tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 13, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
to undermine public faith by harming her electability and we further assess putin and the russian government developed a clear preference for president trump. >> that was part of the report last year. the headline, russia wanted donald trump to win. now house republicans are breaking with the own intelligence community disputing that finding and suddenly shutting down their probe into russian meddling. it's tuesday, march the 13th. also with us we've got the politics editor for the daily beast. so republican lawmakers on the
house intelligence committee have concluded their probe into russian interference drafting 150 page majority report which states they found no evidence that moscow colluded with the trump campaign. one of their findings found their committee concurs with their commission on russian meddling except with proposed pref for instance for candidate trump. although texasman who has been leading this probe said the panel found bad judgment and some inappropriate meetings between members of the trump campaign and russians last night conaway unveiled the findings on
fox news. >> yes, the russians tried to interfere with our election process, yes, they had cyber attacks, active measures going on. we could find no evidence of collusion between either campaign and the russians and we also have some recommendations and will have recommendations that speak to elections going forward. >> no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. >> or the clinton campaign. >> how confident are you of that? >> we found no reason to think that there's something that we're missing in this regard. we've talked to everybody we think we need to talk to. >> president trump has responded to the findings with ootweet written in all capital letters quote, the house committee has after a 15 month long found no evidence of collusion or cord naegs between the trump campaign and russian to influence the
2016 presidential election. the russian embassy, by the way in the united states also shared its opinions of the house intelligence committees finding tweeting all russia investigations with the phrase in quotes, no only in the u.s. are destined to end as mike conaway concluded. weave that into some sort of a spy thriller that could go out there including fphotos of the novels. joe, obviously the president thinking that if you put it all in capital letters makes it more true, but he's actually not true. this was the republicans response to what they think they have found. >> right. and it is -- jim, there is such a rush to judgment here, and how revealing it is that you
actually have the russian embassy, donald trump, and the republican house intel committee all lined up together, all gloating, all congratulating each other, it suggests what many of us have already seen with devon n nurunes. >> the big one being when you were in congress, when almost anybody's been in congress, the intel committee is one place where there was a bipartisan committee in place to figure out what's real and not real. you have republicans issuing their own report and a report that contradicts the president's own national security experts and the conclusions that they came to. >> can you -- can you stop right
there? these members saw the testimony of four intelligence officers appointed by donald trump testify before congress that russia tried to interfere in the election on behalf of donald trump. they know that. you can go into any court in the land and you can probably get judicial notice of it. it's oobvious and yet they claim in this report made for talk radio that that wasn't the case. i mean, clearly, they're having to ignore donald trump's cia director. they're -- their csa director. basically ignore anybody who's testified before their own body whose job it is to figure this out. so tell me, why did they lie when everybody knows they're
lying, that the russians were trying to help donald trump and why the rush to judgment? why now? >> well, in terms of why somebody is lying i can't unpack that, but what i can unpack is because donald trump wants this and wants it badly because if robert mueller has a lot more access to a lot more people than that committee had he's going to need republican to have his back and now he has a document that no mooter what robert mueller finds he can say our republicans have a document and he can say who do you believe? that's why it was rushed out. they need to be able to discredit anything that robert mueller finds so what does donald trump do? he tweets in all caps which is the equivalent of screaming.
i'm not guilty. and they just announced it on fox news. >> of course. >> well, sam stein, very funny, this whole idea that the republicans concluded this while the liberals concluded that. let's talk about who's investigating. you've got the house intel committee obviously, devon nunes shoveling back and forth from the white house being played as donald trump's dupe and that's obvious that he was, lying to the press corps right there, claiming he had information, then rushing over to the white house saying hey, what information do i have? again, this guy has been caught head randed time and time again being nothing more than a courier than donald trump's handler down at the white house, but this so called liberals that jim said at fox news or republicans would claim were investigating donald trump, robert mueller i'll remind
everyone once again a lifetime republican, rod rosen tooin, the fact that donald trump lied about it. a republican, jeff sessions, a republican, his cia director who came to the conclusion that the russians. >> reporter: trying to help donald trump, a republican, dan coats, the national director of intelligence, a republican, i could go down the list. they're all republicans. by the way, richard burr, a guy i came in with in 1994 running the senate intel's investigation who has scolded rightly many times the house intel committee, a rock republican. everybody conducting this investigation is -- they are not part of a democratic conspiracy, they're all just republicans who
unlike this house intel committee want to get to the truth. >> got to side with nunes on this one, sorry. >> pretty one sided. >> yeah. >> in some ways it kind of reminds me of the unmasking scandal and the fisa memo which it may be a stretch to compare these but the pattern seems vaguely similar. the republican leadership tries to find a short term political game distracting head lines only to and we're speculating here but later down the road be embarrassed by what they did. it seems pretty likely that the house intel leadership will be embarrassed if not humiliated by this product. because there are two more reports to come out. one is the mueller investigation. the house has wrapped up their
business without talking to gates, without compelling testimony from key white house aides, those other committees will have that data. and we'll look back and say wow, how did they end up here and the answer will be they rushed their investigation and it looks like they're providing political cover for the administration. >> and the question is why. i ask the question, why the timing now? it's really a leading question. because you could have add this same question. why did donald trump rush into that meeting with the south koreans when he wasn't even supposed to be in there and immediately started blabbing about wanting to get together with kim jong-un. what did he want on the front pauj of the newspaper? edidn't want the storm mu daniels story on the newspaper.
do you think he would have put pressure to randomly select yesterday to look -- or to leap before they looked? there was no reason for them to put this out yesterday. they knew they were going to be making fools of themselves yesterday, but what happened yesterday? stormy daniels lawyer said we're giving the money back. 60 minutes is moving forward with this interview and i think stormy daniels has figured out she can make a lot more money giving the money back and she can say all she want tots say. she says she has video and everything. this story as friends that are watching at home,s atold you last week, this is a story the white house wants off the front pages of the newspapers at all times so you know, eddie, i just want wonder if this the is lathest
attempt by donald trump to do anything possible to keep that story off the front page of the newspaper. >> i think you're exactly right. there is disaster that is the stormy daniels story and the on going mueller investigation as he closes in on donald trump and what we see in sbrersing sointes of ways. politics trumps the pursuit of truth. we live in a post fact world. joyce said last night that you can debate the interpretation of the facts but you can't really debate the facts and what we see here is that in a post fact world, partisan commitments reign and i want to echo what representative castro said as well. nunes brings him home and that means getting stormy daniels off
the front page. politics trumped everything in this instance. >> and former trump campaign aide revealed last night that alleged payments to women are also on the special counsel's ray car. >> did mueller's folks relate to anything around these payments to women? >> they asked if i had ever heard anything about that. and my answer is i never have. >> in your interview they were asking about payments to women? >> they were asking if i knew anything about it. i think they're obvious that they're looking into this. >> i'm sure in your years of covering politics and scandals. i know they -- >> no. especially not the conservative party. >> upstanding young fine good
men, but you know, people forget so often that those that are in politics do have a family and there is a prnl impact to this for -- so for everybody looking at this stormy daniels story, sort of erupting and now she's talked to 60 minutes and everybody's going to watch it on 60 minutes and donald trump is trying to stop 60 minutes, they can't suspend the first amendment because he doesn't like what stormy daniels is going to say, but you just have to think that this really is having a personal impact inside the white house. in fact, they can deny it all they want, it is having a personal impact and that's why, you know, perhaps that's why we're seeing all of these wild lunges left and right to try to keep that news off the front page. >> yeah, there are two reasons
the white house and the president in particular doesn't like the stormy daniels story. one is the legal implications. was there something erroneous in the reporting of any payments to stormy daniels in order to keep her quiet to protect the candidate which would have been out of bounds in terms of campaign finance, but as you suggest the bigger story is the personal story, relations between the first lady and the president have never seemed to be particularly warm. we saw it at the inauguration. it was very chilly between the two of them but we've also seen a particular downturn in relations and things of the first lady has done. ever since the beginning of january and that's exactly when the stormy daniels story broke. so this cannot be a happy time for the president in his own marital relations when this is being splashed on the front pages of all the papers and added to that there is a potential liability as well for
him. >> it's interesting, they're doing what they can to try to stop 60 minutes from running that interview. they don't have that power. i mean, they could -- i suppose they could file another injunction against stormy daniels but you can't -- i mean, if the supreme court allowed the new york times and washington post to run the pentagon papers they're going to allow 60 minutes to interview a porn star, aren't they? >> she has a story that she wants to tell and you know, going to your point about what's happening with trump and what is he trying to do by trying to talk about this house report, i can't stress enough how much the white house is different today than even ap month ago with so many of the restraints off of him. the people who would say don't do that or hau, have you thought about a different option, they're all gone or they're all
weakened so now it is really is trump going on his own with his gut and a bunch of people nodding go, go, go. so when you ask for a psychological interpretation of why he's doing what he's doing it's complex because so much of it is i'm going to do what i want to do. if i want to go take on asporin star on tv i might do that too so we're in a whole new phase of the presidency that to me will be wilder than the first 15 months. >> it is remarkable. well, still ahead, polls are going to be opening just moments from now in that close congressional race in pennsylvania. we're going to have a live report from the ground where president trump has thrown his wait behind the republican candidate who's trailing in the polls despite the fact president trump won the district by 20
points and republicans that run in this district usually win it by 20 points but right now it's the democrat who looks like he may be winning this race tonight. too close to call. >> plus, britain's leader calls out russia for the killing of the former spy. it's fairly obvious but she did so much more than the united states has done. how vladimir putin and the white house are reacting and of course standing shoulder to shoulder. but first to bill karins. he's got a check on the noreaster hitting right now. it's started up in connecticut. how bad is it going to be especially in boston? >> they could get 20 inches of snow out there. here's one of the driving shots from our local reporters and roads are starting to get covered and now the worst of it
is arriving. 1,500 flights cancelled. coast of maine, boston, all the way back down through cape cod and the blue on the map is snow. the heaviest snow, this band that is over areas of eastern long island all the way through prove deps now back up just south of boston. everything from new york city south wards the roads are just wet. once you get north of new york city, albany about 3 to 6. hartford somewhere around 12 to 18 and someone has a chance of getting 20 to 24 and winds will be the strongest this morning. nantucket in the 20 to 50-mile-per-hour range and the winds begin to come on down. so the latest effects will be over the latist 18 hours.
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they say he's a horrific candidate. well, in three different voting models, this is what you see. lamb leads saccone 51 to 45% if today's turnout patches the enthusiasm that was seen in other special elections. even if the turnout is higher or lower lamb still leads. of course as we've said donald trump won that district by 20 points in 2016. mitt romney did about as well in 2012 but yesterday the chairman of the republican party had this explanation for why the race is so close. >> you have to remember, this is a democrat district not with standing the fact that the president won this by 20 points. it's a democrat district. >> but take a closer look at the numbers. it shows that statement is not exactly true. despite supporting trump in
2016, the democrats backed republican candidates by double digits in the prior elections. and then by 20% in 2008 and its former house republican tim murphy first elected in 2002 won by even larger margins. yesterday on the final day of campaigning the president's son don jr. hit the trail with the candidate rick saccone. at one event saccone made this az sergs about his political opponents. >> they said the other side is energized. they're energized for hate for our president. i tell you many of them have a hatred for our country and my way f wie wife and i saw it today. it's disturbing to me. >> we're not saying that rick
saccone at this point is extraordinarily desperate to claim that anybody not voting for him not only hates america, but also hates god, but let me just say, rick saccone is desperate. and that's pathetic too. i mean, that's -- you know, it's just one more example of what's wrong with american politics where you actually go on a campaign -- to a campaign event and you say that if you're not voting for me, then somehow you don't love god, somehow you don't love the country. we'll see how that works for him. let's bring in right now from pennsylvania, we have msnbc correspondent, you've been out there talking to a lot of voters, i suspect you've talked to some voters who are going to be voting for lamb who don't hate god and who don't hate
america, but i suppose that speech, you could give us some insight into how i won't say desperate the candidate is how but on the defensive rick saccone and the rest of the republican establishment are heading into this really important election. >> reporter: rick saccone is no roy moore, but it's striking how similar of a campaign he's running here in this final week. and what is striking about this is the reliance on -- for rick saccone on donald trump in kind of the style of campaigning. this last week he has had a very defensive campaign calling lamb's resume a super thin rez nay that the media is trying to overblow. he was a former federal prosecutor and a formal marine. and you heard yesterday that was his closing speech when he's talking about the other side hating god and hating this
country and these republican candidates we've seen were relying on donald trump, it's striking because when you go and talk to these voters, these voters are not purely aligned with just because of what donald trump says they're going to go with these issues. i was down there and i was talking with daniel and miller, these were two democrats that voted for donald trump. they said they still support the president they're going to be backing lamb. but then when we see just two years ago he won by 40%. so there's a willingness for them to change. i talked to a republican mayor, a gentleman in his 80s along with his wife and they told me they are republicans and they've never voted democrat and they're
going to be voting for lamb and it's simply standing by donald trump is not good enough. you've got to stand up on your own record at this point, joe. >> all right. thank you so much. we appreciate it and we'll hopefully be able to get back to you and getting more insights on this race. jim, you know, it's so interesting, and i saw it firsthand, if you're going to attack somebody, you need to make sure those attacks have a basis in reality and if you don't, then people stop listening to you. in my first campaign my opponent attacked me and said i was an extreme right wing religious conservative. i was also swearing on talk radio at the time when i got angry, so mike pence i was not and then later the attack was that i was a rock star and the full page ad was do you want to
send a rock star to capitol hill. but they were swinging biewildl and nothing stuck. you've got a candidate in rick saccone who is calling a former federal prosecutor and a united states marine and his supporters, he's saying his supporters hate god and his supporters hate the country because they're voting for a former federal prosecutor. i mean, how desperate is that and how likely is that to backfire on rick saccone? >> i don't even know that it's surprising. we've talked about this over and over. this is donald trump's party now. it's not about tax cuts. it about about sanctuary cities. it's about being anti america, anti god. like those things they believe are what will resonate with the people who turned out for donald
trump that the republicans need to turn out in this race to be able to hold a seat that they should hold. the president doesn't like this candidate. the republicans don't like this candidate but it is a seat they should be able to hold and when you have outside groups pouring millions of dollars in, so when you feel like you're not going to win, you try to get people motivated and fear is an awesome motivator in politics and we've seen this not just in race but other races. in virginia we saw this. it's the hottest issue and the thing that's burning in the people's minds. it's not 67. >> and confederate statutes. we've known ed forever. he's talking about confederate statues? what ed has found out and what
works for bill clinton works for bill clinton and nobody else. what works for barack obama worked for him and nobody else. what works for donald trump does not work for rick saccone and isn't it amazing that the republicans haven't figured that out? and also think about, jim, all the money they have wasted on this race, on alabama, on virginia. i mean, they are burning through a ton of money that candidates could use in the fall and they're getting absolutely nothing out of it. >> one note of caution. it might work. the election hasn't taken place, but as you know, in these offyear election it's hard to figure out who's going to turn out. it's possible republicans win tonight and if they win tonight they'll look at this and say hey, the trump formula works and the race is going to be very
close. yes, it's closer than republicans thought it should be, but if they end up winning this that's going to the only thing that matters. if democrats win i don't think it's fair for republicans to say it's not a big deal. it is a big deal because it will continue a trend, democrats are outperforming what they did in the previous election. that doesn't cig any faye there's a wave coming but there's one of those precursors and so i do think these things matter. each little piece tells a story. >> and i would already say though, the republicans have lost and they've lost, let's say rick saccone wins by one point. what's the headline going to be? yes, they get that one seat, but the republicans have spent millions and maillions of dollas
in a district where they should have never had to spend a dime. 25 seats that republicans are holding that hillary clinton won and just think, if they're spending this much money that donald trump won by 20 points what do those districts look like and how difficult is that going to be and i just wonder if there's a candidate out there that doesn't dare to say, hey, you know what, i disagree with my opponent. my opponent loves god. my opponent loves this country. my opponent is doing everything that he or she thinks is best for our country and best for our children. i just have a different world view than them. >> right. >> people would be so drawn to that message and that approach especially in the age of trump. >> absolutely. it would be nice to find some politician to reach for a states person like status or position
in terms of the public and public domain and it's interesting since 2014, 2015, murphy was unoppose oed. so i think to jim's point as an appeal of addressing these local issues i don't think that's going to work. when we look at alabama and virginia we talk about the wave, but what's interesting about this suppose vd democratic wave it's what's happening underneath. but it's also because there's a ground game going on in this district that might not exist next year, but they're knocking on doors, it's the same thing that we saw in alabama. the same thing that we awe in virginia. that one in virginia talk about the highway traffic, this is what's going on in congressional district 18.
if we think about this as just simply donald trump as opposed to knocking on doors, making contact with voters then republicans are in for not and a wave, they're in for a devastating wave. >> donald trump was -- and you bring up so many great points. did was a unique candidate in every single way other than the ways that offend so many americans out there. he was unique in that he didn't have to have a base. he didn't have to have people knocking on doors. he didn't have to have people going to phone banks. it was a disorganized campaign for almost all of the campaign. all donald trump had to do was say i'm coming to your town and people should show up and it had its own energy. there's not just a -- regardless of what you think of donald trump, there's not another politician in america today that
can do that unless oprah decides that she wants to run for president and then she will have that same effect on the democratic side, but right now people like rick saccone, the only way they win is the old fashioned way. they knock on $10,000, they plant yard signs out there and they're the anti trump candidate and i say this to republicans who are unning in the fall, being the anti trump candidate. i'm glad we pushed back on isis, but let me tell you something, i really respect my democratic opponent and you know what, she may think differently than i do on school choice, she may think differently than i do on abortion, maybe she looks at how we tackle the federal government differently than i do but she loves america every bit as much as me and she wants to take this country to a better place. shi just has a different way of getting us there.
and you know what? i say this with all the respect in the world. i think her way is wrong. and i actually think it will hurt this country. that's why i need your vote. that's what republican candidates in the age of trump should be saying and it gives voters a free pass to say wait a second, this guy is conservative, he will vote with the president on conservative issues but he's not going to go up there and embarrass us like donald trump is embarrassing us. that is the ticket in 2016. civility still counts. maybe not to donald trump, but in campaign races like this you cannot close your campaign by saying that people who aren't voting for you don't love god and don't love the country. >> all right. coming up next we've got congressman seth moulton.
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a member of the house armed services committee. he served four tours in the u.s. marines in iraq and was among the first americans to reach baghdad in 2003. he's been campaigning with another marine veteran, connor lamb. somehow it would be seen as loving his country and his god. >> you might think so. right? joe, you've often spoken about this and i wanted to ask you this question. to what extent is lamb a good candidate for this district? lamb seems to be a really good choice for this district but i'm also interested in something else. he's made a point of not campaigning on trump anger, not using anger at trump at his mo.
perhaps some on the left might have advised him to do. i'm wondering how much you think that is part of why he's doing so well in the district. >> i think that's a huge thing. he is is great candidate because he represents the people of this district. he's clearly respected by them there. he ools also just a good guy and given the number of doors that he's knocked i think a lot of people have come to meet him and say this is someone that i would trust with my kids' futures, this is someone that i want representing my interest in washington. >> but why did he make that choice not to go after trump harder? did he feel it would be counter productive? we saw him the same sort of thing, but you are hearing from the left of the democratic party that they feel they can run on
trump anger. >> i think it's time for the democratic party to stand for something, not against something and i think a lot of people are hurting. a lot of people were so frustrating that they may have been democrats their whole lives but they voted for trump because they wanted some sort of change. he's going to do it by standing for things. not just talking about how terrible trump goes. >> i'm curious, what are those things he's for? what is the actual democratic agenda people should be running? and i will note one thing. not everybody has been able to go into that district to campaign with connor. you're among a few people who step foot in there. he's obviously been opposed to pelosi as future speaker so can you talk about both what the democratic party stands for and whether there is any tensions over the party as to how this
played out. >> one of the things i heard him talk about all the i'm is the opioid crisis and how we're not doing anything in washington. we're not funding any solutions. connor represents a new generation of leadership that's going to come to fix that problem, to help people get help. that's the first thing. he talks a lot about infrastructure. about how trump's plan is a lot of talk but it hasn't done anything and i think the democrats need to have a future focus plan that really talks about how we can build an infrastructure that will allow america to compete in the few which are for the new generation of jobs and that's part of what connor stands for. he's also talking about how we have to preserve social security and medicare. the republican congress wants to cut social security and medicare, lamb is there to preserve them for today's generation of seniors and for our generation. we want social security and medicare to be there for us as well. so these are the kinds of things
that he's standing for rather than just going around around complaining about trump or the republicans. >> over the weekend hillary clinton created a little bit of a stir when she said she won all of the forward looking optimistic sections of the country and if you go back and look at the quote, there's a sort of dimension of racism to it. does that help? >> no, in fact, look, i think of my job as helping the people who need help. my job is to be a representative for my district in massachusetts, but not just for the people who are doing well. the people who come into my office every day who need help because they're ngetting their social security or who feel like they're getting left behind they're not the people happy and optimistic. they need to get things done to make this a better country, to
make it better than it's ever been and that's what we need to be expected to do in washington. >> all right. thank you so much. oreally o really do appreciate it and you know those hillary clinton comments, everything that i said about rick saccone you could apply to what hillary clinton said in that speech. people that didn't vote for her, there was a suggestion that they were racially insensitive, that they didn't want this country moving fore ward? no, mika was saying it from day one. hillary clinton had no message that reached out to middle america regardless of their race. regardless of whether they were looking forward or backward and said this is how i'm going to change things. the entire democratic party establishment was trying to get her to move in a direction that
was -- that was more forceful. move in a direction that was nor inclusive of all americans. and she didn't do it and they didn't do it. how ironic that hillary clinton is now saying that when i was critical of a lot of people on cable news back in 2008 that would say if kentucky went for hillary clinton or west virginia went for hillary clinton those states were immediately accused of being racist and so now it's hillary clinton that seems to be -- and i will say seems to be -- suggesting the same thing. not the way to win friends and influence others. still ahead on "morning joe," we've got this coming. >> so i'm reading peggy noonan and she's a nice woman, i like her. she doesn't like me much and she's writing like i'm some kind of neanderthal and i'm saying, you know, i'm really smart. >> oh, my god. so he's really smart. peggy joins us at the top of the
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coming up, no collusion and no proof that putin preferred donald trump over hillary clinton. that is the let's just say surprising conclusion of republicans on the house intel committee who are investigating russia's election meddling. >> excuse me, excuse me. all right, move on. nothing to see here. please disperse. nothing to see here. please. >> i mean, that's it, especially when these republican house members had the president's own fi fbi director, cia director and the director of national intelligence testify not so long ago that russia was trying to tip the scales for donald trump. we're going to be getting
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mean, it can't get any worse than it already is." [ laughter ] finally he almost went with "come on, doesn't some small part of you sort of want to see where this all goes?" [ laughter ] welcome back to "morning joe." it's tuesday, march 13 and on every tuesday -- actually every march 13 is a good time for me to wish my big brother george -- or as we called him growing up, corky -- happy birthday. happy, we'll say 39th birthday, george. hope everything is going great. with us we have washington anchor for bbc world news america katty kay, politics editor for the daily beast sam stein, co-founder and ceo of axios, jim vandehei, chair of the department of african-american studies at princeton university eddy glaude, jr., and columnist for the "wall street journal" and political contributor for nbc news and msnbc, peggy noonan and national political correspondent
for nbc news and msnbc, steve kornacki. mika will be back with us tomorrow morning. peggy, i want to start with you because the president called your name in pennsylvania. he said he liked you but then went -- well, let's hear it again. it was entertaining the first time, i have a feeling with donald trump it will be entertaining the second time. >> so i'm reading peggy noonan. she's a nice woman, i like her. she doesn't like me much. and she's writing like i'm some kind of neanderthal and i'm saying, you know, i'm really smart. >> i just -- i love when he talks about how smart he is and what schools he went to. so peggy, first of all, we'll respond that-to-that and then i want to ask you something about the pennsylvania candidate. donald trump is no neanderthal but where are we right now with this man who is rushing into
meetings and saying i want to meet with the north korean leader and undoubtedly putting pressure on republicans to come to a speedy and incorrect conclusion all at the same time there's a personal aspect of this stormy daniels issue, an upcoming "60 minutes" interview and a lot of questions raised about the legal status of these payoffs. >> well, my first thought when i saw the clip again was that president trump did go into what was a very comic and funny riff after the section we showed in which he spoof it had idea of being presidential. he said anyone can be presidential. then he stiffened up and acted like a robot and the crowd loved it. it was a very comical moment. i actually think he misunderstands something. he says it would be so easy to
be presidential. i actually think he struggles with it. it's not something he does because it's not something that is natural to him or that he knows how to do and it hurts him that he can't be "presidential." what is that? a more measured person. a person who rattles the electorate less. a person who's perhaps less dramatic, less helter-skelter, maybe more reliable when he tells you how he feels about guns, he sticks with that point of view. you know what i mean? >> right. >> someone who you think is a more reliable person. i think that would put many people at greater ease with him and i think it's not something that he has shown in the past, what are we, 14, 15 months in, that he can do. >> and it's something that several of our baby boomer presidents have had a hard time doing and, in fact, peggy, it's
often much harder to turn the other cheek. it's often much harder to ignore insults from people around you. it's much harder to show the sort of restraint that you're talking about. >> yes, self-possession. self-possession. being able to keep yourself in and not be rattled by all the external stuff and not always having to be responsive to it. and if you're mad at the press as he frequently is, don't make it clear you're dying for the press's approval. tom shales in the "washington post" once said many years ago when ronald reagan's presidency was new, tom shales said reagan treats the press like they are wild ducks attempting to attack his ankles. he shoe shoos them away, he fl them away. that's a more proper way for a national figure to act but mr.
trump makes it clear that they get to him. it's a funny thing. >> people close to ronald reagan who worked with ronald reagan, people like you, people like pat buchanan says ronald reagan never ever was concerned about a headline in the newspapers. now some of the conservative magazines like human events criticized him he would be concerned about that but he didn't stay up worrying about what the press was saying about him. one of my favorite store rees had to do with his biographer who went up to visit him and thought he would have a terrible interview because the "l.a. times" had one negative story after another negative story and he said he's going to be in no position to see me. he goes into reagan's home and there's ronald reagan looking at the "l.a. times" and his face is
red and at that point he said oh, my god, he's read the paper, i might adds well just go home, he's going to give me nothing. reagan folds the paper, throws it at him, says "have you seen this story in the "l.a. times"?" he's like "yes, mr. president, i have." and reagan goes "i can't believe the o'malleys are going to sell the dodgers to murdoch." and he said at that moment he got the genius of ronald reagan peggy and that is he just didn't get things get to him like other politicians did and that's why he was able to stay the course for so long on what he believed. >> well ronald reagan was modern conservatism. he was conservatism when it had just come together in its modern incarnation and it was not fully perhaps understood but ronald reagan did not expect to be understood himself. he didn't hope for that.
he had a philosophy, he had stands, he went forward feeling that he was right and what he represented was right but he didn't make that mistake people can make which is to ask to be understood. do you know what i mean? people will understand you in time, but don't ask for that. don't -- don't -- don't insist they give you things. be who you are, go forward, stand where you stand. in the end it will probably turn out okay. >> so we're talking about -- today we've been talking about pennsylvania '18. it's a rock-ribbed conservative district. it goes republican usually by about 20, 21 points. i want to play you a clip, peggy, and we'll take it around the table of republican nominee rick saccone and this was his closing message to the people of pennsylvania 18. >> they said the other side is energized. let me tell you, they're
energized for hate for our president. i've talked to so many of these on the left and they have a hatred for our president. many of them have a hatred for our country and i'll tell you some more, my wife and i saw it again today, they have a hatred for god, it's amazing, you see it when i'm talking to them. it's disturbing to me. >> first of all, beg give, it's very hard to sell that point that a former prosecutor and a united states marine hates his country and hates his god but to the much larger point, people think they can be donald trump and hurl around insults, what works for donald trump does not work for rick saccone. >> i heard what saccone said last night, i saw a clip before i went to bed and i thought man, that's the kind of hapless thing you say at the end of a campaign on the stump in front of people
when you're not watching your words and not thinking things through so it looked to me like -- oh, it just didn't look good, you know? what can i say? don't throw around words like hate, they hate this, they hate that. right before i saw that, i saw the clips of hillary clinton in india who essentially was more or less speaking of her disdain for other people, for those in the flood of red in the middle of our country. i tell you, though, what strikes me, joe, about conor lamb and this pennsylvania 18, i was researching his issues yester y yesterday. he supports tariffs, he doesn't want to mess with entitlements, he says don't ban assault weapons, oppose nancy pelosi, i'm for union members. that's kind of populist. these are kind of trumpian
stands but it's trumpian stands without trump and i'm wondering if that's part of where the democratic party is going to go over the next two years as it figures out who and what it is. >> right, and of course, steve kornacki, also there is a light touch with conor lamb, there's sort of a certain grace. he's not running around doing what a lot of activists would like them to do -- trashing donald trump around the clock. he's talking about the district and he is speaking in ways that people in his district want him to speak. he fits his district about as well as jon ossof did not fit his district in northern georgia. >> if you believe in this era we here in that are in that it's possible to separate yourself from the national image of your party,
conor lamb has done that. this is maybe a test of whether you can still do that in this day and age because what conor lamb is -- how conor lamb has positioned himself, what that is up against is a long-term trend in this district in pennsylvania that pre-dates trump, it's about a generation-long trend. if you look at this part of pennsylvania, this part of pennsylvania voted for mondale, it voted for dukakis, voted for clinton in the '90s. when did the swing happen? the swing happened in 2004, 2008, 2012. reaction was intensified by the obama presidency but the type of national democrat that emerged in the modern age as the face of the party, al gore, john kerry, hillary clinton, nancy pelosi trying to run against the republican out there, this part of pennsylvania, this district had a strong reaction so in some ways this is an interesting test. you have a candidate who has tried to separate himself as much as possible from that. the polls suggest he has a 50-50
chance of winning, maybe better but what democrat conor lamb is up against is a generation-long trend that is more pronounced in this part of pennsylvania than any other place in the country. >> jim, you had a good point in the last hour. people have not voted, we have not had the result and we've been talking about conor lamb, what a good campaign he's run for this particular district. let's flip this around. let's say rick saccone wins today, what will the conversation be then? what will the take away on trump, on the republican party, on saccone himself be if he wins it? >> i think it will be that this will be the first big indication that maybe republicans are right and the wave isn't as big as we think it is. he can win. republicans could win this district. it's a district that fits them well. the polls don't look great for them but republicans could win it and i think sadly one of the
take aways is going to be -- and this goes to -- peggy always puts these things more beautifully than the rest of us could, but the take away that the nastiness of politics, that this district race should be about sanctuary cities, that people are anti-god, that formula worked brilliantly for the president. if it works, people will say that works and i'm going to adopt that formula so the toxicity of politics, which is already off the charts, probably gets worse. one other quick point to what peggy was saying earlier, there's a reason that temperance in measurement matters in the presidency and why presidents despite all of your viewers and all of us liking cable tv shouldn't be watching cable tv everyday. remember, barack obama and george w. bush when they did watch, they watched espn because you can't go by the whims and flows. you pick pick an economic adviser because you like how he appears on cnbc. you can't phone in to "fox &
friends" and say i'm trying to figure out what to do with the v.a., can you give us advice in realtime? that's not how the presidency wo works. too herky-jerky. that's a good old wisconsin term. >> jim, i have been wondering if there's something to this, to the idea that trump, whatever magic allure following he has, it's not translatable necessarily to any other candidate. others can imitate trump as perhaps saccone was last night. they can try to take the sharp edge but they don't have the particular thing he has to make them effective. is there something in that? i think what i just said was probably not too clear but i'm just thinking trump is not a wine that travels well is what i'm thinking. >> there's no doubt he has a magical touch with that part of
the electorate. i think the fears he plays on -- you have a big segment of society that doesn't like the fact we're changing. you see it here, you see it in europe. that's the common denominator so when you play to those topics, i think it does have an effect in elections. >> the thing is, donald trump goes to pennsylvania, he gives a speech that inspires his most hard core base but as he's doing it at the same time he's inspiring women to go out and vote against him who may have stayed home. he's doing the same for hispanics, for black americans, for other americans that he seems to push to the side, that he seems to be completely disinterested in and that's why you look at what's happening in europe, you look at what's happening across the united states of america, i've said it before, i will say it again.
this is not the birth cry of some new nationalism. this is the death rattle of a 1950s or a 1960s political coalition. this is the end. >> the question is, how expensive the funeral will be, joe. >> right. >> one of the interesting things here about the current state of politics is that demonization of one's opponent happens to be the central political currency and that demonization appeals to to an interesting sort of way of a variety of identities. do you identify as a god-fearing chris dan? do you identify as a hard-core republican? so that last pitch by saccone to demonize his opponents was a pitch to their identities. vote for me because you identify as such. that's important. then there's this second point i want to make. there's always this kind of -- i juxtapose the rally that trump had in pennsylvania with steve
bannon's comments at the le pen conference. he said wear your racism as a badge of honor. so there's this undercurrent. hillary clinton is not the best messenger to say this, but there is -- most academic studies have shown that some form of racial resentment, some form of cultural anxiety drove the trump voter and until we acknowledge that as a component of the 2016 election, as a dimension of our current political landscape, we'll stick our heads in the sand and find ourselves continually on this lamp sistha wheel. so it's important to understand donald trump is a cultural warrior, he appeals as jim says to our worst fears, tries to mobilize those fears for political gain, it's become political currency and some people think they can duplicate it and as they try they release more toxins into the political discourse.
>> the only thing i'll say, though, ed city that so much of it has to do with who donald trump was running against. >> well, that's true. >> we cannot say -- you can say it, i will just say you will have a hard time making the argument that america was enlightened in 2008 when it became the first majority white country to elect a black president it was enlateened again in 2010 despite the fact that many people who thought it was enlightened in 2008 suddenly thought it was retrograde in 2010 for voting in the tea party but in 2012 it once again voted in barack obama, in 2014 it voted in more conservative republicans. and then in 2016 many of the same people who voted for barack obama in the upper midwest in 2008 and 2012 voted for donald trump in 2016 and to drive this point home even more, in a
district that voted for donald trump by 20 points just two years ago. a year and a half ago. that district most likely is going to be voting for a democrat tonight who does not share donald trump's retrograde views on race or on women or on other communities. >> i think, joe -- we can -- both things can be true at the same time. hillary clinton could be -- was, in fact, a bad candidate, a horrible candidate and we can still stipulate to the claim that racial resentments, cultural anxiety was driving trump voters. in those districts, john nichols, for example, did a study of wisconsin counties that flipped and what he saw was not so much obama voters flipping to trump, he saw depressed democratic turnout which flipped those counties so there's a number of ways in which we can account for this. but one of the things i want to
insist is that if we don't take advantage of this moment, trump has let the genie out of the bottle. we can't be afraid to describe the way in which race continues to drive nativisnativism, conti drive our politics, those fears continue to be exploded by our politics and we have an opportunity, joe, as part of the funeral we've been talking about to uproot it. finally. so that week have a debate between genuine conservatives and genuine liberals and progressives without the undertoe of this ugliness that defined american politics since its inception. >> and i think for the purposes of this argument, you look at the triz election and what you take out of that is that in the absence of a viable alternative, in the absence of a hopeful message from democrats or independents or from other candidates in the republican primary, often times some people will return to their base instincts. you have to give them hope.
sam stein, no hope was given in 2016 from hillary clinton's campaign. you look at the words going around on the internet right now. i'm so glad that eddie brought up wisconsin. it's kind of hard to suggest that people in wisconsin are retrograde and looking backwards and don't want good things for women and blacks and hispanics and others other than white males when hillary clinton didn't even campaign in wisconsin. are there no mirrors in the clinton household? i don't think there are, sam. >> i think she might have made one stop in the spring in wisconsin, i forget, but she did not campaign in wisconsin. there is a -- i'm with eddie here in that i think these two things can exist simultaneously. but if you look most recently at what's happened in american
politics, a lot of the democratic enthusiasm has been driven in part by an anti-trump backlash but also by a sort of renaissance notion that they need to focus on the core of the party, in that case it would be working class not just white working class, black working class voters, teachers and union members so the biggest movements in recent days west virginia teachers strike which was not a democratically orchestrated strike but it was a labor teachers strike that produced a massive amount of social change. a 5% raise for teachers across the state, probably the biggest progressive activism in west virginia for some time. conor lamb, the crux of his campaign has been to strengthen unions, protect union retirements, to strengthen things like medicare and social security and that has been a big motivator at least for that district. now i would like to jump back one point to what jim was saying
which is maybe rick saccone can eke this out. if that's the case he'll turn back and say, yeah, maybe it was the politics of resentment that ended up being the motivator again and trumped this whole nation of a working class movement and renaissance. but even if that is the case and rick a cone winnone wins b s rick a cone winaccone wins by a two -- and steve you would know this -- it's hard to interpret that as a major victory so much as a sigh of relief for republicans. this is a district that is, to remind the viewer, 20 plus trump in 2016. could the republican party conceivably take a close rick saccone win and do other than put gloss on it and say well, we escaped that one? wouldn't it theoretically be a huge problem if they only win by one or two points? >> it would fall into the same category as what we saw last year in a of special elections,
kansas was a plus 20 trump, special election, republican wins but it's by seven, that's a 20-point difference. mississippi was trump plus 21, special election trump wins but seven points. so we see that south carolina went from 19 to 3. if you take a step back, if that's what happens in pennsylvania and you get a narrow republican win you have to look at that trend and say at the congressional level we've had a number of special elections in all sorts of different districts demographically and we see a consistent trend and you take a further step back and start to think about this. we've had dozens, scores of state legislative special elections around the country in the trump era and trump in individual races -- he isn't a big part of it but you look at the totality and you're seeing that swing consistently so that speaks to something that may come later this year. >> and steve, i know we have to be careful and we have to say these special elections and -- on the state level, the
congressional level don't add up to something much bigger quite yet but fall may be different but as we move on and get these results, i mean, i've never known of any year that has broken this way where the trend doesn't continue throughout the fall. that would be like saying the nor'easter is going to go up the coast and suddenly stop at the rhode island border and not hit boston. is there -- can you think of any year where we've had these trends on all levels where that wasn't the outcome in the fall? >> well, where this becomes, i think, particularly worrisome for republicans and maybe encouraging for democrats is it marries up with two longer-term trends we can talk about and that is the nature of midterm elections, these are buyers remorse elections, the white house party -- it's not usually a question of which party will win but how bad will it be for the white house party? that's especially true when the president's approval rating is south of 50%. donald trump on his best day as president so far in gallup when
they had their daily tracking poll sat at 46%. so if you look at reagan in '82, clinton in '94, bush in '06, obama in '10, midterm elections, sub50% approval ratings, waves for the opposition party. then add in these indicators we're getting for the special elections. it's the age of trump, yes, anything can happen, but the history is getting one-sided on this. >> steve, thanks so much. our next guest frames his colleagues' report on election meddling in polite terms writing on twitter "dear russia, you're cordially invited back to america this fall, signed house intel republicans." congressman eric swalwell joins the conversation next on "morning joe." >> let them call you racist. let them call you xenophobes. let them call you nativist. wear it as a badge of honor because everyday we get stronger and they get weaker.
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[ laughter ] >> i'm very presidential. ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here tonight. >> wow. with us now, we have a member of the house intelligence and judiciary committee, democratic congressman eric swalwell of california. katty kay has the first question. katty? >> congressman, i don't know how much relations are behind closed doors are better than they seem to be in public on the intelligence committee and how much you've spoken to fellow republicans on that committee about their decision and the
timing but i wondered if if you could give us insight into why you think they've gone ahead with this move now in this more point. >> katy, they are as bad as you can imagine. we had zero notice the report was coming. i found out about it on twitter and the news. this will invite another russia attack and not just a russian attack, there are other adversaries who will see this as the brightest of green lights to attack america and put forward in advance candidates or policies they want to see win at the ballot box. >> we're seeing that in the uk, right? there is suspicion moscow was behind an attack against a former spy. in very real terms western countries are being attacked by russia. you think the release of this report could precipitate actions in the midterms? >> it tells our adversaries, particularly russia, that the united states will do zero. that we are not willing to
defend our ballot box. that with evidence in our face, the republicans are willing to tell the american people there was no preference for donald trump. if it would have helped donald trump they would have told the american people the sun doesn't set in the west. there was no end to how farther willing to go to protect the president and not the ballot box and its integrity. >> have you talked to any of your republican colleagues on the committee? >> not since the report came out. i've been on the committee for years and worked well with them until this investigation happened. it was a year ago from next week, march 20, when comey came before the committee and said the president's campaign was under criminal and counterintelligence investigations. that's where we saw their loyalties turn toward the white house and work toward protecting the president rather than bringing witnesses in, using our subpoena power, telling the american people who was responsible, what the vulnerabilities were, what the government response was and whether it was adequate and it wasn't and we shouldn't have had a problem saying that. >> on this report, everything that's been communicated has
been through the media. has anything been communicated through your staff? did they give you any explanation? >> no, we received the notice from the committee as soon as it went out in a press release to the public. >> has the committee fallen apart in the past few months? >> i hate that that's true. >> is it true. >> yes. our ability to work together has crumbled and i attribute that -- the original sin will be the day after the james comey hearing when chairman nunes went to the white house and showed he wanted on the on their team not on the team that's supposed to have independence, a separate branch of government. >> republicans have felt very strongly that the democrats on the panel have leaked like a sieve. that they have come forward and just hit this whole subject like a drum all over table news trying to enhance their position and worsen the president's position.
is there anything to that criticism? >> no. in fact i think what you saw was after that march 20 hearing last year where the republicans showed that they weren't willing to investigate the president and what russia did, we had to do something that was uncomfortable which was talk about our work on the committee publicly. we've never talked about the intelligence committee's work publicly but there was a fear that if we didn't keep the flame going that it would be extinguished by the republicans and their ability to protect the president. thankfully journalists have shined a light on it and the american people who are concerned about the integrity of the ballot box have kept this going but we are less safe for november because of what this report says. >> because of voting, you mean? >> yes. >> should we have paper ballots? >> yes. >> okay, thank you. i'm collecting yes or no on that. >> sam stein. i have two questions. first is yi es or no like peggy. do you believe a member of the trump white house or trump
himself specifically asked the committee to tidy up their investigation yesterday? >> it looks like that sam and we've asked so many witnesses if they have been in communication with the house intelligence committee when they testify before our committee and that's often a question that they refuse to answer. >> okay. my second question is if you were granted one more witness to bring in, i know you can't do that now, but if you were granted one more witness who would it be and what would you ask? >> president trump. and i would ask about his knowledge of the june 9 meeting about why was he so interested in getting hillary clinton's e-mails? the obsession throughout the campaign. remember, sam, he invited the hacking of her e-mails and then they went to trump tower and they offered dirt on hillary clinton and throughout the campaign he amplified what they had hacked and provided so i want to know what was his knowledge throughout the campaign about what the russians had? we know as early as april, 2016,
that hacking had been previewed to george papadopoulos who was on the trump team, so the president's knowledge is key here. >> and congressman, how interesting that the morning after the republicans decide that they're going to release something without getting the information in about no collusion we have the "washington post" breaking the story that roger stone told associates in 2016 that he had contacts with wikileaks founder julian assange. >> yeah. roger stone also previewed to the world, joe, in august, 2016, that john podesta was about to spend his time in the barrel. we have learned that roger stone was close with the president throughout the campaign, talked to the president often throughout the campaign so it's hard to imagine he didn't share with the president that he had been in contact with guccifer 2.0 and wikileaks and that he knew this hack was coming. >> that's in the "washington post" this morning. john mclaughlin, who had a long and storied career in the
american intelligence community, now at johns hopkins school of advanced international studies just tweeted this last night, as a subject or observer of congressional oversight of intel for 40 years i've never seen a party drive a stake through the process as house republicans just did. it depends on bipartisan approaches that at least give the minority a voice, take that away and the thing dies. it just did. congressman eric swalwell, thank you so much for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> we greatly appreciate it. coming up today, president trump gets to see his border wall -- at least one tiny potential portion of it. if congress actually decides to fund it. we'll have a live report from southern california next on "morning joe."
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well, first of all, this is president trump's first trip to california as president. he's going to be touring prototypes of his border wall. of course, that's really a key campaign promise, building this wall and a lot of his supporters feel as though he hasn't been aggressive enough about making that happen. so the optics today will be powerful in that regard. he's also going to talk to troops here at miramar in san diego, a little later on today. he's heading into a deep blue territory, of course, and he has really been what the governor has described at war with this state over its immigration policies so that happening here in california against the backdrop of a fierce fight over gun policy of course back in washington, dc a day after the white house unveiled their plans for making school safer which include investing money in training and arming some teachers as well as strengthening background checks
but stopping short of calling for an increase in the age for buying some webs. that sparked a fierce backlash, people saying he's backing down from the nra despite his promises to stand up to the nra. president trump defending his move yesterday as well as white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders. listen to what she was asked about yesterday. >> reporter: president trump made an example of republican senators who were afraid of crassing the nra and he said, quote, some of you are petrified of the nra, you can't be pet refied but based on the plan last night it seems like president trump was the one petrified of the nra because he backed away from some of the ideas he brought into the discussion and i'm asking why he chickened out, why he didn't go forward with what he proposed earlier. >> look he hand backed away as all. they're still outlined in the plan but he can't make them happen with a broad stroke of the pen. >> the white house says that newly-formed commission which
will be headed up by education secretary betsy devos will look into the possibility of increasing the age to buy some webs but obviously the president made that big show, joe, as you know taking on members of his own party saying you're afraid to stand up to the nra now people within his own party as well as democrats saying he's backing down. joe, back to you. >> seems that way, nbc's kristen welker, thank you so much. up next, we'll bring in one of the lawmakers who was in the white house meeting with the president when he talked about standing up to the nra. remember when he said that pat toomey was afraid of the nra when it was pat toomey who was the one republican standing up for yuan vaersal background checks after the new town massacre? well, now it's the president who's petrified. we'll bring in stephanie murray of florida -- murphy of florida. she will join us when "morning joe" returns.
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>> the white house is out with its framework for new gun doesn't include several measures that the president claimed to support while he was meig with members of congress last month. let's bring in one of the participatans in that meeting. democratic congresswoman stephanie murphy of there are. congresswoman, thank you so much for being with us. it it was fascinating. it was almost a replay of what the president did in that dreamers meeting a couple of months ago. he gets everybody around the table. he says he's going to make reforms that matter and then, after mocking republicans for being afraid of the nra, it certainly looks now like he's the one afraid of the nra. what can we expect? >> you know, i was at the table for that meeting and i was hopeful that we would be able to
get the president's support to pass common sense gun safety measures. and he talked a really big game about what he would be supportive of. so it's disappointing to see the proposal that he put forward falls way short of what parents in my community are speccing us to do. i think that, you know, republican leadership has the opportunity to allow some of these votes come to the floor. i'm not sure i see that in sight. >> do you think he caved to the nra? >> well, he talked a big game, challenging both republicans and democrats to not be fearful of the nra and certainly he's roll backed his commitments. >> what do you think of the claim of appointing betsy devos to lead this commission to study, and she says everything is on the table. what do you make of this commission? >> you know, she is going to look at a set of proposals. i think before we look at the set of proposals, we have to get the facts which is why i've put forward a bill called the gun
research act to study gun violence as the public health issue that it is. and then from that space of fact and evidence, develop the proposals. i think it's kind of cutting your -- starting in the midway point to set up a commission that just looks at proposals. >> why -- had let me be counter intuitive. we know a lot about guns and gun ownership and america, gun use. we know the habit, we know about all the big shootings. we're aware of all the day by day shootings. what examine exactly are we looking for, perhaps strategically.? this may be a matter of political strategy in a big, national study of guns in america. do we sort of know the essentials? why take 6, 12, 18 months to do a big the official study? >> because i think right now our conversation is reactive.
it's reactive to the latest mass shooting, the latest headline of what gun violence looks like in this country. and so if you look at talking about raising the age, after legislation, we talked about banning bum stocks, we talked about orlando which is the district i represent, we talk about no fly, no buy, we are talking anecdotally about solutions that are in direct relationship to a specific incident. we need to look at gun violence not just the mass shootings but the gun violence that happens day-to-day. we talked about, you know, the need for more research and studies on how to treat battlefield wounds in their community hospitals. >> it seems to me me one of the reasons the sort of pro gun control, more gun reform they like to call it hasn't made more inroadses is there are members of congress who are scared they're going to lose their
seats if they don't vote with that side. you had the sandy hook massacre six years ago. after that, background checks failed. not a single senator voted for what that. it lost on the referendum in maine. does this ever become a voting issue where that kind of political fear makes its way to capitol hill? >> i think you might be looking at a tipping point because those students if in florida are starting a movement that is spreading all over this country. and they are a generation that had to grow up in a world where they don't know anything but mass shootings. ask and they've gotten to the point where they're sick and tired of it. now they're activating and moving. this generation is going to be the largest generation demographically in this country and they are the getting the vote. so i think the gun lobby's hold on politicians is about to change. >> all right. congresswoman stephanie murphy, thank you so much for being with us, as always. we really appreciate it.
still ahead, the president could hardly contain himself over the republican report that found no collusion with russia. sending out an all caps tweet in response. that's a five alarm fire. but the investigation that really matters isn't over yet and news is breaking this morning of one of donald trump's associates reaching out in the middle of the campaign to the founder of of wikileaks. we'll have that story when "morning joe" returns.
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report makes the assessment that russian president vladimir putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at the presidential election opinion it says that russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the u.s. democrat diddic procesic p denigrate hillary clinton and her potential presidency and state we further assess putin and the russian government developed a clear preference for president-elect trump. >> the headlines, russia wanted donald trump to win. but now house remembers are breaking with america's own intel community, an intel community appointed by donald trump and disputing donald trump's hand picked intel chiefs. suddenly, shutting down their
probe into election meddling. welcome back. it's tuesday, march 13th. mika will be back tomorrow. with us today, we have politics editor sam stein, co-founder and ceo of axis jim van did dehye, caddie cane. let's start right there with another unprecedented move by that house intel committee. >> yeah, joe. republican lawmakers on the house intelligence committee concluded their probe into russian interference in the 2016 election. drafting a 150-page majority report which states that they found no evidence that moscow colluded with the trump campaign. one of their findings says the committee concurs with the intelligence community's assessment on meddling quote except with respect to putin's exposed preference for candidate
trump. that is a report from the cia, fbi, and nsa that stated, quote, we further assess putin and the russian government developed a clear preference for president-elect are trump. although texas congressman mike conaway who has been leading this probe says the panel found bad judgment and some inappropriate meetings between members of the trump campaign and russians, last night conaway unveiled the findings on fox news. >> yes, the russians tried to interfere with our election process. yes, they had cyber attacks, active measures going on. we could find no evidence of collusion between either campaign and the russians and we also have some recommendations, will have recommendations that speak to what we do with elections going forward. >> no collusion that you found. >> that's right. >> no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and the russians.
>> or the clinton campaign. >> how confident are you of that? >> we found some. you you never know what you never know, but we found no reason to think there is something we're missing in this regard. we've talked to everybody we believe we needs to talk to. >> president trump responded to the findings with a tweet written in all capital letters, quote, the house intelligence committee has, after a 14-month long in-depth investigation, found no evidence of collusion or coordination between the trump campaign and rush to influence the 2016 presidential election. the russian embassy in the united states also shared its opinions of the house intelligence committee's findings tweeting, all russia investigations with the phrase in quotes not only in the u.s., are destined to end as mike conaway brilliantly concluded only tom clancy could take this series of inadvertent meetings, whatever, and weave that into some sort of a spy thriller that
go go out there clb includiincls of clancy's novels. >> joe, obviously the president thinking if you put it in capital letters makes it more true, but he's not right. this is not the house intelligence committee. this was the republican's response to what they think they have found. >> right. and it is jim van dehye, there is such a rush to judgment here. how revealing it is that you actually have the russian embassy, donald trump, and the republican house intel committee all lined up together, all gloating, all congratulating each other. it suggests what many of us have already seen with devin nunes already, that when this sorry chapter in american history is closed, those on the house intel committee and the republican side at least are going to find themselves embarrassed. >> there are so many things to pull out on this story.
the big one being when you were in congress, when it was anybody in congress, the intel committee was the one place where there was a bipartisan agreement to figure out what is real and what is not real. this is a total collapse of that. you have republicans not talking to democrats issuing their order report and a report that contradicts the president's own national security experts and the conclusions they came to. >> can you stop right there. stop right there. these members saw the testimony of four intelligence officers appointed by donald trump testify before congress that russia tried to interfere in the election on behalf of donald trump. >> they know that. that's a matter of public record. you can go into any court in the land and you can probably get judicial notice of it. it's so obvious. and yet they claim -- and in
this report made for talk radio, that that wasn't the case. i mean, clearly they're happy to ignore donald trump's cia director, their nsa director, basically ignore everybody that has testified before their own body whose job it is to figure this out. so tell me, jim, why did they lie when everybody knows they're lying, that the russians were trying to help donald trump. and secondly, why the rush to judgment, why now? >> well, in terms of like why someone is lying and not lying, i don't know if i can unpack that, but what i can unpack is because donald trump wants this and wants it badly. because if robert mueller has a lot more than we know that he has, at least from a public records so far, it has a lot more access to a lot more people than that committee had, he's going to need republicans to have his back. now he has a document that no matter what with robert mueller
finds, he can say, listen, our intelligence experts in congress came to a different conclusion. who do you believe? the republicans who looked at it or the liberals who looked at it? that's going to be his argument. i think that's why you see the timing. that is why it was rushed out. they need to discredit anything that robert mueller finds. >> let's just talk about who is investigating. you've got the house intel committee. obviously devin nunes who tried to recuse himself but just couldn't help himself shuttling back and forth from the white house, big play as donald trump's dupe. and that is obvious that he was
lying to the press corps.right there claiming that he had information saying, hey, what information do i have? again, this guy has been caught red handed time and time again being nothing more than a courier for donald trump's handlers down at the white house. but these so-called liberals that jim said fox news or republicans would claim were investigating donald trump, robert mueller, i remind everyone once again, a lifetime republican. rod rosenstein, despite the fact that donald trump lied about it, rod rosenstein, a republican. jeff sessions, a republican. cia director who came to the conclusion that the russians were trying to help donald trump, mike pompeo, a republican. dan coats, the national director of intelligence, a republican. i could go down the list. they're all republicans. by the way, richard burr, a guy
i came in with in 1994 who is running the senate intel committee's investigation who has scolded rightly many times the house intel committee a rock rib republican, everybody conducting this investigation is -- they are not part of a democratic conspiracy. they're all just republicans who, unlike the house intel committee, want to get to the truth. >> i have to side with nunes on had this one, joe. sorry. it's pretty one-sided. this is -- you know, in some ways, it kind of reminds me of the un masking scandal and the pfizer memo, which is -- it may be a stretch to compare these, but the pattern seems vaguely similar, which is the republican leadership on the house intelligence committee tries to find a short-term political gain by rushing something out,
distracting headlines, only to -- and we're speculating here, but i think it's fair. later down the road be embarrassed by what they did. and in this case, it seems pretty likely that the house intel leadership will be embarrassed if not humiliated by this product. because there are two more reports that are going to come out on the same topic. one is the senate intelligence committee and one is the mueller investigation, whereas the house has wrapped up their business without talking on to him, paul manafort, rick gates, george papadopoulos, without compelling topics from from key white house aides, those two other committees and investigators will have that data and they will reach diametrically different conclusions, it appears. we'll look back and say, wow, how did the house gop intelligence committee end up here.? the answer will be that they rushed their investigation and it looks like they're providing political coverage for the administration. >> and the question is why. i asked the question, why the
timing now? it's really a leading question because you could have asked the same question why did donald trump rush into that meeting with the south koreans when he wasn't even supposed to be in there and immediately started blabbing about wanting to get together with kim jong un. what did he not want on the front page of the newspaper? he didn't want the stormy daniels story on the front page of the newspaper. do you think the white house might have called and put some pressure on, again, the house intel committee to randomly select to look -- or to leap before they looked. there was no reason for them to put this out yesterday. they knew they were going to be making fools of themselves yesterday. but what happened yesterday? stormy daniels lawyer said, hey, we're giving your money back. "60 minutes" is moving forward with this interview. and i think stormy danieles has figured out she can make a lot more money giving the $130,000
back and she can say all she wants to say. she said she has pictures, she says she has video. she said she has everybody. this story, friends that are watching at home, as i told you last week and mika told you last week, this is the story the white house wants off the front pages of the newspaper at all times. eddie, i just wonder if this is the latest attempt by donald trump to do anything possible to keep that story off the front page of the newspapers. >> well, i think you're absolutely right, joe. it's the convergence of two factors. i think there is the disaster that is the stormy daniels story and, of course, the ongon goiin mueller investigation as he closes in on donald trump. what we've seen here, and we've seen this with the house intel committee since the beginning is that politics trumps the person of truth. and it's also the case that we live in a post fact world.
joyce said last night, you can debate the interpretation of the facts, but you can't really debate the facts. and what we see here is that in a post fact world, partisan commitments reign. and then i want to just echo what representative castro said, as well. nunes just hit a sacrifice fly in order to bring donald trump home. and what bringing him home means is getting stormy danielss off the front page. so i think you're absolutely right, joe. politics trump everything in this instance. >> speaking of stormy daniels, s sam nunburg said last week mueller seemed interested in trump's business practices. now another issue on the radar, alleged payments to women. we'll be talking about that next. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even a "red-hot mascot." [mascot] hey-oooo! whoop, whoop!
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former trump campaign aide sam nunburg revealed last night that payments to women are also on the special counsel's radar. >> did mueller's folks ask anything related to these issues around people or women? >> well, look, they asked if i had ever heard anything about that. and my answer is, i never have. i don't know anything about it and i wouldn't have known anything about it. so in your fbi interview with mueller's team, they were asking about payments to women? >> they were asking if i knew anything about it. >> they were asking you if you knew anything about payments to women. >> but i think it's pretty obvious that they're looking into this. >> so, caddie, i'm sure in your years covering politics and covering political scandals, i know the british never have any sex scandals. >> no. but if they did -- >> especially not the conservative party. >> especially not the torreys. upstanding young, fine, good men. but, you know, people forget so
often that those that are in politics do have a family and there is a personal impact to this. so for everybody looking at this stormy daniels story, sort of erupting and now she's talked to "60 minutes" and everybody is going to watch it on "60 minutes" and donald trump is trying to stop "60 minutes." they can't suspend the first amendment because he doesn't like what stormy daniels is going to say. but you just have to think that this really is having a personal impact inside the white house. in that case, they can deny it all they want. it is having a personal impact. that is why -- perhaps that's why we're seeing all of these wild lungs left and right by the trump white house to try to keep that news off the front page. >> yeah. there are two reasons the white house and the president in particular doesn't like the stormy daniels story. one is the legal implications.
was there something erroneous in the campaign finance in the reporting of any payments to stormy daniels in order to try and keep her quiet to protect the candidate, which would have been out of bounds in terms of campaign finance. but as you suggest, the much bigger story perhaps for donald trump is the personal story. relations between the first lady and the president have never seemed to be particularly warm. we saw it at the inauguration. it was very chilly between the two of them. but we've also seen a particular down turn in relations and things that the first lady has done, not showing up for things, suddenly changing her travel plans ever since the beginning of january and that's exactly when the stormy daniels broke. so the this cannot be a particularly easy, happy time for the president in his own marital relations when this is being splashed, as you say, on the front pages of the papers and added to that there is a potential legal liability for him, as well. >> and jim, they're doing what they can to try to stop "60
minutes" from running that interview. they don't have that power, do they? they could -- i suppose they could file another injunction against stormy daniels, but you can't -- i mean, if the supreme court allowed the "new york times" and washington post to run the pentagon papers, they're going to allow "60 minutes on" to interview a porn star, aren't they? >> it's hard to see how they can stop it. she clearly wants to tell her story. she has a story that people are super interested in. going to your point about what is happening with trump and what is he trying to obviate. i can't stress enough how much the white house is different today than even a month ago with so many of the restraints off of them. the people who would say don't do that or, hey, have you thought about a different option, they're all gone or they're all weakened. so now it really is trump on his own going with his gut with a bunch of people around him
nodding, yeah, go, go, go, that's a chart move. so when you asked for a psychiatric logical interpretation of why he's doing what he's doing, it's complex because i think so much of it is now i'm going to do what i want to do. if i want to negotiate with the koreans, i'm going to do it. if i want to do tariffs, i'm going to take on tariffs. if i want to take on a porn star on tv, i'll do that, too. it will be wilder, if you can imagine that, than the first 15 months. coming up on "morning joe," casey hunt in live in pennsylvania where the polls are now open and that closely-watched congressional election. she breaks down the state of the race and how shadows of hillary clinton still loom large. we're going to be right back.
to keep our community safe. before you do any project big or small, pg&e will come out and mark your gas and electric lines so you don't hit them when you dig. call 811 before you dig, and make sure that you and your neighbors are safe. coming up on "morning joe" -- >> if you look at race by race, it was close. the cumulative effect, however, was not too close. >> no, i'm not recommending for every future president that they take a shellacking like i did last night. >> presidents bush xliii and
obama both faced tough midterms in their first years in office. we're going to break down president trump's prospects as voters get their chance this november to weigh in on the nation's direction. but first, bill, the third nor'easter in ten days. what is it looking like right now up and down the east coast.? >> we're in the worst of the blizzard-like conditions in massachusetts. pictures coming to you from rhode island and other areas showing snow coverage primarily on the side roads and on the shore. you can see it right there and also on on the trees. it's a heavy, wet snow. so far, a lot of the roads have been holing up. as we go throughout the morning and the temperatures drop a as the winds change more in the north and northeast, that's when we expect the accumulations on the roadways. blizzard warnings, the entire coastline from maine down through new hampshire and out to cape cod. about 3.5 million, 4 million people under blizzard warnings.
the heaviest of the snow is from boston swartz down through rhode island. one band in wintering portions of connecticut. snowing in areas of long island and new york city. again, the road temperature has been pretty warm making it not too bad. so zero to 2 inches depending if you're on the roads and thes grass for new york. you've been in the middle of two heavy bands of snow over the last hour or two. as far as the wind gusts go, the strongest is out towards nantucket. 40 to 50-mile-per-hour gusts as we go throughout the day on cape cod. the gusts aren't too bad in areas lot of like boston down to providence. but you worry about the heavy, wet snow in the trees, it sticks to it. we can get some downed trees and some power outages. the rest of the country looks fine. a look at the flight cancellations, 1,600 as of last hour so there are effects across the country. new york city, one of those spots has been making out okay. boston, you're not going to get so lucky out of this one. snow covered roads. wind is picking up.
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because safety is never being satisfied and always working to be better. >> the democrat. >> the democrat, yes. >> and, really, i don't think the labels are all that important. you vote for the best man. right now, we with need a good man in congress. and i hope that he succeeds. >> wow. that was former republican mayor of pleasant hills, pennsylvania, who voted for president trump on why he's voting for the democratic candidate in today's special election. we're back with caddie kay, sam stein, peggy noonan and steve kornacki. you know, he peggy, i was actually thinking this past weekend that if i were a democrat running, i would
actually -- i would quote him and say, america is great because america is good. and when america ceases being good, it will cease to be great and i just -- think about that republican mayor. saying smack dab as we would say in the south in the age of trump saying we need a good man in congress. wow. that's -- i think that says a lot about where we are in 2018. >> it does. john adams has said something about like what togethkville is have said about our system of government requiring good people in order to operate, a good and moral and well balanced people in order to do its job. i found that remember mayor to be a rather impressive fellow.
i always like it when people buck their party for serious reasons. it is my sense we talked about this the previous hour, that conor lamb, the democrat, will seem because of the issues stands he has, he will seem to some people, i think there in pennsylvania, to be a sort of trumpan fellow without the trumpian baggage. do you know what i mean? a nice young man whos has sort of trumpian policies. i am wondering, just, just a point of information, a, is it snowing in pennsylvania or in pennsylvania 18 right now? and b, if so, what are the implications of that fact? >> yeah. it certainly is lately. and, you know, peggy, what i love is also -- and we talked about it a lot, how the people like that mayor can vote for
donald trump and then two years later vote for a democratic congressman. four years, six years before voted for barack obama. before 245, voted for, you know, george w. bush twice, bill clinton twice, and ronald reagan twice. americans are not idealogical. cable news hosts and talk radio hosts and columnists and people that we are around often are far more idealogical than rank and file voters who run this country. >> and far more partisan, also. on a certain level and less and less partisan the closer you get to the ground. sometimes i think that the -- look, all of these things are in flux right now. i think they will be in flux in the future as the democratic
party figures out what it sands for and the republican party does, also, i was fought be shocked for the first time in our lives to see a serious third party effort spring up in the next two years or four years or six. so there is so much up for grabs in america right now. >> so much up for grabs. to answer the snowing question, let's go to casey. she was live in pennsylvania. we see, casey, a few snowflakes, but certainly nothing that would deter voters who want to go out and send a message the to washington this morning. >> i can confirm, joe and peggy, it is snowing in pennsylvania 1. as you pointed out, it is light enough at this point. it is not blizzard-like conditions. it is not necessarily going to dampen the enthusiasm of voters.
conor lamb was just here voting and he talked about what he thinks is going to be a driving factor. the reality is this should, under no circumstances, be a race. this district went for 20 points as you've talked about for trump. it went for mitt romney before that. but there st a critical piece of this. yes, on the one hand, you may have young democrats that didn't turn out, show up for the polls. and mike barnacle is often around the round table talking about voters like this, people who worked hard their whole lives, who feel like their country and their dreams are slipping away from them. i talked to a couple yesterday, he was a retired coal miner. he had voted for barack obama and then they voted for donald trump. they were telling me that they liked what he said about steel, they liked his tariff policies. they don't, though, think he
should keep taking to twitter and making what they described to me as offensive comments. they are voting for conor lamb and it's also because in part their union is helping organize them around that. a big piece of this is hillary clinton. they said, we simply could not vote for hillary clinton. she made some comments saying republicans are pointing to this on social media and it captures a bit of why they thaw thit couldn't vote for her. take a look. this was hillary talking about the election in 2016. >> if you look at the united states, there's all that red in the middle where trump won. but what the map doesn't show you is that i won the places that represent two-thirds of america's gross domestic product. so i won the places that are
optimistic, diverse, die the namic, moving forward and his whole campaign, make america great again, was looking backwardses. you know, you didn't like black people getting rights, you don't like women, you know, getting jobs, you don't want to see that indian american succeeding more than you are. whatever your problem is, i'm going to solve that. >> so contrast that with the way that conor lamb is talking to voters here in this district. he's not talking in that way. and the people that i sat down with yesterday said, look, he gets the local economy. he understands that we have a future. he takes us seriously. that's what they want to hear from democrats in the future and i think that's what's going to determine whether or not the democrat in 2020 is able to win back places like this in trump country. there is an opening. the question is is there the right kind of candidate to walk
through it. joe. >> casey hunt in near blizzard-type conditions. i see a few snowflakes, casey. thank you so much. >> yeah, exactly. >> thank you so much for being with us. let's bring pb in now the co-founder and publisher of real clear politics, tom bevin. listening to hillary clinton's comments, they're deplorable. here is a woman who is basically accusing people of wisconsin, michigan, of being americans who don't like women getting rights, don't like black people getting rights, and yet these states that hillary is talking about are states where barack obama won two times, that john kerry won in 2004, al gore won in 2000. i could keep going back to 1988.
as we've sat around the table since the day after donald trump won, historians may look back and find that this election was about hillary clinton and what she did not do than it was about what donald trump did. >> no, that's exactly right. democrats are pretty lucky that hillary's comments came late enough so republicans couldn't turn around and use this as an ad in pennsylvania 2018. they've been pounding nancy pelosi and trying to link pelosi to conor lamb and they're lucky that republicans weren't able to link ham to hillary clinton's comments. because that's exactly right. conor lamb has managed to re-establish relations with the works class, the ones who turned away hillary clinton in 2016. that's good news for democrats. the question is in 2020, will
their nominee be able to do that same thing. and we don't know who the party is going to nominate just yet. >> here is the good news if you're an election night watcher. there's not any other racers on the ballot. it's a special election. if it's real close, we might know by 11:00 or so, but i don't think it's going to be much longer than that until we get a winner. the interesting thing i think to keep in mind for this district is it's sort of a split personality district. number one is we talk a lot of times about these sort of higher income suburban voters who maybe don't like donald trump and his tone, donald trump and his style. that's the part of the district that's sort of the suburbs of pittsburgh if you're in allegheny county.
that's where conor lamb hat to not just whip, but win by a bigger margin. then when we talk about what we associate with this district, you're thinking more like westmoreland county, a bit of washington county, that's the much more republican part of the district. again, the question there then becomes can sa coccone win them over. and donald trump is weighing in on the race, talking about the economy, saying keep it going. this is the message for saccone. >> we have breaking news and then i'll let you ask a question of tom.
"the washington post" just at 8:40 a.m., two minutes ago, with this breaking news. trump ousts secretary of state rex tillerson. will replace him with cia director mike pompeo. president trump has ousted secretary of state rex tillerson and replaced him with cia director mike pompeo. >> wow. >> orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate negotiations with north korea. white house officials said tuesday "the washington post" goes on and says tillerson has made public remarks last year insisting he was not planning to quit, despite persistent reports of disagreements between him and the white house over staffing issues at the state department and a disconnect over what president trump saw as tillerson's conventional approach to policy matters. >> wow. >> so we will get back to
pennsylvania in one moment. but caddie kay, obviously, a lot of disruption. this secretary of state has never been in the inner circle of donald trump, even during the transition. jared kushner is running around making all of the contacts and most of the contacts with foreign leaders and ambassadors and shuffling those roles and tillerson never really connected with the state department community, either. a lot of criticism that this ceo, as secretary of state, acted like an exxon ceo. and never really figured out how you to fit into his job and certainly never figured out how to get along with the commander in chief. >> right. and he was distancing himself from the president even yesterday on a trip to africa where he came out talking about that potential north korea meeting, kind of throwing cold water on the idea saying, look, there's a lot to be sorted out.
still, we don't have a time, we don't have a place and time and again he didn't seem to be on the same page as the president. you know this, joe. it's extremely important for a president to have somebody in the position of secretary of state who foreign allies and adversaries know that when they are talking to that person, he or she absolutely represents the oval office and the president. and donald trump didn't have that relationship with rex tillerson. it's part of the reason that foreign allies have found it extremely difficult to deal with this administration. by the way, during his flight from chad, the secretary of state, rex tillerson, also told reporters on that plane about relations with russia. he said, quote, i've become extremely concerned with about russia. we spent most of last year investing a lot into attempts to work together to solve problems, to address differences. and quite frankly, after a year, we with didn't get very far. instead, what we've seen is a pivot on their part to be more
aggressive. this is very, very concerning to me and others that there seems to be a certain unleashing of activity that we don't fully understand what the objective behind that is. this is critical, joe. this came in response to the spy poisoning in the uk where the white house yesterday said we stand by our allies, but pointedly didn't mention russia in the context of that investigation. rex tillerson, at odds again with the white house yesterday on the issue of russia saying that he was very concerned about russia and about russia in the context of that particular incident. i don't know if that is what tipped the president over the edge, but it's very interesting. if it's russia that did this and the president's continuing inability to criticize president putin in moscow, even in the face of what is happening right now in the united kingdom with the possibility that moscow is behind that attack on the former spy, that would make a very big difference between tillerson and the president. and you have to ask why is president trump, again, finding it so difficult to criticize
positive cow to the extent that the secretary of state and him were on such different pages that now we have rex tillerson out of office. >> peggy, it is so critical that you have a secretary of state that is walking lock step with the president of the united states. here is donald trump confirming it now, mike pompeo, director of the cia, will become our new secretary of state. he will do a fantastic job. thank you to rex tillerson for his service. gina haspe had l will become the new director of the cia and the first woman so chosen. congratulations to all. gina haspel will become the next director of the cia. peggy, as we talk about secretaries of state, you look back, ronald reagan's second term and certainly at george
h.w. bush's presidency and when foreign leaders saw james barker iii walk into their offices, they knew that baker was speaking for ronald reagan and george h.w. bush. i don't think anybody has ever been able to draw that conclusion when rex tillerson walked into their offices. >> no. it all looked so much more tentative and provisional than that. i just think this is quite obviously a huge story. it's more shock to the system. more disruption within the administration. on the washington angle, i had just read this morning tillerson's comments on russia is -- he found newly aggressive in some way that he suggested needed some pushback. tillerson himself has never been a hard liner about russia. i mean, he goes back with putin a long time. they've had a very good relationship. when tillerson first came in and met with putin, he said, you
know, i used to wear my other hat for exxon. now i'm wearing this hat. but he's not a hard bar guy on russia and yet he's sounding very hard line now and he's out of a job. in i think the big story will be how did this go down? at what point did this start happening? how connected to it is north korea and the meeting with kim? everybody likes mom mike pompeo. that part of the story will go well. but even though it is a funny thing, everybody has thought for a long time rex tillerson's position is not secure, there was no sense of, this is coming, this is happening. >> well, it has happened. and let's go to david ignatius on the phone right now. david, there have been reports over the past week or so, starting with hope hicks announcing that she was going to
be leaving that donald trump was going to be untethered. and that we would be seeing actually a more erratic trump in the future and just since those reports started breaking, we've seen steel tariffs, aluminum tariffs. we've obviously seen the president pushing for a meeting with kim jong-un would no preconditions. and now tillerson leaving the state department. what are your initial thoughts? >> joe, one of those events that's a shock but at the same time isn't surprising at all. we've known president trump didn't feel comfortable with rex tillerson as the secretary of state. there was just a basic personality disconnect. we know that last fall, mike pompeo was asked if he was ready to step in as secretary of state and said yes, he was. so the idea that they'd make this change that goes back that
far. as to what prompted the final coup de grace, the final moment, it's going to take some reporting over the next couple of days to be clear on that. two things i would just note. one is president trump, as with secretary or attorney general sessions, just has repeatedly isolated and humiliated his secretary of state. the most recent example is the decision to go forward on the north korean negotiations. tillerson looked caught out on that. i think this crucial foreign policy moment of his presidency, he must want to have his own team. i've heard pompeo in the situation room, he's a person really now speaks with the most confidence as the president's
adviser. that increasingly has shifted from tillerson aligned with mattis to trump allied with pompeo. so in that sense, trump will have somebody, secretary of state, who really speaks for him and the whole world will know that. but the other detail that's a why now, what specifically, what connection to russia. we needed to do reporting. >> we needed to do the reporting. andrea mitchell is with us. let's bring in andrea. and andrea, david ignatius was talking about a disconnect between the president and the secretary of state. obviously a massive disconnect between the secretary of state and the professionals at the state department. i suspect there will be few tears shed over the state department today on the sacking of rex tillerson. it's been a rocky ride for the secretary of state.
and the professionals. >> the irony, a very rocky ride, but there's been another element here and i think there will be a lot of concern. because in many ways rex tillerson was at least, on policy issues, more in line with the traditional diplomacy than anyone else in the administration. and most recently, and this is what's so remarkable, he landed at 4:00 a.m. this morning at andrews air force base, cutting short his trip to africa by one day. i was checking outside and we were all told it was to come back. and he, in fact, said on the plane, it was to return early because of all of the korea, everything else that was going on, he had to get back to work. his father had died the week before. so he has not been in the state department for two full weeks. but the real policy disagreement that happened yesterday. this is something that david ignatius and all of you should jump on is not just the way the korea issue has rolled out, but
yesterday, andrews came out to the briefing room and refused to sign on to what theresa may had said about russia's involvement in the poisoning of the russian spies. and rex tillerson not only put out a statement last night, but he went on the record with the traveling press corps and we were posting when they refueled in cape verdy last night, about 7:00 last night, we were posting a series of very strong statements, showing it was russia that did it, and he said, it's not clear yet whether it was the russian government but that this had to be investigated. help was aligning with the very strong statement that theresa may had made. which is arguably under some interpretation as an act of war under the nato treaty, if it is the russian government. >> yes. let me -- >> -- completely in contest with what was said at the white house briefing, so a lot of the
thought, well, tillerson is now describing the policy as u.s. intelligence and others have confirmed and it is our closest ally. it was striking that sarah sanders didn't agree with what theresa may had said. this was the most recent disagreement and that was 7:00 last night, flying back from africa. >> thank you, andrea. what's interesting, sam stein, mike pompeo, though, did testify before congress not so long ago that russia was trying to interfere with the election for the benefit of donald trump. and really quickly, let's just talk a little bit about mike pompeo who the president's putting forward as secretary of state. pompeo, from the very beginning, had donald trump's respect. trump, the president, throughout the transition, would talk in glowing terms of mike pompeo because of his education,
because of his background. he did graduate from west point. excelled at harvard law school. was editor of the harvard law review. and was an attorney at williams and connolly. this former congressman from kansas and current director of the cia has all of those east coast credentials that not only this president but most presidents would want in their cabinet members. he is not a wild man from out west. he has gone to one east coast. he's been in one east coast establishment institution after another. and has excelled. has been at the top of his class wherever he went. >> he has the resume. what he doesn't have is the traditional experience. you know, six-term congressman, maybe i'm getting that wrong, obviously army grad, harvard law, and has run the cia, which is not the same as running the state department obviously.
little diplomatic experience. to be honest, tillerson had none himself. this is the second semiunconventional choice that trump's made to run foggy bottom. and it will be an open question as to whether mike pompeo will have a less rocky tenure than rex tillerson. you can see he will at least have a smoother relationship with trump because he knows how to relate to the president. i think he's more savvy when it comes to working, for instance, cable news, which is a huge thing for anyone in this administration. i would add one clarification point to what andrew was talking. "the washington post" report on tillerson's firing or dismissal, whatever you call it, it says specifically it happened on friday. which means that when he made his comments about russia on monday and about putin's involvement in potentially poisoning this ex-spy, he was not -- he was being liberated. he said them as a freer man. not that those comments were --
facilitated his firing. the implication that somehow down the line, we don't know when, we will hear again from rex tillerson. rex tillerson has seen a lot and experienced a lot, including a lot of humiliation at the hands of this president and perhaps we haven't heard the last of rex tillerson. >> yes. catty kay, a white house official said the following, the president wanted to make sure to have his new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with north korea and various ongoing trade negotiations. there is no doubt, katty, that when you look across the globe, north korea is the most pressing problem for this american president. during the transition when barack obama met with donald trump, he said, you can worry about obamacare all you want to, but what's going to be keeping you up at night is going to be our crisis that we -- the
ongoing crisis in north korea. it does make sense, as you move towards a meeting with kim jong-un. you want the people that you trust in place to prepare for that meeting. >> yes, this is an incredibly high-stakes gamble that the president is taking. he has given kim jong-un the possibility of a photo opportunity that confers some kind of legitimacy on north korea. if these talks don't work, they've sort of boxed themselves into a corner of having to take some kind of military action afterwards because they'll be no room for diplomacy. consistency, rex tillerson is the one skeptical in public about the talks with the north koreans. he did it when he was out in asia. he did it last week. that puts him at odds with the president on this critical meeting and i suspect that may be behind it. interesting that tillerson's russia comments come after he was fired. as sam suggests, maybe he was liberated.
it seems it was north korea, not russia, that was the breaking point for president trump. >> and perhaps a white house official statement that the president wanted his team in place before he met with north korean leader, actually could also be something that makes an awful lot of sense. there's been no doubt that the president has not had faith in rex tillerson as the secretary of state for some time. and has had faith in mike pompeo and has wanted to move mike pompeo from the cia over to the state department. well, now, that's exactly what the president tells us he is going to do after "the washington post" broke the story at 8:40 a.m. this morning. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle will pick up the coverage right now, stephanie. good morning. we've got breaking news. moments ago, it was reported that president trump has officially removed rex