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tv   Hugh Hewitt  MSNBC  March 17, 2018 5:00am-5:30am PDT

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ank yosou much. thank you. so we're doing it. yes. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we help all types of businesses with money, tools and know-how to get business done. american express open. morning glory, america. i'm hugh hewitt. this is the week trump decided this week to let trump be trump. rex tillerson is out. larry kudlow takes over as chief economics adviser. more changes designed to make the president confident his agenda is being implemented. it is an old-fashioned article 2 presidency. i'm the president. it may not work, but it's my
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way. and tuesday night republicans lost to a democrat. a young handsome marine turned gun rights democrat but a democrat. the district went by 20 points. romney 17 points. no ifs, ands, buts or explanations. i'll focus on the change in the second part of the show. first, can the gop come become? always insightful funny john my friend of longstanding and rising star of radio tv and my guest host on radio when i'm off air on vacation, joe. gentlemen, welcome. if donald trump had given a different speech or no speech at all, would the republicans have won? did trump lose the election? >> trump lost the election. the only question is whether by appearing there he pulled them back from a 25% shift to a 20%
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shift. there's a little evidence to suggest that he might have hemmed the republican a little bit. but, again, that would just mean if he hadn't gone that the democrat would have won by two or three instead of winning by this 700 or 800 votes thing. so that just speaks is to the fact that he has a tiny bit of pull. but the district shifts 20 points in the other direction from his election. it's about him. >> joe, if donald trump hadn't been pregnant, if hillary clinton were president and tim murphy won, would that district have stayed red? >> i don't think it would have. conor lamb ran as a republican. he had an ad showing him shooting an ar-15. he's pro life. he wants to drill for natural gas. he wants to raise the minimum wage only to $10. he ran to the center as opposed to where the democratic party is going. rick saccone was the worst candidate we have ever seen -- well, ever, since december, roy
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moore. >> the worst in 2018 by a long shot. >> so the irony is he brought in voters in 2016 that never voted before. now people who never voted before now are because of personal animas to the president. >> i think we're going to get killed. >> that district is why trump won. getting voters in a district like that to go for him in overwhelming numbers, up three percentage points more than romney in 2012. that's the margin of victory in those three states, pennsylvania, ohio. that's where he won. and if the district shifts 20 points in the other direction, that is what we call a harbinger of doom. >> doom. >> i don't think you can call conor lamb a republican. he ran as a moderate democrat.
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this is exactly what happened in 2006 when rahm emanuel got pro gun, military people to run in these seats and won 30 votes. >> give me some hope. >> just to address john real quick. a, is nancy pelosi in trouble? conor lamb specifically called out nancy pelosi and said i'm not associated with her. does the party need to move to the center? the third and most apparent, is loyalty to trump transferrable? i think the answer is no. you have a less than desirable candidate people will not follow because trump said they should. >> what do you tell them about trump, john? >> retire. honestly -- i'm not saying retire. we will see more retirements i believe as a result of this election. i think what you do is taeulor your message to the district as much as possible. trump is a trap. if you criticize him mildly, the
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the people who drag themselves over broken glass to vote for him, this might attack you. trump might single you out. so you're kind of -- you're going to have to ride it however it goes. if there's a democrat you can wave, you ride it in some way that causes you to survive and not get wiped out. >> i'll answer your question, yes, you're going to get killed in the fall. look at president obama in 2010. trump is 41%. if obama took a beating in 2010 from the tea party, what do you think is going to happen when trump is four points later. >> we being conservative republicans have been blessed. heidi hide camp is in trouble. she's coming on conservative radio. we're going to win indiana. florida, i think. but what does that mean?
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that means impeachment. the president will be impeached, right? >> if the democratic pickup is sufficiently large. that is to say it can't be they win by one or two. if they win by 15 or 20, if they end up with a 20 or 30-seat majority, he will be impeached almost without question. >> do democrats want to do that considering what happened with the republicans in the late '90s and president clinton leaves with a 68% approval rating? they will say trump is so weak, beat him at the ballot box. >> chaos or a move that he is getting the people he wants with kudlow. >> i see a story being missed, which is the upgrades as a result of the chaos. do you want ben, priebus, spicer, tillerson as your starting five. or john kelly, mcmaster, sanders
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and pompeo? the upgrades are the story and not so much the chaos. >> i'm very excited about mike pompeo. but what about the rest of the story? >> mom pay pompeo is one guy. he is largely unstaffed at the senior levels. we are heading into a potential foreign policy crisis with north korea or some kind of gigantic negotiation, which is a different form, in my view, of the foreign policy crisis. if it all falls apart to be in a position to impose sanctions or run covert ops, that is very unnerving to me. >> my friends will go to work for mike pompeo. they put their interests ahead of their distaste for president trump. >> joe, will the white house release the black list? they have to? they have to staff the state
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department. >> yeah. it's a little bit under staffed right now. i don't have many friends, but the way. that will tell you what exactly is going on there. i think only things will improve at the state tkefplt but you have to have more than a couple people running the entire apparatus. you see the isis caliphate almost gone since he took office. and north korea, if they get progress there. any other president, everything is going smoothly. if people forget the results because of not liking him, that's going to be the problem. >> there was the cuban missile crisis. they thought the president would get crushed. he was not. if it were held today, the senate is held and the congress is destroyed. but what happens to trump after he's rebuked? george w. bush doubled down with the surge. anticipate, john. what happens to donald trump if he's rebuked? >> whatever comes in his head.
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that's the thing about trump policies is that we know, for example, he always wanted to impose tariffs. so he has imposed the tariffs. maybe he will impose more tariffs. ette he wants to be in the position of obama saying he can't get stuff done through congress even with a republican congress. he's looking at coupling up with cob maimy idea that we need steal to impose a tariff unilaterally. republicans will now be in a position of defending trump on the grounds that he is going extra constitutional with executive orders and democrats will be like, thiss terrible, he's using executive orders and not going through congress. we will have one of those aoerd total flips. the argument made in 2015 will be the argument made by democrats in 2018. >> he wouldn't mind being eupl
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paoefpld. >> eu . >> impeached doesn't mean leaving office. it would energize supporters. fighting is about styles. who is a leader of that party right now? i have no idea. if they go hard to the left, he could win again. if they two to the center with somebody that appeals more to the rust belt, like joe biden, if joe biden runs, that would be difficult for him to win. >> >> how do you not wear a green? >> there is a little bit of green. >> it's st. patrick's day. >> joe, john, thank you. the changing of the guard is next. stay with us. powerfully efficient and one more thing the world comes with it ♪you can go your own way... the 2019 jeep cherokee
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some of us heard that rex it was coming months ago and mike pompeo would be the 70th secretary of state. i admit it was me. i turn to dr. lori, deputy director general of strategic studies. she was a distinguished fellow at the hoover institution and editor with james mattis of the book "warriors & citizens." she served in the white house national security council at the department of defense, for the office of the secretary and joint khfs of staff, and the state department for the policy planning staff. during the 2008 presidential election, she was senior policy adviser on the mccain/palin campaign. her publications include" safe passage" and policy after trump.
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doctor, welcome. thank you for staying with us today. >> it is so great to be with you, hugh. >> let's go immediately to what it means. mike pompeo is the hawk. secretary of defense mattis, your co-author is the not hawk. are they going to get along in the cabinet? >> i wouldn't presume to speak for the secretary of defense, hugh. but my confidence is that both soon to be secretary pompeo and secretary mattis are both professional enough to be able to do their job serving the american public and serving president trump well and easily. >> what was the biggest problem with rex tillerson from your point of view as a specialist in that department having worked in that department? >> i think there were three problems for secretary tillerson. the first is that he never seemed to find a wavelength in which to get along with his boss. and that's really important. the interpersonal relationships
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of cabinet members actually have a lot to do with how policy comes out. and i think secretary tillerson always struggled with that. the second thing is that, you know, everybody needs a voter base. and secretary tillerson set sail on a revision of the state department that he spent an entire year thinking about and admiring the problem rather than getting it done, moving forward, giving a sense of clarity to the undertaking and getting his staff behind him and supporting him. and the third thing i think that was problematic for secretary tillerson is actually the president's fault, which is there are a lot of inherent contradictions in president trump's approach to problems. just to use one example, the way the president undercut our military relationship in the last couple of days as we are on the eve of negotiations with
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north korea about their nuclear program. and i think that would make the job hard for every secretary of state, the inherent contradictio contradictions. but secretary tillerson not having a strong base of support in the department up and running and behind him and working to advance his policies, never establishing the kind of relationship with the president that would help him get done things that the president wants to get done in ways consistent with how the president wants him to come out. >> kori, you said rec tillerson made an organizational chart but didn't get anything done. he just stared at it for a week. you have empty boxes like the undersecretary for management, the deputy secretary for strategic arms control discussions. you have assistant secretary for east asia. you don't have support on the hill. does mike pompeo get to bring his people, in your view?
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how important that he be allowed to go and find people who might not be on the front tier of pro trumpism over the years? >> well, it is certainly important for any secretary to be able to surround themselves with a team that they feel gets them, has their confidence, is working to advance their agenda. but recall secretary gates went into the pentagon with one or two people and was a terrific secretary of defense. i think the challenge is less how do i parachute in with the team than how do i get this entire large organization working in support of my objectives and my priorities. and secretary pompeo i think will be very good at that. >> the is secretary told me in my first interview that not a conversation goes by that he hasn't talked to the president four or five times a week that north korea doesn't come up. when you view the department of
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state, does that make it more or less likely that we come to a bunch in the nose, that we come to blows with north korea or we have a difficult that the president can talk him into a different approach? >> well, i think whether we go to war on the korean peninsula has first and foremost to do with the actions of north korea because they're the ones who are creating this crisis. but second, i think president trump as the only elected official in this administration, he's going to be the one who sets is policy. and he has set policy on all the important issues, including north korea so far. so i wouldn't expect that secretary pompeo would make more or less likely. i think that rests on the white house. >> let me focus on the national security adviser about whom there has been speculation. h.r. mcmaster considered one of the great intellectuals. you write a lot about the military establishment. do you think he is moving on?
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if so, do you welcome john bolton or do you want a stephen hadley type in that job? >> well, i think the national security adviser has three principle functions. first, to understand and advance the president's agenda throughout the policies that the government takes up. second, to do the coordination among the departments to make sure that we don't just have a military strategy, we have a policy of economic and political and intelligence strains of operations that all add up to support the president's objectives. and the third thing that the national security adviser does is be the president's personal staff, to prepare the president for meetings with foreign leaders and all of those interactions. president trump is difficult to staff because he moves around a lot.
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he keeps his twitter finger ready. and so that is going to be challenging for anyone i think. and it looks as though it was challenging for lieutenant general mcmaster. >> last question. there is always a first among equals. is that secretary of defense mattis now, or is it going to be mike pompeo? >> i wouldn't presume to know the answer to that. i think the secretary of state has traditionally be the senior member of the cabinet. one thing i admire very much about the way secretary mattis has done his job is how he emphasized diplomacy needs to lead on american policies and that our defense policy is a supporting element of our broader diplomatic approach and our broader political strategy set by the white house. >> dr. schake, always good to talk to you. thank you for taking time with us from london this morning. needles.
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welcome back. time for a quick hugh's views. understand mike pompeo is a friend. they have already written a glowing column about his appointment for the "washington post". mike pompeo is a weekly guest for a couple years on my radio show. he demonstrates sound judgment, affability and a deep, deep intellect. we won the confidence of the career staff at the cia and excelled there. more importantly, he won the confidence of president trump. they share a view on the iran deal and the strategic assessment of the problem of north korea and china and, yes, russia. he is a russia hawk. pompeo could turn out to be to donald trump and kissinger to nixon, a right arm. he graduated first in his class at west point, a lawyer at d.c.
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williams and conley before launching a political career in kansas and congress thereafter. but he mostly is competent. he will bring in a great team, instruct them they are the president's team and the united states's team. and he will lead and he will communicate in a direct, sometimes blunt, always truthful kansas fashion like that other great kansas west pointer, ike. expect a lot of ike out of mike pompeo. friends like tom cotton, paul ryan has not just the confidence of the president but strong allies on the hill. it won't be long before the press figures out that mike pompeo brought much needed talent to foggy bottom to fill all the empty boxes. the a pointes we have long needed. the end of march, in fact, if they are serious about to get him confirmed. he is a five-star appointee
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where one is needed the most. and that indeed is a very great thought on which to begin your saturday. we are getting a secretary of state who is absolutely up to the challenges of a very dangerous world. thanks for watching today. keep the conversation going on msnbc.com/hughs-hewitt. see you next start morning as always here on msnbc. did dad make me lust for too great an adventure? my scars and bruises tell their own story. so here's to you, mom and dad. freedom and adventure. but their nutritional needs remain instinctual. that's why there's purina one true instinct. real meat #1. a different breed of natural nutrition. purina one true instinct. now, try new purina one true instinct treats. believe the health we aof our water sourcesany
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hey there, good morning, everyone. i'm alex wilt at msnbc world headquarters in new york at the half hour. we have breaking news to share this morning. president trump's embattled deputy director fired last night for demonstrating lack of cap door under oath. he responded with a blistering statement saying i am being singled out because of the role i played, the actions i took, and the events i witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of james comey. the focus me is part of an unprecedented efft

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