tv Meet the Press MSNBC September 22, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
clyburn. that does it for me. i'll see you back here next saturday at 5:00 p.m. eastern. up next, "meet the press" with chuck todd. this sunday, the president and the whistleblower. >> i don't know the identity of the whistleblower. i hear it's a partisan person. >> president trump response to reports that while he held up aid to ukraine, he was urging its president to create an investigation targeting joe biden. >> i can say that it's a totally appropriate conversation. it was actually a beautiful conversation. >> then, without evidence, suggested more. >> it doesn't matter what i discuss, but i will say this. somebody ought to look in to joe biden's statement. >> you should be looking at trump. trump is doing this because he knows i'll beat him like a drum. >> i'll talk to chris murphy and pat toomey. >> plus, growing tensions with iran. the administration sending troops to saudi arabia. >> the president has approved
the deployment of u.s. forces, which will be defensive in nature. >> as president trump weighs military and economic responses to that attack on saudi oil fusuf facili facilities. >> there's the ultimate options and options that are less than that. >> my guest this morning, steve mnuchin. >> is joe biden and elizabeth warren separate themselves from the field -- >> hello, iowa. >> -- the rest of the candidates are on notice with cory booker saying he'll get out in ten days if high can't raise enough money. you have to grow or get out. >> joining me for insight and analysis are white house correspondent kristen welker, rob acosta, national political reporter for "the washington post." former democratic congresswoman donna edwards and former republican congressman carlos curbelo. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd.
>> good sunday morning. we're following two huge stories today. both of which could have far-reaching consequences at home and abroad. one involves war and peace. will the united states respond militarily against iran for last week's devastating attack on saudi arabia's chief oil facility? president trump is weighing the risks of war against the cost of appearing weak and encouraging more aggression. here, the president is seen as acting conventionally, in the public interest, and in a manner many of us expect from a president. then there's the other story. that one concerns multiple reports involving a whistleblower, president trump, and the mixing of foreign policy with 2020 politics. the issue, the allegation that president trump pressured ukraine's president to create an investigation into joe biden. and perhaps withheld military aid as an inducement. here, the president is accused of acting unconventionally in his own personal interests, testing the limits of the constitution again. and yet, it's in a manner many of us have come to expect from this president. and that's where we begin this
morning, with the charge that mr. trump tried to engage a foreign government to go after the democratic candidate he sees as his chief political rival. >> it was a totally appropriate conversation. it was actually a beautiful conversation. >> president trump responding to reports that he repeatedly pressed ukraine's president in a july 25th phone call to work with his personal attorney, rudy giuliani, to investigate political rival joe biden. >> it doesn't matter what i discussed, but i will say this, somebody ought to look into joe biden's statement. >> that phone call is part of a broader set of facts named in a secret august 12th whistleblower complaint to the intelligence community's inspector general. mr. trump reportedly pushed ukraine's president to pursue the probe of a ukrainian gas company with linked to biden's son hunter, accusing joe biden of a conflict of interest. >> not one single credible outlet has given any credibility to his assertion. not one single one. >> giuliani denied putting pressure on ukraine.
>> did you ask the ukraine to investigate joe biden? >> no, actually, i didn't. >> before reversing himself and admitting it. >> you did ask ukraine to look into joe biden. >> of course, i did. >> after ukraine's new president won in a landslide in april, mr. trump and giuliani began pressing him to investigate the bidens. in may. >> i'm hearing it's a major scandal, major problem. very bad things happened. and we'll see what that is. >> it's a case that is crying out to be investigated. >> then in june, president trump made it clear that if a foreign government offered him help to win in 2020, he would take it. >> if somebody called from a country, norway, we have information on your opponent, oh. i think i would want to hear it. >> days after the two presidents spoke on july 25th, giuliani met with a ukrainian official in spain to press him again to pursue a probe of hunter biden. right around the same time the united states froze military assistance to ukraine. prompting questions from lawmakers.
>> the implication seems to be to the ukrainian president if he does what rudy giuliani is asking him to do and investigated the bidens, maybe he will get the money that the president is holding back. >> the white house finally released the aid last week. the details in the whistleblower's complaint are still unknown. president trump's newly appointed director of national intelligence, joseph mcguire, is refusing to release it to congress. >> this was about wrongdoing. and the idea that that complaint, which was intended for congress, should instead end up in the white house, is disturbing beyond belief. >> you should be looking at trump. trump's doing this because he knows i'll beat him like a drum. and he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me. >> and joining me now is democratic senator chris murphy of connecticut, who actually recently met with president zielinski in ukraine. senator murphy, welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning.
>> so tell me what your conversation was like with the president, because i believe you met with him before the aid was released. and it was during this time that the aid passed by congress but for some reason was being held up by the administration. you were -- tell me, was this meeting in kiev, and what were the circumstanced? >> i went because i had heard the concerns from my friends there, that the government and zielinski was worried about theovertures he was getting in particular from rudy giuliani. he didn't understand whether this was an official government position, these requests to investigate the former environment. so i went there to make it clear to him that the worst thing he could do for the u.s./ukraine relationship was to get involved in an election here in the united states. i will say, it was interesting to me that he dispensed with the diplomatic protocols of that meeting as soon as we sat at the table in the presidential palace. he asked us what was going on with the aid frk why was it being withheld? he seemed very concerned and i
think out of sorts about it. and later in the meeting, i raised with him these overtures from the trump campaign. he gave me a strong answer. he said they had no intention to get involved in an american election, and i left fairly confident he understood. >> what did the trump administration tell you officially when you were trying to figure out what the hold-up was? >> so, the reason that was given in particular to senator johnson, who i was there with -- >> ron johnson, republican from wisconsin. >> republican from wisconsin who talked with the president shortly before our visit to kiev, was the president was concerned about corruption in ukraine and he thought the europeans should be providing the aid instead of the united states. those are the two reasons that were stated to us as we went. the embassy there didn't seem to have really a read out from the white house at all when we asked them about it. >> do you have any reason to believe the aid was suddenly released in connection with the
discovery of this whistleblower complaint and to the public? >> the timing is obviously incredibly suspicious. there was also a pending vote in the appropriations committee that was going to require next year's aid to be released outside of the discorrection of the president. there are likely a bunch of different explanations. political pressure was mounting on the president from republicans, but obviously, the timing of this looks really terrible. >> i want to show you another coincidence we noticed here. these are the departures among people involved in russian and ukraine policy decisions inside the trump administration. the two top officials from dni, july 28th, august 8th. then three top officials in and around the state department or nsc, the ambassador to ukraine in may was forced out. the president's russia adviser, fiona hill, resigned in june. and jon huntsman in august. maybe they're all coincidences. i'm not saying anything about that timeline because it's all happening at the same time giuliani is doing his thing and
the president is doing his thing. >> the departure of the ambassador, one of the individuals on that screen, was very troubling to many of us. she was a credibly experienced, very well thought of diplomat. there seemed to be no reasons for her departure, and one of the reasons why in may i sent a letter to the foreign relations committee in the senate asking them to investigation these overtures that giuliani had been making and whether one of the demands that was being made was this ambassador leave because perhaps the ambassador at the time was frustrating the trump campaign's efforts to try to get this new president to investigate biden -- >> all right, i want some claire tee here. is the allegation that rudy giuliani was trying to get this ambassador out or the ukrainians wanted our ambassador out? >> i think the worry is it may have been amongst the trump campaign's demands. i think it's really important to get to the bottom of why she left, under what circumstances she left and what was she unwilling to do. >> want to put up a tweet you
sent out, i believe yesterday, if i'm not mistaken. don't get creative, you write. don't look for new interesting angles. this one is as simple as it gets. if an american president gets away with bullying foreign countries to do his political bidding, we should give up and accept our new banana republic. what's the next step? >> i don't frankly think it matters whether there was an explicit quid pro quo in this conversation. i think if an american president is asking another foreign leader to interfere in an american election, essentially what we're trying to figure out, what was going on between trump and putin, then there has to be consequences for that. we spent a year trying to figure out whether he had asked putin to interfere. we just found out he asked zielinski to interfere. i don't know if it matters it's another country. >> you're saying an impeachment investigation should be opened. at this point, it sounds like you're saying this one is open and shut. don't be -- you just said here,
don't get creative. >> yeah, i think this one would be open and shut if we had more information than simply anonymous sources that newspapers have written on. i think the whistleblower has to come forward. i think that republicans who claim to be national security experts need to demand that the whistleblower present himself or herself before congress. but i think if we do have evidence from this whistleblower that the president indeed tried to bully a foreign power into affecting our elections, we have to do something about that. >> by the way, when the aid got released, they got an additional $140 million. where did that come from? >> maybe an overcorrection on behalf of the president. >> do you know where that came from? >> i don't know the sort of the secondary funding. >> did you guys appropriate that money? >> the president has certainly discretionary money that is available to him. it may have come from those accounts. >> you have no idea, and suddenly, they got more aid. do you view that as troubling? >> listen, i think this whole
timeline is hard to figure out. and there may be someone who can tell us more about all of it, and that whistleblower individual has to come before congress. >> senator toomey is going to come on here right after you. we're going to be discussing some other issues, but one of them is guns. he's pushing for manchin/toomey. where are you on this? did beto o'rourke -- chuck schumer is almost pointing the finger that beto o'rourke has set things back. has he? >> i don't think that's true. i think republicans who don't want to vote for a background checks bill are going to look for any excuse to do it. beto's comments may be their latest hook. the fact of the matter is, if donald trump supports a bill that expands background checks, we'll get 60 votes for it in the senate. the attorney general brought up to congress last week a fairly reasonable proposal that would expand background checks to commercial sales. there's some things i don't like about it, but it's a platform for negotiation. opposes it, so
critical question is sitting on the president's desk. is he willing tatake on the nra? >> you sound like a guy who says take what you can get every time you have a chance. don't let the perfect be the enemy of this. >> on this issue, this is about life and death. and i also think maybe what's most important in the long term perspective of the anti-gun violence movement is breaking this rock solid alliance between the nra and republicans and this may be our chance to do it. >> democratic senator chris murphy from connecticut, thanks for coming on. >> of course. >> and joining me now is republican senator pat toomey of pennsylvania. senator toomey, welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning, chuck. thanks for having me. >> i invoked your name there. we'll get to the gun issue in a second. i want to ask you about the top story we have been dealing with. the president has actually commented again, as he's headed down to texas for the event with the prime minister of india. he's admitting he did bring up joe biden in the phone call with the president of ukraine.
does this look like a president asking for foreign assistance for his presidential prospects? >> very hard to say, chuck. i don't know what the conversation was. >> i just told you, he said he did bring up corruption and biden. was that appropriate on any level? >> again, i don't know the context. i don't know what was said. look, it is not appropriate for any candidate for federal office, certainly, including a sitting president, to ask for assistance from a foreign country. that's not appropriate, but i don't know that's what happened there. >> do you think congress should get its hands on this whistleblower complaint? >> well, as you know, this is an example of -- a recent example of cases that have gone back from the beginning of the republic, of the tension between the executive over private conversations versus congress' obligations and responsibilities for our oversight. so what i think ought to happen here is what happens typically in these cases. you get some kind of negotiated
agreement whereby the administration shares what they think is not -- doesn't need to be protected from national security purposes. yet satisfied the members of the intelligence committees and allows us to determine whether this is something that really requires further investigation or not. i mean, at this point, we don't know anything. we're getting a bunch of leaked rumors and that's all we have. >> are you at all concerned, though, that aid was delayed for as long as it was and now at the same time, we're finding out there was a second track of conversation that was going on while this aid was being delayed. does that all concern you enough to say, you know what, it is congress' responsibility to look into this? >> so we should find out why that was the case. now, we also know that we have a president who is always been very skeptical about u.s. foreign aid to almost any country. so there might be a reasonable explanation for this, and there might be a troublesome one, and we should understand why that happened. >> but you do think congress should be looking into this in any way, shape, or form at some point that this is their job to
figure out -- i mean, you guys appropriated the money. i would assume you would want to figure out why it was delayed and why rudy giuliani may or may not have been involved with it. >> i certainly would want to know whether the law was followed, whether the president was exercising the discorrection he discretion he has. i don't know the elements of rudy giuliani. he's not part of this administration, but we certainly should understand how the funds that have been appropriated end up getting delivered. >> you think rudy giuliani's role has been important? apparently the state department set up one of the meetings. >> i'm not aware of that. >> all right. let me move to the issue that i was discussing there at the end with senator murphy. the last time there was a vote on your bill, on manchin/toomey, was in 2015. sadly, and you know this already, i think, five of the ten deadliest mass shootings have taken place since then.
vegas, orlando, sutherland springs, el paso, parkland. i don't have to say anything other than those names. you're very aware of it. is this now the time? you say it is. it's stunning to me what has happened in the last four years when you look at it from that perspective. >> it is stunning, chuck. and of course, i'm making an all-out effort to get our legislation passed. i will have to acknowledge that it's not clear that had manchin/toomey been law, that any one of those particular shootings would have been prevented, although i think the shooting in odessa might have been blocked had manchin/toomey been law. but look, i think there's momentum now that we didn't have before. we have republican senators who are reconsidering the whole issue of expanding background checks to commercial sales, which is all we're talking about here. and we have a republican president who is very interested in personally engaged, so i don't know how this is going to
turn out, but i'm hopeful and i'm going to keep pushing. >> i want to put up some quotes here. it seems there are a whole bunch of your republican colleagues who are essentially tellingio i'm not going to tell you where i stand until he says where he stands. roy blunt, this dut not go anywhere unless we explicitly know what the president is willing to do. john thune, in the end, trump is going to have to make a hard decision. you know, this is -- you guys are playing a game of chicken here a little bit. at what point do you need to force the president's hand and pass something? >> well, the problem is if we attempt to force the president's hand and pass something, it might very well not pass. right? having the president onboard would make all the difference. and part of it, chuck, is the president has a unique bully pulpit. he can explain what this is. expanding background checks to commercial sales is very widely supported, even among gun owners. and nra members. part of the problem we have always had is the mischaracterization of the
legislation. the president can uniquely cut through that, make it clear what this is really about. i think we would have a big collective sigh of relief from pro-second amendment people, which i consider myself one of them, and then we could pass something really meaningful. >> how much has senator mike braun's argument carried the day with some skeptical republicans? he's been making an interesting case, essentially for your bill. not quite saying it that way, but if you don't do what he calls commonsense reforms now, and another five years goes by, like has happened with no movement since the last time there was a vote on your legislation, and that suddenly it won't be just background checks that has popular support. >> look, it's a strong point. i'm not sure quite how much it's persuading people, but i can tell you that a number of republican senators are open to this who were not in the past. i do think that beto o'rourke does not help things when he advertises that his real plan is
to confiscate guns. that's not helpful to this conversation, but the attorney general has been very constructive, very helpful. the president's engaged. we have broader interest among republican senators than we have ever had. >> one quick question on iran. does the president have the authority to strike iran right now or do you believe he has to come to congress? >> so first of all, i think it's extremely unlikely we would have a unilateral strike by the united states against iran, and by the way, the sanctions are working very, very well. and this next round is likely to be devastating to the iranian economy. i do think that it's essential that we reestablish deterrents and the iranians have shown they don't feel very deterred. i would prefer it to be led by a coalition of arab gulf states and with our support, and that the president has full authority to do. >> pat toomey, much appreciate you coming on and sharing your views. >> when we come back, the two big stories of the week, the
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welcome back. the panel is here. former republican congressman carlos curbelo of florida. donna edwards of maryland, kristen welker, and robert costa, moderator of washington week on pbs. the president is busy this morning, on his way to texas for what will be a quite event with prime minister modi down there in houston. but as he does all the time, kristen, he stopped to speak with reporters. and he appears to have admitted that, yes, indeed, he brought up joe biden in his conversations with the president of ukraine. here he is. >> we had a great conversation. the conversation i had was largely congratulatory. was largely corruption, all of
the corruption taking place. was largely the fact that we don't want our people like vice president biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the ukraine. >> nothing is done by accident, kristen welker. suddenly he is admitted the biden portion of this conversation. that sounds like somebody who was reminded what he said. >> right, may have revisited the transcript and the contents of the phone call. it also moves the needle from what he said to me in the oval office on friday when i asked if he discussed joe biden as a part of the conversation. he said it doesn't matter what i discussed. is the president trying to push this into the headlines, this story, this controversial story which is unsubstantiated. of course, the biden campaign underscores the fact that the allegations against the former environme environme vice president have never been substantiated. from the president's perspective, the only way to put this story to bed is to release the transcript.
there's a debate right now in the white house whether or not to do that. what would the implications be for national security, what message would that send to other foreign leaders and would it be gray? >> i can tell you this, secretary mnuchin, it's my understanding the argument right now that's winning the day is don't. it sets a bad precedent. robert costa, are we being gaslit here? meaning they have tried to create this story line of somehow corruption that's somehow connected to biden. there had been no takers. and now, all of a sudden, because of the length with which the president has gone, that this is actually in some ways strategic. >> they may have a political strategy at the white house, but the story remains the president's conversations with the president of ukraine, zelensky, this former comedian and actor, i was in the room with him earlier this month in warsaw and talking to ukrainian officials. this has been a bizarre
experience for them for months. they had rudy giuliani coming however to maybe talk about having an investigation into joe biden. this phone call with president trump, and then vice president pence went over in a meeting in poland with zelensky and he said you better investigate corruption. the ukrainians have said must be investigate corruption in order to get the $250 million. >> the president is admitting he brought up joe biden. at this point, he's asked -- how is that not asking for foreign assistance, and if so, let's not get creative here, as chris murphy said, has he created an impeachment violation? >> most republicans tend to be elusive when asked specific questions. and you asked him, is this appropriate. he said absolutely not. it is not appropriate for the president, any president, to reach out to a foreign leader to ask for help for his election. pat toomey said it. most republicans still will not say it, and that's what we have to focus on here. sure, there's the biden angle
and everything else, but at the end of the day, it's the president asking another foreign leader for support for a u.s. election. that's troubling. now, politically, could this end up helping him? maybe. this is going to fuel impeachment talks in the house. this is going to put pressure on nancy pelosi again to take that step. and we know people in the white house would like to see the president impeached because they think it would help him politically. >> donna, take a look at the pressure already this morning. i'm going to put up a few quotes and tweets. alexandria ocasio-cortez, the bigger nation scandal is the democratic party's refusal to impeach him for it. steve cohen, also a progressive democrat, we back off everything. we have been very weak. senator elizabeth warren by failing to act, congress is complicit. >> well, i agree. i mean, i think that this is a president who clearly, you give him an inch, he takes two miles. and he's done that every time he moves the bar, and in this
instance, he learned nothing was going to happen after the mueller report. and so i'll make that phone call to zelensky. and i think that unless democrats really intend to hold his feet to the fire, then they should just stop screaming about it, because it makes them look weak and feckless, and this president takes advantage of every single opportunity. >> and chuck, i think the divisions, the confusion over impeachment was laid bare this week during the corey lewandowski hearings when democrats seems ill-prepared to deal with some of his barbs he came loaded for bear, certainly. this is adding fuel to the impeachment momentum. there's a movement, no doubt about that, but i have been talking to leadership aides on capitol hill who say loorx look, we're still not there yet. leader pelosi is not there yet. she wants the investigations to play out, and they also raise the fact that, look, we don't know specifically yet everything that happened. >> ask me again on thursday. >> the frustration among house democrats isn't just about the ukrainian story. you look at corey lewandowski
coming to capitol hill, defiance at every turn, blocking of documents. witnesses. this white house keeps saying we're not cooperating at any level. that's why democrats are simmering. >> i want to get the two of you on iran for a second. you had to make these tough decisions about agreeing to send troops. david ignashish writes the following, for trump, this is a self-inflicted wound. now trump must decide to fight a war he and the country don't want or to accommodate an iran whose truculence he helped create. welcome to the middle east, mr. president. do you think the president miscalculated on the iran deal? fwl we have to be fair. this is a president a lot of people feared would be extremely impulsive. here, he's showing restraint. and those who criticize him have to choose. are they going to criticize him for being too aggressive or is this maybe now hypocritical when they're saying, well, he's sending mixed messages. secondly, to ignatius' point, iran is a terrorist regime.
they were going to carry out this expansionist campaign in the middle east regardless of the president -- >> how do we know that? i have heard this. how do we know that? >> they were doing it after president obama signed the nuclear agreement with them. to say iran is acting in this way in reaction to the president, i don't think that's really fair either. i think the president does risk speaking loudly and carrying a small stick, the opposite of what teddy roosevelt used to say. there is some risk there, but i think restraint is something most people celebrate when it comes to donald trump. >> donna? >> this is really stemming from the president's pulling out of the iran nuclear deal and not having a plan b. there was never a plan for what happens the day after you pull out of that deal. and what we have seen is the devolution of all of the policy with iran precisely because the president never had an idea of where to go next. >> well, we're going to try to figure out where he's going next with my next guest. when we come back, confronting
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missile defense systems. this of course after that attack on saudi oil facilities last week. the administration is blaming iran. president trump has said he would prefer to avoid getting into a shooting war over the incident. mr. trump did announce new sanctions on iran's national bank, tightening the economic pressure the country has applied, and joining me is steve mnuchin, who was involved in getting those sanctions imposed. secretary mnuchin, welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning. good to be here with you. >> before i get to iran, the situation between the president, the whistleblower, his conversations with ukraine's president. and this issue of an investigation. i take -- i assume you don't know some of these details, but let me ask this. do you know why the president hasn't gone to the fbi about these allegations? >> i don't, but let me say i wasn't on this call but i have been on many calls with world leaders. first of all, there are multiple people on these calls. i think it would be highly inappropriate to release a transcript of a call between two world leaders. and i think the bigger story
here is really what went on with biden and his son. he came out over the weekend and said he never spoke to his son, yet the facts are his son said they had spoken. >> i don't understand how that -- i don't understand how that has anything to do with what's going on with this situation. going back, why, if the president believes an american is committing -- doing something wrong, why didn't he go to the fbi? why is he outsourcing the investigation to the ukrainian government? >> i don't know -- i wouldn't know -- i don't believe he did outsource the investigation. i wasn't on the call. >> okay. >> i don't know what conversations the president has had with the attorney general. he may have had conversations already. >> do you know why the aid was delayed, and did it have a connection to the ukrainian president's decision not to work with rudy giuliani. >> there was no connection. i have been involved with secretary pompeo and others on the national security team on the issue of the aid.
>> how do you know for sure? is there -- do you know 100%? >> well, what i know is i have been in discussions when we discussed that. and that issue never came up. >> during your meetings? >> absolutely. >> with the president. and can you explain how all of a sudden when the aid got released, more money showed up? where did that money come from? there was $250 million, and they got an additional i think $140 million they didn't expect. do you have any idea where that came from? >> well, it was appropriated money that came through the state department. >> so was there -- they didn't know they were getting this money. is there any indication why they got the money when they did? >> i'm not sure it's correct for you to say they didn't know they got the money. >> the president said he was surprised to get it. the president of ukraine said he was surprised to get an additional $140 million. it was a pleasant surprise, but he was surprised. >> i think he was referring to his expectations, but you're getting into details, again, these are foreign policy issues. they have been discussed at the national security council, at
the principipals level. these were not connected issues. >> you have problems with congress looking into any of this? >> what i have a problem with is congress asking for a transcript with world leaders. those are confidential discussions and that's a difficult precedent. >> the president, he said he said nothing inappropriate, so why not release the transcript. >> again, i think these are confidential discussions between world leaders, and world leaders expect they're going to be kept confidential. it has nothing to do with this call, per se. >> okay. let me move to iran. you guys announced -- >> thank you, because that is the bigger issue. >> no, and look, war and peace. i'm with you here. let me ask you about iran. you made a decision to do more economic sanctions. it has led to a lot of us to say what's left to sanction economically? is there a point where these sanctions have diminishing returns? >> well, let me just put this in perspective and then i'll comment on the details of the sanctions. this was clearly an iraq -- an
event against from iran against not just saudi arabia but really against the world economic system. and that's why the president has reacted. first thing he did was authorize more sanctions against the central bank. and against the sovereign wealth fund. although we're pretty much maxed out on iran, we will begin to sanction third-party entities where we see violations. and we take our responsibility very seriously. >> third party means other countries that accept iranian oil or anything like that. >> correct, so we'll begin to go after, we know there have been some cases. >> india was doing this, i assume they have since stopped? but they're not happy that they can't get iranian oil. >> um, i can't comment on whether they're happy or not happy. i think our allies understand what we're doing with iran. this is a maximum pressure campaign so that iran stops exporting terrorism and attacking their neighbors. >> is there any acknowledgment here that the campaign is not working? meaning, i think the theory of the case was maximum pressure,
more sanctions, get out of the nuclear deal. they'll come to the table. they have since shot down an american drone, done what they have done, hijacked tankers. this attack in saudi. obviously, it's not working. >> no, i think -- >> if they're not coming to the table, it's not working. what's the next step, if you still can't get them to the table after all this? >> i think quite the contrary. i think this is an example of it's absolutely working. because what we have done is cut off the iranian regime's money. and they are now desperate. so all these actions are because their economy is suffering. they're running out of money, and these are all signs of desperation. so our maximum pressure campaign is about weakening iran so they can't spend money on terror. i think this is absolutely a sign of desperation that the campaign is working. >> what are you saying to folks like senator lindsey graham? let me put up the tweet. the measured response by president trump regarding the shooting down of an american drone was clearly seen by the
iranian regime as a sign of weakness. many of your allies believe the iranians are simply testing the electrical fence, essentially. and every time we don't respond to something, it means they can keep going. you buy that? >> i like lindsey a lot. i consider him a good friend. i don't agree with him on this. i think the president has specifically said, he said this in the oval office when we were with the australian prime minister. it would be very easy to make the decision to attack. it's actually the decision of restraint, so the president is on a three-part plan at the moment. one is sanctions. two, he authorized troops to go to saudi arabia for defensive purposes, which saudi has requested. and we're expediting arms sales. the military option is always on the table. >> there's a headline in the editorial board of "the washington post" that simply says this, should u.s. troops put their lives on the line for saudi arabia? it's complicated. it's a simple question, but obviously there's a complicated answer. speak to the parents of troops that are thinking about that
question. >> well, look, when the president thinks about these issues, the first thing he thinks about is the issue for the troops and i will say i have tremendous respect for the military and the sacrifice these troops make every day. so that's an issue that i'm sure the president always thinks about. on the other hand, this is responding to an ally and friend of ours and this is not just an attack on saudi arabia. this is an attack on the world economic system. and we are sending troops there in a defensive posture. >> secretary mnuchin, treasury secretary for the united states, thanks for coming on and sharing your views. >> thank you. when we come back, the latest from our nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. why the good news for democrats could turb out to be bad news for them. >> as we go to break, there are two passes we want you to know about. we lost sand row van ocher. he worked right here in the '60s and '70s and was one of the
panelists at the first kennedy/nixon debate. >> nbc news. >> he also interviewed robert kennedy shortly before kennedy was assassinated at the ambassador hotel in los angeles. he later works for abc news for a decade and a half. sander van ocher was 91. we also lost cokie roberts at the age of 75. she was more than just another tv journ. she was a friend, a competitor, and a sunday morning comic. she was best known for her work on npr and later as a co-host of this week on abc news. from 1996 to 2002. a louisiana native, she was famously the child of politicians, the daughter of house majority leader heal boggs who died in a plane crash, and lindsay boggs who filled his seat. she was celebrated for helping young women break into a business that was not always welcoming to them, but she wanted to be remembered for something more personal. >> i would like to be remembered as a mother and a wife and
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first, there is good news for progressive democrats who do favor big change in a few areas. take a look at support for providing free tuition at state colleges and universities. 81% of democratic primary voters support that idea. compared with 58% of registered voters. so a majority of voters overall. pretty good sign for that idea. and what about providing college for so-called dreamers. 89% of democrats support that along with 67% of all registered voter. again, some synergy, and remember when supporting a public option was risky. 78% would like to allow people to buy their coverage through a health care program. but as some democrats have argued, not all progressive ideas have a majority support among all voter. take certain parts of health care. while 64% of democrats want to give government health care to undocumented immigrants, only 36% of all registered voters agree. and 63% of democrats support a
medicare for all single payer health care system in which, quote, private health insurance would be eliminated compared with only 41% of registered voters who would like to see that. look, for the best generation, pollsters have found this to be a center right country on some of these policies. something that has favored moderate republicans on fiscal issues. while these numbers suggest a shift to the left, it's not yet to the extent progressive democrats may want. maybe we're center-center or heading to center-left. the next six to eight months will determine where the democratic nominee will end up on this issues and these numbers hibit if the party's nominee moves too far too fast, he or she may have a hard time tacking back to the center in the fall. when we comr back, end game, and a look at who the new leader is in iowa in the state's most respected poll. >> vo: my car is my after-work decompression zone.
sanders at 11, buttigieg 9, harris 6. don edwards, it does look like our poll basically had 56% of democrats choosing either biden or warren, 40% choosing the other 22. i think we are starting to see a sorting here. what does this mean? >> this is a race. it's a two-person race in my view. you can see who's gaining and losing in the poll. i mean, bernie clearly losing and elizabeth warren gaining. >> kamala harris and pete buttigieg also looks like, especially buttigieg looks like it all went to her. >> and i also think what's happening is that voters are saying we are going to have, you know, two really good choices here. we want to hear from them. what surprised me is that elizabeth warren's sort of unfavorability people who were detractors has actually gone down which is significant in terms of her being able to secure a nomination. >> joe biden's personal rating is not getting better. but this is putting downward pressure on a couple of candidates here.
cory booker and kamala harris are not hiding the desperation. take a listen. >> this is a determining moment for us. we are either going to reach a $1.7 million to stay in this race. or we're going to have to make really tough decisions. >> i don't know if you heard, but i'm kind of planning to kind of live in iowa. >> kristine. >> i think it underscores the fact that those are two candidates, booker and harris, who are running as moderates. and it feels as though this moment is about, you know, joe biden obviously representing one side of the democratic party. elizabeth warren representing progressives. and it seems like she's surging because there is that energy within the democratic party. i also think it's notable that the difference between sanders and warren is larger than the difference between sanders and buttigieg. they're divided by just two points. buttigieg his campaign feels like, look, we still have some room to grow because his favorabilities are so high. time is running out.
>> is third place going to matter in iowa? >> it may not not, especially if senator warren keeps gaining this type of traction. speaking to 20,000 people in new york. she's not just running as a massachusetts senator. she is running as a message. this is an economic pop lace. she is running on that economic populous message. that is what makes her a powerful candidate and a field full of people who are running as different kinds of personalities. she has a broad theme that has really carried her to this point. >> she is also going to get the frontrunner status. >> treatment. let's see what she looks like in six months. >> and this is also becoming a race about two strategies. do democrats go for a base versus base strategy, the liberal democratic base against trump's base or do they go for a candidate that can build a coalition, reach out to those swing voters? that is going to be the voice a lot of democrats are going to be
liking when they go to the polls. >> you and i have seen this through previous democratic campaigns. it's the two coalitions that warren and biden have put together. biden has a coalition of african-americans, men that are over the age of 50, men and women that are over the age of 65. and self-described moderates/conservatives. the warren constituency is liberals, college-educated women, those that want large-scale change. when i saw that, i did not automatically assume, ooh, warren's on the move. i said that looks like gary hart, howard dean. she needs african-american voters if she is going to be the nominee. >> well, i think that's true. but i also, you know, when you look at elizabeth warren, i remember in the spring she started out with like 1% approval among african-americans. that number has started to -- i saw her in the lower teens among african-americans. but they don't know her. and they trust biden and they know him. so i think it's going to be a tough call. and once you get out of iowa and
new hampshire, you got to go to south carolina where there are african-american voters and that's where she's going to have to win this election. >> and i'm not sure who's got the bigger challenge. biden winning over the skeptical progressives or warren winning over sort of the skeptical small-seat conservative democratic voters who are like it's about getting trump. >> that's right. and i think, look, biden knows that he has a lot of support among african-americans so that could make a big difference for him. elizabeth warren, as she tries to win them over, she is going to have to answer tough questions about her health care plan, what does it mean, for example, for middle class taxes. >> the fall matters. >> do you think so? >> with senator booker out there and mayor buttigieg drawing a big crowd in iowa, you could see senator klobuchar, buttigieg, booker, others start to get a little bit of a look as the moderate wonders is biden truly viable in a general election and to be the nominee. >> i am going to have to leave it there because this is a
conversation on that score that i know we'll continue to have. i think you're right. biden/warren may be the topic for quite some time. that's all we have for today. thank you for watching. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday it's "meet the press." that's all we have for today. thank you for watching. we'll be back next week. because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." i don't keep track of regrets. and i don't add up the years. but what i do count on... is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life. thisdoin' more...bout... ...with less. doers need energy. and demand for it is expected to grow.
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tolerate this if this was children coming from canada or eastern europe? >> i think things would be very different. >> how do democrats navigate the impending mess before them in the disagreements over this? ♪ welcome to "kasie dc," everyone. i i'm what did president trump say on a call with the president of ukraine and why is the administration stymieing a whistleblower? as we get new signals for nancy pelosi atop democrats that say this may be changing their calculus on impeachment. plus, the world's leaders and diplomats come to america as the u.s. sends troops to the middle east amid renewed fears of an all-out war between saudi arabia and iran. and lat