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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  December 3, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST

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on farmers, but obviously on the economy as a whole. look at the futures today, they're already bouncing up almost 500 points because of the concerns of the overuse of tariffs as a punitive measure in these fights that the president has. so republicans have had it, they're feeling the political pressure and their constituents are feeling the pain. if you are a soybean farmer in iowa or anywhere else you felt tremendous pain. the auto manufacturers, tremendous pain. this affects markets, it affects jobs. >> jim vandehei live in washington, d.c., as always, thanks. we will be reading axios in just a bit. go to sign up.ax keys.com. that does it for us on this monday morning. "morning joe," everybody, starts right now. what is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea, a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn
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together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind, peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. such is a world worthy of our struggle and worthy of our children's future. >> 27 years after president bush called for international order the strong men of saudi arabia and russia celebrated the lack of it as america pulls back under donald trump. friday marked that sharp split as the 41st president of the united states, george herbert walker bush, died at the age of 94. this morning we remember his life and his tremendous legacy, and how his approach to leadership stands in stark contrast with the politics and the news and the policies of today. welcome to "morning joe," it's
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monday, december 3rd, with us we have the president of the council on foreign relations and the author of the book "a world in disarray", richard haass, jon meachum is with us, he is an nbc news and msnbc contributor, nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell is here, and columnist and associate editor for the "washington post" david ignatius as well. joe, wow, what a stark contrast between h.w.'s legacy and the news we have today. >> well, it is, and it did, it did seem to become starker every time you saw stories about george w. bush -- george h.w. bush and the life that he lived. i will say that it's almost as if bush 41 inspired this president to even move beyond
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his own boundaries that he showed the first two years by delivering to this country and the world a statement upon george h.w. bush's passing that was graceful and was presidential and quite frankly what's been lacking a bit in the past. i want to talk to jon meachum who on wednesday will be eulogizing george h.w. bush and who spoke about him yesterday at the national cathedral. you know, jon, we to talk about what a great man george h.w. bush was and how he guided america and the world through the ending of the cold war, how he reunified germany, how -- well, just, you know, a cia director, an u.n. ambassador, ran the rnc, vice president, president, congressman, took courageous stands. he was a great man, but what is
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so remarkable in 2016 and the great take away from his life has to be that he was a good man. he was fundamentally a decent man. not only when he was president of the united states, but when he was a young child, a kid whose nickname was hab half because anytime you had a sandwich whoever he was with he would tell the other person, here, have half of mine. it was that generous spirit that made this great man a good man from the very beginning. >> anyone who was around him was enveloped by a kind of quiet persistent charisma. it's not a word we associate with president bush, we think of jack kennedy as charismatic, we think of reagan as charismatic, we think of clinton as charismatic, we think of george w. bush with a locker room charisma kind of one-on-one ability, barack obama has the
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big arena charisma. george h.w. bush in my experience and to my observation always communicated ineffably an ambient sense of confidence that your future, your country, would be safe in his hands, and they were big hands. he used to talk with that big left fist. i think that one of the remarkable things about him is he is of our time generationally, but he really has more in common with the roosevelts and the founders culturally and temperamentally than he does with the post -- in the 1990s forward. more in common, i think, with fdr than with bill clinton or even in many ways with his own son in terms of the politics they confronted. so he is a remarkable figure in that he was a little out of
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fashion even while he was reigning over the country. a couple things happened on his watch that shaped the politics we have now, the rise of talk radio, cable news was becoming more significant. he used to belly ache into his tape recorder all the time about what the talking heads were saying. and most importantly, the break among the house gop against his deal to get a budget, get spending controls, a deal that set -- with some higher taxes -- set the conditions for the prosperity of the 1990s in what was, i think, sort of the o.j. simpson bronco chase of modern partisansh partisanship. when bush was going out to announce that bipartisan deal in the rose garden newt gingrich leaves the white house, there is a split screen on cnn, drives up to the hill and there is a rally among the house caucus, gop
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caucus for gingrich. in many ways that set the stage for 1994, set the stage for just a more -- a more brutal politics. it happened, interestingly, to my mind, under the feet of someone who did want very much to govern with consensus, because consensus had shaped him. >> yes. you know, david ignatius, again, comparing where we were with george h.w. bush and where we are now, i read so much this weekend, but i think a paragraph in the president's own words, former president's own words, really boils it down that, yes, every politician makes mistakes, every politician is flawed, every politician will fight like hell to get their story out there and sometimes use very sharp elbows, but at the end of the day, you know, they put their country first and they put people around them first.
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this is part of a note that george h.w. bush wrote to hour recent dowd, he said, i reserve the right to whine, to not read, to use profanitiy, but if you ever get really hurt or if you ever get really down and just need a shoulder to cry on, or just need a friend, give me a call, i will be there for you. i will not let you down. now, if george h.w. bush who was skewered by the media throughout most of his political life had decided to call anybody an enemy of the people it would have probably started with maureen dowd, but he understood that the press wasn't the enemy of the people and even said basically at the end of the day, we're all in this together, and i will be here for you, just like i know you would be here for me. what a remarkable difference
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between 1988 and 2018. >> george h.w. bush never more than in the recollections that maureen has in that wonderful column was for a son of the elite a down to earth guy. he was funny, he was self-deprecating, he couldn't quite figure out why he liked this "new york times" columnist, but he did, and he kept writing to her. i think one of the things i liked most about him was that he was grateful in the old fashioned new england way. he didn't believe in showing off, the idea that you brag about your accomplishments would have been abhorrent to him, but he had an ability to make difficult things look easy throughout his presidency, that's especially true in foreign policy. we forget how hard it was to find a pathway so you could reunify germany, the cornerstone of the post cold war world was one germany.
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bush had to do that with great subtlety. a friend reminded me over the weekend we had the "snl" crisis over bush's watch and guess what, a lot of people went to i will gentleman. he didn't make a big fanfare of it but held people accountable. that's the one thing that happened never happened after the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. why weren't anybody punished? well, they were in george h.w. bush's presidency. i think those simple qualities that made him somebody that maureen dowd could tell funny stories about, i mean, that's what we all sense about him, that's what we love and we miss as we think about his passing. >> richard haass, you worked for president bush, bush 41, and obviously during very momentous times, so momentous that you didn't even have time to cut your hair or even comb it at times. >> my goodness. >> he was a very busy man.
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>> scraggly. >> he called that his neo einstein cut. richard, i'm just curious, looking at pictures of this past weekend, vladimir putin high-fiving the crown prince of saudi arabia when other world leaders didn't want to be even seen shaking his hand, it just reminds me of how -- what a deft touch george h.w. bush had, that he was a realist, but at the same time would never allow something like that to stand without calling it out. what are we missing with the leadership of donald trump? >> george h.w. bush was a realist, but he was a realist who also had values and standards and principles. he always tried to balance it. one of the first tests of his presidency you will remember in
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1989 was the crushing ever dissent in tiananmen square. what bush tried to do because he had been the former u.s. envoy to china, he knew how important that relationship was and he couldn't allow the relationship to end. on the other hand, he also knew it was important to send a message and sanctions were put into place and the administration tried to balance that. or when saddam invaded kuwait, one of the reasons bush felt urgency there is he was getting the reports of what was going on in kuwait and he essentially said we've got to act here or if we don't there's not going to be a kuwait left to save. he didn't have the patience of some people who said, well, just let sanctions work. he said, no, we will give them a fair chance, but then if we must we will use force. and then what was so interesting is after we used force in a d
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decisive way, he showed restraint. he said if we try to liberate baghdad we will incur more casualties there than we did in liberating kuwait in a first place. there always was a sense of balance in the man between a kind of principle and a real determination. i think people underestimated the steeliness of determination, but he also had a sense, again, of limits, of restraints, and whether it was in their personal relations with people, there was a formality -- i remember once i was called over to see him, joe, and i got to the door of the oval office and john sununu was the chief of staff at the time and he said, what do you think you're doing, richard? i said i just got a message that the president wanted to see me. and he said, go back to your office and put on your coat, because i walked over with just my shirt and tie and left my shirt jacket in the office. there was a sense bush more than anyone else -- and this is a contrast to today obviously --
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he had a sense, joe, that he was the temporary custodian of the oval office. he didn't own it. he was simply the 41st president of the united states, he knew there would be a 42nd, a 43rd and so on. so he was very aware, he had been given this trust. he was a borrower, if you will, of the office, but ultimately he knew there were limits and you had to pass it on to who came after him. >> and you brought up kuwait. it's o interesting. i remember being a young congressman and my chief of staff coming in and saying, do you have time to talk to the president? and since i was a back bencher, i said, the president of what? he said the president of the united states, the former president, george h.w. bush. i said, well, yeah. i scrambled around, i picked up the phone, and it's important for people to remember now, he was getting absolutely skewered in the years following the first
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gulf war for ignoring the advice of the red hot conservatives and some of his generals and stopping short of baghdad. he was getting killed and i was the one person on a panel that was defending him saying, no, we showed extraordinary discipline. he said we were going to liberate kuwait and then we were going to come home, and even with an open road to baghdad, he knew that's what he had promised, that's how he had built this remarkable worldwide coalition and he showed the discipline that few other leaders would show. because of it he didn't get en snarled in the war that his son got ensnarled in a few years later. it was that kind of dis mr. inn that actually made your father a very big fan of george h.w. bush. >> yes. >> i would say you could count the number of republicans that your father voted for on one hand. >> yeah. >> you actually could count the number of republicans your father voted for for president
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on one finger and that one president was george h.w. bush. >> yeah, and there's so much news to cover, but it's hard not to recognize that the passing of george h.w. bush has rekindled bipartisan good feeling on editorial pages and just about anywhere else that politics is spoken. president bush's death also has done what many previously believed was impossible, it's inspired the current occupant of the white house to briefly behave in a way that's presidential. with gracious words and a declaration of an extended period of national mourning. but what becomes undeniably obvious with every bio run about bush 41 is that stark contrast between these two men. bush served in the military, treated people with respect and dignity and put country ahead of party and self time and time again over his half century in public service. half century. over the last two years deviancy
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has continued being defined down by this current president, his cronies, his supporters, who love telling reporters that they don't care how deviant his behavior becomes. let's see what happens at wednesday's memorial service. my prediction is that trump fakes more respect for a family whose unprecedented history of public service has repeatedly belittled. then he goes back to making a mockery of the very office that george bush and this nation long revered. just as president bush's character was set even during his earliest days at andover with the stories that you all have told, donald trump remains the man, think about this, the man he was while avoiding the draft and then telling howard stern on the radio that sleeping around with women in new york city while avoiding sexual diseases was his own personal vietnam. he said that.
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as is always the case, the presidency does not shape character, it reveals it in a raw fashion and that is why we celebrate george h.w. bush's legacy and fear the next two years of mr. trump's wild white house lied. as we continue to watch that, andrea, it's conduct in office that we look at today with president trump and we look at over the past few days, even, which leaves our jaws dropping. >> well, certainly in personal and political and foreign policy and relations with the media the contrast could not be more stark. you have president trump returning from a g20 where he couldn't meet with vladimir putin for a variety of reasons, they said it was because of ukraine, but perhaps it would have been better to meet with him and stand up to him, publicly stand up to him on ukraine, rather than just avoiding the whole subject and the obvious implication was that he couldn't meet with him
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because of the plea agreement just hours earlier before departing of michael cohen. so all of that brought into gross relief as well as that extraordinary handshake, hand grip, bromance in between the two strong men who are sort of the book ends of the trump foreign policy. so many thoughts flood over me about george h.w. bush and the years and years of watching him in so many roles, the political role, which people have acknowledged, 1988 was a brutal campaign, lee at water's death bed confessions for the willie horton ads and other things that transpired, but the contrast between that and the touch decisions he made, jon meachum referring to that tough budget decision which did set the stage for years and years of prosperity as well as some of the other decisions that he made that contradicted his own previous more political impulses. he always, however, with maureen
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dowd and with others, i'm thinking of peter baker's reminiscence about ann devroid the correspondent from the "washington post" that led to the demise of john sununu her own reporting and when she got sick with cancer the first person to respond was president bu bush. she had absolutely bedeviled him and he and jim baker got her into m.d. anderson for intensive treatments, tragically did not save her young life, but they did everything they could in houston to help her. it could not have been a more dramatic contrast because she was the toughest white house correspondent, maureen was certainly the toughest columnist, but there are so many other examples. marlin fitzwater represented the balance and the spirit of president bush 41 in terms of his role as press secretary and the contrast could not be more stark with what we see today.
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>> absolutely. >> jon meachum, we are possibly going to be seeing on wednesday act two in a remarkable public -- public play where we move from a mccain funeral, the john mccain funeral, which was unlike anything that either mika or i have ever seen in our life, a coming together basically of leaders celebrating what washington once was and what people believed washington could be again, and i can't help but believe that's what we're going to see on wednesday as well, republicans and democrats and independence and others saying this is who we have been, this is who we will be again. i suspect -- i suspect we may leave with many of the same feelings on wednesday that we
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did after the john mccain funeral. >> oh, absolutely. i think it will end up being, i think, the cumulative effect of the week is going to be a reminiscence and let's hope a celebration, not an internment, of an american order that looked outward to the world, did not look inward in an isolationist way. this will be about global engagement, it's going to be about free trade, it's going to be about an america where we understand that if we aren't involved in the affairs of the world, young men like george h.w. bush end up getting shot down out of the sky because that was the price of the isolationism of the 1920s and '30s. i want to say -- i want to mention two names here because i think president bush would want us to. from september 2nd, 1944 the day he was shot down in the pacific,
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every day he thought about ted white and dell delaney who is the two crew mates who died on that mission with him. he always wondered why he was spared. my own view of his life is that in many ways every subsequent day was an attempt to prove himself worthy of having been spared on that day. he understood that his life was no longer his own. he heard his mother's voice, his father's example always about to whom much is given, much is expected. and we can praise him and we will praise him without row plant sizing him. he was a flawed figure, the first person to tell you that would be barbara bush and the second would be bush himself. but i think his flaws make him more interesting and actually make this week more important to us culturally because if somebody flawed can do the great things he did, then perhaps all of us who are as flawed as you
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can imagine can do the same thing going forward. >> still ahead on "morning joe," details on why the cia believes crown prince mohammed bin salman probably ordered the killing of jamal khashoggi. a new "wall street journal" piece undercuts the president's stance on saudi arabia. plus cohen, flynn, manafort, each is stacked up against bob mueller and a special counsel probe digging deeper by the day. we will preview the week ahead and the stunning developments over the weekend. plus here is bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> good monday morning. hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. we start this week nice and quiet and then a coast to coast storm to end the week. the only troublesome weather right now is this thunderstorm activity north florida and southern georgia, a tornado warning south of brunswick, georgia. the middle of the week cold air spills in from the north, that comes down the middle of the week and so let's take you through the week ahead forecast. today pretty quiet, no the too
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bad for any of your travel needs. then on wednesday here comes our coast to coast storm into california with more rain and snow, that's good news for them, by the time we get to friday this is a southern system so that's going to mean only the northern edge will have a chance of some of that snow and ice, maybe possibly oklahoma city to wichi wichita. this is four to five days away. by the time we get to friday afternoon we will take the storm through texas and through portions of oklahoma, also notice the blue is the snow on little rock. by the time we get through saturday we start to watch some of this heading to the east coast. if it's going to be a snornl for d.c. and the mid-atlantic it would most likely be as we go through sunday. we will keep an eye on that as we go throughout this week. for the rest of the week it's looking pretty quiet. not too much snow and ice to give you heartache or trouble on the roads or air. new york city is one of those spots earlier i was looking at that chance the snowstorm to come up the coast, right now it's looking to be south of the big apple. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. here we go.
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simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. the "wall street journal" has reviewed unreported excerpts from the highly classified cia assessment on the murder of "washington post" columnist jamal khashoggi which reveal some of the evidence linking saudi arabia's crown prince to the killing, it includes at least 11 text messages mohammed bin salman himself sent to his closest adviser who oversaw the team that killed khashoggi. just hours before and after the murder on october 2nd. in addition, in what the cia reportedly says, quote, seems to fore shadow the saudi operation launched against khashoggi back in august 2017, mbs told associates that if efforts to convince khashoggi to return to
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saudi arabia fail, they could, quote, possibly lure him outside saudi arabia. the assessment also states that the cia has, quote, medium to high confidence that the crown prince, quote, personally targeted and probably ordered khashoggi's death. although it adds, quote, to be clear, we lack direct reporting of the crown prince issuing a kill order. the cia's judgment is based on mbs personal focus on khashoggi and his tight control of the kingdom and the operatives involved in the murder and mbs's, quote, authorizing some of the same operators to violently target other opponents, adding, it's, quite, highly unlikely they would act without his authorization. i don't know what more the president needs. the president has questioned and dismissed our intelligence agency's assessment saying it did not offer a definitive
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conclusion, again, sewing doubt. mean while saudi arabian media is reporting mbs and trump had a, quote, friendly meeting at the g20. trump later told reporters that he, quote, had no discussion with mbs although a white house official told nbc news the two exchanged pleasantries at the leaders' session. >> david ignatius, you were reporting on much of this last week, you put it all together, very obvious that what donald trump said about the cia's assessment just isn't true and also suggests that's why there was an empty chair where gina haspel was supposed to be when there was testimony before congress last week. >> joe, i don't think we've heard the last of this. lindsey graham, senator lindsey graham, has made clear that he wants gina haspel's testimony about what the cia knows about mbs and his role in the killing
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of jamal khashoggi. what i reported last week is similar to what the journal has reported in the last couple days, if there was a smoking gun that would tie mbs to this killing it lies in these messages that were exchanged between the crown prince and his key aide in the roughly 36 hours surrounding the disappearance and death of my former colleague, jamal. we don't know what's in those messages, we can speculate, but until they're made public, that smoking gun is something we can describe, but don't have. it is clear that for some months mbs had been determined to bring jamal back to the kingdom, to in some ways stop what he saw as jamal's threatening journalism upsetting the crown prince and his small entourage and that the operation in istanbul came out
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of that kind of obsession that he had developed. going forward the one thing i keep hearing from people who care about saudi arabia, want a different kind of saudi arabia, is that somehow whoever runs that government there have got to be outriggers that stabilize the country and there needs to be a way for saudi arabia to assure the rest of the world this won't happen again. i think until we see those structures, those new ways of handling a head strong crown prince, handling the system of making decisions, we should withhold judgment about whether anything has really changed. >> richard haass, i'm one of those people that have looked to saudi arabia and egypt to reform because i believe that a strong sunni world not only counter balances iran but also helps us move towards a more lasting middle east peace. i know a lot of people such as myself who believe that that's a
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positive development in the middle east are very concerned about what's been going on in saudi arabia and i do wonder, richard, how does any president, how does any administration after trump do anything but take the position lindsey graham is taking at this particular moment, which is we cannot deal, nor will we ever deal, with a government that is run by a leader, basically a de facto leader, who murdered a virginia resident, who had american children, and who was a columnist for the "washington post" and was murdered and sawed up, possibly while he was still alive, because of columns that he wrote in the "washington post" and because of political opinions he gave in free countries where you are allowed to actually criticize other governments. >> well, joe, as bad as all of
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that is, and it's as bad as things get, it's not the only indictments. this war that he has begun and prosecuted in yemen is a strategic and humanitarian nightmare, he's divided the sunni-arab world with his behavior towards qatar. he went into kind of a twitter war and then assault with canada when all they did was criticize them for, among other things, the great reformer has put and kept in prison all sorts of activists. i do not believe he is a partner for the united states. so what this administration seems to refuse to do, but congress will push it in that direction, is to set up a much more conditional relationship, essentially make the first requirement that they get out of yemen. by the way, that would be in their own national interest. the best thing congress could do would be to force the saudis to get out of yemen. it would be one way of saving this regime from itself, but we have somebody who is essentially impulsive and unchecked and we
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need to have -- i would argue -- different leadership in saudi arabia. again, if someone like george herbert walker bush were president, even though he had a close relationship with the saudis, what i would have recommended to him as his middle east adviser at the time is we send an envoy and we talk to the king and we basically say we care about this relationship, but this young man is not someone who can be entrusted with it. we have got to come up with an alternative leadership in saudi arabia that, yes, is committed to real reform, but, two, acts within the bounds of decency. >> andrea, i'm so glad that richard brought up canada and mbs's radical response to canada because that's been overshadowed by khashoggi, but it shows, again, that temperamentally he is unfit, emotionally he is unsound and the united states it seems to me we cannot make long-term plans, long-range
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plans with saudi arabia as long as he's going to be having such a heavy hand in running that country. is that the feeling that lindsey graham and other republicans and democrats have on capitol hill? is that the growing feeling in washington's foreign policy community? >> absolutely. lindsey graham has been so explicit about it. he has said that he would never deal with this young crown prince ever again. we are talking about someone who's reign will presumably unchecked go for decades and decades, especially considering his ailing father right now. lindsey graham over the weekend retweeted a video that awful video of putin and mbs glad handing, if you will -- i don't even know how to describe the video of them, as you see it there, at the g20, and said, it's all right, this is -- give us more votes on the senate floor this coming week, more
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votes for the resolution that cleared unexpectedly with a 63 to -- was it 67 to 33 or 63 to 37 -- 63 to 37 vote margin, a very unusual margin in the senate. the resolution to get it out of committee at least for a procedural vote to cut off u.s. support for the war in yemen. that given the opposition of the leadership in the white house was pretty stunning, but lindsey graham is now the point person on this. as much as he has switched sides and been somewhat of a weather vane in the last year given his political issues and reelection coming up in 2020, this is a very strong statement from the senate. look, you referenced canada. we saw the state department saying that they don't get involved in arguments between two allies when the saudis took on the canadians.
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how could the state department on that day say they can't make a choice between saudi arabia and our closest neighbor and ally and nato partner, canada? i mean, it was an extraordinary moment. you have absolutely seen how secretary pompeo making excuses, in fact, for the khashoggi murder as he came out of that briefing that was not attended significantly by anyone from the intelligence community of 100 senators last week. these are remarkable moments in the last couple of days and weeks and right now secretary pompeo has just taken off for a nato meeting in brussels which will be abbreviated because he's coming back for the funeral services for president bush, but he is going to be in brussels and we understand he's also going to be meeting with netanyahu tonight in brussels. there's going to be a lot of conversation, but i can't imagine pompeo coming into these nato meetings with clean hands on the saudi issue.
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>> andrea mitchell, thank you very much for being on on this important morning. coming up, last week we saw paul manafort's plea deal fall apart and michael cohen pleading guilty to lying to congress. this week there could be even more in store for robert mueller's russia probe. that discussion and the latest news next on "morning joe."
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no one understands me. who can i call? someone who i know will always answer. >> yes, hello? michael cohen speaking. i will tell you anything you want. >> michael, it's donald. >> mr. trump, i'm not supposed to be talking to you. >> come on, michael. >> i'm going to get in trouble. >> but, mikey, mikey cocoa, i need a bowl of my mikey cocoa puffs. >> okay. fine. i can't say no to my donny trump alufagus. >> michael, at least there are some things they can never take away from us. our late night talks. >> they have them on tape. >> our vacations to moscow. >> they seized the records. >> what about our hairstylist? >> he died like months ago. >> i'm sad you're going to
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prison, michael. you were like a son to me. >> then why did you make me do so much illegal stuff? >> because you were like a son to me. >> wow. that's robust and rich. joining us now editor in chief of law fair and msnbc nbc legal analyst benjamin wittes. betsy woodruff, editor of commentary magazine contributing editor john podhoretz and john's recent piece is entitled "latest collusion news suggests mueller just might have a case." joe, there's so much out there. as we watch point by point coming out with the mueller probe it is hard not to get ahead and make a conclusion. >> in the words of karen and richard carpenter, we've only just begun. john podhoretz, let's begin with you this morning, a man who is bathed in 1970s pop culture. >> that's true. >> and understands the reference.
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by the way, that's where we are, ari melber talks about rap and his rap artists that he heard last week. i talk about carpenter songs that i listen to on my parents' carroo in 1971 and that's how it will be forever. so, john, you say that there may be a case for collusion yet. talk about your column and where you think we are right now. >> so i think we have in the information we've got last week the first substantive narrative that suggests that something that started with russian intelligence ended up coming out of donald trump's mouth. that doesn't mean that he was knowingly part of a collusion, but, in other words, lucifer 2.0 develops intelligence through hacking about the dnc's claims, guccifer 2.0 apparently is in contact with a radio talk show host who talks to jerome corsi,
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jerome corsi then talks to roger stone, he tells roger stone that some stuff is coming down the pike and trump should start talking about hillary's health. this is at the beginning of august 2016, and at some point in the next couple of weeks trump starts talking about hillary's health. so what we have there is a very clear possibility that guccifer 2.0 gets something and, you know, four iterations later it's coming out of trump's mouth. now, that doesn't mean, again, that trump himself knew that the information had been gotten through the hacking of the dnc e-mails, but it is, after all this time, a pathway between trump through stone to russian intelligence. >> benjamin wittes, i want to ask you the same question about where we are right now. by the way, mika and i spent our honeymoon weeding and listening to podcasts.
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>> this is true. >> you were a model to us all. >> yes, everyone should do the same thing. >> exactly. >> but there is a column -- there was a column a week -- i guess it was about a week ago that talked about the parallels between how trump is treating the justice department versus how nixon treated the justice department and where it's leading us. talk about that in relation to also what we've seen over the past week and where you think we are right now. >> well, so let me start with what john just said because the document that he is referring to is actually a proposed plea agreement between corsi and the justice department or mueller, and presumably, therefore, contains a relatively small percentage of what mueller could allege. this is what he was willing to settle for. and so i do think it's both that
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and a the cohen plea deal that was reached last week really suggests that there is a very -- a much broader hand that mueller is holding than that he's showing right now. than he's sh right now. that takes place, as you just said, against the backdrop of the president's continued abuse of the justice department right now in the form of the installation and maintenance of matthew whitaker as the acting attorney general. and so i think when you take all of that together, the basic lay of the land is that you have a special counsel with an extremely strong hand of which we're seeing a small piece being supervised in a fashion that, you know, is, shall we say, does not comport with the highest
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standards of the department. it's a very explosive situation. >> and betsy woodruff, we heard last week we should be expecting big news from the independent counsel's office, and we got that news. what should we be expecting this week? >> three potential pieces of news that could be coming. first potential sentencing memo that mueller is set to introduce regarding paul manafort. we'll find out what lies mueller alleges manafort told, whether he'll allege manafort lied to protect the president, floyd text himself or potentially lied to protect powerful russian or ukrainian interests. we don't know the answers to those questions but we believe manafort lied. second, they will keep an eye out for any sentencing memo regarding general flynn. there hasn't been any serious leaks out of those meetings.
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it's possible like flynn like george papadopoulos hasn't forked over any relevant information. we'll find out more when mueller releases documentation on that. another piece of the russian story, but really important, are the charges against mariah butina. she's currently being held in solitary confinement in jail in alexandria, virginia. her attorneys are negotiating potentially a plea agreement. if they are able to reach a deal, we could get more details about the way someone connected with very powerful russians was looking to build relationships in the republican party during the trump campaign. >> so this is david ignatius in washington. ben, you follow this as closely
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as anyone. i'm curious whether you think whether we're headed towards a battle over a subpoena either by mueller or by the house, let's say, that would ultimately go to the supreme court for a supreme court judgment on whether that subpoena can be enforced against trump in this case. is that where this is going to end up? >> so the house would not be able to subpoena the president for testimony in the fashion that the court would enforce, in my opinion. look, the question with respect to mueller is really whether mueller wants to trigger that confrontation. there's no doubt that he has a very strong legal argument that he can issue a grand jury subpoena for testimony to the president. there's also no doubt that the president has two cards in his hand on that. one is that he has some nontrivial legal arguments that
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mueller can't do that and the second is that he has matthew whitaker supervising the investigation who would presumably have to approve such a subpoena and there's some reporting suggesting that he would not do so. so the first question there is, does mueller need the testimony and remember that even if he wins that litigation the president can assert the fifth amendment and not testify. so he might very well decide that it's not a fight worth having. on the other hand, he might go forward with it. so if the question hinges on the word you used inexorbily the answer is no. on mueller' part it reflects the the question how much he needs the president's testimony in order to finish his investigation. >> could i ask a question?
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john, what do you think in terms of these gathering facts, it's a gathering storm of actual fact, how do you think the, say, 35%, 40% of hard core trump supporters are going to react when data is actually presented? are they going to accept it or not? >> based on the emails in response to my column the answer is no. not that that's data. but i think any absence of an actual, you know, smoking gun charge that trump was working in the service of russian intelligence, the trump base will believe this is a political witch hadn't and that mueller is serving, you know, sort of the interests of the media, the interests of liberals. there's some sense of which, assuming that mueller cannot close the circle, what you'll
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have is a pattern of everyone around him being nailed in some fashion for lying, for saying the wrong thing, for lying about the contacts with russia, but trump saying they are saying i didn't do anything. i didn't do it. i had no part in this. and without proof, you know, that is reasonable doubt, in my view. >> all right, benjamin and betsy, thank you both for being with us. still ahead much more as we remember former president george h. w. bush and we'll talk to deputy chief of standpoint andy card. plus barbara bush biograph engineer sbiographer susan page and the president's final moments. a spokesman tweeted this photo last night of the form
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president's service dog sully, lying by his casket ahead of this week's services. sully will return to service at walter reed this week after his service to the 41st president is complete. we're back in three minutes. ♪
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the mission was not george h.w. bush. the mission was how do we serve the united states? how do we help the united states? how do we make the united states better? one of the jbs is to strengthen the institution of the presidency. bring honor to the office. and that clearly, george h.w. bush did. >> what people don't appreciate fully, even within his own party, is the degree to which he had to land the plane when the berlin wall comes down. you have chaos, potentially in
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the former soviet union and russia. and uncertainty in europe. all those things could have gone hay wire at any point and the restraint, the caution, the lack of spiking the football that they showed was, i think, an enormous achievement. >> welcome back to "morning joe". it is monday, december 3rd. still with us we have the president on council of foreign relations richard haas. editor of commentary magazine and columnist at the "new york post". historian and best selling author john meacham april and columnist, david ignatius. and columnist for the "wall street journal" and political contributor for nbc news and msnbc peggy noonan is with us.
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>> dan, you tweeted something this weekend that many others did, and your tweet caught me off guard as did the tweet from many others who said that the george h.w. bush was the best president of their lifetime, and your tweet said this. rest in peace to george h.w. bush, the greatest president of my lifetime. yeah, i said it. what made you say that and what made life long democrats like brzezinski vote for one republican in their lifetime and that republican was george h.w. bush? >> i think there's a couple of reasons. the most obvious is you can argue that george h.w. bush was the greatest foreign policy president we had potentially in the post-war era, at least since
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eisenhower. as you showed in the tape segment you had, it was far from guaranteed that the cold war would end as peacefully as did it. it was far from guaranteed that saddam hussein would be repulsed from kuwait. there are hundred other smaller areas ranging from trade policy to the korean peninsula to the greater middle east where the bush administration took steps hat successive administrations were able to build on. actually the most telling thing about bush as a leader was the degree to which people in his administration did extremely well that when they then served under his son developed reputations that were somewhat less savory. chi of dick cheney -- think of colin powell. his accomplishments have been
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underrated because he only served one term. you could argue the 1990 compromise with democrats on the budget was one of the most important steps towards fiscal rectitude and he paid the political price for that. then finally just the sort of graciousness which bush demonstrated always in his personal life, and i think that was sort of e-eof exemplified b clinton. >> john meacham, we were fortunate enough as a nation to be book ended in the cold war with two one term presidents who left office with clouds over their heads but ended up being reassessed. harry truman, it took about 20
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years being reassessed as a near great or great president for what he did from 1947 to 1952. of course, he became president in '45. his great challenges with the soviet union started in earnest in '47. now we have george h.w. bush another one term president who helped end the cold war, landed that plane as barack obama said, and i want to quote another foreign policy expert who is not known to always say kind things about republicans and david said as a historian of the white house and in particular of national security and foreign policy making in the white house, it very early on became apparent to me in those areas that the george h.w. bush white house set the high watermark among all those of the post-world war ii era. extraordinary words from, again,
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so many people who were not partisan republicans. >> henry kissinger once told me that he thought george h.w. bush had the most momentous foreign policy presidency since harry truman which was remarkable for kissinger since he wasn't involved so you know that must be true. anyway, it has the virtue of being true. i think that's a great point. truman pops up in president bush's diary. he was stunned by the level of popularity that unfold in the spring of 1991. he said, you know, 89%, 91% and bush said there's nothing like it since truman. here's the realist in him. he knew it was soft support. he foresaw economic problems ahead. he knew that americans moved on very quickly. that they didn't vote about the
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past. they voted about the future. he was a much more astute politician than he gets credit for, for being. the other great thing, everybody says how he was a terrible campaigner. from the very beginning it drove him crazy to be told that. there's a wonderful story about when he was running for the senate in texas the second time in 1970 he goes into a fundraiser and gives a talk and not wildly successful and he's coming out and the campaign volunteer with him says you need work on these speeches. and he said you're driving me. so there was a competitive streak in him too. i think the foreign policy legacy as been striking to me that's what people focused on. it doesn't surprise me. but the steady hand. that's what he offered. i also think and joe, you would agree, we were incredibly fortunate as a country to have the 12 years of ronald reagan
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and george bush at that particular moment. reagan did things that george bush couldn't do and george bush did things that reagan couldn't do. he loved us from 1981 to 1993 in these momentous times. >> mika, i read something from christopher buckley who worked with george h.w. bush that actually talks about and we're going to get to peggy in one moment to talk about this. but the incredible grace that boston these men had. we've heard about george h.w. bush's grace. but christopher buckley recounted a story that bush had told him about ronald reagan where he went in after reagan was shot in the hospital. he was in the hospital. went in and the room was empty. the president wasn't there. and he actually saw the president on his hands and
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knees, president reagan after being shot, wiping up water from the floor. and he ran and said, mr. president, what are you doing? what are you doing? he said i was trying to get a drink of water, i spilled it on the floor and i don't want some nurse to come in here clean up after me i made the mess, i need to clean it up. you just see that servant leadership that we read about in the bible. jesus talks about servant leadership and whether it was ronald reagan or george h.w. bush, we saw a picture there of jimmy carter. that's what made george h.w. bush so great. he understood he was serving the people, not vice versa. >> peggy noonan, i'll let you expound upon that. that generosity of spirit and that goodness, i think revolved around love of country and
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spirit and patriotism. >> yeah. you know, the writer in washington noted in a newsletter last night, he was thinking about george h.w. bush and he said, you know what's remarkable? after the fall of the soviet union, during the great efforts to reunify germany, george h.w. bush gave a state of the union address in 1992 and said these words. by the grace of god america won the cold war. he didn't say my administration won the cold war. he didn't say republicans fought and philosophy won the cold war. he said the american people won the cold war. it was an example, i think, of old style and old school approaches about who does the work here and who deserves the
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credit. it was a serious nod to the american people who for more than 50 years had put forward the blood and treasure to make this thing be handable and make the soviets finally go down and it was such -- if you go back and read it as i did last night, it was such a departure from the sort of presidential narcissism that we see now and it's seen in fairness for a long time. in the past 25 years we've lost that kinds of presidential modesty in which they say there's been a great gain and you did it. >> peggy, you were there at the revolution. you were also there when ronald reagan left on january the 20th, 1989. i want people being too young to remember that time and hearing the accolades that george h.w. bush is receiving now. george h.w. bush is one of the great presidents of the post-war
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era. could you just explain how difficult it was for george h.w. bush to escape ronald reagan's shadow? we remember the "newsweek" cover talking about the win factor. i remember people saying george h.w. bush reminds every woman of her first husband. the insults became so bad that somebody had to actually write an op-ed that i still remember, my god 40 years, 30 years later called the george bush that i know. telling the story of how bush alone with a west texas contributor who made a racial slur when nobody else was watching and he desperately needed the man's money to win the 1970 senate campaign immediately got up and he said this meet is over, walked out and drove back home. or, of course, what he did in the war, that this was no wimp, this was a strong man.
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but that shadow of reagan hung over him not just in 1989 but really for many throughout his entire presidency. >> yeah, that's so true. i think it was a bit of a harassment to him and he had this funny chafing feeling where personally he liked reagan so much. he and reagan had worked together for eight years and seen each other at very regular lunches and worked out a really nice relationship that became a friendship, moreover ronald reagan had picked george h.w. bush from, it would be overstating it to say relative obscurity but reagan didn't have to pick george h.w. bush to be his vice president in 1980. so bush was so grateful to reagan. at the same time, reagan was a, in his time, a giant figure. he was the leader of an ideological movement that was on the ascendency.
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he was the guy that changed the republican party between 1979 and the day bush walked in as president from a moderate liberal moderate party to a fully acknowledged fully confessed conservative party. on top of that, reagan's way, part of reagan's way of governing had to do with going forward and speak what he thought were clear blunt truths that needed diplomatically to be said and making a great impression in that way. so that was hard for bush. bush loved him and at the same time couldn't help but feeling hey i'm pretty good too. you're sort of getting all the attention or all of the admiration. it was hard for him. also another thing that was hard, reagan by the end of his white house, of his two administrations was beloved by the republican base, and really
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liked by most of the american people. for various reasons, from personal ones like how he reacted when he was shot to how things turned out diplomatically and economically. so they really liked him. bush didn't walk into the presidency with that great whoosh of love and affection behind him. he had to earn it in his way. i know he felt he was operating sometimes under a disadvantage. >> yeah. peter baker, this weekend i heard so many people talking about your column, i love you too, george bush's final days. it was extraordinary writing about an extraordinary man. take us into your reporting about george h.w. bush's final days. >> well, of course, president bush had been suffering from a form of parkinson's disease in these last few years that relegated him to a wheelchair and made it difficult for him to
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speak which was difficult for a man who was physical and athletic type of person, active person in these last few days before his death. he began to fade. he wasn't getting out of bed or eating as much. james baker served as his secretary of state but was friends from the days of the tennis court of the houston country club. came to visit him on friday. saw him. seem to rally in the morning, ate a breakfast of three soft boiled eggs and yogurt. he had come close it seemed several times to the edge only to rally one time after another. secretary baker left to go off for the day, he was going off to dinner, stopped by the house again to see president bush. president bush seemed pretty good, at least hanging on. secretary baker went to incident e-when he was coming back e-got a call time to come back to the house.
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when he got there he saw his friend fading. president bush was ready. secretary baker talked about speaking to him, seeing him light up when he came into the room. president bush said where are we going bake? baker said we're going to heaven. president bush said that's where i want to go. the title of the story "i love you too," president bush's son they were in his houston bedroom, knew the end was coming. put the speaker phone and started calling kids who weren't in town, including of course his oldest son, george w. bush. his son told him avenues great dad, he loved him and president bush 41 said i love you too. secretary baker said no, sir were his last words and half an hour later he passed away. >> one issue that was important to president bush was china. we're coming up actually on the 40th anniversary of the
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normalization of relations with china, which of course was brokered at your home in mclean, virginia but before that, obviously, nixon opened china and george h.w. bush was sent to china to begin a pain staking process that ended up with normalization of china between jimmy carter and your father and the chinese. >> so let's talk about where that process stands now, richard haas. trump and the g-20 over the weekend, especially as it pertains to china and his meeting with the leader, is there a truce when it comes to trade or is trump getting played? >> i'll answer that. the short answer is there's a truce or a cease-fire that will buy you 90 days. that's essentially it. most of the big issues have not been resolved, have not even been tackled and they won't lend themselves to easy resolution
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whether it's forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft, transfers. one point about the president george h.w. bush, one of the things about his successful foreign policy hasn't gotten attention it deserves. he got a lot of attention for good reason. but it all worked with these big personalities because of one poern and that's was brent. brent set the model, the gold standard for being a national security adviser who had a close relationship with the president, so close even jim baker, dick cheney and others would let brent make their case to the president. >> dr. brzezinski would agree completely with you and he would say after myself, of course.
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>> he did it in a way -- it's a hard job. you have to balance being a counselor to the president and a broker. brent got it exactly right, was instrumental in keeping the u.s.-china relationship we were just talking about alive after tianemen square. it's because of 41 himself but also i think brent was the quiet guy behind the scenes who made the whole the greater than the sum of its parts. >> now with china we basically have a frozen trade conflict. explain. >> well, the reference to the many sort of border disputes that russia has had with other former states of the soviet union, often referred to as frozen conflicts where it's not
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obvious putin necessarily wants to actually negotiate a real peace. and it's not obvious to me donald trump wants to negotiate natural real trade deal with china primarily for two reasons. what he's asking china to do china is not prepared to concede. and second in trump's mind i think he thinks that a conflict is actually beneficial to him. he tweets all the time about all the money we get presumably from higher tariffs not realizing that money comes from americans paying higher taxes rather than from china. nonetheless that's his world view. he sees trade as a zero sum game and, therefore, he doesn't necessarily mind faiy mind if i persistent conflict. the likelihood this will translate into anything more substantive is not high. you see that in the mismatch between what the white house read out of the dinner meeting was versus the chinese read out
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of it. you know, there's differing aspects of it, the details don't much up. the notion they will settling this in 90 days is ludicrous. >> george, i apologize for not pronouncing your name with a flare of john meacham, which i thought was rackable. we'll work on that. but, john, i will say when i go back -- can you say that again, john meacham the right way because we mispronounce it. in >> in tennessee we say podharis. >>ton and pale of settlement, yes. >> you're splitting hairs again, john. >> okay. so, anyway, john, the one thing, john podaris, the one thing that has been consistent with donald trump, not abortion, not gun control, not even politic, he's
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always been a democrat who has been little right of center democrat but these trade dispute, can you go back and see him oprah winfrey in the late 1980s, on the "today" show and talking about americans being suckers, the japanese are taking advantage ever us, the saudis are taking advantage of us, everybody is taking advantage of us and if he were ever president he would go in and slap tariffs. donald trump has been saying this now for over three decades. he believes it to his core. >> i think it is one of the core -- one of the few things we can say he's consistent about over the course of his career as someone who speaks on public matters. and i think there's potentially a connection between his profession as a real estate person and this view, i would call zero sum view of trade, which is to say that in real
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estate people vie over pieces of land, right? and so you either get it to develop it or somebody else gets it to do it. you can't expand it. it can't be grown. it's a ploft land you put a hotel on it or a building on it. in global trade we're talking about things that are not zero sum. things can grow. you grow a marketplace. you create a product that creates its own market. this is unknown to trump. his whole thing everything is a battle over finite physical space and so all of trade is really about expanding opportunities for products in places where if it goes well the market -- it's not infinite but much larger than anybody knows at first glance. this is something that trump does not know. what knees is how to put up a
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building or how to make a deal to put up a building. this is why he looks at trade and says if they get something -- if they get more money and we get less, if there's a trade deficit that means we're losing and they are winning and that's absolutely not correct, that's not the proper understanding of how these transactions work or how these national -- how goods travel between countries, but there we are. he's president and he's now acting out this conviction that comes from him being a zero sum business. >> david ignatius? >> i want to ask peter baker, who offered that beautiful moving description of final hours of president george h.w. bush and his conversation with jim baker. just wondering, peter, those two in a sense symbolized what the republican party was and whether you have the feeling whether
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they would have had the feeling in that last conversation that that party is gone forever or that it can come back? >> you're right about that. of course bush and baker were a friendship, basically unlike any other in anales of american pills. president and secretary of state they were so close. it was not a marriage of convenience, alliance of interest. this is a friendship born of tennis courts on sundays. barbecues at their house. they rose through politics in meaningful. each experienced loss and was there for them for their friends when they had to get back up on their feet. when they took office they were in tandem very few others had been. it was a stifle republicanism we don't see today. it was conservatism with a small c, more traditional about conserving what's great about america not about activism the way today's conservatives might
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define themselves. yet they were thrown together these two sort of, you know, paragons of stability into one of the most unstable times in our history and it was their management of those force, those extraordinary changes that were happening around the world that transitioned us from four decade superpower confrontation into a new world where america stood alone as the sun superpower left. i think you're right. they looked at today's republican party and today's america with some degree of concern. president bush 41 didn't vote for donald trump he voted for hillary clinton. he was disturbed by him. he told another author he considered trump tube blowhard and not a serious figure. secretary baker did vote for president trump but i think he's found him to be very concerning in a lot of ways. they don't share a lot of approaches to things. but this is the world that they live in and they are are
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pragmatists and recognize their time on the stage was over and a new era would emerge and they hoped for the best because they loved their country. >> peter baker, john podaris and daniel thank you all very much for being on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," andy card served push 41 as a cabinet secretary and deputy chief of staff. he reflects on his late boss and friend next. and more with david ignatius and peggy noonan when "morning joe" comes right back. >> what did he say to you when you were president? >> i love you. and, you know, as corny as that sounds to sorry it is the most important words you can hear in life. you don't hear a lot of people say i love you when you're president. [ laughter ] i'm ken jacobus and i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. and last year, i earned $36,000 in cash back. which i used to offer health insurance to my employees.
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y-don't you go down to value and see what it feels like as president. i said okay. so i went down. i sat down there and taking it all in. and in walks dad. so andy told dad i was down there. he walks in, he says, mr. president, welcome. i said thank you, mr. president. and that pretty much was all that was said for a while and it was a very profound moment for me. >> joining us now former chief of staff for president george w. bush and assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for president george h.w. bush, andy card. what a legacy. and washington bureau chief for "usa today" susan page, her new book "the matriarch barbara bush and the making of an american dynasty" comes out in april. great to have you all to talk about the legacy of george h.w. bush. andy card, you said he was humbling to be with. can you talk more about that?
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>> president george h.w. bush is the finest person i've ever met and he really is a role model for life and it was a great citizen not just of the united states but a great citizen of the world. so i was privileged to work with him. i first met him in the 1970s and would drive him around massachusetts and new hampshire in a little red chevy chevette. people thought he was the beer company guy. remarkable life he lived. it's a life of love. i saw that love for his wife, for i had children, for his grandchildren, for his great-grandchildren, for his extended family. just a life of love and it was contagious. he was most compassionate but he had the courage to do the hard work of getting things done. it took a lot of hard work for him to be as successful as he was as a president and much more successful than most people realize both on the foreign
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policy front where people do talk about that but on the domestic side where he got things done with a democratic congress because he had the courage to work hard and to pull people into agreement rather than push them away. >> john meacham. >> i have a question for susan who has been spending so much time pondering mrs. bush and her life and legacy. what's your view of, would there have been a president george h.w. bush without a barbara pierce bush? >> you know that was a question i've asked more than a hundred people i interviewed for this book because i think it's such an interesting question. i tell you where i come down. i think they were indispensable partners. they each made the other bigger and better. in some ways such a perfect match. they had different strengths. they had different shortcomings. and the sharper edge that barbara bush had was sometimes used for longer political memory
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for slights and sometimes helpful to george bush. george bush's softer side was also sometimes, i think, helpful to barbara bush. sign that way, a marriage of 73 years through what extraordinary circumstances, through such great triumphs, and tragedies. they were fortunate to have met one another at that high school christmas dance in greenwich, connecticut. >> so, susan, i want to talk about loss being defining moments for this couple, even for the presidency but for this couple especially. i'll read from your piece and i know i'll have trouble getting through this so peggy i'll send it to you after i read from susan's piece in which she writes, when robin was being treated at new york's memorial
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hospital, brass bush set one rule. no crying in her room. her mother didn't want the little girl european settled by seeing adults in her life in tears. george bush a man of open emotion found it almost impossible to comply. again and again he told robin he had to go the bathroom. then stepped into the hallway to regain his composure. when robin died barbara was the one who collapsed into sorrow and george bush was the one who took charge. time after time during the next six months she said george would put me together again. the pattern of one stepping up when the other was struggling and of being able to switch those roles between them sustained the couple during times of political defeat and personal pain from then on. peggy? >> well, that says a great deal of the death of robin was a
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dreadful cloud that came into their pretty sunny lives as a young couple, left connecticut, coming to texas going into the oil business. a beautiful little girl became sick and then very quickly it became very serious. i think mrs. bush was sort of his president bush's, everybody needs a platform from which to move forward or from which to jump. you need a stable platform. that platform won't break. it won't move. it won't jiggle. i think barbara bush looked at then poppy bush and thought this is the most wonderful man in the world, key do no wrong. that's how she saw him. and that was helpful to him in his own conception of himself when he went forward. he always knew he could come back to her and she would tell
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him he was okay. it was a really partnership. i don't think they so much wanted the same things as he wanted certain things and they said if you want it, i want it. period. >> david. >> andy card, one of history's ridl riddles for me what george h.w. bush would have done with a second term if he had won it. do you have any thoughts? did he ever express anything to you that would give you a hint of what vision he might have had if he had been lucky enough to win that second term? >> i really believe if he had won a second term his top priority probably would have been to build on the madrid conference that secretary baker was conducting and the oslo accords and try to find lasting and meaningful peace in the middle east. he was committed to doing that and he was empowering jim baker. jim bake mother ti elevated him. i think he would have kwond the
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phenomenal success he had on the international stage. at the same time he was managing a tough congress. and i think that he would have been able to get congress to do things -- remember what he didn't do with congress and remember he had both the house and the senate were controlled by the democrats by pretty significant margins. so it wasn't easy to get things done. he got the clean air act passed. the civil rights act passed. he pass ada. helped mitigate the problems of the savings-and-loan crisis. he helped with education and child care. he got budget discipline. he got fiscal discipline. yes, he had to violate his promise on cutting taxes to get something done. he allowed for economies to grow for the next ten years. he didn't get credit for it. bill clinton didn't get a lot of credit. but george h.w. bush made that happen. so he had a big agenda to do as he was going forward and he would have gotten it done. but if he didn't win a second
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term or by not winning a second term he gave his son a chance to be president. i don't think his son would have been president if he had a second term. >> andy's point about what he would have done with the middle east is spot on. i want to ask you, susan, about the tax pledge. and whether he knew what was coming and to the extent that deafter he broke it, your sense of the deliberations he had about not whether to do it but how to do the policy. like, for example, why didn't he address the american people more directly on that. why didn't he take the most consequential decision of his presidency and not shape it more? >> it was so interesting. i was covering the white house the day that came out. we were in the briefing room. a junior white house aide came out with a the typewritten statement and pinned it on the
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bulletin board in the press room that had this statement that included tax increases as part of the budget deal. and it was as though the white house didn't understand how significant this was going to be, the violation of this pledge. and so that may have been one reason that they didn't do a better job in shaping perceptions of it and making the argument about why it was necessary. might have been possible to have this seen in a somewhat different light if they had done so. but george h.w. bush had such great skills. communication not really at the top of that list and there just may not have been a sense of how say a ronald reagan might have handled a similar challenge. >> andy card and susan page, thank you both for being on this morning. and still ahead the next generation of democratic congressional leadership is starting to come in to view. we'll talk to the newly elected
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former fbi director james comey has reached a deal to testify behind closed doors about investigations into hillary clinton's e-mail server, and whether donald trump's campaign colluded with russia. comey had been subpoenaed to testify privately before the house judiciary and oversight committees but filed suit to block the subpoena saying he wanted to testify publicly. comey has now agreed to sit down for a closed door deposition on friday after republicans pledge freezing drizzle provide him with a full transskriccript of testimony afterwards. comey tweeted grateful for a fair hearing from judge. hard to protect my rights without being in contempt which i don't believe in. so will sit in the dark. transcript will be released in 24 hours. this is the closest i can get to public testimony. >> let's bring in a member of
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the injuries committee and newly elected house of the chair of the democratic caucus, congressman hakeem jeffries of new york. it sounds like a softball question, but it's just the reality that the republicans appear to be terrified of transparency. they have james comey who they vilified for well over a year and a half who wants to testify publicly but what house republicans refuse throat him testify publicly. why is that? >> it's quite unfortunate that on their way out the door they continue to hide facts from the american people. what we've seen in the last two years, joe, house republicans essentially have functioned as a cover up caucus, doing the bidding of president trump to try to hide facts as it relates to what may or may not have happened in terms of russia's interference with the election. they have not veered off the script even in their final days.
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>> richard haas, i'll let you ask the congressman some questions next. doesn't it seem strange that you actually have james comey who wants to testify publicly, wants complete wants the world to see what he's saying. and in the reverse, it's not the witness that is seeking privacy. it's the house republicans that want him to testify in darkness. it's bizarre. again, i think it says an awful lot about this republican congress and why they get absolutely walloped in 2018. >> it's a real case of they don't get it. ultimately most or all of it will come out. it's the sort of thing that ought to be straightforward. the american people have a right to know here. brandeis's comment about sunlight being the greatest disinfectant. we need some sunlight here. congressman, one of the first things that's going on you're
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plate is this new trade agreement with mexico. democrats have become more protecti protectionist. president has increased the pressure. essentially we're going to pass this new trade agreement or we're not going to have any trade agreement with mexico and canada. >> i think we should approach it with an open mind but put it in the context of our economy. the productivity of the american worker has increased. wages have increased by less than 10%. we have a situation where the great middle class and those who aspire to be part of it are in jeopardy. some of it is poorly negotiated trade deals. a lot of it is the rise of automaizatioaut automatization.
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put it in the broader ideal of how do we reach a point where the american worker has an opportunity to continue to robustly pursue the american dream. i have an open mind. i think we should all have an open mind as to what the right thing to do is in this particular incident. >> when talking about the judiciary committee and the fact that they. >> reporter: -- were going to subpoena comey and try to keep it hidden from the american people. talk about a house republican majority that to the bitter end just doesn't get it. >> well, i wonder what the house republican majority is simply doing now. we're in december. we're going to have a new congress sworn in thin january. the democrats have taken the congress. you're going to have a democratic speaker.
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i assume it is mrs. pelosi. >> certainly i'm one of leader pelosi's 218 votes. >> you feknow what i'm curious about? a party wins back the house of representatives in america. all of a sudden you've got the gavel again, you're got the chairmanships. at what point do you guys, you heads of committees, you nancy pelosi and her people get together and say, okay, now we're putting together an agenda, this is the first thing we're going to do. when does the agenda come together? who's involved in making the agenda? what can america expect from a new democratic house? >> that's a great question. that process really began in terms of our closing argue document the american people, which we arctticulated in our f the people agenda. we said we are not going to fight for the wealthy.
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the republicans have done a great job of doing that. we're going to fight for working families, middle class folks, senior citizens, the poor, sick and afflicted. we're going to fight to lower health care costs. we're going to fight for a real infrastructure plan and we're going to work on cleaning up corruption in washington, d.c. bringing our democracy to life, ending the era of voter suppression and trying to get unregulated money out of politics. >> what can the new house do to protect robert mueller, the special counsel, if there's an attempt to dump him? >> it should be done in a bipartisan way. we're hopeful in the context of the spending agreement that is being negotiated right now that has to be resolved on or before december 7th that we can reach a
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bipartisan agreement to protect the special counsel. we know senator jeff flake has been a leader in this regard on the senate side. certainly we're prepared to act on the house side. instead of chasing folks like james comey, many on the republican side have refused to do what is enacting a provision to allow a full and fair investigation to take place. i don't want to contemplate a circumstance where president trump terminates the special counsel or allowed his lackey at the department of justice to do so. that would be incredibly grave. that would be the precipice of a constitutional crisis. >> yes. hakeem jeffreys, thank you very much for being on this morning. >> thank you. >> and peggy noonan as well. vladimir putin's spokesman appears to have changed his story about contact with michael cohen over plans for a trump tower in moscow.
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reall really. we've just learned that german chancellor angela merkel will travel to washington to attend the funeral of george h.w. bush tomorrow nap is of note because the 41st president is credited with reunifying germany after the fall of the berlin wall. i'm 53, but in my mind i'm still 35. that's why i take osteo bi-flex to keep me moving the way i was made to. it nourishes and strengthens my joints for the long-term. osteo bi-flex because i'm made to move. (danny) (client's voice) ...that you're not using smarter tools to manage your business. you work too hard to work this hard! collecting receipts? is it the 80s? does anybody have a mixtape i can borrow? you should be chasing people's pets... ...not chasing payments! quickbooks gives you a sweet set of business tools... ...that do all the hard work for you. you may groom corgis, but you don't have to work like a dog. (vo) you earned it, we're here to make sure you get it.
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it is a big idea, a new world order where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind, peace and security, freedom and the rule of law. such is a world worthy of our struggle and worthy of our children's future. >> 27 years after president bush called for international order, the strong men of saudi arabia and russia celebrated the lack of it as america pulls back under donald trump. friday marked that sharp split as the 41st president of the united states george herbert walker bush died at the age of 94. this morning we remember his life and his tremendous legacy and how his approach to leadership stands in stark
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contrast with the politics and the news and the policies of today. welcome to "morning joe." it's monday, december 3rd. with us, we have the president of the council on foreign relations richard hawes. historian, jon meacham is with us. nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell is here. and columnist and associate editor for the "washington post" david ignatius as well. joe, wow, what a stark contrast between h.w.'s legacy and the news we have today. >> well, it is. and it did. it did seem to become starker every time you saw stories about george h.w. bush and the life that he lived. i will say that it's almost as
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if bush 41 inspired this president to even move beyond his own boundaries that he showed the first two years by delivering to this country and the world a statement upon george h.w. bush's passing that was graceful and that was presidential and quite frankly what's been lacking a bit in the past. i want to talk to jon meacham who spoke about him yesterday at the national cathedral. you know, jon, we could talk about how great, what a great man george h.w. bush was and how he guided america and the world through the ending of the cold war, how he reunified germany, just a cia director, a u.n. ambassador, ran the rnc, vice president, president, congressm congressman. he was a great man. but what is so remarkable in
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2016 and the great take-away from his life has to be that he was a good man. he was fundamentally a decent man. not only when he was president of the united states but when he was a young child, a kid whose anymo nickname was have half because every time he had a sandwich he'd tell the other person when he was with, here, have half of mine. it was that generous spirit that made this great man a good man from the very beginning. >> anyone who was around him was enveloped by a kind of quiet persistent charisma. it's not a word we associate with president bush. we think of jack kennedy as charismatic, reagan, clinton, george w. bush with a locker room charisma kind of one on one ability. barack obama has the big arena
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charisma. george h.w. bush, in my experience and to my observation, always communicated in inefably kind of an ambient sense that your country, your future would be safe in his hands. i think that one of the remarkable things about him is he is of our time generationally but he really has more in common with the roosevelts and the founders culturally and temperamentally than he does the post from the '90s forward. more in common with fdr than with bill clinton and in many ways with his own son in terms of the politics they confronted.
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he was a little out of fashion even while he was reigning over the countries. a couple of things shaped the politics that we have now. the rise of talk radio, cable news was becoming more significant. he used to belly ache into his tape recorder all the time about what the talking heads were saying. and most importantly the break among the house gop against his deal to get a budget, get spending controls, a deal that set with some higher taxes, set the conditions for the prosperity of the 1990s in what i think were the o.j. simpson bronco case of partisanship. when bush was announcing that bipartisan deal in the rose garden, newt gingrich leaves the white house, drived up es up t
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hill and there's a rally for gingrich. in many ways that set the stage for more brutal politics. it happened under the feet of someone who did want very much to govern with consensus, because consensus had shaped him. >> david ignatius, again comparing where we were with george h.w. bush and where we are now, i read so much this weekend, but i think a paragraph in the former path's own words really boils it down that, yes, every politician makes mistakes, every politician is flawed, every politician will fight like hell to get their story out there and sometimes use very sharp elbows, but at the end of the day they put their country first and they put people around them first. this is part of a note that
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george h.w. bush wrote to maureen dowd. he said, i reserve the right to whine, to not read, to use profanity. but if you ever get really hurt or if you ever get really down and just need a shoulder to cry on or just need a friend, give me a call. i will be there for you. i will not let you down. now, if george h.w. bush, who was skewered by the media throughout most of his political life had decided to call anybody an enemy of the people, it would probably have started with maureen dowd. but he understood that the press wasn't the enemy of the people even said basically at the end of the day, we're all in this together and i will be here for you, just like i know you would be here for me. what a remarkable difference
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between 1988 and 2018. >> george h.w. bush never more than in the recollections that maureen has in that wonderful column was for a patrician son of the elite a down to earth guy. he was funny, he was self-debra -- deprecating. he couldn't figure out why he liked this "new york times" columnist but he did and he kept writing to her. he was graceful in the old fashioned new england way. he didn't believe in showing off. the idea that you'd brag about your accomplishments would have been abhorrent to him. but he had an ability to make difficult things look easy throughout his presidency, especially true nor foreiin for policy. we forget how hard it was to find a pathway to reunify germany.
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bush had to do that with great subtlety. a friend of mine reminded me over the weekend we had the s & o crisis under george bush's wash. he held people accountable. i think those simple qualities that made him somebody that maureen dowd could tell funny stories about that's what we all love and we miss as we think about his passing. >> richard hawes, you worked for president bush 41. obviously during very momentous times, so momentous that you didn't even have time to cut your hair or even comb it at times. >> my goodness. >> he was busy strman about tow.
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looking at pictures of this past weekend, vladimir putin high-fiving the crown prince of saudi arabia when other world leaders didn't want to be even seen shaking his hand, it just reminds me of what a deft touch george h.w. bush had that he was a realist but at the same time would never allow something like that to stand without calling it out. what are we missing with the leadership of donald trump? >> george h.w. bush was a realist, but he was a realist who also had values and standards and principles. one of the first tests of his presidency in 1989 was the
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crushing of dissent in teen man square. and what bush tried to do because he had been the envoy to china, he knew how important that relationship was and he couldn't allow the relationship to end. on the other hand, he also knew it was important to send a message and sanctions were put into place and the administration tried to balance that. or when saddam invaded kuwait, one of the reasons bush felt urgency there is he was getting the reports of what was going on in kuwait and he said we've got to act here. if we don't, there's not going to be a kuwait left to save. he didn't have the patience of some people. he said we'll give sanctions a fair chance, but if we must, we will use force. what was so interesting is after we used force in a decisive way to liberate kuwait, he also then had a sense of restraint. he said we had a mission here
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which was to liberate kuwait, but not to liberate baghdad. if we try to do that, we will go against what we promised people and we will incur more casualties there than we did in liberating kuwait in the first place. there always was a sense of balance in the man between a kind of principle and a real determination. i think people underestimated the steeliness of the termination. he also had a sense of limits and restraints whether it was in his personal relations with people. i remember once i was called over to see him and i got to the door of the oval office. john sununu was the chief of staff. he said what do you think you're doing richard? i said i got a message that the president wanted to see me. he said go back to your office and put on your coat. there was a sense bush more than anyone else -- as a contrast to today, obviously.
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you get a sense that he was the temporary custodian of the oval office. he didn't own it. he was simply the 41st president of the united states he was very much aware he had been given this trust. he was a borrower, if you will, of the office. but ultimately he knew there were limits and he had to pass it onto who came after. much more on this ahead as we explore the bush legacy. i used to worry about death. i don't anymore. but i have a feeling there's an after life and i have a feeling it's a good one. >> who would you want to see first? >> it depends. if barbara predeceases me, i'd probably go with her. but i think my mom and my father and maybe robin, our literal gi -- d... adjourned. d... adjourned. business loans for eligible card members up to fifty thousand dollars,
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it's hard not to recognize that the passing of george h.w. bush has rekindled bipartisan good feeling on editorial pages and just about anywhere else that politics is spoken. president bush's death also has done what many previously believed was impossible. it's inspired the current occupant of the white house to briefly behave in a way that's presidential. with gracious words and a declaration of an extended period of national mourning. what becomes undeniably obvious is that stark contrast between these two men. bush served in the military, treated be eed people with resp dignity and put country ahead of party and self time and time again over his half century in public service. over the last two years, dooevit
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behavior. let's see what happens at wednesday's memorial service. my prediction is that trump fakes more respect for a family whose unprecedented history of public service has repeatedly belittled. then he goes back to making a mockery of the very office george bush and this nation long revered. just as president bush's character was set even during his earliest days at andoverw, h donald trump remains the man he was while avoiding the draft and then telling howard stern on the radio that sleeping around with women in new york city while avoiding sexual diseases was his own personal vietnam. he said that. as is always the case, the presidency does not shape character. it reveals it in a raw fashion.
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that is why we celebrate george h.w. bush's legacy and fear the next two years of mr. trump's wild white house ride. as we continue to watch that, andrea, it's conduct in office that we look at today with president trump and that we look at over the past few days even, which leaves our jaws dropping. >> certainly in personal and political and foreign policy and relations with the media, the contrast could not be more stark. you have president trump returning from a g20 where he couldn't meet with vladimir putin for a variety of reasons. they said it was because of ukraine. but perhaps it would have been better to meet with him and publicly stand up to him on ukraine rather than just avoiding the whole subject and the obvious implication was that he couldn't meet with him because of the preagreement just hours earlier before departing of michael cohen.
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all of that brought into gross relief as well as that extraordinary handshake, hand grip bromance between the two strong men who are the bookends of the trump foreign policy. so many thoughts flood over me about george h.w. bush and the years and years of watching him in so many roles, the political role which people have acknowledged. 1988 was a brutal cane. lee atwater's death bed confessions for the willie horton ads and other things that transpired. but the tough decisions he made, referring to that tough budget decision which did set the stage for years and years of prosperity as well as some of the other decisions that he made that contradicted his own more previous political impulses. i'm thinking of peter baker's
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reminiscence about the great correspondent from the "washington post" who led to the demise of john sununu. when she got sick with cancer, the first president to respond was president bush. she had absolutely bedevilled him. he and baker got her into md anderson for intensive treatments. they did everything they could in houston to help her. it could not have been a more dramatic contrast because she was the toughest white house correspondent. maureen was the toughest columnist. but there are so many other examples. marlon fitzwater really represented the spirit of president bush 41 in terms of his role as press secretary. the contrast could not be more stark with what we see today. coming up on "morning joe," david ignatius takes us through
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his latest reporting on saudi arabia's role in the killing of jamal kashoggi. what the cia says about intercepted messages from the crown prince himself. here we go. discover. i like your card, but i'm absolutely not paying an annual fee. discover has no annual fees. really?
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has reviewed unreported excerpts from the highly classified cia assessment on the murder of "washington post" columnist jamal kashoggi, which reveals some of the evidence linking saudi arabia's crown prince to the killing. it includes at least 11 text messages mohammed bin salman himself sent to his closest advisor who oversaw the team that killed kashoggi just hours before and after the murder on october 2nd. in addition in what seems to foreshadow the saudi operation launched against kashoggi, mbs told associates that if efforts to convince kashoggi to return to saudi arabia failed, they could possibly lure him outside saudi arabia. the assessment also stated that the cia has medium to high confidence that the crown prince personally targeted and probably
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ordered kashoggi's death. although it adds, quote, to be clear, we lack direct reporting of the crown prince issuing a kill order. the cia's judgment is based on mbs's personal focus on kashoggi and his tight control of the kingdom and the operatives involved in the murder and mbs's urging some of the same operators to target other opponents, adding it's highly unlikely they would act without his authorization. i don't know what more the president needs. the president has questioned and dismissed our intelligence agency's assessment saying it did not offer a definitive conclusion, again sewing doubt. trump told reporters that he had
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no discussion with mbs, although a white house official says the two exchanged pleasantries at the leaders session. >> david ignatius, you put it all together. very obvious what donald trump said about the cia's assessment just isn't true and also suggests that's why there was an empty chair where gina haspel was supposed to be when there was testimony before congress last week. >> i don't think we've heard the last of this. senator lindsey graham has made clear that he wants gina haspel's testimony about what the cia knows about mbs and his role in the killing of jamal kashoggi. what i reported last week is similar to what the journal has reported in the last couple of days. if there is a smoking gun that would tie mbs to this killing, it lies in these messages exchanged between the crown
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prince and his key aide in the roughly 36 hours surrounding the disappearance and death of my former colleague jamal. we don't know what's in those s. until they're made public, that smoking gun is something we can describe but don't have. it is clear that for some months mbs had determined to bring jamal back to the kingdom to stop what he saw as jamal's threatening journal and that the operation in istanbul came out of that kind of obsession that he had developed. going forward, the one thing i hear from people who care about saudi arabia is that somehow
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whoever runs that government, there are got to be outriggers that stabilize the country and there needs to be a way for saudi arabia to assure the rest of the world this won't happen again. until we see those structures, those new ways of handling a head strong crown prince, handling the system of making decisions, we should withhold judgment about whether anything's really changed. coming up, we'll go live to argentina on the heels of the g20 summit. first, presidential historian joins us with his thoughts on the life of bush 41.
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dear bill, when i walked into this office just now, i felt the same sense of wonder and respect i felt four years ago. i know you will feel that too. i wish you great happiness here.
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i never felt alone as some presidents have described. there will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. i'm not a very good one to give advice, but just don't let the critics discourage you or push you off course. you will be our president when you read this note. i will ysh you well. your success now is our country's success. i'm rooting hard for you. good luck. >> president clinton reading part of the letter that president george h.w. bush left for him in the oval office on january 20th, 1993. reading that letter you just really saw his generosity of spirit. you saw the relationship that
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would develop over the years between the bushes and the clintons. h.w. bush really look out for him. i love the line where he says i was never lonely here. i think he wanted that for bill clinton. he wanted him to feel supported. >> their friendship grew into something much more. they were really like members of the family. the bushes saw bill clinton as a son. he saw the bushes as parents in some way. there was actually a deep love between both of them. you go back to the events of 1992. you could have never expected that. we love to gloss over how things used to be, especially in the age of trump. it was always as it was with george h.w. bush. no, not really. we read of eisenhower just bored
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to death when harry truman is trying to give him advice during the transition in 1952. ike had no use in 1960 when he was talking to jfk, there's the story of jfk looking at a button on the desk and if he presses it the helicopter comes. he basically says, son, you're going to have a lot more to worry about than pressing buttons on the white house desk. and yet here george h.w. bush, a unique grace that even presidents before donald trump did not seem to have with their successor. >> you're absolute right. sometimes it takes you decades to appreciate what you had and do not any longer have in a president these days. that's why i always think people say why do you have to wait -- i always say you have to wait at least 30 years to come to any kind of historical judgment of a president. imagine if we were all sitting around talking about george h.w.
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bush in january of 1993. we would probably have different judgments about him as president from the ones that we've got this morning. george bush was not harry truman but there is one parallel. that is when truman let tft the white house in 1953, one poll found his approval rating somewhere in the low 20s. here we are over a half century later and most of us would say truman was the guy who allowed about ten cold war presidents up to george h.w. bush win the cold war. and even more than that, truman showed modesty and decent si and good judgment. in light of our current times, george h.w. bush looms as an even greater man.
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>> again, the uncommon grace he showed his successor bill clinton, who had just talked about him as a relic of a different age. and yet the grace there to say we're here for you, we're rooting for you, good luck. >> the morning he wrote that he was dictating into his diary his last morning in the oval office. he reflected on how wonderful barbara was, how essential she had been. he said people say i'm disconnected but i never naefel that way and i have the same reverence for this office as when i came in. he would be riding in the back of a limo and people would be
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dhe cheering and he would say in his diary that day, they weren't cheering for me, they were cheering for the presidency. >> ruth marcus, a little over three years ago you wrote a "washington post" op-ed reflecting on george h.w. bush's presidency. the piece entitled what every president should learn from bush 41. we tend to recall him for his stewardship of the gulf war and his abandonment of his read my lips on taxes. not only a fiscal deal that paved the way to the balanced budgets of the clinton administration but also the passage of the americans with disabilities act and an important overhaul of the clean air act. still, the bush 41 example is more than mere historical artifact. it offers a presidential role
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model. he understood the value of painstakingly building personal relationships. how the assiduous courting of even the opposition could pay off even if years down the road. he was a president willing to bend, to risk reputation and reelection in the service of the national interest. ruth, it's a balance of grace, patriotism, humanity and also selflessness. it was never about him. >> the inspiration for that column, by the way, was mr. meacham's excellent biography. it's a reminder that the situation in washington, the toxic atmosphere of partisanship and tribalism that we bemoan now is not simply a creation of the
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current president, it's a creation of all of us in an era that has gone by. to look back on that bush moment is -- jon used the word in his book quaint. i hope we manage to summon that quaintness and get back to it in some way. and i want to say that fundamentif you want to know more about president clinton's relationship with president bush, he wrote an op-ed with us that starts with that beautiful, beautiful letter. the thing that's so amazing about that letter is the relationship between those two presidents, one leaving and one entering, was not exactly warm and fuzzy at the time. it had been a very bitter campaign. he summoned the grace to understand that the new president was our president, the country's president and then that beautiful relationship
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developed afterwards. >> michael, this weekend frank fleming wrote, george h.w. bush had the most boring presidency during my lifetime, which right now looks pretty good. >> looks great to me. >> it's like ike. ike was attacked for eight years for being a boring president. they wanted excitement and what we got was the 1960s. boring? the steady hand as jon meacham said, right now that seems like a brilliant way to lead. >> please bring it back. one reason why it was boring was because he had those personal qualities that we've been talking about this morning.
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if you were decent to the opposition, if you tried to build bridges, if you showed them some respect, politicians all the way down beneath you through the congress to the local level, they all look at the way a president behaved because they want to be successful in politics too. so it rippled all the way through. the other thing is that george bush knew that in our society even little kids watch the way a president speaks, the way he behaves. it has even that larger impact. democratic senator kamala harris says she will decide whether she's going to run for president in 2020 by the end of this year. the california senator told me during the know your value conference in san francisco on saturday, quote, it's a very serious decision. over the holiday i will make that decision with my family. senator harris also said that she's aware of the challenges that a barrier breaking campaign will include, saying, quote,
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let's be honest, it's going to be ugly. when you break things, it is painful and you get cut and you bleed. and she said she was going to talk with her family about the reality of that and that it would be a family decision. >> would be a family decision. >> she's making it over the holidays. >> ruth, i guess we're about to enter into the serious time, sort of the sorting where we see which of these 572 democrats who say they're going to run for president, whether they're really going to jump in or not. kamala harris is interesting because she is depicted on the national stage as this far left senator from california, and yet you look at her background as a prosecutor out of san francisco who became an attorney general. when she ran for reelection in 2014 as attorney general, she had a lot of very conservative sheriffs in southern california, a lot of really tough law enforcement officers who
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probably voted republican most of their lives actually support kamala harris because she reached out to both sides. i guess a real challenge for her is going to be whether she can somehow translate that record in california to who she'll be on the national stage. >> the sorting -- and maybe you've under counted with 572. there's probably more that have popped up while we've been on the air. the sorting is going to be a challenge for everybody. kamala harris could be a very compelling candidate. i think one of the very big challenges for her and for a big number of that 572 has to do with figuring out how to not be seen as a creature of washington, because i think that the washington baggage is significant for a lot of the prospects that democrats have. they don't have a great farm team of governors and state
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legislators, so the natural place for democratic candidates to come from is washington, but that may not be the best place from which to run against this president. >> you know, mika, just a point of personal privilege. this weekend the know your value conference kwas extraordinary. it was the most extraordinary thing i thought happened in my life other than alabama. no. it was actually extraordinary. you had kamala harris there talking about knowing her value, mira sorvino. you talk about a raw presentation. natalie morales was there. the real stars were the women that were there, especially at the end. the women at the very end that got up on stage and talked about
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learning what their value was. >> oh my gosh. >> and learning how to move ahead when sometimes the odds are against them. >> and the competition was really incredible nap. that's the winner of the $25,000 bonus. it was incredible to watch danielle go from a shy student in california to being the biggest force on stage competing against other amazing women. you saw lisa borders there and cindy robbins who inspired sales force to spend $9 million to equalize the pay. it was an incredible day and a great way to spend the honeym n honeymoon. >> it really was. what's so interesting about all the women that got up there and spoke, they talked about how they wanted to learn their value
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not for themselves, not to get ahead in their corporate cultures or in their schools or wherever they were, but to serve other people, to help other people. it was very, very inspiring. thanks for your support. ruth marcus, thank you both. up next, it seems cohen isn't the only one who lied about plans for a trump tower in moscow. nbc's keir simmons joins us on that. to look at me now, you don't see psoriasis. you see clear skin. cosentyx can help people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis find clear skin that can last. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen, or if you've had a vaccine or plan to. serious allergic reactions may occur.
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neutrogena®. see what's possible. can you just help us with how much contact there was between the president's former lawyer michael cohen and the kremlin, how many times were there e-mails or conversations? >> two e-mails. and one returned phone call asking what they wanted and what they were in contact, wanted to be in contact with -- also they were invited to an economic forum because we're told the presidential administration is not dealing with construction works. so we can, we can arrange a contact with the potential russian counterparts, but there's a perfect opportunity, like, economic forum.
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>> so you offering -- so they stopped making contact with you? >> yes, yeah. >> nbc's keir simmons caught up with the kremlin spokesman dimitri peskov at the g-20 and questioned him about his contacts with michael cohen and what contacts with the kremlin regarding the trump tower moscow proposal. what else did you learn? >> hi, joe. we just keep pushing forward with the challenging and difficult process of just trying to figure out who's telling the truth. we should just point out that president trump has scened his former lawyer michael cohen as a liar. but there you have president putin, one of his right-hand men, appearing to confirm the admission by cohen that he had contact with peskov's office.
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what he says is the kremlin saw it as another american businessmen. another contact they get dozens of per week. i said to peskov that people are going to struggle to understand that an e-mail from someone working with the then candidate trump would ring alarm bells. so there are many, many unanswered questions. another one is the role of the man called felix sater who was a former business partner of the then mr. trump. sater is alleged to have worked with michael cohen on the real estate deal in moscow. i wanted to know whether peskov had appeared on the radar in anyway. take a listen. >> do you recognize the name felix sater? any contact with a man called felix sater? >> no personal contacts with him -- >> has your office ever had
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contacts with a man -- >> i don't know. >> you're not sure, maybe? >> -- interested in foreign investments and that's why we're trying to create a -- z >> our own ken dilanian reached felix sater over the week whond told him i never spoke to peskov or his office myself. one last point, dimitri peskov's story has changed. in the past, it's been reported they left approaches unanswered. now of course he's saying there was this contact. so still many questions. still many questions, keir, yes and how interesting he says, oh, just another american businessman who was happening to run for president of the united states who the russians then tried to help get elected. thank you so much for your reporting. we appreciate it.
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jon meacham, final thoughts for you, as we close out a day where a lot of thoughts about george h.w. bush and a lot of thoughts about where we are in 2018. >> in a couple hours, he's going to begin his last trip to washington. he's flying up on what is air force one to lie instate in the capitol. it's a city he attempted to govern in a spirit of unity. and i think represented in many ways the best we can be. >> we want to give the last word to barbara bush would recorded for the bush foundation, the 1958 letter that her husband wrote in memory of their daughter robin who died from leukemia. here is part of that letter. >> there is about our house a need. we need some soft blonde hair to offset those crew cuts. we need a doll house to stand
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firm against our forts and thousand baseball cards. we need someone who's afraid of frogs. we need a little one who can kiss without leaving egg or jam or gum. we need a girl. we had one once. she'd fight and cry and play and make her way just like the rest. but there was about her a certain softness. she was patient. her hugs were just a little less wiggly. my daddy had a caress, a certain ownership, which touched a slightly different spot than the hi dad i love so much. but she is still with us. we need her and yet we have her. we can't touch her and yet we can feel her. we hope she'll stay in our house for a long, long time. love, pop.
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hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. clearly a little broken up this morning. we start by talk about a final mission. president george h.w. bush's casket comes to d.c. today to begin days of mourning. being honored all around this country and the world for his services. >> i want and kinder and gentler nation. i'm a quiet man but i hear the quiet people others don't. their concerns are mine. >> we remember the 41st president. we're going to cover the man in the middle. new documents tied to cohen's guilty plea put of putting trump right at the heart of the russia investigation. >> he was lyingo

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