tv Morning Joe MSNBC April 4, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT
of your tax returns as you know elizabeth warren has decided to do that? >> yes. >> will you release any of your tax returns for the public to scrutinize? >> we'll be working on that over the next period of time, chuck, absolutely. >> what was the delay? why haven't you done that so far? >> the delay is our tax returns will bore you to death. >> what's a period of time? >> i don't know. >> before the volting begting b? >> it's not like this is a tax return. >> this is mechanical issue. my wife is working on it right now. >> we're working on it right now. at the appropriate time i'm sure you'll be satisfied. >> so will it be sooner or later? >> soon. >> neither presidential candidate has released his tax returns in the run-up to 2020. now house democrats are making a formal push to see the president's numbers. will they put pressure on bernie
along with willie and me, we have mike barnicle, contributor to "time" magazine and former aide to the george w. bush white house and state department, elise jordan,richard haas is with us and senior security analyst for msnbc news juan zuarrte is with us and jake sherman is with us. the "new york times" reports that some of mueller's investigators have told associates that barr failed to adequately portray their
finding, which government officials and others familiar with their frustration say were more damaging for president trump than indicated. the "times" reports the special counsel investigators had already written multiple summaries of the report and some team members believe that barr should have included more of their material in his four-page letter. but government officials say the justice department determined that the summaries contain sensitive information, like classified material, secret grand jury testimony and information related to current federal investigations that must remain confidential. whe while the report said it was not clear what special investigators viewed as troubling, barr said the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question. >> and president trump's legal team responded to the the "new
york times" piece late last night. rudy giuliani saying, quote, if there was a significant difference, mueller would have corrected it as he did the false bu buzzfeed report. this is from disgruntled mueller staffers who are rabid democrat supporters supporters. >> the justice department declined to respond to the "new york times" story but the party reports that attorney general barr's team has its own frustration with mueller. barr and other justice department officials believe the special counsel investigators fell short of their task by declining to decide whether president trump illegally obstructed the inquiry, leaving barr to make a decision. but as nbc news reported, mueller gave barr and the d.o.j.
three weeks' notice that he would not make a conclusion on obstructi obstruction. officials familiar with the attorney general's thinking tells the "times" that barr and his aides limited the details they revealed because they were worried about wading into plit te -- political territory. >> michael schmidt of the "times" joins us this morning. let me ask you to dig in to these members see the conflict to what bill barr put out and the report? >> there's an issue here with the narrative. the problem that the members of the special counsel team have are with the fact that barr was able to come out, essentially clear the president, but not give the details, the sort of fruits of the investigation, the
fuller picture of what was found. they believe there is some troubling conduct there and that it needs to be looked at and the public should know about it. but in the way inthat barr did that, he essentially cleared the president and gave no other information, and this has allowed in the eyes of sum for the narrative to be set that the president did nothing wrong. now, the president himself has exacerbated this by going out and saying that he was completely exonerated by the mueller report. that is not what barr said the mueller report does. the mueller report does not exonerate or condemn the president. it seems like it more provides a bunch of facts. and the special counsel's team looks at what the president says and says he is taking it out of context and twisting their work and that bothers them. >> do the people, michael, that you spoke to contest to the
conclusion as presented by the attorney general that there was no collusion? that's been the headline from the white house and do the sources you spoke to out of the special counsel's office dispute that headline? >> the sense is less on the issue of collusion than it is on obstruction. barr was pretty definitive in his letter about what mueller found on collusion, essentially saying there's no case to be made that the campaign conspired with the russians. what it comes back to is the issue of obstruction and the picture the report paints of actions the president took in office to interfere with the investigation. that even barr acknowledges in his letter is something that mueller couldn't make a decision on and sort of lays out reasons for and against why some of the president's actions are so
problematic. and the folks that are frustrated here see the president come out and say he was completely exon raerated on this issue. they know this is not accurate and they want the contents of the report to be out there. the question is when will that happen, when will the report be out and when will people be able to decide. the question is how do you deal with the president's conduct? the justice department is there to decide whether people broke the law or not. they decided that the president has not broken the law. the attorney general has made that determination. so what information should be released to the public? in the case of hillary clinton, a lot of pop criticized james comey for holding his press conference and laying out what the fbi found, but in this case it looks like the justice department is going to release a lot of what they did find in the investigation.
so it's a very difficult balancing act when you have a high-profile investigation in which the public really wants to know what has been found out but there may not have been criminality. >> the attorney general's letter made it it did not fully exonerate the president, the way the president has. bob mueller couldn't determine one way or another whether there was obstruction. are you saying your sources inside the special counsel's office say they do have evidence that the president of the united states obstructed justice? >> i'm not sure how clean and clear cut the special counsel is on their determination of whether the president broke the law. what our sense is is that there is a lot of information and fact that they have found on this issue. they were unable to make a determination and they wanted for that information to be passed to the attorney general to make the call or to someone
else. but they couldn't come to it. they did a lot of work on that issue. they spoke to a lot of white house officials, they really delved into the actions the president took in office. what we don't know is why they didn't come to a determination, why was it that they couldn't decide whether the president broke the law. and we won't have clarity on that until we see the report. >> so, michael, would it be accurate to say that part of the issue here with this morning's "times"'s story centers around the fact that you had professional investigators, both legal, fbi investigating things for two years, they did an enormous amount of work, interviewed hundreds of witnesses, especially on the obstruction component and within the report, they are upset because of barr's reference sort of lightly referencing the obstruction component when the building blocks of the obstruction investigation we won't know until we read it but
bob mueller's career is such that he would never issue a report leaving large questions like that unanswered. he might give direction but wouldn't leave the questions unanswered and that is the source of their anger over the attorney general's behavior? >> i think their frustration is with the fact that barr comes out and clears the president but doesn't give the larger sense of what they found. doesn't provide the additional sort of fruits of the investigation that they thought were problematic. they didn't come to a determination on whether the president broke the law for some reason, and they obviously want some of these facts to be seen in a different light, either by the public or by congress. maybe, and i'm not sure of this, maybe they think that the conduct was such that it was problematic that congress should look at it and that congress may want to look at for impeachment
but may not be criminal. maybe that is why they want it out there. whatever it is, there's a rub here. there's a frustration here in how the end of this investigation was conducted. and that is clear. >> did you pick up anything in your reporting, michael, that would indicate some of the investigators were upset that they knew that bob mueller would not indict the president because supposedly the justice department does not want the rule the president cannot be indicted and he didn't want to tie the thing up for another year, year and a half in court? >> i'm not sure that they got that far. and when barr puts out his letter, his determination, he said that they had not taken into consideration the question of whether the president could have been indicted on the criminal question, essentially saying i don't think that they got that far, i don't think that they thought there was even enough of a case to have made that determination. that in barr's eyes.
mu mueller had not done that. >> meanwhile, after the justice department missed house democrats tuesday's ledline to hold over the mueller report, the house committee authorized jerry nadler to issue a subpoena for the full report and all of the underlying evidence but nadler said he wants to give barr, quote, time to change his mind about redacting the report before submitting it to congress. >> we're going to work with the attorney general for a short period of time in the hope that he will reveal to us the entire mueller report but if that doesn't work out in a short period of time, we'll issue the subpoena. >> are you saying -- >> i'm just going to say very short order. i'm not saying how many times.
>> i don't need to see the grand jury testimony. i don't have this paranoia that my friends on the left have that the conclusions are really not what they are. >> you made reference to the mueller report. have you seen it? because we haven't. >> i've seen the principal findings by the attorney general. bob mueller has provided his findings to the attorney general, who has accurately summarized those. these investigations should end. we should move on. >> what basically we're doing here is in my opinion the democrats are asking attorney general barr to violate the law. >> the attorney general is doing exactly what he said he would be doing, making as much of the report public as to be under federal law and department policy. what's the rush? spring break probably. >> let's go to jake. tell me your reporting on this. i wonder what william barr would have to gain by completely misleading the american people. i'm just wondering, should his summary be given more benefit of
the doubt or does the "times" reporting suggest a real conflict here? >> the last couple days on capitol hill with members of congress, one thing has come up constantly, if barr's letter was so misrepresentative, why weren't the mueller people complaining about it and then these two stories dropped last night with the mueller people complaining about it. so i found that fascinating. a few things to me seem abund t abundantly clear. democrats are going to within i would assume days send the subpoena to the justice department for this report. they have already authorized the subpoena and the window of time is going to shrink. but their patience is going to shrink quite quickly. number two, this issue is not going away on capitol hill at any point soon. i think there's going to be more subpoenas flying, more invitations for testimony, more hand wringing over there. over the last 24 hours we've seen the ways and means
committee issue a request for trump's tax returns, we've seen other committees issue requests for trump's financial information going back decades, we have the "washington post" reporting that jared kushner might have been subject to foreign influence and that why he's security clearance was at risk. i mean, this has suddenly turned into a very, very perilous 24 to 48 hours for this president when it comes to his relationship with capitol hill and the investigations on capitol hill, which are just -- frankly, just revving up. >> elise jordan, what's the politics of this? you've heard republicans saying we've seen enough of the report, we've seen the attorney general's version of it. >> i think trump won the first round on this. i think that what we are hearing from -- on background, its source, unidentified sources, that's what the mueller investigators feel and they want
more information and they know the first draft of history has been set. it's very difficult to walk back that narrative once donald trump has been by his hand-picked attorney general been -- >> correct. there are summaries that the mueller investigators, they could have used those summaries, they tried to give usable summaries so that the entire report didn't have to be released. it's definitely we would like to see the report. everybody would. >> i don't know how anyone can make a plausible case against seeing the report. the attorney general says he'll release the full report. it's a question of what report do you see? what are the redactions in there? i think there are appropriate redactions, there's classified
material, grand jury testimony, all kind of things the public doesn't and probably shouldn't see. >> was there any kind of conversation, it seems like there wasn't based on michael schmidt's reporting, about what was going to be the roll-out of the findings. >> look it, to put a little perspective on it, we're all kind of flying blind. we're talking about a report that's well over 300 pages, which was boiled down to maybe two sentence fragments in the attorney general's release. >> exactly. this is -- it's frustrating, it's bizarre. on one level we should all hold off because there's no report to look at. on the other hand, the temptation to talk about it is obviously great given how significant it is. the democrats have to be careful here and others, it doesn't look almost like they're sore losers,
that they're keeping a story alive that people are ready to move on. the politics again work in the president's favor. >> curiosity aside, why would we want to see the report from a national security perspective? >> it's a great question, mika. one of the things that robert mueller was doing was looking at and building a case around russian influence in the u.s. election. it wasn't just a question of whether or not the president or the campaign was colluding. that was a critical criminal inquiry, but the broader question of what russian influence looked like, how they built their campaign in 2016, what the agents looked like, their methodology, all of that is exactly what robert mueller began to expose. you remember the very first set of indictments that came from the special prosecutor,special investigator had to do with the russians themselves. he was laying the predicate what
it was the russians were trying to do and how they were doing it. the lingering question for me here and i've said all along, mika that what we've needed from robert mueller has been credibility, clarity and closure. we haven't gotten all of that yet. the clarity will come with the release of the report, redacted as it will be. the closure's not yet there. one of the interesting questions from a national security perspective is what degree of influence and leverage have the russians had over the american political system, not just the president. others, like the chinese, the iranian iranians, are looking at this, reading the play book and will try to influence and divide the country the way the russians did. >> house democrats have filed a formal request with the treasury department asking for six years of the president's business and
personal tax returns. the request was made in a two-page letter sent to the irs commissioner seeking details about trump's personal returns from 2013 through 2018 including whether they are now or have ever been under audit. statement neal writes "we have completed the necessary groundwork for a request of this magnitude and i am certain we are within our legitimate legal and oversight rights." president trump told reporters last night that he would not be inclined to do so. >> the chairman of the democratic house ways and means committee moments ago asked the irs for six years of your tax returns. >> is that all? >> that's all. >> usually it's ten. i guess they're giving up. we're under audit, despite what people said as i'm always under
audit it seems. i've been under audit for many years because the numbers are big and i guess when you have a name, you're audited. until such time as i'm not under audit, i would not be inclined to do that. thank you. >> first of all, this is the longest audit in the history of audit, if in fact there is an audit. we should get him an accountant at h & r block. you have democrats controlling the ways and means, this is a campaign promise, that they would get their hands on the tax returns. what are the odds they actually are produced by the irs? >> that's a very good question. so this isn't a bank shot. this is in law. the ways and means and the senate finance committee have the unilateral right to obtain any american's tax returns. they're not asking for some sort of special treatment. they're asking for the irs to comport with the law. of course the irs reports to treasury secretary steven
mnuchin, who reports to the president of the united states. so there are roadblocks that the treasury department can put up by saying perhaps he is under audit. there is a lot of presidents and vice presidents do go under automatic audit. so that's not that crazy, i guess, in heretheory. in statute, this is the law. again, something that's going to drag out for many months. they can subpoena, they can have steven mnuchin on capitol hill to testify about why they are not giving up these records, but chuck grassley, the chairman of the senate finance committee yesterday said we are not going to set this precedent to use someone's tax returns as a political cudgel. this is going to become yet another partisan battle. but well whether their rates. >> jake, thank you very much. we'll be speaking about you next
week about your forthcoming book. still ahead on "morning joe" from impromptu super bowl meetings to meeting with parl o owners, there is now an investigation on possible chinese spying at mar-a-lago. we'll be right back. t mar-a-lago we'll be right back. le, even if it's a better car class than the one you reserved. so no matter what, you're guaranteed to have a perfect drive. [laughter]
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meeting, gave me a little bit of information. i'm not concerned at all. we have very good control and it's getting better and, frankly, what we're doing with cyber is a story in itself. no, i think that was just a fluke situation. no, i think it just a fluke. >> that was president trump yesterday. the "miami herald" reveals federal authorities have been investigating possible chinese spying respirations taoperation president at his florida golf club. the federal counterintelligence probe was turbo charged over the weekend after a secret service agent arrested a chinese woman as she was trying to enter mar-a-lago with a slew of electronics, including a thumb drive infected with malicious software. that's not good. she was reportedly unknown to federal authorities before she was arrested and the fbi's
counterintelligence division is investigating just who she really is and if she has ties to chinese intelligence. joining us now, one of the "miami herald" reporters who broke that story, sarah blasski. sarah, the slew of electronics, including the thumb drive, do we know anymore about what was in them and what more do you have on this? this is quite incredible. >> sure. what we know is that federal authorities are examining all of the electronic, the four cell phones, the computer, the hard drive and the thumb drive to try to determine exactly what the purpose of this malware was. it could be for anything. the use of malware is extensive and they're still trying to determine what she intended to do, if she did breach the
perimeter of mar-a-lago. at this point we don't know anymore, but of course we're following up. >> say, sarah, it's willie geist. do we know anything more about the woman who was arrested, miss zhang, obviously not a babe in the woods who happened to wander into mar-a-lago. what do we know about her? >> actually, at first some people did think she was just some sort of a fluke. now we know she's a focus of a broader counterintelligence investigation. she's a 32-year-old woman who came from shanghai to south florida in order to go to mar-a-lago to attend an event, she said. beyond that we don't know who she was or if she was working with anyone else or just on her own. >> the president called this a fluke. it seems like i'd be very concerned about this kind of
fluke but that's just me. dave, you cover the mar-a-lago in your area. what have you heard? what has your office heard about this and what's the possibility this is just some random fluke? >> well, the feds have right to take this seriously because this is a woman who traveled more than 20 hours from shanghai, showed up at the gates of mar-a-lago and then lied repeatedly about her intentions and then was found with malware. you have access determined by private club management who made a mistake in allowing her in. they are too easy in allowing members and guests and people who claim to be guests of members in, as in this case. >> do we know where this woman is this morning? is she still in the jurisdiction? is she being held? is she free? is she bonded? what's the story? >> she is being held. she has another court appearance
on monday. other than that, we don't know anything. her actual location was still not recorded yesterday when i checked, although that might change today. i think we'll find out more about her and her circumstances on monday. >> dave, aronberg, can you exted to me what that means? it seems that every person that comes on that property would be assessed by white house security, by the secret service. i know that getting into mar-a-lago, the security they have there, they're well aware of anybody who's on that property. so i'm not sure it's possible that they made a mistake. i think that's a stretch as well. but explain to me the two different tracks of how people are allowed into mar-a-lago and to be able to walk around in there and be close to the president of the united states.
>> mar-a-lago security is handled by secret service in the palm beach county sheriff's office, who screens everyone who comes in for weapons and contraband. they particularly also see screened vehicle come in. you had miss zhang show up by taxi or uber and walks up to a secret service agent, asking to use the pool and not having any pool gear on her. it was crazy. then the club management said, all right, your last name is the same as an existing club member and they allowed her. zhang in china is like smith in the u.s. this was a big blunder. this was a private mar-a-lago administration problem. >> meanwhile the "washington post" has new reporting on a chinese individual known as dr. charles who according to the paper appears to be neither a doctor nor a charles.
according to both the "post" and the "miami herald," zhang told secret service agents she was on the property by invitation of charles, which is an influence peddling organization, which may have been involved in chinese efforts to get close to trump and others. the beijing address listed for the association and found no such organization. richard haas, chinese influence, problems here, go. >> there are two obvious p possibilities here, this is some scam that people are using out of china to get rich and the
other is that china has targeted mar-a-lago. this is an obvious target. the chinese vacuumed the entire office of personnel management. they got 20 million files out of there with americans' personal data. of course they're going after mar-a-lago. it's a loose place, it's easy to get into, people are talking openly, using non-secure cell phones. if i'm in the intel business and i work for china, i ought to be fired not for going to mar-a-lago. >> it not just mar-a-lago. every trump property, every hotel is looked at as a target because this president has refused to divest and separate himself from his money-making operations. this is the fundamental problem why that form of corruption threatens our security. >> just as an aside here, years
ago visiting trump at trump tower, one thing he loves to do with his guest is stop halfway down on the elevator. i guess the largest bank in china has offices there and he likes to show it off and show how big it is. he's done that. i've been there. that's totally out there separately. so, juan, why might this not be a fluke and why might it be a grave concern in terms of chinese influence? >> i think what everyone has said is exactly right. this is a target-rich environment. it's an open environment. it's not the under 18 acres of the white house controlled environment, it's not camp david. you have lots of events and foreign visitors attend. if you want insights, this is where you would go. if you want to influence, this is where you go. if you want to get close to the president potentially, this is where you go. so as richard said, we should
expect this is exactly what the chinese are going to do. what's interesting here is this looks like a pretty low-level, poor attempt at an intelligence operation. this woman doesn't seem -- she certainly want a student on the the front lawn as dave indicated but she also wasn't the best of breed in terms of chinese intelligence operations. it's a bit of a mixed bag but eight wake-up call to the fact these are open environments, they're target rich and you have counterintelligence operations that are likely trying to get as close as possible for near-term insights but also perhaps for long-term influence. we've got to be very careful that the secret service is mindful of this, but this is really important to keep a close eye on. >> the first rule about espionage, if you're going to lie about swimming, show up with a bathing suit. >> and a name that's come up in a context is that of cindy
yangs, the massage parlor entrepreneur down in florida. how does she fit into this picture and china peddling influence and access to mar-a-lago? >> cindy yang is what opened our eyes to this online -- where events could be fund-raisers are advertised in buyers in china who want to gain access to the president and his family. so cindy yang was sort of our window into this world but also in this case of the arrest on saturday, the woman was coming to attend an event that cindy yang was advertising and putting on loongside another event that cindy yang was also heavily advertising. . so dr. charles lee is actually a known associate of cindy yang. the miami herald reported last
wook that there was sort of an exodus of major fund-raisers and it opened the door to other people who may have not previously had charity events and to people like cindy yang, we see cindy yang, we see dr. charms bringing gets to everything from a friends of israel event last february to the new year's eve party just a few months ago. >> okay. so dave aronberg, any or all of these, is your office looking into any other guests at mar-a-lago? is there a way of tracking all the guests, every single one and employees at mar-a-lago? and what's next with this? >> well, the feds are investigating. i anticipate more information will be released by the time of her bond -- this could be
totally innocent. if she were a chinese spy, she is probably the worst spy if her intent is to infiltrate the computer system of mar-a-lago with mallewear, she missed it by that much. she took a ride on the go dlrt, she it could be just an innocent explanation. we'll know more in the coming days. >> david aronberg, thank you very much and sarah blassky, thank you as well. your paper is doing amazing investigative report, including the jeffrey epstein plea deal. still ahead it, appeared to be a rare home of bipartisan.
nato spoke to congress yesterday about the importance of america's alliances around the world. we'll talk to someone who was in the room to hear that speech. and one of the most talked about democrats in the nation right now, stacey abrams is our guest here on set. we're back in just a moment. we're back in just a moment. no matter where you are in life or what your dreams entail,
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the united states pays for a very big share of nato, a disproportionate share. so we pay for a big portion of nato, which is basically protecting europe. at the same time they've taken advantage of us on trade. they have the best of all worlds. we're protecting countries that take advantage of trade. >> nato has been good for europe, but nato has always been good for the united states. the strength of a nation is not only measured by the size of its economy or the number of its soldiers, but also by the number
of its friends. and to nato the united states has more friends and allies than any other power. this has made the united states stronger, safer and more secure. >> that's nato secretary-general jens stoltenberg. and joining us nicholas burns, professor of diplomacy and international relations at the harvard kennedy school of government. here on set, nbc news and senior foreign affairs analyst, brett mcguirk. he resigned in december in protest of president trump's then decision to withdraw all u.s. troops from syria. gentlemen, good morning. we'll talk about syria in just a moment, brett. we had nick burns on yesterday laying out the case for nato that the president doesn't quite
seem to get or doesn't quite seem to be able to make. in your opinion how important is nato to the united states? >> it's an extraordinary moment. nancy pelosi and mitch mcconnell came together to extend this invitation to jens stoltenberg and he brought the house down with a simple message, that it's good to have friends. he talked about the importance of nato in the history but also going forward. china and russia don't have allies and partners, they have transactional relationships. so we need nato going forward. it's cyber intelligence, pooling information among all of these coalitions. we brought about 80 countries around the the world together, nato is a critical element of that and that's one reason we succeeded. >> yet the president seems to view nato like a transactional
relationship and like a finance relationship, we're getting screwed on this deal, we want more money out of you. >> he still doesn't get it. we defend europe because the balance of power matters intimately to the united states. it's not as though we're paying, quote unquote, more than our share. with everything we spend on defense, it comes to about 3.5% of our economy. that's probably about on average half what we spent during the cold war. so we can afford this. and what goes on out there directly affects what happens here. this is not money that's thrown away or wasted. this is an investment in ourselves. and it's a great investment. it's actually been one of the real bargains of american history. you look at what's happened since world war ii. this has been one of the great accomplishments, bargains, of america's foreign policy. >> so what's behind the president's disdain of it?
he cast it is away as kind of a bogus financial transaction even. >> i think despite what the president said about nato, what's extraordinary about yesterday which is a moment that we haven't had for a while where a little bit of our foreign policy does stop at the water's edge and it was a bipartisan consensus of the importance of the institution of nato and congress said we're going to make statement that the united states needs nato. >> we had the democratic speaker of the house, vice president pence, standing behind the nato secretary-general. >> well, it was good to see. i think what was remarkable this was the president couldn't summon himself to have a summit meeting, the president has been -- so here bipartisan, jens
stoltenberg gave the speech the president shouldn't given today, today is the 70th anniversary of nato and dwight eisenhower, dulles that, generation, and our president couldn't even thank people for the past and stoltenberg gave a brilliant speech. >> switching gears a little bit, i don't think that i could overstate how central your work and your expertise in our strategy to combat isis, starting from yo role at the nsc during the bush administration and war in iraq and afghanistan and your role as the forefront point man in that battle. what do you see right now with our alliances in the region and donald trump says that isis has been defeated. do you agree with that
assessment? >> i think the campaign against isis has been a success. we designed the campaign under president obama to draw on all the lessons learned over 15 years, relying on local actors and it's been a success. and president trump carried on with the strategy and it's been a success but it's not over. there's great uncertainty now about our staying power in syria and this has led to concern with our allies. the arab league did get together last week and within thione thid was condemn the united states for their decision on the golan heights. we weren't present in that summit, russia was there. the russian foreign deputy was there meeting with the members of the arab league and we were absent. our institutions are
demonstrating our allies are bedrock. >> nato was created to keep the americans in europe, to manage german nationals and keep the russians out. and those reasons are still relevant. when the cold war ended, people were searching around, why do we still need nato? we have a reemerged russian threat, we've got cyber threats, we've got terrorist threats, challenges in europe and outside of europe. the organization is probably stronger today than it's been in any time since it was created for european security but increasin increasingly for global security. having these 28, soon to be 29 partners of the united states, think of the leverage. we do not have to act unilaterally. we have partners who are willing to work with us. >> and u.n. ab, he certainly
drove that point home yesterday. >> his key line is it's good for us to have friends. it's a powerful thing not to be alone in the world but to have these democratic friends to oppose the russians and chinese when we must. >> juan, everything's this fight with the president, everything's about america first. the alliances we have, they're all we got at some point in terms of our place in the world, especially given what's gone down over the past two years. >> that's right, mika. i think the debate around nato is a reflection of the president's somewhat disdain for multi-lateral institutions. he prefers the bilat rahal approa --
bil bila bilataral approach. the future from the challenge from russia is very real as we know it and the challenge from china is very real and the issue of chinese technology, we're seeing it with huawei, zte and others, nato is a platform through which and by which we need to deal with these issues. i think nick burns is absolutely right in that regard. >> all right, thank you all and richard haas, thank you as well. still ahead, former vice president joe biden says he will change his behavior after several women said he made them feel uncomfortable. we'll talk about that.
plus, senator jeanne shaheen and former senator claire mccaskill will be in. and joe and his band, the independent council of funk, they'll be playing in less than two weeks. if you want ticket, you got to call the cutting room. last week it released a song called "austin texas" and now filter, a music service, they've added the song to a few of their amazing play lists, "country roads," country summer and fall fields. head over to filter.com or you can listen to it on spotify. "morning joe" is back in a moment. "morning joe" is back in a moment who see things others can't.
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hillary wanted to put up wind. wind. if you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75% in value. and they say the noise causes cancer. you tell me that one, okay? >> do wind turbines cause cancer? >> i don't have an answer on that. i don't have an answer. >> i guess the president has said it and repeatedly said it last night. >> i don't have an answer. >> what do we say to american families that the president said that wind turbines cause cancer? >> i don't have an answer on that. if i get a readout, i'm happy to update you on that. >> he makes you look so stupid, he makes you look so stupid, he shouldn't do it. >> we have mike barnicle, elise
jordan, former u.s. senator and now msnbc political analyst claire mccaskill. thank god you're here. we have so much 2020 news to talk about. and kasie hunt is here. we'll get to the formal move to get the president's tax returns in just a moment. we have a moment of the ways and means committee. former texas congressman and 2020 presidential candidate beto o'rourke's cam ppaign has announced it raised $9.4 million during the first quarter of the year. they said the average donation was $43 and came from 218,000
contributions. o'rourke raised more than $520,000 a day since his campaign announcement on march 14th. the fund-raising haul places him behind senators bernie sanders and kamala harris for total dollars raised, but at the top of the leaderboard for fastest dollars per day rate. that's pretty impressive. >> fox news announced plans to hold a town hall with bernie sanders this month. it's scheduled to take place on apr april 15th in bethlehem, pennsylvania. last month the democratic national committee barred fox news from hosting any democratic primary debates, citing its, quote, inappropriate relationship with the trump administration. >> south bend indiana mayor pete buttigieg raised $7 million and invited reporters to a rally in
his hometown on sunday, april 14th, when it appears he will formallyin t ienter the race. yesterday thousands turned out to see buttigieg at northeastern university in boston. a lot of people are following him. >> democratic senator michael bennett of colorado said he was diagnosed with prostate cancer but bennett said he still plans to run for president after his treatment. >> good for him. >> he says he's undergo surgery in colorado during the senate recess. >> and democratic congressman tim ryan of ohio is expected to announce a presidential campaign this week. that is what several forces who have been informed of ryan's
plans tell buzzfeed news noting he's planning a rally on saturday in youngstown, ohio. a spokesperson for ryan who visited as recent lip as this past weekend did not return call seeking comment. claire mccaskill, who stands out to you out of all that news? >> i think the amount of money that beto raised in 18 dates is phenomenal. him declared -- many staff would go, oh, no, you got i think he's very confident about his base. and i think that low dollar fund-raising, i've said frtd beginning that's going to be one of the biggest because this is going to get very expensive.
when you try to put people on the field. people underestimate the cost of a field program. a field program depends on a lot of volunteers, but it also depends on a lot of staff to make sure they go to the right homes at the right time. you're you're going to have to have a ground game. so i do think the fund-raising numbers are -- and i think buttigieg -- >> buttigieg. >> i had one of my children say they sent him $3. i went "what?" >> i've heard a lot of that. >> she's a student and she, mom, i sent him $3. i thought, well, that's something to go from nobody knowing who you are and i was on the university of shug cam bus.
all the so there's some buzz around that guy. >> you have been surprised, claire, at the apparent lack of ability of elizabeth warren to raise money? >> it's interesting. she is in bernie's lane. we've known that from day one. she's known it from day one. and that's the thing. everybody has a lane here and whoever can really grow from one lane to more lanes, whether it's joe biden in the middle or whether it's bernie sanders and elizabeth much further to the left, whoever can appeal across these lanes is going to be the inspirational candidate that's going to end up getting this nomination. >> there's so many. there's possibly more coming. i'm hearing rumblings about terry mcall riff, i think we're going to end up with 25 candidat candidates. >> kasie hunt, who are you
rochestering i've been paying attention to it's about twice as much money in about half as much time. if it were any other candidate, we would be treating he won new hampshi hampshire. the traditional metrics by which we measure candidates all apply to bernie sanders and yet he is in many times not covered, the way way as i mean, they have a big chip on their shoulder about this because they feel they were
really treated that way in 2016. i think it would be a huge mistake to overlook what he accomplished then in the context of what we're looking at now, especially when we watched donald trump win from outside of his party apparatus, by inspiring people in new and different ways. if bernie sanders consistently gets the kind of crowds i saw him get in 2016, think it's a huge mistake to underestimate that. >> i agree. bernie sanders has been viewed as a spoiler because of the role he played in 2016. but as you look at the field and you look at the party, it's drifted farther toward his view of the world than it has the other way. couldn't you call him the front-runner and the favorite in this i first of all, he's my colleague for 12 years canned i know him well. and it is hard for i think those
of us who felt like at the end he didn't help enough knit it back together. >> for sure. >> and i just want to make sure that whoever this nominee is, we sh some of this sniping's going on behind the scene. we're already quietly behind the scenes to hurt another candidate. but if bernie's not the nominee,ies got to be a better team player than he was. >> what frankly, it would be difficult for any democrat to win in my state.
donald trump beat me in november, no doubt about it. >> who is a democrat you think could actually win in places like move? >> i think there we just don't know. after the debates in june so we're going o get to the joe biden can asking for six years of president trump's personal and business tax returns. richard neal made the request in a two-page bert at any time seeking details about trump's
ernl including whether they are now or have ever been under ut it. of great to have you back on the show. >> thank, mike why a are there ways the president can get away from thishe made a comment yesterday about his willingness to turchs in we expect him to follow those laws. of snp if there as a plek policy or public interest. we are examining the extent to which the irs audits and
enforces tax law on a president. that is an important question. we need to lk at these returns, the chairman does, in order to make a determination of that fact. for example, we don't know if the president actually is or has ever been under audit. it's important that we understand that. it's been a practice of the irs to audit the president of the united states. but that's not a legal requirement. we're examining whether there should be legislative eng. >> i noticed in the chairman's statement yesterday that he tucked about there bont seem to be a general expectation that this is on whether what steps are you preparing to --
>> well, first of all, the chairman was very deliberate in this process and did make sure we will be prepared to take whatever legal steps are necessary. we support an oath to uphold the constitution, to do the job a boo and the we intend to sao the law po. in we will use any tool available to us to paand he said it made by donald trump to be
credible. i find from and try to only pay attention to ma noop (and the fact that he says he's under audit is not really a relevant f fom. >> and why do you believe it's so relevant to see the president's tax returns? >> two reasons. one is to see whether or not the president is subjected to the law of the united states. but 9 other is. and so while our specific purposes is limited really to
policy question, there is a real public interest inins the people of the united states have a right to know whether the president's personal, financial interest impact his see you again to and. >> that the claims that members of the special counsel's team feel the public has been pmt "the new york times" reporting that some actual snm which government officials and others familiar say they're more damaging for president trump than indicated. while barr says he needs time to make redactions, the dp and some team members believe that barr $
government f the justice department determined that the summaries con. and information related to current federal investigations that must remain confidential. while the report said it was not clear what findings the counsel's investigators viewed as troubling for the president, laers's letter says on the obstruction of the report sets out evidence on pote side the question. >> joyce advance, because we'll wait until it comes taught (what question does this report raise in your mind? >> the most important question that i have reading this piece and the piece in the "washington post" together is that the information now is that mueller's team very deliberately crafted summaries of their work
and believed that they crafted those summaries in a form that was readily releasable, with the minimum amount of redak shun from the attorney general. that's not what we've heard from the attorney general. he's taking a lot of time to do the release. the question is why is there that discrepancy between the two views and why can't the american people hear the words of special counsel's team? >> does that make sense to you, claire? >> it's insult being to the attorneys, the prosecutors, the they know exactly what the rules are on public release. so if they did a summary, i'll guarantee you they were careful in. -- and all barr has to do is go to court and if because it's in
the public interest. and sfrpt and so this is all about barr protecting the president at this point in a way that's wildly inappropriate, especially faux yoo knee be design to be roob least to the public. >> joyce vance, isn't william bar america's attorney? what would he have to gain by misleading the american people? >> it seems very questionable for an attorney general to mislead the american people knowing that all of this is going to come out. so we've seen sppt and sp, but the the underlying document, the
fub interviews. >> joyoy. >> kenny: stacy. from and coming up, on "morning joe." up, on "morning joe. what if other kinds of plants captured it too? if these industrial plants had technology that captured carbon like trees we could help lower emissions. carbon capture is important technology - and experts agree. that's why we're working on ways to improve it. so plants... can be a little more... like plants. ♪ at to cover the essentialsyou have in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you're ready for what comes next,
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internet that puts you in charge. that protects what's important. it handles everything, and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. former vice president joe biden says he will change the way he interacts with people after listening to the women who have shared their stories, to female friends and advisers. biden said he wanted to address the matter directly. so here he is in an informal video at his home and twoesed to twitter.
>> for the cumming about gestures of support and encouragement that i've made to women and some men and i've made it uncomfortable. aalways try to make a it's the way i've always been. it's a way to and i've found that scores if not nufrs of could come up for me that may help with the tragedy they're going through. so it's just who kwm shaking
hands, handsin the world social norms have begun o change, they've shifted and the boundaries are protecting certainly space have been reset and i spr my responsibility and i'll meet it. but i'll uls. . in but i will be more mindful and nrchlt my whole life -- the idea that i can't adjust to it's just not there.
i will. i will. >> claire mccaskill, what do you think? >> well, i understand why this has happened. and i understand how it's happened. i -- those of us who know joe biden and have known him for a long time, it's a little hard because this is joe. >> he's a really nice guy. >> he never is one of those to shake your hand and look to the next person, which is a norm in politics. he never looks past you to the next person. he wants to look inside of you and really hear you. and he used physical contact to do that with men and women. joe biden is no predator. this is not sexual. >> nope. >> this is who he is. so i get that it's made some people uncomfortable and i
respect that. if you've got a real thing about your personal boundary space, i understand that and i hear that and i think joe biden has heard it. but let's move on now. let's move on and he's going to try to change and really be respectful of people's personal space. and i think it's good that he's done that. but he never did this from a bad place, he always did this from a good space and that's why it's hard for those of us who know that. >> claire, thank you for providing that joe biden is a human being. that's who he is and has always been. a feeding frenzy occurs and we sometimes misplace our priorities as an industry, when in fact for two weeks the reauthorization of the violence against women's act has been
held up from being reauthorized by pressure from the national rifle association. that was a piece of legislation that was written about 25 years ago with with the great assistance of then the senate in the 90s. i didn't have the resources to do victim advocates. the only reason we were able to get that unit started and it began a whole new chapter of going after domestic violence in the area. joe biden was at the center of that -- he needs pivot and -- >> i am very surprised that joe biden and biden's team did not have a plan for when the story came out. this has been somewhat of an open secret in washington, biden being a little handsy in the
photo lines. and they could have been prepared with something that was mr where you've wind of dp. >> but there are ways he could absolve himself if where harassment victims -- i doubt that joe biden has ever paid out any money, but his office could be putting forward examples. >> i don't know. in this clim at i feel like a lot of men have in where to go when this happens. what seems unfair about this is, again, we're not talking about sex, we're not talking about arms. lyden said i'll uls me that government and life is about connection. this is man who lost his son to brain scans are
claire, you know a thing or two and if we can go on national television and talk about joe biden putting his hands on your back? >> us that nab and he probably would have said i'm sorry, i was just trying to be nice. it probably could been rid yb right there. we have toe decide what we get upset about and what's a national story. i think if the if he's saying he gets it, fine. i if i gives me a beg hug. i'm good. >> the questions would be
ludicrous f bottom line he is a genuinely affectionate human being. claire nailed it. he is a no contact. (and body -- frchl some of these in but really let's talk about stuff like how we're going to help women going forward in this country. >> thank you. >> let's start talking about the stuff that are really going to matter in this -- by the way, we got a guy in the oval office who changes wives like he changes shirts. >> if donald trump was behaving
this way, we would still be talk about it and debating, i mean, we need to debate what he's done in a way egregious, horrible form. >> i need to take control of this situation. >> sorry. >> see said shoo see said shoo can stacey abrams joins us on set next on "morning joe." on set next on "morning joe." ideliu have a clear plan to cover the essentials in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you're ready for what comes next, the only direction is forward.
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the road is long, and we're going to get tired a lot. i'm 45 years old. i thought i was doing something. but i just buried my grandmother, 92. she lived through the days when she couldn't cast a vote. she lived to see her daughter become the first affirmative action woman in american history to be nominated to be governor. but she did not live to see me take an oath of office. now, i don't know which oath is
coming up next -- >> run stacy, run! run, stacy run! run, stacy, run! >> what did you say when they said "run, stacy, run! >> i said stop talking, i couldn't finish my sentence. >> us ththat's an audience respg to stacey abrams when she said she didn't know what oath was coming up next, as she weighs a bid for the u.s. senate, the white house or maybe again for governor. and her new book "lead from the outside, how to make your future and real change." are you considering a run for the white house? you should jump in.
>> i i am thinking about it, i really am. the timing for me is first deciding about the senate. i think you cannot run for an office unless you know that's the job you want to do. i don't think you use an office as a stepping zone. so the first question is is the senate right for me and if it's not right for me, then what else? >> that's a quick time frame, isn't it? >> i intended to do it in march but because of my book tour, i had to make it fast. i don't think you have to make a decision about president before the fall. >> tim ryan will get in the race. we expect the number will cross 20. does the size of the field, do you view that as a detriment to
you or an advantage? >> i think it's a future rahal. you have to remember in '92, we had 19 people. for me the issue as someone who ran and do you have a credible platform that can rez mate? it's important that people are having these conversations now but i'm not going to make a decision on other people's deadlines. >> i think that's the drop date because the average voter isn't paying attention until labor y day. in the book, which i loved and found inspiring, you talk about your panes. but it doesn't seem like you would be prone to making a rash
decision about your political future so to suggest it i'm going to run if i haven't figured out how to win makes no sense. i don't think running is a vanity exercise. if you're going to run, you about but for me the responsible duty is to first decide if right job because i think is the most immediate question and the senators have done app amazing job talking to me about how important this role is. >> let me weigh in on that. i think you've got a really hard decision. i think you're an amazing leader and i am so proud of who you are and what you've accomplished. say that first. but the difference between leadership in the united states senate between david purdue and
stacey abrams is night and day. i mean, he is a sycophant for donald trump. he is always things trump. he's not even thoughtful about it. and i really do think that it will be re hard for us to what we want to do in this country along so i want you to do whatever your ambition and your planning leads you. i use the word ambition because i'm troud of your ambition. and that's the prsh and i was having chuck schumer calling me and saying it's about america. and we took the senate that year. and we took the senate by three narrow races, in virginia, montana and missouri. and that was in 2006. i think we could repeat that in 2020, but maybe not without you.
>> i would say number one, leader schumer has been nothing but gracious. he's been very tense and intentional and i appreciate the input. my job is to make sure it's the right time and that this is the right job that i need to hold. i had a lotus one, two, three spreadsheet when i was in college. >> threw go. loch the planning. >> and i share your disappointment about david purdue. >> "lead from the outside," tell us about it. >> this began as a how-to guide. i was getting questions from students and women's groups and communities, i was the first -- i was giving a series of speeches and i was talking to people and ei did not think that
i had had the so what i tried to do was a hybrid, tell my story but use it as an exercise in how do you do things better, how do you understand the mistakes that you made? the first question is about if you can't dream about what you want and plan for it, it will never come to fruition. >> stick with us. we is kazy hunt and yafz of but instead focus that energy of the fullest expression of the task at hand and enjoy both the pride that brings and the product of that pride, which is fair and equal compensation for every woman.
>> that is actress michelle williams standing with house democrats this week to push for the paycheck fairness act. the bill, which passed the house last week, would make it easier to take legal action over pay discrimination. the legislation has momentum but still faces an uphill battle in the senate. we've been talking about this issue for a long time. and in honor of equal pay day this week, we're launching all kinds of new content at know your value.com. that includes the tools you need to by signing up. we have much more with stacey abrams when "morning joe" comes right back. n "morning joe" come right back some things are out of
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she's the author of "lead from the outside, how to build your future and make real change." we've got for stacey abrams. >> good morning. >> i saw that you said recently that i believe identity politics are the politics that win and that makes sense to me in the context of a democratic primary but i wonder how you apply that against donald trump in those mid western states that he lost in 2016. >> identity matter to everyone. there's a specific identity we attribute to voters in the midwest and my argument is you can't exclude one group to focus on another. we have to have an inclusive politics that sees not only the values of people, but actually their votes as valuable. and that means you cannot ignore
those who face barriers to their point of entry as voters and you can't ignore the issues faced by those who have marginalized identities because you're afraid that you're going to lose the normal mid western voter. what we were able to prove in georgia is you can center communities of color, and pick up white voters which i what i did. i increased the white vote share in democrats for the first time in a generation because i not only acknowledged the needs of communities of color, i also acknowledged the needs of white voters. i acknowledged the fact that our water infrastructure is woefully inadequate and we had to do something about that. we have to be able to walk and chew gum and snap our fingers at the same time and we have to trust that voters don't care about someone else having things. they care about us having what they need and identity politics simply means i see you. i see the barriers to your succeed, the needs and
opportunities that can be made available and we have to have candidates that can speak authentically and with authenticity to all of these needs at the same time. i think voters are smart enough to trust that you can see them and not ignore everyone else. >> hey, stacey, good to talk to you today. i know that you met with the former vice president joe biden. obviously you know some of the accusations that have been coming out about his making women feel uncomfortable. you've also seen the response that they put up on twitter. yesterday the vice president's response on twitter. what do you make of it in his response. >> i am friends with lucy flores and i appreciate her bringing her story forward. i also have deep respect for vice president joe biden. we cannot have perfection as a litmus test. the responsibility of leaders is to not be perfect but to be accountable to say i've made a mistake, i understand it and here's what i'm going to do to reform as i move forward and i think we see joe biden doing
that. i think the vice president has acknowledged the discomfort that he's caused. he's created context to why that is his behavior and he has affirmed that he will do something different going forward. we're going to find out something about everybody running for office and we have to as a people be ready to forgive but forgiveness does not mean you accept it unless what you see is accountability and an attempt at reformation so that more people can feel included and belief that their needs will be met. >> we've seen the reports over the last several weeks that you and vice president biden has talked about a joint ticket. are those reports accurate? >> not at all. >> you haven't had any conversations with joe biden with that? >> i haven't had conversations with me running for senate or dogcatcher. >>'s only one elected dogcatcher in america anymore, but -- nerd
knowledge. >> but he never said to you, stacey, i'd love to have you join me on the ticket. >> he did not t. we did not talk about his primary stat ji and most of the speculation comes about because of well wishers who got excited about seeing us together and i appreciate their enthusiasm. i think it it is deeply problematic that they are making things up but i do not believe you run for second place and i do not intend to enter a presidential race as a primary candidate for vice president. if i enter the race for president i will enter the race for president, but once we have a nominee, i am open to having conversations should i not be someone who's running i am open to conversations with anyone. >> that speculation really annoyed me quite frankly because you didn't see any speculation that beto should be biden's vice president and it just seemed like -- and not even coming from biden's camp, whoever it was that was the unnamed sourcing but in your book you talk about
the challenges that women specifically face in politics and can you just kind of discuss that in the context of how you would approach a 2020 bid or a 2020 senate run? >> i think first of all, we have to acknowledge any constraints that people see when they see us. i'm a black woman with natural hair and a sturdy build and there are people who discount my capacity for leadership based on purely those issues. we have to acknowledge that. you can't ignore how people behave. the issue is what do you do with that information? i talk about it. i don't pretend you can't see me, but i also make certain that you understand that i'm incredibly smart, i'm very capable and my responsibility is to then layer on what you see, make sure you know who i am. but the other problem and i think to your point, the larger responsibility of every woman running for office is we have to push back against those stereo type who is diminish who we are
or that animate and amplify a lesser quality in a man. we are more than capable. i jokingly say sometimes men can look in the mirror and have a good hair day and become president. women have to have a phd and push to become president. but what i want folks to understand is that change is different or difference is not there. there are always going to be barriers. you can either circumvent them, you can hack them or destroy them and so the book is designed to give you tips on how to do all three. >> stacey abrams, stay in the game, please. it's great to have you on the show. come back. >> and still ahead, democrats make moves in hopes of finally getting donald trump's tax returns. plus, the big front page story on this morning's "new york times." members of robert mueller's team
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this and even this.hark, i deep clean messes like this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair, while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans, now cleans itself. will you release ten years of your tax returns as you know elizabeth warren decided to do that? >> yes. >> will you release any of the tax returns for the public to
scrutinize? >> why haven't you done that so far. >> the delay is not -- it will -- our tax returns will bore you to death. >> what's the period of time? before the voting begins. >> this is not like a normal tax return. >> nothing special about it. my wife does most of it and we will get that stuff out. >> we ore working on it right now and at the appropriate time you'll be very satisfied. >> so when will we be able to see your tax returns? >> sooner than later. >> what does that mean? >> soon. >> that was donald trump in 2016 and bernie sanders in february. neither presidential candidate has released his tax returns in the runup to 2020. now house democrats are making a formal push to see the president's numbers. will they put pressure on bernie as well? plus, new reporting this morning on the mueller probe from the "new york times." democrats are not satisfied with william barr's summary and neither apparently are members of the special counsel's team.
why they feel the a.g. undersold the report's damage to president trump. we'll bring in one of the reporters behind that story. we'll also speak to the reporters from the miami herald as that paper digs into a federal investigation into possible chinese spying operations targeting the president at his florida golf club. we're also following the latest developments with joe biden. former vice president biden promising to be more respectful of personal space as other women come forward saying he made them uncomfortable. so a lot to get to on this thursday, april 4th. welcome to "morning joe." joe is off for one more day. he'll be back tomorrow. we have mike barnicle, contributor to "time" magazine and msnbc political analyst, elise jordan back with us this morning. the president of the council on foreign relations and author of
the book "a world in disarray" rei richard haass is with us and senior national security analyst for nbc news and msnbc, juan zarate is with us. and jake sherman, he's an nbc political contributor. we begin this morning with new claims that members of the special counsel's team feel the public was misinformed by attorney general william barr's letter about their report. the "new york times" reports that some of mueller's investigators have told associates that barr failed to adequately portray their findings, which government officials and others familiar with their frustrations say were more damaging for president trump than indicated. while barr says he needs time to make redactions, the times reports that the special counsel's investigators had already written multiple
summaries of the report. and some team members believe that barr should have included more of their material in his four-page letter. but government officials say the justice department determined that the summaries contained sensitive information, like classified material, secret grand jury testimony and information related to current federal investigations that must remain confidential. while the report says that it was not clear what the findings that special counsel's investigators viewed as troubling for the president, barr's letter says that on the obstruction of justice matter, quote, the report says out evidence on both sides of the question. >> and president trump's legal team responded to the "new york times" piece late last night. saying quote, if there is a significant difference mueller would have corrected it. this is from disgruntled
members. mueller had people who leaked as much as comey. how many leaks proved to be false? most. it can't obscure the conclusion of no case for collusion or obstruction says rudy giuliani. >> the paper reports that attorney general barr's team has its own frustrations with mueller. according to two government officials barr and other justice department officials believe the special counsel's investigators fell short of their task by declining to decide whether president trump illegally obstructed the inquiry, leaving barr to make a decision. but as nbc news reported, mueller gave barr and the doj three weeks' notice that he would not make a conclusion on obstruction. officials familiar with the attorney general's thinking tells the times that barr and his aides limited the details that they revealed because they were worried about wading into
political territory. >> let's bring in one of the reporters who broke this story. michael schmidt joining us by phone this morning. let me ask you to dig in on the question a lot of people are asking about what exactly these members of the special counsel's team who spoke to you are upset about. where do they see the conflict with what bill barr put out and what they put into their report. >> there's an issue here with the narrative. the problems that the members of the special counsel's team have are with the fact that barr was able to come out essentially clear the president, but not give the details. the sort of the fruits of the investigation, the fuller picture of what was found. they believe there is some troubling conduct there and that it needs to be looked at and the public should know about it, but in the way that barr did that, he essentially cleared the
president and gave no other information, and this has allowed in the eyes of some for the narrative to be set that the president did nothing wrong. now, the president himself has exacerbated this by going out and saying that he was completely exonerated by the mueller report. that is not what barr said the mueller report does. the mueller report does not exonerate or condemn the president. seems like it more provides a bunch of facts and the special counsel's team looks at what the president says and says he is taking it out of context and twisting their work and that bothers them. >> do the people that you spoke to contest the conclusion as prechblt presented by the attorney general that there was no collusion. do the sources you spoke to out of the special counsel's office dispute that headline?
>> the sense is less on the issue of collusion than it is on obstruction. barr was pretty definitive in his letter about what mueller found on collusion. essentially saying there's no case to be made that the campaign conspired with the russians. when it comes back to is the issue of obstruction and the picture that the report paints of actions the president took in office to interfere with the investigation. that even barr acknowledges in his letter is something that mueller couldn't make a decision on and sort of lays out reasons for and against why some of the president's actions are so problematic. and the folks that are frustrated here see the president come out and say that he was completely exonerated on this issue. they know that that is not accurate, and they want the
contents of the report to be out there. the problem is that when will that happen. when will the report be out and when will people be able to decide? the problem at the heart of this issue is how do you deal with the president's conduct. the justice department is there to decide whether people broke the law or not. they've decided that the president has not broken the law. the attorney general has made that determination. so what information should be released to the public? in the case of hillary clinton, a lot of people criticized jim comey for holding his press conference and laying out what the fbi found, but in this case, it looks like the justice department is going to release a lot of what they did find in the investigation. so it's a very difficult balancing act when you have a high profile investigation in which the public really wants to know what was found out, but there may not have been criminalalty. >> so as you know well, michael, the attorney general's four page letter made clear that the
mueller report does not fully exonerate the president. on the question of obstruction though, the attorney general's interpretation from bob mueller was that he couldn't determine one way or another whether there was obstruction. are you saying your sources say that yes, they do have evidence that the president of the united states obstructed justice? >> i'm not sure how clean and clear cut the special counsel is on their determination of whether the president broke the law. what our sense is is that there is a lot of information and fact that they have find on this issue. they were unable to make a determination and they wanted for that information to be passed to the attorney general to make the call or to someone else, but they couldn't come to it. they did a lot of work on that issue. they spoke to a lot of white house officials. they really delved into the actions the president took in office. what we don't know is why they didn't come to fruition.
why was it that they couldn't decide whether the president broke the law and we won't have clarity on that until we see the report. >> so would it be accurate to say that part of the issue here with this morning's "new york times" story centers around the fact that you lad senate investigators investigating things for two years. they did enormous amounts of work and reviews hundreds of witnesses. and within the report they are upset because of barr's reference sort of lightly referencing the obstruction component when in fact the building blocks of the obstruction investigation, we won't know as you pointed out till we read it but bob mueller's career is such that he would never issue a report leaving large questions like that unanswered. he might give direction, but wouldn't leave the questions unanswered and that is the source of their anger over the
attorney general's behavior. >> i think their frustration is with the fact that barr comes out and clears the president but doesn't give the larger sense of what they found. doesn't provide the additional sort of fruits of the investigation that they thought were problematic. they didn't come to a determination on whether the president broke the law for some reason, and they obviously want some of these facts to be seen in a different light either by the public or by congress. maybe and i'm not sure of this, maybe they think that the conduct was such that it was problematic that congress should look at it and congress may want to look at for impeachment but may not be criminal and maybe that is why they want it out there. whatever it is, there's a rub here. there's a frustration here in how the end of this investigation was conducted. >> did you pick up -- >> that is clear.
>> did you pick up anything in your reporting that would indicate that some of the investigators are upset that they knew that bob mueller would not indict the president because supposedly he does not want to rule the president cannot be indicted and he didn't want to tie the thing up for another year, year and a half in court. >> i'm not sure they got that far and when barr puts out his letter, the determination on the four-page thing he said they had not taken into consideration the question of whether the president could be indicted on the criminal question on what they decided essentially saying i don't think they got that far. i don't think there was enough of a case to have made that determination. that's in barr's eyes. remember, barr has to make the determination on whether the president broke the law. mueller had not done that. >> thank you. we'll be reading your reporting in the "new york times." and still ahead on "morning joe," just weeks ago the house unanimously called for the full mueller report to be made public.
now some republicans seem to be thinking twice about that. we'll talk about the latest from capitol hill straight ahead but first let's go to bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> good morning to you. concerned growing in louisiana. reports of up to 5 inches of rain. we'll have to watch out on interstate 10 and see if we have any flash flooding today. also pouring in arkansas. here's the thing. later this afternoon, additional storms are going to form. we have about 70 million people at risk of severe weather. maybe an isolated tornado or two. large hail and damaging winds possible. so here's how it's all going to play out. also raining in areas of missouri too. this mess will track all the way through the southeast during the day today and entering into alabama by the time we get to 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. these are right along i-10. watch out panama city, pensacola
and tall hahassee. travel delays mostly at the airports and by 8:00 p.m. it arrives in new york city. philadelphia around 6:00 p.m. and it's going to be a cold rain. temperatures only in the 40s. one of those ugly april days. so today's forecast, much of the east coast looks good. thunderstorms in south florida. you can see those showers and storms in the middle of the country. tomorrow, if you have travel plans especially on the east coast we could have some delays and for all our friends on the west coast, some stormy weather coming for you too. rainy on your friday san francisco all the way through the pacific northwest. we've had a pretty quiet period as of late and thankfully we're not going to see any tornado outbreaks. new york city, a nice day today after that warm wind yesterday. should be enjoyable. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. make fitness routine with pure protein. high protein.
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welcome back to "morning joe." in the last block we discussed the "new york times" reporting that some members of bob mueller's team feel the attorney general undersold their findings. meanwhile after the justice department missed house democrats' tuesday deadline to hand over the mueller report. the house judiciary committee authorized nadler to issue a subpoena for the full report and all of the underlying evidence. but nadler says he wants to give attorney general william barr quote, time to change his mind about redacting the report before submitting it to congress. >> we're going to work with the attorney general and for a short period of time this the hope that he will -- that he will reveal to us the entire mueller report, but if that doesn't work out, then a very short order we will issue the subpoenas.
>> are you willing to do that as soon as this week to serve the justice department? >> i'm going to say very short order. i can't say how many days. >> you don't want to see the unredacted report? >> no, i don't need to see the grand jury testimony. i don't have this paranoia that my friends on the left have that the conclusions are really not what they are. >> you made reference to the mueller report. have you seen it? >> no, i've seen the principle findings from the attorney general. >> bob mueller has provided his findings to the attorney general who has accurately summarized those. these investigations should end. we should move on. >> what basically we're doing here is in my opinion the democrats are asking attorney general barr to violate the law. >> the attorney general is doing exactly what he said he would be doing, making as much of the report public as possible under federal law and department policy. what's the rush? spring break probably. >> all right. let's go to jake. tell me your reporting on this.
i just wonder what william barr would have to gain by completely misleading the american people so i'm just wondering, should his summary be given more benefit of the doubt or does the "new york times" reporting subjestsu suggest a real conflict here? >> well, the last couple of days, one thing has come up constantly. if barr's letter was so misrepresentative, why weren't the mueller people complaining about it and then these two stories drop last night with the mueller people complaining about it so i found that fascinating. a few things to me seem abundantly clear. democrats are going to, within i would assume, days send the subpoena to the justice department for this report. they have already authorized this subpoena and the window of time is going to shrink, but their patience is going to shrink quite quickly. that's number one. number two, the issue is not going oi way on capitol hill any
time soon. there will be more hand wringing over this and let's zoom out even more. over the last 24 hours we've seen the ways and means committee issue a request for trump's tax returns. we've seen requests for trump's financial information going back decades. we have the washington post suggesting that jared kushner might have been subject to foreign influence and that's why his clearance was at risk. these have turned into a perilous 24 to 48 hours for the president when it comes to his relationship with capitol hill and the investigations on capitol hill which are just frankly just revving up. >> so what's the politics of this? you hear republicans there saying we've seen enough of the report. we've seen the attorney general's version of it. >> i think trump won first round on this. i think he won the first round. i think that what we are hearing from on background, it's source
but without unidentified sources and how they're upset, that is what the mueller investigators feel and they want more information because they know that the first draft of history has been set and it's very difficult to walk back that narrative once donald trump has his -- by his hand picked attorney general been seemingly exonerated even though of course he was not and that was literally the one quote from the mueller investigation that was included in the four-page letter. >> very few quotes in the attorney general's -- and apparently, if the reporting is correct, no reason to question it at this point, but there are summaries that the mueller investigators, they could have used those summaries. they tried to give usable summaries so that the entire report didn't have to be released. it's definitely -- we would like to see the report, everybody would. >> i don't know how anyone can make a plausible case against seeing the report. we all want to see the full
report and the attorney general says he'll release the full report. it's a question of what report do you see? what are the redactions in there and i think there are appropriate redactions. there's classified material, grand jury testimony, all kinds of things the public doesn't and probably shouldn't see. >> was there any kind of conversation? it seems like this wasn't based on michael schmidt's reporting about what was going to be the rollout of the findings? >> and look, to put a little perspective on it, we're all kind of flying blind. we're talking about a report -- >> that we haven't seen. >> -- that's well over 300 pages which was boiled down to maybe two sentence fragments in the attorney general's release. >> exactly. this is -- its's frustrating, it's bizarre. on one level we should all hold off if there's no report to look at. on the the other hand the temptation to talk about it is obviously great. i think elise's point is the critical point. no matter what comes out,
people -- a lot of people have already reached the conclusion and democrats have to be careful here and others. it doesn't look like they're sore losers. i think the politics again work in the president's favor. still ahead at the top of the show, we mentioned donald trump still unreleased tax returns and also those of bernie sanders. we'll talk about how that issue is impacting the race for president as house democrats push to get ahold of trump's w-2s. "morning joe" is back in a moment. nothing says spring like fresh flowers, so let's promote our spring travel deal on choicehotels.com like this: (sneezes) earn one free night when you stay just twice this spring. allergies. or.. badda book. badda boom.
house democrats have filed a more fall request with the treasury department asking for six years of president trump's business and personal tax returns. ways and means committee chair made the request in a two-page letter sent to the irs commissioner seeking details about trump's personal returns from 2013 through 2018 including whether they are now or have ever been under audit. in a statement chairman kneel
writes in part, we have completed the necessary ground work for a request of this magnitude and i am certain we are within our legitimate legislative legal and oversight rights. meanwhile when asked about releasing his tax information, president trump told reporters last night that he would not be inclined to do so. >> . >> is that all? >> that's all. >> oh, usually it's ten, soy guess they're giving up. we're under audit despite what people said and we're working that out as i'm always under audit it seems, but i've been under audit for many years because of the numbers are big and i guess when you have a name you're audited. but until such time as i'm not under audit i would not be inclined to do it. thank you. >> first of all, this is the longest audit in the history of
audits. we should get him an account at h and r block. they work much quicker but this is the latest chapter in a story called elections have consequences. this is a campaign promise that they would get their hands on their tax returns. what are the odds that they are actually produced by the irs? >> this isn't a bank shot. this is in law. the ways and means committee and the senate finance committee have the unilateral right to obtain any american's tax returns. they're not asking for some sort of special treatment. they are asking for the irs to comport with the law. of course the irs reports to treasury secretary mnuchin who reports to the president of the united states so there are roadblocks they can put up by saying perhaps he is under audit. there are a lot of presidents and vice presidents do go under automatic audit so it's not that crazy i guess in theory, but
this is not -- this is -- in statute, this is the law. so again, something that's going to drag out for many months. they could subpoena, they could have steven mnuchin on capitol hill to testify about why they are not giving up these records but the chairman of the senate finance committee yesterday said we are not going to set this precedent to use someone's tax returns as a political co-jimov chairman of the ways and means committee is well within his rights here. >> thank you very much. coming up on "morning joe," a whole bunch of presidential contenders are starting to spend a lot of time in new hampshire. plus, "time" magazine's new report with the ominous title, how russia has quietly built a network of influence among tyrants and failed states. we're back in just a moment. when you rent from national...
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we have to take back the house. we have to. there's no reason to have lost it. what really lost it and really helped us lose it was health care because we didn't have an alternative. we just said well, let's not talk -- you can't do that. you've got to confront it. we'll be the party of health care. republicans should not run away from health care. you can't do it. you're going to get clobbered. >> the republican party will be the champion of preexisting conditions. >> we're going to come up with a health care plan, we're not going to vote on until after the election. we'll all promise it's going to be our first vote because we blew it the last time. man, i was fed a bill of goods, i want to tell you, some of you i'm still a little bit angry. you're going to win your elections because of health care. >> that's some reflections on 2018 telling republicans and
donors that democrats have the issue of health care right now and quote, we have to take that away from them. joining us now a member of both the foreign relations and armed services committees, we've got a lot to cover. today's nato anniversary, the 2020 field and your old friend claire mccaskill. she'll want to catch up with you. >> i miss claire every day. >> she's here with us now. let me ask you about health care and the proposal you've laid out on preexisting conditions. what is the objective here and what are you fighting against? >> well, right now president trump and the justice department are in court in texas with that lawsuit trying to overturn health care for everybody in this country. anybody who was enrolled in the obamacare, the oi fowaaffordabl
if president trump has his way they will lose health insurance. those with preexisting conditions will be able to be charged more or denied access to health insurance because of those illnesses, people who who have been on their parents' health insurance up to age 26, young people, they will lose that opportunity. those essential benefits that mean that coverage is there for substance use disorders and mental health will be gone. women will be able to be charged more. a pregnancy will be considered a preexisting condition, so the president is not being honest with the american people. >> so what is your proposal, senator? how do you stop that if it's in the courts right now. on the legislative side, what can you do? >> i think we need to make as much noise as possible to make sure the american people understand what's going on. the reason that congress didn't repeal the health care law two years ago is because the american public stood up and said, we want access to health
care. we want to be able to get health insurance. we want the affordable care act to continue. people need to know what's going on and i'm hopeful that at some point the republicans in congress are going to come and join us and try and increase access to health care coverage, try and help work together to fix what's not working as well as it should about our health care law. >> you're nodding your head. >> first of all, it's great fun to talk to you, jeanne and i promise you i won't ask you a tough question this time. >> okay. >> you know, have you guys thought about carving out something very simple that makes it difficult for mitch mcconnell on preexisting sf you know, the biggest lie that's being told by the president and that's a hard determination, because he tells a lot of lies, the biggest lie is that they're all ability protecting preexisting conditions. we know that's not true. we know they have no plan that protects preexisting conditions. we know how important that is to
america. have you guys thought about trying to come over from the house a very narrow bill that will address just that issue that puts them on the line and try to negotiate a forced vote through mcconnell on something like that? >> well, i think that's a great idea, claire. i know there are a number of bills that have been introduced. i have several myself to try and address access and affordability. i'm not aware of any narrowly defined bill around preexisting conditions so i think we should talk about that and see if we can't make that a possibility. >> seems like to me that's the easiest convincing point we have on this issue that really exposes their lies. now, maybe they vote for it knowing that -- that they need to protect themselves politically, but at least it gives us a chance to expose how phony they are, about having a plan for america. >> well, that's right. that's what this resolution is
designed to try and do. all 47 democrats are on it. but i'm sure that mitch mcconnell is not going to be willing to bring it to the floor for a vote. >> senator, your guest to the nato secretary general's joint address to congress yesterday was roya the first female ambassador from afghanistan to the united states. here's what secretary general told the house chamber yesterday. >> nato has created a conditions for social and economic progress. bringing education and human rights to women and girls. >> it's great to have a global attitude toward equal pay and women's rights but also the importance of nato, another thing he said is it's just -- it's good to have friends. something that it appears this
president wants anything but. >> well, that's right. you know, i think secretary general also reminded us that the only time nato has invoked article v, the mutual defense clause was after the united states was attacked on september 11th and we went into afghanistan to try and make sure that terrorists can no longer operate from that country. and i think that's important to remind americans and one of my interests in having the ambassador be my guest yesterday was because i think it's important for us to let people know about the article v defense and that's why nato came to the defense of the united states, but it's also important to remind everyone that right now there are peace negotiations going on between the taliban and the united states and that the government of afghanistan is not part of those negotiations.
and that women at this point are not at the table for those negotiations. and given what's at stake for afghanistan, for the women of afghanistan, it's very important that they are part of those discussions. >> let's bring in washington bureau chief for "time" magazine. he edited the magazine's new piece entitled putin's empire of autocrats. this week's international cover story, the piece describes how russia has quietly built a network of influence among tyrants and failed states quote, putin's placing bets around the globe the way a gambler lays chips on a felt table. and with the help and support of donald trump i would say. >> well, it's interesting. sort of ties in with your discussion about the mueller report. it's worth remembering that one thing that we learned from barr's letter was that that report is titled the
investigation into russia's operation against the 2016 president shl election and what we're learning now is that since that operation, russia has expanded its global dirty tricks campaign, and is taking it to a number of third world countries and forming alliances with dictators and rogue states in a way that's really bringing it back on to the world stage into its traditional role that it had under the soviets and indeed under the czars. >> elise. >> one of the examples in the story i found just to be striking in that it really establishes putin's bad intentions around the world and that's with omar in sudan.
he instead is entertaining him in his personal residence and can you talk a little bit about putin's bad intentions in sudan? >> so one of the most striking pieces of reporting in this article by simon schuster, our berlin correspondent and long time expert in russia, is he's obtained documents showing that as part of this global campaign, russia offered a whole suite of services to albashir who has been indicted for crimes against humanity and putin in contrast with the west of the western world of much of the leadership of the united nations has embraced bashir, offered this suite of services including we've found from our reporting on the ground some mercenary
support in the suppression of a -- an uprising in sudan and a number of other things. in exchange what putin is getting is influence in africa at a time when relative to the united states and china, russia is relatively weak and also some commercial interests, mining and other things in sudan, so it really is a very cold eyed almost amoral approach to russia's interest abroad. >> back to health care, your state like many other states has been afflicted by the opioid crisis, manchester, new hampshire, it's staggering what it does to public services in those communities. under the present health care legislation, is enough being done to combat the opioid crisis and what would you propose to do if it -- if not enough is being done? >> well, i think we can always do more, given the high overdose death rate, the number of people
who have died from substance use disorders in new hampshire and throughout the country in recent years. but what we absolutely need to do is to continue the resources, the federal dollars that we've approved on a bipartisan basis to go to new hampshire and other states and particularly keep that set aside the additional dollars that are there for the states that are hardest hit. as you point out, this epidemic has impacted families in so many different ways. it's affected the treatment providers, it's affected first responders and we've got to do everything possible to ensure that they have what they need in order to address this epidemic. you know, we had -- we had a hearing before the appropriateuatioappropriat appropriations committee on health and we had the heads of a number of programs throughout the country responding to the opioid epidemic and i asked them what happens if the federal
dollars end, and what i heard from the new hampshire person who was there was that she was going to go back to bake sales, but some of the other folks who were there were more direct. they said people will die. so it's absolutely that we continue the funding that states and communities are counting on. >> senator shaheen, thank you so much for being on the show. "time" magazine's massimo calabresi, thank you as well. up next, we'll bring somebody in the democratic field who you might not know about. and we got great news about the icf. will you be at the cutting room? >> out of town. >> what, are you kidding me? >> i'll send my daughter. >> i'll sit with her. so joe and his band will be playing a nearly sold out show in less than between weeks at the cutting room. and last week, he released a new song called austin, texas. and now filter the world's
leading third party playlist service has added the song to a few of their playlists. if y'all want to hear augustin, texas, head to filter or listen to it on spotify. "morning joe" is back in a moment. ♪ ♪ this simple banana peel represents a bold idea: a way to create energy from household trash. it not only saves about 80% in carbon emissions... it helps reduce landfill waste. that's why bp is partnering with a california company: fulcrum bioenergy. to turn garbage into jet fuel. because we can't let any good ideas go to waste. at bp, we see possibilities everywhere. to help the world keep advancing.
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maryann williamson is a texa texas-born self help author and motivational speaker and "new york times" best selling author is hitting the campaign trail joining the crowded 2020 presidential field. and she joins us now. great to have you on board. what is the message of your campaign? >> the message of my campaign is that the united states is deviated. we have deviated from our moral center, our democratic values and our deep human values. we have an economic system and too often a political system that supports the economic system that is very disconnected from service to people that obviously has created the largest wealth inequality for 100 years, but more importantly with this campaign, i want to talk about the human devastation that this has created and the kind of fundamental changes that need to happen. >> and what makes you qualified
for the job? >> i've lived for 35 years in a career where i have helped people navigate the consequences of all that damage that has been created by an irresponsible political establishment, so i have very strong ideas about how to turn all that trauma into transformation. >> there are people obviously who are just meeting you perhaps on this show right now who will say accomplished author, well-known, has great connections, has proven herself that way, but not sure she should be commanding the greatest military on the face of the earth. how do you answer that? >> how did all the experiencedle politicians codo when we invade iraq 1234 the illusion of experienced politicians with the military i think has been put to bed by our military m misadventures of the last 50 years. >> so what would you do to change the direct of the war in afghanistan? >> one of the things that i appreciated just recently on your program is when senator shaheen talked about the women of afghanistan.
i like her have been worried about the fact that we're talking about these negotiations with the taliban, the taliban saying they won't let the government of afghanistan be part of that and how the women were not even discussed. so i very much appreciated that. one of the first things i'd do is get the women of afghanistan into the oval office to tell me their experience. i think that unfortunately like so many of our policies both domestically and internationally, our agendas are driven more by short term profit maxization anned advocacy and
defense is an example of that. this is not criticism of the military. but when you have every dollar that we spend on actual peace creation, we spend over $1,000 to prepare for war. you can't back yourself into peace just like you can't just rely on medicine, you have to cultivate health. you can't just rely on preparing for war. you have to cultivate peace. do you that by expanding
economic opportunities for women, expanding educational opportunities for children, reducing violence against women, and ameliorating unnecessary human suffering. >> politics of a presidential campaign are brutal. just the bare knuckle politics. you have always tried to take the higher road of inspiring people to their better selves. what about this clash between the reality of a brutal presidential primary and the fundraising for example that has to go on? how are you reconciling who you have been as a person in terms of helping others with the reality of day to day bare knuckle i've to figure out a way to get my name out there. >> i'm actually inspired by such people as you. have fine people just say i won't go there? we need more fine people going there. and politics is not the only place that you have to raise
money. money doesn't create ideas, ideas create money. so i believe that you say important things and things that need to be said and i think people are adult enough to know i'll have to send her some money if she will do this. >> do you think you'll be meet all the requirements to officially run? >> absolutely i do. >> what have you got the? >> a little over $40,000. >> we'll see what happens. thank you very much for joining us. >> that is not 40,000, 40,000 of the 65,000 votes. >> so final thought of the morning goes to claire mccaskill. >> well, health care -- >> sum up the day. three are hours in five seconds. >> i think health care has to continue to be the most important thing that our presidential candidates talk about. i think we need to stay focused on it. it is what matters to people. the cost of prescription drugs, the scary thing going on in the courts with the rules we put in against insurance companies. if those presidential candidates stay focused on health care, we'll be successful. >> we have the moment in the
"new york times" report this morning a lot of people saw coming which is that people inside the special counsel's office unhappy with attorney general barr's summary of the report. we'll see if, when and how much of that full report comes out. >> and i thought stacey abrams was really cool. that does it for us. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much. this morning we have a lot to cover. starting with lost in translation. new reporting from the "new york times" that some members of robert mueller's team believe attorney general bill barr painted too positive a picture for the president and that the barr letter shaped the entire narrative of the report while leaving out some critical facts. and a paper trail emboldened house democrats to file a request with the u.s. treasury asking for six years of president trump's business and personal tax returns. >> is that all? >> that's all. >> usually it is ten. so i guess they are giving up. we're under