tv Morning Joe MSNBC August 28, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT
torrential rain has caused catastrophic and widespread flooding across the nation's fourth largest city. >> rescue teams have been working around the clock, responding to what the national weather service has called an unprecedented event. and it's not over yet. bill karins has the latest and we'll go live on the ground there where rescuers are still going around trying to find people. >> the president by most accounts has been on top of his first major domestic crisis, despite a few curious off-topic tweets yesterday. >> still facing increasing sustained criticism for what he did on friday, as the hurricane was barreling down on the texas coast. he tossed out three pieces of thick red meat for his base to devour. >> directed the pentagon to extend the ban on transgender troops in the military, looking to end for protections people brought to the u.s. illegally as children and he made good on his
foreshadowed pardon of controversial sheriff joe arpaio, the latter drawing open and direct criticism from speaker paul ryan. >> also over the weekend as the president focused on responding to his first major domestic crisis he took on notable fire, incredible comments from defense secretary james mattis and his secretary of state rex tillerson. >> we'll play those for you and explain why they are so significant at this point in this presidency, and finally, a brand new "washington post" report that trump's business sought a deal on a trump tower in moscow while he ran for president. we'll speak with one of the reporters who broke that story late yesterday but we begin with the texas flooding, more rain is in the forecast and there is simply nowhere for the water to go. stories of heroism, neighbors and people from hours away helping each other in the depth of the catastrophe. the latest, two people are dead,
290,000 without power in the gulf coast region and many of houston's sprawling freeways are simply impassable with abandoned cars and semis littering the roads. last night in darkness, a traffic camera caught this water rescue in katy, texas on i-10. first responders pulling a person from the flatbed of a truck. as of yesterday afternoon the harris county sheriff's office said there had been 1500 to 2,000 high water rescues since harvey began. the warnings dire, emergency management officials requesting the highest floor of people's homes becomes dangerous, get on the roof, not inside the attic. >> you just see the water come up, come up, making sure all our family is safe. we kept looking at the water and it kept getting higher and higher from 4:00 to 7:00 in the morning. it came into the home, so we're giving up. >> so many images of bravery and
tenderness have begun to emerge already, like this sheriff's deputy carrying two children to safety. there was no major evacuation order given, a choice that has already begun to draw questions. people have started to arrive at the houston convention center, and dallas nearly four hours inland is going to open a mega shelter at their convention center as well. there have been tornado warnings overnight and we may only be half way done with the rain, and that's the issue here. the national hurricane center said the houston area could see a total of 50 inches of rain. let's bring in nbc meteorologist bill karins, you've been covering this and warning us about this from the start. what are we looking forward to? >> this ending and it's going to take another two othree days. we're only a little more than half way past done. we have bay town east of houston up to 34 inches of rain,
widespread over two feet through the region, flash flood warnings and emergencies, why there's so much water all over the place. the breaking news everynight, two dams that feed a bayou that goes through downtown houston they started releasing that water a little after midnight. buffalo bayou is going to go up about four to six inches an hour from here on out until the water level gets lower. all the rivers in major flooding, some record flooding. i want to show you the buffalo bayou that flows through down sto houston. we think it will go up to 73 feet in 24 to 36 hours, that is going to be 12 feet higher than the previous record and six feet higher than what happened yesterday and you saw how horrific the pictures were yesterday. we have new areas that are going to flood. we're going to have new evacuations. we're probably going to have new rescues because of this water is going to continue to rise and we're going to continue to watch as one of the huge stories that
developed last night. i also want to show you the radar. we are fearful that the heavy rain would set up overnight in houston. it was only there for an hour or two, it poured and moved out and headed toward louisiana, texas, border. beaumont got drenched overnight, where we have new flooding concerns. houston has been spared. closer view of the city. there are showers and storms but not these thunderstorms that you're now over the beaumont area. joe the new forecast path in the hurricane center just came out at 5:00 a.m., it does drift the storm through wednesday south of houston, and then it accelerates it to the north thursday into friday so about two more days of this and we should be done. >> yesterday obviously it's some good news finally, yesterday of course a lot of people thought the eye was going to go back over houston. bill, we've been doing this you and i together talking about hurricanes on here for 13, 14 years. usually people go to sleep, it's coming at you, it barrels
through, and me being a florida resident, being through a half dozen of these, a dozen of these things, you know what to expect. why is this so different? why hasn't this barreled through? because the day after you worry about tornadoes going here, tornadoes going there, power lines, and everybody recovers. unfortunately the people of texas, the people of houston they're just, they're still struggling with this. why is this storm different? >> because nothing was able to push it out of the way. there was no cold front to catch it and throw it north. there was nothing to send it south. we call it the steering currents, the jet streams that are high above us, that's what controls the weather across our country and right now, the winds are very weak. it hasn't pushed it. i did a stat yesterday that victoria, texas, you put it on a map, this storm has been near victoria, texas, within a 60-mile radius for the last 60 hours which is just insane. >> wow. >> everything's going to be compared to katrina, probably for our lifetimes.
24, 48 hours after katrina it was sunny. it was nice. we were showing you helicopter pictures and the coast guard was going in and rescuing and plucking people off roofs ease pill. these rescues are done in torrential rains. with the heavy rain continuing the release of the dams, we had to wait until new orleans was pumped out. we had to wait until the pumps went back online and the water slowly lowered. we have a similar problem here because we're adding water to the bayous that go through houston. additional flooding in areas that haven't had it yet. where are we putting these people? we'll have people evacuated and in shelters in the convention center they're not getting back in their homes in the next week. it could be two weeks. so remember after katrina we had all those mobile homes brought in for people and the trailers. we're going to need something similar because people will need showers, they'll need food, and not even the mention all the
debris once we actually can clean up. we're just talking about having the people survive for the next week. >> unbelievable. >> bill karins thank you. we'll be back with you very shortly. joining us now from rockport, texas, which is about four hours south of houston on the gulf coast, nbc news correspondent katie beck. what is the latest on the ground? >> reporter: well, i think there is lots of fear and anxiety still as to what is going to come and concerns with the weather, more flooding. obviously people have now been without power for days, they've been sitting in the dark. victoria, texas s one of many areas bracing for what's coming. if your town is along a river in texas and there's additional flooding those rivers are supposed to crest and when they do, the entire town can be left underwater. we spoke to a gentleman yesterday in victoria, texas, who was in tears at a gas pump, he's a father of six, a small
business owner, and he was telling us that if this river, again floods, as it did in 1998, and destroyed their entire town, that he's going to lose everything he's worked for. so he was in sheer panic, filling up gas cans and crying at the gas station. so this is the type of anxiety we're seeing as people brace for another round with damage still on the ground, a lot of cleanup to do, they're getting ready to get hit again. >> catie beck thank you very much. we'll cover this throughout the morning. with us mike barnicle, nick confe confessori and julie pace. good to have you all on board in this incredibly busy morning. we could have had about four political lead story this is morning, but for this incredible weather story. president trump says he'll be traveling to texas tomorrow to see some of the storm devastation firsthand. the president spent the weekend monitoring the storm from camp
david, sending a fleurry of tweets, many focused on dealing with the deadly weather. as the "new york times" frames it "hurricane harvey and its aftermath has energized mr. trump, giving him the first major external crisis of a presidency that has manufactured most of its own upheavals." giving him the first major external crisis of his presidency, okay. but the president's attention was also focused on unrelated issues like the border wall tweeting mexico will pay for it through reimbursement, other. he also tweeted about nafta saying the trade deal may have to be terminated. the president promoted a book by controversial milwaukee county sheriff david clarke who endorsed trump in the presidential campaign that, book plug came just over a day after the president pardoned another controversial sheriff, controversial to say the least, joe arpaio, who was found guilty last month of criminal contempt.
we're going to have much more ahead on that very controversial pardon. besides that pardon, the trump administration also made news friday evening for a series of polarizing announcements. national security aide sebastian gorka, a vocal hard right advocate, left his position. another departure in the white house. one white house official said he resigned, while another said gorka did not resigned but confirmed he no longer works at white house. also on friday president trump signed a directive banning transgender military recruits. senator john mccain the chairman of the senate armed services committee criticized the move saying "it would be a step in the wrong direction to force currently serving transgender individuals to leave the military solely on the basis of their gender identity rather than medical and readiness standards." interior secretary ryan zinke's daughter, jennifer detlefsen who
is a navy veteran sharply criticized the ban calling it inexcusable and then went on to use language we can't say here, in direct to the president. >> nick, confessori, "new york times" friday night, gorka, the transgender ban, arpaio, every one of them are fairly significant. >> that's right. >> of course, just what do you make of the friday night news dump and what was the most significant one? >> it's fascinating. it's almost like the narrow casting where they drop a bunch of news on friday, some of it intentional, some of it not. the people who want to hear that news are going to hear it, and the rest of us are going to focus on more important things, the hurricane. the transgender ban i think just sticks out to me, because there is a practical case for it. you can't find people in the service branch saying we had to
have this now. it seems political. >> most of them were against it. >> were against it. i remember the president's speech during the campaign that he would be the great defender of the gay community. >> right. >> what you have here now is a political so to people who needed some standing up. >> mike, it seems to me at least, i could be wrong but seems to be so obvious that every time he thinks he has bad news that he has to deliver to the base or bad news that comes, he does something in the completely opposite direction. the morning of the raid, what does he do the morning that paul manafort is raided? he tweets out this transgender announcement without passing it by anybody at all. couple hours later, everybody's like why did you do that? he knew that would grab the headlines. and so gorka, the lapse of the hard, i won't say right because he's not conservative but the last of the crazy nationalists booted out of the white house,
and he knew that there would be a narrative the next day that there had been a complete purge of all of steve bannon's people, and it would kill him with his base he thought. so what does he do? goes to the transgender ban. again, bad news. let's kick around people serving our country, and then of course joe arpaio, which is just -- >> an affront to the judiciary. >> heinous. he doesn't realize again, because he plays, he's a day trader, he doesn't realize when he did that, he enraged a federal judiciary and even state judiciaries that are already enraged at how little respect he shows the court system. >> well, i mean, the president has always been and remains an expert at manipulating the media, an expert at look at this shiny object over here and that's what we go to in the midst of the epic flood, a major
urban area in this country under siege because of nature, two critical things happened over the weekend in addition to the flood obviously, general mattis' statement to the troops in iraq, and secretary tillerson's statement. >> why don't we take those one at a time, and which one do you have queued up? let's start with rex tillerson on the sunday shows. play it. >> when the president gets into the kind of controversy he does in the u.n. committee responds the way it does, it seems to say they begin to doubt our, whether we're living those values. >> i don't believe anyone doubts the american people's values or the commitment of the american government or the government's agencies to advancing those values and defending those values. >> and the president's values? >> the president speaks for himself, chris. >> okay. >> i like him. i like barnical much more this
morning. talk about how extraordinary that statement is. by the way it's also accurate because if you listen to rex tillerson, james mattis, the vice president of the united states, they all go out and they speak traditionally the way presidents, democratic and republican, speak. >> to the point you raised prior to showing that clip, one thing general kelly cannot control is the president's tweeting behavior and the president's decisions he makes on his own without bouncing them off of anybody. >> and all-ie pace, i think what we're looking at also is that tillerson may have been saying, some might say, that the president's values don't necessarily reflect the american way. there have been too many times the president said one thing on prompter and shown what's in his heart in real life when he's talking off the cuff.
it looks like tillerson and mattis are getting a little fed up. >> it was a stunning answer from rex tillerson coming on the heels of what gary kohn said publicly own the remarks mattis made to troops overseas and it does hit on something that i think is becoming a real part of the conversation with the president. it feels like he's speaking for himself, not speaking as an american president, that he seems to be missing that part of the job which is to put yourself, your own personal trillions on the sidelines and recognize you hold an office that is so much bigger thatten yourself. and that your job is to carry on the values so many of your predecessors and americans stand for. sometimes you feel like that's missing with the president, he doesn't fully understand that part of the job he's inherited. >> secretary of defense jim mattis delivering an impromptu
speech to the troops last. >> a great example for our country right now it's got some problems, you know it and i know it. it's got problems that we don't have in the military and you just hold the line, my fine young soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines. just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it and being friendly to one another, that americans owe to one another we're so doggone lucky to be american. >> mike barnicle he said so many great things. he said they got some problems right now that we don't have here. you focus on your job and do your job and hold the line and basically keep upholding the american values you always have. squle also talked about right now the lack of inspiration in this country that just hang in there inspiration will return,
because we are americans, and julie pace's point which is absolutely spot-on, the president unfortunately is so self-involved that clearly he can't see one aspect of his job and that's to lead the nation in times of crisis. i mean he's tweeting out book recommendations in the middle of this epic flood. >> in the middle of an epic flood. nick, julie also talked about gary kohn, extraordinary statement talking about how shocked he was, thinking about quitting. rex tillerson being dead on. he was accurate. the president speaks for the president. of course james mattis, extraordinary. mitch mcconnell, we have reports of him calling business leaders saying how shocked he was by the president's racially insensitive statements. could you go down the line. the most powerful people, and even paul ryan came out, if not
as directly and harshly by name as we would have all liked, i would have liked certainly, paul ryan's starting to even stick sort of his neck out a little bit. it seems that so many of people who should be his allies are the very ones saying we're going to have to keep this country going ourselves. >> it's almost like a veiled' assurance. traditionally the president is almost kind of a father figure to the country or' surer-in-chief as well as being commander in chief and what's different here we have cabinet members of his own cabinet who are kind of reassuring us about what he's saying, and it's actually on top of the criticisms we've had on policy over nato, on nikki haley, i recall she had to reassure people who he is aid abosaid abr
that on foreign policy. >> after donald trump was talking down nato he said nato is so important if it didn't exist we'd have to create it. >> julie pace, before we go to break, give us a sense of the president's schedule over the next 24, 36 hours, given the fact that this storm and the catastrophic nature of it is far from over. >> absolutely. he's going to be going to texas on tuesday. we haven't been given a ton of details on where specifically. it looks very difficult for him to get into houston itself given that the rain and the flooding will still be really in the throes of that, but he is going to texas. he feels like it's important for him to be on the ground to show that he is really engaged in the response but then he's going to follow that up with a political rally in missouri where he's going to ostensibly be talking about tax reform. we went through this with health care where the president was traveling on behalf of an issue and stand up on stage and talk about pretty much everything but
that issue so this will be more of a political rally and look for him to potentially go after claire mccaskill, he previewed that in a tweet in the middle of the storm on sunday. >> so much more to cover. still ahead on "morning joe" much more on the devastating flooding in texas. the state's governor greg abbott joins us live and houston's police chief with the very latest on the first response. also ahead, while donald trump was eyeing the white house, his business was eyeing a massive new tower in moscow. "the washington post" has new reporting on that and why it points to the likelihood of more contacts between russia connected individuals and trump associates during his presidential bid. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer. and it all starts with getting your fidelity retirement score. in 60 seconds, you'll know where you stand.
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because their homes are flooded. caesar if you want to pan the other way we can see on kirk ridge and beamer just how dramatic these rescue efforts are. the water levels are high. i can't believe what i'm looking at right now. >> the reaction to president trump's decision to pardon form former arizona sheriff joe arpaio continues to pour in. arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt for violating a court ruling that ordered his department to stop illegally detaining people based on suspicions about their immigration status. in a statement arizona senator john mccain writes "no one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold." he added that trump's pardon "undermines his claim for the
respect of rule of law as mr. arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions." mccain's arizona colleague senator jeff flake also weighed in stating he wished trump would "honor" the judicial process and ohio governor john kasich said the president's pardon created a political wedge. >> i wouldn't have done it this way and it's not -- it is absolutely should be out of bounds for somebody to use that as some sort of a political wedge. it appears
as though that's what it was. >> house speaker paul ryan also criticized the trump according to a ryan spokesman, "the speaker does not agree with the decision." okay, he's getting there. "law enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the united states. we should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon." and michigan republican
congressman justin amash, trump pardoned an official who "ignored the bill of right." "the washington post" reports president trump asked attorney general sessions about kroes closing the case against arpaio months ago. he said it would be inappropriate and let the trial take its course. arpaio thanked president trump in a tweet and called his conviction a "political witchhunt by holdovers in the obama justice department." he also directed supporters to a website accepting donations to help him pay his legal fees. >> nick confessori the list of horrors this guy implemented is staggering. you actually had, i had read a report from a reporter one of the things that surprised him the most when he was out there how much the arizona law enforcement community hates arpaio, because he gives them
all a bad name because he's been a complete thug and has punished people basically amounting, doing some things amounting to torture. >> that's right, and look, quick fact check, the investigation began under the bush justice department i believe so it wasn't obama witch hunt. the list of things that he's done include allowing a backlog of dozens of cases of child abuse to go dark because the people were the people of immigrants and the kids were the kids of immigrants. i think what's interesting here is he's tweeting sheriff clarke in milwaukee. sheriff clarke's former job or job is being sued for allowing an inmate to die of thirst of dehydration in custody. so these two sheriffs are sheriffs who are not very good at their jobs in some ways and he seems to love it. >> "the phoenix new times" have covered joe arpaio for 20 years and they have a chronology, a list of outrageous incidents
involving sheriff arpaio's tenure. half of the things on the list are absolutely shocking. >> yep. >> shocking. he's running a concentration camp. that's basically what he was doing. >> and donald trump mistakes this for being tough on law and order. again, even the law enforcement officers in arizona have shunned this guy. the bush administration started the investigation. this is obvious to republicans and democrats alike, that this guy is a complete thug. >> so why did he do this? >> he doesn't respect the rule of law and donald trump why did he do this? who knows? maybe it's throwing more red meat out there but it's not something that even republicans support. this is did he have the authority to do this? yes, he had the authority to do this, but if articles of impeachment years down the road are ever brought up against this
man, these are the sort of things that are going to be attached in abuse of power. as jeff flake said he didn't let a judicial process play itself out. he cut it short. >> this is also a green light to the other joe arpaios out there and he is not the only one but if you're the president and you'you are your policy is to get tougher on illegal immigration, this tells other sheriffs, other law enforcement, people of i.c.e. it's okay to blur the line, it's okay to go over the line and that is not the law. >> what did he say in his speech to law enforcement on long island a couple of weeks ago. >> rough 'em up. >> go rough 'em up, which of course horrifies law enforcement because things like this and donald trump telling people you know saying it's a joke but it's not a joke. rough 'em up, that just makes their job more difficult, and when they get sued, it's just,
it puts them in a more law enforcement officers in a more tenuous position, makes their job more difficult. and i've got to say, mika, bottom lining this, the worst damage that's been done though has been done to donald trump in the eyes of the judiciary. they once again see that this man acts like an autocrat. he has no respect for judges, certainly shown he has no respect for federal judges. >> the damage to the republican party in my opinion also the damage to the country as this goes on. what more does he need to do? i don't get it. coming up, when will the flooding stop? that's the big question. we'll check in with bill karins and go live to the scene in texas where the devastation from harvey is only just coming to light. fema says it will be there for years. >> plus bob mueller issues new subpoenas in the russia probe, taken connects back to two former aides to donald trump.
we'll tell you what the special counsel is looking at now. plus new reporting says the trump organization tried to build a massive tower in moscow, right in the heat of the presidential campaign. >> wait, but they didn't have any contact with -- we get the quotes that donald trump said it, mike pence has said it. they had no contacts with anybody in russia. guys can we get those? >> we just just believe him. we'll be right back. >> pick up those if you will. i don't understand. ♪
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we currently have 19 coast guard helicopters in the region and we have one fixed wing aircraft. we have already assisted on the air side executed over 200 rescue missions, and then also we have on the flood side they've actually rescued over 1,000 people at this time. >> the massive flooding in south texas is the first domestic crisis of the trump administration. the white house says he'll be traveling to texas tomorrow to see some of the storm devastation firsthand. as he deals with that, he's also handling some -- >> can i say one thing really quickly about that? >> yeah, sure. >> you know, we saw it in
katrina, and we, people from florida, you see it in most of these storms, we saw it after 9/11 and yes there's some bad that comes out of it but mike i'm struck by so many pictures of so many people helping one another, and every time we hear these stories about how divided america is, and how it's coming apart at the seams, something like this happens and i'm not being polyannish because i've seen it firsthand and everybody helps everybody. white helps black, black helps white, you name it, hispanic, everybody helps everybody. we've seen it time and time again and yes, there are examples where that doesn't take place, but they are, as somebody that has been through a dozen of these, they are few and far between. >> given the nature of this business that we're in, we focus a lot of attention on what happens in washington, d.c., with the presidency. some would say we obsess about
it. this story is an american story. it's an epic flood, it's a tragic, tragic situation for the residents of houston, but the pictures that you just referenced, joe, there was one in particular over the weekend of a group of people in a rest home, a nursing home, elderly people, sitting there, submerged up to their waists. the picture went viral once it was displayed. rescuers within hours were in that nursing home rescuing people. it didn't matter who they were. it didn't matter their income, their race, their religion. that's the picture. they were rescued by other americans, and this is who we are coming together. >> and some of them being asked on camera, after they saw this, where are you going? i'm going to save some lives. >> yes. >> and it was everybody. >> there are people in new orleans putting their boats on trailers and driving to houston to help save people, and it's the best of the country.
>> driving hours. the president is also handling some incoming of his own making yesterday. nicole tweeted this "mattis and tillerson go rogue. corker questions trump's stability and competence, mccain, ryan rebuke pardon. mueller working away. tick, tick." speaking of that, there are more signs says special counsel bob muler is particularly interested in michael flynn and paul manafort, as he investigates russian meddling in the 2016 according to "the washington post" the legal team issued subpoenas to several prominent washington lobbying firms about their interactions with the two men. manafort served as trump's campaign manager and flynn was briefly national security adviser. he also was side by side with president trump during the campaign. they're both facing scrutiny for allegedly failing to disclose work for foreign governments or parties. and "the washington post" published a piece late yesterday with the headline "trump's
business sought deal on a trump tower in moscow while he ran for president." >> wow. >> it says his company was pursuing a plan to develop a massive project while he was running for president in late 2015, early 2016, according to several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by trump organization lawyers. "the post" report says a real estate developer who was born in russia urged trump to come to moscow to push the proposal. he reportedly suggested that he could get president vladimir putin to say great things about trump, although trump's company signed a letter of intent for the deal, the future president never went to moscow and the project was abandoned in january of 2016. let' bring in "washington post" reporter for both stories carol lenig. good to have you back on the show. >> thanks for having me. >> what more does this potential trump tower in moscow effort
tell us about any sort of direct connections between the trump campaign and russia, if any? >> well, what you see here is slightly different than what the president has said publicly. internal emails show that at a time when the president was really just a potential gop hopeful, a candidate with not a lot of supporters, not much of a ground game, he was actively working to try to create a huge tower, and a licensing deal basically slapped the trump name on a building in moscow that some people said would be one of the tallest in the world and at the same time that he's running for president, there's someone trying to broker that deal, a confidant of the president, a person who is near him quite frequently on these kinds of deals, who is saying hey, this is could be good for you politically, and this could also be good for you financially. so there's this odd dance, if
you will, where this russian-born real estate broker is saying i can get putin to say some great things about you. you should come to moscow. we can get this deal done and we'll all be celebrating soon. you'll be president and there will be this amazing tower. >> my goodness, language that we've become familiar with. nick? >> carol, how far does this advance our time line of the president's business dealings in russia? if i recall correctly, it was a few years earlier until this story that we had thought that he had last tried to do business in russia, but this really takes it right up to the center of the campaign. so what's the connection there between perhaps the business effort and his views on putin and what he's saying in public about putin? >> yes, i'm glad you asked that. it's a very good question. this moves is deeper into the campaign. before, keep in mind donald trump hasn't talked a lot about this deal, other than the couple
times that he tweeted that he was going to get a moscow tower, back in 2013. he hasn't really discussed this deal openly and has tried to distance himself from it in a way by saying hey, i have no dealings in russia, i have no business. i don't deal with putin. so this takes us more to like the end of january, 2016. the internal emails that are going to be turned over to the senate and the house this morning deal with a period of conversation basically fall 2015 to again end of january 2016, but you also in your question asked this great point which is about the conversations. remember you have this russian-born developer felix stair trying to make the deal happen and holding out the car ropt of p rot, putin will say good things about you and you'll look like the best in the world.
putin does say warm things about the president, forgive me the candidate at the time and donald trump's public rhetoric is also extremely warm, and they start to exchange a series of public compliments which now looks a little more interesting when you know about the internal emails. >> absolutely. we'll be following that. "the washington post" carol lenig, thank you so much. >> and the deal was still going through january of 2016. >> um-hum. >> so when we had donald trump on here 2015 and we kept trying to get him to say negative things about vladimir putin, and he kept complimenting vladimir putin, and i said but he kills journalists. well, we kill a lot of people, too. but he kills political opponents. it's a strong leader. so mike, at that time when we were trying to get him to acknowledge that vladimir putin killed journalists, this is 2015, he wouldn't do it.
and at the same time now we find out he's got this deal going on in the background that his dream, and it has been a dream to have a tower in moscow, is still a dream that's very much alive. so he won't even speak out, even when we push and product h him speak out against president putin assassinating journalist answer political owe opponents. what do you think his focus was? we try toy crack the code, it's always money, always business, always vulgar. >> you think he's not going to shape his views as a candidate because of a real estate deal somewhere but he's a real estate developer. >> he's using his presidency to make money. this is how he thinks and when it's all over, whether it's two years, four years, or eight years, it's all going to come out. this is all about donald trump making money. he doesn't care about everything else. he's leveraging this position to
make money on future deals. >> that raises again, only he knows what was the focus of his mind at that point in time late 2015 was it winning the nomination or promoting himself? >> he never thought he would win the nomination. it was a branding exercise. he never thought he was going to win the nomination. he thought jeb bush was going to win the nomination. coming up, texas lawmakers who voted against funding for superstorm sandy victims are now being blasted after requesting federal help to respond to harvey. we'll talk to republican congressman pete sessions of texas. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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bayou located just across the street. the station was live when water started seeping in making its way toward the anchor desk. their live broadcast was moved to a second floor conference room. at one point a reporter was carrying the coverage. the building had to be completely evacuated as flood waters continue to rise, and inundate the facility. the station's back on the air, and covering the story. coming up, we'll assess the president's response to the first big domestic crisis that he actually did not create himself. plus the stories the white house tried to bury. what we're talking about this morning. and the texas governor joins us live from austin with the latest on his state's response to the storm. "morning joe" is coming right back. jimmy's gotten used to his whole room smelling like sweaty odors.
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this morning houston and south texas are under a flood of historic proportions. rescue teams have all they can handle to rescue people as people use their boats to go home to home to rescue their neighbors. bill karins has the latest. we're going to go live on the ground there where rescues are still happening. >> obviously, mika, the front pages of all the newspapers talking about the catastrophe that has happened. and continues to happen. bill karins told us that they were spared a little bit last
night, didn't get quite the rain they were expecting, but the scenes really are epic out of houston, texas, and we are certainly hoping this morning the response on all levels is effective. and so far it seems that way. >> the president will travel there on tuesday and so far the federal response and disaster declaration has been praised as being well coordinated. is the president's attention divided. over the weekend he unleashed a flurry of tweets that had nothing to do with one of the most violent storms to come ashore in years. there are hopes for relief this morning with houston, the nation's fourth most populated city under water, and much of southern texas swamped as well. let's get the latest. two people dead. 290,000 waking up without electricity. the coast guard has sent personnel and equipment from as far away from california and maine, and have spent the weekend plucking people from cars and homes to safety.
today, by the way, was supposed to be the first day of school in houston. it's been postponed. the governor called for 1,000 more national guard troop and last night helped carry people to safety. there was no major evacuation order given. a choice that has already begun to draw questions. dallas nearly four hours inland is going to open a megashelter. there have been tornado warnings overnight, and we may only be halfway done with the rain. the warning from the national service yesterday was ominous. this event is unprecedented, and all impacts are unknown beyond anything experienced. for the latest, let's bring in bill karins. bill, give us a sense of perspective in terms of how much rain has fallen and how much more is to come still. >> it's crazy to think that we're saying 50 inches. and a lot of spots are right now around 25 inches.
how is that possible? the stalled storm just sat in the same areas. a nightmare scenario would be okay, anywhere in this country we have a major hurricane and then it lingers near a coast for a couple days. this is worst case scenario over the 4 fourth largest city in the country. we showed you the pictures from saturday. hardest it's ever rained in houston for the longest duration of time. it was right over the city. and the pictures, the bayous, it went everywhere. we still have flash flood warnings across the region. here's the painful part. the additional rainfall forecast. another 10 to 15 inches widespread from louisiana almost all the way back here past houston. and the target area is right here the houston area. that's just cruel. and so here's the development overnight. all the water is still coming into our reservoirs and our large rivers. now, two of the reservoirs are too full. they don't want it to overflow. they don't want any issues with
the structural integrity, so they're starting to release the water. they're reloosing the waters into the bayous that are record flooding. they didn't have a choice. one of the bayous that all the water goes into is the buffalo bayou. that goes through downtown houston. they said the water will rise four to six inches per hour until they can lower the dams enough to stop the outflow of water. the river predictions, yesterday we hit 67 feet. the previous record was 61 feet. that's why the pictures look the way they do. we were six feet above the highest anyone has ever seen it. the new predictions through tuesday into wednesday morning are for it to go to 73 feet. water that we saw yesterday, picture that up six feet higher than that. they're saying thousands of additional homes are going to get flooded. they're telling thousands of additional people to leave their homes. at this point they've been dry. and they need to go somewhere
safe because they are going to get flooded out in the days ahead. it's an incredible story. the rainfall is also going to be one of the issues. we're still watching tremendous amounts of rain. these are predictions. we're hoping they don't happen. so far the heaviest rain has been around the louisiana, texas border. the storm is now coming out over the water. it could try to regain a little strength. it won't become a hurricane again, but it could gain heavier rain bands. we're fearful that is correct focus over houston. the national weather service had a statement in houston they think 1 to 2 inches per hour rainfall rates could redevelop through the mid-morning. that would be alarming if we get 6 to 10 inches of rain this morning over houston on top of the dam releases. what a scary scenario. that's some of the stories we're continuing to monitor. here's the path. it's not only thursday at about 1:00 a.m. we get the storm far
enough north into central louisiana we start to dry out along the gulf coast. >> bill karins, we'll be checking back in with you. let's go live to houston. julia, what can you tell us? >> reporter: what bill was talking about, the bayous. i'm standing in front of the white oak bayou on the northwest side. you can hear -- we can, at least, just the furry of the water rushing over there. while earlier it was rushing over the bridge, it's still extremely high. i just talked to police officer. i pointed out it had come down in inches. he stressed not that much. as you heard what bill was saying, expecting this to rise again. this is exactly what's caused schieffer flooding on the northwest side of town. we saw so many water rescues in the past 12 to 16 hours right in this neighborhood. people who just got ahold of a boat, an inflatable boat of an
inflatable -- >> all right. we're having trouble. >> we'll get back to julia in a moment. >> again, the images are terrible. and, again, they're going to have to be releasing through some of the dams. they'll have to start releasing the water. >> there's nowhere for it to go. >> add six feet, maybe eight feet if the rain comes in to the images that we're already seeing here. it obviously is going to impact new neighborhoods, cause more property damage and bring -- >> the damage has already been catastrophic, and yet, they're only halfway through. we'll be following this throughout the morning, and also talking about the politics of this storm. and the other political stories that we have to cover this morning. there are so many. joining us this hour, mike barnicle, nick confisori, jonathan swan, eugene robinson,
and phillip rocker. also victoria defan -- defrancisco-soto. so, you can look at what james mattis said this weekend talking to troops saying you need to hold the line for us while america is getting their act together. rex tillerson saying the president speaks for the president, and it seems everybody else in the cabinet speaks for american values. the pardon of the sheriff. a lot of things happening friday night. was that in part to distract from gorka being pushed out of
the white house? >> no. i don't think gorka -- the funniest thing about gorka is because he was given so much media attention, because he went out on tv, people didn't actually understand his role in the white house. he sat in the eob. he was effectively a research person for steve bannon. went on tv. had nothing to do with the nfc. because of his public statements, he was causing toward the end, problems for rex tillerson -- >> and also because of his background. his frightening background, and also telling people on tv just don't pay any attention to the secretary of state. >> i think we saw a turning point on friday with some of these people feeling more emboldened to come out against the president. it was a stunning moment on sunday to see the top diplomat in the country, the secretary of state, refuse to say on national tv that the president supports american values. >> let's listen to that. >> it's amazing. >> when the president gets into
the kind of controversy he does in the u.n. committee responds the way it does, it seems to say they begin to doubt our -- whether we're living those values. >> i don't think anyone doubts the commitment of the american government or the government's agencies to advancing those values and defending those values. >> and the president's values? >> the president speaks for himself, chris. >> gene robinson, what was rex tillerson saying there? >> boy, i mean, that was the -- you know, the situation, i was glued to the situation in houston yesterday. but that's the one other story that sort of penetrated my consciousness was the secretary of state essentially cutting the president loose and saying, look, crazy stuff he's saying, that's him, that's not america, and that is true. i mean, it has the virtue of
truth, but you have to wonder how that was heard at camp david is where the president was this weekend. and how he reacts to that. and it can't be good. but, look, tillerson just told the truth. and he seems to me to be getting increasingly sort of fed up, and he's up to speed now. he understands this job. he understands what he ought to be out there doing. and i think he -- i'm inferring here, but i think he sees the president as being counterproductive as to what he needs to accomplish. >> he does seem to be getting increasingly fed up, and he may even start apoirchtipointing pe work inside the state department. >> most people inside the white house have legitimate concerns about what he's been doing. they're negotiating, trying to deal with north korea. they have no one there. none of these roles are filled.
>> people at the white house are concerned. it's the white house preventing him from moving forward, wasn't he? >> some of the people he's been putting forward have not been -- these have not been people that are confirmable. there have been real problems with the personnel department. these have not been easy confirms. >> you say part of that lies with tillerson and not the fact the tump white house doesn't trust the state department and didn't want the fill it? >> i have to say that he has to have some of the blame for this. some of the picks he's put forward were not confirmable. >> all right. this is also -- that was the secretary of state. >> let's move to defense. >> this is what great american hero mad dog james mattis had to say this weekend. >> a great example for our country right now. you know it and i know. we've got problems that we don't have in the military, and just
hold the line, my fine, young soldiers, airmen, marine. just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it, of being friendly to one another. we're to lucky to be americans. >> and i at least think we're lucky to have that guy at the pentagon. but yeah, i said mad dog, jokingly, because trump loved him because of his nickname, but sort of the word that was going around after was he thought that he was getting patton. instead, he's getting marshal. >> that's right. it's chaos. right there you have the kind of speech that you would expect a president to deliver in these times. and what you now have instead is cabinet secretaries delivering words and speeches of
reassurance to the country, seemingly about the president and what the president is saying. certainly about different issues and charlottesville. it's extraordinary. we've never seen the cabinet so far off the reservation from the commander in chief. >> victoria, you've got general mattis saying what he said. you've got secretary of state tillerson saying what he said. an incredible dump of information on friday night, but one of the pivot points was the sheriff and the announcement that the president of the united states is going to pardon him. arpa arpaio's history is outlined. i didn't realize how extensive it was until i read it. tell us about arpaio, trump, and the meaning of this for the judiciary in this country. >> right.
what happened on friday was not surprising. sadly enough, we knew it was coming, but from a larger perspective, we know that trump is going back to his immigration roots. this is his safe space. when he's feeling threatens and folks who were supposed to be on his team are attacking him, he can hunker down and come back to this. he hasn't had any real wins on immigration y. the muslim ban never went into effect. within all of this, i see a political silver lining. and the silver lining is that even though trump pardoned arpaio, the folks in the county said we know sheriff joe. all of the offenses you committed. you hog tied inmates. you shackled pregnant women as they were giving birth. you would put people out in 115 degree weather in tent cities. so all of these things pushed the voters to oust the sheriff.
so while voters are ousting him, the president is embracing him. i think this is a really clear show of the disconnect between the majority of voters, republicans also, and the president of our country. >> you're exactly right. the voters pushed him out of that very conservative county. the judges in that area found him in contempt of court. he was in the middle of the judicial process. everybody out there turned on this man because he was such a thug. and conservatives turning on the president for what he's seen. the washington examiner editorial board writes the trump once the law and order candidate embraces lawless disorder with the arpaio pardon. >> president trump described him as a law and order candidate on the campaign trail, but he has consistently shown he really meant the candidate of busting
heads. trump's pardon of joe arpaio, a man who responded to overly lax immigration policy with a harsh crack down on illegal immigrants showed once again trump really means busting heads when he says law and order. >> phil, tell us about this pardon. >> well, look, this pardon was in the works for many months, actually, and we reported over the weekend that the president back in the spring before the sheriff's case even went to trial inquired with his attorney general jeff sessions about the possibility of somehow dropping these federal criminal charges. it wasn't a serious order or directorive, but an inkwirly. sessions told him that would be appropriate. the president agreed to let the trial run its course, but he was determined from that point all the way through friday to pardon
arpaio if and when the moment came. of course, the moment did come. it's important to remember, i think, how these two first hit it off. their relationship began in the birther movement back in 2011, 2012. they were both trump an arpaio were the faces of that movement trying to discredit president obama, perpetuating the law that obama wasn't born in hawaii when he was and had their own investigations. and trump admired what there have arpaio was doing. he sent him a fan letter and tweeted about him. >> he congratulated him for sending arizona law enforcement officers to hawaii to investigate a racist claim? >> yeah. i mean, just -- look, two thoughts about the arpaio pardon. first, it's incredible that president trump uses the vast pardon powers of the presidency, first and only time so far, to
pardon the guy who has been found by court to be guilty of being viciously racist. right? it's essentially what the finding he and arpaio would not stop racially profiling anybody he thought looked latino. which is incredible. that sends a real message to the country, and it's not a good message. the second thought is what kind of political strategy or survival strategy is based on alienating and angering the federal judiciary? why does a president, especially one potentially facing all kinds of legal trouble with his associates and friends and aides facing all sorts of legal trouble -- why -- >> he keeps doing it. he's gone out of his way to anger the fbi and anger federal
judges. by the way, i have it on pretty good authority by talking to federal judges, he hasn't just angered liberal jurists. but moderate jurists. conservative jurists. some of whom he's even considered putting on the supreme court have been outraged by his attack of the judiciary's independence. this is another notch in the belt. >> you can go all the way back to the comments of the judge. i have a couple friends on the federal bench, and can i tell you that that was -- that outraged judges across the spectrum. they're federal judges. they're not republican or democrat appointed. that's not the way they see themselves or what they do. and they have -- they at times as a group feel that not enough
attention is paid to their security concerns, for example. and various issues. so they have -- there's a sense of solidarity among the federal judges, and you saw it there and you'll see it now. >> victoria, from charlottesville to this pardon, some miegght say this president stirs up racism and opens the door to violence. is that overstating it? >> i don't think so. it's not a dog whistle. it's an explicit message of saying it is okay to use race and plug it in as a wedge as john kasich said this weekend, and with the issue of racial profiling, this is a very serious issue, and i know that it was something that sheriff joe arpaio was synonymous with. he's saying it's okay to pull someone over just because of how they look. if you think someone is latino, they might be illegal.
so the message he is also sending out is conflating illegality with being latino. that is really an offense to our minorities here in this country. >> mike barnicle? >> jonathan and maybe phil after jonathan, should we consider the possibility concerning the pardon, should we consider the possibility that this might be the president just priming the pump, getting people used to the fact that he does have the power of pardoning? >> yes. i think that's definitely something to consider. he is clearly showing he knows -- he knows what the reaction is. he knows what he's throwing into the cultural war here. i do believe that he honestly thinks that arpaio is a good man and wants to reward his loyalty, but yes, he knows what he's doing. >> phil? >> yeah. i think that's right. and i think it sends a message to anybody related to this
russia probe going on. if people were to be found guilty who the president feels were mistreated or wrongfully accused or that he's personally close to, he would be able to exercise his power of pardoning. he's trying to see his job as one with absolute power even though we're a country with co-equal branches of government. he tries to boss around the congress. he now tries to boss around the judiciary, and has a real belief in his power and exercising it. >> he thinks the power to pardon is an absolute power. it's not. also, mika, there is no doubt, if you go back and look what republicans did with bill clinton during the articles of impeach, a catch all abuse of power. certainly this will fit neatly under it. and we'll see. if he crosses the rub con and gets to a point where he has to pardon family members or people who clearly were talking and dealing with the russians, that
i suspect will be a bridge too far even -- >> i don't know. what this president has done has desensitized the nation and certainly his party, if you could call that a republican party. >> i don't think you can say that, can you? you look at the people coming out now, actually you're starting to see, again, and you saw it with nicole wallace's tweet where you have bob corker questioning his stability. you have the secretary of defense that bravely telling the troops, you know, keep doing your job. basically mind the gap. you are the people that are taking care of this. you have the secretary of state going on sunday tv saying what he said. i actually -- i understand your argument about people being desensitized. i suspect some are, but it seems that there are some leaders who have been quiet that are starting to speak out a little bit.
>> it seems slow and careful. i'm not sure at this point that's the tact we want to take with someone desensitizing a nation to an unbelievable amount of negative forces. >> again, his approval ratings are fairly low, so we'll see what happens. and this arpaio thing. i mean, come on. the washington examiner? his own constituents, conservative forces in arizona, the two republican senators in arizona. paul ryan. everybody has condemned him. this is like a 15% proposition, maybe 15% of people in america thought this was a good idea. >> thank you to our panel. right now we are monitoring a news conference from the department of homeland security. we're going to bring you any big updates from that. plus three top officials in texas on that state's devastating flooding. we'll talk with the governor, houston police chief, and
congressman pete sessions of texas. we'll also go back live to the streets of houston where another 1,000 national guard members will be deployed today. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. [brother] any last words? [boy] karma, danny... ...karma! [vo] progress is seizing the moment. your summer moment awaits you, now that the summer of audi sales event is here. audi will cover your first month's lease payment on select models during the summer of audi sales event.
i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. my house is six feet up, and it was at the top of the door. >> reporter: have you ever seen flooding like this? >> no. and i've been in this area my whole life. >> throughout the whole house, both cars in the garage up to the steering wheel. we've lost everything. the scariest thing was when it was two feet and your furniture starts floating by. >> yeah. >> it's incredible, the stories coming out. >> you know rick santo. you hear a lot of people. a friend of mine stayed behind in his house in 2005 in pensacola. he said you just see the water start to rise, and it is so sad.
when you see these people go, even if they go intact, everything they've ever owned. he would pile things on top of a bunk bed, hoping he could save pictures of the children and wedding pictures. then the water keeps rising and the bunk bed floats. then you lose everything, and it kept rising. it ended up jumping on the island in the kitchen opening it would stop. that's what people -- people don't understand this is like a fire sweeping through a house. you lose everything. some of my friends telling me after ivan that they would be on their hands and knees and they would be trying for days to find something that -- find an old wedding picture that was -- and they would break down crying because they had something. these people have lost everything. >> we'll have several officials on from texas shortly. one of the questions being raised is why was there not an evacuation? >> a mandatory.
yeah. i don't know. we've been listening to an update from fema about the latest on what remains of hurricane harvey which is a lot. putting out as much as 5 inches of rain an hour this morning. one of the top officials told reporters you could not dream up this scenario if you tried. they estimate 30 to 350 countie are impacted in texas and louisiana, and they say texas is not out of the woods. around 30,000 people may be displaced. as dangerous swift water rescues continue, they're calling it a life sustaining mission. and people are watching nervously as they release water. overnight they released water from two reservoirs from the houston area to reduce the risk of destructive flooding. with us now on the phone is the houston police chief. chief, give us the latest right now. we understand we're barely halfway through here.
>> yeah. you hit it on the head. we're really worried about all the water that's between texas and the gulf. and we're not sure what the flow is going to be. all the rain seems to be subsiding at this point here in this area. we know that the threat of flooding continues, and we're keeping our fingers crossed that there's not another wall coming at us. >> what are you most concerned about as more rain comes in the houston area? >> i'd like to say we're concerned about a certain area, but the flooding has been widespread. this is a city of 640 squiare miles. we've had flooding in every direction. we're very flood proned city. we're continuing to pray that we don't get more flow. unfortunately, we're preparing for the worst because we know there's a lot of water coming our way still. >> chief, anybody who has spent
any time in houston knows how it's developed, and even going back to the 70s, the codes have been sporadic at best, and a lot of -- there's a lot of pavement there, a lot of areas that would be natural flood zones are now parking lots. are you concerned about where all this water goes? >> that's just it, joe. i'm not sure where the water is going to go, because it's just so much that we can't really absorb more in the ground at this point. luckily i don't think the storm surge we were worried about for today and tomorrow is going to occur. the storm has moved east. we may cut a break in that regard. yet, we still have way too much water and not a lot place for it to drain. >> where the water goes, a huge issue and a dangerous one. where are people going and are we able to accommodate them appropriately? how is that part going? >> well, our red cross partners
and mayor turner's great relationship with the faith community. we have people at a convention center, about 2500 people there. we've had 2000 rescue missions with the police department itself. and we have about 230 left. and we're just hopeful that sometime today we'll be able to finish all the rescue missions and then we'll go toward a search mission. you see if there's anybody inside the homes flooded to the roof. >> chief, given the sprawl of the urban area of houston and the size of your force and the condition of roadways and flooding, talk a bit about the degree of difficulty and the logistics of rescue operations. >> it's really tough. because roads have been impassable. our police cars, we've had about 30 of them that have been damaged or destroyed by flood
waters. several of our police stations have been damaged. we've had to evacuate three of them. and so when you add that up, people are frustrated. we feel their pain. i've had officers with tears in their eyes frustrated that they couldn't do more quickly, but we can't have -- we can't become part of the story by getting ourselves killed. there's just not enough vehicles, high water vehicles, boats to get all these folks. but we're down to a little over 200 rescue missions left and hope to get them done today. >> chief, as you've probably heard, there's been some criticism or questioning about the decision to not issue a mandatory order for evacuation. walk us through the thought process of why that would work or not at the time it was being considered. >> the mayor and the county judge and the police chief, the fire service, we all got together. we're a region of 6.5 million people, a city of about 2.3
million people. the event has not -- was not contained to just houston. it has impacted the entire state. for those that say there's the magic of evacuation, i'd like them to show me the magic plan that would have moved these people safely. especially when we have so many waterways across texas that cross highways they're using that are proned to flash flooding. i'd like to say we've only lost one confirmed death so far and maybe up to three. i can almost guarantee you had we evacuated this city, half of the people wouldn't have gone in the first place. and other half we would have placed them in greater harm. >> that's the thing. for people who haven't grown up in areas proned to hurricanes, you find that if you can evacuate a day or two before, they want you to do that a lot of times, but there comes a point where it's far more dangerous getting people out on
the road, you've got traffic jams, and then they're trapped out there. >> easier said than done. >> and then you talk about a real nightmare. then that becomes a real crisis even beyond this. >> chief, jonathan swan. you say between one and three deaths which is not as bad as it could have been at this stage. what are your biggest concerns over the next 48 hours what could lead to casualties increasing and what are you doing to manage that? >> a couple of things. first we're concerned about the flow of water that's coming from upstream down to the gulf. it has to come through here. we're concerned that's going to create a lot more flooding. i'm starting to not worry as much about the rainfall, because that's moved a little bit east. and the other piece you always have to worry about are the, i think, the scoundrels that show up after the events trying to
take advantage of people. we've had about a half a dozen people arrested for looting in houston. don't come into houston to be part of the problem. i guarantee you we're going to hold you accountable. >> all right. >> houston police chief, art acevedo. let's bring in bill karins. bill, you've been tracking this. you saw it as it was coming. how would you describe it now? >> i would describe it as probably it's going to go down with andrew and katrina. when it's said and done as one of the most memorable storms in my career. we talked about andrew. it was a devastation wind event that blew through. katrina was the huge storm surge in southern mississippi and areas of alabama and louisiana. and then the flooding on top of that when the levies broke. and now this storm. this is a beast in itself.
we had the category 4 land fall which was devastating to the small community south of houston along the coast. most of them were populations less than 10 thour,000. those people are devastated but it wasn't a city. now a break. 24 hours over the weekend, and then the epic rainfall over the houston area. we were more afraid of this happening than we were of the category 4 land fall because we knew the population centers at risk would impact hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. we said potentially we could get three feet of rain. we've done that and have two days to go. now we've upped the totals to a possibility of 50 inches of rainfall. let me get you to where we're at. this is the additional rains we're going to get. this is 10. the pink is 20. centered over the same area. houston to beaumont. not everybody to going to get that. we'll wait and see the feeder
ban bands. it will be minimal amount of flooding around lake charles. now that the storm is coming out over the water, it will drift for two days. it's starting to set up south of houston. here's a closer view. here's houston here. new rain bands are developing. the national weather service is saying these bands should shift over houston this morning producing 1 to 2 inch rainfall rates on top of the pictures you're seeing. it's adding insult to injury and the water will continue to go up. the other story is thousands of people will have new damage to their homes because of the dam releases. i was reading the information on the dams. they said they have to release the water out of those dams for weeks it's going to take because the water coming in is so fast that they have to open the doors to those dams. some of these people that have their homes flooded, we could be talking weeks, maybe even months
until they go in to begin the cleanup or assess the damage. >> bill, thank you. >> thank you, bill. nick, i was talking to the police chief about something that you actually had been reading about before, and that is houston's planning through the years, through the decades has included basically paving just about everything in sight. i remember my brother went to work there in the early 80s, and it was shocking to me. it was the only city in america where you could be driving, there would be a new skyscraper, on one lot and the next lot cows grazing. the next lot another skyscraper, the next lot an oil -- there's a joke that there's no serious strict zones. it's not a joke now. here we are 40 years later, and you've got nowhere for this rain to go. there's a reason why the water
is going straight up. that's because a lot of the flood plaplains have been paved over. >> sprawl and floodplains are not a good mix. it's been good for the economy and growth, but it's very bad for hurricanes. and officials in houston have resisted zoning and building codes to prepare for a hurricane. i was reading last night a series published in partnership with texas tribune. it was a year ago. they were warning that the next big hurricane to hit houston is going to be a disaster. so when this is over, and the flood waters -- >> specifically because of that. >> because of these problems. it could be an economic catastrophe. if it puts out of business refineries. when this is over and the waters have receded and people are safe, it's time to ask the questions about urban planning. it sounds cheesy, but it makes a
different in these kinds of catastrophes. >> you look at what happened in new orleans. again, that was a man-made disaster years in the making. because of the levies, because of the cheap construction, because of the poor planning, because of the corruption. and here after this, they'll have to figure out how to handle -- how they're going to handle the next one. >> it's going to be a long time. coming up, president trump is promising the governor of texas, the government's full support in dealing with the flooding. we'll speak with governor abbott straight ahead on "morning joe." knowing where you stand has never been easier.
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. >> we have much more ahead in the flooding in texas. also ahead, i have nothing to do with russia. i don't have any jobs in russia. i'm all over the world, but we're not involved in russia. >> that was donald trump in july of 2016. a new report in the washington post says that just months earlier the trump organization had tried to build a new tower in moscow. while he was running for president. >> also his sons. both of his sons said a lot of
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former trump campaign manager paul manafort as he investigates russian meddling in the 2016 election. according to the washington post, his legal team has issued subpoenas to several prominent washington lobbying firms about their interactions with the two men. also in "the post" a piece published late yesterday with the headline "trump's business sought deal on a trump tower in moscow while he ran for president." it says his company was pursuing a plan to develop a massive project while he ran for president in late 2015 and early 2016. that's according to several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by trump organization lawyers. >> jonathan, a lot to go through
here, but paul manafort, you were just asking the question off camera about paul manafort. i mean, him getting involved in this campaign was perhaps one of the most short-sighted decisions 2016, and that's saying a lot. >> it's really hearted to see what he is going from in this attachment. it's brought all of his dealings into the spotlight, and there's been reporting that the reason he got rid of the recent lawyer is he couldn't pay the bills. it's an expensive lawyer. this is literally ruining every aspect. >> i don't know how michael flynn and paul manafort don't get completely ground down by this financially, legally, and in every other way. all to defend donald trump? >> i don't see any loyalty to him at this point. it was interesting to see donald trump talk about manafort getting raided. he said that was really rough. was this sort of distancing? >> then manafort is on the cover of the national enquirer.
personal attacks, which, mike, that's exactly what the national enquirer did to flynn before he got out. he put flynn on the cover as a russian spy. you always know right before he got fired when that happens, duck because you're going to get hit hard. also, michael cohen now shows up as a go between in this deal when cohen swore they had nothing to do with russia. what are they talking? >> he worked for the trump organization he was approached by sader, and pretty much admits what happened in the post story today. to a larger point, paul manafort and general flynn, they both have limited resources to cover legal bills, but they will diminish quite quickly, whatever resources they have. the larger problem is on the white house staff. i would assume that everyone on the white house staff has got to
be thinking about lawyering up at this point in time. your point about manafort, and i assume general flynn as well, there's no loyalty now left toward donald trump, i would think. >> it's hard to think of ab official who would join the -- everybody else is taking a lot of heat from their friends. >> they'll have to face questions like look in the mirror and question the decisions they made every step of the way. >> also -- >> what do you tell your children? >> not only what do you tell your children? what do you tell your next potential employer when you go to be employed after all of this implodes? do you say, you know what, i got convicted of the flown. you don't march on from that.
that's the end, so you have to cooperate, actually, with federal authorities if you ever want to have any hope of making another dime and making a living the rest of your life. >> still ahead, texas lawmakers hit by hurricane harvey are now defending their no votes on funding for victims of superstorm sandy. we'll talk to republican congressman pete sessions of texas. one of those votes who came out against sandy funding. plus, texas governor greg abbott joins us live for an update on the storm. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program,
ask. texas will be far greater than fema coordinating the mission of the entire federal government. we need citizens to be involved. texas, this is a landmark event. we have not seen an event like this. you could not draw this forecast up. you could not dream this forecast up. it's been a challenging effort for the national weather service who has been putting out great informati information. you couldn't draw this situation up. >> houston is in a state of despair. that was the administrator of fema updating the situation in texas just moments ago. between saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday 1:00 p.m. the city 911 dispatcher too much in
56,000 calls. as the houston chronicle points out this morning, it is far from over. the president will visit the state on tuesday, and the administration so far is getting good marks for its response, but as the storm came ashore on friday, the white house was humming with activity that had nothing to do with the hurricane. it had every bit to do with appeasing trump's base. we'll dig into that and two of the most high profile members of the trump administration putting a little daylight between themselves and the white house. all major lead stories this morning, but, of course, we begin with the texas flooding. many of houston's sprawling freeways have been reduced to rivers with abandoned cars and semis littering the roads. last night in dartmouth, a traffic camera caught this water
rescue in kay, texas, on i-10 just outside of houston. first responders pulling a person from the flat bed of a truck. also, as of yesterday afternoon, the harris county sheriff's office said there had been 1,500 to 2,000 high water rescues since harvey began. >> it's been truly tough. roads have been impassable. our police have had about 30 of them that have been damaged or destroyed by floodwaters. people are frustrated. we feel their pain. it is -- i have had officers with tears in their eyes, frustrated that they couldn't do more quicker -- more quickly, but we can't have -- we can't become part of the story by getting ourselves killed. there's just not enough vehicles, high water vehicles, boats to get to all these folks. ska awe may only be halfway done
with the rain that is coming. the houston area could see a total of 50 inches of rain. >> wow. >> let's bring in nbc reporter julia bag from houston. julia, they say maybe 200 rescues to go. how do they know if they're getting to everyone? >> okay. every day neighbors, strangers, grabbing everything they can whether it's an inflatable boat or mattress and going door to door and checking on people. let me show you one of the trouble spots. we're on the banks here of this bayou. you can see the water rushing under this bridge. just in the last you weren't able to watch this on foot. you had to use a bet to get across this. in the past few hours we have seen the levels come down. i was just talking to a police officer about that. i said, you know, hey, it's come down a little bit. he said not that much. this is what we're watching for. to rise up again with the
forecast rain for the next several days. here's why. you can see the homes that are so near, that's what already caused so many high water rescues on the northwest side of houston as it curves around. what's been happening we've seen so many rescues, some people referring to stay inside their houses even with water rising to dangerously high levels. it's usually 30 to 40 feet lower than what we're looking at right now. >> julia, thank you so much. now we'll go to nbc meteorologist bill karins, and, bill, what's it look like in the
day to come? >> more rain developing. it's a rain forecast. it doesn't mean it's definitely going to happen. some of the bayous have already started coming down. we know for a fact one is not. that's the buffalo bayou because of the dam release. these are all the flood gauges throughout the area. we monitor the rivers. we like to know at certain levels what happens, what the affects are. that was the word that came out yesterday from the weather service. that we're in unprecedented territory. the water had never been this high before. >> there are two separate dam releases they started last night. that water will come into the buffalo bayou. the old record -- i'll give you a bunch of numbers here. 61 feet was the old record. that's the max height it had ever been. that was probably down due to tropical storm allison. the new peak that's forecasted is supposed to be 73 feet.
that's 12 feet higher than before the storm. that's 12 feet. that's crazy. that's like double the height of this monitor. yesterday it was 67 feet. we're going to add six feet on that one. we know that the buffalo bayou is going to flood thousands of new homes. that's where they offered the evacuation. they would like people to get out of the way if possible. it wasn't a mandatory. it was a voluntary evacuation. they said water will rise slowly four to six inches per hour. that's the difference between letting the dam just do it on its own or we slowly open the gates up. this was a new update at 5:00 a.m. advisory. the next one is at 11:00 a.m. it is over the gulf of mexico. it could try to regenerate slightly. not back to a hurricane. probably remain a tropical storm. minimal increase. winds not an issue. it's just how many new rain bands can it do? this was the forecast this morning of 10 to 20 inches.
we use the rpm forecast model. it's rapid. we get it every three hours. it only says four and a half inches for houston, and really pinpoints the heaviest rainfall towards the beaumont, port arthur area. obviously this would be horrendous flooding for are them. we don't want you to deal with additional misery like your friends in houston are, but we would also like to see this come true with lower amounts in the houston area. that's what we'll be watching during the day today. what happens over houston? do they get the forecasted ten inches of rain they could get in the next 24 hours, or is it lower than that? the lower totals mean those bayous would come down more, except for that one with the dam release. >> all right, bill karins, thank you so much. obviously 20 inches of rain in 24 hours is devastating anywhere, but beaumont, texas -- >> 50? >> that would hurt. >> we have mike barnacle, and nick, national political reporter for axios, jonathan swan. joining us from dallas, republican congressman pete sessions of texas.
we have been getting reports that a lot of people from houston that are evacuating are eventually going to end up in dallas. tell us what's going on there. >> joe, in fact, we do expect that. we have opened up our operation center in dallas. as you remember, during katrina we took in some 30,000 people. he we placed a great welcome sign then, and we're going to again. we will have beds. we will have physicians. we will have emergency physicians and emergency officials who are available. we have the faith community that's ready here. joe, what lies ahead for everyone is to make sure that after the trauma of water that everybody has their tetanus shots, that they get their medicine, that we take care of children. obviously, when people get together, we then -- whether we
like it or not, we have diarrhea problems. we have food problems. we have needs of people. we are prepared for this, i believe. the problem is that people are having trouble getting out of houston because of the bands of rain. joe, both of you are amazingly kind in how you talk about the neighbor to neighbor help. at church yesterday we talked extensively about being prepared to help our friends from houston and we're ready to do that. >> we heard from several friends in texas that we have talking about how the church is and i'm sure other relief organizations. i'm just talking to people that i know friends from churches talking about getting in cars, kind of like we did in katrina. getting in cars and driving over and everybody in dallas doing what they can to help their friends. >> we will be organized for this. joe, i would love to hear from discussion in your media about preparing louisiana and east
texas. people preparing themselves for what will be a flood. this obviously. >> what have you heard from fema and other government agencies? >> well, as you know, joe, the area of concentration about this tens of thousands of homes, tens of thousands of homes that find themselves not completely flooded, but at least probably the first 15 inches in a house. that means that tens of thousands of houses, the infrastructu
infrastructure. it is going to meet a mass of people that will be there. a federal effort, yes, but mostly neighbor to neighbor help. what are we going to need? we're going to need people to stay vigilant and know what we're trying to do, but the aftermath of this is where we have got to continue to stay up to this for six to ten weeks. two points. congress is going to have to deal with this appropriately as we have had to do over the last 20 years of big floods and attorney yoez. i would offer some bit of advice to the administration. to the administration and to the united states senate. they need to finish 100% of a confirmation. they need to finish doing their work rather than the games that have been going on. we need real live people who will be accountable and responsible for what happens for several years from the administration across the board, and i encourage the administration to finish often
its business. i encourage the united states senate to end whatever they're doing. we are going to have the needs of the nation to be looked at. we're going to playing help our neighbor. >> and, jonathan swan, we focus so much on the state department, but after one of these storms comes through, fema is not -- fema is understaffed, if spa is understaffed, health and human services. >> yeah, health and human services. >> department of justice. >> all of these people, if they're under staffed, they don't understand what an impact that has on taking care of affected areas like this. jonathan swan with axios, has a question. jonathan. >> to that point congressman, with appropriations, making sure that the money gets where it needs to go, can you talk us through what congress is planning to do and also help us
understand your own deliberations when these things come up? my understanding is you voted for the katrina aid package against at least some elements of the sandy aid package. can you help us understand how you make decisions like that? >> yes, i can. there were essentially an early package and a late package. one that went from about -- as i recall, that $17 billion to $60 billion, and i felt like that -- and i think most members from texas did -- that we needed to get immediate aid there. not the final package. the final package ended up being about three months later, and we negotiated and tried to work with that. this is going to be what an immediate package is. not the final package to help people in this area. we looked at the long-term impact that is still playing itself out in louisiana. >> so, pete, did you vote for
the first package, the $17 billion package? >> i -- joe, i have not had a chance to check, but as i recall, yes, because i was at the center of that negotiation. >> right. >> trying to make sure we did that. once again, it went from $17 billion and by the time it came back several months later, $60 billion. i felt like we could have been more careful in that process. once again, it's not really a matter of whether you vote against it or not. it's a matter of did the package, was it tailored to the need? we will tailor this only to the needs, i hope, and we'll be a part of that tailoring. once again, this is far larger. >> your goal will be when the package comes through, that it will be actually about aid actually for the people of houston and the surrounding areas in texas. i mean, all of us know that usually when these aid bills come up, you know, you would be lucky not to get five off ramps and, you know, in kansas. >> you understand this, joe,
because you served and understand the needs. what we're going to do is -- to answer jonathan correctly, we are going to -- the week we get back, which is not this week. it is next week. we're going to finish off our aid packages. it is far too early for us to actually to have except for an initial viewpoint the final package on this. it may take into december for texas to really get a handle around what its needs are. we'll address that. i believe people will deal fairly with each other. i'm not worried about that. >> so congressman, the package, whenever it's done, whether it's done in two weeks or in december as you indicated, it's going to be of immense cost to taxpayers to carry this burden and help the people of houston in greater texas. you have had tips that you just gave us for staffing, other departments, that are critical to this effort. do you have any tips this morning for the freedom caucus who seem to resent spending even a penny of public money?
>> yes, and i will tell you, we have watched our colleagues over a period of time as they had been impacted to come to a sense of reality. here's what i would say to you. the package needs to represent the real need, and in texas this -- i can't even begin to understand how large it is. this is maybe twice as large as the largest we've ever had, and i think that was back to 1982. what i would say to you is that my colleagues that are in the freedom caucus are very dear friends of mine and of a number of people who recognize the need. if the package is in any way bloated, it will have problems. if it is tailored to fit the need, then we can substantiate, my colleagues and the freedom caucus will be there. >> you know, that's a thing, unfortunately, you never know in the process when it goes off the
rails. first of all, our hopes and prayers are with the good people of texas that they get through this, and also, would love to have you back, pete, just to talk about this process and make sure that actually people are going to be spending tax money on helping the people of texas and not some side projects they've been trying to cram in to omnibus bills for ten years. thank you for being with us, pete. please let everybody down there know we're thinking and praying for them. by the way, that does happen. that happens so much. i think it even happened, like, in 9/11 relief bill. people were shamelessly cramming things in. >> every appropriations bill has something in it that is offensive to the -- not of the appropriations bill itself. >> still ahead on "morning joe" the law and order president pardons a lawman who broke the law. our legal panel dissects the get out of jail free card. plus, we'll get a big picture look at what texas needs now in
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amazing speed, coverage and control. change the way you wifi. xfinity. the future of awesome. violent clashes broke out in berkeley, california, where anti-fascist protesters chased, attacked, and beat trump supporters. as thousands of demonstrators descended on martin luther king -- the event was branded as a peaceful stand against hate rally, but quickly turned into the opposite. it came after organizers had canceled a separate anti-marxist rally citing concerns over safety. the los angeles times linked to this video posted on twitter which purported to show antifa members beating down an apparent alt-righter. berkeley has seen a number of clashes this year between
political opponents. some surrounding controversial speakers on campus. officers reportedly made 14 arrests over the weekend. >> nick, this is an ongoing problem. ongoing problem in berkeley especially. members of the far left are using violence to shut down free speech and there to shut down demonstrators. >> this is new. this is not just scuffles between rival political groups. this is shutting down someone else's speech with a violent assault. you saw the guy in the red shirt there appeared to be trying to help the guy on the ground. i think he was a different protester. when police see these guys coming in with masks, take your mask off. take your mask off because you
have a history of beating people and hiding behind that mask. take your mask off. >> well, i resent the branding of these as anti-fascist protesters. they are nothing if not fascists in their behavior. >> there is nothing anti-fascist about that. >> it gets to a wider issue that you reference, and it's the suppression of free speech on college campuses that is getting to near epidemic proportions where. >> this is a very extreme version of that. this goes beyond speech codes. this is violence. >> who was it? you know, i'll just say it. i find your speech deplorable. ann coulter, i think she had to have a speech canceled, but, you know what, she had a rate to give a speech. there are several others. the fires that were started and
the violence that's being started, the question is -- i don't know. this is an innocent question. >> yeah. >> who is running berkeley, and why can't they protect free speech? what's your problem in berkeley? why can't you protect free speech? if you need me to help you out, we can get some people that will actually protect the first amendment. okay? you know where we are. call us. we'll help you. this sort of thuggery going on in your streets on your college campuses is an absolute disgrace. sorry. go ahead. >> if you hate ann coulter, if you hate milo, the worst thing you can do to them is not show up to their speech and ignore it. >> right. >> but the second best thing you can do for them after agreeing with them is to show up protest, shut them down, and give them the theater that helps them show that you are the actual free speech oppressor.
>> on the campus of brown university in providence, rhode island, when police commissioner ray kelly from new york was going to speak to brown university students, and they bached and protested his appear yangs, and his appearance was withdrawn. >> what about condi rice? condi rice had to balk to not go. christine legarde. >> it's crazy. >> these are not far right extremists. >> the logic is that the circle of prohibited speech becomes wider and wider and wider. >> it keeps expanding. again, if i'm a president of one of these universities and their protest against condi rice or christine legarde to come speak or if look what happened, where was it, where the professor had her neck wrenched. >> charles murray speech. >> charles murray speech. >> what's going to become of
these mentally stunted snowflakes? who wants to hire a child who is so offend bid all of these things, you know, that are -- they're going do encounter. guess what, when they turn up at work, they're going to hear some republican-leaning views. >> i can't even bare to hear. >> mike, just for you mentally stunted snowflakes on the far left, let me explain something to you. >> everybody loves you. >> when i grew up, i didn't read the national review because i agreed with the national review. i read the new republic. i didn't read the "wall street journal" editorial page when i was growing up. i read the "new york times" editorial page when i was growing up because i knew what they were saying on the "wall street journal" editorial page and i agreed with it. this, mike, is part of the reason why democrats have become so disconnected and, yes, it is.
it is part of the reason why democrats have become so disconnected with america because a large part of them have lived in "snl" skit after the election where you can live in the bubble. the brooklyn bubble. they have lived in a bubble, and i know this because i went to southern state schools. i would be -- i mean, there were a couple of times i was -- university of florida, a conservative place. i would state the law and be booed at in class. i would say it's the law. the supreme court is saying this. >> has more than one bubble, though, joe. >> there are basketballs ubbles right and bubbles on the left. we have spent a lot of time talking about that other bubble. we're talking about the bubble on the left now, and specifically -- >> the snowflakes. >> college campuses and the snowflake culture that will in the end it will hurt the left if they continue to coddle them and
not throw those people in jail. >> nothing puts a bigger smile on steve bannon's face than the violence we just saw and this snowflake culture that jonathan referenced on college campuses and taken up, in part, by some elements of the democratic party. nothing puts a bigger smile on his face. >> it keeps happening in berkeley. who is in charge out there, and when are you going to defend free speech? >> every snowflake gets first place. you are aylwiners. >> you are all winners. >> still ahead this hour -- you're perfect children. >> so proud of you. by the way, if anybody disagrees with you, they're wrong. >> yeah. >> yeah. you need to be thrown in jail if you do that again. hit somebody on the head, go straight to jail. is there no law and order out there? >> we're good. joe. okay. >> we're all done now. >> some snowflakes just melted because they said law and order.
>> experts are already predicting losses of more than $2 billion as a result of hurricane harvey. we're going to speak live with texas governor greg abbott. plus, georgetown law professor jonathan turley and msnbc chief legal correspondent ari hmelber weigh in on the president's controversial pardon of former chev joe arpaio. keep it here on "morning joet." . needs a guy like you. that sounds made up barry. based on a true story... we're sending you to columbia. of the c.i.a.'s biggest secret. i have helped build the biggest drug cartel this world has ever seen. tom cruise. all this is legal? if you're doin' it for the good guys. [ police sirens ] no mas. no mas.
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zwro it's got a current. we went, and it's -- we have renters insurance, but the flood is separate, and we didn't have that. it's just everything is gone. >> with us now from austin, texas, we've got the governor of the great state of texas, greg abbott. governor, thank you so much for being with us. it looks like you guys are doing absolutely everything you can to get out there and help alleviate human suffering, but the rains keep coming. what are we looking at in the next 24 hours, and what are your plans? >> well, this is an
unprecedented challenge that we have faced with the horrific rains that we've suffered, and, that's, of course, on p to of the hurricane that hit land just a couple of days ago. in the houston area we are anticipating even more rain as well as we have bayous in houston that are way over flood stage, and they will continue to flood through the city of houston. we will be focussing for the next few days on the ongoing process of search and rescue and helping these people get out of harm's way ask get them to evacuation centers. some in houston. some of the evacuees will be sent to places like dallas and san antonio. our first and foremost mission is to save lives. >> governor, a lot of interstates covered in water right now. i guess the question is how hard is it to get some of these people that have been dislocated from their homes over to dallas and other places that are waiting with open arms? >> well, it's a tremendous challenge. in fact, because of some
clearing today many some of the airspace we may be flying out of galveston. today we are adding about 150 more boats in the water to help people evacuate as well as about 300 of these high water vehicles that can help people get out of there. we are throwing every asset we can at it to help evacuate people from their homes and get them to safe ground. >> governor, it looks like about 20 inches of rain may be coming to beaumont, texas. what warnings do you have for east texas? >> very important point because so many people are focused on houston while there's danger in other places. the warnings are, first, listen to your local officials and any warnings they may have to evacuate. if they issue evacuation orders,
heed those evacuation orders and have a plan where you will be evacuating to. second is watch for rising water. you need to stay off of the road if there's not an evacuation order because there are so many deaths that occur because of people driving into rising water. if are you in rising water, find a way to get higher and higher in your house or your -- the space where you live. >> hard to look beyond this given the fa account that there's still much more water to come, governor, but these evacuations, i think, one can assume will be long-term. i know that schools are now pushed to be open on september 5th, but with the threat to infrastructure, with the confusion as to where this water will be able to go and what will be left behind, is that perhaps a bit too optimistic? >> well, with -- as soon as the rain subsides and as soon as the release of water from all these rivers headed towards the gulf begins to abate here in maybe
seven to ten days, we will be able to begin the rebuilding proce process. brock long, this is a long-term process. he is progress nos indicating, it could be a year or longer to go through this rebuilding process. i have no reason to dispute that. the reality is we are in this for the long haul. >> governor, we can't do anything about the weather, obviously, but is there anything that you need that you don't have enough of right now? >> well, the most immediate need is the boats and high waters vehicles that we're adding too will be the food supplies. people need access to water and food, and we're supplying that. three would be what people need at the evacuation centers that includes braing et cetera and the medical care that we are organizing to provide them the main thing they will need is temporary housing that we are
working with fema on to make sure people are provided the housing they need. >> all right, governor greg abbott, thank you so much. please let everybody in texas know our thoughts and prayers are with them and your great state. >> thank you, governor. >> thank you so much. still ahead is the part of joe arpaio a sign of things to come for the trump administration and how the president may handle fall-out from the mueller investigation? that's still to come on "morning joe."
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>> we must maintain law and order at the highest level, or we will cease to have a country. 100%. we will cease to have a country. i am the law and order candidate. >> oh, really? it's really not looking like it this morning after he -- >> strange thing to say. >> he pardons a thug. >> that was donald trump back on the campaign trail.
it's the opposite of law and order. if you talk to law enforcement officers that have worked with this guy, they will tell you he is a thug and he is an embarrassment. >> on friday president trump pardoned arizona sheriff joe arpaio -- >> a thug, and an embarrassment. >> criminal contempt for violating a court ruling that ordered his department to stop illegally detaining people based on suspicions about their immigration status. attorney general jeff sessions -- about exposing the criminal case against arpaio months ago. he was trying to work it for him back then. trump was reportedly told it would be inappropriate to do so and decided to let the trial take its course.
do you think that's why trump and sessions sort of -- they really had a falling out there for a while. >> they had a falling out for a lot of different reasons. this is donald trump once again trying to inappropriately interfere with ongoing investigations and judicial proceedings. it's a habit of his. >>. >> let's begin with you. this is donald trump thumbing his nose in the judiciary's general direction, isn't it? >> absolutely. whatever you think of this sheriff was highly controversial for a host of i will lift activities, including racial profiling. this case wasn't over. it was proceeding through the federal courts, and any normal pardon process under presidents in both parties reviews clemency and reviews a five-year window, reviews what the lawyers and the prosecutors. the people that donald trump so
sheriff arpaio's tactics are unpopular, and in november he was defeated by 1 points. mr. trump's disdain for federal judges also isn't making friends in the federal judiciary. that will have to rule on his decisions in the coming years. a pardon is a depressing sign of our hyper politicized themes. >> donald trump does it on friday night. that plays to what he considers to be his base, but even conservative editorial paujz are objecting in the most strenuous of terms. >> right. some of his closest allies in congress as well. you know, the president politically maybe scores a point here with his base, which is small.
>> this is a question with how he gives the middle finger to the doj. there was a blog piece wrote about how president trump at his rally when he previewed the arpaio pardon said he was convicted of doing his job. he criticized the conviction. it's curious that he didn't let the legal process play out if he believed the conviction wasn't rightful in the first place. why wouldn't he let the appeals process move forward? >> joe, the rally was also highly inappropriate. you saw the meeting of the pardon power with american idol as the president of the united states sort of polls a political rally over whether he used his power. >> jonathan turley, he has that power. it's a question of whether he abuses it or not. this is not necessarily unique. presidents have pardoned people with terrible records.
you know, president harding pardoned one of the biggest mob enforcers in history with 60 murders accredited to him. that doesn't excuse what the president did here. what's really quite disappointsing is not just a pardon, but it's a slap in the rule of law. he could have done a number of other things. when -- he refused. instead he negated his sentence. he could have done that with arpaio. they could have continued to argue the merits on the appeal, but instead he wiped out the entire conviction and said that he went to jail for doing his job. obviously, he didn't. i mean, arpaio put himself above the law, and i think that's the key that i think is so valuable to this discussion. this is nothing really to do about immigration. we can argue about the underlying powers and issues of immigration. it has to do with the rule of
law. he disobeyed a direct court order. he can appeal it, but he can't ignore it, and i think that's what concerns most of us. >> nick. >> question for yamish in washington. as you remember during the president obama years, there was a lot of talk from republicans about the constitution being under assault, the president exceeding his lawful powers, law and order. what position does president trump's move on this pardon do to members of his own party who were making a big stink about this kind of a problem at least in the obama years? >> it puts republicans in a weird position because at this point the republican party is continuing to do this dance with donald trump essentially playing the music. that being said, it's that when they am could back in two weeks they're going to now not only have to defend the president's -- his comments on -- after charlottesville. they're also going to have to now defend his pardon. they're also going to have to explain why a transgender ban is
great for the country. there are all these things the republican party has to do, and you see in those remarkable comments when rex tillerson says that the president speaks for himself, that you see his own administration saying the president has real issues when it comes to understanding the values of america. >> and we just have breaking news here coming across the phone. trump plans to lift limits on types of militaryized gear police can receive ending a rule imposed by obama after ferguson unrest. he is going hard, hard, hard, hard to his base. his sh ink arinking base. >> there's been some polling that suggests if he does double down on the law and order message or reinforce his base, i think it's pretty clear to anyone watching that donald trump has gin up on whatever 50% or 60% of the public who don't like him, don't think he is doing anything to reach out to them. i think it's about getting the 30%, 35%. >> he is a 30% president. >> this military rule that you
mentioned as breaking news, joe, this was something the obama administration had done in concert with libertarians who said, wait a minute, why should weapons of war and this type of material from iraq be used on the homefront? that was a a bipartisan thing. now, he could do it through this agency rule or executive order, joe, but again, what we've soon other presidents do in the eighth or seventh year of lame duck, this president's doing in the first six months instead of trying to work with congress, it's all executive orders. >> very quickly, do you think that donald trump is beginning to pardon people because of what's coming with muler? >> he might be, and, you know, we always talk about how president trump is not loyal to people who are loyal to him. in this case, he was. sheriff arp was by his side throughout the entire campaign, he opened for him at rally's. arpaio's relationship with trump is similar to flynn's relationship with trump. >> jonathan, same question to you. does this set the table for pardons of his family? >> well, that is obviously the
great concern. the fact that the president has near absolute impeachment power doesn't mean it can't p abused. it means it's give on the his discreti discretion. it can be the basis for impeachment. if he uses this for tactical purposes, it can be an i abuse. but by the way, the window of a tactical pardon is sort of closing. the value of a pardon to people like manafort is to give it right now before he's tempted to cooperate with prosecutors if that was the motivation. >> wow. jonathan turley, thank you all for being here this morning. coming up, the catastrophic and relentless flooding across south texas is expected to have a serious impact on the gas and oil is industries. we'll go live to the new york stock exchange next for the economic impact that hurricane harvey will have on the entire country. how do you chase what you love with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis? do what i did. ask your doctor about humira.
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that have been knocked out. that's pressuring oil prices because if we can't refine as much oil, that means there should be less demand. pipelines are closed. a lot of the key energy and gas infrastructure of this country is located in southeastern texas. a quarter of oil production is already shut down. we're also talking about widespread damage in terms of the rest of infrastructure. two of the nation's largest ports are shut down. the second large nest the country. that's houston. corpus christi is the sixth large nest the country. that could halt a lot of the supply chain for other industries beyond oil. houston is the fourth largest city in the united states so, expect to see some economic damage for the broader economy in terms of the numbers. it's really too early to tell what those figures are going to be. but we can tell you, for instance, during hurricane katrina in 2005 $50 billion in insured losses has to be paid out. more than $15 billion from the
national flood insurance program. we could see numbers that match that. flooding usually isn't covered by home owners insurance so, this could be a national responsibility at time, mika, where already there are budget battles raging on capitol hill. and another big question is going to be the hundreds of thousands of people who don't have insurance and who's going to have to pick up the tab for that. early to i says the details, but clearly it's going to be a big impact when it comes to the energy infrastructure and just broader economic impact because it's such a big city at a standstill this morning. >> cnbc's sara eisen, thank you very much for that. >> so let's get some final thoughts. nick, so much obviously we have the flooding to digest but also the arpaio pardon, the transgender ban, the -- now this morning the remilitarization of the police. what's your take-away? >> i'm seeing at the same time we have forces in our country that are trying to pull us apart, make things darker, we
see great heroism in a place like texas right now, see people picking up and driving their boats from louisiana to texas to save lives of their fellow citizens. that makes me proud to be an american. >> mike? >> the heart, the soul, the spirit of america as nick alluded to is not in washington, d.c. it's in places like houston, texas, where people come to help others. they don't ask their politics, they don't ask their race, their religion, they don't ask if, you know, their sexual identification. they are there to help. that's who we are. >> we saw those pictures time and time again through weekend where people -- it was kind of like after 9/11, everybody walking out in soot. nobody's looking at those pictures going, wait, which one's black, which one's white, straight, day, which one's a republican or democrat. >> you referenced it earlier tx one that moved me was there was a clip of this african-american guy and the reporter comes up to him and it's flooding everywhere and they say, you know, what are you going to d, and he said i'm
going to go out and save some lives. and he just said it really humbly and sort of softly. >> we see it time and time again. mika? >> prayers for the people of texas. politically i think this president has proven himself on many levels to be completely dysfunctional. but i am looking for leadership in mattis, tillerson, and republican leaders, and i'm hoping. >> i'm hopeful. i think we of seen a lot of that, but again, my hope, i just -- i agree with what everybody's said here. it doesn't come out of washington, d.c. you see it in places like houston, texas, and right now across the gulf coast. western gulf coast. and this happens all the time. >> yeah. >> we see it all the time. we saw it in katrina. we saw it in 9/11 in the most dramatic ways. for some reason, for 20 years washington, d.c., has actually
encouraged hyperpartisanship and has exaggerated the differences between people across america. we of been saying that for a decade now. >> yep. >> and we see it first hand every day. so with all the suffering and with the tragedy that's been happening this weekend, there is a silver lining that i think a lot of us have seen. >> and that does it for us for now this morning. jans janua chris jansing continues the breaking news coverage of the devastating flooding in south texas. >> hello. i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. this morning rising water. texas staggers under the weight of hurricane harvey's unprecedented onslaught of floodwaters and it's not over yet. >> i just was walking. i don't have no shoes on and my shoes that i did have they're like soaked. my clothes floated out the apartment. it's just everything. it's like i just lost everything. people were carrying babies on their shoulders. all i could grab was my wallet and my phon