tv Morning Joe MSNBC August 7, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT
testify. >> that does it for us on this monday. "morning joe" starts right now. good morning and welcome to "morning joe" it is monday, august the 7th. president trump he's on a working vacation, though he says he's not really vacation. congress is in recess, but we still have a lot going on. yesterday the president tweeted out "fake the this news refuses to report the success of the first six months. supreme court, surging economy and jobs, border and military security, isis and ms-13, et cetera." seems to be kind of upset the media isn't covering those stories, so he must have missed this broadcast. >> thank you for joining us, as we provide you the news of the week from trump tower here in new york. more great economic news on friday, the july jobs report added a better than expected 209,000 jobs overall since the president took office president trump has created more than 1
million jobs. the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low and consumer confidence is at a 16-year high, all while the dow jones continues to break records. president trump has clearly steered the economy back in the right direction. on wednesday, the president introduced the r.a.i.s.e. act. for decades a steady rise in immigration has depressed the wages of american workers. the r.a.i.s.e. act will increase wages, decrease poverty and save the taxpayers billions. americans deserve a raise and president trump is finally putting the american worker first. thank you for joining us everybody. i'm kayly mceneney and that is the real news. >> boom! i like that music. i think we should have that music for three hours in the background. it's pretty, kind of keeps you driving, like when i'm playing risk, they've got that music pushing all the time. that was the news of the week as posted on the president's own facebook page. former ambassador to russia
micah mcfaul "wow, feels like so many state owned channels i've watched in other countries." ambassador mcfaul later this morning. with us the host of msnbc's "dead lin to white house" former communications director for president george w. bush nicole wallace, political writer for "new york times" nick contossori and noah rothman and nbc news capital news correspondent, kasie hunt. mika brzezinski trying to get reaction on the jobs report, if you want to know the reaction from kids on the street, you go to the south of france. but that was though, nicole and i'm curious what you think about this, this was like the story that mika was the most interested in about this weekend
because she believes that it lends to something else. me being the politician okay, yeah, control the news, get out there, et cetera, et cetera, and i remember bill clinton running 30-second ads from 1994 to 1996, and he just, he tried to control the air waves that way, but mika, and a lot of other people really upsbet this "state-run tv" approach. what's your take? >> my take is that he's given up. he spent the entire duration of the campaign engaging you and mika, engaging all the media. he used to say to his aides why should i stay off the air waves? it's free media and he's given up. he understands the free media is going to ask difficult questions and press until they get to the truth and he's thrown up his hands and i think he sees sort of his comportment in office doesn't withstand the sorts of media he relied on touring tdur
campaign. to me this is a string of defeats for him. he's given up on the free media and making his own media. >> noah rothman, conserves and the media complained that barack obama especially during his campaigns in 2008 and 2012 avoided the typical interviews, and got his message out, and i think he got his message out really well, using the internet, using facebook, using other things. is this really that different than what president obama's team i think in a smart way started back in 2008? >> it's a little different because it's branding itself as a news outlet and not a voice for donald trump explicitly. at the same time i have seen some people on, prominent people on twitter saying this is indistinct from state-run news. it kind of is. you have donald trump branded splash behind them and it on facebook. you really have to want to be
fooled if you watch this for news. it's the message from the white house, and pretty well branded as that. it's not quite between two ferns. they're creating something from scratch, and trying to get to their audience specifically, not to reach a new audience. >> yeah, nick, if it says do donaldtrump.com in the background don't you know the source? for me fake news would be calling it nbct or something like that, and making it look like another network and trying to fool people into believing. here it says donaldonaldtrump.c. you know what you're getting. >> it's the trumpets in the background music. great music. ♪ brr do do i think what we're seeing -- >> it's august g, go ahead. >> more and more what we're seeing out of the past white house take more advantage of the channels of communication.
the obama white house had their flickr page for their own white house photos, the presidential address, they would give the talks of the president to the regional news outlets so there's always an effort to go around attritional gatekeepers. i think probably that video you just broadcast is the most viewers it's had since it was broadcast. >> yes, exactly, but i will tell you i do think steve rattner, this is a sign of things to come. i think you'll see a lot of politicians, a lot of presidents in the future really trying to do everything they can to go around the mainstream media, and again i don't think we should -- we will be very critical of donald trump over the next three hours but i mean, this is -- when i see state-run tv all i'm looking at is what politicians are going to be doing for the next 50 years. again, anything they can do to get around the mainstream media, and obama did it, bush would
have done it, reagan did it by doing a lot of local ads. it seems to me it's just changing the format. >> sure. and look, fdr did fireside chats. i don't think i have any problem with the president trying to communicate directly to the american people as long as it's labelled appropriately and cleared what the sources. what i have a problem with and i suspect everybody will, is that obama -- sorry, president trump had literally one press conference since he took office and no other president, i think obama had something like eight during the same period. every other president going back in history has had multiple press conferences where they took questions directly from the press as opposed to trying to communicate directly. i don't mind them communicating directly but the guy has to stand up and face the press by himself and take the tough questions and answer them. >> so we're going to be going to the war against bob mueller and the justice department in a minute, but i want to first of
all, noah rothman go quickly over the list donald trump tweeted out last night. first of all i think we need to say i don't know whether it was the president and his new chief of staff talking twitter strategy or communications strategy, but this was a pretty reserved weekend, one of the things he did put out last night he talked about the fake news, and he talked about his successes, and he talked about the supreme court, isis, the economy, jobs, here we go. supreme court, surging economy, jobs, border and military security, isis, and ms-13, et cetera. obviously not a lot of legislation, but looking at that list, conservatives that voted for donald trump, trumpists that voted for donald trump that look at that list, certainly the supreme court for them a huge success. isis we do seem to be making very good progress against isis. what about those other items? >> well, i think you do have to
give him some credit for the border because border traffic is down, and i think it has quite a lot to do with the fact that we have a president who is using rhetorical tools to instill some sort of fear in those who would otherwise make a perilous journey across the border. we don't have a lot of legislation to point to saying border security is up as a result of congressional action. they appropriated very little for what is supposed to be the border wall. it's just going to reinforce existing infrastructure. all we have to say is why is border traffic down? because the president has been a little harsher when it comes to enumerating what the penalties will be for individuals who make those trips, and impressing on i.c.e. and other law enforcement agencies to enforce the law. there is a case to be made for the president and nobody else is really making it for him so i don't fault hip there. as for military security i'm not entirely sure what that means but there has been some action on the ground as far as
trucating isis' territory. these are things he can and should take credit for. >> rattner, the numbers as far as illegal immigration were going down for some time, and they're going to continue to go down because the mexican economy is doing better than it's done in quite some time. that said'border crossings continue to decline, the trend that started under barack obama, he certainly will take credit for that, won't he, and most of his supporters will cheer him for it. >> actually, there are more, and even before trump took office, there have been in recent years more mexicans leaving the country than coming into the country for the reason you say. >> right. >> jobs there were more plentiful than they were here, but i certainly agree with noah, i think he has had an impact on the border. some of it is rhetorical. would you want to go to a country where the president basically says we don't want you here and we're going to do everything we can to send you back. the trends were in place before he took office. >> it may just accelerate it.
let's move from this to what's been going on this weekend, there have been just a couple things that just drive me absolutely crazy when i see newt gingrich tweeting things out saying donald trump gets 60% in west virginia and 5% in washington, d.c. guess where they put the special pro prosecutor? that's one of the dumbest things and newt knows it. he knows that's stupid. if he commits crimes or his associates commit crimes in west virginia or do things that the special prosecutor for some reason believe may be crimes in west virginia, then they'll impanel a grand jury in west virginia. this is not really that hard and newt knows better and trump knows better and his lawyers know better. why would they -- it's just, it's just so insulting. >> it amounts to character assassination against bob
mueller, stunning strategy. special counsel bob mueller's investigation continues to cross new boundaries as trump allies continue their war on the department of justice suggesting the former fbi director is stacking the deck. white house ally newt gingrich tweeted requests. trump got 68.6% in west virginia, 4.8% in washington, d.c. guess where mueller has a grand jury in guess how biased it will be." another attack on mueller's credibility comes within the white house itself. >> you have to listen to his special counsel ty cobb who works in the white house and said clearly, george, this week we will continue to cooperate with bob mueller and his investigation even though he just hired the 16th person, many of them are democratic donors but we'll continue to cooperate and comply. >> reports the investigation is using grand juries in virginia and washington have led some to ask whether the scope has broadened. yesterday deputy attorney general rod rosenstein said he and mueller would evalue wait
any potential crime the special counsel uncovers >> it is subject to the rules and regulations of the department of justice and we don't engage in phishing expeditions. >> in the course of his investigation of the issues that he is looking at, if he finds evidence of a crime, can he look at that? >> well, chris f , if he finds evidence of a crime what director mueller and i agreed is inside the scope he can. if it's outside the scope he has to look to permission from me to expand the investigation. >> this comes weeks after president trump's attacks on the leadership with him offering attorney general sessions for the leaks. "after many years of leaks going on in washington it is great to see the ag taking action. for national security the tougher the better." joe? >> nicole, i'm curious, let's start with the attorney general jeff sessions after you had john
kelly come in. that's one of the first things that he apparently made a phone call to jeff sessions and said hey, your job is safe. obviously he wouldn't have made that phone call without talking to the president first. you have the president now tweeting that out. that's one less war donald trump is fighting not only with his own attorney general but also with the base, but i also, i just think it's interesting also that there were some people suggesting that if it's outside the scope of russia collusion, he can't look at it. nicole, that goes to all of his financial dealings. that goes -- i mean there's not one person that doesn't think this starts with money laundering from russia. i mean that thinks that not that it may be there, but that would be the first place any prosecutor would look. people are talking about going back to the 1990s in atlantic city and money laundering starting there. so it's not like they're going to be able to just lift one little rock and put it down.
this is going to be expansive because you have to look into his financial dealings to see what vladimir putin has on donald trump. >> right, and he ran as a businessman. he takes every opportunity to tell us that he's a businessman, so if you run as a businessman and you're being credentials you're a businessman, someone investigating whether as president you may or may not have included or coordinated with russia is going to have to examine your business records and your life as a businessman. >> kellyanne conway again just doing the inexplicable, saying the inexplicable saying things kasie hunt that make my teeth hurt when she's so stupid that they make my teeth hurt, not her but the words that come out of her mouth when she's spinning talking about how bob mueller is given to democrats. take all of bob mueller's entire team, and they haven't given as much money to democrats as donald trump and his former
communications director anthony scaramucci, who he hired while making the complaints. they've supported obama. they've supported clinton. they've supported schumer. they've supported the dnc, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. bob mueller hasn't paid that much. that makes no sense. i'm wondering these arguments on the hill have, against robert mueller and the investigation hasn't really gained any traction with republicans thus far, and it seems to me that this past weekend and over the past week they're just digging in even more, aren't they in. >> i think that's right, joe. this is one area where republicans have actually had a pretty stiff backbone against the president. some of them haven't necessarily been willing to say it very aggressively in front of tv cameras but their actions underscore it and there are many who have gone out and said look, the best possible outcome for this president is to have bob mueller actually do his investigation, do his job, and the action that they're taking,
the senate is coming in and out of session over the course of the next few weeks specifically to prevent the president from making a recess appointment that would allow had to immake changes at the justice department to get rid of mueller. republicans are backing off from the idea they're the ones that are directing that, saying democrats are the ones, that's kind of true, but the reality is republicans started this tradition of doing things this way. they set a schedule very early on in the year of republicans who are going to be coming in and doing these sessions, so i think that they are putting a pretty firm line in the sand here on mueller. >> i think so. so many things, so many parts of our system have actually worked out well. i was talking to mika yesterday, telegramming her, because that's the only way she gets communications in the south of france, and we were talking about how the system has worked. it's incredible how the checks and balances directly and indirectly have just, you know, there's been a stress test against over the last six months and it's held.
well, then we stumbled across this charles krauthammer op-ed and writes this of the anthony scaramucci chapter "the guardrails hold. at five separate juncture the sinews of our democracy have held against the careening recklessness of this presidency. consequently donald trump's worst week proved a particularly fine hour for american democracy. one, the military says no to the trump transgender ban. two, the senate saves sessions. three, senate republicans reject the obamacare repeal. four the boy scouts protest. five, the police chiefs chide. trump is a systemic stress test. the results thus far are good," and steve rattner, he went more specifically into all five of those and it's fascinating the way he described it but he is
right and it seems that the republicans are, certainly some of the republicans are standing up now and being guardrails themselves saying no, you're not going to fire robert mueller. >> he is right, and of course tom tillerson and chris coons are leading the effort to make sure he dioesn't fire robert mue per aepts a sad commentary on the state of our country the best we can say is a president who is out of control couldn't pass the guardrails. >> i actually think it's a great thing. i think this has been a stress test as far as the first six months and i think it's a time for us to reexamine what we've become as a country, but to understand that the system thus far has worked, and i wish we
didn't have to have that stress test but we did and so far you know, madison and hamilton's creation is doing a pretty good job. >> i agree but again, i would simply say we've got a lot of problems in this country. it would be nice to make forward progress on some of them and the second thing which is wonky and doesn't get a lot of attention, there is an enorm us amount of stuff going on in the regulatory side of the government, where the republican trump vision is being implemented on a lot of regulatory stuff, and you may like that, joe. i don't particularly like it, but the government is functioning on that side as well. >> well, obviously i'm very concerned with a lot of things that are going on. you look at the story in "the washington post," i think it was or maybe it was "the times" you look at the state department and the top five dozen positions in the state department. >> 38. >> top 38, well in alabama where i'm from, that's five dozen,
y'all. 38. so anyway -- i'm joking, roll tide. but the top 38 positions in the state department haven't been filled. that is not a crisis of the administration. that's an international crisis especially when we're in the times that we're in. i wanted to ask you something and i want to just open up generally to the table. nick, let me start with you. i will commend the president of the united states for selecting john kelly as his chief of staff and not act like this is the weekend that john kelly became president, because it was the president who decided to bring in john kelly, and if john kelly works as chief of staff, it will be because the president empowered him to do his job. nick confessori, the past week there have been some ups and downs but certainly looks like the president has given john kelly the type of power that most people around this panel and most former chiefs of staff
have been asking the president to give his chief of staff. >> well, joe, eight pretty early. the saturday tweet day was pretty quiet shall that's always a good sign and we've seen there's been some early moves and early agreement by the president's daughter and son-in-law to respect the boundaries of the chief of staff but it does seem the focus in this chief of staff is more on the staff, as the phrase goes, and i think he cannot control the president, there isn't anyone who can control the president and it remains to be seen if the president is going to allow himself to be kind of have the blinders on so he can focus on his policy moving forward. i think it's too soon to tell. i've been burned so many times on the pivot, joe, i don't know if i can keep it up once more on this. >> again that's why i always say no so far. i'm judging him by the past week, it could go off the rails but you look at the changes that he made, scaramucci out the
first hour, a couple very bad actors kicked off the national security council, when nobody else could get them off in the past, even general mcmaster. the tweets were down a little bit this weekend, and we're now even hearing that family will report through general john kelly. again, and also a couple great stories the "wall street journal" talked about a fight erupting in the middle of one of the meetings and kelly just looking at the two said hey guys, we're in a meeting, take it outside, figure out where you stand and then come back and tell us, and gingrich, quoting gingrich again, gingrich talking to a lot of insiders said that there's been a sigh of relief since he's been there, that there is now a grownup running operations there. again, this could all change in 15 minutes with the president watching "fox & friends" and tweeting out that martians are coming. but for now, the first week,
week and a half, i give credit to john kelly and also credit to the president of the united states for getting somebody strong, noah, that he's empowered for a week and a half. >> yes that, credit is due, but i would say that mr. gingrich's comment about there being an adult in the room is the definition of an ambition against interest. it concedes the fact we have been adultless for the last six months and this is too premature. over this weekend they did remove allegedly problematic member of the nsc and we've seen a full-on war against the national security adviser in the blogs that we shouldn't have to pay attention to but nevertheless do because they're pretty powerful when they come from most likely the bannon wing of the white house and with due respect to dr. krauthammer it's far too early to say the guardrails have held. we have a grand jury investigation which will sprawl, which will investigate this president and his business dealings before he became president and we don't know we'll find.
i'd be surprised if we found nothing. >> and in defense, nicole, of dr. krauthammer, he ended with the two words, so far." >> right. >> as we are saying, so far. >> i think we have, i think that kelly serves -- i think we have an 80/20 problem. 80% of the problems of the trump presidency of trump's creation. 20% were from having a weak chief of staff in reince priebus and this sort of warring, the warring multiple axes of power. i think general kelly can solve the 20% of problems created by the staff but i think the 80% is still the looming question. we still have a president who won't openly acknowledge russian interference in the election. we still have a president we don't know he's not directing the surrogates to assassinate the man of a war hero, fbi director two of presidents of two different parties and i think we have a 20% solution and an 80% question mark in
remaining problem. >> right now, i think the biggest problem inside the white house and i'll just says you have steve bannon and his allies. >> right. >> trashing and sliming an american hero in general mcmaster, a man who has given his life to service of this country. >> right. >> and has led men and women into battle, who has been there doing just unspeakably courageous things for this country and sacrificing and he's being slimed by somebody like steve bannon and steve bannon's pro-russian supporters out in the press, russian bots on twitter. there has been a concert the effort not only against the bannon wing of the white house but also against russian forces, propaganda forces to attack general mcmaster. you ask yourself, why are the russians concerned about general mcmaster? why are the russians sliming general mcmaster? why is steve bannon sliming general mcmaster? they're all good questions.
that's something that obviously if we want this white house to really, if we want that 80% problem to become a 50% problem, then we need to take care of that. i was glad to see the president of the united states coming out and actually defending general mcmaster this weekend. he needs to do more of it. still ahead on "morning joe" president trump applauds china and russia for backing sanctions against north korea, while the secretary of state sets a deadline to respond to moscow's move expelling u.s. diplomats. we're going to talk global affairs with former nato commander james staviridis and howard dean will be here after calling some of his party "whiny." you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ we're drowning in information. where, in all of this,
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let's turn to the deepening conflict in the korean peninsula and tensions set to dominate the day of high stakes forums in in ma n manila late this afternoon. secretary of state rex tillerson will be attending along with representatives from china, russia and north korea. it will be the first time secretary tillerson and his north korean counterpart are in the same room together. in a news conference overnight he said the best signal north korea can send to show it's serious is to stop testing missiles. the meetings come just days after the united nations security council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on north korea over their continued icbm tests. the 15-0 vote included russia and china, two nations that normally hesitant to go along with the council regarding north korea. the new sanctions include a ban on exports including coal, which accounts for over just over $1
billion of north korea's total export revenue last year. president trump spoke with the south korean president last night and tweeted that president moon is "very happy and impressed with the vote." this is the seventh round of sanctions imposed by the security council against north korea and the regime responded to the sanctions promising "righteous action." saying "there is no bigger mistake than the united states believing that its land is safe across the ocean." way to calm the waters, north korea. with us former nato supreme allied commander now dean of the fletcher school of law and diplomacy at tufts university retired four-star navy ad myrlie james stavrides, current xlo diplomacy an fist for nbc news. let's begin with the 15-0 vote we quoted earlier and the former ambassador mcfaul attacking
donald trump for trump tv, but on this 15-0 vote, he said this was genuinely an impressive accomplishment, and i would assume that you would agree, getting china and russia to come along. tell us about it. >> i'll give you two things that are really good about it. one is ambassador nikki haley who i think is turning out to be a pleasant surprise at the united nations, i mean let's face it, going into her appointment, you wouldn't have thought the trump administration would really care so much about the united nations, but she's been using a different set of talking points, kind of from day one. she does go after russia. she does work collaboratively with our allies. i think a lot of the credit for this is parked with ambassador haley. second good thing, joe, what you mentioned the alignment between the big meeting in manila, what secretary tillerson is saying and what's happening at the
security council. it's, if you will, an admission by the trump administration that internationalism can play a good part. that's all the good news. the bad news is, as you point out, we've sanctioned north korea again and again and again over decades without real effect. at the end of the day, we are where we were a week ago, which is that all roads to pyongyang are going to lead but beijing. let through beijing, see how the chinese walk the walk as oppose to talk to the talk at the security council. all in all a good thing, security council vote yes. >> the chinese and russians usually play spoilers in these votes. why did we get beijing and moscow to go along with this particular sanctions vote? >> two reasons. one is their own self-interest, the desire they both have to avoid the ultimate blow-up on the peninsula, and they feel that we are edging in that
direction, the cover of "the economist" magazine highly regarded on friday nuclear cloud one side of it, president trump the other side kim jong-un. they're worried is the first piece and the second one is you see the two of them, china and russia beginning to work together to collude, not to coin a phrase on international policy and this is an area where they can work together that helps their overall international agenda. so self-interest is the short answer. >> admiral stavrides, what would the likelihood be of ever doing something -- you point out we've done this more than a dozen times, a regime that stars its own people isn't going to be hemmed in by economic sanctions. it's not as though they need the money to feed their public or take care of them with health care or anything else. what's next? i understand sanctions on china would be the real pressure point if we wanted to change the
dynamic there. >> you've got it, as we've said multiple times over the last few months, you really have three options here. one is the military option, either massive or precision, that's bad, because we're going to lose a lot of people in the course of this, and it's hard to predict how it ends up. second option as you point out is to get china in the game and that is going to require secondary sanctions on china. third option, we live with it, we continue to use deterrence, much as we did during the cold war, and we continue to put pressure in a variety of other ways, and hopefully over time kim jong-un modifies his behavior. none of these are good options. we'll probably end up somewhere between option two and option three. >> what under what scenario, i mean even for -- i agree with your assessment of nikki haley. i think since day one she's been a star over there at the u.n., but what, under what scenario
particularly with an emboldened russia, under what scenario could we ever achieve any sort of world, any sort of unanimous support for sanctions against china, or would they be unilateral? >> i think they're going to have to be unilateral. we're not going to get the security council upon which china sits to go along with sanctions on china. what we might be able to do is craft what we did with iran, which would be a secondary sanctions regime that would involve the european union alongside us, but i think that's unlikely as well. at the end of the day, if we want to really move beijing we're either going to have to offer them a carrot or a stick or some combination. the stick would be secondary sanctions, the carrot might be cooperation on something that really matters to them, perhaps in the south china sea. i wouldn't advise going there, to the administration. >> with respect to china, china is not iran. china is not north korea. china is the first or second
largest economy in the world depending upon how you measure it. we owe them $1 trillion. we have massive trade arrangements and other arrangements with them. is it really, is it honestly realistic to think that we're going to put sanctions against china and have some kind of an economic war with china to try to solve the north korea problem? secondly with respect to the south china sea i agree that's not a realistic option either so where does that leave with us china in terms of an option, if you were in the white house, that you would recommend to the president? >> what i would avoid would be a, the south china sea piece because that starts to upset and enormous level of international agreements about territoriality and international law so let's leave that off the table. what i would avoid is a massive campaign of secondary sanctions, but i could foresee a precision guided campaign of secondary sanctions that really look at a few selected industries probably
some that are very, very involved in north korea, very precision guided, but i think your oint's well taken that at the end of the day, we're not going to simply convince china to support us on this one. we need to nudge them along, and finally, we're going to have to realize my view at some point we have to live with this. again, not a good option, but i think that's where this one is headed. >> admiral, do you think that's what everybody inside the trump administration is thinking or do you think there are actually some people who are considering a possible strike against north korea? >> well, general mattis' job is certainly every day to wake up and think about if i'm tasked to conduct a strike, how would i do it? admiral harry harris, the commander of the pacific command wakes up every morning thinking about that. we have detailed plans to do that. we have forces at ready to do that, so that is an option on
the table, but i think in terms of where overall we think this one is going to come out with general kelly, general mcmaster, et cetera, i think we are not leaning toward military strike at this point, and joe, if if you look at, as you pointed out up front the security council resolution, you feel the international community at least coming together a little bit to try and deal with this collectively. let's see what comes out of the meetings in manila. >> let us see. i just, i suspect at the end, donald trump will not want to be the president who is remembered throughout history as being the north korean's, being the person that allowed the north koreans to have nuclear strike capability on seattle or portland. so it's, i think at the end, the chinese are going to have to step up or there could be some dire consequences. admiral james stavrides thank you so much as always.
ahead we're going to ta you can about the "new york times" story that had the political world buzzing and the vice president denying, in a big, big, big way. more talk of the republicans laying the groundwork for 2020 regardless of president trump's plans, and the president tweeting out an attack against "the times" moments ago.
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so the president of the united states is on media now, he likes to tweet against other people's meetings. he calls us "low rated morning joe" despite the fact we have high ratings, we thank him for that. this morning a general jab at the "new york times." "the failing "new york times" which has made every wrong prediction about me including my big election win, apologized,in" nick confessore, "the failing "new york times"" it sugsz your ratings are down, influence is waning. how is the "new york times" doing over the last six months? >> in the last quarter we added 100,000 new digital
subscriptions, hiring people. >> hiring? we're hiring people. the sushi in the cafeteria pretty great. i would say that tweet was the all clear sign for the vice president, that the vice president had, because it was clearly a tweet aimed at the story on vice president pence and i think vice president pence had successfully shifted the conversation away from his own ambitions to the failings of the "new york times" alleged. >> well it is fascinating the story that broke over the weekend that we're going to be talking about coming up next, the vice president of the united states and several other republicans going to iowa, going to other states, going to these early political events getting together fund-raising base that actually in mike pence's case competes with the president's fund-raising base. he may say he's not planning a run for president of the united states, but if you just look objectively at what he's doing, where he's going, what he's saying, there are many people who would suggest that's exactly
what he's doing. we're guessing that's probably the story that the "new york times" wrote this weekend that got under the president's skin. coming up next "the washington post" bob costa joins us with his reporting that steven miller is being considered for communications director. we're back in a moment with that. ♪ ♪
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donors and the administration. eight republican events have taken place. at least eight fundraisers for outside groups and hosting a lot of private gatherings. the vice president responded in a statement nearly 24 hours after the story was posted online. today's article in the new york times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team. the allegations are false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration. my entire team will continue to focus our efforts to advance the president's agenda and see him reelected in 2020. any suggestion otherwise is laughable and absurd. senator tom cotton has gone to iowa. governor john kasich spent time in new hampshire. and ben sass has made trips to
iowa and new hampshire. nicole, this is not fairly unprecedented. this isn't kind of unprecedented. this is unprecedented. this doesn't happen this early, and the vice president can say what the vice president wants to say. he's setting up a pretty powerful campaign operation whether he tells himself he's doing that or not. >> should we just say it out loud? no one is sure that donald trump is going to make it. including people on the inside. and so he doth protestette a little too much as a communicator. whether people want to say it or not, it's a known unknown whether donald trump will be still standing to run for reelection. that's not hyperbole. people don't know where the russia probe is going to end up. i think even his closest advisor don't know if he's going to have
the stomach for the lights on his family. i think this is the reality. i would put the names in categories. i think pence and cotton are loyal to donald trump. they just don't know if he's going to make it. i would put sass and flake in another. they oppose trump and trumpism. >> and will campaign that way, and, of course, kasie hunt, we see this all the time. george h.w. bush was loyal and always building up for a presidential run. not doing it in a way that would undermine reagan, but he did. that's what vice presidents do when they're sitting vice presidents, but you've been around this long enough, and you've been on campaigns. if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a presidential preparatory campaign. >> i think nicole is right. pence is unfailingly loyal to this president. and i think he also understands how to communicate internally
and externally. i think that statement was trumpish and designed to appeal to the president and get him to tweet what he tweeted about "the times" being the problem and not the content of the story. i have to tell you, if you watch very closely what mike pence is doing, not just in these moves to build kind of the relationships with donors, but also how he responds when the administration is embroiled in something and how and when they choose to push back, it is extremely sophisticated and indicative of how they are looking out for mike pence's political future. it's remarkable. there have been at least three occasions where they have either anonymously or on the record come out and said look, we didn't, for example, that meeting with don junior they put out a statement that said we weren't on the campaign at that point. >> you're exactly right. not only that. but, for instance, his trip to eastern europe recently.
he says things, and i'm sure noah would agree, that ring conservative's bells. when i heard him talking about russian aggression, and i think he was where he needed to be to be making that statement. you had people like me, conservatives for their lifetime going yeah, give it to them straight. way to go. that message is getting out to the conservative base. and certainly having an impact. anyway, we're going to talk this a lot more and kids, wake up your parents. steve rattner has brought sharks. the president brags about the stock market hitting a record high. a new poll suggests americans are more concerned about america's shattutature in the w. we'll talk about that and much more when "morning joe" returns.
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to keep you on track. a pilot like you showelcome to miami.buses. you should be serving your country. [ whispering ] i'm working for the c.i.a. that sounds made up barry. this is going to be good for us. nice wheels. [ laughter ] ♪ that's for the damage. and your bike. you never saw me. [ bell rings ] american made. rated r. what's the story behind green mountain coffee and fair trade? let's take a flight to colombia. this is boris calvo. boris grows mind-blowing coffee. and because we pay him a fair price, he improves his farm and invest in his community to make even better coffee. all for a smoother tasting cup. green mountain coffee. with at&t you can get your entertainment right here. right now, when you get the incredible iphone 7 from at&t you can get unlimited data and live tv.
the channels you love. your favorite shows and movies. making your iphone into more of a... oh my tv is ringing. hey...i'm in the middle of a...a second iphone from at&t? okay! right now when you buy a new iphone 7 from at&t you'll get a second iphone 7 on us. and power both with unlimited data and live tv. welcome back to "morning joe." it is monday, august 7th th. mika, of course, in the field. in the south of france trying to get reaction to the latest jobs report. with us we've got the host of deadline the white house, 4:00 p.m. on msnbc, nicole walla wallace. also political writer for the times, nick, steve rattner, noah rothman, kasie hunt, and let's
bring in political reporter for the washington post and the moderator of "washington week" robert costa. and jennifer jacobs. let's start out with the changes inside the white house. as general tilly begins his second week as chief of staff. there are early signs of a culture shift. kelly has moved quickly to move the unchecked flow of paperwork crossing the president's desk and instituted a formal process for meeting with the president of the united states. he's restructured the staff by putting ivanka and jared kushner under hirms, and staffers can no longer squeeze in an audience of the president by loitering hoping they will catch the president's eye. kelly has also reportedly assured both jeff sessions and h.r. mccasters about their future within the
administration, and as for all the tweets, jennifer jacobs says even though kelly doesn't get to review every one, the president has agreed to show kelly important ones. president trump has made it clear he reserves the right to ignore social media advice. the question now is whether or for how long the new discipline can last. the white house official says kelly has been clear he's here to manage the staff, not to manage the president. and that is so important. because so many people are saying well, if john kelly works or not, we'll see what the president's speeches are like. no. at the end of the day, donald trump is going to be his communications person. it's not john kelly's job if he can mute him at times before he gets too controversial.
that's great, but that's not the standard bob costa that john kelly is going to be tested by. it's how does he run the white house staff. and what can you tell us? take us inside the white house over the past week, week and a half. i hear that there's a good bit of relief from the staff, actually, around that somebody has come in that knows how to institute order. i would guess the president may actually find this to be a nice change as well. >> reporter: checking with my sources, i detected a cultural change not just in terms of order but also politically. you have in general kelly a nonideological figure. that's different than reince priebus. i'm told, for instance, on tax reform when those discussions have happened in recent days, the general hasn't taken a position. he's not advocating for one faction of the white house or another. he's trying to be the balance between all of these different
sides and orbits around the president. >> and that's something reince priebus always, he had his rpc hat, and he was there to be in the conduit between donald trump, a life-long democrat and the republican party on capitol hill. that was always difficult for him. but kelly is just going in there a lot like eisenhower, not interested in the far right or far left. just interested in what works. how do we get this to work? how do we get legislation passed? how do we build relationships with the hill? >> and i think that what works for the staff that is reassured is he's a general reassuring the generals who are the folks that come the closest to giving any sort of comfort about this white house, general mattis, general mcmaster, which is what makes it so surprising that this open
warfare is underway under mcmaster. >> i don't think that's going to last too long. do you? john kelly did not put up with anthony scaramucci for more than 24 hours only because of the disorder. it may not have even had anything to do with scaramucci personally. he just wasn't going to deal with the chaos and disorder. he's a general. i don't think he's going to allow steve bannon and bannon's allies to keep trashing an american hero for much longer. >> i hope bannon has shown he's more clever. he's going to do it in a more sort of insurgent way. when you look at rogue operators inside west wings in the past, they've been the ones that run the insurgent campaigns. not that this is hard to see. it's a pretty direct line at
breitbart, there's a piece with broad sides against mcmaster, the rumblings about how trump is unhappy with mcmaster. anybody who talks to people inside the white house has a pretty good suspicion about where they're coming from or they have firsthand knowledge about it. short of having donald trump fire bannon and presidents are usually remiss to fire the people who assemble the political coalitions who get them elected, i'm not sure how he keeps all of the heat off -- >> see, though, but nicole, that's what bothers donald trump. donald trump has a guy in the white house that actually thinks he got steve -- that steve bannon actually got him elected, and i know people think that when i mock steve bannon for thinking that he got donald trump elected, they think i'm trolling him. steve bannon didn't come onto this campaign until relatively late in the campaign.
and yet, bannon's running around going, well, he can't get rid of me because i'm the one that helped get him elected. he can't get rid of me because i'm the one that told him how to appeal the working class whites. donald trump was doing that long before steve bannon went to work for the trump white house. >> you're right, but i guess why is he still there. >> it's a good question. >> and all of the controversies and all of the things that repel a broader coalition than the 38% squarely behind donald trump are associated with steve bannon. white nationalism, the breitbart baggage. all of that has its sort of birth father, if you will, in bannon and bannonism. >> also in fairness, bannon is as responsible as -- >> bob costa? i'm sorry. bob, we'll go to you next. bob, it's not 38%. now it's 33% that steve bannon has brought the president's
approval ratings to. >> real quick, i think when we talk about the fight between general mcmaster and steve bannon inside of the house, it's more than personality. this is about the future of u.s. policy in afghanistan. is the united states going to have a bigger footprint there or not? is it going to continue to have certain troop levels or not? that's a real tension. i think one of the reasons bannon remains in spite of the controversies and in spite of some tensions at times with elements of the president's circle, he's seen as someone who echoes the president when it comes to afghanistan. i think the president based on my reporting likes being not only that kind of voice in these discussions. >> joe, i think that steve bannon as much as anyone else is responsible for president trump. the person who wins is the person who wins. the strategists are the most important part. the apparatus steve bannon put together in politics with his
donors and nonprofit organizations, his ideas for how to find the voters who are the pivotal voters to flip from democrat to trump in the last election, look, that guy had his finger on that. i think it's one of the reasons why president trump is reluctant to get rid of him. he is the guy to who puts the clothes on the ideas for donald trump. he's the guy who created the boat work and the apparatus that -- backs up trump's instincts. >> so you think -- i'm curious. you think it was bannon that targeted those people and helped get the obama people -- i thought it was jared kushner that built the outreach operation. i'm sorry. that bloomberg savaged two or three weeks before the election, and then everybody after the election was saying oh, that was
a turnout operation. i'm not being facetious. i didn't know -- jennifer, let me go to you. interesting story about donald trump's tweeting and sort of the delicate balance that general kelly is going to be moving forward with in donald trump. what did you learn? >> well, don't assume that general kelly is using a heavy hand on the president. that's not what my reporting is showing. keep in mind that the president seems to be showing a willingness to listen to general kelly. reince priebus, a former chief of staff tried to close the door on the oval office and control the flow of information onto the desk and trump was resistant. reince priebus was never fully in charge. what we're seeing change is a willingness from the president to listen to general kelly, and he's been willing to look at
tweets by him. kelly is not discouraging him from tweeting. in fact, he's been introducing some tweet ideas, trying to steer trump into driving a narrative a little bit. >> we've got some trump tweets to dove tail onto your point. he's clearly not tackling the twitter front. but donald trump tweeting a couple minutes ago the trump base is far bigger an stronger than ever before despite his 33% approval rating. that's me not him. look at rallies in pennsylvania, iowa, ohio, west virginia, the fact is the fake news russian collusion story -- the same stuff we were just talking about. he seems to, one, not be at the first step of a stroerecovery w is to admit you have a problem. and he has a problem. steve bannon is trying to kill his national security advisor. that's one guy who appeals to more than 33% of the country.
>> i think steve bannon has the easier message. let trump by trump. >> trump just stays at 33%. >> precisely. if that's what they believe is the key to the kingdom, that you keep that 33% -- >> what can you do with 33 snkt. >> he has people saying that base is the key to your success. to get rid of that base is to lose your floor and you're gone. that's a significant message. the other message is this is what's going to work on the hill and make you a successful president by the kelly. we haven't seen the fruits of that yet. >> on the polling, when you talk to people inside the white house, they don't look at the national polls. they look at state polls they get from the rnc and other state gop organizations. they're trying to block out new york and california. whether that's smart or not is not for me to judge. >> the 33% isn't in new york and california. i sat in the white house. polls are polls.
you can hate them and you can love them. no white house cares what happens in new york and california. certainly not a republican white house. >> yeah, and so bob, they're looking obviously at wisconsin, michigan, ohio, pennsylvania? obviously iowa as well. is there any suggestion from anybody in there that they like what they're seeing? >> their whole theory is if there's economic growth 2%, 3% in the next few years, they'll be okay. if it's not okay, then they're not probably going to do that well. they tend to tune out a lot of the news coverage as noise. this news coverage seems to be overwhelming for this administration. we'll see if that's a safe orris can i bet. >> we shall see. let's go to andrea mitchel. andrea, some surprising news, i guess, over the weekend. certainly a success for this
white house. 15-0 vote at the united nations. and they brought russia and china along. not an easy thing to do. can you tell us what happened? why moscow and beijing decided not to play spoiler for once? >> it's the first time we've seen this kind of united front and tough sanctions, a billion dollars out of the north korean economy if it all works. that is a big if. rex tillerson trying to follow all of that up over the weekend. he is now in the philippines at an asian -- it's the annual asian pacific summit. he had meetings with everyone except north korea. he laid out for the first time, joe, what it would take to sit down with north korea. specifically saying that one's signal from north korea that would be important to justify having diplomatic talks would be if they stop this accelerated series of missile tests. if they top their missile tests. it's not that they have to denuclearize or something we know they won't do to justify
sit duke and trying to deescalate this threatening crisis. you talk about mcmaster and all the politics involved with steve bannon, but this is a real threat from -- when you talk to john kelly and dunford and mattis, this is what they're really focussed on. also overnight an acknowledgment from tillerson late last night in manila that they have no agreement on zbafghanistan. that is the big issue that is dividing this white house now. what to do about afghanistan. the president and bannon on one side and mattis, kelly, mcmaster, the generals on the other side saying this would be the worst time to leave. no one believes they're winning. everyone acknowledges there is no good solution here. but there is a game plan that they're trying to evolve. the fact is that they're
stalema stalemated. they've had three meetings and no solution. >> andrea, help me out. i know this is difficult for you to answer. because you cover the state department so much. you cover rex tillerson so much. but it seems to me there is such a debate ongoing debate on and off cameras about rex tillerson. some foreign policy analysts say he's a disgrace and should step down. he's not filled any positions. others say just give him a little bit more time. he's having to fight an inside battle. he didn't get the number two that he wanted months ago. if donald trump had let him get -- things would be completely different. what can you tell us? obviously the state department is right now a lot of people inside there really distreepres because he doesn't have the top 40 positions there. what are you hearing inside the state department? what are you hearing from people around rex tillerson?
>> well, the people around rex tillerson are very angry. they're very worried about what they see as white house leaks. obviously tension with the white house over personnel which also has taken place at the pentagon with general mattis, and they also have a lot of vacancies. more vacancies at the state department. these are nominees that have not been put forward. they haven't nominated anyone pause he has a job freeze and a management study. that's the main criticism, that this is not a good management tool. in their defense, they say they are trying to keep the politics out of the state department and relying on holdovers from the obama administration, one of whom, susan thorton is the acting assistant secretary for asia who is briefing are him and at his right hand in these meetings. complicated meetings with 26 different nations. so it's a mixed bag. nobody has been tougher, i
think, on what is happening at the state department than i have. but in his defense, he has achieved something and the president has achieved something in the last week with nikki haley. they have united russia and china against north korea. and i think the fact is that north korea with their long-range missile and with their accelerated progress on the nuclear front, were so threatening that even china and russia had to take notice. the question now is are they going to observe the sanctions or cheat? if they're going to cheat, the real test will be are we prep e prepared to take china on with secondary sanctions hitting their banking system? >> andrea mitchel, thank you. we greatly appreciate it. steve rattner, jump in. >> about what? >> well, i thought you were going to have a question for jennifer jacobs.
>> jennifer, what andrea outlined with respect to the state department is you could say about all parts of the government, decisions not made, positions not made, positions in dispute. do you have any sense or optimism that the kelly regime is going to get the wheels to move in a more efficient way? >> i talked to the staff. they feel somewhat directionless. they're waiting for general kelly to start laying out strategy. they want to know if he's going to walk them through how they're going to pass legislative proposals in the fall. they want to know his overall goals. he called the staff into a meeting before they flew out for the trump working vacation and kelly outlined some vague priorities for them. he said listen, country first. the president second. your own personal priorities last. essentially what those staffers
said they interpret that as meaning be loyal to your country. he has been protecting them with priorities, but they're looking for more direction. they're looking for structure. they're looking for whatever kelly can tell them, but also they know that kelly is taking his leads from the president. >> and bob costa, what should we expect from the president or at least what are the president's goals during this 17-day work vacation that he's having in new jersey? >> on the domestic front, they have to come up with a strategy for the debt limit and for the budget. and in particular, with the digit. we're all watching closely here on capitol hill about border wall funding. will this white house really push the budget fight to the brink? will they actually risk a government shutdown with republicans in congress over getting what they want when it comes to the wall? that is a store issue for this
white house. how far will they really push the republican leaders who don't want to go wholesale in that direction? >> what's the president's state of mind based on your reporting inside as he's left the white house. is he angry? is he sullen? is he -- usually you'll ask people and they'll say the president is doing great when he's obviously not. does he feel like bringing in john kelly gives him breathing room. >> he does feel the white house is stabilized because of general kelly. he's not really siding with his son-in-law or with steve bannon on policy. you don't see him tilting in a specific direction. he knows he has a difficult decision to make on afghanistan, a decision he's not shown his cards on yet. when it comes to congress, he wants the wall. but there's still not a clear
strategy about how he gets a lot of his apes done with congress. he's thinking through these things but this is still in the beginning stage on the strategy. >> last week there was a lot of talk about donald trump going to war with the republican party. has that cooled off? or do you think if he doesn't get the funding for the wall, perhaps that's his strategy going against both republicans and democrats? >> i think there are elements of the republican party he's eager to go to war with. if you think about senator mccain's comments for the new york types and the chairman and the senate, senator murkowski and collins who broke with the president on health care. there's a lot of anger with that particular wing. >> and one final question. steven miller for communication director, there's some talk about that over the past weekend. is that just bluster or could we
see steven fimiller in that position? >> i found out he's in the running. cannot be communications director, but to have the communications director responsibilities. in short this is because after anthony scaramucci, the white house isn't in the mode of having a wide search for a director. kellyanne conway and others and the president himself remain key communications figures within the white house. because miller knows how to drive the policy, he has advocates for taking ton communications role but we'll have to see if general kelly wants miller to have such prominence in shaping policy and communications. >> all right. bob costa, thank you. and jennifer jacobs thank you. still ahead, howard dean will talk about the future of the democratic party after losing another governor last week. they now control fewer than one-third of the governor's mansions in this country.
that's about as bad as it's been for the democratic party in american history. as we go to break the president tweeting once more just a minute ago, hard to believe that with 24/7 fake news on cnn, abc, nbc, cbs, new york times and washington post that the trump base is getting stronger. happy days are here again, aren't they? the president is right. that is very hard to believe. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. oh
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senate sued him and said you can't do that because they were using sessions dpavling in and out specifically to stop presidents from doing this. that's what's going on in the building behind me throughout the august recess, and while republicans are throwing this on democrats and saying they're the ones that refuse to allow to adjourn, this was a plan that republicans made. they scheduled the junior senators to stick around during a day or two of their vacation to do this. put this in the category of both democrats and republicans in the senate sending a signal to the president which is primarily around the russia investigation. because there was fear that he was going to throw jeff sessions out in an attempt to fire mueller. >> the democrats are doing the republican's bidding. they can point their fingers at the republicans. i works well. neither side want donald trump to be able to put in a lot of recess appointments. thank you. we'll be right back. president trump has only been in
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governor scott walker, where is scott? it's going to be your turn very soon. you and pence are going to have to fight it out. >> that was president trump in december joking mike pence about a potential primary challenger in the future. but the president wasn't laughing after a new york times report suggested that pence is already working on a shadow 2020 campaign in case he has to run. we're live in washington, ken vogel who contributed to the report. talk about the dinners that mike pence has been setting up that you reported on with rich, powerful gop donors that obviously would lay the foundation for any 2020 run he had. >> yeah. he's doing an extensive amount of donor outreach, having donors
and other corporate executive types over to the vice president's residence understand every few weeks. small group dinners. a setting he's comfortable in. sort of smoozing donors in an intimate one on one basis. he works the room, sits down at every table, talks through the concerns of the donors, and it's sort of paying dividends. there's a lot of loyalty in the republican donor base for mike pence. strong bands with him in a way we don't necessarily see with the president. pence's people are very careful to say this is about helping the administration, preparing the ticket for reelection in 2020. but there are some folks who look at it hopefully and kind of wonder if this is not a little bit of an effort to lay the ground work should president trump not run for reelection for mike pence to be ready.
>> ken, i remember the relationship with george w. bush and dick dick cheney being scrutinized because there w-- fr reasons, but never did i have to beat back a story about chadick cheney spending so much time with donors at the six month mark of the first time. what possible explanation the s there other than his political future for spending so much time with donors when they have not a single part of legislative accomplishment to speak of? wouldn't that be the more constructive part of the vice president's time? >> that's one of the things he stresses with the donors and the small groups of activists he
meets with around the country sometimes that we don't even hear about. he says, we are working. we're facing tough head winds, but we're working to accomplish these legislative items that are soft deep interest to the republican base, and to these donors and the republican elite. he also says he does make a pitch for trump. he says if you saw the man that i see in private every day, you would be higher on him. you wouldn't have the concerns. some of the donors who met with who i've talked to say it's a convincing case and comes across as trying to bring on board folks who might have been skeptical of president trump. others say he's just checking the box. he's saying that because he needs to say that, but what he's doing is building a bond and allegiances with key people who would be pivotal if he were running in 2020 at the top of the ticket. >> obviously, you have to check that box. at the same time a lot of
conservatives out there would love to have mike pence as president of the united states instead of donald trump. especially a lot of donors, wouldn't they? >> yeah. i would say so. it strikes me that there are a few things more important right now to the republican than the perceived integrity of the vice president. at one point in the near future he may be called upon to mend some serious wounds. to the extent that mike pence has to issue a statement that says i'm 100% with donald trump and do so emphatically. he's not just speaking to an audience of one. he's speaking to the trump base yrk, a third of the country. it's important he maintains the connections to the base of the trump voters and to be perceived as a viable alternative in the event he has to step up. >> all right. thank you so much. and thank you to the new york times, ken vogel. greatly appreciate you being on the show. that's the talk surrounding the
republicans. what about the democrats? there has always been a section of the left which i call the whiny party, the party that doesn't really want to win. they just want to be pure. and if they go down swinging purely, that's fine. the problem is it leaves behind the people who really need their help. >> well, howard dean will be with us to talk about democrats and the whiny party when we return on "morning joe." (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything
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50 governorships. over the next 15 months there will be 22 governor races. they believe they have to prepare for a political climate of 2006 when the republicans lost the house and surrendered their majority among the governors. with us now dan vault who wrote to t story we just referenced. also former chairman of the democratic national committee howard dean who had choice for his own party over the weekend. dan, let's start with you. it was always interesting back, you look at the last two democratic presidents that have won. it's -- you look at the '93 races that republicans swept. it suggested that they were going to do well in '94. and then in 2009, virginia was supposed to have gone blue, and then bob mcdonald won in 2009 by winning by 21 points.
are democrats looking for similar results in 2017, 2018? >> well, joe, they have an attractive map in one sense. of the 36 races that will be held in 2018, 26 of those are now held by the republicans. the democrats have a lot of targets. some of those are in red states that are going to be very j very difficult. some are in blue states with popular governors, massachusetts, maryland, for example. i think for the democrats, so much in our politics comes back to the midwest. and that's where donald trump won the presidency last year, and i think it's where the democrats will need to begin to make a comeback, and the governor's races in michigan and ohio and wisconsin, minnesota, where they hold a seat, but that's going to be a potentially tough race. pennsylvania where they have to hold it and a few battle ground like florida and nevada, those are going to be indicators of
whether the democrats can find attractive candidates and candidates that have a message that resonate with people. they need fresh talent. governor dean would agree with that. there is a need for the democrats to produce new and attractive candidates. and also this is going to be an important round of gubernatorial races. 2018 is a big year and a challenge for the democrats. >> governor dean, when you were running the democratic party you had a 50-state strategy and it showed. everybody is so focussed, hyperfocussed, the democrats are, on donald trump and hillary clinton that so many of them seem to overlook the fact that democrats are at the low point of holding governorships. lowest since 1922. and they just got pounded in the senate races and the house races. a lot of lot of races too.
what do they do to turn that around in 2018? >> well, we do have to have a message. i think schumer and pelosi are getting one together that makes sense. people complain. that's what people do inside the beltway. the truth is it's hard to have a coherent message -- you have to have great candidates. i agree with dan. the governorships are crucial. the 2017 governorships are crucial. virginia and new jersey are critical. that was really the tip off when i was running the party in 2005 when we won both of those that we were going to have some pretty big things happening to us down the road. secondly, we've got to have really strong candidates. we've got great candidates for congress. i think we can take the house. i'm probably one of the few
people in washington who believes we can take the senate back in 2018. the governor races are tougher. people vote for governor much more on who they like rather than the party. it's a less partisan race. because people really care about who the governor is. they care probably a little less about the senator and congressman. >> let's go to nick with "the times." >> what a accounts for the shelacking of democrats? >> well, the national democratic party, as you know, is defined as a bicoastal party and not national. it's strong on the coasts and the leadership tends and the message comes from the coasts.
that doesn't play as well through many of the states up for grabs in 2017, 2018. 2018 in particular. so there's the absence of a kind of a message that >> there have been two terrible elections, and most of the gubernatorial races are in the midterm years. you know, if you look back eight years ago, the democrats actually had a majority of the governorships, but under president obama, they got wiped
out, and the absence of a bench makes it all the more difficult to find the right candidate that can win in those states. >> steve, i want to put up the numbers again. guys, can you put up the numbers of 2010 and 2014? there were two just massive republican years 76 house seats. 76 house seats lost. 13 senate seats. as weave been saying, steve radner, also, the governorships are at an all-time low tied with 1922. dan is exactly right. their bench has been absolutely decimated. >> yeah. look, i spend a lot of time in the democratic circles, and there is a fair amount of something between hand-ringing and despair over the state of the bench and our prospects for taking back the senate or the house. howard, what i wanted to come back to you on this question of the bench and the lack of
candidates and all of these places. >> to build the bench, to build the apparatus, the party the way you did earlier in the -- in his term. do you agree with that or not? >> well, let me say two things about that. first of all, i disagree with you and dan about the bench. i think we've got a great bench. a bench is usually defined by people who write for a living as have you ever heard of this person? there's tons of really talented and credible people out there that we've never heard of who could run and should run. secondly, it is true of every incumbent president that they start with dnc. dnc becomes their re-elect committee. they aren't doing their work where they should be in the states. thirdly, there was a very, very effective republican effort and led by americans for prosperity, the coch brothers, to organize
themselves really, really well to take this back. i'm optimistic. i think we have great candidates. the most significant thing we can do is turn the page on my generation we have got to get young people tongue out and run. this is happening with indif izible and flipable and run for something and swing left. they're actually finding young people. there's a woman that i saw the first female f-18 pilot is now running in kentucky for congress. that's the kind of stuff we've got to do in order to win, and then people are going to stop complaining about the bench. >> so, howard dean, who are the whiners in your party that you were complaining about with our colleague joy reed. name names. >> we're not going there. >> i don't follows it aclosely as you do, but what category of people are the whiners? people in the media? people in congress? >> no, no, no. we're talking -- i'm talking about members of --
>> who is whining? i'm just curious. >> people that complain all the time. well, i'm not going to answer your question. members of the party -- i'm talking about the small minority of people who have to have everything perfectly, who have to attack somebody -- like the ones that burned me up over the weekend who people who attacked pamela harris. no matter who we have, left, right, or center in the democratic party, they're not going to be perfect, and people are going to complain about them. stop it. we can't beat the republicans who are incredibly well organized unless we all hapg together. what i object to in my party is people -- as ted kennedy once said and others have said it to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. we are not going to nominate a perfect candidate, whether it's bernie sanders or pamela harris, or any -- chris murphy or any of the hundreds of really or at least it seems like hundreds these days, but 20 great people that have been talked about. we're not going to -- whoever we nominate, we have to get behind. we have to stop complaining about they might have taken a contribution from wall street,
or they want something that's too far left that's impractical. stop it. there's a nomination process. stop complaining and get ready to pull for whoever the nominee is. >> dan, following up with what howard just said. there's a battle on the democratic left and the democratic center. any evidence of any candidates out there that seem to have connections with both wings that could bring them together like bill clinton did in 1992? >> well, i think some people are looking at governor bullock in montana as somebody who might be able to do that. we're a long way from knowing that. it's so easy to be an anti-trump party. everyone realizes that, first of all, that's got a lot of pot ensy, but, secondly, it's insufficient in terms of building a national party or rebuilding a national party.
i think part of the problem the democrats have is there's this pull and tug between are they going to be the party of, in a sense, the new america, the rising generation, a much more diverse america, or are they going to find a way to reconnect with white working class voters? not that they're going to get all of them back. i think a lot of them are lost for a long time. to do somewhat better with them. i think they're struggling so far to find a message that works for all of those. they haven't yet put that piece together. >> it's still seeming like it's in development. we will see what happens moving forward. dan, thank you so much. we greatly appreciate it. howard, thank you as well. still ahead, president trump is tweeting this morning railing against the fake news. apparently, he is now trying to create his own news operation. we'll talk about that when we move forward. plus, north korea rattles a saber at a key summit that's happening right now in asia. threatening more missile tests
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with the lighter feel... of this. try listerine® zero alcohol™. the lincoln summer invitation is on. it's time for a getaway. now get our best offers of the season. on the agile mkc. on the versatile midsize lincoln mkx. or go where summer takes you in the exhilarating mkz. the lincoln summer invitation sales event. ask about complimentary pick up & delivery servicing. right now get zero percent apr plus 1,000 dollars summer savings on the lincoln mkx, mkc and mkz good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, august 7th. president trump, he is on a working vacation. though he says it's not really vacation. congress is in recess, but we still have a lot going on. yesterday the president tweeted out, "the fake news refuses to
report the success of the first six months. supreme court, surging economy, and jobs, border and military security, isis, and ms-13, et cetera." he must have missed this broadcast. >> thank you for joining us as we provide you the news of the week from trump tower here in new york. more great economic news on friday. the july jobs report added a better than expected 209,000 jobs. overall since the president took office president trump has created more than one million jobs. the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low and consumer confidence is at a 16-year high. all while the dow jones continues to break records. president trump has clearly steered the economy back in the right direction. on wednesday the president introduced the raise act. a steady rise in immigration has depressed the wages of american
workers. the raise act will increase wages, decrease poverty, says and save the taxpayers billions. americans deserve a raise, and president trump is finally putting the american worker first. thank you for joining us, everybody. i'm kaly, and that is the real news. >> boom. i like that music. i think we should have that music for three hours in the background. i think it's pretty -- kind of keeps you driving. it's like when i'm playing risk. they've got that music pushing all the time. that was the news of the week as posted on the president's own facebook page. former ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul tweeted "wow, feels eerily like so many state-owned channels i've watched in other countries." we talk to ambassador mcfal later this morning. we have the host of msnbc's former communications director for president george w. bush, nicole wallace, political writer for the "new york times" nick, former treasury official and morning joe economic analyst,
steve ratner, associate editor of commentator magazine, and nbc news capitol hill correspondent casey hunt. on assignment in the south of france trying to get the latest reaction on the jobs report. nicole, that is out. if you want to know the reaction of the kids on the street, go to the south of france. this was the story that she was the most interested about this weekend because she believes that it lends -- me being the politician, i'm thinking, okay, yeah, yeah, okay. control the news. get out there, et cetera, et cetera. i remember bill clinton running 30-second ads from 1994 to 1996, and he just tried to control the airwaves that way. meeka, and a lot of other people really upset about this "state-run tv approach." what's your take?
>> my take is that he has given up. you know, he spent the entire duration of the campaign engaging you and meeka, engaging all the media. he used to say to his aides, why should i stay off the airwaves? it's free media. he has given up. he understands that the free media is going to ask difficult questions. they're going to press until they get to the truth. he has thrown up his hands, and i think he sees that sort of his comportment in office doesn't with stand the sorts of media that he relied on during the campaign. to me this is just another sort of string in all these sort of defeats for him. he has given up on the free media, and now he is making his own media. >> you know, noah rothman, a lot of conservatives complained and a lot of people in the media complained that barack obama, especially during his campaigns in 2008 and 2012, avoided the typical interviews and got his message out. i think he got his message out
really well using the internet, using facebook, using other things. is this really that different than what president obama's team i think in a smart way started back in 2008? >> well, it's a little different because it's branding itself as a news outlet and not a voice for donald trump explicitly. at the same time, i had seen some people, it prominent people on twitter saying, this is indistinct from state news, state-run news. it kind of is. i mean, you have donald trump branded splash behind them, and it's on facebook. you really have to want to be fooled if you watch this for news. it's the message from the white house. it's pretty well branded as that. it's not quite between two ferns. they're creating something from scratch and trying to get to their audience specifically. not to reach a new audience. >> yeah. nick, if it says donald trump.com in the background, don't you know the source of it? it's not -- i mean, for me fake
news would be, you know, calling it nbct or something like that and making it look like another network and trying to fool people into believing. here it says donald trump.com. you know what you are getting. i think we're seeing -- >> it's august. go ahead. >> this is more and more what we see out of the white house. the white house, the past white house, and this one take more and more advantage of the different channels of communication. you know, the obama white house had their flickr page for their own white house photos. they had the presidential address. they would give, you know, the talks of the president to the regional news outlets. there's always an effort to go around the traditional gate keepers. i think probably via the podcast it's the most viewers they've had since -- snoo trying to go
around the mainstream media. again, i don't think -- we will be very critical of trump over the next three hours, but, i mean, this is -- when i see state-run tv, all i'm looking at is what politicians are going to be doing for the next 50 years. again, anything they can do to get around the main stream media. obama did it. bush would have done it. reagan did it by doing a lot of local ads. it's just seeming to me it's just changing the format. >> sure. look, f.d.r. did fireside chats. i don't think i have any problem with the president trying to communicate directly to the american people as long as it's labelled appropriately and it's clear what the source is. what i have a problem with, and i suspect everybody here will, is that obama -- sorry --
president trump has literally had one press conference since he took office that wasn't one of these heads of state kind of deals. no other president -- i think obama had something like eight during the same period. every other president going back in history has had multiple press conferences where they took questions directly from the press as opposed to -- as opposed to trying to communicate directly. i don't mind them communicating directly, but i think the guy has to stand up and face the press by himself and take all the tough questions and answer them. >> so we're going to be going to the war against bob mueller and justice department in a minute, but i want to, first of all, noah rothman, i want to go very quickly over the list that donald trump tweeted out last night. first of all, i think we need to say that i don't know whether it was the president and his new chief of staff talking, twitter strategy or communications strategy, but this was a pretty reserved weekend. one of the things he did put out last night, he talked about the fake news, and he talked about his successes. he talked about the supreme
court, isis, the economy, jobs. supreme court, surging economy, jobs, border and military security, isis, and ms-13, et cetera. obviously not a lot of legislation. looking at that list, conservatives that voted for donald trump, trumpists that voted for donald trump, look at that list. certainly the supreme court for them. huge success. isis, we do seem to be making very good progress against isis. what about those other items? >> well, i think you do have to give him some credit for the border because border traffic is down, and i think it has quite a lot to do with the fact that we have a president who is using rhetorical tools to instill some sort of fear in those who would otherwise make a purelious journey across the border. we don't have a lot of legislation to point to to say border security is up as a result of congressional action.
they appropriate it very little for what is supposed to be the border wall. it's going to go to reinforce existing infrastructure. all we have to say is why is border traffic down? it's because the president has been a little harsher when it comes to enumerating what the penalties will be for people that make those trips and impressing on ice and other law enforcement agencies to enforce the law. there is a case to be made there for the president, and nobody else is really making it for him. i don't fault him there. as for military security, i'm not intoly sure what that means, but there has been some real action on the ground as far as truncating isis's territory. these are things that he can and should take credit for. >> his numbers are going down, and they'll continue to go down because the mexican economy is doing better than it has for some time. if border crossings continue to decline, the trend that started under barack obama, he certainly will take credit for that, won't
he, and most of his supporters will cheer him for it. >> actually, there are more and even before trump took office, there have been in recent years more mexicans leaving the country than come into the country. for the reason you say. that jobs there were more plentiful than they were here. i certainly agree with noah that he has had an impact on the border. some is rhetorical. would you want to go to a country where the president basically says we don't want you here, and we'll do everything we can to send you back. he has had an affect on that, but the trends were in place before he took office. >> still ahead on "morning joe" general james on what could happen next if the sanctions against north korea do not work. plus, reports of the mueller investigation advancing and brings new attempts to undermine it. we'll talk about that when "morning joe" comes right back. . ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business,
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mueller's investigation continues to cross new boundaries as trump alleez continue their war on the department of justice, suggesting the former fbi director is stacking the deck. white house ally newt gingrich tweeted president trump got 68.6% in west virginia, 4.8% in washington d.c. guess where mueller has a grand jury. guess how biassed it will be? another attack on mueller's credibility comes from within the white house itself. >> you have to listen to a special counsel ty cobb. he works in the white house now. he has said very clearly, george, this week that we will continue to cooperate with bob mueller in his investigation. we know he just hired the 16th person. many of them are democratic donors. we'll continue to cooperate and comply. reports that the investigation is using grand juries in virginia and washington have led some to ask whether the scope has broadened. yesterday deputy attorney general rod rosenstein said that he and mueller would evaluate any potential crime that the special counsel uncovers. >> the special counsel is subject to the rules and
regulations of the department of justice, and we don't engage in fishing expeditions. >> in the course of his investigation of the issues that he is looking at, if he finds evidence of a crime, can he look at that? >> well, chris, if he finds evidence of a crime that's within the scope of what director mueller and i have agreed is the appropriate scope of this investigation, then he can. if it's something outside that scope, he needs to come to the acting attorney general -- at this time me -- for permission to expand his investigation. this comes after two weeks of presidential attacks from the justice department's leadership. with president trump finally offering attorney general sessions praise for claiming to triple leak investigations. trump tweeting on saturday "after many years of leaks going on in washington, it is great to see the a.g. taking action. for national security, the tougher the better." joe. >> nicole, i am curious. let's start with attorney general jeff sessions. after you had john kelly come in, that's one of the first
things that he apparently made a phone call to jeff sessions and said, hey, your job is safe. obviously, he wouldn't have made that phone call without talking to the president first. i think it's interesting also that there were some people suggesting that if approximate it's outside the scope of russia collusion, he can't look at it. well, nicole, that goes to all of his financial dealings. that goes -- i mean, there's not one person that doesn't think this starts with money laundering from russia. i mean, that thinks that not that it may be there, but that would be the first place any prosecutor would look. people are talking about going back to the 1990s in atlantic city and money laundering starting there. it's not like they're going to be able to just lift one little rock and put it down. it's -- this is going to be expansive because you have to look into his financial dealings
to see -- the way i would put it -- what vladimir putin has on donald trump. >> right. he ran as a businessman. he takes every opportunity to tell us that he is a businessman. if you run as a businessman and your main credential is that you are a businessman, someone investigating whether as president you may or may not have colluded or coordinated with russia is going to have to examine your business records and your life as a businessman. >> yeah. you know, kellyanne conway, again, just doing the inexplicable, saying the inexplicable, saying things, casey hunt, that make my teeth hurt. when she is so stupid that they make my toout hurt. not her, but the words that come out of her mouth when she is spinning, talking about how bob mueller is, you know, given to democrats. take bob mueller's entire team, and they haven't given as much money to democrats as donald trump and his former communications director anthony scaramucci, who he hired while
making the complaints. they've supported obama. they've supported clinton. they've supported schumer. they've supported the dnc, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. bob mueller hasn't paid that much. that makes no sense. i'm wondering, these arguments on the hill, have against robert mueller and the investigation, hasn't really gained any traction with republicans thus far, and it seems to me that this past weekend and over the past week, they're just digging in even more, aren't they? >> i think that's right, joe. this is one area where republicans have actually had a pretty stiff backbone against the president. some haven't necessarily been willing to say it very aggressively in front of tv cameras, but their actions, i think, underscore it, and there are many who have gone out and said, look, the best possible outcome for this president is to have bob mueller actually do his investigation, do his job, and the action that they're taking -- i mean, the senate is coming in and out of session over the course of the next few
bee weeks. specifically to prevent the president from making a recess appointment that would allow him to make changes at the justice department to get rid of mueller. republicans are kind of backing off from the idea that they're the ones that are directing that. they're saying democrats are the ones. that's kind of true, but the reality is republicans started this tradition of doing things this way. they set a schedule very early on in the year of republicans who are going to be coming in and doing these sessions, so i think that they are putting a pretty firm line in the sand here on mueller. >> coming up on "morning joe" -- joins us and michael mcfaul cheers the trump administration on the international stage. china and russia get on board at least for now at the u.n. to pressure north korea. morning joe will be back right after this.
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it lake-effect the first time his counterpart are in the same room together, and then a news conference overnight, he said the best signal north korea can send to show it's serious is to stop testing missiles. the meetings come just days after the united nations security council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on north korea over their continued icbm test. two nations that normally go along with north korea. the new sanctions include a ban on exports, including coal, which accounts for over just over $1 billion of north korea's total export revenue last year. president trump spoke with a south korean president last night and tweeted that president moon is "very happy impressed with a vote. this is the seventh round of sanctions imposed by the security council against north korea, and the regime responded to the sanctions promising
righteous action, and saying there is no bigger mistake than the united states believing that its land is safe across the ocean. way to calm the waters, north korea. with us now former nato supreme allied commander, now the dean of the fletcher school of law and diplomacy at tufts university. retired four star navy admiral james. he is a current international security and diplomacy analyst for nbc news. thank you for being with us, admiral. we had quoted earlier and the former ambassador mcfaul attacking donald trump for trump tv. on this 15-0 video, he said this was genuinely an impressive accomplishment, and i would assume that you would agree getting china and russia to come along. tell us about it. >> well, give you two things that are really good about it.
one is ambassador nikki haley, who i think is turning out to be a pleasant surprise at the united nations. i mean, let's face it. going into her appointment, you wouldn't have thought the trump administration would really care so much about the united nations, but she's been using a different set of talking points kind of from day one. she does go after russia. she does work collaboratively with our allies. i think a lot of the credit for this is parked with ambassador haley. second good thing, joe, is what you just mentioned. the alignment between the big meeting in manila. what secretary tillerson is saying and what's happening at the security council. if you will, it's an admission by the trump administration that internationalism can play a good part. that's all the good news. the bad news is, as you point out, we've sanctioned north korea again and again and again over decades without real effect. at the end of the day we are
where we were a week ago, which is that all roads to pyongyang are going to lead through beijing. let's see how the chinese really walk the walk as opposed to talking the talk at the security council, but all in all, a good thing. security council vote yes. >> admiral james, thank you so much. coming up on "morning joe" secretary of state tillerson says he has told russia that washington is going to respond to moscow's move to expel u.s. diplomats by the end of the month. just ahead, though, former ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul joins us live to talk about that fake tv, and much more. ["love is all around" by joan jett & the blackhearts]
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>> zt president have a clear understanding of the nature of his counterpart in russia and the nature of the regime? >> the nature of the russian regime? >> yes. >> well, i think everybody is pretty clear on that, right? the nature of the russian regime is one person, isn't it? i mean, so i think you have --
you have an auto accuratic regime and an individual that's done an extraordinarily effective job at consolidating power. you know, we're talking obviously about the annexation of crima. >> the attack on you are on election. >> and the attack on our election, the attack -- very sophisticated campaign of subversion and disinformation and prop gand that is ongoing every day. >> it's part of hugh hewitt's exclusive interview here on msnbc with h.r. mcmaster. he is the latest trump official whose future is reportedly in question. at least that's what steve bannon and a lot of russian bots on twitter would want you to think. with us now, we have senior reporter for business in insider, natasha bertrand who covers foreign policy. also, the professor of political science and the director of the
institute for international studies at stanford university. former ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. mr. ambassador, let's begin with you. it certainly sounds like general mcmagser has the traditional american line against vladimir putin. >> and -- shares his national security advisor's assessment of russia's intelligenntions. >> you have to believe that h.r. mcmaster is saying that, and you have the vice president of the united states saying that. you have a lot of other officials, innicy haley at the u.n. saying that. it certainly sounds like that's the official position of the trump administration.
the president wants to say it. you reported that the long knives are out for general mcmaster. tell us about it. >> you have the bannon wing who is really, you know, not happy with mcmaster. especially after the firings of derek harvey and rich higgins. this is just like -- it's an idealogical battle that we're seeing play out in the white house, and it's really unclear. i mean, i think that the nationalist wing has kind of the competitive advantage at the moment just because trump has said in the past that, you know, he kind of finds h.r. mcmaster's strategy annoying in terms of how he does the briefings. he doesn't really like how he talks to him. sometimes he feels like it's a bit condee sending. we'll see how john kelly deals with all of this.
his presence in the white house definitely gives mcmaster more of a chance at surviving, but we'll see. >> mr. ambassador, donald trump came out and reiterated his support for general mcmaster. he talked about how valuable he was to the foreign policy team, and most importantly, this past week the president allowed general mcmaster to do something -- or actually allowed john kelly to do something that he had not allowed general mcmaster to do before, and that is get rid of a couple of people in the national security council who were unhelpful to the cause. >> yeah. and i just have to applaud that. i mean, i worked at the national security council for three years. you cannot have people on that staff that's a small staff, the senior staff is small, that don't support the views of the national security advisor. and i would just say, it would be a shock and a real crisis if the president now turned on h.r.
mcmaster and fired him because of some "nationalist" who think that they know foreign policy better. this is a strong team right now with the right views. i think on a lot of foreign policy issues at a really dangerous time in american foreign policy. >> right. >> we need the best and the brightest running the show right now. >> you know, mr. ambassador, you, of course, have been very critical of donald trump on foreign policy for a very long time. i did notice this weekend you, rightly, saluted him for a 15-0 vote against north korea on sanctions. that was quite an accomplishment. congratulations, donald trump. this is a genuine foreign policy achievement, which it certainly was. you just did -- you just also said something that i think pretty significant with h.r. mcmaster where he is, with john kelly where he is, with general matt is where he is, this president for all of the problems that you and i agree
on, but this president right now has a pretty damn strong foreign policy team assembled, does he not? >> yes. i agree. and, you know, let's be clear. u.n. security council resolutions don't solve military problems, but they're a good step in the right direction. it's hard to get the russians and chinese to sign up to security council resolutions on anything, let alone north korea, so it's an achievement, and ambassador haley should get credit too, as you were talking before the break. i think she's done a very commendable job as a u.n. ambassador. i still worry about the commander in chief. i want to be clear about that. i still worry that he is not in alignment with his team, but to mess with this team right now, i think would send a very bad signal to our allies both in europe and asia. he needs to keep this team in place. >> natasha -- >> well, nicole, if you look at what -- if you look at what -- i can expand this out. you look at what john kelly said.
you look at what general mcmaster said about the russians. you look at what nikki haley said about the russians. you look at what vice president pence said about the russians. on the russian's doorstep. if donald trump didn't want them saying that, they wouldn't be saying that. it's interesting. everybody in the administration is saying that. donald trump is staying quiet, though, obviously, and that's maddening to a lot of us about vladimir putin and a lot of steps he has taken. that said, at some point we have to go back to halperin's favorite quote of bill clinton. if a turtle is on top of a fence post, it didn't get there by accident. he signed the russian sanctions with two statements. not one. that's the norm. and reiterated his rage with congress. it was john mccain that continues to keep him honest and
rebuke him. natasha, your reporting about mcmaster is so interesting because steve bannon doesn't seem like merrily a rogue agent inside the west wing. i'm guessing if he didn't feel that he had some cover either spoken or perceived from the president of the united states, he wouldn't be knifing mcmaster. >> well, he has the full weight of breitbart behind him, right? he has -- he is very -- or he claims to be very in touch with trump's base. i think that's why he feels like he is so safe in the white house because he is in touch with this kind of nationalist base that trump has for support that's, if anything, you know, i mean, it might be eroding a a tiny bit. that's the 33% or 34% that remains steady. i would note that it's not necessarily a loyalty thing with regard to mcmaster because mcmaster has gone to bat for trump in the past. i mean, he -- u, when trump had that oval office meeting with the russian -- >> staked his credibility on the line when trump told the
russians about israeli intelligence. >> right. >> then he went to bat for kushner, jared kushner, also, when it was reported that kushner had this meeting with the russian ambassador and offered to set up a back channel. mcmaster said, well, you know, i don't see anything wrong with that. this isn't necessarily something that has to do with loyalty. i think that makes it clear that this is purely idealogical. >> and i'm not so sure also that steve bannon is not striking out because steve bannon's position has been dramatically weakened over the past five, six days. ambassador mcfaul, i'm very concerned for your well-being on twitter. you have said two positive things about donald trump this morning. i'm going to throw you a softball on the subject that you can be deeply critical of the president and still walk out of this studio in one piece. you were talking about trump tv, something we discussed at the top of the show at the top of this hour.
you said, wow, it feels eerily like so many state-owned channels i've watched in other countries. "tell us about that concern. >> well, joe, probably most -- more than most americans, i have watched a lot of state-run tv. i went to the soviet union for the first time in 1983. it's my job to follow that country and many other communist countries. it just was a very weird, eery thing to praise the president. he does no wrong. the president is in charge of all good things that happen in the country. you know, very strange kind of way. it just makes me wonder who actually looks at that and listens to that and thinks, oh, i agree with that. i find it somewhat disturbing that we now have a president with his own television station. i thought that was what the white house communications was for, but these are new times, so we used new technologies. >> these are new times. what's the reaction that you have heard from trump tv?
>> who is paying for it? i mean, who is compensating kaly for going on this show and kind of just, you know, spouting this pro-trump -- i would argue prop -- propaganda. it's really kind of disturbing. that's what i have been hearing from a lot of people who don't really know where it came from, who don't really know, you know, where it's being filmed, how it's being organized. it's just kind of -- it kaf out of left field. >> all right. well, and, you know, that's a question actually that meeka was asking. who is paying for this? not sure who is paying for this. most likely the campaign. that's something for us all to check and see. thank you so much for being with us. >> sure. >> thank you. greatly appreciate it. i hope you are all right, mr. ambassador. be safe out there. >> okay. >> after a couple of positive comments. now, let's turn to cnbc sarah eisen live for us at the new
york stock exchange. sarah, what are you going to be following this morning? >> good morning, joe. we're following foxconn. this is the taiwanese manufacturing giant, maker of apple i phones. one of the primary makers. it's reportedly going to be opening another plant in the u.s. where, this time in michigan. this is something that the chinese media is reporting, south china morning post in particular. we don't have official confirmation that foxconn is going to make this deal, but we can tell you that the ceo of foxconn met with governor schneider over the weekend. it would be the big coo for the safe michigan and a political win for president trump. just last week the president announce reasonable doubt that fox conn is going to be opening its first manufacturing plant in the u.s. in wisconsin. this would be more manufacturing jobs in the united states. this one would be reportedly focused on rnd for autonomous driving, and it's another state that president trump flipped during the last election from
obama. also, wanted to mention this interesting wall street journal front pager on the amount of penalties lobbied at financial firms. it is dropping a lot this year. turns out the "wall street journal" did a deep dive and found that penalties against firms and individuals from financial regulators in the first half of this year are actually down two-thirds from last year, and they are set for their lowest annual level of fines since back in 2010. they've only collected less than $500 million in financial fines. why? well, certainly change of the guard. the trump administration has had a more pro-business, wall street-friendly kind of posture and stance. they've also put in a lot of ex-wall street regulators, lawyers, and executives in these positions, and also a lot with the turnover. it's halted some fines. just interesting. could be a democratic talking point as we go in the week ahead. finally, on the markets, guys, we're going to be watching the dow that's closed at record
highs for eight days straight. can it continue? we have another heavy week of earnings. retail is coming later. kohl's, nordstrom. that's been a weak spot on the market. we'll see what they can report. back to you. >> all right. thank you, cnbc's sarah eisen. greatly appreciated. steve radner, well, first of all, how fascinating. fox conn first wisconsin, which has to be donald trump's number one target. they've said that for re-election in 2020. now going to with is wisconsin and now michigan. really going to be interesting to see if that happens. now that pans out. i want you to talk generally about the battle that's been raging over the weekend. it seems like every time on twitter somebody talks about connected with trump or the trump family, talking about what an incredible job they've done creating new jobs, somebody from the obama administration will respond, well, those are even less jobs that were created the last six months of the obama administration. what's the real story there? break down the numbers. >> well, first, i'll give you a
quick fact check on foxconn, and that they've been thinking about those plants since 2014. the credit, if it happens, is probably shared credit. look, in terms of the economy and jobs, it is basically steady state. in other words, the rate of growth of jobs, the greater growth of the economy is very, very similar to what occurred under president obama. jobs are actually slightly less. the gdp number of 2.6% that the president keeps talking about, there were plenty of 2.6% and higher numbers during obama. there are also lower ones. the bottom line is the -- and wage growth is still not really increasing beyond the rate of inflation. the bottom line is that the economy is still doing what it was doing. we have yet to see real manifestation in hard numbers as economists call them of trump's policies. we see soft numbers and consumer confidence, but in terms of the actual growth rate of the economy of jobds and wages, we aren't seeing it yet. >> it's just too early to tell,
and you're right. if you look at consumer confidence numbers, if you look at the stock market, that is something that's impacted by the president and expectations of how his economy is going to be, but these bigger numbers, the jobs numbers, wages numbers, those are years in the making. we'll probably be rated in the next couple of years. coming up next, what voters are saying about donald trump. 200 days into his presidency. we have mike allen who has some numbers. it seems to have caught the president's attention this morning. that's next on "morning joe." but if that's not enough, we offer our price match guarantee too. and if that's not enough... we should move. our home team will help you every step of the way. still not enough? it's smaller than i'd like. we'll help you finance your dream home. it's perfect. oh, was this built on an ancient burial ground? okay... then we'll have her cleanse you house of evil spirits. we'll do anything, (spiritual chatter) seriously anything to help you get your dream home. ally. do it right.
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get your umbrellas out, there is a tweet storm raging. president trump is tweeting up that storm this morning with one thread directed at his poll numbers. the trump base is far bigger and stronger than ever before despite some phony fake news polling. look at rallies in pennsylvania, iowa, ohio, and west virginia. the fact is that fake news, russian collusion story, record stock market, border security, military strength, jobs, supreme court picks, economic enthusiasm, deregulation and so much more have driven the trump base even closer together. we will never change. he also tweeted the trump base is getting stronger. well, the polling that axios shared over the weekend actually showed just the opposite. joining us to to talk about it the co-founder of axios, mike
allen, and the kennedy school of government, john. mike, let's start with you. tell us tact polling that you wrote about over the weekend that obviously caught the president's attention. >> joe, the president's base has been very durable, but there's no evidence as the president tweets that his base is bigger and get stronger. over the weekend we had fascinating polling from fire house strategies and optimists, firehouse republican firm here. polling in swing state, florida, ohio,my mu, wisconsin, pennsylvania. and they're finding nice sample size, 2901, they're finding among the republican base that his strongly favorable is going down, notably over the last four mos, and his honesty is going down. so the trump base has stayed together very well but look at these crucial states and he's starting to erode. the very favorable going down by
very notable amounts. so what we're seeing is that for a long time we wondered how long can this last. he's had this very long leash with his base. now we're seeing signs of that erosion. >> so, john, what are voters most concerned about from what you've seen in your polling? >> we of soon, joe, two-thirds of americans concerned about america's stature in the world. arching that's a deep concern, a many joe torre concerned about short-term economic prospects, democrats, republicans, independents across all generations and health care as the issue of the day. what i would say as general kelly being a marine is so concerned about morale when he fight battles overseas, he's tightened up the white house, but he noods to get out and the president needs to improve morale within the republican base but boost morale of america more generally. >> the huge danger of this as you know the president has only his base. he's e left himself no margin for error, literally or
figuratively. he's done nothing to reach out to swing voters or the middle. and so if this eats away eve an little bit, the president suddenly has a huge math problem. >> mike what's the practical impact for the president? obviously the people on the hill and the gop are no longer really afraud of him. he's still the president. what's the practical impact on his ability to execute policy in washington if he only has this core that's getting smaller and smaller? >> you make a very good point and you're right to point to the hill. this is why there's such a bearish view even among republicans who have been the most bullish, even been koolaid drinkers. very skeptical that anything big is going to be pulled together this fall or even in time for the midterms. and you talk about people not being afraid of the president, and there's the big thing. in their states and districts, he's been pretty strong. so they've knost lmostly been q.
as he starts to cause them a problem at home, that's when he gts very lonely. >> john, i spent january, february, march out with probably the softest part of the rump coalition, democrats in michigan, pennsylvania, wisconsin, who had swung for trump and they're not heavily invested in the stock market. they were waiting for changes in nafta, literally the plants in their towns. they were looking for actually visible tangible results of the trump economic promises. how is that going? >> not well so far. they can sense this anxiety as you know when we travel across the country. one of the most stark differences between this year and couple years ago, when i pulled back the screen a little bit, i said what connects as americans? forget about politics. a couple years ago we heard opportunity. in every single town we conducted this rnl, it's not ton, it's tragedy, tragedy is the one thing that connects us. americans are having a difficult time continuing to pay attention to what's happening because they don't think it matters to them.
there's no tangible effects. people across the country are literally selling their possessions in their home to keep ahead. >> john, you had mentioned that our stature in the world is a matter of concern to these voters. i'm not sure i can sense a real prescription there. it was quite obvious what the prescription was after the bush administration, a desire for retrenchment, more humility on the part of the presidency. what is it now? more exto version? less? >> they don't know in terps of what our role should be. they're looking far vision and for leadership. another poll we released a couple weeks ago, americans are actually split in the role that we should have helping others with humanitarian aid. they're just not sure about the very basings of foreign policy anymore. what they do know is we're not nearly as respected. we don't feel as good as we once did just a couple of months or a couple years ago. >> mike, poll after poll shows that what the americans care about and what we of been discussing in the economy, jobs, all those issues.
yet, if you spent your time on twitter or watching the news, you would think it was all about russia and that side of it. how do you explain that disconnect between what people care about and what's being talked about? >> well, steve, you're right to point to that, and that's another vulnerability of the president is that time after time we see people vote on the effects on them, how they feel. and president trump was able to surf this wave of saying if your life sucks, i can make it beer. and as we're hearing around the table there, as we travel the country, as we look at data from under a the country, there's no evidence that people's lives are better. republicans spend a lot of money on polling, on the question of how patient, that's the word they use, how patient are these trump voters, the trump base. they found that the trump base was gefting impatient on security issues. the borders. that's why we saw the president doing that gang event. and they get impatient on jobs in the economy, that's real
trouble. >> all right. thank you so much, mike. thank you, john. nicole, the president's tweeting a lot this morning. what are you looking for today? >> i think that this everyone is sort of hitting the nail on the head. i think the establishment got it wrong, how durable this base is. i think get trumps wrong how small they are and eager they are to see outputs on his economic promises. >> all right. very good. thanks so much. than thanks nicole. thanks to everybody with us this morning. greatly appreciated. mika will be sending postcards from the south of france which we'll share tomorrow morning. that does it for thus morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the vrge c coverage right now. good morning. >> i'm stephanie ruhle with so much to hit this morning starting with the unanimous yes to sanctions and north korea pledging retaliation. new developments on the rising tensions now.