tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 4, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
subscribe and thus get every show ad free any time. that does it for me. thank you for watching. i hope you enjoy the rest of your independence day at home. and of course you can catch the beat here week nights at 6:00 p.m. eastern. >> hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in new york. president trump appears to be blinded by his affinity for vladimir putin. national security expert from across the political spectrum worry that he'll give up too much in his first summit with russia now just days away. former cia director john brennan telling msnbc flat out, quote, i think mr. trump is either not smart enough to realize that mr. putin is playing him or he doesn't care. scheef among the concerns of those read in on threats to the homeland, election meddling. trump telling reporters over the weekend that he'll mention the topic in his conversations with russian officials. but trump's own statements show he's more inclined to side with putin than his own intelligence
agencies. take this tweet from just the past week. russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election. i guess that's what happens when the president gets played by an adversary. and an increasingly emboldened president resists the advisors and experts we once hoped would serve as guardrails against his impulses. editorial board at the washington post warns we are on dangerous ground. either mr. trump has lost touch with the central u.s. interest or there is some other explanation for his kowtowing that is yet unknown. if there is another explanation, odds are good that robert mueller who has already indicted 13 russians in their role of meddling in the 2016 election will get to the bottom of it. joining us forrer u.s. ambassador to the russian federation, now an msnbc analyst. with us at the table washington post opinion writer jennifer ruben. charlie sykes, contributing editor for the weekly standard and host of the daily standard podcast. former clinton kamm pair advisor, director for sirius xm.
lucky for us, all are msnbc contributors. your tweeter feed increasingly causes me anxiety. >> sorry about that. >> it's good, it's good. keeping it real. what are your biggest worries heading into this summit? >> well, my minimal worry is that president trump just lavishes praise on vladimir putin and forgets about the past. that would be a disaster already. my biggest worry, my bigger worry is that he actually comes through on a lot of these concessions that he's been talking about recently. i mean, you just pointed out he doesn't seem too concerned about their violation of our sovereignty and the 2016 election. he has hinted that he might actually recognize crimea as part of russia. that would be outrageous against the entire government of the united states of america, all of his advisors, against the will of the entire world. and i just hope he doesn't --
he's not somehow tricked into or wants to just dis us all by showing he can do these kinds of concessions, especially if you remember all these concessions he keeps laying out and not once has he said, and in return putin is going to do this for the united states of america. >> it's such a jarring contrast to the trip to canada where -- when i worked in the bush administration, we had lots of fights with lots of countries about bush administration foreign policy and rightfully so. but i don't remember a rou with canada. take this from the other side. what has putin not yet achieved? he has donald trump attacking our closest and longest allies. he has donald trump traveling to europe a couple times before he affirms our commitment to article 5 in nato. he has donald trump talking about doing one to one trade deals and pulling out of multi lateral free trade agreements. what's left on putin's honey do
list for donald trump? >> well, it's a very good point to remind everybody what president trump is doing against our allies -- and i would say against american national interests -- is plus points for vladimir putin. this is exactly what he wants. he wants us to be arguing in the g7. he wants us to be arguing with our nato allies. allegedly he's looking into pulling troops out of germany. that's music to vladimir putin's ears. he would love to see some discussion of crimea being part of russia and the lifting of the sanctions. those are things that i suspect he will press president trump to deliver on when they meet in helsinki. >> i want to ask you about ambassador bolton's comments on sunday. i want to read a little bit of your piece first f. trump really were a russian asset, you write, it is hard to think what he could do to rupture the western alliance, undercut democratic government and human rights, boost russia's leverage in the middle east and give purity ina
green light to manipulate our elections with impunity. i agree with you, but i want you to elaborate on that and also weigh in on this. >> president putin said through a translator of course, but what he said was, there was no meddling in 2016 by the russian state. >> very little happens without vladimir putin's okay in russia. >> i think that's an interesting statement. i think it's worth pursuing. i'm sure the president will want to pursue t. >> what do you think it means? >> i don't know. i didn't have an unlimited amount of time with him. that's different from saying my view that there was no russian meddling at all. >> so you see that as some admission on his part? >> i think the president will have to pursue that further. and i think that's one reason why he and president putin need to have this conversation as much as i enjoy speaking with my counterpart in russia with the foreign minister, with others, is that vladimir putin is the one who makes the decisions and i think our leader needs to speak with him. >> i know he's the new guy, but we've had a few go arounds here. >> yes.
and whoever that guy is, he should stop impersonating john bolton because for decades john bolton has been an absolute hawk. he has mocked no end any president, particularly liberal democrats, who have taken these people at their word, who have said, well, we just have misunderstandings, we just have to sit down and talk. presidents who have not defended human rights, presidents who aggressively aided other countries, president whose country is involved in war crimes in syria, john bolton used to be against all those things and now he's kind of making excuses and back pedaling at one point during that interview or perhaps it was another one, he said, well, you know, it's in private, trump is very different with allies and with adversaries. i think so. he's probably much worse in private than he is in public with our allies and he's much more ingratiating with kim jong-un, with putin, with whoever the adversary is.
and it is stunning for me. it's not something that trump is doing this. it's stunning that john bolton who made a career, whatever you think of him, whatever politics you have, he took a intellectually consistent -- >> hard line on russia. >> for decades. and now he is enabling trump. and i find that just sad and very disa int toing. >> it's almost like trumpism corrupts. >> yes, everything he touches dies. >> stay there. in 2008 when i worked with john mccain, he was constantly on the phone with leaders in the nations most at risk of vladimir putin's encroachments, with others in the region. reassuring them america had their back. we're old enough to remember when republicans used to be as he said on the side of protecting countries from russia. >> yeah. the scariest part about this is donald trump's greatest fear is to look weak. and so he comes out of the north korean summit having been duped by kim. he's going to vladimir putin,
apparently willing to concede a lot of things. he's even floating out his attitudes about nato, withdrawing american troops, recognizing the russian take-over of crimea. he may have his own reasons for doing this, but is there a danger that people will look at this and go, okay, you're a terrible negotiator, you have weakened our position vis-a-vis north korea and russia. and that donald trump will have sort of a snap back, a reaction. that is the -- you know, when in fact your foreign policy is more glandular than intellectual, i think the risks begin to rise. >> let me ask you, ambassador mcfaul. obviously vladimir putin knows as much about the mueller investigation into russian meddling as any consumer of american media. he -- he's a voracious reader of american journalism. he catches what's on tv here. how does he play trump as someone who is under investigation, the subject in bob mueller's probe into obstruction of justice and
russian collusion? >> you know, i've been in several meetings with vladimir putin when he was president and prime minister with various leaders, including president obama. and i think everybody should understand he comes prepared for these meetings to achieve objectives. he's not just -- he's got a very specific set of issues that he's usually pursuing and in this instance, what he wants is he wants president trump to praise him and to forget about the past. and in my opinion, there's no other way to look at that than that makes our president look weak because our president is not pursuing american national interests. and i want to keep stressing that because trump seems to think diplomacy is all about his personal relationships with kim jong-un or vladimir putin. it's not. and nobody is going to do him any favors just because he says nice words to these people. and that is the -- that's what putin wants. i hope some day before the summit we figured out what president trump is going to seek to achieve, not for himself
personally, but for the united states of america. >> well, let me just press you there because we know he bragged about not preparing for his north korean summit. he thinks he and vlad has a bromance going. why on earth would he prepare for this one? >> that's a good question. i don't know. when i listen to mr. bolton speak these days, to echo what i think jennifer said, you know, who is going to brief him on these things? i worry about that. and here's the other thing i worry about. putin is going to give him a history lesson. i listened to some of those history lessons when i was serving president obama. he's going to explain why crimea was a long part of russia, why these sanctions have been counterproductive, and he's going to tell president trump, you and i, if we just can bond over being great leaders and you can just forget about the past, forget about annexation, forget about that i propped up this horrible dictator in syria, forget about the fact that i intervened in your elections, and we can just move on, that's the history we can make
together. and what i fear is president trump, who doesn't know these histories as well, might just nod along and say, yeah, that makes sense to me, let's do that. >> there's a track word. it's already sticking, right? vladimir putin has made some of these points to donald trump and he goes on and echos them in his public pronouncements about russia's moves on the world stage. there's already a public record of putin doing just that and donald trump being extremely receptive to putin's side of the story. be it on meddling, be it on invasions and aggression in the region. isn't that the case? >> correct, i agree. and therefore, why should anybody expect that he's going to push back on all these issues when white house officials say, oh, he's going to raise the elections. i know what that is. he's going to mention the word about the elections and putin is going to say, we didn't do it and then it's going to be read out, elections were discussed. past tense. >> john meacham, is there any parallel in modern presidential
history to someone having such -- i think you can almost call it a fetish for an american adversary like donald trump does for vladimir putin. >> yeah, i guess we can mark a new low that we're discussing trump and fetish in the same sentence. so, it's good to be able to mark -- >> i did at your defense. we'll let you remain an elegant historian. >> we're only going to move forward from here. summits in the best of times are perilous, and these are not the best of times. there is a tendency for politicians whose unit of commerce, right, is affection and wanting people to like them and to be liked in return. they get into the hot house of the pinnacle. and even the word itself is egotistical. we are at the summit, and it's been true from generation to
generation. franklin roosevelt and winston churchill's advisors used to panic when they got together and they got together a lot because they would come out with some plan they cooked up over a picnic and couple of martinis. the staff would have to get them back to where they wanted to be. and that's among allies. these are among opponents. and as mike said, perhaps the president doesn't see it that way, but all right thinking people should. the answer as usual with trump is there is not a particular parallel here. he will wing this. i remember very clearly, i spent about an hour with trump, hour and a half two years ago now in trump tower and asked him where he was getting all this stuff about nato and debts. and he really depth haidn't hav answer. he said, i go with my gut. the glandular line about foreign policy is wonderful. that's where we are. and i think that ultimately what we have to hope is that bob
corker and others back here can tap the brakes on whatever concessions are made in that heat of the moment. >> are we overthinking this? is this just a guy who donald trump in his own mind either knows helped him get elected by sowing discord, by the facebook reporting that we now know to be true by the 13 russians who have already been indicted by bob mueller -- are we overthinking this? trump looks at putin, he's on team trump? >> yes, i think that's what's happening here. i think we're looking at this -- we're looking at a set of facts that are laid out based on reporting and also just things that we have seen with our own eyes, right? he stood on television and said, russia, if you're listening, find additional e-mails and then lo and behold, e-mails started coming out. so i think that a lot of this is just common sense and it's really dangerous, as charlie said because there are a lot of national security implications and going into a meeting of this
level and not having the appropriate preparation and attention to details. and so i think what we all have to fear -- and this has always been true since election day -- donald trump is not prepared to be the president of the united states. he has not learned on the job. and he is doing a number of different foreign policy-level meetings that have implications for generations, and that should scare everyone. >> all right. i'm scared, i'm scared. we have to sneak in a break. former ambassador, thank you for joining us. as house republicans ramp up their attacks against the justice department including threats to impeach deputy general rod rosenstein, how nervous are they about what mueller could be up to this summer? plus donald trump's culture league against the nfl forced the league to cave to the anthem. are players poised to have the last say? warren moon will join us to discuss the ongoing debate about players and their right to peacefully protest during the anthem. the street when you barely clip a passing car. minor accident - no big deal, right?
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the latest headlines out of the russia investigation shows signs that robert mueller may be zeroing in on collusion, circling campaign allies with russia contacts. and showing he's not ready to sentence michael flynn meaning he may continue to seek information from the former security advisor as it heats up. mueller's progress has spooked trump's allies on capitol hill who have resorted to personal a tax and threats of impeachment against the deputy attorney general overseeing the probe. even as republican lawmakers continue to scrape the bottom of
the barrel looking for any remaining weapon against the investigation, it may be trump's supreme court pick who will ultimately pose a greater threat to mueller's search for justice. among the questions that could end up in the highest court in the land, can trump be forced to comply with a subpoena? can a sitting president be indicted? and a question the president has raised himself, is the entire investigation unconstitutional. joining us now is harry litman, former u.s. attorney and former deputy assistant attorney general. you have so many prestigious titles, i stumble over them. more importantly, friend of our show. if you could just weigh in on what you think the prospects are for any of those questions actually ending up in front of the supreme court. >> i think the prospects are pretty good. i mean, for one, we are still thinking about is there a chance that mueller will subpoena trump. that seems less and less likely. it seems like he'll probably deliver a report and simply say, trump didn't talk. but certainly team trump has
signalled a desire, if it comes to it, to try to fight on some of these fundamental questions. and there, you know, we have -- as john was just saying, everything is always without precedent with trump. there are certain episodes and cases that give a little bit of hint of how these big questions could come out, but they'll really all be kind of plowing new ground. and it is unnerving to think that trump will be sitting down over the next few days with candidates for the supreme court and the choice may have a pivotal role in the decision. you just have to hope that the person who is chosen is an institutionalist who thinks about the court as the nixon versus u.s. court and clinton versus u.s. court and doesn't think about his patron, donald trump. >> how would donald trump even
ask a candidate a question about where they come down on, hey, do you think a president can be indicted? is he so brazen that you can imagine him just asking that? >> is he so brazen? yes. but i think this will be a question of will trump be alone in the room? because definitely -- >> he was with vladimir putin and kim jong-un. >> and he was also, i believe, with both tom hardiman and neil gorsuch. they will tell him, don't do it, that will be suicide. we'll try to figure that out. but the question is is trump crass and unsophisticated enough to try to broach it? and then, of course, the first question in confirmation proceedings will be, has anybody asked you anything about this? they'll go through a litany, you know. it would be perilous not to mention dishonorable for any nominee to lie about it.
it would be a very stupid idea for trump to do. that doesn't mean, of course -- >> that he would do t. >> that's right. >> you wrote an open letter, jennifer ruben, to jeff flake. the new justice would not on any case involving the president's conduct in the investigation during the campaign. he or she would not sit on whether self-pardon is valid nor would he or she sit on a case whether trump can simply decline to respond to a grand jury subpoena. >> there are a couple reasons for this and then i want to pickup on what harry just said. we cannot trust donald trump who takes loyalty pledges from everybody who he can find to not extract through some wink and nod a promise of that type. moreover, even if he didn't, even if we're going to pretend for a moment that he has some self-control and didn't do it, there is a perception of a conflict of interest because he has behaved this way in the past. and what that does is it really goes to the legitimacy and the
integrity of the supreme court, which is the one crown jewel that he has not yet besmirched but i think we're coming to the edge. what harry was getting at, we are at a weird precedent and how we got to the so-called list. an outside individual, leonard leo and colleagues at the federalist society, essentially made up this list. he needs to come in and talk about what he asked, what questions were asked, what the process was, how you qualified to get on that list. what promises were made to leonard leo who in turn then can communicate to the white house, yep, he's a good guy, don't worry about it. >> he was a candidate. mitch mcconnell folded up this paper, this was his cover after access hollywood for why he was going to vote for donald trump. >> we now know there is quite a bit of evidence tying leonard
leo to a $1 million donation to the trump inaugural committee. is that the going price of a supreme court justice? >> charlie? >> i don't know what the connection there is, but keep in mind this is the least trumpian of the appointments we're seeing here because donald trump has outsourced this list to the federalist society and the letter to leo, which means you have -- they're very, very conservative. >> right. >> but i think you actually have a pretty solid list, but i do think the senate needs to ask very specific questions during the confirmation process about these constitutional issues that come up. and there are a couple of those people on the list who i think might have issues. and it might be a good idea for them to just begin the process by saying, i'm going to recuse myself from anything doing -- having to do with the president of the united states. and then, of course, go on to the usually kabuki dance where he doesn't answer, he or she doesn't answer questions about the other rulings. but if, in fact, you do have and some of the leading candidates are on record basically saying the president should, you know,
not be distracted by ongoing criminal investigations and i think that ought to be of great concern to senators, not just like susan collins, but jeff flake. >> democrats can do this alone. they really do need to take jennifer ruben's advice and bring over what john meacham would describe as republicans listening to their better angels. >> right. >> do you have any insight into where that process is to recruit republicans on this question around the mueller probe? >> i don't have any insight specifically to the process, but i think the democratic argument should focus on the fact this should be a consensus pick. where do we get to the point where we're outsourcing to the federalist society a replacement for the swing vote on the supreme court? it's not like replacing antonin scalia like we were with merritt garland where we sat there and waited for nothing to happen. the democratic argument in order to build the coalition of republicans they nood to block this, the argument is we should find somebody everybody can vote for. i don't know why we ended up in a world in the present moment
where the supreme court pick is assumed to be opposed to roe and in the tank for the president. i think that we skipped a few steps here in this process. >> john meacham, how did we get here? >> we got here because of david suitor basically. sorry. i think we did. george herbert walker bush chose david suitor who was a largely unknown figure, almost entirely unknown figure. suitor proved to be far more liberal in the vernacular of the way we talk about these things than president burn ever anticipated. he told me, president bush did, that was a huge mistake to have picked him. and every president since has not wanted to be suitored basically. appoint someone that they believe would -- it was likely in any way to fall out of line with their basic philosophy, their basic dispositions of politics and jurisprudence.
and i think that's -- i submit that without much fear of contradiction. i also think, and, nicolle, you can answer this better than i can. it's certainly fine for us to get trump-ified about this. if president jeb bush. president marco rubio, john case i in the white house, probably would be coming from a list like this. >> exactly. >> the difference is there's no suggestion at this point that any one of them would have been under special counsel investigation by robert mueller looking for a supreme court nominee's positions on whether you can or cannot indict a sitting president. i mean i think that's the trumpian wrinkle, right? >> yeah. and totally legitimate, totally legitimate thing to raise. and they should. and you have some senators here who have a chance to become margaret j. smith, a profile in courage. bob corker should think about it. senator flake should think about it. senator mccain depending on his
ability. there are some senators here who can make a strong mark for history. >> i hope they heard that. harry litman, thank you for spending some time with us today. when we come back, it's been called mandatory patriotism. the nfl rule requiring players to stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room. after the break, a conversation with the legendary warren moon, the nfl hall of fame's first black quarterback. t's next. and i'm still going for my best even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'm up for that. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. so what's next? seeing these guys. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to, as stopping increases your risk of having a stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve
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some good news for football fans. don't look now, but next week nfl training camps are going to start opening across the country. after one of the most socially contentious nfl off seasons in recent memory perhaps ever, buckle up. the issues that caused such an uproar, kneeling during the anthem, a disapproving president, they didn't go away. in fact, those same issues may well flare-up again. after the league enacted a new rule in may requiring players on the side line to stand. that or they can remain in the
locker room. donald trump said the nfl did the right thing, but many players are still upset that patriotism now seems to be mandatory. with us now is nfl hall of fame quarterback who spent an incredible 23 seasons with the league, warren moon, dave, sports editor for the nation and at the table with us willie co-loan, retired nfl player with analyst sports net new york. let me ask you, warren, where you come down on the -- not just the debate in terms of the policy, but the tone of the debate, the divisive nature of the debate. >> yeah, i just don't like where it's gotten to. i think when colin kaepernick first kneeled down it was basically to bring attention and to try and fight for racial inequality. also police brutality against people of color and a host of other different social injustices. i think the message got lost, one, because it was done -- the protest -- during the national anthem. i think a lot of people took offense to that because of their love for the flag and the
national anthem and they thought it was something against the flag. and i think that's where the message has gotten lost and it keeps getting skewed because people don't want to listen to what the players are really protesting about. they just happen to be doing it during a time that is very, very controversial within the time of a game. so, i wish the message could be a lot clearer. and when they first started kneeling during the national anthem, i knew this was going to happen, that there was going to be confusion. and i think there is a way they could work this out to where the players could still do their protest during a game, but not make it happen during the national anthem where everybody seems to get so, you know, so riled up about it, which they have been over the last year. >> so, what is your specific recommendation for the players who still feel like the league has been bullied or backed into a corner by donald trump yelling, get those sons of pitches out of here? the president really did high jack this issue regardless of how people feel about any
individual's right to protest peacefully during the anthem. >> yeah, he added a lot of fuel to the fire, a fire that was smoldering at one point last season where there wasn't that many players kneeling towards the end of the season. then when he came out with those comments, i think it just really challenged the players. you're talking about some players that are some of the most competitive in all of sports. so, it kind of brought it back to the mainstream again and it's too bad that had to happen because there was a lot of progress being made. the owners were involved. the owners were donating money to certain programs the players were trying to get involved in in different communities. it was all moving in the right direction. but then the president got involved and it really kind of juiced everybody up again and i think the message got lost again. >> i think you're right. by the end of the season, warren, there were six players still protesting. so the president cannot be relied upon to let any fire burn out. he's likely to throw more gasoline on it. >> that's his nature.
>> you held him in such high regard. what is your advice to these players who, as you said, they're competitive people, they feel challenged by the president and he intends to challenge them. they're not wrong. and by the owners who have tried to sort of -- they don't want to see kneeling, they don't want the controversy. it's a sacred rich wall and so is the right to peacefully protest in this done tri. >> i think the players should sit down with the owners and talk about the best way to go forward, where, instead of being mandated that you have to stand or stay in the locker room, because that's not going to solve the problem either because those players who have to stay in the locker room if they don't want to kneel, when 24e do come o -- they do come out of the locker room, the fans are going to boo them when they come out of the locker room. that's not the way you want the game to start. both sides need to sit down and figure out a better way to get this done. whether it's keeping all the players in the locker room and having them come out after the national anthem is done, or you
could do your protest maybe after the anthem is over or at the end of the first quarter or whenever they want to do the protest throughout the game. there are other times throughout the game the players can still do their protest and it still can be just as effective. >> you and i had conversations in real time while this was happening. i think maybe the difference between last season and the one coming is that this was happening in real time. he was on the phone with his vice-president mike pence. mike pence not exactly a profile in courage. president called and told him to leave and he got up and left in his own little silent protest, i guess. >> yeah. >> this year we know it's coming. are you aware of any effort to sort of help the players do what warren is talking about, organize -- i think we have some headlines. some of what gets lost is the extraordinary amount of work and attention they draw to issues in their communities. this does get lost when the president goes to political rally and screams get those sons of pitches out of here in a by and large white crowd.
so let's not shy away from the racial -- i wouldn't even call them under tones, but blatantly racist nature of someone who calls them sons of pitches, get them out of here. >> i think the fact that the president has allowed his base to kind of turn on the nfl has made a bigger monster. the remedy to that, i don't know if there is one at this point. i think it's just a wildfire that's pretty much to warren's point, it was burning out at some point. i think the only remedy now is to let it burn out again. if you look at what the players are going through, think about this for a second. if you're a player who plays for bob mcnair, owner of houston texans or jerry jones, let's say you do take a stance or continue to watch colin kaepernick or eric reid be put out to pasture and you're a guy who is looking for a new deal next year, do you think you're going to be willing to sit in the locker room during the protest knowing how your owner feels about that? you're pretty much saying my future is done if i take this stance. look what happened to colin. look what happened to eric. you're putting the players in a
real serious situation not only for themselves, for their livelihood. this is a country that was -- stood, was started on proi tests and now you're telling your players, our bottom line means more than your patriotism. it's -- it has nothing to do about the troops, the flag or being a patriot. what we're trying to say or players are trying to say, when i take this helmet off, i'm still susceptible, i'm trying to get the word out. >> susceptible. getting racially profiled. >> i'm still in that pool. so help me, nfl. help me change. help me bring awareness. help me try to get this, this issue going in the right direction. and it's sad because the nfl does president know how to deal with it. i don't think they want to deal with it. they want to move on. >> let me bring you in and read something, dave, from the book you and michael bennett wrote. you write, at this point if you're being silent you're making a choice and taking a
side. as nfl players we cannot be silent any more just because we have the ability to hide beneath the helmets. i can't hide beneath the shield. i can't hide beneath the glitz and fame. i'm going to be a black man in america long after i'm out of this league. there is too much in this country dragging down women and poor. we can't hide behind these gated communities. expand on the point your coauthor writes. >> michael bennett is a player of principle, like several players of principle who are in the league right now. one of the things they are all saying, it's two basic messages. the first is that we live in a country where patriotism is not supposed to be compulsory. and i think one of the things that's gotten lost is how offended the players were, not just by donald trump, but by the ownership as well, saying to them, no, this is something you have to do. before you didn't have to do this. now you do have to do this.
it's an affront to their person hood so it makes them feel like, no, now we do have to do something. i think the nfl and the ownership could have put this to bed in the off season if they said something as simple as, hey, this is america. we do not -- while we want every player to stand for the anthem and while we encourage them to do so, we are not going to compel teams or compel players to go about this ritual because that is not what this country is about. if they had said so much as that, it would have been a story for 24 hours. maybe trump said what he wanted to say. the smoldering embers of the players who are protesting, i believe that would have eventually petered out and would have gone in other directions. instead now it's like a direct challenge to players. are you going to do something? are you going to stay in the locker room? that's going to be the story week one of the season. who is going to protest? and it doesn't only put the players on the spot. it puts some of the owners on the spot as well, like christopher johnsson, the owner of the new york jets who said he would pay the fines of any player that protests during the
anthem. ironically christopher johnson's brother is trump's ambassador to the united kingdom. just another one of the twisted trumpian things here. 29s' laid out a challenge to individual owners and players about whether they're going to be bullied and one thing about nfl players they do not like to be bullied. >> you guys have tied my brain in a knot. i'm holding you over as punishment and reward. stick through the break with us. up next i want to get all your reaction to a brand new poll about what americans think during the anthem is unpatriotic. the answer might surprise you. >> richard lui here in msnbc. we're breaking into normal programming because of this breaking news coming out of the statue of liberty. at the moment you can see on the screen on your left, at the moment what the officials are watching is a protester that has climbed up and made him or herself -- brought themselves up to the base of the statue of liberty. you have a close-upshot right
now. the very base at the moment, we don't understand necessarily what the protest is. but protester has made it to the top of the base of the statue of liberty. jim kavanagh, msnbc law enforcement analyst, joins us on the phone right now. and, jim, what we saw earlier when we were monitoring this video was that several law enforcement officials were there engaging with this protester. the protester seems to be relaxing or resting there at the base, at the very foot of the statue of liberty. and they handed a bottle, what looked to be a bottle of water to that individual. what might be happening right now and from your sources, what have you learned about this particular case? >> reporter: well, it would be just a slow roll negotiation, you know, with him, richard. they don't want to get in a grappling fight at that height at the base of the statue. and he apparently not hurting
anybody. it's a protest, you know, immigration protest against i.c.e. or abolish i.c.e., whatever his message was. and the united states park police, which is in charge of this statue of liberty security, they're the police there, the federal service police, they're very good, great force, you know, they patrol the capital beltway in washington -- sorry, the george washington parkway. they patrol the statue. they patrol in san francisco. it's some federal properties there. >> he's moving now, jim. we're watching this as what happened earlier, several people hanging a banner that as you so well put, abolish i.c.e. this goes back to the reunification that may or may not be happening at the border at the moment, that controversy between the trump administration and those who are fighting for reunification and objected to the policy, the zero-tolerance policy. we're watching live pictures here again from the statue of liberty. this as we understand, there
have been several who have been arrested. six people taken into custody we believe today on this july 4th. and again, a protester still remains at the base of the statue of liberty at this hour. we'll continue to watch the developments here happening in new york city on this july 4th there at the base of the statue of liberty. stay with us right here on msnbc. jim kavanagh, thank you for your assistance and your expertise. for now, back to regular programming. "deadline white house" with nicoleual as. -- nicolle wallace. >> we're back. warren, dave and willie are still here. let me put a polyp for all of you. you first, willie. this is quinnipiac poll. asking are nfl players who kneel in protest during the national anthem unpatriot ilk? 35% said yes. 58% said no. this sort of loosely tracks what
donald trump's approval ratings, higher than 35%. how perilous is it for the nfl to sort of track with the political opinions in the country? re: you know, i don't know. it's tough because i have talked to a lot of players in the locker room who have dealt with the issue regarding the anthem last year. you know, it comes across as if it's a black and white thing. it really is bigger than that. it's becoming a black on black thing. now you have ball players in the locker room who say, you know what, you're a brother, you're an hispanic man. how come you're not as passionate about this issue as you should be? that fracture divides a team. that's a layer. you have coaches who are minorities who may feel differently than other players or other coaches. it's kind of a fracture that's really, really kind of cut into the thread of the game itself. so, now when you take into politics, now you're pushing away from the field. now you're questioning guy's intelligence, their morale, the temperature what the country is going through.
that sparks other things. the locker room, like to warren knows as anybody, the locker room is kind of the world in itself. it's a microcosm. when you see people maybe not who look the same as you but don't necessarily have the same passion or see things through your lens, that causes lack of trust. that permeates onto the field. right now the league is going through something. i don't know if they've been prepared for it or they can fix. this is bigger than the game. that is the core. >> warren, i saw you nodding. let me ask you of the to respond to that. >> one thing that is really hypocritical, talk about having the players not being able to kneel and they have to stand at attention for the flag and all of that. but you've got probably 10,000 fans that are in line getting hot dogs. 10,000 fans getting beers or smoking cigarettes or in the rest room. they're not standing for the national anthem, so why should the players have to stand for it if they have something that they really feel fashion at about that they think is going to help
all of society? so that's something that really bugs me about this whole situation. if you're going to make the players stand, make everybody stand. close the concession stands. make everybody be in the stands and do the same thing, or are those people being unpatriotic because they're not standing? why is it just the players being unpatriotic because they're not standing? >> dave, it's a great point. it gets to the aspect that is beyond a racial issue that some players feel like they're there to, you know, entertain or dance, that they're being treated like commodities who don't have the same liberty as the person on line for a hot dog. >> exactly, bodies, not minds. i think we can't separate it from wlat players have been kneeling for, which is fighting racial inequity and police brutality. imagine if colin kaepernick the first time he said he was doing it for the troops, would anybody
call it disrespectful? i'm doing this for the people ov overseas who can't be in the stadium. it's the issue that rubbed donald trump and his base the wrong way. donald trump has no plan to talk about the issue. he demon izes. players. we're broadcasting july 4th. i don't think we're paying enough to the fact there is no freedom to dissent whether you agree or disagree with that. 9 fact we have a president who thinks people should get fired or even leave the country if they don't believe in dissent is extremely troubling. >> it is an extraordinary time. dave, willie and warren, please promise me you'll come back. i love talking to you. thank you so much. up next, celebrating america in the age of trump. i did mom. wanna try it? yes. it intensely moisturizes your hair and scalp and keeps you flake free. manolo? look at my soft hair. i should be in the shot now too. try head and shoulders two in one.
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. we are back. weigh in on the conversation we have been having about nfl players and what warren moon said is striking, about the president putting gasoline on a fire that was usually smoldering out. >> yeah. that's exactly what it is. it was an elective controversy for him. it was something that appeals to his base, which is we know now a year-and-a-half into this that that's where he sees his document he doesn't see it to all of us. he doesn't see it to the country as a whole. but he sees it to those who already support him. so he delivers to them as much
as he can, both substantively and stylistically and this is the ultimate stylistic controversy. he said a minute ago that it's just as american to protest as it is to pledge and that's what makes america hard. it's what makes america worth fighting for. >> do you think there is a direct line between the president has weaponized patriotism and tried to wrap that very american right to peacefully protest around something unpatriotic or our anti-troop? we got poll numbers that show people's sense of patriotism. is it an all time low? >> i do. i think you -- people believe in the country both as an ideal as a reality. we are the only country in the world founded on an idea, 250 years ago, what the founders were working towards. they didn't get there. we haven't gotten there yet. so they're working toward this
idea that we were not about race, ethnicity, religion. we were about liberty. we were about this idea that the world had shifted from being focused on kings and popes and prelots to focused on us. >> that shift being organizet vertically to harrisally is in many ways the embodiment of the american revolution. so few feel, if you are looking culturally at a president who seems more interested in edividing than unifying, believing in pointing his arms. why would you believe in that problem in the. >> if you take the past couple weeks, we have seen the infants taken away from their mothers and muslims upheld. you described our aims towards liberty. >> yeah, i was thinking about president reagan this week, who was such a master at these
things. when he reopened the statue of liberty, everybody should go because they probably don't have enough to do on a day like this they should go and look at his speeches. he gave two speeches around the fourth of july the reopening of ellis island and he talked about how, as he put it in a later speech, that we were all pilgrims from places hurdling through the darkness towards home. that's where we are at our best. i promise history tolles tells us that's what it will be again. >> john meacham, "chicken soup for the american soul" thank you for spending time with us. we'll be right back.
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hour. jennifer reuben, charlie sykes. billy maxwell, that does it for this hour. i'm nicole wallace. mtp daily starts right now. yep, it's wednesday. we're talking politics and patriotism on this fourth of july. a big happy fourth of july to everybody. i'm chuck todd here in walk. welcome to a special edition of "mtp daily." today is a day when many of us celebrate the birth of our nation, firing up the grill, popping open a beer or taking in a blockbuster or watching fireworks with the family. it's also a day when a lot of folks think of