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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  January 20, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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us nation and follow us on twitter @politics nation. up next, "meet the press" with uck todd. this sunday, shutdown stalemate. president trump offers temporary protection for some undocumented immigrants but sticks to his principle demand. >> the plan includes $5.7 billion for a strategic deployment of physical barriers or a wall. >> the president says the senate will vote on his plan this week, but house speaker nancy pelosi rejects the offer, calling it a nonstarter. plus, moving the goalposts on collusion with russia. >> i never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign. >> how significant is rudy giuliani's new position on possible collusion? my guests this morning are the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani, democratic senator mark warner of virginia, and republican congresswoman liz cheney of wyoming. also, not accurate.
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>> now to this new bombshell report -- >> explosive new report. >> bombshell new report about the president. >> the special counsel's office shoots down a story claiming president trump ordered michael cohen to lie to congress about the moscow/trump tower project. >> i think that the buzzfeed piece was a disgrace to our country. >> were journalists too willing to report a story they cannot confirm? joining me for insight and analysis, joshua johnson, host of npr. peter baker. and nbc news national political record. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. believe it or not, it was two years ago today that donald
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trump took the oath of office. solemnly swearing to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the united states. ultimately, the president's fate will be decided by the voters next year, or perhaps by congress if house democrats do move on impeachment. the government shutdown is now in its 30th day. the spread between mr. trump's approval and disapproval ratings has grown noticeably since the start of this shutdown. he went from ten points under water to 15, according to's polling average. perhaps with that in mind, president trump yesterday made a new offer, extend some temporary protection from deportation for some undocumented immigrants in exchange for that $5.7 billion that he wants for a permanent border wall. house speaker nancy pelosi rejected the offer, even before the president spoke. but democrats are also getting a bit nervous, and they're offering a billion dollars more in border security. they just don't want any of that money for a wall. at the same time, special counsel robert mueller's russia report remains a potentially
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mortal threat to the trump presidency. still, the more immediate crisis facing this country and the president is the shutdown. the best we can say, there is at least the two sides aren't farther apart. >> walls are not -- >> president trump with a deal to end the government shutdown that top democrats are calling a nonstarter and hostage taking. >> $5.7 billion for a strategic deployment of physical barriers, or a wall. three years of legislative relief for 700,000 daca recipients. >> the temporary protections for so-called dreamers would not include a pathway to permanent legal status, and major dreamer groups and democratic leaders are panning it. with the shutdown dragging on and his poll numbers sagging, this week mr. trump told his acting chief of staff, nick mulvaney, we're getting crushed, according to "the new york times." >> i've never seen the situation that america is in now, and a
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lot of it has to do with trust. i don't trust a lot of our politicians anymore. >> and hanging over the nation and mr. trump's presidency, "the new york times" report that the fbi opened an inquiry in 2017 into whether or not mr. trump was working as a russian agent as president. "the washington post" report that president trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal his conversations with russian president vladimir putin. the acknowledgment by the president's lawyer that someone on his campaign may have colluded with russia. >> i never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign. >> yes, you have. >> i have no idea. >> and then there's the upcoming testimony of mr. trump's former long-time lawyer, michael cohen, to congress. >> now to this new bombshell report. >> after a buzzfeed story claimed the special counsel has evidence that mr. trump directed cohen to lie to congress last summer about plans for a trump
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tower in moscow, special counsel robert mueller issued a rare statement on friday night refuting the story. quote, buzzfeed's description of specific statements to the special counsel's office and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office regarding michael cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate. the statement appeared to put the brakes on the growing number of democrats in congress who said that the allegations, if true, would be grounds for beginning impeachment proceedings immediately. >> if the president directed michael cohen to lie to congress, then that's a clear case of participating in perjury and obstruction of justice. >> it's a total phony story, and i appreciate the special counsel coming out with a statement last night. >> and joining me now is president trump's personal attorney, rudy giuliani. mr. giuliani, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> good morning, chuck. how are you? >> i'm okay. let's start with the big
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kerfuffle over the last 48 hours with buzzfeed. there were a lot of questions about what happened between michael cohen and donald trump, the special counsel's office obviously pushed back on the buzzfeed story. so let's clear it up. on the record, once and for all, are you a hundred percent confident that the president never once asked michael cohen to do anything but tell the truth to congress? >> 100% certain of that. and also, i should add the buzzfeed story was a story that the president had counseled him or told him to lie and that there were tapes and texts and federal law enforcement sources, two of them, cited for it. i spent a great deal of the day on saturday with that because i knew from the very beginning it wasn't true. but i mean, to their credit, the justice department and the special counsel's office said that the story was inaccurate. the inaccuracy is there's no evidence that the president told him to lie. then to answer your question, categorically i can tell you his
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counsel to michael cohen throughout that entire period was tell the truth. we thought he was telling the truth. i still believe he may have been telling the truth when he testified before congress. in any event, his lawyers thought that. our lawyers thought that. and the president thought that, at the time. >> can you share -- >> now i don't know what to believe about him. >> can you share what communication the president had with michael cohen about trump tower moscow, and can you share the last time they talked about trump tower moscow? >> probably can't do that for two reasons. i wasn't his lawyer at the time. i just came into it in april, which now seems like two years ago, but it's less than a year. >> fair enough. >> second, a lot of that would be privileged. i can tell you before the investigation, before the period they're looking at they did have conversations about it. the conversations lasted throughout parts of 2016. the president is not sure exactly when they ended. i would say michael cohen would have a much better recollection
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of it than the president. it was much more important to him. that was his sole mission. the president was running for president of the united states. so you got to expect it's not going to be a great deal of concentration on a project that never went anywhere. there was one letter of intent that was nonbinding. that's the whole thing. i don't know if you call it a project even. >> you just said there that the president is not sure when talks ended. i'm guessing you had to answer this question in written form by mr. mueller. >> right. >> so it's your understanding it ended when, in january, as michael cohen incorrectly testified to? >> no. >> okay. >> well, it's our understanding that they went on throughout 2016 -- there weren't a lot of them, but there were conversations. can't be sure of the exact dates. but the president can remember having conversations with him about it. >> throughout 2016? >> yeah, probably up to -- could be up to as far as october, november.
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our answers cover until the election. so any time during that period they could have talked about it. but the president's recollection of it is that the thing had petered out quite a bit. they sent a letter of intent in. they didn't even know where to send it. they knew so little about it. up they finally got it straightened out. then they abandoned the project. that's about as much as he can remember of it because, remember, 2015, 2016, he's running against 16 people for president of the united states. and i know that. i was with him for like five months. all his concentration was 100% on running for president. >> is it fair this was more of a project for michael cohen? did it also involve donald trump jr., ivanka trump, and eric trump? >> i don't know that. i don't -- except for knowledge of it -- i mean, if michael is at all telling the truth, he would have to acknowledge he was the key guy on this project. so he'd be the one -- i mean, if things were normal and we weren't worried he's lying, he'd be the guy you'd go to and say, tell us what happened. you ran this thing.
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>> why do you think he decided, then -- so you're saying he decided on his own to tell congress that talks with trump tower moscow stopped in january of '16? >> he did it in consultation with his lawyers. the same way -- >> according to bob mueller, he did it in consultation with some of the president's lawyers as well. >> now, that could be true also. john dowd, jay sekulow, ty cobb were the lawyers then. it would be not uncommon since it was a joint defense agreement. i don't know if they participate in the preparation, but they'd certainly be told about it, just like he would be told about what other people are doing. that's what a joint defense agreement is all about. >> just to clarify, talks of trump tower moscow went as late as october or november of 2016, in some form. >> could be. could be. the president's recollection is i talked about it with him in 2015, 2016, can't tell you the
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exact sequence, can't tell you the exact dates. we talked about the project. we talked about the fact he was going to send in a nonbinding letter of intent. at some point, he came to me and informed me that it didn't go anywhere. >> do you know why it didn't go anywhere? >> i don't, actually. i don't know why it didn't go anywhere, nor does the president really know exactly why. there are a lot of these things that happened in a business like his. you send in a letter of intent, and maybe one out of three, one out of four turns out to be a project. it's like a very early stage proposal. >> but this -- as far as the president was concerned, an active project to at least october or november of 2016, an active, potential deal. >> yeah, i would say an active proposal. it's like my business. i make proposals to do security work. probably got six of them out right now. if you were to ask me what countries am i going business in, i'd tell you the two i'm doing business in, not the other six, because i may never do business there.
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>> let me ask you about what you said on cnn earlier this week about the issue of collusion. let me play first your statement to mr. cuomo and go from there. >> you just misstated my position. i never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign. >> yes, you have. >> i have not. i said the president of the united states. >> i'm going to play for you a collection of yourself and the president on this issue of collusion. take a listen and i'll get you to respond. >> there's no collusion between me and my campaign and the russians. there was no collusion between us and russia. there was no collusion on my side. i can tell you that. everybody knew it. there's been no collusion between us and the russians. but there has been no collusion. they won't find any collusion. it doesn't exist. >> i know from having been on the campaign there was no contact with russians, no discussion with russians. >> all right. you have said you are now creating a specific -- that it's
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just the president there was no collusion for. it does seem like a change. you said it is not. why shouldn't we view this as a change? >> i'll tell you, because each time i said that back then and each time the president said it -- i shouldn't say each time. most of the times i said it back then, i qualified it with, to my knowledge, which is of course all i would know. so if i'm saying there's no collusion on the campaign, of course i don't know everyone on the campaign. to my knowledge, there's no collusion on the campaign. i probably didn't qualify it every time i said it. in the case of chris, he asked me to qualify it. he asked me a question before that about, well, how would you know? i made it clear that i wouldn't know everything that happened. i represent the president. i know his knowledge, directly talking to him. i'm in a strange position of having been intimately involved in a larger part of the campaign. i know what i know from that, no russian collusion. but how do i know if somebody -- i mean, like when papadopoulos came along, there was a big furor about how he might have been colluding with the russians. turned out he wasn't.
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at the time that came up, i wouldn't have known if he was or he wasn't. now i know he wasn't. >> some people could watch you on this and say, you know, you've had to sort of change the context of how you're describing that story, to your knowledge, that you keep -- as you get more knowledge, you tell us more of the story. are you confident your client is being 100% truthful to you? >> yes, absolutely. i don't tell you more of the story. in the first month or two, i didn't know it. i had to learn it. probably since may i haven't learned any new facts except a few things that have come along. actually if you drill down further on the story, if you ask me a general question, i'll give you a general answer. if you ask me a specific question, i'll give you a specific answer. then i have the problem of being a lawyer, where i have to qualify. like, i'll say, you know, the conversation between mueller and the president, where the president said go easy on flynn.
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now, that conversation did not take place as far as the president is concerned. he doesn't remember any such conversation. then i'll say, even if it took place, there's nothing illegal about it. that confuses people. when you say, even if it took place, it's not illegal, people think you're admitting the conversation took place. it's a complexity that happens because i guess of the difficulty of this subject. >> final question, mr. barr, who during his confirmation hearing to be attorney general, explicitly stated that a sitting president could obstruct justice. that's been in dispute with analysis from your legal team. you have heard mr. barr's claim that, yes, a sitting president can obstruct justice. do you accept his definition of that or do you still disagree? >> no, no i agree with him. but i don't phrase it quite that way, that he can obstruct justice. a president firing somebody who works for him if he does no
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other corrupt act other than just fire him, it can obstruct justice because that's what article 2 of the constitution gives to him solely. not congress, not anybody else. if, for example, a president said, leave office or i'm going to, you know, have your kids kidnapped or i'm going to break your legs -- i prosecute a lot of obstruction cases. i'll give you an example. when the president said, please go easy on flynn, i know of no obstruction case that begins with the word please. it goes something like this, if you don't go easy on flynn, i'll break your kneecaps. an obstruction case has to involve some degree of corrupt act other than just making a request or just exercising a legal function. barr is a unique lawyer. he's a superior lawyer. so i wouldn't -- if i were one of these lawyers arguing about this on television, i wouldn't go up against bill barr. >> fair enough. rudy giuliani, i'm going to end it there. i appreciate the time and appreciate you coming on.
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and for sharing your views. >> thank you. >> you got it. joining me now is the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee, senator mark warner of virginia. welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning. >> obviously as a virginia senator, the shutdown is first and foremost on your mind. i get it. it's part of the reason why we wanted you on this morning. but mr. giuliani seemed to make some news this morning we had not heard before, the trump tower moscow deal. he's now saying it was an active, potential proposal, at least through october or november. is that news to the senate intelligence committee? >> that's news to me. that is big news. why two years after the fact are we just learning this fact now when there's been this much inquiry? i got to tell you, chuck, i would think most voters, democrat, republican, independent, you name it that knowing that the republican nominee was actively trying to do business in moscow, that the
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republican nominee at least at one point had offered if he built this building vladimir putin a free penthouse apartment. and if those negotiations were ongoing while up until the election, i think that's a relevant fact for voters to know. i think it's remarkable that we're two years after the fact and just discovering it today. >> what does this mean to you? he throughout the campaign said i have no deals with russia, i have no business with russia. i think reasonable people would disagree that i have no business with russia and an active potential deal does sound like you want business with russia. maybe he's got to parse the sentence here. what does that say to you about his -- does that -- does that question whether he should be in office? >> well, it reinforces the fact that we have to finish our investigation, the senate investigation, which is still the only bipartisan one left. we need to have mueller finish. and what we've seen is -- and i don't often feel bad for rudy giuliani, this morning just seeing that interview, i almost
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feel bad for him. he keeps having to readjust his stories as more facts come out. so we now know that mr. trump, or his operation, was still trying to do business with moscow up until his election. we now know that his campaign chairman, paul manafort, gave confidential information to a russian agent. we don't know what that russian agent did with that. we now know as welt -- and one of the questions i'm still trying to get answered is that frankly embarrassing meeting between trump and putin where on the world stage the president of the united states kowtowed to the russian president. i still don't know. they don't have to tell me, but i still don't know whether anyone in the trump administration at the most senior levels ever got a read out. that raises a whole host of questions that the american public needs an answer to and the congress needs an answer to. >> you said earlier this week you expect to have michael cohen
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back in front of your committee in february as well. we know about his public testimony that he's agreed to give to the house oversight committee. have you gotten -- has he agreed to this yet? >> we're still in conversations. chairman burr and i have agreed for some time we wanted to bring cohen back. he's also agreed to testify publicly. i know the house intel committee is bringing him back as well. we particularly want him back because it was his original lies to our committee that got him into trouble. those lies were saying there was no activities on the trump tower after january of 2017. >> do you have evidence that somehow the president instructed mr. cohen to lie? >> we want to get mr. cohen to come before our committee and give testimony. >> do you have any evidence -- >> i'm not going to go into any of the materials that we have. i do know it is one of the reasons where i think part of this information may reside, within the mueller investigation. again, one of the critical reasons why we need assurances that that investigation will be able to be finished.
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>> it sounds like -- it sounds like a lot of democrats think you guys need to start pushing your investigation faster because mr. mueller is taking too long. where are you at on that? >> i want to get this done as fast as we can. i have as much frustration as anyone, but we have to do it in a thorough way. there are a number of key individuals who we've either not seen or need to come back. and we're in those conversations right now. >> was it news to you when "the new york times" reported that a counterintelligence investigation was opened on the president? >> again, i'm not going to comment on that story from "the new york times." >> is that something, though, that if one had been opened that it would be information that would be shared with a select group of people? >> i'm not going to comment on what goes on in the intelligence committee. >> all right. let me move to the shutdown. i know the democrats have rejected the deal. i know democrats are working on their own counterproposal here. what are we to take away? what's the public to take away from the fact the president went out and offered something, you may not like it, but he offered something. democrats are going to offer a little something.
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it's not going to be anything for a barrier. is that progress? >> let me first of all step back and say let's make sure we all know what's at stake here. we have 800,000 workers that are either working or furloughed, not getting paid. we have hundreds of thousands of contractors. we think about the smithsonian here, all the folks who clean the toilets and serve the food aren't getting paid. we have businesses that support those all across america. senator murkowski from alaska showed a brewery in kodiak, alaska, empty yesterday because it was in a coast guard town. the starting point of this negotiation ought to be reopening the government. if we're not, at least what we ought to be willing to do, because you think people have hurt so far, come this thursday there's going to be a second pay period without a check. and then the beginning of the month with all the bills coming due. the fact we're going to go back and pay our federal employees back pay, let's at least pay them on thursday so they don't have to go through more angst. >> so you didn't keep the government shut down and get
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paid? >> i would start with opening the government. >> but can you get them paid while you still have this fight? >> we try to have some discussions. at least getting them paid would make some sense. let me make clear that what the president proposed yesterday, increasing border security, looking at tps, looking at the dreamers, i'll use that as a starting point, but you've got to start by opening the government. what we cannot do -- and i've had republicans as well recognize this -- is that we cannot reward the kind of behavior of hostage taking. because if the president can arbitrary shut down the government now he will do it time and again. >> you do know, though, that already the hit to gdp is greater than the amount of money he's asked for. we've already had a $7 billion hit to our economy. he's asking for $5 billion. at what point is it not worth it? >> listen, going into negotiations, i'm all for it. increasing border security, i'm all for it. >> some fencing? you've voted for it before. >> start with opening the government. the one thing i'd like to ask, chuck, you and the folks here at the studio, i don't think we give our federal employees
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enough benefit. five weeks now without pay. they're still showing up to work. they're working overtime. how many folks in this studio would come to work this morning if they'd gone five weeks without pay? >> it's a very fair question, and i think you would have a very empty studio. senator mark warner, democrat from virginia, thank you for coming on. sharing your views. much appreciated. when we come back, the shutdown, russia, and calls among democrats to start impeachment hearings. the panel is next. about my family history. went to ancestry, i put in the names of my grandparents first. i got a leaf right away. a leaf is a hint that is connected to each person in your family tree. i learned that my ten times great grandmother is george washington's aunt. within a few days i went from knowing almost nothing to holy crow, i'm related to george washington. this is my cousin george. discover your story. start searching for free now at but how do i know if i'm i'm getting a good deal? i tell truecar my zip
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hey, batter, batter, [ crowd cheers ] like everyone, i lead a busy life. but i know the importance of having time to do what you love. at comcast we know our customers' time is valuable. that's why we have 2-hour appointment windows, including nights and weekends. so you can do more of what you love. my name is tito, and i'm a tech-house manager at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. welcome back. the panel is here. joshua johnson, host of 1a on npr, danielle pletka of the american enterprise institute. nbc news national political correspondent, and peter baker of "the new york times." there's two ways to look at these shutdown proposals. one is it's going nowhere. the other is mark warner said
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there, okay, i'm willing to accept the president as the starting point. he made an inch towards the democrats. democrats made an inch. you know. it's not half full, but there's condensation in the glass. >> for 29 days, all we had was give me the money or don't give me the money. it was one thing on the table. neither side was budging. now we're putting other things on the table. we're expanding the problem so there, in fact, can be multiple aspects to give each side something they can live with. you can see the makings of a deal here. you're right. at the moment, it doesn't seem like it's likely to happen in the next 24, 48 hours. they're still stuck on i'm not going to negotiate on that, i'm not going to negotiate on this. if the president wanted a deal, i'm not sure coming out on television to make the first proposal is the way to do it. i'm not sure rejecting it before it was made is the way to do it. you can see the beginnings of negotiations. we're now in a place where people are actually beginning to move. >> so here's what happened. basically, jared kushner and mike pence were up on the hill this week. they met with mitch mcconnell. they left, mitch mcconnell picked up the phone and called the president and said, mr. president, nancy pelosi is not going to budge.
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you've got to do something to shake this up. just put something on the table. this is wholly a proposal from the white house. that is the problem. even though we saw some movement in terms of the wall itself, the president conceding for the first time this is not a contiguous wall, also giving a little bit on daca, it is not anywhere close to what the democrats would want in terms of the money being directed towards the infrastructure needed at ports of entry, drones, more people on the border. there is stuff in there on increased border security that's not wall, but they're still far apart on the specifics. here's the most important thing. you heard mark warner say this. according to the democrats i've talked to, they really are going to stay united when it comes to the principle of this negotiation taking place when the government is open and not closed. >> interesting. well, close, no? you don't see progress? >> don't look at me.
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and let's be clear. no one in this room knows when the shutdown is going to end. let's knock that right out. there's no clear path. i think part of the reason is because this is no longer purely pragmatic or practical politics. this is a moral issue. i think the shutdown is kind of a symptom of something larger. the wall is a campaign promise the president made to play on something very deeply held that his political base feels. if you want to look for an image that speaks to this, it's probably those protesters who were on the steps of the lincoln memorial, the native american man beating the drum, nathan phillips, and those kids and the make america great again hats that were kind of smirking at him and looking down their noses at him. that's the real image. that's the real emblem of this. this is about xenophobia. for many americans, this is about race. this is about rhetoric that's reached a point where it's ground the government to a halt. nancy pelosi said a wall is an immorality. how do you make a political
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solution to a moral quandary? it seems like the entire political establishment has painted itself into a place where the practical nature of politics could solve this. for many americans, for many people of color, i'm not speaking for all people of color, for the rashida tlaib in this country, for the alexandria ocasio-cortez in this country, they're tired of these solutions. >> he brought up perhaps the box democrats have painted themselves in, the morality. then you have the "a" word when it comes to the right, which is amnesty. any little protection for anybody that's not here legally is somehow amnesty. the president tweeted this, this morning. no, amnesty is not part of my offer. it is a three-year extension of daca. amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. likewise, there will be no big push to remove the 11 million plus people here illegally. but be careful, nancy. the amnesty word, we know that
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that can suddenly splinter the right. >> there's a lot of history behind these immigration problems. it's not just something that came up between donald trump and nancy pelosi. this goes back to 1986 and the original deal that was struck with the reagan administration, which most people don't even remember. that was the amnesty question. you know, i think what we've seen is that while donald trump had painted himself into a corner, the reality is we may not like it. we may not agree with him, but he has moved. and it is a mistake on the part of the speaker to come out of the box and not accept the idea that we like the idea of a three-year extension. sure, we want to do better. we could accept a 700-mile or so border, a fence. the democrats, every sitting democrat in the senate, voted for just such a thing a mere five years ago. the problem that you have is when you start suggesting that anyone who wants a wall -- or no, not anyone. i don't want to be unfair to you. many who want this are racist, it causes a real hardening on
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the other side. there are plenty of people, including 35-plus democratic senators, who wanted a wall, signed up to a wall, and who i don't think are racists. >> bottom line, if you take the emotion out of this debate, it's solved tomorrow. right? >> exactly right. i think josh's point is exactly right. what used to be a relatively pragmatic discussion about a little of this, a little of that in 2006, many republicans and democrats voted for the security defense act. today it has become a moral issue on both sides in different ways. very hard to meet in the middle. >> there are experts who do believe there are certain kind of barriers in certain parts of the border that make perfect sense. we interviewed a border patrol expert on our program who said especially in urban areas where there are plenty of places for smugglers to duck and dive behind the buildings around down alleys, physical barriers can make a real difference in terms of securing the border. saying it's inherently immoral may be true in some people's hearts, but there are pragmatic ways in which certain kinds of
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barriers along certain parts of the border have helped. >> there's a deal to be had. it's not going to be had according to the democrats when the government is closed because you saw other conservative based groups say let's have a shutdown is over planned parenthood funding. this really is, for democrats, about the principle. >> if this continues to go on, which party is more vulnerable to seeing more splintering off here? i feel like you've got those trump house democrats. you've got those senate republicans in blue states. seems like they're both wobbly here. >> i think right now nancy pelosi is at more risk because she's facing exactly what two republican speakers faced up to, which is her own version of the freedom caucus, her own version of the tea party who are going to turn on her like vipers. >> i think mitch mcconnell's move here with getting trump to make this proposal was also meant to move this to the senate. so i would look to those senate democrats, those moderate democrats, which is why i reached out to joe manchin last night. he gave a very kind of nebulous
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statement, but it did say let's open the government which brings me back to the same point i keep making. >> and as you heard mark warner there, maybe we can pay them. you can tell there's some movement. all right. let's pause it there. coming up, as he enters his third year in office, president trump is counting on continued support from congressional republicans on a number of issues. will he get it? a top house republican, liz cheney, joins me next. when i kept finding myself smoking in my attic. dad! hiding when i was supposed to be quitting.
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welcome back. as the debate over immigration and the shutdown indicate, both sides are walled in and neither want to give anything to the other side. one group that may have a lot of impact on mr. trump's fate on everything from the shutdown to mueller to 2020 are house republicans. and joining me this morning is the chair of the house republican conference, that's the number three position in leadership on the republican side, liz cheney or wyoming. welcome to "meet the press." >> thank you very much, chuck. great to be with you. >> let me start with the shutdown. wyoming, as folks are going to see, is one of the most impacted states by this shutdown. i think one of the five most impacted outside of the region here. the president's proposal seemed to inch. democrats are talking about more money for border security but no barrier. are we closer or is this rhetoric? >> it's certainly more than rhetoric on our side. i think what you saw the president do yesterday was one
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more time put a proposal on the table. it's very difficult to understand when you've got the president's proposal that obviously includes money for the border wall, also includes an extension for the daca folks, also includes an extension for tps. those are issues, daca in particular, that speaker pelosi commandeered the floor of the house of representatives for eight hours less than a year ago on particularly this issue of helping to ensure that people that are here, the so called dreamers are not deported. so for her now to just simply reject out of hand when the president actually has said, okay, let's look at ways we can come closer, you know, it shows you they're just not interested in negotiating. >> why should the democrats accept something temporary in exchange for something permanent? >> well, look -- >> in fairness to them. >> what we're talking about is we have to secure the border and get the government open. as your last panel talked about, the democrats in the senate, including senator warner, have voted for 700 miles, actually, of a border barrier, back in 2013.
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so we really want to come to an agreement here. the president really wants to come toon agreement here. he's put offers on the table. the responsible thing for the democrats to do is put a counteroffer on the table if you don't like this one. >> senator warner seemed to suggest maybe there's a way to pay people, pay some of these workers now, even if you don't open up the government. not miss another pay period. would you support some sort of temporary solution like that this week just to keep things going? >> the house republicans voted to do just that, and the democrats voted against it. we had a handful of democrats who joined us on one of our motions to recommit that would do exactly that. >> pay people even if the government stays closed? >> that's right. we think it's very important that people get paid. i think it's very hard to defend the notion that we're asking people to come to work and not be paid. but at the end of the day, there is a solution here. the democrats, you know, the rhetoric here has really gotten above and beyond. when the president's offer is rejected before he stands up to give his speech, that tells you something about what their approach is here. >> did what the president offer,
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is that how you would define amnesty? is that a fair critique from -- some on the right the president's offers are amnesty. >> no, it's not amnesty. what he said is, look, let's have an extension for three years of these two programs, and let's do that so we can come to the table to talk about what's necessary for broader immigration reform. it isn't amnesty. frankly, it is a really important step forward, but again, i come back to the fact that speaker pelosi has said she will be a champion of the dreamers. so when she's willing to play games, when she's willing to pull political stunts, but she's not actually willing to come up with solutions, that makes it very difficult to come to an agreement here. >> finding a permanent solution for the dreamers with a path to citizenship, any form of that, when does that become amnesty in your mind? >> well, look, we'll have to see what happens. we have to get the government open. we have to focus on what comes next. but at this point -- >> but what i described is not -- you don't think that's amnesty. right? >> what the president has put forward is not amnesty.
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what the president has done is say, absolutely, our first and most important obligation is to secure the border. and the fact that the democrats are talking about let's have open borders, let's abolish i.c.e., they say they're for border security on some level, yet they're not even willing as speaker pelosi said provide $1 for it. it's a purely partisan game she is playing and she ought to stop it for the good of the nation. >> let me move to some foreign policy issues. here was the president yesterday on the white house south lawn talking about the potential withdrawal of troops in syria. take a listen. >> in two years, we've, i guess, reduced it to about 99% of the territorial caliphate. we're killing isis for russia, for iran, for syria, for iraq, for a lot of other places. at some point you want to bring our people back home. >> i know you've been to the white house to talk about your concerns about too quick of a
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pullout there. does that make you feel better, or does that sound like a president that still wants to move a little faster on this pullout than you do? >> look, i think what's very important to recognize is that we have to make sure that we finish the job. if you look at the -- >> so 99% in your mind is not finishing the job? >> it's not. if you look at the mistakes barack obama made when he pulled out of iraq precipitously, when he declared the war ended -- and the war certainly wasn't ended. we end up with chaos in the aftermath. in a place like syria, what our special operations forces are doing there is crucially important. in order to be able to provide air support, some artillery support, we've got to ensure that isis is destroyed. because if you walk away before they're destroyed, then they have the ability to create safe havens to launch attacks against us again. >> some will say there's always an isis, there's always an al qaeda. they're just going to change their name. so it means we're always going to be there. what do you say to folks that think -- that your definition means we're always going to have troops in the middle east. >> we have to fight them there so they don't fight us here. the definition of victory in the
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middle east, the definition of victory in afghanistan, in syria is that we don't have another 9/11. so we've got to recognize that the kind of enemy we're facing can, with very little territory, very little resources, have bases from which they can plot and plan and launch attacks. we have an obligation to make sure they don't do that. >> before i let you go, congressman steve king has basically decided you're the reason why he's being maybe shoved out of office, shoved out of the party. i got to play something he said about you earlier this week. take a listen. >> you can't put her in the category of ever being a conservative again. she's called for my resignation. she's been here two years. and you know, what would give her the moral authority or the intellectual judgment to do something like that? >> i'll just give you a chance to respond. >> well, look, i think pretty clear and our entire house leadership was clear last week. his comments were abhorrent. they were racist. under the guidance of leader
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mccarthy, we stripped him of his committee assignments, and i think there's simply no place for that language in any of our -- >> censure next? >> as i said last week, i think he ought to go find another line of work. >> liz cheney, thank you. number three in the house leadership, thank you for coming on. when we come back, you know that 800,000 federal employees are out of work, but did you know it's a problem for many people far away from washington, d.c.? stick around. ♪ ♪ memories. what we deliver by delivering. discover.o! i like your card, but i'm absolutely not paying an annual fee. discover has no annual fees.
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proportion of federal workers impacted by the shutdown are south dakota, montana, wyoming, new mexico, and alaska. federal employees in these states primarily work for interior, agricultural, and health and human services. and it's folks like these across the country who've already gone more than a month without a paycheck, who could start to have a tough time making ends meet. in fact, according to the real estate site zillow, this month alone, unpaid federal workers owe $438 million in mortgage and rent payments. and of the workers impacted, almost 111,000 make less than $50,000 per year, according to "the washington post." now, this shutdown has cast a spotlight on just how many americans are one missed paycheck away from a personal financial crisis. in fact, according to a survey by bank rate, less than half of americans, just 40%, could cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, like a car repair or emergency
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room visit, from savings. others said they would need to pay with a credit card, borrow from family or friends, or simply take out a personal loan. the broader impact on the economy is starting to become apparent as well. bloomberg estimates federal contractors could be losing as much as $200 million a day in lost or delayed revenue. delta airlines says it's already lost $25 million in revenue due to lost government flights. a month in, this shutdown is having a real impact both inside and outside the washington, d.c., area. and we don't yet know the ripple effect on everything from lunch spots and coffee shops to uber drivers. but we do know it's causing real pain for real people. and the question for policymakers may be, when is it simply too much? when we come back, we're going to talk about that buzzfeed story about michael cohen and whether journalists were too quick to report a story that they could not confirm. coming up, end game and
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end game, brought to you by boeing, continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore, and inspire. back now with end game and the back now with end game and the buzzfeed bombshell that wasn't. and unbelievable decision by the
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special prosecutor's office to actually say no, a story is wrong. a lot of people now know this story but let me pum the special counsel's statement up one more time from pete carr -- the special counsel's office and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office recording michael cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate. saturday, buzzfeed is still sticking by their story. here's their statement. as we've reconfirmed our reporting, we've seen no indication that any specific aspect of our story is inaccurate. we remain confident in what we've reported and will share more as we are able to. peter baker and heidi, you both deal a lot with the special counsel's office in various ways. just explain how unprecedented this was. >> absolutely unprecedented. there's been thousands of stories that have gone out on russia, and the special counsel's office has said nothing. the fact it felt compelled to answer to this was really
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significant. i think on the hill, there was also a pressure coming because you had some members, and i want to say that they were not leadership and they were not the committee chairs, but you had some democrats starting to use the "i" word and starting to say, mueller, if you've got this evidence, you have to bring it forward now. so there were those two confluences of events happening that i think compelled him to say something. we don't know, though i don't think we should get ahead of our skis on this story, because we don't know everything that was wrong in the story. it is notable that buzzfeed continues to stand by it. so i think there's more iterations of this to come. >> peter, though, i think the bigger thing is the entire media world. we could all say we did the if trues, and we said we could not confirm. that's all true. it was something the entire media world was telling the public, this is probably true. by the way, we covered this. now look. >> buzzfeed has got an lot of things right. let's not forget that. they have had a number of
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important scoops on this. i think there was some credibility, it seemed like, on the front end to what they were saying, but our people weren't able to confirm it the way it was reported. i think that gave us obviously a lot of pause, and it should. the problem is, in the old days, you know, when one media organization's competitor got something wrong, you would sit back and say, ha-ha. now unfortunately, it's blowback on all of us. we all own all of the media in effect. anybody gets anything wrong, it's used as a weapon against all of us and against all of the other thousands of stories heidi just mentioned. i think the fact the special counsel chose to correct this one says that they weren't troubled by the vast majority of those thousands of other stories and a lot of the reporting has been, in fact, pretty right. >> that's, by the way, the danger of the special counsel's office deciding to speak out on one story. does it do that, confirm every other? >> can we just be clear on two things? one, the american public by and large do not trust the folks inside the beltway or in the press. and two, the american people want this to be over.
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we're tired. this is like the slowest, longest, most drawn-out drama. and whatever story is going to make this end, i think a lot of people are kind of eager for. the buzzfeed story kind of has that patina. it's the smoke from the smoking gun. and if, indeed, it leads to the gun from whence the smoke ori n originated, boom, we can start this story and time to start "game of thrones" in april and we only have one drama to deal with. first of all, it's a good thing the larger media establishment was able to talk about this. we all read our own different papers from our own political silos. there never would have been a correction. it would have ended up in the paper that spoke to your point of view. no one else would have seen it. we never would have gotten the facts right. this is where the era of the internet helps. overall, i feel like this is another part of this drama that the american people and folks inside the beltway are saying, can we wrap this up, please snmpk. >> the problem is the fake news
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problem. any time that somebody gets something so spectacularly wrong and everybody piles on, it furthers the narrative that this is yet another american institution that the people of our country can't trust. that's the problem with the buzzfeed story. >> no, it is. and we got to remind people, though there are people that want to exploit this, they want to see us be put this way, and they're doing it for exploitation purposes. so let's not give them the ammunition. thank you, all, for today. thank you for watching and trusting us. have a happy and safe martin luther king jr. holiday weekend. get your ice skates out here in washington. we'll be back next week, because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." you can see more end game and postgame on the "meet the press" twitter account.
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i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. and last year, i earned $36,000 in cash back. which i used to offer health insurance to my employees. what's in your wallet? welcome to "kasie dc." i'm in for peter alexander, who is in for kasie, who is under the weather. right now super blood moon and things are extra weird. the president moving to end the longest squlou longest shutdown in history, offering a deal for daca. we will find out what it will take to reopen the government as hundreds of thousands of federal workers strug to


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