tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 18, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
yasmin vossoughian, alongside louis burgdorf, along with ayman mohyeldin. our biggest fan out there. that's your name. howard stern is ayman mohyeldin. "morning joe" starts right now. you've said it should be wrapped up. do you believe that it should be wrapped up overall? or just as it pertains in any way to president trump? >> i think it should be wrapped up completely. i think in fact they should apologize to him for putting him through this and then someone should apologize to the united states of america for putting the country through this. >> that's president trump's attorney, rudy giuliani, he had more to say about the russia investigation yesterday. telling nbc's halle jackson, after days of no response, the special counsel has responded to some of giuliani's questions with regard to a potential presidential interview saying quote they're engaging us on several points where we could reach an agreement. asked for details, giuliani said quote, that's confidential. good morning, welcome to "morning joe," it's friday, may 18th. i'm willie geist in for joe and
mika. with us we've got the host of the red-hot show on msnbc. the communications director for george w. bush. >> you're kicking jake tapper's butt. and we love jake. >> no. >> it is the definition of must-see tv. 4:00. >> and donny deutsch is here, red-hot for other reasons. >> the world over. >> and susan del pursio, the co-founder and ceo of axios, jim vandehei. and "new york times" reporter michael schmidt and pulitzer prize winning historian. jon meachum, "the soul of america" debuts at number one on the "new york times" best seller
list. >> meachum still has it. >> i'll congratulate you. someone else will have to do that. >> i'll take that as a sweet passive-aggressive congratulations. >> if you have not read his book you've got to read it. it will tell you everything you need to know, it gives you some hope looking forward. we're going to have wall-to-wall coverage of the royal wedding today. donny deutsch is our royal correspondent. any initial thoughts on the wedding. >> there's been a big kerfuffle about meghan's father. i think that i don't. >> there's the castle. >> there's a castle. there are people wearing funny hats. >> that might be the upper west side. >> you know, we've been continuing -- >> it does look like the museum of natural history. >> we were on late last night. two hours, going through what, we have photo books we keep about the history of the royals. yeah, i'm titillated. i really am.
>> are you? >> no i think it's the stupidest thing. >> released senate testimony for a deal that senior members of president trump's campaign were hopeful to get damaging information on hillary clinton from russia. and last night on sean hannity, president trump's lawyer, rudy giuliani, says anything goes when it comes to opposition research. >> if i wanted to get information, if i was, if i was working for your campaign, you're running for president, i wanted to get information and somebody told me, says i've got information on your opponent. your opponent is hillary clinton. does it matter who it is, if i sit down and say, what you got? >> no. no, you're not responsible -- how would you even know where the person got it? they're not going to tell you. >> but in the case of the 2016 trump tower meeting with russians, the claim, they're not going to tell you doesn't hold up very well in that case the promise of opposition research arrived in an email with the
subject line "russia, clinton, private and confidential." and began by mentioning the crown prosecutor of russia, explicitly states it's part of russia and it's government support for mr. trump. you worked on campaigns, nicole wallace. >> worked on a lot of campaigns. a lot of people, al gore, john kerry, president obama. i have never, ever, ever, been in receipt from anything from russians. and russia is an american adversary and it's an extreme and black-and-white example of the kind of information that you would never touch there are others that might be a closer call. the uk and israel. you don't take nianything from foreign government. if someone contacts you, you call authorities. this idea that everyone does it, it might be why rudy never got very far with all due respect in
the campaigns he waged. it's a miracle that he never got in trouble before this. it is not standard operating procedure. not just on presidential campaigns, but on any campaign. >> michael schmidt. this seems to be a narrative that we've heard now two nights in a row, rudy giuliani go on fox news and say whether it was me running for president, whether it was president obama or bush or anybody else who has ever run a campaign, there's always opposition research. he made the equivalence between that and the soliciting of information with russians. >> i think rudy is doing exactly what the president wants. the president wanted someone to go on cable television and be his advocate and push back on everything. i'm not sure there's a grand strategy to any of this. because they have thrown so many different things out there. whether it was about the stormy daniels' payment or giuliani's law interpretation. they made it all confusing if you're the average person at home. you hear all of these things
coming out. giuliani is doing, must be doing a half-dozen interviews a day. but he is doing what the president wants, he's being the advocate he felt he did not have under his previous lawyer. >> it's not just that they got the email. look what they did once they got the email. they said hey, love it, want to meet. come over to my dad's tower and guess who i'm going to bring along? the entire leadership of the campaign. so we can have a conversation about it. and then after, maybe we'll have the president go on air force one and come one a cover story to be able to talk about it that freaked out the rest of the staff. you're right what they're trying to do is they have to muddy the waters, they know where this thing is going to go. it's going to end up in a massive showdown where they need to discredit everything that mueller does. i think they've been fairly effective at that. if you look at how republicans view this and how many republicans stand behind him. at the end of the day, this is all going to be about -- >> it does end the debate. you used the term yesterday, collusion curious, it does end the debate about whether or not they tried to collude.
they tried, it's over. there's no more secrets. the whodunit is over. i'm willing to accept that's an open question, but did they attempt to collude with russia, clearly. >> it wasn't the slickest operation, they created emails about it. >> but the fact that your collusion didn't work, doesn't make it not something that should be prosecuted and looked at. you attempted collusion. >> yes. and that's, here's part of the danger, just to touch on what was said earlier. is that this administration and rudy giuliani going out there, has done so much to try to discredit law enforcement. what trump is saying obama's fbi. it's not obama's fbi. it's not trump's fbi. it's the america's fbi and they're trying to undermine that. and what i'm concerned about, now as time goes by, not that mueller shouldn't have as much time as he wants, but they can't
fight back. there's no one putting out their side or standing up. there's a few of us that try, right? i mean a few republicans, but there's not many. and that's a big problem. because i think their strategy is starting to work. >> what giuliani said, with a straight face, that the american, that president trump deserves an apology, several days, it's been proven there's no collusion. that's proven. there's 19 indimts out there. and and it's so stunning in his pathetic, almost unhinged insult of basic intelligence, of basic facts. and the only smart thing that trump has done is he's passed the mantle on to him. the thing about trump that's interesting if you look at the last few weeks since rudy has shown up, there isn't a lot of it. he's basically turned rudy into his voice. and it is, it is so pathetic -- >> and he couldn't do all of
that. >> it is so pathetic for a guy that we lived in the city that at once a great mayor and starting with his, you know, exploitation after 9/11, that was just sinful. to have him to have ended up down at this pathetic, he's pathetic out there. shame on him and it just sad to see this. >> the president is taking a campaign strategy and that's what he wanted for rudy. he wanted campaign rudy out there. let's face it when donald trump came into the scene he had 2% approval and he took down verbally every single one of his opponents. he took them down in the most disrespectful way. we never thought he would make it that far. and that's what he's doing now. with any of the opponents, anyone who speaks out on behalf of mueller or just law enforcement itself. >> so there's new reporting that president trump could be lining up with house republicans on outing someone described by the "washington post" as a top-secret fbi and c.i.a. source who aided the russia investigation before and after robert mueller's appointment as
special counsel. rudy giuliani told the "post" that it's time to believe that the justice department released classified documents about the origin of the russia probe requested by house intelligence chairman, devin nunes that are expected to contain details about the confidential source, sources tell the post that nunes has purposefully not been talking to trump to avoid accusations that he's divulging sensitive information. instead, nunes has gone through white house counsel don mcgann to relay his grievances with the justice department. but house commerce chairman mark meadows has been talking to trump in three conversation as week, venting about doj. the president tweeted yesterday that the quote obama fbi spied on his campaign, adding if so, this is bigger than watergate. and giuliani had this to say about it. >> this goes back 100 days before the election. they had spies in the trump camp. i'm trying to figure out who was
sitting next to me on the airplane. that's watergate compounded by the fact that we're many years after watergate and we didn't think this could happen. this is a far worse crime and intrusion on democracy. than a nonrussian conspiracy. and who is investigating it? i hope that this is turned over for criminal referral. and i hope for once, the justice department wakes up and investigate something other than, empowering mueller to do an illegitimate investigation. it is illegitimate. >> so michael schmidt. help decode this a little bit. what source are we talking about, what would be the significance of revealing this. >> this is like the other front of trump's efforts to go after the investigation. using the house republicans, who have like giuliani has, but over a longer period of time. thrown different things at the wall and had success. their greatest success has been against the fbi. about putting out information that shows either bias or
questions about what went on in the fbi during the election. in this case they're trying to get the information on a source, someone in the fbi was confidently talking to. during the campaign. that the fbi was getting information on. to sort of say look, we were being spied on. they were doing things that were, that were inappropriate. to us as a campaign. this is a scandal. this is a politically motivated investigation. i think where they may run into problems with the average american is whether, is this the fbi of obama's fbi? or is it trump's fbi? or is it a republican fbi? because people remember the fbi in the election, playing such a central role you know, against hillary clinton or in regards to hillary clinton. so i don't know -- >> they're all gone. all of obama's fbi leadership is gone. comey is gone, mccabe is gone. >> i guess obama's fbi sounds pretty good.
>> so jon meachum, what do you see as you hear all of these pieces of the puzzle. he said we're going to shred this investigation. giuliani said. just saying out loud what is probably being whispered privately. now just announcing that the outcome of this report is that we're going to tear it down. >> well it's the triumph of the political media battle plan over the rule of law. and i don't think it's much more complicated than that. basically what the president and giuliani are doing is they're leading a kind of warfare that they learned in midtown manhattan. this is where you, you get hit, you hit back harder. you win "the new york post" headline that day and you try to get it the next day. it's just this, it's an ongoing war of all against all. what we're seeing is the
political battle unfolding that we're talking about. but what's, to, what's interesting about the system broadly put, the deep state even, which is another way of saying the state, is that director mueller's operation is not fitting into neatly into a news cycle. i have to believe at each point in american history, this has worked. that the truth will out, ultimately. we have a tendency to divide into these tribes. to fight ferociously, r reflexively at each other. even joe mccarthy. is a godfather of this strategy. he pointed out in a memoir that even after the mccarthy hearings, after the have you no decency, sir, after the censure
of mccarthy by the senate, 35% of the country was still with mccarthy. 45% of the country right now, more or less, is with trump. i just think that this ferocity of the batting, the ferocity of what giuliani is doing. the ferocity of the tweets by president trump, that attempt to delegitimize the investigation, all suggest that they are fearful ultimately of what that truth will be. >> jim, the ferocity that jon is talking about, is the trees. do you think we're missing the forest is that bob mueller isn't just an iceberg, but an underground village. we have no idea what is going on down there, and it could very well be that he's farther along and more people ensnared in his net and there may be some casualties along the way who don't deserve to be outed by nunes, and the republican lemmings in the house. >> think michael would know this better than anyone. if you think about the coverage,
i think viewers sometimes lose sight of this. i would say almost all of the leaks and material that we all know about, comes from people being interviewed by mueller or by the lawyers who have worked for or now work for donald trump. we very rarely hear from mueller and his team. and there's two things that should remind people of this. when he indicted that betty of oligarchs, nobody had heard about that coming. that hadn't been on anyone's radar screen. when michael cohen gets in trouble and we find out that at&t had given him money. he knew that five or six months ago. there's so many unknowns about what he's up to. he's got 16, 17 killers who understand their space and they probably know a lot more than we do. that doesn't mean by the way that there was collusion that stretched to the president of the united states. i think he fundamentally understands that he needs more than obstruction of justice. he's going to need such an airtight case. because i personally do not share jon meachum's optimism. i think if you look at the trend lines, republicans have been with donald trump through thick and thin.
87% or whatever the base love the man, they love him now. they're going to love him probably regardless of what comes out in this report. i think they've been very, very successful in being able to muddy this investigation and keep republicans behind them. and i've not seen many profiles in courage on members of congress. remember this, with the exception of john mccain, who is obviously facing a terminal cancer, and senator who is are retiring, very rarely do you ever hear of republican say a word in public negative about the president. regardless what they say to us off the record. that's fear. where does the fear come from? because this is donald trump's republican party. they are with him. they're more with him than us, they're more with him than the republican establishment. they're more with him than robert mueller. think we should keep that in mind when this comes to a head. >> we'll continue this conversation in a couple of minutes. meanwhile we're following news out of south florida, where authorities responded to a call of an active shooter at the trump national doral golf club. the course that president trump has owned since 2012 and often
visits when staying at his mar-a-lago estate. officers exchanged gunfire with a suspect who was actively shooting in the lobby of the hotel. the suspect was yelling and spewing about president trump, was neutralized and taken into custody without further incident. the suspect is listed in stable condition. the doral police department said on its website there's no further threat. the fbi, homeland security department and secret service all are responding there. we'll certainly bring you more information on that story as we have it. still ahead on "morning joe," president trump seems to confuse which libya model his own national security adviser was talking about. it all surrounds american outreach to north korea where things are a lot less sunny than they were just a few days ago, we'll talk about that next. but first bill karins with a check on the forecast. any chance of any sun this weekend? >> maybe sunday you may see the sun. it's a rough ride, it's pouring rain, we have flash flood warnings around the richmond
area. it's a torrential rain north of richmond in between there and d.c. and it's raining really hard over the chesapeake, over the top of maryland and delaware and southern jersey. 24 million people in the flood watch for today, you can get a quick two to four inches from these storms in the morning. in the afternoon it will get more scattered. a lot of heavy rain this afternoon through florida and the southeast. if you want hot weather and summer-like, go to dallas, san antonio or houston. everybody is in the upper 90s today. the weekend forecast, unfortunately, today's a nice, dry day, new york city, northwards through new england. then the clouds and the soggy weather comes in for your saturday. temperatures in the 60s, it will be a wet, soaking rain. thunderstorms in eastern north carolina. chance of strong storms in the middle of the country. if you want great weather over the next couple of days, go to the west coast, maybe the northern plains, or if you want to be hot down along the gulf coast. and on sunday it's warmer in the east, but there's still enough moisture around for afternoon storms. i can't give you a perfectly dry
day anywhere on the east coast. by far the worst of it is this morning from washington, d.c. to philadelphia and areas of maryland and also delaware. new york city, cloudy, cool, but at least it's dry today. rain doesn't move in until about midnight tonight. can you love wearing powerful sunscreen? yes! neutrogena® ultra sheer. unbeatable protection helps prevent early skin aging and skin cancer with a clean feel. the best for your skin.
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by what president trump said yesterday. >> we have very much in mind the libya model from 2003-2004. the full, complete, total disclosure of everything related to their nuclear weapons program. with the full international verification. and i think following libya, verification by american and other inspectors, is could be very important here. >> well, the libyan model isn't a model that we have at all. what we're thinking of north korea. in libya, we decimated that country. that country was decimated. there was no deal to keep gadhafi. the libyan model that was mentioned was a much different deal. we never said to gadhafi, we're going to give you protection, we're going to give you military strength, we're going to give you all of these things. we decimated him. if you look at that model with gadhafi, that was a total decimation. we went in there to beat him. now, that model would take place if we don't make a deal, most
likely. this is just the opposite. i think when john bolton made that statement, he was talking about if we're going to be having a problem. that's the way it meant. just the opposite. >> they're both problems. that's what they have in common. as "the new york times'" peter baker points out, president trump is confusing the 2003 agreement with libya, to give up its nuclear program and the 2011 nato-backed intervention against then-leader moammar gadhafi. mike barnicle, he gave up his nukes and died eight years later in a drainpipe. >> we'll have to turn to professor meachum on this point. jon meachum, i think most people realize and are aware of the fact that many of our presidents have a sense of history. had a sense of history. this particular president, yesterday jnt another example of his unable to grasp history. but ending it, ending little soliloquoy that we saw with basically an understated threat
to the north koreans. that they would be victims of annihilation as well. what's your take on that? >> well what was, that was quite a soliloquoy historically. and certain repetition of certain words which begins to get a little worrying, a little worrying, a little worrying. but i think decimated, decimated. no, there's not a sense of history here. and we knew this, i mean the country knew this. he has a sense, he has, you can tell somewhat, can you sort of -- nicole would understand this. you can sort of feel you could follow the paper trail back on the briefing maybe, the two or three points, the point or two he might have heard and he's saying it again and again, having been briefed on something. he doesn't believe in the power of the past to inform. he's quite explicit about this.
i remember asking him when he was doing, nato debt was a big issue during the primaries. and no one was talking about it and suddenly he was. and i interviewed him once and i said, where did you get this? and he said, i don't know, i don't know. you read books about nato, i don't. he was this sort of intuitive. he said i'm intuitive, he didn't say i make this up as i go along. but that's essentially what he does. in the broader sense, there's nothing really surprising about this. he was this way during the campaign. it is a little chilling when you realize he's discussing the future of nuclear weapons and the expansion or potentially maintenance of the nuclear club and knife people who have this ultimate power of destruction. if we're looking for him in that clip, winston churchill was over his left shoulder. i was watching that and thinking
thank god churchill can't hear this, it would kill him all over again. >> to jon's point, the president actually said in no uncertain terms, if we don't get a deal we want, we're going to decimate this country. the president of the united states just went on in several ways and very explicit ways, said alternative b is we nuke you. >> he said fire and fury, months ago. >> you glaze over it. >> you glaze over it as if any other president said this, it would be a 24/7 story. >> but we, meachum something elegant. he doesn't know jack squat about libya. he knows nothing about libya. in 2003 they gave up their nuclear weapons, you covered it. you were the white house reporter for the "washington post." i was in that white house and he's conflating that with his ultimate demise. as you said, barn kill. but the truth is, he obvious didn't talk to john bolton before he made those comments. i don't know that bolton is advising these comments and thinks that they're helpful.
from the dictator point of view, gadhafi is an example. it's so trumpian. there's a kernel of something right in there. to kim jong un, gadhafi is one of the examples of why not to give up their nukes. he's got the whole gadhafi piece totally screwed up. >> he does and i think what we sometimes lose sight of. there's three different areas that are much more volatile and are drier loads of kindling than people appreciate. you have a potential trade war with china. middle east certainly more on edge because of the decision on iran and then north korea. all the focus on north korea is we're going to denuclearize the peninsula because he's going to have a meeting with a leader he hates and that nobody trusts. well what happens when that breaks down? decimation, i would pay a hell of a lot more attention to decimation than people are. it's not just donald trump, it's the national security council, it's bolton. they are all in belief, unified in belief that they're not going to allow him to have a nuclear
weapon that can be loaded up on a missile and reach our shores. once those talks do collapse, and we probably should assume they do collapse, we are going to be in that same precarious place that we were a couple of months ago, facing the real possibility of war. and that's where having an appreciation for both the history and the healevers that have matter. one of the things that people inthe white house worry about is they're stretched so thin. it's not like they have a wide arsenal of talent that they can navigate smartly. for all the hysteria around president trump he's had a relatively easy presidency. the economy is humming, it's humming, all presidencies, yours very much included are defined by something you can't anticipate. they're defined by a crisis.
how do we respond, do we respond smartly in a way that leaves the united states in a better position, or do we respond poorly, where we're in a weakened position. that will happen. i don't know if it's a month from now, a year from now, but every previous presidency has shown this. >> in axios you talk about three potential wars, the trade war with china, north korea, and let's not forget about the middle east, pulling out of the iran deal. >> look at all the violence, all the death that happened in israel when we moved the embassy. you have the iranians. already by the way -- >> this week and you already have, remember the iranians, trump is not wrong, like they are funding a lot of destruction and death in syria. causing lots of mischief by funding terrorist groups. a lot more volatility in that region than people appreciate and we don't really know like our lens into that region should be shown over the last 20 years, we don't really know, other than
we know there's more chaos than ever and israel feels more emboldened than ever and now iranians feel under tremendous pressure, it's another area that is dry and could be sparked quite easily. all of these fit together right. these can't negotiate a trade deal with china without thinking that i need the chinese to help put pressure on the north koreans, to help me get the nobel peace prize. if he does that, give him the nobel peace prize, that would be an astonishing feat that nobody thought possible. >> oddly enough they do fit together. there are only two. not three. the trade war and north korea are one and of the same. because he's trying to balance one off the other. play one off the other. we saw this historical perspective. god only knows what he's going to do at the negotiating table when they get there. coming up, everyone is talking a great deal about stormy daniels, but is the case to watch the one out of new york? brought by former "apprentice"
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earlier this week as you probably heard, the great, great writer, tom wolfe died at the age of 88. the literary giant chronicled social upheaval in america, immersing readers in everything from the california hippie counterculture to the space race to manhattan's moneyed status-seekers, he was one of the leading practitioners of what came to be known as the new journalism. a style very familiar now that infuses reporting with novelistic flair and conventional grammar. he coined expressions like radical chic and the me decade. with "the bonfire of the vanities." he made the successful late career transition to a novelist. a practice he called stalking the billion-footed beast. shortly after his work of nonfiction "the right stuff" was turned into a blockbuster movie. the grandson of a confederate rifleman, wolfe was born in
richmond, virginia and began his journalism career as a reporter at the "springfield union" massachusetts and moved to the "washington post" and eventually to the "new york herald-tribune" he attained natural populist. he was well known for his attire which he called neopretentious. he walked the streets of new york in a signature three-piece suit, tom wolfe, the man william f. buckley jr. called the most skillful writer in america died this week at 88. jon meachum, so much to say about tom wolfe going through the titles, "electric cool-aid acid test" "bonfire of the vanities." talk about the man you knew, the writer. >> when you think about it, there are so few journalist who is make a lasting mark there are
so few novelist who do. take these two general raw genr defined the two by his great artistic skill. but also as you say, you've got to go there. he was one of the world's great reporters. when he was doing the book "a man in full" about atlanta, he was down there, the reason radical chic happened is he sort of wandered into the party at the bernsteins, which were the black panthers were, and he knew that there was a story there. and he wrote what he saw, he wrote it better than damn near anybody. you know, the great i think one of the best books ever writ bn politics, ever, is certainly the best book of our time is in some ways a wolfian monument, richard ben kramer's "what it takes." and that's not possible without wolfe. one of the ways you measure
anybody is what influence did they have beyond their own pages. i think there are a number of people who are both in the business and writing today, who are there because their world was electrified if you will by wolfe's prose. >> you know, the other aspect of him, jon, is that he was a wonderfully generous human being to others. in the business. he was willing to sit, listen, offer advice, but at his root, he changed both businesses. i think. both journalism and novel writing. and he did so because in addition to being a great reporter. he was an even better observer. of the life around us and the little, the little things that you only pick up on if you sit there and listen and watch and observe. >> but it wasn't without feeling. >> when i read, he once said about fiction, that the problem with fiction is that it has to be plausible. which is not the case with
nonfiction, which is so true. in the time of trump. but he didn't just listen, he felt things, his descriptions of loneliness and despair. "i am charlotte simmons" was the reason i wanted to write novels. it wasn't just a neutral, detached observer, he sort of crossed that transom of feeling thing angst, feeling the agony and despair and putting it on the page. he was a poet. >> our friend peggy noonan wrote an appreciation of her friend tom wolfe in a piece entitled "hats off to tom wolfe." he picked up american journalism and shook it hard and he picked up the novel and shook it, too. he issued one of the great literary manifestos, stop your naval-gazing, get out your notebook, there's a world exploding out there. he strutted through the world like some crazed antique peacock, the faded vanilla suits. high-collared shirts, polka dot ties, the socks, the handkerchief, the spats, good-bye, tom, wolfe, may you be
awed, thrilled, over the moon this day by what you find now, a new and unreported world. flights of angels, oh, it was good to have him here, wasn't it? that from the great peggy noonan. and we'll be right back. what? directv gives you more for your thing. your... quitting cable and never looking back thing. directv is rated #1 in customer satisfaction over cable.
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senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is offering a warning to his republican colleagues ahead of the mid term contests, control of the senate is in play. in an interview with the "washington post" mcconnell says republicans could lose majority in both the house and the senate. marking latest alarm he's sounded about the elections. republican strategists have said in trump's low approval ratings and energized democratic base and the struggles of president's party historically faces in his first mid term. he cited nine battleground states he believes are critical in november, nevada, tennessee, montana, north dakota, missouri, indiana, west virginia, florida
and arizona. joining us now, co-author of the "playbook" jake sherman and pulitzer prize winning columnist and associate editor of the "washington post" eugene robinson whose new piece this morning is titled "democrats have it too good to shoot themselves in the foot." it dovetails with the mcconnell story. jake, why is mcconnell saying things like this. >> he probably wants to raise money. the senate is not in as much play as the house is the house is really up for grabs and i've been covering the house since 2010 and this is the first time i've heard actual alarm about losing the house. the president's party usually loses 29 seats in a first mid term. they need to keep, the democrats need to win 24 seats. every available statistic that we have indicates republicans are going to lose the house. again, with our experience in
2016 we don't want to predict. but if i were a gambling man today, i think it's a 65% chance the democrats win the house. >> do you, i think it's interesting how republicans in the house and senate have turned impeachment issue against the democrats. how much are you hearing that as a offensive message as opposed to a defensive message from republican campaign strategists. >> we did an event with nancy pelosi a week or two ago and she said to us, we need to not be talking about impeachment. we need to not be talking about russia. the way democrats see this issue is impeachment and russia are in the background, voters know that issue and know that it's, it exists. and it actually gives them a political opportunity to talk about something else, and anything else, and i thing around the country democratic candidates would benefit according to the people i've spoken to, about for not talking about that at all for the next six months. >> so what are they talking about, mostly right now? >> if you talk to democratic
strategists, they want to localize every race, talk about the things that republicans have done in congress that would affect people back home. but i think it is a problem, right? i mean democrats have been out of power now for almost eight y. they are led by three 77 and 78-year-old leaders and many democrats behind the scenes, increasingly publicly, say that's why they're out of step with what voters want. >> ironically, that's what republican candidates in swing districts have to do is talk about local issues because the last thing they want to talk about is what's going on in washington. >> one more caveat. nancy pelosi is as sharp as ever and is raising piles of money and she always will and her -- republicans want to make her the centerpiece and it's not been successful so far. >> so gene, you're grabbing democrats by the lapels and shaking them around. >> that was very tom wolffian. >> thank you very much. >> you say "get a grip, people,
try to focus, the november election is too important." why are you concerned and why do you think democrats might be concerned about an election where, frankly, they're exponentially more energized than republicans are right now and they have the anti-trump message to go on. why are you concerned? >> because i happen to know several democrats and -- as do you. and they're starting to overthink it and do the sort of anguished hand wringing and oh dear his -- the president's approval rating is up from like subterranean to merely abysmal a and, gee, they're talking about impeachment and do we say anything, do we not say anything? just -- you know, you're doing okay. you're doing great. you're in great position, you've recruited -- like a
six-year-old, head up. >> exactly. you've recruited a bunch of really good candidates out there. this time for a change. you've tried to recruit candidates who have a chance of winning in that district, who can relate to the people in that district. so let them run and stop overthinking it because if you do that you'll be paralyzed and do that democrat thing. >> it sounds like a locker room speech from a coach at half time. >> "friday night lights." >> what -- i think it's -- the san antonio spurs coach just tells his team just play like we play. well, democrats don't say that. don't say play like we play. say play like those other guys play because they are -- they've been doing the winning. >> i feel like we should give the slow clap. the locker room clap.
jake, there's a piece in politico magazine that goes inside the mueller investigation, talks about the team he's put together, who they are exactly. how did you get inside the investigation and what do we need to know about it? >> i didn't personally. >> honesty in journalism. >> i will defer to mike schmidt on the details of all of this but it shows the -- the article basically shows how little we know about this probe and how little we know about the people who are investigating the president, investigating the white house and investigating collusion and it's kind of an all star cast of fbi and other investigators that have been assembled by mueller and his team to look into the president and this investigation and i think it underscores what the smart people on capitol hill and in washington say, which is we shouldn't comment on this investigation because we have no idea what they're doing, it's incredibly secretive and to say
there's no evidence of collusion, that might be true but it also might not be true. we just don't know. >> you covered them day in and day out and everyone says bob mueller is immune to politics, these conversations about impeachment as a midterm issue, he would be oblivious to them but do you have any sense that there are people around women who are apair of things like the dynamic you described of just throwing sand into the fans to blow dust all over everything or the timing of the midterms or the people around that i mean are aware of the dynamics? >> rudy set this interesting political trap for mueller recently that i saw where he was saying that, well, the president can't do an interview before the north korea summit, he needs -- that could get in the way so you can see if mueller says well, i have to subpoena the president, when does he politically make that decision? if mueller did that a month before the summit would people say oh, look, there's mueller interfering with it. but once you get beyond the
summit you head into the fall election and what can mueller do around that? so mueller is going to have to make decisions regardless of what trump does. >> jake sherman, thank you very much. we'll be reading the politico play book as we do every morning. eugene robinson, thank you as well. we'll check out the column in the "washington post" and michael schmidt, thank you. jon meacham -- we're losing meacham? he got up at like 3:00 a.m. in nashville. >> and he looks so cute. >> he's got to celebrate polk's birthday. >> i have to go hit a bucket of balls. >> i think that's where others are going, too. >> it was either that or seniors' tennis. jon meacham -- >> that was mean! >> you should see this league he plays in. >> does he do well? >> he's got the little shorts, the whole thing, it's incredible. congrats again on "soul of america, the battle for our better angels" debuting at
number one and a well-deserved number one on the "new york times" best-seller list. we're proud of you. congrats. coming up on "morning joe," new insight into the debate over whether robert mueller can indict the president. jonathan turley joins us to explain why it may be better for donald trump to be indicted as opposed impeached. plus, a member of the house intelligence and judiciary committees, democratic congressman eric swalwell weighs in as the special counsel investigation enters its second year. "morning joe" is coming right back. your brand new car. nobody's hurt, 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? drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement™, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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the man tasked with the "time to wrap it up" message is trump lawyer and man praying to lose his job rudy giuliani who said we're going to try as best we can to put the message out there that it has been a year, there has been no evidence presented of collusion or obstruction and it's about time for them to end the investigation. okay, well i'm going to try as best i can to put the message out there that if you start a sentence with "we are going try as best we can to put the message out there" nobody should believe the message that you are trying to put out there. >> welcome back to "morning joe." it's friday, may 18, i'm willie geist, joe and mika are out this morning. still with us, we have the host of "deadline white house" at 4:00 p.m. monday through friday, we wish it was seven days a week. >> i was going to say, i wish it were monday through thursday. >> oh, you're going the late
night model. >> four is as good as five. >> she's one year in and she already wants a four day work week. msnbc contributor mike barnicle is with us. >> i have one. >> and he always has. royal watcher donny deutsch is here with us and joining our conversation, former justice department spokesperson and now msnbc justice and security analyst matt miller and former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama and an msnbc contributor joyce vance and law professor at george washington university jonathan turley. welcome, good to have you with us. >> good morning. >> president trump's attorney rudy giuliani had more to say about the russia investigation yesterday. he told nbc's hallie jackson that after days of no response, the special counsel recently has responded to some of giuliani's questions with regard to a potential presidential interview saying "they're engaging us on several points where we could reach an agreement." asked for details giuliani said "that's confidential."
the president's lawyer continued to bash the investigation in interviews yesterday saying president trump is owed an apology and that there is nothing else even related to russian election meddling left to uncover. >> you've said it should be wrapped up. do you believe it should be wrapped up overall or just as it pertains to president trump? >> i think it should be wrapped up completely. i think in fact they should apologize to him for putting him through this and then apologize to the united states of america for putting this country through this. >> can we just stop on this. >> just to point out, boris epstein who is a trump adviser -- >> who disappeared in the night for something. >> -- is conducting interviews with the president's attorney. jonathan turley, you write in the "washington post" this morning a piece titled "rudy giuliani says robert mueller can't indict but it might go better for president trump if he does." what do you mean? >> well, from a criminal defense standpoint, impeachments are not a welcomed thing. basically what the prosecutors get is a look at your entire
case and then you get to do it for fra for real if they indict you later. the problem with impeachment is the normal rules don't apply. i was lead counsel in the last impeachment, one of my opposing counsel was adam schiff and we had colossal fights over the departure from standard trial practice, due process rules. all of that tends to be discretionary for the senate. they choose their own rules and so what you have is a process that criminal defense attorneys really don't like but prosecutors have to sit back and watch your defense, watch how witnesses play out and then if they want to indict you they have a much stronger basis to do it. and by the way, a lot of stuff that might be kept out of a trial, might be confidential or privileged tends to get into an impeachment proceeding and become part of the public record so prosecutors can have a more enhanced or robust record to go after your client with.
>> matt, there's a "washington post" story today detailing the house republicans new strategy. uranium one didn't work out, the nunes memo fizzled out but they've seen on this line in the "new york times" report this week and they're trying to out an fbi informant. how dangerous is that? >> house republicans along with the president of the united states who sits a at the top of the executive branch and for whom the fbi works. you have to step back and thinks about how far we've gone that the president and members of congress are trying to out a confidential source. the fbi is now going around having to button up his operations. they're worried it's going to put lives at risk. they're worried it will expose ongoing investigations that have nothing do with the president. other investigations that the fbi is conducting to protect the national security of this country. this is so far beyond the pale. we've seen kind of this classic frog boiling in water strategy where the temperature has just gotten turned it and turned up.
we're at the point where the president is trying to actively hurt ongoing investigations, maybe put people at risk and it's seen as another day of the president interfering with the fbi. >> so, joyce, please help us out here. matt just explained and detailed, how is that not obstruction of justice? >> it looks an awful lot like obstruction of justice with, i think, sort of a side twist of danger to ongoing operations at the fbi. any sort of activity that impedes an investigation now plays into this ongoing narrative of trump's animosity towards this investigation and like matt i think it's important for us to ten back and remember that what we're talking about here is the integrity of the vote in theites. the fbi didn't get into this game to look at the president, they were trying to understand what happened with russian interference, what do we do to prevent it from happening in the future? so that is the investigation
that the president of the united states is now obstructing. >> is that not the root of this whole thing? we often to our own peril gloss over it. this began when the president of the united states, who takes an oath to defend the constitution and the country has ignored and his people, many of them in the house of representatives, have ignored a literal act of war against our country. >> denying it, not just ignoring it. completely denying it. >> participating in the obstruction of the investigation into that act. >> we have to keep coming back to that. we spend so much time on stormy daniels and other stuff but at its core what we are continuing to look at here and what is in play as you said is did our number one antagonistic foreign actor play with our democracy? and it's very easy to get caught
up with everything else and all the flavors of the day and the trumpisms, but that in its simplest form is what it's about and it makes it more reprehensible when rudy giuliani gets up and says we should be apologizing to the president for looking into what would be taking apart the pillars of democracy. he stands up there and we let him say that, that they're owed an apology and it's just another day. >> and the senate intel report contradicted the house intel committee's report which said unequivocally yes russia meddled in the election, put its thumb on the scale for donald trump to prevent hillary clinton from becoming president. jonathan, as you listen to rudy giuliani over the last several days and weeks and his many appearances on fox news, it sounds less like a legal strategy than just a pr strategy. not a particularly great one but the strategy seems to be to throw out these ideas that there's nothing left to uncover.
he doesn't know that, of course, he's not inside the mueller investigation. he says we've reached points of agreement, maybe there would be an interview, we don't know if that is true. what is rudy giuliani up to if not just trying to tear down the investigation, muddy the watts so when mueller reaches his conclusions he can say it's not legitimate? >> you mean by saying we'll rush you and our children will feed on your bones is not a legal strategy? >> yes, that kind of stuff. >> no, that really isn't a legal strategy and i don't think an apology will be forthcoming. it won't have any impact, giuliani knows that, but it's very dangerous when your attorneys get into the business of spinning your legal case. right now they need to hunker down and do some serious legal work. in fairness to the administration, if they had a mole in the trump campaign and
it was long before the election, there's an issue there, i think, that is legitimate. there's a question of when you take that type of intrusive step into an opposing political party's campaign. so in that sense, i think there is a kernel here which is true, that that's a matter of some conce concern. but the idea that you say we're going to crush you, now they're listening to us, obviously that is playing to the public. but the president has some very serious threats ahead of him, both on impeachment and indictment and if he gets impeached, if he's put through that process he will be in a worse position if he is met on january 20 with a real indictment. and this team needs to start focusing on that end game. >> i'll tell you what's scary about giuliani, he's planting seeds for civil war. let's say there is an impeachment and they're trying to take trump out of office.
unless what mueller comes up with is trump on the phone with putin saying "let's turn this into russia/usa" that 35% will take to the streets. we keep going through this in a very academic way. play this out and let's say that really trump -- we find his hand in the cookie jar. unless it's so egregious. we'll have a country that is at civil war for the first time. they don't want under any circumstances -- >> well, i think you could argue we're already there. but just about the idea that if there was a mole then. there were three people inside the campaign, one is carter paige who was under surveillance by the fbi, a fisa warrant approved in 2013 for the first time and reauthorized while he was involved in the campaign so there were people talking to and about russians that lied about it to the fbi. they didn't lie about talking to canadians. they didn't lie about talking to mexicans, they lied about talking to russians so the idea that there's some spy hunt going on, there were three people
inside the campaign that were of suspicion to law enforcement officials that turned out to lie to the fbi when asked about it so i think the idea that rudy is now on a spy hunt is ludicrous. >> look, check rosenberg admonished us on your show yesterday that words matter. calling an fbi informant a spy is outrageous. >> whistle blower. >> he was someone helping build a case to protect national security. if anyone is a spy in that context, it's the people on the trump campaign communicating with russians about the time. >> and lying about. >> it paul manafort who while he was campaign chairman was meeting with an associate of his who is a known active russian intelligence agent. if you want to talk about spies, those are the spies. >> words matter and you can't throw around the word mole on the campaign. there were people talking to russians and lying about it during the campaign. why? >> meanwhile, the attorney for stormy daniels, michael avenatti, was on with us yesterday here, broke news that
at least two more women may have hush money agreements like the one his client is fighting. >> they are not fully vetted but there's at least two that i think are on solid ground and i think as the evidence rolls out over the coming months disclosures will be made that my client is not alone as it relates to these payments, that michael cohen was not a 24 hour seven day a week fixer for the sole purpose of taking care of stormy daniels. >> two women who allege that they have agreements with michael cohen or donald trump? >> correct. >> and women who claim to have had affairs or sex with donald trump? >> correct. >> and these women, are they part of a larger payment? >> sorry. >> did they have larger payments paid to them? larger than $130,000? >> yes. >> meanwhile, a new york state appeals court has rules that summer zervos has the right to gather evidence in her defamation lawsuit against president trump. zervos has accused trump of unwanted groping and kisses when
she sought career advice in 2007, allegations the president denied and labeled a hoax. his attorneys have said his remarks were non-defamatory opinions. according to the a.p., zervos' attorneys have issued a subpoena for any unaired apprentice footage that features zervos or trump talking about her or discussing other female contestants in a sexual or inappropriate way. zervos' attorneys are also seeking trump campaign documents of not only zervos but any woman who accused president trump of inappropriate touching, referring to the release of a 2005 "access hollywood" tape which n which trump boasted about grabbing women. and zervos' attorneys indicated they want to question the president of the united states under oath. >> i want to go back to avenatti. when you talk to average people on the street and what the scandals are this stuff rises at the same level as the russia stuff and this stuff doesn't
matter. >> oh, no, this stuff does matter. >> i agree. >> let me tell you why it doesn't. they are -- why i believe it doesn't matter. >> they're going to have the opportunity to pose the president -- summer zervos may have the opportunity to depose the president. >> and to get those ndas. >> but let's say right now it comes out that donald trump was screwing all these women and trying to silence them -- >> too early for that talk, don. >> what happens? nothing. we're taking an eye off the ball on that. i have an issue with avenatti. he's jumped the shark. if you have these things, come forward. i spoke to michael cohen yesterday and without specifically getting into anything, michael said some of this stuff is purely made up. now, once again, i won't get into specifics but this whole stormy daniels thing just take our eye off what is this insane incredible ball of russia. that's my point. even if this is true, so what? this guy got elected with an audiotape talking about -- we know what he talked about.
so where is this going? where does this stormy daniels thing take us? >> i'll tell you and maybe jonathan turley can tell us as well. jonathan, everything we talked about this morning and nearly every other morning is like a group of people talking together during a rainout of a baseball game. and this game won't start until a man named robert mueller comes forward with a report that we don't know what will be in the report because it's the only leak-proof element in washington, d.c. that has ever occurred but what is your sense in terms of timing? because we have supposedly a summit coming up between the president of the united states and the premier of north korea. we have the upcoming off-year elections coming up this fall. do you have any sense of timing on what is going on with the special prosecutor? >> i don't see how this is going to end any time soon because there are cases already in the
pipeline which have to be litigated. moreover, if he issues a report to congress, let's say that comes out, people have talked about things like before labor day and other dates. even if those are true, if he has decided that he cannot indict a sitting president, i disagree, by the way, with that conclusion, he could just simply issue the report, try these cases and reserve the right to bring an indictment later. the statute of limitations on the crime the president is being investigated for, things like obstruction, conspiracy, they are generally five year statute of limitations. they get extended if they're ongoing criminal acts. that extends it well beyond june 20, 2020 and it can go into much, much later because of the ongoing aspect of the crimes so people are talking artificially about the end of this investigation. it doesn't work that way. >> so, joyce, you have summer
zervos' attorney saying they want to question the president you should oath, michael avenatti would like a shot to do the same thing there. summer zervos' attorney wanted to subpoena and gather evidence from the campaign. what's the significance of all this and what could it mean for the president? >> so the summer zervos case and that decision yesterday by a new york appellate court is interesting because it puts them on a fast track for discovery about much of the "access hollywood" information, the surrounding information about the president and what other comments he's made on tape, this possibility of getting a deposition of the president. but i'll tell you my prosecutor dna really wishes that the civil lawsuits would in some ways be on a slower track than the criminal one. because there's a lot of possibility and we saw this yesterday frankly when we learned for the first time that paul manafort's son-in-law
concluded a plea agreement with prosecutors, federal prosecutors in california. we don't know the entire scope of what mueller is doing and there's a real risk that some of the civil warm or some of these disclosures could step on his ongoing work that's only being able to move forward because it's moving forward undercover. prosecutors don't like to work in a world where everything they're doing is exposed. >> what about donny's point that stormy daniels and summer zervos are distractions for the main event but if the president is proven to have directed payments a couple weeks before election day in 2016 to silence porn stars or "apprentice" contestants or "playboy" pinups, does he have legal peril? >> there's a legal question and political question. on the legal side he would have legal peril and the question i cope coming back to, the night rudy giuliani first disclosed the president knew and authorized the payment, he did an interview with maggie
haberman at 11:00 at night where he said the president reimbursed michael cohen $460,000. we know stormy daniels has $130,000, i don't think the president paid michael cohen a $320,000 fee, that's not how he works. so if there were other payments that could be a legal question. to the political question, i think donny is on to something. if you talk to people who run senate races and house races on the democratic side, i did politics before i worked at the justice department. they're worried about the fact that the conversation has turned to stormy daniels, turned to women something where they think voters have just baked that in with trump and it's not the conversation that people working on senate race thinks help them beat republican senators. >> can i get a short legal question? part of what was seized in the cohen raid was evidence going back to the coverup of the "access hollywood" tape so there is an intersection between the criminal and sex scandals. >> there is. and on the criminal side of the house we need to remember that
if there was an intentional and knowing effort to influence the election then we're into the world of campaign finance crimes. the government took a shot at john edwards and didn't get there because the payments were too attenuated from the election but here it looks like these payments with made to influence the election and that's true criminal peril. >> matt, appreciate everything you said except when you said donny is on to something. >> it's early in the morning, not enough coffee. >> you get to go, we have to live with that. >> it encourages him. nobody wants that. jonathan thurlly, thank you so much as always. matt, despite your comments, stay with us. still ahead on moej, buzzfeed has public published some big scoops. the editor-in-chief is here with new reporting on the timeline of michael cohen's business dealings in russia on behalf of donald trump.
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a former trump business associate says in new reports that trump attorney michael cohen pursued a business deal in russia much later than previously acknowledged. speaking to buzzfeed, russian born developer felix sater says he and cohen, who was then executive vice president at the trump organization, discussed a trump tower in moscow as late as june. buzz feeds reports just six weeks before the republican national convention, sater asked cohen when he and trump would go to moscow. cohen replied in a text message "my trip before cleveland" the site of the rnc "trump once he becomes the nominee after the convention." this contradicts what cohen said in a statement to the senate intel committee when he referred to the "rejected proposal to build a trump property in moscow that was terminated in january
of 2016 which occurred before the iowa caucus and months before the first primary." also, two fbi agents telling buzzfeed that cohen spoke to multiple russians about trump moscow and some of these individuals had knowledge of or played a role in 2016 election meting. the editor-in-chief of buzzfeed is ben smith. he joins us now. on capitol hill member of the house intel committee, democratic congressman eric swalwell of california. good morning, good to see you. ben, let me start with you, once again we have a member of the trump team stating something two ways in something that's easily discovered by investigators. >> that is not new. what it's incredible context because among the strange thing was trump's personal unwillingness to criticize vladimir putin and it was one of those mysteries and it's very complicated answers that people have come up with. this is a simple answer. it wasn't just any development, it was going to be the tallest
building in europe a 100-story tower with the name trump at the top rising over the moscow -- a little outside moscow looking down. very ambitious project. >> so congressman as you hear this report, it sort of feeds into a story you've been telling and looking at which is that the president's behavior toward russia is tied to his business interests. >> that's right, willie. and at this point we know so much about how closely he drew us to the russians, how deep he was in with them financially that at this point what did we learn from that? what did we learn that will allow the american people to not have to go through this again? i'm introducing legislation that would put on any candidate or any candidate family member a duty to report any contacts they have when an agent of a foreign power approaches them with information about their opponent, also looking at what disclosure requirements should we put in place of candidates if
they are seeking to do business with foreigners? again, this is a problem that needs to have a solution now otherwise we're going to be in this mess as we go into the next election so now it's more what did we learn and what republicans are willing to work with us so america doesn't find its democracy under assault again by a foreign adversary. >> one of the solutions is the investigation that has been shuttered by the republicans on your committee. so can you get more granular? where does the investigation into donald trump's entanglements with russia that appears based on buzzfeed's reporting were ongoing through the convention where they changed the republican platform for the first time in history to be more pro-putin, by the way. where does the investigation take place if your committee has been shuttered, if politics seem to be prevailing, an informant is about to be outed. where do we go from here in
practicality? >> there's a lot we learned about what you reference that the republicans won't allow to be released in the trips we have. our investigation goes on because we don't believe we fully understand what the russians did and how it can protect the ballot box so we're still bringing witnesses in while our republican colleagues have the shovels out and are trying to bury what evidence we know but here's what we're talking about. america is idea and it's now under attack. an idea that if you work hard you can get ahead, do better and dream bigger for your kids. if that's true in america, that means it can be true in russia and they're still attacking us today because they don't want it to be true here so it never has to be true there and republicans are doing their best, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to align with this russian mind-set that we'll undermine investigations so we don't protect our ballot box and one day that idea may not be so true. that's what we're up against.
>> i think the piece of the new report is the timing where it's ongoing through the convention where the trump campaign watered down the platform to be weak on russia and then the democratic convention where trump encouraged the russians to hack hillary clinton's e-mails and make them public. what evidence do you have or have you been able to uncover whether michael cohen was completely freelancing or whether he had had conversations with the then candidate about this development through the summer? >> there are contradictions between what cohen said and what sater said. sater said trump was being briefed through the election. this isn't that complicate add story and one that is in keeping with everything we know about donald trump. he's trying to get a deal done, he's going out of his way not to offend his partner in the deal. it also explains, i think, in a way the deal then falls apart, trump has been surprisingly willing to confront russia over the last several months, people
who are looking for the -- looking at him as a puppet of vladimir putin in some linear way have struggled to explain tough sanctions that were imposed recently and you say the deal fell apart and his need to please putin waned through the -- after he entered the white house. it's a simple story and wrurn that fits everything we know. >> joyce, i've lost count on how many stories there have been about michael cohen that put him in some trouble and this is another where he told a story and then a different story later. put your prosecutor's hat back on if you would. how soon or how likely i'll start with and how soon is it that michael cohen turns and helps with this investigation? >> it seems likely that that's where we're headed. michael cohen has a young family, is looking at a significant amount of time in federal prison. often sentencing in the federal system is driven by the amount
of the loss in a fraud-type case and here the guidelines would suggest he's looking at decades in prison so he'll have a powerful incentive to cooperate and this new reporting indicate he is may have a significant piece of information for the mueller investigation that we haven't been talking about this week. >> one other thing is that you get the texture of cohen's loyalty to trump. there's one moment in the e-mail exchanges where cohen loses his mind that his relationship with mr. trump might be in danger by him having overpromised because his partner overpromised and the raw anger, like how dare you endanger my relationship to mr. trump, don't speak to mr. trump on my behalf, you feel how much he needed that relationship. >> you talked to michael a lot. where's his head right now? >> his head is he's spending 10, 12 hours a day going through millions and millions of documents as he says it and look
i kind of agree with joyce how this thing ends up. i'm not speaking for michael in any way, just my assessment and if i was donald trump, forget even things, just wind back i would guess federal prosecutors if they get them in a room and he's looking at decades they'll say what else you got? and things we haven't even imagined sitting by this guy's side for 12 years and if it's his family or trump i think we know where every human being would go. so not even the stuff that's been talked about. imagine if you're staring at the kind of time he might be staring at, things that happened four and a half years ago that have nothing to do with any of this but would still be mind blowing. and this is not based on what michael is saying to me, this is just everything i understand about people and humanity and donald trump. >> congressman, let me give you the last word on something you teased out about a blocked phone call from donald trump jr. on the same day as the trump tower meeting. that came out in the document dump from the senate judiciary committee.
i wonder if you could tell us how and when and if we get to the bottom of who that call came from? >> we're not powerless from knowing, if we used our subpoena power, we could know. right before the june 9 meeting a russian family member, friend of the trumps, calls donald trump jr. donald trump jr. then calls a blocked number, talks for a couple minutes and then calls back to the family friend who set up the june 9 meeting. we know that candidate trump was using a blocked number at the time. we pressed upon our intelligence republican colleagues let's find out who the blocked number was. there's reasons to believe that it could have been donald trump which goes to his knowledge as to whether this meeting was taking place. then proximity matters, nicolle. we know donald trump was so close to the family who set this up, he was one floor above where the meeting took place and he was so close to his son throughout the campaign that it's hard to imagine they didn't talk about this. so either donald trump knew and everyone is lying for him or
they knew not to tell him. >> there's at least one person who knows the number -- bob mueller. eric swalwell, thank you very much. buzzfeed's ben submit, thank you as well. joyce vance, mat miller, appreciate you being here with us as well. coming up, the president warns nato allies that don't pay up they'll be "dealt with." the secretary general of nato joins us this hour. plus, there's breaking news overnight, donny, on the royal wedding as prince charles is stepping up. >> i'm looking at steph ruhle over there. why is she there? what's going on with steph? she took my gig, man! i'm supposed to be there. >> the royal wave next. if you've been diagnosed with cancer,
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bells and tomorrow and l.a. lady is going to become a real life princess. right behind me, windsor castle. this is the weekend residence of the queen of england. the queen of england doesn't just need to like meghan markle, it's required she has to approve of the first six possible heirs to the thrown, who they wed. and it's been reported that harry says she adores meghan. in the christmas announcement you saw a picture of the two of them on her desk and he says her beloved corgis have been barking at him for 33 straight years and they wag their tales at meghan. one person won't be here, princess diana. but i can promise you her presence is felt in the ring that harry chose for meghan, two of the diamonds are diana's and one of them is from botswana, the first place where meghan and harry went on a romantic get away. but one of the things he's most passionate about is treating mental illness, identifying it. when he lost his mom he says he
shut down for two decades. so when people are going after meghan markle, the paparazzi is everywhere, it strikes a nerve with him. he came out and made a public statement early on in their relationship saying please, leave her alone, just stop. he considers the paparazzi and the press to be the enemy. if you think about it, this boy lost his mom when he was 12 and now he's marrying a famous woman and they have such a public life and they just want to have a beautiful life and i can tell you, this weekend they will have one. >> can i make a pop culture insight just have a 14 and 10-year-old daughter? i believe this is going to be the last royal media fest. my 14-year-old girls don't even know what's going on. their royal family are the kardashians so if you go back 20 and 30 years, this used to fill a space. i'm being serious. this fantasy space -- >> donnie -- >> steph, i know you're over there. >> this weekend they're going to make $700 million in -- just from the tourists coming so that might be the case in new york
city but i can tell you there are people from all around the world philling the ifilling the. >> i'm sorry, steph. i'm a grumpy old man. not as grumpy and old as barnicle. >> donnie, here's the problem, you didn't get invited. that's why you're feeling sad. >> mea culpa. >> i didn't get invited either but you never know. i don't know if elton john has his plus one. you're ready. >> be in your dress and ready to go. >> the beckhams are invited but i don't know if victoria is coming. i'd be david's plus one. >> me, too. >> we can catch live coverage tomorrow on msnbc. coverage begins tomorrow at 4:00 a.m. eastern. >> are you getting up? >> another party. [ laughter ] >> you can catch a special enyour presentation at 5:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. by the way, our royals are not the kardashians. >> it's time for a break.
>> five seconds of serious stuff, willie, go ahead. >> pause for edit. up next, the secretary general of nato joins us after his oval office meeting with president trump. "morning joe" is coming right back. this is your wake-up call. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years,
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we had countries that were not paying what they were supposed to be paying now most countries are. not all and i think you'll be able to handle the ones that aren't, right? i want to thank the seven nato nations in addition to the united states who will meet their 2% nato defense spending. we have some that don't. and they'll be dealt with. in particular germany must demonstrate leadership in the alliance by addressing its long-standing shortfall in defense contributions. germany has not contributed what it should be contributing and it's a very big beneficiary. far bigger than the united states, frankly. >> that's the president of the united states at the white house. joining us now, the man you saw in that picture seated next to
the president, nato secretary general jens stoltenberg. mr. secretary general, thank you for being with us. the president specifically went after germany for not contributing enough to by that toe and said they'll be dealt with. what did you take that to mean? >> i expect all nato allies to make good on the promise we all made together to stop the cuts in defense spending and the good news is that's what we have done. all nato allies have stopped the cuts, all nato allies have started to increase defense spending and more and more allies are reaching the 2% target so we are moving in the right direction. germany has started to increase. we still have a long way to go and i will continue to push formore progress on defense spending. >> do you agree with president trump that germany isn't paying its fair share? >> all those allies who are spending less than 2% should
spend more so that's the reason why we made a common pledge. but we didn't promise to meet the 2% guideline in one year. we promised to first stop the cuts. all allies have stopped the cuts and then gradually increase and then move towards spending 2% within a decade. so we have started. this is a good beginning. the trend was down, now it's up after decades of cuts in defense spending, the spending is increasing so this is a good start but we have a long way to go and that's the case for many nato allies, including for germany. >> mr. secretary, mr. seven decades, nato has stood as a united front for freedom, a united front, all countries stanting together for freedom and against countries like russia looking at encroachment many europe. so my question to you is right now today is nato stronger or
weaker than it was prior to president trump's inauguration? >> nato is a strong alliance and we are stronger because we have invested in our collective defense. defense. the world has become more unpredictable, more uncertain, but nato has become stronger over the last years because we are responding to a more demanding security environment. the good thing is, despite some disagreements between allies on different issues, we see we are able to do what we need to do to invest more in our defense, to strengthen our collective defense. we are deploying troops to the east for the first time in our history and also stepping up our efforts against terrorism. so, nato is becoming stronger because the world is more demanding and nato is adapting. >> member countries of nato,
with regard to sanctions imposed upon them disenfranchising itself from the iran accord, how are nato countries going to deal with that and the united states? >> what we see now is there are some serious disagreements between nato allies on serious issues, like, for instance, the iran nuclear deal. the strength on nato is, despite these differences, we are able to unite around nato to protect and defend each other and actually strengthen our defense as we are now. more u.s. presence in europe and more european allies investing more in defense. i'm not saying i'm not concerned about the differences between nato allies on climate change or trade issues or the iran deal, but i'm saying we have seen these kind of differences before. the crisis in the '50s or the iraq war in 2003.
despite those differences, we have been able to overcome them and be connected to our defense. that's exactly what we are doing also, now. >> there's no question we see a strain in diplomacy with nato nations with america taking america first kind of policy under president trump. how is that, if at all, straining our military alliance? >> there are differences, as i said, and there are some disagreements. i am, of course, concerned every time i see disagreements between nato allies. we have been able to maintain, not only maintain, but actually strengthen the military lines, nato, because, for the first time since the end of the cold war, the united states is investing more in european defense, increasing presence with more troops, more exercises, more precision equipment at the same time
european allies are doing more. yes, there are some problems, there are challenges, but, nato has been able to be resilient and strengthen our military alliance despite those differences. >> nato secretary general, we appreciate you taking time with us this morning. thank you. >> thank you. still ahead this morning, fresh remarks from rudy giuliani on the special counsel investigation saying the only people who committed crimes are the investigators. plus, where things stand right now on a potential trump/mueller interview. we are back in three minutes. mr after moisturizer but there's one... that blows them all out of the water. hydro boost water gel from neutrogena®. with hyaluronic acid it goes beneath the surface to plump skin cells from within and lock in hydration leaving skin so supple, it actually bounces back.
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you have said it should be wrapped up. do you believe it should be wrapped up overall or just as it pertains, in any way to president trump. >> i think it should be wrapped up completely. in fact, they should apologize for putting him through this, then apologize to the united states of america for putting the country through this. >> that's president trump's attorney, rudy giuliani. he had more to say about the russia investigation yesterday telling halle jackson, after days of no respenonse, the specl counsel responded to the presidential interview saying they are engaging us on several points where we could reach an agreement. asked for details, giuliani said, quote, that's confidential. good morning, it's friday may
18th. i'm willie gist in for joe and mika, they will be back on monday. nicolle wallace, you just had your first anniversary. >> i started the day after comey was fired. >> you are kicking jake tapper's butt. >> i'm not kicking anybody's butt. >> it is honestly the definition of must see tv. >> oh, my god. i love you. >> donny deutsche, as you heard is here. red hot for other reasons. >> the world over. >> susan, the co-founder and ceo, joe vandehyde and jon meacham, his new bomb "the soul of america." it debuts at number one.
>> what? >> number one. >> meacham still has it. congratulations. >> i'll take that as a sweet passive aggressive congratulations. >> if you have not read his book, you need to. tells you everything you need to know and gives you hope looking forward. we are going to have wall-to-wall royal wedding coverage. donny deutsche is our correspondent. >> there's kerfuffle able meghan's father. i think that -- i don't -- >> there's a castle. >> yeah, there's a castle. >> which castle is that? >> i have no idea. it might be the upper west side. natural history. >> you know, we have been -- >> it does look like the turret there. >> we were on late last night. we are going through photo books we keep about the history of the
royals. i'm titillated, i am. >> are you? >> no, i think it's the stupidest thing. >> continuing coverage of that all morning long. let's get to other news this morning. released senate testimony for a veto that senior members of president trump's campaign were hopeful to get damaging information on hillary clinton from russia. last night, sean hannity and rudy giuliani said anything goes when it comes to opposition research. >> if i wanted to get information, if i was working for your campaign, you are running for president, i want to get information and somebody told me, oh, i have information on your opponent. your opponent is hillary clinton. does it matter who it is in what do you have? >> no. no, you are not responsible. how would you know where the person got it? they are not going to tell you. >> in the case of the 2016 trump tower meeting with russians, the claim they are not going to tell you doesn't hold up well. in that case, the promise of
opposition research arrived in an e-mail with the subject, russia, clinton, private. mentioning the crown prosecutor of russia that states this is part of russia and government support for mr. trump. you have worked on campaigns, nicolle wallace. >> a lot of campaigns. a lot of stuff about a lot of people, al gore, john kerry, president obama, joe biden. i have never, ever, ever been in receipt of anything from russians. if i had -- or israel -- russia is an american adversary. it's the most extreme, black and white example of information you would never touch. there are others that might be a closer call, the uk, israel. you don't take anything from a foreign government, ever. if someone contacts you, go straight to a campaign general counsel or campaign manager, get rid of it, call authorities. this idea that everyone does it,
it might be why rudy never got that far in the campaigns he waged. it's a miracle he never got in trouble before this. it is not standard operating procedure on presidential campaigns or any campaign. >> this seems to be a narrative. we have heard two nights in a row rudy giuliani go on fox saying whether it was me, president obama or bush or anyone else who has run a campaign, there's opposition research. he made the equivalence of that and the information from russians. >> i think rudy is doing exactly what the president wants. the president wants someone to go on cable television and be his advocate and push back on everything. i'm not sure there's a grand strategy to any of this because they have thrown so many different things out there, whether it's about the stormy daniels' payment or giuliani's constitutional law interpretation that the president didn't be subpoenaed. they have made it all confusing,
if you are the average person at home. you hear all these things coming out. giuliani must be doing a half dozen interviews a day, but he is doing what the president wants. he is being that advocate he felt he did not have under his previous lawyer. >> they got the e-mail. look what they did once they got the e-mail. they said, hey, want to meet? come over to my dad's tower. guess who i'm going to bring along, the entire leadership of the campaign to have a conversation about it. afterwards, maybe we'll have the president go on air force one to come up with a cover story to talk about it that freaked out the rest of the staff. that's why, you are right, what they are trying to do is muddy the waters. they know where this is going to go, a massive showdown where they need to discredit everything mueller does. let's be honest. they have been fairy effect in how republicans view it and how many republicans stand behind him. at the end of the day it's about -- >> it does end the debate. you used the term yesterday,
collusion curious. it ends the debate whether or not they tried to collude. they tried to collude with russia. whether or not they succeeded is the open question. whether or not they knew what they were doing is an open question. did they attempt to collude with russia? clearly. >> it wasn't the slickest operation. they invited the entire campaign to come to the meeting. >> the fact your collusion didn't work doesn't make it not something that should be prosecuted and looked at. you attempts collusion. >> yes. here is part of the danger to touch on what was said earlier. this administration and rudy giuliani going out there has done so much to try to discredit law enforcement. i mean, trump saying obama's fbi. it's not obama's fbi, it's not trump's fbi. it's america's fbi. they are trying to undermine that. what i'm concerned about now, as time goes by, not that mueller
shouldn't have as much time as he wants, they can't fight back. no one is putting out their side or at least standing up. a few of us try, right? few republicans. there's not many. that's a big problem. i think their strategy is startled. >> what giuliani said, with a straight face, that president trump deserves an apology. it's been proven there's no collusion. there's 19 indictments out there. it's so stunning in his pathetic, almost unhinged insult of basic intelligence of basic facts and the only smart thing that trump has done is he's passed that mantle on to him. the thing about trump that is interesting, if you look at the last few weeks, there isn't a lot of it. yes, he got his tweet. he's turned rudy into his voice and it is so pathetic.
it is so pathetic for a guy that lived in the city that was, at once, a great mayor and starting with his, you know, exploitation of 9/11 that was sinful and to have him ended up down at this pathetic, he's pathetic out there, shame on him. it's sad to see. >> the president is taking a campaign strategy. that's what he wanted for rudy. he wanted campaign rudy out there. when donald trump came into the scene, 2% approval and he took down, verbally, every single one of his opponents. he took them down in the most disrespectful way. we never thought he would make it that far. that's what he's doing now about anyone who speaks out on behalf of mueller. >> president trump could be lining up with house republicans on outing described by "the
washington post." the source who aided the russia investigation. rudy giuliani told the post trump believes it is time for the justice department to release classified documents about the origin of the russia probe, requested by devin nunes, that are expected to contain details about the confidential source. sources tell the post that nunez purposefully has not been talking to trump to avoid accusations he divulging sensitive information. instead, he went through don mcgahn to delay grievances. mark meadows has been talking to trump in three or more calls a week. people familiar with the conversation tell the post, venting about d.o.j. the quote, obama fbi spied on his campaign, adding, if so, this is bigger than watergate. giuliani had this to say about it. >> this goes back 100 days before the election. they had spies in the trump
camp. i'm trying to figure out who was sitting next to me on the airplane. that's watergate compounded by the fact that we are many years after watergate and we didn't think this could happen. this is a far worse crime and intrusion on democracy than a nonrussian conspiracy. who's investigating it? i hope this is turned over for criminal referral. for once, the justice department wakes up and investigates something other than, you know, empowering mueller to do an illegitimate investigation. it is illegitimate. >> help decode this a little bit. what source are we talking about? >> this is like the other front of trump's efforts to go after the investigation, using the house republicans who have, like giuliani has, but over a longer period of time thrown things against the wall and had success. the greatest success has been
against the fbi, putting out information that shows either bias or questions about what went on in the fbi with the election. in this case, trying to get information on a source, someone the fbi was confidentially talking to during the campaign that the fbi was getting information on to say, look, we were being spied on. they were doing things that were inappropriate to us, as a campaign. this is a scandal. this is a politically motivated investigation. i think where they may run into problems with the average american is whether this is the fbi of obama's fbi or trump's fbi or a republican fbi because people remember the fbi in the election playing a role against hillary clinton, or in regards to hillary clinton. so, i don't know how -- >> they are all gone, right? all of obama's fbi leadership is gone, comey is gone, baker. these are all trump's
appointees? >> i guess obama's fbi sounds good. >> the libya model when the u.s. rid the country of the nuclear program and the model when they helped route the military and topple the leader. an important distinction that president trump got confused about how it might apply to north korea. first, here is bill karins with a check on the rainy, rainy forecast. bill? >> seems never ending. we want to see the sun on the east coast. soaked in mid-atlantic. the heaviest rain is set up from the east of washington, d.c. it's headed over the capital this morning. over toward sarls bury, maryland, showers. a couple in eastern north carolina. we have the flood watch for 24 million people. we have two red boxes here, they are flash flood warnings. the rain is starting to add up. we will get additional storms in the southeast. summer heat, houston, dallas,
san antonio, everywhere in between, 90s. a few hit and miss showers in the pacific northwest. the weekend forecast, we are watching a lot of the rain up and down the east coast on saturday, especially soggy in new england. today is okay. saturday is a soaker. a couple thunderstorms in the southeast. late in the afternoon, severe weather, nebraska, omaha, watch out for strong storms heading your way. sunday, still a little stormy in the east. i's better. we are hoping for sunshine in the morning and afternoon storms in the northeast and through the southeast. i can't give you a dry day anywhere on the east coast. sunday looks better. if you want a fantastic forecast, we need to talk royal wedding. that's where it's going to be 65 degrees and perfectly sunny skies tomorrow for the big day. looking beautiful already. you are watching "morning joe," we'll be right back.
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not the other way around. to continue our royal coverage, mike barnicle joins the conversation now. he is obsessed. >> i am not walking her down the aisle. >> i'm an observer, not a participant. >> what happened to the dad? >> let's not get into that. president trump defending comments made by john bolton which north korea is yuusing to pull out of the trump summit. >> we have very much in mind the libya model from 2003-2004, the full, complete, total disclosure of everything related to their nuclear weapons program with full international verification. i think following libya,
verification by american and other inspectors could be very important here. >> the libyan model isn't a model that we have at all. in libya, we decimated that country. that country was decembimated. there was no deal to keep ga gadhafi. we never said we are going to give you protection. we are going to give you military strength. we are going to give you all these things. we went in and decimated him if you look at that model with gadhafi, that was a total decemb decimation. this is just the opposite. i think when john bolton made that statement, he was talking if we are going to be having a problem. just the opposite. >> they are both problems. "the new york times" points out,
president trump is confuseing the 2003 agreement with libya to give up its nuclear program and the 2011 nato backed intervention between leader gadhafi. >> we are going to have to turn to john meen meacham. i think most people realize and are aware many of you are presidents have a sense of history. this particular president, yesterday, just another example of unable to grasp history. ending what we saw, basically an understated threat to the north koreans they would be victims of annihilation as well. what is your take on that? >> well, it was quite a
soliloqy. the words are worrying. i think that decimated, no, there's not a sense of history here. we knew this. i mean, the country knew this. he has a -- you can tell somewhat, nicole would understand this. you can feel, you can follow the paper trail back on the briefing, maybe, the two or three points, the point her heard and saying it again and again, having been briefed on something. he doesn't believe in the power of the past, to inform. he's quite explicit about this. i remember asking him when he was doing, remember when nato debt was an issue in the primaries and no one was talking about it and suddenly, he was. i interviewed him i think once. i said where did you get this? he said i don't know, i don't know, you read books about nato,
i don't. he was this sort of intuitive -- he said, i'm intuitive. he didn't say i make it up as i go along, but that's essentially what he does. again, in the broader sense, there's nothing surprising about this. he used this later in the campaign. it is a little chilling when you realize he is discussing the future of nuclear weapons and the expansion or maintenance of a nuclear club, nine people who have the ultimate power of destruction. if we are looking at him in that clip, winston churchill is over his left shoulder. i was watching it thinking thank god churchill can't hear this. it would kill him all over again. >> what's interesting, to jon's point, we can skip over things the president says. he actually said, in no uncertain terms, if we don't get the deal, we are going to decimate this country. the president of the united states went on in several ways,
explicit ways said alternate "b" is we nuke you. >> he said fire and fury months ago. >> you glaze over it as if any other president said it, it would be a 24/7 story. >> but we -- i mean, meacham is being eloquent. he doesn't know jack squat about libya. let's start there. he knows nothing about libya. in 2003, they gave up their nuclear weapons. you covered it. i think you were the white house reporter. i was in the white house. he's con flating with that wiz demise. the truth is, he obviously didn't talk to john bolton before he made the comments. i don't know that he thinks the comments are helpful. gadhafi is an example. it's so trump yan. there's kernel of something there. he's got the whole gadhafi piece
totally screwed up. >> he does. we sometimes lose sight of three areas that are much more volatile and drier loads of kindling than people appreciate. you have a potential trade war with china. you have the middle east certainly on edge, more on edge because of the decision on iran and north korea. all the focus on north korea is we are going to denuclearize the peninsula because he's going to go over there and have a meeting with the leader he hates and nobody trusts. what happens when that breaks down. decimation. pay attention to that. they are all in belief, unified belief, they are not going to allow him to have a nuclear weapon that can be loaded up on a missile and hit our shores. korea is closer to doing that than anticipated a year ago. once the talks collapse, we should assume they are going to collapse, we are in the position we were a couple months ago,
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the president and his political team mark the one year anniversary of special counsel robert mueller's probe beginning with a sarcastic tweet wishing congratulations to america, later adding despite the illegal, unwarranted witch hunt, we have had the most successful history in administration by far. sorry to the fake news media and haters, but that's the way it is. that's president trump tweeting yesterday. the trump campaign sent an e-mail to show the witch hunters not a single patriot backed down from our fight. of course the campaign chairman entered a plea of not guilty and three former aides to the president are cooperating in the probe, including his former national security adviser. nicole's team at deadline white house put this look back at the first year of the mueller probe. ♪
>> after serving at the deputy attorney general for 22 days, the deputy rob rosenstein took himself out of overseeing the russia investigation turning that over to robert mueller. good evening from new york, this is day 118 of the trump administration and we now have a special counsel to head the russia investigation. >> the entire thing has been a witch hunt and there is no collusion. >> why do you believe you were fired? >> i think the president was worried about the russia investigation. >> reporter: the president's son, donald trump jr. was promised dirt about hillary clinton last summer before agreeing to meet with a russian lawyer with ties to the kremlin. >> i did not collude with russia, nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. >> in the last couple of minutes, a spokesperson for paul manafort, confirming an fbi raid at one of manafort's homes.
>> president trump's people were indicted on 12 charges. >> minutes after the indictments were announced, a campaign aide named george papadopoulos pled guilty about colluding with russians. >> michael flynn, guess what he's doing today? pleading in the mueller case. >> no collusion, there's been no crime. >> the indictment charges 13 russian nationals, three russian companies for committing federal crimes. >> special counsel robert mueller obtained another guilty plea from rick gates. >> breaking news from the justice department. attorney general jeff sessions just fired andrew mccabe. >> today, a dutch lawyer became the first person to be sentenced in connection with special
counsel robert mueller's probe. a 30 day sentence and $20,000 fine. >> the fbi raided the office of the lawyer to the president of the united states. >> all of this sparked by evidence gathered, yes, by special counsel robert mueller. >> there's no need for the investigation. this was engineered by comey. >> that's where we end year one of the mueller investigation. joining us flou los angeles, acclaim ld film director, rob reiner who got up early for us this morning. thanks so much. good to see you. we'll talk about your film in a moment. you are on the committee to investigate russia, representing hollywood on that committee. your thoughts after the end of one year and where we are as we watch rudy giuliani and others say not only the investigation is illegitimate, but when the findings are presented, he will, in fact, the white house will, in fact, tear it to shreds. >> this is breakneck speed for
an investigation of this magnitude. we have never seen anything like this. we have a foreign power, basically trying to undermine our democracy and the possibility that the president of the united states is in conspiracy with that foreign power. this has never happened before in this country. you can see why the other side is putting out a full court press, because they know that what's coming down the pipe, conceivably, it is the biggest scandal in american history and we are fighting right now for the soul of our democracy. i want to say one thing about what's happening in terms of the media. we can get into shock and awe, which is all about the, you know, the free press and the attack on the free press and how difficult it is to get the truth out. if you look at your specific ads that you have for your network, there are two ads that you run, which basically focus on the
importance of a free and independent media and a free press. you are under attack. the press is under attack and right now, if you remove the ability to get the truth out, then you are going to have the destruction of democracy. we don't have anymore, there's no checks and balances coming from congress. right now, the courts are holding, but this is the first time in american history where you have a state run television, fox, breitbart, sin claire, alex jones with the united states. it's very, very tough. the battle lines have been drawn. we are going to see if it survives. >> you know more than anyone about story telling. i know you know a lot of details of the story about russia's role in meddling in 2016, but i wonder, as story tellers, if the
coalition you listed, the president of the united states, those in the house, republican freedom caucus doing his bidding, basically waging a war against the trump appointee led justice department, the network you listed, are they doing a better job telling what is a false story than the truth tellers are doing? >> no. the truth tellers are telling the better story. the problem is, when you have 40% of the country that is only tuned in to the lies and they are cemented, it's going to be very hard for the truth to breakthrough when all of the information comes out. you have to understand, this is a counter intelligence investigation. these things normally take years and years to unfold. we are seeing bob mueller work at breakneck speed. he's gotten, like you say, all these indictments and guilty pleas. this is all within a period of a
year. when you compare it to benghazi, four years. the clinton investigation that eventually wound up with an impeachment was six years. so, this is one year and you just laid it out, nicole, with the volume of what's happened in a year, it's astounding. i do believe and i, you know, go with your earlier guest, jon meacham, i have hope that democracy will survive. we have been tested before. make no mistake about it, we are being tested right now as to whether or not 241 years of self-rule will emerge. >> so, rob mentioned his new movie, "shock and awe." i ties in here and chronicles the stories of journalists credited to getting it right in the lead up to the iraq war. "morning joe" has the exclusive first look at the trailer. take a look. >> simply stated, there is no
doubt that saddam hussein has weapons of mass destruction. >> they are dialling up the rhetoric on iraq. let's see if we can nail them down, okay? >> let's get to work. >> working on a theory the administration already decided to go to war. they are focused on how to justify it. >> it's not a theory. >> we are working on something important. that's why i'm here, to make you an offer. >> walks like he has a bronze star. >> what do you want us to know? >> everything the administration doesn't want us to know. >> a group has been set up in the building where i work. >> which building is that? >> the one with five sides. >> how real is the chatter about iraq? >> very. >> are you looking into an iraqi connection? >> no one has come out and said anything publicly. back room speculation. >> we hit it harder than this. >> i know a man has to replace saddam hussein. they are pushing for the
invasion and you are quickly becoming my favorite writer. >> wow. >> coming from every media outlet in the country. >> except yours. >> i'm speaking to you because i'm an american citizen and i don't like what they are doing. >> when the government says something, you have one question to ask, is it true? >> search is under way to find those responsible. >> we write for people whose kids get sent to war. >> the president's going to invade iraq. you have to run it whether he comments or not. >> always something you don't see coming. >> i don't care about the truth. they want a war, they're going to get one. >> shock and awe. >> shock and awe. >> shock and awe. >> in all due respect, sir, my
forces might be in this room. >> did you have sources in the room? >> no. it was fun watching them sweat like they were in church. >> that is an incredible cast, first of all. we are talking knight ridder. give a background of why they were exceptional in those years leading up to the war? >> there were four journalists at night. they got it right. unfortunately, they didn't breakthrough. there was a mind set in the mainstream media at the time. we were all wrapped up after 9/11 and patriotism was running very high and, you know, every administration puts out propaganda to try to sell a policy or, in this case, a case for going to war. these guys dug down deep and they got some great sources that weren't necessarily at the top level, people who were willing
to talk and they got the story right. unfortunately, like i said, they were unable to breakthrough. you can see how difficult it is to get the truth out on an important story like this. so, it resinates, hopefully, with what is happening today. as hard as it was for those guys, it's more difficult when you have mainstream media on the other side. fox is mainstream media, pushing back the other way. so, it's a cautionary tale of how we have to really fight for free and independent press. >> i was part of the bush white house at this time. i want to ask you, they were proven right when no wmd, i mean, they were proven right in realtime. i'm curious what your theory is of why the story wasn't told at that time. i haven't heard or seen it assembled like this until i watched the trailer. they were proven right well before 2018. >> rilgt.
right. they were proven right soon after the invasion. the one thing that the four journalists told me is they were given no oxygen. in other words, the administration, bush and cheney never addressed the articles they printed. so, because of that, the only things that came out were on mainstream media and through "the new york times" and judy miller. it's an interesting clip at the end of the movie where judy miller is on the jon stewart show and they said we all said the same thing. jon stewart says not everybody said that same thing. she said, well the only people that got it right were from night ridder. they were never given oxygen to get the story out. >> donny deutsche. it's a presh leasure to talk to. the timing of the movie is
inpeckable. you talk about the truth. what do you think the truth would have to be for those 40% out there, those trumpians. what does mueller, in your mind, as a story teller, come through that even that 40% says you can't look at it any other way? >> that is the great question because, right now, we have enough for any rational person to look at this, to say, this is crazy. set aside from all the corruption that's going on on other levels. i would think and even if, you know, president trump said this, i could shoot somebody on fifth avenue and i wouldn't lose supporters. would he have to shoot, would he have to be on the phone with putin saying, listen, if you get me the presidency i'll lift the sanctions. thank you and hang up? >> going to need that.
>> even that, they are going to say they faked his voice, they dubbed his voice, had someone, alec baldwin or something. it's almost impossible. >> well, we can't wait to see the movie, rob. it looks fantastic. it's called "shock and awe" on directive june 14th, then in theaters july 13th. rob reiner, always a pleasure. >> thanks for having me. >> president trump casts doubt on the success of trade talks with china. plus, the data firm hired by the trump campaign files for bankruptcy in the wake of the facebook data scandal. "morning joe" is coming right back. once there was an organism so small
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jimmy fallon. >> i'm going to be on "the tonight show" with jimmy. my kids are more excited. my son has a new suit he is going to debut with me. >> no dinner jacket? you don't know this about willie's son, he dons, anytime of the day to go formal. >> you are the funniest person here, how do you do fallon? is that hard? >> i have never done fallon. >> what is the plan? >> stories to tell. he has stories to tell me. >> stories to tell? >> i don't know. i know sterling k. brown is on with me from "this is us." maybe we'll play a game or lip sync battle. >> what is on sunday? >> sunday, laura dern who is amazing "big little lies" of course the "star wars" movie a couple month ago. a crazy movie. she is humble, funny and cool
and fun to be around. her parents are diane lad and bruce sterns. she's born in hollywood and living this life for a long, long time. >> you take live shows, right? >> of course. >> all right. i'm going to stay up and watch you. >> stay up late or dvr. meanwhile, trade negotiations continue today in washington with china. president trump says he doubts those talks will succeed ending the stand off between washington and beijing. let's bring in dominic chi. good morning. the president's outlook on a bit of a thaw intention. what is going on? >> rumors had been swirling that china offered to target the size of the trade surplus with america. they were going to reduce it by $200 billion. those rumors got shot down pretty quickly by the chinese foreign ministry, which told reporters the stories were not
true. relevant consultations are con going and constructive. maybe a bit of a thaw. speaks of ongoing, talks between the u.s., mexico and canada over the free trade agreement, nafta, appeared to have stalled for now. the countries are nowhere near close to a deal, citing gaping differences on things like intellectual products, farm products. president trump told reporters he doesn't think the china trade deal will succeed, adding they have become spoiled at the way trade benefits them at the cost of the united states. the cambridge analytica scandal is lingering still. the firm declared bankruptcy here in the u.s. the move was not a surprise after the company and its parent company said they lost all their customers and business partners in the wake of the data scandal and blame the siege of media
coverage. we will end on this, guys, a bigger deal in the payment space. papal going to buy a swedish payment company for 2.2 billion bucks. they allow digital payments for small businesses. that means we might see papal logos move to brick and mortar stores more than in the past. it puts them in direct competition with square. >> dominic covering it all for us. thank you so much, appreciate it. up next, we have been talking a lot about history. we examine churchill and what they offer for politics today. that conversation when we come back. brighthouse financial allow you to take advantage of growth opportunities... with a level of protection in down markets. so you can be less concerned about your retirement savings. talk with your advisor about shield annuities
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joining us, best-selling author tom ricks. his best "churchill and orwell." the two historical figures did share a common cause. tom writes about that and what they mean for the politics of today. he writes in the book, despite all their differences, their dominant priority, a commitment to human freedom, gave them common cause. together in the mid-20th century, these two men led the way politically and intellectually in responding to the twin totalitarian threats of fascism and communism.
recognizing the key question of their century ultimately was how to preserve the liberty of the individual during an age when the state was becoming powerfully intrusive into private life. when so many of their peers gave up on democracy as a failure, neither man ever lost sight of the value of the individual in the world. churchill helped us give us the liberty we enjoy now. or wells writing about liberty affects how we think about it now. thomas, good morn, it's great to have you with us. this was a big best-seller. i'm sure it will shoot up the list again. so the nexus of these two men is so interesting. as i said, they never actually met. churchill said he was a fan and had read 1984 a couple of times. where do their lives intersect for you? >> they're so different, you're right, they're opposites in so many ways. churchill is this conservative imperialist extrovert. orwell is a socialist, journalist, introvert. yet on this one point, they identified the key question of
their time. what do we do for individual freedom? how do we preserve it? they saw the answer was you really have to preserve freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of association. and if you have that, then you have the beginnings of lipperty. they also recognized something i think is important for our time too, which is that democracy is a fragile thing. you can lose hold of it. i'm writing a book now about the founding fathers. it's really striking to me how conscious they were that you needed to feed and sustain the republic every day. that you could lose it easily. john adams probably believed the united states might not make it into the 19th century. lastly, the similar time now, of people not believe, not knowing what to believe, democracy seeming to be under extreme stress. so i find these guys who are sort of great models about how to keep your head screwed on straight and deal with all the
craziness out there the. >> do you worry democracy is too abstract of a concept? it struck me -- i saw the twitter, and finished it feeling more alarmed because so many of the tectonic plates are the same but people are so ignorant of the history. and so take for granted things like the first amendment. i think it's striking that two former presidents spoke out about the importance of a free press. i mean, what are you most alarmed about inner its of the infringements on our democracy? >> i worry we no longer live in a democracy. we live in what the ancient greeks called an oligarchy, government by the rich, for the rich. money is more important than people's votes. i live in a congressional district in maine where our congressman basically is elected by outside money and doesn't care to visit the district. i've invited him to come visit the island i live on and i got a response saying thank you for your inquiry. so i worry that -- i think "the
washington post," and i love jeff baz zoes for what he's done for "the washington post," but their headline on top of the paper, democracy dies in darkness. no, democracy dies in broad daylight. you retain the appearance of democracy without having it. i think that's where this country is right now. >> but also, aren't we at a point when we have a president who is kind of the keeper, if you will, who has no core values, doesn't respect where he is, doesn't understand the seat that he is holding, and it makes it all about him. how do you get people to recognize that and move forward and fight for our democracy when our president really isn't? >> the one thing that gives me hope in that, i think you're totally right in your a segment, is unlike a lot of country, we have the u.s. constitution, a bill of rights. it's not a matter of opinion. when somebody infringes on your first amendment freedom of
speech, right to speak freely, that is un-american. and so even if the president ignores the constitution, fortunately, we have courts that won't. that exist to uphold thes could tu the constitution. it's interesting to watch again and again trump bang into the constitution, not recognizing what he's up against. i want to give a shout-out here to james madison. the more i read about james madison who really is the private architect of the constitution, he wanted to diminish power. people talk about gridlock, think james madison. he designed it to shut down. so somebody like he anticipated somebody like trump. who he would call a tyrant. that trump fits their definition of somebody who arrogantly in his own interest without regard to law. he designed the system. so you have the president stopped by the congress, stopped
p by the executive, meant to stop each other. this is madison's design. let's push gridlock into the system. >> it's a perfect time for this week and perfect time to read it again in paper back. it's "the fight for freedom," out in paperback now. thanks for being here. >> can we do a quick royal wrap-up? >> i'm going to be hosting an open house 4:00 a.m. tomorrow morning at my home. you can look it up. just "royal watching." come in your hats, everything. a lot of big, big, big people are going to be there. tea, crumb petpets. >> i think diana ross is going to perform. >> what's she wearing? did you hear anything about the dress? >> i don't know. >> what time is your alarm going off? >> mine is 3:59. i'm going to watch msnbc all day long. >> that concludes our wall to wall coverage of the royal wedding here on "morning joe."
have a great weekend. that does it for us this morning, thank god. ali velshi picks up our coverage. >> is diana ross performing at donny's house? >> yes, it's going to be big. >> get there by, like, 3:45. >> i'll see you there, donny. good morning, everybody. stephanie's on assignment but we are going to check in with her shortly. first, problem affair. manafort's former son-in-law cuts a plea deal. >> it adds one more kind of heavyweight on paul manafort's shoulders. he's looking at years and years in jail. >> another campaign promise kept. the white house set to roll out a proposal that could force planned parenthood and other organizations to choose between receiving federal funding and providing abortions. and the art of war. china denying reports it made a $200 billion trade offer to the united states in this week's high stake talks. >> when you're losing $500