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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  February 26, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PST

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speed in terms of an economy. i have a very, very good relationship with kim jong un, very, very good. >> president trump is forecasting a tremendous summit with north korea, much like what he predicted before his first meeting with kim jong un. he's set to touch down in vietnam just a few hours from now. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is tuesday, february 26thalong with joe, willie and me, we have commentor for "the washington post" david ignatius, reporter for "the washington post," eugene scott, director, president and ceo of the woodrow wilson international center for scholars, jane harmon is with us this morning. we'll get to the three days of michael cohen testimony in just a moment, what we can expect what's going to happen. the president's former fixer is going to testify that trump
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engaged in criminal conduct while in office. that's what we're hearing is being reported. plus the new concerns that the justice department could keep hidden much of special counsel robert mueller's findings -- >> boy, that was really surprising yesterday when rod rosenstein went out and said, well, maybe transparency is not such a great idea. you immediately got a response from adam schiff and the democrats expect the democratic congress to start working to force the new attorney general's hand if in fact rod rosenstein went out yesterday to do the bidding of bob barr because hiding the mueller roeport pfro congress and the american people, that's just not -- >> well, they do have subpoena power. so we'll look into what's possible. but first, a second summit between president trump and north korea's kim jong un about to be under way. later this morning president trump will touch down in vietnam. yesterday kim arrived via train.
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the two leaders will meet briefly tomorrow night before having dinner. let's bring in nbc news chief global correspondent bill neeley live from hanoi, vietnam. bill, set the scene for us. >> reporter: good morning, mika. kim jong un has made probably the longest journey by any leader to any summer in half a century. it took him two and a half days to get here by train. he's now about half a mile from where i'm standing at the melia hotel. we understand he's about to go and visit at the north korean embassy here. interesting that north korea and the u.s. both have embassies here in hanoi. plu president trump due to arrive by plane, he'll then go to his hotel. we understand that they will then tomorrow evening have a conversation before a dinner probably at hanoi opera house right behind me and that dinner will be president trump, kim jong un, mike pompeo and
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probably being with kim jong un his sister and his spy chief, general kim jong chul. expectations for this summit are fairly low, but they have to achieve more than singapore. singapore was as much about the meeting than anything else. but we need substance here. we need to expand on those vague promises to work towards denuclearization. since then there's been no evidence that kim is disarming, no evidence that he even wants to disarm. certainly no inventory, no timetable, no road map. really all of that has to be fleshed out and of course great fears that president trump, as it were before the singapore summit, that president trump
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will somehow give away more than he gets but definitely progress here has to be made. >> bill, it's an important point. like the last summit, this summit appears to be a summit for the sake of having a summit. the president keeps talking about his wonderful personal relationship with kim jong un, keeps talking about denuclearization, but there's nothing in any public or private comments, nothing along diplomacy being li diplomatic lines that would suggest north korea is moving toward denuclearizing, is there? >> no. and centrifuges are still spinning, it's still working on long range icbm missiles keepable of hitting the united states and jim coates testified
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he thought it unlikely that north korea would ever denucl r denuclearize. we are such a long way from back from a year ago from the demand there would be denuclearization. in one of his last tweets, president trump had denuclearization question mark. i think the test will be is there any agreement on a last, for example? you can't denuclearize in you don't know what weapons and materials north korea has. has north korea agreed to produce a list? >> of course president trump said in june after the lat summit, quote, there is no
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longer a nuclear threat from north korea. bill, my question to you is with a second summit in just eight money, what's the view from north korea's side of this? are they surprised by how willing president trump has been to meet with kim jong un? are they surprised with how open he's been when he's saying thank you to your commitment to denuclearization when north korea knows full well it's not in the process of denuclearizing. >> today's newspaper is full, every single page of talk about this summit. and north korea has been full of flowery phrases and flattering remarks about the united states and about president trump in particular. it's a long, long way from their, you know, policy over the last ten or 20 years, which has been threatening a sea of fire and fury and nuclear armageddon
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on the united states. so they are playing this game. you know, in a way you could say there's an great fiction here. north korea, if you like, is promising to talk about denuclearization and promising the idea that it will disarm and president trump is going along with that. it's a useful fiction for both sides. in all the visits to north korea, i remember every single official saying we will never give up our nuclear weapons. it is our sort of protection. kim jong un's regime believes it needs its nuclear weapons for its very survival. so i think u.s. officials are equal live skeptical that north korea will ever fully dismantle its nuclear arsenal. >> so, bill, final question. let's move from north korea to great britain and news on brexit.
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jeremy corbin, the labor leader, talking about the possibility of another nationwide referendum, another nationwide vote on brexit. that could be big news. could we be seeing another brexit vote in the future? >> i'm glad we've moved on to something really important, guys. jah, jeremy corbin, the opposition leader, has been dragged kicking and screaming to the view that a second referendum might be necessary. in the next half hour or so, theresa may, the prime minister, will speak before parliament and we think she has probably just faced a cabinet revolt. three of her minister who basically said if you don't take no deal off the table, this terribly damaging crash over the cliff, if you don't take that off the table, we're out of here, we're resigning. so those in favor of britain
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leaving the european union are being prepared for her in the next hour or so to possibly announce a delay to the march 29th deadline for britain to leave the european union. she has said a delay is just a delay. see believes that will solve nothing. she's just had a really unsuccessful summit with european leaders in which they wouldn't move on the deal and she still insists that this deal is the only deal. so we are still actually in the middle of a shambles, a shambles that has shocked european leaders. there seems to way out as we approach the march the 29th deadline. as you say, it could be number one that opposition says let's have a second referendum and, number two, she says later today we're delaying the brexit process but, number three, i'm
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afraid the brexit shambles remains. >> bill neeley, live from north korea -- from vietnam, excuse me, we greatly appreciate it. >> david ignatius, let's talk about again the fiction that bill spoke of that really lies at the heart of this relationship between north korea and donald trump. donald trump keeps talking about denuclearization. the north koreans allow him to do that despite the fact they have absolutely no intention of denuclearizing. they know the only reason the united states and the rest of the world pays any attention to them is because they have nuclear weapons. with that bitter reality facing diplomats as they move towards a meeting in hanoi, tell me, what could we possibly expect to come out of this summit that's going to be any more constructive than what came out of the last
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summit? >> well, i wouldn't -- i'm not sure there will be a whole lot more. what we have is a process the process itself i think reduces tensions between two countries that certainly talked as if they were prepared to go to war a year and a half ago in what would have been a very dangerous confrontation. i think the idea that the two leaders are meeting often with these absurd, gushy love letters of flattery between each other is a preferably situation. president trump's team, secretary of state mike pompeo, his special envoy know very well what our intelligence agencies say, which is that the north koreans have shown no sign they're willing to give up these nuclear weapons. so the question for now, i think, is how do you reduce the threat to the united states and its allies as you move along a path to which they're nominally
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committed. the language in the first singapore declaration said they seek complete denuclearization of korean peninsula, which has an implication for u.s. forces in the south, some people think. most people now come to think that's a process that's going to take ten years. it's so complicated to understand all the facilities. i think the idea we'll have incremental steps in hanoi rather than some break through, which everybody knows is unrealistic. we shouldn't just chuck that out the window and say that's ridiculous. president trump will do a lot of bragging but let's look for the substance. >> jane harmon, for a the lot of these events, summits, the president has often had a gaffe or a statement he's had to walk back after. joe asked the question to david as to what constructive could come out of this meeting and i'd
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like to turn the question around and say is there anything that concerns you, anything destructive that could happen given the president's lack of seriousness, lack of preparation and lab of groundwork when he goes into these summits? >> well, i actually think there has been some groundwork by his team. i agree with david that there are some competent people working on this, steve vegan and mike pompeo and our intelligence community, which is right in its assessment. the president could make an impulsive comment that would give away more than his team is planning makes any sense. if he impulsively declares an
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a armicist, if he makes some other pronouncements during the summit it, could set off a lot of craziness. i'm not particularly sanguin about this. but i think this is giving people false hope. they've seen the murder of gadhafi in the streets and have seen this administration calling for regime change in venezuela and in iran and i don't think they're going to trust any promises or actual agreement that calls on them to take
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tangible steps. >> let turn to capitol hill now. michael cohen is set to begin his three-day marathon of congressional testimony a few hours from now. up first, a closed session f ffo for -- it is expected to last ten hours are there are no restrictions on what cohen can discuss. tomorrow is the only open session. and we're learning more about what to expect from cohen's public testimony. a knowledgeable source telling nbc news overnight cohen will provide evidence of criminal conduct by trump since he became president. we're told he'll draw on his experience as donald trump's former fixer to describe alleged racism, cheating as a businessman and lies. also, how trump allegedly inflated the value and deflakted
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the valuation of his properties to avoid tax payments. the former fixer is also expected to explain why he lied to congress about the trump tower moscow deal and whether anyone instructed him to lie. michael cohen has always been the guy who knows where the political bodies are buried, the business bodies are buried and that begins today. >> absolutely. he's within of the few people who can connect the trump corporation to the trump campaign to the trump presidency. so with now with democrats in control of the house he'll be asked questions that he likely would not have had to answer when conservative who is were sympathetic to trump were controlling things. he's made clear that he really believes that he wants to use this opportunity to atone for he is sins.
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he believes he was involved in many of the issues that are in trump world that americans find problem at ek and he's hoping to use this opportunity to get some of those things straight. whether or not democrats actually trust him is no clear. there are some real questions people still have to ask of him, when youing whether or not some of his conversations about his false testimony took place before and whether or not he was offered a pardon. all eyes will be on his testimony. what will come out of it is not yet clear. >> we know michael cohen has disclosed a lot of information in public interviews about stormy daniels and some of the things about the trump organization and its business. he allegedly will talk about evidence of criminal conduct by trump since he became president in today's closed door hearing with the senate intelligence committee. >> i degrees really t-- guess
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really the most important this evening for people watching either people on the commit or people watching on television and people are going to be voting in 2020 is how credible will michael cohen be considering that he spent much of his career lying for donald trump. will he have any evidence, any substantial, tangible evidence to carry along with hp in the, i think that's going to be critical for americans who are trying to figure out who's telling the truth here. >> on another track, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein indicated he is advising the justice department to limit the release of special counsel robert mueller's findings. rose enste rosenstein was responding to a request about reform.
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>> just because the government collects information doesn't mean the information is accurate. it wb really mis le it can be really misleading if it's overly transparent. the guidance you was gave when i prosecuted and the agents i worked with during my tenure of the front lines of law enforcement were if we aren't prepared to prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt in court then we have no basis making accessions against american citizens. >> but adam schiff says rose enstein is breaking with the president. he said himself when rosenstein's justice department released sensitive documents. schiff tweeted last night, this double standard won't cut it. for two years i sounded the
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alarm about deviation from just that principle as it turned over hundreds of page of closed or ongoing investigations. i warned that d.o.j. will need to live by this precedent and it will. >> david ignatius, actually the chairman's argument is not so compelling if we remember what our mothers told us, that two wrongs don't make a right. i mean, the d.o.j. did a lot of things that were abnormal during the clinton investigation. the two most significant ones would have been james comey's press conference after deciding not to indict hillary clinton and then the letter ten days beforehand. i would think it would be a bedrock principle you would not release extraneous information out against people who you are not going to charge just to
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protect them so hearsay is not floated and you don't have individuals again not charged being embarrassed or humiliated by justice department releases. >> joe, you're absolutely right. you shouldn't put raw fbi files, unsubstantiated rumors out to the public. comey was unwise to have briefed in such detail that he didn't indict against hillary clinton. but this is now raw fbi reports. this is detailed information after many months. in is material that was gathered about what would otherwise be a crime but in our system must be
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judged politically by the house of representatives in an impeachment process, by the senate in a trial and that goes to whether there's been obstruction of justice in this long russia probe. that's a lot of what mueller has been looking at. it's every hard for rod rosenstein to argue that informing should be suppressed. if he continues to, i think we're heading for a classic test of congress's authority and a supreme court case that will judge whether a congressional subpoena for this material is warranted or not. that's probably some months off. butch i think that but i think that's what we're beginning to gear up for. this probably is something quite different. >> i think we could also, james harmon, knowing who mike mueller is and knowing he is far more
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prudent and far more careful than not only james comey but than most others in the d.o.j., we can probably expect that robert mueller wouldn't be putting out unsubstantiated information or hearsay in his report. so if we're just talking about releasing the four corners of the report, i'm sure that robert mueller is being careful to make sure that doesn't happen regardless. >> i agree. and i think by the guidelines the justice department has to send a summary of the report to congress. so there will be something. the question is what will be in it. but to remind, barr and mueller have a long history of working together and that are personal friends. barr testified to that. i think we ought to thank mueller for his service, by the way. also, you just made a reference to mothers and i have to observe that david ignatius lost his fabulous mother just about a month ago and i personally mourn her.
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but one more comment, joe. i think that adam schiff is on to something. the hill will get information. there could be a few more indictments before this report is done. i don't know that there won't be. there are no hints about it yet. but the speaking indictments tell a lot of the forethat he might not be able to put in his report or might not be committed to congress. >> thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe," are there enough constitutional conservatives in the senate to keep checks and balances alive? it's a good question. thom tillis is voting against the president's emergency declaration on the border wall, but who else is with him? we'll run through that as the house is set to vote today. >> and we want to mention that joe's band is playing a gig tomorrow night at the cutting room in new york city. it kicks off around 7 p.m. stop by if you're in the area. it's a great time.
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first, here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> good morning, everyone we are still wash watching a huge storm is going to bring us ale will mine snowstorm. but in california, we're worried about the burn scar areas where snow is coming down in the feet. they're going to measure eight too ten feet in a few spots. so today's forecast, still bitterly cold in the northern plains. zero in billings, 11 m minneapol minneapolis. still a little chillier than you'd like new york city north wards up to boston. here's this mini snow event. we'll start with snow in areas like ma like bismarck and this is about two to four inches from buffalo,
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syracuse, hartford, boston, new york city doesn't look too bad for you. anyone hoping for spring, this is not the doesn't look like we'll have any big warmup until maybe the official spring kicks off. >> washington d krchc -- oh, th gorgeous. what a nice sunrise. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. joe." we'll be right back.
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ddg 117 was delivered to the na navy. the "u.s.s. paul ignatius." >> joe, you're so nice to mention this. it's a beautiful, powerful ship. just one thing that illustrates a lot about the navy, when my mother passed away january 18, about a month ago, every member of that ship getting ready to take her to sea sent a letter to my dad of consolation, writing about my mother, who had broken a bottle of champagne over the
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bow. took her three times swinging that battle. she was 92. it just tells you why the military is a family. the navy as a whole is this way. every ship, every tank has a story. in this case, it's wonderful. my father would say "paul ignatius, you talking about the man or the ship?" because there will would be a ship at sea soon. >> a great man. >> the house is expected to pass a measure to block the deck lar -- declaration for a border wall today. in a new op-ed for "the washington post" he writes in
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part "if i were the leader of the constitution's article ii brafrp, i would probably declare an emergency and use all the tools at my disposal as well. but i am not. i am a member of the senate and i have grave concerns when our institution looks the other way at the expense of weakening congress's power. i stood by that principle during the obama administration and i stand by it now. republican now. lisa murkowski said she is also likely to support the resolution to block it. >> willie, this is such a clear
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constitutional violation of article i powers and the power of the checkbook, the power of the purse is given to congress and it breaches that. it undermines the legislative branch's constitutional powers and it paves the way to a more imperial presidency. plus it makes these republicans who are going crazy over president obama's executive orders look look raging hypocrites when they stand by on an even more extreme measure. >> a declaration of a national majority supported by mitch mcconnell, who went on the floor and said i will support this. there were so many that came out when they just floated the idea and said i'm against a national emergency. they're going to get a chance to vote to see if they meant that.
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we take our small victories and small profiles in courage. tom tillis is up for election, coming up against the national emergency, we'll see how he votes and other republicans vote once it clears the house and moves to the senate. >> first of all, let's understand there is no national emergency. there is a problem at our borders, plural, especially with drugs. this was money, to move it away from projects where it was about to be allocated to this makes no sense. i think this will be somebody's
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30-second spot against those who vote for the president on this issue. >> i think this is a clear opportunity for some republicans to stand up to the president, even though it might be risky. what doesn't seem risky, joe, what republicans have denounced the obvious threat to the president's critics? what republicans have stepped up and said this is wrong in lieu of the president not stepping up and making a statement against someone who would threaten the lives of the president's critics? i just don't know what planet we're on when you can't even get one republican or two or three to say, you know, the president should have denounced it, i denounced it. >> it was actually a plot to assassinate most of his democrat being opponents who are seeking the presidency, running against
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him. and the silence was deafening, not on from the president who said, gee, that's too bad but never denounced it. >> have you fallen for a cult leader? does he have a hold of your brain? can you speak for yourselves, republicans? >> it's really unbelievable. not a word. again, also on that list to be assassinated, the leader of the house, democratic leader of the house, democratic leader of the senate and members of the press. not a word. not a word. >> i'm stunned. it's deafening. >> jennifer rubin had a very busy day yesterday, publishing seven pieces. that's almost like mark spitz at the '72 olympics with all those medals. unbelievable. "republicans like this
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democratic party demonstrate the party's intellectual collapse." we have criticized the party so much for bowing down to donald trump, but i do have to say this is such a bright, obviously bright line to cross that if you vote for this national emergency, never, ever raise the constitution again and pretend you are a defender of it because this is a clear violation. >> absolutely. this is not a hard one. you tonight have to be a law student or lawyer to figure this one out. listening to nancy pelosi yesterday introducing the measure and speaking about the separations of powers and importance of our constitution, she sounded like republicans used to talk but of course republicans don't talk that way anymore. they don't seem to stand up for the constitution, as jane said, they don't defend the defense
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budget. what happened to our national security haubs? where is tom cotton when you need him? ne ha they have become a cult and they simply follow donald trump, meandering through the desser, making excuses for him, enabling him. it is a defining moment for the party and for these individuals. >> willie, it has been for some time an article of faith that small government conservatives were -- we looked upon hamilton's contributions to the federalist papers as concerning when he talked about an imperial presidency, almost king-like powers. that's what we were moving away from with king george iii but here you have again republicans after fighting against an
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imperial presidency for decades turning over a power that would allow future democratic socialist presidents to declare emergency on global warming or after the next school shooting to declare a national emergency and ban semiautomatic weapons to do just about everything that conservatives have feared for a very long time. >> we could go back and play, as we have on this show, the criticisms of executive overreach just in the last administration by republicans of barack obama, and they were right in many of those cases. but it's brought up tongue in cheek sometimes. but if you let thissous and go on the record with a senate vote after it clears the house, what is stopping the next democratic president and the trump years will end at am son and there will be another democratic president who will do what you just laid out. they believe climate change is
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an actual emergency. they can do things they want to do because they view a real emergency. if we give this power to the presidency of the united states to use willy-nilly, we are crossing a line we do not want to cross. >> when there was a democratic majority in the senate that gave up the filibuster with respect to supreme court appointments and one could argue paid a huge price for that in setting the precedent. in this case, executive overreach didn't start with donald trump and didn't start with barack obama. after most of the actions taken were taken pursuant to executive power. i saw the movie up close and
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personal. >> mika, the problem is donald trump declares a national emergency because of illegal border crossings, they're at a 50-year low. because of illegal immigrants committing crime. get what is, native-important americans commit far more crimes than do immigrants, be there legal or illegal. you can say the same thing about gang members, .003% of people crossing actually are members of these gangs. 9 % of the drugs come through legal ports of entry. our biggest problem is getting china to slow down their shipping of fentanyl to america. a democrat coming in oaf the next couple of years can look at school shooting as show statistics that is an emergency.
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and and they will be actually even more impowered to ignore conditioning because of what republicans may do this wook. it dangerous. >> jefr ever, with first responders facing cuts, john daly is demanding that congress fund a program designed to help 9/11 survivors. his day on capitol hill ahead on "morning joe." capitol hill ahen "morning joe." last years' ad campaign was a success for choicehotels.com badda book. badda boom. this year, we're taking it up a notch. so in this commercial we see two travelers at a comfort inn with a glow around them, so people watching will be like,
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former "daily show" most jon stewart was on capitol hill demanding funding for the 9/11 victim compensation fund. $5 billion has been given to more than 20,000 survivors with cancer and other respiratory diseases. earlier this month the special master who oversees the fund
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said money is running out and payouts would have to be cut. stewart is urging lawmakers again to pass permanent funding. >> it's ironic. first responders pride themselves on response time. it's the thing that they work on day in and day out so that the people and the communities that they serve are well served by their actions. and yet each and every time when they have a need, our response is inadequate, slow and and t y apathet apathetic. >> god bless john stewart on this, jane. how are we here again? i understand there are many more claims because many more people are geing sick from what they inhaled, those toxics from the aftermath of 9/11. don't make them show up on capitol hill every four years with their hats in their hands. >> i saw them in the early days. i was the senior democrat on the
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house intelligence committee after 9/11 and was on site a few days, i think, within a week after the 9/11 bombings and the stench both from the makeshift morgue, which was a trailer, but the dust everywhere was everywhere and you can imagine that these people have catastrophic lung diseases, which may show up later, your point. and how can we not stand by them? and just think about firefighters in particular. they were climbing up these buildings while they were glowing red when the police helicopter circling overhead could not can't with them because we didn't have interoperable communications that worked. we owe them everything. this was the assault on our freedom. we're climbing back. we haven't made every right move but not to honor those who put their lives and health on the line to save those that they could is just immoral. >> there are a lot of members of congress who like to tweet things and put the #neverforget
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about 9/11. >> jane harmon, thanks as always. good to see you. >> coming up next, former cia director john brennan. first, former senator claire mccaskill joins us. mccaskill joins us sometimes, the pressures of today's world can make it tough
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jennifer rubin, another one of your pieces yesterday, was on how democratic voters aren't where democratic candidates are. and how important is it that the candidates can beat trump? >> very important.
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it's more importantly than having a candidate who aligns with their views perfectly or even closely. people like aoc, bernie sanders, elizabeth warren who are quite progressive. but when you look at results in 2016, democrats chose moderate democrats in those primaries and it was those moderate democrats who went on to win and ultimately deliver a house majority to the democrats. there wasn't a single bernie-endorsed candidate who flipped a republican-held seat. there was a slew of democrats who were from the moderate faction of the party that did that. when you look at polling, pew, gallup, you see a marriage of the party wants the party to be more centrist. if you look at republicans, they want it to be more conservatives. if you want a party moving closer to the center or whose voters say they want to be
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closer to center, that would be the democrats. so what you have now is you have a whole slew of quite progressive candidates and you don't have many candidate, you have amy klobuchar, maybe joe biden appearing to that very wad swath of democrats that consider themselves to be moderate. >> you cannot only see that in the polls but you go to town hall meetings, whether it's in iowa or new hampshire and any similarities between democrats that you see on cable news or that you read on twitter with blue check marks, any similarities between them and what voters are talking about in those town hall meetings is purely coincidental, talking about the massive disconnect
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between the two. >> absolutely. i think that's why we see candidates like amy klobuchar get significant amounts of attention because many of these democratic voters are in the heartland, aren't on the coast and they're simply looking for someone who can defeat trump and get the country back going in the direction they say they want most. but there are issues that they really are looking for solutions to, such as the economy. despite trump celebrating it, we do know these tax cuts haven't benefited everyone equally and other concerns like health care. so democratic candidates able to address those specifically are more likely to win the independent voters that went for trump in 16 and bring them back to the left. >> we'll have much more with claire mccaskill. thank you both for being on this morning. >> the president is set to arrive in hanoi for his summit with kim jong un, as michael
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cohen prepares to testify for the senate intel committee. a busy tuesday in a very busy week. "morning joe" is back in two minutes. minutes.
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i don't think they'll be happy with it. he doesn't have any incriminating evidence about the president or himself. the man is an honest, honorable lawyer. >> well, that's good to know. that was rudy giuliani last year back when michael cohen was still in donald trump's good graces and that was rudy giuliani and rudy giuliani said that michael cohen is a good man. >> well, today michael cohen is going to be testifying that trump engaged in criminal conduct while in office. i guess if rudy giuliani is to be believed week should believe that testimony. emily fox reports in "vanity
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fair" that michael cohen is prepared to, quote, shock lawmakers with his disclosures. welcome back to "morning joe." we have with us david ignatius, former u.s. senator now an msnbc political analyst claire mccaskill is with us and from the hoover institution, former policy director to mitt romney's 2012 presidential campaign, lanhee chen joins us. >> right now the president is in vietnam, meetings are going to begin today, what should we be looking for? what should we expect out of this summit, the best case scenario,/worse case scenario? >> the worst case scenario is
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braggadocio, the north koreans will give up their weapons. that's not going to happen. the best that could happen is the north koreans moving out of this primitive, isolated state, becoming more prosperous, having all the disincentives to use the nuclear weapons that modern countries have. we ought to bet on that. although it will be accompanied with a lot of fluff and hot air from trump, it's in our security interest. >> senator mccaskill, you heard yesterday elizabeth warren declare she was going to swear off big money and only take small donations. what impact will that have in the race on the democratic side? >> i think she's making a point that these low-dollar donations
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are going to be a hell of a measuring stick going forward as to how viable a candidate is. all big money in the democratic side is frozen right now because no one is sure how this is all going to turn out. nobody can really tell who's going to end up being the strongest condition at this point. so what's going to happen over the next six to nine months is every candidate is speaking directly to large grass roots base of folks that send in $5 and $10. so she's making a move on that and trying to reassure those folks in a they're only the folks she wants behind her for president, not any of the folks that write checks with commas in it. depending if beto gets in and we've seen bernie's prowess in this regard, this a new normal in presidential politics, the ability to attract $5, $10, $20
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million from hundreds and thousands of millions of people. >> does she ultimately cut into bernie's ability to raise money? >> i think she and bernie are in the same space politically. we'll have to watch to see if people end up going -- and a lot of this will depend on beto. i think beto is going to appeal to a lot of these same grass roots donors that elizabeth is making a, who can manage the base in a way that will be most effective going forward. >> to be blunt, i know you worked with all these people and you still talk to them but i'm going to ask you to be blunt -- >> good luck. joe is going to make sure they never talk to you again. >> first of all, tell me if i'm wrong. i think that people have quietly
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underestimated elizabeth warren's ability to do very well. if you talk to people off the record they go, oh, come on, she's this, she's that. do you think she has the ability to dp all the way or do you believe like many others that she's just not going to be able to stand the heat? >> elizabeth has one advantage going for her. that is in this crowded field, the candidates that voters can identify with in terms of what they really are about. can they repeat who that candidate is and. it not enough in this crowded feed to i think elizabeth warren, everybody knows she's running because it's a rigged economic system. that's her thing.
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she's been saying it all of her adult life. it's very close to what bernie's known for. think it will depend on who else gets in field and how will do they do at cop turing a near tiff people can heelt to. i wish all of these candidates would talk more about student debt, the, those people that lee decide the presidential election, which we know are not democrats or republicans, that he what we need to be discussing. and we need to do it in primary. g gallup, president trump's state--by-state approval,
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slightly up from last year. 16 states rated him below 40%, one fewer than the year before. but the states where trump is popular are far less populated than where he is chronically unpopular, if that makes sense. judging by their weight in the electoral college, there are just 102 electoral votes in the states where his approval is about 50%. yet trump's approval remained above 40% in every swing state he carried in 2016. then there are the numbers in texas where the president's aapproval was 41% last year, 52% disapproved, that's a negative. >> well, you noshs the challenge right now is that the democratic
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field is still so amore physical, you've got so many different canneds to define what these numbers mean at point. we do no this going to come counsel to those same states where the president won by small margins and his path to victory will be very similar to what it was in 2016? and can they make a case whether it's about the rigged new deal. can they make the contrast with the president? i agree it's not going to be enough to simply say, look, the president's a bad guy, i don't like the president. people's views are baked from a lot of the this polingbut again,
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let's look at those states. texas, the president sitting at 41%. in wisconsin, he's in the low 40s. you look at mesh began, he's in the lo of, 42 in michigan, 42 in wisconsin, only 43 in arizona, 43 in florida and, again, last year sitting at 41% in the state of texas, a state that ted cruz only won by three points. >> i was going to say beto proved that a democrat can do well and almost flip it just a couple of months ago. we'll see if texas is ready on the presidential level when that comes up in a year and a half or so. senator mccaskill, you're the perfect person who can win in 2020 because you're the kind of person who has had to talk to people, talk to conservatives.
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what would you tell people about winning back places like michigan the point is to rea. frank will, most of them aren't really sure what the new green deal is. everybody wants to do more as it relates to the environment. we do note that a they really worried about whether or not they can afford to retire and really about whether their nephew can they're going to be much better equipped to move into ohio, wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania, texas. as you looked at those electoral
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votes, they're 70 short. so you've got to win some of the states where 45 and foo and we've got an interesting week going here. we're learning more about what to expect from hoob cohen will provide criminal evidence by trump since he became president. >> is that bad? >> that's bad. we're told he'll describe alleged race i, cheating as a businessman and lies. also how trump allegedly inflated the value of his assets -- >> delusional. such a loser. >> to get on the forbes list. >> i'm not talking about the president but back when and he
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was obsessed with that stupid forbes list and was constantly lying. i can't even -- >> and he's got the fake "time" magazine covers. wow, what else is going to happen today, mika? we're told -- shhh, sweetie, shhh -- >> provide granular details of trump's involvement in the stormy daniels payoff and coverup. >> is that bad? >> it's gross. >> the former fix ser expected to testify about lying to congress and whether anyone instructed him to lie. and cohen's testimony will include allegations of, as i said, racism, lies, infidelity and criminal misconduct while in office. quote, some things that are earth shattering are right in front of your nose and the reason you don't know that
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they're earth shattering is because they're right in front of you, one person said. >> willie, is that bad? >> earth shattering, yeah. >> the house is about to vote to block the president's emergency declaration for a border wall today. and in the senate, tillis is explaining why he will vote to block the order. in "the washington post," "i support trump's versiision on br security but i would vote against the emergency." "if i were the leader of the constitution's article ii branch, i would preserve the separation of powers to curb the kind of executive overreach that
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congress has allowed to fester for the better part of the century. >> okay, that's great. we don't have to read the whole op-ed. >> but you get the point, right? >> it's a really good point by thom tillis. certainly something he needed to do coming from north carolina. he's up for reelection in 2020. claire mccaskill, you've spent an awful lot of time in front of missouri voters. missouri used to be a swing state. but you spent a lot of time in front of him in the 2018 campaign. do you think there's a concern for people who are driven primarily by second amendment rights, that if republicans give donald trump emergency powers
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for a nonemergency, the next democratic president who may be a liberal will immediately declare emergency after a school shooting and have the precedent to go after their guns? >> here's the thing, this vote is not a vote on whether or not you want a secure border, it's not a vote on whether or not you believe a wall should be built. this is a vote on the constitution plain and simple. and everybody in congress knows it. >> so do voters in missouri, to voters in northwest florida -- >> no. no. >> -- understand that if donald trump is given this power now, then a democrat will use this power two or three years from now to declare an emergency on climate change or their guns? >> no, they do not.
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i'll give you know, this is is a in a very pro-trump state. the man who beat me in the senate beat me because of donald trump. by the way, he's a constitutional law professor and called himself a constitutional conservative, the entire company pain waving -- >> but where does he stand on this? senator blount constitutionally is correct. he is constitutionally where conservatives would be, where medicalisonian conservatives would be. where is your former opponent? he's a constitutional law professor, does he understand this is a dangerous step? >> i'm not sure. he's been very quiet other than saying he supports the president. so i think he'll vote politically instead of constitutionally, if i had to guess. but we'll see when it comes down
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to it. but anybody who votes to give president appropriated funds that congress refused to appropriate. that's all this is. this is a fight over appropriations. it's a little bit different than a gun emergency. >> by the way, donald trump actually said i didn't need to do this. >> exactly. >> he also said if i can't get the money how can those two men actually give up so much power unconstitutionally to the president of the united states with their vote? >> well, lindsey kind of admitted it over the weekend in the the "new york times" article. this is just about elections for him at this point, which
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bitterly disappointing for m me it's add and depressing that he wants to o be i had to lay down and take a nap after i read that article it was so depressing. it was just awful. but we know that about mitch mcconnell. lindsay have stood up from time to time it that will just follow blindly down this rabbit hole which going to what so we understand having and and -- i'm
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going oh, my lord! >> that's lindsey graham. how do we explain mitch mcconnell, who is this proud insougs how do we explain his report for the president's support of a national emergency? >> it comes down in the other issue, yesh it's a vote on the constitution, i understand that point. pu it corey gardner's in a very similar position. it would not surprise me to see gardner come out and vote against the president. there are many sthats will have a purple dynamic going on, it
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very competitive. it's going to be increasingly difficult for them to be with the president where the hypocrisy of being able to support the president on this is going to come back to hurt them while at the same time if they had attacked president obama for doing the same thing. it's a constitutional party. but at the end of the day the positi position. i think this margin could be a lot wider than woo. >> what else democrats can say on -- nominate a supreme court justice and the senate for plit californ californiain. so i wonder do we're going to
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have to add two seats to the spror after a democrat gets into office again, that's an argument pbs that an argument that democrats can make right now, that's an argument they can make after one is elected president of the united states and say you know, we have to add two seats to the united states supreme court because donald trump and mitch mcconnell so polluted the process and so politicized the process that constitutional law and precedents that have been in place for over half a krittory and that -- that and republican
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who votes for this is opening themselves up o. >> still ahead, former director of the cia joe brennan joins the conversation. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ning joe." we'll be right back. i'm 53. but in my mind i'm still 35. that's why i take osteo bi-flex, to keep me moving the way i was made to. it nourishes and strengthens my joints for the long term. osteo bi-flex. because i'm made to move.
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check in from afar with remote access, ♪ and have professional monitoring backing you up with xfinity home. demo in an xfinity store. call, or go online today. with us now we have former cia director john brennan, a senior national security and intelligence and last for nbc news. thank you for being with us. director, let me ask you your opinion. we've been talking about rod rosenstein's comments regarding transparency versus individual rights. i'm curious where you stand on that. how do we balance the need for transparency in the mueller report versus the need to protect individual's privacy if they're not charged.
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not to drag people's names through at the same time this investigation has been going on for now three years. it was started under i didn't mean comey. i do think bob mueller and the attorney general, bob barr, have an opportunity to be as forthcoming as possible so the i do think will kwp but i also understand his reluctance justice so i'm hoping they're going to be leaning as far into daylight as possible. >> i it willthat he was
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criticized in what owhich is if you're not going to indict him, then don't indict him and close the books, don't drag him through the mud, don't politically indict him. that seemed what -- seemed to be what rosenstein was saying, which is if you can't make a case against him and go at him 100%, then don't drag him through the mud. isn't that -- again, isn't that a positive standard think but there's a story here as well that needs to be told about eggs did, so i think as chairman shift pointed out, rosenstein did likely -- i think apply.
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i do i think that rod but at the same time i do believe again, that littleam barr will try to, prn what do you believe dan coates' future is as director of national intelligence? do you think he's headed for the exit? and do you believe he may be a kree witness in the mueller investigation? >> dan croates is is and he wanted to retire and enjoy his family and grandchildren back in indiana. he agreed to take on the responsibility of national
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intelligence because he is a dedicated american. i've been very, very pleat kentucky and mack issue with a number things that mr. trump said. lee clearly doesn't have the loyalty that the president required. their loyalty is to the person or country, no who happens to be the president in the oval office. >> the summit rife rife with president and and i'll begin with someone who nid ed when in effect it has no real reach beyond its border, no economic strength. nuclear weapons are what makes that country relevant in the world. why would it give those up?
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>> it's been developing a nuclear weapons capability for many years because it wants to have a deterrent gets what seen, an be i don't believe at this point he has any risk parkwe need to be able to get him to make some concessions, whether it's providing us some inventory orto international spectators, to the sights pu we fwrrks iran doesn't have nuclear capability.
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and we need to take away the ballistic missile that present a threat not just to the region but also to the continental united states. >> in june the president declared an end to the north korean nuclear program. that of course wasn't true as indicated. what's the best outcome to walk out -- to see there i think they need to allow us a visit there. it show as good first step. it doesn't mean he's going to denuclearize but it does mean he's going to take some steps maybe in return for something, assistance, food assistance or maybe something else but there neepds to be some demonstration of movement in the direction we wanted north korea to go. >> mr. director, among other
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thanksgiving be you think there is any chance holding for the the death of my colleague, jamal khashoggi. if not, i'd like to ask you where you think that you had assad furng whether it can rekof momentum number. well, the crown prince needs to be held accountable for death of that gave that type of order to the individuals significantly murdered khashoggi. it clear he thinks he's going to get a pass from the frrnl and i
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believe he's going to continue hold saudi arabia to account for what was this awful, awful incident. but i don't have real confidence that the trump administration is going to hold authoritarian leaders to account, whether it's salman, whether it's duterte or others. >> mr. director, let me ask you one other question, something we don't talk about a lot but a big problem in latin america and that's venezuela. i'm wondering how you read what's happening there and whether you think some change of regime, some process that would get maduro out is now under way. >> i think there is a process. it's a question of how long it's going to take to play out.
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i am concerned that the mets the military services are the ones that are in bed with maduro. i do think that it to push forward against that senior leadership. i do think ultimately maduro is going to have to leave. i'm hoping there's not a lot of just by um sfrfrm what he wants a an international stage where he is seen as an equal to the united states. and this president has totally capitulated on that front. he has totally given this guy who is a des pot and a thug who
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kills his own family members, star starves his own people. this is outrageous that the president is treating him this way. check the box. president trump and then he pedals that through probably gant a to his people. here we are. i do not agree will will ever agree to will and the other thing that is really important is all of those troops in south korea. they're not there because of the korean peninsula, they're there because of a so if trump begins
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it impacts our security visa vee china and russia, which is a huge blow to our ability to respond at a moment's notice to any inning we've already been hurt by the suspension of the military exercises last year. >> when was and it's the interopera. from it's much broader, in fact, than for north korea. who know what is trump may give up this time. is he going to say he'll agree to remove the thad high-altitude missile sflrchl having him in a
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room with kim jong un and be able to make decisions there that really impact our national security. and at the advice of vladimir putin, if psh pshobviously you and so many others have had a concern with the president's unwielding attacks frn you mentioned dan coates. up can a. haspel. the leaders have held the line, have held there own, prks more clueless observations, but how is theover a. >> well, i think it's quite
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dispirit itting when the person who is the president of the united states that their profession, and the quality of their service. is and safe this know they po whether be here in the united states or around the globe helps to keep their families, their fellow citizens safe and secure. it critically important that leaders of the intelligence community continue to stand up and call out mr. trump when he's wrong and when they testify in front even if it is die
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mettorically opposed to what donald trump says. >> john brennan, thank you so much for being with us. >> coming up next, he says the president needs to settle the trade dispute with china quickly because it's hurting her state. that's coming up next on "morning joe." coming up next on "morning joe." i'm 53.
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joining us now, the first woman elected governor of south dakota kristi noem. it's great to you have on the show this morning. >> yes, thank you for inviting me. >> thank you, governor. you've said that south dakota's been devastated by the trade wars we're currently in. explain. >> the president has recognized we've been treated unfairly years by china's trade policies. the problem we have is this has gone on for a while and commodity prices have been at record lows for several years and it really is impacting our farmers. my conversation with the president is thanks you for fighting for fairer trade agreements but we do need resolution quickly. a lot of families are facing the loss of their operations and
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their businesses. >> can you go into the impact? exactly how is it impacting families that farm and agricultural business in general in your state and others? >> agriculture is highly leveraged. you borrow money to buy land. you borrow money to go out and purchase cattle, equipment, whatever you need to farm the land and every farmer goes back every year to put seed, fertilizer, chemical in the ground. so they're highly leveraged and it's a very risky industry. the weather impacts it, market impacts it and transportation costs they can't control. that's why they can handle maybe a season of poor prices, poor yields. but when you start piling those years on top of each other it gets very difficult and they end up losing their family land that may have been in their family for generations. >> so you've spoken to the president and you've thanked him for fighting for fairer trade but at the same time you've asked him if he could to wrap it up, to bring these trade wars
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tore a conclusito a conclusion. have you gotten the feeling from the president or the administration that they understand your concerns and that we can expect these trade wars to be coming to a close soon? >> absolutely. i've talked to the president about this really for the last couple of years. have i served in congress. i worked closely with the u.s. trade ambassador lighthizer and sonny purdue and i have talked many times. we've talked for months mann s months about this. secretary lighthizer and the secretary said we will be opening up markets real soon and we did have a purchase of more u.s. soy beans which will make an impact on the markets that
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our farmers so desperately thne. we feed the world. we do it better than anywhere else. that's what's important to my producers and other producers across the country. >> governor noem, the president announced a signing ceremony on a new trade agreement. he did say in the past trade wars are good and easy to win. that was his quote. is it your sense talking to him he believes that or that it was a negotiating tactic to push china to come to the table? >> no, that's what this president does best is make deals. he puts his cards on the table, he asks hard questions, he pushes these leaders for better agreements for his people. he loves america. >> but aren't you saying this is a bad deal for your state? >> i would say the previous deals have been. previous trade agreements have treated us unfairly. we've sent or soy beans to china, they've rejected them
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dedat the border for regulatory reasons. that's can't continue. my message is that we need to wrap it up. we can't handle another year or two years of these ongoing negotiations because we'll have a lot of people out of business. >> you're saying the president's previous deals have been bad for your state and it time to sign a good state? >> i would say previous presidents' deals -- >> but his tariffs have been bad for your state? >> no, i'm saying i'm thankful he's been getting us deals. for decades we've been treated unfairly and the president has been negotiating better deals for us in the future. >> i'm from an agricultural state. it is our number one part of our economy just like your state. i've seen the pain all across missouri from what has happened, that the president put in motion, and, you know, it took years for us to build up this
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bean market in kchina. this didn't happen overnight. there was a lot of investment, as you well know, in terms of opening up this very important market to soy bean producers in this country. china now knows with this guy in the oval office that this light switch could flip again. it may go back on but then it could go back off. do you really believe these markets are going to be restored overnight? they've sourced beans from other countries. they have now figured out how to get around their requirement of beans without american beans. and i know the farmers i talked to are very worried about the hangover from this fight and whether or not they can recover even this growing season or maybe even next with restoring that location for to us sell our beans. >> china just recently announced they will be purchasing more soy beans. we saw the market react. they are still heavily reliant on united states spou beans.
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they have been impacted by the tariffs and negotiations. that's brought them to the table to negotiate better agreements going forward. so, yes, if this continued on for years, absolutely countrieso fill their needs, but they still need american soybeans and that's why it's important that right now, we use every leverage that we have, every option that we have to get better deals for our trade agreements and our farmers ongoing. this has been decades in the making and this president's trying to get us a level playing field. we're just encouraging him to make sure he keeps the pressure on because we need resolution and to open up those markets. >> governor, really quickly, you're asking for help for a drug epidemic in your state. the meth epidemic. china, it's feintal has been flooding american markets with drugs illegally. are they responsible for the
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meth or is that more of a problem with mexican cartels? >> you know, when you turn on the national news, a lot of discussion is around opioids. that's an issue in south dakota. we have some issues with china stiping drugs into the united states and the president spoke to that this weekend several times with the governors gathered in meetings. he's well aware that's an issue we need address with china as well. in south dakota, our biggest problem is still meth. t it's cheap and readily available. the vast majority of the meth comes across the southern border, so i'm all in favor of securing our border. not just for national security reasons, but also to stop the illegal drug flow that's killing my people. >> would you prefer the money be focused on where most of the meth comes in, the legal ports of entry? >> i'm looking for a secure border. for ports of entry to be focused on as well. what i've asked this administration for is some
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latitude. we did some legislation last congress that i supported that made sure we had opioid funding. i've asked r for waivers and authorities to use those dollars to fight meth. while we have an opioid problem in south dakota, our overwhelming problem is meth. it causes people to be aggressive and commit crimes against each other ch we don't want that in our community. >> thank you so much. we appreciate you being with us. >> coming up in her short time in office, congresswoman cortez has been built a unique national platform, but on a local level, some say she's missing something. we'll explain that ahead on "morning joe." we'll explain tha "morning joe."
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they'd like to highlight for black history month. you wanted to talk about henry lewis gates. >> so, mika, 45 years ago, i was a graduate student at cambridge. one of my klosest friends was a young scholar, skip gates, we called him. he is gone on literally to make mi history. to change the way we think about ancestry and african-american eck appearan experience in america. he's been head of african-american studies at harvard for many years. he's created a tv show and other ways to look at our dna and it tells us we come from. i remember 45 years ago, a brilliant young man with all these dreams about our country, about finding his place and that of other african-americans in it. so black history month, i want to salute my friend, skip gates.
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>> i love it. thank you, david. still ahead, we'll talk to congressman joaquin castro as the house prepares to vote on his bill to block the president's border wall emergency declaration. plus, the developing news overnight that michael cohen is expect ed to accuse the president. him to give up nukes, "morning joe" is back in a moment. ukes, g joe" is back in a moment elly fa: metal vibration therapy. ( ♪ ) (glass breaking) (gasp) not cool. freezing away fat cells with coolsculpting? now that's cool! coolsculpting safely freezes and removes fat cells with little or no downtime and no surgery. results and patient experience may vary. some common side effects include temporary numbness, discomfort, and swelling. ask your doctor if coolsculpting is right for you and visit coolsculpting.com today for your chance to win a free treatment.
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speed in terms of an economy. i have a very, very good relationship with kim jong-un. very, very good. >> president trump is forecasting a tremendous summit with north korea, much like what he predicted before his first meeting with kim jong-un. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is tuesday, february 26th. we have editor for the "washington post," david ignatius. reporter for the "washington post," eugene scott, former democratic representative from california now the director, president and ceo of the wood row wilson center for scholars, jane harmon is with us this morning. we'll get to the three days of michael cohen testimony in a moment. what we can expect, what's going to happen. the president's form er sixer i going to testify that trump engaged in criminal conduct while in office. that's what we'rereported.
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plus new concerns the justice department could keep hidden much of robert mueller's findings. >> that was really surprising yesterday when rosenstein and said well, maybe transparency isn't such a great idea. you immediately got a response from adam schiff and expect the democratic congress to start working to actually force the new attorney general's hand if in fact rod rosenstein went out yesterday to do the bidding of bob barr because hiding the mueller report from congress and the american people, that's just not an option. >> they have the subpoena power, so we'll look into what's possible, but first, the b second summit between president trump and kim jong-un about to be underway. yesterday, kim arrived via train. the two leaders will meet briefly tomorrow night before having dinner. so let's start right there. david ignatius, what can we
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realistically expect from this summit with north korea's leader, who has shown no willingness to give up his nuclear weapons? >> secretary of state, mike pompeo, know what our intelligence agencies say, which is that the north koreans show no sign they're willing to give up these weapons. so the question now is how do you reduce the threat to the united states and its allies as you move aloing the path. the language in the first singapore declaration said they seek complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula, which has an implication for u.s. forces in the south, some think. most people have now come to think that's a process that's going to take ten years. just so complicated to understand all of the facilities. so i think the idea that we'll have incremental steps in hanoi rather than some breakthrough,
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which everybody knows is unrealistic, is probably the appropriate way to look at it. beprobably shouldn't chuck it out the window and say it's just ridiculous. president trump will do a lot of bragging, but let's look for substance. >> so jane, for a lot of these international events, summits, the president has often had a gaffe or a statement he's had to walk back after. joe asked the question to david as to what constructive could come out of this meeting. i'd like to turn the question around and say is there anything that concerns you, anything destructive that could happen, given the president's lack of seriousness, lack of preparation and lack of ground work when he goes into these summits. >> well, i actually think there has been some ground work by his team. and i agree with david some competent people working on this. steve and mike pompeo.
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and our intelligence community by the way, which is right in its assessments. the president would kould make an impulsive comment. we've seen this many times before. that would give away more than he, his team, is planning makes any sense. if he declares an armistice, the end of the korean war then takes that to the next step and says that u.s. troops in south korea certainly along the dmz, are going away, they would be the way we would verify if north korea were increasing. it already is, but we're about to do some form of harm, with its nuclear industry. if he says those troops are going away, if he makes other pronouncements about the peninsula or somewhere else in the world, it could set off a lot of crazeness. i just want to make one more comment about this. i'm not particularly sangiin
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about this. not that saber rattling is better than saber rattling, but i think this is give iing peopl false hope. keeping nuclear weapons is the regime survival strategy for the kim family. they saw the murder of gadhafi in the streets and they've seen this administration basically calling for regime change in venezuela and in iran and i don't think they're going to trust any promises or any agreement actual agreement that calls on them to take tangible steps. >> let's turn to capitol hill now. michael cohen set to begin his three-day marathon of congressal testimony. first, a closed session with the senate intelligence committee. a spokesman says it begins at 9:30 a.m. in a classified location. richard burr says it is expected to last ten hours and that there are no restrictions on what he can discuss in this private session. tomorrow's testimony before the house oversight committee is the only open session and we're
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learning more about what to expect from cohen's public testimony. a knowledgeable source telling nbc cohen will provide evidence of criminal conduct by trump since he became president. we're told he will draw on tr p trump's experience to describe alleged racism, cheating as a business man and lies. also how trump allegedly inflated the value of his assets to get on the forbes list and deflated to reduce his tax burden. we're told cohen will provide detail of his involvement of the daniels cover up. the fixer also expect gd to explain why he lied to congress about the trump tower moscow deal and whether anyone instructed him to lie. eugene scott, michael cohen has always been the guy who knows where the political bodies are buried, the business bodies are buried and that begins today. >> absolutely and that's one
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reason why his testimonies will be b so valuable. he's one of the few people who have connected the trump corporation to the trump campaign to the trump presidency, so with now democrats in control of the house, he'll be asked questions that he likely would not have been able or would have had to answer when conservatives who were sympathetic to trump were controlling things and he's made clear that he really believes that he wants to use this opportunity to atone for his sins. he believes that he was involved in many of the issues that exist in trump world that many americans find to be a problem and he's hoping to use this opportunity to get those things straight. whether or not democrats actually trust him, it's not clear. some real questions people still have to ask of him including whether or not some of his conversations about his false testimony took place with people in the white house before the testimony happened and honts honestly, whether or not he was offered a pardon regarding what he will say.
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so all eyes will be on this testimony. what will come out of it i think really is not yet clear. >> so joe, we've known about michael cohen. he's disclosed already a lot of information, public interviews about stormy daniels, some things about the trump organization, businesses, but this morning, is that cohen will allegedly talk about evidence of criminal conduct by trump since he became president in today's closed door hearing with the is that the intelligence committee. sxwl i guess really the most important thing for people watching to figure out whether they believe you or not, either on the committee or people watching at home on television and people are going to be voting in 2020. is how credible michael cohen will be considering that he spent much of his career lying for donald trump. will he have any evidence, any substantial, tangible evidence to carry along with him in the form of texts or e-mails or pictures or documents that he can show the committee.
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i think mika, that's going to be critical for americans who are trying to figure out who's telling the truth here. >> yes, on another track, rod rosenstein indicated that he's advising the justice department to limit the release of special counsel robert mueller's findings. rosenstein was responding to a question about reforms to the department and suggested that a public release of mueller's report related the those not charged with a crime is against doj guidelines. >> just because the government collects information doesn't mean that information is accurate and it can be really mislead iing if you're overly transparent about information that the government collects so i think we need to be really cautious about that. we charge somebody with a violation, we need to be prepared the prove it by evidence beyond any responsible doubt and you know, the guidance i always gave my prosecutors and the agents i worked with on the front lines in law enforcement were if we aren't prepared to prove our case beyond a
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responsible doubt in court, we have no allegatibusiness making allegations against american citizens. >> but adam schiff says rosenstein is breaking with the president. he said himself. when rosenstein's justice department released sensitive documents in the russia and clinton investigations at the urging of house republicans and president trump. schiff tweeted night, this double standard won't cut it. for two years, i sat at the alarm about doj's deviation from just that principle as it turned over hundreds of thousands of pages in closed or ongoing investigations. i warned that doj would need to live by this precedent and it will. >> david ignatius, actually, the chairman's argument is not so compelling if we remember what our mothers told us that two wrongs don't make a right. >> exactly. >> the doj did a lot of things that were abnormal during the
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clinton investigation. the two most significant ones would have been james comey's press conference after deciding not to indict hillary clinton then the letter ten days beforehand. i would think that it would be a bedrock principle that you would not release extraneous information out to the public against people who you're not going to charge in order to protect them. here say is not floated out and you don't have individuals again, not charged. being embarrassed or humiliated by justice department releases. >> joe, you're absolutely right. we shouldn't put raw fbi files on substantiated rumors out to the public. comey was unwise to have briefed in such detail b about a case where he didn't choose to indict hillary clinton, but threw out a lot of dirt any way, but this is
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not a question of raw fbi files. this is the report that has been gathered in detail by the special counsel, one of the most respected lawyers in the country, over many months. we really need to distinguish. what i think this issue comes down to is that material mueller has gathered about what would otherwise be a crime, but in our system, must be judged politically by the house of representatives in an impeachment process by the senate in a trial and that goes to whether there's been obstruction of justice in this long russia probe. that's a lot of with what mueller has been looking at. and i think it's very hard for rod rosenstein to argue convincingly that that information should be suppressed and if he continues to, i think we are heading for one of the classic tests of congress' authority in a supreme court case that will judge whether
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congressional subpoena for this material is warranted or not. it's probably some months off, but i think that's where we're going to gear up for. so wile i agree completely, dishing rumors, that's a bad idea. this probably is something quite different. >> still ahead on "morning joe", republicans were furious with barack obama's unilateral move on daca. so what are they saying about donald trump's unilateral move on a border wall? we'll run right through it next on "morning joe." our everyday diet is very acidic. it can cause damage to the enamel. with the new pronamel repair toothpaste we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. with pronamel repair, more minerals are able to enter deep into the enamel surface. the fact that you have an opportunity to repair what's already been damaged, it's amazing. i think my go-to toothpaste is
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check in from afar with remote access, you'll even ♪ ree shipping. and have professional monitoring backing you up with xfinity home. demo in an xfinity store. call, or go online today. the house is expected to vote on and pass a measure to block the president's emergency declaration for a border wall today. meanwhile in the senate, tom tillis is explaining why he will vote to block the order.
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in a new op-ed for the "washington post" entitled i support trump's vision on border security, but i would vote against the emergency. he writes in part, if i were the loader of the constitution's article two branch, i would b probably declare an emergency and use the tools at my disposal as well. but i am not, i am member of the senate and i have grave concerns when our institution looks the other way at the expense of weakening congress' power. it is my responsibility to be a steward of the article, one branch, to preserve the separation of powers and to curve the kind of executive overreach that congress has allowed to fester for the better part of the past century. i stood by that principle during the obama administration and i stand by it now. republican senator lisa murkowski of alaska, who has expressed concerns about the president's order says she is also likely to support the
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resolution to block it. >> and you know, willie, this is, this is such a clear violation, a constitutional violation of article one powers. the power of the checkbook, of the purse, is given to congress. and it breaches that. it undermines the legislative branch's constitutional powers and paves the way to a more imperial and more imperial presidency, plus it makes these republicans who are going crazy over you know, president obama's executive orders, look like raging hypocrites when they stand by on an even more extreme measure. >> declaration supported by the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, who said i will support the president, declaring this. there were so many, a long list of republican senators who came out beforehand over the land couple of months when this was just floated as an idea and said i'm against the declaration of a national emergency.
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they're going to get a chance to vote on whether or not they meant that now that the president has declared that. we take our small victories these days, our small profiles in courage, but tom tillis is running. he's up against next year in the north carolina state the president won coming out against the national emergency. we'll see how he votes and other republicans votes once it clears the house and moves to the senate. >> susan collins was first out saying she would vote against this. let's understand first of all, there's no national emergency. there is a problem at our borders, borders, plural, especially ports of entry, with drugs, but no national emergency. second of all, this was money, this is money dual lly appropriated by congress for other purposes, especially military construction, which is part of our military readiness which i think everybody in congress thinks is a priority and to move it away from projects where it has been either allocated or about to be allocated, which have met the threshold to this, makes no
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sense. so i think congress, i frankly think will be measured by how they make this vote and this will be somebody's 30 second spot against those who vote for the president on this issue. >> and we'll talk to the house democrat leading the charge to block the president's action on the border wall. congressman joaquin castro is stand iing by and he joins us straight ahead, but first, a look at some of the big stories making headlines this morning. we'll be right back with more "morning joe."
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jon stewart was on capitol hill yesterday demanding congress provide additional funning for survivors and first responders of the september 11th terrorist attacks. they relawned the compensation fund with to cover claimed. 5 billion of that money already has been given to more than 20,000 survivors with cancer and other respiratory diseases. earlier this month, the special master wh oversees the funds said money was running out and
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payouts would have to be cut. stewart is urging lawmakers to pass permanent funding. >> it's ironic, first responders pride themselves on response time. it's the thing they work on day in and day out so that the people and the communities they serve are well served by their actions. and yet each and every time when they have a need, our response is inadequate, slow and apathetic. >> jane, first of all, got bless him on this. he's been so good from start to finish on fighting for these men and women. but how are we here again? i understand there are many more claims because many more people are getting sick from what they inhaled down there in the aftermath of september 11th, but finding the money to take care of these people and don't make them show up on capitol hill every four years with their hats in hair hands. >> i saw this in the early days, i was a senior democrat on the
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house sbel where she knows committee after 9/11 and was on site a few days i think within a week after the 9/11 bombings and the stench both from the makeshift morgue which was a trailer, but the dust everywhere, was everywhere. and you can imagine that these people have catastrophic lung diseases, which may show up later, your point. and how can we not stand by them. and just think about firefighters in particular. they were climbing up these buildings while they were glowing red when the police hospitalers eer erers helicopte circling overhead. we owe them everything. this was the assault on our freedom. we're climbing back, we haven't made every right move, but not to honor those who put their lives and health on the line to save those they could is just immor immoral. >> there are a lot of members of congress who like to tweet
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thipgs and put the hash tag, never forget. we're about to cross the threshold where more people will have died because of what they breathed down there at ground zero than people who died in the actual attack. >> coming up, joaquin castro joins the conversation. we'll talk about today's big vote in the house and the latest from the 2020 presidential race include iing his brother's whit house campaign. morning joe's coming right back. n morning joe's coming right back. i know you want to leave me for schwab, but before you do that,
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times" pointed out on january 22nd, the four first term congress members from new york, ocasio-cortez is the only one yet to open a district office. she posted a video to instagram asking her followers this. would you rather have a congress member with an amazing local services office or one that leads nationally on issues? even this morning, her official website lists her jackson heights office as under construction. she posted a photo of the space on january 22nd, it's about eight blocks away from former congressman joe celly's office. according to the "new york times", it isn't expected to open until at least march. >> so i actually when i first heard this story, i thought it was a hoax. because i didn't think it was possible to serve in congress
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without local constituent offices because i'm sure like you, like me, like everybody i know at least, focuseded on setting up that local office first because that's where the rubber meets the road. that's where you serve your constituents the most. >> yeah, and here's what i would say to the congresswoman. i think she is amazing, enthusiastic and passionate, but she's missing out on in my opinion, one of the best parts of the b job. the reward you get for dealing with your constituents o one-on-o one-on-one, the case work we did for veterans, the people that walked in our offices. i've always wanted to have an office that was available street side. we moved out of a big office building because i thought people aren't just going to be as comfortable walking in the front door. it will really put a spring in your step when she begins to
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realize that that local piece of it will sustain her. it will allow her to soar to even higher heights if she focuses on both and she can and i'm sure she will, but it is weird she's relegated this to something slightly less important. >> that is weird and ted kennedy, tip o'neill showed you can influence national policies and you can also be incredible with your constituent services. i've got to say also something you're going to find is ten years from now, you're going to be getting on the plane going back the missouri and somebody's going to grab you and say hey, i want you to know, we were about to lose our farm, the irs auditing us for six years and you finally told them either charge them or move on and let them get back to business or i couldn't get my social security
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check and i was about to have to move out of my townhouse. you fought. i mean, that a what i found was i mean i was so idea logical when i got up to washington and i wanted to abolish everything, the irs, i want ed to abolish te u.n., the department of education. i was so overly, i was -- sxwl your colleagues wanted to abolish you. >> exactly. but do you know that nobody came up to me ten years later and said hey, thank you so much for that press conference you had about the flat tax. thank you so much for that press conference you had about getting rid of four cabinet agencies. it was congressman, you saved our farm. and my mom and dad are gone now, but i'll always be grateful. you're going to be hearing that for a decade at least and you are right. that is what people miss out on if they don't focus first on
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constituent services. >> it's the best part of the job and it happens to me every da i and makes my heart beat a little faster when someone grabs me. i had a firefighter the other day many missouri come up u to me and say i wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for you. you intervened and saved my life. you have those moments all the time when you have really focused on individual service in your district. i'm not chastising her. i'm not criticizing her. i'm saying don't miss out on this part. you'll be sorry if you do. it's incredibly rewarding. >> all right. let's bripg in member of the select committee on intelligence, democratic congressman joaquin castro of texas. last week, he introduced the resolution that the house has set to vote on and pass later today, which would block president trump's emergency declaration for the southern border. and we appreciate your being on, congressman. i'd like to start by moving ahead. what happens after?
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is there going to be an ability to override a veto? is there going to be republican support? >> that's a great question, mika. obviously, we'll pass this in the house of representatives. we've got 230 cosponsors. there are three republican senators who said they will support it. we need one more. if the folks, if the republican senators who were very critical of what donald trump did, if they will vote with us, then we'll pass it through the senate. it will go to the president's desk. i think you're probably right. he will veto it, it will come back to us and it will be an uphill battle to try to override that veto, but it's important to say this is one piece of how i said we would challenge donald trump if he declared a national emergency to build his border wall. i said we'd challenge him in congress, and the courts and i believe the american people will continue to challenge him. i think it's important to say one thing because we've talked about the border a lot. but this is the most consequential vote that we've
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taken in regard to the balance of power between the president and congress. i think in decades. there is no way that if we allow this to stand, that either president trump or future presidents won't try to do the same thing declare a national emergency on some domestic issue in which they were not successful either getting mexico to pay for a wall or get iting congress to pay for something. so this is going to have long-term consequences for the future of politics in this country. >> it's willie geist, you kind of anticipated my question, began what i was going to ask you to do which was to make the pitch to republican senators who have said on the record in interviews they are against the idea of a declaration of a national emergency in this case but will be forced to vote against the president they've supported in many other areas. what would you say to them as they sit on the fence? >> to follow their instincts and to put the congress and the country above really their fear of losing a primary because
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they're out of favor with donald trump. how am i supposed to tell if the congress lets this stand, if the courts let this stand, how am i supposed to tell a future president that the thousands and thousands of gun deaths in this country are not a national emergency. that the thousand, tens of thousands of opioid deaths in this country are not a national emergency. that climate change is not a national emergency. this will come wak back to haunt the congress if we don't take a stand. if we don't unify and rise above party, rise above the particular president that's trying to do this and get this done. >> congressman, i am interested in what the count is in the halls. i'm counting on my fingers, i think we get to 55 in terms of the senate. i think we have three, i count at least three or four more. would it be possible that we would get north of 55 as you
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fwis are doing count in the halls? >> well, you know, of course you served there for many years, so i defer to your expertise in terms of the personalities there and their inclinations. but i think you're right. we'll pass the 50 threshold i think shortly after the house takes a vote then from there, it's an open question as to whether we can hit 55 or go beyond that. but like i said, it's important for the senators to real that they are opening a pandora's box for decades to come if they allow this president to get his way on this. he will come back for more and future presidents, both republican and democrat, will come back for more. >> congressman, you sit on the house intel committee. you'll have michael cohen, the president's long time lawyer, friend and fixer before you on thursday in a closed session. what do you want to know from him? where will your pointed questions be directed? >> i want to know whether the president directly told him to lie to congress in his testimony. >> about what specifically?
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>> the payments that were made to the women that the president had affairs with. about any kind of related real estate transaction matters or business matters. that's going to be very important when it comes to issues of obstruction of justice and any kind of money laundering issues that adam schiff, our chairman, has said we're going to take a deep dive into. so i anticipate that michael cohen will be with us for hours on thursday. >> congressman, do you have any information about that money, the giuliani and i think he accidentally blurted out that michael cohen was paid $35,000 payments illegally to for the illegal hush money that was paid in the closing days of the campaign. do you have any idea who signed those checks? has anybody asked who signed those checks that michael cohen got, those illegal payments? >> no. joe, we, i don't believe we got
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into that in our first interview, so it's going to be an opportunity to ask those questions as well and figure out just how dirty the president got his hands in all of this. and i think that there could be legal consequences and ramifications for the president after michael cohen comes to congress and tells us everything that that he knows. >> what is the significance if donald trump's name is actually on those checks? those payoff checks to pay him back for illegally, because he's obviously been convicted, for his illegal actions? >> well, i think that it becomes that much more clear that the preside president, sitting president, committed a crime, so it's a question for prosecutors and the congress what to do about that. >> is that an impeachecachable offense if michael cohen committed a crime, was charged by the southern district of new
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york for committing that crime and then get illegal payments to pay him off and donald trump's name was actually, if cohen tells us if donald trump's names were actually on those checks? >> well, right, i think the congress will wait to see how bob mueller spells it out. but i think that the president has committed such offense on the b obstruction of charge. i think that would just add essentially add to that narrative. yeah. >> all right. thank you so much. >> congressman castro. we appreciate it. willie, my gosh, that is one of the things we want to find out. if donald trump actually repaid michael cohen himself, that would be a bombshell. >> and there are three hearings this week to begin to look into that question and others beginning today. meanwhile as the house votes today on the legislation to block the president's emergency declaration, our next guest
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argues the border wall would help the drug cartels make more money. joining us now, best-selling author, don winslow, his latest novel is out today. the third and final chapter in his trilogy on america's drug wars. don, good morning. always good to see you. this book dove tails nicely to what we've been talking about with the congressman, the idea of bidding this border wall. whether or not this proposal from democrats today to block the national emergency passes, whether it makes it through the senate, the president has vowed to take money from other places to get this wall built. you make the case that if you build a border wall, you make the drug problem worse. explain that. >> that's right. we know that 90% of the illicit drugs come through ports of entry, legal gates, basically, in the proposed wall. tractor trailer truck goes through el paso once every 15 seconds. you're looking at 5,000 tractor trailer trucks a day coming
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through these legal ports of entry. so the wall will do nothing to shut those off. the cory telartels control thos. so what will happen if you build the wall is that the smaller players who are not involved with the cartels now, the ones who might be coming through the desert, the hills if minor ways with this roughly 10% of the drugs, will have to go to the cartels to use these gates, these ports of entry. they'll pay a tax to the cartels of something like 5 to 7% of the value of the product of that heroin, that cocaine, that meth amphetamine and that will feed the cartel's profits. >> as you listen to the argument that's been made for years by donald trump then president trump about what's happening on the border and we have to stop it. you see erroneous statistics thrown out. he makes the argument that drugs are flooding aross the border in places that need a wall when 90 to 95% of them come through those legal ports of entry.
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what are you thinking as someone who has studieded the war on drugs for all his adult life effectively. what do you think when you hear the president try to make this argument? >> outrageous. he starlteded it on the campaig. i think he got his feet stuck in the cement of fantasy. he knows the facts. the dea has told us this. if you read the last five years of their report, it says it. the cartels have told us this lately in the guzman trial. major traffickerses on the stand said it comes through these open gates. so president trump knows this. i think this is being willful ignorance. i think he's just stuck his feet into his campaign promises and he's sticking it out. i guarantee you, this wall will do nothing to stop the flow of drugs. in fact, it will help the flow of drugs. it's as going to drive more migrants into the hands of cartels who are getting into the human smuggling business. >> i mention ed the border is te
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last, are we it's the last, maybe there will be more afterward. what's the thrust of the piece? >> bringing the drug war home. you know we've been fighting this war for 50 years. if you ask the average american what's our longest war, they'll say vietnam. then they'll quickly amend that to say afghanistan. >> right. >> it's not. it's the war on drugs. we've been fighting it for 50 years and what are the results? well, we have more drugs. we have more overdoses. drugs are cheaper and more plentiful than they've ever been. that's not winning. we need to do something different. the thrust of this book is to talk about some of the issues that are headlines or labels, the heroin epidemic. i follow a heroin addict through this book. immigration. the book follows a 10-year-old guatema guatemalan boy who gets thrown into a detention center and what
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happens to him. so this book looks more at the united states and the effect of the war on drugs on our country. >> one we're losing again right now with a new kind of drug that's infected culture and caused, as you point out, more overdoses than killers like car accidents. >> exactly. >> the new novel, "the border," the latest in the trilogy from don winslow. thanks for coming in. great to talk to you. coming up, chris rock said our next guest's brook should be labeled as genius. s a jet! oh...i needed this. no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on our car insurance with geico. we could have been doing this a long time ago. so, you guys staying at the hotel? yeah, we just got married. oh ho-ho! congratulations! thank you. yeah, i'm afraid of commitment... and being boiled alive. oh, shoot. believe it. geico could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
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all right. joining us now, the founder of the moral courage project, at the university of southern california, best-selling author, e irshad manji. out with "don't label me." we go way back. >> you were one of my very first interviews ever. thank you very much for our relationship over the years. >> it's been wonderful. this book, i'm a dog person. i think i get this. but this book was inspired or started by a conversation between you and your dog. >> right. this book, "don't label me" is a -- a way, a guide, to he'alin
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these united states. and why a conversation with my dog? because growing up muslim, i had a very unhealthy fear of dogs. and that was instilled in me. not for religious reasons but for cult rat oneural ones. when i let go of that fear, it was not so long ago, i lived with that fear most of my life -- i realized how much we learn when we fail to engage those beings, people or others whom we are afraid of. and so, that is a thread throughout my book about how and not just why, all of us in this country, can get over our fear of the other. >> yep. and that's a picture of you and lily. >> yep. >> and that fear also shows you how much you missed out when you finally overcome it. is that fair to say? >> absolutely.
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i was not in the greatest health situation when i adopted lily. that's the reason my partner at the time urged me to transcend my fear of dogs. she was right. lily is the only being that has ever inspired me to look up from my laptop, close it and actually enjoy the simple pleasure of a belly rub. her belly, not mine, i want to add. but the point is, in a time that is noisy and fast, we need to slow down and engage with one another. enste instead of flicking each other away by putting liables on one another, we noeed to ask, where are you coming from? what do i need to understand what i'm missing from you? it sounds like a simple remedy. when you practice it is, it is.
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we have decided for all kinds of reasons, we're going to belong to tribes, not to a nation. and i think there's time to turn that around. >> let's talk about how we do that. you get into that in this book. our culture right now, is labeled political opponents as enemies. people are not just wrong, they're evil. you have to vaporize your opponent. who can make the clever smackdown on social media. how do you begin to unwind that? >> those of us, and, claire, i'm looking at you now. those of us on the liberal and progressive side of the spectrum, we have to remember that we're the ones that keep talking about diversity and inclusi inclusion. let's actually live up to that. rather than berating people who disagree with us, even about those issues, we have to have integrity and step up and ask questions. tell me where you're coming from. help me understand your experiences so that, you know, i
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can appreciate why you believe what you believe. and here's the thing -- when we do that, we actually glean information that then helps us reframe our arguments in ways that they can understand. >> you know, and town halls for me were really important because i went to places that i wasn't very popular. >> right. >> and it was amazing to have these conversations. these -- this doesn't help. >> that's right. you look around in rauestaurant and people who have gone out of their way to have a meal together, are on their phone the entire time. i am really trying. i think your book is incredibly important. the youngest generation, they've never not had this. >> but i'll tell you what, claire, the youngest generation also doesn't want to be labeled. an millennials and people of my generation, older than millennials, have made that mistake of stuffing each other into boxes. with the youngest generation, we have the opportunity to equip them, to educate them, to
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understand difference and also to work for commonality. and there's plenty of tips and steps in the book that both educators and parents can take to get young people to look up from their phones, as lily taught me to do. >> absolutely. >> and to converse. >> and talk to people that di disagree with you on a regular basis is important. >> i have a challenge for all of our viewers. between now and the next election, develop a friendship, a sincere friendship, with somebody on the other side of the political spectrum. listening does not oblige you to agree. what you can do by listening to your other, is seek common ground, even as you stand your ground and watchle t the
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transformation that takes place. >> i will tell you what i do to bridge this divide. the book is "done label me," on sale today. irshad manji. i want to tell viewers, you're looking at live pictures at hanoi, vietnam, as president trump arrives for his summit with kim jong-un. stephanie ruhle will have all of this as she picks up the coverage right now. hi, there, i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning, worlds apart. any minute now, two potentially historic events about to begin. president trump's airplane just landed in vietnam for his second high-stakes summit with north korean leader, kim jong-un. you can hear the plane now. meanwhile, here in the united states, president trump's former lawyer and fixer, michael cohen, has just arrived on capitol hill seconds ago, for the first of three days of testimony. a knowledge s

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