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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  November 18, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. as the public phase of donald trump's impeachment commences its second week of open hearings, stunning new details emerge about former national security adviser john bolton's valiant and largely unsuccessful efforts to rally the cabinet to lobby donald trump directly to release military aid for ukraine. those efforts revealed in the testimony of tim morrison, the white house adviser expected to testify publicly tomorrow. morrison also testifying about a previously unknown one on one meeting between donald trump and john bolton. it was designed to sway trump to free the aid. "new york times" writes it this way. quote, the meeting which has not been previously reported came as mr. bolton sought to marshall mr. trump's cabinet secretaries and top national security advisers to convince the president that it was in the united states' best interest to unfreeze the funds to help ukraine defend itself against
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russia. mr. bolton emerged with mr. trump unmoved and instructed the aid to look for new unts to get those officials in front of mr. trump. the testimony tying trump directly and seemingly unilaterally to the decision to withhold military assistance comes against the backdrop of more new testimony tying trump to the conditioning of military aid in exchange for investigations into biden. from the transcript of morrison's closed-door testimony released over the weekend about trump's reliance on e.u. by any chance gordon sondland to carry out his orders. the intel committee chairman adam schiff asks. sondland understood his responsibilities to be doing what the president asked him to do? morrison replies he related to me he was acting-he was discussing these matters with the president. schiff asks, and, in fact, every time you went to check to see whether he had in fact talked to the president, you found that he had talked to the president? morrison supplies yes,
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mr. chairman. and perhaps no one faces a greater risk and higher scrutiny an e.u. ambassador gordon sondland when he testifies this week. it'll be on wednesday. brand-new reporting in the "wall street journal" from a reporter joining us momentarily offers a preview of what that testimony might hold. from her report, quote, a u.s. ambassador set to testify this week in the house impeachment inquiry kept several trump administration officials apprised of his effort to get ukraine to launch investigations that president trump would later discuss in a july call with his ukrainian counterpart. emails reviewed by the "wall street journal" show the investigation and the testimony closing in on donald trump's role in conditioning vital military assistance in a commitment to launch political investigations is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. with us rebecca, white house reporter for the "wall street journal." aaron blake is back, senior political reporter for "the
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washington post." republican strategist and author of "everything trump touches dies," rick wilson. former aid to the george w. bush white house and state department elise jordan. and john heilemann. i want to start with you because there are now so many threads coming in, in the release of transcripts from the closed-door depositions which is what precedes these public hearings that we are going to see this week. but braided together they all tell the same story. >> they do. they do tell the same story. and i think they are telling a story that is really a story that we've known now for some weeks. it's not like any of these additional levels of detail are shocking or stunning, except in the largest sense they happened. but the picture's very clear now, and the layering of the evidence and the voices and who was in the room with whom and who heard what when is all an
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incredibly important part of building what seems like a rock solid case. you have used the analogy of brick by brick and i think the democrats have gone about this in a very sturdy way trying to get this case across. where i think we are right now, however, is that castle that's being built out of those bricks is going to be large and imposing and undeniable in what it looks like to anybody with eyes in their head. and, yet, i don't think at this moment that that castle, that built, that edifice is going to be enough to move republicans in an appreciable number in either the house or the senate to act in the way the democrats are going to want to act with respect to the disposition of president trump's presidency, which is why i think so much now hinges in a way on john bolton. and he is the person who can do something other than build the edifice, the person who because of his credibility, because of his place in the world, because of what he means to conservatism, because of what his place in the world and
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particularly the republican world. the more we learn about him and his role in this, where he was and what he was privy to, what he witnessed, if he came forward and told the story, it might be enough to start to shift the tectonic plates. it might. not necessarily because we know republicans are resistant to even powerful pieces of evidence. but he's the wild card now, and, man, could he -- turns out to be the most high-value target on the list by a long, long way. >> i am reluctant to say this out loud because i don't want to put anything in the water that could disincentivize john bolton from testifying, but i believe he is the difference between conviction and no conviction in the senate. >> i think bolton is incredibly consequential. bolton has a symbolic value that transcends the trump administration. because basically who was left in the trump administration? a bunch of nobodies and dead-enders and fourth, fifth tier people. then john bolton and a few other
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people came in. like he is part of the long stretch from reagan through today of conservative foreign policy. whether you agree with it or disagree with it. john bolton was a brand. and i think, to understand what he is to republican foreign policy, he is what scalia was to conservative judicial philosophy. i mean, he is the standard bearer of conservative -- i think he wrote a book during obama years that -- he is, and he was viewed as i think almost too conservative by some people even within the bush administration. but in terms of going into this white house, he legitimized an otherwise reckless and ignorant and uninformed president. >> the republicans put an awful lot of their bets on the hearsay phrase that it's all hearsay, it's all second-hand, it's all third-hand. john bolton was in the room
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trying to undo what the president had, as you said, seemingly unilaterally declared we were going to do. and john bolton can speak to the details to the timeline to motive. there is a lot here if bolton decides to do the right thing. >> aaron blake, this reporting stopped me in my tracks. and rebecca's done some great reporting on bolton so i want to get both of you in on this. but this is from that "new york times" piece that i read from in the lead. bolton has emerged over weeks of interviews as perhaps the single most important witness who has evaded. in a coveted white house meeting from ukraine until it delivered investigations he wanted. the new disclosure only makes clearer the significance of his potential testimony. so the new disclosure again being this one on one meeting, a vivid picture painted john bolton inside the oval office one on one with donald trump. he fails to move donald trump to unmove the aid. so he tries to lobby the cabinet. the last time we read about the
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cabinet being lobbied, it was rod rosenstein reportedly lobbying the cabinet to support the twenty-fifth amendment. we know that when senior officials are lobbying the cabinet, things are really dark and really bad. >> the other thing that occurs to me here is one of the threads in some of these witnesses who haven't necessarily turned on the president, they may be offer offered a more sympathetic view of these events like gordon sondland, like kurt volker. a lot of the undergirding of their testimony is that, yes, we did these things, but it was never explicit. it was never directly from the president. we didn't talk about these things in detail. he didn't tell me exactly what to do. with john bolton, remember the timeline here. this is somebody who as of july was interrupting meetings where he was concerned about this arrangement being akin to a drug deal. this was a guy who was telling people after that july 25th phone call between president
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trump and president zelensky was telling them to register their concerns with white house lawyers and memorialize these things because he wanted these to be on the record. this is a guy who long before he would have been having this conversation, private conversation with president trump, was very visibly concerned about what was going on here. so, given that form that he had with the president, given the substance of their conversation, it seems obvious that he would b president on specifically what the conditions were for the release of that aid. and you have to wonder that if he ultimately does testify here, if he's going to have an unusual, a unique insight into just how explicit the president was about these quid pro quos. >> rebecca, we are so happy to have you. you've had some incredible scoops about john bolton throughout this entire impeachment story. i just want to ask you to sort of check my facts. i think fiona hill was the first witness that went in and really brought to life in vivid and
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colorful language john bolton's feelings about what was going on, the pressure campaign against ukraine. she called it a drug deal, that sondland and mulvaney were cooking up. that meeting that hill testified to took place in the spring. so just talk a little bit about how bolton widens the timeline from months before the july 25th phone call. >> so it seems like bolton back in the spring was referring to rudy giuliani specifically as a hand grenade whose involvement in this whole affair was dangerous to the president possibly. and we know that fiona hill testified to this july 10th meeting which bolton abruptly shut down after sondland brought up investigations. and this was a meeting with ukrainian officials and hill and others felt that it was inappropriate for sondland to be pressuring ukrainians to deliver these investigations as sort of a condition for a white house meeting. so what hill testified is that
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bolton shut that meeting down, subsequently referred to a drug deal between sondland and mulvaney and instructed her and others to report their concerns to a white house lawyer. so i would just note that in addition to bolton being someone who has first-hand knowledge of all these discussions both with sondland and with the president, mulvaney is someone who's really emerged here as someone who was not only the recipient of the president's directive in july to put the hold on the ukraine aid but was subsequently in conversations and on emails with sondland in which they were discussing this push for investigations. >> you know, elise, what's so extraordinary about this scandal is it's a cone that goes like this with trump at the top and then you don't get too far below trump before, as rebecca is saying, they are calling rudy a hand grenade. it's literally the guy right under trump, john bolton, his national security adviser who says i don't want anything to do with this. so the alarm goes -- it's not like the kind of thing that has
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to get all the way down to a whistle-blower, for example. literally the guy who's a direct report to the president, one of nine people with walk-in privileges to the oval office says oh, no, sends his aides to the white house counsel's office. and the alarm was sounded by his national security adviser. >> which is why john bolton we all want to hear from him so badly. i have never been one to defend john bolton. he's a little hawkish for my taste. i'm more in the realistic camps. but in this case i think he is playing it brilliantly by holding off and not just offering up the goods to the hearings to democrats. i think that politically he is stronger if he goes through the courts, if he's seen as being resistant and not just immediately going and knifing donald trump in the back. and i point out that john bolton was only hired in the first
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place because donald trump saw him on fox news. he has so much credibility with that audience. he had been on it for years, as you mentioned, during the obama administration, bashing president obama's foreign policy. and so if he can slow-play and if he can give the impression that he is not just offering the goods, i think it's better in the long-term for his credibility. >> i could talk about john bolton for the whole hour. john bolton also is someone who maintains relationships in places that trump has no visibility into. and by that, i mean, to the degree that there are still a handful of republican senators who think about foreign policy, you know who you are. john bolton has a direct line to those people. those are the kind of people who historically before the last three years would care about a relationship with the fragile democracy threatened by russia being extorted by donald trump. >> right. and i think this goes back to
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the thing that both of you were saying, there is one element of this that part of bolton's importance is he is a first hand witness stand. there are various episodes if you are writing this as a nonfiction narrative, there are some great scenes here that are waiting to be written. if i'm writing this book, there's a few people whose deep background accounts of this i really want to get. same with the country needs to get. because these are going to be great scenes. in the first hand element of it refutes one of the republican talking point. but there is another element that as you see this unfolding over the course of as we get to the articles of impeachment, you know what republicans are getting ready to say, which is if you get them off of it's all hearsay you will then get to, okay, it's a quid pro quo, but it's not that bad a quid pro quo. it's certainly not a high crime, it's a mid-level crime. >> it's not a crime, crime.
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all bolton's behavior was this is bad. >> unless a drug deal -- >> this is not something -- >> he call it's a crime. >> this is not a small thing. like john bolton exercising all of the things that he's most famous for besides his ideology. he is a knife fighter. he sees things he doesn't like. he sees things that are not in his interest or he thinks are not in america's interest and he figures out a way to play the inside game to cut those things off. this is a guy who knows how to get that stuff done. a, he failed here and that tells you that the president was unmovable on this because he was unable. john bolton's unable to get this thing stopped, that means the president really wanted it to happen. john bolton is saying this is really bad, not like kind of bad. >> like drug deal bad. >> drug deal bad. for conservatives like drug deals about as bad as anything you could do. not soft drugs either. this is not like a marijuana
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deal. okay? [ laughter ] >> john will take his drug conversation. rebecca, i want to get to your big scoop of the weekend because you are reporting, if you could just take us through what you are reporting about emails that it would appear the "wall street journal" has reviewed sondland who is the other person -- i don't know that there is anyone for whom the stakes are higher this week. i don't know that there is any other witness who's been accused by at least one democratic house member of perjury who has more riding on his testimony this week. take us what he has in his emails. >> so these emails that we reviewed show a couple of things. the first of which is that after that july 10th meeting that we were discussing which bolton allegedly shuts down and then complains about this drug deal that about three days later sondland sends an email to an nsc official, tim morrison, in which he mentions the investigations yet again, says that the whole point of this call between trump and zelensky is that zelensky's going to show that there is a new sheriff in town and that he's not going to impede any ongoing investigations or any new
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investigations from starting. and tim morrison essentially responds with, got it, and, like, tracking i think is exactly what he says. so that's notable in light of the fact that there was supposedly this big fight a couple days earlier between the nsc and sondland. and the second email chain that really stood out to us is one where on july 19th, so about six days before the trump/zelensky call takes place, sondland tells mulvaney and a couple of others including rick perry that the whole point of this call again is that zelensky's going to get on the phone and assure him that he's not going to leave any stone unturned or something to that effect. and mulvaney does not respond by expressing any alarm and just says that he's asked the nsc to set up the call. >> you know, aaron blake, i wonder if you can sort of plug that into what was -- these are dog years, but last wednesday's blockbuster revelation was this evidence of another phone call
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between sondland and donald trump that was played over a cell phone at a restaurant in ukraine. two more witnesses or at least one more witness has corroborated that. you've got the email evidence that rebecca and her colleagues have reported on. what is the picture coming into focus around sondland? >> well, it's going to be really interesting to see which way his testimony breaks. he is obviously somebody who has been reluctant to totally, you know, rip the lid off of this scandal. he wants to not necessarily implicate the president, even in his clarification he made pains to say that it was his presumption that there was a quid pro quo in place that he hadn't actually heard that explicitly from the president. he also said in that testimony that he only spoke with the president about five or six times. he made no mention in that testimony about the july 26th phone call which seems a pretty pregnant omission from that testimony. i suspect he will have to clarify that.
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this is somebody who is very much on his heels walking into that chamber this week. he could be somebody that democrats see as a wounded animal, somebody who they could get to start talking in ways that he has been reluctant to before by maybe throwing him off his game a little bit. i think this is the most consequential testimony barring john bolton waltzing into one of these hearing rooms in the near future here because it could just go in so many different directions. >> i agree with you. and if he saw the other big headline friday lying to congress, one of the things landing roger stone in jail, i am sure he is having a lot of deep thoughts, deep conversations before he walks in there. rebecca, it is such a treat to have you join us. we enjoy your reporting every day. thanks for spending some time with us to talk about it. after the break brand-new polling shows a dramatic support. that's the $64 million question
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as we preview this week's witnesses in the impeachment proceedings. also ahead, secretary of state mike pompeo slammed today by "new york times" columnist thomas friedman who says he's last in his class at west point in integrity. friedman describes him as cowardly and self-serving. donald trump has reported more than 11,000 lies so are we to take his word for it that his health is a-okay when he rushes to the hospital in an exam over the weekend? we'll ask the table all those stories coming up. ng up.onor to tell you that liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. i love you! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ (employee) half a millionar sales preowned vehicles,er most with tech features like blind spot detection, back up camera... [kristen gasps] (employee) because you never know what might be behind you. (kristen bell) does the sloth come standard?
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we're less than 17 hours from the beginning of three days of virtually nonstop public testimony in the impeachment inquiry where democrats in the house are expected to zero in on the undisputed evidence from witnesses in the nsc, the office of the vice president, pentagon officials and state department officials in the u.s. and officials in ukraine about the conditioning of donald trump -- about donald trump conditioning military aid for ukraine in their commitment to deliver politically motivated investigations that donald trump sought. beginning tomorrow morning we'll see two first hand witnesses to the july 25th call with the leader of ukraine, jennifer williams from the vice president's staff, and alexander vindman. both have said they were concerned by what they heard. we should note that both of those witnesses have managed to get under the president's skin. trump attacked vindman on twitter the morning of his closed door testimony, and williams just this weekend was attacked by the president when a
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transcript of her testimony was released vindman and williams tomorrow afternoon, kurt volker and tim morrison, two first hand witnesses to the trump administration's shadow foreign policy. in particular, witnesses to gordon sondland's role in that pressure campaign against ukraine setting the stage for sondland himself. he testifies wednesday morning. he is one of the individuals with a direct and open line of communication to the president. he consulted several times with the president in the course of the efforts to get ukraine to deliver the investigations and free up that military aid. and that's only the halfway point. wednesday afternoon we will see two officials who describe concerns behind the scenes over the holdup of military aid. once pentagon official laura cooper who says there was a fear that the holdup of military aid for ukraine might not, in fact, wait for it, be legal. and david hale, the third ranking official of the state department is expected to describe fears that publicly defending ukraine ambassador marie yovanovitch would hurt the
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effort to free up that aid according to a report from the "associated press." all this building to thursday morning in what might prove to be the most vivid and impactful testimony of the week. the testimony of fiona hill. she is described the alarm in the white house inside the west wing over the trump administration's ukraine conduct over the president's conduct. she's outlined in excruciating detail the steps taken by john bolton to try to stem the damage including his description of sondland and mulvaney as being engaged in a drug deal and rudy giuliani as we have been discussing being a grenade. and the breaking news just a few moments oohing we learned that david holmes has been added to thursday's schedule. he will testify alongside fiona hill. clear your schedules. i know i am. i will be here for all of it. let me remind everyone who david holmes is. so we talked about that moment from wednesday's testimony from ambassador bill taylor said i have to tell you one more thing. there was this phone call, my aides told me about it, where donald trump called gordon sondland and basically said all he cares about is the
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investigation. so this is what david holmes said in his opening statement. i heard president trump ask, so he's going to do the investigation? ambassador sondland replied that he's going to do it, adding that president zelensky will do anything you ask him. after the call ended ambassador sondland remarked that the president was in a bad mood. huh, imagine that. as ambassador sondland stated was often the case in the morning. he took the opportunity to ask ambassador sondland to the president's views on ukraine. in particular i asked ambassador sondland if it was true that the president did not, quote, give a bleep about ukraine. ambassador sondland agreed that the president did not give a bleep about ukraine. i asked why not and ambassador sondland stated that the president only cares about big stuff like the biden investigation that giuliani was pushing. unbelievable or maybe not. >> not unbelievable. >> just unbelievable that the picture's so crystal clear. i mean, what does rob portman,
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what do they stand up and say when they hear this? >> i think they stand up and say something like what i said a few minutes ago, which i think -- are you asking what they should say? or asking what they are going to say? >> i'm asking if they haven't had lebotomies on their conscience and soul. >> ti think they should say -- you are asking a very specific question, please are getting mad at me as if i'm excusing it. i'm not excusing this answer. i think it's a pathetic answer. >> i am asking for crystal ball. >> i think they will stand up and say the president lacks criminal intent. the president doesn't know that it's a crime. the president is -- >> john bolton called it a drug deal. >> again you are arguing now with me as if -- i'm not going to be rob porter here. [ laughter ] i think they will say that it's bad but it's not that bad and we have an election in 11 months and that it doesn't reach the
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standard -- the voters have a right to vote on this the ballot box in november of 2020. this is bad. there is no question it's bad but it's not all that bad and we should give voters a chance to work their will in november. they can impeach him at the ballot box. i think that is what they will say. and i don't think it's what they want it to be the standard under which a president can do henceforth that will this kind of behavior now be condoned, acceptable, a thing that there is a green light for, to behave in the way that donald trump just behaves, only probably more competently and able to pull it off where is trump was unable to pull it off. >> i think a few of them will do this sort of fake, you know, my integrity is offended, i can't believe the president did this, however, judges, however majority. and i think the only thing that
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really controls underneath what we are not seeing right now is the minute mitch mcconnell sees that his numbers in maine and arizona and colorado are underwater, that's when those guys will get let off the leash and they will find a pair and they will say maybe we need to hear more about this. >> you talked about a poll. let me put up a poll. 70% of americans really don't agree on anything anymore. but 70% of the american people agree that trump's ukraine request was wrong. 51% of americans believe trump should be impeached, not just impeached but impeached and removed from office. elise? >> this is the conundrum that the democrats find themselves in. they really don't win that much politically by pursuing this necessarily because the american public expects donald trump to be completely corrupt.
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they think this is wrong. but they are just worn out, they are sick of it. they are constantly being given so many examples of corruption that even if they were a trump supporter and they aren't so hot on him right now. they are like just let the election happen which is why you see the republican argument has shifted from process, which was a loser. then it moved to not first hand. and now we see it moving to just not that bad and give it another year. >> corruption is a killer app in politics at all times. we look back to '74. we look at '94. we look at post 2010. all these things where corruption becomes a perceived reality, it has political consequences. i think it'll hit down ballot. a lot of these people that are stuck with trump in their heads that they are obsessed with this cult thing are still going to -- look at what happened in louisiana. here's a red state. he should've been safe. >> aaron blake, it would seem though that the spin is really
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cynical. i mean, mike pence would become the president. i don't know that there is a more conservative republican in the land than mike pence. so, you know, even if you look at republicans. and i understand the politics. i understand the polls are not -- i mean, we don't have 70% of americans who support his removal from office. but 70%. that is crossing the trump base. so if you've got 70% of the american people who think he did something wrong, when do republicans sit around and say pence is fine? >> i think that it's important to note the gap between the 51% on impeachment and the 70% who think this is wrong. that's a significant gap. i think there will be a lot of republicans who say maybe this was not a great thing for president to do. but is it really an impeachable offense? and also we have this election moving forward. but also i think that when nancy pelosi launched this impeachment inquiry, it was never about
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getting the removal from office. it was always about can we do this thing that we feel like we should do without hurting our chances of winning the 2020 election? and for democrats, it's not about getting that 51% up to 70% and giving these republicans cover to remove the president necessarily. it's about moving that 51% to 53% or 55%. the president of the united states is already in a very difficult position when it comes to winning re-election. if we see even a two-point movement, a three-point movement in some of that base that's really stuck by him through thick and thin, his math is going to become almost prohibitive when it comes to winning re-election barring one of these democrats becoming very unpopular. >> to be clear, one thing that rick said a second ago, and to answer your question directly, but i want to put a really fine point on it. the day that republicans abandon donald trump is the day when they think that they will lose control of the united states senate by sticking with donald
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trump. they don't care really who's in the white house. all mitch mcconnell cares about is the majority in the senate. and the minute that he looks up and says by sticking with trump we lose the senate, they will dump trump. until that moment comes they will not dump trump. >> and losing elections in kentucky and louisiana are probably inching them in that direction, not reassuring them of their go down with the titanic. >> the state they've kept this year is mississippi. if you're losing mississippi it's the damn apocalypse. [ laughter ] >> until the dnc throws down about 10 million and decides that they are really going to play ball in mississippi, nothing is changing. >> aaron blake, thank you for spending some time with us today. after the break "new york times" columnist thomas freed amend goes full chuck rosenberg on mike pompeo's cowardness. we'll explain all that next. you're turning 65 soon? yep.
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his silence is deafening. it is an act of abject coward
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yes. i am astonished that somebody who went to west point and was an army officer does not have the spine to stand up for the people in his organization who are being denigrated by this president. that silence, as i said, is deafening and it is disgusting. what i see from him is a complete failure of leadership. i doubt he is watching this show, and i doubt he is listening to me. but if he was -- >> be surprised, chuck rosenberg. >> i'd tell him he is a coward. >> everybody listens to chuck rosenberg. that is what i was saying. he is a former fbi official. so mild-mannered i once called him human xanax. on friday he was so disgusted by what he is seeing from secretary of state mike pompeo looking the other way as life-long, career-long professionals at the state department like marie yovanovitch face smears attacks, threats, intimidation by donald trump. all the while, mike pompeo
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stands by as the president of the united states attacks him. it seems his silence isn't even working though on its intended audience. trump wants him to pile on the life-long career diplomats. according to new reporting from msnbc news, trump has fumed for weeks. that's according to four current and former senior administration officials. the president confronted pompeo about the officials in what he believed was a lackluster effort by the secretary of state to block their testimony during lunch at the white house on october 29th. trump particularly blames pompeo for tapping ambassador bill taylor in june to be the top u.s. diplomat in ukraine. and now echoing chuck rosenberg's sentiment, thomas friedman of the "new york times" writes this. in a scathing op ed entitled "mike pompeo: last in his class at west point in integrity." friedman writing, quote, pompeo
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has just violated one of the cardinal rules of american military ethics and command. you look out for your soldiers, you don't leave your wounded on the battlefield. you certainly don't stand mute when you know a junior officer is being railroaded by a more senior commander, if not outright shot in her back. attention all u.s. diplomats, watch your own backs because pompeo won't be. joining our conversation the most distinguished senior fellow and msnbc contributor heather mcghee. i thought it was appropriate to bring you in on the topic of honor and in thomas friedman and chuck rosenberg's view, dishonor. >> thanks so much for having me, nicole. you look at the path that pompeo could've taken. i disagree with john bolton on pretty much every policy thing, policy opinion. but he actually told his team stay away from giuliani, right? this is a mess, this is going to explode. instead pompeo who should have
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known better let giuliani, you know, run a shadow foreign policy out of his state department undermining our interests, you know, ukraine as a vital ally, helping advance ultimately what russia wants to see, which is chaos and disorder in both of our countries. and you've got to think there was a path, it would've probably ended sooner than pompeo's going to have his tenure end, but there was a path to keep his honor and his integrity and he just didn't take it. >> you know, heather, it's interesting bringing it back to this contrast between pompeo and bolton because when bolton resigned it seems like forever ago, was on september 11th. that was his last day. the public backdrop was this fight with donald trump about having the taliban at camp david the weekend before the country mourned the anniversary of 9/11. bolton thought that was a bad idea. trump wanted it to happen. at the time though pompeo was viewed as having sort of
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outmaneuvered. it would appear that pompeo stands to lose everything. john bolton can testify or not testify. he can get the house democrats to try to sue for his deposition or subpoena him or not do so. john bolton can go on having picked these very public fights against the taliban, against corruption in ukraine and against taking a stroll in north korea. pompeo so far was on the call with erdogan, was on the call with zelensky, and has in the words of tom friedman, watched all of his soldiers on the field, metaphorically speaking, get shot in the back. >> that's really well said, nicole. i think, you know, everyone who signs up to serve their country under this president has, you know, got to have a very clear idea about where their lines in the sand are going to be. and i don't agree with pompeo's views on most about everything. but there are just fundamental questions at stake here. you know, do you let someone who is wholly unequipped to be
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conducting foreign policy do so in order to advance a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory? that should seem like an open and shut case. >> you'd think. [ laughter ] >> but obviously that doesn't do it. >> but here we all are. >> and here we all are. and again just as thomas friedman i think really well articulated, you know, the sort of ethics of letting someone who's basically a junior staffer in the command that we're talking about here, you know, fall on their sword and not standing up for them, not saying, sir, you've got the wrong gal here, this is not her fault. if it's anybody's fault it's my fault. that's what you do. that's what a leader does. >> it is. stay with us. we are so happy to have you back. after the break a couple of made for tv doctors later donald trump has an unexplained trip to the hospital for some lab work that. mystery next. that mystery next a snow globe.
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surrounding donald trump, a man who effectively ghost-wrote a physician's letter attesting to his astonishing health in the 2016 primary. a man who questioned the fitness of his opponent, hillary clinton. a man who famously fat-shamed a supporter over a microphone at the podium at a rally. a man who was declared medically speaking clinically obese at his annual physical in february. yesterday with no advanced warning and no indication on the schedule, donald trump headed up to walter reed national medical center for what the white house says were medical tests as part of the president's annual physical. just eight months after his last annual physical. and give how opaque how his team has been, people are wondering if it was more than just a routine early checkup. everyone's back. i worked in the white house, and there is a lot of tests you can do in the white house. you can certainly give blood. you can certainly do any sort of lab work.
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>> it's not that you just can. you do. >> as a staffer i could do lots of things. >> and the president of the united states often has doctors attend to them in a pretty sophisticated way. so what the necessity is to leave the white house for, what is it you would actually have to go to walter reed for. >> here was the last white house doctor. >> some people have, you know, just great genes. i told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last few years he might live to be 200 years old. >> i heard from a credible source never gone wrong in the past with me that indeed donald trump was just stir-crazy on saturday. it was too cold to golf and so they checked the box. for what it's worth that is one perspective that i heard that i tend to actually believe. >> look, i think if the white
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house was ever truthful about anything, this would be a much easier thing. that sort of thing would be the explanation. but they lie about everything all the time. and stephanie grisham did the white house no favors by saying i often give truthful responses. oh, the titanic often missed icebergs except once. [ laughter ] the lack of trust and the hostile relationship between the working press and the pool press and everybody else with this white house is why you get this kind of thing. now has he been dead for months or replaced by a robot body double? who can say. i can't stand it. but the lack of trust they've built. they bought this problem for themselves. they brought this on their own because of their behavior. >> you know, heather, i've sat with president bush when he had to disclose very personal, private tests, all the sort of
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invasive intrusive things that you have to share with the public because you are the leader of the free world. it is part of, and not necessarily the most fun part of, but it's just part of the american presidency to be honest about your health. it's just a commkmont airy that there are even questions about this. >> yeah. and that idea that actually what was happening was that he was stir-crazy because it was too cold to golf. i just had to sit here and sort of react to that. there are a lot of things the president of the united states could do with a saturday if he can't get to the golf course, which he spent some pluralities of his days in office doing. he could go to a soup kitchen right across the you know, he could go to a soup kitchen right across the river. there are lots of hungry people. he could, you know, take a meeting with some of the, you know, aggrieved legislators up and down his own ticket who are starting to get very nervous about him. he could, you know, get to know some of the constituents who don't agree with him. there's so many different things
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he could have done. i find that very hard to believe that what he wanted to do was go over to walter reid. >> me too. >> have you ever heard of a president who's had a multipart physical? that's the other part that's so strange about this. but like the fact that he's doing it eight months later and the fact that he's doing it in two parts, really weird. >> yeah, really weird. after the break, what does all the losing in red, red, red, red, red states like kentucky and louisiana stay about donald trump's political standing and strength? we'll ask the table after the break. strength we'll ask the table after the break. thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, are living in the moment and taking ibrance. ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor is for postmenopausal women or for men with hr+/her2- metastatic breast cancer, as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole significantly delayed disease progression versus letrozole, and shrank tumors in over half of patients. patients taking ibrance can develop low white blood cell counts
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a stinging political loss for donald trump this weekend. john bel edwards beat a trump back republican in louisiana's governor's race. this follows a similarly embarrassing result in kentucky earlier this month. here was trump's last-minute appeal to louisiana voters. >> i lift 'em up a lot. so trump took a loss so you got to give me a big win, please. okay? okay? >> made the case. >> you know, there's a -- there's a phrase people need to get in their heads. no one should ever in a campaign meeting say the phrase this trump rally will put us over the top because it clearly does not. i mean, this is a president who's come off two big losses in red states. louisiana is a red state trending more red over time since katrina. this is a state he should have been a -- an asset, not a liability. but he is a liability wherever he goes. >> how do you square that with this, you know, sort of conventional wisdom that, oh, nobody cares?
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>> the base doesn't give -- far enough in these races, especially off year races. they will crawl over broken glass to vote against his guy. and in the louisiana race in particular, bound himself to trump. he ran putting a sticker, a trump sticker on his truck. you know, that was his big claim to fame. and, you know, once in a while, it works out for a guy like dy santos in florida. >> the suburbs are trending more blue even in louisiana and it's a contrast to how donald trump is motivating democratic voters now. he's motivating republicans to vote against him versus just two years ago in the alabama special election when at that time, a visit from trump was worth five points and an immediate bump and that's just not the case right now. >> to be a fly on the wall when people have to walk in and say, oh, yeah, no, they don't want you there. that's not going to go well.
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rick wilson, elise jordan, john, most of all to you for watching. i will be back at 9:00 a.m. for the duration, you don't want to miss this tomorrow. "mtp daily" with the fabulous katy tur in for chuck starts now. welcome to monday. it is "meet the press daily." good evening. i'm katy tur in new york in for chuck todd and we begin tonight with breaking news in the house impeachment inquiry. moments ago, house intelligence committee announced david holmes who delivered some damning close-door testimony about a presidential phone call involving ukraine will now testify publicly later this week as part of the impeachment inquiry. holmes told house investigators dung


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