my thanks to jacqui, alisa and jonathan. that does it for our who. "mpt daily" starts now with my friend casey in for chuck. hi, casey. >> hi! nafrpgs to all of you and if it's tuesday, you're going the wrong way. good evening. welcome to "mpt daily." i'm kasie hunt in washington in for chuck todd, who has had a day straight out of "planes, trains and automobiles," the movie. races are still being called, votes are still being counted and the message from the midterms is getting louder, tone it down, mr. president. as you might guess, the president is doing the opposite.
democrats just won a senate seat in arizona for the first time in 20 years. no doubt helped by the president's anti-immigration policies and his vendettas against jeff flake and john mccain. democrats are expanding their gains in the house as more races are being called. we're projecting a 38-seat gain right now. no doubt helped by the suburban revolt against the president's behavior. but also helped by the president's beef with republicans, like mark sanford, who was openly critical of trump behavior. mr. trump endorsed sanford's primary opponent, and now that reliably red seat is held, you guessed it, by a democrat. democrats flipped seven governors' mansions too including kansas, where the president helped oust the incumbent republican during the primary, choosing loyalist and voter fraud firebrand chris coback instead. now you guessed it again, a democrat is governor. but the president is clearly not reading the midterm results as a
mandate to tone it down because he's trumping it up. today he mocked and belittled one of our closest allies, saying emanuel macron suggests building its own army to protect europe against u.s., china and russia. but it was germany in world wars i and two. how did that work out for france? they were starting to learn german in paris before the u.s. came along. pay for nato or not. it's been one week since the election and the president lashed out at an ally. he's trying to undermine the election in florida, he fired his toirattorney general, repla him with a mueller critic, being denounced in court and he maybe about to oust of chief of staff and homeland security significant. his white house decision to revoke a press pass will be in court today. i think we can go on and on. the president's temperament,
impulsiveness and personal vendettas look like they might create very real long-term problems for his presidency and party. to talk about all of this, i'm joined by tonight's panel, nbc news justice reporter, and the national political reporter with bloomburg news and "the washington post's" chief correspondent dans balls. dan, i want to start with you because you observed many a president in periods of both good fortune but also stress. this president now in a period of incredible stress. i think we all knew what republicanps shorthand as the tweets were a problem, his temperament was potentially a problem but it seemed to come through in these results. >> it did, and it's been striking to me in the wake of the election, which obviously has not been as good as he had hoped and it's been very good for democrats, particularly in the house, is the degree to which he has amped it up as suggested in the opening. the behavior that he has shown in the days after the election,
the attacks last week on three african-american correspondents, the way he handled himself in paris over the weekend, the way he has kind of gone underground in other ways, suggests he feels extremely embattled. he's pulled in, that in one way or another, he doesn't quite know the environment that he's in, and so the behavior that we've seen on and off over the first two years of his presidency seems more intense now. i don't know where that's going to end up, i don't know where it's going. i don't know the decisions he may be making but it seems like we're in a period of instability with the president and i know we've said that before but this is particularly striking. >> julia ainsley, some of the decisions this president makes when he is under pressure are ones that can get him into further real jeopardy. >> that's exactly right. people i have been talking to today are worried about the next step he might take to get them in further jeopardy is to fire
kirstjen nielsen from dhs. we saw reports leaking out overnight, it's not a matter of if, it's just when she leaves. and a lot of people have said, it might not be she's been our best dhs secretary ever, but that this will just put trump in a position where he loses the person who he had there to handle the problem that he made such a big deal over the campaign. so if this caravan was something we had to put 15,000 troops on the board are for to form that human wall he wanted, if that was such a big deal, why would he then fire the person in charge of that effort? so it seems like dana is saying, he's doubling down on his strategies and actually shutting out the advice from some of the people who may want to say, let's learn from the midterms and come from a strategy that can somehow consolidate or unify this country. >> instead he's facing potentially very hard, difficult battles in congress over new pointes potentially to some of these jobs. the attorney general comes to mind. he still has yet to name kind of a permanent attorney general.
and it comes as he's facing this potential onslout of subpoenas from democrats and really has other stuff to worry about. >> right. i'm increasingly skeptical of how much it matters if he has a white house shake-up, even if his senior staff comes in, no one will impose structure observe him or take away the twitter phone or tone down his rhetoric. but these positions are very important, they have legal constitution to cute laws and have to be confirmed by the senate. this is where the final senate vote, democrats could have a real impact. he will have to pick people who can win some senators who will be facing difficult re-election battles in 2020. the map changes a lot. the big message i would say out of the 2018 election is suburbs are tilting away from president trump. white college graduates in particular who voted for him by three points in 2016, they voted for democrats by, i believe, eight points in 2018. that's an enormous shift and that's unusual and why democrats have been able to pick up seats
in places like orange county and suburbs around dallas and houston that have traditionally supported republicans. >> my republican sources call it suburban erosion. it looks more than erosion to me. i'm glad you mentioned 2020. axis is reporting looking at the doomsday scenario for the president in 2020. there has been in some ways the assumption trump is likely to get re-elected in 2020 but dan balz, there are serious warning signs particularly across the west with the states that handed him the presidency. >> there are. there are warning signs in michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania, which are the three states that secured his electoral college majority. democrats won a senate seat -- held a senate seat and won the governors of wisconsin. in michigan they picked up the governor's seat. in pennsylvania and -- and held senate in pennsylvania, they held both. but if you look at the midwest
at large, it looks as though ohio is moving away from democrats. ohio's been our reliable swing state presley. it looks less so today. iowa you can read in both directions. donald trump did extremely well there in 2016. kim reynolds was re-elected as governor but they lost a pair of house seats. you could cyou can figure out w going on there. i think it's hard to read the 2020 electoral map. either party can say it doesn't look too bad to us or read it and say we've got problems we have to deal with. democrats have got to figure out florida better than they have. these races are extremely close in florida. we will see how the recounts go in both the senate and gubernatorial race but florida remains a problem. the pickup in arizona opens up the possibility arizona comes in play in a more serious way in 2020 for the democrats. there's a lot of mixed messages on the electoral map right now.
>> arizona is an interesting one especially since republicans were trying to push martha mcsally to fight back harder and some of the language they were using was almost conspiracy theory oriented. let's look at martha mcsally's concession video because it really struck something of a different tone. >> i just called krysten sinema and congratulated her on becoming arizona's first female senator after a hard-fought battle. i wish her all success as she represents arizona in the senate. i'm convinced arizona is the best state in the country and our best days are still yet to come and i'm going to continue to pray for our success. thank you so much. >> i don't know about you but i would like to see a dog in every political ad going forward. >> amazing. very well done. >> let's talk for a second and focus in on the fact this is a seat that's now going to be held by a democrat, krysten sinema. it was vacated because president trump pushed jeff flake out of there after flake criticized him. his sort of lack of impulse control here is really why we're
in this boat. >> that's exactly what i was thinking when we were talking about the people around him, the pundits brought up who he's pushing out. let's think about who the president is listening to now and who he's not. he's listening to steven miller, not kirstjen nielsen. he's listening to john bolton, not john kelly. and each decision point he goes with the more extreme rhetoric. when it comes to the 2020 campaign, i can't imagine he would go in a different route, even if it means these kind of consequences we're seeing in arizona. >> the common thread there, he listens to people who already think like him, right, whether it's his staffers in the white house or cabinet secretaries or people who don't think like him like kirstjen nielsen had high-profile disagreements with him about family separation as reported and i think we see the genesis of that. to the point of realignment, i think this is driven along with the suburbs moving, metropolitan areas are moving increasingly blue. one thing president trump is doing for the party that's beneficial is running up the score enormously in rural areas and small towns and that is why
a place like i hope, which has a large share of white voters without college degrees, is tilting into the red column. we see arizona and georgia, the democrats are keeping a very close eye on. i don't know how much they're going to invest in 2020 on that because they see they're more likely in the upper midwest. and florida, if in a very favorable democratic environment, they're doing this in the governor's race and senate race and they might lose both, probably at least one, that's not good news for the democrats in florida in 2020. >> we're talking about who the president listens to. the tweets today about macron, dan balz, were really quite something. he talks about the army, which we read through in the opening. he's criticizing a man suffering from very low approval rating in france with high unemployment. by the way, is he there's no more country more nationalist than france, very proud people, rightly so. he writes make france great again. and in the weekend he skips the cemetery that macron organized to honor american veterans.
there are questions whether the president was emotionally reacting to his own frustrations and decided he didn't want to go out in the rain. you know, the way we read this a lot of times day to day, dan, it can be sometimes hard to keep track of the magnitude of these events. but what happened in europe seemed pretty remarkable to me and it's kind of pushback against so many years of history with our allies. >> yeah, when you think about presidents who have gone to europe to commemorate moments, and i think the most famous is reagan's d-day commemoration when he talked about the boys at point dehawk in a speech that had a lot of people in that audience crying, this president has abdicated that kind of role of projecting u.s. leadership and unity in world war ii and in world war i. and the thing that -- as i watched that and as i thought about it, the thing that has struck me is when the president is with a group of world leaders, he's very uncomfortable
because he's not the sole center of attention. we know this president likes attention. he likes to be the center of attention. he finds ways to make himself that. and when he's with these other leaders, he has a great difficulty doing that. the speech that president macron gave, a harsh rebuke on nationalism, generated the response that we've seen from this president before. when he is attacked, he attacks back very, very hard. that's what we've seen today in what he has done with emanuel ma chrome. >> julia, how does this sit -- does this play into the frustration with john kelly? john kelly is a retired marine general who is quite frankly used to taking a different tone and approach to these things? >> that's true. if you think about make america great again, if you want to take that in what would be its best connotation, you would think about the days when the u.s. was entering world war i and world war ii, the kind of thing that's led led someone like john kelly into the military and his son into the military. i understand after a big blowup at the white house a few weeks
ago, he went to his son's gravesite. that's the way he sees america, and that would fly in the face of it. another piece of reporting i didn't get a chance to put out today on that trip, is it true you told the president he couldn't drive to this place, when they couldn't take the flights, and i got a decline to kmen comment there. you would think they don't want to weigh in that but you would think they would come out and say it wasn't a fact. >> and macron saying i see what nationalism did to my country all of those centuries ago. >> and western world. >> the french felt it a little more than we felt on the mainland here. but there's also a consequence to the united states and the american president having a low approval rating in countries like france. the french president has a political incentive to speak out against the united states. that's a dynamic that we don't think a lot about here but i think it's really important to consider. >> for sure. stick with us. up next the trump legal team is set to answer robert mueller's
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we have some breaking news. president trump's legal team is close to completing written answers to questions from special counsel robert mueller. a source familiar with the matter tells nbc news that the answers will only pertain to russian interference in the 2016 election, not obstruction of justice. this news comes as legal action is escalating over president trump's move to install matthew whitaker as acting attorney general. maryland attorney general, brian frosh, is suing over the
appointment, calling whitaker, quote, unqualified and unconfirmed partisan." he's urging a federal judge to declare rod rosenstein as a temporary replacement instead. that would be a blow to president trump who forced sessions out last week in favor of someone critical of the mueller investigation. i'm joined now by nbc news justice correspondent pete williams and our panel is back. pete, i, of course, want to start with you. how real is this lawsuit in maryland? how likely is it that it will actually result in the change to the leadership at the o.j.? and what more do we know about the questions the white house is sending to bob muler? >> i know nothing about the questions bob mueller is sending to the white house. i will put that one off the table. well, maryland thinks this is a very serious issue here. this involves a lawsuit over obamacare. it was filed by the state in september and among the defendants were jeff sessions
because he sent a letter to the house saying i'm not going to defend obamacare and maryland wants the judge to rule that the justice department needs to defend it, that it remains good law. there's a companion case going on in texas, some state is trying to do just the opposite. so that's why this is happening in this case. and what they say is whitaker is unqualified to serve as a matter of federal law, that there's a federal law that says when there's a vacancy in the office of attorney general, the deputy takes over, that the federal vacancy, the format the president used to put whitaker in there, only counts when there's something like the j justice department doesn't have. secondly, they say it's unconstitutional because to serve in a cabinet level office like this you have to be confirmed by the senate and they say there are a number of other people at the justice department including the deputy attorney general, solicitor general, that the president could have chosen
and didn't and because he didn't, they say it's unconstitutional. they filed this, asked for a temporary restraining order. the judge could act without hearing from the other side but the other side we will probably hear from tomorrow because the justice department's legal counsel, we believe, will issue an opinion on if the president had authority to do this and i'm strongly suggesting it will be yes, they believe he could do this. and it was written in 2007, toward the end of the george w. bush administration that reached the same conclusion about the president's power to use this law to fill a vacancy. so there are two questions here. we will see how it works out. >> dan balz, how unusual is this to have somebody who has been so openly political in his sort of prior remarks and things like that to slot into a position like this at the justice department? >> it's very unusual to have it in the justice department. i mean, you have partisans in other cabinet officers certainly but the justice department is
supposed to be independent in many ways of the president. you can debate whether it has been that way over the years. but that certainly is the accepted view of the way the justice department should work. and have somebody who has had the kinds of expressed opinions that he has had raises real questions and i think the democrats are going to continue to push this and the maryland attorney general, who happens to be a democrat, is pushing it as well. i think there's going to be tremendous pressure on mr. whitaker as long as he is in that position in one way or another, people are going to be questioning going after him trying to remove him, trying to constrain him. i think the big worry is he would do something in one way or another to impede the mueller investigation, and that the people who are trying to stop that are going to be very vigorous. >> julia, what's your sense to the reaction inside the justice department among employees about this appointment and morale inside the building? >> the first thing i heard is they anticipated it. it was not a surprise that the president would not want to pick rod rosenstein. he's come under just as much f.
not more criticism, as sessions for the way he did his job in his appointment of robert mueller. but they were disappointed. i think for a lot of people they thought they don't want their justice department, their fbi to be in this political crosshairs as frankly it has been since jim comey announced dropping the clinton investigation. they wanted to pull out of that position for years, and this just puts them back in it again. i think there are definitely some disgruntled people. >> pete williams, if i could go back to you, chuck schumer is just on the senate floor saying democrats are demanding whitaker recuse himself from oversight of the russia investigation. what would the parallels be? jeff sessions obviously felt that he was required to recuse himself, that obviously set off the president's ire. we don't have any indications whitaker is going to recuse himself but what are the things that he has to from the legal perspective consider here? >> we know now that he is going to seek the advice of the justice department's ethics
office. so that's something that we didn't know last week but now the justice department says he will ask, and they will give him that advice. whether he follows it or not, we'll see. he i think doesn't have to but if he doesn't and it leaks out, it could be a problem. it's different for him. i think the question that everybody's wondering is this, it's one thing to express a view about something when you're on the outside and you frankly have no idea what's going on in the investigation, it's quite another to come into office and then get briefed on it. now remember as the chief of staff to jeff sessions, he wouldn't know what the investigation was doing, because he's walled off from it just as the attorney general, his boss, was. i think a lot of people want to give him the benefit of the doubt and say it's one thing to mouth off as -- like we do on television, it's quite another to do the work in the justice department and apply the evidence and the law. nonetheless, it's a serious question and he says he will
seek the ethics office guidance. >> republicans so far have reacted with something of a shrug to this. they have said, corey gardner told chuck on sunday that the mueller investigation should continue unimpeded but at the same time others have essentially said, it's not really an issue. we have chuck grassley talking about this from earlier today. we take a look. >> do you think mr. whitaker needs to recuse himself from the russian investigation? >> i would say if this is -- there may be reasons but if the reason you're asking me is because as a private citizen he gave his opinion on certain things, then the answer is no. >> why? >> the answer is no because he was a private citizen. what's that that got to do with his official duties? >> there you go. the republicans essentially saying, this doesn't have much to do with it. >> there's definitely unease there you can sense.
they've seen the red flags being thrown up here and they've known his comments from the past. on the other hand there's a reluctance as we've seen over and over on republican lawmakers on capitol hill to directly take on the president and question his decisions. i think this is going to come down to how far the democrats push the issue. we have senator schumer demanding fund legislation that would protect the investigation to any interference by the ag. the democrats have a phil buster in the senate so they can push this fight and potentially shut down the government december 7th if they don't get what they want. they will be taking over the house of representatives in seven weeks. i think one way or another we're going to see a showdown over this and i don't see the demands dissipating the question, do republicans want to fight back? i did not sense a whole lot from the retire mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, to fight back. he said this will be a very interim appointment, which may be a hint to the white house. >> that's a very important aspect of this. if the president moves relatively swiftly to name a new attorney general, then you have
an entirely different situation. that's part of the calculation nobody knows because nobody know what's the president is thinking at this point about exactly who or the timetable for filling that vacancy. >> or it could go 210 days. that's a long limit when you think about this investigation. >> great points all around. pete williams, thank you so much. really appreciate your insight as always. panel, stay with us. still ahead, the sunbelt strikes a new democratic cord with its rhapsody in blue. we will talk to the senator ee leapt jacky rosen. plus, jilted by amazon. was the hg2 courtship a big tease for hopeful cities across america? hey there people eligible for medicare.
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welcome back. tonight i want to talk about suspense. suspense is defined as, quote, a state or feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen. we looked that up in our oxford english dictionary, which you can can buy on amazon. amazon knows a whole lot about suspense. last year the company announced it was soliciting bids from cities to become home to its new headquarters, hq2 they called it. 240 cities and towns applied. big cities, small cities, coastal cities, landlocked cities, cities of all shapes and sizes offering all manners of tax breaks and incentives. you name a fairly big american city, and chances are quite good they applied. and guess what? amazon has final zlieded where to put its new headquarters. brace yourself -- are you ready?
new york city and suburban washington, d.c., the epicenters of commerce and government. can you believe it? what are the odds? makes you wonder if the other 238 cities ever stood a chance at all. sorry, indianapolis. thanks for playing. good try, greenville, spartanville, south carolina, you're still a winner in our book. close but no cigar pawtucket central falls, rhode island. best of luck in the coming fiscal year. so new york city and washington, d.c. it is. hey, alexa, how do you define predictable? e predicta ble? 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... from, from... from darkness to light. ♪
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welcome back. with the news lasts night that krysten sinema is the apparent winner in arizona, democrats officially picked up two u.s. senate seats from republicans. both of them flipping from being held by a man to being held by a woman. the other pickup was in nevada, a state hillary clinton won where democrat jacky rosen beat incumbent republican dean
heller. and senator elect jacky rosen joins me now. senator elect, thank you so much for being here. it's great to have you. >> it is my pleasure, thank you. >> i want to start with the way that you ran your campaign. you were endorsed and you campaigned with bernie sanders, who is something of a progressive icon for the country. i covered his presidential campaign. do you think that's the future mold for democrats, both in senate races but also potentially in 2020 to run on that pro grisigressive line? >> i think the future mold for democrats especially in the west and nevada is be present in our states. as i went around our state listening to people over and over, whether rural or community, is they felt like they were not listened to. i think we need to go around and get the pulse on that. >> what is it about the united states is different when it comes to president trump? we saw your race, krysten sinema, also john, another
candidate who held on when others lost? >> i think nevada is an independent state. we have 2.9 million people. people feel they can get to know their elected officials. they see us in the grocery stores and shopping. instead of a big state like california, 40 million people, 2.9 million, you can know us. so they want someone who's going to advocate for the things that are important to them, health care, education, environment. look at the wildfires happening out west. it's terrible. people want to know that you're in their corner. >> the way that you're talking about this, it doesn't necessarily sound to me like you think this election was a referendum on president trump. how much was it about the president? >> i think there was a portion of it for sure because the other thing i heard is i really tried to run a positive campaign, giving people someone to vote for, thinking that we're better off when we're working towards goals instead of dividing people. and so i think it was a referendum on trump, it was a referendum on the divisive
politics. people are tired, tired of the anxiety. they want to be listened to and they want to have something to work towards. >> as you head into the senate and chuck schumer, who is the minority leader would like to be majority leader in 2020, took this photo with you and krysten sinema, called you guys the women of the west. my question, though, is about the -- what's going to unfold here in the coming months and also when you all take office. there are some conversations about trying to protect robert mueller, especially after mr. whitaker was selected as the acting attorney general. would you like to see democrats in the closing weeks of this session, obviously before you join, but would you like to see them hold up the funding package if it doesn't include protections for the special counsel? >> well, i think we have to talk about that, but i absolutely think we need to protect the mueller investigation. we have to let it follow through to its logical conclusion and see where that leads us. it's really important to our
constitution. it's important to our democracy, whether you're a democrat or republican. and so i think that some of committee -- new committee chairs, as the states will flip, especially in the house, are going to be thinking about how they best do that. >> would you consider voting for a partial shutdown of the government in there are not protections for robert mueller? >> i would have to see the whole bill that's written because i don't want to make people suffer back at home. people depend on their paychecks. people depend on their social security, all of those kinds of things. so i think behave to see what the whole package is. >> okay. how far do you think that the house should go in investigating trump when they flip over to democrats and those gavels, as you point out, switch and they suddenly have subpoena power? >> i have a great faith in adam shift and jerry sadler to run their committees and be great stewards to our democracy and think think they will make the right decisions as to what to subpoena about the president. >> are you worried they will overreach in a way that can hurt
democratic chances in 2020? >> no. >> not at all? >> no, i think they really care about protecting our democracy. no one is above the law. not even our president, whether he thinks so or not. it's important if we think about our future going forward, not just the trump presidency but presies in the future, we have precedent to stand on and remind us we don't have a king or dictator, we have a presidency and constitution and it needs to be followed. >> what do you think is number one legislative priority the democrats should pursue once they take the house and actually have some say in the legislative process in the way you haven't before? >> i can tell you the thing every single person talked to me about no matter what side of the aisle they're on, no matter where they're from, young or old is predicting pre-existing conditions, ten essential health benefits. every single one of us is one diagnosis away from a pre existing condition. people are frightened they will not get health care, afford prescription drugs and they
realize that suddenly they like those health benefits that were going to be taken away from them. >> is it going to be harder to run on that again in two or four years if people aren't afraid anymore because republicans don't control both houses of congress? >> well, i'm not sure. i think each time you run, there are different things going on in the world so you have to look at that. it certainly is a part of it. and what i will tell you is this, once we put in the affordable care act, people had a lot of issues about it, that's fine. they sat -- the republicans sabotaged it in congress, that's for sure. but now it's much harder to take away things. people want preventive care. being a woman should not be a pre-existing condition, pregnancy, all of those kinds of things. they want that in there. it's going to be very difficult for people to take it away and try to win on that bought that's something that affects each and every person. >> bernie sanders advocates medicare for all. do you think that should be the medicare platform in 2020, medicare for all? >> what i have actually think is
what i signed on in the house is the bill called medicaid buy-in option. i think -- >> essentially a public option? >> a public option. so the first thing we need to do is marketplace certainty act, be sure that we stabilize our reductions, reduce the price of prescription drugs. i introduced a bill to cap it $250 on an individual, $500 per family a month, and we need a public option. i think med okay buy-in is a little better because that serves awe womb to tomb. medicare is for senior population. i'm a former systems analyst. i look at the whole picture. medicaid does have a platform. if we tweak it and move it, it is a good platform we can move to right away. >> but you're not ready to go as far as medicare for all. >> not at this time. >> senator jacky rosen, thank you for coming in on what i know is a busy freshman orientation day. welcome back to school, i suppose. >> thank you very much. ahead, our 20/20 vision is getting blurry. the field is already starting to
shaquem get in here. take your razor, yup. alright, up and down, never side to side, shaquem. you got it? come on, get back. quem, you a second behind your brother, stay focused. can't nobody beat you, can't nobody beat you. hard work baby, it gonna pay off. you got this. with the one hundred and forty-first pick, the seattle seahawks select. alright, you got it, shaquem. alright, let me see. in tonight's "2020 vision," here's the latest from who democrats who may have their sights set on the white house. >> i will give it strong consideration about whether that is something i should do. >> i'm looking at it, i'm seriously looking at it. listen, i say the more the m merrier. let everybody get in. >> that's new york senator guild
brand and terry mcauliffe keeping their list on the name of democrats considering a run for president. they're part of a very crowded presidential field. mcauliffe himself estimated the number of democrats, quote, seriously thinking about it to be 30 or 40. the field, of course, includes former vice president joe biden, senator shared brown, connelly harris and cory booker. there are also governors steve bullock of montana and richard owe jetta, who just lost his congressional race in west virginia last week already announced his candidacy yesterday. and the list doesn't even include political newbies like michael avenatti and tom stier. do rib the republican field in 2016, the one so vast there had to be an undercard for the gop debate, the kids' table ready, 209 2020 democratic field might rival that number. so a tree falls on your brand-new car and totals it.
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time now for "the lid." the panel is back. we have a couple sort of talky topics here. one is senator -- the senate candidate cindy hide smith, senator cindy hyde-smith, i should say, who's in a runoff in tupelo, mississippi, shed in a campaign stop if he invited me to a public hanging, i would be in the front row. she was talking about one of her supporters. and that, of course, has offended a lot of people. and a reporter pressed her on this just in the last day or so. take a look at how she answered or didn't answer those questions. >> i would like to ask her about the public hanging comment. >> we put out a statement yesterday and we stand by that statement. >> can you expand on why you said it, what you meant by it and why people in the state should not see it as offensive. >> we put out the statement yesterday and it's available and
we stand by that statement. >> are you aware of mississippi's history of lynchings? >> i put out a statement yesterday and that's all i am going to say about it. i put out a statement yesterday, and we stand by the statement and that's all i'm going to say about it. i put out a statement yesterday. we stand by the statement. we did address it yesterday. thank you very much. >> just to be clear, her very short statement said that she rehr fered to an invitation speaking engagement used an exaggerated expression of regard and, quote, any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous. so dan balz, a very difficult situation that she's gotten herself into here. and clearly, how do you -- how do you even answer a question about this when you've said something like this? >> i think the simple thing is to say i made a mistake. i shouldn't have used those words. apologize for it. i know people are offended by it and move on and not try to put
out an an endine statement, the original statement was, and do what she did yesterday in kind of a robotic way refuse to answer any question or make any explanation of it. so she, you know, she made a bad mishandled it in the original statement that she issued, she further mishandled it in this effort. >> and so this is a situation where she's almost using a trumpian playbook of, never apologize or back down or anything like that. her opponent in this raunounoff african-american man, former cabinet secretary out of bill clinton. >> if it was four, eight years earlier, the thing to do would be to apologize, say you m misspoke, i didn't mean to offend anyone. in the trump era, there is both a permission structure to say things that are perceived as inflammatory and offend, and there's an expectation you don't apologize if you're on that side because he has morphed that into a sign of weakness rather than a sign of what might otherwise be
perceived as simple decency. especially when you're running against an african-american candidate. >> i think of the fallout. for minorities in this country who are worried about the government representing them. these are the same people who want to kneel at a national anthem because they don't feel represented. and just last week one of sessions' final things leaving the office of attorney general was to weaken the power of the justice department's consent decrees, which is their main tool to bring over police -- to bring over police departments who may be practicing patterned of racism and using excess brutality. so this is just another one of those points. you're absolutely right, there's not a need to apologize. she could have easily misspoken, but maybe the fact that she didn't say more, that actually speaks more to her original misspeaking. >> yeah, it's just stunning to me how the -- president trump has tried to change the standards by which we judge this
kind of speech. another story getting a lot of attention is the deputy national security adviser, top aide to john bolton in the white house, apparently, dan, clashing with melania trump. they put out a remarkable statement, the first lady's office says, it is the position of the office of the first lady that mivity ra decardel, the deputy adviser no long ever deserves the honor of serving in the white house. do you remember another instance where there was public condemnation by a first lady of somebody on her husband's staff? >> the only one that comes to mind, and it's not equivalent to this, is nancy reagan clashed with don regan when he was chief of staff. first ladies often give their husbands critical advice about people around them. >> instructions, perhaps? >> hiring and firing suggestions. but this was pretty extraordinary to see something
this explicit coming from the first lady's office. and ironically, she tweeted later this afternoon about this being world kindness day and how she had surprised visitors at the white house on world kindness day. so the disconnect there is pretty extraordinary. >> and this comes amid reports that john kelly has also clashed with melania trump, and that may be part of what is possibly accelerating his exit. >> it's possible. john kelly seems to have a lot of lives in this white house. i think his exit -- >> have we counted them? are we to nine yet? >> more than a cat. i would just say, once i saw that piece about melania and the way the first lady was putting out that statement, i messaged a former white house aide who i think has a pretty good handle on the place, i'm going to tell you what this person said. quote it's always been like this, i don't think people grasp how insane this white house is, unquote. he said this stuff used to happen but it didn't get out because it ended up being embarrassing for all sides. >> right. now they're using it as chess to try to air their grievances through us in the public.
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in case you missed it, it amazes me how two people can look at the same thing and see something completely different. some see last week's midterm results as victory for the white house and the gop. other says them as repudiation of the status quo, a demand for change. there is much to debate. but then there's this. >> from the trees rose a resounding voice, "i fear nothing." introducing the original trumpy bear. just find the secret zipper and pull out the flag blanket. show your patriotism and proudly display trumpian flag day. >> god bless america, and god bless trumpy bear. >> simply style his trademark hair and place him in his favorite chair. >> when america's great,
business is great. when business is great, i'm great. i love you, trumpy bear. >> that is trumpy bear. trumpy bear is a real fake bear. and that was a television ad. what is trumpy bear? is it a joke? it doesn't seem to be. is it for real? can any of us be sure? and therein lies the rub. the more you ponder trumpy bear, the more it gets stuck in the back of your brain. the more questions you have. is it a plush manifestation of our highest aspirations as a nation? a paragon of truth, patriotism, and hypo allergenic filler? a fluffy talisman for the great threat of unvanished jingoism? a mirror through which we stare back at us? our vulnerabilities rendered
into tcotsky form. we may never know anything about trumpy bear for sure except two things. he is uniquely, unabashedly american, and he's made in china. that's all for tonight. chuck will be back tomorrow. watch me on "k cdc" every sunday night at 7:00 p.m. eastern. "the beat with ari melber" live from miami starts right now. >> we'll be thinking about the bear paradox, thank you very much. we are coming to you live in florida again. legal fights suddenly throwing this recount into turmoil. here's the breaking news. senator bill nelson has officially filed a new federal lawsuit to try to extend the recount that's going on, the pitched battle in the state of florida, past the thursday deadline that you see in state law. there's no response yet from his