tv Morning Joe MSNBC June 4, 2018 3:00am-5:59am PDT
>> we'll read axios a.m. in just a little bit. you too cann up for the newsletter by going to axios.com. >> that does it for us on this monday morning. "morning joe," everybody, starts right now. we can get this over, this long nightmare for the american public over. >> my fellow americans, our long, national nightmare is over. >> that is rudy giuliani over the weekend borrowing a phrase from gerald ford, nixon of course was pardoned by his successor and rudy was asked repeatedly on sunday would president trump pardon himself? plus, remember when the white house insisted over and over again that the president had no role in drafting his son's misleading statement about meeting with russians. >> jay, of course, who you work for pat robertson. >> yes. >> religious freedom evangelical lawyer swore that they never did
that. i'm sure they didn't. >> we know it was a lie. >> are you kidding me? >> we know it was a lie because the president's own lawyers admitted that, confirming it. welcome to "morning joe." good morning, everybody it's monday june 4 we have a lot to get to. with us is mike barnacle, and steve ratner and richard haase. heidi przybyla, michael schmidt. great group to start off the week and so much to get to. >> well, there's so much to get to. and you listen to what rudy giuliani said over the weekend. there's so many things that are disturbing. team that with the letter they wrote that actually the president and his lawyers believe that the bedrock american principle that no man is above the law, no woman is above the law, no person is
above the law, they actually believe for the first time in u.s. history for a president it does not apply to them. and by the way, they are kidding themselves and will be let down horribly if they ever decide to try this on, take this, put wheels on this and take it out for a spin to the supreme court. they will be slaed down every bit as much as richard nixon in 1973 and 1974 and if you don't believe me, go to the supreme court. you may get one. you may get two votes. that's it. you will be run over because this supreme court does not believe that any person is above the law. >> well, i think someone is going to have to let the president know about that. let's start off with this and we'll try and methodically get through some disturbing news here. president trump's legal team is
thumping its chest when it comes to the scope of the president's powers. in their take, the president can pardon himself. cannot obstruct justice, doesn't need to testify and cannot be indicted. we'll get to their thinking behind those significant assertions in a moment. >> these are not people who believe in basic constitutional foundations. it's shocking. so many things said this weekend absolutely shocking that a guy that used to be a u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york is actually stating this. >> so we're going to start with the can't be indicted front. arguing that the presidency protects donald trump from prosecution, trump attorney rudy giuliani told "the huffington post" that trump could have shot
james comey and not been indicted for it. >> let's stop right there. mike barnacle, this is really literally out of a tyrant's play book. you pick the president's sworn cal enemy and then you put it out there about the shooting of him and you let the president's followers know that vladimir putin could shoot his political rival and not be thrown in jail. erdogan could do the same thing, except this is in america. rudy giuliani suggests -- i'm sorry. we just have to play this game. what if barack obama had said in 2009, 2010 or let's say eric holder here, what if eric holder had said, you know what barack obama could shoot rush limbaugh
and he can't be indicted. barack obama could shoot george w. bush and he couldn't be indicted. the reaction f republicans and the media would b min boggling. >> yeah, well, joe, we no longer have to play the what if game about if barack obama had done this because we now have in reality the what we have game. and what we have is we have much of the press, much of the public seemingly preoccupied with the apparent fact that the president of the united states is soon to meet with the head of north korea in historic supposedly summit. that's not a big story compared to this. this is truly a huge, huge story as reported by michael schmidt, maggie haberman in the front page of the new york times with the text of the lawyer's letter inside the times. it is a shocking, shocking attack on the foundations o our government. >> so richard haase, you spent your adult life studying foreign
powers. tell me, first of all, have you ever heard a president or presidential adviser suggest that a president could shoot somebody who was investigating him and not beindict es does that sound like? >> it's inconsistent with the dna of this country. the whole idea of impeact suggests implicitly that no president is above or beyond the reach of the law. if we thought that, we wouldn't have a mechanism for removing a president for crimes. >> we wouldn't have the president on his very first moment getting sworn in, promise to uphold the laws this country. and if anybody in the white house does not believe that every member of the supreme court will seize upon that oath he took to uphold the laws of this country and the constitution then they're kidding themselves. >> again, there are several hundred years of constitutional history where the court has a role. the court and the congress are
not simply bystanders to out of control executive. we do have the constitution is premised on limits. limits are central to the political tradition to ticulate a doctre that transcends limits is at its core inconsistent with who we are. >> it's unlimited power. the president can kill anybody he wants. the president talked about shooting people on fifth avenue. i mean, this is suggesting that a president could beat up a first lady and not be indicted for that, could sexually abuse their children and not be indicted for that. could do the most heinous of things and never be indicted. >> the constitution did not imagine that the president was above the laws, which it said, but the constitution -- it's a question the constitution as to what the process is and whether a president can or should be indicted. the best example is nixon, named
unindicted coconspirator and after he resigned ford had to pardon him because he could have been indicted for what he did. >> michael schmidt, part of the report yesterday and congratulations to you and maggie and the rest of the "times" staff, part of the reporting yesterday includes this line from the letter drafted by the president's lawyers that the president donald trump could if he wish terminate the inquiry and exercise his power to pardon if he so desired. so that seems now to back up the premise that this is the president's legal strategy, that no matter the mueller investigate and the extent of it, at the end of the day the president can pardon himself or anyone else? >> yeah. we found that line to be the most striking one in the letter, especially because it mentioned pardon, sort of this issue that has hung over the investigation for some time. we reported a few months ago that the president's lawyer had
actually discussed pardons with mike flynn's attorneys and the attorneys for paul manafort. so that was sort of striking to us and sort of view of executive power. when we set out to s of find this document and get it, we thought that there would be many new facts ithere. this would be the president's lawyers trying to argue to mueller why he had done nothing wrong and providing facts to do this. there are some of those facts in there, some things about what the white house knew about mike flynn and such, but it is their view of executive power that struck us the most and that's why we went about this story the way that we did. it was just such an unusual look president views his power at such an important time as he's under investigation and the striking nature of that. and as we've seen in the reaction to it, it's something that's unnerved a lot of people, this belief that he has about article 2 of the constitution and just how broad it is and what it means to him.
>> you know, heidi, even republicans on capitol hill, even republicans on capitol hill were surprised by some of the arguments that were made in this letter. and of course by the arguments that rudy giuliani carried through the weekend that the president of the united states could assassinate, this is what rudy giuliani said, that the president of the united states could assassinate an fbi director who was investigating him and not be indicted. that's the world that we now live in, that we have a president who believes that and republicans on capitol hill i would guess were a little unnerved by this? what can you tell us? >> joe, i think that the message here from this letter -- i think we got a bit of a snow job to be honest with you, joe, because the republicans on capitol hill
i'm sure were shocked by a lot of the things that were in here. what was one thing they got asked about? it was simply about the self pardon. they didn't get asked about,or instance what the president is doing in terms of sending a message to try a stop would be cooperators with this investigation in terms of michael cohen, in terms of flynn and that that is the real intent here, not the self pardon. but secondly, to the issue of executive power. again, many of those republicans have yet to weigh in on that issue, which i think is far more troubling given that it was after watergate, it was after president nixon's abuse of power that we instituted what's called an interagency contacts policy. we have a culture and a precedent in this country of separation of powers between the executive and the department of justice. so what are the implications of this that we have yet to really
explore if the president -- if the justice department really is, quote unquote, a creature of the president. instances like the president bullying amazon or the president, as he did during his campaign, threatening to block the at&t merger. so, this letter, if this truly is the way that the president views his executive power, is troubling on many levels beginning with the implications for this investigation but having far more reaching implications like i just outlined. >> so i want -- i understand that republicans and democrats on capitol hill watch this show a good bit. a lot of times in the gym, hi, how are y'all doing? i want you to see the graphic at the bottom because this is what rudy giuliani said this weekend. rudy giuliani who is speaking on behalf of the president, who is speaking with the president's blessings and hasn't been called back for saying this, parallels
what donald trump said during the campaign that he could shoot somebody on fifth avenue and not lose people's support except now we're in the legal realm. so republicans on capitol hill and across the country if you're running election today, i hope somebody asks you this question and i hope you get the answer right, rudy giuliani said that donald trump could have assassinated the fbi director who is conducting an investigation against him and that he could not be indicted. so i want you to know that the correct answer to that is no he cannot because in america no one is above the law. but you may want to actually get out in front of that and criticize rudy julianmy, come up with your stupid excuses for not attacking the president of the united states, just say it again because sometimes it takes a little while to cut
through all the b.s. that you hear everyday, rudy giuliani on behalf of redent of the united states said that the president of the united states could assassinate an fbi director who is investigating him and not face indictment. richard, this is what vladimir putin does. this is not what united states presidents do. >> it is not what united states president does but it's what one is doing and it's not taking place in a vacuum. up to now the principle approach of the administration towards a lot of the investigations was to delegitimize them. what seems to me this is the other shoe falling. on one hand you have the delegit mization of all that mueller and company are doing and now you're having companion to it and signal about pardoning, almost a
preemptive use of the pardon rather than the reactive use of pardon. it's signaling a lot. and statement of presidential primacy. it's like someone hasn't read that the executive doesn't get dealt with until article 2. this is a rewriting of article 2. it doesn't work that way. i think in the context of other things we've seen about mueller, this is basically another set of tools that the administration is using now. >> and the right to murder now. president trump's lawyers along with the white house gave false denials to t media last year when they said the president had no role in drafting his son's misleading statement about the 2016 trump tower meeting with russians. in the january memo that we've been talking about, the president's lawyers wrote, you have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the president dictated a short but accurate response to "the new york times" article on behalf of his son
donald trump jr., but the responses claim that the subject of the meeting was about russian adoptions, which was not a campaign issue at the time, quickly fell apart. ter e-mails surfaced that trump jr. was told of the russian government's desire to help with damaging information on hillary clinton. >> which he was very excited about, very excited about that. >> he said i love it believe. the january memo goes on to call the president's role a private matter with the new york times. the president is not required to answer to the office of the special counsel or anyone else for his private affairs with his children. but when "the washington post" reported that trump dictated the response on july 31st, 2017, the presidents then attorney john dowd told the national press fake news, incorrect and misinformed of no consequence. >> let's stop right there. >> sure. >> just look at that. mike barnacle, this is what happens all the time. the president is caught in a
lie. and then they come out and say it's fake news, it's incorrect, it's misinformed, it's of no consequence. my god, how many dozens of times has he done that with new york times articles, washington post articles. before we go to you, mike, here, i want you to see some of the lies because they just kept lying. they lie everyday. they lie for sport. and they lie because they think you're too stupid. think think you are too stupid to keep up with it. here are some of the lies. let's watch. >> the president didn't sign off on anything. he was coming back from the g20. the statement that was released on saturday was released by donald trump jr. and i'm sure in consultation with his lawyers. the president wasn't involved in that. i want to be clear the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement. >> he certainly didn't dictate but you know, he like i said he weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do. >> oh, god. >> they're all lying. he actually wrote it. >> that hurts. >> he did write it.
and but you know what the president says to john dowd or to jay sekulow, he more than likely lies to them as well. they get on tv, especially john dowd, i don't think he would lie, any way, michael schmidt, the whole story yesterday revolves around a sequence of presidential lies continually lies about specific things we just indicated one of them, but at the root of the stoi ry, let get back to this idea of the president's idea of what a pardon consists , he could pardon anyone any time. joe scarborough could go into the oval office and say i have to testify. president could say, tone it down, cover it up and i'll pardon you and nothing would happen to the president.that se this story. the president's idea of what he can and cannot do.
>> yeah. the president going so far as to discuss pardons with mueller. so here the president is he does oversee mueller. mueller is part of the justice department. and it looks like he's sort of warning them as if to say, look, here is what i see my power as. here is what i think i could do. i'm not sure how mueller could not have seen that in some ways at the very least as a threat. you have to remember the backdrop of all of this is the interview. the president's lawyers are saying to mueller, we don't think you need to interview him. and they're preparing for a subpoena. they're preparing for the idea of mueller trying to compel the president to talk and trying to do everything they can to head that off because they know in a worse case scenario trump would go in and be able to be questioned by mueller for a long period of time. you know, even in the worst of the worst he wouldn't have his lawyer with him and they're trying to push back on that. and they're trying to lay out as
broad a view of the president's powers as possibl to sort of say, hey, look, this is who we think we are. this is what we think the facts are. you don't need to talk to him. you should back off and you should end the investigation. >> all right. yesterday trump's lawyer rudy giuliani was asked to explain the shift from denial to acknowledgment and said it was a case of changing memories. >> this is the reason you don't let the president testify, our recollection keeps changing or we're not asked a question and somebody makes an assumption. >> so he said that they don't want to testify because he'll get caught lying. by the way, your memories don't change when the second it comes out everybody starts asking you. that in realtime that they were lying. >> heidi, just even over the weekend talking to people with any understanding of the law, people with any understanding of dictatorships maybe having lived in one, people with any
understanding of history, they are frightened, horrified, absolutely appalled that the people elected to go to washington, d.c. to the nation's capitol to represent us don't see what's happening. >> one of those points i would say would be the interview on cnn with kevin mccarthy who may become the next speaker of the house. guys, i thought this was particularly significant because he flat out refused to take on that issue of the lying. he was presented with those statements. what you're seeing now is that the president's allies on capitol hill are shifting to the issue of collusion. they're saying let's just put that aside. i'm not going to address the fact that the president was lying, there was no collusion. again, they're wrong on that. all you have to do is look back to that trump tower meeting when you had the president's son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager meeting with russian intelligence people with close
ties to russian intelligence for the express purpose of getting dirt on hillary clinton. but here is what's happening. this is just part of a broader campaign to cast this entire investigation not as a legal problem but as a political problem for the president, to kind of muss things up, to confuse the public so no matter what the findings are by mueller when the action is time to take action on this and it depends on congress taking action, you have a public that is very divided. and there was a new pole out over the weekend showing just how successful this initiative has been. it showed that the negative coverage of this probe is having a big impact on the president's base. fox viewers in particular, according to this navigator poll v a negative view of this probe by 73 to 23%.
now the good news is the overall public by 20-point spread still wants this investigation to go forward, but this does show just how effective this strategy has >> steve the president was lying all weekend and kept talking about democrats running the probe. again, robert mueller life-long republican, the fbi director appointed by donald trump lifelong republican, the attorney attorney general of the united states appointed by donald trump, lifelong republican. you could go down the list, rod rosenstein lifelong republican, james comey up until the time he wrote letters for donald trump that helped donald trump win the election lifelong republican, mccabe voted. you go down the list they're all republicans and now of course the president is talking about being able to assassinate an fbi director. well, not the president.
i'm sorry. let me correct. i have to be correct, the president's lawyer rudy giuliani is now saying that the president of the united states can assassinate the director of the fbi and not even be indicted. that's really the question i think that every republican should have to answer today on capitol hill. and that it should be answered in the briefing room today. >> yeah. i thought heidi mentioned this interview with kevin mccarthy which i saw which d everything he could to avoid it and kept talking about collusion. i want to say two things. one, as i think michael schmidt said, the point of this memo was to keep the president from having to be interviewed or testified. lay out all their arguments why it wasn't necessary. we could debate this indictment question but there's very clear law on the president being required to give an interview or be deposed in a litigation. president clinton and other presidents have done it. it's interesting to see whether
mueller wants to push that point. i want to make one other point about something in that letter which is that they essentially said the way that the lester holt interview is being intereted was wrong and that trump didn't mean to say that he fired comey because of the russian investigation. >> just like the statement to the russian foreign minister and the russian ambassador to the united states. >> but if he didn't fire comey because of the russia investigation, then do we really believe he fired comey bauds of the way he handled the investigation of hillary clinton's e-mails. that defies logic. james comey elected hillary clinton. so they're trapped in another web of lies why they did fire comey. >> so frightening. >> michael schmidt, what is so interesting is they are doing back flips with this letter trying to avoid the president sitting down in front of the special counsel when, in fact, the stated law jonathan turley said this over the weekend is
that the president if subpoenaed has to -- >> i think rudy giuliani said that himself. >> jonathanaid it this weekend. rudy giuliani said it in 1998 and we'll show a clip of that later. >> before he lost his memory. >> if a president is indicted -- if the president is subpoenaed by the special counsel, he has no choice but to go answer questions. >> rudy saying yesterday that they would be prepared to go to court and fight it and that the white house was preparing for this that they see this coming. in terms of when folks mention collusion like kevin mccarthy, it's important to understand that collusion in regards to the president is just a small issue. out of the 49 questions that mueller wants to ask the president about, a majority of them are about obstruction, about what he has done in office. the bucket of things that relate to the president's conduct is much bigger on that issue than anything else. there's just not a lot of things on collusion.
it's all about how he has used his authority, the same issue that they are addressing in this letter. the president's view that he can go basically as far as he wants with the justice department and with the law. >> you know, mika what's so interesting about collusion is ain mccarthy and everybody else know no collusion. they don't know that yet because this investigation has only been going on a year, three russian companies have been indicted, the president's national security adviser the guy running his national security indicted and now he's pleaing because of his dealings with russia, his former campaign chairman, the guy that donald trump said he had to get involved so he could win the republican nomination, 13 russians indicted and been caught time and time again lying act his russian contacts. the person that donald trump told "the washington post" was his top foreign policy adviser caught lying about russia. they all have been ensnarled in
this. i'm curious where this will go. anybody who is interested in what happened in 2016, republican or democrat alike would like to know if you have four ex-trump advisers, a lawyer, a digital marketing strategist, 13russians, 3 russian companies, if they've all been indicted and gotten five guilty pleas in a year's time which historically is extraordinarily fast, my goodness. who is to say whether there's collusion or not. isn't that fascinating that a guy that wants to be the next speaker of the house doesn't even want to see where this probe is g to go? it's almost as if they're afraid they may uncover something. >> well, the president says you should have warned me about paul manafort, you could have googled him. but yeah. michael schmidt, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe," america would historically lean on its allies amid a nuclear standoff with north korea, but right now the u.s. is
in a brewing trade war with some of its closest friends. we'll talk through the diplomatic implications with richard haase and the economic fallout with steve ratner. also, we're going to continue talking about rudy giuliani suggesting that the president of the united states -- was saying the president of the united states -- >> could commit murder. >> could commit murder, could assassinate an fbi director who is investigating him and not even be indicted. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. >> mr. leader, are you bothered by the fact that the white house lied about the president's involvement here? >> look, one thing i have found this has gone on for 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 has said there's no collusion going forward. >> mr. leader, i understand those are the talking points, but this is a specific question. are you concerned that the white
house -- you heard the sound bites. you saw the statement from his own lawyers. they lied. does that concern you? >> look, they could go on with the investigation. what i was concerned most about like most americans was there any collusion. there was no collusion. intended to keep it. then he met the love of his life. who came with a three foot, two inch bonus. for this new stepdad, it's promising to care for his daughter as if she's his own. every way we look out for those we love is an act of mutuality. we can help with the financial ones. learn more or find an advisor at massmutual.com we can help with the financial ones. directv now gives you more for your thing. get all the good stuff about tv without all the bad stuff. yes! you can still stream your favorite shows. yes! with no annual contract. wait, what? it's live tv. yes! with no satellites. what? and no bulky hardware. no bkydwe!
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we'll be meeting in june 12th in singapore. it went very well. it's a get to know you kind of situation. i think it will be a process. i never said it goes in one meeting. i think it will be a process, but the relationships are building. but i think you're going to have a very positive result in the end. not from one meeting. remember what i say, we will see what we will see. i think we're going to have a relationship and it will start on june 12th. again, it's a process. it doesn't go -- we're not going to sign -- we're not going to go in and sign something on june 12th. we never were. we're going to start a process.
i told him today. take your time. we go fast. we can go slowly. >> oh. in addition to announcing that his summit with nkorea's kim jong-un is back on, a week and a day after he cancelled it, president trump also says he doesn't want to use the term maximum pressure anymore and holding off new sanctions because they are, quote, talking so nicely. jog us now former nato supreme ally commander, chief international security and diplomacy analyst for nbc news and msnbc retired four star navy admiral james stavridis, good to have you on this morning. >> so admiral, what the president just -- the clip we just played, we consider that to be good news, don't we, the start of a process is far better than rushing in, trying to get an agreement and seeing everything blow up. >> that's absolutely right, joe. you know, on the scale that kind
of runs from it's a meaningless photo op to we walk out the door and hand out nobel prizes, we're over here toward photo op, but it will be more than a photo op if we can put in place a frame work a pdent said. i think that frame work is going to be longer than most think. i would sayy a year or two. there will be frustrations and a roller coaster ride. the key will be let the diplomats get in the room and try to close that gap between at the administration is at least saying, complete, verifiable, independently validated, all nuclear weapons gone and what kim jong-un is saying, which is, yes, over time i would like to get rid of my nuclear weapons. that's a pretty big gap that is going to take at least a year, year and a half to close. having said all that, we are vastly better off than we were six months ago when many of us thought there was a significant chance of hostilities on the peninsula. >> i was just going to say that,
richard, that not only does this seem the best case scenario that we're beginning a process, instead of people rushing in without laying the icate, the ground work, also look where we were six months ago where most experts were saying we had a better than 50% chance of having war on the korean peninsu peninsula. this is a vast improvement. >> no, absolutely. diplomacy has become center stage. and as admiral stavridis rightly said, we seem to decided an all or nothing approach would have left us with nothing. so we basically made process and lowered expectations. i think the danger on the other side, joe, again this is somewhat reassuring. we'll see if there's the discipline, you also don't want the president and the administration to feel pressure to come up with something. i've been worried about what you might call catastrophic failure, nothing happens or they feel compelled to give away too much. what i'm hoping as jim said, you have a frame work. maybe you extend the north
korean testing freeze is the single most important thing for the next year or two. and you both -- don't offer too much. we for example do not want to see this president put things like america's security commitment to south korea on the table. we want this to be measured. history says you don't want to pay off too much up front because the north koreans have a lucy in the football history. i'm curious what mr. stavridis thinks about what he is still worried about, what he thinks could go wrong at this point, if he were warning the president or advising him about the pitfalls, what would he say at this point? >> he ought to be watching three very good military officers right now and talking to them, that's jim mattis, of course our secretary of defense, it's admiral phil davidson just taking over as commander of pacific command and thirdly, it's admiral harry harris, former pacific command who is going to be our ambassador in seoul.
these are three individuals who know those war plans very well. so we ought to be taking the approach of, yes, we're in the springtime of diplomacy but we need to be ready for cyber, special forces, the ability of the north koreans to undermine this through a series of tactical events. there are some tactical challenge challenges strategically it's moving in the right direction. speaking of senior military officers. kim just fired his top three military officers. that's actually fairly cig niche kant. i think tactically he did it because he's going to be out of the country. he wants total loyalists in place. this is the furthest he has ever been since taking power. tactically he wants real control and strategically he's signaling, we're going to try some new things. so potentially that's a good signal. i will say i don't think any of those three fired generals are going to be on the equivalent of "morning joe" in pyongyang any time soon.
they'll be lucky if they survive that. >> exactly. it will be a rough summer for them to say the least. but, again, the speculation has been, mika, that these three generals fired were skeptical of overtures towards washington, so again, i think most of the news from what we're hearing right now is good news and the fact that the president has lowered expectations actually is not only good politically, more importantly, it's good diplomatically. >> and who is in the room from our side is equally as interesting. >> and who is not in the room. >> that's what i meant. >> we'll talk about the trade war as well with you, admiral, if you could stay with us and get steve ratner's take coming up straight ahead. >> steve, do we have charts today? >> we have some charts. >> good. then you must hold on. >> wake up the kids even if you're in central time zone, it's 5:40, they have to get up any way for school.
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other somehow this is insulting to that. the idea that the canadian steel that's in military vehicles in the united states, the canadian aluminum that makes your fighter jets is somehow now a threat, the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the united states is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable. >> yep, canadian prime minister justin trudeau reacting to the steel and aluminum tariffs president trump imposed last week on some of the america's closest al lice. steven mnuchin was confronted by his counterparts during a three-day meeting in canada. in a joint statement summarizing the meeting the group expressed collective concern and disappointment in its american ally adding collaboration and cooperation has been put at risk. france's finance and economy minister was blunt in his
assessment, saying, quote, i would say it's been far more a g6 plus one than a g7. >> wow. >> okay. that's a bad si heidi, watching kevin mccarthy's pathetic, inability to see the difference between right and wrong because i guess he's so desperate to be speaker, at least this issue and that would be on the president's lying, at least this issue has republicans finding their voices, right? >> when the president first announced these tariffs, there was a broad backlash on capitol hill. everyone from speaker paul ryan to mitch mcconnell, orrin hatch, ben sass across the board.
here is the thing, congress has a constitutional right to regulate trade under normal circumstances, but the law that the president used to do this, which is based on national security reasons, which is highly disputed here, but nevertheless, if congress did want to take action, they would
have to do it by veto proof majority. on that, i just don't see how congress is going to muster the votes for this, given this is not the same republican party that we've seen in the past when it comes to free trade. so, i think we'll have to see how this plays out, but one important note i want to mention as well that just baffles the mind on all of this is that i did some reporting a couple weeks ago when this first happened. even the steel workers wanted these tariffs to be targeted. they were concerned about exactly this scenario that it would spark a broader trade war. so why
-- we still don't have the answers here as to why. i also did some reporting over the weekend and talked to someone who had been talking to european ambassadors who are understandably incensed about this, but they point out, for instance, that countries like australia exempted. so what is the method behind this?
we still don't know why the president is doing this when his own constituents, the steel workers didn't want this. >> and steve, you have a look at how some of the efforts of previous administrations use tariffs to reduce imports played out. how did that work? >> look, the reason why republicans are willing to speak out about this because it's truly a bad idea and history is not on the side of using tariffs to try to advance yourself economically or any other way. let me make four quick points. let's look at bush's steel tariffs in 2002 on imported steel. you can see that the steel industry employment was dropping pretty substantially before he did it. but then he did it. it plateaued for a short while and kept going down again. and the tariffs only lasted 21 months, partly because they were declared illegal by the wto and partly because the eu imposed retaliatory tariffs headed down a spiral. now one of the reasons the steel workers and other people like that are unhappy about this is because while there are jobs in the steel producing areas, there
are many many jobs in the steel using areas. so if you take a look at this next chart, you can see that at the moment we have 372,000 jobs in total in thereas of producing iron steel and other metals. we have 4.1 million jobs in industriuse steels, including things like cars. and there are estimates that these tariffs could cost the auto industry alone 45,000 jobs. >> so steve, let's go back to this chart really quickly and want to show everybody this. steve, not only do you hurt ten times as many american workers but even the 372,000 workers who are producers of metal, those workers are going to be impacted by higher prices when they go buy a car, higher prices when they buy items at walmart, higher prices when they buy items anywhere. >> exactly. if you take a look, for example, at the next chart which is an example of the obama administration of tariffs we put on chinese tires, you can see
exactly your point, joe, which is that they raised prices to consumers of tires 26% on chinese tires, 3% on amen that cuts consumer purchasing power to the tune of 1.1 billion and so according to a study the peterson institute, while 1,200 jobs were saved in the tire area, we lost 3,700 jobs elsewhere in the economy so there was actually a net loss.
their actions are more dependable than the united states now. >> indeed. and, you know, joe, when i was the supreme allied commander of nato, i had 50 nns as part of the coalition in afghanistan, troops from their nation died there. they spent billions and billions of dollars, they came along with the united states because we stood together as an alliance in the case of nato and as a coalition in the broader sense to see this kind of wedge as you say driven particularly into the atlantic ocean between us and our european partners. with he rue the day that they drift away from us. last point, if you go back 100 years ago -- and we ought to get a chart of this -- look at the hawley smoot tariffs in the late '20s and early '30s. how did that work out? that cracked the global economy and you can drop a plum line to the rise of fascism, see
madeleine albright's on this. that's what leads to the second world war. >> this is america first and protectionism. this is america alone. the french and others said the g7 has become th g6, the united states has spent years building up an order that served our interest on balance so this is not just bad economics as steve pointed out, this is not suddenly going to cost more jobs than it saves. this is going to contribute to the further unraveling of a world that we have literally spent three quarters of a century trying to build. >> it's a slogan, america first, it doesn't put america first, it puts america alone but also, steve, it puts americans last. americ americans, working class americans, are the ones who feel the disproportionate sting of these higher costs brought on by the trump tariff tax. it is a tax on americans. it's not a tax on foreign countries. it raises the price of everything and one little point. one thing that antagonized
canadians as much as anything and the prime minister referred to this is that we use this provision of the law designed for national security emergencies only used before during the oil embargoes in the 1970s against one of our neighbors to whom, by the way, we export more steel to canada than we import. >> that's why the trudeau interview is really important. >> our closest ally in so many respects. >> we did this unilaterally and the fact that we used national security, it sets a precedent. anyone else around the world, if they want they can cite their national security. this is how things unravel. >> we also ought to look at who is not involved in this. for example, the next summit in north korea is bashar al assad coming to see kim jong-un. this would be like tony soprano inviting veto corleone to the
badabing club. the bad guys on the other team will use this against us not just geo politically but economically as well. >> great. on that note, admiral james stavridis, thank you very much. coming up, rudy giuliani gives quite the example when describing executive power -- that the president can shoot the man who he considers a political enemy without any legal repercussions. more on this alarming escalation next on "morning joe." you always get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed?m
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. >> do you and the president's attorneys believe he has the power to himself? >> he's not, but he probably does. he has no intention of pardoning himself but he probably does. doesn't say he can't. i mean, that's another really interesting constitutional argument, can the president pardon himself. >> constitutional law professor jonathan turley says that everyboevery inaugural prayer should include the line "lord protect us from
every really interesting constitutional questions." professor turley joins us ahead and much more on giuliani's claim that the president can't be indicted for murdering someone -- >> wrong. >> and that someone he picks for example just happens to be former fbi director -- >> wrong on so many fronts. >> -- james comey. >> the can't be indicted? you want to try that on for size? >> interesting choice of -- >> the president can't be subpoenaed? >> -- murder victim. >> unbelievable the claims. we'll be back in one minute. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ this looks worse than i thought. mike and jen doyle? yeah.
time for medicare, huh. i have no idea how we're going to get through this. follow me. choosing a plan can be super-complicated. but it doesn't have to be. unitedhealthcare can guide you through the confusion, with helpful people, tools and plans. including the only plans with the aarp name. well that wasn't so bad at all. that's how we like it. aarp medicare plans, from unitedhealthcare. >> they say i have the most loyal people. did you ever see that? i could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and i wouldn't lose any voters, okay? it's like incredible. >> trump's leg team is taking a page from that campaign claim by trump while arguing the presidency protects donald trump from prosecution, trump attorney rudy giuliani told the huffington post that trump could
have shot james comey and not be indicted for it. he added "impeach him and then you can do whatever you want to him." welcome back to "morning joe." it's monday, june 4. still with us we have president of the council on foreign relations richard has. former treasury official steve rattner. nbc news national political reporter heidi przybyla. and joining the conversation, political writer for the "new york times" and msnbc political analyst nick confessore and republican campaign strategist and msnbc political analyst steve schmidt. also with us, law professor at george washington university, jonathan turley. and "new york times" reporter matt apuzo. we have a full show of news. three hours won't be enough. >> a lot of constitutional questions and obviously some extraordinarily disturbing things but let's get to the most important issue. so, nick, you saw "super bowl l
-- solo?" >> i saw "solo." i liked it. i thought the critics are wrong. it was -- kind of grew out of the culture of "star wars." the main thing i worry about it is that it doesn't have a lot of jedi and tie fighters so it's more of a "star wars" type movie than a "star wars" movie and the question is will the franchise move in that direction over time where it's a marvel cinematic universe. >> oh, manyy god. >> that's my hot take. >> and we talked before about how it seems what they're doing with the franchise now is sort of democratizing it where you don't need a jediment you don't need a king arthur to save the realm that the power is dispersed. >> you have han solo and chui. >> -- chewy. >> before everybody changes the channel -- >> and then you get lando together. that's movie magic. >> we're going to turn to i
would say major news. let's dig further into how the president's legal team views his pow powers. over the weekend the names published a 20-page memo from trump's lawyers to the special counsel from back in january arguing against the need for a subpoena. regarding questions of remains rosition t the "it president's actions here by virtue of this position as the chief law enforcement officer could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself and that he could, if he wished, terminate thery or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desires. >> i have to stop. we're going to go to rudy for a second -- >> i want to see this. >> all right, go ahead and play. >> rudy giuliani elaborated yesterday. >> go you and the president's attorneys believe the president has the power to pardon himself? >> he's not but he probably
does. he has no intention ofdoning himself but he probably does. doesn't say he can't. i mean, that's another really interesting constitutional argument, can the president pardon himself? >> you think it's an open question? >> it would be an open question. i think it would probably get answered by, gosh, that's what the constitution says and if you want to change it, change it, but yeah. >> well, this is what rudy said back in 1998 compared to what he said in 2018. >> what happens if robert mueller subpoenas the president? will you comply? >> well, we don't have to, he's the president of the united states. >> if the president is asked to testify, subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury and says no, not going to do it -- >> you have to do it. you don't have a choice. it's pretty clear a president can't be subpoenaed to a criminal proceeding about him. as far as the criminal law is concerned, the president is a citizen. the president cannot be distracted by a criminal
investigation. all the watergate litigation resolved the fact that the president is not above the law. is not able to avoid subpoenas. >> and yet you look right now, steve schmidt, at what giuliani isaying and what trump is saying, it's straight out of the frost/nixon interviews thatit not breaking the law because the president does it. there is no constitutiona basis in fact for this. there is no constitutional basis in fact that as giuliani said this past weekend that donald trump could assassinate an fbi director and not be indicted. >> of course. so rudy giuliani, his debasement, his servility towards donald trump at a moment where this country needs heroes -- >> that's correct. >> and he was a hero. he was an american hero. and to see the debasement of giuliani in service to this corruption and the debasement of
the presidency makes me want to cry to be honest with you. it's tragic. the letter that was put forward is the most disturbing that we've ever seen in the history of the esidency, and i'm not being hyperbolic, here, because trump, who's already established a premise that truth is not objective, that what is true is what isay, what is true is what the leader says is true so the crowd size materially smaller obviously so but because the leader says it's bigger it must be bigger. straight out of "1984." but now the claim in the letter is i am the law, i'm a king, i can if i wish, i can use the instruments of the department of justice to prosecute and lock up political opponents, anybody who obstructs me. that's the claim in the letter.
it's the most disturbing and the most ridiculous claim ever made by an american president. it is an assault on the american republic, it is an assault on the concepts of the rule of law, on the idea that we're a nation of laws and that no one is above the law. the greatness of george washington is that he was the first person in thousands of years since the -- a roman emperor who said i could be a king. i could be an emperor but i choose not to, i'll be a president. i'll be a person with limited powers. and then i'll return home to my farm in virginia when my service is over. the letter that giuliani defends is an assault on all of those concepts. >> and jonathan turley i would have been far more disturbed
this weekend after reading that letter. i chose instead to stay off of twitter because of everything that was going on and decided to be disturbed insad by what i saw on patrick melros a truly disturbing mini series on showti showtime. but for the fact that we have nine supreme court justices who would laugh most of these arguments in the letter i believe out of the courtroom. tell us what you saw in that letter and tell u how you think the supreme court could respond to so many of those claims by dowd and sekulow? >> well, the letter itself seems to be an example of position bargaining where frankly they are exaggerating the existing case law. it is not true that the president can simply defy a subpoena. there's not a lot of case law in the area but what is there
supports robert mueller and i think that the white house team understands that. i think they know they're going tolo i thinkhat they want is to lose on their terms. they're trying to get in front of a federal judge to see if the federal judge will narrow the scope of questions and reduce the amount of time. but that is a heck of a risk to take. they're assuming the worst-case scenario they're going to get what bill clinton got which was a brief appearance before the grand jury with lawyers. that's not guaranteed. bill clinton sat through a civil deposition. he was already under oath on the record. but also all of this stuff, like the dictation controversy really hurts them. you're going to go to a judge and ask that judge to protect you if lines of inquiry when the news is filled with reversing long-held positions like the position that trump didn't dictate. >> and jonathan, again, what
lawyers would usually want to prove before a court, the president's own lawyers do for the mueller team. you look at rudy giuliani after he wasqution. you can seethe the "washington post" today after he was questioned about the president lying and the t's team lying about who dictated that letter on air force one, rudy giuliani then said, you see? that's why we don't want him to two under oath. find me a federal judge in america that's going to look at that and not say the president has to comply with the subpoena. >> that was a rather curious argument. the reason the president -- >> he basically said, yeah, everybody around the president, they're such lawyers that we can't go in front of mueller. it's a perjury trap. >> finally honest. >> usually we try to serve our clients by doing excellent work. on this occasion you're saying,
you know, because we have made false statements, our client really shouldn't be called to and sohat's something we don't normally see. it's right up there with the comey statemt. we knew that they've debating for a long time what are we going do with mey, we never thought that one of the options was a woodchipper. so i think that that's not going to help either. those types of headlines hurt you. >> i need to follow up with that quickly, too. you know better than anybody that constitutional law has to bend to the facts before it. and this belief a president can't be subpoenaed or president can pardon himself or in this case a president if he wanted to could assassinate an fbi director who was conducting an investigation against him and he could not be indicted, impeached but not indicted, i get a fling again that that's something you would not want to put before nine justices on the
united states supreme court that the law wasn it came to murder or even treason that the law was what the president's party in congress said the law was. >> right. law professors have this for decades as to whether a sitting president could be indicted. i happen to take the view a sitting president can be indicted. i don't really put the a great deal of strength in some of the arguments made by the other side. what's fascinating is that the example given by giuliani is the example that my side gives, those who believe in limiting executive power raise the issue of the president shooting someone in the oval office. it is not the example the other side wants to talk about. it's like going to a health care inspector and saying "you know, der these rules i could poison my patrons." it's not a good argument for you. >> matt apuzo, let's look at what else we learned today, especially in a lot of your great reporting here, that the
president did indeed lie about dictating the letter, about the meeting in 2016 at trump tower with russians about getting dirt on hillary clinton. not only did the president lie about his, his attorney lied about it, sarah sanders then passed that law on to the american people in the house press briefing and i wonder how does this play in the court of public opinion and also in the court of republican sycophants on capitol hill. does anybody see something wrong here? >> it's funny, when we broke that story about the trump tower meeting over the course of these four days maggie haberman, my colleague and i, wrote a story in which we said that president trump and his aides helped craft his son's statement and we got pushback on that just saying he helped craft and then of course the "washington post" came over the top and said no he dictated it and the pushback against that was enormous and so to see in
black and white saying, yeah, he helped dictate it it's just a reminder of -- we go through this process in washington where he do the reporting and we go to the white house, we go to the administration and we engage with them and we have a back and forth and then the next day sometimes the very same people who were telling us yeah, we're fine, i'll confirm that for you, turn back around and say fake news, phony media. this isn't going to be a surprise to any reporter in washington that this is how it's operating right now. >> and take a look at what kevin mccarthy, the man who would be speaker, had to say when confronted with all of these lies. >> mr. leader, are you bothered by the fact that the white house lied about the president's involvement here? >> look, the one thing i have found, this has gone on for more than a year, millions of dollars
have been spent, the white house has been cooperating all the way through. this was all based upon was there collusion involved in the election? said there's no collusion going forward. >> mr. leader, i understand those are the talking points but this is a specific question. are you concerned that the white house -- you heard the soundbites, you saw the statement from his own lawyers. they lied. does that concern you? >> look, they can go on with the investigation. what i'm concerned most about, like most americans, was there any collusion, there was no collusion. >> so great job by dana bash, by the way, first of all, message to children from the guy who wants to be speaker of the house, the next speaker of the house, perhaps, doesn't care about lying. thinks it's okay for presidents to lie and people around him. also the talking points straight from donald trump or insipid and
asinine, historical, talks about this investigation is going on. he's lifting mike pence's speech who lifted a speech from richard nixon in 1974 before everything fell apart and historically this is actually a shorter investigation, a more productive investigation than the investigation into bill clinton, george w. bush. also too much money. they're saying it's too much money. do we want to start adding up how much money donald trump has spent of taxpayer monies going to golf resorts? because i can guarantee you he's spent more money going to golf resorts. r than we have as americans trying to figure out how vladimir putin influence it ha 2016 elections. >> it's a very small price tag for the defense of democracy and focused in no collusion, a talking point lifted straight from the president's twitter feed, right? it's a talking point.
it's not true. there's evidence of collusion which is not a legal term or legal crime. there is evidence of collusion in any colloquial sense all up and down the line. the only question is ist going to cross ove into financial crimes or isn't it? and the framing we're seeing right now, and you can see it from mr. mccarthy, is that this is already other. they found nothing and we're putting mueller on notice that he's got to wrap it up and acknowledge it and admit there isn't anything there so we can all go home. that's the framing because they know this is going to end up before the american people and potentially a vote in the house. that's the audience. >> and they know things aren't going well, steve schmidt. we're talking about -- kevin mccarthy now being donald trump's parrot sitting on his right shoulder and regurgitating his twitter feed. say nothing collusion, nothing's been produced. well, i'm sorry, we played the
clip, let's go over the list again. 13 russians have been indicted. three russian companies have been indict ed. the man donald trump picked to run the national security team indicted, charged, cooperating with robert mueller in the collusion investigation. the man that donald trump said he had to have if he was going to win the republican nomination to get the delegates, indicted, facing trial. the man that donald trump told the "washington post" was one of his top two foreign policy adviser ins the campaign indicted, charged, pled guilty, cooperating now with the mueller probe. again, if you look historically and compare this to what ken starr did with bill clinton, there's no comparison. a lot more charges and it's
happening at a far quicker pace and again we don't even know how far along mueller is but you still have kevin mccarthy and other republicans, donald trump desperate to end this investigation because they know it doesn't end well. >> let's deconstruct kevin carthy's li as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and the moon is in the sky and not in the ground they colluded and kevin mccarthy lied about it. they colluded because there was a meeting in trump tower with agents of the kremlin. agents with ties to the intelligence services of the russian federation and they came there that day to trump tower to dispense dirt on the democratic nominee for president of the united states agents of the russian federation. >> and they said it was about adoption at first. >> well, not the actual trump
people. that's whey what they lied to all of us about. >> the trump people. donald trump himself lied about th this. >> they lied saying itbout adoption which is an absurdity. it was not. they went there to give dirt on the democratic nominee for president of the united states. giving dirt on the democratic nominee is not an attack on the democratic party. it's not an attack on hillary clinton. it's an attack on the sovereignty of the united states. this is what george washington warned the country about. the interference of foreign powers in our affairs. this is outrageous. so we see kevin mccarthy -- and this mains me to say because i've known kevin mccarthy for a long time. i've known kevin mccarthy since before he was in the congress. since he was in the california legislature. >> that's me with paul ryan.
>> and i don't care -- i'm completely indifferent. if either party wants to make a monkey of the majority leader, i'm good with it if that's what they want to do but theaker he house is the constitutional office, third in line to the presidency and he disqualified himself yesterday. he disqualified himself for serious consideration for real power in this country because he subverted the constitution of the united states. he was not fidphfidelitous to h oath. he said blue is red, up is down. he defended the indefenseable. >> what we hear in washington, what we always hear around this set are republicans who have no use for donald trump, they speak ill of him off camera, say
terrible things about him off camera much like democrats did about bill clinton in 1999. and yet -- actually, worse. and yet you turn that camera on and it's like a light switch goes on where they go from trashing donald trump saying they wish he would leave town to defending him. >> i think there was a bit for all the good done by the media, there was a bit of a missed opportunity here as well and let me tell you why. all of the outrage is focused on this false narrative that the president may pardon himselfer have sthaus the president may pardon his associates which is the real danger here and the real potential threat to this investigation which is the president has been strategically pardoning individuals in order to sent that message to his associates like din fish d'souza over last week who was found guilty on a number of charges
that michael cohen is now facing so the question now is is that outrage focused on the self-pardon? the second thing i wanted to mention about other investigations, is you're right. from the time of the break in to the end of the investigation, that was two years. that is a far less complex investigation than what we are facing now which is potential attack by a hostile foreign power, collusion, financial crimes. iran-contra, five years, even benghazi which is something i covered closely and resulted in exactly nada, zip in terms of the way of indictments or guilty findings, that was two and a half years and $7.8 million in taxpayer funding. >> very interesting, steve
rattner? >> i'd like to go back to jonathan turley with a question. you made a reference to your view that a sitting president could be indicted. i'm hardly in a position to debate constitutional law with you to say least but i beeve in1973 and again in 2002 office of legal counsel was asked to opine on this for obvious reason, nixon and then president clinton. both cases concluded that a sitting president could be indicted and prosecuted after he left office if he were impeached or otherwise left office but it was not appropriate to indict him while he was sitting in his job. >> well, this is a good-faith argument, there's arguments on both sides, i've written about those memos and too much is being made of them for a couple reasons. the olc is a record of almost uniformly concluded that executive power or privileges exist in their most robust form. it tends to be pro-executive power office as one might
expect. it's part of the justice department. the clinton memo i thought was dreadful. the nixon memo i thought was quite good, i just disagree with it. but if you look at the clinton memo, ey basically say there is not a clear answer here so we think the better course is to say you should impeach a president and then indict him. >> but again, jonathan, this is for political crimes, this is for political controversies. if you have again as you say the argument that this is not an absolute privilege would be the president shooting james comey as rudy suggested or a president beating up his wife or a president abusing his child, that would not be left to the congress in his own party. that's unimaginable. >> that's what's so funny about giuliani using that example.
i've used that example in the past arguing against this very positio position. article ii is not where the homicidal meets the constitutional. it's --re are limits and what bothers me about the people arguing for this sweeping immunity is there is nary a mention by the framers of such a ssive immunity. they're saying the framers discussed the president's powers in details. many of these framers were uncomfortable with the degree of presidential privileges yet no one mention this is sweeping immunity that would allow a president to commit the most horrific act in office and remain in office. it just doesn't track with the rest of the constitution. >> so nick confessore here.er i contention by the president's lawyers that the president cannot obstruct justice because he is justice. why is that important and what's their argument there? >> this is actually more of a
contentious or novel theory than even the one jonathan is talking about which as he said is an honest debate because frankly it's much more likely presidents will face this question then we'll have a president murder somebody in office, one hopes. >> we hope. >> hold your breath. >> listen -- >> the question i guess is can the president of the united states do anything that would amount to obstruction of justice or by virtue of the fact that he's the head of the executive branch, is anything fair game? if the justice department is investigating his family, if ey're preparing to move in an antitrust decision against one of his companies, does he have the ability unilaterally to shut down any investigation, to fire people if he doesn't get what he wants? could he bribe somebody? could he pay a federal official to shut down an investigation? and what we don't see here is we don't see what the bright line would be under the president's
theory. >> well, there's a good reason. there is no line. >> well, that's right. >> the president could -- tell me -- your reading of the memo. the president could have handed a million dollars in cash to the russian foreign minister and said "please take this back to vlad and tell him i want to build a trump tower in moscow" to be caught on camera and according to this argument the president couldn't be indicted for that. >> so the indictment question is the one jonathan was talking about. and the couldn't even investigate that if he decided to shut it down. >> and if he decided to -- let's say they open an investigation into bribery and treason, right? and for that conversation the president would have the right to shut it down or do anything he wants to end that investigation into himself and there would be no obstruction of justice." it's a novel -- it's an extremely novel theory and they don't establish any limits for it so his argument is there's no reason to have an obstruction of
justice argument because as president it would be impossible for him to obstruct justice. >> thank goodness he would haven't the cash. >> just a ridiculous argument. reporting., thank you for your jonathan turley, thaou as we'll look for your columns this morning in both "usa today" and "the hill." and all the constitutional law students that you want to torture now by taking them to extremes, you can use rudy giuliani's example." still ahead on "morning joe," trey gowdy defended the integrity of the fbi and that is not winning him any friends with the spygate crowd. politico's jake sherman explains that on "morning joe." we're back in just a moment. >> so what in a sense you're saying is that there are certain situations where the president can decide that it's in the best interest of the nation or something and do something illegal? >> well, when the president does
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>> everybody thought hillary clinton was atable, right? but we put together a benghazi special committee, a select committee. what are her numbers today? her numbers are dropping. why? because she's untrustable. >> so that' what sunk him the first time. house majority leader kevin mccarthy in 2015 with the comment about politicizing an investigation. a comment that helped stop him from taking over for speaker john boehner. today's political play book is looking ahead to the summer on capitol hill which will include another leadership fight. joining us now, sio wt politico and co-author of "the play book" jake sherman. so kevin mccarthy doesn't seem to understand the difference twine right and wrong or is his desperation to become speaker just overcoming his ability to see clearly? at this point the interview that
we saw yesterday on cnn was painful. weakness is equalo corruption at this part. what are the other options? >> i think one thing to note is that everything right now on capitol hill is being viewed through the prism of a leadership race between kevin mccarthy and steve scalise and it's a race to the right because the house republican conferences as we know is ever right-ward shifting and that's the political reality and we'll see that come to fruition this week where it is all but certain that wide-ranging and broad immigration debate will happen on the house floor in june of an election year which is stunning and this is something that kevin mccarthy has privately told republicans could threaten their majority come november. so almost unprecedented political dynamics on capitol hill in the middle of an election year. >> there are but, jake, as steve schmidt noted earlier, in some
ways the comments of kevin mccarthy over the past day would disqualify him for theaker job, wouldn't they? >> listen, kevin mccarthy is extraordinarily close to donald trump. there's no question about that. he is top adviser to the president, has been mentioned as chief of -- potential chief of staff replacement, something he and his advisers batted down so the choice kind of the between steve scalise and kevin mccarthy, a choice that will be made over the next five to seven months is going to be between two bepeople who have been stauh and unflinching defenders of president trump through almost every bump in the road that the president has had. kevin mccarthy believes the president is doing a good job. the president frequently calls mccarthy at all times of the day seeking advice, counsel. mccarthy has a line to the president's children so there's no question republicans are going to be choosing between two people who have very close ties to this white house and we haven't seen, as you guys have
noted today and in the past, we haven't seen the kind of standing up to the president that many people across the country would like and it frankly looks based on numbers we've seen the last day or two that it's feasible republicans keep their majority which would not only buck historical trends but would buck democratic enthusiasm across the country. >> jake, the pattern we've seen so far in the last year or so is that the president kind of delivers to conservatives on core issues, on religion and abortion, on tax cuts, on judges and so the pieces happy with the bargain which protects the president in this moment of peril, right? but we now have a trade war and people in congress care about trade, care about the impact of trade. and i wonder if you think that taking a fight to our allies on trade, on steel, while giving a break to china on phones is going to tear apart or at least
endanger or pull the fabric of this relationship at all. >> nick, it's a good question because one of the things that i think we should be looking out for is congress to stand up on the tariff issue which it hasn't done on almost a other issues to the president this year. republican leadership has kind of taken the position that they'd rather work with the white house behind the scenes and try to sway or steer the president in a certain direction rather than taking up legislation and sending it to the president and saying listen, we have 300 votes in the house for this, we're going to make sure it has a veto-proof majority and we don't stand for this stuff and you're going to have to take it. i don't know whether that will happen. but this is as close as we mentioned in play book to the president just getting on the wrong side of every republican on capitol hill. but, again, the votes have to be there and that's a quite difficult issue for the republican party. >> last week, jake, we heard republican congressman trey gowdy defend the fbi in the face of the president's spy gate
attacks. now politico is reporting that trump allies gang up on goudey. explain that. >> i think trey gowdy has never fit within the ideological framework that some people would like to put him in. he has been -- he's a career prosecutor. he's somebody who has taken the lead on peru or trosecutorial i capitol hill and he said the fb do in investigating the president and that's something trump allies have not like sod you've seen the trump machine come out against goudey which is somethin that is strange for a -- somebody who has been leading in the conservative movement on law and justice issues. but gowdy also is kind of unencumbered by his reelection prospects. he's not running again. he said time and time again that he hates being in congress, it's not a job he likes or wanted to keep so it's a fascinating issue and i expect we'll see more of this now that congress is coming back to town.
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this morning, president clinton is answering questions about sexual harassment and power. clinton and author james paterson sat down with nbc's craig melvin to discuss their newest novel and then they turned to the impact of the me try movement. and things got heated? >> a few days ago in response to critics who suggested you should have resigned in the wake of the lewinsky scandal you said you should not have. if you were president now in 2018 with everything that's going on with the me too movement, how would you have approached the accusations differently? >> well, i don't think it would be an issue because people would be using the facts instead of the imagined facts. if the facts were the same today i wouldn't. >> in 1998, president clinton shocked the world. first denying then admitting to an aair with then-white house intern monica lewinsky. the scandal launching a lengthy investigation that ended with
clinton becoming just the second president ever to be impeached. >> you're asking, well, don't we have a right to change the rules? yes, but youon't have a right to changthe facts. >> clinton says critics are now pouncing in light of the me too movement, but he stands by his decision to fight impeachment rather than resign. >> a lot of the facts have been conveniently omitted to make the story work. i think partly because they're frustrated that they got all these serious allegations against the current occupant of the oval office and his voters don't seem to care. i think i did the right thing. i defended the constitution. >> you think this president has been given a pass with regards to the women who have come forward and accused him of sexual misconduct? >> well, i think -- no, but it hadn't gotten anything like the coverage you would expect. >> president trump has been accused by numerous women of inappropriate sexual behavior, all of which he denies. >> i like the me too movement. it's way overdo.
i think that it doesn't mean i agree with everything. i still have some questions about some of the decision which is have been made. >> this march, monica lewinsky pinned an op-ed in "vanity fair" taking responsibility for her part in the scandal but also admitting that years later she was diagnosed with ptsd from the unrelenting public scrutiny. >> one of the things that this me too era has done, it's forced a lot of women to speak up. one of those women, monica lewinsky, she wrote in an op-ed that the me too movement changed her view of sexual harassment. quote, he was my boss, he was the most powerful man on the planet, he was 27 years my senior with enough life experience to know better he was at the time at the pinnacle of his career while i was in my first job out of college. looking back on what happened then through the lens of me too now, do you think differently or feel more responsibility? >> no. i felt terrible then and i came to grips with it.
>> did you ever apologize to it. >> yes. and nobody believes that i got out of that for free. i left the white house $16 million in debt. but you typically haveored gaping facts in describing this and i bet you don't know them. this was litigated 20 years ago, two-thirds of the american people sided with me, they were not -- i had a sexual harassment policy when i was governor in the '80s. i had two women chiefs of staff when i was governor. women were overrepresented in the attorney general's office in the 70s. i have had nothing but women leaders in my office since i left. ing -- you are giving one side and omitting facts. >> mr. president, i'm not trying to present a side.
>> you asked me if i agreed. the answer is no i don't. >> i asked if you ever i poll skiesed and you said you had? >> you've apologized to her? >> i apologized to everybody in the world. >> it's important to me that everybody who had been hurt know that the sorrow i feel is genuine. first and most important my family, monica lewinsky and her family. >> but you didn't apologize to her. >> i have not talked to her. >> do you feel like you owe her an apology. >> i do not -- i have never talked to her but i did say publicly on more than one occasion that i was sorry. that's very different. the apology was public. >> and you don't think a private apology is owed. >> i think this thing has been -- it's 20 years ago. come on. let's talk about jfk, let's talk about lbj. stop already. >> i don't think president -- you think president kennedy should have resigned?
do you believe president johnson should have resigned? one should ask you these questions because of the way you formulate the questions. i dealt with it 20 years ago plus and the american people, two-thirds of them stayed with me and i've tried to do a good job since then with my life and my work. that's all i have to say. >> so i just saw the interview that i've always wanted to see with bill clinton thanks to craig melvin. that's the interview i think we've been waiting decades for. this is one of the key reasons why we have trump today. that story, that president, his misdeeds, his mistakes with women, his abuse of power and that his wife running for president and not facing what happened and the continued abuse that happened under him and the example he set for america's children about what "is" is.
welcome back to "morning joe." you know, mika, it's interesting. i was just watching what you said and yes, lbj was mentioned, fdr of course could be mentioned. jfk could be mentioned. a lot of people in history could be mentioned but you know, again, it's a question of in these days does a president own up to it. >> right. >> if he wants to go out and campaign in 2018 which he should, do you own up to the fact that monica lun ski's life has been ruined. that you still have juanita broad rick suffering what she went through. i think people would forgive him. he said i am so sorry and yes, i need to call monica and yes, i'm
so -- but we still see this nagging clintonian impulse which again as you said allowed trump supporters to say well, what about the clintons. >> it has been for decades a lileouble standard that the clintons have used and abused where nobody is allowed to go there on this issue and in the age of me too, women are supposed to go there. and men by the way. we're supposed to be able to say what the difference is between right and wrong and when you have done something wrong, you are supposed to own it and not talk about facts distorted facts and obstructed facts. my god, he sounded like trump. he sounded incapable of owning anything. to me, i was -- i've never been more moved by an interview and i really appreciate that craig melvin asked those questions and put that entire interview to a
stop and stayed with it finally. finally. >> and you were talking about how what you heard over and over again from trump supporters throughout the campaign. >> what about bill clinton. and so what you saw there, i think is the end of bill clinton's life as a public figure in this country. because of that interview i don't think he's campaigning anywhere ever again unless he can clean it up and fix it pretty quickly. >> and the democrats desperately need this man. i still think -- >> i don't think they need him. >> the democratic mind politically of their time, i think. barack obama was lebron james as he said. he was just unbelievable skillful. bill clinton, brilliant tactician, democrats need him -- >> no, they don't. to apologize. >> it's con flating two different things. should he be impeached for lying about the affair and should he
have had the afire in the first place and history is with him on the first one, the public was very clear about impeachment but the second one, is it okay for a president to start an affair with a young intern in his office when he is the most powerful man in the world. the answer is no and it's okay to just say, you know what, i was wrong. >> it's not just that. it's the consequence of that affair on the impact of her life. look, life is long and complicated. >> absolutely. >> fdr died with his mistress lucy mercer who traveled to warm springs georgia was arranged by his daughter. this isn't private conduct on the part of bill clinton. this was in the oval office, on the resolute desk with a 21-year-old. and the profound consequences for her life, and the tragedy of
it and all he needed to say in that interview is i am profoundly and deeply sorry. that's all he needed to say. >> he went back and said kennedy, joson. >> h legacy is now we have half the country, any time you talk about the conduct of donald trump, anything that's wrong says like that, what about bill clinton? >> listen, steve -- >> this is the tragedy. >> he said what about the past presidents and what about pem but we're at a moment in history where this is no longer okay. we're not doing this anymore and it's too bad that the former president didn't own it. as for democrats, democrats don't need him, they don't need hillary. we don't need them. still ahead on "morning joe," rudy giuliani claims that as long as donald trump is president he cannot be indicted for shooting someone. this is where we are, thank you, bill. even if that person is former fbi director. we'll be right back. onably narrw fast food drive thru lane.
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>> my fellow americans, our long national nightmare is over. >> that is rudy giuliani over the weekend borrowing a phrase from gerald ford, nixon of course was pardoned by his successor and rudy was asked repeatedly on sunday would president trump pardon himself? plus, remember when the white house insisted over and over again that the president had no role in drafting his son's misleading statement about meeting with russians? >> jay of course who -- he worked for pat robertson, religious freedom, evangelical swore that they never did that. >> we know it was a lie because the president's own lawyers admitted confirming that. good morning, everyone. it's monday, june 4th. welcome to "morning joe." we have a lot to get to.
we have mike barnicle, former treasury official and economic analyst steve rattner, and richard haas. new york times reporter michael schmidt is with us. great group to start off the week. >> so much to get to and you listen to what rudy giuliani said over the weekend there's so many things that are disturbing. team that withhe lettery wrote that actually the president and his lawyers believe that the bedrock american principle that no man is above the law, no woman is above the law, no person is above the law, they actually believe for the first time in u.s. history for a president it does not apply to them. and by the way, they are -- they are kidding themselves and will
be let down horribly if they ever decide to try this on, to take this -- put wheels on this and take it out for a spin to the united states supreme court. they will be slapped down every bit as much as richard nixon in 1973 and 1974, and if you don't believe me, go to the supreme court. you may get one, you may get two votes, that's it. you will be run over because this supreme court does not believe that any person is above the law. >> well, i think someone's going to have to let the president know about that. let's start off with this and we'll try and methodically get through some disturbing news here. president trump's legal team is thumping its chest when it comes to the scope of the president's powers. in their take the president can pardon himself. cannot obstruct justice, doesn't need to testify and cannot be
indicted. we'll get to their thinking behind those significant assertions in just a moment. >> just like putin. >> this is not america. >> no, these are not people who believe in basic constitutional foundations. they -- but it's shocking, so many things said this weekend absolutely shocking that a guy that used to be a u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york is actually stating this. >> so we're going to start with the can't be indicted front. while arguing that the presidency protects donald trump rudy giuliani t the mp attorney huffington post that trump could have shot james comey and not be indicted for it. >> let's stop right there. mike barnicle, this is really literally out of the tyrant's play book. you pick the president's sworn
political enemy, and then you put it out there about the shtingf him, and you let the president'sollowers know that vladimir putin could shoot his political rival and not be thrown in jail. except this is inamerica. rudy giuliani is suggesting it and i'm sorry. we just have to play this game. what if barack obama had said in 2009, 2010 or let's say eric holder here, what if eric holder had said, you know what, barack obama should shoot rush limbaugh and he can't be indicted. barack obama could shoot paul ryan and not be indicted. barack obama chould shoot george w. bush and he couldn't be indicted. the reaction from the
republicans and the media would be just mind blog lioggling. >> we now have in rli the what we have gam andhat we have is we have much of the press, much of the public seemingly preoccupied with the apparent fact that the president of the united states is soon to meet with the head of north korea in historic supposedly summit. that's not a big story compared to this. >> no, it's not. >> this is truly a huge, huge story as reported by michael schmidt, and the front page of the new york times with the text of the lawyer's letter inside the times. it is a shocking, shocking attack on the foundations of our government. >> so you've spent your adult life actually studying foreign powers, tell me, first of all, have you ever heard a president or any of a presidential advisor suggest that a president could shoot somebody who was investigating him and not be
indicted? what countries does that sound like? >> it's inconsistent with the dna of this country. the whole idea of impeachment suggests implicitly that no president is above or beyond the reach of the law. if we thought that we wouldn't have a mechanism for removing a president for crime. >> by the way we wouldn't have the president on his very first moment getting sworn in promise to uphold the laws of this country and if anybody in the white house does not believe that every member of the supreme court will seize upon that oath he took to uphold the laws of this country and the constitution, then they're kidding themselves. >> again, there's several hundreds of years of constitutional history where the court has a role. they're not just a bystander to an out of control executive. we do have, again, the constitution is premisedn a foundation of limits. it limits central to the
american tradition, to arted doctrine that transcends limits is at its core with who we are. >> it's unlimited power. the president can kill anybody he wants. the president talked about shooting people on 5th avenue. i mean, this is suggesting that a president could beat up a first lady and not be indicted for that? could sexually abuse children and not be indicted for that? could do the most heinous of things and wagner never be indi? >> the constitution did not imagine the president is above the law. but the question is what the process is and whether a president can or should be indicted while he's in office as ame is nixon who was named st an unindicted coconspirator and after he resigned ford had to pardon him because he could have been indicted for what he did. >> michael schmidt, part of the
report where yesterday and congratulations to you and the rest of the times staff, part of the rtingeporncludes is line drafted by the president's lawyers. he could if he wished terminate the inquiry or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired. so that seems now to back up the premise that this is the president's legal strategy, that no matter the mueller investigation and the extent of it, at the end of the day, the president can pardon himself or anne else. >> you know, we found that line to be the most striking one in the letter especially because it mentioned pardons, sorts of this issue that has hung over the investigation for some time. we'd reported a few months ago that the president's lawyer had actually discussed pardons with mike flynn's attorneys and the attorneys for paul manafort so that was striking to us, their view of executive power. when we set out to sort of fin this document and get it, we
thought that there would be many new facts in there, thisld be the president's lawyers trying to argue to mueller why he had done nothing wrong and providing facts to do this. there are some those facts i there, some things about wha the white house knew about mike flynn and such, but it is their view of executive power that struck us the most and that's why we went about this story the way that we did. it was such an unusual look into how a president views his power at such an important time as he's under investigation and the striking nature of that and as we've seen in the reaction to it, it is something that has unnerved a lot of people, this sort of belief that he has about article ii of the constitution and just how broad it is and what it means to him. >> you know, heidi, even republicans on capitol hill, even republicans on capitol hill were surprised by some of the arguments that were made in this
letter and ose by the arguments that rudy giuliani carried through the weekend, that the president of the united states could assassinate -- because this is what rudy giuliani said, that t president of the united states could assassinate an fbi director who is investigating him and not be indicted. that's -- that's the world that we now live in, that we have a president who believes that and republicans on capitol hill i would guess were a little unnerved by this? what can you tell us? >> i think that the message here from this tt, think we got a bit of a snow job to be honest with you, joe, because the republicans on capitol hill i'm sure were shocked by a lot of the things in here, but what was the one thing that they got asked about? it was simply about the self-pardon. they didn't get asked about for instance what the president is doing in terms of sending a message to try and stop would be
co-op ray torrs with this investigation in terms of michael cohen, in terms of flynn, and that that is the -- that is the real intent here, not the self-pardon. but secondly, to the issue of executive power, ag many of thos republicans have yet to weigh in on that issue which i think is far more troubling given that it was after water gate, it was after president trump nixon's abuse of power that we instituted what's called an interagency contacts policy. we have a culture and a precedent in this country of separation of powers between the executive and the department of justice. so what are the implications of this that we have yet to really explore? if the justice department really is quote unquote a creature of the president, well, that is when you see instances like the president bullying amazon or the president as he did during his
campaign threatening to block the at&t merger, so this letter, if this truly is the way that the president views his executive power is troubling o ma le,he least -- the beginning with the implications for this investigation, but having far more reaching implications like i just outlined. >> so i want -- i understand that republicans and democrats on capitol hill watch this show a good bit. a lot of times at the gym. hi, how are you doing? >>t you to see the graphic at the bottom because this is what rudy giuliani said this weekend. rudy giuliani who's speaking on behalf of the president, who's speaking with the president's blessing said and who hasn't been called back for saying this, parallels what donald trump said during the campaign that he could shoot somebody on 5th avenue and not lose people's support but now yes ewe're in t
legal realm. i hope somebody asks you this question and i hope you get the answer right. rudy giuliani said that donald trump could have assasnated the fbi director who is t him an he could igation not be indicted. so i want you to know that the correct answer to that is, if somebody asks you, no, he cannot because in america, no one is above the law. but you may want to actually get out in front of that and criticize rudy giuliani, come up with your stupid excuses for not attacking the president of the united states. just attack rudy for suggesting, i'm going to say it again because sometimes it takes a little while to cut through all the b.s. that you hear every day. rudy giuliani on behalf of the president of the united states said that the president of the
united states could assassinate an fbi director who is investigating him and not face indictment. richard, this is what vladimir putin does. this is not what united states presidents do. >> it is not what a united states president does but it's what's one doing. and it's not taking place in a vacuum. the administration's approach was to delegitimize. and now you're having companion to it and signal about pardoning, almost the pre-emptive use of the pardon so it's signaling a lot and a statement of presidential primacy. it's almost as if someone hadn't read the constitution and reminded them that the executive doesn't get dealt with until
article ii. this is almost a rewriting of the constitution and it's article i. i do think in the context of other things we've seen about mueller, this is another set of tools that thedmistration is usnow. >> still ahead on "morning joe," it was don jr. who arranged a meeting at trump tower with the russians but it was his father, the president who dictated the letter trying to explain it away. that admission comes directly from the president's legal team. but first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> yeah, rain again once again in the northeast. sunday was a little murky. heavy rain around d.c. uand you'll be like rain and thre of the country. extremely warm. we're. whatting new york city. end of the rain. boston, a couple more hour to go through. pouring in providence right now. raining hard up through new hampshire and if you watch closely one area of thunderstorms heading to the west. this is heading to the east. they collide here in central
texas. now it's just a big old rainstorm and new thunderstorms popping up over the top of dallas. maybe some airport delays. rain this morning in new england. afternoon storms in florida and we will see those storms occasionally in texas. heat, 109 today in arizona especially phoenix has the chance to get up to 110. there's some beautiful weather too. going into wednesday, still a little cool and damp in the northeast. showers and storms around the gulf. 109 in west texas and by the end of this week we'll track some plains and the ohio valley but starting off a little miserable in areas of new england on your monday. this is the worst day by far all week. and how about all that heavy rain and river flooding. things will be improving as we go throughout the day. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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president trump's lawyers along with the white house gave false denialso the media last year when they said the president had no role in drafting his son's misleading statement about the 2016 trump tower meeting with russians. in the january memo that we've been talking about, the president's lawyers wrote, you have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the president dictated a short but accurate response to the new york times' article on behalf of his son donald trump jr. but the responses claimed that the is ub jacket of the meeting was about russian adoptions which was not a campaign issue at the time, quickly fell apart. after e-mails surfaced that trump jr. was told of the russian's desire to help with
damaging information on hillary clinton. >> which he was excited about that. >> the january memo goes on to call the president's role in crafting the response a private matter with the new york times. the president is not required to answer to the office of the special counsel or anyone else for his private affairs with children. but when the washington post reported that trump dictated the response on july 31st, 2017, the president's then attorney john dowd told the national press, fake news, incorrect and misinformed, of no consequence. >> just look at that. mike barnicle, this is what happens all the time. the president is caught in a lie and then they come out and they say it's fake news, it's incorrect, it's misinformed, of no consequence. my god, how many dozens of times has he done with the articles? i mean, you know before we go to you, mike, i want you to see some of the lies, because they
just kept lying. they just can't help. they lie every day. they lie for sport and they lie because they think you're too stupid -- they think you are too stupid to keep up with it. here's some of the lies. >> president didn't sign off on anything. he was coming back from the g20. the statement that was released on saturday was released by donald trump jr. and i'm sure in consultation with his lawyers. the president wasn't involved in that. >> i do want to be clear the president was not involved in the drafting. >> he certainly didn't dictate but like i said he weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do. >> oh, god. >> they're all lying. he actually wrote it. >> he did write it and -- but you know, what the president says to john dowd or to jay, we don't know. no dot, probably more than likely lies to them as well. so they get on tv, especially john dowd, i don't think he would lie, but anyway, michael schmidt, the whole story
yesterday revolves around a sequence of presidential lies, continually lies about specific things. we just indicated one of them, but at the root of the story, let's get back to this idea of the president's idea of what a pardon consists of, that he could pardon any any time. joe scarborough could go into the oval office and say you know, mr. president i've got to testify against you in the grand jury and the president could say listen, tone it down, cover it up and i'll pardon you. and nothing would happen t the president. that seems to be the root of this story. the president's idea of what he can and cannot do. >> yeah, i mean, the president going so far as to discuss pardons with mueller, so here if president is he does oversee mueller. mueller is part of the justice department and it looks like he's sort of warning him as if to say look, here is what i see my power as. here is what i think i could do.
i'm not sure how mueller could not have seen that in some ways at the very least as a threat. you have to remember the backdrop of all of this is the interview. the president's lawyers are saying to mueller we don't think you need to interview him. they're preparing for the compelling of the president to talk and they're trying to do everything they can to head that off because they know in a worst case scenario trump would go in and be able to questioned by mueller for a long period of time even in the worst of the worst he wouldn't have his lawyer with him and they're trying to push back on that and they're trying to lay out broad a view of the president's powers as possible to sort of say hey, look, this is who we think we are, this is what we think the facts are. you don't need to talk to him, you should back off, you should end the investigation. >> there is so much more to pick apart on the legal front. we'll bring in former u.s.
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welcome back to "morning joe." yesterday president trump blamed the fbi for whom heired in his own campaign quote as only one of two people left who could become president, why wouldn't the fbi or department of juice, he puts justice in quotes, have told me that they were secretly investigating paul manafort on charges that were ten years old and had been previously dropped during my campaign? should have told me. hours later, trump tweeted more about manafort quote, we should have been told that comey and the boys were doing a number on him and heldn't have been hired. joining us now former u.s. attorney of alabama joyce vance and former tone generattorney g mike barnicle, steve schmidt and
nick all back with us today. where do we -- how do i even begin to formulate a question about the president's tweets? is the fbi supposed to be warning him about the people he chooses to run his campaign? >> well -- >> when he could google it? >> well, there's an argument at is part of a broader argument which is if most of the alleged efforts by the russian government to affect the election occurred during the obama administration what was done and why wasn't that stopped, why wasn't something stopped in that administration or done -- more done and second, why weren't both candidates that would be hillary clinton as well as donald trump notified of what might be going on. >> but they were. >> well -- >> the fbi warned both the clinton campaign and the trump campaign and despite the fact the trump campaign had made contacts, that i guess this was a two-year process from vladimir
putin to influence the election. >> yeah, and i think it's all part of a -- of an effort to go from pure defense to partial offense which ist of what rudy giuliani is doing and turning it i think with some effectiveness by the way, turning the narrative to a different subject which is why haven't you done more than just notify us, why have you not gotten into this more deeply? why didn't we hear about it earlier and by the way, why should we go put this man in a so-called perjury trap, t president that is, without having all the information that we need to avoid a trap and then finally, why do you need him at all? because he is not the only guy who -- >> but wouldn't it have been helpful if the trump campaign had come forward and volunteered information that it had been approached by the russians? >> well, especially after the fbi had warned them that they
might be approached by the russians. >> yeah. it should have gone both ways. i think that the best you can do in my opinion on behalf of the trump campaign is to say these guys did not know what was going on. they had become part of a campaign for someone they never expected to be running for president, successfully, they really did not know what to do and one of the things we've seen as a generalization is that the president didn't have when he took office a year and a half ago a deep bench and so he's -- he's trying to upgrade his bench one firing at a time. >> yeah. >> so it's fascinating to me, right, the president is an avid reader of news clippings and articles if not books. i could have sent him ten articles about paul manafort spanning 20 years that would have told you exactly the kind of business he had been in prior to becoming the campaign chairman which would have provided you ample warning to
think maybe this isn't the best person to put in charge of my campaign. his business was working with dictators overseas and getting things done for him in washington. th kremlin.unctionally agent he was a russian agent o-spensee my -- and so under a general oposition here, which is you can't fix stupid, right, or crazy, but that the campaign is both crazy and stupid and they don't know this, you would hope that someone in the american government would say hey, you know, you just put as your campaign chairman functionally a russian agent in charge. >> but there's one thing -- >> and no one did that. he has a point. >> we're forgetting something. there was more than that.
and that is the pall manafort was very well known to be an extremely effective republican operative. he knew how to count votes. >> in 1976. >> well, he knew then. he knew and at a time whey did not know in the campaign who was voting for whom, i think -- i thought that's why he was brought on. i didn't know he was a russian operative but i did know he was one of these republican operatives and that he was effective. when did he get kicked out? fairly quickly? i don't remember. >> well. >> i think four months. >> well, when the news reports started to come in, he was -- you know, they threw him out of there. but if you're an agent of the kremlin, he's a vmir putin stooge who was the chairman of the campaign and the shamefulness of this, it wasn't directly covered by the media in this country in the way that it should have been, you know, is that it was kind of revlatory story after story hinting
around. it wasn't informed by the security services and the intelligence services. this guy was a legitimate russian asset who's the chairman of a presidential campaign. then you have russians who are interfering in the election process, who are meeting with the top leadership and nobody calls the fbi. it's just -- it's extraordinarily a disgrace. >> so joyce, following up on what stanley said, part of this also just is the complete ignorance of the trump campaign. they wanted to get rid of lewandowsk, they were looking to replace lewandowsk and they had manafort who you know, haunted trump tower. i guess they both lived in trump towers together. and somebody said hey, he knows how to count delegates, so again, this -- part of this just go to what a -- i mean, it was a campaign like no other
campaign. they had no infrastructure. they had donald trump, donald trump jr., ivanka, jared and that was pretty much it. >> i've always had trouble with this position that they put forward that we were inexperienced, we didn't know what we were doing so you should give us a break for criminal conduct. that's just not how the world works for anyone, let alone for someone who holds themselves out to be qualified, to be the president of the united states. the egregious failure of vetting here is it's so egregious that you almost have to believe that they knew what they were getting when they brought manafort on board. he of course came to work for them for free and you know, two minutes on google would have told someone who wasn't already aware in those circles who manafort was linked to, where his money had been coming from and why he was able to buy a place in trump tower at all. so i really struggle with this argument that trump was a victim
of his own inexperience. i think that when we get to the end of the mueller investigation, we'll find out that there were long-term relationships and that pete people knew exactly what was going on. >> there's an old sing in silicon valley these days that if you are not paying for the product, you are the product. if you are getting paul manafort's services for free, you are the product and that was the case here. >> yeah. >> he wanted a a position of influence. he saw it as a way to resuscitate his own influence and possibly get back with some of his friends in the ukraine. that's what was going on here. >> he owed $19 million which i gueshe still owes and joyce, following up on that, the most remarkable thing is all of paul manafort's friends and associates have all said that they warned him not to take the position with donald trump, they all published reports because they knew if he did his russian contacts and his past would
catch up to him and he would end up exactly where he is now. >> and that proved to be the case. there's this remarkable scenario at the republican convention where the party's position on interference by russia and ukraine has softened and bystanders and news observers are just, you know, stunned by this and it goes on from there. this entire idea that there was such a lean that manafort sat in on the trump tower meeting, that they were willing to accept overtures from russia without reporting them to the fbi, there was no doubt that this would all come to light. i don't think anyone thought that it would be in this spectacular fashion with these incredible allegations never before seen of an american president willing to cozy up to one of our longest term enemies but nonetheless, here we are and manafort finds himself in a position entirely of his own making. >> stan, you're a former
assistant attorney general of the united states. joyce is a former united states attorney. what was your reaction yesterday to the story in the times when resident the united states' lawyers basicallyout lined the idea that this president specifically could terminate any investigation into him and pardon anyone at any time? >> i didn't take it seriously. i still don't. i think it is metaphorical. i think it is argumentive. i think it is something that would never happen. >> just trying to play a strong hand you don't have? >> correct. he's not going to shoot anybody and kill them. right? he's just not. he's not going to pardon himself ever. so to the extent that we are going to argue about those arguments, t arguments should be what do they stand for that's realistic? what is the point about how much power does the president really have, not that we should start getting literal and start saying is he going to shoot someone. he's not. >> but their choice of -- i'm
finding it really hard to believe that any -- who uses this example? >> they put it in writing. >> who uses this as an example it's egregious. it's disgusting. >> yeah, we for a couple hours have obviously been deeply concerned about the letter. bottom line, the letter fs what the purpose, why did the lawyers send the letter if -- if the legal arguments are not -- are not respectable? >> i'm not sure they're not respectable. in other words, we know that the justice department has said you can't indict a president for certain things, not -- no one -. >> no one has ever said you can't indict a president for shooting one someone in the middle of the street. but there are certain things you can't indict a president for. you should resort to impeachment. that line is important and grown up. the use of metaphors and the use of exaggerated examples is
something that sort of takes us off track. >>n't it strange that giuliani would use the worst case scenario and actually help the president's critics? >> yeah, and i mean, i think it's being effective toe a certain degree. it makes for a really interesting discussion. good television, i think. >> yeah, but i have to s if they use the metaphor to make a point as part of a legal negotiation, that's above my pay grade, that's what you guys know more about, i'm sorry, this metaphor is specifically disturbing and specifically threatening. >> yeah. >> maybe they could have used a metaphor with no name or with no position, but they used a name and a position. >> it was a bad -- yeah. >> you don't see that. you're just saying it's a metaphor and part of a negotiation? i see a huge problem there. >> i wouldn't say it's not a problem but i'm saying i don't ta seriously the literal of
it. >> the legal import of it. >> the legal import of an argument, i mean, if the esident's lawyers did not argue that he cannot be indted for any of the helm of things that we're talking about seriously, manafort, et cetera, that if they didn't argue that i would fire all those lawyers. they've got to argue that. >> exactly. >> and they do have a basis. >> trump just tweeted this as has been stated by numerous legal schars i have the absolute right to pardon myself. but why would i do that when i've done nothing wrong? in the meantime, the never ending witch hunt led by 13 very angry and conflicted democrats and others continues into the midterms. >> hold on. >> 13 very angry democrats. hold on one second. let me count the democrats. mueller. >> he's republican. >> oh, he's republican. >> try again. >> but sessions, the ag is a democrat. >> no, he's republican. try another one.
>> rod rosenstein. >> sweet ie, he's republican. >> comey has been a life long democrat. >> so who could thent be talking about? >> the u.s. attorney for the southern district of -- no. wait, hold, on. the fbi -- >> i got it. >> the fbi director is an angry -- no. >> no, he's angry at himself. donald trump is a democrat. are you angry at yourself? don't be conflicted. >> he's talking about the 13 people on the mueller team. all of them are democrats. >> donald trump by the way, has donated more money to the democratic party than any democrat. >> it's not constructive to be mad at yourself. >> donald trump who gave money to -- oh, gee, nancy pelosi i think. a ton of money to the dnc, to hillary clinton. >> just look at his views.
he's democrat. >> gosh, he gave money to -- how many democrats? chuck schumer. he did a fundraiser in 2009 for schumer. >> what he said is a lie. it's propaganda 100%. so we have two things connecting here. first is donald trump's basically assertion that what i say is true. straight out of 1984 when winston, right, is being interrogated by the party officials and the party official has four fingers in the air and winston after being tortured says i only see four fingers. the party officials say it can be three, it can be five. you combine that where the president is basically asserting what i say is true, what i believe is true despite any material facts along with the legal assertion that i am the law. >> right. >> and joyce, that's what -- >> and those two things are profoundly disturbing.
>> i've got to say -- i've said it earlier and my position actually, i'm sort of where stanley is. my position as i heard all these claims of absolute exec utive power, i laughed it off because there's about 7, maybe eight justices at the supreme court that would laugh the president's attorneys out of there, but he does keep claiming the absolute power to pardon myself, the absolute power to shoot people, i have the absolute power to -- you know, no, he doesn't have that absolute power and i think it's important for us to let americans watching this know that yes, this is disturbing rhetoric but the supreme court would never follow the president down this rabbit hole. we have a separation of powers that james madison gave us and we will continue to have those accept rations of powers ens after donald trump leaves office. >> joyce?
>> so i hope you're right about the supreme court, joe, a do think that you're right that they would be that last blasting of hope for us, but by the same token i take the president's letter very seriously and his tweets as well. he's made these sort of off the wall sorts of claims before and people have thought well, he won't go that far, no one's going to separate mom from babies at the border and here we are. so here's what i did as a prosecutor though. when i was looking at a target in a case or a subject in negotiating with his defense lawyer, we talked about whether or not there was probable cause to indict his client. we never talked about whether his client was above the law. and this is the dangerous sort of paradigm that president trump and his lawyers are setting up, this fundamental focus that he is above the law, we all know that the supreme court will reject that. they are running it as a public relations strategy trying to confuse the american people and
it's disgusting to see that coming from a president who should be protecting us. >> thank you. >> that's importan this is not a legal strategy. it's a public relations strategy and since we've already a blast from the past with bill clinton earlier today, it is important to remember this is not the first time that it's happened. bill clinton, democrats in the house, democrats in the senate, democrats on special news, democratic special interest groups savaged ken starr. made him out to be the bad guy. made republican members in congress out to be the bad guys. this ground has been plowed before. joyce, vance, stan, thank you so much. >> thank you for being on the show this morning. president trump says quote we're getting along with north korea. canada? not so much. here's how meet the press captured some of the president's
history of slamming long time allies. >> what went wrong? angela, what happened? what happened, angela? >> paris? i don't go there anymore. paris is no longer paris. >> canada has treated us very, very unfairly. >> mexico has been very difficult to deal with. >> now that those allies rebuking the trump administration over its trade tariffs against them let's bring in bryan sullivan. this all comes as the president prepares to meet with world leaders in canada this week. >> yeah, i mean friday and saturday heading up to quebec for the meetings i know that the canadian prime minister was just on with our colleague on meet the press over the weekend. chuck todd saying basically this is unfair in saying there's a $2 billion surplus on steel. i think it's fair to say that we are in a trade battle i don't want to call it a war yet, a trade battle or a trade spat with five of the seven
continents. i mean,ant arkansas antarctica australia, the other five, you know, they are all under some kind of were negotiating guys on a number of different fronts. right now, steel and aluminum, okay, but the fear is, like going back to the 1930s, opening up the history book, there's some people out there worried if this escalates, you know, you tax me on this, mika taxes you on this, pretty soon you're back down to the 1930s, which economists say costs a lot of jobs. there's a lot at stake in these negotiations over the next couple of days and weeks. >> caused a lot of pain in america, across the world. in germany. many people believe led to the rise of adolf hitler. jeremy sullivan, thank you. the allies that donald trump is
trashing right now were the very ople that were fighting alongside the united states of america in 1944, two days from now. june 6th, 1944. you're taking your son there. but they were going up the cliffs of normandy with us to liberate a continent and to feed adolf hitler, we created a postwar world that assured the rise of the american century. that's being torn to shreds. >> the heroism of canadians. i want to talk about this relationship. if you believe america is providentially blessed, and i do, one of the prom deny chvide blessings is the longest undefended border in the history of the world over with $1 trillion of trade flows back and forth. on 9/11 when we were attacked, the planes that were grounded when we closed the airspace, they landed in gander,
newfoundla newfoundland. what did the canadian people do? they took the americans stranded on those planes, scared and away from homes into their homes. 159 canadian forces personnel have been killed in action in afghanistan. fighting alongside their american brothers and sisters in arms after the attack on our country. these are our friends. these are our allies. and to hear a president of the united states talk about canada as a national security threat is so profoundly disgraceful, i can't find the words for it, but i promise you, right, somebody who's talking about denuclearizing the north korean peninsula. if you can't manage the u.s./canada relationship -- >> you've got problems. >> right? you're going to bring peace to korea? absurd. >> unless you're more comfortable with dictators and auto kra
autocrats -- >> he's saying he has the absolute right to pardon himself. up next, innocennbc news ca the most endangered republican. fresh questions about his flirtation with russia. >> flirtati i wouldn't call it a flirtation. >> one way of putting it. pretty snuggly. >> it's married. >> business before the bell is sponsored by brighthouse financial, established by met life. in down markets. so you can be less concerned about your retirement savings. talk with your advisor about shield annuities from brighthouse financial- established by metlife.
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democrats were targeting as one of the most vulnerable. but it turns out they're nervous now because of the state's progressive sanctuary state law. they think it might backfire and two republicans could now end up in the general election. watch this. >> those must be your tenants. >> those are the inmates within the orange county jail. >> reporter: some of those inmates could be critical to who wins the primary in california's 48th. before the state law, you had eight deputies that were asking every single person who came into here, are you a u.s. citizen? >> there's deputies that would do that job on behalf of i.c.e. >> reporter: not anymore. after the sanctuary law went into effect, cops here can no longer communicate with federal immigration agents. that department fought back. publishing the release information of all inmates online so anybody, includes i.c.e., could see them. you basically without talking to
i.c.e. the option? >> i never talked to i.c.e. about what we did. if they want to take advantage of that provision in the law that we posted online, they can do that. >> reporter: so i.c.e. didn't want to let us see them picking someone up here. what they do is straight forward. this guy's getting out june 13th, 2018, one minute after midnight. at that time, they go pick him up as they walk out those gates. first time doing an interview as a congressional candidate outside the jail? >> exactly. >> reporter: scott baugh is challenging rohrbacher in the 48th. he thinks they could both win the nonpartisan primary and advance to the general. how big of a campaign issue is what's going on here? i mean, is immigration? >> it's a determinative issue on the sanctuary city. a lot of democrats are nervous about it and they're avoiding the topic. >> reporter: before you got into the race, folks were talking about this is one of the those districts in the country but it
doesn't seem like it is anymore. >> it makes the democrat's job a lot more difficult. >> reporter: you give the sanctuary city that much credit? >> absolutely. >> reporter: the 48th district has always been represented by repuut hillary clinton beat donald trump here in 2016, which is partially why it's considered flippable. turns out that might have been optimistic. come over here. this is scott baugh, he's running for congress. >> how you doing? >> reporter: what's your name? >> robert. >> reporter: where do you live? >> costa mesa. >> he's a constituent. >> reporter: tell this guy why he should vote for you. >> i'm going to protect the people of costa mesa from the sanctuary city laws. they want to release undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes back into the community. before i.c.e. could go in and take them and make them subject to deportation but now they have to wait out here and that's a creative solution that the sheriff has brought to orange county and it's working.
>> reporter: you've seen i.c.e. do it, right? >> right on the sidewalk. reporter: if you are an undocumented immigrant in this country and you committed a crime, you should be deported. >> yes. >> reporter: you're a resident. do you think that message could get him elected to congress? >> why not. >> reporter: i hope you vote. >> i hope you vote for me. >> reporter: all right, man, things you don't expect to see outside of a county jail. this is a good reminder of how conservative orange county is. it is a reason the guy with the nickname vladimir putin's favorite congressman could end up in the general election with another republican too. >> all right, jacob soboroff, thank you. >> nick -- >> final word. >> the lead story in "times," tell us about it. >> the cambridge analytica scandal is not done. here's what happened. if you, joe, got the cambridge app on your phone or computer
and cambridge could pull up mika's information and mike's and everyone else you know, turned off in 2015.that our story shows that 6 devicemakersll have the same -- have the exact same access until april. >> so facebook was lying? they shared information even with people they said they weren't sharing? >> facebook was sharing it extremely widely. millions of devices. >> much more to come on this. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover this morning, starting with above the law. in a confidential memo leaked to "the new york times," the president's legal team argues the president cannot obstruct justice, cannot be subpoenaed and could pardon himself. >> he has very broad powers and somebody who wants to question that under article ii has a big, big