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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  August 25, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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>> it's my favorite album! >> it's lake, what do we want? >> the wall! >> who's going to pay for it? >> mexico! >> that's right, you are, the american taxpayer. >> good morning, it's friday, august the 25 president. joe and mika have the morning off. they'll both be back with us on set monday. with us, we have senior political analyst for msnbc news and nbc on casual summer fridays for mark halperin. national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc, john heilemann. the soeshd editor of commentary magazine, noah rothman, republican strategist, susan del percio, and former governor of vermont and former chairman of the democratic national convention, howard dean. good to see you. we have two sets of sneakers. governor dean with a nice pair of vermont new balance kicks. that's not an outing, that's a showering of praise. and halperin with the casual friday and the complete cons. >> a classic con. >> and a cuffed khaki. it's all working for you this morning.
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a lot to talk about. a senior administration official tells nbc news, president trump is serious about his tuesday night threat of shutting down the government unless the spending bill includes funding for a wall along the mexican border. the president made a similar threat last spring, but relented on a short-term funding bill to avoid a shutdown at the end of his first hundred days. this as the white house repeatedly dodged whether or not the president had abandoned his campaign pledge that mexico would pay for the wall. >> sarah, the president promised over and over again during the campaign that mexico would pay for the wall. so why is he now threatening a government shutdown if congress won't pay for it? >> the president is committed to making sure this gets done. matthew? >> why is he threatening a shutdown over paying for it? again, he said over and over again, he talked about the campaign, over and over again. he said, mexico is going to pay for the wall. he asked people, his crowds chanted back at him, mexico is going to pay for it. now he's pushing, threatening a shutdown of the government.
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>> once again, the president is committed to making sure this happens and we're going to push forward. >> on this threat of the government shutdown if congress doesn't secure funding for this wall, how is that not a concession from this white house that mexico isn't actually going to pay for this wall and american taxpayers will? >> again, this is something the president's committed to. he's committed to protecting american lives and doing that through the border wall is something that's important, it's a priority, and we're moving forward with it. noah? >> but he's not saying that mexico is going to pay for it. >> he hasn't said they're not either. >> hasn't said they're not either. so susan, during the campaign, obviously, build that wall, mexico is going to pay for it was number one on the greatest hits at a donald trump rally and we heard it again tuesday night. is this an idle threat or do you think he's going to shut down the government over the wall? >> i don't think he will. the markets will tank, the one success he goes to at the beginning of every rally, every address is he talks about the economy. the markets will not respond well to this.
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and plus, you know, he is until he isn't. that's donald trump. he's definitely going to do this, until he doesn't. and he seems to get away with that. but i don't think he will be able to make that threat. >> there's some bloomberg reporting this morning that this was sort of steve bannon's dying political wish, as he left the office, he said, don't forget the wall, don't forget the promise you made on the wall. how far do you think, governor dean, the president's willing to go here? >> i'm with susan. i don't think he can -- he could shut down the government. he would have to veto what would be a bipartisan bill in order to do that. i mean, i don't see it happening. but this is a guy who can do anything crazy and who knows what he'll do. >> so what does it look like, mark? it is a continuing resolution, kind of in two pieces, we pass a spending bill to avoid the shutdown by october the 1st and attach the wall to a larger spending bill down the road? >> i think there's the debt ceiling fight and the budget fight. and i think they'll both probably be kicked down the road a little bit, at least until maybe the end of the year. there's all this talk of
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republicans saying, ah, we're fed up with the president and we'll go it alone. i don't know what it means to go it alone. they still need a signature on things, they'll have to override his veto and they'll need democratic votes. there's no way mitch mcconnell and paul ryan will get democratic votes without the white house's involvement. and everybody believes this is going to involve a fair amount of democratic votes. there are so many unanswered questions, and the notion that the president is going end to this by vetoing things and by trying to shut down the government, i just think -- i agree, it's implausible, but there's no other obvious outcome, so it's as likely as anything. >> mark mentioned the debt ceiling. the treasury says the debt ceiling must be raised by september 92 for the government to make its payments and congress has until september the 30th to pass funding through both chambers. otherwise, the government runs out of money on october 1st. yesterday morning, the president tweeted that republican leaders on capitol hill had missed an opportunity, accusing mitch mcconnell and paul ryan of ignoring his request to tie raising the debt ceiling to a
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ver veterans affairs bill, saying they've allowed democrats to hold it up. quote, could have been so easy, now a mess. and even though speaker ryan was named in the tweet, he told cnbc, he didn't see it as criticism. >> i don't really take it as going after me. look, that's an option we were looking at, but the v.a. deadline came up and we weren't able to do that then. i'm really not that worried about this. we have plenty of options ahead of us and we will pass a debt limit increase before we hit the debt limit. >> president trump sent a third tweet at republican leadership yesterday morning writing, quote, the only problem i have with mitch mcconnell is that after hearing repeal and replace for seven years, he failed. that should never have happened. but at the white house, press secretary sarah huckabee sanders denied any friction between the two. >> sarah, there seemsymptom acr president and republican congressional leadership. how do you repair this relationship going into the fall? >> i think the relationship is
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fine. obviously, there are going to be some policy differences, but there are also a lot of shared goals. we're disappointed that obamacare, they failed to get it repealed and replace, but mcconnell has worked with other members to work on those shared goals and we'll continue to do that when the senate comes back from recess. >> noah, that was a pained, scripted response to try to explain away the problems that are right there for everybody to see, whether it's donald trump going after jeff flake and mitch mcconnell tweeting out support of jeff flake or donald trump as reported by politico yesterday, calling up senators and pushing them to back off certain russia bills, bob corker for one, thom tillis for another. the relationship is not good, as sarah huckabee sanders says. >> yeah, that was one of many pained responses to many similar questions. i feel for congressional staffers who are on background in reports we're tripping over saying, we're on our own, we're bereft of leadership. it's -- they're sending a lot of mixed signals from the white house. at one time, they want a bill, any bill, that they're consigned
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on health care. now they're going to let them do tax code reform, just get us something. but at the same time, they intervene in little piddling measures, like now we want this funding for a wall. they had many opportunities to claim a victory there. they had the opportunity to go for a border tax. whatever you think of the border tax. it would have paid for the wall, and mexico sort of would have paid for it. they had a couple of billion dollars for border security. they could have claimed victory there. but instead, they're robbing themselves of victory and saying, we want more. >> so, john, a senior administration official told nbc last night that the trump and mcconnell haven't spoken in weeks, to use their terms. so despite what sarah huckabee sanders is saying there, there's obviously a deep divide. >> look, i mean, if you think about the story, the story that got a lot of attention, rightfully so, in "the new york time times", that had the leader's fingerprints all over it a few days ago, with mcconnell, it's not that i don't think that a the relationship is chilly or frosty, the leader's waging a war on the president, the
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president is waging a war on the leader in open view. the president in open view of his twitter stream, and the leader, in very obvious ways in the press, his allies. i don't really -- i'm looking at this "washington post" story on the front page today, a good story that president trump is distancing himself from the congressional leadership, trying to see if he can create some political space for himself, apart from the party's congressional wing, i don't really understand how that works in the context not of a presidential election year, where i could understand how it would work, but in the context of a midterm election year. who's -- who's on team trump? the democrats are not? and what, he's going to run against republicans when they're running for re-election in a midterm election, and his name is not tonight ballot? i don't understand the logic of this. again, in 2019, i could understand the logic of this. i don't get what he's trying to accomplish here in the tangible way in the short-term, because if they lose control of one or both houses in 2018, it's really
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bad for donald trump. >> and in some cases, susan, he's willing to unseat sitting republicans, like jeff flake. he's willing to risk losing that seat to a democrat, potentially, by making a point to jeff flake that he should try to undercut the president. >> well, in so many ways, this president has said, i am president and i am loyal to myself only. i'm not president of this country for all, i am here -- it's all about me. i'm not anywhere interested in uniting it. all i care is about me. so when you see him making those attacks, it's just a gut reaction at this point. now it's time for the republicans both on the house and the senate side to bear down, get their agenda down, treat the president as a neutral fact. if they want to bring something forward and go into the 2018 elections and get it, they better show some results. and i think at this point the president will sign anything. he really has no deep caring about any particular issue. >> so jeff flake, who we just mentioned, running for re-election was asked in an interview yesterday about the future of president trump and
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perhaps a primary in 2020. here's what he said. >> do you think the president is going to get a primary opponent in 2020, the way things are headed right now? and then we'll let you go. >> you know, i don't know. i don't know. i think that certainly depends on him. i think he could govern in a way that he wouldn't, but i think that the way -- the direction he's headed right now, just kind of drilling down on the base rather than trying to expand the base, you know, i think he's inviting one. >> governor dean, just think about the fact that anyone's even asking that question. >>ion i know. >> that that's even in the atmosphere about donald trump. >> i think there's a lot of interesting stuff to dissect. john was talking about the senior administration, who leaked, i thought van wubannon gone. so who's the senior administration that's doing this leaking? this stuff is still going on.
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secondly, who knows if trump is going to be around in 2020, of his own volition, i think it's unlikely he'll be impeached, even if the democrats take over. although mueller could unleash some stuff that could lead to that. i think this is unpredictable. i do think that if jeff flake doesn't win his primary, the democrats have got a great shot at picking up that seat. i also believe, and i'm probably the only person in america or at least in washington who believes this, that if roy moore wins the democratic primary in -- i mean, the republican primary in alabama, we have a good candidate with a long history in alabama and we could take -- >> you think a democrat could win -- >> i think a democrat would beat, if it's roy moore, who's somewhat unhinged, as we know. >> so despite saying that relationships between the president and congress are fine as we just showed you, sarah huckabee sanders also hit back at comments made by senator bob corker of tennessee earlier this month, criticizing the president.
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here first are corker's comments followed by huckabee sanders at the white house yesterday. >> the president has not yet -- has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. he also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation. >> do you have any response to that from a republican senator? >> uh, i think that's a ridiculous and outrageous claim and doesn't dignify a response from this podium. >> so, mark, senator corker was one of the guys who was open to the possibility of president trump. was open to working with him. every time he'd come on this show and there would be pressure for republicans to condemn donald trump, he was one of the guys who always said, i'm going to give him some time. >> went out of his way -- >> he's learning the job, he bent over backwards. those comments were from last week in the wake of charlottesville. and really, i think the breaking point for bob corker. but not saying anything extraordinary, with right?
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he was saying that he's got to better understand the character of country. >> that's actually a pretty kpoo extraordinary thing to say. >> i just meant as a human being. >> senator corker is unusual and in some ways unique as a way to measure the president's standing with capitol hill. he's been an ally, as you've suggested. he's gone out of his way from candidate trump to president trump to give the president the benefit of the doubt, to try to be encouraging both publicly and privately. has lots more communication with the white house than many republican senators. he said that in a way that clearly got everybody's attention. and sarah sanders' reaction is just another indication that september is going to be a crazy time, when the president needs congress to do difficult things, he needs his party to do difficult things. and his relationships right now are at a low point with members of his own party, including people like corker, who have been as reliable allies as the president has had, up until now. corker hasn't given up on the president, because corker, ryan, a lot of members of congress say, lots has gone wrong, we
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don't like a lot of what happened at the white house, we don't like a lot of what the president does. but he's the president, he's our president, we're in washington to get things done. hope springs eternal for them. but if there's -- if they default on the debt or if there's a government shutdown, it's going to test a lot of the relationships that are frayed right now, as i said, to an absolute low point. >> and let's just be clear, to your point, willie, i think he was making these comments in the wake of charlottesville. because those comments were not directed at charlottesville. as mark suggested, bob corker chooses his words carefully. and when he says the president has not demonstrated the stability, that is a -- that is, for corker, the equivalent of where others would say, "he's a raving lunatic!". i'm not trying to put words in his mouth, but corker chooses his words carefully and they were designed to get people's attention, he was making a much more sweeping and fundamental critique of trump's fitness, at this moment, maybe hope springs eternal, but what he's seen so far from him, a devastating comment from bob corker.
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>> especially since he's the head of the foreign relations committee and we were talking about north korea not too long ago and look at the instability of the world that we're looking at today. and that, i think, was really a message from corker to the generals, saying, you better get your guy in check, because you're going to come in front of my committee and we'll have a lot of talking. >> this also comes from corker's gut. one, his leader has been attacked, that's a big deal, you don't do that. two, corker was a mayor. and he actually had a job where you really did have to bring people together and you had to make some tough decisions. and three, i think corker has probably on the foreign relations committee seen the mayhem that trump has -- you know, this guy is in a better seat than almost anybody to see the mayhem and the decline in the opinion of america, as a result of trump's presidency. >> that response from sanders yesterday, noah, was just another case of donald trump cannot let any slight go unanswered. the madness of all of this, as mark suggested, is that these are precisely the people that donald trump will need to get anything he wants to get done. if he wants to be sackful
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president, he needs bob corker, he needs mitch mcconnell, he needs jeff flake. but the personal animus that he may feel or the instinct to respond over comment or every criticism that comes his way overrides even his own self-interest. >> i don't think anybody in the republican senate conference appreciates what the president has been doing to jeff flake, undermining him both in public and in private. and the prospect of the sharron angling in fact republican party is something that the gop should view as an existential threat. they think they can keep their heads down and weather the trump storm. but if the president is going to go out there and start endorsing people with fringe views to undermine the republican presence both in the senate and out of it. and it's one thing to have a roy moore elected by the primary electorate. but it's another thing to intervene in that process and say, i want this person who had, you know, hearings on ken trails. >> talking about arizona. >> yeah, that's something they should think about as being an existential threat and treated
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as such. >> in the abstract, i think there was once a legitimate notion that the president could threaten some republicans, he could get their attention, he could make them fear for their jobs. and they could say, you know what mr. president, i understand you've got this huge coalition, this huge grassroots movement, i'm going to work with you. in theory, that could have happened. there's a rally around mitch mcconnell, a rally around jeff flake. there's now unity within the republican conference to say to the president, stay out of our primary, stay out of our politics. we don't appreciate this at all. so that experiment is done. and if the president thinks that threatening incumbent republicans is going to get better legislative results from his point of view, i think he's wrong. >> you can't threaten people as president when you're at 35. you can't. it's like, it's math, right? if he was at 45 or 55, obviously, these threats could be effective. $3 $ 35? not effective. and to go back to your earlier point, we shouldn't be that surprised when we're talking about primarying trump. it's early, but in our history, in both parties, sitting
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presidents often get primaried. jimmy carter gets primaried. a president at 35, even if they're not creating chaos and mayhem, are people going to start talking about prey primar that person. >> the president's on pollster put that out. >> he put out -- >> the president is doing 50%ish and people are getting double digits, seven months in. >> there's another view on all of this, by the way. senator lyindsaey graham believ there's a method to the madness in in all the strategy. but now, the massive storm set to slam into the gulf coast. hurricane harvey intensifying rapidly, now a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of up to 100 miles an hour. the storm is expected to become a category 3 by the time it makes landfall, make it the strongest storm to hit texas since 2008. the national hurricane center is warning of life threatening and
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devastating flooding and issuing storm flood warnings for parts of the texas coast. up to 35 inches also possible in parts of southeast texas through next week. mandatory evacuation orders in effect for multiple cities in texas and louisiana where harvey is threatening to be the biggest storm to hit new orleans since katrina 12 years ago. let's bring in nbc meteorologist bill karins with the latest on harvey. bill, good morning. >> good morning. everyone's waking up, things are just as serious now as when we went to bed. the storm is still strengthening and now we're only about 18 hours or so away from landfall. it does look like this will become a major hurricane at anytime this morning. you can see the well-defined eye on radar. here's the path it's taken. a general northwest motion towards the corpus christi area. and the hurricane hunters are finding that the pressure has been dropping pretty rapidly lately. that's the sign it's still growing. the latest update had it as a category 2. 105 miles per hour. to get to major stuatus, we'll get up to 115.
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population numbers, about 8 million people are in a tropical storm warning, including the houston, galveston, san antonio areas. the hurricane warning for the corpus christi area and port lavaka and victoria. those population numbers are just shy of about a million. here's the latest forecast. this is the 5:00 a.m. update from the hurricane center. the next update will come out 11:00 a.m. they have it going to a category 3 this afternoon. they have landfall some time around 10:00 p.m. until about midnight tonight with winds about 125 miles per hour. that will be enough for significant wind damage to the right of that eye, when it comes onshore. we're hoping it's in a very unpopulated area. we would like to avoid the eye going through corpus christi. they have a population there of over 300,000. we want to keep those structures safe. at this path, it would be on the backside, still very strong winds, but we would avoid the category 3 winds. and then it rains itself out as we go throughout the next week. yes, i said week. storm surge is going to be another concern as we go throughout the night, storm surge warnings, about 6 to 10 feet from corpus christi to port lavaca.
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this is the cruelest map of all. this is my european long-range model, takes it back offshore monday, tuesday into wednesday, lingers it off the coast and a second landfall possible as we go through wednesday of next week. that would be absolutely almost unheard of and ridiculous. and that's why we're saying, as you mentioned, isolated totals up to 35 inches of rain in widespread, 15 to 20 from houston to victoria to corpus christi. that's why we're telling the people in this area, if you have the resources to get out of town for the next week, get out now, while you can. >> wow. looks like almost a week-long event. to quote bill karins, unheard of and ridiculous. precise meteorological terms. bill karins will be watching this all day. thanks so much. still ahead on "morning joe," a powerful new column in "the new york times" asks, president obama, where are you? we'll talk to his author who says it's time for the former commander in chief to start speaking out against his successor. she joins u.s. just ahead. plus, the former secretary of homeland security jeh johnson will be here with us on set.
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and adam kinzinger joins our conversation. you're watching "morning joe" on a friday morning. we'll be right back. ♪ looking for clear answers for your retirement plan? start here. or here. even here. and definitely here. at fidelity, we're available 24/7 to make retirement planning simpler. we let you know where you stand, so when it comes to your retirement plan, you'll always be absolutely...clear. ♪ time to think of your future it's your retirement. know where you stand. i knew at that exact moment ... i'm beating this. my main focus was to find a team of doctors. it's not just picking a surgeon, it's picking the care team and feeling secure in where you are. visit cancercenter.com/breast
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welcome back to "morning joe." when john kelly was hired the three weeks ago, he inherited a white house in disarray, rife with leaks, infighting, and a president tweeting content sometimes of erroneous origin at all hours. "the new york times" reported that kelly, quote, told his new employees that he was hired to manage the staff, not the president. he will not try to change mr. trump's twitter or tv-watching habits, but he's also said he wants to closely monitor the information the president consumes, quickly counter dubious news with storiies with verified facts and limit the posse of people urging mr. trump to tweet something they feel passionately about. that was three weeks ago. flash forward to this week, politico reports that kelly has instituted a system familiar in other white houses that gives himself and staff secretary rob porter the last word on material
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that crosses the resolute desk. that system was laid out in two memos that reportedly were distributed isn't the last few days, that includes rigorous verification, sign-off by kelly himself. "the new york times" reports that reince priebus once issued similar gliuidelines, though th were rarely followed. and though the president long courted kelly to be chief of staff, his influence only goes so far. the report says that are kelly wanted trump's remarks to be more somber and aides prepared copies about unity. that, of course, did not happen. and then there's twitter. the president yesterday retweeting this laeeclipse-them people of him overshadowing president obama. the person trump re-tweeted has a twitter feed that has several anti-semitic posts. so mark halperin, was it always too much to expect that general john kelly, as great as an american he is, is able to control donald trump? whatever that means. to control what goes out through his twitter feed, to keep the
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reins on him at a big political rally in phoenix. >> veterans of the white house laugh that the stuff that is being instituted would be instituted several months into an administration. this is basic stuff about flow to the president and controlling access to the oval office. they can change the system, but kelly can't control the president watching tv. he can't control the president tweeting. he's just -- he can't. he's not going to try. and the reality is, fixing the process will help, but the president dominates the situation through his own communication. and i think that it's going to not end well. i think eventually, the process part will be overwhelmed, and i think kelly is either going to have to make another try to institute control over the twitter account, or he's going to have to leave the job. >> but the problem, noah is, if you say he's going to watch tv and he's going to tweet, i can't control that. that's the thing that overshadows everything else you do. even if you do some good things over here, he sends out one
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tweet or has one rally in phoenix where he's offscript and it's all undone. >> yeah, the president clearly resents being controlled. you can bet that the day he gives a scripted speech, the day after, he's going to do something reckless. the president's defenders bristle at the notion that he has emboldened these elements in the country that are racist or anti-semitic. when the president retweets somebody without vetting, who has a history of making anti-semitic remarks, these individuals are emboldened. they feel legitimatized and come out of the wood wok. it is, in part, the president's fault. and the president's defenders do him no service by pretending it's not. they have to be honest about what he's doing. >> so what do you do with it, susan? you're a strategist. what would you do if you walk in -- this is an easy case for you, i'll give you a layup, right? you walk in and say, mr. trump, mr. president, you need to probably stop tweeting or at least let us vet your tweets before you send them out. and he says, oh, come on, this is how i got elected.
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people love this stuff. it mixes it up. can you convince this man that it's not in his best interest to make it about him and his presidency? >> well, i think kellyanne conway probably approached it the best. and she is -- it should be noted, the only political person he actually has left in the white house. which was, she kind of maneuvered, she knew he had to do what he was going to do, but at the same time, she tried to say, carrot and stick, and a little like, here's your reward if you do something do. and that's really what you need to hope that he at least does, is kind of bring it in a little bit. but kelly is also the other thing that he has to move on is getting a government operational. besides the fact that they're just worried about paper flow into the white house, which as mark said, is months overdue, that's just absurd. but government's not functioning. posts aren't being filled. this test in texas is really -- or the storm in texas could be a big test for him. how does the government respond to basic needs of people?
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>> you've seen lots of articles about hud, about the state department. these are essentially -- hud is not being run at all, because ben carson is sort of in la-la land. but tillerson's trying to run the whole state department out of his back pocket, because they haven't bothered to fill some of the positions. tillerson's agenda is the same as trump's. that is to decrease the number of employees of the state department by a big number. but tillerson is all alone in doing this. and he can dona't do it. the state department is essentially functionless at this time. mattis is really the de facto secretary of state. >> what is the explanation for that. how are not basic state department posts being filled? >> the trump people will say, the senate isn't confirming our nominees, but that simply is not true. because there's about 250 positions that there aren't even resumes for to vet. i mean, yes, they are a little bit behind, but they're not getting the applications for dep secretaries all across the government. and that's the bigger problem is they're having a hard time
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finding people to work in this administration. >> and there's one cabinet member, we'll talk to you about in a second, who is speaking out now, a week or so later, gary cohn, about what happened in charlottesville. a pretty striking interview. we'll talk about that in a moment. coming up, law professor, jonathan turley, making waves in "the washington post". he says, even if you hate the president, the only thing worse than leaving him in office would be removing him from it. professor turley joins us next on "morning joe" and governor dean has already weighed in on that proposition. during our made to move 2017 clearance event, you can do endless online research. or, you can take advantage of our best offer ever on an xt5. don't wait. our 2017 models will be moving fast.
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it's our back to school beeone cent evente. at office depot office max. 10 pack pens, one cent. composition notebooks,scissors, and plastic folders all one cent each! hurry to office depot office max. ♪taking care of business. hey. hi. hi. you guys going to the company picnic this weekend? picnics are delightful. oh, wish we could. but we're stuck here catching up on claims. but we just compared historical claims to coverages.
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but we have those new audits. my natural language api can help us score those by noon. great. see you guys there. we would not miss it. watson, you gotta learn how to take a hint. i love to learn.
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welcome back to "morning joe." joining us now, law professor at george washington university, jonathan turley. professor turley, good morning, good to see you. a new piece in "the washington post" has a lot of people talking. it's titled, "what's worse than leaving trump in office? impeaching him." professor turley argues that the chatter about ejecting the president is dangerous for america. okay, we'll let you explain a little bit and then we'll pass it around the table. reading through your piece, it seems to me the idea of impeachment isn't impossible for you, it's the idea of lowering the standard for impeachment that would be dangerous for this president and for future presidents. >> that's right. i mean, it's become a cottage industry of people who are arguing for impeachment.
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"newsweek" said, you know, that the president is just six votes away from impeachment. you have impeachment meters and people promising that now we're almost at that point where we can remove him. that's dangerous. because what people are really describing is what you have in great britain with a no-confidence vote, that is, you can remove a prime minister and his government with a simple vote of no confidence. people don't have confidence in this president. that standard was rejected by the framers. and i think people need to understand how dangerous this really is. the democrats spent eight years giving almost unilateral authority and creating this sort of uber presidency. and now many of them want to create a type of temp presidency, that they can remove this president for what one article described as political disagreements. >> and so, you know, you have somebody like steve cohen, congressman steve cohen coming out suggesting that impeachment should be on the table because the president didn't take on far-right groups strong enough. if that were the standard, what would the implications of that
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be going forward? >> well, just imagine that. i mean, that we're going to now impeach presidents because they have, you know, they don't have the values that we want. that they're -- that their thoughts are not in line with the thoughts of the majority. i mean, if you want a presidency like that, understand this is not going to be the last president. and that standard will be applied to the next one. maybe there'll be a democratic president where the majority doesn't think that that president has the values that it takes to stay in office. >> mark halperin? >> professor, if the president wants to head this off, if he agrees with you that this is deleterious to the interests of the country, what could he do? >> i'm sorry, that who -- who would -- >> the president. if the president reads your piece and agrees with you, what could he do to try to counteract what's going on? >> well, i mean, first of all, obviously, the president needs to focus his attention on other things, like the reason people lack confidence for him.
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but the constitution itself is a protection. the problem is that there's no real judicial review of this decision. gerald ford famously said that the impeachment standards is what we say it is. that's really not true. that as the framers indicated what was the basis for impeachment, they limited it in a departure president english model, high crimes or misdemeanors, and that does have meaning and historically it's been respected. we've only had two impeached presidents in our history. >> susan? >> good morning, professor. >> good morning. >> i'm just wondering, the things that these folks are talking about, doesn't that fall under the line of censure more than impeachment? >> it does. i mean, this is the type of disagreements you can have with the president. what really worries me is that many of these people who are saying, we should be -- >> there are bills for impeachment that have been submitted in congress. and many of them are citing the andrew johnson impeachment. but most of us who write in this
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area view the johnson impeachment as an abuse. that was a political disagreement. now, there are a lot of similarities between johnson and trump and how they are carrying out the white house. but to see the johnson impeachment being cited by so many is very troublesome. >> i agree with you, but it seems to me that the issue here is the president's impairment. he seems incapable of governing. he's erratic. he says many things every day that aren't true, knowing that people or hoping -- i hope that he knows that people aren't going to believe him. soy agree with you, we can't lower the standard from impeachment. what do you do? what about the 25th amendment? people keep talking about that. i personally think that's probably hooey, but i would love to hear your views on that. >> yes, indeed, that falls under the constitutional doctrine of hooey. i'm glad you mentioned that. no, the 25th amendment is a fascinating amendment, in that, in the system that it sort of kicks in, it's never been used
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in the sense of there have been temporary removals, essentially, of authority of presidents, but not to actually remove someone deemed as unfit. and so what happens is that you have to have a majority of the cabinet and the vice president to sign off. that's a very high standard. the president, if you get that stage, the president is technically removed you have an acting president. but the president can send immediately word to congress that i am fit, and he immediately becomes the president again. and then those people that tried to remove him tell congress, we still think he's unfit, and congress then has to vote. now, obviously, as you know, being a seasoned political figure, that's a lot of votes, and you need -- in terms of the number, you're going to need two-thirds. so the 25th amendment is not a really good option. and i think part of the problem here is that people want this lifeline in the constitution. they want, how can we sort of
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rid ourselves of this meddlesome president. the constitution is designed not to really allow that, because they don't want impulse by removals. >> well, there's your way to rid yourself of a meddlesome election, and that and that is election. fascinating piece, jonathan turley. it's in "the washington post." by the way, the president of the united states was watching our discussion about jogeneral kell. he tweeted, general john kelly is doing a tremendous job as chief of staff. there's tremendous spirit and talent in the white house. don't believe the fake news. that's the tweet from president trump. up next, a new column says that president obama deserved a break after he left office but now that his vacation needs to be over. we'll bring in the author of that piece who's calling on president obama to start speaking out about the actions of his successor. that's next on "morning joe."
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although there are all kinds of issues that i care about and all kinds of issues that i intend to work on, the single most important thing i can do is to help in any way i can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world. >> that was former president, barack obama, at the university of chicago in april. his first in just a handful of public appearances since he left office in january. our next guest says while the president did deserve a break from the spotlight, the country needs him to start speaking out again. caroline randall williams writes in "the new york times" a piece entitled, president obama, where are you? it reads in part, president obama, now is the time to start talking. i recognize and respect your deliberate approach to navigating these fraught times, was this relentless subtlety has become wearisome. mr. obama, now is not the time
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to follow the keep quiet ruleso much aghast nation. i love that you after you posted on twitter after cha, but using quotation, even one from nelson mandela. i look to you for your good words. i'll keep waiting, because i know they will be worth it, but where are they? and author caroline randall williams joins us now from nashville. caroline, thank you so much for being with us this morning. fascinating column. george w. bush famously had a policy and still has a policy that he doesn't come out publicly and condemn the man sitting in the oval office, because he knows how tough the job really is. why do you think it's different this time? >> i think it's different this time for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons i think it's different is we've never been in a climate where, you know, the turnover has been so rapid.
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people in authority positions are continuing to question the president and what's going on on capitol hill and in the white house, eight months into the presidency. in ways that make us feel very unsettled. and so i think that, you know, passing on the baton, when you do that, you assume that the person who you've passed it to is going to carry on running the race in the same manner or within the same parameters that you had done it. i mean, i think that that is not happening here. >> so, president obama privately is not happy with what's been happening in the country in the seven months since he left office, but what do you think he would accomplish by going out and let's say making a speech, something like mitt romney did during the campaign, condemning the sitting president of the united states? do you think there's a risk that that would further tear apart the country? >> so, here's the thing. i don't think that -- i'm not asking for condemnation.
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what i'm asking for is some insight, you know, from those of us who are sitting here bewildered. some insight into what we can do. from somebody who knows how the machines of politics work, more informed ly. i am a private citizen who tries to be civic- what tries to be what he thinks we need to be doing. there's also so much language of chaos that's
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you seem to be like you wistfully want him to be a pundit. you want his take, but do you feel kind of almost agitated or angry about the fact that the president is on the sidelines at this point in the trump administration? >> well, what i will say is -- yes. i'm frustrated, because i think when -- as i said, i only ever
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voted for president obama until november of 2016. i was not able to vote before that because i hadn't yet turned 18. i was raised up in the political space where he was the president, and he is saying he wants to enable young people to take on their civic responsibilities. part of that is coming back in and giving us the tools to navigate a situation that we were not prepared to navigate. there's talk about the 25 th amendment being pulled out. the president after obama being a president where people are questioning his fitness and genuine terms is not a normal circumstance in which to move into your next chapter of navigating a navigating a political space. >> the president over the course of his presidency from 2009 two 2017 lost 1,042 democrats their seats.
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we all remember what happened with congress and we all remember what happened with the governorships. 25 states are in 100% republican control. the president made 150 down ballot endorsements in legislative races where you have the democratic foreign team. the result was they lost chambers in iowa, minnesota, and kentucky. the democrats are already engaged in the trump era. republicans are a little diskurned. do you think that getting president obama off the seat might be counterproductive? might the president getting off the rest gauge engage republicans in a way they're currently not engaged? >> i don't think we can be afraid of engaging with people of opposing views in fact i think part of stepping back and not having these conversations is what's bred things like what happened in charlottesville. things that we haven't seen in generations, because we haven't pushed all of this up and out. there is no way around this. we have to go through it.
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so i think that we have to have the conversations. >> carolyn, randall williams. appreciate you being onto talk about your piece in the new york times. thank you so much. >> thank you. governor dean, what do you make of the idea that president obama needs to be doing more? would that be helpful in this moment? >> from a political point of view, no. you only have one president at a time and to violate that would give a trump to target. trump loves to have a convenient whipping person, and that would be obama. there is a way to do this, but you have to really thread the needle. the other thing i think carolyn's generation is fantastic, but they have to make their own way now. it's our job to coach. it's our job to lift up. i think the former president is trying to do that as are a lot of us. i'm hoping the next presidential candidate is under 50 or at least under 55 in our party. we have a transfer this over to
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the next generation. the trump election, i think, was in a sense, their generation's edmu edmund pettus bridge. they're going to have to fight through this by themselves. obama can't do it. he's not the president anymore. i think if he gets into this big time, he makes it easier for trump, not harder. >> do you worry about progressives and democrats making some kind of assumption in their minds that trump is so bad as a president, this is their point of view, that they're going to win 2020 just on the basis of that? >> absolutely not. i think we might win 2018 that way. >> but you worry about that perception? >> i don't talk to anybody who thinks we're going to walk in in 2020. they're mostly agonizing about which one of a ga still yan candidates we have that are all great -- >> it's more than that.
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but you -- >> my morning was made with constitutional principle. >> governor, always good to have you onset. thank you. we're tracking hurricane harvey. the sights set on texas. it's set to be the strongest storm to make land fall in more than a decade. we have the latest trek and it's a long one. jeh johnson joins us here in the set in new york. the trump administration says the president is serious about shutting down the government if congress does not fund the proposed border wall, and what about the part where mexico was supposed to pay for it? "morning joe" is coming right back on a friday morning. mail and packages. mail and it's also a story about people. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget...
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i told you we had a fortune. yes, you did. getting closer to your investment goals starts with a conversation. schedule a complimentary goal planning session today. >> there seems to be ak ri moanny between the president and the congressional relationship. how do you repair this relationship going into fall? >> i think the relationships are going to be fine. there's policy differences but a lot of shared goals. that's what we're focussed on. we're disappointed they failed to repeal and replace obamacare. at the same time president trump has worked with leader mcconnell to reach out to other members and to work on the shared goals. we'll continue to do that when the senate comes back from recess. >> welcome back. with us we have senior political analyst for nbc news and m nbc,
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mark hall pren, john hileman, noah rothman, and joining the conversation washington bureau chief for "usa today" susan paige, and political analyst for nbc news, phillip. good morning. >> good morning. the president is renewing his pressure on congress. if senate republicans don't get rid of the filibuster rule and go to 51 majority, few bills will be passed. eight dems control the senate. the treasury department says the debt ceiling must raised in order for the government to bake mamts. congress has until september 30th to pass funding through both chambers. yesterday morning the president tweeted republican leaders on capitol hill missed an opportunity. accusing mitch mcconnell and paul ryan of his request to tie
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raising the debt ceiling to a veteran's affairs bill. saying it could have been so easy. he told cnbc he didn't see it as criticism. >> i don't take it as going after me. look, that's an option we were looking at, but the va deadline came up and we weren't able to do that then. i'm not that worried about this. we have plenty of options ahead of us. we'll pass an increase before the debt limit hits. meanwhile, president trump is serious about his tuesday night threat of shutting down the government unless the spending bill includes funding for a wall along the mexican border. the president made a similar threat last spring but relented on a short term funding bill. this as the white house dodged whether or not the president abandoned his campaign pledge that mexico would pay for the border wall. >> reporter: the president promised over and over again
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during the campaign that mexico would pay for the wall. why is he now threatening a government shutdown if congress won't pay for it. >> the president is committed to making this get down. >> why is he threatening a shut down over paying for it. he said mexico was going to pay for the wall. he asked people, crowds chanted back at him, mexico is going to pay for it, and now he's threatenings a shutdown to the government. >> the president is committed to making sure this happens and we're going to push forward. >> on the threat of the government shut down if congress doesn't secure funding for the wall, how is that not a concession from this white house that mexico isn't actually going to pay for this wall and american taxpayers will? >> again, this is something the president's committed to. he's committed to protecting american lives, and doing that through the border wall is something that's important. it's a priority, and we're moving forward with it. >> but he's not saying that mexico is going to pay for it.
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>> he hasn't said they're not either. >> phil, you are above the fold in the washington post this morning. trump distances himself from gop. obviously going after mitch mcconnell and paul ryan by name in the tweets yesterday. although paul ryan didn't view it as a criticism of him. is this a deliberate distancing from the republican leadership and if so, why would a president do that at this point? >> well, i think the president believes that his own political brand is stronger than the political brand of the congressional leaders in washington and he's trying to prepare for a situation where there could be a difficult fall. things could not get done this fall. we were heading into brinksmanship on capitol hill and the president wants to be able to blame anything that goes wrong on capitol hill in congress. we saw it tuesday night in his speech where he campaigned as the president against all of them. and is trying to create distance between himself and the
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republicans on the hill. >> does he fully understand that mitch mcconnell is the one who really controls washington and not the president of the united states? mitch mcconnell is the one who can either stop his agenda or help him promote his agenda? >> his staff are trying to impress that upon him, and at the staff level, they are working together, the white house and the leadership teams on congress, but, look, the president wants to make this personal. we saw all through the campaign that he thrived when he had a personal villian. he could run against any number of the primary challengers. he's been running against the fake news media and he views it as easy to go against mitch m. and paul r., as he put it. >> it sounded like an offhand threat, maybe we'll shut down the government if we don't get the border wall. this seems like another case where he staff ran in behind something he threw it at a rally and said no, actually he meant
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that. >> in the spring they convinced him ending his first 100 days with a government shutdown wasn't a good thing. there are congressional leaders who think they can get a short-term resolution through this time and push it to the end of the year. i don't think there's any guarantee about what the president will be willing to go along with. when you hear sarah huckabee sanders say relations are fine, it's like saying things are frank. >> we had a constructive conversation. i want to read trump divorces the gop congress. that's the headline. a biographer says donald trump once told him he informed his second wife who was seeking a divorce by leaking it to the new york post. he seems to be saying he's seeking a trial separation and for his own self-preservation, the gop congress will have to find different living
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arrangements. bashing republicans won't help him pass his fall agenda, but he may think he needs to protect himself political meaning republicans in congress need to think of themselves as governing with an independent president. this doesn't mean joining democrats as the retis answer the, but it means acting on their own to fulfill their legislative promises with or without the support of mr. trump. how do you get through an agenda without a president working with congress? >> you don't. i don't know what the pathway is here. but there is sort of a cosmic kind of a element. this is their payment for not separating. it's hard to feel sorry, but at the same time i understand their position, and there was a little element at the end of the op ed that i think is going to end up being something we look back on as foreshadowing.
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there might be an opportunity for donald trump to have an affair with nancy pelosi. republicans should keep in mind this president is a new-found member of the republican party. he wasn't a republican for most of his political life. his instincts are not conservative. he's going to be playing ftse with democrats in the event they have capacity to retake the chambers, and republicans should be aware of that. this president isn't a republican and doesn't have their best interest at heart and they're going to have to steward their interest. >> we were talking earlier today about just these questions, practical terms, what's going on. susan, you're looking at the trump. you're look agent the way they're trying to scapegoat congress from the white house. again, before, i'm mystified by what donald trump thinks is the game here given that we have midterms before a presidential election. what's going on in the white
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house? >> i think the president continues to think about it as a campaign and not an issue of governing. the approach is energizing his base. there's been a sign of a little bit of enthusiasm lagging with supporters. but it doesn't get him to deliver. and it seems at the end of the day after you've been president for two years maybe and you're facing the first mid terms which would be brutal. ask president clinton and president obama about what first midterms can be like, your own voters don't want you to disrupt. they want you to have done some of the things you talked about. >> senator lindsey graham sees a well laid plan behind the president's escalating attacks on republicans in congress. take a look. >> trump is making a political decision here. to be presidential, listen to the generals, then to go back to his base and fire them up. he's making a conscious decision
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to let his base know when i said i want to build a wall, i meant it. he's running against mitch mcconnell and lindsey graham and others. the congress is very unpopular, particularly with the republican base. there's nothing unhinged about it. it's a political strategy and it's thought out. >> it's interesting, susan. lindsey graham as he points out has been one of the recipients of the fire over the last several months. he says i may not agree and it may not be a good one, but here's what he's doing. >> i think it's pretty-much an ego-driven strategy. he's not looking to governor right now. he likes a win. the problem is a win is actually getting legislation passed when you're president. and he has really let the last seven months evaporate. not that he had much good will, but now he has none. if we think about the 80,000 votes in three states that is
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how the president became elected, he's done nothing to ensure that he could even keep those 80,000 votes, never mind expanding upon them. >> here's two metrics by which the president is the dominant figure in american politics. he's moving faster than anybody else, and he can on any given day be the story as much as he wants to be. paul ryan can't do that, mitch mcconnell can't do that. there's not a democrat in the country who can do that. those are the metrics the president likes as a business person and as a presidential candidate. and as long as no one is touching him on those two things, he cares a lot about that. >> does he not care that nothing is getting done and in order to get things done he needs the very people he's attacking? >> i don't think he's convinced himself that if you dominate in those two metrics, it doesn't lead to legislative progress. i think he thinks there's a way to leverage them to bend congress to his will. and i think by halloween he may
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have to rethink it. >> here's another metric, survival. what this indicates to me is -- again, i don't know who is right about this -- but the president is apparently does not think he's facing a threat in his presidency. if he did, he would be saying i must maintain republican control of congress in the midterm elections, because if you see impeachment of other kinds of threats coming down the pike, that's what you would do. all i got to do is make sure republicans keep control of the house and senate because if democrats get water in the chambers that increases the odds that my presidency is in peril. this reflects he does not think he has an existential threat ahead of him because he's willing to play with fire and burn republican seats in this by waging this strategy. again, he may or may not have an existential threat. i think underlying all this, he still thinks he's in political good health.
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>> president trump tweeted a few minutes ago, quote -- >> it's nice to see you having a dialogue with the president all morning. >> no. in fairness this came minutes before my comment. few if any administrations have done more in seven months than the trump administration. regulations killed, border, military, isis, supreme court. that's from the president. there's the tweet there. phil, how does this -- >> phil r. >> yes. phil, how does this border wall question did resolved? because it is a priority for his base. it was the chant at the campaign rallies. it was the promise he made in addition to repealing and replacing obamacare which didn't go so well over the first seven months. does it get done this way? is this his leverage point to shut down the government? >> it's what he's trying to do right now, but it's in conflict with what he campaigned on which
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was mexico was going to pay for the wall. in january he had the phone call with the president of mexico where the mexican president made it clear that mexico would not be paying for the wall, and trump seemed to understand that and said that's okay. i get it, but just don't tell your press that. it seem like he understands this is never going to get paid for my mexico. he needs congress to appropriate money to begin any kind of construction. it's a fixation for this president. he's been talking about scheit. he wants it rolling and he needs money to do it. >> he needs a lot of money. depending on the contractor, you get your estimate from, it's $15 billion, something like that. democrats aren't going to vote for it. is he going to get his wall? >> $1.6 million as a down payment just in the funding bill.
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it's hard to imagine he gets it in the funding bill. they're going to get zero help from democrats. and you have any number of republicans concerned about it. if there's a shutdown, who gets blame. in the history of the shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 with clinton and then again with president obama in 2013 is congressional republicans have gotten blamed. in this case, you've got united control of the government. you know republicans are going to get blamed you just don't know whether it's president trump or the gop and congress. >> although it makes no sense. certainly on the debt ceiling and probably on the budget, it's more likely it's done with more democratic votes than republican votes. the deals for both those things which will shake up even further the president's relationship with the republicans. although i think the republican leadership will probably be happy because they want these two things solved. >> they said donald trump may
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start to talk to democrats to get his agenda through. i want to talk to gary cohn. he said the trump administration must do better in condemning neo-nazis. he's speaking publicly for the first time since the violence in charlottesville. it was seen as an insufficient response from the president himself to disavow the actions by white supremacists. gary cohn was reportedly considering leaving his post. he said i have come under enormous pressure both to resign and to remain in my current position. as a patriotic american, i am reluctant to leave my post because i feel a duty to work on the behalf of the american people. as a jewish american, i will not allow neo-nazis ranting jews will not replace us to cause this jew to leave his job. i feel deep empathy for all who have been targeted by the hate
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groups. we must all unite together against them. noah, a lot of people were looking at gary cohn last week to see if he was going to respond, the director of the economic council because of his position in the jewish position. there's been some talk he could become fed chair someday. a job he's reportedly interested in. are those comments as significant this week as they would have been last? >> he wants us to know he's anguished. i feel for him. we have to look to somebody who is a jewish american to say marching by torchlight and saying jews will not replace us is a bad thing. that's a universal value we should probably all share. the thing is that we don't want everybody in this administration to resign. we need a competent administration. they are facing a crisis next week. we need a competent administration. people saying people should resign haven't thought that position through.
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at the same time speaking off the record to reporters or even on the record and saying how deeply and emotionally hurt you are by the president but you're going to soldier on, i don't care. this is little to do with your feelings. it has everything to do with competency in the white house. >> and we didn't see -- steve bannon left for perhaps different reasons. we haven't seen the unmasked resignation. >> i thought we may have gotten closer after senator corker made his comments but i think with bannon leaving the white house, it gave an excuse to republicans to kind of offer a reset. but also let's not forget that the markets went down 250 points on the rumor that they were going to resign. i think the statement was not a profile that he wanted put out there but more of a stabilizing factor for the markets. >> does the white house feel like it's weathered the charlottesville storm such that it was.
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bannon is out. gary cohn is on the record. they haven't had the mass resignations, they're turning to other things. >> the white house feels like they're in a new era. they feel like they moved past that. they're looking ahead to the fights in september. they claim publicly to be feeling good about the kelly's leadership. i feel like cohen's interview is striking. we haven't seen a member of the president's inner circle yet come out publicly on the record to criticize his leadership the way cohen did in saying the administration needs to do more to condemn the groups and to speak openly about resigning is unusual in an administration where the president demands such an intense personal loyalty to him. >> he talked about the pressure he came under to resign in the last couple of weeks and staying where he is. "the washington post," phil, thank you. his piece on the front page of the washington post. we want to turn now to the massive storm set to slam into the gulf coast by the time hurricane harvey hits the texas
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coast, it could be a category 3 storm. now it's a category 2 and growing with sustained winds up to 100 miles per hour. there's warning of devastating flooding that's issued storm surge warnings for the texas coast. up to 35 inches of rain possible in parts of southeast texas through next week. mandatory evacuation orders in effect for multiple cities and counties in texas and louisiana. harvey is set to be the biggest storm to hit new orleans since katrina. >> we just got the update. the 7:00 a.m. they sent out a special advisory. the aircraft flying through it found the max winds are up to 110 miles per hour. that's up from 105 at the 5:00 a.m. adviser. if it gets any stronger from this point, it's then a major hurricane. major hurricanes go from 111 up to 130 miles per hour winds. you can see it looked impressive. look how much more yellows and
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reds are on the map in the last six hours. the storm is breathing and sucking in the warmth of the ocean right now. and it's kind of flexing its muffles a little bit. again, we're watching the eye to see if it redevelops. if it becomes more circular and more with the eye wall, then it would be a stronger wall. we're about 12 to about 15 hours away from land fall. the red on this map shows you the center of the storm. 110 miles per hour winds. moving northwest at 10. the motion is going to slow down in the days ahead. land fall tonight somewhere is a category 3 major hurricane from corpus christi to victoria. throughout saturday it weakens down to a category 1. through saturday afternoon it's no longer doing wind damage. then it's a huge rainmaker. this is unbelievable what our long-range computers are doing with the storm. here it is today. this is our most reliable long range monday. this is monday.
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comes back off the post, and redevelops. a second land fall is eve an possibility by the time we get to about wednesday. all interest throughout the area staying on the storm for at least the next week. with a forecast of a strong hurricane coming on shore, coming back, coming north, that's why we have a seven-day rainfall totals. this pink is 20 inches of rain. that's a huge section. houston even is in the 15-inch range. isolated amounts. upwards of three feet possible. and the other thing we'll deal with tonight at land fall will be the storm surge. we're most concerned with areas north. a little bit to the south. but that corpus christi section north, a 12-foot storm surge will be damaging houses and possibly destroying some. >> how unusual is it for a storm to hit land fall, bounce off, reconstitute, and hit the coast again? >> we've had little ones do it. usually the second one is
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weaker. it's rare for a major to come on shore, come back, and then regenerate again even into a hurricane. if it does come back over the gulf, it would most likely be a tropical storm. it shows you seven days from now we still could be talking and tracking this storm. what are people going to do? they cancelled schools on monday. this storm will linger through wednesday, and maybe thursday of next week. a lot of people's lives are being interrupted and hopefully not devastated? >> getting ready to make land fall. thank you so much. still ahead, former homeland security secretary jeh johnson joins us. and adam kinzinger weighs in on the president's afghanistan strategy and also the growing rift between the president and congressional republicans. we want to mention joe's band has a gig tonight at the vinegar hill music theater in maine.
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welcome back to "morning joe" on a friday morning. joining us republican congressman adam kinzinger of illinois. also a pilot in the air national guard. always good to have you. welcome to new york. let's talk about the announcement of the new policy in afghanistan. inserting more troops. what's your view, first of all, of the way we're approaching afghanistan coming up on the 16th anniversary of 9/11? >> i think the president's approach is good. one of the things that was so successful in iraq during the surnl. i was part of that.
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it was not necessarily the addition and a half troops but also sending the message that you're not going to beat us. you're not going to outlast our will. this announcement on monday said that to the taliban. what it did in iraq and there's good lessons to learn. that's what led to the sunni awakening. the sunnis said we're not going to be able to defeat the united states on the battle field. we may try to join them. i don't think that's going to happen with the taliban, but every solution to a war always comes from a negotiation with the exception of world war ii. you still have the japanese and germans sign on the surrender. that's how we can get to the taliban to the table to negotiate a favorable end of the war or defeat. i think the problem that past administrations have made that i think this administration needs to be clear about, this is a war for a whole generation. this is not going to be done any time soon. i'm talking about afghanistan. i'm talking about the larger war on terror. >> we've had people like richard hoss say this week finally we have to start looking at
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afghanistan the way we look at korea or germany. to say there will be an american force there for generations to come to stabilize it. does that sound right to you? >> i think so. and kosovo too, stiffening the spine, providing incentive for people to get along. look at iraq. without looking back to blame people over iraq, the reality is when we left in 2011, we found ourselves with an iraq infected with isis. it's the same in afghanistan. the hope is to get to a point where we're not continually in combat operations but stiffening the spine with the afghan military. 80% of the afghan people are supportive of an enduring american presence. we're going to be there a while. i said there's a microwave answer. it will be out in a year. the issue with leaving would be just almost unthinkable.
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>> congressman, what's your preferred outcome for the debt ceiling problem and what's the most likely outcome? >> the most likely i think is we're going to end up raising it. i think flirting with the debt limit. this is something people need to remember. i was around in 20 -- i guess 2011 the last time we were flirting with it. the stock market dropped significantly right as we approached it. we didn't even touch the debt limit. you don't screw around with this. this is paying your credit card bill, not adding more bills. i think it will be a clean debt limit increase. i think it will happen. >> what do you hear when you head back to illinois for your recess? what's the tenor of the meets? what's their greatest frustration? >> people are angry right now. on both sides, everywhere. this is my biggest concern with the political discussion and dynamic. we've got to get back to a day, and i sound like a broken record, where we can debate issues passionately but not hate each other.
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it doesn't ruin thanksgiving dinner because uncle john supported trump or aunt cindy supported hillary. everybody is just angry. and we have this continual rising climate of passions being inflamed. this is not going to lead to one side saying you got so angry, i agree with you now. i see the light. it will lead to places this country has been before that we never want to go to again. ask. >> is the president responsible for that. >> >> i think everybody shares the blame. and to an extent, me too, in terms of the past when i've made fiery rhetoric. when the president makes a great speech, what i thought was a great speech on afghanistan and then goes to the rally and it turns into an us versus them, i think we all have a responsibility to debate our issues passionately, but also kind of say, look, this is the greatest country in the world. we shouldn't be seeing riots on the streets because of political disagreements? >> you like paul ryan, right?
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>> yeah. >> when you see a story like this in the washington post, trump distances himself from the gop and you see him on a regular basis taking pot shots at your speaker, at your leader and at leader mcconnell. what do you think about that? >> it's hard for me to see the strategy in it. you need whether you like the leadership of the republican party or not, you need the republican party leadership to get the things done you want to get done. we talk about the health care bill. very obviously controversial issue as we're going through it. paul ryan worked with house republicans to get the repeal and replace passed. mitch mcconnell came just one vote short. the president in the last few days attacked enough senators that if they vote against his repeal and replace, they'll never get it done between jeff flake and john mccain. we have all got to as a party come together. we can disagree on things. but let's try to work together, unite the party and then the country. when it turns into the president versus gop, that's not a good place to be. >> how would you grade the president's grasp to the
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legislative process on a normal curve? f being the worst and a the best? >> that's hard to do, and i hate putting grades to stuff. >> scale of 1 to 10. >> i hate that too. >> he's a pass/fail guy. >> i've seen two sides. i've met with the president when we were negotiating the health care bill, and he was actually very engaged. he knew what he was talking about. he was hey, what's your concern? how can i fix that? that impressed me, his ability to do that. what hasn't was just attacking your own party at a time when we all have to be kind of working together, and so -- i'm not going to put a grade or 1 to 10. >> i wish you would. >> i wish i would too, right. he's got to do better at bringing folks together and just calming -- we look to the president for leadership right now. whether you're a republican or a democrat. for leadership, for calmness, and for our agenda as republicans, we look at him to spend his time out there selling things like tax reform, repeal and replace. >> what makes you think that
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will change? this is the donald trump everybody has known for 45 years from new york through the presidential campaign to seven months as president. why would he change his temperament now? >> i don't know. will he change? i hope so. there's great things he's done. i was talking about afghanistan strategy. i think it's very smart. general kelly, i think he respects generals. general kelly is a gate keeper and will be great. maybe he'll learn that you've got to work together with your party. if not, it's going to be a difficult four years for us. >> adam kinzinger of illinois, great to talk to you. still ahead the president hits back at former director of national intelligence james clapper who questioned the president's fitness for office. one of clapper's colleagues in the obama administration, former homeland security secretary jeh johnson joins us next onset for reaction to that and much more. "morning joe" is coming right back. electric light orchestra ]
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i don't know when i've listened and watched something like this from a president that i found more disturbing. >> are you questioning his
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fitness? >> yes, i do. >> that's former director of national intelligence james clapper doubting whether the president is up for the job following the speech and the rally in phoenix tuesday night. president trump responded yesterday tweeting this. quote. james clapper who famously got lying to congress is now an authority on donald trump. will he show you his beautiful let tore me? end quote. it's a reference to a congressional testimony in 2013. clapper denied the nsa willingly collected documents on american citizens. meanwhile about the beautiful letter the president tweeted about. clapper said he wrote one to trump and one to hillary clinton on behalf of the intel committee. whoever won the election would receive it. he said it was a simple congratulatory note with almost identical wording in each of them. joining us jeh johnson. always good to have you here. >> good morning.
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>> good morning. do you share james clapper's concerns about the fitness of this president for office? >> well, first i have to revert to my old job just a little bit. as we watch this hurricane approaching in south texas, it's important for those who live in that region to pay attention to what local authorities tell them to do. if they tell you to evacuate, evacuate. there is always somebody to stays behind. they think they can avoid it, it's not going to happen to me. follow the directions of the local authorities in a situation like that. jim clapper is a good man and a great american, in my opinion. he was actually a political appointee in the bush administration and a holdover into the obama administration at the pentagon where i served together with him. i think -- i thought jim was a great dni. he made that dbureaucracy. he's about as apolitical as they come. so i have high regard for his judgment and assessments.
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>> to you share his assessment that this president may not be fit? >> well, no, i'm not prepared to make judgments like that. i am, obviously, concerned about a number of things this president has said and done as are a number of people. republicans and democrats. and i hope that with the new staff, the new chief of staff, we might see some more order in the white house. john's a good friend of mine from the pentagon. and we have a lot of issues that we need to deal with. a lot of us are caught up in the politics of this. it's good for ratings, but it's not very good for the welfare of the country. >> the politics and your line about ratings is we're covering the russia investigation which i think you would agree is worthy of coverage, and we're covering charlottesville which i assume you think is worthy of coverage as well. >> absolutely.
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>> these are problems of the making of the president, not created out of thin air. would you agree with that? >> a lot of it stems from things he has said, correct. charlottesville was a real tragedy. charlottesville was an alarming situation, and in that type of situation, we depend upon our president to bring us together, to lower the temperature, not raise the temperature. and so i hope that this president has the ability to learn from episodes like that or at least call upon people were advice about how to deal with complicated situations like charlottesville. >> for former officials like yourself or clapper and others, if you, in fact, if former officials have concerns about the fitness of the president, what's our obligation? what should they feel they are obliged as patriots to do, if anything? >> i think people should make their views known. republicans and democrats.
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and those of us who have been in national security. those of us who have been in the situation room, those of us who are familiar with governing with the presidency, i do believe have an obligation if we see something going in the wrong direction to inform americans about what we know, what we see, what our own experience tells us are the warning spots and the trouble signs, absolutely. >> how safe is the homeland now under this administration? >> well, first thing that comes to mind when i think about that is barcelona. barcelona was a coordinated attack. it was planned. a lot of deliberation apparently went into it. the leader of that plot blew himself up. but 14 people were killed, and it looks as though it was a plan to attack several locations. and we watched this, and we have to remember that the vehicle,
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the car, is becoming the weapon of choice for a lot of terrorist. terrorist organizations. and we also have to remember though there has not been such an attack in the united states for a while, we should not become complacent in this country. there's no reason to believe that isis, isis directed or isis-inspired attacks have receded or gone away. we should not in this country, in this homeland become complacent. there's a role for public awareness and there's a role for law enforcement and homeland security in this environment. >> we had in the show earlier this morning a young african american woman writing about president obama in a piece where she expressed her desire to see him speaking out more actively on the situation as it's unfolding in the trump administration. you obviously are now out in public. you come on shows like this and having a public voice. what do you say to that columnist and what's your general view about your former boss, president obama, and what
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kind of role he should have as an expresident in terms of specifically in terms of talking about president trump and the current administration? >> i think consistent with history, consistent with best practice, presidents are entitled to recede from the stage and give their successor some space. and that certainly was the approach of george w. bush before president obama. and i'm sure president obama feels very strongly about the issues. he has chosen to lend his voice from time to time since january 20th. i believe he will continue to do so. but former presidents occupy, i think, a unique role, and i'm sure that there are things that president obama will want to pursue on the national stage, on the world stage that are important to him. and he should, therefore, be careful and selective about when
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he chooses to inject himself into our politics and into our national conversation. i totally respect that and agree with it. >> the argument from carolyn, the come lum nis we had on earlier who is a big supporter of president obama. that's why she wants him back on the stage. is this time is different. i cited the george w. bush example. he said i know how tough is job is. it doesn't do anybody any good for me to criticize a sitting president. do you feel like this time is different? >> well, yes, and there is no shortage of critics already. so -- >> but his voice would be more powerful. >> any former president's voice, someone who occupied the chair and occupied the office has a role, but i'm quite sure that president obama feels that as a former president, he should be selective when he decided to inject himself into the conversation as have his predecessors. i totally understand that. >> all right.
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former homeland security secretary jeh johnson. great to have you on this morning, especially with what's happening as you mentioned at the top off the coast of texas. coming up next, when did the president's relationship with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell sour? we have the definitive time line of events just ahead. "morning joe" is coming right back. what powers the digital world. communication. that's why a cutting edge university counts on centurylink to keep their global campus connected. and why a pro football team chose us to deliver
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welcome back to "morning joe." it's been a month of a widening rift between mitch mcconnell and president trump. it likely all started right here. >> they should have approved health care last night, but you can't have everything, boy, oh boy. they have been working on that one for seven years, can you believe that? >> the next morning, july wipe theth, president trump tweeted the very outdated filibuster rule must go. bucket reconciliation is killing r's in senate. mitch m. go to 51 votes an win, it's time. it irked the majority lead worry responded in the senate and again a few days later back home
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in kentucky. >> i mean, it's pretty obvious our problem with healthcare 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, of course, i have been in this line of work before and i think had expectations of how quickly things happen in the democratic process. >> excessive expectation the president reportedly did not like that line. mcconnell also said it would be helpful if the president would be a little more on message f. "new york times" reported trump spoke by phone with mcconnell in new jersey to express his disappointment in the senator's comments, according to a person with knowledge of that call. just this week, it was reported trump berated leader mcconnell in a phone call that quickly
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deinvolved into a profane shouting match...the predecessor accused him of bung himming the health care issue and he was more animated about what he intimated was the senate leaders interference in the 2016 election. later, the president tweeted, senior mitch mcconnell said i shh had "excessive expectations" but i don't think so, after seven years of repeople and replace, why not done in swooen sweemd repeal and replace seven years, mitch, get back to work, followed by these comments. >> they lost by one vote, for a thing like that to happen is a disgrace and, frankly, it shouldn't have happened, for that i can tell you. >> well, i'll tell you what, if he doesn't get repeal and replace done, and if he doesn't get taxes done, meaning cuts and
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reform, and if he doesn't get a very easy one to get one infrastructure, if he doesn't get them done, then you can ask me that question. >> as the nation turned it attention to charlottesville. >> reporter: the president turned to infrastructure alongside mcconnell's wife, elaine cao. mcconnell responded afterwards, quote, there are no good neo-nazis, he broke to say most news is not fake t. "new york times" reported mcconnell privately doubts whether the trump presidency can be saved leading up to this latest round of tweets. whew. so that's a start-to-finish. that's just a few weeks there, susan, you wonder why there is a rift between those two men, there it is, how do you heal this? >> yeah, i don't see how you heal this, maybe you get a working relationship going, let's hope for the sake of the country, the u.s. that happen?
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but isn't this remarkable? i can't remember a time in modern history where there has been this kind of rift between the president and his party's leadership on capitol hill. i mean, albert barkley resigned for a while when he got into a fight with fdr over policy, but this is a fight over the president's leadership, it's not over vietnam. >> does the president you think know he will bring the majority leader to heel by humiliating him on twitter and going out and say, well, consider whether or not i think he should step down or get rid of him? do you think that's going to work on mitch mcconsnell. >> i don't think that's the point. he has a natural ability to speak to the popular base. that's who he wants to appeal to, he knows they're not popular. it works for him. it's a terrible governing strategy, it's a good political strategy. >> still ahead, where things stand now as the president looks to congress to get through his legislative agenda from tax reform to that proposed border wall. plus, texas braces for hurricane
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harvey as weather officials warn of a life-threatening storm surge, wind and flooding. bill karins has the latest track. it's a long one next on "morning joe." people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you ♪ are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec®
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you are the american taxpayer. >> good morning, it's friday, august the 25th. joe and mika have the morning off. tail be back with us on set monday. with us we have political analyst for ms nbc news and casual summer fridays for mark halperin. analyst affairs, john heilemann and noah rockman, republican strategist susan dell persio and former governor of vermont and democratic national committee former member howard doan. good morning. >>. we have a lot to talk about a. seniored administration officia says president trump is serious about his tuesday night threat of shutting down the government unless it includes a wall for the border. he made a similar remark last spring and relented at the end of the first 100 days. this as the white house repeatedly dodged whether or not the president abandoned his campaign pledge that mexico
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would pay for the wall. >> sarah, president trump over and over again during the campaign said mexico would pay for the wall. so why is he now threatening a government shutdown if congress won't pay for it? >> the president is committed to making sure this gets done. >> why is he threatening a shutdown over paying for it. he said over and over, he talks in the campaign over and over again, mexico will pay for the wall. he asked people, crowds chanted back, mexico is going to pay for it. now he's pushing, threatening a shutdown about the government. >> once again the president is committed to making sure this happens and we will push forward. >> on this threat of the deposit shutdown if congress doesn't secure funding for this wall, how is that not a concession from this white house that mexico isn't actually going to pay for this wall and america's taxpayers will. >> again, this is something the president is committed to. he's committed to protecting american lives and doing that for the border wall is something that's important. it's a prior did and we're
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moving forward with it. >> he's not saying mexico is going to pay for it. >> he hasn't said they're not either. >> he hasn't said they're not either. susan, during campaign, obviously, be i would that wall, mexico is going to pay for it. it was not number one in the greatest hits at a rally. we we heard it tuesday night. is this a idol threat or will he sheet down the government over the wall. >> it would be difficult the one success he goes to at the beginning of every rally, every address is he talks about the economy t. markets will not respond well to this. plus, you know, he is until he isn't. that's donald trump. he's definitely going to do this until he doesn't and he seems to get away with that. i don't think he will be able to make that threat. >> there is some bloomberg reporting this morning there was sort of steve bannon's dying political wish as he left the office, he said, don't forget the wall. don't forget the promise you made on the wall. how far do you ung the president is willing to go? >> i don't think he could -- he could shut down the government.
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he would have to veto what would be a bipartisan bill in order to do that. i mean, i don't see it happening, but this is a guy that can do anything, crazy and who know what is he will do. >> so what does it look like, mark? is it a continuing resolution in two pieces we pas the spending bill to avoid the shutdown october the 1st and attach the wall to a larger spending bill down the road? >> i think there is the debt ceiling fight and the budget fight. they will be kicked down the road a little bit. at least maybe until the end of the year. there is all this talk of republicans saying, we are fed up with the president. we're going it alone. i don't know what it means going alone, they will feed democratic votes. there is snow way mitch mcconnell and paul ryan are going to get the votes without the white house' involvement. everybody believes this will involve a fair amount of democratic votes. so there are so many unanswered questions, the notion the president is going to ends this by vetoing things and shut down
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the government. i agree, it's implausible, there is no other obvious thing happening. it's as likely as anything. >> mark mentioned the debt ceiling t. treasury department says it must be raised by september 29th for the go st to make payments. congress has until september 30th, otherwise the government runs out of money on act 1st. yesterday morning the president tweeted that republican leaders on capitol hill had missed an opportunity, accusing mitch mcconnell and paul ryan of ignoring his request to tie raising the debt creeling to a veterans affairs bill, alleging they've allowed democrats to hold it up, say, quote, it could have been so easy, now a mess. speaker ryan was named in a tweet. he told c nbc he didn't see it as criticism. >> i don't really take it as going after me. look, that's an option we were looking at. but the va deadline came up. we weren't able do that then. i'm really not that worried about this. we have plenty of options ahead of us.
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we will pass a increase before the debt ceiling limit. >> he wrote, quote, the only problem i have with mitch mcconnell is that, after hearing repeal and replace for seven years, he failed! that should never have happened. at the white house, sarah huckaby sanders denied any friction between the two. >> sarah, there seems to be some acrimony between the president and the congressional leadership. how do you repair this relationship going into the that ul? >> look, i think the relationships are fine. certainly, there are going to be some policy differences but there are also a lot of shared goals, that's what we are focused on. we are disappoint thad obamacare they failed to get it repeal and replaced. but at the same time, president trump has worked with leader mcconnell to reach out to other members and to work on those shared goals and we're going to continue to do that when the senate comes back from recess. >> that was a pain scripted response to try to explain away the problems that are right there for everybody to see, whether it's donald trump going
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after jeff flake and mitch mcconnell tweeting out support of jeff flake or donald trump by politico calling up senators, pushing them to back off certain russia bills, bob corker, tom tillis for another. the relationship is not good as sarah huckaby sanders says. >> one of many pained responses to similar questions. i feel for congressional staffers on background, reports we're tripping over saying we're on our own, we're bereft of leadership. they're sending a lot of mixed signals, at one time they want a bill, any bill, that they're consigned on health care, now they will let them do cash carry reform, get us something. at the same time, they intervene repealing measures, like now we want the funding for a wall. they had many opportunities to claim a victory there. they had the opportunity to go for a border tax, whatever you think of a border tax, it would be paid for the wall, mexico sort of would have paid for it. they had a upical billion dollars for border security. they could have claimed victory, instead they are robbing
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themselves of victory saying, we want more. >> john, a senior administration official told npc trump and mcconnell haven't spoken in weeks, to use their terms. despite what sarah huckaby sanders is saying there, there is a deep divide. >> look, if you look at a story that got a lot of attention the new york sometimes i times that had the leader's fingerprints all over it a few days ago with mcconnell, i don't think the relationship is chilly or frosty. but the leaders are waging war on the president t. president is waging warp on the leader in open view. i mean, the president opened view with his twitter stream and the leader, in very obvious ways in the press, his allies i don't really, i'm looking at this washington post story on the front page did a food story of the notion that trump is distancing himself from the congressional leadership, trying to see if he can create political space for himself apart from the party's congressional link.
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i don't think i ever understand how that works in the context not of a presidential election year, or i could understand how it would work. in the context of a mid-term election year, who is on team trump? the democrats are not. and what he's going to run against republicans when they're running for re-election in mid-term elect and his name isn't on the ballot? i don't understand the logic of this. again in 2019 i can understand the logic of this. i don't get what he's trying to accomplish here in a tangible way in the short term because if they lose control of one or both houses in 2018, it's bad for donald trump. >> some cases, he's willing to unseat republicans like jeff blake. he is willing to lose that seat to a democrat potentially by making a point to jeff blake he shouldn't try to undercut the president. >> in so many ways this president said i am president and i am loyal to myself only. i'm not president of this country for all. i am here, it's all about me. i'm not anywhere interested in uniting it. all i care is about me. so when you see him making those
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attacks, it's just a gut reaction at this point. now it's time for the republicans both on the house and the senate side to bear down, get their agenda down, treat the president as a neutral fact f. they want to bring something forward and go into the 2018 election and seek re-election and get it, they better show some results. at this point i think the president will sign anything. he really has no deep caring about any particular issue. >> as to jeff blake, who he mentioned was asked in an interview yesterday about the future of president trump and perhaps a primary in 2020. here's what he said. >> do you think the president is going to get a primary opponent in 2020 the way things are headed right now? then we'll let you go? >> no, i don't know, i don't know, i think that certainly depends on him. i think he could govern in a way that he wouldn't. but i think that the way -- the direction he's headed right now,
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just kind of drilling down on the base rather than trying to expand the base -- i think he's inviting one. >> governor dean think of the fact that he is asking that question on a sitting united states senate, if that's even in the atmosphere of donald trump. >> i think there is a lot of interesting stuff to dissect. john is talking about the senior administration who leaked. i thought bannon was gone. who is in the senior administration doing this leak something this stuff is still going on. secondly, who knows if trump is going to be around in 2020, of his own volition? i think it's unlikely he will be impeached if the democrats take over. although mueller could unearth some stuff. i think if jeff flake doesn't win the democrats have a great shot of picking up that seat. i also believe and i'm probably the only person in america or in washington who believes this, if
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roy moore wins the democratic primary the republican primary in alabama, we have a great shot. we have a serious good candidate with a long history in alabama politics. we can take that -- >> do you think the democrat could take that? >> if it's roy moore, who is somewhat unhinged as we know. >> still ahead, it was never going to be easy, just ahead, chief of staff john kelly tries to bring order to chaos in the trump white house, three weeks into the job, we will talk about what that's going, what the president is saying about it this morning. first, here's bill karins saying about hurricane harvey bearing down on the texas coast and settling in for a while. good morning. >> we saw those live pictures, water will be coming up along with large waves shortly in the day. we are already seeing the center of the storm on radar. there is the eye of the storm. you want to avoid going through the eye. you know we will get a storm surge no matter what. you know we will get this historic rainfall.
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this is the added rainfall. in the general vicinity, we'll wait to see what goes through there. corpus christi has a third of a million of people that live there. >> that creates the possibility later on tonight. so right now, we are about as strong as we can get with a category 2 storm. it goes up to 110 miles per hour. that's exactly what we think will happen. still pressure is still dropping a. category-3 likely this afternoon. as we go through the overnight, by 10:00 p.m. to midnight, it includes corpus christi, that center line is to the right of you. you want it to be the left of center. to the right is the worst. then the storm will weaken to a lower end tropical storm tomorrow afternoon. now the storm surge, we got the wind problems. we will deal with that. the storm surge as we get the landfall, south of corpus christi, won't be too bad. you shouldn't get a lot of
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damage t. worst six-to-12 feet, smr i to the north and to the east of where the center makes landfall is of greatest concern. how about this? our long range computers think this storm will go inland, come back off the coast, could possibly regenerate and maybe make a second landfall wednesday of next week. >> that is why we are predicting these incredible historic rainfall amounts. that's 15 to 20 inches from houston almost to san antonio, corpus christi, someone in that range could get three feet of rain from this storm. again for tonight, the thing to watch, where the eyewall goes, will it head through corpus christi? we will be moderating that throughout the day. you will watch "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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who knew that phones would start doing everything? entertaining us, getting us back on track, and finding us dates. phones really have changed. so why hasn't the way we pay for them? introducing xfinity mobile. you only pay for data and can easily switch between pay per gig and unlimited. no one else lets you do that. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit or go to xfinitymobile.com. welcome back to "morning joe." when john kelly was hired three weeks ago, he inherited a white house in disarray, a president
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tweeting content, sometimes content sometimes of erroneous origin at all hours t. "new york times" reported that kelly quote told his new employees he was hired to manage the staff not the president. he will not try to change mr. trump's twitter or tv watching habits. he said he wants to closely monitor the information the president consums, quickly encounter dubious news and stories with verified facts and limiting the passe of mr. trump tweeting about. that was two weeks ago. kelly instituted a system and gives himself the last material that crosses the resolute desk. the system was laid out in two memos reportedly distributed in the last few days, it includes rigorous verifications and signed off by kelly, himself. the president long courtedically
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to be chief of staff. his influence goes so far, the time reported kelly wants remarks at this arizona rally to be more somber, aides prepared a copy about unity, that, of course, did not happen. then there is twitter. the president tweeting this thi overshadowing president obama. so, mark halperin, was it always too much to expect that general john kelly as great an american he is to be able to control donald trump, whatever that means to control what goes out through his twitter feed, to keep the reigns on him during a big political rally in phoenix or a press conference at trump to youer? >> 58 rans laugh at the notion of the stuff being stud would be instituted many months. this is basic stuff about a low to the president and about controlling the access to the oval office. they the change the system, but
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kelly can't control the president watching tv. he can't control the president tweeted. he can't. he will not try. the reality fixes the process. the president dominates the process through his own communication. i think it's going to not end well. i think eventually the process will be overwhelmed. kelly will have to make another try to substitute control over the twitter account or leave the job. >> the problem is if you say, he's going to watch tv and tweet, i can't control that, that's the thing that overshadows everything else you do, even if you do good things over here, he sends out one tweet or has a rally where it's off script and it's all done from the president clearly resents being controlled the day he gives a scripted speech the day after he will do something reckless the president's defenders bristle at the notion he has emboldened these elements in the country that are racist
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and anti-semitic. when the president retweets somebody without vetting who has a history of making anti-semitic remarks, these individuals are emboldped. they feel legitimized. they come out of the woodwork. it is, in part the president's fault t. president's defenders do him no service by pretending it's not. they have to be honest about what he's doing. >> so what do you do with it, susan? you are a strategist. what would you do? is it an easy case for you? i'll give you a layup. you walk in, you say, mr. trump, mr. president, you need to probably stop tweeting or let us vet your tweets before you sends them out. he says, oh, c'mon, this is how i got elected. people love this stuff, it mixes it up. can contrast\vince this man it's not in his best interest, make it about him and his presidency? >> i think kellyanne conway probably approached it the best. she is the only political person he has left in the white house, which was she kind of maneuvered
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to new heads to do what he was going to do, at the same time she tried to say, you know, carry a stick, here's your reward if you do something good. and that's really what you need to hope that he at least does is kind of bring it in, but kelly is also the other thing he has to move on is getting a government operational, besides the fact that they are worried about paper flow into the white house which as mark said is months overdue, that's just absurd, governments aren't functions, this storm in texas could be a big test. how does the government respond to bake needs of people? >> coming up, axios is saying the president is senioring ending daca, it protected undounlted immigrants brought to the united states as children. as president trump undoes much of the work of his predecessors, millions of americans are
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wondering, when will barack obama return to the political arena? "morning i don't" is co "morning joe" is coming right back. hey. pass please. i'm here to fix the elevator. nothing's wrong with the elevator. right. but you want to fix it. right. so who sent you? new guy. what new guy? watson. my analysis of sensor and maintenance data indicates elevator 3 will malfunction in 2 days. there you go. you still need a pass.
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whyou're not thinking clearly, there you go. so they called the fire department for us. i could hear crackling in the walls. my mind went totally blank. all i remember saying was, "my boyfriend's beating me" and she took it from there. and all of this occurred in four minutes or less. i am grateful we all made it out safely. people you don't know care about you. it's kind of one of those things where you can't even thank somebody. to protect what you love, call 1-800-adt-cares you're searching for something. whoooo. like the perfect deal... ...on the perfect hotel. so wouldn't it be perfect if... ....there was a single site... ...where you could find the... ...right hotel for you at the best price? there is. because tripadvisor now compares... ...prices from over 200 booking... ...sites ...to save you up to 30%... ...on the hotel you want.
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. welcome back. we continue to give you updates on what eventually be major hurp harvey. right now, it's a category 2 on the verge of being a 3. we will focus on the first destruction with this storm as we go throughout the evening. it gets closer to rainfall. we have our short-term range computer models. these are pretty accurate. they update every two-to-three hours. this is our hrr forecast model. this clearly shows the eye. it is saying it will get near the coast. at about 4:00 p.m. local time here. in the center of the storm, then as we go through the evening, it goes just barely to the southeast or east of corpus christi. this puts it on the northern eyewall and the northwest eyewall. this area here to the right of the eye. this is where the storm surge would be. this is where the strong effort winds would be with the land falling or the storm system.
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this is mostly unpopulated. so this is a pretty decent forecast. we will have a major hurricane making landfall. we have a thousand people devastated and also to the north. they have about 10,000 people that live there. this would put corpus christi on the weaker back side of the eye. you would be in the eye of a hurricane from 12 to 18 hours. you can imagine over time the damage it would do to the trees and structures, this is a squiggly line. into saturday and sunday, almost all bring it back out over the water. could it generate back into a hurricane? maybe. would it be anything huge or major like it is now, maybe not. just the fact that it continues to bring rain over the region, why we have a flood watch from san antonio to houston. we haven't included yet areas from louisiana and northeast texas. >> that may come as we go
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through the end of the weekend for that second loop around if that does happen, the forecast rainfall total, you can save this, it will be a long time until you see one like this, 15 to 20 inches. the next week, widespread from corpus christi to san antonio and houston and everywhere in between t. rivers, i can't believe how high it will get. that's why we tell everyone get out of there if you possibly can. corpus christi as we mentioned, it's looking more leak you will go through the eye of hurp harvey laha -- hurricane harvey.
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. it's difficult and a former president doesn't need to make it harder, as far as i'm concerned. other presidents have taken different decisions. now that's moon. >> we've never been in a climate where you know the turnover has been so rapid. people in authority positions
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are continuing to question the president and what's going on, on capitol hill and in the white house. eight months into the presidency. in ways that make us feel very unsettled. and so i think that, you know, passing on the baton, when you do that, you see the person you carry it to will carry on running the race in the same manner or within the same parameters that you have done it. i moon i think that that is not happening here. >> that was caroline randle williams earlier this morning on "morning joe." her column in the "new york times" is written directly to president obama calling on him to take a different approach than president george w. bush took and to speak out about the actions of his successor. she writes, part, in part, this, to the last president, quote, don't get me wrong, i've enjoyed your few public engagements so far this year, you spoke meaningfully n on climate change
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in milan and you eloquently repudiated the continuing attempts to repeal the affordable care act. it was heartening to see the people or berlin receive you have warmly. >> it's very trumpy, yelling at the tv monitor. >> i think the next thing is to the elvis and shoot the tv. joining us rich stengel. shannon pettypiece the president of the action network the reverend al sharpton, john heilemann with us. let me start with you, get your reaction to that idea that president obama should step
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forward. he's come out a few times, he's chosen his spots so far through the first seven month, should he do more? >> i understand miss williams' frustration, but everyone that has known president obama knows he's always been very measured and he's not financial to change personalities because of the trump hysteria. but politically, i think that the best thing that could happen to donald trump is he get a back and forth with barack obama. he would want that. he wants for his base to make this about him and obama rather than his policies. so even though i understand frustration and i u.p.s. how panic when she hears somebody says the apocalypse is upon us, she should look at the fact that all donald trump needs to do so people will ignore these kind of catastrophic moves he's making is for him to get on a battle like mayweather-mcgregor with he and barack obama.
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what's the he wants. >> howard dean made that point earlier, exactly your analysis of it. shannon, somebody pointed out to us hillary clinton's book comes out for a good time for donald trump, she's back on the scene, he has his spoil back. >> i think the man is desperately searching for an enemy, for someone to punch. why done i try pittsburgh connell, why done i try james clapper, paul ryan. he needs an enemy, it was very successful for him in the primaries, it's successful for him in the general election, i think he's sal rate ising for someone oels to come. why he doesn't punch up at corporate america or the russians or find an enemy outside of your own party, i don't know, but that's what he's looking for. >> he's got the media, he always had the media, you showed tuesday night, john. >> he does, for sure, donald trump is not short of enemies, some of which are real, some of which are imagined. i think the analysis, howard dean's analysis are right. i have talked to a fair amount
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of people about this it's actually even a different, he understands this thing. he also understands another thing, which not only does trump want to foil, but that obama is the perfect foil t. moment he starts criticizing and president obama is very aware of this he starts to criticize trump, trump then fights with obama and very quickly, that becomes the most conventional kind of political fight. donald trump is the republican, barack obama is the democrat. and for trump, who's greatest risk is being categorized as unusual, as extreme, as out of the ordinary, suddenly this looks like the same old fight, democratic president and former republican president at the same time, rick stengel. i talk to liberals all the time, powerful ones, rich ones, influential ones, on the west coast the east coast, we say i understand the subtleties of this analysis, dam, president obama is the only one with the moral standing to do this. to wage the fight who has the
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kind of credibility to really stands up to donald trump. they sometimes include the other former presidents and say, let's get them all towing to challenge trump, what do you say to those people? >> well, you know, president obama really respected the fact that george bush left him alone, he thought that was an honorable thing to do. he's a guy that wants to be if private life. then the world changed when donald trump was elected. so i generally agree with the view he shouldn't be a foil for trump and it sort of works for trump, at the same time just as trump is sui generis has a cataclysmic effect on the body of biotics, barack obama is the first sui generis, he's the first democrat elected with more than 50% of the votes two times since fdr. i think as much as it might torque trump even more, i would like to see barack obama out there more. >> president obama has no obligation to do this it's his prerogative, completely.
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he can go into private life however he chooses, the argument we heard from caroline williams in the "new york times" and others, this time is different. it requires a figure of his standing to step forward to be a counterweight to donald trump. >> yeah, i will probably disagree with most on the panel here i don't think the president is stepping out of his private sphere out of a sense of civic and moral obligation. he has a reputation to rehabilitate. he left the democratic party if at that time teaters. he has to reestablish that. the second that the will of the voters, democrats felt in 2009 and 2010. they felt things were going off the rails and somebody had to speak up about it. it would be a dereliction of responsibility no do so and would demonstrate a lack of tait in the system. president donald trump has a lot of republicans who are pening him in as a result of our constitutional checks. people who demonstrate a lack of faith in that are demonstrating
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a lack of faith in the constitution, itself. >> it raises the question if he did step forward, if president obama stepped forward, what does that mane? does it mean he delivers a speech or tries in some way to rally democrats in congress against the president? how far would he be expected to push it and again is that an undermineing of the presidency? >> and i think then and then what? those of us that are engaged now in trying to deal with where are we going with this debt ceiling? where are we going with the justice department dealing with a lot of issues? he comes out, he makes a speech, then what? it's not going to sway the republican senate. it's not going to sway the congress. and one of the things that president obama established throughout his presidency, we that were leading civil rights organizations would meet with him. it'soi make a dramatic move and what's next? and i think that someone would have to convince him of where it would have an impact for him to do it, otherwise, it's just
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another day, big headline, obama spoke. then what? he may unite the senate and the house republicans around trump, because they don't want to look like they're voting with obama. so the question is, do we have an objective or do we want somebody to make us feel better for 24 or 48 hours? >> it would be counter productive. >> you have a big event. it's the 54th i was in of dr. king's speech and the march on walk. significance of that day to you, where we are now 54 years later. >> 54 years ago monday, dr. king did his famous i have a dream. people read the dream parts. they don't read the contents of the speech. we talked about voting rights. we talked about things like criminal justice and poverty. so on this monday, we're doing something different. we always bring out thousands. we've only asked for 1,000 minsters, clergymen, rabbi, priests, minsters of the christian faith, male, female,
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gay, to come together as faith leaders and march from king's memorial to the justice department. we want lay people can join in if they want. 1,000 minsters who is one of the leaders of the jewish leadership that has said to the president they were not going to participate in the traditional call with him before the jewish holidays. it was on the front page of the new york sometimes, martin king, iii, will be one of the major speeches. we want to show the world 54 years later the dream of dr. king the substantive part is at risk with some of the things that are now being offered in terms of suppressing voter rights, in terms of not dealing fairly, looking at this tax bill, what will happen to working poor people. in terms of criminal justice reform. the substance raised by moral leaders and faith leaders, because that's what dr. king was.
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he was never a legislator. he is a moral leader. moral leaders will raise the contrast can charlottesville. they went to robert e. lee's monument. we are going to jews, plaques, latinos, muslims together can make a moral statement. >> that will be on monday in washington. join in. >> are wasps -- >> what do you mean? >> just kidding. >> i was asking you to sign off. >> will willie go? >> it's a big tent. >> hey, noah, thanks, man. appreciate it. still ahead the president's chief economic adviser waited for the charlottesville controversy to die down a bit before this morning calling on the trump administration to do more to condemn neo-nazis. we'll have the new remarks from gary cohen and a potential response from the president of the united states next. as we go to break, a look back at this date if presidential history with this story. >> this day in 1944, franklin roosevelt welcomed the allied
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liberation of paris from the tyranny of the nazis, it was less than three years after the attack on pearl harbor and less than three months after the allies moved on europe. now stars and stripes was flying in paris. some americans were called at the time, but lafayette helped the united states get it independence, they said, now we are returning the favor.
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>> we want a very big tax cut but we cannot do that until we keep our promise to repeal and replace the disaster known as obamacare. we can get this bill passed, in massive tax reform. >> but do you have to do health care before tax reform -- >> yes. >> when i speak with business managers they say tax reform is so much more impactful to moving the needle on economic growth. >> because i'm saving a tremendous amount, hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars we're saving on health care. and all of that saving goes into the tax. if you don't do that, you can't put any of the savings into the tax cuts. i think after health care taxes are going to be so easy, really. >> so tax reform was going to be the award for getting through the repeal and replace of obamacare. of course that never happened. sara eisen joining us. gary cohn making a lot of noise
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setting out a time line for tax reform but also criticizing the president's response to the charlottesville violence and not really offering a counter or support or saying he's a good man but said the wrong thing, he should have done more. >> well, willie, this is exactly emblematic of why the white house has had trouble changing the message to tax reform because gary cohn's comments on charlottesville and the response to charlottesville were more powerful than made a lot of news. i picked out one quote in particular which i thought was personal and passionate and explains why he's staying on. "as jewish american i will not allow neo-nazis chanting jews will not replace us to cause this jew to leave his job." he's also seen as an important figure on wall street. just the mere mention he was distressed about those comments
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about charlottesville last week caused some jitters in the market. saying he's staying on, i wouldn't call it overtly critical of his boss, didn't mention president trump by name, but said the administration needs to d more to condemn neo-nazis and white supremacists was a step farther in terms of rebuking the administration than say treasury secretary mnuchin, who is much more supportive of his boss when he came out. now you mentioned tax reform. cohn clearly wants to change the conversation on this. the president will be giving a speech next week on wednesday in missouri on this. my colleague saying we're not expecting the white house to present a bill we thought originally, he'll let the hill take the lead on this but clearly gary cohn and the treasury secretary are going to be very involved in this. they originally thought they would be able to do tax reform by august. clearly that time line is a little ambitious because when congress gets back to work, they have to figure out how to keep
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the government funded through next year and prevent a shutdown, also ratz the debt ceiling, and then they can really work on tax reform, which is going to be tricky, but the white house thinks it will be easier, heard the same message from paul ryan yesterday on cnbc. >> they also thought repeal and replace was going to be easy but it wasn't. sara, thanks so much. back to the gary cohn interview. he said, "this administration must do better in condemning neo-nazis, no white supremacy, bigotry, hate," pointed out he was under enormous pressure to resign and also under enormous pressure to stay and grappled be that and as an act of patriotism he's staying. >> not because he believes in the president's agenda or had a conversation with the president that reassured him that this administration cares about this issue. i read this and thought gary cohn is not long for this white house. i almost feel like maybe get tax
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reform through, something he started and will finish but will he be here next year, this was not a ringing endorsement for the president, not a man who sounded happy in his job. i don't think this is an interview the president will see and be like, great job, gary. and they had a close relationship, to my understanding and gary is an important part of this administration. >> we'll sue how the president reacts. >> it shows something there's been a dearth of in this administration, moral leadership, somebody taking a moral opinion about something. i feel sorry for him in his position but he's showing some moral leadership and trying to reckon with this. >> and some self-respect. i mean, you're talking about people marching with torches saying jews will not replace us. how do you look in the mirror and not say something? that's why we're marching monday. if there ever was a time you have to do a real self-reflection, to no matter where you are, now is the time. >> some people will see this as
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a week beard, though. i agree, there's some moral issue, but people wanting him to quit, people wanting him to speak out last week. he didn't say anything about the president. he said the administration must do better. people will say this is the minimum he could have done. >> the strongest we of heard. >> i'm saying some will stay. >> randall lane, editor of "forbes" magazine, just off the streets of havana joining us on the set. good to see you. gary cohn, this is an area you cover at forbes, obviously, you think he stays in, hangs in? there's a lot-talk he's interested in the job as fed chair. >> sara was talking about the markets. the markets want him to stay. and talking about tax reform, a lot of the markets have the idea there's going to be some kind of tax reform is already baked into a lot of the euphoria in stock prices now. that just amps up the pressure on the white house and pruch because he's touting record
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stock performance all the time and the markets have already baked tax reform in and gary cohn is key to that. >> when there was even talk of him stepping down, the markets went down. >> the adult in the room so to speak. >> explain the way wall street, the way business community views gary cohn. >> former president of goldman sachs, this is somebody who they're very familiar with, he has a bipartisan reputation, a democrat, somebody who understands markets and is a grown-up. so as long as he's there, there's a fundamental belief that the right things will get don. part of the reason you're seeing these record stock prices because there's a fundamental belief that business will continue to thrive. again, there will be some kind of tax reform coming in the next few months. >> does the talk about donald trump shutting down the government over the border wall, the threat of the debt ceiling approaching yet again, what -- >> you saw hiccups yesterday. the funny part is unless there's a budget resolution you can't
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have tax reform so it's directly related. you can't get to tax reform without a budget resolution. so all these things we're talking about the end of september, early october, directly affect the long-term and the next ten years and beyond. >> okay. let's talk about the global citizens week and what you're doing with this gentleman at the end of the table. >> it will be great. global citizen is something where during u.n. week it brings everyone together for -- 60,000 people in central park and extreme poverty for a day, now it will be an entire week paralleling with u.n. week weather a dozen events around the city so the idea of these world leaders getting together at the same time, anybody can take part now in trying to end extreme poverty, do the right thing. forbes, our 100th anniversary this september, we're bringing together the 100 greatest minds to try to solve the problems of the next hundred years. but there are over a dozen amazing events including one with reverend al. it will be quite a week.
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>> there was a piece on the front page of "the wall street journal" we talked about yesterday that showed despite all the chaos and turmoil we talked about in the united states that the largest economies in the world are actually doing as well as they've done in a decade, all of them, actually. what is that trend? why is that happening? >> fundamentally, what you're looking at is, you know, you're looking at global economy that still is coming out of recovery and it's taken a bunch of years to get strong but we are finally hitting a proper recovery. again, that was starting even before president trump was electricitied but he is enjoying -- the whole world is enjoying the benefits of that. when you are on the floor, it's very easy to kind of look at where we are now. again, we're looking at 2%, 2.5%, which, again compared to where we were six, receiseven y ago is-great right now. >> that also has to d with barack obama and coming out of the recession of 2009.
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we were the harbinger of everything that's happened in new york and around the world since then. just want to say that. >> does president trump get any credit for that as he claims? >> he's taking a lot of credit for it. the six months of the dfsh the last six months of the obama administration the job growth and the gdp growth were stronger than the first six months of the trump administration, but the fact is that just like bill clinton inherited a recovery, got a lot of credit for it, donald trump is absolutely getting a lot of credit for recover that was already in place. >> the biggest tax reform, he can take credit for all this talk of helping the economy, but if he doesn't -- >> high stakes. >> he'll take credit for the eclipse but had nothing to d with its occurrence. >> he checked it out, was able to look up and see it. >> had to get his shades. >> first he looked without them. john, final thoughts. what's going on in washington right now? debt ceiling, border wall, shutdown, where are we headed? >> with all due respect to my panelists focused on this matter, talking about a few months tax reform, gary cohn may
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be sticking around till tax reform, guys, if it happens it won't happen until next spring so i don't think gary cohn is going anywhere. different time line. >> all right, guys. thank you all. everyone have a good weekend. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up our coverage right now. >> thanks so much, willie. i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning out of nowhere, hurricane harvey could become the first major hurricane to hit the united states in 12 years. a massive e fact on the state of texas and on gas prices. >> thedictable about the storm, it's unpredictable. get out of dodge. >> gary cohn talks for the first tomb after charlottesville saying the administration must do more in condemning neo-nazis, white supremacists, and the kkk. >> you

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