tv Hugh Hewitt MSNBC June 30, 2018 5:00am-5:30am PDT
ck like american express. so where ever you go. we're right there with you. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. don't live life without it. ♪ morning glory, america. i'm hugh hewitt. welcome to the last edition of hugh hewitt on saturday mornings. it comes on the cusp of a huge week of news concerning the supreme court and the president's decisions to meet with russian president vladimir putin in helsinki, finland. to discuss these two big stories, i'm joined by nbc's courtney kube, our pentagon national security correspondent. and seung min kim from the "washington post". welcome to you both. how surprised is the pentagon, which is your beat, and what is
the reaction generally to the president meeting with putin? >> i think there is surprise they are going to meet and it's so soon, only three weeks away. there is a little bit of hopeful optimism that might break some of the stalemate in syria. it is not getting a lot of attention in the u.s. there is a precarious situation down towards the border with jordan in syria where everything is coming to a head. assad's tporgz are russian and iranian backed. they are coming into where the opposition forces are. israel is potentially going to get involved. potential this could be a terrible battle in the coming days. there's a little bit of hopeful optimism that maybe president trump can speak to vladimir putin about -- >> the ckopconfliction. >> or getting the iranian president to back off a little bit. maybe seeing exactly what's happening. there have been reports that
russia is pulling back in syria. it is three weeks away. >> last week i went over to the state department and sat down with secretary pompeo. we talked candidly about flipping the script. whether or not president trump and the team could get vladimir putin to help us, vis-a-vis president xi and china. he went to beijing. what was that all about? >> it is the post singapore summit meeting. they had to talk about the initial exercises have been suspended, including the one with south korea. it's a large yearly annual exercise. and then they had to talk about the path forward. secretary mattis has not made a lot of news considering this is a newsy trip. the first visit to the region since the singapore summit. it seems like the theme has been continued strong alliance. strong military-to-military
relationship with china, which of course will be very important going forward as the continued diplomatic relations with north korea unfold. >> i will come back to the dog that didn't bark in a moment, mattis. justice kennedy stepped down rather surprisingly you to me and many others who thought he would stick around. who is on the short list, seung min? you tell me what you think is. >> so the short list for the president's replacement for justice kennedy is centered around five names that the president has maintained for potential supreme court nominees. you mentioned kethledge and kavanaugh. there is runner-up to now justice neil gorsuch. and amy barrett in the 7th circuit.
court of appeals. and par is in the sixth circuit, a favorite of mitch mcconnell's. i'm sure that gives a little bit of a leg up. he was appellate judge confirmed in the trump presidency. so who knows what other names could emerge. there's been discussion about senator mike lee. but those are the -- the first five i mentioned are generally the ones we've been looking at. but we'll have to wait and see until the president makes his announcement in coming weeks. >> judge straws up in minnesota. justice willett, now judge willett in texas. there are a lot of great new judges on the federal court. how important is it that there be a record? there are federal court opinions about federal law and federal jurisdictional issues, especially the administrative state. how much does that matter to the president, more importantly dan mcgahn and the white house counsel's office?
>> the records always matter. in another way the records will also matter is during the confirmation hearing when senators will be scrutinizing the record and opponents of who whomever the president nominates will gear up opposition toward that. a lot of the outside groups have already been building -- basically opposition files on these judicial nominees and seeing even the five discussed are disqualified for x, y, z reasons. i know in the confirmation hearings democrats will clearly try to press the nominee on how they would rule on certain hot-button issues. republicans are saying the nominee will rely to the ginsburg standard. that is the way supreme court nominees have conducted themselves in hearings. the legal record matters.
it will be the source of what they argue about on capitol hill in a couple weeks. >> harry reid broke the filibust filibuster. if you have 50 votes, 51, it's over. the one thing they are banking on is that melting down in front of the committee, under the lights, under the stress. i lean towards kethledge. how much does that factor into it now, seung min? >> very much so. he performed very well under his confirmation hearings last march. so the confirmation hearings matter greatly. again, since we know that the nominee isn't going to wait until niece really contentious issues such as abortion, it may not matter ultimately much at the end. but the politics, you can't understate the politics of the nation.
this comes in a very heated midterm year. we already have a lot of democratic senators up for reelection in states where trump is very popular. won them in 2016 by double digits. where the democrat senators will feel pressure to confirm whomever trump picks. but look on the other side, we have senator susan collins of maine and lisa murkowski of alaska, very independent-minded senators who haven't been afraid to buck their party. they both support abortion rights. that will be the frame that the democrats use in the coming weeks. this is the nominee that could overturn roe versus wade. >> this is not going to be the summer of love. this is not 51 years later and everyone is kisinging kumbaya. >> some can speak much more authoritatively than i can on
supreme court nomination. i can't imagine that will be a pretty process. as far as the summit, i think one of the big concerns is that president trump stands next to vladimir putin and praises him. sort of what we saw with kim jong-un in singapore. there is a lot of concern he will make comments about meddling in the election that will disparage the investigation. we have already seen that actually. but to stand next to vladimir putin and do it brings it to another level. and he might make concessions or agreement. a lot of people felt he did that, he made concessions to kim jong-un and north korea without getting enough in return. could he potentially do that with russia and only further alien kwraeuting the united states from allies and nato members. >> are things going to get nicer and easier on the hill? >> well, it's not going to be all nice and, you know, fuzzies on capitol hill now, especially in the senate. there are a few things that are
more contentious than a supreme court confirmation. you and i know that very well, hugh. one that has the capacity to reshape the court in the way that kennedy's retirement does. it is definitely going to be gloves off from now through november. >> i think you're right. thank you. i'll be right back. the most influential conservative that msnbc audience has never heard of. he joins us next from michigan. hi, i'm bob harper, and i recently had a heart attack. it changed my life. but i'm a survivor. after my heart attack, my doctor prescribed brilinta.
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writing the last six volumes of the official churchill biography. he and his wife penny has been friends of mine. quite likely the most influential conservative you have never heard of primarily because of the work hillsdale does in turning out brilliant young graduates, many of whom go on to staff the government where constitutional conservatives gather every day to remember what it is that makes the country work. he is famously a never, never trumper as i am. we stayed in the broadcast equivalent of switzerland, never endorsing any candidate. welcome, doctor. good morning to you. >> how are you? >> i'm great. larry, let's start with this question.
why did you never become a never trumper? >> well, a lot of reasons. one is i live in the academic world, so we use more time to think. the trump candidacy was really confusing. where did this guy come from? nobody like him ever got elected president of the united states. while i was thinking about it, i began to notice his appeal. in january 201, he wrote an article about the bureau of land management and the rule of law. and i thought, wow, it's a handsome article. january 16th, if i remember right, 2016, in the reena nevada "gazette." i wonder what else he said about this? so i put one of my really young men jack shannon, now getting his ph.d.. i said go find everything he said about this. he found 30 pages going back a long way that showed trump had
some considerable understanding of the rule of law. and i'm for that. and so i just thought, wow. so i supported him. >> now, in terms of the conservative movement of which you have been a part working for years and decades, why has it not come back together around him? why have never trumpers stayed never trumpers even in the "washington post" when teasen wrote it is in else accepts justified in their vote? >> yeah. and, you know, the objections to trump are many. and a lot have to do with his manner. and, remember, he comes from nowhere, right? nobody has ever been elected president of the united states as his first significant public service except donald trump. so objections start with that. some of them can't abide his character. i think character is a tricky thing. i read in preparation and talking about this, something
winston churchill, of course a very great man. and i won't compare trump to him. compare him to the french premier george colloso, who was a fighter, literal fighter, duellist. he was in libel and slander trials every 15 minutes. and he was a warrior. and churchill loved that guy. although he didn't act like him. he was much more colorful than donald trump. and he was effective in a crisis. and so it looks to me like character, it's not hard to say what makes a good character. read aristotle's ethics. i happen to teach that. but how that is mixed up in a person, that is different for every person. a simply bad person or generally bad person can't do good things. but trump has qualities that are not bad at all. i don't know donald trump. i met him one time in my life.
i watch what he does. he's a show pony can. he calls attention to himself. but it seems to me that there is a direction in this administration toward the deemphasis of the regulatory state and the decentralization of the government. and i think that those are prime constitutional under takings. >> during the campaign you said fundamental things are afoot. that has turned out to be true with the retirement of justice kennedy and you untimely death of justice scalia. i'm a big fan of the fellow down the street over in ann arbor, raymond connect can ledge. you're a fan of willett as well. but kethledge impresses me. are you confident that donald trump will put another originalist on the court, and do you have a favorite? >> i am confident about that. he's got his list. he's made his little list. they shant be missed. no.
i have a bunch of students of mine who have gone off to fancy law school and did families clerkships and become terribly important. they have now reached the age where they are now telling their teacher what to do. >> it happens to all of us. >> so you become their dog's body. amy barrett, i hope she's on the list. the fellow from ann arbor, the top five, your favorite analysts named, i like all of those people. >> they're all terrific. let me finish up by talking about vice president pence. he gave a commencement address not long after he was blister erred by george will, a long-time friend of yours. i wonder about the conservative movement and whether it will come back together again. >> so, first of all, the conservative movement is new
theory of these grand movements is in american history, social and religious movements become political movements and they become political parties and they effect the government. so the temperance and the anti-slavery movement became the republican party, for example. and so is the conservative moment like that? in some ways, sure. but its story is not told yet. it is a pretty new thing, since the 1950s. so where does it stand on the fundamental constitutional questions that prevail today? and, remember, those questions are huge. and there's more than one side to them. i'm for the return of the legislative power of the congress, which means you will not going to make laws in this regulatory agency anymore. that is a very controversial thing to say and very difficult thing to do. it defines 50 years of history.
so we are arguing about huge things like that. >> it seems to me the most important issue is the attitude of him or her towards the administrative state. i think you have said whether the people will govern the government or the government will govern the people. is that on the top of donald trump answer list as he assesses his nominee? >> well, i have heard don mcgahn, white house counsel, say in a public place in an interview with me, that was top of donald trump's list. put it together. you know, there's a lot of things that trump has said in the course of his life that i regret and he regrets. but it would be wrong to forget, he said some simply beautiful thing about the rights of the people to rule. they go to before he got into politics. so i think he sees that. >> the russia investigation goes on. it was very contentious in the
house this week. it promises to go on for months and months more. what do you think of that, and what do you think its result is going to be? >> well, it's -- you know, it's a puzzle at the top or near the top of our constitutional system. how you control the people who enforce the law. and we have ordinary ways of doing that for all offices except the president. and, you know, special prosecutors are common. and government history. a fair number at the federal level. if you appoint somebody with the power to prosecute the president, then that person can potentially control the president. that person is not elected to do that. so the way you control it is through the impeachment process. hearings in the house. they can have investigators and prosecutors working for them. and then they can bring charges before the senate. and that is the constitutional
method for controlling the president. >> a great note on which to end. dr. arnn, thank you. ladies and gentlemen, i'll be right back. man: it takes a lot of work to run this business, but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long, and sometimes i don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost to get the nutrition i'm missing. boost high protein now has 33% more protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. and it has a guaranteed great taste. man: boost gives me everything i need
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covered by most insurance and medicare plans. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ my conversation with cia director mike pompeo and his answer to how he works daily with the president. >> i'm with the president nearly every day. we have 35 or 40 minutes out of his schedule. it almost always runs long. >> i talk to him. i care a lot about him and what he wants to do. it's not my day-to-day life anymore. >> this is about winning elections. and the only way you make policy is you win elections. i'll remind people, people that lose go into another line of work. >> he can look a little bit better by comparison. we need to do everything to prevent that super spreading. >> google, amazon, facebook have
become so significant in our lives and economy, it is time for congress to weigh in. >> translator: the president has made it clear he will never, he will never question any of our military leaders if they take actions to defend themselves and soldiers sailors, air force and marines. >> they will be able to keep more of what they earn. >> we're reimagining the way that hud actually works and bringing personal responsibility to people in various segments. >> he is conversant into things western. i'll confident he will be watching this show. >> the last bit office secretary of state pompeo on on kim jong-un. just last week when i talked to him in the state department. it's been great fun. this is the last msnbc show on saturday mornings. i will appear as a guest on msnbc shows and i will continue
as a guest on "meet the press" and conduct more of these one-on-one interviews. it's been great fun to host this show. i will see you on msnbc again soon. thank you for watching. more "doing chores for mom" per roll. more "doing chores for dad" per roll. more "earning something you love" per roll. bounty is more absorbent, so the roll last 50% longer than the leading ordinary brand. so you get more "life" per roll. bounty, the quicker picker upper. now with new prints featuring disney pixar's incredibles 2 - now playing.
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a very good morning to all of you. i'm alex witt in new york at the half hour. president trump and the first family are at their home in new jersey today. that is where the president is escalating his attacks against democrats on immigration. and this time zeroing in on rising calls by some to abolish i.c.e. in a tweet earlier, he praised the agency and said the radical left dems want you out. next it will be all police. zero chance, it will never happen. the tweet comes at a time when 130 demonstrations against the border policy about to get under way. they are all in an effort