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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  December 6, 2018 3:00am-6:01am PST

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service is noble and necessary, that one could hold true to the important values like faith and family. he strongly believed that it was important to give back to the community and country in which one lived. in victory, you shared credit. when he lost, he shouldered the blame. every day of his 73 years of marriage, dad taught us all what it means to be a great husband. he married his sweetheart. he adored her. he laughed and cried with her. he was dedicated to her totally. he showed me what it means to be a president who leads with courage and act with love in his heart for the citizens on of our country. >> integrity, character, honesty, bravery, empathy, compassion. yesterday was about george h.w. bush, not about our current president, donald trump. but as phil rutger notes in "the washington post," it was impossible to pay tribute to the 41st president without drawing
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implicit contrasts with the 45th. this morning, we will with reflect on yesterday's incredible state funeral for george h.w. bush with the man who helped eulogize him, historian john meachum. plus, the president is shrugging off the nation's debt crisis because he won't be around to pay the piper or -- i guess that would be china. and speaking of beijing, negotiators are still circling each other on trade, despite pronouncements from the white house of tangible success. also ahead, a story that needs to be told and told and told until we get some answers. we're going to talk to the investigative reporter who helped reveal the justice department's sweetheart deal with an accused child rapist. and who are all of his victims and who are all of the victims in this web -- >> that have been silenced, cast aside and forgotten?
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>> and they keep settling so we don't hear them in open court. >> this morning, some lawmakers are mow demanding an investigation and we'll get into that. welcome to "morning joe." it is thursday, december 6th. welcome. along with joe, willie and me, we have john heilman and jackie alemanie is with us this morning. good to have you all on board. let's dig right into it. a bipartisan group of senators has introduced a legislation holding the crown prince mohammed bin salman responsible for a number of transgressions, including the murder of jamal khashoggi. this group of senators urges the white house to hold him accountable. in addition, the resolution
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holds the crown prince accountable for his leading role in, quote, the humanitarian crisis in yemen, accused of the jailing of activists and citizens in jail. just over two weeks ago, president trump issued a lengthy formal statement backing the kingdom and its rulers assisting in part, quote, the world is a dangerous place and our relationship with the kingdom of saudi arabia. and later told reporters we're with saudi arabia. a brother to the crown prince has returned to the u.s. he left for riyadh shortly after khashoggi's disappearance in october. it has been one of the things
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that has confused me the most about this presidency and that is how the administration can stand by a president who will allow the world to sow doubt in our intelligence institutions. >> it's not confusing at all. he's done it twice. >> no. mattis, pompeo, i don't get it. >> we've seen it openly with donald trump. russia first and now donald trump and saudi arabia and that has to do with money. it has to do with personal money. the numbers this he's putting forward are bogus. they're false. what he said during the campaign we're going to find out in a little bit by some reporting from "the washington post" was true. that he and the saudis have a personal business relationship. he bragged that he made hundreds of millions of dollars from the saudis during the campaign. now we're finding out even after being elected president he's making a ton of money.
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>> they welcome it with such fanfare. >> you're talking about monthing a hole in the emoluments. >> they like that trump hotel. >> and they liked it a lot more after donald trump became president. but donald trump was correct that the world is a dangerous place and this region is a dangerous place. all evidence suggests mbs is making it more dangerous, more volatile, more deadly. >> i would argue this is as clear as a rebuke of the president from republicans as we've seen. we can go through and maybe there's something that's close, but now they want to put into legislation something which will do what the president has been unwilling to do. the problem i have is trying to convince the president, who so publicly and so clearly has given the crown prince a pass.
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how do you come back from that? how could he now suddenly say he knows, he's heard the intelligence. the president knows the saudi crown prince was behind this. how do you un wind that now? how do you come back and say, you know what? you're right. i should have been tougher on him. here are some new sanctions. he's been clear where he stands and annnow it's up to come to p back. >> and, john, do you think republicans are now speaking out and standing up to donald trump because of the historic thumping that trump republicans took a couple of weeks ago or could this have happened, anyway? was this so blatant that the killing of a washington post reporter who had two american children, the torture, the sawing of -- i mean, why do you think republicans are finally standing up? >> i don't think we'll ever know exactly the answer to that question because we can't live in a world of counterfactuals, but i think, joe, you're right.
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it seems to me given the behavior willie cited the notion that this is the clearest rebuke, i think the only other rebuke that stands close to it is the passing of russia sanctions and the president didn't want to have that happen and it was an overwhelming bipartisan vote. i guess now a little over a year ago, a year and a half ago. in this instance, i think there's a clear line between what happened with the midterm elections. i can't imagine that you would have republicans behaving the way that they're behaving right now had donald trump been triumphant, had republicans held the house, had they not suffered that historic thumping. i think the political context would be wildly different. i think we can look back and say
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that was the first place where the dam started to break and it was one of the two things that was a different world after the election. you saw what the political consequences of trump's presidency has been, republicans getting sa lacked at the polls and secondly the world that we will live in after mueller found the reports. we've seen one of them and the consequences are are pretty clear. >> mika, it's hard the to explain to working class voters in youngstown, ohio, how siding up with murderous saudi sheikhs lines up with making america great again. it doesn't fit the bland. the only explanation is money. and the money he hopes to make from the saudis when he leaves office in the near term. speaking of money, potential
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conflicts on of interests between some of president trump's businesses and the government of saudi arabia. according to "the washington post," lobbyists reserved blocks of rooms at the president's washington, d.c. hotel shortly after trump was elected. the trump says the lobbyist locked down an estimated 500 nights over the course of the next three months. >> come on. that's as obvious as the picture that they put on all of their buildings when he went there. >> at least it wasn't a ritz situation. >> 500 rooms. >> the paper says the lobbyists had been rereserving large numbers of d.c. area hotel rooms as part of an unconventional campaign where u.s. veterans were given about a free trip to washington to lob by on capitol hill against a law the saudis opposed. the lobbyists previously put the lobbyists up in virginia. >> makes more sense. more economical.
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>> but in december of 2015, they shifted most of their bookings over to the trump presidential hotel which the president still happens to own. the hotel bookings are part of a federal lawsuit claiming the president took improper payments from foreign governments. a federal judge on monday says lawyers from maryland and washington, d.c. can begin issuing subpoenas in the lawsuit. the saudi embassy did not respond to the post's requests for comment. trump hotel executives, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the paper they were unaware at the time that saudi arabia was covering the bill and declined to comment on the rates they offer to guests. jackie, this is your paper's reporting. just knowing how trump operated before he went into the white house, some of this stuff is okay in some places, in some
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countries, but when you go to washington, i remember my sister-in-law who was married to my brother who was the ambassador to sweden, i couldn't send her shoes. there are very clear rules and they actually call you out and call you up if they are broken. >> especially as congress can reporters and a whole lot of people are wondering why the president has gone to such lengths to defend mbs and to extend one of the longest running scandals really of the trump presidency with the murder of jamal khashoggi. this is a pretty suspicious story, especially since it's come out of the pair of lawsuits alleging that trumps has violated the constitution by taking improper payments from foreign governments. >> you say suspicious. some people might say he just moved the rooms over. they were just getting business. it's business. what makes it more suspicious to you? >> that they -- after trump won the the presidency, they moved the rooms to the trump hotel spending i think it was almost
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$300,000. this story is so laird in so many ways, it points out that the group that organized this, which the saudi embassy refused to comment on was using veterans as pawns. >> again, with john heilman, you don't need a oija board to figure this out. the president has, since 2015 when we were interviewing him about him praising vladimir putin, the president has steadfastly defended putin and russian atrocities and he's -- you know, we can find quotes from his sons saying that, you know, most of their money they get been they get from russians. now we can find out they were chase ago deal in moscow. we can show you one clip after another of the president
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bragging about how they love trump, how they buy lots of trump toys, how they've spent over $100 million giving trump money. so here you have, again, two foreign policy matters where the president is thinking, not only doesn't it make sense, but it's out of the line with the thinking in the senate and the house and radically out of line with the facts presented by the intel community. this is not hard. >> no, not a complicated story. and, you know, 500 hotel rooms, that's more than a normal scarborough golf weekend. >> wow. because you know that i'm the type of guy to go on golf outings. >> and brings 600 of of your best friends. >> over/under being one. >> nintendo golf weekends. >> that's what i meant.
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but with the wii enabled -- >> remember when the governor was allegedly playing that for hours a take. >> the president of the united states ran for president not thinking he would win, not thinking he would get the republican nomination, not thinking if he got it he would then become president. the whole thing was set up to become a way to -- >> brand enhancement, right.? >> yes. >> and a money-making operation. >> the guy spent the previous decade with his friend, michael cohen, running around the world trying to not just do what -- to do what he had done in the united states which was use the trump name to make more money. this was a great opportunity to increase not just his profile, but his international profile and to use this as an opportunity after he presumably lost either as the nominee or in the general election. he would then go on and be in a
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great position to maximize revenues, maximize profits going forward on the basis of this. you thought once he won the presidency, he would have abandon those things. but, no, he went into the white house thinking, well, i'm not going to -- i got into this for the money, i'm not going to abandon that primary objective. so he has used the white house in ways that we are now seeing, people have been talking about for a year and a half, he's using the white house to make money while being president and to try to enhance hesitate opportunities making money after being the president. >> and that's the prism you always have to look at. there's a reason why the night donald trump got elected he looked like he had been, like, jabbed by a cattle prod. melania was crying. mike pence's wife was aingngry.
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and the scene looked like something more out of a wake than a hotel room. they didn't expect it. they didn't want it. >> he's about money and business. it's all he's ever been about his entire life and continues to be that way. >> you know who else thought these hotel stays were strange? >> who? >> the veterans staying in them. seriously, if you read these statements, a lot of people say, i've been in a lot of rooms. they immediately thought it was weird. they didn't know about the saudi connection, but they had some red flags themselves. the institute judiciary committee delayed a judicial nomination. they were expected to doctor nominations today which would have included six appeals court nominees. but senator jeff flaek hke has refused to vote on these until the senate votes on protecting
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bob mueller. last night, senator flake tweeted, quote, the senate needs to protect the special counsel. and again and again last week again, joe, the majority leader mitch mcconnell says we don't need legislation like this. there's no way donald trump would do anything to get rid of robert mueller. so again we ask what gives him that can confidence. >> say what you will, jackie, about jeff flake, his mournful face, his floor speeches and his lack of action -- >> sometimes they're tiring. >> he is going out -- >> always active on twitter, though. >> he is going out in a way that is not just meaningingless. th he's getting hammered by a lot of conservative outlets and he's calling mitch mcconnell's bluff. you say you want, you know, the rule of law to be upheld, here is an easy way to do it.
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>> and mcconnell's argument back to him is he's address ago problem that doesn't exist. but that's not -- interest if it doesn't matter, go ahead and pass it. >> the trend lines that we've seen here is congress bending over backwards, leaning towards their party rather than acting as a check and balance, at least the gop here. i talked with the watergate prosecutor yesterday who said the biggest difference between watergate and the mueller investigation right now is mueller stands alone in working towards the truth. and at least during watergate, there was a comprehensive government effort towards finding the truth. but at this point in time, it's the mead krdia, jeff flake and t mueller. >> and is he conflicted because his wife works -- >> or maybe he's thinking of the primary two years from now. >> right and wrong today at this point is where we're at. that's all you need to care about. >> wasn't it interesting, we're talking about robert mueller and
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we were watching the funeral, we were watching the ceremonies, and everybody kept saying george h.w. bush, he's from a different time, from a different place, we will never see the same type of leader controlling washington again. hello, robert mueller is like that is pure northeast bushism. >> we shall see. >> here is a guy, again -- >> same cloth. cut from the same cloth. literally the same piece of cloth. >> literally the same piece of cloth. and st. paul's, princeton, uva, united states marine corps, just like bush sacrificed during that war, was a military hero and -- >> yep. >> same piece of cloth. >> and it's remarkable that in a 17-month investigation, he has managed to avoid any sort of
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scandal. hasn't leaked in any sort of extra judicial manner to suggest his findings. every turn is a complete surprise. >> a guy that also could have made a ton of money, mika, but it was always public service first. >> that's right. so to some other stories making headlines this morning, u.s. and japanese authorities are currently searching for five missing marines near gentlemanen pan. it comes after a pair of military planes collided during a refuel training accident about 200 miles off the coast. joining us now nbc news pent concorrespondent hans nichols. what's the latest? >> well, the latest is they're facing some difficult seas there in the sea of japan with these rescue efforts. they're still looking, as you mentioned, for those five marines. what happened was you had a refueling plane, a kc-130 collide, an f-18. they've pulled two of those marines out.
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one of them is receiving medical treatment, but they are both alive. but as of this morning, it's dark there now. they continue the seven witharc whole lot of assets. we've learned jim mattis has extended the troops on the south western board he. >> mattis gets something called a request for assistance, an rfa and he signs it. the most recent one was about 48 hours and that will extend those troops for another 45 days. the more interesting question is, guys, what are their rules of engagement going to be.? it's clear that president trump wants them to be able to use a little bit more policing activity than mattis is comfortable with. this is the complicated dance that secretary mattis always has to play with the white house. in this case, also with nielsen. so it looks like they may have fewer troops down there, but they may have a more expanded role and they will be there through christmas.
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>> through christmas putting down barbed wire. >> it's incredible. >> united states -- >> this is shocking. also making headlines this morning, the embattled usa gymnastics organization has resoared to a bankruptcy claim in order to survive. the organization filed the petition yesterday representing more than 350 athletes in courts across the country who blame the group for failing to supervisor convicted former team doctor larry nassar. finally, a slew of e-mails released by british lawmakers appear to show how facebook gave some companies preferential access to user data. more than 250 pages worth of e-mails from 2012 to 2015 suggest facebook gave preferential access to some third-party app developers like air bnb and netflix while restricting access to others. the e-mails highlight how ceo mark zuckerberg considered
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selling access to user data in return for ad spending in 2012. yesterday zuckerberg denied that facebook ever sold -- >> it's unbelievable. >> -- user data. >> willie, they -- it's very trump of them, it really is. cheryl sandberg, faced with information, screams, yells, gets angry and says bury it and then denies, denies, denies. zuckerberg presented e-mails from the british government, denies. it's just -- again, i'd say who is running this company, but we know who is running this company. when is the board going to take control? >> the more you hear, the more orwellan it gets in terms of what they're offering to people. you give their data, now they're spreading it around to people who want to use it to sell you things. i don't use facebook a lot and i'm glad i don't.
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let's put it na wthat way. still ahead, the latest from north carolina and what sure looks like an apparent scheme to rig an election. so far -- >> were the republicans right? did the democrats scheme to steal votes? >> no. so far, it's radio silence for many top republicans. the same ones who were screaming about the threat of voter fraud in the run are up to the midterms. >> so republicans -- >> the this is on them and crickets. "morning joe" will be right back. to most, he's phil mickelson, pro golfer.
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and in a sense, the rest of his life was a perennial effort to prove himself worthy of his salvation on that distant morning. to him, his life was no longer his own. there were always more missions to undertake, more lives to touch, and more love to give. he never slowed down on the primary campaign trail in new hampshire once he grabbed then hand of a department store mannequin asking for votes. when he realized his mistake, he said, never know. gotta ask. you can hear the voice, can't you? as dana carvey said the key to a
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george bush impersonation is mr. rogers trying to be john wayne. >> john, we learned from you after that you had actually been able -- you read your eulogy to the president while still alive. what was his reaction? >> it was fascinating. we were -- it was a great honest, of course. i've always had, as you probably have, the impression of sitting in churches, sitting in memorial services and thinking, geez, if only the person we're talking about could hear this. and so i decided, well, why not just solve this. and so i called up last summer, i think, and said would you like to hear it? yes. and so he was at that point pretty much in his bedroom there in walker's point. and i went in and we chatted a while and then i pulled up an
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ottoman next to the chair where he was, he was in a recliner, and read it to him. boy, his eyes didn't move. he was following everything. and at the very end, he said, it's so nice. you know, there's an awful lot about me. which i -- and then i said -- and rather smart alecky way, that was the mission here, sir. but it was a great honor. i know prime minister mulroney did the same thing on a different trip. you know, it was just fascinating yesterday because it is, of course, the passing of an era, but he was so vibrantly alive, even into his 94th year. you all know this. he had that enveloping charisma. you know, you always felt -- bill clinton once said there's
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something about george bush that makes you want to be a better man. and i think if anything right now, the country is experiencing that to an extraordinary degree all throughout the country. >> john, we knew this day was coming. and yet despite all the time you've spent with the bush family, all the time you spent studying this man, are you surprised and is the family surprised by the degree of the outpouring of respect and admiration that this country and the world has poured on george h.w. bush's life and memory? >> you know, this may sound saccharin, but has the virtue of being true. i don't think surprise is the word. i think grateful is the word. you know, you've known him forever. we've all thought about him and studied him and i think
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particularly in recent years we've longed for a guy who would, in fact, put his -- put the overall good ahead of his own personal issues. and this is not about the incumbent. it is possible, by the way, in america to have a conversation about someone and it not be about the incumbent president. and to me, one other point on this, for people who might be getting tired of the enconums and think it's overboard or whatever, i believe as strongly as i believe anything s that george h.w. bush is as interesting for his imperfections as he is for his virtues. because we learn far more from sinners than we do from saints, which is a good thing given the relative proportion between the two and the. population. if you create these unreachable heros, they lose the capacity to
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teach. and so george bush will be the first to tell you, as he said, you know, politics is not a pure undertaking, not if you want to win, it's not. he understood. he said in his diary, if i let the press keep defining me as a loser, i wouldn't be climbing the highest mountain in the world. but then when the crises of his time came and he had amassed ultimate power, he spent that power in a broader interest than his own and he knew it in realtime. he said i'm going to be dead meat when he did the tax deal. so i just think the great thing about biography, the great thing about history, and these kinds of weeks, these kinds of moments, is that you can take a look at the totality of a life and it seems to me that we learn a lot more from the past not if
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we look up at it adoringly or look down on it con -- condescendingly, but if you look straight at it. >> john, we as your friends were so proud of you yesterday. it was such a beautiful eulogy. i don't know how well were you were able to connect as you delivered it, but president george w. bush had the shoulder shaking with laughter at the right times. congratulation owes a job well done. as we look back on the presidency of george h.w. bush and certainly you did a great job looking back at his life and there is no contesting that he was a great man. is there a reassessment, do you think, and not just in the last couple of days, but in the last several years of his presidency? often a one-term president can be dismissed as a blip on the
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presidential radar. what do we make of his presidency today? >> well, he worried about about that. he worried. he said once i feel like an asterisk lost somewhere between the glory of reagan and the tribulations of clinton. our friend michael beschloff has a great rule which is it takes 25 to 30 years to figure out what's history and what's journalism. if you think about it, in the fall of 1992, only 37% of americans wanted to keep george bush as president. you know, one thing you could argue about had this week is if all these people loved him so much, why did he only get 37%? you know, he would have won in a landslide. but the things that -- and this was -- he knew, i think, and mrs. bush knew this, too, that the things that were costly in realtime were going to be
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beneficial in retrospect. so the tax deal in 1990, the rhetorical restraint at the end of the cold war, refusing to go to berlin in the fall of 1989, you had -- there were people in that cathedral yesterday who had been pounding on him saying he was out of touch, he didn't understand the drama at the end of the cold war. how could a guy fought understand the drama of the end of a nuclear standoff who had been shot down out of the sky when he was 20? what he did is he actually managed to put a broader interest ahead of his own and our interests first, which was let mikhail gorbachev have some room to breathe. it's a code that began -- and if you have any doubt that character is destiny, george h.w. bush who at andover helped
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a kid who was beelgiing bullied pulled a kid out of a barrel who was stuck in it because he didn't want to embarrass the kid by running past him, that boy was the man who knew that gorbachev needed room to both because gorbachev needed room to breathe that didn't want to see russian greatness go away. if you doubt me, i refer you to vladimir putin who was one of those folks. and so his failure to get up and give the big speech and declare victory in what kennedy called the long twilight struggle, it hurt him politically in the short the short-term, but historically he will receive enormous credit. same on domestic policy. find a republican president or a democratic president in this polarized era who could sign something like the clean air act or the americans with
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disabilities act with two houses of congress in en my hands. i don't think that's a long list. not a long list at all, john. and we thank you for being with us. i just wanted to bring up one point, that, you know, it's interesting the last time we were together and i remember we were at kennabunk port and we were out in the driveway and the sun was setting and we talked about how there would not be leaders like this again in our lifetime, unfortunately. and we were just talking around the table about perhaps the most important figure in washington, d.c. right now, the st. paul's man who went to princeton, who went to uva law school, who served in the united states marines, who showed uncommon valor and was, you know, was awarded medals for bravery and honor and time and time again, throughout his life, decided to pass up the ability to go into
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law firms and make millions and millions of dollars and instead chose public service. and once between, you can talk about leaders like this without referencing the current president of the united states. there still are selfless leaders out there and some, in fact, cut from the same clothe as george h.w. bush. >> character is destiny. the greeks wrote that. hericletus wrote it. and a republic is nothing if not the sum of its parts. and so our disposition, yours and mind, our disposition of heart and mind matters enormously. and people like director mueller, people like george h.w. bush, they may seem to come from a bygone era, but i promise you, they don't see it that way. because for them, they weren't governing -- president trump
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wasn't wandering around in a frok coat with a powdered wig. he was fighting george mitchell who he used to call the sammy sosa of partisanship. mika knows this from her dad. on, we were going to win the cold war. not necessarily. bismarck is alleged to have said god loves drunks, little children and the united states of america. i think -- as you know, i think we're going to come through our current crisis because ultimately i believe the institutions created by james madison and given life and form by people like eleanor roosevelt and franklin roosevelt and
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ronald reagan and i think those institutions are far stronger than the storms we face. >> we appreciate it. willie, john brings up a great point. we will learn a hell of a lot more from sinners than we do saints, which is why i think we provide more teachable moments. >> we're going to be reading the new issue of time magazine which features more of your reflects, john meachum, of 41's life and legacy. thank you very much. >> you see that moment yesterday, mika, where once again "w" passed a mint -- >> to your hero. >> to michelle obama who is rapidly becoming not only my hero, but america's hero. >> in that silent moment, the bush family walking down the middle, president bush reaches into his pocket and hands michelle obama a mint in a call back to their moment together that went back to -- >> and look at george w. bush, the uniter, not a divider. there's a mint and the clintons, a warm embrace by the clintons
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and jimmy carter who looks, by the way, like he did in 1977. >> amazing. i love him. >> they are a remarkable, remarkable people, the carters. still ahead, an investigation into voter fraud is keeping the apparent winner of a north carolina congressional race from taking his seat in the house. steve kornacki will join us to explain what's going on there. plus, we'll talk to the woman who has been tasked with protecting the democratic party's house majority in 2020. congresswoman sherry bustas joins us next on "morning joe." over 100 years ago, we were talking about the model t. now here we are talking about winning the most jd power iqs and appeal awards.
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federal and state investigators have launched probes into possible election fraud involving absentee ballots in north carolina's 9th congressional district. investigators from the state board of elections and ethics enforcement are canvassing irregularities in at least two counties. joining us now over at the bigboard is national political correspondent for nbc news -- >> he's back and he's angry at what's been going on in north
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carolina. >> author of the book "the red and the blue" steve kornacki. what's going on? >> this is the race mark harris, the republican, was declared the winner over dan mccready. the margin here, 905 votes. in all of the investigations, all the suspicion, it centers around absentee ballots in two counties in particular. we can go inside and show you what we're talking about. two rural counties. number one, it's one of the red counties here. mark harris won there. and another rural county, this is a democratic county. the interest right now focuses on absentee ballots in these counties in two specific issues. let me show you what they are. number one is this. take a look at this. this is the absentee total. if you took the absentee ballots around the district and how did each candidate do in each candidate? you notice a pattern here. mccready, the democrat, won in every county in the district.
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he won pretty overwhelmingly in every county in the district, double digit victories, often 20 points or more and one county sticks out like a sore thumb on here. bladen county. mark harris won that thing by 23 points in the absentee ballot total. what makes that particularly interesting is that only 19% of the voters, 19% of the ballots that received absentee in this county were were cast by republicans. and yet somehow harris gets 61% of the vote here. it's the only county where he wins the absentee and oh, by the way, in the entire state of north carolina. no county had a higher share of absentee votes cast than bladen county. >> let me stop you right there, steve. again, we've all heard this story play in the background for a week now. but i want to underline something you just said. in bladen county, only 19% of those absentee votes were cast by republicans. and what did the republican win?
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>> 61% of the vote in the absentee. >> 61% of the vote. all right. so how did that happen? >> so the question there is when you talk about the issue with these absentee ballots, the question there is you have affidavits now, some affidavits that have been submitted from voters got affidavits that have been submitted from voters saying in some cases, hey, i received an absentee ballot at my house. i'm not sure why. i didn't ask for it. and somebody showed up at their house who they thought might have been an election official, might have presented themselves that way, but they're not sure who they were, but they collect their absentee ballot at that point and it had not been sealed. was an unsealed absentee ballot taken from a number of voters, maybe altered, not changed, filled out, cast for harris, and submitted. that's one of the issues.
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the second is this. check this out. these are the counties in the district, and what you see here, this is the percentage of absentee ballots that were sent out but then not returned. 62% of the absentee ballots in robeson were not returned. 40% in bladen. nothing approaches that in the state. again again, if you go back, why is that significant? mccready won 56%. were ballots collected and destroyed? >> my goodness. steve kornacki, thank you for that. something does not line up.
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>> john hiles -- heilemann, shocking. >> let's talk to someone concerned. congress w congresswoman, great to have you on the show. >> thank you. >> congresswoman, democrats will be allowed to decide. is there any way anybody can be seated until there is an investigation that clears up basically, well, i guess -- it appears to be rampant cheating in this congressional race. >> well, you know, we'll wait
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and see. that's on january 3rd, so we have a little bit of time to get this figured out, but we've got to get to the bottom of it. if you think about these folks in north carolina and from the reporting and, you know, let's do a shout-out to free press and good reporting, but the reporting shows that it was african-american voters who were targeted. why was that? you know, our most solid base of support as democrats is in the african-american community. so, you know, everybody in north carolina, whatever community you come from, needs to make sure they have confidence in the electoral system and every vote is counted, and it appears -- you did a great job with the overview there, there's something very fishy in north carolina. >> jackie alemany. >> i wonder why we haven't heard a ton about this.
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since there are around 45 democrats running for president, isn't this something every dem should be talking about right now? >> the dems are talking about this right now. we've got a whole crew on the ground in north carolina. we've got lawyers on the case. we're talking with dan mccready, the democratic candidate, who we hope will end up being the congressman representing this region of north carolina. we're on the phone with him constantly. we will get to the bottom of this, trust me. the authorities will get to the bottom of this. the north carolina voters and american voters all over want to get to the bottom of this. our electoral process has to be pure, and there's something very stinky going on here. >> congresswoman, it's willie geist. congratulations on your win. >> thank you. >> you're a fascinating case and
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the proemappropriate person to that district which has elected democrats for the most part over the last generation or so and switched and voted for donald trump in 2016. not by a wide margin, but went for donald trump, and yet you won the re-election by 24 points as a democrat. what's the lesson in that that you can relay to candidates running in 2020? >> it's the common sense part of politics. you show up, use your two ears and mouth. willie, i'm a former reporter. it's more comfortable for me to ask questions and sit back and listen. you take what you learn from people. i do this thing called cheri on shift. i did my 76th on monday making
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railroad ties. you're standing shoulder to shoulder with hard-working people and you find out what their challenges are, their struggles, and then you go back out to washington and you sponsor legislation or write legislation and do your best to get results for people back home. you know, i was talking about my brand-new tenure. i'm one week into this chair job right now of the democratic congressional campaign committee, but i would say in the next two years what we democrats have to do is punch our way back into the hearts of working families. that's what we've stood for as democrats. we have to make sure that everybody, whatever it is, that people see that we are fighting for them and we're going to get results for them. >> congresswoman cheri bustos, thanks for being on the show. great to see you.
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>> thanks, mika. coming up, from 15-year-old towel girl at donald trump's mar-a-la mar-a-lago. it's one of the most notorious sex abuse cases of our time. that's next on "morning joe." ( ♪ ) what do you get the person that loves to tailgate?
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welcome back to "morning joe." it is thursday, december 6th. we've still got a lot to cover this morning. 270 grand can buy you a lot of hotel rooms. can it also buy you a lot of friends at the highest level of government? we'll talk to the reporter who paid for 500 rooms at donald trump's hotel after the 2016
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election. joining the conversation now, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle, pulitzer prize-winning editor of the "washington post" and author of "fear: trump in the white house," bob woodward. >> so we'll get to bob in a second. mike, you said something coming in about republicans and wisconsin. it shows once again how shortsighted politicians are or day traders they are, acting as if this is the last time their party will -- it's not possible for their party to ever be going into power at some point and democrats doing the same thing back to them. it's so shortsighted. >> the republican speaker of the house basically stripped the face of democracy in the state of wisconsin yesterday by passing at least two pieces of legislation yesterday, i think, that take a lot of the powers away from the incoming newly elected democrat. >> and wisconsin is a swing state. it's not like this is going to
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help republican candidates in 2020 if it looks like the gop is scheming to thwart the voter's decision from just a month ago. >> no. >> insanity. >> it's an incredible, incredible string of democratic processes from a single state just through a group of people in the legislature, republicans. >> and then the speaker is trying to justify the actions. >> we're going to have every opportunity to find common ground. that's going to happen. we have to. we have to work together. but i also know that the situation we are sitting in right now, if we do not pass these proposals is that we're going to have a very liberal governor who's going enact policies that are in direct contrast to what many of us believe in. >> well, actually, there was an election, and he won, you lost. >> that's not how this works. >> yeah, yeah.
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it's kind of how america works. i know donald trump's president, but you're making a big mistake. it's shortsighted, and republican candidates in 2020 will probably pay for it. bob, let's talk about donald trump now. we've been talking this morning about saudi arabia. we could also be talking about russia. the gambles donald trump has made in large part, we believe, because of his financial interest in those countries before he was president of the united states, while he was president of the united states, according to great "washington post" reporting, and he hopes after he's president of the united states. >> it's quite possible. the interesting part, i think, is the policy is -- you used the right word -- gamble. high risk. the donald risk factor, which permeates his life, and in saudi arabia, everyone, secretary of state, secretary of defense,
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intelligence community, national security adviser in the first couple of months of his presidency said don't form this relationship now. deputy crown prince then was mbs, 31 years old, and intelligence showed he was immature, impulsive, and they went ahead, and the fruit now is the killing of jamal khashoggi, and it shows how the saudis have always operated, but a vivid, shocking example. >> the killing of a "washington post" columnist, virginia resident, a man with two american children killed because of what he wrote in the "washington post" and the words he delivered at open public democratic forums, but there's also the tragic war in yemen, which is just a humanitarian
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disaster and very bad for the united states of america. i'm not sure what we get out of this alliance right now. >> exactly. and if you look back into this, there are more risks. 30 years ago i wrote about the saudi effort to kill a sheikh in a car bomb and they killed 80 innocent people. there were bodies all around that they left, and if they look at this and slowed it down and would say, okay, we'll have an alliance and rules, but that did not happen. >> i have a bigger question about madison pompeo. i wonder if you've ever seen a secretary of defense, secretary of state who -- it's clear what
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the guidance of the president circumstance and they watched the president repeatedly run through stop signs when it comes to interacting with foreign entities, especially controversial ones. why don't they stay? why don't they speak? and what is happening where we've seen that they stay even though the president is going rogue on their advice. >> yes. this element of who does donald trump consult? himself. >> right. >> everything starts with himself. >> that we know, yeah. >> but this is a manifestation of that, and how can you slow him down? how can you get him -- he's experienced. he's made validation for himself. u got here all by myself, no one
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thought it would work. the dynamic, let's tone it down, when impulse strikes him, he doesn't slow down. >> how does that impact madison pompeo. i get trump? >> this accommodation privately -- i've reported about the president. he has to say we have all these alliances around the world to prevent world war iii. that's job one for a president. and this is a year into the presidency. earlier this occurred. pompeo realizes what's going on and is somebody who says, okay, there's a thin blue line of
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keeping some order in all of this, but this -- we are experiencing -- >> i haven't seen anything like it. >> you know, i don't know -- i mean there are things when the presidencies go off the rails, we know that. >> is this presidency going off the rails right now? where are we? you obviously droeshve a lot ofe news in '73 and '74. where are we in the presidency? >> we've got to watch it. the mueller investigation is significant, dramatic. i know from the nixon case, you need irrefutable evidence or tapes or documents too get full credibility. >> the difference here is the
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tapes. >> the tapes. >> i'm saying the tapes are public. he admitted obstruction of justice to lester holt, he admitted obstruction. donald trump has already confessed from the mountaintops. >> yes, but, again, he has his gumg argument, well, as president i can do these things. you have to have a kind of corrupt intent. not to get too into it, you have to have th ordering of things for money. >> or tampering of evidence. >> yes. but in a way that is clearly with the corrupt intent. in this case -- i mean maybe people are going buy it and say it's all public and we know.
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we'll see. as trump says, we'll see. >> to bring it back to the saudis and why president trump has been willing to give them a pass on this, a nude interest between the president and business and the government of saudi arabia. according to the "washington post," they reserved block of rooms at the president's washington, d.c., hotel shortly after trump was elected. the "post" reports the trump locked down an estimated 500 nights over the course of three months. they had been reserving d.c. rooms as part of a campaign, gi giving them rooms. the lobbyists put the vets up at
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hotels in northern virginia, but in december 20616 shifted most of their bookings over to the trump international hotel, which the president still owns, spending more than $270,000 to put up six groups of veterans. joining us now is the reporter behind the story, executive reporter from the "washington post" and nsnbc contributor david farronholt. explain this to us. can you explain how the rooms give the crown prince a pass on the murder of a "washington post" journalist? >> the purpose of this running the hotel rooms, they had a weird strategy. they lost a fight in congress that basically allowed the families of 9/11 victims to sue the saudi kingdom. they then lost. they said let's bring in somebody who has the moral authority to win the 9/11 fight
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with the families. as you say, they started in virginia. then after he was elected, they were moved to trump's hotel and the stays last longer once they're at the hotel. >> david, what would be the explanation for the veterans being invited to washington? you're at ft. bragg and all of a sudden, come to washington for a weekend on us? what were they told? >> they weren't told very much. many times that i were recruited through other organizations. the military purple heart or local veterans groups. they would say, look, we're getting together to lobby that the law is bad for veterans. it's like, okay, this sounds a little vague. when i get to washington,' i'll
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figure it out. they were finally told after asking questions, yes, it's the saudis' money. >> the saudis are always throwing around money. let's face it. donald trump is a walking conflict of interest on something like this. billions of dollars the saudis will throw around to make sure they have a good relationship with trump and the administration, but this is a little piece of it, and you have to ask the question, why doesn't somebody say no, let's not do this? >> that's what i don't get. >> david, we talk about two countries in particular where donald trump's foreign policies made little sense. one, of course, russia. and we've had some new information this week talking about why he may be soft ped
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pedaling his statements against vladimir putin, but we have his sons admitting a good bit of their money came from russia. then, of course, we have the money coming from saudi arabia, the president bragging he made hundreds of millions there. you can look at the philippines and the trump tower there. let's just talk about those countries and how if donald -- how donald trump's foreign policy could possibly be influenced by those four countries and the amount of money he's received from there and i would say the amount of money he hopes to receive from there after he leaves office after one term. >> well, we still don't really know the full extent of his business relationship with those countries. you mentioned the saudis. the president has boasted about three hotels. not just the one in new york and d.c., but chicago as well. the philippines' embassy held its national day party at the
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trump hotel this year. so there are a lot of business relationships we found out. but the ones we found out are the ones other reporters have dug up. there could be so much more there. there's no accounting at all of what the totality of their buzz with foreign governments has been just since they took office. there's just so much we don't know. >> talk about, david, those quotes from the sons that most of their money comes from russia. >> so there's a couple of quotes you see reported, both before he ran for office. one is from donald trump jr. where he said a cross-section of our assets comes from russia. he was talking about condo buyers, that russians bought condos at trump tower in florida and new york. and there's a quote from eric trump. eric trump said supposedly, we get a lot of our money from our golf courses from russia.
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then we were told it's made up. there's a huge amount of buying donald trump does before he runs for office. he buys millions of dollars worth of real estate with cash. that's uncharacteristic. he would borrow heavily and then he started buying them with cash in 2006. i think there's more about that cash flow we don't know of and where it came from. but the connection from russia comes mainly from the two quotes from his sons, and i'm not sure they're what they mean. >> david fahrenthold, thank you so much. you're talking about a decade of spending by someone who's ca cash poor. >> there's so many things we don't know, which leads us to
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the missing piece, trump's tax returns. >> that's it. >> if we had his tax returns, it would be the roadmap to not everything, but i know from talking to people in the irs and in the trump organization, that is the key. and even though he refused in 2016 to release them, it would be great if somebody were to get them. i tried in 2016 and failed and regret that piece is not there. i mean it would be like somebody -- a senator running for president and you say, whoa, you can't have his voting record, it's secret. it would be absurd. >> i suspect we'll see it soon. >> some day, but why has trump
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not had -- what's hidden, and, you know, it's the big hole here. >> yeah. >> and some of the answers, at least the road to the answers might be there. >> now general motors mary barra who's standing by her company's plan to slash 15% of its north american work force in a close door meeting with lawmakers yesterday, barra defended g.m.'s decision calling it incredibly difficult but refusing to turn course. joining us now, icongressman joining us now.
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>> what's that look like right now? >> well, it's not working here in northeast ohio, it's not working in michigan. i think the president obviously was just talking campaign talk. there's no comprehensive plan in the united states to really bring manufacturing back or invest in new technologies. he has a very incoherent at best economic policy, and this is what we see. there's going to be shifts in the market. >> there's something the senator from ohio sherry brown said. he actually gives incentives to corporations to move their factories overseas. is that true? >> absolutely. so companies like general motors or other companies will get a lower tax rate if they go to mexico and invest into workers and construction projects down there as opposed to the united states, and this is just insane.
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here is the thing, joe. this has been going on for 40 year. where you come from, you look at the textile issues, look at manufacturing in the south, in new england, industrial in the midwest. this gave birth to 40 years. donald trump says he's going open up the steel plants and coal mines. he's not going to do that. to make it worse, trump says we're going to get rid of incentives for electric vehicles. electric vehicles are the future of tesla and other motor companies. i don't know if he wants to get back to the horse and buggy or what his plan s but the future is in these newer technologies, and he's trying to punish the car companies with that, so there is no future. >> hey, congressman, this is willie geist.
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i know you spoke with mary barra. the argument from gm has been, look, we know it's painful on a human level, we don't want to cut 15,000 jobs, but in older for the company to survive, we have to do it. what did she tell you yesterday? >> that was the line. let me just say it's brutal for a community like ours. we lost, you know, tens of thousands of steel jobs. now we're losing general motors. we used to say, we have general motors. now we're losing that. what i'm trying to say to them is as you invest into the electric car vehicles, as you invest into new products, you've got to keep northeast ohio in mind, lordstown in mind.
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they play by the rules, go to their little league and churches. they do everything right. we want general motors to find another product. >> aren't those jobs out of the country to mexico and places like that? what did she tell you. >> they're going to -- flint, michigan, down in texas, which is uprooting families here. they're ore ka paver capacity - capacity in mexico. i'm not sure what they're going to do down there. time will tell. there's a big contract. let me say this real quick, willie. where's the social come tract between t -- contract between the workers and the government? there's always the hammer, they're going to lose their pensions and jobs. i mean how much longer are we
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going to do this to where the worker double matter, and i hope this is a real wakeup call for us to say, workers, white, brown, black, gay, straight, working-class people have got to come together because it's becoming impossible for them to keep theranoir nose above water >> remember when they said they were going to reinvest in the companies to help workers, they were sflieg we said before it was passed, there would be a lot of buybacks and the rich were going to get richer. corporations wi corporations were going to make hundreds of millions and the workers would be left out in the cold. here's another example of how that happened. again, we said it and a lot of others said it. >> i don't know why. they did see it coming too. they're not stupid, republicans. congressman tim ryan, thank you very much for being on the show
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this morning. good luck. bob woodward, thank you. >> i think the important word here is incoherence. he said there's no plan. >> none. >> and if you parse this out and look at the tax cut, it's a bunch of conservative republicans and the former president of goldman sachs sitting around in paul ryan's office having italian buffet on monday night. you know, joe, about how they cut tax deals, and this is all for corporations, for the wealthy. they cut the tax rate. 35% to 21% is a big deal. that's permanent. everyone -- all individual tax cuts eventually expire, so the theme -- the worker, as the
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congressman points out, gets screwed, and supposedly this is donald trump's base. >> the workers in youngstown, ohio, across the industrial midwest gets screwed, and what did donald trump do that night, mika? he flew down to mara la go, he sat down with his billionaire friends, and he said, i just made all of you a lot of money today. >> it's like a bad movie. up next, ian bremmer joins the conversation next on "morning joe." >> by the way, the cardinals, they got goldsmith. >> i know. they stole him. they stole him from the diamondbacks. good trade for the cardinals. >> we'll be right back. 25% of your mouth.
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foreign affairs columnist and editor at large for "time" magazine ian bremmer. he's also host of his show on public television. >> talk about george bush and europe, 1989, '90, '91, just what a difference george h.w. bush made in the world. >> how extraordinary it was that we had these massive transitions, and there was strategic patience on display. we talk about that with north korea today, for example. but gorbachev was engaged forums and they weren't going well and the empire was falling apart, and president bush wasn't rubbing their noses in it. he was trying to work to ensure this could be a moment of peace that would change the world for
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the better. >> likewise you talked to germ leaders today, they say germany would not have been unified were it not for george h.w. bush, again, using patience and talking with other countries who didn't want to see it either. >> he's missed. he's missed. the problem is most germans don't remember the time of the cold war, they don't remember when their city of berlin was divided by a wall, the feeling that nuclear armageddon could be around the world, and that's allow nationalism to rise in the country, and they've said many times never again. >> does it exercise strategic patience? what is foreign policy? >> one authenticky say is this sum mutt they just had, the g20
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summit was the first decent summit they eave had on their watch. trump doesn't like it. he wants to do bilaterals where he can be stronger, but this weekend he started it with the signature of the u.s./mexico/canada p, which made him feel really good. interestingly, though, i don't put much stock in the u.s./china deal because not much has happened. the other allies around the world are trying to hold theranos and say, we need to work with the americans on china. we all have a collective problem. this should have happened two years ago. it was a real problem because president trump's first action when he became president was to pull the u.s. out of the partnership. but two years later, we are seeing allies come together.
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the big news yesterday, of course, was the canadian government deciding to arrest -- >> right. that's the daughter. our resident experts in china are barnicle and willie geist. through oar going to ask you more questions about china in a second. one final question. we're going to be seeing madeleine albright tonight at the democratic institute tonight in washington. it's going to be a celebration of democracy, but let's talk about democracy. we're talking 1989. we saw a lot of progress in places like poland. is it going on in poland and other eastern countries? >> i think that's a yes. >> for sure. what we're experience in the united states, this large polarization, feeling that the
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large population is against them and therefore they should push to break things, that's being experienced in the uk to the brexit process that's far more debilitating to them. it's italy, france. you saw macron have to go back. it's not so much germany because angela is on her way out. the next government will push. the people voted very strongly in favor of a fug who has spoken of himself as trump in the tropics. >> china needs the u.s. to help with the problem in north korea. they're expanding bases, building more lock-range missile capabilities, income, not doing any of the things they promised
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the president of the united states that he declaring coming out of the u.s. it's not a trusting partnershiple hpartnership partnership. how is he dealing with that? >> they're engaging in a lot of cross-border diplomacy which helps to reduce tensions, particularly with china. the danger is after that singapore summit when trump show i'm invested in a deal with this guy that no one else could get, his willingness to continue to say, i'm getting a good deal when nothing is happening is a lot higher than he would like. the danger is much higher. now that xi jinping has met with trump and said, we're going to get a big deal, there's a lot
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more of an investment. >> ian, you know the movement of money is important on some level. we have tariffs now, the tariff war that trump says is easy to win. but at the bottom level here right now today, you have the uncertainty the way the president of the united states handles our economy, adding to, you know, great angst in the stockmarket. how is that impacting other economies around the world and other leaders' reactions to people? >> you have great uncertainty about how trump talks about the economy. the expected growth rate down if there -- from 3.9%, that's low. i think the thing that's making people feel a little more
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comfortable is despite all of the heavy talk on tariffs and ripping up nafta, we now have a deal looks like it will go through congress. all the heavy talk, we're now engaging in new trade talks. all the heavy talk of beating up on the european and tariffs, we've waited on that, and now it's a little more constructive. china is a bit more open, and yet if there's a country that should have problems, it should be china. >> did his withdrawal from tpp harm them? >> no question. >> how? >> the japanese spent a lot. they've got the agricultural lobby in japan, incredibly strong. prime minister abe got rid of that because he was promised by the americans that joining tpp
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was a top priority. obama believes truleaves, trumpd he rips it up. they're nice to us because we're the big kahuna. this played out with the western ally. suddenly things changed. >> john heilemann said that. >> a second ago you used the phrase "big kahuna." no doubt the united states is the big dominance in the world. i'm sure at this stage the difference between talk and action you've been laying out through the course of this segment, does the world look at the united states as a big kahuna and also the leader or is
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there a different perspective what role the leadership plays in terms of keeping the economic order together? >> it definitely has diminish. no one wants it. our markets really matter. yet we don't write checks the way we used to. it's a tiny thing. you've got one belt, one road. you're talking trillions of dollars from the chinese. they're the ones going across asia, africa, even latin america. >> do they have any signs of that slowing down? >> no. despite the fact that they look at softening right now and commodity prices decreasing as a consequence, the chinese government thinks this foreign
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poll sill strategy is bad. but the thing that bothers me the most as an american is how they steal our strategy. we were the ones that rebuilt those countries. they aligned with us. we did it long term. they don't do it anymore. by the way, we didn't do it under bush senior or clinton. we sure as hell are not doing it now. the chinese see this. >> the argument that american politicians refuse to make, mika, that investment in other countries, building them up like we did afternoon world war ii, they refuse to pay us back. >> we were willing to go tariffs, send bombs, but our willingness to wrietd the checks
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for the long term to benefit us is unfortunate. >> ian bremmer, thank you very much for being on. good to see you. still ahead, we talked about what's going on in wisconsin with republican lawmakers looking to diminish the power of incoming democrats. it's being described as a power grab. something similar is happening in michigan. we're going to bring in colorado's government-elect gerald powe las. he joins us next on "morning joe." ♪ ♪
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earlier we talked about wisconsin passing a bill to pass the powers to incoming democrats. it seems to be phing in michigan as well. the republican controlled michigan legislature voted to advance a bill that strips campaign oversight power from the in coming democratic secretary of state. the lame duck senate election committee approved a bill yesterday to shift financial oversight to a bipartisan committee. republicans also flan to move forward with legislation that would empower lawmakers to
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intervene in any suit at any stage, a right that is already granted to the state's attorney general. joining us now is colorado's current five-term congressman representing the state's second district and the newly elected governor of that state, jared polis, first time on tv with us since he became governor. i want to congratulate you but also ask what is going on in wisconsin and michigan with this awe tell to diminish the power of democrats. >> you know, no one likes this sort of sour grapes bitterness. frankly it's tobacco firing on the republican party. voters expect our elected officials to honor the results of the election. it shows republicans are doing what they can to undermine those results rather than honor the will of the voters.
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>> jackie. >> hey, governor elect, congrats. i'm wondering if you think they should do a redo. >> i think there's legitimate issues that should be raised. i think it one of the things we need to take out of the realm of politics. it's really just a criminal question what rules were violated, and if there were violations, they should call for a new election >> hey, governor elect, it's willie geist. nice to meet you over television airways. you're a new governor. hillary clinton won in the past. i notice you put front and center climate change and renewable energy. those used to be nonstarter
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politics, that peanut didn't care. do you believe that will be more of a core issue, not just for democrats but for the country? >> it's a core issue for the world, more than squluftd our state or country. in colorado alone w very a clima climate-dependent economy. our skitry -- i hope you all come -- and we have a strong industry. we're excited to have a bold goal. it's a strong start. >> so, governor, let's pull the thread on that a little bit. front page of "the new york times," greenhouse gas emissions are up. we hear climate change,
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beachfront property in scranton, but somehow it doesn't grab people, especially the older people get, that this is such a critical issue. how do you as a candidate translate the importance of paying attention and doing something trying to get elected? how do you do it? >> in our state it's two things. one, it's climate-dependent jobs, it's putting food on the table for families. two, it's a public safety issue. with longer, dryer summers, we've had an increase in incidents of forest fires over the last decade. we need to do a better job on mitigation and prevention, but also address some of the underlying causes and have cleaner air. final we will address it as a health issue. regardless of where the climate is going, having cleaner air and less pollution means lower asthma rates, less cancer rates over time, lower health care costs and longer lives. colorado prides ours on beielve
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being a healthy state. >> i know you have a laundry list of things to do when governor hickenlooper took office. i've heard it described as being on the national stage. would you have advice for hickenlooper and senator bennett for whether they should run for president in 2020? >> they're good friends, and i think we have a lot to talk about in colorado. we're really a forward-looking and innovative state. in many ways an island of new ideas of stability and enlightenment in the country. we hope to take that to the next level with full-day kindergarten and moving forward on saving people money in health care. i think we have a lot of ideas to offer on the national stage, and whether that takes the form of the candidacy of our governor and senator, we'll see, but they're both great people who have a lot of ideas to offer.
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>> colorado elect jared polis, great to have you on. the justice department cut a deal with the now convicted sex offender, a deal that allowed him to spend just 13 months in jail. and more than a decade later, his alleged victims have still been unable to tell their stories in court. we're going to talk to a reporter who is getting their stories on the record straight ahead on "morning joe." here we go.
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my work account. >> it's a gov.com account. >> there is nothing confidential. >> there is no classified material. >> there really is no equivalency. >> okay. that was ivanka trump last week and hillary clinton in 2015 sounding so similar when explaining their use of private e-mail for government business. last night was the house oversight committee's deadline for ivanka to provide more information. we'll be following that. and still ahead this morning, the new report that president trump has made hundreds of thousands of dollars from the saudi government by way of his washington, d.c. hotel. does that help explain why the president refuses to say the saudi crown prince was behind the murder of "washington post" writer jamal khashoggi? "morning joe" is back in a
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marriage, dad taught us all what it means to be a great husband. he married a sweetheart. he adored her. he laughed and cried with her. he was dedicated to her totally. he showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country. >> integrity, character, honesty, bravery, empathy, compassion. yesterday was about george h.w. bush, not about our current president donald trump. but as phil rucker notes in the "washington post," it was impossible to pay tribute to the 41st president without drawing implicit contrasts with the 45th. this morning we will reflect on yesterday's incredible state funeral for george h.w. bush with a man who helped eulogize him, historian jon meacham. plus new reporting says the president is shrugging off the nation's debt crisis because he won't be around to pay the piper
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or -- i guess that would be china. and speaking of beijing, negotiators are still circling each other on trade, despite pronouncements from the white house of tangible success. also ahead, a story that needs to be told and told and told until we get some answers. we're going to talk to the investigative reporter who helped reveal the justice department's sweetheart deal with an accused child rapist. and who or all -- are all of the victims in this web? >> that have been silenced, cast aside, forgotten. >> and they've been settling so we don't hear them in open court. >> welcome to "morning joe." it is thursday, december 6. along with joe, willie and me, we have national affairs analyst for msnbc.
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he's the co-host for "the circus." and the writer of the morning hour newsletter power up. good to have you on board. a group of bipartisan senators has introduced a resolution holding saudi arabian crown prince mohammed bin salman exclusively responsible for the murder of jamal khashoggi. they have a high level of confidence that mohammed bin salman was complicit in the murder of khashoggi and urges the white house to hold him accountable. in addition, the resolution holds the crown prince accountable for his leading role in, quote, the humanitarian crisis in yemen, preventing a resolution on the blockade of cut cutter and the dissidence of the kingdom. just over two weeks ago, president trump issued a lengthy formal statement backing the
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kingdom and its rulers, stating in part, quote, the world is a very dangerous place and our relationship with the kingdom of saudi arabia. and later told reporters, quote, we're with saudi arabia. we're staying with saudi arabia. meanwhile, nbc news has learned exclusively that the saudi ambassador to the u.s. prince, khaled bin salman, who is a brother of the crown prince, has returned to the u.s. khalid left washington for riyadh shortly after khashoggi's disappearance in october. a lot of questions. it has been one of the things that has really confused me the most about this presidency, and that is how the administration can stand by a president who will allow the world to so doubt in our intelligence institutions. >> it's not confusing at all. he's done it twice -- >> it's mattis, it's pompeo. i don't get it. >> we've seen it openly with
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donald trump -- russia first and now donald trump and saudi arabia. it has to do with money. it has to do with personal money, it doesn't have to do with these phony contracts he claims we have. the numbers he's putting forward are bogus, they're false. but what he said during the campaign, we're going to find out in a little bit by some reporting from the "washington post," was true, that he and the saudis have a personal business relationship. he bragged that he made hundreds of millions of dollars from the saudis during the campaign, that we're finding out. even after being elected president, he's making a ton of money. but willie, we'll get to that story in a second about how the saudis -- you talk about just blowing a hole in the emoluments clause. >> they like that trump hotel, don't they? >> they liked it a lot more after donald trump became president of the united states. but donald trump said one thing in those statements that was correct, the world is a
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dangerous place. and this region is a dangerous place. but all evidence suggests that mbs is just making it more dangerous, more volatile, more deadly. >> i would argue this is as clear a rebuke of the president from republicans as we've seen. i mean, we can go through and maybe there's been one close, but this is almost consensus now from senate republicans. you're right about mattis and pompeo, of course, but they've come out very clearly and now they want to put into legislation something which will do what the president is unwilling to do. the problem i have is trying to convince the president who so publicly and so clearly has given the crown prince a pass. how do you come back from that? how could he now suddenly say -- he knows. he knows the saudi crown prince was behind this and yet he's taken the crown prince's side. how do you unwind from that now? how do you come back and say, you know what, guys, i should have been tougher on him. here are some new sanctions.
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he's clear on what he wants and now it's time for the saudis to push back on the president. >> i'm curious what you think. do you think republicans are now speaking out and standing up to donald trump because of the historic thumping that trump republicans took a couple of weeks ago, or would this have happened, anyway? was this so blatant, the killing of a "washington post" reporter, a guy who was an american resident who had two american children, the torture, the sawing. why do you think republicans are finally standing up? >> i don't think we'll ever know exactly the answer to that question because we can't live in a world of counterfactuals, but i do think, joe, you're right. it seems to me that given the behavior -- willie cited the notion that this is the clearest rebuke. i think the only other rebuke that stands close to it is the passage of russia sanctions when the senate voted to sanction russia and the president didn't want that to happen and it was overwhelmed bipartisan vote i
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guess a year ago, year and a half ago. in this sense i think there is a pretty clear line on what happened during the midterm elections, and you can't imagine you would have republicans behaving the way they're behaving right now had donald trump been triumphant, had republicans held the house, had they not suffered that historic thumping. i think the politics would be wildly different. i think when this story gets written two years from now, we will look back and say if the support for the president begins to crumble over time as more indictments come out and as the mueller report comes out, we will look back and say that was the first place where the dam started to break and it was one of the two big things that was a different world after the election. one was, you saw, with the political consequences of trump's presidency have been, republicans getting shellacked at the polls and what we'll live with after mueller files the reports. we've seen one of them and the consequences are pretty clear. >> mika, it's pretty hard to
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explain to working class voters in youngstown, ohio how siding up with murderer saudi sheikhs can fit the brand. it doesn't fit the brand and it's hurting the republicans. the only explanation is money. and that is donald trump's personal money -- >> unless they have tapes, too. >> -- and the money he hopes to make from the saudis when he leaves office at the end of the first term. >> all right. speaking of money. a new report is renewing questions over the potential conflicts of interest between some of president trump's businesses and the government of saudi arabia. according to the "washington post," lobbyists representing the saudi kingdom reserved blocks of rooms at the president's washington, d.c. hotel shortly after trump was elected. the post says the lobbyists locked down an estimated 500 nights at the luxury hotel over the course of the next three
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months. >> that's as obvious as the picture that they put on all of their buildings when he went there. >> at least it wasn't a ritz situation. >> 500 rooms. >> the paper says the lobbyists have been reserving large numbers of d.c. area hotel rooms as part of an unconventional campaign in which u.s. military veterans were given a free trip to washington to lobby on capitol hill against a law the saudis opposed. the lobbyists had previously put the vets up at hotels in northern virginia. >> makes more sense. >> but according to the post -- >> more economical. >> -- in 2016, they shifted most of their bookings over to the trump international hotel which the president still happens to own, spending more than 270,000 to put up -- dollars to put up six groups of veterans. the hotel bookings are at the center of a pair of federal lawsuits, claiming that the president violated the constitution by taking improper
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payments from foreign governments. a federal judge on monday said lawyers for maryland and washington, d.c. can begin issuing subpoenas in the lawsuit. the saudi embassy did not respond to the post's requests for comment. trump hotel executives speaking on the condition of anonymity told the paper they were unaware at the time that the saudi arabians were covering the bill. jackie, this is your paper's reporting, and just knowing how trump reported at the white house, some of this stuff is okay in some countries, but if you go to washington, i remember my sister-in-law who was married to my brother, who was the ambassador of sweden, i couldn't send her shoes. there are very clear rules and they actually call you out and call you up if they are broken. >> especially as congress reporters and a whole lot of people are wondering why the president has gone to such
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lengths to defend mbs and to extend one of the longest running scandals, really, of the trump presidency with the murder of jamal khashoggi. this is a pretty suspicious story, especially since it's come out of a pair of lawsuits alleging that trump violated the constitution by taking improper payments. >> you say suspicious. some people might say, oh, well, he just moved the rooms over and they were just getting business. it's business. what makes it more suspicious to you? >> i mean, after trump won the presidency, they moved the rooms to the trump hotel, spending -- i think it was almost $300,000. and this story is just so layered in so many different ways. it also points out that the group that organized this which the saudi embassy refused to comment on was using veterans as pawns. >> you can't say it enough times, and one of the things we say a lot on this show but you can't say it enough times, the president of the united states ran for president not thinking
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he would win, not thinking he would get the republican nomination, not thinking he would become president. the whole thing was set up as a way to try to -- >> brand enhancement, right, and money making. >> and those two things are linked. the guy had spent the previous decade with his friend michael cohen running around the world to do what he had done in the united states, which was to use the trump name to make more money. this was a great opportunity to increase not just his profile but his international profile and to be able to use this as a biz dev opportunity after he presumably lost as a nominee or in the general election, he would then go on and be in a great position to maximize revenues, maximize profits going forward on this. with trump, the thing you would have thought, though -- any normal businessman running for president who had these ideas -- that once he won the presidency, he would abandon these things. well, i didn't think i would win, but now that i'm president
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i have to be president. no, he went into it thinking, i'm not going to abandon that primary objective. still ahead on "morning joe," jeff flake is trying to get something done on capitol hill by not doing something else. his latest efforts to hold up judicial nominees until there is a vote to protect the special counsel. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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unstopand it's strengthenedting place, the by xfi pods,gateway. which plug in to extend the wifi even farther, past anything that stands in its way. ...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. the senate judiciary committee once again has postponed a series of judicial nominations because of a standoff over legislation to protect the special counsel. the committee was expected to consider those nominations today which would have included six appeals court nominees. but republican senator jeff flake has refused to vote for president trump's judicial picks until the senate considers a bill to protect robert mueller. the judicial nominations originally were expected to get a vote last week, but committee
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chairman chuck grassley also postponed that meeting because of his stand. jeff flake tweeted, the senate needs to protect the special counsel. again and again the majority leader mitch mcconnell has said we don't need legislation like this. there is no way donald trump would do anything to get rid of robert mueller. for a year now we ask once again what gives him that confidence. >> say what you want about jeff flake, his mournful face, his floor speeches and his lack of action -- >> sometimes they're a little tiring. >> he is going out, though, in a way that is not just meaningless. this is actually very significant. he's getting hammered by the "wall street journal" editorial page, he's getting hammered by a lot of conservative outlets, but he's calling mitch mcconnell's bluff, he's calling the republicans' bluff. you say you want the rule of law to be upheld, here's an easy way for you to do it. >> and mcconnell's response back
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to him is he's existing a problem that doesn't exist. >> if it doesn't exist, go ahead and pass it. >> the lines we've seen here is congress bending over backwards leaning toward their party rather than acting as a check in balance, at least the gop here. i talked with the watergate prosecutor richard vinstay yesterday who said the biggest difference between watergate and the mueller investigation right now is that mueller stands alone in working towards the truth. at least during watergate, there was a comprehensive government effort towards finding the truth. but at this point in time, it's really just the media, jeff flake and robert mueller. >> and mitch mcconnell, you just have to wonder, is he conflicted because his wife works in the administration? right and wrong today at this point is where we're at. that's all you really need to care about. >> by the way, it was interesting, we're talking about robert mueller and we were
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waum watching the funeral and the ceremonies the past couple days, and everybody kept saying george h.w. bush, he's from a different time, he's from a different place, we will never see the type of leader controlling washington this way again. hello! robert mueller is like -- that is pure northeast bushism. >> we shall see. >> here's a guy again -- >> cut from the same cloth. literally the same piece of cloth. >> literally the same cloth. and st. paul's, princeton, then uva, united states marine corps. just like bush sacrificed during that war was a military hero, and yeah, same piece of cloth. >> it's just remarkable that in a 17-month investigation, he has managed to avoid any sort of
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scandal. hasn't leaped in any manner to suggest his findings. every turn is a complete surprise. coming up on "morning joe." >> his life code, as he said, was tell the truth. don't blame people. be strong. do your best. try hard. forgive. stay the course. and that was and is the most american of creeds. >> we'll talk to jon meacham on the hills of his eloquent eulogy of the 41st president. "morning joe" is coming right back. ♪ ♪
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he never slows down. on the primary campaign trail in new hampshire once, he grabbed the hand of a department store mannequin asking for votes. when he realized his mistake, he said, never know. gotta ask.
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you can hear the voice, can't you? as dana carvey said, the key to a bush 41 impersonation is mr. rogers trying to be john wayne. >> and jon meacham joins us now. jon, we learned from you after that you had actually been able -- you read your eulogy to the president while still alive. what was his reaction? >> it was fascinating. it was a great honor, of course, and i've always had, as you all probably have, the impression of sitting in churches, sitting in memorial services and thinking, gee, if only the person we're talking about could hear this. and so i decided, well, why not just solve this, so i called up last summer, i think, and said, would you like to hear it? yes. and so he was at that point
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pretty much in his bedroom there in walker's point, and i went in and we chatted a while, and then i pulled up an ottoman next to the chair where he was in a recliner and read it to him. and, boy, his eyes didn't move. he was following everything. and at the very end, he said, that's so nice. you know, it was an awful lot about me. and i said, in a rather smart alecky way, you know, that was kind of the mission here, sir. it was a great honor. i know prime minister mulrooney did the same thing on a different trip. it was fascinating yesterday because it is, of course, the passing of an era but he was so vibrantly alive even into his
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94th year. you all know this, he had that enveloping charisma. you always felt -- bill clinton once said, there is something about george bush that makes you want to be a better man. and i think, if anything right now, the country is experiencing that to an extraordinary degree all throughout the country. >> jon, we knew this day was coming, and yet despite all the time you spent with the bush family, all the time you spent studying this man, are you surprised, and is the family surprised by the degree of outpouring of respect and admiration that this country and the world has poured on george h.w. bush's life and memory? >> you know, this may sound saccharin but has the virtue of being true.
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i don't think surprised is the word. i think grateful is the word. you've known him forever, we've all thought about him and studied him, and i think particularly in recent years we've longed for a guy who would, in fact, put his -- put the overall good ahead of his own personal issues. this is not about the incumbent. it is possible, by the way, in america to have a conversation with someone and it not be about the incumbent president. and to me, just one other point on this for people who might be getting tired of the inconems and that it might be overboard. i believe that george h.w. bush is as interesting for his imperfections as he is for his virtues. because we learn far more from sinners than we do from saints,
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which is a damn good thing given the relative proportion of the two in population. if you create these unreachable heroes, they lose the capacity to teach. and so george bush will be the first to tell you, as he said, politics is not a pure undertaking, not if you want to win, it's not. he understood, he said in his diary, if i let the press keep defining me as a loser, i wouldn't keep climbing the highest mountain in the world. but then when the crises of his time came and he had amassed ultimate power, he spent that power in a broader interest than his own, and he knew it in realtime. he said, i'm going to be dead meat when he did the tax deal. and so i just think the great thing about biography, the great thing about history and these kinds of weeks, these kinds of moments, is that you can take a look at the totality of a life,
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and it seems to me that we learn a lot more from the past not if we look up at it adoringly or down on it condescendingly, but if you look it in the eye. if you look george bush in the eye, you see a man not perfect but he left us a greater country. >> jon meacham, thank you very much. coming up on "morning joe," according to one top senator, the investigation department needs to investigate itself. a child molester was let off with little more than a slap on the wrist while his dozens of victims were left voiceless. we'll talk to the reporter who broke the story, next on "morning joe." this is not a bed.
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we were underage. we were little girls. >> i was 16. >> i was 16. >> i started going to him when i was like 14, 15.
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14 turning 15. >> by the time i was 16, i brought him up to 75 girls all the ages of, you know, 14, 15, 16, people going from eighth grade to ninth grade at just school parties is where i recruited them from. >> all jeffrey cared about, was go find me more girls. his appetite was insatiable. he needed fresh faces every day. >> he needs to be behind bars for the rest of his life. there are way too many girls for him not to be. it's mind blowing. >> those are just a few stories from the more than 80 alleged victims from serial child molester jeffrey epstein left voiceless by the u.s. justice system. now some laurwmakers are demandg an investigation into the department of justice's lenient deal for epstein in 2007. federal prosecutors led by then u.s. attorney and now labor
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secretary alex acosta entered into a secret deal with epstein that allowed him to spend just 13 months in county jail when they had enough evidence to put him away for life. yesterday senator ben sasse fired off a series of letters, including one to the inspector general of the justice department, calling epstein a monster and writing that the, quote, pa thetically soft sentence is a travesty that should outrageous all. joining us now is the investigative report either behind the expose, julie m. brown. this is an extraordinary article by you and your team. people can read it on the website. for people tuning in to the story, the indictment listed 32 women, but you found more than 80 women. tell us about some of the digging you did to get their stories. >> this case has been around for many years. a lot of reporters have followed it and done some very good work
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on this. but it is now a decade later, and after alex acosta got nominated as labor secretary, i remembered this case and i thought, where are these girls now? now they're in their late 20s, early 30s, and i wonder what they think, quite frankly, about this, and how did this affect them? and so i decided the only way -- all their names were all secret, of course, because they were minors at the time. so i had to really dig through a lot of court files in the hopes of finding clues on who these women are now today. so it did take me quite a few months to get a list of names together. and i wanted to find out exactly, you know, how their lives have gone and what they thought. i mean, when you're adult women, you think of things a lot differently than when you're 14 years old when this happened. and, of course, i found a few -- i tracked down many of them. they didn't want to talk, most of them, but i did find a few that were willing to talk. they really felt betrayed by
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alex acosta who was the miami prosecutor at the time who signed off on this lenient plea deal. >> so, julie, there is a 53-page indictment that the fbi helped put together. prosecutors certainly felt like they had made their case with all that testimony. so many of their stories from these young women -- girls, let's call them what they were at the time, girls -- lined up. they told a version of the same story. how did this plea deal happen? take us inside alex acosta and the deal he made with jeffrey epstein. >> well, you know, this case from the very beginning, the police were the only people, the palm beach police were the only people that were really on the girls' side, so to speak. they were trying to convince first the state prosecutor to prosecute him, and that failed. and then they took it to the fbi and finally it ended up under alex acosta's purview. and he had worked for a big law firm, kirkland & ellis, and what
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epstein did shrewdly was hire a bunch of attorneys with ties to that law firm, kenneth starr, jay lefkowitz, a few other people who were pretty powerful, shrewd lawyers, who had a connection to the bush administration who was in office at the time this deal happened. so these lawyers really put a lot of pressure on acosta, who was a republican at the time, still is, and, you know, it became increasingly clear that he had to make a tough decision whether he was going to go with, you know, prosecuting epstein despite all this pressure, or cutting a deal, which is eventually what he did. >> so, julie, first of all, congratulations on this report, and it's one of the reasons newspapers have to remain in existence and getting stronger every day due partly to work you have given us. from your thumbnail description
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of what just happened between local authorities and palm beach county and even in miami, is it the case that basically money talked here, that epstein went out and hired a bunch of really highly skilled lawyers from a big, powerful law firm, and the local authorities at the local level in confronting what is now a federal case were just outgunned legally? >> yes. they were definitely outgunned. but also i think that the prosecutors, both state and federal prosecutors, were -- you know, they were kind of enamored by these big name attorneys. remember, it was alan dershowitz, too. alan dershowitz was the first lawyer he hired, and he flew down to palm beach, he met with all these people. i had one prosecutor who was involved in the case tell me that he remembers sitting in a room with all these lawyers and thinking, wow, there are hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting here at the table with me. so they were pretty, you know,
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enam mo enamored by these lawyers and the correspondence between prosecutors and these lawyers showed how enamored they were. they were very amicable and cordial and they were really trying to work with him from the very beginning. >> didn't one of the girls identify alan dershowitz in your story? >> yes. she has been on court record as identifying mr. dershowitz as being one of the people she was directed to have sex with by jeffrey epstein. of course, mr. dershowitz has denied that he was ever involved, that he ever met her. but she has been standing by that story. >> and what is that story? >> well, that, you know, while she was, you know, with epstein that there was many powerful people that he directed her to have sex with, and her story is
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that he did this in order to gain leverage over some powerful people. >> but specifically alan dershowitz, what was her claim against alan dershowitz? >> that she had been directed to have sex with him several times when she was 16. she was underage. >> let me ask you about the local knowledge of this case. i can tell you in new york we had heard from time to time, even at the beginning of this campaign of jeffrey epstein flying around with very powerful people and talk of, quote, orgy island where he would fly very powerful people to an island to have sex with underage women or perhaps very young women who may have been of age. was it common knowledge in palm beach as well that he was conducting the same type of illegal behavior there? >> no. in fact, i think it kind of went under the radar because the
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police were pretty surprised when they realized how extensive it was. because remember, he had these young girls going to his mansion like two, three times a day. it was like a revolving door. and when police first discovered it, they were pretty shocked. >> did you talk to neighbors who noticed that young, underage girls were constantly going into this creep's mansion? >> yeah, but remember, this is a pretty leafy neighborhood with a lot of palm trees, and he has a big gate and a fence in front of his house. so, you know, these girls would come in a taxi and go through the gates, and i'm not sure how much -- it's not like they were walking down the street or anything. so i'm not sure how much the neighbors would have really been able to see. >> based on your reporting, based on your knowledge of this case, are there a lot of wealthy, very powerful, well-known men, both republican and democratic politicians and power brokers, who would fear this case being in open court?
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>> well, it's hard to say. these rumors have been going around for a while. i think that there are a lot of powerful, influential people who, if they weren't involved in this, they knew it was happening. >> who were some of his powerful and influential friends, people that traveled with him that you know of? >> well, president clinton, he had been on his plane dozens of times, including with the secret service. there were actors. kevin spacey, there were world leaders, former prime ministers. i mean, he had a lot of powerful people. >> what former prime ministers? >> barack, he had been friends with him for a while. other than that, he also had been donating a lot of money to people like bill richardson and
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other politically active people. >> i need to make this as pointed as possible. when the 2016 case was getting going, there was knowledge about president clinton, that he had taken a lot of plane trips with jeffrey epstein, and there was the possibility if there was exposure of those flights and what might have happened when he was spending time with jeffrey epstein on his island that that might be a problem for hillary clinton. at the same time, jeffrey epstein also a good, long, social friend of donald trump, someone he spent a loft time with. i'm curious in a very specific way whether you think those relationships -- you mention aid bunch of other ones but i'm mostly focused on these two because we ended up with hillary clinton and donald trump as parties in 2016 -- whether those relationships in some way affected the disposition of this case, whether there was a way in which the political connections that jeffrey epstein had was part of what went into, on the
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basis of your reporting, part of what went into the fact that he got such a sweetheart deal and was able to evade spending a lot of time in prison. >> you know, i think that's the biggest mystery about this whole thing. i don't think anybody really has connected all the dots completely. i mean, i certainly attempted to. but at some point i thought, the real story is the criminal justice system and how it failed these girls. i tried to stay focused on that because i didn't think, quite frankly, i would really get to the bottom of exactly why alex acosta did what he did except for monetary reasons, because this man had a lot of power and a lot of money. >> and willie, also, no depositions taken by people that flew on his plane. no depositions by people who were social friends of his. no depositions about what happened on the island. no depositions from prime ministers or former presidents or powerful media figures or powerful new york real estate
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tycoons. >> in epstein's latest settlement, which just happened in the last couple days, as sure as many of these women we're hearing about thanks to julie and her reporting team, woen't e heard in court. we won't hear their stories in court. julie, let me followit, did any of the women you spoke to, and there are more than 80, make any specific claim about either president trump or president clinton? >> no. no. i think -- what i've been telling people, of course i'm getting a lot of feed back about the story, what about trump, what about clinton? why didn't you report on this? here's the reality. sexual abuse doesn't discriminate based on political parties. there are a lot of people who knew and were involved on both sides i believe. and they all to some degree protect each other. >> investigative reporter for the miami herald, julie brown. thank you for bringing this back
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to attention. we'll certainly stay on it. >> and, you know, right there, thank you so much, julie. ben sasse is exactly right, the justice department needs to blow this case wide open. they need to do it in public. jackie, this is extraordinarily, the numbers, 60, 70 underage girls and the federal government calling a 14-year-old sexual abuse victim a, quote, prostitute? >> it's pretty shocking, incredible, important reporting. i think it definitely disqualifies his chances at becoming the attorney and another thing on this, if donald trump is draining the swamp in any way, he's now inadvertently so in a way he didn't anticipate by bringing people like acosta and these -- this gentle connections to the jeffrey epsteins of the world and these
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important stories and hopefully these women will see some justice. >> it's an ugly, ugly story. i think, you know, it's surprised me that given the level of rumors that were around, given the connections, these are factual things. donald trump was a social friend of epstein's for years. i think we all experienced as we head into 2016 there was a sense this story could become an explosive thing that could have negative implications for those two candidacies. and yet it never happened. i think one of those things here, although julie says she's not gotten to the bottom of exactly how the story unfolded. this man is a monster. he spent a lot of time with a lot of powerful people. there are a lot of questions. one of the central ones is how is it that this story that seemed like it was about to bubble over right before the 2016 campaign, why did it not?
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i remember you telling me in july or august in 2015 on this set you believed this was going to be a story that would explode in the campaign and it never did. one deal after another deal. until the miami herald dug deep. you're in the business of helping people. we're in the business of helping you. business loans for eligible card members up to fifty thousand dollars, decided in as little as 60 seconds.
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the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. in advance of last month's midterms president trump responded by sending 5,000 u.s. troop to the southern border in an attempt to use his power as president seemingly for political gains. those troops just had their mission extended until the end of january by the secretary of defense. our next guest takes a look at the extraordinary measures that the president could take should
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he find himself in this corner again. the co-director of the liberty and national security program at the brennan center for justice, liza gotine, job joins us now. so liza, talk about your piece. i think it's more timely than ever when you have a fox news host suggesting that the united states mill carry can conduct its own investigations. >> absolutely. there is a vast set of laws that becomes available to the president when he declares an emergency. the decision to declare a national emergency is entirely within the president's discussion. some of these laws are perfectly sensible. but some of them are more like
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authoritarian regimes. to deploy the military. to act as a domestic police force and more. we have to think very carefully about whether this system is t best serving our democracy. >> if the president did issue a national emergency, he would have to do so under the national emergency's act. which would require the office of the president, president trump, to issue fairly consistent public declarations of why we need this emergency and how things are doing during the ongoing emergency. so this obviously, given his penchant for lying, will be a problem. >> actually, there are very, very few constraints on the president's ability to issue the declaration in the first instance. it does expire after a year unless he renews it. only takes his signature on a
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piece of paper. really quite easy. under the national emergency act, congress is supposed to meet every six months. this law has been in place for more than 40 years and congress has never met to consider a vote. congress has never voted on ending a state of emergency. so the oversight that is supposed to be there has really been absent. >> you're talking about some extraordinary measures here. an internet kill switch by which the president could assume control of the u.s. internet traffic. boots on main street. sanctioning americans. any buffer whatsoever between the president and taking this action? who would stand between the president and this act? is it the secretary of defense? who would it be if there were someone? >> we have to look at the other branches. we have to look at congress and the korpts.
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one of the things we have to worry about in our current political environment is that congress and the courts might not be willing. and that's why the system we had that gives the president so much discretion and then sort of crosses his fingers that congress and the courts will step in if the president goes too far really needs to be rethought by congress starting now. >> not exactly reassuring. liza, thank you very much. the piece is in the new issue of the atlantic, thanks so much. all right. final thoughts. >> been quite an interesting day. i was thinking about the contrast of starting the day talking about george w. bush and then epstein. it's sort of jarring. >> it is jarring. jackie. >> we've got a number of things
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that could rapidly change. tomorrow, there's going to be two public memos released by mueller. also a potential government shutdown. that needs to be figured out. >> the miami herald story is extraordinary but it's remindful that the case against epstein involves a massive amount of highly paid lawyers on one side and public lowly paid lawyers on the other side and money always talks, money always wins. >> and teenage girls, underage girls, lose while you actually have the palm beach county plit force. the only people there trying to bring justice to epstein and they're stomped on by the feds and stomped on by powerful attorneys. >> there are two people in the miami herald story. the police chief and a detective in that police department who were just screaming into the
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void. an in fact, the justice department ignored what they said. epstein hired private investigators. he said my garbage went missing all the time. this story stinks. i think ben sasse is right to have them look into it. >> demand the justice department do just that. and willie, you just helped us with our guest list for tomorrow. we need the police chief of palm beach county and the very few people that were fighting for those young women. well, young girls, not even young women, young girls. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. >> thanks, joe. good morning, everyone. i'm stephanie will, starting with the tariff man c ometh. after the stock market lost nearly 800 points on tuesday as traders are wary of the vague promises revealed in the china deal or no deal at all. the news of an arre

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