Skip to main content

tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  March 8, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST

3:00 am
>> bob mueller continues to talk to witnesses in the russia probe and remarkably, apparently so does the president of the united states. on the same day the washington post reported that investigators are gathering evidence about secret meetings and potential back channels to the kremlin, the new york times reported that president trump asked key witnesses about what they discussed with the special counsel. that of course says something some dumb country lawyers would perhaps not advise their clients to do. welcome to morning joe. >> i got to say, i thought he was a bit condescending. peace did break out. texas bbq versus brooklyn bbq. >> and i think you too would agree that talking to witnesses in the russia probe is a bad idea. >> hey, willie?
3:01 am
>> yes, sir. >> i loved how ted cruz said yesterday that just the picture of the brooklyn bbq was an admission against interest. >> right. >> it was per se, negligence. he went right to the pickles too. he wasn't even worried about the meat which was so pathetic that we're talking about. it was about the pickles. >> shoved to the side of the plate. first of all, texas bbq or memphis or alabama bbq, you don't have that much space. those pickles are usually served under the ribs because you've got too much meat on the plate. by the way, the mark hamill, i don't know if you saw that last getting his star on the walk of fame. i really -- i do -- you liked the last jedi. there's some whiners out there that have complained about it. mark hamill's performance, he
3:02 am
hated what they were doing with his character. it was a performance of his lifetime. it really was extraordinary. he was extraordinary in that movie and it just shows you you never really know how things are going to end up working out. >> also, luke sky walker already doesn't have a star on the walk of fame? i don't know how that system works but that's an outrage. i'm glad he finally gets his due. >> he should have had it in like '77. >> barnacle had one back in '43. i mean, come on. >> the big stories of the day. there is so much going on if you can believe it. >> it gets no bigger than mark hamill's performance in the last jedi. >> i think a storm is coming. >> just a stormy time. with us in washington we have new york times reporter jeremy peters. nbc news correspondent and host
3:03 am
kasie of msnbc. >> one day we're going to wear our kasiedc t-shirts that are awesome. >> law professor at george washington university. and in new york, along with us of course willie geist, national affairs analyst for nbc news. a lot going on this morning. >> a lot to come. i just really quickly want to -- john hyalman, yesterday's news, so much -- so much breaking. and i was watching you guys on nicole's great show at 4:00. >> yeah. >> i know what it is. i'm just trying to figure out how to say this.
3:04 am
something seemed different yesterday. i will just say that and it had nothing to do with you trying to describe the pictures that she may have on her phone. i'm just saying there seemed to be so many pitfalls here legally and actually politically, not only in the issue of stormy daniels but also the new york times and washington post stories breaking about possible witness tampering. a lot of things coming at the white house and the president yesterday, none of them good at all. >> yeah, i mean, look, it's a fool's game at this point to try to predict what is the straw that will break the camel 's back. that can seem pretty weak and it was about to break at any given moment and the things unraveling but i just think that the -- that the mueller probe continues to build momentum. the president with this -- it's not clear whether he did and i'm not a lawyer.
3:05 am
i can't say whether it constitutes witness tampering or comes anywhere close to that. certainly it was dumb. the stormy daniels issue which has been percolating somewhat mysteriously on the edges and it's the kind of story that would have consumed, engulfed and possibly sunk any other white house in years past has finally now come to the surface to where between the behavior of michael cohen and the behavior of donald trump, it has characteristi characteristics, this is about something that gets to the heart of a very visceral kind of story that you know, looking at people like john edwards and people like bill clinton have also tormented past presidents. it seems like there is so much now given how fragile the
3:06 am
president's position is. we've kind of predicted that before. i've learned better than to do it again. >> right. and i think the difference here is that from access hollywood to allegations, they were that, allegations or perhaps a doctored tape. we're talking now about hard evidence. we're talking about potentially something irrefutable that even die hard trump supporters, women even, will not be able to accept and i think there are people inside the white house that are really feeling that pinch. >> well, i just want to say to willie though, the thing is, again, i don't know that, i mean, you look at the latest polls and show the high percentage of evangelicals that said donald trump is a great moral example for their family and their children, i -- i hold out no hope that people will actually view this president that support him without -- without blinders.
3:07 am
i do know, though, that you can just look at the john edwards case. you can also look at basic federal elections laws. you can see that $130,000 payment. you can see a lot of questions surrounding whether the president was a part of the corporation. you can -- a lot of questions that are out there, and just look at it legally and say morality aside, this is a problem. >> yeah, and it's gone from much more than a fascination to something that could involve campaign finance law because it took place during the presidential campaign was that $130,000 some kind of an in kind donation. nbc news has learned that trump attorney michael cohen is trying to silence stormy daniels from speaking about her quote intimate relationship with donald trump. cohen got a secret temporary restraining order against daniels just over a week ago from a private arbitrator.
3:08 am
the order barred her from disclosing confidential information relating to a nondisclosure agreement that was signed in october 2016. daniels who's name is stefani clifford filed a lawsuit tuesday alleging that a nondisclosure agreement is invalid because mr. trump never signed it. white house press secretary sarah huck by sanders said yesterday, an arbitration case had been won but did not offer details. she also said as far as she's aware, president trump did not know his lawyer had paid daniels $130,000 to ensure her silence. >> did the president approve of the payment that was made in october of 2016 by his long time lawyer and advisor michael cohen? >> the president has addressed these directly and made very well clear that none of these allegations are true.
3:09 am
this case has already been won in arbitration and anything beyond that i would refer you to the president's outside counsel. >> did he know about the payment? >> not that i'm aware of. >> you said there's arbitration that's already been won? >> by the president's personal attorneys and for details on that i would refer you to them. >> a lawyer for stormy daniels responded on msnbc. >> it's absolutely bogus. any claim by the administration that donald trump won in arbitration is no different than me claiming that i won the super bowl a few weeks ago. >> president trump's attorney previously has said rumors of a sexual encounter have been denied by president trump and by ms. clifford who's also known as stormy daniels. so that same attorney said yesterday on a different show implying that he didn't want to say yet but that he may have information that could show president trump directed mr.
3:10 am
cohen to make this payment. >> jonathan, a lot of people have looked at what michael cohen have done, especially attorneys that i know that just scratched their head. setting up a corporation that could be traced back to their client. this agreement that he drafted, what -- what's your takeaway? what red flags are raised there. >> it falls in that category of you know, if we keep our eyes closed no one can see us. it doesn't make any sense legally. >> wait, people can see you if you close your eyes? >> it's just a -- it's such a departure, not just from ordinary practice but from logic. i mean, using all these fake names which by the way you then put in parens aka with a line for the real name. why are you going through this exercise. so cohen could not have made the
3:11 am
situation worse for his client or for himself. ultimately, none of this is following a trajectory we've seen before. even the use of an arbitrator to issue this type of prior restraint doesn't make any sense. it doesn't make any sense to say that he won an arbitration, that the other party has never been a party to. so we're in a strange area now. and this is not going to turn out well for any of the -- any of the parties. in terms of stormny daniels she took $130,000 in to stay quiet and so in terms of trump not signing it, there is still a plausible argument that she has a contract here that has to be fulfilled. on the other hand, the contract itself is just riddled with problems. and so her lawyer has some very good arguments to make in my view that this is not binding including the argument that cohen himself nullified the agreement. >> wow. >> i can't imagine in federal election laws i can't imagine a
3:12 am
congressman or a senator having a personal lawyer pay somebody off $130,000 out of their own poktd before -- a couple of weeks before their election came about, and then i guess trump still -- the candidate still hasn't paid back the attorney. and i mean, speaking of bbq, if somebody gave me a bbq dinner at a fund raiser, we meticulously figured out how much that bbq was worth and we had to immediately report it as an in kind contribution. if you're talking about $130 in hush money, this does remind you -- remind me of john edwards. >> there are real federal laws here -- >> there are. >> that are at issue. >> i've said for weeks now that the stormy daniels issue represents a serious threat. if mueller can pursue this issue
3:13 am
and he can ask the president if he sits down with him about the details of that affair and that is a road that we've seen other politicians go down, it has not come out well. so the question i have also is the ethical one. i tell my students all the time when we go through hypotheticals, who are you at this point? you know, i don't know who cohen was when he was signing that document. was he a friend of the president? was he a fixer? it didn't seem like he was a lawyer. lawyers don't pay settlements or pay money like this on behalf of clients. >> who does this? >> no one i know of. it's like taking yourself hostage and you can watch it and go, wow. >> and one of the examples of doing this for someone? what are they? friends or --? >> i think the situation is even worse because of the report that cohen said later that he was delayed in paying the money because he couldn't reach the president and then there was the suggestion that he might have
3:14 am
complained to others that trump hadn't actually ponied up the money. so all of that creates a target rich environment for a prosecutor. this is not a stretch to say this is a campaign violation. >> and so jeremy, you say we know that mueller's gone there. >> but we know that mueller is asking questions about michael cohen. this kind of gets overlooked in the other pursuits of mueller's, manafort, gates, flynn, but cohen -- there's a lot out there, but it does get lost. but people who have spoken with the -- with mueller's team have said recently that cohen appears to be focused. now, we don't know whether or t not he was asking about stormy daniels but i think it's safe to assume he certainly will now.
3:15 am
>> part of the russia investigation, deals that may or may not have been made. so his eyes are already on michael cohen. his eyes may already be oncoe-mails of michael cohen, so this may turn into something else if you lay in the stormy daniels layer on top of it. >> very easily. and the thing about -- we were just talking about what kind of role did michael cohen actually play. you can't have a conversation about nearly anything to do with president trump without talking about michael cohen. i mean, this is somebody who was by his side day in, day out. if you wandered into trump tower any time, i was there for the announcement. i would cover trump on the road. he was there. he knows everything. he is all of the things that you were saying. fixer, friend, you know, behind the scenes cleanup. i just -- i do not -- there's no way that all of his activities are not, you know, central to
3:16 am
all of this and you know, i just keep going back to this, how is it that we're talking about this? this is the president of the united states. and i mean, legal questions aside, i mean, the man has an affair with a porn star and pays her off and this is -- >> not okay. like forget make america great again. we're going to need to make america good again because this does not sound like a very good man at all leading the country. >> i'll say two things about michael cohen, someone who i have had interactions with. he is two things. one, he is the ultimate trump loyalist. this is a person who has freely said to journalists and others that he would happily take a bullet for donald trump. it may be that he's about to take a bullet for donald trump. the second thing is that the notion that michael cohen, any lawyer would go out and write a check on behalf of a client,
3:17 am
anybody who has dealings with lawyers knows how implausible that is. i mean, in this case, given donald trump's cheapness, let's put it that way, there's no way michael cohen went out and wrote $130,000 check on behalf of donald trump without having consulted him before doing so. so those are -- i think you're right, joe. the john edwards case and other cases i'm very familiar with. they did not have the facts and they got a conviction there, but this is dangerous territory because it does wrap up first of all, a scandal that could bring into the public view, if there are photographs that are compromising. if those photographs exist, they will come out and so there's that element of it tied into the fact that touch on federal election law and then tied into michael cohen, who not just on this case, but on a variety of other levels related to business
3:18 am
deals with donald trump overseas is also himself a target rich environment. >> so can you explain, not that i really want to hear this, but what is the potential that there might be photographs? how did that come into this conversation? >> well, there's a legal document in one of the exchanges in these legal documents, the daniels team says that part of this -- this confidentiality agreement that was struck back in 2016, and part of the ongoing confidentiality agreement relates to communications between stormy daniels and donald trump under their aliases and one of the things that's pointed to in a very suggestive way is the notion that there are potentially compromising photographs that she might have in her possession. again, no one knows what that -- a, whether they actually exist although they are pointed to i believe more than once in the document and no one knows what those might be although again, having some -- you think about the past of the kind of scandals
3:19 am
of this nature, a photograph of donald trump and stormy daniels at marla go, but it raises that ummage in your mind and i'll encourage you not to throw up in your mouth. >> so willie, you -- you have to look at the personal side of this, the personal mix of this. people who, the president of the united states and their family members have to deal with so much even under normal circumstances, and you look at this, and certainly the chaos that this obviously will bring to anyone's personal life and it's hard not to ask whether this is in "partridge family" --
3:20 am
part some of the chaos that has caused the president of the united states to be churning the way he has over the past week. >> any right thinking human being would be concerned if what john is describing is going to be thrown out into the public view. lay on top of that the president of the united states. i agree, i think conservative and republican support for this president remains incredibly high. you have to look at this. at some point the evidence becomes undeniable that there was an alleged affair, that there was an alleged payment that he hasn't allegedly paid back the person who made the payment on his behalf, that has allegedly all took place a week or two before the election. how can you say when you look at all these pieces, this is fake news, this is made up, the media is out to get my president of the united states. if you are one of the evangelicals, how can you stand by and watch this and support the man?
3:21 am
if you actually look at all the reporting and you look at all the evidence that's in front of us and you don't believe it i think you're living in a fantasy world. >> the question that willie just asked is the same question that every evan bjelica that i knew, and i knew a lot, it's the same question they were asking of democrats in the 1990s. how could they support bill clinton? i heard it time and time again, this proves that the democratic party and democrats are immoral, they don't care about anything but power. it's what i heard every sunday and every wednesday night as democrats blindly stood by bill clinton. that's now a question of course that democrats are asking of evangelicals. >> they're being asked a lot because they've really stretched to get to this point, but this could be tough. still ahead on "morning joe," payoffs to porn stars
3:22 am
aside, there is another serious issue looming over the white house this morning. president trump reportedly asked key witnesses about matters they discussed with bob mueller's investigators. we'll bring in michael schmidt who broke that story for the new york times. we'll be right back. we've been preparing for this day. over the years, paul and i have met regularly with our ameriprise advisor. we plan for everything from retirement to college savings. giving us the ability to add on for an important member of our family. welcome home mom. with the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant.
3:23 am
i ...prilosec otc 7 years ago,my doctor recommended... 5 years ago, last week. just 1 pill each morning, 24 hours and zero heartburn. it's been the number 1 doctor recommended brand for 10... ...straight years, and it's still recommended today. use as directed. i'm all about my bed. this mattress is dangerously comfortable. when i get in, i literally say, ahh. introducing the leesa mattress. a better place to sleep. the leesa mattress is designed to provide strong support, relieve pressure
3:24 am
and optimize airflow to keep you cool. today is gonna be great. read our reviews then try the leesa mattress in your own home. experience the leesa difference before you buy, at any west elm. or go to and get $100 off. and free shipping too.
3:25 am
3:26 am
the new york times reports that the special counsel in the russia probe has learned of two conversations in recent months in which president trump asked key witnesses about matters they discussed with robert mueller's investigators. according to three people familiar with the encounters. the sources say the president told an aide that the white house counsel, don mcgahn should issue a statement denies a new york times article that claims mcgan told investigators that the president asked him to fire
3:27 am
mueller last june. he later had to remind the president that he had indeed asked mcgahn to see that mueller was dismissed, the sources said. and in another instance two sources people with the discussion says trump asked his former chief of staff how his interview had gone with special counsel investigators and whether he had been nice. the special counsel is investigating whether the president has tried to obstruct the probe. the white house declined to comment as it does on matters related to the special counsel. one of the reporters who broke that story, michael schmidt of the new york times. what would you consider this to be? witness tampering or -- >> yeah, michael, tell us about your story. >> yeah, one of the basic tenants of investigation whether they're federal or local is that if you are under scrutiny or anything is really in question about you, you're supposed to
3:28 am
keep your distance from witnesses, and from prosecutors. now, we remember back in february of 2017, that's when the president tried to speak with comey about the investigation to ask him to end the investigation and now we have examples of the president engaging with witnesses about matters that hthey had discusse with the special counsel. when folks heard about this they were very concerned. they said look, this is not witness tampering but mueller has to know about this because if we don't disclose this to him he's going to think there's something afoot here and why is the president doing this? why is he disregarding the legal advice of his attorneys to go to such lengths at such a critical time as this investigation is intensifying. >> why? because he's donald trump and you know, there have been so many lawyers in washington that said they didn't want him as a client because one, he didn't pay his bills and two, he was
3:29 am
difficult to manage. if you're donald trump's attorney and you find out he's telling mcgahn to change his testimony after it's already been given, and he's asking questions of his former chief of staff, what are your worried about? >> well, i would take the priebus conversation off the table if it's limited to that. that doesn't really get the pulse rate as high as the statements who the white house counsel. that is certainly problematic. the problem for mueller is going to be determining what is political and what is prosecutable. if you're going to try to go after a president you need a heartland hit. you need something right in the middle of the criminal code. i think what the president can argue is we're a political operation. we respond to news and i wanted my white house counsel to respond to this. he wasn't the appropriate person to ask for that. the president should go to his press office and say, i want
3:30 am
some response to this. to go to someone -- >> but even after mcgahn has told mueller's team that -- that he'd asked to fire him, if the president then -- whoever the president goes to and says you need to go back and tell him to basically change what he said before the prosecutor, that's -- >> no, that's still -- this fulfills the narrative, you know, that this type of action is remarkably ill advised. >> does it start to, we've heard from the beginning that obstruction of justice would be witness tampering or trying to get people to change their testimony. now you're not donald trump's attorney anymore, you are bob mueller. do you look at this closely and think that this -- this is witness tampering and fits in to obstruction of justice charge? >> i think i would look at it in many ways it has the same
3:31 am
pattern as what happened on air force one on issuing a statement that was not accurate, but i want to caution, witness tampering charges are difficult to make. you have to show intent and in many ways he can show his mo, he's famous for going into these areas without a lot of thought. >> it's the loyalty as president. >> so i hate to say, this is something mueller can most certainly ask about. it is really i think for the president to do it it's another self-inflicted wound. witness tampering requires intent and he does have this alternative argument that i was trying to spin a political story. >> you have another case here too where mcgahn, he wouldn't fire bob mueller as you reported many weeks ago and now b, that he wouldn't go out and say that the president didn't ask him to fire bob mueller, so in some cases at least there is at least someone standing between the president and doing the wrong
3:32 am
thing. >> well, the president's had a particularly interesting relationship with mcgahn. mcgahn is one of the few people still around the president that was there during the campaign and has been there for the entire time in the white house. mcgahn had to deal with the comey firing trying to take trump's rationale that he'd given in a letter and going to the justice department and getting the attorney general get him documents to help him support the idea of getting rid of the fbi director. they have clashed but at the same time he's still around even though he's been at the heart of some of these different things. i think if you're mcgahn you might be afraid that the president would blame you for some of the things that have gone on, saying you've gotten bad legal advice and that would be a concern going forward, is your actions going to be used as an excuse, will he be a scapegoat for the president.
3:33 am
that's a concern for mcgan that he may have going forward or may have now. >> thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> interesting times. >> we've learned a couple things. just because you close your eyes doesn't mean that people can't see you. and two, it's not wise to ever take yourself hostage. >> no, don't do that. still ahead on monday, president trump said he wasn't backing down from his tariff plan, but this morning there is confusion over the actual details. we'll have the latest on the president's proposal next on "morning joe." don't we need that cable box to watch tv? nope. don't we need to run?
3:34 am
nope. it just explodes in a high pitched 'yeahhh.' yeahhh! try directv now for $10 a month for 3 months. no satellite needed. with expedia one click gives you access to discounts on thousands of hotels, cars and things to do. like level furnished living suites for 45% off. everything you need to go. expedia
3:35 am
♪ ♪ there are two types of people in the world. those who fear the future... and those who embrace it. the future is for the unafraid.
3:36 am
♪ ♪
3:37 am
the message is we stand with you, mr. president in taking tough action to keep us safe and economically strong in targeting bad actors in trade. at the same time we encourage the president to tailor these tariffs in a way so we can continue to sell more american made manufactured products including steel and aluminum around the world so our businesses can continue to use these products. of course we want to keep hiring more workers here in america. >> the chairman of the ways and means committee is among more than 100 republican lawmakers
3:38 am
calling on president trump to drop his plan for new trade tariffs on steel and aluminum. the timing of the president's announcement is still unclear, but opposition to the proposal is not. republicans are reported lipining their last hopes to sway the president on the vice president, according to politico while mike pence has publicly signalled support for the president's plan he privately has expressed opposition to the across the board tariffs. politico adds that pence, a life long advocate of free markets and free trade has been quietly delivering messages of concern to the president. the president is considering an announcement that would exempt canada and mexico and potentially other allies. >> i still look at this through the win of pennsylvania 18. more people are saying that that race is gone, that the democrats are going to win that race regardless of what the president
3:39 am
does on tariffs. aggressively saying that he is the worst candidate ever and they tried to help him which of course doesn't mean anything. he'll probably end up winning now, but you have to look -- i just looked at this from the very beginning like the transgender ban in the military. you're trying to distract, you're trying to do something. so we'll see if he actually follows through. i would be really surprised if he did though. up next we're going to bring in the eu ambassador to the u.s. for europe's reaction to the planned tariffs because even if you're sending out shiny penny that you're going to pull back it does have an impact.
3:40 am
bp is taking safety glasses to a whole new level. using augmented reality so engineers in the field can share data and get expert backup in the blink of an eye. because safety is never being satisfied and always working to be better.
3:41 am
jimmy's gotten used to his whole yup, he's gone noseblind. odors. he thinks it smells fine, but his mom smells this... luckily there's febreze fabric refresher for all the things you can't wash. it finds odors trapped in fabrics and washes them away as it dries. and try pluggable febreze to continuously eliminate odors for up to 45 days of freshness. pluggable febreze and fabric refresher. two more ways to breathe happy. but through goodt times and bad at t. rowe price we've helped our investors stay confident for over 80 years. call us or your advisor. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
3:42 am
brushing only reaches 25% of your mouth. listerine® cleans virtually 100%. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™ was a success for lastchoicehotels.comign badda book. badda boom. this year, we're taking it up a notch. so in this commercial we see two travelers at a comfort inn with a glow around them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at". who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom. nobody glows. he gets it. always the lowest price, guaranteed. book now at
3:43 am
there are potential carveouts for mexico and canada
3:44 am
based on national security and possibly other countries as well based on that process. again, that would be a case by case and country by country basis but it would be determined whether or not there is a national security exemption. >> wow. okay. carveouts. joining us now, the european union's ambassador to the u.s. david o-sullivan and in new york we're joined by the president of the council on foreign relations and author of the book, "a world in disarray ". there are so many questions around this tariff issue. >> what is the impact to the united states relationship with our eu friends? >> well, we don't know what the president is going to finally decide. we wait to see whether the announcement comes today or later and as you've already seen there's some speculation about the precise forum which this may
3:45 am
take. but obviously, if there were to be across the board tariffs imposed then we would be very upset. we would consider it unfair and we would use our rights under the wto to take what we call rebalancing action by imposing tariffs on american products because that's the way the system works, but we really don't think we're part of the problem. we think china and chinese overcapacity is a common problem we face with the united states. there will be a meeting in brussels on saturday with the european trade negotiator and their japanese counterpart to discuss precisely how we could have more concerted action to address the issues imposed by china. >> the diplomats are getting together to try to figure out how to deal with chinese overcapacity. at the same time, the president is talking about tariffs. >> well, that is why our view is this would be premature and we hope the president does not take this decision.
3:46 am
>> but if we walk back a little bit you could hear that. the press secretary, is there a way to walk it back that would be amenable? >> well, the -- >> the president is probably getting the information this way as opposed from his policy advisors. >> the report on the president's desk contained three options. one was across the board and the other was a select tariff and the other was using a system of quotas. it would be more targeted at the cause of the problem, which is chinese overcapacity. >> talk about the reaction to those you've been speaking to in the foreign policy community, to the possibility of across the board tariffs in steel and aluminum. >> it's an unmate gaititigated . at the same time we're playing around with these tariffs. we were the ones that created
3:47 am
the national trading system which has been a tremendous blessing and boost overall for american strategy and for the american economy. and just to give you one example, the third largest source of american steel imports is south korea. why would we want to penalize south korea at the very time we're trying to coordinate a joint approach towards north korea? so it makes no strategic sense. economically it's legitimate. some have lost as a result of chinese overcapacity and overproduction. that's a legitimate thing. what we need to think though is how to respond in a way and the serious response is to train americans not for the steel jobs that will never come back, but it's to train them for the jobs that will emerge in the future. that's the serious conversation the 45th president of the united states need to have an honest conversation with the american people, with american workers. this is smoke and mirrors. this is politics.
3:48 am
this is not preparing this country or the american people, the american worker for the future. >> this is ultimately about politics, not policy. this is about president trump fulfilling a key campaign promise. the problem is as we were saying earlier he's going to go to pennsylvania and try to rally support for the republican candidate in that special house election. i's not even clear that the economic benefits for these tariffs translate across pennsylvania. i was talking to a republican from pennsylvania. this is going to hurt his district, he thinks, because there's a beer manufacturer there and they rely on aluminum cans that are imported. >> willie? >> it's willie geist here in new york. i just wanted to ask you, i know you by definition are diplomatic, it's your job, but i wanted to ask you, are you feeling diplomatic? anyway. if you can strip that away for a
3:49 am
moment and tell us what it's like to deal with this president of the united states. we've heard privately and through reporting that mac ron and others have their problems. but it comes out of the clear blue sky, he blurts something out of the sky. markets around the world dip. you all have to react to it. asia has to react to it. how are you finding dealing with this president? >> well, i unfortunately don't have the offer of dealing with the president. just to be clear -- >> you're being diplomatic. >> no, i think when we recognize that this is a man who was elected on the basis of disruptive politics and therefore, this is the person -- even though the united states has chosen to be their president and we're dealing with someone who takes pride that he's not
3:50 am
working in the usual way. we're adapting to that. we have good relations with people in the white house and we keep diplomatic channels open but we understand that we are dealing with someone that takes pride you figure out how that works? that just never works? >> i can't judge whether it works or not. i can only say that this is the way in which this president likes to operate and he is the president of the united states, we respect that, and we try to work around it, of course. >> you try to work around it. >> oh, many i lord. >> it poses challenges but every change of administration poses challenges and you have to adapt to that change situation. >> and there -- >> people who are with us say something similar, too. >> that was very diplomatic. >> i was going to say that he said nothing that people in the white house don't say, people in the pentagon, state department. >> it's going to cause a huge problem. already has. >> at some point? >> well, no, i mean like this is going to go over the edge.
3:51 am
>> capitol hill is the same thing. they have learned that you can influence the president and they have send this letter, 100 plus of them have signed on. you'll notice they are very careful like the ambassador is very careful to say, well, the president is clearly -- he clearly has the best interests of the country at heart, he's clearly hit this problem with china but we just -- mr. president we think you should make these small adjustments. they have learned they have to basically flatter him to get him to do what they want. >> this does seem to republicans a bridge too far and across the board from the most conservative to if there still is one moderate republican on the hill. >> there are a few, still, and this is unlike anything else the president has said. this policy is completely the opposite of what many of them have believed, that the party has believed for decades. this is a policy many democrats would advocate for and they
3:52 am
quite frankly think he's going to undermine the rest that they've done. any economic growth is at risk because of this plan. >> john heilemann, i don't think i've seen republican on the hill as united against the president since he tweeted out about mika last summer. >> it's true. look, this is obviously what piece of republican orthodoxy, it's a piece of bipartisan orthodoxy that free trade is a good thing. everybody talks in this context about -- goes back to smoot-hawley and says look how bad smoot-hawley was, it was obviously bad but we have a more recent precedent. in the bush administration we had tariffs on the same industry, on the steel industry. just talk about how that worked out. you don't have to have a long memory to go back to that one-year experiment in steel tariffs to discover what the economic impact will be on the united states. >> this type of intervention costs roughly on the order of a million dollars for every job preserved, which is a rather high price tag to pay.
3:53 am
it doesn't change the arc of history here where most of these jobs think he's going to disappear because of technology and foreign behavior. it raises costs to every american who has to buy these products. it eliminates many more jobs than it solves because people stop buying these other products. so on balance this makes no sense. plus what have we done here, john? we have introduced the idea that any country can now claim their right to act unilaterally on trade in the name of their national security. this is the sort of thing that has the potential to just wreck the global trading system. we have over ten million americans, over ten million, who depend on their jobs on the ability to export. this is playing with fire. this is so narrow and short-sighted. this is going to come back and boomerang. >> i will say, in the bush administration the president tried it for a year, there was a net job loss of about 175,000 jobs, working class jobs got lost as many were preserved, more were lost. >> absolutely. >> and it as not that long ago. go back and read.
3:54 am
it's 15 years ago. >> in this fire hose news cycle a lot of big stories get buried and one we were just talking about in the break is that jared kushner traveled to mexico. he had a meeting with the president of mexico and the foreign minister of mexico and didn't include the u.s. ambassador roberta johnson into the meeting. if he has experience on u.s./mexico relations it's news to me. what does it mean? is there any precedent for not inviting the u.s. ambassador of that country into a meeting? >> there's no precedent for it. jared kushner who, i'll be generous, doesn't bring to the job great experience but the ambassador has to be there the day after and the day after that. the whole idea is to empower your diplomats. he won't be in mexico 364 days a year, she is. so the idea that he would carry this out withouter in the room. plus, it's part of a larger pattern. where is rex tillerson? why does he allow this to go on?
3:55 am
he has to stand up and defend his department, defend his professionals and in many ways he's leading the charge against him, one of the tragic legacies among this administration will be the dismantling of a significant part of our diplomatic capability. >> in a big way. >> one final question, mr. ambassador. brexit. where are we right now in the negotiations and what long-term impact is that going to have on great britain? >> well, i think it's been very clear that for most of us in the european union we viewed all that with great sadness. we very much wish that the british people decided otherwise but it's their sovereign choice, they have made that. we now have to figure out how to make a new relationship work. so the negotiations are ongoing to sort out the exit of the british -- of the uk from the european union and then -- which will take longer and negotiation to establish a new relationship between the united kingdom outside of the eu and the eu as a whole. it's terribly complicated. i think nobody understood just
3:56 am
how complicated this was going to be. 45 years of deep involvement of the uk in european integration, economic social political life has to be unravelled and put back together. >> simple. >> so it's complicated. >> eu's ambassador to the u.s., david o'sullivan, thank you so much for being on this morning. richard haass, thank you for your insight as well. coming up, we'll have more on this tariffs debate with two top democrats, senator claire mccaskill of the finance committee and from the commerce committee, senator richard blumenthal. and bob mueller drills down on the secret meeting between trump and putin associates in the s s seychelles. "morning joe" is coming right back. o vermont. o vermont. and go to our coffee shop. and meet dave. hey. why is dark magic so spell-bindingly good, he asks? let me show you. let's go. so we climb. hike. see a bear. woah. reach the top. dave says dark magic is a bold blend of coffee with rich flavors of uganda, sumatra, colombia and other parts of south america. like these mountains, each amazing on their own.
3:57 am
but together? magical. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee roasters packed with goodness.
3:58 am
guys,but you've got sto be remember janet? she got cash back shopping with ebates and hasn't been skeptical since. where'd the money come from? stores pay ebates. psh!!! psh!!! then ebates pays you. psh!!! psh!!! psh!!! psh!!! psh!!! psh!!! psh!!! psh!!! psh!!! and they'll send you a check. psh!!!! oohh!! sign up for free. shop your favorite stores. get cash back. ebates. something to believe in. join today for a $10 bonus. 'sleep number spring clearance event'. the dual adjustability of the sleep number bed allows each of you to adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support.
3:59 am
your sleep number setting. for your best. sleep. ever. in the morning, you'll discover the amazing effects the bed is having on your sleep quality... your sleepiq score. and snoring? does your bed do that? only at a sleep number store where queen mattresses start at just $899. and, it's the last chance for clearance savings up to $600 on our most popular beds. ends soon. visit for a store near you. ♪ next chapter ♪
4:00 am
does it concern you at all that there is a porn star suing the president of the united states? >> it would concern me whether she was a porn star or not. i am from a conservative state but i don't know that you have to be. it's getting hard to talk about politics with your kids. >> welcome back to "morning joe." it's thursday, march 8. with us here in washington, d.c. we have nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of kasie d.c. on msnbc -- >> right across his face. >> also with us, chief national correspondent for the "new york times" magazine mark leibovich
4:01 am
a and national analyst for nbc news and msnbc, john heilemann. >> we have breaking news here. >> yeah. >> this is about the most exciting thing i have heard in the past month or two. >> can't wait to hear that. >> mark leibovich met terry jacques. tell me who terry jacques is and what was his number one song from 1974. >> "we had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun." >> that's great. >> that's up there with "afternoon delight" as one of the great songs of that era. >> and he comes on set talking about the hughes corporation. >> not really, we were talking about 1974 greatest hits in the context of alexa so this was timely and technology savvy. but terry jacks named his boat "seasons in the sun."
4:02 am
>> he named his boat alexa which, by the way, my nine-year-old son unplugs the alexa because he says he doesn't want the chinese listening into our conversations. >> or anyone else. >> i'm with him. >> but you actually -- you said you wanted to move to a cabin. >> turn your phone off. >> there's alexa news. >> the headline is amazon echo gadgets are doing witch-like laughs and alexa is refusing to obey its owners. >> see? >> apparently amazon says they have a fix for it. >> my daughter had a huge fight with alexa. >> this is what elon musk warned us about as far as ai several months ago. >> i can't take it. >> oh, my god. that's the laugh. >> can you imagine if your alexa started doing this spontaneously. >> you're freaking me out. thank you so much. >> and from there it went to the one thing that you can do though is alexa what the gdp of turkey? it's amazing what that thing does but -- >> probably does a lot more.
4:03 am
>> what's the top ten song from 1974, but the witch laughed at 2:30 in the morning, that's a problem. >> that's not good. can we get to the news now? >> i wanted to keep talking about -- another great 1974 song, rock and roll hoochie coo. >> thank you, gentlemen, for two minutes of nothing we needed to know. >> wait, quick question. john heilemann, do you have a guess? what was the number one song from 1974. >> oh, my god, that's way too broad. what is it, i don't know? >> "the way we were." >> is that true? fair enough. >> of course that's true. that's not fake news. >> i didn't -- i was just -- we were just spit balls before, i didn't know if you were talking about authority or checked with alexa. >> i listened to casey kasem from 1973 to 1977. >> i listen to terry hunt every week. >> that's much smarter. let's try this again. nbc news has learned that trump
4:04 am
attorney michael cohen is trying to silence adult film star stormy daniels from speaking out about her "intimate relationship with donald trump." according to documents obtained by nbc news, cohen got a secret temporary restraining order against daniels just over a week ago from a private arbitrator. the order barred her from disclosing confidential information related to a non-disclosure agreement signed in october of 2016. daniels, whose real name is stephanie clifford, filed a lawsuit against the president on tuesday alleging a non-disclosure agreement she previously signed is invalid because mr. trump never signed it. according to the suit, cohen attempted to intimidate her and "shut her up" by initiating what the lawsuit calls a bogus arbitration hearing against her.
4:05 am
white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders said yesterday an arbitration case against daniels had been won but did not offer details. she also said as far as she's aware mr. trump did not know his lawyer paid daniels $130,000 to ensure her silence. >> reporter: did the president approve of the payment that was made in october of 2016 by his long-time lawyer and adviser michael cohen? >> look, the president has addressed these directly and made very well clear that none of these allegations are true. this case has already been won in arbitration and anything beyond that i would refer you to the outside counsel? >> reporter: did he know about the payment. >> not that i'm aware of. >> reporter: you said there's arbitration that's already been won. by whom and when? >> by the president's person attorneys and for details on that i would refer you to them. >> it's absolutely bongubogus,
4:06 am
nonsense, any claim by the administration that donald trump won in arbitration is no different than me claiming that i won the super bowl a few weeks ago. >> so elizabeth -- >> thanks for asking me. >> exactly. i was just saying before, it seems ironic, we're talking about the russians, the russians, the russians, the russians and now jonathan turley was just saying it might be ironic that after focusing on the russians so long it ends up being a foreign star that causes the president the biggest heartburn because we have a john edwards problem here, possibly, on breaking federal law. >> what's been interesting so far, maybe until today and yesterday, is that this is not been made much of a dent in public perception of the president. it's kind of baked in. it was a consensual affair as far as we can tell. what's different now is that you have the white house talking about it.
4:07 am
when sarah senders said he won the arbitration agreement, that set off alarm bells because there was an implicit acknowledgment of what was going on. that's why this is a bigger story than it was before. >> because this is real now. >> we talk about john edwards, bringing up john edwards because he, of course, got in trouble for paying campaign money to a woman he was having a relationship with but here this seems like such a clear fec violation and as i said before when i was running for congress, if somebody had a barbecue fund-raiser, we would meticulously figure out the $5,468 worth of barbecue and put it as in-kind contributions. this is $130,000 to silence a porn star about an affair a couple weeks before an election. >> could there be others? >> that seems like a direct contribution and a violation of federal election laws. >> it would seem.
4:08 am
but did is sarah huckabee look like she was having fun yesterday? she often doesn't but yesterday was particularly painful to watch. this is a lot of bleeding going into the white house, as elizabeth said earlier. there's an on-the-record statement about an arbitration case which leads down all kinds of roads and because this is in a campaign finance context, it becomes a legal matter, it becomes a mueller matter and this is probably -- >> it's a family matter, too. which is horrific. >> it's a matter on a lot of levels. you can argue that a lot of things are baked in about people's perception of donald trump and the fact that they say he's teflon but this has taken an incredible toll on his presidency and we're seeing more tangible proof of that in yesterday's briefing. >> it really does -- there is an accumulation over time. you had "access hollywood" which was baked into the cake but you keep going and it keeps getting more specific and you hear these
4:09 am
stories one year after he was married to melania and there are other stories there are out there and it has to be having an impact on him personally and his family personally but also even to supporters. on the hill yesterday we were talking to democrats and republican, both sides were talking about how republicans are depressed and their turnout is going to be down and things like this certainly -- legalities aside certainly doesn't get the evangelical base out running for the midterm election. >> as you heard from trey gowdy in that clip we played coming in, there are certain issues and certain stories it's impossible to defend the president, even for some conservatives, some republicans. this stormy daniels case, for whatever reason was pushed down the news ladder for many months. it's been out there for a long time, the fact that the president allegedly directed a payment to a porn star to keep her quiet about an extra marital
4:10 am
affair shortly after he and his wife had a child. what can happen from here legally? is this a campaign finance story to you? is it something bigger than that? is it a story of donald trump directing a payment a couple of weeks before he was elected president of the united states? what happens here? >> there are a couple things. obviously there's a legal component to it and as we've been talking about, there was the john edwards case, you could have run afoul of campaign finance law. michael cohen could be in trouble. donald trump could be in trouble. all of that legal stuff could play out in a way that's just as a matter of fact kind of dangerous. there's also this other element which is one of the -- donald trump, joe, raised the "access hollywood" tape. one of the reasons why trump survived the "access hollywood" tape and all of the women who came forward after and accused him -- some credibly, some less credibly -- of sexual harassment or sexual assault, was that there was never a face that got put to those scandals. in this case, you have the possibility that there are photographs that stormy daniels has recognized, possibly intimate photographs, possibly
4:11 am
not but compromising photographs. these scandals when you have pictures are just much more daunting than when you don't have pictures and the original "access hollywood" tape, much of it had donald trump's disembodied voice. it was offensive but in the way the media ecosystem works, if you have someone who is an identifiable person who is on television making the claim over and over again, who's sympathetic, who maybe has supporting documentation or photographs, that's a much more dangerous scandal than other kinds of scandals in this area and i'll say this, steve bannon said to michael wolff, whether true or not, he said there were hundreds of payoffs that he had heard about to women who donald trump had affairs with. if stormy daniels can defy a gag order, can defy a hush settlement and she comes forward, does that set a precedent for other women coming forward? this could become an avalanche if that does work in that way. >> mika, michael cohen admitted
4:12 am
he paid $130,000 to stormy daniels. he hasn't said what it was for exactly but she may have the answer to that question. >> and that's the beginning of the difference here, especially also hearing sarah huckabee sanders confirm certain parts of this. because, again, heilemann, as you brought up, the "access hollywood" tapes, something disgusting the president said in jest, that's baked into the cake, people knew that about trump, they heard him on howard stern. the allegations against him sexually harassing or assaulting women were allegations so trump supporters could say well, they're lying. this is beginning to indicate that there was a relationship and that there is evidence to prove that there was a relationship and that it was a dirty situation with a porn star a year after he was married to his wife and then hush money paid off. if that is all proven out with physical evidence and pictures, this is going to be completely different and it's going to have ramifications across the board.
4:13 am
>> i think kasie, again, republicans once again on the hill are going to be asking more questions about donald trump, this time more complicated than the latest tweet. >> and let me tell you how to handle this in the context of being a reporter on capitol hill is awkward to say the least when the question -- >> well, it is what it is. >> -- the question to these senators most of whom lead upstanding lives. >> and are here to serve the country. >> exactly. it's not exactly a comfortable situation to say hey, what do you think about the president and the porn star and all of these tawdry details? and the couple things i would say just to -- is president trump has always denied everything to do with these women. deny, deny, deny. that has been his strategy, said i didn't do it, they're liars. by going into this arbitration situation and having sarah huckabee sanders acknowledge it from the podium, you are acknowledging there is a there there. and this is a significant -- i don't think we should overlook how significant of a defor chpa
4:14 am
of what he's done in the past. also nobody understands the power of a photograph better than president trump. >> that's for sure and it seems like everything he's judged in terms of people and photographs of themselves ends up to be somewhat of -- >> when we say it's baked into the cake, it's a pretty big cake at this point. and someone left it out in the rain. but i will give you a window into the -- >> by the way, 1968. >> well, there was the donna summer version. >> stop, please. >> i'll give you a window into the "new york times" newsroom, and elizabeth is getting nervous here. >> yeah, where are you going? >> someone, i don't remember who it was blurted out a couple days ago, whatever happened to guns? and it was kind of a -- i don't know if he or she was being sarcastic or critical of the news media industrial complex or the white house or the collective attention span that we're all working with here but the fact is we're talking about awkward topics like stormy
4:15 am
daniels and so forth but we're playing into the m.o. of one distraction after another where a very real and very vision ram and very on-the-ground issue and tragic issue still linger over everything which is guns and the fact that there will be another incident in all likelihood and people will be asking what we're talking about. >> we can talk about the kurds moving away from the fight in syria right now and the possibility that all the gains made against isis could be lost. there's news reporting of that. and one of the things that was so frustrating back in the 1990s is on government reform in oversight panel. there were so many things that were concerning about donald trump, the most concerning about bill clinton -- the most concerning to me was the selling of technology to the chinese by one of bill clinton's biggest contributors to the dnc. >> but that was not getting talked about as much as -- >> but nobody would -- nobody cared. we talked about that, we talked
4:16 am
about one lie after another lie, nobody paid attention and suddenly monica lewinsky comes up and everybody wants to talk about monica lewinsky and you're still going wait, why does that draw the focus? but the exchange of missile technology -- so one of bill clinton's contributors could make millions of dollars doesn't matter. >> and that's what's been different about this that there are so many issues than this white house. there's potential war with north korea. there's the tariffs, the russia investigation. stormy daniels was way down on the list. >> we haven't really covered the stormy daniels story with great fervor. i mean, this -- we've kind of at this point have to. >> but going to what elizabeth just said, yesterday, huge news again on tariffs. >> and on the -- >> huge news on the mueller investigation.
4:17 am
huge news about the president possibly witness tampering with don mcgahn. >> gary cohn left two days ago. >> oh, my god. >> gary cohn left the seychelles meeting. there is so much news that you really do. this is the first time we've talked a thbt story at length because there's so many other issues out there. >> this is about character with the president obviously but these other issues have far greater consequence for the rest of us. >> yes, they do impact -- >> and the world. >> can we talk about that story? >> sure. >> really quickly. michael schmidt story this morning about -- >> the witnesses? >> about the witnesses, yes. >> as you know, the president talked to two people, don mcgahn, the white house counsel and reince priebus who was in the chief of staff about what they had talked about with mueller and while the view is that this is not considered witness tampering, it still does not look good.
4:18 am
when the president asked his chief of staff, how did it go, were they nice to you? he's not supposed to be looking into this. >> it sounds like the loyalty oath question which is a question about a lot more than it sounds. >> elizabeth, before you go, we want to mention a great new project that the "new york times" is launching this morning. since 1851 the "times" has published thousands of obituaries. the vast majority chronicling the lives of white men. in fact, even in the last two years, only about 20% of the subjects were women so this morning on international women's day the "times" launches "overlooked" a new project to reverse those numbers. i love this. this is such a window into history. overlooked will write the obituaries of the women who never received them, recalling the stories of the women who left indelible marks but were nonetheless overlooked. it begins today with 15 legendary women including ida b.
4:19 am
wells to name a few. as the project grows, it will expand to include others who were passed over as well, especially women of color. the paper is also introducing a campaign entitled "the truth has a voice" centering on three messages -- the truth has a voice, the truth will not be overlooked, the truth connects us. and this is all part of the "times" truth is hard campaign to showcase the original on-the-ground deeply reported independent journalism and we are really excited about this so thank you very much for being on, elizabeth. still ahead on "morning joe," florida does what washington hasn't. the state passes gun safety measures as legislation on capitol hill remains out of reach. we'll talk to a leading voice on the issue, senator dick blumenthal of connecticut. plus -- >> i do think this is pure red meat for the base and i would assume, but this is pure
4:20 am
speculation, that jeff thinks that donald will be happier with him and i'm sure donald will be tweeting his joy at this particular performance but it's not about law enforcement, it's not about justice and it demeans the high office to which he has been appointed. >> california jerry brown tears into attorney general jeff sessions over a federal lawsuit involving sanctuary cities. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back with much more. don't we need that cable box to watch tv? nope. don't we need to run? nope. it just explodes in a high pitched 'yeahhh.' yeahhh! try directv now for $10 a month for 3 months.
4:21 am
no satellite needed. we see two travelers so at a comfort innal with a glow around them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at". who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom. book now at
4:22 am
4:23 am
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.
4:24 am
three weeks after the school shooting in parkland, florida, florida's house of representatives passed major gun control legislation for the first time in two decades. the house passed the marjory stoneman douglas high school public safety act by a vote of
4:25 am
67-50 last night after eight hours of emotional debate. the state senate passed the bill on monday. the bill would raise the minimum age to buy firearms to 21, impose a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases, bans bump stocks and possibly allow teachers to carry guns in schools but it does not ban assault-style rifles. it also provides new mental health programs for schools and creates a risk protection order allowing police to confiscate the guns of people are involuntarily committed under the state's baker act or pose a threat to themselves or others. the bill now heads to the desk of governor rick scott who declined to say yesterday whether he would sign it into law. also yesterday, senate democrats held a hearing for the relatives and victims of survivors of gun violence with deeply-felt testimony from fred guttenberg whose daughter jamie was killed in the parkland florida school
4:26 am
shooting three weeks ago. >> i'm not sure how many of you are aware of the video that the nra put out two days ago. they put a target on all of your backs, okay? the nra, a lobby that finances campaigns that forces legislation put out a video basically saying your time is running out and here is dana loesch in the video talking to legislators who don't support her, members of the media who she called out by name members of the community and sports figures telling everybody if they don't get behind the nra their time is running out and she had an hour glass, at the end of her talk she turned it over and said "your time's up." a few days before this video she had another video called "a call to arms." i ask you a question. if this was put out by a terrorist organization, we would be raising the terror threat
4:27 am
level in this country. why are we letting this lobby have anything to do in d.c.? i don't understand it. >> with us now, we have a member of the arms services and judiciary committees. democratic senator richard blumenthal of connecticut who's working on a bipartisan gun reform bill with republican senator lindsey graham. well, that's personal to us because mika's name is mentioned, there are a series of these ads that clearly incite violence, any reasonable person looking at these ads, i'm sure you've seen them all, they use violent language, violent images, violent rhetoric and it -- let's just say it has caused serious complications for many people named there. and so let's start with that. it's beyond remarkable that wayne lapierre would use violent language and rhetoric and say
4:28 am
that people -- mika's time was running out. and i'm just -- i'm wondering, is -- how does a lobbying organization do that? threatening people's physical safety has nothing to do with lobbying. >> these kinds of physical threats i think ultimately work against the nra. the tide is shifting against the nra's -- >> is that an incitement of violence? >> it could be under some circumstances. it certainly betrays a kind of viciousness that i think the american people ought to reject. >> your time is running out. >> your time is running out. and the kinds of rhetoric that are used actually i think have been encouraged by the trump white house in its vehemence on this topic. now the nra goes way beyond what
4:29 am
the president did during the campaign in terms of inciting this kind of violence but it reflects the demeaning and diminishing of our civility. >> let's talk about the florida -- >> those need to go down. >> it does. and by the way, while they're going around making threats and certainly that's not the only video, i've seen other videos where they say to the "new york times" something like you're in our targets or we're coming after you. it's always -- the language is just extraordinarily violent. >> it verges on illegal threat. it certainly comes close. whether it goes over the line or not we can debate. >> but you were attorney general of connecticut. if somebody was running ads against the governor -- >> someone in your office, what would you do? >> -- saying we're coming after you and your time is running out, governor malloy, what would you do as attorney general? >> i think i would look at the
4:30 am
context, whether it potentially is time is running out politically as opposed to physically but i think that the main point here is, joe, that it incites and encourages the kind of violence we've seen by its followers. >> right. let's talk about the florida bill. some people may say that's modest. i'm from florida and i can tell you that given the gun legislation that is passed over the last decade, last 15 years, i mean, nra has just had free rein in that state. there are people that the assault style weapon ban went down. i was shocked the vote was ast as close as it was and was really surprised by what happened there and really surprised by polls i saw coming out of florida. you want to see a sea change in guns? i quote the legendary tim russert, it's florida, florida, florida.
4:31 am
it looks like a sea change. >> it does look like a real seismic shift in where the country's going and the most important fact about florida is that it did something. there are defects, the arming of teachers, the failure to ban assault weapon purchases but they pass the red flag statute, for example, which is what senator graham and i will be introducing at the federal level today. they took other action which years ago in florida would have been unthinkable. >> why is it that there still is no -- you are introducing this bill but there's no indication that mitch mcconnell is willing to put gun legislation of any kind on the floor, even the legislation that would make changes to the nics background check system that the nra does not oppose. is there any way to break through that?
4:32 am
i think there are people watching what you're doing feeling as though this happens over and over and over again and the response is still the same. >> they have a right to feel frustrated as i do. when i think about the complicity of congress in not only the mass slaughter we've seen but also the 90 deaths everyday, many of them by people who are known to be dangerous, as the parkland shooter was and could be stopped if red flag statutes were adopted by states and at the federal level, taking guns out of the hands of dangerous people. the vice-like grip of the nra on the congress i think is breaking and it's breaking because of these students who are marching with passion and energy, with signs like "our blood, your hands." putting the responsibility exactly where it belongs and that's where i think this florida step is significant because it shows republicans have to do something. this is what my colleagues on the republican side tell me.
4:33 am
we have to do something. well, the question is what is something? i think mitch mcconnell has to relent to that pressure. >> do you think this bill is something that could penetrate that? do you have any indication that senator mcconnell would want to put this on if floor under any circumstances? >> i think it could well be a very important bipartisan breakthrough. senator graham is a respected member of the republican caucus and this bill is narrowly tailored to deal with people who demonstrate that they are dangerous to themselves or others. it has worked in the five states where it has been law, including connecticut and indiana where it's been on the books for some time. it saves lives and it guarantees due process so i think it has a mental health component, it has a bipartisan breakthrough
4:34 am
element that could very much rally support on both sides of the aisle. >> willie, i've been surprised talking to republicans up and down the political food chain in the state of florida and in washington, d.c. republicans who are saying their leadership needs to get it. that things have changed and we're talking about people who have been loyal to the nra for decades ini atallahasse and her and it does seem that florida bill yesterday certainly showed a change is out there. >> it remains to be seen if governor scott will sign the bill. he has concerns about the aspect of the bill that provides more funding to arm educators inside of schools. senator blumenthal, i would ask you, being from the state of connecticut and a senator there, people always say after sandy hook nothing changed and if nothing is going to change after
4:35 am
a classroom full of first graders is slaughtered when will it ever change? actually, as you know in the state of connecticut things did change. you put in place new laws on guns. it looks like that may happen in the state of florida. so my question to you is, if it's so difficult at the federal level, is the way in to gun reform, if that's what you're after, at the state level, to get it done state by state? obviously it's much more difficult in some states than it would be in connecticut, for example, but is that the way to attack this problem? >> i think that is a really excellent question, willie, and it raises two points. at the state level, the laws have worked. crime violence with guns is down in states like connecticut. the red flag statute that we have results in preventing probably 100 to 150 people every year from having guns. it enables them to receive psychiatric care in more than half the cases. it saves lives and we can show
4:36 am
the results in connecticut of the tough gun laws and that experience i think argues powerfully for more state laws. but here's the reason we need federal laws. the strongest state laws like connecticut's are at the mercy of the weakest because guns travel across state lines. our boundaries are porous to firearms so we are at the mercy with the states with the weakest laws and i think there will be continued movement at the state level and i think it will help build momentum for stronger federal laws but only five states now have this red flag statute. one is indiana. that's important because our vice president is from indiana and its experience there is persuasive evidence that will hopefully reach both sides of the aisle. >> i want to ask you about the legal troubles swirling around this presidency. i will spare you stormy. the "new york times" report that donald trump asked witness what is they discussed with special
4:37 am
counsel, including reince priebus one of them and also the report that eric prince, an informal adviser to the trump campaign had a meeting in the seychelles between the'm ra cro prince from the united arab emirates. >> it smacks of witness tampering. this kind of conversation initiated by the president is sort of almost black-and-white obstruction and it further builds an already-krin case of obstruction of justice against the president of the united states. what we're seeing i think is the special counsel focusing on the president's continuing efforts to stymie or stop this investigation. the james comey firing, the attempts to fire mueller and sessions, the dictation of a
4:38 am
deceptive statement for his son to give about the trours meeting, there is an accumulating web, a mosaic here, and the pieces are falling into place and on collusion the meeting that occurred at the seychelles in january of 2016 i think is also very, very important and powerful evidence of the building case on collusion because they were there with a representative of vladimir putin, with the emiratis and this kind of building case we're seeing speaks to the methodical and careful work the special counsel is doing out of the public eye. >> senator richard blumenthal,
4:39 am
it was good to have you on. thank you very much. still ahead, senator claire mccaskill will be here. we'll get her thoughts on the president's plan for tariffs and the democrats' chances, including her own, in the midterms. "morning joe" is coming right back. why is dark magic so spell-bindingly good? it's a bold blend of coffee
4:40 am
with rich flavors of uganda, sumatra, colombia and other parts of south america. like these mountains, each amazing on their own. but together? magical. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee roasters.
4:41 am
whilnothing comparested modeto the real thing.d... experience the command performance sales event for yourself, now through april 2. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
4:42 am
4:43 am
attorney general jeff sessions is standing by the justice department's lawsuit filed against california for its sanctuary laws. sessions defended the decision yesterday while speaking to 200 law enforcement officials in the state's capital after this california's governor jerry brown unleashed a tirade against the attorney general and the trump administration. >> california, we have a problem. a series of actions and events has occurred here that directly and adversely impact the work of our federal officers. i.c.e. agents do incredible work everyday, they're not backing down, they're not going to be deterred and we're not going to stop enforcing the law in alabama or california either for that matter. >> this is really unprecedented for the chief law enforcement of the united states to come out to
4:44 am
california and act more like fake news than a law enforcement officer and this attorney general is maybe trying to keep his job because the president isn't too happy with him. this is completely unprecedented for the chief law enforcement of the united states to come out here and engage in political stunt, mike wild accusations, many of which are based on outright lies. >> that battle between the trump administration and the state of california comes as we're hearing more stories about the effect the president's immigration policy is having on families. "time" magazine has those stories coming up next on "morning joe."
4:45 am
more and more people are finding themselves in a chevrolet for the first time. trying something new can be exciting. empowering. downright exhilarating. see for yourself why chevrolet is the most awarded and fastest growing brand, the last four years overall. switch into a new chevy now. current qualified competitive owners and lessees can get this 2018 chevy equinox for around $199 a month. chevrolet. find new roads. for around $199 a month. we see two travelers so at a comfort innal with a glow around them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at". who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom. book now at
4:46 am
and sometimes, i don't eat the way i should. so, i drink boost. boost high protein nutritional drink has 15 grams of protein to help maintain muscle
4:47 am
and 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d. boost high protein be up for it we're all under one roof now. congratulations. thank you. how many kids? my two. his three. along with two dogs and jake, our new parrot. that is quite the family. quite a lot of colleges to pay for though. a lot of colleges. you get any financial advice? yeah, but i'm pretty sure it's the same plan they sold me before. well your situation's totally changed now. right, right. how 'bout a plan that works for 5 kids, 2 dogs and jake over here? that would be great. that would be great. that okay with you, jake? get a portfolio that works for you now and as your needs change from td ameritrade investment management.
4:48 am
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. so possibly the greatest tweet ever. john heilemann i go to you. you've seen it. the '60s at 50. they actually put out -- sent us the billboard chart, john, from
4:49 am
this week in 1974. number one -- >> of course. >> -- "seasons in the sun." this week in 1974. >> glad we got that out there. >> also, some of the great am songs at all time, number four "jungle boogie" number five "rock on" by david essex, as good as it gets. and at number 11, "love's thing" love unlimited orchestra barry white. >> isn't "spiders and snakes" on there, too? >> and that ain't what it takes to love me. >> that's top ten this week. >> but i would think your favorite jim stafford song would be "wildwood weed." "sunshine on my shoulder" by john denver. that's a classic. my favorite mccartney song ever "jet" coming in. >> so strong. also let me roll with this. >> the lenin primal scream at
4:50 am
the end. >> wow. >> "come and get your love" in the top 20 here and at number 20, ringo "you're 16." actually, little history here, the first 45 i ever purchased. >> oh, my god. >> "you're the beatles all sort of got together on that album and the solo they sent the tapes from la over to england and as paul mccartny knew the solo in year 16. he sent them back a solo and what did he play? >> i don't know. >> a gazoo.
4:51 am
>> we sent that all the way over to england. >> that was a virtual beatles album. it's a really strong record. i will say. >> for kids at home saying what ringo song should i listen to that i haven't heard yet. . 6:00. >> was that the pop ringo star. >> year 16. >> time magazine, the magazine new cover story. looks at the impact of the trump administration's immigration crackdown. an important cover and give us a sense of what you all reveal. >> so, trump is always talked a big game on immigration. obviously the founding theme of his campaign. haley edwards has gone out and see what the impact of the policies being implemented at dhs are. and what's interesting here is that everyone knows there's such an enormous population of
4:52 am
undocumented people in the u.s. that dhs even working full tilt could not deport everybody if they wanted to. they only can deport maybe 4% of undocumented population a year. so every other president has prioritized who they want to get out of the country. trump has explicitly said we're going to not prioritize anyone. everyone is a target. what the story is about is the human coast of thst of that pol what it means is not so much an increase in the number of people kicked out of the country as sort of spreading feeling of fear that everybody is a target. in communities across the country, you have this sense of dread, even among people who don't need to fear deportation. >> one of the threats and things i've been hearing from as i talk to members of communities on the hill and others over at dhs is
4:53 am
this idea that people who are coming here with their children is creating a new problems that they feel like they need to deal with. and the idea that they're separating families both here who are living here and coming into the united states, how has the trump administration if your magazi magazine's reporting changed how we handle children in the system. >> the reports gets an interesting question. trump has railed against china may graduation and anchor based. in fact the process does not provide a lot of recourse for someone who has an american child who is born here. and a parent who is deported. imitate literally decades for a parent to get legal status in the united states via some petition from their minor child. so that whole line of argument from the administration has essentially been a red herring.
4:54 am
>> mit's willie geist here in nw york. attorney general jeff sessions in sacramento railing against sanctuary cities. how does that debate play out. not just progressives in california, but people across the country who say look, sanctuary cities are in violation of immigration law. >> it is in a way working. the point of the fear is to create -- the point of the policy is to create this sense of dread. the point of the dread is to create a deterrent to new people coming in and also to fuel self deportation in the famous phrase. so there is this tension taking place in the sanctuary cities as well where people feel a little bit safer, but then in recent weeks, we've seen in california an uptick in ice raids throughout california, including in some sanctuary cities.
4:55 am
it's really a battle playing out in cities that are trying no, ma'amlyto provide that protection. still ahead, senator joins us onset at the top of the hour. also, jared kushner continues to play secretary of state. downgraded clearance and all. this time meeting with the mexican president and foreign minister with the u.s. ambassador for mexico. we'll discuss the implications for u.s. foreign policy. plus. >> the president of the united states needs to answer the basic questions relateding to relationship. do so just like bill clinton did. do so like gary did. do so like countless other politicians have done over the last 30 years. >> how does the stormy daniels
4:56 am
scandal stack up to the most notorious political sex scandals in recent memory. presidential historian michael offers some perspective. morning joe is back live in a moment. so, that goal you've been saving for, you can do it. we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools
4:57 am
are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement while saving for the things you want to do today. -whoo!
4:58 am
while saving for the things let's team up to get the lady of the house back on her feet. and help her feel more strength and energy in just two weeks yaaay! the complete balanced nutrition of (great tasting) ensure with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. ensure. always be you. a heart transplant... that's a whole different ballgame. i was in shock. i am very proud of the development of drugs
4:59 am
that can prevent the rejection and prevent the recurrence of the original disease. i never felt i was going to die. we know so much about transplantation. and we're living longer. you cannot help but be inspired by the opportunities that a transplant would offer. my donor's mom says "you were meant to carry his story".
5:00 am
jeff sessions is don't go work there. and i've heard story after story of capable people in the gary cohn trying to be recruited by the white house and no one wants to go. >> welcome back to morning joe. on this thursday, march 8. willie geist is in new york. and here in washington, nbc news capitol hill correspondent host of kasie dc on msnbc. kasie hunt. oh, yeah. three times this morning is a record. >> going to get the t-shirts on. "new york times" reporter jeremy peters is with us as well. washington bureau chief for usa today susan page joins us. also with us member of the
5:01 am
senate arms and finance committees, top ranking democrat on the homeland security committee. senator of missouri running for re-election this year. claire, good to have you on board. >> good to be here. >> how's the campaign. >> campaign is great. i actually enjoy. >> this is what you do. >> this is what i do. it's really hard work. i've moved around missouri with a vengeance and i will continue to do that. try to -- and i love that part. i love actually going into the very small communities and sitting down and walking in the diners and talking to people about what they're angry about. and what they're frustrated with. >> what are you hearing. >> what is really missing, everybody in washington is mi missing this. health care cost and health insurance cost. that is the notion of the republicans came in and said we're going to repeal and replace. and we're going to do something to alleviate the spiraling costs of health care. and they've done nothing except
5:02 am
sabotage the only system that we currently have. they've unleashed insurance companies to do crazy things. we've got an insurance company in missouri that is saying they won't tell you if they're going to pay for an emergency room until after you've been. people are trying to self diagnose whether or not they go to emergency room. this is crazy. we've got to really hunker down in washington and realize that allowing the republicans to sabotage and undermine the only system we have for people to get affordable insurance through subsidies on the markets and frankly unaffordable way for them to get it. if they don't get it at work. is to get back to work and fix it. and that's what i'm upset about. the pharmaceutical costs are crazy. the greed is overwhelming. the investigations identify d s shows the pharmaceutical industry doesn't look at what they got in the tax bill. they got a windfall in the tax bill. what have they done, $50 billion to shareholders. have not lowered a price of a
5:03 am
drug one penny. >> mika and i have been talking to quite a few doctors over the past six months on health care we form. we hear the same thing. it's a lot like what you've talking about. that the main thing in health care is preventive care. that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care. in this case, what they're finding not just in missouri, but across the country is health care costs are going up. deductibles are going up. and everything is going up so what they're doing is because they can't afford to go in for the preventive care, they're staying away and getting hit on the oh side of it. so the very thing we're trying to encourage is actually not happening now because deductibles, they get higher deductibles because those are the only policies that they can afford. >> that's right. >> and then they don't go to get
5:04 am
the care they need up front. >> they've cut the resources that we put in the aca for prevention. we've got all the incentives misaligned. we should be paying doctors who are doing a good job of keeping people from getting sick rather than paying them for how many times they treat someone. that's why our costs are so high. there's so many of us who want to get to work and do this. for the life of me, i cannot understand. we have bipartisan bills ready to go. what they do to make it better. i do not understand why the republicans think this is a winner for them politically. >> let's talk about the news today. the president tweeting that he's going to get together at 3:30 and going to talk about tariffs. it's on again, off again. that wasn't even on the schedule. president saying look accident forward to 3:30 p.m. meeting today at the white house, which again i don't believe is on the white house schedule. it's probably news to a lot of people. at the white house is this tariff conversation continues.
5:05 am
>> we think he's going to impose these tariffs today. with carveouts at least temporarily for mexico and canada. one more sign that what he said yesterday may not be what he does today. tariffs have been a moving target for the white house. and about half of the republicans on the hill have urged the president publically not to go ahead with this. this is an issue that divides not just republicans and democrats. republicans at the white house and republicans on the hill. and republicans within the white house are divided, although of course gary cohn famously leaving as the policy takes place. >> claire? >> in my state, there's a lot of concern about agricultural. that's is the easiest retaliation that will occur. here's the nutty thing about what he has done. if this is about china, do a trade policy that targets china. china does 3% of steel. you know who is in the top four besides canada and mexico, our two biggest exports in missouri for corn and beans, is south
5:06 am
korea. now, really, right now, we want to do this with south korea. >> a trade war with south korea when we need south korea so desperately around issues of national security. so this is going to cost a lot of jobs and i don't think that calculation has been looked at fairly by the white house. so listen, all of us want fair str trade. and i'm -- but we've already given china the run of the house with abandoning the tpp. they're moving into that vacuum and doing very well on trade and that part of the world because of us leaving tpp. i think this is a big mistake for the president. once again looks like he shot from the hip with a sludge hammer instead of using a sk something more appropriate. >> front page of "new york times." we had michael schmit on before about the president possibly witness tampering. just an offhand remark to reince
5:07 am
priebus that was ill advised to say the least. then suggesting that don mcgahn changed the story he told bob mueller. actually, seems like more problems for a white house that is absolutely up to its neck in political problems. >> you talk to people around the president who understand his state of mind right now and really understand how he views the mueller investigation. there's two emotions at kwowork here. one, donald trump appears to be quite rattled by this investigation. that's why he's asking people, what are they asking? what's going on in the investigation? how did the questioning go? because he's a little spooked. on the other hand, he's also very arrogantly and indismissively brushing this off as nothing. he's been told by certain advisers the president can't get indicted. he's been told he won't in fact have to sit down with mueller, and you have people around him like sean hannity who are saying this is a political witch hunt.
5:08 am
this is not going to get -- affect you. you don't have to take it seriously. when sean hannity is your legal adviser, this is going to fill your head with this nonchalant about this investigation. it could help explain why he's acting so recklessly. >> claire, as former prosecutor, what interests you the most about the past 24 hours? stormy daniels, potentially talking to reince and don mcgahn about what they talked with mueller about or the -- is important. changing what he said about something. that is a real flashing red light to a prosecutor. the prosecutor seems to me what is going on is the president thought this was going to be his justice department. he thought these lawyers were like the lawyers he hired for real estate deals. he thought they were working for him, not for the constitution.
5:09 am
they didn't take an oath to donald trump. they took an oath to constitution. we have in this country a separation between politics and law enforcement. the rest of the world envies. we have to be very sure that doesn't get eroded during this presidency. it's important to the character of our country. >> john, over the past 24 hours. obviously a story that we've hardly covered and most people have hardly covered. the stormy daniels story. on front pages of a lot of newspapers. i heard your talking about it yesterday. and quite a few people around the show suggesting that this scandal could be different for the president. >> it's different because of the stuff the president is embroiled in right now in terms of bob mueller and special prosecutor and special counsel is complica complicated. all serious and talk about it all day long and we should. bank fraud, money laundering.
5:10 am
collusion, conspiracy, corruption. these are complicated stories. sex scandals are not complicated. complicated in a different way. strike a visceral thing for the american public, especially in this moment. this me too movement in america where a lot of women i think are watching this and there are a lot of women that are frustrated donald trump got away with the access hollywood video and accusations against him in the campaign. now you have someone who is going to be potentially all over television telling the story and maybe has corroborating evidence that she engaged in extra marital affair with the president and he paid her much money in the middle of the campaign to shut her up. it's dangerous for him. also as you pointed out, throws an additional level of volatility into the trump households. the relationship he has with his wife. there's already a lot of broiling emotions around the relationship he has with his kids. this is a white house that cannot stand a lot more chaos,
5:11 am
but it may be plunged into a different kind of chaos than it's had before. >> senator, it's willie here in new york. i don't know if you read the local papers, but you're engaged in a tight seat for the senate state in missouri. a lot of people will be watching. a state where president trump won months ago. where do you come down on guns. you've introduced a bill on gun safety. how far are you willing to go, for example, do you believe that an ar-15, an assault style semiautomatic rifle, ought to be banned. >> i have voted to do that before. i have -- the nra has come after me in every election i've ever had. i have an f from the nra. having said that, i am a supporter of the second mae amendment. i was raisedarou ed around guns i was raised in a rural community. my dad was an avid hunter. what irritates me about this
5:12 am
debate is somehow being for gun safety equals being against the second amendment. no. you can be for the second amendment and be for gun safety. and most gun owners are in that spot. and that's where i am. there's a long list of things we should be doing right now that will not infringe upon the second amendment, but will hopefully help us keep our children safe in schools. >> what do you believe? for example you say the age ought to be raised in the bipartisan bill that you introduced. minimum age ought to be raised to 21 to purchase ar-15. what else do you think? let's take the case of parkland. what else would have prevented that in a pesk case. i thi >> the age. do what the president talked about which is having a court procedure where if a family member believes that they have someone who could do something terrible like this, there's a way the court could intervene very briefly with due process just like we do with orders of protection in the domestic violence realm. if a woman is in a situation
5:13 am
where she needs protection from physical abuse, she can go to court for a brief period of time without any input from the person who she accuses of abusing her, she can keep that person away from her. so i think we can do the same thing with guns that would allow due process and hopefully provide the protection that we also desperately need for our kids in schools. >> claire, i want to ask you a question about where the arms services committee is. senate arms service committee. i talked to ted cruz about this yesterday. wall street journal story accomplished last night about how the currents are now kurds syria and our effort to keep isis down. there's a void there. and the united states, there's this growing frustration among u.s. military about a lack of policy. we have pushed back isis. they fear that isis could come
5:14 am
back. if we pull back. so two questions, number one, should we have a policy that more openly engages the kurds and instead offend seeing that as a partnership of convenience, talk about how important the kurds are as an ally and figure out how we help them moving forward. so the remain by our side. number two, are we going to come up with a policy, a stated policy that says the united states will continue doing what the united states has to do to keep isis back on their heels. >> first of all, you need to understand that putin is busy in syria. and, you know, our failure to deal effectively with putin's war on our democracy is having some ripple affect in terms of how boldly he is stepping in to this phase with assad and doing things in syria.
5:15 am
second thing, turkey. turkey is a big problem. the reason syrians are leaving is turkey is fighting them. turkey is a member of nato. in the old days. >> let us just say, a very bad member of nato. >> correct. in the old days, nato would go to our friends in nato and nato would begin to circumstance and will try to p ut pressuut press turkey to back off what they're doing. we don't have that juice in nato anymore because this administration has really been dismissive. >> i understand all of that. of course we had a fire fight with russians and killed quite a few a few weeks back which is extraordinary story in itself for how little coverage that had. we are where we are. our military men and women are out on the frontlines and have done a remarkable job along with the kurds in driving isis outs of their strongholds. how do we make sure we don't repeat the same mistake we made in iraq in 2011? >> an awful lot of pressure is sitting on the shoulders of jim
5:16 am
mattis. mattis has strong military to military relationships. much stronger than our diplomatic relationships right now. because of some of the -- the impulsivity. the lack of consistency. >> unfilled positions. >> that's the enemy of strong foreign policy. it may be good in real estate deals. not so good in foreign policy. what we really have to do is continue to do it. i know secretary mattis is doing and maintaining lines of communication, military to military, and try to hold on to whatever we can in terms of coalition and fighting isis. it's a problem. no question. >> we're talking about isis and turkey and even the gun debate, which is not really gotten this kind of sustained attention that you would think in the aftermath of the latest most terrible shooting. and i wonder, is this -- when you're in congress looking at trying to deal with these issues, is this a cost of the scandals and the controversies that are surrounding the white house? is there just not the band width
5:17 am
to deal with the issues they affect people's lives. >> it is a problem. one of the most damaging things going on susan is there are good things getting done on a bipartisan biefs wiby par partis partisan. we have lowered the case significantly. that's a big deal to thousands of missouri olympians that can't afford hearing aides. nobody in missouri knows it happened. it happened. it went to congress. went to the president's desk. going to bring down the cost of hearing aides by thousands of dollars. you know what people in missouri think, we're just up here fighting. the fight gets all the coverages. the chaos gets all the coverage. as a result, the cynicism about our government and that some of us are really keeping our nose to the grindstone and going a lot of hard work gets lost in the shuffle and then people do something which i think is maybe not a good idea. they do something like electing a reality tv star president because they're so cynical about the swamp. >> i'm so glad you brought up
5:18 am
the bipartisan ship was a mika and i were up on the hill yesterday. went and talked to republicans. we talked -- kind enough to invite us to the democratic whip meeting. what i found to be extraordinary and nobody outside of washington will believe it. is actually the level of anger of an mouse to the other side was lower then when i was here in the 1990s. you had democrats, i can't talk about the specifics of the meeting. it was extraordinary how open minded they were about wanting to strike deals with republicans. it was extraordinary to have republicans that i talked to said, we really want our leadership to start working with democrats. we want to get more things done.
5:19 am
got to tell you, it was -- i think most americans would be shocked by how -- well, the lack of ranker behind the scenes between republicans and democrats. we have a dysfunctional system. >> dysfunctional white house for sure. >> well, and a dysfunctional system for 25 years. that actually encourages the most extreme elements to like you said, get all the headlines. and to dominate the debate. >> that's why the immigration thing was so heart breaking. wednesday night we had 59 shovo. the white house and homeland security -- we worked for hours and hours with respondent's exhibitst republicans and democrats. dozens republicans and 13 or 14 democrats and got this compromise. it was good. it wasn't exactly what i wanted, but it is the way the senate is supposed to work. what happened? we had 59 votes on wednesday night. by thursday morning the white
5:20 am
house had totally trashed it in a way that was totally unfair and not fact based. and then some of the republicans ran off once he said he was going to veto it and not able to stitch it back together again. we came close and i'm not giving up and a bunch of us are not giving up. the middle has to hold for our democracy to work. >> senator claire, always great to see you. >> thank you guys. it's almost time. opening day. >> he's very excited. >> i am taking jack down to see the cardinals play in jupiter in a couple of weeks. >> good. >> fun. >>, and, of course, going to have to drive across the state to jet blue stadium and see the red sox. >> susan page stay with us. still ahead on morning joe, presidential historian joins the table. of all the recent controversies from the white house, he says there was one in particular that needs a lot more scrutiny. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
5:21 am
don't we need that cable box to watch tv? nope. don't we need to run? nope. it just explodes in a high pitched 'yeahhh.' yeahhh! try directv now for $10 a month for 3 months. no satellite needed. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember.
5:22 am
i had severe fatigue, became diagnosed with hodgkin's lymphoma. he was a good candidate for immune therapy, which is allowing his immune system to attack the tumor. learn more at
5:23 am
brushing only reaches 25% of your mouth. listerine® cleans virtually 100%. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™
5:24 am
5:25 am
we want to try and do it during my first terms. at worst, any second terms. >> seven years from now. be here for the next seven years with me. after that, who knows. we've got seven years to go folks. we've got a long time to go. seven years. there is no reason to ever mention seven years again. >> those clips courtesy of the producers shows how donald trump sees himself as a two terms president until perhaps this weekend when he talked about being president for life. all right. joining us now author and nbc news historian who says that comment by the president may have more meaning than it appears. i agree with you. i think he actually thinks that way. >> we don't see presidents
5:26 am
saying things like maybe we should have a president for life. and this was the same week that the leader of china is making himself president for life. same thing is happening with putin in russia. donald trump has talked in the past about a future in which there is fears of influence in which leader of russia has his fear. leader of china has his fear. leader of united states has hi fear. and i think it's pretty appealing to him the idea of like xi and putin you have a leader for life who amassing enormous fortune. i'm not suggesting that's happening. not suggesting he even said it seriously, but we've got to preserve our democracy. we always have to be. >> worth noting. >> my mother always said nothing is every said in just. for those saying donald trump is joking, it's just -- that's not a plausible argument. if you look at everything he has said. if you look at the autocratic leaders across the world who he admires. who he has praised.
5:27 am
look at democratic elected allies in europe he has continue constantly had a difficult relationship with. the first part of that statement, actually, i thought is what made the second part so disturbing. him once again, praising an out kat. >> i agree. >> for consolidating power in what is the end a dictatorship. >> that's exactly right. we have to watch and one of the deepest traditions in this country was when gorge wa washington could have been president for life. everybody loved him. >> this is fitting with how president has approached the presidency from the beginning. look at the fuelty he demands from cabinet members. loyalty oath. i said i want someone out to protect me. not someone there to defend the constitution. which is actually their job.
5:28 am
you just think about more and more what donald trump seems to be saying is i am is the state. >> and also he loves the fact that putin and presumably the leader of china have been able to use these jobs and make an awful lot of money and that's been a theme during the last 13 months as well. >> he appears to not be educatable on this. hereto he can't be educated on what his job is and commitments are or he won't be. fair enough. >> curious what your thoughts are. i just think there's not only a lack of knowledge on american history and constitutional norms. there is certainly a an intellectu intellectual, lack of intellectual curiosity.
5:29 am
and to also say the justice department works in a separate spear when you're part of the investigation. >> did you waoesn't know, doesn that's what led to what we're seeing. >> and won't learn. >> tomorrow msnbc is going to air a new documentary that looks back about allegations of gary hart knocked the front-runner from the 1988 presidential nomination out of the race. here's some of the guequestions hart had to face. >> do you believe. >> have you ever committed adultery? >> i do not have to answer that question. >> is your marriage monogamous. >> i do not need to answer that question. >> so michael, you can draw a line from that scandal to the one now facing president trump
5:30 am
with porn star stormy daniels. >> and maybe these gary hart, whatever happened with him and john edwards. they were not sitting presidents. and you've got a situation of a sitting president. many of trump's biggest champions have said, really doesn't matter what kind of a person he is. what matters is that he delivers the political goods for us on issues that we care about. every time i hear that, i remember you know, joe was here. i was here. 1998. some of the people most defending donald trump right now in 1998 were saying, it matters a lot what kind of person bill clinton is and if he's not someone who measures up to our stands, maybe he should not be president. >> i wonder if one of the lessons of gary hart is not that it's not the crime or the misbehavior, it's the reaction. it's the coverup. that may have been the case with gary hart. the case with john edwards. the case with bill clinton and that is a lesson i'm not sure
5:31 am
president trump has fully embraced yet. >> and think about it this way. what if bill clinton's impeachment start with, a lawsuit from a little known woman alleging sexual impropriety who everybody thought would go away. >> i will say, how extraordinary that gary hart faced those questions in 1988. was driven from the race. and four years later, bill clinton is elected president of the united states. he had reporters hiding in his bushes. think about that. so many things about gary hart and what happened to gary hart that i actually think did change politics, but also showed that four years later, americans said wait a second, we're not going to disqualify a president every
5:32 am
four years because we would have had to disqualify fdr, we would have disqualify ike. we could have had to disqualify, my gosh, just about everybody else. >> jfk. lbj. just about everybody was richard nixon and jimmy carter. >> but those were water sheds. >> by the way, if any family members of presidents i put into the category, i apologize. >> that would require a much longer show. we're in a water shed. this is the time of the me too movement. one other things, many people who support trump said i realize he's not a perfect person, but okay. this participates on it. and that is -- one thing if i could just throw in. 1973. it was found that nixon had put a lot a lot of government money in his homes.
5:33 am
that was something people really understood. watergate had been abstract to many people before then. >> you know what would have changed history. if gary hart answered honestly. or if bill clinton answered honestly. i mean, honesty by the way can change the trajectory of everything. >> absolutely. >> and the president will no get this one right. go ahead. >> i want to just ask michael. turn him from presidential historian to presidential media historian. you know what happened here part of the unlocking of the mystery that joe is talking about. after the gary hart scandal, the national press corps went through a period of self examination. said we're not sure. paul taylor and others on the leading edge of that. asked gary hart the questions. and had the period in the next four years where the press said we might have gone too far in
5:34 am
19 1988. there was a reticence about asking bill clinton those questions. clinton was kind of able to tough through it. then he came back again as you were suggesting by 1998 the press was again all over clinton's sexual behavior in monica lewinsky scandal. now we have two presidencies since then free of sex scandals. george w. bush. barack obama. two president with no hint of marital misconduct. now we have donald trump. where is the press right now in your view in the historical continu continuum. that seems to be an important point relative to what donald trump may be facing many the stormy daniels thing. >> it's capable of this going to be reported in huge detail john. because this is not just relationship with a woman. this is now gotten legal. there may be pictures, which is a new element we haven't had in
5:35 am
these previous episodes. >> maybe laws broken. campaign finance and others. the we may be going in a different direction. >> again, if the problem is there's a coverup or lies, it's not the presses fault for asking questions. >> absolutely not. that's the press's job here. >> very quickly. on the best and the worst president since world war ii. we've seen quite a few of these out. worst, donald trump, barack obama, richard nixon. we have to wait about 50 years for these to mean anything, don't we. >> i think anybody about the last 50 years is really politics because you haven't gotten enough information letters, documents and so on. and you also don't have hind site. you can't do history if you don't have hindsight and less than 50 years, not much hindsight. >> what president post world war ii president have you been surprised by who is reputation has risen the most. or that is being appreciated more now than say in 1985.
5:36 am
>> well, ronald reagan. you look at him on the last day he was president. a lot written at the time was poor reagan is going to be r reprimanded for terrible budget deficits. in retrospect even people democrats and liberals at the time say in many ways thank god reagan was there to help end the cold war. >> thank you so much. coming up another explosive column from one of our next guests who is taking on what she calls, quote, endless accusations of fascism and misogyny. keep it here on "morning joe." liberty mutual stood with me when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night. hold on dad... liberty did what? yeah, liberty mutual 24-hour roadside assistance
5:37 am
helped him to fix his flat so he could get home safely. my dad says our insurance doesn't have that. don't worry - i know what a lug wrench is, dad. is this a lug wrench? maybe? you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. at bp, everyone on an offshore rig depends on one another. that's why entire teams train together in simulators, to know exactly what to do before they have to do it. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. i'm all about my bed. this mattress is dangerously comfortable. when i get in, i literally say, ahh. introducing the leesa mattress. a better place to sleep. the leesa mattress is designed to provide strong support, relieve pressure and optimize airflow to keep you cool. today is gonna be great. read our reviews then try the leesa mattress in your own home. experience the leesa difference before you buy, at any west elm.
5:38 am
or go to and get $100 off. and free shipping too.
5:39 am
5:40 am
welcome back to morning joe. heavy snow causing problems to the commuting, trees, million people without power at this hour in the northeast. it could be a couple of days before they get it back. thankfully the weather will cooperate at least for the next two days and then we'll see what happens on monday. let's sew you some snowfall totals. it was so tight. philly, six inches.
5:41 am
still getted pasted in areas of new england. maine getting a lot of heavy snow. boston about done. start doing cleanup in massachusetts. also southern vermont and new hampshire. next storm. rainmaker throughout the upcoming weekend. main throughout mississippi and south. going to rule some of your saturday. pollen levels are high. people suffering will be happy to clear the air with rain. atlanta late day rain for you saturday. charlotte sunday morning rain. notice the little snow in the northern edge. question is does the storm go out to sea or will it sneak up the coast and be another nor'easter. especially eastern new england. figure that out as we go through the days. still a possibility. fingers crossed on leaning towards out to see. new york city with one of those spots. relatively spl relatively spared. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be back shortly.
5:42 am
it can detect a threat using ai, and respond 60 times faster. it lets you know where your data lives, down to the very server. it keeps your insights from prying eyes, so they're used by no one else but you. it is... the cloud. the ibm cloud. the cloud that's designed for your data. ai ready. secure to the core. the ibm cloud is the cloud for smarter business.
5:43 am
secure to the core. here's the story of green mountain coffee roasters sumatra reserve. let's go to sumatra. the coffee here is amazing. because the volcanic soil is amazing. so we give farmers like win more plants. to grow more delicious coffee. which helps provide for win's family. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee roasters. on the only bed that adjusts on both sides to your ideal comfort, your sleep number setting. does your bed do that? it's the last chance for clearance savings up to $600 on our most popular beds. ends soon. visit for a store near you.
5:44 am
the markets change... at t. rowe price... our disciplined approach remains. global markets may be uncertain... but you can feel confident in our investment experience around the world. call us or your advisor... t. rowe price. invest with confidence. she's noticing a real difference in her joint comfort... karen: "she's single." ...and high levels of humiliation in her daughter. in just 7 days, your joint comfort can be your kid's discomfort. osteo bi-flex. made to move. was a success for lastchoicehotels.comign badda book. badda boom. this year, we're taking it up a notch. so in this commercial we see two travelers at a comfort inn with a glow around them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at". who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom. nobody glows. he gets it. always the lowest price, guaranteed. book now at
5:45 am
5:46 am
welcome back to morning joe. "new york times" opinion writer and barry rice. tackles speech codes and identity politics on college campuses. also joining us white house reporter for the washington examiner, sara westwood. the headline of your column is we're all fascist now. talks about what's happening on culture and recent example of christina summers going to a campus and this idea of speech being treated of aggression. speech being treated as violence. terms like fascist being thrown around causally. >> christina hoff is a feminist. takes aim often at the third way feminism. says things have become taboo.
5:47 am
like the gap in stem fields is not just the result of sexism. actually contrary to received wisdom. the american school system is more harmful to boys than girls. she says things that piss people off and does it with a wicked sense of humor. >> which are often true. >> yes, and there's a lot of research to back up. things you said at an psychology no one would bat an eye. the question of agenda is has become so taboo you're not allowed to touch it. anyway, she goes to lewis and clark invited to give a speech to the law students there. a letter is circulated among nine student groups accusing her of being a known fascist. this is something that is, again, a registered democrat and feminist. the protesters show up and amazing video. i really commend people to go look at it online. really is emblem attic what is
5:48 am
going on at college campuses right now. an attempt to sideline extremely reasonable ideas. ideas that only a few years ago were considered liberal, libertarian or conservative. to tar them as fascist and alt-right to make them people a liability and do damage to them and to also dramatically limit the discourse. to dramatically limit freedom of speech and thought and of what's acceptab acceptable. >> she was shouted down. other students came in and started speaking over her. >> they said micro aggressions are real. they did something called no platforming. not giving a platform to fascist. she got through half of the talk. >> so free speech for me, but not thee. the law professor and diversit stepped in and asked ms. summerson to wrap upper speech.
5:49 am
she was asked by administration official at the school to wrap up her speech. >> right. we're treating -- and fairness to her. she later gave an interview and said, you know, i don't think she's a fascist, but the students were getting antsy. the point is this. students are being coddled and treated almost like professors are treating them -- taking on the role of being babysitters. universities used to be an r in a democracy. supposed to be a sacred place in the pursuit of truth. and increasingly seems they're in the business of turning out social justice warriors and giving them more of a respect and platform in this case than christina summers. >> it's so interesting barry that again, this you actually had a dean coming up, shutting her speech down because there were students shouting. i think one of the things that's been interesting over the past three to six months is you've actually seen some universities,
5:50 am
harvard comes to mind, that they've really taken a strong stance. charles murray. harvard grad said he was afraid to go back and speak there. harvard did not allow murray to be disrupted in such his voice couldn't be heard. the same thing with secretary devos. she went there. there are some universities that are actually getting this right. >> university of chicago is a huge one. i mean, really, everyone should go look at robert zimmer's letter about free speech and why it is so important to protect it. not just in a legalistic first amendment way but the spirit of the first amendment. which is crucial at universities. so some schools are getting it right, i agree. then you have places like yale, where they were kicked off of campuses for questioning halloween costumes. you have bernie sanders, an occupy supporter, who was tarred as a racist. him and his wife were kicked off
5:51 am
of campus. what kind of culture is this? >> also, you look at -- again, you look at the attacks against you. you're talking about free speech and you were attacked of course after this column for trying to inhibit free speech at columbia when, in fact, you were praised for actually being a free speech champion. and trying to get more voices out there. you were attacked and people tried to stifle your voice after writing this column. >> yes, i try not to look -- i've been called a alt right person before it was cool so i try not to focus on that. i try and focus on the issues that really matter. this issue matters not because it's a few overzealous students but because what happened on college campuses we've clearly seen over the decades informs the broader culture. these are the people, people that are going to these schools that are going to be the future
5:52 am
senators, the future leaders. if they are being taught that free speech is only free until it offends someone, that is a really big problem. >> so barry, in the original version of this piece when it posted, you had cited somebody who turned out to be a fake account. >> i did, yes. >> you use that as an example to make your case. >> i made a mistake and i corrected it, which is what we do in the newspaper business and i apologized immediately as soon as i saw it. it's very hard as we've learned from the last election. sometimes you fall for troll accounts. the fact is the person i described, dave rubin, i mentioned that he was called a fascist lieutenant, which was not true. if you go and you google him, you'll see in lots of mainstream publications, he's also been smeared as someone who's on the alt right. he's a gay liberal, so there you go. >> you loved this column. >> i did. i thought it was really interesting.
5:53 am
i think it's a dangerous trend. you can characterize speech you don't agree with as violence. in a less intense way, you see that reframed as moral disagreements. as a way to avoid ever having to engage an idea on the merits. when we're talking about whether it's net neutrality or tax reform, there are partisans on both sides that characterize, you know, tax cuts as hurting the poor, you know, or you're going to strip internet away from rural areas. they want to harm children's learning, you know. >> right. >> it becomes a moral disagreement. >> so let's talk about tariffs. you cover the white house for the washington examiner. maybe you can enlighten us. >> what exactly is the policy? >> well, we don't know. it was still in flux as late as into the night last night, you know, staff were pulling an all nighter. this is the kind of thing we've seen with trump. he'll throw out a crazy idea, whether it's we're going to leave nato.
5:54 am
we're going to tear up nafta. then retreats to a more reasonable position. and it's sort of a negotiating tactic to put the targets of that negotiation on notice. so we've seen him move gradually away from these tariffs are going to apply universally to all trading partners regardless of whether they're contributing to the global steel glut too. and they'll be exemptions. >> that's where we are now. we'll see what happens today. sarah westwood, thank you. barry weiss, thank you as well. we'll be right back with more "morning joe." but what a powerful life lesson. and don't worry i have everything handled. i already spoke to our allstate agent, and i know that we have accident forgiveness. which is so smart on your guy's part. like fact that they'll just... forgive you... four weeks without the car. okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it.
5:55 am
5:56 am
5:57 am
5:58 am
welcome back to "morning joe." it's time for five thoughts. willie geist. >> the stormy daniels story has been probably for a long time but now for sure a move from a slimy tabloid story to a story that could have serious legal implications for the president, including on campaign finance laws. we'll see what happens and what more she and her attorney are willing to make public. >> john. >> i suggested earlier we might be seeing some interesting, maybe even intimate photographs coming out of the stormy daniels case of our president. i'd like you to describe in one word your reaction to that thought. >> ew. >> let's hope not. susan. >> the trouble with throwing around a word like fascist to people who don't deserve is it if you meet an actual facist, you have watered down the power of that word. >> think about the way we now
5:59 am
tar people on college campuses, a lot of times talk about speech. as a form of aggression. that term micro aggression that you are actually wounding someone. it's just -- it's totally changed the way we interact with one another. made wusses out of our college kids. >> charles murray who wrote a book called "coming apart" and the very people who need to be reading that book are the democrats, the progressives. who have shouted him down at some college campus because he predicted the rise of trump three years before trump. you read that book and you understand why donald trump won. he wrote it in 2013. you've got to be open to ideas that actually don't come from your small corner. >> yes, you've been writing over the past few months for "the washington post." as a columnist. you've been writing about the gathering storm. >> right. >> wrong storm. it's the gathering stormy. that's coming up.
6:00 am
i'm telling you. that could be -- literally could be the thing that unravelled everything. it might be a prediction. that's way off. have you ever seen me wrong? >> well, i mean, if i had, i would never admit it on tv. >> right. i'm not. >> because i'm scared. >> that does it for us this morning. chris jansing. >> the gathering stormy. i like that. i'm going to steal that from you mika brzezinski. happy international women's day. this morning, a new report that the president spoke to two key witnesses in the russia probe about their conversations with special counsel robert mueller. >> why is he disregarding the legal advice to go to such lengths at such a critical time as this investigation is intensifying? >> this as the white house attempts to weather another storm. revelations that the president's lawyer obtained a secret restraining order to silence stormy daniels. confusion in the west wing. the president's plan to sign a


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on