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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  June 3, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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justice, can pardon who he wants and perhaps even himself and can end any federal investigation if he chooses to. mr. trump claims this investigation is illegitimate. >> it's a witch hunt. that's all it is. there was no collusion with russia. >> and his biggest defender has been rudy giuliani. >> they had spies in the trump camp. this investigation never should have taken place in the first place. >> there was no collusion with the russians. in a moment, i'll ask giuliani about that legal strategy, the circumstances surrounding the firing of fbi director james comey and whether the president ever plans to sit
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down with robert mueller. rudy giuliani my guest this morning on "meet the press". >> trade war. the u.s. announces steel and aluminum tariffs against canada and mexico. the allies strike back and president trump calls out justin trudeau by name. >> the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the united states is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable. >> this morning my exclusive sitdown with the prime minister justin trudeau. and the culture wars, roseanne barr, samantha bee and the debates over whether conservatives and liberals are treated differently when they cross the line. katy tur, rich lowery, editor of national review and joshua johnson, host of 1a on npr. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press".
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>> from nbc news in washington. the longest-running show in television history upon this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. we have two big interviews lined up and we'll get to them right away. rudy giuliani has been a supporter of president trump. this morning i'll ask mr. giuliani about the novel legal strategy that argues that the president's powers are essentially unlimited and when the president does it that means it is not illegal. so does this mean that no matter the president's motive for firing fbi director james comey it was legal and does this mean president trump will never sit down with special counsel robert mueller under any circumstance? i also had an exclusive sitdown with prime minister justin trudeau of canada after he responded to tariffs on steel and aluminum. we'll hear his thought and what he believes trade wars between neighboring allies could mean
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and this comes after what president trump did or said was about him, the i alone can fix it president sought to fix nuclear tensions with north korea's kim jong-un and sought tariffs with canada, and mexico. picking economic winners and losers. >> the trade is going to be easy. >> rewarding his political allies with pardons. >> the president has constitutional authority to do so. >> and criminal behavior. >> i suspect that we are on a path where there's going to be an inevitable clash. we will get to the point where the justice department will not go any further and i don't know who gets fired or what happens, but we'll be -- buckle up your seat belts. >> on pardons the president seemed to signal that he will protect allies who refuse to testify against him. pardoning dinesh d'souza who pleased guilty to campaign finance fraud and he will pardon
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others for campaign violations and lying to investigators, charges similar to those levele manafort. on trade, the president welcomed the top north korean official with a photo-op. >> i don't want to use maximum pressure because we're getting along. mr. trump rolled out steel and aluminum tariffs on some of america's closest allies and attack canada on twitter. >> policy of grievances is alienating some of america's long time partners. angela, what happened? what happened, angela? >> paris? i don't go there anymore. paris is no longer paris. canada has treated us very, very unfriendly. mexico has been very difficult to deal with. >> as mr. trump flexes his muscles. and his lawyers say his powers
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are nearly unlimited. >> he's the president of the united states and has all of the powers under article 2. mr. trump continues to be obsessed by russia tweeting 19 times this week alone. joining me, former new york mayor rudy giuliani. welcome back to "meet the press". >> nice to be with you. >> let me start. >> of course. >> we're not playing baseball. >> fair enough. fair enough. we won't do last names, giuliani, all right? >> all right. >> from the memo in "the new york times" it remains opposition that the president's actions here by virtue of his position as chief law enforcement officer, that would amount to him obstructing himself and that he could, if he wished terminate his inquiry and exercise his desire to pardon if so desired. as you heard me refer, it has echoes of nixon's arguments that when the president does it it is not illegal. is that the argument here, sir? >> no, no, it isn't. first of all, i didn't make the argument and i agree with most
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of it an as any lawyer, i would have organized it differently. i look to the obstruction part of it differently, and we can win it on the fablgts. -- facts. if a prosecutor is looking at an act such as, let's say firing comey, and there are five explanations for it, four of which are innocent and the president has asserted each one of those positions and one of those is obstructing the investigation although he contradicted that and made clear he didn't in his interview with lester holt which is unfortunately seized on by the special counsel selectively, we don't have to whole big constitutional law which would take a year to resolve. i would prefer to put emphasis on the fact he didn't do anything wrong. he didn't obstruct and we're willing to sit down and argue that out with the special counsel if he has an open mind about it. >> are you making a case that he didn't obstruct or are you making a case that a president cannot obstruct justice. >> i'm a lawyer and i'm sort of a conservative lawyer in a legal
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sense and i don't like to get to an argument we don't have to get to. you don't have to get to that argument. i don't know exactly how the court would resolve that. you never want to say you can't ever because you open too wide a floodgate. you might want to say he has very broad powers and someone who wants to question that under article 2 has a big, big burden of showing there is no innocent explanation for what he did. they just can't do that. i would like them to exercise constitutional restraint here. >> let's unpack this again. you say that he can terminate the inquiry. does this mean he can terminate any federal investigation? is that the argument here? any federal investigation he can terminate? >> that is pretty clear. the power of the attorney general is a presidential appointee. when i was u.s. attorney i was appointed by president reagan. nobody ever attempted to terminate an investigation, and it would have been a scandal of immense proportions unless i was being an idiot and that's an
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unrealistic thing and if you're asking on a theoretical sense it could lead to impeachment. if he terminated an investigation of himself -- >> constitutionally, you're making the argument that constitutionally he could is what you're saying. >> i'm saying constitutionally, it sure looks that way. i haven't made that argument and we don't have to make that argument. that's not involved here. what's involved here is a simple exercise of constitutional power with very good reasons for it and you can always come up, if you want to with non-innocent reason. >> does that mean constitutionally the president can order any investigation to be opened? any investigation, if he says, you know what? i want hillary clinton prosecuted. i want her investigated. he can order that tomorrow if he wanted to. >> yeah, but let's look at the irs investigations of conservatives during the obama administration which was never fully investigated. they had to cease that because
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the organizations went to court and showed they were being treated unfairly. so the president can't take away their personal constitutional rights. so the president like nixon had an enemy list, if he called me up i didn't work for nixon, but if nixon called me up and said oh, you have to prosecute somebody on the interviews list, boy, we would have had a very serious issue. the person would not be prosecuted and could have gotten the case dismissed and that would have been another part of the articles of impeachment. >> you are saying that -- are you making the argument that only congress can hold the president accountable to the law that the justice department, the justice system has no authority of holding the president accountable under the law? >> the department of justice is a creature of the president. i know based on presidential rulings, meaning at the discretion of the president just given a certain amount of independence i am tremendously in favor of that and that is all of the president's decision and that is constrained by the
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congress's impeachment power and the court's ability to undo indictments or investigations that are unfair. one of the possible remedies here is this whole investigation may be totally illegitimate and that's certainly sething we reserve the right to raise and a judge could determine that. >> for example, and manafort -- and manafort is not the president. but in the manafort case, the judge is considering a motion to dismiss it. >> not the whole case. it's a part of it. >> case one. the one in d.c.. >> right. >> obviously, they'll make the same motion in that one if the first judge decides they don't have the authority. >> you talk about the -- if you believe the president has sort of this overarching authority of the justice department, why are you asking the justice department to prove -- to produce those papers to indicate how the investigation started? why don't you order them to do it? that's eye very good question, chuck.
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that's a legal opinion and that's not a court decision and we realize the whole switching public opinion that has been on the president's side w probably shift back. so we do not intend to exercise that power and you make a very good case. the president could just say give me those documents. you say the investigation is concluded. you say it produced no evidence for the criminal case and what the heck is this all about? i've told everyone and we'll put that in a letter that we're not going to sit for an interview unless we get all of those documents and jay and i and jane and marty can satisfy ourselves that this is a legitimate investigation? so i guess i'm confused here because this memo looks like there was never an intention of the president sitting down with robert mueller.
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you have spent the months and i would say you vacillated. oh, maybe he will and then you're, like, maybe he won't. i don't know if re vacillating because you change your mind or the president's changing his mind? what is real here? does he really want to sit down with him? >> i will tell you the straight, unvarnished truth. the president wants to testify. i know a lot of people don't believe that. i know a lot of people don't believe that's the position. it's a true position. he believes he's innocent. i believe he's innocent. he believes if he gets the chance to explain it people will understand no collusion with the russians and no obstruction of justice. forget the powers. he didn't do it. he never talked to the russians and i was on that campaign. chris christie was on that campaign. we both tell you we never saw a russian. we never heard him talk about it. he wants to testify. every lawyer he has including this one always wants their
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client not to testify and in a case like this when your client's the president and -- and they have everything they need and you've got this additional argument that he doesn't have to testify. >> yeah. >> my goodness, it's tough. we're trying to come up with a narrow group of conditions in which he can do it, if we can justify the fact that they have an open mind. >> right. >> and that they'll conclude the investigation. look, we're talking about north korea. >> do you realize yesterday i felt terrible calling the president. i had to call him twice and i had to take him away from north korea, i told secretary of state pompeo, don't get angry at me, i'll only do it if i have to. >> let me go back to the letter. there was something else in this memo and it had to do with response to donald trump jr., you have received all of the note, communications and testimony indicating that the president dictated a short, but accurate response to "the new york times" article on behalf of
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donald trump jr. and this is in regard to the first trump tower meeting in july 2016 and this is what jay sekulow said to me on "meet the press" about that incident. here it is. >> you want to declare the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and to not issue that statement and it came from donald trump jr., and that's what i can tell you because that's what we know. >> in july he said it came from donald trump jr. and he said the president dictated a small response. i know it's not a crime to lie to those of us in the media. let me ask you this. was he misinformed at the time or what happened? >> i think -- i obviously asked jay about this. i think he was uninformed at the time just like i was when i came in the case. he was on the case. this was a point that maybe wasn't clarified in terms of recollection and his understanding of it and what jay did was he immediately corrected it and even if it had been under oath he can call it recanted and
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it's jay, and not the president and that's the wisdom of not having the president testify and it's one thing to do it with a lawyer and another thing to do it with your client. >> i want to talk about pardons in general. one of the arguments in the memo is that the president could essentially end this with the power of pardon. do you believe the president could also pardon himself? >> well, it's not going to happen. it's a hypothetical point. i would think the presidential power, there's nothing that limits the presidential power of pardon from a federal crime and not a state crime. president trump is not going to do that. he's obviously not going to give up any of his pardon powers or any future president's pardon powers, but under these circumstances he isn't going to do that? >> why put it in the memo? was this a veiled threat to mueller? we can end your probe. >> you're not asking the guy who wrote the memo. >> fair enough. >> i'm not sure i would have written that, chuck.
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i think it's a hollow promise. >> you think it does come across as a threat or are you worried that the media would interpret it as a threat. >> almost impractical. the president of the united states pardoning himself would just be unthinkable and it would it would lead probably an immediate impeachment. you get the house and the senate would be under tremendous pressure. he didn't do anything wrong. this is a terrible investigation. >> yeah. >> if you're not supposed to interfere with the president theoretically, they're interfering with the president, american foreign policy and the world directly with north korea. >> if robert mueller comes to you and says, okay, mr. giuliani, we're not going to have this argument whether the president should be able to be compelled to testify about his actions as president, but do you have -- can you make that same case if mr. mueller wants to question his actions as a candidate? >> while he's president -- >> while he's president.
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>> yeah. the idea is you can't -- you can't interfere with him either with indictment or question, you can't interfere with the president's time, his effort and his concentration. >> even if it's about a potential crime or something that may have happened before he was president? >> yeah. he could have -- once he's not president he could be prosecuted for it. >> you don't believe that as president. >> as president -- >> look, again, there's no -- i don't want to let you believe that there is a case that says this, this is what john wrote and that's the part of the opinion and i agree with 80% of what he wrote and that's the part of that i agree with the most and it can't be indicted and can't be questioned and we think we also have a very good argument in the practical sense. this isn't just theoretical and he's not sitting up there playing tiddly winks and he's involved in four or five unbelievable negotiations right now. >> at some point we will get this ig report out of the
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justice department about the fbi. its handling of the 2016 election overall and the clinton emails and all of this. there have been questions about what you may or may not have known around that time and i want to go through a time line here of what you said around that time when we found out about the re-opening of the comey investigation. take a listen, sir. >> does donald trump plan anything except for a series of inspiring rallies? >> what? >> you'll see. >> i'm talking about some pretty big surprise. >> i heard you say that this morning. what do you mean? >> you'll see. >> it appears as though the fbi may be re-opening an investigation into the hillary clinton email server. >> so you via general idea that something was coming. >> i had expected this -- to tell you the truth, i thought it would be three or four weeks ago. >> do you expect to be named in the ig report as a receiver of leaked information from the fbi? >> oh, no, no. absolutely not. no.
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impossible. i didn't get any leaked information of the fbi. >> you had no prior knowledge that anthony weiner was going to trigger the start of a -- >> no idea at all. >> no idea that weiner was involved in this at all. had no idea they would re-open it. when i said that i speculated on the fact there was a lot of turmoil within the fbi that this was going -- >> you told a radio show host that you'd gotten some head's up from both current and former. >> no. all -- all current guys working, but not necessarily with the fbi. i do security work all over the world and i use fbi agents and i consider them current people, people that haven't retired yet and then i have retired people. >> right. >> the fact is we had all, you know, our kitchen cabinet had all speculated that mueller did a horrible job which is what the focus of the horowitz report will be and did a horrible job
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with the hillary investigation. >> you said mueller. you meant comey. >> oh, sorry, please. i meant comey. comey did a terrible job with that and he cleared her and condemned her at the same time. >> were you questioned by the ig? >> i was questioned once and they were very satisfied with the answer which was the same answer i gave contemporaneous with the es which is that surprise i was talking about were the ads for the end of the campaign where we would buy a tremendous amount of time unlike anything we'd done before and they were targeting the key states and i would show them a memo they have. so they had nothing to do with being given a head's up or potential head's up. >> no head's up. i had a speculation. i also had a speculation, believe it or not when he re-opened. i told the president, don't praise him because there's something wrong with you. he used to work with me, there's something wrong with him and he's become this machiavellian politician.
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a week later he pulled it back and i had no idea he would do that. i've been in this business for 40 years and as you do, you develop instincts. >> mr. giuliani, we'll leave it there. thank you very much for coming on and sharing your views. >> very fair, chuck, thank you. >> when we come back, we'll come back with the panel and the on again, off again, on again, off again summit with north korea complete with an envelope. stay with us. panel9hu$e one1 again, offu tomorrow is going to show up. it will surprise you. challenge you. test you. tomorrow will show up. so will you. the all-new ram 1500. the most capable ram 1500 ever. ♪
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>> we are back. panelists, joshua johnson, peggy noonan katy tur, and national review. okay. digesting the rudy giuliani and his interpretation of the memo. katy tur, you've spent more time than rudy giuliani and donald trump than any of us at this table over the last couple of years.
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what do you make of this? >> i actually thought it was revealing and an interesting one that he threw sekulow under the bus. he said this is all about public opinion. if donald trump tries to pardon himself then he will get impeached. if he tries to fire mueller or stop the investigation then he will get impeached. so i think it's very clear what they're doing is they're allowing the president to spout off on twitter. giuliani will come in here and say one thing and he'll probably change his mind and say something else to other news organizations later today or tomorrow. they're trying to confuse things. we have two strategies, one is to discredit everyone involved and two, confuse things so much that the public doesn't know where up is or where down is so when the report ultimately comes out they have an ability to push back and say this was all a big witch hunt. no one really gets it. republican voters, look what we're doing, ignore all of this. we're making a deal with north korea, whatever. stay on our side.
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republicans in congress stay on our side, that's the only real defense they have at this point. >> rich? >> i think the core contention in that memo is correct. i don't believe the president can comm obstruction of justice and exercise his lawful powers. he can abuse the lawful powers and that's the subject for an impeachment and not a criminal investigation and i think it's a proversion or constitutional system that you have an interior officer in the executive branch who wants to question the president of the united states on his state of mind. i'm not sure we've ever encountered that before and it's right to resist it for the personal interests and the good of the institution. >> look, i know the first thing i thought of when i heard this, peggy, was for nixon. for the viewers, let me play the infamous excerpt from frost nixon. >> so what, in a sense, you're saying there are certain situations, where the president
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can decide that it's in the best interest of the nation or something and do something illegal? >> well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal. >> rudy giuliani was making a lot of arguments that was like, he could do this, he could do this, he could do this. >> yeah. >> public opinion and congress would stop him, but -- what did you make of this? >> well, i -- i found his -- rudy giuliani's interview kind of delightfully loosy goosy, kind of all over the place. >> i thought it that way, too. >> but sometimes i wonder is this strategy or is it a certain sign of chaos, and then i think chaos can sometimes be a strategy. look, i think there was a lot in there. he said again and i think we all sensed this. i have read some of the president's former depositions, he does want to testify. i totally believe that. he enjoys the joust.
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i thought it was interesting that giuliani asked if the president could pardon himself and he said it's not going to happen. it's unthinkable there would be an impeachment. however, the 20-page dowd and sekulow memo does speak about the possibility of presidential pardon. just one sentence in the middle of everything that was huge. >> i thought it was telling that rudy wasn't quite willing to accept my use of the word threat, but he didn't seem to push back on it that hard, joshua? he didn't push back on it that hard, and i feel like there was little piece of that interview that was instructive to me that was useful. i understand what giuliani is trying to say. he's trying to say the president have these powers. he could do these things because he's the chief law enforcement officer of the united states. he won't, and he didn't, and he's done nothing wrong. he's innocent and he's trying to do his job. let him work. if they could hugh to that
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consistent looky, this might calm down a little bit. i heard -- i heard the seed of a legal strategy. i also took mr. giuliani seriously when he understood the role of the court of public opinion in i mean, the fact that impeachment could be the core argument in terms of losing his job is true. if they could make the legal argument strongly that he was doing his job, he might be a bad president, but being a bad president is not a crime if you don't like what he does and it becomes a matter of public opinion. i think if he can say i'm not innocent, i have a job to do, if i'm going to testify, let's make this quick then he will sail through more smoothly and say i'm innocent, i want to testify, and if he can pull him closer in that direction he might have a workable strategy. >> want to ask about pardons and the dinesh d'souza, and scooter libby, and joe arpaio and he hinted to martha stewart and
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campaign finance violations, lying to investigator, couptions. all of the potential charges that donald trump jr. can face. >> i think the arpaio pardon was grotesque and plus the ones he's talking about clearly are meant to send the message that prosecutors can go too far and they could be political and there is an element where he wants to get under the skin and troll a particular set of prosecutors he doesn't like which is an unprecedented use of the pardon power, obviously. >> very clearly it's the fdny. >> dinesh -- >> southern district of new york. >> for those who don't watch cable news. >> look at donald trump's longest and arguably one of his closest friends and advisers.
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roger stone said this is a very clear message to robert mueller that if you indict anybody not t is not appropriate and the president will pardon you. >> i liked the pardon of joe johnston, the prizefighter. otherwise, you know, it -- it inescapably looks these pardons both political and life is political, but also a little frivolous. there are deeper cases and more important cases. the pardon power which is real and ought to be real ought to be used as matters of serious compassion for people who need it. that's how it strikes me. >> i think for that reason the pardon of jack johnson and i looked at that and said aren't there living people who need this power? think about presidential pardons you even knew about and the fact that joe arpaio was the very
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first pardon he gave last august over something that was so con contentious and grotesque, and there are living people who need their own legal counsel. >> i have to take a break in. when we come back, tariffs, trade war and the economy. my exclusive interview with justin trudeau of canada. >> you said you will retaliate. how serious do you think you are and can you make a dent? . welcome back. it took guts to start my business. but as it grew bigger and bigger, it took a whole lot more. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy.
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. >> welcome back. the european union andada all three announcing tariffs of their own. it was canadian prime minister called out personally by mr. trump. they are hosting the g7 economics which means he will have one on one face time with president trump in a couple of days. i began asking him about the ongoing renegotiations on the fate of nafta. >> i think our approach has been consistent all the way through. recognizing canada and the united states have perhaps the most successful economic partner thip and alliance and friendship in the modern world. no two countries that are as interconnected. you sell more things to us than
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to u.k., japan and china combined. our economies are incredibly interwoven. there is an absolute path towards improving nafta and doing well on that. the fact that the president has moved forward with these tariffs is not going to just hurt canadian jobs. >> your reaction felt as if you felt jilted, as if you felt canada got like wait a minute, we have done all of these things for the united states over the years. it came across as if you felt as if canada was being taken advantage of. >> obviously we watched this president operate and worked with him over the past year. we know he prides himself with being unpredictable from year to year. one of the things i have to admit on having a lot of trouble getting around is the idea that this entire thing is coming about because the president and the administration have decided
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canada, canadian steel and aluminum is a national security threat to the united states. first of all, the idea that our soldiers who have fought and died together it in the mountains of afghanistan and stood shoulder to shoulder some how this is insulting to them. the idea that the canadian steel that's in military vehicles in the united states, the canadian aluminum that makes your fighter jets is some how now a threat. the idea that we are some how now a national security threat is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable. >> what do you feel that the president wants from you? you don't know what he wants here. >> i know. >> is it about nafta -- >> the reason i don't know is because he talked about the fact of this.
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he is worried about trade surpluses around the world. they have a $2 billion surplus on steel with us. so it's not like the trade is imbalanced against the u.s. favor on this one. >> you said you will retaliate. how serious are you and do you think you can mikyou make a den? how can you do that without hurting canada rather than the united states in. >> we are putting the same kinds of tariffs on steel and aluminum from canada to the united states and number of tariffs on consumer goods, finished products which canadians have easy alternatives. one of the truths about tariffs is they drive up costs for consumers. on top of that these tariffs will be hurting american workers and canadian workers. >> go to nafta, do you
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understand what the united >> i think they want a better deal on their auto sector from mexico abdomen more on agriculture products. >> are you there? >> we are moving towards flexibility in those areas which i thought was very very promising. the united states wants a sunset clause in nafta. you don't sign a trade deal that automatically expires every five years. >> that's a nonstarter for you. >> you won't be at the table if that's on the table? >> no. you can think about investment. what company will want to invest if canada if five years later there might not be a deal with the united states. it is probably part of the whole thing. that's not the way trade works. quite frankly, having an auto sector that spans from south herb ontario into michigan has
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been really an advantage for the auto sector. >> you i'm sure probably read that president trump bragged about a back and forth he had with you. he said tru dea u came to see me. he said no no no. we have no trade deficit with you. we have none. he apparently mimicked your voice when doing it. when you read something like this and you can't even agree on the same set of facts, do you trust the president as a negotiator? >> you mentioned that my father was prime minister. i was raised in a political family. i understand how people say things and people tell stories and people approach things. my approach with this president from the very beginning is i will focus on what we do want where we go. quite frankly when i talked with
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the president about the possibility of tariffs on steel and aluminum he agreed it would be hard. it readoesn't make sense. there is a new book out by ben rods. he writes this. he said obama not usually an outwardly sentimental man. he refers the a meeting he had with you. your choice will be needed more. you'll have to speak out when certain values are threatened. what did you interpret what president obama was trying to pass to you? >> what i took from it is something that was deeply reassuring and something i have seen all around the world where canadians are. people realize when we show up
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as troops on the ground or as aid workers or as bureaucrats, canadians are there to help. we are thoughtful, engaged, polite, welcoming and also firm with our values. we fought like lions. we'll be polite but we are also not going to be pushed around. that needs to be firm about projecting our values and defending not just our citizens but citizens around the world in positive ways is what i consider the responsibility we have as canadians and what i'll do as leader. >> as you might expect there's a lot more. you can see the full interview on our web site, when we come back, could democrats actually get shut out of races that they should and ♪ you're just too good to be true ♪
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welcome back. "data down load" time, california democrats were hoping for a gold rush in this tuesday's primary taking full advantage of the state's unique top two system with the top two votegetters regardless of party move on to the general election and they want to shut republicans out of every statewide race particularly of governor and senate and
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republicans are determined to get candidates to advance into the top two so they could go up against democrats leak gavin newsom for governor and dianne feinstein for senate and then there's the house, well, that's getting complicated. the golden state has consistently elected democratic senators and voted democrat in every election since 1992 and out of 62 districts, republicans only hold 19 seats with prime pickup opportunities for democrats particularly in the 39th, 48th and 49th congressional districts in southern california. democrats may feel they are geared to wipe republicans off the map, but they may not get their hollywood ending because of this unique top two system. democrats have flooded the races in those 14 remaining gop seats. there are 56 democrats running in the primaries across those 14 races compared to just 38 republican. that means democrats run the risk of splitting their vote so
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none of their candidates actual actually finish first or second and it's become the twilight groups where they find themselves attacking members of their own party all in the hopes that republicans split thei vote for talk about your crazy game theories. anyway, getting shut out of winnable races would be a full-on disaster for democrats and we're counting on california to provide a bulk of the 23 seats they need to win back the house. democrats hoped this top two system could shut republicans out big time on key races across california, and perhaps it's evidence that the top two system are not leaving democrats in as strong of a position and republicans aren't exactly cheering this top-two system either these days. when we come back, endgame, culture wars and this question. ♪ tired of wrestling with seemingly impossible cleaning tasks? using wipes in the kitchen,
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samantha bee situation, and of course, race is intertwined in all of this. i want to pull up the first excerpt of your book i want to talk about, you write, racism was a constant presence and absence in the obama white house. we didn't need to talk about it. it was there like white noise. when was there when a reality star built the idea on the idea obama wasn't born in the united states, and is still believed by a majority of republicans. what point were you trying to make with this? >> well, people would often ask me, you know, what did president obama really think about race. and the point i was making there is that he took it as a given that some of the opposition was rooted in racism. that's what i mean by we didn't always have to talk about it. we would practice for press conferences with you, chuck. you might be asked if someone in opposition was race. next question, kind of chuckle. something more serious was underlying that. i think he internalized kind of a jackie robinson ethos.
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i accept this. there's going to be an element of race and some of the opposition i face. but i'm going to try to perform the duties of the office with as much integrity as i can. >> it seems you're implying here, i remember asking him this question. he said ask me after i'm out of office. his election is how donald trump got elected. >> well, you know, there are so many causal links you can draw to the trump election. i think what i talk about at the end of the book and some of the excerpt with trudeau, we were on that last final foreign trip where he saw justin trudeau. he had gone through many iterations of trying to figure out what happened in the election, how much of it was russia, how much of it was the campaign that had been run on the democratic side, how much of it was trump's message. but part of it was a sense that the world as a whole had globalized very rapidly and we're meeting with angela merkel. kind of a leader of the national order that welcomed refugees.
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tear in her eye last time she saw obama. trudeau feeling somewhat stranded here in north america and i think what he was getting at not race but his own presidency, the epitome of trade and people had made some people uneasy, that that dynamic in the brexit election and the u.k. and in the election here had something to do with trump being able to find this politics a grievance that could lead people to the polls. >> let me bring everybody else into the conversation. this spark of the culture wars with roseanne and sam bee, is this about our inability to deal with race in this country? that's what the left sort of sees it at, joshua. or is this about a double standard in that we sort of hold -- will hold folks on the right more accountable with their bad taste than we will on the left? >> well, the comments that samantha bee and roseanne made were not equivalent. roseanne barr made a racist
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slur. samantha bee made a cruel misogynist joke, not a good one if you have to end the joke with an insul. she couldn't think of a good punch line. she needs to be a better writer next time. they aren't equivalent comments. i'm concerned that the culture current that gave roseanne barr cover to tweet this and samantha bee the cover to broadcast it, stephen colbert said donald trump's mouth was putin's holster. it was what influenced the 2016 election. it's our hate, our miss giving, our fear. the fault is not in our tv stars but in ourselves and that's where the problem is . we the power to change this. that doesn't excuse what roseanne said, it doesn't excuse what samantha bee broadcasted. but they broadcasted to us and we reward them for it. so, who do we really blame? where is the root of this really? i don't think it's there. i think it's here. >> i would think, look, part of the problem is public figures having a hard time being public
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figures. when you are lucky enough in america to be a public figure, your celebrity is not only your pleasure, it is your responsibility. what is that responsibility? don't make it worse. don't make it uglier. don't make it sicker. samantha bee doesn't seem to understand that responsibility. roseanne didn't understand it. i am very glad to see a certain amount of backlash against them almost as if the american people are saying, stop it already. this is terrible. you're making it worse. >> they're getting too loud. it's courseening we've seen before donald trump started campaigning. we've seen exaggerated since donald trump started campaigning and all the insults that he would throw out. i do think what's unfortunate here is that the samantha bee controversy, it's now overshadowing what is the story that she was trying to bring attention to, which is a story that families are being ripped apart at the border, that this administration is claiming there is a new law when it's just a policy, and they are taking
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families apart even when families are coming in according to reporters, asking for asylum. that is a real issue. that is not being covered because we're all talking about samantha bee using a word that she should not have used. >> it wasn't just a word. it was an obscene personal attack, obscene and personal attack. and that did obscure her point. >> yes. >> but that also showed maybe she wasn't serious about it. >> i don't think samantha bee and roseanne are really comparable. i think some people are saying trump enabled roseanne barr. she has been a kook for 20 years. twitter time line has been grotesque for ten years, however long she's been on twitter. but samantha bee was hired to be a partisan vulgarian. underlying something peggy said, the problem with our institutions, no one considers themselves an insider any more, has responsibility for being better and being a good steward. everyone considers themselves an outsider. >> last word here, you quote
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president obama saying we're 10 to 20 years too soon. oh, we're not ready for you? >> what he was talking about was the demographics of the country and what he would like to say -- what he used to say in private is there's going to be an asian barack obama, latino barack obama. but the demographics he arrived before the demographic tipping point. part of this is the media eco system. as i say in there, a majority of republicans don't think he was born in america. >> the book the world as it is, good luck with it. that's all we have for today. thanks for watching. as always, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." touch-sensitivity... ♪ uncompromising protection... advanced connectivity...
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