tv Deadline White House MSNBC November 2, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
nicolle wallace starts now. >> it's 4:00 in new york. on tuesday night we'll have the answer to this question -- are attacks on immigrants racist dog whistles and efforts to stoke fear effective as a closing message. donald trump, a self-described master of branding, is doing his best to brand the gop as all in on nationalism and xenophobia. and new reporting in "the new york times" today suggests that strategy concocted and deployed by president trump may cost republicans control of the house. in republican-leaning districts that include diverse populations from bulwarks of sunbelt conservativism to well man cured communities outside philadelphia and minneapolis, the house is in danger of losing its majority because mr. trump's racially tinged nationalism has alienated these voters who once made up a dependable constituency.
but president trump is striking all of his usual divisive notes on the campaign trail. >> and i don't know if you saw the one that's coming up. that's a big caravan. these are tough people. these are not angels. these are not little angels. these are tough people. and we're not letting them into our country. they're not coming in illegally. democrats want to have open borders and they want to invite caravan after caravan into our country, overwhelming your schools, hospitals and communities. the democrats are the party of rigid ideology and total conformity. they demand absolute agreement, and they dismiss, demean and demonize anyone who questions their radical ideas. do you see what they're doing to our people? see what they're doing to people that represent our thought? >> but jarring description of
our people stands in stark contrast to former president obama's message on the stump today for florida gubinaryitorial candidate andrew gillum. >> we need leaders who will stand up for what's right, regardless of party. leaders who represent the best of the american spirit, like andrew gillum and bill nelson. patriots who stand up for anyone whose fundamental rights are at stake. our neighbors' health care. somebody else's kids getting bullied. the antidote to a politics based on division is a politics based on a sense that we're in it together. >> we'll have more on the face-off between donald trump's politics of division and barack obama's audacity of hope and change, plus breaking news late this afternoon from the president's former fixer. michael cohen who is a cooperating witness in the mueller probe and re-registered
democrat, is speaking out to "vanity fair" about donald trump's long history of making racist comments. she'll join us in a couple minutes. we start with some of our favorite reporters and friends to discuss the state of play four days from election day. jonathan swan, national political reporter for axios and of hbo fame. kimberly atkins, washington bureau chief for the boston herald, white house reporter for the ap, jonathan lemere and rev al sharpt orngs president of the national action network. i know you know president trump so you're never as shocked as i am when he says out loud and in public some things that, you know, that -- i read that report from "the new york times." you now have gop operatives saying two newspaper reporters that -- when we lose the house, not if, it will be because, in part because of donald trump's closing message. >> i think that clearly it will be in part. when you look at the fact that some independent voters, suburban voters, that may have
been leaning their way do not want to be identified with this kind of divisive and polarizing kind of politics, he has single handedly done what a lot of the republican candidates and operatives has feared. he has delivered the vote against them. and i think that he has done it aggressively. what is so shocking to people that don't know him and not to those of us that have fought with him and death wilt with hi years, he does not know how to back up. in trump world, he is never wrong. >> yeah. >> and the more they call him and tell him, you're messing up, he digs in because it's more important for him to feel he's right, even when he's dead wrong, than for him to be victorious because the victory to him is i'm right. i'm donald trump. don't question me. so he's gotten worse over the days, not better. and these have been republicans,
nicolle, that have gone republic and said you're hurting us. you think that was bad, take this one. he's talking about shooting migrants that he had to walk back. >> i think it's hard for some of our viewers, some of my friends in my manhattan neighborhood to understand how the trump coalition was strengthened and grew after the kavanaugh debate and why this language pulls them apart and shrinks them. but it's important to understand why this is so damaging in the kavanaugh confirmation was not. there are a lot of voters, a lot of women who sort of held their nose and vote forward donald trump, despite his conduct because they care about social conservative issues. issues like abortion, pro-life, and they cared about those supreme court picks. so that's where some of that kavanaugh bump came from. but this conduct that makes them turn off the tv when their kids are around. this threatens to blow up that trump coalition. >> just to pick up on the reverend's point. we spent a bit of time with the president this week in an interview and pressed him on the enemy of the people rhetoric. and it's very clear that this is
not someone -- we know this already, but conventional politician leaving aside morality, leaving aside ethics if you take pure politics they might read polls. trump just responds viscerally to the crowd and he says you see what happens when i tell the pooem i'm going to calm down. they want more. and we said, yeah, they do want more but isn't that the problem? there's a fervent love of you among your people and you're telling them a whole group of people is the enemy. and he's saying, but it works. we see that time and time again. it's the politics of whatever it takes. that was a really telling moment on the tarmac. jonathan might have been there. i wasn't there. a white house reporter in the pool said to the president when he's going to texas, do you regret saying that you thought that ted cruz's father killed jfk and trump goes, no, i don't regret it because it worked out great and i'm the president now. >> this is what people continue to get wrong about donald trump. he is the guy behind the curtain with no curtain and no pants on.
there is no sort of pretense of the office of the presidency being anything other than what jonathan just described. someone who will say whatever it takes, even if it includes lying. he also said in an interview with abc this week, i try to tell the truth, when i can. enemy of the people, i've got to say it. my crowds love it. he said last night about the deadliest shooting of jewish americans in this country's history, stop my momentum. stop my momentum. not only is it unpresidential. the dehumanization of the people that he's supposed to represent is unprecedented. >> it is unprecedented, and it isn't. the visceral, the volume of it and the directness of it in this president is unprecedented. but we have seen what this is is a version of the southern strategy on steroids, right? it is appealing to white voters in a way that stirs up fear about black people, brown
people, anybody who is non-white. and that is what he's doing. but he's using a lot more direct language like the reverend said, threatening to open fire on people who may be trying to come and make an asylum claim when in actuality, and keep saying this, the members of the military are prohibited by law from acting in a law enforcement capacity on u.s. soil. that can't be what they're there to do. but it doesn't matter. he wants to make this message, make people afraid of a south american migrants afraid of people from the middle east, afraid of black people, citizens in their own country because he sees that as politically advantageous. the only difference between that and the strategy that was used by folks like george wallace and richard nixon was they used codcode ed language like forced bussing. >> let me ad emily jane fox to our conversation. your piece is so relevant to this conversation, to the
conversation really taking place all over the country about donald trump trying to main stream his xenophobia, mainstreaming -- we can't even call them dog whistles. it's full-throated racism. and you report about his former fixer michael cohen sort of finding religion and talking about things he heard donald trump say in private. talk about how michael cohen came to this statement about african-americans. >> michael cohen pleaded guilty in counts related to campaign finance violations and tax evasion. he has not spoken on the record since the fbi executed search warrants on his home earlier this spring at the advice of counsel. this is something he has actually listened to. and so he has been watching the president ratchet his rhetoric as we all have over the past couple of weeks. and as he told me earlier this week, he was watching the
president's visit to the synagogue in pittsburgh and he said, look, for all of the things that he has been saying in public and all of the dog whistles and all of the divisive things that he has said in public, it's worse in private. and there's an election coming up that i feel very strongly about, and i want to share with people what i have heard over the years. and it's, frankly, not too far off from what he's saying publicly. but something about saying it privately, to me at least, made it feel a little worse and more serious. >> i want to read some of it to you. you can almost go through every example that he cites and there is now something that's been reported either by the ap or axios or others that corroborates almost the exact description. let's go through them. you report that cohen recall a discussion at trump tower following the then candidate's return from a campaign rally during the election cycle. cohen watched it on tv and noticed the crowd was largely
caucasian. he offered this observe tigs his boss. i said the rally looked vanilla on television. and he said that's because black people are too stupid to vote for me. emily? >> as you can imagine, hearing these things one after another my jaw drops to the floor. i think these are sentiments that i don't think anyone is truly surprised that the president has uttered. but it should be a surprising thing that the president of the united states has uttered these things in private. and you go through the piece and there are three more examples just like that. >> let me bring those -- >> yeah, sure. >> so trump said to me name one country run by a black person that's not a bleep hole. and then he added name one city. cohen recalled a statement that echoed the president's alleged comments about african nations earlier this year. i think you were here that day, right? >> yes. >> cohen also recounted a conversation with trump in the late 2000s while traveling to
chicago for a trump hotel board meeting. we drove through what looked like a rougher neighborhood and trump said only the blacks could live like this. after the first few seasons of "the apprentice" he and trump were discussing past season winners. the conversation winded its way back to the show's first season which ended in a head-to-head between two contestants. trump was explaining his back and forth about not picking jackson, an african-american investment manager who graduated from harvard business school. there's no way i can let this black bleeping win. jackson told me he had heard the president made such a comment. my response to president trump is simple referring to the fictional african country where black panther hails from, not today, colonizer. >> it's a stunning list of things that cohen recalled the president saying. these are one on one conversations. this is cohen's recollection. i did go to the white house repeatedly asking for comment,
and they did not provide me with a comment. these are things that for any other politician, ceo, certainly president would be the end of things. it would be over for them. but the reality is these may not make a difference for president trump. he has been able to withstand these kinds of stories coming out time and time again. michael cohen's hope as he told me was that people will take these words with them as they head to the poll this week. >> we put together some of -- i think the evidence that supports what you're saying. the reason they may not have an effect is we're so used to hearing things like this from donald trump. let's watch. >> when mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. they're rapists. and some, i assume, are good people. donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united
states until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. look at my african-american over here. look at him. our inner cities, african-americans, hispanics are living in hell because it's so dangerous. you walk down the street, you get shot. but you also had people that were very fine people. on both sides. still stunning. we've all seen all those clips before. it's still staggering. >> it is. and the quotes in emily's piece are the same way. it must be said michael cohen is probably not the most credible witness in some ways. he continued to work for the trump organization and help donald trump get elected president. >> emily addresses that. he said he should have quit. >> he's relaying things we all know and have heard in the public sphere. we heard him talk about on the "access hollywood" tape, sexually assaulting a woman. that didn't matter either, though. he did still win.
in that case it remains to be seen how much of a difference this will make. and tying it back to the rhetoric we've heard from him about the immigration and such, part of it is -- it is a base play. no attempt to grow his area of support. and that plays into the two houses of congress where, yes, this is undoubtedly costing him votes. it may cost him control but it may in some ways, help with the senate map which is more of his concern. these are red states largely. he's trying to keep control of the senate, flip a seat or two but make sure his senators maintain that control. that's the priority, keeping the senate, less the house. you just can't lose both. >> if you are donald trump, it hurts you a lot to use the state house in florida. so i know that the white house is saying, oh, we keep the senate and avoid conviction when we're impeached, which is gauligaul i -- galling if we've accepted that.
it's so trumpy, it's ridiculous. >> when you're dealing with someone who only cares about themselves and the senate being the one that would have to convict him, he's first and foremost going to be about that. but it suggests he doesn't think he's innocent of what he may be impeached for. it suggests he doesn't -- >> he knows he's not innocent. it's even worse than think. >> but what gives credibility to michael cohen, who has been in several meetings where donald trump and i went toe-to-toe is that it is consistent with his behavior. let's not act like when he talks about black people in chicago, that he wouldn't give contracts to blacks. let's not talk about when he doesn't have kwame win on "the apprentice." kwame didn't win. he is the guy that his first political statement was the central park 5 were guilty of being rapists and even when dna proved they weren't, he said they're still guilty. he became a political figure on
birtherism that the president was not one of us. so whether you want to make cohen credible or not, it's consistent with his behavior. and i don't think it's dog whistling unless i have dog ears because i can hear it very plainly what he's saying. >> he also broke new ground on what sort of falls into the category of birtherism ideology with you. with birthright citizenship this week. buts unclear and i haven't talked to a single campaign strategist that's said the birthright citizenship announcement really shored up my guy. >> well, firstly, it wasn't an announcement. and i got calls from several people at a senior level in the white house to said you've ruined my day because the last thing they wanted -- the lawyers think it's not possible. >> it's not legal, right? >> he's been talking to the counsel's office about this and they did not want this to happen. steven miller has known about it. it's a very small group inside the white house. the press shop didn't know about it. so you have republicans who are
vulnerable in the suburbs in high lly educated seats where they're wanting to distance themselves and then you throw into the cauldron birthright citizenship and, you know -- >> the powder keg. >> the chemical explodes. >> and you can't -- they can't say like they did in 2016. ohe's just saying this stuff on the campaign trail. he's going to get in office and be presidential. everything he said on the campaign trail from the muslim ban to everything else, he has acted on. he didn't build a wall but he is building a wall of upwards of 15,000 troops at the southern border. you can't dismiss this as just talk because he acts on these impulses. >> over the advice of counsel. emily jane fox, thank you for your reporting and for bringing it to us. and the rev, thank you for spending some time with us. when we come back, obama pushing for hope and change in florida today where he's stumping for democratic candidate andrew gillum who has a good chance of turning the red
state of florida blue again on tuesday. we'll show you the latest from the campaign trail in one of the hottest elections in the country. beto o'rourke reels in an endorsement from one of the most powerful critics of donald trump and someone who knows just how far from normal the current president has taken us. how will it translate in tex snas we'll go to the cam. a trail there. is russia taking the midterms off or planning another attack on our election? new reporting that should make everyone nervous. eamwork, attention to detail, and customer service are critical to business success. like the ones we teach here, every day. gimme one minute... and i'll tell you some important things to know about medicare. first, it doesn't pay for everything. say this pizza is your part b medical expenses. this much - about 80% - medicare will pay for. what's left, you have to pay for that.
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and opportunity that hope springs. it starts rippling. it enters into each of us. we get a sense of what is possible. and we remind ourselves of those better angels of our nature. it's up to you. let's make history happen right here in florida. >> it's so positive, it's jarring. that was the obama show in miami today. no democrat does it quite like the 44th president. he was stumping for bill nelson and andrew gillum now ahead of his republican opponent in the race for governor. but if you were watching that rally this afternoon, you probably noticed the regular interruptions by protesters. instead of using the classic trump rhetoric, i'd like to punch him in the faice, here's how obama handled it. >> this is what i look forward to, having a few hecklers to get me back into the mood.
it's like i enjoy that. you always got to have a few in order to know that you're on the campaign trail. it tells you something interesting. that even the folks who are in charge are still mad. because they're getting ginned up to be mad. that's the -- that's the mind-set. so you want somebody who is actually going to work for working people? andrew gillum is somebody. who is going to work for working people. >> elise jordan, former aide in the george w. bush white house, now an msnbc analyst and host of "words matter," the best pod cast in america. so, first of all, i watched all of oprah's events yesterday. oprah has become obama and obama has become oprah. but they are really undeterred
by trump's -- they are embodying michelle obama's when they go low, we go high. the difference is they want that to translate to big victories. >> oprah yesterday just really blew my mind in how she was so inspirational. and she was urging everyone to be part of something that's bigger than themselves and it's bigger than their day-to-day sacrifice that's about our ancestors' sacrifice, about their ancestors' sacrifice. and that's something you just never see in donald trump's rhetoric. it's not ever about serving your country. >> it's not about anybody but him. >> it's always about him. so that's why it's refreshing to hear a message that's about what you can do for other people. what you can do for your country and make yourself better in the process, too. >> the other thing that's remarkable about obama. seeing sort of each party's best surrogates on the stump is, if you've won twice, like obama has, you are really good at this. and you are made better by the
hecklers. i watched that speech and his whole vibe changed. you want to fight? i've still got fight in me. >> he's a game night player. he waited for the lights to go on for him to step into his game. in this case it was the hecklers. and so dissident, his tone, his energy versus what we're seeing from the current president. president trump is all about grievance and anger and trump -- and obama is much more about hope and trying to uplift the people he's talking to. the cynical take of the democrats would be president obama not running again. oprah winfrey, at least not now is not a candidate. they don't seem to have a current political figure who perhaps can run for office, run for president in a couple years who popossesses that same charisma and energy. >> you laugh out loud when we were playing that clip. >> it's not only aberration from what we're seeing from this president but it's also not representative of what we're seeing on the stump from democrats. it's a really different tone. i mean, you know, avenatti is
not giving that speech. he's saying, not only will i lock up trump. i'll bring my own handcuffs. so we're seeing on the left, eric holder, when they go low, we'll kick them. hillary, we can't be civil. there's an energy on the left for, we're sick of this unity crap. we're sick of the hope and change. we want blood. >> but the brightest stars in this cycle are gillum, who, i think, has embodied a lot of obama's vibe. beto. and stacey abrams. so i wouldn't put avenatti in a front-runner category. >> no, that's totally fair. i guess i just see some of the other figures who are sort of emerging. >> there's that tension. >> we're seeing a breakthrough. the democrats i've spoken to are saying, look. in the -- three months ago, six months ago we would have said don't talk about trump. talk about the economy. talk about health care, the plans that we have. now they said now we have to say that this is a vote against bigotry. we have to say that this is a vote against -- this is a vote
for a better view of our nation than what republicans are putting forward. the message keeps changing, but they are adapting to what the president is doing. >> i think that's exactly right. and i guess my point was not to paper over the tension on the left, which is -- i think we'd spend more time talking about it if the right wasn't hijacked by trump and trumpism to the point you have prominent republicans writing, vote democrat for the future of this country. rick wilson and mike gerston and others. they've figured out how to marry some of the best things about president obama with a tougher message. gillum's best line of the cycle was not, i'm not saying you're a racist. i'm just saying the racists say you're a racist. >> that's essentially what obama did at the white house correspondents dinner that notoriously might have helped propel us to where we are today but using -- making fun of the ignorance. making fun of the bigotry.
not letting them some up to your level and looking down on them. and i thought that was what andrew gillum did in that debate because he wasn't dignifying ron desantis' bigotry. >> and there's no one that embodies trump that's running, i don't think in a house race or senate race or gubernatorial race more than desantis. let me read something that eugene scott wrote about gillum. gill sum viewed as a successor of former president obama's legacy. and obama's visit seems to show that. it is clear, perhaps obvious to trump that gillum could do great harm to trump's ajepd agenda in florida. if he loses those independents who voted for him, he may not get that back in 2020. gillum could be a leader in the region's rejection of trumpism in favor of a world view that afears include many of the
people trump wants to exclude. jeb and rick scott the last time a republican was elected. >> he refers to himself as a florida resident. he spends part of the year there because of mar-a-lago. he knows how essential florida was to his 2016 victory. and that was the place where those of us on the campaign trail would see some of that energy and those last weeks where you sort of think, wait a minute, he's got a real shot. the red hats coming out to the rallies. and, you know, i remember last week or so of the campaign, a colleague of mine was with hillary in miami and i was with trump in tampa and there was 15,000. that was one of the places you could see the ground swell of energy. particularly with polls suggesting he's slipping in the midwest, florida becomes that much more important for his election campaign. desantis is a trump light. that he'd take this loss personally if that were to happen. he's been there campaigning and he's going to campaign in the
georgia gub torerernatorial rac. how much skin in the game does trump think he has in the results tuesday night? >> a lot. and particularly for those candidates, as jonathan mentioned, he's invested himself in and boasted about having boosted them up. desantis, camp. >> call him a loser wednesday if -- >> he'll find something. but what he's doing already is sort of picking his targets and distance -- he's kind of already doing that. >> hedging. >> i don't think you'll see trump wrap his arms around morrisey in the last few days. that's sort of -- he's cut him loose. ohio, they're not there for the senate race. that's a gubernatorial visit. that's so they can lock that in as a political operation for 2020. so some of these decisions are very much looking to 2020. >> we shouldn't expect him to accept any of the responsibility for any defeats. >> he's already said he won't. >> he told us that he wouldn't.
if they were to lose the house, he wouldn't accept responsibility. and the white house has made it clear. >> if they win, he gets the credit. >> all the credit. >> the white house is rolling out this last campaign blitz. it's a couple gubernatorial races but it's all the senate. he's trying to keep the senate. he's punting the house and won't take responsibility. after the one break, the one thing that tests a candidate is his or her response to unyielding negativity from an opponent. beto's response is betting big on those better angels. we'll show you how that's paying off, next. a migraine hope
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"look what she's accomplished... she authored the ban on assault weapons... pushed the desert protection act through congress, 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 young mothers with their young children who are fleeing the deadliest countries in the hemisphere doing what any human being would do in the same situation. so meeting that low level of apprehension and that kind of suffering and people trying to lawfully claim asylum with wa d walls, militarization, fear, paranoia. that's not us.
that's not this country. if the president doesn't get it then the people of texas do. so as we continue to vote during early voting which lasts through tomorrow and on the 6th of november, we'll decide the future of this country. and it will be a far more positive one. we'll live in the best traditions our values, our interests, in a way that's simply not reflected in the rhetoric from the president right now. >> that was texas democratic senate candidate beto o'rourke betting on them to reject ted cruz. his opponent ted cruz is going all in on the caravan hysteria and using it to attack his opponent. here's what he tweeted this morning. two basic questions every reporter should ask beto today. one, should the caravan be allowed to cross illegally into texas? beto refuses to answer. and, two, did your campaign dollars illegally fund their doing so. and a super pac supporting cruz is out with this ad attacking beto. >> the caravan is coming. some say criminals among them. but beto o'rourke cheering them
on. welcome in. stay awhile. don't be paranoid, beto tells us. >> nbc's garrett haake joins the conversation from murphy, texas, north of dallas where beto is talking to voters. there's nothing reporters hate more than being told by campaigns what questions to ask the candidates. >> yeah, we love that one, nicolle. >> tell us what's going on there on the ground. is beto's popularity nationally, the fact he's captured the imagination of democrats across the country, of independents across the country because he's doing so well in such a deeply red state, is that a mirage or is this still something you'll watch on tuesday? you talked to democrats and republicans in texas who say there's something going on when you look at the early voting, you look at the turnout and projected turnout among young voters. he may have grown the pie and grown the universe of people especially for a midterm. >> well, that's the only way he can win down here.
yeah, i think when you're down here on the ground there's a sense there's something grassroots happening. this is not simply a mirage and it's not simply a national movement that's found a local person to pour their attention to. this line of people are all here for a small rally at a park with beto waiting in line to take a selfie with him. this happens at every stop. you talk about growing the pie. to win in texas, he has to create a constituency that doesn't really exist here. not just democrats who have been democrats frustrated democrats in texas their whole lives. he has to peel off moderate republicans and convince first-time voters to come out. texas has some of the worst voter turnout numbers of any state and activate hispanic voters who are incredibly numerous but not well organized. this isn't like nevada where you have the culinary union that drives turnout. it's been this scattered group of voters who are the opposition to republicans who have controlled this state, basically my entire life.
and the o'rourke campaign is trying to build something essentially from scratch to turn that into a real movement. and they are doing it without a pollster, without the kind of dial tested politics that we're used to seeing. essentially doing it by the candidate's feel and by knowing the fact that the current democratic coalition in texas was never going to be enough to win anything. so they have to create their own. >> one of the variables in texas is that a lot of texans who were part of the sort of bush texas republican movement hate ted cruz. so ted cruz divides texas republicans. >> yes, and the irony, of course, is that if he does lose, donald trump will have had something to do with it because trump wrecked him in the republican primary. no one did more damage to ted cruz's political career and political future than president trump. in the republican primaries he obliterated him, and i remember being at the republican convention in 2016 at that
moment when ted cruz did not endorse donald trump. he needed security to leave that room. it was just the visceral reaction to him and i -- there's still a little echoes of it and you hear it around the country. so it's a bizarre thing seeing the president campaign for him. >> i have also been reporting on it and, garrett, you jump in here, too. let me start with kim atkins on the abbott, the republican governor of texas. the abbott/beto voter. there is something that voters in states like texas and florida sometimes and in the old days when i was young, california, the reagan people some days, that view their states as purple. they see themselves as citizens of purple states and they will split their tickets and vote for republican and democrat. >> massachusetts, where my paper is they love a democratic legislature and republican governor there. it's not just in the south. and you do have that happening there. but i want to highlight a little bit something that garrett was talking about which is an issue not just in texas but elsewhere for democrats.
at a time where they are trying to motivate minority voters because -- presidential candidates if you look at those polls. presidential democrats never get the majority of white voters. they have majority minority voters and have to motivate those folks in the midterms to get some of these wins. but there's often no infrastructure there because a lot of these voters have been written off. where's the latino vote going to be in texas and it's unclear. it's because latino voters are usually considered unlikely voters. not a lot of emphasis placed on them. they aren't the ones that get the door knocking or polled. and they feel left behind and what's the point of me getting out when nobody is speaking to me anyway. that's a huge problem that could potentially be part, if beto o'rourke loses that could be part of that. >> let me ask you about that, garrett. what is the beto campaign doing in invisible ink that we can't see from my perch in new york or even where you are in texas.
have they borrowed any of the obama presidential campaign strategy of trying to win, you know, 20 or 30 states? is there a turnout operation? have they borrowed technological operations from the dnc? what is their ground game? what does it look like? >> if they borrowed anything thematically it's from the, you have to show up and give these people a reason to vote for you. o'rourke has been to every one of texas' more than 250 counties. spent a lot of time in the rio grande valley. it's four hours from anywhere. it's 80% hispanic area. it's exactly what your last g t guest was just talking about. folks here feel they haven't been paid attention to. in terms of turnout operation, they had to build everything from scratch. there are hundreds of pop-up offices around the state that were built by and for the o'rourke campaign because they didn't exist here. this was not -- this has not been a state that's been seriously contested at a statewide level in 20-plus years. and the republican side, you
talked about governor abbott, his re-election campaign, his campaign sort of never stopped from his last election. the cruz folks are essentially relying on abbott's infrastructure here on the ground. abbott has been popular. his handling of hurricane harvey has been widely praised. there are those abbott/o'rourke voters who feel like ted cruz went national, went off and ran for president. got beat up by president trump and maybe he's not as in touch with texas so there's an opportunity to take advantage of all of that. it was fallow ground here in texas for the o'rourke campaign. they're surprised it's as much of a dogfight as it looks like it's going to be in the last few days. >> i hear from folks in and around austin and dallas and in and around houston which i know are the more purple and bluish parts of the state but they see o'rourke signs in places they've never seen. yard signs. so the science of yard signs. it's not a science at all but just more anecdotal information as we head into the final weekend. garrett, thank you for spending
time with us. we're so glad you're there. up next, an eerie quiet from russia in the days before elections has some intelligence officials worried that it may be the calm before the storm. so lionel, what does being able to trade 24/5 mean to you? well, it means i can trade after the market closes. it's true. so all... evening long. ooh, so close. yes, but also all... night through its entirety. come on, all... the time from sunset to sunrise. right. but you can trade...
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- she outsmarts me every single time. - checkmate! you wanna play again? - anncr: prevagen. healthier brain. better life. the biggest mystery of the midterms according to "the new york times," where are the russians? david sanger reports on the eerie calm from the nation that sowed unprecedented discord the last time we went to the polls. while some say they believe vladimir putin is sitting out this election, the scrutiny is intense. the argument goes. and 470 house and senate races make it just too hard for the russians to figure out their interests, much less manipulate the outcome. still others find the quiet deeply disturbing, perhaps a sign of a plan to make a last-minute effort to convince voters that their ballots might not be counted or counted correctly. jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and pentagon, now an msnbc analyst.
i want your thoughts on the report. first, why would the russians have to sort of knock themselves out? donald trump seems to have, one, ticked off most items on vladimir putin's to-do list. he's publicly so pro russia, so pro-putin and seems to be doing all the work of sowing discord all by himself. that was the work the russians did using our social media technologies. donald trump seems to do that from the podium on the campaign trail himself. >> color me skeptical about this analysis. i think you're right. number one possibility is the russians got what they wanted and they're precisely happy with the status quo. number two is bob mueller has done a good job naming and shaming not just the internet research agency but the russian intelligence officers and russia has been deterred. the most likely scenario is the russians are not going to fight the next war the same way they fought the last one. what do i mean by that. they're not necessarily going to just hack and dump e-mails from one campaign at that time the
hillary clinton campaign, because here they would have to fight on so many different fronts. it's very likely they are still very active in social media creating fake personas, sowing discord. very active on social media sites. and we don't know and this is obviously the most scary, we don't know the extent to which they've been active in altering voter rolls and have the capacity to alter voter tabulation. >> jeremy, it also seems like so many of the forces who still have the courage, the political courage to stand up to vladimir putin are no longer really on the field. bob corker who championed and ultimately shamed the white house into supporting sanctions is retiring. he'll be out of office in a matter of weeks. we've lost john mccain who was perhaps the strongest and loudest and most powerful skeptic and critic of vladimir putin. other than the president, what else does vladimir putin have to navigate around in our politics? >> well, there may be some new russia sanctions on the horizon, but i don't think they're going
to take a bite out of russia. as you noted, russia's gotten what it wants out of the trump administration. trump has denigrated nato and the g7. g-7, dissing our allies on the way from the summit. and of course, he's let the assad regime stay in power in syria. he's allowed russia to get away with the murder of a supposed intelligence asset in the uk. he's emboldened countries that are allied with russia's allies in syria, like iran. i think you're right fundamentally, russia has gotten a lot out of this administration. their goal is really going to be focused on 2020 to keep donald trump elected. >> what would you expect? you talked about the russians sort of innovating beyond what they did. not going to hack a dnc server again. they're going to do something more audacious. when we talk about massive intelligence failures, we talk about the failure of imagination before 9/11. we talked, i think people who came out of the obama
administration, national security agencies talked about choking, i think was the blind quote in a "washington post" analysis several months later. what are we failing to imagine that the russians would have the audacity to do in your estimation? >> i think our achilles heel is voter registration. every state, every jurxz, there has to be produced a list of who is eligible to vote. bracket if that makes sense, why do we need that in the day and age of biometrics and other ways to authenticate people's identity and age. that's a weak link because those have to be connected to a network, to the internet, and that's an area where the russians can manipulate and alter those voter rolls. >> how psyched are the russians that we're sitting here, and i don't assume they watch this show, but they we can't even think of anything left for donald trump to do for vlad. >> they have clearly been incredibly successful with 2016 and all the chaos that they
wrecked havoc during that election, and now the fact that they're seemingly on their heels a little bit and sitting this one out, which we don't really know, but seemingly, that puts everyone on edge, too, just because we don't know what -- the possibility is so terrible of what they could be doing. >> i'm with jeremy, i'm skementical this is the whole picture. if robert mueller were about to dump a report, one of your reported there was going to be a report that included articles of impeachment, that you could still see a massive russian disinformation campaign and smear effort to delegitimize who might threaten their man in the white house. >> there's no step to show they wouldn't take that step. the president of the united states has never admonished them. he never said to russia, don't you ever do this again. we'll take drastic repercussion steps if you do. and we still don't know, as we were just talking about, we
still don't know what putin and trump talked about for their two-hour secret meeting in helsinki. they're supposed to meet next week for a little while in paris. they're going to be there for the anniversary of the end of world war i. we had john bolton say vladimir putin will be invited to the white house some time next year. he's very, very keen on making this as close a relationship as possible and if that's the case, he's not going to take those steps to really whack russia around and tell them to stay out of our business. >> jeremy bash, how could this get worse? >> well, i think it could get worse if the secret diplomacy continues and impinged on things like nuclear weapons. we saw the president announce he wanted to withdraw from the intermediate nuclear forces treaty signed in 1987. if trump and putin's launch and secret negotiating channel and they strike a sacred deal that both sides would massively increase their nuclear weapons, that's a very dangerous recipe for both countries and our world.
>> you scared me a little bit, but i'm glad to see you. coming up, donald trump flipping the script when it comes to the question about his rhetoric might have contributed to the recent spate of violence. we'll bring you his latest accusation. it won't surprise you. that's next. , right? , right? fact is, there have been twenty-six in the last decade. allstate is adapting. with drones to assess home damage sooner. and if a flying object damages your car, you can snap a photo and get your claim processed in hours, not days. plus, allstate can pay your claim in minutes. now that you know the truth... are you in good hands? makeup now optional. new aveeno® maxglow™ infusion drops with kiwi to lock moisture. and soy to even skin tone. unleash dewy, glowing skin from within. new aveeno® maxglow™. i'm ray
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and you know what. the people that support trump and the people that support us, which is a lot of people, most people, many people, those people know when a story is true and they know when a story is false. and i'll tell you what. if the media would write correctly and write accurately and write fairly, you would have a lot less violence in the country. >> it's galling. galling, and it's undermined by what he said to you. he said to you, he says enemies of the people, the press are enemies of the people because it's a effective political line. he doesn't believe what he said. let's fact check it because i'm triggered now. most people don't support donald trump. not even enough people support you, mr. president, for you have to have written a victory speech on election night. his coalition is so small, he didn't think he would win on election night. what is wrong with him? >> mr. swan? >> you just interviewed him on this topic.
>> so he does -- i challenged him on one thing. he does actually believe that the fake news -- like -- >> he gave -- we didn't take his speech yesterday because it's fake news. fake news is what he does. >> it's funny because i think you know what i mean. he believes things in the moment and then can believe something completely different -- >> when jim vandehei said you scare the crap out of me when you talk about -- >> there's no such thing as objective reality. >> for him. >> for him. >> for the rest of us, there is. >> for him, obviously. because for him, it's whatever it takes to win, not just the week but that moment or that minute or that interaction. and questions of truth, falsehood, they don't enter the equation. >> well, the truth -- so here's the deal. the truth is on the ballot on tuesday, and he has made clear that he is the only purveyor of fake news. >> he, as you said, he exists in
his own truth. he's done this his whole career. trump tower is 58 stories tall, but he lists it as skate because he thinks it sounds better. in terms of suggesting the media is responsible, this is him once again taking the argument against him and flipping it on the other person. >> more big lies. too many to count. my thanks to jonathan swan, kimberly atkins, jonathan lemi e lemire, and elise jordan. i'm going to be at work. i'm going to be here. that does it for this hour. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" starts now. >> you got that right. the 96 hours. get ready. >> i'm going to watch it on my phone. >> get ready to get sedated. thank you, nicolle. happy friday. >> if it's friday, 96 hours to go. and i want to be sedated.