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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  July 18, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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norm that gives democracy meaning. >> i hold both countries responsible. i think that the united states has been foolish. i think we've all been foolish. >> from south africa to europe, the world was presented with two very different visions of american presidents over the last several days. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it's wednesday july 18th. joe and mika are off today. i'm willie geist alongside nbc news national political reporter heidi prprzybilla, mike barnicl and msnbc contributor eddie glove jr., and nick compasori and dean of the fletcher school of law and diplomacy at tufts universities and chief diplomacy analyst for nbc news and msnbc retired four-star admiral.
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good morning, welcome. mike, first impressions as you watched that one-minute clip or so of the president speaking around the 100th birthday celebration for nelson mandela and the president making his way across europe last week? >> rewrite the constitution and have another president take over right now. look, this is the distortion of, in daily life in american politics, it's beyond the realm and thankfully former president obama pointed out realities we all live under right now. >> president trump attempting to walk back statements from helsinki where he sided with the russian state over the u.s. government and its intelligence services regarding moscow's interference in the american political system. take a look at what the president said standing next to vladimir putin and then his comments yesterday at the white house. >> my people came to me, dan coats came to me, and some others. they said, they think it's russia. i have president putin.
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he just said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be. >> i thought that i made myself very clear by having just reviewed the transcript. it should have been obvious. i thought it would be obvious, but i would like to clarify just in case it wasn't. in a key sentence in my remarks i said the word "would" instead of "wouldn't." the sentence should have been i don't see any reason why i wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be russia. so -- just to treatment. i said the word "would" instead of "wouldn't" and the sentence should have been, and i thought it would be maybe a little bit unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video. the sentence should have been, "i don't see any reason why it wouldn't be russia." sort of a double negative. so you could put that in and i think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.
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>> i have great confidence in my intelligence people, but i will tell you that president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> -- full faith and support for america's intelligence agencies. i have a full faith in our intelligence agencies. whoops. they just turned off the lights nap must be the intelligence as the. >> i accept our intelligence community's conclusion that russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. could be other people, also. a lot of people out there. >> we'll get into that in a moment. quickly, the president just tweet add moment ago this, "so many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in helsinki. putin i'd discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. we got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted
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to see a boxing match. big results will come." last night, "the meeting between president putin and myself was a great success except in the fake media." these comments came within 24 hours after his press conference with putin and did not try to clarify remarks in postsummit tweets nor back down in the interviews immediately after the summit. meanwhile, a shot of the statement the president was reading shows he wrote this -- "there was no collusion." meanwhile, nbc news has reporting how that all came to be and who pressured the president to step out and make that statement yesterday including the vice president, the secretary of state. heidi, the president's statement yesterday that this was a misstatement, that it was a word problem sort of ignores everything else that happened on the stage in that press conference. ignores the fact he didn't say anything about it for 24 hours. even as he saw the coverage of what was happening. if you believed what he said
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yesterday, this was a question of a misplaced word, kind of feel bad for you. >> wow. remember in grade school you messed up on a word, tuk at the lumpy whiteout and whited it over, you can't do that here, because it's not just one word. it was the entire context of what he said. >> right. >> it was the trashing of institutions. it was also saying that putin had a great idea to potentially combine our investigation and have bob mueller go to russia to give them information on what his investigation is all about. so i think anybody who watched the president's news conference which was essentially the entire world, would know that you can't just hit delete on a single word and change the entire tone and context of that news conference. >> eddie, also he read from that statement sort of head down, reading prepared remarks, in the moment he did ad-lib, yes, it was russia, they did meddle in the election. it could be other people.
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a lot of people out there. has to add that caveat which undermines what he said early early. >> yeah. and rich sting'engel looked lik was reading a hostage note rather than apologizing. this analogy, instead of getting a mulligan he moved his ball into full view, into a better lie. he's shameless. he doesn't seem in any serious way, right, to try to take account of what he actually did, and what i'm really interested in is the way in which republican, fellow republicans have simply failed to hold him to account. >> admiral, we're talking about the rhetoric involved and change of tenses, and things like that, and double negatives. yet the reality is that these two men, vladimir putin and donald trump, sat behind closed doors for two hours and discussed things that are potentially lethal to the future not only of the european
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alliance and united states-soviet relationship but that whole region. peace and missiles and the mismatch between the two men. >> yeah, mike. you know, we were talking earlier about this contrast between president obama and president trump, and i'm going to -- i'm going to rattle the ghost of another president. that's president reagan. we're also talking about other audiences. think about europe, how this is being received there, and think back to ronald reagan standing at the berlin wall saying, mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. instead today we have a president who supposedly goes in a secret room, a little quiet room, with nobody there but a couple translators and that's where he really tells vladimir putin, hey, you're interference in our election was wrong. are we really supposed to believe that? and by the way, i thought the worst moment of the press conference was actually when vladimir putin flipped the soccer ball to the president of
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the united states. it reminded me of the scene in "castaway" tom hanks starts talking to his volleyball. now we've got ivan the soccer ball in the white house. it's a bad day for the american presidency. >> so as heidi mentioned, this wasn't about one line or one word. this was about the full context of the president's press conference with vladimir putin. to believe what the president said yesterday you'd have to discount everything else he said during that news conference from his withering attack on the justice department and the fbi for investigating his campaign's ties to russia to putin "incredible offer to help with the investigation," to latching out at those who suggested russian meddling was in any way responsible for his victory for the debunking of the dnc and hillary clinton's 33,000 missing e-mails. >> i do feel that we have both made some mistakes. i think that the, the probe is a
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disaster for our country. i think it's kept us apart. it's kept us separated. there was no collusion at all. everybody knows it. >> what he did is an incredible offer. he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. i think that's an incredible offer. okay? >> that was a clean campaign. i beat hillary clinton easily and frankly we beat letteher, am not saying from the standpoint, we won that race and it's a shame there could be even a little bit of a cloud over that. people know that, people understand it, but the main thing and we discussed this also. zero collusion. the electoral college is much more advantageous for democrats, as you know, than it is to republicans. we won the electoral college by a lot. 306-223, i believe.
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>> you have groups that are wondering why the fbi never took the server. why haven't they taken the server? where is the server? what is the server saying? i really do want to see the server. what happened to the server? >> so, nick, obviously the president take as question directly where he's presented with the opportunity to confront president putin standing five feet away from him and turns it into an old speech he's given many, many times about servers, about hillary clinton, about the pakistani man with the server and everything else, the president brings up. did he do anything yesterday to help himself? with that clarification? >> wait. quick though, guys. correct this. they have the server! they've had the server forever. they just don't have the physical copy of it. they have an actual copy of it, though, because we have more than floppy discs in the era of digital tht exactly. what we saw yesterday in politics is called a walk back. the president managed to do the walk back during the walk back in the walk back.
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he had to say, could have been somebody else and it was like watching a kid in front of a blackboard at school being forced by his teacher to say something he didn't believe or want to say. there has really never been a performance i think in american politics that is like it, and you can only imagine why. he seems to have a particular personal interest here that is separate from the white house interest, but is dovetailing with putin's interest on the investigation. >> it's fear. >> he -- he and putin are on the same page about the russia probe. they both have an interest in stopping it and discrediting it and that is a striking fooct ac me. >> we've seen this before. the president says something inflammatory, offensive. is pushed into a corner so he makes an apology he reads from a piece of paper. and then the next day, which is today now, in this story, he resents that he's not being rewarded and thanked for his
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great apology and lashes out again. >> exactly. look, there are several pieces to this. the most important piece is the one that nick referred to, which is ultimately our relationship with russia and with putin. it's clear from everything he said and has done that there's something going on between these two guys which is not really in our national interest. the "wall street journal" today had an editorial summarizing to your point, maybe, where the republicans are. which was sort of grudgingly accepted trump's apology with a lot of, you know, sort of shrugs of the shoulder and then went on to list all the issues between us and russia still unresolved about alarms and interference in other countries and things like that. so i don't think this changes anything about the fundamental issue of trump's relationship with putin, which is a scary, scary state of affairs. >> and getting into some reporting on this, but "vanlt"v fair" reporting chief of staff
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called around gave the green light for republican leadership to come out, criticize the president hoping to push president trump into a revision, apology, some kind of clairification. extraordinary for a chief of staff to do that. >> well, i think this is different than other times that president trump has said things that have been inflammatory that have been reckless. in part you see it reflected in the number of republicans that have come out and condemned it. to your point earlier, reminds me of the reaction to charlottesville. even many folk whose tend to be supportive of the president, folks like newt gingrich, a really big supporter of the president coming out saying, whoa, whoa, whoa. he needs to clarify this. i think it's because for the most part, when the president does something reckless he's criticized by democrats, by the media, by a certain subset of republicans that are comfortable criticizing him, but if it doesn't go beyond that trump feels pretty confident he can weather the storm. his job approval numbers don't
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move that much. i think the difference here is because you saw so many folks from capitol hill saying, this is wrong, that's why you got to the hostage tape from yesterday. because this is different. this is not just about being reckless and not just about being offensive or saying something, misspeaking, not speaking like a politician. this is about weakness, and donald trump, a core brand attribute of his is, i am strong. i will be strong for america. strong is not what we got in helsinki. that's why you saw more republicans bleeding off, and that is why if that reporting is correct about the white house chief of staff, he was able, i believe, to feel he could go to the hill and say, give me cover so that i can walk in to the president's office and tell him you need to walk this back. >> in this case it wasn't the usual republicans willing to be critical of president trump. john mccain, jeff flake, bob corker and the like, the leadership pe reluctant to criticize the president. the question, a one-day
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criticism to get that he did yesterday, wash they're hand say, see, we were openly critical of the president on this, or follow on and make sure that russia and the president are held to account when 2 comes to this story? >> if our previous experience is any indication what they'll do, this is a one off. they're it flnot going to do mu after this. right? it's important to understand that republicans after charlottesville didn't want to be marked with racism. didn't want to be seen as racist and in this instance they don't want to be seen at unpate aurio. in this instance have a visceral reaction to trump's comments. what will follow is different. soon as senate majority leader mcconnell in the first press conference said something about russia, he immediately pivoted to the judges. right? lindsey graham, missed opportunity. didn't appreciate it. and then marco rubio, clarified matters now we need to get to x,
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y and z, they're already pivoting. this is going to be business as usual. >> heidi, you cover the capitol closely. bob corker yesterday, obviously on his way out of washington, said the dam is finally breaking. talking about the trump presidency and said, thankfully. is there any indication that that's actually true? or do you feel like republicans have gotten on the record critical of the president on this issue and now ready to move on? >> don't look at me like that, eddiesoap eddie. eddie made an important point. a distinction between the responses. saw strong responses by members mike senator john mccain, who said this is awful. it's humiliating, and then you saw the leadership. the leadership simply said that they had confidence in u.s. intelligence agencies. i think we can all agree that is not a direct rebuke of the president. that said, i do think that there is definitely a heightened awareness and commitment on the hill to try and make some measures and movement on election security. we will see that in the house.
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we will see that in the senate. i think what we should all keep our eyes on right now is the fact in the house there's, right now, an amendment to actually water down sanctions on russia. they're going to be going into a conference committee this week with the senate. keep your eye on that. that is a big deal that allows russia to continue to sell military grade hardware to other countries, and they make a lot of money off of that. >> hard to see how they could keep going with that in the context of what happened this week. sit tight. ed merri admiral, want to talk to be awe comments the president made to fox. and still ahead on "morning joe," president trump again attacking the leadership of montenegro. we'll tell you why he's singling out that nation and suggesting somehow it could be responsible for starting world war iii. we'll get the admiral's take on that. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. you're headed down the highway when the guy in front
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so admiral stavridis, led nato. your remarks. regarding the purpose of nato, mutual defense. what the president said in a fox interview that aired last night, shot right after the summit with vladimir putin in helsinki. >> so -- >> membership and nato obligates to defend any other member that's attack. why should my son go to mo montenegro to attack? >> i've asked the same question. it's a tiny country with strong people. >> and albania. >> very strong people. very aggressive people. they may get aggressive and congratulations. you're in world war iii. now i understand that the -- but that's the way it was set up. don't forget, i just got here a little more than a year and a half ago. >> right. >> but i took over the
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conversation three or four days ago and said, you have to pay. you have to pay, and the secretary-general said that because of president trump last year we had an additional $44 billion, with a b, bill dollars raised for nato. this year it will be much more than that, and the countries all agreed. it was very unfair. they're not paying. nome were we paying for most of it, they weren't paying and we're protecting them. add that to your little equation on mont neg grro. the numbers weren't true. go to the big picture here. admiral stavridis, lay out for people and perhaps the president if he's watching today why article 5 is important? >> let me answer carlson tucker's question. number one, because it's a treaty. we've made an international agreement. we have an obligation and it stood in place for 70 years. number two, by defending montenegro, we buy the partnership of 28 nations that
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collectively have 52% of the world's gdp, and by the way, the europeans have the second largest defense budget in the world after the united states. bigger than china's and bigger than russia's, and thirdly and maybe most importantly, because they went with us to iraq, to libya, to the balkans, to afghanistan. when i was a nato commander i signed sadly thousands of letters of condolence, about third of them, to europeans who died fighting because the united states has been attacked. the only time article 5 has been invoked was after 9/11. we were the beneficiaries of that. i think that's a pretty good equation in terms of nato. >> so admiral stavridis, what's the implication of the president of the united states, the most important and powerful member of nato coming out publicly and wering the fundamentals of nato? asking why it exists and why
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america should be paying so much money into it? >> the big beneficiary is the guy who flipped the soccer ball to the president. that's vladimir putin, because that creaking sound you're hearing is the transatlantic bridge between the united states, canada and our european allies, and it's creaking under pressure from donald trump. that's a very bad place for the united states of america to be, because in europe we find our greatest pool of allies, partners and friends. and to walk away from that is a big mistake. that's the strategic, willie. and tactically, think about those young american fighter pilots. those destroyer drivers on the borders of the alliance that are being pushed on by russia every single day. what's in their head when they hear the president of the united states say that alliance that you're operating in defense of is really kind of irrelevant. it's a bad deal. so it's bad strategically, bad tactically for our military and
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not good geopolitics. >> on a more positive note, you wrote the cover story for the current issue of "time" magazine and write why democracy are preveal. why did you feel the need to write this and where do you get your optimism? >> the reason to write it is, of course, the rise of authoritarianism and we heard barack obama yesterday in south africa talk eloquently about the return of strong men. president xi in china, putin in russia. what's happening in turkey, in hungary. somewhat in poland. we see these powerful authoritarian regimes rising, but my bet, willie is that history is on our side. democracy will continue with some starts and stops, but it will continue to prevail. secondly, human nature is on our side. everyone in the end about hoar s having a boss. look what's happening in ethiopia? strong prime minister elected
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bringing that nigs a new understanding. 110 million people, colombia coming off a major insurgency. there are big democratic movements happening, armenia, tiny country, but democracy will prevail n prevail. that was the point of the article. cautious optimism. we have to make sure it prevails but in the end optimism. >> it's heidi. we have a president under investigation. a campaign that is under investigation for receiving help from the government of a former kgb agent and have that president now meeting alone, two hours, no notetakers. how unusual is that, and what are the possibilities of what could have happened in that two-hour meeting we need to get to the bottom of? >> unprecedented in terms of any kind of previous example of this. i've been to many, many summits. you just don't see that level of secrecy surrounding two
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presidents. occasionally two heads of state or three heads of state will go off quiet and have a conversation, but unprecedented at a summit, u.s./russia to go that quiet, that dark two hours. in terms of what happened there, the russians have a recording. there was a translator in the room. this is knowable information. what worries me, heidi, at the moment it is knowable only in russia, where i guarantee you they have a word for word transcript of everything that happened. when you put into perspective's president's kind of looseness with conversation, you can only imagine what was said. that becomes kind of a, a bit of a something the russians can hold over the president's head assuming they don't already have something, which one would start to imagine they do. so very dangerous waters ahead. >> admiral james stavridis, thank you, as always for your
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perspective and we'll of course read your piece "democracy will prevail" the cover of "time" magazine. >> thanks. coming up, cleanup on aisle trump. looking back at some of the president's attempted do-observers and axios's co-founder about the republican response to this latest walk back. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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yesterday's attempted walkback of comments standing next to president vladimir putin is not the first time we've seen president trump in damage control mode. take his explanation for not rejecting comments of david duke of the kkk. >> will you condemn david duke and say you don't want his vote or that of other white spremists in this election? >> judgment so you understand, i don't know understand about david duke. okay? >> i'm just talking about david duke and the ku klux klan here? >> honestly, i don't know david duke. >> he says i'm just talking about david duke and the ku klux klan here and you say honestly i don't know david duke. >> let me tell you, i'm sitting in a house in florida with a very bad earpiece they gave me and you could hardly hear what
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he was saying. >> except he repeated david duke's name in his answer to jake tapper or the president's 360 on who deserved blame in charlottesville. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. on many sides. >> as i said on saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. it has no place in america. >> you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very vile thean violent and nobo say that. i'll say it right now. >> i think there was blame on both side. >> but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. >> i only tell you this. there are two sides to a story. >> that was last summer after
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charlottesville, then you talk how he waited and reportedly tested the waters before reacting to his reported s-hole countries comment. >> president trump slams immigrants from, and these are his words, s-hole countries. >> here's the thing. the white house is not denying it. >> according to you are 0 white house correspondents, "two sources close to the administration told nbc news, trump worked the phones thursday night calling friends and allies outside the white house to gauge reaction to fallout from the blank-hole comments. one source characterized trump seeking reassurance another source said the president sought insight how the episode might resonate among his base of supporters." >> 15 # hours after the "washington post" published a story, trump is denying that he used those words, joining us now, co-founder of axios, mike allen, looking at how republicans are reacting to president trump's cleanup efforts. good morning. good to see you.
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>> good morning. >> look at charlottesville, the president's term included the term "on both sides." yesterday, yes, i agree with my intelligences services that russia meddled in the 2016 election. >> going out on a limb there. >> the ad-lib was, could be other people. a lot of people, other people out there. he never gives you a clean explanation or a clean apology or a clean clarification for what he meant. >> of course not. because he doesn't believe it. >> right. >> and you see this behind the scenes, the staff agrees what they're going to say and he goes out and it's his way of rebelling. it's his way of saying, i'm doing this, because i have to, but i'm going to take it back, and i can tell you lawmakers we talk to, not a single one of them believes that he said "would" when he meant "wouldn't" and behind the scenes will tell you his comments aren't fathomable, they're un-american, but as we've seen, they won't go on-screen to say it. the only people saying it, ones
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that are leaving the stage. >> believe him the first time. what he actually thinks before forced to walk it back. >> that's right. >> what's the cumulative effect of this, the kind of repeated lying? the repeated walk back? for american democracy generally. what do you think is the effect of all of this? >> distortion force field barnicle talked about top of the show. that you get republican lawmakers who come out and they will barely say that they disagree or say the least that they have to, and we learned that the reason that he went out and did this turnaround, clean up, was that there were, there would be a little bit more from the hill. some of the people had started to speak up just after they did after charlottesville. they said there could be more of that. his sole audience yesterday was the hill. that's why he took it back and why when we see, his tweet this morning. he doesn't believe it.
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>> kristen solstice anderson, a communication strategy. bill shine knew in the communication shop formerly of fox news and seems they got in a room together and decided here's how we'll explain this one after 24 hours saying nothing. it's going to be that you've misspoke on one word and that you were misunderstood, that you didn't conjugate a verb the way you meant to conjugate a verb. is that the best they can do and really what the white house thought would convince the american public that, yes, the president of the united states does believe that putin is a bad guy who meddled in our election? >> there's a slice of trump's base that no matter what the explanation had been would have agreed with it. wom have bought it, said, great. he's put this matter to bed. i think there is another slice of people they were trying to speak to, which are those who believe that trump is prone to misspeaking. that's not a hard thing to believe. right? so in a way, they're trying to lean into a belief that already
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exists out there among people, both who like and dislike the president, which is that he is sometimes prone to saying things that are not quite the eloquent way you'd want to say them. because even those who really oppose the president are willing to believe that, i suspect that's why they thought this was the best communication strategy. lean into something people already believe about the president to try to make them believe something that is frankly hard to believe. >> and now we're seeing already today the president is tweeting again saying, the media kind of pushed me into this. they wanted to see a boxing match and tweeting about nato. a few moments ago he tweeted this -- while the nato meeting in brussels was an acknowledged triumph with billions of dollars more being put up by member countries at a 23569er pace, the meeting with russia may prove to be in the long run an even greater success. many positive things come out of that meeting. russia has agreed to help with north korea where relationships with us are very goodened a the
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process is moving along. there is no rush. sanctions remain. big benefits and exciting future for north korea at the end of the process. so he hopscotched from nato to russia to north korea there. steve radner, charts with you. fact check. going back to what we heard him say to tucker carlson an nato countries and the $14 billion number he's touting he delivered? >> he keeps making this stuff up. saying it since the summit. the best evidence why it's not true is what macron of france said immediately after trump said it. i wrote the words down. he said the communique is clear. it reaffirms our commitment to 2% in 2024. that is all. and then with respect to trump's claim that the u.s. bears the vast burden of nato, he confuses what countries spend on defense themselves versus what nato spends. we only contribute 22% of nato's actual budget. >> he says it's 90%.
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91%. >> where he gets that number is a mystery. >> to be clear, a pledge from nato countries as he left brussels to live up to their 2% commitment and not to pay more than they already play? >> a pledge to do what he they said they already said they would do. if you call that a pledge, call it a pledge. apropos that, seemed like a good day to talk about trump's lies in general. we had very good help from the folks at the toronto star. i want to get the numbers right, who went through all 1million 340,300 words trump tweeted or spoken since inauguration. >> sounds fun. >> i assume computer help here and they found 1,929 statements involves 68,928 words. interesting about it you see on the chart on the screen now, track the trend what he says, week by week, the light gray bars in the back how many false claims or lies he said each week. most interesting line is the red
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line that goes across the middle that shows the trend in's what he's been saying. at the beginning of his administration he was in the eight liesper week category here and today, 18 months in to his administration in the 40 lies category here and then of course you see that the last few weeks tough for him. he's been lying even more. >> wow. >> steve, can i ask. are these based on -- on figures he stated as fact that weren't fact? he also says things like in one of these tweets, an acknowledged fact brussels went well. that's not necessarily -- >> not counting that. in fact, trying to, reasonably -- "washington post" had a similar analysis, 3,251 lies. this is a pretty tight group of lies. you might say, well, the number of lies is rising because he's talking more. talk more, lie more. compare the amount of lies to how much he talks, you see that the number of lies per word is
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also going up. and so at the beginning of his term, about, again, focus on the red line. 2% of his words were part of a lie and by the end of june, he was up to 8.5% of his words were part of a lie. and so he is lying more and more even as he talks more and more, the proportion of lies is still going up. and then lastly we can look at, look at where these lies are occurring and so you can start with speeches. 648 speeches. you may say, speeches are written out. how can there be lies in there? either they're not fact checked or this is extemporaneous stuff he's throwing in there and the other thing interesting with the interviews. only given about 60 interviews. half with fox. and he's lied an average of 6.5 times per interview. >> so nick compasori, you look at this and's hard to commute
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the words and all the rest of it, but he repeats a lot of them too. extraordinary. thinking about his line he was the first republican to win the state of wisconsin ignoring ronald reagan, of course, and in '84 saying reagan only lost wisconsin. he knows it's false. says it again and says it again? >> you know, fact we can even have this segment -- >> right. >> the fact we can even do a statistical analysis by a week of how often he lies is a terrible and tragic commentary on the presidency. and i -- i can't even have fun with it. it's -- it's terrible. and when i think about if you compound that with the fact that his distortion bubble, as mike calls it, drags everyone in his party along with it. you have a recipe for a real crackup in american politics. he is moving them off a commitment to facts, but also moving them off their own policies. he's going to have people saying
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collusion is actually fine. if mueller comes out in six months and says that there's actually a conspiracy, they're going to be people in bars in pennsylvania saying, you know what? it's not so bad. clinton was really bad. it was worth beating her. he is going to pull everything in that direction. >> this is entirely consistent with what we know about human behavior which is that with any kind of habit or addiction, if it isn't addressed if it isn't called out, if it isn't treated it gets worse. it's like that with adults. it's like that with children, and there's no one calling him out other than the media who he feels he's already handedly discredited. >> we've seen the point of that walk back, right, as mike put it, was to give members of congress and his party just a fig leaf to say, you know what? it's over. we saw that yesterday. people like senator portman said, i take him at his word. case closes. the only purpose to that. it wasn't for the public or us.
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it was for congress and it worked. >> not just that he gets away with it, he's rewarded for it. why you see the behavior going up. the hold in his party doesn't change his hold on his base and the people in any place where there's a -- doesn't change. that's why you see this and there's no one around him who can say, you just can't say that. or and the reason we see those hats, there isn't anyone around him who can say, like, this is the speech we're going to stick to it. he goes out, they can have something in the prompter but he goes out and says what he wants to and a real change that we've noticed in the last few months. they don't even try to explain anymore. the staff just says, it's trump. and you ask what he's going to do, they say, i don't know. >> his argument, kristin, this is how i got elected. trump being trump. seems he's convinced many handlers and aides that's the best way to go?
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>> another reason we haven't talked about quite yet that folks on capitol hill have not been as vocal about pushing back against all of these times when the president says something that is provably false is because i think there are a lot of republicans on the hill that may disagree with the president on trade. may be horrified where he stands on russia. all of these positionstakes are the bounds of orthodoxy, they want to be able to hopefully influence this president. they view someone like a jeff flake or a bob corker as no longer having the opportunity to speak to the president and say, mr. president, you've got it wrong on trade. mr. president, you've got it wrong on russia. where if they stay silent, if they say, fine, take him at his word move on they preserve that ability, i believe they think they preserve that ability to be able to go to the white house and say, mr. president, i think you should do this differently, to be able to contact him privately or what have you. so i think that's another important thing to bear in mind. i think they just not only politically don't view it as
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beneficial to them to criticize the president because it's not going to change voters' minds, but i think they want to preserve the ability to try to change trump's mind even if that has not proven terribly successful in the past. >> they've tried it. thinking about the case of tariffs. gone on the record how bad tariffs are and the president goes through with his tariffs anyway because in his gut he believes they're right. thank you all very much. thank you for talking about axios as we do every day. coming up, latest reporting on the fallout after helsinki including the private conversations that led to yesterday's walk back. that reporting is next on "morning joe."
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♪ there was something else going on in d.c. last night, other than the president's walkback. the hometown hero at the mlb
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all-star game, bryce harper. players could take their self phone out on the field. as for the games, look at this. aaron judge, yankees' superstar gets it going with a home run. second inning, solo shot to left center field. mike trout, the best player in baseball in the next inning, he goes deep, home run of his own. the national league answered in the top of the third. mike, these were three of ten home runs hit last night. the american league eventually won the game in ten innings. what did you think? >> back-to-back home runs in the tenth inning followed by home run by joey votto in the bottom of the tenth inning. the all-star game used to be a midsummer spectacle. it's no longer that big a deal, but still a fairly big deal. unfortunately for baseball fans this game ended well after
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midnight. and you can't keep doing that, baseball. baseball, you can't keep doing it. >> well, if you're raising -- here is the good news f you're raising a 9-year-old yankee fan, your guy hits a home run in the second inning, send him to bed. >> dvr it. >> red sox over the yankees. what does the second half of the season look like? >> the second half of the season, my god, willie, we have never needed baseball more. we need it to take our minds off the daily developments in washington, the scandalous developments in washington from the oval office. we need baseball. we need to be n in the thick of a pennant race, red sox/yankees, from now until columbus day when the playoffs will have been well under way, the national league, you have a major baseball star going from the baltimore orioles i guess to the los angeles
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dodgers later today. >> manny machado. >> we need it it. we need that pressure valve to be popped open and little relief with major league baseball. >> and the yankees' need a starting pitcher the way america needs baseball. >> brian cashman is pretty good at what he does. coming up, we'll talk to the top democrat on the senate foreign relations committee bob menendez. plus, george will joins us new sharply-worded op-ed flying across the internet yesterday titled this sad, embarrassing wreck of a man talking about the president of the united states in the washington post. we have new reporting on the president's walkback which he immediately walked back by going off script. "morning joe" is coming right back. >> i have president putin, he just said it's not russia. i will say this, i don't see any reason why it would be. >> strike that. reverse it. >> the sentence should have been i don't see any reason why it
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wouldn't be russia. sort of a double negative. >> yeah, that's the ticket. when did you see the sign? when i needed to jumpstart sales. build attendance for an event. help people find their way. fastsigns designed new directional signage. and got them back on track. get started at fastsigns.com. and got them back on track. do you want the same tools and seamless experience across web and tablet? yes? great! then you're ready for power e*trade. the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. sweet!
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>> so it is true. >> a double negative. >> a double negative. >> that sounds like a confession to me. it has led to proof positive. i'm afraid you gave yourself away. >> are you trying to make me look stupid in front of the other guests? >> you don't need any help from me, sir. >> someone on our staff knows the movie "clue" that well. i want a badge number, i want it all who that employee is. member of our staff in that control room. welcome back to "morning joe." it is wednesday, july 18th. joe and mika have the morning off. i'm willie geist. still with us, heidi przybyla, mike barnacle, eddie glove jr., eugene robinson, noah rothman and robert costa. welcome, gentlemen, good see
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you. >> also, jake sherman. before we get into some of these sound bites and we'll play the president's walkback that we were talking about this morning. bob costa, let me go to you quickly and tell you how this came together yesterday. we have nbc news reporting says mike pompeo, vice president pence pushed the president to make some clarification. we heard from gabe sherman that john kelly called around capitol hill giving permission to republican leadership to publicly criticize the president hoping to push him toward what we saw yesterday. what does your reporting tell you? >> i was at the capital all day yesterday. part of the pressure really came from republican lawmakers. they wanted to have some kind of political cover, something they could point to and say that the president has changed his position, at least slightly. the president was told this by white house chief of staff john kelly who made those calls along with other top aides. and they eventually pushed the president to walk back stephen miller and other aides were involved in drafting a statement. >> so how extraordinary is it in
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your experience, bob costa, have a white house chief of staff making phone calls around capitol hill saying step out to a bank of microphones and criticize what the president did yesterday abroad? >> that has been contested by some white house aides that john kelly, the chief of staff, actually asked people to contest the president. the way it was characterized to me by people very much familiar with the calls by the chief of staff is he believes republicans had to speak out yesterday so the president was aware of how badly the party had broken from him. sometimes the president can be seen as someone in a bubble and kelly wanted to make sure that the president was hearing the feedback loud and clear, especially from the critics. >> so robert, no one is more hooked up with the white house than you are. according to your reporting and your instincts, how long do people fear in the white house, how long do they fear it will take for this president to
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become angry and resentful at those who have just criticized him? >> very much likely to be happening soon, mike. one of the things i was looking at yesterday is why have these cabinet members stuck around? many privately say they don't agree with the president's position when it comes to russia but they continue to hang around. roy blunt wants to make sure those cabinet members stay and will be encouraged to stay. the president will fume today if the news coverage is negative. we've seen this instance and instance before he walks back his walkback when it sours. the people around him are really trying to contain the president at this point and do it in a way that doesn't seem like they're containing him. >> let's take a look at what the president said two days ago standing next to russian president vladimir putin and then his comments at the white house clarifying he believes
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yesterday. >> my people came to me, dan coats came to me and some others, they said, they think it's russia. i have president putin, he just said it's not russia. i will say this, i don't see any reason why it would be. i thought i made myself clear by having just reviewed the transcript, it should have been obvious, i thought it would be obvious, but i would like to clarify just in case it wasn't, in a key sentence in my remarks, i said the word would instead of wouldn't. the sentence should have been i don't see any reason why i wouldn't or why it wouldn't be russia. so just to repeat it, i said the word would instead of wouldn't. and the sentence should have been and i thought i would be maybe a little unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video, the sentence should have been, i don't see any reason why it wouldn't be russia. sort of a double negative.
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so, you can put that in and i think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself. i have great confidence in my intelligence people. but i will tell you that president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> full faith and support for america's intelligence agencies, i have a full faith in our intelligence agencies. oops. they just turned off the light. that must have the intelligence agencies. i accept our intelligence community's conclusion that russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. could be other people also. a lot of people out there. >> so that was the president yesterday. in the last hour he's tweeted this -- so many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in helsinki.
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putin and i discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. we got along well, which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match. big results will come. and this from the president last night, he tweeted -- the meeting between president putin and myself was a great success, except in the fake news media. gene robinson, it's almost like he didn't mean the clarification he read off the piece of paper. >> i am stunned. i am stunned. pi first clue that he might not have really meant it is when he walked back the walkback at the end and said it could be a lot of other people. that was a clue to me that he might not have been entirely sincere. this is like who thought this was a brilliant idea to say, you know, wouldn't instead of would is what he meant to say? it's totally unbelievable. he did speak as if he were in a hostage tape. i mean, it was just an amazing thing. and then he took it back at the end. it was just extraordinary.
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>> yeah, no, he did say at the end, could be other people. a lot of people out there. >> there are a lot of people out there. >> there are a lot of people out there. this wasn't the part of this moment this horrible press conference that was truly extraordinary. he has been saying this for years since he's been privy to this intelligence he's been questioning this intelligence. that's not what was shocking. what was shocking is when the president suggested very clearly that the united states asked for this attack. that i blame both countries. >> right. >> the united states and russia for this assault on american national interests. that's stephen f. cohen territory. no republican would dare accept any sort of walkback from that, save some sort of a real, real contrite sort of admission of guilt here. and we haven't gotten that. so the extent to which we're seeing republicans jump off the off ramp they've been handed, it is really the wish fathering the thought. >> it's not just what we saw there, it's the timing of this coming days after we get this very voluminous indictments with
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a lot of specificity. jake, i just want to ask you, we never did get a 9/11 style commission to investigate exactly what happened with the hacking and what we should do about it. we also have in the house attempts to actually zero out funding for state election security. how do you think this is going to land on the hill? what are they going to do about it? >> not much. i think that's plainly obvious. i asked speaker ryan yesterday. first of all i want to clarify a few things. speaker ryan and mitch mcconnell, whether you like them or not, did take a really early and somewhat forceful depending on where your political leanings are position that they don't agree with trump. they don't believe that improved relations the way trump sees them with russia are appropriate. and speaker ryan said yesterday, listen, i reviewed the intelligence. these 12 intelligence folks from russia did hack our election. and i asked him what that being
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said, you stipulated that now, what can you do as a co-equal branch of government to fix this, to make sure that trump doesn't do what you're saying he shouldn't do? and his answer was plainly we could put more sanctions on russia. >> jake, speaker ryan and leader mcconnell just restated the truth, the fact that the intelligence community has assessed what it assessed about russian interference, didn't step out and forcefully criticize the president. >> they did not. >> they did the easy thing. >> they did not, no. practically nobody of serious note -- and i actually don't want to say that, not many people have gone out and criticized the president by name on this. and we could read the tea leaves and think of a lot of different reasons why that happened. tom cotton didn't. lindsey graham did. it depends on who you are and what your political interests are and what your political calculus is why they didn't. there's a big fight -- just one more thing. there's a big fight on the
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horizon, there's a defense authorization bill which includes a loophole in the house to waive kind of a set of penalties on companies that buy arms from russia. the senate does not include that language. we'll see what happens there. we'll see how that is handled in the kind of messy legislative process in the next couple months. >> eddie, you're about the only person i can confess this to. >> okay. >> i'm sick of these mealy statements from mitch mcconnell and paul ryan. paul ryan wanted to make a specifically strong statement about what he truly feels if he does feel it, he would have announced yesterday he's removing devin nunes as chairman of the house intelligence committee, things like that. but any way, i just wanted to get that off my chest. >> i have a preacherly quality so you can confess. it seems to me in this sense, as republicans soft pedal, they try to navigate trump, they become complicit in it all, right? part of my reaction to what happened in helsinki was the
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kind of empty patriotism that has in some ways animated american public conversation. think about the reaction to the football players who were kneeling. think about the justifications around folks who said we need to defend our national borders, we need to defend the integrity of the country and justify separating babies from their parents. here donald trump stands right next to vladimir putin and basically gives up the house. and these folk, the only thing they can do is say the intelligence is okay. the intelligence was right. but they can't go after him. it's just smacks of a kind of hypocrisy. >> why would they not go after him? paul ryan adds at the end of the statement, but of course there was absolutely not a shred of evidence that the russian meddling had any impact on the election. which is a fact he cannot possibly know. that is at present unknowable. and the other thing that's really scary is that performance
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in helsinki followed a two-hour private meeting. >> exactly. >> between donald trump and vladimir putin in which only translators were present. we have no idea what they said. russian government is saying we're prepared to move forward on the agreements that were made by the two leaders. what agreements? i don't know what agreements they made. you don't know what agreements they made. the russians presumably know. we don't know. this is outrageous. >> and the president characterized those in that tweet this morning as many important subjects discussed in that meeting. well, what were they? was there an agreement we're not aware of? >> exactly. >> i think the agreement that russia is talking about this idea of bob mueller coming to russia and reviewing russian intelligence as long as russians can send people to the united states to interview our intelligence officials. >> that was an incredible idea that putin. >> just incredible. very interesting idea. >> that's the apt word incredible. bob costa, the republican reaction, paul ryan, mitch
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mcconnell statements and everything like that, how much of the republican party, i suspect i know the answer but i would like to hear your thoughts on it, how much of the members of the house and the members of the senate, republicans, are so enthralled with the fact that they got their judgeships, they got their tax cuts, they got their regulations reduced, they really don't get bothered on a continuing basis by the blizzard of deceptions coming out of the oval office. >> mike, they all have a job to do constitutionally right now, regard lets of who is president of the united states. they have to serve as a check and balance of the executive branch. so you did see senator graham who has been a trump ally come out and say you have to bring secretary of state mike pompeo to capitol hill to talk about what were these deals, what were these agreements, what did the united states of america actually sign up for with russia. but this whole battle over statements and how far people are going against president trump, they're all making political calculations in the republican party. just like many democrats are
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making political calculations when they look at the midterm elections, what does their base voters want to hear on this issue. but what matters beyond the politics is what are they doing as elected officials to make sure that u.s. foreign policy is being executed in the right way. >> robert, what do you make of this bloomberg news report yesterday that suggested that the president was personally briefed on the timing of these indictments of russian officials involved in the hacking of democratic targets? he selected the timing of the release of these indictments and then somehow in the process allowed his allies to frame the timing of those indictments as though they were an effort to sabotage the president. the white house seems to not coordinated that messaging at all. is that spin towards officials from bloomberg or is that something that's legitimate? >> what is legitimate, base on my conversations last week with white house officials, is that the president was informed that there would be coming indictments on friday or at some point. mueller doesn't often advertise
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with the white house long in advance what he is up to, usually an hour in advance, sometimes 15 minutes in advance. there was a general understanding indictments on the russian interference could be happening. it's important to know as the white house and executive branch were informed they continued to talk about looking forward to having a summit with president putin. that's really the atmospherics for that whole summit. >> jake, what is the posture now of the republicans in the middle of this story. i take the president at his word after that clarification about would versus wouldn't, it was a misstatement by the president. are they ready to move on from this? or do they want to keep putting pressure on the white house and focus on this russia issue? >> i'm going to try this at home with my wife, i would like to change my son's diaper. >> good luck with that, jake. >> yeah. listen, i don't think they want to be caught up what's clearly
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from my conversations with people yesterday on the hill, they don't want to be caught up in this clearly bizarre situation in which the president has said two completely different things within 48 hours. i think the real thing to watch out for will be next week when mike pompeo, the secretary of state and a former member of congress son capitol hill for a live, public interview where he'll be under oath and forced to answer. again, removing trump from the equation for one second, all of these members of congress have taken a hard line on russia. so this hearing will be incredibly important. and it was kind of stunning to me because i was watching yesterday when paul ryan was at the press conference, they all wanted to talk about tax reform, good economic news, all these things that they think will help them keep their majority. not one question was on anything besides russia. you can kind of understand why they want to redirect and change the conversation. >> jake sherman, robert costa dialled into congress and the white house better than anybody.
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thanks so much. still ahead on "morning joe," columnist george will coins a new phrase for congressional supporters of donald trump. he calls them -- the helsinki republicans. george joins us with his piece on america's, quote, child president, his words. and as we go to break a dose of good news. this is a live look at the 12 members of a youth soccer team who spent more than two weeks trapped under ground in a flooded cave in thailand. we're happy to report they now have been discharged from the hospital and have smiles on their faces. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. rst they map for bonus cash back and it's only on a few categories. and when those categories change, you gotta sign up again. when does it end?! with the capital one quicksilver® card, you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere. it's like a cash back oasis. what's in your wallet?
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we all want to know you know, the new, new thing. with xfinity's retail stores, you can now see the latest. want to test drive the latest devices? be our guest. want to save on mobile? just ask. want to demo the latest innovations and technology? do it here. come see how we're making things simple, easy and awesome. plus, come in today and ask about xfinity mobile. a new kind of wireless network designed to save you money. visit your local xfinity store today. i'm just glad he clarified it. i can't read his intentions or what he meant to say at the time. suffice it to say for me as a policymaker what really matters is what we can do moving forward. 2016 is now in the hands of this committee's work. and obviously what mueller is doing. >> i'm glad he clarified his comments today. i didn't see it live, but i understand he clarified his
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comments. of course i wish he had said it in front of president putin and the world yesterday. but, yeah, i take him at his word if he says he misspoke, absolutely. but the point is we need to be as one here pushing back. >> it feels like the dam is breaking and people are -- i was really glad to see people on both sides of the aisle condemning what happened yesterday strongly. >> three republican senators there ending with bob corker who is on his way out, the senator from tennessee. joining us now columnist for the washington post george will. this sad, embarrassing wreck of a man. also with us, national correspondent for the atlantic james fallows. good morning. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> i want to read an excerpt from your piece, george bris, america's child president had a play date with a kgb alumnus who surely enjoyed providing day care. it was a useful because
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illuminating event. now we shall see how many republicans retain a capacity for embarrassment. trump speaks english though sit a second language he learned from someone who learned english last week. so it is usually difficult to sift meanings from trump's word salads, but in helsinki, he was for him crystal clear about feel nothing allegiance to the intelligence institutions that work at his direction and under leaders he chose. trump has a weak man's banal fascination with strong men whose december dane for him is unimaginable for him. he only pretends to have priorities beyond personal egrandizement. just as astronomers referred, mueller might infer and then find still hidden sources of the behavior of this sad, em baresing reck of a man. it goes on like that. george will, i believe you wrote that piece before the president clarified, he believes he
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clarified yesterday. what did you make not just of the initial event with president putin on that stage where he refused to defend the united states of america but he attempted clarification yesterday? >> well, i think the president this morning is saying you see, i told you the truth is overrated because i told you the truth in helsinki. and he had to spend yesterday taking back what he really meant to say and what he, in fact, did say. it's hilarious to see senator rubio and then senator portman come out and use the word clarified as to what the president just did. republicans on capitol hill are terrified. they have individual terror and collective terror. the individual terror is that they will be individually attacked by the president thereby costing them a third of their vote. the collective terror is that if congress seems to turn on the president, republicans in congress, he will attack congress thereby depressing the
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turnout, thereby costing them the house and certainly perhaps the senate. >> george, you talk about hidden sources for the president's behavior. the running line now among republicans seems to be that the president's egois so fragile and so insecure about his election victory there's no way for him to separate that from the russian attack. based on what we saw monday in helsinki, what do you think? do you think that it is that? or do you think that we're talking about something far more serious here in terms of some kind of quid pro quo, some kind of ill behavior here on behalf of the president's team? >> well, first i think the president's insecurities go far beyond te election results and the fact that he lost the popular vote. i think he is the most insecure human being i've ever seen. and i think you have to understand him, you have to understand he feels out of his depth in every situation he's in. he just doesn't understand the vocabulary of american government. he doesn't understand the
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conversations that are going on around him. it's like a 12-year-old in a room with people who specialize in quantum mechanics. he just is lost at all times. >> is that enough to explain his behavior, though, just insecurity? >> no, that doesn't explain it all. from the fact that he decided never to release his tax returns, we come to the conclusion, we don't know what he's hiding, but obviously he's keeping something secret. obviously he's hiding something, which licenses it seems to me responsible speculation about what he might be hiding. the analogy i made to what the astronomers inferring the existence of something from the behavior of other bodies, when the president says i want to meet with putin one on one with no american there, what do we know? we know that the russians are going to know what he said there, so he's keeping a secret from whom, from americans. it's reasonable to speculate why
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that is so. >> james, this is noah rothman, commentary and george might have some thoughts on this as well. the fear it seems among trump spectacle conservatives and democrats that the republican party has been transformed into this version of donald trump which is rather distasteful at times as we've seen, it strikes me, it seems to me at least, as though when donald -- the sec resy he is doing something conservative, he's signing conventional tax. when he gets trumpy the bottom fells out and the republicans are able to compel the president some act of contrition, does that suggest to you that a snapback to a sort of pre-trump era is possible in the post-trump era? >> you mean when donald trump is no longer among us as an office holder? >> correct. >> i guess it requires several leaps of foresight, for example what will happen during these
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midterm elections, compared with the watergate era of course when george will was making his pioneering reputation and i was starting as a magazine writer. strikes me the republican party has locked itself in much more firmly and uncritically with its troubled incumbent than they did. it took a long time for the 1970s republicans to turn on richard nixon, but they eventually did. the republicans now are missing so many opportunities to be other than just sort of not ludicrously weak as senator rubio was just then or inexpublicly weak as with senator corker who is not going to be in this senate seat next year, has nothing to fear from re-election and still won't take votes to back up the criticism he has or jeff flake in the same way. what might happen after this midterm election and after the next presidential election is farther than i can speculate, but i think the republicans are getting themselves in deep at the moment.
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>> george, you wrote another column that certainly caught my attention and other's attention in which george f. will urged everyone to vote for democrats in november because that was necessary. i'm curious as to what sort of reaction you got to that column and whether there will be more. are you leaving the dark side permanently and coming over or what? >> no. i think there are two dark sides out there now. i heard from my republican friends, not that i have that many left, but look, i think the republicans need what we parents with children call a time-out. if the republicans were reduced to minorities and certainly the house and perhaps both bodies of congress, they would have time to rethink. right now, they are having a
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banquet, they're eating words they've said for 40 years. take protectionism which is the most obvious case. government doesn't get any bigger or bossier than when it is telling the american people what they can buy and at what quantities and at what prices. this is comprehensive, crony capitalism and industrial policy suddenly republicans are in favor of it. now suppose mr. trump at the end of this term declares victory, says the swamp has been drained, i'm going home? what do they do? snap back, never mind what we've been doing for the last four years? it won't pass the last test. >> the president up watching the coverage this morning has just tweeted two minutes ago, mike. he writes this, some people hate the fact that i got along well with president putin of russia. they would rather go to war than see this. it's called trump derangment syndrome from the president of the united states just a moment ago. >> yeah. you know, willie, maybe it's
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because i'm overtired staying up late watching the all-star game. i'm sick of his tweets. i'm sick of his thoughts. for him to mention the word war, a lot of 18, 19 and 20-year-old young men and women out there, would they be willing to go to war? would you as a parent be willing to let your child go to war that was begun because of donald trump's lies and his rhetoric? i think not. jim fallows, we've been talking about variety senators who just appeared, milk toast from florida and undecided from ohio. you and your wife deborah have written a fascinating book, our town, 100,000 mile journey into the heart of america. so let me ask you, when you go out to allegheny county, when you travel through ohio and wisconsin and idaho and utah, do you think there's any legitimacy to the possibility that the behavior, the rhetoric, the lies
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from mr. trump, the constant deceptions from mr. trump, have erased the american immune system that we are so immune now to lies, to deceptions, that it doesn't bother us as much? >> i think there's -- thanks to that question. there's a particular level of immunity when it comes to things that people are hearing from the national media about national politics. where i think there is a real -- all the things we could say about polarization, cynicism, jadedness, bitterness, all those things would apply. i think in all the parts of life that are not about national politics, our observation was that the actual character that we would like to think of as american is still functioning so these in ap appalachia dealing with the opioids a cross the country a sense of downtowns being reconfigured, schools being experimented with. so i think there is this kind of
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immunity you suggest at one level and there's kind of resurgent health at others. the struggle of the next while coinciding with these midterms and beyond that is the actual struggle for which is the dominant character of the united states. i know which side that i hope prevails. >> james, they say that elections always come down to pocketbook issues. we just have numbers in now showing that six months after the tax cuts real wages are down. the tariffs are set to reek havoc. health care set to go through the roof. do you get any sense out there that trump supporters still believe they're voting their economic interests? >> i think that my view of the national election two years ago we were in states mainly that went for trump in the time before the election and people again if you ask them about hillary clinton, they said, she's really bad. we hate her. she's a liar. these candidates are all the same. if you asked them about their progress through life, they were feeling as if their communities and most industries were in a slow recovery. so, we thought there was a
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disjuncture between pocketbook issues and this national vo voting last year. we'll see how it goes. the pocketbook issues prevail. also there are other ones, too. women's issues matter a lot, that immigrant questions are looming large on each side. so this is why we have to wait and see how the elections play out, but i think that there is a downed economy i think that would not be the number one issue. there are other factors at play, too. >> james fallows, thank you very much. i'm glad mike brought up your excellent book called "our towns." george will, we'll be reading your piece in the washington post this morning. thanks so much for being with us. again, i repeat the president's tweet just a few minutes ago setting up the strawman that if you are somehow critical or not supportive of the way he conducted himself with vladimir putin in helsinki, you prefer war. coming up, some democrats are now talking about issuing a subpoena for the translator to reveal what president trump said to vladimir putin in their one
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on one closed door meeting on monday. we'll see where senator bob menendez stands on that and more when "morning joe" comes right back.
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at 4%, the national unemployment rate is down from a year ago, that's an accomplishment the president reminds us he deserves credit for. when the administration tariffs recently caused layoffs the workers knew exactly where to place the blame. >> reporter: this is popular bluff, missouri, a manufacturing town that relies on steel imported from overseas. folks here they wanted jobs, more industry jobs, but so far in 2018, they're only losing the ones that they already had, all this from a candidate who promised them that he alone could fix it. >> you may even get tired of winning. it's going to be so easy. i alone can fix it. >> reporter: jimmy is a machinist. >> we produce more nails than any other company in the united states. >> reporter: but the nails are made with steel imported from mexico, hit by a 25% tariff by
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the trump administration. >> we're going to charge a tariff on steel. >> 25% tariff that our customers are not willing to pay us for. >> reporter: chris pratt oversees 500 employees here. where are we right now? >> paper plant no longer in operation. the customers balked. >> we don't want your nails after your prices anymore because we can buy our nails somewhere else? mostly import. >> other countries. >> china, malaysia, korea. >> reporter: jobs over there means jobs lost here. you had to layoff how many? >> 6 0 positions. we should be thriving. we were doing pretty good. >>reporter: now? >> like you flipped the light switch off all because of the tariffs. >> reporter: employees are hopeful this was a bump in the road. did you vote for the president? >> absolutely. >> what were you hoping for when you voted for the president? >> change. good change for the economy. good change for the american people. >> reporter: they're willing to
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give the president the benefit of the doubt. >> i understand why it's being done. it's hurting us. it's hurting us real bad here. >> diane put in 12 years on this assembly line. >> did you vote for president trump? >> yes, i did. >> do you want him to end the tariffs on steel and aluminum. >> i want him to fix it where it's better. >> reporter: these workers are appealing to the president for an exception. >> i understand why he's doing it, but he's just going to have to stop and think when he's making america better, he's hurting some of it, too. >> reporter: but with no end to this trade war in sight, their community is in the cross fire. >> this could hurt a lot of people. i fear that there could be a loss of jobs. >> this job means a lot to this community, to the people that work here. it affects more than just the 500 jobs we have here. >> that's vaughn hilliard reporting from missouri. noah rothman has a new piece in commentary magazine entitled
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"will never trump win in the snend since donald trump took the oath of office he has vacillated between extremes. one day he's running a loud bli conventional republican administration. the next he's taking a sledge hammer to the conventions that define america's national identity. the only question is will this outlast his days in the oval office? he has thoroughly remade in trump's image is remarkably superficial. republican lawmakers talk a game just good enough to boost the president's ego. but talk is cheap. and the wall is still unbuilt. noah, so using that piece we just saw from vaughn in missouri as a jumping off point. what do you make of the way they assess the president's performance, which is to say, i like the president but these tariffs, the actual policy he's making is hurting us? >> it's very aspirational and understandable. no one wants to say that my vote was wrong or that the policies that i supported ended up being
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wrong for me. that's obviously what's happening here. macro economic sense moody suggests that if fully implemented the tariffs could shave up to 4.5% off the gdp growth that would be a disaster from an economic perspective and the economy is humming to the point where they could absorb it. i don't think you'll see very much of that, at least it will be explained a way by the people who want to explain it away. but it really is unfortunate. this is exactly what critics of this presidency predicted. in that column i said republicans seem to be holding the reigns in many ways. when donald trump does something very donald trumpy, he's criticized for it and republicans get off the bench and they manage to force some sort of correction from this presidency. also, nobody thinks that he is admiring of putinism. author tearism is a tool. it's not so easily duplicated. just being pro authoritarian isn't something the republican
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party can embrace. you need to be authoritarian for something. that's why i have hope a lot of these things will snap back. the ideology that the president espouses is ephemeral. when he's gone, i think the potential for a snapback to a status quo is possible. >> steve, the outcome of tariffs and the way this has played out as it did in the nail factory is exactly the way you and others would play out. it would start a trade war. >> couple points. first the simplest way to think of tariffs is they're attacks. they're a tax. when you tax a factory like that operates on relatively thin margins, they can't operate. so a trade war is bad and noah says i would .4% of gdp is trillions of dollars of lost earnings, but i think the point that vaughn was making in the piece should brond out and ask ourselves our the question what is it that this president has
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done that has been good for the people who elected him? you have a tax cut that benefits the rich. you've got efforts to dismantle the aca which democrats plan to make a big campaign issue of, you've got a lot of deregulation, some may help them as it filters through, labor regulations, that's not good for the average american. so the question is, what is it that the president has done that will actually make his people, his base better off? and i think they're going to have a tough time answering that question. >> well, let's bring into the question tom, the democratic nominee for congress in new jersey's seventh district and former assistant secretary of state under president obama. good to have you with us. >> thank you. >> let's talk about what's playing in the seventh district of new jersey. we were talking suburbs of new york. western suburbs. what are people talking about when you knock on doors and go to events? what's top of mind? >> the election in districts
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like mine is still about health care. still about transportation a huge issue for new jersey and taxes and the impact of the tax bill on middle class homeowners in districts like mine. with this week news, there's an opportunity for democrats like me, especially those of us who have a background in national security to say that the democratic party is now the party of patriotism in the country the party that is willing to defend our country against our true foreign adversaries the party of law enforcement in this country that is willing to trust the fbi over fox news, that will believe our intelligence community when they say our country is under attack. and people i talk to increasingly whether they voted for trump or not want somebody who will at least provide checks and balances in the congress and do something to stand up for our country in an unsettled time. >> tom, you were there in the closing days of the obama presidency when you say you were
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racing against time to try and get information out on russia. many democrats say that the reason why that information did not get out was because mitch mcconnell would not agree to sign on to a bipartisan statement and that if they did it by themselves it would be viewed as wholly political. at the same time, democrats say well if we would have known more we would have done more. who is right? why didn't that information get out? is it fair to blame mcconnell? >> i think it's fair to blame mcconnell because i think we need this to be bipartisan in the united states of america. we need to stand together when our country is under attack. and, you know, let's talk about what's happening right now. >> but is that really what happened. did mitch mcconnell put that on the brakes of informing the american people. >> we did inform the american people. we did say the intelligence community came together unanimously to tell the american people what was likely to happen in the election. the rest is history. >> isn't, tom, though, the president right in part when he
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says these violations happened under president obama and that you all should have done more? do you all regret not doing more? >> i believe we should have done more actually yes. >> why didn't we? >> i think it was very, very difficult to act on an issue like this when there wasn't complete bipartisan support. let's talk about what's happening now because this is a little bit like harry truman saying, pearl harbor happened on my predecessor's watch, so i wash my hands of it. we need to defend our country right now. and the house republican leadership in particular, let's not forget, has been 100% complicit in president trump's attacks on the fbi, on our intelligence community from day one. so, all of this criticism, this shock over what he said in helsinki, which he has said 100 times before, it doesn't -- it means nothing to me unless the republican leadership in the house and the senate brings up legislation to protect mueller,
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brings up legislation on sanctions, brings up legislation on dark money and foreign money in our politics. brings up legislation on the president's tax returns, brings up legislation to stop this trade war, which they can do. enough of the tweets. enough of the complaints. do something. that's what people in my district are demanding. >> i'm a jersey boy, from mississippi. so i want to pivot back to state politics. you talked about the democrats are the new patriots. now, how would you describe your political agenda? where do you see yourself in this current what we might describe as a civil war within the democratic party? you have folks like cortez who represents a particular kind of progressive thrust, right? then you have traditional democrats like nancy pelosi and others who are saying we need to stay in the center. how do you see yourself fitting in that debate? and kind of detail some policies to kind of address what everyday
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ordinary workers are experiencing, declining wages, up tick in inflation, where people on main street feel like they're not really feeling this recovery. >> i'm going to question the premise. i think of course there are differences of opinion in the i think, of course, there are differences of opinion in the democratic party. but if you look at democrats in the u.s. congress in what i think is a time of national emergency, they have hung together in an extraordinary way on virtually every single important vote. look, there are a lot of ways in which i want to change this country but i don't think 2018, the were midterms are fundamentally be changing this country. they're about saving this country. they're about coming together finding a bipartisan consensus and holding together as one america at home. if we can't do those things, then the minor debates within the democratic party on economic policy will seem very trirchial to historians 20, 30, 40 years from now. >> all right, tom malinowski,
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we'll be talking much more on the course of the campaign. democratic district. thanks for being here. still to come, president trump weighs in on whether he'll get involved in justice department investigations. that's still to come on "morning joe." who would have thought, who would have guessed? an energy company helping cars emit less. making cars lighter, it's a good place to start, advanced oils for those hard-working parts. fuels that go further so drivers pump less. improving efficiency is what we do best.
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all right. still ahead this morning, president trump on another twitter tear this morning. he's posted seven times since 5:00 in the morning. compared to this time yesterday, we heard nothing from the president and he and his white house communications team formulated its walkback that turned out to not be much of a walkback, after a news conference with vladimir putin. we'll discuss that and why so many are not buying.walkback. a packed 8:00 a.m. hour is still ahead "morning joe" coming back in three minutes. ♪ ♪
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having it problems? ask a business advisor how to get on demand tech support for as little as $15 a month. right now, buy one hp ink and get a second at 30% off at office depot officemax the free press is under attack. >> cnn is fake news. >> barely hidden rational nationalism. >> you're destroying the culture of europe. >> but utter loss of shame among political leaders where they're caught in a lie and they just doubledown and they lie some more. >> the sentence should have been i don't see any reason why it wouldn't be russia. >> just not completely lying to people. i think is pretty basic. >> we won the electoral college by a lot. 306 to 223. >> strong man politics are ascending. >> presidentputin was extremely powerful. >> undermine every institution
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that gives democracy meaning. >> i hold every country responsible. i think the united states has been foolish. i think we've all been foolish. >> from south africa to europe, the world was presented with two very different visions of an american president over the last several days. good morning, welcome. it's wednesday, july 18th, joe and mika are off. i'm willie geist, next to heidi. and treasury official, economist steve radner. political writer for "the new york times," columnist at the wgs exam en, chris ten solstice-anderson and the dean of the fletcher school of law at tuft's university and chief international and security diplomacy analyst for nbc news and msnbc. retired admiral. good morning, all of you.
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just your impression as you watched that one-minute clip of the president speaking around the 100th birthday celebration for nelson man level da. and the president making his way across europe last night. >> can we rewrite the constitution and have another president take over right now? look, this is distortion of daily life in american politics on the realm, thankfully former president president obama pointed out a couple of realities that we all wonder right now. >> let's look at what the president said yesterday, president trump attempting to walk about the statements from helsinki where he sided with the russians. take a look at what the president said standing next to vladimir putin. and then his comments yesterday at the white house. >> my people came to me, dan coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this, i don't see any
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reason why it would be. i thought that i made myself very clear by having just reviewed the transcript. it should have been obvious, i thought it would be obvious, but i would like to clarify just in case it wasn't. in a key sentence in my remarks, sigh said the word "would" instead of "wouldn't." it should have been i don't see any reason why i wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be russia. so, just to repeat it, i said the word "would" instead of "wouldn't." and the sentence should have been i thought i would be maybe a little bit unclear on the transcript. or unclear on the actual video. the sentence should have been i don't see any reason why it wouldn't be russia. sort of a double negative. so, you can put that in, that i think probably clarifies things pretty good by itself. >> i have great confidence in my intelligence people.
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but i will tell you that president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> in full faith and support for america's intelligence agencies. i have a full faith in our intelligence agencies. whoops, they just turned off the lights, that must be the intelligence agency. i accept our intelligence community's conclusion that russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. it could be other people also. there's a lot of people out there. >> we'll get into that in just a moment. but quickly, the president tweeted this, quote, so many people at the higher-ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in helsinki. putin and i discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. we got along which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match.
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and then last night, the meeting between president putin and myself was a great success except in the fake news media. trump's clarification came 24 hours after his meeting with putin. he did not try to clarify his remarks in any post-summit tweets nor did he back down in the interview that he did with fox news after the summit. meanwhile a statement that the president was reading shows he wrote this, quote, there was no collusion. meanwhile, nbc news has reporting on how that came to be and who pressured to step on and make that statement yesterday, including the vice president. the secretary of state. heidi, the president's statement yesterday that this was a misstatement, that it was a word problem, sort of ignores everything else that happened on the stage in that press conference. it ignores the fact that he didn't say anything about it for 24 hours, even as he saw the coverage of what was happening. if you believe what he said yesterday that this was a misplaced word, i kind of feel
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bad for you. >> willie, do you remember whether you were in grade school and you messed up a word, and you took out the lumpy white stuff and lumped over the word? you can't do that here. it was the trashing of institutions. it was also saying putin had a great idea to potentially combine our investigation and have bob mueller go to russia to give them information on what his investigation is all about. so, i think anybody who watched the president's news conference which was essentially the entire world would no that you just can't hit delete on a single word and change the entire tone and context of that news conference. >> and he was reading from that statement, sort of head down, reading prepared remarks. at a moment, he did ad-lib, yes, it was russia, they did melding in the election saying it could be other people, there are a lot of people out there. he always has to sneak in that
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caveat. >> yeah, eugene robinson said it looked as though he was reading a hostage note. i'd like to use this analogy, president trump is a golfer, instead of trying to get a mulligan, he just moved his ball into a full view. he's shameless. he doesn't seem to in any serious way to try to take account of what he actually did. and what i'm really interested in is the way that republicans, fellow republicans, have simply failed to hold him to account. >> admiral, we're talking about the rhetoric involved, change of tenses and double negatives. and yet, the reality, that these two men, vladimir putin and donald trump sat behind closed doors for two hours and discussed things that are potentially lethal to the future, not only of the european alliance and the united states soviet relationship but that whole region, peace and missiles
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and the mismatch between the two men. >> yeah, mike, you know, we were talking earlier about this contrast between president obama and president trump. and i'm going to -- i'm going to rattle the ghost of another president. and that's president reagan. because we're also talking about other audiences. think about europe and how this is being received there. and think back to ronald reagan standing at the berlin wall, saying mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. instead, what we had today say president who supposedly goes in a secret room, a little quiet room, with nobody there but a couple of translators. and that's where he really tells vladimir putin, hey, your interference in our election was wrong. are we really supposed to believe that? by the way, i thought the worst moment of the press conference is actually when vladimir putin flipped the soccer ball to the president of the united states. it reminded me of the scene in
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"castaway" where tom hanks starts talking to his volleyball. now we've got ivan the soccer ball in the white house. it's a bad day for the american presidency. >> so, as heidi mentioned, this wasn't about one line, or one word. this was about the full context of the president's press conference with vladimir putin. to believe what the president said yesterday, you'd have to discount everything else from his news conference, from his withering attack on the justice don't to the fbi, for investigating his campaign ties to russia to putin's, quote, incredible offer to help with the investigation. to lashing out at those who suggested that russian meddles was in any way responsible for his victory. to a debanked conspiracy history of hacking in the dnc and of course, hillary clinton's 30,000 missing e-mails. >> i do feel that we have both made some mistakes. i think that the probe is a disaster for our country. i think it's kept us apart. it's kept us separated.
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there was no collusion at all. everybody knows it. >> what he did is an incredible offer. he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. i think that's an incredible offer, okay? >> that was a clean campaign. i beat hillary clinton easily and, frankly, we beat her -- and i'm not even saying from the standpoint, we won that race. and it's a shame that it can even be a little bit of a cloud over it. people know that, people understand it. but the main thing and we discussed this also is zero collusion. the electoral college is much more advantageous for democrats, as you know, than it is to republicans. we won the electoral college by a lot. 306 to 223, i believe. >> you have groups that are wondering why the fbi never took the server. why haven't they taken the
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server? where is the server? what is the server saying? i really do want to see the server. what happened to the server? >> so, nick, obviously, the president takes a question directly where he's presented with the opportunity to confront president putin standing five feet away from him. and turn 2s into an old speech he's given many times about servers, about hillary clinton about the pakistani man with the server and everything else that the president brings up. did he do anything yesterday to help himself with that clarification? >> wait, real quick, guys, let's just correct this. they have the server. they have had the server forever. they just don't have a physical copy of it. they have an actual copy because we have more than floppy disks in the say aera of digital. >> what we have a walkback, right? the president attempted to do a walkback of the walkback.
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it was like watching a kid in front of a blackboard at school being forced by a teach tore say something he didn't believe or want to say. there has never been a performance i think in american politics that is like it. and you can only imagine why. he seems to have a particular personal interest here that is separate from the white house interest. but is dovetailing the putin's interest on the investigation. >> it's fear. >> he and putin are on the same page about the russia probe. they both have an interest in stopping it and discrediting it. and that is a striking fact to me. >> and we've seen this rhythm before, steve ratnor, with charl charlottesville. and he, in the next story, resents he's not being rewarded and thanked for his great apology and he lashes out again.
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>> yeah, exactly. i think there are several pieces to this. the most important piece is the one that nick is referring to which is ultimately our relationship with russia and putin. it's clear there's something going on with these two guys which is not international interest. "the wall street journal" added to which summarizes where the republicans are, sort of grudgingly accepted trump's apology with shrugs. shoulder. and then goes on to list all of the issues between us and russia that are still unresolved about arms and interference in other countries and things like that. so, i don't think this changes anything about the fundamental issue of trump's relationship with putin which is a scary, scary state of affairs. >> kristin solstice-anderson, chief of staff john kelly actually called around capitol hill to give the green light for republican leadership to
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criticize president trump hoping to push president trump into some kind of revision, some policy, some clarification. pretty extraordinary for a chief of staff to do that. >> well, i think this is different than other times that president trump have said things that have been inflammatory, that have been reckless. in part, you see it reflected in the number of republicans who have come out and condemned. it sort of reminds me of the reaction to charlottesville. even newt gingrich, blowhoa, wh he needs to clarify this. he's criticized by the media, he's criticize by a subset of republicans that are comfortable criticizing him. but trump feels confidence that he can weather the storm. his job approval numbers don't move that much. i think the different here is
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because you saw so many folks from capitol hill saying this is wrong. that's why you got the hostage tape from yesterday. because this is different. it's not just about being reckless or being offensive or saying something, misspeaking, not speaking like a politics, this is about weakness. and donald trump a core brand attribute of his is, i am strong, i will be strong for america. strong is nature what we got in helsinki, that's why you saw more republicans bleepi s blee. and that's why he could go to the hill and say give me cover to go into the office and say you need to walk this back. still to go, president trump once blamed a faulty ear piece for not disavowing criticism of david duke. we'll look at some of the other times he was forced to clean up a mess. you're watching ma ing "morning"
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we'll be right back.
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click, call or visit a store today. trying to undo the damage of his helsinki press conference with vladimir putin, president trump once again this morning is going after his critics. tweeting earlier, some people hate the fact that i got along well with president putin of russia, they would rather go to war than see this. it's called trump derangement syndrome. interesting to know on "fox & friends" one of the contributors there, a panelist made that exact same point. and the president seems to recharacterized it and put it in his own words on twitter. jeanne shaheen is tweeting, she's wanting the interpreter to discuss what president trump said privately.
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this interpreter to help share what trump promised putin on our behalf. joining us now from capitol hill, the ranking member of the foreign relations committee democratic senator bob men then zez of new jersey. senator, it's good to have you with us this morning. you are one of the senators who discussed concerns about what happened in the 2 1/2-plus hours that president trump was alone only with interpreters and vladimir putin. do you suspect you'll be able to get to the bottom of exactly what was said in that room and if so, how? >> we'lll, we're going to do everything we can, and that's our calls has secretary pompeo come before the foreign relations committee was abided to that will come before us next wednesday. and we will derive not only all the questions that he shared in the bilateral meeting. but what briefings did he get,
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or what notes did he get from the two hours that president trump met with putin alone. then we're going after other documentation, we want the interpreter to come before the committee. we want to see the notes. we want -- we're going to have a massive effort to try to get to what happened. because already, russian military are saying that they're ready to execute the agreements that president trump entered into with president putin. we have no idea what that is. >> i was going to ask you, do you have any idea what that is. you just answered your own question. we thought it had something to do with the proposal that president trump called, quote, incredible offer, that putin would allow bob mueller and his team into russia if they would come interview intelligence officials here in the united states. as you know, it's unusual for a president to go alone in a room with a foreign leader. president trump has made it his habit. he did it in singapore with kim
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jong-un as well. do you have any suspicions, any clue as to why he wanted to be alone with president putin and not have mike pompeo or john bolton in the room with him? >> well, look, it's clear, we saw russia first at that press conference. i don't know whether we'll see from special counsel whether there was collusion in 2016 but for me, there was collusion that day at that press conference. we saw a subpoepplicant america president basic expressing denial. and actually allows those who committed the crime to participate in the end of the day of investigating. it's so surreal, but more importantly, it's so outrageous. >> senator, you're demanding details of this private meeting.
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well, there was only one person who was there which is the interpreter. so how likely is it that you're going to get republicans in calling for that interpreter to come forward. i know senator corker has been a strong partner in all of this trying to get mike pompeo to testify as well. do you see republicans joining that call to get that interpreter in to talk to members? >> well, you know, it's time for my republican colleagues to show that we can be patriots and not just partisans. that they have not been totally co-opted by president trump as the rasputin of the republican party. if president obama had done this, i'd be peeling them off the ceilings. so i suspect that they will join us, in terms of protecting and defending the constitution of the united states. and our national interest and our national security and our elections by making sure that we know everything that transpired. i have no idea of what he
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agreed. did he agree to loosen up on sanctions against russia? did he agree not to have, you know, exercises with nato? did he agree to give away crimea and ukraine? i have no idea. we need to know. we can't be blind sided. evidently, the russian intelligence agencies know what was agreed to. >> senator, the president was asked last night to explain why his son should be sent to fight and possibly die for the sake of montenegro. the president responded by saying i understand that question, i've asked it myself. not explaining the extent to which americans have obligations overseas. the consensus seems to be ebbing in the republican party. but you can't say this is a republican issue alone. barack obama spent six of his eight years trying to pivot to asia withdrawing troops. the very last tank was withdrawn in 2013, only to be resent in
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2014 when russia invaded in the next territory in territory. if the post-atlantic consensus is failing and it is a bipartisan problem can you blame germany and can you blame europe from trying to take over its obligation? and does the trump administration have an obligation to recommit to american internationalism? >> well, that's a long question. let me just say, democrats have strongly stood for nato. we have stood for the proposition of article 5 and mutual defense. the only time in its 73-year history that nato has invoked article 5 was actually on behalf the united states after september 11th. whether or not a country enters into nato is always a question of whether they can meet the standards. but once they do, we have always embraced their entrance into
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nato. and so, you know, undermining the arm 5 provisions of mutual self-defense by picking and choosing which country within nato you want to support undermines the whole transatlantic alliance. >> but, senator, barack obama did not support ascension for countries like georgia and ukraine? >> well, look, whether he supported sanctions for georgia and ukraine is not a question of whether or not that is nato ascension which i thought was your question. >> no -- >> yeah, as it relates to sanctions, let me just say that congress in a bipartisan way has spoken overwhelmingly strongly, so, whether that's on iran, whether that's on russia, whether that's on north korea, we have spoken incredibly strongly. i think that 98 to 2 vote is an expression of where democrats are at. >> senator, this is gene robinson. you've been in the senate for a while. you know your republican colleagues. you talk to them senator to senator, in a way that you guys
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don't speak publicly. what is the deal? why -- why are -- are they serious, the republicans who have taken strong national security positions for years, for decades, and who will occasionally, as monday, come out with the statement saying, this is wrong. but who won't do anything, won't take any action in a closely divided senate where one vote can make the difference. they won't do anything to constrain this president. what is the deal? what -- are they afraid of him? what's the deal? >> gene, i think, as i listen to the private conversations with my colleagues, particularly many who i have worked with on national security questions, on sanctions, policy, on iran, on russia, on north korea, on dealing with other questions in the world, who i have a great
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deal of respect for their positions in those regard, they're -- their silence is deafening at this point. and i think that the answer is they -- i will hate to say it, many of them, i won't say all of them, but many of them are concerned, they believe that the president can have an electoral difference in their states. and that is muting what clearly in private is a significant discontent. but as i have said to several of them, there comes a moment in our lives. i've been in congress 26 years between the house and senate, doing foreign policy in both houses i have never seen a day of infamy in terms of foreign policy like i saw the other day with trump and putin. there's a moment at which you're called upon to be a patriot. there are things that we should do for it. first, control our elections. get the evidence of what
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transpired in those meetings. make sure that russia sanctions are not only enforced but exist. these would be clear signs and protect the special counsel. because, you know from a foreign soil, you have the president of the united states undermining his own department of justice. >> all right. senator bob menendez, democrat of new jersey. senator, thanks for your time as always. appreciate it. and gene robinson asking the central question of our times, what is the deal? or existential question. up next, the drama of the past week you couldn't write the stuff but our next guest could. daniel silva joins us with his new novel incredibly appropriate for this week. from the very beginning ...
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that is unique and that is a specialty. with all of us working together we can keep all these emergencies small. and the fact that we can bring it together and effectively work together is pretty special. they bring their knowledge, their tools and equipment and the proficiency to get the job done. and the whole time i have been in the fire service, pg&e's been there, too. whatever we need whenever we need it. i do count on pg&e to keep our firefighters safe. that's why we ask for their help. these actions are persistent. they're pervasive and they're meant to undermine america's democracy on a daily basis. the warning signs are there. the system is blinking. and it is why i believe we are at a critical point. >> that was the alarm sounded by the director of national intelligence dan coats, just five days ago on the persistent
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danger of russian cyber attacks. the focus intensifies on russia's efforts to infiltrate the american political system. and that's also the subject of the new novel by best-selling author daniel silva. his new book "the other woman" is the latest installment in his wildly popular series featuring mast are spy gabriel allon. daniel, nice to see you. you're on tv talking about your book which dovetails so incredibly with the news i wonder if you arranged all of this. >> yeah, i want to thank president putin and president trump for the meeting to coincide with my new novel. >> aside from being a great writer and novelist, you're a student of russia, of the soviet union. broadly, what do you make of the last four days? >> we were joking last night but sometimes, you just shake your head. you just shake your head. i -- we were talking, during the break, as a novelist, i'm
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granted extraordinary license. i'm sort obliged to push the envelope and make sure that my work is entertaining. it's the summer beach read. never in a million years, as a loyal american, first and foremost, i'm an american kid, dry up in a military town. i would never, ever, ever write a book in which the president of the united states acted treasonously. or i would never portray the president of the united states as a russian asset. and here we are, this morning, front page of "the new york times," the word "traitor" is on the front page of "the new york times." present company aside, one of the most prominent columnist in america tom friedman on the other network openly accused the president of being a traitor. toto, we are are not in kansas anymore. but the point i'm trying to make in this novel, is that when vladimir putin interferes in our election, when he meddles in
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brexit to try to weaken the european union and britain, when he conducts acts of murder on british soil. i mean, twice in 12 years they have utilized a weapon of mass destruction on british soil, he's not making this stuff up. he's reaching into a very old kgb playbook called active measures. it's exactly the types of things that the kgb, under lenin and stalin, going back to the earliest days of the soviet union. you know, soviet union and the new russia are paranoid and aggressive at the same time. it's a really dangerous combination. and they've always reached out to try to affect, shape the battlefield beyond their borders and med untdle in our politics. they've been doing this for a long time, and quite frankly, they're very good at it. >> you mentioned you had grown up in a military town. >> yeah.
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>> the post-world war ii era that you grew up in and i grew up in, it is all now rapidly changing because of the behavior of, unfortunately, the president of the united states. >> yeah. >> so your novelist mind, i mean, how do you factor into the fact that there are legitimate people from langley, from the cia, who now wonder has the president been co-opted, either willingly or unwillingly? >> i was on the program and he dare to say aloud that he thinks vladimir putin to use his words has something on the president of the united states. it's astonishing to even contemplate. but these are powerful institutions, we have multiple layers of security, intelligence
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service and proud tradition inside our military. we can survive this. i think it's going to be a rough road. i know there were some calls for the national security team to resign in protest over what happened in helsinki. i think that would be the worst thing that could happen. whether you agree with mike pompeo politically or not, he's very capable, experienced, smart man. we have general mattis. we have general kelly. we have gina haspel at cia. the last thing we need is for people to resign in the cia. we need to keep them in place. the system is blinking red on cyber, by the way. they attack us hour by hour, day do day. they've been doing it for years and years. we have enormous cybercapable cy
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ourselves. >> all characters doing work, right, in this moment, we have donald trump always sucking up the oxygen. he's that character that the we focus our attention on. but who are these other people who are part of the plot that trump is not doing this by himself. what do you make of those who seem to be complicit in all of this mess that we find ourselves in? >> well, you know, vladimir lenin used to call people in the west who used to help the soviet union useful idiots. there are a lot of useful idiots. and the kremlin has been very adroit at didn't fidentifying t taking advantage of them. we have a kremlin-friendly government in austria right now. we have a kremlin-friendly government right now in italy. he has very, very adroitly
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picked off people in various countries to weaken and divide us. they're very good. >> but what are some of the republican leaders in our country here? >> oh, gosh, i'm not going to get into the domestic politics of it. i'm going to duck that if that's okay. >> as a thread as a novelist in kremlin friendly government, we now have a kremlin-friendly government in tel aviv. >> well, it's important to remember that when the soviet collapsed at least 1 million if not more russians came flooding into israel. so, there are really strong cultural tile ties between isrd russia right now. so, it's natural that the two governments are going to be -- a o lot of travel going back and forth with people in commerce, that's natural. the other thing that's going on, for the last several years, there has been a terrible civil war raging on israel's northern
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border at syria. you can go up to the fence and watch it some nights. so it would be foolish of netanyahu not to have at least a transaction relationship with putin to make sure that we don't start world war iii. because israel is a player in that war. they are targeting hezbollah. they are targeting iranians. they have killed iranian intelligence officers, iranian soldiers. the last thing they want to do is shoot up a russian convey and start world war iii. >> dan, i'm going to help you with that question about republicans. most prominent one is newt gingrich. he said the president made a huge mistake by his performance with putin. but he also said the following. heat treating has to be daniel silva's -- silva, he goes on is
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one of our finest novelists and i've already preordered this book and plan to stay up all night devouring it. >> he also said there's a lot of truth in this book in terms of what's going on right now. >> and there is always in your books. dan silva, great to see you. the book is "the other woman." the european union slaps google with a $5 million trust fine. but google plans to fight it. back in a moment. it's the ford summer sales event and now is the best time to buy. and check out the all-new ecosport.
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for as little as $15 a month. right now, buy one hp ink and get a second at 30% off at office depot officemax gives you lasting protection from tooth sensitivity. new listerine® sensitivity with first of its kind protection, it blocks tooth sensitivity at the source. so instead of your favorite foods making you feel like this. you'll enjoy them like this. bring out the bold.™ almost 250 years ago, two lanterns were hung here to warn of the incoming attack on america. today we have to acknowledge what our president won't: our democracy is under attack again. donald trump praises vladimir putin and meets with him on foreign soil, while rejecting our own law enforcement officials who say putin launched a hostile attack on our last election and is planning to do it again this year. why would an american president want to meet with a dictator who's trying to undermine our democracy? is trump again getting played by putin,
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or is he conspiring with a man who helped put him in office? if paul revere and other patriots had waited to act until it was safe or politically correct, we would never have the country we have today. it's time for congress, republicans and democrats, to put their political interests aside and act on behalf of our country.
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the european union has hit google with a record $5 become fine this morning over allegations of antitrust abuse. for more let's bring in cnbc's sara eisen. sara, what's going on here? >> certainly, the european union is cementing its position agency the global technology relater. charging google a fine of $5 billion which is a record for breaking into trust rules. so the european union is alleging that google abuses its dominant market position for
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android phones. remember, android powers 80% of the world's smartphones. requiring phonemakers like samsung and others to preinstall google search engine and google apps which hurts competition. also, the commission decides that and saying google needs to change its behavior within 90 days. google, for its part, says it's going to appeal the decision completely disagrees saying the commission doesn't understand user behavior that people can just download other apps. and also excluding apple and ios as another competitor. this fight is not new. this is the second big fine that the european union has thrown at google in the last years. it's an eight-year long style of behaviors over the last two years. they don't seem to understand, because google is cash-rich.
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and that will ultimately hurt its business. the other big take-away, guys is that we're in the middle of a trade fight with the european union. will the u.s. use this and say, look, europe is protectionist as well. they put up barriers, it's hard to do business in the eu as well. that's certainly part of the conversation, though. europe has been a lot tougher on the silicon valley tech firms leviing fines against apple and google. the overall markets, things are looking pretty good. the nasdaq, tech-heavy index closed at a record high. things are a little lower. morgan stanley earnings came out pretty good. and the fed chairman powell faced days of questioning on capitol hill. he was on the senate yesterday, getting involved in politics of trade. a lot of lawmakers were concerned about it, he said, right now, it's too early to see whether the trade tariffs are
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going to hurt the economy. in the long term, if we keep the tariffs, he says, that's harmful for growth. but in the short term if they manage getting rid of other tariffs that's a good thing. didn't get too political. and he'll be in front of the house panel today. >> meanwhile as europe looks for new trading partners away from the united states, the eu struck a massive deal with japan yesterday. cnbc's sara eisen, thank you for being here. >> thank you. we got a lot more on "morning joe" as we head to break, i want to play you the comments of president trump taped on fox news monday when he leaves the possibility of getting involved, he said, in department of justice investigations. >> my department of justice is the one branch, the one group, that i'm very little involved in. the same with the fbi. am i disappointed that they're not looking at all of the crooked things takes place on the other side? and yet, they go after other people like there's no tomorrow. so, i have purposely -- you
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understand that, i spoke to you about it. as they say, you winning. don't get it wrong. i don't want to have people accuse me of anything, so i stay very much uninvolved. but am i allowed to be involved? totally. will i be involved? we'll have to see as it goes along. so, i have this recurring dream. i'm 85 years old in a job where i have to wear a giant hot dog suit. what? where's that coming from? i don't know. i started my 401k early, i diversified... i'm not a big spender. sounds like you're doing a lot. but i still feel like i'm not gonna have enough for retirement. like there's something else i should be doing. with the right conversation, you might find you're doing okay. so, no hot dog suit? not unless you want to. no. schedule a complimentary goal planning session today with td ameritrade®. ♪ experience the versatility of utility at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. get up to $2500 customer cash on select 2018 nx 300 models.
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condemn david duke and say you don't want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election? >> well, just so you understand, i don't know anything about david duke, okay. >> i'm just talking about david duke and the ku klux klan here. >> honestly, i don't know david duke. >> he said honestly, he's talking about david duke and the ku klux klan. >> i'm sitting in a house in florida with a very bad earpiece they gave me. and you could hardly hear what he was saying. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, violence on many sides. on many sides. as i said on saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. it has no place in america. you had a group on one side that
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was bad. and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. and nobody wants to say that, but i'll say it right now. i think there's blame on both sides. but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. i only tell you this. there are two sides to a story. >> that's just a few of the other times president trump has attempted to walk back comments after widespread criticism. the latest, of course, was yesterday's effort to tamp down the fallout from his summit with vladimir putin after he said in the white house that he believes his intelligence agencies when they say russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. he left his script and looked up and ad-libbed, it could be other people. a lot of other people out there. eddie, as you look at the totality of the first bit about the klan in 2016 and charlottesville in august 2017 with white supremacists and now
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yesterday, all of those together, what do you see? >> the evidence is clear, he's not a decent person. the person who sits in the white house is not a decent human being. steve rattner just gave us the charts. we know he's prone to lying. not just having an uneasy relationship to the truth, right? he completely l lly betrays the. lying underlying the democracy, it affects the culture and the psyche. two more things really quickly. one is that president trump is not committed to liberal democracy. the evidence is clear. he's not committed to it. two, he's not committed to the postwar consensus. the evidence is clear. so you have an indecent man who lies who isn't committed to liberal democracy to the world that i have known, some of us have known it for 70 years. what does it mean for people to support him? what does it mean for folks to
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normalize him? what does it mean for folks to be mealy mouthed in relationship to what he's doing? >> the answer to that question is a couple of supreme court jugses and a tax cut. >> and all sorts of regulations being eliminated. that's what they live for. my wife and i have a 5-month-old grandson, emmett games barnicle. and i lately, constantly worry that the country i grew up in the values of the country that i grew up in are slowly deteriorating. being diminished by even sadly, really sadly, by the president of the united states. that this country has been filled with people with all sorts of sins and all sorts of virtues, but the value that we've always held together, the collective value, as we are americans, and we aspire to be americans.
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and america means so much to the world. always has and always will. and my worry for my grandson and others of that age, younger people today is that country going to slowly disappear because this man is so interested in destroying the norms that we lived with. >> not to add to the darkness here, but i am afraid that what happened in that meeting in putin is really lost to history. even if we do, for some reason, get that translator before congress, we don't see that republicans are going to support that yet. but let's say we do. she can give us the contours. she can't give us everything, they weren't taking notes. and she is not identifying in what is classified information, what state secrets may have been given away. we know that already happened when the president met a day after firing comey in the oval office with kislyak and lavrov. >> according to the ministry of
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defense, russia is going to undertake america's withdrawal from east of you'euphrates. it's not treason when barack obama gives a lot of money and relands american policy towards iran which facilitated and executed attacks on american soldiers. it's bad, dangerous, immoral, but it's not treason. >> gene, final thought. >> final thought, our system, if designed to take this situation into account, we give -- we have checks and balances. we give enormous powers to the judicial branch. and especially to the legislative branch. congress has a job to do here. and congress will not do its job. that makes the election four months now in november 1 of the most important of our lifetimes, because we need a congress that will do its job, that will do
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what the framework of the constitution envisions. >> and we had a democratic nominee for congress in new jersey say we're now democrats, the party of patriotism based on what we saw in helsinki with the president and vladimir putin. that does it for us. chris jansing picks under the coverage now. >> hi there, i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. this morning, walking back the walkback. a day after aides called clarifying remarks over russia and u.s. intelligence, president trump changes his tune again, just this morning in a tweet storm, claiming he's saving america from war. and people at the, quote, higher-ends of intelligence loved his press conference with putin. >> i think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself. >> full court press. a change of venue is denied as special counsel robert mueller requests immunity for five unnamed witnesses slated to testify in

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