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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  June 1, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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willing to do this, is using his progressive instincts. and b, the fact that these oil giants and these energy investors want to engage in this way, shows that the way that the conversation is moving on climate change. >> we know the pope had taken the environment and climate change on for a number of years, we know this is sort of been his big issue, his major issue. but how much of a factor is the fact that the president decided to pull out of the paris climate accord, being taken into the pope's decision to take this topic on now? >> that's a great point, we see around the country various governments, state and local governments here, other governments around the world saying if the president is to be on the sidelines for this, if the president is going to pull back. like other institutions, are going to step in. and this is a great example of that. >> mike, let me ask you, it's friday, june 1, jobs report coming out what are other big
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stories you are looking for, not just today, but in the weeks and month ahead? >> looking ahead, the president and axios right now we have a globe that's been turned into a rubik's cube. because the president has so much on his plate. he has two nuclear standoffs he's looking at, iran and north korea. and in addition to that, the early beginnings of a trade war on multiple fronts as we've been seeing here and throw into that the distraction of an investigation, a hot summer ahead. >> indeed it is, mike allen live for us in washington, d.c., appreciate it as always. we'll see you back on "morning joe" in a few minutes and we'll be reading axios a.m. in just a little while. you, too, can sign up for the news letter by going to >> i'm yasmin vossoughian alongside ayman mohyeldin and louis burgdorf, "morning joe" starts right now. meet the man who wants to put martha stewart in jail. >> martha stewart is being
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prosecuted not because of who she is, but because of what she did. >> 42-year-old james comey, the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. >> will president trump use the powers of his office to pardon martha stewart? the president floating that idea today. >> back in 2003, nbc's ann thompson introduced us to jim comey and he just so happened to prosecute the maker of the finest meatloaf sandwiches around. >> and i'm here with donald and melania trump and we're going to make a scrumptious meatloaf sandwich, which is donald's favorite sandwich, according to melania. >> i've never had meatloaf this good, but it's very good. >> also on forgiveness list, none other than a celebrity apprentice, who once compared his plight to that of nelson mandela and also gandhi. >> you are the project manager. >> right. i know.
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>> and governor, i have great respect for you, i have great respect for your tenacity, for the fact that you just don't give up. but rod, you're fired. >> thank you very much. >> welcome to "morning joe." it's friday, june 1st, i'm kasie hunt, we are having some trouble with joe's camera at the moment. so hopefully he'll be with us shortly. willie is on assignment for "the today show," mika will be back on monday. with us we have national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc, jon heilemann. the kids are running the asylum. msnbc contributor mike barnicle. do we have the flames for mike yet? are those ready? >> i have them myself, but you don't. >> all right. donnie deutsche is here and former aide to the george w. bush white house and state department, elise jordan and columnist and associate editor
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for the "washington post" david ignatius. jon heilemann, where do you want to start here with these pardons? >> where do i want to start? kasie, kind of extraordinary. we alluded to this here in some of the footage at the top of the show. interesting, some of the connections between some of the people who the president has pardoned and who he is thinking about pardoning. they are connected in various ways through various people who have held the job who yently hold the job now as special prosecutor, people who have had connections in the past. pat fitzgerald, jim comey. the president seems, there's no direct evidence to say that this is true or at least in reporting we've seen so far, but the president seems through his pattern of pardoning and the pardons he's thinking about or thinking about giving, he's trying to send a message to people about -- what he, about his willingness to do pardons, but also about what he thinks of some of the people who have involved in prosecuting these cases like jim comey and pat fitzgerald. >> donnie, you know how messages
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get sent, sometimes in coded fashion, sometimes through smoke signals and other means. if you're sitting around, like your friend michael cohen must be today and yesterday, watching the television antics of the president and the pardoning antics, what message do you think michael cohen and others might be receiving? >> in the case of michael cohen, it's pure confusion, up until this point trump has said no other signal than you're on your own and you barely work for me. to everyone else, it's happy days are here again. if there's two words that are meant to go together, it's "trump" and "pardon." no checks and balances, no other system to go through. and i just wondering, there's been a lot of talk leading up to this. are there any legal recourses, any point gearing up during the pardon or is a complete unadult rated path to the president to do exactly what and how he wants?
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>> there's a process to pardons that again, the president's message yesterday was -- the process doesn't matter. the institutions don't matter. the rule of law doesn't matter. what matters is what i, donald trump, want to do of the moment. and of the moment means i want to pardon these people and here's the pardon. >> do you think just is there any chance -- we're going to get to this i'm sure. people are drawing kind of a beautiful mind-style charts that paint the picture of the connections between those who have been pardoned, those who put those people behind bars, those who might be pardoned. is there a chance that all of this -- that donald trump likes the executive authority. he likes, as donnie said, for once there's something he can do that no one can tell him he can't do. in the end there's no real check on his authority. it's up to the president. >> i think that kim kardashian west came and made the pitch for sentencing reform and she made the pitch for a 63-year-old
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woman who has been imprisoned for 23 years, a memphis great grandmother, alice johnson, that she should be let out, she served her time for 22 years for a nonviolent crime. i don't think that maybe what tim kym was trying to get was for danesh de souza who was convicted and found guilty for campaign finance violations to be getting this free pass. >> this is once again, just totally bypassing -- >> can i just stop and ask -- what have you kids been doing? gee, i'm away and you kids just take over the set? >> yeah. sorry. >> we had been playing cards just before you arrived. >> we made pancakes this moerng. you're very strict about that you always just say we can have our wheaties, but we went crazy and had some chocolate chip pancakes. >> yeah, okay. >> and sugar cereal. >> as much as you want. david ignatius, fortunately is in washington, d.c. david, it's not really hard, it's never really hard to read
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donald trump. he is a day trader. he's the most crude, he's the crudest of political operators. just as he admitted to leslie stahl off camera that he was attacking the press and -- basically numbing americans to these constant attacks of the press. and going at their credibility, he's doing the same thing with pardons. he's throwing one out to the left if he could have 10, 20 pardons out there before he tried to pardon michael flynn, why, for donald trump, that would be great, to the higher the number, the better. because americans will be less shocked when he gets around to people involved with his own misdeeds. >> you know, joe, i think we're going to have soon, a line of petitioners figuratively stretching around the white house. as it becomes known that the president likes giving pardons, people will queue up to ask for one for a friend, a relative, a
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business associate. and he'll love it. being asked to give a special power of the presidency, and grant mercy to those he thinks deserve it, comments about dee souza, about blagojevich. martha stewart, fascinating. and obviously second, there is a message here for all the people who are caught up in the investigation, starting with michael cohen, paul manafort, all the people who mueller and company would like to flip, would like to pressure. and here's the president, sometimes described the iron whim of this president. he gets to exercise it on pardoning as on nothing else. so i'm sure there's going to be a new big feature of the trump white house. >> notice he also surrounding himself in celebrity, kim kardashian yesterday. and then, you know now he's talking about pardoning other celebrities. people that are well known. people that have even been on his show. and there's a political angle to
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that as well. but you know, jon heilemann, i love how people when they talk to you about the power of pardons and the power to indict a president, they speak in absolute terms just like i heard three, four, five months ago that it is impossible to indict a sitting president. the fact is, it's not impossible to indict a sitting president. regardless of what the justice department's own guidelines are. you may break past those guidelines and this president may find himself indicted. the same thing with the power of the pardon. if the president of the united states starts moving towards pardoning people that are impacted in his own investigation -- take that up to the supreme court. i bet you'll find at least four justices, maybe five, who say that when a pardon actually undermines the reason why the founders put that power in place
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at the beginning, well then maybe that pardon power is not so absolute. >> right, i mean i think in both of those cases you mentioned, joe, i think the question is, is not that we don't know, right? there are, as with so many things in donald trump we're in the realm of the unknown. we've made this point before -- it's the case that there's no one has ever tested the question of whether or not a sitting president can be indicted. there's decades of policy that doj puts forward. but no one has ever taken it to the supreme court we don't know what the law of the land is on that question. similarly, because the fact that most presidents have exercised the pardon power with restraint, sometimes controversially, in the case of bill clinton and mark rich for example. there have been controversies, many of them. but generally presidents have exercised the pardoning power with restraint. we've not had any situation remotely like the one we're now contemplating in which it looks like a sitting president was using pardons in order to, was
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starting to hint at the notion he might use pardons to undermine an investigation and to, to further obstruct justice. so what would the supreme court in its current, with its current constitution, what would they say if that matter was brought to them? if donald trump did the thing we're now all talking about? no one knows. but i think you're right to say that when you enter the land of uncharted territory, you, we all are kind of without a map and a compass. and no one should speak in absolutes. >> exactly and that's the whole point. people need to stop saying that, oh, you know the pardon power is absolute. he can do whatever he wants to do. i've heard that over the past 24, 48 hours. we don't know that that's, that's the case. if you abuse any constitutional power, the supreme court will pull back hard. and will make a correction where correction is due. and they certainly i'm sure would look very long and hard at the pardoning of people that are involved in an investigation.
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that involves the president's own wrongdoing or possible wrongdoing. donnie deutsch, final question here as we talk about all of these celebrities, kim kardashian going in yesterday. you obviously now we're talking about other celebrities that people have followed, a conservative sort of celebrity type that did movies about barack obama and i think hillary clinton. i've always had a theory about presidents. i learned it first with ronald reagan, the great communicator, and i remember ronald reagan trying to get a couple of hundred million dollars for contras in central america. it sounds like a lot of money. in terms of military budgets, it's a pittance. it's absolutely nothing. and i saw reagan turn on the charm, we had communists in south africa, i mean in south america. and this guy was going at it, giving everything he had, and americans just didn't respond.
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they just -- the reagan magic was gone. they had seen this tv show for six years and had enough of it. and i've always noticed same thing, barack obama, 2013, the guy just after getting re-elected, just didn't connect. he was a great speaker, he had some wonderful moments. i mean -- charleston was just one of the most moving speeches we've ever seen. as far as being able to move the country -- it stopped. i'm wondering with donald trump, as his reality show churns at such a rabid pace, i'm wondering whether, you where you think we are right now in his ability to move americans and whether we're already some americans may already be getting tired of this act. i'm talking about americans who voted for him who may be facing sheer exhaustion. >> it's a great question, i wish the answer was, we're close to that point. i don't think so because there
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is such an inpredictability. let's look at this as a reality show. let's do the same analogy. if it was a real reality show, "survivor" you would turn this off and say we've seen this before. the thing about donald trump which makes him such a compelling car wreck, a compelling entertainer, you don't know what's coming next when you still have a show where that's intrigue, intrigue that leads to disgust or jubilation, we lean in. i wish as a marker, branding, a pop culture watcher, i could say this is wearing thin. the thing about the man is, there is always a new trick, whether you love him or you hate him, it's interesting. when horde stern was in his zenith and they were doing research what do you love about howard stern? why do you watch the show if you love him? i love him because i don't know what's coming next. why do you watch the show if you hate him? i don't know what's coming next.
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that's the thing about trump, the nerve that he hits like p.t. ba barnum. >> the president and his moves on tariffs, just been absolutely all over the place. and you just really wonder what our ail layllies and adversarie thinking, you never any what tariffs are going to be implemented. what tariffs are going to be knocked down. we see this again this week. >> normally the policies would be directed at our adversaries. in this case the united states has initiated a trade war with our closest allies, here in north america and europe. citing national security, the trump administration announced massive new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from mexico, canada and the european union. 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. the move is expected to raise the prices for american consumers on everything from canned soup to cars.
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and while 150,000 jobs could potentially be saved, experts and the u.s. chamber of commerce are warning that at least two million jobs are now at risk. following the announcement president trump tweeted in all caps, fair trade, exclamation point. a visibly frustrated canadian prime minister justen trudeau said the tariffs are totally unacceptable and an affront and it's unconceivable that canada could be considered a national security threat to the u.s. canada announced dollar for dollar retaliatory tariffs on american goods worth $12.8 billion. mexico also responded, saying it would impose tariffs of equivalent measures to various products, including pork bellies, cheeses and steel and the eu said it's launching legal proceedings against the u.s. at the wto and in a swift, firm and proportionate manner, imposing tariffs on a list of american
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products that's ten pages long. joe, i think the one, the one piece of this that i find concerning that apparently the price of beer cans is likely to go up, right in time for the fourth of july. >> right in time for the fourth of july. and david ignatius, you look at what the president did yesterday, what he's been doing over the past several months. and his actions really could not cause more unrest among our allies, more economic uncertainty. republicans spoke out against it, it's one of the few things that really gets them speaking out. paul ryan, kevin brady, orrin hatch. with a statement, this is dumb. and i'm sure there are a lot of our allies that are thinking this. but again -- america, once again, being extraordinarily unpredictable. to our allies, friends, people who have counted on the united states being the bedrock of the
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international system. since world war ii. >> donald trump wants to shake things up. in this case what he's shaking up is the fundamental alliances of the united states. our alliances with europe. our best friends, real bullwashing bulwark with canada and mexico. canada is the country where we have early warning of missile threats that would strike our country. this is being done by the president to try to achieve some transformation in terms of the status of manufacturing in the u.s. our trade levels. i think for people it's a head-scratcher. i think ben sasse said it just perfectly in what you quoted. this is dumb. they're saying i understand that china is an adversary. but europe and canada?
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i think there's real confusion. there's also going to be significant damage from these actions. as the retaliations come in. people will feel it in terms of products that they buy in terms of the cost of things that are part of products that they buy. and so i think we're just at the beginning of a a kind of blow-back from this action for the president, for the white house and the public that says, i don't get it. >> yeah, a lot of people don't get it and mike barnicle, once again you've got the president of the united states undermining our alliances. with canada, with the eu, specifically, britain, france, germany. looking at us, i mean germany already coming to the conclusion that russia is more predictable and more -- what they can deal with, more than the united states of america and while the president undermines our alliances with these democratically elected leaders,
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you still have him paying great defere deference to people like putin and erdogan duarte and other tyrants around the globe. >> the president has chosen to promote an us against them policy and the "them" happen to be our friends. but today's lead editorial in the "wall street journal," are cheer leaders for president trump. here's the first paragraph. is so much for donald trump's genius deal-maker, we're supposed to believe his tariff threats are a clever negotiation strategy, on thursday he revealed he's merely an old-fashioned protectionist. his decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from europe, canada and ex-co will hurt the u.s. economy, his own foreign policy and perhaps republicans in november and it concludes with this. mr. trump has been establishing a solid economic record, with
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tax cuts and deregulation. but his escalating trade war puts that at risk. he aspires to be ronald reagan, but his tariff folly echoes of herbert hoover. so much for "the wall street journal's" support, joe. >> well it's ben sasse talking about make america 1929 again, a great statement. and jon heilemann before we go to break, talk about the politics of this. who does he -- who does he think he's helping? does he think this is going to help him win in pennsylvania and wisconsin again? >> i think he must. look, the one thing that's true about this is, those of us who are free traders, have thought that the president's stance on these matters have been wrong-headed from the very beginning,or but he has been consistent. one thing donald trump said from the very beginning when he got in the race in 2015 is i'm a protectionist. i'm going to slap tariffs on
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people. and we're to the point now where he feels like that's what he's going to do and it looks like he's headed in that direction. obviously after a lot of internal debate and a lot of people in the administration not happy about it. he believes apparently, has believed for decades, that this is the way in which to help american workers. in the rust belt, in american manufacturing sectors, et cetera, et cetera, there's not a whole lot of economic evidence that suggests that's correct but it's a firm conviction of his for a long time. it's got tonight point where it looks like he's going down that path. >> we've said this before on the show. you can go back to donald trump on the "today show" in 1988, 1989, he's talking about japan taking advantage of us and what suckers we are and speak who has been speaking like a protectionist since the '80s. we've got more to get to on the show, we're getting an earful of just how michael cohen operateds as donald trump's fixer. we'll be playing you that audio tape with our producer's fingers
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on the seven-second delay button. it's not just for me any more. plus john boehner sounds off on the gop. how does he feel about being out of office? well he kept repeating the word "hallelujah" with his bloody mary well within reach. we'll be playing that for you as well. plus, man, what's samantha bee said. just unbelievable. it really is -- yeah. we don't have to even play that game what would happen to a conservative if they had said the same thing about barack obama's wife or daughters. crazy. anyway, let's go to bill karins. i would guess, bill, more rain coming our way? >> yeah, showers, joe and then kind of a murky weekend. very humid air mass on the east coast. i'm concerned with flooding around washington, d.c. and baltimore and maybe philadelphia this weekend, too. right now thunderstorms rolling down through northern portions of alabama. tupelo is getting hit, decatur,
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nashville. just showers for you. today 13 million people at risk for strong storms. along with our friends in tuscaloosa. northern plains, dakotas and nebraska, maybe a few tornadoes. today's forecast, very hot, san antonio to oklahoma city, near record heat. new york city, early-morning showers and then you'll clear out. 90 degrees today, 96, it's summer-like today in d.c. late tonight we may get a few showers and thunderstorms. on saturday this has the potential to be a washout with very heavy rain in the mid-atlantic region. we'll have to watch it carefully and strong storms from missouri up through minnesota. we end the weekend with more rainfall in the mid-atlantic. much cooler in new england, at least you'll be dry, showery and rainy weather from ohio through virginia. so d.c. is one of those areas, today is hot and summer-like over the weekend it just gets soggy and wet. if you can get your friday or saturday afternoon and evening plans in, do so.
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it's not looking great over the entire weekend. new york city a spot dealing with fog and drizzle. it will clear out this afternoon and get warmer, probably the best day of the next three. and it's starting out not so great.
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let's get exclusive nbc news reporting on the mueller investigation. national political reporter for nbc news carol lee just posted exclusive details on a close friend of jared kushner's who has found himself under scrutiny from the security council. carol joins us now, tell us about the report. >> sure, well thanks, what we know is that this friend of jared kushner's, a hedge fund manager from new york, his name is rick gerson, he has become a focus of questioning by mueller's team, largely as it relates to mueller's interest in
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the uae possible influence on the trump campaign and the transition, so he wasn't known before, which we've determined from our reporting is he was a presence at some of the key meetings that we know have been under scrutiny by the special counsel. he happened to be in the seychelles in 2017 around the same time that the meeting that eric prince had with uae and russian officials close to vladimir putin. gerson's spokesperson said he didn't attend that meeting you about met separately with the crown prince of abu dhabi and we know he was present for a meeting that was also under scrutiny that took place in december of 20 16 during the transition between trump transition officials and uae officials and he had an interesting role in that in which his spokesperson said that he brought tony blair, the former british testimony to this meeting to -- prime minister to
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this meeting to give a presentation on middle east peace process and how he thought that should play out and we know that the senate intelligence committee is interested in mr. gerson and mueller has been asking witnesses about him, why he was at the meetings and what his role was in that. >> carol, it's interesting that he was in the seychelles. a tough place to get to. it seems like random timing to have been in that neck of the world when eric prince was there. meeting with russians. >> yeah. it is. and i think that's why mueller's team is interested in learning more about what his role was there. or why he was there. those are the kinds of questions we've been told investigators are asking. the seychelles is a mystery. in a the although of ways we seem to keep learning more about that. we didn't know prior to this
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that gereson was in the seychelles at that time. but we know while he was in the seychelles, he communicated with george nader, a businessman who is a fixer for the uae. they exchanged text messages, so he had developed, started to develop a relationship with him as well. we know that mr. nader has been cooperating with the special counsel. >> well and george nader is one of the shadiest characters in all of this. he was in prison in the czech republic for pedophilia. and this is someone that this group of individuals has chosen to associate with for these so-called business dealings of sorts. as you recall it. so the relationship isn't longstanding with george nader or he, you know, gerson game a figure just involved in the swirl of all of this. >> our understanding is that
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they met during, in december. so it wasn't, it's not a long-term relationship. they started to you know, basically connect after that decision meeting in 2016 in new york. that after that, then they connected and then that relationship continued according to people we talked to, after the inauguration, they got more into policy matters and things like that. >> all right. carol lee, thank you so much. we're going to be reading your new reporting at nbc and who knew that the seychelles was such a hot destination. i've heard it's croatia or lib lis bon. i guess during the transition, the hot place to visit was the seychelles, because certainly everybody in the trump administration seemed to go there or know somebody who was there. now let's go to co-founder of axios, mike allen. mike, axios has new reporting on
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how much pressure president trump put on jeff sessions to unrecuse himself in the russian probe. and man, he put the pressure on, didn't he? >> he did. and this went on all year. so from the beginning of the administration through the end of the year. at least three times in person, once on the phone, the president saying to jeff sessions, you know what, you could be a hero to conservatives if you would do the right thing and reengage on the mueller probe. you could be a hero to conservatives if you, also investigate hillary clinton. also urged him to do that. joe, jonathan swan also reporting that the president talked about whether or not it was possible to confine the mueller investigation, so it couldn't get in to his personal business affairs. to codify the red line. joe, when you think about it, all this is of a piece with
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yesterday's statements on pardons and tariffs. this is all kind of because he can. the president's frustrations with the guardrails of the presidency. that he doesn't work through the pardons office in the justice department. and we have reporting up on axios now saying the part of what he did on tariffs, what you're pointing out, so many of his allies inside think don't make sense. it was because he was frustrated that he was tired of waiting to do something big on trade. worried he wasn't going to win some of these negotiations. >> so clearly, mike, the attorney general jeff sessions, he is under constant assault. one way or another, from the president of the you have states. what sort of support has he been getting from his former associates in the united states senate, and what kind of vocal verbal back-up do they give jeff sessions to the president of the united states? >> well we're leading the witness here a bit.
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because you know, he's been disappointed that so few people have spoken out on his behalf. now behind the scenes he gets their support. and he's not going anywhere. because the president can't confirm probably anyone new to his cabinet, let alone an attorney general. so they both seem to be kind of stuck with each other. but the attorney general in public certainly feels lonely. >> all right. mike allen, thank you so much. always appreciate you being with us and happy friday to you. coming up, this morning, former c.i.a. director john brennan is going to be joining us live at 8:00 a.m. a senior analyst for nbc news. and we're going to get his latest take on the mueller investigation and the high stakes at play with north korea. "morning joe" will be right back.
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comedian samantha bee apologized after using an extremely vulgar slur to describe ivanka trump on her show wednesday. bee tweeted yesterday, quote, i would like to sincerely
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apologize to ivanka trump and my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. it was inappropriate and inexcusable, i crossed a line and i deeply regret it. hours before her apology, bee's comment received backlash from both sides, white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders called her quote vile and vicious and chelsea clinton tweeted it was grossly inappropriate and flat-out wrong. tbs issued a statement saying quote samantha bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about ivanka trump last night. those words should not have been aired, it was our mistake, too, and we regret it when asked by the hill if any action would be taken against bee, the spokesman said it had nothing additional to add to its statement and donald trump jr. weighed in tweeting good thing there's no double standard, imagine someone, anyone said this about michelle obama or the obama girls, do you think they would still have a tv show?
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awedotrader and start farm announced they've suspended their ads from bee's tbs show. it comes a day after abc canceled roseanne barr after a racist tweet. elise we conservatives have grown up saying that there was a wildly -- an obvious double standard between what conservatives get away with and what liberals get away with. and certainly by the way, not putting roseanne in any category. because she certainly is not a conservative. but in this case, don jr.'s tweet, and i have not said this in a very long time, is exactly right. can you imagine if any conservative commentator during the obama administration had laced a political commentary with those sort of words about michelle obama or their
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children? they would be -- they would be taken out of the studio at that second and also, most remarkably this was taped. this could have edited that part out. and not only that, tbs then put it in video form at the front of their website. these people are clueless. and i just -- i don't know -- i'm even shocked. seeing this for 55 years, that the double standard that we're seeing so soon after roseanne left the air. >> joe it really reflects of coarsening of how we speak about politics and the fact that it's seen as acceptable to use that kind of language. it does the left as did service when they're trying to attack their legitimate concerns with trump administration policies that ivanka trump supports such as the immigration policy, which was what samantha bee was outraged about. calling her a horrible name is
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just lazy, it's not funny. and there are far better ways to accomplish the point. and i think that when they do this, it just gives ammunition to trump supporters to say -- look at how much they fundamentally hate us. this is how biased they are there's no low that they won't stoop to. they really think that they can call us anything and this is how they feel about us. i think that the dehumanization on both sides of the spectrum is something that everyone has to get better at if we aren't going so polarized. >> i completely agree and yes, donald trump has led the charge over the past two years. but donnie, if there are as insults and attacks on both sides, and only one side of the political spectrum are only trump supporters are those who are made to pay, when they make vile statements like this.
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then the coarsening not only becomes worse and you also give more license to those attacking members of the first family. you also deepen the suspicion appropriately from conservatives towards media, conservatives from news outlets, conservatives from popular culture and media. the sort of the east and west coast elite. >> joe, i couldn't agree with you, more, i second this. i agree with donald trump jr. what samantha bee did was reprehensible. i would be shocked if tbs does not take harsher stance. what's going to happen and this is why bob iger was so smart, obviously he did the right thing morally. but from a business point of view, within a next day, every advertiser would have bailed out. i think what's going to happen, unfortunately if you're a samantha bee fan is women's groups are going to start to write to the head of tbs, how can you keep this woman on the air and i do think advertisers are going to start to bail and i don't think this story is over.
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the sad part and the thing that is so concerned me about donald trump our president, is he is our behavior in chief. and he is basically stepped -- i wonder this morning in the school yards, what is the new level of how we talk to each other? what we say to each other? what donald trump has basically done as president, says it is okay, it is okay to punch in the most vicious, most reprehensible way. because this is what got me there. if we look to the donald trump trail to office, we know what he got elected on. he talked about what he was grabbing and the irony in all of this is that everybody else will go down along the way as we've seen roseanne go down as well she should have, for basically following his behavior. that's what we're supposed to do in this country. he sets the tone and that's the really sad part. the other bizarre part, if we like at the week in total, samantha bee and ivanka trump. kim kardashian and donald trump. donald trump and all the "the apprentice" contestants. roseanne barr is the complete convergence of entertainment,
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pop cull culture and politics, which is basically who we are right now. >> jon heilemann i was busy with my kids yesterday. i didn't see the story until late last night. my first reaction is wait, this has happened two days after roseanne? are the entertainment gods just -- putting a test out there to see how tone-deaf the left can be? how tone-deaf popular media can be? i will restate the fact that this was a taped segment. they taped it. they looked at it. they put it on the air. then after putting it on the air they were so proud of it they put it front and center on their website. so you could see the video. and i -- i -- i don't understand why executives at tbs would make that mistake. i don't understand why everybody on the left, on the right,
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everybody is not more concerned about this. yes, we were all offended, most of us were offended. certainly my friends were offended, but at the same time that infants were being ripped from the arms of their mothers, that ivanka trump was clueless enough to have a picture of her holding her baby and the first thing that would have to come to your mind is -- donald trump promoting a policy that rips babies out of the hands of their mothers. we all get that. but to get from that to what she said on tv, and the tbs airing it? and then tbs putting it on their website? and tbs not getting how deeply offensive that would be? is just beyond me. your thoughts? jon? >> yes, i, look i agree with all that. and it's, it mostly it goes to, i think it speaks to stupidity. you could have a reasonable debate in the scale of
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punishment whether -- i don't think that what samantha bee said is on the same scale is on the same scale as what roseanne said, because i don't think vulgarity is on the same scale as say the things she said but it doesn't reflect the same kind of corrupt values as what roseanne said because i think there's a distinction between grotesque vulgarity and racist vulgarity. nevertheless -- >> if i can just interrupt there for a second, though i understand you have racism and you have vulgarity here. i think you move it from the vulgarity area to the misogyny area and almost a dehumanizing of members of donald trump's family. >> i agree. i just want to say two things very close together. i think there's a difference between the two of them in terms of what the scale of the punishment and moral outrage should be. never else in, that doesn't make
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anything about what samantha bee did right and most importantly, as elise started by saying, not funny, lazy piece of writing and so close to the roseanne comment it was inevitable that this was going to look stupider than it would under normal circumstances. so i come back to where you are, joe, which is pointing to the people involved with this and saying how could you in this week of all weeks, on this day of all days not understand that this was going to fall flat, it was going to fall flat any week but this week in particular two days afro san, this is just dumb. it's dumb and unnecessary and will land you in a bad place. >> but it might be time, joe, for all of us to widen the lens as we look at this issue and these tedious people, these constantly tedious people and by widening the lens i mean that this has been a long, slow slide in our culture in our coarseness
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that we have in our culture today. it didn't begin with donald trump. look around you. look at the way people react and behave and speak to others. look at the lack of thank you in restaurants and diners. look at the lack of go right ahead on subways. your turn first, stuff like that. it's been a long slow slide to where we are today and this is what we end up with, there's no more shock, no more surprise and there's very little outrage. there's momentary outrage and it disappears like sky writing. >> also, i'll say it, be the unpopular one, i'm totally fine with that, there's constant snideness of these late night shows. >> yes. >> people that saw what jon stewart did and it worked for jon stewart. and, yes, jon stewart usually crushed conservatives. it was still funny. it crossed the line sometimes,
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he crossed the line sometimes but sometimes you crossed the line but jon stewart also went after the stupidity of democrats. he also went after the stupidity of the media, looking at me sometimes as well. sometimes it hit the target, sometimes it didn't but i don't believe that the snideness and the anger and the meanness of what we're seeing today was tin "the daily show" for most of the nights that jon stewart was running "the daily show." yes, he was tough and, yes, he didn't like republicans and, yes, he went after george w. bush. i get it. all i'm saying is it's gotten worse, it's gotten tougher, it's gotten far more snide and think i think is where we've landed. still ahead, it took the past three presidents years to issue their first pardons.
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donald trump? not so much. the "washington post's" ruth marcus is going to be with us with her new column on what she calls the president's twisted brand of mercy. plus, trump's trade war kicks into high gear and the only people more upset about it than republicans are america's own allies abroad who continue to wonder what even being an ally of america means. what does it mean for small businesses and how much more are you going to be paying for your groceries? and former cia director john brennan joins us live for an interview. "morning joe" coming right back. as a control enthusiast,
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>> i want to talk about what's happened with the republican party. >> there is no republican party. there's a trump party. the republican party has kind of taken a nap somewhere. >> yes, it is.
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welcome back to "morning joe," it's friday, june 1. still with us we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle. national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc john heilemann. we've got -- how about this, donny, ad legend, marketing god donny deutsch. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> that's much better than donny. >> yeah, like why is he here? >> yeah, exactly. also we have former aide to george w. bush's white house and the state department's elise jordan. we have columnist and associate editor for the "washington post" david ignatius, nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of kas kasie/d.c. on msnbc, kasie hunt. and we have white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lemire. we lost last night 4-2, jonathan, but tonight is another night. we have chair of the department of african-american studies at princeton university eddie glaude jr. and pulitzer prize
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winning historian and author of the new best selling book "the soul of america, the battle for our better angels," jon meacham. david ignatius, let's talk about italy. we've seen what happens in poland, what's happened in bulgaria, sort of this populist move that's going across europe and may put in danger the gains the united states and western europe have made since 1945 in danger. talk about what's happening in italy and what threat it poses for the american experiment with the marshall plan and the truman doctrine and all the things we fought for that helped us win the cold war and have inseparable allies in europe. >> joe, calling it the american experiment in a week when the united states has identified europe as one of its principal
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traded aer have air ises underlines the problem. the united states is no longer the leader of this global system. part of the glue that was holding europe together, holding the traditional parties and alliances together is now missing under donald trump so we're seeing in italy the rise of populism, two young populist parties, unfamiliar with governing are now going to split control in italy, form a government, a government nobody can predict. they're madly trying to deny a past of positions that seem to say they weren't in favor with continuing with the euro. trying to calm down financial markets. a year ago the message was the center seems to be holding in europe with the election of emmanuel macron in france, with continued solidness of the merkel government in germany, people thought, whe're going to get through this.
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we're back in a period where people wondering whether europe is losing its way, whether in this world where the united states disdained leadership of the transatlantic alliance under president trump, europe will evolve in different ways. the italian government will be a test case for other governments in europe that are looking for a new direction. >> jon meacham called it the american experiment because it always sounds like we've had two american experiments, one in 1776 through 1787, 1788, 1789, but also what happened after fdr died in warm springs in april of 1945. harry truman came in to an extraordinarily difficult situation and if you look at what we did between '47 and '49
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with requemarshall plan, even t berlin airlift, truman from '45 to '49 created a europe that i think all historians have to say helped launch in earnest the american century. this is what's so maddening about donald trump's vision of so many alliances. the alliances helped us, the marshal plan paid us back a thousand fold. the truman doctrine, from truman through ronald reagan helped us win the cold war. these are things that helped us and now we're seeing day by day that american experiment being undone by an american president. >> i think one way to think about the last 75 years is a literal and sometimes figurative but most ly figurative
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conversation between fdr and ronald reagan. the question of the primacy of the state versus the market, the question of engagement over isolationism and one of the things that strikes me about this moment which goes to something speaker boehner said, that conversation which has gone on under both parties under different presidents, under different congresses, has not been replaced or succeeded by a different chapter in that conversation. it's as if we here in the 1920s again building walls and trying to limit immigration, raising tariffs and we all know how the 1920s ended, which wasn't particularly spectacular so i think in many ways we became stronger when fdr started recognizing the soviet union. when he pushed us, however slowly, toward intervention.
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he thought the proudest achievement he had as president was reunifying germany, which is not a phrase you want to hear as a biographer because that's not exactly shoot 'em up. but that was a diplomatic achievement that was unimaginable 20 and certainly 40 years before. >> and it was unimaginable for france in the mid-'80s yet the american experience benefitted americans and john heilemann had europe as our indispensable allies but here you have donald trump lobbying one tariff after another in their direction and in the direction of our canadian allies and all the people who
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stood by us shoulder to shoulder through every recession and war and challenge we've had. >> yes. i agree with all of that. it's wholly unsurprising for two reaso reasons. for two reasons. when it comes to the economic policies the president is pursuing they are consistent with his ideology. very few things donald trump has had real policy -- political/policy views that have been consistent throughout his entire time in public life. he's changed on almost everythi everything. he was a liberal on almost everything now he's a republican on almost every social issue under the sun but on this one issue of economics the president has been consistent. so there's the fact and then fact that we've seen on many fronts the president has -- you're talking about historical alliances and the value of europe, the president is with
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respect to almost everything historical utterly ignorant and so i don't think these arguments that appeals to the grand alliance in western europe and other relationships that stretch back for 30 years, 40 years, a century, those appeals don't mean anything to him. he's unaware of them so to the extent that they would normally countermand his ideological instincts, it's not there. off blank slate in terms of history and you have these misinformed ideological convictions and that's where we are. >> and, you know, joe, this is a pretty important conversation we're having it's about current politics but it's bigger than that. politics at its route, at its best, is about emotion, about reaching people on an emotional level to like what they hear from you or don't like what they hear from you and it's about
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hope. and from franklin roosevelt's fireside conversations, talking us out of the depression through harry truman, george marshall, jack kennedy, a series of inaugural addresses, it's been about hope. america as an idea, you can believe in america and here's why. it was always about hope until lately. and now we have a president of the united states and other global leaders, some running for president of mexico, others in turkey, it's about fear, be afraid. be angry. hope is in the backseat and it affects us all both here in the united states and certainly around the globe. >> the bible talks about being aware of false prophets. well we don't have to talk about
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false prophets spiritual ly i know from being around politics for a quarter of a century that if politicians put themselves out as profits and then don't deliv deliver, they pay. it's basic. americans don't need to be struck by a thunderbolt to figure out that donald trump's promises are false. you take, for instance, the trade wars, donald trump puts america in trade wars. if he carries them to fruition, americans will know it hurts them. working class americans suffering across the upper industrial midwest, they'll see that when their grocery bill goes up americans will see donald trump's promises of a tax cut that he says will help his billionaire friends at mar-a-lago, he says it's going to help working class americas.s
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they're already seeing in their paycheck it's not and that's why it's not popular. and the donald trump who promised everybody during the campaign, hey, i'm going to give you better health care insurance than obamacare does, you'll have more coverage and it will be cheaper. you don't need to hear the voice of god to understand that when you take your baby to the doctor and it's costing you more or you've lost your coverage that donald trump wasn't telling the tru truth. this adds up and i think in the case of donald trump sooner rather than later. >> we have talk of false pro fetss but we have a stock character in american literature and that is the snake oil salesman and it seems that when you make the judgment or the assessment of what is being promised, one can make a judgment about the character of the person makes the promises. but i wanted to piggyback for a
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moment on something mike brought up. america has always been about hope but since the new england puritans there's been a balancing between hope and despair. it's part of what we call the american jeremiah. there's a way in which america always called itself to task, how we fall in short and in the process of calling our attention to the ways in which we've fallen short, hope finds its beginnings in the despairing itself. but remember what steve bannon told us the, steve bannon said there were three buckets, economic nationalism, sovereignty and the deconstruction of the administrative state and we thought bannon was pushing trump but we see trump is pushing the ideolo ideology. this is consistent with everything we've been hearing
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since day one. >> all right, kasie, we've been talk talki talking about tariffs. the president made good news in the area of pardons, specifically celebrity pardons, tell us about it. >> let's get into the details of president trump's seemingly out-of-the blue pardon of controversial commentator din fish d'souza and the announcement he's considering clemency for, get this, former illinois governor and "celebrity apprentice" contestant rod blagojevich as well as martha stewart, the one time host of an apprentice spinoff. as for d souza, he pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations after directing two associates to make $10,000 each to the failed senate bid of wendy long then reimbursing them for those payments. it's against the law for an individual to donate more than $5,000 to a single candidate.
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the president said he was treated unfairly by our government. the case against d'souza was prosecuted by none other than preet bharara. the cohen investigation also reportedly includes campaign finance violations and many are concerned the president is signaling to cohen and others snared in the russia investigation like michael flynn and paul manafort that if they look out for the president they, too, could be pardoned. yesterday the vice chairman of the senate intelligence committee, democrat mark warner tweeted "the president's ad hoc use of the pardon power is concerning enough. but the possibility he may be sending a message to witnesses in a criminal investigation into his campaign is extremely dangerous. in the united states of america no one is above the law.
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and this is well within the president's legal powers but he is blowing through many norms again that surround the use of this power. >> no doubt about it and jonathan lemire, you were on the -- on air force one when the president made this announcement. tell us what you know. >> took us by surprise, the din fi -- dinesh d'souza announcement surprised us. the president summoned reporters up to his office and talking about the d'souza pardon he then unprompted said "you know who else i'm thinking about?" and mentioned both blagojevich and martha stewart. let's just say he hasn't committed but he suggested his sentence was too harsh and that he was going to perhaps commute his sentence and with martha
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stewart there would be a pardon. and we're seeing trump use the pardons aggressively in his presidency. it seems to help if you have conservatives championing your cause, you have a celebrity championing your cause in the case of sylvester stallone and jack johnson. and it helps if you were on "the apprentice" and that was the case for both bloig and martha stewart and there is the thread line also. the president expanded this also. he announced that yes, blagojevich did something stupid but that was too aggressive. and with martha stewart suggesting the punishment didn't fit the crime. this president feels under fire, he puts himself as a victim of
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government overreach. so i think the cases are resonating with him that way and it gives him a chance to send a message to allies, michael cohen and others, who are facing similar predicaments. >> jon meacham, i suspect there will be limits and the president will test them, but what are your thoughts as you see donald trump talking about the pardoning of friends and former business associates? >> i think he's found a new toy here. i think we saw the executive orders and the realized that this is something else he's got. it's one of the most unilateral powers in the life of the
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presidency. it's one of the reasons the presidency matters so much. one is quick decision on military action, the other is pardon power. almost everything else has a check and balance. he's probably going deploy this for maximum leverage. i agree with speculation that he sent signals. i think he's saying basically look i have this, i will use it, i've joked about this before but i hesitate to say this, i've wondered whether the last act of this whole great "lord of the rings" drama we've all been captured by is going to be trump pardoning himself by tweet. >> "lord of the rings" drama,
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i've heard "game of thrones," now we're in "lord of the rings," my fellow how abouts. one of the things worth focusing on, we have two pardons to discuss for my purposes. din fish d'souza then we had the scooter libby pardon. now we have martha stewart and rod blagojevich. think about what holds these things together. scooter libby pardoned by -- was indicted by pat fitzgerald, very close to comey. martha stewart indicted by jim comfy and din fish d'souza indicted by preet bharara. these are very clear signals not just to people about i might pardon you but i think they are big long extended middle fingers
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to a set of prosecutors where it seems like donald trump is saying all of you people in this world who i consider my enemies, your indictments will not stand and everyone you're considering the indicting should consider yourselves free to go. >> these presidential pardons are clearly fuelled by vengeance against those specific prosecutors but the large herb issue might be a little bit bigger than the pardons themselves, eddie. and it might be once again this is a disruption of a norm. there is a process that originates in the department of justice, a process that has been skipped over by a president who has no respect for norms. >> we have been dealing with the imperial presidency in the modern era of the u.s. since nixon and the imperial presidency is always presumed that the person occupying the executive branch would be
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ethical. they would exercise the power within the bounds of the norms that define our government. we have a human being occupying the white house who isn't ethical and who has the power of an imperial presidency and the pardon is the new toy and it reflects exactly the sensibilities of donald trump and we're seeing it deployed in just the way john suggested so this to me is an indication of not only institute norm erosion but the institutional erosion that goes at the heart of our democracy. >> i would point to not just the revenge element, but all of the individuals that donald trump has chosen to go out of his way to help are celebrities, they are wealthy, not the forgotten man and woman, he is not pardoning -- running to pardon alice marie johnson who kim kardashian was advocating for. he's pardoning people who had their day in court, spent their time in prison and he is
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choosing yet again to only recognize those who are in a similar social circle in class. >> i want to give calm to people at home. we're saying can donald trump just pardon everybody and make it go away. let's not forget this is a game of stratego. and if you were michael cohen or paul manafort, would you rather be given immunity or found guilty and pardoned? so there is that defense against this. and before we go, elise just showed me a tweet from our president, donald trump has seized on the moment and said basically -- read it, elise, about there is a double standard and why is samantha bee not being fired so donald trump is watching us as we know he eats his cheerios and sits in his footed pajamas. >> he is saying why aren't they firing no talent samantha bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show. a total double standard but that's okay, we are winning -- capitalized -- and will be doing
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so for a long time to come. exclamation point. >> there you go. jonathan lemire, what are you going to be following today other than, of course, the red sox against the astros tonight? >> well, i feel good drew pomerantz is not pitching, that will help. i would add on the pardons conversation that president trump made it clear there are thousands of more names that he is suddenly considering. we should be expecting more of these that as jon meacham said, this is a tool of the presidency that works as he thought it woul would. also in washington, we're expecting a visit from a top north korean official who is supposed to deliver a letter, these are the same officials meeting with secretary of state pompeo in new york.
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the president and people around him don't know what's in it, they are hopeful that it will continue the talks and set the date for the summit but we'll know more of that this afternoon. >> david ignatius, where are we in the north korean summit right now? >> i think the simplest way to put it is there's an effort led by secretary of state mike pompeo to write the draft communique that would be issued after the summit ends scheduled for june 12 in singapore. the key question they have to resolve is the language to be used on denuclearization, the u.s. is insisting it has to be complete denuclearization. the north koreans have said yes, we're prepared to accept that language but we need to do this in phases, this is a process
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that could take ten years with all the facilities we have. we need some assurance that sanctions will be lifted over that time as we comply. that's the heart of what's being debated. every time i ask people who are close to this process they answer me "we still don't know yet." >> thank you so much. and jonathan lemire and jon meacham, thank you both, we appreciate you being here. still ahead on "morning joe," prosecutors are putting pressure on michael cohen but not long ago cohen was the one trying to twist arms. i swear as god on my children i will find you and serve you personally and i will be nothing but happy when i turn around and get a judgment of defamatiafama against you and the [ bleep ] paper you work for. do you understand what i'm saying? >> coming up next, we have two leading experts on law joining
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newly released audio recordings reveal president trump's long-time lawyer michael cohen making multiple legal threats to a reporter in his attempts to protect donald tr p trump. npr's tim mack released the tapes. mack was working on a piece about trump's first wife ivana who testified in the sworn deposition during her divorce proceedings that trump had raped her. mack reached out to the trump's then-campaign spokesperson hope hicks trying to get more information about the claim and that's when he received the angry and threatening phone call
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from cohen. >> i know what you're planning on doing. if there's any inference whatsoever in the headline or any aspect of your article that indicates a rape, and i don't care about some small [ bleep ] line that you're going to throw in somewhere, mark my words for it, i will make sure that you and i meet one day over in the courthouse and i will take you for every penny you still don't have. >> cohen never filed the lawsuit after the story was published. let's bring in jonathan turley and former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor barbara mcquaid. jonathan, obvious ly obviously every phone call michael cohen has ever done, every threatening phone call he's ever made is looked at under a legal
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microsco microscope. i understand that. my suspicions are that he was not the first fixer of a president or a presidential candidate to make that sort of phone call. that doesn't mean it was the right thing to do but let's not kid ourselves. that has happened before in american politics. what's the impact on that in what's happening in the southern district of new york or the mueller investigation? >> well, let's be clear. that phone call is a disgrace and so is cohen as an attorney. >> attorneys are not supposed to talk like that. the new york bar has an opinion today that says you're not just allowed to throw out threats against criminal and civil action against witnesses. he gets everything wrong putting aside the ethics. he even says it's impossible for a man to rape his wife which is untrue in all 50 states so this is a real signature moment for
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cohen. and many people i think view cohen has someone who makes up for lack of talent with a lack of ethics and that isn't a good combination. i think this is troubling language for an attorney to use. tapes were seized by the fbi, there are apparent ly a possibility that donald trump could be on one or more of those tapes, we don't know. but given his reckless approach to practice it would worry me a great deal as to what are on those tapes. this is someone who couldn't just trip a wire of obstruction. he could just carry it a mile away in the reckless stampede we see in this call. >> and donny deutsch there is always such a disconnect between the michael cohen that you have
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known personally and the michael cohen that's threatened people, the michael cohen that made the offensive comments that he made about a man raping his wife. the enethical comments he made that no lawyer i've known would be making over the phone. as i said before i'm sure in the past there have been operatives from lbj nixon. and maybe there aren't legal consequences at the end but at the same time it reveals what type of dirty work he did for donald trump when he worked for trump. >> yeah, i'm not defending that behavior, it speaks for itself but i want to talk a little bit about reality that i have gotten many phone calls from lawyers over the years as i'm sure mike barnicle has, there is a way of doing -- it's not the white shoe way of doing business. you're not getting a job at davis polk doing it. but whether you are in a trading room or the garment center, the real estate business, i promise
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you there are dozens and dozens and dozens of lawyers in new york hearing that conversation and hearing their own voices. it's not right and it won't help his brand. >> have you got than type of call? >> i have gotten calls for lawyers. i was waiting for cohen -- i'm not defending this. i have gotten nasty, vicious, aggressive calls from lawyers using that kind of language and i will sue you and you will rye the day you met me and i'll drag you in court. to mow it's not a behavior in the way that i would want my lawyer to react but it's a reality of a white knuckle -- john, don't look at -- i run a company. >> i understand but he was representing a presidential candidate calling a reporter. the level of stupidity there is on a different scale. a lot of people have private interactions that aren't about a presidential candidate's
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representative responding to a press inquiry from a reporter who's likely to have a recorder running during the conversation. it's line the dumbest thing i've heard in the world. >> i didn't say it was smart. mike, as a reporter -- once again, i'm not defending it. michael will have to live with his behavior. how many calls have you gotten like that from lawyers as a journalist. >> multiple. >> and they are all equally stupid. i want to say oh, my god, this doesn't happen. he represented donald j. trump, that's the way he does business. it's not right but it's a reality none of us should be shocked about. >> mike barnicle. i'm curious, i've been in politics for a while and been in the media for a while. i haven't gotten a phone call like that. cohen tried to threaten me over twitter and i called him a thug on twitter and told him to shut
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up and read the first amendment. so it's boston politics, you've gotten those phone calls before? >> oh, yeah. some from lawyers, some people from people in public office. holding public office. you put the phone down and let them rant and check the box scores and pick up the phone and say thanks for calling and hang up. that was basically the extent of it. but on this issue, on michael cohen, barbara mcquaid, you're out there, looks like a beautiful golf course behind you. i want to get out and walk. i want to apologize. we have a little satellite delay, barbara so -- but the question is the michael cohen tape michael cohen might be the benefit of a presidential pardon at the federal level. he and others could be the recipient of presidential pardon
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s. what he spoke about might be flairs to people like cohen and others, hang in there, i have the power of pardon. could you tell us about the process that has been leapfrogged over, the department of justice, the official process for issuing pardons that has been skipped over here? >> ordinarily the department of justice has a process attorney and pardon requests go through that office. then those requests are sent back to the u.s. attorney's office where the case was prosecuted, the judge looks at it and makes recommendations. the president doesn't always accept the recommendations but when i was u.s. attorney i had a chance to weigh in about the case and after all that information is collected the office of pardon attorney makes a recommendation and two key factors that are supposed to be in place are, one, that five years has passed since the person was released from prison and second that they have shown remorse for their crime. the reason is we want to see how
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they're behaving, how they've acclimated and whether they've become a productive citizen in society. president trump has done none of that. he has looked and if there's one commonality, it is people he can portray as having been treated unfairly by the government. and not only is he violating the norms of going through that process but is he painting a narrative that can be convenient for him that sensitizes the public that the government is unfair to people which i think has long-term consequences. >> i want to talk about one of the genuinely new thing this is week, all the reporting on jeff sessions, starting in the "new york times," and now axios, the notion that sessions has been the subject of continuing pressure, public and private from the president over his recusal in russia and campaign matters. we have a picture that includes the fact that this is something
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bob mueller is looking at and interviewed by bob mueller at some point. you have a piece coming out about the sessions recusal. give us your sense as to whether he was right to have recused himself, whether donald trump has ground to stand on and what it means. >> the strange thing about that is not only did sessions do the right thing, he did the right thing by the president. that's the irony of all things. he reserved the best case scenario for the president. if the report comes out by mueller and doesn't find criminal conduct linked to the president, it will be sessions recusal that gave credibility to that investigation. it's the fact that he did not have -- the president didn't have a loyalist that was dictating the outcome of the investigation that will help clear the president. that's what's so quite
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astonishing. this is an example of no good deed goes unpunished in washington. sessions did the only thing he could do. the president asking him to reconsider or, quote, unrecuse himself was highly inappropriate but at some point history will record that sessions may have been the best actor here in terms of the president's legacy and he may have a lot in debt to him at the end of this process e. i mean, also, by the way, if mueller finds criminal conduct, then once again sessions is proven correct and he made the right move so the question is only how much can sessions take of this abuse? but i have to say right now he's doing service not only for himself and the department of justice but this administration. >> barbara, sticking with the sessions question. it's been pointed out this is an important wrinkle here because unlike donald trump firing james
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comey where there are at least arguments the president can make about firing james comey that don't have to do with the russia investigation, he's said things to the contrary but you can make arguments there were other reasons to have moved on comey. the fact that trump is behaving the way he he is toward sessions over the recusal, asking him to quit, to unrecuse himself. the only reason he's doing those things relate to the russia investigation which seems to some people -- and i'm asking you whether you agree with this -- to think that this is a stronger evidence of obstruction of justice than the firing of come comey. >> as we see repeatedly, we don't know all of the facts but based the what we do know, it seems the only reason trump wants sessions in place is to
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protect him. as if anyone else is going to be dangerous for president trump. that suggests there is a problem and that president trump wants to avoid that problem by obstructing the investigation and i think today's news about michael cohen shows you what he expects with an attorney general. his experience is a pit bull, a roy cohn, someone who will protect him. someone who will be aggressive in defending his interests. being loyal to president trump as opposed to loyal to the mission. what we see with jeff sessions, love him or not, he is being true to the mission of the justice department by say iing can't represent you because i have perceived biases. it's appropriate to be recused and i'm going to stick to my guns so that is what we're seeing, the culture class to the way the president has done business in the private sector to the way he is president. if that's his motivation, that
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is a crime. >> barbara mcquaid and jonathan turley, thank you both. appreciate you being here. still ahead, former cia director john brennan on the russia investigation in north kore korea. he'll be here when we return in a moment. prepare for your demise, mr. billingsley! do your worst, doctor. i will. but first, a little presentation. hijacking earth's geothermal energy supply. phase 1. choosing the right drill bit. as long as evil villains reveal their plans, you can count on geico saving folks money. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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still to come this morning, president trump is expecting mail from kim jong-un today. he seems pretty excited about. >> it aren't we all? >> we'll explain that next on "morning joe." i am. as a control enthusiast, i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade
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i just want to tell i we're doing very well with north korea. our secretary of state has had very good meetings. he's meeting again today. i believe they will be coming down to washington on friday and a letter is going to be delivered to me from kim jong-un, so i look forward to seeing what's in the letter. >> what will the letter say, sir? >> i don't know. i don't know. i think it will be very positive. i think it will be very positive. >> welcome back to "morning joe." secretary of state mike pompeo sat down for a second round of meetings in new york city
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yesterday with north korean vice chairman kim young chul. they discussed a timeline for north korean denuclearization and the trump-kim summit which mayor may not still be on, and if it is on, may or may not still be taking place on june 12 in singapore. trump said they have been making real progress during the meetings. joining us now, senior adviser and senior chair dr. victor cha. dr. cha, it's nice to see you. it seems like the central question is still how do both of these sides define denuclearization? the u.s. is saying is that's absolutely what has to happen here, but the north koreans seem to think that means something different than what we think. >> sure, i think that is absolutely right. to put it very simply, we want a
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front-loaded process where north korea gives up all their weaponry as soon as possible, and north korea would like to push that as far back as they can in a larger political normalization and peace treaty process that could take decades. that's a huge gap that needs to be closed before june 12 in singapore when this summit is supposed to take place. and mike pompeo yesterday said they made real progress. that may be the case. just remember a week ago, we were at zero because the summit had been canceled by the president. so by definition, anything beyond that is going to be progress. but there still is quite a long way to go here. and the thing about dealing with the north koreans is you're not going to get a crystal clearance in advance of the summit meeting. so that means that the president will have to make a decision with a great deal of uncertainty. >> mr. cha, this is david ignatius. i'm hearing rumors that one possible compromise idea is that
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south korea might join the summit meeting, that south korean president moon might join kim jong-un and president trump. is that a non-starter in your mind, or is that a way to bridge the differences? >> i think it's probably a non-starter for the president. this, as he said, is going to be a historic meeting. i think he wants the spotlight on himself. the south koreans have tried to play a role as a mediator between the north and south, putting the best polish they can on words they hear from the north and the best polish they can on words they hear from the united states and conveying them on the other side. i think they're working hard in terms of the diplomacy, but in the end this is something that has to be decided by the leader of north korea, whether he's truly ready to give up all his nuclear weapons. kim young chul coming to washington today, which is highly unusual, is not the person that can make the
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decision today. there's only one person, and that's the north korean leader. again, i don't think we're going to get the kind of certainty the president hopes he'll get from kim young chul today. >> what role is china playing here? they have interest in this. >> sure. china has a very important role. the closest thing to an ally that china has around the world today is north korea. that border between china and north korea has to be stable. the chinese firmly believe that. they've had two meetings with the north korean leader within a period of 40 days when they refused to meet with him for six years. i think their concern is that the united states and north korea cut a deal in which china is left out. and if there's a peace treaty, for example, china wants to be a part of that, because they were a party to the armistice. but the thing most disturbing
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lately about china is that north korean ships are now showing up in chinese ports when the chinese before were putting a lot of pressure on north korea in terms of sanctions. this makes it very hard for president trump to take the harder path, as he says he would do if this summit fails, because if we go back to maximum pressure on sanctions, china may not be there and 90% of north korea's trade is with china. >> all right. dr. cha, thank you so much for being with us. we appreciate it. david ignatius, let me turn to you and ask the $60,000 question for the morning. is this going to happen? >> joe, i think we've seen in dr. cha's comments just how much on the edge it is. my judgment is that it's kind of 55-45. i'd lean in favor of it happening. we know, from the events of the last week, how much president trump wants it, and we also know he's prepared to walk away from the table if he doesn't have a package that he can live with. so i would lean toward it
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happening, but, you know, this is the disruptor and he would be prepared to disrupt last-minute plans. he would be getting on the airplane and saying, not going to do it. >> all right. thank you so much, david. coming up next, john brennan joins "morning joe." we'll be back in three minutes. here's the story of green mountain coffee roasters sumatra reserve. let's go to sumatra. the coffee here is amazing. because the volcanic soil is amazing. so we give farmers like win more plants. to grow more delicious coffee. which helps provide for win's family. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee.
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joe." it's to want of the hour. let's bring in former cia director and senior national intel analyst for nbc news, john brennan. thank you so much for being with us. and you just posted an opinion piece which leads to the "washington post" which leads to the first question. why do you feel the need as a former director of the cia to speak out so strongly, so aggressively about what you see happening in the trump administration and in the intel community you served? >> good morning, joe. this is the first op-ed i've written since i left the government, and i felt a need to explain why i and so many other former national security officials are speaking out. because of the abnormal and abhorrent behavior of mr. trump that very much concerns us because of the negative impact we believe it is having on our national security.
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a bad signal that it sends to our young americans, as i say in the op-ed, who look upon him as somebody who should be emulated as the most powerful position in the world, the president of the united states. and his continual lying as well as lack of ethics as well as lack of rigor in terms of the policies that he pursues. so it is abnormal for us to speak out as critically and vocally as we have, but these are abnormal times and he is an abnormal president. h he's an aberration and not in a good way. that's what gives us the motivation to speak out. >> this is david ignatius. i want to ask you a question about north korea, if i might. we have an intelligence chief in the united states that has come into washington and that raises
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the question for me how much do we know about what goes on inside north korea so that we will be able to verify with some confidence what north korea is doing as they move toward, we hope, nuclear disarmement? what kind of intelligence base do we have? >> when i was in government, north korea was probably the most difficult target to penetrate as far as getting the insights into what kim jong-un and others are planning and thinking. but i think over the years, u.s. intelligence working with a lot of our partners has increased our understanding of what's happening there. so i think we have better intelligence than we had before. but still, it's going to be very, very difficult. kim jong-un keeps his confidantes very much to a small group of individuals, and the fact he's sending such a hi high-level emissary here picks
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up on president trump's interest to have a summit. but it's going to be very difficult for the intelligence committee to understand what's in store for the future. the north koreans, i think, will want to have this summit, but i and many others believe that they have no intention at this point of denuclearizing. >> director brennan, it's kasie hunt. i wanted to turn back to the mueller investigation, because there have been suggestions from the president and his allies that perhaps the cia was involved in the beginning of the fbi's counterintelligence investigation into the trump campaign, and the president and his allies have embarked on this attempt to essentially raise questions about the investigators to undermine the overall credibility of that investigation. are you concerned at all that with this op-ed you might be playing into the president's hands? >> no. i think mr. trump has demonstrated a paranoia, an insecurity, as well as a real concern about the investigation
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that is under way. certainly his tweets do not seem like they're coming from a person of innocence and confidence. i don't believe that our speaking out feeds that narrative among those who understand that the department of justice and the fbi and the cia are the institutions that the american people rely on to protect our freedoms and our b libertie liberties. mr. trump is certainly going to try to discredit the fbi, the cia and others. make no mistake about it, i think the american justice system is going to prevail in this endeavor to get to the bottom of who might have been collaborating and working with foreign actors to try to undermine the integrity of the election. >> john, you were just talking about the difficulty the cia has traditionally had in penetrating north korea such as secretive, closed society. and yet in langley, i'm telling
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you nothing you don't know, obviously, the level of psychological profiling is off the charts. so my question to you is this potential summit, what does it mean for kim jong-un to have a photograph taken in the same stage next to a president of the united states, being on the same stage with the president of the united states? what does it mean for him? >> well, it's something he has sought for many years. he wants to be seen as the international equivalent of the president of the united states. he has clamored for this world stage spotlight. so it's, i think, very important for him both this terms of his domestic standing but also for his ego to show that he was able to bring the president of the united states to a negotiating table without making any concession on his nuclear program. yes, he has said he's going to dismantle the nuclear test site,
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but by all accounts, it was near collapse, so i don't see anything he has given so far, but yet we have given what i think is a premiere prize, which is a stage, an international and very public stage, with the president of the united states. >> director brennan, it's heilman here. i want to ask you a historic question. we have some competing narratives about the beginning of the russia counterintelligence investigation. president trump and his allies continue to assert that it began with you and the dossier, the steele dossier. the "new york times" has reported and others say, no, no, that's not right, it began with george papadopoulos and his conversations drunkenly in london about whether the russians might have hillary clinton dirt and how that came back to you. there is another narrative, which is the one i'm interested in, that's been reported in "the guardian" and in "the observer" here in the united states, in
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fact, your interest in this and the real roots of this counterintelligence operation or investigation began earlier than that with signal intelligence that was brought to the united states by some of our allies, particularly great britain but others in western europe. can you tell me which one of those narratives is right? >> well, i continuously shake my head at how much fabrication is going on. people make things up out of whole cloth. the one report you're referring to says that robert hannigan, the head of gsaq, which is great britain's nsa equivalent, came over and delivered information to me that involved the trump campaign. no such visit or meeting took place. i didn't put eyes on the steele dossier until december of 2016, after the election. but yet people claim that i was the one that was sharing it around town and briefing it. that is not true. and so i think it shows that mr. trump with his continued
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emphasis on lying and fabrication and untruths, falsehood, it just feeds this and it encourages others to do it. this is, i think, what is so corrosive on our country and our government today. >> can i follow up real quick? i know you specifically denied the notion of the meeting with the fellow from ghcq. are you more generally saying the broader narrative, the notion of the beginning of the intelligence investigation, began with some kind of tips from allies based on signature intelligence? or are you just refuting the notion that that one story you referred to was false? >> my response to you was relate to do that one specific story. the cia, during the course of 2016, worked very closely with our domestic partners, and if there were opportunities to work with foreign partners to try to understand what russia was doing, not what u.s. persons or u.s. officials were doing, but what the russians were doing to try to undermine us. and i shared information with
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jim comey and with the white house as well as with the folks on the hill to make sure that there was a complete awareness of the things that we knew in terms of what russia was doing. but again, i keep reading stories that are fiction, and that's what they should be titled. >> director brennan, a broad final question. so as the planners in moscow of this active measures program, this attempt to interfere in our elections, look back two years later at what's happened, what do you suppose they say to themselves about the outcome? >> well, i think they're quite pleased by how disruptive their campaign has been on u.s. politics. as you say, here we are 16 months past the inauguration of a new president, yet our entire political system seems to continue to be almost paralyzed
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in many respects as a result of this dispute about what the russians are doing. the russians were trying to undermine the integrity of the election because they believe anything that is done to hurt the united states of america, anything that hurts the government, benefits them. so when i think about the last 16 months, i think mr. putin and others are quite content that they were able to disrupt the politics of the government of the greatest country of the world. >> so director brennan, let's end the interview where it began with your new op-ed out this morning in the "washington post" entitled "i will speak out until integrity returns to the white house," and i want to read a bit of it here. you say, quote, the esteem with which i held the presidency was dealt a serious blow when donald trump took office. for more than three decades, i observed and analyzed the traits and tactics of corrupt, incompetent and narcissistic foreign officials who did
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whatever they thought necessary to retain power. it never dawned on me that we could face such a development in the united states. many have condemned my public criticism of mr. trump, arguing that as a former cia director, i should bite my tongue. my criticisms, however, are not political. i have never been and will never be a partisan. i speak out for the simple reason that mr. trump is failing to live up to the standards that we should expect all presidents to live up to. as someone who had the rare privilege of directly serving four presidents, i will continue to speak out loudly and critically until integrity, decency, wisdom and maybe even some humility return to the white house. and, of course, you've been joined with others. michael hayden, mike morrell who have raised questions, former cia directors who have raised questions. i certainly know in michael
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hayden's case, he had grave concerns about donald trump when he was running, but i had many private conversations that i'm sure he wouldn't mind me revealing here during the transition where general hayden said, he's the president. we have one president. we have to hope and pray and do everything we can to make this president succeed. well, he tried that, and now, of course, he feels, like you, the need to speak out. is that perhaps because intelligence officers in the intel community is, as he said, your mission is to find out what the real facts are, to analyze the facts and act on those fact. sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong, but it's still fact-based. is that what causes donald trump the biggest concerns, whether it's the media, whether it's the intel community, whether it's law enforcement investigations, he lives in a post-fact world.
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>> well, yes, i think we all hoped and prayed when donald trump was elected president that he would grow into the office, that he would mature as a person, and he would do what is right for the country and set his ego aside. but i think myself, as well as mike hayden and jim clapper and others, i think we have been very dismayed at what we have seen over 16 months, and as national security officials, former national security officials and nonpartisans, we are very, very concerned that what we're seeing here is something that we have seen in other countries around the globe which really led to the degradation of democratic principles as well as the standards of governance. that should not be happening here. this is the united states of america. donald trump has not lived up to the standards. >> yeah. thank you so much, director
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brennan. we really appreciate you being with us today. still ahead on "morning joe," the jobs numbers aren't crossing the wires for another 20 minutes, but donald trump's twitter feed may already be giving some early hints. will that presidential tweet move the markets? we'll go straight to cnbc when we return. you're watching "morning joe." we're coming right back. nice one, carl. hey i've got an idea. just say, badda book. badda boom. badda book. badda boom. nice. always the lowest price, guaranteed. book now at these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. experts from all over the world, working closely together to deliver truly personalized cancer care. expert medicine works here. learn more at
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donald trump's use of pardons is a big story this morning with links between himself, those who he has pardoned and those who he considers political opponents. now, it's a complicated graphic we've worked up and let's walk you through it now and how all of this is connected. yesterday donald trump pardoned controversial filmmaker dinesh d'souza. dinesh was prosecuted by then u.s. attorney of the southern district of new york, pete brara who trump fired early in his term.
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trump is also considering a commutation and a pardon of former illinois governor rod blagojevich. he's, of course, the former "apprentice" contestant who was prosecuted by patrick fitzgerald back in 2009. fitzgerald, as you may recall, prosecute odd former aide scooter libby in 2007. trump pardoned libby back in april of that year. now, fitzgerald also happens to be a very close friend of james comey who prosecuted martha stewart back in 2004. and yesterday trump floated the idea of pardoning the former host of "the apprentice" fmarth stewart. get all that? well, i'm sure once you do, there will be more chaos thrown into the mix. joining us now, we have the columnist and deputy editorial page editor at the "washington post," ruth marcus. ruth, your new column in the "washington post" is titled "trump's pardon shows his twisted brand of mercy." in it you write this.
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quote, if, as is is orch saften a president's budget proposal presents a glimpse of his heart, a president's use of his pardon power offers a companion, and even more telling, x-ray of his soul. trump's twisted brand of mercy is variously self-serving in its recipients, tactical in its application and willfully dismiss sieve of the countervailing considerations that a responsible president would take into account before intervening in the ordinary criminal process. and if trump's freely flowing pardons have the salutary side effect of suggesting to those caught up in the russia probe that they might ultimately benefit from presidential clemency, so much the better, from his vantage point. as with everything else in this administration, the act of
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pardoning is not about serving justice, it is about serving trump. and this is all about the direction he's decide to do move in. >> they did not have checks and balances in the pardoning power because they thought it would be better to have that quality of mercy, as they talked about it, concentrated in one man. but they didn't really plan for donald trump. so the pardon power is this awesome power that can be wielded only by the president that actually can't really be questioned by anybody else. they thought about letting the senate review it and they decided not to back when they were writing the constitution, and so it is the perfect toy for donald trump. it gives him instant gratification. you said scratch the itch, and i think that's exactly right. if he sees dinesh d'souza on tv or somebody talking about dinesh d'souza on tv or somebody brings
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it up to him, whoosh, he can get that done. it's very gratifying to do that, and it also serves, i think, his larger purpose, which is not simply to send messages to others who are caught up in the mueller probe that, hey, i got this great toy, i might be able to use it to your benefit, but also to just bring various forms of discredit on the criminal justice system. it's really disturbing. >> ruth, that's all right on point, but i ask you this much simpler question, which is, you look at the thing that joe just laid out and all of our speculative assessments here. what do you think michael cohen -- i'll ask don the same question because he knows him probably more than you do -- but when you see this, what message are they taking away? >> and paul manafort. >> all of them. what is the message?
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>> i can imagine what the president is thinking and the message is hang tough. hang tough. the cavalry is coming in the form of a presidential signature. >> the only thing, though, eddie, that may not be considered, and we haven't talked about it yet today, but us talking about these messages that are being sent to those that are being investigated by mueller suggest that robert mueller is not the type of man that crosses his t's and dots his i's and is it something that robert mueller didn't consider from the very beginning. if you were, say, michael flynn, would you rather get a slap on the wrist from robert mueller, or would you like to be tried for conspiracy to commit kidnapping from the attorney general in pennsylvania where you could go to jail for life and never receive parole? i could say the same thing about paul manafort in the state of
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new york. i could say the same thing about every one of these people. if these charges are dismissed, they're going to be tried in state courts where donald trump's pardon power doesn't reach. >> we've been talking about this for the longest, ever since the mueller investigation started, that he's been playing three-dimensional chess while donald trump seems to be playing checkers. it might be chinese checkers. it's a complex version of the game. for us to assume that mueller hasn't anticipated this, that he has not already have in hand all this information i think would be naive on our part. but let's be clear, donald trump is playing some kind of game. he is sending messages. >> you wonder what the timing of it was yesterday, and john, to your point, what is michael thinking, i know as of a couple days ago, he was quite distanced -- that's a nice word from donald trump -- in his head. i don't know if this is going to change anything, and i'm going to go back to what i said earlier, the wonderful ari mel
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b melber -- you have a whole rap show thing going on tonight, bit we'll get to that later. is there a safety hatch? is there any second or third step removed that is some form of a check or a balance against a pardon? >> i think there is two things here and your conversation has alluded to it. one is their state liability, and mueller has already secured, as joe said, cooperating agreements with people like flynn that include state cooperation that can be directed by mueller so the pardon doesn't necessarily extinguish their liability. michael cohen clearly has potential liability on state allegations relating to finances and taxes. if you're evading federal taxes, you almost certainly aren't telling on yourself on your state tax returns. that's one. number two, is it possible that someone, a chief executive of a state or a country, misuses the pardon power in a way that commits a new crime? that a pardon itself becomes
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part of an obstruction or criminal conspiracy? that's possible to say that the judge can't reverse a pardon, but it doesn't mean you can pardon each way, to pick a particular example, joe, if someone tried to auction off the pardon, the pardon itself might not be reversed but you might go to jail for bribery. >> and the pardoning was actually an element of the impeachment charges against richard nixon. >> yeah, and you know, ari, why don't we play the game for everybody at the table and also for everybody watching that our law professors play with us. so if you say something like, you cannot indict the president of the united states. your constitutional law professor would say, okay, great. so if donald trump really did go out on fifth avenue and decided instead of shooting one person through the heart shoot five people through the heart, you're telling me donald trump can't be indicted? and then, of course, everybody would stumble around and go, well -- and then the law professor would bring you back to the middle and say, there is,
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at some point, a time when a president will be able to be indicted. it's the same thing with the pardon power. your former law professors, my former law professors, they could draw up a scenario where the power of the pardon is so abused that suddenly it is not the absolute power that talk show lawyers claim it to be. there is some abuse of that pardon power where five justices of the united states supreme court will say, wait a second, now it's not absolute and that is not what our founders intended. it happens all the time at the court. >> i think that's right, joe, and i think you can come up with, as you say, law school hypotheticals. no one is alleging that this president or any president has abused the commander in chief power in a way that might create a crime. indeed, the commander in chief power is generally considered the high point of presidential power. but if you want a law school hypothetical where someone says there is nowhere in america a
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president could be constrained, but if you imagine a future president who bombs the political party headquarters of the opposing party inside the united states, right, or tries to and is stopped in some way, you can come up with hypotheticals to say, no, there is not unfettered power. there is also case law in the constitution where the supreme court says the constitution is not, quote, a suicide pact, meaning there are situations that are so fantastic that the system will intervene. so i do think what you have here is a kind of -- if you'll pardon the term, joe, a kind of julianization of everything where just ridiculous things that relate to the law are said and repeated as if they're true when, in fact, they're kind of extremes, and i think we may have a president that tests that very far in the end when this thing is all done. >> and ruth, we may have federal judges that are less willing to stretch the power of the
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presidency as it pertains to donald trump than they would, say, a president who is in the middle of a war. and, again, i wonder whether this president really wants to take some of these -- have some of these challenges taken up to the united states supreme court and see how those nine justices vote on it because i would suspect he would be surprised that many of the powers that he and his allies think are absolute are, in actuality, not. >> i don't think judges with life tenure particularly appreciate being called so-called judges and other kind of things the president has said about them. and i think the president and his advisers need to be conscious not just of what a court would do with pardons, because azhs ari said, it's unlikely a pardon itself would be interfered with, but how pardons would affect a narrative of obstruction of justice.
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you could be in a real world where john o'dowd, his former lawyer, has purported to have conversations about pardons with key figures in the probe. so as with nixon where those were -- pardons were offers of the impeachment case against him, it could come up in a congressional format as well as a judicial one. he's enjoying his pardon power. he should also, as you point out, be careful with it. >> that reference was like the early trump hour. it was like the first week of the administration. oh, my gosh, so-called judges. trump is off the hook. how long ago was that? that was a really long time ago. >> yeah, but let me tell you something, john heilman. if you don't think that federal judges -- >> oh, i know. >> -- don't remember, and i mean conservative, moderate and
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liberal federal judges do not remember that donald trump has questioned the independence of the federal judiciary, they remember. and i think it's going to be choppy waters ahead for donald trump if he takes certain challenges to the supreme court. hey, ruth, thank you for being with us. we'll be reading, as always, your op-ed in today's "washington post." and ari melber, we'll be watching "the beat" as always at 6:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. the president sends another tweet breaking presidential norms, this time tweeting about the jobs numbers more than two hours before the report drops. msnbc's stephanie ruhle says this is a big problem, and she will join us next to explain why. keep it right here on "morning joe."
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the release of the monthly jobs report, we ever the numbers. and stephanie ruhle is here with a trump tweet about that number two hours before it became official. don, let's start with you. pretty good numbers. we always heard through the obama administration you want to be around 200,000, you need to stay around 200,000.
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we haven't seen that all the time in the trump administration, but today a good day for job seekers. >> it's plus 223,000 jobs, and that comes from economists. unemployment stays steady at 3.8%. a lot of attention will be paid to upside revisions. over the last two months, the labor department has revised upward their count for jobs created by 15,000. that's over the last two months prior to may. wages, a big thing for a lot of employers out there and employees as well, .3 of a percent better than last month, but 2.7% better every year. so yes, wages are getting better at a slow rate. a lot of this was driven by private sector employment. the biggest gains came in retail where 31,000 jobs were added. health care where around 29,000
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jobs were added, and construction as well, 25,000. the u-6 unemployment rate, it sounds jarring, but this includes unemployed people as well, 27.6%, lowest since may of 2001. i also want to point out, again, president trump likes to tout this. african-american unemployment at 5.9% remains at the lowest on record since the labor department started keeping track of this. this does bring in total the average gains in employment for the past three months to around 179,000. so joe, to your point, it is not yet at that 200,000 mark, but the gains continue. that is going to be a source of huge debate about whether the jobs situation is growing at this stage. >> you can rock on it and say these numbers are great, and they are. the issue is that the president told the market they were great an hour before it was public. the jobs number lockup could not
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be taken more seriously in washington. the president is in a position to move markets. and if precedent is what it normally is, the president gets those numbers last night. and he doesn't say a word because you do not want to impact markets. at the very least, he said that over an hour ago because he wants all eyes to be on the market so we're focused on it, so we can say, great job, the market is great, which we're doing. at the absolute worst, he tipped off the market, and you will look back on this and see where algos started to trade as soon as he put that tweet out. then i like to knock on the door of the sec and say, pardon me, sir. did the president of the united states just move markets? because if he did, that's a big old problem. >> i wonder if the sec also might be looking at some of donald trump's closest friends to see their trading patterns. because the president receives the information, don, the night before. it would be very interesting to
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see certain investments among donald trump's closest friends in the future. but let me ask you a couple things. first of all, have you ever heard of a president or anyone tipping their hands about a jobs report up until today? and number two, don, give me the jobs participation rate. it's been at historically low levels, low 60s. do you have any information on that today? >> absolutely. let's tackle the first point of yours. we don't know what the trading developments are with regard to some of president trump's closest friends and allies. what i can say is this will fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum with what stephanie just described. i went back to the tape, so to speak, to take a look at how futures trading evolved. at 7:20 a.m., which was just before president trump tweeted that jobs number tweet, at 7:21 a.m. eastern time, we did see a little bit of pickup in volume for futures trading for s&p
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contracts. it did start to accelerate a little bit in terms of volume by around 7:25 a.m. eastern time. however, we did not see prices move significantly during that time. so just to put it in a little bit of context, there is obviously a very large conceptual debate about whether or not the president of the united states should be out there putting out for public diss dissemination market moving news. however, i did go back and check out the tape. yes, there was a noticeable pickup in volume but not a noticeable pickup in terms of pricing. yes, the labor market is at 26.7%. it says a lot of people out there are not looking for work as actively as they could be. that's something the trump administration will have to figure out, is trying to get more people back in the
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workplace. >> joe really brought an interesting thing up. we forget that this guy, just the other day before he put tariffs out there, i think it was a fascinating thing. take the 10 billionaires -- we know the names, the names that trump is close to -- you come from this world. he would n t it would not be beyond a thought for him to say, hey, guys. i think it brings an interesting message to the se krerk erkssec. >> it's an interesting message. yes, could donald trump be spouting this on the golf course or while at mar-a-lago? absolutely. we don't have evidence of that. the fact that steve mnuchin, the treasury secretary, even weighs in, saying i'm bullish on stocks? are you kidding? >> not to take the air out of your conspiracy theory, but if donald trump wanted to enrich his friends, he doesn't have to
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go to twitter to do that. he can call his friends -- >> john, that was not my point. it was not about his twitter, it's about a guy -- i would like to respond when you tell me what i was just saying was a conspiracy theory. >> please proceed. >> boys, boys. >> what i was saying is how much information on a daily basis is he passing along to his inner circle that is enriching people by the billions, and i think that can be looked at. >> it absolutely can be looked at. president trump and wilbur ross see each other on a regular basis. wilbur ross was the one who wiggled his way into the white house on that wednesday and said, by the way, tomorrow we're having a bunch of steel executives, and then trump mentions the steel tariffs. yes, there is a pattern we're uncomfortable with. the question is, what is the sec doing? >> to get back to the question that was asked before don need to do clarify himself, put aside the question of what donald trump may do with his friends, which i agree, a totally relevant question. what is the point of tweeting this in the morning? what do you get from that,
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right? if there is not some kind of corrupt intent, what is it he's actually doing by getting ahead of the market in this way? what objective of his does he serve? >> i'm just going to speak as a staffer in a normal white house, and i remember being -- working on speeches and being involved in the speech writing process for announcements that would move market. the announcement of the new sec chair. we were literally sworn to secrecy. it was impressed so strongly upon every young staffer that nothing could be leaked, because it could move markets. >> even if he's not looking to move markets, he's looking to turn the news to positive news to pay attention to a trump win. and the jobs number is a trump win. at the very least, he's saying, pay attention to my good morning. >> i'm really trying to get at what the precise reason is. he can go on twitter and brag about them later, so why front-run the market?
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>> because he's a performer. he is setting the stage to make sure all eyes are on the jobs number. >> and he doesn't care about fairness, he cares about his feeling in the moment of se grandiosing himself. >> we just had austin goolsby on our air 25 minutes ago. obviously he was the chair of the economic advisers under president obama. he was calling into question whether authorities and regulators should be looking at this particular instance as a kind of, are you tipping your hand to wall street. this is something wall street is giving a lot of heat right now, should the president be out there doing this when it comes to market data which is the granddaddy of all economic markets globally. >> eddie, this is just one more example of donald trump being about instant gratification, making everything about himself,
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breaking all the rules, seeing what he's doing is, as he said the day before his inauguration, it's a reality tv show where i vanquish all newcomers at the end of the day. this is a guy who started the week with a memorial day tweet about himself and about his successes and ended it with the word "nice," exclamation point. it's just a bizarre memorial day tweet. i've accused donald trump of being a day trader. he's not a day trader. he's a minute-by-minute trader. >> this seems to me to be true, joe. in fact, it doesn't seem to me to be true, it actually is true. one wonders does his narcissism have any limit, any bounds? it doesn't seem to be the case. then one has to ask themselves the question, can we survive this? there is this kind of daily attack on basic norms. basic norms that guide how this
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democracy functions. and it's not happening just simply at the presidential level, it's happening all around him and how folks are complicit with this. and this is just the latest in how he's trying to tip the markets, however we read it, but there is something going on here. i'm just sitting here wondering as we debate at the particulars, how will we bounce back from this, joe? i know you have undying faith, but i'm just wondering, how do we bounce back from this experience with donald trump? >> i mean, joe, you look at this recent story by ileana johnson in politico about donald trump being at a fundraiser and disclosing classified information about a sensitive operation in syria, and you wonder, i'm sure low-level people are going to be continued to be prosecuted for such offenses, but are those in the upper echelons of power just completely immune and don't have to follow the law?
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>> i got to say to eddie's point, i do have faith, i have undying faith in the american people, and undying faith in the american people's ability every two years to punish extremes at the ballot box. if you look at recent history, that is exactly what they've been doing over the past decade, and i suspect that's what they're going to do this fall. cnbc's don chiu, and stephanie ruhle, we will be handing off coverage to you precisely at 9:00 a.m. or soon thereafter. still to come, kate snow is here with a report you'll only see on cnbc. she joins the conversation straight ahead on "morning joe."
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did you tell anybody else about what had happened at the time? >> i did not. >> why not? >> i didn't think anybody would believe me. it was bill cosby. it was dr. huxtable. i thought i was the only person
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that he did this to. who's going to believe me. >> that was constand speaking publicly for the first time about that night when she said cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her. in april, a jury found cosby guilty against the former temple university employee. constand broke her 13 years of silence in an interview with nbc's kate snow for a special edition of "dateline" that airs tonight and kate joins us now. what's behind andrea, the woman at the center of the cosby trial's, decision to break her silence now? >> the verdict. the fact he was found guilty. she finally felt she could go public and tell her story. she's been waiting all these years, 13 years, through a really tortured legal course to get to this point where she could finally speak out and her lawyers would let her talk. she also wants to help all the other people out there, women out there who might have stories
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like hers and might not be willing to come forward. she thinks she might inspire them. i talked to her about the clip you just played where she said she didn't tell anyone. a year later, joe, she moved back to toronto, back to her hometown, and finally one morning she did tell her mother. take a listen. >> i woke up and i had a bad dream and that dream was that mr. cosby would do this to somebody else if i did not say or tell someone. so i woke up crying and i said, mom, mr. cosby drugged me and he sexually violated me. and she was so caught off guard. >> mom, she said, he's a bastard. and i said, andrea, who are you talking about? she said, mom, he drugged me and he raped me. i said who? she said, bill cosby. >> the mother was so angry about
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this that she actually confronted cosby. she called him. they had a 2 1/2 hour conversation in which she says he admitted some level of wrongdoing. he apologized for what he had done and said he was a sick man according to giana. later, get this, she goes and buys a radio shack recorder and calls him again, recording the phone call, hoping that she might get an admission of guilt on tape. you'll hear all of that phone call for the first time on television tonight, joe. >> and, kate, you also talked to other women who testified in that pennsylvania trial. what did they tell you? >> yes, it was interesting, the judge allowed five women to testify for the prosecution. all of whom had similar stories to andrea constant. and legally speaking, there's been a lot of questions about that being admitted into court. i sat down with four of those five women. they see andrea as their hero because they -- remember, joe, there are some 60 women now who have made allegations against bill cosby.
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most of them are out of statute. it was only andrea who could take this all the way through the criminal process. so they see her and she sees herself as doing it for all of them. >> all right, kate, thank you so much. and you can see more of kate snow's exclusive interview tonight on "dateline," at 10:00 eastern, 9:00 p.m. central only on nbc. what is it? the next big thing in food was once a little paper box. now we can easily take out food from a restaurant. let's stay in and binge-watch the snow. genius. now, the next big thing is the capital one savor card. good choice babe. oh, wait, hold on. earn 3% cash back on dining, 2% on groceries, and 1% on all other purchases. what's in your wallet?
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i'm relentless. and my doctor and i choose to treat my mbc with verzenio. be relentless. ask your doctor about everyday verzenio. our good friend roger bennett is going to become a u.s. citizen today and last night i read a very moving thread on his twitter account about the process of his family finally making it to america and becoming u.s. citizens. he talks about, so on this day, a gent who grew up with the statue of liberty on his bedroom wall, and now lives in manhattan, pay attention to what your kids cover their bedroom walls with, dear reader with a wife and four children, i will head to the courthouse at pearl street and will be sworn in as a u.s. citizen and as an american. i will have a photograph of my
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grandpa sam in my pocket as i do so. reminder that as i become an american, i will complete my family's journey even if it took us four generations longer than we expected. doing so will be the achievement of my lifetime. and, john heilman, we're lucky that we have so many people like roger bennett who's always told me that every time he touches down to the united states of america he feels an energy and the possibilities in front of him. there are still reasons to be hopeful about being an american. >> we are lucky we have so many people like roger bennett. i know you feel this way too, we're lucky we have roger bennett. specifically him. fantastic person, great addition to the american citizenry and fabulous person. not quite as great a person as my friend donny deutsch but he's in the ballpark. >> let me be the first to say as of today we can say roger bennett is a great american.
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>> just remembering the folks, those other americans, those 4,600 who died in puerto rico as we're on the cusp of another hurricane season. kind of remember them too. >> always a reminder, we're very lucky, all of us, to be americans. >> and by the way, something a lot of people don't remember, those 4,600 people who died in puerto rico also are americans brothers and sisters. our thoughts and prayers need to continue to be with them and hope that congress and the president will pay attention to their plight that continues every day. now, let's turn it over to stephanie ruhle. stephanie. >> thank you, joe, i appreciate it. have a great weekend. it is always a good morning to be a great american. good morning, everyone. we got to start with news starting with trading shots. steep tariffs on aluminum and steel go into effect today on america's closest allies. the president's decision sparking harsh r


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