tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 1, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
have liked hillary clinton to win. i said would you have preferred that she win? and that's when he said, that's one thing i'm not going to answer. >> not surprising we didn't get an answer to that one. mike allen, thank you for joining us. we're going to be reading axios a.m. you can sign up for the newsletter at axios.com that does it for us on this tuesday morning. i'm yasmin vossoughian. "morning joe" starts right now. why didn't you deny calling the president a moron? >> you know that's a really old question. >> you understand by not answering the questions, some people thought that you were confirming the story. >> you think you've answered the question? >> i've answered the question. >> did you call the president a moron? >> i'm not going to dignify the question. we've got so many other issues that we could be talking about.
i'm not from this town. i understand that people in this town like to talk about somethings that are really not that important. >> not that long ago, nbc news had an exclusive report that rex tillerson had insulted the president's intelligence. as you heard there, the former secretary of state didn't deny it. now nbc news is out with a new exclusive. this time that the president's own chief of staff, john kelly, referred to trump as an idiot. multiple times. questioning his grasp on policy and the basic functions of government. but today there may be bigger fish to fry for the white house. with "the new york times" publishing four dozen questions that bob mueller wants the president to ask about his ties to russia. >> funny about that story. that before rudy giuliani started working on the president's team, you didn't hear a whole lot coming out about the back and forth between the mueller investigation.
>> now all this stuff is coming out. so anyhow, we have reporters who helped break that story. we have nbc news national political reporter heidi przybilla. politics editor for the "daily beast," sam stein. pulitzer prize-winning national political reporter for nbc news, carol lee, who is the lead reporter on the nbc news report on general kelly and "new york times" reporter michael schmidt has the reporting on mueller's list of questions for the president. >> i want to ask willie a question. willie, mike smith, hall of famer, philadelphia fillies, can we put our own "new york times" schmidty in. >> he's got to be retired for five years. i don't want to jump to that conclusion. but a lot of people are saying he would be on the first ballot. >> hey, by the way, so rex calls the president a moron.
blanking moron, right? >> says he's talked -- >> but he will never, ever deny he says that. so he's out. >> so john kelly calls him an idiot but before hes could, he goes hey, rex, hold my beer. he calls him be a idiot. and then denies it. but rex is kind of like, i'm not going to deny this. >> if you look back, the state department did at one time deny it. but when asked directly, rex tillerson never would deny it. he was given that "60 minutes" interview about five chances to do it. and he was great. >> margaret brennan was great. >> john kelly said the story was absolute bs. we'll ask carol lee about that in a minute. >> that's where we'll start. we'll start with the question, should we -- "the new york times" has published a list of topics and questions that it says special counsel robert mueller wants to ask president
trump. to determine whether he attempted to obstruct the probe into russian meddling and learn more about potential ties between his campaign and moscow. as for where the times says the list came from, the report describes questions read by the special counsel investigators to the president's lawyers. who compiled them into a list. that document was provided to the "times" by a person outside mr. trump's legal team. of the four major topics, three relate to potential obstruction of justice, including the president's knowledge of and reaction to the regulation of then national security adviser, michael flynn. the firing of the fbi director, james comby. the recusal of attorney general jeff sessions and finally alleged trump campaign coordination with the russian government. the list has not been verified by nbc news, the special counsel's office has not responded to the "times" request
for comment or said whether the list is awe thetic or complete and the president's in-house and outside attorneys both declined to comment. >> michael schmidt, what's the big take-away from this story? >> here we are 15 months into president trump's presidency and two years into the russia investigation and more than half of these questions are about obstruction. they're about actions the president took since he came into office. including some things that happened as recently as january. so an investigation that started focused on russia's efforts to influence the election, ties between trump's campaign and russia is now predominantly focused on obstruction. the questions of his efforts to interfere with the investigation. and when you take a step back from this document and when you look at it, you sort of realize all of these different things
that have piled up over the past 15 months that the president has done in office have raised those questions. >> michael, right now he's focusing on obstruction. i would guess he really can't begin to, mueller and his entire team really can't be focusing completely on collusion until there's some resolution with paul manafort. whether manafort if they flip manafort, that changes everything because he's obviously if there is collusion, it runs through manafort. is that why they're addressing obstruction first and after the manafort trial they'll move on to collusion? >> there is a russia section in the question. it's a quarter of the questions. and there actually is a manafort question in there. there's a question about was there efforts by trump's associates to reach out to the russians, to get help for the campaign? and in the question that we got on this there was something that
said, specifically, manafort. now we do not know what mueller was referring to in that instance. and these are only 49 questions. if you were to sit down with someone there would obviously be many more that come up along the way if you just look at the president's conduct from the public record and you look at the different things that we note, there's a lot, many more things in the obstruction bucket than there are in the collusion bucket directly related to the president. comey firing, his treatment of jeff sessions. the constantly you know asking sessions to resign. trying to get rid of sessions, his obsession with loyalty. the loyalty of the person who is running the investigation. his efforts to get rid of mueller. and does he know anything about pardons. the question of pardons to anyone. those are all obstruction issues. >> this is a look inside this investigation, unlike any we've
seen. the curtains have been drawn and we don't know much about what bob mueller has been doing. what would be the motive if you can think of one for somebody around trump to release this list of questions to you? what's the upside? what's the benefit? >> i'm not sure. the thing about these questions is that if folks who are following the story sat down, and said look, i want to ask the president things, i think we would come up with many of the same questions that mueller came up with. there were very few surprises in there. a few things like that manafort question that i referenced there was some questions about pompeo and coates and rodgers. what was trump's reaction to the fact that they were being interviewed by the special counsel last summer? so a few things that we did not know about. but many are things that have come out publicly. including questions about his tweets. including questions from sarah huckabee sanders on the podium in the white house briefing room. many of these things have played out publicly and many of them are questions that we still
have. why did the president ask comey for loyalty? what really happened on february 14th between comey and trump inside the oval office? mueller's questions are focused on the president's intent. why did the president do these things, trying to get inside the president's mind. one question -- what did the president think of comey during the trance snigs what were his views of how comey handled the clinton email investigation during the transition? what you see there is mueller trying to understand why the president's view of comey changed. why was it that the president was okay with comey and then all of a sudden not okay with him? >> michael quickly, quite a few former u.s. attorneys commenting after your story came out, talked about how this was bad for jared kushner in particular. any reason why these questions would point to jared kushner? joins vance, mueller questions for trump seem to assume jared's
guilt. several people writing that last night. >> there's one question about kushner, it's about whether the president knew of efforts by kushner to create a back-channel to russia. to communicate through russia through a way that the u.s. government would not be able to, the c.i.a. would not be able to hear it. there were not any other questions besides that and one other thing that was not in these questions. were questions about the president's money. there were some questions about whether the president knew that someone like michael cohen was trying to do real estate deals with russia during the election. tle questions about the president's relationship with russians, his 2013 trip there. but there's not a lot of stuff beyond that there's not stuff about his real estate in florida and how russians purchased it. nothing like that. >> russians purchased it and gave him a 20, $30 million windfall with that purchase.
jon meechum what's your initial take on this development? >> well i think the thing that a lot of us have wondered throughout is, it's fairly clear, given what the president said to lester holt on camera, so you didn't need a whole lot of questions about that. that he fired the director of the fbi. the director of the fbi would not stop the investigation into russia. i'm not a lawyer. it seems to me, if you try to stop an investigation into something, there must be something there that's being investigated that you don't want to have out. so the drama of the last really, since all of this began, what is that thing. that he's so intent on hiding. to my mind one of the most interesting things at this point, here on the, as we head into early summer, is you have these two tracks going. you have mueller and the legal
track, but you also have the inexorable march of time on another track. heading toward the possibility that the house of representatives is going to be in democratic hands come general. and as gerald ford once said, an impeachable offense is whatever the majority of the house of representatives says it is at any given time. so there are two trains heading into the station, if you will. and i think the, key question for the country is will the 40%, 35, 40% of trump supporters who decline at any point to accept anything against their president, if the facts emerge, will they accept those facts or will they have a tribal battle inside of this thing.
>> in side the white house, you see different tracks of people who were there, but they have opinions about the president that are less than satisfactory. michael schmidt, the source for these questions is someone outside the legal team. if they're not from mueller's side, then this is trump's lawyers? i mean what can one deduce as to who would release these and why? >> let me sort of lay out how these questions came about. there's been a lot of negotiations back and forth between mueller's side and the president's lawyers about an interview. in march the negotiations got pretty contentious and it was pretty clear that the president's lawyers did not want him to do an interview. so what mueller's investigators did is they had the president's lawyers come over to the special counsel's office and they said okay, we're going to walk through with you everything we want to ask the president. give them a head start in getting the president prepared
for the interview. to reassure him there would be no vice surprises. so the president's lawyers sat there and the president's lawyers took the issues down and created these 49 questions. the 49 things that mueller wants to ask the president about. and that's how we got this document. that's what this document is. so it's based on conversations, a direct conversation, a reciting to them of the questions they wanted to ask from mueller's side. >> you know, heidi, it's interesting, you look at the calendar and the mueller team is trying to figure out what they're going to do. as far as an election goes, they're not going to drop anything after what james comey did, you know at least from what i've heard. they're not going to be dropping anything in october. or early november. and so they're coming up on a stopping point here. and i think the stopping point is finishing up obstruction, it gives them a chance to get the
manfort case resolved anden they can move on after the election to the collusion part of it. but what, how are republicans handling this on the hill? knowing this is going to go into the election? >> well you see what's happening with the house intelligence committee now going into full gear in terms of the republicans who are going after rod rosenstein, folks like march meadows. we don't see at least in the house any efforts to try to back up mueller. in the senate, i think the senate intelligence committee will feel compelled to try to get its own findings out and we've seen much less partisan in-fighting on that side. so i think in the senate, we could have something that probably bolsters mueller. if not on the obstruction, on just detailing the magnitude of what happened with russia. but one thing i wanted to also ask michael about real quick is is that really the only question
that indicates that mueller is still investigating collusion about manafort? because to me it really jumped out here the first, very first question to michael flynn, is about what the president knew about flynn's negotiations with kislyak over sanctions? and amazingly, the president has never been asked that about the media. what he knew about flynn was negotiating about sanctions. >> yeah. we don't know. there could be questions that mueller's side was holding back on. things that didn't make it into this list. the, we're really not sure. there was a flynn section, there's a comey section, there's a sessions section. and then there's the russia section. and when you look at the three of the four, they come back to the questions of obstruction. on flynn there are some russian investigations what did the president know about the cause? how did the white house handle when sally yates, the acting attorney general, went to warn them in january of 2017?
why did it take them so long to deal with the issue of flynn and why was flynn ultimately fired? now you have to remember on flynn, flynn is cooperating. and there was a question in there which we found particularly interesting. about the pardons, what did the president know about efforts to reach out to flynn about pardons? the interesting thing is that this was, this document was created in march. and it was only in april that we wrote a story about how pardons had been made from john doud on an offer to flynn's side. so mueller clearly knew something about the issue of pardons before that story came out, just another great reminder, that there's so much more that mueller knows that we don't. >> speaking of so much more. we have so much more ahead. we've got carol lee, with the story that she broke exclusive nbc reporting on john kelly's repeated takedown of his boss, calling the president an idiot.
we're going to talk about that and we have aging teen sensation and prep school pop star sam stein here. and we're going to get his input on this and so much more. the kids are waiting by their television sets, all across the northeast. >> the headlines this morning, we need to go through them meticulously, we're going to take it step by step here. also coming up, the white house makes one small type o'with very big implications. >> we're going to launch a nuclear attack. >> how the administration screwed up its statement on iran nuclear policy. yeah. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges.
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navy admiral, james tavridis, international security analyst for nbc and nbc news. ate current and former white house officials say chief of staff john kelly has cast himself as saving the country from disaster. and repeatedly insults president trump's intelligence. the report says he has referred to trump as an idiot multiple times to underscore his point according to four official who is say they've witnessed the comments. it goes on -- that kelly says trump doesn't even understand what daca is, he's an idiot. kelly said that in one meeting, according to two officials who were present. he went on, we've got to save him from himself. some current and former white house officials say they expect kelly to leave by july, his one-year mark. but other says that is anyone's guess. five days after nbc initially requested comment chief of staff kelly replied shortly after the story was posted writing i spent
more time with the president than anyone else and we have an credibly candid and strong relationship. he and i both know the story is total bs. in rare public comments kelly's deputy has told the washington examiner i think there are a couple of people at the white house 0 who would like to see him gone and every time things start to go right they try to knife him like this. president trump weighed in with tweets writing the fake news is going crazy making up false stories and using only unnamed sources, who don't exist, they are totally unhinged and the great success of this administration is making them do and say things that are not true. the white house is running very smoothly despite phony witch hunts. there is great energy and unending stamina. president trump's tweets did not specifically defend general kelly. carol, this is your report among other by-lines from nbc news.
how do you respond to general kelly saying in reply to this report, it's total bs? >> well, i think that's not surprising. as you were showing earlier, where rex tillerson did not deny that he called the president a moron. that got under the president's skin and the relationship never repaired after that. you know, john kely, all of our reporter points to john kelly and president trump kind of growing very tired of each other and not just that, but you know we want to look at nine months in, kelly was brought in as this disciplinarian who was going to bring order to where there was chaos and how did he wind up in this position where he is so weakened. it turns out that over time he eroded morale inside the white house for a number of reasons. he, he has this public image of being this disciplinarian and people inside the white house say he's actually quite undisciplined inside the white house. in how he talks about the president, how he talks about
women. they have, staffers have said that he is sometimes will create problems instead of solving them. he's actually not doing the kinds of things that he said he would come in to do or that his public image says that he does. which is, people have really, it's worn thin on people inside the white house. this notion that he continually says that he's the one saving the country that they're lucky to have him inside the white house. doing this work. so it's kind of, this whole combination of things, but there's a lot of distrust between the staff and the chief of staff. there's distrust between the president and his chief of staff. and it seems like you know, no one knows exactly when john kelly may or may not leave the white house. but it certainly seems all of our reporting shows that he has stepped back a little bit from the job. that he's not as engaged as he once was and that the president is increasingly frustrated with
him. >> how many sources did you say you had on the idiot comment? >> we spoke to four people who have directly heard john kelly call the president an idiot. >> i know it's hard to characterize, but would those four people, be seen as people who had an axe to grind against john kelly? and this might be their way to push him out? >> well look that is a valid criticism in terms of if you're, the white house was trying to push back and say that these are people back to get kelly. it doesn't mean it's not true. just because somebody has an agenda. we're always in our reporting looking, weighing who has what agenda. what motivations might be. this was different people who were not, who had independently said the same thing, throughout weeks of reporting, it's not as if this is just coming from people who had the knives out for kelly and even if it was, it doesn't mean that it's not true. >> there have been so many instances where we have talked
about the president's intellectual shortcomings and inability to understand the capacity of national security issues, the complexity. and this sort of seems like the natural evolution of an untenable relationship. >> it's been untenable for a while. but sam, sam -- general kelly has been able to manage paper flow and the information getting to the president. the people flooding in. early on, it was what you heard in bill clinton's administration where everybody piled in and talked to the commander-in-chief until leon panetta and others came in and brought discipline. and he's stirred a lot of resentment, any chief of staff or any xo that comes in, and limits access to the top person does create resentment. >> will was a lot of controversy over it, too. it wasn't that long ago, but the
rob scandal was essentially about john kelly's stewardship. the defense he gave to an aide who was incredibly accused of being the domestic accuser and rob porter was the guy who controlled the paper. when that happened there was a lot of speculation that john kelly would be out the door. he survived that scandal but it weakened his standing. and this marriage i don't think works, i don't think any type of marriage with trump would work there are certain people who just do not want to be managed and it strikes me that the president is one of those. he thinks for instance, that he would be his best chief of staxt. >> and he's been saying lately that he understands the, i'm sorry, hold on. i can say this with a straight face. >> you have to. >> donald trump says he understands the presidency better than anybody that's ever sat in this chair. >> all right. >> he thinks he can be his own chief of staff. >> and that is actually a little
bit i guess frightening to people who are critical of donald trump to imagine him completely untethered. our reporting has concluded or is going in the direction that kelly is indeed looking to get out the door and this notion of him ending up at this now-vacant department of va secretary role is not totally out of the realm of reason from what i'm hearing. >> if he, if general kelly wants to leave, he'll leave. >> you imagine you would be exhausted at this point. >> we've heard, i've heard, that both general kelly and general mattis said they are not going to be fired. they feel like they're on their post and they are protecting america. and admiral, it's, they're in a hell of a fix. because they may be with a man who is not up to the job. but they certainly understand what comes after they leave. >> i know both extremely well. out of a four-star marine pair
of generals, there's no quit in either one of them. the difference is, john kelly has to walk into the oval office every morning and say good morning, mr. president, how's it going? that's tough. whereas general mattis has the time, the space, the distance, tending his garden in the gun hill lasts longer. in the end, nobody survives. >> is it possible that "idiot" is a term of endearment? >> like the red sox? >> idiots! >> you have the situation, i'm sure in all of your years, in the navy, you have had situation where is there might be a commanding officer that's not the most disciplined guy in the world. but you have your xo that keeps things in line. >> that's the model. and yet, in this situation, here you've got again, the four-star
general comes in and cannot bring order out of chaos. and john kelly has spent a lifetime bringing order out of chaos. that's his persona. so -- this bar is unusually high. perhaps too high for anybody to get over. >> ooh. carol lee, thank you for your reporting on this. >> thank you, carol. >> what are you looking at today? are you continuing on this story? yeah. i'm looking at what how the white house handles it going forward. whether john kelly says anything else, sarah sanders' briefing today. i think there could be some attention on john kelly's comments towards women, saying women are more emotional than men which white house spokespeople agreed with, saying generally they are i think that will be enough for today. >> wow. that was a loaded tease. okay, carol lee, look forward to it. up next, here's the admiral
weighs in on two big stories about iran. the flub from the white house. and israel's claim that iran lied about its nuclear ambitions, back in a moment. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. that's it? everybody two seconds! "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. when did you see the sign? when i needed to jumpstart sales. build attendance for an event.
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so yesterday, i'll read this i will. >> it's so painful. >> it is for you. >> yesterday israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu claimed that he has new proof of iran's nuclear ambitions unveiling what he says are 110,000 documents and files kept on a project which israeli intelligence officials store from a facility in iran. that centered around designing, building and testing nuclear weapons. while netanyahu sait said it was halted in 2003, he claims the files show iran quote is brazenly lying about never having nuclear weapons program. and as such, the 2015 deal should be thrown out since it was quote based on iranian lies and deception. he said that iran kept the files in order to jump-start its nuclear ambitions at a later date. iran has consistently denied the
accusations. mike pompeo confirmed that they reveal new information on the scope of the nuclear program iran had before. so admiral this is, this is important. i just want to assume that the iranians that iranians are always lying. the iranians are always moving towards a nuclear program. the iranians, like the north koreans will do whatever they can do to get our money and screw us in the deal. that said, we can go back to iraq and look at the dangers of saying that saddam hussein was trying to start a nuclear program in the '80s and early '90s, so we must assume seesese continuing to do that. but he stopped. >> he did stop. this on this one, damn, the m t
mossad is good. this would be like us getting into the kremlin and taking files out that would be pretty neat this the is the cliche moment to say like rick in casablanca. i'm shocked to see there's gambling in this casino. i think there's less here than meets the eye. any sensible observer would have felt that the iranians were continually pushing toward a program. to me this validates the need for a deal to stop them. >> the critics of the deal are using the pattern of lying and cheating and misleading by the iranians as a case to essentially scrap the deal when in fact it's the exact opposite. if you were dealing with the regime that operates that way, wouldn't you want more insight? wouldn't you want more international inspections in there? wouldn't you want a little bit of a window into what's going on? the critics are saying that you know what, scrap it all. let's start from the beginning. let's get no insight.
>> because they have all of this preexisting information on nuclear weapons and they can start the program up immediately. so it doesn't make any, it does seem a bit -- >> netanyahu's presentation was directed right at president of the united states. >> does it in english. does it steven jobs style with these huge props. >> the only other thing he needed to do he should have projected a huge picture of donald trump above the screen. >> so we have reported in the past on lots of typos that have come out of the white house. typos and tweets by the president himself. typos from the press office, which is just sloppy and you wonder why it matters. this might be why. the white house also said in a statement this, this information provides new and compelling details about iran's efforts to develop missile deliverable nuclear weapons. these facts are consistent with what the united states has long
known. iran has a robust clandestine nuclear weapons program that it's trial trooied and failed to hide from the world and its own people. white house later issued a big correction changing the present tense, "iran has" to "iran had" a robust clandestine nuclear weapons program. one of the top iran experts at the brookings institute. actually worked with my dad, suzanne maloney said the correction to today's white house statement on iran is not a typo. it's an error of unimaginable incompetence. it reflects lack of capacity at the highest levels of this administration to vet information, accurately identify real-time challenge the and devise serious responses. jon meachum, have you seriously
ever seen anything like this? >> no. maybe it could be our summer resolution or something. you know, there is a common denominator here. of course no one, of course general kelly can't control trump. of course not. this is, you know, there shouldn't really be much of a surprise about this, candidate trump ran as a gut player, i'm going to run on my intuition, i'm so stable, you wouldn't believe it. one of my favorite lines. and guess what, he's not especially. whoa. >> couldn't have guessed that. >> at some point or another i think we're going to end up asking for this time back. can the country please get this back. >> the worry is we might not be
able to get it back in any way. >> willy, the question is, is this a message, that john bolton sent out himself and was later forced to walk back from secretary of defense? from the secretary of state? because that information contradicts what secretary of state pompeo said just a couple of weeks ago. >> and obviously that initial statement, would have huge ramifications for the united states, israel and throughout the middle east about how to react to that. admiral, they're saying, people are defending the white house, saying it's a typo. it was a mistake. can you explain to people why this is such a big deal? >> i'll give you two levels. one is the most obvious, which is that wars can turn on words. i'll give you three words from 1898. remember the maine. u.s. battleship blows up in havana harbor, rallying cry, we
go to war. it turns out the ship was blown up because of an internal boiler explosion, not enemy action. words start wars and to the earlier comments, there's no order in discipline going on here. if you couple those two things together, we are clanking toward a serious problem internationally. that's what ought to worry us, even more than the internal pieces. >> if you look at the first few days of the administration, there was no enter-agency process going on then. the lawyers weren't vetting the president's first muslim ban. there's still no effective inter-agency process. and there's nobody in the state department to run -- donald trump and the united states, we are all paying not only for their lack of competence, also, but lack of personnel. >> think you made a great point previously, joe as well in terms of connecting the dots here when
your guest says this is incompetence at the highest levels, who signed off on this? where did this come from? is this a reflection of john bolton. we go back to his writings in order to stop iran from getting a bomb. bomb iran. and what is his impact on all of this? but can you also speak, admiral, to a conversation that i had over the weekend with a member of congress who sits on the foreign relations committee who said i want to tell you how upside-down this is. we, what the implications will be if they are successful in nixing out this agreement. we've already given iran the money. they have the money. this is the back end of the agreement this is the part that's supposed to benefit us, so what happenes if they're successful and iran has already taken all of our money? >> well we won't get the money back. and this is kind of like you buy a car, heidi, for $50,000. and two years later, the dealer calls you and says you know what, that car is actually going to cost you $70,000. i don't think you're going to
pay it and i don't think we're going to see iran modify its behavior. and by the way, who is watching this very closely on the other side of the world? kim jong un. because he is saying to himself, gee, do i really want to give up those nuclear weapons when it's going to be a game of lucy steals the football when we try and kick it. so at the end of the day, there are two theaters at play here. and we need to -- make sure we understand what the crossover effect is, of what we do in iran. to how we negotiate with north korea. this is big casino. >> alex, do we -- who approved that statement? did it come out of the national security agency? didn't it come out from bolton? >> it came out of the press office, i believe. >> press office. >> if it's the press office, i wonder who they passed that by? >> normally you would go through
numerous drafts of it and it would go high-level. obviously -- they're saying it's a typo. but the whole premise of the netanyahu presentation was to sow confusion over the program. from the timing of the presentation to the pompeo visit with netanyahu to the statement. it's almost too transparent what they're trying to do, laying the case. >> the question is, was it john bolton -- >> we'll never know for sure. >> it ought to be easy to figure out who signed off on this. >> it contradicts the findings of every intelligence agency. >> including -- >> it didn't pass through those agencies did it just come from the west wing, john bolton? >> if the press secretary put it out, the press secretary put it out, they had to pass it by somebody. did they pass it by john bolton? because if they did, you know what, you can read that in a second. if you read that in a second you
would go -- it's past tense -- >> you would flinch. john bolten is smart, he's verbal, he reads, he writes this is not just some -- >> he's also controlling, he's not going to let a press person put something out without him looking at it. see, because i want my point here, admiral is, i'm curious what you think. i don't think this was incompetence. i think this was john bolton or somebody connected to john bolton, trying to send a message, a shot across the bow to iran. >> it feels like a tell. the whole thing feels like a leading indicator. and when you couple it with netanyahu giving the speech in english, doing it if you will american-style. and then immediately following this. occam's razor, sometimes the clearest answer is the simplest answer. >> admiral james stavridis thank you very much for being on. coming up, new developments
in the criminal investigation of the president's personal attorney, michael cohen. including that cohen was reportedly surprised by the president's remarks in the wild interview on fox news last week. >> and the "national enquirer" coming after him and now he even knows trump's coming after him. and stormy's defamation suit, "morning joe" is coming right back. you totanobody's hurt, new car. but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do?
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every device in the house. [ child offscreen ] hey! let's basement. and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here, too. so sophie, i have an xfi password, and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. >> i thought -- >> welcome back. >> okay, that's all right. sam's just moving in. >> we've had some changes here. >> please, don't. >> it's awkward but sometimes you have this in the tv news business. >> we're now going to go to our new tweet desk. >> younger. >> younger, cooler. >> fresher. >> it's in santa monica and it's aging teenage heartthrob and current prep school pop star -- >> just moves in and grabs that job. >> sam stein. >> damn, willie. >> sam, what does it say? >> well, this just in. this is a lot. since they moved to 280
characters, it's a lot more. this is from donald j. trump. >> somebody's upset. >> so disgraceful that the question concerning the russia witch-hunt were quote/unquote leaked to the media. no questions on collusion, with a capital c for some reason. oh comma, you have a made up comma phony crime comma collusion comma that never existed and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. nice. >> willie, it's all about eve. sam comes in and takes -- >> it's a cruel business. >> it is a cruel business. it got old fast. >> i don't understand the commas, first of all. >> there's so many commas. >> maybe willie can be upgraded to analysis of the tweets sam reports on. this is okay, we're placing you in a position that is -- >> sabotage.
>> this is a promotion. we're cutting your salary. >> how about the first sentence where he says "the russian witch-hunt were leaked to the media." well, it was leaked by his leal team. >> his lawyers! his lawyers! >> jon meacham, we'll let these two duke it out here. your thoughts, have you ever seen anything like this before? >> no, and have a great day. i do think it's worth thinking about this. as we look at the mueller questions, there are two tributaries coming together here or two trains headed at trump, whatever you want to choose as the metaphor. one is the legal machinery which grinds more slowly than the political machinery which 188 days or whatever it is to the midterm. he's got a -- there's a clear sense of what his window is here because a democratic house is
far more likely to define an impeachable offense and proceed on those grounds. >> jon meacham, thank you very much. we have much more ahead on the two big stories -- >> i have to ask jon one more question. when is your book coming out? >> it's coming out monday. appreciate the question. >> okay, are you going to be on? >> we're going to try to -- i think you'll see me and i want you to be excited, mika. i think it's going to be very interesting. we're going to discuss tr, woodrow wilson. >> it will be amazing. >> in what context again? >> this is -- my argument is that the soul of the country has room for dr. king and the klan and every era is defined by whether our better angels win out over our worse instincts. >> all right. >> well, we look forward to that. michael schmidt, the reporter behind that "new york times" story, responds to the president's tweet, plus the nbc exclusive that john kelly has
called the president an idiot not once but mults nepal times. the question now is how long will kelly last? "morning joe" is coming right back. s time to wake up to keuri. wakey! wakey! rise and shine! oh my gosh! how are you? well watch this. i pop that in there. press brew. that's it. look how much coffee's in here? fresh coffee. so rich. i love it. that's why you should be a keurig man! full-bodied. are you sure you're describing the coffee and not me? do you wear this every day? everyday. i'd never take it off. are you ready to say goodbye to it? go! go! ta da! a terrarium. that's it. we brewed the love, right guys? (all) yes.
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them down and now people are taking advantage of daca and that's a shame. it should have never happened. >> now obviously those kids didn't say anything, but if they did i imagine it would be something like "in order to qualify for the deferred action for child hood arrivals program you have to have lived here since 2007 and being under 16 so which means no one arriving would qualify for the program on top of that you canceled it last year after you rejected bipartisan compromises to save it so what you're saying makes no sense now shut up and give us our [ bleep ]ing eggs!" >> wow, seth meyers last month wasn't the only person who thought president trump was confused about daca. according to nbc news, the president's own chief of staff john kelly questions his boss's grasp on policy, repeatedly calling him an idiot. meanwhile, the "new york times" has published four dozen questions that bob mueller -- >> leaked to them, by the way by the president's attorneys and i
must say the level of leaks -- >> doesn't he have a new attorney? >> yeah, rudy giuliani, the leaks have -- the spigot has been turned on. >> he's very media savvy. >> kids playing stick ball, the water, the hydrant. that's what it looks like. >> it's good at not looking like that. the president is up and tweeting his response and it doesn't look unhinged at all. >> not at all. a lot of commas. >> a lot going on today. >> mika, it's may 1, does that mean it's going to get above 43 degrees. >> not in new york or connecticut. >> today it is. >> i don't believe you. >> i'm not complaining about the weather but it's been 45. >> we have a lot going on, really big news on multiple levels. >>hold on. we're talking about the weather.
jack has a baseball game. we have five practices in a row canceled because it was like 38 and raining. >> george's baseball game sunday was like we were playing in february. windy, cold. it's 48 right now, going up to 78 today. >> still with us, we have nbc news political reporter heidi przybyla, politics editor for the daily beast, sam stein, "new york times" reporter michael schmidt who is the reporting on mueller's list of questions for the president and joining the conversation former u.s. attorney and former aide to robert mueller now an nbc news law enforcement analyst chuck rosenberg and pulitzer prize winning columnist and associate editor of the "washington post" and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson. >> michael schmidt, you, of course, broke the story of -- published questions, incredible work as always, a list of questions that robert mueller told donald trump's attorneys
that he would be asking them. >> just want to clarify on how we got these questions. these were questions that mueller's side relayed to trump's lawyers in a meeting they wrote down. in the story, we don't identify our source, we just say it was someone outside the legal team who gave them to us. >> i want to make sure. we just wildly speculate here as we -- we don't know that just because the source of information has risen exponentially since rudy, we don't know rudy is the person who gave it to a third party and got it to you. but the newspaper is very clear that it didn't come directly from donald trump's lawyers, but it was the notes from donald trump's lawyers' site. so tell us what's in there. >> well, the interesting thing is we have the president saying the questions don't have anything in there about collusion. there are several questions in there about collusion.
there's question about what the president knew regarding roger stone and wikileaks. did he know these e-mails were coming out? the president's 2013 trip to russia, his relationships with the folks that bought the miss universe -- licensed the miss universe pageant in 2013, also questions about the president discussing sanctions. these were in the collusion section of the document. yes, there were more obstruction questions than collusion questions but there are many dedicated to this issue and they're pretty pointed. we were struck by that, including one about whether the president knew of efforts by his associates to reach out to russia to help the campaign. >> i guess if you're donald trump and being investigated by an independent counsel and the southern district of new york and you got lawsuits -- you have to thank god for small favors. so i guess he's thankful there are more questions about him on
instructing justice in a federal investigation then colluding with the russians in the federal investigation so for that he takes great comfort. so whatever gets you through the night as john lennon sang. but chuck, you look at these questions and several prosecutors -- i'm curious if it's your thought. several prosecutors have suggested that some of the questions suggest an assumption of guilt towards jared kushner. did you read into that? >> no. and i'll tell you why. i think of these not as questions but topics. this is the list of stuff any good prosecutor would want to ask the president but it's important to know what it's not. it's not the list of topics that they would ask everybody else in the investigation, right? so if you're sitting down with reince priebus or mike pence or pompeo -- >> but it might be. >> it would overlap, sure. there could be some stuff in here that you would ask them. but this is one set of topics
for one witness. happens to be an important one. >> again, they're not just 15 questions, they are areas of inquiry so you ask a question, get the response and these are the 15 areas where it can move. >> and questions i want to ask you about, the bank robbery, and once we start talking about it i have 300 questions about the bank robbery, so it's good reporting, interesting, an insight into the investigation but it's just a list of topics. >> so collusion, donald trump saying that there aren't any questions about collusion here and he's cleared. isn't that an -- a part of this case that robert mueller is not going to be able to pursue to its end, proper end, until we know what happens with a key central player in that area and
that's manafort. until manafort pleas and cooperates and goes to trial and we find other things out from that, you can't move much further on collusion. >> joe, that's right. at the end of last year we were talking about the fact that trump's lawyers were predicting that the whole thing would be over by thanksgiving or the end of the year and
now we know how wrong that is. it's obvious there's a whole bunch of other people they need to talk to, including paul manafort. >> and also you have -- you also have -- would you like to talk in front of the whole class or -- >> yes, i would and i'm going to show you the note, too. >> that's a joke, by the way, don't tweet about that. we like each other, but she won't let me hold -- >> don't do that. >> we're engaged, i don't understand but anyway, i've lost my train of thought. >> everybody's uncomfortable.
i want to ask about robert mueller being conservative with a small "c." >> i worked for him. >> they told me mueller is highly unlikely to try to indict a president and undo what the american voters have done. he may report it to congress and say you are duly elected, make your decision.
he's going to cut this off before the election. he is not going to be -- he does not want to be seen as interfering with what's happening at the ballot box. can you give us insight into what you would guess he would do? >> it's a guess but you're dictated, governed by the law and if there are more facts to find then the investigation continues because think of it this way. cutting something off prematurely is as much a political decision as letting it run through the election.
my thought as a prosecutor, a guy who worked for bob mueller is you continue to follow the facts as long as there are facts to follow. i know that sounds like a cliche. >> but it's unlikely he would indict a key player in october. >> there is a general rule in the department of justice you don't bring charges that would interfere with an election. that is general rule of policy but i'm not sure he would cut it off until there's an election coming. >> and wouldn't show his hand in this list of questions. >> michael schmidt, when the president tweets "no questions on collusion" there's an entire section about the traur meeting when mueller asked when did you become aware of the trump tower meeting. you can see that being an entire area of inquiry and then a follow-up about what happened after that. what involvement did enough the
communication strategy? remember the president drafting the memo or dictating the memo about adoption on air force one that we know wasn't true so to say there is no collusion, that's an important set of this list of questions. >> there's a dedicated section to russia. there are a lot of issues, pointed ones where they want to get to the bottom of several different things. what did the president know throughout the campaign. what did he know about the release of e-mails, what did he know about roger stone, what did he know about wikileaks? very getting inside of that. were there discussions about sanctions? what did the president know about flynn's discussions with the ambassador? so those would fall into the large term of collusion that comes up now. what is true about the documents is that there are a lot of obstructions questions. but the president himself has long been obsessed with the word collusion and using that as a
way of saying there is nothing here. we don't hear a lot for the president about whether he has the power to do this or that but there are a lot of questions about that and if you talk to folks that are closely following this and lawyers working on the case they would say the obstruction issue is more problematic for the president than anything else. >> gene, we were told michael flynn was fired because he misled the vice president about his talks with sergey kislyak. this is one of a number of questions here that may get at the collusion question and what the president knew. i find it really surprising that to this day we haven't asked the president directly whether he knew what was going on with those negotiations and yet michael flynn was fired for misleading supposedly the vice president and the president. we find out later that actually the transition team did know
about what michael flynn was doing. so let's hypothesize here. what if we find out that the president himself knew? what 23 we find out also that the president knew exactly what was going on in that trump tower meeting with thnatalia? so what? now you have the president's team arguing that the collusion is not a crime. >> >> i see those as perhaps two issues. on the flynn stuff it was forgotten about but he's cooperating and who knows what he's telling prosecutors about his instructions from trump, his conversations with trump about russ russia. at many t minimum for the president, you seem to have a president acting prematurely in
violation of the federal law that's never prosecuted. that's at a bare minimum. but you could have much more than that, depending on what flynn is saying, the meeting with veselnitskaya is very serious because did that phone call that donald trump junior made to a blocked number, was that to his father. he swears up and down he didn't even know anything about even right after the fact and i think that's explosive if it is found he did know about it all along. >> let me back up here. first one question then another. is collusion a crime. >> there's no such thing as a crime of collusion. as prosecutors we call it conspiracy. there is a crime of conspiracy, sam, that requires that you and
i agree to do something illegal. so the crime is the agreement and we take a step to put that agreement into action. we agree to rob a bank. we agree to defraud the s.e.c. so collusion is not a crime, officersy is. >> one question about these questions. there's 49 of them, i know they're not verbatim typed up, only one is a yes or no question. i found that stylistically interesting. is there a reason those questions are open ended. >> yeah, because again i think of them as topics and remember these are likely things the president's lawyers wrote down during meetings with the trump team so prosecutors i hope think broadly and they want to ask about -- >> not to get the president talking and talking? >> they're not lading questions. they're to get people talking, to introduce topics and then you
follow up and follow up and follow up. that's the way interrogations, investigations are done. >> before we go to break, gene robinson, the nbc news report that chief of staff kelly called trump an idiot. go. >> well that is a -- first of all, it's a stunning report and my hat is off to the great reporters who came out with that. second, my first thought was they cite a whole lot of -- there are a whole lot of sources for this stuff about kelly and seeing himself as the bulwark against armageddon and calling the president an idiot. so who is leaking that? and is it somebody who has the lock nyes out for kelly. are they taking a stab at him to try to dislodge him or certainly try to weaken him in his relationship with the president? which they certainly have succeeded in doing because remember donald trump never
forgave rex tillerson for the moron comment and -- >> too close to home. >> and now i doubt he'll forget or forgive the idiot comment. >> too revealing. eugene robinson, thank you so much. we'd real your new column in today's "washington post" entitled "the immigrant caravan is a test trump wants us to fail." michael, thank you, chuck, thank you for being on. still ahead on "morning joe," as paul manafort was caught up by the feds, the white house claimed he served a limited role in the trump campaign. when michael flynn pleaded guilty, the white house dismissed him as a former obama official. >> wait, really? >> that doesn't make any sense because he was like this with trump. they were traveling together. jared kept telling us flynn keeps him calm. >> said sessions was the smartest man in government.
we're on a mission to show drip coffee drinkers, it's time to wake up to keurig. wakey! wakey! rise and shine! oh my gosh! how are you? well watch this. i pop that in there. press brew. that's it. so rich. i love it. that's why you should be a keurig man! full-bodied. are you sure you're describing the coffee and not me? mr. elliot, what's your wiwifi?ssword? wifi's ordinary. basic. do i look basic? nope! which is why i have xfinity xfi. it's super fast and you can control every device in the house.
[ child offscreen ] hey! let's basement. and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here, too. so sophie, i have an xfi password, and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. >> i don't know his business but this doesn't have to do with me. michael is a businessman. he's got a business, he also practices law i would say probably the big thing is his business. >> mr. president, how much of your legal work was handled by michael cohen? >> well, as a percentage of my overall legal work, a tiny, tiny little fraction, but michael would represent me and represent me on some things. he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal, he represented me. and, you know, from what i see he did absolutely nothing wrong.
>> brian kill immediatemead's e up when he did that. >> that crazy stormy daniels deal. was he calling the deal crazy? you should not call stormy daniels crazy if you have an agreement that involves the law. >> why? because the former porn star has filed yet another lawsuit against the president, this time claiming defamation. >> you can't do. >> that it stems from a tweet the president posted weeks ago disputing the porn star's claim she was threatened to keep quiet about her alleged affair with trump. she released a sketch of an alleged suspect. the president tweeted "the sketch years later about a non-existent man, the total con job playing if fake news media for fools but they knew it." the lawsuit claims that mr. trump knew his false disparaging statement would be read by people around the world as well as widely reported and that ms.
clifford would be subjected to threats of violence, economic harm and reputational damage. the lawsuit seeks at least $75,000 in damages. as for michael cohen, senior reporter at "vanity fair" and an nbc news and msnbc contributor emily jane fox reports on how michael cohen reacted to the president ee's "fox & friends" interview from thursday. according to people a familiar with the situation he had not initially been watching as trump gave his unscripted and unhinged phone interview to fox. cohen, according to three people familiar with his thinking was baffled about why trump made the remarks in the first place. he didn't see the benefit and wasn't sure what purpose it served, which frustrated him. especially as he'd been spending ten hours a day fighting these allegations. and emily joins us now. so he was a little surprised. >> so his own lawyer was wondering why donald trump was on tv making claimants that hurt both of their legal standing.
>> he was due in court at noon that day and the interview ran at 8:00 and it completely changed his legal argument going into that day in court. he had been spending about ten hours a day with his lawyers going through the first production of the document to the government and so spending all of this time and money trying to fight this battle and then seeing this statement from the president who he's been so outwardly loyal to kind of shoot him in the font. >> completely underkout him saying this case isn't about me, it's about michael cohen's business and he's not that much of a lawyer, he's more of a businessman and does a tiny fraction. >> which the government then seized on and filed a letter with the judge. so not only do you have him shooting him in the foot legally but it's also a very obvious step back from "i barely know the guy." >> any reporting about how -- from his friends, people close
to him, about how michael cohen reacted to that emotionally? was he hurt? was he disappointed? >> not surprised? >> i think there was a deal of disappointment and a lot of frustration and a lot of surprise. now, i will say at the time he was not watching it. when he rewatched it, it just so happened the fire alarm in the hotel where he's been staying went off which i think is a lovely little metaphor. >> oh, my gosh. okay. so then we move from that to the president talking about the crazy stormy daniels deal and then this "enquirer" story about cohen. gosh, i feel like i've been here before and kind of understand what's happening here. but i'll let you explain it, emily. >> this is ami, a company that is very close with the president and has been a great press supporter for the president. and to see this publication publish something that is not
favorable to michael cohen -- now, david pecker has been a good friend of michael cohen since before michael cohen knew donald trump so this is not only perhaps a distancing between donald trump and michael cohen but a distancing between david pecker and michael cohen. >> a sign he's being cut off. >> which michael cohen basically has to get the message by now that all of trump's team is turning against him because during the campaign when you had ted cruz, when ted cruz was ahead of donald trump, i think had just beaten anymore iowa, that's when the "national enquirer" acruicused ted cruz o having an affair with five women. ben carson, when carson was doing well, the "national enquirer" dropped a story about what a horrible surgeon he was and then of course the best example was -- and we talked about in the realtime here -- the week before donald trump
fired michael flynn when he was still saying michael flynn great american, the "national enquirer" runs a story trump has outed him as a russian spy. >> it's not just the stories they run, it's the stories they catch and don't run which makes them such an asset for trump to have but maybe i'm dense, i don't get it. michael cohen knows more secrets ant donald trump than perhaps anyone outside of the trump family. why you would offend someone, hurt someone who assumed -- this is true, assumed he'd be part of this administration, assumed he'd been taken in, was spurned during the campaign and the transition. why you would go out in this moment of vulnerability and do this to him seems incredibly cavalier if not dangerous. >> shortsighted. >> people close to him said it was plain old stupid and it as hard to make an argument otherwise. >> and what do you think is the biggest risk that michael cohen flips on the president? the president himself has
tweeted that this is just an effort to get michael cohen to flip. so what is the biggest risk here? is it the stormy daniels payoff? is it the fact that he's the gate keeper to donald trump's businesses? and did you get any sense of him kind of feeling that anger and potentially quote/unquote flipping on the president? >> every time i've interviewed him he's shown knowing but loyalty outwardly to me and said he's done nothing wrong. so i can't say i have any sense of him flipping or what he has potentially done wrong but who knows what could come. >> let me ask quickly. just -- when all of this went down and donald trump crossed michael cohen the way he did, get me asking the question initially and i heard everybody saying no, he's been tied to trump for years now. but is michael cohen possibly
exaggerating his importance to donald trump? does he not have everything we're hearing so many people saying he has on donald trump or does he know where all the bodies are buried? >> all i can say is that he worked in trump tower right down the hall from donald trump for a decade doing things people have described as what a fixer would do so what he has i don't think anybody knows but this is the kind of red meat stuff that obviously investigators are interested enough to raid his hotel room, his apartment and his office with search warrants. >> we also want to mention that emily's fort coming book entitled "born trump, inside america's first family" is coming out soon, we're revealing the cover here. you can rey purchase it but this is going to be amazing. i've heard a little bit about some of your reporting, we've discussed it but wow does she have an inside look as to how
this family works and not just the president but jared and ivanka. >> when does the book come out? >> on june 19 with harper collins and it is a real look -- >> is the book real gold? >> it's 18 carat. and it doubles as a mirror in a pinch. >> i bet it does. >> if you'd like that buy "born trump" you can pre-order it on amazon.com. >> who runs that? >> jeff bezos does, the richest man in the world. he's gazillionaire. >> your reporting has been fascinating on these -- jared and ivanka along the campaign trail and throughout the first year. this look will be amazing. emily jane fox, thank you very much. >> thank you guys. coming up, battling brain cancer, senator john mccain confirm this is will be his last term. he says he's now free to speak his mind and he has some tough new words about donald trump. that's next on "morning joe." >> tech: don't wait for a chip like this to crack your whole windshield.
brain cancer. he writes in part this, i'm freer than colleagues who will face the voters again, i can speak my mind without fearing consequences much and i can vote my conscience without worry. i don't think i'm free to disregard my constituents' wishes, far from it, i don't feel excused from keeping pledges i made nor do i wish to harm my party's prospects but i feel a pressing responsibility to give americans my best judgment. mccain also criticizes president trump writing, he has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones. the appearance of toughness or reality show facsimile of toughness seem to matter more than any of our values. mccain, at 81, has spent the last several months in his home state of arizona recroup rating from the side effects of brain cancer treatment. in his memoir he writes "before i leave, i'd like to see our politics begin to return to the
purposes and practices that distinguish our history from the history of other nations. i would like to see us recover our sense that we are more alike than different." >> we are more alike than we are different and john mccain i think there is some false humility there when john mccain said that he was untethered because he wasn't running for reelection. the remarkable thing about john mccain is when we visited him throughout early 2017, the middle and end of 2017 before his diagnosis john mccain was extraordinarily independent. he was every bit the maverick that he's always been described as being. he spoke out more strongly and more eloquently and more fearlessly against donald trump's attacks on an
independent judiciary, donald trump's attacks on the media who have been very tough on john mccain at times through the years and spoke up very forcefully against donald trump continuing to cozy up to dictators. >> and he voted his conscience. >> and he voted his conscience. some people were angry when he voted for the tax cuts. well, i'll guarantee you the people -- >> that was amazing. >> this was against health care but i guarantee you, mika, for those that are angry because that tax cut vote, his constituents in arizona voted him in in part because he promised to support tax cuts and lower regulations and so you saw in john mccain's book that was co-written or also written by mark salter that balance of remaining an independent fierce voice against donald trump's
worst instincts will, while also staying true to what he promised his constituents. >> truly, a tough strong man and an example that one might want to take a look at. up next, a new book that challenges the conventional wisdom of the carter presidency. we'll have new revelations and why the author says the 39th president was one of the most consequential in modern history. we're back in just a moment. how do you become america's best-selling brand? you introduce the all-new ford ecosport
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nope! which is why i have xfinity xfi. it's super fast and you can control every device in the house. [ child offscreen ] hey! let's basement. and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here, too. so sophie, i have an xfi password, and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. well, this is full circle and exciting. >> with us now -- mika? >> former chief white house domestic policy adviser under president carter and former ambassador to the european union and deputy secretary of the treasury under president clinton stuart eisenstaedt. after almost 40 years in the making, stuart has revealed his first-hand account of the carter administration in his new book entitled "president carter, the white house years" in what he calls a revisionist history of
the carter presidency. he writes "it is conventional wisdom that jimmy carter was a weak and hapless president but i believe the single term served by the 39th president of the united states was one of the most consequential in modern history, far from a failed presidency, he left behind concrete reforms and long-lasting benefits to the people of the united states as well as the international order he has more than redeemed himself by his post-presidential role as a diplomatic mediator, public health defender and human rights advocate. now it's time to redeem his presiden presidency." well said. >> and you even got a glowing review from the "national review" so obviously you have a solid argument to make. >> i did and part of it is because i was candid about the mistakes we made, including myself. obviously we had high inflation,
the iran crisis. but that's obscured the mammoth accomplishments, he passed three major energy bill which is released oil and gas prices for more production. inaugurate it had solar revolution, it was the greatest environmental president since theodore roosevelt, doubling the size of our national parks, he transformed our domestic transportation system, deregulating everything from trucks and rail to airlines. he democratized airlines, brought the jetblues and southwests in to compete. he raised the ethical bar and a whole host of legislation, inspector general requirements of disclosure and in mika's dad's area in foreign policy it was remarkable. camp david was a landmark of personal diplomatic involvement
for 13 agonizing days and nights, creating a peace between israel and egypt which has lasted to this day, putting human rights at the centerpiece of his foreign policy and applying it to latin american dictatorships on the right and the soviet union on the left and little realized it was his remilitarization, the increase in defense spending after vietnam that began to really provide the platform that president reagan built on and to contest the buildup of the soviet union. he normalized relations with china and created a whole new era with the panama canal treaty with latin america. >> normalized relations with china and the camp david accords and you can go on and on but his policy on human rights against the soviet union back at a time that we were -- that conventional wisdom was that we didn't ruffle the soviet union's feathers. >> that's exactly right. >> we were engaged in detente
yet president carter and those that worked for him, you, dr. brzezinski and others sent a very clear message to dissidented dissident s in poland, to dissidents behind the iron curtain, to dissidents in soviet russia, that history shows us now it had an extraordinary impact on history and certainly helped ronald reagan, as you said, begin what he did over eight years. >> it's ironic, joe, that the detente program that nixon, ford and kissinger developed prevented our umbrella for a big military buildup of the soviet union that we contested but their view was whatever happen domestically, it's not our problem. that was not the carter view so with the soviet union he reached out to sakharov in the first week of the administration responding to his letter asking the president to stand up for the democratic movement. he embraced the soviet jewish
immigration and literally saved the life of sheranski by denying he was a spy. and together with pope john paul ii he began to reach out to mika's father's homeland in poland, to stir up the democratic movements in the former communist east bloc and began the untraveling of the soviet union. >> which, again, began a spark which spread into a fire which spread into solidarity which again spread into what happened in 1989. i want to talk ant your story quickly because i find your story fascinating and for young people watching that think they want to get involved in politics but always think they have to do the safe thing, that they have to go with the front-runner, go with whether it's donald trump now or some other person in power in the future. you were going to go with a flan
the most white shoe law firm in atlanta, the guy who was the can't-miss candidate. you go into his stately office and they was epitome of southern -- just southern aristocracy. and then a friend of yours said, hey, i want you to meet this other guy that i love and you walked -- you met him downtown atlanta and what you saw was completely different. tell us about that. >> well, thank you for letting me say that. i had worked in the johnson white house for year in harvard law school and the humphrey campaign. when he lost i went back to atlanta and i made a beeline for the office of former governor sanders. he was the odds-on favorite. a high school friend henry bauer insisted i see this unknown state senator who was running, jimmy carter, and i said i made a commitment to sanders. so i had two meetings with him in an office that was starkly
different. >> folding chairs, cardboard tables. >> it had a table and two metal chairs and work boots and khakis. now, why was i attracted he supported mass transit. he supported education reform. he supported civil rights. and that was the big thing and i never regretted it. joe and mika, during his presidency, this southern president, the first since reconstruction from the deep south appointed more women and more african americans to judicial appointments than all 38 presidents before him put together. >> that's amazing. >> one of the big revelations here is how carter, not nixon secretly negotiated normalization of relations with
china. that is such a big part of our historical fabric. nixon goes to china moment. can you educate us on that? what happened there? >> if you ask any informed person who normalized relations with china they side say nixon, but they did not want to take on the taiwan republican party. so they didn't take the next step of establishing diplomatic regulations. one great story, when ping came for the fist visit in the cabinet room, he thanked the president for being the first of bringing in the family of nations but he said i want the lowest tariffs on my goods than you do any other country and i know there's a law that restricts that if you restrict
immigration. he takes a pencil and white house note pad, pushes it to the president in the cabinet room and says now, you write down the number of chinese you want me to send you, a million, ten million? the president says says i'll take 10 million chinese if you'll take 10,000 american journalists. >> oh, my gosh. a little tension with the press. >> and funny at your father's funeral president trump carter talked about dr. brzezinski and them coming to your house for the state dinner and then of course sam mika having an incident spilling -- >> i've heard this story. >> no, this is -- >> one quick question. jimm jimmy carter is not here, obviously, but what do you think he would tell donald trump? what would gjimmy carter tell
donald trump? >> that's a very good question. i think several things, first to respect the office and the institutions of the executive branch or justice department, your fbi and your cabinet. second, to have the highest ethical standards possible. he really raised the bar with law and action. third, i think it is respect the environment. we only have one. it only lasts so long. please respect it. and act as you respect the presidency. and last, try to apply civil rights and human right, civil rights at home, human rights abroad. respect everybody regardless of color, race, creed or origin. i think that's what he stood for. i didn't write this book to be anti trump but that is the kind of thing that one would hope in the balance of his administration, president trump might draw from jimmy carter. >> this book is a trip down memory lane for me and just remember my dad in the house
going hello, stu, when you would call and talking to you on the phone a lot and spending a lot of time together. president trump, the white ho e president carter, the white house years. thank you so much for being on the show. >> what an absolutely important book for us to read and again to take a closer look at the carter presidency. >> absolutely. still ahead, we'll talk to the reporters behind the two big stories of the morning. carol lee and the new york times michael schmidt with his reporting on the questions bob mueller has for the president involving possible collusion and obstruction of justice. just moments ago the president fired off another tweet quote, it would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that wagn that never happened. witch hunt. turn the channel. we're back in a moment.
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and it's also a story mail aabout people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you why didn't you deny calling the president a moron? >> you know, that's a really old question. >> you understand that by not answering the question some people thought you were confirming the story. >> i think i've answered the question. >> you think you answered the question? >> i've answered the question. >> did you call the president a moron? >> i'm not going to dignify the
question. we got so many bigger issues that we could be talking about. i'm not from this town. i understand this town likes to talk about a lot of things that are really not important. >> wow. so one man's moron is another man's idiot this morning? not that long ago nbc news had an exclusive report that rex tillerson had insulted the president's intelligence and as you heard there, the former secretary of state didn't deny it. now nbc news is out with a new exclusive. this time that the president's own chief of staff, john kelly referred to trump as an idiot. multiple times. questioning his grasp on policy and the basic functions of government, but today, there may be bigger fish to fry for the white house with the new york times publishing 4 dozen questions that bob mueller wants the president to ask about his ties to russia. >> you know, it's funny about that story that before rudy
giuliani started working on the president's team you didn't hear a whole lot coming out about the back and forth between the mueller investigation and trump team. >> but now all this stuff is coming out. so anyhow, we have reporters who helped break both those stories. welcome to "morning joe." it's tuesday, may 1st. we have nbc news national political reporter, politics editor sam stein. john meacham, national political recorder for nbc news carol lee who is the lead reporter on the nbc news report on general kelly and michael schmidt who has the reporter on mueller's list of questions for the president. >> i want to ask willie a question. so mike schmidt, hall of famer, philadelphia phillies. can we go ahead and put our own schmidt in? hall of fame for reporting? >> he's got to be retired for five years so i don't want to jump to that conclusion but a lot of people are saying he'd be on the first ballot.
>> all right. >> hey, by the way, so rex calls the president a moron, a blanking moron. >> well, he says -- >> but he will never ever deny that he says that so he's out. so john kelly calls him an idiot, but before he does he goes, hey, rex, hold my beer. he calls him an idiot and then denies it. rex is kind of like, you know what, i'm not going to deny this because he is an idiot. >> if you look back the state department did at one time deny it but when asked directly rex tillerson never would deny it. he was given about five chances to do it. john kelly on the other hand came out quickly and said the nbc story was total bs. we'll ask carol lee in a minute. she's got eight sources that say it's true. >> all right. so that's where we'll start.
actually not. we'll start with the questions. should we? >> why not? >> the new york sometimes has published a list on topics and questions that it says robert mueller wants to ask president trump to determine whether he attempted to obstruct the probe into russian meddling and learn more about potential ties between his campaign and moscow. as for where the times says the list came from the report describes questions read by the special counsel investigators to the president's lawyers who compiled them into a list. that document was provided to the times by a person outside mr. trump's legal team. of the four major topics, three relate to potential obstruction of justice including the president's knowledge of and reaction to the investigation of then national security advisor michael flynn. the firing of the fbi director, james comey, the recusal of attorney general jeff sessions and finally alleged trump campaign coordination with the russian government.
the list has not been verified by nbc news. the special counsel's office has not responded to the times' request for comment or said whether the list is authentic or complete. and the president's in-house and outside attorneys both declined to comment. >> what's the takeaway? what's the big takeaway from this story? >> i think it's that here we are 15 months into trump's presidency and certainly almost two years into the russia investigation and more than half of these questions are about obstruction. they're about actions the president took since he came in to office. including some things that happened as recently as january. so an investigation that started focused on russia's efforts to influence the election, ties between trump's campaign and russia is now predominantly focused on obstruction. the questions of his efforts to interfere with the
investigation. and that -- when you take a step back from this document and you look at it you sort of realize all of these different things that have piled up over the past 15 months that the president has done in office that raises questions. >> so right now he's focusing on obstruction. i would guess though he really can't begin the -- mueller and his entire team really can't be focusing completely on collusion until there's some resolution with paul manafort, whether manafort -- if they flip manafort, that changes everything, because he's obviously, if there is collusion it runs through manafort. is that why they're addressing obstruction first and then after the manafort trial they'll move on to collusion? >> there are -- there is a russia section in the question. a quarter of the questions and there actually is a manafort question in there. there's a question about was there efforts by trump's
associations to reach out to the russians to get help for the campaign and in the -- in the question that we got on this there was something that said specifically manafort. now, we do not know what mueller was referring to in that instance and these are only 49 questions and if you were to sit down with someone there would be many more that come up along the way. but if you just look at the president's conduct from the public record and you look at the different things that we know, there's just a lot many more things in the obstruction bucket than there are in the collusion bucket directly related to the president. many more things. comey firing, his treatment of jeff sessions. the constantly, you know, asking sessions to resign, trying to get rid of sessions, his obsession with loyalty, the loyalty of the person who is running the investigation. his efforts to get rid of mueller, his -- and does he know anything about pardons, the
question of pardons to anyone. those are all obstruction issues. >> this is a look inside this investigation obviously unlike any we've seen. it's -- the curtains have been drawn and we don't know much about what mueller's been doing. what would be the motive, if you can think of one for somebody around trump to release this list of questions to you? what's the upside, what's the benefit? >> i'm not sure. the thing about these questions is that if folks who are following this story sat down and said look, i want to ask the president things, i think we would come up with many of the same questions that mueller came up with. there were very few surprises in there. a few things like that manafort question that i references, some questions about pompeo and coats and rogers, what was trump's reaction to the fact that they were being interviewed by the special counsel last summer so a few things we did not know about, but many are things that have come out publicly including questions about his tweets, including questions from sarah
huckabay sanders on the podium in the white house briefing room. many of these things have played out publicly and many of them are questions that we still have. why did the president ask comey for a loyalty? what really happened on february 14th between comey and trump inside the oval office? mueller's questions are focused on the president's intent. why did the president do these things, trying to get inside the president's mind. one question, what did the president think of comey during the transition. what were his views of how comey handled the clinton e-mail investigation during the transition. what you see there is mueller trying to understand why the president's view of comey changed. why was it that the president was okay with comey and then all of a sudden not okay with him. >> and really quickly, quite a few former u.s. attorneys commenting after your story came out talked about how this is bad for jared kushner in particular. any reason why these questions
would point to jared kushner? joyce vance mueller's questions for trump seem to assess jared's guilt. several people writing that last night. >> there's one question about kushner. it's about whether the president knew of efforts by kushner to create a back channel to russia, to communicate through russia through a way that the u.s. government would not be able to hear it. the cia would not be able to hear it. there were not any other questions besides that in there. and the one thing that is not in these questions is questions about the president's money. there's some questions about whether the president knew that someone like michael cohen was trying to do real estate deals with russia during the election. questions about the president's relationship with russians, his 2013 trip there, but there's not a lot of stuff beyond that. there's not stuff about his real estate in florida and how russians purchased it. nothing in there like that. >> yeah, how russians purchased
it and gaifz hve him a windfall that purchase. >> what ye's your take, john meacham? >> it's fairly clear what the president said to lester holt on camera, he didn't need a whole lot of questions about that, that he fired the director of the fbi because the director of the fbi would not stop the investigation into russia. now, i'm not a lawyer, but seems to me if you're trying to stop an investigation into something there must be something there that's being investigated that you don't want to have out. and so the drama of the last really since all this began has been what is that thing that he's so intent on hiding. and to my mind, one of the most interesting things at this point
here on the -- as we head into early summer is you have these two tracks going. >> yeah. >> you have mueller and the legal track, but you also have the march of time on the political track headed toward the midterm, headed toward the possibility, the likelihood that the house of representatives is going to be in democratic hands come january. and as gerald ford once said, an impeachable offense is whatever majority of the house of representatives says it is at any given time. so there are two trains heading into the station if you will. and i think the under -- the key question for the country is will the 40%, 35, 40% of trump supporters who decline at any point to accept anything against their president, if the facts emerge, will they accept those
facts or are we going to have a tribal battle to the very end of this thing. >> still ahead on "morning joe," john kelly says he's saving the nation from disaster and that disaster is donald trump. >> allegedly. he's allegedly saying that. we don't know the exact saying. >> we would never know that. we'll break down the exclusive reporting on the chief of staff calling his boss an idiot. "morning joe" is back in a moment. ♪ directv now gives you more for your thing. your letting go thing. your sorry not sorry thing. your out with the old in with the new, onto bigger and better thing. get the live tv you love. no bulky hardware. no satellite. no annual contract. try directv now for $10/mo for 3 months. more for your thing. that's our thing. visit directvnow dot com why is dark magic so spell-bindingly good?
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>> let's get right to the big exclusive. chief of staff john kelly has cast himself as saving the country from disaster and repeatedly insults president trump's intelligence. the report says he has referred to trump as an idiot multiple times to underscore his point. that's according to four officials who say they witnessed the comments. it goes on that kelly says trump doesn't even understand what
daca is. he's an idiot. kelly said that in one meeting, that's according to two officials who were present. he went on, we've got to save him from himself. some current and former white house officials expect kelly to leave by july. his one year mark. >> has it only been one year? >> but others say that is anyone's guess. chief of staff kelly replied shortly after the story was posted writing i spend more time with the president than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. he always knows where i stand and he and i both know this story is total bs. kelly's deputy told the washington examiner, i think there are a couple of people here at the white house would like to see him gone and every time things go right they try to knife him like this talking about kelly. the fake knee is going crazy making up false stories and using all the unnamed sources
who don't exist. they are totally unhundringeunh. there was another tweet. he wrote, the white house is running very smoothly despite phony witch hunt. there is great energy and unending stamina. notably trump's tweets did not defend general kelly. how do you respond to general kelly saying in reply to this report it's total bs? >> well, i think that's not surprising as you were showing earlier where rex tillerson did not deny that he called the president a moron. that really got under the president's skin and the relationship never repaired after that. you know, john kelly, all of our reporting points to john kelly and president trump kind of growing very tired of each other and not just that, but you know, we wanted to look at nine months in, kelly was brought in as this
disciplinarian who was going to bring order to where there was chaos and how did he wind up in this position where he's so weakened and you know, it turns out that over time he eroded morale inside the white house for a number of reasons. he was -- he has this public image of being this disciplinarian and people inside the white house say he's quite undisciplined inside the white house. he's undisciplined how he talks about the president and how he talks about women. staffers have said he will sometimes create problems instead of solving them so he's actually not, you know, doing the kinds of things that he said he would come in to do or that his public image says that he does which is -- and then people are -- have really grown -- it's worn thin on people inside the white house, this notion that he continually says that he's savoring the country. they're lucky to have him doing his work.
there's a combination of things but a loft distrust between the staff and the chief of staff. and it seems like you know, no one knows exactly when john kelly may or may not leave the white house, but it's certainly seems all of our reporting shows she's stepped back a little bit from the job, that he's not as engaged as he once one u was and t the president is increasingly distancing from him. >> is it -- >> i know it's hard to characterize, but would those four people be seen as people who had an ax to grind against john kelly and this might be their way to push him out? >> well, look, you know, that is a valid criticism in terms of if you're, you know, the white house was trying to push back and saying these are people who are out to get kelly. it doesn't mean it's not true.
we're always in our reporting looking -- weighing who has what agenda and weighing what motivations might be. this was different people from, you know, who are not -- who independently said the same thing throughout weeks of reporting, so it's not as if, you know, this is just coming from people who have eyes out for kelly. coming up on "morning joe," israel's prime minister looks to interrupt the president by delivering a tv presentation. did it win over the white house? we'll weigh in next on "morning joe." metastatic breast cancer is relentless, but i'm relentless too. mbc doesn't take a day off, and neither will i.
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this, i will. >> it's so painful. >> it is for you. yesterday israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu claimed he has quote new and conclusive proof of iran's nuclear ambitions unveiling what he says is 110,000 documents and files are unkept on the project which he says israeli intelligence stole from the facility in iran. that program centered around designing building and testing nuclear weapons and while he says it was halted back in 2003
he claims the files show iran is brazenly lying about never having nuclear weapons program and as such, the 2015 deal should be thrown out since it was quote, based on iranian lies and deception. it also says iran kept the files in order to jump start its nuclear ambitions to date. mike pompeo confirmed the documents are real and authentic and added while the u.s. has been aware of them for a while they reveal new information on the scale of the nuclear program iran had before the deal. hold on one second. >> all right. >> so admiral, this is important. >> yeah. >> this is important. i mean, i -- i'm just one who assumes that the iranians are always lying. the iranians are always moving toward a nuclear program. the iranians like the north koreans will do whatever they can do to get our money and screw us in the deal. that said, we can go back to i iraq and look at the dangers of
saying saddam hussein was trying to start a nuclear program in the 80s and the 90s so we must think he's continuing to do that but he stopped. >> he did stop. the first reaction is damn, this is good. this would be like the cia getting into the kremlin and taking files out. that would be pretty neat stuff. second point, this really is the cliche' moment to say rick in casa blanca, i'm shocked to see there is gambling in this casino. come on. i think there's actually less here that meets the eye. any sensible observer would have felt that the iranians were continually pushing toward a program. to me this validate it is need for a deal to stop them. >> this is what's crazy to me. the critics of the deal are using the pattern of lying and
cheating and misleading by the iranians as a case to essentially scrap the deal when in fact it's the exact opposite. if you were dealing with the regime that operates the way, wouldn't you want more insight? wouldn't you want more international inspections and wouldn't you want a little bit of a window into what's going on? instead the critics are saying scrap it all, let's start with the beginning, let's get no insight. >> because they have all of this preexisting information on nuclear weapons and they can start the program up immediately. >> so it does seem a bit backwards. >> and netanyahu's presentation, he's no dummy. was directed right at the president of the united states. >> does it in english. does it steven jobs style with these huge props. >> the only other thing he needed to do, he should have done what the saudis did and shoufz projected a huge picture of donald trump above the screen. >> that would have helped a lot. coming up on "morning joe," what's more likely to curry
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i don't understand. >> but is this what indiana voters are truly looking for? joining us now, nbc news political reporter, allie, what are you hearing? >> as much as we're laughing at those proposals indiana voters are doing anything but that. that's exactly what they want to hear. in a state that was trump friendly in 2016, indiana voters are keeping trump front of mind when they're considering the candidates all trying to fit themselves into that pretty tiny trump lane as they're running to defeat joe donnelly in november. take a look at what they had to say. shelby county, indiana is trump country. >> if you're a democrat in this county you don't admit it. >> republicans are focused on joe donnelly. >> how important is it to you guys that whoever the republican nominee is votes with trump? >> oh, very important.
i think that -- that's why we got to get rid of donnelly. >> we've got to beat him as far as i'm concerned. >> that's a message gop hopefuls hear loud and clear. >> they want conservative leaders who will be with president trump. >> to fire brand house leader. >> the mueller witch hunt. >> the trump campaign asked him to take down lawn signs that made it look like the president endorsed him. mike brawn is running as the political outsider touting his success in business and taking the establishment by surprise. >> can you pick out the business guy in this lineup? >> but back at the chicken inn, the gop county chairman sees it differently. >> it's almost become comical because they're all just like i love him so much, i love him so much. so it's like who loves him the most. >> voters here still embrace the trump agenda. >> we should have a fundraiser across the country and everybody that thinks we should have the wall.
we should all give 20 bucks. we could probably get the wall up. >> crowd source funding for the wall. >> correct. even tariffs who could threaten farmers. >> i think in the long run things will balance out. >> and if it doesn't they want a senator. >> you're not looking for someone to be an immediate rubber stamp. >> do what's right for indiana. >> and so of course they are wanting someone who is going to have their best interest at heart, but president trump is very much at the heart of this conversation and what's happening in shelbyville, a place that went 71% for the trump pence ticket in 2016 is very much happening with republicans at large across the country. 78% of republicans across the united states want trump to have a second term but compare that across the board with 37% of voters overall according to gallup. so there is a bit of divide. first we got to get through that may 8th primary.
>> really good piece. thank you very much. and joining us now, national political correspondent for nbc news and msnbc, steve, those are the people behind them who are making the decisions. >> it's interesting to watch that too because also two of those congressmen you just saw there who are now praising trump just about a year or two ago i think it was messer who called trump vulgar. i think it was rokida who accused him of racism. >> and this is a pretty good symbol of the transition of the republican party. the folks who were never trump in the campaign in 2016 are now putting the hacks on in the ads. aren't you hoping that democrats hope that's exactly who they get to run against? you get somebody that will lurch as far -- not even right but lurch as far into the goo of
trumpism. >> the interesting thing about indiana is it shifted big from '08 when it barely went from obama. the incumbent here, joe donnelly, the democrat, he is only the democratic incumbent because his opponent imploded in 2012. this was richard murdock who talked about abortion in the case of rape on the campaign trail and donnelly won an accidental victory. so republicans have circled this race and said when we get a different dom knee in indiana in 2018 we'll get to take out donnelly. >> i was there with donnelly and i remember this was considered a long shot, and then murdock imploded. he was i think piggybacking on akin's comments. >> he talked about being god's will. so how competitive do you expect this to be if we don't have another richard murdock. >> if you don't somebody who says something along the lines
of murdock, i think donnelly loses this year. he votes more with trump than any other democrat in the senate, but i think the thing that is buttressing donnelly right now is in the midterm environment even in states that a white house -- that a president winnings, the incumbents tend do do well. it's very rare when you look at the modern era of politics for somebody in donnelly's position to lose in this position. they are 21-3 since 1994. >> a poll, 37% of voters. only 37% think trump should be re-elected. 78% of republicans believe that, so all this we're make america great hat -- >> that's in indiana? >> yeah, overall 78% of republicans. but carrying around the cutout of donald trump, that's going to work there the primary but they may have to shift a little bit in the general election. >> so i want to get this straight. so i'm like -- this is not me doing what i usually do when i talk about how smart donald
trump is and he shouldn't be afraid of robert mueller just because he went to princeton, but you're saying that statewide in indiana only 37% of hoosiers think donald trump deserves re-election? >> acoricording to a poll 37 th he should be re-elected. steve, how does this fit into the bigger picture of what may be coming this fall? is this a one-off? is it different than what we're seeing in all these other special elections? >> this is the scene. the big picture has changed in the last few p months. we spent time saying can the democrats take the house this year? they can take the house but now the senate is in play. i think the senate is play. >> mitch mcconnell believes is senate is in play. >> we put it off the board early because you have all these democrats from states trump won, they're up this year.
now a couple targets have emerged, a couple republican incumbents have emerged and you start looking at these races, these trump state democrats they may be more fortified. the best thing that ever happened to joe donnelly, to john tester, to joe mansion is donald trump getting elected in 2016 because if hillary clinton had been elected democrats would now be on the verge of being wiped out in the senate. instead they are in the game to get the majority. >> still ahead -- you're going to stay? >> sure. >> what a difference two weeks makes. marco rubio stood with the president and thanked him for fighting for the american worker. but now he's thinking differently about those tax cuts. we'll explain next on "morning joe." when you've got...
too many took over my duty at the tweet desk. >> you're not sore about it, are you? >> i've been told it's quote, cute. let's check it out. this is a 3-year-old kid playing very little league baseball. his coach told him run home as fast as you can. so here he is running in super duper slow motion. i don't know if he had enough time in the show to watch him get all the way home. >> we're just going to assume that he gets there. >> a little help from the coach. >> stop it.
that's a 3-year-old for you. run as fast as you can. okay, here's as slow as i can. and eventually he gets home. 3-year-old lennox and now you've seen that. >> yeah, so the trump administration looks like it y may -- meanwhile, new data suggesting that the impact of the republican tax bill to help promote more investments and economy is proving to be more bust than boom. >> a lot to talk about this morning. let's bring in cnbc's dominick chu. >> so maybe the white house is slowing things down. maybe not as slow as the little leaguer, but what weave got is that may 1st deadline going away for some of these allies. it's the european union.
we've got 30 days to allow these further discussions to take place with our allies. that's going to be the key word there. the extensions are going to affect the european union, canada, mexico. they've already agreed the u.s. government in principle with countries like argentina, australia and brazil on maybe some of these alternatives means, but if it isn't finalized it leaves open that possibility of reimposing some of the tariffs. a senior administration official did tell cnbc that that decision period for 30 days as well is going to apply there. one person briefed by the administration told cnbc quotas are part of the discussion there as well. the u.s. economy slowed down in the first quarter 2.3% growth. its weakest pace in nearly five years, but it's a seasonal quarter. the first quarter gdp is always seen as weaker of the four
quarters so if it stays that way it could cast a little bit of doubt on whether or not the stimulus from that tax cut and jobs bill will flow through. for right now it's too early to call but some folks are wondering if we are going to see the full impact from that as well. and then just some quick comments, you know, senator marco rubio made some comments over the past weekend with regard to how he felt those tax policies were kind of working. a couple interesting things that he said in this particular interview with the economist i thought was pretty funny. not funny in a funny way. he said there are a lot of thinking on the right if big corporations are happy, they're going to take the money, save and reinvest in american workers. in fact, they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses. there's no evidence whatsoever that the money has been poured back into the american worker. it's certainly something we're going to watch especially during the earnings season because it is when all these corporations talk about what they're going to do with those tax savings and what it could actually mean for
the american worker overall. but a lot of stuff going on with regard to whether or not stimulus is going to affect the worker. >> thank you very much. >> i mean, that's what a lot of people warned of. we were talking about it all the time. if the tax cut comes, then you know what? there will be a lot of buy backs and we predicted it. it's exactly what's happening and even marco rubio is going to say it's happening. >> someone who praised the bill at the time. >> i'm glad he's telling the truth. we're not criticizing him for saying it. >> yeah, he's certainly evolved in his position. let's say that. so steve, we've been talking about the midterms today. the tax bill is something that republicans have wanted from the beginning of the trump administration. a lot of them hung in with him in dark moments of the presidency because they said we've got to hang in and get this tax bill done. they got it. will it be the gem when midterm
election comes around? >> go back a couple months and the messaging coming out of republican circles and back then this was going to be the center piece. this would be the big achievement, the thing people saw in their paychecks, the thing they remembered when they went to the posts. i hear republicans in the last couple weeks that they seem more interested in almost trying to bait democrats into impeachment talk. they see the idea of getting democrats fired up over impeachment as getting their own fired up in response to that. >> the whole idea, paul ryan believes the tax cuts is what they need to talk about. nobody else believes that. trump calls them boring and you hear marco rubio telling the truth about corporations using money to buy back for the most part. >> rubio's comments i would say are fairly devastating from a messaging standpoint. democrats have been making this precise argument since the tax cuts before they passed. now they get to point to a very
prominent republican senator and quote him verbatim. >> in a swing state where he actually does have to worry about telling the truth. >> now, even prior to rubio making these comments it was very clear and evident that this was not going to be a campaign gem as you say. they had tried to use the tax cuts as a messaging point in the special election of pennsylvania and they dropped it and instead they turned to nancy pelosi. so the political benefits of the tax cuts aren't there. it's not clear with where the economic benefits are coming in. you have rubio saying these things so it's not exactly the best sales job for the platform of this presidency. >> thank you very much. on tomorrow's show, the assault on intelligence, former cia director michael hay den joins us on set about his new book and how he sees american national security in an age of lies. tune in tomorrow for that. and we're back this morning in just three minutes.
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visit enbrel.com and use the joint damage simulator to see how your joint damage could be progressing. ask about enbrel. enbrel. fda approved for over 15 years. ask about enbrel. over 5 million americans signed our petition to impeach this president. this is not about political parties. we all understand that this president would be replaced by another republican. this is much bigger than washington politics. it's about the safety and security of our country. no one is above the law. join us at needtoimpeach.com. let's tell congress that if they won't do something, we'll elect new representatives who will. joining us now, former tv host and author eric bolling. since the loss of his 19-year-old son to an overdose last september, eric has become a front line advocate for the war on america's opioid crisis
and now he's teaming with nascar monster energy cup series team owner rick ware and driver kevin o'connor for the race to erase opioids campaign. they unveiled a special car last week at talladega super speedway in alabama and plan to draw attention to the nation's epidemic through a series of media initiatives and nascar race day based events. eric, good morning. so good to have you with us. >> thank you. just amazing in this fight against the opioid deaths. it was just wonderful, nascar and rick ware racing reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and they said, look, our fan base is affected by the crisis just as much as everyone in america, maybe more so. a lot of rural cities that there are races are hit the hardest with the opioid crisis. they said would you partner with us? i said this is a great opportunity to get the message out.
so many young people are dying from overdoses. that car right there for about 450 of the 500 miles with a camera on it all the way around and people realized there's a crisis in america so hats off to that group. keen's building sponsored that car. and a good news is with the racing team and with nascar's consent this is a great push. there will be other races we're looking forward to. i believe fourth of july weekend in daytona and just to get this message out that so many people are dying. >> we cover the story. try to talk about it as much as we can. but none of us has been touched by it the way you have, obviously. losing your son. what's the message you want to get out there as a parent? what do you want parents to know? >> there are two messages i think i have developed since becoming this accidental expert on opioids which i clearly didn't want to become. no one should have to bury a child, especially an only child.
one message for parents is that there's a feeling of not my kid syndrome. my kid is too smart, good of an athlete, popular to be touched but that's a fallacy. you know, since this happened, you walk around, go to events, cpac to nascar, people coming up to me saying, you know, i knew someone who died or my kid knows someone who died or my kid is struggling through this process right now and the awareness campaign matters. your kid could be touched by opioids. my son was a sophomore, a phenomenal student at university of colorado. here's the other message. one pill can kill. there's a lot of illegal fentanyl from china. these pills being sold, traded, on college campuses look like innocent zantac tablets. >> my daughter lost two friends in the past year. eric, i want to talk to you about something. this is a life's platform now and we appreciate it.
we have had you on three times now. >> you guys have been absolutely amazing. people on my side, my twitter followers saying what are you doing? they're not seeing eye to eye with you politically. you guys have dropped this. >> you don't have conservatives following you? i don't understand. >> they are just -- let's put aside the politics for a little bit and save lives. you guys have been absolutely friends to us. >> we have certainly feel strongly about the issue, as well. we felt it was important to focus on the crisis and your devastating loss. i feel time it's address something that's uncomfortable but the allegations that made a lot of news before you left fox news. so, it's a little bit of a time line. there were some allegations of sending lewd texts. then you were suspended from fox and then a few hours later there was an allegation of sexual harassment, maybe more.
and then you sued huffpo for defamation. and shortly after you left fox. so i guess my first question is, huffington post stands by their story. are any of the allegations true? >> so, here's -- you know this. you have an idea on here. when we left, when fox and i went through all this, all litany of discussions and whatnot, fox statement when we separated was this. bolling and fox separate ammic bring. >> yeah. you didn't believe for that reason according to fox and you. >> thanking me for a decade to viewers. >> are the allegations true? >> in the aftermath of that, there's separation agreements as megyn kelly has had. your lawyers tell you you made a separation and an agreement that you make is to not discuss it any further for a period of time. i'll still under that agreement. i don't want to violate agreement and would love to talk
about that. >> i understand. >> love to -- there will be a day and right now i'm just -- legally -- >> what about the lawsuit? >> have you ever sexually harassed anyone? >> i'm a good person. my wife stood by me of 20 years and if that's the case i would assume -- >> status of the lawsuit? >> pending. >> pending. so, if the allegations are not true why do you think they happened? >> oh. that's a good question, mika. >> yeah. >> i don't know. i don't know. i'll tell you that for -- you haven't told me whether or not they're true. >> i can't. if i say something like that, then they'll say you're talking about something that we agreed on both sides not to talk about. fox held up their end of the bargain. i held up my end of the bargain to continue under this separation agreement, a legal -- an agreed upon proceeding. that we weren't both going to do that. i don't want to do it.
there will be a day to talk about it. maybe i'll talk about it on fox, too. i would love to talk to you guys about -- >> i would look forward to this conversation, as well. what do you think about the me too movement? >> it was time. i think there are a lot of e agr egregious things going on and things along that spectrum of misconduct, abuse, harassment and rape and i think the me too movement has shined a light on that, the fact there's a spectrum and certainly these people on this end of the spectrum need to be held accountable. everyone needs to be held accountable. the people on that end. the guys on this end and the women on this end need to at least have their day to talk about what happened. >> we'd love to have you back. if anything develops with this i'd like the opportunity to be able to ask you. >> i promise you -- >> how's adrian doing? >>