tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 8, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST
staff? >> we all serve ass at the pleasure of the president, if that gets to the place where it's not the case, we'll let you know. >> is it safe to say steve bannon is off the list of presidential invitations for the office of the president? >> probably so. >> i'm fired from a campaign. [ buzzer ] >> is anthony scaramucci still in the administration? >> he does not have a role at this time. i'm not going to comment on sebastian gorkor. >> the president liked omarosa, thanked her for her service. >> the security status clearance of rob porter? >> he is going to be leaving the white house. >> and then there were two. of the 11 people featured in those images of team trump only the president and vice president are still standing. and the last departure, rob
porter, raises pointed questions about why the white house would hire and then defend a man accused of domestic violence. joe, we'll get to all the details behind that disturbing story. but overall it just seems like -- the trump administration, the white house, has a hiring problem to say the least. >> well they really do have a hiring problem. it's expanded out. we now have a john kelly problem. a lot of stories just seem to have been breaking that show general kelly in a terrible light. whether it's calling dreamers lazy, saying a lot of dreamers were quote too lazy to get off their asses. or whether it was here, where he called this man who was twice accused of abusing his spouses, a man of great character. they knew about it going in. he wasn't given a security clearance. and yet he was -- able to do things that he should not have been able to do.
there is absolute chaos in this white house. and of course, it starts at the top. when you have the president of the united states yesterday when he's supposed to be at an intel briefing, briefing in all caps, that knew fbi texts are bombshells and you have ron johnson who of course was famous recently because he started the harry potter secret society, fbi secret society conspiracy theory. which was a lie. and was proven to be a lie. and now donald trump after saying the new fbi texts are bo bombshells, now you have ron johnson spinning up a new conspiracy theory -- get this -- that barack obama was interfering in hillary clinton's investigation. and he was sure that these new emails texts proved that. there's only one problem -- the hillary clinton investigation for all practical purposes was
over. barack obama was about to go to russia for, and confront vladimir putin on him trying to meddle in american democracy and he wanted the information from that. which of course brings one more disturbing question to light. the president's text really is a bombshell because it shows that barack obama was actually very focused and concerned on the russians hacking american democracy, but this president doesn't give a damn. just doesn't care. so that is the bombshell of those texts yesterday. we're going to be going deeping in that with the great "wall street journal" reporter, who broke the story yesterday. >> well, we start there. on this thursday, february 8th. with us veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle. nbc news national political reporter heidi przybilla. republican communications strategist and msnbc contributor, rick tyler.
and white house reporter for the "associated press," jonathan lemiere. good to have you all on board this morning. the trump administration is in damage control mode this morning, after one of the president's most trusted advisers announced he is resigning. the move by staff secretary rob porter comes after his two ex-wife's came forward with graphic stories and in one case, photos of domestic abuse. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker has the details. >> shock waves at the white house after one of the president's most trusted advisers, rob porter, resigned. amid allegations by two ex-wife's of verbal and physical abuse. porter sits outside the oval office, and controls all the documents that land on the president's desk. in a statement, porter called the claims outrageous and simply false. and a coordinated smear campaign. >> the president, chief of staff have had full confidence and trust in his alkts and his performance. >> overnight, chief of staff
john kelly called porter, a man of integrity. even as the reports of abuse by porter first appeared in the daily mail. including this picture of porter's ex-wife, holderness also alleges that porter choked her and verbally abused her. porter reported that i took the photos given to the media 15 years ago. porter's second ex-wife, told the "daily mail" that porter dragged her wet and naked out of the shower and was verbally abusive. in an account she confirms to nbc news. nbc news has also obtained a 2010 protective order where willby told police during their separation porter ignored her multiple requests to leave her home and at one point punched in the glass on the door. i called the police, afraid he would break in, she said. mounting questions about how porter was given such close
access to the president, and the documents that crossed his desk. a former white house official says chief of staff john kelly was aware of the allegations of abuse before the story broke. two sources familiar with the matter tell nbc news it is believed porter was never given full security clearance. although it's not clear why. the administration now on defense. >> i think that was a personal decision that rob made. and one that he was not pressured to do, but one that he made on his own. >> multiple outlets are reporting that porter is dating communications director hope hicks. who plays a role in all public statements from the house, including those that were sent out in porter's defense. and last night, chief of staff john kelly released a second statement on the matter. his updated response reads in part, i was shocked by the new allegations released today against rob porter. there is no place for domestic violence in our society. i stand by my previous comments
of rob porter that i have come to know, since becoming chief of s staff the and believe every individual deserves right to defend their situation. but i just don't -- these aren't these documents a part of a review before somebody enters the white house? i'm confused, joe, what's your take. >> well, they certainly are. and mike barnicle, this has been out there since 2010. once again shows what -- how fast and loose this white house runs with so many things. including screening individuals that work in the white house. let's talk for a second about the john kelly problem. we've said in the past that we were glad he was there. i've got to say in a week where he said that some dreamers were just too lazy and now saying that this man has high integrity when sources say he knew about
the two domestic abuse charges, certainly reflects poorly on the general. >> joe, yesterday i spoke with four different individuals who worked with general kelly when he was working for leon panetta at the defense department, when he was running the southern command down in florida for the united states marine corps and people who have known him for quite some time. and the common question that each of them raised uniquely in pretty much the same language is -- what has happened to john kelly? and that we don't know. but what we do know is that the fbi engages in security clearance info, for people potentially working at the white house and they clear them to certain levels of a security clearance. rob porter apparently never had the highest security clearance. the chief of staff would know that any chief of staff would know that the natural question would you ask is -- why not? why dot he receive the highest security clearance? he would then be told by the fbi why he hasn't.
the question is, why was nothing done or addressed about this situation prior to this week? >> heidi, what are you hearing? what was the story behind this? how did this man sit outside the oval office, as long as he did, without somebody flags these past domestic abuse charges and flagging the fact that he couldn't get the top security clearance? >> well the strong piece of information is that somebody did know, for all of the reasons you outlined, that this is exactly the type of information that was given to the fbi in the course of the screening process and that would be very hard to believe that it was not passed on to the white house and to john kelly. and the striking thing here, joe, is that rob porter is not denying this. the question is not -- did you take the picture. the question is, did you throw the punch? and he's not denying it. the information is most likely this was handed off.
you have two potential ethical violation questions here. the first is what did they know, when did they know it? why didn't they do anything about it? and the second is the situation with hope hicks and the fact that she was involved in crafting this statement and inn defense of a man who she was in a relationship with. and this is just the latest example on the pile of ethics questions swirling around this white house. >> so jonathan lamere, it doesn't seem like their screening process, their standards in terms of quality of people that they hire, is even halfway up to par. >> yeah and instead john kelly is going to be the central figure in this story going forward. i will say about rob porter, he's not the household name that some of the other departures were, he's not steve bannon, reince priebus or anthony scaramucci. but he grew in stature in the white house once kelly took over
as chief of staff. he was kelly's right-hand man, he helped control flow of information to the president. he was a frequent presence at trump's side. he was on his asia trip. he's someone who helped craft the state of the union and a lot of people in the white house who feel like the policy roll-out has improved in recent months give portary lot of credit. this is yet another moment where someone who has been given a vital role in this white house, someone who the american people of course are entrusting to do the country's business, comes in with all of these questions and seemed to have been let inside the door where the screening process, clearly was insufficient to let him in. >> and there's kind of a common strain alongside of a lot of these really controversial figures, some who are now part of -- flynn, who made trump feel comfortable. hope hicks, who is a perfectly nice person. she's 28 when she became
communications director? i think she worked on ivanka's fashion line? i'm not sure what anyone expects at this point. but bad judgment. the chairman of the senate homeland security republican senator ron johnson of wisconsin yesterday issue as new report that insinuates that the president obama was personally keeping tabs on the fbi's investigation into hillary clinton's emails. the allegation stems from newly released text messages between former fbi agent peter strzok, who was previously involved in special counsel robert mueller's investigation and fbi lawyer lisa page. in one specific text from september 2nd, 2016, page writes that she was preparing talking points for former fbi director james comey. quote because potus wants to know everything we're doing. the exchange does not specify the topic in question. at the time the fbi did not have an active investigation open
into clinton's emails. but in his report, senator johnson says that the text quote raises additional questions about the type and extent of president obama's personal involvement in the clinton email scandal, and the fbi -- >> good lord. >> this guy, joe? what's going on in his head? what has he been promised? >> rick tyler -- what is wrong with this guy? all he had to do was look at the date. and if he had just looked at the date, he would have known that for all practical purposes, the hillary clinton investigation had ended what, one month before? it was over. and barack obama was three days away from meeting i believe it was three days away from meeting vladimir putin where he was going to confront him on the russias trying to interfere in the 2016 election. now -- a staff person with six
days' experience on the hill could look at the dates and the timeline and have him take off his harry potter wizard hat and say -- sir, you better not go down the rabbit trail like you did before, when you talked about the harry potter secret society. there was inside the fbi when that involved the joke about a vladimir putin cat, calendar. now rick, if this were by a back-bencher, it might not be a significant. but ron johnson is the chairman of the homeland security committee, for the united states senate. and he keeps spitting out conspiracy theorys that are easily proven wrong. what do you make of it? >> rick? >> i'm not going to -- >> it's all on you. >> senator johnson, all he had to do was to check the dates but it does reveal one thing, and
that is senator, president barack obama was very concerned about russia interference in the election. but he didn't seem to take that public in terms of helping hillary clinton. so what i want to remember about this text between lisa page and peter strzok is the reason they're communicating on government phones, is because they're having an affair. and they don't want to communicate with each other on their personal phones. if you took personal phones from anybody in the fbi during the obama administration, not anybody but during the trump administration, i'm sure there's a lot of banter that people would be interested in and you can draw conclusions. but the idea that senator johnson would take this and try to draw a narrative that fits his preconceived notion of what is going on here, is really irresponsible. >> amina, it starts at the white house where the president of the united states says in all caps
that the new fbi texts are bombshells -- who told him that? who whispered that conspiracy theory in his ear. we don't expect the president of the united states to read and notice dates baurks he just doesn't read, we've been told time and again he doesn't read. >> and he surroundeded himself with people who are either massively unqualified and unprepared to help him or to have bad intentions. let's bring in "the wall street journal" reporter who has the new reporting on the true context of the potus mention in the newly released strzok texts. he's been covering these text message exchanges between strzok and page closely for the "journal." >> i wouldn't mind if you explained again the background of these two people, why they were texting beyond the fact that rick mentioned they had a relationship. what is new coming out of here,
what is being -- what is being edited for nefarious purposes as they are being put out in the public eye? >> well peter strzok was the lead agent in the hillary clinton investigation. he was in charge of that making sure it got through the process. and it led to comey eventually saying on july 5 of 2016, hey, we don't recommend criminal charges against hillary clinton. but we think she acted extremely carelessly in how she handled her email and classified information. he was at the time a top counterintelligence agent at the fbi. he was what they call a russia hand. he knew a lot about the russians, a lot about chinese espionage, that kind of stuff. he gets promoted. and eventually as time goes on through the summer and in the fall of 2016 he takes a leading role helping lead the investigation of russian interference in the u.s. election. lisa page was a lawyer for the general counsel's office who worked for andy mccabe, the
deputy director, they were having an affair and they did a lot of texting, thousands of texts on their workphones over this two-year period. and they bantered about everything from how much they disliked trump. there's no avoiding that. they disparaged the president of the united states, the candidate. and everyone else, including eric holder, obama's attorney general. and so they had definite political opinions and they expressed them and they were playing pretty key roles in these two big investigations. >> mike barnicle? >> dell, does senator johnson have all of the text messages? >> he has what i have. we've read, there was an early batch in december that if you remember the inspector general, the inspector general of the justice department is investigating the fbi's handling of the clinton investigation and it released a bunch of text message it is found between these two where they were very critical of the president. that led peter strzok to be removed as the lead agent for robert mueller's investigation
in july. and so now johnson has that batch and a later batch that was turned over in january of 384 pages of texts. so he has all those. there's another batch that they have rediscovered that was missing. that won't come until later. >> you say you have a latest batch of 384. the batch, does it come with any context? or is it just a dump? >> it's you know there are text messages that have been weeded out by the justice department and redacted. that deal with work-related matters, we're not getting kind of the more intimate messages. it's really interesting when they go back and forth they're arguing about a story in "the wall street journal" and it's pretty clear there's a subtext to the argument, that it's not just about the article itself. it's about something deeper, an interpersonal issue. so you've got to get all of the insight, the guys as they've led these two big investigations.
>> del clinton wilbur, thank you very much. heidi, the president of the united states and the entire republican party, they've been furiously pushing out one conspiracy theory after another, we could go through all of them. we'll touch on the harry potter secret society theory that ron johnson had. we can talk about uranium one, a complete bust. you know, for a long time they were suggesting that the russians had somehow getting our uranium and taking it over to russia and build bombs and blow us up. everything about that story ended up being false. the president of the united states all caps yesterday suggesting bombshells. the senate homeland security chairman saying this proves that barack obama was involved in the hillary clinton investigation which had been concluded about a month earlier. it's one conspiracy theory after another after another, churned up by the white house, senators and conservative media people. do americans even keep up with
this? all the lies that they're spewing out are easily proven. >> joe, we discussed this every morning as do other news outlets. let me just throw something out there. the second wave of coverage here, is the fact that when the story hit from ron johnson it got millions of shares. it went out immediately on fox news. the story that i saw last night did not include the context of when the september 2 when the texts actually came and the fact that it had been after the clinton email investigation was for all intents and purposes closed. so the factory of shares both on the internet and what was being beamed out on broadcast networks has a corrosive effect. because those people never see the second wave of coverage correcting these myths. >> speaking of fox news, we question the timing of the president's tweet yesterday, the all caps tweet it came minutes
after a segment on these texts appeared on fox news. so people have noted that it came at 11:10 a.m. at 11:00 a.m., ten minutes earlier, the supposed to be in his daily intelligence briefing. now obviously those things relate and one could say that's his priority. >> that's his briefing. >> joe, every morning we run the kyron at the bottom of the screen -- president trump calls fbi texts bombshells. what we could be running every single day as a result of what ron johnson does, what's coming out of the white house, what's coming out of fox news, what we could run as a kyron at the bottom of the screen is -- russia is winning. that's what's happening." >> if you see what republicans are doing, if you see what paul ryan did last week, letting devin nunes spread a lie, paul
ryan helped spread that lie. and what did we hear, mike? we heard time and time again -- oh, the judge, these poor judges, i think there were four of them by the end, they had no idea that he had had no idea that this was like paid-for opa research. devin nunes had to admit, after all the lies got out there, and millions and millions of facebook shares -- wait, they did know. it was in a footnote. now some idiots would go -- it was just in a footnote. the font size was too small. anybody that knows anything about the fisa process and knows anything about fisa judges, and knows anything about the clerks that work for fisa judges, and know anything about that process, mike, as you know, they know everything in that document top to bottom. beginning to end. all the way down to the lawyers'
signature. and they, they investigate everything. of course, we all know this. rational people know this the fisa court judges know this. the fbi knows this. but mike, this goes back to what we were talking about yesterday. you get fox news or the white house or devin nunes or paul ryan to start a lie. and the president churn it is up, people will do a facebook posting. it will get millions and millions of shares. and then guess what -- when it ends up being a lie, facebook doesn't send a message around saying -- you know what? you've been lied to again. this is a 40-second consecutive day you've been lied to and you've been told half truths. now you know as we're talking about how -- how 55% of americans get their news from facebook. we talk about regulations that need to be put in place. there should be a threshold.
where they have to send out a blast to every facebook subscriber, that got these false stories. that this story they got was a lie. and until they do that, they are being irresponsible, and they are actually being the megaphone for all the lies and conspiracy theories that are hurting democracy today by republicans and one day it may be democrats doing it. this is a bipartisan issue. >> i mean much of the stuff that people read and accept as truth on facebook should be dateline moscow. still ahead on "morning joe," the senate kauts deal on the budget. but it still needs to get through the house. for now the president seems to support it. not long after advocating for a government shutdown. plus pushbacks to president trump's reported plan for a military parade in the middle of washington. just think about that. in the words of one republican
senator, i think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud. >> it's labor-intensive, personnel-intensive, it's capital-intensive. troops hate doing it. they hate it. if you want to honor veterans, like the president says, the best way to do that would be for civilians to parade and then the veteran was stand on the sidewalks eating popcorn and drinking beer. but being in a parade -- stinks. we do whatever it takes to fight cancer.
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it's a fantastic waste of money to amuse the president. >> i was stunned by it, to be quite honest. i mean we have a napoleon in the making. >> i think it's entirely reasonable for the nation to be patriotic and to be able to celebrate the people that are serving us, the 1% that serves us on national defense. we've got to be cautious on how we do spend it. >> we usually don't do that. military parades after we win a war or something like this.
this hasn't been our tradition and it seems a little out of place to me. >> i think confidence is silent. and insecurity is loud. america is the most powerful country in all of human history. everybody knows it. and we don't need to show it off. we're not north korea. we not russia. we're not china. and i don't want it. and for that reason i would be against flaunting our strength. we don't need to. everybody knows we have it. >> some reaction there from lawmakers to president trump's requested military parade in washington, d.c. where i guess he wants his toy soldiers to march in front of him in line in lock-step. senator lindsey graham tweeted while he fully supports the
parade he hopes it will not focus on military hardware, but on military service and sacrifice. it will not, lindsey. republican representative justin enmash said he's all for a parade if it's to celebrate bringing out young men and women home from these unauthorized wars overseas. senate democrats have sent a letter to general jim mattis, asking how much it will cost american taxpayers. >> we're all aware of the president's affection and respect for the military. we've been putting together some options, we'll send them up to the white house. for decision. and i think that what my responsibility is to make certain i lay out the strategy and make the argument for the oversight of congress to make a determination of fully funding us, as far as the parade goes again, the president's respect, his fondness for the military, i think is reflected in him asking
for these options. >> no. it seems the president's requested parade was approved quickly. because i think it took place. early this morning -- yeah. there was a parade. did you see it, joe? >> look. there you go. there's your parade. ooh! that's north korea's military parade from earlier today. personally overseen by kim jong un, marching out their full arsenal, including their latest icbm. >> yeah, you know it is -- it does seem to be deeply unamerican. certainly in 2018, also, mike, there is the precedent before to in. i made several factual errors yesterday which is certainly not a surprise, regarding these parades. eisenhower did have military
parades and he had big military parades, complete with tanks to celebrate, to celebrate his inauguration at the height of the cold war. so -- there is 50, 60 years ago, this did happen after world war ii, after world war i, it doesn't happen much any more. it does seem outside of the cold war era, it does seem to be a bit frightening. and also it's hard to listen to the pentagon and republicans on capitol hill whining about money, as much as they do, that we don't have enough money for defense, we don't have enough money to take care of our troops. we don't have enough money to do this, to do that. and yet, they're talking about spending money on a parade for donald trump's vanity. something congress should not fund. >> joe, the core of this story is immensely sad when you think
about it. we have been at war for 17 years. there are casualties of this war who are one, two, and three years of age when the war began. the military has been exhausted. military families have been exhausted by multiple deployment after deployment after deployment to iraq and afghanistan. the military, the american military i would submit and the pentagon does not need parades as we indicated yesterday, we need peace. and we don't need a president rattling swords for an additional war perhaps with iran or somewhere else in the middle east. rick, i don't know about you, but the rhetoric we just heard from various senators, some of it was inspiring. especially senator john kennedy of louisiana. >> i agree. look, if the president had an affection for the troops, he would visit them overseas in places like afghanistan or iraq. >> no, too scary. >> he doesn't need to bring them here. >> the reason i think it's so
sort of people are taking aback bay bithis. we have our traditional, our culture in the united states in terms of military is we have civilian leadership over our military. we always have. that's been very different. other countries that we saw the parade in north korea, have military dictatorships. and our troops which are the finest in the world are all volunteers. and we don't need to project power in the way that trump sees this, it's all about, all about an image of projecting power. we don't need to project power, we have the best military in the world, nobody doubts that it's run by civilian leadership and everyone involved in it, they're all volunteers. >> maybe the answer, joe, is to just give donald trump a military uniform with epaulets on the shoulder and salad dressing to put on the left lapel and let him march around. >> he would have to pretend to be in the military. because he got five deferments while brave men and women were
getting shot at and killed in vietnam. which brings me to my last point, mika. it might be on this topic. it might be a great idea for donald trump to stand there and salute all the men and the women that went to vietnam and served in vietnam, all those family members of the 58,000 american who is died in vietnam. and actually give those men and women a parade, who many of whom were spit at and attacked when they came home from service. and spit at and attacked because of the lies being told by presidents and secretaries of defense. and how about all the men and women that had served so proudly as mike said for 17 years nonstop? in iraq and afghanistan. many who still struggle every single day with what they saw
over there and how they readjust to society. i think a parade without military hardware as lindsey graham said, to say thank you to those who have given so much over the past 50 years. i think that might be a good alternative. >> he also really enjoys the debate over it. and the deflection and the distraction. which is part of the game of this administration. >> coming up, the president promoted his remarks at the national prayer breakfast. late they are morning, tweeting about his success on "the apprentice." we'll be monitoring his remarks this morning at that breakfast. >> i think that's what would jesus do? jesus would talk about mark burnett and jesus' wonderful 14 seasons. and i, i give up.
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to negotiate the release of prisoners held by each side. a new report this morning in the "wall street journal" citing u.s. officials and people briefed about the discussions, notes it's the first diplomatic overture by the united states to iran on the issue under president trump. however, iran reportedly did not respond to the approach. and quote despite at least three subsequent offers from washington, so far has refused to engage with u.s. officials on the offer. according to people briefed about the discussions. the move is an apparent contrast to the administration's efforts to toughen its iran policy and the impasse leaves uncertain the fate of at least four americans currently in iranian detention. it is worth noting that president trump has been critical of the u.s. iranian prisoner swap of 2016 under the obama administration. that deal, which included the u.s. releasing $400 million to iran that was part of iranian
funds frozing by washington, since the 1970s, was called a ransom payment by trump. joe? >> it looked like a ransom payment. many people said it wasn't. but the timing was not great. jonathan lemire, my god, the more things change, the more things stay the same. you could talk about the dust-up over barack obama trying to get americans out of iran. we certainly understand when a president would be compelled to do that. you could go all the way back to ronald reagan and the iran arms for hostages scandal that broke out there. it seems that every president claims they're never going to do this or do that. but at the end of the day, here we have donald trump and this administration doing what i think they should do, trying to get americans out of iran. it certainly makes them look hypocritical. >> it's another moment where the president's actions run contrary
to his words. on the campaign trail, night after night he would highlight that the payment, the u.s. offered iran to release those prisoners, called it a ransom. suggested it was unpatriotic. and it comes also amid a moment where the white house is still trying to find its footing in terms of how it wants to approach iran and needs to make big decisions about the nuclear treaty going forward. where people around the president have said time and time again, they've counseled him privately, they feel like iran has met those benchmarks and the deal should be renewed. while the president himself suggests that he wants to pull out. as part of his tough talk on iran which he has painted as the primary villain in the middle east. >> senate leaders reach a budget agreement but it's not a done deal yet what still needs to happen to keep the government open past tonight. "morning joe" is coming right up. whoooo.
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we really again, are in a position to do something and we feel helpless, that's what the hard part is, helpless if our speaker speaker will not -- speaker of the whole house -- will not give this dignity to this house of representatives to be able to take a vote on a subject of broad debate in the country. house minority leader nancy pelosi made history on the house floor yesterday, delivering a more than eight-hour speech in protest of house speaker paul ryan's unwillingness to commit to legislation protecting dreamers. she began what was supposed to be a one-minute speech just after 10:00 a.m. yesterday and did not yield back until after 6:00 p.m. according to house historians, it's the longest floor speech since 1909. the 77-year-old democrat did it without taking a bathroom break
and in four-inch heels. you know what, joe? i also -- just listening to her words just now, i think it's a lot of conversations that has s happening on many levels. we even talk about it, it feels like a lot of people who love this country feel very helpless right now not just because of the president's concerning behavior, racism, misogyny and seemingly lack of any depth of knowledge on any issue, as well as being completely unpredictable and rude, but it's the compliance by so many republican republicans and the blindness to this behavior and it leaves everyone else who love this is country and wants to hold it together feeling helpless and just wants to do something on daca. >> i think that's a great shock. again we've said it before, i've
said it time and again that our founders actually foresaw the riseover an autocrat, somebody who wanted to be an autocrat, somebody who wanted to be a tyrant becoming president of the united states but they never believed for a moment, they could never even allow themselves to imagine that when that happened in the executive branch that the legislative branch that hamilton and madison put to check the excesses and abuses of the executive branch, that they would be so compliance time and time again. and, of course, that's what's happened much to the great disappointment of a lot of paul ryan's friends and we could go down the list, heidi. but here i think you have an issue that the overwhelming majority of americans support and that is letting dreamers stay and yet nancy pelosi stood
on the floor for eight hours yesterday trying to get paul ryan and the republican leadership just to have a vote. nobody expects paul ryan to vote to allow these children, dreamers, to stay in this country, but at least give them a vote and they can't get a vote. >> here you see just how little power the minority party has in the house of representatives right now, such that this was really one of few options that nancy pelosi has to draw attention to what is about to happen here and what is most likely about to happen is the senate will have a vote, they'll kick it over to the house, there will be much consternation, there will be talk of an unholy alliance between conservatives who really loathe this deal and liberals, but in the end house speaker paul ryan will be able to strong arm enough people in his concerns to get this done and this is what nancy pelosi is left with. now, you see while she had some applause there from her
colleagues, there are others who are really upset that there aren't more instruments here, like luis gutierrez who thinks maybe there are other things she could do which is to actually whip this vote and to make sure that no democratic votes actually slip through the cracks here. coming up, a top white house aide resigns amid allegations he abused two of his ex-wives. we'll have more on the vetting problem at the white house and questions about chief of staff john kelly's judgment. the "washington post" robert costa and politico's jake sherman join us with their latest reporting. "morning joe" is coming right back. for just $69, now is the time to discover yours. you can find out where you get... ...your precision... ...your grace... ...your drive. and now, with more than 150 ethnic regions to connect to, only ancestrydna can put your greatness on full display.
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try directv now for $10 a month for 3 months. no satellite needed. welcome back to "morning joe." it's thursday february 8. we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle, nbc news national political reporter heidi prisie przybyla, rick tyler, white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lemire, and joining the conversation, political reporter for the "washington post" and moderator of "washington week" on pbs, robert costa. also with us, senior writer at politico and co-author of "the play book" jake sherman. the trump administration is in damage control this morning after one of the president's most trusted advisers announced he's resigning. the mood that was made by staff
secretary rob porter came after his two ex-wives came forward with graphic stories and in one case photos of domestic abuse. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker has the details. >> reporter: shock waves at the white house after one of the president's most trusted advisers, rob porter, resigned amid allegations by two ex-wives of verbal and physical abuse. porter sits outside the oval office and controls all the documents that land on the president's desk. in a statement porter called the claims "outrageous" and "simply false" and "a coordinated smear campaign." >> the president and chief of staff have had full confidence and trust in his abilities and performance. i overnight chief of staff john kelly called porter a man of integrity even as the reports of abuse by porter first appeared in the "daily mail," including this picture of porter's first ex-wife who told the paper porter punched her, giving they are this black eye soon after their 2003 marriage.
holderness also alleged porter choked her and emotionally abused her. porter firing back "i took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described." porter's second ex-wife, jennif jennif jennifer willoughby told the "daily mail" he dragged her off the couch and was verbally abusive. nbc news obtained a 2010 protective order where she told police porter ignored her multiple requests to leave her home and punched in the glass on the door "i called the police, afraid he would break in," she said. mounting questions about how porter was given such close access to the president and the documents that crossed his desk. a former white house official says chief of staff john kelly was aware of the allegations of abuse before the story broke. two sources familiar with the matter tell nbc news is believed porter was never given full security clearance, though it's
not clear why. the administration now on defense. >> i think that was a personal decision that rob made and one that she was not pressured to do but one he made on his own. >> and last night chief of staff john kelly released a second statement. his updated response reads in part "i was shocked by the new allegations released today against rob porter. there is no place for domestic violence in our society. i stand by my previous comments of the rob porter that i've come to know since becoming chief of staff and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation." joe, this week -- and i've raised it a few times begrudgingly because we obviously have such tremendous respect for john kelly but what's going on in there? >> that's a great question and that's a question to ask bob costa. bob, obviously general kelly coming under pressure from donald trump apparently, i think
i read somewhere, ivanka trump wants him out as well and you have several unforced errors from the general, at least in the eyes of people outside the white house. he suggests that dreamers, many are too lazy to get off the couch and do anything, then, of course, came out and talked about the high integrity of a man who he knew had been twice accused of spousal abuse. what's going on in there? >> questions of judgment and conduct will certainly continue to be raised about this white house and how they handled the rob porter situation but the whole episode is quite revealing about how this white house actually works post-steve bannon, post-reince priebus. you have general kelly working closely with jared kushner, the president's son-in-law, ivanka trump, and at the center of that, that nexus was, of course, hope hicks and rob porter and they all thought they in a sense
were running the west wing. that they have been the power center and so when one of their own, rob porter, this clean cut rhodes scholar who gets embroiled in this kind of situation, a tragic situation for these women and what they have gone through according to their allegations, they were in protect mode. and that's what happened inside the west wing according to my sources there. >> jake sherman, yet another example of the president who says he hires all the best people actually hiring one person or another that he has to fire. >> i was talking to people on capitol hill yesterday, many who have worked in the white house in both the obama and bush administrations who said it's simply unfathomable that during a background check this kind of thing would come up which sources of mine and i think all of ours said it did clearly and this person would be allowed to be in the white house just to lay things out in a different white house, the chief of staff for a president or a senior
staff would say this person might be talented, he might have two degrees from harvard and as bob said he's a rhodes scholar but we'll take a pass because of this history, although we don't know, we cannot know what happened definitively the entire story, two women are telling very similar stories about abusive behavior both verbally and physically so we don't want this to be a distraction. now, again, i wasn't part of the vetting process but the fbi sources say had this information and presented it in some form to people in the west wing. >> jonathan? >> the timeline is pretty revealing. porter is someone in who in recent months had been a rising star in the administration and became a close confidante of the chief of staff and dailymail.com published these allegations tuesday, the move in the white house was to rally around porter, to really try to defend him. statements were crafted by press aides, including hope hicks who,
according to reports, is now dating rob porter, and kelly himself went to bat for him and made a real push to say we should defend him, he urged porter not to resign, to see this through. things changed the next day when the photos came out. kelly himself still went to porter and said i think you can survive this but others in the white house gave up, porter lost support internally when those graphic pictures emerged and porter himself deciding even though he challenged some of the g allegations porter decided to resign. >> i've been exposed over the course of my lifetime to the inner circle of at least three administrations closely. i have never seen anything like th this. it seems like -- to be kind -- bush league. >> when the president promised to hire the very best people and here we're seeing that from the start there were problems just from the very beginning --
>> they're all unqualified. >> and there's another question out here and this was kind of skipped over yesterday but sarah sanders was asked what trump himself knew and that is an open question which she kind of shirked. this is the first time if you want to call it part of the me too wave has touched the white house. it's touched congress, hollywood, industry and this is the start of also a discussion about culture and the question is whether it also kind of brings up trump's own past and issues with women. >> right. white house officials are anxious about this conversation that, you know, there was that moment where a lot of the president's accusers who said he had sexually harassed them came forward and the white house simply stuck to the party line of like deny, deny, deny, this never happened, this never happened but there was a sense of sensitivity that like we know this is an issue we're vulnerable on. and then to have these porter allegations come up, that's part of the reason why others decided
we can't fight to keep him. >> i think also we have to look at -- i'm going to hold my fire on this one and move on. >> one of the critical questions that we've gone around on here this morning is -- and robert maybe you can help us out by amplifying this if you have an answer to this. there are different levels of security clearances among white house staff and to achieve the top ruck of security clearances you have to get by hurdles and the fbi would know about background checks and what was in it and what was not and they would inform the chief of staff. so thus the chief of staff would know that, you know, rob porter, you can't come into the situation room when we're talking about this because you don't have that level of security clearance. so what did john kelly know and when did he know it? >> that is the question, mike, and i've done some poking around
reporting wise about background checks at the white house and what may have complicated robert porter's background check was that he didn't have a criminal record per se, he had allegations from these women that the white house was certainly aware of according to some officials there. at the same time, the president himself i'm told by my sources has the prerogative, he can make the decision to keep someone on if they're in limbo situation with regard to their background check so what the president knew about rob porter's status, what his background check was, what the white house counsecounsel'se knew, what john kelly knew, these are questions that have to be answered in the coming days. with less than 24 hours to go until the deadline until the latest government shutdown, leaders in the senate have struck a deal to avoid dealing with this sort of issue for the near future. the senate is expected to vote on a two-year measure today that boosts military and non-defense spending by $300 billion and includes money for
infrastructure and fighting the nationwide opioid epidemic. the figure marks the most significant increase in spending since before mandatory budget gaps went into effect back in 2011. the plan also adds more than $80 billion for disaster relief. when it comes to the debt ceiling, the budget would expend the maximum amount of which the government can borrow for one year. mcconnell and schumer celebrated the agreement yesterday, but not celebrating the agreement, many house conservatives. >> this spending bill is a debt junky's dream. in all probability, it will embark america on a trillion dollar per year deficit path until such time as we suffer debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy with the hardship that would ensue. i'm not only a no, i'm a hell no. >> i consider the president a
close personal friend and even if he called me and asked me to vote for this i'm afraid the answer would still be no. general mattis supporting it, appreciate the fact he got what he wanted for his military but at this point i think it's fiscallier response to believe support it. >> and michigan congressman justin amash tweeted "this spending proposal is disgusting and reckless, the biggest spending increase since 2009. i urge every american to speak out against this fiscal insanity." he later simple labelled the budget agreement with one word "pathetic." as for the president, one day after saying he'd be open to a government shutdown, trump tweeted "the budget agreement today is so important for our great military. it ends the dangerous sequester and gives secretary mattis what he needs too keep america great. republicans and democrats must support our troops and support this bill." joe, what do you think?
>> well, first of all, i'm shocked that there are a few republicans at least yesterday that sounded like conservatives. there's been nothing conservative about this congress. rick tyler, you have a bill here that guarantees trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. it allows the debt, the national debt, to spike towards $30 trillion. that's $30 trillion. it busts the budget caps. it allows government to grow at 13%. it's the biggest increase in growth since 2009, i believe it is. again, when we have the biggest national debt in american history and then we have the president of the united states who people have always gotten on
to me for saying that he's a big-spending liberalment and he's always been a big-spending liberal. always believed in that. here you have a president who says i'm not going to touch entitlements, i'm not going to do what it takes to save social security and medicare despite the fact that they are growing wildly out of control and are going to go bankrupt and now he calls the sequester "dangerous." the sequester. the one thing, rick that washington, d.c. has done in 20 years to show a little fiscal discipline, the republican president of the united states calls that "dangerous." what do you do if you're a republican on capitol hill with that? >> joe everybody's so different, i haven't changed. that's what i keep thinking is the refrain in my head when republicans used to stand for fiscal responsibility. now the difference -- and here's the distinction -- the difference between the democratic party and the republican party is one is a
tax-and-spend party and the other is a tax cut and spend party. at least one is intellectually honest, right? so these deficits now are a trillion dollars a year. the borrowing costs over a decade are over a trillion dollars a year. the pentagon got almost 30 billion more than the president actually asked and the republicans just rolled over. i know there is a republican party that represents anything that i believe in in fiscal matters. i think amash, i agree with what he said, but there's no leadership on this. so everything the republicans stood for -- this budget would have been laughed out of the congress if barack obama had introduced it. the president, president trump, said he was going to tackle these deficits and debts and get washington, remember, during the swamp under control and he will sign this bill despite the fact that he threatened the daca deal
which he didn't even realize was even part of the budget deal but set that aside, this is going happen before midnight tonight. >> again, more situational ethics for the republican party of donald trump but what we found, what i've always learned in washington, mike, is the only time republicans care about deficits and debt are when democrats are in the white house and the only time democrats care about deficits and debt are when republicans are trying to pass tax cuts. now that there's a republican in the white house and not barack obama, they don't give a damn, 90% of them don't give a damn. but rick is right, if barack obama had submitted this budget it would have been dead on arrival and for good reason. >> well, he never would have submitted it because he knew what would happen. but i mean this is just another indication of the hypocrisy game that's played on a daily basis in washington, d.c. joe, i have been sitting either next to you or alongside you or
close to you now for nearly 20 years hearing your beliefs on running up deficits and being conservative with money and i think it's a principle that most americans appreciate and understand. this is a $1.5 trillion addition to the deficit and jake, it's being hailed as sort of an advance -- a slow advance in bipartisanship. the senate finally acting like adults came together and threw this deal on the table and yet it's potentially a dangerous deal when you consider the short term and long-term impact biz on the budget. >> $300 billion in new spending. i want to take a step back here. bob and i were young reporters at the time covering this. but when republicans took the majority in 2010 with barack obama in the white house, house republicans would not increase any spending without
corresponding spending cuts from other programs. they wouldn't raise the debt limit without dollar-for-dollar spending cuts on the other end. now the bill says you can accrue as much debt as you want in the next year. there's no number on it. they're not even pretending that they want to rein in debts and deficits and i just want to be clear here. this is going to be a very, very tight vote in the house of representatives where according to my sources between 130 to 150 republicans will support this and the rest will have to fall on nancy pelosi's house democrats who didn't get anything on immigration despite an eight-hour speech on the house floor yesterday so i just want to make clear that this is going to be very, very tight and joe is right, this represents a complete 180 from where republicans have been for the last decade. >> bob costa? >> jake is right. congress is more complicated than the usual image of the far
right pushing the republican leadership around or the hard left pushing the democratic leadership around. who really pushes the leadership around in this congress? i think jake may agree, it's the committee chairman, the ranking democrats on these committees who want a deal. they are the power players in congress, they have the speakers leer, they're trying to get a deal together. of course the bases have political influence but when it comes to how congress works, it's the people who understand the system who cut the deals. >> i just want to point out, bob, also, the juxtaposition of this deal with this massive the defense increase above what the president requested coming just days or weeks after these reports coming out showing there's one agency where there's massive waste at the department of defense and yet we're shoveling this extra money at it. i talked with one of my best republican budget experts last night and he says this is the biggest increase in the deficit in terms of any peacetime expansion that we've seen in the history of the country.
>> oh, my god, it's unbelievable. we are getting to a point where i think -- i could be wrong but i don't think i am, mike -- that we're getting to a point where we're going to -- under donald trump we're going to have higher deficits in one year than i think america ran up over the first 200 years of its existence and we just keep going down that hill and i know maybe i've been chicken little for too long. i was concerned when we have a $4 trillion debt. a lot of people say why do you come to congress and they have images, tears up, jfk's call to service. i was a dork. i came because of the deficit and the debt. for whatever reason i've always been concerned about it. now you're starting to hear -- and i know you're hearing this, too -- in the financial circles you run in. there's growing concern about america's national debt. there's growing concern about it causing exploding interest ra s
rates. there's growing concern about the volatility this week is going to continue as america's debt continues to explode. it's doing nothing but going straight up as this president. >> the roller coaster of the stock market in the last week and a half or so speaks to that. . the volatility, it's more than volatility, it's explosiveness as people worry money is no longer going to be free. interest rates are going to go up and as jake pointed out and the key aspect of this -- both you guys, jake speak to this more, you threw it out there and it's interesting because it's so accurate. they're going to not only add $1.5 trillion to the debt but they'll be given an open credit card for the rest of this year 130 spend how much they want to spend on whatever they want to spend it on. >> >> if you're a fiscal
conservative you might be happy because this is the last thing congress will do this calendar year before the election so they might as well head home. i want to make a point about what joe just said. when joe was elected i was just rereading a book he's featured prominently in called "the freshmen" which was a book about his class elected to congress on an anti-incumbent -- very similar to 2010 throw the bums out mentality, entrenched democrats, we need to get rid of these people. a lot of those people -- joe not included -- are still on capitol hill so they bucked what they came to washington to do. so in 2010, we saw this massive class of republicans who got elected to not increase the debt and deficit and here we are in 2018, those same republicans have lost their religion and debts and deficits. so a lot of parallels between these two massive classes that changed washington in a big way are now completely abandoning what they came to washington to do. >> there's a nice way to --
well, not so nice way to put it, but they're sellouts. they're sellouts. there were people in my class that came in with me in 1994 who were fighting for deficit reduction. we balanced the budget four years in a row and they were tough as hell when bill clinton was in the white house. it will second george w. bush got in the white house, whatever he asked for, they rolled over and gave it to him. they didn't care. suddenly the thing that drove them the most to run for office, they completely surrendered because you had a republican in the white house and bob costa, it's repeating itself. i just sit here, then i'm wondering what do people like ted cruz who shut down the government if 2013 over spending increases, what do people like ted cruz think when the president of the united states says that the sequester was a "dangerous idea." where are these people today?
>> joe, with all respect to republican lawmakers, i've always been skeptical as a reporter that this is about debt and deficits, whether it was 1994 or 2010 or 2014. when you really talk to republican voters it's about change, grievance, anger, the global economy. they sometimes lead with debt and deficits and that's a core concern for many on the right but let's not say this was some kind of major fiscal fight that somehow has fallen away. it was always a bigger effort and bigger issues and more fundamental issues than the fiscal situation in this countr country. >> mika, a lot of us risked our careers on balancing the budget and we did it for the first time in a generation, we did it four years in a row. the only time that's happened over the past century and this is -- the reckoning is coming.
i don't want to sound like chicken little but demographic is destiny, baby boomers are in retirement, social security and medicare are going to go bankrupt,er skin bowl er skie e tell you every dime consume willed go to medicare, medicaid and the interest on the debt and the higher the interest rates will start going which will make interest on the debt payments explode. >> that's already the biggest spending program. interest. >> yeah. yeah. we are going down the fiscal drain and republicans better wake up in washington. >> and we're fighting over tweets in washington. robert costa and jake sherman, thank you both. still ahead on "morning joe," we'll go live to the white house for new reaction on our top story. top official rob porter is apparently still on the job with
plans to "step down soon" after a revelations of domestic abuse allegations. nbc's kristen welker joins us next on "morning joe." but if that's not enough, we offer our price match guarantee too. and if that's not enough... we should move. our home team will help you every step of the way. still not enough? it's smaller than i'd like. we'll help you finance your dream home. it's perfect. oh, was this built on an ancient burial ground? okay... then we'll have her cleanse your house of evil spirits. we'll do anything, (spiritual chatter) seriously anything to help you get your home. ally. do it right. hnew litter?lled this to help you get your home. no. nobody has! it's unscented! (vo) new tidy cats free & clean unscented. powerful odor control with activated charcoal. free of dyes. free of fragrances. tidy cats free & clean. when no scents makes sense. on the only bed that adjusts on both sides
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visit your local xfinity store today. we've been talking about the domestic abuse allegations against top white house staffer rob porter. the "washington post" spoke with porter's second wife jenny willoughby, she says the abuse began shortly after she married porter in 2009, detailing the first physical incident and describing her ex-husband as someone with two different personalitie personalities. >> he came and grabbed me by the shoulders here and pulled me out of the shower in a rage. professionally he is intelligent and he is measured and certainly
someone that i would trust in that professional position and in his personal life he is also abusive and angry. >> joining us now, kristen welker, kristen, what are you hearing about the timing for his departure? >> moments ago, mika, i spoke with a white house official who confirms that rob porter could be leaving soon, possibly as early as today. this is significant because yesterday when we first learned of his resignation, the white house stressed there would be a transition, that he would be involved in it, and now this is a very different tone that we're hearing from this administration. overnight chief of staff john kelly issuing a very forceful statement effectively saying that abuse cannot be tolerated and that there will be a swift transition. initially when we learned about the resignation, chief of staff john kelly was standing by rob
porter. i am being told that given some of the new revelations yesterday, the picture that came out, for example, that quickened the pace of all of this. this is a significant problem for this white house. one source familiar with this matter says the chief of staff was made aware of some of the allegations of abuse months ago so the question is why wasn't more done about it? the other question is when did president trump learn about this? the white house isn't saying. today he will be delivering remarks at the national prayer breakfast, but obviously this shakeup is looming large over his administration and there will be tough questions throughout the day this white hou house, mika. coming up, not everyone is in step with president trump's plans for a military parade. we'll get congressman adam ki
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parade! join us as the streets of washington, d.c. are filled with a thrilling display of authoritarian power! fighter jets! nuclear subs! a dancing steven segal! things that go bang! things that go boom! uncle sam on stilts with big boobs! the trump youth with their salute to the golden one and robert mueller in a cage! >> oh, god, this is -- i mentioned this to my daughter on face time yesterday, i said the president wants a military parade and she said "that's messed up." and that was it, she just was totally -- joe, she was just like what has happened to us that we have this guy coming up with these ideas? joining us now from capitol hill -- dictatorial ideas. member of the house foreign affairs committee, republican congressman adam kinsinger of illinois. representative kinzinger is a
pilot in the air national guard. thank you for your service. joe? >> you bet. going to go down a checklist quickly. military parade. good idea? bad idea? >> i think depends. bad idea if you're talking about tanks and icbm's rolling down, if it's a military review which is ranks of people saluting the commander-in-chief, okay. >> okay. what about the budget deal? obviously a lot of concerns. it busts the budget caps, it gives us -- moves us again toward record deficits, pushes us closer towards $30 trillion. it's going to unsettle the markets even more down the road. what do you think about the president's budget plan? >> well, it's -- i'm going to vote for it depending on the details. we haven't seen the details, just top line, so i put that caveat out there because you never know.
but we've neglected our military and there's a massive cost of rebuilding the military the longer you neglect it. same with interstates and bridges. secondly we can't sit -- i have my colleagues that come on all the time on tv and that say we need to bomb isis and be ready for north korea and have missile defense and they name these litany of things but then vote against giving the people the funds to do it. that said, with the deficit issue, the problem is -- and we all know this, just nobody talks about it -- 75% of federal spending congress doesn't even have control over, we don't appropriate. it's entitlement spending. some people get offended by that term, it's what it's officially called and you can take things whether it's like social security or medicare for a guy like me who's 39, almost 40 and say we're going to make changes for you, adam, to save it for the current generation, and that levels the debt trajectory, but we're not having those conversations. >> but this deal adds $500 billion to spending. if not now, when are republicans
going to start worrying about long-term debt? deficits? >> i think we're worried. we've been talking about it. you know paul ryan well. i have a hard time thinking we can get meaningful reform for entitlements for young people even through the senate. if you look at the debt curve, it's not ten years, it's 20 and 30. now this is getting into inside baseball but if we could look at a budget window outside of ten years and make changes to take effect in ten years and watch that curve come down, we can solve the problems but it will take both sides holding hands and jumping off the cliff which we're very reticent to do out here, unfortunately. >> but you're talking about needing willing partners. republicans control everything. you passed a massive tax cut that will add $1.5 trillion of
the national debt. this spending bill is going to add a lot of money to the national debt. it seems like republicans should be in a better position today to control spending than ever. >> but we know the reality. 60 votes in the senate and even our own folks in the senate if we talk about we want to do the long-term things to fix the debt problem, it won't get through the senate. it's a reality so what happens is we say we want to fix the military, the democrats say they have priorities on the domestic side and we're getting a 1.3 to 1 spending increase. it's not perfect but when we're looking at what our military is facing and saying if we go into a government shutdown the answer will be worse but we need the president to say how can we get through this entitlement issue -- not scaring current seniors, that's what we do too
much, how can we hold hands and fix this problem together? i'm not overly optimistic it will happen today but it needs to. >> republicans have run on the idea of deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility. we were told -- conservatives were told if we won the house we would get all kinds of meaningful reforms done and if we won the senate and presidency, we have all three. moreover, as the president is saying, republicans are saying, the economy is growing at a good rate. the stock market is at record highs. if now is not the time to close budget gaps and deficits as you say you'd like to do, describe a better time when we can have more fiscal responsibility and republicans would actually stand for fiscal responsibility, paul ryan who wrote the road map who is going to get us out of debt seems to have lost his gps. >> so now is the time, eight years ago was the time. the problem is we got into this
position because of something called the budget control act. instead of having the courage to cut $2.1 trillion to the national debt and deficit by going into areas that -- called entitlement spending that people are like, oy, man that's always tough to deal with, this thing called sequester which was a blunt hammer never intended to happen, happened and that's where we went across-the-board cuts to domestic spending and across the board cuts to the military. we had 80 military training deaths last year, three times the number of military that died in combat, that's because of this degrading military capacity so looking at this saying we have to reverse that blunt fiscal hammer to the military, there's a cost for the democrats to be on board, which is domestic spending and i wish, i would pray, i would hope, that we could look at the long-term issue in this country starting tomorrow. i'm just not optimistic that will happen. but i'm talking about it on national tv, which most politicians would run away from because it's essential we have to get done. >> congressman, many economists
are struggling to understand the rationale in terms of the timing of these tax cuts in a time when we're almost near full employment where we should be using the money to plug that deficit gap but there is one explanation that some democrats provide and that is that you want to actually force these cuts to touching that third rail to put us in a situation where we have to make these drastic cuts to these entitlement programs. can you please speak to that question? >> look, that is extreme hyperbole. basically they're assigning extremely terrible motives to us. i know the people i serve with out here. i don't think my friends in the democratic party have bad intentions. we don't have bad intentions. we don't do tax cuts so we create a terrible deficit and are forced to deal with entitlements, we do want to balance the budget but in our view -- and it's a different political opinion than the other side of the aisle -- we believe just like a business in debt that decides to expand to get
out of debt, that's the example here, we have to reinvigorate an economy that's been stagnated. middle-class wages are growing and this is the next issue we have to deal with. we have close to full unemployment. we have a lot of people that are underqualified that we need to work with job training programs and we have to understand there's going to be a labor shortage in this country so when we talk about immigration reform, one of those things is how to bring high-skilled visas here to have people that get educated in the united states stay in the united states and start their business. >> congressman, jonathan lemire. i want to get your take on these revelations and text messages that we've seen among fbi agents about both now president trump but also what they've said about then president obama and what he has asked about the russia probe last year. moreover, broader point, what do you think of these sustained attacks from the white house and other members of your party against the bureau? >> so, look, the bureau's filled with a bunch of heroes, i have a good friend that i used to fly
with in the military that's an fbi agent now. we all know fbi agents, these are people that don't get paid a lot of money and put their lives at risk. i don't like when anybody tries to discredit the bureau as a whole. to the extent that there were improprieties we should know about it. we've released our memo. i'm fully in favor of the democrats releasing their memo as long as sources and methods aren't shown which supposedly there are in this so let's see what this is. we can make a determination and i would love to see is the intel committee get back to determining what we need to determine in terms of collusion, in terms of election meddling and everything else and i think most of us out here would say the robert mueller investigation is not affected by this, it needs to go forward and we need to find out what happened and ultimately if anybody is guilty they'll be held accountable and if anybody is innocent they'll be adjudicated. >> congressman adam king zings thank you very much. up next, the olympic games
begin amid tension with standoff with the north. the vice president is there for the games and he's not feeling very diplomatic. willie geist joins us live from south korea next on "morning joe." who's the new guy? they call him the whisperer. the whisperer? why do they call him the whisperer? he talks to planes. he talks to planes. watch this. hey watson, what's avionics telling you? maintenance records and performance data suggest replacing capacitor c4.
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vice president mike pence arrived in south korea earlier today where he will attend tomorrow's opening ceremony of the winter olympics. yesterday he met with japanese prime minister shinzo abe. in a joint statement, they urged the world not to fall for north korea's "smile diplomacy" surrounding the olympics. and, joe, i know you have a special guest and the one sheep points out he is tv's own. take it away. >> well, he is tv's own willie geist. and you know, like dick button, willie geist himself back there, i guess it was the early '60s, a
great olympic hero. he was the curling hero. the first american to win curling. four olympics in a row. of course his detainment in turkey sort of sidetracked his career. but career. but willie, i would ask you how the trip is going so far, but i follow you on instragram and i saw a special message that you were given when you were flying over on your laptop. tell everybody what your beautiful daughter -- >> the message that surprised you. >> well, so i'm away for three weeks. you leave a 10-year-old, 8-year-old, that is not great news to them. so i got on the plane and opened my laptop and there was a word document open, it was from my son george, and he said i love you gaddaddy, i miss you alread. how is korea so far. so that keeps you going through the 14 hour time difference. but when i got stripped of my medals, i didn't even knee that they tested for that thing that we tested positive for.
so in my defense, that was a bogus doping scandal about that. >> by the way, who use could have known back then in '72 that heroin was a banned substance? come on. no, seriously, willie -- >> that this has gone off the rail. >> now that we've gotten our midnight express story out of the way on turkey, tell me about the at wilt mosatmosphere. you are in what many people thought might be a warzone. is there is a different atmosphere there than past olympics? >> yeah, it's really interesting because obviously as mika said, north korea held the in i will taker parade that was supposed to take place in april. kim jong-un moved it up until the day before the opening ceremonies in south korea. now, that flies in the face of a bunch of other moves he's made to reach out. tomorrow in that olympic stadium, the north and south korean teams will march in
together under a unified flag. the man on tp will not show ther between the two countries. he has north korean players on the wimgomen's hockey team play with south korean players. and he announced that his sister will be here and now we've learned that the president of south korea will have lunch with kim jong-un's sister tomorrow. now, i'm told that no member of the family has been to south korea sink the doce the korean that is a big breakthrough. he shows the military might with the parade, but a lot of people frankly aren't buying it, they say he is trying to put on a propaganda front, that he is trying to show the world they don't believe it but trying to show that he can be makignanimo and all the while developing nuclear weapons. united states and south korea suspended all the military
exercises until march. so you have the appearance of some outreach and some diplomacy from north korea, but also the rapid development of a nuclear program and showing that off in a parade today. >> and of course i may have confused some viewers, but midnight run was starring charles groden, midnight express is what we modeled our life after. >> that's right. >> mika, next question. >> willie, i'm just wondering at this point when you're going to come back. because we miss you here. and -- >> i miss you guys too. what if you came here? it's a long flight, i'll say that. >> no. >> willie, where are you actually? it looks like the secaucus mall behind you. >> and tell us about the events already happening. >> yeah, the garden state plaza. you can see the spaghetti factory right over my shoulder. a lovely shot, isn't it?
we're right by the coast actually. so there are these two clusters, the coast has the indoor stuff, the hockey and speed skating, figure skating. and up in the mountains, you get the skiing and sledding. and i'm staying up in the mountains. so two complacencies about 45 minutes between each other. but, yeah, i'm not quite sure what that is behind me. >> what is the security like over there? >> it's everywhere. the other interesting thing that you forget until you're here, the people who live in south korea live under there constant threat of what might come from the north. so yes, there has been news recently because what is coming out of the united states and the heightened rhetoric like what you heard from vice president pence, but they say every day we expect something to happen. so we're always on alert. and in seoul, they are 35 miles from the border. 50 miles from the olympics to the north korean border here. so i think security is always tight, but certainly it is
tighter right now in anticipation of what could happen across the border. >> you look cold. vice president pence of course is about to arrive at the olympics. he has not softened any of the administration's rhetoric towards north korea. have you gotten any sense as to what his schedule will be like there? do we expect him to make any sort of outreach to the north koreans while he is at the games? >> well, he had indicated that he would be willing to sit down and talk with some member of the north korean delegation, the ceremonial head of state, not kim jong-un, but ceremonial head of state also will be here. and vice president pence initially indicated that he might be willing to talk or have lunch or have a hand shake with that representative. north korea came out today and said we have no interest in having a meeting with the united states. we know have not pence and his wife karen will be at the opening ceremony joined by the parents of on totto warmbier of
course the young man who was in captive and ultimately died. so the vice president sending a signal just by who he is bringing to the opening ceremony tomorrow. >> tv's own willie geist, thank you very much. we miss you. >> all right, guys. we'll see you you soon. still ahead, the same u.s. senator who warned about an fbi secret society now has a new conspiracy theory. more leaked text messages that weren't the smoking gun he claimed they were. plus a new scandal rocking the white house this morning. what chief of staff john kelly is saying after defending a top white house official who is accused of abusing his two ex-wives. we'll be right back. eate somethg this extravagant? or make a back seat that feels nothing like a back seat? why give it every feature you could want, along with a few you didn't know you needed? it's simple. you can build a car,
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do not take stelara® if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. we're fed up with your unpredictability. remission can start with stelara®. talk to your doctor today. janssen wants to help you explore cost support options for stelara®. the evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of questionable instances is what led the president to ask for general flynn's resignation. [ buzzer ] >> i'd like to read a statement from the president on the resignation of press seblgcreta sean spicer. >> does the president have confidence in his chief of staff? >> we all serve at the pleasure of the president and if it gets to a place where that isn't the case, he will let you know. [ buzzer ] >> safe to say steve bannon is off the list of social invitation for the white house? >> probably so. [ buzzer ] >> i helped steer a candidate
win 38 primaries and caucuses. >> is scaramucci in the splaiksz. >> he does not have a role. i won't comment. >> the president likes am ros omarosa. thanked her for her service. >> can you clarify the security clearance of rob porter? >> he will be leaving the white house. and then there were two of the 11 people featured in those images of team trump, only the president and vice president are still standing. and the last departure, rob porter, raises questions about why the white house would hire and then defend a man accused of domestic violence. joe, we'll get to all the details behind that disturbing story, but overall, it just seems like the trump administration, the white house,
has a hiring problem to say the least. >> well, they really do have a hiring problem. we now have a john kelly problem, a lot of stories just seem to have been breaking that show general kelly in a terrible light, whether it is calling dreamers lazy saying that a lot of dreamers were too lazy to get off their asses or where here where he called this man who was twice accused of abusing his spouses a man of great character. they knew about it going in. he wasn't given a security clearance. and yet he was able to do things that he should not have been able to do. there is absolute chaos in this white house. and of course it starts at the top when you have the president of the united states yesterday when he was supposed to be at an intel briefing, briefing in all caps that the fbi -- new fooi te fbi texts are bombshells.
and then ron johnson famous recently because he started the harry potter secret society, fbi secret society conspiracy theory, which was a lie. and was proven to be a lie. and now donald trump after saying the new fbi texts are bombshells, then you have ron johnson -- orii don't know whet we should call him harry spinning up a new conspiracy theory, get this, that barack obama was interfering in hillary clinton's investigation and he was sure that these new e-mails -- texts prove that. there is only one problem. the hillary clinton investigation for all practical purposes was over. barack obama was about to grow go to russia and confront vladimir putin on him meddling in american democracy and he wanted the information from that. which of course brings one more disturbing question to light,
the president's text really is a bombshell because it shows that barack obama was actually very focused and concerned on the russians hacking american democracy, but this president doesn't give a damn. so that really is the bombshell of those texts yesterday. and we'll be going deeper into that with a great "wall street journal" reporter who broke the story yesterday. >> well, we start there on this thursday february 8. with us we have mike barnicle, our national reporter heidi, and also strategist and trish rick tyler and white house reporter jonathan la mere. good to have you all on board. so the trump administration is in damage control mode this morning after one of the president's most trusted advisers announced he is resigning.
the move by staff sect rob porter comes after his two ex-wives came forward with graphic stories and in one case photos of domestic abuse. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker has the details. >> reporter: shockwaves at the white house after one of the president's most trusted advisers rob porter resigned amid allegations by two ex-wives of verb allege and physical abuse. porter sits outside the oval office and controls all the documents that land on the president's desk. in a statement, porter called the claims outrageous and simply false. and a coordinated smear campaign. >> the president chief of staff have had full confidence and trust in his abilities and his performance. >> reporter: overnight chief of staff john kelly called porter a man of integrity, even as the reports of abuse by porter first appearedhe "daily mail," including this picture of his first ex-wife who says he gave her this black eye soon after
their 2003 marriage. she also says porter choked her and emoegtstionally abused her. porter saying i took the photos nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is no where close to what is being described. porter's second ex-wife says he dragged her wet and naked out of the shower and was verbally abusive. nbc news has also obtained a 2010 protective order where she told police during their separation porter ignored her multiple requests to leave her home and at one point punched in the glass on the door. i called the police afraid that he would break in, she said. mounting questions about how porter was given such close access to the president and the documents that crossed his desk. a former white house official says chief of staff john kelly was aware of the allegations of abuse before the story broke, two sources familiar with the matter tell nbc news that it is believed porter was never given full security clearance,
although it is not clear why. the administration now on defense. >> i think that was a personal decision that rob made and one that he was not pressured to do but one that he made on his own. >> multiple outlets are reporting that porter is dating communications director hope hicks who plays a role in all public statements from the white house including those that were sent out in porter's defense. and last night chief of staff john kell wlreleased a second statement reading in part i was shocked by the new allegations released today against rob porter. there is no place for domestic violence in our society. i stand by my previous comments of rob porter that i have come to know since becoming chief of staff and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation. but i just don't -- these -- aren't these documents a part of a review before somebody enters
the white house? i'm confused, joe. >> well, they certainly are. and mike barnicle, this has been out there for -- since 2010. it once again shows how fast and loose this white house runs with so many things, including screening individuals that work in the white house. but let's talk for a second about the john kelly problem. we've said in the past that we were glad he was there. i've got to say, in a week where he said that some dreamers were too lazy, and now saying that this man has high integrity when sources say he knew about the two domestic abuse charges certainly reflects poorly on the general. >> yesterday i spoke with four different individuals who worked with general kelly when he was working for leon panetta at the defense department when he was running the southern command down in florida in the united
states marine corps. and people who have known him for quite some time and the common consensus, common question that each raised uniquely, what has happened to john kelly. and that we don't though. b though. but we do know that the fbi engages in security clearance info for people potentially working at the white house and they clear them to certain levels of a security clearance. rob porter apparently never had the highest security clearance. the chief of staff would know that. the natural question you would ask is, why not. why didn't he receive the highest security clearance. you would then be told by the fbi why he hasn't. the question is why was nothing done or addressed about this situation prior to this week. >> heidi, what are you hearing, what is the story behind this, how did this man sit outside the white house -- the oval office
as long as he did without somebody flagging these past domestic abuse charges and the fact that he couldn't go the top security clearance? >> the strong piece of information is that somebody did know for all of the reasons that you outlined, that this is exactly the type of information that was given to the fbi in the course of the screening process and that would be very hard to believe that it was not passed on to the white house and to john kelly. and the striking thing here is that rob porter is not denying this. the question is not did you take the picture. the question is did you throw the punch. and he's not denying it, the information is that most likely this was handed off. and you have two potential ethical violation questions here. ment first is what did they know, when did they know it, why didn't they do thinking about it. and the second is the situation with hope hicks and the fact that she was involved in crafting this statement in defense of a man who she was in
a relationship with. and this is just the latest example on the pile of ethics questions swirling around this white house. >> so jonathan, i'm not sure what more there is to say about this. it doesn't seem like their screening process, their standards in terms of quality of people that they hire, is even halfway up to par. >> and john kelly will be the central figure in this story going forward it appears. but i will say about rob porter, he is not the household name that some of the owe departures were. he is not steve bannon, not reince priebus, but he is someone who really grew in stature in the white house once kelly took over. in many ways he was kelly's right hand man. he helped control the flow of information to the president. he was a frequent presence at trump's side whether that was in the oval office or on air force one. he was on his asia trip. and he is someone who helped craft the state of the union. and a lot of people in the white
house who feel like policy rollout has improved give porter a lot of credit. and this is yet another moment where someone who has been given a vital role in 24 ththis white house, someone the american people are entrusting to do the country's business comes in with all of these questions and let inside the door where the screening process clearly was insufficient to let him in. still ahead, it is not like the president really needed to use caps lock to tell the world he is angry with the fbi. we'll break down the latest in the series of attacks by the president against the justice department. and, yes, we are a tv broadcast airing in america. you're watching "morning joe." this is the story of green mountain coffee roasters dark magic told in the time it takes to brew your cup. first, we head to vermont. and go to our coffee shop. and meet dave. hey. why is dark magic so spell-bindingly good, he asks?
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wisconsin yesterday issues a new report that insinuates that president obama was personally keeping tabs on the fbi's investigation into hillary clinton e-mails. the allegation stems from newly released text messages between former fbi agent peter strzok who was previously involved in robert mueller's investigation and fbi lawyer lisa page. in one specific text from september 2, 2016, page writes that she was preparing talking points for former fbi director james comey, quote, because potus wants to know everything we are doing. the exchange does not specify the topic in question. at the time the fbi did not have an active investigation open into clinton's e-mails. but in his report, senator john says that the text, quote, raises additional questions about the type and extent of president obama's personal involvement in the clinton e-mail scandal and the fbi --
>> good lord. >> this guy, joe -- >> seriously, what is wrong -- >> what has he been promised? >> rick tyler, what is wrong with this guy? all he had to do is look at the date and if he had just looked at the date, he would have known that for all practical purposes, the hillary clinton investigation had ended, what, one month before? it was over. and braarack obama was three da away from meeting vladimir putin where he was going to confront him on the russians trying to interfere in the 2016 election. now, a staff person with six days experience on the hill could look at the dates, could look at the time line, and have him take off his harry potter wizard hat and say sir, you better not go down the rabbit trail like you did before when you talked about the harry potter secret society that was
inside the fbi when that involved the joke about a vladimir putin calendar. rick, if this were by back bencher, it might not be significant. but ron johnson is the chairman of the homeland security committee for the united states senate. and he keeps spitting out conspiracy theories that are easily proven wrong. what do you make of it? >> rick, it's all on you. >> senator johnson all he had to do is check the dates, but it does reveal one thing and that is that president obama was very concerned about russian interference in the election. but he didn't seem to take that public in terms of helping hillary clinton. so what i want to remember about these texts between lisa page
and peter strzok, the reason they are communicating on government phones is because they are having an affair. and they don't want to communicate with each other on their personal phones. if you took personal phones from anybody in the fbi during the obama administration, not anybody, but during the trump administration, i'm sure there is a lot of banter that people would be awfully interested in and you can draw conclusions. but the glad senator johnson would take this and try to draw you a narrative that fits his preconceived notion of what is going on here is really irresponsible. >> coming up on "morning joe," president trump has gone tit for tat against north korea's leader trading insults and threats. kim jong-un just staged a massive military parade and rd wants to do the same. i wonder whose parade will be bigger. we'll play you the incredulous reaction from capitol hill next on "morning joe."
making. >> i think it is reasonable for the nation to be patriotic and celebrate the people that are serving us. but we also have to be cautious on spending. >> we usually don't do that. maybe military parades after we win a war, but that hasn't been our tradition. seemed out of place to me. >> i think confidence is silent. and insecurity is loud. america is the most powerful country in all of human history. everybody knows it. and we don't need to show it off. we're not north korea. we're not russia. we're not china. and i don't want to be. and for that reason, i would be against flaunting our strength. everybody knows we have it.
>> some reaction there from lawmakers to president trump's requested military parade in washington, d.c. i guess he wants his toy soldiers to march in front of him in lock step. senator lindsey graham tweeted while he fully supports the parade, he hopes that it won't focus on military hardware but on service and sacrifice. republican representative justin amash says he is all for a parade if it is to celebrate bringing out young men and women home from these unauthorized wars overseas. several democratic senators have also sent a letter to defense secretary jim mattis asking how much the parade will cost taxpayers. >> i think we're all aware in this country of the president's affection and respect for the military. we've been putting together some options, we'll send them up to the white house for decision.
and i think that what my responsibility is to make certain that i layout the strategy and make the argument for the oversight of congress to make a determination of fully funding us. as far as the parade goes, again, the president's respect, his fondness for the military i think is reflected in him asking for these options. >> no, it seems the president's requested parade was approved quickly because i think it took place early this morning. yeah. there was a parade. did you see it, joe? look. there you go. there is your parade. >> yeah, it is -- >> that is the north korean military parade personally overseen by kim jong-un marching out their full arsenal including their latest icbm. >> yeah, you know, it does seem
to be deeply unamerican certainly in 2018. also, mike, i made several fa factual errors yesterday. eisenhower actually did have military parades and he had big military parades. complete with tanks to celebrate his inauguration at the height of the cold war. so there is 50, 60 years ago this did happen after world war ii, after world war i. but it doesn't happen much any more. and it does seem outside of the cold war era, it does seem to be a bit frightening. and also it is hard to listen to the pentagon and republicans on capitol hill whining about money as much as they do, that we don't have enough money for
defense, we don't have enough money to take care of our troops, we don't have enough money to do this, do that. and yet they are talking about spending money on a parade for donald trump's vanity. something congress should not fund. > >> the core of the story is immensely sad when you think about it. we have been at war if 17 yefor years. there are casualties of this war who were one, two and three years of age when the war began. the military has been exhausted. military families have been exhausted by multiple deployment after deployment after deployment to iraq and afghanistan. and the american military i would submit and the pentagon does not need parades as we indicated yesterday. we need peace. we don't need a president rattling swords for an additional war perhaps with iran or somewhere else in the middle east. and rick, i don't know about
you, but the rhetoric we heard from various senators, some of it was inspiring especially kennedy of louisiana. >> if president has affection for troops, he would visit them overseas. >> oh, no, no, no, too scary. >> he doesn't need to bring them here. and the reason that i think people are taken aback by this, because we have -- our tradition, our culture, we have civilian leadership over our military. we always have. that has been very different. other countries as we saw the parade in north korea have military dictatorships. and our troops which are the finest in the world are all volunteers. and we don't need to project power in the way that trump sees this -- it is all about an image of projecting power. we don't need to project power. we have the best military in the world. nobody doubts that. it is all run by civilian leadership and everyone involved in it, they are all volunteers. coming up on "morning joe,"
rob reiner is jumping into the conversation about russia with both feet. and he joins us next. we've been preparing for this day. over the years, paul and i have met regularly with our ameriprise advisor. we plan for everything from retirement to college savings. giving us the ability to add on for an important member of our family. welcome home mom.
so we're watching live pictures from washington, d.c. where president trump will be speaking shortly at the yearly national prayer breakfast addressing members of congress and leaders from over 100 countries. interesting to note, we're hearing there are three times of number of russians in the audience this year. >> correct, a report just came out that there are about 60 representatives from the russian delegation from religious and political elite, which is about three times the number as last year. and cnn has a russian representative quoted saying how amazing it is that the quota is so high despite all of the tensions. >> it is really something. the russians i guess have found religion over the past year in
washington, d.c. certainly adds one more question as to why the russians have such great affection for the president and why this president has such great affection for the russians. the national prayer breakfast is usually where presidents go to talk to a divided not only a divided nation's capital, but also a divided country. donald trump has used this platform though in a most unusual way. last year he talked about praying for arnold schwartz negle schwarzenegger's bad apprentice ratings and this year he's using it as something thatartz schwarzenegger's bad apprentice ratings and this year he's using it as something thatrtz schwarzenegger's bad apprentice ratings and this year he's using it as something that a forum used to bring people together in washington and across the world, it really has been a remarkable event year in and year out, but donald trump this morning talked about having tv producer mark burnett of our wonderful 14
season apprentice triumph in the audience. it is extraordinary, mika, whether we are talking about military parades or whether we're talking about prayer, whether we're talking about faith, whether we're talking about religion for donald trump, it always goes back to he is shameless and he also -- again, that is obviously not breaking news. but everything from military parades to prayer breakfasts always circle back to him. and again, what is so interesting, this is the same president that evangelicals flock to, the samrd who of course has had let's say one story after another published about him that would have destroyed evangelical support for any other president. and yet in this case, we have evangelicals flocking to support a man in record numbers despite the fact that when donald trump
was asked if he ever prayed to god for forgiveness, he said no, i wouldn't bring god in on that and i've never needed to. >> it's all incredibly confusing. we'll be monitoring the president's remarks. you just saw senator chris coons speaking and now senator james lankford will speak and i believe the president is next. we'll monitor that. but first why don't we bring in and keep in mind we may have to interrupt this interview to go back to the president film director rob reiner who is jumping into the debate over russia's meddling into the american election and he sat down with former director of national intelligence james clapper and former cia director john brennan. >> i don't recall anything that gave me viscerally in the pit of my stomach a more uncomfortable uneasy feeling than when i realized what the russians were doing. >> we knew there experience that
the russians had many different of methods of influencing elections. >> but never, never this aggressive director multidimensional. i believe that his first reaction to it was this caused a question about the legit maets of his election. >> as long as he continues to refute the unanimous assessment about what they did, it undercuts any effort to deal with it strategically and thoughtfully. >> the interviews are featured in a new video put out this morning by the committee to investigate russia, a nonprofit group that aims to highlight russia's threat against american address. and rob reiner is a member of the organization's advisory board and he joins us from los angeles. rob, thanks for being on. >> thanks for having me, mika. and thank you, joe. >> fascinating work. and actually sentiments of the
first sound bite that we played with james clapper is very much what i heard from my father before we lost him. i mean, these are people who are deeply immersed in confidential conversations pertaining to global stability and they have a feeling of unease. it sends a shiver down my spine. >> what is interesting is that these guys between the two it was like over 90 years of service to our country. and they don't normally speak out. guys who are in those positions, director of national intelligence and head of the cia, they don't speak out after they leave office, but they are compelled at this point because they quite frankly have never ever seen anything like what happened to us in the last election and continues to happen
to us right now as we are sitting here talking. the russians did invade our country. they did try to disrupt our democracy. and right now we're not doing anything. the president of the united states has ignored it. and he'd rather have a military parade than actually defend us and protect us and make us more secure. so it is very scary. and when you have guys like this speaking out, it is time to sit up and take notice. >> rob, where do people find this video, where can we watch it? >> if you go to investigate russia.org, you can see it. it is actually a 22 minute conversation that i had with them last week as a matter of fact in d.c. and it's pretty chilling when you hear them talk about this stuff. >> so you're talking with jim
clapper and john brennan, two guys who have spent their entire professional lives in the intelligence community. does it come up during the course of the conversation either in the feilm or when you were with them the fact that a huge percentage of elected representatives in one party, the republican party, refuse to acknowledge that russia screwed around with our election process which is basically an act of war? >> yes, are and they talk about it as an act of war. it is a cyberwar. and we have to develop the protocols to respond and we have not done that. there has been no discussion, no 9/11 commission or anything like that to address this. and, yes, they do talk about that because we have had in the past checks and balances. and for whatever reason, we have a republican congress that is
unwilling to check this president and it is unfortunate because this is the steps that you take towards authoritarianism. if we're going to survive as a democracy, we need these checks and balances. quite frankly, we need somebody to step up and defend us because it doesn't feel like anything because it is insidious. it is not like planes hitting a building or bombs dropping somewhere. but make no mistake, they have invaded us and their whole motivation is to disrupt democracy and they are doing it and we're feeling the frays of it at the edges. and it will get worse unless somebody takes the reins and does something. >> you know, what is so interesting is obviously you and i are on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum, but both share the same concerns. but i think you must be particularly amused after watching republicans embrace in
record numbers this president after preaching family values for 40 years. and this republican congress embracing donald trump after lecturing the rest of the world on deficits and debt, but here we get to the punch line, which is russia. on "all in the family," you and others were accused of being m commies. it was a punch line on the show, but that's what republicans did. they called democrats useful idiots, said that they were commi sympathizers and too easy on russia. look where we are in 2018, the republicans are hugging russia. >> i know, it's wild. and the fact is even though we do disagree on certain things, not on everything, but on certain things ideologically, we're both patriots. and we both care about our
country. we both love our country. and we don't want to see a foreign enemy power come in and disrupt things. and the true republican patriots, you see them unfortunately not too many of the elected, but you see david fromm and william crystal and max boot and people that are principled republicans standing up because we're frightened, to be honest, and we want somebody to step up and protect us. listen, when we were attacked on 9/11, george w. bush went to the syed aite and said you will from all of us. where is our leader saying that for us now? it's scary to me that the republicans won't step up and do what they need to do in congress. >> you know, one silver lining is you do see people on both sides who may disagree on
ideology, on fiscal policy from time to time, but you really can spot the people who put the united states constitution, who put constitutional norms, who put checks and balances and most importantly who put this country first. and certainly this has been a test. a lot of people have failed, but nice to see those who have passed. >> yes. and the point is we have to stick together on this and we have to put pressure on congress which is supposed to be the check and balance. and if we don't, we're seeing the fraying of democracy and, you know, we're not going to have self-government if we don't do this. we're 241 years old. and this is a wonderful experiment that we want to see continue. but, you know, great civilizations last 250 to 300 years. and we are at 241.
so i just hope that at some point the republicans in congress will put country over party. >> all right. rob reiner, thank you very much. again, the new video was put out by the committee to investigate russia. and it is online now. >> thank you, rob. those are the -- the feeling among many again, it is the way the show began today where of course the worry is around this president, his actions, his ability to make decisions, his ability to hire people. i think even john kelly at this point we're questioning what is going on there. >> right. >> as you pointed out in a column a few weeks ago, and i think it is one of the most important things you've said so far, and that is that we have a compliant congress. republicans are being compliant with a presidency that is clearly going in the wrong
direction. is there anything wrong with what i just said? >> you see where they are being comply aunt in the most dangerous areas. they have launched a war against the fbi. they use conspiracy theories that are -- >> complicit. >> and when a little bit of light is shined on every one of these conspiracy theory, they melt away in the daylight. and we could talk about uranium one, a conspiracy theory that actually was washed away in daylight. the second we took a closer look. you can look at devin nunes' first conspiracy theory about barack obama crawling around in trump tower and tapping the phone and supposedly his unmasking memo which he didn't have, he lied to the press. they all get wiped away and yet republicans like ron johnson keep supporting this president's war on the fbi. there will at some point be a reckoning. >> and here now is president
trump at the national prayer breakfa breakfast. let's listen in. >> thank you for that very kind introduction. i want to thank you and congressman charlie crist for serving as co-chairs this year. it is an honor to be with so many faith leader, members of congress and dignitaries from all around the world as we continue this extraordinary tradition. i'm very glad to be joined by many members of my cabinet. they are doing a terrific job. i want to extend our appreciation to the first lady of rwanda for leading the
opening prayer. thank you. thank you very much. i also want to thank mark burnett and roma downey. two terrific people. stand up, mark, you deserve it, even though he comes from hollywo hollywood. thank you very much. major scotty smily and tiffany, we're moved by your faith and courage and inspired by your service and sacrifice. that was really beautiful. thank you very much. thank you. and to my friend and everybody's friend, steve scalise, we are so glad to have you with us today. your presence reminds us of jesus' words, book of matthew, with god all things are possible. you are fantastic.
you really are. fantastic man. america is a nation of believers and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer. this morning ourmorning, our he full of gratitude as we come together for the 66th annual national prayer breakfast. but our hearts are also saddened by the absence of the co-founder of this wonderful breakfast who pass addway last year, doug coe, who everybody loved. for 60 years, doug devoted his time and passion to this prayer breakfast. and to many other wonderful causes. today, we are blessed to be joined by doug's wife jan and two of their sons david and tem.
thank you. thank you very much. great man. i want to thank you for carrying on doug's legacy also and bringing our nation together in prayer. you are indeed carrying on her great legacy. faith is central to american life and to liberty. our founders evoked our creator four times in the declaration of independence. our currency declares in god we trust. and we place our hands on our hearts as we recite the pledge of allegiance and proclaim we are one nation under god. our rights are not given to us by man. our rights come from our creator.
no matter what, no earthly force can take those rights away. that is why the words praise be to god are etched atop the washington monument and those same words are etched into the hearts of our people. so today, we praise god for how truly blessed we are to be american. across our land, we see the splendor of god's creation. throughout our history, we see the story of god's providence. in every city in town, we see the world's grace all around us through a million acts of
kindness, courage and generosity. we love god. we see the lord's grace in the service members who risk their lives for our freedom. we see it in the teachers who work tirelessly for their students and the police who sacrifice for our communities and sacrifice they do. and we see the lord's grace in the mom's and dads who work two and three jobs to give their children the chance for a better and much more prosperous and happier life. as the bible tells us, for we are god's handiwork created in jesus christ to do good works. america's heroes rise to this ca calling. in their selfless deeds, they reveal the beauty and goodness
of the human soul. when the hurricane struck, first responders and everyday citizens dove into rushing waters to save stranded families from danger and they saved them by the thousands. neighbors opened their homes to those in need of food, clothes, shelter. firefighters blamed smoke and flames to rescue children from devastating wildfires. during the horrific shootings, strangered shielded strangers and police officers ran into a hail of bullets to save the lives of their fellow americans right in las vegas. it a terrible day, a terrible night. but such bravery. families have adopted babies often by the opoid epidemic. and given them loving homes.
communities and churches have reached out to those struggling with addiction and shown them the path to a clean life, a good job and a renewed sense of purpose. and soldiers, sailors, coasts guardsmen, airmen and marines have spent long months away from home defending our great american flag. all we have to do is open our eyes and look around us and we can see god's hand. in the courage of our fellow citizens, we see the power of god's love at work in our souls and the power of god's will to answer all of our prayers. when americans are able to live by their convictions to speak openly of their faith and to teach their children what is right, our families thrive.
our communities flourish. and our nation can achieve anything at all. together as americans, we are a tireless force for justice and for peace. we have witnessed this truth over the past year. for years, isis had brutally tortured and murdered christians, jews, religious minorities and countless muslims. today, the coalition to defeat isis has liberated almost 100% of the territory just recently held by these killers in iraq and all throughout syria. much work will always remain, but we will never rest until that job is completely done and
we are really doing it like never before. we know that millions of people in iran, cuba, venezuela, north korea and other countries suffer under repressive and brutal regimes. america stands with all people, suffering oppression and religious persecution. last week, during the state of the union, the world was inspired by the story of a north korean defector, mr. gison ho, who is now back in south korea. before he his escape, when son ho was being tortured, there was one thing that kept him from losing hope. over and over between, he recited the lord's prayer. he prayed for peace and he paid for freedom. and now, as you know, he is free
and a sip boymbol of hope to mis of people around the world. [ applause ] here with us today is another symbol of hope. a very brave 9-year-old girl named sophia marie campa peters. sophia suffers from a rare disease that has caused her to have many strokes. at one point, the doctors told sophia that she would not be able to walk. sophia replied, if you're only going to talk about what i can't do, then i don't want to hear it. just let me try to walk. she tried and she succeeded. and one of her doctors even told her mom and they're right here
in the front row where they should be, this little girl has god on her side. thank you, sophia, thank you, mom. great mom. i said, do you love your mom? she said, i have a great mom. i love my mom. right. just two weeks ago, sophia needed to have a very high-risk surgery. she decided to ask the whole world to pray for her. and she hoped to reach 10,000 people. on january 24th as sophia went into surgery she far surpassed her goal. millions and millions of people
lifted sophia up in their prayers. today, we thank god that sophia is with us. and she's recovering and she's walking very well. [ applause ] and i have to say this, you may only be 9 years old, but you are already a hero to all of us in this room and all over the world. thank you, sophia. heroes like sophia come from all across our country and from every different background. but they all share one thing in common. through their love, their courage, their sacrifice, we glimpse the grace of almighty god. so today inspired by our fellow citizens, let us resolve to find the best within ourselves. let us pray for that e