tv Meet the Press MSNBC September 9, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
i'm ready to do what no one on my block has done before. forget that. what no one in the world has done before. all i need access, tools, connections. high-speed connections. is the world ready for me? through internet essentials, comcast has connected more than six-million low-income people to low-cost, high-speed internet at home. i'm trying to do some homework here. so they're ready for anything. this sunday, fear and resistance at the white house. the fear, bob woodward's explosive new book describes a near mutiny in the white house against president trump. >> this woodward book is a total -- it's a total fraud. these people, libel laws, libel laws. the resistance, an anonymous white house official writing that colleagues are working diligently from within to frustration parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations, the
president calling on the justice department to investigate. >> i think it's a national security matter, they should look at it, they should look at it very strongly and we should find out who it is. >> is president trump in charge of his own white house? plus the supreme court, brett kavanaugh says very little, while protesters and senators. >> there is clearly rule that applies. >> then apply the rule and bring the charges, bring it. >> take the spotlight. my guests this morning, counselor to president trump, kellyanne conway, republican senator ben sasse of nebraska and democratic senator dick durbin of illinois. also, guess who is on the campaign trial. >> you need to vote because our democracy depends on it. >> and guess who is listening. >> i'm sorry, i watched it, but i fell asleep. >> joining me for insight and analysis are nbc news correspondent katy tur, democratic pollster cornell belcher, danielle pletka of the american enterprise institute and erick erickson, editor of
the resurgent. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. it's not every day that we have words and phrases like these thrown around so freely here in washington. constitutional crisis, 25th amendment, sleeper cells, polygraph examinations, nervous breakdown, orange jumpsuit and administrative coup d'etat, but that's what happened this week when we retreated to two disturbing accounts of white house dysfunction, a one-two punch describing top officials working quietly to thwart a president they see as uninformed, unprincipled and perhaps unhinged. first came bob woodward's book describing aides so unnerved by president trump's impulses that they have taken to swiping papers from his desk. "the new york times" printed an extraordinary op-ed he is say in
effect confirming woodward's reporting that senior officials are working secretly to frustrate the president's worst inn colin cases, quote, americans should know there are adults in the room. we fully recognize what is happening and we are trying to do what's right even when donald trump won't. in other words, the call is coming from inside the house. much of this isn't shocking, with he knew from the chaos from michael wolf, omarosa and our own reporting. we didn't know the senior staff was working at odds with the man that the voters elected. it raises the request he is the president trump is control of his own white house. >> is it sub version? is it treason? it's a horrible thing. >> president trump is fuming, intensifying his campaign against the author of that anonymous op-ed who claims to be part of a group of administration officials working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. president trump accused the times of treason and on friday
called on the attorney general to investigate. >> if he doesn't investigate it will you fire jeff sessions finally. >> we will look and see what happens. i think it's a national security matter. they should look at it, they should look at it very strongly and we should find out who it is. why should we live with somebody in the white house who is really subversive. >> as a parade of officials, dozens at the top of mr. trump's government rushed out public denials promising it's not them. >> i will answer your other question directly because i know someone will say, gosh, he didn't answer the question. it's not mine. >> that is just nuts. nuts. of course i have nothing to do with this. >> they ought to do the honorable thing and they ought to resign. >> now multiple sources describe the president's move as volcanic. >> they have to step back and ask themselves why is this madness going on. >> back on the campaign trail for democrats, even former president obama criticized the anonymous op-ed. >> they are not doing us a service by actively promoting 90% of the crazy stuff that's coming out of this white house and then saying, don't worry, we're preventing the other 10%. >> the op-ed follows a new
bombshell book by journalist bob woodward. >> this idiot woodward who wrote this book. >> like the anonymous op-ed the book is filled with anecdotes of senior officials working to put up guardrails in the white house by keeping information and documents from mr. trump. including one incident where former economic adviser gary cohen describes stealing a letter off the president's desk to prevent him from withdrawing from a trade agreement with south korea. >> i would fire a person so fast if he ever touches my desk. snatched from my desk. this woodward book is a total fraud. these people. libel laws. >> and inside the white house is president is only becoming more isolated, even from some of his senior staff. >> i think all of us have witnessed the fact that, you know, that people who work around the president do work constantly to keep things in the middle of the road. >> joining me now is counselor
to president trump, kellyanne conway. ms. conway, welcome back to
"meet the press." >> thank you, chuck. >> let me just start with to get you to respond to the central allegation both in woodward's book and this anonymous op-ed that the president isn't fully in charge of his presidency how do you respond with that? >> i totally disagree with that, so do general kelly, general mattis and other people that have come out to push back on quotes attributed to them. i think general mattis' denial was relevant for what he denied and also what he affirmed. in denying that he would ever use con temp use language against the elected commander or tolerate it in the very last pentagon that he oversees. he also affirmed his commitment to the successes in the defense and national security space that the this president has achieved. general mattis mentioned that the isis caliphate is all but gone. he mentioned that the pay raises the first military pay raise is quite a while, that defense policies are received honorably and applicably on capitol hill. there are tremendous differences, tremendous gains. i think the president's consternation probably derives from the fact that we always
have a handful of sources and this is like the fifth consecutive book where it's basically a few people. >> why should we take your -- why should we take your word for that? you say -- you said five books, i will go with we had the michael wolff, omarosa, various reports, now you have woodward and the anonymous op-ed. you say it's a few people. that's a lot of -- are you saying a few people are the source for all of these faults? that's a lot of people. >> -- somebody who above board met with bob woodward to figure out what the book was about or how i might help and came back and took that to the white house as we all know. >> did you stop the president from speaking to bob woodward. >> i did not. >> he seems to think there was a disagreement in that recording. he seems to at least indicate he wanted to speak with bob woodward. >> and he said this week it wouldn't have helped.
>> but he did want to speak to him. >> the president likes to speak to everyone. >> did you just not bring the request. >> no, i'm on tape saying exactly what is true, which is i brought the request back and it was rejected. >> to the president? to the president? >> i also -- >> to the president? you're not answering whether you brought the request to the president. >> i didn't bring the request to the president directly and the president said she could have because she has direct access to me. all that doesn't matter, this does. what the president said about woodward matters. he said, bob, i hope the book covers this boom economy, the labor, wages, growth, manufacturing jobs, construction. you can't deny and even somebody's poison pen in anonymous op-ed or the vitriol spewed all day long on some stations can't really touch the corners all across this country where people are feeling the economic boom, where they feel safer and more prosperous. you can't touch it. he has given voice and visibility to follow, who felt invisible and forgotten. >> in fairness, actually, the unnamed person who wrote this, because it's obviously not anonymous to some people at the "new york times," the unnamed
person did write don't get me wrong, there are bright spots. effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more, but these successes have come despite not because of the president's leadership style which is impetuous, adversarial, petty -- >> that is the intersection of arrogance and ignorance. in this person had the kind of courage and skills that some of us do, they'd come forward. you would put them right in in chair today, you would have cleared out the whole round table if that person would come forward. i'm sure they would get a hero's welcome, but why, chuck? you are a long time journalist and responsible person. would you have given anonymity, would nbc have felt comfortable doing that if it turns out it's not a true senior administration official? why are we imbuing credibility and authority to somebody who hasn't earned it? we can't run around all day saying facts and truth and transparency and credibility. if we are imbuing credibility to every anti-trump messenger that
comes along. >> what kind of west wing is it that everybody is quietly, gary -- >> everybody is not doing that. excuse me, everybody is not doing that. >> okay. more than a handful of people leaking anecdotes, venting their frustration. >> you real lying a lot of people have been forced out and fired, other people left on their own accord. it's tough to not be -- >> let me ask this -- >> it's not for everyone as the vice president has said, it's not for everyone. >> who runs the staff? who is in charge of the staff? >> the chief of staff. >> is the chief of staff doing his job. >> yes. >> if there is so many rogue leakers. >> put down as pro general kelly. >> who are these people who don't listen to him. >> don't listen to whom? >> general kelly. >> these are people in books and in, i guess, anonymous op ed's, i'm not sure they know the president or john kelly, who are, i think, motivated by conceit and deceit and that
person is going to suss out himself or herself because cowards like criminals always tell the wrong person, always confess their crime to the wrong person. >> do you trust everybody you work with right now. >> yes, i do. >> why? >> i will tell you what happened this week. the team tightened up even more because of all this, folks who don't even work together because they deal in different portfolios, different issues, folks who don't know each other that well, some new, some have been around since the campaign like me, we are tighter this week because we are so joined in our outrage and, yes, i hope the person -- i hope we learn the identity of the person, but why elevate the person? i'm more interested in giving voice and visibility to folks -- >> do you understand the president doesn't trust the staff right now? >> i think the president should have real concerns about having large meetings with sometimes there are people included or who are substituting for other people that maybe he doesn't know well and i think every president deserves to have a leak-free -- >> sure. >> -- anonymous op-ed free type
of white house. >> are you going to fire these leakers if you find out who they are? >> there are some leakers who are long gone, they are just leaking no you to authors and books so they're long gone. actually, that's gotten much better. i think that president trump deals best in smaller groups because he loves to hear dissenting opinions, disagreements among his staff and he will have somebody who is for this and for that on different sides of the spectrum on a particular issue, but he knows he is the democratically elected commander and president who ultimately makes that decision. that's leadership. somebody surrounds himself or herself with people who disagree but who try to brief the president properly. you are not covering all the good things. i mean -- >> let me ask this, he called it treason, why is it treason, the op-ed writer? >> it depends. if this is somebody who has access to national security information and the president has made clear he doesn't want to be in a meeting with somebody dealing with russia, china, north korea who has access to
that type of information and then is using it. how do we know what the -- >> what is it in the op-ed that would make it treason? >> what makes you think -- how are we secure, chuck, that the four corners of any op-ed are all that somebody that -- who doesn't have the guts and the courage to come out and put their name to that -- to that op-ed, how do we know they haven't promised other things? how do we know they are not taking other documents? we know early on it was leaked the president's calls with the presidents of mexico and australia -- >> we are not at war with anybody so you can't really accuse anybody of treason. we are not at war. >> the president is saying -- oh, come on. people are openly talking about the 25th amendment and impeachment. such nonsense. look at the spectacle on capitol hill this week. brett kavanaugh will be confirmed later this month and will be seated before the october 1st supreme court term because that man is as qualified and dignified today as he was when he was first nominated. i know you want to avoid that, but -- >> i'm not avoiding anything. >> all this is noise ultimately
in history. brett kavanaugh will be there for decades. >> the president of the united states wants the attorney general to investigate. what law was broken here that the attorney general needs to investigate? >> it depends. there could be and there could not be. and so you don't know that and i don't know that. >> so he wants -- so he has ordered the attorney general -- >> nobody is investigating an op-ed. >> has he ordered the investigation of who wrote this op-ed? >> i won't talk about that. he has said publicly that he thinks we should find out who this person is. i don't believe in giving this person so much elevation and oxygen, but we all want to know who it is. >> it's possible he has given an order to the department of justice to investigate this? >> he has said publicly what he feels. you can roll the tape. he said it several times. >> i understand that. should it be taken -- should the attorney general take it as an order? >> if the attorney general, the department of justice and fbi feel like they have oversight on a matter like this they will make that decision. >> does the president believe they have oversight. >> what the president believes is that nobody wants to cover what america sees and feels because of his leadership. there is no denying -- there either are or are not 201,000
jobs created, yes, wages and labor and growth up, yes, yes, yes. we were told there was going to be a global recession. president obama preened around what's he going to do with a magic wand, he's going to create jobs and he's doing it without a magic band. he refused taxes, he deregulated when president obama added to those regulations. he doesn't believe in some phoney red line in syria where we have a humanitarian crisis. this president responded swiftly and decisively against assad when he gassed his own people not once but twice. >> did he ever suggest to secretary mattis kill the guy? >> i certainly never a heard it. >> it's possible he said it in gist. >> general mattis has decide what was said in that book and i want he err everybody to read his denial and affirmation. there is a reason people like general mattis and general kelly are serving this president. they very much believe in the agenda, in a strong military and
peace through strength, in trying to bring denuclearization, getting out of the wrong headed iran deal. benjamin netanyahu in his message is crediting this president for being a great partner. this president kicked out a nazi, kicked out a nazi that other presidents refused to and he moved the embassy to jerusalem, keeping the promise of many presidents. thanks for having me. >> wow. you even had wrapping up a thank
you. kellyanne conway, we will leave it there. joining me now from the other side of the aisle is democratic whip dick durbin who sits on the judiciary committee. senator durbin, welcome to "meet the press." >> good to be with you. >> let me start quickly on this issue of the op-ed and the president. what should congress' role be? if there is an unelected cabal of people thwarting the will of the people and trying to stop the president from doing things
that he campaigned on doing, for instance, ending a trade agreement with south korea, what is the role of the legislative branch in dealing with a troubling -- potentially troubling situation like that? >> well, of course, there is a formal role. congress under the constitution has its own authority, but it is an authority that is exercised in the extreme. the 25th amendment, the question of impeachment, but i think there's a more important role for congress to play and especially the president's own party. this is a matter of great seriousness and gravity. we should not be dismissing it. it isn't like his blizzard of bizarre tweets. we are talking about consistent reporting over and over again about unpredictable, unprepared, unstable behavior by this president. in a matter of great national security and defense, can we trust this president to make the proper decision? to make a thoughtful decision? these are things that i think should be addressed by his own party but instead we hear the silence of the lambs.
they are basically quiet, have nothing to say when it comes to these events except for a few, bob corker is one of them who stepped up and said a few things. >> what concerns you more, there is an unelected cabal or the reports that come out from these anonymous sources? doesn't the president deserve to have a staff that doesn't -- not just disparage him this way at times, but stops him from actually doing the job that he believes he was elected to do? >> well, of course, but you have to ask yourself what kind of circumstances in the white house would even give rise to this possibility? under president obama eight years without an indictment, eight years without a major scandal, you know, they had their problems, every presidency does, but nothing that went to the heart of the question about whether we have a dysfunctional white house. if we do, it's inescapable that the president bears responsibility. he's the one who gathered this team, he's the one who tries to keep them together and yet there is genuine fear obviously among some of them that his behavior is going to result in some terrible things for america. >> let me move to the kavanaugh
hearings. you were -- you are on the judiciary committee, you were there for all of it. is it problematic to you that it's possible the hearings are going to be known more for the democratic and republican senators' infighting than any of the questioning of judge kavanaugh? >> well, i can tell you that judge kavanaugh in an earlier life used to school judicial nominees of what to say and not say before the judiciary committee and it was pretty obvious in his performance there. there were practiced evasions and mind numbing repetition of answers. he knew how to get through two or three days of questioning. >> is that on him, senator durbin, or on democratic senators not asking enough questions and not staying focused only on this issue of roe, for instance?
>> i can tell you we were focused on roe, focused on the affordable care act and denying health insurance coverage to millions of americans. with he tried to go after the fundamental issue and the one i think is the most important at the moment in history and that is what this man, brett kavanaugh, would do on the supreme court if he's confronted with a question involving the white house, the mueller investigation. >> you believe that is more important -- senator, that's interesting. you believe that is more important than the roe issue and the abortion issue? >> well, i think they are all of importance, but the issue of the moment clearly is this situation with the mueller investigation and the important element that we shouldn't overlook is that kavanaugh has been explicit, explicit in saying the president should not be subject to investigation or prosecution during his term in office. he even went further in an amazing statement saying this president could deem things unconstitutional even if the courts found otherwise. i mean, this is an amazing ceding of authority to the executive branch which you don't expect to hear from someone aspiring to the supreme court. >> let me ask you about something forming president obama said about the rising energy on the left with progressives. he actually issued a bit of a
warning to progressives and i'm curious of your reaction to it. here it is. >> there are well-meaning folks, passionate about social justice who think things have gotten so bad we have to do the same things to the republicans that they do to us, adopt their tactics. >> and i want to connect it to a story in "politico" from friday. under the headline harrison, booker borrow trump's tactics in supreme court fracas, floating an incendiary charge with little to no factual basis can force the opposition to prove a negative. it isn't the details that resonate with base voters it's the show. fair critique? >> i can tell you this, a recent book "how democracies die" talked about beyond the obvious, beyond the values of america, beyond the constitution there's mutual tolerance and forbearance that keep this democracy on track. i think what the president has
said and what i agree with and i think my colleagues including senators booker and harris would agree with is that we need to be more civil to one another, we need to obviously do our job, but at the end of the day we need to have a focus on the fact that this country moves forward when we do it in a positive way with mutual tolerance and forbearance. i will tell you we have not seen that from this president from the beginning of his campaign through his presidency. >> but the whole fight fire with fight, you would tell your democratic friends, you know, don't do that. i mean, look, senator harris on wednesday night implied there was something nefarious about brett kavanaugh and the mueller probe and then the next day it was like, no, nothing to see here. >> well, i can tell you what she said, she had heard what she thought from a credible source that brett kavanaugh had had some contact with this law firm, she asked him, he said i don't know all the members of the law firm, he was caught rather
flat-footed. by the next day he came in and categorically denied it and she said that's the end of it. that to me is a responsible way to ask the question and to accept the answer as delivered under oath. i think she did the right thing. what happens next, though, is that we need to get into the issues of the moment. >> okay. >> and try to find ourselves away from the personalities. >> senator dick durbin, democrat from illinois, thanks for coming on and sharing your views. much appreciated, sir. >> thanks, chuck. savannah guthrie will interview bob woodward tomorrow morning on the "today" show. when we come back the white house dysfunction. and later the one big thing that is likely to determine which party wins the midterm elections. panel is next.
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to help you grow and protect your wealth. this is moving day with the best in-home wifi experience and millions of wifi hotspots to help you stay connected. and this is moving day with reliable service appointments in a two-hour window so you're up and running in no time. show me decorating shows. this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving... simple. easy. awesome. stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. welcome back. panelists here democratic pollster and nbc political analyst, cornell belcher, danielle pletka, nbc news correspondent katy tur and erick erickson a wsb radio host and he had core of the conservative website the resurgent. welcome all. katy tur, did we actually learn anything new this week about how donald trump runs the white
house? >> no, we didn't. and this is the thing about that op-ed, it only underscored what was said in the woodward book, which only underscored reporting that many outlets had done including nbc which underscored the themes in the omarosa book and the "fire and fury" book and the same thing we knew during the campaign. this idea that suddenly people are worried about the president is just not new. they have been worried about him since the campaign. i had countless conversations with sources during the campaign who went on to work in the white house who would say things like, this man is not fit for office, this man is dangerous, this man is going to get us into world war iii and those people went on to work in the white house and then started talking about how great he was. so this is -- what they say publicly and what they say privately there has always been a push and pull like that ins is the beginning. >> i should -- we did put together a scroll of all the deniers of writing the op-ed and we will put that over there, because we know the president does keep score.
he has been following who has put out statements, who had their press person put out a statement instead of them putting out a statement. by the way, nikki haley decided to write her on op-ed in the "washington post" -- >> which apparently has caused controversy in the white house. >> i feel like we've learned a lot more about everybody else in the white house this week, not about the president. >> i think that's a fair statement. my working theory is like murder on the orient express, each of the deniers contributed a sentence to the op-ed. >> by the way, that has been my theory, it's one person but speaking for others. >> yes, you know, i think that's true, but i think there's a misperception out there that president trump's voters don't believe this. i think it's actually they don't care. he is beating all the people who they've wanted to beat on both sides, not just against the democrats, they have put him in the white house because he spoke for them, he gave them voice. they don't care about this. we can -- >> they almost think it's funny. >> yes, they do. >> they almost are amused by it, aren't they? >> they like that washington is
upside down because they feel like washington turned them upside down. >> listening to kellyanne i actually got afraid, i was fearless for the first time. i don't want to be partisan and go after the white house on this because god help us, chuck, if we actually have a national crisis because that's keystone cops over there, right? such dysfunction and a congress that sits by and twiddles its thumbs, i'm actually fearful for our country that we have this level of dis function in the executive branch. if we do have a national crisis, how do we deal with it if that's over at the white house? >> danielle, that has been the split personality in my head about this. this is disturbing on one hand because unelected cabal, they're also painting a picture of somebody who is not fit for office. there is no good evaluation here. >> well, there's no got outcome, but i agree with katy, i don't think we learned anything new about the white house. there's always the exact same
theme which is it's not what happens, it's how donald trump reacts to what happens that causes the trouble. that is really the challenge every white house, i don't care what people say, every white house has had officials in it that have sought to do something different than what the president says. that's not the problem here, the problem is how donald trump reacts. >> does the president need to assert publicly, though, that he's in charge? i mean, look at the number of people that crit -- i want to put this up here. the chief of staff is quoted as calling him an idiot, the defense secretary says he has the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader, a former economic adviser calls him a professional lawyer and rex tillerson the former secretary of state used f'ing moron. president obama had to fire stanley mcchrystal when he was -- when his staff was humiliating vice president biden. there was this sense of the commander in chief has to assert himself. doesn't the president of the united states need to assert himself. >> who is he going to hire to put in these places? >> in this case it's the 25th floor of the trump tower.
>> the reason why those ring true is because we've been hearing the same thing over and over for years now. these are not new terms, it's not new to say he has the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader. we heard that before the campaign. we heard that before he was running for the white house. if he fires john kelly, if he fires members of his cabinet, there are very limited number of people who are willing to come in and take that place other than the 25th floor of trump tower. there's a very limited number of people who would be qualified for that job to take those spots. >> part of the problem you're dealing with here is republicans like to tell themselves this is a deep state conspiracy against the president. this is republicans against the president. republicans donald trump put there because the people that had surrounded him early on weren't competent to do those jobs. you have the most competent people willing to do the job in place, you can't afford to lose those people. >> some people are attacking the anonymous as not heroes. i'm actually going to be a democrat and say i'm very happy that they're there and they're doing this. i am, yes, disturbed by what appears to be a soft coupe.
our democracy isn't perfect, it's the best thing going but it's not perfect and clearly something happened, with as a mistake, and i am thankful that we have adults in the room who will check the works of this president. i know it sounds odd, but i am grateful for it but i'm also terrified. >> but this is a slippery slope, danielle. >> the problem is what you just said is that you are afraid and yet you're glad these guys are there. you know, if we are willing to accept that kelly and mattis and pompeo and bolton are responsible adults who have good more or less and good moral standing and are here to do the right thing and serve their country then we don't need to be afraid. i think that's the right rays. we don't need to be afraid, but the person who wrote this -- >> i'm afraid. >> you can be afraid. >> there really is a lot of concern among many members of the administration, senior members of the administration, then i think there is a responsibility to democracy, period, to come out and say what that concern is and to put your name on it and maybe to do it in a group so it's not just one
person. if they are as senior as they say they are -- ben sasse -- well, ben sasse told hugh hewitt the other day that this is nothing that is new. he has heard these same things around with white house officials now for two to three times a week. i mean, it's not just reporters saying it. >> you're right about it. >> it's ben sasse saying it. >> the problem is i talked to a good friend of mine who does work for the president, loves the president but says this guy whoever wrote this has made their lives extremely difficult now because they've done this the whole time, the president suspected it, but now he knows between this and the woodward book he knows and it's going to make their job even harder. >> if you do come out and i hear you on that and agree to a certain extent, but the moment that person comes out they're going to destroy that person. >> it shouldn't be one person, it should be many people and then i think -- >> if you're really concerned it should be everybody doing it at the same time. >> boy, that will only launch a whole bunch of recordations there. you brought up ben sasse's name, i'm going to let the man speak himself. republican ben sasse of nebraska
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republicans in congress have been notably restrained in their criticism of president trump even when they've been critical in private. one republican, though, who has been willing to speak out at times is senator ben sasse of nebraska. senator sasse joins me now from nebraska. welcome, sir. >> good morning. >> let me just -- >> thanks, welcome to nebraska. >> yes, sir. let me just start with asking
you an extension of a question that hugh hewitt asked you the other day about the anonymous essay. your initial reaction was similar to mine, you were like, i don't know how to talk about it yet, i'm still processing it, but you also noted it's very similar to what you hear from about two-thirds of the senior people at the white house. so you've had a couple of days to digest, what do you make of it and what bothers you more, the unnamed cabal of people thwarting the will of the people or the allegations themselves? >> yeah, i don't -- i don't think that either/or works because there are lots more things than just those to be worried about. the thing i'm most worried about is our political culture isn't focused on any long-term stuff. the president was elected in 2016 because he wanted to disrupt everything and frankly a lot needed to be disrupted, but the question is disruption toward what end. i've reflected more on the op-ed in the week since it came out or however many days it was. i don't understand the morality of the action, i don't know why
you would do it. if you're worried that the president is too impulsive and paranoid then how can this op-ed do anything other than drive more pair now i can't. to your point, those of you who are trying to help the white house and the president has surrounded himself with a number of very good people doing good work and trying to persuade him to take a longer-term vision, i think those people are doing good work by trying to help the president think a little further down the road. why you would write about it in in forum, i don't get the morality of that. >> when you hear about gary cohen yanking a piece of paper off the president's desk to prevent him from pulling out of a south korean trade agreement. i know where you are on the issue of trade, you may personally be, oh, good, but the campaign campaigned on ripping up trade deals. this was what he promised. where are you on that? >> yeah, so i think we need to be talking about why there's so much job disruption because there are more than our grandparents knew and people knew 100 years ago and there's going to be even more in the future, but it's not because of trade, it's because of automation.
i would like the president to understand that trade is good, trade helps producers, trade helps consumers, but individual advisers don't get a substitute their judgment for the president's judgment what you would like is the president to put a chief of staff in place to lead a policy process where a president can in a dispassionate way deliberate about lots of information and lots of advice and wisdom and counsel and then he can make a long-term decision. one adviser shouldn't be substituting or her wisdom for the president's, but there should be a process in which the president gets counsel. >> do you think it's important for the president to publicly stabilize his staffing situation in the white house? because it certainly looks a little dysfunctional to the public. >> you know, i don't have any desire to beat the president up, but it's pretty clear that this white house is a reality show, soap opera presidency. i mean, the dam ma is the drama of omarosa and cohen and manafort and the drama of the woodward quotes and the drama of these op-eds. what you would like is the
president so not worry so much about the short term of staffing but the long-term of vision casting for america. pull us together as a people. help us deliberate about where we should go and build a team of big cause low ego people around you. right now it feels like there's way too much drama every day and that distracts us from the longer term stuff we should be focused on together. >> you said something that rang true with me when you said the following on fox on friday. take a listen. >> the congress is a broken institution. we don't deliberate about long-term things. you all have an important role to help narrative what's happening in american life, but senators shouldn't aspire to be pundits all day every day. >> megan mccardle wrote the following, said sasse has precisely diagnosed the problem, but american will not recover. ben sasse has become well known for his public statements on character and constitutional order while doing relatively little on the legislative front.
have you found the senate that you can't do what you thought you could do when you ran for the senate? is it because the body itself is dysfunctional? >> i think there's dysfunction in both of these main two branches, the legislative branch and the executive branch. i'm proud that we got a piece of legislation passed last month that i offered -- authored on the cyber solarium commission which is to try to upgrade american military planning for the cyber age. that kind of stuff is really important and it should come out of the legislature, but frankly to really focus the attention of the american public on it you need the bully pulpit of the white house. the president has put a lot of good people in around him, general paul nakasone is a really thoughtful long-term thinker and kudos to the president for promoting him, but we need both the president and congress and presidency to be focus on helping the american people understand the focus of cyber war. the bigger thing we need is a discourse partly led by the president about stuff that's ten years in the future not ten
hours in the future. right now most of d.c. is just addicted to short term media cycles and we need fewer people in congress who are that obsessed with tomorrow and that obsessed with their own incumbency and more obsessed with the future their kids and grandkids will grow up in. >> the other thing you said in the wake of the memorials honoring john mccain, you said the best thing to do would be to pass meaningful tough ethics legislation. we looked up and right now probably the most comprehensive ethics legislation happens to belong to elizabeth warren. i throw it up here and i'm curious what you think of it. she proposing a lifetime land on lobbying from former members of congress, presidents and agency heads, a ban on senior government officials from owning and trading individual stock, a permanent ban on lobbyist donations to congress and all elected officials and candidates for federal office be required to disclose their tax returns. it sounds familiar to some of the rhetoric you were espousing on this.
>> yeah, it's interesting. so i'm the second or third most conservative person in the senate by voting record, but i'm not particularly partisan. i don't care very much about these two parties because i don't think either of them have a long-term vision, but there is a number of things here that senator warren and i would agree on. i have a piece of ethics legislation i'm going to be introducing that also says that all tax returns and presidential and vice presidential candidates should be disclosed, with he shouldn't have any of this near insider trading happening by members of congress, we shouldn't have cabinet officials spouses raising funds from foreign sources. we should have a longer ban or cooling off period on former lawmakers going to lobby. we are about as far apart on the political spectrum on most things, but on ethics things i think we might see eye to eye. people across the political spectrum don't think they can trust their lawmakers to ever
want to go back to our mt. vernons, to go live among our neighbors and coach little league, instead people run for office to want to get to d.c. to become lobbyists and get rich while in office. that's a crisis and that should stop. senator warren and i should talk more on this topic. >> all right. very quickly, you had floated on twitter that you sometimes think about dropping your party. that you don't always feel like a republican, you said it again just now. how likely is it that you would leave the republican party? >> you know, i've said for -- i've been in office for, what, three and a half years and i've said since i got there i conceive of myself as an independent conservative who happens to caucus with the republicans. i would like both of these parties to be healthier and be competing to be better than the other one amongst a bunch of good ideas instead of trying to be less bad than the other one and always say how you're ante, ante, it's just not big enough. i'm committed to the party of lincoln and reagan as long as we can reform it and get it back to being about a party that's about the universal dignity of all americans and the first amendment as the beating heart of american life. right now that's not what the party talks about very much.
>> senator ben sasse who caucuses with the republicans from nebraska, conservative independent from nebraska, i will use your description there. sorry about those huskers yesterday, but they look like they're coming back. >> thank you for coming on. >> we will be back soon. when we come back, nike and colin kaepernick, turns out nike may have known what it was doing when it just did it. out nike may have known what it was doing liberty mutual accident forgiveness means they won't hike your rates over one mistake. see, liberty mutual doesn't hold grudges. for drivers with accident forgiveness liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty ♪ ahoy! gotcha! nooooo... noooooo... quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is 2x more absorbent. bounty, the quicker picker upper. discover.o. i like your card, but i'm absolutely not paying an annual fee. discover has no annual fees. really? yeah. we just don't believe in them. oh nice. you would not believe how long i've been rehearsing that.
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welcome back. data download time. former 49ers quarterback colin kaepernick who launched the nfl's anthem kneeling protest against racial injustice was announced as the new face of nike's just do it campaign. this sparked outrage on the right with folks take to go social media to burn their nike products. there were attacks from president trump directly and predictions of doom after nike's stock price initially dropped about $3 per share. a closer look shows nike may actually understand something critics don't about its consumers. according to data from simmons research democrats are 14% more likely than the average american to buy nike shoes, republicans are 12% less likely. african-americans are 56% more likely to buy nike than americans on the whole. whites are 14% less likely. and americans age 18 to 34 are 37% more likely to buy nike footwear, a group also more likely to support the kneeling protests. in 2018 where everything seems
to be political, some voters are fine with companies entering the fray. data from the research firm sprout social shows that 78% of self-described liberals say it's important for brands to take a stand on social or political issues. while not as high, a majority of conservatives 52% say the same thing. so despite the outrage, the numbers suggest, number one, nike knows its consumer base is young, diverse and liberal, maybe they did a little research first. in fact, online sales for nike spiked 31% this week. i think they did their research this is a group more likely to view kaepernick as a cultural icon than a villain. when we come back the midterm elections are coming up and there's only one thing that matters. >> announcer: coming up, end game and postgame, brought to you by boeing. continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire.
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"end game" brought to you by baeg. continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire. >> back now with "end game." we're less than 60 days from election day. the big development of the week hey, oh, by the way, the senate may be in play and that may matter more anyway. but this morning, mick mulvaney who has 17 jobs in this white house, including budget director and the consumer financial
protection board also did some fund-raising last night. an audio that apparently every major news organization got their hand on and he said the following about the midterms in general. talking about the texas senate race and other senate races. you may hate the president, and there's a lot of people that do but they certainly like the way the country is going, adding, about voters if you figure out a way to subtract from that equation how they feel about the president, the numbers go up dramatically. so there you go, danny. how do you do that? >> i think he's going to lose his 17 jobs at some point. >> is he anonymous? >> wow. out of the mouths of babes. this is absolutely true. people are happy with the direction the country is taking. people don't listen to the president, but for those that listen to the president, they're upset by what they hear. right. it would be awesome if we could subtract the president from the whole equation. >> my executive producer is a fan of the bills. they could beat the bills if they could figure out how to get
rid of bill belichick and tom brady. >> a number that i think was interesting missing from "the washington post" that we didn't talk about at all was you now have a 49% plurality of americans who feel that congress should start impeachment now. 63% want a congress' check on the president. so you cannot, i mean, the president is front and center in all these races. what's interesting is democrats aren't running ads about the president. you look at the competitive house seats they're not running ads. >> i don't think they need to. >> josh holmes, almost like a point/counterpoint. he wrote about trump or said this in the post. his presidency is everywhere and your ability to nuance and message what doesn't directly involve him is drowned out entirely by a complete avalanche of news and punditry and analysis of what the president is doing. >> do yrepublicans are thinking there could be a large blue wave but the numbers sheem to be
shifting. if they are shifting, that's going to impact the senate which republicans have said we can compartmentalize. this isn't a problem for us. now it's looking like it's becoming a problem. and you -- i will say this about the future of the trump presidency. republicans really dislike losers. and after four years of saying barack obama, you caused the democratic party to be sent back to the late 1800s, that happens to the republicans now, you'll have a wake-up call. >> you brought up president obama. his control. what do you make of it? >> is he going to fire up republicans? are republicans going to want to go out because obama is on the campaign trail. >> he's nodding up over here. >> what the democratic party needs is a leader and someone that's going to inspire younger voters, minority voters, those who have not turned out in big numbers for the democrats since he's left office. is that going to happen with him not on the ballot? obama wasn't so great running in the midterms while he was president for his own party. but they need someone to rally
around. right now what you're seeing although you have 2020 democrats going out, nobody is standing up and taking that mantel. so far, he's the only one. >> when you look at some of these swing districts, right now, he's 15, 20 points more popular than donald trump. >> president obama. >> president obama is. when you look at, i worked for him so i'm sort of a teamer, but we won back-to-back majorities by winning the moderate middle swath of america. we overperformed among young people and minorities and democrats need that. you look at the suburban democrats. there's no better democrat out there who can speak to them. >> you don't want to remind people. donald trump actually beat an outgoing democratic party. he beat the memory of barack obama. if you want to make this election about donald trump and brahms ai barack obama, i'm not sure that would -- >> i would take that all day
long. >> was 16 about obama or hillary? that's all we have for today. thanks for watching. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." you can see more "end game" in "post game" sponsored by boeing on the "meet the press" facebook page. ♪ ♪ breathe freely fast with vicks sinex.
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i'm heidi choiniere, and this is my ancestry story. now with over 10 billion historical records, discover your story. get started for free at ancestry.com ♪ welcome to "kasie d.c." i'm kasie hunt. we're live every sunday from washington from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern. washington and the white house go nuts over an anonymous op-ed. we'll talk about whether the president's hunt is really all about the thrill of the chase. plus, disorder over the court. democrats grandstand. republicans play games over papers. is brett kavanaugh qualified or not? the third branch of the government politicized like rarely before. later, two presidents, two americas. we'll talk about how the return of president obama to the political