tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC March 3, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PST
that will wrap up this hour of "msnbc live." i'm phillip mena. now it's time for "weekends with alex witt." there she is! good morning, alex. >> very good morning to you. have a great day off. i appreciate the start here to the news day. thank you, phillip. good morning to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. it is 7:00 in the east, 4:00 a.m. out west. welcome, everyone, to "weekends with alex witt." trump unplugged, the president delivering a raucous and marathon speech to a partisan crowd after a bruising week. >> and all of a sudden, they're trying to take you out with [ bleep ], okay? russia, please, if you can, get us hillary clinton's e-mails! please, russia, please! this phony thing that now looks like it's dying. he's bad! he's a bad, bad -- he's a bad, bad guy. that's been proven now. >> extraordinary.
no one spared as the president went into furious attack mode, over two hours. we've got reaction and fallout, next. trump, who is the most dangerous president in modern american history. >> kickoff rally. bernie sanders officially launches his 2020 bid, but will his new message rise above the crowd? pardon me? a new report suggests lawmakers could be looking at another aspect of michael cohen's dealings with donald trump, and could it mean more trouble for the president? developing this morning, new fallout after the president let loose in the longest speech of his presidency, 2 hours, 2 minutes and 26 seconds, if you're counting. the president rilling up the sympathetic crowd at the nation's top gathering of conservatives. it was mostly off-script, a stream of consciousness soliloquy after a bruising week at home and abroad that included no deal after his much-touted
summit with north korea, bipartisan criticism after siding with kim jong-un on the death of an american student, a "new york times" report that the president ordered a top-secret security clearance for jared kushner, overruling his then chief of staff, plus the scathing testimony of his former lawyer and fixer, michael cohen. now, after all that, the president appeared to release frustration in his marathon talk. here are four notable highlights. first up, doubling down on a conservative line of attack against the green new deal, exaggerating the proposal. >> the new green deal or whatever the hell they call it. no planes. no energy. when the wind stops blowing, that's the end of your electric. let's hurry. darling, darling, is the wind blowing today? i'd like to watch television, darling. >> then the president downplayed his infamous campaign press conference when he called on russia to hack hillary clinton's
e-mails. now, the special counsel's office says russians that very same day in july 2016 made their first attempt to hack clinton's personal servers. >> if you tell a joke, if you're sarcast sarcastic, if you say something like, russia, please, if you can, get us hillary clinton's e-mails! then that fake cnn and others say, he asked russia to go get the e-mails. horrible. >> later on, he slammed robert mueller, revealed a conversation he had before firing then fbi director james comey. >> all of a sudden, they're trying to take you out with [ bleep ]. robert mueller put 13 of the angriest democrats in the history of our country on the commission. i had a nasty business transaction with robert mueller a number of years ago. when i fired comey, i said, you
know, first lady, i said, melania, i'm doing something today. i'm doing it because it really has to be done. >> and then the president again framed 2020 democrats as socialists. >> this is the new democrat platform. socialism is not about the environment. it's not about justice. it's not about virtue. socialism is about only one thing. it's called power for the ruling class. america will never be a socialist country. >> let's go now to the white house and nbc's mike viqueira. with a good morning to you, my friend, that was a pretty good highlight reel, i think, but put this into context for us. because look, it all comes on the heels of a very tumultuous week for the president. >> reporter: right, and it's important to have that context. and good morning to you, alex. there's no question the president epic and unrestrained. i mean, that was more than two hours. that was 19th-century politician territory then, that stream of
consciousness that the president let loose. and again, as you correctly point out, after a difficult week politically, and perhaps even legally, with the testimony from michael cohen, with coming home empty-handed from his summit with the north korean leader in hanoi, the jared kushner situation where the president is reported to have interfered and overruled top officials in granting his son-in-law a top security clearance. so, all that added up to a very frustrated president trump. you saw him take the stage there at cpac, and you could tell right away, when he hugged the american flag that was at the side of the stage, that this, indeed, was going to be something unrestrained, even by president trump's standards. let's point out a couple of things. i think it's important to point these out. he talked about the comey firing and how he had had a conversation with his wife because he said comey was a bad man. of course, he had told nbc's lester holt shortly after that that he did it, he had russia in mind when he did it. and similarly when he joked, when he criticized the media for
saying the 30,000 e-mails that he asked russia to find, the hillary clinton e-mails, he said he was now joking, that the media can't take a joke. he told katy tur quite clearly after that that he was not joking at all. we made a full-screen of all of the people he attacked during that two-hour speech, including elizabeth warren, james comey, bob mueller, jeff sessions. he did a fake southern accent to mock the former attorney general. rod rosenstein, adam schiff, mazie hirono, gavin newsom, stacey abrams, james mattis, chuck schumer, hillary clinton, and of course, house democrats, some of whom the president says hate our country. he says that's very, very sad. so, plenty for everyone to talk about, plenty of things for everybody to talk about. but look, that was red meat, raw meat to a salivating base. they ate it up down there at cpac. >> they did. a lot of standing ovations and shouts and hollering. thank you, mike viqueira. we'll see you later today.
kevin cirilli is with bloomberg news and david levinthal is reporter for the center for public integrity. guys, let's get right into this here, the president's address to cpac. kevin, you first. how do you describe this speech? what do you think was the motivation behind it? >> look, i think we always say this in the media as almost a cliche, but i was thinking about it coming in here. this was without question the start of the 2020 presidential campaign cycle, that off-the-record, off-the-cusp style is something that, quite frankly, when you talk to aides connected to this white house, the president has been feeling for quite some time that he wanted to get out there, to push back, to bulldoze through when his back is up against the political wall. he did that last night. it played very well to the base. he shattered through a host of criticisms. and look, this is the president that is going to be campaigning between now and next november. >> what about your take on the speech, david, and the impact of
it overall? do you agree this was the ultimate kickoff to the 2020 presidential campaign for trump? >> remember, alex, that state of the union address where donald trump called for unity? yeah, i don't really remember it either. >> yeah. >> i mean, kevin's right, it is kind of a ceremonial kickoff to the campaign. but donald trump has been preparing for this moment, for this kickoff, literally since the day he became president of the united states. on the day of his inauguration, he filed paperwork to run for re-election in 2020. that's something unprecedented in u.s. presidential history. he's been raising a ton of money. he has a consolation of super pacs and various other outside groups promoting him. and what we're really seeing is that all poured into the sing lari larity, pouring that into the campaign for the next two years. so this is a significant moment in time and really stands to show who donald trump is and where his comfort zone is. he loves these kinds of events and he's been having campaign events hither and yon really ever since becoming president of the united states.
>> you know, there's that one campaign event in 2016 when he appeals to russia and says, look for hillary clinton's e-mails. there's 3,000 of them. we need to get them. kevin, he says he was joking now, and he criticizes the press for the interpretation. what is your interpretation of what he meant at the time and subsequentally what happened? >> well, i think we have to wait for the mueller investigation, because it's one thing to take a rhetorical analysis approach on this, but it's entirely different to take the justice department approach and to take the special counsel approach. and without question, this was a president who was on foreign soil in hanoi, vietnam, where i was the past week covering him. >> yeah. >> and what gripped america's attention was not the denuclearization summit with north korea, but michael cohen's testimony. and so, this was a president who was asked, really unable being on foreign soil, to give the type of response that he gave last night at cpac. >> right, right. >> so, he was fired up and ready to go! >> but kevin, with regard to the president saying, you know, what
him and throughout his administration. >> this is something that he's hit right on the nose ever since, again, he became president of the united states. and whether it's michael cohen, whether it's hillary clinton, whether it's the mueller investigation, whether it's some of the attorneys generals' investigations, lawsuits. they go on and on and on and donald trump is going to have one response and one response only, which is to attack, attack, attack, and call this all a witch hunt, which he truly believes, if you take him at his word, he believes this is. but that's not going to matter if you have a position of great peril and the mueller investigation, and the report created from that, will kind of be the ultimate arbiter of where his future is going. it's going to be pretty darn close. and a lot of dominos will fall, particularly the big one in the u.s. house, which is whether democrats at that moment are going to decide to move forward with impeachment, which they are reluctant to do for political considerations otherwise, or hold back as they have been. >> can i ask both of you what you think was most problematic
for this very problematic week for the president? you've got security clearance, you've got failure in hanoi, you've got michael cohen's multihour testimony in front of the world on wednesday. dave, you first. which one do you think was top of list in terms of being problems for the president? >> i might go slightly in a different direction. it's problematic potentially, but it also is a galvanizing week for donald trump, at least among his supporters, and he enjoys incredible support among republicans right now. i've been going to cpacs for years, and they used to be sort of these, you know, almost wonky, very big-tent republican conservative gatherings where every ideology was represented within the ranks of conservatism. this was a trump pep rally almost beginning to end. so if donald trump has a bad week, that also can be a good week for donald trump in a way that he really needs it in a political context, which is retaining his space, keeping people excited, firing people up. having them open up their
wallets and make campaign donations. all these things were happening for him even with everything else. >> it is extraordinary when you put it that way. you're 100% right. what do you think, kevin, was worst for the president? >> otto warmbier, without question. being over there, talking to republicans back stateside, lawmakers, the statement from the family. it was, you know, i mean, that family has been through -- we all know what -- i mean, none of us know what that family has been through, and that was fumbled. that was not articulated in the correct way, and really not a good look. >> you know what, in fact, i want to play -- we've got a sound bite from hanoi. i want to play that, how the president addressed both that and walking away from the deal. here it is. >> i had to walk. because every once in a while, you have to walk. because the deal wasn't a deal that was acceptable to me. i don't like these deals that
politicians make. they make a deal just for the sake of doing it. i don't want to do that. otto warmbier, whose parents i've gotten to know, who's incredible. and i'm in such a horrible position, because in one way, i have to negotiate. in the other way, i love mr. and mrs. warmbier, and i love otto. and it's a very, very delicate balance. he was a special young man, and to see what happened was so bad, was so bad. and a lot of what i do with respect to north korea and any success that we hopefully have -- and we've had a lot -- we're given no credit. >> all right, so you addressed, kevin, otto warmbier, but the president walking away, talk about that. was there an expectation that he would come away with something instead of nothing? >> they were downplaying expectations, but they had a framework agreement signing that was on the white house schedule ahead of their joint -- or ahead
of the president's press conference in hanoi, and that was nixed. and the press conference -- or he walked away two hours early, before that press conference. so, there was really even the low-hanging fruit wasn't agreed to. with regards to otto warmbier, i can tell you that that night, shortly after midnight local time, hallie jackson was there as well with a north korean press conference with north korean officials, and they repeatedly declined the opportunity to answer questions regarding their horrific human rights record and the situation with otto warmbier. that was, you know, a moment clearly, when you hear the president's remarks last night from cpac, clearly, he knows based upon that sound bite that that was not articulated in the way that he wanted when he was over there in hanoi. and he got pushback from republicans. >> okay, yeah. kevin cirilli, dave levinthal, guys, thank you both so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. it could be the most damaging and game-changing information from michael cohen, and the political or even legal peril for the president.
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new insight this morning from the "washington post" that suggests lawmakers are privately investigating whether the president's former attorney was involved in pardon discussions with the president and his team in an effort to prevent cohen from cooperating. joining me now, msnbc legal contributor katie phang and criminal defense attorney ashleigh merchant. ladies, good morning to you. >> good morning.
>> in cohen's hearing, he discussed his last conversation with the president. let's listen to what he said. >> when was the last communication with president trump or someone acting on his behalf? >> i don't have the specific date, but it was a while ago. >> and what did he or his agent communicate to you? >> unfortunately, this topic is actually something that's being investigated right now by the southern district of new york. >> is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding donald trump that we haven't yet discussed today? >> yes. and again, those are part of the investigation that's currently being looked at by the southern district of new york. >> what are the chances, katie, that could be related to pardon talks? >> listen, i'm sure that the word pardon has come up several times during a conversation between donald trump and michael cohen, but was it brought up in the context of michael cohen getting a pardon, or did it involve other players that were involved in the trump sphere? the important takeaway from that
testimony before congress last week, alex, is the fact that there are ongoing criminal investigations by the turn district of new york into donald trump, and he has been told, michael cohen's been told you can't talk about it. and so, that should send a chill down the spine of donald trump, his family members, and those that are involved in the trump organization, the trump foundation, the trump inaugural committee, everyone that is peripherally or directly voefld involved with donald trump and everyone in his sphere should be concerned that the southern district of new york is looking at pihim. and we know cohen might have a problem, but you can't cherry pick it or have it both ways. either he is telling the truth or is not and that was one of the more jaw-dropping moments during his congressional testimony last week, but i did find him to be credible. >> katie's with a comprehensive sense of what this should be, the conversation that is now under investigation. anything else you could be adding to this? and if not, because she did a
good job of putting it all out there, why does it matter? i mean, is it all about the southern district of new york and that investigation and less about mueller? >> well, i think the talks about the pardon definitely matter, and they matter to the american people. why? because it shows a consciousness of guilt. why would trump need to have a conversation about issuing a pardon if there wasn't anything that happened that was wrong, if there wasn't anything that he had guilty knowledge of? and so i think it's very telling to the american people that president trump, if he did have pardon discussions, and it sounds like he did, if he did, that shows that he had a consciousness of guilt, that shows that he believed there was something he would have to pardon his allies for, and that is very important to the american people. >> good point there. let's listen to what the former governor of new jersey, chris christie, said in terms of being confident about the southern district dealing a case against the president. here it is. >> bob mueller is not what should concern the president or the white house. it's the southern district of new york. what they're doing, i'm confident, is building a case
for two things: one, to go after those around the president who may have committed crimes, and two, to build a case, if they have one -- i don't think they have one at the moment, but they're trying to build one against the president for when he leaves office. >> katie, do you think there's enough evidence right now to indict a sitting president? because we know that the fdny has established that the president is an unindicted co-conspirator. >> you have an excellent point, alex, by that exact statement, that we know during cohen's plea colloquy, when he pled guilty last year, that president trump is that unindicted co-conspirator when it comes to specifically the campaign finance violations, that donald trump just seems to be unable to avoid. i mean, we saw those checks that were presented by michael cohen last week to members of congress indicating that during the course of the presidency, donald trump paid michael cohen at least $35,000 via a personal check. but what's important about this is the fact that if the mueller
investigation was to end tomorrow, which, you know, there's been a lot of scuttlebutt, a lot of rumors as to whether or not that's going to happen any time soon, but if it was to end tomorrow, fundamentally, it would not end. the southern district of new york's investigations, several of which are going on, and it wouldn't end the state prosecuting agencies, those people like the state of new york a.g. that's looking into donald trump into things involving the trump organization, the trump foundation, the inaugural committee and the emoluments clause litigation. there's so much that's going on. and so, donald trump may escape the mueller net when it comes to possible russian conspiracy, but it may not be able to escape an imminent indictment whether now or when he's out of the white house. >> yeah. what about all those names that were mentioned, ashleigh, during the hearing with michael cohen? who do you think faces serious criminal liability? >> well, i agree, i think the southern district is definitely going to be his bigger issue at this point, and the reason is they don't have the limitations that the mueller investigation has. they've got the ability to
follow leads and follow up on all of those names and follow up on all of the information that michael cohen has presented and do a more thorough investigation. now, the mueller probe will do the most thorough investigation, but they have limitations on who they're able to prosecute and what they're able to follow up on. but i think the southern district doesn't, and so, all of those extra names that michael cohen mentioned, those are the leads that they'll be able to follow up on, and that's what governor christie was talking about. >> all right, ashleigh, katie, ladies, thank you much. >> thank you. it is just the thing preventing a president from giving his son-in-law top security clearance. the lawmaker who devised the plan joins me next. wmaker who de plan joins me next billions of bacteria, but life...can throw them off balance. (vo) re-align yourself with align probiotic.
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2020. new signs that former new york mayor mike bloomberg is getting ready for a presidential run. cnbc reports that bloomberg's closest advisors are interviewing potential aides in both iowa and new hampshire, and if he does run, cnbc has reported that he would be prepared to spend $100 million on the campaign. and a really early projection of the ballot for the white house this morning comes from larry sabato's crystal ball. the first projection is a dead heat with the level being 248
republican electoral votes, 244 democratics, but the notable number there, 46 in the toss-up vote column. well, president trump facing backlash in the wake of a "new york times" report alleging that trump ordered officials to give son-in-law jared kushner a security clearance. it comes less than a month after ivanka trump exclusively denied her father's involvement in her husband's security clearance. >> there were anonymous leaks about there being issues, but the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance. >> so no special treatment? >> no. >> joining me now, new york congressman adriano espaillat. thank you for joining me. tell me what this stands for and how it's been received in the likelihood of passage. >> which is a mechanism to ensure that top-secret clearance
is not given off the cuff by the president, the executive office of the president, that, in fact, when we have negative determinations by the intelligence community, by law enforcement community, that congress will be notified within five days after the president or their executive officers have overturned those recommendations. >> so it's for relative security clearance. just so everybody knows what's going on. but the play on words -- i mean, jared, since he's the epicenter of this current question -- >> a responsibility and determination. >> right, judgment and responsibility in executing determinations. >> that's correct. >> what's the reaction been, though? do you think it's likely to pass? >> i think it's an appetite. we're looking at the senate to find out if there is senate sponsor of it, but i think given what has transpired in the last few days, there is an appetite for us in congress to have some level of involvement in assuring that someone that's given top-secret clearance, it's not -- the decisions of law
enforcement or the intelligence experts are not overturned like haphazardly. >> but here's something, sir. if the president's allowed to share top-secret information with anyone he deems it being important to do so with, why is it a big deal into how jared kushner has gotten his clearance? >> well, this particular act purposes that any relative or someone that's a business associate of the president, right, this would apply exclusively only to those folks. and it's important because very often the president or the executive officers of the white house may want to circumvent any process to ensure that his son-in-law in this case gets security clearance for top-secret information. >> this is something, you're saying family members, people with whom a president, any president, not just this president -- >> that's correct, any president. >> were this legislation to pass, it would be for any -- >> that's correct. >> i want to ask you about the
democratic party in general with regard to the centrist versus the progressive. "washington post" reporting that representative alexandria ocasio-cortez has said some of her colleagues could find themselves on a list of primary election targets after they voted for republican amendment to a recent gun control bill. talk about the sentiments under way right now in congress and if there are two divisive camps right now within the democratic party and what you need to do to bring everybody back together. >> well, the democratic party's a big tent party, and it is not news that we have different factions within the democratic party. we all have many opinions. and i think that's one of the characteristics of the democratic party. so, this is not new. i think we need to show a little bit more discipline to have this kind of action pass on the floor so early after we got the majority i think shows that perhaps we need to get a little more discipline. >> but is there a problem within leadership?
>> no, no, no, absolutely not. >> there's a suggestion that there is, that the three main heads of the democratic party right now within the house are not always on the same page. >> no, leadership is strong. nancy pelosi's our strong leader. she's shown it. i mean, she brought us back to open government. she's shown the president, she sat at the helm of the house of representatives. she's a strong leader, a woman. she's the only woman in the room. >> right. >> and i think that's good for america, that's good for our party. we need to show a little bit more discipline. but the fact that we have diverse opinions doesn't make us weaker. it makes us stronger. >> does it make you stronger, indeed, if you have another very high-profile woman now in aoc suggesting that others will be, i mean, democrats will be primaried, though? isn't that a problem? >> well, primaries have not been an aberration in democratic politics in the past. many people get primaried. i get primaried all the time. and so, this is good for democracy. i think it's good for us as rank and file members of the house of
representatives to have opposition in our primary and get back to the voters, have our feet on the grounds, hear their complaints, you know, make sure that we are in touch, we feel the pulse of the districts that we represent. that's something that makes democracy stronger and our party certainly more strong. >> what about the president's two-hour-plus speech at cpac yesterday? it was very free-wheeling. he was not, certainly, working with a teleprompter. he used some pretty colorful language, which i don't think i'll be able to repeat, or else i might get censored. but the fact that he said i was being sarcastic calling on russia to find hillary clinton e-mails during the 2016 campaign. is that how that was being interpreted? >> well, he had a tough week. the president had a tough week, and he came back from his meeting with north korea, and i think he tried to lighten up a little bit, because he certainly had a rough week with the jared incident, with the cohen testimony, and with the attempts to reach some kind of an
agreement with north korea that collapsed -- >> and now add otto warmbier to that. >> that's correct. so he tried to lighten up. he had a very lengthy speech filled with old trumpisms, right? and it didn't go well. i don't think it went -- any time you have to speak for two hours to get your message across, something is going wrong. >> but do you believe that he was just joking back in 2016? i mean -- >> no, absolutely not! >> i mean, hasn't it been proven that that was the very first day that russians tried to hack and obtain e-mails? >> that's correct. i mean, he said it blatantly, openly, and we remember the chants and we remember he said during the campaign. i think he was very serious. >> tell me what's next with regard to north korea in the wake of these failed negotiations, because you are on the foreign affairs committee. where do we go? >> this one-on-one negotiation shows that you really need to have your team around you. and a lot of the dealings and wheelgz happens back door. it doesn't happen in front of the cameras. so, this was really some camera time for the president, perhaps
knowing that at the same time, cohen was taking the stand, and he was testifying in congress -- >> is he not focused on it? i will say, with the back-door dealings, you're absolutely correct. there were a number of parties from both sides that spent five, six days in hanoi prior to the president and kim jong-un's arriv arrival, and they couldn't agree on anything. was the devil in the pudding there? >> well, i think north korea's pulling the wool on us, as they say in new york. i think at the end of the day, they're looking to continue with their nuclear build-up and i think that we're being very naive. >> congressman from new york, adriano espaillat, thank you very much for weighing in and being here in person. >> thank you. the pleas and prayers from parents just arriving at america's doorstep, but will they be reunited with their children?
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more than two dozen immigrants from central america returning to the u.s./mexico border this weekend, hoping to be reunited with their children. they were separated under the trump administration's controversial zero tolerance policy last year, and msnbc's mariana atencio is following their journey. >> reporter: it took elmer gomez six months and over 2,500 miles to get back to this point. "since i left, my goal was to be with her. i'm finally at the moment which is the final point. i dream of being with her." traveling from honduras with his pregnant wife, he hopes to be
reunited with his 15-year-old daughter in the u.s. separated under the trump administration's zero tolerance policy, he was deported. his daughter remained in the custody of health and human services for four months and now lives with a relative in wisconsin. "every day i think about her. i tell my daughter, please forgive me. it was not my intention to leave you here." gomez is not alone. he is joined by 28 other parents from central america who were deported without their children and are now demanding to get them back. >> the vast majority of these parents were deported without ever having the chance to seek asylum in the united states. >> reporter: erica pinero, a lawyer working with the family, says the government has an obligation to reunite them, citing a federal judge's order last july. >> the government has affirmatively stated that they're making efforts to reunify these families, and we're here to make sure that the
government complies with their obligations. >> reporter: border patrol officials on site tell us they are at capacity and the parents will have to wait. elmer gomez and the others vow to stay as long as it takes. >> that was mariana atencio there. no power is stronger than a parent's love. we wish them luck. we're just getting started. at the top of the hour, we go to msnbc's "up with david gura," but you can tell us now since you have 17 minutes until you really get going. >> thank you, alex. last week was difficult for the president, between the failed summit, the second summit in hanoi and michael cohen's three days of testimony on capitol hill, especially that open hearing on wednesday. we're going to get some brand-new polling data this morning, a survey that was conducted while all of that was going on, and those data are going to give us new insight into how voters feel about the president, about his policies and what democratic voters in particular are looking for in a candidate as that field continues to get larger and larger. so that new nbc news/"wall
street journal" poll giving us great framework to talk about the news coming up. >> you're so lucky it starts at 9:00 and you'll get a first crack at it. thank you, david. >> thank you. chris christie says the president's biggest concern in the russia probe is not robert mueller. the bigger threat is next. is ne. you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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the green new deal, right, green new deal. i encourage it. i think it's really something that they should promote. i should have saved the pocahontas thing for another year. because i've destroyed her political career and now i won't get a chance to run against her and i would have loved it. >> hmm. president trump mocking democrats at cpac yesterday in a warm-up for his re-election campaign. let's bring in democratic strategist bishop garrison, inter -- executive direct are you of the truman project and brian darling, founder and president of liberty government affairs. with a welcome to you both, and good to see you, as usual. brian, what do you think of the president's tone there? i mean, did it give us a glimpse into his strategy, the tenor of how this campaign's going to go? is it more about being against the democrats than about really
creating a new vision? >> i think one thing -- excuse me. if you look at cpac and the history of cpac, we've had presidents in the past, like george w. bush, who was reluctant to go to cpac. you look back to the reagan years. reagan loved cpac. i think president trump loves being in that atmosphere. he walked in there, gave a two-hour stem-winder, where he basically made fun of democrats, talked about some of his policies, really got comfortable, really enjoyed himself, and it did show, that is a preview to what we're going to see going forward with the campaign. him making fun of democrats for being socialists, for supporting the green new deal, him making fun of individual candidates on the democrat side. i think it was a glimpse. and if you just read the speech, you can see that is a roadmap that president trump will use going into 2020. >> yeah. bishop, have democrats given the president an easy target with their push for things like the green new deal, like medicare for all? i mean, are you worried at all
that his use of the word socialist could really hurt democrats, particularly with moderate voters? >> good morning, alex. not at all. let's be honest, what we saw yesterday at cpac was an absolute was an absolute as far farce. the president came out and desecrated a flag and went on and rambled for over two hours dropping expletive after expletive about ideas on a -- everything from candidates to an ongoing federal investigation. what you're seeing from democrats are actual policies or debates about what the future of the country should be and how we should go about shaping that. the green new deal is aspirational and it is an absolutely phenomenal idea generally. there is still details to be worked out. no one's arguing that, but what democrats are doing around that and their vision for health care and their vision for what a tax reform should actually be in education, these are ideas that people can debate and get behind
and actually shape the future of the country and it's not just a rambling argument from someone who's taking over our country. >> these aren't moderate ideas at all. >> brian, i have to play something. this was quite shocking yesterday. republican strategist rick tyler, he was talking about the president's speech at cpac. take a listen to what he had to say. >> it's not cpac anymore. it hasn't been since 2016. it's now trump pac and it should be tpac. the people there, they talk about pro tariffs, anti-justice, anti-law enforcement, anti-immigrant, pro-russia. pro-autocrat. it's unrecognizable what donald trump has done to the period and what he's done to the conservative movement. >> does he have a point? i mean, you talked about cpac being something that president ronald regan went to, loved going, probably got a very, you know, raucous applause as well as donald trump does.
weren't these two completely different with not only their ten or and the way they approached their audience but what they were saying? >> well, cpac always reflects the republicans in power. back in the bush years it was a pro bush gathering. during the obama years it was just obama bashing the whole time an now it's obviously trump pac. it's something where the trump supporters were there in droves. that's just the nature of the way that cpac is run and matt schlapp running it is a strong supporter of the president. there's nothing wrong with that. it's okay to have the pro trump voiceness there talking about his policies. hey, look, the conservative movement is always going to be the conservative movement. it may disagree at times with president trump, may agree most of the time with president trump but i don't think the movement's changed and i don't think the president has changed the conservative movement one bit. >> here's another headline i want to read for you, bishop,
from the hill. it says cpac attendees say biden poses greatest threat to trump. how do you interpret that? >> well, again, i think i can't say enough about cpac -- what we saw the president being unbecoming of the presidency. cpac continues now from 2016 from what republicans -- from what traditional conservatives are saying, it's no longer cpac, it's trumpism. i think vice president biden is a tremendous asset to the democratic party. he along with what we've seen from everyone along with kamala harris to secretary castro and elizabeth warren, we have a fantastic field and he would be another welcomed addition to that. i think he absolutely can take on the president because he knows what it actually means to be a leader for all and to actually be becoming of a position. >> but he may be too moderate. he may be too moderate to
actually win the nation. >> there's no such thing as too moderate. there's absolutely no such thing. democrats want a strong leader. they want a strong voice for all. yes, we are always going to debate and have discussion about what that -- what our policy means and what those values are and how they're best represented in policies. >> right. >> that's -- that's not a problem. >> the candidates now are pushing forfar left wing ideas, socialist like ideas, the green new deal. >> health care for all and taking care of the environment are not socialist. >> yes, they are. >> even conservatives want that. >> no. >> you oo even conservatives want that. >> they don't want to destroy the health care system. >> tax reform has decimated the middle class but you guys pushed that. >> you guys are kind of looking at what bernie sanders was talking about at the same time that cpac was going on. brian, you've made your thoughts
clear about that. what did you take, i want to ask you, bishop, take away from bernie sanders launch yesterday? >> several things. one, again, i worry about what senator sanders actually brings to the table. >> yeah. >> on a variety of issues. >> right. >> everything from what he really is going to do to support people of color to the types of issues that he's going to push further left. >> he also introduced himself, which was new to this campaign. so we're going to be following that. brian, bishop, thank you both. i'll see you again soon. meantime, joe biden says his family wants him to run but would his old boss want him to? first, the folks at snl could not resist having fun with michael cohen's testimony. ben stiller revives his zbloel good afternoon to you, you lying piece of human trash! >> well, thank you, i really
appreciate that. >> where are you looking? i'm right here? >> oh, great. thank you. >> mr. chairman, you're right that i'm angry. i'm angry that i have to sit here through this two bit dirt bag flee circus. i'm so angry i couldn't even wear a jacket today! and you know something, mr. cohen, i've never even heard of you. >> your mother has. >> hey, hey. ♪ your grace. your majesty. your king. a legacy of leaders, speeders and serpent feeders. the alfa romeo giulia, stelvio and c37. we really pride ourselvesglass, on making it easy
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that's going to do it for me on "weekends with alex witt." stay tuned, it's time for "up" with david gura. well, this is "up." i'm david gura. 2:20:26. president trump setting a record for his longest speech ever. unscripted, uninterrupted and uncensored. >> and all of a sudden they're trying to take you out with [ bleep ], okay? with [ bleep ]. >> makes you wonder if this was the real state of the union. plus, a new report says michael cohen may have been involved in pardon talks. he's back on capitol hill this week to deliver more testimony. >> new information that mr. cohen will bring corroborating evidence to the committee on wednesday of next