tv Morning Joe MSNBC June 15, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT
year. i'm yasmin vossoughian alongside louis burgdorf and ayman mohyeldin. "morning joe" starts right now. >> we may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who surfs in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country. we can all agree that we are blessed to be americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good. >> there wasn't social media. >> there wasn't the internet. >> and the level of discourse -- people don't look at each other eye to eye. they use the two thumbs and insult one another, and there's -- i just think it's
lessened the civility. >> when my son jack was born, i was chairman of the energy and commerce committee, and jack got as many presents from the democrats as he did from the republicans, and he still has some of those. >> the republican and democrat coaches of the congressional baseball team speaking yesterday. today those two teams will take the field in a charity baseball game marred by violence but packed with promise from a unified country. a gunman opening fire on the republican team's practice for one of the new bipartisan events left on capitol hill. last night president trump and the first lady visited congressman steve scalise. his wife and one of the hill
officers killshot in the shooti. joe, before we start off the show, let's take in a moment and take in what's now a story that's 24 hours old. but i think really is having an effect across the board on the climate that we're in politically right now. >> i think so. first of all, obviously our prayers are with steve scalise and the others that were shot and injured and are still struggling and will struggle for a long time. i know you meant to say 24 hours. this is actually a story 24 years in the making may be right. "the new york times" this morning editorialized, and i think they get some of their facts wrong. the overall conclusion was right. the heated rhetoric in this country has to calm down. we've been saying it on this
show for a decade now. it's actually the purpose of this show where you can actually debate other people and get along at the end. there has been a disconnect in american society and american culture and american politics. as mike doyle said, driven in part because by social media, driven in part by heated cable news, driven in part by fake news on the internet, driven in part by hate monthers who actually make money and become fabulously wealthy creating conspiracy theories that paint the other side as evil. now, we have come together. we came together after 9/11. there was that beautiful moment when republicans and democrats took to the steps and i believe they sang "god bless america." after gabby giffords, you had cable news presidents firing
some of their more extreme voices. i remember everybody, over at fox news on the right, msnbc on the left at the time, telling everybody we've got to calm down, this is for real. there are guardrails we have to put out there. that's really important to know. i think it's very important, harold ford. let me bring you in because we worked together, republicans and democrats on the hill. you got me in trouble the first time i met you because we got along so well. harold and i were on the education committeement he had a bipartisan reform plan that the republicans and democrats wanted no part of. they would not let us bring it up. he said, hey, buddy, can you sign on to this? looks pretty good. signed on to it. the leaders got angry. that's the stort of thing that actually still happened back then, harold. i do want to say we've been hard
on president trump. i want to salute the president for what he said yesterday, the members of congress for what they said yesterday. i salute "the new york times." i salute people on the right and the left for talking about the need dialing back this -- we can disagree. we can even fight. but at the end of the day we have to let people out there know that we're on the same team. >> one of these unspeakable lows this morning. it's gratifying an refreshing to hear your words, to hear joe barden's words, thanking democrats for providing gifts for his kids. i don't think everyday consumers of political news appreciate the kind of comradery that exists. i appreciate some of the things said yesterday by others, that we've reached a time -- john mccain in '08 when he chastised his own supporters making
comments on whether or not then candidate obama was born in the united states and whether he was a muslim. saying that's not true, he's a decent man. we have different viewpoints about the future of the country. as low of a moment as yesterday was, it was pleasing to see so many members of congress and political figures rise to the moment. >> mika, there's no -- we can always press the reset button. we can always move forward. i'm talking everybody from president trump to the most vile person that's whipping up conspiracy theories to make millions of dollars, that it might end up killing people. it's critical for those members, for house members to actually do what harold and i did. and not only form a friendship across party lines, but when you go home to town hall meetings
thand say, well, how horrible is harold ford? actually, harold is a good friend of mine. i may not agree with him on all points, but you all have to understand -- this is what i say to meme in my town hall meetings, we're on the same team. we may get to where we want to go in different places, but we're all against isis, we all want a better life for our children, we all want the next generation to do better than our generation. bernie sanders, i personally think bernie sanders' economic pathway forward would be devastating if we let bernie sanders do everything that bernie sanders wanted to do, but i love the guy. i respect him. i love his energy, and we need to work and we need to borrow ideas from people with whom we disagree. most importantly, we've got to tell our constituents no, they are not the enemy. they are on our team. they are americans. >> it's a complicated time,
though. i hope that the reset you're talking about is possible. i'm not convinced actually given the dynamics of what we're going through. >> mika, it's probably not possible, but we've got to try. we have got to try. we've got to keep trying. just like after -- i think it was gabby giffords, members of the house, republicans sat next to democrats, democrats sat next to republicans. that's an important message to send out to americans, to those that don't have the guardrails, that are detached from reality to not think that even members of congress see the other side as the enemy. that's a start. we're going to be talking to members of congress who were there yesterday at the practice when the shooting happened throughout the show this morning along with former democratic congressman harold ford, junior, we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle, senior political for nbc news and msnbc, mark halperin,
national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc john heilemann and "new york times" reporter michael schmidt. let's turn to the other big story this morning on what's being called the turning point on the investigation into russia. "the washington post" reports the special counsel is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether the president himself attempted to obstruct justice. fbi director james comey confirmed for the first time last week he had, indeed, assured the president earlier this year on three occasions that he was not under investigation, but now that may have changed. the post reports say that the obstruction investigation began just days after director comey was fired. the trump legal team responded to the report saying, quote, the fbi leak of information regarding the president is
outrageous, inexcusable and illegal. the paper also sources five people who say the director of national intelligence dan coats and mike rogers, the head of the nsa and his former deputy have agreed to be interviewed. the "wall street journal" reports that former deputy rick ledgett, wrote a member documenting a phone call. during the call, the president questioned the veracity of the intelligence community's judgment that russia had interfered with the election and tried to persuade mr. rogers to say there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and russian officials. also this morning, "the new york times" reports that the nsa has been asked for any documents that might relate to its interactions with the white house and russia probe. as the paper notes, the collection of information doesn't necessarily mean prosecutors are building a case against the president. this at this point, joe, is all
we have, and it's two papers reporting on this. joe? >> and again, i think yes take the reports with a grain of salt. we don't know all the details. obviously we've learned that people spin, even from the intelligence communities. and also we can take what the white house said with a grain of salt. from certainly everything i've heard, the fbi did not leak this information. there are quite a few people out there that know about it because the investigation has been opened. i would be surprised if this came from the fbi. one thing, mark halperin, that's not surprising at all and really didn't need -- i don't think any of us really needed headlines to tell us that the president was going to be investigated for obstruction of justice. he wasn't being investigated when james comey was there, but once he fired james comey -- this started actually before
robert mueller was selected. that's a fascinating question. did rosenstein start this investigation? did mccabe start this investigation? that's not surprising. i think that would be routine given what happened, what he admitted to the russians, what his press people were saying. also not surprising, reports that bob mueller is going to dig into financial dealings with the russians and going to dig deep. it's something we said on this show was going to happen three, four weeks ago. it looks like they're off and running. what are you looking at right now? >> based on who he's hired and based on how it's clear that both he and the deputy attorney general look at his brief, it seeps that almost anything anybody has thought of he'd look at he's looked at, although there have been attempts to discredit him already. part of -- this makes sense, part of what he thinks he needs to do is either indict people or give the people of the country a
sense that there's a clean bill of health. or he's going to look and try to make a case against someone. part of the problem for the administration, i hate to lapse into cliche, but the coverup of this and the attempts to keep people from knowing what the president and others might have done, now is not possible. mueller has subpoena power and he'll get to the bottom of the calls the president and others made and what effect did it have on people's investigations. you cannot ask people to quash investigations. you just can't. mueller will get to the bottom of it. >> also, mike barnicle, you can't tell russian ambassadors and foreign ministers that you killed an investigation and the pressure is off now, you can't admit to lester holt on national television that one of the reasons you fired james comey was because you wanted to get rid of the russia investigation and not at least expect an investigation. now, we've had jonathan turley
and several others on here that say you're a long way from obstruction of justice. liberals running around saying donald trump is going to be impeached can sit down and relax. and people on the right that are running around saying this is a witch hunt can sit down and relax, too. i don't know a single prosecutor, a single fair prosecutor that wouldn't hear that language and not at least say, you know what, we've got to check this out, we've got to look under the hood. something doesn't sound quite right. we just need to go there. >> mark hit on a key point with regard to bob mueller. mueller is there for bun reason and one reason only, to provide resolution, on either side, whether there's nothing there or something indeed there. that's what bob mueller is there to do. he's a fair guy, fair guy, ethical guy, and he will get that done. michael schmidt, your story -- "the times" story in today's
paper indicate three people will probably be questioned by mr. mueller and his crew. dan coats who has only been dni now for two or three months, but mike rogers and his assistant have been at the nsa for quite some period of time, and during their time there, they would certainly have been on board in anything that was going on with russia for several months, maybe even years. where is this going with questioning those three? >> that was the significant thing to us which is that these three folks were not part of the campaign. they weren't involved in going out on the stump or helping with the election and all. so the questions about them coming in terms of how the president acted after he came into office and was he doing things with them like he was with comey. it's clear from comey's testimony that the president was trying to knock down the idea that he was under investigation as he was not, and also to push
back on the notion of collusion. it looks like he may have used these -- tried to use these folks from the intelligence community to do that. it was notable the way that the white house responded to this yesterday, instead of saying, look, we have nothing to hide here -- actually it wasn't the white house responding, it was the outside counsel spokesman. it's not like they were saying we have nothing to hide, they went immediately after the fbi. this is similar to their attacks on mueller and their attacks on comey. >> michael, you closed your piece by saying this, a former senior official said mr. mueller's investigation was looking at money laundering by trump associates. the suspicion is that any cooperation with russian officials would most likely have been in exchange for some kind of financial payoff and that there would have been an effort to hide the payments, probably by riding them through offshore banking centers. what questions is that
raising -- where are you basing that from? >> we're talking to different folks that have talked to folks that are working on the investigation or that have been briefed on it. what i think the larger thing that's going on here is that mueller is going to look at everything. as mike barnicle pointed out, the country needs some type of resolution. either there was nothing here and nothing went on or folks need to be charged. that's the thing about mueller that folks at the justice department were encouraged by when he was brought forward. this is not a guy who needs to indict someone to make his career, this is not someone running for political office. this is someone who has done pretty much every senior job in law enforcement and would not feel the pressure to bring cases simply to make his name and that, if he says, look, there's nothing here, the public will take him seriously. when he's attacked by the president, that may hurt his
ability to do that because it may look like the president is trying to influence him. >> we never know how these things will turn out. you had donald trump and republicans attacking james comey for not charging hillary clinton, and then later in the campaign they were praising james comey. when politicians on both sides try to predict what these career law enforcement people are going to do, they end up looking foolish. it might be best that they just hold their fire. but it's very interesting, john heilemann, it seems that donald trump is going to go the bill clinton-james carville route. the rnc is going to do the same. if not fire him, which i think everybody has told him would be political suicide. they'll do the clinton-carville routine of beating up the fbi, beating up the special prosecutor, going after him every day. with all due respect to ken
starr, i know ken starr and i like ken starr, but bob mueller is no ken starr or vice versa, ken starr is no bob mueller. i think anybody that is telling the president to attack bob mueller is making a supreme miscalculation. but that seems to be the way they're going, isn't it? >> yeah. there was an extraordinary passage in a piece in "the new york times" from two days ago that talked about the possibility that trump was weighing to -- was tempted to try to fire mueller where it said he was being purposely ambiguous right now in leaving the threat hanging out there because he thought the threat would put pressure on mueller to give him what he wanted which is an unequivocal -- >> john, isn't that a fundamental misreading? >> yes. >> donald trump should go to the end of "gone with the wind" and
see what rhett says to scarlett at the end. that's how bob mueller feels about us and all of us. he doesn't give a damn what donald trump or anybody else thinks about him. >> right. this is a place where the legal merges with the cultural. one of the things people said before is that donald trump had never met anybody like james comey before and part of the problem is he misread comey. i think that's equally true if not doubly true of robert mueller. he's not going to be behaving according to the calculations and incentives that donald trump has encountered with others who have great power. the president should stop trying to game out how he thinks he can influence mueller and just cooperate with this investigation. i'm not sure he's going to take that advice remotely. that would be a smarter move than trying to play the game he's currently playing. >> mika, why play the game he's been playing when the game he's been playing has put him right here? if he had just let comey do his
job, he wouldn't have made the situation as bad as it is. he may learn to sit back and listen to his wife and let the investigation run its course. and if he's done nothing wrong, he'll be exonerated in short order. >> you could argue that every step of this has been self-infli self-inflicted. >> it has. >> michael schmidt, thank you very much. up next, we'll bring in one of "the washington post" reporters who broke the story that president trump is under criminal investigation. also ahead, republican congressman rodney davis who was at bat when yesterday's shooting occurred. and congressman ron desantis who says he was approached by the gunman minutes before shots rang out. also with us, angus king and john thune. tonight, if you're in new york city, joe's band is back at prohibition this morning, starts around 8:00 p.m.
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combined with the most wifi hotspots. it's a new kind of network. xfinity mobile. i want to go to mike barnicle really quickly and follow up on bob mueller. mike, for the rnc attacking bob mueller, the trump administration is attacking bob mueller, a lot of people online from the right, talk radio show hosts attacking bob mueller, conspiracy theorists who make millions of dollars off the uneducated attacking bob mueller. let's just -- for the sake of the president and the administration, and i'm serious here, could you explain what a terrible move that is, not only politically, but also legally and how they are so
fundamentally misreading this man at this time? >> it's a death sentence for people making those charges because of the misunderstanding of who bob mueller is. he is and has always been a guy of tremendous character first, character first. bob mueller graduated from princeton and didn't upon graduation go on a tour of europe or drive across country. he went to vietnam as a second lieutenant and led a rifle company. he knows what it's like to lose men and is unafraid during this investigation. he's there for one thing and one thing only, fairness and resolution. that's who bob mueller is and who he has always been. >> joining us now, sarry horowitz who covers the justice department for "the washington post," one of the four reporters on the piece that the special counsel is investigating the president for possible obstruction of justice.
let's try to lay this out for people. jim comey testified he notified the president three times at least that he was not under investigation. so what changed? >> good morning, mika. he did notify the president three times and he testified to that. what changed is that he was fired. after he was fired, we learned the fbi began expanding their investigation, widening their investigation into possible obstruction by the president. comey during his testimony laid out a possible obstruction case. trump denied that he told him to do anything with the flynn investigation, and it looked like it was going to become sort of a he-said/he-said situation. what we learned this week is mueller will be interviewing senior intelligence officials who also talk about how there were conversations where trump told them to -- in the case of the dni director, coats, he was
brought into the white house shortly after he was confirmed, less than a week after he was confirmed and the president said, can you get comey to lay off the flynn investigation, something that he did not do. >> so the spotlight on the president really was opened up when he fired comey, with that decision? >> exactly. the fbi began investigating obstruction of justice and then once rosenstein appointed the special counsel, mueller, that continued. >> ms. horowitz, good morning, harold ford. the three additional people -- obviously the investigation has expanded. one is a former nsa director. what rules apply to him now that he's a private citizen, his conversation with the president, the privilege matter does not exist there, is that true? >> i think you're talking about richard ledgett, the deputy nsa
director who has since left. he wrote an internal nsa memo documenting the fact that president trump called mike rogers, he also called coats, called them both and said can you come out publicly and deny that there was any collusion, that there's any evidence of collusion between trump associates and russian officials to affect the 2016 presidential election, and that document i'm sure will be in mueller's hands soon. >> john heilemann here. we were discussing "the new york times" piece which raised the question at the end of its story about money laundering as being something in the cross hairs of the investigation at this point. what can you tell us about that on the basis of your reporting? >> we know and we've reported before that trump associates including jared kushner, his son-in-law, are being investigated for financial crimes along with all the other things that are being investigated, they are being investigated for financial crimes during the 2016
presidential election. >> we'll be following this. "the washington post's" sari horowitz, thank you for coming on this morning. this is a photo of steve scalise who was shot yesterday on the practice field celebrating the republicans' win last year. we'll talk to one of his colleagues, congressman mark sanford about the state of bipartisanship today. "morning joe" is coming right back. garfunkel (instrumental) [ snoring ] [ deep sleep snoring ] the all-new volkswagen atlas. seats seven, sleeps six. life's as big as you make it.
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my colleagues, there are very strong emotions throughout this house today. we are all horrified by this dreadful attack on our friends and on our colleagues and those who serve and protect this capitol, and we are united. we are united in our shock. we are united in our anguish. an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
[ applause ] we do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber. for all the noise and all the fury, we are one family. >> to my colleagues, you'll hear me say something i've never said before, i identify myself with the remarks of the speaker. they're beautiful remarks, mr. speaker. >> former congressman steve israel writes in "the new york times" an attack on congress and baseball. here is in part what he says. it wasn't just an attack on members of congress and their staff and police protective details, but on one of the few vestiges of bipartisanship left in congress, baseball. the game as we know it today has been an annual event since 1962 and raised millions of dollars for charities. the irony is while members of both parties fight against one
another in congressional committee rooms and on the house floor, when they compete in this annual event, it is spirited but civil. there are fastballs and curveballs, but no one beans a batter. i hope today's tragedy will serve as a reminder of what unites us, not what divides us. joe? >> mike, it is a special event and one i went to regularly and one i played in, but it's great everybody gets their uniform from the school they went to. i wore a florida gators uniform, and they just get together, and republicans and democrats alike have a great time. their families come out, and it's one of these special moments that we don't have anymore because members started
flying home the second after they took their last vote. what so many young americans don't understand is that all of these people used to go to church together, synagogues together, their children would go to school together, their wives mainly back then would be friends, they'd all play bridge, invite others to have dinner at their homes. it was impossible to be vicious and personal on the house floor or in an interview because you would hear about it from your spouse, or from your child more importantly, daddy, why did you say that about cindy's dad? we don't have that anymore. this is one of the last vestiges of that. >> joe, we could do a whole morning on just the glaring differences in the congress, both sides, senate and house, between when you were first
elected and went to the house 20, 25 years ago and today. the advent -- myriad of causes for that. money, the need to raise money all the time, the desire to get back to your district every thursday night, the lack of intimate relationships you have with your colleagues and their famili families, you don't get together, the fact you spend so much time on the phone raising money, social media. and then they go home in a country that's become immune to violence, in a country where because of the social tools we have available to us online and anonymously, posting on facebook and twitter, we have normalized hatred in this country. we have normalized hatred. that's the culture we all now are a part of. >> mika, not only do they go home to the social media and
hatred, they also go home to town hall meetings. if you're a democrat, chances are if you're nancy pelosi and you go home to your district, everyone is going to be asking her why are republicans so evil? why are they so this, why are they so that? if you're a republican you'll go to a district where everyone asks why are the democrats so evil? because the gerrymander districts and the facts we're sorting ourselves out selectively, everyone goes home and they go home to a bubble. >> joe, i think very carefully we have to talk about the added dynamic here because you have the right and left, the extremes on the right and the left. you have fake news, you have conspiracy theorists who are really muddying the waters, and we have become desensitized. we also have a president who pushes fake news and conspiracy
theories from birtherism to promoting violence on the campaign tram. this is the new dynamic here. i'm not putting anything squarely on the president, but i have to say that this is the new added dynamic to what is a very dangerous climate. joining us from capitol hill -- >> well, it is, it is a long time coming. it is 20, 30 years coming, and yes, wea've spoken donald trump. but if donald trump were to leave washington tomorrow, we would have the same problems that we had the 30 years before donald trump was here. this is a systemic problem, and it's been with us for a long time. you and i were talking about this to audiences ten years before donald trump became president. i'm not -- i am not saying that it is not increasingly destructive when you have a man that suggests that the hud
secretary is like a child molester or makes fun of people with disabilities, no. that is taking it to a whole new level. >> sayso hit people on the campaign trail and he'll pay their legal fees. this is different. >> that is the conclusion of a 30-year rampup. that's not the beginning of something. that's the conclusion of it. and we have to understand that when we step back from the precipi precipice, and as paul ryan said and nancy concurred, we are one fami family. that is something that members of congress, the senate and house need to say every day. that's something that people on cable news at night need to start saying every day. that's what people on talk radio need to be saying every day. and those conspiracy theorists that are preaching hate need to be shunned.
we are one family. as benjamin franklin said, we have a republic if we can keep it, and we can only keep it if we figure out how to work together and get along. >> joining us from capitol hill, republican congressman mark sanford of south carolina. how are you doing this morning? thank you for being on. >> my pleasure. >> i guess, first of all, i'd like you to comment on the events of the past 24 hours and also the conversation that you just heard joe, mike and i having. >> the last 24 hours have been somewhat surreal here on capitol hill. as joe can attest, the idea of going off to practice for the congressional baseball game and having a shooter show up and shooting one member and shooting at others is about the last thing in the world you would think possible here in and around the capital. but it was what it was and people are reacting to it. i think the environment has been somewhat surreal. as to what you all were talking
about, indeed we're at a reflection point. there are forces at play that i've never seen before over the roughly 20 years i've been involved in politics. joe and i came in together way back when, and it is indeed different. i think we have to watch out as a society because, if we don't watch out, civility is indeed a part of civilized government and an open political system. if you let these forces play out, i think we end up at a very, very bad spot. i think what happened yesterday was symptomatic of it. >> go ahead, harold. >> good morning, mark. harold ford. send my prayers to everyone there. i grew up in washington as joe was talking about the civility that existed. i've watched democrats and republicans come through my home for dinner, attended high school with colleagues, my dad's colleagues, democrat and republican alike.
people getting elected to the senate and house, intramural fights, this person shouldn't be there because they work the other party. how do we dial that back? do you see this being a big inflection point for a lot of things? but i hope it's an inflection point for a willingness, for mem beve bers of congress saying they can work together across the aisle and we should tamp down the rhetoric that you shouldn't be punished for wanting to work with the other side? do you see this as being one of those moments that could be a catalyst for that? >> i think so. there's some heavy soul searching going on right now because it was so traumatic and so out of the ordinary and because people realize if it weren't for those two capitol hill police, it would have been a bloodbath, maybe 15 or 20 members of congress dead on a given day. i think people are registering it as such. what the speaker said yesterday, what nancy said in reaction to
what the speaker said is symptomatic of people saying, wait a minute, we've got to find a way to slow this down. what i will say is, again, i was at a town hall meeting, i've done several of them over the last couple months back home. it was at a senior center, a retirement center and what took place in terms of people saying certain things to each other was like out of a movie. we've got to find a way to dial this back. i will give an example of trying to do that in a small way, there's a climate solutions caucus in congress. for every democrat that goes on, you can't get on unless there's a republican that goes with you. i think there ought to be a little more pairing, whether in a caucus for form or ledgislatie form, i think people will look for ways to do that. >> mark halperin. >> congressman, what are you worried about today in the aftermath of yesterday? >> that we won't learn from it. history is a great teacher if we
looking back and examine it. mika was talking just a moment ago, i would argue that the president is at least in partially -- not totally, but partially to blame for demons that have been unleashed, whether it's what i saw at a senior center back home and people saying f you, f you at a retirement center where they'll see each other playing crow kay. the fact you have the top guy saying i wish i can hit you in the face. why don't you and i'm pay your legal fees. that's bizarre. we ought to call it as such. what i've said back home, some of these people have been frankly weird and different in a town hall meeting. i say what is going on. they'll say look, if the guy at the top can say anything to anybody at any time, why can't i? i think we all need to look for ways to learn from what happened yesterday and to say, wait a minute, this is a pause moment. what might i do a little differently in the way i reached out to other members.
>> congressman mark sanford, thank you so much. joe, to that point -- i know mike barnicle wants to jump in. to that point, and i know you're on the edge of your seat as i talk about this, i know what i'm trying to say here and i'll try to give you a parallel to help you understand. what bill clinton did to the issue of sex to an entire generation, i believe this president is doing on issues of decency, on issues of conspiracy theories, on issues of fake news. i think it's that simple. we're desensitized if we even argue it. >> mika, you know firsthand i have had incredibly tough meetings and incredibly tough talks with republicans and have -- it has gotten ugly. but i do it behind closed doors
when they act like this is normal. it's not normal. there is truth. we all know what the meaning of is "is" is. all i'm saying is there has been a corrosiveness in political culture, whether it started atwater gate or whether it started with bill clinton when he first came into office and his supporter david gethan said lied incredibly effectively. it's been this way for some time. i'm saying it did not start with donald trump, but let us pray that it ends with donald trump. and i am forever hopeful that perhaps this is an inflection point and one that the president and the people around him will take as an inflection point becau because, mike barnicle, even if they want to be cynical, it couldn't get much worse for them. they're sitting at a 36%
approval rating, 60% disapproval rating in gallup as we showed yesterday. why not try to work together with everybody on the side? work for what you believe in. but sit down with democrats and republicans alike. it can't get any worse than it is right now. try a little bit of decency. try a little bit of humanity. try to bridge both sides. bring them together. who knows? it might even get your approval ratings in the 40s while making our republic stronger. >> joe, we'll see whether it's an inflection point in congress. the brutal truth is, the brutal truth is that violence is a part of everyday american life. and the geography of violence is also part of american life. by that, i mean if you go all the way down the end of the street where that little league practice field is located, where the congressman was shot
yesterday, you're at the edge of the potomac river. if you stand there, look across the potomac you're looking at a neighborhood in washington, wheeler road, southern avenue where every day, every day there are parents, mothers afraid to let their children out for fear of them getting shot. and when they do get shot, when they do die at the age of 9, 10, 14, before their lives have even come to the edge of fruition, before that, their deaths maybe, maybe get noticed in three lines of type in a newspaper. that's america. coming up from the intelligence committee, senator angus king joins the conversation, reacting to the new reporting that president trump is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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he was very brave and he's under care right now. i assume he's in surgery right now. but he was aware of where he was and what was going on. so -- >> so you actually watched him get shot? >> i saw that he was down and then i went out to him after they had subdued the shooter. >> that was congressman brad wentstrup, who won a bronze star for his valor in iraq. he said yesterday he felt like he was back in iraq when he was a surgeon. we'll have much more on this. still ahead, congressman ron desantis says the alleged gunman in yesterday's attack in alexander asked whether there were republicans or democrats on the field and congressman rodney davis was there at baseball practice when shots rang out. they'll both join the conversation on "morning joe." plus, much more on the possible turning point in the russia investigation. a new report claims special counsel robert mueller is investigating the president for
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[ barks ] visit angieslist.com today. there is a gentleman who walked up to us and wanted to know if there were republicanors democrats out there. >> ooh told him they were republicans. he said okay, thanks. >> about ten after 7:00 we heard the first shot. we knew there was a gunman. we didn't mow where he was. it was really pandemonium.
>> felt like a construction site. >> my son was down the first base side. and i kept saying stay down, jack. >> he was firing indiscriminately. >> steve scalise was shot in the right field between second and first. and matt mika was shot. >> zach bart, who works for me, was shot. jeff flake took his belt off and made a tourniquet around zach's leg. >> it went on for minutes, dozens and dozens and dozens of shots fired. >> capitol police immediately began to return fire. >> and they shot him and put him on the ground, reacted. got him in handcuffs. >> when we heard an all clear, that the shooter was down, then i ran out to steve, to put pressure on the wound there. >> truly believe if the capitol
hill police had not been there, most people would have been killed. >> officer griner and bailey prevented that and my family and i will forever be grateful. >> the reactions to the emotional day yesterday after a gunman opened fire on the republican team's practice. one of the few bipartisan events left on capitol hill. today, the charity baseball game will go on as planned. last night, president trump and the first lady visited congressman steve scalise and his wife, and one of the capitol hill officers injured in the shooting. congressman scalise remains in critical condition this morning and we are praying for him. joe? >> we certainly are praying for him and looking at all the images coming in, it is just heartbreaking. a lot of times during tragedies, people do anything they can to search for a hero, to search for
a silver lining. and a lot of times there aren't a lot of silver linings there. and a lot of times, quite frankly, to be blunt, it seems like a reach, to find that hero in the sad story because it's just a tragedy. well, there is absolutely no problem looking at the heroes that were out there yesterday. several of them on the field with steve scalise when he went down, applying a tourniquet, aiding him medically, using skills that one member learned while getting a bronze star in iraq and then, of course, what can be said that hasn't already been said about the capitol hill police? one officer taking fire, getting hit and continuing to pursue the attacker and also protect all the members of congress, all the representatives of this great republican that were on that
field. and, of course, mika, also immediately you heard democrats -- heard of democrats hearing of the shooting, praying for the republicans and, of course, yesterday very moving moment on the house floor. when paul ryan told americans the truth. that despite all the noise, despite all the fighting, despite all the back and forth, we are one family. nancy pelosi got up and immediately said the same thing. and president trump showed a great deal of reserve and struck the type of tone that you would want any president to strike during this time, saying at the end of the day, americans need to remember that everyone that comes to washington, d.c. does so because they want to serve their country. and, mark halperin, maybe it's an inflection point. let us hope.
but if it is an inflection point, it's one that we desperately need right now, especially coming off of the 2016 campaign, which was the ugliest in a very long time. >> it would be great if it is but, you know, speaker said when members of congress come into the chamber they don't check their humanity at the door, give it up. i don't know, really, why we need it. why do we need the inflection point when all the things that -- hateful tweets, hateful rhetoric, support, implicit or explicit, for people on both sides to engage in hateful rhetoric. i don't understand how, if you haven't checked your humanity at the door, that an event like this is need think anew to debating vigorously but not engaging in hateful and often violent rhetoric on both sides. i don't understand why we need something like this for people to take individual responsibility and that includes members of congress. >> it was a question asked right before the shooting happened yesterday. let's bring in republican congressman ron desantis of
florida, at yesterday's congressional baseball practice but left with representative jeff dunkin just befo duncan ri shooting. someone approached them and asked a question couple of the tell us what he said? >> they asked us whether there were republicans or democrats on the field and jeff told them it was republicans and he immediately turned and walked toward the field. it was kind of strange at the time. but then once we got back to the hill and we wanted to beat the traffic, which is why we left a few minutes early, jeff and i were like immediately we have to report that. at the time still we didn't know it was the gunman. once they identified him and we saw the photos, jeff, myself and jeff's staffer, driving the car, we all agreed that's the guy. so, jeff and i had been out on the left side of the infield ten minutes before. i was turning double plays with scalise at third base. jeff was at short. had we decided to stay, we would have been in the line of fire.
obviously, we're sitting ducks in this car. i don't know if the individual had his pistol on him at the time. i didn't see a rifle. but we were sitting ducks. it's a surreal experience. >> john heilemann. >> we were talking about the larger details of it, what it might mean for the future. what would you like to see come out of this and how would you like to counsel your colleagues to move forward in a better, more collaborative spirit and one with a little less heat around the edges? >> i think we'll have to see whether this incident is indicative of any larger issue. i think this is a bad guy. i think, clearly, he had a lot of hate and rage building up. and he decided to attempt a mass murder. and whether he was caught up in the overall climate or not, i don't know. i don't know that we have the evidence for that. there had been talk about maybe
this would be an inflection point. i'm a little bit pessimistic that anything much is going to change. i got a call after this happened to my congressional office, praising what had happened and hoping that donald trump was next. one of my colleagues got an e-mail saying one down, 217 to go. when you talk about people like this, with the virulence and the hatred, that's a small minority of the country but does have an outside impact. i look around here. we do have tough debates but i'm not sure that if congress fixed a little bit of the debate, made it a little bit more civil that you're going to change a guy like that. i'm just skeptical that that would make a huge difference. not saying that we shouldn't do it but this guy clearly was troubled. >> harold? >> congressman, i hear you -- harold ford, good morning. i hear you loud and clear. the primary point we were trying to make this morning, i think, is that everyone in congress and politics, democrat and republican alike, has some responsibility around the kind of language they use and the attitude and behavior they
project and the conduct they project. i think that was the only point. you certainly can't stop crazies from being crazy. do you see this as, perhaps, being a moment where at least there's a projection from congress that democrats and republicans, not that they get along and it's a kumbaya but there's a willingness to listen to each side and try to find some consensus on issues and matters that affect the country? >> i would like to see that politics is not a religion. you know, we view government different ways. some people want bigger government. i may want smaller government. because you have a different view of the role of government that's not a reason for me to hate you personally, wish you or your family ill. the fact that i want smaller government i don't think that's a reason for you to think ill of me. political divisions are actually -- we've had them since the beginning of the country, hamilton, jefferson, lincoln, all through the years. you have the fights. have them over policy, over
principle and not view someone who may dissent from you on some of these issues to be a heretic, not worthy of being an equal citizen. >> congressman ron des a. i ntis, thank you very much. >> thank you. what's being called a turning point into the investigation into russia and it already has the president's attention. "the washington post" reports senior intelligence officials are being interviewed as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether the president himself attempted to obstruct justice. fbi director james comey confirmed for the first time last week he had, indeed, assured the president earlier this year on three occasions that he was not under investigation. but now that may have changed. "the post" reports the obstruction investigation began days after director comey was
fired. the president tweeted moments ago, they made up a phony collusion with the russian story, found zero proof. so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. nice. and the trump legal team responded to "the post" report by saying, quote, the fbi leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal. the paper also sources five people who say director of national intelligence dan coats and mike rogers, head of the nsa and his former deputy have agreed to be interviewed. former deputy wrote a memo, documenting a phone call rogers had with the president. the president questioned the voracity of the intelligence community's judgment that russia had interfered with the election and tried to persuade mr. rogers
to say there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and russian officials. also, "the new york times" says mueller has collection of information. joe, would you consider this a turning point? >> no, i don't. i don't consider it a turning point yet. i know a lot of people that don't like donald trump might have been excited yesterday. i think it's what you do in a matter of course. like i said last hour, if you're an investigator, you take over a case. this was actually even before he came in. you have the president saying the things he said to lester holt about wanting to end an investigation and so he fired james comey. or what he was -- what it was reportedly that he said to the russians or what sara huckabee
sanders said. you're going to open up that investigation regardless. but we are a long, long way from here to there, as we're told by jonathan turley every time we have him on. it's very difficult to prove. it's a state of mind case. and so, no, i don't think it's a turning point right now. but a lot of it depends, again, on how the president responds. the president has gotten in his own way time and time again and taken a bad situation and made it much worse. we'll see. body costa, let me go to you. the president this morning already tweeting about now we know a possible criminal investigation against the advice of any attorney on the face of the earth, who they've been asking him not to tweet about
these legal matters. yet as the stakes continue to rise, the president keeps tweeting. >> good morning, joe. the stakes are continuing to rise. it's clear that robert mueller is moving forward. he's trying to paint a bigger picture in his investigation about what drove president trump to have these sorts of conversations with intelligence officials. was it merely a position that he did not believe there was collusion and those investigations should stop or was there a bigger context for that conduct? that's what the post and others have been trying to dive into. and that's why the financial relationships of people in the trump campaign or based on our reporting are being looked into by the special counsel, to see if there's more to this situation of just the president's point of view on the probe. >> right. and also with us from "the
washington post," philip, i'm curious what you're thinking. mika asked if this was a turning point. i've seen too many investigations for too long that partisans have suggested we reach aid turning point. i heard it weeks with bill clinton before anybody knew who monica lewinsky was. we heard karl rove would be indicted every friday for two summers. more often than not, there's no turning point, there's the investigation and prosecutors walkway from the case. that said, is this different? >> it certainly is the case that donald trump has banked a lot on this argument that he, himself, was not under investigation. the entire argument that he made in the wake of the comey firing. clearly, now, there is a situation where he is being looked at. information is being gathered about him. it does not necessarily mean there will be any sort of prosecution or that evidence will result in proof that he obstructed justice.
but it certainly is the case that he can no longer say i am apart from this thing. from that standpoint alone politically he's in a tougher position now than he was yesterday. >> go ahead, harold. >> i differ with you on this for this reason. hear me out for two seconds here. they would not have looked at this, had trump not himself said -- i'm sorry, had trump himself not said that russia was the reason. he originally said this memo they wrote was because of the mishandling of the clinton matter, sluggish morale at the agency that comey had to be removed. he then comes out with lester holt and says it's about russia. a day or two later he has a party with the russian ambassador and foreign minister. the look now is not just at comey's comments but whether this president had conversations with other influential officials in this investigation, meaning those at the nsa and other intelligence officials who presumably their work, their words and work product would be
looked at by mueller and the senate intelligence committee about what the u.s. position was about whether or not the russians interfered with our election. this is significant in big ways. he could be cleared, as mike bale said earlier, the presidencould. or you're going to find further action. i think it's significant in that moment, that this investigation is moving. and the president could find himself in a tough spot. i don't think this tweet this morning helps the situation at all. >> again. >> well, no. mika, he just should stop. he really needs to stop tweeting about legal cases, especially criminal investigations involving himself for his own good. john heilemann, alex corsyn was talking to me before. what alex was saying is so true, that for donald trump, he hears russia and immediately he thinks they're trying to delegitimize
my victory. >> right. >> so he has nine meetings with james comey. he never brings up the word russia because he thinks to bring up the word russia is to undermine his electoral victory. and we even have this moving forward. he wanted to fire comey. it seems, perhaps, donald trump is capable of collusion on a men meniacal level. i seriously doubt it. he has bumbled his way into a criminal investigation. >> the notion that this is self inflicted is inescapable. the other thing that's important, joe, as to why this is maybe not a turning point -- probably the wrong metaphor -- the fact that the president of the united states in this investigation, that the investigation now is clearly proceeding on two tracks, the collusion investigation of
people around donald trump and now him specifically, the president of the united states under investigation, in a criminal investigation for obstruction of justice. that is at least an important milestone. to your point, the trouble that he has gotten into here is if he is being looked at for obstruction of justice, it's where he has gotten in trouble here is in trying to protect michael flynn and michael flynn is at the core of -- if there's a collusion case. again, if you think of these as two tracks, he is the key man in many potential men of contacts in russia, under investigation for russian connections and trump's motivation seems to have been, in talking to comey, these other intelligence chiefs, if the reporting we know is true, seems to have been all about please let michael flynn go free. don't proceed to prosecute him. don't proceed to investigate him. and that raises, again, the lingering questions.
why? why is he so interested in trying to protect michael flynn in terms of his connections and discussions with russia? >> nobody knows. we may find out. there areatterns we see that one could perhaps surmise. one pattern that is really a stream from the campaign into the presidency are these narsicistic tendencies, which lead to that lurch to tweet every second, even during our show when we're talking about the legal case against the immigration order, which he then tweets is a travel ban and undermines himself. and the lurch to tweet about this. alex's concept about talking about russia is undermining his win. this narcissistic tendency leading to a lurch to act to fire comey and obstruct justice. >> the sentiments of the tweets are the public analogs about private conversations, including
private phone calls, some of which have been reported but i'm sure there are more, where the president was reaching out to people, including in the intelligence community, saying this stuff has to stop. it's all fake. it's hurting my administration. it's now being cast by mueller as fodder for an investigation as to whether there was obstruction of justice which, again, the president has laid out the path for investigators, including through public comments. >> bob costa? >> the white house had a goal, which was to create this separate unit, outside counsel has a spokesman to try to cordon that off so they could actually get things done and the rest of the white house staff could focus on getting substantive things done. how is that project going, as best you can tell? >> it's been difficult for the white house. they keep having certain themes in terms of policy for each week. there's always a new turn in this investigation or the public outcry over president trump's behavior or conduct.
and they do not have a war room inside the white house. you do have the top aides focusing, on some respects, in countering some of these russia or investigative stories. rnc came out with talking ponts after "the washington post" report published its story. a lot of people inside the administration feel under siege that this president himself is tweeting, that the outside lawyer is doing whatever he is doing. inside the white house and other parts of the administration, they feel vulnerable as this whole episode unfolds. >> mika, the drip, drip, drip. >> what do you mean by that, vulnerable? >> what i mean by vulnerable is politically vulnerable. not necessarily legally vulnerable. of course, there is some talk within the administration that eventually people may need to get a lawyer as special counsel moves forward with his conversations or interviews with
people about possible things that happened in terms of president trump and his conversations. but they're vulnerable, they say -- this is reflected in "the post" reporting, in particular at the intelligence levels. what will they have to do in terms of talking to the special counsel about their conversations or their boss' conversations with the president. >> and philip bump, the frustration among donald trump's strongest supporters over the tweeting continues. and i have continually talked to a lot of his supporters and they still fiercely believe that this president is being treated unfairly by the press, by democrats, by official washington, by the intell community. and yet one thing they shake their head at and get angry about is just like george conway. stop tweeting. you're hurting yourself before the supreme court. you're hurting yourself in your
criminal investigation. stop tweeting at least about legal matters. it's a real frustration on the hill. isn't it? >> yeah. to your point, if you're trying to prove a case of obstruction of justice against the president of the united states and get a look inside his mind, he presents what is in his mind in 140 character bursts 20 times a day. as we saw just this morning on this particular investigation. that is hugely problematic. we've seen his tweets cited in court cases, rejecting his immigration ban, for example. he refuses to learn that lesson. that is one of the most amazing things about this presidency so far, that he has consistent ly done damage to himself through tweeting and yet somehow cannot give it up. >> and damage to the presidency, tweeting lies, tweeting things that aren't true and showing a lack of discipline. it's a real danger. bob costa, thank you. philip bump, thank you as well.
still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> you know, mika, to interrupt for one second, do you know what twitter should be used for? let me read one of his tweets. happy birthday to the u.s. army and our soldiers. thank you for your bravery. sacrifices and dedication. i am proud to be your commander in chief. another one, just left the hospital with representative steve scalise. one of the truly great people is in truly tough shape but is a real fighter. pray for steve. if that is all he did, tweeting out to his millions and millions of followers, what a big difference it would make in this presidency. >> yeah. >> still ahead on "morning joe," congressman rodney davis, who was inside the batter's box when the gunman opened fire during practice for a charity baseball game. plus, senators angus king and john thune join the conversation. >> joe's band will be playing live music at prohibition on the upper west side. the show kicks off around 8:00 pm. hope to see you there. you're watching "morning joe."
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find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. all right. joining us now, nbc news senior correspondent tom brokaw. tom, give us the lay of the land. what are your reflections of not only the past 24 hours, but the political climate as it pertains to -- >> i've been thinking about that a lot last night. over the east river there's a wonderful monument to fdr and the four freedoms he talked about. i reflected on his career. he was always a man who had a great sense of optimism during the depression, world war ii. he knew how to handle the opposition by -- you would not find him tweeting if it were in existence i think we need,
metropolitan fo metaphorically, a course in anger management. we went through the '60s. it was anarchy in america. it was a setback for us, pitched one against the other. it was not just on the left. it was also on the right. i was just reviewing yesterday some of the criminal cases in mississippi. they were getting away with murder for racial receiptings. dr. king was killed. you had the panthers on the west coast. they were outrageous as well. somebody has to call to the attention what the country wants. every time i talk to a voter they say why can't they talk together? why can't they find a way to talk together? maybe you ought to get the two caucuses to meet, walk around and spend half a day thinking about that. >> tom, what's interesting is your illusion to fdr and the fireside chats. if you listen to them today, all these years later, they have, in the midst of social disintegration, given the depth and the scope of the -- if you
listen to what we have around us today, the fact that twitter and facebook are, in parts, elements of social arson -- they can ignite things, people, whatever you say. you wonder what would the reaction be on twitter to fdr's fireside chats? people would make fun of them. >> they would probably mock them because the whole game is to -- let me play gotcha. let me show you how meaner i can be. there's a lot of controversy around this network about alex jones, for example. the fact is that he is a racist, a man out there pulling the pin on the grenade every day and he has 6 million viewers paying attention to him. >> yeah. >> and the parents at newtown are saying they're hearing from his followers all the time. they buy into what he is saying, which is patently not true. at some point there's got to be a coming together of a political
culture. it's never going to be kumbaya. we don't expect that. out that have tension can come good things, but i don't remember, in my lifetime -- and i'm a pretty good student of history -- when this country was at with such great consequences that can result from all of this. >> i think our leaders are denegraded a level down and we need them to lead and we need a president and we don't have that. we have this dynamic, which really makes what paul ryan said on the house floor yesterday so important. it's so important that members of congress, both sides of the aisle practice what he preached. you have, at the top, something we have never seen before. a president who pushes conspiracy theories, who has a history of doing that, who pushes fake news, who has this dangerous, self destructive unpredictability at the very top, which really sort of feeds into the conspiracy theorists
out there who have a mega phone at the top. joining us now from capitol hill, republican congressman rodney davis at illinois, who was at-bat when the shooting occurred. sir, first of all, how are you doing? thank you for being on the show this morning. >> i'm fine, mika. my thoughts and prayers are to my good friend, steve scalise and others who are injured. >> all of our prayers are with you this morning. i wonder if you could weigh in on the conversation we've been having here, given that this is a difficult time, we don't want to jump to any conclusions in any way but it's certainly a conversation worth having, about what needs to happen moving forward. >> thank you. i agree completely. we have to ratchet down this
hateful, political rhetoric we see all over social media, news media in washington, in our state houses. this is -- we can argue about policy differences but we have to always realize that we're americans first. let's settle our policies in a ballot box not on a baseball field like many of us had to witness yesterday. >> congressman also, as tragic as that was yesterday, as unsettling as it was -- and it took it to a whole different level. at the same time in california, three u.p.s. employees were killed by a disgruntled worker who then committed suicide. that has become routine in america as well. we don't have the same level of condemnation for those workforce kind of outrages that go on. it seems to me this is an opportunity for everyone to understand we've got a virus in our country, or beyond a virus,
really, in terms of picking up a gun to solve a problem, however large or however small it may be. thank god that you are okay and we hope that everybody is going to be fine there. but there's nothing to indicate that there aren't others out there who would like to duplicate that in some fashion. >> well, tom, i agree. workforce, workplace shootings need to be condemned. that's what we ought to continue to do to change this tone we see in this country. you can go to my social media today and see some of this vile, hateful rhetoric when the message i'm trying to send is a message of bipartisanship that i participate in every single day in washington. i'm steps from the house chamber. many of your viewers would not think that some of my best friends in washington are democrats that i serve with. the majority of issues we face here, we do in a bipartisan way. it's those other issues where we have large policy disagreements that seem to create an atmosphere where we've seen this
hateful rhetoric and polarization rise. we saw that rise to a level where the shooter turned poli c politics into his religion yesterday and tried to indiscriminately kill people who were not just members of congress. they were kids, people walking their pets. enough is enough. we need to work together to make these changes. >> you remember right after 9/11, obviously, the country did come together and congress did come together, standing on the steps of the capitol, singing "america the beautiful" and the national anthem at that time and it quickly went away. since you've been back on the hill now after this, tell me about the tenor of that building and the colleagues that you see across the aisle and how they're reacting to what you all went through. >> see, that's the difference that i see as serving in washington already, with so many good people of both parties. i don't see that hyperpartisanship that we see in the 24-hour news psych sbl we
see on social media. what i saw yesterday was a lot of sympathy for those who were part of that attack. my friends on both sides of the aisle came up to me and said i texted you to make sure you were okay. i didn't have my phone. it was still in my bag on the field. to have them come up and know that friendship matter morse than policy and politics, those friendships mean more outside this building when we have our policy differences, too. >> rodney davis, thank you so much. tom brokaw, we want to highlight an honor you just received. >> another one? >> i know. it happens a lot. >> tell barnicle quit laughing. >> from the franklin delano roosevelt four freedoms park. organization and beautiful park here in new york city is based on fdr's landmark speech, noting america's dedication to the
freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship and freedom from fear. the group noted your life's work in defending free speech and journalistic integrity. >> it's a little hard to get to but it's really worth going there. it's out in the middle of the river, looking back at the u.n. and skyline of new york. when you see his bust, it is so provocative. he took us through the depression and world war ii. stop and think about that for a moment. elected four times to the presidency. when he left, there were people, obviously, conservative business men were glad to see him go. think how much different the country would be if he hadn't been there during those two great trials, using his imagination and his great capacity for pulling people together. >> tom brokaw, congratulations and thank you for being on this morning. >> thank you. it was an honor. >> senator angus king was furious last week when top intel officials refused to answer his conversations about president
trump. will special counsel bob mueller have better luck? new reports that some of those same officials have agreed to be interviewed by federal investigators. "morning joe" is coming right back. ♪ ♪ isaac hou has mastered gravity defying moves to amaze his audience. great show. here you go. now he's added a new routine. making depositing a check seem so effortless. easy to use chase technology, for whatever you're trying to master. isaac, are you ready? yeah. chase. so you can.
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amid all the russia investigation news, something happened yesterday that got a bit overlooked. the senate overwhelmingly approved a new set of sanctions against russia over its alleged meddling in the 2016 election. it passed 97-2. the measures call for strengthening current sanctions and imposing new ones, including punishments for people, quote, conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the russian government. it require ace congressional review if the president attempts to ease or end current penalties. senator angus king, who sits on the intelligence committee, reacts to all the new developments next on "morning joe."
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live-streat the airport.e sport, binge dvr'd shows, while painting your toes. on demand laughs, during long bubble baths. tv on every screen is awesome. the all-new xfinity stream app. all your tv at home. the most on demand, your entire dvr, top networks, and live sports on the go. included with xfinity tv. xfinity the future of awesome. joining us now from capitol hill, independent senator angus king of maine. thank you for being on the show
this morning. >> good morning, mika. >> i wanted to start by asking you a little bit about what's going on today. we saw your contentious frustration which, by the way, nobody thought was rude, last week when you couldn't get any answers out of coats and rogers. dni dan coats and nsa mike rogers. closed session today with your committee, he is testifying. what do you hope to hear from him and do you think more answers may be forthcoming? >> i hate to disappoint you, mika, but i'm not going to talk about who is coming before the committee and what we're going to be talking about. i'll have to pass on that one. just know that the committee is continuing to work. by the way, we have responsibilities beyond this investigation. people think this is all we're doing, it's all that congress is doing. as you noted a few minutes ago we passed a resolution on russian sanctions in the full senate yesterday and our committee has other responsibilities. there's a lot going on aside from this investigation, but clearly that's the main focus of
our work. >> got t john heilemann. >> without talking about what's going on today, mika noted that you expressed frustration with dni head coats and with the head of the nsa last week. you also expressed the expresse frustration with attorney general sessions this week pointing out that the questions they weren't answering, that they couldn't cite a legal basis for their refusal to answer. so i want to ask you, you didn't get answers that satisfied you. that was clear. what is the recourse that your committee has when you're faced with situations like that? i know people talk about contempt of congress as one possible thing that you could do. just explain to us what you could do when you're faced with that kind of intransigence. >> i've done fair amount of research on executive privilege over the last couple of weeks. usually what happens in these situations, john, is a negotiation. some kind of negotiation about what you want answered, which of the questions, what's the specific information, what are
the documents. there are -- there can be lawsuits and contempt of congress. those are rarely used. i'm hoping that we're going to be able to get the answers to our questions. i was frustrated because when you say i'm going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth -- the basic premise is you're going to tell everything you know. and if you aren't, there has to be some legal basis for that and mr. sessions was asserting, i call it son of executive privilege. i mean the president is the only one that can exert it, assert it, he didn't. therefore, i thought the question should be answered. >> i'll just follow up and ask you. you said you've been doing a lot of research on executive privilege. the interesting thing in all three of those cases is that none of the men in question actually were exerting executive privilege. they were asserting something else, which was a little unclear what they were asserting. again i come back to the question, are you making progress, at least in terms of -- i know you don't want to
uk that about today what's going on behind closed doors, but in terms of the negotiation you stipulated is the way these things normally work out, are those negotiations proceeding at a pace that you find fruitful? >> there have been follow-up conversations. we have gotten some further information. i think that's as far as i want to go at this point. >> mike barnicle. let's pretend that we're back in brunswick, maine, okay? it is this weekend and you're walking down main street and a guy comes up to you, says, hey, angus, i see you on tv this week. you look great, man. but one thing i don't understand. you are talking to the attorney general of united states. im's just graduating from high school. he keeps saying it would be inappropriate for me to answer it. how come he won't answer your questions? what do you tell that person? >> funny you should put it that way. a friend of mine called me after those hearings and said if i came home late at night with the car all dented in and my father
said what the hell happened and i said i don't think it is appropriate for me to answer that question, it won't go very far. that's essentially what was going on and i think was inappropriate. you either have to have a legal basis, or as i said, the premise is the whole truth. that means everything you know. and if you aren't going to tell everything you know, then what's the excuse? what's the privilege? and jeff sessions was asserted a kind of prospective executive privilege, even though i asked him explicitly, did the president invoke executive privilege in this case? he said no. and he also in his testimony said only the president can assert executive privilege. so that was what was troubling about that testimony. the other thing that was troubling though that didn't get as much publicity, i asked him, did you ever get a briefing on what the russians did? did you seek a briefing? did you ask about it? and he said, no, i only know what i'd read in the papers. this is the most serious attack on the united states since
september 11th, and the chief law enforcement officer doesn't seem very interested in it. director comey said he had nine conversations with the president. he never asked about what's your evidence, how do you know what happened, how did they do it, how do we prevent it. i find that pretty disturbing question about something that's really very serious and is going to be serious in the coming years. >> mark halperin. >> senator, on that point, the jones community seems to have reached a pretty broad and uniform conclusion that the russians interfered with the election and that they did it to try to help donald trump win the election. do you think the president and his administration should accept that conclusion or do you understand their seeming desire to try to cast doubt on it? >> well, i understand their being defensive about it and i understand the concern about was there cooperation or collusion. by the way, that's not been determined. but the underlying question of what they did, everybody in this
place should be concerned about, whatever their party is. as various members of the republican side in our committee keep pointing out, putin is not a republican. this could be turned around in two years, or in four years. and the president should be -- obviously some concerns about what involvement his campaign had, but he ought to be concerned about what the russians did and the danger to our democracy. they're going into state election systems. i mean this is scary stuff. >> all right, senator an gus king, thank you so much for being on the show this morning. >> indeed. coming up next hour, the third ranking republican in the u.s. senate, south dakota's john thune will join us. also an update on congressman steve scalise's condition following yesterday's shooting at a ballpark ahead of today's charity baseball game. we've got reaction across capitol hill. and we're joined by "the washington post" correspondent whose new reporting says president trump is coming under criminal investigation.
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we could all agree that we are blessed to be americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified. and when we work together for the common good. >> there wasn't social media. >> there wasn't the internet. >> and the level of discourse has become -- people don't look at each other eye to eye. they use the two thumbs and insult one another. and i just think less on the civility. >> when my son, jack, was born, i was chairman of the energy and commerce committee, and jack got as many presents from the democrats as he did from the
republicans. and he still has some of those. >> the republican and democrat coaches of the congressional baseball teams speaking yesterday. today those two teams will take the field in a charity baseball game marred by violence but packed with promise for a more unified country. it was the news we first reported on yesterday, a gunman opening fire on the republican team's practice for one of the new bipartisan events left on capitol hill. few. last night president trump and the first lady visited congressman steve scalise. his wife and one of the capitol hill officers injured in the shooting. congressman scalise remains in critical condition this morning. joe, before we start off the show, let's just take a moment and take in what's now a story that's 24 hours old. but i think really is having an effect across the board on the climate that we're in
politically right now. >> i think so. first of all, obviously our prayers are with steve scalise and the others that were shot and injured and are still struggling, and will struggle for a long time. i know you meant to say 24 hours. you said this is -- i think 24 years, a story 24 years in the making may be right. "the new york times" this morning editorialized, and i think they got some of their facts wrong, but the overall conclusion was right. the heated rhetoric in this country has to calm down. we have been saying it on this show for a decade now. that's actually the purpose of this show, where we can actually debate other people and get along at the end. there has been a disconnect in american society and american culture and american politics. as mike doyle said, driven in
part by social media, driven in part by heated cable news, driven in part by fake news on the internet, driven in part by hate mongers who actually make money and become fabulously wealthy creating conspiracy theories that paint the other side as evil. now we have come together. we came together after 9/11. there was that beautiful moment when republicans and democrats took to the steps and i believe they sang "god bless america." after gabby giffords, you had cable news presidents fire of their more extreme voices. and i remember everybody over at fox news on the right, msnbc on the left at the time, telling everybody -- you've got to calm down, this is for real, there are guard rails we have to put out there. that's really important to know. and i think it is very
important, too -- harold ford, let me bring you in because we worked together as republicans and democrats alike on the hill. you got me in trouble the first time i ever met you because we actually got along so well -- harold, for those who don't know, harold and i were on the education committee. he had a bipartisan reform plan that the republicans and democrats wanted no part of. >> they didn't even want to bring it up. >> yeah. would not let us bring it up. came over to me and said, hey, buddy, can i sign on to this? i said good to meet you, yeah, looks pretty good. signed on to it and the leaders got angry. but that's the sort of thing that actually still happened back then, harold. i do want to say, we've been awfully hard on president trump. i want to salute the president for what he said yesterday. i want to salute the members of congress for what they said yesterday. i salute "the new york times." i salute people on the right and the left for talking about the need of dialling back. we can disagree, we can even fight. but at the end of the day we have to let people out there
know that we're on the same team. >> one of these unspeakable lows this morning, it's gratifying and refreshing to hear your words, to hear joe barton's words yesterday standing alongside mike doyle, thanking him and democrats for providing gifts to his kids. i don't think these are things that average every day consumers of political news really appreciate the kind of camaraderie that exists. also, appreciated se of th things said yesterday by others that we've reaed a time where -- john mccain back in '08 when he tras advertised ochastin supporters for questioning whether then candidate-obama was born in the united states and whether or not he was a muslim saying that's not true, he's a decent man, we just have different viewpoints about the future of the country. as low as a moment yesterday was, it was pleasing to see so many members of congress and political figures rise to the moment. >> mika, there's no -- you know
what? we can always press the reset button. we can always move forward. i'm talking about everybody from president trump to the most vile person that's whipping up conspiracy theories to make millions of dollars, that it might end up killing people. it's critical though for those members, for house members, to actually do what harold and i did. and not only form a friendship across party lines. but when you go home to town hall meetings and they say, well, how horrible is harold ford? "that guy is --" say, no, actually harold is a good friend of mine. i may not agree with him on all points, but you all have to understand. this is what i said to my people in my town hall meetings. we're on the same team. we may get to where we want to go in a different place, but we're all against isis.
we all want a better life for our children. we all want the next generation to do better than our generation. bernie sanders, i personally think bernie sanders' economic pathway forward would be devastating if we let bernie sanders do everything that bernie sanders wanted to do. but i love the guy. i respect him. i love his energy. and we need to work, and we need to borrow ideas from people with whom we disagree. and most importantly, we've got to tell our constituents -- no, they are not the enemy. they are on our team, they are americans. >> it's complicated time though. i -- i hope that the reset you're talking about is possible. i'm not convinced, actually, given the dynamics of what we're -- >> mika, it is probably not possible but we've got to try. we have got to try and we've got to keep trying. you know, just like after i think it was gabby giffords,
members of the house, republicans sat next to democrats, democrats sat next to republicans. that's an important message to send out to america, to those that don't have the guardrails, that are detached from reality, to not think that even members of congress see the other side as the enemy. >> i totally agree. >> that's a start. >> along with former democratic congressman harold ford jr., we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle. senior political analyst for nbc news and msnbc mark halperin. national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc, john heilemann. and "new york times" reporter michael schmidt. let's turn to the other big story this morning what's called the turning point into the investigation into russia. the washington reports the special counsel is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether the president himself attempted to obstruct justice.
fbi director james comey confirmed for the first time last week he had indeed assured the president earlier this year on three occasions that he was not under investigation. but now that may have changed. the "post" reports say that the obstruction investigation began just days after director comey was fired. the trump legal team responded to the "post" report saying, "the fbi leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal." the paper also sources five people who say the director of national intelligence, dan coats, and mike rogers, the head of the nsa, and his former deputy, have agreed to be interviewed. and the "wall street journal" reports that former deputy rick ludgett wrote a memo documenting a phone call rogers had with the president. the paper reports the president questioned the veracity of the intelligence community's judgment that russia had interfered with the election and
tried to persuade mr. rogers to say there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and russian officials. also this morning, "the new york times" reports that the nsa has been asked for any documents that might relate to its interactions with the white house and russia probe. but as the paper notes, that collection of information doesn't necessarily mean prosecutors are building a case against the president. at this point, joe, it is all we have and it is two papers reporting on this. joe? >> right. and again, i think we take the reports with a grain of salt. we don't know all the details. obviously we've learned that people spin, even from the intelligence communities. and also we can take what the white house says with a grain of salt. from certainly everything i've heard the fbi did not leak this information. there are quite a few people out there that know about it because the investigation has been
opened. so the fact -- i'd be surprised if this came from the fbi. one thing, mark halperin though, that's not surprising at all and really didn't need -- i don't think any of us really needed headlines to tell us that the president was going to be investigated for obstruction of justice. he wasn't being investigated when james comey was there, but once he fired james comey, this started actually before robert mueller was selected. so that's a fascinating question. did rosenstein start this investigation? did mccabe start this investigation? so that's not surprising. i think that would be routine given what happened, what he admitted to the russians, what his press people were saying. also not surprising, reports that bob mueller is going to dig into financial dealings with the russians and going to dig deep. it is something that we said on this show was going to happen three, four weeks ago, and it
looks like they're off and running. what are you looking at right now? >> based on who he's hired and based on lou it how it is cleare and the deputy attorney general look at his brief, it seems like almost anything that anybody has thought of to look at, he'll look at. though there have been attempts to discredit him already, part of, it would appear -- and this makes sense. part of what he thinks he needs to do is either indict people or try to give the country a sense that this was looked at, that if there was nothing wrong here, that he can provide a clean bill of health and say, while there have been media reports on this, there's nothing wrong -- or that he's going to look and maybe try to make a case against someone. part of the problem for the administration -- i hate to lapse into cliche right now, but the cover-up of this and the attempts to try to keep from letting people know what the president and others might have done now is not possible. mueller has subpoena power and he's going to get to the bottom of the calls the president and perhaps others made, what was behind their motive and what effect, if any, did it have on people's investigations. but you cannot ask people to
quash investigations. you just can't. and mueller will get to the bottom of it. >> also, mike barnicle, you can't tell russian ambassadors and foreign ministers killed an investigation and the pressure is off now, you can't admit to lester holt on national television that one of the reasons you fired james comey was because you wanted to get of the russian investigation. and not at least expect an investigation. now we've had jonathan turley and several others on here that say you're a long way from obstruction of justice. so people db libera-- liberals around saying donald trump is going to be impeached can just sit down and relax. and people on the right that are running around saying this is a witch hunt can sit down and relax, too. i don't know a single prosecutor, a single fair prosecutor that wouldn't hear that language and not at least say, you know what? we got to check this out. we got to look under the hood.
something doesn't sound quite right. we just need to go there. >> yeah, true. and mark hit on a key point with regard to bob mueller. bob mueller is there for one reason and one reason only -- to provide resolution on this issue, whether on either side, whether there is nothing there or there is indeed something there. that's what bob mueller is there to do. he is a fair guy. he is an effective guy. he is an ethical guy. he will get that done. still ahead on "morning joe," we'll talk to one of the reporters who broke news of the special counsel's widening investigation that now includes whether president trump attempted to obstruct justice. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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obstruction of justice. sari, let's sort of try and lay this out for people. jim comey testified that he notified the president three times, at least, that he was not under investigation. so what changed? >> good morning, mika. yes, he did notify the president three times, and he testified to that. what changed is that he was fired, and after he was fired, we learned the fbi began expanding their investigation, widening their investigation, into possible obstruction by the president. comey during his testimony laid out a possible obstruction case, and of course, trump denied that he told him to do anything with the flynn investigation. and it looked like it was going to become sort of a he said/he said situation. but what we learned this week is that mueller will be interviewing senior intelligence officials who also talk about how there were conversations
where trump told them to -- in the case of the dni director coats, he was brought in to the white house shortly after he was confirmed. less than a week after he was confirmed. and the president said, "can you get comey to lay off the flynn investigation?" >> right. >> something that he did not do. >> so the spotlight on the president really was opened up when he fired comey, with that decision. >> exactly. the fbi began investigating obstruction of justice, and then once rosenstein appointed a special counsel, mueller, that continued. exactly. >> good morning, harold ford. so the three additional people, obviously the investigation has expanded. one is a former nsa director. what rules apply to him? now that he's a private citizen, his conversation with the president -- the president cannot -- the privilege matter does not exist there. is that true? >> the important thing about -- we're talking about the deputy,
the deputy nsa director who's since left, he wrote an internal nsa memo documenting the fact that president trump called mike rogers. he also called coats. called them both and said, can you come out publicly and deny that there was any collusion, that there is any evidence of collusion between trump associates and russian officials to affect the 2016 presidential election. and that document surely will be in mueller's hands soon. >> all right. john heilemann? >> john heilemann here. we were just discussing "the new york times" piece which raised the question at the end of its story about money laundering as being something that's in the crosshairs of the investigation at this point. what can you tell us about that on the basis of your reporting? >> yes. we know and we've reported before that trump associates, including jared kushner, his son-in-law, are being investigated for financial crimes, along with all the other things that are being investigated, they are being
investigated for financial crimes during the 2016 presidential election. >> thank you so much for coming on the show. coming up on "morning joe" -- >> all of those gathered in tucson on saturday were engaging in what should have been a peaceful activity that is absolutely fundamental to our form of government. spending time with the gentle lady who who proudly advocates on their behalf here in the united states house of representatives. >> that was congressman steve scalise back in 2011 paying tribute to gabby giffords who was shot days earlier while meeting with constituents scalise himself shot yesterday while practicing for a charity baseball game. up next, we'll talk to senator john thune about these horrible events and what it all means for politics as we know it. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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in just a few moments, we'll be joined by senator john thune. he was in the room when president trump allegedly called the house republican health care bill mean. but first, bill karins joins us on a day that could see record heat in some parts of the country. >> good morning, mika. just wait until you see how hot it is going to get in the desert southwest in the upcoming weekend. immediate concern today, thunderstorms this morning dying
off, but this afternoon they'll regenerate. this is where the thunderstorms will be. also this area of kansas from oklahoma city to kansas city. at risk mostly with dangerous winds and also hail. not too many tornadoes today. let's talk about the historic headlines here. 19 million people are already anticipating this historic heat wave that's going to start today and go all the way through about tuesday to wednesday of next week. the building ridge. we build up the heat. of course the desert southwest will be the hottest. phoenix, 110 by saturday. vegas, 109. even sacramento and fresno get into the act. by father's day sunday, monday and tuesday, phoenix predicting a temperature of 1 21 degrees. the hottest ever is 122. that's near all-time record heat category. palm springs, 1 18. vegas, up to 1 16. you get the idea. this isn't your normal average heat wave even for the desert southwest. great weather out there today, fantastic in the northeast. northern plains are getting a break after a stormy week.
a look ahead to father's day, we will track rain, unfortunately, into the ohio valley with showers and storms. dry pretty much everywhere west of the mississippi river. one gorgeous spot on father's day, south dakota. that tees up our next guest. senator john thune is next. >> events like today's remind us that there is evil in the world, but they also remind us that there is good. around every act of evil and violence, 100 acts of good spring up. the officers who risked their lives to defend those at the scene. the colleagues who hurried to provide medical care to steve scalise. the alexandria police officers who came running to help. the democratic congressional baseball team who united in prayer for their colleagues. the injured officer who went to check on the member he was protecting before he thought of seeking treatment for himself.
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in your estimation, was general flynn at that time in serious legal jeopardy? and in addition to that, do you sense that the president was trying to obstruct justice or just seek for a way for mike flynn to save face given that he had already been fired? >> general flynn at that point in time was in legal jeopardy. there was an open fbi criminal investigation of his statements in connection with the russian contacts and the contacts themselves. i don't think it is for me to say whether the conversation i had with the president was an effort to obstruct. i took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that's a conclusion i'm sure the special counsel will work towards to try and understand
what the intention was there and whether that's an offense. >> james comey hinted last week that the special counsel may be looking at the president for obstructing justice. as it turns out, according to new reporting from "the washington post," when comey gave that testimony last thursday, the president was already under investigation. the "post" reports that the obstruction investigation began just days after director comey was fired. joining us now, msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber. ari, your take on this development? >> everything just changed. >> it is a turning point? >> it is the biggest legal turning point of the trump administration. up until this point, everything that was under investigation was either in the campaign or by trump officials in the transition or the administration. what is new now, what we are confirming here this morning, is that the special counsel is investigating the conduct of the
president in office as a potential federal crime. >> given the testimony we've heard so far of what happened in the oval office? >> well, i think they are going to be looking broadly at what was the underlying concern. in other words, if it was only trump's ego or obsession with the electoral college, from a legal perspective that could ultimately be a good thing. he keeps freaking out about defending his political legitima legitimacy. not a crime. if they think the underlying material meaning what happened during the campaign or any potential money laundering or any potential hacking, if in he of that touches americans that are somehow linked to trump, that's will be the underlying conduct that would be a concern. though it doesn't mean donald trump did anything wrong. but what else did he potentially do, did he work with other government officials to somehow corrupt or impact the outcome of a criminal investigation. it is a very serious matter.
it doesn't matter the special counsel was picked by the trump administration. we all understand there will be attempts at impugning. by the way, in fairness to donald trump, this is not first time this happened. during the clinton era there was a great deal of political and other attacks made on special counsels. in that period they were called independent prosecutors. but the same point, to do that kind of attack. so that's not altogether new. but this is a person who is widely respected, robert mueller, who served a republican president and was picked by the trump administration by rod rosenstein. the other big take-away, rod rosenstein in the view of the special counsel is very likely a witness to the underlying conduct, the obstruction which is a felony. he wrote the letter saying the reasons for removing jim comey, whether you believe him or not that the president later elaborated and said to loeft le holt, now this man overseeing mueller is now a witness himself and may have to recuse himself. >> is there a sitting grand
jury? >> there are grand juries involved in some doj investigations such as paul manafort. we cannot say at the moment. we don't know. >> we'll show you some tweets that are just horrible put out by former speaker of the house newt gingrich who knows better and is still doing this. i don't even -- we want to start with that? because i think we'll start with president trump's tweets. he's commenting again -- he can't stop himself. on special counsel robert mueller's investigation, earlier this morning he tweeted, they made up a phony collusion with the russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. nice. just a short time ago, he added, you are witnessing the single greatest witch hunt in american political history, led by some very bad and conflicted people. i don't even know where to begin with that. and then in the category of fanning the flames of conspiracy
theories, a day after a tragic shooting at a bipartisan baseball practice, it is worth noting that newt gingrich is weighing in as well. he tweeted this. mueller is now clearly the tip of the deep state spear aimed at destroying or at a minimum undermining and crippling the trump presidency. and then he tweeted, the brazen redefinition of mueller's task tells you how arrogant the deep state is and how confident it is it can get away with anything. mark halperin, i better let you talk because i don't have anything nice to say. that is -- that is -- he knows better, which makes it worse. much worse. >> i mean as ari said, this is not new for allies of a president who is being investigated to attack the investigator. but if you look at the identity of the person who's doing the investigation, as mike has said repeatedly, bob mueller is not a man they want to get in a war with. he is not here to make his name.
he is here to try to help the trump administration if they didn't do anything wrong, tell the public, restore confidence at the didn't do anything wrong. if they did something wrong, they're only making their lives worse by antagonizing him. i will say, speaker gingrich does know better. at a time, on the day after the shootings, to put out tweets like that is simply more of the same of the way washington conducts business. that has led to the kind of escalation of rhetoric that it not just good for anybody. and he's got couple million twitter followers, i think? and he's out there basically claiming things about bob mueller for which there is no basis in fact. >> mika, briefly -- "robert muler is a superb choice to be special counsel. his reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity. media should now calm down." end quote. >> that was said by -- >> the author of that quote, newt gingrich, may 17th. >> different newt gingrich. >> he knows better. >> really sick. really sick.
>> the rnc said the same thing. joining us now, chairman of the republican senate conference, republican senator john thune of south dakota. thank you so much for being on the show. >> thanks, mika. by the way, mika, i haven't had a chance to express my condolences to you and your family as well. your dad was a wonderful public servant who loved this country greatly and inspired so many people. we're all going to sure miss him. >> i do. i think we all miss him now more than ever, for so many reasons. given the conversation we just had, i'm not going to ask you to comment on newt gingrich's tweets, or even the president's. but the political climate and where we stand. what can you say? paul ryan had some pretty strong words in the house yesterday about stepping up and leading. it seems that we need members of congress and senate more than ever. >> i agree, mika. i think we've got to set the example and dial down the rhetoric and soften the tone in
our public communications. with respect to a lot of the social media chatter that goes on, sometimes there's value in an unexpressed thought. sometimes it is better not to just say everything that comes in to your mind. i think we see a lot of that today, and i think restraint should be applied when it comes to things public officials say. i certainly hope going forward that we'll see more unity and an understanding that this kind of rhetoric can lead to some very senseless acts of violence which is what we witnessed yesterday. >> i've been talking this morning about the difference in the dynamic of what has been an increasingly dangerous political climate over the past few decades. you can trace it back several administrations. this is not a trump thing. this has been a growing problem in which the media also plays a role. and fake news plays a role. and websites play a role. and different voices that seem to be poisoning our democracy getting involved. let me though ask you with great
respect as a republican, how do you move forward with a president who tends -- who has issues with telling the truth, has issues with some of the things i was just talking about, be promulgator of fake news. the guy started the birther movement on president obama. i'm not asking you to comment on that. but will republicans, do you think, and should republicans, do you think, expect more from president trump in the days moving forward? >> well, of course i would like to see the president stay off twitter. i think -- i think everybody has made that suggestion, of course. it is unlikely to happen. but i think we have to do what we can do. obviously you can't control what other people say or do, but i think we have to step up, assume a leadership role and get away from the personalization of our politics. i think today too often instead of arguing about ideas and differences of opinion and policy and even political philosophy, it really gets
personalized. i think social media obviously contributes to that. you get a lot of people sort of energized out there, and in some cases energized in a way that leads to bad behavior. but it starts with each of us individually. i don't think we -- we can't cast blame on somebody else. we all have to do what we can do. >> mike barnicle? >> so, senator, i don't want to get you in trouble, but you have actually seen you smiling, laughing, hanging around with democrats. >> oh, boy. >> you were friendly with them. i've actually seen that with my own eyes. so in the spirit of what you just indicated, that everything should start and the basis of going forward should be on an individual basis, reaching across the aisle, or however you want to frame it up. my question to you is, in terms of bipartisanship, in terms of openness, in terms of a welcoming manner, there is a health care bill now being drawn up in the united states senate, largely by the majority. nobody knows what's in this bill. how about trying to open the
doors and start to like get together by telling us what's in this bill? >> well, i think that that will happen, mike, when we actually have a bill. right now it is discussions. it's policy options. we're, i think, getting to the point where we'll start reducing this to legislative language, at which point it will be obviously openly shared. but i think with respect to that issue, there's been so much discussion over the past decade. it's not like any of us are unfamiliar with what the issues are. obviously we would welcome democrat participation in this. i don't think we're going do get that. i know that they feel that not only there weren't republicans that helped them when this was passed a few years ago, but i think they also see this as a political opportunity and advantage to them. but that's a very tough issue and one where i think you're probably going to see us move this eventually, if we can, with republican votes. but there are lots of other issues, mike, where we can come together. i share the commerce science and transportation committee. have a great bipartisan working
relationship with the ranking member, bill nelson, and we've passed and actually gotten signed into law a lot of legislation, including some this year already. so those things go on. they just don't get talked about, unfortunately, as much. i know that we need to convey to the public that there are good things happening, that we're getting some things done, and obviously look for places where we can reach across the aisle. >> senator, did the president call the house bill mean? >> well, i'm not going to characterize what the president said in that meeting. but what he did convey, mika, is that he is interested in seeing the senate proceed, and we're writing our own bill and i think he is supportive of those efforts and i think is anxious to see what we can produce and hopefully we get something that he's able to sign into law. >> senator, is bob mueller is man of integrity and has he done anything so far in the conduct of the investigation that makes you think he is conducting a witch hunt? >> no. he is a man of integrity, mark. he needs to be able to do his work. think it is better for you will a of us if that work continues.
it is obviously he is going to get to the bottom and he is going to find the facts. i think that's his role. i think we ought to let him continue to do that and -- i assume at some point there will be an end to all this. he'll have done his investigation and there will be whatever findings there are. but i think for now we ought to proceed on our agenda. we ought to try and reform health care, reform the tax code, and do an infrastructure bill and focus on jobs and the economy for the american people knowing full well that that investigation is going to be ongoing. >> so not a witch hunt. >> it's not a witch hunt, no. i think that he's got a job to do. we all understand that. i think it is in everybody's best interests if we let him do his job. and we do ours. >> senator, on that point, if you want him to be allowed to do his job, what is your view of the president's authority and the potential propriety of removing mueller during the investigation? >> well, i would certainly advise against that. i don't think legally he can.
i think there are -- sounds like -- i'm not a lawyer -- legal grounds for good cause. i don't expect that to happen, and i would certainly advise that step not to be taken. i think this is a man who many believe on both sides of the aisle has tremendous integrity and will do his work if had a very diligent way and a straightforward way and get to the facts and let the facts take us where they go. in the end, i hope there is, though, a finite amount of time where this gets concluded. i have seen these special counsels drag on for a long period of time. i saw that as a house member during the clinton administration. i think there needs to be an end point at which this stuff gets wrapped up. so far after 11 months of an fbi investigation and six months of congressional investigation, both sides agree there isn't any evidence of russian meddling, so i think at some point you have to wrap it up and move on, but we've got to let him do that. >> senator john thune, thank you
very much for coming on this morning. best to everybody there. >> thank you. ari melber, thank you as well. still ahead, we'll continue our discussion on the important question -- how the nation can pull together when many people don't even accept the same facts. plus, turkey's leadership is being held to account for bringing its thuggish tactics to american soil. we'll explain that straight ahead. using an electric toothbrush. for an exceptionally fresh feeling choose philips sonicare diamondclean. hear the difference versus oral b. in a recently published clinical study, philips sonicare diamondclean outperforms oral-b 7000, removing up to 82% more plaque and improving gum health up to 70% more. its sonic technology cleaning deep between teeth. from the most recommended sonic toothbrush brand by dental professionals. switch to philips sonicare today. philips sonicare. save when you buy now. philips sonicare. only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes.
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it's the right time to play this game. some people thought maybe we should not play it. e speaker, j and i, we need py is game, it's baseball and america. when america gets punched, america punches back and we'll do that tonight. >> that was congressman roger williams speaking this morning on the "today" show. he says he ran to the dugout yesterday when shots rang out on the ballfield. one of the congressman's staffers was shot in the calf but has been released from the hospital. john writes in the "new york post" it feels like america is descending into chaos and writes in part this -- i turned 7 in 1968 and though my memories are necessarily fuzzy, i can still sum up a queasy sense of the chaos that pervaded the year as it streamed out of the 12 inch black and white tv in our dining room. my son turns 7 in a month. 49 years from now, he will summon up a similar feeling of chaos when he thinks back to 2017. i don't want to invoke all the cliches of the past decade, but
you know them all. we're a divided nation. we're all living in our own bubbles. we don't even accept the same facts and we hate each other. the problem is, these cliches are largely true. the united states is in a time of great danger. it is not my son's happy boyhood memories that are at stake, it's his future and all of ours. wow. joining us now university professor and director of the center for sustainable development at columbia university economist dr. jeffrey sachs and fellow at the london school of economics and political science, brian clause. it's good to have you both on board. on john's point, i would like to branch that out, brian, into our foreign policy. you see two parallel foreign policies coming out of the u.s. and you're very much like my father, who told me in the past few weeks that he was deeply disturbed with what was
happening and seemed really gravely disturbed about things that, perhaps, the public doesn't know about, but that he knows about from years of building strategic alliances. >> yeah. i mean i think we have a crisis of foreign most and crisis of democracy happening right now. in foreign policy it's linked to the crisis of democracy because at the same time trump's foreign policy towards the rest of the world is not supporting democracy elsewhere and at home, we are not a beacon for the rest of the world as we were before. people are not looking to the united states, that city upon a hill that reagan so often invoked as a model for how they want to structure their societies. when i've done research on thailand and belarus no one is talking about washington as the model they want to follow. we need to take stock of the fact as we turn on each other we're damaging democracy globally and sending out signals to the world that make it easier for authoritarian societies to take root abroad.
>> well, it's not just that we're not a model, we're actually viewed as completely unstable and weird right now. i've been all over the world in recent weeks and there isn't a place that isn't looking at the u.s. and scratching their heads saying, what is going on. we've never seen anything like this. >> or even worse, i've met people from countries without, you know, democracy in place saying, this is how it starts. this -- look. this has been said universally, i've heard. >> i thought your exchange with senator thune was really important because if there's any place where we could still have some grownup leadership it would be the u.s. senate. it's not there right now. the question that mike asked exactly, you have a health bill which affects the biggest sector of our society, more people, it's secret until the last moment, is this really the way
that the last grownup deliberative institution should behave. i didn't like the senator's answer so much. i hope they think more about this. but that is the last place where we might be able to see some decency remaining. you know, the president'ses way over his head in this, this is obvious, we don't have the executive branch able to look ahead. everyone is wondering what's going to happen the next moment. the house is bizarre. it passes a major piece of legislation without one minute of hearings. and now we're asking whether the senate remains a deliberative body or something that's just going to push through a lobbyist's written bill and it's dramatic. >> if the u.s. steps back from leadership, as you -- i think you're suggesting and other countries are saying, what fills the void, china, russia, france, germany? >> china clearly already is at the summit on -- their big
infrastructure initiative which is actually taking place, unlike ours, they had 30 leaders there, president xi jinping, i was there in beijing, gave a wonderful speech, really inspiring about how this is global partnership. i think with macron as president, we've got a young, dynamic, new leader and i think that germany and france are stable and important and now that both will soon pass their election cycle. >> mike next, brian you want to comment? >> china is actually using trump as a way to try to pivot and take advantage of this void. i mean they have in their state media explicitly said donald trump is proof democracy doesn't work. when we turn on each other and have a divided society that is dysfunctional, frankly dysfunctional, we are not that model that pushes back against china. they can use ourselves as a way to say turn to beijing for leadership. that's bad for american
interest. if we're going to have an america first foreign policy and serve american interest rates we need to fix our problems at home so people want to work with us and attract us. that's something we're losing sight of. >> mike barnicle. >> china has already established deep roots in both africa and in south america. while we are still debating the number of troops we might send to afghanistan. 16 years after that war began. how much of a drain and impact on our role in the nation has our obsession and involvement in afghanistan meant? >> i think it's an enormous one. it has a bigger picture in the sense that we have a headlines -- our headlines dominated by a few countries but there's 7 billion people in the world and we need to think about how our strategic relationships with those countries we don't hear about are actually served by investing in those countries which china is doing. they're reaping the dividends of those investments and we should
be doing the same thing. >> there's an update on last month's incident in washington that saw the president of turkey personally watching as his bodyguards violently attacked protesters on american soil. now u.s. authorities are expected to announce criminal charges today against a dozen members of president erdogan's security detail. that's according to the "new york times." members of the security team face several felony and misdemeanor accounts. those involve, though, are believed to be back in turkey. washington police have charged several others including two americans for taking part in the violent squirmish. jeffrey sachs. >> disgusting and looking forward to their indictment. >> unbelievable what we saw here. thuggery. >> and president trump seems to van affinity for the leaders of countries that are -- >> he congratulated erdogan, after he rigged a referendum that dismantled a democracy in
turkey. >> that does it for us this morning. thank you, gentlemen. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much, mika. good morning. i'm stephanie ruhle. here we are, live on capitol hill. as all of washington and the nation are reeling from yesterday's shooting. fighting for their lives, after that shocking attack that took place on a ball field. the president and the first lady visiting the hospital overnight. congressman steve scalise in critical condition as one of the staffers who was shot speaks out this morning. >> got struck in the leg and made a run for it. i was running for my life. i was bleeding pretty badly. we were just trying to stay alive. >> the gunman's trail, investigators tracing the shooter's final weeks. why was this man living out of a bag in virginia and how long had he planned the vicious attack, as new interviews ofim