tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 14, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT
you as well. >> let's do it. digging in the dirt. president trump try toies to cly his assertion he would accept assistance from a foreign government in the upcoming 2020 election but is he clear enough in. >> of course you have to look at it because if you don't look at it, you're not going to know if it's bad. how will you know if it's bad? of course you give it to the fbi or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that. tender box. the president blames iran for the attack on two oil tankers after the u.s. military releases ha is said what is said to be new video evidence. >> if any of those get aimed at american ships and american ship gets hit, we could see the situation totally escalate and we could be anotht war. having her say. in her first television interview, anita hill opens up
to andrea about biden's role as chairman during the 1991 hearings. >> i don't think it's disqualified him. he's a perfectly capable of running for president. >> could you conceive of voting for joe biden if he turns tououo be the democratic nominee against donald trump? >> of course i could. a very good friday to you. i'm kristen welker in for andrea in washington where president trump says he's the decider if chief on whether information he receives from foreign governments on his political opponents should be reported to top federal law enforcement officials. take a listen. >> if i don't listen, you're not going to know fp if i thought anything was incorrect or badly stated, i'd report it to the attorney general, fbi. i'd report it to law enforcement. the president of the united states, no matter who it is whether it's me or anybody else is in a much different position
because i hear things that, frankly, good, bad or indifferent that other people don't hear. just in normal conversation. nobody is going to say bad things to me. they know i'm a very straight player. >> joining me now, msnbc political analyst peter baker, chief white house correspondent at the new york times. joyce vance, a former u.s. attorney. washington post white house correspondent and michael steel. peter baker, i want to start with you and this attempt at a clarification, sort of, that we got from president trump. did the president clarify today and how do you think democrats, the cia will hear his comments today? >> yeah, the thing is in one of these interviews he can say two or three different versions on the same point. you're left guessing which one is really his position. he says he will call law
enforcement. absolutely call the fbi, but he's going to take the information and it's something of a walk back. kind of a partial walk back from the other day. he's under withering criticism not just from democrats but republicans. he's trying to wiggle his way out of it a bit but i don't know if it changes the outcome. >> peter makes a good point which is we heard so much from the president since he made those initial comments that prompted such a big backlash. part of what he heard is i just had meetings with the queen, with the prince of wal seres. a lot of people said that's diplomacy. we're talking about election interference. is he conflating a whole lot of
things here? >> yes, at least three. i think the list might be longer. he's the american president. the american president receives classified information at his disposal and will every single day. the american president discusses classify matter and also sensitive matters. that's completely separate than taking a call from a foreign government whose only goal would be to insert itself into the american election. there's no other explanation for why a foreign government would be interested in talking to any american candidate. they want in. the first thing you do, is you call the fbi. you don't look at the material and evaluate whether it's incorrect. you call the fbi. >> michael, republicans are in a tough spot. we didn't hear from a whole lot of them yesterday. we heard from mitt romney. we heard from marco rubio. lindsey graham who chose his words carefully. why aren't we hearing a more
robust response including from leader mcconnell. >> i think it's difficult to defend the indefensible. the president says contradictory things within the same interview within the same statement. they all know they don't do that and they know the president shouldn't do that. >> michael, you lead me to my next point that i want you to pick up on which is what does the law say? the head of the federal election commission was clear. let's listen to what she said earlier. >> it's pretty straightforward. anyone in the united states is not allowed to accept anything of value from a foreign national, particularly, a foreign government in connection with an election. federal, state, local. any election in the united states. >> the confusion comes when you try to define what a thing of
value is. is information a thing of value? >> it absolutely is a thing of value and the chairwoman was absolutely correct when she said this is black letter law. to lawyers that means this isn't close to being a question. you cannot, the law prohibits a campaign from accepting a thing of value from a foreign country, a foreign citizen. the question is whether there's civil or criminal liability. people can and will debate thpo akin to saying i will take the proceeds from the bank robbery and count them and then i will decide if i will call the fbi. that's really what he's saying here. >> yesterday a federal watchdog agency said to the white house you need to fire kellyanne
conway because she's violated the hatch act. if you're an elected official or an official, a federal official, you cannot engage in campaigning in any way shape or form. they say she's violated this by taking aim at democratic candidates, senate candidates. this is what the president had to say about that osc ruling. >> it looks to me like they're trying to take away her right of free speech and that's just not fair. she's got to have the right of responding to questions. it really sounds to me like a free speech thing. it doesn't sound fair. >> you're not going to fire her? >> no i'm not going to fire her. i think she's a terrific person. >> joyce, the president is very clear. he's not going to fire her. does the osc have any ability to have her removed? >> what happens here if the president wants to change the law, wants to change the hatch a act, he needs to go to congress and have them rewrite it.
it's very clear. it says that federal employees can't engage in political activity on official time using taxpayer resources. if she's at work making these comments, all taxpayers, democrats, republicans, independents are paying for her to engage in this conduct. the president who employs her would typically either counsel her on a first offense and ask that she resign on a second or third. because this president is so committed to violating law, we'll see a failure of accountability and the rule of law is further eroded by this president's conduct. >> peter baker, we learned yesterday that press secretary sarah huckabee sanders on her way out the door. there's some buzz she might run for governor of arkansas. what are the implications of her leaving? are you hearing any top names about those who might replace her and is the white house briefing effectively dead at
this point? >> it is. it's diminished the whole position of press secretary. does it matter she's not leaving? not really. she hasn't been an important conduit of information other than her fox news appearances. she hasn't briefed in 95 days. the job basically is assumed by the president of the yiunited states. he'll probably put somebody in that job. somebody will get that nice office. from time to time they will go on tv. the real white house press secretary is president trump and twitter is his briefing room platform. >> certainly is. the president sort of boast about the fact he really sees himself as his own best communications director. he's also making news on one of his other officials. his second, if you will, the vice president he was asked today during that phone interview with fox news if he would effectively put his hat behind mike pence if he decided to run in 2024. the president's response raising some eyebrows.
take a listen. >> barack obama said he's not going to endorse joe biden at this point. if mike pence runs for president in 2024, does he have your automatic endorsement? >> well, it's far too -- i love mike. we're running again. you're talking about a long time. you can't put me in that position. >> to be fair, he is a sitting president. could he answer in any other way or did you think this would a notable response. >> i think it's a heartbreaking response for mike pence. he's a good and decent man. i think he deserves the president's loyalty and he didn't get it. >> i interviewed mike pence and he's an effective advocate of the president's policies. what did you make of the president's response? there's been all of these rumblings. is there a fracture between these two? >> i disagree with mike, a bit.
i don't know there was a different answer in substance. >> in other words some people saying obama would have responded the same way. >> exactly. i think there's some tonal difference that's hard to put your finger on. it's like poor mike pence. >> he deserves better. >> i don't know. i'm not sure how that could or should have gone but in a pure political sense the president has a lot of reason to hedge his bets and wait a little bit. there are a number of people who also worked for him who currently work for him who might be in that mix. the president's endorsement will be important when it comes and he's probably wise politically to hold it back right now. >> it was very careful political answer. great conversation.
thanks to all of you. : her story in an exclusive interview. anita hill discusses whether she could vote for joe biden and gives her take on how the women candidates are being treated right now. her interview next. you don't want to miss this interview. stay with us. t want to miss thi interview. stay with us
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for the first time on sell vision after joe biden entered the race after making headlines saying she was not satisfied with his apology of how she was treated in the clarence thomas hearings. she's raising questions about the way biden chairpersed the hearings. >> is there anything he could say to you to make it right? >> i don't think there's a matter of what he could say. it's really what i want all of our leaders to say. that is almost after three decades having discovered the problem with sexual harassment and people understanding it's a serious problem i want our leaders to stand up and say what happened in 1991 will never happen again. what happened in 2018 with the senate hearing will not happen again. >> do you think joe biden's commitment to you and your conversation, his public record
since then has proved to you that he has met that standard? >> i'm not sure it's from the past. >> what do you want him to say? >> i want our leaders to say i understand this is a serious problem. women are fot sanot safe in the workplace, in our schools, on our streets. >> you've said the me too movement was delayed for decades probably by the thomas hearings in 1991. do you think joe biden changed the course of history? >> i think the hearing changed the course of history. in some ways it brought the issue forward because people were talking about it because of the hearings. in other ways the way the hearings were conducted set us back because it became the model
that other people followed and that people believed was the appropriate way to handle the issues. >> do you think as chairman he is responsible for the way they were conducted? >> as chairman, i believe every chairman of any committee really is responsible for how a hearing is conducted. that's why we put people in leadership position and we hold them accountable. >> do you think that is disqualifying that he should not be the democratic nominee? >> i don't think it has disqualified him. i've said this before. i don't think it has disqualified him. he's a perfectly capable of running for president. i think we will have to make our decision about what we want our leaders to be doing in the future around these issues of gender violence. >> your criticism has been politically damaging. it's political damaged him and are you suggesting that his conducting, the way he conducted
the hearing puts him on a moral equivalency with donald trump who has, we've all heard the "access hollywood" tape and being accused of sexual assault by a dozen women. does that put joe biden on a par with donald trump? >> absolutely not. i've never said that and i never intended to say that. i'm not sure that anything i've said has hurt joe biden's campaign. he still is lead ng ting in thes against donald trump and the other candidates on the democratic ticket. i'm not sure that i buy that i have hurt him. what i do want to do is make the public ware of the urgency of this issue. we've had years now to grapple with this as a society and i think we have come to a good place in part thanks to a lot of
advocacy and a lot of activity including the metoo movement and we need to take advantage of this moment and address the problem. >> could you conceive of voting for joe biden if he turns out to be the democratic nominee against donald trump? >> of course i could. >> the metoo movement, workplace harassment, has anyone addressed it in the way you would like to see? >> i'm still waiting. i think we're way ahead of any election. months away. wes coming up in a couple of weeks. i would love to see there to be a question about gender violence during the debates. i do not believe that at this point given his s addressed it or can. >> you've spoken about the trauma of victims goicoming forward. how did it affect you?
>> when we talk about what happened to me, i was 25 years old. it affected me in terms of my ability to do my job. the ability to concentrate on my job, ability to do, be able to think that i could live and work in washington, d.c. i ultimately moved. there was one point in which i was hospitalized for stress and i don't think it was around the work. it was around the work conditions. i can say i really am a survivor. what i would like is for more people who experience it to be the same kind of survivor but not every one is in the place that i was or has the ability to move in the way i did. >> you did not want to testify. you were outed and forced into that situation. what about the trauma of going through the hearings? >> the hearings were traumatic. they were traumatic for not only
me but members of my family. >> i watched your parents sitting there. >> my parents were so stoic and brave. my concern is i wouldn't protect them. they have lived quiet lives. they were nearly 80 years old at the time of the hearings and had lived very quiet lives in rural oklahoma. this was really hard for them because they really felt incapable of really understanding the system in a way that would allow them to protect me. >> did you identify with christine ford? >> i definitely did. it looked a lot different than it did in 1991. >> it was all male. >> all male, all white. with a smaller committee but it was still that intense pressure
from this group of panelists on the committee who really didn't seem to understand the issue of sexual harassment at all and to the extent they did, believed they did, they got it entirely wrong. of course i identified with her. >> have you had any contact with her in. >> i have, actually. not much lately but yes i have since her testimony. >> there are more women running this year than ever before in a major party. do you think the women candidates are getting as much attention or being marginalized in way? >> i think there's some rhetoric that marginallizes them. there seemed to be for a while and maybe this is ongoing that women were better suited for vice presidential candidates than presidential candidates. even before there's been any primary, there's also this discussion about which person should be on the ticket as a
vice president as opposed to seeing them as viable candidates. >> angela wright, said that joe biden does not owe her apology but clarence thomas does. do you agree with that? >> that's a personal choice. that's not for me to agree or disagree. i don't think we should have to choose because there's a lot of people responsible for what happened in 1991. >> what about clarence thomas? >> he's in a leadership role. that's part of the reason others stepped up to testify. >> have you ever heard from him since? >> no. >> would never expect? >> no. i don't expect to and i certainly won't be getting in touch with him.
>> really remarkable interview by andrea there and the spokeswoman for joe biden's campaign responded said they have nothing to add. coming up, on edge, tensions rises as the u.s. blames iran for those attacks on commercial tankers in the persian gulf. that's ahead right here on msnbc. persian gf.ul that's ahead right here on msnbc. this time, it's his turn.
iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the vote. i guess one of the mines didn't explode and it's probably got essentially iran written all over it. you saw the boat ignite trying to take the mine off and successfully took the mine off the boat. that was exposed. that was the boat that was them and they didn't want the evidence left behind. >> president trump putting the blame directly on iran for the oil tanker attacks in the gulf of oman. bill, the president saying ie ro iran is behind this. these incidents are only escalating tensions in the region, right?
>> absolutely. we now have six ships in as many weeks that have been attacks. as for the video, well, it isn't perhaps the smoking gun in the gulf that president trump implies. it's strong but it's not conclusive. for example, it doesn't prove that the iranians put that mine there in the first place. they may have simply been removing a real threat to that ship, an unexploded mine and not as the president says destroying evidence. the president is convinced and that's what matters. interestingly ie roran has not reacted to the release of the video. the u.s. had jumped to a accuse iran without a shred of even circumstantial evidence. he said that before the video was released the today the water
was made even murkier when the japanese ship owner said the filipino crew said it wasn't a mine but hit by a flying object. he suggested there may have been two attack, three hours a part. it's all very uncertain. not as a detective would say absolutely conclusive evidence. it probably means this isn't a game changer. where we go in negotiations certainly isn't clear. the supreme leader made it clear he didn't trust the u.s. and didn't value president trump leaving the japanese prime minister abe possibly rather embarrassed because he carried a note from trump, well, we don't know what was in the note but we're led to understand it was suggesting negotiations. no sign of any such negotiations at the moment.
>> certainly not. we know that president trump spoke with prime minister abe earlier today as well. bill, what are the steps, what are the actions or responses that we could sigh the u.s. take in response to this? >> well, short of military action and i don't think that is likely although you can never rule it out. it's difficult to see how both sides get out of this vicious circle. the u.s. is applying maximum pressure, economic warfare and there's no doubt the iranians are suffering. they are watching saudi and emirate oil tankers transporting oils from coastline but they are prevented from exporting that product. there's a strong theory that if iran is behind the attacks it's sending a message. they are saying you can cripple up but there will be a cost.
iran has threatened to close et earlier this year and donald trump saying if you close it, it won't be for long. i'm just not sure how we get out of this circle of maximum pressure and maximum resistance from iran and it is volatile. it is dangerous. >> volatile, dangerous. i think you hit the nail on the head when you call it a vicious cycle. clearly a foreign policy crisis at this point for the trump administration. thank you so nuch fmuch for you reporting. the dnc names the 20 candidate who is will have a spot on stage but who will go head to head? steve kornacki is here to break it all down. that's next right here on msnbc. it all down. that's next right here on msnbc. g for your phone. cool! wait til you check out the back!
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it's called always discreet boutique. it looks and fits like my underwear. i know what you're thinking. how can something this pretty protect? hidden inside is a super absorbent core that quickly turns liquid to gel for incredible protection. so i feel protected and pretty. always discreet boutique. new color. new size. the stage is set for the first presidential democratic debate right here on msnbc, nbc and telemundo. it will feature 20 candidates. all of whom qualified under the fund raising and polling rules. not every one made the cut including montana governor steve bullock and seth moulton. thanks for being here. really appreciate it. >> no problem.
>> i'm sorry you didn't make this first cut. i want to get your reaction to it and your take on the dnc rules. there was a donor thresholds and a polling threshold. you had to meet 1% in three different polls. do you think the rules gave every one a fair shake? >> no but i'm not here to cry over spilled milk. i understand stood maood gettin would make it difficult to get in the first debate. this first debate will not decide the field. what the dnc should be focused on is who is best able to take on trump. my message is resonating strongly on the ground. it's the voters who will decide and not the dnc. >> if you look back, there's been other candidates who got into the race, bill clinton had
1% when he first got into the race and a lot of folks thought he waited way too late. jimmy kacarter was like .75% wh he first got into the race. i wonder what your strategy is because they clearly had a very robust strategy to try to go from being at 1% to getting ahead of the pack. what's your strategy? >> the growth over sempb weeven i've been in the race has been strong. it was a slow easiy growth but t was resonating on the ground. i wasn't looking for a viral moment or something like that. i was resonating with voters. our first poll was seven months into the campaign. i was 53 points down. i ended up winning that race by 11. that's the strategy that we're going to continue to take in
this race. i don't think donald trump will be easy to beat. i think this sets me apart from some people out there. i think this will be a tough race. i think we have to be careful of choosing the best nominee to take him on. that's the case i'm making to the american people. >> thanks so much for joining us. really appreciate it. stay safe out there on the campaign trail. as we have this discussion, we have some breaking news. we have the two night break down. which candidates will appear on which night. we have steve kornacki to help me break it down. wednesday, june 26th, on the debate stage will be senator cory booker, elizabeth warren, beto o'rourke, amy klobuchar, julian castro. tim ryan, mayor bill de blasio and jay inslee.
tuesday, senator bernie sanders, senator kamala harris, vice president joe biden, mayor pete buttigieg. senator kirsten gillibrand, andrew yang and governor john hikenlooper. >> i'm literally trying to circle these on the screen as we go through it. let me just, if you work with me here, the idea that the dnc had in terms of the selections is they created two tiers here within those that qualify. what they did was took the folks who were polling at 2% or above and folks who were under 2%. they had them in two separate groups that they drew from. the idea was to mix and match. you get some of the heavy hitters and some of the folks who aren't registering that much. i'm looking, be effect of this.
it's ultimate ly ultimately ran. you'll have bernie sanders running number two. you'll have joe biden. he's running number one in the polls right now. you'll have ckamala harris. she's running third or fourth. you'll have pete buttigieg in the race. he's running around fourth place, maybe fifth place. the only other candidate who is registering at that level of support, a comparable level of support is elizabeth warren. she's going to be in the other debate. the idea here was to avoid the tiered system. in some ways they did. warren will be on one night but all four of these candidates will be on the other night. there's all sorts of discussions you could have about who is this
an advantage for. warren does not get to be on the stage with the other candidates especially biden the front-runner. maybe that's an opportunity to stand out a little more. maybe there's a bit top tier competiti competition. maybe she was looking to mix it up and contrast herself a bit. you look at these top tier candidates who will get a direct shot at biden. would buttigieg want to take a shot at him, would kamala harris, would bernie sanders? i think a lot of taepattention be on the bernie sanders, joe biden dynamic. who else is on that stage with bernie sansers, andrew yang. you haven't heard much some folks, maybe they are elevated by being on that stage. >> let me give a bit of a background. just to let our viewers know flp was a manual in person draw. it happened at nbc news
headquarters at 30 rock in new york. one representative of each of the qualifying campaigns was invited to attend this draw along with dnc officials. campaign representatives saw their respective candidates paper slip with their name on before it was folded and placed inside the box. then a representative from nbc news standards and practices conducted the draw. the candidates were divided into those two groups. let's take that second night because if i'm pete buttigieg, kamala harris and going up against joe biden, one of the things you would expect them to talk about is the fact they are going to bring a fresh perspective. joe biden served as the former vice president, been in politics a long time. to what extent is that divide going to be on display? >> i think that's the interesting question. it is this strategic question for buttigieg, the obvious contrast there especially for him is generational. buttigieg still in his 30s.
biden well into his 70s. do you think just by showing up, just by being on the same stage, maybe close to him on the stage is if you're trying to get them to see the contrast, maybe you don't need to say anything. is it an opportunity, do you decide to try to make some kind of a more direct statement to try to challenge joe biden and say something more blunt to him. that's the question for him. does bernie sanders try to draw an ideological distinction between himself and joe biden. between the democratic party he says that biden and folks like him represent. how about kamala harris. we say she's been register ng the polls but she's been a little lately lost in the shuffle. buttigieg had his rise. biden had his launch. warren has been getting buzz lately. does kamala harris see a need to
assert here's nor directly. i say biden, maybe somebody sees an opportunity to go after sanders. i wonder about that as well. the other thing is it always in these debates we focus on the big names and how they will interact. i think one thing to remember when you look back at primary debates from the past when front runners have gotten in trouble in primary debates, the people causing the trouble for them are often lower tier candidates. famous example was hillary clinton back in 2008. she running against barack obama but there was this debate. the subject was driver's licenses for undocumented grants. the candidate who pressed her was chris dodd. he saw an opportunity to press her. didn't help him but it hurt her. that's something to look for, candidates you don't look, they get a crack at the front runners and cause trouble. >> could be make or break for some of those candidates. let's talk about night one.
here you have two of the candidates when you think of how progressive some branches of the democratic party have become. does the fact you have warren on night one apart from bernie sanders allow her to really drill out that ground on her own in. >> if your the warren campaign, if you're going to be disappointed, you're disappointed because you're not getting a shot at the others in double digits. you see these are the folks she'll be on stage with. elizabeth warren will walk onto that stanl ge as the star of th stage. the biden debate, all eyes will be on biden. warren will be the biggest name on the stage. there's an opportunity for her to stand out a little more because she's going to be the most recognizable one. i don't know that any of these
candidates are really going to want to challenge her. we'll see. the opportunity for warren is she's the only one on this stage who is really registering. we saw a poll yesterday. we seen a couple of polls that have her moving into double digits. i saw one in california yesterday. she's really gotten some buzz lately. really starting the move the needle a bit in the polling. shooe goi she's going to walk onto this stage with those big names all missing. there dou this doucould be an opportunity. all the anticipation, i imagine, biden may not be there. sanders may not be there but everybody is had these nights circled on their calendar. i think you'll have a big audience here. that's the opportunity for warren. if there's a big skirmish on night two and warren comes off night one looking pretty good, that could work to her advantage as well. >> let me follow up with you on
that point because you're going to have beto o'rourke on night one. you're going to have cory booker. two people who have gotten a lot of buzz who know how the light it up. we have seen cory booker speak. what does their strategy need to be because they got a lot of early attention. they fell behind the pack. how do they move forward? how do they use that night to do that? >> it's interesting. beto o'rourke is interesting because here is something whose trajectory has been all down since he got in the race. he's been up against that. he was introduced to democrats last year by being the democrat running against ted cruz. it's easy for democrats everywhere to love you if you're the democrat running against ted cruz. now he will be on stage. i think what's interesting is i was curious to see if beto o'rourke will be on the draw with biden. beto o'rourke was asked if joe
biden and he said yes. he told me that beto o'rourke was ready and prepared to take that message directly and bluntly to biden if he got on stage with him. i watched him give that yesterd myself, okay, there's somebody who seems ready to go directly at biden. let's see if they end up on the same stage. he's not going to get that opportunity. but yeah, o'rourke needs to reclaim what he had when he entered this race. booker is an interesting one as well. booker is somebody, look, if you know cory booker's story, you can find articles written about him 10 years ago, 20 years ago, before he was the mayor of newark. he's a u.s. senator now. predicting this guy will be a president of the united states someday. such an impressive public speaker. such an impressive communicator. there is an opportunity. get three or four at-bats for booker to show some of that and be introduced to people who haven't seen it or have forgotten about it. >> what is joe biden going to
do? how aggressively will he fight back with the comments coming his way. steve kornacki, fantastic to have you for this breaking news moment. this debate just 12 days away. clear your calendars, folks. this is must-see tv. june 26th. june 27th on msnbc. nbc news and telemundo. the first democratic debate of this cycle. this is really the start of the primary season. you don't want to miss it. we'll be right back after a quick break. i have the power to lower my blood sugar and a1c. because i can still make my own insulin. and trulicity activates my body to release it like it's supposed to. trulicity is for people with type 2 diabetes. it's not insulin. i take it once a week. it starts acting in my body from the first dose. trulicity isn't for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. don't take trulicity if you're allergic to it, you or your family have medullary thyroid cancer,
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we are back with breaking news on the first presidential debate. we have the matchup. the first night senator cory booker, elizabeth warren, beto o'rourke, senator amy klobuchar. representative john delaney and castro. representative tim ryan. mayor bill de blasio and governor jay inslee. the second night, senator bernie sanders, kamala harris, vice president joe biden, mayor pete buttigi buttigieg. marion williamson. kear kirsten gillibrand and hing en looper. peter king is joining me now. thanks for joining me. appreciate it. thank you, kristen. let me get your reaction. the first two nights have been set. we know what the debate stages
will look like. what are you going to be watching for during the first two night of democratic primary debates? >> well, i hate to agree with my friend steve kornacki. i would say the first night, this gives elizabeth warren, maybe she'd rather be on the stage with the frontrunners. this gives her a chance to stand out. the second night, it's whether or not joe biden can stand up against heavy hitters there. if he can do that. i would think somebody like buttigieg, they might see it a chance to bring joe biden down. if you're the front-runner and against three other people who are known to people in politics but not necessarily to the general public and they hold their own with you, that could hurt joe biden. again, it's going to be interesting. it really is. >> you see joe biden as a real threat to president trump, congressman? >> right now, i would say joe bind en is the strongest candidate the democrats have. he can cut into the blue collar working class voters that hillary clinton lost in 2016.
and again, joe biden has been around for a long time. i know joe biden. i'm not going to support him. but i consider him a good guy and it will be an interesting race. >> let me ask you about some of these comments that we just heard from president trump as you know, he's been criticized for saying that he would accept information from a foreign power even one of his biggest allies. lindsey graham saying that those comments are a mistake. do you agree that those comments were a mistake, congressman? >> i think he could have articulated it better. first of all, as president, i think he's entitled to take any information he's given and to absorb it. not necessarily the purpose of a campaign but to see if there's a security issue. >> congressman, was it a mistake because in 2016 our election was interfered with by the russians. that has been widely proven. then the mueller report. was it a mistake for president trump to say that? >> yeah. he could have articulated it better. he should have said as
president, i'm entitled to look at information for the purpose of being president. as a candidate, you're not. that's where he has to make that distinction. if you look at it and then he compares to -- he thinks it's appropriate to be passed on to. not for the purpose of a campaign. certainly not to be given to his presidential campaign, but as president, whether it's donald trump or anyone else, if you're the president, you should have the right to look at information. again, that's been made clear that it's not going to be used in the campaign and he does leave himself open. he or she leaves himself open. congress can look how they made use of that information. >> do you think, whether you're a candidate or a president, if you're approached by a foreign power or a foreign entity, you should report that to the fbi, congressman? >> i think a candidate should. again, as president, you're wearing two hats. you are the chief executive officer, you have the right to look at it and then decide what to do with it. if it was, again, still people like andrew mccabe at the fbi, i
wouldn't be crazy about giving them information. i would give it to the attorney general or somebody else. give it to somebody in law enforcement that can be trusted and not part of any operation. >> congressman peter king, didn't have as much time with you because we had breaking news. i appreciate your joining me. i know you're a dad and grand dad. happy fathers to you. >> thank you. >> to my dad and my father-in-law. have a great father's day, congressman. >> thank you, kristen very much. >> that does it for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. follow the show on facebook and twitter at mitchell reports. here's chris jansing in for velshi & ruhle. >> big stuff going on. kristen, thank you. >> i am chris jansing in for stephanie and ali. it is friday, june 14th. coming up on joish velshi & ruhle, the debate draw. a pivotal moment in american history. we now know which candidates go head to head in the first two 2020 presidential debates. plus, lying under oath.
president trump says his former white house lawyer is a liar. fine out why coming up. sanders is out. white house press secretary sarah sanders leaving the trump administration. former white house communications director anthony scaramucci helps us big in why she left and why we've gone 95 days without a white house press briefing. let's begin with that breaking news. we now know the matchup. who will face-off on each of the two nights of the democratic primary debates hosted by nbc news. here they are. the announcement comes less than 24 hours after finding out which 20 candidates made the cut for the debate stage. the two-hour event airs on june 26th and june 27th. live from miami right here on msnbc, on nbc news and telemundo. joining me now, national political correspondent, steve kornacki. arguably, this is one of the key moments in all of the campaign, right? it's going