tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 21, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
i've taken the position -- and i don't have to take this position and maybe i'll change -- that i will not be involved with the justice department. but because of the fact that it's going on, and i think you'll understand this, i have decided that i won't be involved. i may change my mind at some point. >> well, late last month donald trump said at some point he would no longer stay away from the justice department, and that point came yesterday when the president of the united states demanded that the doj investigate whether his campaign was infiltrated. welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, may 21st. with us national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc, executive producer and co-host of show time "the circus." elise jordan, political reporter for "the washington post," moderator of "washington week" on pbs and msnbc political analyst robert costa, former
chief of staff at the cia and department of defense, now an nbc news national security analyst, jeremy bash, and, pulitzer prize winning historian and author of "the new york times" bestseller "the soul of america: the battle for our better angels," jon meacham. we have lots to cover this morning, joe. we'll go live to santa fe, texas, the site of the latest school shooting massacre. the lives of eight children and two teachers stolen in a hail of gunfire. a lot to talk about with that and a major development in the threatened trade war with china. is the trump administration backing off? what's going on? and don junior is under scrutiny once again for his meetings with the -- during the 2016 campaign. apparently russia wasn't the only country looking for influence. a lot to cover this morning, joe.
>> yeah, what a disturbing series of tweets by the president. i guess we can blame bill karins for that forecast. i mean, the rain just keeps coming. the president doesn't have his golf game to keep him occupied. and so he just sits there with those thumbs just working that phone nonstop, over and over again. >> it's incredible. >> and, in this case, we saw a flood of tweets that really, once again, showed a president who was desperate and really despondent over an investigation that's already indicted so many people close to him, people that ran his foreign policy, indicted people that ran his campaign, indicted people he said ran his foreign policy, has indicted 15, 16 russians. going to be indicting more russians from everything we understand. and so it's getting too close for comfort for him. and so now he's striking out and
is suggesting that we investigate the investigators who are, by the way, all republican investigators. he attacks the fbi. the fbi is appointed by a republican run by a republican. he appointed -- he talks about attacking the justice department also run by a republican. he appointed. he talked about fisa abuse by democrats. i'm sorry, there were four republican-appointed judges, four republican-appointed judges, who decided that those fisa warrants were warranted and yet he just keeps trying to churn things up because he's a very cornered, desperate man. and make no mistake of it. some friends were suggesting last night on twitter there was nothing to see here. move along. move along. the president is breaching constitutional norms once again. other than richard nixon, you cannot find in america's
240-year history the president of the united states ordering the justice department to investigate an investigation that pertains to the president himself. that is an abuse of power. that is a breaching of constitutional norms. under any standards. and if it makes republicans, makes right-wingers feel any better by suggesting otherwise, that's fine. but history is not on your side. all we can do is hope those around the president and those running the justice department and those running the fbi will continue doing what they've been doing. put this country and put our constitution first. we shall see. >> well, let's lay out what happened. it is so disturbing on a number of levels. the department of justice has reacted to the threat of an ultimatum from president trump who tweeted sunday he would
demand an investigation into reports that a longtime u.s. intelligence source met with three trump aides during the 2016 election. they include campaign co-chairman sam clovis, carter page and george papadopoulos. the president sent a dozen tweets over the last 72 hours. a dozen. including eight yesterday. quote, if the fbi or doj was infiltrating for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal. only the release or review of documents that the house intelligence committee, also senate judiciary, is asking for can give the conclusive answers -- drain the swamp. and finally yesterday afternoon this tweet. i hereby demand and will do so officially tomorrow -- i hereby demand that the department of justice will look into whether or not the fbi doj, infiltrated
for political purposes and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the obama administration. last night the justice department said its inspector general will expand the review of the fisa process for impropriety or political motivation in the counterintelligence investigation of russian agents in the 2016 race. and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein issued a statement, if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action. exposing documents related to the secret source involved in this matter has been the mission of the house intelligence nunez. the white house agreed to back the fbi's decision to withhold the information. it was unclear whether president trump had been alerted to the
fact that information developed by the source had been provided to the mueller investigation. as republican house members continue their push, fbi director chris wray saying congressional oversight should not risk exposing informants. >> human sources, in particular, who put themselves at great risk to work with us and with our foreign partners have to be able to trust we're going to protect their identities and their lives and the lives of their families. the day we can't protect human sources is the day the american people start becoming less safe. >> you know, mika, i remember throughout the entire 2006 team campaign republicans freaking out, conservatives freaking out, conservative press freaking out about hillary clinton recklessly
using classified information. is at the top of your list is a concern you may expose methods or actual sources. exposing sources is the greatest risk, the greatest danger that any security breach could bring about and that is exactly what devin nunez, paul ryan, and now donald trump are doing in the light of day. they're not even pretending that they're trying some back door route to get this information, they know -- they are actively exposing a source to the united states. an intel source. they're threatening america's national security. they don't really care about it. the only thing they care about
now, jeremy bash appears to be protecting a president who is surrounded by aides who were all working with the republican bob mueller. i want to ask you quickly a couple things. one, there were a couple of phrases that were escape routes in this constitutional crisis. donald trump surprisingly used one himself when he said, quote, for political purposes. if anybody surveilled my campaign, quote, for political purposes -- i can tell you as a lawyer, i mean, give me that mack truck. i will drive through that loophole. and then rosenstein, some people were upset that rosenstein responded. actually his response made me laugh because that, too, was filled with so many loopholes. yes, this is very disturbing. and if, in fact, the trump campaign was surveilled, quote, for inappropriate purposes, of
course we must do something about this at once. well, jeremy, if this had happened we would have already heard about it, would we not? >> i had the same reaction, joe, what's going on here the justice department senior leaders know full well the tactics and techniques used to conduct the counterintelligence investigation of the trump campaign were legitimate. they were lawful. they were appropriate. as you noted, the 11th commandment for professionals is thou shalt not reveal the identity of a clandestine source. the president is going to go out to langley, virginia, and speak at the swearing in of the new cia director gina haspel, stand in front of an audience of people who risk their lives to protect the human sources. it is a crime to reveal -- actually to do anything that leads to the revelation of a covert source's name.
this is a stunning development that the president and his allies on the hill would try to and apparently have successfully outed the identity of a covert source. that source may have played a negligible role in this case. that source may be playing an incredibly important role in another counterintelligence case where he's in touch with russian intelligence agents, organized crime and others. his affiliation is now revealed. his life is at risk. >> of course it's something that could have been handled in a far more discreet way, a discreet manner. this is all for the cameras, all for the show, for the right-wing media. this is all for the echo chamber. it's time to play the game we used to play when barack obama was president, imagine if a republican had done this, the media would be freaking out and attacking the republicans. now let's turn that on its ears
and play this game. imagine if a source -- imagine if a covert source for the intelligence community was being exposed by hillary clinton, by eric holder, by loretta lynch, by nancy pelosi, by -- you name it. did down the list. there would be calls of treason, and i'm telling you, they would already be suggesting that hearings be held for the conviction of treason and the hanging of people for exposing a source. and here we have paul ryan allowing this to happen in the light of day. >> joe, i think everything you've said and jeremy said sound right to me except for one thing. it's for the cameras for sure.
we saw the tweets yesterday and see what the president is doing, what's happening on the hill. whether we're seeing the beginning of the thing we've talked about and anticipated for months where donald trump decides to move on the mueller investigation where the political activity, the freedom caucus, and the president's motives come together and whether this is the thing that serves as the pretext. when rod rosenstein comes out and says we don't think this was done for political motives. the reason this intelligence asset was put into play was to investigate interference in real time. no nefarious motivation, whether that becomes the thing, joe, that trump uses among house republicans to finally do the step, the step to try to move rosenstein as a way to get to
bob mueller. are we on the brink, of the precipice, of that happening? >> yep. >> it's hard to say because, bob costa, at the same time rudy giuliani is coming out and if a camera won't be going on him, he'll go to a corner and talk to himself revealing what bob mueller has been telling him. seriously, he's been doing it for two weeks now. he was probably in a shopping mall this weekend when tv shows were on and talking to people in aisles. you know, bob mueller told me when this was going to end, right? all he's doing is talking about when the investigation is going to end, what questions can be asked. it seems like giuliani is invested in the interview taking place and this entire investigation on obstruction wrapping up. >> talking to sources including mayor giuliani over the weekend and people close to the justice department, you come away with the impression this is a very
fragile political, legal, and constitutional moment. if you read between the lines of what happened this weekend, you saw rod rosenstein respond trying to say to the white house, directly to the president, that they will work with him. working through the inspector general who has an ongoing probe about different things that went on with this process. if that's not enough for this president, a lot of people inside the white house and the doj worry what's next. so this letter, this demand, this tweet, that takes us to one level. what's the next level? does that force some kind of reckoning? >> let's talk about the reckoning inside my former party, your current party, the republican party.
a lot of really good people in that party. a lot of people like rob portman who actually care about the constitution. the chairman has said stay away from bob mueller. you've had a lot of people who came out, upstanding citizens. this puts more president on them. a president who only can be described as nicks ownian. -- nixonian. what does the senate and the house do about this? >> well, donald trump has been l lectured on the dangers of actually firing bob mueller. i feel there has been a coordinated effort to impress upon him firing bob mueller would really, really be the fracture and up in set the
condoning of this behavior from donald trump. the question i have can donald trump ever control his impulsi e impulsivity enough. >> no. >> after what he did this weekend, this was not some well thought out grand strategy. this was donald trump mouthing off on twitter, exercising his twitter hand. on sunday morning, the morning other presidents previously went to church, donald trump is having a twitter war. that's why i think he has to continually up the ante when it comes to shock value and what he gets away with here. >> it's hard to make light of this, although there are comical angles to it. we're at the point this is dead serious. i wonder if the soul of america has a parallel to this because i can't think of one.
>> call the soul of america right now. >> i wish we had somebody that understood the soul of america. somebody who had written a book. >> the pulse of the soul. >> there is the board of bellmeade. it does seem, again, so easy to engage and mika and i have done it too much over the past couple of years. you don't have to agree so quickly with that with the head shake. yes, we have. i do wonder if there was any other description suggesting it's nixonian, that it appears at least to be -- we appear to be on the eve of where nixon was
before he launched the saturday night massacre. >> i think we are. i don't think that's hyperbolic. when you have a president who is basically engaging the justice department at this level of political detail and calling on investigating his predecessors. one nixonian element is both nixon and trump have an ongoing obsession with their former opponents in a way that i think shapes what they do in deleterious ways at least. nixon justified the taping is fdr had done it, lbj had done it. he was always obsessed with what president kennedy had gotten away with, in his view. and remember, of course, it's clearly true with president trump with an obsession with obama and secretary clinton. i can't remember who said this first but somebody we marked
they hoped hillary clinton watches fox news because it's the only place she's president. i think that's a true factor here. my own sense is the most -- and this may sound kind of league of women votery but the most important political story in the country right now in many ways are those 435 house races. i've been skeptical of this but i would bet a good bit of money this will end up in the house with some kind of impeachment proceeding, and the makeup of that body and ultimate patly the reaction of the united states senate, which is supposed to be the great deliberative check and final hammer on these things, i think we're going to end up that's going to be the season finale of this. >> that or a censure. mika, i don't know if you knew this or not but, mika, when you were walking around yesterday
you noticed jon meacham floats, right? because yesterday was -- they have an annual jon meacham day. yesterday was his birthday. we try to celebrate wasps birthdays as much as possible. we had a french and indian war float. and then we, of course, had the soul of america, now at number one on "the new york times" bestseller list. >> did you hand out martinis? >> i handed out martinis and mika had cheese sandwiches. jeremy bash, i want to talk about a guy, there's so much to be concerned about right now. i want to talk about a guy who at least for now, and maybe
he'll let us down, a guy who has just really held his head above the fray from the beginning of this accurately called out james comey. though i have great respect for james comey, there were problems with what he did. he's held firm against, i think, some ludicrous requests. yesterday when faced with a constitutional crisis he threaded the needle. he said, okay, listen, oh, my god, yes. if, in fact, this happened, why this is terrible. our ig must look into it at once and send it to the ig. who can complain about that because, of course, if the inspector general found that people improperly conducted an fbi investigation for political
purposes, of course that's something that all americans would want to know. so i just wonder if rosenstein isn't a man in the right place at the right time. >> yeah, i agree, joe. he did defuse this bomb with that statement you referenced but also the decision to refer this to the ig. after all, putting this situation aside, we do want to have a mechanism to oversee the fbi. we want that and an appropriate venue to take complaints that perhaps the fbi overstepped its authority. i think it's clear in this case the fbi did not. the fbi acted lawfully. the idea that the fbi somehow was favoring hillary clinton during the campaign, i mean, come on, nobody takes that allegation seriously. and the issue, joe, i think is going to be will congressional republicans turn on rosenstein because he has so effectively defused this and try to
undermine him and what bob mueller is trying to do and i think they will. >> mika, the freedom caucus has talked about that to their eternal shame. i wish they would reform the budget and save this nation from the coming debt. they're supposed to be the only people in congress who give a damn about such things but they run constitutional cover for this president and by helping him do things that, again, violate constitutional norms. but i really do want to focus on the good republicans in the senate and in the house that have already spoken out, and i really -- this is a great moment for a lot of those republicans to step forward and likewise, mika, for the democrats. don't you think today is a good day for democrats not to overreach, not to overstep their bounds but just to drag the
debate to the center. and just for us to focus on the constitutional norms that have sustained this republic. >> we don't usually -- we're not usually able to accomplish this but this conversation and there's still so much more to get to. we have to let it breathe. be measured about it and let the story speak for itself. because at this point it really it. jeremy bash, thank you so much. again, we've just begun here on "morning joe." roger stone says he's prepared for a mueller indictment. another of his aides was just subpoenaed and there are big questions about his ties to wikileaks. plus, rudy giuliani says the special counsel has a time line for ending the probe and he wants to announce that to everybody and that time line comes with one giant caveat. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back with much more. this is a story about mail and packages.
my gums are irritated. i don't have to worry about that, do i? actually, you do. harmful bacteria lurk just below the gum line, and if you're not taking care of your gums, you're not taking care of your mouth. so now i use this. crest gum detoxify. introducing new crest gum detoxify... it works below the gum line and is clinically proven to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and help reverse early gum damage. new gum detoxify, from crest. gums are good. so is my check up! crest. healthy, beautiful smiles for life. when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night, so he got home safe.
yeah, my dad says our insurance doesn't have that. what?! you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. oh hi sweetie, i just want to show you something. xfinity mobile: find my phone. [ phone rings ] look at you. this tech stuff is easy. [ whirring sound ] you want a cookie?
it's a drone! i know. find your phone easily with the xfinity voice remote. one more way comcast is working to fit into your life, not the other way around. special counsel robert mueller's probe subpoenaed a second day to longtime donald trump associate roger stone. according to reuters the aide was questioned about possible russian interference as well as wikileaks whose revelations stone hinted at before their disclosure. stone, who says he has not been interviewed by mueller's investigators commented on "meet the press." >> all one has to do is follow julian assange's tweets and set an alert and read every interview he's given and everything i predicted is contained in his public comments. there is no evidence i had advanced knowledge of the
content or source of the material. i received nothing from wikileaks or from the russians. it is not inconceivable now that mr. mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime pertaining to my business or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election. this was supposed to be about russian collusion, and it appears to be an effort to silence or punish the president's supporters and his advocates. >> well, i mean, only those who may have had contact. so, jon, i don't remember the exact details of this but roger stone because he said you could set google alerts, et cetera, et cetera, but didn't roger also brag to radio stations and i don't know if he gave a speech but i've seen a couple quotes
where he said, hey, it's coming. just wait, in a way he could not have picked up from google alerts. >> he did. the thing that got him in greater trouble is the testimony to bob mueller and the grand jury of longtime associate nunberg who if you will recall some weeks ago on this network and others -- >> what a week -- what a week that was. >> after he had been called to see mueller came on and testified to a couple things we know he's talked about. roger stone said to sam nunberg he was going to see julian assange for dinner in london. and sam has testified to that and has said he testified to that. his answer is he was joking.
i keep looking to find the punch line and what way that could be a joke or funny in some way. it's certainly telling that we know about sam nunberg's testimony, that we know from the other reporting that it seems like bob mueller is focused on roger stone. even though he's been discussed with other witnesses it's obvious and he should not be expecting an indictment and that is reasonable to expect one and it will come relatively soon. >> it could be he was bragging about meeting that might never come up. >> if it wasn't for all the public evidence, a reasonable thing to be grandiose about.
outside the context of that you could miss it. in real time in 2016, it's a lot more suggestive of a real issue here. >> if he did not go to london that is something that bob mueller will know about, whether he was being grandiose and exaggerating or whether it really happened. you have been talking to rudy giuliani over the weekend, even people inside the trump white house. where is their mind-set outside of the president's flurry of tweets on sunday morning? in his conversation with mueller in late april, mr. mueller said that the investigation could wrap up by september 1st only if
the president agreed to sit formally for an interview with the mueller investigators. >> that's an obstruction. >> correct. this is a sprawling investigation to be clear the ongoing russia collusion investigation could go on for months if not years. what mueller is trying to wrap up specifically is the report on possible obstruction of justice, the president's conduct. could wrap up by september. mueller only dangled that out there as a way to get the president to sit down by june or july of this year. maybe a subpoena esh you'd and an ongoing legal battle that would below that september 1st idea out of the water. still ahead, kim jong-un has threatened to cancel the meeting with president trump. could trump do the same? the president is getting
with savings on the new sleep number 360 smart bed. it senses and automatically adjusts on both sides, for effortless comfort. right now during our semi-annual sale, save up to $700 on sleep number 360 smart beds. ends soon. welcome to holiday inn! thank you! ♪ ♪ wait, i have something for you! every stay is a special stay at holiday inn. save up to 15% when you book early at hollidayinn.com
never owned a business.e term "small business," save up to 15% when you book early there's nothing small about it. are your hours small? what about your reputation, is that small? when you own your own thing, it's huge. your partnerships, even bigger. with dell small business technology advisors you'll get the one-on-one partnership you need to grow your business. because the only one who decides how big your business can be, is you. the dell vostro 15 laptop, with 7th gen intel® core™ processors.
president trump is set to host south korean president moon jae-in, spoke with him about the future of the summit with kim jong-un. "the new york times" reports this morning that after a top official issued a statement on wednesday essentially saying his country would never give up its weapons. trump began pressing his aides and allies about the risk of proceeding with the meeting. "the times" reports several aides think trump wants the summit too much and that kim
will offer concessions. there is fear trump doesn't have a detailed enough grasp of the north korean nuclear program and, i'll add to that, doesn't read. well, he doesn't. it's frightening actually. i'm not sure what to hope for with this. former nato supreme allied commander, the dean of law and diplomacy at tufts university and chief diplomacy analyst for nbc news and msnbc, retired four-star navy admiral and the director of polling at the institute of politics at harvard university. joe, take it away. >> we have history rhyming here as it did before the iraq deal where you had a president and
many too eager and needy and the iranians knew it all along and it altered. and it seems trump rightfully if not belatedly is growing wary of the possibility of this instand summit. would you like to see the president back off so the president, mattis and haspel have at least a few months to sort through the facts before them and try to stop them from repeating the same mistakes the past three or four presidents have made? >> the quote that occurs to me,
history always repeats itself. first as tragedy, then as farce. emore mouse egos with really bad haircuts getting in a room together to negotiate nuclear weapons. so i am worried about expectations here. if you want to get in the room and negotiate, do a deep dive and become an expert yourself. think jimmy carter. or put somebody expert for obama, the secretary of energy, who deeply understands these issues. they are drawn to this summit.
i think we'll be disappointed. i think we should go forward. there may be a way to create a breakthrough here. the chances of kim jong-un giving up his weapon are about the same as the mexicans paying for the wall. not going to happen. most experts say the same thing, leaving kim with nuclear weapons is not an option for the united states. do you agree with that? >> i think that would be the best case outcome for us. here is how i think this thing is going to land eventually. we will work hard to put them
under an inspection regime and we will reduce his ballistic missile. this is more about his delivery ability. that's why i think we should go forward with the summit. if we clear out his locker of nuclear weapons, he's not going to give up those weapons. we need to get this out of u.s. versus north korea and get it into at least a four party conversation. i think it was a good thing he called president moon. he's coming on tuesday, president moon. there's a bigger game at foot here besides these nukes. it gets into the trade war, the south china sea. we have to play this as the geo politics of the region not just
a pile of nuclear weapons. you can have an opinion. john, you have a piece entitled trump's unilateralism risks further alienating millennials. the bottom line is his foreign policy, the millennials aren't buying it. >> no, and, mika, this is one of the few numbers where democrats, republicans, independents, even young people who approve of the job performance, about 60% in every group, believe it's the u.n.'s responsibility in other countries. >> and they connect with it. elise? >> this is a shift that i feel like is profound because of the
history of how they have grown up. they have had a spotty track record of success. you also look at donald trump and how donald trump came into office promising to not be an interventionist and the contrast between what he's actually practicing versus the theory. >> young people want windows and not walls. the legacy of 2008 based upon what happened so this could be the legacy of the trump foreign policy. >> jon meacham? >> admiral, i have a quick question for you.
i picked up a piece of emerging conventional wisdom that suggested the new doctrine in terms of what the president has done with iran, with north korea, pulling out of tpp, whatever you want to put under that rubric is, in fact, making people do things they wouldn't want to do. >> congratulations on "the soul of america." fabulous. >> thank you. >> you bet. what i think is happening the pressure piece has had some effect. president moon of south korea, when they hand out the nobel prize, if they ever do for this, he's at the top of my list.
kim jong-un is comfortable at the negotiating table and fourth and finally as i was saying earlier, the game is driven did i china. they are playing that ancient game of go. they are pulling strands together in ways we're not seeing coherently. we need to up our game, we put on pressure and solve problems. it's so much more complicated. >> jon, i want to ask you this question, step away from the foreign policy element. you focus on millennials all the time. what's the general view of this generation towards how trump is doing, not just the world stage but in total? >> overall, jon, about a quarter of so have approved, about 32% a year ago. he's lost six or seven points. most are remted to his
performance on race as well as gun violence. the bigger picture is that similar to what we saw after 9/11, before and after 9/11, we are seeing what i refer to as a once in a attitdinu attitdinal the mind-set of relating to politics and governing. they see the efficacy and tangible nature of voting. this is something we saw preand post 9/11, what we see with the parkland movement and these events today, it will accelerate that and i think we'll see a higher-than-normal midterm turnout among young people. >> john, thank you, admiral james stavridis, thank you as well. still ahead, we'll go live to texas where the governor is calling for a moment of silence today in the wake of the nation's latest mass shooting at the school. we'll be right back.
if yor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough, it may be time for a change. ask your doctor about entyvio, the only biologic developed and approved just for uc and crohn's. entyvio works at the site of inflammation in the gi tract and is clinically proven to help many patients achieve both symptom relief and remission. infusion and serious allergic reactions can happen during or after treatment. entyvio may increase risk of infection, which can be serious. pml, a rare, serious, potentially fatal brain infection caused by a virus may be possible. this condition has not been reported with entyvio. tell your doctor if you have an infection, experience frequent infections or have flu-like symptoms or sores. liver problems can occur with entyvio.
if your uc or crohn's treatment isn't working for you, ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio. entyvio. relief and remission within reach. one picky customer shouldn't take all your time. need something printed? the business advisors at office depot can assist with exactly what your business needs to grow. get your coupon for 20% off services, technology and more at office depot and officedepot.com.
so let's go to bob costa before we wrap up the hour. bob, i'm just curious. rod rosenstein expressed appropriate concern about the president's tweets yesterday, sent the president's concerns along to the inspector general. does the president today declare victory that saying that the justice department is looking into what concerned him and move on or does he stay engaged in this war? >> that's the big question for my reporting today, is it enough? is the justice department's response to president trump enough? two people i'm paying close attention to, white house chief of staff john kelly, don mcgahn, will they keep the president focused on north korea, other issues or will this show down with justice escalate as some people in congress would like to see happen and outside trump allies like steve bannon would like to see happen? where does the president lean
today on justice? that's the big issue. >> all right, robert costa, thank you so much. jon meacham, "the sole of america" thank you as well. coming up, the president lashes out on twitter demanding the department of justice investigate whether it or the fbi spied on the trump campaign. we'll have the doj's response. plus don jr. is under scrutiny for a 2016 meeting at trump tower -- not the one you think, though. this is another meeting he reportedly took with a foreign emissary offering help with the election. "morning joe" is coming right back. disrupting business and taking on a life of its own. its multi-cloud complexity creating friction... and slowing innovation. with software-defined solutions, like hpe onesphere, you can tame the it monster. hewlett packard enterprise. clouds, apps, and insights faster.
had a little incident witht kia moped in bermuda.e. oh. even with insurance, we had to dip into our 401(k) and it set us back a little bit. sometimes you don't have a choice. but it doesn't mean you guys can't get back on track. great. great. yeah. no judgment. just guidance. td ameritrade. my digestive system used to make me feel sluggish. but those days are over. now, i take metamucil every day. it naturally traps and removes the waste that weighs me down. so i feel... lighter. try metamucil and begin to feel what lighter feels like. and try new metamucil fiber thins, made with 100% natural psyllium fiber. a great-tasting and easy way to start your day.
my secret visitors. hallucinations and delusions. the unknown parts of living with parkinson's. what plots they unfold, but only in my mind. over 50% of people with parkinson's will experience hallucinations or delusions during the course of their disease. if your loved one is experiencing these symptoms, talk to your parkinson's specialist. there are treatment options that can help. my visitors should be the ones i want to see. my visitors should be the ones if your adventure keeps turning into unexpected bathroom trips you may have overactive bladder, or oab.
ohhhh... enough already! we need to see a doctor. ask your doctor about myrbetriq® (mirabegron). it treats oab symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage. it's the first and only oab treatment in its class. myrbetriq may cause serious allergic reactions. if you experience swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, or difficulty breathing... stop taking myrbetriq and tell your doctor right away. myrbetriq may increase blood pressure. tell your doctor right away if you have trouble emptying your bladder or have a weak urine stream. myrbetriq may affect or be affected by other medications. before taking myrbetriq, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems. common side effects include increased blood pressure, common cold symptoms urinary tract infection, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, and headache. need some help managing your oab symptoms along the way? ask your doctor if myrbetriq is right for you, and visit myrbetriq.com to learn more. i'm about to start the hair, skin and nails challenge. so my future self will thank me. thank you. i become a model? yes. no. start the challenge today. and try new tropical citrus flavor with collagen.
nature's bounty. welcome back to "morning joe," it's monday, may 21. still with us, we have national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc and executive producer and co-host of show time's "the circus" john heilemann. former aide to the george w. bush white house and state departments, elise jordan. and joining the conversation, political writer for the "new york times" and msnbc political analyst nick confessore. washington investigative correspondent at the "new york times," mark mazzetti and nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of "kasie d.c." kasie hunt. >> metallica in the morning! >> it gets weirder and weirder every time we go. >> you have to laugh about something. it-- it feels like a very
serious time in this entire process with this president, joe. >> it really is a serious time and i think most people looking at this and that have been studying it understand that this is, again, if not exactly where we were during richard nixon's saturday night massacre, certainly the possibility that we're moving quickly towards a constitutional crisis which will, of course, force republicans to act in a way that they haven't had to act before. i did want to ask, though, john heilemann, let's take a look from 30,000 feet for americans who are focused on how their kmee is doi economy is doing, how their 401(k) is doing, are they able to send their second child off to college, all of the things people worry about. they don't worry about robert mueller, they don't worry about donald trump's tweets, they don't worry about these things day in and day out. you look at the right track/wrong track numbers, actually better than they've
been in quite some time. congressional -- the congressional ballot, there's been a slight move towards the democrats over the past couple weeks but it's tightened up for the most part and donald trump piece po 's poll which is languished in the mid-high 30s six months ago seems to be in the low to mid-40s in a lot of polls, what does it mean and why have we seen a movement in this direction? >> the president often doesn't tell the truth about things but he's been posting that his polling is the strongest its been since he took office and it's right about that. i think there's a clear correlation between the state of the economy and the president's approval rating. the most kind of traditional and predictable thing you ever see.
consumer confidence is at a high level. the market is not on the tear it was on in 2017 but in terms of gdp growth and unemployment, the president is in a pretty good place and we see that in his standing with the electorate. at the same time sfrks y, if yot the performance of democrats in the off year elections of 2017 and 2018 so far, special elections, everywhere we've had a way to measure enthusiasm and turnout, democrats are wildly overperforming compared to what they did in the last midterm cycle. so i think it will tighten and it's likely to be a blue we have a -- wave of some size or description. if the numbers keep heading the way they've been heading for president trump it may not be a tsunami, rather a modestly-sized swell.
>> and elise, great points by john in that the numbers are looking better right now. at the same time, democrats have had a great run of it over the past year and a half and if you can look at the intensity and that's what matters most in these midterm elections. these recent polls may not be good news for republicans running in the fall, they just may be good news for donald trump two years from now. >> joe, i would point to what john was just talking about with millennial voters and how their voting patterns are being set and they certainly aren't voting for republicans and if you look at what happened in the uk over the past couple of years with brexit then theresa may last june with her snap election and the youth turnout is always discounted but because of brexit the youth vote was so energized that they did turn out and i think that we're going to see more youth turnout than ever
with how activized the parkland students and young progressives are and that's a real problem for republicans. >> mark mazzetti has a lot of reporting on what we're talking about coming up. but let's set the scene, the department of justice has reacted to the threat of an ultimatum from president trump who tweeted on sunday that he would demand an investigation into reports that a long time u.s. intelligence source met with three trump aides during the 2016 election. those aides include campaign co-chairman sam clovis and foreign policy advisers carter page and george papadopoulos. the president sent a dozen tweets about the investigation over the last 72 hours including eight yesterday. quote if the fbi or doj was infill rating the campaign for another campaign, that's a big deal. only the release or review of documents that the house intelligence committee also sent at judiciary is asking for can
give the conclusive answers. drain the swamp. and finally yesterday afternoon this tweet. i hereby demand and will do so officially tomorrow that the department of justice will look into whether or not the fbi doj infiltrated or surveil it had trump campaign and if any such requests were made by people within the obama administration. last night, the justice department said the inspector general will expand the review of the fisa application process to include impropriety or political motivation in the counterintelligence investigation of russian agents in the 2016 race. and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein issued a statement "if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in the presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action."
exposing documents related to the secret source involved in this matter has been the mission of house intelligence committee chair devin nunes and according to the "washington post," the white house agreed to back the fbi's decision to withhold the information. but it was unclear whether president trump had been alerted to the fact that information developed by the source had been provided to the mueller investigation. joe? >> nick confessore, what are we to make of the developments over the week and rod rosenstein's response sending this along to the inspector general? >> jim, i think he's trying to avert a crisis as best he can. he's trying to give it here in hopes he won't give more tomorrow. but let's be clear, the president is asking for the same thing he's attacking. he's asking for a political investigation to find out if the investigation happening now was political and using his power as the president to do so. he's tweeting he'll make an
official request today but he's crossing a line here. but what he wants to do is fish around and find more facts on the ground for his thesis, which is that the real scandal is the investigation into foreign influence on the campaign and not the foreign influence itself. so as evidence has piled up of different foreign actors trying to get a piece of the trump campaign and make a bet on the trump campaign, he's trying to make it about the investigation. >> mark mazzetti, your reporting started this. tell us what you found and about this other meeting. >> the story we did over the week end which the president said was long and boring which was -- it could have been longer and more boring but we had to cut it some. it was about the pre-election
contacts between an emissary, the saudis and emiratis had sent to make contact with the trump campaign and donald trump jr. and other top campaign officials, including jared kushner, steve bannon and michael flynn. what's interesting and important here is that we knew that the mueller investigation had expanded to look at this line of inquiry and we were trying to get a sense of what they were looking at. we know there were meetings before the election. there were offers of help and the question of course was what that help delivered and what did the trump campaign know about it? this don jr. meeting came two months after the other notorious meeting don jr. had with all the russians had at trump. >> now talk about the doj angle if you could and the president
hereby demanding tweet which i found just awesome on so many levels, incredulous at this point that someone set him free on this. >> it is extraordinary. as nick pointed out, devin nunes and the president have this symbiotic relationship that has been going on for the year so the president's action yesterday which is extraordinary is more of a part of a campaign to try to get at what his argument is that the investigation was corrupt from the beginning. it was politicized from the beginning so whatever bob mueller does or bob mueller finds it is going to be poisoned by the fact thatted the this original sin so this is what he and nunes has been trying to do and i thought rosenstein's statement last night was fascinating and artful in that he says they're going to look to see whether there was surveillance that was done for
inappropriate purposes. it wasn't what the president was asking. that wouldn't clear the bar. >> and, of course, what's so interesting is, mika, that rosenstein asks a question that the fbi and the justice department already knows the answer to. the president said "for political purposes" which is actually pretty low bar for justice -- the justice ig to jump over and then rosenstein changes that "for political purposes" to "for inappropriate purposes." again, they've already laid all the predicates on why they have done what they have done. they went before four republican fisa court judges and four republican fisa court judges said they could move forward with this and here we are 20 indictments down the road they've indicted as campaign
manager, they indicted the man that ran as national security, they indicted the man who he told the "washington post" ran its foreign policy. they indicted the man manafort helped run the campaign. more indictments are on the way so they're going back talk about trying to claw their way back to 2016 when mueller's already proven all he's proven, it's quite an extraordinary -- it's a hail mary pass. doug flutie has nothing on these guys. let me go to kasie real quick. kase kasie, we understand there are sycophants in the house of representativess who are in districts where it pays to be a sycophant for donald trump, where it pays to undermine constitutional norms. where it pays to live and deal in alternative facts.
but if you listen to republicans in the united states senate, whether you're talking about the chairman of the jude diiciary committee or jodi ernst or rob portman, there is a general unease about this president declaring war on the justice department and striking a nixonian pose. how do you expect these senators to respond today? are we going to see a split between how the sycophants in one small part of the house differ from how republicans in the united states senate sit on this issue? >> yes, this's an easy question to answer. mark meadows, devin nunes, they have kind of been on their own on this. they have put a lot of pressure on paul ryan who has for the
most part gone along this. but what does ryan do now? nunes needs backup from the speaker. the speaker had been in the private meetings over the last week where the white house was reportedly on board with protecting these sources and medis and everything -- the temperature seems to be turned down on this as of thursday. then these stories explode in the "post" and the "times" about this informant and then you have to president start tweet iing a the pressure is incredible. the question for mainstream republicans is whether or not that they are going to maintain the possibility that the department of justice put a foot wrong in this investigation. because the way rosenstein framed there -- we touched on this at the top of the show -- this idea of inappropriate action. he's essentially suggesting and acknowledging "okay, we could have in unprecedented fashion
surveilled a u.s. presidential campaign because we could tell that foreign powers were actively trying to infiltrate the campaign. that would be the above-board appropriate reason to do this. the question is did they dot every i, did they cross every t and have they given something to this president to undermine the entirety of this investigation? >> and if hillary clinton -- i'll go back to it again, john heilemann. if members of hillary clinton's campaign or organization were going over to russia and delivering speeches that con democrat it had united states and were making contact and if southbound that hillary clinton told the "washington post" was helping run her foreign policy in the came got drunk and started bragging to australian ambassadors like papadopoulos bragged then republicans would rightly say that the fbi was not
doing their job to at least try to get the temperature here and see if the clinton campaign was letting the russians interfere with her campaign. even richard burr and the senate intel committee split from the house intel committee and said the russians were trying to interfere with this campaign. >> there's a lot going on here with the choice of language. even kasie used the word "surveilled." that verb suggestions a certain kind of activity that we have no evidence that there was, that it kind of suggests bugging the phone taps, other kinds of surveillance that don't necessarily go to what the "times" reported took place here. but mark mazzetti, i want to ask you, you have opened up a whole new line of inquiry with the reporting you had over the weekend on this question of not just the russian issues but some middle eastern efforts to influence the election and get
work at the trump campaign to help the president win. i'm curious for you, i never like to ask anybody who works in the investigation what is you are working on next. let me ask you the question this way -- what are the large questions in your mind that you would like to see answered that are the derived from the reporting that you guys published over the weekend? >> well, i think just like we've been looking at for the last year with the russians is the question is what was offered, if anything? what was accepted, if anything? was there an active effort by foreign governments to interfere on one side of the election and what did that look like? if anything. and another big question, of course, is what became of it? why does it matter? one of the big questions for the first year of the trump administration has been why was trump administration foreign policy so overtly for the saudis? pro saudi, pro emirati? they sided with them in a regional dispute against qatar.
the first foreign trip the president took was to saudi arabia which, when you think about it, is pretty extraordinary. so the question is did it affect policy. was there any quid pro quo? these are the bigger questions that are part of this line of inquiry. >> mark ma et setti, thank you for your long and boring piece. [ laughter ] very boring. all right, we turn to the deadly school shooting in texas. a moment of silence will be held today there for the victims of friday's mass shooting at santa fe high school. ten people, eight students and two teachers, were killed when a 17-year-old student and suspected gunman is alleged to have opened fire. 13 others were injured. joining us now from santa pfe high school in texas, our msnbc correspondent marianna atencio. what is the latest? >> the 17-year-old gunman,
dimitrios pagourtzis, is being held without bond and authorities aren't giving a motive but we know from the avid that he targeted those students he disliked and spared those he like sod they would give a positive account of who he was after the shooting. the names of those ten people whose lives were lost was released over the weekend. students like sabika sheikh, a pakistani exchange student who was counting down the days on her snapchat account to be reunited with her family. she was the first to be buried yesterday at a mosque in houston. those ten names being remembered at church services far and wide across the state where we also saw governor greg abbot. i asked him what comes next from a policy perspective? he told me he's going try to implement a statewide program
focused on mental health. round table discussions for that begin tomorrow but some of the students i have spoken to on the ground, especially those who survived say they want to see more than the focus on mental health. they are inspired by what they saw in parkland and they hope santa fe, even though it's a small rural community can continue to lead this change we're seeing from young people nationwide. joe and mika? >> mariana, thank you so much. joe, to say this impacts kids across the country every time it happens is an understatement. i got a text from my daughter last night and she sent me a facebook post by a mother of a child in the school, diedre van ness and she entitles it "the longest day of my life." and she talks about her daughter hiding in the closet and calling home as the shooter was basically killing people in the classroom right behind the door she was hiding behind and she came home covered in blood.
a student in the closet was killed. it is -- it's hard to talk about but it has to be get our arms around this. >> we do and that's for people who support gun control and for people who don't support gun control. john heilemann, this is such a -- they're all difficult because it never seems to be a quick fix, a gun you can ban or certain steps that you can take. this wasn't las vegas. you can't talk about bump stocks, you can't talk about ar-15s, you the can't talk about military-style weapons. this wasn't parkland. you didn't have somebody just shooting and then reloading. you had guns that were legally purchased. a kid who was underaged so he couldn't have purchased guns if he wanted to. he used his dad's shotgun and he
uses a .38, i believe. it wasn't like he was shooting and reloading, shooting and reloading, shooting and reloading so there are so many of these tragedies where people run to their corners. here it seems, you know -- people like chris murphy, it would be great for people like chris murphy to sit down with governor abbot and say, okay, this happened in newtown to me, it's happened to you now, what do we do? where do we come together because part of this can't be legislated away, certainly not in this case. we're not taking away shotguns, we're not taking away .38s so there are some opportunities to try to find some common ground and not divide along ideological lines here. but, my god, the tragedies do keep coming. >> yes. and you know, look, it's a
hopeful notion that we can find some common ground on this and there is literally no evidence whatsoever in all of these diverse cases that had the same tragic outcome, there's no evidence we can find common ground. there's been no sign of it on almost any instance. but to me the most powerful thing about this, and it's the least unique insight i can offer is i think this struck everyone about this was hearing from kids in texas who said we expected this to happen here. if there's going to be any kind of progress and solution to these problems -- and they are not all the same problem but they have a commonality that relates to gun violence, if there's going to be a change it has to be on a basic cultural level, not on the questions of specific policies. there's going to be some kind of a moment where everyone says, look, this can't go on. we can't have kids who go to school in cities and states across the country who have an
expectation that they are going to get shot in school and if we could acknowledge that that is horrific, maybe that's the starting point. i don't know where it goes from there but maybe that is the kind of ground zero for this on an emotional cultural level. >> and you know common ground that so many of us have are children that go to school and i know all of us want to keep our children safe in school and nick i talked about how there weren't the horrific sights of military style weapons being reloaded and reloaded and reloaded and here you had a shotgun and a handgun so that didn't fit needily into anybody's talking points and not a lot we're going to do on that front but i know the governor is talking about mental health
counseli counseling. my god, i don't think we can spend enough in that area and yet, unlike parkland, who would have dragged this kid out of the lineup? i think he was an hon or roll student. he played on the football team, worked hard. he was working towards being in some a.p. classes. not a lot of people would have -- he wasn't like cruz at parkland, he was just a quiet kid. >> joe, i'm struck by the report in the "los angeles times" over the weekend that the shooter had advanced on a teenage girl and rebuffed her and killed her and his classmates. i look to a future for my own kids of hardened schools and safety drills and knowing which part of the classroom is the safe place to be in a shooting situation but i think that the common ingredients here, joe,
and the common ingredients in many of these cases are an angry and troubled boy who has access to guns and it points to something a little deeper in our culture that this young man felt he had some entitlement to the attentions of this woman, that he felt the only way to kind of resolve his entitlement, his frustration, his anger was to kill her and kill his friends, his classmates, and that's a problem that can't be solved by the government i don't think. it's a cultural problem in this country and probably around the world. >> when kids are telling us they know they're next, we're doing something wrong is the bottom line. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> human sources in particular who put themselves at great risk to work with us and with our foreign partners have to be able to trust that we're going to protect their identities and in many cases their lives and the lives of their families.
the day we can't protect human sources is the day the american people start becoming less safe. our next guest says the man we just heard there, fbi director chris wray would likely resign before carrying out an order from the president. as we go to break, check out these incredible images from hawaii where lava is spewing. >> unbelievable what's happening there. >> it is. this is the on going volcanic eruption out there. we're back in three minutes with much more "morning joe." thank you clients? well jd power did just rank them highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms...again. and online equity trades are only $4.95... i mean you can't have low cost and be full service. it's impossible. it's like having your cake and eating it too. ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs. how am i going to explain this?
if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab. schwab, a modern approach to wealth management. at bp, everyone on an offshore rig depends on one another. that's why entire teams train together in simulators, to know exactly what to do before they have to do it. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. and we got to know the friends of our friends.r the friends. and we found others just like us. and just like that we felt a little less alone. but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, fake news, and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy.
because when this place does what it was built for, then we all get a little closer. welcome to holiday inn! thank you! ♪ ♪ wait, i have something for you! every stay is a special stay at holiday inn. save up to 15% when you book early at hollidayinn.com one picky customer shouldn't take all your time. need something printed? the business advisors at office depot can assist with exactly what your business needs to grow. get your coupon for 20% off services, technology and more at office depot and officedepot.com. technology and more if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months, ... with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring.
don't use if you're allergic to otezla. otezla may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. tell your doctor if these occur. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. other side effects include upper respiratory tract infection and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ♪ otezla. show more of you.
i can tell you, that different people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time and i think they should understand by now, the department of justice is not going to be extorted. we're going to do what's required by the rule of law and any kind of threats that anybody
makes are not going to affect the way we do our job. >> okay. deputy attorney general rod rosenstein speaking earlier this month. joining us now, editor-in-chief of law fair and an msnbc legal analyst benjamin whittis and msnbc contributor clint watts. next week, he's out with a new book "messing with the enemy." surviving in a social media world of hackers, terrorists, russians and fake news. great timing. joe, i do think that this is the time where the things that rod rosenstein and christopher wray believe and say will be put to the test. yeah. so interesting that so many of the players the president is attacking now were republicans he appointed, whether you're talking about christopher wray appointed by donald trump or jeff sessions, a man donald
trump said was the smartest person he's ever met from washington, d.c. during the campaign. you can go down the list. they're all republicans. rosenstein, a republican, the four fisa court judges, all republicans. this is a democratic conspiracy run completely by republicans. the president ought to try to explain that one. maybe he can because he's a lifetime democrat who has contributed to nancy pelosi and chuck schumer and the dnc. you name it. maybe he can explain it, i'm very confused. let's go to ben because whenever i'm confused i read something ben writes and he makes me feel better about things. so, ben, i'm curious what your reaction is. i love a couple of these phrases and it sounds like the president is trying to give the justice department an escape route even though we know he wasn't. he talked about if they were surveilled or if there were any investigations on the campaign "for political purposes" and
then you had rosenstein responding to that with a phrase of his own that you could drive a mack truck through. if any of that happened, quote, "for inappropriate purposes." i don't know, maybe it's just the lawyer in me but i could work all day with phrases like th that. what was your response to first trump and then rosenstein? >> i want to focus on a different phrase in the president's tweet which is that tomorrow which is now today he will officially direct as opposed to the tweet and that means that everything depends on what is contained in this official directive that he has announced is coming today. the question i agree with you, if there are caveats like for political purposes.
the justice department will use those as a way to finesse the issue and rosenstein's kicking the matter to the inspector general yesterday was an attempt to do that preemptively, i think. on the other hand, if the president does what he says he's going to do, which is to direct the justice department to -- for an overtly political self-interested purpose to open a criminal investigation without -- that isn't properly predicated with any factual basis, that is a real red line and i don't believe that either rosenstein or chris wray will sit still for that. >> i wanted to ask you about how you would respond to some republicans and some conservatives whom i respect. i was saying last night on twitter that the justice
department is an executive branch, donald trump runs the executive branch. he has every right to order up an investigation of his own investigation. that seems to me to certainly ignore -- well, my god, hundreds of years of constitutional norms. >> it is as a technical article ii constitutional matter correct save that if you do it for a corrupt purpose which i think this is almost openly a corrupt purpose, that's a -- an abuse of power that is itself grounds for an impeachment. but i agree he has the raw constitutional power to do that. the modern history of the presidency is not a history of the president intervening in specific investigations, it's a history of the president keeping
his hands offs investigative matters. and more importantly it is also a history of the fbi not opening investigations for political reasons. the fbi and the justice department open investigations only when there is what they call a predicate for those investigations which is to say some factual basis for the belief a crime has been committed or may have been committed so when you have people saying it's fine for the president to demand for political reasons and unpredicated investigation, they're saying something really quite radical and quite divergent from the law enforcement traditions of the modern executive branch. >> mika, if you want an example
to that, go back to the travelgate investigation. george stephanopoulos called somebody over from the fbi just to work on the press release from the travelgate investigation and republicans were screaming to high heaven there was a violation of the constitutional norms of this great republic and that republicans were interfering with an fbi investigation. go back and look at the hell republicans raised when you just had communications people trying to coordinate the message that was sent out and fast forward to 25 years later. you have to president of the united states trying to influence and undermine an investigation against him. >> you have an attorney -- i am trying to think of anyone in the inner circumstance who will will lie and freelance and distract
wildly. yi i can't think of anyone who has done that on the record. rudy giuliani has started to do that saying there's no campaign finance violation with the stormy daniels payment or the work with cohen was to save the marriage or the president isn't above the law until he is above the law. he literally says these things on television. he's almost as bad as president trump himself. >> what about when he goes on television and he says, oh, he would have paid stormy daniels anyway for an affair that took place in 2006 and then they wait a decade and a couple weeks before the presidential campaign anyway. he goes out and he just -- again he lies shamelessly like the person he is representing. >> it's not nothing to see here. there's so much to see here, it's blinding. clint watts, try and pear it down for us. you tweeted in the last few paragraphs of the "new york times" piece was the most interest i
interesting. what do you mean by that? >> there's a lot of talk about general flynn and the group he met that was convening there. that group was shut down because in the uk they thought that was being used as an influence factor by the russian government. they were kind of out in front of this. what's really interesting in all of this if you look for this russia investigation, the battleground for influence was happening in europe. you have papadopoulos, page, these people showing up in europe and so when we hear about the source and the sourcing that was there, the fbi was trying to explore this connection afar to see whether this influence was coming in. imagine had the fbi not explored these things they would have been totally negligent in their counterintelligence responsibilities. so with general flynn what's fascinating is beyond just the cultivation we saw him show up at the rt dinner, where there other things being dangled to him, other influencers that were approaching him in what might have been an avert way but that the uk was on to. when we talk about sources and
allies, we are burning just about every source and ally that we have in order to support the president's conspiracies. >> kasie hunt, jump in. >> i have a question for how the british were involved and how reportedly this informant lured george papadopoulos to the uk in what is a time-honored intelligence technique. my question is more broad though. what would it take? who would have to know about this type of an operation in the united states. who would have to sign off on that to allow what we've discussed as being an unprecedented counterintelligence investigation into a presidential campaign to happen. >> okay. let me say for starters i don't know how this investigation was
conducted. >> sure. but in principle. >> my assumption is that a significant investigative step given the sensitivities of this would have been cleared at at a very senior level. >> nick? >> this informant for the fbi. as a former agent yourself, we see how the president is reskilled at framing things quickly for his followers and he reframed the informant for being spied on so he wants people to worry about the investigation rather than what provoked the investigation. as a former agent, how many investigations have you been on that involved a confidential informant? how common is it? >> all. it's the cornerstone of every investigation. imagine you're an fbi and you receive a report from the australian ambassador. they may know the russians have taken something related to one of the presidential candidates you would immediately say okay i want to assess this.
the other thing is to protect the trump campaign from being penetrated. think back to '16. you're saying wait a second, maybe they're trying to infiltrate this campaign. candidate trump isn't aware of it which seems -- could even be the case today you would then go to an informant and say you've had contact with this person. can you assess questions about whether they have knowledge of this information and how do they know this? that's what you're trying to drive to. the other thing the president does is confuses agents and informant. a confidential informant is not an undercover agent. this is something you've worked with as a source, you have a good track record and you say have you heard anything and would you be willing and try to look into this for us. that seems to be what they were doing in this case. an undercover agent is someone the fbi deliberately creates and inserts over an extended period.
it's a deliberate operation, it takes many layers of approvals within the fbi headquarters. that didn't happen. >> joe. >> ben, quickly, you talked about how approval would have to come at a high level. are we talking about the fbi or the president of the united states? >> certainly not the latter. look, for the reasons that clinton said, this is actually a very gentle technique. we're not talking about electronic surveillance. we're not talking about something that would normally require director or deputy director level involvement. on the other hand, this was a matter of extreme political sensitivity because they were conduct i
conducting the beginnings of a counterintelligence investigation that touched on a political campaign and clint is right that that was -- you should think of that as an effort to protect the campaign, not spy on the campaign. but it's politically sensitive. but i don't know that for sure and i don't know how high the approval would have been. >> benjamin and clint, thank you very much both for being on this morning. ahead on "morning joe," she was acting attorney general for all of ten days before being fired by president trump. sally yates will join us. we'll get her unique perspective on the president's tension with the doj. plus, is president trump losing the trade battle with china? he's up and tweeting about that
this morning. "morning joe" is coming right back. ♪ this is a story about mail and packages. and it's also a story about people. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you ♪ let's do an ad of a man eating free waffles at comfort inn. they taste like victory because he always gets the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed, when he books direct at choicehotels.com. or just say badda book, badda boom. book now at choicehotels.com.
or just say badda book, badda boom. ♪ tired of wrestling with seemingly impossible cleaning tasks? using wipes in the kitchen, and sprays in the bathroom can be ineffective. try mr. clean magic eraser with durafoam. simply add water, and use in your kitchen for burnt on food, in your bathroom to remove soap scum, and on walls to remove scuffs and marks. it erases 4x more permanent marker per swipe. for tough kitchen and bath messes, use mr. clean magic eraser with durafoam. brand power. helping you buy better.
supercuts, lionel messi is a superstar. no player can break from the safe waters of midfield and navigating between center back and leftback withstefrback. in the it is as if he wears the ball as a sock. however, it's all instinct he revealed. only later when i watch it later on television do i even know it happened. >> that was the soccer analyst and cohost of men in blazers reading from his new book, a suboptimal sight to soccer. the book roger says is a love letter to growth of the game in america out in time for the start of the 2018 world cup in russia. roger joins us now and it's
tweed and we're in it. >> you know, mika, this book and i don't usually predict this but this book will have the impact that the bible had when it first came off of the printing presses. but speaking of massive, poor joey scarborough, choosing who i call the microsoft of soccer teams, chelsea, he -- he actually had something to keer for this weekend when conte and the wonderful kids put on a show. >> the contest was 737 tiny clubs playing against each other in a vast tournament. the two teems in the final, chelsea, united, it's like the iri iran iraq war.
from the penalty spot, a point after attempt. look at that big bottom belgian. chelsea football club. win the fa cup. it was an awful game of football. not like, joe, the champions league next weekend. liverpool madrid, how are you feeling? >> it's going to be a tough one. we'll see what happens. i think zadan has to win to stay manager so i think the pressure is going to be on but i'm feeling about as good as you can feel when you have to go up against ronaldo. he wants to take off his shirt and reveal an eight pack. he's playing liverpool. the golden knights of the
champions league led by a giant german and a remarkable man. i have to tell you about this gentleman because i know nobody cares about football more than you. a 25-year-old who is part of the history of football since i guess princess leah, hans solo, public about his islam. he loves it and it's a complicated place right now. we wish them well. i wish liverpool well. joe, may you be happy on saturday. >> talk about your book. >> i am the danielle steele of my generation. you are going to watch the world cup america. it starts in 24 days. no country likes to cut work, daytime drink, this book will allow you to do it smarter, more
knowledgeably and with more passion than me. >> i -- i think i might agree with that. do you guys agree? who could do this book besides roger? >> so roger, obviously the problem with the world cup, the united states isn't in it and italy's not in it and the netherlands aren't in it. but who are the favorites? are we looking at germany, france, brazil as the top three? >> and spain. you also have this crash between ronaldo against massey, this little argentinian, he looks like he works at block buster. you'll be reading the village voice. >> block buster. >> it's always 1994 and you've got this tiny little guy that wants argentina to win.
they will be the ghosts in football nor the eternity. >> do you know what goat means? >> anyone apart from england -- >> could you tell me what goat means? >> i was trying to stop it. >> why don't you -- >> greatest of all time. >> okay. >> when he says the goat that's what he means. greatest of all time. >> the book is encyclopedia out now. we'll be tuning in as men in blazers goes on tour for the world cup traveling across the country for a series of live shows in the tournament. for those interested in witnessing the action, tickets are available at men in blazers.com. congratulations. thank you. >> thank you for letting me on television. >> no problem. o. still ahead, new reporting on president trump's attempt to punish amazon. he claims it's an issue of fairness and taxes but is it really about jeff bezos and the
washington post possibly? plus rudy giuliani can't say whether his client will sit for an interview with bob mueller but he does say he does know how much longer the obstruction of the special probe will last. how does he know? "morning joe" is coming right back. once there was an organism so small no one thought much of it at all. people said it just made a mess until exxonmobil scientists put it to the test. they thought someday it could become fuel and power our cars wouldn't that be cool? and that's why exxonmobil scientists think it's not small at all. energy lives here. this is not just a yard. it's where memories are made. and you have the best seat in the house. the john deere x350 select series
welcome to holiday inn! thank you! ♪ ♪ wait, i have something for you! every stay is a special stay at holiday inn. save up to 15% when you book early at hollidayinn.com ( ♪ ) face the world as a face to be reckoned with. only botox® cosmetic is fda approved to temporarily make moderate to severe frown lines, crow's feet and forehead lines look better. it's a quick 10 minute cosmetic treatment given by a doctor to reduce those lines. there is only one botox® cosmetic, ask for it by name. the effects of botox® cosmetic,
may spread hours to weeks after injection, causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. do not receive botox® cosmetic if you have a skin infection. side effects may include allergic reactions, injection site pain, headache, eyelid and eyebrow drooping and eyelid swelling. tell your doctor about your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions, and medications including botulinum toxins as these may increase the risk of serious side effects. leave your mark on the world. minimize its mark on you. get started at botoxcosmetic.com. you look at the corruption
at the top of the fbi, it's a disgrace and our justice department which i try and stay away from but at some point i won't. our justice department should be looking at that kind of stuff, not the nonsense of collusion with russia. >> out late last month donald trump said at some point he would no longer stay away from the justice department and that point came yesterday. when the president of the united states demanded that the doj investigate whether his campaign was infiltrated. welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, may 21st. with us we have national affairs analyst and executive producer and cohost of show times, the circus, and nbc political analyst and former aide to the george w. bush kbhous, and political reporter for the washington post, moderator of washington week on pbs and former chief of staff of the cia
and department of defense now an nbc news national security analyst, and pulitzer prize winner and author of number one new york times best seller "the soul of america, the battle for our better angels." who tries to be the soul of america many times and is. >> new developmentes in the threatened trade war with china. is the trump administration backing off? and don jr. is under scrutiny once again for his meetings with the -- during the 2016 campaign, apparently russia wasn't the only country looking for influence. a lot to cover this morning, joe. >> yeah, what a disturbing series of tweets by the president and i guess we can blame bill karins for that forecast. i mean, the rain just keeps coming, the president doesn't have his golf game to keep his occupied and so he just sits
there with those thumbs just working that phone nonstop over and over again. >> it's incredible. >> and in this case, i mean, we saw a flood of tweets that really once again showed a president who was desperate and really despondent over an investigation that's already indicted. so many people close to him. indicted people that ran his foreign policy, indicted people that ran his campaign. indicted people he said ran his foreign policy. going to be indicting more russians from everything we understand and so it's getting too close for comfort for him and so now he's striking out and he's suggesting that we investigate the investigators who are by the way, all republican investigators. it's -- you've got that -- you know, he attacks the fbi. well, the fbi is appointed by a republican, run by a republican.
he appointed. he tal talks about fisa abuse by democrats, no four republican appointed judges who decided that the fisa warrants were warranted and yet he just keeps trying to churn things up because he's a very cornered desperate man and make no mistake of it, some friends were suggesting last night on twitter that there was nothing to see here, move along, move along, but the president is breaching constitutional norms once again. other than richard nixon you cannot find an america's wonderful 240-year history. the president of the united states ordering the justice department to investigate an investigation that pertains to the president himself. that is an abuse of power. that is a breaching of
constitutional norms under any standards and if it makes republicans, makes right wingers feel any better by suggesting otherwise that's fine but history is not on your side. 240 years of history is not on your side and unfortunately, mika, all we can do is hope that those around the president and those running the justice department and those running the fbi will continue doing what they've been doing and put the -- this country and put our constitution first. we shall see. >> well, let's lay out what happened. it is -- it is so disturbing on a number of levels. the department of justice has reacted to the threat of an ultimatum from president trump who treated on sunday that he would demand an investigation into reports that a long time u.s. intelligence source met with three trump aides during the 2016 election. those aides include sam clovis and foreign policy advisors.
tom page and george papadopoulus. the president sent a dozen tweets over the last 72 hours including eight yesterday. quote, if the nib or doj was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign that is a really big deal. only the release or review of documents that the house intelligence committee, also senate judiciary is asking for can give the conclusive answers. drain the swamp and finally yesterday afternoon this tweet. i here by demand and will the so officially tomorrow. i here by demand that the department of justice will look into whether or not the fbi, doj infiltrated or surveilled the trump campaign and if any such demands or requests were made within the obama administration. last night the justice department said its inspector
general will expand the review of the fisa application process. and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein issued a statement, if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we knead to know about it and take appropriate action. exposing documents related to the secret source involved in this matter has been the mission of the house intelligence committee chairman, devin nunes and the white house agreed to back the fbi's decision to with hold the information. but it was unclear whether president trump had been alerted to the fact that information developed by the source had been provided to the mueller investigation. as republican house members continued their push, fbi director chris wray said in a senate hearing last week that congressional oversight should
not risk exposing informants. >> human sources in particular who put themselves at great risk to work with us and with our foreign partners have to be able to drtrust that weir going to protect their identities and many in cases the lives and lives of their family. the day that we can't protect hue monosources is the day american people start becoming less safe. >> you know, i remember throughout the entire 2016 campaign, republicans freaking out, conservatives freaking out, conservative press freaking out about hillary clinton wrecklessly using classified information. and what's at the top of your list is the concern that you may expose methods or actual sources. now, exposing sources, that is actually the greatest risk.
that is the greatest danger that -- that any security breach could actually bring about and that is exactly what happen devin nuancnes, and they're not even pro tending, there's some back door route to get this information. they know they are actively exposing a source of the united states -- an intel source and by so doing, they're threatening america's national security. they don't really care about it because the only thing they care about now appears to be protecting a president who is surrounded by aides who are all working with republican bob mueller right now. i want to ask you really quickly a couple things. one, there are a couple of phrases that were escape routes
in this constitutional crisis. donald trump said one when he said quote, for political purposes. if anybody surveilled my campaign quote, for political purposes. i can tell you as a lawyer, give me that mack truck, i will drive through that loophole and then rosenstein, some people were upset that rosenstein responded, actually rosenstein's response made me laugh because that was filled with so many loopholes. he says this is very disturbing and if in fact the trump campaign was surveilled, quote, for inappropriate purposes, then of course we must do something about this. we must know about this at once. well, jeremy, if this had happened, we would have already heard about it wouldn't we not? >> yeah, i had the same reaction and i think what's going on here is that the justice department
senior leaders know full well that the techniques were legitimate, they were lawful, they were appropriate and as you noted, the 11th commandment for intelligence community professionals is you shall not reveal the identity of a clandestine source. the president is going to speak at the swearing in of the new cia director gina haspel and he's going to stand in front of an audience of people who have risked their lives to protect the identity of human sources. a crime to reveal -- actually do anything that leads to the revelation of a covert source's name. so thissa stunning development that the president would try to and apparently have successfully outed the identity of a source and though that source may have played a negligent role, his
affiliation with the u.s. intelligence committee is now revealed. his life is at risk. >> yeah, and of course it's something that john heilemann it could have been handled in a far more discrete manner but this is all for the cameras. this is owl for the right wing media. this is all for the echo chamber. it's time to play the game when we used to play when barack obama was president, imagine if a republican had done this. now, let's turn that on its ear and let's play this game. imagine if a source -- imagine if a covert source for the intelligence community was being exposed by hillary clinton, by
eric holder, by loretta lynch, by nancy pelosi, by -- you name it. go down the list, there would be calls of treason and i'm telling you, they would already be -- they would already be suggesting that hearings be held for the conviction of treason and the hanging of people for exposing a source. and here we have paul ryan allowing this to happen in the light of day. >> right. look, i mean, joe, i think everything you've seen and everything jeremy said sounded right for me except for one thing. it's for the cameras for sure, but the question i have in my mind we saw those questions and we see what the president is doing, the question in my mind at this moment is whether we are now seeing the beginning of the thing we've all been talking about for months when the moment donald trump decides to move on
over the mueller investigation. where the activity and the president's motives start to kind of come together and whether this is the sort of thing that serves a a pretext. when rod rosenstein says we don't believe this was political motives. this was not -- had no nefarious motivation. whether that becomes the thing that trump uses along with his allies in the house -- among house republicans to finally do -- take the step. the step to try to move rosenstein as a way to get to bob mueller. are we on the brink now of that happening? >> still ahead, roger stone hasn't been interviewed by bob mueller's investigators but that's not necessarily good news for the former trump advisoadvi.
but first e here's bill karins. >> i want to show you the latest pictures from the big island of hawaii. kilauea, just epic stuff that's going on. unfortunately we still have over 40 structures have been condemned. so let's bring you back home and give you the faft for today. we do have rainy weather in florida. it's been raining nonstop nor the last to two or three weeks. rain moving up the east coast and a little bit of rain heading toward gainesville. chicago just had a line of thunderstorms roll on through. this will move up towards green bay during the day and later today, that same storm system moves into the ohio valley. it's only a small risk area.
from indianapolis, almost to columbus, those are the people who have a chance to see some strong winds, maybe some small hail with those storms. you want a beautiful day, 78 in new york city. looks like a very nice start to the work week here. all the heavy rain remains in the southeast. it's going to be a soaker in florida right flu the southeast each afternoon until we get to the end of the week and memorial day weekend this weather pattern doesn't change much. new york city one of those spots that had a miserable saturday. a decent sunday and then the reward, we get to go back to work and school for this beautiful monday. you're watching "morning joe." that's the way it goes. we'll be right back.
we have postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture, so with our doctors we chose prolia® to help make our bones stronger. only prolia® helps strengthen bones by stopping cells that damage them with 1 shot every 6 months. do not take prolia® if you have low blood calcium, are pregnant, are allergic to it, or take xgeva®. serious allergic reactions, like low blood pressure; trouble breathing; throat tightness; face, lip or tongue swelling, rash, itching or hives have happened. tell your doctor about dental problems, as severe jaw bone problems may happen or new or unusual pain in your hip, groin, or thigh, as unusual thigh bone fractures have occurred. speak to your doctor before stopping prolia®, as spine and other bone fractures have occurred. prolia® can cause serious side effects, like low blood calcium; serious infections, which could need hospitalization; skin problems; and severe bone, joint, or muscle pain. if your bones aren't getting stronger isn't it time for a new direction? why wait? ask your doctor about prolia. i was wondering if an electric toothbrush really cleans better than a manual. and my hygienist says it does but they're not all the same.
who knew? i had no idea. so she said, look for one that's shaped like a dental tool with a round brush head. go pro with oral-b. oral-b's rounded brush head surrounds each tooth to gently remove more plaque, and oral-b is the first electric toothbrush brand accepted by the american dental association for its effectiveness and safety. my mouth feels so clean. i'll only use an oral-b. oral-b. brush like a pro. the full value of your new car? you're better off throwing your money right into the harbor. i'm gonna regret that. with new car replacement, if your brand new car gets totaled, liberty mutual will pay the entire value plus depreciation. liberty stands with you. liberty mutual insurance.
sure. mom,what's up son?alk? i can't be your it guy anymore. what? you guys have xfinity. you can do this. what's a good wifi password, mom? you still have to visit us. i will. no. make that the password: "you_stillóhave_toóvisit_us." that's a good one. [ chuckles ] download the xfinity my account app and set a password you can easily remember. one more way comcast is working to fit into your life, not the other way around. special counsel appealed to roger stone according to reuters. the aide was questioned about possible russian interference as well as wikileaks whose
revelation stone hinted at before their disclosure. stone who says he has not been interviewed by investigators commented on "meet the press." >> all one has to do is follow assange's tweet and set an alert and read every interview he's given and everything i predicted is contained in his public comments. there is no evidence whatsoever that i had advance knowledge of the content or source of this material. i received nothing from wikileaks or from the russians, i passed nothing on to donald trump or the trump campaign. >> it is not inconceivable now that mr. mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime pertaining to my business or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election. this was supposed to be about russian collusion and it appears to be an effort to silence or
punish the president's supporters and his advocates. >> well, i mean only those that have made contact with russian cutouts. so, jon, i don't remember the exact details of this, but roger stone did -- just because he said google alerts, et cetera, but didn't roger also brag to radio stations and perhaps -- i don't know if he gave a speech but i ooseen a couple of quotes where he said hey, it's coming, just wait, in a way that actually he could not have picked up from google alerts. >> he did. and i think you know, the thing that's got him in greater trouble is the testimony to bob mueller and to the grand jury of long time trump associate sam noneberg who if you'll recall -- >> what a week that was. >> after he'd been called to see
mueller came on and deafed to a couple things that we know he's talk bd. at some point roger stone said to sam that ewas going to see assange for dinner in london. and sam has testified to that and has said he deafed to that. roger stone's answer to that is that he was joking. he was making a joke to him on the phone. i keep trying to figure out what the setup is in the joke where i'm going to have dinner with assange in london is the punch line and in what way that could be a joke. but i think it's certainly telling that we know about sam nunberg's testimony. we know from other reporting that it seems like bob mueller is focused on bob stone. he's been discussed with other witnesses, i think it's very ominous for roger stone. he should not be expecting an indictment and it's going to
don't juggle your home life and work life without it. ♪ ♪ don't skip that office meeting for a board meeting without it. don't keep it real... keep it going... or simply keep it in the family without it. and don't turn that business trip, into an overdue family trip without it. ♪ ♪ the more you live between life and business, the more you need someone at your back. the powerful backing of american express. don't live life without it. hnew litter?lled this no. nobody has! it's unscented! (vo) new tidy cats free & clean unscented. powerful odor control with activated charcoal. free of dyes. free of fragrances. tidy cats free & clean. when no scents makes sense.
president trump is set to host kim jong un at the white house tomorrow. the new york times reports this morning that after a top north korean official issued a statement on wednesday essentially saying its country would never give up nuclear weapons in exchange for financial aid. the times also reports that several aides think trump wants the summit too much and that kim longing to capitalize on trump's eagerness is prepared to offer concessions that will fade over time. there is also a growing fear
that trump doesn't have a detailed enough grasp of the north korean nuclear program since he has resisted briefings and i'll add to that, he doesn't read. how would he know anything about this actually? i'm not sure what to hope for on this. but former commander and chief international security and diplomacy analyst for nbc news, retired four star james stavridis. joe, take it away. >> you had a president before the i iraq deal and many others around the president, too eager, too needy for a deal with iran and they knew it all along and it altered the contours of that deal. here we have, admiral, many
trump aides believing he is is too needy, too eager for a deal with the north koreans and seems that trump rightfully if not belatedly is starting to grow weary of the possibility of this instant summit. just add a whole lot of hair gel and i'm curious, would you like to see the president back off so the president mattis, bolton, pompeo and haspel have at least a few months to sort through the facts that are before them, now that they're together as a team and try to stop from repeating the same mistakes that the past three or four presidents have made? >> you know, the quote that occurs to me, joe, is history always repeats itself, first is tragedy, then as farce. and this is starting to feel a little bit farcical, two
enormous egos getting together to negotiate nuclear weapons. you know, what could go rong? so -- wrong and i think the real problem with the president is if you want to get in the room and negotiate, you are two apopgs. being an expert yourself or the other is put somebody truly expert in the immediate orbit. i don't see either of those unfolding in front of us and yet like a pair of moths to the flame, kim jong un i think as well as president trump are inex- ra my drawn to this summit. i think we should go forward. there may be some kind of a way to create a break through here, but the chances of kim jong un
literally giving up his nuclear weapons are about the same as the chances of the mexicans paying for the wall. not going to happen. >> coming up on "morning joe," she was fired by donald trump in the early days of his presidency for refusing to defend the travel band. sally yates joins the conversation next on "morning joe." it can grow out of control, disrupting business and taking on a life of its own.
its multi-cloud complexity creating friction... and slowing innovation. with software-defined solutions, like hpe oneview, you can tame the it monster. hewlett packard enterprise. less complexity. more visibility. those we love is an act of mutuality. we can help with the financial ones. learn more or find an advisor at massmutual.com
we can help with the financial ones. my gums are irritated. i don't have to worry about that, do i? actually, you do. harmful bacteria lurk just below the gum line, and if you're not taking care of your gums, you're not taking care of your mouth. so now i use this. crest gum detoxify. introducing new crest gum detoxify... it works below the gum line and is clinically proven to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and help reverse early gum damage. new gum detoxify, from crest. gums are good. so is my check up! crest. healthy, beautiful smiles for life. savings on the new sleep number 360 smart bed. it senses your every move and automatically adjusts on both sides to keep you effortlessly comfortable. and snoring.... does your bed do that? right now during our semi-annual sale save
who passed laws protecting immigrants from trump... and helped dreamers stay in school. he led bold action against climate change. and only de león fought for universal, medicare for all. democrat kevin de león the only true progressive for senate. change california now is responsible for the content of this advertising. joining us now, former acting u.s. general and deputy attorney general sally yates. also with us, michelle nun, which later this morning will kick off its 2018 national conference. this year's theme, your voice, a world of change which will focus on the need to fight against the systems that marginalize women.
michelle, you're organizing the whole thing so set up the con presence for us. >> yeah, we have over 1,000 people that will join us this week over the next few days and they are coming from over 40 states and they're standing for america's humanitarian leadership in the world and for fighting against cuts to our international assistance budget and also to lifting up women and girls in and in particular to taking this moment that we've experienced in the u.s., this me too movement and moment and turning that into something international. so we're delivering 100,000 signatures to the ilo, the international labor organization and we are saying that we need to ensure that we're not only -- that we're not only taking down a few select men but we're really lifting up million of women around the world. >> so the timing of this is perfect. i know you're very specific about what you do with your time right now and where you put your voice, but this makes complete sense. tell us why you're involved.
>> well, really i'm so honored to be able to participate with care in this really critical movement. you know, care is really taking the me too movement on the road and it's taking it to countries all over the world where women face even greater challenges than they do in our country and i think it's really up to all of us in terms of whether this is going to be a moment that women are feeling or whether this is going to be a true global movement that makes lasting change. and i'm just really honored to be able to be part of that movement. >> sally, what do you make of the me too moment in the u.s. at this critical juncture and specifically how it's unfolded within congress? we heard that there were more sexual harassment investigations coming about members of congress and then that seemed to stop. what do you make of where we are today with me too in the u.s.?
>> well, i think what we're seeing is that unfortunately, sexual harassment and abuse in the work place takes place everywhere, from congress to private industry to government. and what i think is so important about this movement is that women are feeling empowered to stand up and to speak up. and to say that they're not going to take this anymore. and there's real power in that and women knowing that they're not alone as well. but it really is important that we not let this just be a flash in the pan, just a moment and if we want to have real lasting change, then we need to spread this movement beyond even the confines just of the united states and to spread it around the world as well. >> and michelle, i'm wondering in terms of this event if it is even more significant given that trump is president and given that everything is happening with this administration. >> well, i think there's no doubt that over the last 18 months we've seen much of what
care values, which you know, we were born out of world war ii, delivering care packages to refugees from europe that america's humanitarian leadership has been challenged and certainly we also sea see that our investment and international assessment is also being challenged. so at the the same time we're restricting refugees coming into our own ku tri, we're also threatening cuts. and from a women and girls perspective i think we've seen that we must lift up our voices here in this country, but we've also seen -- care recently did a survey and 65% of the women that we surveyed said that they believe that the me too movement and moment could change the conditions in their own countries. absolutely. >> so let's move to knews of the day.
obviously the trump administration accusing the obamas for targeting his campaign for an investigation. what's your response to everything you've heard over the weekend? >> obviously i'm not going to comment on the specific facts there. it's really up to the department of justice to decide what information should be made public with respect to that. but i think what we're seeing here is that the president has taken his all out assault of the rule of law to a new level and this time he's ordering up an investigation of investigators examining his own campaign. that's really shocking. >> sally, let me stay on there with you. how do you think this will play out? ben writes that if this issue gets ordered that it will put wray and others if they were asked to carry out the order they would basically be forced to resign.
>> i know it was just a tweet but he did say something to the effect i here by order. and we saw the justice department respond to that. but you flknow, i think rod rosenstein is trying to strike a balance here between diffusing the situation and also protecting the rule of law and the integrity of the department. >> so tell us what sign or what moment would for you be a dangerous break? what would be the sign you're looking for that tells you as a -- as a person who's worked in law enforcement that the train is off the tracks, that we are headed for a crisis? >> well, you know, i think one of the things we have to look out for is the old boiling the frog slowly issue. you know, we become accustomed to things that the president does, in directing doj. i can remember a time when he would issue a treat or directive and the reports would be in an unprecedented act.
the president did x or y. it's not so unprecedented anymore and often times it doesn't even make it through the full 24 hour news cycle. i think we all know and folks on both sides of the aisle have recognized that firing bob mueller would be a red line but i think we also need to recognize that firing rod rosenstein would be equally damaging to the rule of law because rod rosenstein here, really controls the scope of the special counsel's investigation and trying to get hid of him is having a back doorway of trying to control that investigation. >> and you wonder if he's trying to put them in a situation where they have to resign. i don't know if this president would think that far down the road? >> i think there's been some speculation to that effect. it's hard to know what's in donald trump's mind at any moment but i think the question, you know, that sally yates, the
dug jegs s suggestion is irrelevant. the president said he is here by ordering but he said he would officially do it today. what now the president does in response to the way that the doj reacted last night, does he go further, does he say the referral is not enough, that he wants a more specific investigation, that that's not acceptable to him? that's going to be an interesting day and that is the fact that he's driving at, trying to force them into a position where they would have to resign. the motivations i think is the question we're going to be paying attention in the next few hours. >> it's sort of strange talking about the person sitting next to you, but salary yates stood up to the muslim refugee ban and care did t's well on humanitarian grounds. how much do you plan to be focusing on that issue and what
are your thoughts move foward ward? >> we're trying to bring attention to the fact that there are 65 million displaced people. more than we've ever had in our history and that we cannot let discriminatory sensibilities dictate or dominate our policy. we have to be farsighted. that we have to think about our investments, that we have to think about the leadership example that we are carrying for ward in the borworld. jordan has one out off every ten people is now a refugee and so what kind of signal in the world are we -- are we creating if we are not investing there and if we are not enabling refugees here. so we want to continue to make this case to the american people and to our leadership that we think will continue to stand with us. >> thank you for that. care's 16th annual conference
begins today. thank you both for being on the show this morning. up next, president trump is back on his iphone this morning trying to get in front of the headlines that hae's backing down from china on trade. plus, trump is reportedly looking to ramp up his on going feud with amazon and potentially drive up costs for the online retail giant. we'll have those details. "morning joe" is coming right back. picking the right style takes time. one picky customer shouldn't take all your time.
need something printed? the business advisors at office depot can assist with exactly what your business needs to grow. get your coupon for 20% off services, technology and more at office depot and officedepot.com. welcome to holiday inn! thank you! ♪ ♪ wait, i have something for you! every stay is a special stay at holiday inn. save up to 15% when you book early at hollidayinn.com save up to 15% when you book early if yor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough, it may be time for a change. ask your doctor about entyvio, the only biologic developed and approved just for uc and crohn's. entyvio works at the site of inflammation in the gi tract and is clinically proven to help many patients achieve both symptom relief and remission. infusion and serious allergic reactions can happen during or after treatment.
entyvio may increase risk of infection, which can be serious. pml, a rare, serious, potentially fatal brain infection caused by a virus may be possible. this condition has not been reported with entyvio. tell your doctor if you have an infection, experience frequent infections or have flu-like symptoms or sores. liver problems can occur with entyvio. if your uc or crohn's treatment isn't working for you, ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio. entyvio. relief and remission within reach. ♪ tired of wrestling with seemingly impossible cleaning tasks? sprays in the bathroom can be ineffective. try mr. clean magic eraser with durafoam. simply add water, to remove soap scum. try mr. clean magic eraser with durafoam.
and it's also a story mail aabout people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you so, howell...going? we had a vacation early in our marriage that kinda put us in a hole. go someplace exotic? yeah, bermuda. a hospital in bermuda. a hospital in bermuda. what? what happened? i got a little over-confident on a moped. even with insurance, we had to dip into our 401(k) so it set us back a little bit. sometimes you don't have a choice. but it doesn't mean you can't get back on track. great. yeah, great. i'd like to go back to bermuda. i hear it's nice. yeah, i'd like to see it. no judgment. just guidance. td ameritrade.
for putting the trade war on hold. so right now we are -- we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the frame work. >> as for as the president's threat first of tariffs on chinese goods and $150 those are all on hold? >> they are. >> steven mnuchin saying yesterday that the trade dispute between the u.s. and china is quote, on hold. markets seem to like that news this morning. the dow is said to leap more than 200 points at the open and this morning the president is waying in on the matter tweeting, i asked chuck schumer, why didn't president obama and the democrats do something about trade with china.
with that being said, shuck and i have long agreed on this issue. fair trade plus with china will happen. >> why are you doing that trump imitation. >> he continued, china has agreed to buy massive amount ofs additional farm/agricultural products would be one of best things to happen to our farmers in many years. wow, joe. >> yeah, i mean, john, this is why, when it comes to donald trump, you've got to -- >> you can't believe anything. >> you've got to pay attention. he blusters. this entire trade war, this entire tariff war has been 90% smoke, 10% haze, 0% actual fire. it was all absolutely nonsense and here we are, back where we were at the beginning. >> in a weird way, joe, i would say the way secretary mnuchin talkses about it gives you a
sense of how bogus it was. the trade war's now on hold. >> i mean -- >> what? i wish you could put war on hold. >> a ridiculous way of talking about it. the trade war's now on hold. seriously about to contemplate this. there would be a kind of tone of gravity from the secretary that is not conveyed by the way he's talking about it. it gives a sense this has been a phony war all along. >> look, marco rubio tweeted this two hours ago. he said china is winning the knee gashations. their concessions are things they planned to do anyway and they are. in exchange, they get no tariffs, can keep stealing intellectual property from america and can keep blocking our companies while they invest in the united states without limits. and that's of course in marco's
links to a "washington post" story, dom chu, that really does underline all of those facts. for all of donald trump's bluster, he's completely caved to the chinese and they play him like a fiddle. >> this is the tough part, right? all of this handicapping right now is happening real time with the markets. the dow's going to be up 200 points to start the day. the issue is whether or not like you said there is going to be any kind of real progress on this. right now, it doesn't appear as though there's any kind of signal that this is in any way, shape or form better. what was also interesting, this is something you guys just pointed out, mnuchin was just on air on cnbc within the last half hour. he actually even just walked back what he said on "fox news sunday." he talked about the trade war being on hold. said, i would have said the trade dispute has been put on hold. right. so even though he's trying to
dampen things a little bit. remember, this is by no means a clear signal with the trade side of things. you've still got that which is fantastic for our farmers. whether or not there's going to be theft of intellectual property addressed. that's going to be the real key, and nothing's happenings on that front just yet. >> all right. and then there's this. president trump is reportedly looking to ramp up his ongoing feud with amazon and potentially drive up costs for the online retail giant. according to "the washington post," the president has firstly pushed u.s. post master general megan brannon to double the rate the postal service charges amazon and other companies to ship packages. according to three people familiar with their conversations. "the post" says the move could cost the companies billions of dollars. joe, he's literally using the presidency as his personal vendetta tool. >> yes, personal vendetta.
elise jordan, not banging a drum here, that doesn't deserve to be banged, but, once again, you have donald trump doing something that so goes against constitutional norms. that so go against presidential norms. that go against american norms. where you have a president personally pushing a post master to raise rates so he can go after someone he views as a political adversary because he doesn't like a newspaper that this businessman owns. i mean, it's -- i'm sorry, that's not hyperbole. that is reality. >> joe, this is beyond just, you know, interfering in the market at this point. this is banana republic behavior. >> yep. >> i remember , you know, workig in iraq, afghanistan and corruption and rule of law issues. hearing from american officials
working with iraqi authorities to try to stamp out corruption in their government. i mean, look at what we have going on at home now. it is just really jaw dropping that the president of the united states is literally using his power to try to intervene to harm a personal enemy and happens to be a personal enemy with a very illustrious and important newspaper too. >> it's incredible. dom chu, any market reaction? >> what's interesting is amazon is such a vast business here, but the economists of it are pretty stark. we all know the u.s. postal service lost about $5 billion in 2016. no secret, the postal service has not been in good fiscal shape. there's this argument to be made the postal service and employees might be worse off if not for amazon. because it uses so much of that postal infrastructure to deliver
all those. we don't know exactly what they spent with amazon, but we do know amazon spent nearly $22 billion on their entire infrastructure last year. a lot of that goes to the postal service. that could mean more hours worked for postal employees and of course more jobs, guys. >> i think it's incredible, the amazon think, all the on jecks people have raised. the other two things to point out is first of all, the postal service has a contract with amazon. and second of all, has donald trump never ever heard of fedex, u.p.s.? does he not think in the postal service abrogated its agreement with amazon, they wouldn't find just as good a deal with one of the competitive private shipping services? it's nuts. >> you know what fred smith's saying right now, bring it on. >> give me a call. >> i'll cut a deal with you. i mean, yes, and what happens if
amazon does, mika, decide to cut a deal with fred smith. and fred direction, they're pretty good at this stuff. imagine how much revenue would be lost by the united states post office. >> i done think jeff bezos is all that worried about this particular problem, i have to say. >> no. >> i am, for the country. senator bob corker is retiring this year and offer ago blunt assessment of washington's inability to address this country's exploding due ining d. speaking in chattanooga, telling an audience with weariness in his voice that few americans care about issues of fiscal responsibility, adding he's lost hope for president trump to deal with this matter. >> it's not going to happen. the most disappointing. you know, it's just -- the american people today are not interested in it.
if you did a poll today for who in our country cares about fiscal issues. a president who's certainly not going to deal with it. >> i mean, he's just being honest, joe. >> yes, but you know -- something i've noticed, i've written three books, they've all said the same exact thing over about ten years. >> this is true. >> and it's that. people don't care about the national debt. that said -- >> joe, you've succeeded in moving the discussion on this. three book, same topic, no progress. >> he drove it home every time and nobody gets it. >> it's maiamazing. i went back and just glanced at it for the first time in a decade, like, my god, i wrote the seame book three times. it's all about how republicans don't care about balancing budgets or the federal debt.
even though they should. i got to say, there's a difference between me desperate and lousy writer in my basement, eating che ining cheetos, and b. and that is, i didn't vote for a billion tax plan that blew a hole in the national debt. i didn't throw myself in front of the tracks when the republican party passed the biggest spending bill of all time. $1 trillion has been added to that debt. i love bob, but he voted to do that. >> yes, you know, it's probably time for a fourth book on your part. a tool to force down spending when democrats are in power, but i wouldn't know anything about that. >> joe, it's almost like it polls really well.
to say you're all for cutting the deficit. and then when you get the power, you don't want to do it. >> elise, you know this too, what really irtalt ritates me t most is after republicans were voted out in 2008, they all promise, we're going to be better than we were under george w. bush. the same thing's happened once again. >> i would be happy with democratic norms being restored. cnbc's dominic chu, thank you. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. >> thanks, mika. hi there. i'm stephanie rule withhle with to cover this morning. demanding the justice department investigate whether the fbi infiltrated his presidential campaign. a new report rev