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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  July 4, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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well, that's all for tonight. a big thanks to michael, kimberly and john for being here. big happy fourth of july from all of us at "mtp daily." enjoy this eindependence day an see you right back here tomorrow. good morning, and welcome to a special holiday edition of "morning joe." >> oh, ho, ho. merry christmas. how was christmas? >> my christmas was great. i'm full from a big christmas dinner. >> oh, the turkey. whew. >> remember when did that and everyone didn't know we were joking? >> happy hanukkah, everybody. >> happy fourth of july. we're on tape this morning. >> and remember, let's -- make sure that today we remember what labor day is actually about. >> oh, my lord. >> okay. so we're on tape this morning, but are enjoying our special edition of "morning joe." with us, "new york times" reporter jeremy peters. >> and did you notice they only give us like 15 minutes off for this fourth of july.
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>> i know. not a lot of time off. >> usually it's a monday or a friday. it feels like you're getting 30 years often. now it's like -- phil says, 15 minutes. here's a sparkler, go out back. the parking lot in secaucus, light it, come back in. >> we're happy to be here. >> love being here. >> and for "washington post" david ignatius and pulitzer prize winner, soul of america, jon meacham. author of the best-selling book "the soul of america: the battle for our better angels." >> happy ash wednesday, everybody. >> happy ash wednesday to you, too, and make sure we keep the easter bunny in easter. or whatever. however this goes. i don't -- not sure. >> july 4th. >> so this is actually -- i mean, seriously. i -- i understand that, like, hallmark cards or something invented mother's day.
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if anybody were to invent a holiday for the "soul of america" it would be this day. the fourth of july. so very nice of thomas jefferson and the whole gang to be thinking of you ahead of time here. >> it was big. big. very generous. >> the message that -- so many people are driven to such despair over the latest trump outrage that it's very easy to forget instructions -- i mean, forget -- of our founders, but instructions from the founders of the modern conservative movement. like bill buckley. who said, i'm not going to be troubled by truths arrived at, at the latest ballot box. yesterday's -- you know, at yesterday's ballot box, charles krauthammer always told people, don't lose your head. stay calm. there is an apocalypse de jour
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every year. let's keep our head down and keep our eyes on the prize. that's basically the message of your book along with the fact that, this battle between our better angels and some of the worst instincts that our country has had, it's been going on for about 240 years. >> absolutely. i mean, the founding we celebrate today was one that, yes, the continental congress adopted the de eed declaration jefferson wrote the most important -- we're all created equal and included in that sentence at the time and the story of the country has been the slow, bloody, often tragic, often painful but ultimately successful attempt to widen that definition. to me, that's the story of the
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country. you can say that's sentimental or wiggish or whatever, but it also has the virtue of being true as a simple matter of fact. our immigration issue is that people want to come here. right? i mean, they're coming to the border. we're not doing very well by them once they're there in some cases but by and large, this national experiment in individual liberty, which was a vital shift in the whole structure of the west, in the 18th century and moving forward, this idea that we had the power to determine our own destinies. not a king, pope, prince or prell prellit is what drives the people who are, in fact, so involved, so engaged with every twist and tweet of the current era. >> and how interesting, david ignatius, that we keep talking about a wall to keep people out. john kennedy at the height of the cold war said for all of
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democracies failures, we've nerve her to put up a wall to keep our people in. and, in fact, now we have donald trump talking about putting up a wall to keep people out, but also, though, not just illegal immigrants. unfortunately, refugees who trump's own government said add $ $63 billion to this country's economy per decade. >> joe, july 4 is a day that reminds me that donald trump doesn't own patriotism and he doesn't determine the fundamentals that we hold on to tight today when we think about what july 4th means. america has been the dream of the world, because of the freedoms that we've had as a
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country, the generosity we've had as a people, our ability, because we were strong to come to the aid of others. our values that led us to do that, led us to make commitments to be open. the phrase we often use to describe the america that we all grew up in is the shining city on a hill. >> uh-huh. >> this image of this great republic with its wealth, its tolerance, its generosity. we have a particularly ungenerous person who's our president now, but today's the day when we, i think, transcend a particular occupant of the white house and think about what the country is about and really why it's still so strong even in this crazy tumultuous period we're living in. >> the question i would have actually for you given that you've recently wrote about this, is that, you know, we just heard david talking about the fundamentals that we hold tight. jon meacham talking about the soul of america and the fact
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that we are seen worldwide as the dream of the world, although that is changing. you are hearing abroad a different definition of what america looks like, given this happened. so i guess my biggest question to you is, while i understand you can't get ahead of yourself, you can't get ahead of your s skis, overraeact, become shrill or get caught up in it, do we stand by and just wait for this to pass by, or fight for the fundamentals that really make us who we are? like the children. separated from their parents at the border. or the truth, that the president twists every day. or flies in the face of. and if we do fight, what does that look like? >> well, first of all, again -- again, i keep going back to charles krauthammer, but charles krauthammer in -- famous commencement address in 1993
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delivered to his alma mater at the university said, don't lose your head. there is an apocalypse du jour every few years. don't lose your head. keep it down and do your hard work. you know, what do you do? unions have had a pretty rough month, but they should look back to a guy who -- and i know socialists have always sort of used this phrase, but i think a guy named joe hill was wrongly convicted of murder in utah. i think it was in 1915, and one of the last telegrams he sent was, don't mourn. organize. and so you ask me what democrats should do. it's what i've told republicans what they should do. >> or americans. >> what independents should do, if they want to win elections. you organize. you keep your head down. you knock on doors.
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you put yard signs in your neighbors' yards, and these days you make new facebook friends. you talk to your friends in your neighborhood. you ask them if you can drive them to vote. and i think what may happen and sort of by natural selection, something i was telling mika happened in 1994 when i showed up in washington. i said, you know, all of us that got elected at time, it was so long ago, the republican party would fax us messages every day. we were supposed to read. i'd tear them up and go out and deliver the message that i thought was relevant. i met a guy named jack metcalf from washington state, who was an older gentleman. shared very little in common with me, except for the fact that when we first met he goes, oh, yeah. i -- i tore those things up, too, and -- you had a natural selection from northwest florida to -- to, you know, the great northwest all across the coun y
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country. these certain people in 1994 who got elected. i've got a feeling that we're seeing that with the democratic party. whether you have somebody who's extraordinarily progressive in queens or you have somebody in the midwest, a democrat who gets elected as a, you know, a woman who's a retired air force pilot. >> uh-huh. >> yeah. it's sort of the good problem to have if you're in the majority. an ideological heterogeneous coalition. everybody doesn't agree on everything and has big, broad divisive views about issues. that's what happened to the republican party after 2010 when it took over a lot of territory. it became very internally conflicted, because people didn't agree on everything. similarly, if democrats find themselves back in the majority they'll have a lot of blue dogs back, moderate democrats that will be a very important wing of that party that are going to need to be reconciled. not all progressive socialists. progressive socialists don't
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want to reckon with. >> don't want to hear that. >> no. to the extent, probably my biggest problem with the r-- a complete lack of faith in american institutions and the constitution itself to bind and constrain aspiring autocrats and zealots. >> right. >> it's proven very effective so far and we don't really look at and understand and accept and be thankful for the institutions that were bequeathed to us by a group of individuals who believed mankind could not be perfected, was flawed, ambitions needed to be channeled and everyone that followed, bolshevik, all did the opposite and all failed for a reason. >> in this, which we probably should rename the charles krauthammer hour of power, i recall a column that he wrote. he was a trump skeptic. >> deeply. >> deep -- deep trump skeptic.
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talked about all the terrible things that were happening, and it was, again, borrowed from his mcgill speech. don't lose your head. and he went through. how the courts had responded to trump's abhorrent behavior, how the bureaucracy responded, congress responded, the media responded and went down the list and ended by simply saying the system lives. and i do think that we have seen for too long when george w. bush was in power, democrats believed the constitution's being shredded. when barack obama in power, republicans believed the constitution is being shredded. when donald trump is empowered, the constitution is being shredded. i'm joking, kids, but there is a feeling that constitutional norms are being endangered, but regardless -- >> but there's a fact. there's a fact. >> regardless, still, we have no evidence that our system, that
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the madisonian system of checks and balances are not great enough to endure even four years of donald trump. >> no. not at all. none whatsoever and that's why oftentimes you'll hear not just, is that the constitution is at risk, but american democracy itself is at risk of collapse under donald trump, which is a bit hyperbolic, i would say. are there anti-democratic things he does on a daily basis, yes. are his attacks on a free press extremely corrosive to democracy and fact and this whole idea now people really are entitled to their own facts? yes. all of that is really troubling. what's also really troubling and this is a lesson we take from the founding of the country is that leadership matters. there were people who stepped up and did the right thing at the time, and you see that now, but those people are being thrown under the bus in the republican party.
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jeff flake couldn't run for re-election because he had the audacity to stand up to donald trump. mark sanford, also the audacity to stand up to donald trump voted out of office because there was a woman running against him who was seen as more pro-trump. the question in the republican party right now is, where are those leaders? is there a place for them? >> i believe that is a crisis. it doesn't look like it right now. and it never does, but i do think the crisis actually is with the future of the republican party. the future of the conservative movement, and just for those out there that would say that we have become hyperbolic at time, i'm reminded of a donald trump quote from last year where he said that madison's system of checks and balances and the united states constitution was "archaic" and let me get this quote exactly right. "a bad thing for the country."
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if that doesn't suggest, mika, a -- well, autocratic impulses that do need to be checked every day. >> and i think that is the difference where i think i finally figured out the difference between you and me on this. because, you know, i understand that there's a lot of overreaction to this, and there's a lot of the world is coming to an end descriptions of what we've got. stick to the facts. constitutional norms are being challenged. >> right. >> that's a fact. that's not a feeling. it's a fact. it's happening every day. and we have to cover it and we have to stick to the facts. i think that there is a sense of lost value in who we are and what this country stands for, and jon meacham, throw it to you, because i don't think we can really pinpoint where we're at right now. i don't think we have nailed it down. are there any parallels in
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history that you can draw from or how would you describe exactly what is happening here? >> i think it's the most perilous moment for the kinds of democratic norms and constitutional norms that we're talking about in, really since reconstruction, i'd argue. andrew johnson, became president after ford's theater, people believed there might be a second civil war, because he sided with his native southerners in the battles of a reconstruction. it's a period we lose, because people tend to skip from lincoln to fdr, really, and keep moving. but that was a period where things felt calamitous. we had just come through a great struggle. it was not at all impossible that the united states might end up looking more like central or south america with several different confederacies. we know we're a coast to coast continental nation, but they didn't know that.
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so i think that's where we are. you have to go back pretty far. on the resistance and the krauthammer ode, absolutely deserved, i believe you don't lose your head. obviously, i believe that the history is something that gives us a sense of proportion of what's going on. the resistance, marching, the protesting is absolutely essential, because the country has only moved from strength to strength when voices far from the centers of power have ultimately attracted the attention of those in power. and that's true on the left, in terms of left, broadly put. in terms of suffrage. in terms of civil rights. in terms of gay rights. it's true on the right. because what was 1980, if not a remarkable achievement of a populist conservative movement,
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relatively far from the eastern establishment. so ronald reagan became this force, because he had been listening to these voices, reading national review on those trains all of those years, because he wouldn't fly in the 1950s. he would spend all of his time on trains reading conservative books. and so that was a lonely place to be, and then he becomes president. so there is this american drama about the dynamics of power, and it's absolutely essential, if people feel strongly, as so many do, that this particular president poses a unique threat to do everything they can to oppose it. that's absolutely the american way. that's what -- in many ways what is the american revolution that we commemorate today if not the greatest act of resistance in western history? >> and, david ignatius, you look at the marches, and compare them to a lot of the marches that
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were going on in the 1960s. where chaos reigned, and throw a little buffalo springfield out there for you. young people carrying signs, mostly saying, "hooray for our signs." a lot of times the march was sort of an end to itself to what they wanted, or to what actually, what was a result of it. that has not been the case in the age of trump. we had the women's march and i remember when it was happening. i said, okay. that okay, i guess, but you better be getting phone numbers. you better be getting e-mail addresses. you better be getting information, again, going back to organizing, because there's this -- i think there's a misperception about barack obama that he was lebron, and he was this extraordinarily gifted candidate, which he was, but you looked at that guy's organization and the team he put
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together -- politically, they were killers. like they kept their heads down. they organized. they executed. they won. and that is unfortunately the antithesis, unfortunately for hillary clinton of their operation. a group that didn't visit wisconsin. didn't take polls and remained too insulated. >> barack obama was as good as the technical side of politics as he was, to be honest, bad at a lot of the people side of it. he just was a person who didn't like to wade into that crowd, and very little of the bill clinton, you know, embrace people style. on the fourth of july, i think with jon meacham about how this story begins, and i think of the phrase, "we the people." that's the consecration, really.
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this is our country. we get to decide what we want it to be like in the future, and these elections coming up, the midterms, the 2020 elections are important not just because of donald trump and his policies but because of what they'll tell us about us as a country. what do we want? we, the people, get to decide, and my biggest fear is that the noise machine that often comes out of the white house, the attacks on folks who are trying to provide as accurate information as they can will end up overwhelming that wonderful democratic process where we, the people, try to make good decisions. that's what i hope people will fight against. when people come out in demonstrations, that's good, so long as it's not too exclusionary, it doesn't separate people from each other. the tent has to get bigger, more people have to come under it. we, the people have to kind of pull it together and make it work.
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>> quickly, noah? >> the extent to which i agree exactly with mr. meacham. to the extent we have seen the left cry fascism is a failure to appreciate the extent to which the system has worked. to which congress has imposed sanctions on russia that the president had not choice to fulfill. to which the courts blocked his original order to halt immigrants, immigration from muslim countries. to which we've seen these institutions that are designed to respond to a potential authoritarian respond as such and to which americans are organizing and running for political office because they have faith in that political office. all indications that fascism is far away from american shores. it didn't happen here yet and i think we don't appreciate that enough. >> that's the argument. we'll continue to have that here in a civil way. still ahead. >> i agree with that one. >> still ahead this morning, oscar nominee alan alda is standing by. a new project featuring fascinating voices from very different corners of american life. still, they share a unique trait
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visit your local xfinity store today. joining us now, actor and "new york times" best-selling author alan alda, host of the new pod cast entitled "clear and vivid" launching july 10th. great to have you back on the show. >> thank you. it's so good to be here. >> nice to see you. all right. tell us about "clear and vivid." what are we going to hear? >> conversations with people who themselves are clear and vivid, but it's about -- conversations about how we can communicate better, relate to other people better. and this is a great day to talk about it, because -- >> it is. >> -- today families will be getting together, and they won't talk about everything that's sometimes most important to them. don't say that uncle louis won't want to hear that. >> right. >> you know? put ketchup on your hot dog.
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oh, my god, ketchup that just raced a tariff from canada. >> a fight breaks out. >> right. uncle louis goes crazy. >> that's interesting, because we have family members that we just don't talk politics about anymore, and there's a -- friends that went down to a family reunion, and i said, well, i'm curious, because it was in the deep south. i said what are they saying about donald trump? and said, nobody will talk about it. they're exhausted. they want to stay away from it. it's -- it's really -- it's -- >> probably because it devolves quickly into a shouting match. >> right. >> people have their set theories and their set, set of facts. and nobody wants to question that, but those of us who hold our own set of facts would really be -- would be profitable
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for us to challenge our own notions. >> right. >> seems to me i have radical idea about listening. i think, if you listen, if you are really listening, you're willing to be changed by the other person. not necessarily in your deepest core values, but to find something of what the other spurn s person is saying that is positively affecting you, and the person that is trying to communicate their ideas has to listen better than the person listening. you've got to see where they are. what do they care about? how can you appeal to what they care about? so i'll be talking to people in all walks of life. all different -- often famous people, but not all of them. sarah silverman is one of the first in conversations. she had an extraordinary story where she became friends with someone who hated her.
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that kind of thing is so hard to fathom. but the variety of people i talked to. sarah silverman, itzhak pearlman, just judy senator george mitchell. every has a different aspect to the way they communicate and we can all learn from them. it's just conversation. not didactic. >> i like it. >> seems to me one of the more unique developments of donald trump's presidency and it didn't start by him by any means but your political opponent is not just an opponent. they're a bad person, and this is true on both the right and the left. >> yes. both sides see the other side as bad people. >> that's exactly right. >> the worst people in the world. >> right. >> and it's been so corrosive, and you see the way that trump has -- we're obsessed with it because it's our jobs and we talk about it all the time. but it's not just us. he has permeated almost every aspect of our culture and our
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society. he's on your phone constantly. he's on your tv. he's, like, as one republican put it to me the other day, a bad tv show you can't turn off. it's -- it's omnipresent, and you have to wonder at the end of the day what kind of affect that has on elections. he really revs up the left. >> energizing and also exhausting. >> exhausting. >> so i guess the most important thing is, again, listen to those with whom you disagree and hopefully begin to understand, because so many live in bubbles. remember the famous quote? i forget her nail. but 1972. the new yorker that was quoted in the "new york times" saying, i don't know -- how nixon won. i don't know a single person who voted for him. >> that's how we feel sometimes. >> that's good.
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>> well, the people who elected donald trump, to me, were not the people -- this follows what you were saying a minute ago. the people who elected donald trump were not so much the people who voted for him as the people who didn't vote at all. >> hmm. >> uh-huh. >> and listening and getting involved is the first step. instead of shouting at the person that you're listening to, it might be a good idea to take the action you were talking about a minute ago. >> i wonder, though. because "clear and vivid" sounds like more than about trump and about politics. >> of course it is. >> the sarah silverman story is fascinating to me and we're in a climate, because of maybe the political situation, where on a lot of issues you just can't have a conversation without it going from zero to 100. and one issue where i think this could be a very relevant example is the #metoo movement where there are these extremes, but then in the middle, where
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meeting in the middle is actually where the progress is. is that what these conversations are? >> very much so. sometimes you can't talk to somebody who won't talk, but there are so many people on the fringes on both sides of the middle who will talk, and if we nergt tho neglect those people, go right to slogans and shouting and disrespect, we're missing something important. not just -- we're not missing the chance to have their line of thinking but missing a chance to arrive at consensus where we see something about what they have to say that's valuable and vice versa. but it's not just politics. you know, this stems from my helping start the center for communicating science at stony brook university and in the past nine years we've trained 12,000 scientists and doctors to communicate better in five different countries. >> wow. >> and what i began to realize
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was that scientists were saying to us, you know, this training is saving my marriage. >> oh, that's great! i believe it. >> sounds like you draw out of people not just opinions but, likes what they are about. you know? why an interesting person is interesting. some people come into that with their guard up. do you have a technique that disarms? do you ask questions or a particular line of questions? >> it's just alan alda. everyone wants to talk to him. >> yes. >> well, that's very nice. thank you. what i personally do is exercise my curiosity. i mean, this person has a wealth of interesting stories. whoever it is. and i try to find out what those stories are. sometimes, you know, i'm sitting at a dinner table, like a dozen people. sitting next to somebody i never met before. so instead of talking about the weather i say very often. what are you passionate about? and it's not necessarily their work. it usually isn't.
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but they have stuff that occupies them, that really is interesting and i can learn something about them as a person. one time one person said, after looking blank for a second, she said, well, i like golf. and then i had a hard time, because i don't know anything about golf. yes. i don't get. i've played it. i don't get it. there we go. alan alda, thank you. that's not passion. you can catch alan's podcast "clear and vivid "launches july 10th. subscribing on apple podcasts. up next, calling her daughter of the cold war witnessed hitler's march into prague and saw the collapse of the soviet union. all part of a fascinating new memoir, next on "morning joe." [music playing] (vo) from the beginning,
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joining us now, grace cannon warnaky, daughter of ambassador to the soviet union, yugoslavia, "daughter of the cold war" describes her time living in russia, ukraine and the united states. what an experience. and insight you would have. welcome to the show. thank you for being on. >> thank you. very nice to be here. >> great to have you. when did you set out to unite thunite -- write this memoir. >> when i came back from ukraine. before that i was always working and i really didn't have time and then i came back and thought, it's now or never. and i -- and i've always been a storyteller. so basically, the book came out of my telling stories. >> and i bet you did not expect things to look the way they do
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now, when you set out to write this? >> no. not at all. >> words, hard to describe. >> it all changed. i spent eight years doing it. so a lot of things happened in eight years. >> right. over the course of the decade and a lot have happened in just the past year. >> oh, wow. >> give me a sense -- i don't want to ask you. i hate when people say, what would you father think of this. we'll leave that, but given what you have witnessed in your life, witnessing hitler's march into prague, going to school in russia, in moscow during world war ii. >> uh-huh. >> and having lived in so many countries, even by the age of 12. what your insights are as to where we are now? >> we're in a very tough place right now. we're in very different relations with russia. i think things -- the one i do know having lived through various periods of u.s./russians reses starting out when we were
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allies in world war ii that it never stays the same, and there are going to be changes, and the fact that we're having a summit coming up, the fact that i ju talked to people in moscow and a much better mood because there's a soccer. world cup has everybody geared up. so i think that is going to help with the summit, too. sort of a warming up. >> david ignatius is in washington and has a question for you. david? >> grace, i just wanted to p ee pursue what you were discussing. watching soccer matches especially yesterday's surprise, the russian victory against spain. you couldn't help but think that this is a very different russia, finally, from the place that your dad warned us about. saw this long arc of history, problems that needed to be contained. do you have this same feeling
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that russia is maybe stepping into a different period? where younger russians are beginning to play more of a role in their country's life? >> i do. i think -- i wished they were playing even more of a role than they are, but -- and also it's a different time. we have the internet. and the internet has changed everything. so when i was there as a child, we were totally, totally separated. i mean, the russians announced the end of world war ii a day after the rest of the world, and nobody in russia knew. that couldn't happen today. >> and, grace, to follow up for a second. what's the way in which these younger, connected russians want to live in the world, how do they speak to president putin? how do they get a more responsive government? do you think that's possible in their lifetime? >> well, the last time i was in
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moscow, which was two years ago, people were complaining about everything, but never -- it was never putin's fault. it was always the mayor, the governor, or somebody under putin. putin was somehow exempt from anything that went wrong, but i did notice there was a big demonstration in moscow of young people against the government interfering with the internet, taking away their internet programs, and i think that may be the beginning of something. i think the younger people were happy as long as what they liked wasn't interfered with. i think when the government started to interfere with the internet, they cared a lot more. they don't care about television which is totally controlled, and it's not very interesting. >> so jon meacham has a question for you as well. john? >> hi. just curious. you know, we're 100 years away from the bowl slshevik revoluti
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away from fdr recognizing the soviet union, so in the living memory plus of most americans, russia has either been a soviet state or now an oligarchiccal one. i'm wondering with your experience both lived and scholarly, can you talk to us about the russian character? that is, is there -- is it because of geography? is it because of, are there particular forces that tend to make it so difficult for the kinds of institutions that people in the west value so much to take root there? >> well, i don't think it will ever be just like the west. it's always going to be different. they have a very different history, as you said. they've always had an authoritarian government, with maybe the exception of that short time after the soviet union fell apart, but then it became close to chaos. and the one thing russians hate
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is chaos. they always are looking for some sort of order. and i think that's why they go for -- for heads of state like putin. >> so what is the insight, message or story that you're hoping to share in this book? >> well, i think the -- oh, there's a lot of messages in my book, because there's a lot about being a woman, and what you can do. there's a lot about taking advantage of opportunities that come your way. it's not all about russia and ukraine. but i think in the russian part, i worked most of my life, where i liked the title of the book. i worked on trying to end the cold war. that was my goal, and i worked with cultural diplomacy. founding executive director of the u.s. soviet youth orchestra. we brought musicians from both countries together. i worked on a big photo album. "a day in the life of the soviet
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union" where we had 100 photographers, 50 from the east and 50 from the west meeting each other and shooting all over the soviet union, in one day, on one day. so i kept working on things that people said were not possible. i always liked the fact if something was impossible, then it was what i really liked working on. >> the book is "daughter of the cold war." grace ken warnicky. thank for being on the show. pleasure to meet you. >> thank you, mika and a great pleasure to be on this very famous show. >> famous? all right. still ahead, do donald trump's tweets have a place alongside the declaration of independence? author alexander hefner's new book, in that they do and he's here to explain. and also ahead, von hilliard left the swamp in washington and headed to louisiana, where he spoke with crawfishermen who put
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their faith in the president to clean up their swamp. von recently wept back a lly wee with those same trump voters a year and a half later. that's ahead on this special edition of "morning joe."
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president trump pledged to drain the swamp and champion the forgotten man, but for a group of louisiana fishermen, their actual swamp and their livelihoods are in crisis. nbc's vaughn hilliard visited the basin that once supported 3,000 fishing jobs, now with itle whittled down to just 300. >> that's my baby. >> ben lives off louisiana waters. >> this is my front yard. >> fishing the basin, america's most expansive swamp.
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when we first visited in march of last year. >> i learned by schooling. >> jodi mesh showed us how decades of development redrew the swamp. >> this should be full of water right now? >> right. there should be water flowing across this whole swamp. >> instead, miles of dams created by pipelines. >> now we produce probably about maybe 20, 30% of what we used to produce. >> we returned this week to find the state and federal government issued new permits. >> this is the newest plan under construction. >> right. hopefully they're going to pull the dirt back into the trench and not going to leave it like they have in the past. every company in the past never provided any relief. >> last year they hope to have a champion in this fight. >> yes, i did vote for donald trump. >> believing he would protect the basin. >> i think he's bold enough to make the right changes. >> a year later the swamp is still waiting.
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>> you and i met a month after trump was innaug rauted. did you get that help? >> not yet, no. >> the environmental protection agency absent. knee deep in a different swamp. >> luxury condo. >> pay raises. >> special favors. >> ritz carlton lotions. >> soundproof booth. >> first class travel. >> drain the swamp. drain the swamp. >> the epa director is supposed to be making sure we're leaving something for the next generation. >> if president trump and scott pruitt are listening, what's your message to them? >> please help us. you know, i pray for you everyday. do the right things for the right reasons. this was put here by god to filter the water. it can't filter no more. it's a rotten ball of water. it needs the administration to come and help us. >> the folks in these communities have been neglected from the government by decades.
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president trump he promised to look after those who were, what he called the forgotten people. but like the corn farmers in iowa and the coal miners in west virginia, they're still waiting and hoping a year and a half in. they wanted here the swamp drained, but they much prefer their own gets cleaned up first. >> our thanks to vaughn hilliard for that report. still to come on this 4th of july special, we continue our focus on history. the big historical moments that had big anniversaries this year. and the big news moments this year that made history. we'll be right back. belly fat: the chili pepper sweat-out. not cool. freezing away fat cells with coolsculpting? now that's cool! coolsculpting safely freezes and removes fat cells with little or no downtime. and no surgery. results and patient experience
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good morning and welcome back to a special holiday edition of "morning joe." we're on tape this morning, as the nation celebrates the 4th of july. this hour we'll focus on history, specifically our coverage of significant historical events this year, including tom brokaw's reflections on rfk's assassination 50 years later. also, presidential historian on the anniversary of the watergate break-in. 46 years ago last month. we'll also speak with an author who will take us through five modern speeches he says every american should know. but we begin this hour with the history that was made this year. the sitting president of the united states shaking hands with the leader of north korea for
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the first time ever. that morning we spoke with three leading former u.s. ambassadors all of whom have experienced negotiating with the reclusive north korean regime. here is that conversation. >> david ignatius, i know you have a question for ambassador burns, before you ask that question, i want to ask you just top of the hour what your feeling is about this statement, which is, again, it's sort of a nonbinding feel-good statement that allows these two leaders to come together and have a press conference, but do you see anything in there beyond that
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that causes you concerns or suggests actually that there's any possibility that this will be a success? >> joe, this is a beginning, as we've been saying for the first hour of your conversation. it's going to take many months and many meetings to see if this process is real in the sense of achieving the complete denuclearization that was announced as the achievement of this opening round or the commitment of this opening round. this is an enormous triumph for kim jong-un, the north korean leader. he has built a nuclear force that has been his leverage in these talks. he's stared down president trump, remarks about fire and fury. kim jong-un kept going and got to this point. he has in president trump someone who seems to have a real investment in kim jong-un's success, working with him, so many flattering terms about him. so i think what i would like to
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ask our distinguished panelists, all of whom have been involved in deep diplomacy is to help us think about the pitfalls in this process that began today and will continue going forward. maybe i could ask chris hill, who was deeply involved in negotiations with north korea, to start us off thinking about what he sees as the biggest stumbling blocks ahead as we try to flesh out this very loose, official framework agreement. >> this is a very loose initial framework. frankly it does not really advance the ball. it doesn't go as far as previous statements. and frankly speaking, i think the next step should be mike pompeo sort of forgetting about this statement, chalking up this whole summit to sort of feel-good atmospherics and getting on with some kind of action plan. i think mike pompeo is going to be under the gun to kind of lay out what it is we need to do. for example, the statement says
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nothing at all about the regional powers. south korea or is china is japan going to be partners in this process? are we going to carry on with a bilateral process? what's their role going to be? so lot of questions like this. and if i were mike pompeo, i would get moving on sort of action plan, how to bring this into some negotiation because when you start looking at this statement, putting aside the sin tactical problems in the whole thing, you'll see that it sees some major problems. frankly, it is an invitation for the north koreans to do nothing or nothing i should say in our li lifetime. >> let me take the question to our other panel lists starting with nick burns and wendy sherman. nick, as ambassador hill said, this is in part about our dealing with our allies. certainly when we think about our european allies, it's hard to remember a moment of more friction. how do you see the president, mike pompeo, moving forward to get allied support for the very
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difficult negotiations that are ahead? >> well, david, first let me say, there was powerful symbolism today in singapore. the president should get some credit here for having arrived at this day, turned away from war where we were seven or eight months ago and turned towards diplomacy. but i must say, i think the big question i've got, david, is does donald trump have the strategic patience to carry out a multi-year negotiation? he's not a famously patient person. it took ten years from the time that president bush started thinking about negotiating and then sanctioning iran to what wendy sherman and john kerry were able to fulfill ten years later. it took three years for the u.s./india negotiations and that was with a friendly country, two acts of congress to achieve a civil nuclear deal. this will take years. and this statement is very general. it has goals in it, but it doesn't really have a road map. and the key tactical questions are, can mike pompeo be unleashed to be a tough-minded
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negotiator? can we keep south korea and japan with us? is china going to help or hurt? so i think you've got to use the allies. they have to be part of this, particularly south korea given its existential stakes about its future. >> ambassador sherman, someone who has been down this road before and who has dealt with north korea on this very question, just two parts of this, first of all, the visual, the president of the united states shaking hands with kim jong-un, as victor said, being the first american to pierce the bubble and to get that close. your reaction to that? and then more specifically to the contents of what we saw in the joint declaration. >> i certainly would agree with nick that this is a good thing that these two leaders met, but it does break ice. it does create a personal relationship. i must say i was a little taken aback by the north korean flags and the american flags side by side. we really aren't side by side. we aren't equals to each other. and this conferred power to kim jong-un that i don't believe he
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has yet earned in terms of the respect from the united states. that's something that comes through building that relationship. as far as the agreement is concerned, i went back and looked at the previous agreements. the 1992 north/south agreement on joint declaration on denuclearization was very specific. no nucss, no facilities, inspections. the agreed framework that was done by the clinton administration was very specific. close down the reactor. until we get new light water reactors, nonproliferation proof. in fact, what chris hill did was extraordinary. the verifiable denuclearization of the korean peninsula. verifiable in the september 2005 deal and it actually broke down over verification. so we have not only been here before, but we have been here before with much greater specificity. so mike pompeo needs to go back and understand a little bit more about history and he needs to go
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forward with a team that knows what they're doing. >> so mike pompeo did say they would take whatever they put together to the senate. any regrets not doing that with the iran deal? >> no regrets. the congress did get to decide on the iran deal. there hasn't been a treaty agreed to except a follow-on new start to the start treaty for years now in the senate. when bob dole, the former leader of the senate, sat in his wheelchair on the floor of the united states senate to try to get the disabilities treaty through, who could be against a disabilities treaty? it didn't happen. so, treaties are difficult. and the other thing about these very complicated reciprocal agreements, the iran deal was 110 pages. >> right. >> is a treaty doesn't make it easy to look at reciprocal steps and pull back if necessary. it's a different kind of an instrument. so the congress did get to decide on the iran deal.
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it was an interesting process. and so i'm all for them having to take this as a treaty to the senate, but they'll fail if they do so. >> joe, jump in. >> well, richard haase, treaties are, in fact, very difficult to pass through the united states senate, but if a president wants something to survive his own presidency, isn't that exactly what's going to be required moving forward because if donald trump makes a decision on his own with north korea, the next president is a democrat. there are, of course, chances that that could be overturned. again, it's -- yes, it's difficult. it's supposed to be difficult, but isn't that what is required so our al lice, our friends and our enemies, will know that there will be consistency in our foreign policy regardless of who is sitting in the oval office?
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>> uh-huh. >> in principle i agree, it doesn't have to be in the form of a treaty. there's lower thresholds, just majority votes with executive agreements which are probably politically more realistic. i like the idea of hearings on these issues so the administration has to defend what it's done. what we had here in singapore is not enough to subject to that process. it would be the shortest hearing in history. you would need a fleshed out agreement. and that's the sort of thing i agree with you, joe. i ought to be presented if and when we ever get to that point, but that will require that mike pompeo and his colleagues do an enormous amount of negotiations about what the obligations are, about timelines, about verification. and i think there's real issues again about what we are prepared to put up there. and, you know, some people criticized this for the lack of focus on human rights. that's legitimate question. i think even more legitimate are the other military threats that
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north korea poses outside denuclear. what about by logical, artillery, what about special forces? i think all of this needs to be thought through. we can't have a narrow concern just about nuclear weapons and long-range missiles because that's all about us. and the south koreans and the japanese have legitimate interests by other threats posed by north korea. this is exactly the role that congress should be playing. they should be putting all this ultimately under a microscope. right now what they could do, by the way, is hold hearings and talk about what should go into an agreement. rather than wait for one, why doesn't congress begin to shape the process? they don't have to sit there for the next year or two. they can pass a resolution. they can be basically giving ideas to the administration about what they want to see there in order for them to be prepared to approve it. >> ambassador hill, there seems to be a growing consensus in washington that mike pompeo is
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very capable, secretary of state, i'm curious if you've heard the same thing, if you have confidence that secretary pompeo will be a good representative for the united states to have leading these talks, leading these negotiations. >> well, first of all, he's engaged the foreign service in a way that his predecessor did not. so i think that's very good news. i must say looking at this statement, i'm a little worried about it. i sort of like to know how that all happened. but to me, the most extraordinary news in this whole day was another blow to allies. i mean, the president announced at a press conference what he called the war games, that his annual exercises, defensive exercises he has with south korea he considers them provocative and going to stop them. i understand the north koreans taking that position.
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i'm a little surprised with our own president taking that position. >> it's quite stunning. let's listen to the president talking about that. >> can you be specific about what assurances you are willing to give to kim jong-un? does that include reducing military capabilities. >> no, no we're not reducing anything. at some point i have to be honest that i used to say this during my campaign as you know probably better than most, i want to get our soldiers out. i want to bring our soldiers back home. we have right now 32,000 soldiers in south korea. and i would like to be able to bring them back home. but that's not part of the equation right now. at some point i hope it will be. but not right now. we will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money. unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should. but we'll be saving a tremendous amount of money. plus, i think it's very
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provocative. >> a south korea military official tells nbc news regarding the u.s. president, trump's comment regarding the sending of the combined military drill and so on, we need to find out the exact meaning or intention behind his comments at this point. >> i can say something? >> yeah. >> that stunning that comment. this idea was not wired. the idea the president was unilaterally portray this as provocative and war games, surprise an ally whose very existence depends on the 28,500 american troops and the backing behind it, that is a stunning shock to an ally. >> david ignatius, i just am thinking of so many -- thinking so much about my father during these days. i would rather you say what you think he would say right now given the fact that you moderated a book with him about america's strategic relationship with the world and you spent so
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many decades collaborating with his thinking and ideas. >> mika, this is one of those days when i wish as you do, as we all do, that your dad was here to share his own analysis, which i'm sure would be more acute than anything we could come up with. in our conversations ten years ago, he was clear about the ways in which the world was changing and the importance of the united states talking to its adversaries, seeing the world as it was. he talked about a global, political awakening that was taking place and the need for the u.s. to see it and align itself with it. i think he would make many of the points that have emerged in our conversation this morning, that if you can't help but be encouraged by diplomacy as opposed to threats and risk of military confrontation on the korean peninsula, but details being essential, i think again
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dr. brzezinski focussed carefully on how you implement agreements. he had the benefit of having a close relationship with this president, jimmy carter. we'll see if mike pompeo has that relationship with a very volatile, unpredictable donald trump. that will be crucial going forward. final point i would make, dr. brzezinski always saw the importance of allies and balance. he saw the tri lateral relationship of europe, japan and asia as being the center of american security. that idea which i think is central to our security going forward seems to have been lost by this administration. it's the one thing i wish they could get their hands around again because he was absolutely right. without that we begin to wobble when we're trying to do it alone. >> ambassador sherman, president trump just gave an interview a few minutes ago. i'm just reading through it. he was asked if north korea will get rid of all nuclear weapons and he replied, yeah, he's
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denuclearing. he's denuking the whole place. he's going to start quickly, he's going to start now. what would compel kim jong-un to denuclearize? the stopping of war games is not enough certainly, so what would make the united states believe that he would give up the one chip he has on the world stage? >> there is nothing in this statement that would compel him to do that except the president looking into his eyes and we've heard this before and seeing his soul and knowing that he would, in fact, carry through. i think the points that were just being talked about in terms of our alliance are profound, probably the most important thing we could do is have mike pompeo be on an airplane not with the president of the united states but going to south korea, going to japan, even stopping in beijing, maybe in moscow on his way home as well to really have consultations because these negotiations and denuclearization will only happen if everyone is on the
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same page to make it happen to ensure that it happens. and the president may think he can do this bilaterally but he can't. he needs the world behind him. >> so ambassador burns, what is the best case next step now? the president wheels up shortly on air force one coming back home. what needs to happen today? >> mike pompeo has to put together a negotiating team, but most importantly you think about our greatest diplomatic achievements, german unification, ending the balcan wars, the iran nuclear agreement it all happened with allies. i agree with the group. we have to get south korea and japan involved and protect their interests. our allies strengthen us. russia and china do not have allies. president trump does not understand that and does not speak it to. his erratic performance in quebec will hurt him in these negotiations because he's driven away our european allies got to make the south koreans and japanese nervous and put an element of doubt into the minds of kim jong-un and x jinping.
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will this american leader actually implement what he says and i think that might be the greatest question about these negotiations can we trust donald trump to have the patience to pull this off and meet his own commitments? >> as richard pointed out, south korea not being wired into this process on a number of levels, but the president is also riffing, ambassador hill, through these moments that are of such great import that riffing is the last thing you want to do. you actually want to prepare, know history, read, practice talking points, practice the strategic, the psychology in the room, study that, study the players. i mean, i think about the camp david peace accords and those 14 days where personalities and different character traits of each player were taken into deep consideration as each person was trying to sort of figure out how to work out some sort of o commonality. we don't have that here.
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and the other thing we don't have is any sort of regard for the human rights part of this, which is just sort of swept away. >> we don't have regard for that. but i think even deeper and maybe even more broadly we don't have a concept -- this administration doesn't have a concept of where the united states should be in northeast asia. what is going to be our role there? you get the sense from the president he would like our role to be diminished. in fact he said i want to get us out of south korea. this isn't just about north korea. this is about the much broader issue of what role the united states plays in a key part of the world. i tell you, if they can't figure this out, they will not figure out other parts of the world. so really our whole standing in the world is at stake here, and that's why we really need to pay attention to this issue, to all the aspects, including our values of human rights. >> our conversation there with three leading former u.s. ambassadors. the morning of president trump's historic meeting with
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kim jong-un what will come next is anyone's guess, but if past is prologue, we have some indication. we learned this week that north korea is already subverting the agreement to denuc, according to an exclusive nbc news report, multiple u.s. officials say that u.s. intelligence agencies believe that despite the agreement, north korea has actually increased its production of enriched uranium for nuclear weapons at multiple, secret sites in recent months. multiple u.s. officials also say that there is evidence that north korea is trying to deceive the u.s. about its nuclear stockpile, arsenal and secret production facilities. that reporting has also been confirmed by "the washington post." in addition, new reports indicate north korea is nearly done with a major expansion of a key missile manufacturing facilities producing solid fuel ballistic missiles and re-entry vehicles for long-range nuclear capable missiles, so we will be
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following this closely. and still ahead this morning, the u.s. constitution is certainly part of the nation's history. but what about mark zuckerberg's facebook posts? we're joined by an author who is helping to chronicle the american story. "morning joe" is coming right back. i love you, basement guest bathroom.
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united states and host of the open mind on pbs, alexander heffner. here is an excerpt of the latest chapter added to the book on trump's use of social media and the 2016 election. he found his voice most on the social media platform twitter, where he railed against a d.c. swamp full of political insiders. if president obama had been the nation's youtube president, trump hi jacked the political process and media through his all-consuming, frequently disproving and fictional tweets. an architecture of social media digital dirty tricks via viral postings of 140 character, memes and other manipulated data-diminished the public's capacity to know and afforded new opportunities for disinformation. i'll say. good to have you on the show. i'm curious about the book.
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but obviously his tweets are historical record. >> it's true. >> but many of them are untrue. and you're right. there's almost like at this point it's almost like there's what is the word, convolution of fact and fiction in the american political process. how does history record this? >> i think it's a decisive question that you ask. the reality is there's a disconnect here. >> right. >> we want to preserve the authenticity of this moment in history, but we also want to capture the integrity of the truth. >> right. >> and so we have to include those tweets, i hope, i pray they're an aberration that we can restore civility and truth to our political landscape. it's important to document them and include mark zuckerberg's facebook posts when he conceded, yes, it was not a myth, it was
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not a joke. the reality that disinformation was disseminated on facebook. so i hope it's an aberration. >> what happens when people don't believe it, though? i think that's one of the things that as a journalist i find most troubling is the willingness of people to take the president's distortions and lies at face value? and so, no, no, media, you're the one who is disseminating the fake news. you're the one's who are lying to us? >> ultimately i think it's our citizen's responsibility to heed what gerald ford did in his inaugural address, which was the truth is what binds our government and our civilization. and that's a document that i hope has long standing relevance to this republic, unmolested by donald trump and his rhetoric. >> boy, there's a lot that can be said right there. so, david ignatius and jon meacham, david, i remember you ending the show one day your final thought was that the truth
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is at jeopardy, the truth is at risk. it was one of the many days where the president himself had manipulated the truth. do you have a question for alexander? >> i do. you know, mika, we talk about the post-truth era that we've entered. it's a frightening thought. i want to ask alexander one thing that concerns me about trump's tweets but tweets in general is that they're not in my way mediated. in some ways that's the best thing about them, direct communication person to person, but there's no curation. what do you think about that problem? do you think there's a solution that doesn't take away the inherent spontaneity and freedom of this new medium, but in some way keeps better filters on it? >> i think twitter's job here so to ensure that the american people have context because absent context we're not going to be able to preserve i think the nuance and sophistication
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that this republic was founded on. it was founded on ideals. the four freedoms, for instance, are in this book. it's really i think essential that we go back to the documents here that have that architecture, the integrity, to speak to the ideals of our democracy, freedom to worship, freedom of speech, freedom from want, freedom from fear because they are so relevant to this on going political revolution, the rise of populism and democracy under duress. >> jon meacham. >> so, four freedoms is one. can we do a lightning round. what are the other speeches we should know? >> i think that there are speeches here that speak to our political history and documents that also speak to our media history. so litman and murrow are represented here and they share with our readers and your viewers and murrow realized this
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from the outset of creation of television, we have a 24/7, he even uses that, 24/7 responsibility to preserve fact and truth on the air waves. when he spoke to the broadcasters association and when lbj spoke to broadcasters, he re-enforced when he decided not to run for re-election the significance of television as a medium because if you look at what is on social media, it is really just clips from your show, other shows. we've preserved that architecture video. it is sbintegral to the busines model of facebook and twitter. they're fundamental to our understanding and to our heritage as americans. >> so twitter probably has an outsize influence on people like us because we use it as a feedback mechanism and sort of this self re-enforcing loop, right? it's not just donald trump but
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democrats have their own loop and if we see that in the context of this upcoming fight over the supreme court, we see a prohibitive focus on roe as a litmus test. probably to the detriment of a lot of other judicial philosophies that are perhaps more broader and have a wide ranging impact on our policies, originalism versus tech chulism. you don't see anybody talking about that. what extent are we cheating ourselves out of a debate. >> that's so important. this book shows the evolution but also the devolution, the regression of constitutional norms. so trump's tweets, i hope, are an aberration in tone and substance. but also the dred scott decision is in this book. that was an aberration and ultimately we learned through our supreme court and as americans that we do value the contributions of every citizen. and so, there are moments in this book when you reflect that it's really a frightening time because people were degraded,
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our democracy and human rights were degraded. so it is important to recognize that there is a living society and therefore there has to be a living constitution in some respect. before we go, jon meacham, what are your top five speeches in american history? soul of america, go. >> the whole history? oh, lord. gettysburg address. the first inaugural of fdr. not least because we have something to fear but fear itself. the biggest cheer from the crowd came when he called for wartime executive powers. and that chilled el nor roosevelt. there was always contention and trouble. i think also we just lost richard goodwin. i don't think any conversation about american rhetoric is complete without lyndon johnson's 1965 voting rights act speech where he says we shall
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overcome, which goodwin wrote hungover in a couple hours and it's a confirmation to all of us, inspiration if we wait long enough, inspiration will strike. and i think more and more ronald reagan's fair well address where he said -- he always spoken about the shining city on a hill, which reagan is the only man i know who can improve on jesus. jesus said city on a hill, reagan added shining. now even ministers think jesus said shining. all the pilgrims through all the lost places are hurdling towards home and we're home. >> love it. not boring at all. thank you, meachum. documentary history of the united states. alexander heffner, thank you very much for being here. coming up, not long ago the nation marked the 50th anniversary the death of robert f. kennedy. nbc's tom brokaw has a powerful new piece on rfk. that's next on "morning joe."
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june 6th of this year was the 50th anniversary of robert f. kennedy's death after su coming to gunshot wounds just moments after celebrating his win in the california democratic primary at the ambassador hotel in los angeles. covering that 1968 golden state primary was a 28-year-old reporter from knbc tv in los angeles by the name of tom brokaw. tom helped us remember that dark day in u.s. history with a look not only at why rfk entered the race but how he wagered everything on california. >> i think that we should start focussing attention on our problems here in the united
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states. that should be our first priority. >> reporter: one week before his death, bobby kennedy did something no member of his family had ever done -- he lost an election. running second in the oregon presidential primary. >> i'm going to do all that i can and i've done all that i can so far and if at the end of it i'm not successful, then i will have to abide by that. >> reporter: robert francis kennedy didn't set out to be president. for years, he was his older brother's jack most trusted adviser, his enforcer as attorney general. but jfk's assassination transformed bobby. his grief awakened him to the suffering of others. as senator, he turned against the war in vietnam, which had been jack's war. at first, he stayed out of the 1968 campaign, but when anti-war candidate eugene mccarthy almost beat incumbent president lyndon johnson, kennedy got in,
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announcing from the same senate caucus room his brother had used. >> i am today announcing hi candidacy. >> for the presidency of the united states. >> i was not interested in running for president. i was not interesting in opposing president johnson per se. what i was interested in is trying to develop a meaningful policy in vietnam. >> reporter: kennedy knew it wouldn't be easy. >> i'm going to have a very, very rough road ahead of me. i have five months even before the convention comes. >> just two weeks later, johnson dropped out. >> i shall not seek and i will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president. >> i congratulate the president on his generosity and his patriotism in taking the step that he did toward world peace. >> reporter: in fact, kennedy and johnson hated each other. but kennedy asked for and got a meeting with the president, hoping to keep him neutral in the campaign. johnson then met with vice
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president hue bert humphry who would later announce his own candidacy. then the very next day -- >> i have some very sad news for all of you. >> the campaign was suddenly, tragically interrupted. >> that is that martin luther king was shot and was killed tonight in memphis, tennessee. >> reporter: kennedy calmed the crowd in indianapolis with an impromptu sermon. >> what we need in the united states is not violence and lawlessness but is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another. >> reporter: indianapolis was one of the few american cities spared from riots that night. and kennedy went on to win the indiana primary. >> what do you feel in your bones now about your future? >> i think it's better today than it was 24 hours ago. >> reporter: a week later, he won nebraska. then after losing oregon, kennedy bet everything on california. >> senator robert kennedy brought his presidential campaign to southern california
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today. >> you in the state of california might very well decide who is going to be the democratic nominee and therefore very possibly the next president of the united states. >> reporter: he campaigned against the war. >> the american people want no more vietnam. >> reporter: and spoke out for social justice, for black and white, for the poor and disenfranchised. >> every american, no matter what his background, what his creed, what color of his skin or where he lives shall walk with dignity and honor in the united states. >> reporter: the california campaign buzz an exhilarating, exhausting marathon. you could feel the danger in the air, nowhere more so than at this rally in san francisco. a heart stopping moment that turned out to be just fire crackers. the next day at his ambassador
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hotel headquarters in los angeles, kennedy was victorious. >> senator kennedy is the winner in the democratic presidential primary in california. >> the country wants to move in a different direction. we want to deal with our own problems within our own country and we want peace in vietnam. >> reporter: finally, he told an aide, he had escaped his brother's shadow. >> thanks to all of you and now it's on to chicago and let's win there. thank you very much. >> reporter: just minutes later -- >> senator kennedy has been shot. >> stay back! >> he's been shot in the head. >> in the head. >> he is still alive. that is correct, in the head. they just removed him to the hospital on a stretcher. >> kennedy's death brought shock and grief to the nation. it seemed to be more than we could bare. >> what has violence ever accomplished? what has it ever created?
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no martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an anasen's bullet. >> reporter: we don't know if robert kennedy could have won the nomination or the election. but without him, we did get more deaths in vietnam, more racial division, nixon and watergate and even now we think of what might have been and we remember him today as his brother did 50 years ago. >> simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. our thanks to tom brokaw for that report. also, to nbc news senior
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producer andy franklin and editor rob caplan. up next, watergate will always be a seminal part of u.s. history, but it's this current era of american politics that's putting a renewed focus on that infamous break-in 46 years ago last month. we'll look back and ahead next on "morning joe." this is your wake-up call. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage.
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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. >> that was nbc's lee reporting 46 years ago last month. the arrest of five burglarers inside the democratic national headquarters in washington's watergate complex marking what could be the beginning of president richard nixon's eventually downfall. to remember that anniversary this year, we spoke with author and nbc news presidential
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historian michael beschloss and sally quinn whose "post's" dogged coverage of that presidential scandal. as we maybe look forward as well -- >> history sometimes rhymes. >> is anything rhyming with today? can we just get off topic for a second? >> you may have a president who's committed malfeasance and we may have a special prosecutor telling us about it pretty soon. but the big difference to me is that richard nixon lied occasionally, i think mike barnicle, 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 other aspect of it, sally, is really interesting to me. i'm sure to you. when you think about it -- i bet
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you have thought about it -- the "post" then, led by your husband, ben bradley. woodward, bernstein, ben bradley gave them the reins and just said go to it, boys, go to it. the "post" did incredible work then, as it is today, all these years later. >> you know what's interesting? the timeline. because people are sort of saying, oh, my god, this can't go on, this can't go on. but if you think about the timeline, we are only in the middle of where we were during watergate. >> right. >> the break-in was yesterday, june 17th. it took over two years before nixon resigned. by the way, today is the day -- the anniversary of "the washington post" printing the pentagon papers. and on the 20th is when the supreme court ruled in favor of the "post" and the "times." so it all sort of came together. but this is one of the things
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about watergate was, in the end, that there were the tapes. and so you had clarity and you had proof. i think everybody keeps saying with mueller, well, where's this going, where's this going? could take another year. >> yeah, it could. and the other thing is that if you think about the way the news was disseminated in 1972 and '73 and '74, few mainstream newspapers, magazines, 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 is much easier for a president to blur the difference between truth and fiction. >> yeah, there is. there's so much flying around. >> the other thing is that "the washington post" was out there alone for a long time and nobody picked up the story. catherine graham kept saying to ben, this is such a red-hot story, how come nobody else --
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why isn't anybody picking it up? it wasn't until october, right before nixon was re-elected. and he was re-elected in the middle of the watergate scandal, that walter cronkite decided that he wanted to broadcast this. he called ben, said i need documents, we're going to send cameras down. ben said we don't have any documents. so -- but walter did go on, did a two-part series. i think that changed in terms of the media. i think that changed the way people began to see the watergate story. >> michael and sally, everybody lies to themself and it is inherently not in your interests. some path logically to lie to yourself. the republican party it took a little while for them to tell the truth to themselves. now we are sort of in that same situation. what could potentially happy when a party decides it is going to actually lie to itself? >> well, that's the problem. and it didn't in 1974. what changed, what sealed richard nixon's fate was the tape was released, smoking gun, showed that he had obstructed justice and there were members of the house judiciary committee
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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 which says obstruction of justice." we have not seen any sign yet that republican leaders will do the same thing. >> one of the interesting aspects of exactly what you were just talking about, and to your question, there was a very reluctant speaker of the house. >> absolutely. >> at that time who was prodded by the majority leader, tip o'neill, into action. finally. >> we have a complicit congress today on many levels which is frightening. >> obviously a lot of them are scared because they want to get re-elected. and so they have sort of abandoned their -- any morals, values or ethics. >> and a point you made about they're so desperate to be re-elected, that just rang home with me so much. put that to the founders. they want these guys to serve a few years and go back to their plow. they were not supposed to be there forever timidly agreeing
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to everything. >> you're not dictators for life. >> absolutely. >> let's then go there. because we've had people that i have great respect for, people like general hayden, joe made the comments on the air last week and the white house actually came after him. you have people like laura bush even making comparisons to the nazis and to the japanese internment camps. how would you characterize what's hang at the border, and are the parallels within the bounds of where the conversation should be? >> well, you go back -- i think laura bush drew a wonderful historical parallel to the internment 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 will look back on this moment with shame. >> you know, even joe brought up -- and i got criticized for comparing this to the nazis and
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saying that they were sending children to the showers. and in this case they were telling children they were going to separate their parents so they could go take baths. that is an apt comparison. i mean this is -- you know, i think one of the things that makes me crazy is this invoking 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 that. this is a lie. this is not biblical. >> we're living in the age of george yoorwell. >> "finding imaginic," sally quinn. our conversation there with michael beschloss and sally quinn last month. and that does it for us this morning. thank you for spending part of your fourth of july with us. we'll see you back here tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. for our
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regular live edition of "morning joe." until then, we hope everyone enjoys the holiday. ♪ only you know and i know all the love we got to show ♪
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hey, everybody, happy fourth of july. i'm david gura in new york this morning. slam dunk. that is how president trump is describing his upcoming pick for the supreme court as nbc news confirms the commander in chief has now narrowed it to seven candidates to replace justice anthony kennedy. >> i think you'll be very impressed. these are very talented people, brilliant people. think you're going to really love it. >> one-on-one. president trump reportedly wa ls to meet with vladimir putin in silent. no know takers and no official record. rescuers face multiple challenges as they try to save a
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dozen boys and their soccer coach in a flooded underground cave in thailand. there is the daunting realization it could be months before they are all rescued. >> it is an extreme cave system. it is very long. >> we begin today with the latest on president trump's pick for the supreme court. yes, there will be real fireworks today but the in exnominee could lead to met forrfor metaphorical choice. leading up to the announcement, president trump says he will make on monday, a source with first-hand knowledge of the selection process tells nbc news the list of names under consideration stands at seven. on that list is republican senator mike lee of utah who spoke with the president about the position on the phone on monday. the president talked about this
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momentous decision last night during an event in west virginia assuring his supporters there he is going to knock the pick out of the park. >> i spent the last three days interviewing and thinking about supreme court justices. such an important decision. and we're going to give you a great one. we're going to announce it on monday. and i think you'll be very impressed. these are very talented people, brilliant people. think you're going to really love it, like justice gorsuch. we hit a home run there and we're going to hit a home run here. and step by step, we are making america great again. >> step by step, we begin with my colleague kelly o'donnell at the white house. we've got this list of seven candidates. what can you tell us about the president's thinking as he gets ready to announce this pick on monday? >> well, part of what we're seeing, david, is something that plays out similarly to the knoll gorsuch, unveiling, if you will, that's the showmanship aspect of
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the president building interest, telling his audiences, his base, about the importance of the pick. and then bit by bit, as this week progresses, giving us new tidbits and insight to build interest. that's the front stage part of this. behind the scenes, of course, the president has begun to do personal interviews with a series of these candidates. the list originally began to be maybe as many as 25-plus. that has been a public list over the last couple of years and it has been narrowed and reshaped. and the importance of that list is that the president drew from vetted individuals from the judicial system, many already on the high courts of their states or various federal districts who have a record. important for the president to please his conservative base. they have been among the most strong supporters of his in the good times and the not-so-good times. that of course is where there is a flashpoint in american life because this court pick has the potential to shape the direction for years to come.
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anthony kennedy, of course, known for being often a swing vote, although a conservative himself. so the president is taking names that are of interest to those in the conservative legal circles. also possibly some of the demographics with a couple of women being considered. and then even as recently as the last few days, speaking by phone with utah senator mike lee, who is well known for his knowledge of the constitution and the law. but that would be coming from the political realm. so the president's keeping a number of options open at this point. but he created this deadline, as you know, david, by saying that he wants to announce this monday, july 9th. that gives him very little time. course much of the decision process can happen behind the scenes where there is no need for sort of the public pace to be taken into consideration. the fourth of july, of course, the president will be hosting the fireworks here. political fireworks come with any supreme court vacancy. we're seeing that unfold over the next several days. >> kelly o'donnell there at the
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white house, appreciate it. one of the key senators to watch in the days and weeks to come is republican susan collins of maine. vaughn hilliard is an nbc news political reporter. he's in bangor, maine where senator collins is scheduled to march in that city's annual independence day parade. vaughn, let me ask you here how pivotal a role is maine's senior senator likely to play? >> reporter: good morning, david. we're here in bangor, maine where senator collins will be showing up and shaking hands here in the next couple hours along the parade route. 51 senators right now is the make-up of the senate. 51 republicans. after mitch mcconnell and republicans took the majority in the senate here, what they did for neil gorsuch, they moved the filibuster from 60 votes to down to a simple majority. you take into account whether or not john mccain is going to show or not, republicans have nowhere to go in terms of losing a
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single republican vote because they can count on the vice president, if need be, to that 51st vote. that's where two republican senators, lisa murkowski and susan collins, two senators who have been pro choice in the past. susan collins is the one who's raised the spector over here over the last week saying that she will not vote to confirm somebody who's shown open hostility toward roe v. wade. the 1973 landmark that made it constitutionally acceptable to get an abortion. the question though on a lot of liberals' minds is, she said she's not going to vote to confirm somebody who's shown open hostility. she said that in the context of legal precedent in these particular justices in the past. she said she was concerned, among that list of 25 that we are talking about, that there are several of those justice names that are being thrown out that have shown that in the past. you were talking about people more concerned on the left, they say that just because somebody, a judge in the past, has shown a
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willingness or may say during those confirmation hearings that they are going to stand by legal precedent ultimately doesn't mean much when it comes to actually ruling at that decision point. lisa murkowski and susan collins met this week together with president trump and with legislative affairs director mark short at the white house. susan collins said over the weekend that she gave the president, told the president, that she had other names, which is interesting, other names to throw to the president's way that are outside of that initial list of 25, and therefore that list of seven that the president says he is now down do. >> everyone loves a parade. vaughn hilliard no exception joining us from bangor, maine. i want to bring in a senior political correspondent for jeffrey rosen, president and ceo of the national constitution center. also professor at the george washington university law school. joe watkins with us as well, republican strategist. he was an aide to president george h.w. bush. erin, let me start with you. we've seen the outreach from the
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white house to senator lisa murkowski, to senator collins. how open a question is this, do you think, the support of these two senators? >> those two senators have been key. they, along with john mccain, were able to sink the aca repeal last year. when susan collins stepped off that maine from washington, d.c., voters in maine greeted her at the airport with cheers. the fact that she's in this parade today and hearing from other own constituents is really important. it is not just roe v. wade that's important here. it is key portions of the health care law, including covering people with pre-existing conditions. that's a big deal for her state. >> kelly o'donnell just talked about the president's base, social conservatives and traditional conservative legal establishment in the congress. how real is that tension? how do you see republicans navigating this? >> well, it's very, very real. i think the president understands that now that he's taken off the table using roe v. wade as a litmus test.
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but nonetheless he said he will appoint a conservative. clearly that resonates with the base. he holds out hope i think to many with the possibility of taking somebody who like justice kennedy, who was a conservative -- who is a conservative but also a swing vote on social issues, that he might name somebody who would be sensitive in the area of reproductive rights. i don't know that barrett is that person, but possibly the other woman who's being discussed for that position, the justice from michigan may be somebody who's certainly fitting that bill. this is very, very real. >> jeffrey rosen, i want you to contrast these two leading candidates, we understand they are, that being judge barrett and judge ckavanaugh? >> they embody the difference between social conservatives and establishment conservatives. amy barrett has said that precedents that are deeply unpopular may not be entitled to
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as much respect. she singled out roe v. wade. she's an example of one of those candidates you were talking about who seem to be a red flag on roe v. wade. she was also criticized in her confirmation hearings for emphasizing that her catholic faith might be central to her decisions. by contrast, brett kavanaugh is getting criticized by senators like rand paul for being too pro executive power and for saying the president shouldn't be able to be sued while in office and that civil suit should be delayed. on the other hand, he's being criticized by social conservatives for ruling too narrowly on questions like contraception and abortion. he's with the conservative side, but unlike amy barrett, he's been more narrow and technical. they really embody the choice of the president very dramatically between someone who's more legalistic and someone who's more of a crusading social conservative. it makes the choice very stark. >> those worried about abortion rights are worried about this
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nomination. vaughn hilliard talked about resident and susan collins' interest in preabout precedent. just griive us the macro view o how nine members of this court have overturned the issue of overturning precedent. >> the most important side of this was that tax case that said that online retailers can be charged state tax? there you had an unusual coalition of liberals and conservatives joining justice ginsburg and chief justice roberts saying precedent is really important and shouldn't be lightly overturned with some of the other liberals and conservatives saying it should. the key question in this hearing is the question of super precedent. a judge called mike ludig a few years ago said even conservatives who think roe was wrong might be inclined to uphold it because justices of different political persuasions appointed by different presidents have repeatedly
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upheld it. so that should be the central question in those hearings. as you said, anyone can play bromides to the president but the precedent that has been confirmed and deserves respect. that's not a question the supreme court has faced since is it re-affirmed roe v. wade. >> erin, what happens come monday when we get this nominee's name and this moves from the white house to capitol hill? how is the white house constructed the political apparatus, the mechanism to sell that candidate to the hill? >> yeah. there are a couple of different things going on here. that list of 25 candidates that president trump put out when he was only a candidate? he thinks that that helped him nail down the nomination, especially when it comes to the religious right and evangelicals. it also ticked democrats off and gave them a playbook for how to approach their nominees and when they want to confront them and how they want to discredit them.
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a person is taken through the halls of capitol hill to meet one-on-one with the senators. you'll see this process unfold very quickly. july 9th, monday, is a very quick deadline. as the white house struggles to push this nomination through, you'll see democrats fire up the opposition machine and see if they can get some support on their own side. >> joe watkins, i look at this list. you got some judges who are all in the sixth circuit. i think three of them. those who clerked for justice scald ya, some have clerked for justice kennedy as well. there is a lot of concern in some quarters when you look at the supreme court now, all of the justices i believe either went to yale law school or harvard law school. how concerned about the about homogenity on the bench? >> i think it is important to have wider rank of americans on the bench and of the american legal experience. that's i think a helpful thing. but i think the president's also
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considering the fact that in addition to the republicans who he needs to get his nominee passed, and named to the supreme court, he may have some democrat help as he did with gorsuch. remember, when gorsuch was nominated for the supreme court, you had three red state democrats who supported gorsuch's nomination. donnelly in indiana, heitkamp from north dakota, and the third was -- and there is a third one. >> joe manchin. >> joe manchin from west virginia. he had the help of three democrats. he may again have one or two of those, or maybe all three of those democrats supporting who this nominee is depending on who the person is that he announces on monday. >> joe watkins will stay with us. coming up, private meetings reports president trump may meet with vladimir putin alone during their upcoming summit in helsinki, finland. plus, fierce reaction.
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welcome back. i'm david gura. nato allies are pushing back after president trump sent sharply worded letters to them criticizing them for what he says is a lack of funding for defense. this latest contentious back and forth comes ahead of next week's nato summit in brussels. leaders from norway, germany, belgium and canada have come out
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strongly saying they stand by their country's commitments to defense and to the alliance. all the while, we're also learning new details about the president's july 16th meeting scheduled to take place in finland with russia's president vladimir putin, a meeting which, according to a kremlin spokesman, could be between the two leaders alone. just one-on-one. i want to bring in natasha bertrand, senior writer from the "the atlantic." and philip ryan. natasha, starting with you about the potential for a one-on-one meeting. ambassador michael mcfaul, president obama's ambassador to russia, was on msnbc yesterday talking about his concerns about this. take a listen. >> with respect to the one-on-one, i just fear it. i'll tell you honestly. there should at least be a plus-one on both sides so that there's some record of what happened. because vladimir putin is prepared for that meeting. he's been at this for 20 years.
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>> i find this just incredible, but it is something that we've seen this president do before, most recently in singapore with the leader of north korea. do you share the ambassador's concerns? what are you worried about as we move toward that meeting? >> yeah. i mean it is pretty shocking. we've already seen that the president has begun to make concessions to putin. he has said that he would not rule out recognizing crimea as part of russia because the majority of crimeans speak russian. he is also deliberated on whether or not the russia should be part of the g8. should rejoin, even though they were kicked out because they invaded crimea and eastern ukraine. he now wants to have a one-on-one meeting with putin with no record, no note takers, no witnesses, no official anything. of course putin is going to go in very prepared. he is very -- he's known to put on the charm and trump is very susceptible to flattery. with regard to trump's negotiating chips, it doesn't really seem like he has any because we've already seen that he is denying that russia interfered in the 2016 election.
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he's trying to cast doubt on the intelligence community's assessment about that. if he doesn't go in there prepared to confront putin about the election meddling, what is the united states really going to get out of this? we also know, because of the "washington post" reporting, that he may just cede syria entirely to russia in the name of getting iran out, which we know is not going to happen because iran sees syria as a bridge to hezbollah in lebanon. this is really a place where trump will go in and is facing something that he is probably totally unprepared for, especially confronting vladimir putin. >> felipe, i want to pull up the latest polling on this meeting, whether americans think this meeting should take place by quinnipiac. 53% of those approve of the meeting. 39% don't. why might the president want to meet with president putin? has the white house made any case for why this meeting should or needs to take place?
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>> absolutely not. listening to mike mcfaul and natasha, i think we should all be scared to death about what will happen in that meeting. donald trump is commonly considered to be a bully and a con man. in truth, he's neither of those things. a bully has at least the -- whatever you want to call it -- the guts to get into someone's face and a con man has the intelligence to outsmart someone. he has neither of those things. vladimir putin does. donald trump is not the guy to push him. mike mcfaul is an interesting case, because not only is his assessment of vladimir putin spot-on, but mike mcfaul, when he was our ambassador to russia, he was very, very in putin's face. he was very vocal. he called out all their misdeeds. and as a result, mcfaul wag ns a popular person. it is a problem when the president of the united states goes into a meeting and their geopolitical goal for the united
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states to ensure our national security is that he's liked. that is not something that is helpful to our country. and if that's your goal, you tend to do things that are not in our best interests and the best example was when he met with putin and he was later asked if he raised the election meddling, and he said, i did. i did a second time. what more can i do? i mean that's pitiful. not only for that to be the reality, but to admit that, frankly. and it is the acknowledgement that he does not have any cards when he goes in to these meetings. >> natasha, i want to go into the library of donald trump's broken records and put up the one about defense funding in nato. we've heard this time and time again, this is something he's seized on out of the previous nato summit and when all these european leaders have come through to meet with him at the white house. there was an interesting quotation from the german defense minister saying, yes, there is this 2% target but you have to look at the other contributions these countries are making to this alliance.
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what are the perils of conducting foreign policy in this way where you are looking at it solely through the prism of whether or not countries are putting forward 2% of their gdp? >> right. so that tote ally overlooks the broader importance of nato, which is that it is an alliance. of course, donald trump has shown a willingness to cooperate more with dictators, like kim jong-un and vladimir putin, and to praise them, more than he has nato. we saw this during his last meeting in canada with the g7. he has shown a regionne nesswil overlook decades and decades of this foreign policy approach that the united states has taken where we have these allies for a reason. the he is a very transactional person. we know that. you won't find a single member or former leader of nato who says, look, we could not be doing more to contribute to our defense spending. it's true that there are other countries that need to contribute a little bit more, but that's not the overarching
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value of this alliance. the overarching value is, it is a defense treaty. and when he goes to this meeting at nato headquarters in brussels and he inevitably says something to these other world leaders that is pretty indicative of how little he values this alliance, and that he goes into that meeting with vladimir putin and he comes out of it saying, well, that was a great meeting, i think we're making real progress, it is very -- just very chummy, that is a divide and that is a dichotomy that the nato -- that world leaders in nato is very, very concerned about, is that kind of dichotomy and what it portrays to the rest of the world about the united states' place in the international community. >> felipe, last question to you. the secretary of state, mike pompeo, is getting ready to head back to pyongyang. he's been there a few times now. i know when you were at the state department working for secretary of state hillary clinton, you talked about deliverables. in light of what we have seen here over the last few weeks, that thin statement that the leader of north korea and
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president trump signed in singapore, the reports by nbc news and other outlets centering on the fact that the nuclear program in north korea continues to expand all the while. what are the deliverables that secretary of state mike pompeo can possibly get from kim jong-un here on this most recent trip to pyongyang? >> i would imagine another pr stunt, whether it's a handshake on the fringes of the u.n. general assembly coming up in the fall, or some other meeting somewhere in the world. because, again, donald trump thinks the mere act of being there is helpful. now when you read background quotes or information leaking that we believe that north korea has no intention of dialling back their weapons program, you're talking about mike pompeo's former job as cia director. this notion that this is somehow some outlier that isn't the case
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is really pretty silly. i think pompeo going back is probably a pretty good example of how the first meeting was not all that it was cracked up to be. i have a feeling this is not mike pompeo's last trip to north korea or last call to kim jong-un to try to salvage a conversation. i think it goes back to what we were saying about one-on-one meetings. donald trump goes in there. the only thing he knows how to do is treat people like harley-davidson. and that doesn't work with sovereign nations and international leaders. and he leaves, and they giggle at how naive he is and how easy he is to play. then people have to pick up the pieces like his secretary of state. >> felipe, natasha, thanks to you both. happy fourth of july. >> same to you. holiday heat wave. nearly 100 million americans enduring another agonizing day of extreme heat. but things are about to change.
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msnbc meteorologist bonnie snide schneider is here. are we going to get a break from the heat? >> not today, unfortunately. but we have 98 million americans under a heat advisory or an excessive heat warning. that's for the eastern half of the country and the northern tier. storms will develop. we'll see those storms work their way through minneapolis later on. some heavy rain and gusty winds possible for this fourth of july. as we work aur way toward the rest of the week, eventually the front will push eastward and i think that will be a difference for us for the heat. we'll get some relief but not quite question the. let's look at the weather for this fourth of july. very hot, very humid for much of the country. high temperatures today, it will feel like it is in the triple digits across the mid south, across good portions of the mid-atlantic. even into the northeast. there are some exceptions, of course, along the beaches. it will be more comfortable. looking into the weekend, we start to see temperatures cool down a bit by the time we get to saturday and sunday, getting
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closer to normal for new york city, for example. not the case this weekend for the west. in the southwest, temperatures are really going to heat up. a big heat wave is coming. this heat advisory that you see will take effect friday into saturday so get ready for hot temperatures for los angeles, san diego, las vegas and into phoenix. today though, plenty of sunshine. a nice looking fourth for the fireworks to the west. to the east, just humid. hopefully the storms we are expecting will not affect the fireworks forecast. as we look at the 10:00 forecast this evening, most places are dealing with nice conditions, just a little bit warmer than normal, of course. for things like new york city, temperatures will be right around 80 degrees. so it will be a warm one at 8:00 and not cooling down much by the time we get to the fireworks. >> bonnie schneider, thank you very much. coming up, democrats aren't the only ones furious over president trump's trade war. could the president's controversial new tariffs on key
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expert medicine works here. learn more at and we got to know the friends of our friends.r the friends. and we found others just like us. and just like that we felt a little less alone. but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, fake news, and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy. because when this place does what it was built for, then we all get a little closer. welcome back. i'm david gura. republican lawmakers are reportedly losing their patience with president trump over his escalating trade war with some of the u.s.' long-standing trade partners. according to politico, some of the president's closest allies in congress worry his tariffs are hurting their constituents back home and maybe the
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republican party's chances in the mid-term leaks. politico reports, quote, not a party meeting goes by these days which multiple republicans don't vent, that the president is not listening to them and plot how to fight back. republican lawmakers are struggling to reconcile their staunch belief in free trade with their reluctance to challenge and potentially weaken a republican president. bringing in a political reporter for the daily beast, and republican strategist joe watkins is back with me, as well. gideon, i want your sense of how deep this divide is between republicans and congress on this issue and the president. the politico piece had reaction from a number of senators. orren hatch saying "i'd like to kill them," about the tariffs. pat roberts, "there's nobody for this." >> it's becoming a deeper divide. i think people did not necessarily take president trump at his word that this is with a going to happen the way that he
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laid out that it was going to happen throughout the campaign and early on in his administration. now they're facing a moment where the republican party is very worried about mid-terms, both retaining their majority in the senate and in the house. and they think this is going to really purt, particularly lly lot of those midwestern heartland states where the president performed so well in 2016. this can certainly be pointed to as a result of his administration, they think voters are going to kind of return the favor at the ballot box. they are a he deeply concerned. a lot of the republican retiring senators are the ones kind of coming out with the most heat against the president because they think this is their last chance to basically slow this down before they leave and before he finishes the rest of his term. >> joe watkins, we were talking about the tension in the republican party surrounding this upcoming supreme court pick. we have tension here, as well. i just want to read a quotation here from the head of the u.s. chamber of commerce on these tariffs. tariffs are beginning to take a toll on american businesses.
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workers, farmers and consumers and american-made products. why isn't this getting to the president, joe watkins? why isn't he getting this message from republicans on the hill. >> i think the president is listening to them, he hears them. he's not going to change. of course i don't think he is inclined to move because his time horizon is different from the time horizon of members of the yhouse and senate. every member of the house is up for re-election and a handful of senators. not all. but they're much more prone to react to what happens in their districts now than the president has to. the president doesn't feel that he has to move right now. so if you're a member of congress and because of the retaliation on the part of china, the market has been closed and you can't get your products to china anymore and you have to lay off half your
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workforce? yeah, you're going to squawk pretty loud right now. you're going to call your member of congress and say you got to do something about this. those members of congress are very upset because that's going to impact what happens to them in the fall. but i don't think the president feels any pressure to move because his time horizon is much longer. look to what happened just recently where china tried to petition the european union to have some kind of an alliance against the united states. the eu didn't bite. so president trump i think is inclined to believe that his tactic is working. >> gideon resnick, let's look to history, something this president is reluctant to do. there haven't been many wars have that gone super fast, haven't taken as much casualties as those who start them think they might. this has escalated pretty quickly. you have the "financial times" estimating that trade war could be a $1 trillion trade war. this president wanted to shake things up when it came to trade
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based on what he believes about trade. whether or not that meshes with the facts. it doesn't mesh with the facts when it comes to trade policy. is this spiraling out of control more than the administration thought it might? >> i think the spiral is the view that republican leadership has. i think that the president thinks this is probably a good thing. >> still. >> yes, still, at this point. to the point of the time line, he is kind of viewing it in a different realm where the political realities are not necessarily going to impact him quite so immediately. as they want to protect these majorities, however, it is a totally different timeline for republicans. i think from his perspective, he does want to see this long-term payoff and kind of see how that shakes out and maybe by 2020 there's something that he can point to and say, look, okay, this made sense at the time. i told you i was right. as to whether that is going to be the case, i think we really don't know. but the big concern is that the number one thing that the president has right now is a strong economy and republicans want to keep the focus on that. and they don't want any kind of
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independent variables popping in here to potentially mess that up for them. >> joe watkins, there are the political considerations we've been talking about. the economic considerations. then there are the geopolitical considerations as well. reuters reporting that the chinese government has met with european officials over these last many months to talk about new deals with the europeans because both these countries or bodies have been alienated by u.s. trade policies. how worried are you about the u.s. standing on the world stage vis-a-vis its trade policy? >> of course that's something for us all to consider. obviously the united states doesn't want to weaken its position. the president did promise when he was a candidate for the presidency that he was going to shake things up with regards to these trade agreements that we had. he felt that -- he said very pointedly that he felt that the trade agreements that we had were not in the favor of the united states. i think he would go back to his base and say, i'm doing exactly what i told you that i would do. in the short term obviously, it's got everybody very nervous.
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obviously we're having a trade war with some of our strongest allies. canada, certainly some of our closest neighbors and closest trading partners are not pleased and they are retaliating. when it comes to politics, the geopolitics, but at the end of the day for members of congress, it's almost every man or woman for him or herself. >> on this independence day, joe watkins, gideon resnick, thanks so much. up next, we're just 24 hours away from a crucial deadline for president trump's personal attorney. the potential impact on the president and michael cohen is next. ♪ you shouldn't be rushed into booking a hotel. with expedia's add-on advantage, booking a flight unlocks discounts on select hotels until the day you leave for your trip. add-on advantage. only when you book with expedia.
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only when you book with expedia. the clock is ticking for michael cohen's attorneys and for president trump and the trump organization. tomorrow is a critical deadline. it is the last day for the lawyers to review what items in the nearly 4 million tdocuments seized from michael cohen fall under attorney/client privilege. daniel goldman, former assistant u.s. attorney for new york. you have these items the trump organization is looking through. how high is the bar to exclude evidence that's been collected? >> well, it really just comes down to whether the
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attorney/client privilege should apply and what is the deadline tomorrow for the trump organization is to review the documents that relate to the trump organization that were seized by the government, and make assertions as to whether any of those should fall under the attorney/client privilege. there are exceptions to it. the attorney/client privilege is actually relatively narrow, far narrower than the president would believe in the sense that you must be in the course of given legal advice for a communication to be under the privilege. so tomorrow the trump organization has to assert to the special master which of those 22,000 documents should fall under the privilege, and the special master's also considering other assertions of privilege, and ultimately the special master will decide -- i should say make a recommendation to the judge to say, "these documents should not go to the government because they're privileged." at that point, then the judge will either adopt or reject the recommendation and the remaining
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documents will go to the government and they can get the investigative -- the investigative team can now get access to them. the government can make arguments about whether they should they should be privileged or not. what we're seeing here is that there are relatively relative very few documents that fall under the privilege. of the 4 million or so that were seized. >> i want to get your perspective, as a former prosecutor, with michael cohen talking. he did this tv interview. a lot of people speculating about whether or not there might be a part. how cognizant are prosecutors of what? it's a strange circumstance that you'd be working on a case, and in the background, looming large is the possibility that the president could pardon the person you're working on building this case around. how does it affect how prosecutors are building this case, do you think? >> well, it's actually almost an unique situation, because traditionally, the pardon process only occurs long after the prosecution is over. this is a very unusual situation where the president has been
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talking in vague terms about pardons related to individuals who may have information about the president. that is something that we've never really seen in this country. so, from the prosecute's standpoint, generally speaking, you just do your job. you're not focused on the pardons. if that happens, that's outside of your control. you put your head down and you do your job. and i'm sure that's what they're trying to do here. but it an incredibly unique and unusual situation to even be considering the notion that someone actively and currently under investigation could be pardoned. that is completely outside the normal process that pardons usually are undergo. >> i'm going to ask you about two things that happened on capitol hill. peter strzok, the fbi agent was subpoenaed by the house judiciary committee. he testified behind closed doors just about a week ago. and you had the release of the senate intelligence committee report on the russia investigation concluding, contrary to what republicans on the house select committee on intelligence concluded that
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russia was involved. did have a role in manipulating the election. what do you make of that -- what do you make of what's happening on the hill, as you contrast it with the legal process that's ongoing yes here in new york and also in d.c.? >> well, the concern one would have, in looking at what's going on in the hill is that it seems like the president and some of his allies are making what should be a political nonpartisan process of trying to determine whether, and to what extent russians and their associates, infiltrated the election. and whether any americans were involved in that process. from the prosecution's standpoint, you're not thinking about partisanship. you're not thinking about any political affiliations. what the president has done and with some help from house republicans is to politicize this process. to make it appear -- to make it partisan. to make it all about
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affiliations. political affiliations. and to sort of drum up what i would argue are really conspiracy theories as to whether or not that's what's going on here. so, you have a political process and you have sort of the investigative law enforcement process. and unfortunately, they're going in very different directions. dan goldman joining me in new york. up next, a race to save a dozen young soccer players and their coach deep in a cave. rescue teams considering multiple options where it could take months to get everyone out. not in time. t hey, no big deal. you've got a good record and liberty mutual won't hold a grudge by raising your rates over one mistake. you hear that, karen? liberty mutual doesn't hold grudges. how mature of them! for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. liberty mutual insurance.
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welcome back, i'm david gura. rescuers are scrambling to beat rising waters and moon snsoons rescue a soccer team in a cave for nearly two weeks. new video show the boys appearing to be in good spirits as they receive blankets and treatments for cuts. efforts to teach the boys how to swim and dive are under way. i'm joined my my colleague janis mackey frayer. if you go in now, or do you wait, what are rescuers weighing the this point in time. >> reporter: well, they're weighing this threat of monsoon rains due to hit here at the end of the week. they know that's going to push the water levels inside the cave
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dangerously high and fully flooded. that's why rescue officials are at least considering an evacuation attempt within days. they're practicing different scenarios. they're having the boys practice wearing the full face masks and breathing with them on. there are no easy next moves. the boys don't even know how to swim, let alone having the skills to navigate three miles of murk can water. another option they're exploring is to find a different way into the cave system. they have hundreds of people spread out in this area, looking for cracks or chimneys or spots where they might be able to drill and drop ropes to the boys and pull them out that way. pumps are also working around the clock to try to drain the floodwater. but a diving expert i spoke to here today said there just isn't enough time for that, once the new rains arise they will resume all of that progress.
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there's not enough time to leave the boys inside for the rainy season because it may be september or longer and the supply lines may also be cut off. meanwhile, the medics have been able to make it inside the cave. they're spending time with the boys. checking and caring for them. they sent video messages to their families today who are out here like everyone anxiously waiting to know when the boys are going to come out, david. >> janis mackey frayer joining me from thailand. this wraps up this hour. i'm david gura, to my colleague ali vel chicagshi. good morning, everybody, i'm ali velshi. happy fourth of july to all of you joining us today. america is 242 years old agency the president's self-imposed deadline for the supreme court pick draws closer, president
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trump looking to replac replace retiring justice anthony kennedy and also we'll talk to senator mike lee. meanwhile, senators on both sides of the aisle trying to win over republican senators susan collins on the left and lisa murkowski on the right of your screen seen as key swing senators. collins spoke about the partisan nature to pick a supreme court justice. >> they're already lining up, either in opposition or in strong support for a nominee who has not yet been chosen. that i have never seen before to this extent. >> joining me now is nbc's kelly o'donnell live at the white house. kelly, just a few days to go before the president meets his self-imposed deadline on monday of naming a supreme court justice nominee. he said he has five names. there does seem to be seven on


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