tv Deadline White House MSNBC June 1, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
nicolle wallace starts right now. aloha, everyone. it is 4:00 in new york. i'm john heilman in for nicolle wallace. donald trump's summit with kim jong-un is back on. >> we'll be meeting on june 12th in singapore. went very well. it's a get to know you kind of a situation. it will be a beginning, i don't say and i've never said it happens in one meeting. you're talking about years of hostility, years of problems, years of really hatred between so many different nations. but i think you're going to have a very positive result in the end. not from one meeting. >> mr. president, what's your sense of what the north koreans are willing to do on the issue of denuclearization? are they -- >> i think they want to do that. i know they want to do that. they want other things along the line. they want to develop as a country. that's going to happen.
i have no doubt. we're going to start a process. and i told them today, take your time, we can go fast, we can go slowly, but i think they'd like to see something happen. and if we can work that out, that would be good. >> the announcement and those words came after trump spoke with north korea -- with the north korean leader's right hand man, the former spy chief kim yong chol. in a meeting at the oval office lasted over an hour. kim yong chol traveled to washington to hand deliver a letter to trump from the north korean leader. here is trump speaking somewhat confusingly about that letter. >> don't forget, this was a meeting where a letter was given to me by kim jong-un and that letter was very nice letter. oh, would you like to see what was in that letter, would you like -- how much? how much? how much? >> in response to the letter, did you send anything back? >> no, i didn't. i haven't seen the letter yet. i purposely didn't open the letter. i haven't opened it. i didn't open it in front of the
director. i said, would you want me to open it? he said, you can read it later. i may be in for a big surprise, folks. >> my baby, my baby my baby just wrote me a letter. we're going to talk about that with two learned gentlemen from the united states. mr. peter baker and nbc's own hans nichols who joins us from singapore in 11 days president trump and kim jong-un are expected to meet face to fashion. peter baker, how much would you pay to read that letter donald trump apparently hasn't read? >> i'd pay a certain amount of money. he said it's a very nice letter, haven't opened it, but very nice. it's hard to know what to make of that. obviously the letter itself wasn't the only thing that was going to be said in that meeting, but it is a little surprising he wouldn't read it before going out and making an announcement to the press like that. >> yeah, it seemed like the letter was kind of the point, right, peter? all this pomp and circumstance, he brings the letter, they come
out -- trump comes out and says the summit is back on, but apparently the agreement to bring the summit back on had nothing to do with what was in the letter since trump says he hasn't read it. i find that incredibly confusing. >> it is a little odd. as he said at the end of the session with the reporters, he said maybe i should go back and read it. who knows, maybe there is some big surprise in there. you would have thought at the very least a staff member would have opened it and read it to make sure there wasn't some sort of unsettling moment in there. but, you know, he wanted to get the summit back on, okay. that's the real bottom line here. it didn't really matter in some ways what was in the letter. he was intent on getting the summit back on if he could find a way to do it and save face. in effect he feels like he did that. the north koreans clearly wanted to have the summit back on. that was the bottom line, the letter was a vehicle to accomplish that. he didn't use the vehicle the way most people would. the bottom line is we're going to come see hans in singapore in a few days. >> peter, i'll give you some breaking news. the white house is saying the president has in fact now read
the letter after saying that he hadn't read the letter, first taunting reporters with what was in the letter, he hadn't read the letter. we at this hour still don't know what's actually in the letter. but i want to ask you from the perspective of someone who has covered a lot of white houses who has seen a lot of interplay in your career, step back and give us where you think this moment ranks in its importance. is this a chimera or should we assume the summit isn't going to happen? >> anything we've seen repeatedly with this president in particular, don't cancel your plans. but we don't know for sure. look, this is a big deal when a sitting american president meets with a north korean leader for the first time ever. look, his meeting today with this envoy from north korea was only the second time a sitting american president has met with
any north korean official. so that's a big deal. underlying issues, the underlying challenges still remain, which is where are you going to go, how are you going to make a deal that eliminates nuclear weapons out of north korea that they are willing to live with, that gives them something they want in exchange for that? that's a big, big challenge. it hasn't got any easier just because of today. >> hans nichols, my friend, it's good to see you. apparently going to be sending peter baker over to see you. he'll be bringing you a good slice of new york pizza on my behalf. i want to ask you sitting in the region now people, the first blush, is there surprise now in the region this thing is back on, or is this sort of what people expected, this outcome? >> the expectation was that talks were on track and that they were proceeding at a good pace. the idea this is official, is now somewhat set in stone. you never want to say anything set in stone with president trump. but the idea this is proceeding apace was baked into the expectation when we were earlier
today, a big defense ministers summit here gathered at the hotel. the expectation was these talks would go forward. i would say to peter's point, we still don't know whether or not the north koreans have signalled that they are committed to denuclearization. and that's always been the threshold question. pompeo suggested that yesterday. he hinted at it. we had no response from president trump on that. and as to whether or not he read the letter, i'm not going to fault anyone for that. i will when i start listening to all my old voice mails. a lot of times talking is just easier. i think now that he's finally read the letter there is not a lot of surprise in there. if you could have a face-to-face conversation with someone, i would prefer that for gleaning information intelligence as opposed to reading perhaps a formal letter. >> hans, if you go through your e-mails, you'll find four or five drunk ones. please disregard that. i want to ask you on the ground there, we have very few days now. this is a hurry up summit. it was a hurry up summit even before today. what has to happen logistically
now with the north koreans, south koreans and the americans in terms of tackling and get this thing set up so it can go off purely logistically without a hitch? >> well, you raise something very important. will the south koreans participate. we have no indication of that. there are indications zrasouth koreans want to a much that t m themselves to the summit. in terms of securing a hotel that's easily done. they need to make a decision. maybe they haven't announced it on the actual site. there are the logistics. where is the water placed, how high are the rooms, that's why you have the parallel negotiations taking place. those can be very tricky issues sometimes. however, again, going back to the basic theory that everything is different under trump, if this president wants to have a summit which he so clearly does, i don't suspect they're going to be caught up in whether or not the water is still or sparkling. i suspect the summit is going to move forward as long as the
president is driving this -- administration. that's one thing we hear at the pentagon. this is a president that makes snap decisions. the foreign policy whether it's pompeo, the president ultimately makes these decisions. >> as long as there are big maces it will be okay, hans. hurry up, summit, it's apparently happening, it's on. what has to happen in the white house now? this is not a low jgistical question, but a substantive question. what has to happen in ernest? what has to take place in terms of donald trump's preparation, in terms of the state department's preparation, everybody who is going to be part of this, what do they have to get done in this tight window? >> well, the most important thing they have to get done is figure out exactly what they want this meeting to produce. that's been very vague from the beginning. how much of the issues that are on the table are supposed to be resolved by this meeting, what kind of progress are we supposed to make, what would be success. you heard the president today
really downplay expectations in a way much more so than you think he has in the past. look, this is just the beginning. it's a get to know you session, plus we're not going to solve it all at one time. there may be other meetings as well. he did seem to suggest it's possible some sort of an agreement to a peace treaty formally ending the korean war of the 1950s might come out of this meeting. basically he tried to suggest, don't get your expectations up. he told the visiting north korean official, take your time. >> peter, hans, you guys are awesome. thank you for helping us out. i want to bring in the panel in new york city. joining us at the table journalist mara gay, "the new york times" editorial board and you've been on the board, you're killing it. reverend al sharpton. one remote guest is bill crystal, regular on this program, friend of the show, founder and editor of the weekly standard. bill, i want to start with you since we're doing all these remotes right now. what do you think? again, just what's your first
reaction to what you saw today, the fact that the summit is on, how trump talked about it, just the kind of state craft and stage craft of what we saw leading up to this announcement this afternoon, and what it augers for what's about to unfold the next couple weeks? >> i guess a couple thoughts. president trump having stressed before we have to denuclearize north korea, it's now having to get acquainted summit, i think that's a propaganda victory for the north koreans, having a meeting with no preconditions, no action on the part of the north koreans. if it all works out, no one is going to second guess it later on. i'm not going to second guess it too much now, but i would say this isn't the traditional american view is we need to know they're serious about denuclearization before getting them, in a sense, legitimatizing, getting this totalitarian brutal regime as it were a legitimatizing summit with an american president. the other thing i would say hans and peter were good on the call.
the question marks remain on the washington side. north korean is capable of two days before the summit, saying we've been misled, the negotiations aren't going well, we need this concession, that concession. that is a regime that many, many times in dealing with the u.s. has tantalizingly seemed to offer things and pull it back. they could well be -- it will be important to watch what they do the next ten days as well. >> mara, i think you know, the reality is if you go back over the recent history of american and north korean relations, they have been characterized by north korea lying, cheating disdecemberibling, fraudulent behavior, head fakes. there's never -- they have never dealt with america in any circumstance as a good faith partner. so, again, we should all be hopeful because god knows denuclearization in the korean peninsula progress is to be wished for. is there any reason today we think it moves us closer to that or should all our skepticism be intact?
>> first you're absolutely right. bill made great points as well. we don't have a great set up here for high-level talks and high-stakes talks. usually it doesn't really help when you're lobbing insults across the world at one another. it's not usually a great set up. i also want to point out that while these talks are high stakes and they're gravely serious, 100%, this back and forth that's going on right now about the letter, it's all drama. it's theater. it's something the president's excellent at. and while we're not, you know, while we're talking about this, we're not talking about puerto rico. we're not talking about russia. and i think this is something that has actually -- this summit has give n the president a chane to look a little more presidential. that's reflected in his poll numbers. i don't see a need for the day by day back and forth. >> al sharpton, i always like to talk about donald trump with you because you've known him a long time in different settings.
mara says he loves the drama. the whole thing today is exactly what he wants. is that right? >> well, yeah, it's exactly what he wants because drama and him being the center of attention is what he really, really is all about. but i think that we cannot in any way dispel the fact that he caught himself out there and in many ways north korea called his bluff. because what is different now than it was ten days ago or eight days ago, whenever he canceled the meeting? they have not promised that they are going to seriously deal with denuclearization in a meeting. we have not gotten any signal from them that is any different. so, with all of his bluffing, they've called his bluff because you're going to get a letter. the letter made no concessions. you didn't even read the letter. and when you were questioned about denuclearization, you said, oh, they want it. i believe they want it. i don't know when, how.
so what are you talking about? then why did you cancel the meeting in the first place, and why was bolton and them talking about libya in the first place? it's a flim-flam game on a global level on something very serious that we ought to not be playing with. >> bill crystal, i think we all agree with this, it's a serious thing we shouldn't be playing around. but let's take as read, the summit is now going to happen. for the sake of argument, it's going to happen, right? what if you were asked to come into the trump white house right now, having worked this executive branches when sum its are taken place. you were called in, bill, we want to make this a success. give us the hard talk, the hard truth of what we need to do the next 12 days to make this, to increase the odds, the likelihood of success, what would be the bullet points to say you have to do x, y and z and that will give you the best chance of real success? >> get at some real north korea experts to start w not me. one thing that's interesting, we haven't had since the end of the cold war, we've had meetings with putin, the chinese leader.
these g. 7 meetings, multi lateral summits, they read prepared remarks, sidebar, one thing we saw with reagan, real things can happen. it will be very important for pompeo and bolton and mattis to make sure trump understands what we want to achieve and what we won't giveaway and what we need to see happen in terms of real verifiable progress on denuclearization before we talk about presumably lessening sanctions or other things. one on one is a very different dynamic than a big round table with 15 people. >> bill, you are so right. and i think over the next couple weeks everyone would do well to go back and study their history about reykjavik. it's an important word, gives you a sense of how incredibly fluid a situation can be when you have two heads of state, especially two heads of state where you're not friendly countries, how much can actually happen at the table no matter how you prepare for it. it's a real-time crisis in the
making. so, when we come back, we're going to move on to other topics, a man who just got granted a pardon from president trump. dinesh d'souza who speaks outs revealing what the president wants in exchange. plus, a big question. are there more pardons to come? plus, the president just can't help himself. why donald trump's own policies may be stepping on the gains we have seen in the economy. and roseanne and samantha bee. one fired for a racist tweet, the other facing calls from the white house to be fired. is there a double standard or a false equivalency or what? we'll talk about all of that coming up.
donald trump's most recent pardon beneficiary the conservative commentator dinesh d'souza is back on television today revealing what donald trump told him that he wants in exchange for the clemency he got. >> the president said, dinesh, you've been a great voice for freedom and he said that i got to tell you man-to-man, you've been screwed. he goes, i've been looking at the case. i knew from the beginning that it was fishy, but he said upon reviewing it he felt a great injustice had been done and that using his power he was going to rectify it, sort of clear the slate. and he said he just wanted me to be out there to be a bigger voice than ever defending the principles that i believe in. >> a voice for freedom, that's what donald trump says dinesh d'souza has been. take a little peek at what dinesh has been a voice for. he came to prominence in the mid
1980s, a former provocateur at dartmouth, known for outing gay students. he's become infamous in a whole bunch of things in the obama era, including inflammatory tweets like this one, you can take the boy out of the ghetto, there was a nickname for the former president, grown-up trayvon. he's even defended hitler. let that one sink in for just one moment. but beyond the inflammatory talking points, president trump may have a different agenda in mind with his pardon of d'souza convicted of campaign finance charges, like the ones swirling around trump fixer michael cohen. a message for the attorney to stay strong in the face of offers to flip, or to one of his most vocal critics, preet ba
bharara who convicted d'souza. donald trump uses whatever hour he has to attack people he feels wronged him and he'll do whatever he feels he must to protect himself. for him pardons are a means of vengeance. those he issued to date are a smaller hint of what could be coming as the russia investigation heats up. joining us in washington from the washington post is the washington post bureau chief phil rucker. hi, phil. joining the table mimi rocca, former u.s. district attorney, now at pace law school. we quoted "the new york times" editorial, i want to start with you. there are a lot of things to say about these pardons and some were said on the show yesterday. the notion of the pardon as not a form of clemency, not a form of forgiveness, but a form of retribution. not what the pardon was designed to serve, but it seems at least one of the things donald trump is doing here is trying to exact punishment on his enemies. >> absolutely. i mean, i think it's a great reflection of who he is and how
he wants to use this presidency. when you think about the message that he -- we believe is sending to the folks around him who are under investigation, that's terrifying. and then secondarily, when you think about the message it sends morally, it's repugnant. it's disgusting. dinesh d'souza is a great example of someone who i think was treated quite generously actually as a conservative intellectual. but actually is essentially a racist troll. you know, i just think -- >> that's quite generous in and of itself. >> right. but i think this is trump's guy. joe arpaio, trump's guy so there you go. >> phil rucker, i want to go to you because you have some reporting, you guys are pushing the story forward among others. i'm reading from a quote in your paper. it says the senior white house official said as many as a dozen other pardons are under consideration by president trump, adding that most are
likely to happen. there are going to be more said the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to comment cann tidally. are we about to see a wave of pardons and is that wave go to grow bigger and bigger and more pointed in some ways as the russia investigation gets closer and closer and stays on the trajectory it's on, closer to the oval office? >> i think that's right, john. we've seen the president really enjoy flexing his powers of clemency here. he said yesterday that he was considering pardons for martha stewart as well as for illinois governor rod blagojevich. officials working behind us tell us there are more under consideration the president may be acting in the very near future on a number of these. these are not happening through the normal department of justice process where sort of regular people can apply for a pardon and that gets consideration by the pardon attorney. but rather it's the president sort of hearing about a case or reading about a case in the news
or seeing it on tv or a friend in the case of yesterday's pardon with dinesh d'souza, it was senator ted cruz of texas who brought it to the president's attention and the president asking his lawyers here at the white house to review those cases and prepare the paperwork for a pardon. >> mimi, we hear over and over again from real lawyers and some fake lawyers on tv the pardon power is absolute. the president can do it for whatever reason he wants. is that actually true? >> well, it's absolute in the sense that -- yes, the short answer is yes, it's absolute. but that doesn't mean it can't form the basis of other charges against the president later and some of those have already been talked about, obstruction is the main one. could his dangling of pardons to potential witnesses, if that's sort of what this is a part of, could that, you know, if he did in fact offer through a back channel a pardon to flynn, could that be part of an obstruction charge? and some have said it could possibly be a bribery charge
because he's trying to bribe a witness. but i think, you know, part of why it is an absolute power is because no one -- i don't think anyone ever assumed it would be used in this way. you know, pardons are supposed to be about justice, not about vindictiveness or personal favors. >> or about obstructing justice. >> yeah. he's taking someone who pled guilty to a crime. i mean, admitted under oath that he was guilty, had his arguments to the judge that this was selective prosecution and, you know, all of that is being thrown under the table. >> rev, i ask you this question. i want to read from this "the new york times" column michelle goldberg says donald trump presents celebrity impunity, okay. here's the quote. the pardon of did sousa functions as revenge in more ways than one. trump's most high profile celebrity supporter for her racist insult of valerie jarrett, it september a message that the entertainment industry will hold the line against over bigotry even at the risk of alienating some trump
supporters. by pardoning d'souza who said more disgusting things than barr, trump sends a rejoinder. his supporters can cross any lines they please. agree, disagree? >> it's two points in that. one, he never -- he being president trump -- never denounced the racist tweets of roseanne. >> no, he did not. >> he then at the same time gives this pardon to d'souza who definitely has made racist statements. and at the same time what a lot of us have not dealt with in the media is he had a very high profile meeting with the other kim, kim kardashian who came in and asked him to pardon two blacks, one a great grandmother. whatever happened to that? so, your answer to kim kardashian, your friend kanye west's wife is, i'm not going to deal with pardoning them. i'm going to pardon the guy who is known for overt racism, who called the first black president
a boy and a grown-up trayvon. that's your response to the west family and to black america in the week that we have to deal with roseanne. >> phil, let me ask you this and i know we're going to lose you so i want to get one more in with you. we have the blagojevich pardon that's floating out there and the martha stewart one, too. particularly the blagojevich one, this is a guy who engaged in egregious political corruption. >> that's right. >> at the time arguably the most corrupt state official of his era. what message do you think it sends and i don't mean just the message to the country, but particular constituents trump may be speaking to through these pardons, what message would it send to them if trump decided to pardon rod blagojevich given his political corruption? >> it would send a message that in trump's view it's not worthy of the prison sentence he was given of 14 years. trump feels like blagojevich was wronged by the justice system and it's a signal that he just simply doesn't think these sorts
of acts of political correction are that bad relatively speaking. and remember, president trump is somebody who has come under attack for his own ethics and his own conduct in office and his own conflicts of interest with his businesses and so forth. and so in a way it's sim signalling that all this stuff that maybe is sort of against the rules or against the law really isn't that big of a deal. >> right, rules, schmules would be the summation. congratulations on the pulitzer you collected. >> thank you. >> great to see you. despite today's encouraging jobs numbers is the trump administration actually making it harder for republicans run on the economy come 2340678 in the mid terms? we'll get back to that in a second. arts in outer space. arts in outer space. where satellites feed infrared images of his land into a system built with ai. he uses watson to analyze his data with millions of weather forecasts from the cloud,
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and expanding medicare to everyone over 55. and i believe medicare must be empowered to negotiate the price of drugs. california values senator dianne feinstein taking that trumpy flame thrower to tradition and presidential norms yet again, slightly over an hour before the u.s. jobs report was released, donald trump tweeted, quote,
looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning. this was a move that was questioned by many since although presidents typically see those jobs numbers the night before they come public, by custom they don't say anything about them in advance in order to avoid having any impact on the markets. but donald trump's national economic director larry kudlow insisted the president did nothing wrong. >> doesn't this go against the 1985 omb directive which essentially says no one should reveal what the findings are the night before or before they're released officially? >> right, and we didn't. >> why is there such secrecy -- >> this is very important. no one revealed the numbers to the public. >> why would the president tell anybody to look at the jobs report if it was going to be negative? >> you'll have to ask -- that's a therapy thing. >> therapy thing? >> he's got -- look, he likes to tweet. >> it's a therapy thing. larry kudlow cracks me up. trump has consistently touted
the economy is doing well admittedly steep aluminum and steel tariffs going into effect on america's allies may undo that. the wall street editorial board called it a needless trade war writing, quote, so much for donald trump as genius deal maker. we're supposed to believe his terror threats are a strategy. on thursday he revealed he's an old-fashioned protectionist. his threats to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum will hurt perhaps republicans in november. joining us from the white house associated press reporter jill colvin. jill, i want to ask you this. to me, having watched donald trump in 2015, 2016 and 2017-2018, one thing he's been consistent about the entire time he's run for president and 20 years before that, he's been a proud protectionist. he's been anxious to do this the entire time. is he happy today in the face of all the criticism and condemnation? he's like, dudes, i'm right about this, i'm doing what i
think is best? >> yeah, this is something that clearly is at the heart of the president's thinking. he feels this kind of innate injustice that other countries have been treating the u.s. badly and that he's finally in there, taking this seriously and he's going to fight for the u.s. by turn rg these around and winning trade concessions. >> bill crystal, i ask you, the free est free trader in this entire group by tradition, by ideology, what do you make of the fact donald trump has done this despite the fact you look at all the economic impact studies, everything people are saying including your friends at the wall street editorial board, this is going to be bad for trump's voters. what's going on? >> the trump rationalizeers who have been saying, we don't like the tweets, we don't like the behavior, but the policies are good. this is not a policy that the business community and a lot of reluctant trump supporters, let's say, the republicans who stayed republican rationalized trump, love him thought the policies were okay. this is not a policy they
support so it will be interesting to see if any -- how many have the nerve to criticize it. congress does have theability to override decisions on tariffs. they delegated that authority 50 years ago to the president. they could take it back. let's see if republican congressmen do something instead of complaining about it or tweeting about it. larry kudlow, you've known a long time i'm sure, i've known really a long time, decent person. to see him chuckle about something that is a violation of a norm,s it' a small norm, not a huge deal, but it's the kind of thing that if president obama had done it larry kudlow would be screaming and yelling about it on television. it shows how trump corrupts. getting back to the pardons, it's good for him the more it gets normalized that all the old rules don't obtain. and so if you're reagan, nixon, think of the previous scandals, watergate, clinton scandal, no one thought of pardoning people in the middle of a scandal so to speak to take them off the hook. now it's quite obvious one of
the things he's dangling for paul manafort, michael cohen and others, all of this norm breaking reinforces itself if that's the way to say t helps trump get away with things he shouldn't get away with. >> it's not just layer irkudlow laughing about the jobs report. larry kudlow spent 30 years railing against tariff ands anything that smacks of protection is. you raise it, bill. there are republicans who are criticizing the president on this question. there are a lot of questions those critics raise. you've got paul ryan who has called it out. i disagree with the decision. orrin hatch, they'll have negative consequence. senator ben sass, this is dumb. al, rev, my friend, what do you make of a republican party that has bowed down in front of donald trump on almost everything, but on this one issue suddenly they have not yet gone against him as bill crystal points out, they have not gone
against him legislatively? we don't know what that's going to end up. publicly there is more resistance to this than anything else president trump has done in his presidency it seems to me. >> one, they understand that a trade war which we can lead into with this, can damage them particularly in a little thing called the midterm election. >> right. >> if there was a time they didn't need him to do this, it's now. >> right. >> and secondly, i think -- and i will pardon myself for saying this since we talk about pardons, i agree, boehner, there is no gop. it is the party of trump. and i think that some of them are beginning to say, wait a minute, if we're going to have any semblance of the gop getting past the mid terms, we can't do this because you're dealing with, you're dealing with some of the things that their base needs in terms of jobs. >> you know what they say about me, reverend, i'm a uniter, not a divider. i brought you and boehner together. that's my accomplishment for the
day. never thought it would happen here or anyplace else. i want to ask jill colvin one last question. just think about the political consequence of this, right. the president is on a roll with the economy. it's doing well. we have a new low in the unemployment number much everybody acknowledges, even the president's fierce est critics, the economy is doing pretty well. now he's putting these tariffs in place that could taint the economy. is there any thought in the white house the president is shooting himself and congressional republicans in the foot by pursuing these policies? >> yeah, look, it's not just these tariffs. it's the tariffs are now threatening to complicate the negotiations over nafta. he threw out today he'd be happy to see two separate bilateral deals, one with canada, one with mexico. you have negotiations with china that are happening right now. so,er there are a lot of different moving pieces to this. the problem is the people who threaten to be hurt by this, they're people like farmers. they're people who work in manufacturing. these are the trump core, these are the people who voted for him
and the white house and the rnc and republicans are counting on to turnout in the midterm election. this is obviously of concern especially if trump supporters and folks across the country. >> jill colvin, thank you for your time and help and brilliance and wisdom. coming up, if i had asked you a weekend ago what roseanne barr and samantha bee had in common, it might be being on tv. people are directly linking their controversial comments. should they? that conversation coming up next. delivery should look like this.
♪now i'm gonna tell my momma ♪that i'm a traveller ♪i'm gonna follow the sun♪ ♪now i'm gonna tell my momma transitions™ light under control™ visit your local visionworks to ask about transitions™ brand lenses donald trump, of all people, is wondering why late night personality samantha bee hasn't been fired for using profane language directed at his senior advisor and daughter ivanka trump. the locker room talk president had this to say about the comedian's foul language. why aren't they firing no talent samantha bee for the horrible language used on her low rating shows? total double standard but that's
okay, we are winning and we'll be doing so for a long time to come, exclamation point close quote. samantha bee explained herself last night at an awards dinner in hollywood. there were no cameras allowed, but indy wire was there and quoted her as saying this. quote, we spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, we should all have spent the day incensed that we as a nation are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals. she added, quote, if we're okay with that, then really who are we? guys, samantha bee there doubling down. mara, i'm going to start with you. she's doubling down. she was obviously required to put out an apology yesterday. if you were to look at it it seemed kind of perfunctory. they are fight thing out in their own way. >> okay. yeah, let's be clear. it's not the same thing and let
me explain why. first of all, what samantha bee said about ivanka trump was crude and it was offensive. she used a word that has been used to demean women, sure, absolutely. she apologized for it, fine. there is no comparison between that and what roseanne barr did, which is to compare a woman, a human being, okay, to a monkey, which is, first of all, dehumanizing in general, secondly draws upon a racial history in this country going back before the civil war that has been used to oppress americans. and so that's the first thing. the second issue here is that samantha bee is a comedian who was using crude language actually to confront and, i would say even -- yeah, i'll just say to confront a president
that has and a white house and an administration that has supported racism and supported bigotry. >> right. >> that is not the same thing as roseanne barr using crude language that was way worse. in defense of that kind of canon. >> rev, i think you know this morning when we talked on morning joe, racism is not vul garrett, vulgarity is not racism. we can be against comments that often demean women. all of those things can be condemned. it is a separate level of defense, a except are the punishment that should be meted out in comparison to something that's racist as what roseanne barr said. >> it is vulgar and crude and she should apologize. many of us leak who use the n word against others and had to
apologize and way before i was on television or radio. coretta scott king told me you can't talk like that and continue in civil rights. but what roseanne did was not just something crude. this was bringing a racial history directed at a black woman. samantha bee was -- used something wrong, crude, woman against another woman. this is not nearly the same thing, but samantha bee should have apologized, should have stood up for it as all of us that have ever done that, even if it was 20 years ago have done that. >> bill crystal, i'm going to ask you this question. i have some sound that i'm not going to play because i just don't want to play this fox news sound. but there is someone from fox news who the rnc spokesman kayla mckenny saying it is hypocritical double standard roseanne barr loses her job, samantha bee stays and thrives. it's hard i think for some people to hear the president and the president's supporters and republicans in general who have
tolerated ted nuj entitgent usi kind of conversation about hillary clinton. they have t-shirts that have the c word on them. it's hard for some people to hear republicans make the argument that samantha bee should be fired for saying this thing when they say nothing about people on the republican side of the aisle, president trump's supporters who use the same language about women broadly as the president did in the access hollywood tape and specifically about hillary clinton. does that make sense to you? >> yeah, i guess for me, comedians can be vulgar or they can be bigoted and judged differently as people have said on those two criteria and private entities, tv networks can fire them or discipline them or give them another chance. i mean, for me the big difference is the president of the united states. and incidentally, trump supporters, he can't be held responsible in a sense, he can be held indirectly responsible but not indirectly for what they're wearing on their t-shirts or bad things they've said. he's been nice in the white
house. people have said deplorable things. i can't use that adjective, i'll use it, deployable things. at the end of the day donald trump is president and this guy advanced the birther narrative in 2011, 2012 that is both nuts and clearly bigoted and racial and is clearly winked at, at best or turned a blind eye or even done worse in terms of other racially charged expressions. and as you said, bringing people into the white house who have done things like that. so for me, the trump problem is a bigger problem than the samantha bee problem or roseanne barr problem. >> this is not a legal issue, but there is an issue i'd like you to speak to as a woman who is an intelligent person, who is part of this political conversation. when i said this thing this morning there is a difference between vulgarity and racism, i had women on twitter who said what is the difference between racism and misogyny?
racism is bad, misogyny is bad, it's hard to judge between those things and the kind of vulgarity in question elevates it to the level of racism. again, i'm citing some people who were taking issue with my where do you come down on that issue? is the c word as bad as for its misogyny as what rows ann bar did in terms of racism? >> in general, you can't answer that. in this context, the way that samantha bee used it was not meant a way to put women down in general. i'm not condoning the comment. but she was outraged about something ivanka trump had done and used a very bad word. i think that's different than the way that for example, president trump has used words to try and put women down. i mean for him to be on his soapbox talking about samantha bee, he has used language very close to the c worth in talking about women as we all heard on the "access hollywood" tape.
he put women down this ways that go beyond her comment. i think you can say generally whether one word is worse but in this context ten they are different. >> he uses them talking about a class of women not just one woman. up next, john brennan is among several former intel chiefs who are speaking out against this president. it's pretty amazing out there. the world is full of more possibilities than ever before. and american express has your back every step of the way- whether it's the comfort of knowing help is just a call away with global assist.
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is to win at all costs irrespective of the truth, ethics, decency and many would argue the law. that's john brennan. last week,.claer. before that, michael haden. these people were all worked for democrats and republicans over generations. and they are all in quick succession speaking out against donald trump as we have never seen before. what do we make of that 15 seconds. >> they are united in their background saying he does not know what he is doing, nor does he care. >> what do you make of it? >> it is an unpress dentaled assault on the rule of launch it's dangerous for the country both in a security sense and in a legal sense. i think that's what this shows. >> you look at this and you think to yourself my god what is happening here? >> i read the column i agreed with all of it. also, great moment, great reminder, anybody who has a platform and knows this is wrong, which it is, should say something. >> bill crystal, you have a little more time because our
other guests were so concise. again, you have been around for a long time. did you ever think you would see a day where three people as decorated with the kind of experience, the kind of resumes that these three guys have would speak out essentially in unison about a sitting american president of either party? [ no audio [ . it can be abbreviated as much as possible, at least whatever mueller find. because i do think the damage is being done to democrats norms, the rule of law, day after day. some people hoped he would get in and it would get better. it hasn't. i would say in the last months it may have gotten worse. >> rudy giuliani the other day said that brennan and clapper were clowns. i think the alternative way to describe them is as truth tellers. we'll be right back after this lice final quick break. due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem.
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and al sharpton. that does it for me. nicolle wallace will be back next week. i'm giving this show over to katy tur early. "mtp daily." it's starting early. hi, katy. >> what are you talking about? it's exactly 5:00. you said you were going to give it over early. then you kept talking and you gave it over on time. this weekend i'm going on meet the press. please tune in. >> meet the press with katy tur. >> they are letting me on. it's great. i'm excited. are you doing anything fun. >> i'm going to have a great time, but give chuck hell. >> john hilemon, thank you very much. if it's friday, i hate these blurred lines. tonight's the i alone presidency, from controversial pardons to a wall street leak. how president trump is flaunting unchecked power. >> i'm working. i'm working hard for you