tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 23, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
they haven't been paying attention to all the stories about the shenanigans going on with him and his staff at the epa. the poll did find of people that 80% of people said if the inspector general's report being done on him shows that there was, that there was these activities and they were improper, that he should be fired. while he's not super well known, people do feel strongly that when you hear about the charges if true, he should go. >> jim vander hyde, live in washington, d.c., we'll be reading axios a.m. in just a little bit. you can sign up for the newsletter at axios.com. that does it for us, i'm yasmin vossoughian alongside ayman mohyeldin and louis burgdorf, "morning joe" starts right now. see what happens, whether or not it happens. whatever it is, it is. we'll see what happens. if it doesn't happen, maybe it will happen later. maybe it will happen at a different time. we will see. whether the deal gets made or not, who knows. you never really know. there's a chance that it will work out.
there's a very substantial that it won't work out. there's a good chance we'll have the meeting. he may have a meeting coming up. he may not. he may or may not. he may or may not. but we'll see what happens. maybe nothing happens and maybe it did. we'll see how it all works out. can't tell you exactly how or why, but it always does, it's going to work out. >> wow. that was president trump yesterday. actually maybe it wasn't. talking about trade with china. and the waning likelihood with his planned summit with north korea's dictator. donald rumsfeld had his known unknowns, president trump lives in a certain uncertainty. welcome to "morning joe," it is wednesday, may 23rd. with us, msnbc contributor, mike barnicle and president of the council on foreign relations and author of the book "a world in disarray." now in its 47th printing.
richard haass. i mean, come on, it's, it's -- barbeque season. also we have republican strategist and political commentator susan del pursio. columnist and associate editor for the "washington post," david ignatius and former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama, now an msnbc contributor, joyce vance. mika is off for her daughter's college graduation events. at johns hopkins, congratulations amelia. so willie, we have a president here who went from a nobel prize so certain, that wherever he went, the teaming masses would chant it. nobel prize, nobel prize. we've gone from the certainty of a nobel prize, to a quite uncertain donald j. trump. what-day think gives? >> well kim jong un threw him off balance last week when the
north korean government put out a statement saying we're not giving up our nukes and president trump went uh-oh, that was the point of doing this. but i think richard haass, when the bar has been set at fire and fury, and the alternative is war, anything beneath that, donald trump will claim as some victory. if he goes on june 12th to singapore and comes home with anything, maybe even a photo op he can call it historic. he will say he got something. even if it's not the stated goal, which is to get north korea to give up its nukes. >> well he's not going to get north korea to give up its nukes, that's the only thing that's certain. he would have to be willing to half a loaf, or maybe about a slice of the loaf and declare victory. or accept the notion that a summit is simply a point on the road of diplomacy. rather than the end of the process. this is the beginning. he would have to dramatically dial down his definition of success. dial down expectations, but willie, it wouldn't be the worst thing. if the summit were postponed, better to have a postponed
summit than a summit either that blows up because we keep the bar too high. or that the president feels so pressured, to compromise in order to quote-unquote get a win that he gives away the store. there's worse things than not having the summit on june 12th. >> yeah. no doubt about it. david ignatius, we're going to get to our lead story in a minute. this is so fascinating. david, david ignatius, though, north korea is not coming off of its, of its plan to keep some nuclear weapons. donald trump can't walk away from the summit being the president, that officially sanctioned a nuclear north korea. so where does this end, if not with the two sides turning around and shouting accusations at each other and walking in opposite directions? >> i think it ends with what will probably be a protracted diplomacy. we can't say at this point whether the summit will take place on june 12th. i still think it's likely.
but it's clear that this will not be a quick process where kim jong un comes and says, ah, at last i have an opportunity to give up my nuclear weapons, i've been wanting to do this. no, that's not going to happen. and i think president trump is being sensible in trying to lower expectations, lower his own stake in getting a successful outcome. taking home the nobel peace prize. so i would think that meeting is still likely. but that we'll have some sort of phased process. the president is now essentially accepted that that's something that he's willing to think about. it's not going to be the immediate, complete denuclearization. but there may be an outcome he could still accept if the north koreans continue their nontesting of weapons, that's a significant achievement he could say. >> all right. we're going to come back to the president's north korean summit in just a moment. but let's turn back to some politics at home. it was 16 months ago in january
of 2017, that the u.s. intelligence committee released a report concluding that russia favored donald trump in the 2016 election. and meddled on his behalf. but president trump's homeland security secretary, kiersten nielson says she is unfamiliar with that report. >> secretary to that point, do you have any reason to doubt the january 2017 intelligence community assessment that said it was vladimir putin who tried to meddle in this election to help president trump win? >> i do not believe that i've seen that conclusion. what i do -- that the specific intent was to help president trump win. i'm not aware of that. but i do generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment. >> except i just did with my previous statement. just last week you'll remember, the senate intelligence committee announced it supported the intel community's assessment that russia intervened to help donald trump in the 2016 election. while speaking to reporters
yesterday, nielson acknowledged that russia quote did and will continue to try to manipulate americans' perspective on a variety of issues. joe that one was a jaw-dropper. that's the homeland security secretary suggesting she's not aware of the intel community's assessment. not, by the way, not a secret. made public. or the senate intelligence committee's report also made public last week that says russia put its thumb on the scale on behalf of donald trump. >> well and everybody saw it. i mean everybody saw the announcement last week. everybody saw the four intel chiefs that donald trump actually nominated and were approved by the senate, saw dan coats, testifying back what was that in january i think? saw then c.i.a. director mike pompeo testifying to the fact that the russians tried to influence the election. tried to turn it in donald trump's direction. that the fbi director suggested
the same thing. mike barnicle, they all, all suggested in what would become a front-page news story, that russia tried to impact the election for donald trump. and the senate again, in a bipartisan manner, the senate intel committee all said, that they were concurring with the intel community's assessment. they had no reason to disagree with the intel community's conclusions. and here you have someone who is supposed to be in charge of protecting our homeland, and someone who i was told actually had, had been working on stopping russian interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections, claiming in a most peculiar way absolute ignorance of any russian meddling or russian --
or russian, a conclusion by our entire intel community that the russians were trying to win the election for donald trump. what -- what do we even do with that? >> well -- >> if we had a senate that was not as, or a house that was not as pathetic as this house has proven to be, in protecting our country's borders from russian influence, what would we do? >> well this is, joe, this is further proof and evidence of what it's like to be part of trump's orbit. this is a woman, cabinet secretary, homeland security, who was berated in front of the entire cabinet a few weeks ago, publicly berated in front of all of her colleagues. and yesterday, forced to parse the truth in order not to further offend the president of the united states, by doing her job. she knows the truth. >> so mike, let me ask you a question, though. let me ask you -- what do you
think, let's take somebody else, another woman who works in the bush cabinet, oh, let's see, i don't know, nikki haley. how do you think nikki haley would respond in the trump cabinet, how do you think nikki haley would respond if reporters said, hey, madam ambassador, do you think the russians tried to influence the 2016 election? >> oh, she would absolutely say yes, i've seen the proof, i've seen the evidence of it. of course they did, and they're still doing it. that's what nikki haley would probably say. but nikki haley has a border of safety on geography. she's here in new york, she's an independent actor. you know, the homeland security secretary has got to put up with this, she's got to put up with the president nearly every day. it's a tough job. telling the truth is a tough job in this world. >> i don't think -- if you are
in charge of protecting the country from attack from the russians, it ain't that tough of a job to tell the truth. i'll tell you this, if you can't admit the truth to the president of the united states, then protecting the united states against further russian attacks on our democracy, then it becomes a much tougher job. let's look at this clip again. i know some of you at home only heard the first part of the clip because you were spitting out your cereal and probably having to clean it up so you couldn't hear the second part of the clip. i'll tell you what we're going to do, we're going it play the clip for you again. because it was so -- just extraordinary. take a look. >> secretary, to that point, do you have any reason to doubt the january 2017 intelligence community assessment who said that it was vladimir putin who tried to med until this election to help president trump win? >> i do not believe that i've seen that conclusion. what i do --
>> that assessment. >> that the specific intent was to help president trump win. i'm not aware of that. but i do generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment. >> this, david ignatius, is right up there with sarah palin not knowing that there was an east and west germany. or believing that the queen of england actually ran the government in england according to people who were briefing her for the debates. >> it's pretty bad. i will read you, joe -- >> go ahead. >> here's a brief quote from the january 6, 2017 report by our top intelligence officers from all the key agencies, we further assess putin and the russian government developed a clear preference for president-elect trump during the election. that was a banner headline. it was, it was more than a year ago. the idea that a cabinet
secretary would be unclear on that tells you that the trump administration echo chamber and her own personal fear of offending the white house have overwhelmed what was a clearly stated statement at the time. it is, it is quite amazing, it's been stated, it's been repeated. it's been supported by mike pompeo, coates, the director of national intelligence. so extraordinary that she would seem not to know about it. >> joe, i want to -- >> go ahead. >> after ms. nielson made this comment that the department of homeland security came out and said quote she agrees with the intelligence community's assessment about the 2016 presidential election. so came out later and tried to clean up what she said. >> you know what i agree with susan del pursio, that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. which is basically, which is
basically just how buried this truth was yesterday when she was asked about it. but let's talk about secretary nielson, and who exactly this is. from everything we've heard this woman is tough, she is fierce. she was independent. in fact, she's so tough that a lot of her workers at times were you know, she kept them on their toes, we'll just say. very intelligent. what does it say again about trump's washington, that somebody has to play the part of a lead actor in idiocracy to not get in the trouble with the commander-in-chief in. >> it's absolutely depressing. i choose to look at this as one
incident committed by secretary nielson. she did try to clear it up. because frankly we can't afford to lose another cabinet member and go through a confirmation. we're at a pivotal time right before the elections, we need to insure that our elections are secure. that we have homeland security department that's running efficiently. she does have all the qualifications you said. now granted it is extremely depressing and unfortunate that we see the cabinet kind of fall in line with whatever the president wants. but what do you expect when you even see an independent legislature like the house, just folding like a lawn chair with the president as well? it seems like all the washington just wants to do what's politically acceptable, not their jobs. >> you know willie, speaking of folding like a rusty lawn chair, do you see what the king of taxis did in albany yesterday? here's a guy that was going to be sent away to jail for like, 75 to 100 years. he ends up getting no jail time.
probation. and as he is standing before the judge, the judge asks him, he goes, sir, do you understand what your lawyers just did for you? and he said yes, i do. and i am very appreciative of that fact. i mean, this guy, there's cooperating and then there is what the taxi king of new york city is doing. pretty extraordinary events in that albany courthouse yesterday that had shock waves sent out that were felt in the southern district of new york all the way to the west wing. >> yeah, a quick hearing up in albany, that could have a big impact on what's happening at the white house. we'll get into that story next on "morning joe." michael cohen pleading the fifth in one case. but one of his close business partners, that joe just mentioned, is saying a lot as he just agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, it could put some pressure on the president's fixer. joyce vance explains the significance of that story next. but first, bill karins with
a look at the forecast. any chance we'll see the sun today for the first time since february. >> a nice stretch in the northeast. but then the end of the weekend still a little iffy for the holiday weekend. the rain is exiting areas, new york city is just about done. there's one little shower left over in the poconos, the rein is exiting cape cod in the next half hour. then it's going to clear out. for a nice afternoon. 80 in boston. 82 in new york. d.c., 81. clouds to start the day, more sunshine the afternoon. the opposite in the southeast. still a lot of humidity just like yesterday, will pop up the showers and thunderstorms. 81 atlanta, 88 in tampa and new orleans, let's get into the weekend forecast. there's a 50% chance we're going to have a tropical disturbance turning into a depression or a subtropical storm in the gulf of mexico. that is going to bring a ton of rain to the gulf coast. saturday, sunday, maybe even into monday. so that's right through your holiday weekend. so that's all the beautiful beaches in north florida. west coast of florida, too. and the rain slowly comes up the coast on sunday, the mid-atlantic region, tennessee
valley. showers and storms possible sunday afternoon as we go throughout new england and then monday, much cooler. so monday night a beach day, in new england. joe, only 69 in boston on monday. so the beginning of the weekend in the northeast much better at the end. kind of coolish. so, bill, jack and i'm blaming you for this -- >> you should. the tweets, the trump tweets on rainy days and then this? >> and now this. my son, i coach my 9-year-old son's baseball and five of his six last games have been rained out. every time he cries, i want you to know, i hold up your picture and i say, this is the man who is to blame. i cannot remember as much rain as we have had over the past two, two months. is this unusual?
should i start building an ark? >> joe, if you noticed on tuesdays in the northeast and on saturdays have been especially bad. so people who do have those activities on those days, yeah, it's been brutal. >> you know, i can't believe you said that. because you know what jack's games are? they're tuesday nights and saturday afternoons. it's been ugly. all right. we'll be right back with more "morning joe." thanks, bill. 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.
there's new legal pressure on the president's personal attorney and fixer, michael cohen. "the new york times" reports cohen's partner in the taxi business, a russian immigrant known as the taxi king, has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in state or federal investigations. that's according to a person briefed on matter. the "times" reports that gene friedman faced up to 125 years in prison on four counts of tax fraud and one count of grand larceny. he also was accused of failing to pay $5 million in taxes. but yesterday, friedman pleaded
guilty to state charges of evading only $50,000 in taxes, and that will allow him to avoid jail time. serving five years probation if he fulfills the terms of his agreement. after the "times" report the pain says friedman texted a reporter calling the article shameful and referring to cohen as a quote dear personal friend and a pass i have client. friedman's cooperation puts pressure on cohen to cooperate in the special counsel investigation. trump's attorney, rudy giuliani, tried to distance his client from cohen, telling the "times" that president trump is not involved in the taxis. adding quote, he has as much involvement in it as i do. joyce vance, obviously, as it relates to the president, this is not a question about taxi medallions in new york city, it's a question about whether or not michael cohen based on what friedman can give the feds, may be compelled to turn and to work with them as well. >> this is part of a chain of cooperation that it appears is
being built between state and federal prosecutors. the investigation into michael cohen, the president's lawyer, is taking place in federal court. in the southern district of new york. now state prosecutors have weighed in and they're responsible for this guilty plea yesterday. where gene friedman escapes anything between 25 to 100 years in prison and ends up looking at probation. which means he'll never spend a day in jail. obviously you don't get that kind of a plea agreement deal for nothing. so i think it's logical to conclude that he has offered some assistance to either state or federal prosecutors, that's what his plea agreement says, and it seems likely that that will be very compelling for michael cohen, who likely knows exactly what gene friedman has shared with prosecutors. >> mike barnicle, i'll go to you, because you never been the taxi king. but you were known around here as the tic-tac king.
he passes them out to everybody. mike, i was wondering, how fast will donald trump continue to throw michael cohen under the bus? i mean you go back and you look at rudy's statements, the president's statements. you know he's not really my lawyer. this has to do with michael cohen businesses. he only did a very small percentage of my work. rudy giuliani yesterday, we got nothing to do with that. our hands are clean. i mean, it seems to me they've sent enough messages to michael cohen for him to know -- they're never going to show any loyalty to him. so he has no reason to show any loyalty back. >> no, you know, joe, in every case like this at some level as an element of sadness. and michael cohen is a sad, sad aspect of this whole story. the guy really was never a lawyer. he was a fixer. his principle occupation was clearly racking up taxi medallions and buying real
estate properties around new york. now here he is with his partner in the taxi medallion business, receiving an enormous gift from the federal government. as joyce just alluded to, the initial charges, 25 years at a minimum in federal prison, massive amounts of money in fines, all knocked off the table. and he walks out there have with probation. that is basically a message to cohen -- saying that you know, this guy has got a lot to give and he is giving it. he's giving it to us. it's just a matter of time i would think before michael cohen is forced into the position of saying -- okay, okay, i'm cooperating now. >> and richard haass, i really want to dig in, in to your expertise on this next question. have you by any chance seen the standings in the american league east? >> joe, joe, that's so beneath
you. >> i only bring that up to say what a race we're going to have, right? i mean we're talking back and forth, back and forth. i think you guys are going to end up winning it by about 10 or 11. but like mike and i have been saying, if price has a good season it's going to be a heck of a run. but this is back and forth, back and forth. great baseball. >> two best teams in baseball. still got three-quarters of the season to go. so -- fasten your seat belt. >> joe, we have never needed baseball and a terrific pennant race more than we need it now to take our minds off the obvious. and last night, the yankees, the yankees have a terrific team, but they have one kid, a second baseman, terez, he's the kid to watch on the yankee system. we know about stanton and judge. but this kid is amazing and last night in tampa bay, one of the two best players in major league baseball. mookie betts, three-run homer in the third.
just incredible to watch. we need this. >> and you know, willie, willie, we do. mookie is having an extraordinary season. but you know, willie, i love pennant races and everything. but where i would love the red sox to be moved to next year, if the commissioner of baseball would consider it, would be the american league central, where the cleveland indians have a, they have a 22-23 record and they are in first place. >> in fairness, they won last night and pulled up to .500. they're 23-23. >> my bad. >> but the east is incredible. >> joyce vance, how are the birmingham barons this season? >> they always have a good season. >> joyce we have much more to talk to you about. still ahead, president trump continues to vent his frustrations about an reports of an fbi informant in his campaign this to 16. and the anti-mueller movement is pushing louder and
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the congress would like to see documents opened up. a lot of people are saying they had spies in my campaign. if they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace to this country. that would be one of the biggest insults that anyone has ever seen. it would be very illegal. aside from everything else. it would make probably every political event ever look like small potatoes. so we want to make sure that there weren't. i hope there weren't, frankly. but some man got paid based on what i read in the newspapers. and on what you reported. some person got paid a lot of money. that's not a normal situation. the kind of money you're talking about. so hopefully that would be, and i think the department of justice wants to get down to it and i can tell you congress does. >> president trump venting his frustration about reports of an fbi informant talking with members of his campaign in 2016. tomorrow will be the meeting between members of the doj and congress to review the highly classified documents related to
contact between an fbi source and the trump campaign. republican congressman devin nunes and trey gowdy will meet with fbi director chris wray, national intelligence director dan coates and a doj national security official named ed o'callaghan. no democrats were invited to the meeting. that's another break in a traditionally bipartisan field of intelligence oversight. the white house says there was no reason to make the meeting bipartisan. >> democrats have said that they think it's appropriate to have a meeting set up with just republicans and the justice department, it's, is the white house, would the white house welcome democrats to be at that meeting? >> my understand something they haven't been the ones requesting this information. i would refer you back to them why they would consider themselves randomly invited to something they never asked to. >> on monday evening, senate minority leader chuck schumer issued a statement saying if
such a meeting occurs, it must be bipartisan in order to serve as a check on the disturbing tendency of the president's allies to distort facts and undermine the investigation. and the people conducting it. joe, so senator schumer clearly asked to be involved in this meeting. >> well not only is this unheard of and unprecedented. it really is a recipe for disaster. in the coming weeks and months and poisons the atmosphere. and david ignatius, we are focusing at times on republicans and some self-described conservatives who actually aren't conservatives, they're trumpists. who have responded badly to this moment in the history of our constitutional republic. i've noticed and i'm sure you have, too, over the past several days, a lot of strong conservative voices. people that have, that carry great weight in the conservative movement. actually speaking out. david french, guy benson,
others. david french wrote in the "national review" yesterday. he said i find the notion that the the russian investigation itself was corrupt from the beginning to be so bizarre as to border on fantastical. there was ample reason to investigate whether the trump campaign had improper contacts with russia. and of course the point that david makes, that i believe guy benson has made and others have made is, hey, listen, bring on the i.g. report. if there was any wrongdoing, that's fine. but do not pretend that trump's activity or the activity of people connected to his campaign was not suspicious. because any administration would be concerned about that. and any fbi director would want to know more. if a major national candidate possibly being elected president of the united states, was having improper meetings with the russians, the chinese, the iranians, you pick your country, right? >> joe, what the republicans, like french, like others, like
many others i hope, are doing really is rescuing our system of bipartisan oversight of intelligence. if intelligence activities become so politicalized that an effort by the fbi, the c.i.a. to track down reports of improper contact. the sort of thing that's happened sometimes throughout our history. if those efforts become politicized, it's almost impossible for the intelligence agencies to share their most sensitive information with committees of congress. this idea that you're going to brief only one side on the house. about your findings, is just completely contrary to the system it was set up after the scandals of the 1970s, so there's a lot at stake here. the way in which the trump administration has succeeded through this kind of echo chamber effect, with right-wing
media, of making peripheral characters, the center of the story, so they obscure the basic thrust of what special counsel mueller is trying to do, trying to figure out what happened here. were there any crimes. it's something people will look back on in 10, 15 years and they'll be shocked. >> and joyce vance, not just what robert mueller is trying to do, but what robert mueller has already done. you can measure this special counsel against all others. he's done more. in a shorter period of time, than any of the other special counsels. he has actually brought charges successfully against the president's campaign manager, against the president's, the man that ran the president's national security agency. who is now cooperating with him. a man that donald trump said was running his foreign policy. one of the two men donald trump claimed to be running his foreign policy to the "washington post" in the middle of the campaign. he is now a cooperating witness. with a man who not only helped
run the president's campaign, but helped organize the president's inauguration and was still working for the president after the inauguration. i could go down the list, 13 russians two russian companies. many more russian targets to be indicted coming up. this is not a close call. this is not a witch hunt. and this is what republicans are not republicans, trumpists, want americans not to see. they want to go back to how this investigation began. and again, joyce, my god, any fbi director would be concerned with the contacts that were made between a campaign for president and russia. this, this screams -- well, it screams not only improper contact. but the sort of crimes that
right now robert mueller is chasing after. >> the fbi has two different missions. it's easy to lose sight of this. but it's important to understanding what happened here. the fbi investigate violations of criminal law, but they also have a counterintelligence function. and that's how this investigation started out. they began to receive intelligence, probably the most important thing that they heard was that george papadopoulos was talking about the theft of emails, about having access to clinton's emails. and this intelligence came in from the australians. so what, what president trump is now calling spies planted in his campaign, was actually an effort to find out what were the russians doing, and to put a stop to what the russians were doing. this is an investigation that any candidate should have embraced and should have participated in. and we're told that the president was briefed when he was still candidate trump, was told that it was likely that after he was the nominee, that
the russians would try somehow to have some insight into his campaign. perhaps to try to influence people. so given everything that we know and the fact that no one from the trump campaign picked up the phone and called the fbi to say -- hey, there's some russians trying to arrange meetings with us, when they met with russians in june of 2016 in trump tower, increasingly this idea that the fbi planted spies, is absolutely ludicrous. >> well, as is the fact, willie that there was some conspiracy by justice and the fbi, in the obama administration, to rig the election. if that were the case and they were all characters out of mike judge's idiocracy and probably watered their grass with gatorade, because after all, the investigation into donald trump's possible contacts with russia was kept quiet while
hillary clinton got a letter from the fbi ten days beforehand, that was absolutely devastating to her campaign. everything the fbi did in the home stretch was to donald trump's benefit and hillary clinton's detriment. including mccabe's leak. now for somebody not to understand that, i mean, seriously, suggests only one thing -- and that is, they are either intentionally lying or they are too stupid to handle household appliances. i leave it to you, willie to decide which it is. >> i can't believe it's the appliance part, toasters aren't that hard so it has to be the willful thing. these are the same people who celebrated james comey who came out with that letter. james comey was the boogeyman for the clinton campaign and the reason that a lot of people supporting her think she has lost and now that narrative has been flipped 180 by the white house. there's another narrative to this story. we go to axios's jim vander
hyde. looking at the anti-mueller brigade this is quite a group, including mark penn, a guy who worked on hillary clinton's campaign, was a chief strategy nist 2008. who ran bill clinton's re-election in 1996. was part of the team there. put him together with the freedom caucus and the fox news and you've got the anti-mueller brigade. >> think about this as a public debate. you have mueller doing what he should do, which he's saying nothing. he's not in the debate. occasionally he'll offer an indictment and some clues, but he's not really backing up sort of his case. and won't until the final argument. on the other side, you do have that vacuum being increasingly filled by this brigade of people who are trying to undermine not just mueller now, but sort of the origins of this investigation in the beginning. and it's sort of two squads. you got this motley crew of 1990s figures, rudy giulianis, your alan dershowitz, mark penn who was with the clintons then now is pro trump at least on the
arguments about this case. and then you've got these members of congress. not all members. but we have 19 or whatever it was, standing up there. saying that we want to find out information about this informant. echoing a lot of, there's a mole in the campaign. type rhetoric. that stuff is successful, because you look at the polls and you see republicans are deeply skeptical of mueller. are deeply skeptical of this investigation. so it's a pr campaign and it's a pretty successful pr campaign, and to what you guys are talking about, could be really damaging. even if the trump lovers that are watching the show, if you go back, no responsible fbi would have heard the things that they heard and not looked into it. and when you start to look into it, you always use informants, you always use all the tools you have at your disposal to figure out, is there truth to it but the more they talk about a mole and they think there's a mole. probably the better that is for donald trump when he gets to the political side of the argument. >> jim, we know that mueller is
being silent, keeping his head down. we know there's a lot of people supporting trump who are yelling a lot. things that we are questionable. where are the mueller, at least the law enforcement supporters or the republicans who should be speaking out against this? where is their voice these days? >> there's some conservatives, joe mentioned a few. but there's not a lot of prominent sort of elected officials that are defending mueller. even those who really respect mueller. in many ways the defense comes from their silence. you guys were talking about nunes and this meeting tomorrow. look who is not going to that. look who is not playing this game? it's senate republicans who are trying to protect the bipartisan nature of the intelligence apparatus of the u.s. government. but that's not that persuasive. not in this age of like chaos and cable. i think what sells is mark penn's columns or the tweets that come from the president of the united states. and mueller really can't. mueller would destroy his own credibility if he started to make a public case before he
offers his final argument. but by the time he does, this will be a political case. there's legal dimensions obviously. but ultimately, the house of representatives controlled by republicans in the senate, controlled by republicans, at least right now, will determine trump's fate. so that's why trump spends a vast majority of his time ranting and raving about, about this investigation. because he knows the more people are suspicious of it, the better and safer he is when push comes to shove with the mueller report. >> and he's admitted that he's admitted off-camera to reporters, that he does it in part to discredit the press. so when they write negative stories about him, donald trump, that they don't believe that. and i understand donald trump doing that. he's fighting for his life. it's wrong and i think it's extraordinarily terrible for a president to do. i am shocked that people on the hill are doing it. but they are. let me ask you, though, and let's be blunt about it.
what exactly is mark penn selling? here's a guy who lost hillary clinton's campaign by telling her she didn't have to plan 2008 for any contests after super tuesday. he left that campaign, responsible for her loss to barack obama. what is mark penn selling coming to the defense of donald trump? >> i think he's selling his argument, which he would argue is the same he had for clinton in the '90s, that the whole idea of special counsels is crazy, they have a wide license to investigate whatever they want to investigate. but clearly, he was not well liked by democrats, if you look at twitter, he's getting trashed by democrats now obviously for coming to the defense of trump. but to your point -- >> does he have a fox, does he have a fox news contract? is he writing for conservative websites? i want to know as you know in washington, d.c., often when
people do strange things like this, creatures of the swamp, they're doing it for a reason. is he, has he got a fox news contract? >> he wrote for "the hill" the initial column was in "the hill" which we can debate whether or not it's conservative. you guys cite their work occasionally. we cite their work occasionally. i don't know if he has a contract with fox. i don't think he's a known conservative. he's a known mischief maker in democratic politics. and i think the reason that it really frustrates democrats in particular is every time you have somebody else, most people don't obsess about this the way we do. if they're watching, they're like wait this person used to work with clinton and they're with trump, maybe trump is right. we all think it's madness with trump. there's a method. don't be, don't fool yourself. there's a method. he knows, he said it. if he goes after this and plants seeds of doubt over and over, at least 50% of the public over time and maybe more might agree with him. that's the strategy, it's been the strategy for a year. it will be the strategy until
this ends and it's why he loves rudy. because rudy has the same grievances mentality and approach to it and now he's got a mouthpiece as his new spokesperson. >> jim vander hyde, we'll be reading axios some bad news to share, they are 8 1/2 back in last place behind the chattanooga lookouts. get on your horse. go birmingham. >> we'll do better. it's a risky business speaking for president trump. mark leibovich got a look inside the white house communications office. he joins us next to el us what he found out. so, you guys have recently started dating...
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david ignatius who is in the town just a little south of maryland. >> come on. >> david, i hear you guys play some sport down there, too, except fortunately russian influence involved in a certain hockey team's activities as well. >> so, this is our moment tonight to embrace russia for all the greatness that it embodies in the person of alexander ovechkin, the greatest hockey player of this generation. we have game seven tonight in the eastern conference finals. you have to understand, joe and willie, we feel cursed. we feel our team keeps getting to the playoffs and then, you know, it just doesn't get anywhere. but this year has been different they've gotten in this game seven by fabulous playing. we all just have to put robert mueller and the circus of investigation aside tonight and
watch the russian that we would like to see do well. >> yeah. so, david, do you know why you feel cursed? do you feel cursed because washington sports is cursed? your hockey team is cursed? your baseball team is cursed? >> our redskins. >> and we know who owns your redskins. so they're de facto cursed. i mean, i'll tell you, willie, the underperforming team actually in major league baseball over the past five years has been the washington nationals. at some point those guys have got to get to the world series. they are too good not to. >> got too much talent on that team not to do it. i think they're in like third place right now? >> yeah. >> they'll be there near the end. by the way, as long as we're talking about hockey, the story with respect to the caps this year, the vegas golden knights in their first year in existence, first year as an expansion team are playing in the stanley cup. unbelievable. coming up, there are concerns among some that president trump could back away from his demand that north korea give up its nukes if it means
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at one point he started to attack the press, and i said, you know, that is getting tired. why are you doing this? you're doing it over and over and it's boring and it's time to end that, you know, you've won the nomination. why do you keep hammering at this? and he said, you know why i do it, i do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you. >> now, willie, that's actually who i was referencing before, leslie stahl talking about an off comment statement that donald trump made. there's so many things that he does while we call him a day trader, and he is a day trader, but there are also so many ticks that he has. but they're all calculated. and because he doesn't have an understanding, historical
perspective, a respect for the first amendment, for the justice department, for the rule of law, for checks and balances because everything is just a brawl, he does -- you know, i just remembered something that rudy giuliani told me offset about donald trump back when rudy giuliani did not support donald trump during the campaign. it's funny all these guys that took so long to get on board with donald trump who suddenly became fast and close with him, fast friends. i remember giuliani telling me back this must have been in the spring of 2016 that he had never seen anybody negotiate like trump. everybody else goes into a room and their ideas -- okay, i'm going to get something for you. i'm going to get something for myself. and they compromise and negotiate. he says donald trump is the only person he ever met in all of his years where trump would go into a room and he had to win and everybody else had to lose.
and if anybody else went away with anything of worth and if donald trump didn't leave feeling like he had taken advantage of everybody else in that room, then he considered that to be a loss. so, just some insight there. so, yes, he will batter the press, he will batter the constitution, he will batter the justice department because everybody has to lose and donald trump has to win. >> that may have worked when he was negotiating his next "apprentice" contract but not for a negotiation over nuclear weapons with north korea. i think, joe, leslie stahl's comment while revealing is completely unsurprising to everyone. that's what president trump has been doing when he uses the title fake news. he is undermining and discrediting the media so when a bigger story comes out, he can say these are the same people who told you x, y and z. we all know that's what's been going on. it's been going on for three years since he entered the campaign. let's introduce our campaign.
mike barnacle, richard haas and david ignatius and joining the conversation now national political reporter heidi przybyla, new york times bureau chief elizabeth buemiller, and daniel goldman. we'll get to him in just a moment on the development in the michael cohen story. someone who knows a little bit about the taxi king. dan, we'll get your insights in just a second. first, speaking of trump and the press, let's bring in chief national correspondent mark leibovich. mark has a new piece "the new york times" magazine out this morning titled flak ops. the risky business for speaking for donald trump. in it mark writes this -- to speak for any white house is a delicate exercise given in the best of circumstances. you're trying to relay a president's message while also
disseminating little actual information. you're taking abuse from the press while trying theoretically to assist them. you're selling the president's agenda while not stealing too much. in the two years since donald trump first up ended our politics, a generation of spoex people have hitched their careers to him. with mixed results. they have become objects of outsized exposure, commensurate. the president's spokesperson are easily nicknamed spicy and mooch. and come with their own ready-maed saturday night live treatments. side dra mass and caricatures all bound somewhat to the same theme. there are moments when sarah sanders knows what she's saying is true but can't contradict
what the president has said before her. >> that is true. it's a very delicate balance. i actually think sarah sanders is someone who probably has done more to -- i wouldn't say maintain her credibility but certainly to sort of walk the line more carefully on a day in and day out basis than most other people. what donald trump has shown again and again is that only he gets to be indulged like donald trump. anyone who tries to replicate them or hitch their careers to him can have a very, very tough go of it because i think a lot of that -- the same i don't know if it's goodwill or tolerance or amusement or whatever does not naturally extend to people who speak on his behalf. >> elizabeth, you know n covering this white house and listening to the various pronouncements from the white house, it occurs to me that maybe one of the blessings of these constant updates on the web for each and every newspaper including "the new york times" is probably of great benefit to us in the media because the stories change from so many different versions that you get
out of this white house. >> that's right. i still remember some additional negotiations over nafta. and in the morning we were getting out of nafta, the north america free trade agreement and in the afternoon we were not. we were staying in. and i got a call from the executive editor of new york saying what is going on down there? how can you guys be making such a mess of things? i said well in the morning we were right and in the afternoon we were right. and trump changed his mind. and it's difficult. he's been back and forth you see on zte, on the north korea -- on the talks with north korea. he basically needs to win the next 15 minutes. and then another 15 minutes come along. so it's hard to keep up. it's hard to stay accurate. but it's a good story. >> you know what else is hard to keep up with, elizabeth, the
number of times that donald trump has said that articles that "the new york times" have written are false, fake news, lies, long and boring i think was the latest. and then you will see two or three weeks later everything in new york times reporter has written confirmed by trump's own words or an announcement coming out of the white house. i am curious, do you all have a record of the number of times that he specifically has accused your reporters of lying or making up information only to be contradicted by donald trump himself later? >> you know, we don't. maybe someone does up in corporate communications. we don't in the washington bureau. we probably should. we were abused over the weekend, though, when he criticized one of our stories as long and boring, which we laughed about. he didn't criticize -- he didn't
call into question its accuracy. so he had become a media critic over the weekend. and you know, we said okay, we're going to write a short and boring story now. you saw what leslie -- obviously you showed what leslie stahl said. >> right. >> it's part of a consistent strategy to undermine us, to call into question what we do and hope that nobody will believe us. >> right. >> hey, mark -- >> you know, mike barnacle, i think it's important and i mean this, so often you'll talk to somebody who might talk to donald trump or an apoll gist for trump in the media, tell me what's wrong with donald trump? you say, he lies. give me an example of when he lies. i think it is so important instead of swallowing the entire elephant to have specific instances where -- again, i know that people have done this before, but it seems to me just in short bullet-point form, you look against the attacks against
new york times reporters. the numbers of times he said what they are doing is fake news and then two or three weeks later an announcement coming out of the white house itself that confirms exactly what people say maggie haberman wrote three weeks ago. >> joe, i think you just touched upon something that is going to be at some point addressed in history. i don't know at what point it will be addressed and understood and surveyed, but it is this. that the sociological and cultural reaction to a president of the united states who constantly lies, lies everyday about something and pays no apparent penalty. it is stunning development in the course of the history of our country. mark leibovich, your piece up in the times website right now is about people who work for the president of the united states, the press secretary and assistant press secretaries who at some point in time during the course of their days have got to know that they're covering up
for these lies. how do they do it? >> i think in some ways there's an osmosis factor from working for trump in that you sort of become focussed on the next 15 minutes. you just sort of figure we are in the muddle factory. people sort of all together they might not take this on a case by case basis. look, 61% of respondents to nbc survey say that they think that donald trump is less than truthful. many of these people if you do the math are obviously his supporters. there is sort of a larger judgment being rendered. but again, a lot of these people who work for him have to go on and leave the white house at some point and they have to have careers. i think at some point they have to answer for this. donald trump will have a sort of different level of history to answer for and his presidency to answer for. but again, i'm at the grass roots. these are people who are, you know, who are mid career sometimes early career and they do have to know what they're doing and they do have to sort
of make long-term calculations about what this could mean for their credibility. >> so, dan, the article that the president described as long and boring, elizabeth just mentioned, was about this idea that the fbi informants reaching out to members of trump campaign to talk about russian influence in the 2016 election. the president has called them repeatedly, including yesterday spies. he believes there was a spy. he says a lot of people were saying they were spies. we want to look into it. is it appropriate for rod rosenstein at this point to pursue that for the president? >> well, there's a legal and a political question. and i think from rod rosenstein's perspective no, ordinarily the department of justice and the fbi would not open an investigation without some evidence of wrong doing. >> right. >> and from what we know, and i think what the president has at least stated, there is no evidence that a spy, as he calls it, or an undercover agent was planted in the campaign for
political purposes. and i know on the last hour you discussed, joe made a very good point, if it was for political purposes, then it would have come out before the election because what other political purpose would there be. but i think what rod rosenstein is doing here is he's saving his sword for the next battle. and ultimately the big battle is when he is fired or when mueller is fired and he's trying to preserve some degree of integrity, and preserve the investigation so that if a bigger fight comes down the road, he will be able to then really stand up. the problem that he runs into is that it's possible that he's emboldening donald trump to continue to make these inappropriate demands and to make these asks of the department of justice, to interfere in a partisan way in
what should be a completely apolitical process by giving him most of what he wants. and that's the risk that rosenstein takes right now. >> right on cue with the story, the president has been tweeting. he writes this this morning, look how things have turned around on the criminal deep state he calls it the criminal deep state. they go after phony collusion with russia, a made up scam and end up getting caught in a major spy scandal, the likes of which this country may never have seen before. >> dear god. >> what goes around comes around. joe, he finishes by saying in all caps spygate he's calling it, spygate could be one of the biggest political scandals in history. >> yeah. willie, i don't really know where to begin. spygate? i mean, you have a guy that donald trump says is running his foreign policy getting drunk and talking to the australian ambassador and bragging about
contacts with the russians. and the fbi is tipped off by the australian ambassador and they start moving forward. and heidi, again, donald trump there are still people who actually can think clearly in this country. and for those that can, it's very obvious that robert mueller is getting closer and closer and closer to something that scares the ever-living hell out of donald trump. and now he is apparently responding today to a plea deal by the taxi king yesterday that is going to take down his fixer. and donald trump obviously now unbelievably fearful that it's going to take him down as well. >> well, you look at this tweet, joe. and i think the reaction on capitol hill is going to be that
this confirms their worst fears that even though rosenstein's calculation may be to try and put this all off, try to protect the investigation that the president is interpreting these moves, allowing an investigation, allowing the republicans to come in and view these department of justice documents, as a caving. i spoke last night with senator blumenthal, who is trying to do something on capitol hill to protect both mueller and now rosenstein. and he's telling me that there is a lot of apprehension behind the scenes of the republicans who he's trying to work with that, in fact, the president does have rosenstein more in his sights. we saw that yesterday, joe, when the president was point blank asked in the oval office whether he has confidence in rosenstein and he pointedly refused to answer. so senator blumenthal says behind the scenes it is getting
harder and harder even for these republicans to deny that the president doesn't somehow have rosenstein as well as mueller in his sights. and the senator told me, look, every time we go into a break, we'll have another one next week, we carry that apprehension and yet senator blumenthal cannot get these republicans to join him on legislation to try and stand up to the president or at least send a signal to the president they know in the end the president himself would have to sign the legislation but to at least show that they are not going to just roll over in the worst case scenario and they do see something akin to a saturday night massacre. >> we need to stop here as the president is now building this narrative about what he calls a major spy scandal, the likes of which this country may never have seen before labeling it spygate, and talk about what the fbi actually did in 2016, the distension between spies and informants. can you lay that out a little
bit for our audience? >> so, during the spring and summer of 2016, from what we know, the fbi began to get reports that people who were associated with the trump campaign had been talking about their contacts with russia in a way that concerned fbi and u.s. intelligence officials as they began to get these reports from various ways. the most famous contact is the one that george papadopoulos, trump foreign policy adviser, his comments to the australian ambassador in london alexander downer. and the fbi became concerned enough that it wanted to know what was behind these rumors. and so people who have been informants, assets one in particular, an american professor, exprofessor in england began to track those down. that is what our intelligence agencies do.
that's their job. had they ignored this, they would be, i think, could be accused of being derelict. it's crucial to note as joe did earlier in a previous segment that the fbi said nothing about what it was doing publicly. that this information was carefully held and suppressed, but it was part of their normal counterintelligence function. what we've seen over the last, id say, six months, is that the trump counterpunch to the mueller investigation is to add each of these extraneous details. there was a focus on chris steele, the former mi-6 agent in britain and his role and that was made to seem nefarious. then there was a focus on glen simpson, the american investigator, and his role with gps fusion. and now the focus is on this american professor in england all trying to make it sound like it's something con spearer to
yal against trump and it's un-american and there's really no evidence i see to support that. again, the central thing to remember is, the fbi said nothing before the election that would have influenced voters to think there was something going on here. they held the information. and in that sense behaved entirely responsibly. >> well, and elizabeth, beyond that, not only is there no evidence suggesting that there was anything improper, as david french with the national review wrote yesterday, it's fantastical to believe that somehow the obama administration set up this investigation for political reasons. again, we must repeat once again when you have the fbi putting a letter out ten days before the election in an extraordinarily damaging october surprise that worked against hillary clinton's campaign, as did the mccabe leak
work against hillary clinton campaign as did the fbi's silence on this on going investigation. everything the fbi did worked to the advantage of donald trump before the election and worked to hillary clinton's detriment, did it not? >> as our reporting has shown, the fbi moved very, very slowly on this for fear of being seen as political in investigating donald trump or donald trump's campaign right before the election. we now have reporting that show what was going on at the fbi in the fall of 2016. and they were operating under the assumption that donald trump was going to lose any way and hillary clinton was going to win, so therefore you had to show some toughness on her. you didn't want to be seen as ushering in the next democratic president. what was the point of opening a full fledged investigation into the trump campaign when he was going to lose?
so that was what was going on at the fbi, which helps explain why they were moving, you know, slowly and very carefully on an investigation into a trump associates during the campaign. let's not forget what's going on here. the president of the united states is now calling for an investigation of the investigators investigating him. so this is a very big deal. we don't like to use the word unprecedented at "the new york times," but this has not happened before. that we should not forget the seriousness of this. >> yeah. richard, it is a war on justice. it is a war on the justice department. it is a war on the fbi. it is a war on the intel communities. it is a war on the very institutions. it's a war on law enforcement. it's going to turn into a war against the southern district of new york. it is a war against the very institutions that are necessary to protect and defend this
republic from all enemies foreign and domestic. you have donald trump parodying certain fox news hosts, talking about something being worse than watergate when attacking fisa judges, which by the way, richard, as we always find out, there's never a there there. david french is right. it's always fantastical musings and conspiracy theories. those four fisa judges all republicans. robert mueller, life-long republican. the fbi director appointed by trump a republican. the attorney general beloved by donald trump until he decided to actually do the right thing and pass the investigation on ward. rosenstein a republican. the head of the senate intel committee who said the russians were interfering a republican. could go down the whole list.
this is the most republican washington and investigation that i think we have seen in our entire life time. >> joe, you used the word war, and you're right. but it's as if one side is fighting consistent with all the geneva conventions and that's the justice department, the media, the courts, the fbi, or the constitutiinstitutions you' about. on the other side, the president, his backers and enablers they're not. they're willing to use any weapon, go beyond the rules of war. they're willing to attack anybody. the question what's in doubt is whether those who are truly conservatives, small c, who believe in institutions, believe in the rule of law, believe in the dna in some ways of our democracy, whether they will prevail against a president and again his backers and enablers who are not willing to accept such limits. they are willing to go way beyond the laws of war. the legitimate ways of pursuing political ends for their own purposes here. and i think it's an open
question. but that's where we are. and it sounds mellow dramatic. i think the stakes with every tweet, every day that passes the stakes go up. >> the president of the united states this morning using the word criminal deep state, it's a major spy scandal the likes this country may never have seen before. we'll end this block with the challenges of covering the trump presidency. a few weeks ago we previewed the new documentary series "the fourth estate" showing behind the scenes look at how "the new york times" reporters are covering the trump administration. here is a look at this sunday's premiere episode featuring elizabeth buemiller. >> yeah. >> i'm going to put this in. made only glancing reference. >> okay, great. >> you have to get that to me. >> we have a stable transition for americans. >> he had three different positions all day. first open to legal status and then it was crackdown again and then there was this third idea which is that he wanted to change the way legal immigration
worked. >> are you ready to file it? >> i can file it in ten minutes, but when is our next deadline after the 10. >> i don't know. i think it's 11. i'll find out. >> show is a fascinating look at how the inner workings of the new york times go from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute really. elizabeth, what's it like having cameras around you while you're doing your job? >> it was a long year. they were there for about 14 months actually. they have five to 600 hours of footage. there's only four and a half hours in this documentary. it was distracting. we got used to them, which is what they wanted, so you see us -- when it got very busy, i just forgot they were there, which again is what they wanted. but it was another stress on us. our editors in new york made the decision that this was a good way to show how hard we work, that we're not partisan, that we are human and there was a chance
to show some transparency about how we go ahead and our business of reporting and writing. in that sense -- >> now elizabeth, you know how the kardashians feel every moment of your life documented for the cameras, right? >> right. >> we'll be watching "the fourth estate" on showtime premieres this sunday. >> thank you. still ahead on "morning joe," it took just minutes for president trump to accept an invitation to meet with north korea's leader. it's clearly taking a lot longer to put that summit into place. senator chris murphy of the foreign relations committee is standing by. he joins our conversation next on "morning joe."
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the criminal deep state. they go after a phony collusion with russia, a made up scam, and end up getting caught up in a major spy can dal the likes of which this country may never have seen before. what goes around comes around. he's calling this a spygate. a hunch he has based on nothing whatsoever. what's your reaction to this? >> well, as usual, the president is just simply making things up in order to create a cloud around very bad news for him. i'm sure he's very nervous this morning as he's realizing that his closest confident, his fixer, michael cohen, is getting closer and closer to real deep trouble that might end up in cohen cooperating against the president. this news of another client of cohen's cooperating is probably very troubling, very vexing for the president and thus he wakes up this morning trying to create even more smoke, even more on fu
skags around this investigation that continues into him. i guess what i continue to worry about is that believe in the rule of law is one of the pillars of modern democracy. as people start to believe the president that law enforcement is simply just another political arm of the government, it undermines everyone's faith in this experiment of democracy. and so, i really worry that we are seeing ultimately an assault on democracy itself that may in the long run succeed. >> dan goldman, you of course worked in the u.s. attorney's office, southern district here in new york, what's your reaction first to the tweet and second to the distinction between a spy, a term the president is using, and an informant, the fbi interviewing people on the campaign because they saw some connection between russia and the campaign. >> let me start with that. the biggest and easiest way to distinguish it is that what he calls a spy and what others are calling a spy is what is commonly referred to as an undercover agent, which is an employee of the fbi. so they are full-time employees
of the fbi and they work under cover. >> they're not assets. >> they're not assets. that's right. >> they're employees. >> what a confidential informant is an asset or a source of information who is someone who through the ordinary course of his or her life comes into contact with anything of interest. in this case, it's counterintelligence, so it may be something related to russia or otherwise. and then they report back to their handlers. that's how the whole counterintelligence division of the fbi operates is based on sources of information. so, from what we know, this professor was an informant who provided information. he did not work full time for the fbi in any way, shape or form. and so, technically speaking, it is an informant. it is not an undercover agent and it is not a spy. so what the president is doing with this tweet, of course, is trying to flip it on its head. trying to make this seem to be a big scandal.
and as a former member of what the quote unquote deep state, i find it incredibly troubling and infuriating that he continues to use this language to bash the career professionals that work for the department of justice. i worked there for ten years. i did not for one moment ever consider political aspects of anything i was doing, the partisan nature of anything i was doing, the people who work at the fbi, who work at prosecutors in the department of justice follow evidence. that is all they do. and for this president, the head of the executive branch, to continue to bash the career professionals who are day in and day out trying to enforce our laws and save our national security is incredibly debilitating. it's incredibly destructive. just as the senator says, it really runs the risk of permanently damaging the
institutions that our country is founded on and somebody, hopefully not just the democratic senators in the senate like senator murphy, but the republicans need to stand up and say, this is unacceptable anymore. there is no deep state. we need to stop talking about it. >> senator, let's get back to the relatively straight forward simple question of north korea. i think it's pretty clear that the north koreans are not going to do what the national security adviser and the president want which is to immediately get rid of all their nuclear capabilities, materials, what have you. would you favor a summit where the united states would have some kind of a lesser agreement, some version, if you will, of an iran-like agreement with north korea that would place certain limits on testing or capabiliti capabilities. do you think such an agreement should be introduced to congress for its approval and if so would it be approved? >> i think we have to be both realistic and flexible in these potential negotiations with north korea. the alternative to being realistic and flexible is a
north korea that continues to build up a nuclear weapons program that can even more seriously threaten the united states and our neighbors. so, yes. i hope that the president and the secretary are going to be thinking of ways to put north korea on a path to total, complete, denuclearization. and i think i'll leave it to the agreement and the details inside as to whether it has to come to congress for approval. obviously i didn't think the iran agreement had to come to congress. i thought that was an executive agreement and i think you have to look at the parameters first. i think it is important to remember that we mean something different when we say denuclearization than the north koreans do. what they mean is that the united states moves all of its weapons and troops out of the peninsula as well. something that the south koreans would not agree to as part of that negotiation. so, i think we just have to underscore how difficult complete denuclearization is given that we think it means
different things and be a little bit more flexible as we head into the negotiations. >> just to follow up on one thing we said, do you think that we ought to be willing to put the 28,500 american troops into the mix here? or do you think that ought to not enter the negotiations at this point? >> no, i don't think it should enter the negotiations. in fact, i think it would be a potential cataclysmic mistake for a number of reasons for the united states to withdraw our troops from south korea. first, obviously we are going to have to verify and be very skeptical about any commitments the north koreans make because they have violated those agreements in the past. but second, you know, what north korea also wants is for the united states to exit the region but the chinese also want that, too. and for us to just disappear from the korean peninsula would be a gift not just to the north koreans but to the chinese as well. >> senator, the president himself said yesterday that there is a substantial chance now that this summit won't work
out. he has a national security adviser now who has basically written in the past about preemptive strikes on both iran and north korea. we're talking now about a plan b. how does the fact that john bolton is the adviser now to the president and hi past positions going to color what our options are in even offering a middle ground? >> well, you know, this is always been my worry from the beginning that the worst case outcome here is for this administration to make an attempt at diplomacy and then when that diplomacy fails either because the meeting doesn't go well or because the meeting never happens it allows for john boeltden and perhaps mike pompeo to walk into the oval office and tell the president, well, listen, you tried diplomacy, it didn't work. there's really no option left except for a strike against the north koreans. and as you mentioned, john
bolton will tell the president he doesn't have to come to congress for that authorization which is completely wrong. it's why i've introduced legislation in the senate to make clear that if the president is thinking about preemptive military action against north korea that he has to come and get congressional consent first. but clearly john bolton doesn't believe that and if this summit falls apart, it's not outside the realm of possibility that bolton uses that as an opportunity to make his case. >> senator chris murphy, democrat of connecticut. great to talk to you. >> thank you. coming up next, the president's legal team reportedly has a demand before meeting with the special counsel and that is to take obstruction off the table. we'll talk about the chances of that happening ahead on "morning joe." ♪
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are the words -- for god and truth. your relationship with god is for you to decide, but your relationship with the truth, that must be unconditional. >> that's richard haass giving the commencement address at colgate university. >> i love commencements. unlike weddings, everybody is happy. some out of pride, some out of relief. >> yes. >> they're wonderful moments. >> what was the message you were trying to hammer home there? >> the sense that they were going to face real challenges in their life, climate change, debt, the disappearance of jobs. they have to get involved. they could make a difference. they have to get involved. they had to become first informed citizens. >> losing their bedroom in their parent's house. still to come, the so-called battle of the stacey's ends in a 52-point win. steve kornacki joins us to discuss that and the other big
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. that is the look at the new series on netflix. it debuts today. joining us now is the cofounder and editor at large. good morning. congratulations. >> good morning. >> just looking at that trailer. you suffer a lot of ground from the racial wealth gap to k-pop. >> it's to take on the big important topics that we often any fle neglect in the news. i've been reporting for news for years. this is an attempt to try to step out of the news cycle and back up into some the big forces and ideas and trends driving our world. it's hard when you're in a room to write a story on the racial
wealth gap. but it would be able to step back and take on the topics and everything else happening within them and around them begins to make sense. that's a pretty unusual opportunity. so it's been very, very exciting to get a chance to do it with netflix. >> heidi? >> there's so much that is changing about our culture. i'm curious how you chose which subject you're going to trial down on. did you specifically look to kind of expose or discuss that some of the things that are taboos in our culture or might make people feel uncomfortable or some kind of polling that shows what the lines are? >> it's a lot of editorial judgment. we are looking for things that first of all we think are important, that we think are driving either our lives and audiences or world around us. then looking for things we can do well in terms of journalism. you're never going to see me on camera. this is trying to really take an
information-dense subject and present it in a way that's clear and interesting and a little bit fun. then we're trying to look at topics that are going to be there in two years, three years, five years. one of the amazing things is you're building a library. it's not like after the show airs it's gone forever. we're looking for things that are going to continue to be relevant to people down the road. as we build this archive of material we're building something that's of value to the audience. >> let's go to your latest piece on vox. basically you're saying let's pu pump the brakes. you're part of an industry. we obsess about trump all day. why should we pump the brakes on this? >> i wouldn't kiquite call it pumping the brakes and if -- i
feel alarmed. i was watching the show. it is alarming. part of where i've come down on this is that a certain amount of our fear about the weakness of american democracy right now, and coming in part from reading a lot of the new democratic decline literature, but part of it comes from lacking in approach united nations of our riddled with holes and contradictions and injustice american democracy has been in recent years. donald trump is alarming on a human scale, the way he behaves. if we saw it in our spouse, partner or son or boss or em plo iee. but before, that we've had, particularly in the 20th century. political violence, urban riots, shootings and kent state, civil rights movement. periods of time when america was much more fractured.
i think it's important as we put donald trump in context to recognize that america's history with its kind of small -- democracy has not always been as trampant as we contend. not in always something new and uniquely alarming. >> but donald trump has seeped into the culture, so as you were choosing the subject matter and these topics that you want to have, how do you keep that kind of political trumpism out of these conversations, if it you will? >> i think one thing about this show is it's not just a new show. it's a lot in our world that is bigger than donald trump or that is not changing. in fact i think one of the real costs he imposed on the culture is there's a tendency to make everything about donald trump. the racial wealth gap was around long before him and long after.
cryptocurrencies are going to be around long after. m -- when historians write the history of this period, the fact that this is the era in which human beings took control of their own -- part of the show actually is an effort to say, no no, the things that are grabbing our attention every morning, the things that feel new and chan s changesichange changing and alarming is not always the most important thing. we are going to try in a consider the way to step back and ask what are the big important things that are going to be around. make sure we continue to give those attention. even as on vox.com we continue to give the daily news on politics quite a bit of focus. >> it looks great. can't wait to check it out. new episodes available on netflix every wednesday,
congrats on the sooeries. thank you. >> the president is on another twitter tear this morning digging in on claims that the obama administration spied on his campaign. he co-ops the name of a football scandal saying it could be one of the biggest political scan l scandals in history. plus the secretary of homeland security claims she did not know about the intel report that said russia tried to -- bigger and bi, bigger and bi, it took a whole lot more. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. everything. and that 2% cash back adds up to thousands of dollars each year... so i can keep growing my business in big leaps! what's in your wallet? ♪ tired of wrestling with seemingly impossible cleaning tasks?
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. see what happens, whether or not in happens. whatever it is, it is. we'll see what happens. if it doesn't happen, maybe it will happen later, at a different time. we will see. whether the deal gets made or not, who knows? you never really know. there's a chance it will work out. there's a very substantial chance it won't work out. there's a good chance we'll have the meeting. he may have a meeting coming up, he may or may not. he may or may not. but we'll see what happens. we'll see how it all works out. can't tell you exactly how or why. but it always does. it's going to work out. wow. that was president trump yesterday. well actually maybe it wasn't. talking about trade with china. and the waning likelihood of his planned summit with north korea's dictator. president trump lives in a
certain uncertainty. welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, may 23rd. with us we have mike ba-- and a world in disarray, now in the 47th printing. >> i mean, come on. it's barbecue season. we also have republican strategist and political commentator. and former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama, now an msnbc contributor. off for the daughter's college graduation events. congratulations. so we had a president here who went from a nobel prize so certain that wherever he went,
the teaming masses would chance nobel prize. we've gone from the certainty of a nobel prize to an an certain donald trump. >> well kim jong-un put him -- >> i think richard when the bar has been set at fire and fury, anything beneath that donald trump will claim as victory. if he goes on june the 12th to singapore, and comines home wit even a photo op he'll say he got something. even if it's not the stated goal. >> well he's note going to get north korea to give up its nukes. that's the only thing certain. i'll have to be willing to accept half a loaf or maybe a slice of loaf and declare
victory or accept the motion that a summit is simply a point on the road to diplomacy. you have to dramatically dial it down. but it wouldn't be the worse thing if summit were postponed. better have one that is postponed than it either blows up or the president feels so pressured to compromise to quote unfoquote to get a win. >> no doubt about it. david, by the way, we're going to get to our lead story in a minute. but this is to fascinating. dav david, north korea is not coming off of its plan to keep some nuclear weapons. donald trump can't walk away from summit being the president in a officially sanctioned a nuclear north korea. so, where does this end? if not with the two sides
turning around and shouting accusations at each other? >> i think it ends with what will probably be protracted diplomacy. we can't say at this point whether summit will take place on june 12th. i still think it's likely. but it's clear this will not be a quick process where kim jong-un says at last i have an opportunity to give up my nuclear weapons, i've been want to go do this. that's not going to happen. i think president trump is being sensible in trying to lower expectations, taking home that nobel peace prize. so, i would think that a meeting is still likely, but that we'll have some sort of phased process. president has now essentially accepted that's something he's willing to think about.
it's not going to be the immediate complete denuclearize but there may be an outcome he can still accept. if the north koreans continue the non testing of weapons, that's a significant achievement, he could say. >> let's turn back to politics here at home. it was 16 months ago that the u.s. intelligence committee released a report concluding that russia favored donald trump in the 2016 election, and meddled on his behalf. but president trump's homeland security secretary, nielson says she as unfamiliar with that report. >> do you have any reason to doubt the january 2017 assessment that said it was vladimir putin trying to -- >> i do not believe i.' seen that conclusion. that the specific intent was to help president trump win. i'm not aware of that. but i do generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence
assessment. >> except i just did with my previous statement. just last week, you'll remember the senate intelligence committee announced it supported the assessment that russia intervened to help donald trump in the 2016 election. while speaking to reporters yesterday, neilson acknowledged that russia did and will continue to try to influence. joe, that one was a jaw dropper. that's the homeland security secretary suggesting she's not aware of the intel communities' assessment -- by the way, not a secret, made public or the intelligence committee's report that says russia put its thumb on the scale on behalf of donald trump. >> everybody saw it. >> right. >> everybody saw the announcement last week. everybody saw the four intel chiefs, donald trump actually nominated and were approved by the senate, saw dan coats
testifying back in january. saw then cia director mike pompeo testifies to the fact that the russians tried to influence the election. that the fbi director suggested the same thing. they all, all suggested in what would become a front-page news story, that russia tried to impact the election for donald trump. and the senate, again, in a bipartisan manner, the senate intel committee all said that they were concurring with the intel community's assessment. they had no reason to disagree with the intel community's conclusion. and here, you have someone who is supposed to be in charge of protecting our homeland and someone who i was told actually had been working on stopping
russian interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections, claiming, in a most peculiar way, absolute ignorance of any russian meddling or russian -- or a conclusion by our entire intel community, that the russians were trying to win the election for donald trump. what do we even do with that? >> well -- >> if we had a senate that was not as -- or a house that was not as pathetic as this house has proven to be, in protecting our country's borders from russia influence, what would we do? >> joe, this is further proof and evidence of what it's like to be part of trump's orbit. this is a woman, cabinet secretary who is berated in front of the entire cabinet a few weeks ago, in front of all of her colleagues, yesterday,
forced to parse the truth in order not to further offend the president of the united states by doing her job. she knows the truth. >> so, mike, let me ask you a question. let me ask you, what do you think -- let's take somebody else? another woman who works in the bush cabinet. i don't know. nikki haley. how do you think nikki haley would respond if -- in the trump cabinet, how do you think she would respond if reporters said, hey, madam ambassador, do you think the russians tried to influence. 2016 election? >> she would see yes. i've seen the proof and evidence. that's what nikki haley would probably say. but part of -- nikki haley has a border of safety on geography. she's here in new york. independent actor. homeland security secretary has
got to put up with this -- she's got to put up with the president nearly everyday. it's a tough job. it's a tough job. telling the truth is a tough job in this world. >> i don't think -- i -- if you are in charge of protecting the country from attack from the russians, it ain't that tough of a job to tell the truth. i tell you this. if you can't admit the truth, to the president of the united states, then protecting the united states against further russian attacks on our democracy, then, it becomes a much tougher job. let's look at this clip again. i know some of you at home only heard the first part of the clip because you were spitting out your seriacereal. so i'll tell you what are' going to do. play it for you again pop because it was so -- just extraordinary. take a look. >> secretary to that point, do you have any reason to doubt the
january 2017 intelligence community assessment who said it was vladimir putin who tried to meddle to help him win. >> i do not believe i've seen that conclusion. that the specific intent was to help president trump win. i'm no the aware of that. but i do generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment. >> this, david, is right up there with sara pailen not knowing there was an east and west germany. or believing that the queen of england actually ran the government according to people who were briefing her for the debates. it really is. it's pretty bad. >> i will read you -- >> go ahead. >> here's a brief quote from the january 6, 2017 report by our top intelligence officers from
all the key agencies. we further assess putin and the russian government develop a clear preference for president-elect trump. it was a banner head line, more than a year ago. idea that a cabinet secretary would be unclear on that tells you that the trump administration echo chamber and her own personal fear of offending the white house have overwhelmed what was a clearly stated statement at the time. it is quite amazing. it's been stated, been repeated and supported by mike pompeo, the director of national intelligence, so extraordinary she would seem not to know about it. >> still ahead, on "morning joe." on monday michael cohen tweet at the truth will come out. just yesterday his business partner agreed to cooperate with the feds.
first bill has a check of the forecast. >> good morning. before we talk about what's going to happen this up coming weekend, i want to show you what's going on in hawaii. there's a power plant being threatened. >>reporter: boerm this is more than 20 fissures. so many folks here are concerned. while this lava lake is pouring into the ocean creating that toxic air which people are worried about, it's these physici fissures that continue to split the earth open. 2,000 remain vaekevacuated. this is close to the geothermal power plant. something they'll need to watch in the coming days. bill, geologists say they have
no idea when these massive fis you ares will slow down. >> absolutely incredible. just hearing that hum, like the cauldron, the boiling lava, amazing. we'll keep you posted z on the power plant. let's go into the trop ices. 50% for a sub tropical system or tropical. regardless, rainfall is the bigge biggest threat. so the gulf coast especially friday, saturday, does not look great for the memorial day plans. today's forecast, more showers and storms in the south. clearing out for a nice afternoon in the northeast. holiday weekend forecast. rain. by the time we get to sunday, up to the midatlantic and new england. talk about a miserable beach forecast for the gulf, florida and for the southeast coast
line. we'll have updates and hopefully improve the forecast. new york city, times square heavy rain overnight but the sun will come out this afternoon. high around 80. we'll take it. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be 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. 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.
there's new legal pressure on the president's attorney michael cohen. "new york times" reports his partner, a russian immigrant known as the taxi king has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in investigations. that's according to a person briefed on the matter. times reports he faced up to 125 years in prison. he also was accused of failing to pay $5 million in taxes. yesterday, freedman proceeded guilty to state charges of evading only $50,000 in taxes
and that will allow him to avoid jail time, serving five years probation if he fulfills the terms of the agreement. they say he texted a reporter calling the article shameful and referring to cohen as a quote dear personal friend and passive client. freedman's cooperation puts pressure on cohen to cooperate. trump's attorney tried to distance his client from cohen telling the times president trump is not involved in the tax s is adding, quote he has as much involvement in it as i do. >> as it relates to the president, this is not a question of taxi medallions. based on what michael cohen may be compelled to turn and work with them. >> this is part of a chain of cooperation that it appears is being built between state and federal prosecutors. investigation into michael cohen, the president's lawyer,
is taking place in federal court in the southern district of new york. now, state prosecutors have weighed in and they're responsible for this guilty plea yesterday where gene freedman escapes anything between 120 year in prison and is looking at probation. obviously, you don't get that kind of a plea agreement deal for nothing. i think it's logical to conclude that he has offered some assistance to either state or federal prosecutors. that's what his plea agreement says, and it seems likely that that will be very compelling for michael cohen, who, of course, knows exactly what gene freedman has shared with prosecutors. >> mike, i'll go to you because you've never been the taxi king but the tick tack king. passes them out to everybody. i was wondering, how fast will
donald trump continue to throw michael cohen under the bus. you look at rudy's statements or the president's statements. he's not really my lawyer. this has to do with his businesses. he only did a very small percentage of my work. rudy giuliani yesterday, we got nothing to do with that. our hands are clean. i mean it seems to me they've sent enough messages to michael cohen for him to know they're never going to show any royalty to him. so he has no reason to show any royalty back. >> you know, joe, in every case like this, at some level, there's an element of sadness. michael cohen is a sad aspect of this. he has never a lawyer. he was a fixer. his principal occupation clearly was wracking up taxi medallions and buying real estate property. now here he is with his partner receiving an enormous gift from
the federal government. i mean the initial charges, 25 years at a minimum in federal prison. massive amounts of money in fines, all knocked off the table. and he walks out of there with probation. that is basically a message to cohen saying that you know, this guy's got a lot to give, and he is giving it. he's giving it to us. it's just a matter of time, i would think before michael cohen is forced into the position of saying, okay, okay, i'm cooperating now. >> coming up on "morning joe," president trump continues to fuel the suggestion that an fbi informant was embedded in his campaign for political purposes. that's next on "morning joe."
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change california now is responsible for the content of this advertising. the congress would like to see documents opened up. a lot of people are saying they had spied in my chaampaign. if they did that would be a disgrace to this country. that would be one of the biggest insults anyone's ever seen and very illegal. it would probably make every
political event ever look like small potatoes. we want to make sure there weren't. i hope there weren't, frankly but some men got paid based on what i read in the newspapers and what you reported, some person got paid a lot of money. that's not a normal situation, the kind of money you're talking about. hopefully that would be -- i think the department of justice wants to get down to it and i can tell you congress does. >> president trump venting his frustration about reports of an fbi informant talking about members of his campaign in 2016. tomorrow will be the meeting between members of the doj and congress to review the highly classified documents related to contact between an fbi source and the trump campaign. republican congressmen will meet with fbi director and a dodge national security official no democrats were invited to the
meeting. that's another break in the traditionally bipartisan field of intelligence oversight. white house says there was no reason to make the meeting bipartisan. >> democrats have said they think it's inappropriate to have a meeting set up with just republicans and the justice department. would the white house welcome democrats to be at that meeting? >> my understanding is they haven't been the ones requesting this information. i would refer you back to them on why they would consider themselves randomly invited to see something they've never asked to. >> but on monday evening, more than 15 hours before the participants were announced, senate minority leader chuck schumer issued a statement saying if such a meeting occurs it must be bipartisan in order to serve as a check. joe, so senator schumer clearly asked to be involved in this meeting.
>> not lonly is this inhearunhe david we are focusing at times on republicans and some sel self-described conservatives who are actually trummists who have responded badly to this moment in the history of our constitutional republican. i noticed though and i'm sure you have too over the past several day, a lot of strong conservative voices, people that carry great weight in the conservative movement actually speaking out. david french wrote i find the notion that the russian investigation was corrupt from the beginning to be so bizarre as to border on fantastical. there was ample reason to investigate whether they had improper contacts. of course the point david makes
that i believe it was made and others have made is hey, listen, bring on the ig report, if there was any wrongdoing, that's fine, but, do not pretend that trump's activity or the activity of people connected to his campaign was not suspicious, because any administration would be concerned about that, and any fbi director would want to know more, if a major national candidate possibly being elected president of the united states was having improper meetings with the russians, the chinese, iranians, you pick your country, right? >> joe, what the republicans, like french, like others, like many others, i hope, are doing, really is rescuing our system of bipartisan oversight of intelligence. if intelligence activities become so politicized that effort by the fbi or the cia to
track down reports of improper contact, sort of thing that's happened sometimes through the history, if those efforts become politicized, it's almost impossible for the intelligence agencies to sheare their most sensitive information. this idea you're going to brief only one side on the house about your findings, it's just completely contrary to the system set up after the scandals in the 1970's, there's a lot at stake here. way in which the trump administration has succeeded through this kind of echo chamber effect with right wing media, of making peripheral characters the center of the story, so they obscure the basic thrust of what special counsel mueller's trying to figure out, what happened here, were there any crimes, it's something people will look back on in 10 or 15 years and they will be
vote in 2018 is every bit as important as your vote in 2016. although i'm not sure i really believe that, but you know. i don't know who the hell wrote that line. >> somebody got canned last night, joe. writing that line. we know that. >> i have to say this. first of all, he's telling the truth. that's how he feels. >> oh yeah.
>> but secondly, never und underestimate the power of donald trump doing that. and basically stripping away the veneer of, you know, politically polite language and saying wait a second i don't believe that. the most important thing is -- that does appeal to a lot of americans. >> absolutely. his supporters. he's speaking the truth, not politics, but it also steps on the message that republicans wanted to have this fall. our political round table expands. national political correspondent for nbc news. author and columnist for the "new york daily news" and name contributor. white house correspondent for pbs news hour. and former justice department spokesman, now an msnbc justice and security analyst. we'll get to his new column in just a moment. welcome to you all.
we sat here talking about what may or may not happen in the state of georgia in that democratic primary. wasn't much of a battle of the staceys it was a blowout for a stays ji abrams. >> this was a -- nationally they were looking saying is there some kind of clue about the psychology of the democratic base in the trump era because they were presented with two different options. the abrams was there's a grows pool of potential democratic voters in georgia. younger, non-white. sti single women. let's grow the pie. there there's energy in the trump era. evans was what you typically hear from democrats in the south saying we need republicans trump voters we need to win them back. and democrats last night i think this verdict was absolutely resoundi resounding. i think there are other
differences between the candidates, just abram is a much stronger kad. democrats have been eyes georgia some what the way they eye texas, as a long-term target. diagr abrams is saying let's sweet that up. >> spread was 52 points in georgia last night. >> that is as resounding as it gets. steve, look at all of the races, and try to put together a narrative if you could about where we were this week. what did this tuesday night feel like in? more intensity on the democratic side? are the republicans picking up? what did you see sifting through all the results? >> yeah. i mean look i think in a lot of ways a continuation of what we've seen. let's use georgia as an example. mind you, as i said the dem graphics are changing. eight years in 2010, remember.
also the last time they had two open primaries on the democratic republican side in georgia for governor. maybe that's a comparable year. turnout last night was down about 75,000 voters in georgia. democratic turnout up more than 100,000. again, 2010, everything in a could go wrong for democrats went wrong. maybe a very different story. >> last night's georgia battle was supposed to tell us about the future of the democratic party, and perhaps the battle for the heart and souls of democratic primary voters and which direction they were going to go. last night, as steve said, it wasn't even a contest. democratic primary voters in georgia didn't want to split the difference. they wanted to resist. >> well, when i was looking at
the leaks, telections, the thin stood out-setting agenda saying she worked to take away the hope scholarship. and stacey diagrams said i am a positive person. the most played ad from her campaign was about who she was and what see wants to do. that might be a key for democrats. they of course rolled out the better deal slogan. democrats have said since 2016 that they didn't want to run a campaign that says i'm not donald trump. as of now they're doing that. and i think what democrats might want to take away from georgia is say you need to introduce yourself for a long time to voters and tell them exactly why the democratic party is so positive if that's what you're going to tell them. >> the question now fis can she
win. two republicans in july. one of those is secretary of state in the state of georgia, brian kemp put out an ad saying he's going to use his pickup to round up illegal immigrants. can she win folks in the middle to win statewide. >> the pickup line is targeting slow-thinking people. if he actually thinks that's going to get him elected, he's a slow thinker. i hope she can win. we were talking before we came back on. i think the tsunami everybody is predicting in november is going to come not just from newly registered voters, it's going to be women. it's going to be -- it's going to be women who are going to vote because one thing we've seen, women are going out to vote. and women are angry about what they feel the direction of the country is. i just love the fact that stacey
abrams may turn out to be the face of the democratic party in the south in this moment. >> she's impressive. >> but winning that type of primary with her message of going to the most progressive of her party, that does increase turnout, but in georgia, we have to see, i don't know if that's enough to get enough people moderate women, like my -- i said they're going to be a big factor, to actually go against someone, a republican in georgia. and we'll have to see. it's going to be an interesting test to see, that state had been trending 8%, 5% on the gubernatorial spreads, and now we have to see what happens in the end. does it lead-- >> we don't know who her opponent. >> go back to 2014. democrats nominated the grandson of jimmy kaecarter. and the daughter of sam.
legacy politicians, idea of reaching out to traditional republican voters. got a lot of money, a lot of interest. they both lost by about 9 points in 2014. that was a republican wave year. if it's a democratic wave year, maybe that 9 comes down a little bit right there. maybe the additional democrat changes put this in play. this is a stretch for democrats to win in georgia. i think it's a real interesting political test, this abram's strategy. i think she needs to -- this theory of turnout needs to come to fruition, but that's what they're up against. >> but willy, when it comes to those sort of wave elections, and steve certainly understands this, we've all seen it. you never really know exactly what candidate is going to do best in the fall. you will have the battles back and forth in the blog and on op
ed pages we need to go more to the center, more to the left, we need to go more to the base. i'm a big believer for democrats to do well in congressional races, they have to fit culturally with the states where they're running or the districts where they're running. but in a year, 1994, i said a couple days ago, newt gingrich, everybody said i was too conservative to win in my district. i ended up getting 62%. it was because it was a wave year. for my district. they didn't want anybody reasonable, anybody talking about cooperating with bill clinton. they wanted to resist. they wanted a fighter. we saw that again in 2006 for democrats, 2010 for republicans. a lot of candidates that wouldn't have one any other year won that year. i always said i never would have won in '92 and '96. but i was just right for 1994. that may be where we are in
georgia and these other states in 2018. this is an extraordinary midterm election. and i think you have to throw all the rules out the window, and it's the person that motivates the base and can get people to go out voting. >> stacey abrams proved herself to be an impressive candidate. everybody sit tight. we'll bring in matt miller for his new column. be sure to subscribe to our news letter by texting mrngjoe. >> on tomorrow's show we'll talk to the mayor of new york city. we're coming right back. liberty mutual stood with me when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night. hold on dad... liberty did what? yeah, liberty mutual 24-hour roadside assistance helped him to fix his flat so he could get home safely. my dad says our insurance doesn't have that.
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and it's also a story mail aabout people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you all right. as promised, matt miller's op-ed for "the washington post." entitled "rod rosenstein's dangerous gamble." in it, matt writes this, rosenstein seems to be giving the president and his defendants in congress just enough accommodation. but this is a dangerous game. just think about it from trump's perspective he crossed what has long been seen as a red line on sunday, and not only did he not pay any consequence but also he got some of what he wanted. standing up to trump this week might provoke the cataclysmic
and that day will come and hope he recognizes before it's too late. i think you agree, matt that rosenstein's in a difficult position. you laid out the two paths he could go which is sort of acquiesce to the president of the united states, and getting into the claims that the president continues to make as of this morning, and word of a showdown that potentially gets him fired and bob mueller fired. >> yeah, it's unfair the situation he's in. there ought to be more people in the republican party defending him and defending the party's longtime independence and there just aren't. i should say from the start, i don't know that he made the wrong decision here. i think none of lus know until it's all over, he may be just trying to buy another month or two months until mueller can
defend his work. without remarking on the trade that he made and the real cost to the department's independence. i hear a lot of people say he didn't open a full-blown criminal investigation it was just an inspector generale investigation. but there are kaufrts involved with that. they have to hire attorneys. you've seen in the investigation the department's conducting of the 2016 election. the two text messages dragged over and no finding of wrongdoing by the department. and then there are costs to the department itself. the doj has now given credence to the president's unfounded conspiracy theory that the department did something wrong in the conduct of this investigation. we saw the president using that talking point yesterday. and the department has also now sent a message to the public that it's okay for the president to reach into the department and demand these kind of counterinvestigations when it's absolutely not okay. it's a dangerous step for the president to take. and what i worry about, is these
norms get so slowly eroded. by the time rosenstein needs to fight, the public is just used to the president being involved in justice department business. >> no, matt, let's talk about the norms that have been cast aside here. and the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who basically was given the choice, give in on this, or get out. and so, tomorrow, we are going to have two republican members of congress looking, basically, at evidence gathered in potential investigation of this administration. and maybe including the president of the united states. so, how close does tomorrow's activity come to the definition of obstruction of justice, or interfering with an investigation or tampering with evidence? >> it's close. let me say something first, about the choice rosenstein faced. the give in or get out. i'm not sure that actually was the choice. you know, we've seen the president make a lot of threats
or demands on twitter before. privately, he device asked don mcgahn to get mueller removed. and he just ignored the president and waited for mueller to go away. we just don't know the answer to that. with respect to tomorrow's meeting, you know, it's clear that the president and members of congress, just the kind of ronk group of republicans, trying to work together. we've seen reports that the president gets on the phone with mark meadows. you know, i think it would be tough to call congress 'oversight or at least acting under the veneer of congressional oversight, it would be tough to prove obstruction of justice out of that. monday, we saw the president sitting in a room with the deputy attorney general and the fbi director talking about how a department ought to handle an investigation into himself. a year ago that would have been
unthinkable. that would have been a scandal by itself. but because the president has so slowly eroded these norms and slowly eroded the wall that's supposed to separates doj and the white house it got chocked up into another thing, and that's the concern i have. >> i love this idea of the deep state that is constantly getting pushed away. the deep state is operating in broad daylight. it's jordan, it's meadows. it's fox news, it's rudy giuliani now. and of all the cockeyed narratives that we have right now, the most cockeyed is that this president has somehow triumphed over an fbi that, oh, by the way, got him elected president because of what comey said in the late innings of that campaign. >> well, that's the iron of this aneesh, the president is calling for criminal deep state, served his interests pretty well at the end of the campaign in 2016. >> well, i mean, of course, james comey had said that he
hopes he didn't impact the election. for most people i talk, to both democrats and republicans, it's undeniable that they think that james comey had a lot to do with how the 2016 election turned out. i remember reporting for north carolina talking to "the new york times" talking to voters to both sides, nervously voting, people supporting hillary clinton thought that their candidate for the first time in their minds was going to lose because of that. the president a year into him laying the narrative that he is somehow a victim of the justice department overreaching. and these documents that he's talking about with the congressional leaders demanding are just kind of adding to that narrative. we're just going to see president trump, now that he's given it's a nickname, spy gate, he's going to continue to make the case. >> and he keeps lying. he says spy gate might be one of the biggest political scandal in history. not a scandal at all. the only thing that is a scandal
is that you had the intel community, as you know, go during the campaign go to the democratic candidate for president and go to the republican candidate for president. and said, we had information that the russians, that vladimir putin has been targeting american democracy, and may be trying to target this election. if you see anything, if you hear anything, let us know at once. and what did the trump campaign do? they made one contact with the russians after another. they lied about it in front of senate testimony later. they did everything that a guilty party does. that is a scandal here. >> yeah. that's exactly right. i mean, you saw them not only do that, but publicly use the fruits of russian interference publicly. donald trump was talking about wikileaks all the time. and what in that campaign and what's happening is what worries me. asymmetry that they deal with the justice department.
the republican party makes demands of the justice department. the democratic party has followed the rule of law. and the result of that, doj doesn't do nearly everything that they ask for, but they do some of is it. comey center that letter because he was worried about the republican party response. rod rosenstein appointed this ig investigation because he was worried. that's when you get dangerous outcomes. >> and you can read matt's full piece. thank you. that does it for us. stephanie ruhle picks it up. >> good morning, everyone. i'm stephanie with a lot to cover today. starting closing the business circle, the taxi kingal agrees to cooperate with government. michael hocohen is going toe in a worry of hurt in a short period of time. he's going to have very few options and that's why i say ultimately, he's going to flip on the president of the united states. >> we'll see. how about