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tv   Hope Fury MLK the Movement and the Media  MSNBC  August 26, 2018 6:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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and whether that affects the 2018 midterms and if people are turned off with trump douumping all over mccain. >> i'm heading to arizona to cover that primary and the funeral at the end of the week. that's all for us here, i'm kasie dc. we're back here tomorrow night. for tonight, good night from washington. ♪ this sunday, the passing of an american original, john mccain, war hero, icon of integrity, and political member died late yesterday, four days shy of his 82nd birthday. a prisoner of war for five and a half years in vietnam. >> i fell in love with my country when i was a prisoner in someone else's. >> elected to the senate six times beginning in 1986. >> this is a man to watch, his name is john mccain. >> republican presidential nominee against brack obama. >> with a sense of history.
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>> president obama 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. >> with a shake of a half baked nationalism, cooked up by people gratifying scapegoats to solve problems. >> fighting for his belief 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 talking to hillary clinton and jeff flake. plus, president trump's nightmare week. michael cohen pleads guilty, paul manafort found guilty, the president's allies abandoning him. talking with the house judiciary committee. how has this affected president trump's approval rating? we have a new "wall street journal" poll taken before and after the stories broke. joining me this morning are tom brokaw, andrea mitchell,
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jackson, joshua johnson, susan paige, and david brody, welcome to sunday for a special edition of "meet the press." this nbc news washington, longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. a warrior, a politician, a statesman, and the news that senator john mccain died late yesterday in 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. given the political voirenviron, the loss of a man who built bridges rather than burn them is poig nannan poignant. his wife writes, my heart is broken. he passed the way he lived, on his own term, surrounded by
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those he loved. he was a prisoner of war for five and a half years in hanoi, a congressman, a senator, a two-time presidential candidate, and always his own man, a maverick, as he was so fond of saying about himself. the last moments in the senate came in dramatic fashion, walking on to the senate floor delivers a now famous thumbs down, defeating the party's effort to repeal the affordable care act. this morning, we'll talk about the legacy of john mccain, and later, we'll get to the other big news of the week. we're going to begin with two of my colleagues that covered mccain for decades. joining me is tom bro kkaw and andrea mitchell. tom, you had the last interview anyone at nbc conducted with john mccain. this is a poignant response when you asked him, are we going to be okay? this is what he said. >> history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes. without american leadership, i'm not sure we're so far off, but i also say i believe in america, i
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believe in its people, and i believe in the folks in arizona. i am not a pessimist about the future. i still think we're still a shining city on a hill. >> tom? >> well, i'm sitting here in chicago, and one of the reasons i'm here is not just for "meet the press," but tomorrow to look back on what happened in this city 50 years ago. it was a democratic convention which was more a riot than a convention. we lost 15,000 people in vietnam that year. we had dr. king killed and bobby kennedy assassinated. when i asked john about the differences between then and now, he said it was much worse then. john was always authentic in what he had to say. he was self-critical very quickly. we got along extremely well for a while, and then he was angry with me about what was never quite clear, but he came to me two years ago and said, look, i was wrong, we got to get back to
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square one again. i don't know another politician who could talk like that, friends including, for example, tom dashle, democratic leader of the senate, and warren michaels, producer of "saturday night live," so i think that we're missing that in our public life these days, the kind of authenticity that he brought to the arena. >> you know, andrea mitchell, his long time aide, sort of a son from another mother and father, in some ways, this is what he wrote in the "washington post". he was a romantic about causes and the world, and had capacity to live with the contradiction. he saw human beings at their best and worst, often in the same experience, understood the world as is with corruption and cruelty, but thought it a moral failure to accept injustice as the fallen nature. he was realistically optimistic, i guess. >> that optimism, that shining city on a hill that, you know, of course, you think of ronald reagan. i think michael said last night
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that it's the happy warrior had not been termed or coined to describe hubert humphrey, but john mccain. a happy warrior always, so much joy and passion. passion because he believed so much in his country, in people of our country, and he believed in a greater vision of america. >> you know, tom, as every generation has this handful, and it is literally a small handful, of people that don't become president, but become bigger than life. mccain is one of those people. patrick moynihan was represented the generation previously. how did he achieve that status in your mind? >> well, i think you achieve that by sailing against the winds that are prevailing. for example, now, both parties, they are more ideologs than they are authentic people in terms of looking at a problem, not just as a prism of being a democrat
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or a republican, but what is really needed in being done, and john mccain would do that. he was not trapped by his party label, and i mean, he was very conservative on international affairs, but willing to take a look at domestic programs from a different perspective. we don't have that much anymore in politics. you know, i grew up in a a time where both parties got along, although they had different ideologies, but they had in the senate, giants of the senate on both sides, and now we have everybody trapped into this kind of ideological box, whether you are democrat or republican, we can't move out of that box. i think the country is tired of that. >> andrea, i'm going to read john kerry's statement. we loved the navy, had opposite views, we did not trust each other, but really, we didn't know each other. after a long conversation on a long flight, we decided to work together to make peace with vietnam and ourselves in america.
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we traveled together to vietnam and together found commonground in the most improbable place. i stood with john, the two of us alone in the cell in the hanoi hell was lived out in pain, but in honor. tell me about that trip. >> that trip and the fat they stood there together, john mccain did not respect or understand or trust that john kerry acknowledged what john kerry did after the war. meeting, first appearance on "meet the press" was as a protester against the war, but they worked together, and i was covering the p.o.w. commission that they created together, and as john kerry wrote in the tribute last night, he was savaged by lesser people, but words never hurt him because he was stronger in the broken places in the words of hemmingway, of course, the great literary hero that john mccain loved. so much -- john mccain, john kerry, bill clinton, accused draft dodger in the '92 campaign, negotiations with vietnam, hard for other people,
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perhaps, to realize how big that was and how much they paid the political price, but together they gave the two veterans and john mccain, of course, the p.o.w., he gave bill clinton in 1995 the political cover to actually normalize relations with our former enemy. >> tom brokaw, there is at least 70 people that are nominees for the united states' senate this november. there's going to be a lot of remembrances of mccain this week. people will read of moments of john mccain they are just reading about. half the people are going to be coming back to the u.s. senate. what lesson do you hope they take away of what they learn about john mccain's life this week? >> something greater than the party label, something greater than a kind of ideological, if you will, an ideological attachment to whatever the rule of the day is that you have to work to the needs of the country, and the needs of the country are not just the domestic issues, but where we
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stand internationally and have the courage whether you are republican or democrat, to take a stand against what you know is not in the best interest of the country, but it happens to be the ideology of whoever is in the white house at the time. we need more people who will sail against the winds. i just want to say one thing quickly. >> yes, sir. >> i went to hanoi and stood in the park and looked out at that lake where he landed after he was shot down, terribly injured, and i had seen those pictures of him being almost sabotaged to death in that lake, and he went through five and a half years, mccain before that was a playboy flier. it changed his life, and he was very honest about it and to go through that kind of an ordeal and come out of it wanting to help the country, not just the narrow base, that's a big, big lesson. >> sure is. it is quite the example. tom bro kkaw, andrea mitchell, thank you very much.
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mr. obama defeated mr. clinton, and mccain lost that year in the general election. they shared eight years together in the senate, though, and actually spent a lot the time together overseas. joining me is secretary of state and former new york senator and 2016 presidential nominee, hillary clinton. secretary clinton, thank you 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 of what he meant to the country, meant to the senate, meant to a lot of us individually. he leaves a legacy of serviceco. the courage, of course, we came to know because of his time as a p.o.w., but getting up every day and working as hard as he did for the people of arizona, for
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the values that he tcherishes ws not easy. you're right. i did travel with him. he couldn't comb his own hair because of the war injury he sustained. he couldn't lift his arms above the shoulder level. he just sort of laughed because when we would do tv together for -- sometimes "meet the press" -- >> we have a clip later for you, don't worry. >> and, you know, he said, well, my hair's sticking up. i mean, i have so many wonderful personal memories of him as well as this one. >> interesting in 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 legend in the way he reached out.
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>> that's because he did believe in the institution, and he knew that the senate couldn't work if we did not work together. i think it was heart breaking to him that, as he said, in the speech he gave right before he voted against repealing the affordable care act, that we have to cooperate and learn 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. he said, stop listening to the loud mouths on radio and tv and the internet. >> right. >> to hell with them, they don't want anything done for the public good. he really understood that in the marrow of his bones what it meant to be an american, and how important it was to agree and differ, but at the end of the day to come together and work together, trust each other, to get things done, and we know him
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for many, many reasons, chuck, but that example he set of working across the aisle, but more than that, working to bring people together here and across the world is one to remember. >> let's quote him and say, let's have a little straight talk. the timing of his death in the moment that we're in in our politics, it -- it -- there's a reason, i think, washington's taking an extra summit punch this morning. the vacuum he leaves, the timing, i mean, we can't ignore this moment that he's leaving us. >> you're 100% right, chuck. i mean, he understood that you have been through perilous times before at home and abroad, but our institutions are being severely tested right now. including his beloved senate. and he was in every way he knew
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how to sound the alarm, to get all of us as americans to understand that if we abandon the ideal that we have stood for around the globe, if we turn our back on leadership and human rights and the kind of future we want to forge for our children and grandchildren, we won't be giving up on what he fought for, in prison for, and stood for, in a long line of american patriots. >> secretary clinton, i leave it there. thank you, i assume you and lindsay graham will have some vodka shots and toast the senator. >> well, ha-ha, i don't know, i hope that does happen. >> i think they -- the irishman in john mccain would love for you to celebrate that way. secretary clinton, thank you for sharing. this week, mccain will lie in state at the arizona capitol, and then at the capitol in d.c.
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his service will be here in washington, d.c., and presidents george w. bush and barack obama will be the yuewe gists. some voices are so vibrant, it's hard to think of them still. what a great way to put it. president obama released a statement saying john mccain and i were members of different generations, but shared in our differences something higher, ideal of which americans and immigrants alike marched and sacrificed. he's buried in annapolis. we have a panel here now. susan paige, and white house correspondent halle jackson, and, look, i want you guys to share, but i want to share a moment of john mccain in 2000, regretting that he standing up for the confederate flag in 2000. this was 15 years before the debate got back.
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here he is. >> fought on the wrong side of american history. that, my friends, is how i personally feel about the confederate battle flag. that is the honest answer. i never gave to a fair question. >> susan page, what's that say about him? >> a reminder that john mccain was not a perfect person, that he made mistakes in his life and in his political life, but he would come around and admit it and apologize for it. you know, he did this with reporters. there were times when he unfairly criticized reporters for stories they had written, and two days later, he called back and said, i was wrong, you were fair. who does that? >> i know. i know. >> and as somebody who covers the white house, i think there is that you talk about the timing of this, chuck, in the moment we're in, i can't help but look at reaction and responses in the death of john mccain and moments over the last eight years between president trump, then candidate, and mccain, looking back in 2008 when the birther movement came out, and he talked about that
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moment in 2008. a movement, by the way, that donald trump was pushing as part of a conspiracy theory years later. after the war hero comments when donald trump said mccain is not a war hero. it was the first and only time the republican establishment did that. look over the last year as john mccain was in arizona, president trump has not mentioned mccain by name, but attacked him for the health care vote. you have not heard that through establishment republicans. seems people on capitol hill, for example, as well, and in a way, it's a contrast in how you look how republicans shifted, i think, it's a microcosm, how they shifted over the years, when it comes to that relationship. >> he is a statesman, living in a political environment where statesman is a bad word now, and -- >> that's sadly true. >> and i've interviewed him a half dozen times. in 2007 in the straight talk express bus in new hampshire,
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and that twinkle in his eye, like, look, this is the maverick in me, and he had it every single time. i know he did not go with gop ort doxs orthodoxes a lot, but go down the list, he was solid on a lot of stuff. if he had in the bucked the party so much, he may have been president of the united states. >> i rode here this morning with a driver who drove mccain, and after i got out of the car, he said i remember him, he was a nice guy, said he used to ride in the front of the car instead of the back so he'd sit next to the driver and called the driver soldier or called him by the first name, and was just very -- very warm about remembering his personality. as i got out of the car, oh, really nice he shared those stories, and i thought, wait a minute, what is my driver's name. i didn't ask. people forget what you say, forget what you do, but they'll never forget how you make them
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feel, and i feel like part of the legacy of senator mccain was not just his patriotism, but his humanity. even at speeches, that senator clinton, former secretary clinton referenced about ignoring all the bombastic loud mouths, but remember the humanity of the people across the aisle from you. and if anything speaks to why this nation does not like congress, trust congress, support congress, i think part of it speaks to that, that ability for us to just view one another as people trying to build a more perfect humanity. >> you got to something, and i said it in a blunt way earlier. people asked what's something, the guy was not a snob. you know how many political reporters i know, including this one right here, whose -- the first person to acknowledge them when nay were on capitol hill, to take them seriously as a reporter, not to just look for the recognizable tv face, no offense to us now on tv, but he was not a snob whether it was the driver, that was an incredible aspect of him. >> people who go through enormous times of testing as he
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did as a prisoner of war, sometimes they come out with a sense of what matters and what doesn't, which he had, and also a sense of gratitude for every day, and i think he came out of vietnam understanding that every day was a little bit of a gift and something to be used to a higher purpose, a higher purpose is one of the things that john mccain repeatedly talked about to everybody, to other members of congress to members of the press. he thought all of us had a higher purpose. >> a stake in keeping the democracy healthy. >> he was happy-go-lucky in 2007. he was the front runner, then dropped off, obviously, and it was a time when he dropped off, and no one gave him a shot. he eventually rebounded -- >> carried his own bags. >> that's correct. i never forget it. he said, i've been a p.o.w. for four and a half years, this is nothing. he knows it was happy-go-lucky warrior spirit. >> yeah. he was funny and friendly with reporters, even though he was sometimes cranky. that was part of it, to come off -- >> hey, you scum bag reporter,
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but he laughed. >> yes, exactly. >> like, well, i think every reporter was called a name by him. >> yes. >> it was always with a smile. >> bunny ears to a reporter live on the air. a people remember him fondly. >> did not attack anyone on twitter. later in the broadcast, micah cohen's guilty plea, and talking to jeff flake of arizona, and democratic congressman of new york, which of whom sit on their respective judiciary committee and new poll numbers, and what impact this week's news has had on the president's job ratings. when we come back, we'll remember some of the many moments we shared with senator mccain over the years right in this studio right here on "meet the press." >> i may not be the youngest candidate in the race, but i'm sure more prepared, and i'm prepared to lead the country. i don't need any on-the-job training. ready to doed hard things, not the easy things, and that's what
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welcome back, senator mccain's death was a special note to welcome back, senator mccain's death, no guest appeared on this show more than john mccain, so we are sharing with his 73 appearances here. moments filled with grace, dignity, and a lot of human. >> senator mccain of arizona, welcome to "meet the press." welcome back. i think the job of congress and people like me, tim, 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 in north vietnam as a prisoner of war prepare you for the presidency? >> well, 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 need to be significant changes made in the republican party. i would yield the task to someone else. >> back to your good friends. >> doing battle again, i'm sure they are eagerly awaiting my
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return. i'm sure there's mixed emotions. if the guy wins, you deal with him as president, and if he loses, we'll have him back. >> when you saw george w. bush take that oath of office yesterday, did, for a microsecond, gee, e 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 had weapons of mass destruction, huge weapons of mass destruction, still in power, would be trying to acquire those weapons of mass destruction. >> senator, a serious question, do you think the lady to the why right would be a good president? >> we can't hear you. >> i'm not the youngest candidate, but most prepared and prepared to lead this dricountr. i don't need on-the-job training. we're both mavericks. people complain about divisions within the republican party. that's good right now. let's let a thousand flowers
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bloom. i hate the press. i hate you especially, but the fact is we need you. we need a free press. we must have it. it's vital. >> you said he's growing. >> yes. >> in office. there's some that will say, no, the washington establishment sucked him in. >> i hope so. >> you've been on here a few times, i heard. >> time flies when you're having fun. >> thank you for joining us. >> i have not had so much fun since my last interrogation. d s since my last interrogation. introducing the 2018 c-class sedan, coupe and cabriolet. the thrills keep getting better. lease the c300 sedan for $399 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
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welcome back, it is fair to say this w welcome back, it is fair to say this was the worst week yet in donald trump's presidency. tuesday, we were treated to a split screen drama. michael cohen pled guilty, and two moments later, 230 miles to the south in suburban washington, another trump ally, paul manafort found guilty on financial crimes of his own. the twin events dominated coverage and had many asking whether this is a turning point in the trump presidency. joining me is senator flake of arizona who does on the senate judiciary committee, but, senator, i begin with thoughts on mccain. you wrote something lovely in a way that said, you're the other senator in arizona, and that when you served with mccain, everybody learns to become the other senator with arizona. go ahead, talk more.
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>> that was my title, other senator from arizona. i grew to enjoy that and embrace it, and it was like having a big brother who nobody wanted to mess with, so i very much enjoyed serving with mccain in the senate and in the house when he was in the senate as well. >> you know, a lot of people including myself, wonders who fills the void. it's not going to be a void that is filled right away, but how does a void like mccain's get filled? i think you tried to step up in different ways, trying to reach across the aisle, and not many of your colleagues do that. >> i don't know that we'll ever see anybody who is like him. he's one of a kind. we can certainly try to follow his example and seeing good in the opponents and recognizing people on the other side of the aisle have a different philosophy, but they are friends, and they're fellow americans. i think that would go a long way if we follow that example from
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john. >> i know chuck schumer plans to introduce legislation to rename a senate office building, we assume the richard russell senate office building, somebody that 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 that billing the mccain senate office building? >> it would be. i hope to be the first republican cosponsor. i think that's a fitting tribute. he had his office there in the entire time, and including right now in a a nearby office. i think that's a very fitting tribute. >> let me move to the week's events and ask you a question about dealing with the president. the president of the united states was accused of helping to commit a federal crime. now, he's an undiindicted co-conspirator, but written in july before the midterm elections, republicans are going to need to show they are more
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than just constitutional potted plants. what should the u.s. congress do now to look into this accusation that the sitting president of the united states was in a court of law, directed somebody to commit a federal crime. >> well, first, we need to make sure the mueller investigation is allowed to continue and be completed. we passed legislation in judiciary committee to that effect. i hope it's brought up on the floor. the investigation, the mueller str investigation, the 7th district of new york, that will continue as well. 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 that means just protecting mueller or holding some hearings? >> now, i think protecting the mueller investigation, we don't
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want to get involved in terms of overlapping what's going on there. i think bob mueller is moving forward as they should, and that needs to continue. there is a concern that the president has ramped up rhetoric about perhaps firing the attorney general. >> right. >> i hope that that does not happen. if it does, we'll deal with it at that time. >> i am curious if sentiment has changed in the senate republican conference when it comes to the nate. -- to the senate and jeff sessions. i want to play you lindsey graham from last year and lindsey graham from last week. >> if jeff sessions is fired, there will be holy hill to pay. >> the president is entitled to an attorney general he has faith in. i think there will be a time sooner rather than later where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the department of justice. >> is it fair to say that sessions does not have the same amount of support in the senate republican conference right now that he did last year? >> i don't know. there maybe a few isolated
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voices saying that the president not to fire him now. i can tell you as a body, we are say aing, please, don't. he serves in the pleasure of the president. we all know that, but i think it's a big mistake for the president to fire him now. >> what kind of mistake and repercussion should there be if he does that? >> the concern obviously is that would be the first domino to fall then what happens with rob rosenstein and what happens with bob mueller, and i think firing jeff sessions would concern us all that that's the first domino. so i, frankly, think 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. three republicans vying to replace you in the united states senate. you care to share with us publicly who you plan to
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support? >> no. i wish them well. that's it. not having a position on that. >> do you think your endorsement helps or hurts people in the republican primary right now? >> nobody would be asking for a republican primary, i can tell you that. this is very much, you know, i am not happy about it but this is the president's party right now. 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 is not easy to come on here when you lost such a close friend and mentor, thank you for coming on and sharing your thoughts today. >> thank you. joining me now is the ranking democrat on the house judicial committee, congressman jerry nadler of new york. by the way, that is the committee charged with holding impeachment hearing against president trump it if comes down that that. welcome back to "meet the press." before i get started, you've been in washington for 26 years. i know you are in the house and the senate.
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your thoughts in john mccain this morning. >> well, he was a true american hero from his courageous service in vietnam when he refused to go home and volunteered for two more years of torture in hanoi and rather than get in line ahead of others, that he could have done, and his service to the country over the years, a true american hero, and it will be a long time before we see his likes. >> let me go to michael cohen -- should that trigger the start of an investigation in the judicial committee that could end up going to impeachment or not but the way our system works, is this the proper way it should begin? >> well, i think the mueller investigation has to continue first and for most and the committee has to defend the mueller investigation against the president and the republicans in congress attempts to sabotage it and discredit it
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and the fbi and the department of justice. congress is supposed to be a checks and balances. we have to guarantee accountability. under the republicans, it has been the exact opposite, chairman nunes, saying he views his role is to protect the president. the role of congress is not to protect the president, but it's to hold the president, 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. we know right now that's tough inside the house, but if you did, what's that look like? you would be doing what? >> i hope we would confer with mueller to see what we shouldn't do that gets in way of his investigation. we don't want to interfere with them by accident, but following that, we should be investigating all of these things. the possible interference of the
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russians in our investigations, and what we can do to make sure that doesn't happen again. who not united states aided and abetted that, and if other crimes, other improper acts in terms of the campaign, we should be investigating all of those things. and bring them to light to the american people and see if there's any legislation to prevent their recurrence in the future. but, again, we have to 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 defenders. if you were charged with running something of some form of impeachment investigation, if you are the chairman of the committee, what would happen in democrats took over congress. how would you make sure you handle it differently than your colleagues 20 years ago? >> i would take the same
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attitude i took then. i said then impeachment is a constitutional provision to protect the constitution against the president who would aggregate power and overshadow checks and balances, who pose a true threat to american liberty or to constitutional government in the rule of law. i would also say at the time that you should not do an impeachment on a partisan bases that in order to do an impeachment properly, you have to think that the evidence of threatening impeachable offenses, threatening to liberty was so overwhelming that by the end of the process, the overwhelming majority of the american people including a lot of the people who supported the other side would agree you would have to do it. we certainly didn't have that ten. >> obviously watergate did have that.
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let me ask you this final question here, back in 1999, during the debate of whether or not hillary clinton obstructed justice. you said at the time you were not convinced that a president could obstruct justice. do you have that way that it is not one of - the quote "may not be impeachable." >> i don't remember saying that. i don't agree with that today. obstruct a president, anybody can obstruct justice. obstruction of justice under certain circumstances may be impeachable offense. remember there is a big difference between a crime which may or may not be impeachable. impeachable offense does not have to be a crime. impeachable offense -- >> there's some crimes the president could commit that is not impeachable? >> yes. >> like the affairs? >> that might because it implicating the process of the elections. >> you are a skeptical kind. >> i don't know. i have not studied that. i said at the time that perjury with regard to a private sexual affair did not threat the
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constitution, a crime, but not impeachable offense. perjury regarding attempt by a president to subvert the constitution or aggregate power probably would be an impeachable offense. >> all right, i have to leave it there, ranking democrat in the house judiciary committee, representing new york city. thank you. >> thank you. >> when we come back, we look at the wall street journal poll, before and after, did we see a change in president trump's approval numbers? another moment in the remarkable career of john mccain. >> every time i've done something important, that may have been punched by political reasons, i regretted it every time i've done something i think is right, it's turned out okay in the end. got to do what i think is right. y in the end got to do what i think is right. his priorities were a little unorthodox. -keep going. stop. a little bit down. stop. back up again. is this adequate sunlight for a komodo dragon? -yeah. -sure, i want that discount on car insurance
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welcome back, welcome back, so what effect did michael cohen and paul manafort convictions had on president trump's poll rating. we have our new poll numbers. the answer so far seems to be no. we had two polls. the first one was taken last saturday through wednesday. the president's job approval rating hit an all time high in our poll, 46% and 51% disapproving. then we took a second poll after the news broke because we knew some of you may be skeptical after the results, the results
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barely changed. >> 44% approved and 52% disapproved. from the 2018 democratic strategy, the manafort and cohen convictions represented a fool's gold opportunity. democrats still hold a big lead, 50% over 42%. >> the president's strengthen and congressional democrats are strengthen. we'll be back with end game in a moment. >> he's an arab. >> no, no ma'am, he's a decent family man, citizen that i just
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three "time" magazine covers to sort of start this conversation. this was happen the "time" magazine covers for the last 14 months. a little more water. the word stormy. and as you can see he suddenly is the oval office underwater. hallie jackson i think it's as good a way to describe perhaps how the president is feeling right now. >> when you talk to folks in the white house, there is an insistence that 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 communications strategy because we feel we don't have to right now. and chuck, the poll 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 reporting out on that, he is obviously unhappy with this. he's frustrated.
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he's upset. but not with paul manafort. that's an interesting piece to watch moving forward. he's made that clear not just privately but very publicly as well. >> and all of the news this week has nothing to do with russia. and that's the bottom line. you've got to deliver the goods on russia, we'll see what happens. but 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 -- >> you think the base cares about russia? >> they may care depending what comes out about russia. but let me say this. everybody gets on their moral high horse and say 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 a how do i say, this the republicans and democrats, both parties are to blame and donald trump is here and he's a bull in a china shop sxwlp can i just say one thing, though? because even one person who's very close to the president said this to me. the argue thamt would be very effective potentially with his
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base is this is a president who repeatedly promised to hire the best people, said he'd bring the best people in. chuck rosenberg said it best when he said this is another one, allen weisselberg, the trump cfo who's been granted immunity, who committed a crime and needed immunity for it who is in donald trump's inner circle. you may see democrats latch on to that. >> if you look at the numbers in your poll i find what's interesting and important not the approval number because i think we should accept the fact that donald trump's base is going to stay with him no matter what. it's the enthusiasm number. and 56% of democrats say this congressional election is more important than usual to me. only 38% of republicans say that. who's going to bother to go to vote in a midterm election? it's people who think this is an election that really matters to me. that is i think the more important number. >> though there are some in president trump's orbit who think the threat of impeachment actually will motivate this base. >> maybe. we've heard nancy pelosi this week, she spoke to my colleagues at kqed in san francisco. you heard joe -- a number of lawmakers say impeachment needs to be a bipartisan thing, it
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shouldn't be a partisan tool. i'm not sure what else democrats have that's going to maftd them to show up at the polls more ard eptly than the prospect of doing something about donald trump. i understand why republicans are motivated, to keep that agenda in place. like what else is there emotionally to get democrats out? >> i was just 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've got to use -- we're always trying to sort of hold back that id. in the party. and they paid a price in donald trump. and i'm thinking all of these sfonl democratic leaders that are preaching impeachment caution, are these people -- the base may see give me michael avenatti, i don't want you responsible guys. >> right. that's something the democrats are going to have to deal with. but on the republican side they got exactly what they wanted pape guy that was going to shake things up. i think one of the best things going in donald trump's favor,
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we know this, is the mainstream med media. i hate to say p it. i know i'm sitting on a "meet the press" round table. but the truth is 62% think the media's biased. if you think -- >> the conservative echo chamber created that environment. it's not -- no, no. it has been a tactic and a tool of the roger ailes created echo chamber. so let's not pretend it's not anything other than that. >> hang on. yes and no. because remember, the independents are part of donald trump's base, and i think that's very important. a lot of times we say republicans are donald trump's base. not really. >> no, it's a separate trump -- it is a different version of the republican party. >> but those independents also distrust the media. this is not just republicans. it is many americans across -- >> no, no, no. i take your point. i'm just saying it was a campaign tactic. it's not based in much fact. >> i do think it's worth saying, though, 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 maladministration.
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if you don't like what a president is doing, you have a tool to get rid of that president. vote him out. it's designed for treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors. i feel like there are enough people who say, i'd rather we just mobilize for 2020 than try to throw him out now. that sets a dangerous precedent. sxl that's w >> that's why i think russia has to be -- if you ever even get there. that's all we have for today. thank you for watching. like all of you we're keeping john mccain and his entire family in our thoughts. we're back next week. because if it's sunday it's "meet the press." but we're going to leave you this morning not with my words. with senator mccain's own words. >> world is a fine place and worth the 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. i made a small place for myself in the story of america and the history of my times. the fact is, there are over ninety-six
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we never give up. we never quit. we never hide from history. we make history. >> mccain's not in it for the wins and losses of politics. mccain is in it for the worthiness of the fight. >> from p.o.w. to presidential contender. >> the mac is back! he weathered scandal. >> he was almost at the point where he was willing to walk away. >> and stuck by his principles.
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>> i can't trust obama. he's an arab. he is not -- no? >> no, ma'am. no, ma'am. >> to buck his own party. >> he didn't let ambition prevent him from doing what he thought was right. >> people always say that we'll never see his likes again. we'd better see his likes again. >> at the epicenterar of a legislative showdown his true grit on full display one last time. >> he really showed the power he had to stand up to this white house. >> john mccain's an american hero. an imperfect man like all of us but whose service to america i think was as close as perfect as service could be. ♪ >> i don't mind a good fight.
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for reasons known only to god i've had quite a few tough ones in my life. >> john mccain lived a life of intense hardship, patriotism, and perseverance. >> in the end it matters less that you can fight. what you fight for is the real test. >> the former navy fighter pilot, prisoner of war, and two-time presidential candidate found himself at the center of new fights. challenging his own party's president in his last book "the restless wave." >> never at a loss for words, he is now taking on president trump and others, others that he blames for the growing lack of civility in politics. >> it was a conflict that often turned personal in nature as mccain's war record and battle with brain cancer had been mocked by the administration. >> people wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. it happened yesterday. >> his life has been about decency and honor. compared to a president who's
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unworthy to say his name out loud. >> mccain's clashes with the trump white house pale in comparison to his other fight. >> this disease has never had a more worthy opponent. >> john mccain is very much a fighter. it was a tough diagnosis but an even tougher man. >> but in the end the cancer was tougher. and mccain lost the fight for his life. over his decades-long senate career the arizona senator made a name for himself with his approach to bipartisanship and his inclination to take on his own party. >> i spoke out strongly on several other issues where i thought that mr. trump was absolutely wrong. i have not been shy about it. >> john's at his best when he's fighting as a maverick. i mean, at his best what i mean is his happiest. and he's most happy when he actually getsing? done. >> at this very moment there is a bill on the floor of the united states senate that would effectively kill obamacare.
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>> mccain's health issues came at a critical juncture. a senate vote on legislation to begin dismantling the affordable care act. also known as obamacare. the 52-48 republican majority in the senate left little margin for error on the vote. in july of 2017, less than two weeks after surgery to remove a blood clot over his eye -- >> how are you doing, guys? >> -- mccain made a dramatic return to the senate. [ applause ] >> the senior senator from arizona is recognized. >> i thank you, mr. president. >> mccain delivers this roughly 15 to 20-minute speech that is sort of the encapsulation of everything he wants the senate to be and everything he feels like the senate should be. >> let's trust each other. let's return to regular order. we've been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle.
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>> if there's one person who's not a former president of the united states who has the unquestioned ability to talk about that in a way that people can hear, it's john sidney mccain. >> we're getting nothing done, my friends. we're getting nothing done. >> he's no fan of obamacare. he voted against it. but he didn't like the way it smelled. and he wasn't going to put up with it. >> president trump made the repeal of obamacare one of his top priorities. >> obamacare is a total disaster. >> in the hours leading up to vote on what was called the skinny repeal the usually reliable republican was tight-lipped about his decision. >> i was there the night of the senate vote, and john mccain said we should watch the show on the floor. we had no idea what that meant. >> two republican senators, susan collins of maine, lisa murkowski of alaska, voted
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against the bill. joining the entire democratic caucus. john mccain would be the deciding vote. >> and he he knew where he was going to vote when he came on the floor. and there was no moving it. >> and he walks back out on the floor and it's almost like a moment out of "gladiator" where the emperor is like thumbs up, thumbs down. there were gasps. when he put the thumbs down, when he said no, there were gasps in the chamber. even people who'd heard he was going to be doing that. it was actually oh, he actually did that. it's a shock. >> nobody should underestimate john mccain's ability to seize advantage of a dramatic moment like that in politics. he's not uncomfortable on center stage. >> we talked about this. it was not so much a vote against the skinny repeal, though it was. it was a vote against the whole screwed-up process that is washington today. >> i think for a man like mccain
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this moment allowed him to say i put my country before my party. >> when i saw the vote and the fact that john walked out on the floor and put thumbs down, i sat back and i said, that's my friend. that's the hero that i've had. >> when you came back from arizona, did you always know you were going to do it or did you make up your mind at the last moment? >> i made up my mind on the way back. and what the alternative was, which was frankly a nothingburger. a, quote, skinny repeal, whatever that means. that's not why i came to the senate, tom. >> however, in december of 2017 mccain, as he has on the majority of issues, did support the republican bill on tax
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reform, which included a repeal of obamacare's individual mandate. >> the tax cuts and jobs act is passed. >> his opposition to trump does not mean he is a liberal. i think when democrats criticize him for being a conservative he says, well, that's who i am. >> it's a fascinating career to see. it's not about the victories he's notched. it's about the worthiness of the fight. >> coming up -- >> he was held in solitary confinement for two years. so that tested his will to live. >> every day was basically about one thing. survival. ut one thing. survival jalapeño poppers for me and the boys, please? i've been saving a lot of money with progressive lately, so... progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents. but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us.
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need this bed. i'm not a hero. the great honor of my life was to serve in the company of heroes. >> john s. mccain iii was born august 29th, 1936 to a multigenerational military family on a base in the panama canal zone. his father jack mccain was a
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navy officer who eventually became a four-star admiral. his grandfather was also an admiral who was present on the "uss missouri" for the japanese surrender in world war ii. for young john mccain entry into the naval academy was a foregone conclusion. as a naval cadet mccain quickly established a reputation as a rebel and a party boy. >> and he really did have the most enjoyable times perhaps i've had in my life, was that period at the naval academy when i ran around with a like-minded but perhaps not quite as assertive in their rebelliousness group of young men. >> he was very knowledgeable. well read in history. he was a strong leader. you knew when he was in the room. he just had a lot of energy. always had a superb sense of humor. that's what attracted him to a lot of people. >> upon graduating from the
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naval academy, fifth from the bottom of his class, mccain decided to become an aviator. his first experience with combat came when he was shipped to vietnam in 1967. at the onset of his deployment mccain was assigned to the "uss forrestal." and in july of that year it was at the center of one of the deadliest naval disasters of that war. >> because of an electric malfunction a very large rocket was fired across the flight deck. hit the fuel tank underneath my airplane, from which fuel flowed on fire. >> cameras mounted on the flight deck captured the horrific scene. >> the explosions, one after another. the ship really was completely involved. >> mccain escaped the fire with minor shrapnel wounds. but 134 of his shipmates were
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killed. mccain was given an option. he could return to the u.s. or stay in vietnam. >> he could have cycled back to the united states after the fire and never returned to vietnam, but he specifically volunteered to go back. >> it would be a fateful decision. mccain was reassigned to the "uss araskany." the missions launched from the deck were some of the most dangerous of the war. on his 23rd bombing mission over north vietnam on october 26th, 1967 mccain's a-4 skyhawk was hit by enemy fire. >> he was shot down by a surface-to-air missile and immediately parachuted out. he was injured upon bailout. both arms broken. a leg broken. and knocked unconscious.
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>> 50 years to the day later mccain reflected on those fateful hours. >> senator, when you woke up this morning, did you say to yourself, where was i 50 years ago? >> you know, i did. and i thought, wow, maybe i zigged when i should have zagged. >> mccain came to deep in a lake in hanoi. escape was impossible, and he was immediately set upon by an angry mob. mccain was bayonetted in the foot and the groin, a rifle butt smashed over his shoulder. beaten and bloodied, he was hauled off to a local prison called hua lo, known to american p.o.w.s as the hanoi hilton. >> the conditions at the hanoi hilton were deplorable. it was nasty, dirty, infectious. heavy, heavy concrete doors. just a very imposing, scary dungeon-like place. >> his north vietnamese captors
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interrogated him, but mccain would not cooperate. >> you were told during your training that the only information you were obligated to give was your name, rank, serial number and date of birth. >> mccain's injuries were left untreated. he developed a horrible infection and subsequent fever. the naval aviator was near death, but the north vietnamese had a change of heart and decided to treat mccain once they realized just who his father was. >> his father was in charge of all u.s. forces in the pacific. it made john mccain a valuable prisoner, someone who could potentially be exploited for propaganda purposes. >> his broken bones were badly set, his arms put in bulky casts. mccain was offered an early release from captivity, but he refused. citing the military code of conduct.
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>> the code of conduct required prisoners of war to be released in the order that they were captured. >> i understood that the vietnamese didn't single me out for an offer of release because of any act of charity on their part, that it would be an issue of exploitation on their behalf. there was never any doubt about that. >> and john mccain made an affirmative decision that he would stay in prison and likely die rather than dishonor the united states navy, his family's legacy of service, and break the code of conduct. >> mccain was thrown into a cell with two other americans, morris overly and bud day. >> was there a time when he first arrived you didn't think he would make it? >> i didn't think he would make it the moment i saw him. my description of him was that his body was saying let's die and his mind was saying we're not doing that. >> you remember that conscious thought almost? >> i remember the incredible joy
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of seeing two american faces, and it gave me reason to live. >> over the next 5 1/2 years in captivity he was subjected to repeated torture and experienced frequent bouts of dysentery and constant isolation. >> he was held in solitary confinement for two years. so that tested his will to live and his belief system. >> every day was basically about one thing, survival. >> by christmas 1972 the u.s. dramatically increased its bombing runs over north vietnam in an effort to get the vietnamese to the negotiating table. >> and that, it is believed, is what caused the communist nashor lae duc cho to finally agree to terms acceptable to president nixon. >> within 60 days from this
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saturday all americans held prisoners of war throughout indo-china will be released. >> as part of the negotiations the americans held in captivity were released. 5 1/2 years after he was pulled from that lake in hanoi john mccain finally was free. >> mccain had aged so dramatically from the young man who had crashed his plane, and when he came down the steps in california and was greeted and went across the tarmac it was such a dramatic moment. >> coming up -- >> the notion that anyone would question his honesty or integrity was so antithetical to who he was that i think he was almost at the point of where he was willing to walk away. (vo) there's so much we want to show her.
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in the states. free from his nightmare at the hanoi hilton, he resumed his playboy ways. >> he would acknowledge after he returned home there was a time when he was sort of finding himself again. >> his marriage to his wife, carol, whom he wed shortly before leaving for vietnam, fell apart. >> i had no idea why i behaved irresponsib irresponsibly. i did so, and it was improper on my part. >> mccain's naval career was also at a cross-roads. >> it was clear i think to him he was never going to become an admiral, given his age and background and having spent the years of his flief captivity. >> mccain stayed in the navy, becoming anaval liaison to the senate in 1977. essentially the navy's chief lobbyist. >> it was a job that really opened the door to politics and allowed him to see politics from the inside.
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>> he was one of the favorites of the senators to travel with. he kept us laughing most of the trip. >> on one of those trips to hawaii in the winter of 1979 john met a teacher. 17 years his junior. cindy hindly from a wealthy arizona family. >> she was just a beautiful young woman and great spirit, and it was clear to me he was very much in love with her. >> john and his first wife carol's divorce was finalized in 1980. a few months later he and cindy were married. he was also ready for a fresh start to his career. mccain wanted to run for congress as a republican. but where? he had never settled down anywhere long enough to call it home. >> i suggested he go to the state where his wife was from. he'd be new obviously but he'd be new anyplace they went. >> from the start his opponents
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labeled him a carpetbagger, an opportunist politician with weak ties to the area he was running. >> he quickly deflated that by saying the longest spot he'd ever been in was the hanoi hilton as a prisoner of war. nobody ever raised that question again. >> mccain won the primary and general elections. but as a freshman congressman quickly developed a reputation for not necessarily toeing the party line. civil war broke out in lebron, and by the fall of 1983 the situation was a powder keg. u.s. peacekeeping forces were in harm's way. opposing his own party's president, mccain sided with the majority of the democrats in calling for the withdrawal of troops deployed in lebanon. >> he has sort of made this a hallmark of his career to try to be a truth teller on all things foreign policy, and the '83 vote is sort of a first step along that way. >> in arizona this is a man we'll all want to watch.
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his name is john mccain. now elected to the senate seat of retiring barry goldwater. >> after two terms in the house mccain won election to the senate. but it didn't take long for scandal to threaten his political career. during the 1980s the savings and loan crisis rocked the country. >> it was a mini version of what became the wall street blowup of 2008. and voters were angry. >> john mccain's old arizona friend and political contributor charles keating's lending institution was at the heart of the scandal. because of his close ties to the embattled businessman, mccain became embroiled in one of the biggest financial scandals in u.s. history as a member of the infamous keating five. >> the keating five scandal was base clip accusation that members of the u.s. senate had been showered with campaign contributions and personal gifts from charles keating and that in turn they had intervened with federal regulators to try to get them off charles keating's back.
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>> as senate ethics committee hearings into the so-called keating 5 today the senators fought back against charges of wrongdoing. >> when he came to see me in march of 1987 and asked me to do something i thought was improper, i said no. >> mccain was criticized for exercising poor judgment for meeting with regulators on keating's behalf. but eventually he was cleared of wrongdoing. >> the notion that anyone would question his honesty or integrity or to think he could be bought off on a vote was so antithetical to who he was that i think he was almost at the point where he was willing to walk away. >> but mccain didn't walk away, and the scandal helped motivate him to take on one of the defining issues of his career, campaign finance reform. >> this nation needs to reform a system that is broken, and we will continue our efforts to achieve that.
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>> john mccain, having gone through that whole keating 5 issue, felt that money was seen as corrupting members of the senate and the house and was determined to try and do something to fight against it. >> mccain reached across the aisle. he tapped wisconsin senator russ feingold to work with him on the cause. >> we never really had a serious conversation and he called me when i was home and said i looked at your voting record, i'd like to work with you on reform issues. >> pair forged a strong bond as they worked to get soft money out of politics. >> thank you very much. >> the way he treated me was like a mentor, friend, father figure. it was a relationship where i really benefited tremendously from being able to see his abilities and his willingness to cross the party line. people didn't talk to us in our respective caucuses because of this. we were not at the cool kid lunch table for many years. >> coming up --
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>> barack obama was beginning to walk on the mountaintops, and you were not going to defeat him by a conventional campaign. >> somebody said hey, have you thought of this republican governor from alaska named sarah palin? something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. with my bladder leakage, the products i've tried just didn't fit right. they were very saggy. it's getting in the way of our camping trips. but with new sizes, depend fit-flex is made for me. introducing more sizes for better comfort. new depend fit-flex underwear is guaranteed to be your best fit.
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hi. richard lui with your hour's top stories. two people were killed when a man opened fire at a video game tournament in jacksonville, florida. authorities say the gunman, 24-year-old david katz, killed himself thereafter. the "washington post" reports that president trump rejected a white house statement praising john mccain's heroism after the senator died saturday. sources say the president insisted on instead sending out a tweet offering sympathy to the family with no mention of mccain's accomplishments. for now back to "headliners: john mccain remembered." as the millennium
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approached, john mccain, a man deemed a political maverick for his bold moves and father of seven, decided to take aim at the top job in the country. >> it is because i owe america more than she has ever owed me that i am a candidate for president of the united states. >> from the very beginning he was an underdog against the son of a political dynasty. >> george w. bush emerged in the summer of 1999 as the most potent political force either party had ever seen in its presidential nominating process. >> short on cash, mccain skipped the iowa caucuses and focused all of his attention on the new hampshire primary. >> he just decided that's where he would start. >> mccain rolled out the straight talk express, his all-access bus tour, a 24/7 press conference on wheels. >> the straight talk express of
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2000 was unlike anything that i had ever received and that i have ever seen since. >> we had no idea what was going to happen at any moment. you weren't being spoon-fed anything. it was just completely spontaneous. >> mccain held more than 100 town halls in new hampshire. and the hard work paid off. he beat george w. bush in the state's primary by 18 points. >> he comes roaring out of new hampshire. everybody thinks he's not only the next republican nominee but very possibly the next president. >> but the sudden burst of energy in new hampshire faded with a bruising primary in south carolina. >> malicious rumors were spread about him and his family. >> mccain's daughter bridget, adopted from bangladesh, became the focus of one of the
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campaign's most vicious attacks. >> they were accusing john mccain of fathering a biracial child out of wedlock, all sorts of underhanded tactics were going on. >> mccain lost south carolina. and by march the straight talk express ran out of gas. >> i announce today on this fine arizona morning and in this beautiful place that i am no longer an active candidate for my party's nomination for president. thank you. >> mccain threw his support behind bush, helped him defeat democratic challenger al gore to become the 43rd president. although he was a loyal republican mccain bucked bush on a number of issues. >> on health care, on taxes, on guns, on the environment. they were at odds with the bush administration. >> during the bush years mccain scored perhaps his biggest legislative achievement when mccain feingold, his bill, his tireless work on campaign
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finance reform, was signed into law in 2002. >> there were times when it seemed like it was never going to end, but quite honestly john was so much fun to work with i didn't mind. >> by 2004 mccain the maverick was more popular than ever, and despite having come up short in his first presidential campaign mccain's national profile continued to rise. in 2005 he co-sponsored ambitious legislation on immigration reform with democrat ted kennedy, enjoying broad bipartisan support mccain began to gear up for a second presidential run. >> today i announce my candidacy for president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] >> he was popular. he was prominent. he had the money and the resources and the brains and the party behind him. >> despite a long list of builders and heavy hitting
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operatives on his payroll mccain's campaign struggled. >> fund-raising estimates didn't pan out. thus the campaign was top-heavy and bankrupt six months after it opened the doors. >> it reaches a point in the summer of 2007 where basically the o'habitualbi obituary for m campaign was written. >> he called me and said will you help me, boy? will you help me? he said everybody quit. they're all gone. he said i'm not going out. i literally flew up to new hampshire in the middle seat on southwest airlines with the national press corps waiting like vultures to pick over his bones, when are you getting out of the race? it's all over. and he didn't. >> with nothing left to lose mccain once again made new hampshire his last stand. >> you come to the town hall meetings because you want to see the candidates, you want to examine them, and you want to make a judgment up close and personal.
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>> he barnstormed the state, holding town hall after town hall. >> the happiest that john mccain was ever in a campaign wasn't on the night he won. it was on the day you were within a point or two and you knew you could win. the joy of the struggle as he was surging in new hampshire and the crowds were building. it was completely improbable. >> and the night of the primary mccain pulled out a five-point victory over mitt romney. >> i'm past the age when i can claim the noun kid, no matter what adjective precedes it. but tonight we sure showed them what a comeback looks like. >> as mccain lapped up the republican nomination his expected challenger hillary clinton faltered in her own campaign. in an upset a newcomer, barack obama, won the nomination. >> there's two types of elections in america. there's change elections and
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more of the same elections. i'm not sure looking back in 2008 that we could have elected abraham lincoln as a republican to the office of the presidency. >> as the general election heated up, barack obama built a lead in the polls. >> we always knew that we had to take a risk, that we had to throw the ball into double coverage over the middle of the field to get ahead in a race where all the headwinds were against us. and really what the idea was was that john mccain was going to pick joe lieberman. >> i get a call from rick davis, who's campaign manager for john mccain's presidential campaign in 2008. he said john would like to put you on the list of people to be vetted to be his vice presidential running mate. i said are you kidding me? he said no, i'm not.
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it was a bold idea. barack obama was beginning to walk on the mountaintops, and you were not going to defeat him with a conventional campaign. >> in his book "the restless wave," mccain expressed regret for not picking lieberman, having been talked out of it by his staff. it was sound advice that i could reason for myself, he wrote, "but my gut told me to ignore it and i wish i had." >> he said where else can i go? and somebody said hey, have you thought of this republican governor from alaska named sarah palin? >> coming up -- >> realizing we didn't know about her. just call geico. geico helps with homeowners insurance? good to know. feeling better? i love you, pookie bear. [parrot 1] i love you, pookie bear. [parrot 2] i love you, pookie bear!
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so you barely have to lift a finger. or a wing. tripadvisor. thank you. >> barack obama secured the 2008
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democratic nomination before a record crowd of 84,000 in denver. at that moment the mccain campaign was preparing to announce its vice presidential candidate. the pick was a closely guarded secret. even top mccain advisers were left in the dark until the last minute. >> i walked into a hotel room and steve schmidt said to me meet the next vice president of the united states, the governor of the great state of alaska, sarah palin. and i'd never heard of her and i'd never met her, and i shook her hand and she was lovely. and i walked out. and he said what do you think, guys? she seems great. >> palin, the 44-year-old first-term governor, had made a name for herself as a reformer in alaska. she had a better than 60% approval rating as a governor. she had an ability to spark interest. >> john mccain looked at sarah
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palin as his bold move, his sneak attack, the one the political world wouldn't see coming that would make them sit up and take notice. >> in dayton, ohio on august 29th, sarah palin made her national political debut. >> as governor i stood up to the old politics as usual. >> it was a great speech. i think people watching it said wow, he found a political star up there in alaska none of us had ever seen before. >> he shot up in the polls because it just seemed so fresh and dramatic and a woman and this is great. >> we got back the national media attention. we surprised people maybe too much. realizing we didn't know about her. how long had she been governor? not long. and then the katie couric interview, which was really a disaster. it went off the rails. >> katie couric, who was then anchor of the "cbs evening news." couric asked a question that was simple and predictable. what sorts of things do you read? what newspapers do you follow?
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>> i've read most of them, again, with a great appreciation for the press, for the media. >> but specifically. i'm curious. >> all of them. any of them. >> that became the unraveling. that was really the moment where her response to a simple question showed that she wasn't ready. >> without question the nomination of sarah palin was a cynical move to try to tap into the republican base. >> i don't believe she's ready to be president of the united states, which is the job of the vice president. and so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that senator mccain made. >> i think it was seen as a mistake in judgment. the whole country saw i knew what i was doing but what was i thinking? >> let me ask you some facts about your running mate. >> sure. >> governor sarah palin. you continue to defend her. she continues to light up republican rallies wherever she goes. and i don't defend her. i praise her. >> yeah. many people think she's just simply not qualified to be
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president. >> the fact is she is a dynamic person with executive experience, leadership, reform. she's exactly what washington needs. >> mccain was old and he'd been through cancer. so the idea of president palin wasn't some abstraction. it was a real possibility. >> heading into the fall of 2008 the race was neck and neck. on september 15th -- >> meltdown. the american financial system is rocked to its foundation as top wall street institutions topple. >> just before the first scheduled presidential debate mccain decided to suspend his campaign to hammer out a deal on the economy. but in a meeting at the white house he was largely silent while barack obama offered substantially more input in the conversation. as the economy cratered, the campaign struggled to maintain momentum. >> politically they felt they
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had to go after barack obama's early days in politics. sarah palin was much more willing to be the person on the stump to say these things about barack obama. and a phrase of palling around with terrorists took hold. >> our opponent is someone who sees america as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country. >> the crowds got angrier and angrier. really any mention of barack obama's name would trigger a chorus of booing and vitriol that john mccain was deeply, deeply uncomfortable with. >> i can't trust obama. i have read about him, and he's not -- he's not -- he's an arab. >> no, ma'am. >> no? >> no, ma'am. no, ma'am. he's a decent family man, citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on
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fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign is all about. >> i remember thinking that john mccain has no idea what he just did, that he just stood up against the darkest sxugliest forces in american politics. >> i knew that was the end of the campaign. it was really a surrender to the inevitable by a man who's the furthest thing from a quitter you could ever imagine. >> in the weeks leading up to the election obama had what appeared to be an insurmountable lead. >> i think it really became a change election on the heels of the war and the economic collapse. i think the appetite for change was almost insatiable. >> it is now 11:00 on the east coast. and we can report history. barack obama is projected to be the next president of the united states of america. >> in arizona as supporters waited outside the biltmore hotel mccain gathered with his
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closest advisers. >> john mccain and mark zucker showed me the concession speech, and i read it with tears streaming down my face. i said it's incredible. >> whatever our differences, we are fellow americans, and please believesay, no association has ever meant more to me than that. >> it was in that moment in time that it was clear that at 72 years old john mccain would never be the president of the united states. >> he flew the secret service home the night of his defeat and drove himself home the next day in a pickup truck and was eager to go back to the united states senate and pick up the work that he had long enjoyed as a senator. >> coming up -- >> i couldn't believe he said it. >> i said, wait a minute, you didn't serve in the military. john mccain did.
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john mccain returned to washington after losing the 2008 election. then in his fourth term in the senate he was soon allies with president obama. >> john mccain would become a regular antagonist towards barack obama's leadership. >> it's time that president obama woke up to the realities in the world and reassert american leadership. >> mccain kept a lower profile but continued to dig as he had his entire career, one of the biggest supporters of american troops of all. >> the thing he is most proud of is being able to contribute to the national security of the united states. that's the thing that he feels most strongly about, as he described it to me. >> during the lead-up to the 2016 primaries, an unlikely newcomer was about to thrust
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mccain back into the national spotlight. at a presidential forum in ames, iowa, john mccain's war record came up from donald trump. >> he's not a war hero. >> he's a war hero. >> he's a war hero because he was captured. i like people that weren't captured, okay? i hate to say it. >> i was outraged. i couldn't believe he said it. >> i felt rage. i said, wait a minute, you didn't serve in the military, john mccain did. you're saying that anybody who has been shot down or captured by the enemy and tortured, imprisoned is not a war hero. >> i thought john mccain's response was, you know, it is what it is. he didn't respond and that's typical of john. >> but as a loyal republican, mccain endorsed trump once he won the party's nomination. >> i think he felt it was incumbent on him to support the
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nominee. >> that changed after donald trump's lewd comments during an "access hollywood" segment were leaked. >> they'll let you do it. you can do anything. >> whatever you want. >> grab them by the [ bleep ]. >> the "access hollywood" tape was john mccain's final straw. that's when he would not vote for donald trump. >> i have daughters. i have friends. i have so many wonderful people on my staff. they cannot be degraded and demeaned in that fashion. >> but on election night -- >> in one of the most shocking u.s. elections in modern political history, donald trump overcame all the odds and defeated hillary clinton. >> mccain wakes up the morning of november 9th just utterly stunned. trump has won and beyond all the other things about trump's personal behavior, mccain is most troubled about trump's world view. >> and his concerns didn't subside after the inauguration. >> what concerns me is his views
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on national security and russia and vladimir putin and sanctions. >> mccain criticized the trump administration's refugee ban and its handling of a controversial navy s.e.a.l. raid in yemen. also in his book, "the restless wave," he defended fbi director james comey after comey was fired by donald trump. during a senate intelligence committee hearing with former director comey, the normally sharp-minded senator stumbled and he appeared to be confused. >> so she was clearly involved in this whole situation where fake news, as you just described it, big deal. >> i was on the air live at the time of the comey hearing, and i was alarmed to say the least. >> in the case of mr. comey, you
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-- the -- >> no, sir. >> in the case of president trump -- >> a month later it was announced that mccain underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from over his left eye. >> i was unsettled by that because it did indicate there was some pathology testing to be done and it suggested there was going to be a follow-up. >> a few days later -- >> the senate maverick and american hero now in the fight of his life after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. >> i was actually on the phone to john mccain as i heard about it. almost as an aside he said, well, i have some chemotherapy coming up. so it was very typical john mccain. let's talk about things that are more important or bigger. by the way, i have this pesky cancer i've got to deal with. >> mccain underwent treatment for his brain tumor but true to form in october 2017 he made his feelings about the current political climate known when he received the national constitution center's liberty
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medal. >> to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of earth for the sake of some half-baked spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats can solve problems is as unpatriot as attachment to any tired dogma of the past that americans consigned to the ash heap of history. >> john mccain is the real deal. he's a giant figure in the life of the united states senate and this country. >> in december of 2017, john mccain left washington for arizona to continue his battle with cancer at home. >> you had so many lives. you were the son of a distinguished native family. a bit of a wild child for a time.
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>> to say the least. >> fighter pilot in vietnam. war hero. i'll be the first time to say that. you've been in the senate, twice presidential candidate. >> both times lost. >> what do you want to be remembered for? >> he served his country. that's my legacy. he served his country, hopefully with the word "honorably" on it. that's all. >> the american story. he once wrote, i'm the son and grandson of admirals. that's the first line of my biography. that's a fact that his captors in vietnam tried to use against him. mccain refused to let them and found himself using taps on the wall to communicate with other prisoners of war in his prisoner cell. he returned home 5 1/2 years later and spent decades in public life. in the end, he never became president, losing to george w.


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