tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC December 3, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST
rectitude. he had the greatest qualities of the united states, which is why we sense an enormous sads in across the land. it's not simply what we have lost in him, but i think if we could be introspective, we could acknowledge that both political parties could do better, and acknowledge in his name we would try to do better, because he showed us how to do better during all of his 94 years. with that, i will hand it off to my colleague hallie jackson. >> i'm hallie jackson in for andrea mitchell, as we continue the life of george herbert walker bush, a nation in mourning. you saw his cask now on the plane normally known as air force one, along with dozens of
family members, including his son, president george w. bush, that plane renamed special air mission 41, for what would be the former president's final trip to washington in just moments from now. president bush will lie in state at the capitol rotunda on wednesday, and then return to a service at st. martin's church, and then laid to rest in college station, texas. as we do, i have our panel here as we watch the door to the plane about to be shut. peter, i'm going to start with you. you had a very moving touching piece about the final words of president george h.w. bush to
his son. >> well, that's exactly right. you know, president bush 41 has suffered from a form of parkinson's disease for the last four years. he seemed to be inching up closer to the end to only rally, fight back and return home. when this last few days he began to fade, he was in bed, wasn't eating much, so friday morning, even through much of the day friday he seemed to be on the up swing again. when it suddenly headed downhill in the evening, they put the speakerphone up to the president in his room in houston so he could call and talk to his kids, who were not there at the time, one last time. neil bush, who lives in houston was there, and the others were not. the last call was to president bush 43, george w. bush, his eldest son and fellow occupant of the oval office.
president bush 43 told him he was a wonderful dad, i love you, and president bush 41 responded, i love you too. and reportedly those were his last words. moving scene, with an irish tenor singing "silent night." >> you know, he was mouthing the words along with the singer. it was an incredibly touching moment. his minister was there, some of his family was there, his friends were there, his caregivers who had been important in his life the last few years, his chief of staff, gene becker, longtime aide, and it was described as the most peaceful passing as you could
imagine and hope for. and people on the tarmac saying his good-byes, his flag-draped casket has been loaded into the plane. jim mcgrath tweeted just he showed the socks that he'll be laid to rest in. a guy who loved a good pair of socks. >> this really is a guy almost out of a novel. in boarding school at andover, pearl harbor habitppens, and he becomes possibly the youngest navy flyer, and for the next 76 years serves in many ways. a lot of people in houston would say some of us agreed political, some of us didn't, but he was a figure around houston, and you see that in that turnout today. >> once he was asked what was the best thing about being
president of the united states, and he said the honor of it. i think in the years afterwards, so the clinton era came in and they diminished that, and thought how could it be the honor of it? we have so much to do, and during the years since, i think we have missed it. >> in the talk about honor, in the talk about service, peter, you're also write being the moment we find ourselves in, a kinder, gentler nation if only for a few days. can you explain that a bit? how long do you think this moment will last? >> i think he's scheduled to have a funeral service on wednesday, burial on thursday, so i would imagine you can start seeing it again on friday. it's a sad thing. but true. they're honoring a man for the
qualities that the political system doesn't have anymore. the seriousness of purpose, the dignity, compromise, pragmatism, those are values that are less in the forefront today. it's a much more polarized moment, a moment of where compromise is considered to be a dirty word. >> yeah. >> people today would say, look, he gave in too easily on things that were important. that would be president trump's point of view, but you know, i think in this moment where both parties can come together and appreciate his life without necessarily adopting the approach that he did. >> i want to go to my colleague gabe gutierrez who is on the tarmac there. we've been looking at the live images of kids, kids certainly not even born when president bush was in office. tell us what it's like on the ground. >> reporter: hi there, hallie. the aircraft is getting ready to
take off, air force special mission 41. right here in personal it was an extremely powerful few moments when the casket was removed and "hail to the chief" was played. friends and families with their hands over their hearts seeing that casket being loaded onto the aircraft. his friends and family along with his beloved dog, loaded onto the aircraft. any minute we're expecting this plane to take off bound for washington. here in texas, i can tell you it's a solemn day, it is a day that began with a beautiful sunrise behind this aircraft. public momalities aemorials are here throughout the week, and then when president bush's body returns to texas for services later in the week before he's
laid to rest. any moment now, we're expecting air special mission 41 to get under way. >> thank you, gabe. michael, we saw the family members walking on the plane to join him for his last visit. jim baker was talking about that over the weekend, what a family man he was. >> he was -- he said the thing i'm proudest of is my family still wants to come home. >> we're going to take a moment. chris, briefly here, your parents had an opportunity to -- talking about family -- >> right after he became president, he invited myself and my wife to the white house. he was showing movies, inviting people over. my mom and dad were coming through town. he said bring them all.
michael, what do you thing is going on in the cabin? >> one thing is when the bush family goes in there, they'll see an atmosphere that was very similar, if not identical, to that plane that took off with the president aboard in september of 1990 when george bush went to the summit in helsinki. interestingly all the presidents since then have used the same plane, but they have not changed the interior very much. they may have a great feeling of deja vu. the other thing is one reason i think the moment we just saw on the tarmac was so especially poignant, a lot of those family members were there on the day that bill clinton was inaugurated after defeating george bush in 1993.
that's the last time they heard "hail to the chief" being played for president bush. as you point out, a very familiar plain for special air mission like none other. chris? >> you know, we have a lot of young people running for president, it looks like in 2020, and we said president trump come in with really no experience in foreign policy. george bush had tremendous relationships. wait before he became president, he would be sitting in memorial stadium watching an orioles game, and sitting with him was mubarak, and they spent hours signing baseballs. so when it came time for the war, he was able to arrange and put together an alliance like we
have never seen before. that relationship building went on and on. i think that's something we have to remember. every dance isn't learned for the occasion. you have to -- you can't take dancing lessons for the prom. you have to know what you're doing. bush knew what he was doing. he knew the people he had to do it with. >> angela merkel announcing she'll come to the national service. >> germany would would not be what it is today. when gorbachev began giving up big concessions, opening the berlin wall, allowing the countries to fly out of the soviet orbit, then someone said maybe now is the time to let's reunify germany and do it within nato? and everybody said, that's a huge risk. you may risk the rise of the
advent of what ran up to world war ii. bush was the one who went to gorbachev, presumed on their friendship, and said i can assure you this will not be a threat. he got it. >> and now the plane is take off, special air mission 41. peter baker, the body of former president bush is on its way to washington. when the plane lands at joint base andrews in roughly 3, 3 1/2 hours from now, it's a washington that looks different than when george h.w. bush was
president. a different type of republican party, different type of presidency now. >> well, that's exactly right. washington was an important part of his life. he had spent time here as a congressman in the '60s, spent time here as the cia director, republican party chief, spent time as vice president and president, and it is a different washington. you saw those changes begin really during his time, the rise of a new republicanism, a sharper edge, newt gingrich, of course, from georgia, rebelled against the deficit deal that the president cut with democrats, and broke his promise "read my lives." gingrich said that's a violation of what we stand for. you saw the beginning of a new era culminated in 1994, with the takeover of congress, leading to ultimately today, with a more sharper edge, more conservative
party than george bush was leading when he was in charge. >> chris? >> bush had an interesting relationship with congress which i learned early on. when president ronald reagan first took off. they showed up at the gym dinner. it's a dinner held by the guys who run the gym. it's steak, apple pie, beer, and it's in the employees cafeteria. it was just about being together. good es who showed up? bush and ronald reagan. ronald reagan had his glen plaid sporting jacket on. they understood personal relationships. you know who taught ronald reagan that. bush did. it was the one job -- he got
defeated from the nat twice, but he he represented harris county, was on ways and means committee, and he was a real member of the club. i think that helped ronald reagan. >> personal relationships not just with lawmakers or dignitaries, but with his own staff, as jim baker talked about on "60 minutes." >> he's a huge part of my life and there are a lot of people who helped me along the way, but the guy who really got me going, got me started, turned me around at a time in my life -- i've had said if i was ever to become an alcoholic, it's when i lost my wife and left me with the four small kids. he was there for me. he's been there for me ever since. >> what he did, when jim baker lost his first wife, and was in
grief -- i didn't realize in that bad of shape, but grief which is understandable, his buddy said, i want you to run my campaign for senate. he knew he needed something like that to get him out there and live again. that's understanding, that's friendship. >> you look at the white house now, the white house today, michael, much of the world is captured by what is happening here in d.c., in houston, president trump tweeting about that after he tweeted quite a bit about the mueller investigation, perhaps a sign there's a lot going on in the president's world today. >> a lot going on, and i should say disrespectful. it didn't have to happen during the moment that george h.w. bush's motorcade was going to the airport. i wish that had not happened, but let me suggest a moment of contrast, january 20th, 1969, richard nixon just inaugurated. lyndon johnson is about to take
off from andrews. there's one republican congressman who comes to the airport, guess who it is? george h.w. bush. there's a wonderful picture reaching across the crowd to lbj. you would never see a scene like that nowadays, it breaks your hard. >> he said should i run for the senate? and he said, young man, the different between the house of representatives and senate is the difference between checking s-blank, and chicken salad. that was johnson's way of talking. we've got to leave it there. thank you both, chris matthew will be part of the special coverage this afternoon at 3:00 eastern, noon pacific. the casket will arrive at joint base andrews, and then heading over to the u.s. capitol. please stay with us here for
that. we have more on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. we saved hundreds on our car insurance when we switched to geico. this is how it made me feel. it was like that feeling when you're mowing the lawn on a sunny day... ...and without even trying, you end up with one last strip that's exactly the width of your mower. when you're done, it looks so good you post a picture on social media.
so prompt is tweeting this morning. that is not a shocker. he's venting his anger at the russian investigation, that's not a shocker, either. but remember this kind of tweet storm? one dates later we found out about michael cohen's guilty plea. here's today -- they only want lies. the truth is bad for their mission. that came after the president called mueller a rogue and out-of-control prosecutor. joining me now is peter alexander, matt miller, nbc justice and security analyst, and eric holder is joining me's well. peter, there is one tweet pretty much aimed at roger stone. >> reporter: he appears to be sending messages via twitter to some of the key players. as it relates to roger stone, he's praising stone for his guts
in stone saying he will not testify against president trump, but on a separate note as it relates to michael cohen, longtime lawyer, he says -- michael cohen asked judge for no prison time. you mean he can do all the unrelated not serve a long prison term? he goes on to say he lied for this outcome and should in my opinion serve a full and complete sentence. so even if you can't interfere with an vision, can't speak directly, the president is giving it his best try to communicate directly to some of these key players, and in fact some critics would suggest that the president is saying, stay with me and you'll be just fine. i can't give you a pardon. he does have the presidential pardon power. the flip is if you do what michael cohen does, i'm not going to help you out a bit.
>> peter alexander there at the white house. matt, do you read that the same way? >> absolutely. i think the president is swimming in very dangerous waters here. you don't have to read too for a in between the lines to see what he means. if you refuse to cooperate, i lieutenant praise you, pardon you. >> so let me pull up that tweet. he says, so the president tweets -- you mean all the terrible unrelated to trump things having to do with tax fraud and others -- we're related to -- specifically the hush money payment he says he made at the direction of president trump.
>> his position seems to be all of the crimes that mike at cohen that had nothing to do with donald trump he was telling the truth about, and all the crimes that had something to do with president trump is a lie. it is a dangerous tweet for the president. this is a critical time in the investigation. remember we found out last week -- >> he's saying that roger stone has guts for not turning. >> look at the paperwork last week from jerome corsi. he niknew the timing of the wi k document dump. the special counsel would very much like to do what prosecutors do to every witness to let them know you're going to be indi indicted, now is the time to talk, and the president is
removing that leverage. it is dangerous waters, potentially a crime. >> there is a week of on potential developments, the busy week ahead with filings expected e. memos on the alleged crimes and lies, by perhaps tomorrow a new filing on how michael flynn lied to officials, and maybe some new memos on the specifics of tax evasion, and payments to women, et cetera. >> i think we're getting near the end, there are some obvious threads that need to be tied up. michael flynn, it's been over a year since he pled guilty. we don't know anything about what he told the special counsel. we don't know if it's been a little bit of cooperation or if he had a big story to tell about what happened in the campaign or early days of office. and remember, potential
indictments to come. >> right. you look at one of the pieces which has been the kremlin essential confirming what michael cohen is saying. to talk about the idea that michael cohen had reached out to discuss this potential building development in moscow. here is some of that between keir and dimitri. >> reporter: you realize this was coming from the office of a candidate. >> every week, dozens and dozens of foreign businessmen are approaching us, mentioning possible investments, searching for contact. >> reporter: this is from the lawyer for -- >> for us it's not different. >> remember the president has said there were not these kind of contacts during the campaign. that means for the last 2 1/2 years the kremlin has known that the president of the united states was not telling the truth
about this. remember when sally yates told the white house they were concerned that michael flynn was subject to backmail because the story the white house had told was not the same. he's been in that position for 2 1/2 years. >> thank you, matt. coming up, happy holidays maybe? will president trump throw a wrench into congress's attempt to reach a shutdown deal before friday's deadline? we'll talk about that after the break on "andrea mitchell reports." your typical bank. capital one is anything but typical. that's why we designed capital one cafes. you can get savings and checking accounts with no fees or minimums. and one of america's best savings rates. to top it off, you can open one from anywhere in 5 minutes. this isn't a typical bank. this is banking reimagined.
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so the countdown to friday is on, with the potential for a showdown of a partial shutdown of the government. couldn't there be a way out of it for at least one or two more weeks? lawmakers are scrambling to extend the deadline and try to cut a deal that satisfies both the president and lawmakers, who do not want to spend the money for the wall right now. it sounds like this meeting with the president and some democratic leaders is being postponed? >> reporter: we have multiple reports that the meeting that had been scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed. it should be obvious why. we are of course here at the capitol remembering the life and
legacy of george h.w. bush, so that has obvious lip put things in flux. that said, my prediction had been all the way along that they were going to punt this deadline at least one, if not two more weeks, but that's how things simply tend to work around here at the 11th hour negotiations, so that deadline is said for december 7th. congress can easily and quickly, if they all agree, pass a resolution that would extend the deadline. we don't know what the final outcome will be, but it seems that the more likely decision would be two weeks out. that's december 21st, the friday before christmas. i think a lot of members don't even want to stick around that long. frankly a lot have been voted out of congress, nobody wants to be here for the holiday season, but the flip side is to put more
pressure and get out of town. everyone's families calling, saying hey, why aren't you coming home? so those are the dynamics. i think the wild card here is the president of the united states. you cover him every day. that's one piece of this dynamic. you know, in the past the assumption was if they got a deal here, the president would sign on the dotted line, and we would all be fine, but i think everybody here is confident they can come up with something that republicans and democrats in congress can agree on, but nobody knows if the president will wake up on the wrong side of the bed today, say it's not good enough, and send us all into a tailspin. >> you make a good point. there are some of these things waiting, like in the case of
mar-a-lago. i asked him, would he support this extension? he said he's down with an extension, the question is, where is the negotiating compromise, right? he wants all this money for border wall. would he accept something less for border security? it's a real question mark. does it matter that it's a partial versus a full shutdown? he still has tons of federal workers potential furloughed over the holiday. >> republicans do, of course, control both houses of congress and the white house, at least until the end of the year. so, you know, republicans field burned by what happened back in 2015 when they shut down and, you know, they paid the he price for that. some of the impacts that are most visible may still be felt, though they have figured out how to fix those in the past, but
national parks, for example, is something that people mention. the interior department has not been funded so that includes the national parks service, and of course the department of homeland security. so there are potentially some serious risks, especially as everybody is traveling through the holidays, so i think it will be something that people would notice. thank you, kasie. they press pause on the trade war, but it's still up in the air on what it means. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
joining me now is the ambassador gary locke. thank you for coming on the show. >> my pleasure, hallie. >> this holds off on the increase from 25% to 10% on chinese goods, but do you see this more as a breakdown averted? >> this is certainly welcome news for both countries. both economies were softening, and going to the next level of tariffs by the united states on chinese goods, as well as retaliation by china, would have hurt both countries, both the consumers, and manufacturers, and workers. there are no winners in a trade
war. what will happen next is a big question mark. the chinese are coming up with a statement that does not square with what the united states says. make it's face saving on the chinese part, but a lot of uncertainty as to the next steps, and how you define success. >> i wonder if that raises the question, can you really call this a concrete win? >> well, certainly it helps the president politically. he was facing pressure from his constituents. soy beans and corn have dropped dramatically, and china is america's second largest export destination for agriculture, so it was having a real impact on the income of farmers.
and of course the tariffs on chinese goods coming into the united states is really a tax on american manufacturers, as well as american consumers. so that was going to be felt in the pocketbooks of americans, and perhaps cut down on the sales of american-made goods all around the world. so this was necessary. both sides needed to stop this escalation, this war from getting worse, and let's just hope in the meantime with the negotiations that will be under way, we'll be able to perhaps remove some of these tariffs on american goods going into china, whether it's automobiles, corn, soybeans, as well as some of the tariffs of chinese goods coming into the united states. there's another component to this agreement apparently. the white house is touting the idea that china will reclassify fentanyl as a controlled substance, can you explain, if
that's the case, why it would be significant in fighting the drug problem here in this country? >> it's very important that fentanyl be classified as a banned substance so the chinese have greater tools and will be able to use enforcement tools to stop the export of this drug, which is flooding our market and creating to the opioid and drug problem and the addiction problem of so many people here in america. we need to stop the sources of fentanyl coming into the united states, and having china on board, having china declared as a control substance and illegal produc production makes that a problem. the president is say he is planning a summit in january or february, with kim jong-un.
the question is where it will happen. how do you see that playing out within the next three months between the president and kim? >> well, further discussion is absolutely necessary. the talks have kind of stalled. we haven't seen much progress by the north koreans, and we just need to continue the pressure. certainly having china on board and using this truce to reduce the tensioning betwe ins betwee states and china, and having them help curtail the he production by north korea, certainly it helps. dialogue, negotiations is much more desirable, definitely preferable that this the north koreans and united states firing
rhetoric at each other, as well as their nuclear testing. gary locke, ambassador, thank you very much for coming on the show today. >> thank you. after the break, the presidents club remembers the legacy of their predecessor. i just got my cashback match, is this for real? yep. we match all the cash back new cardmembers earn at the end of their first year, automatically. whoo! i got my money!
it's been one of the great joys of my life, my friendship with him. >> he was a good reminder that as fiercely as we may fight on policy and on issues that ultimately we're americans first. >> i feel really good about people if they analyze not only his accomplishments but his character they'll say, job well done, george h.w. bush. >> that tribute from an elite fraternity of former presidents honoring george h.w. bush. bipartisan at its best. all three in attendance at the national cathedral including president trump who, of course, criticized president bush in the past and cannot attend barbara bush's funeral. joining me, bill kristol, ron clain and a.b. stoddard. bill, let me start with you and there. the image of these presidents,
these former presidents and president trump together, something that we have not seen since donald trump's inauguration. >> president bush, president h.w. bush requested he be invited to the funeral. i don't think he had a high opinion of president trump but thought it appropriate that he did not want to exclude president trump. different than senator mccain. i think it shows how much president bush -- how much he cared about the presidency as an institution and how much thinking ahead about trying to make clear we may not approve of the current president and doesn't diminish one's respect for the office. >> it is interesting to be listening to this conversation, ron, about institutionalization and the respect for the office and to compare that with where the republican party is now and presidents respect president trump and a different republican president under 45 than it was under 41. >> different in every respect. president trump spent this morning kind of reenacting
"godfather k" 2" on his twitter feed. so i mean, in terms of kind of class of the presidency is different thing and policy. george h.w. bush was a conservative republican president and also a president who passed a clean air act, who passed a civil rights restoration act. he was a bridge between the republican party of an earlier era and the republican party we see today. >> and the current republican party, a.b. and you have been talking with folks since the midterms where they dropped a lot of seats but as jonathan martin writes in "the new york times" this morning there's not a lot of signs of course correction moving forward inside the republican party. >> jonathan points out and what the republicans are talking about privately is a new delineation, a realignment that makes them a party of white men. this is a huge loss, the fact that women are so repelled by
trump in the suburbs and moderate and independent voters, a majority not made by the base alone. and they took a beating across the board except for largely white men. the new conference without their 40 either retired colleagues or defeated colleagues is much more trumpian and silent on this question so they can't have a debate about a course correction. even though they know that this is where the party's headed. it's an amazing moment. like alcoholic children. you laugh -- of an alcoholic parent. you keep laughing an you hide in your bedroom when it's really bad. they will not address this or leadership refuses to and they're afraid of trump. >> i would say out in the country and i'm traveling trying to rally republicans to break with trump and oppose him in 2020, it is different out in the country. i think the federal legislators, the congressmen and senators are the last to move. they're here in washington. >> the lagging indicators. >> yes.
lagging eindicator. they want their friends to get jobs. they want to work with the interior department from a western state or whatever. i'm struck. people do know, if you're a smart republican operative in pennsylvania or new hampshire or michigan or arizona you know this is a path to defeat in 2020 for the entire party. it is more of the same of 2018. so, i think -- but it takes a while for this to sink in and -- but i agree the people in washington are the most in denial. i came here as a reagan republican. there were fights. a lot of tensions and then bush and mccain republicans and that's what washington has been like and what the republican party has been like but i think us ragan and bush and mccain republicans have more in common than we do with trump republicans. they all -- they had differences, bush is more moderate than ragan and so forth and on the fundamental issues,
respect for the rule of law, respect for the institutions, as you said earlier -- >> right. >> i mean, they're in one camp and trump is in another. >> bush talked about that a little bit in the biography calling infamously now donald trump a blowhard. he said i don't know too much about him, not excited about him being a leader and rather than being motivated by public service donald trump seemed to be driven by a certain ego. now, that is just one of the things that has come up. we heard the president is recently as this fall go after that thousand-points of light phrase, right, from president bush. although president trump did address when he was at the g20 in argentina talked about president bush and what his service and legacy meant. >> it is hard to imagine two people more different than donald trump and george h.w. bush. i disagree with what president bush did as president but devoted his life to the service of his country, serving in world
war ii, ambassador, cia dire director, vice president, president. donald trump is a life of service to himself and the presidency has not changed that about donald trump and that difference is just so glaring looking at the two men. >> let's bring it back to what we talked about. the president's club. ron, you were -- a comradery of former -- people who have been in that position and there ain't many of them. 45 of them throughout american history. and the importance and of comradery in that group. >> yeah. i don't know how it's -- honestly, i don't know how it works when donald trump is an ex-president and theoretically a member of this club. i really think it's going to change because i don't think these men who share something in common really share that in common with donald trump. >> it is -- it's magnanimous he and his family wanted the
president to not be excluded from the service but normally a sitting president would be speaking at the funeral of an ex-president and that was made clear that that was not a good idea. he has made clear to the people in this club that he has no interest of seeking their counsel and here. he was chummy with president obama for a few weeks and then clear he wasn't seeking their counsel. >> that's a clear image and then sully the service dog in front of the casket of president george h.w. bush. we'll leave it there. thank you for that conversation. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online. i'm also there. for now, i'll turn it over to ali and stephanie for "velshi & ruhle" with more special coverage here on msnbc. >> thanks so much. good afternoon, everyone. i'm stephanie ruhle.
my partner ali velshi on assignment. it is monday, december 3rd. let's get smarter. >> the dow surging after news that president trump and china's xi jinping struck a deal basically. a pause while the u.s. holds off on higher tariffs. >> president trump was very clear. we need to have real progress over these 90 days. this is not going to be something where there's soft commitments they could kick down the road. >> over the weekend, we got the sentencing memo for michael cohen which outlined a number of key points. >> the fact that he was lying to the american people about doing business in russia and that the kremlin knew he was lying gave the kremlin a hold over him and a question now is does the kremlin have a hold over him? >> i think he's going to go down as a greatest one-term president ever. >> your success now is our country's success. i'm rooting hard for you. good luck. this letter is a statement of who he is.