tv Deadline White House MSNBC August 17, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
them because of your disagreements is a new low in global diplomacy and global politics. is there any kind of regard and respect for the will of voters in this country, and shouldn't those that they elect be respected wherever they go in the world? mr. president, you hang out with dictators, but we are not going to let you behave like one. and we certainly are not going to let you export your politics to other heads of state. that does it for me. thank you for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern. up next "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace. th nicollee hi, everyone. it's new york in public and in private. donald trump is reportedly shaken by the prospect of an economic downturn, having pinned all of his hopes for re-election
on the strength of the economy. he also woke up to ominous poll numbers from his most favorite network, fox news, that show him losing to all of the top democratic candidates for president in 2020. here are those numbers. biden beats donald trump 50 to 38. bernie sanders 48 to 39. elizabeth warren 46 to 39. and senator kamala harris 45 to 39. and on that topic are the president's political vulnerability, "the washington post" reports mounting signs of global economic distress this week have alarmed president trump who's worried that it downturned could imperil his re-election, even as the administration officials have acknowledged that they have not planned for a possible recession. "the new york times" adds this. quote, in private he's expressed his own anxiety about the economy taking a dive knowing that his electoral fortunes are likely tied to it, even as he vents frustration that his opponents are overstating the
troubles. as the president's anxiety meter surges, his rally performance and other points of pride has also taken a hit. "the new york times" describes last night's rally like this. quote, his speech was at times a greatest hits album of favorite lines replaying the 2016 campaign against hillary clinton. we should note she's not running this time, and bashing the news media, democrats and america's allies in europe. typically rambling during on and off script seemingly at random over an hour and a half. he repeated points he had already made earlier in the evening as if he did not remember already making them. at one point he veered so off script he attacked a supporter for being overweight. >> that guy's got a serious weight problem. go home, start exercising. [ laughter ] get him out of here, please.
got a bigger problem than i do. got a bigger problem than all of us. now he goes home and his mom says what the hell have you just done. >> that is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. from the washington post white house bureau chief phil rucker. and axios political reporter alexia mchammond. and former communications director for the rnc tim miller. plus, former u.s. attorney joyce vance is back and the reverend al sharpton, and president of the national action network. phil rucker, let me start with you. what about last night? >> well, nicole, it was a return to the campaign trail for president trump, it was indeed a rambling speech that went on for more than an hour. he veered across so many topics. but i found most interesting what he had to say about the economy, which was basically you've got to vote for me
because the economy is strong right now. but privately our reporting has been that he's quite alarmed and rattled about some of these negative indicators that we've seen this week and over the past couple of weeks as well is what's happening abroad with some of these foreign countries, foreign economies. and trump is calling out to ceos to friends to some of his real estate buddies trying to take their temperature and also voicing skepticism about some of the data that he's seeing saying that some of these statistics are not to be believed because they're cooked up by economists who have an anti-trump bias. so we'll see how this plays out but it's not a particularly good sign i think for some of his advisers. >> and because it's donald trump, phil rucker, he attacked a man who turned out to be one of his own supporters. i don't know that there are many schools in america where you could bully somebody like that and not get suspended. >> yeah. that probably calls for a time-out in a lot of preschools
in america. the white house officials this morning were saying that president trump actually called that supporter from aboard air force one last night on his way back here to new jersey. he did not apologize according to the white house, he's not somebody who ever really apologies but he did convey to this supporter that he didn't mean to offend him and that he thanks him for his support. >> joyce, let's go there because "the new york times" did. i read this in the open but i'll read it again. the speech, as phil rucker said, typically rambling seemingly at random over an nour and a half. he repeated points he had already made earlier in the evening as if he did not remember already making them. and i've been on jury duty so let me that into evidence alongside a couple of other things. david brooks reported in 2017 that a bunch of republicans came out of a meeting where donald trump displayed some signs that were similar to the early stages
of alzheimer's. you've got reporting i think from phil's newspaper from axios and other places that in and out of the room people either disparagingly or affectionately are saying at an increased clip he's crazy. >> you know, there's pervasive reporting in this regard. if it was grandpa, you would probably take him to see a neurologist or someone who specialized in geriatric medicine. that hasn't happened here. >> that we know of. >> but the remedy is the 25th amendment. that requires an intact cabinet which trump does not have whether by design or by accident. most of the cabinet is acting. we don't know what the mix would look like in a vote. there is no will to take that on in any event. >> so there's no will to fill a cabinet with the kind of appointees that would have that power. i would positivit that there's not a lot of will to have that conversation, but when it shows up in the print of the "new york
times," it's impossible for me to ignore it. >> you've got the white house beat reporters including in their story about the rally as if the man didn't know he had already made those points. >> when you look at the fact that grandpa is not sitting at home reading the paper but he's on the front page of the paper and that grandpa is the football with the nuclear bomb mechanisms near him, this is frightening. you are talking about a man yesterday that at one point his speech was attacking hillary clinton which was two and a half years ago, kept repeating himself. attacks an overweight supporter of his that he didn't know was there supporting him. we've been hearing over and over again that he's losing it. and i think what is driving this even more, nicole, is that with the economy appearing to be headed at least downward, if not a recession, what you have in england and other problems in europe, it drives them into
whatever further area he is cloudy mentally. he is becoming desperate because the race card he used the last couple of weeks is not working because you can't tell farmers that are sitting there with soy beans and others in your base that you caused these trade wars and rumors. you can't tell them they got it or it's their fault but so long before they start saying but you told me you would improve my life, and it's not improved. where is the infrastructure bill? where are the things he promised his own supporters? forget about us. he told us that he wasn't going to do anythingin terms of those. but the infrastructure bills, the farmers, the coal miners. he promised all of that and he can't blame that on blacks and mexicans because we don't have any of those jobs. >> part of the reason we're not hearing about infrastructure or an economic plan for a potential recession and we're hearing about hillary clinton and an overweight man in the crowd, elizabeth warren who he called pocahontas is because it's so much easier for someone like
donald trump to run against an enemy of any sort that he can identify and sort of make a caricature of themselves and drag them through the mud than it is for him to run against himself, which is on a lack of a plan on health care, on infrastructure, on social security, a lack of a plan to deal with an economic recession. so instead of getting up there and touting what he claims is a booming national economy, he can't do that. he can't run against himself or on all of his accomplishments. so instead he targets anyone he can to make an opponent to turn his base against that person. >> phil rucker talked about his own skepticism, the president's skepticism about economic data. let me read you something that "the washington post" writes on the topic of fake stats. when obama was president, the official economic statistics were good. trump said they were fake. when trump became president and inherited the exact same stats, suddenly they were real. now that they're turning south they are fake again. my question for you is is he
putting too much faith in what he's already programmed his voters to do, which is to not believe their eyes and not believe their eyes, to only believe him? or will the numbers not lie if people start to feel it? >> he has no other option but to do it. it's a lie to gaslight and to lie and to tell his voters not to listen to the experts, to tell his advisers not to listen to the experts. this has been in his mind the way that he became president in the first place. you know all the experts told him not to run. all the experts said he wasn't going to win. now here he is, here he's in the white house and these same nerds, weenies whatever he called them are -- [ laughter ] seriously. >> i won't take that personally as a former staffer. >> so, you know, look. i think that what he is going to do to go forward all the way up until november of next year, he says you can either believe me or he's going to say the economy is great no matter how bad it
gets. >> phil rucker, your reporting on the president's angst about the economy is so great. i just have heard anecdotally that the president's calculation on 2020 is that he's in decent shape if and only the economy holds up. is there any indication that -- and i'm not sure how he turns any harder into and you and your colleagues have a great piece this week about paper straws and other cultural issues. but that seems -- the three legs of his stool are sort of one, the magic he creates in the room, two, the cultural issues you all wrote about this week, plastic straws, attacks on the squad, and then the third which you report on today, the economy holding up. is there any inkling or any talk of anything else for this president to cling to? >> that's about it right now, nicole. i mean, the one hope that trump has is that he could have a huge foreign policy breakthrough
potentially between now and the election. -- >> well, that's scary. >> he's obviously exercised on north korea, wants that sort of a deal with kim jong-un. and potentially if there's some breakthrough that we can't imagine happening today if that were to occur, that could change the dynamic, similarly if there were some sort of war or national security threat to the homeland that he was responding to, that could change the political calculus. but right now the trump advisers are thinking about the economy, they are thinking about these cultural issues. that's really the only cards that they have to play. and it's pretty dangerous and risky because, unlike in 2012, when barack obama was running for re-election in a down economy, obama had so much sort of popular good will among the american people. people wanted him to succeed that it helped prevent mit romomy from winning that election. but that sort of good will does not exist at least according to the polling we see with donald trump. >> so phil just perfectly framed my next question for all of you. all he's got is stoking racial
animus in this country, spinning or lying as you said about the strength of the economy, which is still good but not as good as he says it is. and we've got these flashing yellow lights on the foreign policy front as well. if you look at the polls that we put up at the beginning from fox news, no less. and i think if you go down farther than the top four, he's still in a very, very tight race. i guess my question, the predictions i'm looking for are is he scarier when he feels like he escaped a bad fate like being exonerated from mueller, or is he scary when he's politically weak and desperate? >> i think he's plenty scary right now. democrats should not like at those polls and breathe any kind of a sigh of relief because there are structural issues built into the election. there's gerrymandering, there's voter suppression. and unless democrats stay on that down until november of 2020, trump could pull this off. he will be dangerous like a wounded animal.
>> and there is no boundaries to what he will do because you're talking about a man that is not only looking to stay in the white house. he's also looking to stay out of jail or at least the courthouse. so he's going to swing with everything he has. and i think that for the democrats to in any way relax thinking we've got this in the bag or that we should not come up with the best candidate will play right into his hands. but he's going to have a hard time, even with a breakthrough with a foreign situation to convince people that he did what he said. he didn't promise those farmers or the people in appalachia or people in pennsylvania that he's going to bring kim jong-un to the table. but if the democrats cannot articulate that and drive that message home, he will get away with it. a lot of that is going to be do the democrats understand what they need to do because if anybody can beat themselves, the democrats have shown they can do that. >> republicans did a pretty good
job beating themselves when they ran against donald trump. and you worked for jeb bush, just about everything he predicted about donald trump came through. the chaos president, you know, that he's a liar, that he debased the office. i watched some old footage of jeb that brian williams played this week. and everything he warned about has come to pass. what's your advice to democrats as these polls look promising, but i agree with joyce and the rev about the dynamics. >> i think that what the democrats need to do is just zero in on the economy, on the economic attacks on him, on the way that he's left people behind. like you said, rev, we get caught up in all these scandals of the day. and i'm not saying they should hide from them, but they need to focus on the people that donald trump has left behind, the promises that he made to them. his whole campaign is promises made, promises kept. his promises were mexico is going to pay for the wall,
hillary is going to be in jail and that he was going to drain the swamp. he hasn't followed up on any of those. you know, the manufacturing base of this country hasn't come back. so i think alexi said earlier what is his card? his card is going to be to divide and attack and be as nasty and devicive as possible coming from the right and the left against the democrats. and the only way to defeat him is going to be to go right back at him. >> i've got two questions for you. but just first pick up -- just from all that you see in your focus groups. this message about the economy that i hear increasingly from democrats on the campaign trail, from democrats around this table, that does represent both an opportunity for democrats and a vulnerability for trump even with the swing voters you talked to, right? >> that's exactly right. because these swing voters whether it's in pennsylvania, iowa, ohio, wisconsin, and michigan, these are folks who voted for obama twice and then switched to donald trump, they can so easily regurgitate these
headlines, black unemployment rates are so low. but then we flip it on them and we're saying do you feel that personally, do you see that in your two to three jobs that you're stringing together so you can afford childcare? and they say no. and that's an opportunity for the democrats to say you might think that the economy is moving in the right direction. but if it's not reflected in your paycheck, you should think about that twice and three times when you're going to the voting box on election day november 2020. and i think that is just what's really fascinating when we're hearing these economic stats from donald trump, people's wages are not going up. and it's heartbreaking to hear from people who say i make $18 an hour and that's only so that i can get government assistance to pay for my childcare because otherwise i couldn't get childcare for my kids. donald trump's not talking about that. >> and it's such a good point in terms of the time he's had to speak to their concerns. i spent a lot of times with these two-time obama voters who boated for trump. and in the first six months
their jobs hadn't come back, of course. but they were willing to give him time. i guess what you're seeing is that there is this open question now about whether he's had enough time. i want to put one more thing to you from this fox news poll. voters who have a negative view of both biden and trump back biden by a 43 to 10% margin. so they don't like either and we heard a lot of this in 2016. in the biden/trump case, 43 to 10% favor biden. many would vote for somebody else or wouldn't vote for somebody else. some are undecided. that's another, i think, flashing yellow in these polls. >> specific after the 2016 election in which folks who didn't like both hillary and trump, he won them by 17 percentage points nationally i think. and in those crucial battleground states that really afforded him his electoral college victory, i mean, that is definitely something he should be worried about. and there is something else in that poll that aaron blake in the washington post wrote about that and the folks who actually
support him. the people who approve of his job. it might be 4 to 5 percentage point, but that is still something he has to think about when he's playing and claiming to this base who is mostly white aren't totally sold on voting for him again after they took a chance on him in 2016. >> he's been president, but he said he was going to go after the prescription drug companies and the banks. he hasn't done any of that. and so i think a lot of those voters who flip to obama, those are issues that resonate that kind of get lost. >> and now there are socialist issues according to trump. >> you have to remember when we talk about obama had a bad economy, he had inherited a bad economy. and people were saying, well, he had to fix it. this man inherited a good economy and has not delivered. >> right. >> so he's like a dentist giving you novocaine. but when the novocaine wears off, you've got a big political
toothache. and people are hurting. the novocaine is wearing off and you can't get another shot in my jaw, mr. trump. where's my job. >> phil rucker, i want to give you the last word. and i want to get your insights and your reporting and your analysis on how trump reads these polls. we all know who he reads, coverage that's true that people close to him are sourced on, calls it fake news, and the true word, the louder the squeal from the oval office. what's your read on any of the polls? kellyanne conway is a pollster. the obviously she can tell a good poll from a bad poll. are the fox polls being dismissed as fake news? >> reporter: well, publicly, nicole, it's a pretty simple way to think about it. if the poll shows trump winning, it's a good poll, an actual poll. if it shows him losing it's a totally fake disgusting biased poll. but the people in the white house, kellyanne conway especially but others as well know how to read polls. they know that this data is not
great for the president. but they think they still have a chance in part because they view the democratic field as somewhat weak. but just one point on this conversation we were just having. i kept thinking about a phrase trump used in the campaign. and it was i alone can fix it. and it seems like the real danger for him is that a majority of americans conclude that he couldn't fix it, that him sort of pitching himself as this genius who could fix everything that ailed or society and our country and our economy, he's more of a fraud. that's what a lot of democratic voters have already concluded. it's a question of whether or not his supporters do. >> all right. thank you for that, phil rucker and for starting us off. after the break the best possible spin on donald trump's haphazard approach to foreign policy was the mad man strategy. but what happens when that stops working? also ahead, while republicans are not exactly fleeing donald trump, they are starting to turn on him at a faster clip. we'll go inside the latest gop
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next new we must as a nation be more unpredictable. we are totally predictable. we tell everything. we're sending troops we tell them. we're sending something else, we have a news conference. we have to be unpredictable. and we have to be unpredictable starting now. >> well, he kept that promise. donald trump has upended nearly every foreign policy tradition. just take this week, for example. he involved an ally in a partisan fight against two of his perceived political enemies in congress. he's defying his aides were pushing him to take a more forceful stance in support of the protesters.
the pro-democracy protesters in hong kong. "the times" notes his, quote, cautious distance from hong kong's pro-democracy movement has left him politically isolated from both parties in congress, the state department, european allies, and his most hawkish advisers at the white house. and of if those two stories weren't enough, trump showed interest in purchasing greenland to which the island's government said no thanks. north korea just launched two new missiles and rejected the idea of talks with south korea. and today trump is meeting with his secretary of state to discuss, among other things, the withdrawal of troops from afghanistan. what a week for the world. phil rucker is still here, and the rest of the table is too. phil ricker, let me start with you. and just to pick up the thread about the three legs of his re-election strategy, the only thing that strengthens his political foundation is the prospect of an unforeseen foreign policy victory that
somehow showcases either some strength, some steadiness, some steeliness or stability. if you read through those headlines, i don't think anything thinks they'll do that for him. >> no. and let's be clear, nicole. >> no, i know, i know. no, no. [ laughter ] it's how you respond. i get it. >> yeah. this stuff is always volatile and can change. so, you know, something could happen months down the road that we don't see. but, you know, if you just zero in on the hong kong protest, that is just so stunning that the president has not come out the way john bolton has to stand behind these pro-democracy protesters. i mean, that has been the historical role of the american leader in modern times to defend democracy around the world to defend those values. and he's not doing it. but it's in keeping with what trump has done at other moments in his presidency, most especially i think the press conference in helsinki alongside
vladimir putin where he stood with him and, you know, it took support of what vladimir putin said about russian interference in the election, his denial, rather. >> and phil rucker, i was not suggesting you were suggesting that those were strengths. but it still remains, and every american should hope that in a crisis our president would do well, and would succeed, and those are the things you can't predict and voters process them in realtime the way we all cover them in realtime. but i want to follow up with you in hong kong. the reporting on this story has been so interesting in that even -- this is where figures like mike pom pepo or john bolton or people have been around as you said through normal times when any american president just stands with pro-democracy forces inside any country's sort of civil unrest or civil tension. it really is unprecedented for the american president to be so mum. >> reporter: yeah. and part of the reason, nicole,
is there is these ongoing trade negotiations with china, which have become increasingly acrimonious. but trump is hopeful of some sort of a breakthrough with president xi in china. and so i think is reluctant to -- i know he's reluctant to criticize xi or to get in the middle of this. and when he's been pressed about the protests in hong kong, he just says, you know, very sort of bland both way statements like i hope nobody gets hurt or i hope nobody gets killed. i hope it'll all be okay. but he's been reluctant to stand up and speak forward. and he almost acts like he doesn't really know what's going on, like he's not watching it. it's been all over cable news this week. but it's the one issue in cable news that he's not been tweeting about or talking about. >> maybe that's when he takes a bathroom break or something. this idea though in one of the reports you said and phil implied that he's isolated from pompeo, isolated from bolton, isolated from republicans on the hill, i kind of wonder really? are we sure about that?
there sure isn't a lot of courage and bravery from republicans on the hill or within this administration standing up to him and saying that we should be standing with people fighting for democracy, not the oppressor. i don't remember any of our old colleagues or friends. i haven't seen any of them on twitter criticizing the president. to me you get some statements from a few senators on the hill, but none of them mention the person in the white house who's the one that's leaving these folks hang out to dry while they are waving the american flag and the president isn't doing anything to give them support. >> i take your point. i think the only distinction is that it's been reported, but you're right, there is no public-facing support from any republican elected official condemning trump's response and saying he's wrong, we're with you pro-democracy protesters, you're right. >> i think we also must be clear, we're talking about the president that was not at all adverse to sitting with putin acting like russian interference i believe him over the
intelligence. talking about him supporting pro-democracy in hong kong. how about supporting it in north carolina or in texas? i mean, you're talking about a president that formed a panel to deal with voter fraud that never existed. and there is no explanation and we are dealing with voter suppression in georgia and all over this country. i would have been happy if he stood up for democracy in the united states and then we can show him hong kong on the map. >> look, i take all of your points. and perhaps i didn't frame this for the truth-tellers of this day appropriately. i mean, i think the conversation that you're having is the right one. but there is another layer to this, which is it used to be when america, what is it when america sneezes the world catches a cold. i mean, there is a long tale to not just the president but the republican silence. there is a lot of signal sent around the world. i worked for george w. bush and john mccain. both men plenty polarizing and
flawed, but there was no pro-democracy force in any country that had any question about where either of those men stood when they went to fight for more democratic -- and that goes to some of the most contentious places in the middle east. so to pick up on the rev's point and tim's which were better than mine, joyce, where does this leave us in terms of the president polling bb netanyahu, the protesters being left hung out to dry in hong kong? what is sort of the new state of america's role in the world? >> you know, it should be clear to everyone that this president does not care about democracy. democracy is not important to him. that oath he took to uphold the constitution was false. he sort of like a savant who's focused only on dealmaking but without the good part of being a savant. all he cares about is can i get a deal in north carolina -- or north korea. [ laughter ] can i make these --
>> can i build condos up there on the coastal communities. >> that beautiful shot we are all seeing of greenland. but it has been devastating to watch what he has done in this country. the impact of not being willing to stand up for democracy on an international footing will devastate the world. >> and let's not forget his america first schtick. and he policy scores. he does that when he pushes his own members of congress by putting netanyahu's hand by not letting them enter israel. now he wants to settle this personal score with china and president xi with trade and tariffs and he's doing what he can to maintain a positive relationship with china by not interfering in what's going on with the pro-democracy protests in hong kong. it's all about settling personal scores and putting america first. but putting america first is putting himself first.
>> and i still take your point that it hasn't been anything close to what it would normally be whether it were barack obama or clinton or donald trump. but let me ask you what the political case is that democrats can take to the country knowing full well that isn't always a top of mind issue for voters. >> if mccain was still alive and was president, lindsay dram and them would be on the ground waving the flag. so the one tweet i'm not really sold october but politically i agree. this is a beltway issue. this is an issue among el yeates. i think the place where it can become a little bit of a threat to trump is erratic nature fa there are actual damages that people are feeling here because of erratic actions, that can be happening right now in china as people see the market go up and down.
so i think people when there's an impact of them, man, four more years of this guy, can i trust him on foreign policy? i think there's a certain category of republicans who don't like trump who are on the fence about what to do who have tended to come home that if things get bad he could lose them. i think that would be the one area where there is some political possibility. >> so to wrap into a lack of leadership, lack of stabl, lack of promises kept. but don't listen to us. [ laughter ] phil rucker, thank you for spending some time with us. we're always grateful to have you. after the break, buyer's remorse. e, every time. our 18 year old was in an accident. usaa took care of her car rental, and getting her car towed. all i had to take care of was making sure that my daughter was ok. if i met another veteran, and they were with another insurance company, i would tell them, you need to join usaa because they have better rates, and better service. we're the gomez family...
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let's go to nbc investigative reporter tom winter for the details. tom, what are you learning? >> reporter: yes, nicole. so two senior law enforcement officials familiar with the matter tell myself and my colleague that the medical examiner in new york city has determined that jeffrey epstein's cause of death is suicide by hanging. this was what was presumed all along, what officials initially believed when they found jeffrey epstein dead in his cell nearly a week ago on saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. they found him or just after 6:30 a.m. they found him unresponsive. the me conducted the autopsy on sunday the following day. and then said that they needed a little bit more time and a little bit more information to determine the cause of death. but now we know that it's suicide by hanging. and this kind of ends this portion of the investigation. now, of course there is still ongoing investigations on several fronts, nicole. one is the fbi investigation into the death to see if there is any sort of criminality you've got the inspector general that's going to look into the mcc, the facility to see what
policies were followed or not followed in this particular case. and then on top of that you have the ongoing investigation into the conspiracy for which jeffrey epstein was first charged, of course, that conspiracy looking into people that were in his inner circle. you've discussed several of them i know over the last couple of days here. so we'll wait and see what happens with the outcome of those investigations. but at least from the new york city medical examiner's perspective, her work is done and has determined that jeffrey epstein died suicide by hanging. >> tom winter, was there anything -- was this done with more people involved? did this go to a higher level? did they do this quicker than normal because of the political atmosphere in which this entire story has been covered since the body was found last saturday morning? >> sure. i really appreciate the question. based on our reporting and based on what i can tell, this was a fairly standard all things considered investigation. i think was there probably a
little bit more checking of the dots on the is and crossings of the ts. without a doubt. on the other hand all normal protocols that we can find or at least to our knowledge at this point were followed here. dr. michael bodien a pathologist was allowed to attend the autopsy when it was conducted last sunday. but that is something that is allowed, a representative from the family can view the autopsy. so that's something -- or for the person who's deceased i should say, nicole. so that's something that's allowed. and that was allowed last sunday to occur. and i think it's completely normal, particularly in a case like this with as much attention on it, intense media focus, intense law enforcement focus, for them to take several days just to, you know, double check and make sure they have all the information and can basically soak in whatever findings they found from their investigation, things into mcc to include that into this report and to come up with a determination that they've come up with today. >> tom winter, thank you so much for staying on this, and for joining us with this breaking
news. we're thankful. joyce, i want to come back to an argument you made and ask you to update it with this breaking news. and tom winter was generous to sort of engage this question about the climate in which the suicide took place, in which an investigation how that could happen in which the autopsy will be released. and there's been some incredible reporting and analysis all week long about how this story sort of epitimizes the conspiracy slash post truth world in which we are functioning. >> and the president re-tweet re-tweeted -- fuelled the fire. reassuring in a strange way this is a suicide. it's a good thing that it was not ruled a homicide. the medical examiner's ruling is the first part of this investigation. there needs to be oversight and why their procedures were so faulty. and the problem of this
happening in the middle of all of these swirling conspiracy theories and the attorney general's personal involvement in this matter with so much of an appearance of conflict from his former law firm's representation of epstein, his father's relationship and the intertwined interaction of the president with epstein, really the attorney general should step away from this investigation and let the deputy attorney general or better yet career people run it. then at the end of the investigation everyone could have confidence in the outcome and doj could begin to reclaim a little bit of its integrity, its apolitical reputation. i don't think we'll see that. >> i want to just put up, you know, we've covered this story because epstein was a predator, the scale of which i don't know that i've seen in my lifetime in terms of someone who preyed on young women and essentially got away with it. >> he's the most well resource
predator of this type that i've ever seen. >> i've never seen a president involve himself in either the death of or the investigation of or the prosecution of someone like that. here was a president defending spreading conspiracy theories. >> he's a very highly respected conservative pundit. he's a big trump fan. and that was a re-tweet. that wasn't from me, that was from him. but he's a man who has half a million followers, a lot of followers and he's respected. >> so that, alexi, was donald trump defending a re-tweet, let's not confuse it, mr. president, with an original piece of work from your twitter feed of a conspiracy theorist on this question at a time when as tom winter just said, as joyce said, what is normal is to accept the results of an autopsy from professionals like what we have today. >> well, what we know to be true about president trump is that he's the conspiracy theorist in chief. he has been that way since he
started the racist conspiracy theory about obama and his birth certificate and not being born in this country. twitter has become a tool that he can weaponize to get at his own worst parts of himself. he can defend it by saying the person he re-tweeted is a respective conservative pundit with tons of followers as if anybody cares. >> and as if that's ever true. >> and does that make it better if he's re-tweeting these conspiracy theories? no. and if i remember correctly that conspiracy theory was that bill clinton had some involvement in jeffrey epstein's death, that is just another sort of leg in this story that he is telling about the clintons, whether it's hillary or bill. but i think at the end of the day what is interesting about jeffrey epstein's death in addition to all the political chaos around it is that a dead man tells no tales. and donald trump could've very well been in those tales. tons of other people are involved in this scandal. now that he is dead, we are lacking the truth at some of the parts of this story.
>> well, we have a videotape of him and jeff epstein several years ago at a party with all females. so, i mean, he's not talking just objectively. donald trump and i are both new yorkers. there's a game they play called three cog monte where you play this shell to get your eye off this shell. he doesn't want to be questioned about that tape of him and jeff epstein, their friendship. so he starts drawing some re-tweeted conspiracy theory. he knew jeff epstein himself. so if he was a normal president or for that matter, normal person, you'd say since you knew the guy, have nothing to say, mr. president, go get in your helicopter. but since he's not normal, he's got to try to throw you off. and what you got to do is keep your eye on the right shell because he's getting ready to beat you in the shell game if you go for it. he's going to sit here and you keep looking at the shell. >> and by the way, right now we
are dealing with a time where misinformation and the way it spreads online is such a problem. if there was any other president who was a normal president, their job would be to stamp that out. >> to be part of the solution. that really is one of the more remarkable things. so this is either alliance of the century, the alliance between jay-z and the nfl or everyone and everything is for sale. that story coming up. sale that story coming up you only talk about your insurancet, when you complain about it. (garbled)....it's so painful.
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kneeling to protest social injustice, turned professional football into another front in his larger culture war. the nfl has announced a major new partnership with jay-z whereby he would oversee social justice issues for the league. but there is some controversy. jay-z facing criticism for partnering with the institution that effectively kicked colin kaepernick out of the league for protesting during the national anthem. let's bring into our conversation nfl hall of fame quarterback warren moon. warren, thank you for coming back to the show. give us your thoughts about the partnership and the pros and cons for both sides. >> well, yeah. this has received a lot of controversy. but i think in any situation where you're trying to make change, anything is good. and i think the relationship can be a very, very good relationship for the nfl and for rock nation only because jay-z is a guy who comes from the streets so hooense understa
what some of the these initiatives are all about and some of the social injustice that's been going on in these communities for many years. and he has a voice to those communities. he also has other initiatives around the country in other different neighborhoods. so he's a guy that i think can relate to both sides. i think he's a guy through his music and through his representation of all the players and entertainment artists that he represents can get that message across to the nfl and to other people in higher positions that more needs to be done. this isn't a problem that's going to be solved by the nfl by itself. but i think what the nfl owners did last year was they donated $90 million over six years to their players' initiative fund, and a lot of those programs are starting to be initiated throughout the country. i don't think a lot of people know about that. and now they're starting to take it a step further with this association with jay-z and rock nation. so i think things are being done in the right direction to try and help some of the social injustice that's being done in these communities.
but it's not going to be done only by the nfl. it's going to take a lot of different entities to get that done. and then when it comes to colin kaepernick, you know, he's a guy that's been away from the league now for three years. and i think there were teams that have offered him an opportunity to play, but they also wanted him to give them the word that he was going to stop his kneeling. and when it comes to kneeling and protesting, the reason you protest is to make change and try and get people to make change. well, i think that change is starting to happen. so there really isn't a need for the kneeling to happen when you start to get people to make positive change for what you were protesting in the first place. >> but, warren, can you see how some supporters of kaepernick might see him as having been left behind? you've got these two giants, these two titans, jay-z and the nfl, which might be the only entity with more money than jay-z, teaming up. and you've still got kaepernick literally and figuratively on
the sidelines. >> i understand that. but like i said, a lot of teams are not going to go out on a limb and bring in a guy who they feel like is going to be a distraction to their football team and to their organization. ooingds and i think colin has been offered some opportunities to play football, but they wanted him to guarantee that he wasn't going to become a distraction by continuing to kneel and continue to keep this negative light on the nfl. so i think that's one of the reasons why he is still not been able to get a job in the national football league. >> i don't think colin kaepernick did and continues to represent is to put a bad light on the nfl. it's to put the light on some things that were being ignored in this country like police brutality and other issues. this morning i preached the funeral of eric garner's stepfather who just died. and many of the mothers of the movement were there and we're going to meet and talk on this issue. i respect jay-z. jay-z has a record of working
with the mothers and working with many of these situations. but the nfl should not be able to duck the fact that they were actively involved in not letting colin kaepernick make this protest on behalf of people in his community, and nothing will -- i don't care if they did 90 million with the players or 9 zillion with somebody else, they have got to deal with what happened with colin kaepernick. he was protesting for real change about the criminal justice system, not about players and scholarships. i think jay-z is one that will shoot straight. he has a track record. i'm not prepared to say whatever we're going to say collectively. but i do not want to see anybody have a discussion with colin kaepernick who's not given credit for doing what a lot of people wouldn't do. >> well, let me just follow up. it would seem that the nba and even women's soccer seems to absorb with more comfort their players' right to protest than the nfl. what is the structural problem
of the nfl with protests? >> that's the big question. you just had at the pan am games a guy and a quarter a knee. >> yeah. >> so how can everybody understand people's right to make a statement but the nfl? we just got through talking about hong kong. you can go and protest for democracy there and we're saying, wait a minute, be careful, but you can't play ball if you take a knee, a knee. we're not talking about he disrupted the game. he didn't do it in the middle of the game. a knee during the national anthem to say there's some wrong going on. he should not be left out. at the same time if the players are doing constructive things and jay-z who i have not talked about his program is constructive, that's fine. but let's not punish the one who gave some real support and comfort to these families that were hurting because i've been with them families and still am. >> all right. my thanks to warren moon for being part of this important conversation. as football season nears i'm sure we'll pick it up again. thank you for joining us. we are going to sneak in our last break. we will be right back.
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i could talk to these friends for another hour, but we ran out of time. my thanks to you for watching. that does it for our hour. i am nicole. i'll see you back here monday at 4:00 p.m. three strikes. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. president trump has put all his marbles on the economy, and tonight on "hardball," two of his former aides, anthony scaramucci and omarosa manigault newman worry he may be losing his marbles. as i said, president trump has staked his re-election on the strength of the u.s. economy. but on the heels of a turbulent week on wall street, the president got some ominous news in a fox news poll out today, showing him losing ground against top democratic contenders. that poll showed there