tv Meet the Press MSNBC December 2, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
two men. >> thanks for watching politics nation. reverend sharpton will be back next friday and saturday. do not miss tonight's global citizen's festival. it brings together artists from around the world to honor and celebrate nelson mandela. tonight at 9:00. up next, "meet the press" with chuck todd. this sunday, the passing of president george h.w. bush. war hero, congressman, cia director, vice president and the last president of the greatest generation. >> i want a kinder and gentler nation. >> he faced a slumping economy and faced down saddam hussein after iraq's invasion of kuwait. >> this will not stand, this aggression against kuwait. >> then forged a bipartisan relationship with the man who denied him a second term. >> we were friends before he beat me, before we were running against other and we've been friends afterward. that's the way politics should be.
>> this morning we remember the 41st president. i'll talk to his secretary of defense, dick cheney, and his secretary of state, james baker. plus the russia connection, how deeply involved was donald trump with russia during the 2016 campaign? >> i have nothing to do with russia. i have nothing to do with russia, folks. >> now the president's long-time lawyer, michael cohen, said he was deeply involved with a trump tower project in moscow even during the campaign. the president goes on the attack. >> michael cohen is lying and he's trying to get a reduced sentence. >> and plays down the tower deal. >> that was a project that we didn't do. >> but cohen's guilty plea puts president trump at the center of the mueller investigation. i'll talk to democratic congressman jerrold nadler, the incoming head of the house judicial committee and a top senate republican, john barrasso. also joining me, andrea mitchell, dan balz, heather mcghee and pat mccrory. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press."
>> announcer: from nbc news, the longest running show in television history, this is a special edition of "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. the geography of george h.w. bush's political life reflects the geography of the republican party. the wealthy connecticut left and went to the house of texas. he was elected to the house twice and defeated to the senate twice just as the gop was establishing its southern roots. he often found himself straddling the conservative and moderate wings, taking conservative positions that he sometimes would later regret, while also shifting right when politically necessary. he was the ideal moderate running mate for the conservative ronald reagan in 1980, but 12 years later he became a casualty of the republican rightward shift losing his party's support after breaking his most famous no new taxes pledge. mr. bush is now seen as that rarest of things, a successful one-term president, a cautious, thoughtful and informed leader who navigated the country through the end of the cold war
and confronted saddam hussein after his invasion of kuwait. mr. bush could play rough in a campaign as michael dukakis discovered in 1998 but he was better known for his good manners, graciousness and old-school values. >> the old ideas are new again because they're not old. they are timeless. duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in. >> it's impossible to remember president bush without thinking of his terrific family. he was the patriarch of perhaps the most enduring political family in american history. and joining me now to remember this president is one of president bush's long-time friends who was at his bedside when he passed away friday night, the former secretary of state james baker. mr. secretary, welcome back, sir. >> thank you, chuck. >> first of all, my condolences to you, as you've shared, i know
this was your best friend. how are you holding up? how's the family holding up. >> well, we're doing okay. i had a tough time yesterday, but we're doing fine and i'm -- i'm comforted, chuck, by the way in which 41 was called to heaven. he had a very gentle passing. he had of course a wonderful life, 94 years, oldest former president ever. he was such a beautiful human being. and the last day was something really sort of special. he ended up talking to his children in those last hours. you know, they say when someone is passing away, the sense that they never lose is the sense of hearing. they got all of his children on the phone. one of his sons was there with us, neil, his son, neil. but they got the others on the phone and the last words the
41st president of the united states ever said were to the 43rd president when he said, "i love you" because 43 had called in to tell his father good-bye and tell him how much he loved him. so it was a very sweet scene. >> you spent a lot of time with him, especially in the last few months. what were those conversations like between bake and jefe as the two of you liked to call each other. >> i started calling him jefe after we were involuntarily retired from public service in 1993 because i wasn't going to call him george that much. i had been calling him mr. president. jefe is for chief. i went over there the day he died. early in the morning -- three days he hadn't gotten out of bed and he'd had a very bad thursday. then this last friday i went over there at 7:15 in the morning. i live right near, to see how he
was doing. one of his aides said mr. president, secretary baker is here. he looked up, he opened both eyes, he looked at me. he said, "where are we going?" i said, "we're going to be heaven, jefe," and he said "that's where i want to go." during the course of the day my wife, susan, was there. she kissed him on the forehead and said we really love you, jefe, he love you very much. he looked at her and said, "you better hurry up." so he kept his sense of humor and his spirit until the very end. what a beautiful, wonderful human being he was, chuck. >> he seemed to -- unlike others who lose in political life, he didn't have a bitterness about it. explain that. >> well, the loss was really hard for him in '92, but, you know, he, i guess, realized that you win some, you lose some. he didn't get bitter.
he was not that kind of person. he was a very warm, caring, compassionate, generous, person who was always so thoughtful and kind to others. that's the way he was in victory and that's the way he was in defeat. he never took credit for anything. he could have taken credit for a lot of things during his life, but he didn't do that. those are some of the values that he was brought up with. >> we know he didn't like to talk about the "l" word, legacy. so i leave it to you. what's the legacy you want him most remembered for? >> well, i think that no doubt but what he will be remembered as our most successful one-term president and perhaps the most successful -- one of the most successful presidents of all time. his presidency, while it was
only four years, was extraordinarily consequential, chuck. if you look at what happened in the world and the way he managed that, the way he managed the end of the cold war so that it ended with a whimper and not with a bang was really incredible. and look at the other things along the way, the unification of germany and peace as a member of nato, the coalition he put together to reverse iraq's aggression in kuwait, ending the wars in central america, which had been the holy grail of both the left and the right, and there's so many others. so he'll be well remembered by history and well treated by history. >> it's interesting to know that there was a g-20 that was held and there wasn't a g-20 when you guys were in power back then, it was just the g-7. but the idea, the building and
reinforcement of multi -- of these multi-international organizations to keep the peace, truman and eisenhower built them and it seems as if you guys reinforced them after the cold war. he'd have loved the g-20, wouldn't he have? >> well, i don't know about that. we certainly used them. my own personal view has always been that a group of 20 nations is a little bit unwieldy. >> that's true. >> in fact, i was fortunate enough, chuck, to work with the g-5 when i was treasury secretary for ronald reagan. the fewer countries you have, the more likely you're going to get something done that's productive. so i'm not so sure i would have been for the g-20. in fact i know i wouldn't have been. >> well, i will leave it there. by the way, i've got a familiar face sitting at my table here that i'm about to say -- about to speak to about the president here, so secretary baker, would you like to say something to vice president cheney? >> no, i want you to ask him how his duck hunt was the second week in november. ask him if he had a good duck hunting partner when you last
went duck hunting, that's all. >> i had a great partner but he shot all the birds. >> no, no, no, no, no. no, no, that's not true. we had -- we had a great hunt. we had a wonderful hunt. >> i'll let you guys resolve that down the road. secretary baker, i will let you go. thanks for sharing a few moments with us this morning. i appreciate. >> it thank you, chuck. >> as i said, the man joining me now was president bush's secretary of defense and he was his son's vice president. mr. vice president, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> good morning, chuck. good to be back. >> i want to play for you a clip from my colleague, jenna bush, of an interview she did with her grandfather. take a listen. >> what do you want your legacy to be? >> well, i want somebody else to define the legacy. i've kind of banned the use of the "l" word, legacy word. that was past, now this is present. i think -- i think history will get right and point out the things i did wrong and perhaps some of the things we did right.
>> mr. vice president, it's the last thing he said there. people will point out things i did wrong but they'll point out some of the things we did right. he's put the blame on me, share the credit with everybody else. >> right. no, he was a remarkable man. i, of course, was his second choice for secretary of defense. but i was asked to take the job after his original nominee had failed. it was a tremendous privilege to be asked to join the team. partly it was a great team with the president as commander in chief, brent scocroft, national security advisor, jim, the secretary of state and myself. we all worked together in the
ford administration so you were putting the old team back together to some extent. it really was, as jim said, just a remarkable time in terms of what was going on in the world. there was a lot of times being secretary of defense was a real bummer. it happened to be in my opinion, i'm always asked which job i liked best of the ones i had and i always cite that period of secretary of defense for george bush. >> you talked about him as just being a great boss. when made him a great boss to work for? >> well, for example, whenever it was time to put the budget together, defense came first. we'd decide what the top line was going to be for defense. i was free to go spend that and everybody else got what was left. that's a great way to operate if you're secretary of defense. >> i'm sure you loved it. >> well, we needed it. of course wartime too. but the other thing that was noticeable, at one point -- defense was a huge place. in those days i had 4 million people working for me, 2 million active duty, a million reservists and a million civilians. at one point i had to relieve one of the members of the joint chiefs. he had done some things that weren't ethically bad but just totally off course from the direction i wanted to go in. i called the president and asked if that was okay, any problem. got him off the tennis courts up at camp david on a sunday.
he said, dick, you do whatever you need to do and i'll back you to the hilt. didn't ask why or anything else. gave me his wholehearted support and endorsement and left me to run the show. there's no better way to operate for a boss in tough circumstances. >> one of the things that i've read that you've talked about that you think one of his proudest accomplishments is, is the idea of peace through strength. that that administration, your administration is the epitome of that. it does seem as if the word "restraint" is a positive when describing president bush and foreign policy. how would you describe it? >> well, i think it clearly was. partly we benefitted from the reagan buildup and a lot of good things that happened during the reagan years, but we inherited that situation. and the things that had been done during the reagan years i think contributed directly to the ultimate demise of the soviet union, getting ready to go out of business.
the relationships that were established then with gorbachev, for example, and the way that we operated, we had the military capacity, we generated significant success in the desert when we went to the gulf war, and at the same time that sort of backed up everything anybody ever thought about us, including our adversaries. there wasn't anybody that wanted to mess with the united states. over time, that ultimately, obviously, led to the decision by the soviets to shut down their operation. >> what was interesting, and i think secretary baker said president bush was insistent that as the soviet union was falling, as eastern europe was falling, don't poke gorbachev. >> exactly. i can remember, i'd get into a little bit of a tug and pull back and forth with brent scocroft. i was interested in getting military attaches in all of those sovereign states and brent wanted to go slow. he was obviously speaking to the
president and i did it the way they wanted it done. on the one hand there was great temptation to move aggressively to make sure we controlled and maintained the enormous success of the collapse of the old soviet empire. on the other hand, and the president led the charge, obviously, it was his call, but he did it in such a way and insisted that we do it in such a way that we were not unsympathetic to the political problems, if you will, of mr. gorbachev and we could operate in a way that would make it easier for him to do what we wanted him to do, not by brute force, not by threats, not by taking advantage of dancing on the berlin wall as it came down. it was masterfully handled. >> you worked for the father, you worked for the son. i'm sure everybody asks you to compare them as bosses, this or that. what parts -- what were the best attributes that you feel as if the father passed on to the son that most impressed you? >> well, he hired me.
for one thing. >> there's one thing, okay. >> light hearted. >> i hear you, i hear you. >> no, they were very different. you know, it was different times, different issues. i had a job in one as secretary of defense and the other as vice president. we had learned a lot from those earlier years. what i had done for his father, i think had a lot to do with his desire to put me on the ticket as his running mate. >> who was easier to disagree with? or who was harder to debate? >> as vice president, they couldn't fire me so i could be a little bit more forthright in speaking. but they were great guys to work for. very proud of what i was able to do with both of them, the fact that i was asked to serve. those were remarkable years. and there were difficult times,
no question about it, in both administrations. but it was a -- well, the highlight of my career. >> all right. mr. vice president, it's always good to see you. thanks for coming in. >> good to be back, chuck. >> you look healthy. you feel good? >> feel great. new heart is sticking. i feel great. when we come back we'll turn to the news that put president trump at the heart of robert mueller's russia investigation. michael cohen's admission that president trump was deeply involved in a moscow real estate project deep in 2016. as we go to break, a look at president bush's address to the nation after the invasion of kuwait. >> no friend or foe should doubt our desire for peace and no one should underestimate our determination to confront aggression. lost, just hit me on the old horn. man: tom's my best friend, but ever since he bought a new house... tom: it's a $10 cover? oh, okay. didn't see that on the website. he's been acting more and more like his dad. come on, guys! jump in! the water's fine! tom pritchard. how we doin'?
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us understand some of what we saw in 2016. it could explain why mr. trump early on had incentive to embrace vladimir putin during the campaign. it could explain why mr. trump called for giving putin relief from sanctions over his annexation of crimea from ukraine, and it could explain why the republican platform was stripped of a proposal to give lethal aid to ukraine. what it certainly does is place president trump closer to the center of the investigation of his campaign's ties to russia. joining me now is democratic congressman jerrold nadler who will lead the judicial committee in the next congress. congressman nadler, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> good to be here. >> before i get to some of the news of the week, i would like you to reflect a moment. what do you believe the enduring legacy will be of president bush? >> well, president bush was a patriot and a good person. i believe his enduring legacy is that he managed from the american end the dissolution of the soviet empire.
you know, when major empires fall, the most heavily armed empire in the world at that point, usually there's wars and cataclysms associated with it. but i believe the lion's share of the credit for that not happening, for our avoiding cataclysm is mikhail gorbachev but a major part goes to president bush. >> michael cohen pled guilty to lying to congress about the trump organization's effort to build a trump tower in moscow back in 2015, 2016. this was happening at the same time that donald trump was running for president. here's what a former federal prosecutor, ken white, observed in "the atlantic" and i'm curious if you agree. this conclusion, at least, is inescapable. the president, who has followed this drama obsessively, knew that his personal lawyer was lying to congress about his business activities and stood by while it happened. do you agree with that assessment? and does that look like obstruction of justice to you?
>> well, i do agree with that assessment. you know, we have a president who lies incessantly to the american people about big matters and small matters, who surrounds himself with people who lie incessantly to the american people. the key fact now is that the time that he can get away with lying to the american people all the time and evading accountability is coming to an end. and i do think that this is a very serious matter. among other things, the fact that he was lying to the american people about doing business in russia and that the kremlin knew he was lying gave the kremlin a hold over him. one question we have now is does the kremlin still have a hold over him because of other lies that they know about? >> so the fact that the kremlin which overnight has confirmed that there were some e-mails and a phone call between the trump organization and the kremlin, and we only find out about it now, you believe that that is proof that there might be leverage? >> there certainly was leverage during that -- during the
campaign period and until recently, because they knew that he was lying. they knew that he had major business dealings or that cohen on his behalf had major business dealings in moscow during the campaign and that he was lying about that. there may be other things that they know that give them leverage. one question has always been why was the president so obsequious to putin from the beginning of the campaign up to the present day. it may be that it's because the kremlin has leverage over the president, which is a terrible thing, if true. >> michael cohen has pled guilty to lying. why should he be believed now? if he was lying then, why do we know he's credible now? i know it's always tough when you get witnesses that flip, but if he's assisting you in your work and the house democrats down the road, i assume you hope that he does, how will you know if you can trust him? >> well, i think we'll know a lot more when we see -- when we see mr. mueller's report.
he knows a lot more than we do at this point. and the fact that he's been able to show that all these people, whether it's manafort or gates or flynn or cohen, all the people around the president were lying, i assume means he's got real documentary and other proof of that. we'll see that in due course. >> you have openly talked about holding up the government funding vote until the mueller protection bill is either -- a vote is held on it or not. is that still your current stance? and is that the stance you want nancy pelosi and chuck schumer to take? >> well, my current stance, and i think our stance generally, is that we must do whatever we can to protect the mueller investigation from interference by the president. we are dependent on that investigation to get to the bottom of the corruption in the campaign, of the russian role in the campaign, in the trump campaign, the president's role in colluding with the russians if he did. we know his campaign did, the question is did he personally. so we have to do whatever we can to protect that investigation.
>> very quickly, former fbi director james comey has been subpoenaed to appear before your committee. right now your ranking member there, he's fighting the subpoena. he wants to do it -- he will voluntarily do it in public on the record. chairman goodlatte has said he would provide a transcript within 24 hours, videotape it but not have it live. is that enough for you? >> no. the republicans in this particular investigation have a history of having these in camera interviews and then selectively leaking portions of the interview to give distorted view to the public of what happened. let comey testify in public. there's nothing -- there's no military secrets here. he wants to testify. he ought to be able to. he ought to have accountability and openness to the american public. there's no reason for the secrecy that mr. goodlatte
wants. >> all right, congressman nadler, the ranking democrat now on judiciary, soon to be chairman of judiciary, thanks for coming on and sharing your views, sir. much appreciate it. >> thank you. >> joining me now is republican senator john barrasso, who was recently elected chair of the republican conference which makes him number three in the leadership there. congratulations on that. >> thanks. thanks for having me back, chuck. >> before we start, your thoughts on what is the enduring legacy for you for president bush. >> you know, my memories of president bush are his times in wyoming, in casper, in jackson hole and how kind he was to children. bending down, looking in, listening to them. you know, he treated everyone with -- everyone got a smile, everyone got a handshake, everyone got respect. and he never rested in his work and dedication to the american people and now may he rest in peace. >> as we now know, everybody got a christmas card. everybody got a christmas card. i want to ask you quickly on the revelation from the kremlin over the weekend confirming michael cohen's account essentially that, yes, there were some interactions between donald trump's organization and the
kremlin. we don't find out about it until now. is that -- do you have any concerns at all that if the russians knew -- basically we now know they might have had leverage over this president. they knew information that we in the public did not know. they confirm it over the weekend. is that not cause for concern? >> the president is an international businessman. i'm not surprised he was doing international business. cohen is in trouble for lying to congress, not anything related to the campaign or russian influence, but we have a mueller investigation going on. we need to come to completion on that. and it should be done quickly. >> is it fair to the republican voters of 2016 that they did not know that the president was at least negotiating a business deal with putin? >> there were so many things involved in the 2016 campaign it's hard to point to what one thing influenced voters. i think people were thinking it is time for a change. they didn't want hillary clinton. they wanted a new opportunity. they have gotten it in terms of a strong and healthy and growing economy. jobs are up, wages are up,
consumer confidence is at an all-time high. i think people look back where they were two years ago and where we are today. we're in a much better place. >> but should a good economy trump the concern that we didn't know about this stuff? >> i want to know -- i want the mueller probe to end and i want the american people to see what is in it. there are people trying to do legislation on it. they have been crying wolf for two years that mueller is going to be fired. didn't happen, not going to happen. this is wasted energy to try to do this. for the previous guest to say maybe we should not fund the government over protecting special counsel mueller i think is the wrong way to go. >> the president chose not to meet with vladimir putin. the white house said it was in response to the aggression in ukraine. was that the right call or would you have liked to have seen the president confront putin? >> i think it was the right call not to meet. putin is somebody that respects strength and territory. words don't mean much to him, action does. i think we need to do more.
i've called for sending ships to the black sea. also in terms of lethal -- >> is that how you would have responded, send those ships to the black sea right now? >> and have nato do it as well. to show russia that international law must be followed. but in terms of lethal weapons for ukraine, we've given them anti-tank, we need to give them anti-aircraft, we need to give them weapons also in terms of anti-ship. putin respects strength and action. he will not stop until he is stopped. he can smell fear and that's the way he acts. >> what should be next? >> any kind of action has to be a deterrence and a deterrence has to be a forceful response. not just saying something to putin. he's cunning, he's opportunistic, he's aggressive. he probes for weaknesses and then takes it further. that's his position with ukraine. he treats ukraine as a guinea pig. he tries it there and then says i can try it other places. putin's powers are three, cyber as well as energy and his
military. we need to do everything we can to become more energy independent and dominant, to use that energy, and i think we need nato's involvement as well. angela merkel ought to stop the nordstream 2 pipeline because she's addicted to russian energy. >> the president said he was going to send notice that he wants to cancel nafta. he's negotiated a new agreement. obviously that's an attempt to pressure you guys in the house and the senate to get nafta approved. are you okay with that tactic or do you think that's a risky tactic? >> i'm a free trader, i'm a fair trader, i want to be a smart trader. i think the president has proven to be a successful trader. we saw it with his arrangement and visit just down in -- at the g-20 with the president of mexico and the president of canada and then just last night, what's happened with china and putting the pause button there on the trade war with that, with more products heading to china, agriculture, energy products. everything the president has
promised he's delivered on and these are going to be helpful to the economy and people at home. >> okay, you didn't answer the question about nafta. are you okay with him cancelling nafta now or do you think you should wait to see if you can get this passed first? >> i think we need to see if we get it passed first. i want to see how many democrat votes come on board. i support what the president has been doing. >> thanks for coming on, sir. much appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. when we come back, a lot to talk about and it's starting with this. where does the russia investigation go from here? the panel is next. his. where does the russia investigation go from here? investigation go from here? the panel is next. at&t provides edge-to-edge intelligence, covering virtually every part of your healthcare business. so that if she has a heart problem & the staff needs to know, they will & they'll drop everything can you take a look at her vitals? & share the data with other specialists yeah, i'm looking at them now. & they'll drop everything hey. & take care of this baby yeah, that procedure seems right. & that one too. at&t provides edge to edge intelligence. it can do so much for your business, the list goes on and on. that's the power of &.
welcome back. the panel is here. welcome back. the panel is here. former north carolina governor pat mccrory, nbc news contributor senior fellow at demos and new mother, heather mcgear, andrea mitchell and dan balz, the chief correspondent for "the washington post." we're going to spend some time remembering president bush later in this hour, but first i want to go with the big news of the week. dan balz, there's a new timeline now from the campaign that you start to the wonder if it's going to be of concern now that
this becomes a concern to the american public. october 28th, 2015, trump signs a letter of intent to negotiate a real estate deal with the russians. three days later he starts flattering as a candidate, i get along great with putin. throughout that month of november and december, more, stable mates as he referred to him once of the january 20th, we know michael cohen speaks with the kremlin with the moscow project. february 16th, candidate donald trump claims i have no relationship with him other than he called me a genius. dan balz, how significant? >> well, i think it's very, very significant. what has happened over the last week, as you suggested earlier, has brought him to the center of this investigation. it's coming from various directions. but this russia piece is exceedingly important because there has been suspicion about this from the very start. there has been questions about
why he treated putin the way he did throughout the campaign, and now we are beginning to get the pieces that explain that. we still don't know a lot. there's still much to be known, but mueller is clearly focusing in on that. you have to understand why that would make the president so uncomfortable right now. >> andrea, the kremlin confirmed michael cohen's account. what is that about? >> well, that's putting more pressure on president bush -- excuse me, on president trump and also weakening trump. putin is using every lever that he has. trump had put pressure on him over ukraine, so he is through peskov saying, yeah, we've got those e-mails and showing the e-mails of michael cohen. it changes the timeline and puts this front and center in the campaign at the very time when the russians were hacking, beginning to hack the democratic accounts. you know, the accounts of the campaign manager of hillary clinton. we don't have the final connection, and the president is correct, it's not illegal for an international businessman to be
doing the business. the conflicts of interest are profound. it's not illegal yet, but we do know that the cfo of the trump organization is also a cooperating witness and the fact that they put in that criminal information that cohen had been talking to the family members. that's a small universe. that's don junior, eric, ivanka, jared. so it now brings the family into it. of course the family, they can be indicted if the president arguably cannot. >> pat mccrory, i want to read you something david french in "the national review" wrote. yes, i'm mainly pleased with american policy towards russia since trump has been president, but trump's actions represented an extraordinary conflict of interest. americans were listening to trump's praise of putin without realizing his profit motive. that's intolerable. do you agree? >> no, i disagree with his grassy knoll theory. >> how is this a grassy knoll theory. >> i think we have a lot of may, may issues. the congressman said this may mean this, this may mean that. we don't know that, those are theories.
i met with the trump family when i was mayor about building a tower in charlotte, north carolina, including ivanka trump and eric trump an donald junior. this is a typical thing where you have a major developer trying to meet with the leaders of whoever the government is. in moscow, it's not against the law for mcdonald's, for pepsi cola, for ford motor company, even for kentucky fried chicken to invest in russia. we're making it sound like it was against the law to invest in russia and it was not. you're right, it was not against the law for a presidential candidate, who was a major businessperson -- >> shouldn't he have disclosed what was a clear conflict of interest giving them leverage over him? >> first of all, you're assuming there's leverage. that's a theory. first of all, he never built the building in russia. by the way, he never built the building in charlotte either. but i think this is something that won't mean as much, especially to trump supporters, because it was well known that trump was doing business in russia.
there were pictures of the beauty pageant long before that. >> except for the fact that he himself said i have no business dealings with russia. so he actually lied to the american people. his personal fixer and attorney lied to congress three times. he said there was no dealings while he was building -- in talks to build a $50 million penthouse for vladimir putin at the top of this tower. >> that's a theory also. >> no, it's not a theory. that's what was in the deal that they were discussing. so the other problem here is that we know this is just another piece of what russia was dangling in front of the candidate. if the promise of stolen e-mails, which eventually would get to those conversations, wasn't enough to get him in his corner. the sad thing that this reveals about the man who's currently in the white house is that it worked. is that he was willing to vouch for president putin and that's -- it's embarrassing to the country that it worked so well. >> there are a lot of top fortune 500 ceos who want good relations with russia. >> but they're not in the white house. >> he wasn't at the white house at the time either. >> he was trying to become the
president who's supposed to put his country ahead of his own profit motive. that's a big difference. >> there are economy motives for the country. >> the trump tower is not in the economic interest of the country. >> there are safety issues for america having a good relationship with russia. >> let me go back to the mueller probe a minute. dan balz, are we -- i don't get the impression we're close to seeing this wrapped up, despite what so many others are speculating on the president's legal team. >> i would agree with that. i think that has been the reality throughout this. i mean there's always -- there are moments when things happen, and we all kind of instinctively say, well, this is accelerating and he's really getting near the end. and the truth is this has been an amazingly methodical process. i think continues to be. he is building a case. we don't know ultimately what that report will say, but the threads are -- the threads are more evident as a result of what we saw last week. >> the reason i ask for the timeline, at what point do we
get to the point, andrea, where when mueller puts out his report, there's going to be a lot of political folks that say, you know what, let the voters decide this, not congress. >> no, i think that is one of the issues because, first of all, there's no -- there's no absolute report that gets put out. it will either be leaked out -- >> it could be a filing via grand jury -- be a filing, a court filing. >> it could be a report to congress. now that the democrats have the house side it probably will come out. if it were unified republican senate and house, it might not come out. the fact is that depending on who's in charge, is it matt whitaker, is it rod rosenstein, who's really in charge of that. that said, i think it's going to ending up potentially being we either believe it or don't believe it and the branding he has successfully done is it's a witch hunt. >> if that report doesn't hit congress before the fourth of july next year, it's hard to imagine the 2020 timeline
doesn't take over. >> i think the most important information is the manafort/giuliani communications. it would be real interesting to find out more details about that because that's really a unique strategy. >> strategy is one thing. >> where the u.s. justice department knows one thing but them talking among themselves is very interesting. >> strategy or something more. when we come back, republicans netted two senate seats in the midterms but will that be enough to hold the senate when they face a more challenging map in 2020. a look at that coming up. ♪ the new capital one savor card. earn 4% cash back on dining and 4% on entertainment. now when you go out, you cash in. what's in your wallet? now when you go out, you cash in. ...that's why i've got the power of 1-2-3 medicines with trelegy.
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we are back. data download time. now that the last 2018 senate race has been decided, it is finally time to turn to the 2020 senate map. get to know it. starting with the races where terrain is changing for the gop. there are republican senators defending seats in georgia, iowa and arizona, where a replacement for jon kyl will likely be named soon. in arizona a democrat just flipped the other senate seat. in georgia and iowa, democrats just picked up some house seats and came close in governor's races. we're also keeping an eye on republican seats in north carolina and maine. north carolina didn't have a big statewide race in 2018 but it's a recent battleground state where thom tillis could face a
tough fight for a second term. and hillary clinton won maine and democrats did well in 2018 in that state so susan collins could also be vulnerable. there's also shifting terrain that could favor the gop. take a look at minnesota. hillary clinton only won that state narrowly in 2016 but this year democrats marched to some big victories. tina smith will be running for a full term and we expect president trump will be there campaigning for his own re-election as well. finally we have what we're calling the outlier, states where the incumbent fields like a bit of a bad fit for the state. there's alabama's democratic senator doug jones who won that off-year special election against a very flawed candidate in a state where republicans usually win big. jones is the most vulnerable incumbent on the democratic side. and then there's cory gardner up
in colorado. while clinton won by five points, a democrat just won the governor's mansion by 10. colorado could be on its way to becoming more like an alabamaesque outlier but on the blue side of things. if you're keeping score at home, remember this. democrats would need to net three seats to take back the chamber, if they also win the white house, and four seats if they lose the white house in 2020. we'll be back in a moment with some memories of president george h.w. bush. we'll be back in a moment with some memories of president george h.w. bush. ♪ oh, look... another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair® works in just one week. with the fastest retinol formula available. it's clinically proven to work on fine lines and wrinkles. one week? that definitely works! rapid wrinkle repair®. and for dark spots, rapid tone repair. neutrogena®. see what's possible.
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back now with end game and discussing the legacy of president bush. you can't talk about bush 41 politically without talking about the most famous campaign promise -- broken campaign promise perhaps in modern american history. here it is. >> congress will push me to raise taxes, and i'll say no, and they'll push and i'll say no, and they'll push again and i'll say to them, read my lips. no new taxes. >> he broke the pledge in 1990. four years later, newt gingrich is speaker of the house. it is the seminal moment, you could argue, in the shift of the republican party from where it was then to where it is today. >> but economically, breaking that pledge showed the character and resolve of the man to do what he was persuaded was the right thing to do economically, even though he knew at the time that it might guarantee that he
would be a one-term president. having covered those budget negotiations at andrews air force base, he had bob dole and george mitchell and everyone arguing that you needed to do it. and, in fact, the budget restrictions, the so-called pay go rules that required if you're going to spend money, you have to shows where you're going to raise it in the budget, that created the momentum economically that bill clinton inherited, built upon with his '93 brave votes without a republican vote and even into the george w. bush presidency we had economic growth. >> that was the last time a republican could get away with raising. before then republicans would regularly raise taxes when necessary. ronald reagan did it. >> sure. >> but that moment made it your party can't do it without probably total political loss, right? >> i'm not sure either party can do it at this point in time. everyone is now saying why can't they compromise in washington, and maybe it goes back to this president who compromised, did what people said, get along,
work out a deal among republicans and democrats and what happened to him? the republicans turned on him, and the democrats did everything they could to get him out of office. he was a one-term president, but he may have made the right decision called compromise, but it might have stopped compromise for generations to come. >> i think the passing of president bush is a time for us to reflect on the soul of the republican party. you know, this is a man who started out one of the first supporters of planned parenthood. this is a man who very famously resigned from the nra when they started having that anti-government rhetoric. you know, the jack booted thugs in waco and oklahoma city. and so -- and this is also a president whose campaign included the willie horton ad, the most famous dog whistle ad until this cycle. and so i think we can look -- and this no new taxes pledge. we can look at this and say what has happened to the republican party? is this still a party that can allow for moderates who think that population -- family planning, as he did in his u.n.
service. he actually moved family planning across the globe and then ended up having to reverse it. having his son make it even more restrictive. is this still a party that allows for that nuanced view of the world, or is this the party of the dog whistling and fiscal irresponsibility with the deficit and the debt mushrooming under republican control. where is the soul of the republican party? >> let me go back to the man for a moment. let me put up one of the most famous letters that he wrote to anybody, and it was to bill clinton. this is what president bush wrote to -- the letter he left to president clinton for day one in office. i'm not a very good one to give advice but don't let the critics discourage you or push you off course. you will be our president when you read this note. i wish you well. i wish your family well. your success now is our country's success. i am rooting hard for you. dan balz, george -- there's just no one like him on this front. >> no, there isn't. you know, as heather suggested, he could play rough in a
campaign. and he could then pivot away from that. but he had, as part of his upbringing, a kind of a fundamental decency. not just a willingness, but a sense that this was an obligation to treat your opponents in a serious way and to make amends when it was over, which is how he and bill clinton were able to forge an incredible relationship since they were both out of office. it's a remarkable legacy that he has. >> and it's an authentic relationship. you know, w. referred to bill clinton as my brother from another mother. it was forged in 2005, i guess, with the tsunami trip in thailand. they really worked together. they worked in service, and there was a moment in 2011, george bush was not disclosing yet that he had this parkinson's syndrome and the family friends were very concerned. he was getting on stage at the
kennedy center for his points of light event. and they were worried about how would he walk out. and bill clinton said i got this. the other presidents were there. and he put his hand behind president bush 41 and helped him all the way to the stage, and everyone on the staff saw this happen, and that persuaded family and friends that this was real. >> before i go, i've got to play -- i love his sense of humor, and i want to play the clip with he and dana carvey. here it is. it's just too much fun. here it is. >> dana, george bush here. i'm watching you do your impression of me, and i've got to say it's nothing like me. bears no resemblance. it's bad. it's bad. >> well, i'm sorry, mr. president. i think it's a fair impression. >> don't see it. it's totally exaggerated. it's not me, those crazy hand gestures. the pointing thing. i don't do them. >> and you thought we were not going to do it. see, we had to do it. >> he's a great role model for future politicians. >> you said something interesting, he taught you how to lose.
>> he taught you how to lose. i've lost re-election and he's a great role model to deal with it with dignity and respect and to help your successor. when you criticize him, do it with respect. he's a great role model. for all those candidates who lost recently, follow george bush's lead. >> well said. thank you all. that's all we have for today. thanks for watching. for those of you who were getting ready to light the first candles of the holiday season, we wish you a happy hannukah tonight. all of you will be back next week, because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." >> i used to worry about death. i don't anymore. but i have a feeling there's an afterlife, and i have a feeling it's a good one. >> who would you want to see first? >> well, depends if barbara predeceases me, probably go with her. but i think my mom and my father, maybe robin, our little girl that died. ♪
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you build families. get a new subaru, like the all new forester, and charities like the aspca can receive two hundred and fifty dollars from subaru. (avo) get zero percent during the subaru share the love event. ♪ welcome to "kasie dc." i'm kasie hunt. we're live every sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern. the changing of the guard in american politics. remembering george h.w. bush, the center of the family that defined decades of american government. now coming into focus and standing in stark contrast with the ideology of today. and later, ready individual one. michael cohen pleads guilty, is cooperate with multiple prosecutors and more people in