tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC September 24, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
foreign government to interfere in our elections again to help him personally. >> i want to thank augull of ou analysts and guests. a very busy hour. and craig, listen, even as we are on the air watching the president's speech, you have more democrats coming out saying yes, impeachment inquire riry, move forward. >> and seven freshmen democrats writing that op-ed, two will join me, two of the democrats calling for impeachment. craig melvin here. under fire, president trump just wrapping up that speech at the united nations striking quite the nationalist chord, and more he had lines emer headlines eme about the pressure on the ukranian president about joe biden and his son. and now biden punching back. he is expected to deliver a statement in just a few hours, roughly three hours from now, from delaware as he continues to
fight against the president's unsubstantiated claims about his son. and meanwhile, a seismic shift on capitol hill. the list getting longer by the hour as more democrats are backing action on impeachment, reportedly the dam is breaking. seven freshmen lawmakers with national security backgrounds wrote a new scathing op-ed backing an impeachment inquiry. the house speaker set to hold a closed door meeting in just a few hours. two of those aforementioned lawmakers will join me. but we start with president trump wrapping up that speech at the united nations a few moments ago. the president focusing largely on american values, on world leadership. he also used the opportunity to take direct aim at iran blaming the country for recent strikes against the saudi oil facilities. >> if you want freedom, take pride in your country.
if you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. and if you want peace, love your nation. the future does not belong to global allists. the future belongs to patriots. the future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens. the american people are absolutely committed to restoring balance to our relationship with china. hopefully we can reach an agreement that would be beneficial for both countries. one of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations today is the repressive regime in iran. no responsible government should subsidize iran's blood lust. as long as iran's menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. they will be tightened.
>> that speech coming as new allegations reported on the president's phone call with the president of ukraine, the "washington post" reporting that week before president trump pressured the ukranian president to investigate former vice president joe biden, he ordered a hold on almost $400 million in military aid to the country. sources are telling nbc news that now the, quote, dam could break on impeaching the president. and less than 24 hours, more than a dozen new house democrats have expressed support for some type of action on impeachment. there is a look at the new house dems who have called for it. i want to bring in white house correspondent kristen welker. let's start with the president's speech here. top line, major takeaways from what we just heard from president trump at the united nations. >> reporter: well, craig, i think one of the top lines does have to do with iran. that is where we saw some of the president's sharpest language. the president as you just heard there saying that the united
states is not going to lift sanctions against iran unless it stops that behavior. that the president really had harsh words for. now, what did he have to say in terms of military action? not a whole lot. president trump really leaning into democracy saying we are still open to pursuing a path to friendship. i thought that was notable. he also had harsh words for china, not surprisingly, calling for a free and fair trade deal. the president indicating that they are not going to essentially make a deal until they feel as though they have gotten that. and so reiterating a lot of what we've heard from china. you heard him talk about the uk, that was significant. the president indicating that they might be close to what he called a magnificent trade deal with the new prime minister there. of course he will be meeting with boris johnson a little bit later on today. i thought taking a step back, what was very notable about this speech, he really under scored
his america first foreign policy. we heard that reiterated at various moments throughout the speech. that sort of prompted at one moment some of those who were in the room to murmur, clearly that was their reaction and their response to president trump saying that the united states is the strongest country essentially in the world. and you also heard some of his campaign lines, some of the lines that we hear on the campaign trail, talking about immigration, really sort of using some of the language that he would use to rev up the crowds. but obviously a very different audience here he at the united nations as he interest he speak world stage. and equally significant, what he did not mention, climate change and the new controversy swirling around his phone call with the leader of ukraine, as you pointed out, mounting calls for impeachment. he did speak to that moments before he delivered this speech, but nothing about that during
the speech, not surprisingly you can bet those that he will get more tough questions about it throughout the day. >> for folks who didn't see or hear the president, what did he say with regards to this controversy and the phone call to the president of ukraine? >> reporter: he said that the phone call was completely appropriate. he was pressed on reports overnight that he had ordered just one week before that call to suspend aid to ukraine. he didn't deny those reports. instead, simply saying that the aid was paid. notably he was also pressed directly on impeachment, not surprisingly he called it all a witch hunt. and i want to just take a step back and note why that is so remark only. this is the same language we have heard for three years talking about the russia investigation last year when we were covering the united nations.
it was that probe that loomed large over that u.n. general assembly. and now his contacts with a foreigner leader coming under a microscope and intensifying scrutiny yet again as president trump says any calls for impeachment are ridiculous. but as we have been reporting overnight it feels as though the momentum has shifted. nancy pelosi potentially reare considering her i think. >> kristen welker, thank you. let me bring in our msnbc contributor. and also rick and sxwrol are bo joel are both with me. richard haass also with me.
richard, based on what you just heard, what were your major takeaways? >> well, the major takeaway is the president continues to outline a sense of national greatness as the key to american foreign policy rather than articulating any vision of international cooperation be to deal with a challenge like iran or north korea or deal with a challenge like climate change. it is a century old approach that is really ill-equipped for dealing with climate change and other challenges in a modern world. and secondly, given the immediate issues for american foreign policy, i didn't expect them to go into ukraine, but i was looking for something on iran. and what is most interesting is what he didn't say. we had an emphasis on the flaws of iran's leaders. there was no signal whatsoever that he would be open to any serious diplomacy to improve on the old nuclear agreement. so i actually think that the
most immediate takeaway from the speech is that iran is sitting there watching and listening to it, they are saying there is nothing in it for us, so i think that the chances of conflict between the united states and iran have actually gone up slightly. because they don't see any relief in sight from the sanctions. they don't see any diplomatic path. so what is left for them is to look for ways either to do a repeat of what they did against the saudis or continue to break out of the strictures of the 2015 nuclear deal. >> and rick, the future doesn't belong to globalists, it belongs to patriots, a line that stuck out to me. this is a president that has been making nationalist speeches since before he was president. anything in that speech surprise you at all today? >> well, i suppose how domestic a speech it was. i mean, i think that it was a domestic audience, not the people in the hall. and to your point with nationalism, remember last year president macron of france said that there is a distinction and
a difference between nationalism and patriotism. patriotism is something that we can all embrace. patriotism and globalism are not mutually exclusive. nationalism when donald trump uses it is a doc whistle for dictators. it means anti-immigration, it means doing bilateral trade deals rather than international organizations. it is not a word that has a positive valance. >> and joel, your reaction to what we just heard from the president. how would you characterize it? >> yeah, he couldn't wait to get out of there. clearly there was no interest on his part in giving that speech. he was hugging the teleprompter. >> he seemed to have low energy. >> he had no energy. wilbur ross was asleep in the audience. not a high bar there. but it was a schizophrenic speech, essentially the goals
that he is laying out are completely disconnected from the policies and ideas that he is promoting and advocating. iran again is a great example. i don't want a nuclear iran but aim not going to layout how to get there, we'll continue to do more of the same which of course is leading to a potential war with iran. so a lot unsaid. clearly he wants to move on. >> carol, one could perhaps reasonably surmise that this is a president that does in fact have a lot on his mind. it is your reporting that could perhaps be top of mind right now, president trump ordering his acting chief of staff mick mulvaney to hold almost $400 million worth of military aid to ukraine before supposedly asking the country to investigate former vice president joe biden. carol, is there any direct evidence that the president was using this money as a leverage to put pressure on ukraine's
president? >> well, our reporting indicates that the whistleblower's complaint relates to concerns that that is exactly what was happening. however, the one thing that i would point to is something in our story where a u.s. lawmaker reports that in a september meeting with the ukranian president zelensky, zelensky directly expressed to him concern that the lack of aid forthcoming 5 kcome aid -- fortd that congress authorized was a direct consequence of him not agreeinging to investigate the bidens. remember the president says that in the july 25th call with zelensky, multiple times you got to look into this, you got look into biden and biden's son. this investigation is important for looking at corruption. to a couple week before that, the president also withholding aid and refusing to schedule a meeting with zelensky which a
public meeting which is what zef zelensky was seeking. it is an odd set of coincidences i guess or an odd set of circumstances. again, i would turn to zelensky himself who said that this was his fear that the two were connected. >> and carol, likelihood, chance, that this whistleblower at some point comes forward? >> i think a lot of that is being worked out behind the scenes right now. the whistleblower has got to have reasons to be concerned legally about revealing anything that they are not supposed to. their career is on -- in the middle of all of this, a concern. it has to be a concern. and then there is the possibility of retaliation and retribution. the president has already made plain without ostensibly knowing who the whistleblower is that the whistleblower is a partisan hack, so there has to be fear
about that. but i would think that much of this will be negotiated in coming days. and some elements of the whistleblower's complaint, the ones that don't leak out in the press first, will get to congress. >> and president trump commented about the pressure that has been put on the ukraine. this is part of what the president said. >> when you see the call, the readout of the call, which i assume that you will see at some point, you will understand. that call was perfect. it couldn't have been nicer and even the ukranian government put out a statement that that was a perfect call, there was no pressure put on them whatsoever. but there was pressure put on with respect to joe biden. what joe biden did for his son that is something they should be looking at. >> so joel, as phone calls go, according to the president this was a perfect phone call. not sure how a phone call is perfect, but the president says it was a per fenlgt phone call. his explanation surrounding the call has shifted a number of times already. how nervous should the president
be? >> he should be extremely nervous. and i'll give one tiny example here. holding of the aid, i served in the state department handling legislative afrns wi affairs wi the house. if we were going to hold money, we would explain and be clear as to why. they didn't give briefings that were clear. members of congress are saying that we didn't understand why they were holding the money. there is no clarity with this policy. what is clear is that there was a maneuvering to try to manipulate the ukranian government to do what the president wanted. >> rick, this is what the president said when he was asked about what joel just mentioned being when he was asked about withholding the aid. here is one of his explanations. >> there was no pressure put on them whatsoever. i put no pressure on them whatsoever. i could have. i think it would probably possibly have been okay if i did. but i didn't. >> so he said that he didn't, but that it probably would have been okay if he did.
this kind of back and forth, this kind of explanation or these kinds of explanations or lack thereof, how does it play on the world stage or do they? is this the kind of thing that leaders in other countries just look at us and shake their heads? >> it plays awfully to one thing. if don corleone asked to you look into something, does he have to say there is a quid pro quo, does he have to threaten you with a particular response? he is implied. he is the godfather. trump is behaving the same way. he has $300 million worth of aid with ukraine and the quid proceed company is implquid pro implicit. discussing something that would benefit him by itself is an impeachable event. >> richard haass, you are more plugged in than most with our
allies. perhaps even some of our adversaries. how is this playing out so far? >> still relatively new. and people want to see how it does play out here, what if any implications it has politically. i think what it does is highlight for every other government how difficult it is to deal with this president and this administration. this is unlike any of his predecessors. the fact that conversation would take place like this, the fact that aid would be held up presumably or allegedly for domestic political purposes, it puts everybody else in an awkward position. take the government of ukraine. they clearly don't want to alienate this president, they wanted the aid released, they want american support against russia which continues to wage a war in ukraine's east, continues to occupy crimea. on the other hand, they don't want to get mixed up in american politics, get cross-wise with democrats. so the question is, how do you deal with the president's request at the same time that
you try to protect and preserve a relationship with the united states. it puts leaders in an impossible awkward box which is one of the reasons that we're seeing the kind of conflicting messages that we're seeing out of government officials in ukraine. >> and joel, you were at the state department under barack obama. if president obama had engaged in this kind of behavior, if what is being reported is true and there is no reasoning to believe that it is not, what would the reaction have been? >> well, i remember what it was on a fake scandal, the benghazi scandal three years, congressional hearing, a crisis turned in to a political punching bag. nd this isn't just unpresidential, it is unamerican. what the president has done is he has decided that the government belongs to him. not to the american people. that it is his toy to play with, he can use it as he wants for his own personal gain. it is his own piggybank and that is unpresidential. barack obama didn't come close and if he had, he probably would
have been impeached by the republicans. >> what i find most striking is that reportedly the phone call was made the day after robert mueller testified. it really is -- it really is eye-popping on so many levels. thank you both so much. richard haass, thanks to you as well and carol also. solid reporting, than you for coming to debrief us. impeachment now seeming more likely than ever. that is how our first read team sums up the dramatically shifting dynamics on the hill. we'll go live to the capital where things are moving fast, at least two big meetings today. plus two of those freshmen democrats who signed on to that new op-ed, they will join me live coming up to talk about what changed their mind. changen is a baby company. but we're also a company that controls hiv, fights cancer,
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the number of democrats calling for impeachment inquiry for the president climbing by the hour. and it all centers on those reports from the "washington post" and other outlets that president trump put an aid package for ukraine on hold before talking to the country's president about joe biden and his son. nbc has learned that nancy pelosi has been quietly sounding out top allies and laurwmakers about whether they believe the president's own admissions could be a tipping point. "washington post" reports that many leadership aides who once
thought impeachment was unlikely now say they think it is lmg al inevitable. geoff bennett is on capitol hill for us covering this story. the speaker is going to be meeting with all of the members of her caucus in a few hours we're told. what do we expect their message to be to her, what do we know about what she will say to them? >> reporter: and craig, we expect them to meet in this room here behind me, so we'll get some clarity we hope by around 5:00 eastern. so here is what we know as the ground is really shifting as you mentioned hour by hour on this impeachment question. nancy pelosi we're told by sources familiar is actively reconsidering her month's long resistance as it relate to the this impeachment question. she has been talking to her friends and confidants to get a sense of whether or not president trump's interaction with the ukranian leader represents a tipping point and the takeaway seems to be that
yes, if he did collude to dig up dirt on a political rival, that would be an impeachable offense that merits an immediate sponsor at least a full investigation. and a full impeachment proceeding is the thing that would warrant a full investigation and that would get the democrats to sort of underlying evidence that they have been seeking. now, one of the other big impediments to this impeachment issue has been the front line democrats who won districts in 2018 that president trump won back in 2016. and nancy pelosi's chief responsibility really is to keep her majority intact and so the concern was is this impeachment question really -- does it run counter to the political interests of those members. and now we've seen those members themselves throw off that reluctance in an op-ed. it says we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense, we call on our colleagues in congress to are consider the use of all
congressional authorities available to us including power of impeachment hearings to address the new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security. so as i've been talking to you, more democrats have come out in support on the house democratic side, you have hakim jeffries, you have congresswoman rosa delau delauro. and the thinking was that the two of them would not jump if nancy pelosi were not too far behind. but we do expect to get more clarity later this afternoon. >> and those two dems you mentioned, in the last few minutes came on board? >> reporter: jeffries did. delauro overnight. and we have heard democrats on the senate side who say impeachment would be the appropriate remedy. >> geoff bennett from the hill. going to be a long day. we'll check in with you periodically. i want to bring in carlos cand
both of you are our analysts. and we'll talk to two of the writers of the op-ed, two of the members of congress in a few minutes. and with national security credentials by the way. something else to point out here. the fact that all seven of these, the fact that they have national credentials, does that aed weig aed weight to what they are saying? >> i think it adds conviction to their decision. it contemplates what they were debating when they said what is impeachable. it doesn't have to be a violation of law, it can be violation of national trust. it can be something that involves a foreign power that compromise the president's interests on behalf of a nation. but we have to partly cloudy abo --
we have to talk about what a moment it will be for nancy pelosi and her legacy as speaker. how she presents the case to the nation or not will be an incredible moment for the country to see. understand if we are moving to impeachment, there has to be a national leader that defines the narrative around it. why are we impeaching the president. are we including obstruction of justice, is it just isolated to this ukraine moment. and if we are moving in that direction, how wide do we cast the net. you could make the case that it should include secretary of state mike pompeo, should include a.g. barr, should include pimick mulvaney. >> why? . >> because if the underlying offense is that they have dealt with the ukraine in a way that is disloyal to the nation, pompeo already said he allowed coordination with giuliani on this matter. mick mulvaney was the person who followed the president's order
to freeze the money being released and ag barr provided the cover around around all of this by saying thwhistleblower' information cannot go to congress. however this will be framed, we need to see the speaker be able to frame it for the nation. because what we do know is the president will continue to frame this as routine. and unless somebody can yoefrp co overcome that, we won't have declarity. >> and as the members file into room lb 5 in that basement, they are preparing to make what is likely the most important decision that they will all make in this 116th congress. and the math has clearly changed for speaker pelosi for months she has been trying to tame the left side of her caucus, the members that are most spochbs sif to t responsive to the democratic ways and now you are starting to see centrist democrats call for impeachment. it changes the math because
politically the leader of the party in the congress is always most worried and tries to protect their swing district members because those are the majority makers, the ones who put them in power. and now those members are starting to call for impeachment, so the speaker is suddenly under major pressure and that is why you are seeing her try to get out in front of this talking to her committee chairs and bringing the democratic caucus together. >> so while momentum has shifted, what has not changed is math in the upper chamber. let's say the house decides to impea impeach. we've only heard from mitt romney and your fellow republican there in florida marco rubio. but republicans have been by and large silent so far. do we foresee a path where the house impeaches and the senate just chooses not to act on that or do we sur muse that mise tha evidence perhaps surfaces, that
republicans in the senate may also start changing their minds? >> i've made the case one option around the mueller report for the house was you could im350e67 and not refer to the senate for trial. that is possible. typical impeachment includes an article referring it to the senate. in this matter i think you refer to the senate and the nation should be able to see if republicans will protect this president. look, i would say to the house and those who are engaging in political calculus about but the senate won't convict, founders gave the house one tool and it is to bring charges. it is not to bring punishment. and so the house should act on its duty to bring charges. let the senate do what it is going to do and let the eyes of the nation look to the senate and hold them accountable. >> and that is all true, but there are political risks here for democrats as well. a lot of democrats expected that they built up the mueller report, they said that it would be decisive and after they were in the same position not knowing how to proceed. this could be a political trap
that the president and his team are setting up. they may release this transcript at some point, it may not be the bombshell that lot of people are expecting. so all of these democratic leaders as they think through this, they are calculating the risks out there and we know that speaker pelosi still probably thinks that impeachment is a leerz politic loser politically for democrats next fall. >> and every one of the principles has admitted to it, we don't need the transcript. donald trump said yes, i did it, giuliani said yes, a.g. said no, we wochbn't tell the congress at it. it would be helpful, about you we have what we need already. >> all right. thank you so much. and we turn to two ocongressmen two freshmen democrats. abigail spanberger and jason crow, a big thanks to both of you for joining me there in
washington. the seven of you wrote in this op- op-ed, just an excerpt, that the president of the united states may have used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent. and he sought to use u.s. taxpayer dollars as leverage to do it. he allegedly sought to use the very security assistance dollars appropriated by congress to create stability in the world, to help root out corruption and to protect on national security interests for his own person a al gain. congressman crow, you all layout why this is such an important moment for this administration, for this country as well. why do you think so many members of congress including democrats are still reluctant about pursuing impeachment? >> i can't speak for our colleagues. i can only speak for ourselves. you know, the seven of us have a history rooted in service to our country in against of our nation and national security.
and you know, the allegations here are so shockingagainst of and national security. and you know, the allegations here are so shocking, a sitting president to use his power to withhold foreign aid potentially to obtain an advantage over a political rival. it is very shocking and something that merits action and the use of all tools to get to the bottom of this and that is what we came together to talk about. >> and congress woman spanberger, what was the turning point for you? >> the turning point for me was to hear these allegations, the allegations that sitting u.s. president may have used his position and may have used foreign assistance security dollars as leverage to compel or pressure a foreign country to provide information, dig up dirt on a political rival. this is absolutely shocking in its nature and i think that it was important for us to step forward and say these allegations, if proven true, represent a departure from anything we've ever seen. they need the full attention of the u.s. congress and we need to
be discussing how detrimental the allegations are to our country, to our elections and our national security. >> and congressman crow, i'm not sure if you had the opportunity to hear my previous conversation with occcurbelo and jolly, but idea that the house could impeach but not refer that impeachment to the senate for action. what say you to that idea? >> you know, this can't be about politics. all of us have sworn many oaths to the country. i took my first oath decades ago when i was a teenager. i view that as a lifetime oath and promise to the country to uphold the konsz tugsconstituti the nation against foreign enemies. there are allegations that we are holding foreign military aid intended to combat russian aggression in europe for political advantage by a signature president. politics can't be a part of this analysis. we have to make sure that we are
going what we need to do and upholding our oaths. for the seven of us that wrote that op-ed, our oaths are not just words. they are a way of life. they dick eight what tate what and how we do it here in washington. >> and speaker pelosi set to hold this meeting roughly 4 1/2 hours from now. what do you hope to hear from the speaker and what do you plan to say to her? >> so what i hope to hear within our caucus meeting and what i hope to be the message within our caucus is that these allegations are serious, these allegations if proven true as we have stated in our op-ed do represent impeachable offenses. and because we are talking about something so profoundly important, we need to do our due diligence, we need to be methodical, we need to be thoughtful in how it is that we pursue our investigations, our inquiry into the circumstances. bur goal, our role as members of
congress should be to either approve or disprove these allegations. it is vie tally important that the american people know if these allegations are true or false. we shouldn't enter into this next phase with any predetermined outcome. but we need to absolutely recognize the severity and profound nature of these allegations. and seek to get to the bottom of them. >> congressman crow, if there are impeachment proceedings, should those proceedings be restricted to just this whistleblower complaint, just this phone call with the president of ukraine, or should those impeachment proceedings include some of the other allegations? >> well, this is about u.s. national security. the seven of us have backgrounds in national security either in the military or defense diplomatic or intelligence agencies. for us, our fundamental role here is to protect the country and fulfill our oath. and we have to make sure that we're getting all the
information that we need to discharge that duty. and i don't think that we go into that limiting ourselves as to what we can and cannot look at. i think that we need all the facts, we need the information to make sure that we are protecting the nation. and that is what this is about and we have to make sure that we're doing that. >> congressman crow, congresswoman spanberger, thank you both. up next, have the democrats learned a lesson after the clinton email story line from 2016? inside joe biden's plan to fight back against the president's unsubstantiated claims him and his son and ukraine. >> trump is doing this because he knows i'll beat him like a drum and he is using the abuse of power and he have element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me. o something to smear me. ♪
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probably no more appropriate place. but what the campaign is say, that this statement is on the whistleblower complaint and the president's reaction to it. i think all of us are asking the question that lot of the colleagues are asking as well, will he call for impeachment of the president. he has been reluctant to do that before. and saturday when i was covering him in iowa, he passed on that question. he said depending what the house finds, he could be impeached but i'm not making that judgment now. but we often tend to hear from the vice president at fundraisers privately what he ends up saying publicly and last night he was speaking at a fundraiser in philadelphia and he said that we know that this guy is -- we know how this guy will be, it will be ugly, mean. and so he is clearly hunkering down for an even more personal and even more bitter campaign potentially against the president of the united states.
and craig you will remember before the vice president joined this campaign, that was one of the concerns that he had raised, one of the reservations that he had was knowing that his family must be dragged through the mud and the campaign has been responding aggressively to this. this campaign is responding aggressively talking to the narratives and criticizing press coverage saying that we are ignoring the fact that there have been a number of public reports debunking what rudy giuliani and others on the trump campaign are saying about the vice president's involvement in that incident. >> mike memoli, thank you. and thank you to all those acela train passengers as well who had to put up with your reporting there from the train car. we'll check in with you once you get to delaware. let's bring in our democratic strategist and also an author and she was also the ceo of the
20082016 democratic national conventions. and refrp renverend, thank you. joe biden is taking a more aggressive approach as evidenced with this clash with the reporter over the weekend. watch this. >> i know trump deserves to be investigated. he is violating every basic norm of a president. you should be asking him the question why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader if that is what happened. that appears what happened. you should be looking at trump. trump is doing this because he knows that i'll beat him like a drum and he is using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me. everybody looked at this and everybody looked at it and said there is nothing there. ask the right question. >> i mean, are we seeing lessons learned from the last time around? is that manifestation of that,
reverend? >> absolutely. you know, trump doesn't have any new plays. so he is using the same playbook that he used in 2016 when he asked russia to interfere into the hillary clinton race. and so we see here lessons learned. the vice president and really all democrats running for office and any person of goodwill ought to call this out. they have the right and the obligation to call out this foreign interference that our president is insisting on when it comes to our object rights here in america. so i'm glad to see that the vice president is fighting back and i'm looking forward to seeing more of that. >> and based on what we know so far with the phone call with the president of ukraine, do you think this president should be impeached? >> yes, i do. this president is a master of deception and deflection. and that is what we see here. instead we're dealing with the issue at hand, he invokes the
vice president and the vice president's son. so that we don't get to the bottom of what the real issue is which is why is he bringing a foreign power into the internal workings of the united states of america. the question is what did the president do and when did he do it. and when are we going to find out about it. we need to hear the transcript of his conversation with the ukranian president, when were the funds are withheld, when were they released and we need to hear from the criswhistleblo. the law requires that the whistleblower be brought before the intelligence committee so that they can get to the bottom of it. that is what we're owed as americans. we are a nation of laws and everyone including the president of the united states is only gated to follow the law. >> and from a political standpoint here for a moment,on. >> and from a political standpoint here for a moment, does the president's focus on joe biden does it give joe biden the visual that he wants, that this is a two-man race?
>> look, we've seen over these past couple of years that the president has the attention span of a gnat. so i think joe biden happens to be in his crosshairs today. a couple weeks ago it was beto. it will be whoever it is that captures his fancy up at night watching television and tweeting. so who knows. he is a moving target. he has a moving target and he likes the news -- old people in my church used to say devil ain't got no new tricks. so this is the same old president trump from 2016 that we're seeing again. this is not an improvn prooimpr playbook. >> used to say that in my church too. reverend, thank you. right now president trump meeting at the united nations with the leader of one our old he is ally, but both facing their own fire storms.
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as you noted before the break, boris johnson was rebuked by his own parliament. he was asked, should you resign? his response to that, craig, essentially, let's be clear, he disagrees profoundly with that idea, that he should resign. then president trump said, that was a nasty question from an american reporter. so boris johnson getting an assist from president trump there. this is a significant meeting, of course. these two leaders trying to strike a bilateral trade deal. so of course we'll try to drill down on what if any progress was made there. boris johnson embattled as he tries to lead the uk out of the e.u. "the washington post" posted overnight that the president
halted militarily aid to ukraine days before his phone call with volodymyr zelensky. he said there was no proceed quo pro in the phone call. those rough notes, craig, i'm reading to you. he was asked about that timeline and yet again did not deny that that timeline is accurate. he's trying to make the case, i wanted to make sure that ukraine was living up to that before we gave the aid. >> kristen welker live outside the united nations with what we call a readout with that back and forth between boris johnson and president trump. we're working on getting the
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john lewis, we're told, already addressing the house of representatives. we do not know what the congressman is going to say, but as my colleague and friend geoff bennett has pointed out, he's largely seen as the conscience of the caucus. he's also been conspicuously silent on the issue of impeachment. but we know his speech is set to happen amid growing calls from house democrats to start an impeachment inquiry into president trump, after that phone call with the president of ukraine. of course house speaker nancy pelosi has convened the caucus this afternoon. we'll be watching and listening to congressman john lewis any moment now from the house. that is going to be wrap up this hour of "msnbc live," but before i hand it over, huge congratulations to my friend and colleague andrea mitchell. tonight she will be receiving a lifetime achievement award at this year's news and documentary emmy awards. she joined nbc news back in 1978
and has been on the front lines of just about every major story that we've covered ever since. an honor well-deserved, my friend. congratulations. >> thank you so much, craig, the honor is to be with you and all my other colleagues here at msnbc and nbc for all these wonderful years. thank you, sir. and the news continues, as it always does. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," tipping point. the whistleblower controversy turns the side as nancy pelosi signals the caucus is ready to move, possibly with a hand-selected committee that she will pick. seven freshman democrats, some from districts that voted for the president, signing on to impeachment and saying the national security threat is bigger than their own reelection politics. >> this is unc