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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  March 1, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST

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funeral is tomorrow morning. morning joe, starts right now. the news gods must be crazy. all in the course of one day. we saw former trump campaign chairm chairman paul manafort arraigned on charges of money laundering and conspiracy. the president also attacked his own attorney general yesterday calling him disgraceful and calling jeff sessions reportedly mr. mcgoo. nbc news came out yesterday with an exclusive report that bob mueller is now asking the question, did donald trump know about the hacked democratic e-mails before they were released? that's a lot of news. but then, in the afternoon, a bomb shell, news breaking that hope hicks, one of the people closest to the president is resigning from her role as white
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house communications director. the president also shocked lawmakers yesterday and of course the nra by embracing new gun safety measures that went well beyond what the democrats would ever have expected from the president. jeff sessions then fired back at the president of the united states with a statement defending the integrity of his justice department. that as the washington post published new reporting that the mueller investigation is now examining the president's apparent efforts to drive out the attorney general last summer. and to cap off the day, last night as you were going to sleep the new york times breaking news that jared kushner's business got big loans from a billionaire after regularly hosting him at the white house and even discussing a possible job for him inside the trump
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administration. and yes, my friends, that was all yesterday. so what's today going to hold in store? willie, who knows? this morning joe, thursday, march the 1st. willie, my god, i don't know where to start. the gun meeting was shocking enough. the president of the united states actually did what no republicans have been willing to do and decided to side with 60, 70, sometimes 90% of the public and go against the nra. that was shocking enough. hope hicks was shocking. i mean, it was an extraordinary news day and then in the middle of it you saw an ap poll that came up that says 57% of americans think the president of the united states is a racist. >> you know, the fire hose
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analogy has become kind of a cliche' but it was never more true than yesterday. just a fire hose of news coming out. any one of those stories would have been a story of the year perhaps for a previous administration. the one we've been talking about on set is the one you just mentioned which was that gun meeting where you had a republican president of the united states laying out on live television the case for gun control. and it was no slip of the tongue. he went through taking guns before due process, raising the age to 21, floated the possibility of an assault weapons ban, no concealed carry reciprocity, expended background checks. stunned republicans sat and watched the performance and democrats couldn't believe it. we're going to talk about that and more in a little bit. let's get into who's here. former aide to the george w. bush white house and state department, national political reporter for nbc news, associate editor of the washington post
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and historian john meech ham, his new book, the soul of america, the battle for better angels will be published in may. >> looking forward to that. jean robinson, we're going to go through all the stories, but i don't know where to start. i don't know -- you can't even say what the big story of the day is because the kushner story last night is shocking. it is going to have reverberations. it's exactly what mueller and his investigators thought that maybe he was playing both sides of the street and then nbc news that broke yesterday that mueller now is king and what does donald trump know? did he know about the dnc hacking beforehand? did he plan it? i mean, you know, again, this guy doesn't ask questions that he doesn't know the answers to and then of course that gun meeting which of course pretty extraordinary where he even criticized pat toomey for
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criticizing the nra. where do you start? >> unclear. all of that plus the departure of one of the most important people in the white house, i would argue, because of her closeness to donald trump. the person who was at the center of that meeting on air force one where a false story was conco concocted that -- about the -- the meeting with the russians. it could, you know, potentially be a big part of some sort of obstruction of justice case, day after she testified to having told white lies about -- and for the president. and i -- i imagine that has a really elastic definition. you know, just before we went on, i counted seven, you know, stories of the week, not just stories of the the day, but at least stories of the day, if not the month that all happened
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yesterday, and frankly, some of us were not going to sleep when that kushner story. so it is just extraordinary. if you want to boil it down, chaos and corruption, i think would be the -- you know, the overarching theme of yesterday and let's not forget open warfare between the president and his own justice department. they had that dinner last night with jeff sessions, and the solicited general and rosen stein photographed to send a message back to the president that we're united and you know, you have to deal with us on that basis. just extraordinary. >> it is. willie, take us through it. >> let's start with that story yesterday. the white house in some disarray. the resignation of hope hicks. hicks is the fourth communications director to step down from the white house
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following shaun spicer, and anthony scaramucci. hicks says she wants to explore opportunities outside the white house writing quote, there are no words to express my gratitude to president. i wish the administration the very best as he continues to lead our country. the white house was sad to hear the news. said this in a statement. hope is outstanding and has done great work in the last three year, a truly great person. i will miss having her by my side, but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities i understood. i'm sure we will work together in the future. the announcement comes one day after she testified in the house intelligence community saying among other things she had occasionally told to tell white lies but she says she never lied about anything connected to the russia investigation. the new york times, hicks' departure is not related to her
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testimony and sanders says it's been in the works for several weeks and didn't happen overnight. still a white house official says hicks told trump about her decision yesterday and several sources tell nbc news they were shocked. this is the latest in a long list of major white house departures since trump took office just over 13 months ago. so at best, joe, the timing suspicious here, literally the day after hope hicks testifies before the intel committee, she walks away from the white house. >> and the day after she testified, the day after a lot of people seized on the fact that she said she occasionally told little white lies but i think more importantly, it also comes to the time when the mueller investigation is really starting to pick up. we had two reporters yesterday come on our show saying their sources inside the mueller investigation say things are starting to move at a very rapid pace. bob mueller is not nibbling
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around the edges anymore. he's going straight in and he's asking the questions, did donald trump know about the russian hacking of the dnc? did he plan things out? things are -- things are about to get pretty ugly inside the white house and the question is for somebody like hope hicks, why did you stay that long? i mean, it's -- there's not much good news for a lot of -- a lot of people and hope hicks also of course involved in that air force one meeting, the drafting of the memo. she was just sort of a courier, but at the same time, i mean, she's got to get ready for mueller. she's got to get ready for a trial. i mean, it's -- things could get ugly. >> well, watching hope hicks over the course of the campaign and then her time in the administration, there were just so many moments where, you know, looking at it as a former press staffer you would think wow, how is she doing this? how is she, you know, able to stay when the president is, you
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know, say charlottesville and saying there are very good people on both sides or just the day-to-day chaos that comes with this administration. you look at how it collided with her personal life this year with the -- she was responsible for staging the response when rob porter, the staff secretary was accused very credibly of beating his wives and so she was involved in, you know, pulling down john kelly with that response, you know, helping to o orchestrate the response to orrin hatch. really saw that representation tarnished a little bit and as the mueller investigation has heated up it's less about giving testimony to the house committee yesterday. that's the investigation you really want to stay clear of. >> yeah, and willie, you also have people talking about general kelly. i'm not so sure he had anything
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to do with this, but two days ago we hear the news about jared kushner, that an insider's insider for trump suddenly being shut out of certain classified material. hope hicks leaves. i don't know if general kelly had anything to do with it but it's certainly something that he would want which is get -- get the trump tower people out, move in the professionals. >> you can't overstate how close hope hicks has been to donald trump. she came up to the trump organization, not through the presidential campaign or the white house. she worked with ivanka many years ago and joined him from day one literally of his presidential campaign. you can hear in his statement and statements of ivanka and others how much she meant to him. we want to get now to the nbc exclusive, that special counsel robert mueller is reportedly looking into when and how donald trump learned e-mails from the democratic party had been hacked by russian operatives during the 2015 presidential election. multiple people familiar with
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the election tell nbc news mueller's team is asking witnesses pointed questions about whether trump was aware e-mails had been stolen and also whether he was involved with their release. last january, u.s. intel officials concluded vladimir putin himself ordered the operation that ultimately hacked the e-mail accounts of the democratic national committee and clinton campaign chairman john podesta. those were released to the public through wikileaks. mueller is said to be asking specifically about the following trump overture that trump made to russia just days after wikileaks began publishing the e-mail. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are pliszing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> so this is your reporting here, obviously donald trump as he does so often has left a piece of video tape for bob mueller to look into or a tweet
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in some cases. what specifically do you think bob mueller is on to here? >> i think the main question is whether the president somehow either from someone in his campaign, from someone outside his campaign who perhaps spoke with someone in his cam pin pain or spoke with him that he had some sort of knowledge that this was going on in advance before the public knew and you know, what's significant about this development is that it shows the collusion question, the idea that the president is cleared of all wrong doing which he keeps saying is not true. the collusion question is very much still active and not only that, it's very much active when it comes to the president himself. it's not just people around him. and so -- so it shows that and it also shows that this is moving very quickly, but it's not ending any time soon. it seems to be, you know, they're still asking questions about these significant pieces of the investigation. >> there's a name that's been talked about a lot when it comes to wikileaks and it's roger stone, a guy who was in the news
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again yesterday for his connection to wikileaks although he didn't have anything to do with wikileaks. it was a form of collusion. he seemed to be settling. where does he fit into this puzzle? >> the questions that are being asked are -- there were a lot of questions about the president's relationship with roger stone. they've known each other for a really long time. the questions are, you know, that mueller's team has been asking is you know, did they still communicate, how was he fired, was he fired? what's the relationship like and so you know, he's very much -- he boasted about his connections to wikileaks. he's, you know, kind of bragged about this, and -- and the question that investigators want to answer and perhaps already know the answer to is whether there was some way in which he communicated this -- whatever knowledge he had to the president to where the president was aware.
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roger stone said they didn't discuss this and he maintains he didn't have any contact with assange and was not involved in the efforts to leak these e-mails. >> we'll talk about your reporting throughout the morning. attorney general jeff sessions is pushing back against president trump's criticism and sending what some see as a message of solidarity. on tuesday sessions announced the inspector general would look into devon nunes, but his decision was met by skepticism yesterday morning. >> i have a few questions because doj and fbi highest standards, right? highest power in the land as far as law enforcement is concerned. this guy, he works for the doj and he's going to be investigating the doj? should we be worried about that. >> he apparently is a man of
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integrity. >> so that's on fox and friends. later president trump tweeted this. why is ag jeff sessions asking the inspector general to investigate potential massive fisa abuse? already late with reports on comey. isn't he an obama guy? why not use justice department lawyers including the president did disgraceful. sessions then released a statement of his own writing we have initiated the appropriate process that would assure complaints would be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary. as long as i'm the attorney general i will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor and this department will continue to do its work at a fair and impartial manner according to law and the constitution. amid these new tensions between the president and his attorney general the washington post reports special counsel robert mueller has been investigating the period of time last summer when president trump seemed determined to drive sessions from his job.
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a key area of interest is whether these reports were part of a month long pattern of obstruction of jugs tstice from oval office. all declined to comment. and president trump apparently referred to him as mr. mcgoo. trump has told associates that he has hired the best lawyers his entire life but has stuck with sessions who is not sufficiently loyal. on the an verse niversary, a bu proof vest with his name 'em blazened on it as a gift. we see the president of the united states expect loyalty from his attorney general. >> yeah, he's completely ignorant, as to what the attorney general is supposed to do, what the justice department is supposed to do, and the wall
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that's supposed to be between the president and the justice department and the fbi. as i've said several times, j n john, the example of where the president got involved with the fbi, and it was a six month scandal it seemed but there's so much -- there's so much to tackle here and feel free to wander around the buffet and have whatever you want with the news stories that we have here today. but what's remarkable -- again, you have a president attacking his own attorney general, the attorney general punching back, a puicture of the attorney general and several of his deputies showing unity and donald trump again just shooting himself in the foot. you've got a respected ig who's going to come back and what he's going to find is that you had
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four republican fisa judges who granted warrants and anybody who's not completely ignorant of the process knows that doesn't just happen. they dot their i's and they cross their t's, so once again, donald trump appearing to look as if he wants to obstruct an independent investigation and at the end of the day it does -- does him no good. does none of his allies any good and does his political standing and his legal standing no good. >> well, at least we were warned. i don't think there was a lot of doubt during the campaign and i'm thinking about the staff shakeups as kind of a precursor to this as -- as you know well and everybody knows well, for a long time when donald trump was running for president, basically there were three or four people around him. i remember talking to someone who talked to him about joining the ticket who came back from the meeting saying, you don't even need a minivan to put that
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campaign structure in a car. it was that small. it was that tight. and most importantly and i think this is one thing that may link all of this at least tenuously, it was entirely about the prn y personality and the whim of the candidate himself and this common denominator here for all the drama you've described is that we have a president who has no genuine id logical convictions and who is driven to a remarkable degree, a way that we may not even appreciate by what he sees on a rival cable network. it's a remarkable thing. one thing historians always try to do is figure out the information ecosystem, the flow, you know, what was the former president making the decision. who got jfk's hear before that decision. you know, did anybody actually
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convince fdr. this is at least -- i'll say this. president trump is going to make historians' jobs a lot easier because all we'll need is a digitized form of fox and friends. and we can just work out the time line that way. and the thing that worries me most about all this is this is all happening again in the absence of a genuine and time consuming crisis or set of public policy objectives. the gun question is hugely important and i think if he actually believed what he said yesterday, that's great. but like charlie brown and lucy and the football, i've learned to at least wait a couple of days before giving it an enormous amount of credit for seeming to move in the right direction. >> and you know, the thing that jon said, one thing that he brought up that is so important, especially now that we remind
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ourselves during the middle of this investigation, trying to figure out what the president knew and when he knew it, something that we saw time and time again and we reported on time and time again, you go over, when you went over to that campaign structure, there were just a handful of people for -- up until the very end. there were -- it was shocking how small it was. it was smaller than most congressional campaigns, so when people are trying to figure out what the president knew, then candidate knew and when he did it, they're just -- there just wasn't anything that donald trump the candidate did not know, because they were all in trump tower, there were three, four, five of them and that was it. that was the information flow. >> yeah, and he would say i am the campaign. you don't have much of a campaign here, donald. i am the campaign and he was right about that. everything flowed from him, but what we're seeing as we go through these stories is the president freelancing and we'll
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talk about the gun meeting yesterday in a few minutes but the look on the faces of republicans and democrats, very different looks in that meeting and then you have the president of the united states tearing into his attorney general in a very public way and the attorney general fighting back, it's unpredictable other than we know it's going to be unpredictable. >> it's going to be unpredictable, but you can bet it's probably going to be bad. what we've seen these last couple of days -- the last couple of days has confirmed what we knew during the campaign is that the president doesn't have a very firm grasp of the constitution, of the checks on his authority, of the rule of law. he doesn't seem to have very much concern for the rule of law. this is not his demands on jeff sessions about loyalty. it is not dissimilar from his conviction that the central park five, no matter what the state of new york says that he can order american soldiers to perform acts of torture on the ground and they will do it because he says they should do
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it. his contention that we should just avoid due process and seize weapons without any sort of check on them, what he called a different system. yeah, it's a different system. they have a lot of them across the planet. they have no rule of law and that is the extent this president behaves. he behaves in a way where he believes himself to be the central authority and that's something that conservatives picked up on during the campaign and we're seeing it manifest now, so again, we can't be surprised. >> it's funny, that moment with mike pence, he corrected him. he says no i like taking the guns first. >> senator talked to i guess it was tpm where i wanted to pipe up and say but mr. president we have rule of law in this country. >> still ahead on morning joe, that, still more on the remarkable scene where the president sounded off on the 2nd amendment. one of his ideas, take away guns first and go through due process
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second. senator had a scathing reaction to that. >> plus, jared kushner dangled the white house job to a billionaire investor who happened to sink huge money into the family's business. we'll talk to one of the new york times reporters who broke that amazing story among many others today. you're watching morning joe on a busy morning. we'll be right back. 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!
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it's "you've never gamed with speeds like this" internet. it's "all your teenagers streaming at once" internet. it's "i can get up to one, two, three, four, five mobile lines included?" internet! it's internet from xfinity that makes your life simple, easy, awesome. see how you can save by adding xfinity mobile to your internet. plus, save even more when you sign up for internet, tv and voice together. click, call, or visit an xfinity store today. welcome back to morning joe. here are some of the moments on gun policy. >> focuses to literally give families and give local law enforcement additional tools if an individual is reported to be a potential danger to themselves or others.
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allow due process, no one's rights are trampled, but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and collect not only the fire arms but any -- any weapons in the possession -- >> well, why not take the fire arms first and then go to court because that's another system because a lot of times by the time you go to court it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures, i like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man's case, so you could do exactly what you're saying but take the guns first, go through due process second. >> joe and pat, what are you doing about the 18 to 21? >> a handgun, you can't buy one, you have to wait till you're 21 but you can buy the kind of weapon used in the school shooting at 18. i think there's something else to think about so i'm curious as to what you did in your bill. >> we didn't address it, mr. preside president. >> because you're afraid of the
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nra. they have great power, i agree with it. they have great power over you people. they have less power over me. >> the house did pass a bill, the bill dealing with problems with our background check system. we also combined with it a bill that advanced conceal carry reciprocity. >> if you're going to put concealed carry between states we're talking about a whole new ball game and you know, i'm with you, but let it be a separate bill. you'll never get this if you add concealed carry to this you'll never get it passed. >> this is the number of incidents before, and -- of of incidents. how incidents and deaths dropped. when it ended, you see it's going up. >> but you have also and i think you can, into the bill -- >> yeah. >> can you do that?
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joe, can you do that? can you add some of the -- >> we're determined to turn our grief into action. i really believe that. i think the people at this table want it. i mean, i see some folks have said mean things about me and that's okay because if you turn that into this energy, i'll love you. i don't care. >> boy, there is a lot to get to there. republican senator released a statement about wanting to confiscate guns even if it violates due process. he wrote strong leaders don't agree with the last thing that was said to them. we have the 2nd amendment and due process for a reason. we're not ditching the last thing the president said just because the president doesn't talk to them. let's take the notion there,
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that is the conspiracy that many nra members and gun owners have long talked about, the gun grab. there it is as articulated by the president of the united states, a republican who's been backed by the nra. >> and of course that will never happen because as i've always said, on the other side of the equation when people said the constitutional right to have an a. >> reporter: -- ar-15, no, you don't. mr. president you do not have that power to grab guns first and have due process later. david french actually had a great proposal in the national view that i think is going to actually become law, but gene, let's -- let's explain a little bit to viewers that may not have followed this closely throughout the day yesterday because they're actually working. yesterday was an extraordinary day in american culture. we've seen these students protesting, and then yesterday early in the morning dick's
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sporting goods said they're no longer selling assault style weapons, they're making people be 21 before getting guns. walmart followed up. that's a pretty big footprint who they stopped selling assault style weapons a few years ago after newtown. they also went up to 21. fed ex really leaned forward yesterday and said hey, wait a second, ups also, you know, ships guns. we -- we are giving the nra the same deal that we give absolutely everybody else that ships with us in bulk, no preferential treatment, but -- and then fred smith at fed ex said but you will note we were the only people to come out and say our position is we believe assault weapons should be -- assault style weapons should be banned. they should be kept to the military and delivered the sort
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of strong statement you just don't see corporations delivering, but somebody who knows fred smith said you know what? he fought the battle in vietnam and he fought in vietnam for four years and he has told friends the gun that cruz had going into that school was just like the guns that he fired in vietnam for four years as a united states marine. this is something -- and forgive me for continuing, but really quickly also, why the president was saying what the president was saying, a new poll came out in florida with overwhelming support for background checks and the majority supporting assault style weapon bans, and the same thing with every nationwide poll. so the president looks really courageous there until you realize that when he supports the bill he's supporting what 90% of americans support and even when he wanders into assault style bans two out of three americans support that position too.
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the nla ara and republicans including steve scalise who was a victim of gun violence, they are on -- i mean, they are the 10% in a lot of these -- these issues. >> yeah, that's absolutely right. you know, one other thing happened yesterday that we barely noticed in georgia, a teacher apparently fired a weapon in a classroom. the school was put on lockdown. fortunately nobody was injured. the teacher barricaded himself inside the classroom but was talked out and the students at that school then to join the students from parkland in speaking out and saying no, we're not going to be silenced and talking about this idea of arming teachers as a way to end school violence. look, i think we're at a -- t s
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tfrs -- it was an extraordinary day on the history of gun control. i can't believe we're going to say this, but i do think we're in a different place now. it doesn't think we're going to necessarily sail right through to an assault weapons ban or anything like that. i don't know if -- if -- what will get done, but in terms of the way it feels and the way people think and just public opinion and increasingly i think the opinion of officials, parkland was a watershed and -- and the activism of those students there is making a difference in this debate that will reverberate i think for years to come. >> and jon, again, you look at the corporations, these are corporations that obviously have to be very careful, but you have walmart, what, largest retail
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store in america, you've got your dick's sporting goods, the largest sporting goods store in america. again, even -- even though fed ex is continuing its discounts to the membership of the nra which again, they do to everybody that mails in bulk, fed ex delivering a very strong statement saying we believe that assault style weapons should only be in the hands of our military. and then this meeting with the president, this actually does, i will say this actually does feel different. can you -- can you -- can you compare this to any other moment where -- where a social issue like this moves so quickly? i know gay marriage moved over ten years, but this appears to be accelerating much more quickly. >> at the end of a -- yeah, and like marriage equality, at the end of a long and arduous
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process. my thought about the role of the marketplace in bringing about this kind of social change, i was thinking about one of your hometowns through the years. think about atlanta, which famously struggled to be the city that was too busy to hate during jim crowe and into the civil rights movement, wanting to -- there was a series of mayors, a series of town leaders who while not perfect very much wanted to have a major league baseball team, have the nfl, have delta airlines come down. they wanted to be a genuine new south and they knew that if they could keep the emphasis on their better angels, then they would have a better chance of prospering. and atlanta became atlanta in part because of that attitude. and so here you have a situation where a number of important
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corporations and commercial actors are saying if the government's not going to act, we'll do it. it's like lincoln and mclellan meets dow jones. we will take these steps and i think that's -- i think to me it's a civil rights example where there were cities that decided we would rather prosper together than fight each other and stay in a back water. and there are a lot of cities in this country that made the latter choice. and not the former and the people who made the idea that you know what, the real important color here is green, which was a famous saying in atlanta, that's what's happening with guns, i think. >> so the parallels that i'm thinking about here with president trump's meeting where he laid out a case step by step for gun control measure, to tighten gun laws was last mopts where he had the meeting about immigration reform and dreamers and said we've got to have a
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pathway to citizenship. shocking democrats and republicans in the room. president trump gets back to his office and steven miller and others say wait a minute, that's not actually what we believe. do you think we'll see that here on guns as well. >> that's going to be the big tell. the white house is supposed to brief today at that -- after that time they went and cleaned it up and said, you know, he doesn't really mean that, we're going to clarify what he means and if we start to see that then everyone has the answer. because the question is does he mean it? is he going to follow through with it? we've seen this movie before back in january when it came to daca and he backed off that. so i think that's the first indication of whether he intends to follow through. >> what do you think? nra lobbyists were scrambling saying we have to get some pressure on the president. >> the only policy that this administration has helped shepherd through congress is tax reform and that's because republicans in congress were the
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primary drivers and they sup ported the legislation. so here if he doesn't have any support from republicans for embracing some of the more extreme gun control measures that are espoused by democrats and i would also point out authoritarian just to take away due process and i think both sides should be very skeptical of a policy initiative that they like that he's proud of due process but i think this is the same old case that we've seen. >> if we look at that tape again i think there's a moment when the democrat of california is literally giddy as she's listening to the president. she can't believe her luck in hearing what the president has laid out and saying fusomethingo the effect finally the president has the courage to do the right thing. >> again, we'll see what happens. if the president's looking at the polls, if he's seeing what's p haing out in pennsylvania.
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if he's seeing what's happening in alabama, if he remembers what's happened in virginia. he's seeing republicans getting slaughtered at the polls and in large part they're losing because their side is not excited. they're getting pounded among educated suburban voters and the message that i heard yesterday, that i saw yesterday from a lot of gun rights activists and lobbyists saying well, if donald trump moves on background checks he's going to lose his base or if donald trump moves on some of these other provisions he's going to lose his base. obviously you're not going to get rid of due process, but if he moves on these other actions i would only say for those people who were saying donald trump will lose his base if he does x, please. look at the history. you remember what he said about shooting somebody on fifth avenue and remember on policy matters in his south carolina
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debate in the republican primary donald trump defended planned parenthood. and he absolutely destroyed all of his political opponents that were in there. people -- people are not going to turn their back on him if he goes with 90% of the americans and supports the background check bill. they won't. it will actually help him and it will even help the republican party overall. but we'll see what happens. again, diane fine stein was happy after he was talking about dreamers and we saw how far that got. >> we'll see how long this holds at the briefing today. >> carol lee, thank you very much. carol's got her adorable little guy with her. what time did you wake him up today? >> 5:00. he's not happy with me. >> you owe him some ice cream. >> thank you gene as well. we'll talk to two senators that were in that meeting.
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pat toomey and morning joe is coming right back. listerine® cleansaches 25virtually 100%.. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™
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russian president vladimir
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putin delivered his annual state of the nation address to both chambers of russia's parliament earlier today. he touted husbais nuclear arsen including a new hyper sonic targeting center and nuclear icbms he claims are impervious to defense systems. he accused the west of quote ignoring us, well, listen to us now. it comes less than three weeks before russia's presidential election in which putin is overwhelmingly expected to win his fourth term. joining us now, the author of the book "a world in disarray" richard haass. putin first. what's going on there? >> look, vladimir putin loves nuclear weapons. it's one of the very few do mains he can compete in. it's a throw back and just the other week the united states in
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its nuclear posture statement talked about its new generation of nuclear weapons so for putin we opened it up. this is fair game and again, this is the good old days when the united states and the soviet union were super were superpowers so he likes nuclear weapons. >> i was just talking to you, i just got back from south korea for the olympics. i'm curious what you made of the display that north korea put on, putting the athletes together, sending a delegation, having meetings with president moon. what is north korea up to there and does it have any impact on the future of peace in that peninsula? >> what it shows is that north korea has lots of tools at its disposal from diplomatic to military, nuclear as well as conventional. they're capable and it showed how they were able to win over the south to start this dialogue. we're sitting on the sidelines, big mistake. we've created a diplomatic vacuum. no leader of south korea can
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ignore the possibility of diplomacy with the north because they live opposite the dmz and it says to me this administration is making a fundamental mistake by saying we won't negotiate unless this, this, and that. that north korea in advance gets rid of the nuclear weapons. stop worryi ining about where t negotiations end and start thinking about where they begin. it's not like we're sitting on 86 other great alternatives. the real alternatives are living with it, we don't want to do that. the other is going to war, we shouldn't want to do that. why not try negotiations that may work? if not, we can contemplate these unattractive alternatives. >> joe? >> richard, the trump administration has done just the opposite of what you and most other experts, foreign policy experts, have suggested when it comes to asia. we withdrew from tpp. now i'm curious to hear what you think about steve mnuchin saying we should reconsider it. now we're in effect withdrawing
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from north korean negotiations so now south korea is -- do you think south korea is going to end up giving north korea a better deal than we would if we're sitting at the table? because you've said their interests are not perfectly aligned with ours. >> well, the danger is they end up with their own dynamic and our concerns are not put at the front of the queue. that's why we should be doing this, i believe, ourselves. but what you say about asia more generally -- the other day mr. trump had the unfortunate tweet that the russians are sitting there laughing their asss off about the united states. it might be the chinese who are laughing theirs off. we get out of tpp, china is the great beneficiary of it. it's good news we're talking about possibly getting back into it. getting out of tpp was an economic as well as strategic disaster for us. it was an own goal in the words you're more comfortable with
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than i am and it's interesting what xi jinping did the other day, this unilateral announcement that he's going to ignore term limits. i think this is filling a vacuum. the united states is not setting an example. the rest of the world feels pressured to emulate it. the united states has taken the democratic issues off its agenda so we no longer criticize anybody and turkey and china and russia and the philippines or egypt or anywhere else about what they're doing to their own people so we gave the chinese a free pass and they're willing to do it. >> richard, i'm not going to ask you to unpack syria for us, but it does feel like we've entered into a more terrifying stage of this conflict. most recently, an american position came under assault, hundreds, allegedly, of russian mercenaries were killed in direct combat with the united states. this is something we had been trying to avoid for the better part of the last century. it is upon us. what do you think should be done to deescalate something that
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could have serious consequences? >> this might have been the biggest direct military incident ever in history between americans and russians. you could also have americans and turks shooting and killing one another, you certainly could have israelis and iranians, israeli and hezbollah shooting and killing one another any day now. the middle east has more fault lines than any other geography in the world and i think any one of them could spill over. what the united states and very have to do is not just deal with deconfliction but there has to be a conversation about the future of syria because these talks about -- again, you need an element of diplomacy, we can't have a military only foreign policy. >> richard haass, it sounds to me like the world is in disarray, would you say so? >> why did i think of that? >> willie, it's making me hungry. thank god you can buy a book that not only explains why the world is in disarray but also great barbecue tips.
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the world in disarray, richard haass soon to be coming to the food network by the way, richard, yes, own goal is something i'm more familiar with as a soccer fan but as a giants fan what would you be more familiar with? fumbles, interceptions? >> let's not go there, too early in the morning. you're bigger than that, joe. >> far too early. go giants. thank you so much, richard, we appreciate it. coming up, we're trying to figure out where to start in our next hour, the resignation of white house communications director hope hicks, the president again publicly shaming the attorney general, yet another bombshell report about jared kushner, paul manafort gearing up for his second court appearance this week. it's an all you can eat breakfast news buffet this morning and we're back in a moment.
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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. what an incredible morning. we could pick one of seven or eight huge stories that would lead this show and two years ago would have probably been the lead story for a week. our sam stein framed it on twitter, quote, between calling his a.g. disgraceful, agreeing to a liberal fantasy of gun reform, losing his comms
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director and seeing mueller hone in on his attempts to fire sessions, it's just your average day in trumpland. welcome back to "morning joe," it's thursday, march 1. we've made it to march. with us we have former aide to george w. bush's white house and state departments, elise jordan. pulitzer prize winning historian jon meacham, pulitzer prize winning columnist and associate editor of the "washington post," eugene robinson. also joining the conversation we have chief national correspondent for the "new york times" magazine mark leibovich, and nbc news national political reporter heidi przybyla. mika is out today on assignment and, jon meacham, i want to go to you. i look back, i was five in 1968 and i don't remember too much of it but is there any historical parallel not only the the events, news events, that we had coming down yesterday but what's
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happened this week? . this has been an extraordinary week of news and the pace keeps picking up. >> i think you might have to go back to what the philosopher thomas hobbs called the state of nature. sort of the pre-government world where the president wanted -- it was in the "new york times" that he told his aides in the transition to think of every presidential day as an episode of a tv show in which he vanquishes his rivals. he's driven entirely by conflict and entirely by narrative so yesterday actually is a perfect example of trump's vision, in so far as it is his vision, of the production of the presidency. because i think he thinks of it as a production so the theme here as hobbs would say is the war of all against all.
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some people wanted the wwf in the white house and now they have it. >> they've got it. gene robinson. it's hard to decide what story is the biggest. is it hope hicks leaving? someone that's been loyal from day one that knows everything that has happened since day one? is it jared kushner, his son-in-law, getting hundreds of millions of dollars from a man who he had talked to in the white house and even dangle it had possibility of a white house job with? is it bob mueller, us finding out from nbc news that bob mueller is now drawing a straight line from donald trump to those e-mails that have been leaked and released and starting to push people on that? we've got him attacking his attorney general. we've got his attorney general attacking back. i don't know where it starts. what's the biggest story to you that's going to have impact weeks, months from now. >> it's really hard to pick.
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by the way, wasn't paul manafort arraigned? i've kind of lost it. this huge story. so put it all together you can kind of link hope hicks' departure because of her testimony the day before and also several of those other stories you mentioned to the mueller probe, to this larger question of this very wide-ranging investigation of the trump administration that seems to be closing in, perhaps not on one single focus but on multiple foci because you've got jared kushner under palpable pressure right now from that "new york times" story last night about his -- the $500 million in loans he received from executives after inviting
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them to white house -- to the white house for meetings that we still need to know more about. it was just extraordinary but i would say when we look back on it, we might see this as a day when there was really a feeling that the whole mueller investigation was really starting to tighten and then the alternative is the gun question. not that congress is going to agree to everything that president trump said but that the weather has changed on gun control and we may look back and see this as a day when we changed. >> it may be, and willie, jon meacham may be right. this may be a sort of "lord of the flies" scenario but for anybody that ever read the book, you can only burn the island down one time.
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that's when the british come to pick you up and take you off the isla island. there are only so many people that can be blown up and let's just focus on hope hicks. we had hope hicks leaving, somebody along with corey lewandowski, they were the campaign during iowa, new hampshire, during super tuesday, during the huge wins. it was corey lewandowski and hope hicks. that was the campaign. she's now gone. and then, of course, jared kushner, willie, all week we heard about the coming battle between jared kushner and john kelly, how would that break? well, at least for now donald trump has let john kelly do what john kelly has wanted to do. there were leaks that he had suggested that ivanka trump was just play acting at her role as a white house staffer.
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mika predicted a couple days ago he would be forced to apologize by the end of the day. no apology forthcoming. of course we know what happened toporter, he was gone. but all this shakeup around donald trump and right now if we continue, if this continues to move forward in a linear direction then perhaps general john kelly has a firmer hand in the white house. and i say perhaps because there have been rumors that he was going to be outed -- kicked out but who knows. maybe that is what's happening here. >> remember, the president also deferred to general kelly his chief of staff, on the question of others and security clearance in the white house. he said that will be left up to the chief of staff. the chief of staff decided to deny jared kushner top secret clearance and kept him at the level of secret which marginalizes him in his role in the west wing. in terms of people the president
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of the united states actually trusts, people he believes have his best interest in mind, people he believes won't leak against him, it's a small group at the end of the day and gets down to the people there from the beginning, that includes jared, ivanka and hope hicks. hope hicks has left the white house and jared kushner is on shaky footing, confirmed more so by the "new york times" that the family company of jared kushner received big loans after meeting with lender's executives in the white house. $184 million from apolo global management to refinance kushner's company's mortgage on a chicago skyscraper and $325 million from citigroup to finance office buildings in brooklyn. when kushner stepped down as ceo to work at the white house, he sold a small portion of his stake in the company to a trust controlled by his mother but he retained the vast majority of his interests. the "times" reports that joshua harris, a founder of the private equity firm apolo global management was advising trump administration officials on
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infrastructure policy early last year when he met on multiple occasions with kushner. according to three people familiar with the meetings, among other things the two men discussed a possible white house job for harris. citigroup's $325 million loan came in the spring of 2017 scho shortly after kushner met in the white house with chief executive michael corbin, according to people briefed on the meet. the two men talked about financial and trade policy and didn't discuss kushner's family business, one person says, a spokesman for kushner's attorney says kushner has met with hundreds of business people and has taken no part of any business loans or projects with or for kushner companies since joining the white house and that he's followed ethics advice. let's bring in one of the authors for that piece, reporters for the "new york times" kate kelly. good to have you on with us. apollo is a private equity firm. citigroup, $325 million loan shortly after the head of that
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company met in the white house with jared kushner. are there ethics regulations that apply here? >> oh, at a very minimum, willie, it's got a troublesome appearance, right? it's not exactly clear what the chain of -- we know what the chain of events is but who actually knew what? we've been told apollo loans were something josh harris, the executive who met with jared multiple times and also was on this infrastructure advisory panel didn't me about these loans and wasn't involved in making -- i'm sorry, the one loan, the $184 million to help refinance the chicago skyscraper. so we need to know more about who knew what and who said what and whether these issues were ever discussed in any way or was there a back channel, for example, between jared and the family members like his sister who are now running the company
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in regards to this. even sort of a wink and a nod. we don't have that information so it's hard to tell at this point. at a minimum it has a troublesome appearance. >> take the citigroup loan, $325 million to the kushner company to finance office buildings in brooklyn. if i've got the timeline right, there's a meeting in the white house between the head of citigroup that kushner is in the room for and shortly thereafter in the spring of 2017 a $325 million loan is granted to kushner companies. now the citigroup says it went through all the standard approval processes, there was nothing remarkable about this loan but is there no ethics regulation on the books that would apply to jared kushner? >> i think strictly interpreted we don't know of a violation but it raises appearance questions at the minimum and we need to know much more about kind of who knew what and what were the communications between the two entities, kushner companies and
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city and, look, even if jared did not know that this was going on, this was strictly a conversation that occurred between kushner companies which is now run by his father and another executive and these lenders. even still it create this is question of whether or not there was any influence trading going on. >> mark, this is has been a larger question going back to the days of the campaign which is that all the entangling business alliances the trump corporation had, the kushner had, businesses around the world, that there would be no way to unwind all those if donald trump were elected president, now he is and we're seeing the problems with having your hands in so many pots. >> absolutely. talk about appearances. you can talk about appearances on pretty much any story that comes out of these relationsh s relationships. i guess the question i would have for kate is obviously, yes, the appearances are terrible and there's certainly the sense that
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there's a pay to play going on here if you trump two entities together. is there any investigative body that overseas this? this would be under mueller's jurisdiction? is there some house or senate oversight committee that would look into this or this something else to put into the bucket of, well, this is just a new norm, this is at an ethic not on the boo books. who looks into these things? two you respect their denial and move on? >> i don't know, mark but as a matter of course i'm not sure whose purview this would be but prosecutors could step in and there's precedent for that so prosecutors in the new york area have been looking into this kushner situation. people have been looking in to a situation earlier in china when they were on the road inviting people to invest in their properties and letting them know there was a quick path to u.s. citizenship through a certain
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visa program and they dialed that back after public scrutiny, after the "new york times" reported on it and subsequently we found out there was a federal investigation going on into that activity. separately or perhaps related, it's not entirely year the issue is but kushner documents have been subpoenaed by the eastern district of new york prosecutors to look into his relationships with deutsche bank which could potentially be related to these chinese investment offers and visa opportunities or maybe something separate so it's highly possible we'll see some sort of prosecutorial action but so far i haven't seen. in terms of congress and the senate you're more the expert but i'm sure they could look into this. the question is will they? >> all right, kate kelly, thank you so much. we greatly appreciate you being on. an incredible story. willie, it's an incredible story because this is exactly what people have been concerned about from the very beginning.
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not just with donald trump but also with jared kushner. it's been vrp obvious the family has been searching for financing not just for their 666 property but also for properties the country. we've had meets with foreign leaders. we've had requests for investment from foreign entities but here again i don't know that it's illegal but here again it's important. when you look at when these meetings were taken and you look when these loans were given, there was no white house infrastructure, willie, jared kushner was the conduit to donald trump. jared kushner was running, in effect, the west wing. he was the guy if you wanted to get to the president of the united states, if you were citigroup or if you had a hedge fund, there was one person to go through, that one person was
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jared kushner so i don't know if it's an ethical lapse or not but this is exactly the sort of thing that a lot of people for good reason were very concerned about. >> he was viewed as one of them, a new york businessman. he moved in their circles, somebody they could talk to and get to the president through jared kushner but this is exactly why people over the history of time have divested themselves from businesses when they're in public service so there's not even an appearanceover a conflict of interest like the one we have here. >> i've got to say also, the suggestion that jared kushner would not know his company got half a billion dollars in loans from two people he met at the white house, please. please, i don't know if he's denied it or not but he got over $500 million from two entities and, yes, citigroup is obviously a massive bank, massive
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corporation but if people understand how much is at stake for corporations like citigroup to be in good standing with the white house, 325 million is a bargain and yes, i'm sure they -- again, you know, crossed all the "t"s, dotted the "i"s, but that's pretty extraordinary. >> the white house said jared kushner has taken part in no meetings, given no advantage on behalf of the kushner company since he entered the white house last year. let's get to the bipartisan meeting between the president and lawmakers yesterday at the white house. it was extraordinary. here are exchanges with president trump leading the discussion on guns. >> the focus is to literally give families and give local law enforcement additional tools if an individual is reported to be a potential danger to themselves or others. allow due process so no ones rights are trampled but the
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ability to go to court, attain an order and collect not only the firearms but any weapons. >> or, mike, take the firearms first and then go to court because that's another system. a lot of times by the time you go to court it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures, i like taking the guns early like in this crazy man's case. so you could do exactly what you're saying but take the guns first, go through due process second. joe and pat, in your bill, what are you doing about the 18 to 21? we. >> we didn't address that. >> the handgun, you can't buy one, you have to wait until you're 21 but you can buy the kind of weapon used in the school shooting at 18? i think that's something you have to think about so i'm curious as to what you did in your bill. >> we didn't address it, mr. president, i think -- >> because you're afraid of the nra. they have great power i agree with that. they have great power over you people. they have less power over me. i don't need -- what do i need?
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>> this is the number of incidents before and of incidents and deaths. this is when the ten year assault weapon ban was in, how incidents and deaths dropped. when it ended you see it going up. >> dianne, if you could add what you have also -- and i think you can -- into the bill -- can you do that? joe, can you do that? pat, can you add some of the things? >> if you help. >> i'll help. >> heidi, i know you have new reporting. i want to read a tweet the president put out, perhaps watching coverage. he writes "many ideas, some good, some not sood so goode merged from our bipartisan meeting on school safety meeting at the white house. background checks a big part of conversation, gun-free zones are proven targets of killers. after many years, a bill should emerge. respect second amendment." no follow up on his claim that
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in some cases guns ought to be taken before due process. no follow up on raising the age to purchase a firearm at 21. he floated the possibility that we ought to discuss an assault weapons ban. he talked about no concealed carry reciprocity which is a critical issue for gun owners and the expansion of background checks. ill know you have new reporting. for nbcnews.com on the nra and how it might be proceeding here in the wake of the president's comments. >> yes, we have new details about what exactly happened in 2013 which was the last time the congress tried to get something done on gun control. we didn't know at the time just how involved the nra was from the beginning. according to my reporting, the nra's chief lobbyists were in capitol hill with senator manchin actually trading drafts, marking up drafts, running them through their legal departments and they got the bill so watered down that actually a number -- and this is the new reporting, a number of their most staunch
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supporters the gun show promoters were urging them to please take the deal how watered down the provisions were and how many sweeteners they got in the deal. the nra didn't show its cards and at the end came out, torpedoed the deal and then started running about $100,000 in ads against joe manchin, somebody they always supported, given high ratings to, willie, this just shows you the perils of what president trump is urging congress to once again do which is to go back and trust the nra, negotiate the nra. these are good guys, they want to get something done this time, it just shows that even on that modest measure where their own members were urging them to take the deal, the nra has moved to a place in this era of no compromise. >> and elise jordan, the nra is sitting in some polls with 3% of the american people, 97% of
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americans wanting universal background checks, two-thirds of americans wanting a ban on assault-style weapons. the overwhelming majority of americans wanting the age for purchasing guns going up. that's in the political sphere. as we know, donald trump respects the bottom line more than anything else. he respects corporate leaders. and so yesterday what happened, he saw the largest employer in the united states of america, walmart, saying we're going to raise the age from 18 to 21. we've already taken assault style weapons off the shelves. we saw the largest boarding goods store in america saying we're no longer selling assault-style weapons, they're off our shelves and we're raising the age to 21 following the florida school shooting. two of the largest retailers in america donald trump saw that early in the morning and then fedex, who was hammered for bag
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to on -- obsequious to the nra on this show was -- overlooked was a statement that fedex and fred smith put out which is that assault style weapons should be banned. an ar-15 should only be in the hands of the military, from fred smith himself, a vietnam war hero in the marines. i mean, donald trump is looking at all these corporate leaders and going, my gosh, do i listen to wayne lapierre or do i listen to all these people who understand the bottom line better than anybody? >> well, you look at what happened yesterday and in contrast to donald trump's -- you hear constantly oh, he's going to fall in line with the nra and that was to me struck me as delusional because donald trump really never falls in line with anyone except himself and can go rogue at any moment and
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last week i spoke to a source who's close to the nra who said the same thing, that they expected that he could beat to his own drum and completely separate which is what we saw yesterday but then now this tweet you're seeing donald trump try to walk back that language. corporate america has been leading on this issue, in contrast to a government that's so broken and dysfunctional that they can't make the background check system work and they can't come up with a bill that ensures due process while improving the background check system. look at that in contrast to the earlier years after 9/11 when the national counterterrorism center was formed and all of our nation's intelligence centers were zinc synced. there's little hope this congress cares about doing their job and serving constituents by fixing broken government in contrast to these corporations who are heeding the call of their constituents.
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>> and we'll hear from a couple of those congress people. still ahead on "morning joe," as we just heard, president trump directly challenged republican pat toomey to include an assault weapons ban in his legislation for gun reform. we'll get reaction from the pennsylvania senator straight ahead. also katy tur helped break news at nbc with her reporting that bob mueller is asking whether donald trump knew about the hacked democratic e-mails before their release. katy joins the table when we come back. this is the story of green mountain coffee roasters dark magic told in the time it takes to brew your cup. first, we head to vermont. and go to our coffee shop. and meet dave. hey. why is dark magic so spell-bindingly good, he asks? let me show you. let's go. so we climb. hike. see a bear. woah. reach the top.
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it doesn't make sense that i have to wait until i'm 21 to get a handgun but i can get this weapon at 18. i don't know. i'm curious to know what you did in your bill. >> we didn't address it. >> you know why? you're afraid of the nra. they have great power over you people. they have less power over me.
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>> i'm sorry. that's just -- that's funny. i mean, it's true, the nra does have less power over him than everybody else around that table. i don't know if he really knows that or not but he could do any of the things he suggested yesterday except subverting due process in the united states of america and his base would go along with it. when i say "anything," i talk mainly about what our next guest pat toomey, united states senator from pennsylvania, has been suggesting since after -- the days after newtown. senator, thank you so much for being with us. it has to be something to being called a squish for going too far on background checks one day to being called a squish for not going far enough by the president of the united states. let me ask, are you and joe manchin going to push this bill forward and consider adding the portion that raises the gun buying age to 21.
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>> so the answer is joe manchin and i are going to move forward if we can. we are actively soliciting support for our bill. there are several republican senators who voted against in the 2013 who have told me they are reconsidering so i am hopeful about that. i think the's very aggressive support for expanding background checks is encouraging. that's the centerpiece of our legislation and look, i think we ought to -- if we could get to a consensus, get to where we think we've got something like 60 votes then let's put it on the senate floor and have been can have their idea litigated and let the senate work its will. >> senator, last time i think about nine in ten americans, universal background checks. it still couldn't get a vote. now you have polls anywhere from 87% to one i saw last week, 97%
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of americans supporting universal background checks on all gun purchases. do you think that just the realities that walmart is seeing and that fedex is seeing, delta is seeing and that dick's sporting goods is seeing, do you think that eventually congressman and senators will feel the same pressure to listen to what 90% of americans want? >> i hope so. let me be clear, the manchin/toomey bill is not universal. it does close gun shows and internet sales but personal transactions between friends would not be subject. we can have a discussion about how far that should go but it broadens back ground checks very substantially and would cover the vast overwhelming majority of sales. i do think something has changed. we're certainly seeing it when large retailers decide that they're going to change their practices so i hope that that
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will get a consensus within congress. look, pennsylvania is a big second amendment state, lots of folks own guns and have for generations, they don't think it's an infringement on the second amendment to do a three-minute background check to screen out the people who are dangerously mentally ill or violent criminals. we ought to respond to that. >> senator toomey, willie geist in new york. my question for you, and you face this uphill battle since you first introduced manchin/toomey years ago and you had your nra rating drop to a c at the time. >> sounds right. >> what is the resistance to this idea you're talking about? words in are the people that are preventing this from moving forward. the idea sounds common sense to a lot of people that there ought to be a background check on private sales, even on a sale at a gun show. what's standing in the way of that happening? >> well, i'll tell you, i think back in 2013 the argument that i heard the most was first of all
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people -- much of it was misrepresented. when they got to the facts they didn't actually oppose the substance of our bill but they said but it's a slippery slope and we know that president obama really would like to ban whole categories of guns and take away our guns so we shouldn't be moving in that direction. nobody thinks that donald trump is going to come in and try to ban whole categories of guns or confiscate guns so i think that might change the dynamic as well. but it was a very small percentage of people who have a small idea to do a background check. >> were you shocked by some of the things you heard from the president, including the elimination of due process, take the gun first, due process later, raising the age to 21 to be able to purchase a weapon, floated the idea we ought to have a discussion of an assault weapons ban. were you surprised by what you heard from the president? >> well, look, the -- i have to admit the idea of taking a person's property before the due
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process, that did take my breath away. but look i think there's an old saying about this president which is take him seriously and not necessarily literally and i think the big take away from this meeting is he wants to get something done, broadening background checks would be the centerpiece of it. so i agree with all of that. individual items that some of my colleagues will offer as amendments, i'll vote against, some i'd probably vote for. let's have that debate. let's let the senate function. let the american people see this process and i think in the end we'd have a product. >> senator pat toomey of pennsylvania, thank you, we appreciate it. let's bring in another lawmaker who was in the room for white house meeting on gun policy, a member of the arms services committee, democratic congresswoman stephanie murphy of florida. congressman, good to have you on this morning. were you surprised? i'll put the same question to
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you that i put to senator toomey by some of the ideas that a republican president, donald trump, who's taken a good deal, $30 million or so, of money from the nra over the course of his campaign, some of the proposals he put out that sounded to an awful lot of people like a gun control agenda? >> you know, i was heartened by what the president said and some of the commitments that he made to see this through to the end. i represent a district in central florida that was deeply affected by pulse and i will tell you that my constituents in florida want to see us take action and this might be a nixon goes to china moment for trump. he might be the only president who can help us advance some common sense gun safety measures because as senator toomey said, nobody believes he's trying to take away anybody's guns. >> congresswoman heidi przybyla has a question for you. >> you say you're heartened by what you saw yesterday but 2013 was not that long ago and what we saw was this congress resistant to make even minor
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changes. you saw senator toomey as well say we'll do it if we can so clearly even though strong words yesterday not enough to get warriors like toomey to commit to bringing these things to the floor. what for do you need from this president beyond the statements we saw yesterday? >> i think we're living in a different moment than 2013. when you see corporations putting people over their profit s, it's well past time people put it over their politics. the president needs to do what he talked about yesterday by encouraging and pressuring the republican-led congress to allow votes to come to the floor. it would be helpful to help whip those votes. >> i don't think most people know your back story, you mentioned it briefly, the pulse shooting nightclub, you are a businesswoman, a business consultant who witnessed what
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happened in orlando in your district, had no previous experience in politics and got into the race and won, pushing the issue of guns. you had specific concerns, the dickie amendment, a term most people aren't familiar with. why do you believe it ought to be changed? >> what i did was after the pulse nightclub shooting i was frustrated by our elected leaders, i ran a four-month campaign and unseated an incumbent who had taken a check from the nra two days after the pulse nightclub shooting so i care deeply about this issue and i've put forward a bill called the gun violence research act that repeals the dickie amendment, allows the cdc and other federal agencies to research gun violence. this is a public health crisis and we need the facts and research and data to cut through the polarized and ideological conversations we ear having about gun violence so we can get to real common sense solutions
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for the american people. >> congresswoman stephanie murphy of florida, obviously knowledgeable and passionate, we appreciate your time. we'll talk to you again. >> thanks so much. >> what do you make of senator toomey's characterization of that meeting? i think we all agree that he said president trump throws things out in public, the tv cameras are there, we'll see when the rubber hits the road what happens. is this the president floating things out that will never get through the congress? >> the congress is responding to this and the private sector is apparently leading the way and congress is responding like they responded in new town. the phrase take the president literally not seriously, that phrase drives me crazy. what the president says matters. the president can't be a
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bystander, when he says something it has an affect on the political landscape and global landscape so when you say "it's just the president talking, he says a lot of things," that's a very callous and cavalier way to talk about the presidency. >> mark leibovich, a lot of care sons between what happened yesterday and what happened with dreamers, with the daca meeting where also dianne feinstein was speaking out. i wonder if there's a difference mere where you had stephen mi miller who had a very set position on daca, dreamers and immigration whereas perhaps there's not that same voice for the second amendment. obviously the second amendment -- obviously a lot of people in their support the second amendment is interpreted by the republican party but they're not going to go to the matt on background checks which the president is still talking
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about this morning, universal background checks which have the support of nine in ten americans. is that perhaps what will be different this time? >> maybe. there might not be a gun control -- a gun -- second amendment analog to stephen miller in the white house but the nra, you can't underestimate one -- donald trump can say look, they don't have much power over me but his base is -- i mean the nra is as much of a cornerstone of his base as there is out there. i mean, you could play that soundbite about eliminating due process, come after your guns, if they were savvy democrats out there running against donald trump in a couple years and you want to peel off the base, play that over and over and over again and talk about bottom lines, talk about sure, walmart, dick's sporting goods, very, very big corporate bottom lines. donald trump's bottom lines are ordered in electoral map and i think it's less about corporate
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contributions from the nra -- contributions from the nra and more in terms of a part of his base rebelling that could be reflected in the numbers. >> that's why you saw in that tweet this morning stepping back a little bit, joe. >> i was going to say, that said, though, donald trump is looking at the electoral map. he's looking at what's been happening over the past six months, he's looking at one democrat after another winning state legislative races where they haven't won in 40 years, like for instance in connecticut this week, if you want to look on a county level and delaware pennsylvania, winning seats that democrats have never won before, you saw virginia, just an absolutely remarkable landslide, legislative landslide by the democrats doing much better there than anybody expected plus winning the governorship against another guy that went against the nra. willie, donald trump can worry about his base but right now if
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he wants to stop nancy pelosi or tim ryan from being the next speaker of the house, he has to figure out a way to stop the leading from college educated republicans who are departing him in record numbers and allowing democrats to win one day after another. he needs to look at his base but if he just has to look at his base he has to lose those seats that hillary clinton care need 2016 and and he's going to face down one investigation after another, one subpoena after another from a majority democratic house. >> last word on this? >> that's right. the praeb barepublican base is , not turning out. the democrats are. the extent to which donald trump is going to win democratic centrist support is dubious but he'll suck the wind out of the
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guts of aruba republicans and that seems like a stronger calculus. >> heidi przybyla thank you very much -- go ahead, joe. >> i wanted to say the only problem is if you're just talking about background checks, talking about something nine out of ten americans repo s support seems that base that donald trump has been playing to hasn't been able to save him in any of the state races, statehouse races in the past so i know it's going to be a tough order for him but he's got to do something that is going to stop the bleeding from independents and also from republicans -- college educated republicans. >> heidi, thanks a lot, we'll be reading your new reporting on the nra on nbcnews.com. coming up, we'll talk to another democrat in yesterday's meeting with the president, senator amy klobuchar of minnesota will be our guest in the next hour. and up next, nbc's katy tur
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with her reporting that bob mueller wants to know what donald trump knew about the russia hack of democrats' e-mails and when he knew it. "morning joe" is coming right back. >> i see some folks that don't say nice things about me and that's okay. because if you turn that into this energy, i'll love you. >> i love you, man. >> i love you, too, bud. >> i love you, dude. >> i love you bro montana. >> i love you holmes. >> i love you tiko broje. make something for dinner.
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joining us in new york, nbc news correspondent katy tur. katie and carol lee have exclusive reporting on special counsel robert mueller and his investigation into russian election interference and what his team is asking witnesses. katie, good to see you. >> thanks for having me. >> we talked to carol earlier in the show. what do we know from your reporting? >> this is significant. the threads on this investigation seem to be pointing in the obstruction direction. what did donald trump do after the election? why did he fire james comey, etc.? >> this is showing investigators are looking at the meat of the investigation which is not only did the donald trump campaign coordinator collude, did donald
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trump himself coordinate or collude? what did he know about the e-mails, not necessarily the dnc e-mails that coming out around that time, what did donald trump know about the clinton e-mails that were supposed to come out. that moment where he said russia if you're listening raised a lot of red flags as part of the reason from all we've been able to tell that the investigation started. investigators want to know if it was scripted, ad-libbed, if he was trying to cover himself later or if it was off the top of his head. they found it so weird. >> you were on the front row of that press conference. >> i found it weird as well. he was asked about the dnc leaks and he went on to say he doesn't
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care what russia does and then he makes that plea which took me by surprised and i raised my hand a few minutes later and ended up shouting a question "doesn't that give you pause to say to a to ask a foreign power or say to a foreign power interfere on hack into the e-mail of anybody let alone your political opponent. he said it didn't give me pause at all. he ended that by saying russia, china, whoever is out there, find the e-mails. campaign wants to find at the tame and administration said he was just joking. he wasn't joking. i asked if he was joking and he doubled down. >> roger stone is a guy who always seemed to be a step ahead of everyone else. >> he's he wants to make you think he was a step head. >> saying john podesta is next. then the e-mails come out. how does he figure in. >> roger stone is someone that witness haves been asked about as well. he was only on the trump
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campaign for a little while. he was fired or quit, depending who you believe in august of 2015. long time donald trump confidant. still talked to him during the campaign. investigators are asking themselves if he really quits, if he was really fired, was he not working behind the scenes. was he not the on potentially the link between donald trump and wikileaks telling donald trump what was to come. was this all a big plot is the question that investigators have to certain witnesses. which really calls into question his relationship with donald trump and whether or not trump knew about this beforehand. there's always this thought that maybe donald trump wasn't smart enough for this or wasn't savvy enough for this. wasn't something he would do. wouldn't be able to keep his mouth shut. he didn't keep his mouth shut. he called on russia during that press conference. he waved the wikileaks e-mails
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all over when he needed to. you have to look at timing of it all. says podesta's time in the barrel is august 21. the e-mails start coming out on october 7. what else happened on october 7, the access hollywood tape came out. came out hours after the access hollywood tape and allowed donald trump to start diverting attention. >> that's one of the questions i had. this really has just been an amateur hour russian operation, there are leaks of the e-mails sure have been well timed. they have been at important moments of the campaign narrative and have been very disruptive. you look at jared kushner and donald trump jr. and their involvement with the meeting with russians at the trump tower back in the summer and donald trump supposedly new of that meeting. that's a really big question.
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i think when you're looking at the recent events and you're looking at john kelly being able to diminish his security clearance and you look at home hicks leaving, what you're seeing is an isolated donald trump with many of his loyalest leaving the white house. you're also seeing john kelly not seize power, but harness power and if hope hicks who is a really is a loyalist not only to trump, but ivanka and jarred. if she leaves, if all these folks leave, what is the future. it's an open question. i mean the source reporting is all over the place. a lot of folks say it was just hope's decision to leave. no big deal. she was just tired of it. done all she had done. other folks say her position became untenable. and then some are saying that invan i ivanka and jarred are making one final push to get john kelly out. it's all over the place. i couldn't tell you what the status actually is. like this white house, sit c
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chaot chaotic. anything could come. >> it's one less person with the tight circle the president doesn't have. >> everybody that was with him from the start of the campaign is pretty much gone. the only one left from the start is dan scavino. his social media manager. reports they were also asking about him. kellyanne conway, steven miller. other than that, it's a new set of people. >> katie, thank you as always. you can read it on nbc news.com. so much more to get to this morning from this grab bag of news. big developments from big players in the trump white house. packed 8:00 a.m. hour is just moments away. stay with us. ♪
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with an exclusive report that bob mueller is now asking the question, did donald trump know about the hacked democratic e-mails before they were released. s that a lot of news, but then in the afternoon, a bombshell. news breaking that hope hicks, one of the people closest to the president, is resigning from her role as white house communications director. went well beyond what the democrats would ever have expected from the president. jeff sessions then fired back at the president of the united states with a statement defending the integrity of his justice department. that as "the washington post" accomplished new reporting that the mueller investigation is now examining the president's apparent efforts to drive out
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the attorney general last number. and to cap off the day, last night, as you were going to sleep, the "new york times" breaking news that jared kushner's business got big loans from a billionaire after regular lairly hosting him at the white house and even discussing a possible job for him the trump administration. regularly hosti white house and even discussing a possible job for him the trump administration. and that my friends, was all yesterday. what is today going to hold in store? who knows? it's "morning joe." march the 1. mika is away on assignment. willie, my god. i don't know where to start. the gun meeting was shocking enough. the president of the united states actually did what no republicans have beening wi wilo
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do and decided to side with 60, 70, 90% of the american public are and go against the nra. that was shocking enough. hope hicks was shocking. it was an extraordinary news day. in the middle of it saw a poll that came out 57% of the united states say the president is a racist. >> never more true than yesterday. just a fire hose of yesterday coming from any one of those stories would have been a story of the year perhaps for went through taking guns before due process raising the age to 21. floated the possibility of an assault weapons ban. no conceal carry reciprocity expanded background checks. he ticked all the box as stunned
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republicans sat and watched the performance and democrats couldn't believe their luck. let's get into whose here. associate editor of commentator magazine. former aide to the department. national political reporter for nbc news. the soul of america, the battle for a better angels will be accomplished in may. communications director hope hicks. fourth communications director to step down from the white house following sean spicer, mike dub ky and anthony scar mchugh which i. wants to explore opportunities outside of the white house.
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the president said the white house was sad to hear the news. said this, hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. as smart and thoughtful as they come. truly great person. miss having her by my side. when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities i tee totally understood: i'm sure we'll work together again in the future. announcement comes one day after the house intelligence committee. said in her role she occasionally had been required to tell what she called white lies. however the "new york times" reports hicks departure is not related to her testimony. and white house press secretary says it's been in the works for several weeks and did not happen overnight. hicks told trump about her decision yesterday and several sources in and out of the white house tell nbc news they were shocked. this is the latest in a long list of major white house
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departure since trump took office just over 13 months ago. so at best, joe, the times is suspicious here. literally the day after hope hicks testified before the intel committee she walks away from the white house. >> the day after she testified. the day after a lot of people seized on the fact she said she occasionally told little white lies. it also comes at a time when the mueller investigation is really starting to pick up. we had two reporters say their sources inside the mueller investigation say things are starting to move at a very rapid pace. bob mueller is not nibbling around the edging anymore. he's going straight in and asking the questions. did donald trump know. about the russian hacking. did he plan things out. things are about to get inside the white house and the question is for somebody like hope hicks
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why did you stay that long? there's not much good news for a lot of people and hope hicks also of course involved in that air force one meeting t drafting of the memo. she was sort of a courier at the same time, i mean, she's got to get ready for mueller. she's got to get ready for a trial. i mean, it's things could get ugly. >> watching hope hicks over the course of the campaign and the time of the administration, so many moments looking at it as a former press staffer, you would think wow, how is she doing this. how is she able to stay when the president is yoounz say charlottesville and saying. look how it collided with her personal life this year. she was responsible for staging the response when rob porter the
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staff secretary was accused. so she was involved in pulling down john kelly with that response, you know, helping orchestrate the response to warren hatch and someone who really enjoyed one of the best reputations for being a professional operative in the trump administration. really say that tarnish a little bit. as the mueller investigation has heated up. less about giving testimony to the house committee yesterday. that's the investigation you really want to step clear of. >> willie, you also have people talking about general kelly. i'm not sure he had anything to do with this, but two days ago, we hear the news about jared kushner. the insiders for trump suddenly be shut out. the ultimate insider. hicks certainly something he
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would want. get the trump tower people out. move in the professionals. you can't overstate how close hope hicks has been to donald trump. she came up through the trump obama administrati administration. she worked with ivanka years ago. joined him day one from the campaign. you can hear in statements from ivanka and others how much she meant to him. losing one more closest hand. nbc exclusive that special counsel robert mueller is looking into when and how donald trump learned e-mails had been hacked during the 2016 election. momentum approximately people familiar with the election tell nbc news mueller's team is asking witnesses pointed questions about whether trump was aware e-mails had been stolen and also whether he was involved with their release. last january u.s. intel officials concluded vladimir putin himself ordered the operation that ultimately hacked the e-mail accounts of the
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democratic national committee and clinton campaign chairman john podesta. those e-mails were disseminated to the public through the wikileaks website starting in july of 2016. mueller is said to be asking specifically about the following public overture that trump made to russia just days after wikileaks began accomplishing the e-mails. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that rfl miare m. i think you would be rewarded mightily by our press. >> obviously donald trump as he does so often has left a piece of video tape for bob mueller to look into or a tweet in some cases. what specifically do you think bob mueller is on to here. >> i think the main question is whether the president somehow from someone in the campaign or from someone outside the campaign who perhaps spoke with someone in the campaign or spoke with him that he had some sort of knowledge that this was going
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on in advance before the public knew. and what is significant about this development is that it shows the collusion question, the idea that the president is cleared of all wrongdoing, which he keeps saying is not true. the collusion question is very much still active and not only that, it's very much active when it comes to the president himself. it's not just people around him. so that shows that and also shows that this is moving very quickly, but it's not ending any time soon. it's seems to be, you know, still asking questions about these very significant pieces of the investigation. >> there's a name that's been talked about a lot when it comes to wikileaks and it's roger stone. a guy not news again yesterday for his dms with wikileaks although they didn't have anything specifically to do with a form of collusion. more of a personal venn dell death ta vendetta he seemed to be settling. what do they believe robert stone knows? where does he fit in the puzzle.
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>> the way he fits in is questions that are being asked, a lot of questions about the president's relationship with roger stone. on the campaign for a brief amount of time. obviously known each other for a long time. the questions are that mueller's team has been asking is did they still communicate. how is he fired. was he fired. did he leave on his own. what's the relationship like. he's very much boasted about his connections to wikileaks. kind of bragged about this and in the question that investigators the with the was aware. no roger stone says that they didn't discuss this. he says he maintains that he never had any direct contact with julian assange and was not involved in the effort to leak these e-mails. >> still ahead on morning joe, on the same day president trump again attacked jeff sessions, new reporting saying bob mueller is looking into whether the apparent effort to drive out the
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attorney general amounts to attempted obstruction of justice. you're watching morning joe. we'll be right back.
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attorney general sending what some see as a message of solidarity. look into devin nunez allegations of surveillance abuses like the one against former trump adviser cart page. met by skepticism yesterday morning on fox and friends. >> i have a few questions about him. doj because doj and fbi highest standards, right. highest power in the land as far as law enforcement is concerned. this guy, he works for the doj and he's going to be investigating the doj. >> he does. >> should we be worried about that. >> he apparently is a man of
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integrity. >> so that's on fox and friends. >> later president trump tweeted this. why is ag jeff sessions asking the inspector general to investigation potentially mass i fisa abuse. take forever has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on comey. is he an obama guy. why not use justice department. sessions then released a statement of his own writing we have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against the department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary. as long as i am the attorney general, i will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor and this don mattingly will continue do it's and impartial. special counsel robert mueller has been investigating the period of time last summer when president trump seemed determined to drive sessions from his job.
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people familiar with the matter tell the post the key area of investigation is whether these reports were part of a month long pattern of attempted obstruction of justice from the oval office. all parties involved decline to comment. report claims bla s behind the trump refers to sessions as mr. magoo. cartoon character. trump has sold associates he has hiefrd t hired the best lawyers for his entire life, but is stuck with session who is is not defending him and is not loyal. on the anniversary of confirmati confirmation. decided to buy sessions a bulletproof vest with name emblazoned on it. president of the united states who expects loyalty from attorney general. >> yes, he's completely ignorant. as to what the attorney general is supposed to do. what the justice department is supposed to do and the wall that
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is supposed to be between the president and justice department and the fbi as i've said several times, from the examples where the clinton administration tried to get involved in the margins with the fbi and my god, it was a six month scandal it seemed. there's so much to tackle here. and feel free to wander around the buffet and have whatever you want with the news stories that we have here today. what's remarkable, again, you have a president attacking his own attorney general. the attorney general punching back a picture with the attorney general and several of his deputies and others showing unity and donald trump again just shooting himself in the foot. you've got a respected ig who is going to come back and what he's going to find is that you had
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four republican fisa judges that granted warrants and anybody that's not completely ignorant of the fisa process knows that doesn't just happen. they dot their is and cross their ts, once again, donald trump appearing to look as if he wants to obstruct an independent investigation and at the end of the day, does him no good. does none of his allies any good. and does political standing and legal standing no good. well, at least we were warned. i don't think there was a lot of doubt during the campaign. i'm thinking about the staff shakeups as kind of a precursor to this. as you know well for a long time when donald trump was running for president. basically three or four people around him. i remember talking to someone who talked to him about joining the ticket who came back from the meeting saying you don't even need a minivan to put the
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campaign structure in a car. it was that small. it was that tight. most importantly and i think this is one thing that may link all of this at least ten would you sayly -- it was entirely about the personality and the wome whim, not the thought, but the whim of the candidate himself. the common denominator here for all the drama you have described is that we have a prosecute who has no general idealogical convictions and who has driven to a remarkable degree, a way we might not even appreciate, by what he sees on check out the reaction from amy feinstein when president trump proposed adding an assault weapons ban to legislation on gun reform. they clearly were excited, but not the first time the president
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well, he's finally doing something obama never did. he's coming for your guns. and that is ground breaking. >> welcome back to morning joe, joi joining us now, republican man adam of illinois. second, what's your reaction to that comment. >> if you take that at the face, it's obviously a little
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frightening. if you look at what the president was intending, the idea of gun violence restraining order. this idea that if somebody shows mental health concerns or issues, you can restrict their ability to have gun while it's adjudicated. that's what he meant. i would have probably said it a little differently. >> there are proposals he put out there yesterday that shocked ool a lot of republicans. delighted a lot of democrats. i wonder how many you agreed with. raising the federal age to buy a firearm to 21. >> i think it definitely should be 21. i'm open to the question of shotguns and things. there's plenty of reasons to have a shotgun for hunting. making that 21 makes sense to me. if you look at frankly the last three mass shootings. three things that would have mitigated or stopped each of those. number one banning of the bump stocks. no-brainer frankly. that would have mitigated not necessarily stopped, but mitigated vegas. raising the age to 21 and fixing the background check system.
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both would have fixed texas and florida. if you fix that, this guy might have been flagged in florida. at least if it's 21, you mitigate. he might have gotten other guns, but it's helpful. >> we talk about expanding background checks. are you saying private sales should be subject to background checks. >> here's my question. the answer is going to be in the details. now if my dad wants to sell me his pistol, does he have to put me through a federal background check. areas where people are buying guns and not having background checks. >> like a gun show. >> like a gun show. if you're at a gun show and ffl you have to put people through background checks anyway. not like you go to a gun show and just kind of a mass of free for all talking about the bump stock. you favor going down the regulatory path to banning the bump stock. how is that process going to proceed. >> there were 60 or 70,000 comments. just closed the comment period where people with write or submit comments. there were 70,000 comments that
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came in on that. the law says you have to read every one of them. right now the atf, doj is reading all of that. then they'll make their ruling. my hope is if the president does an executive order, he may have the power to do this on his own. the reason the regulatory side is better, if we get the doj to say trigger modification, any trigger modification device violates the spirit of law. then when a new device comes on to the market, they can basically assess it like that versus us having to constantly go back and write new legislation. >> congressman, switching gears a little bit. as the isis threat recedes inan seems to changes. engaged in turf wars over there. occasionally engaged instead combat with a sovereign power that doesn't want us over there. >> i'm a big believer in article
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two, power of the president when it comes to issues of making war. he is commander in achieve. we basically declare a state of war exists or doesn't and give resources to it. as we continue to check isis. that's under current legal authority. anything beyond that we're saying look, we're going to supply the fdf. continue to push back against iranian aggression. i would love it if congress could vote to give authority to the president to do this. when president obama gave us the authorization for the use of military force he wanted, that would have expired by now it was three years and said no ground troops. i said we can't as congress limit what the president can do. that's not our job. everything now, including the shoes of war, is political. >> do you support an authorization of military to fo with respect to yemen. >> all of these, if it comes up and says let's vote for it. i would vote for it.
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i would vote for whatever is being done is being done correctly. this falls under current authority. when you are aggressively going after and going into the war on terror, i think that the 9/11 exists for that. >> i guess i would ask you stepping back a little bit. like a lot of people this morning on this and i'm sure other shows have said the president said this and that gave me pause and that was troubling, but i think if you look at what he meant, he was trying to -- we do this seemingly every couple of weeks, right. is this a problem when the president says something that all of a sudden people are trying to decipher the next day or are we just overthinking this. >> it would be for our jobs. be better if we didn't have to analyze that every time. i think you know the president is unique. he's unlike any president prior. he says things. i've met with him three different times in the oval office or the white house. he has a sense of humor that a lot of times people don't read in his comments. in the way he says things you
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realize he's kind of being funny or joking. i don't think that's the case in the gun issue. i would get it and say i can see him humor in that, but people will take everything literally. if you ever want to take away someone's sense of humor, just mention you're a congressman or mention politics at all. it's the nature of a serious business. >> congressman, let me ask you quickly going down the checklist. as far as. >> i think regulatory is good. >> what about pat toomey's background check bill. do you support the toomey mansion plan or something like it. >> i haven't read it all, but yes. to the extent we can make sure that people -- the wrong people are not getting guns. that's good. let me just say really quickly on this. here's the problem. left saying ban all assault
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weapons and some of the right say we can't do anything. there are 80% issues and you're ticking them off right now. let's talk about arkansas assault weapons. would you support regulating much more stringent manner of assault style weapons or would you ban the purchase of new assault style weapons. >> i wouldn't ban it. i own an ar-15. i shoot a lot of rounds through it when i shoot every year. i enjoy doing it. you can trust me with an ar-15. i do think raising the age makes a lot of sense. if you can drink a beer until your 21 years old, i think you probably shouldn't be able to buy an ar-15 either.
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the reason i had lunch with the nra on sunday. i called them. i said you have to do something. they have great power. they have great power over you people. they have less power over me. what do i need. i tell you, they are well meaning. >> welcome back to morning joe. bring in right now minnesota senator amy klobuchar. she was actually in the meeting yesterday. and senator, i guess the question that a lot of people want to know is are we going to be looking back at that meeting like we look back at the meeting that was supposed to take care of daca or do you think we may see real movement from this president. >> i hope it's not the same
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thing. my colleagues that were in the meeting about dreamers left there and thought something was going to get done. we were obviously undermined the last day after a group of democrats, republicans i was one of them had come together with a common sense idea about how to make sure those kids could stay in the country and we had border security. fast pardforward, here we are f yesterday. one difference is it was a very clear focus on universal background check. he didn't say it once or twice. he said it ten times. the american people are focused on this right now. you heard it from the kids. kids marching. in my mind we reached a tipping point. for him to say that to the american people and turn back on that, i think that would be something like we've never seen in terms of a betrayal.
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that was the major problem last when we tried to pass this. >> he tweeted this morning and he talked about the need for moving forward on background checks. said something had to be done. how did the other republicans in the room react after the cameras were turned off? do you believe you can get support from the majority of republicans and majority of the senate on strong background checks? >> not yet. they didn't have some kind of conversion during that meeting. senator toomey was on the show earlier. he is made the case and there are some republicans that have voted for and it going to add to their numbers. it's so simple. simply closes the loophole for gun sales and it also closes the
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loophole that you see when you have online sales. so it is the -- gun shows and the online. >> yes. gun shows and online. and willie, you look at the story out of dalton georgia. a town i know very well. atlanta constitution reporting this morning that the coach, the teacher, tried to confess to a murder before and had several other incidents that should have tipped off authorities and also should have been part of possibly part of the background check that would have stopped him from being able to purchase weapons. >> one of the things i thought was good that was talked about was these extreme risk orders. i know they are working on this to create incentives for those. you could actually get that kind
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of information if families reported to law enforcement. you could get that into a background check. when the president said -- he didn't just say i want universal background checks. he said i want a bill that include as number of things. that's one of them. domestic violence suggestions when you have 6,000 women that have died at the hands of intimate partners in ten years. that's more than the brave troops that we lost in iraq and afghanistan combined. he said he wants to include that in there as well. >> senator, it's willie geist. it's interesting to hear congressman a republican a veteran of if united states air force who serve instead iraq and afghanistan, owner of ar-15 says he believes the age should be raised to 21. he, a republican, sand supportes of the second amendment rights is already considering based on what he's seen on the last two weeks changes his positions on
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things through the years. are you feeling that movement as well on capitol hill among republicans who are prosecond amendment, but willing now to perhaps make concessions they wouldn't have made in the past. >> if they listen to their gun owners, majority of gun owners want to see background checks and want to do something. i talked to a guy up in northern minnesota where we have a proud proud hunting tradition up there. and he said, you know, i'm big supporters of the second amendment. i don't have a problem with bump stocks. i don't have an issue with looking at background checks. joe specific question at the begin beginning said i want to work with you on the background check bill. we didn't hear that right away. we don't want to have happen is to lose the momentum. i have this feeling when it's these kids who are already planning this major march they're doing to be losing momentum. they're going to gain momentum.
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>> at the beginning of a big negotiation and we're going to this march 5 deadline is basically off the table for existing daca recipients. is daca done for the table? >> ehope not. we would love to go back to the table again. we had the path to citizenship. we had significant border security money. basically on that one the white house couldn't take yes for an answer and kept pushing and pushing and adding things and changing basically the goal post for us there and the goal line. there we are. we are now -- we are happy to go back and talk about it. they are going to have to talk with us. we lost republican votes when that memo know came out from homeland security. >> are there bad omens there for
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gun control if that's the record they have with negotiating on the white house and daca. >> that is exactly what we have as our immediate pass moment. there's something different about this and it doesn't mean -- by the way, hopefully you will do all we can, and, i believe, that we will not let these dreamers be deported. the court case helps. we can try to put some things in now. we at least have to hold the status quo so they can't be g t deported and can continue working. i saw the president emphatically talking about specific proposals. taking on his own party in front of the nation. telling them that they were afraid of the nra. telling them they had basically not done anything about this. and telling steve scalice who he said he loved, but telling him no, i don't think that concealed carry proposal is going to belong in this package. it was very specific. >> remaining to be seen if he'll stick to everything he said in that room. we'll see.
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senator amy klobuchar, democratic of minnesota, great to see you. still ahead on morning joe. >> whoever was in charge of making it 60 degrees in february, i want to thank you. because that's not how i remember february in chicago. former president barack obama was back in chicago this week. next guest traces path from community organizer to the united states. keep it on morning joe. new york state is now a leader in optics, photonics and imaging. fueled by strong university partnerships, providing the world's best talent. and supported with workforce development to create even more opportunities. all across new york state, we're building the new new york. to grow your business with us in new york state, visit esd.ny.gov. these are the specialists we're
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former president barack obama was back in chicago on tuesday night making a surprise appearance at a community meeting on the city's south side. a new podcast series called making obama retraces the president's journey from community organizer to the white house. with a new episode out today about obama's unsuccessful first run for congress and why he ran. >> it was a time when i had been at that point in minority in the senate for quite some time. i had been frustrated with what i could get done. >> when we sat down with former president obama, he talked about how his early experience in springfield drove him to make his next move. >> some i think was just the inpatience of a young man. that was a few times where i think i ran not because i had
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obvious rational, but rather just because i wanted to just get moving. to get more stuff done. >> and joining us now, host of making obama, jennifer white. jennifer, good morning. good to have you with us. the podcast sounds fascinating. let's tackle the episode we just heard a little bit. the race in 2000 where the president got absolutely smoked. lost by 31 points i think was the number. what did he take away from that. how did it shape his political ambition. >> i think it made him more thoughtful about the next race he was going to enter. that was of course the u.s. senate race. i was also i think defined for him the fact that he had some work to do when it come to building trust among chicago and them trusting in his ability to represent them. especially the african-american community in chicago. a bit of an awakening for him. >> you know, jennifer, it's so interesting if you look at the last three president's before donald trump.
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bill clinton, lost attorney general's race in arkansas that was devastating then he lost his first re-elect as governor of gd by some of the chicago establishment. was he seen as a young man in a hurry and was he also, as you said, somebody who the black community in chicago had trouble getting their arms around, much like they did in the early part of his presidential run? >> i think he was definitely seen as a young man in a hurry and the old guard of chicago politics wanted him to slow down a bit and wait his turn. some of this also comes from his state senate race when he kicked alice palmer off the ballot. she didn't have enough petition signatures to be on the ballot. but she was part of that old guard and there was some resentment about that decision. and so i think that carried
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through to this race against congressman bobby rush. then you also have to understand who bobby rush was. he was a black panther who became a congressman. he had a long established relationship with the black community. and an established career of fighting for civil rights. barack obama at that point was an unknown. >> mark libowitz, from new york. i guess what i'll ask you is did the rush to bobby at all give him pause? that that would be a one-off in his career in politics? >> i think there was some concern from him and the people working with him about whether or not this was going to be the end of his political career. because it was a major loss. and there were so many whispers of whether or not he would represent the black community.
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after that loss to rush, there was an editorial in the newspaper here in chicago. it wasn't a say good-bye to barack obama editorial, it was a this is a young man we need to watch. so it was a bit of both. i think there was some concern from the inner circle about what this meant moving forward. there was also a spark of interest in him that was established after that race. >> even, despite losing in that district, now less than two years later thinking about running statewide, which he of course famously did and won a few years later. this is fascinating stuff. the podcast is "making obama." you can listen to it wherever you get your podcast. thank you for being with us. we'll be back in three minutes to try to put the past 24 hours into perspective.
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right now, you can go into the trump campaign website and purchase an all new american dreamer hat. this is it here. the hat references a line from the president's state of the union speech last month and it cost $50. i know that sounds expensive but you've got to bear in mind, these hats, they really do speak to the american dream. you know, the idea that no matter your circumstances, with hard work and dedication, you can pull yourself up by your boot straps and become so successful you can waste 50 bucks on a $2 hat.
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and that is -- >> all right. welcome back to "morning joe." willie, how do you put the past 24 hours into perspective? 15 seconds, go. i'm joking. what's your big takeaway? >> well, i think that big gun meeting. i think the question will be as amy clo butklobuchar all said a whether he genuinely believes and can be turned into policy. fascinating to watch senators say if we literally reinforce for him out loud and say these things he's been saying publicly, if we say it enough and we reinforce what he said was good, maybe it will turn into policy. we will see, noah. >> yes, mine's not really the top news of the day, but it should get a lot of attention and that's the jared kushner story. this is not the first time a
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senior adviser to the president has humiliated the principal in the white house. that's unacceptable. the white house would not tolerate this. if he wasn't his son-in-law, he should be out the door and he should consider moving on for the good of the administration. >> i've moved on to what's going to happen to today. the new trade war's actually going to start. the president's been saying he's going to raise tariffs on steel. i wonder who he is going to back. is he going to back wilbur ross who supports this move or secretary mattis who says let's slow down and really examine this. >> let's go back to ancient history about 24 hours ago. the kind of ongoing torture of jeff sessions. who he doesn't seem capable of firing. who jeff sessions seemed to be starting to push back a little bit yesterday in that tweet, which was this bizarre back and forth between the president and the attorney general. we'll see how that plays out. does seal to be a bit of an
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impasse because you wonder what the end game is for either. >> i would sprinkle in, joe, as we send it to you as well, the president's campaign chairman paul manafort was arraigned yesterday on money laundering conspiracy charges and his trial date was set for september which means there will be a trial about russia as we head into the midterms. >> and of course as we'll been saying all morning, the manafort investigations moving forward. but also bob mueller's investigation seems to be picking up steam very quickly. he's got more support among the american people that he's had. and, my gosh, there's still a long way to go in that investigation. if you look at where he's going. i wanted to pec up really quickly, though, on what noah said, and that is not only is the president, i'm sure, steaming about jared kushner being on the front pages of the newspaper but also reports that he's very angry about ben carson embarrassing him. it's going to be very curious to see what happens over the next 24 to 48 hours.
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we start hearing not only about jared but also ben carson. we shall see. want to thank everybody for being with us. and stephanie ruhle, now it is her task to try to jam about six weeks of news in a one-hour newscast. stephanie, good luck. >> thanks much, joe. he's right, we got a lot to cover this morning. i'm stephanie ruhle. we've got to start with trump losing hope. just one day after meeting with the house intel committee, the president's longest serving aide resigns as white house communication s director. >> this looks to me like more evidence of a white house in disarray. >> taking ae ining aim. the president stuns republicans with a clear message he's ready to embrace gun control. lawmakers are doubtful he'll keep his word. >> is this the tuesday trump or the thursday trump?

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