tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 20, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
will be accountable or not. just like when criminals cross the line, it's not an indictment on their whole neighborhoods. bad people know not to do bad things and criminal things when they know they will pay for it. otherwise they feel they will getpass and that they're above the law. that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern. up next, "deadline: white house" with my colleague nicolle wallace. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york with the case now closed on whether or not donald trump is a racist, and any doubts about whether he plans to run on the themes of racial an mists and division erased, democrats today signaling their intention to focus the nation's attention on donald trump's criminal conduct. as democrats prepare for the arrival of special counsel robert mueller on capitol hill
next week, their plan for his day of wall-to-wall testimony is becoming clearer if donald trump were anyone but the president, he would be charged with the crimes mueller uncovered. the democratic staffer and the house judiciary committee tells nbc news, quote, what's important is there is truly shocking evidence of criminal misconduct by the president, not once, but again and again and again that would result in any other american being criminally charged in a multiple-count indictment. those multiple counts would include the following flash points in the obstruction of justice investigation where democrats are planning to focus most of their attention next week. one, donald trump repeatedly directing his white house counsel don mcgahn to fire robert mueller. two, telling mcgahn to lie about being asked to fire robert mueller when the news media reported on it. three, directing former campaign aid cory learn an dow ski to
turn attorney general jeff sessions to limit the getion. four, telling lewandowski that he would be fired if he didn't meet with him, and, five, tampering with crucial witnesses like michael cohen and paul manafort. also potentially in hot water today, hope hicks, house democrats ordering her back to capitol to clean up testimony she gave that's being described today as inconsistent. it's around her role and her knowledge about illegal hush-money scheme that helped send michael cohen to jail. documents released yesterday show hope writing cohen in a text message about the press activity around an article about donald trump's catch and kill operation when it came to women. that is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. with us at the table former u.s. attorney joyce vance, former acting u.s. solicitor, neil, a.b. stoder is back.
he's also the president of the national action network. let me start with you two on mueller. it's hard to imagine a point in time even in this presidency when democrats would've had to work to return the country's attention back to mueller. it was such a focus for not just the media, not just the democrats but for trump himself for the first 22 month of his presidency. are they approaching this the right way, and do they have that right bringing the public's attention to the criminal conduct un-earthed by mueller? >> well, i think the good news for the president is we're not discussing right now at least for the last few moments whether the president's a racist. it's are you a felon. and i do think the democrats are on the right path here because the mueller report, yes, it's 448 pages and it's really long and people don't want to read something that long, but this hearing on wednesday is the first time that americans are going to watch on television this guy former marine mueller, former, you know, establishment
republican figure. his report just in plain english laze out all of these examples of the president, a sitting president, acting as a felon. and so i think absolutely it's going to be a devastating day for the president. i think the democrats are right to finally focus on the rule of law. this isn't about politics. it shouldn't be about politics. >> that's right. >> it should just be about what did the president do and what are we going to do about it. >> i'm glad you raised that because i have felt like the democrats lost the frame around this. it was never about whether the politics supported impeachment. >> it was never about, well, he got away with this so we shouldn't focus on it. it should've been taking that report, flipping to any page with your eyes closed and focusing the nation's attention on how donald trump rolls. >> exactly. and i don't care if they read the report. i don't care if they thought they would all lose their seats in congress. their job is to do their duty and to say this president committed crimes and the justice department's doing nothing about
it. they're letting him go. they're giving him a get out of jail free card under this weird constitutional theory. so it's all up to us. and even if it hurts us in the polls, this is our job, and i hope that that's the conversation we'll start to see over the next week. >> you're the rule of law guy. i spent more of my time on the political side. from the political standpoint i actually disagree, i think voters reward you for doing the right thing. and from your perspective on the rule of law side of the ledger, is it clear to you that when robert mueller stood up before god and country which actually means something to robert mueller, we're so conditioned to someone who doesn't mean what they say or say what they mean. >> i have no idea what you're talking about. [ laughter ] >> donald j. trump for one. when robert mueller says if i could have found that the president didn't commit crimes, i would have said so. what the normal person can take from that is that donald trump can commit crimes. >> and it was remarkable because the president right after the barr summary of the mueller
report came out, it said the report totally exonerates the president. and barr's summary suggested that was all right. but now that we actually have the report, it says the reverse. on just the first couple pages mueller said, look, if i could have cleared the president of obstruction of justice, i would have. that is devastating the implication lies in the air, and that's what we should be talking about wednesday. >> joyce, i have always felt like it was never -- when you are elected after the country has heard you talk about grabbing women in the bleep, you aren't someone who can be knocked over by a single scandal. the country has baked in your deviance. the country has baked into the equation all of your shortcomings. and they kind of went with a mystery box and picked you anyway. but if you take on top of donald trump's role of orchestrating and green-lighting a racist chant, next week the country will hear from robert mueller, the country i think 54% of
americans believe trump obstructed justice. that includes a whole lot of human beings that are part of that so-called trump base. and only 42% think he didn't. i guess most of his base could end up in that 42%. but you've got a clear majority who believes he obstructed justice or attempted to obstruct justice. what do you think the implications will be at this hearing? >> it's interesting because as neal points out, and neal is always right. i feel obligated to say that sitting next to him. but the democrats really let the republicans get the jump on them on the political side of the equation when the attorney general came out and gave the public misleading information at best about what the report said. so the question for the democrats is can they now months down the road reengage the american public, get people to pay attention, and turn the tide about what they believe is contained in the report. this is the opportunity to let robert mueller read his conclusions in his own words.
i think that that will be powerful. i don't think people will lose the point that this is someone who believes in the country, in the rule of law, and in public service. >> let me go through some of what they're going to focus on because it's been a little while since we -- and we've spent a lot of time on this. but let's go through some of what democrats plan to explore with robert mueller. first, just reminding people what the law is that he broke. this is a description of the law around obstruction, why it's a crime to obstruct in any investigation. the attempt to remove the special counsel, that would be these efforts, these first two flashpoints where he tried to get his white house counsel to fire mueller, would qualify as an obstructive act if it would naturally obstruct the investigation in any grand jury proceedings that might flow from the inquiry. a fact finder would need to consider whether the act had the potential to delay further action in the investigation, chill the actions of any
replacement special counsel or otherwise impede the investigation. we know from the footnotes of the mueller report that this part of the probe was going on the longest. we have an interview with don mcgahn who was a witness in this obstruction probe i think a week before mueller went into doj and said he was done. >> i think that's right. and the obstruction charge, mueller identifies ten possible areas for obstruction. the democrats have broken that out into five areas. but it's really three. it's this effort that involves getting mcgahn to fire mueller, this effort that involves having sessions unrecuse himself and prevent any investigation of the president, and then witness intimidation, these have always been very clear just based on the evidence that's contained in the reports. and now mueller has a chance to tell the country about it. >> a.b., i'm done asking on this program where the republicans, we know where they are. they're bruce willis, but what
do you think the possibility is that democrats regain some of their mojo around this sort of clear-cut evidence of criminality? >> see, i respect the opinion here of the great counsel. but i am very concerned about the politics of this. and that is because the war that will be waged when the republicans get maybe half the time or more than an hour of the time will be on the investigation of the investigation. and mueller bashing. the attorney general bill barr has mueller bashed with the best of them. he said he didn't think his legal analysis stood up. they had to apply the right law to his findings. he blamed him for not coming to a finding, basically that he failed as special counsel. that as we know the special counsel wrote a letter very, very, very unprecedented and unheard of if you know bob mueller to put something and
memorialize something he knew would get leaked questioning barr's conclusion and his interpretation that he presented to the public in context, nature, and substance, which is a four-alarm fire. i really think he needs to be questioned in anticipation of the republicans' attack on him about this process. can we defend this process? can he defend his team? what about peter struck and lisa page and on and on? i think as a taxpayer, i think we're owed that. i think that he needs to stand up and answer some questions about his long-time friend for three decades, bill barr. and what this process, how it played out, and whether or not he did misinterpret the findings of the mueller report and what concerns he has. is he concerned that some of the remaining investigations might be quashed for political purposes by the current attorney general? and if he thought so, would he and any of his colleagues who concluded that, would they speak out? he only wants to stay in the four corners of the report
because of the coming republican attacks. he has to answer questions about this process. it can't just be the findings and the 448 pages. >> so let's unpack it together. we know the answer to some of those questions. his discomfort with barr's description of his own report was revealed in two letters that we know of that he wrote. so we already know the answer to some of a.b.'s questions. >> but barr still has had the last word after that, many, many tv interviews. >> can you both suggest how some of a.b.'s concerns get addressed? >> i think one thing that's real important as you're saying is barr, after mueller turned in the report, barr said, oh, i think mueller could've reached a conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice. he was free to do so. so, boy, now mueller is free to answer that question. he didn't think so when he wrote the report, but the circumstances have changed because of what barr himself has said. >> if mueller had been forced to
make a decision, he obviously would've found that the president committed crimes and recommended charging him, right? i mean, if i'm mueller, i would say do you want me to make a decision in fine. >> exactly. >> a recommended indictment. >> barr said that to cbs last month. so i think mueller is free to do something he couldn't do back in march when he turned in the report. and to me that's why the hearing on wednesday is an opportunity, even if mueller wanted to stay within the four corners of the report, barr himself has invited him to go further now. >> i want to unpack one more of your points because i don't think this gets enough attention. there is -- i'm sort of a dabbler in fox news editorial content. but there is a threat that has run through that network's programming in the mornings and in prime time for the better part of two years around pete struck. they have so primed their viewers to think that this
process was corrupt. and there is such -- i mean, there is zero likelihood that robert mueller's process was corrupt. and it would seem that all the investigations into the investigators have turned up nada. i mean, is it simply going to come up again? because that's what -- >> this is what concerns me. so, i don't know when the i.g. conclusions will next be released. so far nothing's bad, the previous one, but there are now two current probes into the probe. what barr has done. >> but a.b., if they had found anything, you want to tell me -- >> nothing has been turned up. >> because there wasn't anything. >> barr layered a new investigation because he intends for it to last into the next election so you can always say this is under investigation. the only person on the planet that can speak about this is bob mueller. he has to answer these questions. >> i want to get you on the record about hope hicks.
it turns out she has some inconsistencies in her testimony, and i've watched enough law and order shows on tv to know that that's another fancy legal lawyered up word for lying. she lied about her role in the hush money scheme. is she in trouble? >> i think she has to be. when you see this text that she has sent michael cohen who is in jail, by the way. i think that it really -- inconsistency's a nice way of putting it. she outright misled the investigators so she is going to have to deal with the text and the fact she said something that was absolutely the opposite of that. and they usually call that perjury in many places. i think that she has a problem there. i think that they also have a problem with michael cohen that could be brought back from jail to clarify what the text meant to him, what led to the text will follow the text. so michael cohen may end up still being very relevant to
this process because they're gone after hicks. >> this is what kerwin texted hope hicks. so far i see only six stories. this is the day after "the wall street journal" reported on donald trump and karen mcdougal and the effort to catch and kill that story. this came out i think two days before the election. so cohen wrote to hicks who was trump's media guru. so far i see only six stories getting little to no traction. hicks wrote to cohen, same, keep praying, it's working. we don't know what "it's" is. >> that's the problem. but the connotation from "it's working" two days before the election is that the intent of killing the story was to save him for the election. >> correct. >> which therefore brings you into campaign finance and it means that the hush money was not just a guy who didn't want his wife to know he was cheating, that it was about that election. that is where you go over the line into criminal behavior.
>> now, joyce, she maintains that she told congress the truth. democrats don't feel that she did. but to the rev's point, if you're talking about "it's working," you're referencing some sort of strategy is proving effective, and that strategy, as the rev is saying, would seem to be tied 48 hours before people go to the polls to keep something quiet before voting day. >> these affairs that the president had had in the last six months, they were old. and if he was just trying to protect his family, it's hard to see that happening right on the eve of the election, right after the "access hollywood" tape comes out. so i think all of the evidence builds towards this being an effort to conceal as we walk into the campaign. what i think the interesting question here is why did the sdny close up shop and walk away without prosecuting hope hicks? and i suspect it's because of a quirk in this particular statute, the campaign finance
crime, that says the government has to be able to prove that the defendant knew that what they were doing was criminal. not, for instance, that they were violating this particular statute, but that it was a crime. so hope hicks, the novice to politics, the novice to campaigning, maybe gets off the hook on that ground. but that doesn't save her in congress if she's lied about discreet facts she would be eligible for prosecution. whether or not there would be prosecution by a trump-appointed u.s. attorney, by this attorney general is a different question. >> so i count two now people very close to donald trump, donald trump jr., now hope hicks who may get away with criminality because of their ignorance. do i have that right or am i missing someone? >> i think that's right, those two. but i think the jury's still out as to why the prosecution wasn't made. yes, i think joyce could be right that it's because of what we call criminal intent me mens rea. but it's also plausible give what this attorney general has
done and clearing the president on obstruction in ways that make no sense whatsoever and writing that ridiculous memo last year that this attorney general is acting pretentiously and protecting those who have protected the president. >> just because you two are two of the smartest people who have helped us understand what happened the first two years of the trump presidency, i wonder what your advice is for democratic lawmakers going into this last weekend that they have to prepare for the mueller hearing. >> the way that you ask a question is almost as important as the question itself. so these questions need to be sequenced in a way that will let mueller tell the story in his own words of what his findings are. it's really easy if you're the president to say no collusion, no obstruction. it's a lot more difficult to explain what the misconduct was. and democrats have to let mueller walk through that in a way that's comprehensible without this choppy back and forth that we always see in hearings. >> i'd say that the democrats, you know, this isn't about you, don't grandstand, just get to the truth, do the right thing.
every time in american history when people stand up for the rule of law to do the right thing, they get rewarded to your point earlier. that's all they have to do. it's not about them. don't go play for the cameras. just get the facts. that's all the american people want. >> and i want to give you the last word here, rev. politics are, like, the mercury inside a thermometer. they slip through your hands. if you grab onto them too hard, they slip through. what do you think the sort of -- what are the parameters of the possible politics the next week? >> the politics is that you are looking at whether or not you can really establish with a public forum that mueller could not clear the president. so -- and i agree with her that the republicans are going to try to tear the investigation apart. you can't say we accept that he said there was no collusion. but the same investigators and all were wrong to say they could not exonerate him. they have to stay on that and
they have to keep the focus on mueller and the report and not grandstand and try to win votes and facebook likes. they've got to be very clear that we are here to get the truth and you've given us this report where you've clearly said that i can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, but we cannot say the same about obstruction. if he stays right there they've raised the level that we need the public to see that this president is possibly guilty of obstruction. otherwise, he could have cleared him of that. and the republicans can't have it both ways unless they let them have it. we can't say we believe you on a but you're incompetent and corrupt on b, and it's the same report. >> it's a great point, a.b. so the man who cleared trump on obstruction and collusion is going to be the man they blast for being corrupt? it doesn't pass the common sense test. >> no, it doesn't, but they don't care. what they're going to do is they're going to attack the process. so they are going to say that they agree with the findings, he
was not charged with obstruction, that collusion didn't meet the threshold for evidence to make it legally conspiracy. but it was a sloppy process, the fbi is an infested hellhole and tell us about peter truck. they are definitely going to torpedo the process. that's the way to change the subject that the democrats are going to ask, like if it was citizen joe smith, would he have been indicted, the stuff that they have to taint the process. so they are going to kill the messenger a little because they are going to talk about the probe of the probe the whole time. >> but the democrats have to make it clear it was the same process, was the same investigators, it was the same people. we didn't switch from a to b. it's the same process and they have to stay right there and forget the sound bytes, forget trying to be on the evening news. just stay right on point. >> i hope they are listening to all of you. neal, thank you for spending some time with us. well, that didn't take long. donald trump walks back the
half-hearted walkback at his rally in north carolina. more from the fallout on the president's attack on four minority congresswomen. also the stage is set for the next democratic debate. we'll discuss the latest on the 2020 field and in the hot seat democrats grill immigration officials on the deplorable conditions at the border. aoc asked about the attacks on her from border agents on facebook. all those stories coming up. we run right into these crises, and we do not leave until normalcy is restored. we'd been working for days on a site in a storm-devastated area. a family pulled up. it was a mom and her kids. everything they had had been washed away. the only thing that brought any kind of solace was the ability to hand her a device so she could call her family and let them know that she was okay. (vo) there for you when it matters most. and now, get a free samsung galaxy s10e when you buy one. that's verizon.
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possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides. racism is evil. and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the kkk, neo-nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as americans. i think there's blame on both sides. you look at both sides. i think there's blame on both sides, and i have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either. >> déjà vu, the friday edition. we thought we'd take you back to trump's whipsong statements on white supremacy. those were from the wake of the deadly violence in charlottesville. trump is now muddying up his half-hearted disavowal of racist chants that broke out at his rally tuesday night in north carolina mounting a full-throated defense today of his supporters after just
yesterday trying to claim that he kind of sorta wished that they had stopped chanting "send her back" about a minority congresswoman. >> president trump, you said you were unhappy with the chant. however, the chant was just repeating -- >> you know what i'm unhappy -- >> what you said in your tweet. do you take that tweet back? >> you know what i'm unhappy with? i'm unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can hate our country. i'm unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti-semitic things. i'm unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman, in this case a different congresswoman, can call our country and our people garbage. that's what i'm unhappy with. >> so you're not unhappy with the chant? >> those people in north carolina, that stadium was packed. it was a record crowd, and i could have filled it ten times, as you know. those are incredible people. those are incredible patriots. >> and we're back to the size of his crowds. joining ous conversation chief
white house correspondent for "the new york times" peter baker and at the table editor in chief lydia is back. peter baker, you've written some of the most searing, some of the most eloquent, some of the most completely and depressing pieces on the front page of the "new york times" about donald trump's week-long, it's more than a dallion's love affair, full-throated enthusiastic embrace of his re-election strategy which is to fan the flames of racial strife in this country. where are we at this hour? are we now disavowing the half-assed disavowal from yesterday? is that right? >> well, i think your comparison is an apt one where he kind of played it on both sides. at one point he would say we're denouncing neo-nazis. his defenders say, no, that's a misunderstanding of what he was saying but the problem is he says so many things and they seem so contradictory that it's hard to say where is he really
coming down? i think where it's really coming down here is he doesn't really have a problem with that chant. he sat there and listened to it. he soaked it in. "send her back" is not that different from "go back," which is the way he framed it in his own tweet a couple days earlier. he believes in drawing lines, drawing red lines in the sand as he heads towards next year's election. this happens to be a line about what america is and how it sees itself. is the america of his vision of his youth of a relatively homogenous, largely white america? and is it america that's becoming more demographically diverse? he's playing the resentiments of the crowd and he's got a lot of supporters. he said a lot of people agree with me, that's probably true. >> peter baker, sort of the bookends, one of them is your piece that went online sunday night. i believe it was in monday's paper. and the first paragraph i think will stick in my brain for a long time. you said donald trump revoked up sunday morning, looked out at
sort of all of the racial strife, the kindling i think was the word that you used, struck a match and lit it on fire. where did the rest of the week take us? >> well, he's got a big can of kerosene and he keeps dowsing it. he does not see race as a national wound to be healed. he sees race as yet another issue to be talked about, exploited, taken advantage of for political purposes. this is -- you know, he sees a lot of resentment among his supporters towards the way america is evolving and he sees that as an advantage to his possible campaign -- his campaign for next year. and it's, you know, there is a country right now that is torn about how it's evolving. he's not by himself. he has a lot of people out there who do feel, you know, disenchanted or left behind or what have you, and they blame the things that have been happening in the country over the last number of years and he
is appealing to those people to say i hear you, i understand what you're saying, we are going to make america great again by the way he thought it was great in the past. >> i think that we are looking at first of all every playbook on how you deal with racism and a demagogue that uses racism. he is playing on fears, knowing that people are feeling that we are not being protected as whites, that they are coming into our country, they are doing this, that, and the other. he plays on this bigotry. he's always done it. and in his whole public career in new york. the only race case he ever opened his mouth on, i'm talking about where the whole city stood against a racial act, the only one he stood was when five young men were factually accused and he called for their execution. so donald trump is who he is. look at his record. but for him, somebody came yesterday and said or some group
and say you got to modify this independent voters that voter for obama. >> do you believe that? i read that report. do you buy that? >> and he tried to modify it, but that's not who he is. and today he said forget what i said yesterday, these are good people. i mean, he did charlottesville. there were good people on both sides. they became the good people again. he tried to switch from the chant of "send her back," which was a blatantly racist chant to trying to blame her and make her the anti-semite in the racist. and it's the same playbook that every segregationist played in the south when dr. king was marching. blame them, don't blame us. the chant came from his crowd, and it emanated from what he said "send them back" or "go back." the issue is not congresswoman omar. the issue is what he said and what others said about congresswoman omar and the other three. they said it because of who they
are and what they are. >> i don't question any of "the times" reporting. there were some jitters in the republican party. and i'm sure that people reported jitters. i just don't believe that they exist. i actually think that ivanka or somebody went to him and said, daddy, your racism is showing. and it's like when your hip fat shows. it's just like i just want the shirt to -- they're not upset that trump's a racist and that his crowd is now out and proud. because i think if your lips were moving, you're a racist now too. and i believe there had to have been some people in the room whose lips didn't move and i'm not calling them out. but everyone who answered the refrain, you're on the hook with this republican party and this president. but i just never bought -- i mean, at least the charlottesville disavowal brought him to a teleprompter speech. this didn't -- we didn't even take the disavowal because i never bought it in the first
place. i don't buy that anyone in the republican party has any problem with what's happening. >> i mean, this is really a grand return. i mean, we've had a through line on race in this country where it was at one time acceptable to basically say i don't want black people to go to school with my children. i support segregation. eventually that winded its way into all kinds of political and economic policies whose end result was that black people were excluded from opportunity, black people were excluded from being able to being able to go to school where they wanted, but did not have the sharp end of the stick of racism. i think what you see is the paul ryans of the world and other republicans who are appalled by this don't actually see that through line that there is a essentially been a translating of an open racial politics into a set of policies that, frankly, ended you up with the same thing. so what donald trump has done is he's brought us back around to
where we're just going to call it what it is. there is not some huge base for the kinds of policies that the republican party is selling tax cuts, things like that. so bringing it home to nativism, i think donald trump sees that as good politics. >> you know, lindsay graham yesterday tweeted about -- here it is. something i've learned if you're a republican nominee for president or president, you will be accused of being a racist. john lewis compared john mccain's campaign to be that of george wallace. i was on john mccain's bus when that attack from john lewis came out. mark was on the bus as well, and a few others. and we didn't take off from the campaign plane when that attack came out because john mccain was devastated. the differences between john mccain and donald trump are too vast for the time we have remaining. and meghan mccain has spoken out this week forcefully and eloquently about lindsay graham and all of his trespasses. but this one, and i thought to make a list of all the enablers
this week. but, again, we only have an hour. this is not the same. this is not the same. and, listen, i worked for george w. bush, who after katrina, there was a lot of racial despair directed at him, a lot of thing-fointing. the difference is george w. bush and john mccain were gutted by the criticism and did everything to prove that their critics were wrong. donald trump is like a pig in you know what. >> the thing is about everything around him saying the president is not a racist and all the bones in his body talk is so ludicrous. if you use race to divide people and you say racist things, you're as dangerous as a racist if not more, maybe a quiet racist is less dangerous than you. so what lindsay graham is doing who once called him a race-baiter and all the things we know we called donald trump in 2015 is making up stuff to make the president feel better. and this is a really -- this is a very tough place for republicans because, nicole,
they actually did try to tell the president we are in a jam here, we can't defend this, we can't let this define us. each time people go back and they have a little hudle with the president and then he disavows the next day the disavowal. but what republicans know this time is that this is only the middle of july and they have to go to the first week of november of next year and that this is going to get so much worse. they just are trying to see if they can mitigate it, a threat that they know is going to consume their electoral prospects. and a lot of the trump voters, they are cult members of the trump cult, not congresswoman snodgrasses' coalition. whether or not they have the guts to really confront him and make him change his behavior, we know they don't. >> i want to ask you about iran in this administration digging in against iran warning them not to do anything, quote, foolish as tensions are escalating.
what are you learning about today's developments? >> we now have reports that iran has seized two ships, two tankers in the gulf there, one british flag i think and one liberian flag. this is an escalation, of course, the events we've been seeing over these last few months. just yesterday president trump and the pentagon told us that they shot down, american forces shot down, an iranian drone. so we see this ratcheting up of tensions in the gulf that's very worrisome. at the same time you see this very interesting, you know, dance going on where the president has told rand paul, the senator from kentucky, that, yeah, it's okay if he wants to try to see if he can find a deal with iran. senator paul wants to talk with foreign minister zarif of iran which we haven't had any real contact with since president trump took office and see if there's any kind of opening for a diplomatic negotiation. so you see this very interesting dichotomy of events here,
estlaatory on the one side, worrisome, leading to something more dangerous. on the other hand a president who clearly wants to at least open the door if it's possible and using now this senator rand paul as a possible in-between. >> joyce, i don't feel bad for any american adversary trying to figure out how to nfb fwat trump's foreign policy instincts, but i do feel bad for our allies. i don't even know where you stand today. where are we? >> this is i think what we've all feared, right? it's bad enough having this president in charge of the country as we deal with domestic issues. the fear has always been a major international conflagration. and our allies have to be shaking their heads and just hope they can stay the course. >> they are watching peter baker on msnbc watching what the heck's going on. when we come back, the 2020 democrats get ready to take their places on the stage for the second debate. we'll show you who's standing where and what it all means for
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the lineups for each night of the next democratic debate are now set as we saw the performances last month who you're on stage with can be crucial for creating moments that resonate with the voters. few things to look for. night one will feature both bernie sanders and elizabeth warren as well as add a new face to the mix, montana governor steve bullock. we'll get to see joe biden and kamala harris on night two face off, or not. this time the frontrunner will be standing between harris and cory booker. both of them have challenged him on race. the stakes are high, and "the washington post" writes this, quote, the prime time democratic debate in detroit this month could be a season finale for as much as half the candidates as they struggle to meet the
requirements. lydia, there are just two things that we should point out. no diversity on the first night, and i think harris, i don't know that she benefits from all the focus being on, you know, will she or won't she. s i don't love this arrangement. >> it's sort of -- i mean, the bar is going to be very high for harris on that second night, right? because biden's going to be ready. he's going to be waiting for that to come. and any race issue that comes up, you're going to have an expectation that she's going to be the person who's going to come out swinging. i don't think that now that she's sort of put herself in the upper tier that she actually wants to do that. and then the other factor you've got is cory booker who, you know, is down in the polls, really has nothing to lose. if he has a breakout moment, how does she respond to that? >> that is going to be the real challenge because if i was advising harris, and i'm not, i would want her to show she can be more than one that attacks,
but that she can deal with policy and she could give her vision like elizabeth warren did the first night of the last debate. but if booker attacks, does she then risk looking like she's not as aggressive? does it hurt her with a lot of voters that want to see the fight? so it puts in a very awkward position. if i was on her team, i would not want her on the stage with biden this time and booker. you also have to look what julian does, castro, who did come after people on the second night. and bill de blasio who kept interrupting last nim and would make some attacks. so if i'm biden, i stand back ready for all of the attacks and look like i'm taking on the whole stage. the real one, and i agree with her, that has the problem is how does kamala harris who everybody's going to be focused on, does she look like she's being the stage woman or does she look like she just couldn't come to the second fight for the
rematch and hit the champ? and that's going to be a hard needle to thread. >> the thing about the rev is he's a very shrewd political analyst. [ laughter ] and took exactly what i was going to say. >> i have another one for you then. just speak to the lack of diversity on the first night. if i'm on that stage. >> look, it was a random draw. >> no, no, i'm not blaming anyone. >> the interesting thing about the first night is you have bernie and warren with a sea of moderates. and i'm begging these moderates to please challenge them to this revolution versus beating trump argument. >> the tom friedman argument. >> which we know so many people are worried about in the party from the leaders to the governors, everyone is panicked about how far left the party is going off the cliff and these litmus tests and everyone that sounds really radical and is scary. so i hope in the second night i hope will be a debate in the first night about moderate versus appealing to the center
versus a revolution. and i think the people who are invested in joe biden are worried that he actually needs to come out and be confident and not look scared and maybe he's not quite ready. i think rev is right. julian castro and booker had great nights. they have to come out swinging. bill de blasio is the most annoying person on the debate stage of all time. he is going to start screaming. and biden does have to be ready from all of that and maybe a surprise from someone else. but he has to show some confidence that he really lacked the first time and it very much spooked a lot of people that he doesn't really have -- i don't know if he's going to fight the progressive argument, but just if you're going to be the electable one, be the electable one. don't look spooked. >> i would say on the first night real quick, it's going to be really interesting to see if warren is able to distinguish herself fra bernie sanders. say i'm not the socialist, i am a capitalist. this is a big opportunity for her. >> and how you deal with then who is the progressive leader to be the nonsocialist or what?
you're going to have several internal battles between the first and second night of who leads what silo within the democratic party. and a lot of that is going to govern the behavior. i've been on that stage in 2004, and a lot of times you are playing to the home crowd and the audience at the same time. >> all right. when we come back, democrats hold immigration officials' feet to the fire on the inhumane conditions at the border as well as those menacing facebook messages from border agents. that story next. at. fly-by ballooning. (man) don't...go...down...oh, no! aaaaaaahhhhhhhh! (burke) rooftop parking. (burke) and even a hit and drone. (driver) relax, it's just a bug. that's not a bug, that's not a bug! (burke) and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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you feel hike you're doing a great job, right? >> yeah. >> is that what you're saying? >> we're doing our level best. >> what does that mean? what does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces? can't take a shower. come on, man. what's that about? none of us would have our children in that position. they are human beings. >> and today we are all elijah couplings erupting at acting homeland security secretary yesterday over the horrific conditions migrants including children are enduring at border detention facilities. the table is back. >> it is just unbelievable watching this and hearing someone like elijah cummings that has so much outrage and then watching dhs officials,
we've seen many of them, try to defend this situation. you know, to day we heard a little bit of push back. obama built those cages. >> no. no. no. >> so this is -- this is in donald trump's mind which is a scary and dark place. it's in his mind, told a friend in private that he's okay with what's happening at the border because obama built them. obama didn't put children alone in the cages of aseparating them from their parents. you're the only one that does that. >> and didn't separate them from their parents with no plan for reuniting them. that's the detail that always sticks with me. when they started the family separation policy, it was a deliberate effort to keep people from coming to this country and they made no provision to collect the information that would ultimately restore those children to their parents. >> it is not every day that the chairman of the house oversight committee has to tell somebody that children are being left to sit in their own feces and every one in this country should see an hear that.
what are we doing? >> i mean, to quote adam, the cruelty is the point. we are to go back to the rally, you have huge groups of people chanting, you know, send her back. this idea that america is a country that is not open that, is not willing to have any form of asylum. that's the other terrifying thing. it's not just these horrible conditions. it's that the trump administration wants to essentially end asylum as we know it. take almost no refugees. it's horrifying. not since america turned away juicish refuge jewish refugees have we had such a shameful moment in our country. >> i agree that we are spending 775 pers $775 per kid per day to support them and they're spend 3g a day on them. it's an atrocity. what i do also think is that
from the conversation about decriminalizing border crossings to health insurance for people who are here either illegally on visa stayors whatever they failed to actually articulate what the policies were oen that. but they all raise their hand. we saw new polling that a majority of americans support detention -- deportation raids. you have a credibly -- a president that is an unindicted co-conspirator and felony crime. accuse of obstruction of justice and accused of rape and may get elected on this issue. this is not -- most of the people in their party are in the center on this issue. and so they don't want what happens to the detention centers happening. but they also are buying the line from the administration republicans saying the democrats are not helping us. twhoe they won't come to the enable congress. twhoe they won't fix it. it will be a long time until november. democrats have to come to the table on this. >> but i think part of the
answer is, yeah, you have the politics and then you have the morality. and you have how we're going to be perceived around the world. elijah cummings' statement, the passion and the power stopped everybody. which stunned me was that the dhs guy had no answer. he was met with utter silence. somebody is accusing you directly of children having to sit in their own feces for days and can't take a shower and you have no response? you don't even say of course they're human beings. of course we should do something. nothing. i mean, he just sat there like, and? like it's so what? and that's the problem that i think that they're going to face even politically because they're going to have to answer to that if people keep doing the elijah cummings. >> we are going to sneak a break. we'll be right back. neak a break. we'll be right back. across the country, we walk. carrying flowers that signify why we want to end alzheimer's disease.
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tests before congress, check out our special, the mueller report. what you need to know with my colleague at 9:00 p.m. eastern on m is. nbc. my thanks to joy, lydia, ab and the rev and to you for watching all week. it was a tough week, right? >> thanks for sticking with us. that does it for this hour. we'll see you back here for "deadline white house." >> trump's latest about-face. let's play hard ball. >> good evening. another day, another president trump just one day after claiming he was not happy with his supporters chanting send her back at that rally in greenville, north carolina on wednesday. president trump today seems to be walking back that attempt. he said he felt badly about the chant that was directed at