that's a wrap of this hour of msnbc live. i'll see all of you again at noon eastern. jonathan cape hart is in for "a.m. joy" right now. >> four or five -- the president was there. >> now you're saying he dictated it. >> i don't know that jay -- jay would have to answer that and i've talked to him about it. i think jay was wrong. this is the reason you don't let the president testify. if our recollection keeps changing, or we're not even asked a question, and somebody makes an assumption, in my case, i made an assumption.
>> good morning and welcome to "a.m. joy." i'm jonathan cape haurt in for joy reid. rudy giuliani offering his convoluted take on the shifting explanations for why donald trump jr. met with russians in 2016. in a letter sent to special counsel robert mueller back in january, trump's attorneys for the first time admit that trump dictated a statement issued by his son to "the new york times" about the now infamous 2016 trump tower meeting between donald trump jr. and russians offering to provide dirt on hillary clinton. now the statement claimed that the meeting was about adoption issues. trump atrneys john dowd and jay sekulow wrote in that january confidential letter that quote, the president dictated a short, but accurate response to "the new york times"'s article on behalf of his son donald trump jr. a sentence that directly contradicts sekulow's own denials that trump had no part in the statement. >> i do want to be clear, the
president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. it came from donald trump jr. that's what i can tell you. with regard to how the information came out, as i said, that was information that was controlled not by my client, the president, the president was not involved in that decision. >> this is just one detail in a 20 page confidential letter that was written and hand delivered to mueller by the trump legal team in january. details of the letter published by "the new york times" on saturday reveal behind the scenes efforts by trump's legal team to argue that donald trump is incapable of obstructing justice because he has complete authority over all federal investigations and that he cannot be subpoenaed. we'll talk about this. joining me now our zerlina maxwell and danny cevallos, clint watts and jameel smith.
thank you for being here. let's take the viewers back to that infamous donald trump jr. statement about that trump tower meeting. he wrote in that statement, it was a short introductory meeting. i asked jared and paul to stop by. we primarily discussed a program about the adoption of russian children that was active and popular with american families years ago and was since ended by the russian government but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow-up. and then sarah huckabee sanders says in august 1, 2017, she denied that trump dictated this statement. let's take a listen. >> he certainly didn't dictate, but, you know, like i said he weighed in and offered suggestions like any father would do. >> danny, i have to come to you first on the legality of all of this. we now know in a confidential memo back in january, jay says
that the president dictated a short but accurate statement legally, what are we looking at here? >> take the underlying facts. this whole russia collusion idea, encapsulate and put it aside for now. obstruction isn't about the underlying facts. it's about what people do after those facts occur. so the more that you hear these inconsistencies and these contradictions, i have to tell you, and we have law enforcement folks here to back me up, law enforcement hates hearing that stuff. it perks up their antenna and they extra investigate when they start hearing what they think are factual shenanigans by people they may be investigated if there is no underlying there there, there's nothing that a law enforcement or federal prosecute finds more interesting than people going back and forth on their story. >> come on, we have seen this story shift so many times or it
was oh, no, no, no. we talked about adoption. he had no direct role in it and now we see in black and white, he actually did this, so how is that not something that should -- if not perk up the antenna completely alarm investigators but the american public? >> it's about message and messenger. we always talk about donald trump and art of the deal, it's really art of subversion. it's about how do you get away with something. you change the message and messenger. in that short clip we just talked about three different messages and messengerers. when the audience or the american public are watching, they've heard three different versions of the story and no one knows what's true. i think that's what they're gambling on is can they win the public even if they lose the legal battle. >> that's the thing that's been so fascinating about this. the president has been playing a dual track game. there's the stuff happening in court but then he's got rudy
giuliani and -- primarily rudy giuliani out there banging away at the case and delivering as clint was talking about scattered shot reasons so that folks like me, are like, i don't understand what's happening. >> rudy giuliani represents what the president is thinking and his stream of consciousness or legal reasoning is in live tv coming up with new answers and new explanations for the facts as we know them, that is as you said, just to get us to get to a point where we are so confused and we don't know what's going on. investigators don't care about that. they care about the contradictions but the law is going to be applied to the facts and then there's going to be a legal case potentially out of that and it won't matter whether or not rudy giuliani has contradicted that in his news appearances. >> before i bring you in jameel, if there's a way to rerack what rudy giuliani said, you would
love to play that again just so we can talk about it. that's to the control room. jameel, weigh in and then we'll go to -- >> what we're seeing is the lack of president trump's legal talent not withstanding. we're seeing an attempt to exploit falls in the american project. we're seeing here the president and his legal team seeing an opening, saying there's no certainty about whether or not the president can be subpoenaed or indicted and we're saying, okay, let's write a memo to put forth this jumbled legal argument in effect to say that he cannot be. and therefore assert that this presidential power that doesn't exist. you take advantage of the public's confusion. you take advantage of the flaws in our legal system, the guts and here we are today talking about it. >> since you brought this up, let's go to element four before we come back to rudy giuliani. that memo to mueller back in january had six elements. the president could end any justice investigation if he
wanted. the president is not capable of obstructing investigations. warns of fighting back if trump is subpoenaed. no need for an interview between trump and mueller. president trump is not available for an interview. the first two there about the president basically being either a monarch or a dictator, that because he's president he can end any investigation that he wants. to your point about this as undermining the american project, can that -- could that stand up legally? could the president win in court arguing that case? >> i'm going to play devil's advocate because i get the sense that my fellow panelists will disagree. it is a possibility that some of the things being said in that bullet points are accurate. law enforcement is a quintessentially executive function. if you take an expansive view of that view, the supreme court's view of executive power, you could imagine a situation where the president could not be in
trouble for stopping a justice investigation. however, there is plenty of authority on the other side that obstruction of justice applies to the president as well and exhibit a would be the nixon history, which really tracks a very similar set of facts and it stands as a proof for the proposition that the president can, in fact, obstruct justice. >> look, all i know is -- and i'm not a lawyer like you are, danny, but as an american hearing that, you know, the founding fathers and everything that they put together that can just be completely blown up by a president who says i'm president and i can do what i want. let's go to that rudy giuliani tape because i really want to try and understand what's happening here. >> the president was there, he was dealing with -- >> first it was all denied and now he said he dictated it. >> jay would have to answer that and i've talked to him about it. i think jay was wrong.
this is the reason you don't let the president testify. if our recollection keeps changing or we're not even asked a question and somebody makes an assumption, in my case i made an assumption. >> okay. i don't understand what -- i don't understand the words that are coming out of his mouth. so he said jay was wrong, meaning jay sekulow was wrong in saying that in a letter to the special counsel that the president dictated a short but accurate statement. so giuliani is saying that he was wrong? >> yeah. >> that jay was wrong. i got that right. and that this is the reason you don't let the president testify. >> it doesn't make any sense. >> okay. this is a waste of time -- this word salad -- >> the strategy is muddy the waters. they've already used this strategy before. have you ever seen the president's tax returns? >> no. >> go to 2016, the strategy was, you'll see them when we get to them.
as soon as i'm allow today release them. the idea is kick the can down the road. discredit all sources and underlying process involved, then win over the public and let the public give you your victory and they're using the same strategy here. you can listen to any of giuliani's statements they all contradict each other and he discredits other people that are working for thedent and so you don't know what to believe. ultimately i think the goal is just to get it so far down the road that you have things like north korea come up, which will be a victory i'm sure in some way or other processes or legislative wins so then you win the public. i don't think there's any way that he will voluntarily go to this interview. i doubt the president will show up to the interview. i'm waiting and hoping that a subpoena comes around. >> no chance. >> a subpoena is going to come too because the president is just too risky for him to voluntarily go in. he doesn't tell the truth. putting him into an interview with the special counsel essentially -- i agree with his
team that it's a purgery trap but that's only because the president has a problem with the truth. >> it can only be a purgery trap if you lie, have lied or will lie. >> right. >> here's -- here's -- go ahead. >> going back to the founders. the founders some might argue anticipated a man like trump that that's why we have impeachment, but you have no political will and you have a corrupt congress that's not willing to enforce those norms and those bylaws, then we're screwed. essentially. we have no options to get rid of a person like this or to prevent a man like this from exercising these powers. i actually don't disagree with them. i think some of these arguments may end up standing newspaper court because there are ambiguities in our system so glaring that people like trump can take advantage of them. >> so is the reason we could be looking at a legal -- a legal
showdown, like in court, between the president and the rest of us about whether he should testify and whether he should have the legal authority to completely up end an investigation is because congress, which has a constitutional duty to be a check and balance on the executive has basically thrown up its hands and gone awol. we have nothing to see here, we've got nothing to do allowing the president to run rash shad over the constitution? >> what's strangest is they have nothing to be scared of. this is an unpopular president with terrible poll numbers in an economy is gifted from the obama era and job growth is lower in this era than it was in the last months of the obama years, there's nothing to run from. >> i think they're scared of the base. i think they're scared if they go against this president in the midterms that will impact the candidates they need to win especially in some of the swing
districts. i agree with your point that, that doesn't seem to me to rise to the level of something to be afraid of, particularly because they had no idea when the investigation's going to end, terrible results in mueller's report. they're tieing themselves to an outcome that they don't know what's going to happen. >> we're going to have to go. zerlina maxwell, will be back. thank you to the rest of you. make sure you check out clint's brand-new book, messing with the enemy on sale now. up next, donald trump's performance on north korea reminded me of this. >> what am i going to do? just all of a signed and grind my penis on somebody's couch. i got a little more sense than that. yeah, i remember --
i think for these situations to work you have to not want the deal too much. if you fall in love with a deal and it's too important for you to get it and the details become less significant, you could get snookered. >> when the fate of the korean peninsula and maybe the world hangs on whether donald trump can avoid being snookered by a brutal and unpredictable dictator. we might be in trouble. trump announced that his on again, off again summit with kim jong-un on june 12th is back on
after kim sent him a really big letter. >> a letter was given to me by kim jong-un and that letter was a very nice letter. >> can you give us the flavor of the letter? >> it was a very interesting letter. >> what was the response to the letter? did you send anything back? >> i haven't seen the letter yet. 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. >> did he/didn't he/on again/off again. and joining me now is my panel. thank you all very much. i want to go to each of you right now and ask this question as things stand right now, is president trump being snookered? jennifer, let me start with you.
>> i think so. he's already said that he's not going to impose a new round of sanctions, he's already giving this guy a prominent position on the world stage without really pinning down what denuclearization means for the north koreans and i think we're headed for a disaster. my fond hope is that it never happens. >> yes, president trump really has his work come out for him. kim jong-un knows these issues inside out, president trump apparently does not. these issues are very complex. he's just going to go in for the show and the publicity when the stakes are really high. this might be our last chance to have a negotiated settlement of a nuclear issue and he really should not walk in taking these issues lightly. >> sue? >> i think they're absolutely right. north korea is focused on us. we need to be prepared and i'm
not sure we are. kim yong-chol who came to the white house, he's been part of this negotiating process since 1992. he's been around for a long time. i'm concerned president trump might give away too much when he sits down with kim jong-un. >> to your point, about the president giving away too much. he was asked a question about maximum pressure. is maximum pressure over? let's take a listen to the reporter's question? >> is maximum pressure over, sir? >> it's going to remain what it is now. i don't even want to use the term maximum pressure any more because we're getting along. you see the relationship. it's not a question of maximum pressure. it's staying essentially the way it is. hopefully a deal will be worked out for millions of people. >> define maximum pressure and why that is so important. >> that's really pressing the kim jong-un regime through sanctions and even the talk
of -- there's a lot of pressure both financial and even military threat to really pressure kim jong-un but kim jong-un through the diplomacy has already loosened up the sanctions. he met with xi jinping twice and on the chinese front there's report that the sanctions are not being implemented right now or there's loosening. now the risk of conflict has gone down. sanctions is going to be harder to do and the president himself said he's not going to add more sanctions. i think maximum pressure is already weakening. >> now there's the issue of human rights. let's take a listen to what the president had to say about that question. >> can we talk about human rights today? >> we did not talk about human rights. >> do you expect to? >> could be: i think we probably will. we did not talk about human rights. >> how surprising is that that the president of the united states it not talk with the high
ranking north korean official about human rights? >> it's surprising and yet we're dealing with president trump, so it's also not surprising. again, it's unclear -- it's apparent that he does not understand the full extent of the complexities of these issues. my concern really is that he might give away too much. i'm concerned that he might be inclined to declare peace and sign a peace treaty even before denuclearization because it might sound good and it might be a historic legacy and so at this upcoming summit, he really needs to walk away with a clear understanding and agreement with kim jong-un on the very fundamentals, what does denuclearization mean? what is the scope? what is the pace? and also he needs to clarify exactly what kim jong-un wants in a form of security guarantees? he really has his work cut out for him and he needs to enter into these negotiations with
clear eyes and not on just a show. >> you wanted to jump in on the human rights question. >> you're just asking, kim yong-chol was in the white house. this was a guy who was responsible for the master mind behind the sinking of a korean boat. and guys who oversees the political prison camps. human rights issue very important. i do hope president trump actually raise there's issue when he sits down with kim jong-un. >> jennifer, why is a guy -- why is a guy like the one talked about, one, meeting with the president of the united states and two, doing so in the oval office? >> because these people are fools. because they allow it to happen, because they are signaling that they are completely head over heels with the notion of a summit rather than the outcome. just think for a minute, jonathan, what my conservative friends would be saying if this
were president obama. meeting with a human rights abuser, saying we're getting along great. we're not getting along great. trump mistakes the pleasantries of diplomacy with the actual interest of the country. nothing has changed. they have not agreed to denuclearization. we have reason to believe that explosion of the plant was phony. they continue to maintain labor camps and slaughter millions of their own people through starvation programs. this is purely a problem of our own making, and i don't know what is going to happen when he gets in the room and he thinks he can just jump in and make a great deal, a great breakthrough. i joke that i wish mike pompeo would come with a roll of masking tape and sharp elbows. he's going to have to control this guy in a meeting with people who are extremely savvy and not to raise human rights is a big give for the united states. it is lessening the pressure on them.
it's something they don't want to talk about. imagine how powerful it would be if the first thing they did when they walked in the room was talk about human rights as opposed to what the north koreans want to talk about. >> you've brought this up a couple of times and that's the diplomatic efforts on the part of the north korean leader kim jong-un, he's met with xi jinping of china, not directly, but he's had his preliminary meetings with the president of the united states. what is going on with north korea? does kim jong-un believe that he is now a world stage player as a result of the attention showered on him by president of the united states? >> that's exactly right. he wants to be a normal modern leader of a modern nation. now he wants all that legitimacy and he has met with xi jinping twice. remember the photo ops. it made him look good, like a normal leader with his beautiful
wife. >> how can i forget the meeting with the south korean president. >> of course. he wants international acceptance as a normal country with nuclear weapons. he wants that pakistan model. he wants legitimacy. >> has north korean leader kim jong-un already won as a result of what we were just talking about? >> he's doing very well and he's raking up the points. since january 1st, his game has always been a peace offensive to build the persona of the leader of a responsible, normal nuclear power in a peace loving nuclear power with nuclear weapons. and so he's definitely gaming the system. he knows how to gain the system. he'll continue to negotiate hard to keep his nukes. he will be savvy. he will know how to pull tricks to loosen as many sanctions as possible along the way by dangling bait in front of south korea and china. and so really president trump
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i want to talk to you about what's happened with the republican party. >> there is no republican party. there's a trump party. the republican party is taking a nap some where. >> former house speaker john boehner with a bloody mary by his side is trying to make the argument that the republican party doesn't exist in the era of trump. he road the tea party wave of 2010 the same tea party that helped create the toxic atmosphere that propelled trump to winning the white house. joining me now "the washington post" columnist and msnbc contributor ej deon. former rnc chairman and political analyst michael steele and back with me is jennifer reuben. chairman steele, since you are here. >> yes.
>> let me do a tim russ certificate and play to you the words you said in november 2010 when you were chairman of the republican party in california. this is in california. >> the message is very clear, folks. this november 2nd, you and the people of this community, you and the people of the state are going to do the most important thing you can do for the people of this country and that is to fire nancy pelosi. >> now, michael, fire nancy pelosi. that made sense. you're chairman of the party. you want republicans to come into the majority. they it come into the majority and with you as chairman. i'm going to ask you the same question i asked you on my podcast, why shouldn't we blame you for the predicament we are in now? >> you can if it makes you feel good, fine. i guess. my job as chairman was to raise money and win elections. i did both of those very well, i might say. but what they do once they get in office, well, that's where the people come in.
i appreciate you want to put it all on my back but you also have to recognize that, you know, the parties are a reflection of the people, the candidate are a reflection of the people and as we live in these times, donald trump is a reflection of where we are right now. and americans have to ask themselves a very important question just like the republican party and democratic parties have to do, is this who we are, is this who we want to be? and that's the point that the speaker boehner was getting too was this is not the party that he led, it's not the party that i led. it's a trump party. it is taken on something other worldly in that sense, away from those ideas and values that we always espouse. we were never fans of russia and big government and never fans of putting dead on the backs of future generations that is what this party is currently doing. >> and as you said to me in answers to the question, you said, yeah, the house is built
by steele, but i didn't know they were going to come in and tear up the floorboards and rip out the windows. so jennifer, does boehner have a point that the republican party today is no longer the republican party. it's trump's party? >> absolutely. i've been saying that for about two years now and i completely agree with it. listen, there were always shall we say disagreeable really in some cases reprehensible strains in the republican party. >> yes. >> but they were not in charge of the party. they did not dominate the party. we nominated people -- i say, we, i'm an ex-republican, so they nominated people like john mccain and mitt romney who whatever you think of them are not donald trump. the party has evolved in a way that many of us find dis tasteful, un-american and undemocratic and we can see results of this and we should take note of the source of behaviors that encourage this.
being a anti-immigration policy hawks has resulted in a very xenophobic party and people should and will be held responsible for that including some of the so-called responsible gatekeepers who have been ringing this bell for a long time. >> ej, let me bring you into the conversation. you're not an ex-republican or an ex-chairman of the party, you're an analyst who's been watching the american political dynamic for a couple of decades now. is the republican party no longer the republican party but the trump party? >> i think that's broadly true, although i think it's much more fan to have a blame michael steele first on the air. i think boehner as you suggested takes responsibility. i think analytically the republican party is a different place. kristen anderson wrote earlier
this year that republicans can respond to trump, republicans that don't like trump by either fighting or fleeing and what you're actually seeing in the numbers are republicans fleeing the party. jen reuben's a good example. they're losing ground among women and young people. the kinds of people who vote in republican primaries do not include many of those anti-trump republicans any more, which is why people who have put up at least intermittent resistance to trump like senators bop corker or jeff flake took a look at this party and said, we can't run in this party any more. so, yeah, i agree that john boehner bears some responsibility for riding a tea party wave that led to trump. he got out because he realized he couldn't control this any more, but analytically he's right. this is a party rooted in that
past, but the people who might resist that past are walking away. >> chairman steele, there's a cnn poll out with president trump's job approval rating that i want to put up and the key thing i want you to look at is the 86% job approval rating president trump has among republicans. what does that tell you in terms of the lack casecal response of congress to anything happening in the white house and why congress -- just answer that question and i'll ask you another one. >> i know where you're going with that and i think you're on the right path. that 86% reflects why the congress does not respond to the outlandish behavior and decision-making processes of this administration because that 86% is their congressional district. they're in their communities and
so if they're looking at a president who is very popular back in their home districts, they're not going to step out in front of that. and as you just rightly mentioned, you got jeff flake and bob corker, folks leaving their respective offices, they're not staying in the game. they're not staying in the fight, so, yeah, they're criticism has gone up and they're pushback has gotten louder. i'm looking for the leaders inside who are going to risk their re-election to hold on to some semblance of values or principals that ronald reagan stood for. if ronald reagan were here, he would not be sitting idly by watching the deconstruction of the republican party. >> as you were just saying, there are folks not staying in the game. there are people who are coming into the game who are just mind blowing in the fact that they are actually able to run for
office. nbc news, at least eight white nationalists are running for state or federal office. it's another clear indication that this is trump's party. >> the president -- the party's given the okay for that. there's no pushback. they're just as much of our primary process as the guy next door. you're going to reap what you sow here folks. >> the flipside of what you just showed which should be very, very alarming to republicans is that in these primaries so far this year on the democratic side, there are a number of them that have included ex-republicans running at democrats. there are moderate republicans who see no place in their party any more who are saying, we got to throw our lot in with these guys because we've got to stop what's going on in washington. i think that's the tension here,
what is weakening the republican party is actually strengthening trump's hold on power because the more of these people leave, the more trump can count on the gop to back him to the hilt. >> you see this with all the retirement in congress, a lot of those people in swing states are going to go away, whatever's left is going to be worse. we should be prepared, if we thought it was now wait until after the midterms. >> well, in honor of speaker boehner, ej, michael and jennifer will be back. coming up in our next hour, maybe sunday morning -- >> oh, for the innocent days when we could compare john boehner to dean martin. >> okay. you guys. coming up the next hour. more sunday morning. rudy puts his brand on another person's accomplishment. more on "a.m. joy" after the break. but mania, such as unusual changes in your mood,
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as the trump administration continues its zero tolerance policy on families crossing the border illegally, 11,000 migrant children continues its zero tolerance, 11 million children are being held in custody without, they say 22% increase since april. protestors gathered in more than two dozen cities on friday to condemn the trump administration's policy, but earlier this week homeland security secretary slammed critics of the policy during a visit to the u.s./mexico border in arizona. >> they think illegal aliens should get different, perhaps better treatment than u.s. citizens because they happen to be illegal aliens. no jail if they have a family. no critical consequences if they have children. if you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, we will prosecute you. if you cross the border illegally, we will prosecute you. and if you make a false
immigration claim, we will prosecute you. >> joining me to discuss is the founder of new american leaders and contributing writer for women in the world and "forbes." thank you both very much for being here. let me start with you. what we heard secretary nielsen say is an echo of what we heard the attorney general say about this time last month. let's take a listen. >> if you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. it's that simple. if you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. if you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law. >> so given what we just heard the secretary say and the attorney general say just now, what kind of impact has that had on the immigrant community and
those migrants who were coming over? >> well, can we just first say they are definitely on message, it's just that the message is wrong? that many of the families who are coming are seeking protection, not persecution, and instead what we're doing is stopping them and saying that they're coming unlawfully when, in fact, the right to seek asylum is a completely legal thing under u.s. law. so we need to be really, really clear about that. and because of that, because we are being called illegal when no human being is illegal because we are -- our actions are being called illegal when in fact the action of seeking protection in a country that has always been a beacon of hope is being called illegal, people are very, very frustrated and afraid, which is a very distinct impact of the message they are sending. by separating children and families, we are trying to instill fear and they are succeeding in making people
fearful except they are not succeeding in making us quiet. >> they are making a point of saying that people are -- these migrants are illegal, but there's another word that's being used by the president to describe them. let's take a listen. >> i have to listen to pelosi and these people saying we have to respect them. they're human beings. they're not human beings. they're not human beings. and this is why we call the blood thirsty ms-13 gang members exactly the name that i used last week. what was the name? animals. >> anoshe? >> i am speechless. this -- this entire situation, jonathan, breaks my heart, and i think all around the world just as mothers, the u.s. immigration -- the history of u.s. immigration has always been rooted in keeping families together and it is so shocking and disgusting that the u.s. is now in a position of being
anti-children and the president's language and this doubling down of terms like animals and that these people aren't human is completely dehumanizing immigrants. and, you know, i don't want us to get the numbers lost in kind of our shock and horror over this. 11,000 kids currently being detained by the u.s. government 15678900 children lost, unaccounted for by the u.s. government and 600 kids rounded up just in this past month. this is a cruel and ineffective policy. in fact, that footage that you showed of the mother that they were interviewing at the border, they ask her later on in that interview if she knew she was going to be separated from her son would she still try to cross into the u.s.? she said the situation is bad at home and it's equally bad in america. it's not deterring these immigrants. in fact, it's making their plight worse. >> actually, that's something that i hope viewers if they don't appreciate this, that they do appreciate it now, that the
reason people are leaving is because the conditions at home are so bad. but by the time they get to the u.s. border they have endured so many hardships. obstacles don't even describe what it takes to get from where they're leaving to get to the american border, but salu, your reaction to those numbers is what anuyshay was saying. >> let me just say i want to follow up on what you're saying,on that. they are coming here striving in the same way that americans have come here including the founding fathers. what we should be doing is not having a zero tolerance policy but a welcome aboard policy. why wouldn't we want people who have worked so hard and endured obstacles to be here? why wouldn't we want them to go through a system that helps determine whether they are, in fact, eligible for asylum? i want to clarify on the issue of numbers because there's a lot of confusion about the quote, unquote, lost children. >> right.
>> it's really important that our viewers understand that they're not necessarily lost by the government but they're unable to be tracked and there are multiple reasons why we aren't able to track them. >> track? >> yes. so it's not so much that the government lost those folks, it's that they are unable to locate the children. numbers aren't working. the phone numbers that they're using to find the children aren't necessarily working. that does not necessarily mean that they're lost. that sometimes is in their -- in the children's interests that they are not able to be tracked. >> anushay, give you the last word. >> i think that whether they're literally lost or not, it is very clear that the u.s. government cannot handle the amount of children coming into their care. they have no process. there are risks and reports to children going off to traffickers. it is very dangerous treatment that is cruel and ineffective. thank you very much for being here. more "am joy" after the break. e
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again, that's not what the president is looking at. that's not what he's spending his time on and i think that we have a lot bigger things going on in the country right now certainly that the president is spending his time when it comes to policy. >> welcome back to "am joy." i'm jonathan cape hardin in for joy.
you'll definitely only hear me say this once. sarah huckabee sanders is right. there are bigger things going on than abc's firing of roseanne barr. that didn't stop donald trump from tweeting about it sending media into overdrive covering all things roseanne. stories like reports of a grossly underestimated death toll in puerto rico after hurricane maria. the leaking of the jobs report by trump. and a looming trade war with america's closest allies. this week crystallizes a question we've seen through all 500 days of the trump presidency on the media, one the media must constantly ask themselves. what is their priority? joining me is zurlina with sirius and jess and eric bowler, senior writer for share blue media and gabe sherman special
correspondent at vanity fair. i threw the question out there. answer it. go around the table. gabe, what are we doing? >> what are we doing? clearly trump has a master ability to figure out what buttons to push, and clearly at a time when there are clouds swirling around his administration, whether it's the mueller investigation or the debacles he's stepping into with north korea, he will tweet a cultural issue that gets everyone talking. they are bright, shiny objects that get people chasing things that aren't necessarily in the interests of the country. >> eric? >> i love the fact with roseanne barr there was the samantha b chapter. tbs just ignored it. trump's tweeting she should be fired, tbs is like, we're not even going to. that's what amazon did. they have been very smart when they've been the target of the attacks. no, we're not even going to go there.
the stories are easy, you add in pop culture to politics. everybody loves that. the roseanne story was an important story. i mean, for someone with that kind of hate background to have a national platform is wrong but, i mean, those articles, those topics you mentioned, let's throw in the pardons, right? roseanne pardons. and trump is trying to create this legal fire wall for his criminal enterprise and just real quick, like the next day "the new york times" described it as idiosin klatt particular, this pardon. this is not trump being ee seven tri -- eccentric but they don't know how to describe it. >> a lot of this is on the media to not be distracted by things which are not worthy of distraction and to call out things that are. usually when trump goes down this cultural rabbit hole it happens the day after something major happens in the russia investigation or some major piece of how corrupt his presidency is. we're learning a little bit more
about which parts of our government he's trying to auction off to highest bidder and then he does this culture war thing. the culture war thing matters though because it speaks to the fact that we're being run by white supremacists. every time he does this, it is a specifically racist thing that he is picked up to do. he's either defending a racist or he has decided to denigrate a black journalist, black athlete, or any black american who he feels has crossed him in some way. that needs to be covered, too. that's not just a distraction that has to go away. that is an integral part of this presidency and one of the most dangerous pieces of it. >> as hillary clinton told me when i interviewed her. whenever trump gets into trouble with the russia investigation, he attacks barack obama, her or somebody black. >> that's absolutely true. the media is in a precarious position. they don't have the necessary tools to cover somebody who lies with the frequency that the president does. we found this on the campaign. there's only so many fact checks
you can do. there's only so many times you can call something out as a lie before everything -- you know, to the american people come okay, both sides. that's both sides having the argument. they tune it out. i think voters in 2018 need to be the entity that come and say, facts do matter. the truth matters. and they need to repudiate this president. i don't know that the media has the appropriate tools to do that. or at least that's what we're seeing, they don't. >> well, let's talk about because we mentioned some of the culture war aspect trumping more serious news. let's take a look at the number of mentions of puerto rico on television broadcasts versus, you know, what was happening with roseanne. 10 hours spent on cable covering roseanne, just 30 minutes about fellow americans and what happened to them in hurricane maria. and then do we have -- is this all combined? okay. then here's the graphic that i wanted to show. that is mentions of puerto rico
on television broadcast. look at the next one with mentions to roseanne. look at that. >> those two things are related though. so think about the fact that the roseanne story is about racism running back to the 1800s and essentially the justification for white supremacy saying black people are inferior. that's the comment roseanne was saying. the reason we're not covering puerto rico is because those people are brown. that's racism. we have to be really honest as americans and confront our racist history because the roseanne story is about racism but not adequately resourcing puerto rico and not properly covering the story is also about racism. >> the other thing i was struck by last week is peter baker had a piece in the new york time about ben rhodes book that came out. he quoted some private remarks that then president obama made about maybe he was wrong about america. and what i was struck by is that how infrequently we actually heard internal white house
conversations during the obama years about what the president was thinking and doing because there was fewer leaks, and you compare that with the trump white house where there's just a fire hose of leaks, it takes up all of this oxygen so there's not time and attention to focus on other stories. >> i think that's part of the strategy. >> yes. >> the obama white house was all working together in service of doing a thing, that thing being governing the policy so you can talk about what you're trying to do. the trump white house is working in service of doing absolutely nothing which is enriching the trump family. they better find other stuff to talk about because they can't talk about that. >> that leads to completely incoherent policy. look at the tariffs. >> we made canada mad. >> that's a lot. >> that's a lot. >> to get justin trudeau -- >> go on. >> you cannot find an objective economist who thinks this is a good idea. chamber of commerce is opposed to it. u.s. steel workers are supposed to be benefitting.
>> they're supposed to be in trump's corner. >> yeah. >> none of this makes any sense. there's no policy. now they're thinking of putting tariffs on autos because we have to protect the u.s. auto industry. u.s. auto industry doubled, they don't need any protection. all of this chaos and focusing on the leaks and cultural war, trump wants to do that. then when he comes out with this completely incoherent policy, people are exhausted. they're like, okay, i guess we're going to do this. >> but shouldn't we focus on the leaks? this is the one way we understand what's happening in the trump administration? >> right. >> any administration there are leaks and that's how you're able to read what's really happening. here you've got people -- the customary backstabbing in the west wing. with this administration, you've got front stabbing, look you dead in the eye stabbing as i've said many times before, and shouldn't -- shouldn't we be viewing this from a media
perspective -- is it possible to cover the leaks while also keeping the eye on the ball of the serious things that are happening? shouldn't we -- resources notwithstanding, shouldn't we be able to talk about roseanne and talk about puerto rico with the same amount of breath? >> one of the things that trump understands growing up in sort of tabloid era of new york is what's on the front page matters. what the new york post puts on the front page of the daily news is what people will talk about. yes, i wish in an ideal world we could do both. he creates such a spectacle. that's what lands on the front pages. the other stuff is, yeah, it's in there. it's limited. >> the good news is there are sources of objective fact. the mueller investigation doesn't care if you're paying attention to it. it's going forward anyway. >> right. >> if he gets distracted with shiny objects and we follow him down there, we talk about picturing mueller in the basement doing his work with the one light on over his desk late
into the night in his files. work is happening be there regardless of what kind of circus we're all talking about here. eventually we get to see the outcome of that work. >> the law doesn't really care whether or not we believe donald trump did any of these things. >> that's true. >> people think o.j.'s innocent to this day. >> still? i mean, who they? >> use that as an example. there are people that believe that, right? the law is going to do -- mueller's going to do his work and the outcome is going to be the law being applied to the facts, period. >> the difference is o.j. didn't have lawyers who were writing memos to say that the federal law to the justice department doesn't apply to him. that's what's scariest, he's trying to redefine the law. >> the leaks, trump is -- >> he's the main leaker. >> we all know that he's on the phone. >> he wants -- it is the total reality. i'm on the outs, i'm on the ins. >> we saw that on the show time documentary where he goes off the record with maggie haberman.
he's a subject and a source. that's very rare for a president. >> right. >> as two veterans of the clinton campaign, and you had to deal with the fire hose, hurricane, tsunami, whatever you want to call it that was the trump campaign, how does an entity or does someone break through that hurricane or that water cannon to make sure that their issues are heard or that what's happening in puerto rico is paid attention? >> it was darn near impossible and it requires you guys. it requires the media. i mean, hillary clinton would stand up every day and talk about the issues that the media would then say only the campaign would talk more about it and we'd be like, there's literally nothing we can do at this point. >> right. right. >> he's calling women fat pigs and we ought to be covering that. >> right. >> like that was important to cover. so you're really caught in this catch 22 and be i hate to turn it back to reporters and journalists and media figures, but at some point there has to
be an arbiter of how much time gets devoted to each story. >> i would also say this. there has to be, you know, a full accounting of the fact that trying to be,quote, objective and fair in a campaign where one side is lying about literally everything and the other side has some, you know, suspicious e-mail practices, suboptimal e-mail practices and so doing two days or three days on the latest racist thing donald trump said and then being forced to flip and turn to e-mails for the next 72 hours just to make sure that you appear balanced, that is how we got here because both of those stories are not equivalent. donald trump calling mexicans rapists and murderers, calling women fat pigs, attacking elise muchado, those are not equivalent to that. there's dark humor in that joke because we ignored somebody who was completely unqualified to be
president just to appear balanced and we attacked somebody who was qualified and certainly there was substance in the e-mail argument. >> sure. >> but i wouldn't say they were on the same playing field. >> compared to what we're talking about, no. gabe? >> i think that's the result of what the right has been doing for a generation, which is to make reporters, including myself, feel guilty about appearing liberal. we're all scared of looking over our shoulder. are we going to get called out by glen beck or rush limbaugh. that has a chilling effect. you look for other stories to give the appearance of balance. >> just to a quick point back to puerto rico. trump was very good with the red states. >> oh, yeah. >> there wasn't complaints about hurricane relief from texas. >> right. >> you know, again, the puerto rico report got completely overlooked this week and it has to do with race and the press is very uncomfortable putting those two things together. >> yes. >> i wish we had more time because i wanted to get into the issue of whether the press should be flat out in every story nonstop saying that the president is a liar.
>> yes. yes. >> because he lies. >> yes. >> that was easy. be sure to catch zelina and jess during "am joy" commercial boost on signal boost saturdays on sirius xm. the windy 500. trump is tooting his horn on his huge accomplishments in the first 500 days. stay with us. life hasn't just blurred. it's gone. that's why you need someone behind you. not just a card. an entire support system. whether visiting the airport lounge to catch up on what's really important. or even using those hard-earned points to squeeze in a little family time. no one has your back like american express. so no matter where you're going... we're right there with you. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. don't live life without it.
the jobs numbers, "the new york times" itself admitted yesterday, they have run out of ways to describe these jobs numbers, meaning they've exhausted all the superlatives. listen, america, if you're a man, if you're a woman, if you're a teenager, if you're african-american, if you're asian, if you're hispanic, you have the lowest unemployment rate in 18 years if ever. that doesn't happen by coincidence. that happens by causation. >> you know what, kellyanne conway has a point there. it isn't a coincidence that the economy is on a role. donald trump and his team love to take credit for these job numbers, but let's talk about another thing kellyanne conway said, causation. it can be argued that donald trump would not have this economic success without six straight years of private sector job growth that barack obama gave us after the biggest economic downturn since the great depression. so instead of patting himself on
the back trump really should be saying, thanks, obama. back with me are e.j. dionne, jennifer rubin and michael steel. so, you know, john harwood, our cnbc colleague and "new york times" columnist john harwood put out a tweet, average monthly job growth. first 16 months of the trump presidency, 185,000 jobs. the last 16 months of the obama presidency, 215,000 jobs. e.j., does the president have any right to, what's it, crow about his success in such a short period of time? >> well, he hasn't blown everything up yet so he can be proud of that. and in fairness, we are at the end of a recovery or at least well into it and sometimes job growth slows down. i think there are two problems here. one is the one you described. this is a very straight line.
matt eglasias sabax put up a box and this is the continuation of the obama recovery. what we should be talking about is the unsolved problems trump was elected to solve. when you look at these numbers, what is not overwhelming is income growth. you really haven't seen wages rise that much, and i think it's going to be interesting to see how the trump constituency reacts to that. morgan stanley had a report out that showed that only 13% of his corporate tax cut is going into wages. the last point is these are -- this is a good economy. let's face it. let's be fair about it. in an economy like this, a president should have much higher job approval ratings than president trump should have. people look at this economy and say, okay, now i'm going to focus on these other aspects of trump that i really don't like,
and that's a real problem for him and for his party. >> michael, what do you make of that, that last part? >> no, i think that that's -- there's a lot of truth to that. it is something the party needs to be concerned about. i think -- i kind of laugh about this, you know, taking credit or not taking credit. i think about how president obama blamed the bush administration for the things that weren't going as well at the beginning of his term. you've got trump taking credit for everything that's going well at the beginning of his term. the scripts were flipped the other way, if the jobs numbers were doing poorly, if we reached the end of that up swing and we were down on a down turn and blame him for the sour economy. presidents are in the unique position of taking credit for as much of stuff as they can. we know that. we've seen it from administration to administration. but i think what e.j. put his finger on is really the underlying truth here. there are other factors at play.
the president's own personal popularity and approval is separate from how people see his handling the economy, how they see him handling north korea, for example, and that in the long run is what will investigation represevex republicans at the ballot box in september where people say i like republican a, republican b but i don't like the republican brand or party as a whole and therefore vote against the brand, that's where the problem comes for the president. >> on that, i'll come to you, jennifer. i've been saying for a very long time that this election cycle reminds me in terms of feel, atmospherics, of the 2006 election cycle and we all know what happened then. >> yeah, we do. >> if you don't, democrats paved the way forobama. jennifer? >> yes. two things i would like to point out. first of all, for the
demographic that elected donald trump, noncollege educated working class whites essentially, their numbers don't look all that good, but when you understand they are paying more for obama care in the exchanges and if you consider so, this is the big one, that their prices are going to go up at the store, drugstore, the grocery store, clothing store because of tariffs that are coming, they will likely be a net negative. our friend john harwood had a great piece on that as well this past week. and presidents take too much credit for the economy, but they can screw it up very easily, and the best way to screw it up is to have a trade war with your closest trading partners and that's exactly where donald trump is taking us. and we will lose that and we will suffer most immediately. the lower income people have a
greater percentage of their income going to necessities and that is a real problem. it's going to affect the markets and it's depressing our trading partners so they won't bias much of our stuff. >> e.j. or michael, i want you to jump in on this. on this question of tariffs, this is what i don't understand. for a person who was elected and was -- is viewed as the voice of the forgotten white working class, he's done things like these tariffs that will hit them squarely in the pocketbook, either in terms of high prices or lost jobs, and yet he has gone and done this against every piece of advice from every economist across the spectrum. why would he do something like this that hurts his own base? e.j., i'll start with you. >> i think there are a lot of people in the base who don't agree with that, who have wanted tougher trade policies for a long time. i know, for example, that senator sharon brown running in ohio has not been criticizing
trump on these things and that i think there's a long term and a short term. i think short term some of that constituency may well appreciate what trump is doing, even if these policies havee blow back against industries like the car industry to take an example. so, you know, i think the politics of trade are very complicated and also split both of our parties. >> go ahead, michael. >> i was going to say, in addition to that, i think if you look over the time line with donald trump, the one thing that donald trump has been consistent about is this issue on trade and tariffs. going back to the 1980s, he's always been very much about going back and pushing back against what he considered to be bad trade deals back then. so if this is a consistent arc for him among very few
consistent arcs -- >> i know we're running out of time. i want to go to this back and forth with kristen welker and larry cud low and this is about the job numbers. >> doesn't this go against the 1985 omb directive. >> no. >> that says no one should reveal what the findingsre the night before or before they're released officially? >> right. and we didn't. >> why is there -- >> wait. 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 -- that's a therapy thing. i don't know -- >> that's a therapy thing? >> he's got a -- look, it's up to him. he likes to tweet. i do think a lot of people were waiting for the jobs numbers. >> my question, let's go round robin. why should people be disturbed that an hour before the jobs report came out that the president would tweet looking forward to seeing the em employment numbers at 8:30 this morning. why is that a disturbing
development. e.j., i'll start with you. >> well, every president of both parties has treated the federal government's collection of data as something almost sacred in the sense that these are valuable numbers when the go does this very carefully and you can move markets. a lot of people who get inside information on these numbers, which is why historically people don't, can make a lot of money ahead of the market. and so what he z just violated a number up to. >> yes, he has moved markets and in the future he will if he doesn't say something should we all take to bet that the numbers aren't going to look very good? the second thing is i want to know who he talked to previously about these numbers. that is insider trading. that is allowing his friends to profit off information that only the president of the united states has. >> is there any doubt that he did or didn't? what was that michael?
>> i wouldn't doubt it. i wouldn't doubt it. you bake it in. you assume that he did. the guy can't keep that kind of information to himself. the fact that he tweeted it out an hour before the numbers at least tells you everything that you need to know. that there was a conversation with at least one or two of husband buddies beforehand. it would not surprise me if at some point someone starts to do an investigation, the closest folks, to see what their trading practices are. that's what donald trump reaps here. >> doesn't it say something, here we are four days, three days after that tweet, there's -- i don't remember everything to congress. this investigation that chairman steel is talking about, when is that going to happen? when the democrats take over the house? the fact that the president tweeted out that information, yeah, he tweeted it out, yeah, we pretty much figured that he
talked to people privately about this. when will congress start taking the president seriously when he disrupts norms like this? >> when theol of the congress changes, which is why these elections are so important. >> yes. >> the republicans have shown they just won't look into this. i have he said he's the only one that we know that fends off one scandal to a new scandal. we move from one story to another story that a lot of stuff gets left in the wake. that's what's happening with this. >> yeah. >> jonathan, in this vain we end this discussion the way we began it, and that is what we're talking about. the trump administration won't be overly concerned about that. >> on that happy note my guests are ticking around.
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doesn't say he can't. >> donald trump's lawyer, rudy giuliani, is back on tv today making some interesting claims about his boss's pardoning power. back with me are e.j., jennifer and michael. i don't know if you could see my face after that. what is your reaction to that that the president's lawyer, i just want to be specific, television lawyer, is out there saying, the president is not talking about pardoning himself but who says he can't. what kind of talk is this? >> this is incoherent. this is -- maybe he's working on his, you know, insufficient legal defense argument for the supreme trial or for the a here's -- we need to stop taking rudy giuliani literally and seriously. he says whatever comes into his head to throw up dirt and to pump up his whack-a-doodle base. if the president could pardon
himself, if the president could dismiss every officer of the executive branch he could commit murder even before he got to the white house and get away with it. this is not the system we had. that was the system king george had but not the system the american people have. >> it's not the system we have, i agree with that, but i went on the record earlier this week and said a lot of what we're seeing with the pardons and the way the president is playing this out, that's the ultimate end game for this president. so i don't dismiss what rudy says lightly. i don't laugh at it. i don't scoff at it because if you haven't learned anything about donald trump, you probably should have learned this, that he doesn't give a damn about convention. he's not prepared to follow your rules. >> yes. >> who says if he gets in that crucible moment where it's him or, you know, tradition and what the law says or doesn't say, you know who he's going to side with. >> right. >> you've got to take it seriously and i think look at it in a way that if you want to
disrupt the system, you won't disrupt it any better than the president taking that type of action and throwing the country into a constitutional crisis as he moves on to something else. >> right. that's exactly zsh that is exactly it. as long as you remember that presidenump thinks of himself as donald trump, not president, donald trump -- >> thank you. >> -- then everything that has happened and will happen will make sense. e.j.? >> no, that's exactly right, and that's what's genuinely scary about this. a lot of us have been talking about his autocratic tendencies and the dangers that he is going to take powers that other presidents didn't think of, including by the way richard nixon among them. and if you look at that letter from his earlier pre-tv giuliani lawyer lawyers, what you see is a claim of presidential power is staggering. it's as if donald trump can do anything he wants to push one investigation along, stop
another and then the other thing about giuliani today is he basically said, yeah, that story the administration put out on the meaning of donald trump, yeah, maybe that wasn't true. i mean, you have a lie that's useful earlier that's discarded later and we're not even supposed to pay attention to the fact that what happened earlier was a straight out lie? this is really troubling. >> right. one second. go ahead, jennifer. >> most importantly about that, e.j. is right, that is absolutely key, and the reason is is that they have now confessed to obstruction of justice. they said not only was there a false cover story, but that the president dictated it. now we have a fully presented issue, do you believe the president can obstruct by coming up with a phony cover story to put out to defend his son who is currently part of an investigation? that is obstruction, and i don't know what legal theory they're using or what strategy they're
doing, but i think mueller is going to use that. i think there is a point be at which it really does not matter what his base says. ink mueller is working in his basement methodically, clearly. he's going to come out either withecommendation for impeachment or he's going to recommend that the operative off will have c. at some point you run out the tv options and there is a legal reality. >> right. one part of the strategy is whether the president should sit down and talk with special counsel mueller. let's take a listen to what multi-has that. >> i have to be honest. >> they want to keep an open mind. seriously? they don't want him to sit down with mueller. this is all theater right now, right, michael? >> it's total theater. it's total theater.
there's no way in hell president trump sits down with anyone related to the mueller team, especially not mueller himself, to have a conversation about his words and actions during the campaign and subsequently as president. it's not happening. don't go down that rabbit hole, folks, and start believing that, you know, oh, the president's trying to be honorable and above board about this. the president may articulate he wants to do it because he thinks he's smarter than everybody in the room, he can handle it, but everybody else in the room who knows him, you can't handle this. >> so what happened -- >> go ahead, e.j. >> a lawyer doesn't worry about his or her client walking into a perjury trap unless they are worried that their client will commit perjury. and that's what that's all about. and everything else i think is just commentary. >> right. right. so, e.j., and jennifer, let me come to you with this if you know the answer to this question. what happens if we get into a situation where the president doesn't sit down with mueller
and mueller ends up subpoenaing him? are we in unchartered territory at that point? >> not quite, because this did happen with richard nixon. remember, the tapes were subpoenaed and that's how the case got to the supreme court is whether the president had to comply. in that case it wasn't for a deposition or an interview, it was for production of evidence. and the prepare court sa-- supre court said he doesn't have unlimited executive privilege. he has to cooperate. there was a unanimous decision and they handed that down. now richard nixon complied with that order. the question is if that happens again, will trump comply with the order of the supreme court? i think at that point he has to or we really are into impeachment zones but i think ultimately if this does wind up in the courts i think i am less sanguine than his lawyers and defenders that he has any defense here.
the combination of the nixon case and the paula jones case makes very clear that the president has to submit to an ongoing criminal justice probe if he has evidence, and he certainly does because his lawyer just admitted that he dictated a statement lying about a meeting in trump tower. >> michael, to jennifer's point given what you said earlier and what i agreed with, which is, you know, pay attention -- donald trump is all about donald trump, if the supreme court comes down with an order and says, mr. president, you have to honor the subpoena and he says no -- >> yes. >> -- does he actually have the gumption to say no to the supreme court? >> donald trump, yes. i think he would. and i think you'd find a lot of defense justifying him to say no but that gets to the nub of this, which is where republicans certainly in the house don't want it to go, is that it then goes to capitol hill and republicans on the hill have to decide at that moment, do you stand with the constitution of
the united states or do you stand with donald trump? >> and as things -- >> very simple equation. >> as things stand right now, do those folks on capitol hill have enough gs to stand up for the constitution as opposed to the president of their own party? >> no. that's why you have to vote him out. >> right. my bet is you look at that 86% number that we've talked about in the last hour -- >> right. >> -- and they go, i'm going to hang in this corner as long as is possible, and that's the unfortunate part about all of this. >> e.j.? >> in the word of separation of powers can cover a multitude of sins and i'm sure they would do a lot around that. jim's the lawyer, i'm not, but in terms of litigation of this, it was litigated on tape. i don't think we've ever had a straight up case of subpoenaing testimony because clinton got around that with making a deal with ken star in the civil case there. >> right. >> i think i'm inclined to agree
with jennifer's conclusion that the two are logically linked, but it would be very interesting to see what a conservative supreme court does with a case like this. >> we're going to have to leave that question for another day and another panel but you guys are staying with me. up next, more "am joy." later on msnbc chris matthews hosts "headliners" with an in depth look at robert kennedy. "headline "headliners" airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. on msnbc. we'll be right back.
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he has very broad powers. somebody that wants to question that under article two has a big burden. i am showing there's no innocent explanation for what they did. they just can't do that. i would like to convince them to exercise some constitutional restraint. what's involved here is a simple exercise of constitutional power, with very good reasons for it, you can always come up if you want to with some noninnocent reason. >> rudy guiliani on "meet the press," describing his interpretation of donald trump's powers. ej, jennifer, michael are back with me. help me.
what possibly could be the innocent explanation for whatever it was donald trump was talking about and for all of the things we know about what's going on with the mueller investigation. ej. >> you know, the phrase word salad got invented for a reason, and it was really hard on a number of those rudy guiliani sound bites to follow exactly what underlying argument he was trying to make. but i think on a lot of these matters, it is hard to see what could an innocent explanation be? why would he tell a tale about the purpose of a particular meeting, why would he deny any collusion when we know his campaign had dealings with russians. yes, to follow bill clinton, it depends what the meaning of the word collusion is. so i don't know exactly what rudy guiliani was getting at.
i apologize. i just can't translate it just yet. >> jennifer, let me get your reaction to something else rudy guiliani said on "meet the press" when he was asked about whether he would be named in the upcoming inspector general's report on the clinton investigation, and speculations during the campaign. ke a listen. >> do you expect to be named in the report as a result of leaked information from the fbi? >> no, absolutely not. no. impossible. i didn't get any leaked information from the fbi. >> you had no prior knowledge, no prior knowledge. >> no, no. >> that anthony weiner was trigger the start -- >> no idea that wienner was involved in this at all. had no idea they were going to reopen it. >> jennifer, do you believe him? >> no. and i think rudy guiliani has lied about more innocent things than that, so no. i think that's a big fat lie.
i think he was talking with a sense of authority. he has a slew of former buddies from his days as u.s. attorney when he didn't think they were storm troopers, by the way, and with the southern district, so i think it would have been impossible for him to have made a statement like that had he not had some information. maybe he's splitting hairs, saying it went through a third party. in other words, the fbi leaked to somebody who leaked to rudy guiliani, but if they can prove that, that's a problem. >> we should note that guiliani said he was questioned once by the inspector general. michael, get your reaction to kevin mccarthy, what he said on cnn's state of the union today. >> this has gone on more than a year. millions of dollars has been spent. the white house has been cooperating all the way through. this was all based upon was there collusion involved in the election. everyone has looked at this, says there's no collusion.
>> michael seal? >> everyone looked at this has not come to the conclusion there's no collusion. we haven't heard anything from robert mueller who tis the ultimate fact finder on that. kevin mccarthy is looking for, probably received the blessing of this administration, particularly this president to become the next speaker should republicans gain control of the house after the november election. i expect him to carry on with this talking point, going into the fall and beyond. the fact of the matter is a lot of republicans are carrying this bucket of water for the president, knowing full well there are a lot of holes in that bucket, and the bottom will fallout of it come some point when mueller says what he has to say. >> on this point about the amount of spending, he says millions of dollars have been spent, that's echoing something the president said in a tweet. oh my god, $17 million. and yet "the washington post" and other entities point out that his travel to mar-a-lago is
at least twice that amount. focusing on the cost of an investigation like this is ridiculous. >> we also forget there were 19 indictments and five plea bargains. mueller hasn't already proved his worth. >> and then you have the benghazi investigation that went on and on and on spent a lot of money and never proved up anything. so this is just situation -- an investigation has gone on too long if you don't like it. >> this show will have gone on too long if i don't stop now. thank you. more "am joy" after the break. woman: i stay active
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plus, ask how to keep your current phone. visit your local xfinity store today. that's our show for today. thanks for watching "am joy." joy herself will be back next saturday, 10:00 a.m. eastern. up next, alex witt with the latest. >> can i just say this, if joy is any friend to the two of us, she would have taken both of us with her to hawaii. joy, that's the thing to do. that's the place to be. she's going to be there. good to see you. thank you so much. great show. good day to all of you. alex witt at msnbc headquarters. here's what's happening. reaction rolling in to the 20 page confidential memo about the president, his executive power, and the strategy of his legal team. >> what this memo outlines, what their team has said was if the mueller team is going to potentially subpoena the