tv Deadline White House MSNBC October 30, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
stephanie then again at 3:00 p.m. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in washington, d.c. our hearts today are with the city of pittsburgh and especially the community of squirrel hill where the first funerals for victims of the tragic shooting inside the tree of life synagogue are taking place. the attack that killed 11 people is one of the deadliest anti-semitic attacks in this country's history. today, donald trump is in pittsburgh to pay his respects. amid protests and pleas from local officials for him stay away. bill, the mayor of pittsburgh, said this. "if the president is looking to come to pittsburgh, i would ask that he not do so while we are burying the dead. our attention and our focus is going to be on them. and we don't have public safety that we can take away from what is needed in order to do both." and a progressive jewish organization had more than
public safety in mind when it implored the president not to come. they write in a letter, "president trump, you are not welcome in pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism." but donald trump did not heed either their requests. in fact, he made abundantly clear in remarks last night he's going to keep hitting the same divisive notes he always hits, no matter what. >> i was in the headline when they got him, they didn't say bomber found. they talked about trump in the headline. now, they didn't do that with bernie sanders when he -- they didn't do that with the democrats when other people came out. they didn't do that with president obama with the church, the horrible situation with the church. they didn't do that. they put my name in the headlines. it's -- when i say enemy of the people, i'm talking about the fake news, and it is fake. >> a moment of national tragedy, that's all that matters, donald trump's clips. at least eight elected officials refused to accompany the president to pittsburgh today. they cited scheduling conflicts or the desire to pay their
respects in a different way. according to the white house. and on the request to denounce nationalism, fox news gave him a chance to do just that. he declined. >> the word, nationalism, has taken on for the left this connotation of fueling anti-semitism, hate, even violence. do you think that is fair and do you want to further -- >> no. >> -- clarify what nationalism means to you? >> no. to me, i don't have to clarify. it means i love the country, it means i'm fighting for the country. i look at two things, globalists and nationalists. i'm somebody that wants to take care of our country. i'm proud of this country, and i call that nationalism. i call it being a nationalist. and i don't see any other connotation than that. now, as soon as you make any statement nowadays with the political correctness world, they make a big deal. i'm not a globalist, but i want to take care of the globe. first i have to take care of our country. >> here to take us through the day's developments, some of our most favorite reporters and friends.
joining us on set from the "washington post," white house bureau chief phil rucker. sam stein, politics editor for the daily beast is back. betsy woodruff also a reporter at the daily beast is is here. eugene robinson, "washington post" columnist and associate editor. phil rucker, let me start with you. the white house, at least the staff level, very much aware of the resistance in the community to the president's visit today. >> i'm sure the president is aware of that as well. huge embarrassment for the president of the united states to go to pittsburgh this afternoon and not be greeted by the mayor, not be greeted by the govern governor, not beofficials -- >> you report they were all invited. >> they were invited. think the white house wanted them to be there to greet the president. it's important to the president, this president in particular, that he be greeted with respect. he made such a big deal about president obama going joioverse when sometimes the red carpet wasn't rolled out to him.
he's going to pittsburgh without any carpet at all. it's an embarrassment for him but effort by the president to show some respect, go through the motions of being a consoler in chief which we know and his aides acknowledge privately is not a natural thing for him. he does not sort of naturally show empathy but he's trying to. >> and it looks like his daughter and son-in-law had to override his circuitry to get him to deliver a statement at all on saturday. and moments later, hours later he was back behind the podium at a maga rally trashing a lot of the people who received pipe bombs in the mail last week. >> that's right. our reporting is is a number h of advisers, not just jared and ivanka, especially jared and ivanka were urging the president on saturday to be firm. to come out and say directly that this was an anti-semitic attack, to condemn anti-semitism which he was so reluctant to do initially after the charlottesville white supremacists rally a year ago. and they've been very much in the president's ear since. they're traveling with him to pittsburgh today and are going to be touring the city and doing some of the visits with the president.
>> we should say, sam stein, that the president has landed in pittsburgh. we're going to monitor those events. we're not going to turn around anything that looks like stage propaganda among people that didn't want him there. if he makes any news, we will bring it to you. sam stein, this idea that his daughter and son-in-law and other aides had to explain an anti-semitic attack and its significance to him and his reflexes were to, in the same news cycle, embrace nationalism and his position as a nationalist, is jarring at best. cynical and two-sided at worst. >> yeah. it is. he -- this is the -- president trump likes to pit people against each other as a tactical maneuver politically. it's sort of based on a strategy. one of the sort of superficial downsides in this, moments like these, he can't play consoler in chief, he can't flip a switch and expect everyone to go and be by his side as he tries to mourn with these people because he's burnt his credibility on that front. and so, yeah, maybe they had
scheduling conflicts but you can move schedules, you know, you can move around especially if light of national tragedies. you could be there. but i think people are a little bit burnt out by this. and i don't think they find his mourning serious. precisely because he will then turn around in hours and say things like, i don't want to denounce nationalism, or laugh aloud when someone says lock them up with respect to george sor soros. so this is the downside to the strategy, you know, it's something he has to understand. >> the other side of it, it's also not been viewed as a third rail of trumpism to attack a victim. while the hurricane in puerto rico was still -- there wasn't a death count and he was on twitter attacking the mayor of -- all the local officials except the one person he perceived to be a pro-trump elected official in puerto rico. so to not only can he not console them, he -- it is not a third rail for him to attack
them. >> that's right. and that's one of the things that makes the trump administration so perpetually perpl perplexing. another piece of this that's important to remember is his denialism about the fact that cesar sayoc, who mailed out the bombs last week, was a huge fan of his own. when the identity of that terrorist was first revealed, trump pleaded ignorance and said he didn't actually see the pictures of himself on the side of the van. that anyone with a twitter account, of which the president has -- >> or who watches as much cable tv as he does. >> exactly. what's weird about that is trump complained to laura ingraham last night about the fact bernie sanders wasn't blamed for the attack on the congressional baseball game, perpetrated by someone who knocked on doors for bernie sanders. the difference, obvious -- i covereded th ethat attack. within hours of the attack, bernie sanders was on the floor of the senate decrying the shooter saying he deplored this violence and acknowledging it was perpetrated by someone who at least in a superficial way had a connection to his campaign. trump has done the opposite.
he's been in a state of denial about the motivations behind these attackers and that's part of the reason that right now so many people in pittsburgh are not particularly interested in hearing what he has to say. >> eugene? >> well, number one, how does it show empathy to show up in pittsburgh when the people who are grieving don't want you there? >> it's the opposite, right? >> in a moment when day don't want you there. that takes away from the display of empathy. second, the president, he does divide people as a tactic, as a strategy. that's his move. that's what he does. he doesn't do the other thing. he doesn't do the embrace, you know, embrace people move. he doesn't know how to do it. and he's not interested in doing it. and he insists that words mean what he says they mean. and that's not true. it's not true that we're -- >> i'll turn it to facts. the truth isn't -- >> what he says they mean or
what he pretends that they mean. so when he says the words nationalist and globalist don't have a really, really jarring, if not appalling connotation at this moment, that's not the way people take it. you know, people disagree. >> "new york times" writer and editor barry weiss who was with us yesterday is back today. she joins us from pittsburgh. you framed this moment for your community, squirrel hill, as it should be. this is a tragedy that hit home, but this is also about what america says to the world about anti-semitism and what the president seems to be saying is i don't care what your local jewish leaders say about me coming, i don't care what the mayor of pittsburgh says about me, neither of them wanted him there today. he came, anyway. how's that going over in the community? >> reporter: honestly, the community is really torn. if i told you that my parents are not speaking to each other, it's sort of representative of
the community here. my dad wanted to sign the letter on behalf of the jews who were saying yes, echoing the rabbi of tree of life, you're president of the united states and we honor the office and it's important that you join us, but, you know, my mom wanted to sign the letter by the leaders saying don't come, we don't want you here because of the rhetoric you created for this environment. i talked to tons of jews all over the community today. most people are just sad that he's sort of dividing the community by showing up because they don't want this moment to turn into as one of them said to me a political circus. we just buried the first of the three people who were slaughtered on saturday. there are lots of people who aren't even in the ground yet. and people want to be talking about them and their lives and their values and what they represented. >> bari -- >> reporter: i can't hear, nicolle. okay. >> bari, can you hear us now? >> reporter: i can, yeah. >> i know you're busy and
focused on your community. the president said in an interview last night, he used the words, tossed around the words you spoke eloquently about our show on yesterday, he denounced globalists again. he embraced the term, nationalist, as a description for himself. were youdisappointed, surprised, is that another blow or is it more the same from him? >> reporter: it's more of the same. and i think we need to really be focusing on the fact that he's creating, like i said yesterday with you, an environment of sort of conspiracy-minded thinking. you know, the idea that people, when i hear the president and fox news talking about how the migrant caravan at the border is some kind of alien invasion, okay, people bringing in leprosy and smallpox and other diseases. it's not even an echo of what was said about my people, the jews, when they were coming from eastern europe in the 1900s where they were told that they had weak physique and couldn't come into this country. i mean, this is just like, this
is a very, very old playbook and the fact that it's happening a week before the midterms it is not a coincidence at all. it's the same thing with talking about rescinding birthright citizenship which is an affront to the very plain language of the constitution. why are we talk bing about these things right now? there's a reason for it. and it's because the president is demagoguing ahead of the midterms. >> bari, the letter that your mom wanted to sign, that was from a progressive jewish group in pittsburgh and called on -- it didn't say the president could never come. it said he couldn't come until he denounced white nationalism. can you take us to school, talk about how painful that embrace and his refusal to disavow r racism in the instance you talk about and to be clear-eyed about the rise of anti-semitism in this country. >> reporter: right. i think there's a very basic thing that he can do, as bill kristol and others have talked about on your show, which is stand up and say, if you are a bigot, if you are a racist, if you're an anti-semite, if you're
a white nationalist, i don't want your support. instead, he's doing something more than playing footsie with these people. and it's just, you know, that's what's happening. those are the facts of what's happening right now. but, you know, i know a lot of people are saying that the whole jewish community doesn't want him to come. the truth is the jewish community is torn. there are people including some family members of people who were killed i'm hearing who do want him here so it's a painful thing. it sort of tells you everything, right? the fact that the president of the united states coming to a community is so divisive. i mean, i can't think of something -- think about when george bush who was certainly not popular in manhattan came to manhattan, went to ground zero after 9/11 and took out that blow horn. people were unified by that. the idea that a president coming to a community is just such a divisive thing and you have our local politicians not want to be associated with him. that tells you something about the moral credibility of this
president. >> you didn't want today to be turned into a circus by donald trump. we've been asking you about donald trump. talk to me about what this day means to you and your community and talk about the victims. give them some airtime. >> reporter: yeah, so i went -- sorry. i went to two funerals this morning. one for dr. jerry rabinowitz who i'm sure you talked about on this network. he was the family physician who treated patients, especially with aids, before when other people would turn them away. and there were just people from every walk of life, not only from our community, but all over the city who were at his funeral. then i went about a mile away to the funeral of cecil and david rosenthal who were basically as someone put it at the funeral the unofficial mayors of the city. and someone said, you know, if they weren't intellectually disabled they would have been the actual mayors. and i think that that was really, really true and moving and they talked about sort of the purity of their souls and
the fact that neither of them had an ounce of hate in them. and for them to be gunned down, someone with so much hate in their heart, was just the ultimate act of cowardly violence. >> bari, thank you so much. you moved us again. come see us when you get back. >> reporter: thanks, nicolle. >> "new york times" reporter and writer bari weiss joining us with pittsburgh. sam, i want to give you the raft worden o th on this conversatio >> i want to keep it on what bari was talking about. people need to understand the type of people that go to temple on a saturday. i'm the reformed jew which is not as serious as a conservative jew. the people who do tend to go on saturday are people who are not just religious. they tepnd to be the philanthropic types, want to help out in the communities and be. part of a larger community which is what brings them to the temple to begin with. people like the doctors, the community leaders. they're there for people in times of need. they're there for people who need help. and this is who the gunman was
targeting. it wasn't individuals. it was a sense of community bound together by a covenant, a religion, by love for each other and tore that apart. and it takes a skilled politician and a real leader to actually repair those wounds. and what we're seeing now is that we don't have someone able to do that. it's not easy. it takes a lot. it doesn't just take a speech. it takes a commitment. and we don't have that right now. and it's incredibly sad. >> it's incredibly sad. pittsburgh steelers were there at one of the funerals that bari described trying to fill that vacuum. we'll look for that video. it's incredibly moving. you're right. these were leaders of their community. that's what we need more than ever right now. after the break, we are going to focus on and bring you the latest on the right-wing war in justice, it now includes a plot to pay women to lie, lie about robert mueller. we'll tell you about the effort to smear the man overseeing the
russia investigation and the conservative activist allegedly behind it. also ahead chris matthew joins us with reaction to today's unfolding event in pittsburgh and ground truth on one of the most-watched races in the country, cruz versus beto. obama and biden to the rescue. how the former president and former vice president are trying to boost democrats in the midwest. we'll take you inside their campaign strategy. all those stories coming up. au, we really pride ourselves on making it easy to get your windshield fixed. >> teacher: let's turn in your science papers. >> tech vo: this teacher always puts her students first. >> student: i did mine on volcanoes. >> teacher: you did?! oh, i can't wait to read it. >> tech vo: so when she had auto glass damage... she chose safelite. with safelite, she could see exactly when we'd be there. >> teacher: you must be pascal. >> tech: yes ma'am. >> tech vo: saving her time... [honk, honk] >> kids: bye! >> tech vo: ...so she can save the science project. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ oh! oh! ♪ ozempic®! ♪ (vo) people with type 2 diabetes are excited about the potential of once-weekly ozempic®. in a study with ozempic®,
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and steered billions of federal dollars to california projects such as subway construction and wildfire restoration." "she... played an important role in fighting off ...trump's efforts to kill the affordable care act." california news papers endorse dianne feinstein for us senate. california values senator dianne feinstein we may have reached the ugliest chapter yet in trump's allies war on justice. nbc news has learned about an alleged plot to smear special
counsel robert mueller with false sexual assaulting accusa n accusations. our own tom winter reports, "multiple reporters were contacted over the past few weeks about a woman who said she had been offered money to say she was sexually assaulted by mueller. the reporters each independently determined the assault allegations were a hoax and that the woman appeared to have been offered a significant amount of money to make that claim. the bizarre plot began to unravel around the same time fringe conservative jack berkman began ranting on facebook that he is investigating sexual misconduct and alcohol-related allegations against mueller. the notoriously media-averse special counsel's office released a rare statement saying, "when we learned last week after allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the special counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the fbi for investigation." joining the conversation now, former u.s. attorney joyce vance, and here at the table, "new york times" reporter mike schmidt. mike schmidt, there's no connection as with the mail bomber, as with the shooting at
the synagogue, between donald trump and the alleged incident, but donald trump, you reported that donald trump and his legal team have made smearing bob mueller part of their legal strategy. >> yeah, but this -- they've really struggled to undermine mueller throughout this entire thing. the biggest punch that was landed was last year when it came out there were these text messages between these two agents that were, you know, negative toward trump. otherwise, they really struggled and mueller has gone through a trial now. there was all this talk in trump world and manafort world that there were these killer motions that were going to take mueller out, going to upend him and destroy the justice department investigation. they've now gone through a trial with manafort, gotten convictions. manafort has pled. in a sense, they're pitching a shutout. you can see where in the desperate move, one side that has nothing really to throw would do something so, i don't know if it's unusual, but certainly -- >> it's unusual. >> and you got a call from the -- >> i got an e-mail --
>> you got pitched. >> i got pitched. >> describe it as it was. >> okay. fine. i'm sorry if i'm laughing because it's serious, but jack berkman -- >> is not serious. >> i got an e-mail along with a lot of other reporters from a woman who wasn't alleging sexual assault, she said she had been offered money to allege sexual assault. >> very different. >> by bob mueller. we looked into this woman, there was no internet history of her, we couldn't track her down. she refused to talk at all about it. we sort of put it to the side wondering what was going on. . she mentioned jack berkman, an associate of jack berkman, was offering the money. jack berkman for people who are uninitiated, i pray you are uninitiated, is a conspiracy theorist, self-promoting republican lobbyist troll. he latches onto random causes in hopes of getting himself in front of a camera. he has put sexual assault allegations against other people before only to have them blow up in his face because it turns out to not be true. one remarkable instance that i remember, my first interaction with jack berkman was -- and this guy is a lobbyist, okay?
he introduced legislation around the time that michael sand, first openly gay nfl player to be drafted, h he introduced legislation at the time that would ban openly gay men from playing in the nfl. this a lobbyist, not a lawmaker introducing a bill. it was absurd and more absurd the fact i ended up finding out jack berkman's brother was gay. i called up jack berkman's brother about, it said i'm ashamed of what my brother is doing. that's where we are in this robert mueller saga. >> we're talking about this, it's the kind of accusation that can ruin someone's life. they were peddling something like this and even their co-conspirator, the woman, had the, i guess, wherewithal, to confess to reporters on the phone that she was being offered a lot of money to smear robert mueller. >> it's a really curious ham-handed kind of an effort to attack robert mueller. one thinks that what's going on here is this. even the president at this point has to know it would be
politically unpalatable to fire bob mueller with no reason, so whether the president is involved or not, we don't know that. there's no reason to believe he is. but these folks on the far right are coming up with the sort of an allegation that if true would certainly be a reason to remove bob mueller. what this is is a thinly-disguised effort to derail an investigation that's inching ever more close to the oval office and the president. >> and donald trump was asked about that by laura ingraham. here he is talking about his new cozy relationship with rod rosenstein. let's watch. >> why are you and rod rosenstein such good friends now? it seems like everything's been settled. >> look, i do get along, but this should have never -- there should have never been a special counsel, in my opinion. it's an illegal investigation, totally. a lot of people agree with me. a lot of people on your show and on other shows agree. there was no collusion. there was never any collusion. >> the written questions to mueller's -- answers to his questions -- >> it's ridiculous i have to do
anything because we didn't do anything, but we will probably do something, yes, where we'll respond to some questions. >> covering this makes -- where are the answers to the questions? >> oh, when are they going to get back to him? >> yeah. the president said, we'll probably do something, yes, where we'll respond tole so questions. >> so after the midterms, they say they're going to send their responses back. we're now almost entering a year of negotiation s back and forth between the president's lawyers and mueller about an interview. and now the latest development is that, you know, responses are being written. it's just this thing that has soaked up a lot of time and energy in the media. i'm not sure the president will ever sit down and answer mueller -- >> why not? you report on the list of questions, the beginning of the year. either there aren't answers that they can live with, or the answers imperil the president. >> as has been written in the press, as was in bob woodward's book, the president's lawyers don't think he's capable of doing an interview without making a false statement. and if mueller has shown
anything, it's to have a quick trigger on false statement issues. and has charged several people with them for things that maybe they wouldn't have charged for. so the president is not someone who's obsessed with the facts and if you're going to go before bob mueller, you better be obsesseded with the facts. >> not obsessed with the fact and he's watched almost everyone that has come into robert mueller's net be charged and ultimately plead guilty and cooperate. >> it's interesting, when i was looking at the interview, he always talks about no collusion. he never talks about obstruction. >> he never -- >> i spend a lot of my time on obstruction. i always find it funny. i understand collusion is the issue, the thing the country looks the most at but the real threat to him is obstruction. and i'm not sure if he appreciates that. >> it doesn't have the same syntax. collusion comes off the tongue. >> like an -- betsy then we want to get joyce the last word. >> to be fair, he mentions the obstruction issue from time to time but isn't fixated on it the same way. we have to remember a huge part of the way the president thinks
of mueller, dictated by primetime fox programming includining shows like laura ingraham's that dedicated hours and hours and hours of programming time to arguing argument the that have not held up in court. that's how the president thinks about it, not based on what his advisers are telling him. >> joyce vance, he also papers over in the interview laura ingraham, his relationship with rosenstein who's been maligned more on fox news than perhaps anywhere else including by laura ingrah ingraham. what do you make of the fragile peace between donald trump and rod rosenstein? >> he understands what has to happen for investigations to move forward. and i think that he's likely walking a very careful line that involves upholding the oath he took to uphold the constitution. you know, he has a president that he's responsible to who lives in this alice in wonderland kind of a world where as soon as the president says there's no collusion, well, that's the definitive answer. we don't investigate, we don't have prosecutors and agents who
do their job, we just take the defendant at face value. i don't think rod rosenstein buys into that sort of an approach to law enforcement. >> and time will tell if that keeps him safe in his job beyond the midterms. joyce vance, mike schmidt, thank you so much for spending time with us. when we come back, chris matthews joins us hours before he sits down with texas senate candidate beto o'rourke. that is next. if you're 65 or older, even if you're healthy, you may be at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia -a potentially serious bacterial lung disease that can disrupt your routine for weeks. in severe cases, pneumococcal pneumonia can put you in the hospital. it can hit quickly, without warning, making you miss out on what matters most. a single dose of the prevnar 13® vaccine can help protect you from pneumococcal pneumonia. prevnar 13® is approved for adults to help prevent infections from 13 strains of the bacteria that cause pneumococcal pneumonia.
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with one week left before the midterm elections donald trump is throwing all of the political spaghetti he can find against the wall to get something to stick. unfortunately, for the country, his version of spaghetti is straight-up fear mongering. stoking angst about immigration and pitting people against one another. it's dirty politics during the best of times but at a moment when the country's mood most closely resembles the jagged edges of a broken glass, it's downright dangerous.
the "washington post'" aaron blake writes, "the point is trump tends to float ideas as if he will definitely pursue them. au simply because he wishes they were true. he's done this repeatedly without consideration for the law and political practicalities and has an even greater incentive to do this on the eve of the 2018 elections because he feels like his ace in the hole message on immigration is being overshadowed. this is why he's calling the caravan an invasion and that's why he's sending 5,200 troops to the border just before the midterms. even though the last caravan's asylum seekers simply surrendered themselves at a port of entry." chris matthews joins us from texas where trump's hardline immigration message is usually a sure thing. chris, the most remarkable thing with beto o'rourke, who you're sitting down with tonight, i can't wait to see that, is he rejects this whole frame. he doesn't get trapped eped in old debates. gillum does that in florida, too. how is that -- what do you think that race really looks like on the ground there in texas? >> reporter: well, it's clearly wa you said in the setup, it's
clearly an amazing strategy to go head to head with trump. i mean, basically saying, okay, you can talk about the caravan and now today you're talking about the 14th amendment and birthright citizenship. you can go all the way with that. i'm going the other way, we're a better country that than. we are a welcoming country. we are a country which includes and always included people of hispanic background from mexico especially. it's always been part of our country especially in texas and i'm going to challenge you on the morality of this thing. i mean, it really is not a carving election, it's not one side hedging and moving toward the center and the other one moving toward the center. this is all-out -- an all-out moral fight i think in texas. >> and what beto really i think became known for at a national level, among people that don't pay close attention to politics, was for hugging those third-rail cultural issues. he made comments about the kneeling during football games that were so -- they borrowed from obama's playbook. i thing that's where a lot of the comparisons to obama started. what do you make of that high
ground that almost the michelle obama, when you go low, we'll go high, playbook? how has that worked for him? >> reporter: well, it's not so much he's avoided politics. he's taking a 180 position on the politics. he has said very dramatically, and i think heroically, that taking a knee is a statement of your free speech. it's a statement of belief in america and your political views, your philosophic views, your racial views, are well up to this country and this country is well up to it. that america's about stating your political views, about defending your ethnicity and your right to speak out. if you think and know, for example, as african-americans, many do, that they've been mistreated throughout history. he just says, i'm going to compete on that argument, i'm going to challenge you, when you say they have no right to speak, i'm going to say they have a full american right to speak and i'm proud of them doing so. it's not just i'm above politics. he joins them in the debate. that's what's so dramatic about it. he says, okay, you want to fight
about immigration, let's fight about immigration. you want to fight about taking a knee in the nfl? let's fight about it. he's not going away from politics. he's saying i'm going 180 from you, buster, and i'm going to beat you. it's very dramatic stuff. >> he's also in the fortunate position of the stakes being higher for the other party. if ted cruz wins, even if it's remarkably close, it will be a sigh of relief, but it will still be remarkable that a democrat came so close to him. if beto wins, it will be the upset of the night. it will be all we're talking about for weeks and weeks. if he loses, think he'll still have crafted some sort of playbook for democrats to run on in red states. what are they saying in the state about the stakes next tuesday night for both men? >> well, i've only got here -- i'm not going to say i know more about this state than the brief 24 hours i've been here, but it's clear that he wants to win. this isn't some moral victory he's after. he wants to win and should. this is like jack kennedy early in his career taking on the heavyweight, henry cabbott
lodge. one way you get your way to the presidency, beat someone big early on or halfway up. he needs to win. i don't understand people who say you can run for other offices after you lose. i don't get that, never seen that before effectively done. neither do you, nicolle. there's no such thing. you win at one level then. you go to the next level. if you lose at one level, try again for another statewide officer like governor or the other senate seat, you win there then you move on. that's the way it's been inside politics. if you outside of politics like trump, the rules don't apply. you don't have to win anything to run for president and win. that's the deal. >> you're absolutely right. i want your thoughts, though, on the events unfolding in pittsburgh this hour. donald trump there over the protests of the city's mayor and many of the city's jewish leaders. your thoughts. >> reporter: i've never seen a president so unwelcome. ever. because usually people who are grieving, however we say if in
our traditions, our religious traditions, they welcome any si sign of sympathy or empathy. trump is not welcome today. his timing is off. under jewish tradition, they bury people very quickly. that's the way it's done. even in the conservative tradition. and clearly he's got his timing off. and it looks exploitive because of all the hateful things he's been saying about invasions. the language does sync with some of these violent haters. it's unfortunate that people talk in the same language as murderers, but that's what it is. this is calling people, caravans and calling them invaders and they're not bad people trying to come to the united states. we've all come to the united states. most of us except native americans. we all came here one way or the other. we were brought here. and the idea that something evil by trying to get here is r ridiculo ridiculous, morally ridiculous. >> thank you, chris matthews. no one has said it better all day long. i'm going to pop popcorn, pour a big glass of mommy water and
watch you at 7:00. >> reporter: i know you'll be there, nicolle wallace. >> "hardball" college tour live from the university of houston with beto o'rourke, one of the all-stars, best stories, best races of this entire midterm. stop whatever you're doing and watch chris matthews with him tonight. still ahead, president obama and former vice president joe biden are back on the campaign trail in key states with a specific goal in mind. new reporting about their strategy. that's next. (chime)
- [narrator] meet shark's newest robot vacuum. it powerfully cleans from floors to carpets, even pet hair, with ease, and now for cleaning surfaces above the floor, it comes with a built in shark handheld. one dock, two sharks. the shark ion robot cleaning system. i am sick and tired of this administration. i'm sick and tired of what's going on. i'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. i hope you are, too. three times -- three times this past week, the forces of hate have terrorized our fellow americans. for their political beliefs, the color of their skin, or their religion. folks, this is not who we are.
we need to recognize that words matter. words matter. >> phil, you and i laughed a little bit when that started, but that's how people feel. that's how democrats feel. they're exhausted by this president. >> yeah. biden is channeling the frustration and the anger, the fury, that a lot of democrats feel. he also, by the way, made it to wisconsin, which is important. but he's clearly trying to position himself to be the leader of the democratic party. and he's trying to galvanize the voters, the women who came out in the women's march two years ago, to make sure that that energy stays all the way through tuesday next week. >> it's funny, i wrote a piece pretty early on in the trump a era, presidency, about how as a tactical matter he uses exhaustion. and i talked to all the associates of his in the business world, the people with him on the campaign, and the general gist was donald trump is willing to endure more agony, more pain, more b.s., whatever you want to call it, so long as
he gets his way and essentially his opponents just tire out and say, okay, do it, just let's move on. give me a day's rest. and so, yeah, people are exhausted, but what's proven true, alternatively, is that the amount of engagement that we're seeing right now is also through the roof. so people are exhausted, but they're also incredibly excited and they view this election as a turning point moment. >> the democratic message, and i think it was a real mistaken national media frame that there wasn't one, there has been one all along. it's been focused on the issues. right now what he's doing, that is the mood of not just the democrats, of the 60% of americans who can't stand this president and his conduct in office. >> exactly. and these tragic events over the last week have -- are just the sort of exclamation point on that. i mean, they're just, like, enough, enough. this is wrong. we're headed on a wrong path. this is not who we are. i think it's a powerful message, and i will also note that trump does exhaust you, but joe biden
doesn't get tired. you know? i mean, he is one who doesn't -- he is the democratic sort of ever-ready bunny who always has the energy, always has something to say. not that he would necessarily be a tremendous candidate in 2020, but he's always going to be out there. he's ever going to be pushing. >> we just had the pictures up from another group who is not exhausted. that's those protesting donald trump's presence. those are the protesters in pittsburgh. protesting in and around the community where 1 1 people were gunned down in a synagogue on saturday. betsy, what biden -- let's listen for a minute to this. you can hear them singing. ♪ ♪ it's an unbelieven image that we're looking at. these are peaceful protesters.
walking along. grieving. grieving about the tragic death of 11 of their neighbors in a synagogue on saturday. and protesting the presence of donald trump, the president, in their community today. ♪ holding signs that say "stop hate." "vote." "no hate, no guns, no trump." is this the democrats' closing message, betsy woodruff? >> certainly seems like an effective one, if it is, but this clearly isn't a partisan protest. >> right. >> i've spent the last two days talking to folks in the federal law enforcement space including a number of conversations about the president's rhetoric and how to make sense of its relationship to attacks like the one we saw in pittsburgh. and one thing i heard multiple times from former senior federal law enforcement officials and people who work closely with federal law enforcement, tease are not partisan people. >> right. >> not democratic activists.
not anybody volunteering on a 2020 campaign. is that they have sincere concerns that the way the president talks about some of the issues facing our country has the result of inciting violence. again, this is from people in the law enforcement space. >> right. >> people in the political activism space. >> phil rucker, this is something that we talked about around the time that the president was at war with the intelligence community. that calling the intelligence community nazis does not help them do their job. we're still listening to this protest behind us. these are protesters in pittsburgh, protesting the president's visit in their community. he's there to pay respects to the 11 people who lost their lives on saturday. but phil rucker, this moment in politics, whether democrats or republicans like it or not, is very much the backdrop against which voters, those who haven't voted early, and we see record numbers of people who have done so, this is a backdrop against
which voters will go to the polls on tuesday. they will have to decide if all these things are just a coincidence. if this political moment, we said this yesterday, was one we were hurdling toward. whether donald trump had been elected or not, the effect of social need kpmedia, effect of n news outlets on all sides of the debate. this is the moment in which people have to decide who they want to control the house and the senate. >> that's exactly right. you're going to see a juxtaposition because you see these images coming in from pittsburgh right now. tomorrow night, trump will be in ft. myers, florida, for his first of 11 rallies in the final 6 days of the campaign. he has said he has no intention to tone it down, in fact, he's going to tone it up. sarah sanders yesterday said he's going to punch back, he's going to keep drawing contrasts. he's going to keep on the attack. that's his intention. that's what he thinks is the winning argument. he's going to be calling, i assume, continue to call the democrats the party of mobs, be ut y but you look at that footage, that is not a mob. that was a very peaceful protest. people singing. children, adults, older people, black, white.
everybody there. >> carrying signs protesting hate. hate. that's the most frequent carried sign that i saw there in pittsburgh. >> you know, in terms of trump's plans for the next week, he doesn't have a choice. he can't do the other thing. i mean, he can't be embracing. he can't reach across the aisle, reach to americans who don't agree with him. he's just not capable of that, and so he, again, it's the wedge. it's riling up the base. that's his only play. whether or not it's his best play, it's his only play. >> sam stein, the democrats seem to have taken the last two years to do more than i think some people gave them credit for doing. they seem to have addressed the asymmetry in president trump's political tactics. you've got gillum in florida who manages to run against his opponent ron desantis in a trumpian way.
i'm not calling you a racist, i'm saying the racists think you're a racist. they have figured out, beto o'rourke is another one, taking this national anthem issue which i think people struggled with for a long time. they didn't want to seem unpatriotic, to be frank. but some of these candidates issue, which people struggled with for a long time, they didn't want to seem to be unpatriotic, but some of the candidates have figured out how to run against trump and trumpism. >> i think it's sort of like any major league sport, you try to copy the winning playbook. to a certain degree, democrats have recognized that something that benefited trump was this notion, this perception he was authentic and unapologetic in his own believes. democrats obviously have different believes but now we see the andrew gillums of the world, beta o'rourkes of the world saying i'm not going to back down from this position even if i'm running in a state like texas where it may be particularly unpopular. there are other democrats not doing that. for instance, we have claire mcaskill who put out a statement yesterday where she kind of
embraced the idea of the caravan of migrants needed to be turned around. this will give us an interesting case study. not every race is the dame. they're all different, obviously, but we have democrats running in two different directions and i'm curious to see how it plays out, whether it you get support from your base or have cross appeal. >> one thing that will be answered that night, donald trump, presidents are usually more cautious around midterms. most presidents try to make clear it's not a referendum on them because that usually doesn't help them, presidents don't usually prevail. donald trump not so much. he's told everyone a vote for the midterm candidates is a vote for him. if he's rejected or lose the house, that will be a rejection of trumpism by his own words. >> he actually said i'm on the ballot. he's on the ballot in spirit though not in word. results wednesday morning, that will be a referendum on his presidency, he will be either completely emboldened to do what he wants to do or it will be a shellacking. >> he also said he won't be to blame for the loss.
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this, this broke while we were all here. special counsel investigation into president trump's longtime ally roger stone is pressing witnesses about stone's private interactions with senior campaign officials and whether he had knowledge of politically explosive democratic e-mails. this seems to get at the heart of the collusion question. on friday mueller's team questioned steve bannon, trump's former chief kpcampaign strategt about the wikileaks alleged e-mails allegedly hacked by russian operatives. this phil rucker, seems to be the story that a lot of people were expecting that would confirm, robert mueller, who's already charged 13 russians with a conspiracy to effect and impact the 2016 election is simply looking for one more dot to connect the trump campaign or trump's associates would that conspiracy, this would seem to be it. the stolen e-mails and timing of their release and their knowledge of that. >> potentially. and mueller has really zeroed in on roger stone, the president's former political adviser who had
actually boasted about his interactions and knowledge of wikileaks, honed in on that. he's not only interviewed steve bannon, by the way, he's interviewed other -- special counsel team interviewed other stone associates including gentleman roam corsi, a known conspiracy theorist, according to bob cafosta and others at th post. it shows how much mueller is doing. we think he's gone dark because there have not been public announcements or big, splashy indictments this fall but the special counsel's office is very much plotting along, building their case, and there could be some activity after the election. >> roger stone has said publicly that he thought he was next in mueller's sights and he looks like he might have been right. >> steve bannon has been in before, i believe that was reported by multiple news organizations. what does it suggest if he went back, not indicate but suggests for sure, suggest mueller gained new information that he needed to present to bannon the all-new
information he had when he first interviewed bannon and it was months and months ago? this would be an indicator that the probe is obviously constantly getting more detail, that it needs to corroborate with additional witnesses, one of the big questions mueller has been trying to assess with everyone he interviewed is whether or not he's telling them the truth. as he gets more material from different witnesses, from people adjacent to any potentially criminal activity, that can inform his understanding of whether or not of the people spoken to. >> i'm not sure if it was reported by bannon, but it was possible paul man aford, in that trump tower meeting, flipped. >> bannon's first interview was long before paul manafort started cooperating with the investigation. we don't know if he gave him any relevant information but it's possible looking at the time line. >> it's just a reminder how little the actual public knows. >> we don't know anything.
>> we had it feels like a fire hose of russia mueller investigation of anything and probably just have a little droplet. it's remarkable what it can be. >> don't rain on my droplets. i have a little bit more of them. but we know -- to your point, we know so much less. and to the point earlier, we know so much about the collusion question than we do about the obstruction question. the collusion question is what donald trump denies every morning, seemingly randomly on twitter. it's the caravan and fox news. by the way, no collusion, folks. it is his obsession. and this is the story that gets -- what you and carol enig described in the story a couple mondays ago is the beating heart of the mueller probe, this question of coordination, conspiracy with the russians. >> that's exactly right. the president has different definitions of collusion sprn th -- and conspiracy than robert mueller does. he thinks did i personally do
anything? >> right. >> the vast array of campaign officials and family members and others who represent trump in form form or fashion. >> we're out of time. but i thank you for spending the hour with us. that does it for us. i'm nicolle wallace. "mpt daily" starts right now. >> hi, nicolle, i'm waving from the foot floor. >> i will photo bomb you. >> if it's tuesday, the president is in pittsburgh. good evening, i'm chuck todd at nbc news election headquarters right here in new york city. welcome to "mpt daily." at this hour we are monitoring the president's movements in pittsburgh, where he, along with the first lady and others, just arrived at this week's deadly shooting at the tree of life synagogue. as you might expect, there are protesters as some local officials, including the mayor, wanted the president to at least delay his visit. but,