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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  July 25, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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point out. good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it's wednesday, july 25th. i'm willie geist alongside nbc news capitol hill correspondent host of k.c. d.c., kasie hunt. >> welcome, guys. >> lightning, let us know. >> waiting for the barnicle hot tape flames. >> might be coming today. >> one today? a tease from msnbc contributor mike barnicle. also with us, national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc john heilemann, associate editor of "common" magazine and jonathan lamere and betsy woodruff and "new york times" reporter michael schmidt. joe and mika have the morning off. a full house and a verification of a 2016 audiotape recorded by trump's former fixer. who said what, agreeing on the subject of the conversation.
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then candidate trump is heard discussing a possible payment to purchase the story rights of a former "playboy" model karen mcdougal about an affair the president had in 2005, of which the president denies. nbc cannot confirm whether it's been edited or altered, here's what was played. a warning. it includes a profanity from then candidate president donald j. trump. >> let me know what's happening. okay? oh. oh! maybe because of this it would be better if you didn't go. you know?
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maybe because of "this." for that one, you know, what you can do to get rid of this, because it's so false, what they're saying. it's such bullshit. um -- i think -- i think this goes away quickly. i think it's probably better. to do the charleston thing. just this time. yeah. in two weeks it's fine. i think right now it's better. you sgloe okay, hknow? okay. thanks, honey. you take care of yourself. i'm proud of you. what's up, mike? >> great poll. >> making progress. >> big time. >> and you guys are -- couldn't believe it. what's happening? can we use him anymore? pastor scott? >> mark burns. talking -- >> i don't mean that. mark burns. can we use him anymore.
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>> no. >> and just called, a chance, an idea for you. >> great. so we. >> got served from the "new york times" i told you regarding unsealing the divorce papers with ivana. we're fighting it. going to -- >> never be able to get that. >> never. says don't ever be able -- >> get me a coke, please. >> don't have a legitimate purpose. >> a woman that doesn't want a -- >> correct, yes. >> and going there for a while. >> about two, three weeks now. >> all you have to do, delay it for -- >> even after that, not going to ever be opened. there's no purpose for it. told you about charleston. i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david, you know? so that i'm going to do that right way. i've actually -- >> give it to me. >> and spoken to alan weiselberg how to set the whole thing up with -- >> what are we going to do?
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>> -- funding. yes. and it's all the stuff -- >> thinking about that. >> all the stuff. you never know where that company, where he's going to be. >> maybe he gets hit by a truck? >> correct. so i'm all over that. spoke to alan about it. comes time for financing -- >> listen what financing. >> we'll have to pay. >> pay cash? >> no. no, no, no, no, no. >> all right. we're goingthrough exactly what you heard. exclusive rights to mcdougal's story, purchased never published by the parent company american media and chairman, ally of the president, may be the man cohen is referring to when he mentions "our friend david." trump and mcdougal met in the "playboy" mansion 2006, three months after melania gave birth to trump's youngest son and continued to see trump several months after that, according to mcdougal and he allegedly offered her money.
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promised regular columns on aging and wellness and prominently feature her on two of the company's magazine covers. when the "wall street journal report"ed the payment four days before the election, trump campaign spokeswoman hope hicks said, "we have no knowledge of any of this." let's bring in senior reporter of "vanity fair" and nbc news and msnbc contributor emily jane fox. good morning. you've been wired in to michael cohen's world a very long time. in fact here yesterday talking about a different piece of this story. just walk us through a little bit of what we heard last night and how the decision was made by lanny davis, the attorney for michael cohen, and by michael cohen, to make it public? >> reporter: the most interesting thing about the tape it is very clear that in the height of the election president trump was clearly plugged in to all that michael cohen was doing. so whether that was this payment made, or the talk of the payment made to ami or something about his divorce papers being unsealed, or not being unsealed.
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what is clear is that the president knew about everything that was going on, and i think that was a very calculated strategy made by michael cohen and his attorneys yesterday. since friday, people in cohen world have been telling me that the narrative that rudy giuliani put out about this leaked recording on friday was not accurate. that was not the full story and there was much more to know when the transcript or the recording would actually come out. i don't think anyone believed it would come out so soon, but what we saw over the weekend was a lot of growing frustration from cohen and the people around him. this narrative they believed was not accurate. people were really believing it and cohen believes that there is a calculated strategy in the works from people around the president to discredit him, to make him look like he had nothing to do with the president, that this, the decisions he made were made on his own and the president had no idea. so watching cable news all weekend, watching cable news yesterday, the frustration
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continued to mount and the president had waived privilege for this recording. i think there was sort of a -- well what are we waiting for? why not get the narrative straight. let the questions we have listening to the recording were posed to the american public and let them decide what they think. >> michael schmidt, listening to the 2 minutes, 51 seconds we just played there, the dispute seems to be between rudy giuliani and michael cohen's team how the payment was discussed what does the term cash mean? did the president suggest pay cash or saying don't pay cash? end of the day, two men talking two months before the presidential election about a payment, stipulate a payment never made to a former "playboy" model to keep her quiet? >> yes. the dispute is about the payment. when we wrote friday about the existence of this recording, rudy said, look, this shows the
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president wanted it to be paid by check, to be above board and he did not want it paid by cash. you heard from the audio it is not nearly that clear, but not nearly as clear as cohen's lawyering make it out to be, it's completely clear that the president wanted it to be paid in cash. we do not hear any of the audio right after the point that it's initially discussed. so both sides making contradictory claims about the tape. the tape not being the clearest. we only have a small snippet of what they were talking about. at the end of the day, that's only really an issue that's come up because of the claims giuliani made on friday as he tried to explain why the tape was not bad for the president, but ultimately, as you point out, look, this is something they say the president clearly knew about it. >> and cohen is trying to reset his life as not being donald trump's bullet taker or worse a punching bag for donald trump's
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defense strategy where he takes the bullets. this is a turn for him. it's a new resolve to tell the truth no matter what even if it endangers him. the white house declined comment and referred questions to rudy giuliani who disputed the cohen's team claim on trump's use of the word "cash." >> major point is that it's outrageous that someone would tape his client. surreptitiously and foolhardy to try and yell and scream and make believe what's on the tape. i agree the tape is a little hard to hear but assure you that we listened to it numerous, numerous times, and the transcript makes it quite clear at the end that president trump says, "don't pay with cash." >> jonathan lemire, you smoke to rudy giuliani last night. what did he tell you and is it actually clear the president is saying, don't pay with cash? >> giuliani told me late last night they have the recording and enhanced it.
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a tactic he would do as a prosecutor. go after the mafia, same thing. muffled recording try to bring the better sound out of it. he says in that recording it's clear the president is saying, don't pay with cash and released a transcript that seems to back that up. of course, they have not released that actual recording. we haven't heard that yuet, relying only on the recording michael cohen put out. this backs up the president's argument. their camp's argument. he didn't do anything wrong. trying to do it above board making the point earlier in the conversation, you heard in the tape, discussed a corporation to pay it. saying, well, giuliani's argument is that is showing if donald trump, then candidate trump and michael cohen are trying to obscure this, they wouldn't have set up a corporation. wouldn't be discussing it by check. they believe that this is a, that cohen's camp is trying to muddy the waters here and change the argument to try to attack the president and they feel comfortable that that's not the
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case. also said they have 12 other tapes they're going through. they don't believe trump is on them, but rather it's cohen talking about trump with third parties. they have said they will, they're debating whether to release them. >> john heilemann, in listening to that tape, i don't know what you glean from it other than the fact a lot of names are mentioned. one of the most important probably our friend david and the question why does the tape end so abruptly? clearly the tape must be in control of michael cohen, but i don't know what else you find out in that tape if you're a prosecutor? >> neither do i. i think that the largest questions revolve around context. exactly what's happening before and after? who's donald trump talking to when he seems to be having a telephone conversation, who's in and out of the room at various times? what's the reference to the charts schi charlottesville conversation that comes up twice during the conversation. to me, from 30,000 feet what is interesting about this most of
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us is that for a long time among donald trump's adversaries in the legal realm, you had bob mueller, who doesn't speak. then michael avenatti who does. see a lot. michael cohen did not have a representative who got involved in the gamesmanship and now does. whatever you think of lanny davis, his motivations why he's doing this, he's back and he, like michael avenatti is a skilled practitioner of the dark arts and the garish arts of media lawyering. so the president now, we now are in that place and we had this back in the clinton administration, had it at other times. we now have rudy giuliani and michael avenatti, lanny davis, all engaged in all of it, i don't have a problem with any of it, but all of them have obscure mot va motivations not telling precisely the truth, jesting on their client's behalf and taking us into a new legal carnival kind of element of this story that is going to raise, we'll
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see a lot of stories like this that are going to come out in dribs and drabs and the interpretive prisms put on, stark conflict and you won't know what to believe until we get into a court if we ever do. >> and rudy giuliani has obviously been doing that on the president's behalf. to a certain extent, michael cohen at a disadvantage. >> for sure. >> betsy woodruff, trying to sort through all of the details of this and the context, et cetera, jonathan talked about exactly who -- who said that -- cash and this and that and the other thing. my question is still, why did the president's team want that out there? perhaps they do believe end of the day whatever they have been able to enhance on this recording is clear enough that it clears the president? >> that's right. giuliani asserted last week there was material on this tape that was going to be exculpatory, listening to the tape a couple times doesn't seem to be quite nearly at clear as
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giuliani claimed. part of the reason that the cohen camp was so willing to go out on a limb last night and put this tape out there. it's interesting that both sides are sort of alleging that this tape is somehow going to be a magic bullet that clears their name. that clearly isn't the case. one thing i can tell you, though, is that cohen's camp is increasingly aggressive. what we're seeing from lanny davis. additionally from talking to a person close to cohen last week, i can tell you people in cohen's circle of increasingly encourage him to affirmatively go to robert mueller. don't know for a fact cohen has anything that could be relevant to the mueller probe but hope among critics of the president close to cohen he might have snag could be relevant to that investigation and would like to see him circumvent, perhaps a hopscotch over his negotiations with the southern district of new york and go directly to the special counsel. >> a couple interesting elements. content of tapes, and act of releasing the tapes. lanny davis out.
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saying, "michael cohen is on a new path. it's a reset button to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may". all the questions about might mike many cohen turn on donald trump, looks like the beginning of that. >> is does. we saw in the press, a couple months ago, quotes from friends. attributed to, people close to michael cohen saying he wants his legal fees paid, willing to talk to mueller. what seemed like an effort to strongarm the president of the united states through the media. a fraught vstrategy but we're beginning to see the fruit of that materialize. back to the 30,000 foot perspective. the cash, no cash thing seems terrain the white house thinks is favorable. it's weeds, difficult to navigate and seems irrelevant. extending to a broader perspective you see a president who denied through a spokesperson "the president says he nerve her a relationship with mcdougal." that's flat out wrong. solidifying the fake news
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narrative your ability to suspend this belief to appeal to negative partisanship, i don't like the media, i'm going to believe the president over the media. this is really asking you to believe the president over your ears and eyes. >> and n knowledge of this. donald trump on that tape two months before the election does not sound like a man who had no knowledge of this. >> no. they calmed it, again, an old story just more fake news. a quote from an unnamed spokesperson when the story broke in february. this isn't about news anymore. this is about the president speaking on tape, speaking to his attorney. the media is removed from this. >> and the value of this tape and others we haven't heard, obviously, maybe as many as 13 altogether. it, part of this tape we just heard gets to what investigators/prosecutors continually try to get to, and in this case, try to get to that the president of the united states, and it's state of mind. what's his state of mind? during the ongoing course of
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action in this case, trying to figure out what to do about karen mcdougal? is there going to be a payment? how much is the payment going to be? what's his state of mind jrch? >> yes. a number of points made here. a conversational familiarity between the two. this san ongoing conversation, it's clear, these two are having about problems the president has. the fact he implicitly acknowledges karen mcdougal is a problem, and says all we have to do get through the next couple of weeks, he recognized the political peril and the relationship he denied having were to become public, regardless, paid with cash a check a vehicle or not. michael schmidt, a question raised a second ago. this is obviously all interesting. it points out ways in which the president lied towards the end of the campaign. points to potential campaign and finance violations but to raise the question that betsy wood driwooddruf
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raced, where the story is headed, existence of tapes, is there a place where this story overlaps and crosses over into the realms bob mueller cares about? >> mueller took the whole issue of michael cohen and his reship with the president and these payments and that was given by the deputy attorney general to these prosecutors in new york. mueller does not own that. i don't see any direct nexus between this tape and that payment and what mueller is doing, but what it is, is that cohen has a general justice department problem, and will the justice department allow him to deal with them together? will he be able to go to the justice department, say, look, i know i have exposure in new york. i may have this exposure in this russia i may not. what can you give me in exchange for my information. mueller needs to talk to michael cohen. cohen's name is in the dossier. michael cohen tried to arrange a business deal in russia during
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the campaign. if mueller is going to complete his investigation he needs to talk to cohen. does cohen go to prosecutors in new york or go to mueller saying look, i'll willing to make a deal, settle this do it all together and make a global cooperation deal with the judge is department. that's the question we have to see. >> emily jane fox, as we wrap up here, your sense of what michael cohen's team wants now. jonathan lamere's reporting that giuliani said there's 12 other tapes that they're reviewing, trying to decide whether to waive privilege on those tapes. is that something that team cohen wants out in the open? >> i think there is going to be a calculated strategy what serves michael cohen best going forward. whether that means withholding some things so he has cards to show investigators. if he does decide to cooperate, or if there is going to be more of this kind of drip, drip, drip leaking, then perhaps it serves
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them best to set the record straight. we have to understand, we're having this conversation about less than two minutes of an audio recording. there were almost 4 million documents and files and electronic devices seized from michael cohen's home, hotel room and office in april, and that's not even to say what was not seized and what michael cohen knows. someone close to cohen said to me over the weekend, it's not what's on this recording. it is the back story. so this -- this squirmish we're seeing between the two of them is -- dominating the news cycle for 24 hours. imagine what's going to happen when all of those documents start getting leaked out in drips and drabs? the fights will just continue and i think we're really just at the beginning of this. >> the tip of the iceberg. emily jane fox, great reporting, as always. you, too, michael schmidt. thanks for getting up early for us. other headlines making news, syria. the death toll is growing after a series of suicide bombings today. according to the associated press, at least 38 people have been killed.
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state media is blaming islamic state militants though no group claimed responsibility. back here in new york, a federal judge ordered the release of an ecuadorian man detained by immigration officials delivering pizza to a military base in new york city. the father of two was living in the united states illegally but has filed to change his immigration status. he spent nearly two months in an immigration detention facility. also making news, contentious runoff for governor, kemp, self-described politically incorrect conservative endorsed last week by president trump. his win sets up a heated battle in the fall taking on democrat stacey abrams. we'll talk more ar the significance of that race with the "new york times" jeremy peters. finally, a georgia lawmaker resigns after appearing on sacha baron cohen's new tv show "who is america." seen dropping his pants and yelling racial slurs in the episode that aired this past
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sunday. a spokesman says spencer will step down at the end of the month. still ahead this morning on "morning joe" -- there's an image this morning -- many congress' republicans, stay the silent about criticizing the president. now some are slamming the president to stop the bleeding from its tariff policy. plus in another 180, president trump says he is now concerned russia will try to meddle in the midterm election, but despite putin's own admission he favored president trump, the president suggests russia is somehow in the can for democrats. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. before you can achieve a higher standard of craftsmanship, you need a higher standard of craftsman. see for yourself at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2018 es 350 for $329 a month for 36 months.
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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. president trump now says he is worried russia will attempt
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to interfere in the midterm elections this year. he tweeted yesterday, i'm very concerned that russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming election. based on the fact that no president has been tougher on russia than me, he writes. they will be pushing very hard for the democrats. they definitely don't want trump. well, president putin himself said in helsinki last week he did want trump to win in 2016. >> president putin, did you want president trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that? >> translator: yes, i did. yes, i did, because he talked about bringing the u.s.-russia relationship back to normal. >> that's pretty clear. that question from reuters reporter, did you want president trump to win the election is missing from the official white house transcript of the news conference flagged by "the atlantic" more than a week ago. as of this morning, still has not been corrected.
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by the way, the white house also now clamping down on what the public knows about the president's contacts with foreign leaders. cnn and cbs news reporting that the white house will no longer issue public summaries of the president's phone calls with foreign heads of state breaking with tradition of past administrations. according to the reports, non-public readouts of the presidents calls still will be circulated among government officials and relevant agencies but not made available to the public. john heilemann, put those two pieces together knop more readouts from the phone calls, deletion from the transcript of the question about whether putin favored president trump in 2016. what does it add up to? >> well, there's never -- seen this. there's no white house logs either. we don't get to know who comes in and out of the white house. this administration's, the president's absolute desire to try to be as anti-transparent as possible has been troubling for
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a long time. they want to keep things secret. they want to keep us from knowing what the president is doing. they want to keep us from -- two-hour meeting with vladimir putin with nobody present. we don't know what happened in that meeting. all of these things consistent with the desire that is to keep the public from knowing what it has a right to know from a president what we've historically known. what's worse is this issue with the transcript which is not about a question of lack of transparency but a question of trying to alter the basic record of what happened. what happened in the -- in a public setting. and it's not just this transcript. they've altered the video that they put out, which we saw last night on television. hopefully will play it at some point today. not just take out the question from the written transcript but altered the video put out to make it look as though vladimir putin did not say yes to the question whether or not he was in favor of president trump in 2016. these are faked records. we're in the realm -- i am --
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like the invocation of hitler, always hess tent to invoke orwell, it's too easily invoked, but this is across the board, it all adds up to a genuinely orwellian set of circumstances happening in the white house. >> this is a white house press shop that has had moments of sloppiness and made mistakes with transcripts. that would be a lean for the video, too. the lack of a readout, noble noa troubling break for the president, it's not good for them. what these phone calls and meetings are like, instead we see time and time again foreign government get their readouts first and control the narrative. russia is particularly good at that. every interaction, heard the kremlin's side of the story first. the would us is missing an opportunity to try to sort of control the narrative around these meetings and since the readouts are circulated among government officials it just means they're going to leak at some point.
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>> and when altering transcripts and video trying to control the narrative in another way they think is a more effective way of doing it. simply by creating fake documents and fake video about public events. >> to jonathan's point, and noah, perhaps you've picked up on this as well. to jonathan's point, though, it gives foreign governments the chance to shape the narrative, as russia has done with regard to syria yesterday. russia accused general votel, our guy, army guy, who runs our operations in the middle east, accused him of not being obedient to his chief executives, the president of united states. implying in their statement that russia knows more about what happened in that closed-door meeting between putin and trump than joseph votel or the director of national intelligence does. >> ultimately more work for the communications shop. in the past you had to compare readouts from the president an for example the ministry in russia to see what these two things, if they align.
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now you're going to have just the account from the other side and the communications shop is still going to have to answer questions regarding that readout. you might as well get the readout out first. makes no sense. why add more labor to your plate? counteract what other governments put out there and put out the message yourself. makes no sense chb. >> betsy woodruff, what the president said yesterday and we'll play in a few minutes, borough the orwellian reference, don't believe your eyes and ears, believe what i tell you. >> right. going back to the president's tweet you cited earlier. one thing that's really baffling about this entire circumstance is that the president is also now claiming that russia wants to interfere in the midterm elections to help democrats. there's no publically available evidence that that is the case. we know as putin himself said that the russians wanted trump to win in 2016. if we want to take this tweet at face value, which i don't think we should, but if we want to, that would mean the president
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himself could be releasing material that intelligence analysts assessed and haven't yet released to the public. either the president is breaching intelligence protocols, putting out material that should not be public at this point according to the intelligence community, or the president is just making stuff up to try to troll the public and be funny. either way, it just goes to the broader credibility crisis that this white house has had ever since he was inaugurated. >> on a serious point, belief, as much of the intelligence community asserted, that russians are trying to interfere in the elections, last week in helsinki the president was given the opportunity on a plate, tell vladimir putin knock it off. >> who gave him that opportunity? >> ah -- white house reporter kind of a good-looking guy from the a.p. i'm not sure. >> noah? >> i think this is probably owning the lips. the highest iteration of the base. troll the public, as betsy said.
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provoke a response and an emotional response and appear reasonable and rational by comparison seems to be reaching its limits as an effective strategy but they seem committed to it. >> speaker of the house, paul ryan recently said that. this is the president trolling you. >> thinking about punishing political adversaries. >> a ton more to talk about this morning. still ahead, yesterday msnbc von hillier reported on the pain and uncertainty american farmers are feeling. hours later the president announce add bailout and appeared to knock von's reporting. von hilliard joins us next on "morning joe." -looks great, honey. -right?
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sometimes you need an expert. i got it. and sometimes those experts need experts. on it. [ crash ] and sometimes the expert the expert needed needs insurance expertise. it's all good. steve, you're covered for general liability. and, paul, we got your back with workers' comp. wow, it's like a party in here. where are the hors d'oeuvres, right? [ clanking ] tartlets? we cover commercial vehicles, too. i think there's something wrong with your sink.
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don't believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. i mean, i saw a piece on nbc today -- nbc -- >> it was heartin robbing. they were interviewing people. probably go through 20 and pick the one that sounds like the worst. but they went through a group of people. in fact, i wanted to say, i got to do something about this trump. terrible. and that piece was done by the lobbyists and by the people that they hire. it was a total setup.
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>> that was president trump yesterday in missouri, seemingly referring to a story we aired on "morning joe" about the economic pressure american farmers and producers are under because of trump's escalating tariffs. here again is that report from msnbc's vaughn hillyard. >> our whole future is uncertain right now. >> reporter: american workers across the country are bearing the brunt of the trump administration's growing trade war. a frustration we heard in the lobster waters of maine. or in iowa, where pork and corn exports are sidelines. >> other countries will take up that slack and we'll lose the markets for the long term, maybe for good. >> reporter: that dread reached the cranberry bogs of massachusetts. >> we don't want to be punished for just being from america. >> reporter: the market uncertainty stretches into kentucky's bourbon distilleries and across the potato fields of idaho. >> the crop is in the ground. it's an emergency. >> reporter: and back here in
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nebraska, soybeans. >> a lot of pain we're going through. >> reporter: third generation family farmer doug hopes the president will end the trade war. >> every day the tariffs are going on it's costing farmers millions of dollars. >> reporter: producers wait for the exit strategy his chief economic advisers says we're in a stalemate with china. >> trade negotiations are kind of stalled. >> reporter: and the president's hand-picked fed chair is warning these tactics to stunt economic growth. >> countries going into a more protectionist direction has done wart. >> reporter: we caught up with lawmakers trying to get the administration to pull back. >> no. the administration doesn't understand. >> i understand the president's efforts, but we are caught in the cross hairs. >> there's no a senator who's been over there that can come back and tell you they have any earthly idea where this is going. >> i can tell you it's catastrophic. >> reporter: and senators in both parties are pressing for legislation to give congress
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approval power over these tariffs. >> i'm going this to do the country. >> reporter: president trump seems set on going it alone, which frustrates this lobster retailer. >> the president said in his president's speech in 2016 he alone can fix it. >> he's trying. that's the problem. the alone part is the problem. right? he doesn't have the full picture and is making decisions without really talking to enough people. >> joining us from rapid city, the reporter behind that story, political reporter for nbc news, vaughn hillyard. good morning. good to see you again this morning. first of all, was your piece a setup by lobbyists? if so how did you rope in all those republican senators to talk on camera? >> reporter: well, i guess this lobbyist, not much impact on his own bank account, willie, but these are farmers we met out across rural america, quite
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frankly. a lot of them are people you pick up the phone and give a call to, and they said, come on out. we've never even seen the press come 0 our front door. they all voted for president trump and said that today they still have that hope in the president. that he is going to be able to negotiate that better deal. i said, it's now four and a half months the trade war has been going on. he said perhaps they were a little too confident with what the president was going to be able to actually pull off, but they said in the meanwhile and in this certain situation, there's a $12 billion financial aid plan essentially announced by the administration by the department of agriculture yesterday, which will help a lot of these farmers. pork, corn producers. wheat, cotton farmer but a lot of farmers are left out. individuals like the lobster men you heard from. the fisheries up in the air. what about the bourbon distilleries in kentucky and tennessee? a lot of questions that are going forward that are going to have to be answered, and also
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not account, that program, for future retaliatory tariffs. i talked to a man in iowa, a longtime third generation corn and pork producer updecora, iowa. he said the big question mark coming out of this, and i guess the big consequence of this trade standoff is the long-term impact. talking about export markets. they could, a lot of these farmers, like bob, could withstand the immediate financial impact. it's where our other countries, big import, like the lobster men. 20% of u.s. lobsters go overseas into asia. the question, are those markets going to begin to turn elsewhere and ultimately people like those lobstermen or like those corn producers relied on export markets before, those export markets will begin to turn to other countries instead of american-made products. >> a lot of those producers saying we don't want bailouts we want free trade.
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open to those markets. a number of pro-free trade representatives are criticizing the president's aid package. from wisconsin, becoming more and more like a soviet type economy. commissars deciding he will be granted waivers. commissars, figuring how to sprinkle around benefits. here is senator ben sasse of nebraska. >> when you choose a war of choice, which is what this trade war is, and then you say afterwards, let's just solve it by buying people gold-plated crutches, the farmers and ranchers of america don't want crutches. they want to work. >> noah, you had ben sasse speaking again and again on this yesterday and the day before about this idea that the president set up the problem with the tariffs and his correction is a bailout for tariffs and senator sasse says they don't want a bailout. they want free trade. >> right. when the bailouts are distributed, it's more likely they'll go to big agra business
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not the really small farmers. sometimes you see flashes of the republican dna. conservative dna, for re-emerging. >> somewhere. >> every so often -- >> right. one of the things we're going to start seeing now is the usda appealing to a depression era commodity credit corporation to start buying up surplus goods that they can't sell on markets. producing a lot of food no one will be eating, snit a pile a id rot. incredibly inefficient. the sort of republicans know in their marrow is wrong, bad economic policy and is something they have opposed all the way up until january 20th, 2017. but you know, you can only go so far. you can't directly oppose this president because he is still so popular with the base republicans. even these people, so damaged by these policies still believe in their hearts that this guy has their best interests in mind. all evidence of the contrary
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notwithstanding. >> you hear them say that in the interviews. if he only had the information we had he would make a differec. >> can i just jump in? digging into the bureaucratic headaches about administrating some of these tariffs. looked at steel. 16,000 applications have been made already. 16,000, by american businesses for exemptions. just think about that paperwork. and so far they only got around looking at 500 of those. think about what the bureaucrats have to deal with to actually get through all of this stuff. then think about what it's going to mean to try to administer payouts to farmers, and for the uncertainty for american companies, it's huge. the steel sector. we talked to a company, down in south carolina. it says its application for specialized wire for wind screen wipers have been accepted. steel plates for repairing broken bones rejected. why? think about the practicalities
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of that and what the farmers will face in terms of all this. >> in a rich "morning joe" tradition, introduce our guests after they've offered great insights, as you just said. u.s. managing editor of the "financial times "julian tess. and president trump tweeted yesterday, countries that treated us unfairly for years are all coming to washington to negotiate. should have taken place many years ago. as the saying goes, better late than never. what do we expect today? >> interesting. the president is doing the same with vladimir putin. meeting with hi other aides for a bit. having a 15-minute face-to-face private meeting. coming from europe, not empowered to offer much but a desperate attempt by the europeans to do a face-to-face thing with the president, in think is the only thing that will work because they think
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he's the only one setting policy now to try to head off the tariffs. something that the american voters should know about now is europe already reacted to what the americans are doing right now on the trade side by moving at lightning speed to cut a new trade deal with japan. one of the very interesting things is that the rest of the world is not necessarily going to sit there and wait for this kind of negotiating strategy and dance. they are already trying to find ways to bolster alliances with each other to keep trade going. >> by the way, critical of president trump, yonker has been. interesting meeting between the two personalities. >> very much so coming on the heels of the president's rather destabilizing meeting to europe. >> rather destabilizing. >> a lot lost in the aftermath of helsinki. prior, nato, what he did in the uk, attacking allies left and right. calling out angela merkel for the pipeline deal they made and
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comes a few weeks after he ripped up the g7, refused to sign the communique. a question for you, vaughn. talk about these tariffs and such, is there, and the people you've talked to, we see them, they still support this president. any sense what that breaking point might be? what might be the thing that gets them to finally give up their support for someone that they championed at least to this point and still seem they still believe in? >> reporter: i think, jonathan, it comes down to the next layers of politics. and it's a question of the obligation of governance. because one man after the next, there's a few that have dropped off of their support of the president, but what i constantly heard was, would you, say the president was up in 2018, despite soybeans dropping 28% would you still support him come this november? at this point in time, every reason they would. what would you need to hear from a democrat? hear about stability. hear our markets would be fought or and said we feel like the
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president to this day continues to fight for us. he's not getting the results we want, but pe see that he's out there on the world stage fighting or ag and for american farmers. still wholeheartedly believe that. that goes to the question, and why -- that's why i think it's also good to talk to a lot of farmers out there who voted for hillary clinton, too. because it comes down to what that obligation of governance is. once you are in political office, what is it ultimately that you need to do in that position at that point. and, sorry, as i see my light turn out here in the fields of south dakota, there's a question a lot of these farmers are out here at 4:00 a.m. every morning is the point i want to make. we joined them at 4 and 5 in the morning. these are people, as you said, they have their crops that are coming up. wheat is being harvested now. come september and october corn is coming up. they need a place to send it. and they don't want to just go to storage bins. this is more than a business. this is their livelihood and for towns all across america what they rely on to sustain
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themselves. >> vaughn hillyard, powering through the darkness with his great reporting from rapid city, south dakota. vaughn, great job. we look forward to your next stuff coming up. thanks so much. before we go, you mentioned the trade deal that the eu struck with japan. >> yeah. >> what extent is europe turning away -- they'll never turn away completely from the united states but accepting that the partner they have now in the united states isn't as reliable as it's been? >> angela merkel said before that they are realizing increasingly in europe that they have to rely on themselves. now the problem is that europe's own political structure is pretty messed up, frankly. so that's not necessarily a good thing. but there is a growing sense that the entire world order is being set. and although america has played a key leadership role in the post world war ii global system, the rest of the world is realizing that that's not going to continue. >> and a big beneficiary of all of it, vladimir putin, russia. >> thank you as always. still ahead this morning, after days of heated rhetoric and all-caps tweeting, president trump now says he's ready to
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make a deal with iran. we'll ask a member of the senate foreign relations committee chris coons for his take on that and more when we come back.
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you run off to your job, what are you looking at today? >> my colleague spencer and ron and i put a story up last night the way a confederate sympathizing tennessee lawyer connected a reported alleged russian spy master with the then president of the nra. one thing we're digging on in is getting as much detail as possible, as much additional information as possible as the way that actual american citizens played roles in connecting senior officials with russia and the political party and the conservative movement. that's an on going project and one thing we're focussing on today. still ahead this morning, michael cohen used to stand out for his loyalty to donald trump. now cohen has done everything short of going to tinder to hook up with robert mueller.
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jonathan turley joins our conversation. he can expand on that. plus, u.s. former ambassador to russia michael mcfaul will be our guest. "morning joe" is coming right back. surfs up. earn a $50 gift card when you stay just twice this summer. or, badda book. badda boom. book now at choicehotels.com
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so let's promote our summer travel deal on choicehotels.com like this. surfs up. earn a $50 gift card when you stay just twice this summer. or, badda book. badda boom. book now at choicehotels.com ♪ welcome back to "morning joe." it is a good one, mike barnacle. it's wednesday, july 25th, i'm willie geist. joe and mika have the morning off. still with us, host of kc/d.c.,
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kasie hunt. we do it every time even when we reintroduce you. >> it's awesome. >> it's in your contract. >> mike barnacle is here. john heilemann. >> barnacle in the '70s. >> halloween, trick or treat. >> watch him sing "suffer jet city." it's sick. >> we have noah rothman and joining the conversation now, associate editor of the washington post and msnbc political analyst eugene robertson, jeremy peters and law professor at george washington university jonathan turley. i want to ask you about your tinder analogy in just a moment, but hold tight. attorneys for president trump and michael cohen verified a 2016 audio tape recorded by trump's former legal fixer. and while the camps are disputing who said what, they do agree on the subject of the
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conversation. then candidate trump is heard discussing a possible payment to purchase the story writes of a former playboy model karen mcdougal about an affair she says she had with trump a decade earlier in which the president denies. cohen's lawyer lanny davis released the tape to cnn last night. we cannot confirm whether it's been edited or altered, it does include a brief profanity from then candidate donald trump. >> let me know what's happening, okay? oh. oh. maybe because of this it would be better if you didn't go, you
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know? maybe because of this that one -- i think to get rid of this because it's so false what they're saying. it's such bullshit. i think this goes away quickly. i think it's probably better. do the charleston thing. just this time. yeah. in two weeks it's fine. i think right now it's better. you know? okay, honey, you take care of yourself. thanks, pam. yep. i'm proud of you. so long, bye. what's up, mike? >> great poll, by the way, cnn. >> making progress. >> big time. >> pastor scott? >> pastor scott. what's happening? >> oh, no. >> can we use him anymore? >> oh, yeah. we told him -- >> mark burns, can we use him anymore? >> no.
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>> he just called. he had an idea for you. >> great. >> so we got served from the new york times. i told you this. to unseal the divorce papers with ivana. we're fighting it. >> should never be able to get that done. >> never. they don't have -- >> give me a -- >> a woman that doesn't want -- >> correct. >> you've been handling it. >> yes. >> it's been going on for a while. >> two, three weeks now. >> all you have to do is delay it for -- >> even after that it's never going to be opened. there's no purpose for it. told you about charleston. i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david so that i'm going to do that right away. >> give it to me. >> i've spoken to allen weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with -- >> so what are we going to pay? >> funding, yes.
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and it's all the stuff, all the stuff. because you never know where that company, never know what he's going to be. correct. i'm all over that. i spoke to allen about it. when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> one second. what financing? >> we'll have to pay. >> no, no, no, no. >> so let's put that into some context. jonathan turly, i want to read your latest piece for the hill, titled "michael cohen's trump tape problem." you wrote this before the tape was released last night. cohen has done everything short of going to tinder to hook up with robert mueller. he stripped away any references to trump on social media. it's quite a change from a man among oppressive array of sick offense stood out for his proclamations of love and loyalty. cohen once said i protect mr. trump. if there's an issue that relates
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to mr. trump, that is of concern to him, it's of course of concern to me. and i will use my legal skills to protect mr. trump to the best of my abilities. it appears now that cohen's loyalties are as dubious on his legal skills. however, the one thing that allows is conceivable is that cohen would flip. professor turly, you wrote that before that tape was released to cnn last night. what more can you add after hearing that tape? >> first of all, my interest in tinder is purely academic. i want to make that clear. no, he really does follow that dorothy parker add age, you scratch a lover, find a foe. this is a very dangerous foe obviously for the president. the fact that he would secretly record his client is deeply troubling for an attorney. i mean, most attorneys are quite shocked. it doesn't make it illegal. the president is wrong about that when he says it might be illegal. in new york it probably is not. there's been a debate about
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whether it's ethical. that issue is still out there. but it is certainly damaging. in the tape there's clearly a reference to the $150,000. more importantly, there's a discussion of what appears to be david pecker as, quote, our friend. and what's most interesting about this is there's no suggestion that pecker would object to selling the rights of the story that he just recently acquired. the question is why? if he had a journalistic purpose for acquiring that purpose, why is the assumption that it would be easy to purchase it and then cab it within this corporation. having said that, they didn't go ahead and do that which by the way, would have been terrible. i mean, cohen's solution to every problem is self em mulation. the suggestion you could create a corporation and buy the rights to mcdougal's story is again one of the worst possible things you could have done at that moment. >> so just by way of reminder,
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david pecker runs america media the company that runs national inquiry. national inquiry bought karen mcdougal's story for 150,000. they never published it. kevin mcdougal alleges a long affair with president trump that president trump denies. you long said that karen mcdougal was more damaging to the president potentially than his stormy daniels. why do you say that? >> well, on a number of levels. first of all, the alleged relationship was longer, making her possible story more damaging than stormy daniels which may have just been a one-night stand. more importantly, the way that this played out is more damaging, that you have this individual, david pecker, buying the story then burying it. you now have the suggestion that he would then transfer that to a trump, you know, corporation that didn't have any
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fingerprints, according to cohen's account. and that all does re-enforce the sort of campaign finance violation theory. i don't think that this is as exculpatory as giuliani makes out. i don't believe that it is establishing a crime either, but it does add sort of tiles to this mosaic for a campaign finance violation. it shows a concern about keeping things quiet for a few weeks, using these types of mechanisms to bury stories and it makes pecker look really bad in terms of his willingness, according to this tape, he's obviously not saying anything like this, but the perceived willingness to sell this to basically a shield corporation. >> michael cohen's attorney lanny davis is the one who released the tape to cnn last night. he tells nbc news cohen is trying to reset his life as not being donald trump's bullet taker or worse a punching bag for donald trump's defense strategy where he takes the
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bullets. this is a turn for him, says davis. it's a new resolve to tell the truth no matter what, even if it endangers him. the white house declined comment and referred questions to rudy giuliani who disputed cohen's claim on trump's use of the word cash on that tape. >> major point is it's outrageous that someone would tape his client sur repetitiously. it's also foolhardy for them to try to yell and scream and make believe what's on the tape. i agree with you the tape is a little bit hard to hear, but i assure you that we listened to it numerous, numerous times and the transcript makes it quite clear at the end that president trump says, quote, don't pay with cash. >> you know, jeremy, we just heard rudy giuliani say that he and his associates listened to the tape numerous, numerous times and we listened to it twice this morning. but i get the feeling, and i'm
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wondering whether you get the feeling being out in the country covering elections, campaigns in different states, whether the level of exhaustion is such out in the country that many people are not listening to this stuff? >> i think that's right. i think they're not. i think that russia in terms of their list of priorities right now, can i afford to put enough gas in my car, how much money am i bringing in with my paycheck every month? is it actually getting smaller now. those are much bigger concerns. however, this all contributes to the sense that this is an administration that frequently does not tell the truth. tie this back to what president trump said yesterday, this astonishing remark that what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. that we are supposed to deny reality. this has been his play book all along. when anything threatens him, when he feels under attack, his impulse is to just say, no. black is white. up is down. the sky is not blue. and that's what you have going
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on to try to muddy the waters around this russia investigation here. but now we have tapes, right? and tapes are very different. granted, this tape is not incredibly clear. i think as rudy said last night, they had to listen to it three times. i'm not really sure if they were listening to it three times because they wanted it to line up with their explanation that they gave to "the new york times" on friday saying, oh no, don't worry, this is going to clear trump. looking for exactly how they could do that with this tape. or because it's just genuinely confusing. i think that the jury is kind of out on that. >> well, it is genuinely confusing, i would say. it's difficult to kind of sort through it as we listen to it. they do seem to be focussed on, well, what did the president say about cash which muddies the overall picture, gene. >> right. because who cares. >> right. >> what does it matter. i love that rudy giuliani focuses on that one question, well, he said don't pay with cash rather than pay with cash. >> when the broader point is he
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knew about this relationship. >> exactly, this on going conspiracy, basically, i don't know if in a legal sense but certainly in a real world sense to keep this story under wraps until the election about this affair that he had with this woman for nearly a year and it doesn't matter whether he was going to pay it in cash or with a check. you know, the only thing he says we weren't going to do was finance it over time. fine. >> we weren't going to take out a mortgage. >> whatever. >> can you finance payments to a playboy model? i don't know how that works. >> if you go to bank of america and have a discussion with certain people you can finance anything. >> good to know. >> apparently. >> here are two -- >> what have you financed in your life, john heilemann? >> you get my point. leave me alone. >> two important things about this right, michael cohen and donald trump are having a conversation that sounds like it's one of a hundred conversations they've had.
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this is a familiar tonal -- the tone of this is familiar. we deal with this, the dirty business we deal all the time. >> it's almost familial. this is a long conversation that they handled this kind of stuff, take out the garbage. lanny davis telegraphs this as clearly as possible, michael cohen wanted to reset the public perception of michael cohen, he wants to tell the truth. michael cohen is going on offense, that's what this is. he is willing now to take the material that he has at his disposal and start to weaponize it and use it against donald trump. how much damage it will do? we don't know. but that's a giant shift from where we were with michael cohen two weeks ago, obviously two years ago. but having michael cohen with a skilled practitioner of media lawyering and willing to take it to donald trump is just one more problem for the president. >> noah rothman, it's interesting when you talk to trump voters over the last year
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or so or two years really, they sort of say they call it the stormy stuff. that's baked into who he is, but he does all these other things that benefit us, so we're willing to overlook that. is that the case with this? in other words, will that tape we just played have any impact whatsoever? >> yeah, i don't think so, as far as broader political impact. as you said, his character issues were baked into the cake in 2016. i don't think that's changed. to the extent that this undermines the fake news narrative, i think that's a benefit for donald trump's opponents but perhaps not a significant one. jeremy is right. the economic news is the biggest issue. as long as the economy is humming, republican voters, trump voters are willing to overlook this sort of stuff. the biggest question i had moving forward is how democrats will position themselves on tariffs. clearly tariffs are hurting donald trump voters as much as anybody who is a trump opponent could have hoped. are they going to abandon
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working class voters, union voters who they moved away from in the past in order to be a free trade party. it's a difficult thing to imagine the democratic party turning away from its past in order to adopt donald trump voters and reembrace donald trump voters as much as it might win them elections. so they're in a difficult position to try to capitalize on donald trump's problems right now. >> jonathan turly, we knew the moment michael cohen hired lanny davis that he was going on offense and we saw the first round of that official round last night when lanny released those tapes on cnn and went on tv to make his case about them. what does a michael cohen on offense mean more broadly to the mueller investigation, to president trump? >> well, first of all, lanny is a friend, but i have to say, it's not a good things when your client is a lawyer trying a new approach and that is to tell the truth. you know, one would hope that that had been sort of part of the strategy all along.
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but, he's obviously a dangerous opponent because he has such intimate knowledge of the president's dealings, not just with regard to the alleged affairs but also some of his business dealings. there's been a very clever tactical move in dividing this investigation between washington and the southern district. he could be contacted by either set of prosecutors and offered a deal. now, how far that deal would go in resolving his problems is a very good question because most of cohen's real problems deal with financial arrangements that are separate from donald trump. so, it will be very interesting thing how they thread this needle. lanny is very good at changing the narrative. and he has done that. but he's not an al chemist, he can't turn michael cohen into some type of action figure or hero. he has a really quite a tainted record here and he's not going
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to redeem himself necessarily, but he might help himself if he could get some type of deal. >> jonathan turly, thank you. we'll audit your tinder 101 class this fall at george washington university. >> swipe left. >> good to see you. thank you very much, professor. >> thank you. jeremy peters, let's talk about what happened in georgia the runoff for the republican nomination in the gubernatorial race there. ryan kemp won by 39 points, smoked his opponent. >> explains trump's endorsement a few days ago. >> president trump came out strongly in support of this candidate. >> that's exactly right. and i think what this says is you look a few months ago when trump-like candidates were losing, now they're starting to be a little bit of a shift where you have trump approved, trump tethered candidates, people who really said i am just like this guy. i'm just like the president. they're starting to win. >> in particular, his truck, he
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ran an ad where he was driving a truck saying i will deport illegal aliens myself if necessary. >> and pointed a shotgun at a kid who was trying to date his daughter in some type of show of masculinity, i guess, or so he thought. but what this says, i think, willie, to your point, is that while the professional conservative class has really kind of taken over certain aspects of this administration and this president has been a conservative republican president in a lot of ways from appointing gorsuch then kavanaugh and the tax cuts and all these regulatory repeals, culturally the party is very much donald trump's. and it will remain so for the foreseeable future. and there's a reason candidates like kemp in georgia are running around saying, i'm with the president all the way. in fact, last night in his victory speech he said everyone needs to remember that tweet, the tweet endorsement from
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donald trump. >> that's why all of these republicans in washington who are culturally against donald trump, paul ryan, jeff flake, bob corker all leaving. >> fiscally it's a different party. it used to be the party of the deficit scalds. we can't spend. we're running out of money. we're mortgaging the future. >> hit a trillion next year. >> exactly. add a trillion to the deficit. let's throw more money at the farmers. but what a governor's race in georgia for the fall between republican and stacy abrams who is a progressive african-american democrat. >> so noah, what can we read into last night's results? again, 39-point spread in that republican runoff. we said it again and again but it's worth underlying, president trump has an 88% approval rating among republicans despite all the criticism he receives. >> yeah, jeremy hit it on the head that there's an affectation
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sort of a posture that you have to strike in order to appeal to the trump supporting base of the republican party. and i think this candidate struck it pretty well. obviously donald trump believed it. and the race in the fall now is set up between a progressive democrat, someone who scolded her fellow democrats for appealing to the middle of the state and a trump supporting republican who promises to deport people by himself and put guns to the heads of people. there is no middle ground. and that's very distressing. there's a lot of people in the middle of this country who do not appreciate this kind of posturing and are not progressive liberal democrats who think deficit spending isn't a problem in this country. there is no middle anymore. and that's something that i don't think is sustainable. in the long run, there will be a revolt against this kind of polarization. i'm not sure it will take on a healthy form, but it's coming. >> if you want to talk about a race that will reflect the nationalized nature of these
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mid-terms, this race is going to be incendiary. it's going to be controversial. it's going to be racially charged. this is going to be a race that a lot of people are going to be focussing on. we'll all be out running around in the runup to these mid-terms, but this particular race could get very ugly very fast. >> stacy abrams would be the first african-american woman to be a governor in the united states of america if she wins this fall. jeremy peters, thank you very much. always good to see you. >> still ahead on "morning joe," when it comes from kim jong-un, he calls him smart, talented and a worthy negotiator. on iran, the president threatened to wipe out the country but yesterday took a different tone. could another summit be coming? you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪
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[ cheers and applause ]. and iran is not the same country anymore. that i can say. and we'll see what happens. but we're ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was done by the previous administration, which was a disaster. >> this was president trump speaking to a veterans group at the vfw in kansas city. he seems open to cutting a deal with iran days after the all-cap twitter threat to the regime. joining us now democratic senator chris coons of delaware. senator, good morning. it's always good to see you. the argument seems to be at this point this morning from the white house that the president was sort of softening the ground with the all-caps tweet to set up a negotiation or a deal. you convinced by that argument? >> willie, i'm not convinced. this seems to be the same play book the president followed over several months with kim jong-un
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of north korea where he threatened and threatened and threatened some sort of aggressive all-out nuclear war on twitter and increasely abusive of kim jong-un, did a 180 degree turn and did a handshake photo op in singapore. my concern is he'll do the same, that he has now very briefly tweeted one all caps threat at president rouhani of the iranian islamic republic and will declare himself capable of concocting some better deal. the iran nuclear agreement which took years to put together and relied upon our european allies and china and russia isn't something you can replace with a few tweets and photo op. >> when you see a tweet like that one from the president threatening iran in all caps, what's your reaction to it? >> i shake my head.
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i'm concerned. i frankly think we're losing credibility internationally. the more times the more ways that our president conducts something like diplomacy on twitter in a way that seems unrelated to the actual reality on the ground, i think it undermines our credibility. his statement at the rally in kansas city that iran is now a totally different country is just obviously untrue. >> senator, noah rothman from commentary magazine. turning briefly to domestic politics. you recently criticized the left flank of the democratic party saying the democrats are running a relentless race to the left and that's a losing proposition they need to abandon, quite, wild eye proposals. specifically what proposals constitutes this? >> the one i was talking about there if i remember that interview correctly was folks who are my friends and colleagues who think we should be reversing president trump's inhumane and unsuccessful
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immigration policies and we should be reforming the agency responsible for immigration enforcement. but they summarize that position with #abolishi.c.e. i think that particular approach is too easily charactertured by president trump as misrepresenting democrats as welcoming open borders and abandoning any immigration enforcement. that's not the case. my colleagues with whom i've spoken, they adopted #abolishi.c.e. as a short term way of conveying a more substantial position which is we should have strong enforcement but we ought to do in a humane way, the opposite of recent immigration decisions by president trump and recent enforcement actions by i.c.e. >> senator coops, kasie hunt, nice to see you. >> good morning. >> i want to turn back not necessarily foreign policy but foreign meddling. the president rewriting what's gone on with vladimir putin saying that russia is meddling in the mid-term election but that he's trying to help
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democrats. there's been some speculation as to where that information may be coming from or if he just made it up. i'm wondering has there been any conversations with you and your colleagues, perhaps those on the intelligence committee and i know you serve on foreign services. is there any truth to this, any evidence that you've seen? >> kasie, on the foreign relations committee we heard absolutely nothing that suggests russia is making an abrupt change in its preferences as it prepares to attack our elections again in 2018. what we've seen across western europe, central europe, eastern europe is that russia is a persistent and aggressive adversary of democracy. it is true that in the united states in the 2016 election russia took some actions to support both the far right and far left in order to further increase division in america, but our intelligence community unanimously assessed that in the
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case of the presidential election of 2016, they ultimately made a decision to support donald trump over hillary clinton and to interfere with, to attack our election to achieve that result. >> senator, speaking of our intelligence community, yesterday you and senator flake, not for the first time, attempted to pass a simple resolution in the united states senate basically saying we believe our guys are doing a great job and we believe our guys are better than the russians. and the senator from georgia, david purdue, used a parliamentary maneuver to block the resolution from coming to the floor of the senate. so my question to you is, what's wrong with your resolution? and if nothing is wrong with your resolution, what's wrong with the united states senate? >> there's nothing wrong with our resolution. it was dismissed last thursday as mere symbolism and i'll remind you that sometimes symbolism like our flag is an important rallying point for americans. i think it is important.
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i believe senator flake thinks it's important that the senate speak with one voice about backing our intelligence community, federal law enforcement. but our resolution also called for action. it called for full enforcement of the sanctions that we imposed against russia, excuse me, that we empowered the president to impose against russia in a 9 8-2 vote last year but hasn't yet been fully imposed. it called for hearings about for the release of notes an records of the meeting in helsinki. so, it was both important symbolism in terms of supporting the intelligence community and federal law enforcement and our resolution called for action. what's wrong, i think with the senate particularly with the senate caucus in the senate, there's some senators unwilling to do even symbolic measures that would be in any way disfavorable to the white house. that strikes me as concerning. you've got senior administration officials who are openly saying the opposite of what president trump said in helsinki.
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u.n. ambassador nikki haley just said i believe yesterday we will never trust vladimir putin. if that's the case, then why is he being invited to the white house? >> senator, gene robinson. you and i have talked. i know that one of your particular interests on foreign relations is the african continent. the only way that i can recall the president has engaged with the african continent referred to it as a bunch of s-hole countries. >> yes. >> so, do you find others in the administration who are willing to engage with you on africa? or do you not? >> well, to be positive, secretary of commerce ross recently led a trip to four african countries to try to strengthen and broaden our economic ties with countries that have vibrant economies and where there's significant opportunity. and i think that is an important step forward. at the meantime, china is engaged in very active, very
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aggressive economic diplomacy across the continent. xi jinping is in southern africa and just made a commitment of 14 billion in new investments in just one country in south africa, one of africa's most dynamic countries with a very promising economy. my most recent meeting with the minister of trade of south africa was a very somber one. our tariffs against their steel and aluminum exports is going to have a really negative impact on our relationship with south africa since they're not really the country we're trying to impact with president trump's tariffs, that should be focussed on the u.s./china trade relationship. this is just another example, eugene of the sort of unintended harm these wildly applied and widely swung tariffs are having. >> i think we hit four of the seven continents this morning with senator chris coons. we'll get to the other three on your next appearance. thank you very much. good to see you. still ahead, former ambassador michael mcfaul will join the conversation on the
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heels of his white house meeting with trump's top adviser on russia just yesterday. "morning joe" will be right back. is this at&t innovations? yeah, wow..this must be for one of our new unlimited wireless plans. it comes with a ton of entertainment options. great, can you sign for this? yeah. hey, uh.. what's in that one? that's a shark. new and only with at&t, you can get unlimited data, 30+ channels of live tv, and your choice of things like hbo or amazon music. more for your thing. that's our thing. visit att dot com.
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>> translator: options abound and they all can be found in an appropriate, legal framework. >> did you want president trump to win the election? and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that? >> translator: yes, i did. yes, i did. >> that's a moment from the joint news conference last week in helsinki between president trump and vladimir putin. when reuters reporter jeff mason asked the russian leader whether he wanted donald trump to win the 2016 presidential election. but that question is missing from the official white house transcript and from the video. the white house has posted its own version of that news conference on its official youtube channel and as was pointed out in the atlantic and last night on msnbc, this white house version differs from what we all just saw. >> translator: options abound and they all can be found in an
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appropriate legal framework. >> and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that? >> translator: yes, i did. yes, i did. >> that's an odd edit. joining us now former u.s. ambassador to russia michael mcfaul. yesterday michael met with president trump's top russia adviser. ambassador, good to see you. >> it's not an odd edit. it's an insidious. >> i say odd because in some ways it makes it worse because the question was did he help you win -- did you move to help president trump win the election and then they have putin saying yes, yes, i did. he was answering when he answered on the real tape, yes, i wanted the president to win. >> but it makes it entirely unclear the way the edit of the question, did you officials direct officials to do something, to do what? it's cut out -- it's exactly the thing that president -- that gets president trump every time on this, the fact that his election might not be legitimate because he could have been helped by president putin and
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therefore there's something else going on. who would have directed that? >> just to be clear, there is no justification under any circumstance for the white house to be putting out a video of an event that happened and altering it in any way whatsoever, whether it's to their interest or not to their interest, there's only one version of this reality. >> exactly. >> question was asked and answer was proffered. that is the only version that our white house should be putting out on its youtube channel or through any other official government mechanism or medium that exists. >> sit possible that it's not legal for them to do that? there are record laws, all e-mails, tweets everything has to be archived as it is. >> though i play a lawyer occasionally on television i don't know the answer. if it's not illegal, it should be. >> ambassador mcfaul, let's talk about your meeting yesterday. obviously this comes against the backdrop of the white house saying sarah sanders from the lecturn in the white house briefing room, they were entertaining the idea put forth of president putin making you and others available for
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interviews in some kind of a sham investigation in russia. what did you learn in your meeting yesterday? >> well, first of all, let's be clear what putin was proposing. i think there's been some misunderstanding about it. it wasn't just innocently asking us to be interviewed for some other criminal investigation, it was asking to interview us because they considered us to be potential criminals in an on going investigation. so they were accusing me on the record of being a suspected criminal for doing the work i did while an obama administration official. and it's so crazy that they even got some of the facts wrong, just so you know, allegedly it's what i did in 2009 and 2010 at the state department in moscow. just to be clear, in 2009 and 2010 i worked at the white house. and it should have been batted down by the president, live tv from helsinki. maybe he didn't understand what president putin was talking
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about, so let's let him have a retake. they then did a retake and from the white house they said they're considering it. and it was only on the third take that they finally said they're not considering to offering us up for this interrogation. though again, even in that third take, they called it a sincere suggestion from vladimir putin. and let's just be clear, there was no sincerity whatsoever in that gesture either about us or about inter -- allowing us to interview those gru military intelligence officials who, of course, would lie just as they're trained to do just like vladimir putin did standing next to president trump. >> and the president of the united states famously called it a, quote, incredible offer the first time he heard about it from vladimir putin. what did you learn in your white house meeting yesterday? >> well, so i'm here in washington to meet not just with white house officials but other members of the government. i'm going around to the state department, department of
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justice. i have many meetings with members of congress, senators. and i have one message, they can tell you what they want about the meeting. here is my message i'm glad to share with anybody. now that this is no longer an offer, thank you that we're done with that, but we're not done with the possibility that the russian government will indictment and convict me and the other 11 u.s. government officials of a crime that, of course, we had nothing to do with. it was completely invented. and if that happens, then we all have to worry about when we travel abroad for a red notice to be put out by interpoll asking for us to be arrested and sent to russia. and there are cases of this, most famously bill browder has been living with this for years. he's not the only one who lives with it. i talked to a senior ukrainian official who reminded me they do this all the time with ukrainian officials. i want my government, i want my president, my commander in chief
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to tell vladimir putin under no circumstances should you go after these american government officials, former and present, and that will have dangerous consequences for our relationship. i want them to preemptively protect us so that we don't face that kind of harassment. >> ambassador gene robinson here. are they going to do that? are they going to keep you from being effectively a prisoner within the confines of the united states lest you be hauled off to moscow? >> i don't know. i mean, you know, i want to remain hopeful about my country. this is not a democrat/republican thing. this is a national security issue. by the way, there's a very senior former official from the bush administration on that list, too. and i just -- i honestly can't understand it. why is it so hard for this administration just to say on the record this is absurd. you cannot arrest our government
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officials for doing their jobs because if they don't say that, it sends a very dangerous message that our diplomats, that our military service officers, that our intelligence officers working abroad can somehow be, you know, indicted and prosecuted for crazy crimes that, of course, we didn't do. so it's in the national interest for them to do this. it's not just about me. >> and not just in russia, right? >> and not just in russia, correct. it's everybody is looking at this. can vladimir putin silence his critics? that's what this is about. i am -- you guys know, i've been on your show, i'm a pretty vocal critic of what vladimir putin does to his people at home and abroad. and this is an intimidation method. we need to push back on it. >> so ambassador mcfaul, let's back up a bit. who, by name, did you meet with in the white house? and who, by name, did you express your legitimate grievance to in the white house?
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and what, by response, did you get? >> well, it's in the public domain. they reported it, not me. i met with fiona hill, the senior person on russian affair. i want to be clear, i have lots of other meetings. i'll let them read it out. i'm not going to report on my own case. i have a message that i'm bringing to them, and i want the american people to hear the same message so that we have some action. again, i want to make -- i want to underscore this one more time, this is not just about me. this is about the other 11 americans on that list and literally tens of thousands of americans who serve our country abroad who could be prosecuted if we don't push back on autocratic dictators who use the law to intimidate us. >> i know you'll stay on this and we will too. ambassador michael mcfaul, we appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. there were no indictments from the benghazi investigation or the clinton e-mail probe,
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that didn't stop attorney general jeff sessions from repeating and locking along with the lock her up chant with a group of high school students. we'll talk about that ahead on "morning joe." ♪ a hotel can make or break a trip. and at expedia, we don't think you should be rushed into booking one. that's why we created expedia's add-on advantage. now after booking your flight, you unlock discounts on select hotels right until the day you leave. ♪ add-on advantage. discounted hotel rates when you add on to your trip.
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during some of the president ease attacks on the press yesterday during an event in kansas city, boos could be heard, in response the vfw tweeted -- we were disappointed to hear some of the members boo the press. we rely on the media to spread the vfw message, and media on site today with our invited guests. we were happy to have them there. >> there you go. classy. class in indeed. another moment from yesterday. there were plenty of posts on twitter, linking something prush said with "1984." in the words of the president -- just remember what you're seeing and what you're reading is not
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what's happening. plus a secretly recorded conversation with michael cohen and donald trump is out in the public. we're hearing for the first time audio of the two men discussing a payment involving a former playboy model. "morning joe" is coming back. 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. energy lives here.
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just remember, what you're seeing and what you are reading is not what is happening. there you have is, or as
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george orwell wrote -- reject the evidence of your eyes and your ears. the president dominating the air waves this morning, even when they didn't plan to be. michael cohen has released a secretly recorded audiotape discussion payment of a playboy model. the president attacked reporters as fake news during an event yesterday. and speaking of campaign lines, the united states attorney general egged on high school students in a chance of "lock her up." all this plus a hammers of wow and a government bailout for farmer, the one senator likens to the economic graft of the soviet union. i'm willie geist, along liquidity the host of casey d.c. >> welcome, guys. >> is that hold for you yet?
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the lightning? >> i'm waiting for the barnicle take. noaa rath man is here, jon than la mere, political reporter for "the daily beast." , and michael schmidt. joe and mika have the morning i've. a audiotape has verified. while the camps are disputing who said what, they agree on the subject of the conversation. then candidate trump is heard discussing a possible payment to purchase the story rights of a former playboy model karen mcdual about an affair she had with the president a decade earlier, that trump denies lanny
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davis released that tape to cnn. while nbc cannot confirm if it's been edited. a warning it includes a brief profanity from then candidate donald trump. >> let me know what's happening, okay? oh, oh. maybe because of this it would be better if you didn't go. you know? maybe because of this, you know, that one -- this is -- to get rid of this, because it's so false what they're saying, it's such bullshit. um -- i think this goes away
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quickly. i think it's probably better, just this -- yeah, in two weeks it's fine. i think right now it's better, you know? okay, honey, you take care of yourself. thanks, dan. i'm proud of you. so long. >> great poll, by the way. great boll. big time. >> and your guy is a good time, who? >> pastor scott -- can we use use him anymore? >> yeah, we've told him -- i don't mean to curb. >> i'm sorry. he just called and said we have a chance here tonight here for you. >> so we got served from "new york times" regarding the unsealed divorce papers with ivana. we're fighting it.
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casslick -- >> never ever should be done, give me a -- please. a woman -- >> correct. so -- yes, and it's all. >> it's been going on for a while. >> all we have to do is delay it four weeks. >> even after that it won't be opened. there's no purpose for it. i told you about charleston. i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regardless our friend david, you know? i'm going to do that right away. >> give it to me -- >> i've spoken to alan weiselberg about how to set the whole thing up with funding -- >> the -- >> yes, and it's all the stuff, all the stuff, because you never know that company -- >> may he gets hoyt by a truck. >> correct. so i'm all over that. i spoke to alan about it, when it comes to the financing -- >> what financing? >> well, i have to pay for it --
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oh, no, no, no, i got. so we're going to work through exactly what you heard there, but first the exclusive rights to mcdual's stores were purchased and never published for $150,000 by american media, whose chairman, an ally of the president, may be the man cohen is referring to when he mentioned our friend david. trump and mcdual met in 2006, three months after melania birth gave birth to trump's youngest son. her 2016 contract with american media promised her regular columns on aging and wellness and to prominently feature her on two of the company's magazine covers. when the "wall street journal" reported the payment four days ago before the election, hope hicks said, quote, we have no knowledge of any of this em. let's bring in senior
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reporter at "vanity fair" and msnbc news, and contributor emily james fox. you've been wired into cohen's world for a long time. just walk us through a bit of what we heard how the decision was made to make it public. >> well, i think the most interesting thing is it is very clear that in the height of the election president trump was clearly plugged into all that michael cohen was doing. whether that was this payment made, or the talk of the payment made to ami or something about his divorce tapes being unsealed or not, and what clear is the president knew about everything that was going on. i think that was a very calculated strategy made by michael cohen and his attorneys yesterday. since friday, people in cohen world had been telling me the narrative that rudy giuliani put
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out was not accurate, and it was not the full story and there was much more to know. i don't think anyone believed it would come out so soon, but we saw a lot of growing frustration. the narrative they believed was not accurate. people were really believes it, and cohen believes that there is a calculated strategy in the works from people around the president to discredit him, to make him look like he had nothing to do with the president, that the decisions he made were made on his own and the president had no idea. so watching cable news all weekend, watching cable news yesterday, the frustration continued to mount. the president had waived privilege, so i think there was a sort of a, what are we waiting for in why not let the questions we have listening to the recording be posed to the american public. so michael, as you listen to the
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2:51 seconds that we just played there, the dispute seems to be rudy giuliani and michael cohen, this question of how the payment was being discussed. what does the term "cash" mean? but at the end of the day you have two men talking two months before the presidential election about a payment. we should stipulate a payment thatches never made, a played to a former playboy plodle to keep her quiet. >> the dispute is on this issue of the payment. when we wrote on friday about the existence of this recording rudie says, this shows that the president wanted it to be made in check so it it could followed. he did not want it paid with cash. as you heard from the audio, it is not nearly that clear, but not nearly as clear as cohen's lawyers make it out to be, where they say we do not hear any of
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the audio after the poppye point that it's initially discussed. both sides making contradictory claims about the tape. the tape not being the clearest, we only have a small snip et of what they were talking about. at the end of the day, that's only really an issue that's come up because of the claims that jewel-and-i made on friday, as he tried to explain why the tape was not bad, but as you point out, it was something that the president clearly knew about. >> mike cohen's attorney lanny david says -- cohen is trying to reset his life as not being a bullet taker or punching bag for trump's strategy. this is a turn for him, a new resolve to tell the truth, no matter what, even if it endangers him. the white house deferred questions to rudy giuliani.
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>> major point is outrageous that someone would tape his client surreptitiously, also foolhardy for them to try to yell and scream and make believe what's on the tape. i agree with you, the tape is a bit hard to hear, but i assure you we listened to it numerous, numerous times. the transcript makes it quite clear at the end that president trump says, quote -- don't pay with cash. >> jonathan, you also spoke to rudy giuliani, what did he tell you, and is it clear that the president is saying don't pay with cash? >> what rudy giuliani says is they have a recording, and they have enhanced it. he said when i would go after the mafia, we would have the same thing. >> and then they release a transcript that seems to back it up. they have not released that
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enhanced recording, so we have not heard that yesterday, but giuliani's argument was this still backs up the president's argument that he didn't do anything wrong. he makes the point that earlier in this confession that they discussed maybe set up a corporation to pay it, and then giuliani's argument is show if then candidate trump and michael cohen are trying to obscure this, they wouldn't have set up a corporation, they wouldn't be discussing it by check. they believe cohen's camp is trying to muddy the waters here and change the argument, to try to attack the president, and they feel very comfortable that that's not the case. they also said they have 12 other tapes they're goingth think. they believe it's cohen talking about trump with third parties, they're debating whether to release them. >> john heilman, other than
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listening to the tape, there are a lot of names mentioned. the question is why does the tape end abruptly? i don't know what else you find out in that tape if you're a prosecutor. >> neither do i. the largest questions revolve around context, exactly what's happening before and after, who is donald trump talking to when he seems to have a conversation with before the thing start, who is in and out of the room. what is the reference to the charlottesville issue? there's a lot of questions, and i will say from 30,000 feet, what is interesting about this most of all, is for a long time among donald trump adversaries in the legal realm, you had bob mueller who doesn't speak, michael aftmik
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michael avenatti does. whatever you think of lanny davis or his motivations, he's back, and he like michael avenatti is a skilled practitioner of the garish arts of media lawyering. we had this back in the clinton administration and other times where we have rudy giuliani, michael avenatti and lanny davis all engaged, all of them have obscure motivations, all of them are not telling precisely the truth, they're ought jousting on behalf of their client's behalf, and takes us into a legal carnival element of this story that is going to raise -- we're going to see a lot of stories like this that will come on the in dribs and padres and the interpretative prisms will be in stark contrast and you won't know exactly what we believe until we get into a court, if we ever do. still ahead, vladimir putin was asked if he wanted president
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trump to win. he answer, quote -- yes, i did, but that exchange is missing from the white house transcript of that press conference. we'll talk about that next on "morning joe. you're headed down the highway when the guy in front slams on his brakes out of nowhere. you do, too, but not in time. hey, no big deal. you've got a good record and liberty mutual won't hold a grudge by raising your rates over one mistake. you hear that, karen? liberty mutual doesn't hold grudges... how mature of them. for drivers with accident forgiveness liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. liberty mutual insurance. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty ♪
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that russia will interfere. i'm very concerned that russia will fight very hard to have an impact. based on the fact that no president has been tougher on russia than me, he writes. they will definitely be pushing for the democrats. they definitely don't want trump. president putin himself said he did want trump to win in 2016. >> reporter: did you want president trump to win the election? and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that? >> translator: yes, i did. yes, i did, because he talked about bringing the u.s./russia
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relationship back to normal. >> that's pretty clear. that question is missing from the official white house transcript of the news conference that. flagged by "the atlantic" more than a week ago, and as of this morning still has not been corrected. the white house also clamping down on what the public knows about the president's contact with foreign leaders. it is being reported that the white house will no longer issue summaries of the phone calls with foreign heads of state, breaking with traditions of past administratio administrations, non-public readouts will still be circulated among government officials at relevant agencies, but not made available to the public. john heilman, let's put those two pieces together. what does it add up to? >> well, there's a number --
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we've already seen this, there's no white house logs, either. we don't get to know who comes in and out of the white house. this administration's absolute desire to try to be as keep th, they want to keep us from knowing what the president is doing. the two-hour meeting with vladimir putin with nobody present, we don't know what happened in that meeting. all of these meetings are consistent with the desire to keep the public from knowing what it has a right to know from a president what we have historically known, but what's worse is this issue with the transcript, which is not about a question of lack of transparency, but a question of trying to alter the basic record of what happened in a public setting. it's not just this transcript. they have altered the video that they put out, which we saw last night on television. hopefully we'll play that at some point. they have not just taken out the question from the written
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transcript, but altered the video of that in order to make it look like putin did not say yes these are faked records. we are in the realm -- like the invocation of hitler, i'm always hesitant to invoke orwell, this is across the board this is genuinely a orwellian moment. >> this points to the black of readout, it's a mistake for them. the readouts are a way to help shape the image of what these meetings are like, what they phone calls are like. instead we see time and time again the foreign governments get their readouts first, russia is particularly good about that.
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we've heard the kremlin side of the story first, so the white house is missing an opportunity to try to control the narrative around these meetings, and since these readouts will still le government officials, it means at some point they'll be leaked. >> they're trying to control the narrative in another way that i they think is a more at the effective way, by creating fake documents about public events. >> to jonathan's point, though, it gives foreign governments the chance to the narrative, as russia has done with regard to syria yesterday, russia accused general votel, or army guy who runs operations in the middle east, accused him the not being obedient to his chief executive, the president of the units, implying in their statement that russia knows more about what happened in the closed-door meeting between putin and trump that jo invest votel or the
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director of national intelligence. >> it ultimately will be more more for the communications shop. in the past you would have to compare the readouts to see what, you know, if they align. now you'll have just the account from the other side. coming up on "morning joe" in the words of president trump -- tariffs are the greatest. his republican colleagues have a different set of words for the white house trade policy. we'll show their pointed criticism, next on "morning joe."
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don't believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. i mean, i saw a piece on nbc today, nbc, it is heartthrobbing. they were interviewing people. they probably go through 20, and then they pick the one that sounds like the worst. they went through a group of people. in fact, i wanted for say i got to do something about this trump. terrible. that piece was done by the lobbyists, the people that they hire, it was a total setup. >> that was president trump yesterday in missouri, seemingly referring to a story we aired on "morning joe" about the economic
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pressure that american farmers and producers are under because of the escalating tariffs. here again is the report from missbc's von hilliard. >> the whole future is uncertain. >> reporter: american workers are bearing the brunt of the trade ward. we later it in the lobster waters in maine. >> i felt it was like a tick in the symptom yak. >> or in iowa. >> other cunning will take up the slack and we'll lose those marks for the long term, maybe good. >> reporter: the cranberry bogs in massachusetts. >> we don't want to be punished for just being from america. >> reporter: from kay kay in the bourbon facilities, and the potatoes in idaho, and in nebraska soybeans. >> right now it's a lot of pain we're going through. >> reporter: doug hopes the president he voted for will end this trade war.
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are day they tariffs are going on is costing farmers millions. >> reporter: his chive economic adviser says we're in a stalemate with china. >> the trade negotiations are kind of stalled. >> reporter: the president's hand-pitched trade chair is warning -- >> they're going in a more protectionist direction have done worse. >> reporter: we caught up with lawmakers from states calling for the administration to pull back. >> no, the administration doesn't understand what they need. >> i understand the president's efforts, but we are caught in the cross hairs. >> there's not a senator that's been over there that can come back and tell you they have any earthly idea where it's going. >> senators in both parties are pressing for legislation to give congress approval power over these tariffs. >> i'm doing this to do the right thing for our country. >> reporter: president trump
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seems set on going it alone. >> the president after his convention speech back in 2016, that he alone could fix it. >> right. yeah, he's trying. the alone part is the part. he doesn't have the full picture, and is making decisions without really talking to enough people. >> a number of pro-free trade republicans are criticizing the aid package. speaking with politico yesterday, ron johnson of wisconsin said, quote -- this is becoming more and more like a soviet type of economy, c commissars making the decision. and here is ben sasse of nebraska. >> when you choose a war of choice, and then you say afterwards let's just solved it by buying gold-plated crutches. the farmers of america want to work, they don't want crutches.
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>> this idea that the president set up the problem with the tariffs and his correction is a bailout and it was senator sasse who say the farmers want free trade, not a bailout. >> and when they bailouts are distributed, it's more likely they'll go to big agribusiness, not the small farmers. >> you see flashes of the dna -- >> every so often. >> the usda is appealing to the commodity credit corporation to buy up surplus goods, so we'll be produces a lot of food that no one will eat and will sit in a pile and rot. it's incredibly inefficient, sort of the thing that republicans know in their marrow is wrong, bad economic policy and they have opposed all the way up to january 2017.
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what is the legal fallout from that recorded conversation? we'll have chuck rosenberg who served as an aide to robert mueller that's straight ahead on "morning joe."
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o. if you could hear the conversation in the break. ivanka trump is closing her namesake fashion company to turn her focus to long-term policymaking he stepped away to avoid ethics problems, but remained to own it in the truth. despite soaring sales leading up to the 2016 presidential election, the brand became a lightning rod for critics, facing boycotts, deteriorating sales and being dropped from major retailers. let's bring in msnbc's stephanie rule, whose show is coming up in
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26 minutes, what more can you say? >> to say her business was failing and that's why she shut it down is a bridge too far. you saw companies in metropolitan stores stop carrying her stuff, but you saw a lot of stores in the southeast pick them up. one of the things she faced that was a problem, is they couldn't expand internationally. we could criticize her all day long, or look at it sinically, or at the very least, take it at face value. every day we hammer ivanka trump, you have a conflict of interest. she's shutting it down, we should take it and move on. >> is it not the case there's a controversy off a connection between her businesses and china and some of the actions that president trump has taken there i realize without a doubt. there definitely is, and she sat next to xi jinping the same night she got 13 new trademarks.
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absolutely, and we it continue to ask, but there are bigger threats to the american people. now we can say, great, ivanka, you're in the white house full time. i'm pretty sure you're focused on advancement of women and kids, so why not take on the reunification. if you talked to other piano who worked on tax reform, they don't back her up, but she likes to say she was involved in tax policy. she's working on parental leave and chaired the workforce development effort. we don't know where the programs are coming from or where they're getting paid, but she feels like she's getting bipartisan report. my thought is if you thought that ivanka and jared were coming back to new york in november, they're going to say. do you think ivanka will
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step in -- she has to some extent -- >> no, the only thing we heard from her on this. when the president signed the executive order to reverse his own zero-tolerance policy, she thanked and congratulated him, said now it's congress's turn. excuse mess, ms. trump, absolutely not. there are families, there are parents that have now been deported that are not eligible to come back. we have those children here. even if you said this is not a humanitarian or heartstrings issue, make it a policy, a fiscal issue. woulder not going to have those adults who would be here contributing to our economy and potentially paying taxes, but instead we now have those children without their families. we have to house them, clothe them, feed them, give them an education. none of it makes sense, and if she says she wants to focus on policy and women and girls, be my guest. we need it. >> are you saying that ivanka trump has no conflicts of interest in. >> no, absolutely not. she is still a key person in the
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trump organization. ivanka with us the one who led the project for the hotel in washington, d.c. she and jared have made tens of millions, so so tay she's conflict free is nonsense, but as far as her business, her namesake brand goes, she shut it down. let's take it. the president has been talking trade this morning, firing off several tweets. he writes -- i wonder what can they be thinking? he were just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off? no weakness. he continues, when you have people snip at your heels, it would only take longer to make the deal. with unity, negotiations are going really well. be cool. the end result will be worth it. >> be cool. >> he concluded china is targeting our farmers who they
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know i love and respect, as a way to get them to continue to take advantage of the u.s. they will be vicious. we were being nice, until now. china made $517 billion on us last year. >> to that i say, mr. trump, when say he wonders what are they thinking? every business person, every political leader, and any economist i speak to says, what are you thinking? we have to remember, during the campaign when jared kushner was tasked with finding an economic adviser, he found peter navarro, who is considered a wack a-doo. >> and in march, his -- now he's sitting at the right hand of the president. >> he's on cbs this morning,
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rolling the media that the president needs him to, saying that president trump didn't cause this problem, he inhearted it. it's right that we have a trade issue. that's why you engage in treaties like tpp or tppip. what the president is doing is pure nonsense. when he says i'm going to help the farmers using a depression-era tactic, what will happen when fishermen say it's affecting the fishing industry? today gm said they have lost a billion because commodity prices are up. >> can i ask two simpler questions -- when he talks about the 817 billion we lost on trade, i know if i ask you, did we lose $817 billion, you would
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say it's absurd. but put that aside. what does that number even attach to. >> a trade deficit and budget deficit are two different things. when he blames all of this on the chinese government. on the other side is the u.s. consumer. the u.s. consumer made a decision years ago we love cheap stuff, with i want it now. that's how walmart and amazon became the most powerful companies out there. >> about you if it meant we are losing the amount of budget definite at this time to ourselves make no sense, but what's that number? that's not the trade deficit even of last year. >> i don't know where he's getting that specific number from, but when he throws this at the american people or their base, they start to say we're getting ripped off. not in that regard. >> is the president rattled? is he off his game? >> i can't say. >> he has advisers who know that
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the united states has tariffs of its own that the united states subsidizes some industries in way that is other countries believe it tantamount to a tariff. he knows -- or they know that those bmws he complains about, the suvs are made in south carolina. can they not tell him these things? or does he refuse to believe these things? >> they can, and those who realize they cannot change the president's mind eventually leave the building. remember specifically when gary cohn left the administration. it was days after trump surprisingly announced that meeting with steel and aluminum ceos, when wilbur ross and peter navarro sfluk their way into the office, that's when gary cohn said i can't do in i good here. 17 minutes before the show,
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you have to go get ready. >> wait, you don't think this is ready? that's always ready. president trump is releasing to the did, a former model just now suggesting there are more tapes including conversations with reporters. we will talk about that next. but first -- >> to be clear, mr. trump has no financial relationships with in russian on theligarchs? >> that's what he said. >> that was paul manafort two years ago. the former campaign charles will soon go to trial. that's only part of the legal web ensnaring the president's team. we'll talk about that next. are you taking the tissue test?
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you might be missing something.y healthy. your eyes. that's why there's ocuvite. ocuvite helps replenish nutrients your eyes can lose as you age. it has lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3. ocuvite. be good to your eyes. i like this bunch, i gotta tell you. you're not going to be backing down. go get 'em. go get 'em. [ chanting ] >> well, so i heard that a long time over the last campaign. attorney general jeff sessions laughing appeared briefly joining in on the lock her up chant that broke out
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during his remarks to a high school students, hosted by a national conservative group, echos the chants we heard throughout the 2016 campaign, in reference to hillary clinton. >> of all the things that happened yesterday, and there were many. to me this is the most obscene. this is the attorney general of the united states, the chief law enforcement officer of the united states. to do that in front of high school students, in front of a dinner party, in front of anywhere, it just shows how unserious this administration is and this attorney general is about what i think is a sacred duty. call me pollyanna--ish. >> you're pollyanna-ish, but don't you take it seriously? don't you take seriously the fact that you're supposed to be the top law enforcement official of the united states of america?
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you take it no more seriously than that, justice being blind? >> he's supposed to be an example. there are kids in that room. >> here's the thing. it's not clear whether he joins in the chant. what is 100% clear is his delight in it. >> that's it. >> kind of the smiling, giggling, kind of sniggering that he seems to be into this moment, reliving the glorious memory of the times when he was able to stand up on stage and lead the chant, not just giggle along with it. >> that's the thing, though. it's become one of the greatest hits. it doesn't mean anything anymore. but you go to an event somewhere across the country, you will hear that chant. >> the value of this chant and others like it, it annoys the right people. it's transgressive, but it isn't substantive. this is the event that's a
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provocative conservative group. jeff sessions was preceded by nikki haley. who said the opposite.yourself. >> and didn't she say specifically this owning the libs idea is what we should throw out. >> she said get rid of owning the libs, then jeff sessions gets up and owns the libs. >> i'm glad you brought that up. let me read what nikki haley said. she said, i know it's fun and it can feel good, but step back and think about what you're accomplishing when you do this, talking about own the libs. real leadership is about persuasion. it's about movement. it's bringing people around to your point of view, not by shouting them down but by showing them how it is in their best interest to see things the way you do. >> the thing about owning the libs as a political strategy, is it works as long as you're approaching it from a position of strength. if you're winning elections, it can kind of work. if you're losing elections, it just looks pathetic.
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>> am i reading too much into seeing these moments where nikki haley carves out some space for herself? >> she doesn't owe anyone a thing. she's happy where she is. she's happy to make the points she's making. and she's positioning herself for something, perhaps, but she has been a dutiful soldier and a very effective u.n. ambassador. she has nothing to prove. >> meanwhile, president trump just weighed in on the michael cohen tape we've been talking about all morning. the president tweeting moments ago, what kind of a lawyer would tape a client? so sad. is this a first, never heard of it before? why was the tape so abruptly terminated, cut, while i was presumably saying positive things? i hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped. can this be so? too bad. let's bring in former u.s. attorney and former aide to robert mueller, now an nbc news law enforcement analyst chuck rosenberg.
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we've been playing all morning part of the tape that lanny davis provided to cnn last night. what did you glean from that tape? >> first, let me answer one of the president's questions. what kind of lawyer would tape his client? presumably a lawyer that doesn't trust his client. it's unusual. i've not heard of it. i've never done it. i don't recommend it. seems to me that's the kind of lawyer that might tape his client. >> not best practices. >> not a best practice, but if you're dealing with somebody you can't trust, john, maybe it is. but again, not a way to do business. >> you didn't learn that in law school. >> michael cohen is within his rights. >> that's exactly right. new york is a one-party consent state. in some state, you need both parties to agree to be taped. in new york, you only need one. >> as you listen to that conversation or what we heard of it between then-candidate donald trump two months before election
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day in 2016 talking with michael cohen, what did you take away from it? >> it's interesting as a prosecutor. i was one for a long time. i think it's relevant. i don't think it's inkr incriminatory. this is something that -- you know, you don't just go into a courtroom and hit play. you need a witness to authenticate the tape, to explain that's my voice, that's your voice. i made the tape on such and such day and in such and such way and it's not edited, not missing anything. why is there a cut at the end? well, i can explain that. the equipment failed or the conversation stopped or somebody else walked into the room. you need context. >> as a prosecutor, if this piece of evidence falls into your lap and you're looking at potentially making a case against either one of these people, michael cohen or donald trump, what are the questions, the big questions you have about context, about other things? what would you want to know as a prosecutor to be able to turn that into a piece of evidence? >> great question. the first thing i'd want to do is corroborate it.
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they're talking about payments, perhaps. are there payments? in what amounts and to whom? if i have bank records, if i have checks, if i have deposit slips, all that stuff helps corroborate what's on the tape. the tape in and of itself is seldom enough. it's not a smoking gun. second point, i think there are a lot more tapes. nobody robs one bank. nobody makes one tape. these things tend to happen in batches or bunches. i want to hear all the tapes. then i want a witness to tell me not just what the words are, because sometimes they're hard to hear, but what they mean. >> shannon, you spoke to rudy giuliani about this tape. they are, you know, making this very specific argument. they're focusing in on the word cash and what the president intended there. what else did you learn in your conversation with the president's lawyer? does this not just serve to kind of distract from this broader thing we have learned here, which is that the president did seem to know about this realize
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this and discuss it within the context of the election? >> i definitely got a sense of the defense that they're trying to lay out. if this goes into a court of law or just in the court of public opinion, he emphasized that we don't really know what's happening just from this tape. we can make inferences what they're talking about, but it doesn't signal anything one way or another. but rudy giuliani and the rest of trump's legal team know what's on the rest of these tapes. they know what's out there document-wise. they've been able to go through and review it as part of this process to flag items that are privileged. they know that there were 12 tapes that involve the president that they flagged, they cited privilege on. this is one of them. there's 11 others i've been told are a third party and michael cohen talking about the president but does not have the president's audio on it. but they, the lawyers, know what's on those tapes as well. they do not have technically the ability to release those, but
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michael cohen could since he's in the position of those. so they definitely know that's another shoe that could come out. but those 12 tapes, those are just the ones the legal team flagged as being privileged, conversations. there could be many, many other tapes, even involving the president or his audio on it that are outside the realms of privilege that they can't make any claim on. so yes, there could be a lot more tapes out here. when the president in his tweet says i hear there's recordings, he could have very easily heard those from his own legal team, which has reviewed many, if not all of the documents that were seized in this cohen raid to look for privileged material. >> and with lanny davis representing him, mike come hen is on offense. meanwhile, jurors in paul manafort's case are being asked what they know and if they can put that aside to determine a verdict. the group of about 70 possible jurors filled out questionnaires and met with the presiding judge. the judge told the group they will be asked what they have
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seen, know, and heard, as well as about their law enforcement ties. prosecutors say they're planning to call witnesses from the irs, fbi, and financial crimes enforcement network. "the washington post" reports manafort's attorneys had hoped to ask jurors whether they voted in the 2016 election and for other signs of their political views, but the judge rejected the questions as political theater. the trial is set to begin on tuesday and is expected to last three weeks. chuck, this is one of our first real windows into the mueller investigation. what are you expecting from it? >> i'm expecting a fairly dry trial. this is a document case. we're talking about irs agents and tax returns and bank records. it's not going to be sort of a big, sexy case. it's going to be interesting. there's going to be a lot of details that come out. but it's not going to be sexy. it's going to be document after document methodically put into evidence by very, very talented prosecutors. also, one quick comment on what judge ellis is doing in collecting a jury. all you have to do is find the jury that can be fair. they don't have to be ignorant.
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they just have to be fair. so who they voted for, whether they've ever heard of manafort is sort of meaningless. it's whether they can put aside any predispositions they may have and be fair. this is the district in which the 9/11 case was tried. the pentagon was just three miles from the federal courthouse in alexandria. i was the u.s. attorney at the time. we were able to find a jury that could be fair. we weren't looking for people who had never heard of 9/11. that would be crazy. >> wouldn't you expect this to be a pretty crisply run trial? the federal court in alexandria is known as the rocket docket. they move right along. >> they move with some dispatch, eugene. i've tried cases in front of judge ellis. it's no nonsense, next witness, 30-minute lunch. i think folks should expect to see, even though it's somewhat dry, that is will move with dispatch. >> shannon, what's your sense of the level of concern in the trump administration as it keeps
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an eye on the manafort trial? >> i don't think the manafort trial is going to be that big of an issue for the president, but stepping back here, the president is in the middle of a legal hurricane. you have the manafort trial. you have the mueller investigation. you have his lawyer, michael cohen, now in public warfare with him. don't forget stormy daniels. and a smaller case, summer zervos, who is suing him. a lot of legal battle fronts this president is fighting and still with a relatively small bare bones legal team. that's going to be a major issue going forward. >> john, final thought this morning as we wrap up. >> i'm thinking that 30-minute lunch is talking about are not going to work for you and me. >> you don't think so? >> stretch it out a little bit. i need a court that moves with a little less dispatch. >> stretch it out. >> you're positioning for some of your legal troubles, aren't you? g guys, thank you all for being here this morning. that'll do it for us. stephanie ruhle picks up our
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coverage. >> good morning, everyone. i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover today, starting with a secret recording revealed. for the first time, we're hearing audio of then-candidate donald trump and his fixer michael cohen apparently discussing a payment involving an ex-playboy play mate right before the 2016 election. you're going to hear the whole thing and how the president responded this morning. while republicans are raging against the president, it is all about trade. the president called for the tariffs, and now he's bailing out the farmers that are hurting the most. >> let's just solve it by buying people gold-plated crutches. the farmers and ranchers of america don't want crutches. they want to work. >> we want trade, not aid. >> reminder, that was ben sass, the republican from nebraska. and going out of business. new details this morning about ivanka trump's decision to shut down her name sake

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