tv Morning Joe MSNBC August 10, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT
>> i'm yasmin vossoughian alongside louis burgdorf. "morning joe" starts right now. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with five and fury like the world has never seen. >> i think americans should sleep well at night. >> doesn't test donald j. trump. we are not just a super power. we were a super power. we are now a hyper power. >> the united states is on the same page, whether it's the white house, the state department, the department of defense, we are speaking with one voice. >> they may be speaking with one voice, but it unclear who knew about the fire and fury comments. the north korean army responding
in kind. we have columnist and associate editor david ignatius, mike barnicle, kasie hunt, sam stein and clint watts. good morning, everybody. good to see you. lots to talk to you about. clint, the home of president trump's former campaign manager's home was raided by the fbi. we'll get to that in just a moment. let's start with north korea. we're hearing from secretary of defense general jim mattis for the first time since president trump's fire and fury remarks tuesday. in a statement general mattis says in part, quote, the united states and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from the attack, the dprk, north korea,
should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people. the dprk regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates, end quote. meanwhile, the north korean army has released a new statement through its state-run media saying it will deliver an attack of guam to kim jong un. the statement comes directly after president trump saying his fire and fury rhetoric is, quote, a load of nonsense and that sound dialogue is not
possible since trump is, quote, bereft of reason. the rhetoric only stepped up from what we saw yesterday and you had what we had at the top of the show is an administration scrambling in behind the remarks of fire and fury behind trump to speak, as the state department said, in one voice. >> i think what we've seen since that very inflammatory rhetoric is president trump has to be careful that his language doesn't frighten friend and allies, doesn't frighten the chinese so much that they end up pulling back from cooperation with the u.s. that it would look to see on diplomacy. the other thing that might be very significant is this north korean threat to attack guam. the u.s. territory fairly short
flig flight, missiles would fly over japan and land near guam. i think from what i'm hearing, the administration is making this test, this additional test coming so close to u.s. territory really a test of the largest strategy. if the north koreans attempt to strike near u.s. territory, i think there will be repercussions. i think the route of diplomacy among other things will come to a screeching halt. what the state department is looking for the north koreans to say, no, we won't test. instead we're willing to begin talks about denuclearization. it's a north korean defiant announcement they're going their own way. >> david, what role did the president's incendiary comments the other day play do you think or do you hear from your reporting in the north koreans seemingly ratcheting up very quickly their response to attacking guam?
>> mike, i think in this rhetorical back and forth, the north koreans did what you would expect. president trump was speaking in kim jong un language and it was received in kind. the reaction that concerns me more are the countries we'd have to fight with. we're talking about a war with the korean peninsula. it a war you have to conduct closely with your allies. numbers i found in a late june pew research poll, confidence in the u.s. president to do the right thing regarding world affairs has fallen in south korea since donald trump took office from 71 to 17, that's a fall of 75 points. in japan it fallen from 78 to 24, a fall of 54 points. almost identical in australia.
these are countries which would have to be our partners that are already worried. these polls were taken before we were in this phase of fire and fury. now i think there's even greater anxiety. the problem is if the anxiety isn't controlled, our allies are going to be reluctant to do the things we need them to do. we cannot do this attack alone. >> clint, you served some time in south korea. we talked about what it was like 20 years ago. it been tense since the korean war along the dmz but what it must have been like to be in seoul in leadership or to be in tokyo. what do you think is going through the mind of allies that david ignatius is referencing here? >> we're talking about nuclear standoff. there a lot short of nuclear standoff. i remember rising up in a helicopter in seoul. can you see the border. you're within artillery range. you're talking about lots of other threats that can manifest. we seen north korea greatly expand their cyber attack
abilities, attacks on u.s. companies, u.s. banking systems. even this challenge in the nuclear space, we've seen kim jong un assassinate members of his own family outside the country in recent months. so this sort of tossing out fire and fury, these statements to appear tough. fine, if you're north korea, you will take that challenge and it helps him reinforce his base that they're under threat from the united states and you'll see action in other ways. if you're north korea now you start to pinprick the u.s. and the allies who are now breaking away from us in ways you might not expect. >> far from backing away two days ago from what the president said at bedminister, the congress falling in behind him.
>> see ad libbed and he used some catch phrases that he tends to use, the likes of which the word has never seen the class of donald trump on and that set the tone for the rest of the administration. the "daily beast" was told the secretary of state's office had no clue this was coming. it's an odd way to go about setting nuclear deterrent policy. i don't know if it's an effective way. but to david's point, one of the things that we should note is that we don't have critical ambassadors in key posts in that region right now. we have acting secretaries and acting ambassadors. south korea, east asian affairs, they're just vacant. i was talking to richard haas about this. the analogy he gave is this the
equivalent of playing a world series game with three less starters than the opposition. so this is going in kind of blind. >> we've heard from john mccain and a few other prominent senators. what's the feeling in congress right now? >> i think honestly the sense from talking to people behind the scenes is the same as i think everybody watching this unfold, which is to say there was a great deal of nervousness. mccain was careful saying i don't want to step out in front of the president necessarily and say he should be doing this or taking that off the table, but that this rhetoric, you better be able to back that up. if you're say this kind of thing you better absolutely mean it. i think lindsey graham gave the president more cover, graham and mccain have tended to favor military options in the past but
i think for a lot of democrats, chuck schumer put out a one-line statement saying we need to worry about north korea but we really shouldn't talk this way. i think there was a level of fear under that statement that is common. >> i have heard one argument, i don't know how much i buy it, that there is a utility to trump saying this stuff. the notion that the north koreans might think that this is a bit of a mad man who can be trig tord gered to do somethinge a deterrent. and there was a vibe of richard nixon and ronald reagan even, you never knew if that button was going to be pushed. does it have resonance, is it
logical? >> i think the mad man theory thinking this guy will do anything, does have some utility. the most important audience, as we were discussing yesterday, may in fact be china. the whole guiding theme of this strategy is that we're saying to china this is so important to us, that north korean missiles are intolerant to the president, either you help us deal with it diplomatically or we're going to deal with it ourselves militarily. that depend on the chinese thinking we really mean it, we'll do it. >> and the president retweets a post saying "potus being unpredictable is a big asset." >> he shouldn't tweet that. >> and donald trump retweeted that. that's what i think you're saying, a madman, the
unpredictability. >> if you tweet that you're unpredictab unpredictable, you're giving away the script. come on, trump. >> i was struck by the fear that this is less-than-rational behavior coming out of the ovals office, not the white house but the oval office. and general hayden's words in the "new yorker" magazine is that president trump has little interest in the world, their fear is that the accidental start of a war could easily occur. >> i'm hearing that same fear, mike. the president is just sort of racing toward the brink here, introducing language evocative of nuclear war, fire and fury. did he really understand what he
was doing, the country taking the world so deep into the world's ultimate nightmare? an interesting thing i read last night is a piece in the "washington post" by my friend michael dobbs, who covered the soviet union and written a book on the cuban missile privacy. on the eve of the cuban missile crisis, president kennedy was reading a book about -- donald trump is saying what's a strong, rhetorical way of saying the north koreans i mean it, a very different mindset. i hope that people will say to the president you need to take this in a very sober way. this is about nuclear war. >> maybe you can get john
herbie's hiroshima books on tape and he could listen to it. i guess he doesn't read a lot of books but he could listen to books on tape. >> i'll pay half. >> it's an incredible piece. anybody who would read that today would certainly stop inciting things toward war. >> i want to get to a potential serious development in the special counsel as investigation into russia and the 2016 presidential cam ppaigcampaign. paul manafort confirmed his home was raided by fbi agents late last month. the predawn search was roarepor by "the washington post" two weeks after it occurred. the day before the raid occurred, manafort had met with
senate intelligence committee staffers and turned over his notes from the june 2016 meeting with russians. he later submitted documents to the senate judiciary committee. the subpoena was withdrawn for manafort to appear july 26th and his home was raided later. the paper said agents left with a trove of materials, including binders prepared ahead of manafort's congressional testimony. investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to think manafort could not be trusted to turn over all record in response to a grand jury subpoena. let's turn to clint watts. what would it take for the fbi to have to basically knock down a door -- not knock down a door but knock on a door and have paul manafort come down in himself pajamas in the middle of the night. what weren't they getting from him that they needed?
>> two things that have come out in the stories, tax documents and foreign banking documents. these are not things you could subpoena like could you at a normal bank. we've seen connections to cypress, ukraine, a lot of ledgers have shown up. so trying to find out what foreign transaction records are there. the other things are the tax documents. you want to see consistency of what's being filed for tax documents and the evidence of what is is there for. if there is a crime, you can pursue it. but if you're looking to turn someone in the investigation as a cooperating witness or to reveal more information than they've given so far, you can hit them with a less are charge and move the investigation forward. >> can you explain to people the difference between the jump and getting a grand jury subpoena and get a search warrant?
>> a grand jury subpoena is usually for securing record. when you're going in for a search warrant, you're saying i don't know if the person who is going to cough up the record is giving me everything that's there. to do that more intrusive step usually requires a higher level of probable cause to move the case forward. >> and, clint, i'm familiar with how congressional investigators are trying to make sure they don't get in bob mueller's way but the timing seems very interesting to me, right after the congressional committees have got i don't know what they wanted. does the fbi think about that in the reverse? >> i'm sure. they probably coordinated and thought through their approach to make sure they weren't stymieing other investigations out there. and you want to give whoever it, is the witness or whoever it is, the opportunity to bring forth records on their own. that's indicative of their cooperation with whatever the
investigation might be. i'm sure they waited, timed it out and did the search warrant the next way. >> does it happen as quickly as we didn't get what we want when we came in so the next day you can get a warrant to go to himself how th-- his house? >> you can't but it seems there were two batches of documents requested. you don't want to short circuit what's happening in the senate. to do a search warrant of that nature and build that probable cause, you're talking one to two days before. >> the senate judiciary committee acknowledged receiving documents it requested from the the president's son. on august 4th, donald trump jr.
handed offer approximately 250 pages record to the committee. the committee requested the documents as part of the senate investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election. significance there of donald trump jr. turning over documents? >> it's not significant to me. it really depend on what the questions are that are being asked of these individuals. if they're going to manafort and wanting more banking records, that's going to be more in pages. if you're going to trump junior and just asking about this meeting, 250 pages is a lot about a meeting. it seems they're cooperating with those investigations. what i'm more interested now is who are the first witnesses essentially that get called in and met by the mule aeller team. you've got documents and search warrants and the first ones to walk through the door will tell
you a lot about how this investigation is going to go. >> the conventional wisdom as soon as this raid was broken and, by the way, how much time lapsed between the raid happened and the news broke, but conventional wisdom is they're trying to build a case and then flip him, more or less, to get to trump. is thering e anything that you read between the lines to suggest otherwise? >> no, i think it's that way but there are multiple angles to the manafort case. he's got issues with the son-in-law and now you're seeing the jofr all investigation. there's three or four ways we can look at this. i would imagine mueller would see this, especially on the financial angle, that's usually
where you get your best lead going into terms of an investigation. if there's anyone with financial hookups that could turn bad on him, that would be manafort and that's the easiest way to go. >> it's going to be interesting to see who among witnesses gets the free pass. who gets the chance to say, okay, give us a lead here, climb the ladder for us, see who's up there you can help us find -- >> and we'll cut you a deal. >> it was interesting that jared kushner got his statement out there and put his story out there first, it's very telling of how you're seeing the lines parting inside the trump ranks. and kushner got out there with what was a very clear statement. he tried to get very aggressive about putting his statement out there. >> it was a nair at thrrative, . >> of all the cast of characters
in the trump orbit, trump has stayed loyal to all of them, except for manafort. he downplayed the role that manafort played, trump has been similar. if there is going to be a breach of loyalty that, could be the place. >> the white house said he had a limited role, meanwhile he was the campaign manager for several months. >> still ahead, tensions between president trump and mitch mcconnell. and also senator ed markey, senator chris van who will i don't know and republican congressman peter king. >> hey, bill. >> hurricane franklin made landfall in middlesexico. it's already down to a tropical
storm. later today it will just be a dr tropical depression. none of the moisture is making its way to our country so we're not worried about it here. we're going to track some severe storms over the next couple of days. first today colorado and kansas. friday this cold front located over st. louis, eindianapolis ad detroit. on saturday, not a good beach day. cold front coming through with showers and thunderstorms saturday afternoon. the great weather on sunday will be found in the great lakes and ohio valley, typical afternoon storms in the southeast. i haven't mentioned much about the west. you'll have great weather right through the weekend. new york city is one of those spots that's had great weather over the last couple of days. that tcontinuese today.
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. i think repeal and replace has to get done. >> your dad is still pushing republicans in the senate, either you're quitters and go back and get the job done. >> they let him down. there's no question about it. he had it done, had it finished, it was on the 1 yard line and unfortunately they let him down. >> that's the president's son eric trump. the president took to twitter to respond to apparent criticism from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. it began late last month when president trump challenged mcconnell to change the senate rules after the failure of the republican health care bill in the senate tweeting "the very outdated filibuster rule must go. budget reconciliation is killing rs in senate. mitch emergency, go to 51 votes
now and win. it's time." >> it's pretty obvious our problem with health care was not the democrats. we didn't have 50 republicans. there are not the votes in the senate, as i've said repeatedly to the president, and to all of you to change the rules of the senate. now, our new president has of course not been in this line of work before and i think had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process. >> excessive expectations. yesterday the president responded to that comment tweeting "senator mitch mcconnell said i had excessive expectations but i don't think so. after seven years of hearing repeal and replace, why not done? on top of that, several trump supporters and fox news personalities have been tweeting out their criticism of senator
mcconnell, including one of the closest white house aides talking about dan scavino. is the president right here? >> yes, he's also right that republicans in congress has now set this timeline. when we were covering the congress in january they said, looking by summer we'll be done with health care, by the fall we'll have tax reform and everything will be fine and dandy. lo lo and behold, they didn't meet their own deadlines. i think what you're seeing play out both on the open from this relationship but also from a policy perspective is just the incredible personality differences between the two men who are in theory charged with leading this government. mitch mcconnell is somebody who
has spent his life and career making very powerful, strong moves behind the scenes. he is not a guy that is out in front of the camera with his own aggressive brand but he is feared within his caucus and has a long history in watch. the president is very different. they are not completely comfortable with each other. i think you saw that spill out into the open here. >> and for all the credit that president trump takes for neil gorsuch being on the supreme court, it was mitch mcconnell who changed the rules. >> there are essentially republicans in the senate are afraid. they're afraid of the base that the president brought out in the 2016 election because they don't understand how it going to
affect them. and they were afraid in many cases to vote for this health care bill because suddenly, you know, the president trump pushing this made obamacare popular, their bill uncredible. and now he vote all these voters into the process and they have no concept of how it going to affect them and the whole thing is perilized. >> trump's roo totally right on this. mcconnell is not someone to tamp down expectations. i'm looking at a september 9th 2016 article, the headline is mcconnell saying they will
repeal health care. mcconnell pulled off almost the impossible. many of them stipulated they would on vote for the bill if it didn't become law. he was that close. >> but there was an assumption when president trump was elected, when republican controlled the senate and house that, course -- >> the quote from mcconnell in this article, it's pretty high on our agenda, i would be shocked if we didn't move forward and keep our commitment to the american people. that trump thinks you should have followed through on that promise doesn't seem that far off to me. we're on the edge of a nuclear war with north korea. >> you're a downer today. >> does donald trump need mitch mcconnell? >> i think he knows he's got
donald trump. corse he needs him -- >> i know we have another story queue ud up that speaks to this issue, but i think the question as to whether or not he need mitch mcconnell, it all going could come down to the races. he is very quickly going to get on mitch mcconnell's bad size. if the republicans lose seat in the mid tern they have all kinds of legal powers. if mcconnell loses one of his members, that's one fewer of these votes he has to play with, that's one more person that they don't have to rely on and if the president is ultimately going to be tested on whether he actually changes the pla is in to it.
>> david ignatius be, wa do you see here? >> i think there's a little bit of mitch mcconnell asking the senate republicans beginning to pull away. i thought the demise of health care legislation obviously was a telling side but also the move by republicans to prevent the president from firing robert mueller, the special counsel, you know, there was a series of things done, the senate is staying in session, so there will be no recess appointment. there is as will. >> that's a big part the gains that going on now. kb be a we're going to get to
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the united states won't necessarily feel the impact of new sanctions against north korea, but china might as the regime's biggest trading partner. joining us now, nbc news correspondent janice mackey frayer. janice? >> reporter: it's anyone's guess whether this will work. that's north korea in the background, just on the other side of the river. and within 30 days the shipments of iron, ore, sea food is expected to cease. food, electronic, trucks come
across from north korea in the morning, they unload and reload with chinese-made product and head back to the bridge at the end of the day. north korea has found a way to circumvent sinanctions. this is where china says they're committed, they voted for the sanctions, but it's the u.s. that has a key role in backing downthose comments from president trump about fire and fury have really played into the chinese narrative. they want to be positioned as the voice of reason in this conflict and they say they believe as well as other officials in the region that the rhetoric that's ramping up on both sides only widens the risk of miscalculation. so it's not yet at a crisis stage here but the tngs is definitely escalating. >> janice, thanks so much. let's bring in former u.s. ambassador to nato and former
state department spokesman nicholas burns. mr. ambassador, always good to see you. you said yesterday that president trump was absolutely right to be firm with the north koreans. the rhetoric, though, what do you make of that? the position i think obviously a lot of people agree with you on that. but what do you make of the way he delivered that message? >> well, i think language and demeanor are important for presidents, especially in the nuclear age. all of our nuclear age presidents going back to eisenhower, when they talk about nuclear weapons, they have been steely and precise. they have not been bombastic and shrill. there's no reason for the president to match kim jong un in being shrill. you don't want the unintended
consequence of kim jong un to fly off the handle. general mattis put out a statement that was extremely tough and it was precise in linking our actions to their actions and that's the way to go. >> this is a problem that's been lingering for more than a generation now. how does the dynamic change? many say we have to lean on the chinese. we've been trying to lean on the chinese without much effect. what has to change for north korea to get the message? can it be deterred? >> the vote for sanctions was a big step. these are meaningful sanctions. but frankly, i just don't see the north koreans backing down. they have these nuclear weapons because they want to preserve their regime. and it may be that one of the audiences that president trump was speaking to was in beijing,
that the united states is trying to get the attention of the chinese to let them know that we'll have to take things in a different direction -- this is trump speaking -- if the chinese don't do what we want them to do, which is to put more leverage on north korea. i think that's also difficult and as your reporter said on the border there it's unclear whether the chinese will actually implement these sanctions to the fullest, te ee. >> david ignatius is in washington with a question for you. >> i want to ask my friend ambassador burns you're one of our most experienced diplomats. if you were advising tillerson about this very delicate diplomacy, what would you tell him to get a process started? >> david, i think this is one of those instances where the united
states has to have an integrated diplomatic and military strategy. we've seen a lot of military and a lot of threats and we've seen less of the diplomacy. i would hope that president trump, david, would basically give the reins here to secretary tillerson. in a way, his calm, measured, tough constitution is better suited to the diplomacy of dealing with the chinese and the north koreans than president trump's very open and quite shrill style. so this is a time to get the attention of the chinese, maybe even to think about threatening secondary sanctions, that the united states would put sanctions on chinese and other companies that do business with north korea. that's a very tough risky option but you've got to get a response from china to get their leverage. this is going to be very difficult, david, but i don't
think that war is imminent. there's no reason for us to be threatening war with north korea right now. it really is a time for a diplomacy. david, as you know, there's no american ambassador to south korea, no secretary state of east asia, you've also go to fill out the ranks. >> talk about the degree of difficulty with the state department stripped of largely political personnel with perhaps a man in the oval office who thinks he knows more than the secretary of state, with a key white house staff and out of the defense department, the national security counsel, the chief of staff may be operating without much arof a handle of what the president will do on an
hour-to-hour basis. what is the difficulty in dealing with this situation? >> you have a secretary of state for east area who would be a point person on this issue, would be working 24/7 with the chinese, the japanese and everybody else on a complex strategy and the secretary of state of state would be deploying once or twice a days and the president would be the strategic person behind the scenes who would be intervening at critical moments but not tweeting and not threatening nuclear weapons. the message is not clear. you have four or five different people at the high level speaking for the administration and their messages are colliding with each other. can you imagine what it like to sit in beijing or toke tokyo and and make sense of what the united states is trying to say to them. they need more discipline. they need a senior career person, there are lots of people
that could do it very well but they don't seem to trust the state department and that's hurting them right now. >> nick burns, thank you very much. we always appreciate your perspective. >> coming up, one senator claims that john mccain's brain cancer might have been an influence in his no vote. >> richard nixon had resigned and flown back to california and ford had told the country that the long national nightmare of nixon and watergate was over. >> our constitution works, our great republic is a government of laws and not of men. here the people rule. >> at the start of his time in office, ford's gallup poll approval rating was 71%, a figure that plunged when ford pardoned nixon a month later. ford had political skill that wasn't appreciated at the time
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>> can i just say thanks for your letters. thanks for your phone calls. thanks for the outpouring of affection. even those that want me to die, don't want me to die right away, so that's good. >> that's senator john mccain yesterday in a facebook town hall. meanwhile ron johnson is walking back comments he made about mccain. during a radio interview yesterday senator johnson questioned whether mccain's brain tumor possibly influenced his deciding no vote against health care last month. >> i'm not going to speak for john mccain. he has a brain tumor right now. that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning. some of that might have factored in. >> really? he just recovered from getting
the brain tumor removed and flew all the way to washington d.c., but you think that played a factor in his judgment call? >> again. we really thought that -- again, i don't want to speak for my senator. i thought john was going to vote yes at 10:30 at night. by about 1:30, he voted no. >> he later said i am disappointed i didn't more eloquently express my sympathy for what senator mccain is going through. i have nothing but respect for him. >> a spokesperson for mccain said it's bizarre and deanly unfortunate that senator johnson would question the judgment of a colleague and friend. senator mccain has been clear about the reasoning for his vote. ron johnson is a good guy. i don't know why he would come out and say that publicly or privately. >> clearly ill-considered words, and they obviously tried to
clean it up later. the reality here is senator mccain, democrats knew he was going to vote the way he did well before the middle of the night referenced. this is one thing where everybody is very united in hoping senator mccain is able to make a recovery. >> frustration they couldn't get the bill through, a republican majority senate and turning it on a guy with a brain tumor. >> and -- >> he had all -- ron johnson had complain complaints about the process. he waited until after mccain voted on the first one to vote yes too. it's bizarre out of all the people -- the whole thing is gross. >> it is gross. >> it's uncomfortable to talk about. >> let's move on. coming on "the new york times'" glen thrush joins us. plus a dramatic escalation in the russia investigation. new details on the fbi search of
former trump campaign chairman paul manafort's home. we'll talk to senators ed mar can i and chris van hollen when "morning joe" comes back. introducing listerine® zero alcohol™. it delivers a whole mouth clean with a less intense taste. so it has the bad breath germ-killing power of this... with the lighter feel... of this. try listerine® zero alcohol™. knowing where you stand. it's never been easier.
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david ignatius, and joining the conversation staff writer at "the atlantic" julie juaffi, and glen. sporting an injury. what happened? >> rotator cuff. >> throwing too many innings? >> my cutter is not breaking it like it used to. >> glen, we'll get to your reporting on the fire and fury comment, where it came from and didn't, but first, let's start with president trump changing the subject for the moment from north korea to more attacks of the senate's top republican. in a new tweet he sent out moments ago, the president posted, quote, can you believe that mitch mcconnell who has screamed repeal and replace for seven years couldn't get it done? must repeal and replace obamacare. a little back story first. we were talking act this in the last hour. also, why do you think president trump is choosing this moment to hammer this issue? is it just a response to
mcconnell's comment the other night? >> mcconnell when he was at home he said the president is new to this and had excessive expectations about how fast this could happen. and we were talking about this earlier. the president has a point here, i think, on repealing and replacing obamacare. republic leadership was out earlier in the year saying we're going to finish this. and they built their entire agenda around this. not just health care, but they were going to use what happened in health care to finance what they were going to do with tax reform. it set them up like dominos, and then they didn't hit the first domino here. that's as much on them as it is on the president. now, that said, this relationship between the president and mitch mcconnell and frankly the republicans and the senate and how they feel about the president between his approval ratings, the russia investigation, their and nervousness about the reelection prospects. that's all contributing here. >> and sam, voters didn't just send donald trump to washington to repeal and rebase obamacare.
this was at the core of the promise that these people made last year. donald trump probably feels like he has voters on his side. >> and he should. mitch mcconnell, the rest of the republicans, a seven-year promise and then upon winning the white house, upon keeping a senate majority and the house majority, they explicitly said we're going to move quickly on this. they almost got there. it's kind of remarkable how close they got considering how much they hated the bill they were voting on, but they didn't. and trump is absolutely within his rights to say i didn't have excessive expectations. you made a seven-year promise and didn't fulfill. >> the one other issue for the president is he didn't say what he wanted. when he says repeal and replace, he was looking for a win. he was back and forth and back and forth on what the policy would be. he couldn't sell it in private. and he promised not to cut medica medicaid. >> if you step back, the very plans that congress voted on
when obama was president were voted upon again wen trump was president. suddenly the real world consequences were clear and they backed away. and everyone knew that was going to happen. if uyou were rational, you knew it would happen. but it bit them. >> excuse me. to your point, though, sam, he's elected as republican president of the united states, and he's got the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, the house speaker paul ryan who both have been saying for seven years, we have a plan. >> not just saying voting on plans that the president obama veto vetoes. >> they thought donald trump was going to lose the election. pat toomey said it out loud two months ago. it turns out governing is ticky. >> is this a personal response to mcconnell or a strategy to
try to put health care on the table and get the senate to go back in and repeal and replace? >> i don't think this is a strategy. i feel like i read 15,000 pages of robert caro for nothing. right? it's like -- apparently all you have to do is just tweet nasty stuff about mitch mcconnell. the president will not have a legacy if he can't move things through a republican senate. he has a substantial majority. it's likely to decrease over the next cycle. we also have a situation in the house where he hasn't really been able to get stuff done. one of the reasons he wanted to get reince priebus out of the white house is because it was priebus and paul ryan the speaker who came up with this sequencing plan. i think in order to have anything resystemabling a legacy, he needs a decent relationship with mitch mcconnell. if this were a strategy, i would say good idea.
but the president as i say kasie hunt said, had no interest in the details of the health care plan. did not impress senators with his knowledge of anything in these meetings, and seems to be just throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what will stick. . >> for you health care a blip on the radar when compared to what's going on. tensions with north korea, we're hearing from the secretary of defense for the first time, general james mattis, since the fire and fury remarks tuesday from the golf club in new jersey. in a statement general mattis says the united states and our allies have the capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack. the dprk should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people. meanwhile the knot korean army released a statement through state run media saying it will deliver a plan to attack the territory of guam. glen, your reporting of the times that trump's threat to north korea was improvised
underlining some of the reporting we had yesterday that perhaps they'd heard the statement before they'd heard him in the west wing use the term fire and fury but did not expect him to use it in a public forum as he did two days ago. >> right. he was using this language, apparently, around the -- in conversations with aides and some of the korean huddles they've been having. it's funny. it doesn't really sound trump yan. does it? it sounds like it was kind of written -- my guess is it was written by steven miller. they claim this is his formulation, and i spoke to about a dozen people about it. you got to go with what they're saying. in any event, he had conversations with them. the general tone was agreed upon. i think mattis's version is probably the version that they probably wanted to project. but listen, unlike president obama or even president bush, there are no huddles before you send donald trump out.
you don't agree on specific language. you tell him generally what you want and then he goes out and says whatever comes to him first, and this is what you get. >> julia, north korea, donald trump, the language, the escalating language, the incendiary language he used the other day. where do you put the odds of actually walking us into some sort of miscalculation with regard to north korea? >> walking us backwards, right? i mean, it's impossible. say you have two guys, trump and kim jong-un who like to take a very dominant aggressive stance, and are very unpredictable. it's kind of where they get a lot of their power from. it's really hard to guess when you have two guys like that at the helm leading a crisis like this, and as ambassador burns said, when you have a completely kind of empty shell of a state department, and no kind of
diplomacy going on, and you just have two guys beating their chests at each other, it's hard to say where it goes from here. >> and glen, to that point, john kelly, general kelly has been on the job for almost two weeks now. and yet, we're already hearing slivers, initial reports of some tension between the president and general kelly's trying to enforce behavior on the president. >> well, this is probably the most predictable story of all time, right? i mean, my reporting yesterday showed that i spoke to probably four or five long-time advisors to the president who said that one of the reasons that he probably ar tickulated this in the way he did was because kelly has really been cracking down. i think a couple of interesting facets here. one of the things that kelly has been doing is listening in on phone calls or monitoring phone calls the president is having in the evening hours with all these
outside advisors. a lot of them who don't have any experience will give him advice on any rake nge of topics. the president is bristling at this, and i think perhaps the forcefulness of the articulation, the fact that president trump likes to break glass, it contributed, i think, to the bluster that he exhibited the other day. >> and true, david, ignatius, is it not, there's only so much even a great man like general kelly can do with the president? the argument about putting the right people around the president is the right one, but at the end of the day, he has an itchy hair trigger finger for his twitter account, and if he's in front of a group of reporters and ad libs fire and fury, that could change the relationship. what do you do if your general kelly? >> you understand the limits of
your power. i've heard a number of top fishes working for trump say we understand only one was elected president, and that person necessary east not know. they know even if they tried to stop the president from tweeting or making comments, it probably wouldn't work. we quoted somebody in the washington post today who said you can't outcrazy kim jong-un, and that's true, but i'm not sure the president realizes it. i might just ask a question of julia who knows russia so well. you keep hearing reports that the russians have been involved in a sideline discussions about north korea and that the administration still hopes they might be helpful in the diplomacy. >> i've always been hearing that in addition to doing that, they're also throwing sand in the gears, and providing the north korean regime with support. so it's kind of like they're
trying to be helpful on counterterrorism, but they're actively arming the taliban just like they're -- they say let's cooperate on fighting isis and syria while at the same time a lot of the isis fighters russian and russia helped them go there. it's kind of -- russia tries to become part of the problem in order to be part of the solution so you have to go to russia to solve the solution. it validates the sense of their geo political importance. i think it just wants to be a part of the solution here to feel like it's at the big boy table. >> let's stay on the subject of russia. paul manafort confirmed his home was raided by fbi agents late last month. the predawn search on wednesday, july 26th was first reported by "the washington post" two weeks after it happened. a spokesman said manafort has consistently cooperated with law
enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well. the day before the raid manafort had met with senate intelligence committee staffers and turned over his notes from the june, 2016 trump tower meeting with russians. later that day manafort submitted documents to the senate judiciary committee which dropped the subpoena for manafort to testify the following morning. the raid took place a few hours later. the search warrant requested documents related to tax, banking and other matters. citing people familiar with the search the paper said agents left with a trove of material including binders prepared ahead of manafort's congressional testimony. the post reports the search warrant indicates investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to think manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena. clint watts sifting through the details of the story. what new does it tell you about
what the fbi, what bob mueller is looking into right now? >> right. you go for financials and communications. those are the two things you start with in an investigation. they are hard data point to lead your investigation in further directions. with financials, it also opens a window for you that if you can find lesser crimes, you can start to maneuver on different individuals in the investigation to be koorcooperating. what's most important about this is foreign banking documents can't really be subpoenaed normally here in the united states. you cannot bring those in. going for a search warrant, the only access point you really have is in manafort's home. if he has records of the foreign banking details which might be what you're trying to trace overseas in the investigation, you hope you're finding it in the house. that's probably the step here. >> what are the circumstances that you have in the fbi that would lead to a predawn raid of this kind where you knock on the door without the person home expecting the fbi to show up
there? why would they have to go to that length? >> yeah. usually there's a probable cause. there's a reason to believe you're not getting all the evidence that's there, or you want to confirm you're getting all the evidence that's there. manafort said he cooperated and turned over documents. but that extra step, i think it's telling, came the next day after he turned over documents to the judiciary committee. he testified. it's a sequenced event and looks planned. there's obviously some reason to think the only way they could get to the bottom of this was to enter the house. >> i'm surprised you didn't go to glen for that question who has been subjected to a predawn raid himself. >> really? >> yeah. i'll tell you about it. >> wow. >> i don't know what that means but go ahead. >> implication there. ? he'll tell you that. >> to me manafort seems like it's just everything is covering around manafort, and for some -- for obvious reasons. one is i don't think compared to a general flynn or obviously a
jared kushner or donald trump junior that his loyalties to trump are that ironclad. maybe that's an overassumption on my part. but two, he has his own cryptic elements, his own story with problems that makes his susceptible to this type of flipping, i would say, in the greatest way possible here. and so perhaps he's just the easiest most vulnerable target in the trump universe. >> he's also had relationships with ukraine, deep relationships on the business side with ukraine. as you read through this report in the washington post and further reporting from the times and others, what strikes you about the raid of paul manafort's home? >> from what i hear from sources on the hill is that the reason for the raid was that he was slow-rolling the investigation, and was actually not very forth coming with documents and notes. the only thing he provided to the committees were his notes on that june 2016 trump tower meeting and nothing else.
so he was kind of -- again, not really being forthcoming about the producing the evidence, which is why he got raided. >> and clint, it's fairly common that you go to a judge with the petition for the search warrant. you put down a bunch of things. what you really want is maybe only one. maybe the laptop. maybe just the laptop that he has in his house. >> yeah. you go as wide as you can. if you're going to go in there one time, you're going to put anything you think might be of use in terms of your investigation. you're not going to really want to go back in a second time. you came in once. anything that's left over, probably if it's incriminating they're going to get rid of it. for evidence, you go in as wide as you can with a search warrant in hopes to do it once. knowing anything that's left is probably going to be gone. >> a quick question on your reporting as far as the president and his relationship with manafort versus relationships with other people
in the trump white house. how far do you think trump is willing to go to defend manafort? it doesn't seem like it's that far unlike in the case of flynn. >> manafort really popped up, presented himself, really, at roger stone's behest very late in the campaign. trump knew him a little bit. they'd had some interactions at mar-a-lago, but this is not a really deep relationship. what's very interesting about manafort compared to flynn, for instance j is that manafort's relationship with both ukrainian politicians and russian oligarchs goes back more than a decade. there's been some substantial reporting about him negotiating for, i believe it's a $10 million or $15 million deal to do general lobbying on behalf of the russians and this particular oligarch. manafort has the deepest connection to russia and the ukraine and the shallowest connections to trump. so the question is why was paul
manafort in the campaign, and why was paul manafort allowed essentially to run the campaign when all this very interesting stuff was going on in terms of his relationship with russia. obviously we've seen with the president there's been not a ton of vetting of people that he brings into his orbit, a.k.a., anthony scaramucci. i think it raises questions about the judgment of the president and his team. >> leave mooch out of this. >> he has a weird mooch thing this. >> we didn't get his story. what is the story? >> no, the predawn raid, yeah. >> save it for another show. >> thank you very much. we appreciate you being here. still ahead on "morning joe," the state department spokesman gets checked at yesterday's briefing after calling the press obsessed about the president's fire and fury remarks. we'll talk to andrea mitchel and
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by the gig or unlimited. call, or go to xfinitymobile.com. xfinity mobile. it's a new kind of network designed to save you money. it was after good week for diplomacy. i know you want to on ses over statements and try to make a lot of noise out of that. >> i have an issue with your choice of the word obsess. we're not obsessing about this. this is a president of the united states threatening a nuclear armed country whether you want to accept it or not. and a country that is armed with nuclear weapons. >> i'll let the president's statement stand for it. >> it's not obsessing to want to know more about what that means. >> i see a packed room of journalists and normally there aren't half as many as there are day. that shows a greater indication of your level of interest. >> that's the state spokesperson
yesterday. joining us now andrea mitchel and also peter alexander and shannon petty-piece. andrea, the trump administration working overtime to drestress everybody was on the same page with the president's fire and fury comment. >> as glen and peter baker reported, the president had talked to his aides. he was getting increasingly angry. certainly his generals had not signed off on the fire and fury language. kelly, we're told, knew the tone and the strength of his remarks but not the words, and the words matter. and as we were talking to former national security officials both republican and democratic white houses, words about north korea
for decades have been carefully calibrated. it's the most dangerous place in the world and you're dealing with an unpredictable leader. the least predictable in his family. you work through china and in the words that a president speaks, you are careful about it. this is the first time if you look back at what william perry, the former and highly well-regarded defense secretary said, you don't talk about a nuclear first strike. that's clearly what he was talking about when he says the likes of which the world has never seen. that is what was so jarring, and then to have tillerson who is completely unprepared for this. he was wraps up a diplomatic mission traveling through asia. so he was delegated on the plane heading to guam having not seen the original or heard the original instance until he was briefed to him.
he then talks to the press about how the world should sleep well and americans should sleep well and not be alarmed by the rhetoric, and then you have mattis's statement a few hours later saying that the knnorth korean regime had better worry if it continues the threats. these voices where everything, anything but all being on the same page. >> david? >> andrea, i wanted to ask you. the administration secretary tillerson are tieing a three-cushion shot diplomatically trying to convin convince china to help deal with the north korea problem. what do you think tillerson is thinking about dealing with this white house? do you think he wants more authority? it's really on his shoulders to try to make it happen. what does he need? >> he certainly needs more authority, and he needs less back stabbing from the white house, but they are concerned about his management style, the fact that he put this job freeze
and management study in play and has been just the other day going in kuala lumpur and not talking about north korea, not a word about north korea, but telling the embassy staff they should be reassured this new study is not cutting them out, that, in fact, they are going to be listened to. that is the concern around the world. he's got a guard problem as well. i was struck by the fact that we've been talking about maybe this was tactical. maybe the president was trying to send a message to beijing. you were talking about the madman theory, i'm serious about this. if that were the case, tillerson had not at that point talked to either russia or china to his counterparts in two days. he saw them in ma lil inla and then went to bangkok and malaysia. he had not picked up the phone and talked to others and said
you heard my president, he's serious. where's the follow up and the diplomacy? >> it undermines the sin that this was part of a master plan. andrea mitchel in washington, thank you so much. peter, the other big story we were talking about in the last block, the revelation that the fbi raid of paul manafort's home. what more can you tell us? >> that's a dramatic escalation in the special counsel. the possibility of collusion between trump campaign officials, associates, and russian operatives right now. it's also new this morning that's worth reporting is we now know the 20,000 documents in total have been turned over by the trump campaign to the senate judiciary committee in addition to more than 400 documents. a lot of them financial records turned over by paul manafort to the committee and 250 pages of documents from the president's own son, president trump junior as we can now report. they have said the committee
members have said they're hoping to speak and interview both manafort and donald trump junior at some point in the course of their investigation. though those negotiations as we understand it are basically still ongoing right now. what strikes me is while this is obviously public, the most public, most significant sort of change in this investigation by robert mueller so far, the relationship between donald trump and paul manafort was never that close, the two were effectively introduced during the course of the campaign. as officials here traveling with the president, those close to him tell me when this gets close to his family, to donald trump junior himself, that's when this welcomes personal for the president right now. i imagine he's obviously paying very close attention to the latest developments in this as well. >> that's interesting. sam made the same point. they weren't particularly close, manafort and trump. manafort was thrust into trump's life in the middle of the campaign. it goes both ways.
manafort doesn't feel close to trump. does that mean he might be more likely to turn? >> yeah. i think a signature of the trump presidency is he never goes after family or generals. those are off the table. what youperiphery, whether it's congress, other staffers who are not really family members like manafort can get thrown under the bus. i'm sure that's part of the calculation on manafort's part. he probably has a story that he wants to tell. i'm sure he would like to bring that to the attention of investigators and you wonder his perspective. he's an open lever that's easier to maneuver on than the family members. >> shannon, what's the level of concern at this point from the administration deep inside the west wing about the russia investigation? publicly the president calls it a witch hunt and brushes it aside. how are they feeling with the latest development about paul manafort? >> there's some in the west wing who still don't view this
investigation as something that's going to be serious, long lasting or have big repercussions. despite all the revelations that come out, eve some on the president's legal team feel like this is a manafort and flynn problem, this is not something that deals with the president. but when i talk to people who have been involved in past investigations like this, clinton, iron contra, they all tell me these investigations really have a way of infecting a west wing. and this which should have been a campaign investigation, already is infecting the west wing. when we talk about obstruction of justice and documents that we know mueller has been asking the white house for. there is a risk that this is not just going to stay a campaign issue, a president trump issue, but going to spread through a number of people in the white house involved in the campaign like steve bannon or those involved in the conversations that the president had with comey. press assistants, administrative
assistants. it's going to become a big west wing investigation at some point, and i don't get the sense the white house is prepared for that. >> shannon, you mentioned previous investigations. where does the legal team, obviously the president trump has made changes to this over time. how do they stack up to the way the previous presidents, maybe the clintons or you mentioned dick cheney and scooter lib by, how does it compare to what other presidents have done under the scrutiny. >> the president's team is thin relative to clinton or past investigations. and very thin compared to what we've seen mueller building out. mueller is building out a robust team. the president has john doud who is a very experienced lawyer. knows mueller well, but is essentially a so low practitioner, he has jay seculo who has become his spokesperson on tv. then he has marc kasowitz and
his firm. they're taking a backseat roll. at this point in the clinton investigation, they had a war room and dozens of associates. the president's legal team doesn't feel they need to do that. they feel it's still a campaign issue, a manafort issue. and they're not really laying that ground work like we've seen other people do in their past investigations. >> your reporting yesterday, fascinating that john doud and others trying to turn down the temperature, the rhetoric from the president himself on twitter but others in the white house to not much effect. unfortunately for them. shannon, thank you so much. peter, good to see you as well. still ahead on "morning joe," this morning the senate race in alabama is becoming a center stage for the simmering tensions within the republican party. what it says about the future of president trump's agenda and of the senate. we'll be right back. phone with our allstate agent,
ed markey of massachusetts. good to see you always. you called yesterday the fire and fury comments reckless. you wanted to explain why it's so dangerous. what would you prefer to see in i think we all agree the north korean situation has a potential to be a crisis, a nuclear crisis at that. what should be the approach of not only president trump but the defense secretary jim mattis and others? >> well, i think first they have to stop the reckless, dangerous scary language which they are using when secretary mattis says that if north korea doesn't stop that it could lead to the destruction of its people, it could lead to regime change, that's exactly what they're most concerned about and will most likely lead to them continuing to test nuclear weapons and icbm
capacity. this good cop bad cop that tillerson and mattis are playing along with the president, it really comes off more like keystone cops. there's no coherent strategy it should include urgent diplomacy with even ever tightening sanctions around north korea nuchlt much tougher even than the united nations passed. the senator from colorado and i have introduced legislation that would cut off any trade coming into north korea at all and sanction a country including china if they were engaging in any kind of trade. we need to have negotiations, sanctions, conversations with china which is where 80% of north korea emanates and begin it right now rather than seeing this very dangerous escalating language which could through
miscalculation actually lead to a conventional showdown that could escalate into a nuclear event that would absolutely be catastrophic. >> senator, what are the odds of this sensible approach, this diplomatic approach occurring given the context of what we know to be occurring in washington? you have a state department that is pretty much stripped of personnel. assistant secretaries, ambassadorships, people led to believe there's not a lot of contact with the president of the united states. you have a very principaled national security advisor in mcmaster. general kelly is chief of staff, and yet you have the president saying what he says. how do we put together a diplomatic team under these conditions? >> i don't know how we can do it, mike. back in 1962 in the cuban missile crisis, it was the
generals who were saying that we should move to a military response. it was a cool, calm, detached president kennedy who kept stepping back to analyze the options to ensure that we did not, in fact, escalate into a nuclear confrontation. here we have just the opposite. we're hoping that the generals around the president control the president, and even with that general mattis is talking about the detstruction of the people f north korea totally. it's a very dangerous situation. this is the warning that barbara tuckman has in the guns of august that president kennedy asked all of his generals and advisors to read. he was so concerned that through miscalculation and accidental war could begun. we don't see any of that inside
the trump white house led by the president himself. >> senator, i want to talk about your legislation. and i have two questions. one, describe for the viewers' edification what the chain of command is when a president orders a nuclear strike. are there any checks and balances. and secondly, i know your legislation is to prohibit a first strike capability for a president. in the wake of trump's comments, have you seen any renewed interest or new interest among your colleagues in the senate or perhaps in the house for ted lou in co-sponsoring this bill? >> yeah. my concern is that right now the language that is coming out of the white house would leave the impression that nuclear weapons are usable, and they're usable even if the united states is not attacked by nuclear weapons. that is completely unacceptable.
and so what my legislation says is that if the united states is in a conventional weapon conflict with another country, nuclear weapons are not permitted to be used unless the united states congress authorizes the president to do so. now, in the event of a nuclear attack against the united states, it would be different. but in a conventional setting, they would not be permitted. that is my concern. and, yes, we have other members of the house and senate who are co-sponsoring this legislation. this goes to the role which the congress constitutionally should play in the declaration of war. we've allowed for the power with regard to conventional war to slip away from us, unfortunately, but with regard to the use of nuclear weapons where we have not been attacked with nuclear weapons, it would be a strange world that we would enter that a president would be allowed to use nuclear weapons,
unleashing a fury of power that has never been seen in the history of the planet in response to threats from another country, in response to conventional weapons movement by another country. it would just be catastrophic for the planet, and that's why i believe we need constraints on the use of nuclear weapons. >> all right. ed markey, democrat of massachusetts. thank you as always. still ahead this morning on "morning joe," we'll take you inside time magazine's reporting about what it took to convince general john kelly to change to the president's chief of staff. "morning joe" is coming back with a new cover guy on time magazine.
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brooks is buying to fill jeff session's senate seat in the primary against luther strange and exstate supreme court justice roy moore. much of superpac money is being spent to attack brooks. >> i don't think you can trust donald trump with anything he says. >> they all attack donald trump, trying to stop him. >> and in a surprise twist on tuesday night, just a week before the primary for the special election, president trump abruptly gave his, quote, complete and total endorsement to strange. he did that on twitter, despite strange's close ties to mcconnell and senate leadership. brooks appealed to trump. saying i agree completely. mcconnell and strange don't support your agenda. i do. reconsider endorsement. he sent three more tweets like that, and then rolled out this
ad. >> mitch mccobble is spending millions helping his lapping to luther strange hijack our alabama primary. conservatives stand with mo brooks who votes with president trump93% of the time. >> for his part, judge roy moore also bashing mcconnell calling him part of the d.c. swap. >> they lied about repealing obamacare. now d.c. slime machine spending millions bearing false witness. why? we know why. roy moore is honest. drain the swamp. send mcconnell a message. send them all a message. >> all right, casey. a lot going on here. >> where shall we start? >> luther strange was appointed to take jeff sessions's seat.
and donald trump, if you talk to people in the alabama state party, they were shocked by the endorsement. they did not know that endorsement was coming. >> this is maybe one of those situations where actions speak louder than words. really the fight in alabama has been all about who is the person that is very closest to president trump. mo brooks has been a thorn in the side of leadership. luther strange is somebody who seems to be willing to go along and get along. he and his people said, look, we are rewarding senator strange for supporting the president's agenda. he is somebody who has been a pretty reliable foot soldier. mo brooks, sometimes the white house has to spend a lot of
energy during the fight in the house. but here mcconnell is so invested. millions of dollars on the air. they have put everything they have. it would be a real embarrass many. it will be a run off if nobody cracks 50%. >> people aren't fascinated by alabama politics. why is this a significant race? >> it illuminates this tension that could exist between the president and senate gop leadership. he did come out for luther strange. he wouldn't mind sticking it to mcdonnell again. quick question for the panel. who is the democrat in this race? i'm kidding. does that say something? no one knows who the democrat is. >> i want to get the guy who does roy moore's voiceovers.
>> like something out of a will farrell movie. >> other allies of president trump are stepping up to take on on senators who have been critical of him or waivered support in the white house. politico reports robert mercer will bankroll his campaign is giving the super pac $300,000 to support jeff flake's primary opponent. flake published a book saying his party is in denial about the trump presidency conservative. and a primary challenge from the right. danny tarkanian said he would be a revival supporter of president trump's agenda.
heller dismissed him as someone who has run and lost five times. let's go back to arizona for a minute. president trump has said himself the last couple of months that he would step out and push against jeff flake, flake's approval rating not great in the state of arizona right now. significant to have a republican president coming out against a sitting senator and threaten him. >> it's a swing state. or it could be anyway. we have seen it move more solidly. this is a situation where if they do succeed in pushing kelly ward forward, the potential primary opponent, she is somebody who has run on the fringes before. it would be probably considered potentially a candidate to lose the general election. so this is a thing where
mcconnell is saying don't cut off behind the scenes, your nose to spite your face. the majority is so, so narrow. but the percenters are a very -- have interesting force. they are credited with getting ted cruz to stop crediticizing president trump. it's actually a remarkable turn of events. >> a couple fascinating races in the u.s. senate. the u.s. is facing its third nuclear crisis with north korea. what needs to be done to deescalate. plus, congressman peter king, chairman of the subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence. and paul were manafort. what investigators took with them and what it means for the russia investigation when we come back on "morning joe". ♪
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>> the united states is on the same page. whether it's the white house, the state department, department of defense. we are speaking with one voice. >> it is still unclear who knew about the fire and fury warning to north korea pwredz thobefore those words. the north korean army responding in kind many good morning. it's thursday, august 10th. joe and mika have the morning off. we have column skpeuft associate editor for the "washington post", david ignatius, mike barnicle, kasie hunt, politics for the daily beast sam stein. and special agent and msnbc contributor clint watts. we have a lot to talk to you about, clint. paul manafort was raid by the
fbi. the russian investigation taking an aggressive new approach. we will get to that in just a moment. we are hearing from secretary of defense general jim mat his for the first time since the fire and fury remarks. in a statement general mat his says, the united states and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack. the dpkk. while our state department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means. it must be noted that the actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours. it would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates. meanwhile, the north korean army
has released a new state through state-run media saying it will attack the u.s. territory of guam by the middle of this month and then wait for his decision. the army says it consists of firing four ballistic missiles over japan into waters off the coast of guam. the state goes directly after president trump saying his fire and fury rhetoric is a load of tphofpb sense is and sound dialogue is not possible since trump is, quote, bereft, of reason. david, a lot to sift through there. we asked you yesterday what to look for the next 24 hours. the rhetoric only stepped up. we have what we saw at the top of the show, an anyodministrati and state department of to speak as the spokesman said, in one voice. >> what we have seen in that very inflammatory rhetoric is
the recognition that president trump has to be careful that his language doesn't frighten friends and allies, doesn't frighten the chinese so much that they end up pulling back from cooperation with the u.s. on diplomacy that it would like to see a resolution of this. the other thing we have seen that is very significant is the north korean threat to attack guam. the u.s. territory fairly short flight, missiles would fly over japan and land near guam. i think from what i'm hearing that the administration is making this test, this additional test coming so close to u.s. territory. if this attempt to strike near u.s. territory, there will be repercussions. the round of diplomacy will come to a screeching halt.
the state department is looking for the north korea answer to say, no, we won't testament instead, we will talk about denuclearization. >> what role did the president's incendiary comments play do you think or do you hear in your reporting in north korea ratcheting up very quickly their response with regard to attacking guam? >> mike, i think in this rhetorical back and forth the north koreans did what you would expect. president trump was speak kim jong-un language. and he was received in kind. the reaction that concerns me more is among the countries we would have to fight with. we are now talking about war on the korean peninsula. that's a war you have to conduct
with very close relationships with your allies. i'm just going to read you some numbers that i found last night in late june pew research poll. confidence in the u.s. president to do the right thing regarding world affairs has fallen in south korea since donald trump took office. from 71 to 17. that's a fall of 75 points. in japan it has fall tprepb 78 to 24, a fall of 54 points. almost identical in australia. so these are countries that would have to be our partners that are already worried. these polls were taken before we were in this phase of fire and fury. now i think there is everyone greater anxiety. the problem is if the anxiety isn't controlled, our allies will be reluctant to do the things we need them to do. >> glen, you served time in south korea. we were talking about what it was like there almost 20 years ago.
it's been 10 since is the korean war along the dnc. what it must have been like to be in seoul or tokyo. >> we're talking about nuclear standoff. there is a lot short of nuclear standoff. i remember rising up in the helicopt helicopter. you are within artillery range. we have seen north korea the last two years greatly expand their cyber attack. we have seen attacks on u.s. companies, us banking systems. even the rhetoric when they feel challenged they will be offset in other ways. kim jong-un assassinated members of his own family outside the country. so tossing out fire and fury these statements to appear tough, fine. if you're north korea you will take that challenge.
you'll see actions in other ways. so we're talking about nuclear specific. if you're north korea now you start to pinprick the allies who are breaking away from us. >> and far from backing away from what the president said two days ago. we showed in the state department falling in behind him. it is like they set the new bar and they had to rise up to meet him. >> we reported in other outlets, the daily beast, that this happened. there was a piece of paper in front of him. the comments were about the opioid crisis. then i ad libbed and used some catch phrases. that set the tone for the rest of the administration. daily beast was told that the secretary of state's office had no clue this was coming. it's very clear in responses they were not cued in on this.
to david's point, one of the things we should note is we don't have critical ambassadors and key posts in that region right now. acting secretary. south korea. east asian affairs. nuclear proliferation offices. they're just vacant. i was talk to go a friend of the show, richard haas, about this. he said this is the equivalent of playing a world series game with three less starters than the opposition. so we are really going into this kind of blind. >> casey, congress is away on its august recess. what kind of reaction have you been able to collect? what's the feeling in congress right now? >> i think honestly the sense from talk to go people behind the scenes is the same as i think everybody that is kind of watching this unfold, which is
to say there's a great deal of uncertainty and nervousness. mccain was pretty careful in his criticism saying, okay, i don't want to step out in front of the president and saying he should take this off the table. but with this rhetoric, you better be able to back that up. you better absolutely mean it. i think lindsey graham gave more cover. and mccain honestly. they have both tended to favor military options in the past. when chuck schumer put out a one line statement that said we need to worry about north korea but we shouldn't talk this way. i think there was a level of fear in that statement. >> can i ask david a question. i have heard one argument. i don't know how much i buy it. there is a utility to trump saying this stuff.
the notion that the north kor n koreans might think this is a bit of a mad man who could be triggered to do something can actually itself be a deterrent if you're talking about a nuclear standoff. richard nixon to some stefpbt and ronald reagan. you never knew if they were going to hit the button. is this an argument being pushed? does it have resonance? is it logical? >> i think, sam, this idea of the mad man theory, thinking this guy will do anything. it does have utility. most important audience may in fact, be china. the whole guiding theme of this strategy is that we're saying to china, this is so important to us the north korean nuclear missiles are intolerant. either you help us deal with it
diplomatically or we're going to deal with it ourselves militarily in a way that is disastrous to you. and that is with the chinese believing we really mean it. still ahead on "morning joe", the vice reporter inside north korea just a short time ago. what she saw firsthand in that reclusive country. but first, investigators apart just relying on documents paul manafort agreed to hand over, they raided his home. that's next on "morning joe".
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was first reported by the "washington post" exactly two weeks after it occurred. manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well. the day before, manafort met with senate intelligence city staffers and turned of husband notes from the june 2016 trump tower meeting with russians. later that day, manafort submitted documents to the senate judiciary committee which then dropped its subpoena for manafort to testify the following morning. the raid took place several hours later. according to the "washington post", the search warrant requested documents related to tax, documents and other matters. the paper said agents left with a trove of material. the post reports the search warrant indicates that investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to think he would not turn over
all records in response to a grand jury subpoena. let's turn to clint watts. what would it take to basically knock on a door and have paul manafort come down in his pajamas in the middle of the night? >> there's two things coming out. foreign banking documents and tax records. these are not things you can go subpoena and just retrieve like you would at a normal bank. we have seen connections to cypr cyprus, ukraine. the other thing is tax documents. you want to see if there is consistency in the tax filings versus the evidence that is there for. it gives you a window of opportunity. one, if there is a crime, you can pursue it. if not, on a lesser charge, if you're looking to turn someone in as a cooperating witness or
to reveal more information than you want to, hit them with a lesser charge and try to move that russia investigation forward. that is a strategic move. i don't know if the evidence is there for it. >> can you explain the different between the jump and the difference between getting the grand jury subpoena and search warrant. >> grand jury subpoena is for securing records. with when you're going in for a search warrant you're saying i don't know that the person was supposed to cough up these records has actually given me everything that's there. so i will take the added step of making sure i have all the evidence that is there. to do the morin trucive step requires a higher level of probable cause. still ahead, "time" magazine calls him trump's best last hope. general john kelly has mixed results. that story straight ahead. plus, republican congressman peter king of new york. we're back in just a home.
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republican congressman peter king of new york. congressman, good to see you this morning. i want to ask about the way p president trump is talking to north korea right now. were you bothered at all by someone who is so focused on national security by the apparent fact that there wasn't coordination about that message. he uttered that phrase. the state department and rex tillerson and everyone else had to scramble to justify the rhetoric. >> first of all, i think the rhetoric was justified. other people may have used other rhetoric. there is a history to north korea. eisenhower specifically threatened to use nuclear weapons. this isn't unusual or unprecedented for this type of talk. and it worked. it caused north korea to back down. the south korean leader furst
came up with the mad man worry. it is to let china know how serious we are. i think it is is essential that china go the secondary sanctions on chinese banks, chinese entities. anyone who is dealing with north korea entities at all. i think the president is doing this as a means to get people's attention, tuckly the chinese. nothing rattles tphoernorth kor. they're rattled enough to begin with. >> you mentioned eisenhower p preempting war.
do you think this would be appropriate and effective? >> i can only speak for myself. i have no inside intelligence. that would only be done if the united states had very convincing evidence that north korea was about to launch an attack. to me that's the only way it would be considered. >> mike? >> congressman, you've outlined sort of a diplomatic approach to calming the situation down. but the reality is that you have a secretary of state who seems not to be in constant contact. general kelly just arrived. general mat his and general mcmaster. and there is an individual loop around the oval office where the president seemingly does and says whatever he wants to do and say without consultation of staff. does that bother you at all? >> the president has his own way
of doing things. husband statement is not that different from what general mat his said. secretary of state rogers did not know henry kissinger was doing. these things happen. during the cuban muss ill kraoeufgs, stevenson was not fully made aware of what was going on, at least the bay of pigs. can we get it coordinated? i would say right now, certainly general mat his and the president on the same page. and general kelly, i think people are reading too much into what general kelly says or doesn't say. i haven't seen any evidence that there is any space between the president and general kelly. i know from my conversations with the president he is absolutely committed to general kelly. he thinks he is a superstar in this administration. >> congressman, sam stein here.
i want the switch to domestic affairs. president trump has been increasingly vocal with his disappointment with republicans in congress to repeal and replace obamacare. do you think that is a fair criticism he has? my second question is with respect to the debt ceiling which you and other members will have to address come the end of september is. is it your preference to do a clean debt ceiling bill and just get the issue over with, or do you join like tom cole did a couple days ago saying there should be spending cuts attached to any debts in the legislation. >> i basically agree with what president reagan wanted, what president trump wants. a clean debt ceiling. i don't want to be a dead beat
nation. as far as the health care issue, the president led people to believe this could be done more quickly than it can. let's get some quick tax cuts like reagan did in '81. he waited five years before he went from tax cuts to tax reform. if we can get tax cuts in, corporate taxes, small business tax, that will fuel the economy, get the jobs flowing. and health care reform with a million competing special interests all coming in and this getting bogged down. >> you're back home in long island for the august recess. the second district you represent. what is the number one urb you're hearing about when you go back? >> i would say the he economy to some extent. and, again, maybe mine is
different. president trump carried my district twice by four and five points. president trump carried it by nine. 14 point turnaround. let the president do the job. i would say the issue is terrorism. >> all right. congressman king joining us. we appreciate it. >> hope joe is joining himself, by the way. >> he will be back tomorrow. would love to see you. so you may have heard a voice with congressman peter king. that was kasie hunt working the phones with new reportings about mitch mcconnell. >> we had these tweets out this morning. i was talking with folks thinking about all of this. it is fair to say there is a significant kind of rupture of trust and anger behind the scenes which may of course be stating the obvious. there are some questions they
might pose to the president. how does this help them get anything accomplished. there is a sense they believe that the president needs mitch mcconnell to actually pass any of these legislative accomplishments. he will ultimately be judged on. i think there's also some questions about what did he contribute personally to attempting to pass the health care bill. they are viewed lisa murkowski as someone to vote for the countriy repeal. she got calls essentially threatening her state. and i think there's some questions from people who are in that camp about what exactly is the president doing about north korea. and if there is this nuclear crisis brewing, why is mitch muck connell an ally. >> do they concede, though, from your source's point of view, that this shouldn't have been this difficult to repeal and replace obamacare.
you have the president, the senate, and the house lined up and it didn't happen. >> i'm not sure concede is the right word. it was made more difficult by the fact somewhat strangely they have a republican in the white house. >> health care repeer of obamacare, that's gone. now they are on to tax reform. it could be more ar contain in terms of getting something done. what happens between mcconnell he is on the mound. what happens there given the relationship? >> well, so, look. i think there are a few things that make it easier to do. i think there is a legitimate sense on capitol hill that the president has a better understanding of what is potentially at stake in tax reform. it actually does touch on what
he spent his life doing. they feel the president's team is more engaged. dina powell all having regular war meetings on this. there is a lot more i think -- it's easier actually to build a consensus on tax reform. the question is how do they pay for it. and mcconnell was quoted -- there were stories out this morning this week where he essentially refused to put a timeline on tax reform. so remember leaders had been saying by this time, essentially by the beginning of the august recess we would have tax reform. then they would say, well, we will probably get it by the end of the year. the president needs congress to keep the government open and avoid default on the debt limit. we have to avert serious potential crews ease. he will need the republican
while the outside media speculated about the, there was dancing penguins, dry ice and back drop for ballistic missiles. ♪ >> wow. that is a clip from this friday's episode of vice on hbo. it was a recent look inside north korea where our next guest recently traveled to learn how citizens are react to go the rising tensions. and director of international
studies, dr. robert. he served on national security staff for nonproliferation in the first clinton administration and author of "preventing north korea's nuclear breakout." charlotte, let me start with you. you were in the country in april for about a week or so. i think people are fascinated by such a close society. off called a hermit kingdom. what was your experience? >> it's about as close as you can get to leaving the planet as you can going anywhere else. i suppose you have to think of it as a giant open prison essentially. your entire experience is controlled. you're taken around by minders everywhere you go. you are only allowed to see what they want you to see. so people there are used to
hearing their president talk in the way that the president of the united states might currently be talking. so it is sort of business as usual over there. for us we were there at a time when the media over here was speculating about a march to war. people i spoke to over there were quite relaxed about it. they have great faith in their leader. you know, surprisingly calm. >> the country puts on a good parade, awe good musical when international journalists are there. there is forced applause and smiles from children. did you pick up any crack in anyone. can you get any real information about anyone who expressed disgust or sorrow or anything like that about the regime? >> unfortunately not. who knows why? anyone who a voice of dissent would soon be stamped out. whether people are doing it
perform actively or because they truly believe what they say we'll never know. in order to figure that out, i need to be i psychologist not a journalist. >> doctor, tkpwufrgiven the nat north korea, a closed society, paranoia, realistically what are the expectations that tphoernor korea wants to negotiate some sort of peace or agreement. realize you cannily. >> well, the context this week has been the escalating rhetoric which underscores the need of clarity from the presidentconce miscalculation. what we view as bolstering deterrents could be the prelude to a preemptive military action. we need to deescalate the
rhetoric. north korea mastered war heads is an important marker and indicates their continued progress towards achieving their goal of a long range missile that could reach the united states. they have to master the reentry of this war head and guidance. it creates political space for diplomacy. but it is the objective of which would be not to roll back to zero nuclear war heads of which they have 20 but to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. >> what makes you think diplomacy would work better now than it has the last generation or so. so many people, yourself included, tried for nonproliferation with that country. they say we have to lean harder on china. we have been leaning on china for many years, to no avail. why can't it be different?
>> that's the question. the new factor is the china factor. a north korean nuclear breakout that is the ability to directly threaten the united states with a nuclear weapon would be a game changer not only for us but also china because of the consequences that would truigge japan, south korea. it may be shifting. it is worth another try to try to constrain north korea an military capabilities. but that would be done in tandem with continue to go detain and deter them, pursue ballistic muss ill defense, the use of cyber attacks that the "new york times" report odd this year. >> charlotte, i'm curious. it's, as you know, very difficult to get access to north korea as a journalist. did you know what your itinerary
would look like? how did it play out? >> these press tours happen quite regularly. we were part of a larger delegation. you're kept in the dark. there is lots of hurry up and wait. you have a call time. when you say what's the itinerary for today? they say we don't know. that's how society is controlled. that's how we were controlled. we didn't know from day to day what we were doing, which was quite stressful. but you just have to go along with it. you realize that you're just going to see what everyone else has seen for the past decade or more. and you just have to kind of put your faith that i came back in one piece. >> what do you suspect is the mood in north korea this week with the president of the united states talking about their country in such strong terms? >> i can only go with what i
experienced when i was out there. honestly, i think like the north korean citizens have put all their faith in their leader. they are probably feeling somewhat calmer about it than we are. for them it's business as usual. >> the new episode of "vice" premieres tomorrow night. joining us from washington, a member of the senate banking committees chris van holen. defense secretary jim mat his speaking in strong terms what could happen to north korea if it continues the direction of the pursuit of nuclear weapons. >> well, look, i think the overheated rhetoric and statements from president trump have aggravated the situation. they play into the hands of the
north korean leader. this is kim jong-un's game, as your guest just said. this is something the north koreans have done for 15 years. and when president trumpen gauges in the same kind of rhetoric, he actually elevates the north korean leader and diminishes the united states. we have had sanctions in place for a long time but not adequately enforced. the chinese especially have looked the other way while chinese banks and firms have dealt with tphoerbg north. so senator toomey and i modeled it after the iran sapbl. there are some legislative vehicles that congress can consider. you talked about one with respect to sanctions. senator markey has a bill that
would prohibit first strike unless an act of congress came before that. what do you expect lawmakers to do after it gets off august recess is and this nerc tphoeor issue is still lingering? how will your chamber respond? >> well, i'm absolutely confident we will have hearings in the banking committee, senate foreign committees. there was part of the russian sanctions and sanctions on iran. many of us believe we need to go further in terms of the iran sanctions model. remember the u.n. passed sanctions on iran. they didn't really bite. they didn't have any teeth until the united states passed secondary sanctions where we say to countries like china or others, you ever a choice. either you do business with
north korea or you do business with the united states but you can't do both. that is what got people's attention with the iran sanctions. that's what we need to do now. >> it's kasie hunt. i want to change gears. you took not necessarily a job that anyone wanted as dscc chair. obviously you have a pretty tough mat. my question about the president's tweets aimed at mitch mcconnell. is he making your job easier by doing that? >> well, we are watching them take shots at each other here. the real issue is they don't have an agenda that brings the country together. the affordable care act repeal got maybe 12% support throughout the country. and when that failed, you have people pointing fingers at each other. this was the president who said he was going to bring to washington the art of the deal.
clearly he was not able to do that. the question as they head to tax reform and other big issues as you mentioned, are they going to proceed in a bipartisan fashion. let's have transparency. let's have hearings. let's work through the regular order. right now they will try to jam things through on their own. and that is not a recipe for success. >> senator, you mentioned with regard to north korea the need for china to play a larger role in helping to get to some form of negotiation. despite the great piece of chocolate cake at mere awe la go. countries we rely on throughout the world, pakistan, supposedly our ally. not really. saudi aarabia, supposedly our ally. not really. what is going on with the united states and the world?
i he realize that is a big question. but what is going on here? >> well, i think you're right, mike. i think our influence is being diminished. we have seen the pew polls. it makes it hard to translate our policies into successful influence overseas. so i think when it comes to north korea, it's really important that we dial back the receipt rubbing, that we reach out to our allies. china was at first the best bud of the president. as you phelgzmentioned, he tweet best buds. met at mar-a-lago. the only answer here is steady for a leadership. we do need to ratchet up the pressure through the secondary sanctions. i do think that lots on of chinese banks and firms are continuing to deal with north korea. we he need to put app end to
that through these sanctions. >> senator chris van hollen, thanks for your time this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you. is general john kelly the president's last best chance for success? inside "time" magazine's for success? we go into the "time" magazine story that suggests that. we have 7500 allys looking out for one thing, you. call in the next ten minutes to save on... and if that's not enough, we'll look after your every dollar. put down the phone. and if that's not enough, we'll look after your every cent. grab your wallet. access denied. and if that's still not enough to help you save... ooo i need these! we'll just bring out the snowplow. you don't need those! we'll do anything, seriously anything, to help our customers. thanks. ally. do it right.
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trying to show him positive stories from cable news. i think they're having trouble with that, too. take a look. >> positive news, though. >> president trump is -- is -- is uh -- uh -- is really, really. >> fantastic. >> i think he's going to go. it's all in the folder. michael duffy wrote this week's cover story on president trump's new chief of staff. john kelly. in part about how other generals in the administration convinced kellie to take the job. this summer the threats from north korea increase while confusion dominated in the white house. the generals quietly launched a mission of their own. they were concerned enough about the conduct of foreign policy to work together to convince a
skeptical kelly. their argument, unless someone else takes over, so when trump asked kelly the third time, it wasn't a job offer, it was a call of duty. first question, i guess, is why did kelly say no twice before. what was holding him back? >> he was skeptical about whether he could make a difference. he had lived through the travel ban experience, which caught him off-guard in the first week and seen the white house not really be prepared for that. i think he felt he had his hands full. nor did he particularly have a clear role he was ready to step into over there. as the situation in july began to deteriorate, some of these other generals in the government really began to nudge him. trump was wantic kelly to come over, but i think it took the pressure of some old colleagues he had served with, particularly his marine colleagues, to say,
you know, we really need you now. this isn't about what you want or prefer, this is something the country needs, and he responded just as he had throughout his cert. >> michael with general dunford specifically leaning on kelly to take the job, do you suppose the president of the united states knows the depth of the reason that kelly took the job, that it was for the country, not just to serve the president, to serve the country first? >> when kelly meets with the aides of the entire staff, he gathers them in the old staircase, and he says, you know, this is about country/president/self. that's a hierarchy that should come naturally, but probably struck some in the white house as a change. i don't think he could be more transparent when he sold some
200 or 300 staffers that that was his set of priorities. >> how is general kelly managing the relationships that already existed in the white house, especially this feud that steve bannon and breitbart seem to have right now with mcmaster? >> stay tuned. this is an interesting space, right? the generals would actually like to put more troops into afghanistan. i think one of the things that provoked the generals into nudging kelly is they were hearing thinks in the situation room about perhaps pulling all of our troops out of afghanistan. that concerned them. they said this isn't the way to run the railroad. but that skirmish, which isn't just about how to surge up in afghanistan, but was about mcmaster's fate, whether he stays or goes, is playing out now, and we'll see who prevailed. i think the thing to be -- even
though we're living in a complicated situation right now about north korea, and it's hard to see there's a whole lot of new discipline yet we'll see if people like mcmaster and tillerson enjoy more support, because kelly is in the chief of staff office. that's really the question. >> on that point about general mcmaster, the "wall street journal" editorial board writing about mcmaster and commander noting the alt-right brigade and to smite a white house policy opponent of steve bannon. the latest target has been h.r. mcmaster. he's come in for abuse for favor more troops and new strategy in afghanistan, for warning that vladimir putin is no friend of america, and for advising that in trump not precipitously withdraw from the iran nuclear deal. he also recently dismissed some nsc staff members who were brought on by michael flynn and
are said to be allies of mr. bannon. mr. trump may worry about bosh but if his minions continuing to vilify hi colleagues in the white house, how can anyone tell the difference? >> there's a large cast of characters. michael, as you put together this color with the caption up on the cover, did you recognize at all that you very likely doomed him in the eyes of the president he serves? >> well, i suspect that even president trump knows his own presidency, probably not to mention the nation, hangs in the balance as to whether he gets this right and lets someone else help him. it's a good question, sam, but i think kelly knows that there's only so much anyone can do, and he went in clear-eyed about whether you can really change or fix donald trump the way you fix a car.
or you can create structures and procedures that actually make it possible for him to succeed. this week is one of those weeks that would give you pause whether that's possible. >> i just wanted to show that new cover of "time" magazine, trump's last best hope, it's about chief of staff john kelly. michael duffy, thank you very much. that's does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the cover. thank you, willie. defending fire and fury. all the president's men and women come out to back the president's escalating rhetoric on north korea. >> whether it's the white house, the state department, the department of defense, we are speaking with one voice. >> 100% guarantee that was never approved by h.r. mcmaster. where does a predawn raid bied fbi on paul manafort's home put the mueller investigation. >> i think it's a clear sign from special counsel mueller