tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 6, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST
sam nunberg is giving the president a run for his money in a series of head swining -- >> what was that -- >> actually i was really concerned. >> i was transfixed. >> i was concerned. the former trump aide said among other things that he was defying a subpoena from the special counsel and that it would be funny if they arrested him. >> see, that's the first thing. >> i mean, i've said this bere. as a late -- you'llemember the late jim croece. you don't spit into the wind and you don't defy a subpoena by robert mueller the iii. >> this was the dumbest thing. >> the man has taken this painful national tragedy and spun it into -- >> he might have been under the influence. >> don't know about that but he's got a heck of trouble if he
tries to do this. >> he also said that the president quote, may have done something during the elections and that carter paige was colluding with the russians. that candidate trump knew in advance about john jr.'s meeting and that bob mueller's investigating are particularly interested in president's business dealings, so with that, good morning. it's tuesday, march 6th. just another day here in washington, d.c. with us we have associate editor for the washington post and washington anchor for world news america along with willie from new york. >> this is the sort of thing we do all the time. we're under federal investigation, but -- >> yeah. >> i will say nunberg colored our play book because right before the plane hit the ground he pulled up, but i talked to somebody who knew him really well yesterday who said kindly
that he's not a road scholar. a lot of his friends were suggesting that he may have been under the influence, and that he was completely overwhelmed by what he found himself in, the lawyer's fees just to sort through these e-mails and that is the thing that a lot of people don't understand. i was explaining last week about hope hicks, the pressure that she had to be under and the amount of legal fees that she would be facing and somebody said oh, the white house doesn't pay that? no. it's these young -- i say kids because they're about the age of my children that are going to be facing 50,000, $100,000 legal fees if they just -- they don't have. so i think we saw yesterday a younger guy buckling under the pressure. >> yeah, he mentioned that actually in one of the 73 interviews he did last night. he talked about the legal bills that are piling on not just for
him but some of the people he worked with and just when you thought this circus couldn't get any more strange sam nunberg rolls in on a unicycle and doing whatever he was doing. he was the guy that was fired in 2015 from the campaign. so less than two months into the campaign, a guy who's not been in close touch with what's been happening but someone who has been interviewed by the special counsel's office and does know sort of at least what path the questioning was leading. so while you don't want to take it as evidence, you don't want to take him saying yes, i believe the president may have done nothing, he's not a guy who knows nothing. he's had a little glimpse on the inside of this investigation. >> late last night nunberg reversed himself and said he will end up cooperating after repeedly saying he would not. >> so end of the third indiana jones. >> yeah, i think somebody caught up with him and like sat him down. >> yeah, where the knight said
he chose wisely. >> yes. >> sam nunberg after drinking from all of the wrong cups chose wisely. >> here's the background. he had a tumultuous history with the president. he was fired by the president at least twice for using racial slurs in old facebook posts, and nunberg was sued by then candidate trump for breach of contract in 2016. they later settled out of court. yesterday nunberg revealed he had been subpoenaed for his communications with ten trump campaign officials and associates and that he was ordered to appear before the grand jury after his interview with the special counsel late last month. before relenting nunberg went on immediate tour yesterday proclaiming he would not cooperate. >> why should i hand them e-mails from november 1st, 2015? i was thinking about this today,
katie. i was preparing it, should i spend 50 hours going over all my e-mails with roger and with steve bannon and then they wanted e-mails that i had with hope hicks, with lewandowski, are you giving me a break? it's ridiculous. when i get a subpoena like this, roger is right. i mean, mr. trump is ght. it's a witch hunt. >> i've spent money on an attorney. i cooperated with them and then i got something like this and they wanted me to go to the grand jury next friday and i believe they're trying to start a case against roger. why do you think they want to make you go in the grand jury room. >> they're trying to set up a perjury case against roger. roger is like family to me. roger stone is like a surrogate father -- he's like my father.
>> you feel loyal to him. >> i'm not going to go in there for them to set up a case against roger. >> are you worried about getting arrested? >> i think it would be funny if they arrested me. i think it would be really, really funny if they wanted to arrest me because i don't want to spend 80 hours going over e-mails i had with steve bannon and roger stone. >> so many things to talk about here. first of all, bob mueller actually had -- because you won as an attorney preparing a case, you want people to just talk and you just sit there and you measure the person who's talking and rambling and this guy is obviously very scared. but also, nunberg was off the campaign very early, but he did communicate a great deal with roger stone. he did communicate a great deal -- >> the calendar. >> he is one of the only people
that had trump's calendar going back several years, and so he does know a lot of -- a lot of information and i mentioned this yesterday. people like nunberg were shocked at this discovery request. but actually what mueller did by asking for all the e-mails and all the communications, that's what every lawyer does at their first step in the case, and because there's so many people that are listed, they're going to be able to find out who's revealed all of their e-mails and who has not. and so you may -- people may get obstruction charges there, but at the end of the day, though, you actually owned him on the show. >> some of the most bizarre television. you see sam nunberg there being counselled through his position
by a lawyer and by a federal prosecutor and he goes to the end of the interview and that was the point in which i started thinking oh, he's changing his position. well, maybe i will go in there, because i think at that point having had a federal prosecutor on the show with him for about 15, 20 minutes he started to realize the gravity of his proposition. and that this idea that actually going to jail was a real possibility for him. you're right. he mentioned roger stone, steve bannon, those were the two he kept talking about, but clearly if you are bob mueller watching what sam nunberg did yesterday, if he really was prepared to push it and defy the subpoena and go be arrested and go to jail, if you're bob mueller you can not let other witnesses think they can get away with this and i think that's what he realized during the course of the evening. nobody was going to be lenient on him because there's a whole lot of other people out there --
>> watching. >> watching and they have to talk to them also. >> bob mueller would bury nunberg underneath the federal penitentiary somewhere, so no, he was -- i was actually surprised that mueller didn't have agents outside the show last night because i would have stopped him right there and sent him off to prison right there. you -- because he would have to send that message, but david, i think what nunberg didn't understand is, they're going to get roger stone's e-mails. i mean, bannon is not going to -- >> they probably already have them. >> they probably already have them so this idea that i'm going to protect when you know bannon's not protecting himself. i don't think hope hicks is going to want to go to jail for 5 to 10 years. i don't think any of the people on that list are going to want to go to jail, so when they make a discovery request they're
going to have all the pieces together whether nunberg wants to go to jail or not. >> mueller has so much more ready for each next step of this prosecution than we expected. i'd liken him to a shark. but you only see himhen t skin breaks the surface just before the strike. and heas managed his office i think brilliantly. he's got so much more information than we realize. he does have a very large cache of e-mails to be obtained. people in the white house are furious about it but he's had those ex- mails for months. he knows exactly what you're lying about and what you're telling the truth on and then he strikes. i can imagine if you're nunberg, suddenly you're face to face with the toughest prosecutor of our generation. >> oh, no. and really i would think one reason why he wasn't cuffed at the doors of msnbc is that bob mueller is no, let him talk. let's see what else he says.
>> and he talked about president trump in those interviews. nunberg lodged multiple allegations against president. he said yesterday, i hate the guy talking about the man who hired him to work on his campaign and later fired him. nunberg drawing inferences from what he heard by being interviewed by the special counsel's office. >> do you think they have something on the president? >> i think they may. i think that he may have done something during the election. but i don't know that. >> let me ask you about that trump tower meeting. president trump says he knew nothing about the meeting. do you think that that's true? >> no. >> you don't think that's true. >> no, and it doesn't -- and jake, i've watched your news reports, you know it's not true. he talked about it the week before and i don't know why he did this. all he had to say was yeah, we met with the russians. the russians offered us something and we thought they
had something, and that was it. i don't know why he went around trying to hide it. >> they probably have something on trump. trump did something pretty bad i would assume. >> what do they have? >> i don't know. i think they were interested in shing with his business. >> with his business? >> yes. did they ask you about the way he ran his business? >> yes, i have no idea what he did. >> sam nunberg, the presidential's former campaign aide is refuses a subpoena by a grand jury ande just said on msnbc moments ago i think he meaning the president may have done something during the election but i don't know that for sure. >> i definitely think he doesn't know that for sure because he's incorrect. as we've said many times before there was no collusion with the trump campaign. anything further on what his actions are he hasn't worked at the white house so i certainly can't speak to him or the lack of knowledge that he clearly has. >> so guy, it's a lot of
speculation from nunberg when he says the president may have done something during the election but i don't know for sure. but he did say he was asked a lot about that trump tower meeting in june of 2016 and all these interviews he said the special counsel's office went deep on that meeting with paul manafort, jared kushner, donald trump jr. and the russian lawyer and the phony memo that was made to get dirt on hillary clinton. >> and also though again, he -- he was out of the loop starting 2015, but david, he was in constant communication from what we've heard with roger stone, also in communication with steve bannon and perhaps some others on the campaign, so he had insight into the campaign as it was going on. >> he can tell you the things looking over the shoulders of the principals, keeping the date
book, knowing who met with whom. the little things that help a prosecutor put a case together. i thought his professions of loyalty to roger stone were fascinating because clearly he sees roger stone as connection with people pushing out the anti hillary -- for the russians it's so clear that you may think roger stone may be more at the center of this than seen before. he knows the little things that prosecutors turn into big things. >> he also knows what donald trump was doing in 2012, 2013, 2014, as he was building this political operation, but more importantly, as he was going to russia, as he was holding the miss universe pageant. sam nunberg was his political guy when a lot of these interactions with russia took place. >> one of the questions about donald trump has always been why did he repeatedlyo to russia tabig business
deals. some of those big business deals never happened so what was going on in that relationship? what was he doing? what kind of money might he be asking for and at one point he seemed to suggest, sam, that he thought mueller was more interested in the trump organization than he was in the campaign. now, look, sam yesterday was so rambling and disoriented almost that i'm not sure that i would use him as a reliable witness in what mueller is actually after given how he was responding to things yesterday, but le seemed to flag that it was the -- the business side of things more than the campaign that mueller was asking about. >> we'll have more ahead on nunberg's allegations. we're going to bring in former u.s. attorney and msnbc chief legal correspondent who interviewed nunberg last night. we'll be talking a lot more about the legal implications of all of this all around. meanwhile, president trump was making allegations of his own, railing against the russia
investigation on twitter yesterday. here's what he said quote, why did the obama administration start an investigation into the trump campaign with zero proof of wrong doing long before the election in november? wanted to discredit so crooked h could win? unprecedented, bigger than water gate. this is the president of the united states. pawlows plus, obama did nothing about russian meddling. former cia director who is a senior national security analyst responded to the president's tweet, writing this. this tweet is a great example of your paranoia, constant misrepresentation of the facts, and increased anxiety and panic. rightly so about the mueller investigation. when will those in congress and the 30% of americans who still you realize you are a charlotteton?
>> of course, the president suggesting that this was a witch hunt, that -- you know, he's already suggested and it was probably a tweet that did more damage to him than any other. he's already suggested that barack obama had tapped his phone in trump tower. that was a complete lie and it started a chain of events -- started a chain of self-inflicted wounds against the president by himself that has led us to where we are right now with bob mueller, but in this case, we're talking of course about carter paige, a man who donald trump's own former campaign manager said was colluding with russia and also someone that four republican fisa judges approved warrants on because they believed that he could be a threat to the united states in the dealings with russia. i mean, there are so -- there's so much evidence out there that
again, a tweet like donald trump's really does -- it is just seems to proof what brennan said and that is how nervous he is becoming with where this mueller investigation is going. >> he's shown it again and again with tweet after tweet. anyone have any doubt that donald trump feels the walls closing in. he feels alone and isolated in that oval office and he's worried about what's coming down the pike. i mean, watching sam nunberg on tv, we know the president watches a lot of cable news, could not have been comforting. you can try to say he was a guy that he fired which is true in august of 2015, but the fact is sam nunberg provided a window into bob mueller's investigation. you have to take some of what he said with a grain of salt but there is no question that president trump is worried about what's happening and he's going to build up whatever smoke
screen he can find to distract people from it. >> sam nunberg, a former campaignuy who's now in the cus of the special prosecutor, panicking, literally having a nervous -- what appeared to be a nervous breakdown on national tv on as many outlets as possible. i'm sure both donald trump and roger stone would have been very proud of him but then you have hope hicks. his most trusted aide, the person he relied upon the most, emotional support in the white house based on everything i've ever heard from anybody sitting in front of congressional committees and i'm sorry, i don't care what the reporting says, leaving the next day saying enough. and -- and leaving the wlous. >> and this behavior changing significantly on her departure.
>> after he hears she's going to depart him losing it and deciding he's going to start a trade war. >> not that that's appropriate at all. >> kind of like kicking a dog because you're an angry child. it seems like, again, the wheels are starting to come off. >> that should worry citizens the most, that the president is in a very precarious position. he's being abandoned by those around him, but he's still enormously powerful and has the ability to inflict significant damage on the country. house speaker paul ryan hardly an enemy of the president said very little as these scandals have unfolded. really drew the line on the trade war, that trade wars are easy to win, so i think that's increasingly the question for people around trump is how do you in this period where he's isolated, vulnerable, the pressure from mueller will only
increase, how do you protect the country during that period and i think that's something people should think about, talk about more. >> all right. still ahead on morning joe, never mind the russia probe or the recent massive addition to the federal debt, apparently the steel tariffs, are the bridge too far for paul ryan. the house speaker publicly breaks with the white house on trade, but the president is not giving any ground. we'll break that down straight ahead on "morning joe." but first a check on the incoming storm. >> d.c. misses out on this one. philadelphia north ward is who is going to get this noreaster. for many the biggest storm of the winter season. it won't have the intense winds, this is going to be an inconvenience with heavy snow right in the middle of the work and school week. a storm? the central plains. 36 million people already under winter storm warnings including
new york city, albany. areas of lower hudson valley and central new york will really get nailed and all elevations are guaranteed to get a foot of snow out of this. there's a little batch of light snow that comes in first, maybe an inch or two in philadelphia and southern portions of new york when you wake up tomorrow morning but the morning commute won't be that bad. the storm really develops. this is heavy snow outside of philly over top of new york. this is at noon tomorrow. this is when the roads will really get bad in a hurry if you're driving up 95 or up 87 if you're traveling across connecticut during the afternoon. a nightmare evening commute in areas of new england. as far as the snowfall totals go, where you see the red, that's a foot of snow. new york city north ward, hartfo hartford, interior sections of new england, that's where the jackpot will be. again, this is a wednesday
afternoon problem in the area from philly to new york and central new england wednesday night. so new york city just fine tonight. tomorrow morning's commute just a little snow and then from noon till about 7:00 p.m. it will snow as hard as you've ever seen it in new york city tomorrow. we'll be right back. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and. when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night, so he got home safe. yeah, my dad says our insurance doesn't have that. what?! you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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during the government shutdown, because this is an insight into how journalism work, especially print journalism. so mcintosh was this congressman -- but who now runs a great organization, but he was the source and somebody kept leaking really damaging information about me that was not true and i said, who is it? who is it? and then about five days later, there's this story on macintosh that said -- basically the headline, what makes david mcintosh so damn great. right? and i go, oh, my god. and i say this to say you can still work in the newspapers and i'm not going to reveal anybody this week, but you can still look in the papers and still see glowing profiles of people in the white house and if you go
wait, this sunt quidoesn't quit up, it's because they are the source or the reporter that writes the glowing profile and by the way -- >> we'll fact check this. >> i'll tell you later who it -- i'll show you the article but you probably already know. but the king of that though was it not like james baker iii? >> yes. >> james baker would not comment. >> okay. inside baseball -- i'm going to tie this around your mouth. okay. >> people need to understand how the press works. >> new grandfather, where's the picture? this is the most beautiful baby. i need this baby. >> mike, tell us about your new grandchild. >> he's a right-handed hitter.
he's plus power hitter. 5-2 player. he's already ranked number five in terms of upcoming prospects. >> seriously, i'm sure megan is already tired so i c take care of him. ann and i. so any cross-examination for barnacle? >> not relinquish that baby yet. you've got some competition. >> i need it. she and i will tag team. my god. gorgeous. congratulations. >> thank you. >> house speaker paul ryan is breaking from president trump over his proposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum criticizing the move as a potentially dangerous one. speaker ryan echoed the concerns of his republican and democratic colleagues, said the move by the president could damage the u.s. economy and start a trade war. in a statement ryan said, we're
extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the white house not to advance with this plan. the new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don't want to jeopardize those gains. despite ryan's plea, president trump says he's not backing down from his decision. >> paul ryan wants you to back down on trade. paul ryan says he's worried about a traud wor. are you going to back down? >> no. we're not backing down. mexico, wea've had a very bad deal with mexico, with canada. our fwactories have left our country. nafta has been a disaster for years. we are renegotiating nafta as i said i would. if ewith don't make a deal i'll terminate nafta. but if i do make a deal that is fair to the workers and the american people that would be one of the points we'll be
negotiating. there will be tariffs on steel for canada and mexico. so we'll see what happens. >> okay. >> all right. >> thank you, mr. president. >> the cozying up to russians by donald trump is not enough for paul ryan to voice concern, former cold war warrior. >> he's choosing his battles. >> record federal debt that's going to cripple millennials and future generations. >> racism. >> not enough. has he spoken out on racism? he called him racist but endorsed him the next day, but a trade war and i'm not being snippy here thi is actually the reality unfortunately, but it does appear that a trade war is a bridge too far to speaker ryan. why? >> well, i don't know. it's the wall street journal, it's basically the globalists as trump describes him because they're scared.
they're scared about the effects on the economy. they know there will be retaliation from the chinese and the europeans. this debate played out in front of the president for one year. cohen sat there arguing that if you do this this will have an appreciable effect on the economy and an appreciable effect with our key allies and so everybody in the establishment that has sat back for most of the presidency is doing everything they can pulling out all the stops to get him to reverse this decision. and by the way, i wouldn't be surprised if he reverses the decision. every time he says he's emphatically for something -- >> no, i think this is all about pennsylvania '18. he's going to wait tul it's over and he's going to pull back on this. they've got a race there the suburbs. they let that play out next tuesday, he pulls back. you know, mike, when the fbi showed up and paid paul manafort
a good morning call suddenly he was tweeting out about his attacks on -- on transgender recruits in the military and of course, that went absolutely nowhere. it was just to feed the base during a difficult time. >> yeah, the -- the paul ryan statement yesterday was -- was interesting. i mean, apparently he responds to the corporate donor class among the gop, but does not respond to the fact that we are under attack from russia and that russia has declared war on us basically. you know, what struck me earlier in this program today, john brennan text a tweet where he described anxiety and panic as describing the president's state of mind and yet that seems to be the more people you speak to who work in or around the white house, that seems to be the state of mind of the entire white house. anxiety and panic and it's certainly played out yesterday with the testimony of -- >> dangerous. >> yeah.
>> what's the saying in washington when -- somethings when you're paranoid? >> even paranoids have enemies. >> just because you're paranoid doesn't mean everybody's not out to get you. >> you do have to wonder, he has peter navarro who looks a lot like the royal tenenbaum, so who was actually the guy who was a bellhop who pretended to be a doctor through the entire show and peter navarro also pretending to know what he's talking about when it comes to economics and donald trump chooses to listen to dusty instead of listening to gary, the man who probably knows as much about international trade in the national markets as anyone not only in government but inside government and outside of government. >> yeah, this was a victory for peter navarro but it may be temporary. he's going to meet with ceo from
steel using industries today so he may well change his mind. on the tariff side and the retaliation, where it turns out that the europeans trade negotiators may not be as dumb as they seem because the products that they've targeted or say they're going to target, harley davidson and bourbon made in kentucky, mitch mcconnell. >> maybe they understand something about america. >> all right. coming up, breaking news where the two divided countries wrapped up face to mace meetings. >> we'll get reaction from a member of the corn relations committee. senator chris coons next on morning joe.
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missile tests. if it holds talks with the united states. north korea also said that it has no reason to profess nuclear weapons if it has a security guarantee and the north has promised not to use nuclear and conventional weapons against the south. they've also agreed to hold summit talks in late april. and a telephone hot line will be set up between the two leaders. that sounds like something. >> we've had so many stops and starts since 1994 with the koreans, you don't -- north koreans we don't know if this is yet another tactic or not but it's certainly historic and perhaps this is a positive of donald trump's bluster that has has forced the north and south to ignore the united states and come together and try to figure this out themselves. >> obviously it's early to make any firm judgments about this but what it does show is this
confrontation which is few months ago was reall on the nuclear brink now is in a period of diplomacy where the language is about mutual security. it's about finding a hot line so you can talk. it's about introducing the idea of a security guarantee for the north so that perhaps over time its nuclear arsenal could be reduced or abolishabolished. it's precisely the issues that you'd like to see introduced in this conversation. i think the key issue for the u.s., north koreans want us to back off of our military threats. they'll look for an announcement by the u.s. that pending the possibilities of talks, no exercises. that will be a big decision for the president, for the secretary matt mattis, anybody involved in this military confrontation. >> with us now is a member of the foreign relations committee.
why don't we get your thoughts on the breaking news. >> this is encouraging, this is suggesting that diplomacy can be the follow on confrontation. we don't have an ambassador to north korea and i remain concerned about the functionality of the state department. there was reporting by the new york times that $120 million that was supposed to be dedicated to pushing back against russia hasn't been spent. in fact, they don't even have russian speakers. >> is there any pressure that the legislative branch can put on the white house to get them to start filling these key -- these key roles whether it's an ambassadorship to south korea or dozens of others that remain vacant? >> well, that's a challenge for us because we need to work in a bipartisan way. several of us are sending a int. >> communication to secretary tillerson saying we demand you spend the money for this purpose. >> but what about mitch
mcconnell? i know lindsey is wh youuys sometimes. does mitch mcconnell want south korea to have a u.s. ambassador? does mitch mcconnell want the united states to have ambassadors in other parts of the world that are flash points? >> i don't think the hold up on confirming an ambassador has been in the senate. i think the holdup has been nominating someone. it's unclear to me why it's taken so long. >> what pressure can the legislative branch put on the executive branch on the president to -- >> well, let's keep it simple. to name an appropriate ambassador to south korea? >> two things. if we can speak in a bipartisan way, if we can be forceful, public and bipartisan about we think the threats against north korea may have succeeded in getting their attention, but diplomacy has always been the preferred route to resolve this confrontation with north korea.
>> so my question is and -- the reason i brought up mitch mcconnell, do you think mitch mcconnell would get in the way of that? >> i hope not. i think it's been a challenge here keeping republicans in leadership in our senate focused on foreign policy. they've had other priorities. tax reform, confirmation of judges, i understand that. but our critical fight against russia particularly in preparation for the 2018 elections is something that should get strong bipartisan support. the idea that we haven't funded security for state election systems when we are eight months now from the general election this november strikes me as something that we should be moving forward. >> on the topic of north korea we should always point out that just last week the state department's top diplomat on north korea resigned. he said it was for persona reasons but the timing was curious to a loot of people. what would be a conventional
state department the appropriate action right now? you have this moment where south korea has reached out. north korea has agreed to meetings. they said we'll have a heart to heart sitdown with the united states. what should happen in your eyes from right now? >> in a conventional administration, significantly stepped up diplomacy. coordinating efforts with japan, with china, with south korea, even engagement with russia to try to put together an international effort that would get clarify about this opening, to get a deal on the table and to get it done. in the last administration in confronting a reckless and threatening nuclear program in iran, they did succeed in putting together multilateral effort that included our european allies as well as china and russia to get searching nuclear inspections. there are some challenges with that deal. it still needs to be improved, but that's the sort of engagement with our allies through diplomacy that should be possible and should be taken at this moment.
>> think they'll happen here? >> i remain hopeful, but you know, given the rep sent record of the state department under secretary tulers tillerson it doesn't seem to me that they'll be able to mount this opening that this demands. >> ifeels from afar that the more we get removed from the actual shootings, the less of a chance or is it anything significance going to get done? what's your feel when you're talking to republicans in the senate. >> i was pleased that senator toomey joined with me introducing a bill that the 120,000 americans prohibited a year who go into a gun store and lie and try to purchase a gun, those efforts will be followed up on by state and local law enforcement. this is just strengthening the importance of existing laws. i've got these teenagers at home. the upcoming march 24 event here in washington where i think
we're going to see hundreds of thousands of young people from around the country follow up on the call of the parkland florida high school students is going to be a galvanizing event. >> wow. >> so senator, we have a very positive and opt mustimistic development, but are you concerned at all that an undisciplined president could tweet something that would just derail whatever is going on over there? >> absolutely. that's what we've seen over the last year is that a candidate trump who said he would be unpredictable has performed spectacularly in that category. he has been completely unpredictable. the dustup with his own party over his tariff decision and the seeming lack of coordination within his own administration over his tariffs announcement this week is just another example. and i do think given his history of confrontation with north korea through tweets and through personal insults and jibes is
exactly the sort of unconstructively unpredictable steps at president trump might take. i really hope he won't. >> thank you for being on the show again. >> jeff flake joins us here on set just ahead. >> plus, two years ago candidate donald trump told us in an interview that he would be neutral in the conflict between israel and the palestinians. it didn't seem that way when the president met with benjamin netanyahu at the white house yesterday. the new york times peter baker has some new reporting on that. he'll join the table as well. morning joe is coming right back.
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jim, what are you breaking this morning on axios. >> we're like everyone else trying to pay attention to what's happening inside of the white house. >> kind of hard. >> from a staff level and policy level because this clash is getting worse not better. the isolation from kelly and the rest of his staff is real and it's confusing all of these processes and it's manifesting
itself in this trade debate right now. >> can you tell me what happened with h.r. mcmaster? we heard he was fired, we heard he was on the way out. he's still there. we hea tillerson was on the way out three mthago, that it was imminent. he's still there. what happened with mcmaster? >> it's called impulsiveness. when the president turns on somebody everybody reacts. at one point he turned on tillerson, now tillerson is okay. he never liked mcmaster, he thinks he's too much by the books, there's other people who don't like mcmaster. who the hell knows? >> what about jared? >> who the hell knows? he could be around for another year. >> well, thank you jim vandehei for that clarity. >> what about gary cohn? >> who the hell knows? >> what about the president? >> the president is here to stay until he's not. >> until he's not. >> well, a lot of people ask why do we get the best reporters on
the air here, now you know. >> incredible. jim and have high, thank you very much. >> great to have you, jim. let's have lunch with david mcintosh sometimes. >> oh, good lord. stop. this is inside baseball. still no response from the president to his former aide's televised meltdown over the russia investigation. we'll be looking out for that. plus, democratic congressman jim himes of the intelligence committee responds to chairman devin nunes' claim that there's "no evidence" the russians gave the trump campaign dirt on hillary clinton. "morning joe" is coming right back. more and more people are finding themselves in a chevrolet for the first time. tryi something new can be exciting. empowering. downright exhilarating.
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for fast pain relief. tylenol® want us to do about what woulthis president?fathers i'm tom steyer, and when those patriots wrote the constitution here in philadelphia, they had just repelled an invading foreign power. so they created the commander in chief to protect us from enemy attack. the stice department just indicted 13 russians for sabotaging our elections. an electronic attack on america that the chief investigator called "warfare". so what did this president do? nothing. and is he doing anything to prevent a future attack? the head of the fbi says no. this president has failed his most important responsibility- protecting our country. the first question is: why? what is in his and his family's business dealings with russia that he is so determined to hide, that he'd betray our country? and the second question is: why is he still president?
we got a problem going forward with lack of judgment, impulsive action, and someone who praises duterte of the philippines, putin, the saudi crown prince but is harsh in his public criticism of angela merkel, our closest ally, who's been derogatory of nato and who the south koreans are now, i think, frankly, worried about. >> retired general barry mccaffrey the instability within the white house and how the world is left looking for a leader on the global stage. welcome back to "morning joe," it's tuesday, march 6. with us in washington, we have columnist and associate editor for the "washington post," david ignatius, washington anchor for bbc world news america, katty kay, and joining the
conversation, political reporter for the "washington post" and moderator of "washington week" on pbs, robert costa. in birmingham wie have with us former district attorney jace vance and national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc john heilemann along with willie geist and mike barnicle. >> let me talk to the two guys who have been dealing with nunberg for a long time. you and john heilemann have spent time on your own separate beats dealing with him. give us insight on what happened yesterday? >> i was going through my e-mails going to 2011 sketching out some thoughts. this was someone who history has forgotten because of how he was fired from the trump campaign in 2015 but between 2011 and 2015, besides michael cohen and roger stone there was no one who was closer to then businessman donald trump in thinking through a possible presidential campaign, especially the hard-line position on immigration, building a new kind
of relationship with the gop base. he was there at trump's side, the media strategist thinking it through, an abrasive sometimes offensive person but someone who came up with a lot of themes with trump in those days. >> john heilemann, when we were talking off line last night, you were talking about the fact that he was there and can expln a time that nobody else ca this time period between 2011, 2012, 2015, not only the only man who probably still has a political calendar but the man who was there when donald trump was making those trips to russia. >> yeah, it's the period of trump not exactly in the wilderness but when he was below the radar to get himself ready to run if 2016. sam nunberg was more gut than
brain -- it was more gut than brain driving trump at that point. the thing that's fascinating, that's the period where nunberg provided the best window, yet what mueller is asking him for in terms of documents is he wants communications with this long list of people from november, 2015, after nunberg has left the campaign all the way through to the present day. if you listened to him yesterday, what i saw in addition to the man i can behavior, the impulsiveness, the obvious stress, is someone who had gone in, sat with mueller's team, thought he was done and then suddenly gets a subpoena that asks him for all this information and is told he has to come back in and talk to the grand jury. he's freaking out because he looks at those names on the list
and in that time period as he kept saying yesterday, even though he's not in the campaign, he has an extraordinary amount of communication with two key people -- roger stone and steve bannon. and hi kept talking yesterday over and over about how i'm not going to be part of a case against roger stone. he kept saying it over and over again. i think that's what worried him. i think when he got that subpoena, he looked into his e-mail and said, boy, man, if i turn this over my friend roger stone, my mentor, my patron might be in serious trouble. >> not only my friend roger stone, a lot of other people including himself. >> and willie, yesterday was bizarre on so many levels. >> for people who didn't see these interviews, let's get to a little of it. it was bizarre, speculative, at times contradictory. interviews given by sam nunberg. late last night he reversed himself and said he will cooperate with a subpoena from special counsel robert mueller's office after repeatedly saying he would not.
nunberg has had a tumultuous history with the president. he was fired by trump at least twice, the last time in august, 2015, for using racial slurs in old facebook posts. and nunberg was sued by then-candidate trump for breach of contract in 2016. they later settled out of court. yesterday nunberg revealed he had been subpoenaed for his communications with ten trump campaign officials and associates and that he was ordered to appear before a grand jury after his interview with the special counsel late last month. before relenting, nunberg went on a media tour yesterday and into the night proclaiming he would not cooperate. >> why should i hand them e-mails from november 1, 2015? i was thinking about this today, katie, i was preparing it. should i spend 50 hours going over my e-mails with roger and steve bannon? then they wanted e-mails that i had with hope hicks, with corey
lewandowski? are you giving me a break? it's ridiculous. when i get a subpoena like t roger is right, it's a tch-hunt. mr. trump is right, the president's right, it's a witch-hunt. i've spent money on an attorney, i've cooperated with them and when i got something like this and then they wanted know go to the grand jury next friday and i believe they're trying to start a case against roger. >> why do you think after you did the other but is view they want to make you go in the grand jury room? >> because they're trying to set up a perjury case against roger stone and i won't have it. roger is my mentor. roger is like family to me. roger stone is like my father. >> you feel loyalty him. >> and i'm not going go in there for them to set up a case against roger. >> are you worried about getting arrested? >> i think it would be funny if they arrested me. >> you're held in contempt of court. wouldn't you have higher legal
bills. >> it would be funny if they wanted to arrest me because i don't want to spend 80 hours going over e-mails i had with steve bannon and roger stone. >> john heilemann, i want to explain to people that are -- well, let me bring in joyce here. joyce, just because -- i brought this up yesterday and i just -- i knew people would say oh, it's a witch-hunt that bob mueller is asking for this information, all of these e-mails. this is the first thing any lawyer does in a civil case, in a criminal case. it's called discovery and you mediately a clean swp. you want all the e-mails, you want all the text messages, all communications on all devices pertaining to the matter at issue so for nunberg to call this a witch-hunt because he wants the communication between
the principals, several of which have already been arrested? can you explain how far from being a witch-hunt that's lawyering 101? and if they didn't do that they wouldn't be doing their job. >> this is on the opposite end of the prosecutor universe from being a witch-hunt. getting e-mails, text messages and other commune station the way every competent prosecutor or, as you point out, every lawyer in any kind of litigation begins to build their case. it's the paper record, it's contemporaneous when conduct occurs so prosecutors like mueller will generally issue these subpoenas. there's nothing at all unusual about this subpoena that asks nunberg to turn over his communications. a lot of the language is boilerplate that you would expect to see used in any kind of a prosecution. nunberg's choice of language, though, is real interesting when he talks about going into the grand jury to set up a case as
though there's something wrong going on here and, again, nunberg, himself a lawyer, is looking at standard prosecutor practices, good practices used everyday in this country. >> when i practiced law it's the first thing you did. you had a discovery request, you got all the e-mails and you spent the next month or two sorting through the e-mails trying to piece things together. that's, again, as you said, boilerplate. john heilemann, though, i had somebody tell me yesterday that long te that what we saw yesterday was a guy who wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, several of his friends said he was inebriated. and also this is a guy who -- well, actually fashions himself after roy cohn. in fact, uses -- doesn't he have
roy cohn's picture as his avatar on twitter? >> i believe he does and he's a -- i would say that sam is someone who probably if he were speaking of himself with pride he would say he's not a master strategist, not a grand political theorist or great intellect, he thinks of himself as a street fighter and he often boasts about the fact that he's the one who came up with the idea for the border wall. he's the one that stoked trump's connection to and made him appeal to the nationalist nativist base and sam is proud of that and he -- as you said, joe, his political hero is roy cohn so this is not a guy who fashioned himself as a great thinker but i do think he -- because of his connections to some of these people in trump world, you look at that list, that is, with the exception of carter page, the list of people he's been subpoenaed to provide
documents for, with the exception of carter page who was never part of the trump inner circle, everyone else on that list was at one time or another at the center of donald trump's political universe. the center of the universe changed over time. for a time it was roger stone cohen.m nounberg and michael but that's the core of it. some of those people, sam nunberg has barely -- i believe he has almost no communication with but some he has a lot of communication with. >> and i would guess we would find out if when we see the e-mails that actually roger stone was a lot more involved in the 2016 campaign and even communicating with donald trump and associates well into 2017 which, bob costa, may be one reason why nunberg doesn't want to release the e-mails.
you actually give him credit for giving donald trump several themes that he could carry through 2012, 2013, 20and run ts nationalist campaign. >> you have to understand how this campaign came together. donald trump as a businessman did not want to spend next to nothing on campaign staff or political staff and he used to go visit him at trump tower in 2012 and 2013, it would only be nunberg because he didn't want to spend money on big named strategists and nunberg told me he used to read these campaign books and steal ideas from them and he used to tell me back then that if you can combine ted cruz's illegal immigrants position with ross perot's populism you could win the republican nomination in 2016. >> pretty start. >> that was a stone/nunberg play book they played out with trump who was somewhat interested in
it at times, sometimes would pull back but that was their playbook. because trump didn't want to spend money again, that's why he was there, he was guiding trump, he was introducing trump to people in iowa, what hurts for nunberg, if you kn him, is that he sees steve bannon, hope hicks, corey lewandowski, all these -- kellyanne conway, all these names have become cultural political icons. almost nobody in this country knows who sam noneberg is. >> they do now. >> he's the pete best of the trump campaign. he was fired just as it was about to take off. >> thank you very much for the pete best reference. appreciate that a great deal. but yesterday pete best had his moment on ed sullivan. >> amen. >> he was playing drums for about eight hours. >> so there's this clown show aspect to what's going on. as you stand back and look at
this case, not the antics but the heart of it, what do you see? >> you know, we all see the tip of the iceberg. we know that mueller knows a lot that we don't know. i hesitate to put any faith in things that nunberg has said about his interaction with special counsel but it doesn't seem unlikely -- nunberg notwithstanding -- that mueller would be looking at roger stone and his alleged contact with wikileaks, with julian assange, because that really is part of his core charge between whether there was collusion between the campaign on one hand and russia on the other. so with nunberg's indication that mueller is focused there, we're seeing this piece of the investigation that's dropped off a bit perhaps come back in focus
but yesterday as i was looking at the number of people in this subpoena and thinking through the other information we've learned, it occurs to me that the conspiracy that mueller is going after looks like a ladder. you know how prosecutors like to go up the ladder, this is more like a hub and wheel. at the center of the wheel you have the trump organization with a lot of spokes out to a lot of different actions, whether it's collusion, financial misconduct in businesses, there is an entire wheelf activity that mueller is looking at. >> joyce, to be absolutely clear, when sam nunberg was talking yesterday, he acted as if he has some kind of a choice. he's a lawyer, he knows this is not under his control whether he can turn over these communications, whether he can
protect roger stone, whether he can defy the special counsel is not actually sam nunberg's decision to control, is it? >> no, you're exactly right, katty, it's not his decision in any way at all. occasionally as a prosecutor you'll have a witness who balks at the idea of going into the grand jury, wants to posture a little bit or negotiate over terms. most of them don't do it on national television in the course of having a meltdown. at the end of the day they come prepared to testify at the date and time that's on their subpoena. i suspect we'll see sam nunberg show up thin that jury room on friday. >> last night the report was that nunberg was talking to the two people he needed to be talking to -- his father and his lawyer. and perhaps they talked sense
into him but i'll bring up what i said earlier last hour. so many people assume these young staff members that get involved in politics, get involved in campaigns, they get swept up into this, that their legal fees are paid by the white house orb by trump or the rnc, they just aren't. this guy was fired two or three years ago, he'soing toace f $50,000, $75,000 in attorney fees. you take other people who weren't really that involved, who have complained bitterly to me that they get called to the senate intel committee or the house intel committee, they have to have two lawyers, a thousand dollars an hour and even if they go in and give them absolutely no workable information, that's $30,000, $45,000 that they have to spend that they don't have.
can you imagine how much money somebody like hope hicks is going to have to spend on lawyers and here is michael flynn. i tell you, a man who served this country proudly for so long, i'll tell you, even when i was upset with what he had done i was thinking oh, my god, this is going to -- even if the man were innocent, this is going to crush him, it's going to bankrupt him. >> sure, and the trump organization and donald trump personally isn't going to pick up their legal bills, we've seen that and that's why the vast majority of the white house staff, again, those two words, anxiety and panic, are probably consuming the west wing of that white house and everybody in it. but joyce i would like to ask you. yesterday in -- first of all, the mueller investigatory team. it's basically unusual in washington and perhaps the world today. it's a leak-free environment but
there are clues that come forward once in a while and yesterday i'm told was a big clue in that sam nunnberg is talking about being grilled about what he did and questions about trump's businesses in the years 2014, 2015. and i'm told what he said could lead to probable cause. but when he's asked if donald trump did anything i don't think and he says he may have, that's probable cause to get a warrant from anything from anyone that the mueller team is looking at. >> well, if we're going to debate the meaning of probable cause we'll probably be here through all three years of law
school. but i'm not sure sam nuoneberg standing on his own adds much. that search warrant will convince a judge they're entitled to use rather than his nunberg's conclusions. the reason you're right in noting that it's interesting is that he's been talking with prosecutors so he knows about where they're going, what interests them. and we're likely hearing some of that filtered back when he has these conclusions about well, trump probably did something wrong, perhaps that's his take away from his conversation with prosecutors and despite the absence of leaks from this team which is pretty remarkable we get a window into their
thinking. >> david, you've been around washington a few years. i remember watching the hearings for iran-contra back in -- what was that '87? and looking at the witnesses going up there and hearing how much the legal fees were. you can't help but feel for these people who really not only are in legal trouble but also the financial costs and here you've got a billionaire who they've all fallen on the ground for. you have a guy who will be a billionaire after this is all over who's going to be spending his life flying around in 757. you've got these kids who a lot of whom probably have -- whether
already strapped with their school debts. they'll spend the rest of their lives paying off legal debts. you can't help but -- i'm not just talking about nunberg, i'm talking about general flynn and a lot of other people. >> this is a harsh process, it's frightening for the people called in to testify before a grand jury and fbi agents and just quake. people who have been through that, they just say it's never ending. these people are going through it and they're frightened and you can see that fear in different ways. >> and by the way i felt for nunberg yesterday. as much of a clown show, it was like the older you get i was feeling sorry.
he's completely been abandoned by the guy who he -- >> you can hear the desperation. that's his power. >> to put a button on this, we talked about the parade of people who left the white house, hope hicks being the latest it's fair to ask what kind of person would want to walk into the white house. in you knew someday you had to sell your house or pull your kids out of school to pay these legal fees, who will our leaders be when they're watching this mess going on in front of them? >> so many open positions. >> i talked to several people
and there were four or fiv people menoned and they made a lot of calls and a lot said the same thing "i can't afford the legal fees. even if i wanted to serve, i can't afford the legal fees. so that's why a lot of people are staying out. >> joyce vance, thank you for being on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> hold it. joyce. would you like to weigh in -- apparently some kids out of brooklyn are tweeting that brooklyn barbecue is the best in the world and i know the good people of texas -- as ted cruz said and i actual actually agree with him wholeheartedly for once "bless your hearts, brooklyn." memphis, obviously offended. but would you like to speak for the alabama contingent on whether brooklyn barbecue is the best barbecue in the world. >> i saw those reports about brooklyn with great horror. that is not barbecue.
y'all come back on down to birmingham and we'll eat some of the finest barbecue in the world here. >> joyce vance, thank you very much. >> i had a cot in the back of dreamland barbecue in tuscaloosa, alabama. >> that i believe. >> my friends said they were afraid i was going to get the gout. >> it's not a pretty sight. jim himes is a leading voice on two of the day's most pressing issues, he is knee deep in the russia probe from his seat on the intel committee and is a long time advocate for gun safety laws. he joins the table next. you're watching "morning joe" liverom washington.
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you know what's not awesome? gig-speed internet. when only certain people can get it. let's fix that. let's give this guy gig- really? and these kids, and these guys, him, ah. oh hello. that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. . a new report by the "wall street journal" claim that at some point after president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen wired $130,000 to a former adult film actress, the bank flagged the transaction as suspicious and reported it to
the treasury department. citing people familiar with the matter, the "journal" reports details that cohen wired the money to stephanie clifford whose stage name is stormy daniels on october 27, 2016, just 12 days before the election. according to one of the "journal" sources, cohen says he missed two deadlines earlier that month to make the payment because he couldn't reach mr. trump in the hectic days before the election. the "journal" also reports after trump's victory cohen complained to friends he had yet to be reimburse for the payment to ms. clifford. >> boy, this sounds familiar. in january the "journal" reported cohen negotiated a non-disclosure agreement with clifford, preventing her from discussing an alleged affair with donald trump. >> absolutely -- >> so this actually is -- this -- i was talking about kids, younger staff members but here you have a lawyer who, at
least from what we know, stiffed out of $130,000. >> to a porn star. >> trying to help donald trump. you could also talk to a lot of contractsors in new york city that will tell you they went into business with trump, he are fused to pay them and would end up suing them and paying them 50 cents on the dollar. >> that's usually on the orders of cement or lumber not usually payments to adult porn movie star stars but you can only imagine chael cohen's kind of grong anxiety in this period before the election, what do i do. we'll find out later whether there was direct contact between him and then-candidate donald trump, that will be the center of this story. >> bob? >> who delivered the message to comey? keith schiller, trump's long time bodyguard and confidante, who was making this alleged
payment reportedly to the actress? michael cohen. who was doing the moves for trump back in the day? nunberg. if you know trump, report on him, he wants to be his own strategi strategist, he doesn't want real strategists around him, he wants people who are fixers, people who do things for him. that's why he keeps kushner around. he's family, part of the inner circle in a way that isn't just an an employee. schiller, nunberg, at some level they are similar, they work for trump, this is doing what trump wants when he wants it, not just being a part of a political campaign. >> and not telling him mr. president you can't do that. >> that's not even looking at the fact that a foreign star is being paid for -- okay. joining us now, democratic congressman jim himes of connecticut and in new york republican campaign strategist and msnbc political analyst
steve schmidt. good to have you both. >> congressman, thank you so much for being with us. >> we avoided talking to you about that first story unless you'd like to jump in. >> the intro from porn star being paid to the congressman, thank you. >> what did you learn yesterday listening to sam nunberg ramble on? >> well, this is -- it's in the category of carter page and his very vocal run in to the press. i don't know what to make of nunberg, i don't think he did himself any favors. from my perspective on one of the committees of investigation here and to be honest one of the committees that maybe hasn't done the investigation with the quietness and impartiality that it should, this detracts -- distracts, i should say, from the fact that russia attacked our elections. we're not doing much about it and now we're spending 18 hours talking about a guy who may or may not have had a cocktail
before he made the rounds of national television. it detracts fromething serious. i hate to be the party pooper but we have to get back to our work. >> we need to get back to the serious work of devin nunes and -- whoo. quite a cross to bear. >> well, the house committee -- we've spend more time in the news than we should have. >> my gosh, i know. steve schmidt, the wheels seem to be coming off of this bowes and they have been coming off for the past few weeks. >> now they're rolling down pennsylvania avenue. >> rolling down pennsylvania avenue. people keep asking how much longer can this continue. >> we've been having this discussion for the last year, which is how low can go? and each week we find a way to hit a new low. sam nunberg, what we saw yesterday is this "star wars" can seen that bar scene of these
characters melting down on national tv every 24 or 36 hours. but the congressman is right here. the united states has been attacked in a new type of war, an information war, a cyber war. and the president of the united states and his retainers, his loyalists around him, they refuse to defend the country. they don't defend america's election process. they don't defend our rule of law. they don't defend our important institutions. in fact, donald trump and his apologists constantly are attacking these essential institutions that are necessary for the security of the country. it's a remarkable moment in the history of the country. >> steven, what about rex tillerson not using the money that has been authorized for him to use to push back against russia trying to rig our next election? >> it's inexplicable.
the secretary of state with money that is sitting there takes no action. >> dereliction of duty? >> the president of the united states won't acknowledge the attack. nobody in the administration will criticize the russians. it's extraordinary. we woke up yesterday, the president of the united states, his focus is attacking canada and mexico. not the russians who are attacking our election process and our democracy is sustained by two things, right? a free election process which has been undermined by the elections but also the rule of law so we have this fruit loops conspiracy theory nut case group of republicans and right wing media that are constantly attacking the rule of law in this country, the most vital institutions to protect the security of the country on a range of conspiracy theories.
we've never seen anything like in the this country. >> what's remarkable is these conspiracy theories are always disproven and then they create new conspiracy theories. david? >> i want to ask congressman himes whether he sees any change in the views of republican members of the house intelligence committee. any move away from the extreme views of your chairman devin nunes? any sense of concern that they've gotten too far out on a limb with this white house and then need to move back? >> yeah, i don't know that you would get a lot of republican colleagues on the committee to talk about this openly but the fact is that inside it looks like it does from the outside, the chairman has single-handedly taken it upon himself -- and this goes back months and months and months to getting information to the white house to accusing susan rice and sam power of unmasking these conspiracies that turn out not to have any reality to them to
the memo. the memo was presented to the committee by the chairman. i'm not sure the republicans had much chance to look at it. and again i'm not sure they would say it but there are some who would rather not be in that dynamic. you can talk to tom rooney, you can talk to trey gowdy, those are the two guys who are point on this investigation. they're bo retiring. >>o ahead. >> congressman, one thing i don't get is if russia is such a serious issue, why aren't democrats running more on it ahead of the midterm elections? >> it's a great question. there's a piece of this we're not talking enough about. it's not just the money that's not spent, not the work to make a national project to protect our elections, it's we're not making it clear to the russias that they can't do this again. we're the most powerful country in the world, they're not. they carry a big stick.
my good friend who represents a tough district in illinois, sherry bustos, we have a running joke going in the mornings, i represent fairfield county, connecticut, she's in the heartland, she's in a district that we need to figure out how to win again. every monday morning when i see sherry, she says "my constituents still aren't asking me about russia." the point there is if the democratic party doesn't get focused -- and i'm not sure we're doing this well -- if we're not focused on kitchen, table issues, the anxiety of american families -- >> but if you can make the case in washington, why can't you make the case in her district? >> that's the question that answers itself. a case that's made inside the beltway rarely has resonance to middle-class families in small towns in ohio and michigan. >> and also fairfield county. new canaan people around the kitchen table. >> willie geist has a question. jump in, willie. >> it's willie in new york. one of the most extraordinary pieces of news that happened
last week that got swept up in everything else that happened was admiral mike rogers testimony before the arms services committee last week. the head of the u.s. cyber command saying we're not doing enough, russia continues to attack our syste unabated, i haven't be given the authority om the white house to do the things i believe need to get done. my question is if everyone knows this is a problem, everyone recognizes it continues to happen a couple of years after the presidential campaign and the presidential election. who's standing in the way of doing more and why do you suspect they're doing it. >> in this case it has to start at the top. we have a president who regards the fact of the russian attack as something which damages his legitimacy. there are presidents who might say that's an uncomfortable moment. i don't like the fact that the russians wanted me to be elected but now we need to move on. this is a president who's never
been able to say now we need to move on. who continues to call the whole thing a hoax and you get particularly sensitive about the involvement of potential campaign aides. the rougss have to be laughing everyday telling themselves we pulled off this attack and the president is retaliating against canada. until the oval office gets its act together, we have a real problem with respect to the russians. >> blame canada, straight out of "south park." >> congressman jim himes of connecticut. >> don't forget the kids from the hard scrabble streets of new n canaan and round hill. >> it is a frightening time, i think. still ahead, the house speaker joins other republicans in breaking with the president on his plan for tariffs.
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>> in the last segment we talked a lot about russia and about the various ways in which the trump administration seems to kind of purposefully kind of try to avoid dealing with it. i'm thinking about -- the question i want to ask you is about the question of trade and it seems that among all the obvious things you look like rex tillerson is not spending the money the state department is supposed to have to combat russia meddling in the future elections, all these other things, you look at this issue with tariffs. it seems if you're vladimir putin and want to do nothing to disrupt nato. >> right, trade war with the european union, trade war with canada. i want to talk specifically about the canadian relationship. we have a $1 trillion trading relationship with canada, our number one trading partner, the number one trading partner for
35 states, tens of millions of american jobs are at stake here. this is country that has made enormous sacrifices in the aftermath of 9/11, canadian forces fighting side-by-side with american troops. it is extraordinary to see an american president when we see this attack on our country, on our elections process, on our democracy by the russians who will not under any circumstances apparently criticize anything that putin and russia does, hiss focus is attacking canada? it's madness. and for the first time his economic policies on these tariffs will crush middle-class american families with the increase in costs that will come with this. this is a disaster for this country as we edge into the early days of trump's premeditated and unnecessary
trade war. >> steve schmidt, thank you very much. up next, much more on the breaking news from the korean peninsula. south korea says the north is willing to freeze its nuclear and missile tests if it holds talks with the united states. we'll have more on that potential breakthrough next. ♪ it's a lot easier to make decisions when you know what comes next. if you move your old 401(k) to a fidelity ira, we make sure you're in the loop at every step
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joining us now, geopolitical analyst and best selling author robert caplin, his new book, "the return of marco polo's world" is out today. he's a senior fellow and senior adviser at the uratio group. >> it's a compelling title. explain. >> what it is is i'm using marco pole low polo's journey as a framing device to talk about what's going on in eurasian today. what's going on today, china's beltin road project, etcetera,
recreates the pathways of the ton and wan dynasties, of the medieval era when marco polo made his journey. if you look at the map, you'll see exactly where china is building roads, railways and pipelines all the way from east asia by land to iran because china plus iran is an unbeatable alliance that freezes out russia where marco polo did not go and the indian ocean route where marco polo returned. >> robert has a he looks at what maps tell us, what geography tells us. curious, as you look at th world, whether you see an irversible decline n for the united states as china, as other
but i don't think it's irreversible. i think to i think authoritarianism in china and russia, develop ago middle class in china, etcetera, one thing that sam huntington wrote, if you don't develop functional institutions at the same time, the development of the middle class is destabilizing rather than stabilizing. and i think china is going to come up against that in the 2020s. so we're in an -- we are in an authoritarian moment right now. but five, ten years from now, it
will be very different. so i don't think it's irreversible. >> i've always thought, over the past the ten years, a middle class that's flexible. pakistan has been a fascinating story because ove theast 10, 15 years, we've heard it's the most dangerous country in the world. remember the riots, the lawyers, the assassinations, we all kept predicting that there was going to be chaos in pakistan, the middle class. held. they had a respectful gdp, the economy was going growing a bit. >> the pace of economic development is occurring. you see this about beltin road. they have a huge expansion, massive investments in this
country. but actually, it's with chinese workers. the environmental damage at beltin road is causing in places is questionable. at what point does that come back to hit the chinese? >> well, what i also keep in mind is the chinese are developing ways to monitor your thoughts, monitor the whole sequence of your searches, essentially. facial recognition, etcetera. they're developing a very creepy kind of oversight. and that is something that can lead to a social explosion. >> you know -- >> i read an article -- >> i don't see china as so stable as anyone thinks. >> my 14-year-old daughter made me read an article in psychology today to talk about in china, you go into some kentucky fried chicken stores. you pay with facial recognition. and now, they are developing technology so not only does it recognize your face, it reads your face and interprets what you're going to do. and what sort of security threat
you are. right? >> you know, technology in the service of an you a authoritarian system is very, very dangerous and it's a new world, you know, that we're just entering into. it's important to say about beltin road that the chinese have already accomplished it in central asia. >> the book is the return of marco polo's world, war, strategy and american interests in the 21st century. robert cap lynn, thank you. >> thank you very much. still ahead, we'll bring in aram elber after his unusual interview with sam nunberg last night. what the former trump aide disclosed and what it means for the russia investigation. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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>> so we haven't talked to you yet. you came back from saudi arabia and had a conversation with the leader. >> the leader, the 32-year-old impulsive change agent who has taken over the most conservative slow-moving country in the middle east and suddenly the place is jumping. it was fascinating, my conversation with him began at midnight. and finished a little before 3:00. >> wow. >> and in the course of that, he talked about a country where women are going to drive. where he's not convinced wome-- there's any religio reason for women to wear the big cloaks and t eye covering masks. this is a country where women now can go to soccer games. that used to be forbidden. the biggest thing he was angry about was his wife was taking his son to root for the wrong team. so i've been going to saudi arabia since 1980. and i have to say, joe, in a
world where so many things are going in the wrong direction, this had young leader is unreliable. he could get us and saudi arabia in trouble, but some of his ideas are about opening the place up. and i was really pleased to see that. >> wow. >> what about foreign policy and, obviously, saudi arabia now seeing themselves in a regional conflict with iran and the implications of that. is he going to be more aggressive than former rulers? >> he is -- made a series of decisions that have gotten him deeper into trouble. he's got a war in yemen that is a disaster. he doesn't know how to get out of it. he's picked a fight with qatar, his next door neighbor that is a pointless family feud. it's getting worse and worse and he doesn't know how to get out of that. he did pick a fight with lebanon and he did get out of that. he had prime minister hariri come and visit him the day after i left and they took a selfie of saudi arabia and mbs.
so that seems a little better. but your viewers should know that here is a place that's been a problem, you know, think of 9/11 and the saudis are involved in 9/11. that seems for change to be going in different directions. >> is there an understanding that the funding of islamic radicalism across the globe has to stop? >> yes. most interesting moment i had, really, was talking with a member of the religious leadership called the ulemam. these are the people who were the hard liners, who were going to say no, no, no, and this guy said we believe that islam needs to be more modern and the time of the prophet, there weren't all these rules about what women could and couldn't do. we think that is what -- you know, we need to get back to. i asked whether there was resistance among the leaders to the reforms that mbs is doing. he said no, there isn't. people understand. we need to stop extremism. imagine hearing that from a saudi. we need to stop extremism. so, again, not to go over the top. there's a lot of bad things that
could happen in saudirabia. but this little bit of it, pretty good. >> from across the world to here at home, ari, you hosted some must-see tv yesterday as sam nunberg, a former aide who helped launch donald trump's presidential campaign continued his day-long stream of consciousness about the russia probe. take a look. >> i've spent money on an attorney. i've cooperated with them. and when i got something like this and then they wanted me to go to the grand jury next friday and i believe they're trying to start a case gagainst roger -- >> why do you think they want you to go into the grand jury room? >> they're trying to set up a perjury case against roger. roger is my mentor, he's like family to me. he's like a surrogate father -- he's like my father. >> you feel loyal to him. >> and i'm not going to go in there for them to set up a case against roger. >> ari, what did you learn?
>> we learned sam nunberg's evolving view of the approach of the special counsel's probe. we learned that while he felt they were professionals, he praised them publicly on the beat just a week ago after his interview with the fbi, which is, of course, overseen by the special counsel probe, he now is very upset over these two new requests. and we learned a lot about what's in them, which is very rare. since this probe began in may, we rarely see anything like what mr. nunberg has disclosed, the list of names of interest to the probe, names like roger stone, donald j. trump. we learned that they want him in the grand jury room which most witnesses never see, even very high profile ones. why? we don't know. we learned his view. he believes they wanted to put him in the box so he would provide testimonial evidence against one roger stone who, again, remains one of the longest serving and advisers and political fixers for donald trump. in the land of papadopouloss, i don't have to tell you or this
knowledgeable panel what it would mean if in nunberg is half right or third right that there is investigative interest in roger stone. >> in the land of papadopouloss. wow. john heilman, i've heard several times over the past 24 hours that, in fact, sam nunberg just a week ago was saying very positive things about bob mueller and talking about how professional they were. quite a change over the past week. >> yeah. he did it on arimelber's show. he was saying on the show, mueller and his team were professional. they knew their stuff. they were angry at him. even in his meeting with them, they were angry that he had done some things in public before he went in. so the mueller's team was achery that he had talked about the fact that he was going to meet with them before going to meet with them. but after that, he said they
conducted themselves with great professionalism, they seemed to know their stuff, they were not asking him wild, off the wall questions. but as ari just suggested, you know, he seems to have been totally knocked off kilter by these two new requests. and i do think, you know, there's a lot of things you could say about his behavior yesterday. whether you believe that some speculated that he might have been inebriated. i did not see that in him. i thought he looked more like he was having a manic episode on division than he was drugged. he wasn't slurring his words. but he was agitated and certainly stressed. but these are clear indications that something about these requests had knocked him off his game, knocked him off balance. so, ari, i want to ask you this question. you suggested something real interesting. the man kept talking about roger stone over and over again, not just on your show. so i believe it true what he assert yesterday which is at
he was in constant contact with roger stone long aer he left the campaign and into the period we're interested in, the period where roger stone was foreshadowing wikileaks, dropping the john podesta e-mails. what kind of legal jeopardy could roger stone be in? >> mr. stone appears to be a person at the center of the international intrigue, as you mentioned, the contact with wikileaks which is believed to be by bob mueller of investigative interest of a russian plot that's already been charged in u.s. federal court. this is the center of the enchilada. that is why it is so fascinating what mr. nunberg is disclosing. i think it would be a potential mistake to read all of this as a will he or won't he story about mr. nunberg's cooperation with the special counsel. that is not what gives it such journalistic heat. what gives it so much heat is how much he's disclosing, regardless of what he later
does. as june just mentioned, he is basically saying that he has this belief that they're setting up a case, his words, against roger stone. mr. stone is a very long-term sophisticated operator. he was once deposed by nick ackerman in the original watergate special prosecution force and roger has maneuvered his way through many a scandal, as you know, joe and willie. so this is a the person who in conjunction with sam nunberg, this is a person who seems to be benefiting potentially from this very odd chain of events, which raises the question of whether this is ultimately what some witnesses, including potentially mr. stone want. i will mention in fairness, he did put out a ters statement last night reiterating his denial of any false conduct.
>> and the fact that he was not inside the campaign does not mean he was not in constant contact with the president himself. there have been many things said about sam nunberg over the last day, but the fact is, he did provide something of a window. he was interviewed by the special counsel office. we got named and details from a grand jury subpoena. so you can take what he said about the grain of salt, but he was there in the room and he has some thoughts to provide publicly for the first time. >> and the problem is trying to figure out his number kind sort of the tip of the iceberg or a distraction from the thing. he's obviously a one-man show yesterday all over the place and giving multiple different versions of whether identities he's going to cooperate, not cooperate, i'll be arrested, in the end i'll find a way to get there. in an ongoing story where each
act seems to bring in more and more performers, sam nunberg right now is the center ring. the question is whether that's where he belongs. there's so many other things going on and we don't know whether, in fact, he is going to add something essential to the investigation or basically the side show. >> and if you look at what's happened over the last couple of weeks, the white house is becoming more frantic. john heilemann talked about how the sound appeared to be manic yesterday on tv. that's the same thing we can say about the white house. >> the president's tweets. >> that's a devastating blow to the president by everyone on the inside, the president's tweets more out of control regarding mueller and now this yesterday. >> yeah. i'm wondering why sam nunberg did all of those television interviews, why he is speaking out so often and so vociferously or manically. ari did an amazing job last
night with no commercial break going in an interview that was lawyerly at nunberg trying to get him, tease out information that we hadn't heard before. and the key things that made me scream in my apartment was when he said, among many, when you got him to say or when he said that he was offered immunity from mueller. so if you're offered immunity, what on earth are you doing? so i would love, ari, for you to put your lawyer's cap on and what did that say to you when he let that nugget drop? >> that was very significant. and when he said that, i followed up did he say that directly to you or through your lawyers? and he said it was through his lawyers which makes it more credible. it means sam nunberg's counsel had that level of conversation with bob mueller's team. and it means that they believe he may have more information that they want to use and that they don't see him as a viable
target or need him as any kind of criminal target and that that information, again, for folks following, is the kind of thing that would match with, again, is this a side show or not? well, it matches with the fact that he did have a grand jury testimony request. meaning put him in the box to say things that could later be used in court against people which never happened to most witnesses. so, yes, in that sense, that is forget whatever sam nunberg says or believes, that is an indication we have that the mueller prosecutors want something more from him, hence the immunity. >> so, david, you earlier in the fist hour said we may find out robert mueller is one of the most effective prosecutors of our generation. so it's interesting, sam nunberg can yell at the waves all he wants. he doesn't stop them from coming. it's something that he had to realize by the end of the day. bob mueller is going to get him to testify. or he's going to spend very long ti in jail.
and he's going to ha to turn on roger stone. this is just -- this is inevitable. it's like hope hicks. hope hicks may have left the white house despite protests to the contrary because she knows that she is going to be facing a time where she's either going to have to tell the truth about what lies she covered up for the white house or she will be going to jail for a very long time. steve bannon with, it's the same thing with steve. they can all say whatever they want to say at the end. but robert mueller's investigation is like death and taxes. it's coming at you. i'm not saying this to be glib. it's coming at you. it cannot be avoided. and if you try to avoid it and if you try to be cute, you will learn what mr. gates learned last week, that bob mueller knows when you're lying to him. and you offer a profer to
mueller and you lie and you leave something out, you've just made your life that much worse. does sam nunberg want to go to jail for ten years? does hope hicks want to go to jail for ten years? the answer is no. yes, they protest a great deal, but at the end of the day, they have no choice, do they? >> mueller's case, series of cases is so carefully constructed. and if you look at each of them, the turning point seems to be where he catches somebody in a lie. papadopoulos, this foreign policy aid, was brought in in january of last year, was run through all the things that mueller already knew about. he goes back and tn begins deleting some cos, changing his phones, pow. the bureau gets it. same thing with rick gates.
rick gates, it seems, you know, after a period o of the investigators. bam. and so mueller pushes people toward a moment where he has seen anything almost total control of the facts. and then if somebody tells what he knows is a lie, the track closes. surely sam nunberg understands that. by the end of the day, as you said, he knew the idea of defying mueller was impossible. and think of all the other people who were in this target of mueller's thinking the same thing. >> and, joe, just to build on that, the larger question, though, is why so many different people in this orbit seem to want to hide things or lie. mr. nunberg was making a fairley i illlogical argument which is if you have nothing to hide and roger has nothing to hide, what
is so terrible about going in and telling the truth. and as he said, he thought they were going in and setting up a perjury case against roger stone. what about his dealings with russian sanctions? why was he lying about that and why was that the first priority in the transition to do something about that? those are much bigger questions. the old saying that basically a lie starts the out sweet and ends up bitter. and the truth starts out bitter, but ultimate hadly ends sweet, i think, is an allegory that can apply here. you've got a lot of people who think they might be able to spin it out outsmart someone. the bigger question is why, why are they lying, why was roger stone's brought up so proactively yesterday. >> and i just got to believe that speculation, but i think
nunberg knew where he was going to end up at the end of the day and maybe he was playing for roger stone and at the end of the day, it's sorry, buddy. but i'm not -- i did what i could. >> i'm not going down. >> i did what i could. i fought for you. i protested. but at the end of the day, i just can't do it. sam nunberg is not going to jail for roger stone. and hope hicks is not going to jail for donald trump. and keith shiller, i don't think, would go to jail for donald trump. these are all -- i mean, trump is a billionaire. he's going to be a billionaire after this is all over. and it's all of these people that have worked for him that are now -- >> he will throw away. >> -- facing jail time and facing massive legal debt. >> what is it leading to? let's say sam nunberg has something to say that would be bad for roger stone. what does that get us? if roger stone ends up getting prosecuted, that's one thing. that is fine.
in the end, it is about what did the president know and when did he know it? >> what nunberg said, the one thing he brought up yesterday that was fascinating about that russian meeting, he said, with wait a minute, ten days before the meeting in don junior's office where don junior and manafort and everybody was around, donald trump walg ws teg the world, we've got some really bad information coming out about hillary clinton. you can't wait. >> and when he was asked about that later, he said he was talking about a book. that book came out a year earlier. >> and then you have the sam thing, roger stone predicting that podesto would be in the barrel soon. >> and final thoughts? >> i think you're right. what did they know and when did they know it? the president said he did not know about this meeting with the russians and his son and son-in-law until it came out many, many months later.
even steve bannon finds that hard to believe. he said so in michael wolfe's book. >> and peter baker is writing about the meeting with netanyahu. that happened, as well. ari, we'll be watching "the beat" weekdays. >> who are you going to have on tonight? >> you've got to watch "the beat." jonathan, stay with us if you can. still ahead on "morning joe," few republican s in congress have staked out stronger resistance to president trump and jeff flake. he is leaving the senate, but not necessarily politics. the arizona republican is headed to new hampshire next week. but first, he's with us here in washington. "morning joe" is coming right back. ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected.
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it's called nafta. our factories have left our country. our jobs have left our try. for many yrs. nafta has been a disaster. we are renegotiating nafta, as i said i would. and if we don't make a deal, i'm term the nate nafta. but if i do make a deal which is fair to the workers and to the american people, that would be, i would imagine, one of the points we'll be negotiating we'll see what happens. >> the president is standing firm on trade tariffs, but our next guest is among the republicans hoping he will reconsider. joining us now, jeff flake of arizona. so much to talk to you about this morning. i'm just wondering, are you the best person to try and change his mind on anything, especially this issue? >> i don't know. i can only try. >> what approach would you take inspect. >> it's obviously a bad policy, we all think, but we can disagree with the president on
that. but the politics of it are awful for republicans. i mean, we have a conducive tax and regulatory environment now so the economy looks good going ahead. that could all be reversed in the trade war. i would hope if he can unable to look at the policy side of it, look at the politics. >> i would guess that could be difficult, but you never know. >> senator flake, the president has made a habit of saying something boldly and loudly in in a meeting on tv and eventually sort of stepping back in it. he did it recently on guns after his meeting with the nra. do you believe, actually, there will be a 25% tariff on steel, 10% on aluminum in the united states? >> i don't know. there is a phenomenon. we saw it on immigration. we've now seen it onuns where there's a tuesday trump versus a thursday trump. i hope that there is a thursday trump on this issue where he says, you know, that's just not a good way to go. we cannot spark a trade war.
this is not a good way to prod the mexicans or the canadians into renegotiation of nafta. nafta has been great for mexico, it's been great for canada, but it's also been great for us. this is not a zero sum game. >> senator, on another foreign policy issue this morning, there was an extraordinary meeting between north and south korea. kim jong un met with a high level national security adviser in north korea and they talked about being willing, north korea did, to talk to the united states, to have a heart to heart meeting about denuclearzation, about if they got security guarantees, they might step away from their nuclear program. what should now happen to the united states? we've said over and over, there's no ambassador for north korea to the united states. the state diplomate abruptly resigned last week. what should fill this void right now? what's our move? >> there has to be diplomacy. i hope we get an ambassador.
this is encouraging news. it's not definitive. i mean, i'm not sure that this will hold. but it is encouraging to see that they're ready to talk. and they want what, you know, virtually every country wants, particularly a country like north korea, security guarantees. so that is a place to start, at least. so i hope that we get some actual negotiations going on and some discussions. >> do you believe north korea is a good notia partner? >> i don't know. we'll have to see as we go forward, but they're in a position that they haven't been before, you know, prior to now they haven't been seen as a legitimate nuclear threat. now they are. so that really changes the game. so i think we're in unchartered territory here. >> jonathan capehart. >> i want to switch gears for just a little bit and start off about by thanking you for doing what so few are actually -- the overwhelming majority of your colleagues and your conference haven't done and that is calling
out the president on a lot of the things that he's done. why do you think your other republican colleagues haven't done what you've done, which is call out objective wrongs that the president has done or said, more importantly? >> it's a tough place to be. if you're looking for re-election, i can tell you, you don't want to to be on the other side of the president in any red state or red district. so i mean, it's a calculation, certainly, on some people's parts. >> but isn't part of leadership doing the heart thing? so, you know, if you come to washington just to be a lap dog -- not you, but probably other folks -- >> don't look at me as an example of somebody who is able to straddle that. i haven't been able to. but it is painful to watch. you know, some of this, at least the push back a little bit more. >> my god, our democracy is at risk. david, please, jump in. >> senator, let me ask you about your party and all the republicans out there, independents who voted for donald trump.
you han,ve bee as john said, pretty outspoken. and i'm curious whether you in your conversation with the people see a crack in support. as beam look at this daily circus in washington, whether people are beginning to see, i've had enough of this and whether we can look for that sentiment to power the midterm elections in thoef. >> i think it will. every time i see that crack, the next week it's filled and people are back in line. several months ago, after they went after jeff sessions, i thought, that will be it. jeff sessions was in the senate. colleagues respected him for his position. that's it. but then, you know, it went. so every time i think i see that, it kind of goes the other way. ultimately, yes, i do think it will be there. if the president stays down in the 30s in popularity, we're driving -- i mean, young people
have been walking away from the party for a while. now they're in a dead sprint. and that has got to worry people and, you know, when these special elections or whatever happen in pennsylvania this month and other states, in primaries, you can see primary turnout, maybe that will jolt some people to realize we don't have a future as a party if we're driving away independents. >> marches coming up on the 24th. in light of the shootings. >> young people, suburban women, it's remarkable. >> so you are headed to new hampshire. beautiful time of year to go to new hampshire. any other reason why you might be going to new hampshire? >> i got an invitation and i accepted it. >> yes. what aut running for president? >> you but i do wtion of the rty. i am concerned about the direction of the party that i have been a member of my entire life. i do have concerns about where we're going and i'll voice those concerns.
so that's what that is about. >> we'll be watching. senator jeff flake, thank you very much. good to have you on the show. ahead, a lecturer on government from harvard university whose new book answers why our freedom is in danger and how to save it. plus, it may not look like much right now, but the radar portends a serious storm system bearing down on the east coast. an important forecast for the rest of the week, next. ♪ we the people... are defined by the things we share.
we are dealing with another nor'easter. this will be the biggest snowstorm of the winter season if you can believe that in the northeast. the last one was a rain mix on the east coast. we had a blizzard overnight. that storm is now in the midwest. that is going to combine with this storm in the south to form a nor'easter off the coast. we'll add to these numbers. we'll add our friends in maine and probably some people around baltimore by the time we're said and done. here is the snowfall map. once you get to the purple, that is a half a foot of snow. when you get to the red, that's a foot plus. so when we talk about the heavier snow, it's down from syracuse back out through the
poconos, philadelphia, new york city, hartford, boston, northward. the immediate coastal sections may get a little bit less. philly, you're right on that edge. i have you in the 3 to 6. north of the city, you jump up 6 to 10. hartford, 10 to 14. cape cod, you're mostly rain or melting snow. boston, you're right on that line, too. finally, let me give you the timing on it. we're fine tonight. early tomorrow morning, the morning commute is fine. as we go through the afternoon, this is a tremendous amount of snow coming down, maybe even thundersnow as we go throughout the early afternoon. the evening commute, southern new england, new york, philadelphia area. that is by far the worst travel closed by the afternoon. new york city, tomorrow at this time, we could hear claps of thunder and thunder snow. that's intense snowfall. more "morning joe" when we come back.
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welcome back to "morning joe." the president saying more this morning about sunday night's oscars. south korea says the north is willing to freeze its nuclear and missile tests if it holds talksite united states. to that the
prede tweeted this morning, quote, we will see what happens. on the academy awards he tweeted today, lowest rated oscars in history. problem is, we don't have stars any more, except your president. just kidding he writes. joining us now, new american senior fellow yascha mounk. in it, he writes, quote, donald trump's election to the white house has been the mocht striking manifestation of
democracy's crisis. the election of trump is, of course, hardly an isolated incident. the question is whether this pop the ewe list moment will turn into a populist age and cast the survival of democracy in doubt. >> this book is not a screen against donald trump. it looks out beyond donald trump and explains not just the would-be authoritarian, but the people willing to vote for him. you have some incredible statistics in here. two-thirds of americans born in the 1950s and 40s say yes, it's important to live in a democracy. but less than one-third of those born after 1980s say that's an important thing. what with are the implications of that and what would young people prefer to democracy? >> well, in a political system, a democracy that's stable, people are deeply committed to living a sl. when people break the basic rules and norms, they don't stand for it. they demand that people stick to
rules. what we're seeing is that a lot of young people are saying -- a lot of older people, as well, by the way, you know what,'m deeply affected by this system. it's not hher than that of my parents. i'm worried about some of the cultural and graphic change in our cup. what i'm going to do is reject the basic rules and norms of the system. if somebody comes in and says, you know what? we have to change everything and get rid of some of these institutions. i want to make sure the press can no longer po lit size me. i i want to take control of the fbi and it's not that they say i would love to live in a country like russia or china. it's how much do we have to lose? >> and as you point out in the book, this is not something that began with donald trump. he was sort of the culmination of donald trump, with of the people movement. what has prompted this? what has brought about this new openness to something other than democracy? >> this becomes very clear when
you look at it in an international context. when you look at tux, but when you look at western europe and central europe and parts of asia, you see the populist politicians have been rising for a very long time and it's because people are dissatisfied with a few of the things in the system. so the united states in 1935 to 1960, the living standard of the average american doubled. from 1960 to 1985, it doubled again. since 1985, it's been national, it's been stag napt. that makes people very anxious about their economic future and it makes them willing to say are let's change the team out. let's give a shot to this guy even if he breaks some of the rules that we've been keeping to so far. >> caddie kay has a question for you you from washington. >> basically, older people, people born in and around the time of the second world war are very in favorite of democratic systems, but younger people, they seem to have abandon it. i think you say a third of 80,ple born after 19 intereing in the prospect of democracy.
we just had an election in italy over the course of the weekend where young people voted overwhelmingly for the populist five-star movements. i don't know if you see that as an example of that. but what can people who still believe in the democratic ideal as the best political system that we have available to us? what can we do to recapture the attention of young people and the enthusiasm of young people for democracy? >> absolutely. the elections were a real warning sign. what you saw is that actually two-thirds of voters ended up going forward. populist parties of different stripes. when berlusconi lost office, a lot of people thought the movement was over in italy. instead what we're seeing is it's just proliferated. there's all kinds of populist movements coming into the system. that can be scary to watch. what i think we can do is if they see the economic living standards are getting better, but we have many to create inclusive pre inclusive patriotism across
ethnic and racial divides. and if we actually fight for why our political system is significant, what's good about liberal democracy, why it's better for all of the flaws in our country to live in the united states when in russia or china or cuba, then i think youn people will understand what there is to lose and what we have to fight for. >> and this may not be a popular thought, but i'll say it anyway. my concern for some time that in europe and we're now seeing the democratic party in america do it, as well, there is no reasonable rationale middle ground on immigration. you have porous boarders across the eu. you have angela merkel, the conservative in germany, allowing a lot of refugees in. people in that country see violence follow. the same thing happened in sweden. people see violence swallow.
and as andrew sullivan said of democrats in the united states, if your view is different from theirs on immigration, you're immediately a racist. that certainly is the case in europe, that if you try to take a more moderate view or let's say a more conservative view on immigration, and, of course, we're not even talking about -- we're not getting close to the extremists, neo fascists there. let's say you get close to angela merkel, then suddenly you were discounted as a racist, you're afraid to open your mouth. so the choice is between a mainstream party and extremists. and do you see that as a problem in europe? >> i slightly disagree with your description. if your description was right, it wouldn't be a problem. on immigration, it should be
subject to open democratic bate, how much immigration you should have and what kin of immigration you should have. i think what we have to be absolutely clear on is that we cannot have an ethic or a religious conception of who really belongs to our nation. i think the problem from coming -- fromlty of the populist right, whether it's for germ thee, whether it is the league in italy that did so well a couple of days ago is they are saying only somebody who is white, only somebody who is christian, only somebody who is -- >> but that's a black and white view. you ought to be able to say in germany that angela merkel is making a terrible the mistake by allowing hundreds of thousands of syrian refugees in without proper vetting without somebody calling you a white nationalists. you ought to be able to sigh what sweden did several years ago was extremely reckless and i would say very short sided by allowing as many refugees in as
they did without being called racist. >> absolutely. i agree with you. >> you should have that conversation. but i'm just saying in europe, you can't have that conversation. >> well, i disagree. i think you can have that conversation in europe. i think there's lots of people in angela merkel's own policy that have criticized the refugee policy and angela merkel changed course very quickly, even while she was saying she continued to keep the door open, she did what she could to make a treaty with turkey to keep as many refugees out as possible. so there's been an adjustment in politics and now there's very few refugees coming into germany at the moment. you have to be able to criticize the refugee policy. you have to be able, even in the united states, to say let's have more high skilled immigration. i don't necessarily agree with that. that is a different debate. but i think it has to be part of a legitimate debate to have. the problem is a lot of the people who make those points go on to say, anybody who is a
muslim can't be a part of this country, like donald trump would calls judges of hispanic heritage not american. who wants to ban all muslims coming into the country. that's that's a very different kind of a thing. >> that is a very different kind of thing. but, again, that's an extreme. donald trump is taking an extreme and i would say a posit fronts. but you ought to be able --e should be able to have this immigration debate in america. should be able to have the immigration debate in europe again without, as andrew sullivan's saying, that anybody that doesn't completely agree with the democratic position, is somehow a racist. >> the book is the people versus democracy. it's great to have you on, thank you very much. "morning joe" will be right back.
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have said it was illegal. it's too hot today. >> oh, my gosh. that was well picked out. time for final thoughts on that note. willie geist. >> we'll all be waiting by the phone to see if any campaign officials are going to call into cable news shows today. huge news out of south korea. north korea with the south koreans brokering an opening. what will the trump administration do with all those vacancies at the state department? >> david. >> a cyclone swirling around the calmest man on the planet, robert mueller. >> i was wondering who you were talking about. >> they had been saying they would go ahead with the military exercises. let's see if they change their mind after this north korean extending of the olive branch. >> and joe. >> the most important news of the morning, mike barnacle and ann both grandparents.
>> for the first time. >> what a beautiful, beautiful baby. >> i'm going to baby-sit. >> now, you don't want to give mika the baby, she never gives them back. >> you're going to be doing five sets of steps today once again. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> that baby. good morning, i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover today. starting with the bizarre twist in the russia probe. in a series of stunning interviews, former trump campaign add sam nunnburg vows to defy mueller's subpoena. this morning, he's backing off that claim but not before making some shocking accusations. >> i know bob mueller. i know that whole team. and they're right and they probably have something on trump. >> doubling down. the president says he's going to stay the course on his tariff pledge, despite pleas from world leaders, businesses, financial institutions and prominent republicans. basically almost everyone. >> it's a very