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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  January 24, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PST

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i'm ayman mohyeldin alongside yasmin vossoughian. "morning joe" starts right now. >> our nation united because of an external threat. remind our lawmakers that nations are not only destroyed from without but from within. lord, as some members of our armed forces seek sustenance at charity, food pantries and prepare to miss a second payday, something has to give. forgive us, oh mighty god, for our sins of co-mission and omission. remind each senator of the words of jesus of nazareth, "those who
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work deserve their pay." we pray in your sovereign name, amen. >> whoa. that was barry black, chaplain of the united states senate and a retired navy rear admiral offering a prayer for the nation mired in a shutdown that is now entering its 34th day. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is thursday, january 24th. joe is still under the weather. along with willie and me, we have mike barnicle, former press secretary to speaker of the house john boehner, michael steele. he served in senior roles in jeb bush's campaign, also washington
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bahry chief susan page and shake sherman is joining the nbc and msnbc family as a political contributor. welcome aboard. we will haze you today. to frame why the senate chaplain is literally praying to end the shut double pl shutdown, air traffic controllers are working 60 hours a week without pay. fbi agents say they're losing ground in terror investigations, prison guards and president trump just backed down, he folded to nancy pelosi in the proxy fight over the state of the union. the president blinked first and the house speaker just doubled down in a late-night tweet.
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but first, new accusations that the commander in chief is continuing threats. cohen released a statement saying he put his family and safety first. the president tweeted twice about cohen's family, once claiming that cohen cooperated with prosecutors to protect his wife and her father. and another time "watch father-in-law." >> he should give information maybe on his father-in-law because that's the one that people want to look at because where does that money -- that's the money in the family. i guess he didn't want to talk
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about his father-in-law. he's trying to get his sentence reduced. it's pretty sad. it's weak and very sad to watch a thing like that. i couldn't care less. >> what is his father-in-law's name? >> i don't know but you'll find out and look into it. nobody knows what's going on. >> it's about his father-in-law. we talked about ukrainian, his father-in-law is ukrainian. >> that's not a crime. >> of course it isn't. the reason that's important is he may have ties to something called organized crime. >> it's really troubling and i just have to say this, it's been in the back of my mind ever since i saw that interview with jeanine pirro, willie. jeanine pirro is acting like the mob boss's affiliate.
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>> and she's asking for a name. >> meanwhile, elijah cummings called cohen's concerns legitimate and added "our nation's laws discourage efforts to discourage, intimidate or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to congress. the president should take no action to obstruct congress's independent oversight and vebtiveb investigative efforts, including by seeking to discourage any witness from testifying. here's more from congress and committee member jackie speier. >> this is something that should upset every single american. this is the united states of america. this is not russia. >> this is called witness
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tampering. this is a crime, and the congress of the united states has to exert its authority against a president now who's acting more like putin every day. i feel like i'm in the middle of a "godfather" movie. if all of this is indeed true, we've got yet another article that could be posed in an impeachment trial. >> reporter: the congressman said he's unsure if he'll subpoena mr. cohen to appear before the committee but said, quote, we will hear from mr. cohen period. you have new information on michael cohen's decision to postpone his testimony. he hears these tweets, hears
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rudy giuliani go on fox news, and is this actual about physical safety for michael cohen? >> here's the reality. you have the most powerful man in the world who has been going after michael cohen publicly for eight months now now going after private citizens who are his close family members. i don't think that any of us would feel comfortable with the most powerful man in the world going after our family, our spouses, our in-laws and then saying i'm going to voluntarily put myself and my family in the most public setting possible with millions and millions and millions of people watching me across the country, across the world and i'm not going to do that to my family, independent not going to put them in further harm if the president is going to continue to publicly threaten me and my family. i know he's been spending hours and hours and hours preparing for this testimony. this is something he's been looking forward to doing. he wanted to have this have you no decency moment before
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congress. he's been spending a lot of his time trying to tell the truth and ready to tell the truth to the american people. but he's not going to do this at the expense of whatever the president is going to threaten to do to him. cohen is one person who has been threatened because the president has felt cornered and scared about what cohen may reveal. who's to say he won't do this to another witness who is called to testify in front of congress? so cohen is almost putting them in a situation where congress has to we're either going to do something to make sure that the president doesn't continue to do this to witnesses and doesn't continue to intimidate people who are going to tell the truth or they're just not going to show up. >> it's not clear what can be done to stop the president or what can be done to stop rudy giuliani. >> it's my reporting that he will go, he's not going to defy
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a subpoena but he's not required to answer questions, if he goes. it's my understanding that unless there are severe actions taken to try and stop the president beyond a statement -- and those statements from lawmakers were fairly strong, but i think in order for him to feel comfortable, they would have to do something more if he's going to go and actually tell the truth the way he intended to. >> like what? >> as we heard the lawmaker say, this could be a violation of some of the articles. witness intimidation and witness tampering is a crime. >> i was aware, i think most people were aware of the tweet "watch father-in-law," but it's one of a bundle of tweets that you get sick of looking at that the president issues multiple times a day. i had not seen the giuliani clip that we just saw. a former united states attorney, a lawyer. that's witness tampering what we just heard and what we saw from
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rudy giuliani. >> in plain sight, too. >> yes. and the stunning silence of members of congress on both sides of the aisle, republican and democrat about someone so associated closely with the president of the united states, witness tampering like that, they say nothing? i don't blame michael cohen for fearing for what might happen to his family. >> and mike barnicle, i completely agree with you because there's so much happening in plain sight. i believe congresswoman jackie speier has brought this up. giuliani goes on the air so much, trump does it, too, throwing out bombs about people, muddling the truth a. susan page, what are the possibilities now that we have these questions and we see what we see, can michael cohen testify before congress after he's gone to jail? what are the possibilities here
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especially in terms of oversight and reaching out to the president and demanding answers? >> michael cohen will be testifying before congress. we may not know exactly when but that is going to happen. because one of the things that's important about this exchange is that everything is now setting a precedent for the next two years. that's why the state of the union standoff was important between the president and the speaker and that's why this is important. this is the first case off of a big witness testifying before a congress, a congressional committee now controlled by democrats who are going to call witnesses and ask questions that have not been asked for the last two years. >> we want to thank emily jane foxx for coming in, keeping us posed on michael cohen news. now in a late-night twitter exchange, president trump backed down to speaker of the house nancy pelosi on the state of the union this tuesday, acknowledging that she controls the real estate on capitol hill. in tweets sent after 11 p.m. in
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washington, the president wrote, "as the shutdown was going on, nancy pelosi asked me to give the state of the union address. i agreed. she then changed her mind because of the shutdown, suggesting a later day. this is her prerogative. i will do the address when the shutdown is over. i'm not looking for an alternative ven up fue for the address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the house chamber. i look forward to giving a great state of the union address in the near future. and the speaker responded by saying "i hope by saying "near future" you mean you will support the house-passed pack and to end the shutdown that the senate will vote on tomorrow. please accept this proposal sos
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we can reopen government, repay our federal workers and then negotiate our differences." it seems for the first time in his life here, got the answer no and had to live with it. >> speaker pelosi has held the line and it seems she's the one person president trump actually respects in washington. the way he addresses her and respond s it her demands and requests is unlike any others. we have a republican bill, a democrat bill, neither second to get the 60 votes it needs. does that get people a little bit closer to something to end the shutdown here? >> yes and no. there's two distinct dynamics happening at the same time. number one, there is this thaw in which nancy pelosi is putting border wall money on table and saying she's looking to get some sort of compromise in the coming
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weeks. she is now saying she will give upwards of $5 billion, her allies and aides are telling us this but no wall money. she doesn't want any money for the wall but she's willing to talk about border security. then you have this incredible standoff. republicans were daring nancy pelosi to disinvite formally from giving the state of the union. nancy pelosi did it without blinking an eye and the president backed down. it does reestablish pelosi as the -- it establishes her primacy on capitol hill, which is incredibly important in this tit for tat with the president. in the next couple of days, nancy pelosi and mitch mcconnell need to get engidgaged with eac other. they're the only two people look with chuck schumer that can get a deal. the contours of the deal will be
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a big border package, several billion dollar, maybe modest changes to immigration policy and maybe a promise they'll look at further ways to secure the border. the president, according to pelosi, who controls the house, she's not getting -- he's not getting any money for the wall, she's not giving it and those dynamics are not going to change. >> so another new poll shows that the shutdown is crashing president trump's approval rating. the associated press, an orc poll, puts the president's job approval at just 34%, down eight points from december. meanwhile, disapproval of his performance has climbed up to 65%, up nine points from just before the shutdown began. his rating is near its lowest in two years, dropping significantly among independents. this after a cbs news poll found his approval rating has fallen to 36%. asked in a separate question if a border wall is worth the government shutdown, 71% said
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no. still, the trump administration is reportedly asking agency leaders for a list of programs that would be affected if the shutdown continues for the next several weeks. a senior official with the office of management and budget tells nbc news, quote, prudent management means planning and preparing for events without known end dates. unf unfunded agencies are being asked to share with omb an ongoing list of programs that could be impacted within the coming weeks. white house chief of staff mick mulvaney has pressed agency leaders for a list of high-impact programs that would be jeopardized if the shutdown continues into march and april? people familiar with the directive told "the post" mulvaney wants the list no later than friday and it's further evidence the white house is
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preparing for a lengthy funding lapse at that could have snowballing consequences for the economy and government services. meanwhile chief kevin hassett said there could be zero growth if the shutdown continues. >> could we get zero growth? >> yes, we could. if it extended for the whole quarter and given the fact in a the first quarter tends to be low because of residuals, you could end up with a number very close to zero. >> in terms of the workers who are coming to work and not getting paid, what would you say to them? >> listen, it's not fair to you and we all get that but this is so much bigger than any one person. it is a little bit of pain but it's going to be for the future of our country. >> lara trump saying it's a little bit of pain. she said she was misunderstood.
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it's not a little bit of pain, though. a lot of pain. a lot of human suffering across the country. millions of american people. michael steele, look at these poll numbers and tell me how republicans wouldn't at this point be urging mitch mcconnell to figure something out because this cannot go on until march and april and had white houthis is preparing for it to go on. are republicans going to stay with this? >> i think what you're seeing with these votes in the senate is we're not watching the ice break but we're hearing it creek. this is the beginning of the end of the shutdown. we're going to see an effort -- after we see that the president's plan can't pass and the democrats' plan can't pass, you're going to see probably mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi working to the to see the compromised language to get the government open again, not today, not tomorrow, but in a week or two.
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the wall is not a real policy. there are places on the border where a physical barrier makes sense. there are places where it doesn't. you can improve and increase security without building a game-style wall across the southern border of the united states and that's what we're going to do. >> willie, can democrats give him some symbolic face saving amount of money for a stupid wall? is there any movement here that's possible with mitch mcconnell? >> sure. this is going to end with a typical washington fudge where democrats will agree to additional money for border security and they will say there's no wall, we're not giving money for a wall, they're not going to build a wall. the president will say look at all this money i got to build a
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wall and improve border security and everybody lives to see another day. >> final former security secretaries are calling on the president and congress to end the shutdown. nbc news has obtained a copy of the letter. it states one of the unfortunate consequences of the shutdown has been the need for some homeland security employees to seek unemployment or to find a new job. the letter reads in part, "we write to you today with a simple message, fund the critical message of dhs. homeland security is national security. dhs has a vital mission to security the nation from the many threats we face." and groups representing aviation officials are sounding the alarm about the growing risk to public safety. yesterday the union representing air traffic controllers, pilots and flight attendants released this joint statement, quote, in our risk averse industry we cannot even calculate the level
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of risk currently at play nor predict the point at which the entire system will break. it is unprecedented." >> go back to john kelly for a second. he has signed on to a letter saying end the shutdown. >> well, he knows how stupid the shutdown is and how really relatively easy it would be to end the shutdown if both sides were not so dug in and the politics of this were not so polarized. michael steele, who worked for john boehner, i mean, john boehner had a very good relationship with former chief of staff bill daly in the obama white house, they spoke regularly, they almost got a big budget deal done. didn't happen. but they were speaking to each other. now it seems both sides are so frozen in their lack of movement that we have the acting chief of staff, mick mulvaney, talking about what to do to prepare for an extended shutdown into march or april. susan, i don't know about you,
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but watching this play out is just a stunning, stunning portrait of complete ignorance on both sides of what the reality of this shutdown is doing not just to the 800,000 people not getting a check for the second time, but to the country itself. >> you know, it's cold comfort to people across the country, especially the federal workers by this that they see this tit for tat debate going on in washington, but i think that is the force that is going to make this get resolved. you know, you think about who broke yesterday with the president? corey gardner told the "denver post," he would vote for the democratic bill coming up in the senate today. corey gardner up for reelection in colorado next year. just finished a term as chairman of the senate campaign committee arm for the gop. that's a message that senators and congressmen on the republican side as well as the democratic side are hearing from
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people, from their constituents, that this needs to stop and not in march or april. that would be extraordinary for this to extend into then. >> yeah. >> all right. so, jake, looking forward to whether or not getting mitch mcconnell to move on this and mitch mcconnell perhaps to appeal to the president that this isn't working, that the only people who might be appealed to here is that hard core base that most of america doesn't want this wall but you've got human suffering here and danger to the country. isn't this upon mitch mcconnell at this point to make the president understand his fantasy has to end? >> it is because he's going to have a member management problem. mitch mcconnell understands that. right now the dam has not broken but it is showing signing of crack, of creeking i guess is the word i'm looking for. pu i don't know when that moment will come, but when it does
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come, i do believe having covered mcconnell for so long, i do believe when he goes to the president with that information, the president will have to listen to him. once mcconnell decides to move, he will be able to override a veto at some point in the coming days or weeks. it's probably within the next two or three weeks, when he decides to move, everyone will follow him. when he decides to move, it will be a sign for the president that it's time to end this thing and end it with what mike is a fudge. the president's agenda is completely stalled at the moment. everything is folked on this political fight. >> jake sherman, thank you very much. and still ahead on "morning joe", the fbi agents association says the shutdown is hurting
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national security. we're going to talk to the group's president, who represents 14,000 active and former agents. >>also ahead, some major developments on the international stage. the trump administration is putting itself in the middle of venezuela's triefs. richard haas weighs in on the risk and the benefits of regime change. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. oe." we'll be right back. so, every day, we put our latest technology and vast expertise to work. ( ♪ ) the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, affordably and on-time. (ringing) ( ♪ ) the future only happens with people who really know how to deliver it.
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at comcast we're commited to delivering the best experience possible, by being on time everytime. and if we are ever late, we'll give you a automatic twenty dollar credit. my name is antonio and i'm a technician at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. joining us now, washington anchor for bbc world news america, katty kay and author of "world in disarray," richard haas. a lot of developments in north korea, richard, and also venezuela over the past 24 hours. let's start there. that could have some massive implications. i understand richard has technical problems in his ear piece. katty, explain the developments with venezuela and why it's
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important with such mass i ive implications. >> this has been going on for months. something like 3 million venezuelans have fled the country and yesterday we saw mass demonstrations organized by the opposition and juan guaido essentially declared himself the president. and then the stung thing happened, the united states' donald trump said, okay, we recognize you.
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there's been an evident -- effort to boost this figure and help the country. >> the administration is right to take this seriously. venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves, more than saudi arabia. it's hemorrhaging people. the right say this government has no legitimacy. essentially this government has done an internal coup to get rid of the national assembly, the parliament. the question is how you manage this in a way that doesn't play into the hands of the government. i would say we probably want to get our people out if we feel the government wouldn't protect them. we don't want to be talking about military intervention. we may want to look at cutting off the flow of money to
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venezuela. we still import venezuelan oil. we may want to cut off the money or funnel it to the opposition. we want to figure out a way to get the military to rise up against them. we may want to start talking about the incentives, what would flow to venezuela in a post-maduro world. >> you just mentioned the phrase "get our people out." jim mattis is out at the defense department, he's no longer secretary of defense. what are the dangers, and i don't say this lightly, what are the dangers of this particular president invading the country in order to get our pretenses out? >> no one should underestimate how messy it would be. you have probably thousands of armed cubans who are all over the place. you have more than 100,000
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militiamen, people who have been armed by the government, well armed. so this would be extraordinarily messy. there's a history of american intervention in the hemisphere. we don't want to go there. if anyone thinks this would be quick and easy, we've had a lot of experience with quick andes y easy military interventions. we want to avoid that. maduro wants to make this the gringos coming in. that's a last, last, last resort. this would not be a coup in the lasik sense. y -- classic sense. we want to encourage the military to act against this illegitimate guy but we don't want forces on the ground if at all, all possible. >> and they said they are expelling american diplomats
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from the country. secretary pompeo is saying you don't have the right to do that. >> a host country has the responsibility to protect diplomats. the marines at the embassy, that's not their job. if they're not willing or able to do that, we have to think if we want to use our diplomats or put them in a situation to put them into harm's way. that could trigger a crisis and possibly the grounds for intervention. then we've got to think do we really want things to trend that way. i would say probably not. we could pull them out ourselves and say we're taking them out, not because you ordered them out because you're not a legitimate state, you're not willing to protect people as you should. >> wow. still ahead, tens of thousands of fbi agents are bracing to miss their second paycheck tomorrow. we're going to talk to the president of the fbi agents association about how the shudosh
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shutdown is affecting the bureau and compromising investigations. "morning joe" will be right back. i hear it in the background and she's watching too, saying [indistinct conversation] [friend] i've never seen that before. ♪ ♪ i have... ♪
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and the army taught me a lot about commitment. which i apply to my life and my work. at comcast we're commited to delivering the best experience possible, by being on time everytime. and if we are ever late, we'll give you a automatic twenty dollar credit. my name is antonio and i'm a technician at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. a new report from the union that represents fbi agents provides firsthand accounts of how the government shutdown is not only affecting agents' lives
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at work and at home but also the agency's basic operations. among the impacts, undermining criminal and terror investigations, delaying child trafficking investigations and reducing informant cooperation. joining us, thomas o'connor. you said for you the fight for this funding is not political, it's a matter of completing our mission to protect this country from criminal and national security threats. specifically, i outlined them kind of broadly, how are fbi agents being prevented from doing their jobs or at least doing them well because of the shutdown. >> thank you for having me speak this morning. the budget that the fbi is operating under stopped being funded on december 21st. the fbi has thousands of investigations in criminal,
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counterterrorism, counterintelligence across the country and around the globe. as we do the investigation, we're using found forward these investigations and the pot of money is not being replenished. so headquarters is having to do a lot of really hard and difficult work to spread those funds out to make the operations that we are doing as less impacted as they possibly can be. but as we go forward on this, we're seeing that there's no way to not impact our progress in our investigations. >> tom, obviously without giving details about any investigations, can you cite something specific where you're being hampered from doing your job? there were some reports that an investigation into the ms-13 gang, for example, was being slowed by a lack of resources. >> well, as we go forward in this, generally all of our investigative efforts are going to be slowed. as the money comes in to -- or goes out to investigations and that is for a myriad of
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investigative tools that we have, our tool box is not being replenished. so we don't have the ability to do a lot of the things that we're able to do on a normal operating basis. every day this goes on we're still spending money to do these investigations, but that money is not coming back into the fbi. we need to open the government, we need to fully fund the fbi so we can have the tools going forward. as we go on in this shutdown, the investigations and the challenges that are going to be presented to fbi agents on a daily basis are going to get more and more difficult. fbi agents will continue to do their job. we were doing the job before the shutdown, we're doing it during the shutdown, we'll do it after the shutdown. over the past several days there have been some high-profile arrests. that's because the fbi agents are the type of people that think outside the box and they'll continue to do that. our professional support employees are doing the same thing. they need to be paid for the work they do and we need to have
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the tools in our tool box to do our jobs to the best of our abilities. >> tom, it seems a large portion of the country is unaware that the shutdown presents to every day workers, including fbi agents out in the street. so let me ask you, interpreters, people listening in to calls from overseas, translators, are they still on the job as fully as they were prior to the shutdown? >> so there's an amount of -- a small number of fbi agents and a small number of support employees, about 5,000 overall that are furloughed and not able to come to work. and what these people do are a myriad of different jobs. the problem comes with the funding of the technology, the funding of the personnel is being spread thin because every day that amount of money is being used and the headquarters is again having to think outside that box as to how are we going to use the money we have and get
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the job done in the best manner. so it is causing an effect. >> so a call from yemen this morning to brooklyn this morning, it might be missed whereas it might not be missed six weeks ago. >> i don't have any facts with regard to call takers, that kind of thing. it's common sense. we have an amount of money in our budget, we're using it and it's not being replenished. you're going to have to take funds from all around the fbi to get the job done. as we go forward into the fourth week, that's going to get more and more difficult. it is getting more and more difficult. >> okay, i'm working out of the chicago bureau, the gang unit, and i need buy money today to keep a source in the gangs on the payroll to keep him talking. can i get the buy money today? >> we're having a difficult time getting all of that done. the voices from the field is many of the members of the fbi
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agents association that wrote in to us and built the voices from the field because that's what it is, it's voices from the field, fbi agents on the street that are telling us where they're having these problems and one of the problems that they're having is the day-to-day source payments, that type of stuff. it's not as easy to get that money to be done because there's only a certain amount of money for that, for our daily activities. is it hurting us in that arena? yes, it is. >> susan page has a question. >> do fbi agents see any signs that criminals are adjusting their behaviors because of those funding problems at the fbi? and organized crime or child traffickers or drug gangs, are they taking advantage of the situation? >> i have no information on that, but i would hope that they should know and if there's any of them watching today, fbi
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agents are going to continue to do the job that we were doing before the shutdown because we're having the ability to think outside that box, get the job done to the best of our abilities. and we're going to continue to do that. is it easy? is it more challenging? day by day it is more challenging and there are tools in our tool box that we are no longer able to use. we're still going to go get the bad guys and stop the terrorist attacks. we're going to make every effort to do that. it's clear without funding to the fbi, it is more difficult to do all of our tasks across the board. >> tom, an awful lot of members of congress and the president of the united states sometimes watch this show. as we go here, what would be your direct message speaking to them right now? >> open the government, fund the fbi fully so we have all the tools that we need to do our jobs to the best of our ability and pay fbi employees, agents and professional support employees for the job they're doing. fbi employees, fbi agents and
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professional staff are working every single day and not receiving a paycheck. we are coming tomorrow will be the second paycheck that we are missing and we're made in two-week inincrements, which mes it's one month. i had someone say to me the other day "you'll get paid." i've been told that's true. now i want to tell the lease management that you'll get paid and see how long that lasts. everyone needs to get paid so they can pay their bills, pay their children's and their family's medical bills. our fbi people are the same as everyone else. everyone needs a paycheck to have financial security. we believe financial insecurity
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is a matter of national security. we need to have funds for our operation, we need all the tools to do our jobs and we need to be paid for that so we can be financially secure, which is very important for national security. >> well said. tom o'connor, president of the fbi's agents association, thank you for being here this morning. >> coming up, has the president finally had enough with rudy giuliani? plus much more on today's senate votes to end the shutdown. republican cory gardner telling "the denver post," he will break with the republicans to end the shutdown. we'll be right back. d the shutdown we'll be right back. i can't tell you who i am or what i witnessed,
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okay heryeah!he deal. you're unbelievable. oh, that was a good time.
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michael steele, i wanted to get your thoughts. take me into the mind of a
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republican that's still sticking with trump on the wall or mitch mcconnell. you have the president on tv in plain sight saying he owns this shutdown, he's proud to own it. and you also have the president in plain sight possibly engaging in witness tampering. we're now the oversight committee, going in and asking questions about this potential witness tampering and threatening of michael cohen. this all happened on tv in plain sight. this is not a buzzfeed story that mueller then undermines. okay, this happened, it's real. this appears in many ways one would say this ends badly. when are the republicans going to have these two stories come together and realize they might not want to actually stand with this president and think about their party first? am i sounding incredibly partisan here or is there a concern one might had in they were a republican sticking with trump? >> well, look, i think the republicans on the oversight
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committee believe that michael cohen is a liar, that he has credibility problems, but that e same time he is going to appear -- >> i want to stop you there. michael cohen is a liar, he has credibility problems. many would say that for many reasons because he has lied, he has said it. many also know the president has lied and he has credibility problems. when do remembers see this ends badly or do they see a way out of this and that trump will be some great president they can hank the hang their hatton? >> i think people are looking at the president's strong approval for the base of the republican party. as long as the president retains the loyalty of that base, he is going to continue to have loyalty from republicans on capitol hill. but that's all contingent on a strong economy, tax reform continuing to work, deregulation
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continuing to work and avoiding the sort of embarrassing blockbuster revelations that we think could be coming from the mueller report. >> wow. those contingencies are quite something you have there, given zero growth potentially. >> yes. >> susan page. final thoughts for you. >> i would flag the fox poll that showed the president's approval rating higher than the ap poll but coming down. since the start of the shutdown, he's lost approval by 10% among republican women and conservative men and that starts to eat at the president's base. >> susan page, michael steele, thank you both for being on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> i think that chuck schumer sadly is dominated by the radical left and he's dominated by nancy pelosi. very strongly dominated. he can't move. he's a puppet. he's a puppet for nancy pelosi, if you can believe that.
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>> wait, who is actually? the president says that even as he backs down from his own battle with nancy pelosi. we'll have the latest developments on the state of the union. plus "the washington post"'s robert costa joins us with no reporting on how the president's son-in-law, jared kushner, has thrown himself in the middle of shotdo shutdown talks. oh, boy. "morning joe" is back in a moment. ning joe" is back in a moment this builder in a hardhat... ...the welders and electricians who do all of that. the diner staffed up 'cause they all needed lunch. teachers... doctors... jobs grew a bunch. what started with one job spread all around. because each job in energy creates many more in this town. energy lives here. incomparable design state of the art technology makes it brilliant. the visionary lexus nx. lease the 2019 nx 300 for $339/mo. for 36 months.
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front of the house and the senate, the supreme court and everybody else that's there. it's called the state of the union. it's in the constitution. we're supposed to be doing it and now nancy pelosi, or nancy as i call her, she doesn't want to hear the truth. >> welcome back to "morning joe," it is thursday, january 44 24th. joe is still on the mend. we have richard haas, washington anchor for bbc news katty kay and jonathan lemeyeire and joyc vance, waauthor of "power up" a
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robert costa. good to have you all this hour. willie, a lot going on obviously with the president over the speaker of the house and the state of the union and nancy pelosi really shutting him down. but there are legal questions looming over this presidency pertaining to michael cohen. it's fascinating. this is big. >> it is, mika, or as i like to call you, mika. michael cohen citing ongoing threats from the president and from rudy giuliani. he released a statement saying he had to put his family and their safety first. the president has tweeted twice about cohen's family, one claiming that cohen cooperated with prosecutors to protect his wife and her father and another time he tweeted "watch father-in-law."
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here's more. >> i'll give you 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 that's the money in the family. i guess he didn't want to talk about his father-in-law. he's trying to get his sentence reduced. it's pretty sad. it's weak and it's very sad to watch a thing like that. i couldn't care less. >> what is his father-in-law's name? in. >> i don't know but you'll find out and you'll look into it. nobody knows what's going on over there. >> his father-in-law is ukrainian. >> that's not a crime. >> of course it's not. the reason it's important is he may have ties to something called organized crime. >> the chairman of the oversight committee elijah cummings called cohen's concerns legitimate and quickly denounced what he called the president's and giuliani's,
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quote, textbook mob tactics. "the president should take no statement or take any action to obstruct congress's independent oversight and investigative efforts, including by seeking to discourage any witness from testifying in response to a duly authorized request from congress. joyce vance, as a former prosecutor, point blanc, is that witness tampering what we watched from giuliani and the president? >> it's close. it's hard to say in a vacuum whether something is witness tampering or not? witness tampering is the use of intimidation, in this case to either delay or keep a witness from testifying. the legal decision has to be made by the prosecutors involved in the case, but the problem here is by anyone's definition, this conduct is so close that we're having this conversation about whether the president of the united states engaged in witness tampering. and to even be having that
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conversation tells you that something's wrong. >> so because of what we just heard from rudy giuliani and we've heard from the president of the united states, is michael cohen right and within his rights to postpone his testimony? >> so that's between cohen and congress and typically prosecutors and i think congress as well takes the position that you should show up and testify, that you can count on law enforcement in these situations to protect you, but the statute, the legal prohibition against intimidation doesn't really speak about how it's viewed by the target of the action. it talks about the person who is trying to keep the witness from testifying. the focus, all eyes, should be on that activity, in this case the president of the united states. >> would you expect a subpoena from elijah to the president? >> i think so. >> as you were watching that clip of rudy giuliani, former united states attorney, you are
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a former united states attorney, what were you thinking. >> prosecutors hate people who tamper with their witnesses. the whole point of being a prosecutor is to get to the truth, right? and you can't do that if, in this case, a former united states attorney and his client, the president of the united states, are trying to make somebody think twice about testifying truthfully. >> it's witness tampering. >> it's right on the edge, isn't it? >> john, how is the white house reacting to this? michael cohen's explanation for not showing up to testify is that he's being intimidated, that he's worried about the safety of his family because of what the president and rudy giuliani have been saying on tv, throwing out wild innuendo about the ukrainian mob and other things. what's the white house reaction to this? >> their stance all along has been a recognition that michael cohen perhaps creates a greater threat to this president than perhaps any other front. that's why they've taken such an aggressive tact on him
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throughout this entire last year almost, where giuliani has taken nearly every tv opportunity to go after him, to bash him, to suggest his father-in-law might be working with some kind of ukrainian mob. i think there is a momentary sense of relief that cohen will not testify before congress on that date but there's an expectation he will at some point. i think these sort of attacks, the smear campaign, is going to continue. we saw the mentioned the former mayor of new york city there and that wide-eyed appearance, there's a real frustration in the west wing about giuliani of late. there are people in the president's world who are urging him to sideline him. there are people who say he should be benched because they're so frustrated with his media appearances. and that he stepped on the buzz feed story, which they thought was a good news story for them in this probe but special counsel came out and suggested
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that buzzfeed was wrong about the president asking michael cohen to lie before congress and instead rudy giuliani muddies the water and there's a sense that we have lost that news cycle again. >> so they're just frustrated with giuliani now? okay. in a late-night twitter exchange, president trump backed down to speaker of the house nancy pelosi on the state of the union address, this tuesday, acknowledging that she controls the real estate on capitol hill. in tweets sent after 11 p.m. in washington the president wrote, "as the shutdown was going on, nancy pelosi asked me to give the state of the union address. i agreed. she then changed her mind because of the shutdown suggesting a later date. this is her prerogative. i will do the address when the shutdown is over. i'm not looking for an alternative venue for the
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address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the house chamber. i look forward to giving a great state of the union address in the near future." notice that he has no name for her. he's very respectful with her. shortly before midnight the speaker responded, mr. president, i hope by saying near future you mean you will support the house-passed package to end the shutdown that the senate will vote on tomorrow. please accept this proposal so we can reopen government, repay our federal workers and then negotiate our differences. that comes as another new poll shows the shutdown is dragging down president trump's approval rating. the associated press puts the president's job approval at just 34%, down eight points since december and disapproval has climbed to 65%, up nine points
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since just before the shutdown began. h his rating is the lowest in two years. a new poll found his approval rating has fallen to 36%. asked if a border wall is worth a government shutdown, 71% said no. i know fox news has their own numbers out that a little higher. maybe it's somewhere in between. these numbers are going down. >> the white house is well aware of the poll numbers. the other numbers that matter today, that's the vote count out of the u.s. senate. what happens there with these two pieces of legislation that are coming up to end the shutdown, one a republican bill, another a democratic bill. if those almost reach the threshold to go to the floor for
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a final floor vote, the pressure will only increase on the president to end the shutdown. >> jackie, what are you hearing about this? they they seeing has to numbers? -- -- you would think that these numbers don't exist. i think the concession you saw president trump make to nancy pelosi is the only concession you'll see in the come days. yesterday the president stressed two things. one, he's not looking to go any further with his proposal in terms of offering amnesty, which these conservatives are so fearful of. and then secondly, as bob referred to, the president is
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really concerned about making sure that the votes don't slip. and he wanted these people, stephen moore of the heritage foundation to help him shore up various concerns on the hill. he directly called out senator tom cotton, senator ted cruz as two conservatives who thought that trump's proposal that he delivered on saturday that made concessions to daca as not being stern enough. as you just pointed out, the poll numbers are getting worse for him. >> five former homeland security secretaries are weighing in on the shutdown, when youing president tru -- including former chief of staff john kelly who just left a few
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weeks ago. the letter states one of the unfortunate consequences of the shutdown has been the need for homeland security employees to seek unemployment or find a new job. the letter reads in part "fund the mission of dhs. homeland security is national security. dhs has a vital mission to secure the countnation from the threats we face." they say the critical missions of our bureaucracies are being slowed or stopped and when you're talking about the airport and safety, they're worried at this point. >> they ought to be. >> and there are stories that the acting chief -- imagine if
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the there's a problem with the faa or air traffic safety. these people are playing russian roulette. his base is going to unravel. if they are smart, they will end the shutdown before something terrible happens. >> the white house watches television a lot. we see the stories. they're hearing from the faa, hearing from their own chief of staf staff. how do they weigh those two things, that people are really suffering, there's real suffering in the country versus have i to deliver on a prol misi
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made in the campaign. >> he's a president who touted himself as law and order as with the border security. >> let's back up again about how remarkable it is that he blinked. this is speaker pelosi's call. she survived the devastating nickname of nancy in this case. the president wanted to forge forward with an address there. they did suggest they looked at other sites, considered doing something in the white house itself. the president was unhappy with the optics of the white house, thought it seemed drab. the president, this is something
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we rarely see him do and it flies in the face in the narrative that he's the counterpuncher, that he hits back quick and doesn't fight. in this case he did but right now he doesn't seem willing to budge on the wall. >> you and josh have a piece in "the washington post" this morning, "ace investigator or nonentity"? is his the de facto chief of staff? and, two, i was speaking to a ranking democrat last night after 9:00, who was greatly aggravated that i called him at home but that's besides the point, who indicated he doesn't know kushner and kushner has never been in his office. >> sometimes 9:00 at night is the best time to call a source so no worries about that, mike.
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jared kushner is someone we keep seeing in photographs with vice president mike pence and mick mulvaney going to capitol hill, being part of the negotiations. the view is he is someone who wants to help his father-in-law and wants to find a solution here but there a skepticism. i spoke to loosia she said she likes jared kushner but he doesn't have the experience that so many others in this process do. he continues to tell the president that there's a bipartisan deal to be had. but democrats who have worked with kushner on reform say he doesn't realize we can't negotiate until the government reopens yet he continues to say there's some grand bargain on immigration. >> lara trump, the president's
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daughter-in-law, was speaking i believe at a campaign rally and had a really interesting way of putting how the federal works are faring during the shutdown. it was during the interview. i don't know if we have that sound bite. here it is. >> in terms of the workers who are coming to work and not getting paid, what would you say to them? >> listen, it's not fair to you and we all get that but this is so much bigger than any one person. it is a little bit of pain but it's going to be for the future of our country. >> actually, i think a lot of people are feeling a lot more than a little bit of pane not getting paid. i know she if feeds into the trump family, the president's lack of empathy. they have no idea to be out there in america, an american citizen working for a paycheck
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trying to achieve the american dream but more realistically just doing their best to get through the week and looking for that paycheck. the suffering is real. >> yeah, it's interesting that the president initially in this process says that he empathizes and he understands what federal workers are going through but you rarely hear him talk about individual cases because they want to keep shifting the conversation to the wall and to the idea of border security more americans think that the government shutdown is a real crisis than think that the situation on the border is a real crisis. so they can keep saying this is for a big are cause, this is pfr border wall or else we're going to have massive crimes in the country. but people aren't buying that. and that's why the democrats
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feel confident they can sound firm on this. their congressional offices are not being rung up by people saying open the government, open the government, they're saying stand firm, you can't let the have his way or he'll keep doing it time and again. >> jackie, the democrats are standing firm, i having said that there's such a difference between and give things at that the working without pay to keep our nation safe and recognizing their suffering while you have the trump family. you have lara trump calling it a little bit of pain. ivanka trump, posting pictures
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of her trips across the country. there seems to be a lack of empathy all the way to the top on this issue. >> that's right. the contrast is startling. as the post has roareported ove the last few weeks, the shutdown has bolstered some people's belief that a small government is doable and the government can function with a limited number of employees. you are seeing moderate dems especially, a lot of new, incoming feshman who federal workers and constituencies really starting to cave and move outside of party line because they're itching to do get a deal done. they're feeling pressure that some republicans aren't necessarily feeling, des spt pelosi pulled together her caucus yesterday and told them
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to sta and in response to an imagery crisis on the border does turn into is even on the smaller minutia, usda failing to inspect meat. as though things continue to add up and workers miss their second paycheck on friday and are and youib youible, this is an untenable situation. >> we look at the president and congress treating this like a political fight in washington and a twitter fight. the head of the fbi agent's because he said resources now more than a month in drying he
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sass pool but it's making it. >> it's like sending a carpenter to work but saying you can't have any wood, you can't have any nails, you can't have a hammer but here you are, go to work. and the fbi ultimately will end up in a situation where as good as they are, as creasive as i know this will be in, they'll miss something that's kitable. hopefully we'll be able to stay on top of things. when reality is can't afford to bring grand jurors in, you can't the what happens when someone
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comes in to the justice department and they need immediately a wire tap or a subpoena and they can't get it because people aren't working? >> critical employees continue to go to work. if you need a wire tap, just like at any other point in time, agents and prosecutors come in everything happens more slowly. you make the case at some point there will be repercussions from that. >> and to joyce's point while we have hundreds of thousands of federal workand just to give you a sense here, the president tweeti tweeting. >> more people working in "usa today" today thanhe tag joyce
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vance, robert costa, thank you all. several national polls show president trump's job approval ratings dropping into the 30s, a record low for him in the wake of this ongoing government shutdown. a normal president would look at this reality, would have a while ago, and figured out an appropriate mid-course correction. we all know, however, that trump is not nancy pelosi accounting him a break. apparently not going to happen. jared kushner's segting skills? somehow i don't think so. after today's congressional vote, it will become even more clear. it is time to give up your wall fantasy, mr. roughly pa 350trum
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is going to need his hard core base more than ever. so the plunging approval numbers right now actually might cause trump to dig in rather than change course, letting federal workers who care a lot more about paying bills than polling data suffer the consequences. mitch mcconnell can change this. he needs to step up. he can step up. he can tell the president it is over, and he can help start repairing the damage being inflicted on americans across the country. still ahead on "morning joe," it is quite an iou. the federal government will owe a staggering $6 billion in back pay to the workers full lowed by we're going to speak with one congressman whose district is bearing the brunt of washington's failures. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ ♪
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we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. among the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the shutdown, its impact is especially felt by native americans communities which rely on diminishing federal funds for access to health care and other services. joining us republican congressman mark wayne mullen of oklahoma. he's a member of the cherokee nation, which represents 19 native american tribes in his district. thank you very much for being on the show this morning. >> thank you for having me on. >> i'd like to hear a lot on the impact of the native american community. i understand you're concerned with good reason. can i start by asking if you are so concerned about the impact,
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why aren't we voting to end the shutdown? >> i think it takes two sides. right now there's a lot of federal workers and native americans that are held political hostage because we're at an impasse. i don't think the president is asking nancy pelosi and chuck schumer to do anything they haven't do and that's to vote on border security. we're running a national risk and doing it at the sole cost of people who are innocent in this fight. >> and these are people you're especially concerned about and the impasse is over this billion dollar funding for a border wall. >> well, a border wall -- >> isn't there a way to put that decision off perhaps and vote to reopen the government, which is something i would think you would want. >> we have. for two years we've been saying we're going to get this done for the president but we're at such an impact now with the national security risk at the border, the president saying do this again.
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they did it with the national fence act, that was for $52 billion. this we're asking for 5.7 billion. the only reason we're here is because of a political promise and they see it as a political game. nancy and chuck know it's a national security risk we have on our southern border. >> we might agree to disagree on whether the wall actually does that. let me ask you about a decision clearly you have to make politically. what's more important to you, the wall or the impact of the shutdown on native americans in your district? >> well, the most important this evening -- thing is the national security risk -- >> so the wall is more important at this point than ending the shutdown and the impact it has on your constituents? >> when we have the amount of drugs and 300 a people a week
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being killed from accidental overdoses from drugs being flown in from over the southern border, yes, that's a huge concern. native americans shouldn't be in this fight. it's a federal obligation based on a trust because the united states forcibly fofd namoved na americans from where they're traditionally at, then in return we'll take care of your health care. >> i'm curious, are you telling your constituents the wall will stop the drugs from coming in the ports of entry? are you telling constituents a wall is going to solve these problems? >> it's not just the wall, it's border security, too. $805 million is to help scan vehicles coming across our port of entries.
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right now only 20% of the vehicles get scanned coming into the united states yet we've caught 1.7 million pounds of narcotics. with 850 million, we can inspect 100% of the vehicles as they flow in. can you imagine the amount of drugs we can stop? >> i can imagine. why don't you guys agree on that amount of money and put off the decision on the wall since that's holding up the government, it's shutting it down and your constituents are hurting. that's on you. you have to decide what you want at this point. >> i agree with that. people want to argue that wall doesn't work. look at what happened in san diego. a wall does work. i personally have a fence around our property to keep people out. i have no problem having security for my family. we're saying let's have security for the entire country. >> so that 4 plus billion for that wall you say to your constituents will keep the drugs
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from coming into this country? >> we're going to cut it down. if we cut the drug flow into the united states down by half, right now you're more likely to be killed by a drug overdose than by a car accident. that's the first time in u.s. history. we have a drug epidemic taking place inside the united states and native americans are hit unproportionally high by that. if you look at the ratio of race, native americans are hit the highest. not only do we have i.h.s., but we have a horrible problem with narcotics. when you have 90% of the heroin coming inside the united states is coming through our southern border, there's a huge issue. and three out of four opioid addicted individuals say they started because of opioids and now they switched to heroin. >> tell me about your constituents who are being impacted by the shutdown, exactly how and do these constituents believe that a wall would stop everything that you
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just laid out there, the drugs coming in and the crime coming into the country. is that the equation that they are making? do they believe you? >> you know, when i sit down and i talk to them, which i'll be talking to them again tomorrow and i talk to them all the time and i explain it, they get it. they say we understand it it's just really horrible the position i find myself in. i apologize and say i'm sorry if i'm being held politically hostage. if you're one of the individuals that's lost a loved one because of illegal activity or a drug overdose or someone that got hit in a head-on collision or they were killed by violent crime from an illegal crossing, they would say every life matters. if you're one of the 800,000 employees that's furloughed, you're going to find a mixed bag of information there. a lot of them i talked to understand the fight, they just don't like it. >> congressman mark wayne
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mullen, thank you very much for being on the show this morning. >> thank you for giving me the time. i appreciate it. >> coming up president trump and kim jong un trade complements. k. a lot will happen in your life. wrinkles just won't. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair's derm-proven retinol
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north korean state media
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revealed during last week's visit the north korean envoy gave president trump a new letter from kim jong un and trump reciprocated. kim apparently responded to trump's latest letter by expressing, quote, great satisfaction with the good personal letter and, quote, spoke highly of trump for his unusual determination for a second summit. the two are set to meet for the second time near the end of february. richard haas, you're back from that region. where are we in this relationship? we came out of the summit in singapore, president trump had that loose outline of what north korea had agreed to. he said they agreed to complete denuclearization. turns out north korea continues to build nuclear testing sites. what comes of a second summit? what are we doing here? >> the bottom line, willie, it all depends.
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having a summit in and of itself is not a victory. the fact that the president is anxious to have it doesn't sway me. what we want here is specificity. we want to know what the north koreans have. we want a timeline where they dismantle it and we can verify. in exchange, we should be prepared to gradually relax some sanctions. the danger is once again we come out of a second summit where they rhetorically commit to denuclearization, they maybe get rid of a couple of things and they keep adding things. it's almost like they're spooning water out of their bath tub at the same time water's coming in. you're not making a lot of progress. >> we know since the first summit north korea has continued to build these missile sites. >> i'm not against diplomacy. i tend not to think of it as a
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reward. the real question is whether we've structured this in a way that is likely to get tangible results. i see nothing that suggests we are prepared to discipline north korea and what's happening in the neen timeantime is all the e is unraveling, south korea, russia, they are moving closer to north korea. >> so, katty, count. he as naive but i thought after the first summit in singapore the entire pacific rim breathed a sigh of relief because the president of the united states told us there's no more nuclear threat coming from north korea. i guess not. now the prospect of a second summit, doesn't this just enhance north korea on the world stage beyond their wildest expectations? >> yeah, the stakes are higher second time around given that first time around as richard was
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saying not very much was achieved. you can't go into a second summit for just the photo opportunity and the coins and the first time this happened wow factor because it didn't achieve anything. there is no real denuclearization happening. all of our intelligence agencies are showing us that. the chinese are now more goods are flowing into china than they were at the time. if you're going to have a second summit, it's hard for me to see how this is going to accomplish very much more than the first one and yet the expectations are going to have to be that much higher because the first one didn't do very well. it's hard to see the rationale for a second summit. one thing i have been hearing that is positive that's developing is mike pompeo apparently had a very bad relationship with the spy chief in north korea. he's now switching that to be dealing with the diplomats in north korea. there's some hope that could get
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the channels of communication going better. maybe that's why we're talking about having another summit now. the fact that asia breathed a sigh of relief was partly because donald trump had ratcheted up the tensions and then eased back the tensions. you can point to trade, to the wall, a number of situations where donald trump says there is a crisis and then is de-escalating it and north korea falls into that category. >> there's two dangers here, one is we don't get enough from the north koreans second time and the second is that we give too much, where the united states distances itself from allies. we've had troops in north korea for seven years and they've kept the peace. japan and other countries in the region that are dependent upon
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the united states are worried about both sides, we don't get enough and we're prepared to do way too much for another rhetorical accomplishment at a second summit. >> still ahead, beyond walls. "time" magazine is out with a special report on why the forces of global migration can't be stopped. that's coming up next on "morning joe."
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and the army taught me a lot about commitment. which i apply to my life and my work. at comcast we're commited to delivering the best experience possible, by being on time everytime. and if we are ever late, we'll give you a automatic twenty dollar credit. my name is antonio and i'm a technician at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. ultimately the only long-term solution to the migration crisis is to help people build more hopeful futures in their home countries. make their countries great again. joining us now "time" magazine's executive editor ben goldberger. this week's issue is a special
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report entitled "beyond walls, while the forces of global migration can't be stopped." "time" reports if the world's total population of international migrants in were placed under one flag it would be the fifth largest country. the question now is whether the world can come to define the enormous population of international migrants as an opportunity. ben, good morning. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> talk about the reporting that went into this. you said 250 million immigrant migrants. the u.n. describes that as people living outside the country of their births. what's behind that number? >> lots of things. there are truly global forces that are happening right now that are beyond people simply looking for a better life although that has been the source. those fleeing war, those fleeing prosecution, failed states, you were talking about venezuela and the economic collapse there and
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lots of central american countries the monopoly on violence which has forced people from their homes. increasingly climate change, those are those in the south pacific who are soon to find their homes uninhabitable so there is a decidedly global forces that are sending people all over the world and redrawing the boundaries of many countries. >> and forcing many countries especially in the west to reckon with that. the thought of migrants into their countries, talk about that side of it. what about the places they're arriving? >> it's having a profound effect. much of it is in our perception. if you look at the contributions of immigrants they're very necessary. in much of europe and certainly all over the united states we're facing a double barrelled problem of an aging population and a fertility rate that isn't
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keeping up so that means we need new arrivals and they've been shown to create a greater percentage of gdp, but to many natives we tend to believe that immigrants are less educated than they are, less skilled than they are, contribute less than they are and in many ways account for even more of the population than they actually do. >> you talk about this number of 250 million migrants in the world but two quarters of them are migrants by choice. >> one of the real challenges is how difficult it is to get very hard firm numbers. we have on our cover a mother and daughter who fled guatemala, who were apprehended and separated at the united states border. they are there in part because they are among the 3 million people seeking asylum worldwide. that is actually a helpful number because that
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distinguishes it from those leaving entirely by choice from what might be a perfectly stable situation rather than those fleeing real persecution. >> what are experts saying need to be done in terms of the long-term solutions? you know, because the impact as you say, both positive but some negative, both countries where they're leaving from but also where they're arriving. what needs to be done in the long-term? >> that's a great question. the shutdown that we remain in is predicated on the insistence that all we need is a wall across one united states border. in fact, every expert you talk to believes that these cannot be single state solutions, that they need to be truly global and transnational. within the united states, voices that often get crowded out are talking about something equivalent to a marshal plan for central america. a texas republican who knows more about the border impact has been leading voice advocating
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that. the thinking is if you can do something to remedy the situation in places where people are leaving it will ease the crunch on places where it's arriving. >> yeah, we've seen reports showing that people's perception of ply grants as you alluded earlier to is different than the actual reality and i'm wondering what your take would be in europe. in the european example where angela merkel is losing power because of her stake on migration. is it because they need to be told more clearly about migration? is somebody not telling the emotional story of migration? what could be done to make the perception more in line with the reality? >> it's a fascinating question because the consequences have not been limited to merkel. they've been felt in many countries throughout. >> in britain. >> very much in britain. you name it. in fact, i think it's going to be a huge issue heading into the eu elections in may as they push
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for a majority. it's not as simple about messaging. it's impossible to tell people what to feel. perception in politics is reality and there's not a truthfulness test before people pull a lever. >> all right. "time" magazine, thank you so much. we'll be looking out for the new issue of "time" magazine and we've got a lot more ahead of "morning joe." democrats accuse the president trump of witness tampering after michael cohen postpones his testimony in the house and the president just tweeted, so interesting that bad lawyer, his lawyer for i believe 13 years, michael cohen who sadly will not be testifying before congress is using the lawyer of crooked hillary clinton to represent him. gee, how did that happen? remember, july 4th weekend when crooked went before fbi and wasn't sworn in? no tape, nothing? wow. plus, the president backs down from his state of the union battle with nancy pelosi.
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but says he'll respond when the time is right. "morning joe" is coming right back. ning joe" is coming right back i'm ken jacobus and i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. and last year, i earned $36,000 in cash back. which i used to offer health insurance to my employees. what's in your wallet? it's a revolution in sleep. the sleep number 360 smart bed is on sale now during
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on september 11th, 2001, our nation united because of an external threat. remind our lawmakers that
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nations are not only destroyed from without, but from within. lord, as some members of our armed forces seek sustenance at charity, food pantries and prepare to miss a second payday, something has to give. forgive us, almighty god, for our sins of commission and omission. remind each senator of the words of jesus of nazareth in luke 10:7, those who work deserve their pay. we pray in your sovereign name,
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amen. >> that was barry black, chaplain of the united states senate and a retired navy admiral offering a prayer for the nation mired in a shutdown that is now entering its 34th day. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is thursday, january 24th. joe is still under the weather but along with willie and me we have msnbc contributor mike barnic barnicle. jo and with the house ways and means committee. and also with us washington bureau chief susan paige and senior writer at politico, jake sherman, we are excited to announce that jake is joining the nbc news and msnbc family as a political contributor. congratulations. welcome aboard. >> thank you. >> we will haze you today.
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to frame why the senate chaplain is literally praying to end the shutdown, air traffic controllers are working 60 hours a week without pay. fbi agents say they're losing ground in terror investigations. prison guard shortages, food stamps in limbo, the tsa understaffed and there could be zero economic growth this quarter. zero, if the shutdown lingers. with that as a backdrop, president trump just backed down. he folded to nancy pelosi and the proxy fight over the state of the union. the president blinked first and the house speaker just doubled down in a late night tweet. we're going to get to all of that, but first, new accusations that the commander in chief is threatening a witness. this is big. this is a really, really weird time. the president's former attorney, michael cohen postponed his upcoming appearance before the oversight committee citing quote, ongoing threats against
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his family from the president and rudy giuliani. cohen released a statement through his media advisor saying he had put his family and their safety first. the president has tweeted twice about cohen's family, once claiming that cohen cooperated with prosecutors to protect his wife and her father. another time he tweeted quote, watch father-in-law and here's more. >> in order to get his sentence reduced he says i'll 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 does that money, that's the money in the family and i guess he didn't want to talk about his father-in-law. he's trying to get his sentence reduced so it's pretty sad. it's weak and it's very sad to watch a thing like that. i couldn't care less. >> what is his father-in-law's name? >> i don't know but you'll find out and you'll look into it
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because nobody knows what's going on. >> it's about his father-in-law. his father-in-law has millions and millions. >> it's not a crime. >> it's not. it comes from the crew yan. -- ukraine. he may have something to do with organized crime. >> it's really troubling and i just have to say this. it's been in the back of my mind ever since i saw that interview. it appears, i mean, some would say, that the president is doing an interview at fox and she's acting like the mob boss's lawyer here saying i sure will investigate him, sir. isn't the question, sir, mr. president, are you threatening him? >> and also she's asking to name this private citizen. she wants a name. luckily the president has no idea what the father-in-law's name is. >> taking notes. >> the chairman of the oversight committee called cohen's concerns legitimate and quickly denounced what he called the president's and giuliani's
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quote, textbook mob tactics. the chairman added this. our nation's laws prohibit efforts to discourage or intimidate or pressure a witness not to provide testimony to congress. the president should take no action to obstruct the independent oversight and investigative efforts including by seeking to discourage any witness from testifying in response to a duly authorized request from congress. here's more from chairman cummings and committee member jackie spear. >> this is something that should upset every single american. this is the united states of america. this is not russia. >> this is called witness tampering. this is a crime and the congress of the united states has to exert its authority against a president now who's acting more like putin every day. >> i feel like i'm in the middle
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of a god father movie. if all of this is indeed true, we've got yet another article that could be posed in an impeachment trial. >> congressman cummings says he's unsure if he'll subpoena mr. cohen but he says quote, we will hear from cohen. joining us now, emily jane fox. you've got some new reporting on michael cohen's decision to postpone this systtestimony. is he genuinely scared for the safety of his family? here's fox news, talked to jake tapper, on and on talking about the quote, father-in-law. is this actually about physical safety for michael cohen? >> you have the most powerful man in the world who has been going after michael cohen publicly for eight months now
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now going after private citizens who are his close family members. i don't think any of us would feel comfortable with the most powerful man in the world going after our spouses, our in-laws and then saying you know what, i'm going to voluntarily put myself and my family in the most public setting possible with millions and millions of people watching me across the country, across the world and i'm not going to do that to my family. i'm not going to put them in further harm if the president is going to continue to threaten me and my family. i know he has been spending hours and hours and hours preparing for this testimony. he wanted to have this have you no decency moment in front of congress. he's also continuing to cooperate with investigators. he's been spending a lot of his time trying to tell the truth and ready to tell the truth to the american people but he's not going to do this at the expense of whatever the president is going to threaten to do to him and i think this is a test case. so cohen is one person who has been publicly threatened because
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of this test money. the president has felt cornered and scared about what michael cohen may reveal when he goes to congress. he's been publicly lashing outs at him. who's to say he won't do this to another witness who's called to testify in front of congress and so cohen is almost putting them in a situation where congress has to say we're either going to do something to make sure that the president doesn't continue to do this to witnesses and doesn't intimidate people who are ready to tell the truth or they're just not going to show up. >> it's not clear what can be done to stop the president or rudy giuliani. so what if michael cohen is in fact subpoenaed by chairman cummings? >> it's my reporting that he will go. but he's not required to answer questions if he goes. and so it's my understanding that unless there are severe actions taken to try and stop the president beyond a statement and those statements from
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lawmakers were fairly strong, but i think in order for him to feel comfortable they would have to do something more if he's going to go and actually tell the truth the way that he intended to. >> like what? >> as we just heard, the lawmakers say, there are -- this could be a violation of some of the articles. the witness intimidation and witness tampering is a crime. >> i was aware, i think most people were aware of the tweet watch father-in-law. but it's one of a bundle of tweets that you get sick of looking at that the president issues multiple times a day. i had not seen the giuliani clip that we just saw, a former united states attorney, a lawyer, that's witness tampering what we just heard and saw from rudy giuliani. >> in plain sight. >> and the stunning silence from members of congress on both sides of the aisle, republican and democrat about someone so associated closely with the president of the united states
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witness tampering like that, they say nothing? i don't blame michael cohen for fearing what might happen. >> i completely agree with you because there's so much happening in plain sight and you wonder and i believe congresswoman has brought this up. he goes on the air so much, trump does it too, muddling the truth, throwing out bombs right and left about people. oh, check it out, it might be true. this confuses people to the point where you don't see things happening in plain sight like witness tampering. susan paige, what are the possibilities here now that we have these questions, now that we see what we see? can michael cohen testify before congress after he's gone to jail? what are the possibilities here especially in terms of oversight and their now reaching outs to the president and demanding answers? >> michael cohen will be testifying before congress. we may not know exactly when, we may not know how fully he'll answer questions but that is going to happen. one of the things that's important about this exchange is
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that everything is now setting a precedent for the next two years. that's why the state of the union standoff was important between the president and the speaker and that's why this is important. this is the first case off of a big witness testifying before congress, a congressional committee now controlled by democrats who are going to call witnesses and ask questions that have not been asked for the past two years. >> we've got much more still to get to. nancy pelosi gave no ground on the state of the union, but where does her rank and file stand on the shutdown? but first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> mika, we are watching a huge rainstorm in the west coast and a whiplash to a wintry scene and then next week maybe even record cold. it's been one of those winters you don't know what's coming at you. severe storms in central florida. haven't heard any reports of damage, but that line of storms continues across the state. it's now heading toward miami, fort lauderdale as we go
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throughout the next couple of hours. also steady rain right up the east coast. you can see times square here. a lot of rain, much in the way of a slow commute. washington, d.c., we've had steady rains. we've been seeing the airplanes coming in and out, so there's delays. the chilly morning behind this is nasty stuff. bismark negative 29. fargo, negative 30 windchills and this cold plunge is going to be swinging right through the great lakes as we go through tomorrow. tomorrow morning at this time, negative 25 in chicago. a little piece of this comes to the east on saturday but not too bad. travel delays, it's warm, windy and also rainy. then as we head toward the weekend outlook, calm conditions but this cold snap is going to stay with us in the great lakes. a lot of lake effect snow and that will be the worst of it. by sunday it's calm, just all these little clipper systems and that means more and more cold.
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so if you have any air travel today, we do expect delays. new york city, winds could gust to 40 miles per hour. temperatures are in the 50s. may be march before we do that again. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. "morning jo" we'll be right back. molly: my np spends a lot of time with me and gives me a lot of attention which led to my diagnosis. she initiated tests and found out what was wrong. she's treated both my children since they were born. bridgette: i feel that my np cares about me as a person and not just if i'm sick or not. molly: and i really love my nurse practitioner because we have such a strong connection. i know that whenever i call, she'll be there for me. my name is molly and we choose nps. np: consider an np. when patients choose, patients win. every day, visionaries are creating the future. so, every day, we put our latest technology and vast expertise to work. ( ♪ ) the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes
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now to this. in a late night twitter exchange, president trump backed down to house speaker nancy pelosi on the state of the union this tuesday. acknowledging that she controls the real estate on capitol hill. in tweets sent after 7:00 p.m. in washington, the president wrote as the shutdown was going on nancy pelosi asked me to give the state of the union address. she then changed her mind because of the shutdown but at a later date. i will do the shaddress when th
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shutdown is over. there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the house chamber. i look forward to giving a great state of the union address in the near future. shortly before midnight the speaker responded, mr. president, i hope by saying near future you mean you will support the house passed package to end the shutdown that the senate will vote on tomorrow. please accept this proposal so we can reopen government, repay our federal workers and then negotiate our differences. willie, this is -- this is delicious for democrats who wanted nancy pelosi to step up and push back at this president and in what may be somewhat of a symbolic battle. it seems like for the first time in his life he got the answer no and he had to live with it. >> well, speaker pelosi has held the line throughout this shutdown and she is the one person it seems that president trump actually respects in washington. the way he talks about her, the way he addresses her, the way he
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now responds to her demands and request is unlike other people we've seen throughout washington and jake sherman, the question now is, we're back from the brink a little bit from this state of the union address but what happens from here? we've got to two votes in the senate. either expected to get to 60 votes it needs but does that get people a little bit closer to something to end the shutdown here? >> yes and no. i mean, there's two distinct dynamics happening at the same time. number one, there is this thought in which nancy pelosi is putting border wall money on the table and is saying she's looking to get some sort of compromise in the coming weeks. she's now saying she will give upwards of $5 billion but no wall money. but she is willing to talk about border security. then you have this incredibly bizarre standoff, which by the way, republicans thought yesterday that they were winning. they were daring nancy pelosi to
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disinvite formally the president from giving the state of the union. she did it basically without blinking an eye and the president backed down. that's an important dynamic because it does re-establish pelosi as the -- it establishes her primacy on capitol hill which is incredibly important. in the next couple days two things need to happen. nancy pelosi and mitch mcconnell need to get engaged with each other. they are the only two people at this point along with chuck schumer who can get a deal and the deal that we know -- we kind of understand what the contours of this deal are. they are going to be a big border security package, several billion dollars, maybe some modest changes to immigration policy, and maybe some promise that they will look at further ways to secure the border. the president according to pelosi who again controls the house, the president is getting used to this house, but controls the house. he's not getting any money for the wall. she's not giving it and those dynamics are not going to
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change. >> coming up, how the shutdown is impacting president trump's poll numbers. he's dropped eight points from december but is the base still behind him? "morning joe" back in a moment. "morning joe" back in a moment
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another new poll shows that the shutdown is crashing president trump's approval rating. the associated press puts the president's job approval at just 34%, down 8 points from december. meanwhile, disapproval of his performance has climbed up to 65% up nine points from just before the shutdown began. his rating is near its lowest in two years, dropping significantly among independents. this after a cbs news poll found his approval rating has fallen to 36%. asked in a separate question if a border wall is worth the government shutdown, 71% said no. still, the trump administration is reportedly asking agency leaders for a list of programs that would be affected if the
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shutdown continues for the next several weeks. a senior official with the office of management and budget tells nbc news quote, prudent management means planning and preparing for events without known end dates. this partial lapse in appropriations, unfunded agencies are being asked to continue with omb an ongoing list of programs that could be impacted within the coming weeks. according to the washington post, mick mulvaney has pressed leaders for a list of high impact programs that would be jeopardized if the shutdown continues into march and april. people familiar with the directive told the post mulvaney wants the list no later than friday and it's the firmest evidence that the white house is preparing for a lengthy funding lapse that could have snowballing consequences for the economy and government services. meanwhile, chief white house economist said, get this, that
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there could be zero growth in the first quarter if the shutdown continues that long. zero. >> could we get zero growth? i just want to nail this down. >> yes, we could. >> we could. wow. >> if it extended for the whole quarter and given the fact that the first quarter tends to be low because of residuals you could end up with a number very close to zero. >> in terms of the workers who are coming to work and not getting paid what would you say to them? >> listen, this is -- it's not fair to you and we all get that, but this is so much bigger than any one person. it is a little bit of pain, but it's going to be for the future of our country. >> laura trump saying it's a little bit of pain. she says she was misunderstood. it's not a little bit of pain though. it's a lot of pain. a lot of human suffering across the country. millions of american people. michael steele, look at these
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poll numbers and tell me how republicans wouldn't at this point be urging mitch mcconnell to figure something out because this cannot go on till march and april and this white house is preparing for it to go on in march and april. are republicans going to stay with there? >> i think that what you're seeing today with these votes in the senate is we're not watching the ice break but we're hearing it creek. this is the beginning of the end of the shutdown. we're going the see an effort after we see that the president's plan can't pass and the democrats' plan can't pass you're going to see probably senator mcconnell and speaker pelosi working together to find the compromise language that gets the government open again, not today, not tomorrow, but in the next week or two and this is an easy thing. the wall is not a real policy. there are places on the border where a physical barrier makes sense. there are places on the border where it doesn't. you can improve and increase border security without building a game of thrones style wall
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across the southern border of the united states and that's exactly what we're going to do. >> well, hold on, willie, sorry. just to follow up, can democrats give him some sort of symbolic save face thing, an amount of money for the stupid wall and then get a lot more in terms of border security and other immigration issues that are important to them? is there any movement here that's possible with mitch mcconnell? >> sure, i think that this is a -- this is going to end with a typical washington fudge where democrats will agree to additional money for border security and they will say there's no wall, we're not giving money for a wall. they're not going to build a wall. the president will say, look at all this money i got to build a wall, to improve border security, and everyone lives to find another day. >> this is pretty extraordinary here. five former homeland security secretaries including president trump's former chief of staff, john kelly, his chief of staff
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as of a couple weeks ago are calling on the president and congress to end the shutdown. nbc news has obtained a copy of the letter. it states that one of the unfortunate consequences of the shutdown has been the need for some homeland security employees to seek unemployment or to find a new job. the letter reads in part, we write to you today with a simple message. fund the critical mission of dhs. homeland security is national security. dhs has a vital mission to secure the nation from the many threats we face. aviation bprofessionals are sounding the alarm about public safety. this joint statement was released yesterday. in our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk or predict the point where the entire system will break. go back to john kelly for a second. he was president trump's chief of staff for almost two years.
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he has now signed on to a letter saying end the shutdown. >> he knows how stupid the shutdown is. and he knows how really relatively easy it would be to end the shutdown if both sides were not so dug in and the politics of this were not so polarized. michael steele who worked for john boehner, he had a very good relationship with bill daly in the obama white house. they spoke regularly. they almost got a big budget deal done. they were speaking to each other. now it seems both sides are froze in their lack of movement that we have the acting chief of staff talking about what to do to prepare for an extended shutdown into march or april. susan, i don't know about you, but i mean, watching this play out is just a stunning, stunning portrait of complete ignorance on both sides of what the reality of this shutdown is
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doing, not just to the 800,000 people not getting their check for the second time, but to the country itself. >> you know, it's cold comfort to people across the country especially the federal workers affected by this, that they see this tit for tat debate going on in washington but i think that is the force that's going to make this get resolved. you think about who broke yesterday with the president? cory gardener told the denver post he would vote for the democratic bill coming up in the senate today. cory gardener up for re-election in colorado next year. just finished a term as chairman of the senate campaign committee for the gop. that's a message that senators and congressmen on the republican side as well as the democratic side are hearing from people from their constituents that this needs to stop and not in march or april. that would be extraordinary for
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this to extend until then. >> the folks at davos probably aren't personally feeling the impact of the shutdown but as d.c.'s dysfunction starts to affect the wider economy, the world's business leaders are taking notice. we'll get a live report from the forum next on "morning joe." the forum next on "morning joe." building a better bank starts with looking at something old, and saying, "really?" so capital one is building something completely new. capital one cafes. inviting places with people here to help you,
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welcome back to "morning joe." the ap's jonathan la mere is back with us and we have historian and author neall ferguson. his book is out now in the paperback and go through the premise of the book because i wonder if it is now even further backed up given the events since the book first came out. >> well, the core argument is that we thought having an interconnected online world of networks would be awesome and we'd all share cat videos and solve the world's problems in a
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global community, but unfortunately that turned out to be wrong and what giant online social networks do is to divide us and to act as engines for the circulation of fake news and extreme views which is almost as important as untruths so i think we got this wrong and we're scrambling to cope with the consequences. not only that, but of course creating giant online social networks expose democracy to all kinds of hostile actors including foreign ones like the russian government. we now understand better what happened in 2016 but i don't think we fully grasp things like that are still going on and new things fake video for example, are likely to become a bigger problem as we head towards 2020. there isn't really an answer to this question yet although debates have finally begun on do we break up the big tech companies, do we regulate them more strictly and so i think they got right that we're living in the biggest public's fear as
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the printing press was produced in europe in the late 16th century. >> facebook has 2 billion users and now twitter and other companies are having to go back and decide of whose account southbound suspended based on which views and is that slanted in one direction or another. let's take facebook, because it's the much larger of the companies. what would you do at this point with facebook in terms of fake news, in terms of russian influence on you are elections? how do you handle that big of a problem? >> what's happening is under pressure from the public and from politicians facebook is saying it's going to fix itself. it means expanding its terms of service and using them to police so-called hate speech, but who decides what hate speech is? ultimately this ends up being a kind of sensorship wielded by the biggest media companies in history. by the way, the europeans are
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pushing the companies by saying you must do censorship for us otherwise we'll fine you and i think regulators are lagging behind. i think weave got to have a very serious conversation about a different approach. i think the right approach is to look hard at the immunity from liability for content that was created back in '96 in the communications decency act. when internet companies were tiny. when they were startups. this was supposed to help them. they are essentially acting as media companies, massive content public occasion with no reliability. the other thing i would do simultaneously would be to insist that some kind of first amendment rights exist online. the internet is the public square now. let's face it. and if the decision as to who can speak and who cannot speak is mark zuckerberg's or his
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counterparts, we're in a bad place. the only real difference between us and china is the decisions about who gets censored are taken by private government. >> it sometimes feels like whack a mole. so specifically about fake news though, if you have groups that are created and invented and they become users on facebook purely to ferment hate and sow the seeds of division you're talking about, how do you slow that down? what's the power of facebook to at least stop having these basically fronts for organizations, perhaps foreign, perhaps domestic that want to continue to divide us? >> i think the incentive is to say we're hiring 10,000 or 20,000 content moderators and we're going to fix the algorithm so it can identify bad actors and we're going to shut down fake accounts and look how many fake accounts we shut down last week and make it seem that they're acting but what's the downside?
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what's the risk? at the moment they may face a major fine for violating users' privacy on con sent dating back to 2011, but really there's not that much pressure on them. that's why i think this immunity from liability from content is their achilles heel. you could massively increase their liability by driving some more holes through that immunity and yet at the same time i think we have to hold them to account so they're not the new censors in the new big brothers in our lives which is why you have to balance that by saying look, you're not subject to the 1st amendment because you're private corporations but you ought to be because you're so important in our lives. something like 80% of americans consume news via facebook or google. there has never been so much power in the hands of private actors. we do have to change the regulatory landscape here. i don't think anti trust is the answer and so the square offers
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a different approach. >> you mentioned just now the difference between the united states and china and that's a big part of it. these tech companies, they transcend borders. people can log in all over the world and these countries have very different laws. how do you reach a solution there? how are these networks managed when there's so many different regulations in so many places. >> that's a problem that the network platforms have been grappling with for a long time but what's changed is the realization that we're heading into a new kind of cold war. there are two internets. an american one and a chinese one and the chinese are rolling out new technology platforms particularly when it comes to payments that offer a meaningful challenge to u.s. dominance. we just assumed that the u.s. would dominate the world and china would dom natd china. i don't think that's true anymore. there's an arms race in effect and we've got to realize that's
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as serious an arms race as happened in the cold war on nuclear weapons. that's what we thought cyber war was going to be about, taking down infrastructure. wrong. cyber war is about information war. the sort that the russians waged against us very successfully in 2016 so i think our national security doctrine lags behind and the big tech companies because they still think of themselves as being accountable to a global community don't see that they really have to be playing a part in u.s. national security. they are american companies, after all. >> all right. thank you so much. his book, "the square and the tower" is available now in paperback. and joining us now from the world economic forum is stephanie rule. neall was bringing up issues that do need addressing. are they giving any answers in
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davos? >> reporter: it's amazing. neall is often a fixture and exactly the issues you were just discussing are the same issues being discussed here from business leaders, from government leaders. we were talking about this yesterday. of course not the u.s. government. earlier today i spoke to penny and she said the same thing i heard from others. we need bipartisanship. we need government leadership but people are saying we don't expect the united states to be here because we don't have our own house in order and she went on to talk about the problem and impact around this government shutdown. >> there's absolutely a major role for government to sit an example but our government is shut down. we've created this manufacturered crisis where i was in government, i lived through a shutdown in 2013 and i saw the damage that was done. not just the fact that it's, you know, our food is not safe and you can't get your food stamps, you can't get your tax refund, you can't, you know, it's -- you
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know, the question is what's happening to flight safety, et cetera, i mean, that damage, but the real damage is what are we telling our work force in the federal government? we're telling you you're not essential. or we need you but i'm not going to pay you. i don't value you. that's horrific. >> reporter: now, she went on to say the wall funding, this crisis, the shutdown is a manufactured crisis. she's not alone. i've heard people across the board saying the shutdown in the united states is manufactured and it makes no sense because we've got real problems. the problems you were just talking about moments ago. angela merkel was on the stage talking about the grave doubts she has about this rise in populism. if you take the america first principle, trump says it, we've heard it from brazil and others, this idea we're suffering, we need to take care of our own first and then we'll take care of others. she says at the surface that sounds like it makes sense, but the world is far more
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complicated than that. and multilateral agreements and working with our allies is the only path forward. though merkel and others have said clearly the system as it's been, capitalism, our democracy need updates because it's not working for everyone. >> we've got the swiss cross country ski team practicing behind you. it's making a great visual there. if you could, just speak to some of the chaos in the united states politically and not just about the shutdown but over the last couple of years and how the world feels that and how the world interprets that and if the world is concerned about that. in other words, the uncertainty of not knowing where the united states stands from one minute to the next on the economy, on our relationships with organizations like nato and the u.n., what does that do to foreign leaders and to foreign business leaders? >> reporter: listen, we have talked about this. president trump's lack of predictability is a problem especially when what he says and
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his own administration aren't aligned, but something that's interesting, i don't hear that much trump criticism. the siren call i hear more are from those who are saying we've got problems across the world. you know, yesterday i was saying businesses are stepping in and stepping up. they might be, but that's not enough. when businesses are saying i'm going to do more, that's sort of fill an tlopic. if we don't have systemic changes then what's going to happen to all those people out there? we talk about mary barra shutting down factories, whose responsibilities is to help those people? that problem is not unique to the united states, it's not unique to europe but i can say that finally it's not an abstract issue. people are starting to realize it's a crisis and one mistake they've made here in davos is not having those voices here. there's not a lot of voices from emerging markets. so it's as though having an entire board of people saying
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i'm going to solve a problem that i don't though what it feels like because for everyone here they're not having that problem. >> i mean, if you run through the list of people that are not at davos this year, you mentioned donald trump. he's not the only one that had to stay away. teresa may can't make it. macron can't make it. it's almost indicative that summit hails in the weakened democracies. >> you nailed it. there's onot so much donald trump is getting it wrong criticism, there's more, there's really problems in the world. when you see world leaders like that can't come, maybe this is a moment of crisis where it cracks and they say we're forced. we're forced to have to have businesses step up. yesterday i spoke to a ceo who said you know what? we thought that the tax cut was great for us, but in hindsight,
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there probably should have been limitations. the tax cut shouldn't have allowed the buybacks as we saw. so even corporate leaders are saying not all of this is got t. >> all right. stephanie ruhle, thank you so much. for joining us from davos. great conversation. up next, is nuclear energy the answer to the climate crisis? we're going to talk to the former chairman of the nuclear regulatory commission next on "morning joe." oe." because you've made sure this sensor and this machine are integrated. & she can talk to him, & yes... atta, boy. some people assign genders to machines. and you can be sure you won't have any problems. except for the daily theft of your danish. not cool! at&t provides edge to edge intelligence. it can do so much for your business, the list goes on and on. that's the power of &. & this shipment will be delivered...
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our nuclear power plants have undergone exhaustive study and have been declared safe for any number of extreme conting contingen contingencies. when we see a crisis like the one in japan, we have a responsibility to learn from this event and to draw from those lessons to ensure the safety and security of our people. >> that was president obama in his remarks six days after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to the nuclear disaster at fukushima in japan. today, 98 reactors at 59 commercial sites in the u.s. provide power across the country. using a technology heralded by proponents as a savior from climate change and the key to solving the world's growing energy needs. but our next guest says that nuclear power is more hazardous than it is worth. and warns that its continued use
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will lead to catastrophe in this country or somewhere else in the world. former chairman of the u.s. nuclear regulatory commission, gregory yatsko joins us now. he's the author of the new memoir entitled "confessions of a rogue nuclear regular u later." thank you for joining us on the show. especially as your tenure as the commissioner ended in a little bit of controversy. tell me first why you wrote the book. >> well, i wanted people to really understand how this industry was regulated and how it works. this is a technology that's hazardous. it's a technology that at any moment really could lead to the kind of catastrophic accident we saw at fukushima. i thought people should understand that. as you said, people are talking about nuclear power as the savior to climate change. that worries me more than the risk of a nuclear power accident
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because i don't think it can rise to that challenge. >> your mind, you say, was changed about nuclear power. tell me about the evolution of that change and how it coincided with your experience as noc commissioner. >> i started in washington as a physicist. i looked at every issue based on the facts, made hypothesis and revised as i learned new fact. the biggest fact that changed my mind was this accident in fukushima. i saw 100,000 people evacuated from their homes. many permanently evacuated. that's the kind of thing you should never see from a source that generates electricity. and moreover, we were promised and the industry pledged these kinds of accidents were in the past. i began to realize this is a technology that simply was too hazardous to really be a future technology. >> walk us through what impact still is found there on the ground in japan. >> there's large areas of the
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plant still uninhabitable. most evacuated can't return to their homes. lives have been disrupted. in a way we think more with wars than with energy generation. and you have a lot of radioactive water that's being stored at the site. that people really don't know what to do with. so it will be decades before -- >> how likely could something like this happen in the united states? >> you know, it's so hard to predict. the plants operate on this precipice of normal operation on one side and catastrophic failure on the other. what we know is accidents will happen. it's just a matter of when and where. it's hard to predict. which is why the industry often touts that everything's fine. >> so for people who are trying to find a counter to fossil fuels in the fight against global warming. having nuclear power, this was the hope, right, that nuclear power could be made safer and it could be the counter in our effort to keep global temperatures from going up.
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if you weigh the risks of higher global temperatures because of fossil fuel increase usage and nuclear power, you still come down firmly in the favor of non-nuclear power? >> yes. the realities are right now in the marketplace cleaner sun, wind, geothermal. these technologies are actually in some cases cheaper than nuclear and they're getting cheaper much, much faster. i actually think the future's pretty hopeful. what we need to do is let the markets decide and get out of the way of subsidizing reactors to try and keep them around. the reason people are doing that is to keep the reactors aar s a. they're not really doing it to deal with climate change. you just have to let the market decide and do things with gas to make gas a little more expensive. if you do that, the things that are going to fill in is really wind, sun and geothermal. it's not nuclear. that's what we're seeing in the market here in the u.s. and the world. >> gregory, thank you so much. the book is "confessions of a
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rogue nuclear regulator." it's out now. thanks very much for being on the show this morning. it is time now for final thoughts. jonathan lamere, what are you looking at today? could mitch move the needle in any way, might he? >> the president last night blinked on the state of the union. he seems far less likely to blink on the demand for the border wall. there will be legislation voted on in the senate today that could reopen the government. it seems those pieces of legislation do not have the votes needed. so what happens next? there is a movement amorning house democrats to have their own proposal which will increase the amount of money for border security but it won't be for a wall. is that enough for the president to try to spin that as some sort of victory for him? >> so it still depends on the president. katie kay, final thoughts? >> he'll have to watch his base carefully and whether the wall this is just semantics, whether the wall has to be that critical part for him to be able to budge.
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there is some pressure from democrats who are in trump districts. but nancy pelosi feels she has the parties firmly under her control. >> she seems to have the power. she seems to have the ability to wield it against this president. and she has shown the president this just when it comes to the state of the union. so it should be an interesting dynamic to look forward to today. that does it for us this morning. hallie jackson picks up the coverage. >> mika, thank you. i'm in for stephanie ruhle, on assignment in davos where in just a few minutes she's going to be bringing us a live interview with gary cohn. back here at home, the state of the union, like the rest of the government, is in a state of suspended animation. on hold indefinitely. as president trump gives in to speaker pelosi. no speech for as long as the shutdown goes. with the senate holding dueling votes to end this thing today. neither bill is expec

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