tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 9, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PST
>> thank you for that. >> that is a wrap for us. i'm alex witt. "morning joe" starting right now. ♪ >> we are coming up the coastline in kentucky right now, live pictures. it's thursday, february 9th, a snowy thursday morning if you're on the east coast. and this storm is heading up the northeast. with us is veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle. mike is here. where is the word? mark halpern. political reporter for "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst, robert cost a. on capitol hill is kasie hunt joining us today. with us is pulitzer prize warning historian, jon meacham.
the incoming is incredible. talking to people all day yesterday in washington and throughout even the media world, the exhaustion just 20 days in. >> twenty days. . the level of exhaustion is off the charts. >> challenges every level. joe, the latest ones as we look at the travel ban and the swirl around elizabeth warren and it goes on. it seems like things are not necessarily getting on track as quickly as you would hope. >> i reached out a good bit yesterday to some sources inside the white house and i think right now, we have a tale of two stories. people in the white house that we know and we have trusted and have known for sometime tell us that things are starting to come together as far as the process goes. the nightmare that was the steve miller, steve bannon executive
order process. that is getting fixed. people are starting to communicate. there are systems that past white houses would recognize. also, they are noticing that tillerson is getting situated, mattis, of course, getting situated, kelly situated and pompeo. all of that seems to be coming together well. i got to say the most concerning things that happened yesterday actually didn't come from the cabinet, didn't come from the staff members. it came from donald trump's twitter account and it came from a speech that he made where, once again, he said some things that were chilling for anyone that knows anything about history and the importance of judicial independence. so the systems are getting in place. the question is can those systems be applied to the commander in chief? >> well, president trump continues to log shots at the judicial branch. we await a federal court's
appeals court decision whether to reinstate president trump's order suspending travel from seven countries. speaking yesterday morning before a committee of county sheriffs and police chiefs, the president called it political. >> it's really incredible to me that we have a court case going on so long. as you know, in boston, we won it with a high respected judge and a very strong opinion. but now we are in an area that let's just say they are interpreting things differently than probably 100% of the people in this room. i'd like to almost know does anybody disagree when i read this? he made by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary. so here it is. people coming in.
suspend the entry of all aliens, right? that's what it says. it's not like -- again, a bad high school student would understand this. anybody would understand this. i listened to lawyers on both sides last night and they were talking about things that had just nothing to do with it. i listened to a panel of judges and i'll comment on that. i will not comment on the statements made by certainly one judge, but i have to be honest, that if these judges wanted to, in my opinion, help the court in terms of respect for the court, they do what they should be doing. i mean, it's so sad. i watched last night in amazement and i heard things that i couldn't believe. things that really had nothing to do with what i just read. and i don't ever want to call a
court bias so i won't call it biased and we haven't had a decision yet. but courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they would beble to read a statement and do what's right. i think it's sad. i think it's a sad day. i think our security is at risk today and it will be at risk until such time as we are entitled and get what we are entitled to, as citizens of this country. one of the reasons i was elected was because of law and order and security, and they are taking away our weapons one-by-one. that's what they are doing. >> meacham? >> okay. okay. the president shhas been vocal his criticism on his executive order including last weekend
calling the federal judge who first blocked the order a so-called judge. i found that to be stunning that string of sound bites, joe. >> well, it's more than stunning. it is dangerous. again, for anyone who knows the history history of the 20th century, it is dangerous when you have executives trying to denigrate the judicial branch and judicial independence. jon meacham, there is much to sort through in those statements. all of them deeply disturbing. i talk about how we have to sort through the things to worry about and the things not to worry about. we all can't always be screeching -- you know, if he will tweets at a movie star, that's just embarrassing. if he tweets at a department store, you know, that -- there are some more concerns that.
that rchets it up a bit. but when you say what et cetera about federal court judges, it either is an attempt to intentionally discredit them so he is strip them of power down the road, or it's a complete ignorance of the system. he talks about high school students. i think a lot of high school students could tell him that the ninth circuit is left of center. the 11th circuit is right of center. these things balance out. it is a system of checks and balances that began with madison and hamilton, and presidents do not speak this way. i saw you and i both quoted jefferson last night in some tweets about the extraordinary importance of judicial independence. >> it's not even 230-year
tradition he's messing with here. it's a thousand years. it's magna carta through 1689. i know mika wanted me to bring up magna carta this morning. >> i was hoping. >> i know. but you're talking about one of the fundamental insights of the western tradition is the rule of law and how is law administered, but by an independent judiciary? during world war ii churchill put the rule of law at the top of the list of what the allies were fighting for. and in our own time -- joe, you remember this from your quasi native region -- but remember the billboards in the south in the 1950s said impeach earl warren. why did they say that, i wonder? it had something to do with 1954. so trump, as ever, the president, as ever, is playing
with fire here. and it is something that as you've said is more significant than a lot of the other brush fires of the day because it goes straight at the question of separation of powers. >> it does. again, the historical precedence is chilling. some of the dangerous autocrats of the 20th century, their two goals were to, first, undermine an independent judiciary, and, second, to undermine a free press. this crosses a bright, bright line that conservatives in my party need to start talking about and need to start pushing back on. >> what was particularly disturbing i thought about yesterday was he clearly was trying not to repeat what he had done over the weekend. there were times in the remarks with we just showed where he did a stab at restraint.
but this is and separating as you said at the top the stuff that happens is going to happen every day with the stuff that is serious. this remains serious. the judiciary source of power as a coequal branch is the most fragile of the three because they have to be relied on and everyone has to agree their word will hold even if you disagree with a particular decision. we are all hold our breath to this decision today which i think in all likelihood will not be one the president likes, at least in full and see what he does about it. >> this is maddening. does he have no one around him that can tell him you're not going to like what the ninth circuit said. the first one i saw in washington state, we know how this is going to go. they have ruled against him in washington. it's going to go to the ninth circuit. they will rule against him in the ninth circuit and then kicked to supreme court and, most likely he wins 5-3 even in a 4-4 court. maybe even more than that.
but for him to say all of the things that he said yesterday, again, deeply disturbing because he keeps talking about how they are political and he is trying to set them up for blame if there is a terror attack, which there is absolutely positively no evidence that we are facing an eminent threat right now. >> he actually said that explicitly a few days ago on twir. remember, he said if we are attacked, blame this judge, blame that appeals judge up in seattle. by the way, there hasn't been a decision yet. he is attacking a decision that hasn't happened. we all know this is his default reaction to things. if something not going hess way and somebody insults him, he goes after the legitimacy of the source. it's one thing when it's the media, you want to come after us, that's fine, we will keep doing our jobs, but when it's the independent judiciary, that is something else entirely. now president trump's supreme court pick judge neil gorsuch is
voicing his concerns. the judge met with senators on capitol hill yesterday and democratic senator richard blumenthal revealed what gorsuch told him behind closed doors. >> my strong hope is that he will be more vehement publicly. he certainly expressed to me that he is disheartened by the demoralizing and important comments moade by president trup about thejudiciary. >> a spokesman confirmed to nbc news that senator blumenthal's version of the conversation did take place and he did use the word disheartening and demoralizing to judge gorsuch is not backtracking from this. >> we talk about this being day 20 and it being exhausting for everybody involved and concerning and stressful. but it's also day 20 and at some
point these repeated remarks about putin, the repeated attacks on our judicial system, they are not mistakes any more, they are not jokes any more. even lying about the murder rate. it's the act of creating a reality that is not real, that perhaps -- >> mika, can i throw one in for you? >> sure, sure. >> let me give you another one. where you have a raid that military sources tell me was bungled in yemen, military sources. they also tell "the times" and they tell other people that. then you have the white house saying anyone that questions the success of the raid is denigrating the life and the death of the man who died in that raid. >> including john mccain. >> including john mccain.
. i'll not accusing anybody of anything. i know there's a steep learning process. >> no. >> i just want to say this is dangerous language just like it's dangerous language when you say that somebody has betrayed america because they don't interpret your version of law the way you want them to. or when you call court decision outrageous. these are the words of autocrats. i'm not assigning any intent. >> no, but we have to look at this. >> at this point, i'm just going to say it's sloppy. >> mike? at day 20, it's more than sloppy. >> it's got to stop now. it's got to stop now! >> on the last point that you raised, joe, the s.e.a.l. team six raid in yemen, i don't know whether sean spicer or the administration is aware of the fact there are after action reports, what they call them. after action reports on every
contact situation like that in the war in every war. in the after-action report will be clear and brutal and it will be truthful. and so we will get a good reading on the exact status of that raid as soon as that after-action report becomes public. but on the point you raised earlier. i think you hit a key element of it when you indicated whether anyone around the president is talking to him about this behavior because this behavior is more dangerous than dynamite. an effort to delegitimatize the judiciary as it is an effort to delegitimatize the media. both efforts are unfortunately, sadly, for us, having some relevance out there in the country and taking hold a bit and it is really and truly dangerous. i'd be interested, joe, you know, what robert costa has to say about that. he's been around the white house covering this. >> yeah.
bob, i wrote a column about this in your paper a couple of days about the federal judiciary and donald trump has been a businessman. he's been on tv. i'm sure he's had a lot of tough fights with courts and it's one thing to attack judges when you are a businessman. it's quite another to attack federal judges when you're president of the united states. in my reporting, i don't know the person that goes up to donald trump and says united kingdom attack federal judges. i don't know who that person is in that inner circle that would actually do that. do you? >> reporter: there's a whole conversation who can go up to trump and who can tell him what to do. based on my reporting, president trump has been a punch you in the jaw populist his entire career, public negotiations through public theatrics and fighting constantly to improve his own reputation and this
morning some people saying it's not goingo stop but probably escalate, that he actually relishes fights with the judiciary. he relishes fights with congress. this idea that some staffer is going to tell him to pull away, he believes he's an outsider, he believes he has a mandate because of the election and he thinks these fights are very much warranted. this idea it's going to all quiet down, i haven't seen evidence of that yet. >> to what end? to what end, bob? what is he going to do? what is he going to do? try to strip the judiciary of power after a terror attack? try to suspend parts of the constitution after there's a terror attack? to what end do up fight a judiciary? the ninth circuit is the ninth circuit. as i said, they are left of center. it's predictable how they are going to rule just as it's predictable how the 11th circuit is going to rule. they are going to be right of center. this is our system. it has been our system for 240
years. does he not understand that? or does he hope to change that system fundamentally? >> he is hope to up-end the dynamics. you've studied this, joe, as well. he delegitimatizes opponents and he is more relentless than any of his opponents and he will bully them until they relent and what we have seen for 40 years from donald john trump. >> kasie hunt, democrats are clearly setting up for a fight. elizabeth warren, looks like she is leading that battle right now and we are going to get to that late. you interviewed her. republicans also given this conversation. we are talking about the sanctity of our constitution and of our institutions that, you know, create this country and run this country. i have to ask how republicans are feeling on both sides of the
aisle about how they move forward with someone in power, their president who ask speaking in a way that could threaten the very foundation of this country? and i'm not overstating it. we are having an open mind coming into the first 100 days but at day 20, when things are repeated three or four times that are so beyond the pale and into the area of frightening. i have to wonder the kind of position that republicans in the house and the senate are in. >> look. i think a key test for president trump today is going to be how does he or does he at all react to the fact that his supreme court nominee is coming up meeting with people and saying that these comments are disheartening. will he move forward and say that is okay? will he come out and condemn his own nominee? i think there's a real test in there and i think that he is
putting republicans on capitol hill and even some people who are trying to help him get his agenda through who are working with his administration behind the scenes to try to accomplish all of this he is putting them in a very difficult position here because i thinky all do really want -- they are invested in the system that has been built and they don't want to see all of these pieces shattered this way. chuck schumer wants to get stuff done but the climate this is creating, the temperature, i keep feeling like there's no way it can get any more intense, but it keeps rising. and at this point, i think the activists democratic base is going to prevent democrats from being able to accomplish anything here, and i think it could lead to a real stalemate that is potentially dangerous. >> joe? >> mika, we are hearing, obviously, from a lot of trump
suppor supporters who want him to succeed and want him to stop picking these constitutional fights, who want to see him move forward with regulatory reform and tax reform and health care reform and immigration reform. again, that is the stupidity of this and only word you can say it's sheer stupidity of the fact that the courts will end up, most likely, supporting the president because as i have said from from day one these are the issues when talking about the border and national security and you put those two together, that the court, the supreme court usually defers to the president, except in extraordinary situations. the more he talks, the more he attacks, the more extraordinary he makes that situation. >> right. >> the more he hurts his case. >> i'm in agreement with you. >> so i don't understand. there's so many people that want him to succeed that i talk to every day, they don't understand
why he picks fights with federal judges, let alone nordstrom. they are fine with nordstrom but they just refer not to have a c fight. >> we are in big trouble and i'm not kig. >> good for judge gorsuch for not backing away from it. i think a time we are speaking out if you're on donald trump's trump or against donald trump. if you listen to blumenthal's account of it he said gorsuch said emotionally and strongly his belief in judge's integrity and the importance of judicial independence. >> conservativesave always believed, mika, that we are a constitution republic, we are a nation of laws, not a nation of
men. they have wrapped themselves in the constitution of the united states for years and years and years. it is time that they start expressing that again because now, more than ever, conservatives need to show america and the world who they are. and it all starts with the constitution, checks and balances, separation of powers, a strong judiciary. up next, we are going to get kasie hunt's interview with elizabeth warren after she is rebuked by senate republicans. also head ben sass and rand paul will join us and richard blummen that is all who had the candid conversation with press trump's nominee for the supreme court ahead. first, bill karins with the weather. >> let me show you the pictures coming in on the roads and on the highways. independen
interstates on 78 and this is what you get. snowing pretty good and coating snow out there but now start accumulating fast. 55 million people under a winter storm warnings or advisories and blizzard warnings. the temperature in new york city is down to 30. it was in the 60s yesterday. now we have snow accumulating around new york city and metropolitan area. areas of long island and also in southern portions of new england, that's where we have the blizzard warnings that are up in effect. philadelphia you were too warm last now and i've lowered your snow totals. only 2 to 4 inches now. d.c. to baltimore rain turning as to know and rain and then snow and i'm only saying 0 to an inch and d.c. and baltimore. northern maryland you get accumulations. dropped philadelphia 2 to 4 inches and 8 to 12 in new york city. long island somebody will probably have 12 to 14 inches.
the heavy snow in long island, connecticut and rhode island and boston. easily a foot. someone will end up with a foot and a half of snow by the end of today in areas of southern new england. the worst of the storm right now from trenton all the way through northern new jersey into areas around new york city. it will be like this for the next three hours with very intense snowfall rates. we will continue tracking the storm here this morning on msnbc. "morning joe" will be right back. this is the story of green mountain coffee and fair trade, told in the time it takes to brew your cup. let's take a trip to la plata, colombia. this is boris calvo. that's pepe. boris doesn't just grow good coffee, boris grows mind-blowing coffee. and because we pay him a fair price, he improves his farm to grow even better coffee and invest in his community, which makes his neighbor, gustavo, happy. that's blanca. yup, pepe and blanca got together. things happen. all this for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee. packed with goodness. the full value of your totaled new car.
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one of the president donald trump's campaign promises to surround himself with the best people so good advice was only a phone call away. this is an interesting story. the huffington post is reporting atresident trump wanted to know the economic intact of a strong system u.s. dollar. they report that trump placed a call to national security
adviser mike flynn, according to two sources familiar with flynn's account of the conversation. this is according to "the huffington post." the time of the reported call, 3:00 a.m. "the huffington post" also reports that flynn, quote, told trump he didn't know it was his area of expertise that perhaps trump should ask an economist instead. neither the white house nor flynn's office responded to requests for confirmation of the call's time and just the call in general, but general flynn talking about the call. joe? i think that is the biggest problem, mark halpern. not that the president wouldn't make a phone call at kathleen3: if gets up at 3:00. you have this story repeated to two different sources to try to
embarrass his president. >> i don't know that the story is true but i know that there are comparable things that have gone on. you've got now a skel laconstel of people who are talking and, in many ces, stunned by what they are seeing around the president and by the president himself. it's an extraordinarily dangerous dynamic and in the case of gorsuch that is an interesting strange story he is being so hope about what ed but if you got people in the cabinet and people in the white house who are behaving like this, donald trump thinks he can control everything he thinks he is king of all media but if you run a ship like this and operate like this and get stories like this, no organization can function or survive that kind of -- those kinds of accounts on a serial basis. >> jon reameacham, it's what we have been trying to say to him on this television show.
and anybody would listen. you pick fights from the cia and you get fights from the cia and you pick fights from the pentagon you get leaks out of the pentagon. you pick fights with the federal bureaucracy and the federal bureaucracy is going to be leaking. it appears that everybody is leaking and almost at least in modern times, at a historic rate. have you seen anything like this in your lifetime? >> it's hard to imagine brent skoff that someone called in at 3:00 a.m. so we are already past where the buses run, so let's acknowledge that, much less dr. brzezins brzezinski. no. every white house is a small renaissance court. some are larger renaissance courts. this one is pretty big. as mark says, there are not a lot of preexisting relationships, so people are
trying to find their own place on israeli called the greasy pole. and you have trump, himself, who is sort of an active public force in this. you know, the usual historical model is theresidents in the oval office being president and the aides are all trying to present themselves as the most important person. here we have a case where the president is very much part of every hour offering his thoughts, and it's very interesting to me what the president, when it comes to, say, sean spicer, what the president bothers to respond to and deny and what he chooses not to. and so what strikes me most is that this is a case where the president, himself, is part of this perennial leaked story. >> yeah. bob costa, one thing that we know or on many levels know that general flynn spends a good amount of time with president
trump, so it raises question if this story is true. also, i think, about the repeated comments about putin which are now boardering on alarming. >> what i can say about general flynn he is a confidant of the president because he was loyal throughout the campaign, briefing, then candidate trump. he was one of the top foreign policy people who came to trump early and recognized that he had the possibility of being president. he also has somewhat of an anti-establishment world view, even though he has been part of the defense community and the intelligence community for decade. he does not have that traditional hawkish republican view of the world. he and trump have shared kind of a mind meld on that front as well. >> coming up, the president's cabinet appointments are slowing getting confirmed. the latest being jeff sessions for attorney general. but democrats are still putting up as much of a fight as possible. "morning joe" is coming back with that.
sessions. you are a disgrace to the black race. you are an uncle tom scott. you're for sessions. how does a black man turn on its own? anthony b. says he is not a uncle tom. he is a house negro. i left out all of the ones that used the "n" word. i just felt that would not be appropriate. >> that was senator tim scott talking about the ugly rhetoric he has faced in the days leading up to confirmation of senator jeff sessions which finally went through last night. senator rivelizabeth warren is putting republicans on notice after she was satellite news centered on the debate over sessions. senator mitch mcconnell determined she broke senate rules by impugning the former senator from alabama after she read a letter written 30 years ago by coretta scott king
opposing sessions' nomination as a federal judge. warren said she was warned but nevertheless she persisted. hillary clinton tweeted adding, so must we all. other senators read the same letter by king the senate floor yesterday without being rebuked fr rebuked for breaking the rules. i worded it carefully. i said she read the letter -- >> i'm very confused about this because as we all said yesterday, she should have been allowed to continue to speaking. it was ridiculous and hypocritical for the republicans to stop her from reading the letter. i went back and saw the whole thing. i don't understand why everybody is reporting that she was stopped when she was reading the letter from coretta scott king because that is actually not the case. >> i know. >> beyond. why do they feel the need to say
that. >> we don't. >> because it's not true. >> right. >> this store estory is bad enough for republicans without them making things up. i listened all day yesterday and everybody said, oh, she was stopped while she was reading. no, no. actually, she was not. go back and look. this is one of these meddlesome fact checks. you got a good enough story here. you don't have to exaggerate it. she had finished reading that letter and was actually quoting a newspaper article from a small massachusetts daily. >> with that -- >> but this is something that we have talked about for sometime. >> i know. >> you've got a good enough story. don't exaggerate it. she was not interrupted while reading coretta scott king's letter and, yesterday, it was
repeated a thousand times yesterday on television. >> let me ask kasie hunt now. did elizabeth warren promulgate this story as well but or does she have it as it happened? >> i talked with elizabeth warren yesterday. the issue was mcconnell to invoke this rule, had to pick out specific language that she had used, specific words and he, while, yes, joe is absolutely right, she was interrupted while he was talking about the violence against women act. the words that mcconnell cited were word that she had read from the letter and they she had read from a speech ted kennedy had made on the senate floor as well. i did ask her to explain a little bit more about whether or not she did, in fact, impugn sessions' character by doing this. take a look. do you think it impuns the character of jeff sessions, this letter? >> the facts may hurt, but we are not in the united states senate to ignore facts. >> reporter: do you think what senator mcconnell did last night was sexist? >> i think what he did was
wrong. i think -- >> reporter: but it wasn't sexist? >> i think reading the words of coretta scott king on the floor of the united states senate honors the senate. >> reporter: so she wouldn't say, of course, that this was sexist but it's how democratic activists clearly perceived it that way and have pushed it forward. in some ways, people i'm talking to think it's a rare misstep by mitch mcconnell who is usually very careful how he sdoes thing and he sort of handed her a pretty big megaphone by doing this. >> the story didn't need to be mangled to be bad for the republicans. katty kay is with us from the bbc. she was handed a gift when she was cut off there because it appeared sexist and victimized her and it was ruled and democrats have a pretty good case about their concerns over jeff sessions and they should have a chance to express that. they don't need to change the story. >> fno.
they have played this pretty well. technical, jo you're right, she hadinished reading the letter but mcconnell's objection was based on the wording of the letter, not what she was saying at that particular moment and what he objected to and silenced her because of what had been in the letter. having the three male senators the next day carry on reading that letter and not get stopped, played right into this notion that there was some kind of sexist on the senate floor. for a party that has almost no hand to play at the moment, yesterday, they played it pretty well. they did it well. >> i tried to get an answer yesterday why tom udall was allowed to read the letter and make that case against session and that wasn't impugning his character. is there an answer why they were allowed and she was not and warren was not? >> the answer i got from mitch mcconnell's office it came in a different context because they had not been making long speeches, in their words, disparaging a colleague.
the letter reading was part of a very long involved speech that warren gave on the senate floor. reality is, you know, senator sessions is really sensitive to criticism along line. it's something that derailed that federal judgeship that he really wanted back in the 1980s. i think clearly there was something behind the scenes with that that caused them to step in and stop them. i think there was a sense they needed to pull back a little bit yesterday morning and let it play out. >> joe? >> perhaps that had another consequence. >> also, they were allowed to read the letter because their words weren't taken down because she was reading the letter. it was the totality of the speech but a great prop for them use and god bless them for using. mark halpern, i think the most interesting thing said yesterday was steve schmidt. another reason their names weren't taking down is donald trump doesn't want to run again udall or bernie sanders or
sherrod brown in 2020. he wants to live against elizabeth warren and he said that is a dream to people who are close to him. >> here we go again. >> the more we think about it, i guess steve schmidt was on to something. none of us on the set got yesterday that they wanted to put her out front because they want her to become the voice of the opposition. >> no doubt republicans don't mind her front and center. look. i think the democrats did a smart thing having the male senators go at it and put the republicans in an impossible position if they treat them like they treated elizabeth warren and said you need to stop doing it, they would have made the story even bigger and made coretta scott king more front and center so i think they had to let them go but that created a story line of a double standard. people check here. washington is now totally partisan, totally dysfunctional and fourth straight president in a row claimed he could change that. we are seeing now for people who
don't like the inability to compromise, the inability to get along, this is a horrible development. >> yeah. i would just say to your point, joe, i think that the republican dream that elizabeth warren runs for president and that that is who they want because they think they can beat her is a as stupid as hillary clinton wanting donald trump. elizabeth warren can evolve. she's done a lot in a short amount of time. and i think she could be a nightmare for republicans. bob costa, final thoughts before you go? >> senator warren has been staking out ground as an economic populist and economic nationalist in a way to compete with this rising tide on the right but she showed with this whole episode she has a confrontational style that can counter president trump and something democrats haven't been able to do perfectly in the early days of the trump presidency to really go to trump's level in terms of public theater and aggressive way that rouses the party base. >> you know what maybe has a
trip along the way some she takes risks which is exactly what men do, which is exactly what donald trump does. and a lot of candidates who have been successful. >> she is fearless. >> she could be a nightmare. she is fearless. >> it's exactly what hillary clinton didn't do. >> exactly. >> except the one time she went to west virginia where she went in to a place that wasn't perfectly set out for her, and i still say that was hillary clinton's best moment. that was her best day. it doesn't matter she lost west virginia by 40. she knew she was going to. joe manchin tells the story of her going into this area and it was really, really intimating a -- intimating for her. they didn't like her. she sat down and talked to them and nailed it. i thought she was fantastic and that is the sort of campaign she didn't run. i think you're right. that is a sort of campaign elizabeth warren would run because she will take chances.
>>e look back and think could bernie sanders have won? quite possibly. we revisit this campaign. >> it was rigged! >> you think this time around if there is still an economic populace move she has a good shot. >> coming up we will take a closer look how chuck schumer commands his caucus including the fact he has a flip phone and has memorized the phone numbers of 47 of his members! "morning joe" will be right back. >> does he manually dial the numbers? what if we could stop the next
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>> i don't think get it. >> twist my arm. >> come on, mika! she has gone through a tough, tough process and people don't like her. >> i said nothing! it was katty! >> if you're going to make a joke, make it well, right, joe? compare her with tillerson. tillerson goes into state, equally difficult process and up in arms and he is charming and natural and makes a funny line being a new guy and it was funny. >> the problem is this is not funny. >> the way she ad-libbed that joke is hilarious! >> spontaneous. >> america first. first alert was katty analyzing american humor in. >> in a katie way. >> ben hill. >> exactly. >> the thing is that devos was
hammered harder than anybody else, other than jeff sessions. the fact that she can smile at the end of it, far worse than tillerson. the fact that she can still s smile and joke about at the end no lingering bitterness there and maybe she is work with her opponents but maybe when she talks everybody will talk over her. >> she would not be alone there, would she? coming up, much more ahead. >> no. happens to me all the time. >> as the president continues to take shots at the judiciary and picking a fight with senator john mccain? oh, no, no. don't do that. the white house tries to win the messaging game over the deadly raid in yemen. and we are tracking winter weather moving up the east coast. "morning joe" is back after this. ♪ [vo] quickbooks introduces rodney.
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and paycheck... you've earned your medicare. it was a deal that was made long ago, and aarp believes it should be honored. thankfully, president trump does too. "i am going to protect and save your social security and your medicare. you made a deal a long time ago." now, it's congress' turn. tell them to protect medicare. according to a white house aide, president trump loves to drink virgin bloody mary's. kind of an odd cocktail to drink. turns out trump also likes some other lesser known cocktails. he apologize a mai-tie too long
and nation on the rocks and mimosa and also white russians! >> mark halpern is continuing to joining us along with katty kay and pulitzer prize winnier jon meacham. donald trump is tweeting we reported last hour the store about judge gorsuch and a meeting he had with senator richard blumenthal of connecticut. he found donald trump's attacks on the judiciary demoralizing. donald trump has tweed aboted a that, quote. actually, what we went on to report that judge gorsuch office
confirmed what he had said to senator blumenthal. >> yeah. so that is sort of out of blumenthal's hand and in the public from gorsuch's people, himself. look. we have someone leading the country who is making statements that are often not true or that are deeply concerning and i'm just not sure what this is doing. we have been struggling for the past decade with civility. this is a whole different level. senator john mccain continues to be at odd with the white house over the late january raid in yemen. a navy s.e.a.l. and several civilians were killed. senator mccain has called it a failure, while the white house insists it was a success. >> when you lose a 75 million dollar airplane and, more importantly, american lives are -- life is lost and wounded, i don't believe that you can call it a success. >> it's absolutely a success. and i think anyone who suggest
it's not a success does disservice to the life of chief ryan owens. he fought knowing what was at stake in that mission and anybody who would suggest otherwise doesn't fully appreciate how successful that mission was. i think anybody who -- who undermines the success of that rage owes an apology and a disservice to the life of chief owens. >> is that your message to senator john mccain? >> that is my message to anybody who says that. anybody. i don't know how much clearer i can be. >> many years ago when i was in prison in north vietnam there was an attempt to rescue the p.o.w.s. unfortunately, the prison had been evacuated but the brave men who took -- on that mission and risked their lives in an effort to it rescue us prisoners of war were genuine american heroes. because the mission failed dunn in any way diminish their
bravery and courage and willing to sacrifice for their fellow americans who were being held captive. mr. spicer should know that story. >> whoa. >> wow. >> joe, where do we begin here? >> this goes back to what, mika, i was saying last hour, that we have got to figure out how to organize some of the shocks to the system. tweets about movie stars, even tweets about nordstrom, even though there may be some ethical charges there. you pursue those, i guess, if they are there. but some of these things that just people believe are undiggived you move that to one side. but attacks on judges and attacks on civil rights leaders, and attacks on war heroes, that's a bit more tubling and even more troubling than that, mark halpern, is when you have a
white house that says of a failed raid, anybody that calls it a failed raid is doing a disservice to the memory of those who died in the failed raid. as far as the math goes, they have got 52-seat majority in the senate. john mccain, 51. lindsey graham, 50. ben sass, 49. could be susan collins, 48. they do not have a lot of give. they do not have a lot of people to insult. it's disturbing but it also is just not smart politically. >> on the first point, amongst the hardest and most important thing the media does during a time of war hold the government accountable and saw it in vietnam and the iraq war. you can't back down in our business to hold the government accountable. if the government's response is if a single american died, you can't give scrutiny to whether
something was a success or not, it's unacceptable. and it's something we have seen previous governments do and we need to be vigilant about it. on your second point, look. all of the republicans with waiting to see if they can continue to swallow things they don't want to swallow from donald trump if he -- >> like vladimir putin this weekend. >> you could list a thousand but the putin thing is a big one. if he keeps trying to get tax reform passed, i think they will stay with him but he is creating a very fragile set of relationships with what he has done. >> also, joe, i'm wondering if you can sort of characterize what the pngs are here in terms of the dangers staying within the lines of just covering the story of just what has been said of creating an alternative reality that is built o lies. like at this point, we have a list of things that have been said that are untrue, that are factually incorrect coming from
the white house, coming from the president. and that is -- >> right. and what -- and then coming from fake news outlets taken altogether. pretty soon, you have a population that is numbed and numbed to what the truth is and numb to what a lie is. >> yep. >> and pretty soon, you have the ability for lies to begin trumping the truth. so the more this happens, the more the president says, well, crime is at a 45-year high when, actually, it's near a 45-year low. or you have other statistics that are put out there that just aren't true. >> right. >> it is concerning and absolutely critical that everyone spells these lies out. it's more critical that somebody, against in the white house tells the president you've got to get your facts straight, unless -- >> they don't want to. >> unless this is a specific
strategy of yours to so numb the population with propaganda that, pretty soon, they can't discern the truth from the lies and pretty soon, you do create your own alternative reality. that is -- >> chilling. >> it is. it is autocratic. it is the steps that were used by several tyrants in the 20th century. it is dangerous. facts matter. the truth matter. and republicans, my party, must call this out. they have to do that. >> let's take -- >> they have to do it. >> let's take it a step further and use the white house's own logic. in iraq, more than 4500 americans have died and donald trump is critical of the war and he is proud of that. he said i was against the war and one of the reasons you should vote for me and it's been a disaster. why is he criticizing the iraq war when 4,500 americans died in
that combat? if they want to use that logic it's implied everywhere. >> again, joe used the word propaganda. i think that at day 20, we have to start asking these questions because these are repeated incorrect facts, repeated lies. >> it seems to come from a place almost of insecurity in the white house about having any dissenting opinion whether amongst state department employees or among senators like john mccain or just as we have seen in that tweet, richard blumenthal. if we get into a position where the white house is so hunkered down because you listen to kellyanne conway fair they never get a fair shot on their agenda. they are actually playing into a narrative we constantly are reporting things like the absurdity of saying you cannot criticize an american operation when you could should be doing .
this is not getting reported. >> the reason their agenda is not getting reported, this is what is so maddening is he does have policies that he is putting out there that i think would be very popular with the majority of americans. but you look at yesterday. you're questioning the integrity of john mccain and anybody who questions what military experts call a botched raid. he attacked federal judges yesterday. that could lead to a constitutional crisis. his own supreme court justice came out yesterday and said that was disappoted and disheaened by it. the president used his personal twitter account to attack a large department store chain for personal reasons. they then retweeted it at potus which is the official actual twitter account of the president of the united states. i will stop there.
i will stop there. we could go on and on and on. if kellyanne and sean and everybody else doesn'tnd why they can't get their agenda out, it's because they will not let us get their agenda out. i wrote a column five days ago comparing some of the things i saw changing in the trump white house, compared it to what happened in the early days of the kennedy administration up to the that and what happened in the clinton administration and talked about from everybody i talked to the in the white house were moving towards a more workable, functional process. i haven't been able to post it because they keep getting in the way of what would be a fairly positive column with things that just can't be ignored. you can't -- if -- we are not talking about policy, it's because they won't let us with all of their stupid
distractions! >> same way actually the story about ivanka trump which has a lot of meat to it and a lot is happening in the white house that should be reported. she should be getting out in front of that. and, instead, everyone is distracted by the shiny object of trump's tweet which was probably ethically a challenge, to say the least, about nordstrom. it's something that is frustrating actually. >> the other thing you attack everybody. at some point you start devaluing the impact. >> for all of his life up until now he has been rewarded for this kind of behavior and got elected for this kind of behavior but not be rewarded in the presidency with this kind of behavior. the white house announced yesterday that president trump sent a letter to china's president xi jinping saying he looks forward to relation between the two countries after president's call with taiwan's president in december and breaking years of diplomatic
protocol between the u.s. and china and other attacks over chinese trade policy. nbc news has learned that later today, president trump is expected to sign an executive order on aimed at helping mexico combat drug cartels. he told a news conference of law enforcement officials yesterday that he will, quote, take that fight to drug cartels to liberate communities. secretary of state rex tillerson had his first meeting with mexico's foreign poliminis. the foreign minister had a meeting with john kelly who is in arizona today kicking off a tour of the southwest border. u.n. ambassador nikki haley met with her counterpart. in a tweet haley said the meeting was great and focused on, quote, trade, border security and ways our countries can work better together. joining us in washington, former u.s. ambassador to nato, now the president of the chicago council on global affairs, evo
dalder and at the american enterprise institute, danielle plat. thank you both. mr. ambassador, i start with you. i want to start with the repeated comments that president trump has made about vladimir putin and the concerns our allies may have about the fact that he doesn't seem to be backing down on that. >> well, i think there are growing concerns among our european allies in particular about the direction of mr. trump's policy towards russia. in two ways in particular. one, there doesn't seem to be anything that vladimir putin does that can be criticized or condemned by the white house, whether it's bombing hospitals in aleppo or continuing to fight in ukraine or any other thing that is happening inside of
russia or outside of russia that is worthy of condemnation by the white house. secondly, and equally disconcerting is the constant hipting thathe ncons that have been put on russia for its anextizati annexization that they are up for debate that we are not going to insist that crimea be handed back to ukraine before sanctions are lifted or a peace agreement signed by the russian and ukrainian president be sanctioned before sanctions were lived and not talking about the flmps we ha interference we have seen. the relationship with russia seems to be more important in a positive sense than an important relationship with allies whether germany or australia or anyone else. >> danielle, i'm in
washington -- or in new york. i want to talk about this report that is written suggesting no grand bargain with russia that basically president bush, president obama tried to reset relations with moscow and the suggestion that is simply not possible. >> look. every single president has come into office saying he is going to have a new relationship with russia. barack obama had the reset. george w. bush saw into putin's eyes. it's really not a huge surprise. as a policy matter to see that donald trump is also trying to reset relations. i think we need to divide up the concept of the relationship with russia with the rhetoric that is surrounding it which is a lot more troubling. when evo says they should be focused on aleppo. i understand when donald trump is troubled by the notion it was okay for barack obama not to care what russia was doing in aleppo, but we should all be troubled that donald trump is not rushing to condemn putin.
it's ridiculous and it is a double standard. >> ambassador, it's willie geist. a story we haven't talked about enough is that there is a live fight right now, a live deadly fight going on in eastern ukraine between ukrainians and russian-backed rebels there. in your view what is the american responsibility? what is nato's responsibility in terms of an intervention on behalf of ukraine? >> well, i've long believed and argued with my former colleagues in the obama administration about the need to send defensive lethal equipment to ukraine. it is important that ukraine be allowed to defend itself. it has been attacked. it's been invaded. and its ability to defend itself depends, in part, on our ability to help it, help it with training, which we are doing, but also with providing the kind of defensive equipment to make the cost of continued intervention by russia and russian-backed forces that much
higher. so as a first instance, i think sending more arms to ukraine to help it as the fighting is escalating is important. secondly, it's very important for the united states to stand fou four-square behind ukraine and make it clear we want ukraine to be independent, sovereign and russian troops need to be removed from ukrainian territory and that the border needs to be defended by ukraine on the ukrainian side. none of that is anything that we have heard from this administration up to this point. >> ambassador and danielle, thank you both. jon meacham, before you go, your thoughts. >> i wish all day run we would run spicer versus mccain on this question about the yemen raid. a case who bears the scars of physical bravery who spent five years in prison in hanoi serving his country against a white
house that has turning truth into a kind of paintball. i think that the more we can -- the more we can report this with real examples, not just people like me holding forth, but there is is john mccain saying you cannot question the role of a senator in questioning the efficacy of a military operation based on his own life experience, that is the most powerful testimony we can have. >> jon meacham, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> three weeks in the white house has revealed that president trump is exactly who we thought he is. incompetent and, in some cases, in terms of our national security, dangerous. >> plenty of sound and fury from democrats. this morning, "time" magazine is asking the question, do they still matter? we are going to look to answer that. later, republican senators ben sass and rand paul will join us. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. ♪ wer. we have this need to peek over our neighbor's fence.
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joining us now from washington, deputy managing editor of "time" magazine michael duffy. the magazine's new issue asks the question, do democrats matter? and takes us inside chuck schumer's plan to take on president trump. also at the table we have nbc news correspondent katy tur. good to have you on board. quite some times we are living in right now. michael, first of all, let's go right to the heart of the matter in terms of the cover of "time" magazine. you ask the question do democrats matter. why do you ask that question? >> it's just a distilled version of the question you and joe were talking about a few minutes ago which is, you know, the resistance or the opposition to donald trump has numbers on the street that kind ofwn social media, but where it matters most, e votes in the house and the senate, they kind of have a power outage. only 48 in the senate. you can see their struggling to make a difference. looks like all of the nominees and all of the cabinet nominees
will go through. it's fairly certain that supreme court nominee will go through sooner or later. and what our story talks about we spent some time with chuck schumer and his frustration with that, his plans to try to overcome it and rebuild the party both from within and without. that is the question i think that really is on people's mind this morning. >> michael, there has been some made of the relationship between schumer and trump. we had senator schumer on our show on inauguration day. he downplayed it and said i know him from around new york. is there a personal relationship that can cover some hope for bipartisanship? >> you're right, willie. i think both are true. they do have that kind of history and not always friendly, but certainly a past together. thu know each other well enough they can't predict the other's moves. they are both kind of two outer borough kids that scraped in different ways to the top.
kind of talk the same. they are both -- in schumer's case very hard working. i think it's an advantage of we are looking for some advantage in this current mess. but it's not something either of them is really proud of. you know, a couple of weeks ago in their first white house meeting, trump recalled some fund-raiser he held for schumer's committee five or six years ago and boasted he raised $2 million. schumer piped up from the audience and said, well, it was only 238,000, actually. so they know each other well enough to get under each other's skin, too. >> michael, is schumer cover going to fly off the newsstands? i'll be curious to do how well it does. >> i'm counting you on you to buy to buy as many as you can, mark. we can't count ourselves by a newsstand. >> i get that. it's a good cover. >> for us the important thing
this is a continuing story cross all kinds of fronts, both from inside the white house, from inside the opposition or outside the poopgs. it opposition. it's worth noting that trump's rise happened despite the republican party outside that poll institution. what is happening now in terms of opposition to trump may take ps outsi place outside of the boundaries the democratic party. may be an extra movement. that doesn't mean schumer won't have a role or try to catch up or actually lead it. but this is a party that, at the moment, is trying to gain some footing in this conversation we are all having every day. >> katy tur, what are you hearing? >> what is interesting right now a battle of influence going on behind the scenes. obviously, there is one in the white house between donald trump's aides but there is also one on capitol hill. there is a question of whether when his poll numbers continue to plummet when he doesn't see things working the way he wants to work, who is going to be able to work with him going forward?
the democrats do have an opening here. donald trump campaigned on things that were not necessarily republican issues. he wants to overhaul infrastructure in this country. that's a big federal spending bill. that's something the democrats can certainly align themselves with donald trump on. the problem that they are seeing, obviously, right now, we have been talking about it all morning, you guys have been at least, is that it is so incredibly divided and any sign of working with donald trump, anybody that might go over there and try to reach across the aisle or try to say, listen, we can get things done with him, they are going to be completely lampooned and annihilated by the activist base in theemocratic party. are things going to start to cool down at some point to where the democrats can say, hey, listen, we are going to get some of the things we want to do and consider them our own victory to try to bring donald trump back toward the moderate center, which is where he starts. it's only when he gets, you know, a little birdies whispering in his ear, steve
bannon or jeff sessions and the like saying i want to bring you over to the conservative side. >> bannon being on the cover last week, probably should be on the cover next week and for the next six months at the rate we are going. >> noted. >> michael! >> you're certainly not going to make him happy if you do, that donald trump at least. >> the problem is for both sides and for democrats and for republicans at this point, they do anything that connects them too closely to donald trump, they will be lampooned. i know of democrats who are, you know, pretty sensible. they would go in and talk to him but at this point i honestly can't imagine that would be a risk a democrat or a republican would want to take. they may pay for that for the rest of their careers at the rate this white house is going. >> no. i think you're right. it makes the schumer story a little more interesting because i think his natural instincts, his history, his habits, make him a deal-maker. i think he'd like to do a deal as katy said about trade and tracks and infrastructure and certainly if they are able to
fix or replace obamacare, whatever they are doing. i think his instincts would tell him to do those deals but he has a very left flank that really is not in a mood to compromise or help or normalize or any of the word on the table. i think he is cross-pressured and the party as a whole even though they are generally, i think, pretty unified outside of small other concerns. i think that is exactly the tension that is on the table. >> but here is the thing. we saw this during the campaign. donald trump can reach a crescendo of tension and anger the entire country. then he can dial it back. we got to remind ourselves we are on week three right now. i know it feels like we are three years in and i know it feels like an eternity and certainly the campaign was an eternity. but i'm not trying to normalize this in any way but i will say that there are peaks and valleys here.
i wouldn't be surprised if six months, eight months down the line, things started to stabilize out in a different way than what we are seeing right now, only because of the experience i had on the campaign trail. when things get super hot with him, he tends to start dialing it back. for a moment, at least, just to get everybody to stop. >> that's not happening. it's just not happening. >> it is completely different. >> you have no legislative success your presidency could effectively be over. he can't change in eight months if things are bad. >> i don't disagree. >> he'll never get back this period. >> that being said, there are so many people out there that believe so completely in him and give him so many passes that i don't think we can ascribe the normal state of play to a donald trump presidency. we can sit here and say this is not what is going to work in the white house. you cannot do this. you're going to get, you know, the voters are going to make you pay in 2020 and make you pay in
2018 in the mid terms. maybe that is the case and that certainly could happen. we are too far out to predict that. but what we saw over and over again on the campaign and i think we will continue to see is that every time we have said donald trump cannot do this, he's proven that he could, because he has a staunch, loud and unmovable base of support who believes that the problem is not within him. the problem is everybody else. >> katy tur, thank you very much. michael duffy, thank yous well. we will be looking for the new issue of "time" magazine and steve bannon is not on the cover. but chuck schumer is. coming up, he says he doesn't understand the president's remarks on vladimir putin. or his slights on that federal judge. republican senator ben sass is our next guest next on "morning joe."
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makes statements that some of us could perceive as challenging the independence of the judiciary? >> we got three separate but equal branches we need to be affirmn all tloof of them civic. it was part of our founding and need those branches to check and balance each other he so we need to affirm public trust and rebuild an understanding why each have an important role to play. >> right. and would you agree with judge gorsuch that the president of the united states saying some of the things he is saying about federal judges, questioning their legitimacy or that that is disheartening, concerning? >> disheartening is a great word. judge gorsuch and i talked about that. frankly he got pretty passionate about it. i asked him about the so-called judge's comment because we don't have so-called judges or so-called presidents or so-called senators. this is a guy who kind of welled up with some energy and he said
any attack on any -- i think his term to me was brothers or sisters of the robe is an attack on all judges and he believes that an independent judiciary. i think what i saw in that guy he got some energy about it this isn't about somebody just nominated to supreme court a guy if he were on traffic court in colorado or in nebraska would have the same view. he understands why we have three branches and, frankly, it seems to me that is a good reason why his nomination shouldn't be politicized to all of the people across the spectrum love the fact he is a warrior for executive constraints and limits. >> and do you characterize yourself that way as well? a warrior for checks and balances and, also, somebody who gets energized about the importance of the independence of our federal judiciary? >> amen. i mean, anybody who has this calling for a time, the oath we take is to the constitution. the top of the executive branch,
everybody in the federal judiciary, 535 people who serve in this institution, our job is uphold and preserve and defend a constitutional system of checks and balances and limited government,' wen need to teach that to the next generation so everybody who has this calling for a time ought to be a warrior for the constitution. amen. >> let me say amen to that as well. mike barnicle? >> so, senator, i mean, it's ingredient hearing you take the strong defense of the constitution and it's really needed at this point in time. why are there not more republican voices in the senate like yours talking about clearly an effort to delegitimatize the judiciary by the president of the united states? >> i can't speak for other people. i can only tell you what i think i'm called to do in this place. but i think we got way too much republican versus democrat and that isn't an argument for a mushy middle by the way, on policy solution. i think i'm the third most conservative guy in the senate by voting record but my
fundamental duty doesn't start with that. i'm a conservative guy in terms of the policy solutions i fight for but i'm a dad and i'm a nebraskan and a football addict and a constitutional warrior before i'm a partisan. so i would hope that everybody in this institution would be jealous of our prerogatives and mindful of our civic duty to teach constitutional understanding to the next generation. frankly, they don't know. one of the things that doesn't fit on sound bite culture but the horrific stuff happening on campuses right now i't the safe space movement that undermines kids' education. data shows 40% of americans under age 35 don't think the first amendment is a good idea any more. because you might use your freedom of speech to say something that would hurt somebody else's feelings. quite frankly, that is the purpose of america. >> to have a framework to protect us from violence so you need more ideas. >> we need more of that. >> republicans and democrats are an entirely new universe right now. having said that, on policies that you all are working on, repeal and replace, is that a
realistic equation? there is going to be replacement and where do you all stand on that? >> i think there will be a replacement but i share your frustration, frankly. we should go back. this isn't a six-month issue or even a three or six-year issue. this is a decade-plus issue that we haven't told the truth to the american people about what is wrong in health care. health care is living off of tax accident from the 1940s that assumed the only place and the only way people should pool for insurance is around large employer groups and those large employer groups are not the source of a lot of employment vigor and innovation in the future. we need portable health insurance that goes with people across job and geographic change and frankly in addition to uninsurance and underinsurance, we have a lot of overinsurance in america that makes it difficult for there to be enough innovation in the headlight secretary. we ensure against my contact lens purchases. . that is stupid! it's comrelted predictable how
much my contact lenses are goin to cost naex year but we launds it from a tax code through the 1940s. it's a complicated problem and both parties try to oversimplify it but what we need is a health insurance system we have a societal goal and everybody would have catastrophic insurance. i want to distinguish between societal and governmental goal. but people should have insurance that goes with them across job and geographic change. no simple fix for that. we need to repeal obamacare because it was leading to more centralization when we actually need more innovation both in the delivery system and in the health finance system. >> senator, you've positioned yourself as one of the few republicans prepared to speak up when you feel that donald trump crosses the line. during the course of this program, we have talked about the people that he has habit of attacking people, whether it's nordstrom or senator mccain over the yemen raid, or as we mentioned earlier, judges. how concerned are you about that patent of attacks coming out from the president's office? do you think that the media is
just getting distracted by it? doest suggest somhing savory to u in the way that white house is trying to run government? >> well, let's step back just a tiny bit. i think we are going through one of the largest economic disruption in human history. going from a transition to the industrial era to i.t.er and post industrial era because we don't know what to call. . a world with much shorter job duration and hallowing out and mediating institutions. rotary clubs are dying and aren't being formed in other places and the rotary club is a pretty good picture of the way textured volunteer american society works. so a lot of people are feeling so anxious right now. again, not just because of their job uncertainty but the social networks that layer on top of that lead people to project way too much on to politics. we have a tribalism growing in america where most people are voting in most elections against the candidate of the other party
rather than for any vision of their own party. we should have a -- both parties are competing to have a vision what measure should look like in 10, 15 years where you would choose the better of two good visions and not the lesser of two so-called evils. right now as we have this rise be tribalism i think we are in danger of heading toward a identity politics that the left had for quite sometime and against the right. i'm against that. i'm for an idea politics that talks about what america means and what we are for together. so i'd like us to be talking a lot more constructively where we are trying to take the country and not chiefly governmental. it's chiefly in your neighborhood and in your schools and in your churches and synagogues and family and small businesses and that requires a framework for liberty where washington does a small number of important things and should be a constructive vision. >> i want to give americans and our viewers a look at the senate from the inside. from you. because they are looking at some of these nominees who have all gotten through but it took vice
president pence's vote on secretary devos to become the head of the education department. the vote last night on senator sessions, 52-47. joe manchin crossed party lines on sessions and now is a pariah among them to vote for donald trump's nominees. touch online. tom carper voted against jeff sessions but then hugged sessions on the floor. progressive saying he should be primaried for hugging jeff sessions. how do you cut through that where democrats right now feel like they are part of the resistance against donald trump and republicans? >> well, i mean, i think that what is happening in the senate is an echo of what is happening in society, generally. and the senate should be aa place americans can look to for some vigorous actual honest debate about the big challenges we face. the senate fancies itself the great deliberative body in the world and it's not. there are a dozen institutions in my hometown of fremont,
nebraska, that do deliberation more effectively than the u.s. senate does now. lots of not for profits in my town and deliberate in an honest way and about important issues whether or not we should expand this business or that or law justifies. people treat each other with respect and you presume the other people mean well and you fight vigorously about the policies. we should draw that distinction more here. and right now that isn't happening. i don't know the footage you're talking about. i don't want to repeat his name but about a senator voting against somebody and hug will him and a framework that works fine. if you're having a policy debate about somebody and you disagree with somebody and regard him as a friend and hug him we have fights about that like picking restaurants between me wife and me all the time, right? we are not thinking it's the end of the world that we differ on where we are going tonight because she always gets to win! >> hold on! he was doing so well! >> i know how this ends. one party always wins there. that is not a democracy but a dictatorship.
she always picks the restaurant, doesn't he? >> joe is hiding the fact he kno knows my wife is from alabama. >> roll tide! >> it is so great to have you on, senator. thank you so much. >> thanks, guys. >> wow. >> fighting a good fight. we greatly appreciate it. what is coming up next? >> i want to add to that. the guys get to always go to their restaurant of choice because we always say, i don't know. wherever you want. it's annoying. >> he's good. >> that guy is really thinking about things. >> i know. >> about the world of work of the future. >> yeah. >> which is the big qution. comg up a lot of new shows. we say coming up, we have an amazing story. actually the story we have ahead is remarkable. the true story behind the oscar nominated film "lion." we have that ahead. you won't want to miss it.
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that is a scene from the oscar nominated movie, "lion" that tells it story of a boy lost on a train and winds occupy thousands of miles on a train, separated and alone in calcutta. he is eventually adopted by an australian couple. with google satellite maps, he tracks down his birthplace and his family. joining us now is an author whose memoir "a long way home." anybody who watches this show, which is deservedly nominated for oscars watching and thinking how could this be true? every moment and every frame of
the movie is true. set the scene. you are a 5-year-old in india. what happens next? >> i go with my brother to the cal train station. we go dow about an hour and a half to another train station. i fall asleep and wake up and my brother is not there. i hop on a train, sort of not thinking very well, impulse sort of decision. then the train takes me to a destination unknown and i end up in calcutta going through a lot of trials and tribulations and hardship before being kidnapped to drowning and prison. i get adopted to australia to meet my new parents, adoptive parents. as i'm growing up through my teens, i have this past life, this anomaly that happened to me. everything just happened so quickly. i start to use google earth in
2006 with only faintest memories of landmark of my hometown. in 2011, i find it. >> you did have vision, some memories, even as a 5-year-old, you remembered a river, in particular. that helped you begin your search for home? >> i have a photographic memory. not very good with language. i only knew a few words in hinn di-. the architecture of my hometown and the train station are very, very vivid. >> i'm getting used to this australian accent and this story of you having grown up in india. at what point did your adopted family help you with the search and how much did they know about the train journey? >> they didn't know anything. i wanted to do this as a self-discovery. i got so -- i became so, sort of
regimented and obsessed by using google earth, i was getting closer and closer to finding a needle in a hay stack. i became so obsessed that i forgot about everyone in the world. i think, you know, that sort of -- in doing things on your own device just streamlined a lot of things. what i have been wanting for such a long time. >> the film is incredibly powerful. we are hoping that it will go to the academy awards and see what happens. i would like to ask you a couple bookend questio. one, one of the more powerful scenes in the film, great trepidation as a parent, knowing something is going to happen at the train station, but a 5 yeermd, terrified on the train, how much of that do you remember and feel? and the bookend question, at the end of the movie, toward the end of the movie, your reunion with
your birth mother, what did you feel then? >> it was absolutely scary on that train. i wake up and there was no one on that train. it was locked, the carriage. my brother wasn't there. there was no salvation of sorts. and the doors were locked. you know, i'm running up and down calling my brother's name, my sister's name, my mother's name. >> you still remember? >> yeah. falling on to the ground and sort of crying because, hey, look, i was 5 years of age. you know, it was such a scary state to be in. >> your birth mother? >> she was, you know, she was still at home. now, it's in the daytime. i left her during late afternoon, early evening. it's like you are being caged in something you can't get out and don't have the power. >> what was it like finding her so many years later? >> it was like, you know, i prevailed. a lot of people told me that you
can't find this needle in a hay stack. there's the future. this is now. that's the past. just move on. you are lucky. but, you know, it's that bond between mother and son and sister and bther. the hope and determination, you know, sort of trying to find something that you have been longing for. the world is on your shoulder. it was a pivotal time, a time you can't express. it was just all through no language. it was hugs and kisses. >> one of the most moving parts of the story, you mother never moved from your house. she never moved because she believed you would come home one day. you stood in front of the house and out walked a woman who you recognized as your mother. >> i don't know if it's superstitious or, but, yeah, the projections i had as a child and growing up and sort of
projecting that saying i'm okay, i'm in australia, i'm with a new family and educated, i will see you one day. it's the subconscious that is trying to con figure everything. so, you know, as a youngster, i didn't understand how to tell my story. as a, sort of, adult, i learned the language, you know, empowered myself, educated myself and knew what to do. >> we are so lucky to get to talk to you. it's an honor to have you here. if you haven't seen the movie, you should. have a good time at the oscars and the party afterwards. the film is "lion" based on the memoir "a long way home." >> steve was the son of an immigrant. our company has immigrants in it that are key to the innovation of our company. our company depends on diversity
and diversity with a big "d." >> as american tech leaders fight back on the travel land, the president targets judiciary and it doesn't go well with neil gorsuch. richard blumenthal joins us live with his account of what the judge told him. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer. and it all starts with getting your fidelity retirement score. in 60 seconds, you'll know where you stand. and together, we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. ♪ time to think of your future it's your retirement. know where you stand. ( ♪ ) ♪ they tell me i'm wrong ♪ ♪ to want to stand alongside my, my love ♪ ♪ whoa, talkin' 'bout my love ♪
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good morning, everybody. it's thsday febary 9, a snowy thsday morning if you are on the east coast. thistorm is heading up the northeast. with us we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor, mike barnicle. co-author of "game change," mark halperin and msnbc political analyst, robert costa. nbc news capitol hill correspondent casey hunt joins us today. also with us, historian jon meacham. a lot to talk about. the incoming is incredible. just talking to people all day yesterday in washington and throughout the media world, the exhaustion. we are just 20 days in. >> 20 days and the level of exhaustion is off the charts. >> there are challenges on every level. joe, these latest ones, as we look at the travel ban and the swirl around elizabeth warren. it goes on.
it seems like things are not necessarily getting on track as quickly as you would hope. >> well, you know, i reached out a good bit yesterday to some sources inside the white house. i think right now we have the tale of two stories. people in the white house that we know and we trusted and have known for some time tell us that things are starting to come together as far as the process goes the nightmare that was the steve miller, steve bannon executive order process. that is getting fixed. people are starting to communicate. there are systems that past white houses would recognize. also, they are noticing that tillerson is getting situated, maddice is situated, kelly pompeo, all that seems to be coming together well. i have to say, the most
concerning things that happened yesterday, didn't come from the cabinet or the staff members, it came from donald trump's twitter account and it came from a speech that he made where, once again, he said some things that were chilling for anyone that knows anything about history and the importance of judicial independence. the systems are getting in place. the question is, can those systems be applied to the commander in chief? >> well, president trump continues to lob shots at the judicial branch. we await a federal appeals court decision on whether to reinstate the order suspending travel from seven countries. speaking yesterday morning before a convention of sheriffs and police chiefs, the president called the courts political. >> and it's really incredible to me that we have a court case that is going on so long. as you know in boston, we wanted a highly respected judge and a
very strong opinion. now, we are in an area that, let's just say they are interpreting things differently than probably 100% of the people in this room. i'd like to almost know, does anybody disagree when i read this. he made, by proclamation and for such period he shall deem necessary. here it is, people coming in, suspend the entry of all aliens. right? that's what it says. it's not like, again, a bad high school student would understand this. anybody would understand this. i listen to lawyers on both sides last night. they were talking about things that had just nothing to do with it. i listened to a panel of judges and i'll comment on that. i will not comment on the statements made by certainly one
judge. i have to be honest that if these judges wanted to, in my opinion, help the court in terms of respect for the court, they would do what they should be doing. i mean it's so sad. i watched last night in amazement and i heard things that i couldn't believe. things that really had nothing to do with what i just read. and i don't ever want to call a court bias, so i won't. we haven't had a decision yet. but, courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what's right. i think it's sad. i think it's a sad day. i think our security is at risk
today. it will be at risk until such time as we are entitled and get what we are entitled to as citizens of this country. one of the reasons i was elected is because of law and order and security. they are taking away our weapons one by one. that's what they are doing. >> the president has been vocal of some of the court imposed stay on the immigration executive order, including last weekend calling the federal judge that blocked the order a so-called judge. i found that to be stunning that string of soundbytes, joe. >> well, it's more than stunning. it is dangerous. again, for anyone who knows the history of the 20th century, it is dangerous when you have executives trying to democrat grate the judicial branch and judicial independence.
jon meacham, there is much to sort through in those stements. all of them, again, deeply disturbing. this is, you know, i talked about how we have to sort through the things to worry about and things not to worry about. we can't be screeching up here. you know, if he tweets at a movie star, that's just embarrassing. if he tweets a department store, that's -- there are more concerns there that ratchets it up a bit. but, wlhen you say what he said about federal court judges, it either is -- it either is an attempt to intentionally discredit them so he can strip them of power down the road or it's a complete ignorance of the system. he talks about high school students. i think a lot of high school students could tell him the ninth circuit is left.
the 11th circuit is right of center. these things balance out. it is a system of checks and balances that began with madison and hamilton and presidents do not speak this way. i saw you and i both quoted jefferson last night in some tweets about the extraordinary importance of judicial independence. >> it's not even 230 year tradition he's messing with here, it's 1,000 years. it's magna carta through 1689. i know mika wanted me to bring up magna carta this morning. >> i was hoping. >> i know. but, you are talking about one of the fundamental insights of the western tradition, the rule of law, how is law administered but by independent judiciary.
during world war ii, churchill put the rule of law at the top of the list of what the allies were fighting for. you know, in our own time, joe, you remember this from your quasi native region, remember the billboards around the south in the 1950s said what? impeach earl warren. why did they say that, i wonder? it might have had something to do with 1954. so, trump, as ever, the president as ever, is playing with fire here. it is something that, as you said, is more significant than a lot of the other brush fires of the day because it goes straight at the question of separation of powers. >> mm-hmm. >> it does. also, the historical precedence, mark halperin, are chilling. i don't even want to mention their names, but i will say some of the most dangerous aud cats of the 20th century.
their two goals were to first undermine an independent judiciary and second to undermine a free press. this crosses a bright, bright line that conservatives, in my party, need to start talking about and need to start pushing back on. >> what was particularly disturbing is he clearly was trying not to repeat what he had done over the weekend. there were times we showed he, you know, did a stab and restrain. this is, as you said at the top, the stuff that happens is going to happen every day with the stuff that is serious. this remains serious. the judiciary source of power is the most fragile of the three because they have to be relied on and everyone has to agree their word will hold, even if you disagree with a particular decision. we are all holding our breath for this decision today, which i think will not be one the president likes, at least not in full and we are all -- >> he's not going -- he's not
gonna like -- this is what's so maddening. does he have no one around him that can tell him, willie, you are not going to like what the ninth circuit said. the second i saw it was in washington state, we know how it's going to go. they ruled against him in washington. it will go to the ninth circuit, rule against him and kicked to the supreme court. most likely, he wins 5-3, even in a 4-4 court. maybe more than that. but, for him to say all the things he said yesterday, again, deeply disturbing because he keeps talking about how they are political. he's trying to set them up for blame, if there is a terror attack, which there is absolutely, positively no evidence we are facing an imminent threat right now. he said that on twitter. if we are attacked, blame this
judge, blame that appeals judge up in seattle. by the way, there hasn't been a decision yet. he's attacking a decision that hasn't happened. this is his default reaction to things. if something is not going to go his way, if somebody assaults him, he goes after the legitimacy of the source. if you want to go after the media, that's fine, we are going our jobs. when it's the judiciary, that's different. still ahead, senator brumen that will joins us and what the president said about the courts. later, we'll be joined by senator rand paul as well. first, on much of the east coast, it's really coming down out there. you are watching "morning joe." we'll be right back with the weather. with every early morning... every late night... and moment away... with every click...call...punch... and paycheck... you've earned your medicare. it was a deal that was made long ago, and aarp believes
of snow or more in areas. public schools in new york city, philadelphia, boston closed. airlines cancelling more than 3,00 flights today and tomorrow in anticipation of the storm. for more, let's bring in meteorologist bill karins. bill? [ no audio ] . dear predictable, there's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced, our senses awake, our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say: if you love something...
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all right, welcome back. baltryes recharged. pictures around the area. the morning commute is as advertised. a lot of people are staying home that kept i-95 clear. a lot of schools closed from philadelphia to portions of southern new england. we are watching the worst of it in connecticut, rhode island and quickly deteriorating in boston. philadelphia had a lot of heavy rain last night. the question was, when would it turn over to snow? it did about two hours ago. indra pederson is in the philadelphia area. >> we have been waiting for nter. it looks like we might. have been seeing heavy snow coming down here the last
several hours. it's tapering off a bit. the winds are picking up. the chill is really in the air right now. we are seeing the gusts up toward 25. you could see gusts 40 miles per hour today. you can see the gusts picking up. one concern we have is this morning you talked about the heavy rain. we had several hours of very heavy rain with temperatures in the 40s. an hour or so ago, the temperature dropped to the freezing point. all that stuck on the roadways because you weren't able to treat it. it's raining, no salt is going to stay there. you are talking about the heavy snow continuing to fall here. th that's the problem as people move throughout the city. a couple more hours left of the snow. >> you need to move out of the way. hurry. >> at least they are plowing, that's a good sign. thanks for the heads up. >> the philadelphia area not too bad. the heavy snow is in new york. a lot of thunder snow, they have seen flashes and rumble of
thunder from new york city and heartford. that's when you get one, two, three inches of snow an hour. the area of pink, we think we have a good shot at 12 inches of snow. new york, somewhere between eight and 12. hartford, providence and boston, up to a foot. some could get 14-18 inches of snow. the snow has been as advertised. we caught a break in the philadelphia area. washington, d.c. and baltimore didn't see much. >> really picking up here. thanks so much. we'll talk to you in a bit. president trump's comments on the judiciary upset plenty of lawmakers on capitol here. here is what ben sasse said he was told. >> we agree with judge gorsuch, the president of the united states saying things he's saying about federal judges, questioning their legitimacy are
disheartening, concerning. >> disheartening is a great word. we talked about that. frankly, he got passionate about it. i asked him about the so-called judge. we don't have so-called judges or so-called presidents or so-called senators. this is a guy who welled up with energy. he said any attack on any, his term to me was brothers or sisters of the robe is an attack on all judges. >> meanwhile, democratic senator blumenthal confirmed what gorsuch told him behind closed doors. >> my strong hope is that he will be more veement publicly. he expressed he is disheartened by the demoralizing athe commens made. >> senator blumenthal's version
of that did take place and he used the words disheartening and demoralizing. senator, good morning. good to talk to you. we laid out the background of our conversation. donald trump tweeted at you saying quote, senator richard blumenthal who never fought in vietnam who said he had, major lie, now misrepsents what dge gorsuch said to him. what do you say? >> nobody need to believe me about what judge gorsuch said when the attacks are disheartening and demoralizing. there were numerous white house staffers in the room and he made the same comment to a number of colleagues in their private conversations. what is important is we are creating a constitutional crisis way bigger than me or judge gorsuch because these attacks on the judiciary are
extraordinarily dangerous for our constitutional democracy and i believe that judge gorsuch has a special responsibility to do more than just say to me how disappointed he is behind closed doors or my colleague. he should condemn these attacks publicly, unequivocally and clearly. that's what i am calling on him to do as i did in our private conversation. >> we heard ben sasse confirm your version. he heard the same thing from judge gorsuch. kelly ayotte hear the words as well. what concerns you, specifically, so people understand about the rhetoric donald trump has been using about the judiciary? is it the term so-called judges? is it the warning if we are attacked by terrorists, it will be the fault of the judge in seattle? what are you worried object mostly? >> i'm worried about the attack on the independence and legitimacy of our american
courts. they depend on credibility and trust when the president of the united states attacks them personally and viciously. it undermines their independence. that's why judge gorsuch must do more than just say, in private, behind cloesed doors that he is disheartened by these attacks. it has to be a public condemnation that defends the independence of the judiciary. he has to show the american people he is more than a rubber back for donald trump. >> senator, joe scarborough here. whether you decide to support him or not, i thought first of all, his comments to you were fairly extraordinary for somebody in the middle of a nominating process. most people go bland during these processes. then his spokesperson confirmed when they could have deflected
what he said to you. he said it again to ben sasse. whether or not you are going to support him, don't you think he should at least be commended for not taking the safe route and remaining mum on it and actually telling you the truth about it, then having his spokesperson confirm that publicly. >> now that his spokesperson has confirmed it and colleagues confirmed it, president trump's attacks on, in effect, his credibility and mine double the need for him to be more explicit and clear, more than just behind closed doors. he needs to be public so the american people can hear him. if donald trump had not launched this attack, maybe his private conversations would have sufficed. it's not enough. i agree with you, his comments to us were unusual but we live in extraordinary times, joe, as
you have commented on already in this show. a president of the united states establishing litmus test for his nominees, that nominee be pro-life, the need for him to be more explicit on row v. wade and the attacks on the judiciary create him to be open, honest and forthright in his statements. >> senator -- >> on mornings like this, i'm hopeful when i hear you saying the things you are saying, republican senator ben sasse saying what he's saying, the judicial nominee judge gorsuch saying what he's saying. that's my only point. i'm glad he is speaking out. i'm sure he will have more to say. i don't think he has a choice. if the nomination process as it goes before the judiciary to repeat publicly what he repeated to you. srk americans dislike bullies.
president trump is acting like a bully againls the ju gishary. it has, under consider, at this moment, a key case where he is party. i said to judge gorsuch, you know, judge, if anyone denounced and attacked the courts in the way the president of the united states has done while he has a case before the court, he would be held in contempt of court. it really is a contempt of our judicial system for president trump to make these comments. >> senator, i don't want to get bogged down on a smaller issue, but i heard some republicans raise this. is it appropriate for you to disclose things that happen in these private courtesy calls with the nominees? is that something you feel obligated to do? >> that's a good question. in fact, judge gorsuch specifically said you should feel free to mention what i said about these attacks being disheartening and demoralize zing. >> did you ask for permission or
he said feel free to make it public. >> unbidden said feel free to talk about what i said. >> that seems like a pretty extraordinary thing to do. he wanted to send that signal. you characterized a little bit the tone in what he used. can you talk more about how that conversation went? did he seem emotional about it? dide seem, perhaps he was thinking he didn't want to be the nominee of this president or didn't go quite that far? >> you know, you just heard from my colleague, ben sasse, who was a republican, so we are in bipartisan agreement on this point, how emotional and heart felt he was in asserting his independence and the importance of the judiciaries independence. he feels deeply about the independence of the american judiciary. that's why i think it is all the more important that he talk publicly to the american people about it. they need to understand what you have been saying just this
morning and repeatedly before that the court system is an essential branch of our government. it's independence and a core principle of our constitution and attack on the president of the united states on this, goes to the heart of our democratic freedoms. at the moment, the courts are standing up to the bullying and blustering tactics. the insult that donald trump is hurling at them. i suggest, respectfully, donald trump needs to be better informed of what his nominee said to all of us on capitol hill. >> you put him in a small bipartisan group. what are you hearing from other republican colleagues in the senate and whether they are being more outspoken in private than they are in public about
the president and the judiciary. >> i will say, a number of my republican colleagues are greatly concerned about it because they respect the judiciary and more important the principle of our court's independence. they know our system depends on the respect and trust that people have for the judiciary. at key points in our history, i know because i was a law clerk on the united states supreme court. i have argued kaiss before the court. it has played a key role in preserving our democracy because it has that credibility respect. so, diminishing it, demeaning it, attacking it in such personal terms as the president has done is a disservice to our democracy. >> you said judge gorsuch said to you it was okayo speak publicly about what occurred during your meeting yesterday, your one-on-one. what else happened with regard
to issues that are on the screen right now, issues like roe v. wade. did you discuss that with him? the muslim ban? did you discuss those issues and are there red flags that were raise zed in your conversation with him? >> the biggest red flag for me was his lack of specificity in response to a number of my questions. for example, on roe v. wade, which i know and you do is a long accepted precedence. it's very, very important for justices to acknowledge and he was less specific than i thought he should be. we talked about other lawyer issues, the chevron deference principle that there should be, in effect, acceptance to a degree of administrative agency rulings. he has taken prodecisiosition t
should be discarded. that troubled me. i asked for more facts. we talked lawyer talk. we talked about our families, his love for the outdoors and physical exercise, which we share. it was an ammicable meeting. >> nothing like great lawyer talk. >> nothing like great lawyer talk. senator richard blumenthal, thank you so much for being on the show. if you want some physical exercise, you can come to connecticut. we have a lot of snow here. you can shovel your driveway. it's getting pretty messy. listen, we love having you on the show. thank you so much. greatly appreciate it and we appreciate your service to america. >> thank you, joe. >> all right. we'll be right back with more "morning joe." >> what's going on in chicago? thanks for loading, sweetie.
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airplane and more importantly an american life is wounded, i don't believe you can call it a success. >> it's absolutely a success. i think anyone who believes it's not, does a disservice to the life of chief ryan owens. he fought not knowing what was at stake in that mission. anybody who says otherwise doesn't appreciate how successful that mission was. anybody who undermines the success of that rage, owes an apology and disservice to the life of mr. owens. anybody that says that. i don't know how much clearer i can be. >> when i was in prison in north vietnam, there was an attempt to rescue the p.o.w.s. unfortunately, the prison had been evacuated, but the brave men who took that mission and
risked their lives to rescue us prisoners of war were genuine american heroes because the mission failed did not diminish their bravery and courage and willingness to sacrifice for their fellow americans who were being held captive. mr. spicer should know that story. >> senator john mccain with a message for sean spicer. this morning, president trump is tweeting about john mccain writi writing senator mccain should not be talking about the success of failure to the media. he's been losing so long, he doesn't know how to win anymore. look at the mess our count is in, bogged down in conflict all over the place. looks like the president has more on that. joe, what to make on that? >> you know, it's day trading of the worst sort. we should be past that now and
understand that he's done that and mark that down on the book. i was writing a list of people and maybe he's doing this as mark halperin suggests from what judge gorsuch said to senator blumenthal. again, this is just a numbers game. if you are donald trump and you like winning because he's talking about john mccain losing. let me tell you how you lose? you have a four-vote majority in the united states senate to stop anything you want to do and with these renewed attacks on john mccain, you now lose john mccain and lindsey graham on any close call. it's a 50/50 slit and you have rubio who he insults weekly, cruz. ben sasse who is independent, susan collins who is independent. he can only give up two republican senators and he's
offended john mccain and by extension lindsey graham. the numbers don't add up. they don't. this is so shortsighted, politically, if that's the only standard you want to measure these tweets by. obviously, there are a lot more. >> well, joe, the real question is, he's president of the united states. when is he going to start acting like the president of the united states? that's the issue. >> willie, this morning, he's attacking a democratic senator, a talk show host and a republican senator. >> yeah. >> in his tweets. >> pretty extraordinary what the democratic senator, richard blumenthal told us, not only what gorsuch told him, but the nominee of the supreme court said tell the public what i have told you. extraordinary. joining us now on the set, the mayor of south bends, indiana. he's a navy veteran of the
afghan war and candidate for chairman of the dnc. also, eric bat eric beats. instead of mobilizing the unprecedented grass roots machine to lawmakers, support state and local candidates that share his vision obama moth balled his campaign operation bottling it up. it was a mistake of his presidency, one that set the tone for the next eight years of dashed hopes and helped pave the way for donald trump and the change obama unleashed. this will raise some eyebrows, tieing donald trump's rise to president obama. explain more. >> there's criticism from obama from the start. an incredible machine he built, 13 million supporters, 2 million active supporters, a media
network and he shut it down. we were able to tell the story of how it happened. there was a battle inside the campaign, dating back to july in 2008 after the nomination to take this campaign machinery and make it an independent grass roots movement. they call it movement 2.0. there's a battle inside the campaign of whether it is independent or not. we got e-mails from wikileaks, john podesta e-mails, internal memos from the insiders fighting for this grass roots movement and we were able to tell the tale of how it unfolded. >> the chair of the dnc, look at 2016. how do you diagnose what happened and what do democrats have to do differently to beat donald trump next time? >> from the perspective of a mayor in an industrial town in
the midwest, one is you have to show up everywhere. there were a lot of communities and parts of my community that felt nobody was talking to them. we were so caught up in the show, so busy talking about him. they were asking, who is talking about me. the more the vocabulary, i can feel it this morning is on what's happening in the show and dissecting the tweets and getting into the heads of politicians. the more they are worried about what's happening around the kitchen table. i feel like we are not addressing their issues. >> did you see this coming, mr. mayor? did you say we are underestimating donald trump, we could have a problem or after the fact you realized there was a problem? >> you could tell something was up. i'm not going claim i called this or i would have called it. something was going on. something bigger was happening around us. it's a consequence of treating the presidency like it's the only office that matters. remember, the 2016 result is
resting on the backs of patient clever, 20 or 30 year plan that was established conservative majorities in state houses, governship, secretaries of state around the country. >> what do democrats do now? given that the democratic party across the country, yourself as an exception is decimated, what would you like to see the democratic leadership do that would be helpful to you at a state level having more people your age run? >> we have to make sure the dnc is understood to be a resource for state and local parties, not the other way around. itis the state and local parties that know who the bt people are to recruit and what the needs are. we also, simply have to show up everywhere. even deep red counties. i can tell you, it matters. even the ones we are going get beat in. it matters whether it's 80/20 or
60/40. statewide, that makes a difference. >> democrats haven't been doing that? >> i don't think we have been showing up where we could and should. we have to be willing to do that if we want not just a 50 state, baa 50-year strategy. >> joe has a question for you. >> yeah, mr. mayor. the question we have been asking around the table for a long time is why democrats have lost 1,000 state legislative seats over the past six years. like you said, it's easy to focus on the big contest. your challenge is rebuilding at the state level, the congressional level and the senate level. what is it that caused so much of america to turn against the democratic brand over the past six years? >> well, if you look at the other side of the aisle, look how patiently and cleverly they invested in the unsexy races, and at that level, we need to do the same thing. they recognize, i'm a democratic mayor operating in mike pence's
indiana. i can tell you what it's like to confront that machine. we have to make sure we are paying attention at that level. we are not showing up in some of these places, that's the first step. >> there's a line in your piece that goes with what the mayor is saying, obama's chief says our party became a national movement focused on national elections, talking democrats. we lost touch with nonurban, none coastal communities. we lost this election eight years ago. >> you have to go beyond. i agree you have to be everywhere and at the local and state level, but you also have to be there between the elections. you can't just go every two years and four years and say vote for me. you have to foster civic participation and engagement. that's an ongoing organizing approach that goes beyond and electoral strategy. >> why have the republicans done that and the democrats haven't? it seems a fairly straight forward thing. >> that's right. >> why are republicans so much better?
>> to his point, the republicans spent a long time in the wilderness and built an apparatus through the koch brothers money to do this at the local level. the more majority was focused on school board elections. they went in at that level over a long, long period of time. it's going to take that for the democrats to reassert themselves. >> fascinating cover piece. how hope was lost. good to see you. mr. mayor, good luck in your election. the new issue is out now. next, we bring in senator rand paul of kentucky. we'll be right back on "morning joe." except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer. and it all starts with getting your fidelity retirement score. in 60 seconds, you'll know where you stand. and together, we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. ♪ time to think of your future it's your retirement. know where you stand.
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joining us from capitol hill, member of foreign relations chit knee, rand paul of kentucky. thank you for being with us. we have had a couple of your colleagues on this morning, ben sasse and richard blumenthal. he said he told them he was demoralized and disheartened by what he had seen of donald trump and his comments about the judiciary. senator blumenthal telling us gorge gorsuch said go out and tell the public what i have said in this meeting. what is your reaction to the comments and being leaked publicly? >> one of the most important things about judge gorsuch's elevation to the supreme court is every democrat voted for him last time he was up, unanimous. the question i would like to ask is, what has changed? he was unanimously voted by all
democrats to be on the appellate court, the highest court in the land. i wonder why they are changing their mind? >> i don't think senator sasse is changing his mind, he was passing along a conversation he had about president trump's relationship with the judiciary using the term so-called judges. do you think judge gorsuch is well within his rights to say that to the senators? >> i don't think i have any insight. you know, anybody can comment on the judiciary whether they are politicians or not. judges are human, justices are human. people will make comments. i don't have insight to tell somebody one way or another they shouldn't have an opinion. >> senator, anybody can make comments about the judiciary. president trump is president of the united states. do you think anything he said publicly or tweeted publicly verges on trying to delegitimate the judiciary. does that bother you?
>> the same complaints were on president obama when he was lecturing the supreme court leading up to the obamacare decision. i think this is not the first time a president has gotten involved with lecturing the judiciary. >> senator, if the number two state department job choice for president trump is elliott abrams, will you join or lead a filibuster to stop that? >> yeah, i will not vote for him. i will be part of filibustering his nomination if he comes forward. the main reason is i don't think he agrees with the president on foreign policy. the president, even this morning was saying he disagrees with getting bogged down on foreign wars with nation building. that's the foreign policy of elliott abrams, chief architect of the iraq war and a big fan of nation building. also quite dismissive of the president throughout the campaign. it's hard to imagine a never trumper would be in the state department. particularly one that has been
very, very vocal and disrespectful in many ways to donald trump. >> katty kay here. are you concerned about the republicans finding themselves in a position where you have repeal and no replacement and people are stuck in a nightmare health care limbo? >> we have a replacement. it's my bill. we put it forward. we are discussing it with all parties, including the white house. i will discussith congressman price in about an hour this morning. i've discussed it with leaders in the house and senate. we have a replacement plan. it is a consensus plan. it involves things we talked about for years now. letting individualing join associations, a health savings account to help save and letting people buy inexpensive insurance again, legalizing the sale of insurance. these are things that bring all republicans together. i think, as we move forward, i'm
hopeful we vote on the same day for repeal, we vote on the exact same day for replacement. >> senator, were you concerned when barack obama questioned whether the courts ruled one way or the other on the affordable care act and are you concerned donald trump questions the legitimacy of federal judges? >> i guess my problem is, i can't control what is tweeted from the white house. >> you can control -- you can control what you're concerned about. are you concerned about that as somebody who claims to be constitutionalist? >> joe, the constitution does not forbid the president from having opinions about the court. i do believe very, very strongly in the separation of powers. i don't think that includes one branch not criticizing the other. it does include the checks and balances. that's been the biggest problem here in washington in recent decades, there's no checks and
balances. if yousk me, am icon certained about a war going on in yemen? am icon certained about raids in yemen, yes, i'm concerned about that much more than what is tweeted or not tweeted. >> senator rand paul, we appreciate your time. >> thank you. that does it for us. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage now. >> thanks, willie. good morning, so much to cover. a supreme disagreement. the president's supreme court nominee criticizes trump's blasting of the courts. >> judge gorsuch specifically said you should feel free to mention what i said about these attacks being disheartening and demoralizing. >> donald trump hitting back this morning calling one senator a liar. that good old family affair. listen up to this. president trump slamming nordstrom after they cut back orders for ivanka's fashion