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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  August 14, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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good morning, welcome to "morning joe," it's wednesday, august 19th. joe and mika have the morning off. with us as you can see, washington anchor katty kay, mike barnicle, white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan la mere, and white house correspondent for pbs news hour, yamiche alcindor. the speech yesterday was about the economy, and as one would expect it drifted to the presidential race, and pop culture, and trucks and cranes. >> this is the white house finds themselves facing time and time again. this was not a campaign rally, just an event on the economy, touting the work he has done for pennsylvania, suggesting the manufacturing jobs that have returned to the state, and it became an hour long about every
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subject you touched and taking credit for the plant there that he was visiting, suggesting that his administration was the impetus behind it creating jobs for pennsylvania. the plant was given the go ahead in 2012, which was not only president barack obama, but president barack obama's first term. >> right. easily demonstrable. we're going to get more into the president's speech in pennsylvania in a moment. we want to begin with new information surrounding the jailhouse suicide of sex offender jeffrey epstein. the justice department official tells nbc news that a team of the bureau of prisons will be at the metropolitan correctional center. protocol, whenever there is a significant event at a detention facility calls for that move. an administration official tells nbc news the fbi and doj inspector general which also are investigating the circumstances around epstein's death are being
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stymied by federal employees who are quote lawyering up. this comes after yesterday's news that the the warden at the federal lock up has been reassigned and two guards tasked with monitoring epstein have been placed on leave. we are learning more about one of the workers who was supposed to be guarding epstein at the time. the employee was not a full-time corrections officer. now a person familiar with the investigation tells nbc news that employee had been a corrections guard for seven years. he then accepted a different job with better hours but routinely took an overnight shift as a corrections officer to get overtime pay. a source would not say whether the employee was one of the two placed on administrative leave. "the new york times" is reporting the two staff members guarding epstein's jail unit fell asleep and failed to check on him for about three hours, then falsified records to cover up that mistake. according to several law enforcement and prison officials
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with knowledge of the matter, two law enforcement officials telling nbc news, investigators are looking at whether either or both employees on duty responsible for checking on epstein were sleeping, they say no conclusion has been reached. a facility like this, a federal jail that theoretically is a maximum security kind of place with that kind of a high profile inmate that the two guards could fall asleep like something out of a bad movie. >> fell asleep, and falsified records indicated that they had checked on him every half hour. clearly they had not. one of the largest issues is the warden hi warden himself at that prison, how the warden allowed epstein to be in a cell by himself. normally it's protocol, anyone on suicide watch has a cell mate for various obvious logical reasons. you alert someone if someone tries to commit suicide in the cell with you.
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that cell mate was removed from the cell for inexplicable reasons yet to be explained, a week or ten days ago, and jeffrey epstein was alone to do the deed. >> there's reporting there that the staff is so overworked that there wasn't enough time between shifts, the guards were so tired. some would sleep in the cars at the facility instead of driving home and coming back. >> that accounts for them not accounting as often as they should have, and they went back and falsified the records. it's what mike is talking about that is leading rise to these conspiracy theories. if people are really tired and they do their job shoddily, another that you leave a prisoner alone and the cell mate was moved out the night before. that's what's leading people to think this is just one coincidence too many. it looks like a decision was
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made consciously to put this prisoner in a position where he can do this knowing that he had already tried to do that. >> he had a cell mate that was transferred out. >> president trump is defending his decision to promote an online conspiracy theory tieing the clintons to the death of jeffrey epstein. >> i think they very highly respected, he's a big trump fan, and that wasn't from me, that was from him. he's a man who has half a million followers, a lot of followers and he's respected. >> do you really think the clintons are involved in jeffrey epstein's death? >> i have no idea. he was on his plane 27 times, and he said he was on the plane 4 times. when they checked the plane, bill clinton, who was on the plane about 27 or 28 times, so why did you say four times, and
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the question you have to ask is did bill clinton go to the island. epstein had an island, it was not a good place, as i understand it, i was never there. did bill clinton go to the island. that's the question. you find that out, you're going to know a lot. >> rick tyler promoted it once by retweeting to his 63 million followers on twitter and pouring gas on it. >> you have this suicide of a pedophile, a predator who bill clinton and donald trump were friends with. the president of the united states decides that, you know, his friend bill clinton was far worse than he was. i just went to a few parties with him, but he after all was on the plane 27 times, maybe 26 times, probably 27 times skpshl, and went to the island, you got to
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ask him about the island. it's just clear diversion narrow tactics, he thinks jeffrey epstein hurt him because there's a lot of pictures going around of them together. he wants to change the narrative that the story is going to be all about bill clinton because it can't be about him. >> jonathan, he revels in this kind of thing, obviously, and plays to a certain audience. he likes talking about the bizarre parlor game of who killed jeffrey epstein. >> some of it is a distraction. the clinton flight issue we have fact checked. the four times, long flights, different legs of different flights, that's where you get 27 or whatever it may be. the former president never set foot on the island. this is what the president loves to do. this is not a new phenomenon. he traffics in conspiracy theories. his entire political career is based on the back of one, birtherism, suggesting that the first african-american president
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of the united states was ineligible for the position. that it's time and time again, he thought that ted cruz's father may have killed president kennedy. he suggested that supreme court justice antonin scalia may have been murdered. what he also did you describeoe put it out there and never accepts responsibility. it's just a re-tweet. he forgets that his words, the president contains weight. >> it's always involved in how great it is. it's a re-tweet from a well respected guy. he's got half a million followers and he's a big trump man. >> in terms of it might be naive to think this now, but is there anyone in the white house, not saying to the president, or anyone thinking, this is not great to be taking on a former president like this, even if
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they're not saying it to donald trump, are there still people who feel queasy about the president standing up there and going after president clinton there. i'll refer to willie's answers. the guardrails are gone. there is no one in the white house that are going to get in the way of any sort of tweet. they have given up. >> hopelessness. >> that's right. >> yamiche, we have heard this time and again, i'm thinking about the elijah cummings week, the report inside the white house, staffers huddled in the room, are you going to tell him this is bad, and ultimately no one tells him. >> the white house functions, really, as a place where people are trying to constantly decide how to deal with the president's tweets. it's not a place where anyone is trying to alter the president's behavior. they realize 2 1/2 years into his president that that's just not the way you survive and keep your job.
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all that you have been talking to, always stress to me if you want to keep and be successful in the trump white house, you have to be constantly adjusting, constantly being willing to trip over yourself and contradict yourself as soon as the president comes out. that's also at times why here white house aids, and the president tweeting another. there's this idea that they are fearful of going on record a lot of times because they know that one tweet can completely up end whatever the white house message was in the middle of the day. i think the president in some ways has seen himself have success with the way he's done things and he doesn't at all feel as though there's any reason to change that. that goes back to what jonathan was saying, this idea that he started his political career and has been successful in doing that, and hasn't had to face consequences. >> and jonathan, again, back to the internals of the white house, there's a track record here of anyone who speaks back
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to the president. anyone who says wait a minute, let's think about this, john kelly, general mattis, gone. >> they fall into favor, whether quickly or eventually. there hasn't been anyone consistently able to be a force to stand up to the president. his daughter and son-in-law, they rarely do it. there was at least an effort with chief kelly in particular when he came into the chief of staff role to try to rain the president in. for a little while, the president was into it. he began to chafe, threw off the shackles and his mick mulvaney said i'm not even going to try. let's turn to hong kong, the airport quiet this morning, antigovernment protesters and riot police bracing for what comes next as the impact of the mass demonstrations in hong kong continue to ripple throughout the city and well beyond.
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two straight days of chaos have crippled hong kong's airport. video inside the terminal shows officers armed with batons and pepper spray trying to clear the crowd. officers began running off demonstrators, wrestling them to the ground. many tweeted many blame him in the u.s. for the problems in hong kong. the chinese government is moving troops to the border with hong kong, and yesterday he added this. >> the hong kong thing is very tough. we'll see what happens, but i'm sure it will work out. i hope it works out for everybody, including china, by the way. i hope it works out for everybody. i think it will work out, and i hope it works out for liberty. i hope it works out for everybody including china. >> let's bring nato supreme allied commander, retired commander, james, diplomacy analyst for msnbc news, and
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admiral, good to see you this morning. i'll give you a doover for what the president said yesterday, i hope it works out for everybody. what might have you said in that same position? >> i hope it works out for the truckloads of protesters that are moving around the city since he loves trucks so much. i'm sort of identified as the nato europe guy, but i spent half my year in the pacific. i have been to hong kong too many times to count. i was there in 97 when it was handed over in the brits. i know the city extremely well. this one feels different to me. and let's just do the numbers for a second. there are 7 million people living there. protests have been up to the size of 2 million out of 7 million. that's a day in the united states on a population adjusted basis where 150 million americans turn out to protest. this is kind of a big deal. the question we caught to be
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asking right now, what are the red lines where china is going to move in the people's armed police, which by the way, says police, but is 1.5 million soldiers. they are part of the people's liberation army. i think the red lines are if the protests continue into september after school starts and some of the students bleed out temporal red line, second red line violence, if you see a step up in violence where protesters start beating up police officers, they storm carrie lam's office, red line. and thirdly, intent. if the protesters start talking very consciously about raising the level of autonomy, if they move beyond withdrawing this extradition law that's been the spark, watch for a red line there. i don't think this one's going to end well, to be honest with you. >> admiral, we have seen the pictures of chinese troops and
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armored vehicles on the other side of the border across the bridge from hong kong in china. the president rather curiously perhaps tweeted about it yesterday saying intelligence told him this. i don't know if he had seen it on the television or whether he was giving away american intelligence information or even chinese intelligence information for that matter, but i imagine from beijing's point of view, the site -- sight of chinese tanks rolling across the bridge is not something they particularly want to have broadcast across the world. there's a reason for them to exercise restraint as much as they feel they can, isn't there? >> absolutely, and let me just add to your argument which is a very good one, you're sort of viewing this through the prism of tiananmen square which we should but it's also taiwan. the taiwanese, 25 million people, a top 30 economy in the world, taiwan, if it stands by
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itself, is the big prize here. they are watching very closely what's happening in hong kong, so the chinese want to maintain order. they have to, they're an authoritarian state. on the other hand, over the long-term, katty, they want to be able to gradually assimilate taiwan, scenes of tanks rolling into the hong kong is not going to help the argument. they have guardrails to stay between here. let's hope that prevents real violence from breaking out. >> rick tyler condemned the tactics yesterday saying the violent acts are outrageous have overstepped the bottom line. terrorism as it discusses these protests setting up the kind of response it may need. >> well, and this is what i wanted to ask admiral stravidis,
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how as we were discussing tiananmen square, it seems to me people in hong kong would have a fear the chinese feel like they can't afford to allow this to go, and is this all about the extradition law, and what could the united states be doing to calm the situation? is there something the united states should be doing? >> yeah, it begins with the extradition law, but my view, it's moved beyond that are and that's why the chinese are in fact amassing these forces. i think it is entirely possible that at the end of the day china will say we have to maintain our authority because what they really fear is a contagion, an infection, in the big scheme of things is a not an overwhelming
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population, but if it affects beijing, a color revolution, that's what they fear. i don't think that's realistic but it's a great concern for them. what should we be doing. internationalize this, send signals to the chinese, there will be consequences if this turns into a massive tiananmen square, and that doesn't square with the president's narrative. he is trying desperately tota g a trade deal done for 2020. let's hope cooler heads prevail. >> add mermiral, the pacific th, this is your old neighborhood, you have hung around there a lot. it's more than what the president refers to as this hong kong thing, we just heard him say that. the hong kong thingme.
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it is taiwan, the lack of participation of the united states by the tpp, it swings south to india and kashmir. what we don't have and formally had was the voice and role of the united states diplomatic score in all of these diplomatic problems. >> you're exactly right, mike, and let's face it, the essence of this is china's one belt, one road strategy to create that swath of commerce that will run from china through the indian ocean to africa to central asia to europe. that's their mercantile empire they're trying to create. hong kong is this difficult little pill that they're going to have to swallow if that's going to work, and again, we've got your point and the one i made earlier, we've got to internationalize this, and think of it holistically, bring all of our ally, not just in southeast asia. >> yamiche take us to the white house, we heard president trump calling this the hong kong
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thing. he said we'll see what happens. i hope it works out for everybody, talking about hong kong and china. what his hesitance, what is his reticence, is it just about getting a trade deal with china. >> sounds as though the president is telling us exactly what he means, which is that he is hesitant to really delve into this. he just postponed imposing new tariffs on china. the idea is that want to stock up on the holidays. there are farmers all over the country sounding the alarms and saying look, this trade war is costing us money. that is the base of the republican party and a lot of these different states. i think the president wants to try in some ways to be hesitant about talking about this issue because he is trying to hammer out something with china and realizes that america, at least for now is really being impacted heavily by the trade deal and
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trade talks. >> the president has sort of abdicated the traditional role of the office, western values, and it's not just that democrats are doing it. candidate warren and others have spoken, that americans should be siding with the protesters, kevin mccarthy, the republican leader, tweeted yesterday, we see you waving the american flag. we hear you singing our national an they will. we sta -- anthem, we stand with you. >> conservatives usually fall in line with president trump, criticizing him on this. >> admiral james devridis. the fbi has arrested an ohio teenager for making online threats against the federal government and planned parenthood. according to a criminal complaint, when fbi agents raided the 18-year-old's home, 15 rifles, 10 semiautomatic
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pistols and ammunition. stacey abrams, the georgia democrat who gained national attention during her unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2018 has decided not to run for president in 2020. instead she's announced a new multimillion dollar effort aimed at protecting against threats of voter suppression in battle ground states. st called fair fight 20 -- it's called fair fight 2020. she told the atlantic constitution she would not join the other candidates for presiden president. cbs and viacom in hopes of better competing with rivals in a business dominated by video streaming, combining properties like mtv, comedy central and the paramount film and tv studio, with ccbs's broadcast network. the companies split in 2005.
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the deal expected to close by the end of the year. still ahead on "morning joe," presidential candidate michael bennet joins us here onset. plus his former colleague senator claire mccaskill will be onset as well. wendy sherman, the lead negotiator under the iran nuclear deal under president obama all joining us as well. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. ♪ (music plays throughout) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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thank you, i appreciate it. i think we're looking very good. i think we're looking good all over, in ohio, in north carolina, in south carolina, florida, we just got numbers in florida. we're looking fantastically good. you know, they do, they say donald trump, can you imagine if i got a fair press. i mean, we're leading without
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it. can you imagine if these people treated me fairly. the election would be over. have they ever called off an election before. just said look, let's go, four more years. and then do you want to really drive them crazy, go to hash tag third term, hash tag fourth term, you'll drive them totally crazy. >> more of the president's speech about energy in pennsylvania. meanwhile, montana governor democratic presidential candidate steve bullock, the latest hopeful to express frustration at the process for selecting who gets on the stage for next month's debate, and taking a shot at a fellow candidate, billionaire hedge fund manager, tom steyer. >> tom spent $10 million to buy his way on to the debate stage. the dnc is requiring candidates to have at least 130,000 donors while earning at least 2% in
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four different polls to qualify for next month's debate. governor bullock appears unlikely to neat that threshold, while steyer announced he had reached the donor requirement is likely to qualify. in a statement, bullock adds this, the dnc donor requirement may have been added with the right intentions but no doubt it's creates a situation where billionaires can buy their way on to the debate stage, and campaigns are forced to spend billions of dollars on $1 donors. we're kidding ourselves if we call a $10 million purchase of 130 donors a demonstration of grass roots support. a lot of people saying amen to that. a guy like steve bullock, interesting candidate who won in montana, in a very red state that trump won by 20 points, struggling to get his voice out there. >> well, i understand his fru frustration, and i do agree a democrat who has won a red state has a better chance of winning a
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general election to someone more left of the party, but i'm not sure that bullock is saying. here's how it works is the reason steyer can buy his way on to the stage. he does get individual donors because what they do is send out, you know, millions and millions, and i don't know how many millions of appeals and it's just a numbers game and you're going to be able to get the 130,000 donors, but if you don't have that seed money to get the advertising, the direct mail, phone solicitation to get donors, you're not going to make the 130,000. that's his chief complaint. if you take that away, then steyer would be left with one qualification to get 2% in the polls, i'm not sure he's going to get that either so i'm not sure, you know, what the net is on that. what's his complaint, we take that away, steyer would end up in the sam position. >> steyer needs to hit one more poll. the irony is that tom steyer's
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campaign, the rational is to get money out of politics, and corporate interests, and he's able to spend all the money over the years, and particularly this year to get into the race. >> i think what governor bullock is talking about and failed to use the word in his statement, and i don't know why. hypocrisy. steyer was on with us yesterday, his principal objective of why he wants to be president, and it was basically, according to my ear to get corporate america the influence and power and financial power of corporate america out of politics and here he is literally spending a ton of money out of his own fortune which was built through his own skill, his own smarts by destroying smaller companies with his hedge fund, and now he's dumping money out to buy votes, really, to get on the stage, and he's done it successfully. >> the dnc did this ruling in order to try to democratize the process but actually in the process of doing this what they
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have done is penalize some of the smaller campaigns who are complaining it's taken them something like $75 in costs just to get a $1 donation, and so you have had the unintended consequences of heavily weighting to somebody who has a big social media base already like bernie or elizabeth warren who have that outreach or you're waiting for somebody like steyer to buy small donation, which is not what dnc was intending to do but it's been the consequence of it. >> i think in a few minutes, we will have a candidate who will speak to this, mike bennett, a legitimately qualified candidate for president apparently having did difficulty raising money. he got into the race quite late and doesn't have the personal resources that tom steyer has. >> in iowa and new hampshire, the candidates are having to sit in tv studios in washington and
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new york with access to television outlets. they are not spending as much time in the early states. >> everything you said about senator bennett could be -- a district that went to donald trump by ten points. what's his advice for replicating that nationwide. the staten island lawmaker joins us to talk about that and much more next on "morning joe." aboh more next on "morning joe. do you have concerns about mild memory loss related to aging? prevagen is the number one pharmacist-recommended memory support brand. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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it takes no courage to put on the senate floor a bill that is supported by 90 plus percent of americans. what takes courage is to look a special interest group in the eye and say is enough is enough. it is time to act. >> the house judiciary committee is expected to return from recess early to consider new proposals to curb gun violence. congress is not in session this month of course but democrats as you saw there did hold a press
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conference yesterday calling on senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to take up house passed legislation on background checks. two people familiar with democrats plans tell "the washington post" the house judiciary committee will consider proposals to restrict high capacity magazines, institute red flag laws and potentially legislation on hate crimes. joining us now here in new york, a member of the house homeland security and veterans affairs committee, democratic congressman max rose of new york. he's a veteran of the war in afghanistan and the recipient of both the bronze star and the purple heartment f great to see you this morning. >> thanks for having -- purple heart. great to see you this morning. >> thanks for having me. >> is there something different than you have seen in the past? >> this depends on mitch mcconnell. it's a complicated multifaceted issue. it's going to require reimburses from law enforcement -- resources from law enforcement. dhs has to double down.
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we have to make global white nationalist organizations, give them the label of terrorist organizations which will give us enhanced surveillance capabilities, but we can't lose sight of the fact that we are the only nation in the world that is dealing with this problem. domestic white nationalism is something that we are seeing across the globe but this is just happening in america. kids right now have to show courage to go to school. people have to show courage to go to their faith based organizations. mitch mcconnell, though, is being a coward in the halls of congress, and it's absurd, and the american people, i believe, he's going to suffer the consequences for this when he goes before his own voters in 2020. >> there's some reporting this morning congressman that the white house and president trump himself in fact have reached out to people like senator chris murphy of connecticut, at the forefront of the conversation on guns, willing to do something on universal background checks. the president has said that time and again. do you believe the president wants to do something at least on universal background checks
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or is it just lip service. >> right now, we have no reason, we don't see evidence of that but i'm not going to give up hope. okay, this president, i don't believe has any core beliefs here. he'll flow with the wind. what i am concerned about, though, is mitch mcconnell, and the fact that he is enslaved by the nra, enslaved by the republican base. that's really the decisive point here. if mitch mcconnell shows courage for once in his career, and he has the ability to save lives, it is as simple as that. i do the president will sign legislation. >> there are a confluence of factors that might lead to the idea that we're going to get something this time around. the nra has weakened. it's got its own leadership problems, financial issues, the president and his team have been meeting with senators toomey, manchin, and murphy, as far as we understand. even the legislation under discussion, the president has made it absolutely clear it's not going to include anything on
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assault weapons. until we get to assault weapons, legislation even on background checks isn't going to stop the kinds of attacks we have been having recently. is that ever going to happen or is that conversation just dead in america. >> amidst all of these shootings, we cannot lose sight of the fact that we have thousands of people dying in inner city america, often from handguns. much of that will be solved by the issue of the universal background checks, because these weapons, we see people dying in brooklyn, flowing from down south up the iron pipeline. the issue of mass shootings will not be sufficiently addressed without the assault weapons ban, and i fear this is an issue that will have to be settled at the polls. go back to the point i made earlier. this is a global phenomenon, this issue of white nationalism, extremism. this is only happening in america, and i believe the fact that the weapon i carried in aversion, the weapon that my -- in afghanistan, the weapon that my fellow soldiers carried is
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readily available in america. >> you needed weeks of training. >> and beyond the training, let's think about what an assault weapon is designed to do, an ar 15 is designed to do, quickly shoot rounds and enter the body, do not leave it. designed to reck sh-- ricochet around the body and we have the problem of extended magazines, these should not be sold in the united states of america, this is quite simple and statistically proven to have a result. >> max, look into the cameras and tell hunters who want to buy an ar 15 to go hunting deer or if pheasant in the fall, the difference between hunting and using an ar 15. >> this is at this point in the united states of america, this is not a policy issue. this is a cultural issue. so we are not going to allow for this issue to cause a divide between rural america and urban america, democratic america,
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republican america. all i am simply saying, and i do not believe this is an infringement of the second amendment or an attack on american culture which is connected to gun ownership, what we are merely saying when it comes to weapons of war, which assault weapons are, they have no place to be sold in the united states of america. it will save lives. it will save lives and it's got to change. enough is enough. >> you have heard congressman, and i have from many people who say it's a constitutionally protected right. an ar 15 is not for hunting. it's for personal protection, and i have heard veterans say, these aren't weapons of war, playing a semantic game. what do you say to them? >> an m 4 is the military variance of an ar 15, at times the only difference is a collapsible buck stock. we should take a step back as we
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look at mooass shootings. this administration has not paid nearly enough focus to the issue of domestic terrorism. dhs has disbanded its internal office designed to address this issue. the state department hasn't labeled these organizations terrorist organizations which would provide us with the empowerment to truly address those who are aligned these organizations before they commit a crime, which is absolutely critical. we have a road map for what we have done throughout the 21st century in regards to global terrorism. we have to readjust it towards the way in which the threat has changed. this threat is not going away. we cannot wish it away, and it requires for this administration to rise above politics and to focus on public safety. this should not be hard. >> let me ask this quickly, why won't the administration do this? why won't they consider white
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nationalism and domestic terrorism? >> i do believe it comes down to politics, which is unfortunate. they appear that some of their base would be offended by it, and all the while, though, people are dying. all the while people are dying, i have the utmost faith in our public safety law enforcement infrastructure. when we empower them, when we align them with what the actual threat is today, they can't address it, but so long as this administration becomes still focused on approximate political issues, they will continue to show cowardice, while other people have to show courage during normal daily activities, our kids today are afraid to go to school. not in this country anymore. it has got to change. >> and no less than the director of the fbi testified last month that white supremacy is at the core of most of their domestic terror plots. before we let you go, the number
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one issue, the bridge, how is traffic on the bridge, that was your big campaign. >> i am confident an issue we have passed in the house of congress, the bridge, and i thank you for allowing me to speak about this for a moment will start to make positive effects on the traffic nightmare. it is an abject, unbelievable failure on the part of the democratic party that we have not passed an infrastructure bill out of the house yet. we ran on this, we spoke about it for 18 months. it's clear that the president and mitch mcconnell will not show the courage to pass an infrastructure bill, but we got to put one right in front of them so we can use the commuting nightmare on staten island, south brooklyn, as well as throughout the country. got to get back to work. >> keeping focus on local issues. >> it's a national issue, buddy. >> congressman max rose. great to see you. the famous poem on the statue of liberty, give me your
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tired, your poor, your huddled masses, ken cuccinelli seems to think it should say something else. more on "morning joe." back in a moment. more on "morning joe." back in a moment
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the trump administration is defending a new rule aimed at making it more difficult for low income legal immigrants to stay in the united states. the rule states if immigrants use public benefits such as food stamps or medicaid they could see their green card applications delayed or revoked. speak on npr acting citizenship and immigration services director ken cuccinelli defended that new rule. >> would you also agree that emma lazarus's words etched on the statue of liberty, give me your tired, your poor are part
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of the american ethos. >> they certainly are, your tired and poor who can stand on their own 2 feet and who will not become a public charge. >> that poem was referring back to people coming from europe where they had class based societies where people were considered retched if they weren't in the right class. >> so katty, he's the acting director of a position effectively that was sort of invented and created for him because president trump wanted him in the administration, and knew republicans would never pass him through the senate. that's how he got where he is. adding on to the emma lazarus poem that will not be a public charge, amending a century old poem. >> it goes on that poem as it exists, bring me your retched refuge and your homeless, you cannot imagine in ken cuccinelli's america, any welcome at all for the retched on the world or homeless of the world because that's what they're specifically trying to do. the whole thing, yamiche doesn't make sense.
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when you look at who are the recipients of food stamps and welfare in america, they tend to be overwhelmingly white. 10% of recipients of food stamps are hispanic, almost 50% are white, and so i'm not quite sure that this has anything to do with either welfare systems or economics. it's purely, isn't it, about trying to keep america the way that this white white house would like it to be in the face of demographic change and that is a majority white country and they know that that's changing. >> study after study has shown that immigrants use public benefits and government assistance programs at much lower rating than native born americans. these programs were created as bridges to the american dream. when people come to the united states or if you were born in the united states, you might be on food stamps for a couple of months and you're either going to school or going to a technical program and you're in a better place, and then you can move on. but the idea that now the government is saying, look, if you ever use these programs that
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were there for a bridge, we're going to hold that against you, goes against basically exactly what these programs were made to do. i have been talking to immigrants all over this country who have been telling me these are the programs that allowed me to bring my family here, allowed me to become a productive american citizen and then you add to that, of course, what the president has said in his own words, he doesn't want people from s hole countries, he wants people from norway, and he was talking about african countries and haiti, and juk juxtaposing with white nations. there's no hiding their intentions here. >> rick tyler, we should point out this was not a slip of the tongue. he was on a media tour yesterday on npr, then cnn and other places driving this narrative about people being a public charge and talking as yamiche said about a specific kind of immigrant that this country
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wants under the trump administration to be in america. >> let's be very clear what's going on here. the president is trying to do through ken cuccinelli is portray every hispanic immigrant as someone who comes in and is a drag on society. ken cuccinelli like speaker pelosi, like juligiuliani, it wt very long ago that america didn't welcome italian americans and all three like most italian americans have assimilated in the united states and are successful, as every hispanic who assimilates in the united states, their children will become doctors, lawyers, congressman and ceos. i have never seen a wave of america worse off, they're always better off. >> ken cuccinelli saying of the emma lazarus program and the statue of liberty, it was about
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people coming from europe. coming up, federal investigators want to find out what went wrong at the manhattan jail where jeffrey epstein died. there are new questions about whether the guards assigned to watch him were sleeping on duty. plus, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell continues to face backlash for blocking a series of election security bills. senator and 2020 candidate michael bennet says it is unacceptable and he's got a new plan to do something about it. he'll be here to explain. "morning joe" is coming back in a moment. in "morning joe" is coming back in a moment right now, congress is working to end surprise medical billing. that's when patients are hit with medical bills they thought would be covered by insurance. but what congress is considering would cut money that vulnerabe patients rely on the most. that means seniors, children, and americans relying on medicaid would be hurt. it's already too hard for people to get basic medical care with hospitals closing and a shortage of er doctors. tell congress we can end surprise billing without shredding the safety net. paid for by physicians for fair coverage.
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shaun doughtery. democrats in congress are pushing hard for the green new deal. how about that one. where it puts everybody in this room out of work. i don't want to speak badly about it, you know, you have heard me say this. i want to encourage them that should be their platform. i don't want to do it too early. i did it very early with pocahontas, i should have probably waited. she's staging a comeback on sleepy joe. i don't know who's going to win. but we'll have to hit pocahontas very thahard again if she does and other radical plans to wipe out our call, that's what they want. they want to wipe out our oil, our natural gas industries while allowing other countries to steal our jobs. >> that's the president of the united states yesterday in pennsylvania. welcome back to "morning joe." it's wednesday, august 14th.
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still with us, washington anchor for bbc world news america, katty kay. mike barnable, white house reporter for the associated prepre press, jonathan lemire, political contributor, rick tyler. white house correspondent for pbs news hour, yamiche alcindor, and msnbc political analyst, claire mccaskill. politics editor for the daily beast, sam stein, and coauthor for the play book jay sherman. welcome all, good to see you this morning. >> how are the cards doing this morning? >> we had a brutal road trip. we're now on a four-day streak and our pitching looks better. flaherty looked good last night. we have the same number of losses as the cubs. it's going to come down to the cubs cardinals, which is fun for cardinals and cubs fans. cardinals will prevail. >> what i like about claire is
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she had no idea that was coming and gave a full answer. >> stocks around the world, getting a bit of a boost this morning after the trump administration announced it will hold off on implementing new tariffs on a number of chinese goods. the white house announced yesterday the move saying the products including cell phones, laptops, video game consoles, clothing products and toys were being removed from the tariff list over health and security factors. those items set to be hit with a 10% tariff on september 1st. in addition, the administration says tariffs on other consumer items will be delayed until mid-december to help accommodate the holiday shopping season and ease the financial burden on companies bringing in products from china. shortly before that announcement, president trump tweeted, as usual, china said they were going to be buying big our great american farmers. so far they have not done what they said. maybe this will be different. a short time later as he left for a campaign rally in pennsylvania, president trump was asked about whether he's
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optimistic of yet a trade deal with china. >> i have always been optimistic. my only question is whether or not they were willing to wait and take the chance on winning the election and in effect doesn't know what he's doing or she's doing like they have had in the past. this should have been done 25 years ago. should have been done 10 years ago or 5 years ago. this should have been done a long time ago. should have been done by bide sk -- biden and obama. >> the latest twist the dow and s&p 500 climbing nearly 1 1/2% while the nasdaq gained nearly 2%. jonathan lemire, this backing off of the tariffs, temporarily. the president said he was doing it just in case they might have an impact on people. has he realized that tariffs do in fact have an impact eventually on consumers. >> thank you for not coming to me with a red sox question. >> i know.
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>> i was really tempted. >> it's too mean now. >> i have taken some brutal hits around this table about the red sox. i would love to rub that in, i'm being too sweet. >> showing your typical class. >> a few things happening at once, you saw the president for the first time back off a little bit here, under pressure from fellow republicans in his own administration. tariffs are one of the few things his ideology he has been consistent on. he's also been consistently wrong on how they work, and the american consumer absolutely bears the brunt of the trade war with china. this is sort of the first time with the acknowledgment of the timing of christmas that the president seems to be acknowledging that at least a little bit, and there's also some significant worry that people around him, that his number one argument for reelection is a strong economy and the president measures that economy on the stock market. we saw it rebounded nicely yesterday after the administration's move and if this trade war that the increased tit for tat tariffs continue, there's a real sense,
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we have the prognostications for the last few days and weeks a recession could be looming. if that happens, people around the president feel like that would undermine his case for reelection, and send him into a real political problem. finally, and this obviously seems obvious, there's a suggestion here that the current strategy isn't working. >> he's in a lose-lose situation because either he goes through with his bluster about china and the stock market tanks or he doesn't, and he is a big loser because he can't get a deal with china. he really is in a box canyon here. he can't get out, and what's fascinating to me, i would go further than you went. i mean, he acknowledged yesterday the first time that he is consistently and constantly lied about tariffs. he acknowledged that the american consumer pays the costs of tariffs. what does christmas have to do with it if china is paying for
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it. christmas has nothing to do with it in china is paying for it. that means americans are going to be paying more for their christmas presents and it's going to cost them more, and that will come back on him. so he finally acknowledged and, you know, maybe reporters today will say, well, why would christmas make a difference if china is paying for it, and i'm sure he would lie and pivot, but it is really important that this is the beginning of him acknowledging the big fat lie he's been telling from day one about tariffs. >> he wanted the tariffs reduced on toy trucks. >> he does love a truck. >> since he was 4. >> i love trucks. >> i came as close as he comes to making a concession by saying just in case they might have an impact on people, and sam stein, these of course were supposed to create leverage for the president, and a deal with china on trade. he thought if i slap all of these tariffs, a second trench that would come up later in the year, china will have to cave on a trade deal, and they have not. >> yeah, i mean, there's two
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explanations here, either he doesn't know what he's doing, and doesn't have the coherent strategy -- thank you, mike -- for his relations with china, or he views the ability to, you know, warn about tariffs, and then take away that warning as a tool to leverage, in order to juice the stock market. and either one is bad, obviously, if he's playing games just to juice the dow, that's bad. if he's rambling around trying to figure out what to do with china, that's bad too. my suspicion is that because of political pressures, eventually he's going to want and will probably craft a deal with china, and he'll do it because of electoral imply kaications a he'll do it whether the the outcome of the -- whether the outcome of the deal is better than we started. and the volatility will have a
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tangible impact on the economy but he measures mhis success by the dow, and that is what he saw and the past week the dow took a tumble and he wanted to juice it up again. this is the type of economic philosophy that we're working under and it's incredible str l volatile. >> i never thought i would say this, you have to feel sorry for financial traders at the moment. >> come on. >> they must be exhausted as most people are, just by the tweets coming out of the white house. they are trying to make longer term decisions and you have from one day to the next, whether it's a treat or announcement that reverses itself the next day, and you're getting these crazy swings on the market and at the same time you can't rely on the fed to be there as a cushion because the fed is under attack from the white house as well, and, i mean, rick tyler, this is not working the way that most republican administrations would work, where you have no cushion allowed from the federal reserve because that's coming under federal pressure and then these policies effectively made
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by tweet, global economic and trade policy being made by tweet which changes from day-to-day. >> rick? >> sorry, that's me. yes. >> i floored him. >> you did. because this president's completely inconsistent all the time, and so he's complaining because the chinese are manipulating their currency, they currently now are because they have let the yawn fall to below 7 and yet he complains that our federal reserve won't manipulate our own currency. the tariffs are just a loser all the way around. they not only, they either cost investors money, and you can't sustain that in the long run because they have to ultimately pass costs on to customers. if you're wealthy, tariffs don't bother you. 25% on whatever you're buying at the store. that's no big deal to you, if you're poor, that's the difference between eating today and not eating today. it's a terrible tax, and who
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does it hurt the most, it hurts poor people the most, and this idea that we have some ability -- if we had an ability to tax china, why wouldn't we tax china. i would tax china for everything, and then we wouldn't have to pay for anything. there's no about for a sovereign nation to tax another nation. there's no chinese money coming into the u.s. treasury, as there is no ability for mexican pesos to come into the u.s. treasury to pay for a wall. it's a charade designed to confuse people so they don't know, up from down. >> as chair said this is a tacit acknowledgment, that he's going to put it off so it doesn't ruin christmas for people. on the heels of the mass shootings in dayton, and el paso, going to ask the president to redistrict $5 million from border wall, it's unlikely but schumer's move is designed to keep pressure on republicans. he released a statement that
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reads, the duel scourges of gun violence, and violent white supremacist extremism are a national security threat and it's time the trump administration and congress started treating them as such, boosting funding for homeland security initiatives to counter violent extremism, domestic terrorism by the fbi, and gun violence research conducted by the cdc. jake sherman, how serious are talks we're hearing about from democrats and the senate on the white house and guns. >> the schumer stuff is just aimed at keeping the political pressure on, but there is some stuff happening behind the scenes, worth paying attention to. joe manchin, pat toomey, and chris murphy, two democrats and a republican were at the white house yesterday, over the last couple of days talking about what they want to do on background checks and where their own legislative proposals stand. now, white house staff is going to bedminster over the next
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couple of days to brief the president on what the senators want to do, what's possible and the narrow path they see they could get on to get some sort of gun control package. i defer to senator mccaskill here. this is obviously very difficult, and it would require the president taking and holding the position for more than 15, 20 minutes as he sometimes does, and that's difficult because the president has said he wants to do something on gun control in the past. the path in the senate is quite treacherous. listen, mitch mcconnell hasn't shut this down yet. that's a hopeful sign if you're looking for a sign gun control might get done. having democrats and republicans at the white house with responsible staff, not people who tend to inject themselves in every legislative debate, but the legislative affairs team and this is a sign that the white house is taking this seriously for the first time in a very long time. >> first, please call me claire, you don't need to call me senator. you can call me claire. >> you got it, claire. >> the dirty little secret here
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is that mitch mcconnell is way more powerful than donald trump here. i don't think there's enough acknowledgment of the power that mitch mcconnell has and that he is the most powerful person in washington because he is the one calling the signals on everything. ask yourself this, why didn't we get the wall done when republicans were in charge the first two years of this administration, i'll tell you why, the wall didn't get done when the republicans had the house and the senate and the white house because mitch mcconnell didn't want it. mitch mcconnell stopped it. mitch mcconnell is the one who's going to decide whether there's a gun control vote, and the sign i saw, jake, that he's not serious about doing this was that he let veraso get out in front, we're not doing this, the red flag law is flawed. he never would have done that without asking permission of mitch mcconnell ahead of time, so i'm not sure where the votes come that we didn't have on
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manchin toomey the last time. i don't know where those come from. >> i would only say that mcconnell also could let some of his right flank people come out against it for momentary political cover or because he believes at the end of the day, if anything happens, fit's goin to be carried by a narrow slice of republicans and democrats and again, the votes are tough to km -- to come by, and thune came out and was skeptical too. the shift in politics, behind the scenes and off the record, as you know, claire, not senator mccaskill, is republicans see the politics is kanchanging. they believe privately the politics have changed. maybe not on an assault weapons ban. especially in the senate and some people in the house expert testimony remaining suburban districts held by house republicans, they do believe the politics is changing, and someone like kevin mccarthy, interesting to see where he goes. again, if donald trump gives political cover on this, it could go a long way.
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mitch mcconnell does hold the cards at the end of the day. >> i hope i'm wrong and i want to be optimistic here. i would love to take a baby step, but mitch mcconnell also knows that one of the biggest washing machines for big money in terms of citizens united, dark money that he needs to win the senate races, one of the biggest washing machines is the nra, and i question whether they will go there, that they will actually stand up to the nra and say we're getting out of bed. we're not going to be in your bed completely and totally anymore. i hope i'm wrong, but they're so owned by the nra, it just will be astounding to me if he allows that many republicans to give the nra the back of their hand. >> how can everybody watching understand that. you said it once, that mitch mcconnell is the most powerful person in washington, and that's probably true. but you also said that he won't stand up to a group of lobbyists on something when we're talking about universal background checks, just take that, which a majority of gun owners, which a majority of nra members support,
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universal background checks for private sellers as well. why can't he take that step, and say, even if he's winking to the nra and say hey, guys, let me give him this one, we won't give him anything else. >> because they need committees that will take big checks that will never be identified. you know, the $10 million checks, the $20 million checks. i mean, remember, russia wrote the nra a $30 million check to help win senate elections for mitch mcconnell and to help donald trump so if you can get that kind of laundered money through the nra because of citizens united, it is to mitch's advantage to keep as many of those entities out there on friendly terms as possible. there aren't that many places now, that will, in fact, take that money and do whatever mitch wants. >> sam stein, let me ask you a question. >> sure. >> we have been talking about mitch mcconnell here and his power. there's a school of thought held
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by many when the history of the political era is written, mitch mcconnell will be a far more instrumental and pivotal figure than donald trump, and yet, it's our collective responsibility in the media i would think to cover mitch mcconnell, but we are blocked out from covering him by the antics and rhetoric and behavior of the president of the united states. so are we shirking our responsibility and not putting more of a public light on things that claire mccaskill was just talking about, the $30 million check from russia to mitch mcconnell to help fund senate campaigns other things. merrick garland, holding up the appointment of a supreme court justice. i mean, mitch mcconnell gets away in broad daylight with things that any other politician at a lower level with the spotlight of effective journalism shined upon him would be gone but he's not. he's still there, still the most powerful person in washington. >> first of all, let's take a
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moment of silence for the day trader. >> i agree, yeah. >> now that that's out of the way. >> hey, threw it out there, 7:15 in the morning. >> it's important that we recognize the real victims here. as for mitch mcconnell -- >> they have exhaustion issues too. >> as for mitch mcconnell, i agree and i disagree. i do agree with the fact that the extent of his influence and power can often times be understated. it extends well prior to trump, obviously. you know, some of the obstruction in the obama eras did in fact facilitate some of the rule changes in the senate, the lead up to the election, he played a very consequential role in not ringing the alarm bells on russian interference and obviously as claire, aka senator mccaskill has said, he's the stopgap for all legislation right now. that said, i'm not
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totally sure that we haven't been covering him. i think that his influence, you know, any hill reporter recognizes that he is a profound figure on capitol hill and a historic figure at that, and that the institution of the senate and really the bedrock of our country has changed because of him. he is deeply impactful in terms of getting money into politics in terms of getting rid of some disclosure requirements, in terms of shaping the judiciary, not just now but for generations to come. so i think his role has been covered. in the case of this gun issue, you know, i was around in 2013 when we were doing the post newton debate. i mean, you know, he was important there, but the problem in that case is there weren't enough democrats for background checks and there are fewer democrats now, and i'm not totally sure where we go here, and i'm not totally sure progress can be made, and if congress doesn't reconvene soon. mcconnell may have shown some willingness to consider background checks but he didn't show willingness to bring the
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senate back into order, and i happen to think if you wait two or three weeks on this stuff, all of the momentum is going to dissipate. >> can i pick up on the idea of whether the politics, how much the politics of this have really changed and whether now republicans are starting to hear, republicans on the hill are starting to hear from their constituents actively in favor of passing background checks. are you hearing anything on that? >> well, i think you can listen to the talking points of republicans and realize that they are still not anywhere near moving on assault rifle bans. >> right. >> and then the president also quickly said, very quickly after these shootings, mental illness is what pulls the triggers and not guns. he was making the republican talking point it's about social media, video games, it's about all of these different things other than the actual weapons. i interviewed a weapon in dayton, ohio, who watched the shooting from her window, from her apartment window, was frantically calling her daughter for 15 minutes, and she said
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that experience of feeling the sheer terror of one watching people run for their lives but too also watching to figure out where her daughter was activated her in a way that she had never been activated before. she said i had never called my congressman, never called any local officials and that woman is now calling local officials and lawmakers and demanding they do something on gun control. i think that weekend really has activated and changed a lot of people, and i think congress people either now or when they get back to congress, people aren't going to just let this go. so many people were terrified by these shootings. >> jake sherman, who i will continue to call senator sherman against his wishes. thank you very much. we'll see you soon. >> thanks rch. still ahead on "morning joe," if elected president, senator bennet said americans will not have to think about him for weeks at a time. perhaps the most convincing case made. the colorado democrat joins us next on "morning joe." democrats next on "morning joe."
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right now, congress is working to end surprise medical billing. that's when patients are hit with medical bills they thought would be covered by insurance. but what congress is considering would cut money that vulnerabe patients rely on the most. that means seniors, children, and americans relying on medicaid would be hurt. it's already too hard for people to get basic medical care with hospitals closing and a shortage of er doctors. tell congress we can end surprise billing without shredding the safety net. paid for by physicians for fair coverage. with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow. because when you're with fidelity, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. because when you're with fidelity, and i don't add trup the years.s. but what i do count on... is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life.
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he borrowed billions donald trump failed as a from businessman.re born and left a trail of bankruptcy and broken promises. he hasn't changed. i started a tiny investment business, and over 27 years, grew it successfully to 36 billion dollars. i'm tom steyer and i approve this message. i'm running for president because unlike other candidates, i can go head to head with donald trump on the economy, and expose him fo what he is: a fraud and a failure.
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anniversary of the arrival of enslaved africans in what would become the united states of america giving birth to what's referred to as america's original sin and lasting impacts on society still at issue of course today and every day. joining us now the founding director of the antiracist research and policy center at american university and a columnist, e br-- ibram kendi. and the black art of escape 400 years have passed, where do we go from here. great to have you both here. >> good to be here. >> congratulations on the book. let's start by defining what it is to be an antiracist, what does that mean? >> one who looks upon the racial groups as equals, someone who is
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fundamentally challenging policies that create racial inequity, and the very deliberate and understanding in understanding themselves as antiracist as opposed to not racist, so they're not going to say i'm not racist every time they are charged with being racist. as americans have been doing for decades. >> so casey, we have talked about this before, but this moment in america, i'll paraphrase, our friend and professor eddy glod of princeton, people look at donald trump and say that's not who we are. he says, you can't put it all on donald trump because it is who we are in many ways and who we have been, and now it's spilling out into the open. is there any of having at least in the light of day and not pretending that racism isn't here anymore? >> well, i'm not sure that black people have been able to pretend hasn't been here, and i hope everybody reads dr. kendi's
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senator, you worked hard for the ph.d. and this book. everyone should read this book. i wrote the black art of escape because i wanted to write it for black people who already know this stuff has been here for 400 years. i wanted to write it to really mark this anniversary, which will be right upon us in the next week. i wanted to say thank you to all of the black people that came after, all of the people that pay such an norenormous price f me to be able to sit here, dr. kendi to sit here on national television. how can we live in a country that's designed to kill us? we have been told about our people's strategy of resistance and protest. we have been told about our people's strategy of assimilation and respectability. it was claire mccaskill who said about barack obama, the most important message we have to send is that barack obama is just like everyone else.
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right, but we have not been told enough about our people's strategy of flight embodied by toni morrison's great novel, if you want to fly, you have to let go of all the stuff that weighs you down, so i wrote this piece, and i hope that we as black people can get to a place where we reclaim the tradition of flight, and not be worn down and weighed down in this moras of white supremacy. the most radical thing we can do as black people in society to be well, not woke. >> explain what you mean by flight when you say that. >> historically, across the diaspora, there was a story, a folklore tale of africans who knew how to fly, and they would be on the plantation, and one day they would say a code word, and black men and black children would get up and fly up. did this actually happen, who
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knows. the real question is what purpose did this serve in the minds of the people, and the reality is that we talk so much about freedom but the message that i have for black people and this is the message of flight, is that regardless of the logic, the external reality of white supremacy that has taken over this country, and has been the fact of this country since the first people got here, we have an inner freedom, i was listening to that song this morning, this joy i have, the world can't take it away, the world didn't give it, the freedom that we have on the inside that we can reclaim, and nourish and nurture will help us to transcend, endure, and perhaps one day help us go ahead and fly away with dr. kendi's book of course. >> yamiche alcindor has a question in washington. >> tell me a little bit, as you think about this political moment that we're in, what do you think people are missing, what do you think people are missing when they say that the president is symptomatic of
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something, that the country has been about. do you think that we should be talking more about the roots of slavery, and whether or not that is impacting people's lives and impacting the political system in the way that people see it working for them? >> i do. and i think we should have recognized the effects of both past and present racist policies, the effects of those policies, whether those policies were slave holding policies, gym crow policies, today's mass incarcerating or mass deporting pol policies are leading to all sorts of racial inequities, racial injustices and then those inequities are causing americans to argue, why do they exist, because some americans are led to believe that they exist because there's something wrong with a particular racial group, while other americans are saying, no, it's actually racist policies and this debate, what is the problem, is the problem people of color or is the
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problem racist policies. it's fundamentally at the heart of this debate between racists and antiracists. antiracists say there's nothing wrong with any of our racial groups, and everything wrong with our policies, racists are like no, there's everything wrong with these people. they're infesting this nation. they are invading this nation. they're harming you. you're struggling because of them, and i think we need to come to grips with the need to be antiracist so we can see everyone as equals so we can create an equal society. >> dr. kendi, i think this is a powerful book, and one of the things i think needs to be spoken about more often is the hard research that's been done about this problem and one of the things that i realized when i was a prosecutor is that the drug problem was a public health problem, and not a criminal problem and was proud to start the drug court movement in this country. the second thing is the employment, when you factor for employment, talk about the
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research between black men who commit crimes and white men that commit crimes and the role that unemployment plays in that, because there are way too many people that think, oh, well, you know, black men are out there breaking the law without realizing it has nothing to do with whether or not they're black. talk about that research because i think it is really important to stress it. >> i think first and foremost, for roughly the last 50 years in this country, the black unemployment rate has been twice as high as the white unemployment rate. the president likes to tout how low the black unemployment rate is but it's still much higher than the white unemployment rate, and if you also look at the number of black people who are being incarcerated and then when they come out of prison, seeking a job, and in many states, they have to sign off that they are a felon, and in many cases, they were incarcerated for that drug related possession or even selling crime because they're black, and what i mean by that is white people and black people are just as likely to sell and
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consume drugs but black people are far and away likely to be incarcerated for selling and consuming drugs, then they have to sign they are a felon, and then they don't get the job, and then they get blamed they didn't get the job because of their own lack of hard work, because there's something wrong with them as opposed to these policies. >> so casey, we have now been listening for about 7 minutes to some critical elements of american history coming from both of you. how much of a problem do you think it is that if you pick up an american history book, 7th, 8th grade, high school, you will read or see nothing about what you have talked about here this morning? >> well, perhaps that's what the reality is for, in your neighborhood. i grew up in oakcliff, texas, and i was taught by black women who taught me my history. i think there are many people, you talk about hard research, black people have been doing hard research on this question
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for a long time, george washington williams wrote a history of the knnegro people i america in 1882, in the early 20th century and i think the reality and this conversation reminds me that black people fighting white supremacy is like don coyote fighting windmills, we have donned generation of brilliant black people, trying to get white people understand the truth of their society. i have no interest in throwing more -- i think if you want your children to know the history of america, you should read the historians, i can send you a whole, we should post on the show, a whole list of black historians who have taught the history of this country, and perhaps some white ones as well. david blight just won the pulitzer prize for thhis histor and he's a white man trying to get people to see the history of the country.
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it ought to continue to happen. and those who want to know better have to do better. >> carry on with the theme of schooling and education there, some of the information that you have got in the book about the difference of how well a black child does if they have a white teacher compared to a black teacher. give us some of the information you have on that. >> yeah, i mean, scholars are finding that white teachers, i should say, when a black child has a black teacher, that they're far and away more likely to graduate from college, graduate from high school, that they found that white teachers are, i think, 70% more likely to not have higher expectations for the same black child that a black teacher has high expectations for. and so how we look upon a child, a 9-year-old child and as someone who can learn, as someone who can thrive, as
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someone who can be excellent as opposed to someone who is just a behavioral problem, impacts that child, possibly for the rest of their life, and so racist ideas are impactful, right, they don't just kill people as we saw in el paso, they literally harm people's lives. and that's why i'm struggle and striving to get americans to see how important it is to be antiracist. >> that's just the tip of the iceberg. it's all in this book, how to be an antiracist, it's available now, dr. ibram kendi, and casey gerald, his latest piece, the black art of escape, 400 years have passed, where do we go from here. that's in new york magazine. we appreciate you being here today. >> thank you. our next guest trying to end donald trump's exhausting tenure as president, democratic candidate senator michael bennet of colorado joins the conversation next. ael bennet of colorado joins the conversation next.
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get fast, reliable internet on the nation's largest gig-speed network for less than at&t. that's 120 dollars less a year. better, faster. i mean sign me up. comcast business. beyond fast. welcome back to "morning joe," a member of the intelligence committee, democratic presidential candidate, senator michael bennet of colorado, out with a
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new book entitled dividing america, how russia attacked social media and democracy. we were applauding you for not putting out a lame memoir, instead a self-published book about russian propaganda. >> this is the second book i have published during the campaign that does not have my picture on the cover of it. >> you're a very busy man. >> yeah. >> we want to talk about this book in depth in a moment. we put out a tweet where you effectively made the most compelling case of the 2020 race, if i'm president, you won't hear from me for weeks at a time. >> i'm on the campaign trail, and i have been meeting people who are trying to build a business and support their family and are sickened by the politics in washington. watching donald trump's presidency is like watching one of those car accidents on the highway that you can't take your eyes away from but you know you've got other things you've got to do, and i think anybody, you know, if i'm the next president, my hope is that two
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weeks at a time i'll be doing the job of president, taking care of north korea, reestablishing our alliances in europe, and not wasting everybody's time every day with my endless reality tv show, which is what donald trump is doing. he's exhausted all of us. and i think it's time for this to be behind us and to move on. the opportunity cost of this presidency are just extraordinary. >> i want to get your insights on some reporting we have had had this morning on guns in the senate. there's been talk that manchin, toomey, and senator murphy of connecticut were at the white house with their staff at the white house, talking about universal background checks for starters and perhaps more with red flag laws. do you see in your conversations with your fellow senators some hope that maybe there will be some movement here? >> i think there's some hope because of the way the american people have organized on this issue in the last three years or so. it's making a difference, and politicians can't escape from the moms, they can't escape from
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the parkland kids, and these background checks that mitch mcconnell is holding up on the senate floor, we passed in colorado almost 20 years ago after columbine. we're a western state. we're a second amendment state, passed it almost 20 years ago. i hope he'll put it on the floor right when we get back, and it would be great to see everybody in the senate have to walk down there and vote on bedding checks. >> why do you feel like it would be different this time? >> i didn't say it would be different. i said i hope it would be different. >> do you have any reason to believe it will be? >> only because of the way people have mobilized on the issueme issue. if he doesn't put it on the floor, we need to make this a voting issue between now and then every single week. he's a very strategic guy, mcconnell as you know. >> that's kind. >> he's malevolent. >> that's better. >> he will never do it until he's forced to do it, and the american people are trying once again to force him to do the right thing.
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>> is there anything in the confluence of things of some of your republican colleagues, perhaps hearing from their own constituents that they have had enough of this, that something has to be done, combined with an awareness on the senate floor that the nra was not what it was in 2014 after newton, it is a more diminished organization. >> the nra has been exposed for what they are. i couldn't believe, claire and i were in the senate at the time, after the shooting in newton, i couldn't imagine a worse fact pattern than that. on the senate floor, the amendment that got the most votes, the pro gun amendment, not the background check amendment. times may have changed and again, i think it's the american people coming together and insisting that this be done that's going to make it happen. nothing short of that is going to make it happen. >> senator sam stein is in washington with a question. >> hi senator. you're speaking openly about the neat for gun reforms, you have
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spoken about the existential threat of climate change but you're not supportive of eliminating the legislative filibuster as far as i can tell. this past week, harry reed, former senate majority leader penned an op-ed for the "new york times" saying the time to eliminate the legislative filibuster has come. why is he wrong? wouldn't you be giving your agenda over to mitch mcconnell effectively if you allowed the legislative filibuster to stay in place? >> what i believe is that democrats have to win senate race in states like missouri and the middle of the country. that's what i believe. i believe that we need an agenda that the middle of the country geographically is going to support. that's what we have to do. i don't think there's a shortcut to that. every single person including harry, and i love harry, who's calling for the end to the filibuster doesn't remember that mitch mcconnell is majority leader of the senate. he could end the filibuster tomorrow. if he wanted to add congressional seats in utah or
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wherever else, he could end the filibuster tomorrow. we have to win these races. there's no shortcut around that. and i think that's why it matters so much, the policies that our presidential candidates, you know, are presenting in this campaign. if we really are going to be the policy of medicare for all, then we should expect to have 30 members of the united states senate, not 51 or 55 or 60. >> let's say you win the presidency, and democrats take a narrow majority in the senate, you're effectively saying that, you know, i will need to get 60 votes for all of my agenda, because mitch mcconnell can stop it by rallying up his caucus behind, just to deny as you go. you would be effectively handing over to mitch mcconnell, right? >> i think that mitch mcconnell has -- until we have a majority, mitch mcconnell controls the
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senate whether it's 51 votes or whether it's 60 votes and if you care about climate change, you can't accept a washington, d.c. where the guard, where the debate is held around that 51 votes. in other words if we're accepting a politics where we put it in two years, they rip it out two years later, we put it two years after that, they rip it out. a president comes in, in there for four years, and it gets ripped out. if you accept that, and there are a lot of people that do accept it, that's accepting mitch mcconnell's version of our democracy, ted cruz's version of our democracy, donald trump's, if you accept that, we cannot solve climate change in this country because you can't solve climate change two years at a time, so if i were president, what i would do is go out to places in this country where i will never win more than 30% of the vote and stand there and say this is why we have to act on climate, this is why we've got
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to reverse trump's tax bill. this is why we've got a better plan for health care, and fight that battle and fight that battle. this isn't just about one election. this is about the rest of my life. that's how deeply we have -- that's how deep the hole is that we have dug ourselves into. this is a democracy. and the only way that we're going to begin to make the policy changes that we want to make as democrats is by winning races in the middle of the country. >> and frankly, just briefly on this subject, i think people forget, sam, the stuff we stopped when we were in the minority. the first two years of this administration, can you imagine what they would have done to a woman's right to choose, can you imagine what they could have done on a lot of subjects if the minority, which was the democrats were in the position to say we're not going to let you go there. i complete support what michael is saying, but to you, michael, my question is, where is cornyn on this background check thing and the big five, martha mcsally, and cory gardner, will
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he get out from underneath, one of the biggest recipients of nra money, susan collins, iowa right now. i'm looking to see if those five or six republicans are in mitch's ear, he is really under pressure to go after the nra. you see where it settles out with president trump and mitch mcconnell. there is an attempt to hide behind some piece of legislation. >> window dressing. >> a window dressing piece of legislation that is the no the background checks before we actually get to the background checks. that's why i always said to people, stay focused. keep your eyes on the prize
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here. keep your eyes on the background checks. the last time after the shooting in connecticut, we didn't do that. and the public got confused about what we were trying to do on the floor. it was four or five different pieces of legislation. this needs to be about the background checks so if they fail to pass it, the american people will know that something that 90% of the american people support mitch mcconnell and the republicans refuse to move forward. and that's how we should organize ourselves. that's how we should -- >> that's how we win the midwest? >> yes. and that's how we restore a democracy where we can actually get 70 votes on session, 80 votes on legislation, not squeak through with 51 votes and then have it all overturned the next time we're, you know, lose power, ridiculous to accept that. >> so you're calling for the need for more democrats in the senate. former governor hickenlooper, your former colleague and current colorado resident, there is reporting he may drop out and
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end the presidential campaign to run for the senate. should he do that? >> the last person he needs advice from is me. >> didn't you go on a car ride in iowa? >> i saw some reports of that. i don't -- any advice i have for john i'll give to john. >> and one more follow up. you have not yet qualified for the fall debates, meeting the tle thresholds with polling. if you will, will you go in the race? >> go to michael bennett online and keep me on the debate stage. >> will hickenlooper make a good president? zbhe was a phenomenal mayor and governor, i see no reason why he wouldn't be a great president. >> you taugs about the exhaustion factor. i think everybody in america is familiar with the exhaustion factor. this may be a tough question for you to answer. but you're a thoughtful guy. how long do you think it will take to repair the cultural damage that this president has already done to this country?
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>> i think just getting him out of the white house will be such a huge step forward. to have a president who sees their job every day is getting up to unite the american people instead of divide the american people would be a phenomenal first step to putting us on that path to recovery. >> senator, tell us about the book, "dividing america: how russia hacked social media and democracy". what is the country doing about it? >> anybody can go to russiahackedourdemocracy.com and download a copy of. this they can also go there and send a copy of this to mitch mcconnell. the reason i put this book together is i discovered the american people had actually no idea of what the russian propaganda looked like when they hacked our democracy in 2016. we have a president who won't even admit that it happened. this book is strewn with images we couldn't recognize from our own political vocabulary. and that is shameful in and of itself. and mcconnell is unwilling to
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move election security legislation through the senate which seems to me to be the least we can do after a bipartisan committee like the intelligence committee has reported that the russian propaganda was as serious as it was. i hope people will go to russiahackedourdemocracy.com and get their copy or sign up to send one to mitch mcconnell so he'll actually pass this legislation that we need to pass. >> we know why president trump doesn't want talk about russia because he believes it cheapens his win. but why doesn't mitch mcconnell take on this issue? >> he's scared of donald trump. i think it's very straight forward. the least -- it would seem to me the least thing that a majority leader of the senate would do is help protect our democracy. now, he hasn't been able to be willing to come to campaign finance reform. but given what we now know about what the russians did and what the intelligence community has
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said about their effort to undermine our confidence in each other and our confidence in our democracy, democratic institutions and they've tacked democracies all over the world. it's not just our democracy. but in our democracy, they use these racist images. they use the anti-immigrant images. they're on both sides of every question. you can see it in the book. sometimes there are black live matter advocates or blue lives matter advocates or history of slavery in america, sometimes they have the most racist, horrible stuff you can see. the american people need to know what's in this book so they can defend themselves if they have a president that is not willing to defend them which we should have. >> some people would have gone with splashy campaign season memoir. with you standing on top of the rockies, something like that. instead, you went with this. the sbobook is "dividing americ" michael bennett, thank you. >> thank you for having me. great to see all of you.
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>> still ahead, president donald trump defends a conspiracy theory about jeffrey epstein's death arguing it wasn't his words, just a retweet. it went out to his 63 million followers. plus, chaos inside of the world's busiest airports after days of demonstrations in hong kong, protesters clash with police. ambassador wendy sherman joins us to talk about that and more when "morning joe" comes right back. d more when "morning e"jo comes right back n & johnson is a baby company. but we're also a cancer fighting, hiv controlling, joint replacing, and depression relieving company. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you.
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i holove trucks of all type. even when i was a little boy at 4 years old, my mother would sashgs y say, you love trucks. i do. i always love trucks. i still do. nothing changes. sometimes you might become president but nothing changes. i still hoff truclove trucks. especially when i look at the largest crane in the world. >> i love krutrucks and who doesn't? good morning, welcome to "morning joe." wednesday, august 14th. joe and mika have the morning off. we have our contributes with us this morning. so, jonathan, the speech yesterday was about the economy. but as one would expect sort of drifted to all parts of what's
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happening in the presidential race and pop. >> caller: tour. a pop culture and all over the place. >> and trucks and cranes. >> this is what the white house staff finds time and time again. this is not a campaign rally. this was an vent event on the economy. touting the work for pennsylvania, suggesting the manufacturing jobs rurnld to et the united states and so on. it included every subject including the love of cranes and where he thinks the presidential race is shaping up and taking credit for the plant there that he was visiting, suggesting that his administration was behind it there and creating jobs for pennsylvania. the issue was that plant was given the go ahead in 2012. not only president obama but obama's first term. >> right. easily demonstratable. we'll get more into the president's speech in pennsylvania in just a moment. we want to begin with new information surrounding the
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jailhouse suicide of sex offender jeffrey epstein. justice department officials says that a team from the bureau of prisons will be at the metropolitan correctional center today to examine what went wrong there. protocol whenever there is a significant event at a detention facility calls for that move. meanwhile, administration official tells nbc news the fbi and doj inspector general which were investigating the circumstances around epstein's death are being stymied by federal employers who are lawyering up. this comes after yesterday's news thatward warden has been reassigned and two guards have been placed on leave. we're also learning more about one the workers that was supposed to be guarding epstein at the time. yesterday we reported the employee was not a full time corrections officer. now' person with the investigation tells nbc news that employee had been a corrections guard for seven years. he then accepted a different job with better hours but routinely
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took an overnight shift as a corrections officer to get overtime pay. the source would not say whether the employee was one of the two placed on administrative leave. meanwhile, "the new york times" is reporting the two staff members guarding epstein's jail unit fell asleep and failed to check on him for about three hours then falsified records to cover up that mistake. according to several law enforcement and prison officials with knowledge of the matter, two law enforcement officials telling nbc news investigators are looking at whether either or both of the employees on duty who were responsible for checking on epstein were sleeping. they say no conclusion has yet been reached. mike this is unfathomable to people that at a facility like this, a federal jail, theoretic i had a smacmaximum security ane two guards can fell asleep. >> they fell asleep and falsified records indicating
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which he checked on him every half hour. so they're in legal trouble right away. one of the larger issues is the warden himself at that prison how he allowed or how warden allowed epstein to be in a cell by himself. normally it is protocol, anyone on suicide watch has a cell mate for various reasons. i mean, you alert someone if someone tries to commit suicide in the cell with you. that cell mate was removed from the cell for inexplicable reasons, yet to be explained. apparently about a week or ten days ago and jeffrey epstein was alone to do the deed. >> also such reporting, there is reporting there that the staff was so overworked that they didn't have time between the shifts and the guards would be so tired that some would sleep in the cars at the facility as opposed to driving home and coming back. >> you know that, accounts for perhaps the fact that there were not checking on him as often as they could have done, some of the guards had fallen asleep and they felt bad and they went back
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and falsified the records. it's what mike is talking about that is leading rise to the conspiracy theories. one thing if people are tired and they do their job and another if it's made at a senior level a decision that you leave a prisoner alone and the cell mate was moved the night before. i mean that's what is leading p em to thi people to think this is one coincidence too many. it looks like a decision was made consciously that would put the prisoner in a position that he could do this knowing he already tried to do it. >> he did have a roommate, a cell mate. >> he had a cell mate who was then transferred out. >> president trump is defending his decision to promote an on line conspiracy theory tying the clintons to the death of jeff reepstein. >> he's a very highly respected conspiracy theorist, pundit. he's a big trump fan. that was a retweet. that wasn't from me. that was from him. but he's a man that is half a
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million followers, a lot of followers. and he's respected. do you really think that clinton is involved with jeff rey epstein's death? >> i have noed y b idea. bill clinton who is a very good friend of epstein, he was on the plane 27 or 28 times. so why did he say four times? and then the question you have to ask, did bill clinton go to the island? epstein had an island. that was not a good place as i understand it. i was never there. so you have to ask, did bill clinton go to the island? that's the question. if you find that out, you're going to know a lot. >> so rick tyler, he promoted it once by retweeting it to his 63 million or so followers on twitter and pour gasoline on it yesterday standing there in front of marine one. >> well, just extraordinary. you have this suicide of a
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pedophile, a predator who both bill clinton and donald trump were friends with and bill clinton -- donald trump, the president of the united states, decides that, you know, his friend bill clinton was far worse than he was. see, i just went to a few parties with him. but he, after all, was on the plane 27 times, maybe 26 times, probably 27 times. and went to the island. you know, went to the island. ask him about the island. so it's just clear diversion tactics he think jeffrey epstein hurts him because a lot of pictures going around of them together. and, you know, he wants this to be -- he wants to change the narrative. the story is all about bill clinton. it can't be about him. >> jonathan, he revels in this kind of thing and plays to a certain audience. he likes talking about it. certainly this bizarre parlor game about who killed jeffrey epstein. >> right. some is a distraction. the clinton flight issue is one that we fact checked.
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the president was on jeffrey epstein's plane four times. that's where you get the number of 26 or whatever it may be because of different legs. they said that former president never stepped foot on the private island. this is what the president loves to do. this is not a new phenomenon. he traffics in conspiracy theories. his entire career is built on the back of one suggesting that the first african-american president was ineligible for the position because he was not born here. he thought that ted cruz's father may have killed president kennedy. he suggested that supreme court just scalia may have been murdered. he thinks wind farms cause cancer and global warming is a chinese hoax. what he also does is likes to put it out there but never accepts responsibility. he said time and time again, it's just a retweet. he forgets that his words, the presidency carries weight.
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>> and it always involved, you know, in how great he is. with the retweet, it's from a very well respected guy. he has half a million followers. and he's a big trump fan. >> that's right. >> jonathan, i mean it may be naive to think at this at any point now, is there anyone in the white house not saying to the president, because i don't think they'll say it -- >> let me answer, no. go ahead. >> is anyone thinking this is not grave to be taking on a former president like this? even if they're not saying it to donald trump, are there people who are still thinking, who feel queasy about the president standing up there and going after president clinton in this way? >> i'll defer to willie's answer, no. the guardrails are gone. there is no one in the house or immediate orbit who are going to get in the way of any tweet. they have given up. they feel like that is separate. >> we heard this time and again. i'm thinking about the elijah cummings week where he was tweeting about him.
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and staffers were saying are you going to tell him? this is bad. ultimately, no one tells him. >> the white house functions really as a place where people are trying to constantly decide how to deal with the president. it's not a place where anyone trying to alter the president's behavior. they realize 2 1/2 years into the presidency that is not the way you survive and keep your job. all the aides i'm talking to stress to me if you really want to keep and be successful in the donald trump white house, you have to constantly adjust and being willing to trip over yourself and contradict yourself as soon as the president comes out. >> still ahead on "morning joe," "the washington post" has new analysis on the combustible situation in hong kong. we'll bring in the reporter behind that piece. plus, long time u.s. ambassador wendy sherman joins the conversation. "morning joe" is back in a moment. " is back in a moment johnson & johnson is a baby company.
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thank you. i appreciate it. i think we're looking very good. i think we're look going all over. in ohio, in north carolina, in south carolina, florida, we just got numbers in florida. we're looking fantastically good. you know, sometimes -- and they do, they do, they say donald trump, can you imagine if i got a fair press? i mean we're leading without it. can you imagine if these people treated me fairly? the election would be over. have they ever called off an election before and just said, look, let's go. go on, four more years. and then you want to really drive them crazy go. to #thirdterm, you'll drive them totally crazy. >> montana governor, democratic presidential candidate, the latest hopeful to express frustration that the process for
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selecting who gets on the stage for next month's debate. also taking a shot at hedge fund manager and liberal mega donor tom stier. he tweeted this, he spent nearly $10 million to buy his way on to the debate stage. no matter what the dnc says, money does not vote, p em do. they require them to have 130,000 donors and earning 2% in four different polls to qualify for next month's debate. governor bullock appears unlikely to meet that threshold while steyer who announced yesterday he reached the donor requirement is hikely to qualify. in a statement bullock adds this, the did. in. c donor requirement may have been added with the right intentions but there's no doubt it created a situation which billionaires can buy their way on to the debate stage and campaigns are forced to force millions on digital ads chasing $1 donors. we're kidding ourselves if we're calling a $10 million purchase
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of 130,000 donors a a demonstration of grassroots support. a lot of people saying amen to. that steve bullock from the state of montana, very interesting candidate who won there in a very red state. trump won by 20 points. struggling to get his voice out there. >> well, i understand his frustration. i do agree that democrat won a red state. he problem bably has a better c of winning a general election than to someone that is more left of the party. but i'm not sure what bullock is saying. here's how it works. the reason steyer can buy his way on to the stage he is does get the individual donors. they send out millions and i don't know how many millions of appeals. it's just a numbers game. you're able to get the 130,000 donors. but if you don't have that seed money to get out of the advertising and direct mail, phone solicitation and get the donors, you're not going to make the 130,000. that's the chief complaint.
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but if you take that away, then steyer is left with one qualification which is to get 2% of the polls. i'm not sure he's going to get that either. so i'm not sure, you know, what the net is on that. what's his complaint? take that away? steyer would be in the same position. steyer has to hit one more poll. the irony, of course, mike, is that tom steyer's entire campaign, the rational is to get money out of politics. get corporate interests out of washington and yet, he's able to spend all the money he spent over the years and specifically this year o get into the race. >> yeah. i think what governor bullock is really talking about and he failed to use the word in a statement, i don't know why, is hypocrisy. steyer, i'm sorry, he was on yesterday talking about his principle objective of why he wants to be president and basically, according to my ear, to get corporate america, the innuns ai
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influence and corporate power out of politics. yet, here he is literally spending a ton of money out of his own fortune which was built through his own skill, his own smarts by destroying smaller companies or gobbling up smaller companies with his hedge fund. now he is dumping money out to buy votes really, to get on the stage. he's done it suck us cessfully. >> they did this ruling to democrat si democratize the process. so you've had the unintended consequences of heavily weighting for somebody who has a big social media base like bernie or he liz wedge warren who have that outreach or waiting for someone like steyer to buy small donations which is not what the dnc is intending to do. >> coming up, a big bump on wall street after president trump pulled back temporarily on the trade war with china.
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we'll check in with cnbc on how things are looking on the markets today. that's straight ahead on "morning joe." johnson & johnson is a baby company. but we're also a cancer fighting, hiv controlling, joint replacing, and depression relieving company. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you. from the day you're born ♪ ♪ applebee's handcrafted burgers
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it takes no courage to put on the senate floor a bill that is supported by 90 plus percent of americans. what takes courage is to look a special interest group in the eye and say enough is enough. it is time to act. >> the house judiciary committee is expected to return from recess early to consider new proposals to curb gun violence. congress is not in session this month but democrats as you saw there did hold a press conference yesterday calling on senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to take up house passed legislation on background checks. two people familiar with democrats' plans tell "the washington post" the house judiciary committee will consider proposals to restrict high capacity magazines, institute red flag laws and potentially legislation on hate crimes. joining us now here in new york,
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member of the house homeland security and veterans affairs committee democratic congressman max rose of new york. he's a veteran of the war in afghanistan and the recipient of both the bronze star and the purple heart. congressman, great to see you this morning. >> good to see you again. >> it's great to see you. do you have hope that there is some movement in the wake of el paso and dayton? is there something different here? >> this all depends on mitch mcconnell. as we look at this issue of domestic terrorism, it's a complicated issue. it's going to require increased resources for law enforcement, certainly. dhs has to double down on their focus. we have to make these global white nationalist organizations give them the label of terrorist organizations which will give us enhanced surveillance capabilities. but we can't lose sight of the fact that we are the only nation in the world that is dealing with this problem. domestic white nationalism is something that we're seeing across the globe but this is just happening in america. kids right now have to show
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courage to go to school. people have to show courage to go to their faith-based organizations. mitch mcconnell, though, is being a coward in the halls of congress. and it's absurd and the american people, i believe he's going to suffer the consequences for this when he goes before his own voters in 2020. >> there is some reporting this morning, congressman that, the white house and president trump reached out to people like senator chris murphy of connecticut who is at the forefront of the conversation on guns willing to do something on universal background checks. the president said that time and again. do you believe the president actually wants to do something at least on universal background checks? or is this lip service? >> right now we have no reason to -- we don't see evidence of that. >> right. >> but i'm not going to give up hope, okay? this president, i don't believe, has any inner core beliefs here. so he'll flow with the wind. what i am concerned about though is mitch mcconnell and the fact he is enslaved by the nra, enslaved by the republican base.
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that's really the decisive point here. if mitch mcconnell shows courage for once in his career and he has the ability to save lives, simple as that, i do believe the president will sign legislation. >> so congressman this are a confluence of factors that might lead to the idea that we're going to get something this time around. the nra weakened. they have the own leadership problems and financial issues. the president and his team have been meeting with senators. tomby mentioned as well as murphy as far as we understand. and yet at the same time even the legislation that is under discussion, the president made it absolutely clear, is not going to include anything on assault weapons. until we get to assault weapons, legislation even on background checks isn't going to stop the kinds of attacks that we've been having recently. is that ever going to happen? is that conversation just dead? >> amidst all the mass shootings, we have thousands of people dying in inner city america often from handguns. much of that will be solved by this issue of universal
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background checks because these weapons, we see people dying in brooklyn or flowing from down south up the iron pipeline. but certainly these issues of mass shootings will not be sufficiently addressed without the assault weapon ban. and i fear that this is an issue that will have to be settled at the polls. again, go back to the point that i made earlier. this is a global phenomenon, this issue of white nationalism, issue of extremism. but this is only happening in america. i believe the fact that the weapon that i carried in afghanistan, the weapon that my fellow soldiers carried throughout the global war on terrorism and prior is readily available in america. >> you had weeks of training in order to be given the responsibility for that. >> and beyond the training though, let's think about what an assault weapon is designed to do, what an ar-15 is designed to do. it's designed to quickly shoot rounds and enter the body, do not leave it. they're designed to ricochet aren't body and cause massive harm and have extended ranges
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and the problem of extended magazines. these should not be sold in the united states of america. >> coming up, our next guest says china will not turn hong kong's protest into another tiananmen square, at least not yet. that conversation straight ahead on "morning joe." on "morning joe. hmm. exactly. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ and i don't add trup the years.s.
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♪ welcome back to "morning joe." 8:33. operations at hong kong's international airport appear to be returning somewhat to normal today after two days of anti-government protests brought operations there to a halt. the standoff took a violent turn yesterday as police officers armed with batons and pepper spray clash with demonstrators. joining us now, former undersecretary of state for political affairs and former special adviser to president clinton and policy coordinator on north korea, ambassador wendy sherman. she's an msnbc contributor. also with us, reporter for "the
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washington post" covering former affairs. good morning to you both. ambassador sherman, let me start with you, you know the region so well. spent so much time in asia. what are we seeing? what's different today than say a couple weeks ago and where is this headed with the chinese government using the table of terrorism to talk about the protesters? >> the chinese government is playing a very sophisticated game. they're putting out disnfction about t disinformation about the protesters, they're calling them terrorists. they're hoping they make mistakes and the press reports this morning that the protesters are apologizing for the violence, for travelers not being able to get where they need to get. and so i think we're still on a hair's breath of the potential of china taking a more aggressive action. they've got the 70th anniversary of the people's republic of
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china coming up in october. the election is in january. so they need to look like they are maintaining control. it's quite critical for xi. he sees this as an internal matter. and will bu a a a andwe could speak out with the moral authority that world has always depended on if the united states when it comes to human rights, dignity, freedom, and liberty. >> and the president calling this the hong kong thing saying we'll see what happens and hopes it works out for everybody. this is a clash between an open society and hong kong of western democracy and china which is neither of those things. what in the simplest of terms are the protesters fighting for right now? >> well, you just said it. i mean, the protests began in early june over majrparticularl
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bill that is widely pro beijing. it was considering. the extradition bill. but even after the government stalled that legislation, the protests have maintained momentum. they want greater democratic reforms. they want to defend what they see as their civil liberties being eroded by the chinese state. and they also at this point have weeks of clashes with the police want to see a degree of accountability from the hong kong police forces. so there's a whole cascading series of demands and incentives and it's really been maintained. the momentum is really maintained by the weekly noblization mobilizations. they feel they've been attacked unfairly by the police. we're getting closer to a tipping point. >> ambassador sherman, it seems it's more than now than the hong kong thing as the president eluded to. this is also in the pacific rim, all the way around the pacific
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rim the cashmere thikashmir thi military involvement in hong kong eventually if this thing escalates any more. do you see evidence that the united states state department is playing any functional role in what is going on in this region as opposed to what may have been the state department's obligation several years ago? >> well, mike, i think as you know the state department has really been emptied out of the senior foreign service officers. we don't still have a lot of ambassadors in key countries around the world. the president has basically turned over the world to the individual autocrats of the countries. we're not dealing with kashmir where the prime minister tried to impose a hindu kashmir on a
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minority muslim population. we haven't seen the united states help japan in south korea men mend a very painful relationship, the worst i've seen in years when i was there a couple months ago. we haven't seen the united states do anything except the president of the united states say he's in love with the dictator of north korea to step aside from all of these issues and really just look at transaction and commercial costs. the president has his eye on the stock market and not much else. >> so rick tyler used to be an article faith an american president would stand before the cameras as president trump did yesterday and take the side of democratic protesters, those fighting for an open society. and yet he says we'll see what happens. and he says i hope it works out for everybody including china. he said. >> well, willie, what's been
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referred to over and over again is trump's lack of leadership in the world and the lack of the presence of the state department or diplomatic solutions. i want to ask the reporter what is it the protesters would want at this point? what kind of concessions would they get in order to essentially end the protest? what is it they're asking for now? >> well, i think this is the issue and you have a large -- a largely leaderless protest movement. you ask different protesters, they want different things. and i think a major concession or major concession would be the full withdraw of this bill they've been protesting for months. some also want to see the hong kong leader resign. but others really want to see a much, much more systemic and sweepi sweeping set of reforms that they probably won't get from the hong kong government. so they're engaging in this kind
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of escalation every week on the streets in part to really force china's hand, perhaps. and that's at least the most hard core radical segments of the protest movement. >> ambassador, jonathan lamere. you touched on it. the backdrop of the president's involvement or lack of involvement is the negotiations on the trade deal. the other part is looking for china's help or at least for china not to hinder on going talks. i want to get the sense of play there. the president ignored what is now several missile tests by north korea in recent months, even a couple since donald trump visited kim jong-un at the dmc. and he is bending over backwards to give him the benefit of the doubt and citing the letters he sent. what is your take on where things could go next? >> it's quite extraordinary, jonathan. i think the president thinks this is all about his meeting
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kim jong-un and getting to a deal. i suspect there will be another summit in the not too distant future. at the same time, the president's special envoy, steve began is talked about to replace john huntsman as the ambassador to russia. i think the president is willing to do that. not only because he does know moscow, served there, speaks the russian language, undergraduate there. but the president really doesn't think he needs a team, doesn't need a strategy. it's all about him. and it's quite extraordinary because what he's basically saying over these missile tests is i'm only worried about these missiles if they can reach the united states. not if they can reach japan and south korea which they certainly can. and in that way, he's further dissing our allies and partners, vet peop the very people we need to find a solution to the north korea dilemma which is a very difficult one zbrch.
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>> this is your piece. what would push it to a tiananmen square in your estimation? >> you know, trying to define the intentions and decision making processes of the chinese political leadership is like staring into a black box. the expert consensus is they understand that the political costs, domestically and internationally, of sending in chinese forces from the area to hong kong would be too great. and on a certain level, there is assumption that the hong kong protesters understand that. so they're kind of calling beijing's bluff a bit with increasingly provocative protests. what may tip the scales, we don't know. but indeed the scenes of violence are really worrying and the hong kong protesters themselves have apologized for them because they understand how bad the optics are and how dangerous enflaming national sentment on the mainland may be for the hong kong cause. >> all right. thank you very much. ambassador wendy sherman, thank
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you as well. the piece is up now in the "washington post." good to see you both. united states markets are set to suffer heavy losses in an hour. that comes after stocks got a big boost yesterday on president trump's unexpected decision to delay tariffs on a number of chinese goods. dominick chu joins us with more. >> what we're seeing is the losses accelerate because of what is happening with regard to interest rates and bonds. and the headline this morning for many people on wall street is this notion that it will now cost more money to borrow for a shorter period of time than it does for longer term borrowing. that's something called the yield curve inversion. and the reason why people care on wall street and on main street as well is because over the course of the past few decades, it has been a fairly reliable indicator that an economic down turn is approaching. the variable here though, no the to sound alarmist, the variable here is how long it actually takes for a recession to
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actually materialize when conditions like this in the interest rate market actually happen. sometimes it happens within a year. sometimes it takes up to two years for it to happen. but the reason why there is so much selling pressure today is because of that. it now almost erases everything that we would have gotten yesterday from those tariffs being lifted and delayed until december. so there's a very strange dynamic happening in the marketplace in that we don't exactly know whether or not this interest rate story is going to play out in terms of the market down turn or an economic recession. and that's the reason why there is so much uncertainty. >> in the political world, most people view the tariffs as a negotiating tool for president trump to throw out there as a threat to use as leverage to get a trade deal. how are they viewed in the business world? do people believe these will be implemented and have the impact on the economy that most people believe they would? >> so there is a debate about that right now. the reason why is because whether or not you do see any kind of an impact on the consumer, that's where it's really going to hit hard.
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and that's the reason why president trump did say that he took this pro active measure to put some of the tariffs off until december. the christmas shopping season. the reason why ceos are more fearful about this is because they do in fact say that they bear the brunt of some of the tariffs. and we do hear them say it for the record on many of their public statements or earnings conference calls where they tell the investing public about the state of their business. the real issue right now is whether or not they'll have a long term impact on sentiment, whether or not the tariff issue is just going to create even more uncertainty and whether or not that uncertainty translates possibly into less hiring, less investment and property, plant and equipment and all of those things are reasons why you're seeing interest rates fall the way that they are because people want to seat safety of government debt in the u.s. that is one thing to watch for sure. >> the president saying he's putting off the tariffs "just in case they might have an impact on people."
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cnbc's dominick chu, thank you. a new documentary looks inside a christian organization that has strong ties to both foreign and american political leaders. what the family reveals next on "morning joe." okay, paint a picture for me. uh, well, this will be the kitchen. and we'd like to put a fire pit out there, and a dock with a boat, maybe. why haven't you started building? well, tyler's off to college... and mom's getting older... and eventually we would like to retire. yeah, it's a lot. but td ameritrade can help you build a plan for today and tomorrow. great. can you help us pour the foundation too? i think you want a house near the lake, not in it. come with a goal. leave with a plan. td ameritrade. ♪ at to cover the essentialsyou have in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do.
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they accuse me of betraying their trust. and fundamental way, i did. they want to be a secret invisible organization and i wrote two books about them. organization. i wrote two books about them. but this book sinisn't just abo my experience. >> it took a long time before i realized who the family was and the influence they have had in the leadership of our country. >> this was a group with tentacles around the world, meeting with presidents, foreign leaders to spread their view of jesus throughout the world. that's a look at the new five-part documentary series on netflix called "the family." it highlights a largely unknown faith-based organization in washington called the fellowship. we sat down with the director of the series, jesse moss, as well as jeff charlotte. jeff is the author of the book that inspired the new series, also a former member of the
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family. we asked jeff to explain this mysterious group and the power it holds in this country. >> "the family" or the fellowship that's known is the largest and most secretive christian organization in washington founded back in the 1930s with a message that the idea of christianity getting it wrong by focusing on the poor, the suffering, the down and out, that god wanted them to be missionaries of what they call the up and out. that's who they minister. >> so it's a religious organization, say again, that wants to turn away from helping the poor? >> they believe that you help the poor by helping the powerful. more power for the powerful, and it's sort of a trickle down fundamentalist. the idea is that god has chosen the wealthy elites and put them in their place, so that's where the mission field is. >> and you were a member of the family? >> i was, years ago, working on
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a book about the varieties of religious experience in the united states, traveling around, and a friend asked me could i meet with her brother who sort of dropped out of his life to join this thing. he joined me. that's the only way you join, you get invited. since i was writing about this thing, i got involved before i even knew what it was and very quickly saw the political weight of the movement and knew there was a bigger thing. >> how did they function? >> there's one public event. the family believes in sort of secrecy. the more invisible you can make the organization, the leader says, the more influence you'll have. they considered registering as a lobbying group and decided not to because it works better for them if they don't. they ev they have one public event called the prayer breakfast. every president since eisenhower has gone. it's a sort of ecumenical event,
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but behind the scenes they refer to it as a recruiting device where they can, in their words, meet jesus man to man. >> jesse, let me ask you about the series. i assume it highlights the organization and some of the members involved and the influence that they wield. can you walk us through a little bit. what exactly does that mean? is it through the political spectrum, is it across business, is it wall street, and who are some of the names with this organization? >> before reading jeff's book, i wasn't aware of the organization, and i wanted to know if this group jeff had written about was still relevant today and would they talk to me. this was a two-year journey. some members agreed to talk to me, a former member who was in charge of the national prayer breakfast finally did agree to sit down. we looked at their work
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overseas. congressman robert aberhult whose travel was paid for by the fellowship, travel to rumania. following these people wherever they led us. >> jeff, very quickly i can't help but notice that you refer to the men, men, men. how many women are part of the fellowship? >> the inner core of the family, and that's the term they use, they have a very unorthodox formality. this is not the christian group most people would recognize. the core believes in the common group as male headship as jesus is to the church, a man is to his family the ultimate authority. when i was living with them, there was a group of young men being groomed for leadership and there was a group of young women being groomed to serve them, essentially. and yet they will work with powerful women. the long-time leader of the group says we work with power where we can, build new power
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where we can't. but, no, this is not a gender terms aggressive organization. >> jeff, tell me about jeff coe, sort of the secret leader, passed away a couple years ago. didn't seek out the media, didn't want the spotlight at all. in fact, president reagan said of him in 1985, i wish i could say more about it, but it's working precisely because it's private, of the family. who was doug? >> doug was the second leader of the organization and inheriting that leadership foundation led the leadership close to 50 years, a man of quiet charisma and worldwide influence. you hear presidents give testimony to him at the national prayer breakfast. over the years many presidents, but you never saw him on stage. he was always behind the scenes quietly wielding his influence and spreading his message, his particular world view. one of the things that was most
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fascinating was looking into the documents, the history of the organization, which were publicly accessible and reading about doug coe's strategy, how he took the group underground, made it very secretive very intentionally. in stark contrast to many religious leaders, certainly on the christian rite, who we know very publicly doug coe was never public. in fact, his strength and influence was because he was so private. >> what's the relationship, as far as we can tell, between the family and president trump? >> well, i did attend the national prayer breakfast in 2018. of course, president trump attended, as has every president since eisenhower. i think that what we see is a relationship between the organization and members of his administration. of course, it's the most christian conservative administration we've had in decades, and i think that was one of the motivating questions for me in undertaking this project was explaining or
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understanding how the religious rite could embrace a president who is seemingly so unpious. what in the relationship that ship has talked about how someone like donald trump is not held accountable for his personal conduct and his presidential conduct when we think it's immoral. i think in the family theology and its history, its embrace of strong men through the 20th century, i think we come to some understanding of what that relationship is and how transactional it can be. is it really about power or is it about faith? >> the series is called "the family." it's streaming right now on netflix. jesse moss, jeff sharlet, thank you very much. appreciate it. > >> they released the following statement. though the netflix series mischaracterizes the work of the fellowship and attempts to portray people of faith in a bad
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light, we are encouraged by how often viewers are introduced to the person and principles of jesus which are at the core of our mission and message. perhaps they will also better understand the integrity and trans formational impact of this informal network to encourage everyone in a spirit of friendship and rec object sill yags to love god with all their heart, soul and mind, and to love their neighbor as themselves. we have time for final thoughts. rick, i'll start with you. >> 20,000 truckers have lost their jobs this year. the president has accepted no negotiated trade deals except for south korea which is very small, and we're due for an economic downturn, and i don't see how the president is going to avoid one going into 2020. this is going to be a rough ride, i think, coming up. >> tariffs and the trade war still up in the air. mike barnicle, final thoughts. >> it was nice to hear a
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candidate for president of the united states, mike bennet from colorado, urging more candidates to go to the heartland of this country, to stand up in states where they mayor m or may not g 30% of the sflovote in any elec and speak truth of what candidates want to do taking this country into the future, taking your children into the future, on global warming, on public education, health care, things like that. it was heartening to hear him stand up and say that. >> that was a very good pitch, but he likely won't make it in september. it does now look like more than ten candidates will make the stage, and then it will be two stages. even then, the democratic debate will be split in two nights, which i don't think the democratic party really want, and it will showcase for the
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viewe viewers. >> even if we lose the vote, the country knows where both sides stand on the issue of gun reform. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. hi, steph. >> hi, willie. it's wednesday, august 14, 2019. new reporting that at least one candidate is in talks to drop their presidential bid for a potential senate run, looking to flip a hotly contested seat blue as another candidate is on the verge of missing next month's debate. and she'll be joining me in just a few minutes, detailing how she will make the stage and what will happen if she doesn't. but one thing that does not seem to be fading is the issue of gun safety. with a former frontrunner rebooting his campaign this morning, and that is going to be his central issue. i must start with

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