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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  December 5, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST

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19 times. michael cohenen spent 70 hours and don mcgahn spent 30 hours. that's 119 hours of pain for the trump orbit. >> jim vandehei for us, we will see you again on "morning joe" and axios a.m. in just a little bit. sign up for the newsletter, sign up. up.axios.com. >> that does it for us. "morning joe," everyone, starts right now. >> lock her up, that's right. yes, that's right. lock her up. it's unbelievable. it's unbelievable. >> when you have your staff taking the fifth amendment, taking the fifth so they're not prosecut
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prosecuted, it's disgraceful. >> five people around her have been given immunity to include her former chief of staff. when you have given immunity, that means you've probably committed a crime. >> let's put those clips into perspective. michael flynn could still get locked. roger stone is pleading the fifth and a long-time trump executive was granted immunity. we're going to get to that and the fury on capitol hill over the white house's whitewashing of a journalist's murder. the administration gave one story. the cia gave another. and it's being described as the difference between darkness and sunshine. welcome to "morning joe," everyone. it's wednesday, december 5th. with us, we have msnbc contributor mike barnacle. yeah. married to number eight in global finance, by the way, we'll get to that. columnist and associate of "the washington post," david ignatius. formerer u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama advance along with joe, willie
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and me. >> david, your name was dropped in some documents. tell us about that. >> so my name appeared on page two of the sentencing memo that was prepared by special counsel robert mueller describing how on january 12 of 2017 i wrote wrote that mike flynn, then heading to the white house, had had a call not disclosed with the russian ambassador, sergey kislyak on december 29 and i raised the question on whether that call, which is the same day that president obama announced sanctions on russia for meddling in our elections, flynn discussed whether the new administration would drop those sanctions. and that began a process that led finally to flynn's interview with the fbi, his lies to the fbi, his departure from the administration, all that we have seen. so what's interesting, it feels
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like a little moment of history to have been with the story. >> for those that don't remember so well about the campaign and flynn's role in it, michael flynn, as we were told all along, was the person that went with donald trump everywhere in the campaign. was around him all the time. staff members complained that he was at meetings he wasn't supposed to be in. and is what we heard from staff members was that they would fly michael flynn all over the country with donald trump because he would calm him down, made him feel a bit more substantial with the general around him and also would stop him from, quote, saying crazy things. >> right. well, actually, it was staff members and family members. we would ask, what is he doing there? they would see say he calms him down. and that carried into the white house when we went to the white house several tiles. he was literally in the doorway,
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holding papers, kind of lurking almost. but always there. even like during lunch he would just meander into the room. >> so a constant presence there. you have cohen, a constant presence around donald trump, as well. donald trump and the administration and his sad, sad apologists across the media can try to minimize these two roles, the two roles these people played. but, man, very significant. >> so let's get into the new court filings from the special counsel about former national security adviser michael flynn. in the heavily redacted memo, mueller's team says flynn has provided substantial assistance with several ongoing investigations and is recommending that he receive little or no prison time. that part is staggering, in my opinion. according to the memo, flynn has provided firsthand information about the content and context of
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interactions between the trump transition team and russian government officials. the document notes that flynn has met with the special counsel can's team 19 times and has provided them with documents and communications. the memo says flynn began providing documentation to the government not long after his cooperation. his early cooperation was particular willy valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight regarding events and issues under investigation by the special counsel's office. according to the memo, flynn's cooperation extends to a criminal investigation that is separate from mueller's probe. the next 22 lines in the document have been completely redacted. >> long-term relationship with donald trump and intimate to so many of the dealings, it makes
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him extraordinarily important witness and one that we also hear from the filings -- read in the filings also got other people testifying for the independent counsel's office. >> yeah. we learned that general flynn spoke to the special counsel's office 19 times. joyce advance, pvance, put that with the michael cohen, paul manafort, although his deal is now scrapped, with obviously. separately, allen wiselberg, he had an immunity deal in the michael cohen affair. in other words, the people closest to donald trump during the campaign and going back 30 years in the case of wiselberg have spoken to people trying to get to the bottom of whether or not there was collusion and obstruction in this case. >> you know, mueller's team has
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quietly and very efficiently put together, it looks like, a complete cast of all of the people that they needed to talk to to get to the bottom of this. and although a lot of people were very disappointed by how heavily redacted this memo was last night, i think as you read through it, maybe the second or the third read, you realize how much detail it provides. of course it provides information that flynn is cooperating not just with the special counsel, but in an additional criminal investigation that is not identified and also in a third investigation that is completely redacted. we simply don't know is that counterintelligence, is it something we just don't know about at this point in time. so there has been from flynn that enormous breadth of cooperation. but there is this notion that he was the trump which sperer to w trump confided in and now bob
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mueller has all of that information. >> and what do you read into in the fact that the special counsel's recommendation is listen or no prison time because of special assistance. what does that tell you about what mueller got from general flynn? >> flynn didn't just give mueller something valuable. he gave him multiple somethings that were valuable. substantial assistance is a term of art for prosecutors. it means a witness who can help you make additional cases or cases on additional people. so that has to be the baseline for what flynn had to contribute here. i think it speaks to the deal that he got. it's not just that these charges he pled guiltier to were charges that gave him a guideline of zero to six months. six months was the most he could have received and mueller is suggesting he receive no time. flynn could have been subjected to additional charges that would have considerably raised that calculus. the fact that he remained pleading guilty only to these charges of 1001, lying to the
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government tells me that he really brought something valuable to the table. >> joyce, last week you said you believed mueller was holding a royal flush. why is that? >> well, when you read the cohen papers that came forward last week, something really stuck out. and that was the fact that they spoke for the first time about the president's children. when they were talking about the lies that cohen made when he testified you up on the hill, there were a couple of different categories of lies. and for those to be important to prosecutors, they have to be material. that means that they have to be critical to what you're looking at charging. and there was this conversation not only about the trump/moscow deal going on much later into the campaign than it had been previously disclosed, but also that the president's children were being briefed. prosecutors don't like to drag people's name through the mud unnecessarily. i know that comes as a surprise to everybody, but it's just a practice that you don't involved
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people, that you're not going to charge. i thought that that really stood out and combined with all of the detail from cohen and the other detail that we knew was available from other witnesses, for instance, rick gates who certainly is a stand in for manafort, it looks to me like mueller really is sort of closing the pinchers and ready to bring this to a close in a very comprehensive way. >> mike, as a reporter through the years, you've looked at several of these documents before redacted and not redacted. what was your take away? >> my take away was bob mueller and his people have a substantial case going here. this particular one, the flynn sentencing memo, it was filled with language that just jumps out. joyce mentioned, the word substantial. but the other, the paragraph, the sentence, the defendant's decision to plead likely affected other witnesses to be forthcoming, and when you think about the timeline involved,
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january 4th, four days after the inauguration, you've got nike flib in t flynn in the middle of several things. don mcgahn tells donald trump. donald trump basically allegedly says who cares. those are obama's people. get them out of here. mike flynn has this side show with turkey, there's all sort of things going on here. this is a pretty explosive -- despite the redactions, a pretty explosive -- >> in a weird way, what's most explosive are all those black spaces where you don't know where the shark is going to go next. but the fax that flynn came in early, accepted responsibility, led other people to say i need to talk to the special counsel, too. and you can see he's been building this case for so many months.
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and how much stuff he must have about the whole range of trump transition trump administration activities. >> so front page of the "new york times," you have gina haspel, cia director after a briefing. senators coming out of that briefing saying the saudi prince was complicit in the murder and they are furious. and if you look at gina haspel, this is a woman who i think like rod rosenstein before, you don't want to twist their words. >> no. >> trump got in trouble with rosenstein early on by plaming the firing of comey on rosenstein. here, he lied about what gina haspel and the cia told him, mischaracterized it. gina haspel went to the hill and let the record straight. >> so it was a closed-door meeting yet. the cia has recently given a
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high confidence assessment that saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman ordered khashoggi's murder. it follows last week's all senators briefing by secretaries mike pompeo and jim mattis where lawmakers were angry that haspel was not included. senator dick durbin suggested her absence was because the white house blocked her participation. this was what pompeo and mattis said last week after the briefing without haspel. >> there is no direct reporting connecting the crown prince to the order of the murder of jamal khashoggi. >> we have no smoking gun that the crown prince was involved. >> all right. so -- >> let's talk about that for a second. >> it was painful. >> hold on. they're both lying. >> no, they're -- >> they're both lying. willie, maybe they think they're using materials of art. i think pompeo was especially
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dreadful there. this is what gets me in trump's america. he knows he's lying. we know he's lying. the world knows he's lying. yet he will still go you out -- here is a relatively young man with great credentials, a great past behind him, who is going out and sullying his reputation for a man who may not be in the white house for another year. it's just shocking to me. >> and for what specifically, i would ask secretary pompeo? and secretary mattis, as well. because that's not a one off. that was the line, that there was no direct link. >> was it a purview or was it a lie? >> to protect who, exactly? to protect msb or the president and why does the president want to protect the crown prince in this case? why is that so important to him? these senators came out of that
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meeting yesterday emphatically having heard gina haspel's testimony and having heard the intelligence. here is what they said after the meeting yesterday. >> there is not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw. you have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was oshg traitrchestr organized by people under the command of mbs and that he was intricately involved in the demise of mr. khashoggi. it is zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince. i would question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out. >> i have zero question in my mind that the crown prince, mbs, ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening, planned it in advance. if he was in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes guilty. there's no way that anybody with a straight face could say
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there's any question about what has happened. >> senator corker added the difference between last week's administration briefing and the haspel brief was the difference between darkness and sunshine. chuck schumer is calling for a full senate briefing from the cia director. the house will be briefed next thursday by secretaries pompeo and mattis on yemen and saudi arabia similar to the senator's briefing last week. director haspel is not scheduled to attend that one. david ignatius, what are pompeo and mattis up to here? are they just running interference for the president? and why is the president running interference for the crown prince.? >> i read the pompeo/mattis statements as policy statements. it's awkward and inconvenient for saudi arabia, our ally, to be in this kind of trouble. and i read gina haspel, from what we know, as a statement of the truth that the cia has that
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motto out in langley, you shall know the truth and the truth will make you free. gina haspel had a good day yesterday telling all those senators the truth as the cia knows it. not about about policy, not about what to do about it, just here is what happened. and wow, what impact. >> so the shocking thing about this to me and to others, i believe, is when jim mattis says there's no smoking gun, when both men, secretary pompeo and secretary mattis know what the cia provides, they provide an assessment. it's not a homicide investigation, per se, where they say david ignatius committed the crime. talk about what the cia provides. >> so what the cia provided was detailed evidence, as i understand it, of the conversations that mohammed bin salman had with his key lieutenant about what was taking place in istanbul and conversations from is tan bull
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to riyadh, filling riyadh in on what is going on, what happened. the key thing is, the senators wouldn't just accept the kind of -- well, there's no smoking gun, we don't know, we'll see. the policy whitewashed this. senators like lindsey graham said we want gina haspel here. it was the day when gina haspel became cia director for real. >> it's a bit like tennis. you're not sure what side the ball is going to be on. but there are days when you're actually very glad that lindsey graham remembers what he and john mccain did together. yesterday was one of those days. now, today, who knows. >> i know. >> but he actually referenced mccain yesterday, lindsey graham did. if john mccain were standing here right now, here is what he would be saying. >> so talking about the state department, talking about mattis
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and policy, versus gina haspel and the cia, interested in the truth, know the truth and the truth will set you free. it reminds me what the great general michael hayden says. which is you can look and see who donald trump has gone toer war against. it's the intel communities. it's the justice department. it's the courts. it's the media. it's the academy. it's the sciences. fact finds, people whose entire existence is based on digging for the truth and letting americans know what that truth is. and we saw that yesterday with gina haspel at the cia. i know that general hayden had to be so proud of her. >> absolutely. yesterday was the day when you saw the truth will out and the power of it. once those senators had heard
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it, you know, listen to what they said. there's zero question of what mbs did, that he's complicit in murder. there's still a question of what the united states does about it. saudi arabia is bigger than one person. and there's a real -- should we send a delegation to see the king? >> i know we have to go to the next block, but let me ask you really quickly, how much oil do we get from saudi arabia and how much oil do we get from canada? there is such a gross misunderstanding of that among the american people. >> we don't need saudi arabia's oil in the way that we did when we were growing up. we used to be terrified that we would lose that. that said, joe, it's important that we not have another failed state in the middle east. so somehow i think we need to deal with this in a way that helps saudi arabia become more stable, not less so. >> do the saudis understand post trump that there will be no dealing with mbs?
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>> they put so many chips on a square that said donald trump. obviously they didn't understand that, but they better understand it now. >> thank you, joyce vance. >> joyce, what are we going to hear friday or before friday? >> oh, we've got the manafort sentencing. >> when it's time to sentence paul manafort.? >> we don't know how much detail we'll get, but, you know, mueller has, i think, been rewarding us for our patience by dropping new details as he files in court. we'll learn what it is that special counsel believes manafort lied about that was so significant that it blew his plea agreement out of the water. this has to be something significant because prosecutors will try to work with witnesses. it's not uncommon for cooperators to engage in progressive truth telling. it causes prosecutors a little bit of heartburn because you have to disclose everything that
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they lie about to the other side in litigation. but you can save them. but here, whatever manafort did was so tremendous that it was a deal breaker and knowing those details in and of itself may help us understand where mueller is headed. >> all right. joyce, thank you so much. >> joyce, with roll tide. >> roll tide. >> what a game on saturday. my lord. >> apparently you were watching it. sdwh so one last story for this block. forbes is out with the list of the world's 100 most powerful women. ang angela merkel followed by theresa may. look at who is also on this impressive list. vice chairman of bank of america, ann finucan, ranked number eight in global finance, 42nd overall. former secretary of state john kerry posted a note on twitter
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congratulating ann calling her a leader on climate change who is savvy, creative and an incredible friend. i would second that. he added, quote, she earned this and more. i was trying to talk to ann. we were texting on flights. where was she going between france and -- somewhere. >> brussels. >> brussels. i was trying to get a quote. i interviewed her. she's been a friend for a long time. remember you used to make fun of me for being scared of her. here is my trajectory with that. i'm not. >> oh, really? i'm scared of her. >> ann, this is the key to her success. she's calm, she's clear, she's confident. and if you are not that, you will be nervous around her. but now i'm not. she's incredible and a true, loyal friend. she married an amazing man. >> really? >> really. >> me? >> yes. >> everyone likes to hit you and make fun of you, mike, but the truth is -- >> what are the odds that i can get a boost in my allowance? >> i'll check for you. >> can i just say, mike, the seats that you have right next
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to the red sox dugout that look up at the green monster, that's allowance in itself. >> congratulations, ann. >> ann finucan 42, beyonce, 50. that's all. >> think about it, seriously, number 8 in global finance. it's extraordinary. and speaks volumes to what she has done, what she did at u.s. trust, what she's doing at bank of america by just being one of the -- >> a global powerhouse. >> remember back -- >> no, come on. we did so well. >> remember everybody barnacle talked, we used to have to put up in his disclaimer, wife runs bank of america. coming up, the paris protests, president trump
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tweeted that the french president agrees with him on climate change. plus, joe biden claiming he's the most qualified person to run for president. and the president sends a whole bunch of tweets yesterday about trade with china. i think he's getting played. but anyhow, what it means for growthers tryi negotiators trying to figure out where everyone stands. >> the market took a pounding yesterday. just a pounding. >> you're watching morning joe. we'll be right back. for each job exxonmobil creates, many more are created in the community. because energy touches so many industries, it supports 10 million u.s. jobs.
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i am a techie dad.n. i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. former vice president joe biden and potential 2020 candidate thinks he's, quote, the most qualified person in the country to be president. >> i actually think it's willie, but go ahead.
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>> no, it's biden. biden made the comment on monday night and said his family will, quote, decide as a unit whether we are ready. that's two potential candidates now saying they're deciding as a family, one saying potentially this holiday. >> i remember george w. bush in 1999, somebody asked him database we were actually out in texas at the governor's mansion. somebody asked "w," are you are going to talk to your wife and kids about doing this? he goes, yeah, but they aren't making the decision for me, are they? >> it's so brutal. >> not to say, wouldn't it be great if you had a candidate that would say i'm not talking to my -- actually, it wouldn't be great, it would be funny. but "w" already did that after his wife told him he could do it. >> jim handy high, axios's one big thing this morning is on the democrats' wild free for all. also with us, heidi prisbella.
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good to have you both with us. what's the free for all, jim? >> it looks like you're going to have 30, maybe 40 different democrats that are going to decide in the next three or four weeks whether they're going the run. joe biden might be the most qualified, but everything thinks they have a legitimate shot. bernie sanders telling people he's going to have a much bigger campaign than he had the last time around. you've got biden making it clear he would like to run. bloom berg could spend $1 billion or $2 billion on himself if he decides to jump in. you have two people in colorado, senator bennet saying he might jump into this race. you often have a lot of candidates running, but you don't often have 30 or 40 candidates running. it's freezing things in the democratic party base donors don't know where to go. staff doesn't know where to go. these candidates don't even know if they could field a staff of advisers that are confident and experienced if they decide to jump in. in this crazy atmosphere, you have someone like beto in texas
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who lost a senate race being the person that is catching the most fire with a lot of activists and staff right now sitting on the sidelines. >> you know, we're reminded of the the late great goldman's comments on hollywood on what is going to be a success and what is going to be a failure. nobody knows nothing. at this time 40 years ago, all the smart monies was behind jeb, all the pundits said jeb was going to walk away with it, trum was -- trump was a joke. you just don't know. >> it's going to be wild to watch. i thought the sort of first dawn of beto o'rourke as a possible presidential candidate was fascinating. i say that because my children certainly are excited about that. but it's going to be a fooft race and there are a lot of good, smart people out there. it will be bruising. >> bruising. >> it's not going to be attractive to watch candidates fall by the way side.
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>> no. and is actually, that's what pamela harris told us over the weekend, talk to your family and the process will be difficult and painful. >> let me make a bold prediction. she's going to do it. and there's going to be -- the only thing we can do as journalists right now is because of how many different diverse candidates there's going to be is kind of identify some of the lanes, right? so there's the billionaires, there's the progressives, and i think there will be bruising initial fights within those lanes, like, for instance, between warren and sanders. the only thing that i think we can say at this point is that there's one model that is kind of out. i remember right after trump won, talking to top democratic consultants who said what we need is our own tough guy. we need a guy who can go in there and wrap them in the face with the brass knuckles on the
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debate stage. i think that has fallen by the way side perhaps in favor of a more inspirational candidate. i don't know who fits that, if it's camela harris or beto o'rourke. i think the staff issue is a real one, too, jim, speaking to people in iowa. there are limited resources, limited top staff in these early states. >> yeah. and i also think the other thing to watch is, yes, it will be bruising, but there's a fascinating idealogical fight that will take place in terms of democrats in terms of how far to the left do they go? is medicare is litmus test inside the democratic party? are they going to be super liberal on immigration? is it going to be a return to bigger government policies that you often hear from the bernie sande sanders wing? and i think what makes a lot of democrats nervous is all of the momentum right now is towards real activism, towards muscle. if that were the case, that jex that position towards trump, that's what trump would like. and i agree with you this idea
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of trying to out-trump trump is stupid. you can't be meaner or nastier. he's going to sit in the sauna a hell of a lot longer than you are. so you have to figure out a way to hit him without punching at him. >> trump in a sauna. that image is devastating. >> stop it. >> you can't erase that. >> you enjoy that today, joe. >> if i were actually war gaming this, i would tell everybody thinking about running, plan your campaign against donald trump, but expect to be running against nikki haley. you have to think that way. >> that's so interesting. >> we'll see. we'll see. >> i like it. >> as joe points out, the early smart money is almost always not smart. so we've got a lot of ways to go here. but don't you think democrats are at least learning the right lesson from 2016, which is that a coronation of some kind is not the way to go as everybody put -- you know, bernie sanders
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was reviled in democratic circles, a lot of them, for having the gal to run against hillary clinton. now you have a real process. it might be ugly, it might be chaotic at times, but you find the best candidate to run against donald trump. >> i think the best lesson to take away is that nobody saw trump coming the way that he did. nobody thought that he could change the orthodoxy of the republican party. so making assumptions about what democrats want, there's no knowns that you can try to extrapolate from that. i think the electorate is a lot more fickle than we think. think about the chaos of this next campaign. they're probably running while trying to impeach the president. in all likelihood, i'm not an economist, but you're probably going to be slide intoog a recession. so in that climate, that shakes things up and changes the type of candidate that you're going to run against. joe might be right that you're going to end up running against nikki haley or some other republican, but trump is going to sit there until the bitter
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end. even if they were to impeach him, you know he's the type of guy that he can get 34 republican senators to stand by him through thick and thin and he would use impeachment as a campaign platform. so there is no way to know. and i think when you have 30 or 40 people, i don't even know how you do that. how do you have a debate.? how do you start to listen to 30 people, especially when, you know, 15 of them are pretty darn serious. >> i don't think he's going to run again. >> really? >> no. still don't. >> ivanka? >> that's what you think. still ahead -- jim vandehei, thank you. still ahead, a closed door briefing on the murder of jamal khashoggi. we'll bring in democratic senator chris murphy to talk about yesterday's briefing with cia director gina haspel.
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markets overseas are following in wall street's foot steps this morning after yesterday's massive sell-off over rising fears of an economic slowdown. here at home, all three major indices shed more than 3% with the dow plunging nearly 800
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points. bank stocks were hit especially hard with concerns over what bond fields may be signaling about economic growth. experts say similar signals happened back in 2007 right before the last recession. also hammering the markets this week, questions over whether a permanent deal between the u.s. and china on trade will take place. while the two countries agreed over the weekend to hold off on any more tariffs, conflicting messages from the trump administration on when the truce would begin have led to confusion. economic adviser larry kudlow told reporters on monday the cease-fire would begin on january 1st with the white house later issuing a corrected statement saying that the 90-day cease-fire actually started on december 1st. >> david ignatius, let me ask you what you think happens now. personally, i just -- knowing trump, he's gone to war,
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economically with everybody in the globe. the markets, though, are too phrenetic. >> he was trying to, in his way, his readout of the dinner, it's an incredible deal. i've solved it. but he hadn't. and i think he's in a very awkward position now. the markets really suspect that president trump is not telling the truth about our economic situation in these trade deals. in other words, i'm tariff man, the markets don't like it. in the end, i think trump is going to try to find some way to stabilize the markets and i would think he would be back trying to get that deal with china soon. >> joining us now, chris murphy of connecticut. always good to see you. i want to ask you about the briefing that a select group of sneets received yesterday from the cia about the murder of journalist jamal khashoggi. you were not in the room, but
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those that were in the room say there is no doubt in their mind now that the crown prince of saudi arabia ordered the murder of jamal khashoggi. how do you square the two separate hearings, the one last week which was all senate where effectively secretary pompeo blew off the idea that there was a connection saying there is no direct link and what those senator heard from the cia yesterday? >> i was angry that only a handful of senators were in that meeting but i was less angry when republicans came out and spilled the beans for everybody which belies the idea that we need classified briefings in the first place. listen, you cannot square the two. i have in that first briefing and secretary pompeo and secretary mattis did try to push aside the question of whether mohammed bin salman ordered and directed the murder of jamal khashoggi. we all knew, because we had seen the open reporting, that cia had
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come to a different conclusion. i think the secretary of defense and secretary of state are in a bad spot because the president has given this bear hug to the mbs and to the entire saudi regime so they are bound to carry out his policy. but at the same time, it's sort of hard to call. there's a cover up given the fact that everybody in that briefing last week knew that pompeo and mattis were misleading us, knew there was no way this murder happened without the consent and direction of mbs. i think the only danger for me as we go into this debate about what to do in yemen, as important as it is to me to hold mbs responsible, a lot of us also want to make sure that we keep our eye on the ball, that we also in this debate make sure that the united states doesn't continue to help the saudis perpetuate war crimes in yemen. it's not just about the khashoggi murder. it's about the 85,000 kids who have in the last three years.
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>> are they doing that just to protect the president of the united states and why is the president of the united states so intent on protecting the crown prince? what's going on here? >> that's a good question. and i think one of the first things that the new house democratic majority has to do is try to get to the bottom of this question as to why the president is so insistent on holding the saudis immune from any questions of their actions. they were very careful in the words they used in that hearing. they didn't say that mohammed bin salman had nothing to do with it. they said there was no smoking gun. but in the meeting, they clearly left the xwrimpression that the did not have evidence from the intelligence services that proved that he did it. again, this is a elite unit that
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he formed that has been at his direction and open reporting tells us that he was talking to them all throughout the day. i think they were very careful in the words that they chose because they knew what the president said only a few days before. maybe he did it and maybe he didn't. i give them a little bit of credit in being careful about it. >> senator murphy, david ignatius, how do we hold mohammed bin salman accountable for this terrible crime against my colleague pe washington post and try to maintain our relationship with saudi arabia? >> there are lines that your allies cross that are frankly too far. and i think we have to send a message to mohammed bin salman that about he was engaged in activity around the region contrary to national security interests, we will not move with
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him. i think pulling out of the war in yemen is an appropriate response that the saudi regime has treated us. they lied to us for two weeks about what happened in that consulate in turkey. but they also have been lying to us about what they have been doing in yemen. they have been targeting civilian infrastructure if not civilians directly and we should say to the crown prince if you are not going to be straight with us, we are no longer going to be in business with us. i think there is a direct link between the action we are taking this week. >> senators, heidi, let me drill down a little bit because that does seem to be where the consensus breaks down. everyone agrees mbs needs to pay a price for this, that he was behind it. there needs to be broader legislation in terms of banning arms sales. do you see that there is one specific proposal that everyone is going to rally around?
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>> well, listen, we did get 63 votes last week for this specific proposal that pulled the united states out of the yemen coalition. right now, i don't see a path by which this resolution passes. this may be a very clear signal that the senate sends in the next several days. but i would agree that this isn't the end. i also think you need to look at what mbs is doing with these weapons around the region. for a long time, we were happy to sell billions of dollars of weapons to the saudis because they really didn't use them. they sat on them. they didn't know how to operate them. now they're on the march. and i do think, given the erratic nature of his behavior around the region and the way in which that compromises our security, we probably should put a general pause on arms sales and we should give the saudi king, who is still in charge, the opportunity to see if he can reign in mohammed bin salman.
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so, again, i think this is a good first step, but i think a pause, at least for the time being in arms sales is a way to try to get them to enact a cease-fire in yemenen, to sl, t down their aggressive behavior is a good first step. >> before david, what happens next? from everything you've seen, you've spoken with everybody in the region, you've talked to policy leaders here, what happens next with the u.s. relationship with saudi arabia? >> so we don't know, but i will just give you a couple of ideas. first, having some delegation that goes to king salman and presents the evidence that the cia has now given to our most senior legislators and says, your highness, this is what we know and has that conversation with him as the head of the country. going forward, we don't need another failed state in the middle east so we need to think carefully how do we keep saudi arabia even as we hold it accountable for blowing up.
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i think a firm outriggers on either side of that royal court that keep it more stable than it's been. how do we do that? we don't run saudi arabia, how do we help them do that, that's my question. >> i have a question of how the president is compelled to face it so this can be done right. still ahead this morning, the convicted sex offender known for hanging out with powerful men like bill clinton and donald trump once again avoids having to face his alleged accusers. this is an incredible story. >> this is a shocking story. the allegations against people well known and the fact that these women once again are not going to get a chance to tell their story in court is an absolute outrage. it's a scandal. >> incredible reporting by the miami herald. >> miami herald. i think everybody needs to follow the miami herald's lead. get to the bottom of this and get the truth out. plus u.s. labor secretary
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alex acosta is caught up in the middle of the controversy. an update on one of the nation's most infamous sex abuse cases. you're in the business of helping people. we're in the business of helping you. business loans for eligible card members up to fifty thousand dollars, decided in as little as 60 seconds. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it.
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convicted sex offender and very wealthy friend of presidents bill clinton and donald trump has reached a settlement in a civil case once again avoiding testimony from his accusers. the women will get another chance to share their stories in court when a pending lawsuit is brought to undo the controversial deal that allowed epstein to spend just 13 months in county jail. when federal officials reportedly had enough evidence to put him away for life. the deal watts orchestrated by then federal prosecutor alex acosta who is now the secretary of labor under president trump. prosecutors reportedly identified 36 -- 36 underage victims, but epstein's deal was based on his admission of
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offenses against one 14-year-old girl who was labeled a prostitute. >> by the way, 14-year-old girls are not prostitutes. >> they're children. >> 14-year-old girls are sex slaves. the fact that a prosecutor in the united states of america, first of all, would try to give this guy a free ride by calling a 14-year-old girl who was his sex slave and who was raped by the laws of the state of florida a, quote, prostitute, shows you the bad faith that this deal was done in. >> and just how poisonous this all is, deeply. the deal was done in secret, preventing epstein's alleged victims from testifying at his sentencing. it also shut down the federal investigation concealing the extent of his alleged crimes and it granted immunity to any potential co-conspirators. here is how acosta defended the no prosecution deal when questioned at his confirmation
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hearing. >> professionals within a prosecutor's office decide that a plea that guarantees that someone goes to jail, that guarantees that someone register generally and that guarantees other outcomes is a good thing. >> willie, if we had had a trial, we would have had the evidence, we would have had the names of men who -- who -- >> flew to an island. >> -- were guilty of statutory rape against young women, we would have had the airplane logs. this is a massive cover up. >> yeah. >> and the justice department needs to dig into it, the state of florida needs to dig into it. >> it's time. >> i mean, this is -- this is ridiculous. there are a lot of very powerful people involved in this case who
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obviously had the power to actually shut down justice and these young women, one saying that she was raped six times by a national figure. >> if me too means anything this goes down, this story comes out. >> this man has been described as a creep. no, he is a child rapist, let's be clear about what he has done here. you have more than 30 women as authorities have said all telling a version of the same story. that they were lured to this place, that they had to have sex with this man and other men and that they were then encouraged to go out and find more young women, and yet given all we knew this is serial behavior by this man. he got a deal where he got to come and go as he please for half the day out of jail, he had a light sentence. some people have called it the lightest sentence in the history of sexual assault and serial sexual assault, in particular, but this is what justice looks like. this is what justice looks like in america where you have a rich guy, an influential phi who
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knows people and a u.s. attorney for the district there in florida in miami who was willing to help him out. >> i think there's another part of it, too. a rich guy with really powerful friends. >> on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of everything. >> on both sides of the aisle and apparently some very rich and powerful people who may also have been guilty -- >> why didn't it come up during the campaign? think about that. they canceled each other out, once again. stephanie gosk did a great piece on this for nbc and tomorrow right here on "morning joe" we are going to have the reporter from the "miami herald" who is staying on this story who wrote that incredible piece. so we will be following it. it is the top of the hour now. let's also bring in msnbc nbc political analyst and former chair of the republican national committee michael steele, and professor at the u.s. naval war college and author of the book "the death of expertise" tom nichols. good to have you both joining us this hour. a lot to get to. >> tom, let's start with you.
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i will just show you the headline of the "new york times," saudi prince complicit in murder. director of the cia gina haspel says basically making everything that was said by our secretary of state and secretary of defense last week look foolish. what should the united states do moving forward? what's our foreign policy going to look like towards saudi arabia in the coming years? >> well, we need to have a foreign policy, i think that's part of the problem. as always, i don't represent the views of the government. i think one of the problems you're seeing here is that we don't have a foreign policy, we have several foreign policies including whatever it is the president is doing at any given moment. so you're seeing congress, the executive branch, parts within the executive branch all sort of flailing around trying to figure out what our policy should be.
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with saudi arabia this is -- you know, this is really something that requires more than just a shoot from the hip reaction. i don't know if -- that we should be dictating the terms of a foreign regime, but we have to react to this somehow other than to simply say it may or may not have happened. now we really don't have the option of saying it didn't happen because the members of the united states senate have been told apparently from their comments pretty bluntly that it happened. >> david, we can't dictate to foreign regimes. dr. brzezinski always reminded us of that, but at the same time we can't work with foreign regimes that are run by a figure who planned out the kidnapping, the torture, the murder and the carving up of a virginia resident, the father of american
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children and a columnist at your newspaper, the "washington post," who was killed because of the words he wrote and because of the thoughts he expressed in front of three forums. >> so the best thing about what happened yesterday is that we can now be more confident that we're going to have a fact-based foreign policy because our director of central intelligence, gina haspel, has laid it out for the senators and they have been crystal clear about what it means, and second that err we're going to have a values-based foreign policy at least as regards saudi arabia. the chance to duck it which president trump wanted to take, maybe he knew, maybe he didn't, i don't know, that was his line, that's passed. we are now going to root our policy towards saudi arabia, yes, in our interests but also in our values and that's something we should all, i think, welcome. >> heidi, let's look at two different clips, we're going to see what was said last week by
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the secretary of defense and the secretary of state, and then we're going to see what republican senators said after hearing the truth from the cia director. take a look. >> there is no direct reporting connecting the crown prince to the order of the murder of jamal khashoggi. >> we have no smoking gun that the crown prince was involved. >> there is not a smoking gun, there is a smoking saw. you have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of mbs and that he was inn trick clee involved in the demise of mr. khashoggi. i would really question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out. >> i have zero question in my mind that the crown prince, mbs, ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening, planned it in advance. if he was in front of a jury he
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would be convicted in 30 minutes, guilty. there's no way that anybody with a straight face could say there's any question about what has happened. >> so, heidi, you also had republican from alabama richard shelby coming out, highly critical. of course, rand paul, still critical. are the republicans going to continue to press the president forward? it certainly looks like they are not backing down. what's the future look like? >> first of all, as it relates to mattis and pompeo, this is the slippery slope that you go down when you go back to russia and you allow the president to doubt our u.s. intelligence services, that there is this pressure on everyone around him to go along with it when it comes to other matters as well, but to your specific question, we've sat around this table so many times, joe, or me on remote and you've asked when are republicans going to stand up to this president. we're seeing it. we're seeing it in realtime. this vote like the senator told us earlier is going to go through on yemen and it's possible that senator lindsey
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graham who has been one of the president's biggest supporters is also going to push back and not relent in terms of pushing forward additional repercussions an penalties in the way of pulling military aid. >> david, lindsey graham also said that he cannot see mbs being, quote, a reliable partner to the united states. i mean, that's a united states senator flatly saying i can't work with this guy. america can't work with this guy. where does that leave us when you have the senate saying that, but the president of the united states saying something completely different? >> willie, i think that's the heart of it. lindsey graham has said in effect how are we going to go forward with saudi arabia? this guy is not acceptable for us to work with, lindsey graham is going to do everything he can to prevent that. he's really upset, you can tell. again, i think some way of connecting with king salman, an american delegation, some way that says to the king we know that you're saudi arabia, we know that you need to assure
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your country and our country that this will never happen again. what steps is saudi arabia taking? that could be done privately, publicly, but somehow i think that's the essential next step. >> and the problem with that, of course, is the president of the united states, the top of the government, has already given them a pass. >> yeah. >> so no you how does he go back and say we know you did this when he said i didn't believe you did it. >> the saudis if they have leaders that are looking ahead have to understand that donald trump is compromised here politically, the senate is going to hold him accountable, is going to hold mbs accountable and if they want to plan for a future, a positive future with the united states of america they are -- >> how sick does that handshake between mbs and putin look right now? >> you want a snapshot of the future, it's that high-five between putin and mbs the chance right side the saudis say the heck with the u.s. -- >> we can kill reporters. it's we can kill reporters.
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that's what that's about. >> maybe. david ignatius, thank you so much for staying with us. we great lee appreciate it. michael steele, what's your take on the republicans standing up against donald trump's basically moral relativism on the sawing up of a "washington post" reporter? is it because of the election results or would they have been doing this even if republicans had a good off year election? >> yeah, i think on this one they would have been doing this regardless of election results. >> i do, too. >> it touches so close on the rail of foreign policy that the republican senate especially likes to engage in. and really likes to lead this administration in. so you saw and heard the frustration of corker and graham and other senators and the way the president and his team particularly mattis and pompeo have addressed this, holding the cia director, ms. haspel, away from the conversation initially,
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forcing the president's hand, joe, to engage her, to have her come back and talk to the senate. so they are going to lead here, although i have to tell you i still have caution flags up about all of this because in the end all of the foreign policy ask not dictated by the united states senate, it's dictated by the president. i think the last point that was made about where this president ultimately wants to go, he likes that club, he wants to be a part of, with putin and mbs. he's sorry he missed out on had a high-five and that's something i think that we need to be concerned about because the president sees foreign policy as just another transaction and that for the senate could be the longer term problem. >> joining us now at the table charlie sykes, conservative commentator, msnbc nbc contributor, also the author of how the right lost its mind. are they getting its mind back watching these senators react? it does seem like what's it going to take?
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i mean, they're furious now, but it seems like that took a while on pretty obvious information. >> it does seem contingent. bob corker is on the way out, lindsey graham we know blows with the wind, but this was just so egregious, it's just so in your face, it is so amoral that it's hard not to speak out about it, but will anything actually happen? look, there is a certain honesty about the administration's position about this, that's the wrong word here, amid all of the pile of lies, which is, look, donald trump, general mattis, mike pompeo, they all know that mbs was involved in the murder of jamal khashoggi and they don't care. they just simply do not want to let it affect their foreign policy and that's at the end of the day that's the reality. >> and, tom nichols, i get there's different things pulling politicians different directions, but i don't understand mattis and pompeo. is there a chain of command issue here? you've got two men running two
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departments, two cabinet secretaries and then finally a woman, the head of the cia, comes forward with the truth. it is searing, the truth. how could they not have known? how could they not have expressed their dismay with the fact that she first didn't -- wasn't allowed to show up. they must have known something. what would compel them to be so -- what's the word, joe, because i can't think of a clean one -- lame. >> we will just say lame. tom, what do you think? >> i think there's several things going on here, one is that republican senators have a lot of space on this because this is not something that really motivates the republican base. if you really want to break with the president on something, you know, policy on saudi arabia is not going to be the thing that's really going to hurt you back home. the other thing that's going on, and this goes back to mika's question about the secretary of state and the secretary of defense, you know, their jobs
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are to defend the president's line as best they can discern it, but one thing that happens and i think one of the reasons you're seeing this outrage and i say this as a former staff member in the senate, senators really don't like to think they've been lied to or misled, especially on matters of national security. that really will incense senators of either party because that is one expectation that they have in that role as senators. so if they think that they've been kind of pushed aside or told a story, you're going to see the kind of anger that you just saw, and i think they probably will take it that pompeo and mattis did what they had to do in terms of taking the president's marching orders, but with something like this you can be -- you can be relatively sure that senators are going to get to the bottom of it because they can bring people in and they are going to get that classified information and when they do
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find out it's going to make them really angry. >> so with tom here and charlie here and michael here, we all couldn't help but seeing tom's twitter die tribe on being a conservative in the age of trump. it was far preferable to the nonsense that he has tweeted previously about led zeppelin. it's so interesting, tom, we're going to read through it, but when i have people come up to me now in airports and say, oh, i used to agree with you and, oh, i watch you, but i don't -- you know, agree with you now. i say, oh, you're liberal. that's okay. i love liberals, too. you know, i'm a conservative. i said, well, listen, you define conservative far different than i have for a quarter century or ronald reagan did for 50 years because i believe in balanced budgets, i believe in less debt, i believe in entitlement reform, i believe in fiscal
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responsibility, i believe in restrained discipline, foreign policy, i believe in reagan's foreign policy, i believe in a strong nato, i believe in promoting democratic values across the globe, i believe checking russian aggression and i believe i can go on forever. all the ways that republicans in 2018 in the age of trump are the antithesis of conservatism. but you talked a great deal about it in your twitter feed. what are your thoughts? >> well, one thing you could add to that is you also believe in facts, which has kind of fallen out of vogue among self-described conservatives now. i wrote that because i was really tired of people hijacking the word conservative and declaring people like me and you and max boot and others as no
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longer conservative simply because we're rethinking some of the things that we once supported now that we live in an age where the republican party, which was once the vehicle for, you know, as we're laying president bush to rest, was once the vehicle for kind of moderate conservative sensible prudent intelligence kind of conservatism, and it's been captured by this emotionally charged, in some ways very -- i don't even want to tar liberals with it, but very unconservative kind of approach to things. i just reacted against that to say, look, as you just did, what's conservative about having people turn to the national government and rally around someone who says i alone can fix it? when did we become -- when did we become the party of, you know -- when did we become the party of big daddy telling us that, you know -- that only he can fix it?
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these are fundamentally unconservative and anti-small r republican virtues. >> on that note, you know, we all criticized barack obama for talking about how he and we were the change, that we have been waiting for. >> seems to sweet now. >> donald trump -- yeah, i think donald trump jumped on this, but elizabeth warren and barack obama get executive order conservative radio for two years, charlie, for saying, you don't build that business on your own. >> yeah. >> we are all a part of that. and now donald trump is even taking it beyond what barack obama said then, which is if i'm not here, the economy will collapse. >> well, that's what's so, you know, disconcerting about all of this. when you ran through the litany of what conservatives used to believe, you know, that would be the same litany that i would
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have and yet each and every point has been repudiated by trump and by trumpists. >> of those nine or ten things i said there is not a single one of them that donald trump or this republican congress is following. by the way, this is the core of the conservative message that we have run on for 50 years. >> and it has been largely repudiated. look what's happening in washington, d.c. right now, as the nation remembers george h.w. bush, understand that everything that he represented has really been rejected by the modern republican party. you know, trumpism, look at the twitter feeds and all of this, that they have rejected those values, this he have rejected those ideas. i think part of the problem is trying to figure out is there -- can you separate the conservative grifter movement and the tribal movement, the infrastructure, from the ideas that you articulated before? that's becoming increasingly difficult because the lights are going out on the right. >> michael steele, there may be a reason for this. donald trump, it turns out, is not a conservative republican.
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>> what? >> until three years ago he was a new york city democrat. let's add into the conversation debt and deficits. the deficit is going to go up to a trillion dollars with that tax cut that was passed about a year ago. that all seems to be forgotten by conservatives rallying around the president as well. >> well, as big government trumpism, and that's the buy-in. you know, it's, you know, i will turn a blind eye to debts and deficits as long as i get a supreme court nominee. i will turn a blind eye to the way we engage on immigration as long as i get a tax cut. so what the president has effectively done has made the party more transactional. everything is a tit for tat. so it's a zero sum opportunity. if you do better then someone is going to do worse and i don't want to have to deal with that. so i love charlie's last point
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because i really -- for me that becomes the core of this discussion going forward. we have to recognize that there is a difference between republicanism and conservatism as it is formed in the land of trump. so that break is the key piece here. do we see joe's list? joe's list could become the new republicanism because it is anchored in some core values that relate back to the founding of the party. what this new conservatism really is is trumpism. maybe it does its own thing, maybe he goes off in his little new tv land or whatever he wants to create so folks will follow him, but for those of us who remain inside the party, joe and charlie and tom, is that that's where our fight is going to be. that's our sweet spot. that list that joe put out and so much more is where we need to engage for what we will call the new republicanism. >> tom, there's been a lot of introspection by conservatives
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in some cases drawing a line all the way back to newt gingrich to explain why we are where we are, but can you speak about a more recent phenomenon which is the purist wing, the arrival of the tea party, which seemed to want to just cut government with a meat ax and it really wasn't focused on good government, it was more just focused on cutting everything and anything. because when i go out and talk to the american people, conservatives, what they want is good government, not necessarily for this movement to have come in and just taken a meat ax approach to the budget. >> i'm pleased to say that i was an early adopter on not supporting the tea party. i didn't like it when it arose, i thought it went off the rails quickly, i thought that the dangerous kind of tendencies that we're seeing now that charlie and michael talked about, the kind of grifter
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conservative movement i think was already embedded in the tea party because it was completely a negative message. it was not to make government better, but to do two things, one to destroy government for purely resentful and unfocused reasons that i think a lot of the people in the tea party didn't understand, it was just banding together to feel like they were part of something against a government they felt had been taken over, but the other was to say, look, if government has to exist, then i want it to direct all its benefits at me, which is a very -- you know, again, a very big government kind of approach. i mean, if you look at the way donald trump -- you look at the way the tea party acted and you look at the way donald trump talks to middle class and working class americans, it is almost indistinguishable from the way that democrats used to talk to poor and minority voters 40 years ago with, you know, it's not your fault, the system screwed you over, i will fix it, we will get you things. it's really not in any way a
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conservative movement and i think that seeds of that were already in the tea party. >> tom, one of my favorite polls, in 2010, with as a poll of tea party members who were so, so offended by obamacare and the government creeping into their healthcare. they were asked if washington should reform medicare to make it more solvent. 74% said no. there is your new conservatism. you know, michael steele, thank you. tom nim coals thanks so much. charlie, can you stay with us? i have a question for you on the other side of this because i'm not so sure that there is a going back to the republican party. i'm not so sure that those conservative principles will ever be welcomed in the republican party. i'm going to ask you where those of us wandering in the
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wilderness should go. one last story here. remember last year when donald trump relied on rudy giuliani for his expertise on cybersecurity? keep a straight face, gentlemen. fast forward to last week when rudy banged out a tweet that accidentally formed a link to a website, a quick thinking trump critic then bought that vacant domain, writing in large letters on the new site, quote, donald j. trump is a traitor to our country. so if you clicked on giuliani's tweet, that's what you got. well, now giuliani is accusing twitter of allowing someone to invade his text. >> come on, grandpa. >> hey, rude, that's not how it works. >> somebody said that this should be read in grandpa simpson's voice. >> while suggesting, rudy did, that the social media site is propping up card carrying anti-trumpers. that's just delicious. again, giuliani, who was one of
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trump's top advisers for cybersecurity accidentally tweeted a vacant domain. >> space after the period, that's all. space after the period. >> in the white house it happens. that's like a good day. >> you're watching "morning joe." >> with 16 years in cybersecurity. the meeting of the executive finance committee is now in session. and... adjourned. business loans for eligible card members up to fifty thousand dollars, decided in as little as 60 seconds. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. ♪ the greatest wish of all... is one that brings us together. the lincoln wish list event is here.
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and millions of wifi hotspots to help you stay connected. and this is moving day with reliable service appointments in a two-hour window so you're up and running in no time. show me decorating shows. this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving... simple. easy. awesome. stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. ♪ welcome back to "morning joe." let's go back to charlie sykes. charlie, so the list that i named is actually what i campaigned on in '94, '96, '98, 2000, it worked. balanced budgets, lower debt, fiscal responsibility, a foreign policy that was in line with reagan's foreign policy, strong nato, push back against russian
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aggression, entitlement reform. by the way, nothing in that list is easy to do. >> right. >> and yet you campaign on it, you get 80% of the vote sometimes. >> yeah. >> and republicans did. that's how we controlled congress, by saying we're going to balance the budget, we're going to be fiscally responsible. we did it four years in a row. >> but that party is gone. >> that party is dead. >> yeah. >> where do those people go? do they become independents? if the republican party is now donald trump's party and it's going to be that for the next decade -- >> i don't know. that's the real puzzle. first of all, you were talking about the tea party and the purist test, well, what happens with the tea party that it's now embraced trumpism, it's embraced the trillion dollar a year deficits, it will embrace a big infrastructure package. >> they were never purists, though. >> that's right. >> again, they didn't like obamacare because of its name, but they would not go after
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reforming to save medicare. >> yeah. >> which is our biggest debt driver along with medicaid and social security. >> so where do these ideas go? i don't know. the republican party is becoming a cult of personality, identity party, and it's very difficult to know where you go with all of that because, i mean, think what 2019 is going to look like. think about next year. when the mueller investigation comes out and the -- as you know, with the republican party's number one agenda will be to protect donald trump. that will not be about fiscal responsibility, it will not be about the rule of law, it will not be about constitutionalism, it will be about protecting donald trump. so the republican party will become the prisoner of the lie, whatever trump says they will try to find a way to cover or deflect or rationalize. so this process that you're describing of the abandonment of the ideas i think is going to get worse before it gets better. >> by the way, you talked about protecting the constitution. i could add that to the list because we all carried around the constitution. we were the ones that were going
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to protect and defend the constitution. >> the true irony, joe, is the question that you just asked, that you just posed about your former party, where does that party go today? many of them go to the national cathedral to say good-bye to george h.w. bush. >> charlie sykes, thank you very much. great to have you on today. still ahead, investigative reporter for yahoo news michael isakoff joins the conversation on michael flynn's cooperation with robert mueller. what it could signal about the next steps in the special counsel's russia probe. sometimes the best time is time you make for yourself.
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the special counsel was supposed to have found crimes that already occurred before he became special counsel. that was his mandate, to find crimes relating to russia. as far as we know he hasn't found very many of those, what he's done is to help create crimes. >> that's harvard law professor alan dershowitz on monday, falsely claiming that the special counsel has not found crimes involving russia. i have so many questions as to
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why -- >> that's an interesting booking right now. that's all we will say. >> he's accused -- >> mueller is helping create crimes because people in the president's orbit lied to him. joining us now we have michael isikoff also former assistant director of the fbi's counterintelligence division, frank figlu sfwlchlt i. where do we stand right now? how suggest was the pleading last night? >> so the key take a ways here is the phrase substantial cooperation, what we're hearing from mueller. mueller is not someone given to hyperbole. when he said substantial cooperation and we see extensive redaction of his cooperation, i take away from that that we've reached a level of sensitivity in this investigation that requires mueller to do something we have not seen him do before, which is engage in extensive redaction. we also know and see further evidence that he has got his
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insurance policy in place, which means we see evidence that he's farmed out more cases. so we see reference to a criminal investigation. >> right. >> we then see a distinction made between, well, and then there's my investigation, the special counsel investigation, and then there's some other investigation. so those distinctions become important. we have criminal investigations, the alternative is a counterintelligence investigation. >> again, quoting richard and karen carpenter from yesterday, we've only just begun. >> we've only just begun to figure out where this is going. i think mueller is much farther ahead than all of us are and i think the fact that these are referred to as pending ongoing investigations therefore i can't talk about them, i got that, but i'm more keyed in on the fact that the redaction is required by the fact that trump has reached nearly the top of where he's headed. >> michael isikoff, you wrote a story suggesting the mueller probe was coming to an end, but if you look at the plea deal
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with flynn, referring to other cases that mueller hasn't even gotten into, he hasn't questioned roger stone, doesn't that suggest that we still have a ways to go in the mueller probe? >> well, look, there's still ongoing matters that are an investigation, but if you look closely at what was filed by mueller last night, and frank picked up on it, most of the redactions are related to this unknown criminal investigation that the way i read this document is not related to mueller's core russia investigation and, in fact, it may even be -- it may even being conducted by other prosecutors outside of mueller's orbit. in fact, if you look at when mueller itemizes the assistance, flynn participated in 19 interviews with the special counsel or attorneys from other
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department of justice offices. so that suggests to me that this unknown mysterious criminal investigation for which flynn has provided substantial assistance, that's the one -- the one moment in this memo where mueller uses substantial assistance, it's not a matter related to the russia investigation. the redactions are frustrating for those of us who are trying to figure out where mueller is. they don't shed a whole lot of light. when he talks about the contacts between the transition team and the russians during that period after trump was elected before he took office, mueller makes a point of saying that flynn's cooperation led others to cooperate. so it does raise the question as to whether there are any other targets in that phase of the investigation. i think that, you know, as
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intriguing as some of these redactions are, you know, they ultimately don't tell us a lot as to where mueller is at the moment. >> but, frank, it seems, though, that the redactions that michael was just referring to are on the threshold of a larger story. he mentions investigations, plural, so he has filed this -- maybe you can clarify this for us. he filed this yesterday with judge emmett sullivan, federal district court in washington, he has referred several cases to the southern district in manhattan. so if the time came that president trump, for whatever reasons, we would know the reasons, orders mr. whitaker to fire bob mueller, does the fact that this -- the flynn testimony, the flynn sentencing agreement went to a federal court in washington, is that insulated from being -- you know, can it be exposed by the federal judge? >> right. so we are seeing the further
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strategy from mueller of making himself whitaker proof. we're seeing evidence of farming out, we're seeing a reference to other investigations that are not mueller's and even in this very document, and so what could happen here is a strategy where you take me out and you come knocking on my door and i'm not home anymore because i've given everything else to other people. i'm not your issue anymore. i think that's what's going on here. >> so, frank, if you just look at the cast of people now who have cooperated with bob mueller, the people he has talked to at great length in the case here of flynn we are talking about 19 meetings as you point out, we don't know how long those are, they could have gone on for some time, you talk about 70 hours sitting across from michael cohen, for example, it seems that bob mueller has what he needs and now may be able to get to the next level of the closest inner circle to president trump, which is the family. >> yeah, i think, in fact, that underneath these redactions if we were to lift these black
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magic marker points out we would see people with the last name trump or kushner. that's my gut. that's how this reads. i believe the extensive redaction is a reflection of that level of sensitivity. remember, it's been mueller's strategy to tell us volumes in his documents. it's part of a deliberate strategy to lock in the information before he's possibly taken out. what did we see yesterday? we saw the opposite of that. we saw lots of redaction. you do that in the fbi either when you have classified information or you are at such a sensitivity level that you cannot expose it. >> this is someone who was on the inside, side-by-side, with trump during the campaign and inside the white house. >> and we see reference here to quick cooperation by flynn. what does that mean? did it happen in what we call the golden hour where you could even wire somebody up and have him share communications in realtime. >> my lord. frank and michael, thank you
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both for being on. still ahead, thousands are expected to fill the national cathedral today to pay their final respects to former president george h.w. bush, from family and friends to world leaders and all the living presidents. "hardball's" chris matthews joins us next for that conversation and later tom brokaw and maureen dowd remember the 41st president. we're back after this. we saved hundreds
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leader, cast senator, vice presidential candidate in 1976 and war hero, world war ii, bob dole saluting his former friend and also his former political nemesis. mike, bob dole, of course, was gerald ford's vp nominee in '76, four years later it was george h.w. bush, they were always stiff competitors and that was no more evident than in 1988 when george bush came back and won new hampshire and dole's response -- actually, i think it was on the convention floor, bob dole said stop lying about my record, but my jefferson and adams, these political rivals became good friends. >> it's hard to speak about this, joe. bob dole, tenth mountain
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division, world war ii, badly wounded for life in italy, became best friends in the veterans administration hospital with former senator, the late daniel inoway, became close friends with george h.w. bush after that 1988 campaign and here he is an american citizen, a brother in arms, standing with some difficulty and some assistance to salute his former commander in chief. this is a sight, this is an american story that we should cling to and grasp and hold on to in our memory in these times that we're going through, these turbulent political times. >> willie, we have heard many people ask the question as we look at senator dole and we remember george h.w. bush, asking the question will there
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ever be another vet who serves as president of the united states. well, this last election, actually, suggests very strongly that they will. there will be. because so many men and women sy that they will. there will be. so many of the men and women who serve in iraq and afghanistan have now come home to serve in the united states house and senate and in the local positions and governorships. >> and unfortunately the war has gone on for so long, for 17 years, that there are a lot of them. so inevitably and hopefully they will continue to rise up. but when you look at that image it just -- you know, we were watching at home with some people who were over and everyone uzin tears and my 9-year-old son goes why are you guys crying, what's happening here? and it was a great chance to tell the american story and talk about the greatest generation. what those men and women did, what they lived through in the
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depression, what they fought for in world war ii. and i said yesterday both bob dole and president george h.w. bush should have been dead. dole was 21 when she was shot by the germans. not having much confidence that he would survive. and president bush, then naval aviator bush was shot down over the pacific, ejected. both men survived. bush was 20 years old and here you had this moment yesterday where 95 senator dole got to stand and salute 94-year-old president george h.w. bush. >> it's hard for us to
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understand as we go back and talk about the greatest generation and the band of brothers. we were just showing some pictures of george h.w. bush from high school. we forget how young. they were not men. they were boys. george h.w. bush did not go from yale to war. >> no. 18. >> he went from andover high school and from philips academy. that's who the guy was when he went off to strap himself into a plane and fight the war. let's bring in right now the host of msnbc's "hardball" chris matthews. chris, i've been somewhat amuds somewhat disappointed by some conservative commentators, some good conservative friends of mine who say oh, all these people saying nice things about george h.w. bush, they hated him
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when he was president of the united states. it seems not only to miss the part but in part make the point about the crecgraciousness of ge h.w. bush. he showed the extraordinary grace of saying to maureen in that lovely note, basically you drive me crazy, i'm going to swear, i'm going to be profane, i'm going to be angry, but if you ever need me know i'm going to be here and i will not let you down. it reminds me so much of what you wrote at the beginning of your o'neil ronald reagan book where he said the only thing he hated more was not getting more done for the american people. that's this generation and what they understood. >> well, those of us who knew george herbert walker bush knew
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he knew us before we were tough on him. he said to me, george senior, he said be nice to my son. there's tension in politics at its best. there's tension between one side and the other. that's how it works. you argue, you fight over issues. and that's how it works. and that's better than a dictatorship isn't it? and i think that george herbert walker bush, we call him because you have to distinguish him all the time from w., but i was thinking about that moment you just said a moment ago, my dad's best friend, eugene shields, they played golf every saturday. we knew him our whole lives and he never ever told us what he did in world war ii. he brought those higgins boats into normandy personally. he was one of the guys that drove them in as one of the guys
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of the boats. and he was there on the landing, and he never, ever told us. and we found out a couple of years before he died. and that is so much like those guys. they don't brag. and i think that's bob dole. and when i saw him stand up the other day i said, bob, you've been through it all those years putting up with your handicap and putting up with the attacks from george herbert walker bush, that you were a straddler, that you didn't have the guts to stand up on issues. and here he was in the capitol of the united states standing on his feet saluting this guy even though they were at war politically. and it's a real thing, and i love the real thing. >> that's who we have been as a country. adams and jefferson fought perhaps the ugliest political campaign in american history in
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1800, and they became dear friends. both of them died on the morning of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence. and john adams' last words were at least jefferson lives. >> yeah, and i think that's probably how bob dole felt yesterday as he stood in front of that casket. i mean, the things the two of them have seen and lived through are things that i think many people today, particularly young people don't fully understand. their lines in the history book are something they read in a wikipedia page, but the lives they lived. >> and that's why i think, chris, i suspect you'll agree with me. it's not a text message. it's something to cling to and watch, because this is passing moment that i don't know occurs again in our future. >> i agree.
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and i think when movie stars die they bring out the old pictures. elizabeth taylor dies in later life and they bring out the pictures when she was 19 and placed in the sun. we bring our politics back to us in the past, but every moment like this is in the present. what's really going on right now is a national reaction to trump. no matter what we say or don't say it's a reaction to what we have. and we miss the better, we miss that part of decency and honor that's missing right now in our dialogue, in the way we talk ability each other, in the media. and i think we want to go back to some of that. i know we do. we want some of that grandeur back again. >> and george h.w. bush, just quickly in our final seconds, a lot of people talk about how these men never bragged ability their service and sacrifice.
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it's also coupled with empathy, that comes with losing a brother in war, that comes with the loss of their daughter. and that empathy, you can see every relationship he has politically and personally. >> you're right. and i think people can tell the real thing, you said genuine article for politicians and the real thing. and there are liberals that are the real thing. there are phony conservatives, and i've known some phony liberals where intellectually they like man kind but no one in particular. and there are people i've worked with who actually do care about other people, individually when they meet them. regular people, they care about them and that's why they're there. they're called leaders. and i think george herbert walker bush, i experienced him first-hand. he had an amazing ability to
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focus on people of much lesser station than he was of life, and that was a gift for all of us. >> chris, thank you so much. we'll see you on "hardball" tonight. thank you so much. we have much more ahead on morning joe. we're back in just one minute. [woman 1] this... [woman 2] ..this... [man 1] ...this is my body of proof. [man 2] proof of less joint pain... [woman 3] ...and clearer skin. [man 3] proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... [woman 4] ...with humira. [woman 5] humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further irreversible joint damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the number one prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis. [avo] humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system
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problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. [woman 6] ask your rheumatologist about humira. [woman 7] go to mypsaproof.com to see proof in action. lock her up, that's right. yes, that's right. lock her up! i'm going to tell you what, it's unbelievable. it's unbelievable. >> when you have your staff taking the fifth amendment, taking the fifth so they're not prosecuted i think it's disgraceful. >> five people around her have
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been given immunity to include her former chief of staff. when you are given immunity that means you've probably committed a crime. >> all right, let's put those clips into perspective. michael flynn could still get locked a. roger stone is pleading the fifth, and a long time trump executive was granted immunity. we're going to get to that and the fury on capitol hill over the white house's whitewashing of a journalist's murder. the administration gave one story, the cia gave another. and it's being described as the difference between darkness and sunshine. welcome to "morning joe" everyone. it's wednesday, december 5th. with us we have contributor mark barnacle, and columnist and associate editor of "the washington post" david ignaceous, former u.s. attorney for the district of alabama and
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joyce vance along with joe, willie and me. >> and david, your namewi was dropped in some documents. >> my name appeared on page 2 by special counsel mueller describing on january 12, 2017 i wrote that mike flynn then heading the white house had had a call not disclosed with the russian ambassador, sergey kislyak on december 29. and i raised the question whether or not that call which was the same day president obama announced sanctions on russia for its meddling in our elections, flynn had discussed with case lack possibly gnat the new administration would drop those sanctions. and that began a process as the sentencing memo says that led finally to flynn's interview with the fbi, his lies to the fbi, his departure from the administration are all that we've seen.
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so it's interesting. it feels like, you know, a little moment of history. >> for those that really don't remember so well about the campaign and flynn's role in it, michael flynn as we were told all along was the person that went with donald trump everywhere in the campaign. was around him all the time. staff members complained he was at meetings he wasn't supposed to be in. and what we heard from staff members is that they would fly michael flynn all over the country with donald trump because he would calm him down, made him a bit more substantial with ta general around him, and also would stop him, quote, from saying crazy things. >> and also staff members and family members would ask what's he doing there, and they would say he calms him down. and that carried into the white house. when we went in the white house
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several times he was literally in the doorway holding papers, kind of lurking almost but always there. even during a lunch he would just meander into the room. >> so a constant presence there. >> constant. >> you have cohen also a constant presence around donald trump as well, and donald trump can try to -- the administration and all of his sad, sad apologies to cross the media, can try to minimize these two roles these people played, but, man, very significant. >> let's get into the new court filings from the special counsel from the national security advisor michael flynn. in the heavily redacted memo mueller's team says flynn has provided substantial assistance with several ongoing investigations and is recommending that he receive little or no prison time. that part is staggering in my opinion. according to the memo flynn has
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provided first-hand information about the content and context of interactions between the trump transition team and russian government officials. the document notes that flynn has met with the special counsel's team 19 times and has provided them with documents and communications. the memo says flynn began providing information to investigators not long after the government first sought his cooperation. it reads, quote, his early cooperation was particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and first-hand insight regarding events and issues under investigation by the special counsel's office. according to the memo flynn's cooperation also extends to a criminal investigation that is separate from mueller's probe, that the next 22 lines in the document have been completely redacted. >> long-term relationship with
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donald trump and so many of the dealings, it makes him an extraordinarily important witness. and one we also heard from the filings and read from the filings, also got other people testifying for the independent counsel's office. >> yeah, we learned that general flynn spoke to the special counsel's office 19 times as part of this deal. and joyce vance, you put that together with what's been reported as 70 hours of meeting between michael cohen and the special counsel's office and you can add paul manafort in there although his deal is now scrapped, separately allen weisselberg, the cfo of the trump organization, he had an immunity deal in the cohen affair. in other words, the people closest to president trump have spoken to prosecutors, have spoken to people who are trying to get to the bottom of whether or not there was collusion and obstruction in this case.
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>> you know, mueller's team has quietly and very efficiently put together it looks like a complete cast of all of the people they needed to talk to get to the bottom of this. and although a lot of people were disappointed by how heavily redacted this memo was last night, i think as you read through it, maybe the second or the third read, you realize how much detail it provides. of course it provides information that flynn is cooperating not just with the special counsel but in an additional criminal investigation that's not identified and also in a third investigation that's completely redacted. we simply don't know is that counter intelligence, is that something we just don't know about at this point? so there's been from flynn that just enormous breadth of cooperation. but also there's this notion that he was the trump whisperer to whom trump probably confided, spoke expensively and now bob mueller has all of that information.
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>> and what do you read, joyce, into the fact that the recommendation from the special counsel's office is no or limited prison time because of flynn's, quote, substantial assistance. what does that tell you about what mueller got from general flynn? >> flynn didn't just give mueller something valuable. he gave him multiple somethings that were valuable. substantial assistance is a term of art for prosecutors. it means a witness who can help you make additional cases on additional people. that has to be the baseline on what flynn had to contribute here. i think it speaks to the deal that he got. it's not just that these charges he pled guilty to were charges that only gave him a guideline range of 50 to 6 months. 6 months was the most he could have received and mueller is suggesting he received no time. flynn could have been subjected to additional charges that would have considerably raised that calculus. the fact he remained pleading
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guilty only to these charges of 1,001 lying to it government, really tells me he brought something valuable to the table. >> joyce, last week you said you believed mueller was holding a royal flush. why is that? >> when you read the cohen papers that came forward last week, something really stuck out. and that was the fact they spoke for the first time about the president's children. when they were talking about the lies that cohen made when he testified up on the hill, there were a couple of different categories of lies. and for those to be important to prosecutors they have to be material. that means they have to be critical at what you're looking at charging. and there was this conversation not only about the trump-moskow deal going on much later in the campaign than had been previously disclosed but also that the president's children were being briefed. prosecutors don't like to drag peoples name through the mud
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unnecessarily. i know that comes as a surprise to everybody, but it's just a practice you don't involve people you're thought going to charge. i thought that really stood out and combined with all the detail from cohen and the other detail we knew was available from other wntss, certainly rick gates who was a stand in for manafort, it looked to me mueller is sort of closing the pincers and ready to bring this to a close in a very comprehensive way. >> mike, as a reporter through the years you've looked at several of these documents before, redacted, not redacted. what was your take away? >> that bob mueller and his people have a substantial case going here. and this particular -- the flynn sentencing memo, david, wuss filled with language that just jumps out. as joyce just mentioned the word substantial. but the other paragraph, the sentence, the defendant's decision to plead likely affected the decision of first-hand witnesses to be forthcoming. when you think about the time
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line involved, january 24th, this is when it begins, four days after the inauguration, you've got mike flynn in the middle of several things. sally yates has gone to don mcgahn, don mcgahn tells donald trump, and basically he says who cares, he has this sideshow, all sorts of things going on here that this is a pretty explosive -- despite the redactions, a pretty explosive -- >> in a weird way what's most explosive are all those redactions, where you don't know where it's going to surface next. the fact that flynn came in early, accepted responsibility led other people to say i need to talk to the special counsel, too, and you can see he's been
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building this case for so many months and how much stuff he must have about the whole range of trump transition, trump administration activities. still ahead on morning joe, lindsey graham called the saudi crown prince complicit. and bob corker said he'd be guilty as charged. you can object imagine what john mccain would have said. the latest on the cia's assessment that mbs was behind the murder of jamal khashoggi. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. mom! maria! maria ramirez... mcdonald's is committing 150 million dollars in tuition assistance, education, and career advising programs... prof: maria ramirez mom and dad: maria ramirez!!! to help more employees achieve their dreams. discover card. i justis this for real?match, yep. we match all the cash back new cardmembers earn
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i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. so front page of "the new york times" you have gina haspel, the cia director after a briefing, and they are furious, and if you look at gina haspel, this is woman who i think like rod rosenstein before, you don't
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want to twist their words. trump got in trouble with rosenstein early on by blaming the firing of comey on rosenstein. here he lied about what gina haspel and the cia has told him, mischaracterized it. gina haspel went to the hill, set the record straight. >> it was a closed door meeting with select senators and haspel yesterday spoke to them about the murder of jamal khashoggi. the cia has recently given a high confidence assessment that saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman ordered khashoggi's murder. it follows last week briefing by mike pompeo and -- this was what pompeo and mattis said last week after the briefing without
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haspel. >> there is no direct reporting connecting the prince to the order of the murder of jamal khashoggi. >> we have no smoking gun that the crown prince was involved. >> all right. so then take a look at that redaction. >> let's talk about that for a second. >> it was painful. >> the rough line really maybe they think they're using terms of art. i think pompeo was especially dreadful there by being actually emphatic about the lie that he knows. and this is what gets me in trump's america. he knows he's lying, we know he's lying, the world knows he's lying and yet he will still go out -- here's a relatively young man with great credentials, a great past behind him who's going out and sullying his reputation for a man who may not be in the white house for another year.
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it's just -- it's shocking to me. >> and for what specifically, i would ask secretary pompeo and secretary mattis as well. because that's not a lie they repeated after that. >> was it another purview were was it a lie? >> to protect who exactly? why does the president want to protect the crown prince, in this case, why is that so important to him? look, these senators came out of that meeting yesterday emphatically having heard gina haspel's testimony and having heard the intelligence, here's what they said after the briefing yesterday. >> there's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw. you have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of mbs and that he was intricately involved in the demise of mr. khashoggi. it is zero chance, zero that this happened in such an
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organized fashion without the crown prince. i would really question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out. >> i have zero question in my mind that the crown prince, mbs, ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening, planned it in advance. if he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes, guilty. there's no way anybody with a straight face can say there's any question what happened. >> senator corker added the difference between last week's administration briefing and haspel's briefing was quote, the difference between darkness and sunshine. minority leader chuck schumer is calling for a full senate briefing from the director. director haspel is not scheduled to attend that one.
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what are pompeo and mattis up to here? are they just running interference for the president, and why is the president running interference for the crown prince? >> i read the pompeo mattis statements as policy statements. it's awkward and inconvenient for saudi arabia, our ally to be in this kind of trouble. and i read gina haspel from what we know has a statement of the truth that the cia has that motto out in langly that you should know the truth and it truth will make you free. and gina haspel had a good day yesterday telling all those senators the truth as the cia knows it. not about policy, not about what to do about it, but here's what happened. and wow, what impact. >> the shocking thing about this to me and others, i believe, is when jim mattis says there's no smoking gun, when both men, secretary pompeo and secretary mattis know what the cia
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provides, they provide an assessment. it's not a homicide investigation per se, where they say david ignaceous committed the crime. talk about what the cia provides. >> what the cia provided was detailed evidence as i understand it of the conversations mohammed bin salman had with his key men about what taking place in istanbul and also conversations from istanbul to riyadh, filling them in on what had happened. and the key thing is that the senators wouldn't just accept the kind of, well, there's no smoking gun, we don't know, we'll see, the policy whitewash of this. senators like lindsey graham said we want gina haspel the cia director here. coming up on morning joe tom
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brokaw gives us the political back story that makes bob dole's absolute to bush 41 and the correspondent with the late president. morning joe is coming right back. my name is elaine barber, and i'm a five-year cancer survivor. being diagnosed with cancer made me rethink everything in my life. the things that became important to me were the relationships with people. we pulled together closer as a family. i had so many people at ctca helping me find a way to go through the treatments, to prepare me for anything i would've faced. cancer showed me what true living is all about. so i started helping at a school for special needs children. i think they do more for me than i do for them.
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joining us now from washington national cathedral ahead of today's funeral service for president george h.w. bush is nbc news senior correspondent tom brokaw. tom, good morning. >> good morning. and congratulations, by the way. first time i've seen you since the great ceremony. >> thank you so much. we're looking ahead to quite a day today, tom, aren't we? >> it is. and i want to share with our audience i think something very touching and historic. the cemetery to the republican party, george bush and bob dole. and president trump bush won in new hampshire which was not good news for bob dole, so we're going to share with you what happened on the air that night as i was interviewing mr. bush who was vice president at the
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time and bob dole was standing by. take a look at this. >> mr. vice president, if you look down at that monitor you'll see the man who you beat tonight. anything you'd like to say at this point? >> just wish him well. >> and senator dole, anythinged you like to say to the president? >> stop lying about my record. >> it looks we're setting up what's going to happen. >> that's fine. we're ready. >> oh, my gosh. there was a very, very tough exchange, obviously. bob dole didn't talk to me for a long time, but here he was at the national rotunda struggling to get to his feet to salute a man who became his close friend. they shared world war ii and so much more. i think it is a defining moment
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of these past two days. all of these men have given their public service, and at the end of their lives they were joined together by the common commitment to the betterment of america. >> what an extraordinary moment. we've been talking about it and watching it this morning. i'm struck watching it that we're not just losing a man, we're losing a certain kind of american man. and bob dole fits in that category as well. what do we lose with the passing of george herbert walker bush in this country? >> well, i think that this weekend has been very important to remind us of the kind of sacrifice that generations have made to serve in public service and to be a part of that. and to be able to step aside from time to time and say we have common interests here, it's not just about partisan bickering and tweeting but getting something good done for
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the benefit of all of us. and at the end of the day it elevates everyone in america. that's what public service should be about. and the two of them in their lives reminded us of that. >> tom brokaw, thank you so much. let's bring in now pulitzer prizewinning columnist for "the new york times," marine dowd. she was the "the new york times" white house reporter during george h.w. bush's presidency. it's entitled the patrician president and the reporterette, a screwball story. we have a love-hate relationship he told me when i ran into him in 2001 at a book party in george ton. often ending debates in the white house by saying i'm president and you're not.
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like the current occupant of the white house 41 was obsessed with "the new york times." his critiques were more along the lines of this one he sent to me. maureen, we've talked about the wonderful note he wrote you saying he'd always be there for you, but you also shared with your readers just a really moving moment when he sent you a note after the passing of your mom that made you weep. talk about how different george h.w. bush from so many politicians that you've covered. >> right, well, i would say the biggest difference between the late president bush and the current occupant of the white house can be summed up in the personal pronoun. his mother always told him not
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to use the big i and not to gloat. so he would literally drop these subjects of sentences and start with the verb. and obviously now we have a guy in the white house who only focuses on the big i and reshapes everything around that. i was not by far the only reporter he would write a sympathy note to where they lost their mother. i don't know where he got the time to run the world and also write all these notes because he corresponded with me for decades. and when my mom died he wrote me a note and he described being at his mother's bedside when she died and how, you know, she was in so much pain that he just wanted her to go to heaven. and, you know, it was very personal, very moving. >> and maureen, you know, his personality, i kind of feel like he reminds me a lot of mr.
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rogers. he's just so nice to everybody, and it wasn't, you know, as vivid perhaps as other presidents. but the kindness always came through. that tension in washington existed and it was tough at times, but there was something about him that always brought you back to the good place. >> oh, mika, that is so interesting you used that example because i was watching the documentary about mr. rogers recently. >> yes, me too. >> and one line he said really struck me about the current era which was -- mr. rogers said what makes me angrier than anything else are people who try to make other people feel less than, which is sort of the definition of what trump does. it jumped out at me. >> it's such a beautiful piece and one piece jumped out at you,
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he did have a special place in his heart for you. he wrote where do you and i stand, how i feel a warm place in my heart for someone who day in and day out brutalizes my son, i don't know but i do. obviously you were very critical of george w. bush during the iraq invasion and afterwards. but he still couldn't help but reach out and write to you. >> he would write to me calling dr. freud dr. young and dr. phil. part of it was i think he agreed with my analysis of the iraq war, that it was a mistake to go into baghdad and, you know, trump up this reason for war because he had decided not to do that. but he couldn't say that except to his closest friends, and he also agreed with me that dick
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cheney and donald rumsfeld hijacked his presidency. and finally in the end he told that to john meacham. he said they were hard asses or iron asses or something and they had ruined his presidency. >> in some of the notes he would put typed by me to inform you he actually wrote the note. but the thing that struck me and i'm wondering if it ever struck you in your conversations with mim, was how emotional he couldback, when especially you just alluded to talking to his son george w. bush and the media treatment he was seeing. i don't know if you've seen president george h.w. bush actually start crying about it. >> yes. and, you know, it was
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interesting that w., when he came to the capitol rotunda was also very emotional. the love was berated with competition. and every father-son relationship was complicated. but, yes, the father it was funny because he was the last great emblem of the establishment, you know, the old boys, white male network. and yet he was very close to his emotions. he cried easily. >> they were very emotional. i remember campaigning with him in 2000 in panama city a week before the election and the recount. and i remember him talking about his son and the possibility that he could be elected president of the united states and in front of these constituencies he broke down and started crying. and it was so interesting that whenever you got along with jeb or even w., they would in a car
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when nobody was watching, when nobody was listening, you brought up their father they would say, you know, it's the greatest man i've ever met in my life. jeb bush has said it a thousand times in private and say it publicly to anyone who asks. as maureen said, heidi, very competitive family. there's some really interesting dynamics between w. and jeb especially, but they all love each other deeply -- >> from the top down. >> the thing that always brought them together was their love for their father. >> and you could really see that watching them in the rotunda where they for the first time saw their father's casket surrounded there in the capitol. but maureen, i wanted to ask you about another portion of your piece when you say when you interviewed him he spoke fondly of bill clinton and respectfully
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of obama, but when you asked him about donald trump who was at the time leading the birther charge against obama he made a face and i think uttered an expletive. i'm wondering if you got a sense from the man of what he makes of this moment in time of the party and of the dawn of trump, essentially co-opting the party. >> yeah, that's a great question, heidi. i think, you know, that donald trump would be incomprehensible to him literally. and even that was 2011, so in our wildest imagination we couldn't imagine that trump would be the nominee and that he would, you know, eviscerate h.w.'s dream of jeb in the white house with two words, low energy. all of that was unimaginable. i asked him about donald trump was at that point trump was leading the birther muchblt aovd
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i asked him what do you think of this trump birther thing and he was -- am i allowed to say that word on-air? >> sure. >> no. >> he said, you know, in essence he's a jerk with a different word. and i just -- i think i heard later that he was throwing a shoe at the television set when trump came on, and he was a man with enormous civility and i don't think he could understand this. and joe, what you said, when you read his book of letters, the most heart breaking thing he says to his son is if you need to distance yourself from me when you're running, go ahead. who else would say that. >> maureen dowd, thank you. >> thank you. and congratulations, you guys. >> thank you. we appreciate it.
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>> congratulations to me, condolences to me. >> we had a moment that we -- >> look at that. that is so cute and he wouldn't let it go. so lovely. >> you know talking about it, i remember the first time we went out it was 2011 and he so wanted his son jeb to run for president in 2012. that really did mean an awful lot to him and did not care for donald trump even then. >> no, i mean maureen dressed it up, you know, his comments about donald trump. but when you would speak to him about donald trump, maureen was absolutely right, he was trying to talk about something he just couldn't comprehend. the whole trump effect, the whole trump emergence, and
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because he was such a polite man and civilized man the language that was being employed by candidate trump on the stump shocked him. and he couldn't grasp the fact that so many members of your former party would be lining up like this. >> talked about how jerry went up, and i remember jerry telling us a story of him going up there and president bush taking him to go play tennis at a club who do not usually allow people like jerry to play at that clubl. and jerry said bush just stared at him like don't even think of it, this guy's my friend. but talked about -- you know, that actually -- jerry's documentary on 41 that was on hbo, that would be a great documentary to look at. absolutely.
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and still to come, france has pulled back on the fuel tax that sparked widespread outrage. in the eyes of president trump that amounts to a full throated endorsement of his views on climate. we'll talk about that just ahead on "morning joe." my mom's pain from moderate
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seldom has history offered a greater opportunity to do so much for so many. we have confronted and will continue to confront hiv/aids in our country. and i propose an emergency fund for aids relief, a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of africa. i ask the congress to commit $15 pillion over the next five years including nearly $10 billion in money to turn the tide against aids in the most afflicted nation of africa and the caribbean. >> that was president george w.
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bush at his 2003 "state of the union" announcing a plan to address the global pandemic. four months later congress passed the president's emergency plan for aids relief with strong bipartisan support. last week congress re-authorized the legislation for the third time in its history. while secretary of state mike pompeo announced the latest results of the effort which includes more than 17 million lives saved. joining us now is u.s. global aids coordinator and global health diplomacy ambassador, so thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for being here. you know, it's so interesting at a time when not a lot of people had a lot of nice things to say about george w. bush, i remember somebody asking who did more in the fight against global aids, and they both laughed and they
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said it's not even close, george w. bush. and of course all the reporters were probably shocked and dropped their microphones, but it is extraordinary what happened from that one speech across africa. >> it was extraordinarily. he raised his voice in the year 2000, and there was one country that heard that voice, and it was the united states of america. and to go from all of the hopelessness and the death and the destruction, families were being ripped apart, child head of households. i was working in africa in '98, very dismal. it was funeral after funeral, no parents, no teachers, no doctors. a third of the population died of the adults. and to know that the americans heard that call and within four months not only announced a new program, funded a new program
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and congress passed a new program, it's just extraordinary to still be part of a program that has that kind of willingness to do something that's bold and willingness to do something that's great. >> so you've been on the forefront, on the front line really of making sure that commitment continues. what are the challenges now? >> early on in a program you do the things that need to be done but they're easier because everything is such a disaster that everything is needed. and 15 years in you really need to look -- be much more precise, much more focused to have the impact that you need to have. and the hiv virus continues to evolve. >> what are the challenges now, i know you said at the very beginning it was like an invasion and you were just trying to stem the tide as much as you could. so here we are 15 years later. what's the focus now? what's the refinement for the strategy? >> we're laser focused now because we've been collecting data. so we know every site we work in, exactly how many men and
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women in every age group that need to be reached. we know the people of the highest risk which in sub-saharan africa is 15 to 20-year-old young men and women. really free mentored and safe young women, really focused on assuring young women can thrive and grow up healthy free of hiv. we continue to evolve the program based on the data, a granularity of the data to fight the virus in a real and constant way. >> you just came from global citizen in south africa where you announced $1.2 billion being invested just in the country, south africa, to reach epidemic control by the year 2020. it's an incredibly ambitious goal. i'm wondering, because of the success of pepfar, the clear success, what lessons can we learn? how else can we project this american power in other ways around the world? >> i think it's very important to know precisely what you're
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trying to do is then have all the information. be bold to say i need to have this information. i need to have this policy from government. i need to have this level of community awareness. we're very deliberative. we're very direct because we have a very important mission. it's a mission to save lives and change the course of this pandemic which no one has ever tried to do before without a vaccine or a cure. it's very ambitious. if we focus and implement perfectly, we can actually have what you described. >> it says here you have 14.6 million people on life-saving anti-retroviral treatment. at what point will we be where the emphasis is on treatment, where the numbers are down where people don't have to take the medication, but preventing it? >> that's the absolute key question. that's why we've put so many more resources into preventing new infections in young women
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and building on our program of preventing new infections in boys. those are our two basic programs in prevention. we have 25% of our dollars in prevention. of course we also do mother to child transmission prevention, which has been really the hallmark of the program in saving mommies and babies, but now those babies we saved are 15. now we have to focus on that. >> wow. >> just really quickly, and i don't want to get too far in the weeds, but you've mentioned south africa several times. it reminds me several years ago that i was reading of leaders in south africa that were still in a state of denial, they were not being helpful. have we seen a change in south africa, more of a clear eyed recognition of just how widespread this epidemic is? >> that's really critical because we can't work effectively when governments don't have the political will or develop the policies we need to have an impact with our u.s. taxpayer dollars. and so south africa, under both presidents have really --
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president ramaposa is the one who announced 2 million new people on treatment. we're trying to support the country to get there, we have to do much more efficient and focused work. that's where we come in, in the united states, bringing in a clear eyed business model to public health. that's a new thing we're bringing to foreign assistance is really that kind of focus on efficiency and effectiveness using a very clear business model. >> all right. ambassador deborah birx, it's great to have you. >> thank you so much. >> thank you very, very much. still ahead, president trump is set to leave the white house, just a short time from now, enroute to washington national cathedral for the state funeral service of president george h.w. bush, we'll be following every step of today's events right here on msnbc. we're back with more "morning joe" in just a moment. traveling lighter. getting settled. rewarded.
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france's fuel tax, citing it as a justification for his own decision to withdraw from the paris climate accord. even though french president macron is a staunch supporter of the climate deal. trump tweeted in part yesterday, "i am glad that my friend emmanuel macron and the protesters in paris have agreed with the conclusion i reached two years ago. the paris agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters". >> not the case. you know, reading the stories, willie, struck by just how bleak the existence is for many people out in the french countryside. >> oh, my gosh, yeah. well, that's -- i mean, that was as much a spasm about the state of the economy as a specific fuel tax and the tax hike. i mean, there are people in that country who are really hurting. i'll try not to make sense of the president's tweet. i don't understand that one. i'll read his latest tweet.
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he wrote "looking forward to being with the bush family. this is not a funeral, a day of celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life, he will be missed." . to that tweet, i say amen. >> we've been president when the president has struck the wrong notes. i will say, since the passing of george h.w. bush, he has, when it comes to the bush family and the president, struck the right notes. >> yes, he has. and later today it's going to be an american moment, a unique american moment. we should savor this. >> yes, i totally agree. >> true measure of character for any person is how you treat people of less power than you. my good friend kate anderson braugher interviewed over 50 residents, employees, chefs, yard workers all of the presidents they worked for over several presidencies, the bushes were their favorite. they treated them like family. >> all right.
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and joe, you have five seconds. >> this is just -- like john mccain's funeral, this is a funeral for america to sit down and watch. >> that's right. >> and see what washington once was and what washington will be again. that does it for us this morning. brian williams picks up with msnbc's special coverage of the funeral of president george h.w. bush. ♪ well, good morning all. we begin this somber day with our eyes focused on the u.s. capitol where the body of our 41st president, george

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