tv Kasie DC MSNBC January 13, 2019 4:00pm-6:00pm PST
it? come on stay focused. hard work baby, it gonna pay off. welcome to "kasie dc." i'm kasie hunt. we are live from snowy washington from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern. tonight, we know when the mueller investigation is likely to end and now we know how a big part of the fbi investigation began. we're going to go inside that "new york times" bombshell about a counterintelligence probe into president trump. as "the washington post" reports, the president went to great lengths to conceal what he and vladimir putin talk about. plus, stop me from you heard this one before.
the government is closed. tonight the halls of congress are dark as thousands of american workers and their families are suffering. but first, this weekend brought with it two headlines that are stunning, even in the context of a presidency that has left all of us somewhat immune to shock. the first came from "the new york times," which reports that in the days after james comey's firing, fbi officials became so concerned by president trump's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of russia and against american interests. after that story broke, sam stein wrote on twitter, what this does likely mean is sometimes soon a reporter is going to straight-up going to have to ask trump, are you a russian asset? and it will be a legit question. well, last night in the friendliest of media confines for this president, somebody did. >> i'm going to ask you, are you now or have you ever worked for russia, mr. president? >> i think it's the most
insulting thing i've ever been asked. i think it's the most insulting article i've ever had written. >> not a yes and not a no. as for that second blockbuster headline, "the washington post" reports that the president has gone to, quote, extraordinary lengths to conceal conversations with russian president vladimir putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter in instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials. here's how the president responded to that report last night. >> i'm not keeping anything under wraps. i couldn't care less. i have a one-on-one meeting with putin like i do with every other leader. i have many one on one. nobody ever says anything about it but with putin they say oh, what did they talk about? we talked about very positive things. anybody could have listened to that meeting. that meeting is open for grabs. >> with that i would like to welcome in my panel with me here on set, washington anchor for
bbc world news, katty kay. she's co-author of the book "the confidence code for girls." also with us justice reporter julia ainsley and former chief of staff at the cia and department of defense, also msnbc national security analyst, jeremy bash. and in birmingham, alabama, former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor joyce vance. it's great to have you to talk about a very momentous weekend in news. jeremy, i want to start with you and just from kind of a broad perspective, did this headline and news about the counterintelligence investigation, should it change how we view the mueller investigation overall? >> not really. it was always a counterintelligence and criminal investigation. the real question at the heart of the inquiry was what leverage does russia have over our president, financial leverage and ultimately physical rev ladies and gentlemen? and to help us answer the question, why do we have a foreign policy that seems to make no sense, why do we have a president that seemed so
pro-putin? and this is the issue "the new york times" raises, what do we do as a constitutional matter if the commander in chief under article two of our constitution was responsible for foreign relations and who is responsible for national security, what if he is working against the giants of the united states? there really is no criminal end to that inquiry. so at the end of the day i think where this is all going, this is a question for congress. this is a political question ultimately about impeaching, as whether this president is fit to serve as leader of the united states. >> julie, you agree? >> the other thing i keep thinking about is the reporting months ago that trump told him he kept thinking mueller said he was a target of the investigation. i'm wondering if he's piecing words a little bit. if the mueller probe could wrap and that would be focus odd and collusion. that was the memo rosenstein gave to mueller when he hired him but it could still continue with this counterintelligence aspect because that could sound national security. it continues not just what trump did as a candidate but more
focused on his role at the white house. it's things like pulling out of syria, some things are unexplained, like the helsinki conference, the conversations he with president putin. it's putting all of that in a different light. and then i agree, it comes down to politics at the end of the day. and you know well more than any of us how democrats are preparing for that possible. >> katty kay, that's an excellent point about the policy decisions that had been made in this administration that seemed to line up with the fact the president is interested in helping russia instead of treating them like an adversary. >> it's more what the president said than he has done. he spent the first half of his presidency backing away with from criticizing vladimir putin or russia. yet sanctions on russia have been toughened. sanctions on people close to president putin have been toughened as kwl. so the president is in some ways right when he tweets i have been
tougher on russia. in a way he's right, he has stepped up sanctions and they are starting to bite around president putin. but it's the way this president is so very luck tant to criticize vladimir putin and the conjunction of these to stories there's a president hiding effectively some of the things he said with president putin, asking translator not even to disclose them to his own aides in the white house, in conjunction with bob mueller is investigating. >> while often undermining nato in other institutions while he's at it. >> and the european union, which is what president putin wants to do and say russians were behind the meddling in the 2016 election. for his reasons he doesn't want to show he didn't win the 2016 election bhimself with these big rallies and it was his popularity contest. he doesn't want to concede it was russia who might have been engaged in that but he's very leery of saying russia is the ones who helped him >> just to get a sense of what's
going on behind the scenes at the fbi and minds of the prosecutors he justice department and others as this was unfolding and they're watching this happen and they actually undertook the decision to launch a counterintelligence investigation into a sitting american president, mine that is a remarkable and stunning move. what do you read into it? >> any time you're making a decision as a prosecutor to open a case, just a criminal investigation into any sort of a political figure, whether it's a mayor, a senator, a governor or as in this case praise, all of the concerns that you have in a normal case are heightened and the reason for that are these rule of law principle that's we talk about so much. doj prides itself on ensuring that there's no hypothetical of political an amoss in its work so always there's a constant inquiry to make sure we are doing this because there's predcation for an investigation, not because someone is on the outs with someone else, which would, of course, be improper.
when you're looking at a counterintelligence case involving the president, all of those concerns are heightened. and for the fbi to decide to take this kind of a step, they must have been looking at signals intelligence and other information that gave them a really credible fear that the country was in peril and that they were in essence obligated to open the investigation, that walking away from it would have been irresponsible. >> so two of president trump's allies came to his defense this morning. they were suggesting that "the new york times" report may be worse news for the nba than for the president. >> it tells me a lot about the people running the fbi, a cave in that crowd. i don't trust him as far as i throw him. what i want to do is make sure how can the fbi do that? what kind of checks and balances are there? >> if i were the president, i would embrace the story. it backs up his narrative. his narrative is fbi agents were acting in a rogue manner,
zwroefrping the normal course of business because they had something against him. . >> jeremy bash, your take on that. >> i think the best argument for republicans like lindsey graham and christie is the fbi cannot investigate a commander in chief for being a counterintelligence threat because only the president can set the direction of american foreign policy. however, that line of argumentation will lead them to the exact place that democrats want to go, which is then therefore this is an issue for corning and an impeachment inquiry. in fact, the mueller investigation is only going to take us so far. it's going to lay a factual predicate but tend of the day, only congress can decide if the president is accounting in a way that ee anymore cal to the american foreign policy. >> i take your point for sure. but at what point were they and woderring if perhaps he was a russian agent unwittingly, doing it without knowing? >> you can be the target of an fbi counterintelligence investigation even if you did ostensibly nothing wrong, if you came under the influence of
foreign power unwittingly. because what the fbi fundamentally wants to know is what leverage does a foreign policy have over you? what is a foreign policy doing to affect the national security of the united states? but criminal investigations have a beginning, middle and end. the threshold, do we open the case? the middle, have the egs, the end, chargers or no charges. the national security terrorism allegations, there a threshold, open the case, middle, and the end -- there is no end. the end is a foreign policy decision. for, again, our constitutional systems, the way we grap well a foreign policy threat by a president is impeachment. >> it does make you wonder when jim comey testified and said you can be somebody who betrayed your country unwittingly, you may not even know you have done that. you wonder whether he was referring to something in particular that he knew about, in light of these reports this weekend. there was a striking bit of his testimony that he chose to say that before congress and you wonder what he was referring to. >> we're seeing everything through a different lens. i'm looking back at how rod
rosenstein behaved at this time and we did reporting last spring that shed light on where he was at this time. he was talking to people in the fbi, people he worked with, and he really wanted to get back into a place where they trusted him again. he was worried about his own fbi and fbi's credibility. then he took this 180 saying here i stand. if trump fires me, fine when he came under all of that heat. but for a while there, we saw more of an emotional rod rosenstein, at least people saying that knew him well and now think about the position he was in. if he had been asked to wear a wire. if he had been asked to come up with a fake reason for firing jim comey. all of these things were on him. if he knew about this investigation at the same time, which we can assume he did. that was all combining all of that pressure on him at the same time. >> just to sort of put a finer point on it, in the context of this counterintelligence investigation, weren't these agents who were working on that concern that rosenstein had himself been compromised? >> that's what michael schiff
was saying on "meet the press" today, right? they were worried they had people at the top of their agency who were now making up reasons that didn't go along with what the president was publicly saying. so what does that mean? what had transpired in that bedminster meeting to bring rod rosenstein to that position. >> how do you view rosenstein's role in this? there have been a lot of democrats in the past week about his plans to leave. he's clearly become somebody they have entrusted to protect the mueller investigation, but as we've been talking about here, that wasn't perhaps always the case. >> i imagine the early weeks of the trump presidency were fairly frantic signed of the justice department. there was an entire set of expectations and administration as administrations occurred, trump would stabilize, would become more presidential. and so although we don't know all of the details and particularly the details of how the memo that rosenstein wrote,
which argued that comey should be fired based on his violation of doj norms during the clinton administration, we don't know how that all played out. but when supposedly here he thought he was briefing a president in good faith and suddenly it became clear to him that the president had an entirely different set of assumptions and goals, and that following comey's firing, there's this dramatic moment that we learn about from russian news sources where the president had had the russian ambassador inside of the oval office, and he's talking with him there about firing comey to take off the pressure, i think there's an interesting story there that we will learn about hopefully at the end of this, because obviously, we're all extremely curious but rosenstein had a transition at some point in all of this where he perhaps matured as a deputy attorney general. and became a figure that was uncompromising and in support of the mueller investigation.
clearly, he learned information that told him that there was a strong need for this type of a process inseed of dide of doj a >> very interesting. we have a lot more to come here on "kasie dc," including the very latest on the longest shutdown in american history. >> how long are you willing to let this shutdown last, mr. president? >> whatever it takes. no one has any idea how to reopen the government and we're seeing real pain for thousands of american workers. and we're going to take you through every plan the president tried and fail sed so far to gea borter wall built. i will speak for the spokesman for michael cohen ahead of his testimony in congress. n congress hey, what is it? i realize i love you, but as long as you're with jessica, there can never be anything between us. listen cassie, there's no need to cry. besides, i've got really great news. you're leaving jessica? no. i just saved a load of money on car insurance by switching to geico.
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as we come on the air, no one knows how or when the government will reopen and the sticking point remains the same, funding for the border wall. but the solution to that problem used to be so simple. >> i will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and i will have mexico pay for that wall. mark my words. >> hmm, and then political reality got in the way. and once the president took office, the administration offered up a plan b. >> a plan that's taking shape now using comprehensive tax reform as a means to tax imports
from countries that we have a trade deficit from like mexico, we have a few taxed at 50%, $50 billion of 20% of imports, by doing it that way we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall through that mechanism alone. >> those comments sparked a bipartisan republic yore and hours later sean spicer said that idea was just one that the president was considering, which brings us to plan c, having congress flip the bill. >> we need border security. that's what we're going to be talking about border security. if we don't have border security, we'll shut down the government. this country needs border security. the wall is a part of border security. >> just to be clear, by congress we mean they're spending your money on the wall in theory, but, of course, we know how all of it is working out. enter plan d, money from a new trade deal, kind of, sort of paying for the wall. the president tweeting on friday, quote, we just signed a great new trade deal with
mexico. it is billions dollars a year, better than the very bad nafta bill it replaces. the difference paces for the wall many times over. the only problem, congress has not passed the mca yet and if it does, it's not at all clear any additional revenue or savings aft exists or b, would be used for the wall funding. that brings us to the absolute plan e. >> 40 hours ago you were said you were probably going to declare a national emergency. >> no, i said i could do it of the but i'll tell you what, it's the easy way out but congress should do this. this is too simple. it's too basic. if they can't do it, i will declare a national emergency. >> so no emergency either, at least not yet. still with no clear path to funding in sight, the president appears as confident as ever. >> you have to take the politics out of this, and we have to get down to business.
the numbers will be incredible if we get it done, and we will get it done. one way or another, we will get it done. >> joining me now is former republican congressman ryan costello of pennsylvania. the panel is still here as well. congressman, former congressman, excuse me, it's good to see you. i am back to the question that i feel like we've been all asking ourselves for the last week at least, if not longer, but considering the round and round we've gone the last week, how the hell do we get out of this? >> there's going to have to be an emergency declaration by the president i think for the president to save face and for him to assuage the base because i don't see democrats coming to the table. i know that the republicans' next message is going to be that the republicans are here to open the government, and the democrats wondemocrat want open borders. i don't think that will push democrats to get off their position. the president really, fully is
committed to want the base thinks, and i think the base has been very, very loyal and very, very vicious in attacking anybody who goes after the president, and that's where the president loyalty lies. and i think following that interview last night, there was even some commentary that said that they view the president holding the line on this and fighting for the wall as the most important thing in his presidency. and i think believed that. i don't believe that but i think he believes that. i don't see either party moving off here so i think the only exit strategy to get the government back open is for him to do an emergency declaration. >> that's something though that many republicans in congress have said is a no-go. take a look, here's what mitt romney, what of many republicans carrying this message, said this week. >> how is the president handling this? nancy pelosi has accused him of acting like a petulant child in the negotiations. could you support reopening the government before supporting the
border wall question? >> i think our democrat friends have painted themselves into a corner. they voted for border walls in the past, some 600-plus miles of border walls but the president is willing to work with them as long as they recognize, hey, we need border security. i theys something most americans agree to. i hope we will see nancy pelosi and chuck schumer final politic progress looking for common ground. >> later on in the interview, he also said he doesn't support a national emergency. congressman, what happens in that event? do you see a fwhorld which the right ri right wing media, rush limbaugh, backers on fox news, for example, would they support him doing a national emergency while the rest of the party goes against him? >> yes, they would. look, i don't think this -- i can understand why senator romney and others feel that way. i'm not suggesting that i would feel that way but for the simple
sque of how do you g question, how do you get out of this? if the president opens the government back up without border security money, the right wing will go nuts. at the same point in times, if democrats in congress, if pelosi puts a bill on the floor and they're forced to vote for funding, their base is going to go nuts. so as a consequence of each being driven by each party's base. republicans are right, look, democrats have voted for border security in the past but the past is the past. look, foyer got all about sean spicer. i totally forgot about him until you brought that quote up. >> our producer did not. >> we had plan a, b, c, d, e, f and g to pay for it. we're beyond all of that. we're in a shutdown and how do you get out of it? that's the only way to be candid, i don't see any party bending on this. >> i don't see either party
bending either. julia, this past week it seemed to be trying to change the way they're making this argument, right? and say this is a humanitarian and security crisis, which was kind of news to us because we had not really heard that before. >> they dropped the t word. we heard terrorist a lot the week before, started to fact-check that a little bit, chris wallace fact-checked sarah sanders huckabee a week ago saying it wasn't 4,000 terrorists crossing the border but actually 6. but all of that means that they did pivot on the argument. we saw with the president's address, here's why we need a wall, it's humanitarian. but that falls apart too, kasie. if there's a humanitarian cry circumstance it's because there are asylum-seekers trying to flee violence and pov'2" aerty come to the united states. asylum seekers come here and that does nothing about a wall.
we had higher numbers of undocumented immigrants coming to our southern border in the obama administration and far higher in the early 2000s. the only thing that changed is asylum seekers. the other allegation is a nuance to cover and i like getting into that but the wall nullifies it all because you get down to one symbol and both sides polarized. >> that's exactly what it seems this fight has become. it hasn't really sitting in the white house officials, vice president came up to capitol hill and said they're talking about nitty-gritty details but both sides have simply become a symbol. >> i think for the white house's point of view, the indication has a sim aymbol is the argumen keeps changing. first terrorists and then drugs. one trump aid or ally i spoke to this week said, yeah, we need the wall anyway because although they come through legal ports of entry, when we clamp down on the legal ports of entry access,
they will try to find other way they will need the wall. >> so their own policy is causing the problem, self-inflicted. >> i think it's an indication it's about the wall for the president, not actually about the facts on the ground, which is what will be the best thing, which effectively a wallboarder agents say is low on their list and why democrats are looking at canada and say, look, if this is about terrorism, we should put the wall around canada. the only terrorists to come across came through the canadian board h border, not the mexican one. so the democrats are trying to box the president in saying it's about the policy, not practicality of the wall. >> there's been polling that has gone on about suburban voters. a cnn poll of college-educated whites and trump policies, 64% disapprove of trump's overall
performance. 63 oppose the border wall with mexico. 63% blame trump for the shutdown. 57% say the border is not a crisis. what does this president's focus on the wall have on a republican party as a whole? you know better than anybody the impact this has had in sigh bourb sue bourbon america. >> you're statistics sound 100% right and a lot of us saw this coming. i think what this has done more than anything is given an opportunity for democrats to consolidate, not really look too much at their divisions and be viewed as responsible in terms of just wanting to open up the government and the argument over whether or not we need more of a border wall has really fallen on deaf ears. i think the middle of the country and suburban america doesn't think that any ideological battle -- and i
think that in some respects this is an ideological battle, no matter which side you're on. they don't feel you should shut the government down over these sorts of things. i'll give you an example, look at scott gottlieb's twitter feed. there's an administrator who every single day has to put out 10, 15 new updates on what you're allowed to file, what you can't file, how they're shifting resources around. and every single administrator in every single department has to do that sort of stuff. we may talk a little bit about what had to be done with the mortgage industry in order to make sure homeowners or home purchasers are able to get to the settlement table. imagine selling your house or having another house under agreement and you may not be able to go to settlement because your income verification is not able to be reviewed by the irs. a government shutdown hurts so many people in this country and middle america realizes that. and they don't think no matter where you feel on whether we need more wall or no more wall or technology or whatever it is,
you don't shut the government down over that. and whomever they assign blame to, their numbers are going to go down and that's what happened here. >> smart points all. when we come back, we'll talk about controversial polling of the election that caught the eyes of counsel. and elizabeth warren, what is she doing to get an edge among a crowded field of democrats, and will it be enough? that's tonight 9:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. here on msnbc. as someone in witness protection, i can't tell you anything about myself. but believe me... i'm not your average consumer. that's why i switched to liberty mutual. they customized my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. and as a man... uh... or a woman... with very specific needs
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welcome back. that bombshell report from "the new york times" about an fbi investigation into whether president trump was secretly working for russia has overshadowed other potentially important information out of the mueller probe. this including if he shared 2016 polling data with kilimnik, who the fbi said has ties to the russian intelligence. according to the unredacted filing, the special counsel alleged manafort lied about sharing the polling with clin nick. the source of the data and whether or not it came from the
trump campaign is still unclear. the document also gave no indication whether president trump was aware of manafort transferring the data and didn't specify how kilimnik might have used it. we do know manafort and his deputy rick gates asked kilimnik to give it to the uen cran oligarchs, who financed russian-backed political parties. george vance, let me start with you on this, how can something like this potentially or could it potentially implicate the president more broadly having hired paul manafort, having him run the campaign, or is that connection not strong enough for that to be an issue? >> i think the short answer is we don't know. mueller likely has a lot of information that's not publicly available but it's pretty interesting to me manafort, whose best protection here would have been to tell mueller's team everything that he knew, that was his one guarantee of getting favorable treatment at sentencing, there was something here that was so important that he had to protect it.
i think that certainly could have been other people who knew what he was up to. >> jeremy bash, what do you make of this manafort development? how important do you think it is in this broader context? we were talking off camera about other things you think play into this narrative this week. >> i think in terms of the manafort convenientment, look, if the information was public polling data, they wouldn't have to share it in the sensitive channel. they could have read it in the newspaper. it seems more than likely it was pry .tory analysis the way they viewed the electorate and opportunities to shape it and that ultimately in the hands of the russian gru intelligence service -- >> trying to influence it. >> they could have used it to shape their social immediate me campaign. i think it's directly in the way russia tried to interfere. if, of course, the president knew about it, he would bear some of the ultimate responsibility for it. i think there's a big question whether joyce and others could owe bien on is if mere knowledge, giving a heads-up to
the president is enough to implicate him. we think he possibly got a head of the trump tower meeting but how much he directed it, we don't know yet. >> the other thing i'm thinking about is how much irrational, seemingly rational decisions paul manafort made during this entire scheme. first of all, even with being in pretty bad financial straits went to work as a volunteer for the trump campaign. then he would have handed this over. why would he do that without talking to the campaign. that would seem a little irrational to me. and fast forward to what we've seen him do now to wait until he gets a -- go all the way through trial and then agree to cooperate, and then not be fully cooperative, when i was in court with watching him and his lawyers just a month ago, his lawyers said we don't even know what he lied about and if he intentionally did so, we need more time with our client. it's not clear he had the full picture. he could be lying to his lawyers too. >> manafort has a very long history of relationships with sleazy people, in dubious bits of the world.
>> and out for himself. >> and he's been out for himself and he was in debt millions of dollars to some of those people. i think the question here is one of motivation, was manafort trying to show these people he was close to trump and therefore could give them access? that would suggest manafort was, as you say, out for himself, or was he doing it in order to try to give the gru information they could use in a social immediate ka campaign with a little intention? that might suggest there was a broader concept in the campaign of wanting to clud with tollude russians and did trump know about it? given manafort's own past record on this and his often past of looking out for himself and trying to look out for himself, not perhaps very well, i don't think we can assume from this trump knew and there was some coordinated effort to give the gru information. >> and perhaps the republicans had leverage over paul manafort as well. congressman costello, can we talk briefly about the political implications here? at what point do republicans decide this is all too much?
we've seen obviously the ones that are left in the house are more pro-trump than they were a couple of months ago. but does at some point there just get to be too much here? >> i think that michael cohen hearing coming up and some other oversight and judiciary committee hearings that will likely ensue probably will elicit testimony that factually will really be put on the lap of every single member in both parties but your question was oriented towards republicans, where you're probably going to get a lot more direct answers than before. and that is because as this investigation has unearthed more information and more time has evolved, more information has come out, more answers have been given and especially as i think we're about to receive some -- there's some indication mueller will come out with something some time soon, there will just be enough out there. i think many republicans, myself
included, didn't want to jump the gun. you want an investigation to unfold. i always found very interesting now some democrats are asking should trump be impeached? and many democratic members are saying what republican members have for the last nine months, let's wait for the mueller report to come out. to answer your question directly, i think you'll get more candid answer from republicans but i think that will also be likely because more information has just come to the fold in the past several months. >> all right. we shall see. ryan costello, katty kay, julia ainsley, jeremy bash, joyce vance, thank you all so much for being here tonight. >> when we come back, i will talk to adam kinzinger about the report the president has gone through extraordinary lengths with vladimir putin. and what it will take to get government back open. government. man: tom's my best friend, but ever since he bought a new house... tom: it's a $10 cover? oh, okay. didn't see that on the website. he's been acting more and more like his dad.
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secretary of state mom pompeo is in the midst of an eight-century tour through the middle east. this morning he arrived in saudi arabia, where he's expected to have a sit-down with saudi prince mohammad bin salman, possibly tomorrow. they will likely discuss the killing of journalist jamal khashoggi, who u.s. intelligence officials determined was murdered at the behest of the crown prince. but in an interview with ale arabiya, pompeo said the, quote, mutually beneficial relationship with both countries, quote, must go forward. joining me now is republican
councilman adam kinzinger and member of the house committee on foreign affairs. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> what's your response to what pompeo said so far overseas? he also said that the relationship essentially predates the killing of jamal khashoggi and must go forward? >> i agree with him the khashoggi killing is terrible and needs to be called out with clear eyes. i was critical for the administration for not doing that. when it comes to things like politics, especially in areas in the middle east, we have to deal with bad actors sometimes. this is a case with saudi arabia there are a lot of things we would like to change, but when you're looking at who to deal with, it's going to be saudi arabia or iran and i could point out half a dead syrians that iran is backing the regime that is doing this. so there's nothing pretty there. i hope they are more clie-eyed about it this time but we have to move forward with this relationship. >> i'm glad you brought up
syria, because the president has been claiming that the u.s. has won against isis. there's even been a suggestion that the president doesn't necessarily think that this is an important idea for the use. he said, you know, he's opposed to endless wars. what is your take on the president's latest rhetoric around this? >> i think it's wrong. if you look at the facts, nobody's calling for another 150,000 troops in syria. only one hand people say we need to fight war a different way. let's use the people who are gnattive there there on the ground. let's use special forces. when we do that, which we were doing in syria quite successfully, to turn around and say we're tired of wars and have to leave. i have not seen riots on the vee streets of washington, d.c. saying get out of syria. you can embolden eyous saying we just defeated the united states'
will. you are also in good blocking position for iran. the united states is trying to say we will soon have troops in iraq and we can strike and that's true, but i think the downside of pulling out of syria is much bigger. i want to get out of syria but we have to do it at the right time when the caliphate is crushed and iran is out of syria. >> i want to ask you and this plays into the syria question, honestly, the russians and their potential influence over president trump. we saw the bombshell report from "the new york times" but i would like to ask you about "the washington post's" report that the president has been concealing his conversations with vladimir putin from top u.s. officials. as a member of congress, does that concern you? no one in the u.s. government is apparently able to access any records of these conversations? >> yeah, it does. i understand though 0 sometimes there's two sides to every story so i want to get more information but if what they're reporting is pretty much the story, it is concerning. does the president have a right to conceal these conversations?
probably. but i don't think it's the right thing to do. vladimir putin is an enemy of the united states. this administration in many ways has been pretty aggressive against the russians but this is something i just don't quite understand there's this hesitancy to attack vladimir putin personally. i want to get all of the information but it certainly would not make me happy if that's in fact what's going on. >> what do you make of the fbi's decision to announce this counterintelligence investigation? do you think it was an overstep on the part of the fbi, or does it concern you that they felt the need to go that route? >> i guess you can kind of look at it either way. we will know a lot more when the mueller report comes out in terms of what was known or what they were trying to find out. in terms of launching the investigation, my first reaction was massive overstep but i think there's a lot more information on that too. i always try to be not quick making judgment calls on
something like that but we will see. the mueller report, we need patients to get this come out. it will give a lot of indication. frankly, this could be eye-opening in some areas or some people could look at this and say wow, that was a two-year investigation and we didn't get anything out of it. >> mueller's reputation, we will see, congressman. let me shift gears for a second and ask you about one of your colleagues in the house, steve king, who made reprehensible comments about white nationalism and white supremacy. do you think your leaders in the house should take official action, perhaps censure him? >> absolutely. there's no place for that in the republican party. there's no place for that in the u.s. congress. we were a country that was founded on different races, different nationalities, different religions. we, the republican party, led a civil war to free slaves ultimately and preserve a union. this is not the party that should accept that. i think the leaders will step up. tomorrow i guess they're having a conversation with steve king.
you know, this obviously reflects badly on anybody. but anybody can call themselves a republican but it doesn't make that the values of the party. >> frankly, sir, before i let you go, the government you have has broken with your party and said, okay, we should try and reopen the government. do you see any path forward right now in the congress to reopen this government? >> yeah. the path will start when we all start acting like adults and we talk to each other and we quit using shutdowns as leverage, this is on both sides, by the way. yeah, i do see a path forward. it will probably come out of the senate. i've been here before and it's going to have to be -- listen, everybody has to accept something they don't want to get something they do want. i've learned that if you have a bill that not everybody is happy with, it's usually pretty good. >> congressman adam king sinker, it's great to have you. >> you bet. see you. when we come back, what's in a name? a tiny european country shows what's at risk if you oppose russia. back after this.
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north macedonia. it's subtle, right? the name change is macedonia's way of settling a decades long dispute with greece that should pave the way for them to join nato and the european union. turns out none of this is sitting well with russia whose state media accused the u.s. of interference and anti-russian rhetoric. in a september new york times report detailed a full-fledged disinformation campaign attributed to moscow. facebook posts urged voters to burn their ballots and hundreds of new websites popped up calling for a boycott. one widely shared news article even warned that google might eliminate macedonia from its list of recognized languages depending on the vote. there was such concern over the election that no less the defense secretary james mattis visited as a show of support from washington. while he was there, he warned of, quote, malicious cyber activity that threatens our democracies all of this for a nation about the size of
maryland. another hour of kasie d.c. is just ahead. we'll have the kasie dvr and preview cohen's hearing before congress. plus, senator chris van hollen copes with the shutdown. later, i question congressman steve king as he tries to clarify his latest racially incendiary comments and i'll take you in the party's nomination process which you probably didn't know about. we're back after this. probably didn't know about we're back after this. come here, babe.
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♪ two major breaking stories in 2017. the fbi opened an investigation into whether or not the president of the united states is working on behalf of the russians. >> president trump has tried to keep secret what was said in private meetings. >> even taking away the notes from his translator. >> the notion that president trump is a threat to american national security is absolutely ludicrous. >> why is he so chummy with vladimir putin? >> you've been very tough on russia. >> why is this president trump's best buddy? >> there's a strong record of president trump standing up to russia. >> i've seen pretty strong actions on the part of this administration. >> president obama was much easier, much more gentle on russia. >> the second big story, of course, is this government shutdown. >> shutdown day 23. >> the longest government shutdown ever. >> what is he supposed to do, just give in? he's not going to give in. >> he's more than willing to compromise and meet in the middle. >> no wall, no deal. >> the president is having a
temper tantrum. >> they're playing politics bauds they hate trump, that's not a good enough reason. >> they have to put a counteroffer on the table. >> i watch this president look for compromise. >> i urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks before he pulls the plug. see if we can get a deal. >> democrats have always been willing to invest in border security. >> i'm for additional border security. >> democrats believe in border security. >> all we want to do is make sure that it's spent the right way. >> always good to speak with you, sir. okay. i guess you think it was okay to speak with us. >> oops. welcome back to "kasie d.c. the halls of the u.s. capitol right now dark. just steps away from our studio, no one is here bargaining, arm twisting, doing anything. hundreds of thousands of americans are seeing zeros on their pay stubs because of the president and congress. many are even turning, you can see them here, to food banks.
this video is one of five popup food banks that opened in the washington area this weekend for federal workers and contractors who have been impacted. >> we opened at 9. we close at 12. it's about 10:00 and we already served 200 people. i've been hearing from colleagues in other locations that they finished their 250 and there's still people in line. we're clearly seeing a significant need for food in our area. >> that, of course, 30 minutes from the steps of the u.s. congress. other locations even closer. and this is to say nothing of all of the stories of difficulty across the country. all because of our frankly broken politics. i cover capitol hill everyday and i got to tell you, we don't know when all of this is going to end. nobody does. and at the same time, there's, of course, the new washington post report that the president has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with russian president vladimir putin. and then there was that new york times report about the fbi
counterintelligence investigation into the president. peter baker begins his article in the paper tonight writing, quote, so it has come to this, the president of the united states was asked over the weekend whether he is a russian agent. and he refused to directly answer. the white house and allies have derided these reports as liberal and inaccurate. but they have stopped short of outright denying them. with me this hour, former communications director for the nrcc matt gorman, white house correspondent for pbs news hour, yamiche and tucson, arizona, former fbi assistant director and msnbc national security analyst frank. and presidential historian and msnbc contributor jon meacham, the author of the book "the soul of america "the battle for our better angels. great to have all of you. frank, i want to start with you to set the stage on what peter baker so succinctly said in that story, which is to say in that interview last night with janine
pero the president did not outright deny being a russian asset. take us behind the scenes of the fbi if they were making this kind of momentous decision, and are you -- just how struck are you by the fact that the president didn't deny it? >> well, first, with regard to the president's nondenial denial let's look at what he has denied and try to figure out the difference. so we know he quickly denied having an affair with stormy daniels. we know that he lied about denied in writing about the purpose of the trump tower meeting. and now we see him not coming out and unequivocally, categorically denying that he's an agent of a foreign power. what's the difference? in my opinion the difference is that he felt very comfortable with the stormy daniels affair and with the trump tower meeting that the people around that, michael cohen, manafort, his family members would protect those two incidents and he could
deny them erroneously. in this case, i believe the president knows that mueller knows the truth, that there are signal intercepts and classified intelligence around this assertion and he's very, very careful to come out and say a denial. now, we had last week an oval office address on a so-called perceived national emergency regarding the southern border, but kasie, if this assertion is true or even if it's not true but it's true that the fbi opened a case to see if the president is an agent of a foreign power, this is an oval office address, this is a national emergency. we need to hear from the president. >> jon meacham, i was following your tweets today enlightened as always, but i was interested in your kind of line of thinking here from historical perspective, constitutional perspective in terms of what frank was just laying out there, if in fact, it turns out that there is something to this mueller investigation.
where historically speaking or foundationally speaking, i guess, i don't want to say quite legally speaking what kind of jeopardy is the president in? >> well, it's existential jeopardy. one of the things we haven't quite worked through at least in the popular conversation is what that actually means. many people use the word treason. i've done it myself. actually if you want to get really into the weeds and that's unfortunately that's where the truth is, that's where reality is, the constitution designs treason very, very specifically. they did it on purpose because they -- all the founding fathers had feared that if the revolutionary war had gone another way they would have been tried for treason. they had seen treason used as a political weapon in the old world. they wanted to make it very difficult for treason to result in conviction and then execution in many cases in the new world. but there is a sentence in the
constitution about impeachment and removal is about treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. we often focus our conversation on high crimes and misdemeanorings because it's the open ended one. >> yeah. >> bribery is a really interesting one here because it's both the receiving but also the offering of a consideration. so, could, in fact, trump, if there had been a deal, a conversation with russia if they were intercepted, these are all ifs, he could be guilty for bribery offering to do something or agreeing to do something which immediately drives this into the house and into impeachment and senate for possible removal. >> very interesting take. it's also worth pointing out that less than 24 hours after the president fired comey he invited russian foreign minister sergei lavrov and then russian ambassador to the united states sergey kislyak into the oval office. american journalists, excluded from the event. the only reason we have these
photos is because a russian photographer was allowed to attend. but "the new york times" would later report that the president discussed the comey firing with those russian officials. according to a document summarizing the meeting the president said, quote, i just fired the head of the fbi. he was crazy. a real nut job. i face great pressure because of russia. that's taken off. take a look at how lavrov responded to a question about comey from our andrea mitchell, just hours before heading into that meeting with the president. >> does the comey firings have to shadow your talks? >> what's the question? >> yes. >> you're kidding? you're kidding? >> matt gorman, from a political perspective here, this is a tough set of stories for people who have been supporters of the president. would you say that the level of concern about his potentially
being compromised by the russians has escalated in the last couple days among those who i know you talked to in republican circles? >> i think it's certainly grown a little by but i think two big points will happen to change the game a little bit when michael cohen testifies in public. we'll learn a lot more about what's going on and right from cohen. it's going to be pretty much appointment viewing but the second thing is the mueller report. that will be probably the most important day in congress since probably the bank bailout in '08. if i'm in congress right now working for any member of the congress, especially the important ones, i'm getting a plan together, contingency plans together. i'm watching folks like john cornyn, joanie ernst not too critical of the president normally but not necessarily always entirely supportive, how they react on that day will tell us a lot about his future. >> very good points. yammish, what's the sense in the white house about cohen's upcoming public testimony? what's the level of concern? >> it's hard to say because i think this white house has always viewed michael cohen and
the president has started to back away from this idea that michael cohen was even someone close to him. i think on the surface the president and the white house is saying we're not really nervous about this. they're giving this idea this signal that michael cohen was someone who doesn't know that much and was really someone who is likely a nut job in the way that the president would talk about james comey. what is actual true is michael cohen worked for this president for more than a decade. he was involved in all sorts of not only legal issues but financial issues. he might know about other women and all sorts of things. what's important as you know as someone who covers capitol hill, the democrats and republicans can ask whatever they want. this is not the same thing as a deposition where you get to stick to the subject at hand. so you're going to hear people ask all sorts of things about are there other women? have you seen his tax returns? i think that what we're going to see is a spectacle that's going to mirror a lot when james comey came to the hill and i think he delivered. all the bars in d.c. were watching james comey and i think we'll see that again with michael cohen.
>> spectacle indeed. i want to bring in senator chris van hollen of maryland. maryland is home to many of those federal workers who are currently furloughed. senator, it's great to have you. i do want to talk about those workers in your state in just a moment, but let's start with the russia news here, "the new york times" report that the fbi opened this counterintelligence investigation and, of course, that these phone calls were reportedly, according to "the washington post," are not necessarily phone calls but rather information about meetings between the president and vladimir putin and the president has gone to great lengths to conceal those details. what's your reaction to all of this? >> well, very troubling development. and i don't know what additional information the fbi had to open this investigation against the president. we also have the reports, as you indicated, that the president has worked very hard to hide, to bury his conversations, the contends of his conversations
with vladimir putin. all this just underscores the importance of protecting the integrity of the mueller investigation until they wrap up. and then making sure that the results of the mueller investigation are made public, any nonclassified portions. and we do have the senate confirmation hearing this week of william barr to be the attorney general who has made lots of comments, we know, that would undermine the mueller investigation if he were to put the ideas he put into his memo in practice. so, this is a time to be vigilant and protect the mueller investigation because whatever the fbi had, we know mueller has. >> let's shift and talk a little bit about this shutdown. we showed some video of federal workers in the d.c. area going to popup food banks. this is clearly having an enormous impact not just on those 800,000 workers but of course on their families and many others who are affected by
this. it doesn't seem as though the white house necessarily views that pain as something that is a political incentive for them to end this shutdown. is that how you see it? it feels to me having covered a number of these that this may be the first time that that's been the case. >> i think it is. we're, of course, in now historically long, shameful shutdown. president trump said he could, quote, relate to the 800,000 people who are not getting a paycheck. but we know that's not the case. his agencies suggested people have these yard sales to get additional income. i would like to see president trump do a yard sale at the white house. i mean, the reality is he is out of touch with all these stories. but kasie, there are lots of republican senators who went home for the weekend who are going to be hearing from their federal employees and small businesses that contract with the federal government.
80% of federal employees actually live and work outside the washington metro area. 30% of them are veterans who served our country in the military previously. and they're going to be coming back to the congress. and on monday or tuesday, i along with my fellow senators will again make a motion to bring up the two house bills that would reopen the government, two house bills that the senate and the senate republicans have overwhelming supported in one form or another already. so, as they get more of these stories of hardship, people not making their mortgages, not making the rent, i hope they'll just do the right thing, reopen the government and then we can resolve our differences on the best way to fund border security. we all agree we need secure borders. >> yeah. >> let's just figure out the best way to do it, but let the hostages go. >> you paint a potentially optimistic picture of what could happen, butly say some of your
republican colleagues have not been as optimistic. take a look at what a couple have said in the last couple days. >> i have never been more depressed about moving forward than right now. i just don't see a path way forward. somebody's going to get some energy to fix this. >> i am very frustrated. i'm discouraged. i'm not depressed. i'm determined. i am absolutely determined. and i'm determined because there's a lot of people back home that are really counting on us to figure this out. >> so there you had senator lisa murkowski, of course, of alaska. her state does have a disproportionate share. but really it's hard for me to see a way out of this because at this point it just looks like one side or the other has to cave and the president is refusing to. do you think there's a solution that can be found in the congress at this point? >> well, let me first say that
senator murkowski is one of the growing number of republican senators who have said let's open the government and then we can figure out the best way to provide border security. so she has said that publicly, and we have been trying to get a vote on exactly that. we'll try again this week. i also heard today senator lindsey graham say that the president should open the government, the full government for at least three weeks while we try to figure out a solution. so, there does seem to be a growing consensus even among some republicans that we shouldn't keep the government shutdown. we should -- and prevent 800,000 federal employees from being paid and the growing number of americans who are being denied access to services, which they have paid for, that we should do that first. and they do have the power, kasie, to have that vote. and we are independent, co-equal branch of government, and we should not be contracting out
our constitutional responsibilities and our duties to the president of the united states. that just makes people accomplices in this shutdown. >> all right, senator chris van hollen, thank you very much for your time on a sunday night, sir. >> thank you. >> i'm sure i'll see you on the hill in a very busy week soon. thank you. >> frank, last word to you because some people have posited that the -- this shutdown and the president's intransigence perhaps may be related to trying to distract from this overall -- the legal troubles that he's in from the russia investigation itself. what's your take on this? how much more serious has this become for the president over the past couple days even, the russia question? >> we've reached a sad state of affairs, kasie, when we even have to ponder that question that you just asked. think about it, we're sitting here discussing whether or not a government shutdown is actually
something more than that, whether the president is motivated by something other than his intention to just build a wall. that's a problem for us and i think that's replicated over every decision this president is going to be making from now on until we get this issue resolved. i've said before that he has a clear conflict of interest, clearly when it comes to russia decisions. he needs to have other than adults in the room when he makes major decisions involving russia because we're at the point now where we simply don't know the truth. and that's problematic for any president. and the worst assertion you can make against the president is that he may be on another team. that's what we find ourselves questioning tonight. >> pretty remarkable. frank, thanks very much. appreciate your insights tonight. still to come, the president made some eyebrow raising comments about michael cohen's family last night. michael cohen adviser lanny davis joins me next. went to ancestry, i put in the names of my grandparents first.
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the president's former personal attorney michael cohen will testify before the house oversight committee in public, not in private. joining me now communications adviser for michael cohen and his former attorney lanny davis. our plan was to have him here on set, but as you can see, it has been a very snowy weekend here in washington and unfortunately lanny is stranded. so he joins us on the phone instead. sir, thanks for being here regardless. >> well, thank you for having me. i'm sorry i can't be in person, but it's a blizzard in maryland. >> for sure, the roads were pretty messy getting in here myself. let's start with what the president has had to say most recently about the cohen family. he did an interview with janine pero. here is what he said. i'll play it for everyone and then we'll talk about it. >> he's in trouble on some loans and fraud and taxi cabs. >> the taxi medallions.
>> and in order to get his sentence reduced he says, i have an idea. i'll give you some information on the president. well, there is no information, but he should give information maybe on his father-in-law because that's the one that people want to look at because where is that money? that's the money in the family. i guess he didn't want to talk about his father-in-law. >> what is his father-in-law's name? >> i don't know. you'll find out and you'll look into it because nobody knows what's going on over there. >> lanny, what is the president talking about here? what's the cohen family reaction been? >> first of all, as usual, i and most americans have no idea what president trump is fantasizing about and dmeemonizing. the father-in-law of michael cohen the father of his wife and he won't even tell us. and this pattern of incessant attacks of donald trump on my
client and his family show what the american people have already witnessed that donald trump sees michael cohen and i would say justifiably as the greatest threat to his presidency. and what could be criminal and impeachable actions as president. mr. cohen has spoken the truth to date. and on february 7th in front of mr. cummings he will continue to speak the truth. but the fact that mr. trump demeans his office, he told the federal judge before his sentencing that michael cohen deserved a long sentence, he's interfered in the criminal justice system and now he's intimidated or attempted to intimidate a witness that's being called in front of a congressional committee, the unusual event today that i cannot remember ever kasie -- >> yeah, lanny, in fact, let me
put up that statement for our viewers before you touch on it. this is from elijah cummings, adam schiff and jerry nad ler. they write the integrity of our process to serve as an independent check on the executive branch must be respected by everyone, including the president. our nation's laws prohibit efforts to discourage, intimidate or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to congress. so, in effect it looks like these three are saying that the president's comments here amount to trying to intimidate michael cohen not to testify, no? >> well, that's certainly their reaction as an institution. you can imagine if a democratic president attacked a witness that has already been announced to testify in the middle of an investigation and that very same president not only attacks that witness but attacks the father of his wife and has created fear and distress in that family. and these three committee chairman in a way that i can
never remember and i would hope that republican members of congress would join in are telling the president you have no right to interfere with our witnesses appearing before our committees and making this kind of personal attack on their family. you know, when mr. trump has gone low, i have thought it's impossible for him to go any lower. he's proven me wrong. he has gone lower by attacking without naming or without any facts mr. cohen's father-in-law. and i hope the american people no matter who you support donald trump or not would say you've gone over the line, mr. president. stop. >> let's talk for a second about his upcoming public testimony in the oversight committee. last time you were on the show i had a lot of questions for you that you very graciously declined to answer because of concerns about mueller's investigation. so i'm wondering what is it that michael cohen can say in public
to that committee that we don't already know from what we've seen in court documents and that won't violate that trust? could he, for example, talk more about what he knows about that trump tower meeting? or do you think those topics will be off limits? >> well, i know the trump tower meeting is still subject to investigation by mr. mueller's team and others. so i doubt that you'll hear any more than mr. cohen has already admitted to which is testimony that he thought conformed to what the president and the white house wanted. and that testimony was false and he's paying the penalty by pleading guilty to that. but i will at least give you a prediction that as mr. cohen describes the serious character flaws the lying, immorality, the willingness to abuse people who work for him and others that he saw in private life frightened him when suddenly he saw that
same person become president of the united states. while in open court he expressed his shame of being blindly loyal, ignoring what he called the dirty deeds of the man that he worked for, he now is drawing a line to the threat to the country and to his family. now we see in a personal attack when that same man becomes president of the united states and that's the story you can expect he will tell before mr. cummings. >> lanny davis, thank you so much for that. when we return, are republicans really done with congressman steve king this time after his comments about white nationalism and white supremacy? i question him on capitol hill this week. tol hill this week.
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this week congressman steve king of iowa made headlines over his interview with the new york times where he made the following racist comments, kboet, white nationalists, white supremacists, western zifrlization, how did that language become offensive? why did it see in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and civilization. those comments were met with condemnation and i spoke with
the congressman as pressure mounted from top members of his party. congressman, you said white sprem schism and white nationalism. >> what i was talking about the continuation of applying labels on to people as freely as they are. i reject white nationalism. i reject white supremacy. it's not part of any of my ideology. >> why did you say it? >> that was in the context of a long interview with the new york times. so without going back and putting that into the context i can't tell you what i know what i believe. i put out a statement and i hope you saw that statement and report that statement because it's clear and it says what i believe and where i stand. i will accept this idea that i've supported western civilization for a long time. that's the foundation of the american civilization but american means people of all races, all ethnicities and we're pretty proud of that. i'm confident that america can build on this foundation that i've talked about and we can be
a stronger nation still. >> liz cheney said you're a racist. >> i don't think liz cheney read my statement and that's her -- >> i think she read your comments. >> she didn't read my statements. i gave it to you. i got to go. i got to go vote. >> did the times misquote you? >> i don't think i can answer that clearly but i'll just say i have responded to this and i think you understand where i stand. >> thank you, sir. >> okay. day later king admitted he made a mistake on the house floor this week but not for the reason you might expect. >> i regret that i made a freshman mistake a week ago today when i took a call from a reporter from "the new york times." and that was a 56-minute interview without a tape. that resulted in a long article. in that article were snippets of the 56-minute interview. one phrase in that long article has created an unnecessary controversy. >> republican senator tim scott
wrote in the washington post, quote, some in our party wonder why republicans are constantly accused of racism. it is because of our silence when things like this are said. this is far from the first time that king has made controversial remarks. there was the tweet about not being able to, quote, restore our civilization with someone else's babies when discussing refugees in 2017. in 2008, king said that terrorists would be, quote, dancing in the streets because of barack obama's middle name. which of course is hussein. 2013, for every child among undocumented immigrants who is a valedictorian. there's another 100 out there who way 130 pounds and have calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. for years these remarks have carried few political consequenc consequences. he has enjoyed his role in king maker in iowa. freedom summit drew many republicans who ran for president in 2016 and they lined
up to praise him. >> i want to thank citizens united and my good friend steve king for putting this on. >> i want to say a special thanks to another member of the congress, one who's no holds barred, passionate con servingtism, he's the reason i'm here today, brother steve king. let's hear it for him. >> he's a good man. and a great friend. >> isn't he a great guy? he doesn't get a fair press. he doesn't get it. just not fair. and i have to tell you, i'm here and very strongly here because i have great respect for steve king. >> okay. joining our conversation former chief nominations council to the senate judiciary committee greg. but i'm going to start, matt, with you because you are very involved with the nrcc in charge of house republicans. this of course a house
republican. what do republican leaders need to do with steve king? >> first things first, they are have a conversation with him tomorrow. i expect something may be taking away his committee assignments. as you said before, this isn't a one-time thing. these disgusting and racist remarks happen every few months. i had to deal with it. >> you guys put out a statement. >> disavowing him, yeah. we said we weren't going to support him in the general election late in the 2018 campaign. if i was there -- >> you didn't include that in our litany. he said a group of neo-nazis had been in americans they would be republicans. >> it was disgusting. i was during the cantaloupe comment. take aside the moral argument, the right thing to do if you're trying to run a house campaign, take the house back, you'll be silent with this and distracted with this every couple of months. so i think maybe the thing to do if i would recommend if i was there don't support him in the primary, don't support him in the general and have to try to rid this distraction. >> how has he lasted this long? >> that's a great question. he got very close to being
defeated last time. there's a credible state senator in the race. you'll see a lot of money and organization come his way. i wouldn't be surprised if this is the year. >> jon meacham, can you talk for a second about -- this is -- what steve king has come to represent has been a strain throughout our politics, sorry strain in our politics since really the beginning of the country. but he is remarkably brazen in embodying all of it. >> he is. and there are manifestations of these worst impulses that pop up throughout our politics and at this point far too often in that region of the politics, which is the world steve king represents. it's not all that far, honestly, from where donald trump is. let's just state the obvious here. >> king has said that, hey,
donald trump -- i said these things before donald trump said some of these things. >> yeah. and we have to remember, you know, one of the things i was struck by sort of in a flashback way was the failure last night of the president to deny the russia thing. little bit like the failure to denounce the neo-nazis in charlottesville. maybe he gets there eventually, but there's this hubris, there's this wall that he can't so to speak -- that's one wall he built, a wall between him and rationality. so, i think the issue we have here as a culture is, as you say, race has been our dilemma from the very beginning, from before the beginning, from the founding of the colonial enterprise here. one of the things i would urge conservatives in particular to do is conservatives love to talk about original intent. they love to look back to the
founding and find not only inspiration but in jurisprudence literal guidance. here is what i would just suggest for what it's worth, look back and realize that at every point in the life of the country that we have made progress, that we have created more prosperity, more wealth, that we have projected our values around the world. every period that we want to either emulate or commemorate has been the period in which we have widened our arms and not clinched our fists. it's the periods where we have more generously interpreted what thomas jefferson meant when he wrote what became the most important sentence in english language that all men were created equal. we didn't apply it widely enough then. we have widened that definition. and the story of the country in many ways and this is not a ideologic point and not a partisan point, the story of the country is how widely can we interpret the idea of equality
in order to create that more perfect union. that's what i think conservatives and liberals and moderates should focus on. >> we find ourselves in the midst of a standoff that for many democrats, i mean, the wall has really come to symbolize many of the ideas that are underpinning this. i mean, nancy pelosi will call it a moral question about dividing the country. and steve king has taken some of these strands and is certainly willing to go farther than the vast majority of republicans, but this is what is underlying this debate. >> this is definitely underlying this debate. i have talked to people who see the wall as a racist, political symbol and is about a president who is focussed on the southern border where as julia reported earlier and i confirmed that there were six people in the early part of 2018 that were suspected terrorists caught and 41 people in that same period caught in the northern border in canada where the president isn't
talking about. there are people who see this as the president picking out brown people and brown people in the south and saying, we don't want these people to be america's future. i'll add that steve king once said that african-american mothers could better afford abortions if they stopped buying iphones. this is something who has been so clear lly racist in the thin he said shame that the republican party has taken this long to maybe really think about, think through his committee assignments. but i think as a reporter i also have to put that into context which is that we're also seeing increase in hate crimes across the country. it's we're seeing people who are being targeted because of their race. what we're seeing really is a country that's reckoning with itself and wondering what kind of america we want to be and steve king is saying we want to be an america that doesn't have the kids in the southern border in them and some people see the president as thinking that way, too. >> greg, for the republican party here, i mean, tim scott is in some way a lonely voice on
some of these things. and shows the value of having diversity among your elected officials, your lawmakers because quite frankly i mean the house republican conference in the last election got older, whiter, more male. what can the party do in light of comments like this, in light of some of the president's positions to actually appeal to all americans? >> i think part of what needs to happen is separating out comments like this and some of these positions that actually a broad swath of republicans including people like tim scott believe in. >> we should note, we showed a tweet from joanie erntst called it racist. >> if you're a republican who cares about immigration enforcement and border security, one of the best things to do for that agenda is push steve king out of the party and condemn language like this because tying in legitimate concerns about the border with that kind of language is what hurts us as a party -- >> tim scott made that exact argument. >> it's true. the border issue the wall issue
which is moral on the left now, that used to be the easy part of immigration debate. i worked on the bipartisan compromise several years ago and the border security part was easy. yes, we'll spend money on security. spend money including physical infrastructure and that too is radio active because of comments like this from king. >> and from the president's inflammatory rhetoric. jon meacham, thank you so much as always for your insights. we really appreciate it. hope you got some cigar time in there, too. >> thanks, kasie. when we come back the attorney general hearings this week just got a whole lot more interesting. interesting. do your asthma symptoms ever hold you back? about 50% of people with severe asthma have too many cells called eosinophils in their lungs. eosinophils are a key cause of severe asthma. fasenra is designed to target and remove these cells. fasenra is an add-on injection for people 12
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ultimate feast time it'sat red lobster.r own pick four of ten favorites to create the ultimate feast you've been dreaming of. like lobster mac & cheese. or tender snow crab. so hurry in before new create your own ultimate feast ends. attorney general nominee william barr is heading to capitol hill tuesday for his confirmation hearing. he is likely to face tough questioning over how he will handle the special counsel's investigation into president trump. greg, you have played a key role in confirmation hearings and
have been behind the scenes for hearings like this. seems like the stakes are much higher for him now considering the news that's come out over the weekend about this counterintelligence investigation and some of the statements he's made in the past about the russia investigation. >> well, hearings for an attorney general nominee are always controversial. it's about the administration and what this person will bring to the administration. it's an opportunity for senators to criticize policies they don't like, try to get commitments from an attorney general how he will behave. >> perhaps make a mark on their presidential campaigns. >> three people on the committee who may be running for president on the democratic side. it was always going to be contentious. i worked on the confirmation proceeding for mccay si late in after democrats won congress during the bush administration. it was also very contentious. but he, i think -- >> probably torture in that era. >> big, big issues. >> he like bill barr is para gones of the law and well-regarded i think that both republicans and democrats really
in the hearts of hearts are pretty happy with this choice given the list that was suggested of people the president could have chosen. bill barr is a serious accomplished attorney and served at the highest levels. he has been attorney general and was confirmed unanimously for that position. people should be pretty encouraged that real lawyer with real passion for the justice department as an institution is about to take over. >> there's sort of cheat sheet, of course, though, because he wrote that memo there will be so many lawmakers that will be looking at that memo and saying why did you write this, why did you write this? what do you think about robert mueller? is your plan to curtail the investigation that you already think may has overreached. there will be contention also because of william barr's own doing. >> the memo has broadly misunderstood and misreported. it's very, very narrow. all he is arguing seshlgly is if this investigation or prosecution is just about firing comey and doing something that the president has the power to do, that's a bad road to go down
for lots of reasons he explains. he says in it very clearly, though, the president is not above the law. the president colluded with the russians that's real. the president obstructed just e justice, that's real. if talked with the russians that is something. i think if they were smart they wouldn't rye to light him up. but they would get him to talk about what kind of things might a president be removed for. >> much more "kasie dc" in a moment. for. >> much more "kasie dc" in a moment ♪ [ telephone ringing ] -whoa. [ indistinct talking ] -deductible? -definitely speaking insurance. -additional interest on umbrella policy? -can you translate? -damage minimization of civil commotion. -when insurance needs translating, get answers in plain english at progressiveanswers.com. ♪ -he wants you to sign karen's birthday card. it's a high honor. -he wants you to sign karen's birthday card. coaching means making tough choices. jim! you're in! but when you have high blood pressure
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coming to you now from the largest studio ever constructed, it is the "truman show". >> yeah. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> oh and in case i don't see yourks good afternoon, good evening and good night. >> what if no scripts no cue wards. >> morning spencer. >> how's it going? >> what you were watched every day moment of your life. >> so i'm here at the dentist and we're going to continue our series on the people of the posttraumatic stress disorder. >> fade up music. ♪ >> that's our hero shot. don't do it. don't do it. happy 2020. when we return what to watch for in the week had. we return whatr in the week had. but you can believe this, real esurance employee nancy abraham. look her up online. esurance, it's surprisingly painless.
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ed knows he could just have us deliver his prescriptions. but what's the fun in that? switch to cvs pharmacy. before we go. let's talk about what everybody is watching in the weak ahead. greg what are you watching for? >> all the action is at the white house and on the hill but i'm going to keep an eye on the supreme court. this is probably the last week they could add new high profile case to be considered this year. and there is a bunch of them out there, including ones dealing with executive power and immigration. both with which would have some relevance with other things we're talk about. >> interesting. almost very under the radar. >> i'm going to be watching the president's reaction to the bar confirmation. it is something everyone is watching and the president will be reacting not only to what barr said but also how democrats question him. >> for sure. >> and findings rolling out a political action committee.
party solely focused on getting women through primaries and tough generals. only 13 women in the republican hept of representatives. we need to do better. putting money and resources towards these folks is going help a lot. >> she really has taken a step. she said publicly the leadership need to do something different. you think he's going to succeed? >> if she has the resources and organization. there are a lot of organizations come and go where they talk a good game but the monies and resources aren't there. i think this is different though. >> for sure. i personally am watching of course the shut down. are we going to get out of it? i still don't see a way, unless the president actually decide toss declare a national emergency. i guess that's what we're looking for. also thank you to -- i'm going refrain from a fighting like cats and dogs joke. but cats watching "kasie dc." and as well as stella, one of our wonderful dogs watching.
thanks for watching. that does it for us tonight. i'm "kasie dc." up next. "headliners" and a look at elizabeth warren and her fight to become the next presidential nominee. for now good night from washington. \s >> we do not back down. we do shut up. >> she came to washington ready to fight. fierce and fearless. >> at best you are incompetent. at worse you were complicit. and either way you should be fired. >> people ask me times. >> let me just follow up. >> is elizabeth warren the person she play on tv? and the answer is yes. >> our agenda is america's agenda. >> elizabeth warren in a revealing ib depth interview zpli learned about fighting in washington. i learned about