tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC February 4, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST
admission that he wore black face that same year to imitate michael jackson for a dance contest. >> he needs to understand that he no longer has the moral authority to lead as governor. >> he's lost the authority to lead. he's lost the authority to govern. he has to resign. it's in the best interest of the commonwealth and the best interest of the party. intelligence failure. the president continues to challenge the nation's spy chiefs while mistaking their conclusions about iran. >> my intelligence people, if they said, in fact, that iran is a wonderful kindergarten, i'd disagree with them 100%. >> and time out. a copy of donald trump's private schedule is leaked showing that the president spends more than half his day in what the white house calls executive time, very little time in official meetings. there are certainly times when
he's working during executive time and he uses that as a cover to hide certain meetings he's having that he doesn't want officials to know about for fear that they'll leak. ♪ and good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. ralph northam has been in crisis meetings all day with his cabinet after digging in despite a tsunami of calls from fellow democrats for him to resign. he's been in the eye of the storm after a racist picture after his medical yearbook school page was leaked friday after first acknowledging being in a picture his story changed. the governor says he does not think he was one of the two people pictured and never saw the yearbook until last week. at the same time he said he hadn't worn black face that year to portray michael jackson in a dance contest in 1984. >> it is because my memory of that episode is so vivid that i truly do not believe that i am
in the picture in my yearbook. i used a little bit of shoe polish to put it on my cheeks and the reason i used a very little bit because i don't know if anybody's ever tried that, but you cannot get shoe polish off, but it was a -- it was a dance contest. i had always liked michael jackson. i actually won the contest because i had learned how to do the moon walk. >> are you still able to moon walk? >> my wife says inappropriate circumstances. >> saved by the first lady from further embarrassment there. joining me now, nbc white house correspondent jeff bennett in richmond and msnbc political analyst eugene washington columnist with the washington post welcome all. what is the latest from richmond? i know you had reported about a cabinet meeting and that the lieutenant governor had entered from a back or a side door to the state capital, and had not
talked publicly yet. >> that's right, andrea. lieutenant governor justin fairfax was on the job this monday afternoon and he's presided over a senate budget meeting. on the other side of this capitol complex you have the governor with the cabinet and that followed among aides and senior administration officials of color. i am told the governor wanted to talk about his path forward and i am also told he left the meeting having arrived at no new decision about his fate. that said, though, of course, republicans and democrats have called for ralph northam to step aside. you have the virginia house speaker saying he's not going to put on the table impeachment. a couple of reasons for that. first, there is no precedent for impeaching the governor and it's a hard thing to do, but the other point is that the governor is rather the house speaker is a republican. so it suits his purposes to have a politically wounded democratic governor stay on the job and the house speaker also says that
that photo is heinously racist as it is doesn't meet the threshold for impeaching the governor. all of that to say ralph northam holds all of the cards here. so we're waiting to see what he decides to do and at the moment he's signaling privately what he's said publicly that he's going to stay in office for as long as he thinks he can effectively govern. democrats and republicans have already made that decision for him. he has no political or moral mandate to do that. >> and having covered virginia politic as a local reporter i can tell you that the house speaker is the most important official, even more important than the governor in a lot of ways in virginia, hugely important so they carry a lot of sway. eugene robinson, and eugene, first to you, first, from what we are reporting here, this is untenable for him to govern and to lead the state. >> yeah. everyone has made that clear. every leading political figure in virginia really even the
democrat including two senators mark warner and tim kaine, the dean of the congressional -- democratic congressional delegation in virginia, they've all made clear to him along with the black caucus of the legislature and practically everybody else that he has lost the mandate to be governor of the commonwealth of virginia and he needs to step down. so i don't understand -- what i don't understand right now on monday, today, is how he feels he could continue without that support. how can you -- how can he govern without the democratic party of virginia? i don't understand how he intends to do that, and i imagine that -- that he will eventually come to reason and realize that there's not a path forward for him to stay in that job. >> mark morel?
>> he had one shot initially. if his initial statement had indicated that it was not him and he had indicated a deep sense of remorse, an apology that he was in any way associated with this, but his own inconsistent statement undercut his position and then his admission that he wore black face to portray michael jackson at around the same time doesn't make his defense credible. the other thing in listening to people. people need to understand why black face is so offensive and of course, the ku klux klan being a terrorist organization, but black face was a method in the late 1800s and early 1900s where white actors mocked stereotypic images of african-americans. it was disparaging to do it. it was meant to bring out laughter and portrayed african-americans as lazy,
shiftless, hypersexual and we need to understand that this is a teaching moment and this is not a halloween costume that black face is deeply offensive for some very historical reasons, and i think what kur undercuts ralph northam in my view is that this was 1984. not 1954, not 1964. this is 20 years after the civil rights act of '64 and the voting rights act of '65 so it's deeply troubling. i don't think he can sustain himself. i think the calls for him to resign will continue. he's got to put the best interest of the state above his own politics right now. >> andrea, if i can just mention one other historical note. this is 2019 marks 400 years since the first africans were brought to the british colonies of north america and sold into slavery, and that occurred in
virginia, and what is now hampton, virginia, and some of the enslaved africans went to jamestown. 1619, a year before the mayflower and virginia will be marking that 400-year anniversary and the governor is going to preside over that commemoration and again, that is untenable right now. >> and let's go into more history. first of all, more recent history, 1985 was the year that doug wilder became the first african-american governor of virginia. >> lieutenant governor. he was 85. >> lieutenant governor. >> in '85 and governor in '89. thanks for the correction. so we're talking about more recent history there. also, when we look at the lieutenant governor right now, lieutenant governor fairfax, jump in here with some of his history because when he was sworn in as lieutenant governor
he had the papers in his pocket signifying when his great-great-great grandfather was freed by lord fairfax of great britain. we're talking about 1798. >> that's how justin fairfax got his name. it's an amazing piece of american history. to me it's even more amazing that those freedom papers would exist in the same family for some 200 years and you're right. justin fairfax is the direct descendant of a freed virginia slave and when he was sworn in he had the papers of his great-great-great grandfather tucked into his pocket. you have the democrats who say they want ralph northam to resign in part because he's politically toxic now, but also because they'd rather hit the stump and the campaign trail in the commonwealth which you know is the seat of the old
confederacy, but someone who brings to the stage what justin fairfax represents rather than what ralph northam now represents. so that's how that plays out on the national level and then on the practical level and on the state level in terms of politics, you have every one of these 150 legislative seats up for re-election come november and democrats are worried that ralph northam will cost them votes and they'll have to explain why ralph northamok pies t occupies the mansion. he's a decent man that had this entire nightmare fall on his lap friday night into saturday morning and he deserves to have the time he needs to figure out what to do. so he's not pressuring ralph northam to resign and if he did resign justin fairfax would also and it would be unseemly for him to do that. this is a fraught, ugly episode opening a lot of wounds here in virginia. >> you have two senators, mark
warner, tim kaine and terry mcauliffe, a potential candidate and are disavowing him. mark, one leader we have not heard from yet is former president obama. >> yeah. we'd like to hear from him, but you know, i think that the voices we've already heard from have sent the strongest possible message. you've got political voices and civil rights voices. you've got voices from the public square who called on ralph northam certainly to resign. while it would be great to hear from president obama, i don't think it's essential in this instance. what i am excited about the is the possibility that justin fairfax can be governor. i think the people will be well served. he's a columbia lawyer and he went to the high school. he spent times in various top-shelf law firms as a former prosecutor. he's been involved in politics in virginia, and i think the
state will be served and they'll send a powerful message to people across the nation and ralph northam should step aside that the confidence that the state will be in good hands with justin fairfax. >> and when we often talk about virginia and the history of virginia where the confederacy started, mary the second oldest university in the country, they have disinvited the governor which is extraordinary. the history and the tradition at william and mary is located in colonial williamsburg. >> where is he going to be able to go? he's going to be disinviting and not going to be welcome. the handwriting is on the wall and the sooner he resigns and as a person and as an individual i am going to call for that. no doubt he has worked in the last several years to take the
correct positions and positive progressive pro-civil rights and pro-racial equity positions, but it's time now for him, and i think he would do himself well, and i think he could recover as a person if he were to do the right thing, step aside and let justin fairfax become governor and then we can move on from this very difficult incident. >> eugene robinson, this has been an extraordinary experience for a lot of us just coming from this area, having been a local and national reporter and hearing people whom i know come up to me and say, well, it was a joke. there really is a divide generationally and emotionally on this subject. >> yeah, there is. i mean, it's -- it's -- as mark said, i guess many people don't understand the history of black face, what that picture means.
and i look at that picture and i think, you know, the images of the jim crow days come back to me. you look at that picture and you see a grinning white young man in black face and another in a kkk robes and that's not funny. it's not funny. it's not funny now. it wasn't funny in 1984 certainly, and the, you know, he has not -- governor northam has not provided any sort of explanation of how that conceivably could have gotten on his yearbook page if that's not him and he seems to have no idea of that. he submitted the other pictures that are on the page, so how did that one get in from. he's convinced himself that it's not him, but he hasn't convinced anybody else. >> also, his comment that it's hard to get shoe polish off your face. how would he know that?
>> how would he know that? >> i think of lynchings and i think of cross burnings. >> let's not forget that it's not just black face -- >> -- hundreds of thousands of people. >> let's not forget the picture of the ku klux klan. it's heinous. the klan was a terrorist organization that was designed to object to reconstruction. it promoted lynchings and promoted violence against african-americans and people of jewish descent. it's a heinous symbol that should never, ever be taken as a joke, and i think we've got to -- people need to be educated about plaque face and i encourage people to go do research and understand why i am so o fenned. i'm a child of the south and i recall when i was in high school where some students dred up in afro wigs and tried to mick a
joke out of a pep rally when we would play in an african-american school. this is offensive. it shocks our conscience. we have to put it behind us, it can't be kotolerated. it's not halloween and it's not a joke. >> you're on watch there because we don't know what's going to happen. >> you're right about that. to your point about a photo. i spoke to a gentleman about the fact that it was political malpractice for ralph northam or his campaign to not know that photo existed and he made the point that if he wants to be forgiven he should know when he ran for governor that the photo was out there and the people of virginia should have known that was in his past when they went to vote for him and that's another point of the yearbook photo and how governor northam said it mysteriously arrived on his page. >> i can't thank you enough for being with us today. >> thank you. coming up, crossroads.
will president trump's state of the union speech help define his next two years in office or cause even more division. you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" stay with us. s with a replacement you can trust. all done sir. >> grandpa: looks great! >> tech: thanks for choosing safelite. >> grandpa: thank you! >> child: bye! >> tech: bye! saving you time... so you can keep saving the world. >> kids: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ and back pain made it hard to sleep and get up on time. then i found aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid, plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am.
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it's national emergency. it's other things, and you know, there have been plenty national emergencies called. >> president trump is still not closing the door on another government shutdown in two weeks. less than two weeks. hinting at declaring a national emergency by january 15th -- february 15th, excuse me to find money for a border wall despite reported warnings from mitch mcconnell not to do it. joining me now is kristen welker at the white house and phil rutger, washington post white house bureau chief. thanks very much for both of you being with us. kristen, both of you, have been getting briefings. what do you expect when you hear about the shutdown from the president? what might he even say tomorrow in the state of the union about that? >> white house officials, andrea, are saying that the president will aim to strike a unifying note, the theme of his state of the union address is going to be choosing greatness, but that theme of unity will undoubtedly be undercut by
exactly what you're asking about, andrea, the president discussing how to fund his border wall. in terms of the language that we are anticipating, i think a lot of the president's allies and advisers will be surprised if he actually declared a national emergency. at the same time i think they are expecting him to use some very firm language about the steps he's prepared to take to make sure that his border wall is built and that does include declaring a national emergency and it will be tough to try to strike a note of unity while making that type of a threat, and we'll have to see how he tries to thread the needle and we know that he'll be talking about a range of other topics that are areas of potential bipartisan agreement and infrastructure and trade, but that issue of the border wall, the potential looming government shutdown is going to be very large and ever present when the president speaks tomorrow night with nancy pelosi sitting right behind him, andrea, for the
first time. >> and that visual is going to be so extraordinary because not only does it represent divided government, but the facial expressions, everybody's going to be watching. we've seen in the past when everyone is trying to interpret what the vice president's face is and the speaker of the house and the two people have to sit there and it will be mike pence and nancy pelosi after all of the terrible things they've said about each other. phil, just paint the scene that you expect to see in the joint chamber, the joint session tomorrow. >> yeah. well, andrea, it will be an illustration of divided government for the first time with president trump and a reminder that nancy pelosi as speaker of the house controls the co-equal branch of government and that the democrats holds the majority and they'll be hold the president accountable in ways he's not been held accountable over the last two years and it will not just be pelosi at the roster as president trump speaks, but the chamber itself. remember the visual from the first day of congress in the beginning of january last month where there were so many new,
young, diverse faces in the democratic majority of the house. those people are all going to be there as well and they're probably not going to be applauding for some of the parts of the president's speech and that will be another stark reminder of the different kind of washington that president trump is now confronting. >> and in the context, a lot of foreign policy decisions pending and let me just tell you more of our friend margaret brennan's interview with the president about the intelligence chief. >> we spent -- >> so you will trust the intelligence that you receive? >> i am 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%. when my intelligence people tell me how wonderful iran is, if you don't mind i'm going to go by my own counsel. >> that's not what the intelligence chiefs testified to.
iran is complying with the nuclear accord and they're doing other things destabilizing the region and at the same time he is saying that he wants to keep troops in iraq to look across the border to what iran is doing in syria. that is not going to go down very well in iraq and you know, we have the crisis in venezuela which may turn out well for him, but is still unclear. what do you expect, kristen, him also to announce about the summit is imminent, really, with kim jong-un? >> andrea, we've really seen this president try to spin up the anticipation ahead of this speech and the second summit with kim jong-un is one of the topics that he's really been teasing out and really trying to drive up, i think, attention and excitement for his second state of the union address and he did indicate that he would provide a time, a location, if not during the speech soon beforehand or soon thereafter. so i think we are going to learn
a little bit more about what is going to happen at that speech, andrea, but there are a lot of questions that remain. will we learn about his other key foreign policy decisions, for example, when it comes to drive down troops in syria. during the same interview he indicated that he still wants to take that action, but he didn't give any sense of timing and when it comes to leaving troops in iraq, he didn't give details about that either and by the way, the leader of iraq saying they never signed off on that and said that that was something they would be willing to agree to and they say president trump hasn't asked permission to do that yet. so those are very thorny and they put meat on the bones of those topics, andrea. >> you're right that he's at a crossroads. how does he try to navigate and show that he wants to be a unifier after everything that's happened and while we're in the midst of this crisis over the border? >> yeah. it's going to be very difficult
for him, andrea. this is a particularly adversarial moment in this presidency. he has been effectively at war with congressional democrats for the last six or seven weeks over immigration policy and over his proposal to build the wall and even as he sort of, you know, speaks to the national unification in his speech, remember, he's reading from the teleprompter and what we've seen again and again with president trump is he can speak to unifying scenes like this in a set speech and then he goes home and starts trashing democrats on twitter or starts making comments to the press corps the next day and that unity, that feel good moment sort of disappears and evaporates and it will be a difficult thing for him to try to figure out how to calibrate tomorrow night in his speech. >> kristen welker, stay tuned. thanks both and coming up, executive privilege. will president trump's leaked schedule shows how much unstructured time he is taking
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60% of his officially scheduled time over the last three months in what the white house calls unstructured, quote, executive time. according to report from axios citi citing a schedule leaked by a white house source it covers every working day from the midterm and indicates the president spent 297 hours in, quote, executive time and about 77 hours in official meetings. for instance, november 7th according to the schedule, trump spent 30 minutes meeting with his chief of staff, an hour having lunch and seven and a half hours in, quote, executive time. joining me now is john meacham, nbc news historian and author of the book "the soul of america," the battle for better angels. you've studied several presidents and have you ever seen the president allegedly, and things can be done on executive time that don't get done on official schedule, but executive time, what does that mean? i don't know about you, but i
want to have more executive time. it's a new stimulus package. i'm reminded every day that goes on in the trump presidency, i'm reminded of something president kennedy said some months after defeating it and becoming president in 1961. he said the big thing that surprised him that things were, in fact, quite as bad as we thought they were, that in fact, it gets worser and worser as carol might say. as you say, there should be disclaimers if the president is not sitting in meetings. lord knows i hate meetings and i don't know many people who love them. if you were sitting there thinking of a new way of approaching china or a new strategic undertaking, that would be one thing. i think from all the reporting we have, we know that he spends a lot of time watching cable news and getting absorbed in a feedback loop that's not particularly productive because
it makes him angrier. anger is not a good trait in someone with that much power. it's not refreshing. it's not something that leads to constructive activity and it leads to more skirmishes at a time that we need more, it seems to me, thoughtful leadership. >> and in fact, it reinforces some of his false notions about things when he continuously watches one network and keeps getting reinforced and then sees what commentators there are saying and reverses himself on a decision that was taken with the united states senate before the first shutdown just because of what he saw anne coulter and other people saying about him so that's the problem. we can track what he is tweeting by what is on the previous segment on that cable newscast. so we know how many hours he's devoting to that. the other thing that's been noteworthy is he's the first president to come down and
schedule his first intelligence briefing say at 11:00 or 11:30 in the morning and hours after his predecessors did. we also know that he's not having meetings that john bolton is setting up and principal meetings in the situation room because there have been so few because we know that from other members of the national security cabinet. so he's not spending hours making decisions when he made the -- according to the white house, when he made the decision about venezuela it was sitting around his desk without input from intelligence officials and from the pentagon. >> right. i was reminded in the reading of the story, george h.w. bush, for instance, because he spent so much time in the government before he became president and vice president and all of the jobs he had he always wanted to reach out to the mid-levels of the government, to the experts and the people who fed into the reports that often the political appointees to bring it, and he loved asking analysts from the cia not just the cia director,
but the folks who had dealt with the raw intelligence to come see him. his son did the same thing. george w. bush would like to say tell me who wrote that. fdr was brilliant at this and he always wanted to have new information coming in and this is that level of curiosity is something that is simply not existent in this white house and i don't know how many of us can be surprised at that. you know, it was not as though we thought that donald trump as president was running as the reincarnation of franklin roosevelt and george h.w. bush, but it is stark, isn't it, to actually see it in black and white, to see how much the president seems to be focusing more on his own fortunes and the interpretation of those fortunes as opposed to ours. >> and ronald reagan famously left around 5:30 and we would
know if he would like to be coming back to the residence and president obama would leave to have dinner with his daughters because they took a lot of work upstairs and there's no evidence that he does that, either. how do you think it affects -- one other thing i wanted to raise is that he is also calling out and he could be calling historians or others to advise him on things and people that he doesn't want to see on the official schedule. chances of that? >> i don't get the impression that he welcomes boards or devil's advocates. i think there's a lot of calling around for affirmation. this is something he has in common with richard nixon. nixon would give an address at 9:00 and he would start a fire and turn up the air conditioning and listen to victory at sea in the lincoln sitting room and call around and actually get the chief of staff to generate and sort of astroturf phone calls. in fact, the night that he had
to announce that he was dismissing alderman because of watergate nixon asked alderman to call around and asked if people liked his speech and he said he didn't think in this particular case he didn't think that was appropriate. my sense is that's the zone we're in. i could be wrong again, obviously. it's something secretary rumsfeld it's a known unknown, but i'd bet a significant amount of money that he's not calling around trying to challenge his pre-existing beliefs. >> certainly, that's what we understand from fired cabinet secretaries who have disagreed with him that, in fact, he does not like to be challenged. john meacham, as always. thank you so much. it's good to see you. >> thanks, andrea. >> coming up, full disclosure. president trump wavering on whether he will release the special counsel's final report on the russia probe. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. a mitchell reports" on msnbc.
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just like your dad right? yeah, just like you, dad. i have been tougher on russia than any president maybe ever, but than any president. >> when it comes to the investigation that the special counsel's conducting, 34 people have been charged here. >> okay. are you ready? of the 34 people many of them were bloggers from moscow or they were people that had nothing to do with me and had nothing to do with what they're talking about or they were people that got caught telling a fib or telling a lie.
>> president trump subjecting hard facts about the number of indictments and guilty pleas from trump campaign officials that robert mueller has already won. today a sealed court hearing is under way for former trump campaign chairman paul manafort about whether he repeatedly lied to mueller and decided to cooperate in exchange for a lighter sentence. former deputy assistant attorney general. what is going on with the failed hearing? it sounds unusual. >> it is unusual. the government has alleged that manafort lied repeatedly and broke the plea agreement and therefore should get ten more years that he was able to get out of for cooperating. manafort wants to say i've made some mistake, but it wasn't anything intentional. the judge says i want evidence and actually gave some indication that she was up in
the air about this, called the government's submission not quite, the lacking in context, but the real issue here is manafort has tried to avoid testifying all of the way along including a trial. here the lies are about cal imnick, and he's looking at ten more years. the standard is just did the government in good faith find that he lied which is want the same as did he lie? >> well, are they going to release the transcript of this or is it going to be heavily redacted? because at issue are facts that have yet to come out that affect other cases about manafort and his alleged lies? >> yes and yes. they'll release it. it will be heavily redacted to protect ongoing investigations and people who haven't been charged, but the judge will release it in that form. >> and when we talk about manafort, when will the
sentencing actually take place? >> i think it's scheduled for another month. it would have been now, but she said she first needed to resolve this question and then when she does, that then she'll know the actual -- and the government responds then she'll know the actual range. so you can expect it in a few weeks. >> one final thing. in the interview margaret brennan on cbs asked the president whether he is considering a pardon if for roger stone and he said i have not thought about it. it looks like he's defending himself very well. interesting? >> well, interesting, but as with so much trump says on the story it's fundamentally diluted and he's not defending himself, but he has to go through the trouble of a very expensive trial. i think we will see him buckle, but if we don't, he'll be forced
to actually go through a very long and arduous trial that will run into the fall and will he get a pardon at the end of the day? really unclear with trump anyway and plus, it will depend on trump's political fortunes then which are ebbing. >> harry littman, thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> you bet. coming up, zero tolerance. presidential candidates are the first to call for ralph northam to resign. will there be blowback from voters? you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. reports" on msnbc. what? what?? what?! (laughing) what?? what?! what?! [crash] what?! haha, it happens. and if you've got cut-rate car insurance, paying for this could feel like getting robbed twice. so get allstate... and be better protected from mayhem... like me. ♪
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it's unfortunate. this drawing up a painful part of our past and he should step down and start his road to redemption. being governor of a state is not an entitlement. >> democratic presidential hopeful cory booker joining a chorus of candidates across the country asking governor northam to step down because of a
photo-ms. medical page. welcome, both. well, susan, just looking at the landscape of national politics, there is no one, not virginia senators, not terry mcauliffe, former governor who was his mentor, no one in virginia politics wants him at this stage to stay, except the speaker of the house of delegates who is his own republican interests in keeping him around to kick around. >> nationally, there are almost no democrats who are standing up for governor northam now. we see most of the presidential candidates coming out and say he needs to resign. joe biden has said that. interestingly, we haven't heard from barack obama and i wonder if we'll hear from president obama, whose voice would be powerful on this if the governor is reluctant to agree to step down. that might be an important person to hear from. >> and is there potential blow back here, risk of appearing too politically correct, something that may turn off attempts to
woo the trump voters, the trump democrats back in? >> whew, i think that -- the actual real world risk seems to me to be whether we're moving with just way too much rapidity when there is factual development to figure out here. i don't want anybody to get too alarmed by what i'm saying. in other words, he first admitted or said that it was him -- >> and apologized. >> and apologized. then he came out with this other explanation. is there any reason whatsoever to credit this other explanation? it has not emerged yet. but -- so maybe there is some risk in being precipitous, but there does not seem to me to be a risk as with other things in a blowback because nobody, republican, democrat, any color, any party could look at this picture on a year book page and say it is appropriate. it is not appropriate.
it's offensive. it's repulse i have. nobody has an entitlement as nor booker said, to be governor of virginia, who had that page he wouldn't have been elected if we had known about it at the time. so i do not see the risk of blow back. i see a little risk of i'm not letting the process play itself out to make sure we're absolutely being fair to the governor. that's the only risk i see. >> of course, mark was on earlier. if his acknowledgment initially had not been made and his apology, he called several african-american officials, state officials and apologized that it was a picture of himself. if that had not taken place, it would be a little more credible. and if he had not talked about shoe polish and about black face the same year for a dance contest. so this is something he was very familiar with. >> oh, yeah. his acknowledgment that he did michael jackson in black face, he's acknowledged that. how is that -- legally he can continue to be governor. there are not grounds under the
virginia constitution to impeach the governor. but, you know, politically he is no longer in a position where he can governor. and he is causing damage to the virginia democratic party and to the national democratic party, which has been relying on enthusiastic support from african americans. how can they generate that in virginia and elsewhere if he continues to serve? >> and i wanted to ask both of you as veteran journalists and especially with the washington post, the washington post took the very unusual step of sponsoring a super bowl ad last night. that's a very high-dollar thing for the washington post to do. let's take a look at it. >> when our neighbors are at risk, when our nation is threatened, there is someone to gather the facts. to bring you the story. no matter the cost.
because knowing empowers us. knowing helps us decide. knowing keeps us free. >> that's a powerful statement to that large super bowl audience. >> i was so proud that we were able to do that, and i was so proud to be a part of it. i just want to say that this was not advertising the washington post, though at the end our slogan, democracy dies in darkness appeared there as did our name, the washington post. but this was -- and you could see it in the inclusion of journalists from a number of different news organizations. this was about the importance of the media generally and about the importance of a free press and a robust press. and i just thought it was a very wonderful and powerful statement for us to be able to make. >> you know, you said it was rare, and it is rare. but we didn't feel the need to
do this before. this is why journalists become journalists. and now we're under attack as an enemy of the people, as fake news, and so suddenly it seems important to remind everybody what it is that journalism does. >> seeing marie colvin and khashoggi was meaningful. thank you so much, ruth. thank you susan. thanks, both. and we'll be right back. l be ri. l be ri. ♪ music >> tech: ...every minute counts. and you don't have time for a cracked windshield. that's why at safelite, we'll show you exactly when we'll be there. with a replacement you can trust. all done sir. >> grandpa: looks great! >> tech: thanks for choosing safelite. >> grandpa: thank you! >> child: bye! >> tech: bye! saving you time... so you can keep saving the world. >> kids: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪
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and that does it for today. remember to follow the show online on facebook and on twitter at mitchell reports, full state of the union preview coverage tomorrow. here's ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. >> i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie ruhle. it is monday, february 4. let's get smarter. >> i believe then and i believe now i am not either of the people in that photo. that same year i did participate in a dance contest in san antonio in which i darkened my face as part of a michael jackson costume. >> -- >> that's right. >> -- >> my wife says inappropriate circumstances. >> you've got to work as one unit to move your commonwealth forward and he's just not going to have that ability to do it. >> this is drawing up a painful part