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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  September 20, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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your campaign for foreigners, russia, china, somebody else offers you information on an opponent, should they accept it or should they call the fbi? >> i think mabe maybe you do both. i think you might want to listen. there's nothing wrong with listening. if somebody called from a country, norway, we have information on your opponent. oh r i thi oh, i think i'd want to hear it. >> you want that kind of interference in our elections? >> it's not interference. i think i'd take it. if i thought there was something wrong i think i'd go to the finn. but when somebody comes up with opo research, they come up with opo research, let's call the fbi. but you talk honestly to congressman, they all do it and they always have. it's called oppo research. >> what if it waernt foreigners offering dirt but rather the president of the united states actively seeking it out?
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what would have once been an unbelievable question is now being posed this morning in a real and very disturbing way. >> thank gold, though, if you were watching tv last night, thank god rudy giuliani came along to clear everything up. aleve 8 all concerns on this matter. >> he did. 'it was a clip that if i could boil down 3 1/2, four years of mendacity and madness, just complete ignorance and rank amateurism, that would be it. we don't want to kill hamlet in the first act. >> please don't. it's what you do. >> it's hard not to. you want to. >> it was a staggering performance. again, it really it just encapsulated the mendacity, the madness and, yes, the stupidity of the trump era. >> and this is the man rudy giuliani, who sent out into public to defend the president of the united states spinning wildly contradicting himself
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within five seconds, making up stories about joe biden, a wild performance by rudy giuliani last night that we're going to show in a second. >> fought for him to be secretary of state. >> we're going to show it right now. it's friday, september 20th. so -- >> maybe people have -- >> as you can hear we have john helman here, national affairs analyst. >> elise jordan. nbc host emeritus and may not be appreciated enough in his life, donny. >> wait, who's emeritus? >> i don't know. donny writes these things. >> you have my -- >> oh, thanks, sweetie. >> this crazy ground swell in -- >> oh, thank you. >> free snp. >> where's my swag, man? >> thank you, donny. >> where's my swag? >> i'd like a set, though. >> we've got steak knives also.
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>> host of msnbc's politic nation, president of the nation network, reverend sharp top. >> we certainly are thinking about jim clyburn this morning, nt we? >> he lost his wife emly would was a real backbone to him. as we were doing congressional hearings here on policing yesterday the news flashed. and she was a wonderful woman and all of south carolina and the nation and center congress mourns with jim clyburn, a great man who was that because had he a great wife that stood should to shoulder with him. >> a great man, we're certainly praying for him and the entire family right now. >> also with us this morning, nbc news correspondent covering national security and intelligence, ken dilanian. you guys were talking about the madness and sort of i don't even know if there's inebriation here, what is going on. but here is -- >> always a bridge too far. just one too far.
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>> no, not too far. >> this bridge i can walk over, but there's one in the distance. >> no, no, there is not. it's right here in the is like an obvious question, just a question. >> you know what -- >> let's let the viewers decide. >> did you ask the the ukraine to investigate joe biden? >> no, actually i didn't. i asked the ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the ukrainians for the benefit of hillary clinton for which there already is a -- >> you never asked anything about hunter biden? you never asked anything about joe biden as his role as a prosecutor? >> the only think i asked about joe biden how it was that sankco who was appoint wod dismiss the case against -- >> so you did ask them to look into joe biden? >> of course did i. >> you just said you didn't. >> i didn't ask him to look into joe biden, i asked him to look into the allegations that were related to my client which
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tangentally involve joe biden in a massive bribery scheme, not what he did in china. you explain to me how the kid got $1.5 billion. >> i have no problem with you -- >> when joe biden -- >> with you launching allegations, just be careful what you say. i asked you did you look into joe biden you said no. then you went on to say that you did. >> i didn't say that. >> it's all recorded. >> what i said was this. i asked them to investigate the allegations that relate to the false charges against the president of the united states. those allegations tangentially involve biden -- >> so your appearance should have been yes. >> let me finish, chris. and you want to cover some ridiculous charge that i urge the ukrainian government to investigate corruption. well i did. and i'm proud of it. >> well then it's not ridiculous allegation, you just admitted it. >> it's a ridiculous allegation. >> you just admitted it. >> of course, of course -- >> you just admitted that you did it. >> of course i should -- >> i'm not saying it was wrong for you do it, i'm asking if you
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did and now you're saying yes. >> i am glad that the president -- >> you asked the president of ukraine do the same thing? >> the only way -- i knew this a year ago. the only way this would come out is if you come after me. >> i'm not coming after you. >> come after me. >> i'm asking you questions and i'm asking you -- >> right at the end, the part we cut off was when kevin bacon walked in to the back of the studio and read colonel jessop his rights. you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. you're damn right i did. he said, i did and i'm proud of it. >> we're backing into everything this morning. >> we're not really backing in. >> we're going in and explain this all. >> explain. >> well, i think you should do the news. >> mika's right. >> it might help to lay it out because it relates to the whistleblower complaints that the trump administration is trying to keep secret from congress. you heard about this yesterday. two people familiar with the
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matter tell "the washington post" that it centers on ukraine. nbc news has not confirmed that ukraine is at the center of the issue. the white house did not immediately respond to a request for comment. the post, citing two former u.s. officials previously reported that the complaint was made by a u.s. intelligence official who was alarmed by a promise that the president made to a foreign leader in a phone conversation. trump spoke with the new president of ukraine on july 20 5th. the whistleblower complaint was filed less than three weeks later. ukraine is significant because of reporting that the president was withholding military aid to the country while at the same time trump's personal lawyer rudy giuliani was pushing for the ukrainian government to investigate democratic presidential front runner joe biden and his son hunter. the compliments of these two
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stories has the house investigating if the trump administration withheld the aid to assist the president's re-election effort. it also led "the washington post" editorial board to accuse the president of trying to force ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election on his behalf. the trump administration eventually did release that $250 million military assistance package to ukraine last week but provided no explanation for the delay. and i know people who have done work in ukraine in the foreign policy community who said look into phone calls, there's something -- this was this summer. look into phone calls that were made between either giuliani or somebody in the administration and ukraine. >> and we were specifically -- >> and hunter bide he as the iss boyd biden as the issue. >> we were warned this summer late july, early august, they're talking about holding up foreign
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aid, military aid to ukrab. >> ukraine until the ukrainians agree to move forward with the investigation. >> so -- >> hold on. hold on. i've been through too much of the conspiracy stuff over the past 25 years. i said let me get in straight. you're saying that right as russia as ukraine are beginning to negotiate and ukraine needs the military hardware that trump's administration's saying they're not going to sell it to them until they dig up dirt on joe biden? are you -- this was in early august. i said are you kidding me? he said, nope, check it out, it's happening. sure enough, it's been slowly but surely coming out since then. and last night colonel jessop
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said i did it and i'm proud of it. by the way, they come on the air, they say something so outrageous that would get anybody thrown out of office in years past. and then all their little chihuahuas running around yapping going what's the big deal? that's what they do. i wonder if republicans from my former party would say this is not a big deal too because this is not only impeachable, it's not only wrong, it could well be a crime. and if it's not a crime, i don't know what the hell is. >> i don't know what is an impeachable offense if this is not. like, basically -- >> this is big time. >> there's not anything that can get you impeached if the democrats do not act on this. and i won't ever again lindsey graham to lecture me about how if i don't want to send "x" number of troops to start a new land war, i'm not tough on national security if this is what republicans are willing to
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tolerate these days. looking at the timeline of this, it's very odd that this phone call with the prime minister of ukraine happened the day after mueller testified. so you've got -- you almost have to wonder if president trump thought got away with it once, no consequences first go round, let's gear up for 2020. let's see what we can do. it is just simply astounding to watch drunk grandpa last night who needs to be just pulled off to hospice if not -- >> wow. >> what the -- >> by the way, this end of the table is rocking over here. >> one second. give me one second. i speak for the gentleman from upper west side and lower east side saying i disassociate and they do as well from the comments of our colleagues. regular order, regular order, sir. >> right there at the end asking the question, but -- >> yeah, right. >> mika, you talk about the
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bridge off in the distance and mika going across it, this one just burned it down. >> i'm just saying what everyone saw. >> i'm going to be restrained one today. >> this story, i think, is an extraordinary thing that's just unfolding in front of us. we don't know yet whether this is ukraine and we don't yet know whether it involves joe biden. your friend and ours, last night, this escalated to the point where joyce vance tweeted last night if it turns out to be what the whistleblower complains about and it's accurate meaning tets it's related to craukrained biden, trump must go immediately. >> i think your point is right, this is going to create -- we've all been watching democrats try to figure out how to handle the politics of impeachment.
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>> right. >> in f this ends up being whatt apparently is, this could have that effect where it becomes impossible for the democrats in the house to avoid a serious out in the open no messing around impeachment, not just mee impeachment proceedings immediately. just think how they're handling this whistleblower complaint. they are essentially saying that whistle blowers in the government, if they follow proper procedures have no expectation of protection. >> right. >> and that the president should be allowed to engage in corrupt activities at will with no oversight whatsoever and anyone who seeks to have the normal oversight function of the government will be open to retribution. on a million levels this is problematic. >> all bad. >> so ken dilanian, you actually have the i.g., the inspector general, the man who's supposed to be the independent voice for the intel community holding a position that of course
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republicans are now celebrating as it pertains to justice department i.g. decisions. but you have the i.g. trying to get the information to congress because it is urgent. he says it is urgent that it met that legal standard. and you have barr's -- attorney general barr's department of justice actively trying to stonewall that and to keep it from oversight committees that have a legal right to look at this information based on statutes. >> that inspector general, joe, michael atkinson is emerging as the hero of this whole saga. he's a trump appointee let's remember confirmed by the senate. he happens to be a career justice department official. he won an award for prosecuting a $20 million bribery scheme in 2012, and he reviewed this complaint, this whistleblower complaint and endorsed the idea that it met the definition, as
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you said, of urgent concern. and that's rare. as i understand it, there have been few, if any, of those in recent memory. what that means is it had to involve waste, fraud, or abuse connected to an intelligence activity. and that's what's important here, because, you know, obviously as john said, we don't know if this is ukraine, the reporting seems solid, nbc news has not confirmed it's the july 25th ukraine call. but if it was and the allegation about that call is that donald trump made an inappropriate proposal for an arrangement, that still doesn't cover an intelligence activity, as i understand it. so what some experts are telling me is that there must being some something else here. if there was a promise, it would have had to involve some kind of intelligence activity of the united states in order for an intelligence official to file this whistleblower complaint. and then this inspector general to have endorsed it and said, yes, i believe it's an urgent concern, it must go to the
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congressional intelligence committee. and then what happened after of that was the dni, joe maguire, who say stand-up guy, former navy s.e.a.l., retired admiral, praised on both sides of the aisle, can you imagine what he must have thought? he knows what the complaint's about, one of the very few people. he knows it involves trump. he consults the justice department. he feels like he can't make this decision alone to just hand this to congress. people have criticized him to that, but i feel like i understand him making that decision. and then the doj weighs in and says, absolutely not, you can't turn this over. and the olc, the office of legal counsel issues this opinion. now, serious people have argued, including jack goldsmith, the harvard similar in the bush administration, that this is a reasonable argument. the conversations between a president and a foreign leader are solely the purview of the executive branch, that congress and particularly the intelligence committees have no business knowing what was said in that conversation.
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but reasonable people looking at this are saying if it was as inappropriate as it seems to have been, if there was some smarmy deal that will trump was offering, how could congress not have an oversight rule? even if it doesn't fall under this narrow intelligence whistleblower statute, there maybe way for congress to conduct oversight of this behavior. >> no doubt about it. it's interesting, dan coats, willie, stepped down a few days after this call. >> that timing is fascinating. >> and to follow up on what ken is saying where it has to be more than just that phone call, we actually, again, we heard about this call about the quid pro quo, about the offer we'll give you military support and supplies to defend yourself against russian aggression in return for you giving us dirt that we can use in a campaign. "the washington post" editorialized about it already before this whistleblower
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complaint became public. financial times reported 0 on this last week as well. so that information has been out. i've got to believe most people on capitol hill have heard about this already. so there may be even more than i think what is clearly an extraordinarily inappropriate and dangerous act. >> yeah, i mean, urgent concern is not a term thrown around lightly as ken can tell you in the intelligence community. it's a legal threshold where congress has to investigate. they don't take this lightly. clearly by going to the justice department the intelligence officer displayed that they don't take it likely. this was a big deal, whatever this officer heard. but to cut through what we're talking about here, joe biden is the candidate that donald trump fears most, right, donny? so rudy giuliani has been in the ukraine for the last couple months fishing around for dirt on joe biden and his son hunter biden. so now you have the real possibility that the president of the united states on a phone
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call with the president of ukraine said we're going to withhold some money from you on the condition that he will give it back if you keep looking into this guy who i fear defeating me in the next election. >> it does feel like a moment in time. we've sat on this set after so many trump's snafus and this is it. this is a game changer. >> yeah. >> and the democrats can't smell this. i've been going all along, step away from impeachment because when it's a process thing, when it's campaign finance, this is the big one. if this is the case there are is the super bowl and the democrats need to pounce aggressively. >> so the questions sore important, i don't think there's any way the truth is going to stay hidden, number one. and you wonder if republicans might start responding to this story in a little bit of a different way. >> i think they already have. i mean, you know, i think it's very interesting, reverend al, that as this story was breaking and as it became obvious that the truth was going to come out,
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that donald trump likely, if the news reports are true, the editorials are true, likely did something extraordinarily inappropriate. >> impeachable. >> that would affect america's democratic process, having a foreign country interfere, i thought it very telling that mitch mcconnell caved yesterday. very telling that after vladimir putin's bidding over the past several years and refusing to listen to all the intel chiefs that duonald trump appointed protect droto protect democracy, that mitch mcconnell chose yesterday as this story was exploding about other foreign interference in american democracy, that that's when he timely caved and stopped worrying about vladimir putin
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and started worrying about defending and protecting american democracy in the 2020 election. >> i think when you look at the fact yesterday, and as i walked around the hill after the hearings and started seeing even democrats that had said they were not for impeachment start saying, wait a minute, this may change everything, i think the thunderbolt was what you just pointed out, joe. when all of a sudden mcconnell backs this $250 billion package and we're looking at the fact now that you have the russian interference as the election strategy for 2016 under serious investigation and implication, now we're possibly talking about the ukraine and we're talking about the i.g. saying some things of serious concern that no one knows what it is but could be involving looking into your possible opponents some kind of way or his son's
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transactions in ukraine, even mcconnell has to say at some point you've got to cut and run because it looks as though this is too much a preponderance of allegations. >> yeah. >> and then on top of that, if all you have to defend yourself is rudy giuliani going to a studio last night, it's time for you to really, really cut your losses and run. >> yeah. >> so just to button this discussion up, ken noted yesterday that the number of complaints made to the intel watchdogs confidential hotline has more than doubled since president trump took office. that is a very good point as we look into -- >> ken, you want to give us a little more information on that? >> yeah. this was publicly available information on the inspector general website that i happened to notice yesterday pent they have a hotline across the intelligence community where you can call or email any kind of complaint. there are hundreds of complaint typically a year. it's on track to triple since
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donald trump took office. now, you know, correlation is not causation, but it's obvious to anyone who covers the intelligence community that there's a great angst in that community with the way that donald trump conducts himself and handles classified information and treats the intelligence community. and there's clearly an increased level of concern that i think is contributing to this flood of complaints to this hotline. >> and of course there are complaints that we've heard, mika, where he actually gives sensitive intel from other countries to russia's foreign minister inside the white house. he's extraordinarily reckless with classified information. >> he's reckless with any information. that we know. >> that's what's so telling about this complaint. even whith that recklessness in sight, we have the i.g. talking about urgent information he has and that the acting dni has who,
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again, dan coats leaves a couple days after this phone call is made, and that barr's justice department is keeping from congress and keeping from the american people in a cover-up. >> i think it's -- i'll say it's less reckless than brazen. trump tells you exactly -- he comes out in 2016 and says russia, if you're listening i want your help. >> and that night they give him his help. >> he goes through and gets the help of vladimir putin to win the 2016 election. he goes through this whole first 2 1/2 years and manages to get off scott free, thus far, with impunity. he goes on with steph no planop and says it again, if foreigners offer me help, i will take that help. rudy goes on television, of course i'm trying to get help with joe biden. they tell you what they're doing in plain sight. trump goes on twitter and says i would never do anything appropriate -- i would never do
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anything inappropriate because everyone's listening to my calls. he doesn't think this is inappropriate. he doesn't think it's inappropriate. he thinks it's good for the country and good for him. but he's telling you that he -- that this behavior is advertising it and he's not trying to hide it. all we have to do now, the rest of us have to do now is to take seriously what we're seeing in plain sight. >> so we need to go, but elise has been the voice of calm in this frame. so i want to ask her the final question. now, as you know i'm a dumb country lawyer. so i'm not really sure, i never really did any of that criminal stuff. so i'm just curious 'cause you're a lawyer, right? >> no. >> you're a smart lawyer, right? plays one on tv. >> for the purposes of this conversation. >> for the purposes of this conversation you are. so would it be if i said to you, i'll tell you what, irrelevant wii will ship your country the military aid you need to to
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vladimir putin from continuing his invasion west ward if you will dig up dirt on the guy i think i'm running against and now trailing 14 points in every poll. now, would that be a bribe or would that be extortion? what would that be? what do we think? >> i think it would be -- >> treason. >> both. >> both. >> and using the resources of american taxpayers, money that has been put aside to further the national interests and our national security, using it for your own chief political purposes. so i think it's pretty impeachable. >> and to john's point. >> pretty impeachable. >> he has approached this presidency no differently if he's sitting in trump tower and doing a deal for a building. so his defense i would never do this with people, listen, he's in -- >> nbc's ken dilanian, thank you
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so much. >> thanks a lot. >> day of ehrenberg, if you're listening is it extortion or bribery? >> potato potato. a black face scandal didn't cause virginia's governor his job but what about the prime minister of canada? >> just keeps going. >> we'll talk about justin trudeau. >> he can't even say that these three are the only ones out there? >> he doesn't know. >> did this guy just walk around with black shoe polish in his back pocket? >> now stop. >> what's wrong. who does that? >> as we go to break, donald trump's few good men, you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. >> you want to cover some ridiculous charge that i urge the ukrainian government to investigate corruption. well i did and i'm proud of it. >> did you order the code red? >> you're god damn right i did! d (logo whooshes) (logo chiming) ♪ - [woman] with shark's duoclean,
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did you ask the ukraine to investigate joe biden? >> no. actually i didn't. i asked the ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the ukrainians for the benefit of hillary clinton for which there already is a finding -- >> you never asked anything about hunter biden? you never asked anything about joe biden in his role as prosecutor? >> the only thing i asked about joe biden was to get to the bottom of how it was that sankco who was appointed dismiss the case against -- >> so you did ask ukraine to look into joe biden? >> of course i did. >> you just said you zbldidn't. >> i'm getting a headache. it's hardly the first time rudy giuliani has gone on tv to admit something that trump supporters have been trying to bury. there was stormy daniels. >> having something do with paying some stormy daniels woman
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130,000? i mean, which is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. that money was not campaign money. sorry, i'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. it's not campaign money. no campaign finance violation. so -- >> they funneled it through a law firm. >> funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh, i didn't know -- he did? >> yeah. >> okay. that's an s.e.c. violation. >> right before an election. >> yeah. you just wait. >> are you sure? are you sure? >> and then he's like -- >> but wait, there's more. >> i didn't know that. what are you saying? do you know what's coming out your mouth, rudy. >> but wait, there's more. there was the time rudy suggested that the president did not collude but couldn't say the same about the campaign. this is a good one. >> i never said there was no collusion between the campaign
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or between people in the campaign. >> yes you have. >> i have no idea -- i have not. i said the president of the united states, there is not a single bit of evidence the president of the united states committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the russians to hack the dnc. >> by the way, rudy also is running around saying how bad the mueller report was going to be, that it was going to be devastating before it came out. >> yeah. >> unfortunately there is more. there was the time rudy told "the new york times" this about his planned trip to ukraine. quote, we're not meddling in election, we're meddling in an investigation, which we have a right do. and added there's nothing illegal about it. somebody could say it's improper. and this isn't foreign policy, i'm asking them to do an investigation that they're doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. and i'm going to give them reasons why they shouldn't stop, because that information will be very, very helpful to my client,
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and may turn out to be helpful to my government! there you go! you're meddling in the election. >> you're dramatic reading reminds me of scarborough country's -- weapon used to have dramatic readings of arnold schwarzenegger. >> what time are these interviews? >> but the madness had i don, it to say clever madness, when it is going south you put gibberish on the air, that all of the sudden it's this noise that's not as distracting that makes you light headed. >> i could read you books of past governments, from decades past, that actually used this type of nonsense where you throw gibberish out at the population over and over again, nonsense, lies, then you admit, then you wrap it around a couple more lies. and by the end the supporters of
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said public figure are so numb to the truth they do not recognize it. and there's a certain regime where you go back and read -- i'm not going to say -- >> the early '30s. >> no. no. that's offensive. usually you get these writings from 1938, 1939, it wasn't early '30s where they literally talk about. back up you could say this about -- you could say this about erdogan, you could say that about -- what's happening across the globe, you know, in russia. you could talk about what's happening in hungary, the philippines, this is what strong men, ha this what autocrats do. they keep lying and shooting up gibberish, they keep denying until people are so numb to the truth that it just doesn't matter. rudy's just admitted something outrageous. we're laughing and supporters are going to go there's nothing wrong with that when of course
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any other president would be impeached that afternoon. >> rudy added in a tweet after that television appearance last night that the biden family m made, quote, billions off of china. just to your point, throw something else out there. but what did donald trump and people like rudy giuliani know that their hard core supporters believe what they hear from the president's mouth and certainly not from the media because the president of the united states has trained them to -- that this is all fake news. so rudy giuliani can get away with the supporters saying these things. but let's be clear again about what's happening here. >> right. >> personal attorney for the president of the united states is fishing around ukraine for dirt on the opponent that the president fears most in the 2020 election, that's what's going on. >> and "the washington post" as editor li editorialized that he had said to ukraine before this past week from you do not continue the investigation, then we are going withhold military aid that you
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need to defend yourself from future invasions from vladimir putin. but -- >> and you'll have the president say things like i didn't do that, i might have and then it will be turnberry or the different places where military, you know, used his resorts and it was just -- or vice president pence, just a recommendation or just a mention. >> in, adam schiff, jerry nadler, roger cummings, this is the guards have opened up a lane. put the ball under and run through, run off tackle and you will score. >> go ahead. >> go ahead. >> i want to get reverend al. >> coming up it's been two about two years since coalition forces liberated the iraqi city of moos you'll fr mosul. it was deemed a turning point in america's so-called war on terror. richard engel joins us with a look at the current state of isis and it's impact on the middle east next on "morning joe." s impact on the middle east next on "morning
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hey, so, rev, wanted to go back to you real quick. you know, everybody has been talking about for the past three or four months and actually been talking about it for the past three or four years, donald trump gets away with this, donald trump gets away with that. all summer he's absolutely melting down, he's at the worst of his worst, right? he's talking about canceling trips to nato leaders because they won't sell him greenland and he's calling the fed chairman enemy of the people. he, of course, did the racist, fascist chants earlier in the year about send them back, send them home. and everybody will say donald trump's getting away with it. you look at the poll we showed yesterday where biden's beating him 52-38, his approval rating's diving down into the 30s. he's not getting away with it
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and he's not going to get away with this. we were talking about rudy speaking to the base, but that base is boiling down little by little by little. >> there's no question that his base is shrinking. you have four or five democrats and according to the polls could beat donald trump. and you have a huge shift in an independent voters and suburban white women. i think you're seeing what is dangerous in politics, joe, and that is people that just surround themselves with people that tell them what they want to hear. they're being told by their own crowd, don't worry, nothing will happen. something is in the process of already happening. we're seeing the erosion of this president and we're seeing those that go out to represent him being able to not find even a line of justification that people can hang on to. rudy giuliani's performance last night was symbolic of the state
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of where donald trump's politics is. they can't even get the story straight. these are people that were prosecutors that know how to deal with people with a consistent line of lies. and they can't even find one. >> and the time of truth, once again, is for the republican party, as i tell my republican friends every day, he's going to leave town. you're not. and you're going to be held accountable to how you vote, how you speak. i mean, can any of us imagine that ben sasse is so interested, so worried about his primary election that ben sasse, i don't know what mitt romney's worried about. mitt romney, all these people won't speak truth to power when you have information that's been out for a week that the president of the united states actually threatened a foreign leader with withholding military support from further russian aggression unless they continued
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to investigate his chief rival who's up 14 points now in most polls in the united states. >> we have nbc news chief person to counter-richard engel with us here on set. it was almost three years ago when he had this report about the coalition assault on the iraqi city of mosul. >> in one sense i think it was politically timed. i think the mosul campaign, there was an objective to get in done while president obama is still in office. the rise of isis in rack and syria, the birth of the so-called caliphate has probably been the blackest stain on the obama administration. and i think there was a determination to get this operation under way and to get mosul liberated from isis while president obama's still in office. >> well, this sunday on the latest episode of on assignment richard offers an inside look at
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isis, rise and fall, including how they recruit and if the terror group has really been defeat. also with us is the contributing writer at the "new york times" magazine and national geographic, james verini. they will have to die now, m mosul. he writes this. in mow stull was obvious they would make thane their grand last stand smaller, fights would follow, but this would be the showstopper if the would be not just the biggest and most devastating battle of this war but the biggest battle in a sense the culminating bait will of wh battle of what the war as terror. when it was done they could call. most significant urban combat since word war ii. >> thank you both for being here. this remains one of the
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extraordinary things of the century. the rise and fall of isis, he know you examined where they are right now. but after the pentagon putting out warnings that they may rise again, does your reporting show that a year from now you may be putting out a documentary and call. rise and fall and rise -- >> rebirth of isis? >> rebirth of isis, yeah? >> it's possible. there are a lot of people still out there who support isis. the isis state, the caliphate, was destroyed. there was a campaign, took five years, it was led by the u.s. military, they had local allies on the ground primarily the kurds. they took isis' territory away in rack and syria. but that revealed another prop problem. what do with all the people who lived inside this caliphate. >> let me ask you about taking away the caliphate because we heard promises time and again of the caliphate, the promise of a
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new order in that area. was the best recruiting tool. has that proven to be true or has recruiting slowed down since the caliphate's been blown to pieces? >> a different kind of recruiting. there were people who were attracted to isis because of its success, because it had a physical state, because it was able to show that it had territory, it had the city of mosul, and people wanted to join in and join what seems like a successful project. the state was take ineway, so that narrative for isis has become more and more difficult to sell. but there are still many people who were part of isis, who were part of this state who are still there, who are unrepentant and who are not effectively controlled right now. they -- according to a pentagon study there are as many as 18,000 isis members who are still at large. and there are about 70,000 plus supporters of isis who are in
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loosely-guarded camps in iraq and syria, one camp in syria in particular where they are just there sitting around with not much to do, very frustrated, waiting for an opportunity to rise again. so i think you could say the state has been defeated. some of its narrative has been taken away because it lost that state, but there are still tens of thousands of people who are dedicated, who are believers, and who are still on the battlefield. >> in the spring of this year richard traveled to syria to see about the so-called end of isis. >> reporter: as the dust settled on the battlefield, the victors realized they had a new problem on their hands. what to do with the thousands of women and children stumbling from the rubble. they were not innocent victims. many were unrepentant believers who didn't even attempt to hide
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their hostility toward the west. whenever they saw our cameras, the women and some of the children would raise a single finger in the air just like they were taught to do. it represents the one true god who could never be defeated. is it over? isis finished. >> translator: no, next time it will be in your lands. >> that's just incredible reporting, richard. james, i want to bring you in on the conversation to talk specifically about mosul and the fighting there and why that may have helped to turn the tide in those ten months or so. >> the defeat in mosul helped to turn the tide? >> yeah. >> mosul had always been the islamic state's largest holding, their self-proclaimed capital in raqqa was much smaller on mosul. when isis took mosul in june of 2014, the nature of war changed just as surely has it had on
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9/11. suddenly thin sur gent group who had taken smaller cities, fallujah, ra maddie, took the second largest city in iraq in a middle-income city. everyone knew that mosul would have to fall eventually and they knew if it fell it would spell the end of the caliphate at least in iraq, and if not isis, at least their territory. >> there is this desire, i think, among the american people historically and now to somehow declare victory. >> yeah. >> what does victory look like. >> donald trump has declared victory said isis is defeated but we have al qaeda morphant to isis. how do you declare victory against a defeat like that? >> i think it's a significant victory, it took away their territory. what was remarkable about isis as compared to al qaeda or so
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many other groups is they held a great deal of territory. they had a state, a government, a regime, an economy. they had a school system. they had a society. that's been largely eradicated in the geographical sense. that does make a victory if that's the word we want to use. the ideas and the recentments that drive people to want to join us, those obviously have not disappeared. but back to your question before, the loss of territory and the loss of a place where people can go and live under what they consider to be god's law, i think that does mark a significant da minute meaiminis group's appeal. it's a rogue organization like al qaeda is trying to carryout attacks in multiple countries, not for the sake of building up a state of bringing in, you know, ushering in the apocalypse and -- championship is whwhich d
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to do many of them, but rather appealing to bloody-minded people that would like to kill in spectacular ways. >> we were talking about before this segment started about this battle. and i was shocked to hear how you guys were describing it the what does it is a that the warfare became so terrible in this particular battle, this particular moment and it took so long to break isis' hold on the city and what does it mean going forward to how the war on terror is going to evolve? >> so the bat of mosul was intense, particularly as it got more and more concentrated in the old city. mosul is a big historic city, but then there is one ancient part of the city. and that was effectively destroyed. and that's where isis members decided to make their last stand in the city and it was carpet
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bombed. we were there walking around and the city was exploding around us. there were bodies on the street. there was very, very intense street to street fighting as people were trying to leave the city, as isis members were holding out with suicide vests. but eventually isis did lose mosul, but as i was saying earlier, a lot of isis members were just herded up and put into these refugee camps that are kind of loosely guarded and they're just waiting for an opportunity for something else. >> the book is they will have to die now, mosul and the fall of the caliphate. out now, james, thank you so much and richard engel, thank you as well. amazing work. >> it's great having you along. hope you'll come back sbr absolutely. >> we didn't get to the extraordinary story of the kurds. >> on sunday 9:00 eastern msnbc we talk a lot about the kurds
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who took away the caliphate and who are now worried about being betrayed themselves. >> yeah. >> i credible. thank you so much. >> reverend al, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> like the godfather of soul, you're the hardest working man in show business. except you're the hardest working man in civil rights. what do you have going this weekend? >> i'm leaving now headed to kansas city speaking for the black health summit and then politics nation both saturday and sunday evening. i'm going to deal well trudeau and black face this weekend. >> we'll be watching. >> we watch every week. we face time each other, i turn it on and then we have a running commentary. >> oh, good god. all right. reverend al, thank you. coming up, bernie sanders has a new milestone and kamala harris says she's moving to iowa? >> that worked we will have. >> for chris todd. >> yeah. >> the latest headlines from the 2020 campaign trail ahead on "morning joe." s from the 2020 campaign trail ahead on "morning joe." ♪ (dramatic orchestra)
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the leader will just say i'm just waiting to hear what the president wants. thousand, that is to abdicate your role as a leader in article 1 first branch of government. it's not even obstruction, it's just abandonment of your responsibility as a leader. >> with the president under new pressure about a call with a foreign leader, mitch mcconnell just backtracked on freeing up money to protect american elections. where did this come from? seems out of the blue all most. >> it really does seem out of the blue, the timing. >> just what like just did it? willie also opened the window to gun reform. that is the big question we all want the answer to. welcome back to "morning joe," it's friday, september 20th with joe, willie and me. we have branding and marketing expert donny deutsch, he's got a new mug. and i'm getting a set. pulitzer prize winning editorial
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for the "washington post" and msnbc contributor jonathan is here. hello. >> good to see you. >> editor of commentary magazine and calmness, the new york post, john is here. and nbc news and msnbc law analyst editor chief of law fair, ben wittis. and professor of presidency at vanderbilt university, jon meacham. he's an nbc news and msnbc contributor. >> so wise. >> this is an odd place do, but, john, i'm coming to nashville this afternoon, i'll call you later. >> okay. >> lsu/vandy tomorrow. >> about that thing that -- he'll call you. >> it's true. >> that person show up at the -- >> right. >> we'll call you later. >> right. okay, speaking of calls, we're going to begin with a whistleblower complaint that the trump administration is trying to keep secret from congress.
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two people familiar with the matter tell "the washington post" that it centers on ukraine. nbc news has not confirmed that ukraine is at the center of the issue. the white house did not immediately respond for a request for comment. the post citing two former u.s. officials previously reported that the complaint was made by a u.s. intelligence official who was alarmed by a promise the president made to a foreign leader in a phone conversation. trump spoke with the new president of ukraine on july 25th. the whistleblower complaint was filed less than three weeks later. ukraine is significant because of reporting that the president was withholding military aid to the country, holding back on it, while at the same time trump's personal lawyer rudy giuliani was pushing for the ukrainian government to investigate democratic presidential front
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runner joe biden and his son hunter. here is rudy giuliani last night on msnbc. >> did you ask the ukraine to investigate joe biden? >> no. actually i didn't. i asked the ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the ukrainians for the benefit of hillary clinton for which there already is a finding -- >> you never asked anything about hunter biden? you never asked anything about joe biden in his role as a prosecutor? >> the only thing i asked about joe biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that sankco, who was appointed dismissed the case against an tack. >> you did ask udrien look into joe biden? >> of course i did. >> you have just said you didn't. >> norrie didn't ask th, i askeo the allegations against my client which tangentially involved joe biden in a massive bribery scheme, not unlike what he did in china. >> rude. >> i you explain to me how the kid got $1.5 billion from china. >> i have no problem with you launching allegations, but just
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be careful about what you say. i asked you did you ask ukraine about joe biden. >> i have no -- >> you said no. then you went on to say that you did. it's all recorded. >> i did not. what i said was this. i asked this them to investigate the allegations that relate to the false charges against the president of the united states. those allegations tangentially involve biden. >> so your answer -- >> let me finish, chris. and you wa to cover some ridiculous charge that i urged the ukrainian government to investigate corruption. well did i and i'm proud of it. >> well then it's not a ridiculous allegation, you just admitted it. >> it's a ridiculous allegation. >> you just admitted it. >> of course -- of course -- of course. >> you just admitted that you did it. >> of course i should. >> i'm not saying it was wrong for you do it i'm asking you -- >> i'm glad -- >> and now you're saying yes. the president asked the president of ukraine do the same thing. >> i knew this a year ago. the only way this would come out is if you come after me. well fine. >> i'm not coming after you.
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>> come after me. >> i'm asking you questions, okay. and i'm asking you -- >> and i'm answering your questions and you don't like the answers. >> well, actually -- >> oh, no, we like the answers. it's very clear. they tell me a lot. >> so many different answers. hold on. he said he did not call them to investigate biden. then he said of course he did. >> of course he did. >> then he attack cue opal me, chris cuomo for the allegations, the outrageous allegations before admitting that he did exactly what chris cuomo asked him if he had done. >> helpful. helpful. >> there's the dry mouth also, when someone is lying -- >> these two stories has the house investigating the trump administration withheld aid to assist the president's re-election. >> it looks very much like that, actually. timing is just impossibly -- >> timing not great. >> coincidental. >> the editorial award of
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getting the president to meddle in the 2020 election on his behave. trump administration did release that $20 million in assistance last week but providing no explanation for their delay. and last hour we have been told about this in early august, the "washington post," the financial times, other papers reported on this even before the whistleblower part of this story came out. so let's go to our giuliani whisperer, the man who can -- he spent his -- he can interpret what rudy said for the rest of us. ben wittis, i bet you didn't know -- just tell us what the hell did we see? >> what's happened? >> and what are the legal implications if, in fact, what rudy giuliani admitted to happened -- >> i'm confused. you didn't find that clarifying? >> oh, was clarifying. >> you think that needs explanation? >> well -- >> what are the consequences if
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what we're hearing, if what "the washington post" editorial liesed, if what the financial times has reported on, what we hear from reports "the new york times" and other papers are telling us the whistleblower is complaining about, what are the implications of the president, of a commander and chief withholding military aid to a country under threat from further invasion from vladimir putin until they investigate his chief political rival in the united states? >> right. so let me -- let me be very clear that i am not saying that that's what this is, though that is one very plausible interpretation of the facts that "the washington post" has reported and may well be where this set of allegations ends up. but, look, this is byzantine and weird, but it would if that is what these allegations boil down to, boil down to a very simple and very serious scandal. which is, can you as president
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of the united states, essentially extort from a foreign government and a foreign head of state spying on your political opponents or investigating your political opponents? now, the united states government, you know, has real limitations on what it can do to spy on u.s. citizens, much less for politically motivated reasons. and if what you're suggesting is what happened, then the president would have basically leaned on a foreign government to do what it is not permitted to do itself. and that would be an extremely serious matter if that's, in fact, what happened here. >> let's put this to the side for a minute in an interview with the host saying i'm embarrassed for you, good night, and then went to commercial break. true story. >> true story. >> let's talk about what we're seeing here and how big a deal
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you believe it is if it is as laid out. we don't know the details yet. we know there was a phone call in the reporting we're getting from the "washington post" and "new york times" this morning is that it was ukraine, the whistleblower was talking about this phone call with ukraine. how big a deal potentially is this when you connect the dots to withholding military aid, rudy giuliani out investigating the bidens in ucrepe? >> ukraine? >> it could be an enormous deal or it could be nothing. and my sense is that people should keep their powder dry because we're now at 2 3/4 easy years of the trump administration and people think it's time to go in for the kill. the salient detail that would wrap everything up in a bow doesn't materialize or the story is a little overblown. and there's a set -- there are two secondary things. one, a real danger for the trump people and another a real danger
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for opponents of trump. >> that danger -- let's talk first of all, let's just assume what the financial times is reported, what the "washington post" has reported about the editoraliz editoralized on that donald trump said he was going to withhold military aid unless he spied and did investigations on the bidens. >> right. >> let's assume those are the facts before us. where do we go from here? >> this is a weird thing because it's obviously a very big deal on the one hand. and institutionally and constitutionally the idea that the president of the united states particularly a free wielding, you know, norms-breaking president of the united states is having his own private conversations with other foreign leaders kind of monitored by somebody under him is constitutionally problematic. i mean, jack goldsmith who
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writes for law fair is a key figure in the study of see chrissy in th secretsy pointed out there's a huge constitutional problem if the president's ability to talk freely with foreign leaders is interfered with by -- by this kind of process, that, you know, if you want to go after him for this, what happens when biden's president and he has a conversation where somebody says something or he says something that is problematic are you going to go after him too? it's a -- >> two words, urgent concern. that does not have -- >> yeah. >> i think you're going down the wrong -- jonathan i want to bring you in here. i suggested this is not a false start. this is a moment in time that all the other calls for impeachment which when you're talking about campaign finance, voting people cannot connect with. this is a very simple tale that is almost unimaginable. and this one does feel different. and this does feel like the time the democrats need to storm the
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gate. are you on john's side or are you kind of leaning more where i am? >> i heard what you said in the previous hour and i am on your side. this is -- >> it really almost made you miss saturday night politics, didn't it? got the call -- >> you know what the problem was? he never did the show. >> by waithe way, there's reallo problem. >> now you can feel like you're a part of it. >> wonderful. but to -- [ laughter ] >> but to answer your -- >> how was that? >> contemptuous. like you handed him a kleenex. >> the floor is yours. >> donny, i agree with you, i don't go to far as to say democrats should storm the gate. >> why not? >> wait. but i think what's happening here, to your point, makes it easier for democrats to make the case that not only is the president reckless in terms of his policies, but he's reckless in terms of the national security of the united states and he's reckless when it comes
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to abiding by the constitution. right now when he in the transition period i wrote a column that said that i suddenly realized that the constitution is only as powerful as the 44 men so far who have sworn to uphold to protect it. and with trump, we're seeing that the constitution is actually a very fragile thing. i think with this -- what we're seeing right now, is -- the constitution is being stress tested. and for me, as horrifying as this story is as it keeps evolving, and i don't know if you've talked about this already, but i'm wondering where are those republicans who were thundering at hillary clinton -- >> we have that. >> thundering at hillary clinton and benghazi and her emails or anything that president obama did for eight years or anything that president clinton did in his eight years. the silence of the lambs. >> i'd like to see the classified -- classified
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information on a couple of emails that caused -- >> oh, yeah. >> everybody to meltdown and here donald trump is just tossing it around. >> right. what i want to know is where's senator lindsey graham? where's senator mitt romney who was supposed to be the person who was the conscious of the republican party? >> we didn't know until yesterday that mcconnell for the first time switched on we have to be a little careful. i think that was an amazing tell. >> if then, yes. but you guys are all treating this as though we now know that it's a quid pro quo. >> it's a huge deal. >> it's a huge deal if it's true. we don't actually know if the specifics that we're reading about are not just -- >> i'm choking on the smoke. >> but a series of extrapolations based on reporting. so -- >> i think we're going to have to -- >> obviously if the line is he sent investigate biden or i'm holding the aid back and that's absolutely the case, that's a huge -- >> yeah, that's -- >> we don't know that that's the
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story. >> i would say if i were a member of congress and a president from my own party, there was an editorial in the "washington post" that laid out that quid pro quo a couple of weeks ago before this whistleblower story, financial times was reporting it, people across washington, d.c. was reporting it, i would be talking about it. i've heard nothing from republicans. i think it would be nice for ones for republicans to step forward and ask the same question about american interests as democrats are doing. >> right. the other thing is i just want to say there's a huge danger for trump here. which is if he wants to go after biden he's going to go after biden that's fine. he wants details on biden, fine. biden has a secret weapon, not so secret weapon in his quiver, which is you're going after my son, i just lost my other son, my other son died of cancer three years ago, and you're going to try to make this campaign about my surviving son? >> i've lost a daughter, i've lost a son, and now you're going after my surviving son. >> thank you for saying that.
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>> that's a good point. >> politically it's like a killer. >> it's really bad. >> yeah, don't -- anyway, jon meacham, i'm going to bring you in and then i wanted to get ben on this as well. john brought up some real dangers here about a president, a norm-breaking president, what can he and what can't he do? ben was talking about having somebody else spy on other countries. this is -- having other countries spy on your campaigns. this is an especially important question to ask in 2019 when we read in the "new york times" this year that countries like russia, china, israel, the saudis, uae, they all have the technology to listen to every one of our phone conversations, they all have the technology to read every one of our text messages. so if they have that technology, and they do, i mean, i'm
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constantly have been -- i've been warned for years from people that work at the pentagon, turn off your phone when you go into meetings. john mccain warned me when i was in middle meeting that his -- >> my dad from your dad was constantly warning turn off your phones. five governments are listening to your conversation right now if they want to. if this is the case, and it is the case, then this is -- you could do sort of almost like a rendition, the version of rendition for spying, something that a campaign can't do in america that a president can't do in america, but the uae or the saudi arabia or russia or china or israel can do, listen to your opponents phone calls, get that information to you, and you can use it in campaigns. i mean, because of technology, this is a more important question to ask now than ever is, you know, how far can
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presidents go in areas like this? getting help from other governments. >> yeah. it's the digital version of disintermediation. when we disintermediated everything, retail and now politics and absolutely. it's a leveling effect. and a little bit like remember oppenheimer and others wornd th warned when nuclear weapons entered you'd never be able to stop the proliferation because who would not want that much power in a fallen world? so the capacity of foreign governments, and also not even governments, right, just non-state actors. who knows. this is not necessarily state-run technology. we're in a total wild west. and when you have a president who speaks the way he speaks and i think to put it generously is
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not always huing to the accuracy meter, then it complicates things even more. so i think it's a hugely important moment. you also have american companies who are in some ways helping participate in this. i don't think we've quite -- at least i haven't, i don't drag anybody else into it -- quite figured out or quite dealt with the role of the disruptive role of the technological side. that's why the security issues that senator mcconnell's moved around on are so important. because if you don't -- too many americans already don't have faith in the integrity of the elections. they don't believe the institutions. they don't believe in the systems. and if we don't do everything we can to try to say this was as best we could do in a complicated world, then that
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institutional trustee raids even more. and be that becomes the point where does this 250-year experiment keep going. >> and benjamin, to that point you have such an important book coming out about the unmaking of the presidency. and how we have to sort through what actually are breaches of constitutional norms and what are just simply the president of the united states deciding not to follow presidential practices. so that some of them have come into effect more recently than others. so these facts that are laid out in "the washington post" editorial and some of the other newspapers actually end up being proven, is that a crime or is that just the -- this president once again going beyond
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practiced norms for the presidency? >> so it's very hard to evaluate that without knowing exactly what facts to hold up against, you know, any of several possible criminal statutes. i will say i largely agree with john that -- about the basic problem here, which is this allegation, if it's true, is an una. unambiguously impeachable offense. it is a huge abuse of power domestically, that's spying or investigating mayor triciously a political opponent. and it seems to involve, you know, an allegation of essentially offering a bribe to or extorting from a foreign head of state. and so at sort two of levels it's a very kind of simple and unambiguously awful allegation. but, as john rightly points out,
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we don't know exactly what the details of the allegation are. and moreover, the mechanism by which it is said to have happened, whatever it was, is a communication between the president of the united states and a foreign head of state which is the kind of molten core of executive kind of confidentialities that the executive branch will endeavor to protect. and so i think there's a real puzzle here, it's a horrible allegation, we need to find out what happened, and it is going to be very difficult to figure it out because the executive branch will tenaciously try to protect this information. and, by the way, as you point out just now, this is the sort of information that traditional presidencies will try to protect. and so i think we have a puzzle about how to unravel this thing in a way that gives us the
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ability to answer the question that you just posed. >> i think trump is also uniquely difficult person to deal with in this way, which is as michael cohen said in his testimony, he doesn't give a direct order, he doesn't say things all that directly. it's sort of what jj says in the sweet smell of success, my right hand hasn't seen what my left e left hand has been doing in 30 years. he knows how to say things without saying them. if there's a transcript of this call it could be that he alluded to the prose inspect that maybe unclearly saturday lin ski should if he did this maybe he'd be happy -- >> urgent concern, remember those words. it was such an extraordinary act. >> we don't know. >> but we don't know -- >> we don't know what the act is. the. >> the act of coming forward. >> i understand -- >> the whistleblower -- >> but how many times over the past several years have we heard
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people saying we are absolutely certain that this proof that there's a smoking gun showing that donald trump concluded with the russians and it's all going to blow up and he's going to jail. i think as john as said and benjamin has said we have to know what those facts are. because if it's the raising of an eyebrow or something that you can't nail down. >> or a suggestion. >> or a suggestion. because michael cohen says he never gives a direct order. >> he suggests. >> he suggests. and then people move on that. >> you're supposed to understand it. >> right. >> and that's terrible, by the way. don't get me wrong. if he alluded to he wanted him to do this, it's really bad. but as ben says, we are in uncharted territory if we are -- if we have people in the administration monitoring the president's phone calls with foreign leaders and then reporting on them to congress. that is -- it may be necessary,
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it is still uncharted territory. >> and just remember, donald trump has people outside the administration freelancing for him in the case of michael cohen, his fixer. in this case it's rudy giuliani. his personal attorney. and don't think the minute this goes down donald trump won't cut rudy giuliani loose and say i don't know what he was doing, i had nothing to do with it. >> right. >> but, mika, let's connect this to a story earlier this week. "the new york times" puts out an incomplete story. democratic candidates, a slew of them come out and call for the immediate impeachment of brett kavanaugh before the next day they find out that the alleged victim said the alleged incident can't even remember that the alleged incident ever began. why don't we wait for the facts and then decide whether it's an impeachable offense or not. >> a lot more to get to. thank you all for being on this morning. and still ahead on "morning joe," breaking news on the 2020
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don't miss out on this limited time offer. call 1-800-501-6000 today. well, a few days ago i called new york city mayor bill de blasio, i wanted him to come on the show to talk bay speech he was giving a few days before in philadelphia. yaps and he to yoopd he told me he already had plans to come on friday. i thought you were coming -- >> because i like you. >> exactly. talking red sox here. but you have a very important announcement to make. >> let me just say up-front, these last months i've had an extraordinary experience going all over this country. and i want to tell you i think it's a lot better country than
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what we often see portrayed. there's a lot more unity out there, there's a lot more hope, folks don't like this moment of division and anger. they want to get by it. i'm finding that people of all ideologies want to get by it. i think there's going to be extraordinary voter turnout. there's really enkracouraging things happening in this country. i hear things that are really front and center of mind anxiety about the future of work and will people have livelihoods? i'm talking about the automation issue and the fact we have no national strategy of the onslaught of automation which could take away ten of millions of american jobs in the next couple decades. i'm proposing a plan do something about it to really takeaway the tax cuts that corporations get right now to automate jobs away. in fact, put a robot tax on big korpgs to make them have to compensate so we can retrain,
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replay american workers. and that kind of message really resinates with working people in this country. so getting out there, being able to hear people's concerns, address them with new ideas has been an extraordinary experience. but i have to tell you at the same time i feel like i've contributed all i can to this primary election and it's clearly not my time. so i'm going to end my presidential campaign, continue my work as mayor of new york city, and i'm going to keep speaking up for working people and for a democrat party that stands for working people. i'll just say this. i talked to a lot of folks, including a lot of labor union members who really don't feel the democratic party has their back right now. and that's a lot of the story of 2016, i think. democrats not being clear, strong for working people. a lot of working people stayed home. some of them even drifted away. we have a chance to get it right in 2020. and that's one of the things i'm going to talk about a lot going forward. whoever our nominee is, let's make sure we're speaking to the hearts of working people and
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they know we're on their side. if we do that, we're going to win. if we don't, this is an election that could go the other way. >> so five months left. >> wow. >> until the first contest, iowa. >> yes. >> some might say why now? why not give it another month? >> yeah, joe, i think this gets to the reality of the debates, first and foremost, for me. we could all analyze sort of what's been good and what's been bad about these debates. i think one thing we'd all agree on is ten people on the stage is not necessarily -- that's not democratic ideal they had in mind in the roman senate, right? >> right. >> it's really hard to make sense of. the last one in particular i was watching first time i wasn't participating. and it just felt like a lot of stuff flying around without ability to really make sense of it. so i think we've got to get to a different format. but the way you get into those debates, in one way it's wonderful, it's grassroots donations are one of the triggers starting with $1, that's enlightened.
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but the bar is so high so early that for a lot of us clearly some of my fellow chief executives, governors couldn't make that cut. it's clear to me that's a high bar and it's one that i'm not going to be able to meet. and i think that's the central reason. >> so moving forward, any idea who you're going to be supporting and are there other candidates that, perhaps, should clear the stage so that we can have a deeper conversation? >> well, mika, i think, you know, i feel this profoundly. each candidate has to make their own very personal decision. >> it's hard, i know. >> and if they feel they can contribute and something that can make an impact, i understand why folks want to hang in there. i did as longs a felt i could. i would say there's very good candidates. this is one of the most impressive fields we as democrats have had in a long time. i'm not making endorsements today. >> who do youy like? >> i'm really not going to go into it today. it's something i'll think about. but i'll tell you this much. i will support of course whoever is the democratic nominee.
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and everybody on that stage, we could talk about it backstage, everyone is going to support whoever the eventual nominee is. anybody who worries bay split party, that's not the problem. the irony to me from this experience first hand being up there with my colleagues, we don't need to worry about lack of hunttunit tip. it's lack of passion. if they don't stand for something, do not believe that they won't come out and they're not inspired. 2016 is often misunderstood. it's a lot of democrats, young people, progressives, people of color who stayed home in places like milwaukee and wisconsin and all, that was the central problem. if we have an inspiring vision, and a candidate who is believable with that vision, i think we're going to be great. so that's what i'm going to be fighting for. >> so, mr. mayor, as you look back on this race, clearly you've given this decision a lot of thought. you are the mayor of the biggest city in the united states with low crime, a relatively good economy, you've been re-elected in this city. you have pure progressive credentials.
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why didn't you break through as you look back on it? >> well, i'll analyze that more. i do think i started later than i would have liked. and it is this issue about when you actually run something, and something big and complex, i'm so proud to be mayor of new york city, it is the greatest city in the world, we have the lowest crime we've had since the 1950s. we have pre-k for all our kids, there's a lot of things i'm very, very proud of. but that's part of why i could not announce until as late as i did. and now understanding, look, these election cycles are stretching out and stretching out and stretching out. if you don't get in real early, you have a challenge. i have learned that very personally. >> do you have any regrets looking back about even the decision to get in? there were moments during the campaign, during the power outage for example you were in iowa that maybe you should have been back in new york just doing that job instead of toiling at 1% or 2%? >> well, they don't schedule power outages and -- >> i understand. but the challenges -- >> if they sent a memo it would have been helpful.
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>> but the challenge of being the chief executive of the biggest city in the country and running a campaign across the country? >> no regrets about doing it because it has been a life-altering experience. it's been absolutely amazing experience and it's given me a lot of hope about america and a lot of clarity about what we need to do going forward. so, no. and the city, by the way, even in that moment we talked about it right here, i mean, that blackout our team did an amazing job. our first responders, it was over in five hours, not a single person got hurt. so i'm very proud of the city of new york, all the people that work for the city of new york, they did what they were trained to do. but you never know what you're going to be confronted with when you go out there. and chief executives have a different standard that we're held to, which is right. but the irony is, if you're talking about who would be president of the united states, i still believe there's a lottor said for a chief executive, but it's really hard for a chief executive to have the time and also to be held to a consistent standard with folks who don't have anything to run.
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that's just a reality. >> i want to press you on one thing related to mika's question. understanding you're not going to endorse anybody today, et cetera, you and i sat down before you ran and one of the things you were very clear about was the democratic party does not need a moderate, said that over and over again. you said joe biden say moderate, that's one of the things you said. >> yeah. >> i'm curious as to now having stood on stage with joe biden and having watched joe biden who is the front runner by every metric, whether you've changed your mind in any way about -- about either of those two things? that the democratic party needs -- whether it still doesn't need a moderate and whether having listened to joe biden carefully and debated with him on stage whether your view of him as a moderate versus a progressive has any way been changed by the campaign you've seen so far. >> one, you sir are a dog way bone. he just will not forget this. i'm impressed. >> you said it on tv. >> i'm very comfortable with what i said and i still believe.
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py will sti will support whoevee nominee. i think we need a progressive. i don't think anyone here would doubt the party has moved in a much more progressive direction the last four years. that's where the energy is. that's where you're going to excite that intense turnout we need. that's also how we're going to change the country. this whole debate over healthcare is a great example. the bar is being set higher. and i talked to work people around the country and they really align to this point. shouldn't we aspire to healthcare that works for everyone some because when you debate all the fine points, which is where these national debates have bogged down a bit, the question is really aspirational. do you want a society where people can get healthcare? shouldn't that include mental healthcare? shouldn't that include dental? shouldn't it be something where your family could never go bankrupt? and people feel that strzoklong i think we need a progressive, i think that's how we move the kund and we win. i don't have a different view of joe, i respect him greatly, but i don't have a different view of his values and approach. but whoever's the nominee, i'm
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going to be there for them. >> understood. >> let me ask you about the attention within the democratic party. and you sort of talked about it in your opening remarks. you say that the party should refocus c refocus on working class people, which translates to white people. on the other hand there are people that say that the democratic party needs to focus on the base and the foundation of the base is the african-american vote and african-american women in particular. square that for people who when they hear working class they hear white and think that you and the democratic party is spending a lft ti spending a lot of time focussed on people who they believe aren't coming back to the democratic party. >> i think it's a fascinating reality that you say working people, not working-class white people, working people, and some assume that only means white people. >> because that's the way it's been eely tickally defined. >> it should not be. who's doing the work in america?
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people of color are doing a huge amount of the work in america. when i say working people, i'm talking about an age-old concept that if black and white workers, latino, asian, if everyone saw the common interests we could change this country profoundly. no, it is not a keyword or a code word for anything but folks who do the work who right now do not even have a decent minimum wage, don't have enough healthcare, can't make ends meet in a whole lot of cases, even right up to middle class people feel they can't make ends meet. look, i think this is the pivotal point. we need a party that stands for all working people. i guarantee you, and i've spent a lot of time in places like wisconsin, if the democratic party truly in 2016 had energetically truly stood for universal healthcare and $15 minimum wage and the kinds of things, you know, strong message about how to protect american jobs from automation, things that everyday people could have pe felt in the state of wisconsin,
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you would have seen african americans come out, latinos, working class latino people, working las african americans, progressives, young people, people need to be inspired by something that they think will change their family's lives and their lives. i reject that whole divide. the 2016 election was much more about people of color, young people, progressives not coming out than it was about those working class whites who flipped or stayed home. but i'm not giving up on the working class white people either because a lot of them are labor union members in the midwest, in the industrial states who feel they were screwed by nafta and they feel the democrats are responsible. and they're right. they feel they have not stood up to, would class people. too much deference to the coats and the elites. that's not a democratic party i signed up for. i want a democratic party that's willing to take on the elites and there for working people of all backgrounds equally. >> that's that bobby kennedy coalition from 1968 that had
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working class white voters, working class black voters. when democrats get that bobby kennedy coalition, they win. i want to play you a clip of something bernie sanders said and get your reaction. >> joe the generate very little excitement. in order to beat trump, you're going to need a massive turnout. that means bringing young people into the political process, working people who in some cases don't vote. i just don't think that joe's agenda is the agenda that's going to create the kind of energy and excitement you need to have this large voter turnout. >> and he's repeated that. a lot of concern about everybody's talking about the white working class voters in 2016 that elected donald trump. very few people. it took them a couple years to figure out it was actually black voters declining for the first time in 20 years that was what defeated hillary clinton in 2016.
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do you -- do you think, perhaps, bernie has a point that joe biden may not be the candidate to inspire democrats to come out, the mubs they nenumbers th come out to defeat donald trump? >> if you take the world right this minute, great respect to the vice president, he's not presenting that agenda that will energize that vote. i believe in redemption, there's plenty of time. but it is one part about agenda and one part of passion and articulation it. let's take those young voters and those progressive voters who went to jill stein or stayed home, you know, we should never have lost those votes. so here's an immediate example. by that point donald trump had said plenty of reprehensible stuff in the 2016 election. there should have been ever reason in the world for anyone that called themselves a progressive or younger voters who wanted to address climate change or wanted a more fair and equal society to come out with energy. but they didn't in 2016. we can't let that happen again. so i think bernie's making an
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important point. there has to be a vision and a message and a believable presentation, right? if we are seen as the party of the status quo, let's face it, again, that was another 2016 reality, folks looked at the situation, they said i'm not sure anything's going to change if the democrats get elected. that is an intolerable situation. whoever is the nominee, they better make clear that something major is going to change in this country, that working people will have a better life in this country. your point about the bobby kennedy coalition, when we put together that coalition we are unbie unbeatable. but we're not there yet. >> i want to ask you quickly, you have a few years left in new york, as you said "new york times" reported about six months ago crime is so low in new york city now they have to go back to the 1950s and try to estimate a time when crime was this low in the city. i've got friends that have talked about pre-k and you're universal pre-k program that
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literally changed opportunities not just for children, but for working parents. what's next for you in new york? what are you looking forward to over the next few years? >> we're going to take it the next step with early childhood education. 3-k, 3-year-olds will get free childhood education universally. we're going to get a healthcare model. if you don't have insurance you get a insurance card, pay what you can pay. go to the doctor, not the emergency room when you have a problem, actually get well. and we're going to pass along and work hard with our city council to pass a law guaranteeing what is guaranteed in every industrialized nation on earth but this one, which is guaranteed time off for working people. we're going to pass a law guaranteeing two weeks paid vacation for every working person. and one more thing i'm going to keep working on this automation
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issue locallialally, nationally make sure we don't leave millions of people without livelihood. that's unacceptable. they want jobs, not universal income. they want jobs and a livelihood. i'm going fight for that. >> well thank you. and thank you for your contribution. this is hard to do when you jump in the race, it's -- it's hard. and we appreciate your efforts and thanks for being on the show this morning. >> thank you so much. >> for nbc news, think about your decision to end your campaign and what you plan do next. we look forward to that. >> you know what he's doing next? >> yeah. >> he's going across the street to cardinal dolan and repent for being a red sox fan. i think that's smart. >> cardinal dolan, everyone knows this, is a cardinals fan pettigrew up in missouri. . he grew up in missouri. >> i'm not following this. >> it's easier to -- >> i went to, i love to say
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this. we went to a mets game together when the cardinals were in last year, year before. and i said i'm going with the cardinal to a cardinals game. think about that. >> all right. very nice to have you. thank you. coming up we'll have you back. we'll talk more about immigration, there is plenty of reporting from the southern border, but not as much from where the crisis actually starts. we're going to go to jacob soboroff live in guatemala city. as we go to break, a lot going on at knowyourvalue.com. we have steph ruhle on self-promotion. an incredible piece with salary finance on millennial spending and the challenges that millennial women face, financial challenges. also i'm very excited today, i'm headed to philadelphia to host a special know your value workshop for independence blue cross employees. we're going to talk about negotiation skills, building confidence, growing your personal finances, and also specific advice on growing your career. so we're going to grow the value
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of the room. you'll get a full wrap-up at knowyourvalue.com in the coming days and also be showing you some of these techniques on monday and what we did in philly today. we'll be right back with much more on "morning joe." back wit more on "morning joe." ♪ - [woman] with my shark, i deep clean messes like this, this, and even this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans now cleans itself. (classical music playing throughout)
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still to come this morning, joe's conversation with the pixies. you probably know the band's music, but what about the story behind it? that's ahead. >> as we go to break, a cut from joe and the independent counsel of funk. this one is called "lift me up." "morning joe" is back in a moment. ♪ broken hearted ♪ knocked down on the floor ♪ i hear a whisper saying ♪ try once more
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♪ lift me up ♪ lord, lift me up ♪ when the world knocks me down ♪ ♪ yeah ♪ lift me up ♪ give me strength to carry others on the ground ♪ ♪ lift me up ♪ i ain't going to let nobody turn me around ♪ ♪ gonna raise my hands ♪ yeah, yeah ♪ lord, lift me up ♪ lord, lift me up ♪ lord, lift me up ♪ oh, yeah lift me up ♪ ♪ oh, yeah "morning joe" is sponsored by -- ed by -
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welcome back to "morning
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joe". jacob soboroff and julia ainsley are out with new reporting on how the trump administration has seen evidence of a direct connection between climate change and migration to the united states from guatemala and are choosing to ignore that. but a dhs official says the high turnover inside the agency has made officials nervous about keeping their jobs and anxious to please the white house, particularly senior adviser stephen miller. quote, everyone knows miller isn't interested in hearing about climate change, the dhs official said. a senior federal law enforcement official echoed those sentiments. quote, there is a root cause of migration, but the question presupposes that if you know there's a refugee crisis related to climate change you should do something about it. jacob joins us now from guatemala city. guatemala to flesh out some of the reporting. jacob, what else did you find? >> reporter: willie, this is internal department of homeland security research that they compiled and presented to other top dhs officials about the
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connection between climate change and migration, and it is not some small effect. it is one of the main driving factors, food insecurity, of people leaving from here in guatemala and coming to the united states. instead of doubling down on foreign aid that would mitigate the effects of drought or mitigate the effects of people literally starving here in guatemala, and that dadat data basically overlayed the migration to the united states. we came to see how bad it is on the ground. take a look at this. we started here in guatemala city, leaving early to journey deep into the country. six hours later we arrived in a town on our way to a village only reachable with four wheel drive. you could tell the paved roads have ended here and we are our our way to las sopas. the world program brought us here because last year five students died of starvation brought on by climate-induced crop failure.
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in an emergency response they're feeding the local children. >> translator: a lot of the kids that are here come because they know for sure there's going to be food. >> reporter: she is saying at home kids don't eat. the moms are helping cook the meals. you get basically a stew, meat and vegetables, rice, tortillas and fruit-flavored water. this program wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the world food program. the problem is that it is reacting to the crisis. it is not happening in advance of the crisis. every one of these kids is raising their hand right now, knows somebody who has left to go to the united states because they couldn't survive here. >> reporter: who do you know that went to the united states states. >> papa. >> reporter: papa. what is he doing here now? he's cleaning. her dad is in the u.s. cleaning. do you want to go there or do you want to stay here? [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: she wants to stay. >> reporter: people are literally starving to death in guatemala including little children, and if the president
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thinks that defunding foreign aid that would mitigate that, that building a wall on the southern border, that increasing militarization on the southern border will stop those people from coming here, he is absolutely wrong. we will get much more into the root effects of climate change, how it contributes to what is going on here in a special report tonight, you guys, on chris hayes' show at 8:00 p.m. on msnbc. >> that will be 8:00 p.m. eastern. jacob continuing his reporting with julia ainsley. jacob from guatemala city. full report at msnbc.com. a new report on the whistleblower scandal prompting a serious question. did the president withhold military aid to ukraine to help his election effort. and the latest meltdown, don't miss it, with rudy guilliani. we're back in 90 seconds. uilliai we're back in 90 seconds this, and even this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll
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your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if russia, if china, in someone else offers you information on an opponent, should they accept it or call the fbi? >> i think maybe you do both. i think you might want to listen. there's nothing wrong with listening. if somebody called from a country -- norway -- we have information on your opponent. oh, i think i would want to hear it. >> you want that kind of interference in our elections? >> it is not interference. they have information. i think i would take it. if i thought there was something wrong, i would go maybe to the fbi. if i thought there was something wrong. but when somebody comes up with
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op-ed research, they come up with op-ed research, oh, let's call the fbi. the fbi doesn't have enough information to take care of it. but you go and talk honestly to congressmen, they all do it, they always have. that's the way it is. it is called op-ed research. >> right. >> what if it wasn't foreigners offering dirt but rather the president of the united states actively seeking it out? what would have once been an unbelievable question is now being posed this morning in a real and very disturbing way. >> thank god though if you were watching tv last night, thank god -- >> oh boy. >> -- rudy guilliani came along to clear everything up. >> alleviated all concerns on this matter. >> he did. it was a clip that if i could boil down three-and-a-half, four years of mendacity and madness, just complete ignorance and rank amateurism, that would -- that would be it. we don't want to kill hamlet.
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>> please don't. >> in the first act. >> it is what you do. >> it is hard not to. you want to. >> it was a staggering performance. again, it really -- it just encapsulated the mendacity, the madness and, yes, the stupidity of the trump era. >> and this is the man, rudy guilliani, who is sent out into public to defend the president of the united states, spinning wildly, contradicting himself within five seconds, making up stories about joe biden. a wild performance by rudy guilliani last night we will show. >> fought for him to be secretary of state. >> we will show it right now. it is friday, september 20th. >> many people are referring to a few good men. >> we have john helmen here. elise jordan. msnbc host emeritus and who may not be appreciated enough in his life, johnnie deutsch. >> host emeritus? >> i don't know. it just comes up.
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donnie writes these things. >> look at this. >> oh, i have my -- >> there's a crazy groundswell in boca raton that has cut on throughout the country. >> look at that. >> freesnp. >> where's my swag? >> we didn't get any swag. it is a swag-free zone. >> i would like a set though. >> we have steak knives also. >> president of the national action network, reverend al sharpton. >> reverend al, it is great to have you here. >> the best. >> first of all, we certainly are thinking about jim clyburn this morning, aren't we? >> my gosh. >> a great man. >> he lost his wife, emily, who was a real treasure and backbone to him. as we were doing congressional hearings here on policing yesterday, the news flashed. she was a wonderful woman and all of south carolina and the nation and certainly the nation joins with jim clyburn, a great man, who was that because he had
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a great wife that stood shoulder to shoulder with him. >> a great man and we are praying for him and the entire family right now. >> absolutely. also with us this morning nbc news correspondent covering national security and intelligence, ken dalanian. you guys, we are talking about the madness and sort of -- i don't even no if there's inebriation here. what is going on? >> always a bridge too far. >> explaining it -- no, no. >> this bridge i can walk over, but there's one in the distance -- >> no, no, no, there is not. it is right here. okay. this is like an obvious question. it is just a question. >> you know what -- >> let's let the viewers decide. >> let's let the tape speak for itself. >> did you ask the ukraine to investigate joe biden. >> no, actually i didn't. i asked the ukraine to investigate the allegation there was interference in the election of 2016 by the ukrainians for the benefit of hillary clinton, for which there already is a --
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>> you never asked anything about hunter biden, you never asked anything about joe biden and his role with the prosecutor? >> the only thing i got about him was to get to the bottom of how it was that the man appointed dismissed the case against -- >> you did ask ukraine to look into joe bide? >> of course i did. >> you just said you didn't. >> no, i didn't ask him to look into joe biden but into allegations related to my client which involved joe biden in a massive bribery scheme, not unlike what he did in china. >> rudy. >> you explain how the kid got $1.5 billion in china. >> rudy, i have no problem about you launching allegations but be careful about what you say. >> i'm careful about what i said. >> i asked if you asked them to look into joe biden and you said no, then you went on to say you did. >> no, what i said was this. >> rudy. >> i asked them to investigate the allegations that relate to the false charges against the president of the united states. those allegations tangentially
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involve biden. >> so your answer should have -- >> let me finish, chris. you want to cover a ridiculous charge i urged the ukrainian government to investigate corruption and i did and i'm proud of it. >> it is not a ridiculous allegation. you just admitted it. >> it is a ridiculous allegation. >> rudy, you just admitted you did it. >> of course i should -- >> i'm not saying it was wrong for you to do it. i'm asking if you -- >> it wasn't wrong to do it and i'm glad. >> did the president can the president of ukraine to do the same thing? >> i knew a year ago, the only way it would come out is if you come after me. >> i'm not coming after you. >> fine, come after me. >> i'm asking you questions. >> i'm answering you questions and you don't like the answer to. >> you see at the end, the part we cut off was when kevin bacon walked in the back of the studio and read colonel jessup his rights. you want me on that wall. you need me on the wall. >> did you order the code.
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>> i did, and i'm proud i did. he said, i did and i'm proud of it. >> we're backing into everything this morning. >> we're not really backing into anything. >> we're going to explain it all. >> explain. >> i think it might help to lay it out. this all relates to the whistleblower complaints. >> it is a big deal. >> that the trump administration is trying to keep secret from congress. you heard about this yesterday. two people familiar with the matter tell "the washington post" that it centers on ukraine. nbc news has not confirmed that ukraine is at the center of the issue. the white house did not immediately respond to a request for comment. the post, citing two former u.s. officials, previously reported that the complaint was made by a u.s. intelligence official who was alarmed by a promise that the president made to a foreign leader in a phone conversation. trump spoke with the new president of ukraine on july
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25th. the whistleblower complaint was filed less than three weeks later. ukraine is significant because of reporting that the president was withholding military aid to the country while at the same time trump's personal lawyer, rudy guilliani, was pushing for the ukrainian government to investigate democratic presidential front-runner joe biden and his son hunter. the confluence of these two stories has the house investigating if the trump administration withheld the aid to assist the president's reelection effort. it also led "the washington post" editorial board to accuse the president of trying to force ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election on his behalf. the trump administration eventually did release that $250 million military assistance package to ukraine last week, but provided no explanation for the delay. >> so -- >> and i know people who have done work in ukraine in the
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foreign policy community who said look into phone calls, there's something. this was this summer. look into phone calls made between either guilliani or somebody in the administration and ukraine. >> well, and we specifically -- >> and the hunter biden issue. >> we were specifically warned, elise, this summer. i think it was the end of july, beginning of august. said, they're talking about holding up foreign aid -- >> that was the specific tip. >> -- military aid to ukraine until the ukrainians agree to move forward with the investigation. i said, hold on, hold on, hold on. i have been through too much of the conspiracy stuff over my past 25 years. >> this is crazy. >> i said, let me get this straight. you are saying right as russia and ukraine are beginning to negotiate and ukraine needs the military hardware that trump's administration is saying they're not going to sell it to them until they dig up dirt on joe
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biden? are you -- >> and his son, hunter. >> this was in early august. i said, "are you kidding me?" he said, "no, check it out, it is happening." sure enough, it has been slowly but surely coming out since then. last night colonel jesup, known as rudy guilliani, admitted it and said, "i did and i'm proud of it." which is, by the way, what they do. they come on the air -- they've been doing this for three years. they say something so outrageous it would get anybody thrown out of office in years passed, and then all of their little chihuahuas run around yapping going, "what's the big deal?" that's what they do. i wonder if republicans, from my former party, will say, "this is not a big deal too" because this is not only impeachable, it is not only wrong, it could well be a crime. and if it is not a crime, i don't know what is.
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>> i don't know what is an impeachable offense -- >> right. >> how about treason? >> basically there's not anything that can get you impeached if the democrats do not act on this. i don't ever again want lindsey graham to lecture me how if i don't want to send x number of troops to start a new land war, i'm not enough on national security, if this is what republicans are willing to tolerate these days. looking at the timeline of this, it is very odd that this phone call with the prime minister of ukraine happened the day after mueller testified. so you've got -- you almost have to wonder if president trump thought, got away with it once, no consequences first go around, let's gear up for 2020, let's see what we can do. it is just simply astounding to watch drunk grandpa last night, who needs to be just pulled off
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to hospice, if not home. >> wow. >> by the way, this end of the table is rocking over here. >> that came out in one second, asking for the -- >> hold on. >> -- the gentleman for the upper west side and east side saying, i disassociate myself and they do as well from the comments of my colleagues. regular order, regular order. >> right there at the end, asking the question, but -- >> right, you talked about the bridge in the distance and mika going across it, this one just burned it down. >> i'm just saying what everyone saw. >> i will be the restrained one today. this is extraordinary. this story i think is an extraordinary thing that's just unfolding in front of us, right? we don't know yet whether this is ukraine and we don't know whether it involves joe biden. your friend and ours joyce vance last night, this escalated to the point very quickly that serious people like joyce vance were writing last night, tweeted, if it turns out to be what the whistleblower complaint
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is about and it is accurate, trump must leave office immediately. the president can't offer u.s. aid to a foreign country in exchange to prosecution of a political opponent. heaven help us if we can't all agree on that. >> i mean, come on. >> i think elise is right. this will create -- we have all been watching democrats trying to figure out how to handle the policy of impeachment. >> right. >> if this ends up being what it apparently is, this could have that effect where it becomes now impossible for democrats in the house to avoid a serious out-in-the-open, no-messing around impeachment, not just impeachment inquiry but impeachment proceedings immediately. >> right. >> on top of the allegations, think about the way they're handling this whistleblower complaint. they are essentially saying that whistleblowers in the government, if they follow proper procedures have no expectation of protection. >> right. >> and that the president should be allowed to engage in corrupt activities at will with no
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oversight whatsoever, and anyone who seeks to have the normal oversight function of the government will be open to retribution. >> right. >> this is on a million levels problematic. >> all bad. >> ken, you actually have the ig, the inspector general, the man who is supposed to be the independent voice for the intel community, holding a position that, of course, republicans are now celebrating as it pertains to justice department ig decisions. but you have the ig trying to get the information to congress because it is urgent. he says it is urgent, that it met that legal standard. and you have attorney general barr's department of justice actively trying to stonewall that and to keep it from oversight committees that have a legal right to look at this
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information based on statutes. >> that inspector general, joe, michael atkinson, is emerging as the hero of this whole saga. he is a trump appointee, let's remember, confirmed by the senate. he happens to be a career justice department official. he won an award for prosecuting a $20 million bribery scheme in 2012, and he reviewed this complaint, this whistleblower complaint, and endorsed the idea that it met the definition, as you said, of urgent concern. that's rare. as i understand it, there have been few, if any, of those in recent memory. what that means is that it had to involve waste, fraud or abuse connected to an intelligence activity. that's what is important here because, you know, obviously as john said we don't know if this is ukraine. the reporting seems solid. nbc news has not confirmed it is the july 25th ukraine call. but if it was and the allegation about that call is that donald trump made an inappropriate proposal for an arrangement,
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that still doesn't cover an intelligence activity as i understand it. so what some experts are telling me is that there must be something else here. if there was a promise, it would have had to involve some intelligence activity of the united states in order for an intelligence official to file this whistleblower complaint and this inspector general to have endorsed it and said, "yes, i believe it is an urgent concern, it must go to the intelligence congressional committees." what happened after that is joe maguire, a former navy seal, retired admiral, praise on both sides of the aisle, can you imagine what he must have thought? he knows what the complaint is about, one of the very few people. he has seen the whole thing. he knows it involves trump. what does he do? he consults the justice department. he feels he can't make the decision alone to hand it to congress. people have criticized him for that, but i feel like i understand him making that decision. then the doj weighs in and says, absolutely not, you can't turn
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this over. the office of legal counsel then issues this opinion. serious people argued including jack gold smith, the harvard scholar who was a national security officer in the bush administration, that this is a legal argument. that the conversations between a president and foreign leader are solely the purview of the executive branch, that congress and the intelligence communities have no business knowing what was said in that conversation. reasonable people looking at this are saying if it was as inappropriate as it seems to have been, if there was a smarmy deal trump was offering, how could congress not have an oversight role? there has to be a way, even if it doesn't fall under this whistleblower statute, there must be a way for congress to conduct oversight of this behavior. >> nbc's ken de lanean, thank you so much. you know rudy guilliani is going off script when he surprises sean hannity with his
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revelations. we will look back at some of the former mayor's greatest hits. we will be right back. ♪ - [woman] with my shark, i deep clean messes like this, this, and even this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans now cleans itself. plants capture co2. what if other kinds of plants captured it too? if these industrial plants had technology that captured carbon like trees we could help lower emissions. carbon capture is important technology - and experts agree. that's why we're working on ways to improve it. so plants... can be a little more... like plants. ♪
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did you ask the ukraine to investigate joe biden? >> no, actually i didn't. i asked the ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the ukrainians for the benefit of hillary clinton for which there already is a -- >> you never asked anything about hunter biden, never asked anything about joe biden and his roll with the prosecutor. >> the only thing i asked about joe biden was how it was that the man appointed dismissed the case against -- >> so you did ask ukraine to look into joe biden. >> of course i did. >> you just said you didn't. >> i'm getting a headache. >> can we just roll that on a loop? >> a long day here. it is hardly the first time rudy
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guilliani has gone on tv to admit something that trump supporters had been trying to bury. there was stormy daniels. >> having something to do with paying some stormy daniels woman $130,000, which will turn out to be perfectly legal. that money was not campaign money. sorry, i'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. it is not campaign money. no campaign finance violation. so -- >> they funneled it through a law firm. >> funneld throughed through a and the president repaid it. >> oh, i didn't know he did. >> okay. that's an ethics violation right before an election. >> yes, exactly. >> and, of course -- >> just said, wait. >> are you sure? >> then he's like -- >> but wait, there's more. >> oh, i didn't know that. >> like, what are you say sning. >> do you know what is coming out of your mouth, rudy?
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>> wait, there's more. there was the time rudy suggested that the president did not collude but couldn't say the same about the campaign. this is a good one. >> i never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign. >> yes, you have. >> i have no idea if -- i have not. i said the president of the united states. there is not a single bit of evidence that the president of the united states committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the russians to hack the dnc. >> by the way, rudy also is running around saying how bad the mueller report was going to be, that it was going to be devastating before it came out. >> privately, yeah. >> unfortunately, there is more. this was the time rudy told "the new york times" this about his planned trip to ukraine. quote. we're not meddling in an election. we're meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do. and added, there's nothing illegal about it. somebody could say it is improper. and this isn't foreign policy. i'm asking them to do an investigation that they're doing
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already and that other people are telling them to stop. and i'm going to give them reasons why they shouldn't stop because that information will be very, very helpful to my client and may turn out to be helpful to my government. there you go. you're meddling in the election. >> the dramatic reading reminds me of scarborough country -- >> i was trying to sound dunk. >> we used to have dramatic readings of arnold schwarzenegger. >> what time are these interviews? they're almost every day. >> almost the clever madness of when it is going south, you put jibberish on the air. not to confuse people, but all of a sudden it is a noise that is not as distracting as almost making you light headed. >> i could read you books of past governments from decades past that actually used this type of nonsense where you throw
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gibberish out at the population over and over again, nonsense, lies. then you admit, then you wrap it around a couple more lies. by the end the supporters of said public figure are so numb to the truth they do not recognize it, and there's a certain regime where you go back and read -- i'm not going to say. >> the early '30s germany? >> no, that's offensive. usually you get the writings from 1938, 1939. it wasn't the early '30s, where they literally talk about -- and you can say this about erdogan. you can say it about -- what is happening across the globe, you know, in russian. >> philippines. >> what is happening in hungary, what is happening in the philippines, this is what strong men do, what autocrats do. they keep lying, shooting out
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gibberish and lying until people are so numb to the truth it doesn't matter. rudy just admitted something outrageous. we are laughing, and other people are -- their supporters will go, yeah, there's nothing wrong with that when, of course, any other president would be impeached that afternoon. >> rudy added in a tweet after that television appearance last night that the biden family made, quote, billions off of china. so that's another point, just throw something else out there. >> another lie. >> what did donald trump and people like rudy guilliani know that their hard-core supporters believe what they hear from the president's mouth and certainly not from the media because the president of the united states has trained them that this is all fake news. so rudy guilliani can get away with the supporters with saying these things, but let's be clear again about what is happening here. >> right. >> personal attorney for the president of the united states is fishing around ukraine for dirt on the opponent that the president fears most in the 2020 election. that's what is going on. >> and "the washington post" has
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editorialized that the president of the united states is saying or has said to ukraine before this past week, if you do not continue the investigation then we are going to withhold military aid that you need to defend yourself from future invasions from vladimir putin. >> and you will have the president say things like, i didn't do that. i might have -- and then it will be like turnberry or the different places where military, you know, used his resorts and it was just -- or vice president pence, just a recommendation or just a mention. >> but this is a moment in time. nancy pelosi, adam schiff, jerry nadler, eli jay cummings. >> it is on you. >> the guards opened up a lane, run through and tackle and you will score. coming up on "morning joe", inside donald trump's war on the fbi. it is a timely new book as a new front emerges between the white house and the intel community. "morning joe" is back in a moment. ♪ ♪
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♪ the global citizens festival is just one week away right here in new york city. some of the biggest names in music, movies and television coming together to rally support
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around issues like equality and climate change. among them, grammy award-winning artist hur. here is nbc's savannah sellers with more. ♪ >> she is a two-time grammy award winner known simply under the ak row name h.e.r., having everything revealed. ♪ i wouldn't trade it for the world ♪ >> reporter: the artist dominating the r & b charts, streaming millions of times without revealing her face, thanks in part to her sunglasses. >> we live in an era of people knowing everything about an artist. i decided to release the music and have people focus on the music. they say the eyes are the window to the soul, but my music is the window to my soul. >> reporter: i read high school was not your favorite period. tell me how those experiences shaped your music. >> it definitely gave me the confidence to be vulnerable.
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that time period just really helped me tap into something a lot more honest. >> reporter: you have said before you would be somewhere with your guitar and feel sort of disregarded. >> i have always had the big support system and foundation, but when i would walk into a studio session i didn't always get the respect, you know, from the gate. i really had to prove myself, and i love a challenge. so i feel like that's my moment to really show people, like i can do this too. i think that's the attitude that a lot of young girls should have because we can do anything as women. >> reporter: do you feel that there's been challenges though associated with being a woman, being a black woman, coming up in this industry? what has that been like? >> absolutely. we have to, like, work a little harder, you know, to get people to listen, especially being a black woman. but i don't let anybody put, you know, a certain narrative on me, and i think that's something we all have to fight through as women. >> reporter: who within the music industry has been a mentor to you? >> you know, alicia keys i think
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is somethi is somebody that i looked up to as an example as a young girl because she was an example to me. she played instrument and was different from anything out at that time period, and i modelled after that. ♪ i'm caught between your lover and a hard place ♪ >> reporter: in just one week h.e.r. taking the stage at global citizen festival alongside carole king and queen and adam lambert. this year's line-up a 50/50 split of male and female acts. >> i live for a full circle moment and you talk about alicia keys and you both headlining the festival. >> crazy. how amazing is that? >> it is honestly surreal. >> reporter: why is it an exciting thing for you to perform for global citizen? >> it is what the title is. it is about making a global impact. we are touching on so many different issues that are going on in the world and really make a difference. global citizen is really about being the change. it is amazing to be a part of
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that. ♪ can you focus on me >> and you can see h.e.r. and the rest of the incredible line-up on saturday, september 28th, right here on msnbc. coming up on "morning joe", as it was once said on twitter, never start a leak war against the fbi. the white house has had a very complicated relationship with the intel community, and our next guest lays it all on the table. that conversation is straight ahead on "morning joe". this segment is sponsored by -- you got this. you got this. you got this.
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♪ welcome back to "morning joe". a new book takes us behind the scenes of the russia investigation and the conflict between law enforcement and the
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white house. joining us now, former supervisory special agent with the fbi, josh campbell. he served as special assistant to then director james comey. he is the author of "crossfire hurricane: inside donald trump's war on the fbi." good morning. >> thank you for having me here. >> we want to talk about the book, but we want to talk about the news that is front and center and crosses over here. and that is the president's alleged conduct, this bli whistleblower from the intelligence agency who said he heard something so inappropriate it raised to the level of urgent concern. for viewers as someone that worked in the intel community, what does it tell you, urgent concern? >> it is interesting. you look back over the past two or three years where the president talked about the deep state witch hunt out to get him, i think one of the key takeaways from the story of the whistleblower is someone that did the right thing, went through the proper channels, who saw something that concerned him or her enough that they wanted to get it to the people that needed to know it. what we are seeing is an
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obstruction essentially from getting the information to congress, and i think that is stress testing the system in a way we have not seen. if the executive branch can stop information from getting to congress, which by law it has to get to, that is obviously very troubling. you know, what is so interesting as you look at not only the act -- the obstruction itself, but now we are learning more details about what could have been that conduct as it related to reporting about the ukraine, which there hasn't been the definitive connection there but i think we have two things. we have obviously an act that is raising eyebrows and the attempt to obstruct information getting to congress which is troubling. >> as someone who has been there on the front lines, i think it is to point out for ow viewers, if it is, for the inspector general to use the term urgent and for it to go through the justice department. how unique is it? >> i think it is troubling because it should get to congress by law. one thing we have seen with the current attorney general, you
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look at the mueller investigation. him coming out, using the same witch hunt terminology, saying that the fbi was spying on the trump campaign and obviously his actions as related to mueller and characterizing or some would say mischaracterizing the report, people look at this attorney general and folks i talk to inside the fbi and doj, is this someone independent or is he running interference the president, the reason it is important to look at the past is this case right now, going through doj is it getting a proper review or are they attempting to stop embarrassment for the president. >> you point to something i think is really important, which is the use of the term "deep state." with the media it is fake news, so this administration for years has softened the ground so that any news that comes out not good for them they can say it is fake news. same could be said here for the alleged or invented deep state, which is to say when an incident like this happens, when a whistleblower comes forward, and i'm surprised it hasn't happened yet, that of course it is said
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that it is the deep state out to get the president. >> right. i suspect it will be the case as well as it evolves, going after the person that did the right thing. you have to ask yourself, you know, is this someone that leaked information to hurt donald trump or did they go through the proper process. it appears to be the latter. what is interesting, if you look at the last two years, the campaign of attack against the fbi, against the department of judge advertise and people looking at that and saying, well, the origins of the investigation were corrupt from the start. that's what the president has been saying. look what we saw yesterday with rudy guilliani, today and this year saying, yeah, i talked to a foreign government about investigating a political opponent. what is the fbi supposed to do when it gets this kind of information? >> talk about this book and what got in -- what animated you to write it and what you hope people will tway frakeaway from >> i appreciate that. i tack readers inside the fbi and the intelligence community, and i think it is important because over the last couple of years, throughout the mueller investigation we heard a lot of loud voices on the right, on the left, talking about the fbi,
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characterizing, sometimes mischaracterizing the fbi. i want readers and your viewers to hear from the people inside the institution. so i interviewed dozens of people for the book, again to put you in the mindset of what they were thinking when they started this investigation, how it progressed and, more importantly, how it feels to be on the receiving end of a campaign of attack from the president of the united states. i will say it is important to note this is not an endorsement of the fbi's actions. i am critical of certain decisions, including my former boss at certain times, but it gives you the unvarnished view of who these people are and what they were trying to contend with as they tried to stop the counterintelligence threat. >> what is your analysis of the implications of the russia investigation for approaching 2020 and election security? >> it is a great question. you know, one thing that i argue is if you are in the fbi and the doj and you thought the last two years were bad, you should buckle up because looking ahead at 2020, the president has already said he's described the fbi's behavior as, you know, they robbed me of the first
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three years of my presidency. this is going to be a campaign platform. we will continue to see the collision between politics and law enforcement in a way we haven't seen, and i suspect that will be the play, to say, look, these people were against me. i'm the victim, you need to reelect me because, again, painting the president as a victim of a corrupt deep state law enforcement, which those that know the agencies know it is not the case. >> josh, a personal question. you are a former special agent. thank you for your service. >> thank you. >> you guys put your life on the line and you obviously have a commander in chief who's dumping every which way. if i went to a going away party for an agent and there were 100 fbi agents there and we were all talking, what is the consensus on this president from a personal point of view? one as an outsider would think across the board -- >> first of all, if you were at that party the invitation went astray. >> i'm on the outside, trying to figure out how the invitation got into the mailbox. >> from those 100 agents, what would i hear about the president as human beings? >> certainly they're not a monolith, not everyone believes
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the same. one thing i notice and i suspect and i know from being there, it leans right, you know, conservative organization, law enforcement similar to the military. one thing i notice about being inside the fbi whenever this investigation was under way and it was being attacked and now and doing reporting on this, you know, at cnn and gathering information from insiders including writing this book, is regardless of whether you are on the right or you are on the left there's a sense of frustration. you know, people -- it doesn't have to be partisan, but why is the commander in chief going after an institution? if you are in the room you will hear frustration. one thing moving for me and i write about is i talked to people across the political spectrum and fbi agents, the theme i was hearing, the thing that gives them the most concern and really cuts to the core is when people they know, friends and family, ask them, what happened to the fbi as though it is their fault. the answer, you know, one person gave me was washington politics happened to the fbi. it is colliding with us in a way we haven't seen. >> you have got some distance now from the 2016 campaign, but as you look back on it now -- and i know you write about it
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some in the book -- the press conference james comey gave about hillary clinton where he basically laid out the case against her and did not recommend prosecution against her and, of course, the letter days before the election that many blame for her loss, how do you think back on that? >> i was there on his staff and it seemed moment us ous at the as we prepared for the press conference, and obviously hindsight it could have changed the course of history. in the book i distinguish james comey, the person, from his actions. him as a person, i know he is a good person, an honorable leader because i got to see him up close. as i mentioned, i do criticize certain decisions to include the language that he used to discuss and describe hillary clinton's behavior. you know, he said since that maybe i would have used different language. so i think it was critical because, you know -- and i always interviewed robbie mook, her campaign manager to get that side of what was it like to be in the campaign when it is being investigated. you know, he said, what do you do? he just went on national
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television and said she didn't do anything wrong but she is a terrible person, so obviously there are questions there. the october letter, people will be debating that for, you know, probably decades to come, how the fbi may or may not have impacted an investigation and, you know, obviously people will say, well, what does james comey say. he has defended himself but we certainly have to look back on the time and review it. as i said, someone in the position of fbi director and i take to tack those in the santa cruz advertise department, you don't sit in these positions of power, you don't take the job without knowing that everything you do is going to be scrutinized and it is up for fair scrutiny. >> it is a fascinating book. it is called "crossfire hurricane." good to have you with us. must-see tv this weekend, the new episode of "the circus" this sunday. in it john heilemann speaks with joe walsh. as always, a great crew, alex zb.
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>> we're all back with all three top tier democrat candidates all in this one jam-packed episode. >> and alex is the star. >> the only reason people watch is for alex wagner. >> i of course, alexander wagne is the only reason i watch. and on sunday, i'll have neil patrick harris and tom brokaw who has a great piece about veterans. he will be with more more the hour. we'll see you on sunday. we'll be back. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans now cleans itself. (classical music playing throughout)
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- [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans now cleans itself. one of the pioneering bands from the late 1980s, they cited them as huge influences, now they're back with their highly anticipated new album, you really tore the curtain back this time with your podcast and what was that like? >> it is a inside look at the process. and we're funny. >> i can tell, i want to see you do stand up right now. >> there you go. so let me ask you about this. there are times in the creative
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process, the beatles, i crack up on camera, on "let it be" when -- >> did it get in the way? >> no, i wish i was more cognizant of it being recorded. >> i feel like when albums come down, they just arrive like, god has handed down this record and here it is, seeing it like this when i first heard the podcast existed, i thought do i want to hear this? do i want to know how that sausage is made? was that ever a concern to you like this will strip away the myth? >> it is being promoted as being unfiltered, but i will confess here on your show that i get an advance edit of each podcast before it goes out to listen to to make sure that i didn't say something stupid. >> there is nothing like planned
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sp spotnaity. >> so let's talk about your producer, tom, is back right? what was it like working with him this time? >> given the free weeks, the recording time, and he knows the ban he is a fan. i think he had a better -- i wouldn't say a better understanding, he did already, but applied the same magic. >> and you co-wrote three songs on the album. >> three? yeah, okay. george, you have three songs on the album. and he would say i don't know. you co-wrote three songs on the pixies al bum.
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>> i definitely did. 100%. >> because you do lead vocals too, where did that story come from? >> it is a story about this wave called killer dana that got killed by a harbor. >> that is interesting how that fits into the con accept, tosco. there is a gothic overtone. you're recording it in an old church, charles you were using a custom vampire tooth guitar. >> i lost my first adult tooth a few years ago, and i had them put it in a black guitar with only four strings on it, so tom, the producer and i, had a discussion that maybe the next
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recording session we did with him would take on a gothic tone maybe. so i think in the end, the result is that original kind of suggestion, kind of guided it. there is times where it was like old famous. and i had a great quote that i put on my phone. if you listen to college raid you on 1989 you probably heard "monkey go to heaven." top 40 was poison and phil collins. you were so against the grain when you first came out. how has that journey been? >> pretty good i guess. it had to be excited, was it a
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big breakthrough like fight club when people really started talking about -- >> i think the big breakthrough for joey and i would have been when we gave -- joey was the manager of a warehouse near the docks in boston and i was the manager of another warehouse next door, and that was our day job. and i think that is when we gave notice to our employers that we were quitting. that was the big breakthrough. and i guess we had not thought about it too much sense. it was just like oh, good, we don't have to do the day job thing any more, we're musicians. and i think where ever you make it in the scheme of things, the big thing is you get to do what you want to do. and that is the measure frsh i'
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with us. stephanie ruhle picking up the coverage now. >> hi there, it is friday, september 20th. we are learning more news about the incidents at the heart of an extraordinary standoff between the white house and congress. the administration trying to keep a whistle-blower complaint under wraps. the washington post says it involved a commitment he made to a foreign leader. the president tweeted that it was fake news and denied he would say anything inappropriate on such a call. but today, the washington post and the "new york times" have even more details. according to people familiar with the matter, the allegation focuses on ukraine. that is important, weno

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