tv Morning Joe MSNBC June 18, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
strategist rick tyler, former aide to the george w. bush white house and state department, aleez jordan, political writer for the new york times nick confessore and columnist and associate editor for the "washington post" david with us, nbc news national political reporter heidi prisbella. joe has the morning off but we'll be hearing from him through his tweets. we begin with the trump administration on both defending and outright denying its policy that separates migrant children from their parents at the southern border. this is where we ended the show on friday and it's where we begin today because this is so unbelievably frightening what is happening and it's also frightening how little people are able to do to stand up to the president especially rens. senior policy adviser stephen miller, that young man right there, told "the new york times," quote, it was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy
for illegal entry, period. the message is that no one is exempt from immigration law. and attorney general jeff sessions says zero tolerance, he had an announcement, that's his zero tolerance this spring that the government will pcute all lawful immigrants as criminals, set up a situation in which children are removed when their parents are taken into federal custody. a policy he reinforced himself last week. >> if you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. it's that simple. if you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you. and that child may be separated from you as required by law. >> yes, we are pursuing a zero tolerance prosecution policy at the border. having children does not give
you immunity from arrest and prosecution. bringing children with you doesn't guarantee you won't get prosecuted. count on it. our policies that can result in short-term separation of families is not unusual or unjustified. >> but secretary of homeland security claims no policy, no such policy, exists, tweeting, quote, we do not have a policy of separating families at the border. period. and yet hear is counselor to the president saying exactly the opposite, on "meet the press." >> nobody likes seeing babies ripped from their mother's arms, from their mother's wombs, frankly, but we have to make you sure dhs laws are understood. if i commit a crime and put in jail my four children are separated from their mother. why would you want the children
in jail with their parents. nobody likes this policy. the president wants this to end. >> he can end it on his own. >> mr. president, do you agree with children being he at border >> i hate the children being taken away. the democrats have to ce their law. that's their law. >>. [ talking at the same time ] >> that's the democrats' law. >> i think it's been well established that there's no law currently that requires president trump to do this. i mean that has been shown to be patently false. that is a lie. this is a deliberate policy change, which is why you see a sudden spike over the last six weeks in the number of kids separated from their parents. >> president trump could stop this policy with a phone call. if you don't like families being separated tell dhs stop doing it. >> okay. couple of things, you have the president actually at least confirming the policy exists.
you have kellyanne confirming the policy exists. usually she's a little more alternative. i'm not sure why the secretary of homeland security, john kelly's pick, said we have -- we do have a policy of separating families at the border, period. i would have no idea -- >> maybe because -- >> why she would say something unsfru would she test fi in front of congress. >> maybe because she violently disagrees with the policy and getting ready to resign. >> that could be it. >> not sure what's going on there. others blatantly lying. this is where we're at. at the same time there are children being separated from their mothers at the border and we don't even have the exact numbers on that. we're talking about the united states of america. so people, you need to wake up and see what is happening and speak out if this feels wrong to
you. we're looking at republicans who i guess have a game to play here, perhaps votes to lose. in a tweet on saturday the president seemed to acknowledge the policy is a negotiating tool. he acknowledges that it exists and he's saying it's a negotiating tool posting, quote, democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the br by working with republicans on new legislation. the truth is there is no law and that this does not belong to the democrats. no law requires families necessarily be separated at the border. as we noted, the current policy resulted from a decision made in april by attorney general sessions to prosecute all migrants who cross the border including thoseh you children. you saw him saying it himself. those migrants have avoided detentions during previous presidential administrations. 1997 court settlement bars children from being imprisoned
with parents and justice department officials say they have no choice but to isolate the children which ultimately has them being separated from their parents and held in some way. we have a lot of people using a lot of different terminology and i think it's all fair, but in order not to lose at this game in the -- in the category of rhetoric and in the category of overshooting the runway out of anger, i think we can say they're being held and they're being held against their will and that this does not belong to the democrats and that this i a trump policy that is blatantly cruel. >> you know i have in san antonio on friday speaking with educators and texas school board members who told me that they're really concern about this and people who are on the front lines of this decision and are being forced to make these
decisions, so now since secretary nelson says that this is not the policy, does that mean border patrol agents don't have to do this? they don't have to enforce this policy anymore? and i'm just grateful that mrs. laura bush spoke out and is using her voice and is being a brave republican in speaking out against this moral abomination. >> i also appreciate, mike barnacle, melania trump, who did everything she could to make a statement that was clear that she would like an america that has a heart. unlike i guess the others around her. i'm glad melania trump at least spoke out. i'm not sure where others in the white house are. i'm not sure exactly where nikki haley is on this and i'm not sure where ivanka trump is on this. i bring it up only because she's very focused on women and very focused on parenting. i -- >> isn't she the white house's -- >> i don't know --
>> lead person for children -- >> i posted on her instagram account about a conversation we had after her father won, invite med to trump tower to speak with her and wanted desperately to set up a platform for women and actually wanted to work with dina powell who is an incredible force on many of these issues, and i don't know where she is right now. i wonder how she does this. i wonder how anybody can allow this actually. >> setting up a platform for orphans. >> well -- >> that's what -- effectively orphaned thousands of children taking them from their parents. >> i'm heartbroken by what's happening and i wonder what this means about the fabric of our country. >> it's -- that's exactly what it is. >> it's falling apart. >> it's just another unraveling of what america has stood for for over 200 years. i don't know how anyone in the republican party, no matter
which wing of the republican party you're on, and i'm not asking you to explain all of it or all of them, but how can they sit there so silently while this is going on. >> it's astonishing. the only two prominent republicans that have come out are both women, both first ladies, one former first lady. this is a colossal political miscalculation. i don't mean to be crass about it. let's break it down. they sold this as a policy, right. they went out there, jeff sessions went out there, stephen miller and said this is going to be a deterrent and keep people from coming to the border. that has backfired. the good every once in a while a story comes along that's so big that even the president and the white house -- and this president is particularly good at look over here, look over here -- that justticks with the imagination or captures the american public in a way that it won't let go. this president will not be able to escape this story. they're trying to deflect and blame and trying to blame the
democrats which is not true. i look forward to the president saying at some point this has never been our policy. you know, you can hear him already saying this. and this will be a catastrophic, colossal mistake for the republican party who will not stand up for this. these are families who are being literally torn apart at the border and now they're trying to sell it as law. first they promoted it as a policy, this is the policy we're promoting and no, it's not our fault, this is the law. it's not the law. it is a policy. the policy could be changed by the administration and/or the congress can change the policy by virtue of law. and they have not done either. >> so, you're talking about the important details of this. i want to look at the legislative angles and the people behind that in washington with heidi and nick. but first i want to pull out to 30,000 feet. david ignatius, when you have a
policy like this that then you have a president and his people around it not telling the truth about it, and i think that's putting it kindly, blaming it on others, also arguing its existence, arguing it's form policy versus law, from abroad, in terms of our strategic alliances, in terms of our immigration policy, in terms of our national security, what's the impact? what should we be worried about? mika, people will see this as one more example of the united states being unable to solve a fundamental problem. it's true. we d have a problem with immigration. we've been struggling for hor than a decade to get bipartisan legislation that will deal with it. john boehner, former house speaker, made this his priority and it fell apart on him. he was unable to bring the wings of his party together. the country is as divided --
missay the republicans are as divided as they've ever been on this. the administration, donald trump, wanted to look tough on immigration to appeal to the base and you know what, they succeeded. they look tough. they look tough in a way that people can't live with. that's what these quotes are telling us. but as i pull my camera back, what i see is this fundamental inability to solve problems. it's not as if the immigration problem isn't real, it is. it needs a solution. our system isn't taking us to a point where we get legislation, get compromise, and get past this. >> yeah. >> instead we're stuck on the politics and this hideous cruelty of separating children from their parents. >> a fundamental inability to solve problems and this one is an easy one. president trump is set to head to capitol hill this week to huddle with republican lawmakers on a bill to professionally protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
the president is scheduled to meet with gop house members tomorrow evening in an effort to clarify where he stands on a bill shielding dreamers. trump's trip to the hill comes days before the house is expected to vote on a pair of bills addressing immigration, including a compromise between conservative and moderate republicans. the president's appearance comes just days after his off-tuff remarks on his support for the compromise legislation through the strategy by gop leaders into chaos. >> it sounds like they're going to take a vote on aple of different bills on immigration, probably next week. >> yeah. >> one of them, the goodlatte bill, something more moderate, would you sign either. >> i'm looking at both of them. >> what does the bill have to have. >> i need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. >> those remarks prompted hours of confusion on capitol hill as republican leaders indicated they were reluctant to move
forward with votes unless the bills had the president's support. the problem is, you can't really get his support if he doesn't get it and he doesn't read it. so it's a real big problem that you have because the president has no concept of whatis, qu supporting which leaves you twisting in the wind. later in the day, friday, the white house tried to walk back the president's comments saying in a statement the president fully supports -- i think they mean fully understand -- both the goodlatte bill and house leadership bill. he was commenting on the discharge petition in the house and not the new package. he would sign either the goodlatte or leadership republican congressman tom cole chalked up the president's comments to confusion while speaking with kasie hunt last night. p. >> i was confused myself on friday, but i think the president gave an impromptu press conference and may not have understood the question. he's ban busy guy between north
korea and the g7 summit and may not have been fully briefed. >> you know better and you know that. we like you a lot but you know better. that is complete and utter -- what's the word? >> don't use it. >> i won't use it. you're doing your best to cover for the president. why? president trump getting mixed up on where his party stands on the immigration bill is not the first time this has happened. this should help you understand. you shouldn't cover for someone who will lie or muddle. before a vote on fisa surveillance legislation trump tweeted an accusation that fisa had been used to ase his campaign, briefly throwing the legislation into chaos until paul ryan and called and calmed him down. last september trump eagerly agreed to a deal on daca proposed by democrats nancy pelosi and chuck schumer and turned back on that the next day. much like he embraced a bipartisan compromise on health care during remarks to reporters
and then reversed himself at the heritage foundation that same night. this past february, trump appeared to jump behind diane feinstein's assault weapons age limit and even a ban in a televised meeting as other republicans tried to interject and later reeled him back and back in march, the president tweeted a threat to veto the spending bill that his budget director had said he would sign just hours earlier. tom cole, that's for you. that's information for you to know who you're protecting and muddling the truth for. i think you are a lot better of a man than that. heidi, what's going on on capitol hill? what am i missing? >> well, let's just boil this all down, okay. when we talk about these children and how they're being used, the president and most of his advisors, except for nielsen, she would be the only exception, are being pretty
transparent about what's going down here. the president did not succeed in using daca as a leverage tool in order to get his wall, and so now these children are being used in that way. the presidake it from me, take it from the president, because he is the one who said that this democrats' fault, right, and the translation of that is, they're not giving me the funding for my wall and so they're making me do this. they're making me do this. it's his policy. so when you say you're not hearing from republicans, well part of the reason why is a lot of these republicans, i think, are hoping that when the president comes up toapitol hill, there's going to be some kind of a breakthrough, not on -- there's two bills. not on the more conservative bill but on what is the more quote/unquote moderate bill. what you just saw last week may have been enough to blow that up. we'll find out when he comes up to capitol hill and meets with repuicans, but i think the hope is that they're going to be
able to get this more moderate version through. let me put cold water on this in terms of expectations. even if they get that through in the house, then it's got to go to the senate. democrats are never going to agree to give the president full funding for his wall and so we're back at square one with the question of what are you going to do about this policy? and here you don't see anyone joining the democrats on the republican side. you see jeff flake, you see susan collins sending a letter to the adnistration, but you see none of them jumping on board with a solution to this very immediate problem that we have of these children being ripped away at the border and nothing in sight to address that. >> mike? >> this self-proclaimed policy of the trump administration, and it is of the trump administration, has been in force now for several weeks. it's been going on, children
being separated from parents, for at least four or five weeks, and the attorney general and others from the white house have indicated publicly that this is the law, when it is not a law. let me ask you in media in this. we have covered each and every presidential tweet over the past four or five weeks as if they were parts of the magna carta. and ignored, not ignored, but not covered extensively, the separation of children from parents really like a fury, like we ought to have been doing, only over the past week or ten days. >> well, there's a lot going on in the world, mike, but this is going on right now. i think the answer is facts and reporting. we're seeing some great reporting from nbc and "the new york times" taking us to these camps. >> no doubt. >> tent cities, to the ces to show us what's happening inside. i think that's the best corrective in any policy. look, just to pull back for a second, susan collins and jeff flake could stop this policy
tomorrow if they went out and said, i'm not going to approve a single trump judge until it's over. they have leverage. but we have seen over and over again with few exceptions that these senators on the right just don't want to use their leverage on this stuff or take on the presirectly and it goes to the fear that the president has created in his own party of him. it's astonishing. i think these lawmakers are more afraid of trump than the outcry from the media or from the population. >> they're afraid of tweets. >> afraid of tweets. >> who treat these tweets as, you know, as law or statement but, in fact, they are extraordinarily popular or powerful in steering our politics which is crazy. >> well, i mentioned earlier that first lady melania trump released a statement essentially hitting back on the policy of separating migrant children from their parents. former first lady laura bush was more direct in a guest op-ed for the "washington post" writing in
part, quote, i appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero tolerance policy is cruel. it is immoral. it breaks my heart. and then there were these comments that caught our eye from former cia director general michael hayden, who we have a great deal of respect for. he tweeted this photo of nazi germany's concentration camp with the caption other governments have separated mothers and children and tweeted, quote, no one who now walks through that portal on that side can casually believe that civilized behavior is guaranteed. david ignatius, there are a lot of strong voices out there who are comparing this to an experience with the nazis. my concern is that it gives fodder for the fox news hosts who are stooges for president trump to hide behind a different argument, to actually use that
to not have to talk about the truth, that babies and children are being separated from their mothers at the border and this is a trump policy. so i worry we have to stick to the facts here while this may have similarities, it's different up till ntil we know d it is it's own reality of hatred and ofespair for these children. i'm sure we can come up with our own name at some point. having said that, to hear general hayden using that analogy, what does that tell you about exactly what's going on at the border, again being executed by this president, president trump's policy. >> mika, i don't think general hayden is saying that we're nazis, that this administration is nazi like, but by raising
this historical image, he's warning us what happens to a society when it begins to lose its empathy. when people because of intense political disagreements stop being able to see life from a standpoint ofse who are suffering. i think for many americans, looking at the picture that we've all seen and that little girl in her red jumper in tears separated from her mother, was just one of those moments you couldn't look at that and not think there's something really wrong here. i want to do something about this. i think that feeling, thank goodness, is spread beyond democrats into the republican party. you can't be more emphatic than laura bush was. you said susan collins uneasiness in having to defend this. you sense that from the secretary of homeland security. so we are still a country where these images of suffering, of
the caring for other human beings matter and i think we're going to need enough public pressure that president has to look at this and do something different because republicans ll demand it. if republicans don't voi that feeling that's out in the country, this is wrong, i want to believe they'll pay for a price for it. >> i'm going to just beg, i mean, i will make a plea to republicans this morning, that it is on you to speak out. we need to hear from you. what exactly does this president need to do to get you to step up? what is it? how bad does it have to get? >> nick pointed out, there are three actually corker, flake, susan collins. >> three. >> those three could tip the balance on almost anything this president wants to do or not do. all they have to do is use their voice. >> it's the american voter. the american voter has to -- if
you call get calls in the congressional office those people react and start to panic. when the president goes this week to meet with the gop the gop needs to say, mr. president, we're hearing from our constituents, we can't -- it is the voters who will ultimately overwhelm what the president says. you don't want to be attacked by a president. that's fine. want to be attacked by your voters, that's worse. people have to -- let's remember who these people are. these aren't people coming here on welfare. mostly women traveling over land to save their children's lives. and they are getting ripped from their -- their children are getting ripped from their mothers' arms. it's outrageous. it's shameful. i don't -- i wouldn't compare it to nazi germany. that's a step too far. something that will go down in our history as shameful. >> it's a step in the wrong direction, that is for sure. i think that we can safely say. again, i ask, as we go to break, what exactly does this president need to do to get you to use
your voice? and i guess i speaks to the voters, but especially to republicans who could make a difference. coming up on "morning joe," federal prosecutors are putting together the pieces literally in the case against michael cohen. the new developments on those shredded documents seized from the president's fixer are just ahead. plus, mitch mcconnell channels rudy giuliani in telling bob mueller to wrap it up. are you kidding? we'll have the latest on the special counsel investigation. later steve bannon lies about president trump not lying. that very surreal intew with the former white house strategist. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
think they can find out. if the i.g. is through, why can't the mueller investigation finally wrap up? >> senate majority leader mitch mcconnell the latest hi high-rankingepublican to criticize special counsel robert mueller's investigation of russian interference in the 2016 election. however, as joe pointed out on twitter the white water investigation into president clinton lasted nearly 3,000 days. compared to fewer than 400 for the mueller probe. on friday former cia director john brennan discussed his preelection 2016 briefing with mcconnell on russian interference. >> i spoke with mcconnell as well as others and -- >> were they questioning your findings at that time? >> senator mcconnell did, yes. >> under what gooiz?
>> i think he thought the democratic administration was trying to undermine a republican candidate and i took great umbrage at that and told him, senator, i would not in any way politicize any type of intelligence and so i want to make sure that you understand this is the considered view and assessment and intelligence from cia and so i let it be known in no uncertain terms i did find that comment of his a bit repugnant. >> i'm not questioning the legitimacy of the investigation into the clinton administration and bill clinton, but i want to show all -- this is called a witch hunt and now mitch mcconnell, heidi, wants this to wrap up quickly. they got a lot of witches at this point and at this point in the clinton investigation, i don't know how many they had but it wasn't 19 plus. and so i'm confused as to how mitch mcconnell could say that without laughing? maybe speaking sarcastically.
or maybe just admitting that he is blatantly being a trump stooge at this point? >> let's just put on the lens through which everything has to be viewed from here on out up on capitol hill, which is through the 2018 midterms. i'm told by sources as recently as last week, mika, that mitch mcconnell is in unbelievable amount of coordination and communication with the white house right now on their 2018 strategy. you juxtapose that with where we were last year in terms of the tension and hostility between this white house and between mitch mcconnell and steve bannon, for instance, who was publicly calling for his head. they were concerned they were going to have a bloody midterm fallout with the party divided and now this president is their -- deploying him in a strategic way into the midterms. he's pushed aside some of the candidates who might be more
problematic for them like danny tarkanian in nevada, and they're deploying him very effectively. they don't want to see that come to an end. that is the lens through which you view everything, including the tariffs, including the mueller investigation. everything that mcconnell is saying right now is an attempt to keep his conference united heading into these midterms. >> that lens, mike barnacle, has the cap on. he's blind to his buffoonery at this point. his wife works there and there's a lot of deals as heidi pointed out, coordination and communication, between the president and mitch mcconnell. i really -- maybe it's -- maybe it's that i'm a democrat and i can't completely understand this, but at some point, don't you have to draw a line between right and wrong? >> well, mika, the level of hypocrisy in all of this is so thick that it's -- it's hard to
cut. mitch mcconnell is one of the leaders of the hypocrisy movement. david ignatius, all of this, and you've been around a long time, i have been around a long time, you mentioned decision making a few minutes ago, at the it certainly there's the 2018 elections coming up. but at the root of it, the function of government, the decision making apparatus of government led by a president or led by a congress, by a strong speaker in conjunction with a senate majorit leader, whatever, i've never seen and can't recall a time when our government seems so peril iaraln terms of making the simplest decisions for the common good as it is today. >> something is broken. it's clear to the country, it's part of what people are angry about in their anger they keep, unfortunately, i think reinforcing the underlying
political problems and so the problem gets worse and worse. government gets more demoralized, less able to orm ices for the country and we go down. it's an unfortunate fact that good nations sometimes go bad. it's thisth through history. the thing i'm struckwith, mike, is that it's on us. democracy is the system of government where if there's something wrong, citizens get a chance to fix it. we're gog to have a chance come november and it's really going to be a test of the united states as a country, of our voters, whether they can penetrate the fog. i mean this fog machine is going 24/7 in washington. when you have mcconnell saying time to call off the probe and giuliani saying we're going to try to declare the probe illegal and people have to look at that and think about the evidence and make good decisions. i think in the end this is a democracy which means it's on
us. if it's broken, we got to fix it. if we tonigdon't it's our proem much as it is donald trump's. >> nick? >> listen, to pull back for a second, senator mcconnell and speaker ryan have not always been fans of this president but they are deeply invested in his presidency. and in a lot of ways this presidency is working extremely well for their party on a lot of policy goals. it explains a lot of the lack of tension here on judges, on tax cuts, on deregulation. this administration is moving extremely aggressively an smoothly and effectively on those fronts and they have no desire to upset that. they are investe this presidency for policy ends that matter to them and explains all the things that they're willing to excuse and overlook and walk away from. >> i guess that is the question, what are you willing to excuse? what are you willing to excuse? because i'm at a loss we're at this point that we would excuse
what's happening here, lying to the american people, racism, sexism, that is rampant in the administration and the president himself and president's attorney and ripping children away from their mothers at the borders. what else, mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, tom cole, what else are you willing to excuse, overlook, talk around? what else? what else needs to happen? coming up we're going to bring in "the washington post" with the new reporting on the president's allies preparing for war as the special counsel readies his obstruction report. "morning joe" is coming right back. what could go wrong? you good? yeah, you? [ roaring ] [ screaming ] nope. rated pg-13. this is a story about mail and packages. and it's also a story about people.
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how are you going to celeatfather's day? >> work. i'm going to work. i'm going to actually be calling north korea, i'm going to be calling -- i just -- >> what are you going do say -- >> i have a call from your friend from france, emanuel. >> the president didn't seem to do either of those. he spent part of father's day and several hours on saturday at the trump national golf club in potomac falls, virginia, and the white house has not released a read south of any call with north korea. meanwhile, former white house
strategist steve bannon is standing by his old boss claiming that president trump has never lied or misled the american people. >> you famously kept the white board of presidential promises to keep track of what he was keeping. that's a promise that he, obviously, broke. he has not always told the truth. >> i don't know that. i mean to -- >> steve? >> what i see he has. this is another thing to demonize him. >> the president has never lied? >> not to my knowledge, no. >> he says things that a aren't true all the time. >> i don't believe that. >> i don't believe that? >> he speaks in a vernacular that connects to people in this country. >> as long as i'm on this set that's the last time we'll hear from him. i wanted to get out of the sound bite early because i don't need more lying. i don't need kellyanne or steve bannon to come and tell us more lies. that's not helpful. we're here to tell the truth. >> that's political propaganda.
>> i'm looking at his face while he talks, he doesn't believe that. >> interviews with steve bannon, you're just giving a platform for political propaganda. >> it's just as bad as -- >> you said earlier, this immigration problem separating children at the border is solvable, but it starts with dominant mor leadership. you have to have a president who goes to the congress and says, you fix this because i'm going to use a bully pulpit every day to create the outrage to fix this. as we showed earlier in the show he reverses his policies on whims. on syria, on the russian investigation. why he fired comey. it goes on and on. this -- the republicans can't trust anything that he's going to say or do now or in the future which is why they can't hold on to a ground. but if he was a dominant moral leader he would say do this or i will win because the bully pulpit is very, very powerful. >> he's been clear, mika, don't you think, about what his strategy is. the president has been quite clear in this instance. he is using children as
political pawns to try to get his wall. >> the white house said that. >> he is not going to get his wall, so the children are going to continue to suffer, going to continue to be separated from their parents, going to continue to be kept inetal cages. i'm sorry people had problems with the terminology cage. i think that the wire that i've seen -- >> four walls and wires -- >> should we call it a dog kennel. this is going to continue as long as this white house is using children as political pawns. >> but also using lies and muddling of the truth and undermining the free press and all the things that have been happening every step of the way here to make people really feel confused about what realty is and, therefore, leaving them with less power, less authority over themselves and less understanding as to what direction our country is headed in. so those people cannot be given a platform. we want to have the truth. we want to understand what is happening. we want to stick to the facts. we have to worry about what
david ignatius said at the top of the show, the dangers of a country losing its empathy. read madeleine albright's book called "fascism, a warning" and we are clearly way past the warning phase and that's not hyperbole or rhetoric. this is deep concern about the direction of our country and we'll say it calmly, that way the stooges on fox news and there's some really good people there, but there are a few who are absolute megaphones for this president and they will take any little overreach, any little shrill comment and use that as a way to promulgate the president's extremely cruel lies and policies. and we can't let that happen. it's happening in the media as much as it is in this presidency and -- >> they're the shop. fox news is the shop for the white house. >> it's frightening. >> up next, how much does the
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hey, he's the head of a country and i mean he is the strong head, don't let anyone think anything different. he speaks and his people sit up at attention. i want my people to do the same. >> that was what the president said during his impromptu interview on fox news friday morning. trump talked about kim replacing three people right before the summit and seemed to joke about the fate of the individuals. >> well, just before you met with him he cleaned house. three of his top generals, some of the hard-liners he fired -- >> i think he fired at least. >> three that we know of. >> fired at least. fired may be a nice word. >> it's not funny.
we'll just point out that during his relatively short reign so far, kim jong-un has reportedly ordered the execution of several hundred officials in both public and private settings, often in horrific manners, including reportedly using flamethrowers and anti-aircraft weapons. meanwhile, president trump lashed out at critics of husband summit with north korea's dictator writing "funny how the fake news in a coordinated effort with each other likes to say i gave so much to north korea because i met. that's because they all have to disparage. we got so much for peace in the world and more is being added in finals. even got our hostages remains." the president also tweeted "holding back the war games during the negotiation was many request because they're very expensive and set a bad lightdu. also, quite provocative. can start up immediately if talks break down which i hope
will not happen." in its statement on the summit, north korea says it was kim who told trump it was "urgent" to end the "provocation" which is how north korea views the military exercises. also south korea in addition to the pentagon said they were totally unaware and caught off guard by trump's sudden announcement during his post-summit news conference regarding the exercises. and south korea has not yet committed to ending the exercises. david ignatius, i feel like reporters need to be on their game this isn't funny anymore, this the things he says, even if they're supposed to be. we'll leave that aside and if you could comment on the news of this. it seems the president is just riffing through all of this which could end us up where? >> mika, i think we here in the cleanup phase after the
president's summit in singapore which was largely photo opportunity, a vague communique we're trying to understand better. i think the white house is wrong to say that journalists or the country generally has been dismissive of what was done in singapore. any sensible person, i think views diplomacy as much preferable to the threat of nuclear conflict with north korea. the question is how these details are going to work out. it's been interesting to watch secretary of state mike pompeo travel the capitals of asia in the days after the summit trying to make clear to people that, well, this is conditional that we'll stop military dpexercises for as long as north korea is negotiating in good faith. that's a crucial clarification. i think pompeo is similarly trying to say to china yes the president may have tweeted that the north korean nuclear threat
is over. that doesn't mean it's time to take off sanctions. so this is complicated diplomacy, the president tends to go with these comments that are flip, shoot from the hip. pompeo has a lot of cleanup to do to make clear where we go from this high visibility photo-op summit to real policy. >> not sure how this works. coming up, outrage grows over the trump administration's decision to separate migrant children from their families. two republican senators are demanding answers. but where are the others? and we'll talk to democratic congressman bill pascrell and ha -- a hemojeffries about their visit to a detention center.
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currently that requires president trump to do this. i mean, that has been shown to be patently false. i mean, that is a lie. this is a deliberate policy change which is why you see a sudden spike over the last six weeks in the number of kids who are separated from their parents. it'sely staggering and also frightening when the president puts a policy in place through his attorney general and his attorney general speaks on camera about it and announces it and then the president lies about it. that is not a good way to run a country. especially a democracy. president trump's trouble with the truth is clearly spreading to other top administration officials. the secretary of homeland security boldly denied something a senior white house adviser boldly stated as fact. welcome back to "morning joe," it's monday, june 18. that's where we start. still with us, we have former aide to the george w. bush and
white house and state department. nick confessore, david ignatius, republican communications strategist rick tyler, and joining the conversation editor of "commentary" magazine, contributing editor at the "weekly standard" and columnist at the new york john pou podhor. yamiche alcindor and robert costa. joe has the morning off. we'll read some of his tweets and hearing from him as well. we begin again with the trump administration on both defending that separates migrant children from their parents at the southern border. senior policy adviser stephen miller told the "new york times" "it was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry, period. the message is that no one is
exempt from immigration law." but the secretary of homeland security claiming no such policy exists tweeting "we do not have a policy of separating families at the border. period." and yet just to muck things up further -- and i really don't like putting her on the air, but here's counselor to the president kellyanne conway saying exactly the opposite and what she's doing here is at least admitting the policy exists which is why we're going to show her. she does this on "meet the press." >> nobody likes seeing babies ripped from their mother's arms, from their mother's wombs, frankly, but we have to make sure that dhs's laws are understood. if i commit a crime and i am put in jail, my four children are separated from their mother because we don't have a policy -- why would you want the children in jail with their parents? i will tell you nobody likes this policy. you saw the president on camera that he want this is to end but everybody has -- >> he can end it on his own.
>> so she does a lot of alternative facts usually when she speaks to the media but in this case, at least unlike others, apparently, she admits the policy exists and again twists it and mixes it up with a law, which is not true. in a tweet on saturday, the president seemed to acknowledge the policy is a negotiating tool posting, quote, democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the border by working with republicans on new legislation. but no law requires families necessarily be separated at the border. the current policy resulted from a decision made in april by attorney general sessions to prosecute all migrants who cross the boarder, including those with young children. here is the attorney general in his own words. >> if you cross the border unlawfully then we will prosecute you. it's that simple. if you are smuggling a child
then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law. yes, we are pursue ago zero-tolerance prosecution at the border. having children does not give you immunity from arrest and prosecution. bringing children ywith you doesn't guarantee you won't get prosecuted. our policies that can result in short-term separation of families is not unusual or unjustified. >> so i'd like that ask, alex, that wherever we bump out and go to break, any opportunity we get, if we could please play attorney general jeff sessions announcing the policy himself and warning families they will be separated. i think we need to play that as much as possible and i know it appears we're reviewing the past but in an age where the president lies everyday about whether or not this exists and
who owns it, i think we do need to review and showis attorney general announcing this policy himself in his own words in april and we'll do that as much as possible throughout the show today. johnpodhoretz. >> so kirstjen nielsen showed the tweet saying there's no such policy. this is what she said on may 10 to npr. "what this mean, however, is that if you are a single adult, if you are part of a family, if you are pregnant, if you have any other condition, you're an adult and you break the law, we will refer you. operationally what this means is we will have to separate your family. that's no different than what we do everyday in every part of the united states when an adult of a family commits a crime." so she said this is not the policy on twitter yesterday, this is what she said on may 10. now, as a matter of fact, it's true, you don't arrest children with parents, right? she's talking about arresting people at the boarder who are crossing unlawfully. however, when you arrest a parent in a house in the united
states, the child can stay in the house in the united states with another adult and if you arrest somebody crossing the border who has a child in her arms or his arms, then the child has to be taken somewhere else and put in a cage. >> i'm not really -- i don't understand -- she's john kelly's pick, which was so interesting and i thought we would expect more but, again, this is part of whittling away at the truth and at the core of what is it to be an american citizen. the "new york post" is out with a blistering editorial this morning entitled "top breaking up families at the border." it couldn't be more clear. it reads in part this, house speaker paul ryan's answer is to stick a change of the law into two big immigration bills making it so immigration and customs enforcement can detain kids along with their parents is only a minor improvement. since i.c.e. is already running
out of space to hold people and looking at tent cities as a supposedly temporary expedient, you can bet critics will start calling these trump's concentration camps and the term will catch on if they're full of kids. we recognize that returning to the policy of two months back creates some perverse incentives, bring kids along and you'll just be deported if you're caught, but at least switching back avoids having the u.s. government earning comparisons to the nazis. if the president doesn't want to admit defeat he can just add this to the long list of things he blames on attorney genel jeff sessions, trying to tough this one out is guaranteed disaster and that, yamiche alcindor, is from the "new york post." and just add to that melania trump put out a statement today, melania trump, who obviously can't stand it to the point where she had to say something which i'll take. laura bush put out a beautiful
op-ed in the "washington post" as well. there are three republicans who are at least stepping up. but at this point it is a bit frightening to see the twisting of the truth around this cruel policy. >> we know for sure there have been almost 2000 children separated from families, and that's coming from the department of homeland security. i was on a call where reporters were asking how many kids were separated, what's going on. so the federal government has admitted full stop they are doing this and we have the numbers to back it up. i think what the pros is that you have president trump -- and i would venture to say melania trump -- feeling the heat of this policy, feeling the heat of the media showing images of children and now you're having the president say i hate this policy, i need to back away. you have to first lady now wading in and you have republicans also asking questions but one of the things i think is important to point out from a reporting point of view is that when kellyanne
conway says if you break the law you will be separated from your child. in these cases some of these people, allegedly, are people seeking asylum in the united states. it's not illegal to seek asylum in the united states. if you come if honduras and show up at the a legal entry point and say i want asylum, i'm in fear for my ty, i'm running from violence, the u.s. government isn't supposed to say now we'll prosecute you for a crime and the allegations are that people are either one being pruted whenhey're trying to seek asylum or they're being turned away and then being forced into these points that are not asylum-seeking points so we're forcing people into a crisis because we're saying you can't go the legal way. so it's important to make that point because we're not just separating families breaking the law. you're separating families trying to do something legal. >> robert costa, you've spent a lot of time reporting on the mueller probe and i find that when the president does something extremely despicable and there have been a few occasions along the way where
that's happened and this would be one of them not trying to figure out how trump works on a deep intellectual but how he worked when he was a real estate mogul in new york city. he played the press, he deflected. and i wonder if the slow squeeze of robert mueller is causing this president to flail around despicable things so that everybody gets focused on that as opposed to the fact that all these witches, to use hiswords, investigation could be closing in. what are you hearing about that? >> mika, your point about the context here is very important because the president does have the mueller investigation. the potential interview hovering over his entire presidency and in many ways his inner circle had been shrinking. you think about the people he's at the golf club. day when he's
former mayor rudy giuliani urging him to be more aggressive on the mueller front and on immigration so many advisers have left this white house, the cabinet is in many respects isolated for him. they don't valls a rapport with the president and it's stephen miller, the long-time hard-liner, who's crafting policy in the close spaces around this president and that is the context for what's happening and why the president is acting in this way based on my reporting in the last few days. >> i definitely see that. nick, go ahead. >> john, think to the future. if the special counsel comes out with a report and finds obstruction with the president, when they say prepare for battle, how d you imagine the battle progressing? what are the stakes aho are the combatants? >> well, if robert mueller says that donald trump obstructed justice the republican party will be hurled into a crisis in which some will be moved -- some
small number will be moved to cross the aisle and join democrats in the notion that there should be an impeachment proceeding and the vast majority of republicans will say -- will go to the witch-hunt line because 90% of republican voters support trump. now this moment with migrants at theder remind me of 2014. because if 2014 if you remember there was a border crisis in the summer of 2014. no one knows how ithappened. 55,000 people ended up in camps in texas because there was some kind of rumor mill going that if you came across the border you would be legalized with your children. that had an enormous effect on
the midterm elections. people forget that the obama administration was hit with a crisis not of its own making, unless you think moving on the dreamers was the reason that this happened and nine senate seats changed hands. when from democrat to republican. i'm not saying that can happen this way because of the way the senate is constitutes but when you have an unpans patrioted crisis that has no clear and ready easy solution, trump can say it's the democrats' fault. but the mess is on him. he's the president, it's all his officials speaking. they're saying three different things at once and i think this is a potential recapitulation for the trump white house of the 2014 crisis that met obama and the democrats and led to the flip of the senate. >> well, it's so interesting because you look at -- elise, you take it to rick but you look
at the situation republicans who are somehow trying to find a way to blindly support this presiden president. you have to make a decision for yourself as to whether or not you can support this president and you have to make a -- you have to deduce not just the politics on this but how it's going to end for you. and you've got a president who lies in plain sight and the lying is getting worse everyday. it's becoming even more impactful on the fabric of this country and the people of this country everyday. . you could argue you have a president who obstructed in plain sight, talking about relieving the pressure on james comey, working on a press release about a meeting with russian operatives about dirt on hillary clinton. you could say that this is obstructing in plain sight because he's trying to protect
himself but he's also obstructing an investigation you could argue into russian meddling in our election which impacts our natiurity so if you're republican and you are deducing the politics of this, how do you end up on the si of the president? >> historically i don't think this is going to age that well. you also forgot another major news story because this is how this administration rolls, the new york attorney general and the trump foundation and criminal fraud using a charitable foundation. >> it's hard to squeeze it in. >> that is huge and we aren't even talking about it because there's so much chaos happening with this presidency. >> as david ignatius called it, the fog machine. but we call what john read from the secretary of homeland security on npr, that's called a policy rollout, right? thats we give talking points to all our administration officials who talk to the media and they say essentially the same thing and that was
reflected by the secretary -- jeff sessions, he said the same thing. they were trying to put this policy out and part of the talking point was don't bring your child to the border because if you do you'll be separated. this is their policy. they rolled it out. >> you're right. >> and now they want to change that to say that this is the law. but one thing i wanted to ask the exceedingly fit, trim, and handsome robert costa. >> it's amazing. it's amazing. you look fantastic. >> wow. okay. role reversal. >> i'm curious what you think because you're as close to this as anybody. why would mitch mcconnell say what he said about any of the mueller investigation? he's watching these senate races. what is his calculation of ending the mueller investigation before 2018 or havinggo after -- wrapping after 2018. what are your thoughts. >> they know robert mueller would like to issue his report on the president's conduct and possible obstruction of justice
before the election. at this point, mayor giuliani continues to push off the interview decision about the president sitting down and the more this back-and-forth continues the more it becomes likely that the obstruction of justice report is likely released after the election in november. and that's to the benefit many congressionals tell me of themselves. they would like to avoid the russia investigation but the mueller investigation is under pressure when you talk to people who are focused so the american people know they have been working hard at their effort in the past year. >> in response to what mitch mcconnell said, joe tweeted this "hey, mitch, white water lasted almost ten times as long and you never complained once about that. if you're going to keep humiliating yourself by playing trump's chump, maybe you're the one who should wrap it up." and there are a lot of chumps, stooges, court jesters who are
not only humiliating themselves but really letting the country down. yamiche, i want to ask about what happens legislatively. the president is headed to capitol hill i believe but that's another thing where republicans can deduce how this might end for them. we'll tweet it out later. all the different ways the president misunderstood, didn't read, didn't understand intellectually legislation that was being discussed therefore leaving republicans twisting in the wind so it's not like they can trust him on anything b having said that, what are they banking on this week? >> well, the thing that the president has -- the thing that's important is the president is going to be capitol hill, he'll be meeting face to face with lawmakers. that's important because this zant president that has deep relationships with capitol hill but on friday when the president said he wouldn't back these two immigration bills that the house
is planning to vote on, it sent everyone wondering and what what is he talking about? the republicans have been working on this for some time, the white house qckry backtracked to reporters like me and others saying the white house misspoke, he fully supports immigration so in this way what we will see is republicans trying to push out an immigration deal. i'm not sure whether it will get passed. there's some so many things the democrats want and can't compromise on. i think when we see republicans wanting to have some sort of stake in stopping the separation of families but president trump made it clear that even though he quote/unquote hates the policy, it's a policy that will be around for a while until he get what is he wants from the democrats and that's a lot of money for fund ago border wall that both republicans and democrats tell me they don't want. >> so david ignatius, i know you have to go. i want to back up to 30,000 feet and ask you to give us your
thoughts on where we stand right now with what is happening at the border. you talked about it last hour but for people just joining us, you mentioned the dangers of a nation losing its empathy. hhos and now the lying if it's possible is getting worse. it's twisting into policy and appearing to have a ripple effect within his administration even to people where perhaps once we wouldn't expect that. where do you think this is going. we have a lot of people on the air and online and a lot of people we respect making comparisons that are frightening about what' happening at the border and i wonder where you think those fit in the conversation as well. >> one reason we're having this passionate conversation about immigration policy is because
yesterday was father's day and most of us spent the day with our kids, with our parents. we probably didn't look at twitter much, we didn't look at television then we catch up on statements on twitter. we were thinking about families. and a reminder that there is a very tough, i want to say cruel view of how to deal with the immigration problem. attorney general sessions said it flat out that the whole point here is to be so tough on parents who come with children that they'll stop and what i think the republicans didn't understand is that in this day in age, people can watch what that toughness looks like on television. they see that little girl who is two years old in her little red jumper separated from her mom
sobbing and they look at it and people can't live with that. what worries me the most to conclude this is these poor kids are now going to be bargaining chips. president trump is going to say okay, democrats, you want to solve this problem? you want to end the zero tolerance and get these kids back with their parents, give me the wall. if you care about the kids so much, why don't you do what my base is demanding and the kids will be in the middle, as the daca kids have b in the middle, as we try to bargain over a same immigration policy. that's the problem. our system is broken and we keep making children the coin of the realm that as we try to negotiate. we should stand back and look and think that's not the way our country should work. >> everybody has something to say. we'll get there.
david ignatius, thank you very much. hold that thought. everyone else stays, robert costa, thank you as well for your reporting. so still ahead on "morning joe," laura bush shows courage where it is largely absent elsewhere. we'll read from the former first lady's powerful new problem. plus two members of congress who descended on one of those detention centers. what they learned next on "morning joe." >> if you cross the border unlawfully then we will prosecute you it's that simple. if you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law. [phone ringing]
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heart. our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of el paso. these images are eerily reminiscent of the japanese american internment camps of world war ii. americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation. if we are truly that country then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.krent centll that while there were beds, toys, crayons, a playground and diaper changes the people working at the children had been instructed not to pick up or touch the children to comfort them. imagine not being able to pick up a child who is not yet out of
diapers. so i'd ask some folks in the media, i tweeted directly at one host, to think about this op-ed before you talk about anything about this policy. not the people talking about the policy. talk about the policy and tell us what you really think of it. joining us now, we have democratic representative bill pascrell and hakeem jeffries. they were part of a group of lawmakers who went to a detention facility in new jersey for an unannounced inspection to speak with asylum speakers who have been separated from their children. love to hear what you heard from that point of view. >> good morning, it was hard heartbreaking emotional experience when we arrived. it took about an hour and a half before we were able to visit with the detainees, not withstanding the fact that we have prior legal authorization from their attorneys and from these individuals themselves to
meet with us, but when we have the opportunity to finally engage with them, it was seven members of congress led by congressman jerry nadler including billy pascrell, what was amazing about the experience is that these individuals had had young children, in one case a son who were ripped away them from them five years old, seven years old, 12 years old even though they had come to the border seeking political asylum, because they had a credible fear of persecution back home. >> why did you decide to make this trip? >> well, we decided to make the trip to see for ourselves, let's go there which we usually do, we're the first responders, and we weren't shocked. when you're listening to it,
when you're hearing from the emotion from fathers on father's day you have to sit back and you have to listen and you have to reach out and try to be of some comfort to the individual. we feel very strongly ant this, and i want to reverse the term, mika, the term that they've used and that is zero tolerance. we have zero tolerance for this, i want you to know this. there were seven of us who were there. we have zero tolerance. we're going to use that term over and over again. we cannot allow this to go on. the academy of pediatrics that we talked about before, those folks came out strongly. church organizations have come out very strongly. even part of the evangelical community sees this as an envelope pushed too far. we can't accept this as americans. we can't just talk about it.
we've sent a letter, i've sent a letter to rodney frelinghuysen who is the chairman of appropriations. you better not allow money from appropriations to go to any of these because if we continue to fun them, that i'll continue to grow and that's what i'm very concerned about right now. the president has to step up to the plate, he has to do his job for change. >> thank you for going and bearing witness to this moral outrage. this is horrific, i can't believe this is happening in america, that we're using children as political pawns for a border wall. what can americans do, reach out to our congress, congressional representatives, but what can we do to stop this as quickly as possible? >> a great question. the president will be on the hill this week meeting with our colleagues on the republican side of the aisle. if the american people reach out to all of their representatives in the house and senate and express the sheer outrage at the notion of a policy being put
into place by our government that's unconscionable, unacceptable, un-american hopefully we'll see my colleagues communicate to the president that this is not acceptable and the president can end this today with a phone call to his so-called beleaguered attorney general saying enough. this ends. >> there are two different things going on. you mentioned there are people that cross the border illegally at an unrecognized border crossing place carrying the kid arrested as a misdemeanor because it's a first offense or felony if it's another offense. then people come to the border at an appropriate border crossing and request asylum because of fear of persecution or violence. these are two different procedures so what we are being told, although it seems to be entirely anecdotal a is that there are people being caught in the dragnet who are following
the law. they come, they request asylum, they have a kid with them and yet this is still happening. is. you were told they had followed the rules, got arrested and had their kid taken from them anyway. >> that's right. as sessions said we're not going to accept asylum from folks who are under tremendous pressure through gangs or the government themselves. that's why they left. fear of their own security. we won't accept those people. we won't listen to them. listen to these people. we didn't separate them from their children, that's the one thing we didn't do. there is no justification for
that whatsoever. what political rend we looking for here? what's the end game? >> well i have a couple ideas on that. >> this is one center in new jersey and there are multiple ceers in the u.s. that reporters haven't been allowed access to, i believe reporters have been allowed access to two centers so those have been cherry picked and are the best case scenario and yet the pictures and images are still horrifying. where are the young children. where are the girls? >> the three individuals who we met with who are apprehended on the southern border, though they voluntarily turned themselves in seeking political asylum had no idea where their children were. some of whom had been in this detention center for months. and it didn't seem as if any of the individuals who were responsible for their quote/unquote care in that
facility had endeavored to try to figure that out. there was one individual, a father, who had his daughter torn f him at 3:00 a.m. in the morning who fell down to his knees, as he communicated to us, begging for them not to take her away as she was cry iing. this is somebody who fled one of the most violent nations in the world in central america, as others had, because a gang showed up earlier in the day looking for his daughter at the school and he decided at that point that was enough. he was going to take this risky journey in order to save his child and we know that mothers all across the country who have been apprehended on the southern border have done the same thing. >> so, again, important to keep to the facts. we appreciate you all going and getting firsthand accounts. definitely queue up jeff
sessions's bite in april where he announced this policy himself, this policy is brought forward by the trump administration and announced by the attorney general. you will hear otherwise from the president at times blaming it on democrats. it's not politics,a lie. ngressman bill pascrell and hakeem jeffries, thank you so much. appreciate it. our next guest has served in the last three republican administrations and says the political divisions in this nation will only get worse after bob mueller releases his obstruction report. pete wainer joins the discuss next. >> if you cross the border unlawfully then we will prosecute you. it's that simple. if you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you. and that child may be separated from you as required by law. if you are looking for a house,
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investigation. doj says they are trying to screen materials but congressman trey gowdy and devin nunes say speaker ryan told them their time is up. >> paul made it very clear, there's going to be action on the floor of the house this week if thebind doj do not comply with our subpoena request. >> and floor action would be a -- >> the full panoply of constitutional weapons available to the people's house. >> including contempt of congress? >> that would be among them, yes, sir. >> here's the bottom line, mr. rosenstein, the deputy attorney general and director wray have to decide whether or not they want to be part of the cleanup crew or they want to be part of the coverup crew. >> wow. joining us now, senior adviser to the romney/ryan presidential campaign and white house staffer under three republican presidents, senior fellow at the
ethics and public policy center, pete wainer. he told the "washington post" "what we're going through now is a walk in the park compared to what's coming when the report on trump's conduct comes out. even if theeport i devastating indictment of trump, the political tribalism in the country is so deep and won't suddenly go away. i tend to agree with you. i'm very concerned about this. having said that, pete, you're not arguing against holding back on the report, you're just warning it doesn't get better from there, correct? >> that's right. i think mueller should go forward with this, i think republicans should let him go forward and we have to let the report speak for itself. trump has accelerated the worst
tendencies in american politics, including this tribalism and polarization and he is a post-truth personality, post-truth president and what that means is that when the mueller report comes out for some large number of trump supporters it won't matter what he says. it doesn't matter if he has tapes, it doesn't matter if he has e-mails, they will disregard it because it's a cult of personality and whatever trump says and attack he makes, whatever argument he puts forward, they're going to believe them whether they're detached from the truth or not. >> pete, you did communications in the white house and with romney and and there used to be
this effort to make your words conform with the truth. that's why it's called spin. but it seems we're past spin, that trump has decided spin is unnecessary and that he simply will assert that which he wishes his fan base to believe, that democrats are responsible for the border crisis and this this is something new because people would twist themselves into pretzels trying to make sure when they worked at the white house that what they said was minimally defensible on a factual basis. is that -- am i reading that right? >> i think you are. i think it's a very important and deep point. we're in a time and era and moment that is different than anything we of ever seen in american history where truth doesn't matter for some large number of the public and as you said in the past if you are caught in a lie, a self-evident lie in an administration, you
had to confront it and work your way out of it. in this case it doesn't matter. i will say this is not -- it's unique in american history, it's not ue, of course, in other countries. there's a powerful essay written by vaclav havel who was a magnificent and eloquent czech dissident and he wrote an essay called "the power and the powerless" and he talked about what happens when a polity, a group of citizens live within a lie and what happens -- it's a corrosive effect on the civic culture and political culture and that's where we are and why it's so important that people not willing to live between lie, in havel's flaz live within the truth speak the truth, that's the press, those are political figures and citizens but it has to be republicans. what's troubling here, it's no surprise trump is doing this,
that's the kind o person he is but r but what's so discouraging as a life long republican and conservative is how the republican party has bought into this and is now his sword and shield and that is something that frankly surprised me and is discouraging and i think it's a terrible indictment of the modern gop. >> yamiche, this search or this request for documents raised again, this time joined by speaker ryan, it's been raised prior to this by devin nunes and trey gowdy but now this renewed effort. what's your understanding from your reporting of what they are looking for within these documents they're requesting. what do they don't think they might have and want. >> i think it's more a political question than what are they looking for. this has become such a polarized
issue. you have republicans like devin nunes who are seen as arms of the white house who are looking for justification to either exonerate president trump or to at least have facts they can float throughout to say, look, we found this new thing and this shows there was no collusion. it shows there was an exoneration of president trump. the problem is that that won't happen until robert mueller's investigation is over and until then the president will have this cloud hanging over him. i think when you see these requests for documents and see these meetings where there's classified information discussed you talk to democrats and they say nothing has changed and we still have to wait for robert mueller and then you talk to republicans and the republicans are saying we learned something new that makes me think the president is more clear than we thought before. >> pete, if you saw the clip from trey gowdy at the start of the segment, i was struck by the force of his rhetoric, how
strong he was being, we'll unleash the full panoply of powers of the house if they won't back the investigation into the investigation. so where is that strength when it comes to protecting the actual investigation of the special counsel? . how do you explain that difference? >> trey gowdy is a serious guy. i must say if something went on with the department of justice and fbi that one untoward and problematic we should know about that, too but that's not what's going on here. it's not only what's going on here. this is part of a full scale frontal assault, institutional assault on the fbi and the department of justice and the media more broadly. they're trying to discredit every institution and every group of individuals who could find wrongdoing with donald trump. and the republican party is by and large on board with this.
that's why i said tin the "post piece that this is going to get ugly. it's intense right now but it will get worse and also because those who surround him, his mouthpieces, they seem to relish this acrimony. they seem to relish the realism after o of all of thisnd others of us don't relish it quite as much but that is what one is called to do. this is an important moment and it's not just a political moment in the shallow sense, republicans and democrats i mean political in the deepest sense about what this country is. >> yep. >> and whether truth matters. so you know, this -- we're having collisions now, but once that mueller report comes out it's going to be -- as said, it's going to make this look like a walk in the park.
>> you made so many good points and the last one as to whether or not the truth matters is such a key point because i believe what we're seeing happening with this president is he is trying to make the truth not matter and it's a race against time for him. because when that report comes out. he wants the truth to not matter. >> that's right. and he's drawing people into that vortex with him. he's drawing an entire party with him into that vortex with him and when that happens, when you are -- when you have politics detached from truth, you know, then everything is up for grabs and that's just not a good place to be. >> thank you so much for coming on. thank you. >> coming up, water gate gave us the saying it's not the crime, it's the coverup. yesterday we marked the anniversary of the crime. ahead we'll talk about the coverup and what it means for today's politics. presidential historian will join
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so some think this is a question but i'll ask it. is the president using children as a bargaining chip to get ing for his pposed border wall? much more ahead on the administration for and denial of its separation policy. and jacob is back in texas. this time touring a processing center which in many cases is the last place parents see their children before having them taken away. "morning joe" is coming right back. >> yes, we are pursuing a zero tolerance prosecution at the border. having children does not give you immunity from arrest and prosecution. bringing children with you doesn't guarantee you won't get prosecuted. policies that can result in
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camping with my daughters was more than just a weekend. it was our time to unplug and be together. with my bladder leakage, i'm not doing that anymore. when i went hiking with the other product,di 't fit right and i was always readjusting it. so, now our camping trips are thr intrips. but with the new sizes of depend fit-flex, it feels like it was made for me. i'm ready to get back our time together. introducing more sizes for better comfort. new depend fit-flex underwear is guaranteed to be your best fit. get a free sample at depend.com form strong vibrant and loing families, the fie brags of our society where you pass along values to the next generation. >> my kids only know me as a weekend dad. i can't let that happen. >> this country always takes care of its little ones. there's never been a time where we could have more confidence in
taking care of our little ones. >> it's nice for them. it's good. republican leaders have spent a lot of time talking about lifting up families and caring for children, talking about their own kids, that's not what's happening on the southern border of the united states and that's where we begin this morning. welcome to "morning joe," it's monday, june 18th. we have mike barnicle, rick tyler, former aide to the gorge w. bush white house and state departments jordan and columnist and associate editor for the washington post, david ig nashs. joe has the morning off but we'll be hearing from him through his tweets. we begin with the trump administration on both defending and outright denying its policy that separates migrant children from their parents at the
southern border. this is where we ended the show on friday and it's where we begin today because this is so unbelievably frightening is happening and it's also frightening how little people are able to do to stand up to the president, especially republicans. senior policy advisor steven mill e that young man right there told the new york times quote, it was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry period. the message is that no one is exempt from immigration law. and attorney general jeff sessions says zero toll rabs,er his zero tolerance announcement this spring that the government will prosecute all unlawful immigrants as criminals set up a situation inch children are removed when their parents are taken into federal custody. a policy he reinforce hips last week. >> if you cross the border
unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. it's that simple. if you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you. and that child may be separated from you as required by law. >> yes, we are pursuing a zero tolerance prosecution policy at th border. having children does not give you immunity from arrest and prosecution. bringing children with you doesn't guarantee you won't get prosecuted. policies that can result in short term separation of families is not unusual or unjustified. >> but the secretary of homeland security claims no policy, no such policy exists. tweeting quote, we do not have a policy of separating families at the border. and yet here's counselor to the president saying exactly the
opposite on "meet the press." >> nobody likes seeing babies ripped from their mother's arms but we have to make sure that dhs's laws a understood. if i commit a crime and i am put in jail my four children are separated from their mother and why would you want the children in jail with their parents? i will tell you nobody likes this policy, you saw the president on cam are. >> he can end it o his own. do you agree with children being taken away? >> no, hate it. the democrats have to change their law. that's their law. that's the democrats' law. >> i think it's been well established that there's no law currently that requires president trump to do this. i mean, that has been shown to be patently false.
i mean, that is a lie. this is a deliberate policy change which is why you see a sudden spike over the last six weeks in the number of kids separated from their parents. >> president trump could stop this policy with a phone call. if you don't like families being separated you can tell dhs to stop doing it. >> a one l of things. you have the president at least confirming the policy exists. you have kelly anne confirming the policyti exists. not sure why john kelly's pick saying we do not have a policy of separating families at the border period. i have no idea why she would say something so untrue. >> maybe she's getting ready to resign. >> that could be it. not sure what's going on there, but then you have others
blatantly lying and this is where we're at. at the same time there are children being separated from their mothers at the border and we don'tven have the exact numbers on that. we're talking about the united states of america, so people, you need to wake up and see what is happening andak out if this feels wrong to you. we're looking at republicans who i guess have a game to play here, perhaps votes to lose. ? a tweet on saturday, the president seemed to acknowledge the policy is a negotiating tool, so he acknowledges that it exists posting quote, democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the border by working with republicans on new legislation. the truth is, there is no law and that this does not belong to the democrats. no law requires families necessarily be separated at the border. as we noted, the current pol
sult resulted in a decision made in april by an attorney general sessions to prosecute all migrants who cross the border including those with young children. you saw him saying it himself. those myogrants have avoided detention during previous presidential administration. a 1997 settlement bars children from being imprisoned with parents. and so the justice department says it has them separated from their parents and held in some way. we have a lot of people using a lot of different terminology and i think it's all fair. but in order not to lose at this game in the -- in the category of rhetoric and in the category of overshooting the runway out of anger, i think we can say
they're being held and they're being held against their will. and that this does not belong to the democrats and that this is a trump policy that is blatantly cruel. well, you know, i was in san antonio on friday speaking with educators and texas school board members who told me they're really concerned about this. and people who are on the front lines of this decision and are being forced to make these decisions, so now since secretary nealson says this is not the policy, does that mean border patrol agents don't have to do this? they don't have to enforce this policy anymore? and i'm grateful that mrs. laura bush spoke out and using her voice and speaking out. >> i also appreciate mike barnicle, melania trump, who did everything she could to make a statement that was clear that she would like an america that
has a heart, unlike i guess the others around her. i'm glad melania trump spoke out. i'm not sure exactly where nikki hay lee is on this and i'm not sure where ivanka is on this. i bring this up because she's very focused on warranting. i don't know where the lead person for women and children -- well, i thought. that's definitely what she told me. i posted on her instagram report about a conversation we had. she invited me to trump tower to speak with her and she wanted very desperately to set up a platform for women and actually wanted to work with dina powell who is an incredible force on many of these issues, and i don't know where she is right now. i wonder how she does this. i wonder how anybody can allow this. >> now she can concentrate on
setting up a platform for orphans. because they've effectively orphaned thousands of children taken from their parents. >> i wonder when this means about the fabric of our country. it's falling apart. >> it's just another unraveling of what america has stood for for over 200 years a don't know how anymore in the republican party, no matter which wing of the republican party you're on and i'm not asking you explain all of it or all of them, but how can they sit there so silently while this is going ? >> it's astonishing. so the only two prominent republicans that have come out are both women, one former first lady. this is a colossal miscalculation. lit's break it down. they sold this as a policy. they went out there, and they said thi going ton a decurrent. this is going to keep people
coming to the border. that has backfired and the good news is a story comes along that's so big that even the president and the white house and this president is particularly good at look over here, look over here, that just sticks with the imagination or capturhe amecan public in a way. this president will not be a to escape this story and now they're trying to deflect and blame. i look forward to the president saying at some point this has never been our policy. you know you can hear him already saying this and this will -- this there a catastroph mistake for the republican party who will not stand up for . these are families who are being literally tornapar the border and now they're going to sell it as law. at first they promoted it as a policy. it is a policy and the policy could be changed by the
administration and -- or the congress can change the policy by virtue of law and they have not done either. >> still ahead on "morning we'll a live report from the scene of one of those detention centers in texas. nbc has been leading the reporting on this. >> and why is mitch mcconnell involving himself in it? what the majority leader just said about bob mueller. >> but here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. so many people in the east all spring. can you finally get us the heat? it's here and here in a big way. heat advisory new york city and areas of the interior. many areas have a heat index. 95 to 105 the next few days. about 3 million people at risk of severe storms.
these storms will be rolling throughout the area. vermont and new hampshire and also there of maine. here's the weekend forec we've head a lot of flooding. texas, you got to tropz cal rain headay. maybe not tooaints it's good to got some moisture. and we dry out northern new england. hit and miss, but we've gotten rid of the extreme heat, i know the carolinas aren't going to be pleasant with that humidity the next couple of days. still stormy in the ohio valley. notice i haven't talked about all the west. hot and dry but pretty ideal bether conditions. new york city is baking in the heat today. largest day of our late spring run. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ this is a story about mail
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what i think about the mueller investigation is they ought to wrap it up. it's gone on seemingly forever. if the ig is through, you know, why can't the mueller investigation finally wrap up? >>enajity leader mitch mcconnell is the latest high ranking republican to criticize robert mueller's investigation in the 2016 election. but however as joe pointed out on twitter the white water investigation into president clinton lasted nearly 3,000 days. compared to fewer than 400 for the mueller probe. on friday, john brennan discussed his preelection 2016 briefing with mcconnell on russian inteence. >> i spoke with mcconnell as
well as others. >> were they questioning your findings a that time? >> senator mcconnell did. yes. >> under what guise? >> i think he was -- he thought thaybe the democrac administration was trying to undermine a republican candidate and i told him, i said, senator, i would not inay split size any type of intelligence and i want to make sure you understand this is the intelligence from and so i let it be known in no uncertain terms that i did find that comment of his a bit repugnant. >> i'm not questioning the legitimacy of the investigation into the clinton administration but this is called the witch hunt and now mitch mcconnell wants this to wrap up quickly m they got a lot of witches at this point and at this point in the clinton investigation i don't know how many they had,
but it wasn't 19 plus. and so i'm -- i'm confused as to how mitch mcconnell could say that without laughing. maybe speaking sarcastically or maybe just admitting that he is blatantly being a trump stooge at this point. >> let's just put on the lens through when everything has to be viewed from here on out up on capitol hill which is through the 2018 midterms. i'm told by sources as recently as last week that mitch mcconnell is an unbelievable amount of coordination and communication with the white house right now on their 2018 strategy. you juxtapose that witness stand where we were last year in terms of the tension and hostility between this white house and between mitch mcconnell and steve bannon for instance who was publicly calling for his head. they were concerned that they were going to have a bloody
midterm fallout with the party divided and now this president is their -- they're deploying him in a very strategic way into these midterm it is. he's pushed aside some of the candidates that might be problematic for them and they're deplaying him very effectively. they don't want to see that come to an end and that is the view that you view everything. including the tariffs, including the mueller investigation, everything that mcconnell is saying right now is an attempt to keep his conference united heading into these midterms. >> that lens, mike has the cap on. he's blind to his bah foonry at this point. i guess his wife works there and there's a lot of deals. coordination and communication between the president and mitch mcconnell. i really -- maybe it's -- maybe it's that i'm a democrat and i can't completely understand
this, but at some point don't you have to draw a line between right and wrong? >> well, mika, the level of hypocrisy in of this is so thick that it's hard to cut. and mitch*connell is one of the leaders of the hypocrisy movement. david, at the root of it, certainly there's a 2018 elections coming up, but at the root of it, the function of government, the decision making apparatus of government led by a president or led by a congress by a strong speaker in conjunction with the senate majority leader. whatever. i've never seen and can't recall a time when our government seems to paralyzed in terms of making the simplest decisions for the common good as it is today. >> if something is broken it's clear to the country that's part of what people are angry about. that thein their anger they kee
reenforcing the underlying political problems and the problems get worse and worse. the -- and we go down, it's unfortunate that good nations sometimes go bad. that's just truth through history. the thing i'm struck with, mike, is that fit's on us. democracy is the system of government where if there's something wrong, citizens get a chance to fix it and we're going to have a chance come november and it's really going to be a test of the united states of a country, off our voters but they the penetrate the fog. this tag ma sheep is going 24/7 in washington. you have mcconnell saying we've got to call it off and people have to look t that and think darefully and make good
decisions but i think in the end this is a demockery say which means it's on us. if it's broken we got to fix it and in the end it's our problem as much as it is trths's. >> coming up, a picture yesterday of the burglars arrested at the water gate offices back in 1972. there are clear echos to graphically built a fewks ago about the the special counsel investigation. coming up next here on "morning joe." island anymore. [ roar ] [ heavy breathing ] [ scream ] rated pg-13.
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the facility itself where these young people, many of them children, 10, 11, 12 years old are being held, how many windows are there inside? >> how many windows? was that his question? >> zero. >> do they eat at the same time three times a day breakfast, lunch and dinner? >> they eat three meals a day but they eat on rotation. >> is it a menu or a specific -- >> no, it's just -- i mean, when
i was in there it was peas and chicken, some vegetables, a thing of jell-o and you know, i wasn't like a school cafeteria. and they have a limited amount of clothes they can wear. they do go to school but everything is very structured. the calls going in and the calls going out determine t not by them. it's incarceration. >> so jacob speenging with us last week. he saw a first look housing over 1,000 kids who came to the country without documentation. now jacob just finished a rare tour of the border patrol's processing center where more accept rations happened than anywhere else and jacob jones us now with that story p jacob, what did you see? >> hey, mika. so this is actually the first
stop and a dhs official told me it is the epicenter of family accept rations. inside there are me people actually separated, children from their parents than anywhere else along the entire southern border. nobody had been able to get inside until yesterday. we we the did. take a look. >> when are they step rated from their children. when they go to court. >> facing the cameras and opening his doors for the first time, rio grande alveodoubled down on the trump administration's zero tolerance policy. but he didn't say it was designed to separate parents from children. >> can you describe the separation process? how does it happen? >> there is no separation process. as they go through the judicial process they are temporarily separated. >> he told us here alone 1,174
kids were taken from their parents since the policy was enacted. it happens inside this building. the facility serves as an intake, the biggest of its kind in the country. we are invited to see it with our own yeahs but not with our own cameras. all we can show you is photos provided to us by the border patrol. migrants were kept in chain link fences wrapped in myolar blank kets. when we walked in the door of the prokufacility, 197 unaccomp minors and the rest x adealts on their own. migrants are sorted based on age, gender and family status. that's what the border patrol calls them, pods. one for girls 17 and under,
another for boys 17 and under and then there are the families. moms with kids and dads with kids. another one of these heart photos. they show a 2-year-old girl as a border patrol officer obtains her mather. images like this are only adding to the contentious debibt about u.s. immigration policy. >> there's been some talk, some conversation that will are no teenages, people aren't kept in dajs inside the afaulty and i saw with my own eyes. you guys saw it in the photos and increasingly the children that are kept in those cages are being sep from their parents under this policy that is a manufacture crisis. not only is it afking the children but the agents inside
this facility. it's kre yachtsing a stretch on the system and think will only for licensed social care workers in this bare the certification. so if a warrant is taken away and you have a 2-year-old child, i asked, if they come in and take him away, they could do simple things like change diapers and with the accept rations increedsing, this is going to get more ten , guys. >> i was going to ask you squuz this changing of typers. soims for comfort, sometimes for
changing the diaper. what's the policy? >> what i was told is by the department of health and human services, i last weeng which with the second step the interaction is limited because of laws ke signed to protect churn from sexual harassment. they're actually prison rape laws which, you know, when they say these aren't prisons, if you're operating the same laws that are intended to protect children from sexual assault in prisonen then what do do you call these places? >> i don't know if the same policies are put into place here but you would have to assume so. >> jacob, i wonder about the people working these facilities. i mean they're human beings. i'm sure sm of them are rying to do the best they can. have you talked to them about what's going on and how it's
unsustainable? >> reporter: yeah, i mean, the chief of the border patrol sector, manual padilla told me that they're not at 100% yet because it's too chaotic. they can't manage the volume of people coming in. one of the things that the border patrol agents said there really are not enough agents process people that are going off to be separated from their children. so there are these virtual stations and you can talk to agenerals in the el centro rg which is close. so it's almost like you're an agent sitting in a remote location away from here and you're separate people from their kids. i can't imagine what it does to the agents elise, this is just a
little bit of a glimpse into what jay sob is talking about. texas monthly has this description from the executive director of on a nonprofit. i was talking to onemorter and she said don't take my child away. the started screams and violently and i she asked the officers, can i have at least fivemontes to console her, and they said no. >> you are doing incredible job. i just want to back to what you said about the judge children and about the touching and the whoelding of these scare young children in their byes who need their diaper change. it sounds like there's simply not enough workers to hue melanialy take care of the needs
of little ones who we are essential putting in place. this is tantamount to child abuse. >> it makes you sick. i have a two and a half-year-old son myself and you see children that are -- that are sitting there and it's- you cannot fathom what these little kids are going through and what's going through their little brains and what it means for them for the rest of their lives. and you know, again, what -- these facilities were not new. they were here amid previous administration. but they act of separating children from their parents as a system attic policy is a direct thing he wants to happen right now and it's just not true when anybody else says otherwise. >> it's worth repeating many times that there is a campaign
to twist the truth. this was a policy of course, that the kpaern general announc himself and the president has been walking with me and we haven't gotten into it and it mr. lay outn the roads in the lives of these children especially churn urn the the age of # ever 7, 6 years of age. the damage to your mind, a four or five-year-old child is going to remember having his mother torn from her or him and the resid yawl damage done in terms of how grow grow up and when you think of what's around you. >> joining us now, president of the action network. you announced over the weekend that you're going to serve in
the coming days. tell us what you plan to do. >> well, tomorrow we're going to be in washington holding a prez conference while the president is in the houssaying they must end this. it's a civil rights issue. because first of all, mika, and we were just talking about talking about this. imagine if this were canadian children. would president trump even think about grabbing canadian children? >> he might. >> i don't know. he talks a lot game but i thought if he wow do this. i'm talking about we spent the weekend talking with the anti defamati deaf malgs league and muz rim. these children need to be able to have some comfort and some clergy people look and talk to
hem. gang centers, mobsters get clergy visits. we want to see if they will deny him. ez leshl i with the other. kids have been smached literally from their mother's orms and it will spend their life having remembered in their formeriers. they were ne lacy. >> is this not -- it is political, that's no doilt. >> absolutely. >> but is this not at its core a ral issue and a defining issue about who are we as pro plies. the. >> the moralish shoo is what you raise and do it whether you're republican or democrat. can you sit by and watch kids in prison taken away from their parents? who -- all i'm asking for an
asylum. maybe some of them need asigh collum but you're going to prejudge that i licelated t-- isolate the kid. i had to do 90 days in jail for civil disobead yeps. they got these kids in vail because their parents are eejing so tet away from stuff like that and you lock them hup and give them a worse condition. you give them without even in the solace that brought them into the world pt it's a moral disgrace. >> talk about those who have used to just fi please actions. i think jeff sessions should be a sunday school techer x for him to not fish i had a
you see any amount of description the bible talks abou rebelled or standing up wrong.ernmen that are if you don't stand up against governments when they're wrong, then moses should have never questioned pharaoh and daniel should have never questioned with the three. i mean, the whole bible is full of correcting people when they're wrong. and isn't it interesting that this is the administration that came in and questioned every law barack obama put in the book but now they're telling defenseless children, you and your parents obey the law. they didn't obey the affordable care act. so this selective kind of obeying laws and using the bible is -- it would be heresy if i wanted to be extreme, but it is certainly a double standard. >> and the lies and the lack of
empathy at the top is something we've grown used to, something we've grown to expect from presidenump himself but to the republicans who have a chance to make a difference on this, the question is what more does he need to do to have you step up? i can't imagine any re-election win is worth this. i can't even imagine. >> what's the point of serving in plitd cal office? >> yeah, why are you serving? why are you serving if you're not there to lead? and if you need to win re-election that badly at -- really at the risk of damaging of burning our national fabric of what makes us americans, what more does he need to do. how low do you need to bow down, do you need to go to try and win re-election because right now you could do something. of all the people right now who have the ability to do something
right now, it is republicans in washington. we'll be right back. >> having children does not give you immunity from arrest and prosecution. bringing children with you doesn't guarantee you won't get prosecuted. i would cite you to the apostle paul in his clear and wise command in romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because god has ordained the government for his purposes. whoooo.
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unveiled. the nushl set of tariffs is going to target north of 800 different things worth around $34 billion. that's going take effect on july 6th. the list focuses a lot on things that contain intellectual technologies. then you tack on another $16 billion worth of koods affecting close to 300 other products that could follow after a public review and comment period. so as expected like you said, china fired back with its own response, prett much tit for tat targeting, you guessed it $34 billion including things like cars and agricultural products. they have an expanded plan to boost that total to 15 k$15 bil. that heightened trade rhetoric
is giving investorspause. they're going to try to figure out how it affects both countries. so it's becoming more of a conflict of fear and that's the reason wall street is down about 200 points chu, thank you very much. yesterday was the anniversary of the watergate break-in. a presidential historian joins the scandal next with a look at how it started. keep it here. brighthouse financial allow you to take advantage of growth opportunities... with a level of protection 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. their eyelids so heavy, they're drooping and... even heroes need incredible sleep. closing! introducing the new sleep number 360 smart bed. the only bed that actually senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both
a controversial day in politics. a man arrested trying to bug the offices of the democratic national committee in washington turns out to be an employee of president richard nixon's re-election campaign committee. >> nbc's garrett utley reporting 46 years ago today. the arrest of five burglars inside the democratic national headquarters in washington's watergate complex.
marking what would be the beginning of president richard nixon's eventual downfall. joining us now, author and nbc news presidential historian, micha michael beshlast and sally quinn, good to see you both. >> thank you. >> this moment of history as we look back, as we look maybe forward as well. >> history sometimes rhymes. >> well, is anything rhyming with today? can we just get off topic for a second. >> you may have a president who's committed malfeasa and we may have a special prosecutor telling us about it pretty soon. but the big difference to me is richard nixon lied occasionally i think mike barnacle will agree with me over those two years of watergate from time to time, but you did not have the constant barrage of lying that we've got today. even nixon would have found that a little bit much. >> the duplicity was missing in watergate and now it is hourly.
the other aspect of it, sally, is really interesting to me and i'm sure to you. when you think about it, and i bet you thought about it, is "the post" then, led by your husband bill bradley. was an old police reporter. he initially recovered it. bernstein, bradley just gave them the reins and said go to it. "the post" did incredible work then. as it is today. >> absolutely. >> all these years later. >> but, you know, what's interesting is the time line, because people are sort of saying, oh, my god, this can't go on, this can't go on. if you think about the time line, we are only in the middle of where we were during watergate. >> right. >> the break-in was a year -- was yesterday, june 17th. it took over two years before nixon resigned. and, by the way, today is the day the an niversary of "the washington post" printing the pentagon papers and on the 20th
is when the supreme court ruled in favor of "the times." this is one of the things about watergate in the end is there was the tapes. you had clarity, proof. i think everybody keeps saying with mueller where's this going, where's this going. it could take another year. >> yes. >> it could. the other thing is if you think about the way that news was decimated in 1972 and '73 and '74, very little time on tv networks. now you've got a president who has a very loyal, very expansive media that will broadcast whatever lies he chooses to tell, and it's much easier for a president to blur the difference between truth and fiction. >> yes, there is. there's so much flying around. >> the other thing is "the washington post" was out there alone for a long time. and nobody picked up the story.
and katharine graham kept saying, this is such a red-hot story -- >> the globe did. >> right, why isn't anybody picking it up? it wasn't until october, right before nixon was re-elected and he was re-elected in th middle of the watergate scandal that walter cronkite decided that he wanted to broadcast this. he called ben and said, i need documents. we're going to send cameras down. ben said, well, we don't have any documents. so but walter did a two-part series. i think that changed, in terms of the media, that changed the way people began to see the watergate story. >> it's inherently not in your interest, some path logically so, to lie to yourself. it took a little while for them to tell the truth to themselves. what could potentially happen when the party decides it's going to lie to itself? >> well, that's the problem. it didn't in 1974. what changed, what sealed
nixon's fate was the tape was released. the committee who had been arguing for weeks nixon is innocent of any crime. they gave press conferences saying i was wrong, i'm going to vote for that article of impeachment that says obstruction of justice. we've not seen anything yet that same thing. eaders will do the >> one of the interesting aspects of exactly what you were just talking about, and to your question is there was a very reluctant speaker of the house. >> absolutely. >> carl albert. >> absolutely. >> who was prodded by the majority leader, tip o'neill, into action finally. >> we have an complicit congress, on many levels. >> abandon any morals, values are ethics. >> the point you made about they're so desperate to be elected, that just rang home
with me for so much. they go back to the founders. they want these guys a few years, then back to the plow. >> not dictators for life. >> we've had people who -- i have great r for people like general hayden, joe who made the comments and the white house actually came after him. you have people like laura bush even making comparisons -- >> amazing piece this morning. >> and to the japanese interment camps. how would you characterize what's happening at the border? are the parallels within the bounds of where the conversation should be? >> well, you go back -- i think laura bush drew a wonderful historical paral the interment of japanese americans in 1942. you can argue about roosevelt's motives good or bad, but it was one of the terrible moments in american history we all agree and i think we'll look back on this moment with shame.
>> even joe brought up and got criticized for talking about -- for comparing this to the nazis and saying they were sending the children to the showers. and in this case, they were telling showers they were goi to separate their parents from them so they could go take baths. that is an act comparison. i mean, this is -- and, you know, i think one of the things that makes me crazy is this evoking the bible. jeff sessions talking about how this is biblical and sarah huckabee sanders who lies for a living and who is an evangelical christian talking about this. that is a lie. this is not biblical. >> we're living in the age of george orwell unfortunately. >> ben bradley was all about the truth and the truth is slipping away as we speak at this moment. michael beshlast, thank you, sally quinn, thank you. the book "finding magic" a love
story is out now in paper back. it's been a long show, i have to say. mike during the break at one point said this is just depressing. it is. that's where we're at now. i hope today throughout on msnbc you see attorney general jeff sessions, using his words, speaking out loud to the public, saying this policy of separating children from their families at the border belongs to the trump administration. he announced it. president trump owns it. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. >> thank you, mika. good morning. i'm stephanie ruhle. starting with just that. zero tolerance. two first ladies criticize family separations at the border as outrage erupts from both sides of the aisle. the trump administration sending mixed messages and straight-up lies about its own policy. >> nobody likes seeing babies ripped from their mother's arms. >> romans 13, to