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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  May 28, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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this sunday the north korea summit this sunday, the north korea summit. first it was off. >> i believe this was a tremendous setback for north korea and i deed a setback for the world. >> but now talks are underway and it looks as if it might be back on again. >> it's moving along very nicely so we're looking at june 12th in singapore, that hasn't changed. >> why both sides are working so hard to make this summit happen. i'll talk to the former director for asian affairs at the national security council, victor cha. plus, weapons of mass distraction. president trump accuse democrats of campaign espionage.
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but offers no proof. >> i hope it's not so, because if it is there's never been anything like it in the history of our country. >> while rudy giuliani says truth is relative and that robert mueller's team may have a different version of the truth than we do. my guests this morning, senator jeff flake of arizona who attacked the president and also congress for failing to respond to president trump. and, patriot games. nfl owners vote to find teams who's players kneel during the national anthem. who gets to define how to be patriotic. joining me for inside analysis are nbc news chief correspondent andrea mitchell. eugene robinson, amy walter, and matthew continetti editor and chief of the free beacon. welcome to sunday, it's meet the press. >> from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is meet the press with chuck todd.
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>> good sunday morning and a happy memorial day weekend wherever you are. we have two big stories we're following this morning, first north korea when president trump released his letter canceling the planned summit with kim jong-un earlier this week it was clear can he so with some regret. the president wrote, i felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me. someday i look very much forward to meeting you. well now it appears they might meet after all. here was mr. trump last night. >> it's moving along very nicely so we're looking at june 12th in singapore, that hasn't changed. and it's moving along pretty well. so we'll see what happens. >> and after kim met unexpectedly yesterday with president moon of south korea, north korea reported that kim had a, quote, fixed will for a historic summit. we're going to get to the north korea story in a moment, but we're going to begin with president trump's -- the other big story with him, his weapons of mass distraction. the president and his allies spent much of this week trying
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to make the case that the fbi planted a spy in the trump campaign. while we learned there was no evidence for this charge, here's what we were not focused on while debating that charge. we weren't focussed on this story about another trump tower meeting in 2016 between donald trump jr. and emissary of saub and the emrights who offered to help the trump campaign. and then there was this story, that donald trump jr. may have lied to congress about those new contacts. then there was this story that got overshad dods that a russian oligarch met with president trump's lawyer in trump tower 11 days before the inauguration. and then this story, that president trump's ally saw the dirt on hillary clinton from wikileaks founder during the campaign. all of these potential bombshell stories could have dominated the week but they area overshadowed as president trump showed once again how skilled he is in shaping false narrative to his advantage. >> we now call it spygate. you're calling it spygate. >> perhaps fearing that mueller
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is closing in, the president is applying a well-warned tactical playbook. number one, distract with an invented crisis that attacks the investigators without evidence to plant a seed of doubt. claim, president obama wiretapped trump tower. >> there's no evidence of that. >> i have not seen any evidence of this. >> let's see whether or not i prove it. i just don't choose do it right now. >> this week's claim, an fbi confidential informant who collected information on trump campaign aides after suspecting russian interference in the campaign is bigger than watergate. number two, brand the crisis. according to associated press, mr. trump wants to brand the fbi's confidential informant, a spy, believing the more nefarious term would resonate more in the media and with the public. the president used some version of the word spy 24 times in 15 tweets over ten days. he wasn't alone. >> now you're saying that there could have been an fbi spy? >> the fbi may have had a spy --
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>> i'm shocked to hear that they put a spy in the campaign. >> a lot of people are saying they had spies in my campaign. spygate. >> spygate. >> spygate. if in fact this occurred could be one of the biggest scandals in history. >> all without evidence. >> all have you do is look at the basics and you'll see. >> number three, if accused of wrongdoing, use the i'm rubber you're glue defense pinning anything you're accused of on your opponents. >> the only collusion is the democrats concluded with the russians and the democrats concluded with lots of other people. take a look at the intelligence agencies. >> whatever the left accuses you of doing, they're doing themselves. >> finally, number four. if still caught with irrelevant reput itable facts closing in, assert that all facts are relative anyway. the president's lawyer rudy giuliani told "the washington post" on wednesday he's concerned that mr. trump will
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per injury himself if he grants an interview to robert mueller because, quote, truth is relative. they may have a different version the truth than we do. >> joining me from phoenix is senator flake from arizona. welcome back to meet the press. >> thanks for having me on. >> before i get to the question of whether truth is relative, and i'm sure you have a strong opinion about that, i do want to start with north korea, the overnight developments here, the president indicating summit likely back on. let me ask you this. while we've had this debate is it going to happen, is it not going to happen, are you any clearer in understanding what the summit's about? what are we negotiating? what's on the table and what isn't? >> a loift us have been skeptical that north korea will ever agree to total denuclearization. i think they believe they're in the position they're in kind of as a nuclear peer with us because of their nuclear weapons. they obviously see the libya situation as something they don't want to get into.
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so i think many of us question whether they're going to get there. but let me say, a freeze would be better than we've had before. so there's nothing wrong with saying, hey, they may not denuclearize, but we could have a better situation than we currently have. but i do think a lot of people are questioning where exactly we are. i hope that along with the summit, i hope it still happens, there's a lot of behind the scenes work going on. that's a real question right now. >> you're okay with the president is negotiating phasing out, if denuclearization is more of a long-term goal, if, for instance, north korea says, hey, we'd like to have a deal more like pakistan, is something like that more comfortable, i say more comfortable, obviously denuclearization would be the most comfortable, is but that something could you live with? >> i think that we're going to have to live with that. i think that the north koreans realize that total denuclearization on their part is not in their national interests. that's how they see it.
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i don't think the rest of us see it that way, but that's how they see it. so i do think that a freeze or something short of total denuclearization is certainly better than the situation that we have right now where we had an escalating situation. north korea was continuing to test and that's not good for anyone. >> there's been some speculation that china's involvement suddenly and their own talks with kim jong-un and the trade talks have all sort of gotten thrown into this. do you believe this whole controversy over the chinese telecom company zte is part of the on again off again aspect of the summit? >> it may well be. we don't know completely. we don't have window into that. but it sounds as if zte is certainly part of a broader conversation and that's the way the president sees it and i think that that's okay with the president. some of us in congress are
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questioning that, however. i think that if china did involve themselves in espionage, erb commercial espionage, which i think they have, they ought to be punished and we can't put that aside to have china's cooperation on other issues. >> you're against this deal. i know senator rubio very strongly is against any deal that gives zte any new access to american vendors or the united states in any form. >> yes i'm with senator rubio on that. >> let me move to the president this week and that idea that truth is relative. you had quite the commencement addressed to harvard law school. let me actually play an excerpt from it and ask you exactly what you're calling for on the other side. take a listen. >> how did we arrive at such a moment of great peril wherein the president of the united states publicly threatens on fox
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and friends, historians will note, to interfere in the administration of justice and seems to think that the office confers on him the ability to decide who and what gets investigated and who and what does not? obviously ordering investigations is not a legitimate use of presidential power. >> well, do you believe he's abusing his power and, if you do, what does that -- when does that get to the point where you think congress needs to do something about it including potentially look at impeachment? >> well, let me just compliment the congress in the last couple of days. the president had this diversion tactic, obviously, with so-called spygate. i don't think any of us were referring to it in that way. but the republicans in congress said, no, to have a briefing like the president wanted with just one party was not right. and so it wasn't just some of the democrats saying that that was not proper, a lot of
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republicans were saying that as well. so i saw the kind of pushback that we need to have. but it needs to happen more often. when the president says things that are just totally wrong, it's responsibility of members of congress, particularly those in the president's party, to stand up and say, that is not right. truth is not relative. and there are no alternative facts here. and i have seen instances where we haven't done that well and we've got do it better. >> it seems as if you and i have had a lot of discussions in the last year. it seems as if you've gotten more alarmed while many of your colleagues publicly act less alarmed, particularly your colleagues on the republican side of the aisle. is that the way it is behind the scenes too or is this public posture also the private posture? >> i can tell you behind the scenes there is a lot of alarm. there is concern that the president is laying the ground work to move on bob mueller or
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rosenstein and if that were to happen, obviously, that would cause a constitutional crisis. there is concern behind the scenes. i've been concerned that we haven't spoken up loudly enough and told the president you simply can't go there. and he's obviously probing the edges as much as he can. >> right. >> to see how far congress will go. and we've got to push back harder than we have. >> why do you think they've been hesitant? is it frankly your experience watching you? watching the republicans response to you? >> sure. this is the president's party and if you're running in a primary right now and you stand up to the president or stand up in some cases for empirical truth, then you have trouble in primaries. and that's no doubt. so i do think that, you know, as we get through the primary season perhaps then many of my colleagues will find a voice. but right now it's difficult politically. >> let me ask you one question
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about some hometown politics. vice president pence had some kind words for somebody that wants to replace nut senate, joe apyo. here it is. >> great friend of this president, a tireless champion of strong borders, spent a lifetime in law enforcement, sheriff joe arpaio, i'm honored to have you here. >> what'd you make of vice president pence's kind words. >> well, he's a kind man and i think that his words reflected that kindness. having said that, there aren't many people in arizona who look to joe arpaio as a paragon of the rule of law. i think it was unfortunate because we need the rule of law. that's not what we had under joe arpaio, under his time as
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sheriff. the voters turned him out by double digits and i don't think it's proper to refer to him in that way. >> i'm going to leave it there, senator. one quick thing. one quick thing. have you ruled out running for president? >> that's not in my plans but i've not ruled anything out. i do hope that somebody runs on the republican side other than the president. if nothing else, simplily to remind republicans what conservatism is and what republicans have traditionally stood for. >> if you ran, would you only run as a republican? >> i think so. i mean, i can't imagine doing anything else. >> fair enough. senator flake, now i will really leave it there. senator, thanks very much for coming on and sharing your views. much appreciatesed. >> thank you. >> you got it. all right. pannestists here, amy walter, and now host of wnyc's the takeaway fridays andrea mitchell
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and matthew. we're going to get to north korea in the next seg meant to let's focus here on the president this week. amy walter, look at the headline over this column today which says that trump is making progress, trump's war of attrition against mueller bears fruit among republicans. >> that's the keyword, among republicans or key words. he has done a very good job in terms of getting republicans on to the same page that he's on. but it's very a symmetrical, not just because democrats are, you know, very much against what the president's saying, but the intensity behind the support for the president has never been as solid as the opposition to the president, right? when you -- when "the wall street journal" nbc poll asks strongly approve, strongly disapprove, the strong disapprove has been twice as big as the strongly approve. he does not have the solid
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support of the party behind him in the is where it will finally get tested, the 20 2018 election. it worked to win a presidential election very narrowly but now this intensity opposing him is that much stronger. >> what do you make of this, matthew? >> think for the president his political position seems secure right now. if you look at the polls, his aruffle rating is rise together mid-40s. the average of the generic ballot is closing now within a space where republicans might feel more confident about keeping the house. from his point of view, the russia story has been working out. i think the reason for that he's been able to turn it into a tale of two swamps. from mueller we hear about the swamp of lobbying, access, foreign involvement in american access. for trump it's become the tale of permanent washington, the bureaucracy. and trump always found a great base of suspect among
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conservatives and republicans by being a agent of disruption. >> trump every day he produces great guysers of fantasy, some of which tug. obama had ply wires tapped. the thing about his fantasy world is not when it dissolves into nothing it's when he da suss the rest of us to move into it. >> you know, the key phrase in that pass sage to me receiver day. it's constant, every single day. it's not a matter of seducing everybody into that world, it's just he creates more of that world every day. and everyone reacts to it. and they don't react favorably necessarily, but even reacting against it is participating in it. and so there's just like this parallel trump reality that he creates that really does distract us from reality as we know it. >> is jeff like a man on an island by the way? >> yes, very much so.
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you know, i think to eugene's point, the president has an enormous mega phone through social media and through the distraction that you so expertly cataloged at the beginning of the program. every single day, every moment of every single day we in the media and the american people by consuming all of this are not focussing on one thing for an extended period of time. and he does it so expertly and the white house media machine and the president's own instincts here, we had the wonderful return negotiated by bob corker and oren hatch and others from utah of a mormon missionary who had been in jail with his wife in venezuela in a hideous situation for two years. it's a great moment. they came right to the oval office for a photo opportunity on saturday night. so the president was embracing this as i was at andrew's air force base when the korean detainees arrived at 4:00 in the morning. they don't go to bethesda naval
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or ram stein on their way back and be debriefed and treated medically immediately they're paraded, if you will. >> what would happen if we didn't cover all of the tweets? it kind of goes to the point there is a whole lot going on and he does very well because all of this gets covered and so it becomes this circular squad. if we were talk about the things that other people were talking about outside of washington, this panel would look very different. >> by the way, we're going to have that other conversation. we're going to talk about the nfl which we know more people are debating this morning. >> gas prices, averaging over $3. >> but this is the trap that we in the political press corps are in. there's an existential threat to the presidency, that's a big story reason and trump is taking advantage of it. >> he's changed the norms. >> yes. >> and for a while we haven't had a big bombshell in the russia investigation. we've had a lot of little mini shells but we're still waiting for that big bombshell that may
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reset the calculus in a way that disadvantages trump. >> how long ago was it that michael cohen's office was raided? our expectation of how often bomb shells -- >> that's an eternity ago. >> but that's only two months ago. like, go read the final days, go read -- like these were, you know, there where are big moments and two months later a big moment and that seemed fast. >> he has branded it witch hunt and that's what's taken hold if you look at any kind of polling, not only with the base. and now spygate is another branding attempt. and there are a lot of people who are going to believe that there was a spy embedded in the trump campaign. there was no evidence of that, but even when people. >> chips away. >> -- refer to it -- >> if you refute thank you are reinforcing it. >> exactly. >> that's the point we made at the beginning it's republicans who really are buying into this and not others. remember when bill clinton was fighting against ken starr, they were making similar claims about
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witch hurnt ant and this is inappropriate but the president's approval rate wationing was 60 %. >> when we come back, will there be a summit after all? but way the u.s., south korea, and north korea all want to see this happen. but as we go to break, throughout the break we'll he sho you moments of commencements from around the country starting with president trump and vice president pence. >> think big, dream bigger, push further, sale fast, he fly higher, and never ever stop reaching for greatness. >> to lead heroes you must be a hero. to lead them you must be worthy of them. and online equity trades are only $4.95... i mean you can't have low cost and be full service.
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welcome back. there may indeed be a u.s. slrk north korea summit after all. president trump said talks are moving along very nicely. the leaders met yesterday sounding hopeful that the summit would happen.
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pannestists back and joining us to talk about why the on again off again is victor cha, the former director for asian affairs at the u.n. security council and was in line for president trump's first pick to be ambassador to south korea. welcome to meet the press. >> thanks. >> let me ask you this. why is there uncertainty around this summit and are we almost too focused on if it's going to happen and not focused enough on the substance? >> so the uncertainty, chuck, i think is largely because we're dealing with north korea. andrea and i went to north korea ten years ago and we have the same problem. we have no information before we went, we had no itinerary. so you can imagine when you're sending the president 10,000 miles to singapore there's got to be a lot negotiated in advance and that hasn't happened. but in terms of the substance, i mean, we're all focused on the roller coaster. but in terms of the substance the key issue is are they going to give up their nuclear weapons? i think unfortunate lit answly r
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is no. do they want a peace treaty? absolutely. it validates them as a nuclear state. it assures that trump won't attack, because we were worried about an attack last year. and mostly it means money. we are the primary on stack he will in places like the world bank, the asian development bachk, the imf where the north koreans want money. >> who's the on stack he will of this summit? is it china? john bolton? or are these not on stackels, these are prem people trying to slow things down a bit. >> in the end the issue that is holding this up is logistics. the fact that joe haeg kban going to singapore to engage in meet rrgs he's the key person for organizing the logistics of a summit. he's not the policy setting. >> andrea, it does seem the timeline and you and matthew noted this this week that when
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kim jong-un went ton china at second time, it also happened simultaneously with the trade talks. >> exactly. >> all of this seems related. >> i think it is related. china wants to slow it down. they're not at the table. victor and i talked about this and other experts, but the fact is, there is a momentum toward this happening. kim wants it badly. moon jae-in really wants it and needs it, the south korean president. and president trump wants it. he sees this, i think, as a legacy where he is making history and he certainly would be. i think it is very likely on and on for june 12th if you noted that the president tweeted angrily against "the new york times" for quoting a senior official who we all know was a national security official briefing -- >> but the white house insisted you couldn't quote by name. >> 200 people were on the call, there were 50 people in the room and he said this was thursday, he said, june 12th is ten minutes from now, we can't get it altogether by then.
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and then the president was tweeting that this was a lie, this was a "new york times" lie, which of course it wasn't. but the fact is, the president wants it to be as scheduled in singapore june 12th. i think to victor's point, the dysfunction on the national security side is pretty profound. you've got bolt to bon, pomp po mattis really wants it because he does not want military engagement. and they have to figure out the policy side. but i think it will happen as a photo opportunity if nothing else. >> matthew. >> i think we can't overlook china's role in all of this. the second meeting between sim and xi jinping happened right around the time the three hostages were released. but ever since that meeting up to this past week, the north koreans became much more belligerent in their tone, much more insistent that they would not be giving up the weapons at all, and then began attacking bolton and of course vice
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president pence in addition to being nonresponsive. so trump has this tendency to want to personalal liize tensio between the states. but there are tensions between the great powers that may prevent a settlement in north korea. >> i'm not sure that the north koreans needed chinese encouragement to be sort of disruptive in this negotiation. because fundamentally are they going to completely denuclearize? i'm extremely skeptical about that. you know a lot more about north korea than i do, but i can't figure out why they would agree do that having, you know, a great cost and effort, purchase what they see as an insurance policy for the regime and a way to project power and authority in the region. are they just going to give at any price? i just -- i'm very skeptical. >> well, i guess the other question, too, is whether the
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president can claim victory regardless of whether you have denuclearization. i think it is the one area where the president thus far has gotten some bipartisan support. americans say, yeah, he should meet with kim jong-un and that alone with a victory. it alone say victory to get those three hostages. >> verification, let's say the summit takes place and there's a lot of pomp and circumstance and it is a moment of history. how would you ever verify, negotiate first and verify anything approaching denuclearization? there's reporting this week that they have another secret site underground, i'm sure they have many. >> of course they do. >> this would make the iran nuclear deals verification with eyes on from international inspectors more complicated. >> to the quick point eugene made, 56 years ago the north koreans started landscaping the area where they built this nuclear program and on december 12th of last year they said, we've accomplished what we wanted. so three months later they're all of the sudden going to give
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it all up? it doesn't make sense to me. >> final question for you victor. what does china want? do they want a peaceful korean peninsula that's two runcountri or are they willing to stand aside for a united korean peninsula? >> a couple of things. the first is of course they want stability on the korean peninsula. china has borders with everyone around them the 'the only one they negotiated with was north korea because they need to border to be secure. so they want that. they would not prefer a unified korean peninsula because most likely that would be someone that is still aligned with the united states and they don't want a u.s. military ally on their border. i think angdrea's been right, te chinese want a seat at the table the. they don't want trump and kim talking about peace without chinese at the table. for all these reasons we've seen a slowdown. >> are the chinese at the table
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now? >> they're still not at the table yet but this summit is going forward. kim says he wants the summit to happen so it's going to happen. >> the event will happen. >> i think china will eventually be at the table. >> all rye, guys. victor, thank you very much. thanks for coming on and being our expert here. we're going to get into the nfl in a moment. but when we come back, the mid-terms. there's a lot going on. and the big way that might be coming in november. we're not talking a red or blue wave. but first we continue to look at our commencement moments month. >> this is a moment to reach across divides of race, class, and politics. to try to see the world through the eyes of people very different from ourselves. >> you're never too young or too old to lead, to speak up, to speak out, and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.
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we are back. while we've talked about the big blue wave that could be coming this fall, there's another wave that may be just as if not more consequential. and now that voters have started going to the polls, women aren't just running for office, they're winning primaries. it's a big gender wave that
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maybe coming and they'll be on the ballot in november in big numbers. >> i couldn't be more honored and more humbled to be standing here tonight as your nominee. >> no one is unseen, no one sunday heard -- is unheard and no one is uninspired. >> we're going to see at least one all female senate race in nebraska and another one possible in arizona. but let's focus on control for the house of representstives. 72 women have won major party nominations for congress in 66 districts, yes, that means in six cases it will be two women facing off against each other in november. so we have 62 democrats and ten republicans among those current 72 nominees. historically these are huge numbers. in fact, compare this to the last two elections. in these same states, you had 36 within who won primaries in 14.
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as you see these numbers blow those last to election cycles away. many of these women are not career politicians. 45 of the 72 nominees so far have never run for public office before. they've held jobs like nurse, teach rers doctors, lawyers, and several are veterans. and, they've won their nominations in all kinds of districts, urban and rural, high and low income, diverse and less so. if these candidates win, they really could remake the look of the house. here's why. in 51 of these districts, the person who currently holds the seat say man suggesting the potential for a huge shift in the gender makeup of congress. but how likely is that? well, our friends at the cook political report do only rate 15 of these 51 districts currently held by a man as competitive. but even if most of these nominees don't win in november, the fact that so many women from so many different backgrounds and places have entered the political arena could mean the following, that things changing even beyond 2018. after all, quite a few current
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members of congress had to lose once in order to learn how to win later. the consequence of all of this is that the house of representatives, the people's house, might actually look like the people at least as far as the gender divide is concerned that it's supposed to represent. when we come back, the nfl's controversial decision prohibiting players from kneeling during the national anthem. did the league just solve a problem or create a brand-new one? and once again, we have moments from commencement addresses this month. here's one from oprah winfrey and another one from a very familiar face. >> be curious. do not presume to know who you might become because you never finish becoming. >> vote. pay attention to what the people who claim to represent you are doing and saying in your name and on your behalf. wait what?
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back now barchts now with the panel and i want to talk about the nfl decision this week. the players may not take a knee during the national anthem and teams will be fined when they do. here was president trump's reaction to the move. >> i don't think people should be staying in locker rooms but i think it's good. you have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing. you shouldn't be there. maybe you shouldn't be in the country. >> okay. the player's association had said this, history has taught us that pay the trix are like water. if the force is strong enough it cannot be is you preeced the
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today they created a role that the people who eight otack contractsies are hate. where's this going? >> there's going to be a dispute that could reach the courts i don't know between the player's association and the owners over this the. players were not consulted. i don't believe rank and file players are going to take kindly to this decision, but basically the owners decided they did not want to be hareined by the president of the united states every week. they were worried about their working class that they feared respond together president's thoughts on this issue. so they thought do this. this doesn't end the story. i think this intensifies it and it's going to set the stage for more conflict. >> you know, matthew addressed this, there's two competing arguments. david french represents one part of it. this is a middle crowned, it's
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not a compromise, it's corporate censorship backed up with a promise of corporate punishment. it's -- but then in the national review, kyle smith rights, is this corporate censorship? gentlemen. does it bother me? no. the nfl would sanction any player who insulted the fans with the middle finger that would be corporate censorship too and it would be entirely proper. >> you see the range of debates among conservatives on the free speech issue. the conservatives have adopted free speech particularly on campus if the you are a free speech radical, which i am not drour have to apply it in almost every sphere of life. i would say pointing to gene, the element that's missing in a lot of these discussions is the fans. there's a bottom line decision here with the nfl was facing basically the flight of its fan base as a fallout from the protest. and the other thing i would just
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point out is these protests began as a racial justice movement. but once trump intervened in august, they became an ant trump movement. >> on the day they announce it you get the video you get a body cam footage, andrea, of an nba player sterling brown in milwaukee showing over a parking dispute he got tased. >> you know, the ha poc krypocro profound. people are not standing for the anthem in large part, they're not. they're fans at an event. the fact that the players do not have this freedom of speech and no one is calling collin kaepernick who has lost his career out of of this who has basically been black balled and can't be hired is outrageous.
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mostly people of color, mostly male, are facing abuse by many law enforcement agencies around this country and in a way ha has led to death that has led to, you know, hideous examples. >> so both gene and matthew brought up the business decision here. this is where it's sort of awkward. this is african americans in the nfl, nearly 70% of all players are after cab american. just 7 of 32 head coaches are african american. there's not a single owner who's african american. at the same time it's my understand theg did do a pofl their fans and their white fan base is obviously much larger than their fan base of color. >> that's right. >> but then that creates racial toxic tension here. it seems to be a no-win situation for the nfl. >> for the nfl or for the players. >> that they're trying to make a business decision here. >> that's right. it is, though, and i think matthew got it correctly. this wasn't an issue until trump made it an issue. i don't think americans were
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sitting around thinking it this is what's dividing this country to desperately is the fact that these players ar taking a knee. the president is taking that as one more opportunity to divide an already driveded country and it has worked in the past. the question is is it enough to work this time? right now he looks at his crowd and says they're supportive of me, but is that going to be enough when you have as many people on the other side now saying, i'm against this? not because of the free speech, not because of the issues about police and interactions with african americans, but i'm against it because trump's for it. >> well, you know, the nfl owners really did have to pick their poison. this comes at a time which the football as an enterprise is in trouble. i mean, it's in trouble because of a concussion issue. parents are not letting their kids play football. there's this whole -- the wind
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is blowing against football. and so they're going to lose people over this on the other side, they ust ajust are. >> all right. we didn't solve any problems but we pointed some out. when we come back it's end game time and a prominent baby boomer explains how his generation broke america. author steven bril joins me next and as we go to break, we're reminded that memorial day weekend isn't a three-day weekend it's a time to honor those who died for this country. here's some vent scenes from around washington. ♪
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end game brought to you by boeing. continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore, and inspire. back back with end game. for the last 50 years, the country's most prestigious universities have welcomed in more people of color, people of varying backgrounds and ethnicities based on their own merits rather than who their parents were. the idea was to create more
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economic opportunity and equality. and it has. but a new book that that one good idea has created unintended consequences. it's called tail spin, the people and forces behind america's 50 year fall and those fighting to reverse it by author and journalist steven brill. you write this as somebody who you say participated in this unwittingly. >> i was a beneficiary. >> and a beneficiary. so let's go. explain the meritocracy problem now that it's been created. >> well, meritocracy was happening at the same time that the baby boomers were created the so-called knowledge economy, which sounds like a great thing, the knowledge economy. but what happened was that all these people from ivy league schools went off to law schools like i did, like yale and harvard, and their knowledge economy was legal engineering and financial engineering. it was stock buybacks and
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corporate takeover fights and they created the legal precedent for the arbitration clauses that are keeping the middle-class out of the courts when they have a job discrimination claim or a consumer rights claim so the knowledge economy typically ended up with liberal lawyers coming out of liberal law schools going to liberal law firms and doing the legal engineering that caused all the discontent that we have of the middle-class today. the paul weiss law firm, for example, in new york, a notable bastion of democrats, they did the legal engineering for the jp stevens company when they figured out how to fight unions. >> is this the harshness of darwinism. is it like okay it became survival of the smartest and survival of the hardest working. >> which is a good thing. >> and we have this new elite. so the door was open for many
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people. >> you've got it exactly right. >> and then what happened? what about these people left behind? are they not capable of doing it? >> well, what we usually have had in this country and what any country needs in order to be balanced and to survive is a balance where there are guardrails that are put on all of the overachievers so that they can't do too much in terms of the legal rights they assert, the financial rights they assert and that got lost in this country because these people were so smart that they ran all over that stuff. >> there's another aspect of this. you talk about sort of the changing definition of the first amendment. and you actually essentially make the connection that ralph nader got us citizens united. right now i know he's watching and he's saying what? you're blaming me? >> he wouldn't say what because he told me. he said that was the biggest boomerang of all time. what nader and his lawyers did
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was they fought for the right of discount drug stores to advertise their discount prices. and the supreme court said well, you know, now that you mention it, the first amendment is for listeners as well as speakers because we listeners, we benefit from hearing these arguments and if we're going to do that, we shouldn't discriminate on the basis of who the speaker is. so if the speaker happens to be a corporation, why should we care? >> and that becomes the argument for citizens united. >> it becomes the argument for drug companies to evade regulations with regard to how they label their drugs. >> so what are the solutions here? for instance, do we need a new type of affirmative action for socioeconomic that looks out more on a socioeconomic scale rather than looking at it from any other way? what is the answer? is there a solution? >> the answer is in this book. it's not theoretical. there are people in all the
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spheres that i write about that are fighting the tail spin. that are doing things. whether it's legal analyzes fighting the first amendment definition that has evolved to people who are fighting for caver, people fighting for labor law reform and they are coming up with real solutions. there's a die who has taken a converted zipper factory in queens and turned it a job retraining program that we haven't had in this country, for all the billions of dollars we spent on attempting to do that and we have failed miserably and the media has ignored how we failed doing that. >> is it fair to say that this is the selfishness of the baby boomers in some ways? the baby boomers weren't looking out for any other generation than themselves? they were the leadership class. >> yes, it's fair to say it has
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to be a balance between high achievement and me achieving everything i can and me worrying about the common good. and we haven't had that kind of leadership. and my theory is that things have gotten so bad in terms of the common good that there's going to be reaction and things will snap back. >> it's a very thoughtful book called tail spin. steven brill, congratulations. it's tough to read in a negative sense sometimes but you provide some solutions in there, too. congratulations, appreciate it. >> thanks. before we go, a quick programming note. here in washington, we're excited we have a team that might win a championship. the washington capitals are in the championship fights. you can see the capitals versus the vegas golden knights tomorrow on our network. lord stanley, we want to see that cup in washington. this's 8:00 eastern tomorrow night. that's all we have for today, thanks for watching. enjoy your long weekend and keep those soldiers in your hearts and minds. we'll leave you with more scenes
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welcome to "morning joe," a special taped hour for memorial day. >> thank you so much. >> just want to make that clear. >> so not live, you're saying? >> it's not live. but we can't do that same old, you know, shtick that we do where we joke about being live. >> upset about a lot of people. >> people get upset. >> there aren't a lot of things to worry about in this world and if there are, that's what i put at the top of the list. with us we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle here on tape. medal of honor recipient and msnbc military analyst, retired u.s. army colonel jack jacobs. >> colonel, thank you for being with us. we wanted to get you here on
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this memorial day special to talk about the things men and women in uniform are still doing. let's start with afghanistan. we are still there. we learned in 2011 what happens when you retreat too quickly. that said, you've got i guess now you've got people over in afghanistan fighting that were one and two when the towers crashed. >> yeah, you're talking about a long time ago. we don't have the political will to stay there as long as we need to stay there to do the kinds of things we need to do in order to make that place safe for the afghans. so it's just a matter of time before we pull them out. our principal effort there is in training afghan forces to defend themselves. so we have special forces, we have special operations forces, we have intelligence-gathering operations, but at the end of
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the day afghanistan is going to be precisely the way it was when we left it. >> so we're not going to treat afghanistan like we've treated germany since '45 or korea since '52/'53. >> no, i don't think so at all. i think we'll continue to have a relatively low level of influence there in specific areas far removed from kabul and at the end of the day the taliban is likely to come back again. as a matter of fact, it already is. >> let's talk about iran and syria and i want to start with iran because you hear too often and donald trump and other people talk about how america has lost every war since world war ii. you look at iraq, though, which was a disaster from 2003 to 2007. but we don't really salute enough to men and women in uniform for the remarkable turnaround, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, that they were able to do.
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we had dexter filkins saying when he went back he didn't recognize the place. of course we lost all those gains and i'll be damned if they didn't go back with the help of the kurds and clean it up again. >> well, the question is whether or not we are willing to keep doing that and how long we're going to have to keep doing that. i think it was -- no, it wasn't mcmaster, it was mcchrystal who said some time ago that if you want to make an effort there, have a positive influence there you're going to have to have more troops than we have now but more significantly we'll have to be there for decades. we don't have the political will to do that, either. >> we've got, what, 2500 troop there is right now? >> we've got for than that. >> 4,000? >> 4,000 or 5,000. >> okay, 4,000 or 5,000 right now. it seems if those 4,000 or 5,000
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troops who are there who david ignatius says really believe in their mission. if those number of troops check russian power which they are right now and check iranian expansion which they are right now and basically protect about half of the landmass of syria from attacks from assad, is that a good investment for the united states military? >> it is if it has positive results. i'm a believer in the principle of war that says the objective is the most important thing. what is it you're trying to do? start at the end and work back wars. what if what you want to do is check putin's influence in the middle east and check iran's expansion westward? >> we're going to need more troops and more influence and more capability, we have to realize that what's taking place in syria is a proxy war between iran on the one hand and saudi arabia on the other. if you talk about reducing our
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capability in syria, for example, the people who go the craziest the quickest are the saudis. >> and the israelis who are being drawn in. >> and you see what's happened. every time there's a notion we'll reduce our capability over there, that we're not interested in staying there long enough to have the kind of influence you're talking about there's an enormous exchange of gunfire, missiles, between iran on the one hand and the israelis on the other and this is not good at all for stability any place so we really do have to do what lewis carroll said. if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there. what is it we're trying to do there and what is it going to take to accomplish it? and unless you ask that first question, you'll never get to it. >> willie, what's so amazing is donald trump seems so obsessed in checking iranian influence.
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but the best way to check iranian influence is stop them from moving in and using syria as a place to launch their operations. which is exactly what they're trying to do right now and we are getting in the way. >> it's a question of how you do that. as you spin the globe to north korea and look at the negotiation that's been going on very much in public with president trump tweeting incessantly about north korea. >> he tweets incessantly about everything. >> that's true. >> he's tweeted incessantly before about mika. >> that's true. so what are your concerns as a military man about a potential conflict? and i'm talking about a military conflict between the united states and north korea this deal somehow falls apart. i call it a deal, there's no deal yet but this negotiation falls apart. north korea came out and said "we won't denuclearize." well, that's the whole idea behind these negotiations is to get them to denuclearize. so if you get that far, you walk
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out of the room and north korea says no, we're not getting rid of our nukes, what comes next? >> well, the reason they have nukes is to prevent people like the united states or russia or china or anybody else from tipping them over. i think you have to start with the assumption that the north korean regime is a continuing criminal enterprise. and everything that that regime does is to keep the regime in power, and that includes the development of nuclear weapons so that nobody will bother them at all, and that includes china, by the way so once you start with that, it makes you become more sanguine about the korean peninsula. north korea is not likely to attack nib. at least partially because the united states will do exactly what president trump says we're going do and that is to make life extremely difficult for the north koreans. the north koreans don't want that so they're not going to do
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anything. what they're looking for is a couple things. more influence over the rest of the korean peninsula that is south korea and they have in the president moon, by the way. they want to distance themselves from china a bit and they want the united states to lift the large majority of economic strictures that have been put upon them and they can get all that stuff by playing a little bit nice and that's what they're doing. they can have their cake and eat it, too. stay out of my backyard, leave me alone, don't attack me and by the way, lift sanctions but they're never going to get rid of their nuclear weapons. >> so what is the u.s. getting out of the deal? sounds like north korea is getting everything it wants. what does donald trump get out of the deal. >> nothing. nothing. a little public relations, i think. >> jack, we're living in a moment in the history of this country where the activities of one person and one person alone blocks out the sun. there's so much else going on
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other than what's going on around the white house and the president of the united states. one of the things that's going on that is i think more than appropriate to bring it up on this day, memorial day, is the fact that about only 1% of americans serve in afghanistan or iraq or syria or around the world and the v.a. is once again having great difficulty caring for veterans of war and the v.a. is having enormous difficulty in dealing with the extraneous damage done to the families of those who serve and we rarely spend enough time talking about them. 50 years ago i believe in your opinion a v.a. hospital wondering whether you'd ever see again. >> yeah. >> talk about the v.a. today and the efforts that ought to be made that aren't being made for these people who serve us? >> well, we've got to realize that the department of veterans affairs is an enormous
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bureaucracy. 37 0,000 plus employees caring for millions of veterans. bureaucracies do only one thing, they do routine things in a routine way and any time you change the requirements, bureaucracies can't cope and the department of veterans affairs is exactly like that. it can't cope. it needs two things. really strong leadership in the executive branch but more than that or just as much as that it needs the kind of support from congress it has not had. and unless it gets both of those things -- good leadership and support from congress -- it's never going to be able to meet the requirements of the people who put on the uniform and defend it for the rest of us so we can enjoy freedom. >> let's talk about active military. i know he has his parade, he wants his parade which is sort of -- >> a rotten idea. >> and rotten.
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but how is -- how have his policies been for the military? from a military person's point of view? >> for the average person who wears the uniform there's been no effect, positive or negative. the real effect of the president's decisions on what to do with the military and how to use it as an instrument of power and so on, that's basically a strategic question. and so far there's been no -- there have been no strategic decisions that have had any kind of impact on the rank and file, the young men and women out there defending the country except to one extent and that is that we have taken on an enormous number of missions for which we don't have adequate resources. we've got the smallest army -- we're about ready to have the smallest army we had since 1940. i remember years ago when you
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and i were looking at this the first time, we came out of the service and so on, we're going to have a 600-ship navy. we have fewer than 300 capital ships. >> multiple deployments today. >> multiple deployments, you have troops -- kids on the ground of all services who have had a dozen deployments. talk about impact on their families and their morale. this is not the way we're supposed to defend a country of 325 million people and unless and until all the people involved here -- the president of the united states, the congress and the american people get serious about their defense and forget about outsursing the defense of the reap to a small number of young men and women willing to do it, unless we start paying attention, we'll be very hundred happy someday. >> so colonel, on this memorial d day. who will you be thinking of? >> a number of people.
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the young kids throughout now. you know, most americans don't know anybody in uniform. they don't know anybody in uniform. back when i was growing up in new york city everybody in my -- every household in my neighborhood had made a contribution to the defense of the country during the second world war. it was unusual not to have served. now days most people don't know anybody in uniform so i'm thinking about those kids -- and they are kids, they don't call it the infantry for nothing. seriously. a small number of them are out right now in dozens and dozens of places not only protecting us but bringing freedom to other people and second i'm thinking about the young men with whom i served 50 years ago who never came home. i talk all the time about the fact that i wear my medal not for myself but for all those who can't. there were lots of brave people
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back in those days and in those days we were losing 300 to 500 young americans killed in action every week. receiver single week. thankfully those days are gone but my memory goes back to all those kids with whom i served and who never came back. >> colonel jack jacobs, thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> thanks, jack. still ahead, we've got some great picks for the summer reading list, from issues of "foreign policy" to social science, we'll bring your our conversations with three leading authors. that's all ahead on "morning joe." as a control enthusiast, i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges.
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welcome back to a special taped edition of "morning joe." >> thank you for saying taped. joining us now is pulitzer prize winning journalist and best selling a ining author --
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hair. he spoke to americans about the polarizing issues. the result is his new book. the it too which will is meant to reflect what his travels reveal about the current state of our union. yes, "s show." i won't say it. the country is collapsing and the ratings are great. yes, yes, they are. >> we can't say it? >> well, i mean -- >> it's cable, can i say it? >> [ bleep ] show. >> i can't believe you just said that! >> which camera? this one? >> well, the president -- >> senator graham once said "the whole something an s show." i tried to get ahold of him. lindsay, you owe me $2. it's copyrighted. >> so what mika and i have found when we've gone out is it's almost like politics, cable news, blogosphere, it's framing people's everyday lives as a reality show because it's
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actually not good for the republic for people to be sitting in front of the tv obsess i obsessing over politics 24 hours a day. and i say that as somebody who gets paid to do this. >> i need a job. >> 24 hours a day people have fox or msnbc or cnn. >> my brother is watching it. my brother, billy, my brother billy, i've got to get home and put on fox. i'm like what? you watch that? >> why. >> because it as a show. but remember something -- >> but isn't that something? that's a show, just like -- again, we'll say it, people will do the same thing for msnbc or cnn or some other news network, their show used to be "i love lucy" and then "the beverly hillbillies" and then "m.a.s.h.." now their show is programming that is intended in prime time at least to rip america apart. >> trump is the show.
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that's what it is because we were all dying, let's not lie about it. i worked tv, too, that guy was the show. he is. but there's things going on, real things like the money. it's the money. there's no money out there. i'm coming from detroit. we can pretend there's money. we all know it's ee's air, we'rk to the bubble, the real estate, the stock. there's no money. these jobs we're making, they're wiping old people's butts and making motel beds. these are the jobs. what are we going to do? we're tearing at each other because america runs on green and if there's no green we got trouble. >> so you look at unemployment numbers, you look at gdp numbers, it looks like things are going well there but if you have a discussion with somebody and suggest the middle-class has been left behind, that the working class has been left behind a lot of people will be offended by what you say and say america is doing better than ever before. i'm from the south but i lived in elmira, new york. elmira, new york, today is not
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what elmira, new york, was in 1975. >> or 1995. because we didn't elect trump because we want to go back to the '50s. nobody was alive. you don't have memories from the '50s. you have memories from the '90s. remember 2006? we were rocking. houses worked a lot, 401(k) was worth a lot? what happened? do you really believe the underpinnings of the american economy are solid? do you? or is it easy fiscal policy and easy monetary policy? once we get off of that we're screwed and we know it. >> if you go through america you see enormous numbers of people living with what i call the sense of money. money is critical but the absence of money is more critical. nobody in america today wants to be born poor. nobody wants to live in a shooting gallery. i don't mean guns, i mean where
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you've got needles and syringes in the hallway and everything like that. and our mission as the media, with very few exceptions, very few exceptions, we don't cover the conditions that people actually live with. >> then can i ask you this? >> yeah. >> would y'all hire me and my friend matt phillips? we went around the country. read it. you're going to like this. you can have segments from real america. like remember dan rather in the '50s that caught a jazz musician in texas with heroin? so he went to the police station and they injected him with it to report what it was. but let's say oxycontin, right? open roads. what's it like under the bridge where your sister is residing? i don't mean your sister, you know. but like i would do it. what does it feel like? why are people attracted to it? . those places -- >> why do you think they're attracted to it? >> it feels good, bro. >> and it's an estate.
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>> i haven't checked the amendments to the constitution, it's been a while since i read them but you don't have a right last time i checked to narcotics. you have a right thing to a gun, that's a hard thing to fix. but four times as many people die from opioids. make them illegal, put them back in the hospital where they used snob too mu to be? too much money. so the common thread, the police, out west, i car pooled with the grand dragon from the clan. the charlottesville guys are the same guys that went to columbia, south carolina, it's not a white menace, it's 400 guys that know how to play the media. ferguson, how is it all tied together? at some level every american feels the government is his enemy. at some level. >> so what is working? did you find anything working? >> i know lots of people that are working hard. >> that's not collapsing? >> well, i have to have a title. we're okay, it's not 1968.
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>> it's not but it is something we've never seen before and it does feel like we're in completely the wrong direction. >> you look at other books that have been coming out. last week we had on the author of -- talking about how america was spiraling 5, 50-year decline. we've had people that talked about the collapse of the west. the collapse of liberalism, not left wing liberalism but western liberalism. is it just trump that is inspiring everybody to go out and write these books or is this something coming for a long time? >> i think what is working -- i love my child, that's working. so that's pretty much where i look. there's personal responsibility in this country, we have a lot of it and a lot of good people it's fine. but this thing has been slipping out of control for a while
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hasn't it? you could say from the -- we went off the gold standard because we couldn't pay our debts, where do you want to start with this thing? and was it ever good? >> also, is it mistrust? look at the failings. you can go through -- let's see in '95 the government shut down. '99 impeachment. 2000 we had the recount. 2001 we had 9/11. 2002 we had enron. 2003 we had weapons of mass destruction in iraq. 2005 we had katrina, 2006 iraq melted down. >> keep going. >> you can literally go down, 2008 we had september 15. complete collapse. i mean is it just -- other than the military -- it's interesting, other than the military is it just a complete lack of trust in institutions? one other thing quickly. ken burns documentary was shocking to me about 30 minutes
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into ken burns documentary on vietnam. i said oh, my god, this is where trump began. this was trump's rise because there are a lot of guys that are sitting in vfw halls across america that saw the best and the brightest, know that vietnam was a disaster. kennedy hiroshi kennedy -- he's on the tape saying we can't win there but if i get out i'll lose the next election. johnson said the same thing, nixon said the same thing and 57,000 kids died because of. >> it so across the 50 years since then, across that span, there's been amazing technological improvements that have transformed our lives. the internet, the cell phones and everything like that. but it came at a cost and part of what i think you're talking about is the result of the improvements we've had. we have a generation of young kids who think this thing is a personal relationship. >> this was fun, thanks.
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>> thank you for coming. >> the book is "this word show." >> he already said it. >> the ratings are great. charlie le duff, thank you very much. >> the greatest politician in that book was james baker. the only guy that was on -- it was after baltimore when rand paul didn't know he was in baltimore, james baker is at the train station, he said two things, no security, no nothing, he said two things. one, if we don't get more money to places like baltimore i'm afraid we haven't seen our last fire and two he said of hillary clinton that a frequent flier mileage doesn't equal foreign policy. >> especially if that plane doesn't take you to michigan and wisconsin. we'll be right back with more "morning joe" on this memorial day.
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welcome back to "morning joe." former national security adviser dr. zbigniew brzezinski, my father, spent his entire life working on geopolitics and foreign policy. we sat down with author and historian justin base. his new biography, "zbigniew
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brezezinski, america's grand strategist" traces his influence on the global stage. >> the pictures are bringing me back to when i was 12 years old but you say there are few grand strategists in modern american history and my father was one of them. >> exactly. when i started this research i discovered that at harvard university in the course of the '50s you had a concentration of great minds. you had zbig brezezinski, henry kissinger, sam huntington who then became famous for his clash of civilization book and others and that was really sort of an incubator for thinking about america's relations with the world and all of these men had a profound impact on america's foreign policy. >> how would you describe my faert's father's impact? >> quite a challenge. i guess the reason why he made
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such an impact was first because of his longevity. during six decades he kept advising american presidents on u.s. foreign policy. second thing, he was fiercely independent so he was more of a democrat than a republican but whenever he disagreed with the democrats then he would support the republican candidates. for example he did not endorse george mcgovern in '72 and he endorsed george h.w. bush in 1988 because he thought the democratic candidate was not as strong. so independence, longevity and a massive output of thinking, books, et cetera. >> fiercely independent, joe, and also fierce. >> fiercely independent, also very fierce towards critics and those his daughter knew at times on tv but a very kind and gentle man behind closed doors and i was wondering if you could draw
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out that part of his personality that always surprised me, that mika always talked about to friends when he would be fierce on television she always said we grew up around republicans because my father wanted to have everybody -- wanted everybody to have a seat at the table. >> to challenge him. >> condi rice, madeleine albright, bob gates, leaders from both parties worked on his staff and it's what he embraced. people that would challenge him. can you explain that part of his personality and leadership? >> an anecdote is that when -- he played tennis until very late in the 2000s when he was already in his early 80s and he didn't play just to enjoy the game, he played to win. >> that's correct. >> so that's the way he also saw arguments, even around the dinner table at home and he was -- he had very little
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patience for half-baked arguments, was always insisting whether it would be his kids or his students that people -- make an argument, have knowledge of what you're talking about and also construct some kind of vision, some kind of argument or strategic vision. >> he always wanted me to articulate my vision at the dinner table and it often didn't end well. >> just following up with that anecdote, willie, mika's youngest daughter went to madeira and lived with the brezezinskis for a year in high school and she and her grandfather would go out and play tennis regularly almost everyday and carly would say that when they came up from the house -- from the tennis courts to the house, somebody would ask how did the game go.
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if he won he said "it was wonderful, it was a wonderful game." and if he lost to his grandfather he said "well, you know, it was not much to talk about." fiercely competitive even with his granddaughter. >> some grand dads let the granddaughters win. >> no. no. >> he went for the jugular. my dad never asked me at the dinner table about my strategic vision. this good is incredible. you talk about the longevity that dr. brezezinski had from lbj through barack obama and those are a series of very different presidents, very different views of the world and they represent different parties, what was it about dr. brezezinski that made each of those presidents along that line seek out his counsel and they didn't view in the as a partisan way. he might not be a member of the party today, i don't think donald trump would bring in somebody who challenged his world view the way dr.
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brezezinski did many of these presidents. >> he got along with most of them. of course he was the national security adviser for jimmy carter but right after ronald reagan consulted him on various occasions to the surprise of his staff and the only presidents with whom he did not get along was george w. bush. he opposed to iraq war, thought it was a mistake. but as early as july, 2007, he met with barack obama who was then not very well known and found him to be a strikingly smart and able to reflect and to have that strategic vision he insisted all presidents should have. >> thank you very much. the book is "zbigniew brezezinski, america's grand strategist." justin vaisse, thank you very much. coming up, a new book is exploring the inner dynamic behind social settings.
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>> we stare at our iphones, overobsess about our jobs and struggle to connect across our national political divide. does it all stem from a crisis of connection? we recently sat down with author priya parker whose new book is "the art of gathering, how we meet and why it matters." she suggests none other than martha stewart may -- >> oh, no. >> -- may shoulder some of the blame. i would think martha would be part of the solution because she gets us to gather beautifully. >> a lot of time we'll get together and mike pine cones, the turkeys. >> nothing personal against martha but one of the things that has been leading to a
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crisis of connection among us is that for decades and generations, including martha but also other people, there's an overfocus on the things of gathering. so we focus on the pine cones and table settings and flowers and part of the reason we do this is because our social anxiety allows us to control the things of gathering rather than the people. but a huge part of gathering is the magic that happens among and between people and so i set out to write a book that looks at why do some gatherings take off and are transformative and others don't. so i interviewed over 100 gatherers but gatherers in extreme context. choreographers of circumstanque sole soleil, rabbis, a dominatrix, foreign ministers who have a very specific moment to get a head of state to take off their mask and i asked how do you create a moment where people
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connect in an authentic way. >> how do they? >> well, they don't focus on the flowers and the food tan accoutrements we tend to focus on. they focus on creating moments where people connect in an authentic way. they generate good kosovo so in our gatherings we either avoid conflict all together or it's all out nuclear war. at least at my dinner and thanksgiving tables it's either an unhealthy peace and everybody is very proper and you're talking about the jets or it's extremely fraught and the best gatherers and gatherings figure out how do you structure good controversy so you can talk about the things that matter while not melting the house down. >> one of the things you write about is how we seek out people like us more than you ever have. you find your bubble and stay in
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it. is it true of our friends now, too, that we want to find people with the same politics and world view? what are the dangers? >> more and more we seek out people like us. people on the left tend to gather with people who share their views. even racially, biracial people tend to hang out and feel more comfort with other biracial people and while it's important to feel safe and have a community that is like you, it's very dangerous for our civil conversation. and so some of the gatherers that i met bring together across lines of difference so seeds of peace is a summer camp that brings together jewish and arab teenagers, armenians, pakistanis and indians and everyday at summer camp, it's in maine, they do canoeing and soccer but everyday for 45 minutes or 90 minutes they have structured dialogue about their differences as well as about what they have
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in common so up with of the things that we can do in our gatherings is get out of our normal environments. don't gather necessarily only around the dinner table. go on a hike with your colleagues or displace yourself in a specific way. one of the other people that i met, one of the other gatherers that i met were two zen buddhist monks and they help people with end-of-life care and so i learned from them basically that one of the things we end up doing is we don't just avoid heat in our gatherings but we also avoid ending the gathering because we're so afraid of letting things teeter out or the awkwardness of a specific moment so one of the things they talked about is facing the things we're trying to avoid in our gatherings. to come together and be with people who disagree but figure out how to do in the a way that you bond over another identity. you're mothers or musicians or -- you love the '80s.
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and find different points of connection rather than just talking about differences. >> well l willie mentioned how are because of our online lives. are there practical tips that you suggest for people to literally put down the phone or when you're online go different ways or things you can do you have a line, like making pine cones, that you can do to further the bonds. >> the first thing is yes, put the phone away and one of the things that do is not just put the phone away for five or ten minutes or 20 minutes but to put it away for five or ten hours. >> even with our kids when they've gone off on church trips or school trips and they don't allow them to take their phones with them they come back and they have new friends, they have a new outlook on school, it's pretty remarkable the difference that makes. >> it's a great idea. the book is "the art of
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gathering." how we meet and why it matters. priya parker, thank you so much. up next, putting pen to paper on issues of war and peace. author and u.s. navy veteran will macken joined the table for a look at his new book -- >> boy, what a great book. >> and a great conversation next on "morning joe." intended to keep it. then he met the love of his life. who came with a three foot, two inch bonus. for this new stepdad, it's promising to care for his daughter as if she's his own. every way we look out for those we love is an act of mutuality. we can help with the financial ones. learn more or find an advisor at massmutual.com
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you always get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed?m let's get someone to say it with a really low voice. carl? lowest price guaranteed. what about the world's lowest limbo stick? how low can you go? nice one, carl. hey i've got an idea. just say, badda book. badda boom. badda book. badda boom. nice. always the lowest price, guaranteed. book now at choicehotels.com this author has been in h r
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harrowing situations. he's brought out short stories based on his experiences. he recently joined us and i started by reading a passage where he vividly describes a lead up to a confrontation with the taliban. the taliban appeared in the east, at first as a low cluster of stars. then as phantoms. then as men with heat rising off their backs like creeping flames. they walked in a shapeless formation bunching up and stretching out because they couldn't see one another. they couldn't see themselves. all we had to do was stay perfectly still in a line parallel to their direction of movement at a range of no more than 30 yards and wait for them to walk right in front of us. will, thanks so much for being with us. pretty strong reviews of your debut book. george saunders calls it, quote, a nir miraculous, brilliant
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debut which of course beats being called a loser, i suppose. congratulations. tell us about the book and what our viewers are going to read when they open it up. >> thanks for having me on, joe. the book is based on my deployments to iraq and iran with the s.e.a.l. team between roughly 2007 to 2011. it's a portrait of a s.e.a.l. team at war, and it's also a reflection of the obsessions that i walked away with, mostly with just how surreal the war was. and how strange it was. and so when i left the team and went back home, i couldn't stop thinking about these things and i just wanted to write them down. so the book is a reflection of that. >> well, you know, we've been
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talking an awful lot about kim burns documentary on vietnam, and you see in that, again, some very dark side of the war experience but also remarkable compassion on the battlefield, a love for one another. the north vietnamese saying they were moved by how much american troops loved and cared for each other and valued life. it usually takes us about 30 or 40 years to realize that there's more than one great generation. you bring that out. you talk about the compassion that was shown on the battlefie battlefield. tell us about that. >> yes. well, you know, as crazy as it sounds, i missed the war after i left. what i miss is the teammates, the compassion that you speak of, the loyalty and the ferocity that we kind of shared during
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the fight, but i also -- i missed the fight itself. i missed the feeling of being opposed and having been exposed to that repeatedly, you know, i lost the focus that it gives when you have to fight every day. so the book was my attempt to kind muof re-live that and brin to life some of the characters, the men and women who every day put themselves in impossible situations. >> and that band of brothers and sisters feeling that you felt over there, that camaraderie, that companionship, that drive, the adrenaline day in and day out, does that contribute to soldiers, sailors, marine and airmen feeling more isolated when they come home, that they
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don't have the camaraderie with those people that they fought with day in and day out? >> you know, i think it does and for my own experience, once i retired from the navy, i spent about three years where i didn't go to the v.a., i didn't go to the vfw. i stayed in touch with some of my friends but i wasn't in close contact. meanwhile, i was getting updates from the va, i needed to go in, i needed to get a physical and update my records but i kept putting it off. and then when i eventually went in and first thing i had to do was draw blood, i took my number and i sat in a waiting room with a bunch of other men and women, all of whom had served, and we shared that strange bond that you don't necessarily have to speak about to feel. and it was -- it was very nice to be back in their company. and so, you know, the adrenaline
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that you speak of and everything, i did miss that, but the camaraderie above all was what i really missed. >> caddy kay is with us. >> you join, of course, a long history of soldiers who become fiction writers in the english writers. it dates back to our first poets. there is a common theme which is not just the treatment on how you look at the soldiers you're fighting with, but also how you treat the enemy in your writing and i thought that little excerpt is so vivid about the people that you're writing about and you describe in your work an encounter with the taliban. how did you set out? did you have a view of how you wanted the taliban to be portrayed, the enemy to be portrayed in your writing? >> well, not per se, but i did have an idea of how i wanted to portray the strangeness, and that passage in particular highlights that.
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just the nature of night rage, which was our mission, we had to wear night vision goggles which presents an entirely different perspective on the world. you see heat, you cee lo level light, you see ultraviolet, you see satellites and plasma between stars and so men appear as almost like comic book characters in that they glow and, you know, the more physical exertion that they put forward, the more -- the brighter they are. so that passage in particular i really wanted to try to capture how strange that image is. >> all right. thank you so much for being with us. the book is "bring out the dog." will mackin, thank you. congratulations. i can't wait to read it. thank you, most of all, for your service to our country. >> thank you very much, joe.
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and that does it for us this hour. "morning joe" will be back tomorrow live at 6:00 a.m. eastern. stay with msnbc today for all your breaking news and we hope you enjoy your memorial day. hey there, i'm david gurr. this morning on msnbc, mayhem in maryland. a state of emergency declared after flash floods ripped through historic city toppling buildings and tossing cars around like toys. >> i can just tell you my heart is broken thinking about what the people are going through here. saving the summit. u.s. diplomats arrive in north korea in a last-ditch effort to resurrect the june 12th meeting. the president tweeting optimism in stark contrast to his cancellation letter. >> i hope that we will see president trump end up showing himself to be a deal bramaker na
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deal maker. blasting robert mueller's investigation as illegitimate and rigged. they're pushing back against the accusations of a spy in his campaign. >> there is no evidence to support that spy theory. this is just a piece of propaganda the president wants to put out and repeat. we start requewith breaking out of maryland. nbc's kristin dahlgren is in ellicott city. >> reporter: unfortunately we are getting word this morning that one person is still missing. rescue crews searching for him. i want to step out of the way so you can see just the power of the water, the ability to lift these cars, drop them here, to move buildings. the river here rose 17 feet in two hours taking away much of what was in its path.
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dramatic flooding submerging parts of ellicott city in maryland. >> oh, my god. >> a stone cottage collapsing in fast-moving waters forcing a man out into the current as the building falls away. the water prompting sudden rescues and shutting down roads. cars swept down the street. >> nobody come to ellicott city right now. >> reporter: creating a dangerous situation as more than six inches of rain came down in two hours. >> severe flooding all across the region. >> we're down in the valley. when the downforce comes like that, this is the bottom of the bowl. >> reporter: rising waters reaching to the top of a stop sign. >> we saw a jeep float by. we saw water coming in under the doors. >> it's terrible. >> reporter: heavy rolling waters washing away everything in its path down main street. this was the scene at tea on the tyber. >> this on the first floor
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heading towards the second floor. we're on the third floor. there's nothing we can do until somebody comes and gets us. >> reporter: heavy flooding on i-95 north creating dangerous driving conditions. the flooding also causing this road to collapse. just two years ago ellicott city suffered catastrophic flooding as the area got pum pleld with a similar amount of rain. >> people were desperately clinging to their cars when flood waters went through the center of town catching many by surprise only now to see it happen again. >> i can just now tell you my heart is broken thinking about what the people are going through here. >> it's really, truly devastating. i'm saying it's as bad or worse as the storm two years ago. >> reporter: later this morning people may get to go back and see what's left of their homes and businesses. when this happened two years ago they called it a thousand year flood. here we are doing it again. people saying they just don't
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have the strength or the money to rebuild. ironically this area was supposed to get a high tech flood warning system. david, that's just coming too late for a lot of people here. >> unbelievable pictures. kristin dahlgren in ellicott city. the summit involving president trump and kim jong-un appears to be back on track with teams on both sides working quickly to make sure it happens. nbc's jeff bennett is live at the white house. nbc's jim neely is in seoul, south korea. some are in singapore, they've been taking place in meetings between the officials. what's the latest they've been talking about? >> reporter: david, for the third time in as many months, a delegation is inside north korea this one preparing for a possible summit between president trump and kim jong-un. it is a highly experienced team. they are led by sun kim, a man
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who was an ambassador today. he was an ambassador in south korea. he take part in the negotiations as far back as 2005 with north korea which led to an agreement which collapsed so he knows this game. the north korean delegation is also led by a very senior person, cho sang whe. she is fluent in epg be lis-- english. she was involved in the 2005 talks. the two sets of negotiators know each other. they will be trying to set an agenda, set a framework and from the u.s. framework trying to pin down when north korea talks about denuclearization, how will that happen? how will it be complete, irreversible and verifiable? so they're really trying to cram, months sometimes years of work into just a few days.
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but the momentum for this summit does appear to be building. we had a surprise summit between kim jong-un and south korea's president moon over the weekend. president moon reporting that kim jong-un is committed to denuclearization and peace but the most interesting thing he said, david, kim is actually worried that if he does denuclearize, he can't trust the americans not to effecttivelily depose him once his nuclear weapons are gone. so the issues of trust, denuclearization are still there. despite the president's optimism about this, he seems clear that june 12th in singapore will happen. there are many both here and in the u.s. who are deeply skeptical of kim's real willingness to get rid of his nuclear weapons. >> jeff bennett, let me turn to you. you see the tweets imbued with the rhetorirhetoric.
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what's the white house doing to make sure this snaps what's joe haggan's team doing in singapore today? >> well, joe haggan's team was dispatched yesterday to singapore to work out the logistics. haggan is working with the north korean counterpart to do all of the planning. on the u.s. side it appears there's enough motivation, there is enough momentum to bring both sides to the table, david, but there is still a lingering dispute about whether or how quickly kim will give up his weapons and what he would get in return. but the president, as you mentioned, is sounding optimistic that the u.s. team's planning will get all of the pieces in place for this summit to happen on june 12th. he tweeted yesterday that he believes north korea has a brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial nation one day but the time line for this summit is exceptionally condensed. you have individuals racing to make sure this can happen. in fact, on june 12th.
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even if both sides agree to the necessary pre-conditions, still not clear this can all come together in just a few weeks, david. >> jeff covering all of the twists and turns. my thanks is bill neely in seoul as well. i want to bring in my panel. jack jacobs, he's an msnbc military analyst. and a democratic strategist of the new york state democratic strart gi and noel nick bore. colonel jack jacobs, let me start with you here. just get a sense of what is on the table? i look at what north korea wants here, an end to hostile relations with the u.s., security guarantee, economic assistance. you look at what kim jong-un said to president moon, he's offering complete dmiek clee ar ryization. president moon was unable to define the term. how much of a hangup is this as we move towards that june 12th
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date? >> i think that's the biggest hangup. is north korea going to give up its nuclear weapons? i think the answer is no. i think it's useful to take a look at any dynastic regime as an enterprise. the nuclear weapons north korea has is expressly for the concern of keeping them in power. i don't think north korea has any intention of giving up nuclear weapons because it can't guarantee that somebody like the united states or even china won't de'them. so they're going to hold on to them. what kim would really like to see is a relaxation of economic strictures on north korea. they have terrible economic problems. they need to get out from under them. i think what north korea's probably going to dangle in front of the west in exchange for relaxation of these strictures is signing a peace treaty that will end the war that is actually still going on
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since the cease-fire in 1983, david. >> do you think this is going to ha happen? you're getting whiplash here. the president is focusing on what kournl jack jacolonel jack talking about. >> that's what's motivating north korea. just like the colonel said, they're broke. that country is broke and this is their best negotiating tool is, you know, having the nukes. if you want denuclearization, then you need to make them prospero prosperous. i think that's the motivating factor here. that's why kim jong-un keeps coming back to the table. i think that if you're going to give any credit for this, i think president trump ignited this. i think, you know, by his -- he's a very strong negotiator. i think that he started this. now it looks like china and
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south korea may be finishing this. it looks like because of his strong rhetoric, his bizarre twitter deal that keeps going on with president trump, little rocket man and all this back and forth, he's not going to do the summit, he is going to do the summit, i think you just saw an epic save by south korea and china on this. i think on the back end what you saw with tweets, you saw president trump saying, yeah, this is going to be so great because economically we're going to make this so wonderful. we're going to give you our brightest and great for economic purposes for your country, and i think that is the sole reason that kim jong-un is staying in this and letting some of this bizarre rhetoric from trump go to the way side. >> i want to ask you about bilateralism. this is something the president has pushed for. he wants to have a one-on-one conversation with the north
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korean leader. to your point, you look at the role that south korea is playing here. you read the press releases, you read the latest news from south korea talking about a three-part summit. president xi meeting with kim jong-un and all of this. was this a mistake to go this bilateral route? >> there is a bit of a piece around why the u.s.'s motivation is, what president trump's motivation is and certainly what is actually going to come out of this summit, but if i'm to be a little cynical, i think part of the president's motivation is to do something that no other president, especially barack obama, has been able to do and i think owing to the other comments, north korea sees their nuclear capacity, they conflate it with economic power and nuclear power. i have no doubt that china and south korea are at the table
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because they have a very different world view. in their mind and particularly with china they're saying if we can pick up another ally with the united states, albeit. in some respects while we're playing checkers, they're playing chess. >> north korea knows the game is up. the game is up. they can't keep the nukes. it's not a part-time deal, it's all or nothing. >> but i don't think they actually believe that. they believe that they can actually keep their nukes to some extent, to some extent. >> just like north korea's not going to be embarrassed. president trump is not going to be embarrassed. >> i think they can keep the nukes to some extent maybe like what pakistan does. >> oh, no. >> and still play on this world stage. i don't think the president is constrained by any real tough policy on this. he talks tough but the question is how constrained really is he? >> we don't know what mike pompeo talked about before. >> understood. >> the secret meeting that we didn't know about until after it happened. pompeo teed it up but we don't
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know with what. >> i understand that but if i look at john bolton, for example, is pretty hawkish and he's pressed the issue of libya and comparing it. north korea said, well, you know what, i'm going to pull away from this because i don't want my regime -- i don't want a regime change here. the fact that we're back at this and the -- >> colonel jacobs, i want to ask you about what we learned yesterday. the washington post first reporting here that you had ambassador sun kim going to north korea. what's the symbolic significance of that? he is going back for the expertise. there's been the steps that we haven't had a u.s. ambassador in seoul. the person in charge of the north korean issues at the state department left. do you see this as a turning point, that trip to north korea? >> no. i see the turning point as the election of president moon in the first place. don't forget, he ran on a peace platform which -- and that's the reason he got elected.
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the plarge jort of people in south korea are pretty well tired of 65 years ever -- effectively 65 years of warfare being under the threat of invasion or attack from north korea and so that's why president moon was elected. i think that was the turning point and i think that moon is going to keep going back and forts to north korea. i think you can -- all things being equal, you can see the right circumstances, i think you can see kim coming down to south korea. at the end of the day neither the united states nor china would like to see a unified korea under the auspices of the other guy. that's the one thing that's going to keep them separate. in the meantime, i think the short-term objective is to close the chapter of the war that started in 1950. i think you're going to see
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the -- i think you'll see moon going back and forth to north korea frequently from now on. >> interesting even with the installation of this telephone line, you had the personal list. update on former president george h.w. bush who is back in the hospital. the 93-year-old was admitted sunday after experiencing low blood pressure and fatigue. a spokesman for the former president said he's quote, awake, alert, not in any discomfort. spokesman says bush will stay in the hospital for observation over the next few days. coming up, president trump and his allies spending a long weekend as they often to blasting the mueller investigation as rigged and illegitimate. their latest line of attacks. first it is memorial day. in a few hours president trump will arrive at arlington national cemetery to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier.
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we're more convinced as we sit here that this is a rigged investigation. >> so you think the mueller probe is legitimate? >> not anymore. i don't. i did when i came in. >> that was rudy giuliani questioning the russia
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investigation. he went on to explain why they've been attempting to discredit the allegation. >> we're defending -- to a large extent, remember, dahna, we're defending here. it is the public opinion because eventually the decision is going to be impeach, not impeach. members of the congress, democrats and republicans, are going to be informed by their constituents. our jury, as it should be, is the american people. >> i want to bring in lynn sweet, kevin cirilli and guy lewis, former u.s. attorney who worked at the robert mueller u.s. department of justice center. robert mu rudy giuliani talking about what he's trying to do. is he laying the groundwork for a legal argument as well? >> well, what's remarkable about what rudy giuliani said is he is using the impeachment word and in order for the impeachment word to work is that in november
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the leadership turns democratic which means they would control the judiciary committee and then you would face a vote in the house. that is remarkable that here we are in may, that giuliani is already thinking ahead that many steps that there likely could be that impeachment threat and it's that real that he wants to then use public opinion because the legal battle is something that is out of giuliani's control. the mueller probe is going to go on no matter what the tweet is from trump or what the interview giuliani gives. that he is now saying this is an impeachment strategy is what i think is the big new revelation coming out of the trump legal team. >> you look at what that legal team is seizing upon, kevin cirilli. that is characterizing erroneously this informant as his spy. last week we had these two briefings on capitol hill.
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a member of the president's legal team was in attendance for part of the briefings on capitol hill. yet you still hear this from rudy giuliani. let's take a listen. >> we have to know, however, before we can recommend to the president whether to be interviewed. reality is, we're not going to sit him down if this is a trap for perjury and until we're convinced of that, and if they don't show us these documents, well, we are just going to have to say no. >> rudy giuliani demanding documents about that informant. we've heard the same demands from devin nunes, mark meadows, the head of the freedom caucus. what is the likelihood this will happen? what do you make of the argument that rudy giuliani is making there that they have to see more information on who this individual is? >> it's a holiday weekend. they're taking no days off. you just mentioned it, the republicans on capitol hill are in lock step with this administration and pushing for there to be another special counsel or another special
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investigative committee to look into what the president refers to as spy gate. now the question becomes whether or not that issue is going to have any influence over the separate and independent mueller investigation and, quite frankly, i don't see any evidence that it's going to because bob mueller's investigation is operating under its own time line. it's not operating under a mid term time line. it's not operating under any type of political time line. that is the biggest political unknown as we head into the mid-term elections. very quickly just to note off of what lynn was saying, there are some republicans who feel that they're baiting democrats into pushing them to talk about impeachment because many democrats would feel that impeachment proceedings are not the route that they ought to go. case in point, look at the special election of congressman connor lamb in southwestern pennsylvania. he is the democrat who feels that an impeachment proceeding would be a grass waste of time. as of now based upon the reports of what the mueller investigation has yet to come out with, that it would be a
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waste of time and take up too much time and stop the democratic party from putting forth an economic vision to compete against reality. >> guy lewis, i'm going to pull a recent tweet. one of the more extraordinary tweets from the recent weekend. who's going to give back the young and beautiful lives, and others, that have been devastated and destroyed by the foehny russia collusion witch hunt? they journeyed down to washington, d.c., with stars in their eyes and went back to help our nation. they went back home in at that timers. michael flynn pleaded guilty, george papadopoulos, richard pa panado and paul manafort. give me the broader context. you could do a book length textual analysis. what do you make of what the president is trying to do there?
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what did you make of that tweet from the president this week end. >> i don't understand that tweet to be honest with you. i understand the tactic, truly i do. giuliani, who knows his way around the justice department without question, he's clearly pivoted here, and i agree with lynn. he's no longer speaking necessarily to bob mueller who kevin is right is not going to change his course of conduct one iota as a result of these tweets. bob mueller's still going to do what he has to do, which is investigate per his mandate. however, very important, they've decided as a result of earlier the president being told that he's not a target of the investigation, as a result of their more aggressive stand to try to narrow the focus of this
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investigation, try to narrow the number of topics that he might be questioned about, he will be questioned about, so i think it's a tried and true strategy that's not unusual in this context, which is the best defense is a good offense. and i think that's what they're doing here. >> lynn sweet, i want to ask you about some remarks that senator jeff flake made, he spoke at the harvard law school graduation talking about the role that folks have to play here going up against the president, talking defense of truth. here's what he had to say this weekend about spy gate as the white house is characterizing it. >> when the president says things that are just totally wrong, it's the responsibility of members of congress, particularly those in the members of the president's party, to stand up and say that is not right. truth is not relative. >> i haven't seen the senator shake his fist at the heavens, lynn, but this is him standing up for something he believes in. is it resonating for other
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members of his party? he's calling out members in particular. >> it's not resonating. senator flake has been one of the leading republicans who's been willing to take on president trump on the matter of his serial fabrications and misstatements and lies. no other republicans have -- you know, there's a frozen field of republicans who are willing to speak out. senator mccain is one. and one of these stories of our time when history is written, it will be the silence of the republicans in at least the year plus that trump has been public when he says things that aren't true. we're not talking about a difference of opinion on policy. when he talks about things -- just the other day the president put out a tweet castigating "the new york times" for quoting a senior administration official for giving a name. it was at a briefing that many reporters were at. this is a whole cloth fabrication and a little scary
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one that the president couldn't have anyone around him that could stop him for putting out something that is just demonstrably not true. so that goes to his state of mind and his hunger for facts, of which there is none. and that's why senator flake is on a fairly lonely course right now and for the short term at least i think that's where it's going to stay. >> you can't make it up. truth stranger than fiction. thank you all on this memorial day, especially. >> happy memorial day. dangerous storms loom large on memorial day. destructive storms ravage maryland. alberto takes aim at the gulf coast. something you may have missed over the holiday weekend. president trump welcomed home joshua holt. he was in a venezuela prison. he's one of 17 americans that president trump has been able to return to the united states.
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fight for universal healthcare. and stand up to donald trump. as governor, you can trust me to do what's right- because i always have. i support the affordable care act, and voted against all trump's attempts to repeal it. but we need to do more. i believe in universal health care. in a public health option to compete with private insurance companies. and expanding medicare to everyone over 55. and i believe medicare must be empowered to negotiate the price of drugs. california values senator dianne feinstein one person is missing after floods hit the baltimore metropolitan area sunday. the maryland emergency
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management agency reports more than 1200 customers are without power right now. msnbc meteorologist bonnie snider joins us. this areas was hit with storms like this two years ago. what caused this? >> david, you know, it's not something that happens all the time. it did happen within the past two years, and it all has to do with the storm hang when -- happening when it did and the topography. ellicott city is sitting a little bit lower and a point where a lot of the rivers and streams can kind of funnel on into it. unfortunately when you have the right storm setup for ellicott city, it's right there. it's evidenced when you look at what we've seen here in the surrounding areas into dover or baltimore, but when you look right at ellicott city, we saw well over 7 inches. it happened so quickly. when the water piles up like that, it has nowhere to go.
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the topography unfavorable for this particular place in maryland. another place we're watching in a larger scale is due to albe o alberto. this is a strong subtropical storm with maximum winds at 60 miles an hour. 2 million americans are under a storm warning and some under a flood alert. 35 million people from destin, tallahassee, atlanta down to florida. we're getting some of the heavy rain right now. i wanted to show you the satellite perspective. it's a subtropical storm. it doesn't look like the typical storm. what we have here is a big plume of moisture stretching across cuba well into south florida. actually, we're getting heavier rain across the florida keys than we are in the florida panhandle. that's characteristic with this storm, a little bit messy and less organized. having said that, some of the stronger rain bands are just now pushing on into shore into
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panama city and this is the part of the country and city that we'll see the worst of it. just a quick look to show you that we are anticipated 4 to 8 inches. this storm will make landfall sometime today. >> appreciate the update. evacuations have been ordered in parts of florida as alberto is expected to make landfall. bonnie just mentioned it. florida governor rick scott warned residents to prepare. >> you've got to watch. these things are unpredictable. >> nbc's kerry sanders is in panama city. what are the conditions like right now there in panama city? >> reporter: it's starting to rain a little bit. it's been on and off a little bit. in fact, i'm getting pelted in the face. the real concern is what's to come today. it's not even the rain that's coming. that will be a bigger rain more likely further inland maybe into
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alabama and georgia where if the rain drops we can see some flooding. it's really along the coast here that there's a storm surge concern. i'm going to put my hat up because it's getting wet now. the storm surge which will hit the low lying areas. the authorities have told people who live in mobile homes to go ahead and evacuate. they've opened up evacuation centers. along the coast the biggest concern will be tornadoes. a tornado as you know can be just horrific. there's very little you can do. in florida, there's no basement to get into when a tornado is coming. >> kerry, i understand alabama and mississippi have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm. what have you heard they can expect? >> mississippi will have the same sort of thing that we're going to experience in florida. again, i think the inland concern -- when you get into alabama, for instance, you have the soil that's all kind of clay
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soil. it doesn't absorb the rainwater. you have 4 to 8 inches of rain coming in. you have a topography that is somewhat hilly so the water then begins to collect because it's not being absorbed by the soil. that's where you can have the flash flooding. so the real concern for anybody in storms like this is people get bored. they get inside their houses, it's a long weekend and they get in their cars and go out. when they go out in their cars, they sometimes think what they see is a small puddle and the next thing you know the car is actually submerged and sadly in a storm like this, more people will drown if there's going to be deaths than any other type of death. and, you know, it's all very avoidable. the hard part is just telling people to adhere and listen to what they're told. stay indoors. >> kerry sanders, thank you very much for the update. >> sure. growing outrage for president trump's immigration policy after reports nearly 1500
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president trump is blaming democrats for his administration's controversial new policy separating parents from children crossing the border. the president tweeted put pressure on democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from parents once they cross the border into the u.s. that tweet comes less than a
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month after attorney general jeff sessions rolled out a new zero tolerance approach to illegal border crossings. let's take a listen. >> if you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. if you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law. >> the president's tweet this weekend also comes amid a growing social media km pain with the hashtag where are the children? it's in response to a "new york times" article that says the u.s. has lost track of 1500 migrant children. basil, let me start with you and get your reaction to this. yes, "the new york times" piece, and what it reported, which was extraordinary and unbelievable, but also to this change in policy, which was, as i just said, engineered by the trump administration. >> right. and he blames democrats for this which in and of itself is vile but he's doing that because where the children are concerned, that to republicans
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is objectionable apparently but everything else seems to be in line with what republicans want. a very strict, very draconian immigration policy. here in the new york city area ic e. arrests have gone up 65%. those arrests are for people with no convictions whatsoever, 225%. we're seeing the ripple effects across the country. the attack on sanctuary stigs is certainly a part of this. but the truth is i actually think that moderate republicans in congress are going to work with democrats to try to find a way out of this. they might not be able to take on the president directly, but they will try to find a way legislatively to do it. i really hope they do. >> i want to get your reaction to this. >> sure. >> this is something the president could change. he made the change. you hear the rhetoric there from attorney general jeff sessions but there is a humanity and emotional element here. i don't quite understand why the president isn't recognizing this isn't the right thing to do.
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>> one thing you touched on that is oh, so true, this is a humanitarian crisis. this is about children. you can stop the partisan politics with all of this and the game playing. so i think what president trump has said is his position is clear, and obviously we know that his position is clear. jeff sessions, it is if you don't like this, and the only way that you can change this is to come together and what's the one thing that he is unrelenting on, and that is that wall. do you remember when this was almost a deal and schumer and pelosi and trump and they were in and out of meetings and doing this and we thought we might have something and then it was no more. that's because of the funding for the wall. i understand that the funding for the wall is extremely expensive, but i think sometimes you have to look at the greater good. let's look at the children. let's look at the policy. this just doesn't work. if this just doesn't work then give president trump what he wants. he's not going to budge. he's not going to move unless this wall is funded. >> what he wants is to -- what
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he wants and what he's doing is blaming the democrats for this policy, number one. >> because he said they didn't come together. >> but he's not bringing them together. >> he doesn't say it that way. that's what we're dealing with. >> i understand it. the solution is not to give in to what he wants necessarily. >> then how do you fix it? >> the solution is that people in congress, moderates need to bring their conservative colleagues to the table. >> on that note, i mean, i'm looking at this piece from the a.p. about this administration's approach to immigration policy. behind the scenes trump has shown little interest in jumping into an intensifying capitol hill debate that many believe is unlikely to ever reach his desk. i just don't understand the divide here from the palpable passion that this president has for this issue. he has talked about the wall, as you say, about immigration for so long. now in his position there has to be policy to match what he's doing. why does he have the disinterest? how damaging that he --
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>> he got elected because of immigration. remember the great escalator deal. i'm going to build a big, beautiful wall. the wall. and his base, they're looking at this. so he looks at this. he's appealing to that base. that's what got him elected. this is what, you know -- that's what he is about. >> but that's exactly why he has no interest in bringing people together. he is interested in talking directly to his base. >> but he feels that he -- he doesn't view it that way. >> he clearly does view it -- when you are -- when you are talking about democratic support for immigration and tying it to ms-13 gang members. that is about going deep into his base and driving a wedge. >> but we do have a problem with people -- traffickers coming over. human traffickers, drug trafficking, whatnot. we do have a problem with it. a lot of people are for legal immigration and the wall, do you remember when the rhetoric started with the wall.
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immigration for the first time, people are like, i want to come here. i want to come here. it went down. then when you realize -- >> i also take this issue with -- up with the evangelical community. how are the same interfaith community to create this program of sanctuary cities, where are they now to get our president to be that kind of conservative? where we can actually have a reasonable conversation about immigration. >> i think sank two wectuary ci infuriated it. sanctuary cities are not a wonderful coombaya place for all. >> we're going to have to leave it there. a lot of people rightfully infuriated by what they're seeing along the border with regard to these children. thank you both.
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the trump administration facing a major lawsuit over environmental regulation, and you won't believe who the plaintiffs are. it turns out the kids are all right. and a quick programming note. join joy read and chris haze for an msnbc town hall about everyday racism that's going to be in front of a live audience in philadelphia. it will air tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. eastern time on msnbc. nthu, i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me. go national. go like a pro. but as it grew bigger and bigger,ness. it took a whole lot more. that's why i switched to the spark cash card
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the trump administration is facing a major lawsuit on climate change and you're not going to believe who the plaintiffs are. 21 kids across the nation are seeking to end the use of fossil fuels contributing to global warming. they want to hold the federal government accountable for it. nbc's tammy litner sat down with one of the kids, who says he is tired of waiting for adults to take action. >> what's in here? >> my pet hermit crab. >> reporter: levi seems like any other 10-year-old. but this precocious science geek knows more about climate change than many adults. >> i worry about it basically every day. >> reporter: and he's worried that rising sea levels could mean his home along the florida coast could disappear completely. >> if climate change does not
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stop, then we will probably have very little beach. >> we all have a stake in this case. >> reporter: lso lee vie and 20 other kids decided to do something. they're suing the federal government for failing to protect the earth. >> this case is about the federal government for more than five decades creating a dangerous climate situation for young people and for all future generations. >> reporter: 14-year-old jaden in rain, louisiana, woke to floodwater and sewage pouring into her home. 18-year-old nathan in fairbanks, alaska, sees his hometown melting with each winter. and jamie butler from the navajo reservation in arizona faces drought. the lawsuit was filed in 2015 during the obama administration but the problem is older than any of the plaintiffs. the government argues the courts are no place to decide energy and environmental policy. that's congress' job. and while droughts, floods and
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rising sea levels may affect children, there's no fundamental right to be protected from climate change. >> in this case, the government, ironically, is on the defense team -- >> reporter: he's surprised the case has made it this far. a highly unlikely case that has become a very personal cause for 21 young people. >> i just hope that i can inspire other young people. other youth to take action. it's everybody's future. if i want to have a home on this barrier island, then i have to do something. i have to make a change. >> reporter: tammy litner, msnbc, satellite beach, florida. coming up, much more on the dramatic flash flooding in maryland. a state of emergency has been declared as the region tries to recover. in just over an hour, president trump will depart the white house, on his way to lay a wreath at the too mamb of the unknown soldier. discover card.
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that wraps up this hour. coming up right now, more news with amman mohyeldin. >> there is a lot going on right now. flooding fury. historic maryland town under water. residents caught completely by surprise as officials scramble to get the situation under control.
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>> they say this is a once every 1,000 year flood. >> saving the summit. a u.s. delegation is in north korea right now just days after president trump called off a meeting with kim jong-un. is the meeting now back on? and best defense. in his latest startlining statement, giuliani declares the trump's team's attempts about the russia investigation is all to stave off impeachment. >> it is a public opinion because eventually the decision here is going to be impeach/not impeach. our jury as it should be is the american people. >> all right, but we start this hour with the state of emergency in maryland and a powerful storm that is threatening the cost. torrential rain turning one city's main street into a raging swept away. this is rainfall in

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