tv Meet the Press MSNBC February 24, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
until then, keep the conversation going. like us @facebook.com/politics nation and follow us on twitter @politics nation. up next, "meet the press" with chuck todd. this sunday, waiting for mueller. >> the washington waiting game goes on. >> we're waiting for the mueller report. >> they're waiting for robert mueller's report. >> with robert mueller said to be wrapping up, still so many unanswered questions. what did president trump know about the infamous trump tower meeting? was there coordination between the trump campaign and russia? most of all, why does it seem the president doesn't want to get to the bottom of what russia did? we'll break it all down with neal katyal. acting solicitor general. sol wisenburg, and jim himes.
and arkansas governor asa hutchinson. also, that coast guard lieutenant charged with plotting to kill democratic politicians and journalists. >> the sheer number and force of the weapons recovered from mr. hasson's residence, coupled with the disturbing nature of his writings appear to reflect a significant threat to the safety of our community. >> how widespread is this kind of violent white nationalism? and why did the government stay quiet about the arrest? my guest this morning, former homeland security secretary jeh johnson. and off and running -- >> our campaign is about transforming our country. >> bernie is back. democrats are out in force in the early voting states. we're already seeing surprises. joining me for insight and analysis are nbc news foreign affairs correspondent, grae mitchell. republican strategist al cardenas.
and lonnie chen of stanford university. welcome to "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington. this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. we'll take a look today at what to expect when you're expecting -- the mueller report. from the moment he was appointed special counsel two years ago, washington has existed in a kind of a political limbo. the white house has been working overtime to discredit the investigation why while democrats are dreaming of a watergate-type gotcha moment. this reminded us of the hurricane model maps with projections prescribing landfall from washington to florida. we decided to track mueller report projections. many democrats are hoping it's a category 5 whopper. a direct hit on washington, d.c., taking down president trump and spawning more storms and tornadoes that impact other trump confidants. that is one possibility. another is that hurricane mueller sideswipes and hits
and makes landfall on fifth avenue, damaging only his business empire. and the model that republicans are hoping for. the dud of a storm. leaving democrats wet and embarrassed. no matter what we know that the report will not be turned over to william barr this week as many had expected. when the report is made available in some form to the public, the question is how many of our unanswered questions will finally be answered. >> what do you expect? >> i guess, from what i understand, that will be totally up to the attorney general. >> reporter: the russia probe led to indictments of 34 individuals and produced six guilty pleas. as the nation waits for robert mueller to deliver his report, a on the russian influence in the election, a host of questions remain. including a number of known unknowns. among them, question one, what did mr. trump know about the june 2016 trump tower meeting with the russians connected to the kremlin?
and when did he know it? >> when did you learn about the don jr. meeting, mr. president? >> reporter: question two, why did paul manafort share polling data with russian konstantin kilimnik? >> here is the campaign chairman meeting with someone associated with russian intelligence. offering polling data. why is that being provided to the russians and why did they lie about it? >> did you know that paul manafort was sharing polling data from your campaign with the russian? >> no. i didn't know anything about it. nothing about it. >> reporter: question three was president trump compromised by his business dealings with russia including building a trump tower in moscow? his former lawyer and fixer, michael cohen, facing jail in just over two months, has been providing information to federal prosecutors about the trump organization. and will testify before three congressional committees this week. >> the man doesn't tell the truth. it's sad. that i should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.
>> reporter: question four. who directed former national security adviser michael cohen's contacts with former russian ambassador kislyak? why did flynn lie about the conversations? what did mr. trump know about them? >> some people say he lied. some people say he didn't lie. i mean, really, it turned out maybe he didn't lie. >> reporter: who at the trump campaign directed roger stone to get information about upcoming wikileaks disclosures in the clinton campaign? and did anyone connected to the trump campaign help wikileaks curate the e-mails? >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> reporter: and there are more questions. will anyone else be charged? will president trump be subpoenaed? why has the president obfuscated, attacked, and misdirected if he has nothing to hide? why doesn't the president want to get to the bottom of what
russia did? and finally, the biggest question of all, was there quote, collusion, a conspiracy between the trump campaign and russia. >> there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. there was no anything. so that's the nice part. there was no phone calls. >> reporter: the president's lawyer has been less definitive. >> i never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign. >> yes, you have. >> i have not. i said the president of the united states. >> joining me now, neal katyal the acting soliser general under president obama and sol wisenburg. welcome to both of you. all right. you're my counselors for this. neal, let me start with you. we have a lot of open threads here. what -- what is mueller potentially could still do that the president should be concerned about before submitting this report? >> mueller can do a lot. he's only at -- he's done some things. we know he's indicted 37 people and 199 different counts including trump's inner circle.
pike -- people like michael flynn, paul manafort. his campaign manager. michael cohen, his personal lawyer. so if this is a witch hunt, mueller's found a coven at this point. there are smaller ones, like jerome corsi. he expects to be indicted. and bigger fish, as well. both on the indictment front and then you have questions about what's the report going to say? and the like. >> and i want to get to that. sol, rudy giuliani said he hasn't heard from the special counsel's office in about a month since they turned in the answers to the questions. the lack of communication, should that make the president nervous? >> i don't think it should make him nervous. but in answer to one of your questions to neal, i think that -- it's difficult for me to imagine that let's take donald trump jr. if mueller was going to indict donald trump jr., it's difficult for me to imagine that he would
wait until after a report was filed to do that. so -- i think -- once that report is filed, you know -- there won't be any more indictments from mueller's shot. as opposed to southern district of new york. >> that's a different story? >> that's a different story. keep in mind, there are a lot of people who have been indicted and people have pled guilty. but given mueller's original charge, there is no american citizen living here, nobody associated with the trump campaign, that's been indicted for criminally conspiring with the russian with respect to the campaign. >> i want to reinforce. you expect if mueller is going to have more indictments, they are going to come before this report? lying to congress, that would come before the report? >> they would be returned. whether or not they'll be revealed, i don't know. >> gotcha. >> but they'll returned. >> neal, the big election conspiracy. to be charged. if he was going charge a giant election conspiracy, would we
have seen it already or will it be the grand finale? >> no, it could be coming. someone else might do it. mueller might do the setup piece for it. but look. we already have some of that information. mueller has indicted roger stone for conspiring with wikileaks. which is a russian front. he indicted papadopoulos for lying about meeting with russian agents before the e-mail scandal became known in april 2016. we're starting to already see the outlines of a mueller report that does look like he is alleging some sort of conspiracy. i disagree with my friend, sol, here, when he says, oh, there's nothing in these indictments about a russian collusion, russian conspiracy. there is. >> there are things in the indictment. but, nobody has been indicted for actually conspiring with the russians to violate the criminal law in connection with the investigation. they've been indicted for obstruction of justice. they have been indicted for witness tampering. a lot of it relates to questions about the russians. that's something everybody
should be concerned about and wonder about. but, in terms of his original charge -- i'm not saying it isn't going to happen. >> does obstruction prove the collusion? in your mind. >> it sure comes close. it's a thin read to say you've been indicted about obstruction of justice relating to the russian collusion and not the collusion itself. some people denigrate these as process crime. anyone in law enforcement knows these are really crucial crimes because it obscures the search for the truth. look at manafort and how much he's been lying and delaying the mueller investigation. >> how much should we interpret obstruction as that might be evidence of collusion? if they're obstructing it -- the investigation. >> i don't denigrate it at all. i think it's serious. i think you should wonder why people lie. it's an interesting feature of this administration that a lot of people connected with it lie when this -- there's no apparent reason to lie.
look at michael flynn. he had already told people in the administration he was going to talk to the russians in the transition period. >> and he apparently told andy mccabe he knew they were listening. >> he reads a story in "the washington post" saying he's under investigation for the logan act and tells something allegedly untrue to vice president pence and lies to the government about it. why? it's a big mystery why some of the people did lie. but yes, we should absolutely be concerned. >> i want to talk about the report. neal, you wrote the regulations about these reports. mueller's report to barr. here's what it says in the regulation. at the conclusion of the special counsel's work, he or she shad provide the attorney general with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions by the special counsel. confidential report, no one is going to see it. so what was the intent? >> it was that it would be law enforcement sensitive material in there. in general, you wanted that report to be confidential. however, when you're dealing with potential wrong doing by the president of the united
states, if mueller finds information out that says this, absolutely the attorney general, here barr, has the discretion to turn the report over the congress. indeed, he has to. the overall intent of the regulations that's said time and time again is public confidence in the administration of justice. and any sort of suppressed report of presidential wrong doing will flunk that test. >> let me read part two. it's barr to congress. it says this, the attorney general will notify the chairman and ranking minority member of the judiciary committees of each house of congress with an explanation upon conclusion of the special counsel's investigation. an explanation. that could be anything. how do you think bill barr will interpret that? >> it's an interesting conflict potentially between the plain language of the regulations and the intent of the framer here. who sees a little more in it maybe than the plain language. i think barr has great
discession as to how much he's going to reveal. he's already said i'm going to reveal as much as i can. one of the interesting questions is, how will mueller present his report to barr. mueller, in my opinion, will do a very thorough report. he can do it in a way if he wants to that makes it easier for barr to release it to the public. >> will we see bob mueller testify in front of congress? >> it's certainly possible. i think there will be pressures against that because of privilege and so on. and all of those pressures and this is one of the regulations said confidential, it's root grand jury material and the sources and the like. we're in a different world than when the regulations where written because the republicans have pierced all that stuff. they have turned over fast and furious information and fisa warrants and the like. there will be a lot more pressure on mueller to give all of the information to congress. >> and sol, what does bill barr do when the president says he wants to read the report? >> i think it's perfectly fine if the president reads the report.
>> before congress or anybody else sees it? >> i don't see a problem with that. the problem is if the president orders barr to do or not to do something about the report. that's when you'll have a problem. i don't think barr will stand for that. >> sol sol wisenburg and neal katyal, thank you for providing so much information. it is possible, of course, that the mueller investigation could lead to impeachment proceedings. 20 years ago, after president bill clinton was impeached, arkansas republican asa hutchinson was a house manager and presented an obstruction of justice case to the entire united states senate. >> it's simply any corrupt act or attempt to influence or impeedz the proper functions of our system of justice. it's a criminal offense. a felony. and it has historically been an impeachable offense. the obstruction of justice is of great consequence and significance to the integrity of our nation when committed by anyone. but particularly by the chief executive of our land, the
president of the united states. >> well, joining me now is asa hutchinson. who is now the governor of arkansas. and a former member of congress. and from stamford, connecticut, democratic congressman, jim himes who sits on the house intelligence committee. welcome to both of you. >> good morning. >> governor, let me start with you. obstruction of justice, is that among the chief charges against president trump, that was something that -- you brought -- to the united states senate against then-president bill clinton. how serious is an obstruction of justice charge against the president of the united states? >> well, it's very serious, of course. that's one of the reasons we pursued it back in president clinton's impeachment trial. but you have to remember it's a very high bar. as that was presented, there was not sufficient vote in the senate to convict on that. and the american public looks at any charge against the president of the united states with great scrutiny, as they should.
so it's a very high bar. in this instance, i think that is probably one of the most interesting aspects of the anticipated mueller report as to what form it would be in. you have to remember that, first of all, kenneth starr in his independent counsel review, four-year investigation. that was preceded by robert fisk. this one is less than two years. so it is being presented. will there be specific itemization of crimes that could constitute an impeachment offense? that was the outline with kenneth starr. i don't anticipate that happening in this instance. that will guide and direct congress. >> congressman himes, what are you looking for from this report? and is it -- is it an automatic that we'll see at least an inquiry into impeachment? >> well, first and foremost, what i'm looking for is, you know, a report that gets to the truth and that gets out there.
and this is very important. you said in the preface of your show, democrats are hoping for this, republicans are hoping for that. it's a political world. so people have their hopes. more than anything else, you know, the question of the russian interference and the possibility of collusion by the president and his people has twisted our politics into something unrecognizable for the last two years. including behavior on the part of the president attacking the fbi, attacking bob mueller. everything about this has become political. the way to end that of course is for the truth to be out there. if that truth indicates that president trump committed no crime, impeachable or otherwise, so be it. if it indicates he did, it's a much more complicated world. first and foremost, given that we've been on the edge of our seats for the last two years on this issue, everyone in this country needs to know what happened and then we decide where to take it from there. >> governor, you said something interesting. you said you lamented the fact
that there was -- you couldn't figure out a way to make the impeachment proceedings in the late 1990s more bipartisan. on the one hand, you think, of course you couldn't. but i understood what you meant. you couldn't get bipartisan cooperation for the mechanics of it. all right, how do you convince your fellow republicans today that that was a mistake that democrats made with you. don't make the same mistake if democrats go down this road? >> first of all, you have to try. and that's a big part of it. you have to have conversations as to how should this be approached in a bipartisan way? how to deal with the mueller report? both in terms of what should be disclosed, the timing of the disclosure. as well as what's the next steps? it depends on what is there. and again, this could be a simply a report. that does not outline in offenses against the president of the united states. then you're going to wind up having investigations by different committees.
it's going to be wind up partisan. which is a disappointment. but i think you first have to try to say, let's communicate. what is the right thing to do here? what can be done in a bipartisan way? >> congressman himes, look, the house intelligence committee to me has proven difficult to find bipartisan cooperation. we have seen it on the senate intel side. is there anything that's changed in the intel committee since the chairmanships changed? >> well, one obvious answer to that question is that the chairman is no longer devin nunes. and he sort of very early on turned over his activities to being defense of the president. he is part of that group. it's not a huge group. part of the group that's fully dedicated, facts be damned, to defending this president. i chuckle at governor hutchinson's optimism.
he is absolutely right, you know, we need to try to make this bipartisan in how we approach whatever comes out. it's more important today than ever. because, of course, today, facts are disputed. i remember the clinton situation in the '90s. there wasn't a lot of dispute about the facts. now, each and every fact is disputed. by the way i'd point out we'll get a feel for the partisan warping of our system this week because there will be a resolution in front of the house saying that the president's emergency declaration, that is decision to spend money contrary to the will of the congress is not constitutional. and it's going to be quite a spectacle. a lot of the republicans in the obama administration who called him a king and a dictator and the pen in the phone was such a startling, damaging thing to our constitution i suspect are going to vote to not hold president trump for going around the constitution on the issue of the wall. >> i have two final questions. michael cohen will testify in front of your committee this week. what specifically are you looking for from him?
>> well, you know, michael cohen is going to jail for lying to my committee. so obviously, step one, is to re-ask him the questions that he felt he needed to lie to us about when he testified in the last congress. so we're going to want to get to the truth. allow him to correct the record. and then the question is, now that we know the truth, what are the followups? it will be an interesting week. he'll appear in my committee after he appears publicly in the oversight committee. we'll have an opportunity to ask followup questions. there's always a question about whether he feared retribution for his testimony. i don't think he'll say a lot that is classified. he may have some things that he doesn't feel comfortable saying publicly that he then wants to say either to the senate or the house intelligence committees in closed session. >> governor, i want to ask you a question. governor larry hogan has lamented that the rnc seems to be rigging the rules to even
prevent a challenge -- a republican primary challenge to the sitting president. do you think the rnc should let the chips fall where they may? >> well, this is president trump's rnc in the sense that hi appoints the chairman. so obviously, there is something that is pro the white house and the administration. but, obviously, in our system of democracy and in our party anybody's free to make the challenge. sometimes it's a more difficult environment than others. in this case, with president trump's record with what he's accomplished, it would be very difficult for someone to mount a successful challenge at this point. >> there's a debate in your party. do you think that's a debate that should be had this cycle or not? >> you're always going to have a debate. like i said, there's people who criticize president trump because we don't like his style. you don't win campaigns on style. i mean, you might win. but in terms of challenging
an incumbent it's about policy and what you've accomplished an what he's done in terms of increased border security in the court, deregulate more authority to the governors and de-emphasizing north korea as a problem and resolving that he's had tremendous success. so that's the record that he would present in the primary. and it would be difficult for anyone to challenge that. >> thank you both for coming by. governor asia hutchinson and jim himes we'll be watching for you in the cohen hearings. >> thank you. when we come back, it's been a big week. it will be a big week going forward. michael cohen is testifying before three congressional committees. president trump is bog to hanoi. and the field keeps growing for people trying to challenge president trump. r people trying to challenge president trump.
i was on the fence about changing from a manual to an electric toothbrush. but my hygienist said going electric could lead to way cleaner teeth. she said, get the one inspired by dentists, with a round brush head. go pro with oral-b. oral-b's gentle rounded brush head removes more plaque along the gum line. for cleaner teeth and healthier gums. and unlike sonicare, oral-b is the first electric toothbrush brand accepted by the ada for its effectiveness and safety. what an amazing clean! i'll only use an oral-b! oral-b. brush like a pro. dad! hiding when i was supposed to be quitting. i thought, i should try something that works. i should try nicorette. nicorette mini relieves sudden cravings fast. anytime. anywhere. nicorette mini. you know why. we know how. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown
to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. if you want to know why people you have to start by asking... could listening to audible help you find the secret to a stronger relationship? sometimes it doesn't take anything at all for us... just say "alexa, give me my free audible book," and your first pick is on us.
want more from your entejust say teach me more. into your xfinice remote to discover all sorts of tips and tricks in x1. can i find my wifi password? just ask. [ ding ] show me my wifi password. hey now! [ ding ] you can even troubleshoot, learn new voice commands and much more. clean my daughter's room. [ ding ] oh, it won't do that. welp, someone should. just say "teach me more" into your voice remote and see how you can have an even better x1 experience. simple. easy. awesome. welcome back. the panel is here. lanhee chen, director of
domestic policy united statess at stanford university. heather mcghee from demos. and andrea mitchell and republican strategist al cardenas in his last sunday of bachelorhood. yes, i said that out loud. >> congratulations. >> well, i want to start with the mueller report here. not a lot of news in here, but i have to read the government literally threw the book at manafort. his deceit, a fundamental component of crimes of conviction and relevant conduct extended to tax preparers, bookkeepers. banks, the treasury department. the department of justice, national security division. the fbi, the special counsel's office, the grand jury. his own legal counsel. members of congress. and members of the executive branch of the united states government. in sum, upon release from jail, manafort presents a grave risk of recidivism. i would say the government is pretty much done with paul manafort. let me start the conversation
this way. david graham wrote this yesterday in the atlantic. mueller's report, or whatever version the public sees will be an important document. whenever it emerges. it needn't and probably won't change anything about the basic story. you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. you don't need a special counsel's report to know what kind of president trump is. lanhee? >> people in this environment have made up their minds. in the absence of some spectacular revelation in this report, people are going to argue it exactly the way we think they're going to argue it. republicans will argue it their way. democrats will argue it their way. the 2020 candidates will look at it their way. i tend to agree that this report at the end of the day is a political document more than anything else. >> it's also a historical document, being the youngest person on the panel here today, what am i going to tell my children about this period of time? if we just think about what the talking heads and politicians are going to say right now, i think we're doing a disservice to the long course of history of this country. this is an amazing amount of abuse of power. lies from left and right. of the administration. and the campaign.
we have to have a long view of the reckoning we have to take after the mueller report, after this administration is over. >> yeah, i think the following. a lot of -- a lot of important people in this country's tweets posted heretofore will not wear well. that's a prediction. i think the mueller investigation has done a lot of good for america, in terms of talking about russia, its involvement in the campaign. opened up other resources. dealing with that. a lot of people who are bad people surrounding the president of the united states have been indicted or convicted. lastly, i will say this. i don't think the president will be indicted. you know, i kind of made up my mind on that when they agreed to answer in writing a lot of important questions that the mueller investigation sent them. you don't normally do that if you feel like you're in serious threat of an investigation.
lastly, i think the mueller report will end with unfinished business. campaign violations, opposition research that stone and others got from the foreign governments. there will be a lot to look into. i couldn't agree more with heather. this will be a bar set where people will compare conduct in the future with what happened. >> andrea, i think the real question is going to be how serious is obstruction of justice to members of congress. that's what i think we'll find out. >> and perjury. these are not process infractions. this goes to the heart of the criminal justice system. i agree with heather. we have let people normalize really criminal behavior and bad behavior and abnormal behavior through tweets. through branding, basically. these are experts on branding. as neal katyal said, if this is a witch hunt, they've found a coven so far. 37 indictments as he just said here on the program. this cannot be let to stand.
i would caution that going forward in 2020, we don't know what impulses now in social media are being programmed from moscow. and we have seen the forensics of what happened in 2016. and i see a lot of things going viral. i'm now so suspicious about anything that we're reading. >> can i ask this, a simple question. why aren't there more republicans suspicious of the president because he doesn't seem to want to get to the bottom of what russia did? he never says, i'm looking forward to the special counsel's report. remember, one of the things he was charged with what the heck did the russians did? >> i think it comes back to the politics. given the president has a 90% approval rating with republican voters, i think most republicans feel like questioning the president puts them at odds with their base. and it puts them at odds to someone with a powerful microphone. >> does it come back to vladimir putin, lanhee? is there something more sinister here?
does it come back to putin? >> the president not saying directly, i look forward to the report. these are things that raise additional suspicion. >> i think richard nixon publicly claimed he wanted the reports to be published. >> i thing it's a fairly simple political calculus. >> it will not make go away the suspicions about putin, the president and his family and their involvement. >> and why people lie so much? what are they lying about? >> i guess though -- then can democrats -- let me ask you this. you talked about it first. because i thought about this. will democrats regret if they don't open an impeachment investigation? remember that? >> if we can have bill clinton impeached for obstruction of justice about a sexual affair, these are things that could amount to treason against the united states. certainly a conspiracy. against the interests of the united states. it's just whether or not -- and democrats are often looking at what the polls are.
whether or not it's going to be a winning case in the senate. whether or not it's something that any republicans will get on. although i think we need to be watching mitt romney in utah. utah is a place where donald trump is not very popular. whether or not it succeeds, these are people that took an oath to the constitution. i think that they have to in the long course of history say you know what -- >> what is the unintended consequence if they don't do that? >> aren't they afraid looking back at newt gingrich and what happened to the republicans in the political terms that's the political argument. and that may be trumping everything else. >> and republicans will not fare well by whitewashing this investigation. or taking on mueller. mueller's reputation in the country seems impeccable despite all of the hits he has taken. if he becomes a target, that will inure to our detriment. lastly, i'm interested in how the attorney general will react. >> i think he's bulletproof in terms of the president. you can't fire a second attorney general this quickly.
when we come back, the arrest of the coast guard lieutenant who stockpiled weapons to allegedly kill as many people as possible. our tax dollars were paying his salary. why did it take so long for us to learn about it? and for president trump to even respond to it? quicksilver earns you unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere. actually, that's super easy. my bad. [ soft piano music playing ] mm, uh, what do you do for fun? -not this. ♪ -oh, what am i into? mostly progressive's name your price tool. helps people find coverage options based on their budget. flo has it, i want it, it's a whole thing, and she's right there. -yeah, she's my ride. this date's lame. he has pics of you on his phone. -they're very tasteful. he has pics of you on his phone. these days we're (horn honking) i hear you, sister. that's why i'm partnering with cigna to remind you
to go in for your annual check-up. and be open with your doctor about anything you feel. physically, and emotionally. body and mind. what if you had fewer headaches and migraines a month? botox® prevents headaches and migraines before they even start. botox® is for adults with chronic migraine, 15 or more headache days a month, each lasting 4 hours or more. botox® injections take about 15 mins. in your doctor's office
and are covered by most insurance. effects of botox® may spread hours to weeks after injection causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away, as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness can be signs of a life-threatening condition. side effects may include allergic reactions, neck and injection site pain, fatigue, and headache. don't receive botox® if there's a skin infection. tell your doctor your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions, and medications, including botulinum toxins, as these may increase the risk of serious side effects. with the botox® savings program, most people with commercial insurance pay nothing out of pocket. talk to your doctor and visit botoxchronicmigraine.com to enroll. welcome back. on wednesday, we learned that a coast guard lieutenant and a white nationalist had stockpiled
a huge cache of weapons with a very specific intent. to kill as many democratic politicians and journalists and quote leftists in general unquote as he cold. it wasn't until friday afternoon, a week after this man's arrest, that president trump had tweeted about everything from so-called fake news to the wall to the actor jussie smollett, that the president finally commented on this case. and then, only when asked. >> i think it's a shame. yeah. i think it's a very sad thing. a thing like that happens. i've expressed that. but i'm actually getting a very complete briefing in about two hours. >> do you think that you bear any responsibility for moderating your language when it comes to that? >> no, i don't. i think my language is very nice. >> joining me now to talk about this case of alleged domestic terrorism is the former homeland security secretary jeh johnson. welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you for having me, chuck. >> the most unusual aspect is that it seemed to take 72 hours before the public knew. maybe you can explain.
given that it was a coast guard lieutenant, why did it take so long to go public? and why did the government look like it was underplaying this a little bit? >> first, chuck, i think it's important to note that the coast guard in general is an outstanding military service. i think i know something about the coast guard. because i was their civilian >> it's part of homeland security. not the pentagon. most folks don't realize that. >> there's no deep, dark, violent extremist group residing within the coast guard. this person was an exception. i'm still remarkably proud of the work that the coast guard does. there are various reasons why an arrest, a criminal investigation may not come to light right away. i don't have a good explanation why it took 72 hours. i'm glad investigators uncovered this individual's writings on his government commuter. which in of and of itself is remarkable. and the fact that he's been arrested. so that's the good news story here.
hats off to the investigators for uncovering this before anything bad could happen. >> the question i have is how did somebody with this ideology get into the coast guard? number one. stay in the coast guard? number two. and apparently, if he was doing this stuff at his work computer, how did anybody not notice? >> first, rightly so, when you enlist in the military, when enlist in the military. you go to a military academy. you go to basic training. we don't ask what is your political leaning? the u.s. military services should be apolitical and for the most part they are. they are apolitical and remarkable professionals and to do down the road of probing people's views is a hard job. again, i think the good news story is that we did in fact uncover this individual's plans and his hatred before he was able to act on it.
>> there's been controversy in the past, that homeland security administration that you ran and the one previous to you wanted to identify a rise in hat they thought was domestic threats. white nationalism. in 2016, dhs had 41 employees and a $21 million budget to counter violent extremism. in 2018, it's eight employees and the budget is less than $8 $3 million. >> that's going in the wrong direction. >> they're saying, hey, you're trying to police speech. this isn't the say as countering violent radical extremism. >> the mission is not about policing or curbing or discouraging free speech. in the expression of free ideas. but building bridges to communities from which terrorist organizations or hate groups might seek to recruit. that was something i spent a lot of time on when i was secretary. eventually it became the
centerpiece of my counterterrorism mission. i was glad that the congress in 2016 actually funded homeland security's efforts to support local organizations in this. for example, a group based in chicago, called life after hate. which works with individuals who have left white supremacist groups. i think that is something we need to rededicate ourselves and focus on more now. >> there was a troubling "new york times" magazine story about this issue of white nationalism. and it noted this in 2017 there were 65 incidents. totaling 95 deaths. roughly 60% were driven by racist, anti-muslim, anti-semitic thoughts. left wing ideologies, think radical environmentalism were responsible for 11 attacks. there seems to be a threat of white nationalism and law enforcement doesn't know how to tackle it. is that because of the politics?
>> i hope not. very definitely, there is a rise in the levels of extremist violent behavior directed not just at people based on race. what i think's new is directed at people perceived to occupy a certain political ideology list. for example, this lieutenant's personal belongs included the list. much like the pipe bomber that was arrested. and that is new. and so without policing speech, without policing thought in a free and open democratic society, traditional law enforcement and through efforts to build bridges in communities needs to continue because this is truly a difficult nut to crack and the levels of hatred and violence that we see are going up. the adl points out anti-semitism is going up now. it has to start at the top. leaders lead. and people really do listen to their leaders.
and the level of dialogue is deviating downward. the civility of our dialogue is deviating downward such that individuals like this coast guard lieutenant feel emboldened and perhaps entitled to take matters into his own hands and carry out acts of violence. >> because the president doesn't condemn this, because the president doesn't want to take the lead on this, there is not much government can do until he does? >> i think it's incumbent on leadership across the spectrum to lower the levels of our -- or to raise the levels of our civil discourse, discourage violence. call it out wherever it might exist on the political spectrum. >> i have to ask you quickly. we'll have a vote on whether this is an emergency at the border. some democrats have talked about removing fencing at the border. is it a national emergency? and would you be in favor of seeing less fencing than is there now? >> i am not in favor of seeing less fencing than there is now. i think that we need to continue our efforts at border security. smart border security.
smart investments in the use of the taxpayers' dollars in border security. i do not believe that it was appropriate for the president to invoke section 2808 of title x. that is intended for military construction in support of a war or a national emergency historically overseas. so this is really, in my judgment, trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. better to work with congress and collectively come to the smartest, best solution. >> jeh johnson. former secretary at the department of homeland security. thank you for coming. >> thanks for having me on. when we come back, florida, florida, florida. there's a big change in that most crucial of swing states. it could help democrats find new voters in 2020 or maybe not. voters in 2020 or maybe not. huh...anybody? julie! hey...guess what day it is? ah come on, i know you can hear me. mike mike mike mike mike...
the measure known as amendment 4 needed 60% to pass and the floridians voted with 65% of the vote. as a result, up to 1.4 million new voters could be added to the rolls in florida. about a quarter of those former felons are african-american, according to the nonprofit group, the sentencing project. two florida newspapers looked at what those voters could look like in the biggest counties of the state. and they hold more than 80% of the voters. in these counties, 52% of those who lost their voting rights because of a conviction were democrats. only 14% were republican. the rest, no party affiliation. those numbers are a big contrast from the rest of the sunshine state. 37% democratic, 35% republican and the rest minor or no party affiliation at all. so if you do the math, democrats could see a net gain of several hundred thousand votes from the new amendment. as we know in florida, every vote matters. since 2012, 5 of the last 7 statewide races for president,
governor, or senate have come down to less than 1.5 percentage points. and 113,000 raw votes or less. four of those five races were won by republicans. the data suggests amendment four has the potential to be a game changer in florida. ah, the but. according to very early numbers. we're not seeing that shift just yet. between december and january in florida's ten largest counties, democrats saw a net gain of 711 new registrations. republicans saw a gain of 717. potential is the key word here. these are potential voters. they have to be engaged enough to one, register, and two, show up and vote. and even then, there's no guarantee these folks will vote with their own party. that is one more reason why in 2020, we'll be watching you guessed it, florida florida.
when we come back, the confrontation with young kids and dianne feinstein. what that viral video says about the growing tension within the democratic party. (ding) hey, who are you? oh, hey jeff, i'm a car thief... what?! i'm here to steal your car because, well, that's my job. 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. ♪ the only network to win in all four major awards is the one more people rely on. choose america's most reliable network
on the best device, iphone. now get $300 off the latest iphone. make us better people.istening has the power to change us, with audible, you get more. two audible originals- exclusive titles you can't find anywhere else. plus a credit good for any audiobook and exclusive fitness and wellness programs. all with our commitment free guarantee and always ad free. the most inspiring minds. the most compelling stories. the best place to listen. download audible and start your free trial today.
let me hshow you a clip of what everybody has seen. >> the government is supposed to be for the people and by the people and all for the people. >> you know what is interesting about this group? i have been doing this for 30 years. i know what i'm doing. you come in here. and you say it has to be my way or the highway. i don't respond to that. >> yeah. it was kind of awkward, right? well -- not comfortable. but -- here's some portions of what you did not see. >> okay. i'll tell you what. we have our own green new deal piece of legislation. i will give you a copy of what we do support. and you can take a look at it and if you have a problem with it, you can let me know. but, i think it has a much better chance of passing. than what this is. >> i think a lot of people look at that and think, boy, she could have been more -- less tone deaf on how to talk to the
kids. and who are the adults using kids to practice politics? the whole thing was uncomfortable? >> very. i think first of all, she is a leader on the subject. so, why didn't they go after someone who is against climate change? she has legislation? she's saying i don't want to sign on to the new green deal because it's aspirational. i'm working on something real. who are the adults who bring their kids who don't understand this. i understand the passion of this. to ambush a senator this way. and again, her political skills were lacking in the way social media relaid this. go after the critics. she's been stalwart on guns, on climate change, on all the other issues. it shows you the perils of social media. i don't understand this activism. >> this is a great topic to talk
about. the children and the sunrise movement, started by young people are sleeping outside of mitch mcconnell's office. it's often why are we attacking democrats is what people say. but they're also -- >> the 80/20. 80% and 20% against. >> they don't post videos though. they haven't posted videos outside mcconnell's office. >> they have. they haven't gone viral. one of the things that is so important is a difference of urgency. for someone who is 7 years old. we just talked about the clinton impeachment like it was yesterday. 20 years from now, all coral reefs will be gone. i'm sorry i'm getting emotional. dianne feinstein has been great. and she's been in office and not had the urgency that is required. this is an emergency in the country. it's an emergency on this planet. there is no higher responsibility of anyone with any kind of political power
right now is to stop a global catastrophe that is happening now. >> i agree. but heather, she's got legislation she's working on. >> it's not going to solve the problem. >> is the new green deal going to solve the problem? >> absolutely. the policy platform, if you look at the think tanks that have gone behind it. >> i agree with the hopes. >> it's not a question of hopes. is there going to be reality for our children and their children's children. it's the planet. >> this is the pull of the 2020 democratic primary process. the challenge is, you have so many people playing in this lane, in this lane around this green new deal that have endorsed it rg said this is their policy preference, that's a very crowded lane in a 15-person field. if you think about the 15-person field. you have the think about the politics. the pure politics -- it may be
until day realize it means they're going to lose their health care. tran poration. everything they care about. >> they're going to lose national sovereignty? >> i think there is an opportunity for someone like an amy klobuchar. like a joe biden. like a mike bloomberg to say, i think there's a different way to deal with this. >> i don't get to the merits of policy. i can't agree more that we need to focus on climate change. as a father of five children, would have very much resented anybody in the school pound mig kids with propaganda, either left or right as to political issues. teach them civility. the art of listening. the art of developing a -- but not standing in front of an elected official. >> i agree with the policiepoli. >> i have to actually get off the air. what a conversation. i don't want to it end. i have to. that's all i have for today. thanks for watching. if it's sunday, it's "meet the
press." we'll still be debating this. i promise you. thank you for watching. okay, max...time to help mrs. tyler reach her health goals! i'm in! but first... shelfie! the great-tasting nutrition of ensure. with up to 30 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals! ensure. for strength and energy. to severe plaque psoriasis get clearer. and stay clearer. most patients who saw 90% clearer skin at 28 weeks stayed clearer through 48 weeks. tremfya® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. before treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. tell your doctor if you have an infection or have symptoms such as: fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches or cough. before starting tremfya® tell your doctor if you plan to or have recently received a vaccine. tremfya®. stay clearer. janssen can help you explore cost support options.
every day, visionaries are creating the future. so, every day, we put our latest technology and vast expertise to work. ( ♪ ) the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes when heartburn hits, fight back fast with tums smoothies. it neutralizes stomach acid at the source. ♪tum tum tum tum smoothies. also available tums sugar-free.
welcome to "kasie dc." i'm kasie hunt. we're live every sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern. tonight the president is ready for the sequel to the north korean summit as he delays tariffs on china. plus, reading for mueller is starting to feel like waiting for gadot. ab solution as we await the special report. plus, my interview with senator kamala harris. we talk one on one about her vision for health care and how she plans to take on the president, as many democrats say