tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC February 3, 2019 9:00am-11:00am PST
that is our show for today. thanks for watching. we'll be back next sunday at 10:00 a.m. >> you snow how you and i are sisters from another mother. again with the rams. i'm like so feeling the love with them. >> i mean -- >> our friend jason johnson, dude, what's wrong with you? >> that's why he didn't get any food. >> so many people in the studio. oh, my god. >> brought the spread today. i can't wait to get my hands-on it. >> enjoy. thank you, joy. good day to all of you from new york. it's high noon in the east. 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." the president unplugged covering everything in the new interview from the border wall to the nfl and of course, russia. >> there have been plenty nax al emergencies called. you can keep playing her games, but we will win. want to be -- we have a great cabinet. i have great people. they haven't been kneeling and they have been respecting the
flag and their ratings have been terrific ever since. the russia thing is a hoax. >> also, 2020 dreams. the democratic field just got bigger and more impressive. how far is too far left? plus the fallout for the governor of virginia. what to make of his admission of michael jackson black-face. but new today, the president with pointed remarks and a wide ranging interview ahead of the super bowl. first, less than two weeks to avoid a government shutdown. while members of congress -- the president repeating his threats to declare a national emergency to build a border wall. would you shut down the government again? >> well, we're going to have to see what happens on february 15th. >> you're not taking -- >> i don't take anything off the table. i don't like to take anything off the table. it's the alternative, it's national emergency. it's other things. there have been plenty of national emergencies called and this really is an invasion of
our country by human traffickers. >> president trump also doubled down on his remarks about his intel chief. they testified before congress this week contradicting the president's repeated assertions that isis has been defeated in syria and that iran is not complying with a landmark nuclear agreement. >> so you're going to trust the intelljens that you receive? >> i'm going to trust the intelligence that i'm putting there. but i will say this. my intelligence people, if they said, in fact, that iran is a wonderful kindergarten, i disagree with them 100%. >> what specifically was wrong about -- >> it wasn't so much the reporter. it was the questions and answers. we've done an incredible job with syria. now you have very little isis and the caliphate almost knocked out. >> the president also tried to distance himself from long-time friend and adviser roger stone who of course was indicted over a week ago.
stone's legal trouble renewed debate about potential collusion between russia and trump's campaign. the key question about stone, would he cooperate with the mueller investigation or is he expecting the president to pardon him? >> roger is somebody that i've always liked. a lot of people liked roger. some people probably don't like roger. roger is somebody i've always liked. he's a character. i don't know if you know this or not. roger wasn't on my campaign except way at the beginning. >> right. would you pardon him? >> i have not thought about it. it looks likie he's defending himself very well. but you have to get rid of the russia witch hunt. kelly o'donnell joins us from florida. another good day to you my friend. we have the president commenting on the mueller investigation. he had a lot to say. i'll give it to you now. >> reporter: good to be with you, alex. the president is now really known for not wanting to take options off the table, including any discussion of a pardon for figures associated with the
mueller probe, although some of his aides and advisers have said that's highly unlikely he would do that. but the president holding on to that authority and power. he was asked in this interrue with margaret brennan, which is a super bowl tradition. typically the host network of the super bowl gets an interview with the president, a portion airs tonight during the game and cbs has also aired on facie the nation today a full interview. and what the president has to say about the mueller probe, what is coming in terms of a report to the department of justice. would that be made -- also, how he views those around him in certain instances associated with the campaign and otherwise being ensnared in this and pleading guilty, being convicted and so forth. here is the president speaking more about the mueller investigation is margaret brennan. >> would you make the mueller report public because you say there's nothing in there --
>> totally up to the attorney -- >> what do you want them do? >> even the mueller report said it had nothing to do with the campaign. when you look at some of the people and events, it had nothing to do. >> you had -- >> excuse me. it's up to the attorney general. it depends. i have no idea what it's going to say. >> reporter: and the attorney general, that's a question because at the moment the acting attorney general is matt whitaker, the president nominated william barr going through the confirmation process. assuming he's confirmed, it would be his decision. during his confirmation hearing, he talked about the product that would come from the office of special counsel and his intention that the core of that would be something that could be made public given the fact that the nation has been so involved and exposed to the mueller investigation and all the twists and turns since may of 2017 when robert mueller was a pointed. but unclear yet what form that would take or how it will play
out. matt whitaker thinks the investigation is nearing its end. but we don't have any indication from the office of special counsel where they are in their timeline. separately, some of the work they've done has been picked up by the new york southern district, federal prosecutors there who don't have a time limit on their work. there may be aspects of the case, like michael cohen for example that play out there. still questions that the president insists nothing was done wrong by him or those closest to him despite the fact that there are now a trail of convictions and guilty pleas. alex? >> kelly o'donnell in west palm beach. correspondent for the "washington post" and charlie savage from "the new york times." i want to get your takeaways from the wide ranging interviews. char charlie, you first. >> not so much the mueller stuff but his comments on foreign
policy. he was at once sort of confused and garbled. he talked about how obama didn't go into syria because of red line. he seemed to be conflating that with obama going. he seemed to jamd general mattis for the bombing that killed americans. if there's any blame there, it's because trump said we were pulling out of syria, which emboldened isis, which was the thing that mattis resigned over. that was all kind of crazy in a way. yet, the overlying theme of it was trump defending his desire to pull out of syria, to pull out of afghanistan or significantly wind down those wars there and talking about how he doesn't want to be -- the united states stuck in the forever wars. that's what he campaigned on. it struck me that maybe you need a president who is sort of immune to advisers giving him facts about the short-term risks and potential medium term damage
that a pullout would entail in order to finally wind down some of these policing and nation building operations in the middle east that the united states has been trying to do since 9/11 and sort of spinning its wheels. at some point we have to leave. but it may be a bull in the china shop having to do it. i was really struck by that. >> i very much see the points you're making. how about you, ann? what stood out to you? >> alex, i would agree with charlie that the foreign policy comments were newsy, all of the above on the president's views in syria. but also like he said about the testimony this past week from his intelligence chief, that this -- wherein they disagreed him on iran and north korea, the president talked today in that interview about how, while it's fine, we can disagree, but when they tell me how wonderful iran
is, i'm going to disagree. of course, the intelligence chiefs were not saying that iran is wonderful. what they were saying, which is inconvenient for trump's view of the middle east, is that iran is technically complying with the deal that trump hates and pulled the u.s. out of. they are also, the intelligence chief saying that iran is up to no good in a variety of countries, funding militias and doing all sorts of bad things that trump agrees with his intelligence chiefs on. but he just can't seem to stomach the idea that iran, for its own reasons, is sticking to that deal. >> yeah. and you make a good point about iran. i want to address that in a moment. a little bit about vein zay a. i want to talk about the mueller report. charlie, i start with you on that one. the president said he's leaving it up to the attorney general. do you think that that report would see the light of day and if so, would it be released by
the doj or by -- >> i'm happy to receive a leak of it if anyone has a thumb drive to send to me. it's a very interesting question. we saw this during the barr confirmation hearing in january. the fact of the matter is, notwithstanding some of the rhetoric out there, william barr is right that the justice department's rules which the clinton administration rote in 1999 do not envision a lengthy report by the special counsel becoming public. they were written to avoid a repetition of the ken star report about will bill clinton, going out and becoming public. on their face, the rules envision only a brief notice about the fact that the case is closed and a brief explanation from the attorney general. not from mueller. about the prosecutorial decision that is were made. that said, though, the rules do not pre hibt a big report from mueller being relayed to congress. they don't envision that. barr has been saying, i want to err on the side of transparency,
but i don't know what they're writing, i've not been briefed on it. i'm not in office. if trump is telling the truth, that he's going to leave it up to barr, all the smoke signals from barr is that we may in fact see something quite substantial. on the other hand, trump could always, when he learns what's in that report decide that maybe he's going to change his mind and not let barr do that. i think everyone is operating from a position of ignorance yet because mueller keeps his cards so close to the vest. >> absolutely, he does. it's a question we've been asking since the beginning of this investigation x ann. that is, there are signals now more than ever that the investigation may soon be wrapping up, especially after matt whitaker said so. or does now this roger stone development, does that delay its release? >> i don't know that the roger stone development is an indication of delay. it's generally seen as part of
the latter. that robert mueller -- ladder that robert mueller seems to be clieli criming and somebody with vulnerability. the fact that he wasn't fully drawn into it is an indication where mueller was. now we know he's up to that rung of the ladder. i was struck by the cbs interview where he says he hasn't thought about a pardon for stone. he was pressed on that a couple of times. he's had at least a week to think about it. somebody asked him the same question a week ago. he's like, i haven't thought about it. roger stone has been in legal peril for well more than a year and now he's been actually under indictment for a week. it's strange credulity that it never came up. >> pardoning stone, is that a political calculation that would get president trump into hot water with all parties? >> i'm sure it would set off a
firestorm. part of what's hard about all of this is we don't know what stone knows about trump. but trump knows what stone knows about trump. he would pardon him presumably only if that was -- that firestorm he would weather would be better than whatever stone has to say coming out. on the other hand, if what stone knows is sort of gray and foggy and murky and can be spun different ways, maybe he just lets stone do some kind cooperation if stone decides to back off his rhetoric and flip a little bit and think he can get through it. we don't know what stone knows. it's hard to predict what trump's calculation would be. we're going to go back to foreign policy now. you both, you and charlie both brought up issues. venezuela caught my attention and you brought up iran, anne. let's play his comments on both the issues, back-to-back.
here it is. >> would you personally negotiate with nicolas maduro to convince him to exit? >> he's requested a meet and i've turned it down. we're very far along in the process. >> when did this happen? >> a number of months he wanted to meet. i decided at the time no. because so many horrible things were happening in that country. we spent a fortune on building this incredible base. we might as well keep it. one of the reasons i want to keep it is because i want to be looking a little bit at iran. iran is a real problem. >> that's news. you're keeping troops in iraq because you want to strike in iran? >> no. because i want to be able to watch iran. let's talk about maduro. and iran with you charlie. >> anne, the president always dubbed himself as a negotiator. why do you think he turned down the meeting? is it not in u.s. interest? >> well, it's really sort of hard to suss why he would have
turned this down when you compare it to meetings that he hasslingly or eagerly taken part in like erdogan in turkey and similar to maduro in some ways and democratically elected but then became authoritarian an undemocratically elected. but turkey is a nato ally. that makes more sense. russia and putin, china and xi, the list of authoritarians with whom trump has met is long. there's less direct u.s. interest in venezuela setting aside the oil for a minute. maduro reached out to him. we didn't know it. it's interesting to me when you flip a around. why would maduro want that meeting? he's got a lot of -- he's got much more on the line than trump does. and then behind all of that, you
have this really interesting development within the administration where venezuela has been taken on as a cause by the vice president, certainly in the senate marco rubio has been the leader. trump has been interested and gone along with it. this is something of a passion project for the anti-castro and other anti-castro miami cubans. they see maduro as an extension. those are the sort of things that trump has little prior experience with and no particular reason to be interested in. but he does seem interested in venezuela and he's continued to pursue a very tough policy. >> the statement, charlie about keeping u.s. troops in iran rather in iraq to keep a close eye on iran, what does that say about shifting u.s. policy? you heard margaret ask about possible military engagement which he deflected.
>> right, well be there are forces within the trump administration, especially i would say in john bolton as national security adviser who are hawkish on iran and have been for a long time. it's incoherent with his policy otherwise of trying to disentangle the united states from the middle east and not get involved in these sort of local or regional issues where the u.s. interest is less obvious and you know, his discussion with bolton relating to iran in general in this interview was sort of odd. he was dismissing the disconnect between the compliance with the nuclear treaty. you know they got us into this mess in iraq by saying there was wmd when bush was president p john bolton was one of the main bush administration employees saying we've got to go to iraq and even after there was no wmd,
bolton saying it was worth it, this was a great idea, which is totally not trump's current state of view of the world. he seems to be listening to bolton on iran and that may be part of what's behind his remarks today. >> okay. anne gearan and charlie savage. always good to talk to you. targeting trump's taxes. a new push on capitol hill to get them released. to severely activeoderaty crohn's disease, stelara® works differently. studies showed relief and remission, with dosing every 8 weeks. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you have an infection or flu-like symptoms or sores, have had cancer, or develop new skin growths, or if anyone in your house needs or recently had a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems. these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. some serious allergic reactions
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i just -- instinctively, you know if you put black paint on your face. you know if you put a hood on. so if it isn't you, you come out with it immediately and say this is not me. i can't understand what's going on? >> new reaction from terry mcauliffe calling on ralph northam to resign due to the racist images. >> member of the for en affairs and oversight committee. welcome back, sir. >> nice to be with you, alex. >> i know that you took him at his word after his apology asking whether redemption and forgiveness were achievable. then yesterday you said nothing. you heard what you heard -- does that change your view that resignation is the only way forward? >> that's right. i issued a joint statement after the press conference with my
colleague. it's maybe the saddest thing i've done in my public life. ralph is a decent person. i think everybody who knows him likes him. but i think this is not something that is recoverable. the wounds this reopens in virginia, to say nothing of the nationwide debate and concern about race in america, just -- it's not tenable for him to go forward as the governor of the commonwealth of virginia. i think he could, by resigning, start the healing. i think we really need that healing right now. >> have you spoken to him at all? do you have any -- >> we traded phone calls. i called him friday evening and he called me back and unfortunately, we didn't connect. i know this has got to be a crushing and painful thing for
him and his family. but it's also a very painful thing for millions of virginians and millions of people across america to sort of revisit issues we all have hoped were long past us. i don't think as the governor of the commonwealth he can function. >> do you think he will ultimately resign? >> i think he's going to have to. i think ultimately he'll see the wisdom of that counsel. that is just, where are you going to go and be welcome? you can't cut a ribbon anymore? you can't campaign with candidates this year? it's an election year in virginia. you can't go to the general assembly in richmond and be welcomed by either party. in effect, your governorship is nonviable and it's over. >> let's talk about the shutdown. 13 short days from now trying to fund the deadline -- to prevent another shutdown. is the president sticking to his demands for a wall? let's take a listen to what your
colleague ted liu said about it yesterday. >> i can confirm what many people know. nancy pelosi is a bad ass and that's why we're doing so well in the negotiations. there are discussions about additional physical barriers in some places. we'll see how those discussions go. but the wall that donald trump envisions, that is not part of the discussion. >> first of all, do you think nancy pelosi is a bad -- no i'm kidding. should the american people -- >> no. i think nancy is wonderful. i want that on the record. >> in his colorful language. it's great. do you think the american people should be angry that this whole matter of seamatisf semantics. it appears to be about walls and slats. do you prefer that colleagues don't spike the football with respect to nancy pelosi or do you think it's appropriate? >> well, i wouldn't frame the
negotiations or what just happened in win or lose terms. i don't think that will help us going forward. i think, as nancy has said, we want a border security policy and program that is evidence-based. so let's sit down and lock at that 1900-mile long border with mexico and see what is needed and what works and what we know doesn't work. in many places that's going to be added technology. at ports of entry where most drugs come into the country, not across the border as trump described. we need to add more resources. we just had the biggest sentinel catch out a port of entry in american history. that's good. we want to do more of that. there may be places where we physically need to have barricades or beef up what's already there. let's have that discussion. but remember, what preceded earlier was trump going back to
his campaign promise that i'm going to build a wall. a big beautiful shining seawall. he was willing to shut down the government and inflicting enormous pain to redeem that pledge after right wing talking heads on fox and friends criticized him. that's no way to proceed and we're not going to pander to that. >> before i let you go, i want to ask you about your colleagues on the ways and means committee. you say thursday they'll start talking about the president's tax returns. how important is it for the public to see the president's tax returns and do you think there's an appetite for it? >> i think there is an appetite for it. i think most americans believe that as part of your interview for the presidency, as a candidate, you have an obligation to reveal your tax returns, as most candidates have historically. the fact that trump didn't do that has raised a lot of questions. i think it's caused trouble for
him. because it allows anyone to speculate about anything without being disproved by having the tax return in hand. did russia money play a role in his rise to success as a businessman? on and on. lots of unanswered questions that continue to linger out there because of his refusal to release his tax returns. so i applaud my colleagues in ways and means. it's long overdue. i hope we get the tax returns and release it. >> representative jerry connolly. thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. thanks, alex. one of the first times you hear a long-time democrat saying don't rush to judgment on a resignation. ♪ not long ago, ronda started here.
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rush to judgment before we know all of the facts. even if the worst case scenario is true, george, i think there is an issue of redemption. he has the highest motivation imaginable to ensure that his legacy is not defined by a picture in his yearbook. i believe in second chances. >> former democratic representative jim moran is not
calling for northam to resign. but almost the entire establishment is urging him to step down. joining me now the former mayor of new orleans and president of the national urban league and host of the hutchison report. gentlemen, thank you for being here. >> hi alex. >> earl, it seems at least of the writing on friday night, you agreed with moran. you wrote, quote, it's the easy and seemingly racially correct thing to do to join in the chorus and denounce northam as an unreconstructed bigot and shame -- continue to do political good in office. earl, first of all, can you expand on your argument. do you still hold that premise after the 24-hour flip, if you will, between friday to saturday? >> well, the flip was definitely troubling where he did walk it back and said, well, maybe it's not me.
going back to my original point, i think there is something there. i'm not going to go to the atonement and redemption and all that. that's for the gods to decide. i actually looked at his record. it's not a bad legislative record. medicate for all. he talked about wealth inequality, pro choice and most importantly, the confederate monuments, eb wanted them down. i couldn't ignore that. the second thing is it happened 30-plus years ago. back in that era, we know you had a lot of frat boys that did a lot of dumb, stupid things, blatt face, the hoods and all of that. 20-something-year-olds. we fast forward 30 years. is there something that he saw and i think i saw that in his apology owning up to it, if it was me and i i think it was him, this was something in the past and i want to move ahead. more importantly, can it be a real teaching moment. here you got a guy that has properly been chastised,
embarrassed nationally, can he go around the state in a racist state. we know the history of virginia. it's been a vile racist history. can he go around and say, look, i was part of that. i did that. i'm atoning for that. i'm owning up to that. and there are many others out there, i want to send that same message to. in that sense, i wasn't rushing to judgment. maybe, just maybe something good can come out of that through him. >> okay, mark. going to ask you. do you agree -- does earl have a point or are the actions and the statements, are they too severe to be excused? can he not effectively legislate? keep in mind, this was done when he was not the governor of virginia. >> he can atone himself out of office. his ability to lead is damaged and fractured. he fractured it even more badly by his statement on saturday. friday night, he took responsibility. on saturday he said not only is it not me, by the way, this
wasn't me but i did but i did put on black face to participate in a dance contest dressed up as michael jackson. this is not 1950 and 1960, this is the 1980s. he's 25 years old. at the time he's a graduate of vmi. he's an enlisted serviceman. he's about to become a physician. this is 1985 when michael jackson is sort of emerging as the king of pop. 1985 when jesse jackson, harold washington, people like that are at the center of the political stage. 20 years after the civil rights act of 1964. so the context of the 1980s, i think, means it's less excusable than the sense that, weshlgs it was in the '40s or the '50s or the 1960s. it's very important that we take a strong stance. the secretary of state of
florida just resigned because he wore black face by mocking people who were victimized by katrina. we all criticized representative king for his embrace of white nationalism. for many of us it's about being consistent. i think ralph northam can restore his, if you will, credibility as a person. but i don't think he can lead the state. i think the state would be better served now with justin fairfax, a very capable lieutenant governor, were made governor and led the state and let the heal, let the atonement for the people take place without the distraction of ralph northam's conduct. >> earl, in terms of the constituents of that state, it's important to note that the governor won the support of 87% of african american voters. >> right. >> so do his actions and his words, since all this was revealed, does it honor that voting support that he received?
did he betray the voting public in a sense because he didn't admit that the actions existed while running? >> well, he didn't do that. we don't know. yes, no and he's walking it back. i think he is in the yearbook. i don't think there's any doubt about at that in my mind. the bigger point in terms of betraying african american voters. they didn't vote for him based on something that happened or may not have happened but probably did happen 30 years ago. they voted for him because they saw a democrat that in fact, had a fairly evolving moderate to progressive legislative agenda. that's what they based it on. there was a political savviness on the part of african american voters. i got to tell you, as to the point about, is there redemption there, can, in fact, he atone, can in fact he be a model, a walking, living, breathing teaching model for what was wrong in the past and i was part of that and what could be changed in the present and the
future, i'm not totally unconvinced that he still doesn't have a role to play there, including with african american voters. >> i think had african american voters known about this before when he was a primary candidate, he probably would not have been elected. >> that's what the president said this morning. >> it would disqualify him. he would not have been able to be elected. it's difficult for me to believe that he never saw this yearbook photo. he never sanctioned the photos on his page. remember, it's not only the yearbook photo at eastern virginia medical academy. it's also his nickname, which is on a separate yearbook page for the virginia military institute suggesting to me along with the michael jackson that he may have held different views, a different sensibility about race 30 years ago than he does now. now, okay, people can change,
people can evolve. the issue now is, ke lead virginia? can he heal virginia? the answer to that is he cannot and the state would be better served if the lieutenant governor would lead the state. >> earl, last word to you. can he lead the state of virginia? >> i think it's problematic at this point. there's been so much back and forth and so many people said new york city you can't d no, you can't do that. the voters put him in there. i tell you, they have the final word. not other outsiders and politicians. >> point well-taken. gentlemen, thank you very much. enjoy your sunday. president trump's new comments today about the intelligence community surely don't seem to concern him. but should they concern americans? u sleep, try new nyqul severe with vicks vapocool. (acapella) whoa! (avo) and vaporize it. (acapella) ahhhh! (acapella) shhhh! (avo) new nyquil severe with vicks vapocool. the vaporizing, nighttime, coughing, aching, stuffy head, best sleep with a cold, medicine.
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new today, the president explaining why he breaks with his own intelligence agencies on north korea. he lashed out when members of the cia and fbi said that kim jong-un is not likely to give up nuclear weapons. here's an interview a short time ago. >> i like him. i get along with him great. we have a fantastic chemistry. we have had tremendous correspondence that some people have seen and can't even believe it. they think it's historic. we'll see what happens. now, that doesn't mean we're going to make a deal. but certainly, i think we have a very good chance of making a deal and one of the reasons is
because north korea has a chance, being located between russia, china and south korea, what a location. i'm in the real estate business. what a location. >> joining me now christopher hill, former ambassador to south korea and diplomacy expert. zo good to see you here on a sunday. do you share the president's optimism. >> i think it's going to be very tough. a year ago the president ratcheted this up to the idea we're going to be in world war three and then he pulled it all back and i think that was the right approach. the issue is do they have an understanding with the north koreans and what are they going to do? they've sent the north korea envoy, he's off in seoul today. they're clearly going to do preparation for the second summit. if the president comes back with what he had from the first summit, that is zero specifics and a whole lot of questions, i
think he's going to have trouble justifying that somehow he's making progress. >> do you think his approach to north korea, does it worry you more than when the u.s. effectively had no real contact with kim jong-un or is this better? >> i think it's better to be in contact. for me it's a certain amount of irony when i was doing this during the bush administration, i had a lot of huge detractors to any contacts with the north koreans to the point i wasn't supposed to shake their hand or toast a glass in front of them. so now we have the same person there, john bolton. he seems to be okay with what the president is doing. what the president is doing is clearly more than anyone has done in the past and suggesting a sort of broad scope agreement with north korea. sounds a little much, but i am willing to suspend judgment to see what they can actually bring back. i'd like to add one other point, though. there was a speech given in stanford -- by the way, i'd like
to see more congressional oversight. i mean, the relevant committees ought to be asking him these questions. in his speech in stanford, he said that north korea agreed to give up their nuclear materials and he said they'll be asking for corresponding measures and looking forward to hearing from them what they are. no kidding. if the mers measures are to get our people out of south korea or eliminate our nuclear arsenal, we have a problem. there's a lot of work to be done on this. >> when the president says he has great chemistry and gets along with him great, how important is it for heads of state to get along in a friendly manner when they're trying to make a deal and particularly kim jong-un? is he credible? because the president says, well, we like each other. does that matter with him? >> well, obviously it matters less than the president is implying. but on the other hand, trying to have a negotiation sitting ten
feet away and shaking your fists at the other guy doesn't work either. i understand the president's notion that, look, i needed to get to know the guy. that's what i did in singapore. looking forward to further deals. i mean, that works in business and it works in a lot of things and it also works in diplomacy. i'm not going to fault him for that. the key question for me is he's claiming the north koreans are going to do something when, in fact, there's scant evidence for that. since they're about to launch these talks, i want to kind of give them a chance and stop bad-mouthing the effort until they come back with something. exactly. >> you had a bit more to say on u.s. intelligence. here it is. >> president bush had intel people that said saddam hussein in iraq had nuclear weapons, all sorts of weapons of mass destruction. guess what? the intel people didn't know what the hell they were doing and they got us tied up in a war
that we should have never been in. we've spent $7 trillion in the middle east and we -- >> do you trust -- >> you were ambassador to iraq. does all of this justify his position here? does a mistake from the past give life to this view that he now holds? >> no, it doesn't. i guess my concern is to blame the intel community for the mistakes of the past, the intel community would collect information. they would collect a lot of information, especially after 9/11. and then it was political level people who would grab pieces of information and say we have to do something about this. one of these people was in charge of nonproliferation, nuclear nonproliferation, his nap was john bolton. he was if favor of going into iraq and after it was revealed there was no wmd, weapons of mass destruction in iraq, he still supported it.
let's hear from this person who is today president trump's national security adviser. i mean, the notion to try to just lay this all at the intel community's doorstep we'll neve listen to them again is, frankly speaking, not serious policy. >> former ambassador christopher hill. thank you so much for your insight. much appreciated. >> thank you. 2020 buzz. who does the president think might give him the toughest time? oughest time fight both fast tums chewy bites with gas relief all in one relief of heartburn and gas ♪ ♪ tum tum tum tums tums chewy bites with gas relief if you have postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture now might not be the best time to ask yourself are my bones strong? life is full of make-or-break moments. that's why it's so important to help reduce your risk of fracture with prolia®. only prolia® is proven to help strengthen and protect bones from fracture with 1 shot every 6 months.
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the 2020 race is picking up steam with new announcements like sherrod brown expected to announce shortly. we have the most diverse field ever. let's bring in basil smikle, former executive director of the new york state democratic party and susan del percio and msnbc political analyst. basil, what stands out most to you? >> i think you mentioned it, the fact that the field is diverse and it's good to see that, particularly after the 2018 midterms where we had this diverse class of leaders get elected to congress. so i'm happy to see that. i in some ways thank obama, barack obama and hillary clinton
for breaking down the barriers that they did and of course before that shirley chisholm, jesse jackson and others. so i'm particularly proud of it, of that as a democrat. i hope that the number of people that are in this race does not portend very contentious primary season but i am glad to see the diversity that we have. >> sure at this point. so, susan, in a new interview with cbs the president was asked about cory booker's entrance into the race. watch what he said. >> senator cory booker announced today that he's also running. there are a lot of democrats on the field. >> he's not go chance. >> no chance? >> i say no chance. >> why? >> because i know him. i don't think he has a chance. >> just before booker entered the race the president gave his assessment of the overall democratic field in which he told the "new york times" saying i would say the best opening so far would be kamala harris. what's your reaction to how he's sizing up his opponents? >> donald trump being donald trump. he'll pick and choose about what
he wants to get into a fight but what he will do is use them as a way of changing the subject matter and getting himself involved in that democratic primary. he likes being in the news cycle, he won't give it up to challengers or potential challengers to him so expect more of it. >> who do you think either announced or unannounced basil that would give the president the hardest time? >> a lot of people have talked about joe biden. i'll also throw in amy klobuc r klobuchar, midwestern democrat who i love to hear speak and she's a tremendous sort of force within the democratic party. i think any of those two plus all of the ones that actually have the v g have gotten in the race so far, they can nudge and needle the president and republicans going into this election cycle and that's what's going on interesting because with so many, how do they stake out that specific lane for themselves? >> very good point. anyone going to challenge the
president on the gop side? >> not yet. what republicans need to do or republicans like myself who are frustrated with this president, they need to start softening the ground for a primary challenge, meaning they have to go after the president's numbers as far as likability, relate to people like me, not necessarily directly after the president but there's still plenty of time and with the mueller investigation holding over his head we don't know what will happen but republicans are very concerned. >> we'll get the howard schultz next time. the president trump on a mission from god? dana milbank joins me to talk about his new column and sarah sanders's comments about the president. would you want the one the experts at rootmetrics say is number one in the nation? sure, they probably know what they're talking about. or the one that j.d. power says
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wall. >> i don't like to take things off the table. it's that alternative. it's national emergency. it's other things and there have been plenty national emergencies called. and this really is an invasion of our country by human trafficker traffickers. >> meanwhile, they contradicted under oath some of the president's most persistent foreign policy assertions. that included the national intelligence director telling lawmakers isis would continue to stoke violence in syria. but in this new interview, he repeated his assertion on the terrorist group. >> what specifically was wrong about what they said? >> let me just say it wasn't so much the reporter, it was the questions and answers as the report was submitted and they were asked questions and answers. we've don e an incredible with syria. when i took over syria was infested with isis and now you
have to caliphate almost knocked out. we will be announcing in the not too distant future 100% of the caliphate. >> the president also tried to distance himself from long-time friend and adviser roger stone who was indicted more than a week ago. the most explosive revelations from the charges, a quote senior trump campaign official was directed to contact stone about damaging information wikileaks could release about the hillary clinton campaign. so the lingering question here, would stone cooperate with the mueller investigation or is he expecting the president to pardon him? >> roger is somebody that i've always liked but a lot of people like roger. some people probably don't like roger but roger stone is almost i always liked. roger is a character. but roger wasn't -- i don't know if you know this or not, roger wasn't on my campaign except way at the beginning. >> would you pardon him? >> have not thought about it. it looks like he's defending himself very well but you have to get rid of the russia witch-hunt. >> kelly o'donnell joins us from west palm beach, florida, where the president or near to where
the president is spending the weekend. kelly, the president also talking about the mueller investigation. what did he say? >> well, this interview was wide ranging and in some ways gives us a little insight into some of the things we'll hear from the president tuesday night for his state of the union address. but the mueller investigation always a topic of great interest, certainly for journalists but also as we get so deep into the investigation approaching a couple of years now and the president was asked about that. he again persists in his argument that there was no collusion, as he claims, he did nothing wrong. and part of what we are waiting for is what will be the process when the mueller investigation reaches its end. and we don't know what the timing is. acting attorney general matt whitaker says he thinks it's near the end but it will ultimately be up to the attorney general who will likely be william barr who is still going through confirmation process to receive the report from robert mueller and his team and then to decide what to do with it. there isn't an automatic
mechanism to make it public. here is part of the interview with cbs margaret brennan talking about the views on what should happen to that report. >> would you make the mueller report public because you say there's nothing in there -- >> totally up to the attorney general. >> congress can subpoena it anyway. >> totally up to the attorney general. >> what do you want them to do. >> even the mueller report said it had nothing to do with the campaign. >> you would haven't a problem if it became public. >> excuse me, excuse me. that's up to the attorney general. i don't know. i have no idea what he's going to say. >> one of the curious statements than what is where he says even the mueller report said it had nothing to do with the campaign. i don't know what he's referring to there. we don't yet have a report from robert mueller. what we do have a earre a serie indictments that include individuals associated with the campaign, namely paul manafort, the campaign chairman who's been convicted. michael flynn, the former national security adviser convicted of lying, also
attached to the campaign and others, george papadopoulos and so forth. roger stone was attached to the trump campaign in 2015 well ahead of the prominent time for the president trump campaign but remained a loose and informal adviser. so the notion that this is somehow not connected to the campaign really doesn't make sense and what the president was saying there but it's also notable he is deferring to the attorney general, at least at this point, about how much the public will know about the findings when robert mueller is done. alex. >> kelly o., thank you so much from florida. joining me now, journalist laura basset and dana milbank, columnist with the "washington post," a welcome to you both. dana, your overall impression from this wide-ranging interview. ? what stood out to you? >> it's hard to pick something that stands out because bumping from topic to top tick president has a tendency to say one eye-raising thing after another.
the thing that struck me the most was t optimism about north korea that he was talking about. talking about this excellent chemistry he has with kim jong-un, remember, this is a man who has killed his own family members running the most repressive country on earth so it's an extraordinary thing to hear an american president say this and express this optimism even though, as we heard elsewhere, his own intelligence officials don't believe it's possible to get north korea to denuclearize. so he's very much out there freelancing with the most loathed leader on the face of the earth. >> interesting, laura, your thoughts? what struck you? >> i heard a lot of word salad in that interview. there were a lot of topics on which he demonstrated a complete lack of understanding. he completely flubbed the meaning of the red line in syria. he at one point criticized obama
for doing nothing in syria and then is now criticizing -- told obama he should do nothing and is now criticizing him for having done nothing. he demonstrates a complete lack of understanding on the issue and is pivoting to economics and black unemployment which is not the heart of the issue people are criticizing him for. i think trump was talking really fast and not saying a lot and if you paused at any moment to think about what he just said, you would hear a lot of ignorance and a lot of lies. >> okay, something that he did say, dana, that he's not taking off the table, hinting this week late this week about declaring the national emergency, is that a calculated move to put pressure on democrats? do you see this thing playing out? that he declares a national emergency? or do they get a deal done? >> it's hard to see him doing that because it's not just the democrats. he has the republicans in the senate saying don't do this, firstover all there's going to be all kinds of legal problems
with it but he doesn't have the support of his own party going into doing it so it isn't clear whether he's trying to put pressure on the negotiators or whether he's continuing to give a signal to his base. it has been about the base all along because of course it's not about border security since all sides are agreed on that. it's the symbolism of the wall. so it seems to me that's more signal making to the base than involved in the negotiation. >> three scenarios here, laura. how do you see it? national emergency gets dezplard a deal gets done or, got forbid another shut down?declared? a deal gets done or, got forbid another shut down? that's hard to predict, trump is hard to predict. the majority of the country opposes using a national emergency and trump has undermined his own ability to do that by waiting so long. the definition of an emergency, the point of an emergency is that you need to move quickly so if you've waited weeks and start declaring one as a political
move that makes you look stupid so i'm not see a deal happening. a shutdown i wouldn't count out. >> i'm curious with regard to the mueller report. the president said he's leaving it up to the attorney general but do you think that report will see the light of day? would it be through a leak or an official report from the doj? >> there's any number of possibilities, there's one for public consumption and one for the department of justice on the hill. the democrats who control the house and there may be an interest on the intelligence committee to have this out. the incoming presumably attorney general, william barr, has -- while he's not committed to releasing the report, he's been clear about the public's right to know so there will be a lot of pressure on him there so it seems we're going to get the gist of what it is exactly what we're going to get and there is
under the law there is no requirement for this to be released. >> are there more signals that the mueller report is wrapping up or are we only taking the word of mark whitaker when he said uncomfortably in that news conference it was wrapping up soon? >> you have to go on his word. why would he say it was wrapping up soon if it's not? it has been going on far long time and my guess for the past few months is that they've been kind of closing in and circling in on trump and i think as to the report being made public, congress has the power right now to pass a bill requiring this report or some summary of the report to be made public. the american taxpayers paid for this really long investigation, have been waiting to see what comes of it and so to hide it from the people would be unethical. >> dana, we teased this before you and laura came on here and i want to ask you about your latest column, something that white house press secretary said earlier this week. we'll play that and have you
react. >> i think god calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and i think that he wanted donald trump to become president and that's why he's there. and i think he has done a tremendous job in supporting a lot of the things that people of faith care about. >> okay. dana, your reaction? >> well, i mean, in one sense a lot of us believe that god calls all of us to do certain things. when the president's press secretary, a government official in the west wing of the white house, goes a step further and says that god wanted donald trump to be president, well, that's something of a different matter so i sort of tie this into the way the president has been behaving as we've seen, sort of saying i don't care what my intelligence officials say. i don't care what senate republicans feel about syria and afghanistan. i don't care what democrats in the house feel about the wall. sort of acting as if he's
operating under the divine right of kings as opposed to in this democracy. >> i'm curious to your thoughts, laura, it's one thing -- spirituality is one thing everybody holds but this is a country where there is a regarded separation of church and state so to invoke god in this interview, your thoughts? >> well, i do think he has been acting as if he has a god complex as president. this is very in line with the sort of narcissism he's been demonstrating throughout his presidency and i think if he was a very religious man he would treat minorities better. he would treat immigrants better. there wouldn't be children in cages at the border. he wouldn't be lying everyday in every interview he ever gives so i think it's very ironic he's trying to play the god card right now. >> duly noted from both of you. laurie, dana, thank you so much. what a surreal moment during ralph northam's on news conference says about his understanding of race in this country. ine this country. hey, what is it?
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>> you said the competition san antonio was a dance competition? >> yes. >> reporter: and you danced the moon walk? >> that's right. >> reporter: are you still able to moon walk. >> um -- >> inappropriate circumstances. >> my wife says inappropriate circumstances. virginia governor ralph northam representing the separate occasion he said he, quote, darkened his skin to look
like michael jackson. joining me now, karine jean pierre and the rev, reverend al sharpton. rev, do you think he understands the gravity of this? >> no, i think when he said yesterday no, i'm not in the black face picture and the picture of the ku klux klan but i did do a black face on michael jackson. you have to remember, in 1984 michael jackson did a huge victory tour and he asked me to head community relations. >> i went to one. >> i did the whole tour. there were whites all over this country, over 30 cities imitating michael wearing the thriller jackets and the hat. >> and the glove. >> none of them wore black face. so if you put on black face,
that was your initiative, governor. and you decided that for clearly mocking racial reasons. it made it worse than what they set up with the clan and so now we have on your home -- on your page in terms of your yearbook and you've added now that you found nothing offensive -- 1984, the year bill cosby has the biggest show, michael jackson biggest entertain over the year, jesse jackson won the virginia primary and you're acting like this is '44, i think it shows not only did he come out of a culture where racism was all right but he was all right and comfortable with. >> it do you want to too old that, karine? same issue? >> i totally agree. and in 1984 he was 25 years old. i presume he voted that year and
knew that jeff rend jesse jackson was on the ballot. after watching that press conference yesterday, it was horrific. it was disqualifying, shameful and purely disgusting and ralph northam has no idea how much harm he's causing or how much harm he caused with that photo and he is now a man without a party, a man without a people and he has no moral authority to lead and he needs to resign. i have no idea who is advising him but they're not doing anymore any favor. they need to look in the mirror and reconsider the advice they're giving him. it's not working. and the other thing i'll say as well, look, we've seen democrats across the country call for his resignation and it's heartened me and i'm glad they're doing thaw but it's time for richmond to act. time for his cabinet to step
down, time for his staff to design. we have to move forward and heal the commonwealth of virginia and the country. >> interestingly, in just the last hour i spoke with a political analyst who believes that knorr that should potentially be given a second chance. listen to what he said. >> can it be a teaching moment? here you have a guy that has been chastised, embarrassed nationally. can, in fact, he go around the state in a racist state, we know the history of virginia and it's been a vile, racist history, can he go around and say, look, i was part of that, i did that, i'm atoning for that, i'm owning up to that and there are many others out there i want to send that same message to. so i wasn't rushing to judgment. maybe just maybe something good can come out of that. >> we all look for silver linings, rev, but is northam in the moral position to pull one off here?
>> i don't think so. i respect dr. hutchinson. all of us may have said things we should haven't said but we're not talking about things you might have misspoke. we're talking about a klan robe and what it represents, terrorism, lynchings and for him to one day say yes about the picture even though he didn't say whether he was in the robe or black face, he was clearly comfortable with saying that he was responsible for the picture. then the next day saying no, i wasn't responsible, i wasn't in the picture, i didn't even see it but i did do black face to michael jackson. so how can he now come back and atone and do nick when he has one, flipped his own story and secondly says i'm comfortable with black facing. this is not a guy who is trying to act like he's trying to heal or bring anything together. he seems to be trying to do
whatever he can to remove any blame from himself. any of us that have said anything wrong have said we said wrong we're sorry and those are words and a lot of it may be street or locker talk. this is not locker talk, this is your yearbook, not your scrapbook at home with mommy and this is a statement how he made and i don't see how he can get around it. the teaching moment is to say i'm resigning and i'll go around and talk about how we need to be better than this. >> your thoughts again, careen -- karine? >> and he had a nick anymore of coon man that he took on which is absolutely also problematic and says everything you need to know. there is one thing he can do. he can resign and show that leadership and you know who would be next justin fairfax would be next and i think that would show leadership.
a young 39-year-old african-american very impressive politici politician, young man, who did well on his own in winning that election, just underperformed by one percentage point, not bad where ralph northam overperformed, did better than hillary clinton did. we saw african-american voters come out, high turnout to elect both of them so that's what he should do. he should step down and allow a new leadership, someone who has with his statement, fairfax put out a state department statement showing his leadership and the history of virginia when it comes to white supremacy and talking about his own experience with his family in tealing with racism in the commonwealth and let's move forward. and that's what ralph northam can do right now. >> i want the both of you staying with me because i'll get your reaction to our next story which is about the super bowl. we have the los angeles rams,
new england patriots facing off in the mercedes-benz arena in atlanta. but here to check with some of the nfl controversy is ron mott outside the stadium. welcome. we have critics of both the pre-game and half time entertainers in some way. explain what's happening there. >> alex, it seems like every super bowl there's some sort of off-the-field issue the nfl is having to contend with. this year the nfl had trouble attracting big-list artists, african-american artists in particular who didn't want to perform on this international stage because how they knelt t nfl has treated al qaeda in the arabian peninsula -- eated al qa arabian peninsula - colin kaepernick. he brought attention to inequality and it didn't sit well with people, including the president of the united states so colin kaepernick is now out of football at what should have been the prime of his career and entertainers are saying they want to have solidarity.
cardi b. saying she turned down an offer to perform at half time of this game but interestingly she was on the stage last night dancing with the owner of the new england patriots at a concert at the state farm arena behind snow there will be questions she will have to answer as to why she showed up to le game activities but didn't want to go on stage at the half time. so that is what they're dealing with musical entertainment, gladys knight is going to sing the national anthem in the runup to the super bowl. she's had to answer questions as to why she accepted an offer from the nfl considering what people think colin kaepernick was really unfairly treated given his talent level and a lot of people considered far inferior to him have gotten jobs. so that will float in the background. kickoff 5:20 away or so and people want the focus on the game but there will be attention on the entertainment. >> ron, thank you for the settone the former discussion with karine and the rev.
karine, is it fair to criticize these entertainers? particularly gladys knight? that woman is a legend. >> she's a legend. i have to tell you it's very disappointing and i am a fan of gladys knight. we have to call out nfl for everything that they are doing. they have a race issue, they have a domestic violence issue. they have a player safety issue. these the things that the nfl has just not managed or handled well at all. and on colin kaepernick i am not a football expert or nfl expert at all but there are some who are not as good as colin kaepernick. so you have to ask the question, is there there colluding happening with the nfl and the openers? colin kaepernick started this because he was trying to say --
make a statement, a social justice statement, statement, trying to call out the oppression of black people but also people of color. we have to remember what was going on and what still is going on now. you have black men, black women being murdered on the street. we have to remember eric gardinguar gardner, tamir rice, alton sterlin sterling. >> i think clearly those of us that have been involved in the struggles that karine just names, eric guaardner and tamir race, how can we not help celebrate colin kaepernick when he took a knee while many of us were marching on these cases so for the nfl to punish him saying
these things ought to be brought to justice and to court, for the nfl to punish means many of us cannot engage. i won't take the midnight train georgia and my whole ipad half of it is gladys knight songs so all i can say to her is i'll keep her songs but today neither one of us want to be the first to say good-bye. >> oh, my gosh, he is so good. all right so rev, thank you to karine jean-pierre, who that has most beautiful name in the world. >> you said that so beautifully. >> i'm trying to practice my french. catch "politics nation" today at 5:00 and every saturday and sunday at that time.
>> would you pardon him. >> i haven't thought about it. he's defending himself very well. >> joining me now, congressman who is a member of three committees, budget, arms services and oversight. congressman, are your colleagues on oversight talking about getting roger stone to come in now that michael cohen has officially backed out of public testimo testimony. >> testimony will be public when he comes before the oversight committee so i think we should have him in. >> intel committee behind closed door bus are you trying to negotiate to get him in front of your committee. >> we are and that would be
public. chairman couplings is working with michael cohen to make sure any of his concerns are addressed in terms of safety. we want him to testify. the american people have a right to know that these answers are fully public so that they can make a judgment. >> can you give us a sense of what is on the agenda for investigating the president? what the most critical question to be answered is in your mind. >> well, there are so many questions. the first should be that we should get his taxes. some of just written to the chairman of the ways and means committee saying let's get the president's taxes. >> that is something that is of
interest the congress. i can speak for myself and fellow journalists that it's of interest to them. does that translate to the american public as well? do they feel the need to address what is in the president's taxes? >> i do. it harkens back to the 1920s when the law came out. back then there was corruption and the teapot dome scandal. they were enriching themselves and passing policies to enrich themselves so congress said that's ridiculous. we need to get tax returns so we make sure there are no financial conflicts of interest. this is not out of a lurid interest of the president's finances. this is to see does he have conflicts of interests that are hurting the american public and most americans want that. 60% of americans think it's a fair thing that the president disclose his taxes. >> democrats joined republicans in rebuking the president's plan to withdraw troops from syria and afghanistan. there's an appearance that democrats are in favor of these
endless wars. what do you say to that? >> well, alex, i have departed from some of my colleagues. i wrote an op-ed in the "washington post" saying we should be for withdrawal from syria and afghanistan. it should be responsible, we should have an envoy there who will engage in diplomacy, we should make sure erdogan isn't annexing the kurdish area but we should be for bringing our troops home and putting an end to these endless wars. >> that op-ed rough written about why you strongly oppose u.s. intervention in venezuela and you point out that it's illegal under the united nations charter to seek regime change. but don't the people of venezuela deserve some relief? how do you propose tackling problem there is? >> maduro had a fail red jet stream, failed economics, extra judicial killingkillings.
b but now if we do that we'll be rallying support for him. i support what pope francis called for which is a negotiated settlement and a move towards fair elections. i think the history of intervention in iraq, in afghanistan, in syria shows that we often make matters worse and don't improve the lives for the people we're trying to help. >> democratic california congressman r.o. khana, i'd love to speak with you again so come speak to me again. >> thank you for having me on. the difference between opinions and facts in the president's statements about the intelligence community. but in honor of black history month, nbcnews.com unveils the new series "she thrives" a salute to ten women integral to their communities. you'll read about lisa borders and how she's doubling down on efforts to reach gender parity across all industries. also there's jasmine crowe, described as a do-godder who rescues and delivers food to the
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abiding by the nuclear deal. >> i disagree with them. >> did they say it was a wonderful kindergarten? i didn't hear that. anyway, the president defending his split with intel leaders in some foreign policy areas. he said he wants them to have their own opinions and this that they can testify any way they want. led's bring the the former director of strategic communications for the hillary clinton campaign, former nevada state chairwoman amy charcanan. i want to speak with you here first, and then don to you. with the president using the word "opinion" discussing the intel chiefs, he wants them to have their own opinion but aren't they drawing from more than opinion on subjects like iran and isis and north korea and russia? >> yes, but what i think the president is alluding to is nobody is perfect and that it's important to seek out other
opinions and that you have a round table filled be intelligence opinions. they haven't been correct just as he stated later when they told president bush there were weapons of mass destruction with saddam hussein. we later found out that wasn't the case. >> did president bush push back and say he knew better? >> well he also wasn't on twitter and social media as often as our current president so i'm not sure if he said those words or not. >> i don't think he said he knew better. don, your reaction? >> i don't know what to say. the stakes are too high for the president to be willy-nilly deciding for his own vain and ego fiscal ego reasons that he knows more than our intelligence services. one thing that is very disturbing is the way that we have politicized and made such a partisan activity out of intelligence, every american in this country owes our security
and safety to relying upon this intelligence that we don't have to think about everyday. for this president to get up and -- it started in his campaign, i know more than the generals do, believe me. we don't believe you. you don't know more. and we know he doesn't read the daily briefings that these learned people who have invested their careers and safety provide him everyday. there's no reason for this and i want to sound more sophisticated than i am but we have to stop talking about this president as if it's normal. it's insane that he somehow challenges real intelligence folks who do this for a living everyday. the remarkable arrogance and that we've reached a point that it's legitimately dangerous for everyday americans. >> there is a another clip that i would like to play. >> do you have an acting ag until you get barr confirmed, acting defense secretary, acting chief of staff, acting interior
secretary. >> that's okay. it's easier to make moves when they're acting. >> so you are going to shake up? >> some and some not. >> how do you know when to fire someone? >> when it's not happening. >> what do you mean? >> when it doesn't get done. >> what do you make of that perspective towards his own top officials. >> it seems to be indicative of the way he's governed his entire presidency so far if if you want to call it governing which is this my way or the highway approach and if he loses confidence in a cabinet official which usually is by no fault of their own, he tends to be judgme judgmental and we know what he did with his attorney general sessions, he threatened to fire him for over a year and a half, this is the way he approaches government. i think alex if he could have his own way here he would be the president of the united states and he we have either one or two cabinet members or none.
he would like to do this as a singular individual and that is very dangerous, it goes back to the way he treats his intelligence officials and members of his own staff where he believes he is the only one who is right and if he doesn't get the answer he want he is lashes out or fires individuals. >> amy, i was watching you listen to adrian and you were shaking your head. is there any indication this president enjoys being challenged? >> well, obviously he's very successful and usually successful people do like to take on a challenge. i believe by him saying he likes the positions to remain as interim is because usually when you're somebody who doesn't have the final title, you'll continue to work your best, your hardest and you don't become as comply sent so that's the way i view that. >> so do you think, don, the president is hinting that he is replacing someone? do you think this was a warning
to any individual in particular? >> i don't think the president knows what he's going do from day to day. he takes cues from fox news while eating mcdonald's -- >> oh, come on, they's what we're told. and decides to descend from the white house stairs at 11:00 a.m. and start his work day. i don't think he knows what he'll do. he's an unvinged individual who acts to the debt cement of our country, governs based upon his ego tis -- egotistical whims. there's no pattern or rime or reason and it's dangerous to all of us. >> but how do you really feel? adri adrian, i want to ask you about roger stone and the president's comments that he hadn't thought about giving him a pardon and then he said he's defending himself. how do you interpret that? >> the president, lying seems to be a quality about him he's had
for a long time. of course he's thought about pardoning roger stone. that seems to be the whole deal they have going on which is why you see roger stone go on television, he did george stephanopoulos last week end where he made it very clear i am going to defend the president, he did nothing wrong, i did nothing wrong so i believe the president is lying. i think we will see the president using the presidential pardon power pretty aggressively over the course of the remaining days of his presidency. >> what's interesting, amy, is the president said it would be up to the attorney general to decide whether or not to release the mueller report but give than he sees the mueller probe as a witch-hu witch-hunt, which has been very clear about, does that surprise you? >> well, no, it doesn't because i think he'll say firm and plain in that role particular role. he knows that bill barr will come in and perform his duties
honestly, when bill was being grilled in the senate he was very forthright in saying he would be able to release allowe. so, i think that we have an honest a.g. that's about to come forward. i think that the president feels pretty confident with that. >> okay. final word to you, donald, same question. what do you think? >> bill barr was nominated because he counselled the president on executive infallibility, i.e., how we would be able to get around being indicted. how he could make the legal arguments that he's not held to the normal criminal standards that anyone else is. bill barr said we had to say to be confirmed in the senate, he said would anyone would have to say to assume the seat. he's not going to say i'm going to counsel the president on objective because that won't get him confirmed. the president would have withdrawn his nomination had he told the truth. bill barr is here to protect the
president. >> always good to see all three of you. consider yourself booked for next sunday because i love this trio. >> thanks, alex. the super bowl just a few hours away, so too the avalanche of tv commercials and what so sponsors is shelling out is higher than ever. >> we need an alexa dog collar, for dogs. >> ordering dog food. ordering dog food. >> you can bark all you want. i'm not paying for anymore dog food. >> ordering gravy. ordering sausages. >> you better cancel that order. i'm not talking to you. take your razor, yup. alright, up and down, never side to side, shaquem. you got it? come on, get back. quem, you a second behind your brother, stay focused. can't nobody beat you, can't nobody beat you. hard work baby, it gonna pay off. you got this. with the one hundred and forty-first pick, the seattle seahawks select.
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to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. welcome back. as we wind down this hour, happy super bowl sunday. here is a live look at atlanta, as super bowl liii kicks off in less than four and a half hours. the new england patriots and the los angeles rams going head-to-head at 6:30 p.m. eastern. an estimated 22.7 million americans are expected to place money on this game, spending around $6 billion. but the super bowl is not just about the matchup, of course, it's all about the commercials, too. you have comedy, dancing and best of all dogs. take a look. >> and now we've changed a way to keep your pet safe.
>> pepsi is more than okay. it's -- >> okay! ♪ ♪ i never want to hear you say ♪ i want it that way >> the original. now it's hot. >> michael, don't do that. >> you guys should have seen kendis gibson dancing to that "i want it that way." it was pretty good. how much does it cost to air an ad? companies spent 5.25 million for 30-second slot. let's get ready to ramble. i'm sorry about that. coming up, fact-checking the president's latest interview. that's coming your way at the top of the hour. but i'm relentless too. mbc doesn't take a day off, and neither will i.
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p3 snacks. the more interesting way to get your protein. we know that when you're spending time with the grandkids every minute counts. and you don't have time for a cracked windshield. that's why we show you exactly when we'll be there. saving you time, so you can keep saving the world. >> kids: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪
it's the top of the hour so we're out of time here on "wekds with alex whit." let's go to kendis gibson. >> who do you have for the big game? of course the patriots. >> come on. i'm leaving. i'm unplugging right now. >> lifelong rams fan since two years ago. i understand. >> bye. >> enjoy the sunday. i'm kendis gibson in new york. game time president trump going on offense on this super bowl sunday, threaten another possible government shutdown while discussing bumping heads with his