tv Meet the Press MSNBC September 8, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
right to vote. we must protect it. we must stand up for it. and we must tell everyone of every party that we are not going to let people that died to get the right to vote for everyone to have died in vain. our children and grandchildren are depending on us to protect voting rights. that does it for me. thanks for tuning in. i'll see you next saturday at 5:00 p.m. eastern. up next, "meet the press" with chuck todd. this sunday, altered states. >> all cases, alabama was hit. >> president trump's insistence that he was right to say hurricane dorian was headed for alabama. >> they actually gave that a 95% chance probability. >> leads to mr. trump presenting a doctored map. >> looks like a sharpie. >> i don't know. i don't know. >> and raumpted new questions about whether we can believe what the president of the united states tells the american public.
i'll talk to a member of the republican senate leadership, roy blunt, of missouri. >> plus, manchester united. >> democrats. >> democratic candidates flood new hampshire. >> in this presidential race, we don't just want to win. we want to win big. >> my guest this morning, presidential candidate amy klobuchar of minnesota. >> also, president trump says he's called off secret talks in the united states between the taliban and the afghanistan government. i'll ask secretary of state mike pompeo about that and whether he plans to run for the u.s. senate in kansas. >> and we know who candidate trump said would pay for his border wall. >> and mexico will pay for the wall. believe me. >> but now the president is shifting billions from the military to help build part of that wall. will he pay a political price? joining me for insight and analysis are amy walter, national editor of the cook report. peter baker, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times," kimberly atkins, senior
washington news correspondent for boston, and los angeles times correspondent jonah goldberg welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> from nbc thews in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. if a president says one thing that's not true, it can become a very big deal. think of president obama's claim if you like your health care particular, you can keep it. all that was a lie or a mistake, it's a scar on mr. obama's presidency. but what if you make more than 12,000 false or misleading statements as "the washington post" has cataloged during donald trump's presidency. in that case, his feud with the truth seems to have inoculated him from being stained by any one particular falsehood, but there are two moments in the trump presidency that feel less like a stain and more like a tattoo. the first came when he had mr. spicer claim his
inauguration crowd was bigger than any other. and the second when dorian was taking aim at alabama. in response, mr. trump chose to present alternative maps, including a sharpie enhanced one that comically stretched to alabama, and seemed to give new meaning to the term extended forecast. is this all absurd and trivial? of course, and no doubt mr. trump's supporters will blame us in the media as the president has for focusing on it, but it's the president who spent the week insisting he was right all along and he used government agencies to defend his position multiple times. all this as congress returns with much on its agenda and with renewed questions about whether the president can be trusted to keep his word. >> we had many lines going directly, many models, each line being a model, they were going directly through, and in all cases, alabama was hit. >> it's the backdrop for the fall fights ahead. how can congress negotiate with a president who is unreliable and often does not tell the truth? >> it looked like it almost had a sharpie.
>> i don't know. i don't know. >> after falsely warning that alabama remained threatened by hurricane dorian, president trump spent the week digging in. displaying that map doctored with a sharpie, posting 11 tweets over 7 days insisting he was right. even directing his homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to release a 225-word statement. since the first day of his administration, when president trump sent out his press secretary to misrepresent his inaugural crowd size -- >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period. >> to claiming millions of illegal votes were cast against him in 2016, then creating a commission to, quote, investigate. >> 3 million to 5 million illegal votes. we're going to find out, but it could be that much. >> to floating a middle class tax cut on the eve of the 2018 election, which never materialized. >> we're giving a middle-income tax reduction of about 10 first. we're doing it now. >> the president has used the resources of government to support his misleading version
of events. now, with legislative fights ahead -- >> background checks. >> investing in our great military. >> improve naflta. >> not shutting the government down. just to make your point. >> can either party trust the president to keep his word? on immigration, the president once promised -- >> mexico will pay for the wall. believe me. i will have mexico pay for that wall. >> now, the president is shifting $3.6 billion in military construction funds from projects spread across 23 states. three u.s. territories, and 19 countries, to pay for 175 miles of fencing. >> i think that his executive order exceeds his discorrection. >> on guns, after calling for background checks -- >> we have tremendous support for really commonsense, sensible, important background checks. >> the president took that support back. >> you have to be very careful about that. you know, they call it the slippery slope. >> even if mr. trump were to
reverse course, heading into an election year, democrats may not have the stomach to compromise with this president. >> i'll work with mitch mcconnell where we can agree, but on this one, he's not going to agree because he's where the president is so we have to beat them. >> joining me now about where we are in this senate agenda is republican senator roy blunt of missouri, a republican of republican leadership. >> good to be with you. congratulations on five years doing this job. >> thanks very much. >> five years filled with news. >> that's for sure. social media hits to prove it. let me begin with the news that broke overnight from the president here. basically talks are now off. the idea of withdrawing at least half of the troops that are sitting there appears to be something that isn't going to happen in the near term. we don't know how long it's going to be, and you have been there a couple times in the last 15 months. you said something interesting nee. you can't figure out how it gets better but how we can leave because it will get worse.
>> was there in april, i was there at easter the year before. so it doesn't seem to get better, but i'm sure it will get worse if we leave. frankly, i think backing away from where we were just dealing with the taliban is the right thing to do. leaving troops there for right now is the right thing to do. >> how do you tell an exhausted public, though? there's always a reason to stay. you just said, well, it could get worse. it would probably get worse. >> i said it would get worse. and it would get worse, and think you have to remember how this base, how this became the base for the 9/11 tragedy. there is no reason to believe that wouldn't happen again, the taliban, as the president pointed out yesterday, even in the middle of a negotiation, has to brag about killing an american soldier. if we leave there, that becomes the same haven it was. i think that's why -- >> was this a fool's errand to negotiate with the taliban in the first place? >> i have been concerned we were negotiating with the taliban and not including the afghan government in that. and even the idea that you could negotiate with the taliban, the
problems with that have been very evident this week as the taliban at this critical moment when they -- i guess they knew they were coming to camp david. i didn't know they were coming to camp david, but at this critical moment, they decided to brag about car bomb and killing an american soldier, and i think it just shows who they are, and this will get dramatically worse if we decide to leave. >> were you comfortable with the idea that the taliban were going to be stepping foot on camp david? >> well, by the time i knew they were going to be stepping foot, they weren't going to be, so i didn't have to deal with that. >> fair enough. let me talk about what's on congress' agenda, but you voted against the president's national emergency declaration, you one of a few who did. let me ask you this, how many more republicans would have voted against the president's national emergency declaration had they known the specific projects that would have been targeted? >> i don't know, but i think 12 of us in the senate thought this was the wrong way to do what the president was doing. i think what the president is doing is the right thing to do. but i think if you take away
that congressional ability to decide how money is spent, you take away the biggest tool congress has in the unique balance of power our constitution creates. >> senator collins thinks that this way he's doing it, she thinks, is still unconstitutional. >> we'll see. the courts are going to decide that now, not the congress. we're going to have to every six months, apparently, double down on our view of whether this is a good thing to do or not. senator caputo and congressman cole and i were at the border tuesday and wednesday of this week, and what's happening at the border is making a difference. i think what the president was able to negotiate with mexico, where people aren't released into the united states but are released back into mexico to wait for their trial date. remember, particularly out of the central american countries, no more than 15 out of 100 people actually qualify for the asylum they're asking for. you send them back to mexico, they're deciding, you know, if i go to court, there's no way i'm getting into the united states. they go right, many of them just
decide, put us on a plane and take us back home. >> i want to go back to the military projects. they're not going to get -- this idea that this money is going to get replenished, that's not a done deal. >> not a done deal. but even if the money is replenished, the projects get done on a slower schedule than they would have otherwise. >> you don't like this plan? >> i don't think voting on this based on whether you project is included is the reason to vote. again, let me say, i think the president is trying to do the right thing here and it's producing good results. i'm pro legal immigration. i'm pro skills-based immigration if we go in that direction. i'm pro building barriers where barriers work, and they do work. i'm pro replacing old dilapidated fences with new barriers that work. but i'm really pleased with what the government of mexico has been willing to do to help us solve this problem. both at the guatemalan border and letting people go back there and wait for their trial date. and remember, people, the whole
plan was to get into the united states and never show up for the trial date, knowing you weren't going to qualify for what you were asking for. >> let me ask you about the gun issue. manchin, toomey, some form of expanding background checks, will that get a vote on the floor? >> what the leader said this week, i think maybe it's the second time he has said this. we're not going to vote for bills on the senate floor the president isn't going to sign. the president needs to step up and set guidelines for what he will do. we take this silly if we don't get everything we won't do anything and fail to do the things we could do with more early mental health help, treating mental health like all other health, something i have worked hard on, and there's a moment here where we can expand what we're already doing on that front. >> let me play something for you from senator mike brawn, a republican from indiana. take a listen to what he said about this issue. >> i look at it this way. if we're not willing to do the
commonsense stuff, probably legislation will occur that we'll regret, that will actually, i think, infringe upon second amendment rights down the road. >> there's a cupp other republicans thinking this, too. the lieutenant governor in texas, mr. pro second amendment for expanding background checks, this thinking going, look, this incremental regulation, be for it now or down the road, what gets passed will be something you wish you had been for this. >> but chuck, i think i heard senator schumer say two weeks ago, if we're not going to do anything, he's not willing to do anything. >> call his bluff. call his bluff and see if he really means it. >> well, and if the president will let us know what he would sign if it got on his desk, we would be much more willing to do that. >> should the american public take the president at his word when he speaks? >> the president communicates differently than anyone else. >> you have said that before. but he's president of the united states. politicizing the weather. i mean, is there anything left?
>> well, i actually, i have spent most of this month at home in missouri, and i think this whole sharpie thing is way being overplayed. i don't think it will matter election day. i don't think it matters to most people -- >> but are you credibility of the words of the president of the united states has been eroded? >> no. >> okay. senator roy blunt, republican from missouri, member of leadership, thanks for coming on. good to see you. >> democratic candidates are in manchester for the democratic state party convention this weekend, amid growing signs that the field is narrowing to three, joe biden, elizabeth warren, and bernie sanders. one of the lower tier candidates, senator amy klobuchar made her case against both donald trump and some of her democratic opponents. >> i believe i may be more moderate in tone than some of the people running for office, but i'm betting people don't want the louded voice anymore. they have had that right now. that's the guy in the white house. they want someone who is going to be honest with them and tell
them that no, we're not going to erase rich kids' college debt. we're not going to do that even though some of my opponents have put that forward as their propos proposal. >> and joining me now is senator amy klobuchar. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> coming in a rare brief respite in washington. >> here we are. >> let me ask a follow-up to what you said just there. what does that mean? do you feel as if there have just been way too many promises made and there is going to be -- that there's going to be a negative fallout from this eventually for democrats? >> i don't think there will be a negative fallout eventually because i think we will unify behind a cad dt, and make clear the differences we have with a president who has now told over 10,000 lies, and most importantly, hasn't had the back of the people. some of the people who voted for him, the drug prices are still going up. college costs are still out of hand. all kinds of problems. for me, what i meant by that is that we need to have a candidate
that will lead, that will look people in the eye and tell them the truth. and that isn't going to make a bunch of promises that they can't keep. and i truly think they want something different than donald trump. >> you have touted yourself as a get it done kind of senator. you have not shied away -- >> based on my record. >> you have not shied away from saying, hey, i have gotten bills passed that, yes, president trump has signed. a rough summer of credibility with this president, and many democrats say don't work with him anymore. you're coming back to congress. you guys have a lot on your plate. are you still willing to work with him? >> right now in front of us are two major issues. one is protecting our elections. i have led that effort with senator langford. we want to get this bill passed to make sure the states that don't have backup paper ballots are pushed to get the backup paper ballots. if the administration is willing to sign off on that bill, that would be good, but it has to be strong enough. secondly, on gun safety, three bills sitting on mitch mcconnell's desk.
i don't think you need to negotiate those bills because they passed my bill on closing the boyfriend loophole to protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence. that passed with 33 republican votes in the house. so i would think the easiest path forward here is mcconnell just takes that background check, two other bills, puts them up, and we get them done. i think it's obscene that while we have ordinary people showing such extraordinary courage, protecting their babies, running to these scenes of gun shootings, that there is not the courage in the white house to get this done. >> you heard, you may have heard senator blunt say well, senator schumer said if everything is not considered, nothing is considered. where are you on that? >> i love senator blunt. we work together all the time. but i am tired of this game of whack-a-mole that is really playing with people's lives. and whatever the next mass shooting is going to be. and so i think what you do as a leader, what mitch mcconnell should do is call those bills up. let's get them done. we have the majority of trump voters in a poll that want to see background checks, chuck.
the majority of hunters that want to see background checks. give me a break. this is about the nra and promises that they made to the nra. this is raw politics. and we need to call them out on it. >> big debate this week. there's been a lot of ways people have written about the candidates not named biden, warren, and sanders. "new york times" saying it's a big moment for all of you candidates not named those three. how do you view it? >> i view it that there's a major debate coming up, and there will be another one after that. i'm on that debate stage. there's only ten people on that stage. i'm only one of two candidates from the midwest. to me, having campaigns through the summer, seeing people focused on little league games and all kinds of other things, this is the moment where americans are going to tune in and make some decisions. and i have got the case that we don't want to just win in this election. we want to win big. we don't want to find out we win at 4:00 in the morning or the next day. we want to win big and also win the u.s. senate. and the way you do that is with a candidate that has a proven record of bringing in unle
independents and moderate republicans who deserted our party in 2016 for donald trump. you make the case to them, add to an ignited democratic base, and win big and win back the u.s. senate. that's the recipe to getting all of these things done on climate change and immigration reform. >> why do voters who perhaps share your view of this electability issue right now view joe biden as that electable candidate? >> they know him. vice president biden has been in leadership for many, many years. they don't know me as well. that's why this -- >> do you think you would be stronger than him? >> i think i would be a very strong candidate. >> you didn't say stronger than him. >> okay, i believe i am stronger than all of the other candidates or i wouldn't be running. >> fair enough. >> but i believe that when you look at the midwest and wisconsin and michigan, iowa, and pennsylvania, these states that we want to win, that we have to win. you have to go with someone that has that track record and can
relate to these voters and also can get a high voter turnout. >> it's sort of a weird dichotomy. the polls are saying one thing about what democrats want in joe biden. crowds are saying another thing. there's a lot of activism. elizabeth warren and bernie sanders are getting crowd building and get large crowds. why do you think the grassroots is so much more excited about that or it seems than they are about just winning? >> i think it is too early to base campaigns on one event or one tweet or anything like this, or these viral moments. to me, these are what they are. they are moments. what you want is someone that can win in the long haul. i have built operations in new hampshire and in iowa. i have gotten endorsements coming in every week, former head of the corn growers in iowa. former attorney general in new hampshire. and i think this is how you build success. you look at successful nominees in the past, jimmy carter, bill clinton, they were not chosen to win at this moment in time. >> here's another thing that all of that usually has happened and it hasn't happened here, which
is we don't have a new generation in the top tier yet. why is that? >> again, i think it is early. people want to win so badly, right? they look at the names that they know. the people that have been around a while. and it is going to take this fall and these next five, six months. that's a long time in politics, for them to get to know the rest of us. >> afghanistan, it's obviously talks are now off. you have heard this. this is a bipartisan exhaustion when it comes to afghanistan. you heard senator blunt is not the only person who says if you stay, it feels like nothing is going to get better, but if you leave, it will get worse. where are you on afghanistan? >> i think we need to bring our troops home. they are our kids now that are being deployed there that weren't even born when we went into afghanistan. but that being said, as i was listening to the lead-up in the show about the sharpie gate and what he did with greenland and we keep focusing on that with some reason, it's so crazy. but meanwhile, he's hurting our credibility around the world.
yes, you negotiate with the afghan government and the taliban, but you don't treat this like some kind of game show and you're dealing with terrorists. he clearly wanted this showman's moment of having them come to camp david when he didn't even have a complete cease-fire. he didn't have the deal done, and then he does a tweet late on saturday saying oh, blaming them, it's over. give me a break. this is exactly what he did with kim jong-un, bringing a hot dish to the dictator next door across the dmz. you deal with your allies. the world is watching. we need to bring some credibility back into our foreign policy. >> senator amy klobuchar, democrat from minnesota, thanks for coming on and sharing your views. like i said, thanks for making a pit stop here. >> it was great. >> when we come back, altered states. president trump's doctored map of hurricane dorian's expected path inspired countless amateur comedians to show their own possibilities. enjoy them.
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jonah goldberg kimberly atkins. amy walter, national editor of the cook political report, and peter baker, white house correspondent for "the new york times." i'm going to start with james, your colleague at "the new york times," peter. try to understand donald trump as a person with psychologist and strategy and motivation, and you will inevitably spiral into confusion and cofeoffee. he's not a person. he's a tv character. and everybody sort of overanalyzed sharpie gate. that was just as good of a reminder as any. >> yeah, i think that's exactly right. we do in some ways attach so much importance to small events because we're trying to understand this unlikeliest of presidents. this is so different than any other president we're used to, any other president would get into a fluffal about something small like this and make it go away by stop talking about it. we may talk about it, i get it, but the truth is if we didn't talk about it every day for a week, it would wear out. the storm would dissipate, but in trump world, that's not
allowed to happen. the storm will continue because he will continue until he has proved himself right. >> it's exhaustion presidency. i think that's the challenge for this president going into 2020, which is it has served him well in the course of his career to exhaust his opponents in the world of new york real estate, and folks in that world, to exhaust his enemies, which he does on the political stage. but he's also exhausting voters. and can he win 2020 if voters are saying not do we want another four years, are you better off than you were four years ago is usually what an incumbent president is measured on, right? >> i don't know. >> this is, do you want four more years of this? the exhaustion, the tweets, the chaos, the constant controversy. >> jonah, i take there is no strategy behind this, but there was a point where he pivoted and decided, let me make the press the issue here because whenever
i am flailing, i can at least unite my base by attacking the press. >> right, so there are a couple things going on. first, he's the first president in american history that we know of who consciously only cares about supporting his base. normally, once you get elected, you try to govern for the whole country, you try to expand your coalition. instead, its vort of like the salesman who says, sure, i lose money on every sale, but i'm going to make it up in volume. he turns off more people than he attracts. i think one of the things he is suffering from, though, there's a lot of chatter in washington about how he's mentally losing it. i'm not sure any of that is true. i think this is the same trump we have seen, but the loss of the mueller probe as a foil that galvanizes his own side, it leaves him flailing about, trying to turn jay powell into james bond. and that's what's leading a lot of people in washington to think
that he's a couple fries short of a happy meal, when in reality this is the same trump we always had, but he had an enemy. >> i think it's important to note that the difference, he is the same trump since the campaign trail. but the difference here is this idea that he is using every level of the federal government to fight his fights however petty. i mean, who would have thought we would be sitting here today talking about politicizing the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. >> kudos to you for saying the entire name. >> it's really unbelievable. and they would go along with it, that the top officials would go along with, you know, coddling the president when in the face of actual science, and this is silly in one way, but in a lot of ways it's not. the reason the national weather service in alabama issued those statements out of birmingham is because people were afraid. a hurricane affects business. it affects agriculture. it's a big deal. >> this gets to, is he testing the limits here on the nimby issue, which is like everything is well and good until people
start to think, wait a minute, this is impacting me? the military construction project, there's no doubt in my mind that these lawmakers had known which projects, there would have been 12 republicans that would have been 50. look at the swing states impacted by the moving of funds for the wall. florida, a big one. mexico beach, mind you. mexico is not paying for the wall, mexico beach. arizona, colorado, texas, wisconsin. this is what could get turned into political impact for him. >> you can see already in arizona, it's not just a swing state. there's a senate race going on there. and you know that that number is going to be brought up in a lot of campaign ads against the inkcumbent republican senator, martha mcsally. i thought mexico was paying for the wall, not the good people of arizona. having to do this. >> or colorado or florida, you name it. >> that there's actual consequence to your voting record that more than just your standing with trump because you feel like you need to protect your base. it's like when you're doing
this, there's consequence, and that as a candidate running against an incumbent, that's what you want to be able to show. >> that's a good point. you're right. but interesting to see when we get to that turning point if we get to that turning point. up until now, a lot of trump's supporters have been perfectly willing to give him credit even when some of his policies might not be helping them or hurting them. the farmers, the trade war, they have been patient with him so far because they think he's fighting for them. yeah, you haven't actually delivered on this or that, but we know the swamp is against you, the elites are against you, you're out there fighting for us. the question is when does that turn? when do people say, wait a second, my farm products aren't selling or i'm upset about these washing machine prices that the tariffs are increasing? >> i don't know if they need to turn. that's just appealing to the same people he's always appealed to whe to. who he's not getting is the middle. >> i want to quickly turn to guns. dan patrick said the following,
look, i'm a solid nra guy, but not expanding the background check to eliminate the stranger to stranger sale makes no sense to me and most folks. we saw it as a stunning shift in his rhetoric. mike braun made the implication sort of the, hey, we ought to be for some of this stuff now because down the road, we may wish we had been for some of the smaller stuff. >> yeah. >> is that going to be an effective argument on the right? >> i kind of doubt it. part of the problem is a lot of these things including the expanded background checks or the gun show loophole or the boyfriend loophole or whatever we're supposed to call is wouldn't draesdz the things that led to the mass shootings we have sign. while that sounds like a persuasive thing to the swing voters that a lot of republicans care about, to the base, they know these arguments cold. and they're going to feel like it's just selling out. >> that's a very interesting last word. >> that's a big part of the problem, and i think the biggest problem is a president who you can't believe from one moment to the next where he stands on things like gun policy, who
changes his mind like the wind blows, and it mitch mcconnell is holding that as the standard to do anything, that will never be met. >> he was supposedly shown polling that said if you supported it, it wouldn't have helped him. we know probably that's how he's going to view all of these issues. >> we're announcing tickets for the "meet the press" film festival in collaboration with our friends at the american film institute are on sale now. our third annual film festival featuring 21 short documentary films on the most pressing issues including the border, gender discrimination, and climate change. you can get those tickets right now, nbc news.com/mtpfilm. >> when we come back, secretary of state mike pompeo. e. do you want ready to wear clothing without all the hassle? you can, with bounce dryer sheets. simply toss two sheets in the dryer to iron less. we dried one shirt without bounce, and an identical shirt using bounce. the bounce shirt has fewer wrinkles, less static, and more softness and freshness.
washington feels more chaotic than ever. it's my job to ask the tough questions, left and right, and help you make sense of it all. welcome back. president trump announces he's abruptly called off what was supposed to be secret talks at camp david this weekend between the government of afghanistan, the taliban, and the united states. in a series of tweets last night, mr. trump said he did so after the taliban admitted to a car bomb attack this week that
killed 12 people, including an american soldier. joining me on this issue and many others is secretary of state, mike pompeo. welcome back to "meet the press." >> great to be with you. thank you for having me on the show. >> thank you for coming on. let me start with what this means. he canceled these talks. is this -- is this mean talks are off completely? >> so for the time being, that's absolutely the case. we have recalled the ambassador back to washington. we have been working on this problem set for a number of months now and frankly had made real progress with the government of unity, our twin aims were to reduce violence. i was just a few hours ago out at dover air force base meeting with the family of the last soldier, sergeant first class baretta, his lovely wife, two boys. 11 and 4. precisely those moments that make you recognize so clearly we have an obligation to reduce risk at the same time we can never permit terror to strike again from afghanistan here into the united states.
our negotiations have been aimed at achieving each of those objectives while reducing violence and getting the afghans for the first time, and chuck, as you well know over 15 years, to actually sit at the table together and talk about the path forward in a more peaceful way. >> i was just going to say, it's -- there's plenty of reporting out there that indicates that the afghan government had indicated they weren't coming and they sort of had pulled out first. is that how the timeline of events went? >> that's false, chuck. >> okay. when did you know that this meeting wasn't going to happen? >> i'm not going to talk about specifics. but we had been working on this meeting for a little while. and then after the death of sergeant firstclase barretto, and the attack by the taliban with a simple effort to improve their negotiating posture, that was something president trump can never stand for, and we informed both president ghani and our taliban interlockuters these weren't going to take place. >> the taliban had been killing
americans throughout these negotiations and some people had criticized the united states for participating in negotiations with the taliban during this. why now? why wasn't this a problem before? >> it's always a problem any time the taliban conduct terror attacks. certainly when they injure americans or kill americans. so it's always a problem. you should know, in the last ten days we have killed over 1,000 taliban. while this is not a war of attrition, i want the american people to know president trump is taking it to the taliban in an effort to make sure we protect america's interests. we will never give up. scotty miller's capacity to protect americans. we're doing it now, we were doing it yesterday. we will continue to do it. what we have been working on, we knew the war had continued. you have to get a deal. you have to get an arrangement where both sides agree they're going to stand back and reduce violence. we were making real progress. we had a commitment from the taliban to make a formal public announcement they would break with al qaeda, something that an american demand that had gone back as far as president bush.
we were making progress along the way. president trump was supportive of thot efforts. but make no mistake, chuck. we're not going to withdraw our forces without making sure we achieve president trump's twin objectives, any reduction of our forces will be based on actual conditions, not commitments, but actual conditions on the ground. >> given that conditions appear to be worsening -- >> that's not true. i don't believe that's true. if you're the taliban, conditions have been worsening and they're about to get worse. >> okay, you say about to get worse. you're going to -- does this mean we're going to increase the military activity against the taliban? >> we're going to make sure that everyone in the region understands that america will also protect its national security interests. i'll leave to the department of defense to talk about specifics, but no one should underestimate president trump's commitment to achieving those goals. >> did anybody bring up whether it was proert to have the taliban set foot on camp david? there are some people, that was -- that didn't sit well with quite a few folks, given the
important role camp david played in planning the response to 9/11. >> well, there were lots of discussions around that. camp david has a long history, an important history, and it's also had an important role in complex peace negotiations. sometimes with some pretty bad actors, as you well know. yes, there was discussion about that, and the president ultimately made the decision, if we could get that, if we could get commitments and put in place a verification regime that would give us confidence we could observe that the commitment s were being honored, it was a useful effort to try to get all those parties in one place to have serious conversations about how to reduce america's risk so there won't be other secretary of states that have to travel to dover to go see these amazing american heroes who have given so much for our country. >> i know you're not a big fan of time tables, but does this mean the likelihood of withdrawing from afghanistan now has been extended? that it isn't going to happen in the next year or the next two years? that we may be looking at much farther down the road?
>> chuck, i hope not. i have tried to answer each of your questions. you're right, time tables are difficult things to know. i hope not. i hope we can begin to enter afghan negotiations. i hope the taliban will continue to move towards their commitment to break with al qaeda. if we can do that, i hope that we can reduce our cost and blood and treasure there in afghanistan. >> you keep saying hope. hope is always, i have noticed when officials say hope, that is usually the last word they say because they don't think progress is coming. you sound pessimistic. >> i'm not pessimistic. i have watched these negotiations unfold. i have watched the taliban do things and say things they have not been permitted to do before. frankly, i have watched the afghan government behave in ways that i think indicates nearly every afghan understands these wars can't continue. no, i use the word hope because we're going to continue to drive toward this outcome. we also want to deliver most importantly on behalf of the american people. >> domestic political note, on
friday, you were in your home state of kansas. how come nobody believes you in your denials in the interest in that political race. you could do the sherman esque deal, you could say if nominated, i would not serve. you have not done that. why? >> i have been pretty clear, chuck. i think it's unambiguous. others want to speculate on my future more than i do. as you can see from today, i'm incredibly focused on what i'm doing. it's nots just hong kong and afghanistan. we have opportunities all across the world. that's what i'm focused on and i intend to do this as long as president trump asks me to be his secretary of state, that's what i intend to do. >> you will not be on a ballot november of 2020. >> this is what i'm going to do. as long as president trump wants me to be his secretary of state, you're going to have to have me on your show. >> mr. secretary, it sounds like if you won't say you won't be on a ballot november 2020, the kansas senate questions don't go away. >> they're going to go away. the clock continues to run. i think the american people should know their secretary of state thinks about one think and
one thing only, protecting america's national security interests and trying to deliver diplomacy every place i go. >> obviously, general sherman, his comments are not something you're ready to quote just yet. fair to say that? >> my dog's name is sherman. i quote him all the time. >> oh, mr. secretary, you got me on that one. secretary pompeo, thank you for coming on. >> when we come back, the great disappearing act in american politics. you can be sure it's happening where you live. erica. that's why the nfl chose verizon. because they need the massive capacity of 5g with ultra wideband, so more screaming, streaming, posting fans... can experience 5g all at once. this is happening in 13 stadiums all across the country. now if verizon 5g can do this for the nfl... imagine what it can do for you. you wouldn't accept from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills?
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and the quit rate is twice as high for them. here's a hack: make sure there's bandwidth for everyone. the more you know. welcome back. data download time. this week, the democratic party decided to close its last two offices in south dakota, effectively giving up in winning in the mostly rural state. if that sounds like a retreat, it is. it has a lot to do with the growing urban/rural divide. democrat bill clinton won re-election by 8.5 percentage points. now, compare that with 2016's results by county, hillary clinton actually won the popular vote by 2 percentage points, but her blue is harder to spot.
concentrated in urban and suburban areas. and here's another way to look at it. by comparing the smallest vote producing counties to the largest. in 1996, bill clinton won six of the ten most populist counties and in 2016, hillary clinton did even better. she won 9 out of 10, all but maricopa county, the home of phoenix, which she lost by just three points. while republicans continue to carry the smallest counties. bob dole of russell, kansas, won 80 of the 100 smallest vote producing counties in 1986, and donald trump upped that to 93 of 100 in 2016. but even though bill clinton won by a pretty wide margin nationally, there were a lot of tight races all over the country in places where now we see blowouts. in fact, there were more than 1100 counties across the country that had margins that were within single digits in 1996. compared to 2016, when the national results were very tight, but there were only 310
counties where the margins between the two candidates were in the single-digit range. that is a 72% drop in the number of competitive counties in just 20 years. of course, this urban/rural divide is a familiar theme for data download watchers, but here's the point. in a country as culturally and politically as polarized as ours, we're self-segregating where we live. make it an even harder and harder to find common ground. when we come back, end game and why one of the country's leading political strategists predicts that the republican party is setting itself up for a shattering defeat in 2020. i am royalty of racing, raise your steins to the king of speed. so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work. the united states postal service makes more
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so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. back now with "end game." democratic pollster and strategist stan greenberg. and he argues that the party's rejection of a changing america is likely to lead to a spectacular crash in last year's election. he writes trump's tea party evangelical gop can't just be defeated. it must face a repudiating, shattering defeat that frees other brands of the gop and conservatism to breathe again. welcome back to "meet the press." and i should remind people that you were the message maven that got people to focus on bill
clinton. so, you said you thought four years ago this republican coalition that was going too far to the right was going to defeat itself, but it didn't. >> right. >> what went wrong? >> it was saved above all by donald trump who didn't run as a republican. and the reason i wrote the book was what i think i understood then is you had a tea party e-jan gelical trump-dominated party that was at war with a new america that was increasingly diverse immigrant and it was reacting against it. and that's the reaction that people failed to notice because the reaction amongst republican voters, secular conservatives, moderate women, independence pushed off. and so the reaction against it. he's run this war on immigrants. what we've noticed with that is that the country is becoming more pro-immigration as he wages that war. and then finally he has waged a
war on government for a decade. the country's lived through an attempt to dissolve government and make it not be able to solve any problems. that has created a reaction that plays out in the democratic primaries of people wanting to use government to address problems. >> you have been somebody that's been sort of fighting this shifting in the republican party. what do you think of his take? >> well, historically when we had arguments like this, my first response is to think that this is an example of the wish being the author of a thought. this may be different because the gop really does have some severe structural issues going on. the loss of the suburban vote which in many ways was the real gop base, is a long-term problem. i do think it's worth thinking about though in an area of such negative polarization where a lot of people are democrats simply because they hate republicans. if one party dies, the other party could lose its reason to live. so our politics in ten years could look very different because there are a lot of people in the democratic party who may leave to find the
replacement of whatever comes after the gop. >> it seems like -- i was just going to -- [ laughter ] >> i want to animate this discussion with the debate. you're sort of arguing that electability may not be what people think it is that actually elizabeth warren putting out more plans is actually more responsive than maybe what joe biden's doing. >> right. and because we're dealing with i think this transformative moment, there's real big dynamics that are shaping the election. one of them is the nature of the republican party. the second is this attempt to suppress government. the other is this battle against america being an immigrant country. but it's produced a consolidated democratic party that wants to vote for somebody that will bring change. but the result afterwards i believe is not a continuation. because i think this can't go any further. i think this polarization has gone to the point where democrats have grown to be about a ten-point bigger block of voters that is very consolidated, very anti-trump and determined for him to be defeated. and i think they want to have an
act advise government that addresses a whole range of problems. the republican party will come out of this i believe having to address fundamental things the way democrats did after their 1984 defeat. >> what will they have to address, that's the question. republicans did address what they thought were too big fundamental defeats in 2008 and 2012, they came out of that saying we got to be the diverse party and the electorate, the republican electorate said no, we can win by just running essentially the campaign that donald trump did. we don't have to expand the coalition. i guess the question that i have is this repudiation idea. i don't know that that's what 2018 theoretically was supposed to be. and yet it really wasn't, that republicans still did very well in red states, and democrats did really well in blue states and in inner suburbs. but those outer suburbs are still republican.
>> i think there's a failure to recognize how big the 2018 election was. and some of what we're missing is because the seats that are in play in the suburbs were at the edge of 50% and being winnable. the biggest shifts against trump came amongst rural voters, came amongst white working-class voters and he's continued to lose support with white working-class women after the 2018 election. that meant that state elections can be greatly affected, senate races can be affected coming from 2020. >> kimberly, i think you've seen this. the democratic base is just reacting so much with so much more enthusiasm right now to elizabeth warren ideas than they are joe biden ideas. and i guess the question is what wins out? >> well, i think it's still a little too early to tell exactly what it will win out. i think there is a divide within the democratic party of some folks who folks like elizabeth warren or bernie sanders who want to not just oust trump but oust the elements that elected him. and you have other folks who are leaning toward biden who just
want things to go back the way they were right before election day. i think the democrats are still fighting within that. and those motivators are very different. >> and, peter, stan even made the point, it shouldn't surprise people that democrats are criticizing obama a little bit because he didn't go big enough. >> obama was always actually a disappointment to the liberals who have supported him in 2008 who thought he was something more than he was. he was an empty vessel and people filled their hopes and dreams, and he wasn't necessarily what they thought. the identity crisis that kimberly is talking about inside the democratic party, that's probably the most important advantage to trump. >> we will find out in 14 months. before we go, all week long, nbc news has been presenting justice for all, stories that focus on the impact of mass incarceration in america. tonight, lester holt will moderate a townhall at sing sing prison. there will be some guests including john legend. that's all we have for today.
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and through retirement. i am royalty of racing, i am the twisting thundercloud. raise your steins to the king of speed. ♪ welcome to "kasie dc," everyone. i'm ayman. tonight president trump calling off taliban talks at camp david. plus, travel agent, congress investigating an om-lees that seem to benefit travel places. and later the first draft of history is ringing in what else but a sharpie, a mistake over a