and it protects you with 24/7 professional monitoring. i guess we're sleeping here tonight. xfinity home. simple. easy. awesome. call, go online or demo in an xfinity store today. that does it for me. i'll be back at 4:00 eastern time today and tomorrow at 8:00. "am joy" with joy reid starts right now. we describe our sources here as federal law enforcement officials involved in the investigation of the matter of the trump tower moscow and we're not playing games with that characterization. these are strong sources close to the investigation who we spoke to after the publication of the story as well as before and who told us it was accurate. this isn't coming out of a blue sky. this is a line of reporting that has been repeatedly vindicated. >> good morning.
that was ben smith, the editor-in-chief of buzzfeed, speaking on the phone with rachel maddow last night, making the rounds and cleaning up on aisle six. his publication's bombshell report just 24 hours earlier claiming that donald trump as president directed michael cohen to lie to congress about the trump tower moscow deal blew up the political world and prompted democrats to call for the president's impeachment. late last night a spokesman for special counsel robert mueller took the extraordinary step of refuting parts of the report, prompting even members of the media to doubt the entire report's credibility. joining me now, maya wiley, ellie mistell, mimi roca, paul butler, and nbc news reporter ken delaney. ken, i'm going to start with you on this. obviously much consternation across the media world about
this buzzfeed report. let me read you the full statement. buzzfeed's description of specific statements to the special counsel's office and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this officeegarichael cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate. how do you read that? do you read that as the reputation of the entire substance of the report or just of the characterizations of things said to the special counsel and given to the special counsel? >> joy, initially i read it as a very carefully worded reputation of only part of the report but i've subsequently done some reporting and got guidance that it's intended to push back on the entire thing, including the notion that michael cohen has told authorities that donald trump explicitly directed him to lie. that, i think, is hugely significant because the story said that flatly with very
little wiggle room. initially many of us looked at this that mueller is saying there isn't this corroboration in these documents and texts that he sees from the trump organization, but in fact, it appears that what mueller's team is saying is that there isn't evidence that trump told cohen to lie. it's not just us saying this. "the washington post" has explicitly said this, their department of justice reporter has said, look, this is a complete pushback. maybe buzzfeed can refute it but this is what mueller is saying. ronan farrow, now with "the new yorker," formerly with nbc news, has said publicly he was pitched this story but was told by a source close to the situation that michael cohen was never directly instructed to lie. now, we should be very careful about making sweeping statements here, joy, especially this morning. it's still possible that cohen was under the impression that it was trump's desire that he lie and as mimi roca will tell you
there have been occasions macas that pattern but the statements made in this article are now under challenge by the special counsel. >> let me go to mimi first. the ronan farrow tweet, let me read them both. there were two. ronan, excellent reporter obviously, pulitzer prize winner, i can't speak to buzzfeed's source but for what it's worth i declined to run with parts of the narrative repeatedly disputing the idea that trump directly ordered that. note that general thrust of cohen's lying to congress in accordance or to support and advance trump's agenda is not in dispute.
the issue i have with the notion that the underlying idea that cohen was not instructed or not pushed to lie, the question i would have on that is that cohen is not consistent on this point. cohen gave an allocution on november 29, 2018 for the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york in which he admitted that he lied to the senate select intelligence committee specifically about the trump tower moscow project, that in connection with my appearances i submitted a written statement to congress including a description of a proposed real estate project in moscow that i had worked on while i was employed at the trump organization. at was false in that i knew at the time that all efforts concerning the project had ceased. he said he knew what trump wanted him to say and he said it, but in another august 21 appearance for the southern district of new york cohen said this, on or about the summer of 2016 in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for
federal office who is trump, i and the ceo of a media company worked together to keep an individual's information, da, da, da. sometimes he's saying he's being directed by trump and sometimes he's saying he's not. >> so a couple of things. first of all, i just want to take a step back for a second. in the broad scheme of the russia investigation and what's going to come at the end of this for mueller and from the southern district of new york, what is important is the credibility of mueller, of the southern district prosecutors, of the agents who are directly working that case and the witnesses that they will rely on, including michael cohen. the credibility of all of those actors that i have just named is unscathed from everything that's happened in the past 24 hours as far as i can tell. i said last night and i still believe that the sources for the buzzfeed story were not either prosecutors in mueller's team or the southern district of new
york, nor do i think it is agents from any agency who are directly and intimately involved with the investigation. i think it could be people who are farther from the center of the investigation, perhaps people not working on it at all right now and the farther you get from the center the less reliable that information becomes. so with all of that said because i think that the credibility of all of those actors is what's going to be important at the end of the day in terms of our reliance on the findings of this investigation. i just wanted to make that point that their credibility is unscathed. i think as to what cohen is saying, it's nuanced, right? you and i talked about this last night. what was so stunning about the buzzfeed report was that it was this crime laid out in black and white, trump directed him to lie. that is not turning out to be accurate as far as we know right now. what conversations, winks, nods,
signals occurred between trump and cohen and/or others as to his definitively false testimony, that we know to be true. he gave false testimony. he's admitted that to mueller. mueller is 100% -- stands behind that. what conversations occurred, what happened around all that we don't know, and i believe it is probably quite nuanced. criminals, bad actors, they don't usually talk that explicitly. they don't say, hey, i want you to go in there and lie. it's more of a wink and a nod and i myself have prosecuted obstruction cases involved in that. that can be bad conduct. whether it's criminal or not and a prosecutor can prove it as obstruction is a whole different level, a whole different question that i don't think we have the answers to right now. >> let me come to the table real quick. i get that that's the crux of it, right, is that either donald trump per the buzzfeed story was making it clear and explicit to
michael cohen that he wanted him to go in to the senate intelligence committee and tell them something that wasn't true, or per his previous allocution he just knew what trump wanted him to say, he knew based on what trump was saying what he wanted to hear and then just carried that out. just to clarify, at the times when he was saying he was acting in explicit acquiesce ans to the direction of donald trump, on the candidate, it was on the stormy daniels piece. so he's admitted that on the stormy daniels payment, when it came time to paying off the women, he was acting at the explicit direction at the candidate. he just admitted he lied. >> correct. so here's -- i read the mueller statement and the way he talked about specific statements not being accurate. he also, as mimi pointed out, i
think what is so important here is the credibility of the office of the prosecutors and it doesn't serve the prosecutors to actually leak anything. it actually works against their job. it makes their job harder. so it simply wouldn't make sense that it would come from mueller's team. >> you think they were trying to protect the reputation of the office and saying, hey, let me shut down the idea that any of this information came to buzzfeed from our office, from the mueller office? >> i think that's certainly part of it because it's critically important for the credibility of the office and for the credibility of the investigation that it is a true finding process, right, and that in part of truth finding you also don't make it difficult to get to the truth. i also think though to your point about michael cohen, two things. we do know from michael cohen that he has been directed in the past to lie and in this sense help the campaign lie. we have the polling data that he
apparently went out and procured to try to create these polls for donald trump to make him appear to be a top businessman. there are lots of instances in which he has been directed by donald trump to do some things that clearly have become what appears to be violation of criminal laws. in this case, it doesn't mean what we are hearing in this does not mean that we know that there won't in the future be corroborated evidence of donald trump having knowledge of and in some way being part of what could be, could be -- and i'm speculating -- could be a conspiracy to suborn perjury. that is a possibility. we don't know. i will say two things because for full disclosure, ben smith is a personal friend of mine, someone i know to be of the highest integrity. i think mimi is right when she says that someone is telling buzzfeed what they honestly believe to be the facts and that
they have some credibility but they may not have all of the facts. it could be like a game of telephone where you've heard some things and you don't get it quite right. >> we can't take our eyes off the prize here. this is what liberals do. something happens, there's some pushback, there's some nuance, and liberals go into this, like, back pedaling like, oh, my god, now how will the anti-vaxers ever believe us? no. here's what we know. cohen lied to congress, fact. donald trump lies all the time, fact. donald trump knew that cohen was lying if not before cohen talked to congress then certainly after because donald trump knows the truth and he knows that his lawyer was lying to congress. if you look at those three facts, that's the key of the buzzfeed story. the story is not in doubt. what is in doubt is whether or not buzzfeed gave us the impression that mueller has proof, mueller was able to lock it down in such a way -- and
again, when i say proof, i don't mean proof necessarily even at the level of being able to prove it in a court of law. i'm talking about even a higher level of proof that people want which is being able to prove it to these yokels on twitter who are all into trump's head space, right? that's what we're trying to get and that's why the buzzfeed deflation is so depressing i think for people on the left because if the buzzfeed report was 100% accurate which it now does not appear to be, if it was 100% accurate, that would have finally put people like mitch mcconnell and lindsey graham in the box where you had, as they said, texts and e-mails and all of this stuff that they could not deny. it turns out we are still in a world where lindsey graham and susan collins and whatever can pretend like there's not a massive conspiracy to obstruct justice and that's why people are upset. >> paul butler, one thing that isn't in dispute, michael cohen
has already admitted that he did lie to them so in a sense lindsey graham and susan collins, their box hasn't changed. michael cohen in his allocution in which he is pleading guilty to crimes in the southern -- to the attorney in the southern district of new york says he was scheduled in 2017 to appear before the senate select committee on intelligence as well as the house select committee on intelligence concerning matters under their investigation including principally whether russia was involved or interfered in the 2016 presidential election. in connection with my experience -- this is cohen speaking -- i submitted a written statement to congress including donald trump's real estate project in moscow. he now says that description was false. i knew it was false. i asserted it was false and he basically lied about how long donald trump continued to pursue that project. my question, i guess, to you would be, if donald trump having known that that testimony
occurred did not then go back and encourage him to correct it or didn't correct it, is that problematic and could that be the confusion that this buzzfeed report has kind of stumbled upon? >> absolutely, joy. so that's gray. the value of the buzzfeed report was that it was black and white, but that's not how public corruption cases work. so i think that what robert mueller was doing is trying to protect his case. he's letting congress and the american people know there's not going to be a perry mason kind of moment where evidence of texts and e-mails is that persuasive or that compelling. he's saying look at what we've already proven. it's not just michael cohen saying that, trying to get a lower sentence, mueller's prosecution team co-signed that when they told the judge that
michael cohen had been so helpful that he should get a reduction in his sentence. what do we know, joy? we know that, as you say, michael cohen admitted that he lied. the prosecutor said he also discussed his testimony with trump's team, not necessarily with trump. we know that he had a joint defense agreement with trump. trump, it's likely that he knew he was lying. he let that out there. again, is that a crime? it's gray, it's not black or white, but it doesn't mean there's not going to be evidence for impeachment. >> ken, i'll come back to you for the reporting on this that you guys have been able to do. what this story did was to accelerate the momentum, particularly among members of the house of representatives which is now controlled by democrats toward impeachment because this seemed to be sort of a hard and fast piece of evidence that donald trump made a direction that previous presidents have gotten impeached for, directing a subordinate to lie.
where does where the story is now leave us in terms of -- in a sense, does this push congress even further to say that if mueller is going to be silent and is only going to speak in these very rare occasions, does that then push congress to say that maybe it's time for hearings that are more public so that the public can get a sat factory answer? >> i think so, joy. we've been led that believe that he wasn't going to answer any specific questions about things that were subject to pending investigation, including anything around russia or including this particular question, but now that the special counsel has weighed in on this, perhaps michael cohen will be free to answer under oath whether, in fact, donald trump told him to lie or what impression he had that donald trump wanted him to deliver to congress that day. i absolutely think this episode will lead more members of congress to be pressing for answers and to say, look, we want the special counsel to do his work but we also need to do
our own job of getting this information to the american public because it's been two years. there's some very pressing issues that we need to get to the bottom of about whether this president is guilty of crimes and whether there's a count intelligence issue with this presidents. >> this whole episode has underscored the danger of democrats relying solely on mueller to be the only one who's doing this work. the oversight responsibility belongs to them. we'll talk about that later in the show. ken delaney, thank you very much. the rest of my panel is coming back after the break. the buzzfeed story is just one of many stories this week. we'll tackle those next. s this . we'll tackle those next. gary, gary, gary... i am proud of you, my man. making simple, smart cash back choices... with quicksilver from capital one. you're earning unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere. like on that new laptop. quicksilver keeps things simple, gary.
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do you have a relationship with vladimir putin, a conversational relationship or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government? >> i do have a relationship and i can tell you that he's very interested in what we're doing here today. he's probably very interested in what you and i are saying today and i'm sure he's going to be seeing it in some form, but i do have a relationship with him and i think it's very interesting to see what's happened. i mean, look, he's done a very brilliant job in terms of what he represents and who he's representing. if you look at what he's done with syria, if you look at so many of the different things, he
has really eaten our president's lunch. let's not kid ourselves. >> in november 2013 during his miss universe pageant in moscow, donald trump was already working towards building a trump tower in moscow. his efforts reportedly included offering vladimir putin a $50 million penthouse right there in the tower. mimi, maya, ellie and paul are back. joining us, sarah kenzie, malcolm nance. malcolm, we know that donald trump in 2013 and your book people should read -- actually, both your books. you talk about the long-time grooming of donald trump to be in the service and the sway of the kremlin. he's in moscow to get this tower done. the miss universe pageant, he tries to invite vladimir putin to it. he allegedly offers him the penthouse suite if he can get the tower done.
we know he was working with amin agilara, big developers in moscow. here's a tweet that donald trump posted on his way back from the miss universe pageant. he says i had a great weekend with you and your family. you have done a fantastic job. trump tower moscow is next. can you put in context for us what the tower had to do with the subsequent thing that we've started to call russia-gate. >> well obviously donald trump has had a long relationship with moscow that predates the 2016 election. my analysis shows that the russians may have started grooming him in 2010 and then really went at him in 2012 when he made contact with one of the richest men in russia. the night that mitt romney lost
he actually sent a tweet saying we should be marching on washington. one of these oligarchs came back and said, we're going to help you. one year later he is in moscow for the miss universe pageant, and during that time apparently the entire conceptualization of the trump tower moscow was developed. at the same time the russians were developing the internet research agency. they had gotten in there with miss universe with several contacts from moscow. then when he went to moscow, he met the 12 richest men in russia, including a personal representative of vladimir putin. when he walked out of that two-hour dinner with them, he was spouting nothing but the party line on what the kremlin believed on crimea, syria, nato, the european union. he was -- how can i put it? he was in love with these people and he adopted their positions and at the same time they're dangling the largest building in moscow in front of his face.
donald trump was bought right there and then and then he was seduced by vladimir putin, a kgb officer, to move on and all that led to where we are today which is the russians assisted him at every turn and he assisted them. >> sarah, the reason that the tower and the buzzfeed report that is now in such hot dispute all over is so significant, it's sort of the frank bruni theory of the donald trump run for president, that he didn't really want to be president. running for president was part of the long-standing marketing strategy for him to make a lot of money. he could have made up to $300 million on this tower, that he decided that he may not win. it's also in the buzzfeed story and not in dispute that donald trump said, listen, i may not have won, right, and this has been another report and why should i give up all of these lucrative opportunities, and that the challenge for donald trump is that he hired a bunch of people who did intend for him to win, that the russians were
like, oh, no, you're going to win, and that you had people like stephen bannon who were like, we want you to win because they had agendas tied to him being president, when in his own mind this may have been a way for him to get rich. what do you make of that theory that the reason that he would have cohen lie -- or that cohen would lie because we don't know that donald trump made him do it, is because the fact that he was continuing to pursue this tower while running for president, i don't know, what would be the problem with people knowing that if in his own mind he had a right to do it because he might not have become president? >> i don't buy this theory at all that trump thought he wasn't going to win or he didn't want to win. first off, this is trump and you have to imagine that in his head he's content to lose to a woman and to a clinton. second of all, his relationship with russia goes back 30 years, as do his political ambitions. he nearly ran for president in 1998. he ran in 2012 and in 2016.
that's somebody who's had long-term political ambitions. we also know that trump has had ties to russian officials and to organized crime for about 30 years and that he's been the source of various crackdowns on those crimes. for example, there's an investigation into the taj mahal casino by the u.s. treasury in 2015. trump may have been in trouble. a great way to get out of trouble is if you're the president of the united states and you can pack the courts, you can purge agencies, rewrite the laws so you can be immune from prosecution, as well as filling your own autocratic objectives and partnering with autocrats around the world which is what he's done. this is a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as government. >> if the theory of donald trump isn't true, that he isn't head faking a run for president so that he can make a lot of money but that he then hires a bunch of people like paul manafort who then get him into office anyway and now he's trapped in russia's orb orbit, if that's not the correct theory, if he intends to run and
run a trump tower in moscow and have these businesses running at the same time, does it make sense to you that that would be the incentive for his associates to not admit to the congress that he was still pursuing the tower? if donald trump said i had a right to pursue this in case i didn't win, why would michael cohen lie to congress about it? >> right. joy, you're asking the question that investigators, prosecutors would immediately ask when they discover that someone's lied about something particularly big like this which is this consciousness of guilt question, why lie, what are they hiding? there are times -- martha stewart i think is a prime example where someone lies to cover up something that isn't necessarily chargeable, the underlying conducting not chargeable as a crime. but i think here what everyone is saying is this goes beyond one lie. this goes beyond one interview.
this was a concerted effort with or without trump's involvement frankly and i certainly am not going to sit here and say trump wasn't involved in the lies even if he didn't direct them. i think those facts need to play out. this was a concerted effort to put a story out there in the press to congress, to investigators, that the trump tower negotiations had ended. i don't think you do that just to cover up something that might be, i don't know, embarrassing or for some other benign reason. you do that because you are covering up the bigger picture which increasingly in my mind points to some kind of quid pro quo between trump and putin in exchange for the moscow tower going easy on russia and sanctions. we'll see. we have to wait until all the facts are out. i think maybe that's the warning sign that this past 24 hours
have given us, but there are lots of signs pointing to this including the lies. >> i'm going to get my attorneys back in, the other attorneys back in but i have to go back to malcolm and sarah on that. is that the answer here? it is not illegal to try to build a tower in -- build a condo in moscow. that's not illegal. if you're running for president and you happen to have been doing that at the time that you were running and you were continuing to ask about it, i don't know that that is illegal. so i guess i come back to you again for the answer to it. why lie, why would your attorney lie? why would michael cohen be paying a guy a bag of $13,000 in cash to rig polls? all of these things don't make sense if donald trump is still just a business guy and he happens to win? >> they make perfect sense if
you understand that this investigation started with what we've been saying from the very beginning. a spy hunt. it is a counter intelligence investigation. in all of the activities that we see laid out here from the very beginning show you that there are two players here. there is an intelligence agency that is dominated by a former director of russian intelligence now turned billionaire oligarch who is dangling projects and manipulating people and influencing political parties and buying off individuals in order to make sure that this one person ascends to the highest seat of office in the united states. on the other side you have the americans who are trying to buy favor and influence, who don't care whether this russian intelligence -- former intelligence officer is manipulating them. that's why this thing comes down to a spy hunt. >> paul butler, really quickly,
again, it isn't illegal to build a tower in moscow. can you formulate a legal theory as to why michael cohen would just not tell the house and senate committees, yeah, he was still talking about a tower? >> because it was in donald trump's political interest for michael cohen and donald trump jr. to tell this lie to the senate intelligence community about how long the investigations were going on. you got to give trump credit for being crafty. he was consistently lying to the american people about trump tower in moscow, about the purpose of the meeting with the russian lawyer, but he didn't lie to mueller. his people didn't want him to submit to an investigation to mueller because if he had told those same lies to mueller, then he would have committed a crime. the concern for him now is donald trump jr. most likely told the same lie that michael cohen told. if cohn is prosecuted by mueller, then donald trump jr. should be and that will give
mueller leverage over the president of the united states. >> ellie, do you think that's where it's going? >> absolutely. i still think donald trump jr. is right in the sights. a point worth mentioning here, people keep truncating the impeachment clause to high crimes and misdemeanors. that's not what it says. it says you can be impeached for treason, bribery and misdemeanors. this is bribery. >> let me ask you a question before we go. lanny davis who is michael cohen's lawyer, is now throwing doubt on whether he'll testify on february 7th. do you think this whole incident makes it less likely he'll testify? >> possibly, yes. we already know that michael cohen is making statements that he's concerned about his family. donald trump has made threatening statements about michael cohen's family. >> tony soprano. >> that's right. there's no question. but i also think for the mueller investigation standpoint, i'm
assuming mueller's team really doesn't want him to testify. >> really quickly, sarah, before we go, the threats to the family, what do you make of that? >> to michael cohen's family? >> yeah. donald trump making veiled threats? >> it's kind of ironic because michael cohen has spent his entire life-threatening other people's families. it's not surprising because this is how they've operated the entire time, threats, bribe, blackmail. these are mob tactics and autocrat tactics. you should not be surprised but displeased that they're continuing to get them. >> snitches get stitches. >> there you go. you guys are going to join us later in the show. thank you very much. next up, donald trump is set to make another major announcement about the shutdown. that's next. her major announcement about the shutdown. that's next. t conversation] ♪ [friend] i've never seen that before. ♪
my fellow americans, tonight i am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crises at our southern border. >> all right, last week donald trump gave his first overly offioval office address and this average he's set to make a, quote unquote, major announcement again on the border and the government shutdown now in day 29. joining me, jason johnson and jean-pierre of moveon.org. federal workers have not been paid for 29 days.
the average worker has missed $5,000 worth of wages, kareem. this is an emergency for these workers. this is not just politics. i want to play tyrone sharper, a tsa employee in philadelphia. let's listen. >> i just feel like, as an officer, i took an oath. i took an oath to make sure i protect the skies and do my part in helping the country. i did that with an agreement that i would get paid biweekly. to not get paid is the frustrating part when i'm still upholding my part. in a sense i feel like america, the government, has failed me and the rest of the officers that are being affected by this. >> there's a piece in "the atlantic" that talks about the fact that there's sort of a grim kind of galloed thought going on around capitol hill that the only thing that might stop this is like a national disaster. >> which is scary to think about
because, you know, at 3:00 donald trump is going to put together a reality tv show when in reality all he has to do is pick up the phone, call mitch mcconnell and say please end this. he's not about getting to a resolution or a solution. he just wants to double down in this really bigoted wall of his that he's been espousing for years now and now that we're going into his third year of the presidency. here's the thing, we are the wealthiest nation on earth and we have people waiting for a paycheck and something that donald trump paraded but mitch mcconnell is allowing it to happen. yeah, it is infuriating. you have people who can't payday care, people who can't pay for medicine, people who are in long lines trying to get a meal. we should be -- it's shameful and donald trump just doesn't care at all. >> some of the -- jason, some of the stories of people talking about it, choking up saying i
can't pay rent, i can't pay my kid's tuition, i can't pay my mortgage, i'm going to lose my home, this is what we've been listening to all week. donald trump doesn't seem to care about that. we're accustomed to him not having emotion in that area, but mitch mcconnell, you know, at this point he is part of the equal branch of government. he does not need a phone call from trump to give him permission to do his job. >> no, he doesn't. and there are enough senators who would be happy to vote on something that would be happy to override a veto. i had a guest on earlier this week talking about being in the foreign service, being in the philippines. you're not getting a check. you can't get unemployment when you're working for national services abroad. when you're a diplomat, you can't go downtown and take a job as a bartender because you're a foreign person, so this is hurting everybody. what i see and what i don't think the president is going to care about until this hits a sort of crises point, think of the super bowl. that's supposed to be a national
security event. think of atlanta hartsfield-jackson airport and how bad that's going to be because i bet you there will be a walkout that week. >> you had already sickouts from tsa employees and this isn't like a protest. it costs money to drive to work. not every city has a subway, extensive $2 way to get to work. you have to drive. that means you have to put gas in your car. you have to choose, do i spend my last 50 bucks on gas to get to work. you've already had sickouts. a graph here shows the unscheduled absence rate for january. so 2018 is the black line, you see it, 2019 and the red line is . ok at the absence rate. the head of the fbi union because the super bowl is a national security event so you have fbi and others that are responsible. this is the head of the union to the atlantic. i'm not going to candy coat it. we feel that the financial insecurities we're facing right now equate to a national security issue. air traffic controllers stressed out, that doesn't sound good if you have to fly.
fbi agents stressed out, that doesn't sound good either. >> so let's pause here because the super bowl is one thing, investigations of drug cartels, let's talk about the fact that this donald trump-created crises of a wall purportedly for the protection of the united states has led to the greatest vulnerability of the united states to the very drug cartels he suggests we need a wall for because dea agents cannot pay their informants, because fbi agents have to slow down their investigations in order to do background checks because the analysts who would normally do a lot of the legwork on the background checks are furloughed. so there are so many levels of vulnerability that donald trump and republicans who are not pushing back hard on him --
because remember, republicans in congress had a deal. they had a deal. donald trump is the one who said no. >> they're making him their boss. he's not their boss. they need to read the constitution. let's take it to a more personal level. food inspections are being curtailed. we've had outbreaks of sal m salmonel salmonella. >> so it's affecting all of us essentially is where we're going. i want to step back again for a minute on how we got here, right? so build the wall was a line that roger stone gave donald trump -- >> invented. >> invented because you had an incompetent presidential candidate who couldn't talk about immigration, so they said, here, build the wall. also it connected to his racist, bigoted rhetoric and what he said about mexicans. this is where it all stems from. and we can't forget too, it's not just about undocumented workers for him. it's about legal immigration as
well. he doesn't care about the other. >> and that's the thing -- >> doesn't care about us. >> i have to ask the question, are people now in his base, you have to now choose between xenophobia and food. >> that's right. >> that's a pretty stark choice. >> you can live off of racism for a long time. lots of americans feed off of bigotry. they've been doing it for a long time. i think what's interesting about this, yes, obviously the wall is ridiculous and all the border -- republicans and democrats who are members of congress say we don't like this idea, we don't think it's good, i think at some point the phone calls to mitch mcconnell, the phone calls to republicans when it becomes more of a national issue because it's not just food security, it's department of justice. i spoke to a woman, she's like, i'm in child protective services. i got cases going on with kids around the country. when we get to valentine's day and you can't get flowers because customs can't inspect them -- >> or federal prisons. you have the guards making sure there's no prison breaks not getting paid. all right, we'll see what he
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if that is true, then he should be impeached immediately. >> this is obstruction of justice if these facts are true. this is subborning perjury. there's no question it's an impeachable offense. >> if he told michael cohen to commit perjury, then certainly that's going to go into the whole discussion we have about whether or not he, the president, should continue to be in office. >> this information is extremely serious. there's no question about the definitions of what is criminal activity. >> the bombshell buzzfeed story that donald trump directed his former lawyer michael cohen to lie to congress, now the subject of much hand wringing and dispute, set off calls tore donald trump's impeachment this week. before that story dropped, the new cover story in the atlantic by yoni applebalm laid out the case for impeechg the president, cohen or no cohen. how intense is the momentum for
impeachment? joining me is barbara lee of california. thanks for being here. >> my pleasure. glad to be with you. >> even before the buzzfeed story, there was a certain momentum in the house even when democrats weren't in control of it, that donald trump had already done enough to be impeached. in your mind, putting aside and setting aside the buzzfeed story, do you believe that donald trump has committed high crimes and misdemeanors worthy of impeachment? >> thank you, joy. in fact, joy, last year i voted twice to start the impeachment process. i think what's important now is to recognize that all of these allegations that are -- that have come forward and are coming forward, require a thorough and full investigation and so we're fighting to make sure that the mueller investigation continues, but also we must remember that congress has a responsibility and so we have a responsibility for oversight and to conduct investigations. we have our house intelligence committee, our oversight committee and our judiciary committee.
i hope the republicans stop covering up for the president which they have done historically since he's been in office and move forward for these investigations to lead us to where the facts to expose the facts and lead us where they lead. >> and you know, i guess that's the frustration that a lot of people have. when you hear leadership talk about impeachment, they say let's let the mueller process play out, you know, maybe putting aside the fact that you mentioned congress has its own investigative committees and own investigative resources, congress can itself conduct investigations. impeachment, you know, to the applebalm point is not just about throwing donald trump out. it's also about the public hearing of what he has done and whether what he has done has harmed the united states and the presidency. is there a growing chorus, not just the freshmen, but among other members of your colleagues to say we shouldn't just wait on mueller and hinge everything on him, this is something congress should do? >> absolutely.
joy, even before we won the elections in november, there was a call for the republicans to conduct their oversight per what the constitution requires. >> we know they weren't going to do that, right. >> they would not do that. now with democrats in control, what we're doing is moving forward and i would say the majority of our democratic caucus really want to see these investigations move forward to determine the facts to determine the conclusion and to where we should take action with regard to imsneechlts right. i mean devin nunes and other members of the house made it clear they were not interested in doing that. they were very clear about that. let's talk about what's going on with the shutdown. you and i'm sure other members of the house have been receiving an earful when you fly, you're seeing tsa agents, what are people telling you when you're talking with your constituents about what the shutdown is doing to them? >> joy, this is wreaking havoc on the lives of federal workers
and others. i met with many constituents around what is taking place and several have indicated to me the pain and suffering that they're going through. for example, one is when you look at the work that they do in addition to them not being paid for their job and also those who are coming to work paying and buying gas just to get to work, to work to not receive a paycheck, but when you listen to the impact it's having on their lives in terms of their credit ratingsi ratings, having to make choices between paying their mortgage or rent and buying food, not able to pay for their child care, they wanted me to convey to the public that what they do in terms of their jobs, public safety, food safety, they provide for disaster relief, there's so many important jobs these people are performing for the public and so we have to really recognize not only are
they suffering and this is really un-american and immoral, the jobs that they do are jobs with dignity and they deserve to be paid because they're public servants. i also have to remind you because of the discrimination in the private sector historically african-americans pathway into the middle class has been through the federal government. between 18 to 20% of federal workers are african-americans and one of my constituents told me that he had eight members of his family who worked for the federal government now no one can borrow from anyone and this is shattering their structure and economic security. >> a day ahead of mlk day. thank you for your time. >> thank you, my pleasure. >> thank you. more "am joy" after the break. hu more "am joy" after the break. that supports your natural sleep cycle so you can seize the morning. zzzquil pure zzzs.
all right. welcome back to "am joy." we have a little bit of breaking news this morning. axios is reporting that white house officials say that donald trump's among announcement this afternoon per their sources will be an offer to compromise with democrats to end the shutdown. the offer according to axios is expected to include $5.7 billion for donald trump's cherished wall in exchange for extending the legal status of daca and tps recipients. we'll have more on that as we have it. i will be back to cover it. first, it's certainly been a frenzied 24 hours for the news cycle. it started with buzzfeed reporting that michael cohen told special counsel robert
mueller that donald trump ordered him to lie under oath to congress about trump's plans to build a tower in moscow. buzzfeed reported mueller had corroborating evidence of cohen's claim. the prosecutor's office last night took the rare step of publicly disputing parts of buzz fooed reporting though we don't know which parts. trump's favorite media outlet fox news rolled out the boss' favorite phrase crying fake news and hoping that questions about buzzfeed's report would somehow take down the entire mueller probe and absolve the president. trump has fired up the twitter machine saying in one tweet, quote, newt gingrich just stated there has been no president since abraham lincoln who has been threatened worse or more unfairly by the media than your favorite president, me. exclamation point. he's being treated like abraham lincoln. back with me, karine jean-pierre
of moveon.org and jason johnson of the root.com and msnbc contributor malcolm nance and joining fernando [ inaudible ] democratic pollster. i'm sorry, i'm sorry. fernand, i miss you, my friend, come up to new york more often. donald trump, i just for a moment, abraham lincoln, our 16th president, assassinated during the civil war, tried to save the union from the succession of southern states who were willing to go to war and see hundreds of thousands of people die in order to defend slavery, donald trump says no president since lincoln has been treated worse than him. your thoughts on that before we move on? >> well, president pathological liar does it again. he's trying to top himself on his latest. you know, joy, let's get to this buzzfeed thing here. >> please do. >> because, you know, people want to act like oh, my god,
this is now the moment as if there hasn't been three and a half years worth of compelling in our face evidence. i mean i didn't see the office of the special counsel deny "the washington post" report last week that president trump was literally trying to prevent any official record of his private meetings with vladimir putin. the office of the special counsel didn't come out and deny the fact that donald trump has been openly talking about leaving nato, the very suggestion of which is the fulfillment of vladimir putin's wildest fantasy, and most importantly, i didn't see the office of the special counsel come out and deny the report that the fbi is actively investigating donald trump for possibly being an agent of a hostile foreign government working for vladimir putin. let's not pretend we're impugning the integrity of a good faith goodwill civil servant. this man is what eric swalwell
said on your air, a russian agent. eric swalwell was pushed, do you have any reason to suggest he is not working on behalf the russians? he said no. let's not pretend that there are questions here about what donald trump is trying to do. i think before this buzzfeed, throw it out the window, it would have been a nice cherry on top of the treason sunday we've seen build now for three years. it is what it is. the case is complete. let's see what the special counsel throws down in the coming weeks. >> malcolm nance, to that point, i asked jim, a member of the congress, if he trusted donald trump with america's national security, and he said no. if you take the sort of joni apple balm case when calling for impeachment to begin now, if you take it to the logical conclusion that the fbi is looking into whether or not donald trump is acting against the interest of his own country as president, at some point it isn't about whether or not
michael cohen, you know, said you lied or didn't lie about a trump tower moscow, it's a bigger national security picture. >> yeah. it's far bigger national security picture as we discussed in the last hour when you're talking about a man that is being manipulated by a hostile foreign power to do their bidding and he appears to be in love with doing the bidding for vladimir putin. the fbi are not the first people to carry out an investigation into the links between donald trump and his campaign to russia. that fell to the u.s. intelligence community well before the election occurred. we know john brennan and james clapper were both tasked out to actually warrant russians that we knew that they were making these contact and what they were doing. that being said, the united states national security is at risk when you're talking about a person who as fernand said is a pathological liar, easily
manipulated, blurts out our national security secrets in order to brag and impress our enemies. that's where we're in trouble. more importantly, the presidency itself has been compromised. look, this story may not pan out. i believe it will. i believe there will probably be be a dozen situations where donald trump ordered people to lie or cover up or hide the fact that russia, he's doing russia's bidding because he wants to be accepted by russia and be to be oligarch billionaires like their leadership. >> and there's a sense, you know, to come to the table here for a second, jason, this is also about buzzfeed itself. buzzfeed is the outlet that exposed the dossier, that is so obsesses devin nunes and trump's people in the house of representatives on the republican side, and so one gets the sense this is also donald trump's chance to get back at them. >> right. >> donald trump tweeted last night about the dossier and
buzzfeed being the one that put it out. >> right. this is a part where it's like you're a liar and a thief and arson. i'm not an arson. i got you. i'm not an arson. let's be honest. does anyone not believe that donald trump has had michael cohen lie for him. >> cohen has said that. >> yeah. >> so the possibility that maybe donald trump didn't specifically with smoke signals and a giant airplane and a banner tell him to lie to congress in this particular instance, doesn't negate the fact that he has done illegal things for the president in the past. i would argue that even if the mueller investigation said hey, this isn't true, they haven't specified what parts they're saying aren't true and more importantly, you have to believe at some point in the integrity of the people who are writing these kinds of stories i don't know the authors of this story but does anyone believe that buzzfeed, that any regular reporter will try to damage their reputation making a fake story, i would have gotten away with it too but trump got me. i think this is an opportunity for the president to try to claim he's persecuted but his
record demonstrates it's a reasonable assumption. >> let's play ben smith. a lot of us familiar with buzzfeed ben as we call him on twitter ben smith is a hell of a reporter himself, he's a man of integrity, not to your point would throw a story out without any sourcing. he has a lot of confidence in the sourcing of it, not the writer of the story but the editor of buzzfeed, the editor in chief on "all in" last night. >> obviously the special counsel prefers to control the timeline and for reasonable reasons wants to operate on his own timeline and without revealing a lot of details, but i think he's made these sort of statements here and would really like to know what he's talking about. >> that to the point is the point that the special counsel's office will to the confirm specifically what it is -- >> they haven't denied the story -- >> the whole story but our ken ken dilanian is they are knocking the story down. it's partly about them wanting
to keep control of the investigation. have democrats relied too much on mueller to be the only arbiter as to whether or not dupe has committed impeachable offenses, putting aside the fact the they have the authority to investigate him too. >> that's the change. we have the authority. the past two years it has been republicans in control and they have not put any type of meaningful oversight over keeping this president accountable. they have done absolutely nothing. if anything, they've been complicit for the past two years. we do, we have the majority in the house and it will change and you see that in the different committees that we hear from like adam schiff and elijah cummings. it's going to happen and there is an outcry, not from, you know, the congress -- the democratic congress, but from the people. like they want to know what is happeningp we need to try to figure out how we're going to have a hearing so the public knows so we're going to see michael cohen on february 7th, he probably -- >> theoretically. >> if he testifies. they may ask him this very
question, did he -- was he directed to lie by donald trump to congress. there's going to be a lot of sunlight coming out in the next couple weeks and we'll get answers. it's time for democrats to really start investigating and doing the oversight and they will. >> yeah. they'll do the oversight. the question is impeachment. fernand the trump tower moscow is one thing that donald trump was pursuing while he was also pursuing the presidency. there's a thing called the emoluments clause, he's continued to make money right, he claims that it's all in a blind trust, but it's blind only in the sense that it's not -- i don't know, he sees he knows he owns it, still got people paying to be in his private club. i wonder why democrats needed this one thing, that he directed cohen to lie about this thing, this tower in moscow, that's the thing that makes them say yes, it's impeachable, rather than all the other things?
>> it's an incredible point, joy, and i'm one that differs from this line of logic that says oh, the democrats have to wait until special counsel mueller's report is out before they can begin in earnest impeachment proceedings. let's take something very simple. donald trump's man is rudy giuliani how crime was stopped in new york, prosecute the little crimes and it has a bigger effect. talk about something as straightforward as the smoking gun hatch act violations that happened on daily basis. we are seeing the law obliterated every day before our eyes including last night where the white house official social media account retweets the ps president of the united states saying that the fake news and the fake -- and the media are the enemy of the people. something as simple as that and there are million examples, joy, i for one can't understand for the life of me why the democrats haven't been more bullish and aggressive. if that was not the very reason
that control of the house was given to them by the american people in these past november elections. i tend to agree with karine i think we're going to see that, but the time is now. there's no need to delay anymore. >> the question of why republicans wouldn't -- at the end of the day, if the president of the united states is acting in the interest of a foreign power, my god, are we saying that's only something democrats should be concerned about? whatever happened to every american being concerned about whether or not the president of the united states is acting in the interest of the united states? i'm sorry, you wanted to get in. >> i was going to say to the question that you asked, one of the reasons that buzzfeed article was so explosive, the obstruction of justice, right. we got a direct line that donald trump directed michael cohen to lie -- >> right. -- >> exactly -- >> so you can go to lindsey graham, remember what you argued during the clinton times. >> right. >> here you go. you said that was impeachable and you could remove the president from office. >> it's an ah-ha.
we can't get republicans to move on any of this. >> on anything. >> to add to that, based on what we heard from william barr, he may not release the report. >> may not release the report. >> they have to be aggressive -- >> he said obstruction of justice is a crime as well. >> they're going to have to do it either way. the republicans should care about this too. my panel will join me. don't let me go back on a rant. donald trump is helping make vladimir putin's dreams come true. true i know that every single time that i suit up, there is a chance that's the last time. 300 miles per hour, that's where i feel normal. i might be crazy but i'm not stupid. having an annuity tells me retirement is protected. annuities can provide protected income for life. learn more at retireyourrisk.org annuities can provide protected income for life. ♪ and if you feel, like i feel baby then come on, ♪
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it's obsolete and we're paying too much money. we are protecting them and they're getting all sorts of military protection and other things and they're ripping off the united states. they're ripping you off. i don't care. i don't want to do that. either they pay up including for past deficiencies or they have to get out. if it breaks up nato it breaks up nato. >> there's one thing on vladimir putin's wish list, one overriding geopolitical goal it is to destabilize western governments and undermine the nato alliance that putin views as a direct threat to russia. to the shock and horror of many in the u.s., and among our allies, putin may get his wish. "the new york times" reported this week that donald trump, the president of the united states, discussed pulling the u.s. out of nato multiple times last year. trump, of course, has been a harsh critic of nato for a long time, rattling our allies with
claims that they need to pay up as if nato is a protection racket. after the firestorm that the "times" report created this week trump tried to reassure the alliance and quiet his critics sort of. >> we're going to be with nato 100%, but as i told the countries you have to step up and you have to pay. we have very good relationships but countries are now stepping up. >> joining me is an msnbc contributor and world news editor at daily beast, and sara kendzoir and malcolm nance. you wrote in "the daily beast" tuesday donald trump doesn't want alliances like nato he wants u.s. soldiers to be guns for hire, trump insists the countries pay more for the u.s. troops and putin, xi jinping and kim jong-un enjoy the spectacle of shattering alliances. "new york times" added and wrote on monday that vladimir putin -- i'm sorry that "washington post" sorry, "washington post" wrote
on wednesday vladimir putin is winning with british parliament's lopsided rejection of theresa may's plan and the shutdown dragging him on, the two oldest and most important western democracies are mired in utter political chaos with no obvious way out. this is against the backdrop of the american withdrawal from syria, leave it to the poor people killed there, and trump's musings about pulling out of nato. have we won the cold war only to lose it with donald trump in office? >> well, i think what we see he is dismantling the alliances instrumental in winning the cold war and have been instrumental in defending the united states for all of my lifetime. essentially trump's idea of alliances is this -- is not the idea that you strengthen your friends and your allies and work together as a team.
his idea of alliances is, they pay us to defend them. they buy our arms. they pay my, donald trump's soldiers to defend them and that makes america rich somehow. the idea that allies multiply your strength, help stop wars, and help you fight wars effectively, if war should happen, all that seems to be alien to him. for him it's like paying dues at mar-a-lago you pay me and i give you a service. that is dangerous and dismantling not only nato but the alliance with south korea is now in danger as well. >> yeah. >> so yeah, kim jong-un, xi jinping and vladimir putin are overjoyed. >> you know, sara kendzoir, there is this strong man theory of government that donald trump subscribes to, an individual series of strong men around the world in turkey, hungary, china, north korea, and russia that all rule sort of simultaneously in their own country's
nationalistic interest. even discussing nato, feeds into that theory. "the new york times" called it the gift of the century to putin and this was the admiral former supreme commander of nato, to even discuss pulling out of nato, your thoughts? >> absolutely. we should have seen this coming because trump ran on this and laid this out during his campaign. you know, it's to the just his desire for this kind of macho posturing you see in any strong men, there are specific goals he shares with vladimir putin. they want money, power, putin wants territory, sanctions eliminated. these are kleptocratic empires and if you have that kind of alliance with each other, if trump is aligning with putin, with erdogan, with various eastern european autocratic leaders it makes et easier for the illicit financial actions to keep going without any kind of oversight or accountability. there's pragmatic goals in mind as well as just the sort of
spectacle of abusing power itself. >> yeah. that's a very good point. it is always follow the money and these oligarch regimes are able to rake in the dough. to the fact that he's been able to get it out of russia. let's go to malcolm nance on this because putin did -- has said through a translator, this was about the collapse of nay naoto being a good thing for russia, this was an interview at an economic forum in st. petersburg in 2017, he said in a sense maybe they should be falling apart that will help. so note that. then i want you to comment on the fact that united states senate failed to overturn, failed to overcome the desire of the trump administration to relax sanctions on not just any russian oligarch but one of the oligarchs directly tied to peyton mannipaul manafort, meaning tied to what you in your book called in your
book the plot to attack our election, your thoughts? >> well, first, vladimir putin, donald trump, xi jinping, kim jong-un, assisi in egypt, erdogan in turkey, they now comprise a russian-oriented and sort of bipolar russia/china axis of autocracies and donald trump is desperate to move america away from democracy and working with alliances of democracies and educated people into this group of autocracies to do that democracy as we have known it, our republican congressional public needs to be destroyed or transformed and he's transforming it into this, you know, transactional sort of government that does things on the basis of elite money and it's absolutely disgraceful. that being said, you know -- i'm
sorry, i lost my train of thought. benjamin franklin, some time ago a very tough subject to even discuss, you know, the fact that nato, an alliance ta hat we ford out of the dead of world war ii to stop the spread of communism coming from the east and their alliance, the warsaw pact of which vladimir putin was a member, is just absolutely disgraceful. benjamin franklin said, you know, that benedict arnold betrayed 3 million. we have to add donald trump is betraying 320 million. >> before we go. brexit is a part of this that we know there was a russian connection to that as well, what is going to be the outcome now that theresa may has not been able to fix that debacle? do we have chris? i don't think we have him. >> i'm sorry. >> i love talking with chris.
we will bring him back another day. thank you to sara kendzoir and malcolm nance. donald trump's major announcement on the shutdown will now be at 4:00 p.m. eastern. that's a change. more time to prepare for it. for the first time in his life somebody is telling donald trump no and her name is nancy. that's next. e is nancy that's next. ♪ [ dog snoring ]
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it all started as a protest against donald trump's inauguration. the 2017 women's march was among the largest protest in history. two years later the national march has been plagued by infighting and yet marches will go on in cities around the country today. we have correspondents all over and joining me is nbc political reporter ali vitali and in new york, mariana is w.h.o. who is central park. is the march as robust and the enthusiasm there? give us a report from the ground? >> joy, the enthusiasm is still here, but as far as the numbers go, when they put the permits in for this, they were expecting about 10,000 people. that's smaller than what we saw in 2017. the size may have dwindled but
the people who are here some of them repeat offenders, they came out to the first one and the one in 2018, they want to keep this momentum going. a lot of conversation about if this is a movement or a moment. i think this is one of the pieces of that puzzle as you try to figure out the women's march going forward, but on the ground there's been an acknowledgement of those claims of controversy and anti-semitism that you mentioned in your lead, but generally people say they're here in spite of that because they want to see progress continue to go forward. a lot of people talked about seeing the kavanaugh hearings and know it's still important to have political activism and one of the women we talked to just before we came on with you said she wanted to show that this is about unity for them, it's not about the divisions that may be played out in the media in regards to the founders and some of the infighting that you talked about. they're here to show unity against donald trump, but you're about to come up against a 2020 field of candidates that will have more women than ever running for president and that's one thing that's really important to a lot of the people marching here. >> have they named any names of people they like for 2020, the
people you've talked to? >> i've heard some elizabeth warren out here and it's early on and people are only just beginning to announce, but elizabeth warren, kirsten gillibrand, kamala harris. >> ali, thank you very much. to mariana, what's going on in new york? >> joy, one of the two marches here in new york just started. we're going to start walking with them. it's just taking off. those divisions you talked about in your intro are being seen here in the streets of new york because there's two competing marches here. the one organized by the women's march alliance, the one that you see behind me here, they're going to walk all the way to 44th street and then you have the women's march new york, which does not have a permit to actually march, they're going to be hosting a unity rally in the square and that's the one that is tied to the national leadership. a lot of women here, they tell me that they are confused and that they're angry by the fact
that there are two marches, but at the end of the day as ali was pointing out, it's about the fact that women are turning out and it's also about the fact that many of them tell me they should be celebrating today, joy, because all of the women they galvanized around when they turned out are now walking the halls of congress. diverse women they say is the movement that started here in the streets of new york city as well as d.c. >> can you turn over your right shoulder, there's a scrum behind you, what's going on over your right shoulder? >> there is. so right now, we're walking in front of the trump international hotel and tower. i've covered the march here. we did it last year. there's always people sort of screaming things at the hotel every time we pass by. >> yep. >> i'm going to try to keep monitoring what's happening on the ground. >> okay. >> and report back. so far i've spoke to one of the organizers who tells me there's already 50,000 people here, so we're going to keep you abreast.
>> alexandria cas yo cortez just passed by you. see if you can catch up with her. thank you. more "am joy" after the break. her. thank you. more "am joy" after the break. liberty mutual. they customized my insurance, so i only pay for what i need. i insured my car, and my bike. my calves are custom too, but i can't insure those... which is a crying shame. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ hey, darryl. would you choose the network rated #1 in the nation by the experts, or the one awarded by the people? uh... correct! you don't have to choose, 'cause, uh... oh! (vo) switch to the network awarded by rootmetrics and j.d. power. buy one of our best phones, get one on us. and my brother ray and i started searching for answers. (vo) when it's time to navigate in-home care, follow that bright star.
prevagen. healthier brain. better life. donald trump will make his announcement on the shutdown at 4:00 p.m. eastern. axios reports he is going to float a compromise which includes $5.7 billion in funding for his border wall for extenting the legal status of daca and recipients. they are back with me.
fernand you're not with us here so let me get your reaction to that. the reporting that trump will float $5.7 billion, still wants for his border wall, for daca and tps. good offer? democrats should consider? what do you think? >> joy, call me old fashioned, but i'm just not really keen on the idea of the speaker of the house of representatives, who is third in line to the presidency by the way, continuing to negotiate in good faith for the reopening of our government when it's talking about a president currently being investigated by the fbi for possibly [ inaudible ] a hostile foreign agent of a hostile foreign government. it's interesting that now the president is introducing daca. i will give speaker pelosi what i think is free advice. i think they should take the deal with one caveat, add to the mix in exchange for the $5 billion for the wall, and the extension of daca protections, that the president release his tax returns immediately. something that he promised to
do, by the way, during the campaign. we're now two years into the administration. i think it's time for leader pelosi to continue to play hardball and she clearly has the upper hand. she clearly has the negotiating advantage. because from my perspective, joy, i go back to the comment that benjamin made, very astute one, when he pointed out in reaction to the "new york times" story that he's starting to believe that obstruction of justice is the collusion if you look at this from the frame that says donald trump is a hostile foreign russian agent, which believe he is and which congressman eric swalwell who sits on the intelligence committee confessed last night he believes is, i believe that the shutdown is the policy accomplishment by donald trump. he has literally shut down the united states government for historic length of time, who else besides vladimir putin would want exactly that. that's my reaction to this news about the negotiation. >> i have to say that, you know, just from the standpoint of the
united states constitution, right, the co-equal branch of government, the house and senate, they have the independent power to reopen -- they fund the government. >> yep. >> the executive power administers the executive branch. the legislative power, article 1 power, funds the legislative branch. technically a government shutdown is the funding running out and there needs to be bills passed and signed into law by the president that reopen the funding. >> yeah. >> the challenge here is that what donald trump is trying to establish is that he may shut down the government, put people in existential peril of their homes, their jobs, their food, food stamps are going to run out in march, and that he can hold an entire nation hostage in order to force the article i power to pass laws. this does not fliblg a sustainable to fernand's point form of government and doesn't
sound like a democracy. >> right. he's holding the nation hostage for his big gothed racist border wall which is a failed policy and this is why democrats can't give in. they cannot give in to this. if you give into donald trump he will do it again. >> debt ceiling. >> it's coming like you said. we cannot. we've been here before where democrats, which i did not agree with them a year ago, presented daca and gave him $25 billion. they do not want to go there. he blew it up. that was the first time he blew it up and they gave him talk and his folks said it was amnesty. >> he could have built a wall with it. it's not going to happen. his folks will not let him do this. >> here's the other challenge that i'll just throw to you as
somebody who covers politics, the congress of the united states has a fushry duty to the taxpayers whose mun it is, it isn't just monopoly money say give him $5 billion and he will behave himself, right. that's not what the money is for. taxpayers pay it, it's the duty of the congress to spend it wisely. a wall is not goings to cost $5.7 billion. it's actually not feasible to build a wall across the southern border. a lot is water. >> right. >> can't build a wall in water. i guess you could. >> and domain. say it's going to cost $100 billion. how does donald trump get the next $5 billion. >> that's the problem here. it's indicative of how foolishly he runs the government, the complicity of mitch mcconnell that we've got this wayne brady let's make a deal at 3:00, like door number one i have this, what are you going to work for. it is not a sustainable policy. the wall is symbolic because everybody knows it's not practical. the wall was a monument he wants to make.
nancy pelosi has no reason to negotiate. what is the most important thing for people to remember long term is the president of the united states isn't a strategic thinker. if it doesn't make sense or breaks the government in the process he's going to keep going. the interesting thing is, democrats are just as dug in on this issue as republicans are. nancy pelosi's popularity has gone up since this happened. she is more popular than donald trump. she is more popular than brian kemp in georgia and in a lot of places because she has stood her ground. there's no reason for her to flex or blink on him at this point and he doesn't seem to figure that out. >> she's not being investigated in a counterintelligence inquiry as to whether she's working in the interest of a foreign power. just saying. want to pause for a moment because mariana caught up with congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. i want to let you throw to what you asked her and her answer. >> joy, we found out what that
commotion was. it was freshman congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez i was told at some point was looking at the camera, probably a fan of "am joy" and i asked her, what it meant to see so many women out here, women who say that, again, seeing her walk the halls of congress, that started here in the streets of new york. this is what ocasio-cortez had to say. >> what does filts like to be out here today? >> i mean it's so exciting and so thrill to see so many new yorkers, so many women across the country, that are coming together and showing that we're still taking our presence and going to push for the agenda that we elected so many people to advance. >> so many of the women here say they're looking to the new newly elected female members of congress that are walking the halls of congress, what do you say to them in these times with the shutdown? >> i say it's great. thank you. >> she didn't get a chance to answer that second question for me, joy, because she started to march, but what i wanted to ask her was that a lot of the women here say they're actually
looking to these newly elected female members of congress as these new leaders, not so much the national leaders of the women's march, and you know, it's reflective of the power of this moment movement and in new york there's two marches and many say it's diluted the effort but the fact that they're here is reflective of the fact that they will keep the momentum going. >> thank you so much, mariana, limping today, thank you for the hard work you're doing. let me bring back the panel quickly, i will do a lightning round. fernand, there has been an attempt to delegitimize and also to elevate alexandria ocasio-cortez but one of the things that seems fundamental here is that this new class of congress is so representative of the diversity of the country and of the future and of america and the american ideal, i wonder what you make of the fact that we are having a debate over whether or not we're going to
build a, you know, 12th century medieval wall across the southern border to keep out people who look like alexandria ocasio-cortez to keep them out of the country, why are we having that debate? why are we allowing that debate? >> that's the central question. why are we engaging and indulging these tantrums over overt racism and policies that speak to white supremacy at the same time that the federal bureau of investigation is saying that the president is a hostile potentially a potential hostile foreign agent. i don't believe in giving credence to these negotiations. the notion of a two to tango on both sides is nonsense. that's why i think this is a ridiculous debate. >> quickly. >> i want nancy pelosi who has canceled the state of the union to invite the mexican president to come to washington, d.c., and give a speech about the wall and
remind president trump that mexico ain't paying for a darn thing. >> the first lady of the united states was allowed to use a military plane to fly for a vacation. >> yeah. >> the person under investigation under a counterintelligence probe for potentially acting in the interest of a foreign power gets to decide whether the speaker of the house can use a military plane to go to a war again. >> when he did that to nancy pelosi and other congressional members, not only was it petty, it was dangerous. it was a danger to their national security and others. he put other people's lives in danger surprising shocking. >> it's a curious time we live in. karine jean-pierre, fernand amandi, thank you. have things ever been this bad? do you ask yourself that sometimes when you put your head to the pillow at night? we asked it to a historian. doris kearns goodwin next. and saying, "really?" so capital one is building something completely new. capital one cafes.
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over this shutdown? >> the buck stops with everybody. >> the buck stops with everybody. these have been extraordinary times in america with two major stories just in the last week calling into question the actions and even the loyalties of the president of the united states. first "the new york times" reporting the fbi opened a counter intelligence inquiry whether donald trump was secretly work on behalf of russia. second, the report said trump discussed pulling the u.s. out of nato. these stories were capped off by the new disputed buzzfeed report that trump directed michael cohen to lie to congress about his planned trump tower moscow. joining us doris kearns-goodwin. thank you so much. so great to talk to you, doris kearns goodwin. so where to begin? the first sentence "the new york times" story about this inquiry about donald trump, to me, was
something i could never even conceived of being written about an american president. i want to read it to you and get your reaction. >> it says in the days after president trump fired james comey as fbi director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of russia against american interests according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation. when you heard that sentence read or read that sentence, what did you make of it as an historian? >> well, there's no question that you get a sense of shock at the possibility that the internal government itself is countering what the possibility that he might have done something that made him look like he was or actually was doing something on behalf of the russians. i think the whole mueller report is going to have to deal with where were the motivations with him from the beginning, why was he involved with russia with the traump tower? what was going on with the kids
and the trump tower? why did he take sanctions away from the republican committee. those motivates have to be a story. i think really the story of the trump presidency and why it's so different from anything we've seen really begins deeper than that. it's the fact that he never really experienced being a leader, not even a leader of a company. most people who have come into presidential office have had political spears or military experience. they've learned humility from acknowledging errors because they've made errors during their political experiences, they've learned empathy by dealing with other people, they've gone through tough times and learned resilience. one of the things donald trump has said is people say a good deal is when both sides win. he said that's pure crap. the only good deal is when i win. you can't be in public life and that that kind of understanding. it's the absence of leadership that underlies a lot of this whether it was averted on his part or just he was trying to protect himself, but we're missing leadership right now in the white house.
>> right. with any leadership, there's also followership. what do you say as somebody that study this had country and its evolution over time that there is so much support even if he's done these things, even if russia helped him get elected that so many americans don't mind and that this sort of xenophobe yab that goes with him is acceptable to so many people. >> i think what it says it echoed for me about the time we're living in right now is the turn of the 20th century. we have to understand that there are a whole group of people who feel left out of america's prosperity. that happened during the industrial revolution. there was a gap between the rich and poor, immigrants where is blamed for the problems that the working class people were feeling. there was a sense the rural people felt cut off from the cities so much like today and luckily that got channelled into progressive moderate reform that took the edge off that. that's out there. it's not only here it's in new england, europe. there's a movement in a lot of
places because they feel like the countries have not shared prosperity with a group of people. the answer to that is the citizens who feel differently about what's going on with trump have to become active. that's what the midterms were about. long lines of people were standing there. every change for social justice in our country has always been when the citizens are fighting for social justice. it's the opposite in a certain sense. lincoln was called a liberator. he said no the anti-slavery people did it all, it was the progressive movement under fdr and roosevelt. you've got the women marching today, all sorts of marches after parkland. there has to be a citizens movement to have this government responsive to the real needs of the american people. >> yeah, donald trump says he was treated worse than lincoln. feel free to respond to that. i want to get your very quick take, what would it mean if the united states were to really pull out of nato? >> it would be disastrous. you need a president who understands history.
we've had nearly 70 years built on alliances that came out of world war ii that have really kept peace throughout the world and europe. europe was in two big wars before these alliances took place. we've been this sustaining beacon of hope for that alliance. it's inconceivable that he would talk about pulling out. it's one hinge to talk about it and the next day say i'm for it. it was his instinct and has to be fought by the people to understand the importance of nato. >> thank you so much for your time. >> you are so welcome. >> thank you. for a.m. after the break. thanku for a.m. after the break to make you everybody else... ♪ ♪ means to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can fight and never stop. does this sound dismal? it isn't. ♪ ♪ it's the most wonderful life on earth. ♪ ♪
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that's our show for today. i'm be back at 4:00 p.m. eastern. up next, alex witt with the latest. >> what is he going to say? >> it sounds like some sort of col pro mice deal. we shall see. >> whether it involves daca. wasn't there a great deal back in march, february on that one. >> there was with $25 billion that could have been used to build a wall. that never happened. >> thank you, my friend. good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters. welcome to weekends with alex witt". on the brink of a break-through? two pieces of news that could signal an end to the shutdown we were just talking about with joy as we expect remarks from the president at the white house in a few hours. the special counsel speaks by robert mueller is now pushing back on an explosive report about