tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 14, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST
you -- >> the fbi said it was closed. >> closed? hold on. >> can you hold on a second. >> yeah. >> stay with me. >> figure this out because sarah huckabee sanders lectured the press not so long ago about spreading intentional lies. you're telling me. >> yeah. >> she said the case was ongoing. >> yeah. but the fbi says it's closed. stay with mepp i know you're a dumb country lawyer. >> i'm just a dumb country lawyer but that would be an intentional lie. i don't understand. >> sarah sanders would never do that. >> that's what i'm sitting here thinking why would they do that. >> for a living. raj shaw said the situation could have been handled better. >> he was right. >> john kelly says it was done right. >> he was wrong. >> yeah. >> sanders now blames the white house personnel security office. >> hold on. hold on. i am so confused because she blamed the press first of all, they blame the press first of all. >> it's all our fault. >> then they blame the fbi. they said the fbi is not doing
their job. you've got to talk to them. by the way, i've got to say, you know, i wish i had been around in the summer of '67 when sergeant pepper came out because i'm such a huge fan but i hear it was just you saw it and it just cut through popular culture. it's kind of like a tweet yesterday that matt miller did. >> okay. >> matt, that was a splendid tweet. can i just say that was a splendid tweet about her fbi friends. >> it's built into the whole beginning of the show. >> countless. she has countless fbi friends. >> yeah. >> i have lots of fbi friends. >> one of the countless fbi agents sarah huckabee sanders talks to, matt miller says, really the sergeant pepper tweet of 2018, should have warned her it was stupid to blame the porter scandal on the fbi the day before the director testifies in public. >> so, matt, we'll get to that in just a moment after we
introduce you, but the point is -- >> you don't know that matt is here, by the way. >> sarah sanders blames the white house personnel security office. just remember, that's part of the white house and we are welcoming you to day nine of what should have been a one-day story that ended quickly and decisively with the right thing done. good morning, everyone. it's wednesday, february 14th. guess what. >> happy valentine's day. >> don't do that. >> no. >> don't let him. >> stop. >> hey. >> oh, my gosh, nobody wants to see this. nobody wants to see this. >> should i kiss david on the cheek? >> yes. >> he wouldn't mind. >> david. happy valentine's day. >> no. we love. >> come on. >> joe/mika kisses start our morning. >> it does not. >> welcome to "morning joe." we have columnist and associate out of "the washington post" david ignatius and nbc national political reporter heidi prispella. i got it. former justice department spokesman and msnbc justice and
just trying to figure out how to answer the question today to get through today's news cycle without ever looking forward even 24 hours to know that tomorrow, if i blame this on the fbi, the director is going to come up to the senate and he may not answer the question the way he could have, which is -- >> right. >> -- we briefed the white house, it's not appropriate for me to air sha re this publicly. if you blame it on the fbi he will tell the truth. >> the problem here, is there's no management structure inside the white house. there are no meetings where they say let's plan out -- i mean even when i was a congressman, i said okay, what's the headline for the year? what's the headline for this quarter? what's the headline for this month? what's the headline for this week? what's the headline for this day? and everything started at the end of the year and you worked back. these people, from everything i've heard, they don't even have communication meet where is they plot out the next 24 hours. >> how can you plan when you
don't know what the next tweet is? you have a commander in chief who insists on control. if you cross him you're in trouble. you just have no idea which way he's going to be tacking. i just would note on this fbi comment yesterday, chris wray did exactly what you want a professional fbi director to do. it's a little profile in courage and we don't get that many right now. >> we need them. >> where he said exactly what happened. we sent the report in july. you know, chris wray this morning is somebody i take very seriously as a public servant who is doing his job the way he should. >> public servant first. >> see what happened yesterday and get to the politics of it because it does give you a glimpse into a lot of different angles as to how this white house operates or does not. in a senate hearing yesterday fbi director struck down white house claims that president trump's team had received little
information about domestic violence allegations against former staff secretary rob porter. this after chief of staff john kelly denied having any detailed knowledge to reporters on friday and press secretary sarah huckabee sanders claimed on monday that they believe the process was ongoing. so here are those comments from kelly and sanders followed by fbi director christopher wray. >> in november, i got an update on some of the investigations. and the update was that there was some things that needed to be looked into. literally that was it. tuesday we found out. that's what i've been saying. >> the process for the background was ongoing and the white house had not received any specific papers regarding the completion of that background check. >> the fbi submitted a partial
report on the investigation in question in march and then a completed background investigation in late july that soon thereafter we received requests for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in november. we administratively closed the file in january. and then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well. >> so, faced with those contradictions yesterday, sanders admitted that the information went to a specific branch of the white house, but did not have -- >> wait. she didn't blame the fbi anymore? >> well, she just sort of shifted things around a little bit. actually didn't give any firm answers about who knew what. take a listen. >> you just said this again that the investigation was ongoing.
christopher wray said it was closed in january. who's telling the truth here? >> both. as i said, the fbi portion was closed. the white house personnel security office who is the one that makes a recommendation for adjudication had not finished their -- not made a recommendation to the white house. >> let me clarify one more point. you said yesterday you didn't get any paperwork from the fbi. chris wray said that he did submit paperwork at all the various moments -- >> again, that would come through the white house personnel security office which had not completed their investigation and not passed that information to the white house. >> would you acknowledge you did receive paperwork? >> again, the white house -- i think you need to be very clear about there's multiple groups here. the white house personnel security office staffed by career officials would have -- may have received information, but they had not complete the their process and made a recommendation to the white house for adjudication.
>> did anyone at the white house personnel security office have any communications with anyone in the west wing about rob porter's clearance between when the fbi started submitting its reports and -- >> i'm not aware of any communication. i can't say definitively but i'm not aware of any communication. >> heidi, did you ever -- did you ever see "jerry mcgwire". >> yeah. >> the scene with cuba says to jerry, he goes "you're hanging by a thread, man. you're hanging by a thread." watching that sarah huckabee sanders, that was her tom cruise moment. she was hanging by the thinnest of moments and this is a thing that fascinates me and horrifies me about the trump white house. we saw this with a lot of people that clintons would bring to capitol hill when they were trying to hide how they got missile sales to china and other things. they were lying. people knew they were lying.
they knew they were lying. and yet, they shamelessly just lied and it's what we're seeing here. they've been caught lying. again, they've turned a one-day scandal -- hey, look at this picture. this your ex-wife? yeah. get out. >> it's what's been happening for 13 months. >> a seven-day scandal. >> nine. >> for 13 months this has been happening from that podium, joe. but rarely do we have such a strong contrast, given the timing that director of the fbi was testifying on that day, completely contradicting what they were saying. look, we know from his testimony that they knew and they knew for months, july at the very latest, that the man who was handling the nation's most sensitive secrets and passing them on to the president was not cleared to do so and so now they're putting it off to yet another bureaucratic, you know, paper pushing office. no. they had the information to make this decision. by the way, there's another player who's going to be coming
forward, i think, in this more and that is don mcgahn. don mcgahn would have also been privy to this information. >> oh, yeah. >> as of july as well and yet, kelly is the one who's taking most of the heat here. if you look back there's a pattern here, taking you all the way back to who, michael flynn, who else was involved who was warned that michael flynn might be compromised back by sally yates, don mcgahn. >> exactly. and maybe surprising for a lot of people who have known general john kelly throughout his career, talking to somebody last night that knew him when he was a colonel, said greatest guy in the world, everybody loved him, and he was great at what he did. but this morning on axios you and mike are talking about john kelly, another example of a good man or someone who has a good
reputation in town, who sees it sullied by working with donald trump. >> i mean, you've seen this in any business, any organization, that bad habits flow down fast. whether it's the lying, the denying, the fighting, the leaking, none of this is surprising and all of it starts to top and flows down. it's infected the white house staff, federal agencies. to be blunt it's affected the entire republican party. you see all of these habits now being republican habits. so john kelly handling this situation the way he did, actually isn't terribly surprising. if you take a peek behind the curtain right now, even before this, there's lots of white house staff who didn't really like working for john kelly. they feel like they've had -- used to have face time with the big guy and don't have it anymore. they don't like the tight controls he's put on the white house. so when this erupted, the amount of finger-pointing and the amount of leaking by his subordinates is astonishing. the only thing more is how many
subordinates leak about the president of the united states. this is how the white house works. this chaos, this leaking, this fighting. to me in some ways it's obscuring a much bigger story that took place yesterday. when you have every part of the intelligence apparatus of the united states saying that russians are trying to infiltrate our elections again and the president saying, not so, this is the same story it was a year ago when those same intelligence officials said that russians did that same thing in the last election and the president said no. to me, that is a big question that hangs over this. why does he continue to say that the russians aren't involved in trying to tip elections when they clearly are. >> well, david ignatius and all of his right wing -- not right wing, they're not conservative, they're trummists, his white supremacist side and his supporters on cable news and some of the most extreme out there are suggesting that russia's influencing of the elections was absurd, there you
had every single intelligence head go on capitol hill yesterday and fbi director christopher wray answering the question which he had to because he was under oath, that donald trump had never instructed them once to go out and work and try to disrupt russia's efforts to interfere in american democracy. >> i found one aspect of yesterdays especially encouraging in that all of these heads of intelligence agencies went before congress and basically gave a straight account of what they knew. >> including pompeo at the cia, who has been accused of being too political. he was straight down the middle. >> they were all acting as intelligence agency chiefs should. there were surprises in that report, i printed out a copy last night, this report in addition saying the russians are continuing, they're hacking, they're going to attack our 2018 congressional elections because they think they've been
successful. also says climate change is a significant problem in terms of national security. also says the iran nuclear agreement is holding and the iranians are observing. in other words, it's a straight up document that just gives intelligence officers readings of these issues. >> we heard about the national debt yesterday in testimony, a real threat to america's long-term dream. >> in a period like this where you have a white house that's so erratic and unpredictable, you pray as citizens, that you have public servants out there in these key agencies who will tell the truth and yesterday was a day when we saw -- right now at least -- that's happening. >> matt, that had to be -- a lot of people's assessment that despite all the chaos, despite the fact that from time to time some of these agency heads seemed to be playing for donald trump, playing to donald trump's lowest common denominator, that yesterday on the hill, score one for the institutions.
institutions one, chaos zero. >> for now. >> they all came in and told the truth and talked about in some cases what their agencies are doing to combat the russian threat. i thought the best point about this issue was made by senator angus king when asking about this, when he said, look, the reason we can't respond effectively because you don't hear this from the president of the united states. you can't have a unified response to this threat if the president of the united states isn't engaged, isn't sending the signal throughout the government and telling people that listens to him. if the russians interfere in the mid-terms as the intelligence community has predicted they have, is there anyone that thinks that e-mails about democrats show up on wikileaks that donald trump won't won't be tweeting and talking about them using them to his advantage despite it's another threat to the united states. of course he will. i don't think anyone doubts that. >> heidi, angus king said that the president hears the word meddling. >> he doesn't hear that word.
>> thinks collusion. it all gets jumbled together. and here we as a country, we're let down by barack obama in 2016 and mitch mcconnell in 2016. by the way, yeah, mitch mcconnell can say we're going to do this, that or the other but at the end of the day the buck stops at the white house. the president should have been aggressive. barack obama wasn't aggressive in 2016 because he thought hillary clinton was going to win. now we go to 2018, this president is not going to be aggressive because there is something in his background, there is a connection with vladimir putin, that only he knows and the rest of the world does not know and so we're going to have yet another election where a president is back on his heels in stopping the russians from interfering with american democracy. >> it's heartening as yesterday might have seemed, the tone does come from the top, joe, and according to republicans and democrats who i talked to on
capitol hill, this is all setting a precedent whereby we're not even staffing up on these committees. >> yeah. >> we may be issuing a report out of burr's committee, but even when we had the investigation into whitewater. >> right. >> even after the election in 2000, where we had -- we thought a problem with the integrity of our voting system with pregnant ballots or hanging chads. >> hanging chads, yes. the congress came together -- >> i was in florida then. i don't remember pregnant ballots but hanging chads. >> i thought that was a thing, wasn't it? >> i don't think so. >> so cute. >> maybe it with was. maybe. >> i'm sure it was. >> yeah. >> but the point is that congress is also taking its cue from the president's visceral dislike of any talk even of doing anything on russia. if you listen to the testimony yesterday, the really scary thing, again, despite the anonymity, that it may be too
late. even if we started the committee process now to do a big, you know, bipartisan commission investigation, it may be too late to really kind of make the changes that we need to make going into 2018. >> jim vandehei, as we close out this block, it seems to me that while it was a moment of sanity yesterday to watch what was happening on the hill, i don't know how long this tension between our democratic institutions can hold when you have a presidency that seems to be teetering on the brink every day with one lie here and one misstep there and people who seemed completely ill equipped for the job. >> heidi made a great point, i think some people think everyone in the media is hyperventilating. we're not on this point. i don't think people understand how easy -- how susceptible our technology is to infiltration. if you look at how people vote, especially in some of the states that don't have a lot of scrutiny or resources, and you
look at how easy it is for foreign actors to take advantage of facebook, twitter, or youtube, to plant false stories so you can affect elections in two areas, the russians know it and they're doing it and unless government comes together and tries to figure out ways to protect the system, it's going to actually happen. i think people think we're nuts but it is going to happen and that's why you do need people who care about public service and care about governance beyond party to fix these things. >> can we just wrap really quickly. we don't know what's going to happen with john kelly, who's on the front of "the washington post" today, but a man who said people who have worked with him in the past, i've heard so many good things about him, heard he was in the white house because he wanted the job, but because he felt like it was his responsibility and general mattis was telling him he needed to stay in the job, he needed to stay engaged, that somebody close like him needed the president's ear. what do you make of the last
couple of weeks and, unfortunately, john kelly's reputation going the way of so many others in that white house? >> well, it's become common to say anybody who touches donald trump is sullied by that. a good man with a great reputation, john kelly, the latest example. my answer would be, it's always the right time to do the right thing. if john kelly needs to realize that he works for the united states of america as chief of staff for this president, but he ought to do the right thing, be forthcoming, explain how this happened. the president then has to make a decision. i want him to continue as my chief of staff or not. nobody requires the president to keep somebody. people have to remember in this period who they're working for. they're working for the american people. kelly is a perfect example of somebody who, you know, he has a distinguished record. remember what got you here. >> yeah. we need that. still ahead on "morning joe,"
democrats flip another seat that donald trump won in 2016. but there are signs that the left needs to get more focused if they want that trend to continue in the mid-terms. we'll explain that. plus, democratic senator chris coons and republican senator james langford join us on set in washington. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. >> above everything else he supports the victims of any type of violence and certainly would condemn any violence against anyone. >> get a little notice in case you see, we have wonderful security guys, mr. trump there may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. so if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of him, would you. seriously. okay. just knock the hell -- i promise you, i will pay for the legal fees. i promise.
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what can a president [ do in thirty seconds? he can fire an fbi director who won't pledge his loyalty. he can order the deportation of a million immigrant children. he can threaten an unstable dictator armed with nuclear weapons. he can go into a rage and enter the nuclear launch codes. how bad does it have to get before congress does something?
we've been talking about the intel community's warning about continued russian meddling but another part of the story is the u.s. security clearance process, which the director of national intelligence says needs revolutionary change, telling the associated press, quote, we have a broken system and i think everybody has come to agree with that now and that we've moved this to a very top priority because it is really undermining our ability to get the right people into the right place at the right time. >> you got to -- i mean, you got to get the russians to sign off on some of these people. >> somebody needs to pick up the phone. >> yeah. >> at yesterday's senate hearing coats commented on the large number of people with interim security clearances and sensitive positions throughout the government. >> i think sometimes it is necessary to have some type of preliminary clearance in order to fill a slot, but i have publicly stated if that is the
case, the access has to be limited in terms of the kind of information they can be in a position to receive. >> so, david ignatius, first of all, is this ultimately about jared kushner? >> well, he's the most prominent person that we believe has not yet received a final security clearance. it's especially important because he's involved in some of the most sensitive national security issues that the administration has on his plate. he's been very active in china, a key point person with saudi arabia, our key ally in the middle east, he's been very active in arab israeli diplomacy. if he doesn't have his clearance and if what director of national intelligence coats says, jared kushner is operating in the key areas without all the information because he's not allowed to get it. so either way, it's a problem. you know, he -- >> right. >> if there's an obstacle to getting his clearance what is it. but until he gets that clearance, he's, you know,
rolling on three tires when he needs four. >> so an interim security clearance means what? >> interim security clearance -- >> what hasn't been done. >> are common for people that jo join the government from the private sector. it takes a couple months to get a full security clearance. it doesn't take a year. jared is in a lot of ways the tail wagging the dog here. he can't be granted a full security clearance because he's the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. you can't give a security clearance to someone in that position. but because they're leaving him in this limbo with an interim security clearance it means they can't go get rid of all these other people in the situation like rob porter because if you were to clear out rob porter, other people, the 30 to 60 that we've heard are operating with long-term security clearances, you only leave jared and make it clear you're giving special treatment to the son-in-law of the president of the united states. that's, obviously, also an up n an -- unacceptable situation.
>> for the first six months in this administration, jared was really the most powerful person inside the white house other than the president of the united states. he was the de facto secretary of state. >> they wanted him to do middle east, they wanted him to overhaul the computer system at the state department. >> but donald trump wanted him to basically be the de facto secretary of state and he went around and whether it was talking to the chinese or the russians or the saudis or just about every power across the middle east, it was jared who did that. if anybody believes on this set that he wasn't given at least by somebody else who had the security clearance that he wasn't given access to that information i think that's naive. >> leave the nepotism angle out of this but look at the security aspect of it, why is the system broken now did we have this problem in the obama? is it really the system is
broken or that the people that they are choosing to elevate to these positions should not be serving in these positions or not qualified to be serving the these positions? did they have this backlog under the obama administration. >> there are systemic problems for it taking people to get a security clearance. none are the cause of what happened here. senior white house officials go to the front of the line. they don't wait months the way that junior officials at the pentagon or cia or other agencies do. the problem here is that the white house has ignored information that's come from the fbi, not that the fbi has been too slow to conduct its investigations. >> matt miller, keep on tweeting. >> also, special program note, i have an apology to make. heidi pressbella is correct, there were actually pregnant chads. i just tried to block it out of my memory. tough. >> these are sensitive issues.
>> tough 38 days. >> it takes a big man to admit. >> oh, no. >> coming up a major development in the story that the president's lawyers tried hard to keep under wraps. what we're learning about the payment made to a former porn star who once claimed she had an affair with donald trump. plus, tv's own willie geist joins us live. >> the kids love him. >> they love him. >> live from the winter games in south korea. "morning joe" is coming right back. say hello to pre-tox! a whole new concept in skin defense.
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i think we're on the air. >> welcome back to "morning joe." yeah. you heard that, right? the big story at the olympics this morning is, u.s. snowboarder shaun white winning gold. >> unbelievable. >> joining us now speaking of unbelievable, joe, from pyeongchang, south korea, the site of the winter olympics, tv's willie geist. you look like the michelin man. >> i know. >> function over fashion. >> i have to say, willie, very moving last night when shaun, on a first-name basis, he thanked
you because you've been coaching this kid, i guess he was going to play stick ball but you said no, kid, try this. another incredible night for this kid. >> it was incredible. you don't have to follow snowboarding to appreciate the gravity of the moment. he's the legend, the goat, the greatest of all time in snowboarding. won the firsts two gold medals in vancouver. he isn't win in sochi, wasn't on the medal stand in 2014, now at 31 years old it comes down to the last run you're watching right now. he's in second place as he drops into the pipe behind the japanese phenom hirano who is 19. he's got it a get a crazy score, 95.25 the score to beat, does two 1440s, trick four 360s within a single trick and scores a 97.75 to take home the gold medal and lost it for one olympics, he's got it back now. now three-time gold medalist in the halfpipe event. he is, guys, the guy. he is the man.
and afterward i think we saw some of that video right there, you can see a guy who has been pretty cool throughout his career and pretty chill, throwing the board and then finds his family and was really a cool moment and just completelily breaks down. he's been through a lot. it was a couple months ago he smashed his face trying to do a very similar run to the winning run last night. smashed his face in new zealand, got 62 stitches. he had to come back from that. >> wow. >> he's been through a ton. there he is hugging his family, see him hug his dad in a second, breaking down in tears as shaun white, the greatest snowboarder of all time brings back the gold medal. >> you and i have smashed our faces a few times and got stitches, but not in sporting event. so -- >> no. nothing to do with it. >> i noticed a couple nights ago when the sort of north korea mania was sweeping american media, you -- >> yes -- >> you did the casey kasem thing
kept your feet firmly planted in the ground. i wonder, you commented on the south koreans, they were not quite as swept up in this north korean pageantry as say, again, certain corners of american media. talk about how strange that was for a lot of south koreans to see that sort of adulation coming from the west? >> yeah. i'm not sure americans graspp how quickly some of the pieces were circulating, major outlets writing enough pieces about kim jong-un's sister who came here saying she's the new ivanka trump and odd comparison she was making as someone the head of propaganda, under u.n. sanction for helping to run north korea's political prison program and all the rest of it, applauding the cheerleaders for their formation, and i was talking to south koreans here, you know, people around the hotel, people driving cars and cabs and people who own restaurants, and they couldn't believe it. i mean they said i can't believe
some people where you live are falling for this routine because none of us are. i think on the one hand they understand there's some level of diplomacy that has to be conducted by south korea. the president there moon you see. but to see foreign, to see an ally, at least some members of the media praising kim jong-un's sister part of the dictatorship was mindboggling to the south koreans. i sent out a tweet. that's what people were saying on the ground here. >> david? >> willie, i'm curious whether you hear from south koreans, that are interested in what comes next, after the olympics are over, whether the diplomacy that seems to be ahead between north korea and south korea gets ordinary folks excited. >> in a word, david, no. i think they feel like this is propaganda, like this is kim jong-un putting on a face to the world they don't believe will continue when he leaves, when the olympics are over, the
paralympics go through march 18th, the u.s. and south korea have agreed to stop military exercises, so it feels like things will be relatively calm through then. i think people who have lived on this border 50 miles from the dmz have watched north korea, they watched the moves that kim jong-un has made over the years, and they don't believe what they're seeing right now. they think this is a show for the rest of the world and they think it's buying him time, a month, a month and a half, to continue working on his nuclear program. i think as i said there are some people who think president moon is doing the right thing by being magnanimous and welcoming the hockey players and the team to march into the stadium but broadly, do they trust north korea all of a sudden because of the face they're putting at the olympics? i think the answer to that is no. >> and willie, finally, what's next and what are you most excited about? >> well, mikaela shiffrin, the superstar, the 22-year-old slalom skier has been waiting for four days to get off her event. the weather here has been crazy and cold but windy up on the
mountain and they can't get off and ski any events. she was supposed to ski last night, couldn't do it. so they've postponed now a couple days down the road. can't wait to get her going. she should win some medals and shortly after that lindsey vonn will ski up there too if the wind dies down. it's like a cyclone up there whipping through with 60-mile-an-hour gusts. >> yeah. willie, final question, that jacket, is it also a flotation device? >> it is. >> if you accidentally had too much to drink and fell in the river, would you float on your back until somebody rescued yes. >> i give the safety demonstration before the flight and i pull the strings out and you're good to go. >> looks like you pulled the strings. thank you very much. >> willie geist. >> see you soon. >> thank you. looking forward to it. >> coming up, the white house budget director is really doing a bang up job selling the president's budget. >> yeah, he is. >> mick mulvaney.
as a member of congress representing the fifth district of south carolina, i probably would have found enough shortcomings in this to vote against it. i'm the director of office and management budget and my job is to try to fund the president's priorities which is exactly what we did. >> all right. that's the director of president trump's office of management and budget and former republican congressman mick mulvaney. raise something eyebrows during a senate budget committee hearing yesterday. >> jim vandehei, no way coming from his district he could have voted for that budget. >> no. i mean, listen, go back to 2010. you have republicans take control of congress, and they actually followed through on a promise they made to voters, we
will reduce nondefense discretionary spending. it defined the republican party for a generation. you have the entire republican party embracing a budget that will leave us with $1 trillion deficits for as long as the eye can see that has huge implications on the economy and costs we have to put in to paying down that debt and the interest on that debt over time. no, he wouldn't. but if he were in congress, he would be in the minority now. >> how colossly bad -- you and i came to washington at the same time and have been through budget fights. >> right. >> this under any administration would be scorned by sort of my wing of the party. >> right. >> it busts the budget caps, it doesn't save social security or medicare, it allows the debt to explode. >> right. >> the debt jumps up to 27, $28 trillion. all at a time when more and more baby boomers are moving towards retirement. defense spending explodes. you have 1.5 to 2 trillion
dollars added to the national debt because of tax cuts. this really is the worst of all worst case scenarios for small government conservatives. >> i feel like we all seem like budget nags when we talk about deficits but this stuff does matter. at some point you always have to pay down the interest on the debt and pay down the debt. it has consequences. we have just been in this long period of total irresponsibility on both sides in how they govern and now the fact that the republican party is more liberal, more liberal than the democratic party on spending is astonishing. these people would have quit and picketed in the streets if barack obama did something like this. but now they just stand by and say huh, and goes back to what we say at the top of the show, trump is the republican party. he -- all their habits, instincts, the way they stand in silence, they donald trump. >> they have sold their political soul to donald trump. >> heidi? >> even at that, though, this budget gives us a glimpse of the
reckoning that is coming. despite everything that you just outlined what it does to the debt, democrats also call it robin hood in reverse. why? because you have massive cuts to social safety net programs in here and programs that feed poor people, that block grant medicaid, about 675 billion cuts to federal health care programs. and we don't even get to balance. so this is what our future is. this is as a result of irresponsible decisions that have been made for the past decade. the bingeing on war spending. the bingeing on tax cuts. and the failure of our government to address the long-term programs the entitlement spending programs. >> that's a look at our future and now a look of the reality of the president responding to a complaint about campaign finance violation. president trump's personal attorney has acknowledged paying an adult film actress tens of thousands of dollars in the final days of the 2016
presidential campaign. michael says he made the payment out of his own funds to stephanie cliffford, professionally known as stormy daniels. who in 2011 claimed to "in touch" magazine she had an affair with trump in 2006, shortly after first lady melania trump gave birth to the president's youngest son. daniels has silently hinted at the affair in recent interviews. he released a statement that an affair did not happen and, quote, no hush money was paid. the federal election commission is investigating a complaint that the money was an unreported in kind donation to trump's campaign? in a statement, he said neither the trump organization nor the trump campaign was a party to the transaction with msz ms. cliffford and reimbursed me. the payment to ms. clifford was
lawful and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone. >> david ignatius, i think the only thing we wish to take away from this is that that story, the president of the united states potentially paying off a porn star for an affair was a one-day story. and this porter affair has been a seven day story. welcome to donald trump's washington. that first story would have brought any other president down. >> yeah. i think we haven't heard the last of donald trump and stormy daniels. whether it's a nine-day story i don't know. but now to have cohen personally state that he paid this money that was reported, he claims he wasn't reimbursed. i love debating the fine point of whether it was a campaign contribution in kind. we now have confirmation that
the president's personal lawyer paid $130,000 to a porn star. >> this isn't a lawyer, by the way, who is at some obscure law firm. when we went to interview donald trump, the office right by his office is michael cohen. he has been by his side forever. every penny he has made or makes flows from his relationship with donald trump. so this idea that -- and he didn't answer the question "the new york times," did donald trump know you made that payment? he refused to say. he says it wasn't reimbursed. but if you're getting tons of money because of your affiliation and your paycheck comes from donald trump, isn't that a inkind reimbursement. >> it comes back to what the american people make of this behavior and this person who has been elected president. in the end, it's down to people. are they comfortable with it? >> well, we do know that evangelical leaders who are uncomfortable with bill clinton and his personal behavior. we do know that evangelical leaders, many, suggested that
barack obama was a muslim despite the fact that barack obama said that his personal lord and savior was jesus christ and his salvation came from being a believer in jesus christ. but as we saw yesterday, mika, some evangelical leaders are just fine with this type of behavior. >> that was incredible. >> in fact, unfortunately, most of the evangelical leaders that put themselves in front of tv cameras are just fine with this type of behavior. listen, i'm all about mercy. i'm all about grace. but you can't just give grace to republican candidates who appoint who you want to appoint. >> and you really have to be careful not appearing. and i say this to some of the more high profile evangelical leaders who have spoken out in defense of trump, you can't get so excited that you've been in the oval office or said something to you in private or been golfing with him, he is our
president. he is a public figure. he is serving this country and how he serves this country is what i hope you would be judging your opinions on and giving us guidance on. >> and not just -- >> faith and love of country, not what he told you on the golf course. i mean, that feels lame and shameful. >> jim, what are you working on today? >> i'm going to pay a lot of attention with what's happening with kelly. there's a lot of coverage out over night whether or not kelly will step down. >> i don't think he'll step down. >> we all heard the same name. my assumption he would take it if offered. trump is definitely on the phone talking to people and floating different names. kevin mccarthy, the number two republican in the house is another person he keeps mentioning. i assume both people would take it if offered. but i also wouldn't make the assumption that kelly is just gone. he has done something that donald trump finds useful, which
he has restored some order to the white house and given trump space to be trump. if you bring in a strong personally like gary, i don't know if he would give him as much space. >> trump might be -- this is just knowing his personality, liking that the attention is not on him. is that okay to say? >> that's quite fine. >> it's kind of sick. >> people get angry when i said that bill clinton voted for john mccain in 2008. i know he did. not from what he said to me. but you just know he did. and we know donald trump well enough to know that donald trump is enjoying watching his chief of staff sort of twist in the wind right now. >> okay. >> that's sort of strange. he doesn't realize it all goes back to him. it is what it is. >> good to have you on. on monday, the white house press secretary said the administration didn't act on rob porter because the fbi was still completing -- >> boy, those fbi guys sure do drag their feet, mika.
>> that claim was knocked down by the fbi director. we'll dig into the ever changing white house story. >> she was wrong. >> yes, she was wrong. chris coons and chris langeford join us live on set. "morning joe" is coming right back. 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, or you can build a cadillac. come in now for this exceptional offer on the cadillac ct6. get this low-mileage lease on this 2018 cadillac ct6 from around $549 per month. visit your local cadillac dealer. hnew litter?lled this from around $549 per month. 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.
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know, he says he's innocent. and i think you have to remember that. he said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent. so, you'll have to talk to him about that. but we absolutely wish him well. did a very good job while he was at the white house. >> thank you all very much. thank you. >> mr. president, do you believe rob porter's ex-wives, mr. president? do you believe rob porter's ex-wives, mr. president? >> thank you very much. thank you very much. >> do you believe rob porter's ex-wives, mr. president? >> thank you very much. thank you very much. thank you. >> well, unlike his effusive praise for rob porter on friday, president trump declined two invitations to share his opinions on the women who accused the former white house aide of domestic violation. welcome to "morning joe." in fact, he was asked in general what does he think about
domestic violation and he didn't want to answer. >> no answers. in the first clip that we showed, he praised porter about 10, 11 times in 30 seconds. >> but nothing on domestic violation. easy, easy question. it's wednesday, february 14th. it's valentine's day. >> would you like me to kiss you? >> oh my god. no. with us we have columnist editor post david ignatius. >> you can't do that. national political reporter for nbc news carol lee and new york times washington bureau chief making everyone uncomfortable. >> should i be uncomfortable. >> i'm not getting involved in this. i'm not going there. >> but i think you're moving away. if we had bill o'reilly's what did he call that body language expert, the fact that you're going like this, you've answered my question. i think we can go straight to
news, mika. >> all right. let's go to the news. in a senate hearing yesterday, the fbi director struck down white house claims that president trump's team had received little information about domestic violation allegations against former staff secretary rob porter. this, after chief of staff john kelly denied having any detailed knowledge to reporters on friday and press secretary sarah huckabee sanders claimed on monday that they believe the process was on going. here are those comments from kelly and sanders followed by fbi director christopher wray's. >> in november, i got an update on some of the investigations and the update was that there was some things that that needed to be looked into. literally that was it. and tuesday night i found out and that's what i've been saying. >> the process for the background was on going and the white house had not received any
specific papers regarding the completion of that background check. >> the fbi submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in march. and then a completed background investigation in late july that soon thereafter we received requests for followup inquiry and we did the followup and provided that information in november and that we administratively closed the file in january and then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well. >> faced with those contradictions yesterday, sanders admitted that the information went to a specific branch of the white house but did not have firm answers about who knew what. >> you said this again that the
investigation was on going. christopher wray said it was closed in january. so who is telling the truth here? >> both. as i said, the fbi portion was closed. the white house personnel security office who is the one that makes a recommendation for adjudication had not finished up or not made a recommendation to the white house. >> let me just clarify one more point, you said yesterday that you didn't get any paperwork from the fbi. chris wray said he did submit paperwork. >> again, that would come through the white house personnel security office which had not completed their investigation and not passed that information to the white house. >> but you acknowledge you did receive paperwork? >> again, the white house -- i think you need to be very clear, there's multiple groups here. the white house personnel security office, which is staffed by career officials, would have -- may have received information, but they had not completed their process and made a recommendation to the white house for adjudication.
>> any one of the white house personnel security office have any communications with anyone in the west wing about rob porter's clearance between when the fbi started submitting its interim reports. >> i'm not aware of any communication. i can't say definitively. >> given what she said over the past couple days, that was just painful to watch. elizabeth, we now have seven days of lies. point blank black and white they lied time and time again. and what's so confounding here is answering the question, why did they lie? i think most americans would have -- had they fired him day one, send him out and say he committed acts of domestic abuse and he has no role in this white house anymore. they keep dragging this lie out. >> what you saw there was them explaining -- this is a new explanation of what happened.
they're talking about this other office, which does have the name white house personnel security office, but sarah is going on about how it's different from the west wing. it's over in the elb. and that's their new narrative, which is that, okay, yes, the fbi did tell this white house office in march, july, november and january about the background check, but this office was somehow separate from the rest of the white house. >> but again -- >> she said i'm not aware of any communications between that office -- >> she answered that very carefully. i am not aware of anything as far as i know. so that's the new story. but the question is, how did the white house, this white house personnel security office not tell anybody in the west wing what was going on? that is what is very curious. >> but in fact, they were telling them what was going on, carol lee, because john kelly knew and the white house counsel knew that they had somebody who
was extraordinarily close to the president of the united states who couldn't get a security clearance. you don't need -- again, as a small-time congressman, in my small time office, if i had a staffer that worked on arms services committee with me and they kept saying, hey, he can't go into this meeting. we can't read him in because he hasn't passed his security clearance. that would happen twice. what the hell is going on? either get the security clearance or get him out. any white house would do that. >> right. there are a couple things going on here. there's the process of security clearance generally which clearly this exposed some serious problems with that. then there's the question of the competence of the chief of staff who is clearly under fire and what he knew. but also the fbi director raised a number of questions yesterday like who is the person who requested the additional information in july? who did that go to? and the thing that the white house is not doing is everyday they come out here and they try
to explain away what happened. and in doing that, just add more fuel to the fire and more questions rather than answers. and, you know, at some point i'm wondering if they're going to come out and have a very definitive effort to correct the record of the timeline and explain what the actual process is in terms of how you obtain a security clearance. the thing that is, i think, at the heart of this that's tying some of this up is jared kushner. this puts the president and his senior staff in a very precarious position because he does not have a full security clearance. >> david ignatius, yesterday john kelly said we did the process right. everybody in washington d.c., everybody that's followed this story around the world, knows that is not true. >> we just heard in those little clips about a disconnect in the process. we heard from christopher wray exactly what they did as they were requested when they delivered material.
and then there's this black box which disappears. sarah huckabee sanders, i found her commentary basically incomprehensible. there's some other office and it went to that office office but we didn't -- what? so i think now to try to find their way out of this, they're letting the white house look completely ridiculous. >> isn't the advice -- i know we need to get to our next guest, maybe i'm wrong about the roles here. but isn't the advice, shouldn't it be on the part of the white house communications director and also the communications team sarah and her team to be, mr. president, it would be important if you make a definitive statement on domestic violation and on these two women? >> he has not spoken out at all since this began. >> he has not spoken out and have we heard whether or not he's been advised by his team which is made up by a lot of women? >> well, elizabeth, all we've
heard is that, oh behind the scenes he's really upset. behind the scenes the president is really upset. we heard yesterday from david brody who wrote a book about the president's faith. i talked about how he said he didn't need god to forgive him. yeah, but behind the scenes he says he does. it's the same pattern. >> the president believes the women, believes the former wives privately. >> why wouldn't he say it on the record? >> that i don't know. he's been asked several times as you saw yesterday. >> is he being advised by the women on his communications team to perhaps address these issues? does anyone know? do they have any opinions? do they do anything? >> kids, if you're watching at home, i think this is what you call a rhetorical question being asked by mika. let's go right now to john cipher. john is a former member of the cia. he retired in 2014 after a 28-year career agency's agency clan december tine service and
member of the senior intelligence service. john served multiple overseas tours as chief of station and deputy chief of station. he is a recipient of agency's distinguished career intelligence medal and other than that, he's done absolutely nothing over the past three decades. john, why don't you talk about what concerns would you have, would any intelligence professional have about people roaming around the white house who are seen at times as de facto secretaries of state not able to get a security clearance? >> well, it's interesting. for me the big issue here is that the world is watching. our partners overseas who help us so much on intelligence issues and our adversaries are watching all this and they see the shenanigans and realize that we have the third string in the white house. so, to me it's not the security clearance per se. now, mr. porter is a different issue. but it's not the security
clearances for mr. kushner and others that bother me. it's that it used to be to work in the white house you had a full career of experience and you are a serious person who did serious work. when we have a 30-year-old who has never done anything running china and the middle east and these other kind of things, i'm more worried about that for the health of our country than whether his security clearance. now, people talk about he could be blackmailed or something. i don't believe that. i think it would be hard to get access to him. recruiting spies is hard and recruiting spies in the white house would be almost impossible. but what's more important to us really is his capability and his qualifications and they're not there. >> david ignatius, i want to just ask you what you and your former colleagues thought watching yesterday the parade of intelligence community chiefs going up on capitol hill saying forthrightly they thought the threat of russian meddling in our elections was continuing. how would you rate their performance?
>> well, i think the people who run our institutions and our departments are serious people. and i think within their agencies they are taking this threat seriously. they understand it. they see intelligence everyday about what the russians are up to, but the problem is they're doing it within their own silos. we used to call them cylinders of excellence in the government. if we're going to deal with this threat, which is a serious national security threat, we need an all of government approach and we need to bring in the private sector, social media companies, cyber companies and only the white house, only the president of the united states can push that kind of case. and clearly he's not doing that. so, the institutions are doing fine, i believe. they are going to inform us of what's happening. but if we're going to deter and defend in the future, we need a much bigger push. >> how much of a threat do you think russian interference in u.s. elections in american democracy and forget about u.s. electio elections. even in a debate a few weeks ago on whether house republicans
should release a half baked memo to expose parts of the fisa warrant process, how much of a concern do you carry around on that? >> well, i'm very concerned about russian interference and the fact that it will continue. the one thing i know for sure, the russians are very good at this. what mr. putin will do next time in 2018 is not exactly what he did in 2016. he'll look for the weaknesses in our system and exploit them. we're worried very much about the voting system, for example. if i'm mr. putin, i don't need to change votes. i've already put fear into the system. whoever wins in 2018 is going to worry whether the election is legitimate or whether russians meddled even if they didn't. he's already won on that front. so therefore we need to deter and defend against him in the future. the issue with the memos, again like i said, the world is watching. they see serious people in serious positions willing to share secrets and to put half baked ideas into the public.
that's dangerous for us, i believe. and i think for mr. schiff and the democrats to put out a memo, there's people paying attention and look at that and realize that's a serious effort when mr. nunes wasn't a serious effort, but this is right along the russian play book. if you get your lie out there first and you stick with it, a lot of people are going to believe it. when they see the other side putting out their own memo, oh one side does it, the other side does it. therefore who am i to believe? that's what mr. putin has done domestically in russia and what he's trying to do here. everybody is corrupt. >> all right, thank you so much for being here this morning. thank you for your service also to the intel communities and to our country. >> thank you. >> we greatly appreciate it. elizabeth, let's statalk ab the hearings yesterday. we are concerned this will turn into an episode of "homeland"
where the intel communities start kowtowing to the president of the united states. at least yesterday -- >> it didn't look like it. >> what was your take? >> what was so striking was you have the top intelligence and national security officials in the government disagreeing with the president openly saying that russia was trying to interfere in 2018. they were already beginning to do that. it was a serious threat. so far the president has said this is all fake news. it was very striking, these are people who were appointed by the president. >> striking is a word that came to mind once again with christopher wray. this man has proven over the past few weeks that not only is he not afraid to stand up for the agency that he works for but he's also not afraid to stand up to the president who appointed him a few months back. >> right. but look at what the president has said in recent weeks about the fbi. think about that. think of the attacks he's launched on the fbi.
but christopher wray was very persuasive yesterday. the state officials are concerned. there's russians trying to -- so far we've been told they're knocking on the door of state electoral systems. they haven't picked the lock yet, but it's a serious concern. now, the government is going ahead. you notice that christopher wray said the president did not directly directed them to do so, but they are moving ahead with state officials. >> elizabeth, thank you very much. >> thank you, elizabeth. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> by the way, thank you for being -- elizabeth, hall monitor this morning. >> yes. no kissing in the hall. >> just with your awkward sort of move away from me. >> yes. >> that is helpful. >> we will take him. still ahead, the much-anticipated debate over immigration reform seems to be falling apart before it gets started. will the bill proposed by senator john mccain and our next guest get a fair shake. senator chris coons joins us on
set. plus a resume joe has been sending to for years, lloyd blankfein will be here. we had a great event last night for goldman sachs. it was at union station here in washington, d.c. an incredible venue. there's my mom, my best friend, my brother, my niece. it was fun. it was the largest ever gathering of small business owners in the u.s. there's michael bloomberg. >> i asked michael bloomberg actually for some money. >> no. >> every time he walks past. he has 50, 60 billion. >> he was lovely. >> what's a couple million. he wouldn't miss that. >> stop. it was fun. joe's band played. and the band was amazing. blew the roof off union station. people were really psyched. >> i put a briefcase right in
front of bloomberg hoping he would throw thousands dollar bills in there. >> floyd was dancing with the small business owners and everyone was having a great time. >> you cannot report on goldman sachs because you two were dancing. >> what? >> this is making me sick. we'll be right back. liberty mutual stood with me when this guy got a flat tire
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with xfinity's retail stores, you can now see the latest. want to test drive the latest devices? be our guest. want to save on mobile? just ask. want to demo the latest innovations and technology? do it here. come see how we're making things simple, easy, and awesome. plus come in today and ask about xfinity mobile, a new kind of network designed to save you money. visit your local xfinity store today. we'll see what happens with daca, but we want to security the border and wall, ending chain migration and canceling the visa lottery. i think you all agree. anybody in favor of the lottery, you pick it out and say good. we have a new united states citizen. doesn't work. and they're not giving us their finest. that we can tell you. >> that was president trump pushing his immigration reform
platform at a round table with leaders from the national sheriff's association on monday. as senators begin to debate a variety of proposals regarding the matter, the process is expected to include a wide range of plans, including a bill cosponsored by our next guest, democratic senator chris coons of delaware. heidi is back with this conversation as well. good to have you on board. >> senator, you're going to get a vote today? >> i'm very hopeful we'll get a vote today. the leadership has to agree on exactly which votes are coming to the floor. but the mccain/coons is the only bipartisan bill that is likely to get a vote. it's a bill that was written by will herd, republican congressman, former cia operative who has the longest texas/mexico border in his district of any district in the country, 800 miles.
will herd teamed up with pete aguilar of southern california. it has 54 cosponsors in the house. so senator mccain, a great friend and someone i deeply admire was willing to partner up with me and introduce it. it only focuses on dreamer and border. that's it. >> but if it doesn't have a chance of passing, why put it on the floor for a vote? >> the whole idea of having an open debate is we put out a bill that is the trump agenda that grassley introduced that's very broad and touches on a very wide range of issues. we put out something that's just border, just dreamers. have a debate, take a vote. see which one gets 60. >> do you trust mitch mcconnell. has he been good to his word so far? >> he said he would start with a neutral base bill and he did. he said he would allow us to proceed to this debate and he did. what i don't think is reasonable is the statement by senator
cornyn yesterday that we have to be done by tomorrow, by thursday. >> why are they rushing? >> i don't understand either. >> this is supposed to be an open process. what's the deadline tomorrow? >> there is no deadline tomorrow. the only deadline is march 5th, which was a deadline created by the president. >> do the airplanes start flying in and out of national? >> no, they don't. >> i'm serious. >> that doesn't make sense. we should have time to discuss it. >> you guys agree. >> if you reopen the government, we will have an open process. >> that's right. >> that doesn't end in one day. >> that's right. and there haven't been committee hearings on this. i'll remind you, mitch, the republican majority leader is a fan of regular order, as am i. we have a lot of senators who are just coming up to speed on the minutia, the details of what these immigration details. >> i know this is shocking, but i know the senate is out next week. but i'm just curious, would it kill you guys to work on
saturday? >> no, it really wouldn't. >> if you don't get it done, even by friday, are there any -- anybody in the senate that you know that has any sort of physical infirmity that would not allow them to work on saturdays? >> there's a few senators who have been absent in the last few months. >> no. let's just say john cornyn. >> no. >> ain't going to be a health risk if he works on the saturday. >> we could work all weekend. to me the most encouraging development was the common sense coalition two dozen senators republicans and democrats senator collins and senator manchin led that met over and over and over. we started meeting on the saturday of the shutdown. >> there you go. >> as a way to try to get to an agreement to get us out of shutdown. we shouldn't finish until we have a deal. >> it sounds like a false deadline has been set. >> it's possible it's a false dead liven. but i'm hearing a glimmer of bipartisanship.
you describe it, describe working with senator mccain. i want to ask you whether that sense of bipartisan solutions also applies to foreign policy issues. you've been one of the leading foi voices on iran, on the iran nuclear agreement. do you have a feeling that the senate and congress are coming together on supporting a way that will preserve that deal, strengthen it in some ways? how is that going? >> i do think that chairman corker and now ranking member menendez respect each other well, worked together well on the senate foreign relations committee to make it possible for us to preserve the benefits, the progress of the jcpoa while addressing the significant and unresolving problems with iran's reckless ballistic nuclear program, human rights violation and support of terrorism in the region. it's a tricky path. we have a president who refuses to continue certifying. and we've got vital allies in europe who have real concerns about the threat of our withdrawal from the jcpoa.
i do think the foreign relations committee on which i serve is the most bipartisan committee i'm on and it made great progress in tackling a whole series of problems. i've enjoyed working with senator corker. we had several bipartisan bills in the last congress. we're about to introduce a new one in the weeks ahead. i found him a great partner to work with and i think he will work very well with menendez to save what there is worth saving about the jcpoa. >> the news is that senator corker is reconsidering the question to run again. do you hear anything about that? >> he's a wonderful partner. he is not answering that question, at least not when i asked him. >> all right. carol lee? >> i have two questions for you. one is, what's your expectation for the democratic memo in the house? and the other is, when you're looking at what's happening in the white house with the security clearances issue, do you have confidence in chief of staff, john kelly? >> it's striking that someone as senior, the person who literally was deciding what was going in front of president of the united states, had a temporary security
clearance and as fbi director wray testified, one that clearly was operating under a cloud where there were questions that had been resolved and presented. i think we have a white house that continues to really struggle with its relationship with the intelligence community, with its handling of classified material, the way the president has acted in terms of refusing to release the democratic memo is another unanswered question of what's the goal and what's the objective here. i thought devin nunes memo was a partisan slap of the fbi when you read it and look into the details there's not much there there. not unlike other things that have come out of the white house in recent days. i've been disappointed by the infrastructure proposal, for example. so there's a lot where there was a lot of noise made about this memo. i don't think there's a lot of substance there. and the absence of a democratic response i think leaves an incomplete conversation. >> and heidi has a question for you. >> back on immigration, in order to get anything done realistly, you have to get it through the
house, in order to get it through the house you have to get trump buy in. we know that's not going to happen unless there's compromises on some of the issues specifically what he calls chain migration, what democrats call family unification. why not compromise on some of these categories for very extended family, if that could get you a deal on daca? >> well, heidi, that's exactly the challenge we're going to be confronting both on the floor today and tomorrow and in the common sense coalition debates. i think we should be doing this in two phases. i think we should be focussing first on a pathway to citizenship for dreamers and a robust plan for border security, both southern and northern borders. i think that is a responsible deal that allows the president to get what he's been looking for and allows those of us who are advocates for the dreamers to secure some stability for them. there are many other issues that are unresolved and unaddressed from temporary protective status to h 1 b and h 2 b visas.
one of the challenges we face is we're negotiating with someone like donald trump who doesn't seem to take yes for an answer, he claims to be a great deal maker but in several famously pointed or uneven exchanges he'll accept a deal on tuesday and reject it on thursday, i think the hardening of his position doesn't make this week easier. i think he should let the senate do its work and then see what he's willing to accept. >> senator chris coons, thank you very much. always good to have you on the set. coming up, we're joined by republican senator, james lankford that questioned the nation's top spy chiefs yesterday. is he satisfied with what he heard about the plan to combat russia's meddling in the midterms? we'll talk about that ahead on "morning joe." ♪
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five points. in that district, registered republicans also outnumber registered democrats. >> wow. >> by more than 10,000. and buchanan's father, verne, notably represents the area in the united states house of representatives in addition to owning several of the largest car dealerships there. according to the daily beast, it's the 36th seat democrats have flipped since trump's inauguration. >> well, heidi, we're seeing this. that's a 12-point flip and we're seeing a lot of these 12, 15, 20-point flips. even when republicans win seats, sometimes they're down 20 plus points from where they were last year with donald trump. >> that's why some of the smart prognosticators are looking at what we're calling overperformance here because the democrats can still lose but they maybe made up a double-point previous victory for the republican. so, folks that i'm talking to
like at the political report, like nathan gonzalez say if these overperformance rates hold, it bodes well for democrats taking control of the house. but the thing to watch right now are these primary races, right? so are we going to see a repeat of what happened with the republicans in 2010 with some of these primary candidates winning who then become unelectable in the general. i don't think that's going to happen. we don't see that there's a big source of funding going out there and pushing these people forward like we saw with the conservatives, but it is something to watch. >> well, you have two models for democrats. you have 2010 where you had republicans that were pretty far right, the tea party group. of course that worked for them very well in 2010. in 2014, though, you suddenly had the chamber, the cokes, a lot of other money people saying enough after the government shutdown. this is how it works so often,
enough of the government shutdown, we are going to get mainstream, main street republicans through primaries. and they did. one primary contest after another primary contest main street republicans won and that allowed republicans to do very well in 2014. you look at some of the candidates that the democrats have out there, it doesn't really matter what people are saying in washington, d.c. doesn't really matter what the most progressive groups are saying. people are going to vote for the candidate they want on the ground. for instance, this pennsylvania race at the end of march. they have somebody in conner lamb who is of that district whose family is from that district. he is -- he's so different than john ausoff who didn't really fit that northern georgia district. conner lamb does. those are the type of candidates democrats need to put out there if they're going to win. >> so, however a democratic super pac is warning that their
party -- that focussing on president trump's latest tweets could actually cost them electoral gains. priorities usa released internal polling that shows president trump rebounding in key areas while the democrats mid-term advantage has shrunk. trump's approval has risen to 44%, up 4 points since november. while he climbed 14 points on his tax policies to 46% and up 8 points on economic policies while even on health care he has risen 11 points to 34% approval. the poll found democrat's lead in the 2018 generic ballot fallen to 4 points, 46% to the republicans 42%. >> but at the end of the day, it really is, david, it's all turnout. so even if you have republicans 42, democrats 42 on the eve of the election and we need to look to virginia, it is who is the
most motivated to turn out. we all thought that, oh, all these moderate republicans in northern virginia ran away from ed gillespie. they didn't. gillespie has 90, 95% of the republican vote, it's just that more democrats were more motivated to go out and stand in the rain, especially women, to go out and send a message to donald trump. >> i think you put your finger on what's going to be if decisive factor. we have a very motivated democratic party heading into these mid-term elections. trump's base will also be motivated. they're passionate about him. it's clear, as you look at those numbers, that the success of passing the tax bill and people beginning to get bonuses or hear about friends who have gotten them, that's had an affect on the public opinion meter. but it's, as we say in tennis, it's on the democrat's racket. they have the opportunity here if they're sensible, they have a motivated base, people are very
passionate, they just need to be smart in these coming months, figuring out how much bipartisanship. that's the key dilemma for the democrats. >> it's so important they don't go too far left. unless that helps them in the district they're in that they don't obsess about impeachment. in fact, if i were nancy pelosi, i would say never bring that word up again. you know, carol, we republicans did that in 1998. we were sure the democratic party was going to collapse because we were in the middle of bill clinton's impeachment hearings, the rise to that. and the democrats performed shockingly well and it wasn't bill clinton that had to leave washington early. it was newt gingrich who a couple of days after that shocking result where so many people talked about impeachment, it was gingrich who was run out of town. >> right. we've seen there are voters who supported president trump who
are now turning against him and voting against him and the risk for democrats is they try to overuse the dislike that voters are having for the president and the risk in doing that is then they turn them off. people don't want necessarily want someone -- that also goes to not criticizing literally every single thing that he does but sort of picking your battles. the thing i found interesting in the sarasota race and i was a reporter there for several years that is such a bell weather. democrats have been going after that area for a really long time. and the way that race is typically go there, they are going to swing. they're really close. and this was not close. >> yeah. the i-4 corridor, when we were watching election night when the results started coming in from florida, it really is still tim rh russert said florida, florida, florida. the first time i saw donald trump win was seeing donald
trump perform over the i-4 corridor. that is a bell weather. >> carol lee, thank you very much for being on this morning. up next, msnbc viewers learn a fun fact about our next guest while watching a senate hearing on global threats yesterday. did you know that senator lankford was on the high school debate team while on fourth grade? >> no way. >> yes. >> that is overachieving. >> intimidating. >> what a cute thing. >> senator lankford responded on twitter. you don't know how hard it was to be a debate nerd in fourth grade with red hair. #gingerproblems. senator lankford joins the table next on "morning joe."
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>> not specifically as directed by the president. >> all right. joining us now member of the intelligence appropriations and homeland security and governmental affairs committees republican senator this kid had a busy, busy life. we know it is important, what was the debate topic. >> go back toosol solar energy. i would practice with the high school. we would go over every friday and practice with them. >> jimmy carter that the united states needed an energy policy. >> and more coal. >> and we still don't. >> we still don't.
his argument when you get away from natural gas, we don't have enough. now we have abundance and everyone wants to use coal. >> a couple guys in oklahoma figured out how to drill sideways. >> the world tanks dramatically. >> so, i'm going to give david ignatius the first question because, david has been raising some questions about yesterday's hearings. >> senator, i wanted to ask you about the hearing before your committee yesterday. you had all the intelligence agency chiefs there. seeming to me very professional. telling the truth and their analysts have found it. i wondfer your committee has found a bipartisan community to stand by the intelligence agencies and, in particular, to protect the special counsel mueller if there is any attempt to interfere with his investigation, remove him. your committee at the point where you're going to stand
behind them and find a way to protect him? >> our committee has not had an issue standing behind the intelligence agencies. we were consistent on that all the way through the process. entirely reasonable for us to ask questions and read in the newspapers and, obviously, two hearings yesterday and one in the open setting and three hours later in the closed setting and go through classified information and a lot greater depth. for us being unified behind the intelligence committees and the organizations, there's not been a problem. now, when you talk about robert mueller, that is in the judiciary committee when they have first oversight in that particular role, but i have said all along that robert mueller should finish his investigation and get it done. best thing for the president and the presidency and for the future of the country for him to resolve this issue. >> just to close that, do you think that mueller is now safe because of the senate as a whole coming into the same view? >> i don't think mueller was ever at risk.
i think the president came out over and over again and made public statements that said we are not trying to be able to push him out. that question was asked immediately and repetitively. we pushed back on it. i don't think he was ever at risk. no grand secret the president doesn't like the investigation. >> wasn't there a report that trump tried to fire him? >> there was a report in the earlier days that he was mad about it and wanted to push back and i wasn't in those conversations either. everybody said there was no real risk. >> just to comfort a lot of people that are watching here, it seems to me that your opinion on the investigation, on mueller's investigation is shared by most republicans in the united states senate. which is no man's above the law. let's do the investigation. we don't believe there's anything there. so let the investigation run to
the country and if there are any other important questions, then we need to know. >> no man is above the law. whether you're the investigator or investigate. treat everyone fairly and walk through the process. >> it has been so muddled. any questions raised about the way the fbi handled the clinton investigation somehow seems to reflect on robert mueller's investigation. they're two separate issues. we've expressed concern on this set time and time again. cheryl mills being in the fbi when hillary clinton is being investigated. the president of the united states then. barack obama twice. once in the fall of 2015 and once in 2016 and it was wrapping up, inserting himself in a way that enraged fbi agents saying there is nothing here. no national security secrets here. do you have concerns about how
that investigation was conducted and should we investigate how the fbi conducted that investigation under james comey and can it be done in a way that doesn't feed into conspiracy theories on certain far right media outlets? >> no way it doesn't feed into conspiracy theories. no matter what the outcome is and the judiciary put out their final report, mueller puts out their final reports and someone will walk up and say, oh, one more thing everyone missed. that is going to happen in the investigation. they are two separate investigations. >> let's talk about the clinton investigation and the way comey ran it and a lot of questionable things, again, that we question at realtime. are you concerned about that? should we go back and see how the fbi conducted that investigation? >> i believe we should and it should be the justice department leading it on their own employees. information came out and the fbi sat on it for a month before it
was turned over to the director of the fbi during the investigation, during the heart of the election. that is a reasonable question to be able to ask why. >> again, i just want to be very clear, but you don't believe in most republicans in the senate do not believe that that has anything to do with robert mueller's investigation. >> i would agree. >> senator, stay with us. we'll sneak in a quick break. i have to ask him about solar panels. when i come back -- >> a lot more time when we bring in nbc's andrea mitchell who will be joining the conversation. we're back live with more "morning joe" in just a moment. bp's natural gas teams use smart app technology to share data from any well instantly. so they can analyze trends and stop potential problems in their tracks. because safety is never being satisfied and always working to be better.
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>> with the fbi aware of allegations related to rob porter and domestic abuse and, if so, was the white house informed this could affect his security clearance, when were they informed and who at the white house was informed? >> well, senator, there's a limit to what i can say about the content of any particular background investigation. what i can tell you is that the fbi submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in march. and then a completed background investigation in late july. that is soon thereafter, we
received requests for follow up inquiry. and we did the follow up and provided that information in november. and that we administratively closed the file in january. and then earlier this month, we received some additional information and we passed that on, as well. >> okay. welcome back to "morning joe." that seems pretty complete. >> it is very complete. >> it is wednesday, february 14th. >> the white house press secretary the day before had blamed the fbi. somebody should have had a calendar in front of her saying here you are on this day. tomorrow, the fbi director is going to be testifying under oath. >> oh, my gosh, it's painful. we're back with james langford of oklahoma. member of the intelligence and homeland security committees. >> i found something shocking. i wanted to connect with him by talking about oklahoma football and, of course, one of the great college football games of all
time with georgia and oklahoma, but i find out that you didn't go to either oklahoma or oklahoma state. you don't care because you went to texas. you were probably cheering for georgia. >> definitely not. definitely not. >> also with us editor for "washington post" david ignatius and joining the conversation nbc chief news correspondent and host of "andrea mitchell reports" andrea mitchell, who just told us what she does for fun. >> goes to sdmat hearings. >> it just fits. and chuck rosenberg, district attorney for the eastern district of virginia and aide to both james comey and robert mueller. he is now a law enforcement analyst for nbc news and msnbc. >> andrea mitchell, we have been talking about the hearing yesterday, on the threat assessment, what was your take away? >> that our intelligence leaders are professionals and they're leading the workforce and they
should be respected. they're not politicized. there are a lot of flaws with the way this whole russia investigation has been conducted. i think angus king making the point as, you know, other senators did, that there's not going to be an intensive defense against russian meddling in 2018 or 2020 or beyond unless the commander in chief orders it. my information is that there has not been a single deputies or prin principles meeting because echoes vladimir putin's denials. no matter what the senate intelligence committee does in a bipartisan way and give credit for not duplicating the disaster that the house intel committee has. >> right. >> these people are doing their job, but there is only so much that they can do unless they get a real, you know, firing message. >> good push from the white house. >> from the white house. from the top. >> the problem with the white house and the problem with
donald trump, again, whenever you talk about meddling donald trump hears the word collusion which means he is so obsessed and focused on his victory, he doesn't want anybody to suggest that it wasn't all because of the greatness of his campaign rallies. david ignatius, what was your take away yesterday? >> so, i had the same reaction that andrea did. we were seeing the leaders of our intelligence community speaking fourthrightly. going through the truth as they understand it about russian meddling and about climate change was one of the issues that was in the threat assessment about the iran nuclear deal saying that we believe that iran is abiding by it in other words, the analysts were saying that is what we think. that is what the country needs and expect from its professional intelligence agencies and we saw it yesterday and it was, i think it should be encouraging to people. >> and the federal deficit.
>> they talked about the federal deficit. >> as a dire threat. that's what senator says. >> an assessment i can get excited about. talking about the debt. andrea, we're in day seven now of the porter affair. >> no, it's nine. >> day nine, which it actually should have been a one-day problem for the white house. they should have found out about it. seen the pictures. said you need to clear out your desk. we're sorry, but you just -- you can't be here. and explain that. instead, every day, another explanation, another lie and the next day, they have to back track on it and yesterday was the most dramatic where they told the story that just wasn't true and they actually were undercut by the director of the fbi under oath in front of the senate. >> and even after they were undercut by chris ray, actually, you know, laying it out and the fact that the white house was stupid enough to, should we say, just dumb enough to not look at the schedule and realize that
chris wray was going to be testifying and all you had to say was it was really the fbi and they didn't finish this thing. no, he laid it out in excruciating detail and then sarah sanders comes out and briefs. who was lying? the white house or chris wray? she says, you know, both are telling the truth. no, there is this security office inside personnel and there was the white house and it was just painful. it's dismissive. take a look at margaret sullivan today in "washington post" reviewing that briefing performance and saying that this was the new low. below sean spicer and below anything. >> so, senator, i'm not going to ask you whether or not you think this is problematic, but i am curious what you think the implications of this, for example, just put it this porter situation. what it emplifies about how this white house functions and where its moral base is and if you think there are implications to
this. >> i think long tewe'll know mo of the implications. they asked him to get out and believe. it was entirely appropriate. they should have been more rapid in their response. quite frankly, this sends a message to the entire country and the message needs to be clear. domestic violence is a terrible thing and that won't be tolerated in the workplace and shouldn't be tolerated in our country and in our families and where it shows up, reported law enforcement and engaged rather than saying, we're going to stall through it and talk about the accusers and talk about due process and make a message on that. one thing i didn't want to say to andrea, the good news on the security side, i serve on security side and homeland security. the white house and the administration has been very aggressive in homeland security has been very aggressive at implementing new procedures and interacting with states on elections to watch out for cyberattacks that were engaging and getting security clearance and camilla harris and amy and i
have a bill on election security that we're going through the process. dhs has implemented almost everything we get in legislation they have done voluntarily at this point. an aggressive move on homeland security to help on the election side of it. >> that is encouraging. chuck, let me ask you, what are your concerns about what's happening in the west wing right now and what this porter affair reveals about all the white house employees that can't get security clearance? >> well, some of those, joe, can't get clearances because they're brand-new and you would expect there to be some lag. it takes a month or two for new employees to get cleared. the real number that matters is how many have been there for nine months or 12 months and are still working off an interim clearance. that shouldn't occur. if there are problems with the employees that have been flagged by the fbi and its background investigation, then they should be working with, i'm sorry, the white house should be working to remove those employees.
if we can't clear them, we can't clear them and we need to find someone else. >> all right, david ignatius. >> i want to ask senator langford to take us the next step on the issue that came up at your committee yesterday about russian meddling, russian activity. and to ask you, also, to address a very unusual thing that's in the news in moscow about russian troops, not troops, but russian mercenaries operating in syria who may have been killed last week as the u.s. responded to an attack on its position in syria. just curious about both those things and centering on russia. >> can't give a lot of the information because it's still classified and we're working on a lot of the details and americans there as advisors helping and forces on the ground that we have supported and encouraged. trained, equipped, that are pushing back against isis. we had an individuals that came
and attacked that group of folks. we responded. it was a very long series of time to give them warnings and then finally responded. we don't know everyone that was in the group, but entirely likely it was a private security firm, basically. several russians -- >> blackwater. a lot of russian companies will hire their own private army basically to be able to move and to function for them. this appears to be one of those private armies that basically didn't heed the warning and receive the consequences of that. >> how worried are you about the israeli escalation in response to an iranian drone that they say came into their air space. they hit back and lost an f-16. the first time that happened since the 1980s and additional strikes. so you have the russians losing, i believe, a plane last weekend and the turks losing a helico helicopter. the israeli losing an f-16. we're getting into a lot of conflict among major powers. >> it's an extremely crowded air
space and they've had an open line of communication. the israelis have been very clear. they know iran is trying to move through syria to put additional weaponry and additional implements there and help equip folks in lebanon and in syria to bring the fight to israel and israel has been very clear. they're not going to allow iran to do that. once iran moved into their air space with the drone and continued to do that inspection. they not only took out that drone but took out support around that drone and we will not allow iran to establish a base around syria and iran. >> will the united states stand up for the kurds and the rights of the kurds, not only in syria, but also in iran over the past 12, 13 years, it seems that kurds have been our only steadfast, reliable allies day in and day out. >> we will be able to stand up for the kurds and the difficulty defining who the kurds are. it's kind of like saying all americans agree.
we definitely don't all agree. >> pressure on turk who basically wants to declare war on the same kurds that are helping us in syria right now. >> those kurds in the north central area of syria, those kurds actually took the fight to isis and drove individuals out. the turks, obviously, consider them terrorists and want to be able to wipe them out entirely. they are not opposed to all kurds, but all are. we are caught in the group between the group that led the fight in syria and a group in turkey that doesn't want to see the fight come to them. >> chuck, we have been concerned. i say we, the collective we, have been concerned by what we've seen under the int intelligence agencies over the past six months. what we've seen out of the white house. concerns that perhaps intel is being politicized. wondering if you were heartened as much as some of us around the table yesterday by what you saw from the intel chiefs and the independents and the strength
that they showed? >> i was. it seemed to me that they called it straight down the middle, which is exactly what you would expect a professional intelligence in the united states would do. it was heartening. i think it was accurate. i see many of these threat hearings before. i read the assessments at a classified level. and they played it straight and that is heartening as a citizen. >> all right, chuck rosenberg, thank you very much. senator langford, thank you very much. andrea mitchell, we'll see you at noon on msnbc. still ahead on "morning joe" the federal government's plan to increase spending in an economy that is already expanding while cutting a trillion dollars in taxes something lloyd blankfine said he would not do. in fact, he compares it to throwing lighter fluid on a fire. we'll ask him to explain that when he joins us here on set. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "morning joe." we are joined now by former fox news host eric boling for what could be the most important discussion we have this morning. it has been a really terrible time for you and your wife and for those of you who don't know eric's story. back in september, his son, eric jas, passed away suddenly at the age of 19 from what was revealed to be an opioid-related overdose. around the same time, eric, you lost the job that you love at fox news amid controversy and a lot of people might want us to ask you a lot of questions around the circumstances around that segment. but for this segment, we'll leave those questions for another time. you found the strength to open up here with us to share your painful story, as all too many families xrooacross the country struggle with the same pain to
lose a family member to opioids. a new national epidemic. the numbers are staggering. for this segment we're focusing and the work that you've been doing and what you've been trying to do to help other families. eric will be meeting with the president today to discuss the opioid crisis and we want to hear first of all what you want to hear from him, but, first, we want to hear about your son. >> yeah. mika, on september 8th of this past year my wife and i went out to dinner and we were about to turn the page of my career. went out to dinner and everything was fine. on the way home from that dinner, my cell phone rang and adrian was driving and it was one of eric's friends who was in a panic, said, mr. boling, call kaylee. he gave me her number and she was crying. it's that phone call that every parent dreads. i went right to the first thing
and said, is he alive? and she said no. it was a complete, devastating shock to us. adrian spilled out to the road. i picked her up and we sat on the curb for a while and your mind goes to a place that i can't explain. to expedite this, mika, immediately we were in major, major depression. we didn't know what to do. the next morning we flew to colorado. we met with the coroner and just afterwards and we just -- our worlds are spinning my phone rings and it's president trump and he says. i can't believe this. i want you to know you're in our thoughts and our prayers. and i said, thank you very much. that was one of maybe seven phone calls i got from the president. he's been amazing with this. one of the other people who have been really amazing throughout this whole process is sitting right next to you. joe scarborough. i will never forget adrian and i were about to walk into a
restaurant. i'm in the public life and my wife never signed up for any of this public stuff, she likes to keep a low key. but every time we'd walk into a restaurant people would point and look and poor adrian. just so heart wrenching. we were up in connecticut and the phone rings and it was joe scarborough and he said, just thinking about you. it was inrigthe right time. so many people said, can you tell your story on our show. i said, joe, i want to come to you. i went to twitter to put the story up. it's been overwhelming how many thousands of people say, i was embarrassed to talk about it, i was worried about talking to my kids about it. thanks to you, your voice, if it can happen to you, it can happen to anybody. they've come to that forum. >> and let's talk about what's happening. one of the reasons, obviously, i called because we've known you for a long time and it would be
any parent's worst nightmare. another is i've seen other people. i've seen friends who have lost their children through this. when my son went to the university of alabama, four or five kids that he knew either directly or through another friend died. and this was like five -- what's going on here? and what's going on here, it's not like the traditional story where you hear. this is what parents need to be warned about. it's not like somebody shoots heroin for six months and then gets an overdose. it can happen so quickly because the drugs that kids are buying are so powerful. you make one wrong mistake and you die. >> you're touching on two very important points. number one, from the parental side, it's not my kid syndrome. this drug, these opioids are killing kids. doesn't matter if you're black, white, hispanic, poor, rich, it's killing people
indiscriminately. because some of the drugs they're buying on college campuses are not prescription drugs they're made in china and sometimes they're laced with fentanyl, which is a massive, massively strong killer of kids. and my son, eric chase, had taken a xanax that he bought from someone on campus that was laced with fentanyl. it wasn't a prescription drug. but it killed him that night. the other thing that you're touching on is that people are afraid to talk about it. they're afraid to be open with their kids. they're fearful of talking about it. but you have to. they're getting younger and younger. 15 year olds, 16 year olds are dying from opioid overdoses. have the discussion with your children. >> at what point in your life when you discovered that you lost your son and you are sitting on the curb, at what point did you know why, how he died. >> very interesting. the tabloids went to work on us the next day and they said he
committed suicide and it was because of fox and it was none of that. it was absolutely none of that. we talked to the coroner. we talked to detectives and we have a private doctor in colorado who we used when we were out there visiting him and eric's doctor who all said this is an accident. it's an overdose, i it's an accident. the toxicology report came back and fentanyl with xanax in the system and that's a killer. >> dr. dave campbell with us who wrote "the teen formula." you've talked about this and we've talked about this. been talking to you about this for some time. this is the most important thing i personally think parents need to understand from this and why it's great. eric's on and you're on. this isn't, it doesn't happen to kids from bad families. it happens to kids from all families and, again, it's like russian roulette. a kid may think he's going out
buying xanax but the reason so many people are dying now it's laced with fentanyl and you get the wrong dosage by somebody in china that ships it in to say colorado. you take one pill and you die like that. >> yeah. the problem is we're seeing this very long marathon of substance abuse problems in the u.s. that probably started in the '80s, before that. but it's been escalating and in the last few years, probably five. but certainly the last two or three. we see the increasing availability of these ultrapotent, synthetic opioids. and not that there aren't other drugs around. if you go to the west coast, methamphetamine. meth, crystal meth is sweeping through the west coast and killing more people in oregon than opioids, but just increasing and increasing the
strength of drugs available. most of this is a supply side problem where we're seeing fentanyl, fentanyl analogues increasing in availability. like you said, coming across the border either from the south or by the mail. and it's tough. >> so, very interesting. you talk about the supply side and you point out i'm going over to the white house to talk. and what they've focused on is the supply side. it's how do you stop -- do you increase the nature for dealers and distributers who are doing it illegally. joe manchin talks about a town in his state in west virginia where i think there are around 1,000 people around the town and 9 million opioid pills delivered. >> hasn't the national guard gotten involved? >> think about what happened in the last two days. purdue pharmaceuticals said they could cut their sales force in half of selling oxycontin.
do they have to have a sales force to sell a drug like this? that's the supply side. that's the push. the sales side. why wouldn't it be, let's just take the, the doctor has to prescribe it, fine. why are they taking doctors on junkets to go golfing and to hawaii and cruises to prescribe more pills? >> well, they aren't now. but they were. and here we are in 2018 with this dramatically escalated problem, in parcel to the educational programs that the pharmaceutical industries participated. and we participated in knowingly over the last 20 years. but the availability of the drugs, whether they're prescription drugs, as we're talking about now. illicit drugs now as we're talking about is increasing and
the president's commission on substance on addiction and opioid crisis a wonderful document to look at. it came out in its final form in november of last year, 2017. everybody can access that on the internet and it's a treasure-trove of information. >> dave, let me stop you there. maybe i shouldn't reveal this, but i'm going to. dave and i are very good friends. and we have spoken at times about the problems with the trump administration and have been very critical. of course, that won't shock anybody. but on this one topic, you've actually over the past week, i thought this was going to be a showdown. but over the past week you've changed your outlook on, for instance, i guess the cdc director you think is a professional and somebody that can actually help here. and also the funding. you said the funding and the most recent budget actually was very aggressive, dave. >> it is. and i'm a proponent of what the federal government is trying to do. there were 57 recommendations
that came out in governor chris christie's proposals in november. if even part of those can be accomplished by the federal government and then the state governments and private industries, we'll make some headway. but this is a marathon, you guys. this is not a sprint. it's been going for a long time. it's just we're in that very rapid phase right now where we are having increasing deaths of younger and younger people because the potency of the drugs is crazy. >> and that's why, eric, again, just such an important message for parents that i want you to get out there because so many good parents and good kids -- >> talk to your kids. >> that any pill they take -- >> an athlete, a scholar, an a student, they're not immune to this. and i will tell you, as far as the white house is concerned, i've been working with them. donald trump himself has brought me in to talk. he cares about this issue. he really does. as the doctor points out, some $6 billion in the latest budget
towards opioid awareness and i'm actually helping them out with one of their awareness programs. very quick story, thanksgiving. my son passed in september. thanksgiving we're about to sit down to the thanksgiving table and there's an empty chair right there, eric's chair and i'm seeing it happen. the turkey is on the table and we're walking over there and it's going to be really bad. and, again, the phone rings and it's trump who says, you know, eric, i understand this is a first holiday without him and wanted you to know we're thinking about you. he cares about this issue. the guy has empathy and compassion for this. think about if 64,000 people died from a food-born illness or something in the water. we would be up in arms to try to figure out what is going on. i think this is the time to save some lives. i hope this is what i'm doing here. helping people become aware. >> you can come back and with dr. dave talk about this a great deal and know that it's almost
hard to put it into words. but the death of your son is profoundly changed your life. but it doesn't define his. can we end hearing a little bit more about your son. >> this is very important, too. this might help parents also. he was just a fantastic person, human being. loved animals, loved people. social kid. he did great in his first year in the university of colorado. and this is important, in the last couple of weeks of his life, there was a dramatic change in his personality. he must have hooked up with some people, maybe he was starting to experiment with some of the harder drugs. i will tell you, if you see a personality change. as a parent, you go, something is going on. we just had no idea how dramatic it would ultimately be. >> how is adrian doing? >> she is my rock. we have been together 20 years. we are literally leaning on each other to get through this for now. but she thanks both of you for
being very caring about us, too. >> tell her we're thinking about her and our thoughts and prayers are with both of you and certainly with your work, i hope you and dave can actually keep talking and working together. this is a critical issue and the team formula, again, dave campbell, parents guide to helping your children avoid substance abuse problems. >> thank you. >> good luck. >> thank you. we'll be right back.
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some breaking news that we're keeping an eye on this morning. a short while ago, an suv was stopped at the entrance of the headquarters of the national security agency. after a shooting there. the associated press reports a suspect is in custody. an nsa spokesperson says the situation is under control and there are no ongoing security
concerns. the white house has just released a statement saying the president has been briefed on the shooting. >> and, also, some financial breaking news just getting this from "wall street journal." u.s. consumer prices actually rose more than expected in january. reached 2.1%. showing increased inflationary pressures and that could mean a very bumpy day ahead on wall street. we've got just the person to talk to about that. the ceo of goldman sachs, lloyd blankfein and the president and ceo of the national urban league marc morial will join us here on set. keep it right here on "morning joe."
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all right, this week here in washington, goldman sachs is holding its first ever 10,000 small businesses summit, which focuses on the big power of small business. and joining us now chairman and ceo of goldman sachs, lloyd blankfein, who can dance. >> he can dance. >> he can dance. >> i thought, i thought that lloyd had asked you to go out dancing. now i'm finding this morning that you taunted him and said, what, are you a coward? come out and dance with me. and, boy, did you dance. >> she used a word for coward. >> fighting words. >> we had fun. >> also with us the president and ceo of the national urban
league. member of the 10,000 small businesses advisory board and the woman who epitomizes what this is all about, jessica johnson. she is president of johnson security bureau and will be testifying this morning on capitol hill. we should note that goldman sachs is a partial sponsor of our show this morning. full disclosure. jessica -- >> also, we already told people, i always ask lloyd for a job. >> i know. >> for some reason they won't hire me. they just won't hire me. willie geist and i want to do some work. >> next time can you get through the first round of interviews. >> we've been doing this now for -- >> last night your band played. >> the band was amazing. >> you were good. >> you were really good. >> i think as you said, it was like a dog walking on its back legs. it's shocking that a dog can
walk on his back legs. >> not a question of doing it well or not, amazing that it's doing it at all. >> so, anyway, we have been a part of this for some time now. we've been to detroit. we've been to chicago. i got to say, we've been involved, all of us have been involved in a lot of things where people have a great idea. they helicopter in. they dump money, resources. they leave. and five years later, there are tumble weeds. in this case, the numbers are extraordinary. the people that you help, the people that you mentor five years later, the number of workers. the number of people they have employed in the workforce. the sales. it's an impressive story and it's just by the numbers. there's no fudging those numbers. >> we metric this to death. the program, of course, is the small business program, which is for the most part an educational program. we put people through kind of a mini mba and teach accounting
courses and courses in how to negotiate and how to ask for a loan and how to manage people, et cetera, et cetera. a number of these courses. we do these in 20 cities. we have a national for the catch-all national program and we've had almost 7,000 people go through this program. they call it 10,000 small businesses. that was our goal two-thirds of the way through. we track their progress through this. we have been doing this now for eight years and we have people here we have been alums for about eight years and we can kind of see what the progress is and it's kind of extraordinary, relative to national averages. two-thirds of the people that go through this program a year later have made substantial hires. most had their revenues rise by a significant amount and one of the unintended benefits, we created a business network because these people kind of trade with each other and act with each other and work with each other. >> that's fantastic.
>> let's take the data you're putting out there and putting to jessica johnson's program. you started the program when with how many employees? >> we started in april of 2010. and we had 16 employees. graduated in april of 2010. >> it kind of says it all right there. but the program for you, i mean, you took over the company, correct? >> correct. i took over the company shortly before my father passed away. not only having to deal with the financial burden of running a business, but also dealing with the emotional burden with dealing with the death of my father. i didn't know what to do. i had the folks at goldman sachs and laguardia community college that was the partner that took me through the program and put me in a position to allow my program to reach its full potential. we have a few levels left to go, but a much better position than we were eight years ago. >> we've seen time and time again and politicians will say
this but the best social policy is a job. we've seen time and time again, we're talking about the opioid crisis in the last segment. so many people say you can overlap depressed communities whether it's in west virginia, kentucky, wherever it is. you see increased opioid use. the same thing with crime. as a former mayor and now somebody that runs the national urban league, how important is it what you guys are doing here. >> what it does is unleash this incredible talent that exists in the country and it waters the talent. it feeds the talent. it fertilizes the talent. jessica is a great example. i met her several years ago and we utilize her services at the national urban league. our relationship with lloyd and goldman sachs is that we've recommended several hundred small businesses from inner city communities to join the 10,000 small businesses program. joe, i consider this about not an occupation, but an
occupassion. these business owners if you walked around yesterday at union station, what you felt was infectious enthusiasm, a desire to grow. in america, in these communitie desire to grow. in america, amongst all these communities, women, communities of color, all people, this was a vote of confidence by goldman sachs in the small business owners of area. this was the most transformative business. >> i'm sure you've broken down the stock market and figured out how it's going to be impact the world. >> well, i anticipated it, of course. >> what's the economy looking
like, moving forward? is there a reason for americans to be skittish? does this feel like 2007? or are the fundamentals all there? >> i could say yes to all of those, they're not inconsistent. i would say the base case is things are going very well, that you had a very good economy before. we're stimulating it with trillion and a half dollars of taxes, budget stimulus. things are going well. but as you know, if it goes too well you run the risk of the fed getting behind and then having a jarring, rapid increase or more rapid than anticipated rise in interest rates. that sets things back. >> i don't want to get you in trouble if i ask you a political question, but i'm a fiscal conservative, i came to washington because of the deficit, because of the debt, the debt keeps exploding. for the life of me, i can't figure out why you would stimulate the economy, i would say overstimulate the economy,
when you're already at full employment. do you have people talking to you in goldman and also in burn concerned about the economy being overstimulated, interest rates going up? >> we hear both sides. obviously the supply side view is it wasn't at full capacity, and so they're putting a little bit more on. i would say from my point of view, that wouldn't be the move i would take, if the fire is roaring and the coals have caught, i don't know that i would be spraying light eer fue on it. >> exactly. >> especially if i need that lighter fluid later and the coals start to die out. because at some point you're not going to take rates lower than they are now. you're not going to necessarily come up with a stimulus plan, you like to have some things in reserve. that's a school of thought that says get the economy growing a little more, the extra growth will produce extra revenue and extra taxes. the safer presumption would be
let's let it go and enjoy the growth we're seeing now and let's see if it goes down. we don't necessarily need another burst. that would be my view. but there are people who aren't crazy who think this is fine. this debate was going a half a year, people said the economy wouldn't grow past 2% and of course it's growing close to 3% now. the people advocating this more extreme position could find some basis in recent experience. again, it wouldn't be what i would do. >> jessica, before we go, you're telling th testifying before the committee on small business. what will you be talking about? >> competition. there's big gap between what small businesses are doing and what large corporations are doing. goldman sachs, we love them, we work with them, but goldman sachs isn't coming to the south
bronx to offer jobs. we have to make sure we're going on the same track as large corporations and we're hoping congress will give us some help. >> any small business owner has seen, it's time to make the payroll every two weeks, pacing around the night before saying how will i do this, how do i keep this business going another two weeks. what advice will you give a small business owner that goes through that tough process every two weeks? >> don't sleep. >> other than learn how not to sleep and work on your feet. >> you have to be creative. you have to be creative on how you bring your money in, how you spend money, how you supply people. you may have to get creative with the scheduling. you may have to get creative with the jobs that you take. sometimes you have to pass on opportunities because the cash flow simply isn't there. you have to have great relationships, great relationships with your friends, your family. in many cases small businesses are not getting money from banks, they're getting money from family members and their
network. so build those relationships. find people who can get creative with their financing as well. >> two things i heard from small business owners yesterday. one was their desire to be able to hire more talent. what we've got in america is still a low labor force participation rate even though the economy is stronger. second is the continued need for capital and financing. even in a low interest rate environment, underwriting is tough. we've got to continue to understand that congress has to focus on what small business owners say they need. >> and red tape, the reduction of red tape is a very big issue. some of the small businessmen say they're spending 30% of their time filling out forms and not forms related to their own business, but they have to fill out forms for every job they bid for, because the companies that hire them have to certify that their providers aren't laundering money or doing this or doing that. >> i think you're right. the important thing is small
businesses ought not be treated with the same burdens as larger businesses. they have less opportunity to deal with that. >> jessica johnson, good luck on capitol hill. lloyd blankfein, thank you very much, see you at the next one. marc morial, thank you very much. we're back in three minutes with more "morning joe." don't we need that cable box to watch tv? nope. don't we need to run? nope. it just explodes in a high pitched 'yeahhh.' yeahhh! try directv now for $10 a month for 3 months. no satellite needed.
welcome back to "morning joe." let's have final thoughts from david ignatius. david? >> joe and mika, i thought today we had a demonstration that our system, which is is battered, the white house is reeling with the rob porter fallout, we had a demonstration of the resilience in the system. we saw yesterday all the intelligence community agency chiefs go up before the senate intelligence committee. we had this morning senator lankford who told us about that committee and how the committee is united behind the
professionalism of the agencies. i thought this was a day when you saw the system holding up. >> the system is holding up right now. and of all the things that james lankford said, i thought he said some hopeful things. no man is above the law. it's so important. and that appears to be at least in the senate, the republicans' belief as well. >> we'll leave it right there. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much, mika, thanks, joe. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. i've been out for one day and so much has happened. this morning, a shifting timeline. "shifting" is a nice way to put it. president trump's own fbi director's timeline on rob porter contradicts the white