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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  August 26, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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you can reach out to me on social media at any time. join kasie hunt for kcdc. first it's "meet the press." >> this sunday, the passing of an american original. john mccain, war hero, icon of integrity and political maverick died late yesterday four days shy of his 82 pd birthday. a prisoner of year for five and a half years for north vietnam. >> i fell in love when i was a prisoner in someone else's. >> this is a man that we'll all want to watch. his name is john mccain. >> republican presidential nominee against barack obama with a sense of history. >> senator obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. i applaud him for it. >> a fearless critic even of a president of his own party.
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>> for the sake of some half baked spur yus nationalism cooked up by people who would rather fine xam goscapegoats th solve problems. >> always with honor. >> in the end it matters less that you can fight. what you fight for is the real test. >> this morning we remember john mccain. i'll talk to hillary clinton and his arizona senate colleague jeff flake. plus, president trump's nightmare week. my elcohen pleas guilty and paul manafort found guilty. i'll talk to a leading democrat on the house judiciary committee. how has this impacted approval ratings? we have a new poll taken before and after the paul and manafort stories broke. joining me, tom broe okay, andrea mitchell, susan page and david broaddy. welcome to sunday for a special edition of "meet the press."
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>> good sunday morning. he was a warrior, a politician, statesman and maverick. the news that senator john mccain died late yesterday at his home in arizona was not unexpected. but it was no less tragic. some deaths leave a greater hole in our national psyche. let's do straight talk here given our current political environment. the loss of a man who walked so hard to build bridges rather than burn them seems particularly poignant. my hard is broken, i'm so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. peaced the way he lives, on his own terms, surrounding by people loved and place he loved best. he was a prisoner of war for five and a half years in hanoi, congressman, senator, a two-time presidential candidate. and always his own man, a maverick as he was so found of
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saying about himself. and his last moment in the senate came in dramatic fashion. walked on the floor and delivered a now famous thumb's down, defeating his own party's effort to repeal the afortdable care act. this morning we'll talk about the legacy of john mccain and get to the other big news of the week. we're going to begin with two of my colleagues who covered mccain for decades. joining me now, tom brokaw and in washington, my friend andrea mitchell. tom, you had the last interview that anybody at nbc conducted with john mccain. let me play a pretty poignant response when you asked him, are we going to be okay? here's what he said. >> mark twain said history doesn't repeat itself but it rhymes, without american leadership, i'm not so sure we're well off. but could i also say i believe in america. i believe in its people. i believe in the folks in arizona. i'm not a possesscy mist about the future, i still think we're
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a shining city on the hill. >> tom? >> well, i'm sitting here in chicago, one of the reasons i'm here not just to appear on "meet the press" but to look back what happened in the city 50 years ago. it was a democratic convention which was more a riot than convention. we lost 15,000 people in vietnam that year. and we had dr. king killed and bobdy kennedy assassinated. when i asked john about the difference between then and now he said it was much more then. the thing about john, he was always authentic in what he had to say. he could be very self-critical quickly. we got along extremely well for a while and then he got angry with me about what was never quite clear then he came to me about two years ago and said look i was wrong. we've got to get back to square one again. i don't know another politician who could talk like that. his friends included tom daschle and lornemichaels, the producer
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of "saturday night live." we're missing that in our public life these days, the kind of authenticity he brought to the arena. >> andrea mitchell, mark salter his long time aid sort of son from another mother and father in some ways, this was what he wrote in the "washington post" this weekend. mccain was a romantic about causes and cynic about the world. had the capacity to be both things and to live with the contradiction. he had seen human being at their best and worst often in the same experience. understood the world of all it is and thought of a moral failure to accept injustice as the inescapable tragedy of our fallen nature and realistically optimistic i guess. >> and that optimism, that shining city on the hill that you know, of course we think of ronald reagan, i think michael beschloss said last night, if the happy warrior had not been termed -- had not been coined to describe hue bert hum free, that
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john mccain would be the happy warrior. warrior and a fighter always but always with so much optimism and joy and passion. passion because he believes so much in his country in the people of our country. and he believed in a greater vision of america. >> tom, there's every generation has this handful and it is literally a small handful of people that don't become president but become bigger than life. john mccain is one of those people. patrick moynahan was probably best representative of the generation previously. how did he achieve that status in your mind? >> i think you achieve that by sailing against the winds that are prevailing. for example, now, both parties, they are more ideologues than they are authentic people in terms of looking at a problem not just through the prism of being a democrat or republican but what needed to be done. john mccain would do that. not trapped by his party label.
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he was very conservative on international affairs but willing to look at domestic programs from a different perspective. we don't have that much any more in politics. i grew up in a time when both parties, they got along. even though they had a different ideologies but they had in the senate the giants of the senate on both sides and now we have everybody trapped into this kind of idealogical box, whether you're a democrat or a republican. we can't move out of that box. i think the country is tired of that. >> andrea, i want to read you john kerry's statement. it invokes a great memory of yours. here's john kerry's remembrances, we met 32 years ago and loved the navy but had opposite views and didn't trust each other but didn't know each other. after a long conversation we decided to work together to make peace with vietnam and with ourselves here in america. we traveled together to vietnam and together we found common ground in the most improbable place. i stood with john the two of us alone in the very cell in the
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hanoi hilton where years of life were lived out in pain but always in honor. >> the trip and the fact they would stand there together. john mccain did not respect or understand or trust as john kerry acknowledges what john kerry did after the war. being one of the leading -- first appearance on "meet the press" as a protester against the war. but they worked together and i was covering the pow commission they created together. as john kerry wrote in the tribute last night, he was savaged by lesser people but words could never hurt him because he was stronger in the broken places in the words of hemingway, of course, who is the great literary hero that john mccain loved so much. john mccain with john kerry helped bill clinton who was an accused draft dodger in the '92 campaign, normalize relations with vietnam. it's hard for some younger people to realize how bitter that was and how much they had to pay in a political price but together they gave these two veterans and john mccain of
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course, the pow, gave bill clinton in 1995, the political cover to actually normalize relations with our former enemy. >> tom brow kbrokaw, there is a least 70 people that are nominees for the united states senate this november. there's going to be a lot of remembrances of john mccain this week and people will read about moments of john mccain they are just learning about. these -- and half of those people are going to be coming back to the u.s. senate. what lessons do you hope they take away from what they learned about john mccain's life this week? >> that there's something dpr greater than the party label and greater than a idealogical, if you will, idealogical attachment to whatever the mood of the day is. you have to look at the knees of the country and they are not just the domestic issues but where we stand internationally and have the courage, whether you're republican or democrat, to take a stand against what you know is not the best interest of the country but happens to be
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the ideology of whoever is in the white house at the time. we need more people who will sail against the winds. i want to say one thing quickly, i went to hanoi and stood in that park and looked out on that lake where he landed after he had been shot down terribly injured and seen those pictures of him being almost savage to death in that lake. then he went to five and a half years. john mccain before all of that had been a playboy flyer and it changed his life. and he was very honest about it and to go through that kind of ordeal and come out of it wanting to help the entire country, not just a narrow base, that's a big, big lesson. >> sets quite the example. tom brokaw, andrea mitchell, thank you both. >> hillary clinton lost to barack obama in 2008. and senator mccain lost that year in the general election. but the two also shared eight years together in the senate. actually, spent a lot of time
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together overseas. joining us now on the phone is former secretary of state and new york new york and 2016 presidential nominee, hillary clinton. secretary clinton, thanks for joining me on this somber occasion. just simply, what's his legacy in your mind? >> oh, chuck, i was listening to tom and andrea and i think we could all talk for hours about what he meant to the country and what he meant to the senate, what he meant to a lot of us individually. he leaves a legacy of service and courage. the courage of course we all came to know because of his time as a pow. but getting up every day and working as hard as he did for the people of arizona, for the values that he cherished, wasn't easy. you're right. i did travel with him. he couldn't comb his own hair
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because of the war injuries that he sustained. he couldn't lift his arm above the shoulder left. and used to laugh because when we would do tv together for sometimes "meet the press" dt. >> we've got a clip later for you, don't worry. >> places like baghdad, you know, he would say it was my hair sticking up? i have so many wonderful personal memories of him as well as public ones. >> it was interesting the way he conducted himself in the senate. he almost would go out of his way to find the democrat that you would think is least likely to work with a republican and try to forge a bond with them. before you it was ted kennedy. and it almost became a legendary the way he would reach out. >> that's because he did believe in the institution and knows -- he knew that the senate couldn't work. if we didn't work together.
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i think it was heartbreaking to him that as he said in the speech he gave right before he voted against repealing the affordable care act, that we need to cooperate. we need to learn how to trust each other again and do better to serve the people who elected us. and you know, he was so typically john in those remarks because he said stop listening to the bombastic loud mouths on tv and internet. the hell with them, they don't want anything done for the common good. he understand in the marrow in his bone what it meant to be an american and how important it was to disagree and differ but at the end of the day come together and work together and trust each other, to get things done. and he will be missed for many, many reasons, chuck, but i think that example that he set of working across the ooild, but more than that, working to bring
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people together, here at home and around the world is one we should remember. >> let me quote him and say let's have a little straight talk. the timing of his death in this moment that we're in in our politics, it's zsh there's a reason i think washington is taking an extra stomach punch this morning. the vacuum he leaves. the timing you may -- we can't ignore this moment that he's leaving us. >> you're 100% right. i mean, he understood that we've been through perilous times before. at home and abroad. and but our institutions are being severely tested right now. including his beloved senate. and he was in every way he knew how trying to sound the alarm, to get all of us as americans who understand that if we abandon the ideal that we have
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stood for around the globe, if we turn our back on leadership, on behalf of human rights and the kind of future we want to forge for her children and grandchildren, we will be giving up on what he fought for, what he was imprisoned for and stood for. and in a long line of american patriots. >> secretary clinton, i'm going to leave it there. i thank you and assume you and lindsey graham will have vodka shots and toast the senator? >> well, i don't know. i hope that will happen at some point in the future. >> i think the irishman in john mccain would love for you to celebrate that way. secretary clinton, thanks for sharing your remembrances. >> this week senator mccain will be -- lie in state at the arizona capitol. then at the capitol rotunda. his memorial service at the national cathedral, george w. bush and barack obama will be the you'll gifts overnight president bush released a statement saying some lives are
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so vivid it is difficult to imagine them ended. ? voices so vibrant hard to think of them still. president obama released a statement. john mccain and i were members of different generations but shared a fidelity something higher and ideals for which generations have fought and marched and sacrificed. he'll be buried at the naval academy in annapolis. joshua johnson, washington bureau chief of usa today susan page. and chief white house correspondent hallie jackson and david brody. i want you to share a moment of john mccain in 2000 regretting what he standing up for the confederate flag in south carolina. this is 2000. 15 years before the debate got back. here he is. >> they fought on the wrong side of american history. that my friends is how i personally feel about the c
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confederate battleflag, that is the honest answer. i never gave to a fair question. >> susan page, what does that say about him? >> it's a reminder he was not a perfect person. that he made mistakes in his life and political life. but he would come around and admit it and apologize for it. he did this with reporters. there were times when he unfairly criticized reporters for stories and then two days later call you back and say i was wrong, you were fair. who does that? >> i know. >> somebody who covers the white house, i do think there is -- you talk about the timing of this chuck and moment we're in, i can't help but look at the reaction and response to the death of john mccain and those moments over the last eight years or so between president trump who is then a candidate and mccain. look back to 2008 when the birther movement was beginning against barack obama. senator mccain came out and talked about his christian -- no, ma'am, you remember that moment in '08. a movement by the way that donald trump was pushing as part of a conspiracy theory years
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plater. you then had after the war hero comments, not a war herhero, remember the rnc condemned donald trump, first and only time the republican establishment did that. over the last year as john mccain is vocon va lessing, he s attacked him for the health care vote. and it seems people on capitol hill as well. the way it is a contrast between the way you look at how republicans have shifted i think. like a microcosm over the years when it comes to that relationship. >> he is a statesman living in a political environment where statesman is a bad word right now. >> sadly true. >> that's part of the problem here. i've interviewed him a half dozen time and on 2007 on the straight bus express talk, i'll never forget the mischiefous twinkle in his eye, look, this is the maverick in me. but i think he sometimes -- i
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have to tell you, on judges and islam, you go down the list. he was pretty solid on a lot of stuff but the truth of the matter is if he hadn't bucked his party so much he may have been president of the united states. >> i rode over here this morning with a driver who drove john mccain to "meet the press" quite a bit of he was a nice guy, told me he used to right in the front of the car instead of the back. sit next to the driver, always called the driver soldier or first name. it kind of was very -- very warm about remembering his afterability, even the driver said his politics and senator mccain's differed. as i got out, i thought it was nice he shared the stories. then i thought wait a minute, what is my driver's name? i didn't even ask. may i can't ank lou, said they'll forget what you say and do but never forget how you make them feel. i feel like part of the legacy of senator mccain, not just his patriotism but humanity. even the speech that senator clinton -- former secretary
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clinton referenced about ignoring all of the bombastic loud mouths was about remembering the humanity of the people across the aisle from you. if anything speaks as to why this congress does not like congress or support congress, i think part of it speaks to that, that ability for us to view one another as people who are trying to build a more perfect union. >> you've got to something and i said it in a blunt way earlier. the guy wasn't a snosb. do you know how many political reporters, including this one right here, first person to acknowledge them when they were on capitol hill to take them seriously as a reporter, not just look for the recognizable tv face, no offense to any of us now on tv. he wasn't a snob, whether it was a driver -- that was an incredible aspect of him. >> people who go through enormous times of testing as he did as a prisoner of war, sometimes they come out with a sense of what matters and doesn't, which he had. and also a sense of gratitude
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for every day. he came out of vietnam, understanding that every day was a little bit of a gift. and something to be used to a higher purn. it is one of the things that john mccain repeatedly talked about to everybody, to other members of congress and members of the press i think he thought all of us should have a higher purpose. >> a stake in keeping the democracy healthy. >> i remember him being happy go lucky on the bus in twefrn. and it was the time when he had dropped off and no one was giving him a shot and eventually -- >> carried his own bags. >> that's correct. >> he looked at me, i've been a p.o.w. four and a half years, this is nothing. he knows and it was very happy go lucky warrior spirit. >> he was always very funny and friendly with reporterers, even being crusty and cranky -- >> to call you a scumbag reporter but he would laugh. >> yes, exactly. >> i think every reporter was called a name by him.
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but it was always with a smile sfwl bunny ears to a reporter live on the air. there's a lot of moments that people remember fondly. >> he didn't attack them personally on twitter, for sure. later in the broadcast, we're going to get to the other big news of the week, michael cohen's guilty plea. i'll talk to republican senator jeff flake of arizona. and democratic congressman john nadleer in new york, and we also have brand-new nbc news wall street journal poll numbers on what impact the news has had on the president's job rating. but when we come back, we're going to remember the many moments we shared with john mccain over the years right in this studio right here on "meet the press. >> i may not be the youngest candidate in this race but i'm certainly the most prepared and i'm prepared to lead the country. i don't need any on the job training. ready to do the hard things, not the easy things and that's what i intend to do. the easy things and that's what i intend to do hopes you drive safely. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise. it lets you know when you go too fast...
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notice to us here on meet the press. we thought we would share highlights of 73 appearances, moments filled with grace and dignity and a lots of him or. >> welcome to "meet the press." >> welcome back to qu"meet the pres press". >> i think the job of congress people like me is to object and criticize and to speak up where we think policy is wrong. >> how did five and a half years in a prison cell as a prisoner of war prepare you for the presidency? >> i think it helped me define the principles that i already held. i think i would not be running for president if i didn't think there needed to be significant changes made in the republican party. i would leave the task to someone else. >> this is a tough business we're in. this isn't bean bag. >> trent lott and mitch mcconnell. >> battle again. i'm sure they are eagerly waiting my return and they have very mixed emotions. if the guy wins we have to deal with him as president and if the guy loses, we have to have him
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back. >> when you saw george w. bush take the oath of office, for a microsecond you wish gee, i wish i was up there doing that? >> every day. >> thank you for being honest. >> i still believe that we did the right thing by going in there because saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction and used weapons of mass destruction and still in power, he would be trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction. >> do you think the lady to your right would make a good president? >> we can't hear you, tim? we can't hear you. >> you're breaking up. >> i may not be the youngest candidate in this race but i'm certainly the most prepared and i'm prepared to lead this country. i don't need any on the job training. >> sarah palin and i zwre on specific issue, yes we've both mavericks. people explain about division, that's good. let's let 1,000 flowers bloom. >> i hate you especially but the fact is we need you. we need a free press. we must have it. it's vital.
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>> you said he's growing in office. there are some that will say, no, the washington establishment sucked him in. >> i hope so. >> you've been on here a few times. >> time flies when you're having fun. >> thanks for sharing your views. >> haven't had so much fun since my last interrogation. >> t interrogation. >> you wouldn't accept an incomplete job
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. it is fair to say this was the worst week yet in donald trump's presidency. michael cohen pled guilty to eight counts of financial fraud and moments later in suburban washington another trump ally paul manafort was found guilty. twin events dominated news coverage and have many asking whether this is a turning point in the trump presidency. jeff flake of arizona, of course, senator i want to begin with your thoughts on senator john mccain. you wrote something lovely in a self-dep pri indicating way, you were the other senator in arizona and when you served with john mccain, everybody learned to become the other senator from arizona. talk more. >> yes, i was -- that was my title. the other senator from arizona and i grew to enjoy that and embrace it and it was like having a big brother who nobody
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wanted to mess with. so i very much enjoyed serving with john mccain in the senate and being in the house when he was in the senate as well. >> a lot of people including myself are wondering who fills the void. it's not going to be a void that's filled right away. but how does a void like john mccain's get filled? i think you tried up to step up in different ways, reach across the aisle but not many of your colleagues do that. >> i don't know that we'll ever see anybody who was like john mccain. i think he's one of a kind. i think we can certainly try to follow his example and seeing the good in our opponents and recognizing that people may be on the other side of the aisle or have a different philosophy but they are friends. and they are fellow americans. i think that that would go along way if we would follow that example from john. >> i know that chuck schumer, the sna democratic leader says he plans to introduce legislation to rename a senate office building we assume it's the richard russell senate office building, somebody that
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goes back to the segregationist years in georgia. i take it that would be a pretty easy vote for a lot of people to cast, to rename it the mccain senate office building? >> it would be. i hope to be the first republican co-sponsor. i think that's a fitting tribute. he had his office there during his entire time, including right now, right near my office. i think that that's a very fitting tribute. >> lit me move to the weeks events and ask you a question about dealing with the president. you're on the senate judiciary committee. the president of the united states was accused of helping to commit a federal crime. now, he's an unindicted co-con spir tore with michael cohen. sometime before the mid elections rng republicans will need to show they are more than constitutional potted plants. what should the u.s. congress do now to look into this accusation that the sitting president of
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the united states was apparently in a court of law, helped directed somebody to commit a federal crime? >> well, first we need to make sure that the mueller investigation is allowed to continue and be completed. we passed legislation and judiciary committee to that effect. i hope it's brought up on the floor. some of the investigation obviously isn't the mueller investigation that's i think the seventh district of new york. that will continue as well. so i think to make sure that there is a separation of powers and congress assumes its constitutional role, that's the most important thing we can do at this point. >> do you think though that means just protecting mueller or holding some hearings? >> no, i think protecting the mueller investigation, we don't want to get involved in terms of overlapping what's going on there. i think bob mueller is moving forward as he should and that needs to continue.
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there is a concern that the president has ramped up rhetoric about perhaps firing the attorney general. i hope that doesn't happen. if it does, we'll deal with it at that time. >> i'm curious if sent. has changed in the senate republican conference when it comes to jeff sessions. i want to play lindsey graham from last year and lindsey graham from last week. here it is. >> jeff session is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. the president is entitled to a attorney general he'll have faith in. they'll come a time sooner rather than later where it will be time to have a new face and fresh voice at the department of justice. >> is it fair to say sessions doesn't have the same amount of support in the conference that he did last year? >> i don't know. there may be a few isolated voices saying that the president ought to fire him now. i can tell you as a body we're
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seeing please don't. he serves at the pleasure of the president. we all know that but i think it would be a big mistake for the president to fire him now. >> what kind of mistake is it? >> it would be very difficult. >> what kind of repercussion do you think there should be if he does this? >> well, the concern obviously is that would be the first domino to fall. then what happens with rod rosenstein? what happened with bob mueller and i think firing jeff sessions would concern us all, that that's the first domino. so i frankly think that the president will hold off. he's made these kind of noises before but then has pulled back. >> before i let you go, there's a primary in arizona and three republicans vying to replace you in the united states senate and you care to share with us publicly who you plan to support? >> no, i wish them well. it's nice not having to take a position on this. >> do you think your endorsement helps or hurts in the republican primary right now?
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>> nobody would be asking for it in the republican primary, i can tell you that. this is very much -- i'm not happy about it but this is the president's party right now. and i think that we'll be sorry for that in the future but that's the case right now. >> jeff flake, i know you have a heavy heart this morning. i know it's not easy to come on here when you've lost such a close friend and mentor. thanks for sharing your thoughts today? >> thank you. >> the ranking democrat congressman gerald nadler, that is the committee that would be charged with holding ip peachment hearings against president trump if it ever comes down to that. before i get started, you've been in washington 26 years. i know you're in the house and senate and those are real mortal enemies. your thoughts on john mccain this morning? >> he was a true american hero. from his courageous service, in vietnam and when he refused the
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ability to go home and volunteered for a few more years of torture in the hanoi hilton rather than get out of line ahead of others which he could have done to his service to his country over the years, he was a true american hero and it will be the long time before we see his like. >> let me go to after michael cohen said the president of the united states was a connectic co-conspirator with him. should that trigger the start of an investigation in the judiciary committee that could end up going to impeachment or not but the way our system works is this the proper way it begin? >> well, i think the mueller investigation has to continue first and foremost and the committee has to defend the mueller investigation against the presidents and republicans in congress attempts sabotage it and discredit the fbi and department of justice. congress is supposed to be a check and balance on the
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executive. we're supposed to guarantee accountability. under the republicans, it's been exactly the opposite. chairman nunes was caught saying he viewed his major role as protecting the president. the role of congress is not to protect the president. it's to hold the president and any president accountable to the american people. and we ought to be holding investigations -- >> what would that look like today? let's say you had a functional relationship with the other side. if you did, what would that look like? you and congressman good latte would be doing what? >> i would hope we would confer with mueller to see what we shouldn't do that would get in the way of his investigation. we don't want to step on -- interfere with them by accident. following that we should be investigating all of these things. the possible interference -- the interference with the russians in our investigations and what we can do that can't happen again. who in the united states aided and abetted that.
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if anybody. other crimes that may have been -- not just crimes but other improper acts in terms of the campaign. we should be investigating all of those things. and bringing them to light for the american people. and possibly seeing if there's any legislation we should do to prevent their recurrence in the future. but again, we should talk to the mueller people first to make sure we don't step on their investigation. >> let me ask you this. you were one of bill clinton's most ar dent defenders during his impeachment. if you were charged with running something, some form of an impeachment investigation, if you're a chairman of the judiciary committee, how would you make sure somehow you handled this differently than your republican colleagues did 20 years ago? >> i would take the same attitude i said then. i said then impeachment is a constitutional provision to protect the constitution against
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the president who would agrend dzize power and run roughshod over checks and balances and propose a true threat to american liberty and rule of law. and to -- i also said at the time you should not do an impeachment on a partisan basis, that in order to do an impeachment properly you would have no think that the evidence of threatening impeachable offenses, threatening to the constitutional order or to liberty, were so overwhelming that by the end of the pro says, the overwhelming majority of the american people, including a lot of people who supported the other side would agree that you had to do it. and we certainly didn't have that then. >> obviously watergate did eventually have that. >> let me ask you this final question. in 1999, during the debate whether or not president clinton obstructed justice, you said at the time you weren't convinced that a president could obstruct
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justice. do you still feel that way, not one of -- i think the quote -- might not be impeachable, that obstruction of justice might not be an impeachable offense. >> if i said it i said it but no, i don't agree with that today. anybody can obstruct justice. an obstruction of justice under certain circumstances might be an impeachable offense. there's a very big difference between a crime which may or may not be impeachable and impeachable offense which doesn't have to be a crime. >> there's some crimes that you would think is not impeachable? zbh like, what, affairs, campaign finance? >> no, that might because it implicates sub verting the election process. >> but you're skeptical? >> i don't know. haven't studied that. i said at the time that perjury with regard to a private sexual affair did not threaten the constitutional order. perjury regarding an attempt by a president to subvert the
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constitutional and agrand dzize power would be an impeachable offense. >> ranking democrat on the house judiciary committee, representing new york city. thanks for coming on and sharing your views. >> thank you. >> when we come back, we'll look at our latest wall street nbc journal poll. did we see a change in president trump's approval numbers? as we go to break, another moment in the remarkable career of john mccain. >> every time i'm done something from what may have been influenced by political disreasons, i regretted it every time i've done something that i think is right it's turned out okay in the end. i've got to do what i think is right. end. i've got to do what i think is right.
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welcome back. so what effect did michael cohen's guilty plea and paul nan ma fort's have on the story, whether asked whether it was more thanned fr president trump supporters can bear. the answer so far seems to be no. we actually have two polls. first taken last saturday through wednesday. mostly before the news broke. there president's job approval rating hit an all time high, 51% disapproving, prior to the hardening of the base, now getting 90% approval from republicans. then we took a second poll entirely after the news broke wednesday through yesterday because we knew you might be skeptical of the results. they barely changed.
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margin of error difference 42% approve and inside the numbers not much there. for the 2018 democratic strategy the manafort and cohen convictions old a fool's good opportunity. in our poll, they hold a very big lead, 15-42, an improvement for democrats when july they had a six-point lead. the president strengthened and congressional democrats strengthened and president trump's strength in the wake of a nightmare news week, his voters turn more loyal. we'll be back with end game in a moment. >> he's an arab. he is not -- >> no, ma'am, no, ma'am. he's a decent family man citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about. on fundamental issues and that's
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>> announcer: "end game" brought to you by boeing, continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire. >> back now with "end game." instead of trying to sum up the week, maybe we'll use these three time magazine covers to sort of start this conversation.
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this has been the time magazine covers for the last sort of 14 months. they've done a series of three of them now. president, little more water, the word stormy. now as you can see he suddenly is -- the oval office under water. hallie jackson, i think it's as good of a way to describe perhaps how the president is feeling right now. eight yes. and when you talk with folks inside the white house, and i have and i have over the last 48 hours or so, there is an insistence, right, this has nothing to do with us and our policy and what we want to try to do. the president is doing his thing. we are not creating this crisis communication strategy because we feel like we don't have to now. chuck, the poll that you just talked about validates that in large part when it comes to what's happening inside the white house. that said, you talk to folks outside the president's sort of west wing structure there, people that he speaks with and do reporting on that, he is obviously unhappy with this. he's frustrated. he's upset. but not with paul manafort. that's an interesting piece to
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watch moving forward here. he's made that clear not just privately, but publicly as well. >> and all the news this week has nothing to do with russia and that's the bottom line. you have to deliver the goods on russia. we'll see, we'll see what happens. look, at this point, if there's no russia and there's no goods on russia, base doesn't care. base doesn't care. and why? because a lot of people -- >> you think the base cares about russia? >> they may care depending what comes out about russia. i would say that. let me just say this. everybody gets on their moral high horse here and says, oh, but look -- trump's been dealing with this for 30 years. he's been doing this and that. they don't care. why? because they voted for the guy. they realize what they voted for, they realize what they signed up for. they're willing to live with that because of the political climate we're in today. and it's -- how do i say this? the republicans and democrats, both parties are to blame, and donald trump is here, he's a bull in a china shop. >> can i say one thing? a person close to the president, this is a person who repeatedly promised to hire the best
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people, bring the best folks in. chuck rosenberg sunld it up best. the trump cfo has been granted immunity who committed a crime who needed immunity who is in donald trump's inner circle. you may see democrats latch onto that. >> if you look at the numbers in your poll, i find what's important, not the approval number. we should accept the fact donald trump's base is going to stay with him no matter what. >> yep. >> it's the enthusiasm number. 56% of democrats say this congressional election is more important than usual to me. only 38% of republicans say that. who is going to bother to go to vote in the midterm election? it's people who think this is an election that matters to me. that is the more important number. >> though there are some in president trump's orbit the threat of impeachment will motivate this base. >> nancy pelosi spoke to my colleagues at kqed in san francisco, it needs to be a bipartisan thing, a partisan
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tool. i don't know what else democrats has that's going to motivate them to show up at the polls more ardently than the prospect of doing something about donald trump. i understand why republicans are motivate today keep that agenda in place. what else is there emotionally to get democrats out? >> i was going to say i think the democratic leadership and the disconnect -- you know, republicans, the republican base, david, wanted a more aggressive republican party to go after obama and go after hillary clinton. and the leadership was always like, no, no, no, we have to use -- we're always trying to sort of hold back that id in the party. and they paid a price in donald trump. i'm thinking all these responsible democratic leaders preaching impeachment caution, are they saying give me michael avenatti, i don't want you responsible guys. >> on the republican side they got exactly what they wanted, a guy that's going to shake things up. one of the things in donald trump's favor is the mainstream
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media. i hate to say it, i'm sitting on a "meet the press" table. >> the echo chamber created that environment. it has been a tactic and a tool of the roger ailes created chamber. let's not pretend it's not anything other than that. >> yes and no. remember, the independents are part of donald trump's base and i think that is very important. a lot of times we say republicans are donald trump's base. not really. >> there is a separate trump -- it is ace different version of the republican party. >> they distrust the media. it is not just republicans it is many americans -- >> i take your point. it was a campaign tactic. it's not based in fact. >> i do think it's worth saying, to kind of get away from all the politics, what the leaders are saying about this needing to be bipartisan and so forth, they're right. the founders did not intend impeachment to be a tool for what they referred to as mal administration. if you don't like what a president is doing, you have a
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tool to get rid of that president. vote him out. it's designed for treason, high crimes and misdemeanors. they say why don't we mobilize for 2020 rather than throw him out. that sets a dangerous president. >> that's why russia has to be part of it if you get there. all right u guys, that's all we have for dodd. like you, we are keeping john mccain and his entire halftime in our thoughts. we're back next week. if it's sunday it's "meet the press." we're going to leave you, not with my words, with senator mccain's own words. >> the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. and i hate very much to leave it, spoke my hero, robert jordan, in for whom the bell tolls. i do, too. i hate to leave it, but i don't have a complaint. not one. i made a small place for myself in the story of america, in the history of my times.
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good evening. i'm kasie hunt. welcome to a special edition of "kasie d.c." tonight we are mourning senator john mccain who died saturday at the age of 81. the senator who was feisty till the end faced death the same way that he approached life. with humor and with courage. in his book, which came out this year, he wrote, quote, the world is a fine place and worth fighting for and i hate very much to leave it, spoke my hero robert jordan in for whom the bell tolls. and i do, too. i hate to leave it. but i don't have a complaint, not one. it's been quite a ride. i made a small place for myself in the story of america and the

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