donald trump backed roy moore he backed luther strange remember in the primary in alabama. he failed to get luther strange across the line. mitch mcconnell and gop super pac spent millions of dollars trying to back luther strange, stop roy moore, they didn't succeed then, that was just in december and one counterpoint to that. we talk about a democratic civil war, there are no real primaries happening in the senate on the democratic side. this is largely a republican phenomenon and i assure you don blankenship -- mitch mcconnell would be happy to get an extra seat from west virginia but not happy to have don blankenship in the senate next year. >> steve kornacki, thank you very much. you'll be back with us tomorrow morning for analysis of tonight's results. alex seitz-wald, we'll read your analysis on nbcnews.com and nicholas johnson of axios, thank you as well. still ahead, new york
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attorney general eric snide schneiderman abruptly resigns. one of the authors of that report, jane mayer, will join the conversation. plus, new reporting president trump may be losing patience with rudy giuliani. his recent media blitz seemed to be raising more questions than answers. but does he have a strategy? the "washington post's" eugene robinson seems to think so. he'll explain that next on "morning joe."
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welcome back to "morning joe," it's tuesday, may 8, still with us, we have pulitzer prize winning historian and the soul of america, the author of the new book "the soul of america, the battle for our better angels," jon meacham. former aid to the george w. bush's white house and state departments, elise jordan. joining the conversation, chair of the department of african-american studies at princeton university eddie glaude, jr., and pulitzer prize winning columnist and associate editor of the "washington post," eugene robinson. good to have you all on board this hour. there is reported tension, joe, inside the white house over rudy giuliani's numerous media appearances over the past week. there were so many, i thought there would be more yesterday but i ended the show yesterday by saying will they let him go back on the air? did anyone see him on tv? >> there were a couple of atm
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cameras in town. >> i think they fwienlly got the memo he's a runaway beer truck. >> he was calling reporters. >> they can't stop him from making phone calls but they could maybe -- i don't know. it's like the president with his tweets. giuliani denies those appearances have caused any alarm in the white house, but two sources familiar with the president's thinking tell nbc's kristen welker that the president is beginning to lose patience with some of giuliani's recent interviews in which he has at times contradicted the president and the administration. one source says "the president still has confidence in rudy, but rudy will need more discipline to keep the president's confidence." giuliani tells nbc of trump "he's not frustrated at all." trump attorney jay sekulow said giuliani continues to provide valuable counsel to the president and the legal team. and press secretary sarah sanders had this to say. >> is the president pleased with
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the appearances of rudy giuliani over the last few days? >> i didn't speak with him specifically about his feelings about it but certainly feels he's an added member, added value member to his outside special counsel. >> you know, willie, of course he had to tell -- he told the press several daysing that rudy giuliani needed to get his story straight, he was new the white house and so he had to get up to speed, he just didn't know some things and then giuliani came out this weekend talking about how there might be more women out there, causing one additional problem after another additional problem and our own kristen welker reporting that trump is growing impatient, more and more by the day, with rudy giuliani. >> who could have seen this coming. when you send rudy giuliani, a guy who hasn't practiced law in some time, throw him on the sean hannity's show and let him go on tv time and time again. and with each passing appearance
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say something different, something that contradicts the previous appearance. and also knock me over with a feter that the president is fickle and no longer happy with the performance of giuliani. if you want to be the chaos president, you have to live with the chaos that comes with it. in this case the chaos my implicate president trump further. when rudy giuliani goes on tv to squash the campaign finance violation theory and then adds fuel to the theory, that's not good for the president. when he says there may be other women, that's not good for the president so it took donald trump a minute to catch up to why having rudy giuliani on tv at this point in his career was not a great idea but it goes back to what john was talking about earlier joe which is that donald trump finds comfort with a fellow new york brawler and he saw a guy who would go on tv, throw haymakers, throw crazy ideas out in defense of the president and he'd like that. initially now that he's hearing the details he doesn't like it
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quite as much. >> jon meacham, as you say in "the soul of america" you report on what donald trump said the day before his inauguration, he gets his staff together and said everyday has to be played out like a reality tv show where i vanquish all comers. well, okay, that's fine, if that's the way he wants to do it, of course, it is a horrible way to run a white house but if you have that view towards the world then you may support the chaos theory so long as you're the one churning up the chaos and keeping people off balance but donald trump haas proven he is the agent of chaos and when other people become the agents of chaos, like scaramucci, we could go down the laundry list, they're gone just like pruitt will be gone soon, if giuliani continue this is, i can't believe he won't go the way of
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everybody else. >> mika, very much wanted me to mention thomas hobbs. >> yes, oh, please. >> it's my v-e day present for mika. >> wow. >> he's basically adopted this view -- if thomas hobbs thought of the world in "new york post" headlines, that's where we are, and it's the war of all against all everyday. and the ultimate political cultural cost here that the american presidency when we look back on it and we think about presidents we want to emulate, we want to commemorate, the people who tripped the tongue, top of mind about, boy, you know, he got a lot wrong but he got that right, they're the ones who built and they reached beyond their base. they weren't perfect. the remarkable thing isn't that all presidents before now always rose to the occasion. and i think that -- i don't know
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there's any change. the only way i can imagine -- and this is -- i'm not saying this is going to happen tomorrow but there could be a case made to the president that in the long run what are people going to think when they look at your portrait? and if he put in the narcissistic terms, at least it might have a shot of penetrating and he would be able to think about it. he needs to do two or three things that are additive to the national experience. >> and this's what's so disturbing and watching how this unfolds because the president seems to not care about consequences of these casual statements that affect his legal standing. and if he's so careless with his own legal troubles, is he that careless with american national interests. >> with ours, yeah. >> exactly. >> gene, your latest piece in the "washington post" is entitled "don't be fooled, giuliani has a strategy." and you write in part this.
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"there is madness in rudy giuliani's incoherence on behalf of president trump but there's also method. he's following the trump playbook, confused, distract, provoke, and flood the zone with factoids and truthiness until nobody can be sure what's real and what's not. giuliani revealed wednesday that trump reimbursed his long time lawyer michael cohen for a $130,000 payment he made to porn star stormy daniels to buy her silence about an affair she says she had with trump. that's made trump's prior claim of total ignorance about the payment a bold-faced lie. giuliani is obfuscated, not clarifying, he's making it hard to know what the president claims let alone what the truth might be. as a legal strategy, this would be insane, but it's really a political strategy, congress poses the only serious threat to trump in the form of impeachment. if the president's loyal base can be flimflammed into thinking this is all a big witch-hunt,
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republican lawmakers will stay in line at least for now. gene, i see how that could be working on a pr level in the world of new york media, culture, "new york post" headlines today gone tomorrow but it does not work in the court of law and there are courts of law that will apply at some point. it doesn't end well. >> like i said, this is the worst legal strategy. >> in the world. >> and from a legal standpoint, he ought to shut up but politically i do think it's the trump play book. i think if the president is upset, he's probably upset at being upstaged which, as you know, he doesn't like. but rudy is going out there, putting out three different versions of every event in this whole michael cohen/stormy daniels saga. if you like president trump and want to support him, you can
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pick which ever one you find least appalling or more acceptable and he sort of -- he's very pleased with himself at having sort of set the media agenda over the last few days a if he would say not in legally a good way but he said the agenda. it's one huge mistake that willie mentioned of course was one day denying that there was any campaign finance violation and the next day making an excellent circumstantial case that there was, in fact, a campaign finance violation. so you have to say as a lawyer he's lost a step or two or three. but i think -- i think he's doing what he set out the do. >> i think we would want to -- go ahead, i'm sorry. >> joe, go ahead. >> this is eddie. i think we would want -- gene, i
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would want to add one more verb orapr or predicate to your piece in addition to confuse and distract and that's delegitimize. there's a sense that the object of this confusion is to delegitimize the process all sergeant to no matter what the conclusions of the investigation may be, he's mobilized public sentiment. that 30 plus percent to not concede the legitimacy of whatever conclusion is drawn about trump. >> i think, mika, i may have made a mistake last week when i wrote in the "washington post" column about rudy and suggesting that somehow what he's been saying over the past week was something new. seth meyers helpfully pointed out a couple of daysing that ing a -- days ago that rudy giuliani has been unhinged for quite some time. let's look at this clip.
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>> what happened to -- what happened to there's no black america, there's no white america, there is just america! this is a man with a big heart who loves people, all people. from the top to the bottom from the middle to the side. islamic extremist terrorism. you know who you are! and we're coming to get you! for an america headed in a different direction, greatness, where did it go? how has it flown away? we are giving them the money. are we crazy? >> you are. [ laughter and applause ] >> yeah. if i'm until a complicated legal bind, that's the guy i'm turning to. it must be what gene has written -- >> i remember at the convention that year rudy giuliani showed
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up at a party at the rnc convention wearing a flak vest and everyone was just kind of like what's up with this? you know, he really is very tense and on edge and that was over two years ago at this point. >> that was really amazing. all right, point made. let's move on here. new york attorney general eric schneiderman has resigned in the wake of abuse allegations. he made the announcement last night following an article in the "new yorker" that he had been violent with two women. two women allege he hit them often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. both women also said schneiderman threatened to kill them if he broke up with them. schneiderman's spokesperson told the "new yorker" that he, quote, never made any of these threats. schneiderman wrote in part, the privacy of intimate relationships i have engaged in
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roll playing and other consensual sexual activity. i have not assaulted anyone, i have never engaged in non-consensual sex which is a line i would not cross. schneiderman's ex-wife also came out against the accusations calling them, quote, completely inconsistent with the man i know who has always been someone of the highest character, outstanding values and a loving father. but following the article, top new york democrats, including andrew cuomo and kirsten gillibrand began calling for schneiderman to resign. last night he issued a second statement contesting the allegations but also announcing he would be stepping down. he wrote in part, while these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office's work at this critical time. sniderman, a democrat, has been a prominent supporter of the me
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too movement, he filed suit against disgraced movie mogul harvey weinstein earlier this year. schneiderman has been a vocal critic of donald trump for years, dating back to schneiderman's lawsuits against trump university. joining us from washington, staff writer for the "new yorker" and the lead story in the story that brought down new york's attorney general jane mayer. it's great to have you back on the show. give us a sense of your reporting on this and it's -- at this point allegations but he has decided to step down. you've spoken to how many women total? >> we spoke with four women who are described in the story, two of them are on the record and you know the word they use to describe their experience with former attorney general schneiderman is that he assaulted them and two of them are on the record saying so. i mean, these are serious
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charges and his statement, i think you can see in it, because he's still not really understanding his affect and how he was seen and felt by these women and that took an awful lot for them to come forward but they felt they really had to. they were -- several of them came forward bauds they said they couldn't stand the idea that another woman was going to go through this. >> so let me take a pause. we're going to fix your microphone, we could hear you but we want it to sound a little better so stand by for jane. and just looking at the details of this story, it appears that some of these women are pointing to a pattern that seems to match up in terms of how they were treated. >> and they have a number of corroborations, realtime corroborations, they have a physician looking at the one woman who alleges she was smacked so hard in the side of her head that her ear bled for some time. the doctor said it was consistent with trauma to that ear. from beginning to end this is one of the most serious,
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appalling, sickening litanies of violence toward women that we've read and i would ask you, jane, the process by which those women came to you, i can't imagine -- and you get into the article and they do, too, what it took for them to step forward and make these allegations that have ended his career a man so powerful, a man who told them "i am the law" as if to say you don't want to test me on this. >> it took a lot. and it kind of was -- one came forward and she thought she was all alone and through happenstance coincidence they discovered that there was another woman who sent her a note through friends saying "you're not alone. and two the of them met and made her realize if i'm not alone, who's next? she became much more determined to speak out and most of them
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have not ever spoken to each other but they began to speak to each other and what to me was so striking was this -- that there's such a pattern of behavior. i was hearing the same thing over and over again, he slapped me, he choked me, he said horribly degrading things in bed and he would keep slapping me across the face, they would say, until i promised or repeated after him what he was saying. >> and threatened to kill them, by the way. >> he threatened to kill them, he said he could tap one of her phones, have her followed. these women were really frightened. he's the highest-ranking law enforcement official in new york or he was until last night. >> this is just an incredible piece of journalism and the sourcing is so impeccable and i
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wonder how much the "new yorker's" airtight reputation to having such tight stories had such a quick of a turnaround. i don't know that there's anyone who ever resigned as quickly as eric schneiderman chose to step down. i think it was about four hours. >> someone told me it was 2:57. i don't know. we were aware when we were working on this that we also -- we owed it to these women if they were coming forward to put the -- to make sure this was an airtight case that did not have -- couldn't be torn apart and leaving them out there on a limb so we looked at medical records, we looked at photographs that one woman took of herself after having been hit and we got them on the record so that they -- no one could say that they didn't exist and these are credible people. they also sadly for him -- his supporters, these are progressive feminist women. >> jane, of the many appalling
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details of this story is is the one that in many cases these women went to -- they told their friends about the violence that opinion perpetrated against them and they were told, well, not only is he a big deal but he's also important to democratic politics, he's a star of democratic politics so don't do this. do we have a sense of who those people are? are they politicians? are they democrats we may have heard of? did this come from a message of the party? >> i think it came from a number of democrats in the past and what happened was that particular woman, this was back may almost a decade ago. when she tried to make waves about this, people said be quiet, he's too important, too valuable as a politician. but now with the change in -- it's a new day with the me too movement and the rob porter story and the democrat party is -- there's a zero tolerance policy i think now. we haven't seen the same thing
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in the republican part yy but is certainly true in the democratic party. >> give us a sense because in terms of how thorough the reporting is here, you have picture pictures. any other text messages? >> we have lots of that and there's a photograph of him. part of this is that he -- they all said he had a tremendous drinking problem and there's a photograph of him after he fell down and needed stitches, he'd fallen down after drinking a lot and gone to the emergency room and his staff and he worked out a cover story where they'd say he fell running but his girlfriend at the time speaks on the record saying no, he told me he'd been drinking and this is a theme that runs through it, too. >> what about text messages or things that would show the threatening nature or the way he spoke to them abusively? >> they said he was very careful
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about what he put in writing. there was one text message i saw, i think i can't describe it here right now but words to the effect of politics is a rough business, watch yourself when she was beginning to speak out. >> wow, okay. that just leads to the quick resignation. jane mayer, thank you very much for your help. >> thank you, jane. white house counselor kellyanne conway shared her thoughts about schneiderman last night tweeting "gotcha" at an old tweet in which schneiderman wrote no one is above the law and i'll continue to remind president trump and his administration of that fact everyday. given that tweet, it seems that conway has given license to remind people that she's been less eager to comment on another powerful man who said on tape that he kisses and grabs women without consent. >> i'm going to use tic-tacs just in case i start kissing
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her. i'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- i just start kissing them. it's like a magnet. and when you're a star, they let you do it. you can do anything. grab them by the [ bleep ]. you can do anything. >> president trump and his aides have defended that as locker room talk. 19 women have accused president trump of sexual misconduct. he strongly denies their claims. joe? >> democrats immediately stepped forward and called an iraq sniderman to resign yet the party that claims it's the party of family values, the party of mike pence that surrounds itself with preachers that says that donald trump prays before meetings, the party that has donald trump going out in the rose garden talking about national prayer day soon after
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he admit tots one lurid affair after another after lying about them, this is, i guess, the party of donald trump and the party of mike pence. there's quite a contrast. i mean, let's be honest, let's be blunt. it was the democratic party in the 1990s that enabled bill clinton and would say behind the scenes that, yes, they knew bill clinton abused women and treated them terribly but they still circled the wagons for him, at least the democratic party has figured it out now. but the republicans, wow. unbelievable. anybody that opens their mouth against eric schneiderman has it coming straight back at them about the man they defend day in and day out. >> and you wonder why people are cynical about politics. i think when historians like meacham look back at this period in our politics and look at the republican party, i think they will see this fail iing, this
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moral failing as a hole in the part ye part's soul and i don't know how the party goes forward in that condition. i think the democratic party, yes, it is a zero of tolerance policy now and one hopes going forward that there is consistency. but eric schneider man was a big deal and very popular in the democratic party and 2:57, huge contrast between that and the way the president of the united states is regarded by the party that preaches about morality a lot. >> and willie, obviously there's great personal tragedy here but the investigation in new york goes on and it involves nothing less than the president of the united states.
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it is going to be so extraordinarily important that the person that replaces eric snide eric schneiderman is not some albany hack, not somebody who's appointed addsappoint ed as a favor to the governor or somebody else but a top legal mind. >> and there's already a long list of respected attorneys who probably will -- one of whom will be put into that position but you have to remember eric schneiderman was viewed as a resistance fighter, someone who could fight the presidency from a position of great legal authority and have the ability to impact the presidency and whether or not donald trump remains bt through his term. so this progresses on the political side view is a great loss, obviously they won't miss him now they know the things he's alleged to have done but progressives will demand here in new york and in fact nationally that someone like schneiderman fills that position. >> you gene robinson, thank you very much for being on this
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morning. still ahead on "morning joe," what's next for the iran nuclear deal? getting rid of the agreement has been one of president trump's top foreign policy priorities. is that what he deal today? plus, besieged by the media and legal bills and feeling abandoned by washington, friends of michael cohen say the president's personal attorney is in a "dangerous place." emily jane fox will join us with her latest reporting. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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mr. elliot, what's your wiwifi?ssword? wifi's ordinary. basic. do i look basic? nope! which is why i have xfinity xfi. it's super fast and you can control every device in the house. [ child offscreen ] hey! let's basement. and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here, too. so sophie, i have an xfi password, and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. the trump administration is taking new measures to crack down on illegal immigration. according to attorney general jeff sessions the justice department will begin prosecuting every person who illegally enters the u.s. along the southwestern border. sessions also warned that children could be separated from
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their parents. >> if you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. it's that simple. if you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you. and that child may be separated from you as required by law. >> under the plan, adults charged with illegal entry could be held by u.s. marshals and sent to federal court. children will be sent to the department of health and human services offices of refugee resettlement which refers them to relatives in the u.s. or shelters. eddie? >> it's just cruel. it seems to me that it's a reflection of a kind of mean-spiritedness that really doesn't speak well of the country in this moment and in some ways to echo a point mike barnicle made earlier today, it doesn't jibe with the story we tell ourselves, it reflects the
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underbelly of the country and the idea that jeff sessions would go on national television and say just outloud that they're willing to separate children and in some ways to put them in shelters and we know lose track of some of them as the department has recently is pretty disheartening, it's pretty sad. then to think about this against the backdrop of what's going on at the border, these folks are not trying to enter illegally, they're bringing their children and seeking refuge. it's mean spiral, cruel, reflects a heartening of the soul that we should be deeply concerned about. up next, the president claims that real news is fake, that the russia investigation is a witch-hunt and that his border wall is you should construction. why does donald trump constantly repeat the same lies? we'll talk to the author of the new book "gaslighting america, why we love it when trump lies to us." that's next on "morning joe." so, that goal you've been saving for,
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an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. just as i promised the american people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in american history. [ cheers and applause ] >> according to the "washington post," president trump has made more than 3,000 false or misleading claims since taking office. joining us now, former senior staffers to senators james demint and ted cruz, amanda carpenter, she's the author of the new book entitled "gaslighting america, why we love it when trump lies to us." in it she writes this, gaslighting is far more aggressive than any misguided lies. it's an elaborate scheme undertake within the goal of gaining control over people. the campaign is where trump's gaslighting showed itself in its purest form. the gaslighting looks a little different now that he's president, but if you look with
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a keen eye you'll see him blazing away. the 2018 midterms will see -- will present plenty of gaslighting opportunities and before you know it, trump's 2020 reelection campaign will be under way and amanda, i agree with you. barring any mueller investigation or impeachment problems -- and i'm dead serious, i think he could win reelection looking at things now and the lies are a part of it? how would you put it? >> i would say there's three major power centers that love the lies. there are the republicans who see it as a form of loyalty to the cause in winning at all costs who will cheer him as he says "locker up" to hillary clinton even though everyone knows she's not going to jail. build the wall, mexico will pay for it, cheer, cheer, cheer, even though they know that's not going to happen. the democrats keep thinking the next lie will do donald trump in so they don't mount an
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aggressive strategy against it because they believe still even though it didn't work for hillary clinton that people will naturally come to their side. everyone will come to their senses eventually. when has that worked? and then the media which i am part loves the lies because it provides endless content. everything time he says something i'm on my twitter, what did he say? what did somebody else say? it's a form of dependence so gaza strip lighting america is about explaining the media strategies that he uses again and again to suck people into his narratives because he keeps using the same tricks over and over. he creates suspense, he float ruse mortars. we fall for it but it's redetectivable. -- predictable. i'm a republican. i want republicans to win. but not like this. >> and joe the question is how -- we talk about this all the time, we talk about getting ahead of our skis or having too
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hysterical a reaction to what is clearly a blatant lie which is so frustrating but at the same time that's falling for it. how do we not fall for it be still be the media and cover the story fairly? >> when he lies we have to talk about it. we have to talk about how it's part of the pattern and do it the best we can. amanda, the thing that was the most maddening about bill clinton and i said this before donald trump was president. he lied all the time, democrats knew he was lying, the press knew he was lying, we knew he was lying, they would send people to capitol hill, bernie nussbaum and other people who would lie under oath, they knew they were lying, everybody would laugh. so we were so self-righteous as a republican party. what's it feel like to see -- like for instance mika ran clips yesterday of all the republican
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senators that refuse to say that donald trump ever lies. a lot of my old friends that were shocked at bill clinton's lies. what is this doing to the soul of the republican party, let alone america. >> it breaks my heart, makes me mad. it's infuriating when i see -- especially -- i'm going to call out the women. women who i believe to be christians like kellyanne conway, sarah sanders, ronna mcdaniel who runs the rnc go out and defend hush payments, money to a porn star, an alleged child molester in alabama because that's bad but i believe we need a strong republican party because the debt and deficits will do this country in. i want people who can stand for a life in this country and if they ruin their credibility, no one can fight for those things. so i'm out there all the time trying to fight to take the
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republican party back because i won't surrender my ideals because we have some liar in the white house because he's going to leave at some point and somebody will have to pick up the pieces and say what went wrong and have some credibility and reputation to go forward and move the ball on the principles that republicans should still be standing for. >> you've kept your principles intact through all this and it hasn't been easy because you get pressure from your friends, from people on the hill. >> there's been a huge personal cost, not just to me but to other republicans. if you work in politics, douf stay true to you. if i can't do this honestly, i'll work at starbucks, it's okay. >> how do you -- you worked for jim demint, you worked for ted cruz who refused to speak out even at the easy times like stormy daniels or roy moore or other places because they don't want to cross the president, the excuse last year was they wanted to get the tax cuts through, they had to work with trump so
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they had to fall in line, but why not sometimes step to a bank of microphones and make a principled stand against the president. what is the risk to paul ryan and others to doing that? >> i would argue some people have tried. ted cruz blew up the convention saying vote your conscience and since paul ryan has tried to walk the line a bit. it's an impossible position for elected republicans. you are in or you are out because here's what happened to republicans in the era of trump, either you say these things when he goes wrong and you get bashed by his base for not supporting the president and then you get bashed by democrats for not doing enough so they have decided as a no win proposition just go bear hug the president and gut it out. i don't agree but i can tell you politically that's what's happening. >> what about ted cruz the guy you know very well writing a time 100 piece for donald trump,
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a man who mocked his wife, suggested she was ugly, who said his father was part of an assassination plot of jfk and i won't even go into the other stuff that donald trump did to try to besmirch ted cruz's name and other people's names. . how does he write that piece for "time" 100 talking about how donald trump is a great disrupter. >> i wasn't his speech writer at that time, obviously. i think they've made the calculation that people in texas want to see cruz work with the president. they went through this whole machination of standing up to trump at the convention and people -- i got booed at the convention walking in there for cnn because i worked for cruz at the time. we t backlash was so severe that they had to make a decision that
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they had to find the best way to work with him. >> but amanda, like you said wouldn't it be better for ted cruz's soul if he just quit and worked at starbucks? >> i'm not a politician, i couldn't do it, joe. >> i was a politician and i still can't do it, jon meacham. if somebody -- i mean, i don't think it's a southern thing. if somebody insults my wife, if somebody insults my father, man they need to duck, not just for the next week but for the rest of their political life. >> andrew jackson taught us that. and he was a big second amendment guy back in the day. i totally agree and i think that when i'm lucky enough to talk to office holders and one of my
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many character flaws is i love politicians. i think it's the effect of having read all the king's men too early. and tr once said no poll station as great as the admirers think they are or as bad as the enemies they are they are. we're testing the latter part of that in the decades of the 21st century. what i don't understand and what i say is, again, what are we going to think about you when we look at your portrait, when we see your name down the years. and i said to amanda the other day i think it's remarkable and a sign of something that ted cruz was the nelson rockefeller of the 2016 republican convention. he was the one who stood up like rock feller in '64 and said to the base, you know, that he was going to take a different stand.
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rockefeller. it's amazing that there's a calculation to survive in texas he's going to have to cooperate with someone who has so overtly and specifically attacked him and joe didn't mention it but i will because it was published. these "national enquirer" stories about his personal life as well as the attacks on his wife and accusing his father of being part of a murder of a president of the united states so i just have to ask amanda, do you think that calculation is justified? >> do i think it's justified? i wouldn't make that decision. i can say that. i can see logically why they're doing it but yet i don't agree with it. >> amanda, let me ask you this question because gaslighting is a very nice word. >> is it? >> in the sense that it has a certain kind of currency among young folk -- >> it's trendy, i'm on trend. >> he lies, right? >> yes. >> now what -- he lies for
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particular ends and particular political purposes. >> yes. >> and there's a way in which his lying actually feeds into a kind of authoritarianism. a way in which he tries to undermine democracy so to call it gaslighting puts it in the trendy ways in which people do what they do on twitter but it seems this is almost or well yan in the way he uses his language and threatens democracy on the core. >> in the beginning of the book i say that i always thought a population that would believe two plus two equals five was a tragic glitch in history but i can see how it would happen here today because look at the opinion -- people i respect, nicholas kristof, maureen dowd saying does it even matter trump lies anymore? we're at this point saying i don't know if it matters. yes, in matters but in the media we have to do a better job of explaining why it matters. stormy daniels doesn't matter because he said she said.
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it matters because the president has secrets and tells lies to keep them and has surrounded himself with people who help him do it so we have to drill down to the meat of the matter a little bit better. >> but isn't that the point that eddie just raised one of the more interesting aspects of what we're going through as a country right now? you can call it gaslighting, you can call it lying but you have to have intent to do it effectively and the intent here is not in terms of sitting down prior to lie organize gaslighting and planning something, it's momentary. >> he does it naturally. >> it just flows out in a particular moment and it's like secondary gaslighting. >> and the thing that is fascinating is how many people go along with it. trump doesn't do this alone. he has surrogates, we all know their names, he has conservative media. he has fake news, alex jones amplifies this. so this is a big phenomenon we need to understand how to combat rather than just complain about
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it and say 3,000 lies. like this works, assume it's going to keep working and act accordingly. >> so amanda, you've observed donald trump from the start of this political career from the moment he went down the golden escalator and i'm just wondering what your conclusion is. i personally knowing trump for as long as i have, i don't think there's a grand plan. in fact, i'm almost certain there's not a grand plan. it's just -- he's a day trader. he's constantly striking out at people he feels slighted against, but i could be wrong. do you think his gaslighting is part of a bigger plan, part of a -- is it donald trump the autocrat in waiting or is it just donald trump, the undisciplined day trader? >> no, this is a day-to-day survival tactic that he uses to dominate control over his political enemies, but the takeaway is, is that people have
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to get into their arena with him. he was a tough opponent. you have to take him on one on one. he will fight dirty and the challenge is to keep your credibility you have to hit him back clean. it's very hard to do. you're going to get picked apart but you have to get in there knowing it's worth it. be ready to take a punch and give it back. >> the book is "gaslighting america, why we love it when trump lies to us." congratulations on the book. >> thank you. the white house seems to botch the rollout of melania trump's new initiative named at cyber bullying. once again making it look like she's borrowing from michelle obama. that's still ahead on "morning joe."
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schneiderman has resigned amid allegations that he physically abused four women. he denies the accusations but facing pressure from top democrats he announced his resignation within hours of the allegations being printed by the new yorker. president trump tweeted yesterday that he will be announcing today at 2:00 his decision on whether the u.s. will stay in the iran nuclear agreement. and a tease by president trump's legal team. reportedly picking the one year anniversary of special counsel robert mueller's appointment to announce whether the president will grant investigators an interview. today voters in a number of states head to the polls in primary elections and it's the west virginia gop race that has republicans in washington very nervous. can the very controversial don blankenship win the primary? and first lady melania trump launches a new children's well being initiative called "be best."
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but did she borrow from michelle obama again? with us to start things off we have mike barnikle. and the author of the soul of america, the better for our ange angels. wow, joe, a lot going on. kind of all over the map this morning. >> yeah, all over the map this morning, of course a lot of news last night about new york's democratic attorney general, a story comes out in the new yorker and a couple of hours later the democratic party forces him to resign unanimously. it really is, what a bizarre world we live in that donald trump is accused of sexually harassing dozens of women and admits that he sexually assaults women on tape and people like
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mike pence talk about what a great christian he is and how we love starting meetings with a prayer. it is really strange that the party of mike pence is fine with people like donald trump and you have the party of nancy pelosi and hollywood, all those godless types according to republicans who actually hold a politician accountable for abusing women. even the allegations, just the allegations of abusing women while in relationships with them, but very interesting. i'm sure that everybody inside the trump white house will be disciplined enough to not actually attack eric schneiderman given that they work for a man who has abused women throughout his entire life according to oh, my gosh, dozens of said women. >> yeah.
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and there's obviously an ongoing legal issues pertaining to women at this point as well. we'll get to all of that in just a moment. we begin with the reported tension inside the white house over rudy giuliani's numerous media appearances over the past week. giuliani denies that those appearances have caused alarm in the white house, but two sources familiar with the president's thinking tell nbc that the president is finally, i've added that word, beginning to lose patience with some of giuliani's recent interviews in which he has at times contradicted the president and the administration. one source says quote, the president still has confidence in rudy, but rudy will need more discipline to keep the president's confidence. giuliani tells nbc of trump quote, he's not frustrated at all. trump attorney said giuliani continues to provide valuable counsel to the president and the legal team. and press secretary sarah
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sanders had this to say. >> is the president pleased with the appearances of rudy giuliani over the last few days? >> i didn't speak with him specifically about his feelings about it, but certainly feels that he's an added member -- added value -- member to his outside special counsel. >> so you will be hearing joe, from sarah sanders a lot of these words, which we've heard before, but you're going to be certain to hear them all the time now. i have no knowledge of, not that i've heard, i have not heard specifically. it's not something i've spoken to the president about and i think honestly we should count because if she says that about everything, then what is she standing there for? the job has lost all of its credibility at looegs with heasn it. >> she's been lied to so many times. >> it's impossible. >> that's the best thing to do for her at least because she's vouched for donald trump before and she's always been put in a
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bad position because donald trump is -- she knows is, as you know, as we all know, he lies all the time. he lives in a post truth world and unfortunately for those around donald trump, the rest of us do not live in a post truth world so if you repeat donald trump's lies every day, well, we already know that about donald trump, but you're going to have to live with that for the rest of your life. mike, it's interesting that donald trump went out as he was leaving the white house a few days ago and said rudy needs to get his story straight. he just came on, he needs to get his story straight. rudy got his story straight. then he went out and said hey, yeah, there's probably more women that -- we could expect more women. yeah, pr women may come forward in the future so now donald trump is upset about that and reports again that this guy may be the latest version of the mooch. he may be on his way out. >> joe, the more this continues, the presidency is theater, you have to ask the question, are we
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being played by donald trump and rudy giuliani? because every day giuliani says something that is so odd and so at odds with the law as we -- as we know it that you wonder, you know, are they just continuing this thing to keep us preoccupied with things that are going on in public, giuliani talking about donald trump's -- >> i wish -- i wish they were that smart. they're not that smart. donald trump said during the transition that rudy giuliani was losing it, that he was a couple of steps behind. >> he said a few other things that i can't mention. >> i can mention it. everybody around donald trump said he was drinking too much. >> all right. there you go. >> donald trump suggested it. donald trump suggested it as much. that was two years ago. and the fact that donald trump brought this guy in two years later despite his own reservations about him almost two years ago, that's not any --
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it's not 3d chess. >> i didn't say winningly. >> that's not even checkers. those -- that's -- that's a monkey throwing poo against the wall and it doesn't usually turn out well. >> i know. i did not say wittingly. i think they're just doing this and we're going along with it. look what we're not talking about. we're not talking about severe cuts to the chips. children's health improvement act. we're not talking really and we will today, about iran and why, you know, three allies, britain, france and germany are not going along with what we are -- about to be doing. this is -- this is just a classic shell game that they're playing, perhaps unwittingly. >> all right. as joe mentioned, one of the things that giuliani opened the door for reporters to ask the white house about was whether there is potentially more unknown payouts to women who claim to have had affairs with
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the president. >> you said he this was a regular arrangement. did michael cohen make payments to other women for the president? >> i have no knowledge of that but i -- i would think if it was necessary, yes. he made payments for the president or he's conducted business for the president. >> is that possible? are there other women out there who received money from the president to stay quiet? >> i'm not aware of any other ak tifrty but i would refer you to rudy giuliani to respond to any of those questions or anybody else on the president's outside counsel. >> you've been in his circle for a long time. you were on the campaign is that anything that came across your desk? >> i'm not aware of anything like that but i would refer you to the president's out pseudocounsel. >> you kn-- outside counsel. >> it's crazy, like mike said, it may distract us from talking about the iran deal for about five minutes or so but this is
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significant. what rudy giuliani has said, he's -- he's got in the middle of their narrative and there are real legal consequences to this stormy daniels lawsuit. michael cohen's now wrapped inside of it and again, a lot of people a lot smarter than i am when it comes to these sort of matters are saying this actually may be a threat to the president of the united states and putting rudy giuliani in there, a man who can't keep his story straight, when you're already in that sort of legal jeopardy, i just -- it's like putting pat paulsen in instead of john mitchell in 1973. how do you like that reference? >> it's very good. we can play attorney general jeopardy. you know, i'm not a lawyer. you are. but i have a sense that it's
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never a good day when your lawyer has his office raided by a special counsel who used to run the fbi. i'm just a simple country guy, but i just don't think that's actually a good thing to happen. i think this is what rums feld used to call a known unknown. i think all of this is in an interesting way taking of the rupert murdock culture to washington where if -- the new york post kind of volume and if i may, level of nuance actually is now running the government. and so you know, is this good fellows meets cspan? is that rudy and trump? it kind of is. so they're just doing what they do. and what do they fall back on? they fall back on a roy cone strategy of fight, fight, fight, and it -- the reality doesn't really matter because the reality is what's in the paper or what's on the screen at this
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particular moment. and it goes back to that report in the new york times at the end of last year that peter and maggie and there was some other folks on that story who said that trump had said to the staff during the transition, let's treat every day as if it's an episode of a tv show in which i vanquish my rivals. and if you're busy vanquishing to go to mike's point, you can't be busy building. >> still ahead on "morning joe," european allies from france, germany and the uk have all made trips to washington hoping to convince president trump to stay in the iran nuclear agreement. today the president makes his decision. we'll talk to admiral james sta stavriti. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. what is an act of mutuality?
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president trump will announce his decision whether to recertify the iran nuclear deal. retired four star navy admiral james stavridis. great to see you as always. so 2:00 p.m. the president announced yesterday today will be the time when he announces whether or not he stays in the iran deal. he offen course has called it t worst deal in history. he's threatened for a very long time now to rip it up. will he change his mind or will h becompelled or pushed to stay in the deal? >> yeah, the short answer is, who knows where he's going to break. he's so unpredictable. i think the bet is that he's going the pull out. before we get to that though i just want to jump back for one second to victory in europe day, 73rd anniversary.
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we were talking about harry truman, another figure who looms large in that landscape is dwight eisenhower. i was the 16th supreme allied commander. he was the first of nato, this institution that kept the united states and europe together. that's a vital part of that post world war ii structure that joe was just talking about, and i mention all that in the context of the greatest damage of pulling out of this deal is the potential to truly fracture that transatlantic relationship and alliance. we ought to be very cautious of that. there are other reasons we ought to want to stay in the deal. the knock on effect to north korea and above all, the unpredictability of what iran is going to do if we pull out and reimpose sanctions. but my bet is that today he will pull out, pushed by john bolton and somewhat by mike pompeo. it's a mistake. >> right. two big critics of the iran deal
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obviously now in positions to do something about it. so what does it look like if the united states pulls out, admiral? if you still have our european allies and russia and china still in the deal without the united states, does that change anything for iran? >> it certainly does. and when you begin a process like this it's like kicking open a door in a completely black room. you just don't know what's going to be inside the room. the variables and the patterns of time that emerge from this decision are difficult to discern. i will say that first it will depend on what the iranians do and what their reaction is. it is highly likely in my view that they will begin to reenrich uranium if the europeans side with the united states. if the europeans decide to side with the pact, with the agreement, i think the iranians will take a pause, and see if they can garner economic benefits from staying in it by
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dealing with european partners and business entities. see paragraph 1 about why we don't want to be in this position to divide the alliance. so the short answer to the question is unpredictable. lastly, there are tactical implications here. jim mad diswill be putting his forces on alert throughout the region. all very unpredictable. >> admiral, i was struck by how quickly when french president macron gave remarks to reporters after meeting with president trump and said you know, he is going to leave the nuclear agreement and that was a big push that macron made when he was over here to try to come up with some kind of side agreement to make it a workable situation and it seems like there had been several openings for the administration to perhaps secure more favorable terms.
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>> indeed. >> but president trump has just seemed adamant that all along he was just going to rip up the deal. how does this affect our standing going into negotiations with north korea? >> well, this is really the key future question. and you're right to raise it. if you're kim jong un and you're watching the united states pull out of this deal, why on earth would you place any faith in an agreement from the president who has also made it very personal. very personal to change positions. very personal to dismantle anything, so i think president macron has it about right which is we're going to pull out. i think it's going to have a terrible knock on effect in terms of north korea and you know, perhaps worst of all, it demonstrates more
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unpredictability emanating from the center of our government and that's a bad place for us to be in the international sphere. >> coming up on "morning joe," new york attorney general eric schneiderman, once championed the me too movement but now being credited for a stunning downfall. stephanie rule joins the table for that and vanity fair is here with new reporting on how the president's long time fixer michael cohen is reacting to seeing rudy giuliani talk and talk and talk. "morning joe" is back in a moment. ♪ (electronic dance music)♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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because antonio villaraigosa millions got it done.healthcare he defended women's healthcare, banned military-style assault weapons, banned workplace discrimination, and more. antonio for governor. only one candidate for governor when students were stuck in failing schools, led the fight to turn them around.
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as mayor of l.a., antonio villaraigosa invested in classrooms and security. graduation rates soared. antonio for governor. new york attorney general eric schneiderman has resigned in the wake of abuse allegations. he made the announcement last night following an article published in the new yorker reporting claims he'd been violent toward four women. two of the women allege he repeatedly hit them often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. both women also said he threatened to kill them if they broke up with him.
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he told the new yorker he quote, never made any of these threats. he denied the allegations writing in part, in the privacy of intimate relationships i have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. i have not assaulted anyone. i have never engaged in nonconsensual sex which is a line i would not cross. his ex-wife also came out against the allegations calling them quote, completely inconsistent with the man i know who has always been someone of the highest kashlcharacter and g father. but top democrats began calling for schneiderman to resign. he announced last night that he would be stepping down. he wrote in part, while these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office's work at this critical time.
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joining us now, msnbc host stefani rule and barry weiss. i know you talked to some people around schneiderman last night. we talked about this earlier but serious and shocking are not the words that we read in that article. horrific, appalling, beyond the peal a pale and what he did after the allegations. >> those i spoke to were quiet about it especially as the night played out and as much as those could say the timing of this sounds strange, eric schneiderman was a guy who aggressively went after trump. the whole michael cohen thing is happening. some say he's almost like a surrogate for bob mueller. yet i didn't hear that from schneiderman's team and that's what was interesting. so if there was any validity to that don't you think they would be shouting that from the roof tops? instead, they're pretty quiet and while he's saying he contests this he's also saying
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i'll going to step down. i think it's interesting. >> well, i mean, there seems to be according to the reporter, one of the coreporters on this is that there's a pattern, there's evidence to an extent and he must have known that this was going to drag out. >> he must have -- he had to know this was going to drag out. for him to resign within hours? i mean, it's stunning. i mean -- >> the other thing that is absolutely stunning about it just from a psychological perspective is the assembling that he was engaging in. he was brought a civil rights lawsuit against harvey weinstein. tweeting for bringing these bad men down and thank you to the brey women. well, the brave women are exactly what brought him down in the end. the best quote about this, she referenced this amazing book, the captive mind where he talks about how this sort of double
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thinking that people engage in. it's often the people that are sort of calling out the sinning of others that are the worst sinners themselves and i think he's an amazing sort of example of that. >> yeah. to an extent we still have to see where this goes in the court of law. joe? >> yeah. and you flknow, there appear toe good standards now. if you are a republican governor from missouri or republican president of the united states, you've got carte blanche. you've got a free check. you can do whatever you want to do. if you were a democrat and these allegations come out, you have to resign in less than three hours. >> that's the irony of and i know you all talked about it earlier. the kelly ann conway with gatch cha and don jr. saying that didn't take long. it didn't take long because of the extraordinary strength of the free press. kelly anne conway, you're standing with and by someone who's been accused of sexual
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misconduct as well as a guy who's bragged about grabbing a woman's genitals so talk about a double standard, you bet ya. >> what do you think will be the political consequences for this? we can measure the kind of different responses of the parties, here we are on the verge of the midterms, we have primaries tomorrow. what will this say about our current moment? right? i mean, how will this play out? >> i think what we're going through now in both parties very clearly with trump it's been going on for a while are voters who are sort of holding their nose and choosing people who personally they think are grotesque but whose policies they disagree with and that kind of tension is something that now lots of people are having to deal with on both sides. >> for republicans it's not going to do anything. conservative christen chas stand by the president. they're not going to know the president in four or eight years but all the judges, they love them and they'll be there
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forever. >> meet the renegades of the intellectual dark web and you write in part, what is the intellectual dark web and who is a member of it? most simply, it is a collection of iconic thinkers, and media personalities who are having a rolling conversation that sound unlike anything else happening at least publicly in the culture right now. feeling largely locked out of legacy outlets they are building their own mass media channels, all share three distinct qualities. first, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly about nearly every meaningful subject. second, in an age which popular feelings about the way things aught to be often overright facts about the way things are, each is determined to resist parroting what is politically convenient and third, some have paid for this commitment by being purged from institutions that have become increasingly
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hostile to unorthodox thought and have found receptive audiences elsewhere. so continue the thought because that's incredible on a number of levels. >> so the intellectual dark web i think is maybe one of the strongest signs of the time we're liveriing in. i'm not talking about things around which there should be taboos. you don't run up to someone and say you're ugly. certain taboos kpigs for a reason. i'm talking about saying things like there are differences between men and women. not all cultures are equally conducive to human flourishing. things of this nature that are incredibly important if we want to a, gain knowledge and b, progress not just as america but as a sort of society and increasingly if you touch those topics which have become third rail you reap a whirlwind of sort of derision and outrage and the people in this very, very
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unorthodox group are people that have basically been smeared so thoroughly that they've sort of said screw it, we're going to touch these topics ourselves but we're not going to do it inside the main stream. of course there will always beintellectual salons. you'd have the knee yocon servetiveserv -- neo conservatives. it brings together people across the political spectrum. you have sam harris an avowed atheist. sam harris has devoted his public life to arguing against religion. but they're in conversation with each other. they're pushing back against this bad faith arguments that tend to be increasingly regular in places like twitter, and they're sort of doing something of their own and they're
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generating an absolutely enormous audience. these people are celebrities who most people in main stream media basically ignore. >> a name that fits into that, jordan peterson, i've only read articles about him. i've never seen -- i haven't seen any of his youtube speeches or anything like that, but that seems to be an example of a guy who is talking about how young men should hold their shoulders back, stand up straight, do some basic things that a lot of our fathers taught us, and he -- for espousing such views he was, you know, immediately called out as being some member of the alt right or some neo nazi. is that what you're talking about? >> exactly. some people look at jordan peterson and say he is a gateway
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drug to the alt right because he is taking the crisis of masculinity seriously and not saying you're toxic. he views himself and i'm more on this side of thing as a sort of catcher in the roye. i have people writing me saying he saved my life. i read jordan peterson and i started to take my life seriously and what i think is powerful is again, the sign of the times. why is jordan peterson, the most popular public intellectual in this country and certainly in canada at the moment for saying things that are so basic. it tells you how few people are sort of wading into these important subjects these days and i think that's why these people are worth paying attention to. they have flaws. lots of flaws. >> so let's talk about this. so what allows you to describe these folks as intellectuals of sort? i mean, let me say it differently. they're connected intellectually
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by what common commitments? so you might have different id logical spaces but when you talk about sam harris and ben shapiro i can see the connection. how they think about race, how they think about diversity in the country. and the ways in which that diversity is talked about. the way in which they think about political correct ness. >> they're anti identity politics. >> identity politics is simply questions of justice. right? >> i don't think so. that's not how i think about it. >> let please help you think about it then. >> okay. help me. >> hold on a second. here, right here, i got to step in. eddie, you have just made bari weiss's point that you disagree with the way bari weiss views the world so you're going to help her view the world more the way you view the world, the
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entire purpose of the exercise is to have honest conversations with people and -- and to not question their morality just -- or their wisdom just because they don't view the world exactly the same way that you do. >> that's not what i was doing though, joe. what i was trying to say is there's a way we can understand identity politics as simply kind of group based. i want to suggest that identity politics -- the question of equal pay for women, that's not an identity politics question. that's a justice question. so the identity politics question was to turn the issue away from the issue of justice. that's just a justice question. >> i agree with that 100%. when i say identity politics i don't mean to something to shut down the conversation. let me give you a specific example. often times in the main stream conversation when it comes to a
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question like the gap in stem fields, why is there a gender gap? often times the answer is singular. the answer is, there is systemic sexism in fields of math and science. if you go inside that conversation where people like brett weinstein and heather stein, kicked out of evergreen university, these people are not by any stretch right wing. they went and protested but they are willing to have a conversation about why is this -- why does the gender gap and stem persist? why is it most dramatic in countries like finland and norway? they're willing to talk about things like biological di difference, things that i wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. i think that's worth paying attention to. as i say in the article and i'd love to talk more with you about
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it. i love talking to you and i don't think you're trying to shut down the conversation at all. i think that there is a genuine good faut disagreement about identity politics, the way i'm dejibing it, the way you're describing it and i think there's a tendency increasingly not to approach the ideas but to approach the identity of the person expressing them and i think that's really troubling and that's something i want to push against personally. >> and it's not just -- it doesn't just pertain to race. i mean, eddie, look for instance joy reid, some things that joy reid wrote a decade ago. >> right. >> and suddenly she was going to be cast off the island and she was going to be forever disgraced because she wrote those things, let's see, five years before barack obama decided that -- that gay marriage was not a sin.
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joe biden had to drag him to that point in 2012. >> right. >> and yet, now if you think that if you don't want the federal government to be involved in bathrooms in north carolina and you don't want the federal government to be involved in birthday cakes in indiana, then you are a ho mo foeb a phobe and you hate all gay people. i hope you agree that we have a real problem talking about honest debate whether you're talking about race or sex or you name the issue. >> sexual harassment. >> and too often people on the left who are dominant in the media, who are dominant on college campuses, who are dominant on editorial pages say they want a fair conversation and an honest conversation, an open conversation, but when you start having that conversation
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suddenly you're called a racist or a homophobe. >> i try to model every day of my life a commitment to civil exchange. it's very difficult to attribute good faith to your interlock tur because you always think there's hidden assumptions driving the conclusions being drawn, not being made explicit for fear of being called a racist or sexist and a number of different ways so how do we smoke out those assumptions so we can get at the general argument? i would love to have an argument about -- an honest argument, joe, with the conservative without me assuming that they're racist. it would be wonderful. >> let me ask you a question. if a hispanic man in texas who belongs to the catholic church believes that marriage is only between a man and the woman, a
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man and a woman, and that gay marriage is a sin, is he a homophobe. >> not necessarily. not necessarily. i mean, we would have to have a serious argument or conversation about how he acts on those believes. how those believes -- >> so the next question is -- >> how he interacts with others. >> can we have that conversation on shows like this? can we have an honest conversation on why women may be falling behind in math and science that doesn't automatically assume that -- that we're -- >> absolutely, joe. i was just sitting here thinking, i'm going to do a john meacham. in 1828 -- >> if you bring up shaye's rebellion i'm walking. >> i was going to bring up david
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walker's appeal. it was published in response to jefferson's notes. jefferson is the first author in the u.s. to write a claim. he tries to -- he pursues the claim in the book of whether arnor not african american inferiority was biologically based. he tried to make the claim there was something in the anatomy of black people that produced these different outcomes. david walker dud not respond to the rational nature of that claim. why would he respond to the claim? how could you respond to the claim that you're biologically inferior? instead rhetorically he dismissed it for what it was and so there are instances where folk are asking us to deal with certain sorts of claims about who you take yourself to be, about what your capacities are, that are simply to who we take ourselves to be and it seems to me there are certain
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conversations that we have to have where we don't concede that you can say certain things. >> i agree. that is why people and the article goes into this but that is why this group as it becomes more prominent needs to police its borders and needs to keep people like racists out of this, but again, i -- this article is not primarily about race. it's primarily about a group of people that are trying to have a good faith conversation. >> you should have seen the response. i responded to a tweet about needing to see the cameras of what happened before the arrest in starbuck's and i said one of the more frustrating things about being black in this country is that what's happening to you is real all the time and the response of those hundreds of thousands and millions of people who follow these folks was absolutely horrific. >> i believe that. >> horrific. >> i believe that but the response i'm getting to this
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article and i'm not comparing them but the response i'm already getting to this from the left is i'm shame -- it happens on both sides. >> look at the conversation. >> yeah, this is fun. >> so you're verified now and if you're verified take the advice i tell to mika. just look at your responses and verified and your friends that are not verified -- >> no gutter. >> you'll live a longer healthier and happier life. but mika, on a serious note, this -- this conversation we're having with eddie and bari and all of us is so critically important because we all -- >> it doesn't happen a lot. >> why did donald trump win? why did donald trump win? donald trump won because we couldn't have honest conversations about race, we couldn't have honest conversations about the differences between men and women, we couldn't have honest
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conversations about gay marriage, we couldn't have honest conversations about how some people view the world differently without having these massive targets on your back. and listen, we can go on drawing our salaries, not talking about these things, not being castigated, i'm just telling you, this feeds into donald trump's strengths when this happens. we have to talk -- >> not avoiding these subjects gives the fringe its power. >> it does. >> these are not dark subjects. these should be brought into the light. >> thank you so much. we'll be reading your piece about the renegades of the intellectual dark web in the new york times. great job. up next, oil prices hit a four-year high this morning and if president trump leaves the iran nuclear deal, oil and gas prices could go higher. we'll break that down. also ahead, our next guest spent
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years covering political corruption. his new project is being called the first and only comprehensive examination of donald trump's connections to russia. the ap's seth joins us and more rudy giuliani talks the more complicated things get for the president's long time fixer, michael cohen. we'll get the reporting on that next on "morning joe."
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this would never happen again. it has happened more than 200 times in 5 years. dianne feinstein and a new generation are leading the fight to pass a new assault weapons ban. say no to the nra and yes to common-sense gun laws. california values senator dianne feinstein president trump is set to announce his decision on the iran nuclear deal later today. how could that decision impact the markets? let's bring in cnbc's brian sullivan. brian. >> hey, mika, good morning. some things are complicate. this certainly is not. since the president indicated a while back he might pull the united states out of that deal, oil prices are up about 10%. the idea is very simple. is that if the deal is struck, if they pull out of the deal for the united states, then we may see iranian oil exports to
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country like china, india, fall. means their ability to export would decline which means there's less oil on the market as well, guys, we're already seeing oil prices right around the $70 a barrel mark. venezuelan which is an economic activity, their production is gone. this could take more iranian barrels off the market. it's not the oil now, it's oil in the future. they've got this big $2 billion planned investment. if we leave that bargaining table, you might see our allies, like countries like france, pull back from investing in iran, which could reduce oil output later. if you worry about gas prices, you got to watch the iranian oil deal. >> we'll see it at 2:00 this afternoon. cnb cnbc's brian sullivan, thanks. we have our guest with his new book out today, "trump/russia."
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emily jane fox, this morning, emily has new reporting on michael cohen grappling with his new reality after rudy's meltdown. complicated by trump's bizarre interview on "fox and friends." cohen, for his part, is mostly distraught over the impact on his family. i live for my wife and kids, he tells friends. i'd die for my wife and kids and this is all ruining their lives. cohen is grappling with the fact that in his early 50s his life and his business will never be the same and he is isolated from the people in washington around trump who he has said has been treating him as though he is disposable. i am sitting here in this nightmare, cohen has told people. seth, emily, good to have you both with us. let me pick this up. this jives with a lot of what we've heard from people around michael cohen is that he has
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gone to sort of a dark play, realizing that the president likely won't have his back when the rubber hits the road here. what does that mean for his potential willingness to work with the investigation? >> well, look, he has not been charged with anything yet. so i think there's a couple of steps in between what's happening now and what could happen down the road. i interviewed him at the end of the summer and he said to me, i would take a bullet for the president. and now what he's saying is i would die for my family. so i think that there is a shift in that. i have not heard anything about people asking him whether he'd take a bullet for the president now so i don't know if that answer has changed or not but look, he is completely alone here in new york. he has not been supported by the people in d.c. and by the president. as people close to him have said to me, that is a really dangerous place for michael cohen to be. >> i hear everything, all the quotes make sense. but what is it about people in this bubble, trump bubble, that
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they don't foresee what he is now saying? how does he find himself here? >> i think that there is something that donald trump is able to do to people around him where they think perhaps this isn't going to happen to me. they see it happen to other people. this is something that happens, you know, girlfriends, boyfriends think i'm going to be the one to change that person. it's not going to be me. i think perhaps michael cohen is realizing it is me right now and i can decide what to do with that. >> some of the things cohen alley miga allegedly might have done for trump has helped facilitate in some way dealings with russia. >> well, you know, the most -- i've gotten the biggest bounce for news out of so many of my reporting on cohen. i didn't go looking for that. that story came to me. it's one of those things that happens. when you're a journalist, you hit a story and all of a sudden
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the sources open up. i was investigating the russian mafia. one of my sources said, look at this because cohen is connected to all this. the russian mafia is a theme that runs through my book, that runs through cohen, runs through trump. so that's, you know -- >> when you say cohen is connected to all of this in regard to the russian mafia, that will raise some eyebrows here. >> so cohens that several family connections. his uncle owned a club in brighten beach that wallaces a hangout for the russian mafia. he gave it up. it's not clear why he gave it up. he married into a ukrainian family and that family has -- his father-in-law has a criminal convict and the father-in-law, what my sources tell me is he's been a conduit for money into trump's businesses and other interesting businesses all around the country actually. >> you talk about a definitive history with trump in russia. you go back to 1984 as a
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starting point. does president trump have an unusual affinity for russia or was it common for someone in real estate at that time to take an interest in what could come after the cold war for example? >> yes, trump is a man who, you know, what my reporting shows is he will take money from pretty much anyone. he doesn't really care where you got your money as long as it doesn't come back to bite him. in '84, there were some russians in new york who were running a sophisticated and lucrative scam. they needed a place to launder the money. trump found them. he solicited them. said hey, you might want to invest in trump tower, it's going to be a good investment. they put about $6 billion into the building and bought 5 apartments. that was kind of the beginning of their relationship. >> so jared, how connected is he to russia dealings and how concerned should he be, given what you've learned so far?
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>> you mean kushner? yes, he's, you know, i think he's got, you know, i didn't find much reporting on kushner to tell you the truth. i think that he has other problems, you know, that he's got financial issues and he's got numerous problems with his own personal investments, but i'm not sure there's too much of a russia connection with him. >> what about other members of the trump family as it pertains to russia? >> yes, i think the main conduit is trump himself and cohen and maybe some other intermediaries. you know, the children have been to russia. you know, don jr. made some -- >> there was some strange trip i keep hearing about. >> putin's chair, the kremlin -- >> that's the famous, there was a trip to russia that don, you know, it was don jr. and aye va ivanka went to russia. and he had a convicted criminal and felon who was working with trump at that time and has his
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own connections to the russian mafia. he had him accompany his children around moscow. that's when you see that e-mail saying hay, i got ivanka to sit in putin's chair and we're going to get putin on this and we're going to help, you know, trump win the election. >> wow. the book is "trump/russia" a definitive history. seth, thank you very much. emily jane fox, thank you as well. joe. >> well, mika, thinking about today's show, i was touched by what jon meacham said regarding harry s. truman who on this day announced to the world in 1945 that the allied forces had beaten hitler and naziism in europe and it really does speak to the soul of america. that a plain man from independence, missouri, would shape the post war world and give us a post war world that led to the american century just
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like 80 years before him, mika, two simple men, lincoln and grant saved the union. we should be so lucky to find such women and men as we march forward as a nation. still in search of its soul. >> for willie joe and me, that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. we've got breaking news this morning, starting with those three americans detained in north korea. we're going to go live to beijing. i'm sorry, we're going to start this thing all over. good morning, everybody. i am stephanie ruhle. we are starting with deal or no deal. hours from now, the president, set to announce his final decision on the iran nuclear deal. >> you need to have a clearer idea about next

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