tv Meet the Press NBC March 24, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT
this sunday, the mueller report. after 675 days, it's now in attorney general bill barr's hands. >> the justice department is alerting congress that the investigation is over. so what happens now? >> democrats are demanding transparency. >> absolutely imperative that the trump administration make that report public. >> that report needs to be made public. >> yes! >> as the president spends his week appearing agitated over the coming report. >> there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. everybody knows it. it's all a big hoax. it's like all a witch hunt. >> what's in the report. how much will the public see?
will there be a court fight? >> my guest this morning jerry nadler of new york and marco rubio of florida. plus no new indictments. >> cheers of the president's supporters. >> if there was no kluge found it strongly vindicates president trump, but it's mr. trump's real fear about the report might say about possible obstruction of justice. also yet mueller investigation might explain the continued attacks on john mccain. >> i was never a fan of john mccain and i never will be. joining me for analysis are kristen welker, steve ball, former senator claire mccaskill of missouri and carlos cabello of florida. welcome to sunday and a special edition of "meet the press". >> from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is a special edition of "meet the
press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. the wait is over. now we wait again. attorney general bill barr could send congress a pedia file of robert mueller's principal conclusions. we have anticipated lots of unanswered questions for mueller to complete his report and now that he's turned over his conclusions to bill barr and recommended no new indictments with that report, we're waiting, speculating and anticipating any, yes, with still lots of unanswered questions. for instance. how much of the report will barr release to the public and to congress. will democrats be satisfied with what is made available or will they go to court to gather supporting evidence. will president claim executive privilege to prevent the release of parts of the report. what does the report say about possible obstruction or collusion and are those two things intertwined? since the department of justice guidelines holds that a president cannot be indicted
while in office, if mueller has found evidence of criminality will the public ever know that evidence. will mueller testify himself and if barr testifies how soon will that happen. will supporters or opponents of president trump be satisfied with whatever is made public? >> the long-awaited mueller report has just been submitted. >> robert mueller's work is over. >> after a 675-day investigation into russia's interference in the 2016 election and after criminally charging 34 people including six former trump associates, robert mueller delivered his report. now it's up to attorney general bill barr to decide what to do next. >> i will commit to providing as much information as i can consistent with the regulations. >> but barr has discretion and democratic leaders of the house and senate are already issuing warnings, preparing for a battle over executive privilege. >> the president himself has
called, without qualification, for the report to be made public. >> and democrats are making transparency a 2020 issue. >> barr should be called to testify under oath before the united states congress. >> make that report public as soon as possible. >> ultimately, i believe, this will be decided at the ballot box in 2020. >> the president and his allies have claimed they want the report released. >> let it come out. let people see it. that's up to the attorney general. >> just put it all out there. ? put it all out there. how about don't redact anything. >> still, for nearly two years the president has been relentless in opposition to the mueller probe. >> a deputy that didn't get any vote appoints a man that didn't get any votes and he'll report on me. >> is it possible obstruction of justice. >> from the fbi's director james comey back in may of 2017 to the
misleading statement domestic tated by the statement, about the june 2016 trump tower meeting with russians connected to the kremlin. >> my son is a wonderful young man. i think from a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting. >> the president repeatedly berated jeff sessions for recusing himself in the russia probe. >> the attorney general said i'm going to recuse myself. >> floated the idea of firing mueller. >> i know that he's conflicted, and i know that his best friend is comey who is a bad cop. >> called the investigation a witch hunt on twitter at least 183 times and suggested, along with his lawyers, pardoning his former aides. >> i've not offered any pardons and i think they ask for whatever, would you? i said i'm not taking anything off the table. >> now democrats who have delayed questions about impeachment saying they're
waiting for mueller will be pressed to decide. >> do you think it can affect the election in 2020. >> it divides the country. >> and joining me now from new york is the chairman of the house judiciary committee, democrat gerald nadler, congressman nadler, welcome back to "meet the press qwe" sir. >> good morning. >> what do you believe is the definition of principal conclusion? >> well, i don't know. i don't know what's in the mueller report, and we'll just have to wait and see, but here's what i do know. what i know is that it's critical that everything in that report and the underlying evidence be in the public and be open to the american people and that transparency is key. america needs answers as to what's been going on and i hope the department of justice will not leave things hanging by seeking to keep things secret.
i also know that the department of justice believes that it cannot, under any circumstances indict a president for anything. >> right. they believe they cannot hold a sitting president accountable and accordingly, the only other institution that can is congress and congress must get all of the evidence that the department of justice may have in order to exercise our function of being able to hold the president accountable. if we don't do that and can't do that then the president effectively is above the law. >> that brings us to this ambiguous phrase, right? executive privilege. i'm just curious, who gets to decide -- who gets to arbitrate this? is this up to the attorney general? >> well, no. the president must personally assert executive privilege, and i do not believe it exists here at all because as we learn from the nixon tapes case, executive
privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing, and in that case the supreme court 9-0 ordered that all the claims of executive privilege be overwritten and the tapes be public, so i don't think -- the president may try to assert it and may try to hide things behind it. i will say we know other thing which are relevant here and we know that the president pressured the fbi director to go easy and to drop the investigation on mike flynn and some others and we know that he fired the fbi director for not giving the personal loyalty that he demanded and for not dropping those investigations. we know that many of the president's closest associates, his national security adviser have been convicted of krims ae and he's waged a two-year campaign to attack the fbi, the
special prosecutor, all to demean the power -- >> so don't you have enough evidence? >> -- of those people to hold him accountable. >> do you have enough evidence? do you need to see the mueller report -- you have the indictments that mueller has issued. you have the narratives in those indictments and you have pieces, you know exactly a lot, probably, of what's going to be in this report. it sounds like you already believe there's enough out there to prove obstruction. >> there may be evidence that goes the other way. there might be evidence that tends to be exonerating. we need to see all the evidence and we don't -- we shouldn't have to waste our time and the public's time and money re-creating the same information by interviewing all of the same witnesses. there's no need for that duplication at all. >> now do you interpret the no
new indictments decision by the special counsel? >> well, i don't know how to interpret that at this point. first of all, the special counsel, we know there are lots of investigations going on, and by other agencies and the southern district of new york and the eastern district of virginia and there may be indictments from them. the story is not over. beyond that, we don't know the reasons again and the public needs to see the report. >> will you accept bob mueller's conclusions in the report once you read the whole thing? >> i assume bob mueller being a very good and thorough professional that there will be good and adequate documentation and reasoning in the report to support his conclusions in which case it will assert them. if they don't have documentation they don't do it. >> if he didn't find evidence of collusion here, does that make
you temper some of your investigations? >> i don't think it tempers the investigation. we have to look at whatever loose ends there are, and we have to look at whatever we don't know. >> do you plan on calling bob mueller to testify before your committee? >> if necessary, but that's a very big if. >> why would you say you wouldn't want to hear from him. i'll be honest, as an american citizen and as a taxpayer who helped take care of this report part of me would like to hear from him directly. >> that would be very pleasant, but the fact is he gave his report, he speaks through that report. if that report answers all our questions there would be no need to call him and if that report is all public. if that report is not public, if large reports are not made public or it leaves a lot of questions then we'd have a necessity. >> you don't call witnesses unnecessarily. >> you don't call him if you
feel the justice department isn't giving him the report. >> or if there are questions after reading the report. >> how closely are you working with your senate committee, colleague on the judiciary side of things and lindsay graham. i ask that because it is judiciary that is dealing with this. is there any way that you two can work together or is the politics too hard? >> i don't know. we'll be trying that and we haven't worked together very much yet, but we'll see. >> senator graham believes there needs to be an investigation into how the fbi handled the clinton administration as well as the trump investigation. would you ever be open to something like that? >> no. i think it's totally unnecessary. when the republicans controlled the judiciary commitet and oversight committee and the house, in other words, last year, they did an extensive investigation of that and found nothing, just a lot of innuendo. as far as we can tell the
hillary investigation was done professionally and properly and the mueller report had the genesis of russian interference in our election. >> you put document requests to 81 entities and individuals. i feel like in the beginning of the week you started to get cooperation and then it was clear the white house isn't cooperating. is a subpoena coming? are subpoenas next? >> if necessary. right now we're getting a lot of good cooperation from a lot of different people, but not from the white house. not just our committee and not just those 81 requests. the white house is simply treating congress in generally in contempt. they're not bothering to respond to letters even with a perfunctory, we received your letter and we'll review it. >> they're simply ignoring. >> do you have a deadline, how much time you're giving them before you consider subpoenas? >> not off the top of my head, but beale -- we'll act when we
have to. >> chairman nadler, it's the beginning of what could be an extraordinarily long year for you and a lot of us, anyway. chairman nadler, democrat from new york. thanks very much. >> thank you. joining me now is republican senator marco rubio of florida who by the way, sits on the intelligence committee which has its own investigation into russian interference. welcome back to "meet the press wet can ." >> thank you. >> the wall street journal didn't trust mueller or the president. it said release the whole thing as much as possible, is that where you stand? >> absolutely. in fact, i want to see all of it. what was the criminal -- what was the underlying criminal predicate for the entire investigation. let's see the fisa investigations because this is an extraordinary use of government surveillance power and we have legal reason yes you
might be able to use it, but show us what those were. what was the underlying predicate for the fisa applications. let's see all of that and put all of that out there so we can pass judgment about how the investigation was conducted or at least the predicate for the investigation was conducted during the obama years. >> one thing that's difficult for the public is going to be does the president get to see the report before congress and it does seem as if that's a rabbit hole that potentially the attorney general would have to go down. how do you prevent that? >> first of all, prosecution and everything that has to do with prosecution and counterintelligence is an executive function and so frankly the president does have the power to fire the prosecutor if they so choose. the president is politically accountable and second of all, president if they've done things to abuse power they can be impeached and if the white house wants to make that argument they can.
that hasn't happened yet, but i think that's separate from the mueller report and separate from what will be released from the public. i would suspect that at the end of the day they'll release the report. they will redact classified information and they're not going to put things in there about people that is damaging to people that they chose not to prosecute, but that's not unique to the president. that is the way the justice department handles every case. they don't go out there and smear people and say we chose not to prosecute. >> it was written with a floor of transparency and not a ceiling. so it is up to the discussion of the attorney general. would you look to the president not to invoke executive privilege here? >> it depends on what will be invoked on. there are things like internal deliberations inside the administration, because then it would be difficult for the president to talk to people, but i would ask the president to lean towards transparency because i've been very clear from the beginning. >> i wanted the mueller probe and i wanted it to be conducted without interference and you can
go back to the tape and find me saying this for two years, that when it was all said and done, the best thing for the country and for the president is for this probe to move forward and to be concluded and that's what's happened now. so we want to learn as much as we possibly can that's allowed and permissible under justice department policy and of course, the law of the country. >> what is the end of the mueller report mean for the intelligence committee's investigations? there had been that there was some -- you needed the mueller report before finishing some of those conclusions. what does this mean going forward now? >> i don't think we'll see it before anybody else any senior congressional leadership might and second of all, that's a good question about that part, but let me tell you what the relevance of the mueller report is to the congressional investigation and the relevance of it is there are witnesses that the investigators and that the committee wants to do talk to, but they have not wanted us
to talk to them because they feel that the testimony in order to get a man might conflict with the reports and the end means there should nobody out there, and there shouldn't be anyone out there that we shouldn't be allowed to interview fueler especially after mueller wrapped up and said he's not going after anyone for new charges. there's no reason for anyone to not talk to us. >> i want to first ask you about north korea and the confusion, but new sanctions that the treasury department issued. the president putting out this tweet was announced today by the u.s. treasury and the additional large-scale sanctions would be added to those already existing sanctions of north korea and i've ordered the withdrawal of those additional sanctions. when asked for an explanation from the white house, president likes chairman kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary. it was a 24-hour rebuke. what does this incident do for the reliability of the united
states on sanctions regimes overall? >> i've never seen that before from this or any administration so something happened here. >> those things have to be approved and they know that they are and they go through a process signed off by the president so something happened before the time it was announced and the time the president put out that statement. i don't know the answer, to be honest. i don't know why it happened the way it did. it's unusual. >> does it at all introduce any concern? >> will he be there? you have talked him into doing more than a lot of people expected. >> do you trust him now on venezuela considering what he did with north korea? >> it's a little different. the president has been involved in now engagements with north korea. i would love kim jong-un to give up his weapons and everything else. i would. i don't criticize the president for trying. i just never believed he would, and i don't believe he will.
this is a young dictator who has to hold on to power. i'm not skeptical because i want him to fail. i'm skeptical because i believe it will fail. how this happened, you have to ask the white house. i don't know how he issued this and suddenly he changed his mind and i don't know the rationale and maybe it's a good reason, but it's not the way it's done. >> what does this mean? we're trying to get more of the world to align on sanctions when it comes to venezuela and maduro. >> yeah. so on this part at least with north korea it's not helpful, right? to have the treasury department and do something that's been vetted and discussed. unless they got ahead of themselves it doesn't make sense that in a few minutes or a few hours later the president will revoke them and it doesn't make sense if it would happen that way, from now on when they hear about sanctions they're going to ask for a double confirmation from the weihite house and i wi
it hadn't uphappened that way. >> i want to ask you about the remarks from the president about john mccain. inside the populist wing of the party, encapsulating everything that voters have come to loathe about republicans. by attacking mccain, he is stoking the emotions and the gop elite. what is it about john -- what portion of your party so loathes john mccain that they cheer this? >> yeah. >> there is a chunk of it. do you understand it? >> no. john mccain is not here to defend himself and there's a reason not to use him as that. second of all, i don't get it. i don't understand it. i didn't agree with john mccain on everything. so what? but i honored and i respected the service to our country and he did things he felt passionate
about and whether you agreed with him or not, it wasn't for some nefarious purpose and it was a man who was deeply influenced by his experience, and i ademired john mccain as a man and what he did as a united states senate and i don't understand the feeling about him and i don't think frankly, he's the person that should be singled out for these attacks and i don't get it. i don't understand it. frankly, i don't know how it furthers anything in terms of what we're trying to get done. at the end my job is to represent the people of florida and serve my country and i don't know why this any of this furthers that objective for me or anybody else out there? >> i think you're not alone in that aspect there. >> senator marco rubio, republican from florida. i'll leave it there. i appreciate you coming in. >> many declare victory before the report is made public. there's more we don't know yet there's more we don't know yet including if there is
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welcome back. michaelen of axios wrote yesterday that there are two kinds of, quote, collusion delusion. one, the belief among president trump's most ardent supporters. the no collusion indictments means that the witch hunts have been vindicated and in a second he wrote the bitter reality that this probe has spawned many others stretching far beyond russia. it's delusional to think it simply ends with no collusion. joining me to look at some of the legal implications of the mueller report is ari melber and host of the beat and former fbi official chuck rosenberg. >> i want to start with you. the no new indictments with the conclusion of the mueller report was greeted as a moment of vindication by the president's most ardent supporters. why shouldn't they feel good, at least, about that fact? >> they can feel somewhat good
because it shows that bob mueller has not found a chargeable election conspiracy. not against donald trump and the people around him so that tells you something. the reason why president trump has remained quiet and most people are still waiting is the report can ultimately surface a lot of other bad material about poor judgments or even attempted crimes without charging them. >> chuck rosenberg, principal conclusions and you've worked in the justice department. you know how different people interpret different phrases. what's your sense of what bill barr means by that? >> he promised it quickly, chuck and he strikes me that it would be reasonably high level meaning all of the stuff we want to see in the report, all of the interesting details and probably not. >> you expect a very narrow scope here. reasonably narrow because he promised it so quickly and there is a lot to work through before you can decide whether all of the other stuff could be public. >> it's collusion versus
obstruction and can you come to a collusion conclusion? apologies for that illiteration if obstruction took place, ari? >> you definitely can shed more light on what were the reasons that donald trump seemed to repeatedly interfere with these probes, instruct people to mislead or lie, was there something underlying? and the theory had been that might be the collusion. it might be other related problems that national security officials cares about or the congress cares about that are not what has been called collusion. for example, if somebody high on the government owes a foreign power a lot of money and that has corrupted foreign policy that's a big deal, but that might not be the thing a special counsel charges. >> we have an array of issues in public that we've covered that have some people believing that an obstruction -- you have the suggestion of comey to drop the
flynn probe. you have the firing of comey when he cited the russia thing, calling for the attorney general to fire mueller, dangling the possibility of pardons and this is the public record. do you expect mueller, if -- do you expect him to be so focused on his charge that he lists the evidence without making a conclusion? meaning he'll list all of the obstruction evidence and basically, chuck rosenberg, it's up to you to conclude whether that's obstruction. >> there is a difference between what you find and to describe. i worked for the man. i expect him to describe it and not to characterize it so it will be for us and for congress and journalists to decide whether what mueller has found amounts to obstruction. he will describe it. he will lay out the evidence. he will give you an evidentiary foundation. i believe it will be for others to characterize. >> that leads to the political
challenge, i think, for the house judiciary committee and that's why you heard hesitance. >> absolutely. ultimately the materials that come from bob mueller to the congress, whether that is sooner or later, are going to put forward questions of whether this president abused his power in such a way that the congress wants to do something about it, and that's significant even in the absence of collusion indictment. so you have both things happening, chuck. on the one hand, people who had long assumed or hoped that this president clearly and edgi legitimately obtained the presidency and there's no chargeable collusion and the white house would have to consider the facts about potential obstruction. >> let me get to executive privilege here because this to me is this robert hole. how do you know what to assert about executive privilege without reading the report. >> who reads it? >> there's this odd tension here? >> the justice department is
part of the executive branch. the president runs the executive branch. >> the attorney general of the united states reports to the president. if there's stuff in that report and put aside classified information and grand jury information and all those other categories. if there's stuff in that report over which executive privilege can be genuinely and legitimately asserted someone will have to see it before they can make the assertion. i assume white house counsel will go through the report and see whether or not an assertion is valid. remember, privileges are qualified and they've been overcome in the past and it may be overcome here. >> gerald nadler seems to think that the white house has no case here. do you think they have a case? >> it's a very hard argument to make that bob mueller got things from people through a lawful process. >> voluntarily, though, and the white house's lawyers had always said they reserve the right. >> they said they reserve the right and this say lawfis a law process and no judge rejected
the tools and something very special that donald trump put in his own written answers subject to his own qualified statement that he later wanted to revoke it. it's hard to see the bulk of this being subject to privilege. >> you have a way of reminding us, what is it about the mueller report that is important to people that we're not seducin discussing. >> it's a counterintelligence investigation. what did our adversary russia do to us in the 2016 election and what do they hope to us do down the road? >> is that wrapped up? does that mean it's also wrapped up, too, the counterintelligence investigation? >> i would be surprised if that was wrapped up and here's why. this is an ongoing struggle between russia and western democracies. they didn't stop doing what they do when bob mueller finished his report and whether it's mueller or the counterintelligence of the fbi and this is a serious ongoing concern. >> but at some point the justice
department has to be a part of ending the cloud over the presidency and letting the congress and anyone else make judgments. >> all right. ari melber, thank you for sharing your expertise. maria ramirez? hi. maria ramirez! mom! maria! maria ramirez... mcdonald's is committing 150 million dollars in tuition assistance, education, and career advising programs... prof: maria ramirez mom and dad: maria ramirez!!! to help more employees achieve their dreams. this is decision tech. it's screening technology that helps you find a stock based on what's trending
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welcome back. panel is here. quite a bit to talk about. carlos cabello, now an nbc political analyst. clara mccaskill, also a political analyst. first time on "meet the press". >> thank you. >> and the washington post. >> here's what he wrote about the mueller report. the mueller report will be fueling calls for the president's impeachment or providing him fodder to claim vindication or possibly in this live in your own reality moment both at the same time. i was thinking about this today. carlos and claire you were both on the campaign trail in '18 and both have said we want to wait for the mueller report.
mueller report is here and how are folks in missouri receiving it this morning? >> i have to tell you the truth. they're not as focused on it as we are. >> not surprised. >> i honestly believe the people that will decide the presidential election inne 2020 mueller will not be at the top of their list and that's something that the candidates need to keep in mind that this isn't as big a deal in people's lives as it is for all of us who have followed it very closely. having said that, you know, i just think the democratic party has to be very careful here and focus on what's hiding in plain sight. over 17 members of the trump campaign, advisors or officials had over 100 contacts with one of our biggest foreign enemies in the world during the campaign. that is extraordinary and 36 people were charged and six of them were officials of the trump campaign. over 200 charges were brought.
focusing on the report, i think, we have to be very careful and not lose sight what the american people need to be reminded of is this is really bad stuff. >> so, carlos, what are folks in your district going to be saying today? >> there are no winners. the republicans didn't win and the democrats didn't win. there is some good news here and people in south florida appreciate that. our institutions did work. >> how do you know? >> this is a probe that the president did not want to see. he called it a witch hunt. it's clear that it was anything, but a witch hunt. bob mueller was professional, deliberative, sober in his approach to this and now this is going -- at some point it's going to be made open to the public for people to analyze and see and opine on. this is a big deal. this is something we take for granted in this country and it does not happen in venezuela, cuba or anywhere else. >> the president sent out a few tweets this morning saying have
a great day. his advisers are saying do not comment publicly. will he listen? we'll have to wait and see, but they know it's too soon to spike the football and when you think about the scope of this and this goes back to cleaire's point an think about his former advisers are cooperating with muler and you have rick gates just to name a few. you have his public statements about russia. so they know that there's potentially the possibility that there's still damaging information in there, and i think that's why you are going to see a fight about how much will be made public. >> i have to say. the conclusions have been drawn by the public. i don't know what would have to be in this report that you think would change the mindset of the public. >> i have no idea unless he lays out a case on obstruction of justice and in a sense, handing it on a platter to the house judiciary committee to go forward with it. i'm not saying we should expect that. >> i think it's what chuck
rosenberg outlined and he put the facts in there and you decide if it is. >> on that front, people have already decided. i think senator, you're absolutely right. for most people this is not top of mind and to the extent it is they already know what they think about him, and about what happened, and so i think the test going forward will be how the democrats in the house handle the further investigations? >> so -- i think there is an important question here. we know the question's base is never going to abandon him, but what happens to the democratic base if the worst that comes out of this is the indictments we've seen. we know for a lot of democrats this was going to be a way to get rid of donald trump. this was the instrument, the mueller probe to overturn the 2016 election that a lot of people couldn't explain after it happened. if the worse that we see is these indictments is that base going to be deflated and swing voters and the suburban districts they know really well.
those swing voters, if democrats try it on take this into overtime is the fatigue worse and do people start abandoning democrats? >> i think democrats have to be careful, but you said this isn't like venezuela. let's be really clear here. if they use executive power and executive privilege and what we have is the respect for a rule of law and the line between the executive power and the rule of law. trump has crossed that norm and behaved in bizarre ways repeatedly and if the report focuses on that, it is a little bit like venezuela and these countries where the president controls the rule of law, we don't let our president control the rule of law and if he tried to here, i think it will have -- non-ending consequences for the president. >> kristen, emmett flood is basically the white house lawyer that may be interacting the most with this. is he going to be able to read
the report before gerald nadler? >> that is their expectation? >> they think they can see it first? constitutionally i guess they do. >> they think so because they do think there are significant questions about executive privilege. will that happen, though? we'll have to see, what is barr going to do? >> that's why you have leadership saying we cannot start talking impeachment yet and it's too soon it will backfire. >> one way the president showed -- is to attack john mccain. it is directly related to mueller and it is all john mccain that got james comey to investigate and here is his taste of increasing anger at mccain throughout the week. >> i was never a fan of john mccain and i never will be. >> not my kind of guy. badly hurting the republican party, badly hurting our nation. he was horrible what he did with repeal and replace. what he did to the republican party and to the nation, but you shouldn't have brought it up.
actually i thought you weren't supposed to bring it up, but that's okay. you know, fake news. >> it was interesting there. not expecting the mccain question. i want to ask the two of you, mccain is better to invoke with democrats than it is with republicans and you heard -- you heard that. first, i want to ask you, what do the senators really think when he trashes john mccain? >> it hurts everybody's heart. john mccain and i had battles. he battled with all of us at one time or another, but he was an incredible man, and what he went through -- i don't know what's wrong with this guy? how do you punch down to someone who was a p.o.w. and is dead the same week you reverse sanctions against a guy because you say you like him who starves his people and kills his family for power? it is beyond weird, and i think it shows some real mental problems with this president that he feels the need to go
after somebody who is dead. >> carlos, there is a virus, and part of the republican party that cheers this. they're excited when it happens and they send crazy notes to cindy mccain and meghan mccain and people like that. >> that's right. part of the base is politically intoxicated and when did it become normal or okay in our country to criticize, to attack at a personal level. this is not a policy disagreement, but to personally attack someone who sacrificed for our country and i was happy to hear marco rubio to say he disagreed with it today and republicans seem to be stronger. >> you know why they're not -- >> at some point you have to lead and whether or not you have a primary challenge and i think that's on both sides, a primary challenge, but at what point do you sacrifice your core values and humanity to avoid a primary challenge. you shouldn't. >> way to end that in that
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♪ >> welcome back. data download time. a growing number of 2020 candidates are floating the idea of abolishing the electoral college. no surprise because in two of the last five presidential elections democrats have won the popular vote and still lost the election. take 2016, hillary clinton got over 65 million votes while president trump got just under 63 million, but it was president trump who won the precedence we 306 electoral votes over clinton's 232. the idea behind the electoral college was to keep small states from being ignored by presidential candidate, but in reality the presidential race is always decided by the battleground states. in 2016, just 14 of the most competitive states received 99% of the campaign ad spending and 95% of visits by the candidates on the campaign trail, and it had nothing to do with population. some were small like new
hampshire and mane, bine, but somewhere bigger like florida and ohio. what's more not electoral votes count the same. since each state gets an electoral vote, wye onlying with a population of 577,000 people gets three electoral votes. that breaks down to one electoral vote for every 192,000 people. now look at the state of california where nearly 40 million people get only 55 electoral votes. that is one electoral vote per every 719,000 people, but what if we made the number of electoral votes proportional to each state's population? >> using wyoming's standard one vote per 192,000 people it would keep its three votes and california would wind up with a whopping 205 electoral votes. now, do that for every state and there would be almost 1700 electoral votes in play, making the new magic number 850 to win.
so would that have changed the 2016 result? actually, no. donald trump would still have won. now there are other options. electoral votes can be distributed proportional to each state's popular vote or simply by congressional district, but for now at least the candidates will have to win the old-fashioned way. when we come back the 2020 presidential race and michael bloomberg's complaint that democrats are too quick to apologize, well, for anything. >> everybody else and beto, whatever his name is. whatever his name is. he's essential for pine trees, but maybe not for people with rheumatoid arthritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections,
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♪ ♪ apologizing for being male, over 50, white, apologize for the one piece of legislation which is a pretty good anti-crime bill which is the liberals would read it most of the things they like are in that bill. they should read it. >> welcome back time for endgame and that was former new york city mayor michael bloomberg this week going after democrats for others called an apology tour. he decided not to run not because he didn't want to be president, but he didn't think
he could win in the primary. >> i think he's right on. i think strength wins and not apologizing. biden could have easily pivoted and said you know what was in that bill? community policing what we desperately need right now to re-establish trust in neighborhoods between police and the people they serve. >> you're with michael bloomberg. >> violence against women's act. >> you were the prosecutor. >> i was the prosecutor because of that bill. we finally had money to support domestic violence victims so we could get them into court and put the perpetrators behind bars. in this rush to be politically correct they're leaving some strength over there on the side of the road and we've got to have strength if we're going to beat this guy. we're not going to beat him with anybody. we'll have to beat him with someone that reassures america that we can once again be envied by the rest of the world instead of ridiculed and we can be
strong and hold the middle. >> my question is when did mickal bloomberg become a democrat when it was tough for voices like his to come out of primaries and why did he become a democrat, where maybe, just maybe he's a middle lane for howard schultz and it could have been for michael bloomberg. i want to put up joe biden's people have been talking perhaps too much because we now know all of their hand wringing. on one hand they're self-aware and he's thinking of picking at a vp early and stacy abrams was out there and maybe it's a one-term pledge. if you like joe biden you should be glad that he's thinking about ways that could run to problems in the democratic nomination. on the other hand this is introducing your campaign by starting with the weaknesses. >> it's an attempt to compensate from weaknesses and i think it is a recognition on their part that he has to answer for. the party of joe biden has grown
up with and in many ways has defined over different heards of time and they have to wrestle with that, and i think that the other question that they're grappling with is how do you make somebody who has been on the public stage for 40 years put aside how old he is at 76? how do you make a person like that seem fresh? one way to do it is to run a campaign that's different than other campaigns have been run and that's what they're trying it on do, but they've got -- i don't quite know what happened with the stacy abrams vp thing, but boy, they've had to roll it back quickly. >> he may have offered her to be her running mate at this point. >> right. and a lot of people are saying, look, the mere fact that this has gotten so much attention really undercuts his strength as he potentially enters this race because it looks like a hail mary, almost, at the front end. >> and he's the leading poll guy and oh, my god, i might lose. >> the fact check as i was talking to people close to him,
look, the reality is that's not something that's being seriously considering right now and they are considering half a dozen different things as he enters this race and an acknowledgement and also the fact that the field is more progressive. how does he enter the field, fit in, and change the near tiff. >> i want to play beto o'rourke's response yesterday to the mueller report. take a listen to what he said. >> this is an unprecedented attack on this country and on our democracy and we are owed the facts and if we do not receive them 243 years in there is nothing that guarantees us a 244th. >> slightly alarmist there referring to seeing the mueller report. beto o'rourke, you served with him, carlos, claire mccaskill, is he ready to be your party's standard bearer? >> i don't know. you're asking me to pick the bracket for next year's tournament. >> you don't know if missouri gets invited. >> right. probably not, but the point is this is going to be a time where
we have a large field and they're going to battle for inspiring people. they're going to battle for donors especially low donors. they're going to battle for the living rooms of iowa and we'll see who emerges from this and if they are -- they have to be substantive. you can't be all show and no go. >> yeah. >> beto needs to get some meat on the bones here and not just be inspirational. >> is he a moderate? did you consider him a moderate when you served with him. >> kind of. he's a good guy. by the way, he's a good chef. >> oh, really? >> no, he is. he actually is. he is a little scripted and he needs to be more himself and be more authentic. >> thank you, guys. what a week. that's all we've got for today. thank you for watching. good luck with the brackets and obviously mccaskill is out of hers. we'll be back next week for sweet 16 weekend because if it's sunday it's "meet the press."