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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  April 24, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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bergdorf. age 71 years and seven months at the time of the exam. height 71 inches, some people have just great genes, i told the president if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years. >> his weight 239. just shy of obesity. >> it is. >> you're confident of that number? >> yeah. >> all right so doctor ronny jackson is confident that president trump is in fine physical is shape. account white house say the same for jackson's nomination to be va secretary? new information this morning about the sudden brakes that were put on his confirmation hearing. everything went dark right away. welcome to "morning joe," it's tuesday, april 24th. we have mike barnicle, farmer aide to george w. bush elise jordan. former treasury official, steve
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rattner, along with willie, joe and me, there are a number of stories this morning on the trump cabinet. we'll get to. but first after week of mourning and celebrating the life of first lady barbara bush, the bush family is praying for its patriarch today. george h.w. bush, the 41st president of the united states is in critical condition in houston. hospitalized sunday for a blood infection. last night a spokesman said the 93-year-old former commander-in-chief was responding to treemgatments. bush is the longest living president in american history. surpassing gerald ford last november. on friday bush saw mourners from the public attending his wife's viewing at houston's st. maarten's episcopal church. greeting families from his wheelchair for 20 minutes. george h.w. bush in critical condition this morning.
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>> yeah. obviously such a class act going out there. shaking hands with so many people that came by to bid farewell to the love of his life. for over seven decades. it's, it obviously has to be an extraordinarily crushing time for him. those two, mika, everybody knows and certainly as we saw when we visited, those two obviously inseparable. and you know, we, we pray, we pray for his health and, healthy return. but at the same time it's, i, i don't know how the man goes on without his wife. for too long. just because he obviously has to have such a broken heart right now. >> yup.
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they were so in sync. we noticed that when we were with them even in the past couple of years. we'll follow the situation and bring you the latest as it becomes available. we'll get to the top political stories of the day. but we'll come back to this. it came down to the wire, but mike pompeo has come out of the senate foreign relations committee with a favorable recommendation on his secretary of state nomination. pompeo was expected to be the first secretary of state nominee to come out of the committee unfavorably. however, senator rand paul changed his vote from no to yes at the very last minute after speaking with the president several times yesterday. as well as meeting with pompeo himself. paul says he received several assurances that pompeo know thinks the iraq war quote was a mistake. that regime change has destabilized the middle east and that we must end our involvement with afghanistan.
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>> it was also a last-second obstacle, republican senator johnny isaacson could not attend the vote. he was delivering a eulogy of a close friend. senators had to be physically present for their votes to advance to the floor and democrat chris coons changed his no vote to present. >> having heard a request from my dear friend senator isaacson, i am recorded as voting against mike pompeo for secretary of state but i will vote present for him to move forward. i've spoken to johnny. i now hoe very demanding and draining this eulogy was for him today. i will vote present. >> three democrats have come out in support. joe manchin, joe tunnely and
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heidi heitkamp, nice move on chris coons' part. he'll be on the show this morning, as is rand paul. >> very nice moment of just class and comity in the senate that doesn't happen so much. willie, doesn't this happen every so often with rand paul, he comes out and makes a definitive statement about about how he's going to vote against the administration and then he votes for the administration, he's going to vote against -- i remember when he said i'm going to vote against pompeo, people saying i've heard this before. and then the president calls him you up and he is now supportive of pompeo. that's not the first time this has happened with rand paul, is it? >> it happened on the tax bill. rand paul takes a moment to express his views, his problems with whatever the nomination or the bill on the floor and works to get assurances as he said. i think to get a phone call, and
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a meeting with mike pompeo and suddenly receive assurances to say, the iraq war was a mistake, we'll get out of afghanistan soon enough and i don't believe in interventionist foreign policy. just to get his vote shouldn't be that easy. but that's what it was. we'll interview and talk to rand paul in a few minutes on this show. elise you worked for rand obviously. you know him very well. what was his game here? does he actually believe that suddenly pompeo has flipped on these core issues? >> he received reassurances but also spoke to president trump and john kelly. and perhaps an executive order down the line to fix some of the warrant problems with fisa, is a potential trade-off that he's hoping to receive. but i think that the real game-changer was that mike pompeo is really running point on talking to north korea and senator paul is a strong supporter of talking to north korea and taking every measure short of war before there is a war. so i think it really changed the
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calculus for mike pompeo's nomination when the white house emerged with the news he had been in pyongyang over easter. >> ma was part of the president's strategy, he said, while sending mike pompeo over there he's showing and saying to the senate and the country is that guy is already performing the duties of secretary of state, let's make it official. >> and one of the most difficult jobs he's going to have one of the most important jobs, north korea. but mike barnicle, what a dreadful way to make foreign policy. to have your incoming secretary of state promise a full retreat from afghanistan. this is something that donald trump again was deeply critical of barack obama for doing, saying i'm going to get out of iraq, i'm going to get out of afghanistan. trump would always criticize him for that. now you have donald trump saying i want to get out of syria and promising to get out of afghanistan. if he can get a vote. in the senate.
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for his secretary of state nominee. >> well i think you just described the foreign policy of the trump administration. it's day to day. almost moment by moment. especially with regard to afghanistan and the president's mind. he's willing to get out of af afghanistan. he was talked into staying a bit longer by general mattis and now the pompeo nomination, he's going to clear, he's going to be secretary of state. the interesting question, we know, we assume and we've heard that mike pompeo has enormous influence with president trump. he gets along quite well with him. is he going to be secretary of state, plus secretary of defense? is he going to have a bigger say in the troop movements and troop placements as secretary mattis? i think that's going to be a potential collision we're going to be watching. >> we shall see. steve rattner, as far as mike pompeo goes, here's a guy that's got the education, the knowledge, he's got the know-how of certainly how to work with
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donald trump. he, he proved that at the c.i.a. at times he would say things that would distress critics. but when he was on the hill for instance talking about russia's influence, he said some things that donald trump certainly didn't like. he's also promising to rebuild state. i'm just -- i understand democrats want to oppose donald trump nominees, i wonder if this is the hill they want to fight and die on. >> i think we've seen a few red state democrats facing tough re-elections that are going to support pompeo. i don't think there's any question after the rand paul decision, but that he's going to get confirmed. it's an interesting cabinet now. you have donald trump, who has said he doesn't want to be a nation-builder. said he doesn't want to be involved in all these different wars, wants to pull america from being involved, now he's adding to his cabinet, people who have had a different world view than that, obviously john bolton and
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mike pompeo and how these different views are going to get reconciled in terms of what we do in places like north korea, the middle east and afghanistan. remains to be seen. afghanistan, to some degree it was an open-ended yeah, we'll get out. i'm not sure it's going to change american policy, i think they needed to get this vote do done. >> we learned last night that the confirmation hearing for ronny jackson, the president's pick for the va secretary, has postponed. because of unspecified concerns about jackson's background. his confirmation hearing had originally been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. the "washington post" was first to report the news. according to the "post," republicans and democrats raised concerns about his qualifications and oversight of the white house medical staff. jackson is the white house physici physician, he made headlines in january after a briefing where he told reporters that president trump's overall health was
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excellent. lawmakers from both sides of the aisle raised concerns about his lack of experience running a large bureaucracy. right now the timing for a rescheduled confirmation hearing remains unclear. but joe, that display about the president's health, i thought was quite incredible. back when it happened. >> incredible is a very nice word for it, mika. thought it was embarrassing. i thought -- it was shameful. you have a guy that first of all obviously, for anybody that's ever -- you don't have to be one of those people that work at circuses that look -- hey, i can guess your weight. to know that donald trump -- weighs a hell of a lot more than 239 pounds. that was embarrassing. but then, willie, the -- the topper of it all, the piece de resistance, was when he said, it
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sounded like hitler's doctor, i'm sorry. you know what, his genes are so good, if hitler's doctor had a brooklyn accent. he could live to be 200 years old. but seriously, remember when mnuchin was on stage, talking about donald trump's superior genes. he has superior genes, he has the best dna of anybody i've ever met. the doctor did the same thing. saying his genetics, his genes, his dna is so good that he could live to be 200 years old. >> incredible. >> who would say, who would say that? strike hitler, let's say maybe putin or another autocrat's doctor coming out. >> putin's doctor to say or a north korean doctor might be a tighter fit. fearless leader's genetics are so pure and so strong, that fearless leader can live to be
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200 years old. >> it's kind of sick, actually. >> there's a lot of accents in there. >> i got brooklyn. >> ronny jackson, a southern accent. you can mix a lot in there, and you did. the i azing thing to lot of people is that dr. jackson was well respected in the obama white house and people who knew him and vouch ford him when he came out and took all of those questions were surprised to see him saying things like donald trump could live to 200 years old if he ate better. but let's think about why he's now sitting in the position he's sitting. because of that performance -- >> suck-up. >> he massaged president trump's ego. president trump saw a vacancy in the va said i like the way the guy talked about him that day in the white house briefing room. let's make him secretary there was no process, enter was no interview, there was no vetting. it was president trump liking someone who said nice things about him and now they're in this position of maybe having to pull his nomination. >> and arguably, joe, when the
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president or people around him, people in the defense department, think about this appointment, it is arguably one of the more important cabinet appointments you can make. we've been at war for 17 years. this country, the landscape of this country is littered with families and veterans of multiple wars that we've been fighting for 17 years. their concerns have to be addressed. their health issues have to be addressed. they have not been addressed and the next head of the va will be presiding over the most massive bureaucracy in the government. >> this is the second biggest bureaucracy in the government. 375,000 employees, this guy has never managed more than 50 or 60 doctors in a small medical unit. you know, management is a skill and if you've never done it, unlikely you're going to be able to do it. >> and he's going into unfortunately, mika, he's going into a bureaucracy that's been the most broken over the past three decades. this is, i mean my gosh, it's
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been, i remember when i, when i was doing constituent work, people would always say to me, you know, is the irs the hardest agency to work with? no, you pick up the phone, call them. see what the deal is. they're usually pretty responsive. and it's the va, we had more military retirees in my district than any other district in america but it was the va that was the least responsive and you look at the scandals over the past several years about the people who have been dying, waiting to get treatment. treatment they were promised when they signed up. they were promised health care for life. health care for life. they've had congress, the government cut corners, one way after another way. after another way. they have to get somebody in here who is extraordinarily competent. who knows what they're doing and knows how to handle one of the
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most unmanageable bureaucracies in washington, d.c. this man is not the man, regardless of whether he says donald trump has superior genes and could live to be 200 years old. there are a lot of people who will die young. if you get the wrong person in the va. that can't fix the operations there. >> well, it's clear they're not looking for quality. that's been made clear many times over. sticking with the trump cabinet. the white house remaining tight-lipped about the future of embattled epa administrator scott pruitt. as a new report suggests the administration's support for him may be waning. according to bloomberg, citing two people familiar with discussions, white house officials are cautioning republican lawmakers that and other conservatives to temper their defenses of pruitt. the warnings come as a number of republican lawmakers are stepping forward to criticize pruitt and the number is growing. over the weekend, congressman
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frank lobiondo of new jersey became the fourth republican calling for the epa chief to step down. lobiando tweeted on sunday that pruitt was the wrong fit for the agency. >> three senate republicans are calling for hearings by the environment and public works committee to look into pruitt's actions. senators shelley more copito of west virginia, john boozeman of arkansas and staunch pruitt ally revealed they want pruitt to appear before the epa panel. he's scheduled to appear in back-to-back hearings. marking his first public a appearance on capitol hill since the wave of damaging revelations began against him last month. the white house was asked about whether there are concerns about pruitt appearing on the hill given all the bad headlines. >> we're continuing to review a
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number of the reports that you've mentioned. and we'll let you know if we have any changes on that front. administrator pruitt has done a good job of implementing the president's policies, particularly on deregulation, making the united states less energy-dependant and becoming more energy-independent. those are good things, however the other things are something that we're monitoring and looking at and i'll keep you posted. >> you know, willie if you look at the sheer number of incidents that have been reported on this man, it seems that scott pruitt again just by sheer volume has to be one of the more ethically challenged, grandiose cabinet members. not only of this administration, but of any administration that i remember in my lifetime. it seems like the guy has been cutting corners and profiting off of public service, whether it was back in oklahoma or whether it was here.
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getting, taking shortcuts, living, living large like he's -- zepellin's '71 tour. i just don't know how much longer he can survive. >> it's actually, even by washington standards, the sense of entitlement we're seeing here is absolutely staggering. somebody who rolls into washington as the attorney general, from the state of oklahoma, comes in, and believes that he is, i don't know, secretary of state, head of the c.i.a., something larger position, more significant perhaps than the one he holds. and also doesn't understand the job. which is to keep the air and the water clean, not to be flying all over the world with your entourage. the fact that there are only four republicans in the house though are said he ought to step aside. i don't know what else they're looking for, what more do you need to see to understand that he's not the right guy for the job. i've heard people around the white house saying finally, yeah, probably it's time for him
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to go, but president trump doesn't want to be told what to do by the press. he doesn't want to be pushed into a corner. so maybe down the road he gets to a place where he asks pruitt to step aside. he's not there yet. he wants to do it on his terms and as sarah sanders said yesterday, he likes policiwise what scott pruitt is doing in that position. >> but elise, this is what i don't understand about republicans on the hill and in the white house -- saying oh, we agree with what scott pruitt -- well you know what, i'm sure there are people in prisons across america who also have more of a libertarian view, have more of a libertarian view on the epa. you certainly can find, you can find dozens of people that are actually sitting members of the house and the senate, who agree completely with scott pruitt on these issues and who won't embarrass the president. and the white house daily. aren't there? >> no, joe, it's the most
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condescending argument. i hear it from conservative who is say we really like the policies, he's really cutting regulations, we're a country of over 300 million people we could find someone else who can cut regulations with the same dexterity, i do believe. they continue on the path of defending what's completely indefensible if you do want to uphold some standard of dignity and anti-corruption in the u.s. government. >> one of the many layers of embarrassment. for this administration. >> tom price was excused for far less than what scott pruitt is now been documented to have done. >> i have a feeling this is still the least of their problems, which sin credible. >> how are you a fiscal conservative if you're defending this guy living it up like he is president, essentially, i worked for a secretary of state who didn't need the bullet proof awe koutmentes that this guy needs. >> you have a problem with the bullet proof seat covers?
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>> he's got the booth, the maxwell smart booth. he gets $50 a night rent in washington, d.c. then we find out that actually the people, the lobbyists that gave it to him actually did have business before him. it goes on and on. i don't understand why they're suggesting that this guy is the only person that can cut regulations at the epa. i mean, you can find other people who are just as ideologically conservative as this man. i just wonder, is there, does he have a sponsor? does he have -- is there a big-money -- is he a sheldon adai adelson guy. is there somebody who gives trump and the republican party hundreds of millions of dollars that is protecting scott pruitt? that's the only thing that makes sense here. >> there's always be a appalling angle.
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still ahead, french president macron brings his charm offensive stateside, will he be able to change president trump's mind about pulling out of the iran deal. and two members of the senate foreign relations committee, senators rand paul and chris coons will be our guests. we'll get to that and steve rattner's charts on the deficit. but first bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> mika, an area that joe knows well, fort walton beach. this tornado that started on land and went over the water. this is sunday, you see the debris flying around the tornado it goes over the water, it's classified as a water spout. you can see how impressive it is, the waves churned up. no one was injured or killed. but some damage was done. nothing like that today. we're still tracking the same storm moving up the east coast. richmond, umbrella day for you,
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same for roanoke, charlotte, lexington to louisville to cincinnati. washington, d.c., we have to wait a little bit later today. you're dry today and through the lunch hour. rainfall amounts one to two inches. 7:00 a.m. through noon. d.c. still dry. by 6:00 p.m., light rain knocking on the door. and look out around the airports and around new york city and connecticut, tomorrow morning a heavy soaking rain for the wednesday morning rush hour. be prepared for delays at the airports and on the road. beautiful day from texas all the way up through minneapolis, above-normal temperatures and you deserve it, feeling like an early touch of summer. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. this is laura. and butch. and tank. and tiny.
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five years ago that mika, you and i went to the matrix awards, new york women in communication awards and saw ann finucan, who mike barnicle knows very well receive that prestigious award and we were all honored to be there. yesterday mika, when you received the award, the matrix award, and it was, it was again, a fitting award because you've been a groundbreaker in communications and you've somehow managed to combine the traditional with the transformative in a way that has really not only changed this show, but has had an impact on
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your entire career. so -- >> well you're very kind. >> i know that had to be, that had to be a great honor. >> that was nice of you to introduce me. you did a good job. made him get on his knees. >> you were the lead-off hitter in the highlight of the day an extraordinary number of women at the luncheon yesterday. an extraordinary number of honorees, but the highlight, joe, i think, was you presenting mika with the portion of the award from bended knee. >> it was a tiffany's box. so but enough about -- go ahead. >> i did that because mika ordered me to do that. she said i introduced her. i was going back to sit down. she said stay right here, and then she said, get down on your knee and give me the tiffany box. so i did. but, mika, you know what was, i
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think all of us there were, we were all very moved, the three women who along with schmidty. >> jody cantor, emily steele from the "new york times" -- they broke the harvey weinstein stories, bill o'riley and have been on the forefront of the me too movement. >> they got a standing ovation and people understood not only did they launch an incredible series of investigative reports, but also started a movement. >> absolutely. along with betsy lack of snapchat and deia sims, shelly zalas, who there was an incredible moment where she travels the world, she is of the female quotient, she is the ceo, she had ayman mogisha, young
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woman from rwanda. first time she ever flew on a plane and halle berry was there and she got a matrix award as well. it was a great, great luncheon. my deepest appreciation to new york women in communications. michael roth to all the hosts of the event. i thought it was beautiful so thank you very much. and thank you, joe, for behaving. coming up next guest, nearly brought a senate colleague to tears when he decided to allow the confirmation of mike pompeo to advance, democratic senator chris coons will be our guest. we'll be right back.
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i want to show you how the deficit is a self-inflicted problem. we can show a chart that shows you that the deficit before congress got involved in all of this, over the last few years is going to be $440 billion in the coming fiscal year. which is obviously a significant amount of money. but in the last three years, we've done a number of things, first we have the famous tax bill, $290 billion of which only about 13% goes to the average american, the rest is for wealthy americans and business. we had a bipartisan spending deal that got passed not long ago, increased by more than 10% spending on defense and nondefense matters. that was bipartisan and back in 2015, we did a bunch of stuff to fix budget gimmicks and stuff like that on a bipartisan basis, what it all ends up with. we're looking at blg a budget deficit for the coming years of $1 trillion. more than half, 55% of the deficit we're looking at for the
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coming year is stuff that congress has done in the last couple of years. >> so joe, jump in. >> so steve you're saying if congress hadn't busted the budget caps they put in place in 2011, we would be looking at deficit of $440 billion. ing instead of over $1 trillion? >> that's correct. the spending caps and the tax cut that they gave which mostly went to business and wealthy individuals. yeah. that is exactly right. >> when you have politicians -- there have been politicians, paul ryan said it himself. there's nothing that we can do about it, it was going to move this direct no matter what. that's just not true. this was actually. this deficit. we've strapped this deficit on our nation. on our children. and added to the debt.
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based on specific things they've done just in the past three years. >> that is correct. and we've done it at exactly the wrong time. i think many would argue. if we take a look at the next chart. i'll show you why. typically high deficits are associated with times of recession or high unemployment. 2009, we hit 9.3% unemployment. look at 1983, we had 9.6% unemployment. those were all periods of high deficits. but now we're sitting here at an estimated 4% unemployment as we sit here today, but estimated to go down to 3.3 and yet we're also looking at a deficit that's still over 4% as a percent of gdp. the last two times we were in that zone of deficits relative to gdp were in 1992 and 1976 when we are over 7% unemployment. when you have deficits this large at a time of low unemploymenting, you're going to drive up wages and prices and create inflation, that's a large part of what the credit markets
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are worried about. >> it sounds like we're throwing fuel on the fire. we have a economy sitting at low unemployment with fairly good growth. not massive job growth, but fairly good growth. what about inflationary concerns, do you see that coming? >> i think the markets are starting to see that coming. that's why you have headlines like this one in the "wall street journal" today. that basically says, treasury yields are nearing a milestone. they're heading to 3% for the first time in four years. so the market is getting increasingly concerned about sin flags coming. the republican alternative is we're going to grow our way out of this and the tax bill is going to create all this growth. if you look at the last k-mart, there's a fair amount of difference over that point of view. the tax cut advocates say if you get another .4% of annual growth, revenues will increase and the deficit will go down and we won't have that problem. the problem is that not many
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people agree with it the tax foundation which is right-leaning, things you might get .3% and you look at a whole passel of very independent forecasters from goldman sachs to the cbo to the moody's to the imf, they're looking at fractions of a tenth of 1% and the imf thinks growth might be less than it might be because of all the deficits created. >> the cbo says next year we'll get to $1 trillion deficit what does it mean to people watching at home as a practical matter. people see these monstrous numbers, what does it mean to somebody at home? >> thank you, willie, for bringing me back to reality. from my residence in the sky. it means a number of things, as we talk about rising interest rates, it means more inflation. it potentially means, it certainly means much more debt down the road. that's going to have to be paid for by all of our children, one way or another. you're going to have to cut
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benefits, you're going to have to cut spending, you'll have to do stuff to rein this in. it's a burden and a price we're putting on to our children. >> what kind of danger does it pose to the united states within the global economy? >> well within the global economy, it's interesting. we are the only country out of all the major countries that report, that is projecting rising deficits going forward rather than shrinking deficits going forward. one of the things that rising budget deficits do is they exacerbate the trade deficit is that donald trump is so worried about. they suck in imports and cause us to increase trade deficits. up next, senators rand paul and chris coons will join the conversation this morning and we see big swings in special elections this year. arizona next? voters are heading to the polls this morning. steve kornacki joins the table ahead on "morning joe."
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i'm thankful that our committee voted the way it did to move mike pompeo to a vote on the floor. i want to thank senator chris coons for displaying the statesmanship that i've been accustomed to seeing in the senate and i'm proud of him, i'm proud of our committee. and i'm happy for the american people. i think it showed that senators at the right time can do outstanding things. >> that was senate foreign relations committee chairman bob corker, getting emotional discussing the decision by his democratic colleague, chris coons, to vote "present" to advance mike pompeo's secretary of state nomination yesterday. and senator coons joins us now. and for those who might not get the politics of this, we thought maybe you should have stuck to your guns, tell us why you did that. >> well mika, i appreciate what
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chairman corker had to say afterwards, to be clear, i voted against mike pompeo in the committee and witness vote against him on the floor. but because of a senate rule, he couldn't advance from the committee to consideration by the full senate unless a majority of senators present voted that way. and my good friend, johnny isaacson had been at home in georgia, delivering a eulogy for his best friend that afternoon. the only thing that changing my vote to "present" did was change the hour of the vote. if i hadn't done that, senator isaacson would have been compelled to come to washington last night, he could have gotten in about 11:00, 11:30 and we would have reconvened and he would have had to cast the same vote. so it didn't change the outcome. but it did change the timing and it was an opportunity for me to show a small pressure of kindness and respect to a colleague in the senate. >> joe? >> senator, let me ask you about your vote against mike pompeo. i can understand democrats not
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feeling gracious towards a republican majority that wouldn't even talk to merritt garland, it was a shameful exercise. speaking of a lack of comity, in the senate, it was absolutely shameful and will be remarked in the history books as such. if you look at this situation, let's talk about the merits, you have in mike pompeo, obviously somebody who is, who is bright, educated. the best and the brightest. he served, he served his country, he's been an elected official. so you know, he's not a radical that hasn't had to face voters. he's certainly within the mainstream of republican orthodoxy in 2018. the same republicans who were elected to control the senate, elected to control the house. elected to control the white house. and you have america's
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commander-in-chief saying that he needs mike pompeo as his secretary of state. and by the way, a guy who would be far more connected apparently to donald trump than apparentlyd trump than rex tillerson ever was and i would even argue than john kerry at times was connected to barack obama. so why would you vote against mike pompeo? >> well, joe, i think, like all of my democratic colleagues on the committee my vote was mostly driven by things mike pompeo said and did as a candidate for congress and as a congressman. in his conduct in the benghazi hearings, in statements he's made about regime change and in belligerent past statements he's made and in particular some statements he made about muslim americans and the lgbt community. i agree with a number of the things you said, joe, that a secretary of state has to speak for the president, should be someone who advocates for the career professionals in the
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state department and should be in the room with the president able to advocate for diplomacy. those are things rex tillerson because of the bad chemistry he had with the president and his lack of connection to the state department wasn't successful at. at the end of the day, my core concern was about whether or not mike pompeo will advocate for rule of law, human rights, for democracy for our core values or will principally be focused on using military force and security concerns. there's no doubt he is smart and skilled and understands how washington works and i am hopeful he'll be a successful secretary of state but at the end of the day, he was not someone i could support. there are other republicans i would gladly support -- like foreign relations committee chairman bob corker. >> well, you talked about how things that he had said during his campaigns, i think he made several clarifying statements before the committee. though i disagreed with some of
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the things he did say, that democrats had concerns with, as you know very well, all the world's a stage. and when you're running for office in kansas you're taking on one role but if you wanted to better -- the better idea of how he would carry himself, you could look to his service at the cia and all reports i've heard at least from the rank and file there is that he did a good job there, he biltmore ral at that institution, it's a you have to place to work. shouldn't he be judged by what he did at the cia and whether he could transfer those skills to the state department? >> joe, i think the majority in the committee voted based on their hope about how he will behave as secretary of state based on just those factors, how he led the cia. i think my concerns were about his long record of associates himself with and streaking on
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issues of values in ways that don't reflect the best of american values and, frankly, more of my problems were with president trump and his conduct of foreign policy. it is encouraging to see that rather than tweets about fire and fury we are seeing a genuine diplomatic opening to north korea. there's a long way to go to actually accomplish denuclearization and to get kim jong-un and north korea to give up their nuclear weapons but mike pompeo and hopefully president trump seem to be making real progress in negotiating rather than threatening imminent attack on north korea. that's a positive. there are many vacancies at the state department and our ambassadorial posts around the world and i hope to have a chance to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the committee to move folks forward. most of these don't have nominations for the administration, for the south korean ambassador for example or assistant secretary for the region for east asia and pacific.
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there's other things we have to work on together and i'll remind you this week the president of france, emmanuel macron, is in town. there will be a state dinner tonight, an address to congress tomorrow and what he's pressing is for president trump not to pull us out of the iran deal. he sees clearly the threat iran presents to the region, to syria with its ballistic missile program, its human rights violations by my hope is that we won't pull out of that agreement and i wasn't convinced that mike pompeo sees iran, sees syria, and sees that agreement the same way i do and at the end of the day i hope to be proven wrong. i hope mike pompeo will end up being a secretary of state who does lead with our values and does promote partnership with our allies. >> senator coons, it's willie geist. if you look at previous confirmation votes for secretary of state, tillerson received 56, but go back before trump, both john kerry and hillary clinton received 94 votes in the senate, condi rice received 85 votes in
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the senate. there are a lot of people who look at this confirmation and at tillerson's as well, process and say democrats are sending a message to donald trump that this is about president trump and not the man being nominated for the position. what do you say to that criticism that you want to knock on president trump and that this isn't about what kind of secretary of state mike pompeo would be? >> well, i'll say there are other republican leaders in foreign policy who could have been nominated who i think would have gotten 75 or 80 votes very easily. steven hadley, nikki haley, i mentioned bob corker and others. i do think tillerson given his long and close association with putin and russia and his leadership of exxonmobil and the circumstances of the timing of his confirmation vote faced a number of head winds and i think mike pompeo, given some of his past statements we've already covered faced some head winds but more broadly, willie, you're right that there is some broad
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concern in the senate, not just among democrats, about president trump's conduct of foreign policy. as a candidate he promised to be unpredictable and untraditional and he has certainly overperformed in that category. i'll remind you with regards to syria we went with a president who a few weeks ago wrote "it's time for us to pull out american troops" to a president who carried out a military attack against assad's regime. big swings on major issues from north korea to syria to iran to russia have happened in the past year and i think that has unsettled many of us on the foreign relations committee and given us real concern. >> senator chris coons, thank you for being on the show. good to see you. still ahead, can a national security adviser retain his integrity if the president has none? the "new yorker" is taking a look at h.r. mcmaster's tenure in the trump white house and what may lie ahead with john bolton at the helm. plus, a scramble for answers
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after lawmakers delay a confirmation hearing for president trump's v.a. secretary nominee ronny jackson. and we continue to follow the latest on former president george h.w. bush's health following the news of his hospitalization. "morning joe" will be right back. jimmy's gotten used to his whole room smelling like sweaty odors.
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firing the powell ie ing thing . we've been beyond cooperative with them, we continue to cooperate with them. turned over nearly a million pages in documents to the special counsel and have been cooperative. exactly what the president's been saying all along, that this was a false premise, that this entire thing started on. we continue to repeat that we think that the idea that the trump campaign was involved in any collusion with russia is a total witch-hunt. our position on that has been very clear and the president is echoing exactly what that position is. >> press secretary sarah sanders on what president trump meant when he tweeted over the weekend at times during barbara bush's funeral, i believe, questioning the basis of the mueller investigation alleging the powell is was established "based on an illegal act" adding "really, does everybody know what that means?" welcome back to "morning joe." it's tuesday, april 24. still with us, we have former
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aide to the george w. bush white house and state department, elise jordan. and former treasury official steve rattner. joining the conversation, national political correspondent for nbc news and msnbc steve kornacki and pulitzer prize winning columnist and associate editor for the "washington post" and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson. joe, a false premise and a witch-hu witch-hunt. that's the white house press secretary backing up the president. what do you make of it? >> i think it was john favreau that said witch-hunt? 19 witches indicted, five witches have already pled so one of my favorite tweets of 2017 was that sometimes when you go on a witch-hunt you actually find witches and right now they're up to 24 250r witches that have been found but i do think internally, gene robinson, i'm sure you've heard the same thing, that the white house is
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far less interested right now and concerned and obsessed with what robert mueller is doing and far less focused on firing bob mueller than they are seeking legislation to outlaw the southern district of new york. i mean -- i say that in jest, of course but there's a real understanding inside the white house that the problem this is white house will face ultimately may not come from robert mueller but the southern district in new york and firing robert mueller does nothing to stop that investigation under way. >> absolutely. it's in motion and most worrying to the white house they now have all the documents and computer files and everything else from michael cohen, the president's self-described ray donovan style fixer.
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and what are the odds that you won't find anything? i think those odds are pretty short. i think there's you have? there and i think they'll find it and i think the white house is understandably worried about that. but what can they do? they can't outlaw the southern district of new york. >> there are some options, at least in -- with some of the players involved here so when it comes to the criminal investigation involving his personal attorney, the white house says the president has nothing to hide and won't rule out a pardon. this follows friday's report in the "new york times" that the president has treated his loyal fixer michael cohen who apparently has only three clients poorly. on saturday, the president hit back in a tweet claiming the times and reporter maggie haberman were "going out of their way to destroy michael
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cohen and his relationship with me" meaning the president "in the hope that he will flip." the president continued "most people will flip if the government lets them out of trouble even if it means lying or making up stories." however the president did not deny that his fixer did anything wrong. here's nbc's kristen welker pressing the white house on that. >> sarah, president trump tweeted over the weekend he doesn't expect cohen to flip. has he been offered assurances from mr. cohen? >> i'm not sure about anything specific. i'm only aware of the conversation from a couple fridays ago. >> reporter: why open the opportunity for him to flip? it suggests he has something to hide, doesn't it? >> no, i don't think the president has anything to hide. i think he's been quite clear on that. >> reporter: is the president open to a pardon for michael cohen? >> i don't think that we're going to talk about hypotheticals that don't exist right now. >> yeah, but you look willie, though, at the wait tos and everything else, it's
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fascinating. donald trump says he's innocent but then he says he won't flip. and then it's he's innocent, i'm not ruling out a pardon. of course these pardons at the end of the day probably won't mean a thing because you'll have eric schneiderman and the new york attorney general's office taking whatever the southern district of new york finds and whatever bob mueller finds and prosecuting them at the state level. >> that raid carried out by the southern district and the fbi on michael cohen a couple weeks ago, his office, his hotel room, his home clearly rattled the president of the united states and got him to tweeting because he consumes media, as we all know, and he's hearing the whispers or the shouts, actually that michael cohen, his trusted attorney, his trusted ally, his trusted fixer could be compelled when faced with the possibility of jail time and not seeing his two children for a very long time to flip on the president. now it may not be as easy as
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some people say it is because he can invoke attorney/client privilege unless he's concealing crimes, of course, but the president obviously believes and is signaling to michael cohen, listen, dude, don't do this, you've been loyal to me all along, time to finish the job, don't flip on me. i think it was the raid that the southern district put in place that was approved by rod rosenstein that really rattled the cage of the president. >> we want to move to today's special election in arizona. voters in that state's eighth congressional district head to the polls today to select a new member of congress, they're seeking to replace gop congressman trent franks who resigned after a female aide said he pressured her able possibly carrying his child. the race has drawn attention, more than 150,000 people from arizona have cast ballots in early voting the trends in gop
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districts have been moving in democrats' direction with the out-of-power party seeing double-digit gains in most special elections but steve kornacki, what do we see happening here? >> what you haven't seen in this one is that concerted national effort from democrats. if you think about the last special election, democrats were in on that one and they one in the end. this one democrat seems to be put in a slightly different class. on pain they are looks like pennsylvania '18 in the fact that trump won by 20 points. if you look at that corner of pennsylvania where they flipped the seat, they voted for mondale door, ka , dukakis, clinton. it was voting democratic until 20 years ago so they didn't
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think it was necessary that lost in glendale, surprise, you're looking at that place that doesn't have a tradition of voting for democrats, they're looking at how much of a trump margin to cut into. because if you're looking into a double digit slice, that speaks to the energy and wave democrats have been looking for. >> and if there is a double digit slice here it would be truly remarkable because the otsds are so much against it. you look at how old 2 demographic is and i think it's about 75% of the voters are over 55, they don't have a large portion of minority voters in this specific district and debbiele debb debbie lesko is a strong candidate.
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democrats didn't spend resources there because it's different from other specials where the republican candidate has been terrible and it's the worth the investment. the other thing i would say is that reuters had a new poll saying that older republicans are shifting to dems and in contrast to you look at in 2016 they had about 10 points favorability to go republican and now they're up two for democrats. if there's a shift here it would be remarkable and point towards a blue tsunami. >> and the weird thing is we have seen in other special elections that we didn't pay much attention to and democrats weren't focused on, kansas, the wichita area, that was mike pompeo's district. when he left, not much of a recent democratic tradition, there democrats shaved 20 points of there as well. the other interesting thing, we will be up late watching this tonight, they do elections funny in arizona. about 11:00 eastern they are going to dump all at once about 70% of all the votes that are cast so we may know -- we expect the republican to be ahead, the
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question is going to be how much is she ahead. if it still looks competitive we will wait another hour and they'll report the actual election. >> it will be a long night for you. >> we look at the screen of all the special elections and the way they've swung, we have enough evidence to say there's something of a trend. are these isolated? there something special about each of these that is not as much a referendum on trump or if we look at the totality that there is a message being sent? >> this is steady and consistent across the board but if you want to take the role of a republican trying to put a good spin on number, they look at georgia 6. every republican best case scenario for november relies on that one. remember this race, jon ossof was the democrat. what made georgia 6 different than other races you see there? it was nationalized. democrats poured tens of millions of dollars into it, trump was engaged, sort of the national media was engaged, the national culture was engaged. you saw late night television perk up. what republicans will tell you -- i'm not saying i buy
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it -- is a race being nationalized got their base kpriet excited, too. >> isn't it true in the case of georgia 6 that even though trumpcare ride it by a small margin, that was tom price's district and he carried it by much much larger margin. >> he had no opponent. the atlanta journal constitution did a story if the person actually existed. you see double digit movement from the trump margin in '16. that's the one district, the one special election where they improved on the trump margin in that district. >> and democrats haven't been competing here. they didn't run anyone. they haven't run a candidate since 2012. >> in the trent franks district. >> and the democrat is an e.r. physician. so education background of this district. what more do we know? >> if you want to compare it to pennsylvania '18 that we just had. it's more republican when you look at registration and voting tradition. it's not as blue-collar as
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pennsylvania 18 was. it is an old district as well. it's also -- there is a non-white population but it's a largely white district soar all you're looking at a profile of a district that is not one of these that swung hard to donald trump, it's been voting double digit 20 plus points for republicans for a long time now and that's not just at the presidential level. >> so what's the kornacki call? what's the prediction here? >> kornacki doesn't make calls. that's the thing. >> it would be a true shock if democrats were to win this thing but i'm setting the bar at eight points. i think if democrats get the final margin under eight points, i think they'll feel awfully good and if republicans can get this thing close to double digits or over double digits they'll declare that. >> i like that kornacki swing. >> eight points would be a huge swing. >> ivana trump is in the news. president trump's first wife is suggesting her ex-husband should
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not consider seeking a second term. ivana, who remains close to the 45th president, says he doesn't need to run again in 2020 "i'll tell you something, i don't think it's necessary. he has a good life and he has everything. donald is going to be 74, 73 for the next election, maybe he should just go and play golf and enjoy his fortune." adding "i think he probably misses a little bit of freedom. i don't think he probably knew how much is involved of being the president. it's so much information, you have to know the whole world." so touching off on that, joe writes about this motion in his latest column in the "washington post." i'm going to read from your piece, joe, it's really good. >> why, thank you, mika. >> you write this "it's becoming clear trump won't run in 2020. while the president and his team of misfit lawyers have reason to tread carefully under stormy legal skies. republicans on capitol hill can relax.
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it's becoming clear trump won't run for president in 2020. white house office pools reportedly set up in anticipation of the next staff firing are shifting their focus to predicting which trump family member will be the first to land behind bars. special counsel robert mueller's independent investigation into russia may have inspired a defiant west wing response but the u.s. attorney's raid of michael cohen's home office, and hotel room where he's been living has stirred more fear and loathing inside white house offices than in any time since president richard nixon battled watergate prosecutors in the summer of 1973. now even trump's most steadfast allies are quietly admitting that the southern district of new york's investigation poses an existential threat to his future both politically and legally. trump allies are telling the president his fixer could flip for the feds just like michael flynn, rick gates, and george
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papadopoulos. in washington and across the country, republicans are sensing the president is a wounded political figure leading them to withhold their future support.g ivana trump said. it reflects what i've heard from people close to donald trump and have been very close to donald trump for quite some time. that is first of all he's turning 72 i think soon. he's not having a good time in the white house. yes, he loves the trappings but he loves money more. he wasn't expecting to win this thing. he and the family were just as shocked as the rest of the country when he defeated hillary clinton. he's -- it's -- he muses openly in the press this is much more difficult than he expected it to be. he has to work harder than he expected himself to work and
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also for a guy who is focused primarily on money, he sees what's going on in the southern district of new york and i'm sure you've heard, your sources have told you the same thing that my sources have been telling me over the past week, the mood has turned dark. i mean, they believe the southern district of new york investigation ends badly for a lot of people involved. >> i think because it's hard to figure out how it ends well, right? this has got to be a mother lode for a federal prosecutor who can obviously make something out of it and something bad for the white house and president trump does not seem to be having fun most of the time except when he's doing what he always did, except when he's down in mar-a-lago playing golf or calling -- schmoozing with his
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buddies and, you know, when macron is throwing him a parade. that he enjoyed but other than that he seems to be in a pretty sour mood about this whole thing, he didn't expect to win, he finds himself in this situation and as is his nature, doesn't want to back down, wants to bull through it but ivana trump as far as anyone knows is still in touch with him pretty regularly and you have to wonder if her speculation is informed speculation and comes out of her contact with the president. >> and willie, why doesn't donald trump just say -- and this isn't wishful thinking it's just we've known donald a little bit before he was president trump. this is not his gig. this has never been his gig. it was a pr stunt that went
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wildly wrong. he actually -- the dog caught the bus and i just wonder, you know, he can go to his country clubs over the next four years and he's the 45th president of the united states. i wonder if his heart isn't in it, if he wasn't expecting to win in the first place, why does he sit around for eight years and continue to put himself in greater legal jeopardy? >> yeah, and listening to the conversation that -- and this is true, the job isn't fun. it's not supposed to be fun. it's supposed to be an honor but not fun. remember he gave that interview a year ago to reuters where he said i had a great life previously and i thought this job would be easier. that was his quote, i thought it would be easier. i think he probably had misconceptions about the job. you could see him going out as some kindmarter er martyr in 2
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saying i did what i was supposed to do, i made people mad, i'm walking away but you know his psychology pretty well. the idea of being a two-term president is probably appealing to him for history. >> well, yeah. that's the question, mika. there were an awful lot of people who were close to barack obama who mika said after 2010, 2011, he did not enjoy his job and if he could have been a one-term president without the stain of being a one term president he and michelle may have walked away from it then but he stuck it out. i'm not so sure that donald trump would do the same thing. and, again, people who know him best politically have said if somebody like mark cuban comes in and decides to run against him in the republican primary he's just not going to deal with that. if other billionaires come in that look like they're ready to pound him day in and day out for
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the next couple of years, you know, he enjoys being at mar-a-lago. he enjoys flying around. he enjoys being on his golf courses. he doesn't enjoy being chased by federal prosecutors around the clock and as long as he's in the white house, there's going to be an investigation going forward. and you can just look at the investigations that have started here. they're only going to multiply. >> and i think the biggest thing is that he doesn't understand how to do the job, some would argue. that he's completely unfit. >> he doesn't understand the job. the fact that -- as willie said, he was telling reuters that the job was a lot more difficult than he thought it was going to be. this is a problem that so many ceos -- >> that's being kind. >> -- and so many business people have looking at washington, or movie stars or people who haven't been there, they think, oh, it's not that hard. >> i'm just going go in there,
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i'm going to speak my mind, i'm going to shake things up. >> make deals. >> how many times have i heard that? that's like somebody getting a baseball player going you know what? brain surgery, it's not that tough, i'm going to go in there, cut open the skull and pull out the cancer. it doesn't work that way, there's not a more frustrating job in america than being president of the united states and if you go in there excited about the trappings and excited that generals and admirals are going to salute you, you have no idea what you're getting into it because madison and hamilton and our founders deliberately put together a system that frustrates people who they they're going to grab power and have things their way. that power is divided 435 ways up in the house, 100 ways up in the senate. you've got a court system, a state court system, a federal court system, district supreme
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court, supreme court. i could go on and on. then you have the bureaucracies. it takes somebody who knows government and who loves government to make that government work and to be honest with you, we haven't had anybody in the white house that's loved government in a way that's required to make government work since bill clinton in the 1990s. forget ideology, forget who you love or didn't love, bill clinton understood it was a battle, he understood checks and balances and he understood that you couldn't go around making enemies. as he told me one time, the best trait a president can have is a short memory because you're always having to make a deal tomorrow with somebody who beat you up the day before. >> eugene robinson, thank you very much for being on this morning. we'll be reading your new column in today's "washington post" entitled "trump golfed instead of going to barbara bush's funeral. that was a good thing."
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wow. it's just incredible. >> imagine him in that picture, mika. you can't see it. it's a great picture but you don't see him in there. >> you can't imagine it. steve kornacki, stay with us, please. still ahead on "morning joe," new reporting on former national security adviser h.r. mcmaster's time in the white house. he apparently thought trump could understand complicated issues but was soon advised to use pictures when explaining things to the president. >> oh, dear god. >> oh, my god. it's painful. we'll talk to the writer behind that profile ahead on "morning joe." we'll be right back. >> i thought it would be easier. i thought it was more of a -- i'm a details oriented person, i think you would say that. but i do miss my old life. this -- i like to work so that's not a problem but this is actually more work. and while i had very little privacy in my old life because, you know, i've been famous for a long time i really this shall
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is. >> reporter: how do you see vladimir putin? is he a friend or foe? >> mr. putin may believe he is winning in this new form of warfare. >> we'll find out. i'll let you know. >> russia brazenly and implausibly denies its actions. >> probably nobody has been tougher to russia than donald trump. >> we have failed to impose sufficient costs. >> nobody's been tougher on russia than i have. >> perhaps he believes that our free nations are weak and will not respond. >> i know you're nodding yes because everyone agrees when they think about it. >> we might all help mr. putin understand his grave error. >> that was former national security adviser lieutenant general h.r. mcmaster and president trump speaking about russian aggression earlier this month. joining us now, staff writer for
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the "new yorker," patrick redden keefe who profiles mcmaster for the april 30 issue of the magazine in a piece titled "mcmaster and commander, can a national security adviser retain his integrity if the president has none? patrick writes this "mcmaster could not have been blind to the president's moral shortcomings but the military taught him you cannot pick your commanders. before joining the trump administration mcmaster never worked in washington yet he pledged to clean up the nsc with the same resolve he brought to afghanistan. i asked friends and colleagues of mcmaster why he put up with the indignities of the job instead of resigning. many offered the same explanation, he knew if he left because he had grave qualms about trump, he would be replaced by someone else who didn't have those qualms. but mcmaster had been replaced by a man who will likely function as an accelerator on trump's wildest instincts." patrick, good morning, good to see you. the narrative on mcmaster was
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that donald trump viewed him as not one of his guys. he thought mcmaster was long winded and condescending in his briefings, he didn't play the role that trump expects of people around him which is to fluff him and keep him happy. what was the dynamic like? >> mcmaster is a military man who spent his career in the army. talking to his family, his colleagues, they say he's an informal guy in person, a funny guy and you would think he and trump would get along but when he was in front of the president he had one mode, the general briefing the commander-in-chief. >> how frustrated was he by his inability to break through with the president? he may not have liked trump, agreed with him or appreciated his personality, his morality or whatever you want to call it but he went in because he thought he could make a difference and impact foreign policy and change the country a little bit but he wasn't able to do that. how frustrating was it? >> i think it was extremely
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frustrating. because he's a military guy he has a real ethic of loyalty so he's not somebody who will bash the president publicly or obliquely so he didn't complain to people but i spoke to some people who said he tried to connect. and the thing about the national security adviser job is if you don't have the ear of the president, you have no authority. >> there's a lot in this piece to unpack, starting with how donald trump needs pictures in his talking points. >> come on, is that true? >> i don't really understand how you would do that, how you would prepare talking points with pictures -- >> no, i want to hear about that. seriously, did he have a pointer and cartoons? what are we talking about? >> what happened is initially when trump came in you have these career staffers on the nsc who worked for barack obama and george w. bush and they're used to preparing these complex memos on complicated issues and sending them to the president so
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initially they would be doing these five six page memos and sending them up and word came back and they said why don't we cut it to a page and i talked to a bunch of people that said it didn't seem unreasonable. so they started doing that, they sent up one page memos. word comes back this is still too much. can we do less? then what happened is there was a directive where a senior official at the nsc said is there any way -- the president is a very visual person. is there any way we could describe things pictorially? >> it's back to the narrative we describe from knowing him. we don't think he reads, at all. >> it's so difficult. the talking points that you get from the career experts are already it's necessary to boil them down in a way to be communicated, just for communications purposes and then i can't imagine the difficulty of trying to use pictures to -- as the talking points. i think, though, what i took away from the story was that you have a fairly traditional nsc
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all things considered. it's still at the end of the day staffed by career officials. general mcmaster attempted to have a process that was very similar to every nsa director who came before so senior officials, national security officials might take comfort in the process but the process doesn't matter because donald trump is so impulsive he doesn't care about the process and he's going to rip it up and do whatever he wants anyway. >> this is the dilemma if you're mcmaster. you're the national security adviser to a president who is proud of the fact that he ignores advice. that he will go against his cabinet secretaries, will go against his closest advisers. >> steve? >> how does he look now that he's out and knows who his replacement is. how does he look at the national security operations inside the white house? is he concerned? does he feel there's continuity? >> we don't know because mcmaster is the good loyal soldier. he wouldn't talk to me. i talked to people who worked for him.
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he has not written an op-ed. he didn't go out taking shots at the president so he's very upbeat. the morning after he was fired he talked to his staff he was enthusiastic and said we want to empower john bolton for success. but if you look at bolton, just the appoint system a repudiation of what mcmaster stood for himself. >> everything he stood for. >> there's an extraordinary moment in the story where you have this retired lieutenant governor colonel who served under mcmaster in iraq who said he believes mcmaster had no choice but to resign because of the officers' code. he said if they believe the president is unfit their job is not to work behind the scenes to mitigate or paper over his infirmities, it's their duty to resign. from your reporting did mcmaster believe president trump was unfit? >> it's hard because he was very careful with what he said to people around him. but i certainly was able to glean from conversations he had with confidantes of his that you have real concerns in which there's a -- if your job is to keep boiling it down and boiling
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it down so it gets to the point where they have two or three bullet points on a card, you can't do syria in two or three bullet points. you can't do russia so at a certain point it's malpractice if you're the national security advisor to describe these as if you're talking to a second grader. so i think that probably was a concern for him. but he didn't resign and these other guys haven't. >> must have been agonizing for him. patrick radden keefe, thank you so much. we'll look for your piece in the april 30 issue of the "new yorker." thank you. >> thanks, patrick. >> thanks. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> he put his name on everything. there was at one point a trump-branded urine test which you could send back for donald trump-branded vitamins. there was furniture, vodka -- >> urine test? >> urine test. they would send the donald trump urine test to your house and you would send it back so people in the world were like, you know who could analyze my urine?'s o "kasie d.c." reporting on the
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collapse of trump's merchandising empire. can you believe urine test? he's out with new reporting on the manhattan condo building that wants to shed the trump name. the "washington post's" david fahrenholt joins us next. it took guts to start my business. but as it grew bigger and bigger, it took a whole lot more. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. everything. and that 2% cash back adds up to thousands of dollars each year... so i can keep growing my business in big leaps! what's in your wallet?
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with us now, reporter for the "washington post" and msnbc contributor david farenthold. also with us, the chief content officer at hearst magazine's joanna coles, the author of the book "love rules, how to find a real relationship in a digital world." it was great to see you at the matrix awards yesterday. >> congratulations, mika, you gave a great speech. nice to be presented by joe. >> wasn't joe great? >> he was very good. the two of you were very good and you kept on time. >> we kept it to time and it was great to be able to talk about know your value with such a remarkable group of women on the stage. >> well, it's the oscars of the communication business. >> that's one way of looking at it. joe, did you hear that, it's pretty good. >> david, we'll start with you and your reporting on the trump name and i want to try and make
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the connection with urine test but i think i'll let you do that, go ahead. go. >> we went back and looked at the trump merchandising. trump had an empire of thingings you could buy with his name on it -- ties, shirts, coffee, vodka. at the height of it, just to show you how broadly it was spread there was a trump-branded urine test that came with a big trump logo on the box and you would fill it up and send it back. >> what's the marketing potential? why would they think of that? >> trump sold vitamin spos ys s would send back the urine test and then the laboratory would analyze it. the idea of a trump laboratory with people in white coats testing urine. it didn't work. that died out. >> joe, sounds like trump university. >> well, sounds even messier than trump university. david, ask you're coming into new york city down west side
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highway mika and i have noticed as you're going south around 72nd and 57th street there were about seven or eight trump-branded huge condos, skyscrapers to the left of you. i think the trump name has been scraped off of five -- maybe five out of the seven. i don't have the exact numbers but most of those buildings no longer bear the trump name. what happened? >> you're right, this was a development trump had been an owner of, the banks made him sell out of it but his name wound up on a number of them so i think there were five buildings that had the trump name on them, three of them had apartment buildings and after trump won, before he took office residents complained and the owners took the name off. that leaves two buildings that have trump place in big letters and as you said for people driving up and down the west side highway in new york this is a good name placement for trump so there will be a hearing next week in new york where one of
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the condo sbords askiboards is a judge's permission to take the name down. they polled residents last year, residents said they were interested in taking the name down and with a threatening letter from the trump organization saying we gave you a license to put our name on the building, you must keep our name on the building, if you take it down, we'll threaten legal action. >> he's always suing. >> he is. can i ask you something. i have friends who live in that building who say it's incredibly well run and they are ambivalent about the name on the outside. is it the trump organization running the building? >> the trump organization manages the building. that's the weird thing. what they're suing is not to get rid of trump management. trump can still make money offer the management, they want to take his name off the outside and he doesn't want to let them. >> nobody wants to admit they live in a trump building in new york city of course. i had once trump champagne which we did in a blind testing of friends we had for dinner and it was surprisingly good. >> he gave me trump vodka once and both joe and i thought it was pretty good vodka.
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>> in defense of trump, not words that come out of one's mouth often. >> this was a long time ago. joe? >> one other thing, joanna, i remember when i lived in the city people would -- that lived in the trump buildings along the west side highway, i'd ask how are they? they all would say they're incredibly well run. so -- which, again, he apparently knows how to run condos much better than he knows how to run the country but give limb credit there. again, everybody that's -- they say he knows how to manage buildings. >> and the buildings are nicely finished, they have swimming pools, sports if facilities are good but it's different running a building to running a country. >> but the lease -- correct me if i'm wrong but the license agreement doesn't say the name has to be on the front so this is a vanity plate for donald trump. in other words they can still run the building and make money
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they just wouldn't have the name. >> trump doesn't get any money from the name. he has a one dollar licensing fee to put his name on the building. taking the name off he wouldn't lose any money. so they're losing money to keep the name on the building. i asked eric trump about this, why are you spending money to defend a sign, you won't lose cash? he said this is about the legacy of my father, he's a visionary, he built the building. also it sends a signal to other trump-branded buildings who may want to get rid of his name, if one can do it maybe others will try. >> wow. joe? >> david, i'll ask you the question i always ask when we have you on. from 30,000 feet, has being president been good for the trump brand? . has it been good for the bottom line? >> we don't know enough about his business to know. there's been big benefits. the trump hotel in d.c. is getting business from christian activists, mar-a-lago has gotten events from the rnc. the rnc is sending a ton of money at trump hotels and
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businesses. he's lost a lot of customers and we know at least three hotels that used to have his name that has been taken down so it's been turning into a politically-oriented business. whether that's helped the bottom line, i can't tell you. >> i wonder about ivanka trump's brands as well. david fahrenthold, thank you very much. joanna, stay with us, we need to talk about "love rules." up next, we'll set the stage for tonight's state dinner for the president of france. joanna went to the last state dinner for the french president, hollande. we're back in just a moment. hey, want the fastest internet?
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privacy and millennials don't care as much. they just assume everybody's got access to everything and it's not as big a deal and they all think everybody has naked pictures out there. >> yeah. >> where as we're in the fetal position if we have any naked picture. >> you're absolutely right. >> it's all in the cloud. i think there's an assumption that you -- if you think a text is going to your friend, it lives somewhere. >> that will be the great reckoning and st. peter says here's the access to your files. >> so we crossed paths in l.a. you've been traveling, criscrossing the country and talking to people. >> i ran into joe in the hotel lobby. he said you were still upstairs sleeping. >> he's got to get coffee. that's way too much information. so i'm going to ask you, what has actually -- what do you
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think has really stood out to people in this book? what do you hear again and again that really resonates. >> >> people both love and hate dating apps and they're an interesting way of extending your social network but they make people feel super interchangeable and disposable. >> is this guys complaining about that. >> no, it's women complaining about this too. women and men find it -- it's jump an obvious marketplace and i think if you go into them thinking that with one swipe you're going to find the one, you're going to be sorely disappointed but if you go in thinking you might meet someone you can add to your actual network, then you may grow a friend and be part of their network and then your life gets bigger and that's a big thing. >> i missed out on this dating app. >> been married since the stone age. >> that doesn't necessarily stop people is all i'm saying. >> what do you mean by this,
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your number one rule, establish your ideal loveway. >> love and food have so in in comment. we have huge appetites for both, but just as there is junk food there's junk love and when you talk to people about who they want as partner they'll come up as the idea of bradley cooper and you're like, that's never going to happen and people say i'm going to lose 60 pounds by friday and i'm not going to eat. and by 4:00 you're reaching for receiv every single carb you can reach. >> so look iiing ahead to the se dinner, you've covered this. what is your take of the dynamics here? >> i think the interesting relationship is between mrs.
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macron and melania. we have a moment from melania who has really been in the background shining. this is traditionally an event that the first lady puts her stamp on. it's their first big one. i remembered the last one for president which was very exciting so he came on his own and stephen colbert was there and offered to be -- to stand in as mrs. elon. it was a very lively evening and of course you've got the domestic drama going on with the president and his wife here and stormy daniels and then you've got the president's admiration of mrs. macron because when he met in paris he said how much he appreciated that she'd worked out and had a great body. and all of the french professional women i knew said it was absolutely marvelous that the american president had
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congratulated mrs. macron on her fug your. >> and we'll see how can u how long the hand shake is. >> you can find a lot more at joanna at the know your value website. thank you so much. >> my pleasure. >> still ahead, last minute decisions from senators rand paul and chris coons. but the reasons behind their votes are very different. we'll talk to the republican and the democrat, plus former president george h.w. bush is in intensive care this morning. an undate on his condition is straight ahead on "morning joe." little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months, ... with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques.
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with president trump's consent i release the following health information. vie l thats as follows. age 71 years and 7 months at the time of the exam. height 75 inches. weight 239 pounds. some people have just great genes. i told the president if he had a healthier diet over the -- >> i think that's just shy of obesity so your confident of that number? >> yeah. >> dr. ronnie jackson is confident that president trump is in fine physical shape. but can the white house say the same for jackson's nomination to be va secretary? new information this morning about the sudden breaks that were put on his confirmation
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hearing, just everything went dark right away. welcome to "morning joe." it's tuesday, april 24th. with us we have msnbc contributor mike barnacle. former aid to the white house department, and former treasury department steve rattner. but first, after a week of mourning and celebrating the life of first lady barbara bush, the bush family is praying for its patriarch today. george h.w. bush, the 41st president of the united states is in critical condition in houston, hospitalized sunday for a blood infection. last night a spokesman said the 93-year-old former commander in chief was responding to treatments and appeared to be recovering. bush is the longest living president in american history surpassing gerald ford last
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november. on friday, bush saw mourners from the public attending his wife's viewing at houston st. martin's episcopal church and decided to go thank them. greeting families from his wheelchair for 20 minutes. joe, we'll have updates but george h.w. bush in critical condition this morning. >> yeah, obviously such a class act going out there shaking hands with so many people that came by to bid farewell to the love of his life for over seven decades. it's -- it obviously has to be an extraordinarily crushing time for him. those two, mika, as everybody knows and certainly as we saw when we visited, those two obviously inseparable, and you know, we -- we pray -- we pray for his health and a healthy
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return, but at the same time it's -- i -- i don't know how the man goes on without his wife for too long just because he obviously has to have such a broken heart right now. >> yep. i -- they were so in sync and we noticed that when we were with them in the past couple of years. we'll follow the situation and bring you the latest as it becomes available. we'll get to the top political stories of the day, but we'll come back to this. it came down to the wire, but mike pompeo has come out of the senate foreign relations committee with a favorable recommendation on his secretary of state nomination. he was expected to be the first secretary of state nominee to come out of the committee unfavorab unfavorably. however rand paul changed his vote from no to a yes at the very last minute after speaking with the president several times
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yesterday as well as meeting with pompeo himself. paul says he received several assurances that pompeo now thinks that i iraq war, quote, was a mistake, that regime change has destabilized the middle east and that quote, we must end our involvement with afghanistan. >> there was also a last second obstacle. republican senator isaacsons could not attend the vote. he was delivering a eulogy of a close friend. even though he voted by proxy, senators had to be physically present for it to advance to the floor and democrat chris coons changed his no vote to present. >> having heard earlier this afternoon a request from my dear friend senator isaacson who i esteem greatly i am recorded as voting against mike pompeo for
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secretary of state but i will vote present to have him move forward now instead of at 11:00 at night. >> ma jjority leader is expecte to call a vote on the nomination this week. three democrats have come out in support. nice move there on chris coons' part. he's going to be on the show later this morning as is rand paul, joe. >> yeah, certainly very nice moment of just class and comedy in the senate that doesn't happen so much. so willie, doesn't this happen every so often with rand paul? he comes out and makes a definitive statement about how he's going to vote against the administration, then he votes for the administration? he's going to vote against -- i mean, i remember when he said i'm going to vote against pompeo people saying i've heard this before, and then the president calls him up and he's now
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supportive of pompeo. that's not the first time this has happened with rand paul, is it? >> no, it's happened on other nominations and the tax bill where rand paul takes a moment to express his views and then works to get assurances as he said. i think to get a phone call at a meeting with mike pompeo and suddenly receive assurances and say yeah, the i randall county war was a mistake, we'll get out of afghanistan soon enough and i don't believe in interventionist foreign policy, just to get his vote it shouldn't be that easy. we're going to interview and talk to rand paul in just a few minutes on this show. you worked for rand, obviously. you know him very well. what was his game here? does he actually believe that suddenly pompeo has flipped on these core issues. >> well, he received reassurances but also spoke to president trump and john kelly and perhaps an executive order down the line to fix some of the warrant problems with fisa is a
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potential tradeoff that he's hoping to receive, but i think that the real game changer was that mike pompeo is really running point on talking to north korea and senator paul is a strong supporter of talking to north korea and taking every measure short of war before there is a war and so i think that it really changed the calculus for mike pompeo's nomination when the white house emerged with the news that he'd been in pyongyang over easter. >> so we learned last night that the confirmation hearing for ronny jackson has been suddenly delayed. two sources tell nbc news that the hearing was postponed because of unspecified concerns about jackson's background. his confirmation hearing add been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. the washington post was first to report the news. republicans and democrats raised concerns about his qualificati n qualifications and oversight of
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the white house medical staff. jackson is the white house physician. he made headlines after a briefing where he told reporters that president trump's overall health was excellent. lawmaker from both sides of the aisle raised concerns about his lack of experience running a large bureaucracy. right now the timing for a reconfirmation hearing remains unclear, but that display about the president's health i thought was quite incredible back when it happened. >> incredible is a very nice word for it, mika. i thought it was embarrassing. >> you could hear a sucking sound in the room. >> yes, i thought it was very -- it was just shameful. you had a guy that first of all obviously for anybody that's ever -- i mean, you don't have to be one of those people that work at circuses that look at -- hey, i can guess your weight to know that donald trump weighs a heck of a lot more than 239 pounds. that was embarrassing, but then,
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willie, the -- the topper of it all, he said -- when he said -- and it sounded like hitler's doctor. you know what? his genes are so good, if hitler's doctor had a brooklyn accent, his genes are so good he could live to be 200 years old. >> it's early. >> remember many mnuchin was on stage and was talking about donald trump's superior genes? he has superior genes, he has the best dna of anybody i've ever met. this doctor did the same thing saying his genetics, his dna is so good that he could live to be 200 years old. >> it was incredible. >> who would say that? strike hitler, but let's just say maybe putin or another autocrat's doctor coming out. >> putin's doctor. >> to say that a north korean
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doctor might be a tighter fit. fareless leaders' genetics are so pure and so strong that fearless leader could live to be 200 years old. >> kind of sick actually. >> a lot of accents in there. >> i have brooklyn -- i know, it was awesome. >> a southern accent, you could mix a lot in there and you did. >> yeah. >> the amazing thing about it to a lot of people is that dr. jackson was well respected in the obama white house and i think people who knew him and vouched for him when he came out and took all those questions were surprised to see him saying things like donald trump could live to 200 years old if he ate better, but let's think about why he's now sitting in the position he's sitting. because of that performance. >> because of his massive suck-up. >> president trump saw vacancy at va, said i liked the way the guy talked about me that way. let's make him va. >> it's so embarrassing. >> there was no interview, no
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vetting. it was president trump liking someone who said nice things about him and now they're in this position of maybe -- not there yet but maybe have to pull his nomination. >> and arguably, joe, when -- when the president trump or people around him, people in the defense department think about this appointment, it is arguably one of the more important cabinet appointments you can make. we've been at war for 17 years. this country, the landscape of this country is littered with families and veterans of multiple wars we've been fighting for 17 years. their concerns have to be addressed. their health issues have to be addressed. they have not been addressed and the next head of the va is going to be presiding over the most massive bureaucracy in the government. >> it's 375,000 employees. this guy has never managed more than 50 or 6 doctors in a small medicine unit.
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management is a skill. >> still ahead on "morning joe" as we mentioned, senators rand paul and chris coons will join us after changing their minds to advance mike pompeo's nomination for secretary of state and after a laundry list of scandals, is the white house finally losing its patience with scott pruitt? you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. -looks great, honey. -right?
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sticking with the trump cabinet, the white house remaining tight lipped about the future of embattled epa administrator scott pruitt. as a new report suggests the administration's support for him may be waning. according to bloomberg citing two people familiar with discussions white house officials are cautioning republican lawmakers and other conservatives to temper their defenses of pruitt. the warnings come as a number of
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republican lawmakers are stepping forward to criticize pruitt. the fourth house republican to call on the epa chief to step down. he is retiring from congress tweeted on sunday tweeted that pruitt was the wrong one. senator shelly moore of west virginia, john of arkansas and oklahoma revealed yesterday they want pruitt to appear before the panel. the epa chief is scheduled to appear on the hill thursday and back to back house hearings on the agency's budget marking his first public appearance on capitol hill since the wave of damaging revelations against him began late last month. the white house was asked yesterday about whether there are concerns about pruitt
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appearing on the hill given all the bad headlines. >> we're continuing to review a number of the reports that you mentioned. and we'll let you know if we have any changes on that front. administrator pruitt has done a good job of implementing the president's policies particularly on deregulation, making the united states less energy dependent and becoming more energy independent. those are good things, however, the other things certainly are sting that we're monitoring and looking at and i'll keep you posted. >> you know, willie, if you just look at the sheer number of incidents that have been reported on this man, it seems that scott pruitt again just by sheer volume has to be one of the more ethically challenged grandiose cabinet members, not only of this administration, but of any administration that i remember in my lifetime. he's -- it seems like the guy's been cutting corners and
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profiting off of -- off of public service whether it was back in oklahoma or whether it was here, getting -- taking short cuts, living large like he's on zeppelin's 71 tour. i just don't know how much longer he can survive. >> yeah. it's actually -- even by washington's standards the sense of entitlement we're seeing here is absolutely staggering. somebody who rolls into washington as the attorney of general from the state of oklahoma comes in and believes that he is, i don't know, secretary of state, head of the cia, something larger a position, more significant that the one he holds and also doesn't understand the job which is to keep the air and water clean, not the flying all over the world with your entourage. i don't know when else they're looking for. what more do you need to see to understand he's not the right
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guy for the job? and i've heard people around the white house finally saying yeah, probably it's time for him to go but that president trump doesn't want to be told what to do by the press. he doesn't want to be pushed into a corner so maybe noun the road he gets to a place where he asks pruitt to step aside but he's not there yet. if he doesn't also, as sarah sanders said yesterday, he actually like policy wise what scott pruitt is doing in that position. >> yeah, but at least -- that's what i don't understand about republicans on the hill and the white house saying we agree with what scott pruitt. says you know, i'm sure there are people in prisons across americans who also have more of a libertarian view, have more of a libertarian view on the epa. you certainly can find -- you know, you can find dozens of people that are actually sitting members of the house and the senate who agree completely with scott pruitt on these issues and
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who won't embarrass the president and the white house daily. aren't there? >> no, joe, it's the most condescending argument and i hear it from conservatives who say well, we really like the policy. he's really cutting regulations. we're a country of over 300 million people. we could find someone else who could cut regulations with the same dexterity, i do believe and they just continue on this path of defending what's completely indefensible if you do want to uphold some standard of dignity and anti corruption in the u.s. government. >> coming up on "morning joe," senator chris coons helped advance the nomination of mike pompeo for secretary of state but the senator says he didn't do it for mike pompeo. the senator explains for us next on "morning joe."
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i'm thankful that our committee voted in the way it did to move mike pompeo on the vote to the floor. i want to thank senator coons for displaying the statesmanship that i've been accustomed to
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seeing in the senate and i'm proud of him. i'm proud of our committee. and i'm happy for the american people. i think it showed that senators at the right time can do outstanding things. that was senate foreign relations committee chairman bob corker getting emotional discussing the decision by chris coons to vote present to advance mike pompeo's nomination. and for those that might not get the politics of this, we thought maybe you should have stuck to your guns, tell us why you did that. >> well, mika, i really appreciate when chairman corker had to say after wards. to be clear i voted against mike pompeo in the committee and will vote against him on the floor but because of a senate rule he couldn't advance from the committee to consideration to the full senate unless a
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majority of senators present voted that way. my good friend add been home delivering a eulogy that afternoon for his best friend. the only thing changing my vote to present was change the hour of the vote. if if hadn't done that, senator isaacson would have been compelled to washington and we would have reconvened and he would have kst the same vote. it was an opportunity for me to show a small measure of kindness and respect to a colleague in the senate. >> so senator, let me ask you about your vote against mike pompeo. certainly we can understand democrats not feeling gracious towards a republican majority that wouldn't even talk to garland, it was a shameful exercise, so speaking of a lack of comedy in the senate it was absolutely shameful and will be marked in the history books as
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such, but if you look at this situation, let's just talk about the merits. you have in mike pompeo obviously somebody who's bright, educated, the best and the brightest. he's served his country, he's been an elected official, so you know, he's not -- he's not a radical that hasn't had to face voters. he's certainly is within the main stream of republican orthodoxy in 2018. those same republicans who were elected to control the senate, elected to control the house, elected to control the white house, and you have america's commander in chief saying that he needs mike pompeo as his secretary of state. and by the way, a guy who would be far more connected apparently to donald trump than rex tillerson ever was and i would even argue than john kerry at
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times was connected to barack obama so why would you vote against mike pompeo? >> well, joe, i think like all of my democratic colleagues on the committee, my vote was mostly differemos mostly driven by what mike pompeo said as a candidate for congress and his conduct in the benghazi hearings and in belligerent past statements he's made and in particular, some statements he'd made about muslim americans and about the lgbt community. i agree with a number of things you said that is secretary of state has to speak for the president, should be somebody that advocates for the career professionals and should be in the room with the president to advocate with diplomacy. those are things because of rex tillerson because of the bad chemistry and his real lack with the state department wasn't successful at. at the end of the day my core
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concern was about whether or not mike pompeo will advocate for rule of law, for human rights, fur our core values or will principally be focused on using military force and on security concerns. there's no doubt that he is smart and skilled and understands how washington works. and i -- i am hopeful he'll be a successful secretary of state. there are other republicans i would gladly support like foreign relations committee bob corker. >> thank you. and coming up on "morning joe," tribalism, populism and nationalism. those are all familiar terms and our next guest says they're all some of the deepest threats to the american democracy. we'll be right back. the emotions that bring us together
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with us now we have senior
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editor for national review. he's out today with his new book the suicide of the west. how the rebirth of tribalism, nationalism and identity politics is destroying america democracy. thanks so much for being with us. we always love having you on the show. >> it's great to be here. i can feel the elite opinion gelling around me. >> out of the box. >> it's what the news -- yeah, what news week used to call the cw. you are now in the belly of the cw, conventional wisdom. >> it's amazing. >> i've told mika and i think you know it, i think you're one of the most important writers that we have right now. and another one is andrew sullivan who i couldn't read during the obama years but he's extraordinary important and i think one of his most important columns was the world is better than ever, why are we miserable and andrew ticked off the fact
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that we have -- if you look historically, record lows in violence, in war, incredible gains over the last several decades on poverty. in new york city they don't have records to show violence is low. what might have been this good back in the 1950s, and yet andrew writes his column, he says liberalism has failed because it has succeeded because we lack a core meaning. that's either -- it seems either he borrowed from you or you borrowed from him. >> oh, boy. >> because great minds think alike. i think it's one of the most important things for us to understand where we are. explain the concept of your book and why this miracle of the last 300 years is making us miserable today. >> right. well, i'm not sure that the miracle is making us miserable. it's what people around us are doing that make us miserable. this is an idea who seems to
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have come, he has a very similar argument called enlightenment now. his whole argument is one that i put in the appendix in the back of my book, but to sum it up our fundamental problem is we have a crisis of gratitude in this country. we basically no longer taeeach people to be grateful for the things that we have, for the history that we have. we have this sense that we have to only look at our own story, the story that we tell ourselves about ourselves, a story of oppression and tyranny and greed and we don't actually look at the upside of anything. and you know, what i point out is that for 250, 300,000 years, you know, i start early in the book, ever since we split off from the ne and-- everybody in world, and then once and only once in all of human history did
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that start to change and it was about 300 years ago where it starts to go like this. we are living in this moment, the greatest moment of poverty alleviation in all of human history. with the exceptional -- with the rare column, no one is celebrating this. no one is talking about how this is a wonderful thing. instead we all focus on the downside. and that is in "partridge family" of the problem that is inhere -- the market can't give you meaning. it can give you opportunity to pursue meaning on your own. that's what the individual pursuit of happy in is all about in the constitution and as civil society erode,s as people retreat from the actual communities they live in and set up on facebook where they have their worst instincts concerned. we're becoming much more tribal and we're starting to watch politics as a form of entertainment. and i think that what donald trump did, donald trump was not
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the source of our problems but he is a symptom of them. he broke the blood brain barrier between politics and entertainment in a way that i don't think is goig to ng to be repaired any time soon. when you watch for entertainment you don't talk about the issues and the ideas involved. >> so about 25 years ago or plab tfrs 20 years ago. rolling stone had its 25th anniversary. tom wolf wrote an essay and he said even then two decades ago, he said it's something along the lines of one of the greatest ironies of our time is that we have the most materially successful generation, the history of man kind and they're also the most medicated. this is -- this has been a long time coming, haven't it? >> it has. the premier of china in the early 1970s was allegedly asked what he thought about the french
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revolution and he said, too soon to tell. you know, a lot of these trends take a long time. we've had populous moments before where people who felt alienated and lost because of capitalism or industrialism went looking for easy answers in the crowd and the mob. it happened with the know nothings in america. these moments come and go because they're the downside of freedom and the enlightenment and capitalism and what is required is for people like you and me and everybody at this table to do the hard work of defending what we have, of defending the norms, defending the system and saying hey, look, this is the only thing that has made things better in a global sense in all of human history. it's not just capitalism. it's right, liberty, democracy, the whole package and this idea that there's something better somewhere isn't a forward thinking idea. it's reactionary because it's basically an argument for return to tribalism. >> i know you've thought about
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it because you write about it consistently, thoughtfully and you just refz reerenced it. our story. do you think that we have failed over the last several decades to teach our story to ourselves? beginning in grammar school, our story? >> i do. i think we have a real crisis in civics in this country as well. and i have -- i have absolutely no problem. in fact i encourage it and celebrate it teaching the downside of our story. the lack of women's rights, all of these are important issues in our story but they're not the only part of our story. we teach at a very early age essentially just the bad parts of our story and you know, one of my favorite social scientists says if you only know one country you don't know any countries because you have to compare it to something and if you want to compare the history of the west to almost any other civilization we're doing pretty
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good and we've been improving consistently for the last 300 years and maybe we should be grateful for it. if you don't teach gratitude -- >> i would echo what joe said. i think you and a lot of the writer have been essential reading for the last two years because you stuck to who you are under a lot of pressure for people to get on the trump train. >> i come from a long line of jews who think that complimenting is bad. so if i'm squirming. >> do you think there's any coming back from this moment where we are right now? in other words -- >> it's called suicide. >> well, i guess there's -- >> suicide is a choice. i didn't call it the death of the west. >> but i guess my question is we're running so fast in the opposite direction from one another, how do we put it back together as a country? >> i think there's room among the left and the right. decent conservatives, decent
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liberals to restore what was called the vital center. and it takes work and the vital center is not -- you can be a consistent conservative on the policy issues but still respect the idea of listening to other people, that thinking that persuasion matters, that democracy matters. the whole idea of the enlightenment and the whole idea of delibrative democracy is that you can get people to change their minds. i was asked whether i thought william f. buck lee would recognize the republican party. the only thing i could come up with was charleston he iston represented the statue in the planet of the apes. >> another theme in your book is corruption as part of human nature and that's particularly topical right now when you have a president who's made no effort to divest from his business interests. what do you say about that in the book? >> well, what i say is
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civilization, all civilizations are simply the effort not to get rid of human nature, but to channel it in positive or productive ways. the founding fathers are clear on this. men aren't angels and what we're going to do, we're going to set up a system that prevents any one faction from getting control and imposing arbitrary power and tyranny. so corruption by my argument isn't so much -- it's not just bribery and graft and nepotism and these kinds of things, it is giving in to the primal instincts. what donald trump is doing with the nepotism stuff, cutting corners i think is utterly human and also utterly in violation of the norms that we've set up to keep that kind of thing in check. >> yeah. >> and the fact that so many people are eager to defend it, particularly on my side or these days i would say solely on my side is also a form of corruption. when you start saying well, my standards and principles that
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i've fought for for the last 20, 30 years for my entire political life no longer apply because this guy is my guy, that's entirely human. we are hard wired to think in those terms and it's also as i define it, thoroughly corrupt. >> so how do we -- how does this choice happen when you talk about suicide being the choice and what is happening in our society and in our country when there seems to be a lack of understanding and i'll end where we began, you said there's so much negativity. everything we've talked about has been incredibly negative so it's hard not to be critical of the decline that we're witnessing. but you really can't make a choice unless you understand the preciousness of what we have. how do we get to that choice? >> it's tough. and i think part -- you know, one of the explanations for why this revolution, this miracle as i call it occurred comes from the economic historian and she said it's just words.
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the way we talked about ourselves, the way we talked about the society we wanted to live in, the way we deployed rhetoric and shaping the way we see the world, that's what brought it out of the muck. and one of the places you can start is thinking about the words and the ideas you're going to use. get out of this incredible tribal mind set that says something is worth doing solely if it makes your enemies unhappy, which defines so much of our politics right now. i'm entirely in favor of making my enemies or my political opponents unhappy if it's for a good reason, but that cannot be the only reason to do something and you get so much of that their tears are delicious nonsense that you get on twitter and everywhere else these days. >> let me ask you, what does -- how does spirituality play into this, the belief that there is something bigger than us, that the belief that there are things worth -- worth sacrificing for,
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again, going back to the andrew sullivan column, he talked about how most of the ancients believed that freedom was a freedom from our basin stikts. we've all run away from that as a society, certainly in the west for the past 40, 50 years, especially, but can we -- can we avoid the suicide? can we find meaning -- bigger meaning without spirituality, without a belief in something bigger than just ourselves and our individual rights? >> right. so the opening sentence of the book is there is no god in this book. and what i mean by that is not that i'm an atheist, but what i'm trying to do is i'm trying to persuade people who disagree with me and that means i'm going to work on their terms, secular, maybe even atheistic, i concede evolution is true, i'm not going to make any appeal to the
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authority of god to make more argument. that said i always say one of the most profound and challenging changes that thaz happened in western consciousness in the last three centuries is the loss of the sense of the idea of god fari fearing. good character is often defined as the things that you do when nobody else is watching. and the beauty and the power of the concept of being god fearing is that god was always watching what you're doing and always took you out of yourself a little bit and made you think about what i look like. and we live in this very romantic time where we look to our feelings and our sense of authenticity as the only legitimate source of morality. feelings are trumping facts which is the hallmark of ro manhatt -- ro manhattani schism.
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the only way i think you get back is by restoring civil society by working on le storing the family because those are places that humans get their truer sense of meaning. you can't get it from woug. >> the book is "suicide of the west." thank you so much. come back. great conversation. >> thank you. >> all right. joining us now, rand paul of ku ki. -- kentucky. he changed his vote after getting several quote assurances from pompeo himself and president trump and senator, what were those assurances that came at the final moments that you didn't hear before? >> you know, you've heard me before say we've been at war too long and in too many places. i still believe that. i believe that very strongly. i think that's one of my number one jobs is to see if we can end our military involvement around the globe and so in saying that that was one of the reasons why
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i was worried about director pompeo because when i've asked him repeatedly was the iraq war a misstake, president trump has said it was a mistake, do you say it was a mistake, i wasn't getting a direct answer. over the weekend meeting with pompeo and then also discussing again with him and the president, you know, every time i talk to the president, i become more and more of the belief that he truly does share my notion we've been at war too long and at too many places. whether director pompeo does it or not, he's telling me yes, that he thinks the president is right, the president's vision for the world is going to be his job, and i think we'll hear from him publicly more specifically that our foreign policy hasn't worked in the past and that regime change hasn't worked. so these are the things i've been pushing for and i felt like in the end, i did get some satisfaction. we've also had some discussions on another front with the president over the last couple of days. i've been very concerned that the fbi's allowed to look at american's information without a warrant, and i've had some
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discussions with him over whether or not we could actually have an executive order from the president that simply says from now on we're going to obey the fourth amendment and the fbi agents will have to get a warrant to look at these foreign surveillance databases. that's a big step forward for me too. in all of these discussions, i came to the point of view i would give director pompeo a chance and i think we'll hear more from him that hopefully will be heartening to those of the view we need to have less war. >> you wrote last month you couldn't support -- you couldn't support pompeo because he was a neo con. you said last week your vote was a no unless you heard something different. you described yourself in op-eds and other places pompeo's record of support for intervention. do you think a phone call from him or a meeting with him where he says yes, sure, iraq was a mistake and we'll get out of afghanistan is enough to undo everything you know about him? a lot of people are skeptical he
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just told you what you wanted to hear to get the vote. >> whether we have the conversation in the direction we want to, i think also pompeo going to north korea at the behest of the president, some have said this says more about the president than pompeo but at the same time, you know, we talk about the whole idea of, you know, speak softly and carry a big stick. i think trump is speak loudly, carry a big stick, but also maybe have an olive branch somewhere out there, you're willing to still have diplomacy. at some point in time, i know everybody's been very critical of the president on foreign policy. if there's a breakthrough on north korea, it will be an amazing thing. what if there's a breakthrough in afghanistan? i still do believe the president's instincts are for less war, less involvement and many of our foreign policy interventions have backfired on us. what i've been doing is trying to push to make sure there are voices around him that actually agree with the president on
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that. >> elise. >> senator paul, specifically with afghanistan, what did president trump describe as the strategy, and what is the drawdown strategy that mike pompeo says that he now embraces? >> i would say that, you know, one of the things that director pompeo responded to me in written questions was there is no military solution. so i've been pressing both he and the president on this, that if there's no military solution, why would we send one more soldier to afghanistan? i'm not getting exactly the certitude that i would like to have, that we're not sending one more soldier. in my discussions both private and public with the president last year, he's not been excited about, you know, doing another president obama surge of 100,000 troops in there. i don't think the president's for that at all. they did send some more troops in there, but i actually think that was begrudgingly so. i do not think the president wants to continue forever the afghan war. i think he is and will actively look for a way to resolve it. as far as specifically troop
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withdrawals and exactly what times, none of that was discussed. but i think his over -- i mean, i think people would be surprised to hear the conversation between he and i, that people know where i'm coming from on foreign policy, that there's really not that much difference between the president and i, on our desire to, really to lessen these foreign interventions that really have backfired so much on us. >> senator rand paul, thank you very much for being on the show. up next, amazon outdoes itself again. where the online retailer is delivering to now. that is ahead on "morning joe." constantly interrupting you with itching, burning and stinging. being this uncomfortable is unacceptable. i'm ready. tremfya® works differently for adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. with tremfya®, you can get clearer and stay clearer. in fact, most patients who saw 90% clearer skin at 28 weeks... stayed clearer through 48 weeks. tremfya® works better than humira®
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time now for business before the bell with cnbc's sara eisen. we've been talking about the 10-year treasury note flirting with its highest level of january 2014. what could this threshold mean for stocks moving forward? >> this is certainly something that investors have to weigh. higher interest rates are always a risk. you're paying more in mortgage rates, auto loans and it could ripple into the economy and hurt spending and hurt the growth we're seeing. that's one of the negative risks. this is one of the busiest weeks in the markets and so far, so good when it comes to corporate reports. everyone from tech, google parent alphabet. so they're weighing better earnings with rising interest rates and a higher price of oil.
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did want to mention the amazon story because amazon has found a new place to deliver to, your car. more specifically, your trunk. so starting today in 37 cities across the u.s. and only if you have a chevy buick, gmc cadillac past 2015 and some volvos, amazon can remotely unlock your trunk, deliver packages inside. i guess if you're worried about leaving packages on your doorstep or your porch, this may be a good alternative. >> cnbc's sara eisen. i don't know. >> is that a good idea? >> that's kind of weird but all right. >> stay out of my trunk. >> all right, willie. >> nba playoffs. >> oh, what? >> as it meets with politics. in utah last night, mitt romney, running for office there. the jazz taking on russell westbrook and the thunder. look who -- this fan in the jersey, taunting russell. four fouls says mitt romney. that's four.
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that's four. he says, have a seat, russell wefl bro westbrook. wearing the jersey, mitt romney taunting the great russell westbrook last night. jazz won the game. >> wow. >> he's also been a celtics fan. >> he has? is that flip-flopping? >> oh, okay. all right, we're done. alex says we're done. he's sick of us. i feel like maybe he's getting sick of us, joe, what do you think? is that possible? >> i think so. it's very possible. congratulations on winning the matrix award. >> thank you. that is so nice. >> we thank you guys for watching us this morning. and we will see you bright and early tomorrow morning. but right now, stay tuned to more news on msnbc. >> thanks so much, joe, and yes, congratulations to you, mika. good morning, everyone, i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover today, starting with the french connection. president emmanuel macron set to

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