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tv   MSNBC Live With Katy Tur  MSNBC  January 29, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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jeff stein is a reporter for "the washington post." >> ali, we should note that mike bloomberg who says he welcomes the idea of a new green deal actually criticizes elizabeth warren's plan, calling it pie in the sky. i think he likens it to venezuela. >> interesting. that seems a little extreme. >> what do you think? >> i think venezuela's a mess and i don't liken -- remember when greece was in trouble and everybody was saying, america's going to be like greece. not really going to happen. let's hand it over to katy tur. she picks up our coverage from washington. >> thank you, guys. appreciate it. it's 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. here in washington where it has been a busy day, a day that might ultimately prove consequential for robert mueller's investigation. because as one high-profile suspect entered his plea, both the acting attorney general and the man who might replace him are making news. let's start with president trump's longtime associate, roger stone. he pleaded not guilty in a federal court today on seven counts, including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and
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lying to congress. after which, very uncharacteristically, stone had nothing to say to the cameras gathered outside the courthouse. stone's plea came a day after the acting attorney general commented on the future of mueller's investigation. in a press conference, matt whitaker put a time frame on the special counsel's investigation, saying it was, quote, close to being completed. on capitol hill, those remarks were met with just a bit of skepticism from both sides of the aisle. >> are you comfortable with the acting attorney general's comments saying that the mueller investigation is close to wrapping up? >> sure. i don't know if he -- i don't know why he knows that. mueller will be allowed to finish his job, that's the goal. >> nancy, any reaction to whitaker saying that the mueller probe might be over soon? >> i think there mueller should speak for himself. >> i thought at christmas 2017 it was going to wrap up, so i'm very pessimistic about it. >> the special counsel is more than capable of speaking for himself.
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mr. whitaker doesn't need to speak for him, shouldn't speak for him, given that he has refused to follow the advice of ethics lawyers, he's just compounding the mistake he made in that decision. >> not a lot of trust for matthew whitaker. and as for the man who might replace him as attorney general and oversee the special counsel today, the senate judiciary committee delayed their vote on william barr's nomination until next week over democrats' concerns that barr wouldn't let mueller finish his work and publicize his findings. so the big question we're asking today is, after roger stone, where does the mueller investigation go? joining me, nbc news national security and justice reporter, julia ainsley, "washington post" white house bureau chief, phil r rutger, and jonathan lamir. you know, i'm in d.c., guys, and none of you are sitting here on set with me. i feel a bit unloved, but i will let that pass. julia, roger stone in court pleaded not guilty.
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that was expected. what else did we learn? >> that's right. and it was really weird today, katy. we actually heard very little from the man himself, which is rare for roger stone. we know he never shies away from the limelight, and he's been out talking to reporters outside his house since he was arrested on friday, on charges of obstruction and witness tampering for lying about his connections to wikileaks during the 2016 campaign. today, stone simply raised his hand, said "yes" a few times and his lawyer filed a "not guilty" plea on his behalf. and he dodged reporters and anyone else who wanted to talk to him outside the courthouse, but then went on infowars very quickly and said he was simply trying to get out away from the liberal crazies. so there you have it, roger stone is still roger stone, even if maybe there are some lawyers who are now telling him to say a little less, at least in front of the cameras. >> julia, how does this play into the mueller investigation? we've been waiting for stone's indictment for quite a while. it did come. now you have matt whitaker saying the mueller investigation
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is close to finishing and that he has been fully briefed. what does this mean about where stone fits into the grander scheme? >> reporter: i'm glad you asked that, katy. because what roger stone -- i'm sorry, was that for me, katy? >> that was for you, julia. >> okay. well, roger stone, you know, is not pleading guilty to, but what he was charged with was not for collusion or experience with russia, but simply for lying. but what st really indicative in his indictment is the fact that robert mueller has a lot more about the people in the trump campaign who stone talked to. so you could logically think that he would want to bring that out further into the trump campaign. but you're right. so far, we haven't seen anyone in the trump campaign or trump administration be charged with conspiracy that would lead them back to russia. and as my colleagues, ken dilanian and pete williams have reported, they do think that robert mueller could be nearing the end, at least writing a report and then it would then move forward from there.
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but there can also be extraneous pieces of this investigation that carry on after mueller's report. just because mueller closes up the special counsel office doesn't mean that more people couldn't continue. as we know today, there were attorneys here from d.c. who aren't part of mueller's team and if they ever needed to hand that over to them, mueller could close up shop and hand it over to those attorneys. >> i've got mark warner talking about that. i want to get to that in a moment. but first, phil, i do want to ask you about how the white house and specifically how the president is reacting to stone being indicted, pleading not guilty, and now using the same terminology that the president uses about the investigation, calling it a witch hunt. today, roger went so far as to call his indictment a lynching. what's the white house think? >> yeah, so, katy, we don't have any fresh reaction today out of the white house regarding these developments, but so far, the president, you know, has spoken out about the fbi's handling and
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the justice department's handling of roger stone. and they very much seem to be in sync. and you almost feel like stone is taking a page out of trump's song book when it comes to talking about this probe, talking about the witch hunt, claiming personal victimhood, in a way, almost seeming if he's begging for a pardon from the president, trying to appeal to the president and saying he's done no wrong, he's been so poorly treated by the law, by the justice department, by the media, and so forth. so we'll see how this continues to play out. i expect we'll probably hear more from the president at some point about the situation and we'll see what he has to say. >> so mark warner is talking about matt whitaker. matt whitaker yesterday saying the investigation is coming close to finishing. that took a lot of people by surprise. but as julia said, that does line up with the reporting that both ken dilanian and pete williams have been doing about where this investigation stands. still, senator mark warner said -- matt whitaker saying that yesterday, even saying it, is exactly the reason why he
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should have recused himself. let's listen. >> this is exactly why acting attorney general whitaker should have recused himself. we know he has negative views on mueller and weapon don't know the motivations for his comments yesterday. it puts a cloud over the investigation and, again, yesterday's comments were exactly the reason why he should have recused himself in the first place. >> and jonathan, it's not just whitaker, it's democrats' concerns about william barr and what's going to happen to mueller's final report and whether or not the public or even congress will get to see what's in it. >> that's right. there is a sense that the end game is coming. that perhaps it's not imminent, but that mueller is winding down. so therefore a quick question is, what's next? and i think this incredible appetite in both congress and the american people to see his
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findings, to see his report, if even a formal report is going to be issued. there are still some questions about that. democrats are concerned that acting attorney general whitaker would move to suppress it. that perhaps even the new attorney general, william barr, if he were to be confirmed, may do the same. and now democrats have raised so many concerns that they have -- that this hearing has been delayed. it will be at least another week or so before the votes are taken on barr. and it goes to show, there's an insistence at the white house as well, that certainly, roger stone has been echoing the program here, using witch hunt, using collusion. he even went so far as to say he was treated worse than osama bin laden was in that raid, which is sort of a hard claim to make, considering that a navy s.e.a.l. put a bullet in osama bin laden's head and roger stone walked into court today. but this is the kind of thing that's being appreciated by the president and those close to the president who feel that they are confident that stone isn't going to flip, at least for now, although we have seen others, like manafort, also make similar suggestions, that they would never become a cooperator with
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mueller, and then they eventually did. >> phil, what's the white house doing to prepare for this report, if it does come out soon and there is going to be access to it, at least by congress, and potential by the public. there something of a war room behind the scenes? are they preparing how they're going to push back publicly? their pr campaign? >> to this point, it's mostly been outsourced to rudy giuliani and the legal team. in fact, we've seen giuliani try to pepper the ground in advance of the report, to try to color the perception of how it will be perceived. he told me a few weeks ago that he thought that this indeed was winding down. he echoed that in the wake of the stone arrest on friday, saying, well, this is a sign that mueller's about done. of course, mueller himself has not said that. mueller himself doesn't say anything. and that they are trying to time and time again try to undermine the special counsel's credibility so when the report does come or however the findings are conveyed, that the american people and perhaps, more importantly, the lawmakers on capitol hill that will decide
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the president's future, if we are heading down the road towards impeachment, that they'll have their views colored by the white house's public relations again. >> phil, it's not just that, nope it's raising the bar, saying that anything other than conspiracy, donald trump getting on the phone with putin, is not what you need to impeach a president. and then that would be a failure by the special counsel's investigation, if they can't find conspiracy. >> i think that's right. and that the president's lawyers are trying to raise the bar for what mueller will produce, so that when mueller puts out that report, it will be disappointing to the president's critics. but there are other things underway, as well. there's an effort in the white house counsel's office to try to prepare to stop the report from being released publicly, claiming executive privilege, finding other means to try to convince the justice department from releasing it in full, to the congress, and therefore to the public.
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they would like to protect some elements of that report. there's also this kind of weird thing that giuliani has at various points mentioned about preparing the counterrepo-repor which will be sort of the trump spin and falsehoods. so we'll see what that has to say. >> julia ainsley, phil rucker, philip la mmirlamir, thank you much. joining me now, congressman on capitol hill. right now, i'm under the impression that house intel has all the democrats named to the committee, but you don't have all of the republicans named to the committee. is that correct? >> that's absolutely correct. and it should be of no surprise to anyone that they are dragging their feet. they do not want this committee to start its work and at some point, we're going to lose our patience and have to do something more dramatic if they
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don't actually appoint their members and allow the committee to organize and get started. >> so what can't you do until they appoint their members. >> we can't really do anything. because we have been appointed by our caucus. we can do down and look at documents within the committee, but we really cannot do any work. subpoenas can not be issued, to my knowledge. there is no path forward us to reinstitute the investigation until they organize on their side. >> what does that mean for getting somebody like michael cohen back in front of the committee? >> very good question. and i think when all is said and done, we're going to have michael cohen testify before the committee, one way or the other. i'm not quite sure how we're going to do it at this point. but i'm sure that they are doing their level best to try to prevent that from happening. >> and does that mean you can't send transcripts of your hearings to robert mueller's team. so robert mueller doesn't have the official transcripts to
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compare and contrast? >> the committee has taken action on all of the transcripts, but they have been reviewed by the intelligence community to make sure that there isn't any top-secret information that is being divulged. so that is in process. we want this to be a very transparent and open committee. something that we really haven't seen during the republican control of that committee. we will attempt to have as many hearings that are open as possible and make sure that the public is aware of as much as we can provide them. >> what do you want to hear from roger stone? do you want him back in front of you? >> roger stone is a prevaricat r prevaricator. he spends his whole life making up lies and promoting his dirty tricks. and i'm at the point where i'm not sure that he would necessarily provide us with any additional information. he totally refused to provide us with information and the republicans refused to allow us
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to subpoena documents from him. that's the one thing we would probably do given the opportunity. >> are you concerned that anybody else lied to your committee? >> i am concerned that other people lied to the committee. and i wouldn't be surprised if we find out through the mueller investigation and report that he has identified others. >> who potentially do you think could have lied? >> well, i'm not going to go there with you right at the moment, but i think you could probably figure out people within the trump organization who testified before our committee. i will also say that it was so shocking to me that you could swear under oath that you were going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and then proceed to lie. but that appears to be something that was very commonplace for some of the people in the trump orbit. >> why do you think so many people within the trump orbit have been accused or have pleaded guilty to lying? >> because they thought they were going to get away with it. by jared kushner's own comments,
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he thought after michael flynn was fired, that that whole russia issue was over. and they made a calculated mistake. >> the committee in the past session was accused -- the intel committee, the house intel committee was accused of being partisan. and not productive. how, now that the democrats are in charge, how do you plan on restoring trust to your committee and making sure that whatever results or conclusions you come to are conclusions that the american public have generally, broadly has confidence in? >> i think that chairman adam schiff has made it very clear that he wants to work in a collaborative way. he wants to go back to the days when the house intel committee was a very support i haive, bipartisan environment in which to work. and we will certainly give the republicans the opportunity to work with us on that. we have no intentions of freezing them out, much like the democrats were frozen out during the process and the hearings
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that took place and the report that was finally provided, that has been patently found to be untrue, as we have more information coming out from the mueller investigation and more indictments taking place. >> democratic congressman, jackie speier, congressman, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you, katy. >> and that's what a democrat on the house intel committee has to say. right after this break, live reaction from a republican on the committee, congressman chris stewart of utah joins us. and coming up, the nation's top intelligence chiefs don't agree with the president about some very important national security issues. billions of mouths.
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roger stone was arraigned this morning on seven charges, including lying to the house intelligence committee. joining me now, a republican member of that committee, congressman chris stewart of utah. congressman, always good to see you. we just confirmed with your office that you are officially going to be a member of the house intel committee. why don't we know the rest of the names from the republican side yet? >> you know, i don't know. i was actually talking to other people about that and they were asked the same question. the truth is, i really don't know. i'm not worried about it in any sense, but i am anxious to get to work. i would like to get the committee settled and go about doing the things that we know are urgent and necessary for us to look at. >> what do you want to look at? >> oh, my gosh, where do we not want to look. here's a good example of something i want to dive in. the president has suggested that
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we should withdraw our presence and soldiers from syria. i actually disagree with him on that. but the way for me to know if that's a good or not is to go there and talk to the soldiers, talk to the agencies and see what they think. afghanistan, i think he may be right. we may be approaching a time in afghanistan when it may be appropriate to look at a drawdown. i think we've had some breakthroughs. there's some real progress in our peace negotiations with the taliban. and it may be something that we can look at. but we can't do those things until the committee is formed and we're able to travel and go have those types of conversations. >> kevin mccarthy said we'd know some time this week and that everybody who is on the committee know who is they are. do you have any idea why it's taking so long? democrats have accused republicans of slow rolling it, because they don't want the committee's work subpoenas to trump associates, et cetera, to happen quickly. >> no, i don't -- i can promise you, that's not it. we know that adam schiff is going to do what he's going to do, whether he does it this week
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or next week, there would be nothing to be gained by trying to delay that when, again, we know what his intentions are. and i don't think it's anything nefarious. i really think it's just kind of the slow movement of getting the committee settled, making sure everyone's aware, and there are some changes. i think in the next few days, we'll probably have those announcements. >> are you concerned about roger stone lying to your committee, being accused of lying to your committee? >> for sure. my heavens, i'm not a roger stone apologist. he's kind of a quirky little dude and i don't really understand him very well. but i'll tell you this, everything that we do breaks down if people can't come before our committee and if they're not honest. and that's true of any court or any committee hearing. the presumption is that they're going to be honest with us. and if they're not, then they should absolutely be held accountable. and mr. stone, if he lied before the committee, he should absolutely be held accountable for that. >> so roger stone lied before the committee. michael cohen pleaded guilty to lying to congress.
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there were others in the trump world that have pleaded guilty to lying to other fbi agents or the special counsel. it's a lot of lying. >> yeah. >> a lot of accusations of lying. why do you think so many people within donald trump's robert, his campaign, his administration, his associates are lying when it comes to the russia investigation? >> well, i don't know the answer to that. and like i said, some of these guys are real characters and you know, some of them are not individuals i would have been comfortable having in my orbit or having working for me. but it's not just these individuals, by the way. i mean, there's others who who know were dishonest before the committee. former dni, mr. clapper, said some things that weren't true. we know that the former fbi director has said some things that weren't true. it's become acceptable -- >> i think the comparison you're making is a bit unfair. speaking -- misspeaking in a committee hearing and then going back and correcting your
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testimony is, i think, a bit different than roger stone, you know, saying, i have no text message or documentation. i was never in contact with anybody from wikileaks, never tried to do that. and then there's a ton of e-mails and text messages. or michael cohen saying, hey, listen, we weren't doing any work on a trump tower moscow while the president was campaigning to be president of the united states and on favorable policies towards russia. and they actually were doing quite a bit of work, up through or up until october of 2016. i mean, those are -- the scale of which you're -- they're different. >> okay, so i would start with this premise. it's never okay. it's not okay once, it's not okay twice, it's not okay seven or nine times. >> but are you saying that former fbi director and everybody intended to lie? that they purposefully lied? >> absolutely, they did. >> because these other two purpose flip l purposefully lied, it seems. >> and so did other individuals i spoke to.
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this wasn't some kind of misstatement that they came back a half hour later and said, oh, by the way, let me correct that. there was absolutely intent to deceive there. there's no question about that. now, you might say it's okay for them to do it, because they're on my team, or you might say, it's okay for them to do it, because they only did it twice or three times, i think it's never okay. and i don't care what team they're on. you don't lie to the congress. you don't lie to these people when you're under oath. i don't think it's ever okay. >> do you think the president should be held responsible for the folks around him, lying so much about the actions that were taken during the campaign? >> how can you hold someone accountable for actions that they didn't do and that took place, in some cases, years before or a year and a half later? look, mr. stone, i know he's the most recent shiny object, but here's the truth. he's indicted on seven counts, five counts of lying before my committee. one count of apparently tampering with a witness, and obstructing the investigation. those things took place more
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than a year after his association -- >> they took place during the campaign and according to the mueller indictment, he was in contact with senior members of the trump campaign. >> no, he was accused of lying to the committee well after he left the campaign. this was after mr. trump was already left -- >> are you saying because it happened a year ago, it doesn't matter any longer? it doesn't matter any longer? >> of course i'm not saying that. but your question cousin, should mr. trump be held accountable for that? how can any individual be held accountable for actions that someone else does and they do a year and a half after their association with the president has ended? and if that's true, mr. trump is pretty much accountable to thousands of people all over the country, who he's known and maybe doing something wrong, that he doesn't know about, but years later, they do something wrong. i don't want to hold him kblt for that, either. >> what about michael cohen lying about trump tower, moscow? >> once again, if mr. cohen lied
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about that, he should be held accountable for that. >> what about the president, though? it was a deal that was being made on behalf of donald trump. there's accusations and michael cohen is making them that the president and those in his -- and those within the organization knew that they were going on for longer than they revealed. >> if the special counsel, who was looking at this, as you know, if he has evidence of that and he presents that evidence, then i think anyone who he accuses and then is found guilty of lying, whether it's to the committee or to any other investigation, mr. mueller or anyone else, i think they should all be held accountable for that. but -- >> what do you want to see from the mueller report? how much of it do you want to see? how much are you expecting to see from william barr once he is confirmed? >> yeah, well, "a," i want it to be as quickly as possible, because i think the american people deserve to see it. and i hope we reveal everything. i don't want a single paragraph of this redacted. because if anything is redacted, the conspiracy theorists are going to assume the very worst
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case. and there's going to be all sorts of speculation about what's inside that one redacted part. i think we should -- and the other thing, too, katy is, this isn't revealing evidence of national security procedures or tradecraft or sources and methods. this is all stuff conducted here within the united states with political operatives. we're not talking about russian spies or nuclear submarines. there's very, very little of this that actually would fall under what i would considering national security. i hope and i would encourage nor entire report to be released, with maybe, maybe under the fbi's jurisdiction and judgment, maybe a sentence or two, but the more that's released, the better it is for the american people to one way or another actually put this thing to bed. >> republican congressman chris stewart of utah, i think a lot of folks want to see it, as much unredacted as possible from that report. >> yep. >> a bipartisan consensus on that. >> no doubt. >> top intelligence, we
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appreciate it. >> thanks so much for joining us, congressman. >> and top intelligence officials are on the hill today, including chris wray, cia director gina haspel, and director of national intelligence, dan coats. they're terrifying behind closed doors right now. but if there's one takeaway from their public testimony, it's that the white house and intelligence community are not on the same page. >> we currently assess that north korea will seek to retain its wmd capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities. >> it is the ic's assessment that this country's adversaries continue to use u.s. social media platforms as a vehicle for wednesdaying disinformation and spreading spreading foreign influence in the united states. director wray? >> yes, that's certainly the fbi's assessment, not only of the russians continue to do it in 2018, but we've seen an indication that they're continuing to adapt their model
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and other countries are taking a very interested eye in that approach. >> is iran currently abiding by the terms of the jcpoa in terms of their nuclear activities? >> yes, they're making some preparations that would increase their ability to take a step back, if they make that decision. so at the moment, technically, they're in compliance. >> while isis is nearing territorial defeat in iraq and syria, the group has returned to his guerilla warfare roots while continuing to plot attacks and direct its supporters worldwide. isis is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in iraq and syria. >> joining me, nbc news intelligence and national security reporter, ken dilanian. politico senior writer, jake sherman, he's also an msnbc political contributor, and mika o'yang at third way. ken, what did we learn from the intel chiefs today? just in that last sound bite from dan coats, it's striking the way it contrasts with what the president and the vice
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president have said about isis and about syria. >> yeah, you said they weren't on the same page. at times, it seems like they were talking about different planets. one by one, they demolished the claims that donald trump has been making. you mentioned isis. donald trump said starkly that isis has been defeated. gina haspel and dan coats said, that's not true. isis is on its way to defeat in the caliphate of syria, but it still commands thousands of fighters and still planning attacks. on south korea, donald trump once said there's no longer a nuclear threat from north korea. the intelligence chiefs made clear that it's unlikely that north korea will give up its nuclear programs. on iran and nuclear weapons, and overlaying all of this, infound striking, there was no mention of a security crisis on the southern border that merits
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building a wall. no discussion of that whatsoever. this was a hearing about the top national security threats to the united states. donald trump has been talking about nothing but the border wall. the intelligence chiefs had nothing to say about the border wall. >> ken, just to fill everyone in, this is a meeting that happens every year, all intel chiefs come and give their broad assessment of what's going on in the world and what is putting this country at risk, potentially. >> that's right, and they -- so this is an opportunity for them rarely to appear together and speak to the public. and they also release a written report, which we look to, because it sort of orders the threats. and this year, cyber was the top threat. and number two was foreign election interference. let me tell you, i've been covering these hearings for years. foreign election interference never used to appear whatsoever as recently as two years ago. last year, it appeared for the first time and this year it's number two. what the intel chief says is that russia will be back in the 2020 election and perhaps china and iran have learned from the russian model that they can manipulate our political system. and unfortunately, dan coats was
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asked directly by kamala harris, do you have a written strategy to stop this, to thwart this political interference and the answer appeared to be "no." >> well, that's -- that makes everybody feel great. that's wonderful to hear. jake sherman, what was the takeaway from lawmakers who were in this hearing and what they will do with this information? >> it seems like an easy menu of things from which congress could choose to hold a whole host of other hearings. not only with the intel chiefs, but now you could broaden it out to cybersecurity. you could broaden it out to a whole host of other agencies who have the ability to create policy and to implement policy on these fronts. it's important, it's a big moment, a big hearing, but now it kind of gives all other members of congress who hold hearings for the rest of the year information from which to pivot and hold more hearings. so it's both importantsubstanti. >> let's listen to ron wyden,
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senator wyden asking dni coates about that trump/putin meeting and why it seems that there's not more information about what was discussed between donald trump and vladimir putin. let's listen. >> according to press reports, donald trump met privately with vladimir putin and no one in the u.s. government has the full story about what was discussed. director haspel and director coates, would this put you in a disadvantaged position in terms of understanding russia's efforts to advance its agenda against the united states? >> senator, clearly, there is a sensitive issue and it's an issue that we ought to talk about this afternoon and i look forward to discussing that in a closed session. >> in a closed session. why can't he talk about it publicly? >> i think there's some concern about how they know what they know. and you know, from a political perspective, some of these intelligence chiefs are going to say things that the president
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may not want to hear, so they don't want the public to know what's going on here. but often, in the closed session, they're having very sensitive discussions about the sources and methods about how they determine what the threats are. >> cyber threats. i noticed that you were nodding along when ken dilanian said that this is not something that used to come up at all. and kamala harris asking what has been cone. and dni coates not saying much. >> that's right. and actually, what was very interesting about the cyber threats discussion in the worldwide threats report that they released is that they talked about the increasing threats and the increasing capabilities of all of these foreign actors and cyber criminals. and over the weekend, you heard senator harris talking about her past history on trying to combat some of these threats. she's someone who knows these issues inside and out and has a long history with them. it's probably very frustrating that the u.s. government is not as advanced in her thinking of cyber threats as she has been in her previous roles as attorney general. >> north korea also came up during this hearing and marco rubio was asked by reporters
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what he thinks about the white house's strategy on north korea and what north korea's intention is. here's marco rubio. >> do you agree that north korea has dmanengaged in diplomacy? >> i think that 100%. i think kim jong-un is putting on a show for purposes of luring us into a step-by-step sanctions reduction where he destroys an outdated missiles factory and we lower sanctions. >> so, jake, what does marco rubio do with that assessment? >> that's a good question. members of congress, frankly, have not been able to do a lot when it comes to foreign policy. the president has wide berth. they do have some ability on sanctions to increase sanctions and it's with the democratic house. some republicans in the senate might find themselves a little bit more sympatico with the senate republicans. but really, there's not much to do. there's the ability to talk loudly and hope the president
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listens. and so far, the president does seem taken. he has said in private meetings, he gets along well with some of these international strong men and has remarked he gets along with them better than some people on the domestic political season. and so he doesn't seem swayed by some of the traditional thinking on international affairs. and remember, a couple of years ago, the idea in the republican party of sitting down with the leader of north korea or for a nuclear summit in a grand way, the way the president did bring the president overseas to do that was practically unheard of. so republicans on capitol hill have been a, i guess i would say, a lagging indicator of that and the president has diverged quite wildly from traditional republican orthodoxy on that front. >> something we noticed yesterday when john bolton was speaking to the white house press corps, talking about venezuela. he said all options were on the table. he said when it comes to this administration and their foreign policy, all options being on the table, that's a phrase they use
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quite a lot. august 2017, they talked about all options on the table after north korea launched a missile over japan. april 2018, all options on the table after a syria chemical attack. yesterday, bolton again, all options on the table when it comes to venezuela. amika, is that foreign policy or is it not having a foreign policy? >> i think it's not having a foreign policy. and what we see is this president undercutting his senior advisers, not really consulting, not setting out guidelines for what hep wants in terms of negotiations either with iran or with north korea or in syria and just sort of winging it. so when they say all options on the table, they don't have anything else to say. >> are they threatening war or the potential or possibility for war in all of these scenarios? >> well, it's certainly bolton's preference. he has been a strong interventionist in all of these things. he's fighting with the president and trying to lead a president down a path to war when this president very clearly doesn't want to deploy american troops in all kinds of places. he's trying to pull them back from syria, from afghanistan. bolton doesn't like that and he's trying to tell the president to do otherwise.
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>> mika o'yang, ken dilanian and jake sherman, everyone, thank you very much. and next up, are democrats overreacting to howard schultz? with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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getting ratioed on twitter. it hasn't been a good 24 hours for howard schultz after announcing that he was seriously considering an independent run for president. the former starbucks ceo was, as you just heard, shouted down in new york. it also appears that that heckler is not alone with his concerns. editorials across the country today are criticizing schultz. one even suggested he might, quote, re-elect trump because he doesn't understand how politics works. but this morning, schultz dismissed those concerns. he told cbs that america needs a third party option. >> there's a recent marist poll that said that 57% of the country would like to vote for somebody other than donald trump. before they can hear the argument that you just tried to make, they want to get over that hurdle which is to not have donald trump. they see you as an impediment to that, not as a furtherance of it. >> but i think it's a false negative, because i think republicans are looking for a home. and if republicans have a choice
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between a far-left liberal progress passive candidate on the democratic side or president trump, president trump is going to get re-elected. >> joining me now is nbc news political reporter vaughn hillyard, he's in des moines, iowa, and the cofounder of strategies, rick tyler, and moveon.org korearine jean-pierr also an msnbc contributor. howard schultz is trying to live in that middle ground that bloomberg was considering back in 2016. bloomberg cam to the conclusion that that middle ground doesn't really exist. you can't really just buy your way into it. and he chose not to run and does think that in order to win, you've got to be on one of the party tickets. is that true? do you need to be a democrat or a republican to win? >> i would follow bloomberg the way that he -- or the stage he set. he spent a lot of money, millions of dollars in research to try to figure out not once, but twice, in two different electoral cycles to try to
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figure out if he can run as an independent. and he decided, you know what, it's not the way to go. what i don't understand with howard schultz, he's been a life-long democrat. if you think that you have the right ideas and the bold ideas, run as a democrat and see if you can win that primary. it doesn't actually make any sense to me. and not only that, this democratic primary is going to be diverse. it's going to be big. and so why not jump into it? because what he's doing right now, i do believe is very dangerous. we are -- donald trump is a clear and present danger to this country. he divides us on policy, on awful rhetoric. we need to do everything we can to come together and beat him. he won the electoral college by less than 70,000 votes in three states. so therefore, it's going to be a close election again. so we cannot allow this to happen. >> there are folks out there, not necessarily the once on twitter or the ones at that book event that will say, democrats are freaking out over something that's quite a ways away. is it a bit too early to tell
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somebody that they shouldn't run? i mean, it's january 2019. >> we're not saying that he shouldn't run, just run in the democratic party. the independent line does not help us at all. it is not the way to do things. and look, back in 2016, 2015, you had donald trump out of the 16 folks and people didn't take him seriously. a year ago -- well, this time in 2015, he wasn't even tracking in polling. and look what happened there. they didn't take it seriously. >> what do you say, rick? i don't want to speak for the progressives. i'll let karine do that. but i think they're a little over -- they're a little concerned, because they see the trump presidency as an opportunity, because in this morning's post poll, 56% of all americans said that they would not be voting -- all voting americans, that they would not be voting for donald trump. and only 28% said they absolutely would. there were about 14% that were in the middle. when you get to numbers like that, that means that a democrat, just on the status quo, would be likely to win.
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so, they want a progressive who is progressive ideas. howard schultz doesn't support a lot of those progressive ideas. in fact, he's voted against them. so, you know, you don't want anyone in the middle. they want a clean shot at him. so i don't blame them for trying to take him down. but this probably is some space for him. i mean, there are going to be republicans and independents who just cannot vote for donald trump, who don't want to vote for a democrat. and in particular, may not want to vote for someone who's too far to the left. i think he threatens the progressive side of the party. he probably doesn't threaten the center so much. but in the end, he has to be a good candidate and have a message. and if he does, he'll do well. if he doesn't -- >> he has a chance of potentially being a spoiler. look at the impact of the third-party candidate in 2016. gary johnson got 3.28%. jill stein got 1.07%, other, all the others on the ballot,
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0.082%. that's 5.1% total. vaughn, as you know, as we all know, the election was really tight. donald trump did not win the popular vote. he won the electoral vote. and there are arguments out there that those gary johnson or jill stein votes, had they gone to the democrats or to hillary clinton, would have completely changed the game. >> mm-hmm. >> and just think about the money that he has to spend in this race, too. i just talked to dave gurwell. he's pa retired postal worker here in des moines. and he said he has voted republican his entire life, voted for donald trump in 2016. he said he will not vote for donald trump in 2020. he does not like his behavior in the white house. i said, what about this guy howard schultz, he said, he heard about him on the local news for the first time. he said he would take a serious look and be interested in what he had to say. on the other side, there are democrats, jeff stag, who usually votes democrat. and you know who he told us who he said he's interested in voting for? howard schultz. this is what he told us earlier.
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>> i usually vote republican, to be honest. >> and you voted for the president. >> i voted for the president, but i'm more of an independent voter. i think the two-party system, i'm not actually a big fan of the two-party system anymore. i think there are too many issues involved in the two-party system. i'm not saying that means we need a third party. >> there's a pretty sizable field growing of 2020 candidates. who interests you right now? >> schultz does. >> why? >> for one reason, he's an independent, and as i've mentioned before, i'm kind of tired of the two-party system. so maybe this will shake things up, getting an independent in there, if he was able to get in. >> reporter: now, katy, if howard schultz does get in this race, i asked keisha barnes. she's actually an elementary school principal down the road here in des moines at king elementary. she said she is a democrat and she's looking at this field and she says she believes the likes of cory booker and kamala harris can strike that cord of
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independence and moderation. and i said, how do you go on to win. this is a place from donald trump won by 10 percentage points in 2016. and she said she thinks the likes of kamala harris and cory booker can convince enough can unite people on things like education. but if you can make pitches how democratic policies are good for them and their kids, she thinks democrats have the chance to bridge that divide that howard schultz is saying he would be the guy to do that. >> rick? >> one interview reminded me of people that supported ross perot. and they were all on board and found out about him and didn't like him. here's the point. the thing is that ceo mentalities don't work well for the presidency. and i'm not comparing donald trump to howard schultz but the
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problem is a president to get things done in this constitutional republic needs to be a consensus builder, ceos aren't wired that way. they make poor presidents. we haven't had one, we had one and he is not good. i don't think we're ready to try another. >> i want to mention schultz's policies. he wants to reduce the national deficit, something he comes back to over and over again, reduce expensive government programs, health care, he supports the aca, is focused on affordable health care for all americans. he thinks that government financed health care is not realistic. on education, says the system is broken. on immigration, he praises america's immigration history but says democrats are wrong to want to get rid of i.c.e. he wants a common sense solution. on china, says it is not in our national interest to isolate ourselves. i heard on npr, he was asked about taxes, called elizabeth warren's plan, said it was
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ridiculous. he said he wants reform, didn't detail what it was. pressed whether he thought the wealthy should be taxed more, he also wouldn't commit to that either. a lot of things we heard a lot. not a lot of detail how he would get any of these things done. thank you very much. we'll be talking about this a lot more. up next, we head to mitch mcconnell country where americans hurt by the shutdown fear we'll be back at square one in just a couple of weeks. t sque in just a couple of weeks. come ? at panera, we treat soup differently. with vine ripened tomatoes, signature cheddar, simmered to perfection. with big flavors, not artificial ones. enjoy 100% clean soup today. panera. food as it should be. let's take a look at some numbers: enjoy 100% clean soup today. 4 out of 5 people who have a stroke, their first symptom... is a stroke. 80 percent of all strokes and heart disease? preventable. and 149 dollars is all it takes to get screened and help take control of your health. we're life line screening...
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to modify one of my quotes, usually brings a smile to your face, certainly would be no education. i don't like shutdowns. i don't think they work for anybody. and i hope they'll be avoided. >> senate majority leader mitch mcconnell made it pretty clear this hour that he is not interested in another government shutdown in 17 days. so what do people in his home state of kentucky think after we just had the longest shutdown in our history? joining me from lexington, kentucky, nbc news correspondent hans nichols. hans, what's happening? >> reporter: katy, we are here, they couldn't get approval for new labels. in ways big and small, an
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industry so important to this state and tourism is being held back. just across the way, a cider house startup, a couple there is trying to get approval from the atf to get their license at the state level. they're being held back. they're frustrated. they said they want less talk and more auction. >> i mean, there's so much talk, right, about supporting small business and small business being the backbone of our economy. yet here we are, a small business that hasn't been able to get up and running because of our leaders in washington being unable to work together. >> reporter: delayed business like that, delayed opening which they clearly have to do has economic outcomes, it slows overall growth. we'll see to what extent that comes out in the jobs report that comes out friday. what we see across the country. what we're hearing big and small across the state is people are frustrated. i think that's the question for this conference committee.
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you have richard shelby on there, republican from alabama, a lot of federal workers in there. one question i have is how much pressure will folks like shelby and mcconnell feel from their home state that shutdowns are bad for business and no way to run a railroad. >> hans, is that bourbon or when i say key behind you? >> it could be both. depends on the definition. it has 51% sour mash made of corn, which qualifies for bourbon. you can only have bourbon in the united states. if you go to canada, order a rye. >> that's my man there, hans nichols. thank you very much. one more thing before we go, the latest government shutdown lasted 35 days. as you well know, because we covered all 35 days of it, but it could take centuries to recover from it. in joshua tree national park in southern california, as we reported, the shutdown caused a
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staffing shortage at the park. as a result, it was heavily vandalized. look at pictures from the park service, also ones posted by visitors on twitter. some of the joshua trees, what the park is known for and named after, were cut down by drivers that off roaded in the desert. gates were damaged, guide posts toppled over. garbage and abandoned camping sites threaten the ecosystem. trash cans can be thrown away, fences and gates rebuilt, but you can't replace these trees. they're marvels. the park's former superintendent said what happened in the last 34 days is irrepairable for the next 200 to 300 years. let that sink in. 200 to 300 years. what sort of monster cuts down a joshua tree? that will wrap it up for this hour. i am kate oy tur.
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ali velshi is in new york. >> he is a font of information. >> i wonder if he can bring us back some good bourbon. >> when i go to canada, i can bring you some nice rye and you can have a taste test. i won't be offering you alcohol for a few months. >> i am out of luck. good afternoon, everybody. this is a lynching. that's how former trump campaign adviser roger stone described the case against him in a second court appearance in days. he pleaded not guilty to charges of obstruction, giving false statements and witness tampering during his arraignment. he is accused of lying about communications with wikileaks about release of hacked democratic e-mails in 2016. after the arraignment, he told the far right conspiracy program info wars that the prosecution is part of an effort to

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