tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 28, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
we have mike barnacle, national affairs analyst for nbc news and nbc news national political reporter, good to have you all on board on this monday "morning joe." yikes. another week. >> another week, mika, but you know, today is a day that a lot of people certainly have been talking to you about just from all over the country. if your father were alive today, he would be 90 years old. this would have been his 90th birthday. it seems like a good time to assess his legacy and maybe ask what he would be thinking about where we are today. >> well, i think he would be saying that we have reached a new low in demonstrating such a severe lack of strategic vision which is everything my father was about. strategic vision and if you look at what trump has done, the list
is just incredible. i'll name a few. he's weakened our military and trade alliances. he has -- he's trying to rip up the iran deal. wasteful spending on this wall in mexico, which now it appears the military will be paying for, seeding leadership in asia. walking away from tpp. denigrating other nations like saying that comment that he said s-hole about other countries, such an incredibly almost racist view of other nations and of course, just to sort of cap off this list which could be much longer, appointing john bolton, that kind of says it all. every stupid comment, every stupid tweet, joe, knocks us down a peg and impacts our ability to have any strategic vision and any strong place in the world. >> you know, it's almost as if dr. brzezinski might say the way
trump has conducted himself in office is stunningly superficial and there's no doubt that dr. brzezinski would that i can that quote that donald trump is so proud of and say that with every tweet, with every misstatement, with every -- everything that you say that denigrates yourself, you weaken yourself for the negotiating table. >> yeah, i think that's right. i think it -- i did know -- i didn't know there was anything that you could say that dr. brzezinski would have said that would have been damning or superficial -- >> that's pretty bad. >> people may recall that he applied that to you at some point for those that are new to the show, but if he were around he might find something more harsh to apply to donald trump and mika made a list of obvious and powerful indictments against the president that i'm sure her father would have levelled against him, but i think he would look even more beyond all those things. you'd look at the -- just -- he
would try to discern whether there was some kind of obvious strategic philosophical coherence to the world view of the president and the people that he surrounded himself with and he would look at that and not find one i think and he would also look at the inconsistencies between things like appointing john bolton to become his national security advisor. what that suggests about his world view versus the world view that he ran on in 2016, what he told the country his view was going to be in terms of restraint, in terms of getting out of wars that we were in. in terms of not getting into more wars, not an aggressive position, more isolationist than -- than interventionist and so i think there will be many levels on which dr. brzezinski would find the president and his foreign policy views wanting. >> but you know, what's so interesting is you look at john bolton's appointment, and you actually have people like marco rubio going out there, some
writers for conservative magazines going out there actually talking about what a great guy he is, what a strategic thinker he is, i don't know if they're just trying to suck up to the right wing of their party because they feel like they -- they somehow have to earn a few points before the primary process, but this is a man who has written op ed saying we need to have a pre-emptive military strike, a bombing against north korea, which would -- just about every military strategist would say would cost 500,000 to a million south korean lives, bomb iran, and that iraq was a great idea. i mean, so when you hear things like that, you start -- you say, wait a second, maybe this isn't about donald trump corrupting the republican party. maybe there's some elements of the republican party that are already wildly out of step with the american people that don't deserve to survive donald trump. >> well, there's no doubt about that, joe. i mean, we've seen that play out
over the past few years, not just the past year and a half with the trump administration, but dr. brzezinski is every appearance here with what i would call value added. and nowhere do we miss him more than in situations like occurred yesterday, with the head of north korea going to beijing, chinese and the north koreans sitting down, discussing multiple items that threaten the world. and the president of the united states apparently on the eve allegedly if a meeting is to take place with the head of north korea. i would like to -- love to have known what dr. brzezinski sum mys from what's happening right now all around us. >> yeah. and donald trump in the dark. let's -- mika, why don't we look at some of the latest news we'll be talking about north korea, also talking about some matchups between donald trump and just about every one of those 200 democrats who want to run
against him in 2020. he doesn't fare well against many of those. but the latest news and the story that i'm going to tell you at least for me seems to get stranger by the moment. you have stormy daniels' attorney going on the air 40, 50 times a day. all i can say is, if you're holding four as, you're not running around yelling and screaming and calling other people punks or whatever and it's very unsettling, i think for all those who thought that he might have something that was significant. right now with every television appearance he makes i become more skeptical of this story. >> having said that, the president's silence is incredible given the fact that he pushes back at much smaller things. he's not afraid to talk about untoward things and yet he will not push back at the allegations of this porn star and also former playboy model. he won't talk about them at all.
so late yesterday the porn star's attorney, stormy daniels' attorney filed a motion seeking to depose both the president and his personal lawyer michael cohen. according to the filing he is asking for up to two hours with each defendant. it's an effort to get them under oath on the $130,000 hush money agreement signed just 11 days before the election. stormy daniels whose real name is stefani clifford is suing to get the agreement nullified claiming it was a violation of campaign finance law. yesterday the white house was asked about that as well as the president's reluctance to speak or tweet on the matter. >> i'm hoping you can explain why the president's attorney paid stormy daniels $130,000 in the days before the election if her claims were false. >> look, that's a question you would have to ask the president's attorney. i certainly can't speak for him.
i can only speak on behalf of the white house. >> to be clear, he continues to deny the fundamental charge that she has, which is that she had this sexual encounter with him in 2006. he denies that. >> yes, the president has denied those allegations. >> have you sat down with the president to talk about stormy daniels? has he told you what he wants us to know about this topic? >> as i said and as we have addressed on a number of times the president has denied these allegations. i don't have anything further to add. >> you've also called him a counterpuncher many times. why has he not punched back on this time? >> i didn't say he punches back on every single topic. if he did he would probably be addressing a lot of the store iryes most of you write every day. he has a country to run. sometimes he chooses to specifically engage and punch back and sometimes he doesn't. >> why the silence? is someone advising him to be silent? >> i don't think it's silent when the president has addressed this. we addressed it extensively.
just because you guys continue to ask the same question over and over again doesn't mean we have to come up with new things to say. we've addressed it and there's nothing new to add to this conversation. >> yeah. let me help you out here. when we went on the air, joe, and we were talking about and we were just having fun, i mean, it was -- i believe it was president trump's time covers, his fake time covers that he had on the walls of his country clubs and we kind of made fun of him for having fake time covers of himself and that day he tweets about me bleeding badly from a facelifts, make a lie that i showed up bleeding all over the place. the guy punches back on everything. he punches back low, he punches back high, but on stormy daniels, absolutely nothing. >> well, and it's even worse than that for kristen gill brand when he suggests she commits sex
acts to get fund raising. that she would be willing to get anything to get campaign money. of course everything that sarah huckabay sanders says is preposterous, but to say he's not going to justify this when in fact he's done it with absolutely everybody from theresa may to mika brzezinski, to kristen gill brand you name it. and suggested that i was a murderer. go. >> he's attacked i think everyone that we know at some point or another and a whole lot of people we don't know. he doesn't have a lot of restraint and i'll say i just -- to me it doesn't seem it's that complicated. the story that she's told that stormy daniels has told is i think by most people's lights the story of their encounter seems true. she seems highly credible and
the president if he were to come out and attack her and say that she is is a liar would open himself up by a defamation suit by stormy daniels and her stoern who have been happy to aggressively prosecute their case. they slapped a defamation case against michael cohen and heidi, is this not a fundamental thing here? this is a situation where he does not want to end up deposed. he may end up deposed and in court anyway in this matter but the moment he stands up and says stormy daniels lied, we know what her attorney is going to do. he's going to -- >> he's got the cd. >> there's going to be another lawsuit that's going to be opened up here and another legal front where donald trump may be dragged into court and have to go on the record. >> and also we don't know what is on that cd. he's been teasing that and like you said, this story seems credible, it seems believable and he has said that maybe he's not going to show his hand immediately. the question, though, is whether
at the end of the day this is going to matter politically for him given that we all kind of knew this going into this. there were many accusers out there. yes, his reaction now does stand in strong contrast to what happened during the campaign when he was calling all of these women liars and even threatening to sue them, but at the end of the day, i don't think that even if avenetti has evidence of a relationship or step two, which is the threat part because we've all been saying if there was some kind of sustained threat against her or he was sendsing people out on the street to, you know, tletden her and her baby, so at the end of the day, even if that comes out, i don't know how much it's going to matter politically because look at the man on the street interviews that msnbc and cnn and other networks were doing. even the women supporters of donald trump kind of knew that he was having extramarital
affairs. >> yeah, i still think there's something going on here. his silence is too deafening, joe, in that trump doesn't stay silent at any insult to his -- how do i say this sexual integrity. i don't know what the word is, but he's -- he cares about these things, if it pertains to money and sex, he wants to look like a big guy and whenever he seems anything but, he would punch back and stormy daniels said she didn't really like him, she didn't really want to be with him and she found him to be tiresome and she passed on a second opportunity. the president normally in terms of his behavioral patterns would punch back at that. having said that, this attorney is like feeling very gloria all red on me, overexposed in a huge way and in this specific case he is overexposed, joe, and he is underdelivered. >> well, and that's happened with the attorney. we see that. mike barnacle, you know, if
you're holding four as if your hands you just sit there and stare at everybody else and let everybody trash talk everybody. if you're a lawyer and you have all the evidence you need that's going to prove that you're ultimately in the right, you don't go on cable news 10, 12 times a day. you don't call michael cohen a punk, punk, punk, screaming at the top of your lungs on anderson cooper's show and you sure don't tease out a cd and say hey, look what we've got. look what we've got. just -- just if a picture paints a thousand words, i'm sorry, that's bush league. all of those things are what bush league lawyers do when they're in it. they get the publicity and i just -- his actions over the past two days have been really surprising because he has -- he's overpromised and he's underdelivered time and time again. >> well, yeah, i mean, at this
point he doesn't need the publici publicity. i mean, he's on 24/7 but he's done the job thus far. you'd have to state that, because he does have the principal suspect in all of this, the president of the united states clearly on edge. clearly on edge. all you have to do is check out the president's daily schedule. he has had nothing on the daily schedule monday, tuesday and again today. >> what is -- what is that about? i'm curious. mike, john, why is the president so quiet? >> well, i would think again, joe, it gets back to what his -- the ongoing legal dispute between he and stormy daniels and stormy daniels' lawyer. human nature is this. i mean, if a fire truck comes down the street, people cheer. if a cop car comes down the street, people get nervous. that police car is now parked outside the white house. the cops are not yet at the door, but it would seem to me that the president of the united states, having already gone through his principal lawyer
john dowd saying i'm out of here because you're not listening to me. we don't know what he told the president that he wanted the president to hear, i suspect it's probably not great news, but dowd is gone, his principal lawyer. he can't find another really top shelf lawyer to represent him. he's probably this morning looking at legal zoom to try and figure out what to do in his defense. >> i mean, it's a joke. i mean, he's got -- i think he's got a murder lawyer out -- and just listening to what mike says, let's stop for a second and say wait a second. you have a porn star and his lawyer on cable news that's effectively frozen the president of the united states from doing anything in public for three days. i mean, the schedule light for the third straight day. >> yeah, and joe, i think that that kind of gets to the
question of whether -- i understand you have called yourself a humble country lawyer and i understand that you think avenetti's tactics are distasteful and i agree with you on the cd, but i will say this though, the argument that you just made is that he's playing the game here in the way that donald trump has played the game in the past. he is a -- he's brash, he's on offense, he's on cable news. he's doing exactly the kind of -- he's prosecuting the president in the way the president trump prosecuted hillary clinton. the way he prosecuted his republican rivals in the 2016 campaign. he's a tabloid lawyer using cable news in the same way that candidate trump was a tabloid candidate using cable news to try to in a garish, brash, often distasteful way to advance his political agenda and what you
just said is for all the kind of unsettling, sometimes seemingly over the top nature of his tactics, he has frozen the president like a deer in the head lights and i think donald trump is sitting around thinking about how -- what a lot of his behavior is explained by a, how do i try to stay out of the court and keep from being deposed in this case and how many other ndas are out there? how many women are -- what is the flood here? if stormy daniels wins, how many other women are going to come forward? how many of those women may have more damaging things on donald trump than stormy daniels does? if those are standard form ndas, how many other women are operating under that same nda. he said there were eight that approached him. there may be more than that so i think a lot of these things are why donald trump may seem a little bit paralyzed at the moment. >> and it's another argument that the tactic that he's using
whether we find it untoward or not may be actually exactly playing into trump's behavior but also helping him collect more women, more ndas and does melania have an nda and how does she feel about finding out about a list of women signing ndas to keep them quiet during the time he was married to her. i think he's in an uncomfortable place which leaves him mute which is unusual. >> still ahead, the real world impact of america's changing approach to the global stage. china's increasingly powerful leader meets with north korea's dictator. we'll go live to south korea for that. plus, comparing the administration's response to disasters in texas and puerto rico. by many measures it's not even close. but first, let's go to bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> good morning to you. waking up to some dangerous weather in texas this morning. already had a tornado warning and we have numerous areas that
are flash flood warnings. this began last night and continues now from texas all the way into the southern ohio valley. here's the worst of it this morning. this is austin, texas. this is down interstate 35 into san antonio. both have picked up 2 to 3 inches of rainfall. numerous thunderstorms continue in the region. and the flash flooding will be a bigger threat than the tornado and wind damage threat. 32 million people from kentucky, southern ohio all the way down through tennessee, mississippi, louisiana, arkansas and east texas. this area of green is the greatest risk of flash flooding today. driving throughout this region, really got to be careful on the roads. monroe, louisiana and also alexandria and shreveport all included in that and as far as the rainfall goes our computers are hinting at 2 to 4 inches from nashville all the way down to louisiana and east texas. that's enough to get some significant flooding, but even some river flooding and here's our map showing the potential for severe storms.
pretty much the same spots. watch out louisiana for a chance of an isolated tornado. also a little bit of rain in d.c., baltimore, and the airports shouldn't be too bad though. that's just some light rain and hopefully that's going to clean things up. a lot of active weather out there. d.c. only going to see some showers out of this. be prepared for that, but at least it's going to be warmer. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. last years' ad campaign was a success for choicehotels.com badda book. badda boom. this year, we're taking it up a notch. so in this commercial we see two travelers at a comfort inn with a glow around them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at choicehotels.com". who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom. nobody glows. he gets it. always the lowest price, guaranteed. book now at choicehotels.com
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this morning, quote, for years and through many administrations everyone said that peace and the denuclearization of the korean peninsula was not even a small possibility. now there is a good chance that kim jong-un will do what is right for his people and for humanity. look forward to our meeting. that comes after kim jong-un
visited china. it's believed to be his first foreign trip since he rose to power in 2011. his father and grandfather both made several visits to china which is easily north korea's closest and most important ally. according to the chinese state media, the quote, unofficial visit came on the invitation of president xi ping and the two leaders held talks at beijing's great hall of the people. kim also reportedly reiterated his desire to hold a summit with the united states. joining us now from seoul, what more can you tell us regarding kim jong-un's trip to china and what's the reaction been like in south korea? >> reporter: well, good morning, mika. the reaction here is optimism mixed with anxiety because the speed with which this is all unfolding has been bewildering. we had the announcement of talks
between president trump and kim jong-un but how things unfolded here, the secret train and then just a few hours ago shortly after it crossed into the border it was confirmed by the chinese first that it was kim jong-un visiting x ping. here's the issue. there's a recognition here in south korea especially in the government that these talks are potentially serious. it's the first time we've heard from the north koreans that they're going to participate. there's also substance, the idea that you could have potential denuclearization of the peninsula but here's the deadline and here's why we're in unchartered waters. if these talks do fail, that leaves the prospects of military action very real and everyone here gets a sense that president trump is serious about the talks, but also serious about keeping north korea from having that capability of putting a nuclear tipped weapon that could reach the united states. everyone knows these talks now are freighted with more meaning.
>> all right. thank you so much. we greatly appreciate it. john, china has always been in a unique position as it's pertained to north korea. we've talked about -- i've talked about it being the 51st state of china. if you look at the trade that goes back and forth there, it seems to me that china who -- whose leaders brag about thinking in terms of centuries instead of thinking in terms of years, it seems to me they're about where they were in 1962, 1963. they -- they certainly don't want a war that spreads across all of asia. they don't want to see a million koreans dead. at the same time, just like they didn't want to see a free north vietnam, they don't want to see north and south korea unite together and become -- become free and become more influenced by the united states. so seems to me we continue walking in circles on this issue. >> well, right.
and look, i don't have a -- the prescription for how to fix this, joe, but i'll say, the situation you just outlined which strikes me as right in terms of the historical parallel and in terms of giving a sense of the complexity involved, the complexity that china is -- has to wrap its strategy around, gives you a sense of just the conversation we had at the top of the show. just the demands for nuance, strategy, vision, coherence, all of that, the demands on the united states and in trying to figure out how to get china to behave in a way that china perceives as being in itself interest and in the united states' interest and all in the service of trying to avoid some kind of a blowup on the korean peninsula, that would be a challenging task for any president, even one who really had his stuff together, donald trump has not shown much sign of that, so i ask you, what do you think on the tweet that donald
trump just sent out, you look at his behavior over the last nine months towards north korea and towards china, do you look at that and you say, hey, i see the grand chess strategy here or do you think, this guy is just completely winging it and god knows where we're going to end up? >> it's been all over the map. like you said, there's no coherent strategy here. we thought prior to him appointing john bolton with the north koreans possibly showing some concessions, wanting to sit down and meet, extending the offer of a meeting that maybe there was some hope here, that is the big wild card now. john bolton is on the record. he's got a lot of academic research, newspaper articles showing that he has such a hawkish stance here and has called for pre-emptively bombing the north koreans that there is really going to be an all or nothing demand most likely on our side of the table and how are the north koreans going to reabout to that especially when all signs are -- there's a front
page story here in the new york times about a new reactor coming online in north korea. are they really going to be willing to give us completely wave the white flag of surrender which is something that most likely a negotiator like john bolton will demand. a lot of people are saying you know what, the 50/50 odds of this meeting even taking place have gone down with bolton's appointment. >> right. mike, i've heard it said just like i've also heard a lot of winston church hill and albert einstein quotes that actually not being from the mouths of churchill. is there a quote that is actually accurate? but we -- i've heard it said and i'm sure you have to that in mandarin, chaos and opportunity are the same words. i don't know if that's true or not. i'm sure i'll learn on twitter in five minutes whether it is or not, but in this case you look
at the chinese, the chaos is ak -- it plays right into their hands. they have a president who they believe they can -- they can play. donald trump's moved out of tpp. and here you have the north koreans spreading chaos across a continent, putting japan on edge. putting south korea on edge. putting australia on edge. putting all of our allies in that region on edge. it seems to me the chinese are playing this sin cli and it is in their best interest to keep the united states and all of our allies in asia back on our heels while they continue to work day by day to dominate that region in every way, economically, militarily. >> joe, in talking to a couple of people in the intelligence community last night, it's not just that region. this story is basically headlined china rises continually. china almost has as much to lose as the united states does in any
interlocking agreements with the north koreans. they border north korea. this is about geography for china. they do not want a couple of refugees spilling over into their country. we are still separated by oceans from north korea. so the chinese, again, given -- because of tpp withdrawal from tpp our world leaders in certain situations, this is one of them. they are again taking the lead in putting something together that hopefully will prevent the nuclear holocaust on the korean -- on the country of korea. i mean, no matter what you think about president trump, you have to view that train trip to beijing and xi meeting with kim is a positive. this is a positive and it's a good day for world peace in a certain sense. >> we shall see. and still ahead, president trump has had historically low approval numbers and now, new polling shows his 2020 election
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new numbers from democratic firm public policy polling finds that president trump is stuck in hypothetical general election matchups. polling consistently at 39 or 40% no matter who he's polled against. trump loses in landslides against former vice president joe biden, 56 to 39% and bernie sanders, 55 to 39%. against elizabeth warren trump loses by 11 points. senator corey booker beats trump 49 to 39%. >> it's going to be -- john, it's going to be hard to find actually any candidate that you could put donald trump up against. you would put him up against kerr mitt the frog and he wouldn't get over 40% would he?
>> yes, i will say with all due respect to my friends at public policy polling this is one of the dumbest polls i've seen in a long time. >> thank you. >> it's a poll -- it's a poll where you've got donald trump's approval rating on one column basically he's at 39. we know that. 39 or 40 right now in his approval rating and they're matching him up against a bunch of democrats all of who will overperform him because he's not popular right now and his number in the head to head match it doesn't really tell you anything except for if you look at the democrats relative to each other, the ones who had the highest name id had the biggest percentage, so joe biden who has the highest name id among the democrats, they're at the top. this poll tells us what we already know. donald trump unpopular. that's about it. >> okay.
well, and the kermit the frog reference, joe has been watching the muppets. >> she told me, she said you know, the one thing my family used to sit in front of the tv set and watch was the muppets. and i thought since i couldn't get her to watch billions or mad men or homeland or the god father movies or anything, i said okay, well, maybe we can watch the muppets take manhattan. the 1984 movie and about five minutes into it she starts with searing criticism and i said it's the muppets. i'm trying to be nice. you think i want to watch the muppets? okay. >> you have to check it out.
the chicken is very cute. >> so anyway, but heidi, one thing that is very interesting though is, bernie sanders now up in the high 50s and i think unlike joe biden and i will still say this, unlike joe biden who would have a difficult time getting through a democratic are primary, you have bernie sanders who gins up the base, who's sitting at 52%. >> amazing. >> and that is very compelling which suggests that he does have at least two and a half years before the election, at least right now he actually has liberal support as well as popular support. >> he does, joe, but watch what's going to happen in the run up to 2018, because if you don't play heavily in 2018 you're not going to play heavily in 2020 and who's the most in demand person surrogate to go out there and help in some of these swing districts? it's joe biden. he's the one who's getting all
of the bookings and yes, bernie sanders, because of the way our primary system is structured is going to have a lot of support among the grass roots but there's a lot of up and comers here who don't have the same name id but who are going to be out there playing in this shadow primary in 2018 like harris, so i wouldn't read too much into this poll at this early point. bernie sanders was a contender in the most recent cycle so he's got great name id but we're so early, i just wouldn't put too much stock in this poll. >> we really are, but what's going to be different in 2020 for joe biden than what was -- what we saw as a political reality in the democratic party in 2016? everybody loves to talk about how republicans go too far right. or they pick somebody that's too extreme on the right. well, that's what democrats do on the left. joe biden never had a shot of winning the democratic nomination in 2016.
what's different in 2020? why aren't democrats that vote in primaries going to be more excited about bernie sanders or harris? >> i think that perhaps, the big difference between 2016 and 2020 is that the day after the -- the day after the elections this november depending on the results, if the democrats take the house i could see someone like vice president biden assessing the field and announcing almost before christmas and announcing as a ticket. he would have a ticket put together and it would be the ticket going forward. i could see vice president biden and sally yates as a ticket running right away right out of the gate after the midterms getting an edge on the entire field and we'd see what happens with that. >> interesting. all right. coming up, does the president think he can get the military to pay for his border wall as a way to circumvent
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>> and who is going to pay for the wall? who's going to pay for the wall? >> mexico. >> who's going to pay for the wall? >> mexico. >> i've never done that before. that's actually cute. >> where does he get the money to build a wall that you say he can build as national defense. where does he take the money from. >> the same place reagan took the money to invade granda. he has money to spend on national defense and this is a much bigger problem of national defense, but all of this can be done under his powers as commander in chief if he cared. >> despite repeatedly promising to make mexico pay for his
desired border wall, president trump is now floating a new idea. one that he may have gotten by watching fox news. using america's military budget. in a tweet on sunday, which he retweeted on monday, trump wrote, since the military is quote, rich again, building a great border wall is all about national defense, build wall through m! two advisors told the washington post the m stood for military. the ap also reports the president discussed it with paul ryan. the plan would almost certainly require congressional approval if it was even constitutional. yesterday press secretary sarah huckabay sanders was asked about the situation although she didn't have much to add. >> i can't get into the specifics of that at this point, but i can tell you that the continuation of building the wall is ongoing and we're going to continue moving forward in
that process. >> isn't it true at this point that mexico is not going to pay for that wall? >> i'm not going to go beyond what the president's already said. i think he still has plans to look at potential ways for that to happen. >> what ways is he to have mexico pay for the wall? >> when we have an announcement on that i'll let you know. >> heidi, i've fwgot to ask, what's the point of the press briefing every day. let's just can it. why even go? the ratings are so low. what comes out of it ever that is news worthy? what information does she share with the american people to help them better understand where the president is coming from? honestly, there's no reason to go. there's no reason to cover it. this is kellyanne conway territory, we won't have her on the show because she says nothing that is true or valuable. what's the point of the briefing or what was she saying that helped back up this new plan to pay for the wall? >> well, the briefing, that's
been an issue to be fair several administrations that we don't get a ton of answers out of the briefing. what's different about this administration is kind of the misleading information, that's also given from the podium and that's just been the case from the beginning here. as to the wall, look, this isn't going to go away. he's going to keep coming back at this and future spending deals and come up with new creative ways to finance this wall. let me give you context here, several years ago, i was sitting in a house committee meeting with some of the most conservative republicans who want a tough deal in terms of border security, none of them support a wall. and that's why this wall is not going to happen. what's going to happen is exactly what happened inomnispe. more moneys towards patrols and
fencing because it doesn't make sense to build a wall along the southern border. but the president made this such a talking point during the election, that in all of these spending bills i think this is where we're going to be, which is coming up with new creative financing that's going to get shot down by gop leadership in both houses. >> right. so john heilemann and mike barnicle, the president of the united states, he had sort of a call and answer. we're going to build a wall, who's going to pay for it? mexico. and now because donald trump listened to fox news on the weekend, now he wants to strip the money from the marines and wants to strip the money from the air force. he wants to strip the money from the army. he wants to strip the money from the navy and national guard and wants to strip the money from our military.
he wants to steal the money from james mattis' department. this is -- we've got military parades that he wants to steal money for. and now a wall that he claimed, john, that mexico was going to pay for. i'm curious what you and then mike, what do you guys think about donald trump looking at the united states military as his piggy bank that he can stick his little hands into, to steal hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars just to pay off political promises because a talking head on fox news told him to. >> oh, my lord. >> i'm going to let mike talk about the military piece in a second because i know he's eager to. i'll say that trump seems to thinks that the people who want him to build the wall are so stupid that they don't know that the "m" that he somehow -- that a bait and switch where the "m"
was originally meant to be mexico, thinks he can switch it and have it be military. somehow they won't recognize he's done that little switch and also seems to think people won't understand when he takes money from the military, that means that taxpayers are paying for the wall and therefore mexico is not paying for the wall. i know i'm sounding like i'm talking to a 6-year-old but that seems to the level of analysis this deserves. >> two entities will not be paid here, trump's lawyers and the wall, neither will get money. and the big thing on the wall is this, by taking money from the department of defense, in a sense you're beginning a long slow slide to taking money from the va, you're taking money from entities from families that have done multiple tours in afghanistan in iraq and that's the president of the united states' thinking, that's not going to fly. >> how outrageous, what if you're a marine or soldier or sailor or airman, what if you're in the guard and you're
concerned because you don't have the money you need to fight the fights you may have to fight across the globe. and you have donald trump stealing money from the pentagon, mike, for a wall that even the most hard core anti-immigrant border security types say we don't need. we don't need the wall. besides, again, like heilemann said, this was mexico that donald trump swore time and time again, every day, donald trump promised us that he was going to build a wall and mexico was going to pay for it. now because he watches fox news on the weekend he's lying to the american people and lying to his voters and he's lying to his constituents and now saying we're going to steal the money from the pentagon. >> joe, he always harkens back to his glory days, even as president, he harkens back to the primaries where he wiped out a republican field. you can recall this.
i recall this. one morning in des moines, iowa, before the iowa caucuses when we asked donald trump off camera, we said how about the crowd last night. how was it? kind of flat. but when they get flat, i just say build a wall and they come alive. and he's still doing that. >> saying mexico is going to pay for it. still ahead, is stormy daniels beating the president at his own game with threats of lawsuits, hints about secret tapes, and wall to wall tv coverage? right now donald trump is not controlling the narrative. in fact he's saying nothing. what happens if and when he does jump into the fray? "morning joe" is coming right back. your letting go thing. your sorry not sorry thing. your out with the old in with the new, onto bigger and better thing. get the live tv you love. no bulky hardware. no satellite.
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just cool it to minus 160 and we're set. good on ya. oh yeah. that's jack. i'm hoping why you can explain why the president's attorney paid if the claims were false. >> that's a question you would have to ask the president's attorney. i can only speak on behalf of the white house. >> to be clear, he continues to deny the fundamental charge that she has, that she had this sexual encounter with him in 2006? >> yes, the president denied those allegations. >> have you sat down to talk with stormy daniels? what has he told you he wants us to know about topic? >> as we've addressed on a number of times, the president denied these allegations and i don't have anything else further to add on that. >> you've also called him a counter puncher many times.
why has he not punched back on this one? >> i didn't say he punches back on every single topic. if he did, he would probably be addressing a lot of stories that most of you write of every single money minute of every day. sometimes he chooses to engage and punch back, sometimes he doesn't. >> why the silence? she following his own -- >> i don't think it's silent when the president addressed it and we've addressed it extensively. there's nothing else to add. just because you continue to ask the same question over and over and over again doesn't mean we have to keep coming up with new things to say. we've addressed it and addressed it extensively and there's nothing new to add to this conversation. >> and we enter the fifth straight day that president trump will not have any public events. a lot of executive time, joe. >> he has a ton of executive time. >> what does he do with his executive time? welcome back to "morning joe." it is wednesday, march 28th.
we have mike barnicle and msnbc john heilemann and nbc news national political reporter heidi and joining the conversation, pulitzer prize winning columnist and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson and walter izaacson. joe, i will say, trump's silence is deafening. it's fascinating. and even though stormy daniels' attorney seems to be way ahead of his skis, he's playing trump's game and there is a tweaking that's going on here. i'm just progrenosticating but there may be a lot of agreements to keep women silent and that could be very embarrassing to the president and also the first lady and to daughter ivanka trump. >> john, you said before, you
corrected me when i said that stormy daniels' lawyer was overpromising. he was under delivering and on cable news all the time. he was acting in a way that seemed thugish, in fact calling everybody else on set a thug, yelling and interrupting them and shouting. i was looking at it from a legal perspective, i don't know a respectable attorney that would do such a thing. but then again you said, basically that i had just described donald trump's behavior over past two years. >> and legal strategy. >> by him behaving this way, in a way that most self-respecting lawyers would not. he has donald trump back on his heels and we're going into five days where a porn star and his attorney basically have done something that nobody has been able to do over the past two years and that is to keep the president's mouth shut. >> he's par liesed the
president. we've asked this question over and over again, does stormy daniels have more than what we heard on the 60 minutes interview? is there some secret or something she's not disclosed that donald trump is afraid of. the way he's behaved of her, demanding $20 million for having violated the nda, all of the stuff in the legal realm suggest that he very much is afraid of her and did not want her to tell her story. there's something there. and what he's seemed to have done, we have a tabloid president and requires a tabloid lawyer. i'm going to be on cable news just like donald trump plays the game on twitter and cable news, i'm going to play the game on twitter and cable news and take it to donald trump every single day. as i said earlier, the way donald trump took it to his opponents in the republican nomination fight and the way he took it to hillary clinton. right now it seems to be working. i think she is on to something
what's worrying the president there are multiple ndas. there are eight other women that have come forward to him alone. you have what looks like a standard form nda that includes things like questions of paternity on them. does that relate to stormy daniels or another set of women? we have no idea but the president is behaving like he has something to fear from stormy daniels or from the potential other women who are apparently chomping at the bit to come forward. if she wins this case, does that open the flood gates and then there's one other matter which people talk about a lot when they speculate about this question, which is what -- is there a prenuptial agreement between melania and donald trump and what does that say and why is he concerned about the timing of these allegations and whether or not the allegations he faces from stormy daniels or other women, do they fall -- where do they fall in the arc of his relationship with melania trump
and what legal implications might that have for whatever pr pre-nup he certainly has with his current wife. >> melania trump wield s so muc power at this point in time. she could make a decision that could stop trump in his tracks on many levels, especially if she decides to leave the white house. >> everybody that we've spoken with over the past three or four days, trying to figure out what's going on in the white house all go back -- it all goes back to melania trump. everybody says that so much of what you were seeing, so much of the inaction you were seeing and so much of the fear you were seeing coming from donald trump has to do with melania trump and the consequences on both their personal life and also their political life. mainly for donald trump their political life. gene robinson, this show actually stayed away the story a
great deal. it was always fourth or fifth or sixth if we got to it at all. it is i must say as i was turning on the tv yesterday and seeing certain channels going wall to wall with it and rolling my eyes, i've got to say this morning, if you have a story, that is stopping the president of the united states from doing his job five days in a row, suddenly it does become above the fold news. >> yeah, that's a headline. trump says nothing is a headline, you know. that's a news story. that's a man bites dog story. michael avenati, absolutely is playing donald trump's game. and at the moment, playing it better than donald trump. you know, he's rolling it out and keeps hinting he has more. he gives a little drim here and little dram there and can't really -- can't necessarily confirm it. but he gives you a headline
every day. and that's precisely the way trump would play it. there is, i think, a good legal reason for him not to say anything. basically, if he comes out and says she's lying, he potentially opens himself up to defamation suit in which there's discovery, that's a much clearer shot i think at open court than perhaps he has now with stormy daniels, open court in which everybody has to hear about this. but when has donald trump ever listened to legal advice? right? he doesn't. i think the instinct is right that there's more, that in terms of the president and his family an m
anmelania trump and how much he wants her to hear about his extracurricular activity. >> there's no doubt that michael avenati is providing his client with the kind of defense that anyone would want from a lawyer on a 24/7 basis. but my question to you is, you were out living in america and we are living here in cable world. what is your sense of the impact of this story on a day to day basis on people who you encounter nearly every day in snoernz new orleans. >> i'm here in louisiana where stormy daniels is from, there's a sense of pride, maybe make her a queen of a mardi gras parade or something. this is just seen as some reality tv show that people tune into and tune out of it. we've never been here before. there's actually the president of the united states, the white
house, and the fact that everybody from evangelical christians to normal viewers are treating this as if it's some weird little side show in reality tv shows how far the national discourse i think has degenerated. >> well, i think, look, heidi, the story here is not necessarily the sex and the lurid details. i could have used less of them on "60 minutes" but i guess it's the background for then what is an effort to silence a woman, a contract that was put in place, a contract that exists, a contract that both trump's attorney and stormy daniels both agree exists. a contract to stay silent about the sexual escapade, some hotel somewhere. it's gross. but that in itself is the story,
especially if there are multiple ndas out there and maybe melania trump signed one too. if the president has these ndas with these women and if they were threatened or frightened into signing them or given fake jobs that never came to be, it's a story, whether we like the salaciousness about it or not. >> right, we discussed this the other day. there were a couple of threats here with stormy daniels. the second one she alleges was that she was essentially threatened into signing the denial that the affair took place. i was the reporter at the time who received that statement and i'm telling you it was strange because the statement came through -- sent by trump's lawyer, her lawyer wouldn't comment. i was suspect at the time as a reporter and want to make sure this is her signature and this is coming from her. and it's coming from another
party's lawyer. the question very much is the circumstances of the threat and whether there's more juice here and avenati can prove there's a threat behind this. no one -- absolutely no one is going to be surprised if this president was having extra marital affairs. and that's probably explains a lot of his silence. >> but heidi, you know it does matter to a certain fasets of his base. i think the evangelical community, joe, has really been put to really think about exactly what they want to say about the president and they are forgiving to an extent about his failings in life. but when you have contracts and when you have threats and multiple lawyers writing out contracts to keep women silent about sexual escapades, i think that goes beyond giving someone a pass on something. this is a pattern of behavior
that i would think that community, that part of his base would have to take a stand on. >> list, i've always told the story my father supporting richard nixon going all the way back into the '50s, saw him as a guy that was tough and he was anti-communist. he always believed the press was after nixon for 20 years because he got -- and because he's a tough anti-communist at the same time. you know, my dad got enough information 'in '73 and '74, by the end he threw his arms up in the air and said i can't support this guy anymore. if half of this is true, he doesn't belong in the office and he's a disgrace. you know, walter isaacson, it seems to me, that we can do a flash poll every day between now and november, and ask
evangelicals if they support donald trump or not regardless of his behavior. and there are always going to be looking at it -- right now everyone i talk to, it's a linear decision, are you for donald trump or hillary clinton? when we move beyond that and it's a question of are people in louisiana who you know, like donald trump are disgusted by first baptist church, but disgusted by what he does, are they going to get up on a rainy day the first tuesday in november and go and vote for somebody to support trump's agenda? i've got to say, at least from all of my experience, if enough of this piles up, the answer is no. it depresses turnout and hurts donald trump in the end. >> i agree with you. you feel a lot of eye rolling and people who support trump, wanted trump and say this is getting ridiculous.
but it's always hard to tell in this situation what's going to cause things to break. you can look at the republican leadership. you can look at the leadership of the family values movement and not yet broken with him. i think part of it is the economy, if the economy starts to falter at all, stock market has been going down a little bit, because people have seem to have made a bargain almost with the situation we're in, which is oh, yes but at least unemployment is down. so it's hard for me to figure out what will finally scratch the surface of it. but people do think he's beginning to look ridiculous and they are having the kind of sheepish nail in their defense of trump because it's no longer trump versus hillary. >> right, again, it's what do you do in the midterm? do you go out and make the effort to vote for a congressman or congresswoman you may not
even like thatch much to suppo donald trump? right now it looks like the answer is no and perhaps that's when the real problems start when democrats take control of the house and possibly the senate. walter, i know you came on and would love to talk about porn stars and -- all morning, but let's talk about something more mundane, what's happening with north korea. you have -- because of the lack of leadership from the united states, a sort of leadership that dr. brzezinski provided throughout his lifetime, because we have that lack of leadership on the global stage, you have the north koreans talking to the south koreans and you have the north koreans going and talking to the chinese. i believe it's kim jong-un's first trip abroad since he assumed power. is that actually -- despite the fact that the united states has now been marginalized in asia because we've been removed from
tpp and donald trump is donald trump, is this something we cheer and something good for this country and something that's good for regional peace across asia? >> i think with donald trump has elevated the role of china on the world stage. when you see the north korean leader take a train to beijing to meet with china, you realize that because of our discussion not to join the trade pact that was asian nations did not include china, we're now a bit marginalized. likewise, china's foreign policy has been more assertive. and it's somewhat weird. the president seemed to come into office wanting to elevate russia and diminish china and the exact opposite has happened. russia has become a par rye ya on the world stage and it is a delicate balance we need to do with china, which is to cooperate with them, but also
help balance them and prevent and asendancecy that would be detrimental to u.s. national interest and with the wild talk of trade tariffs and inability to join tpp and no diplomacy in the asia region has done the exacts opposite of what donald trump wanted and caused china to be the rising power for the time being. >> it's one of the great unintended consequences of at least of donald trump's first year in office. you can talk to people that have made china watching their life and also talk to people inside of china, donald trump is a fairly popular figure in china. and he should be because what he's done over the past year, year and a half has done nothing but strengthen china, not only across asia but also the reach
across the world. >> around the globe. >>isaacson, thank you very much. after sandy hook, retired supreme court justice john paul stevens called for changes to the second amendment. today he wants to get rid of it entirely. >> doesn't work that way. >> we'll talk about that position and what it means for the debate over gun rights next on "morning joe."
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you know what's not awesome? gig-speed internet. when only certain people can get it. let's fix that. let's give this guy gig- really? and these kids, and these guys, him, ah. oh hello. that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. in october of last year, after the las vegas shooting massacre, brett stevens wrote a provocative column for the "new york times" entitled repeal the second amendment. fast forward to yesterday and another stevens in the "new york times" with a column with the same title, repeal the second amendment. this one from former supreme court justice john paul stevens. joining us now is the stevens
with a ph columnist, brett stephens and we'll get to him in just a seconds. what do you think about this? >> i think it's unfortunate. it's a 40-foot straw man erected in the middle of a heated gun debate that allows people like donald trump to stand up and say, no, i will not let them ever repeal the second amendment. you're not going to repeal the second amendment. we have and we've talked about it a lot at 2008 decision heller that does say that the second amendment means what it means, which is that americans have a right to keep and bear arms in their homes to protect themselves. and so i think one of the real problems is that you have of course a lot of people in the media that misstate facts about guns all the time but you also have a gun lobbyist and people that make extreme arguments on websites and on some cable news
channels that suggest that there is this unlimited right to be able to keep and bear any arms and talk about their god given right to carry around ar-15s and other weapons that -- a lot of military men and women that i've spoken with are weapons are war. they send -- they send out false information all the time. but there's been a good solid debate over the past couple of months and it's become more respectful of late, other than a few extremists on both sides. but john paul stevens says this and it's just actually -- there are a lot of people that support gun safety that are obviously concerned that he would do this because it plays in the hands of people in the nra, the three extreme lobbyists that run the nra in washington, d.c. and also donald trump. but brett stephens, you also
made the argument of doing away with a second amendment but then again, you've spent a lot of time at the "new york times" being as provocative as possible. so would you agree with justice stevens to just get rid of the second amendment? >> i think it's an idea that needs to be put on the table. look, we repealed the 18th amendment quite wisely, the 13th and 14th and 15th amendment of the constitution significantly rewrite the body of the constitution, all of us agree that is essential and right. there's a constitutional mechanism for editing the document itself. look, let me ask you and i think this is an important point. when you think about someone like stephen paddock, the murderer in las vegas, he bought an arsenal of ar-15s. what is constitutionally the limiting principle when you have a second amendment that prevents someone like him, no psychiatric
record, no -- there are no list of presumed terrorists, from purchasing the kind of arsenal that allowed him to create -- to murder as many people as he did in about ten minutes' time. we're the only country in the world, at least the developed world that has the kind of gun violence that we do, 11,000 or so homicides, firearm homicides a year. britain, france, japan, countries where guns are legal by the way, they are just hard to get. they don't have that kind of gun violence. the distinction here is this constitutional right to purchase weapons at least of some kind in almost unlimited quantities and i don't see how that changes until you start thinking about doing what john paul stevens with much greater legal experience than either of us has. >> well, brett, though, you're making -- if you don't -- forgive me for saying this, i don't mean to sound con
descending because ted cruz sounded condescending to me. you're making the same mistake ted cruz make. >> oh, my god. >> when i asked him whether americans had a constitutional second amendment right to purchase an ar-15 and it's the big lie that nra lobbiests in washington, d.c. push out and other gun lobbies push out. americans do not have that right under the second amendment. in the state of connecticut, for instance, they have limited those sort of purchases. in illinois they have limited those sort of purchases. in california they have limited those sort of purchases. and the supreme court, they've allowed those bans to stay in place because they never moved beyond heller in 2008, which said it is a very limited right and maybe we'll -- scalia said maybe we'll get to that down the road but for now, we're limiting it to the right of having a hand gun in your home and protecting
your family. and basically said washington, d.c. cannot do this? and two years later they said, municipality and illinois cannot do this. but the supreme court has allowed all other bans to stay in place and right now, the reality that the second amendment does not allow stephen paddock to go out and purchase all of those ar-15s. >> of course it did. he bought those guns legally and the problem with your argument -- >> but, he bought those legally but you're calling for something completely different. i mean, a state can ban the purchase of ar-15s right now, doing away with the second amendment would not change a state's ability to do away with those bans. the second amendment right now does not protect stephen from purchasing an arsenal. >> the problem with the
argument, if 49 states enact the bans and a 50th state like nevada or colorado doesn't, you can drive to those states and purchase weapons in unlimited quantities, which is why so much gun control fails to be effective. why do we have -- why do you have such gun problems in a place like chicago? it's easy to get to neighboring states with which much per missive gun legislation. unless -- >> you're calling -- >> you're not going to get very far with simple state by state or municipality by municipality gun legislation. >> but what you're calling for is something far more extreme than even doing away with the second amendment. you're not talking about doing away with the second amendment. you're talking about a nationwide ban. those are two separate things. >> unless -- look, heller says what it says, we have 300 million guns in this country if
not more because we -- under the umbrella of the second amendment, a relatively permissive gun culture allowed this proliferation of weapons. >> that's two different things. >> i'm not in favor of gun con fis indication, there are legitimate reasons to own a gun. i don't think when you have an xlut right to purchase weapons, one weapon or some kinds of weapons you're going to address a culture in which 11,000 people get shot and get killed every month. >> every year. >> i can't believe -- i can't believe i'm having this argument with you. the second amendment does not provide that absolute right. this is what the nra feasts on. they tell people that they have an absolute right to buy ar-15s and other military style weapons and they do not under the second amendment. i think that in part is one of the reasons why any state or anybody tries to talk about
reasonable rational gun safety laws the nra immediately says they are violating our god given constitutional second amendment rights. my only argument to you is that the right of people to purchase ar-15s may come from this gun culture that we do have, that my friends are a part of. but that absolute right doesn't come from the second amendment because the supreme court has not extended a constitutional right to purchase an ar-15 from the second amendment. if you want to talk about the gun culture or suggest that the supreme court should come out and go ahead and stop denying for these gun cases and actually say you don't have a constitutional right to perfect an ar-15. that's quite different than saying i want to do away with the second amendment. >> you are not going to get a handle on the problem of america's gun culture while there is a constitutional right to own a weapon. most of the gun crime by the way in the country isn't done with
ar-15s or assault weapons that i suspect both of us would like to see banned. they are done with hand guns and guns purchased legally and sold illegally on black or gray markets. so until you at least address that constitutional principle that there is a right to bear an arm, you will not deal with the problem that we have and what justice stevens is saying with a great deal more legal authority than either of us have, is that that is a relic of the 18th century that makes very little sense in the world we live in today. >> germany, it's a privilege, right? >> he lost that argument though -- >> 5-4. >> in 2008. and again, if you look back to heller and let's talk about 2008, there wasn't a constitutional right to keep and bear arms that was recognized by
the supreme court until 2008. that's what made heller such a dramatic ruling. for most part the supreme court was stuck on this argument of whether the second amendment was about militias or whether it was about an absolute constitutional right -- >> joe, the problem with your argument, you're supposing that somehow the gun problem in this country started in 2008 with what -- with that ruling. >> no, no, i actually -- >> this goes back generations. >> but, bret, i brought that up to tell you that your argument is incorrect because we didn't -- you said we have to get rid of this right to keep and bear arms and i'm telling you we had a gun problem before 2008. i think the focus on the second amendment from you and also from justice stevens is misguided but what do i know. i'm just a dumb country lawyer who actually -- who actually seems to be the only person in
america outside of law professors who understand this. let's talk about the bolton pick. what do you think about john bolton? we've actually had some conservatives on the right saying he's actually quite thoughtful man. marco rubio went out and actually i guess -- marco is trying to get -- secure his far right base saying john bolton is a good mainstream thinker, despite the fact that he said he wants to bomb north korea, iran and also thinks the iraq war was a wonderful idea. >> i like john. i'm going to tell you this. anyone who knows john he's a very smart guy. he speaks very provocatively but he is a accolade or follower of jim baker. a lot of my disagreements with john come from the fact that i'm more on the neoconservative side and he's more of a realist hawk. he's been absolutely right about a lot of issues. i wrote a column about his
effort to reform the united nations and his criticism of the united nations which was dead on. and look, this is a president who i don't think is going to be tamed or guided by people like tillerson. i think if you want someone to steer the president for instance in an anti-russia direction which started, bolton is going to be a much better pick for you than some of his -- some of the other alternatives. bolton is treated as this kind of scary guy but anyone who has ever met him actually knows he's incredibly intelligent, well spoken, funny and he's not the sort of caricaturist hawk he's been made out to be in some corners of the press. >> or that he makes himself out to be by writing an editorial that says we should have -- we should go ahead and bomb north korea -- >> he didn't say that in the editorial. >> and he certainly went further
than anybody else and but anyway, gene, i'll let you take it. if you're keeping score at home, bret stephens wants to abolish the second amendment and likes john bolton. go. >> look, john bolton did write the piece about north korea making what he termed or what he represented as the legal case for u.s. military action in north korea, which, you know in my view and i think the view of most people would be insane to do. look, why do we need more provocation from this administration in foreign policy? i don't think that's what we need right now. it will be interesting -- it's fascinating too that donald trump picks john bolton. donald trump, a bitter critic of the iraq war, and it's architects and defenders and so
bret, how does that make sense? what kind of conversation are they going to have -- a guy who -- a cheer leader for the iraq war, believed in it obviously sincerely and a president who thinks it was a the stupidest thing we ever did? >> i don't think the president has very much of an ideology or most subjects which is reflected in choices of advisers who disagree with him fundamentally on all sorts of things that he has said. look, something like 78% or 77% of americans supported the united states going into -- going into iraq. i don't think bolton was adopting radical position there. what i would like to know, what worries me about trump is that here's a guy who i suspect for the sake of the art of the deal would go into a room with kim jong-un, it's a great idea we're going to pull troops out of south korea and you'll promise
to denuclearize and i'll get my own nobel peace prize. someone like bolton will restrain the isolationist impulses that have been really at the heart of trump's foreign policy thinking. impulses not ideology -- >> and bolton will have the unique ability to restrain donald trump? >> we'll see. >> bret stephens thank you very much for being on this morning. coming up, lawmakers take new action to protect bob mueller, including a key republican. that's still ahead on "morning joe." a car you can command when you're nowhere near it... sponsored by dell technologies, let's make it real. no. just some mind-blowing engineers from the ford motor company and pivotal who developed fordpass, allowing you to reach out to your car from wherever you are to check your fuel level, unlock your doors and start your engine... so when you're ready to go, your car is, too. magic can't make digital transformation happen...
r. this morning facebook is responding to growing backlash by announcing new private tools. joining us now. nbc news correspondent tom costello. tom, this comes as mark zuckerberg faces pressure to testify on capitol hill. what can you tell us? >> that's right. we expect ceo mark zuckerberg will be coming to washington in the coming weeks to answer congress's questions. three ugsers have filed a class action lawsuit. there are dozens of state and federal investigations and so this morning, the company is out
with these new privacy tools meant to hold on to users who are threatening to delete facebook all together. >> reporter: this morning there's more facebook fallout for what you might call its oversharing. >> this was a major breach of trust. >> facebook founder mark zuckerberg being called by three congressional committees to answer questions next month. >> what we try to do is send the person at facebook who will have the most knowledge about what congress is trying to learn. if that's me, i'm happy to go. >> but lawmakers are determined it's zuckerberg they want. >> he absolutely is the right person to testify. >> he should also be subpoenaed with documents. >> congress wants zuckerberg on the hot seat to address the company's recent string of privacy controversies. first, the company's admission that an outside organization cambridge analytica accessed personal information from 50 million unsuspected users and
this week news it kept records of the phone calls and text messages from android users. though facebook insists the users opted in for the tracker. the scandals and glowing delete facebook campaign taken a toll on the stock, plunging 20% since february, now facing a pr emergency facebook announcing new steps to make it much easier for users to tighten privacy settings. what once required 20 different screens reduced to one screen, where users can now download the entire facebook history from the moment they joined and selectively delete what they want. posts and comments and friend requests and even facebook searches but this morning there's even more legal trouble for facebook. a lawsuit alleges it permits housing discrimination by letting landlords place targeted ads for only specific renters. >> an advertiser can say i don't want women with children to see my ad or don't want people with
disabilities to see my ad. >> facebook tells nbc news there's absolutely no place for discrimination on facebook. we believe this lawsuit is without pmerit and we will defed ourselves vigorously. back to the privacy tools they've changed. you can now add more layers of protection, including two-step awe thenty indication easier and better see who sees the post and profile information and more transparent about data it collects and shares. i'll tell you i talked to an analyst yesterday who says this is now an existent shal threat to facebook and they have to address this very quickly. back to you. >> it is. tom, are the users whose information was harvested, are they aware of who they are? is facebook being transparent about that? >> the 50 million whose information went to analytica? >> yeah, if i'm one of them, i would sue. >> they have not come out and specifically identified all of those people but by the way, you can download a copy of the
information facebook has on you and kept on you. facebook will give that information if you go under settings and click download a report on essentially me. you can get everything, every post, every message. i actually went on there and i had a recording from a phone call that somehow ended up on my facebook feed from years ago. it was kind of bizarre. >> yes, how sweet of them to let you have access to all of that. the question is who else does as well? and nbc's tom costello, thank you. i think facebook is in deep, deep trouble like the big banks. still ahead, the slow disappearance of the trump brand from hotels in rio and toronto to coffee perfume and eyeglasses, the "washington post" david -- examines that straight ahead on "morning joe." ♪
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coming into the fifth day when the president doesn't have any public events. it's pretty remarkable but he is tweeting this morning about north korea. appears that he's saluting the fact that china's doing his work for him. >> yes. there's a lot of executive time at play. at the white house. and it is the first time the president has not punched back at allegations against him that might fare negatively on him. heidi, we have an about-face from the trump administration based on or in reaction to some of your reporting. update us. >> right. last week i obtained internal notes and e-mails from the department of health and human services showing that political appointees activists in the past for abstinence only in terms of teenagers overruled the career experts in that department who were running a very successful program that is responsible for
driving our teen pregnancy rates in the country to an all-time low. they overruled those experts, canceled out the program. we ran a report on that. we showed the internal notes showing the career expert driven to tears and so frustrated by the efforts to push back with the science showing that this program was working. well, i just found out that two days after our report ran, the government pulled back and said they'll wall off that funding while this issue plays out in court. the plaintiffs say that this was an illegal move, mika, because they showed no evidence in making their decision. on the contrary, the evidence is this program was working and further more, bipartisan and they say it thwarts the will of congress since congress already approved the funds. >> all right. nice. still ahead, blue states, waste no time bringing legal action to stop the trump administration on
asking about citizenship on the next census. we'll have that. plus, three days after "60 minutes" and donald trump is still giving the stormy daniels scandal the sigh leapt treatment and her attorney is really closing in he says. we'll try to nail down the strategy there. "morning joe" is coming right back. this year, we're taking it up a notch. so in this commercial we see two travelers at a comfort inn with a glow around them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at choicehotels.com". who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom. nobody glows. he gets it. always the lowest price, guaranteed. book now at choicehotels.com
went after each other like two lawyers fighting over a tv camera. >> let's talk about michael cohn. this is a legal genius. false. he doesn't know the law. he's a thug. your friend is a thug. >> thank you. that's a million dollars, a million dollars. >> thug. thug. >> you're a -- >> gentlemen, please, please, don't fight. you're both thugs. in contrast, could jeffrey toobin look anymore awkward between these two guys? we have exclusive audio of jeffrey toobin's internal dialogue. >> oh god. when will this be over? i want to go home. why am i even here? i'm an author, for god's sake. now both sides of my face are covered in spittle and smells like garlic and brut cologne. damn you, anderson cooper! >> welcome back to "morning
joe." that was funny. wednesday, march 28th. with us, we have mike barnacle. national affairs analyst for msnbc john heilman. heidi prisbila. eugene robinson and joining the conversation we have former assistant united states attorney in the criminal division of the u.s. attorney's division in the southern district of new york, daniel goldman. and white house correspondent for bloomberg news, shannon petty-piece. >> john heilman, we'll go back to this again. again, you may have a great point. i'm welcoming at him as a lawyer going, you know, thinking how highly inappropriate that he's behaving that way. that he's teasing possibly photos. that he's overpromising and underdelivering which is a last thing -- >> who does that? >> last thing you are supposed to do with a jury. again, listening to him right
there, you're saying that's exactly how you fight donald trump in the age of trump. and nobody in the past two years has been able to keep the mute button on donald trump's mouth for five days like this guy. >> for sure. >> joe, look, as you call yourself a simple, country lawyer and a model of legal propriety. your judgments about this lawyer are perfectly legitimate. >> yeah. >> i think they're right if you stick to kind of tradition. and established moras. i think what michael has grasped here is something that none of donald trump's opponents grasped in 2016, nothing that hillary clinton and the team did not grasp at the end of 2016 and democrats to a large extent have not grasped in the first year-plus of the trump presidency which is this is a guy that's rewritten the rule book in terms of political street fighting. he understands tabloid tactics
and strategy. he gets in the faces of people and disregards all the rules and con staptly on offense. and what he's done is said, i got to do the same thing. i'm going to play exactly the same game trump has played. i'm going to jujitsu him and he has essentially paralyzed the president for days now. you've got donald trump first having made a bunch of dumb mistakes with the stormy daniels thing. made her into a victim. threatened to levy $20 million in penalties against her for violating the nda and now is looking at a situation where if he calls her a liar on twitter, the lawyer will slap him with a defamation suit and open yet another -- he has one route and another route to deposing the president and trump doesn't want to be deposed on this topic mainly because the stormy daniels tells is true, the main story and may be more to that story and whether or not there's more to that story, there are
other stories. he's said he's got eight women coming forward saying they have ndas with donald trump and probably more ndas. whatever the facts of the stormy daniels case are we do or don't know there's that opens up a whole range of possible jeopardy for donald trump on other cover-ups, more hush money and potentially things to cause him problems with his wife, both problems in the marriage but also potential problems with the terms of his pre-nup are. >> gene, pulitzer prize winning columnist gene robinson, i'm highly uncomfortable with all the speculation and yet i was highly uncomfortable with what donald trump did in the campaign. i wanted to vote for jeb bush and then voted for john kasich. maybe i'm a man out of time. maybe this is the way a lawyer succeeds in the age of donald trump. do you agree with heilman? >> i definitely agree with
heilman. look, this is the world we live in right now and maybe we don't have to live in this world forever. maybe things can go back to some semblance of propriety in the practice of the law. but this is -- i think this is absolutely the way you fight this battle if you're michael abanati. you know? you don't have to call the other guy a thug 12 times or whatever but this aggressiveness, this coming out with another drim and headline every day, keeping yourself on television. you know? getting a client out there. building up to the "60 minutes" interview and then, oh but there's more, there's stuff we haven't told you. that's the way you play the tabloid game. >> joe? >> i'm going to ease your burden, joe. we are sitting in michael's courtroom. and the jury is out there.
>> it is. >> watching this and he's winning. >> yeah. boy. that just made me shiver. so mika, it does appear, though, like this lawyer is doing what i have told democrats or anybody that wants to run against donald trump, what you have to do to run against donald trump and what do i always say? get in his face. smother him. you mock him. you don't let him move. you take up all the oxygen. you make fun of him. it's an oppressive. it's just a full court press. so you see -- and in a basketball game. that's exactly what this lawyer seems to be doing. >> look. i mean, the bottom line is for some reason he has trump by his tiny hands because for some reason trump who's called me psychotic and you a murderer, joe, for the most silly infractions against him,
speaking perhaps negatively about him on television or humoring him a little bit. >> right. >> and yet -- and another thing trump does is deflect and would use -- we know the patterns. use a stormy daniels story to deflect from the mueller probe and nothing is happening. >> one other thing, mika, that's really interesting. i have heard from people close to donald trump now for two months now that regarding "20/20" and if mark cuban ran against him in the primary, to a person everybody says he would not run because what does -- i mean, the last thing donald trump wants to do is to be mocked and ridiculed and have somebody that knows how to dish it out more than he does. because he can dish it out and as we know -- >> can't take it in. >> can't take it. maybe this is just a preview to the type of people running against him in 2020 and certainly does make a lot more
sense what trump associates say about mark cuban, that he would run as far away from that fight as humanly possible if he ran in the republican pry myrrh. >> a lawyer who was playing a minor role on president trump's legal team increasing the role after the departure of ty cobb. andrew ekanamu stepping into the fore grown. do i have that right? cobb said he and other experienced trial lawyers played significant role so far. in the late 1970s and early '80s he worked in the u.s. attorney's office in atlanta where he was chief of the criminal division and briefly served as acting u.s. attorney in 1982. ekonomou works in georgia where he said he prosecutes a lot of murders for the d.a. and told
reuters i have been tested plenty of time. because you're not a beltway lawyer doesn't mean you don't know what you're doing. okay as for bob mule ir -- >> i'm sorry. just because -- john, you don't practice in the field of law and you are going up -- this is like a hockey player deciding he's going to pitch in the seventh game of the world series against the new york yankees at yankees stadium. doesn't work that way. >> i don't want to disparage him because i don't know him but i'll say that from one hand trying to get ted olsen to represent you -- >> yeah. >> and obsessed, easily the -- one of the great stars of conservative legal jurisprudence and to go from ted olson and someone i believe -- i'm going to ask dan goldman if he knows anything about him but i don't believe they recognize the name or familiarity with him and, you
know, we all would know about ted olson and ty cobb. so, dan, i ask you, what does he bring to the table or a name you're unfamiliar with as we are? >> he can defend trump against a murder charge. >> in georgia. >> in georgia. i don't think that's what we're dealing with. >> maybe. you never know. >> that's not what we're dealing with here. i actually -- it wasn't crazy when trump said he was having difficulty because of the conflicts of interest. that is actually an issue. there are a ton of witnesses and law firms around the country are conflicted out. >> right. >> i'm very surprised about this. this is somebody who based on what he says about his own practice, that he is sort of a contract prosecutor which i had never heard of before but he does -- >> me neither. >> but he does, you know -- those are real important cases. no one's disparaging that. joe, you are exactly right. this is like the world series
here and you need a very experienced, white collar defense lawyer. >> doesn't part of the problem of donald trump come down to this? you have john dowd and seemed like -- there was a conflict about whether or not trump should go and sit in front of bob mueller. part of that has to be john dowd believes that trump will perjure himself and if you have a problem so beyond conflicts of interest, potential conflicts of client, as you pointed out, a fundamental problem here for donald trump how to get a lawyer who's going to represent me when what i want is a lawyer to say it's okay to sit in front of bob mueller and most smart lawyers worried or have knowledge that donald trump will go in front of bob mueller and commit perjury. >> you cannot send him in to commit perjury. i don't know that john dowd would know that unless -- >> fear, suspect. >> he'll fear because donald trump has proven through the
tweets he is a little unhinged in what he says. he is not controllable. from a dowd perspective or a potential lawyer representing trump's perspective, they're concerned they have no idea what he is going to say in response to mueller's questions and when you have a prosecutor who like mueller and his team of star prosecutors who know absolutely everything that everybody else has said, all of the documents, many of which none of us have any idea what they say and trump is going to go in and try to sort of bully his way through the questions, he's going to end up getting himself in a pickle. and i think that's exactly what dowd was concerned about and it should be what anybody is concerned about. not just trump. most lawyers would not send any client into a situation like this and trump is trying to sort of have it both ways by attacking the mueller investigation, attacking the probe. but also, saying that he would
be happy to go and meet for questions. and it's a little bit difficult to do both of those things. >> you know, john, just to be really clear, when you're tacking about this lawyer would be able to defend donald trump against murder charges in georgia, we are not talking about georgia the state. we're talking about georgia the nation within putin's orbit and maybe it does all come into play sooner than later. >> that was good. >> shannon, i want to be very careful here. were not disparages this attorney's experience because what he does if he does what he says he does and we're sure he does that's extraordinarily important. but again, it's just not even close to the type of skill set that a lawyer is going to need if he's going up and whether it's white collar crime or government crime going against robert mueller who may be remembered as the most
effective, most skilled prosecutor of our time. >> yeah. the lawyers, prosecutors worked on similar cases of these, they say the president is in real trouble. this clearly shows that this is the only type of lawyer you can get at this point. by type i mean someone that doesn't have a marquise name and reputation to be trashed working with this president. lawyers take on a lot of difficult clients. guilty clients. take on clients with big egos and a lot of money. they take on clients that don't want to listen to their advice. i think what separates this client, president trump, from other difficult clients is the risk to their reputation if they don't -- if things don't work out. look at jeff sessions, andrew mccabe. the personal attacks. will they get a tweet with a nasty nickname with a disagreement with the president and the big lawyers in town
don't need that. when i talk to the partners and people approached they say they don't need that. they have the money. they have the reputation. they're not going to risk their reputation at this point to represent the president. >> well -- >> yeah. but it is an enormous hole they have to get by without. >> i have a question for john, for mika, for mike. name one person that's gone in to the trump administration either than, say, deanna powell, that left the trump administration with the reputation intact, that left the trump administration actually having the reputation enhanced. that person does not exist. and you know, mike, what we're finding is actually something that's quite unusual in modern american political life and that is that a white house gig, that
line on your resume actually has ended up damaging the reputations of just about everybody that has gone into donald trump's white house. so as shannon said, why would a lawyer who depends on his reputation deal with this -- deal with donald trump when you have somebody like michael cohn who i'm sure is having an extraordinarily difficult time right now getting new clients? >> joe, as far as reputation goes, you have to extend it beyond trump's white house. how about to trump's business life? i mean, anyone associated with him in business. you get smeared. he is a reputation thief. that's what he's always been. and whatever -- whoever the lawyer is and we don't want to disparage him, we don't know him or very much about him, you have to factor this into the equation. he is coming into the ball game
tantamount to the bottom of the eighth inning. mueller and the investigation up and running for nearly a year now so i don't know what this lawyer does. >> apparently he has been -- he's had some involvement in helping sekulow for sometime. perhaps a rapaport with the president and figures here's a guy who trump might listen to. >> come on. it looks like he's like -- he sounds like the charles groden character -- >> we don't know. >> have a ham sandwich and fix the budget, fix the debt. you are talking about -- you're talking, mika, about bob mueller here. this is not just something to come in and sort of -- >> he can't get anybody. you bring up that their reputations have been impacted negatively to say the least. maybe for some of them in tatters. also swamped with legal bills. it's a nightmare for the people
who work in the white house. as for bob mueller, senator richard blumenthal is leading a group of nine democratic members of the senate judiciary committee calling on the justice department to publicly commit to protecting the special counsel and his investigation. the senators sent letters dated march 7th and released to the public yesterday to those in the direct line of secession should rod rosenstein be fired. that comes as senators issued a joint public statement to president trump about respecting the independence of the special counsel. republican tom till luis of north carolina and democrat chris coons of delaware said we have heard from constituents, democrats, republicans and independents alike who agree that special counsel robert mueller should be able to conduct his investigation without interference. this should not be a partisan
issue. we urge president trump to allow the special counsel to complete the work without impediment in the best interest of the american people, the president and our nation. till luis and coons are co-sponsors soft integrity act which would restrict how and why mueller or any similar prosecutor could be fired. >> mika, let's bring it -- shannon, let's bring you in here really quickly. when's so fascinating and i'm going to heard what you've heard on the hill about this and when's fascinating about tom till luis tillis, he was elected in 2014 with the support of the koch brothers and cambridge. he comes from pretty conservative element of the republican party. and yet, you have both him and richard burr from north
carolina, both coming across almost like those old tennessee moderates that we used to have and howard baker coming across from north carolina as the voices of reason in north carolina. it certainly seems like bob mueller's support out among constituents in states like north carolina seems to be growing and we are seeing the impact on the hill. >> yeah. and i think even, you know, when i listened to conservative talk radio, conservative news programs, you know, the personal attacks of bob mueller aren't necessarily there. they'll attack the fbi. they'll attack mccabe, rosenstein. everybody seems to keep away from bob mueller. i mean, part of it is bob mueller, hard to go after his character. >> right. >> serving his country for so many years and the marines and i mean, he is really sort of an all american. but the issue i would focus on is rod rosenstein at this point.
i sort of stopped asking will you fire bob mueller? will you find something for rod rosenstein? there's a lot of pressure, drumbeat of criticism from him that you hear among conservatives and maybe don't fire him. there's the trump's lawyer for three days, joe di genova. telling him to stay in the box more. and can essentially neuter mueller. i think that's the strategy more likely to play out at this point. >> heidi, how hard is that, though? you look at the numbers. you have bob mueller, his approval rating's going up. even majority of republicans are saying let this guy do his job. and shannon's right. how do you criticize a guy who has served his country his
entire life, who served his country in vietnam, who was a war hero, who came home and could have made big money but decided he wanted to serve his country prosecuting the bad guys? this guy, robert mueller, is an almost an impossible target to take on and maybe that's why republicans will step forward and try to protect him. >> you don't see anyone impugning him and you won't see that going forward but not to put a pin prick in this. we're in a recess period right now. compare it to what happened during the last recess period in august when there was almost a frenzy among members on both sides of the aisle to come together on a bipartisan bill and push it through. that's largely stalled. tillis was a part of that. he went essentially dark an now you have the president doing these attacks on bob mueller so there's pressure here and what do they do?
they do a statement. we'll ask the senators this when they come on to set or come on the show. what's really happening in terms of pushing a consensus bill forward? you have chairman grassley, the chair of the committee not saying he would advance that legislation so while you have these statements, you still have no real safety net in terms of legislation to protect mueller so not to down play this. important to make the public statements but they're not pushing forward the bipartisan legislative safety net. >> daniel, though, at this point, if you have tom tillis saying let bob mueller finish the job, you need one more republican and suddenly donald trump doesn't have a majority in the united states senate. also, with what eric schneiderman is doing in new york state, there's been the feeling by many for some time now even if bob mueller were
fired, i don't think anybody believes he will be fired, eric schneiderman is moving full steam ahead against jared kushner, against the kushners and donald trump right now. and if that happens in new york state or any other state, that's beyond any prosecution is beyond the reach of a presidential pardon, isn't it? >> i agree with you. i think the bigger issue rather than trump firing mueller is trump pardoning some of the witnesses against him. any of these things would be somewhat of a constitutional crisis. just to add to what shannon was saying, though, the other way to get out this investigation by trump is for sessions to leave and for trump to be able to appoint an attorney general who's not recused. then the attorney general would be the one overseeing the investigation. but i do agree. i think this is something where if trump's going to try to cut the legs out from under the investigation it's going to be on the edges, on the margins. not giving funding.
not doing things like that. getting somebody in rosenstein or sessions if he were to replace him to do that sort of thing. but absolutely. i think you're going to see a lot of additional litigation, perhaps civil litigation out of attorneys general's offices and if there were to be a criminal case, of course, that's not pardonable. but the reason why this law is even coming to the forefront is jeff flake talked a lot about this. there's no recourse if trump is to force the firing of mueller. other than impeachment. so the idea is to sort of create a judicial review for that process just to kind of insulate trump from manufacturing this -- the firing of mueller. >> wow. daniel goldman and shannon petty-piece, thank you very much for being on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," north korea's leader meeting with the president, not president trump, though.
the president of china. what does it mean for the relationship between those two countries and for america's role in the pacific? you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. every legacy comes with a burden. an expectation to surpass. but that's the point. ♪ bring us doubt, and we'll bring you the first car with true hands free driving for the freeway. bring us a challenge, and we'll reinvent what it means to own a car. ♪ bring us all your expectations, and we'll defy them. again, and again, and again.
president trump is tweeting this morning, quote, for years and through many administrations, everyone said that peace and the denuclearization of the korean peninsula was not a small possibility. now there's a good chance that kim jong-un will do what's right for his people and humanity. look forward to his meeting. that comes after north korea's leader visited china on sunday and left early wednesday local time and believed to be kim's first foreign trip since he rose to power in 2011. his father and grandfather both made several visits to china which is easily north korea's closest and most important ally.
according to the chinese state media, the quote unofficial visit came on the invitation of president xi jinping and the two leaders held talks at beijing's great hall of the people. kim also reportedly reiterated the desire of a summit with the united states. joining us now from seoul nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nickels. what more with you tell us recording kim jong-un's trip to china and what's the reaction been like in south korea? >> reporter: well, good morning, mika. the reaction here is optimism mixed with anxiety. we have the talks, the announcement of talks of president trump and kim jong-un and how things unfolded here. reports of a secret train and no one knew who was on the train and then shortly after crossing into the border it was confirmed by the chinese it was kim
jong-un visiting xi jinping. there's a recognition that the talks are potentially serious and heard from the north koreans to participate and substance, the idea of potential denuclearization of the korean peninsula. here's the deadline. here's why we're really in unchartered waters. because when you think of what could happen if the talks fail, that leave it is prospects of military action very real. and everyone here gets a sense that president trump is serious about the talks but also serious about keeping north korea from having that capability, of putting a nuclear-tipped weapon to reach the united states. everyone knows these talks now are loaded with more meaning. guys? >> thank you so much. we greatly appreciate it. y john heilman, china's always been in a unique position with north korea. i talked about the 51st state of china. if you look at the trade that
goes back and forth there and it seems to me china, whose leaders brag about thinking of centuries instead of thinking of terms of years, it seems to me they're about where they were in 1962, 1963. they certainly don't want a war that spreads across all of asia. they don't want to see million koreans dead. same time, just like they didn't want to see a free north vietnam, they don't want to see north and south korea unite together and become free and become more influenced by the united states. so it seems to me we continue walking in circles on this issue. >> well right. and i don't have the prescription to fix this, joe, but i'll say the situation you outlined strikes me right in terms of historical parallel and a sense of the complexity involved, the complexity that
china is -- has to wrap its strategy around gives you a sense of just -- go back to the first conversation at the top of the show. just what the kind of demands for nuance, vision, strategy, coherence, all of that, the demands on the united states, and in trying to figure out how to get china to behave in a way that china perceives of its interest and the united states' interest and the service of trying to avoid some kind of a blow up on the korean peninsula, that's a challenging task for any president, even one who really had his stuff together. donald trump has not shown much sign of that, heidi. what do you think on -- the tweet of donald trump sent out, the behavior of nine months toward north korea and china. do you look and say, hey, i see the grand chess strategy here that the president is playing out or just completely winging it an engod knows where we'll
end up? >> there's no coherent strategy. we thought prior to him appointing john bolton with the north koreans possibly showing some concessions, wanting to sit down and meet, extending the offer of a meeting, that maybe there was -- some hope here. that is the big wild card now. >> coming up on "morning joe," the good news for president trump, he's running neck and neck with gillibrand. we'll break down the matchups for 2020 straight ahead. directv gives you more for your thing. your top-rated thing. that five stars, two thumbs up, 12-out-of-10, would recommend thing.
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welcome back to "morning joe." little weather update for you. unfortunately, texas took the brunt of it overnight. flash flooding and strong thunderstorms. we'll continue that threat today. if you're traveling out of san antonio or the dallas airport, little rock, even memphis, we could have some issues. flash flood watches for 32 million people. we're taking this from east texas up through the southern ohio valley and the stripe here of this red and pink, this is the accumulated rainfall predictions of computers. three to four inches of rain and lexington, nashville down through northern louisiana into the houston area so that's why
we could see delays and maybe even water on some of the roads. severe weather today, maybe tornadoes, a few of them. northern louisiana, southern arkansas. depends on sunshine early today. if not, wind damage and large hail and includes dallas, corpus christi and friends in brownsville. northeast, warmer, gloomy. 50s, on and off rain. for great weather, go to florida or the west coast. fast forward to tomorrow, still showers in d.c. and more heavy rain in the ohio valley. spring-like weather. at least i wasn't talking about snow at all. new york city we traded cool sunshine for cloudy warmth. i don't know which one is worse. "morning joe" back in three.
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treatment. but our next guest says that stormy is simply using trump's own signature tactics against him and beating him at his own game. joining us now, investigative reporter for "washington post," and msnbc political analyst, david fahrenthold. david, it appears that the president so silent on this, silent on nothing else that insults him in any way or defames him in any way. and yet, he's got nothing to say about this porn star, alleged affair and the contract that he says is unfair and unfairly drawn out. >> that's what's really interesting about this. looking back at trump's business career, he was the one to sort of not play by the rules. suing him, he sues you for something more extravagant. a lawsuit, some court ballot, he would fight it in the press. a suspect call to calculate easier to settle the case than deal with the spectacle of
donald trump. stormy daniels knows she's the more with less to lose and fighting the case in the press as a way to draw attention to this and embarrass him. he's sort of shrinking back, not say anything, try to play by the rules and enforce, you know, enforce a nondisclosure agreement when it's been disclosed. >> it seems like you agree with john heilman that actually her lawyer has ripped a page from trump's playbook and doing things that other lawyers would be embarrassed to do on or more established lawyers might be embarrassed to do on cable news, scream that your opponent is a thug, thug, thug, thug repeatedly and basically throw caution to the wind. is this the legal equivalent of donald trump do politically in 2016? >> yes. and the other tactic that he borrows from trump, the businessman, trump the reality
tv star, suspense. tune in next time to see what's on the dvd. hear about this dress. it's never -- we may have heard stormy daniels' whole story and told it to "in touch" in 2011 and may know everything in the relationship but he's able to create a sense of suspense, the same way trump did as a candidate and president. saying in 24 hours i'll tell you what i'll do with hezbollah. you have a reason to tune in. >> yeah, i mean -- >> gene? >> no. this is the world we live in. the world of reality television. essentially. donald trump as we all know is a master of that forum. and it looks like michael abanati is getting a show, too. >> hey, joe. i got -- want to way two words to you and hopefully they mean something to you. arnie becker, the great divorce
lawyer on the show "l.a. law." >> right. >> they're basically the same guy. they're both -- they're the same guy and -- >> i watched "l.a. law." >> a great show. arnie becker and michael -- i say that with respect to both, the character and the real lawyer. if you take a little bit of "l.a. law" and make a newfangled reality show of lawyers -- >> you got it. >> a lawyer based in l.a. who does political -- this kind of of political work, michael is like the perfect merger of a fictional law firm. >> called thugs. >> meets a reality show. he's a star. >> that's good. >> you know, the guy also, it appears and i say appears because we don't know all the facts out there, it appears that like trump he's making it up as he goes along. >> totally. >> when there's a lack of
interest, he takes a picture of a disk and says, oh my goodness, look at this disk. look at this disk. what might be on the desk that carol merrill is holding behind door number go? and everybody sits there, oh my god, what's on the disk? for a week everybody's talking about the disk. personally, i don't think anything's on the list. >> 35 songs of "morning joe" the demo. >> good disk. >> donald trump doesn't know. and donald trump's wife more specifically doesn't know. and so, the president appears to be frozen by all this. david, i want to ask you, because you have done extraordinary work and i want it said first here that i think barnacle and i actually said this man deserves a pulitzer. it was obvious pulitzer work. but there's been this question for some time about whether
donald trump's brand has been hurt or whether it's been helped by what's happened over the past couple of years. one thing that's for certain, donald trump is still driven by the bottom line more than anything else. so, what is the impact? journalist that's focused on this with extraordinary detail for two years, talk about the brand. i once had an agent saying the brand is going up or down. what about the trump organization? >> well, from what we can see, the value is going down. the trump organization's private and can't see the books but you have to remember the trump organization built before the campaign to appeal to an upper -- mostly upper class, elite, wealthy coastal set of customers. fancy golf courses in new jersey, outside washington, d.c. those are the people to attract. fancy hotels in new york, d.c.
and alienates and the voters turning against him. those places start to lose customers and can he then find a way to monetize the sort of less wealthy folk who is are the political supporters. we haven't seen evidence he can do that. he had consumer goods like ties, perfumes, a line of glasses by the same people that make paula deen's glasses. they don't seem to be doing well and sort of disappearing. we are working hard to see if they make donald trump glasses or perfume. the effort of hotels for those people seem to be stalled at one in mississippi. >> what about foreign markets? people aspiring to be seen as elites on the east coast maybe they're moving away from the trump brand. but what about, let's say, foreign clients? you have -- like, for instance, ivanka is very popular in some countries overseas.
are they seeing an expansion of their foreign markets? >> i think you can separate ivanka and might be doing fairly well and less tarnished and the brand less tarnished than donald trump's brand. overseas, the trump organization's organization's presence is limited to some licensed golf courses and hotels, a few golf courses they own themselves. eric trump has said he's not going to make new foreign deals after the election. so they're limited to the things that were already in their pipeline which is not that much, a condo tower in uruguay, a couple of golf courses in indonesia. there's something they're trying to revive in the dominican republic. they don't have much room in products or locations and so far they seem to be restraining themselves from starting new things. >> david farenthold, thank you so much. next, at least a dozen states plan to sue the government over its decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.
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visit sleepnumber.com for a store near you. this is a tomato you can track from farm, to pot, to jar, to table. and serve with confidence that it's safe. this is a diamond you can follow from mine to finger, and trust it never fell into the wrong hands. ♪ ♪ this is a shipment transferred two hundred times, transparently tracked from port to port. this is the ibm blockchain, built for smarter business. built to run on the ibm cloud. i want to talk a little bit about the census decision here. a lot of critics have concerns that the citizenship question will discourage citizens from participating. can you address those concerns? >> this is a question that's been included in every census since 1965 except for 2010 when
it was removed. this provides data that's necessary for the department justice to protect voters. and specifically to help us better comply with the voting rights act which is something that is important and a part of this process. and again, this is something that has been part of the census for decades and something that the department of commerce felt strongly needed to be included again. >> okay. that was white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders at yesterday's briefing, defending monday's decision by the commerce department to include a question about citizenship status in the 2020 u.s. census. joining us now, professor at the lyndon b. johnson school of public affairs at the university of texas, msnbc contributor victoria de francisco soto. victoria, the most basic question, was sarah sanders accurate right there? >> mika i'm going to give
sanders a 3 on the tru truth-o-meter. we had the citizenship question on the census until 1950. it was dropped, it was put back on in 1970 in the long form. this is the key detail, mika, the long form census is a deep dive into the statistical details of economic status indicators. but only about 16% of the population gets the long form. so the vast majority of americans get the census short form, which is what we know as the census. 1970, '80, '90, 2000, have the short form with the majority of the population. that was dropped in 2010 because we moved to a new statistical tool called the american community survey. all of this to say that it is a vast overstatement to say that citizenship was on the census. it was just a small piece of a statistical tool called the long form.
>> all right. so then why is it a problem? explain your concerns, if any, about this change at this point. >> at the end of the day, with the census you want as many people to answer as possible. and more the more burdensome yoe a survey, whether it be longer or you ask sensitive questions, that makes people less likely to answer. and given this climate right now, how we see immigration politicized, immigrant folks are weary of answering, especially undocumented persons, but also normal immigrants and persons of color. you're going to have undercounts. that's going to affect one of the main purposes of the census which is redistricting, federal funding, and as a social scientist, a total headache in terms of statistical modeling, because a lot of survey work weights data based off of the census which is supposed to be the most complete count of any statistical tool out there. so many problems here, political
and methodological, including the citizenship question. >> victoria, so given that we have now this controversy, given that we have all the potential problems that this raises, how do you see the politics of this now playing out as we go forward? is there a chance that this can be headed off at the pass? or are we going to get stuck with it and all the problems you describe? >> i'm going to defer to my legal scholar colleagues on this, but i do think we're going to see a very hard fight in the courts with this. we saw yesterday with attorney general xavier becerra trying to block it off, leading up the california effort. but the irony here is that red states would also be hurt. so here in texas, we have the second largest undocumented population. so we would probably lose congressional seats because of this. and we also know the highest rates of latino population growth, arkansas, north carolina, they would also be affected. so in terms of this only hurting
california and some other blue states, that is completely incorrect. >> victoria, thank you very much. final thoughts, we'll start with gene. take it away. >> well, maybe this makes me a bad person, but really what i take away from this morning is stormy daniels and michael avenatti and this tabloid war that i think is going to continue for the foreseeable future. >> and there's a reason why trump's been so quiet. we spend a lot of time talking about why. the minute he opens his mouth, he's going to be asked two questions where if he's deposed under oath, he could perjure himself. did you have an affair, did you authorize the payments. that's why even folks like alan dershowitz are saying this is a bigger legal problem than we think. >> earlier today we saw a clip of the president's family disembarking from air force one, his wife and youngest son. i think it's essential to separate your feelings from what you feel about the president to
the family and the toll it is taking on the family has got to be horrendous. >> michael avenatti and arnie becker. go watch "l.a. law." what a great show. check it out. >> what a great show indeed. china meeting with north korea's leader, we were supposed to pivot to asia repeatedly over the past decade, we haven't done so. so the united states is more in charge -- is more marginalized in that vital region than ever before. >> chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. hello, i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. this morning, kim jong-un sec t secretly meets with chinese president xi jinping. president trump hails it as a strong precursor to his sit-down. >> beijing now controls the entire destiny of the korean peninsula. it is no longer in the hands of washinon