tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC April 23, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
marriage on the 6-3 opinion in the lawrence case that struck down the anti-sodomy law. he was appointed to the supreme court by ronald reagan. with kennedy gone from the court, the key vote is expected to fall to brett kavanaugh. will he continue justice kennedy's legacy and carry on the embrace of the lgbtq community by the constitution bill of rights? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. >> tonight on all in -- >> any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted. >> impeachment talk continues. >> it affects the path of fact finding takes us there. we are not there yet. >> the white house openly defies
house democrats. >> it's called presidential harassment. >> elijah cummings on his latest escalation with the trump administration. then -- >> is he going to accept that in 2020? >> tom perez on the republican indifference to the mueller report. plus, the lawyer who argued the census case joins me live. joe biden's big announcement about his big announcement. and is donald trump about to get another primary opponent? >> people asked me to give this serious consideration. >> all in starts now. good evening from new york in for chris hayes. democrat igic leaders are resisting calls to open impeachment after the mueller report presented strong evidence that the president committed obstruction of justice. in a long conference call last
night, speaker naps and other house leaders urged members to stay the course and stick with the plan of investigating the president through the various committee probes already under way. that, democratic leaders say, is how they are going to hold donald trump accountable. while democrats are doing business as usual, the white house is going to war, fighting every effort at oversight by the legislative branch. to them it doesn't seem to matter who has the law or the constitution on their side. with every power play, republicans are testing the proposition that the democrats won't have the guts to fight back. today was the second deadline from the house ways and means committee for the treasury department to turn over the president's tax returns under a law that gives the committee's chairman access to any taxpayer's information. treasury secretary steve mnuchin is continuing to stall, saying he needs till may 6th to make up
his mind about whether to comply. a white house spokesman said compliance is not going to happen. >> look, as i understand it, the president is clear. once he's out of audit, he will think about it. he's not inclined to do so at this time. he turned over hundreds of pages during the campaign. everyone knows he's a very successful billionaire. he had a lot of success in the business world. people see what he is able to accomplish. there is nothing nepharious there at all. >> for the record, the commissioner testified that an audit would not bar someone's tax returns from being released. they called the first major witness to testify on the mueller report, sending a subpoena to don mcgahn, the former counsel whoa gave key evidence in the white house investigation. when asked about the subpoena, they would not rule out invoking executive privilege to stop him from testifying. that's one of the ways they are fighting congressional
subpoenas. yesterday the president and his business sued elijah cummings, chairman of the oversight committee to block a subpoena for financial records from the accounting firm. a nuf is without precedent in receipt history. now they are withholding a key witness of white house security clearances. the white house told karl kline who overruled career staff to grant a clearance to jared kushner, not to comply with the subpoena unless a white house lawyer could come with him. today when kline was due to give testimony, nobody showed up. and now house oversight is considering whether to hold him in contempt of congress. they are waging a campaign at massive resistance of school integration in brown versus the board of education. democrats are trying to uphold the law with all deliberate speed as the supreme court put it, trump and his cronies are stomping all over the
constitution and daring anyone to try to stop them. i'm joined by the chairman of the house oversight committee, chairman elijah cummings who was just sued by the president. >> good to be with you. >> let me get your reaction to the lawsuit, this unprecedented lawsuit, suing you, your committee, for requesting donald trump's financial and business records. >> well, joy, first of all, i was not surprised because this administration has done everything in its power and use every means necessary to block the congress from getting the information we need to do our job. not only are they blocking witnesses from coming forward, joy, but they have not given us one document upon our request. they basically -- the american people said in the last election, we want to hold donald trump accountable, but joy, it's impossible to hold them accounta
believe if we don't get information and he is trampling on the constitution, no doubt about it. >> josh marshall, i use the phrase massive resistant and they are flatly refusing to comply with ordinary requests across the board. it's not a difference of degree, but of kind. it's an impeachment-worthy refusal for mandated framework of american government. impeaching the president or the officials refusing to comply, how can democrats cause this white house to comply with the article one power's request? >> the number one thing we are going to do next with regard to mr. kline who did not appear today is that we will hold a vote of our committee shortly to hold them in contempt. we will check with house do you know if congressional counsel to see where we go from there. the fact is, the republicans
really do need to cooperate with us. make sure that this president does not trample on the constitution. the thing about it, joy, is when we allow these things to happen, basically what the congress is doing is to republicans in the congress, allowing president trump to take away our power and in turn, take away the power of our constituents. >> the question i think that a lot of people have, chairman cummings, is democrats clearly want to hold trouchl account and they are subpoenaing documents through the normal course of oversight. republicans made it clear that they are not going to help you. they are not going to defy this president to defend their branch of government. what else can democrats do? what can democrats do? letters? what can democrats do? >> what we have to do is what we are doing now.
we have to take the mueller report, which by the way is a road map for a lot of investigations and do what chairman nadler has already done. make sure that we subpoena the un redacted mueller report and bring in mueller and barr to hear what they have to say. i understand that he is also subpoenaing mcgahn, but keep in mind it is recent article this is evening say that the white house will be even going against that. they are doing a blockade. we have to do our research. keep in mind there is still 14 areas that mueller referred to the new york u.s. attorney's offices. that very well may involve the
president and do involve the president. keep in mind we have trump's testimony. what we have got to do is get all of the information. that's one of the things that speaker pelosi said she wants us to be careful. we want to be transparent, but with integrity so the american people can buy into it. the american people have got to help us to force this issue to make sure that the president is obeying the law. >> do you understand why a lot of democrats, a lot of people in the bay say the democrats are being deliberate in playing by the rules, but the other side ms. thrown the rule book out the window and burned it. andrew johnson was impeached by violating and firing the secretary of war. one violation of that law and he was impeached by the house of representatives. do you understand why a lot of democrats say what is the democratic house waiting for? >> joy, i understand completely.
a lot of us are torn. if this president continues down the path they are going, we won't have a democracy. we understand that. at the same time going back to speaker pelosi, all she is trying to do is make sure we get all of our ducks in a row. nobody is saying this thing may not end up in impeachment, but we realize impeachment is a very serious thing and we are going to do whatever we have to do. first we have to do our research and we doll it exceedingly well. >> when can the american people expect to see robert mueller testify and will it be public? >> i expect it will be public. i'm not sure exactly when mr. nadler has that scheduled. but again, what i would expect though is that the white house will continue to fight anybody coming before the congress. in other words, they basically would do away with the congress
and there would be no dpng it were this white house. i want to say to the public, understand we are laser focus ode what we have to do. we realize that people are impatient and they anxiously want to see this president impeached. on the other hand they have to understand if we are going do that, we are also going to deal with all of the issues like the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs and the aca, the affordable care act and preexisting conditions and things of that nature. we are doing all of those things, too. we are going down two lanes. >> i know you have the committee working on things regarding drug prices and that's important to the american people, but is it not possible to work on the drug price issue and things you mentioned and pursue the impeachment lane if the white house is simply trying to negate the existence of the united states congress. >> no doubt about it.
we are often saying that we are definitely doing both. i think all the other committees are doing both. in other words, we are doing things to affect the american people. we are also dealing with the whole idea of exposing this president as he does harm to our country. again, joy, keep in mind, we do not have -- there is no way we are going to get 20 votes in the senate. we can indict him, but what does the senate do? i believe there will come a point in time where the evidence will be so overwhelming when you look at the mueller report that the public will say you know what, this man, president trump does not reflect our values and we are tired of the lies and tired of him instructing people to lie and tired of the deceit and then i think they will look
and see what they have gotten from him. higher taxes for the middle class and say wait a minute, a lot of the things, most of the things he said he was going to do, he did not do. >> my final question to you, republicans back in the 1990s believed that bill clinton deserved to have the mark of impeachment on him. they were not successful in removing him, but they wanted that mark on him. do you believe that donald trump deserves to have the mark of impeachment and indictment, whether or not he would be removed? >> i think he does. if you just read the mueller report in and of itself, let's be clear, when you look at the mueller report, the 10 items that mueller pointed out with regard to obstruction, if you take any one of those, anybody in the united states they know of would probably already be indicted, except the president of the united states. >> congressman elijah cummings,
thank you very much for your time. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> for more on what democrats should do about the stonewa stonewalling, i'm joined by the former cabinet secretary to president obama and couple to the house oversight committee. editor in chief of the national memo who covered the clinton impeachment has a calmness for the new york observer. thank you both for being here. if in fact the white house defies subpoenas for the duly requested testimony of being kline regarding the clearances issued to jared kushner for the former and he's not even currently white house counsel f they refused to allow those men to testify in front of congress, what legally can the house oversight committee do? >> we're know exactly what they should do because we know what the republicans did to obama officials in 2012. they held eric holder, then the attorney general in contempt in
the course of an investigation in which the white house produced 7,000 pages of documents and made witnesses available. if whether kline does not testify, he should be held in contempt of congress. the treasury secretary, steve mnuchin defied an order to produce the president's tax returns not withstanding the statute said he shall furnish them with ways and means. >> we're never had a president defy a subpoena in that way before. richard nixon at the end of the day, produced the take place. he never forced the country to test the proposition that a president can refuse to follow the law. if steve mnuchin refuses to follow the law, what sanction can be applied? can these men and the sergeant at arms being sent over to get the tax returns? practically what can be done to
make them comply? >> the issue is, chairman cummings said is going to the house counsel's office and have legal remedieremedies. the contempt is referred to the justice department for prosecution. trying to prosecute a cabinet member for contempt is sch challenging. congress has to assert a role as a coequal branch of government. that's not just about punishing this president, but establishing clear guardrails of democracy for future presidents. >> joe, i asked the questions to get to a point. there may not be built into our constitutional framework a way to cause the president of the united states and his cabinet to comply with the law. there is no sanction. the justice department is run by one william barr. does anyone think that william barr would prosecute for contempt of congress a member of the administration of the
president for his -- he submitted a job interview and saying the mueller prosecution is bogus. >> william barr proved he is part of the conspiracy to cover up crimes by the president. he had a good reputation, somewhat undeserved, but he had it until recently and that's gone now. people understand that bill barr is a servant of the president and not of the law at this point. you are right about that. >> then what is the reach of the law? the challenge here is that the democrats are doing the right thing when it comes to the system. the way the system is intended to work. they subpoena documents and issue letters and requests and ask people to appear. the white house said no, make me do it. there is no mechanism in the law to make them do it. >> there isn't a mechanism except that you may end up in
the supreme court with something like this. >> with john roberts and two appointees of donald trump. >> john roberts is an institutionalist who wants to protect the reputation of the court. he is both ways on that. what trump is doing now is worse than what nixon did. when nixon was president nks he sister first asserted executive privilege over the don mcgahn of his administration. he gave up on that. he stopped asserting executive privileges and how we learned about the tapes and as you know, dean testified at great length. what trump is doing is more lawless than nixon. when criminal matters are being investigated, you could not assert executive privilege on behalf of the president. ultimately that case would have gone to the supreme court had
nixon not given up that. may be where we go with this. then you may have a president who disobeys the ruling of the supreme court. >> then what? >> at that point impeachment, i think, is really unavoidable. then you have someone who discarded completely his oath to uphold the constitution. in view of many of us, trump did a while ago. in the view of the country, you have a showdown with the republican party. they also tell us they do and usually want to uphold it when a democrat is president, not a republican. that would be the ultimate test. >> there in lies the challenge. where can the american people get confidence that if this were to happen, donald trump seated the courts with his adherence and stacked the supreme court with two more of his adherents.
the justice department is under his command and the republican party is under his command. why should the american people have confidence that there is anything left in the law or any of the branchs of government that make this president comply with the law? >> joy, i think it's easy to get cynical about where we are, but you have to believe in the foundations of our democracy. the idea that we have rule of law. a president wants to test all of that, but you have to believe that the democracy. >> why do we have to believe that? donald trump said that the production of his tax returns will not be done. there is a law that said it must. don mcgahn will not testify even though he is duly compelled to do so. why do we have to have koj fidence in the law. donald trump controls it. donald trump controls the law. william barr is the attorney
general of the united states and the republican party decides whether he is removed from power. and the supreme court has five conservatives on it. why should we trust the law? >> i'm a cynic, but the constitution withstood 230 years through depressions. i have to believe that the foundations will withstand this president. we are in uncharted territory right now. >> why should we believe that the republicans at some point are going to wake up and decide they want to uphold the constitution rather than doing what they have been doing since 2016. dutifully support donald trump in whatever he does. >> there are a lot of reasons to doubt that they will. most of them. there would be a few who might feel a twinge of conscious about trampling over the constitution with donald trump, but it's hard to say. >> what if they don't? >> that's what we have elections for.
by the way, that's what people go into the streets about eventually. if everything else fails. hopefully this can be resolved in a peaceful way. it should be and must be. by election if no other way. impeachment, it may get there. it's correct to walk this in the deliberative fashion that the democrats are doing. it's also good to have people pushing for impeachment. it's fine to so have both. speaker pelosi has to navigate that. it's a good look for the democrats to take their time to investigate everything and educating the public as to what the mueller report and all the other negative information about the president is. they understand why this is unavoidable and not a political lark for the democrats. >> it's not a political lark if people are defying subpoenas s. appreciate you both. republicans seem united in their response to the mueller report.
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the five conservative members of the supreme court a pour poised to allow the trump administration to add a controversial question on citizenship to the 2020 census. it's controversial partly because as the justice sonia sotomayor said "there is no doubt that people will respond less because of the census. that has been proven in study after study." the people who respond less to that question are noncitizens. when people respond less, it skews things like congressional representation and funding for the next decade. the question is this. is suppressing that response from immigrants the very reason that commerce secretary bill wur loss claimed that the department of justice asked him to include the question, but as "the
washington post" reports, e-mails a e-mails and depositions showed ross discussed the issues urging a crack down on undocumented immigrants. some showed that he initiated contact with the justice department officials, not the other way around. for some reason, chief justice john roberts and other justices seemed to move past why three federal district judges had banned the trump commerce department from adding the question. it seems like a shocking and cynical justification to keep it. robbers told new york solicitor general barbara underwood whose state sued to block the question that the data is critical it for enforcing the voting rights act. you will recall robbers voted to gut a key portion calling it unnecessary. racism is over. ari berman wrote that the legal career has been a decades long
k crusade as a reason to twist the census to donald trump's anti-immigration aims is interesting. if the supreme court allowed them to remain, little question that the voting rights of many americans will be undermined. two people at the oral arguments today. director of the aclu's voting rights project who voted against arguing in front of the supreme court today. president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights and former head of the department of justice's civil rights division. how surprising was it to hear john roberts voice the idea that the reason to add the question was to strengthen the voting rights act? >> not all that surprising. the government has been saying that's the reason why they added this question. as you noted, they were intent on adding it long before anyone
suggested the idea that it might be helpful for purposes of a voting rights act. the voting rights act is not a priority of this administration. they hadn't brought a single lawsuit to enforce the voting rights act. the notion that they wanted to change the census to help enforce voting rights is ludicrous. >> in your oral argument, sit back at their claim because it makes things more accurate. explain. >> that's right. he said it can't apartment response. that was false. they predicted that 6.5 million people won't respond and what that means is the data is less accurate. when they say we need this data for the voting rights act, you will have a much less accurate census when 6.5 million people don't respond. it will harm rather than help them. >> a "washington post" piece
today, ita talks about the potential under count. experts calculated this it could undercount as many as 6.5 million people and cause harm to immigrant populations. california could lose as many as three congressional seats. do you suspect that's what this is about? stripping congressional seats and representation from large blew populations? >> i do. i want to say he did a phenomenal job in the supreme court. the nepharious agenda behind this question has been revealed through the litigation that led up to the supreme court argument today. there is little hiding the fact that wilbur ross was communicating with steve bannon in the early days of the administration to add this question and the rational allegedly that the trump justice department under jeff sessions
needed the census citizenship data in order to robustly enforce the voting rights act was blatantly a ruse. every aspect of this administration has been anti-immigrant. the steve bannons and chris kobaches of the world want to change thou happens and want citizens only to be counted. in the census, it is written into the constitution. the constitution makes clear that the federal government has a constitute every 10 years to count every person in this country. not every citizen, but every single person in this country. the fact that study after study shows that the addition of the question will undermine the ak r c accuracy of the count, it's actually kind of striking and it's a signal of where we are
today around the politicization. >> it goes without saying when the constitution was written, the enslaved african population were not citizens. they were three quarters of a person. is there any recourse? say this goes through because the pessimistic believes they are going to allow the trump administration to add a citizenship question. what then? >> i want to hold things up on that. people thought the affordable care act to get struck down. it's a little early to say something like that. the evidence in this case is really strong. adding this question is going to wreck the census which is a pillar of our structure. i have to think that if uh justices care about the evidence, they are going to listen. as you note, we might not win.
that's the case every time we go in front of the supreme court. we have to double down on our efforts to make sure that everyone gets counted. you hear sometimes people talk about we just might not respond to the census if this question is on there. that's the worst thing we can do. that's what steve bannon and chris kobach wants. they want an under count and to receive fewer political representatives and less resources and we can't let them win. >> wow. what a day. thank you both very much. appreciate your time. thank you. up next, dnc chair on the troubling response to the mueller report. e troubling response to the mueller report pay as much for. as not safe drivers! ah! that was a stunt driver. that's why esurance has this drivesense® app. the safer you drive, the more you save. don't worry, i'm not using my phone and talking to a camera while driving... i'm being towed.
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there are no two people more different than lindsey graham during the clinton era and modern day lindsey graham. >> you don't have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic. if this body dearlies your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds. >> there was no collusion and obstruct of a crime that never occurred. that was bizarre to me to begin with. >> the republican response faced with presidential lawlessness. even congress itself has been mainly silent. as a damning new ad by a group of renigate republicans points
out, do not adjust the volume on your tv as you take a look. democrats are calling on republicans not to repeat the tactics from the last presidential election. the democratic national committee pledging not to weaponize stolen private data with chairman tom perez writing an open letter to the democratic chair woman. i'm calling on you to put country above party and pledge that the committee will do the same. here with me now is tom perez, chairman of the democratic national committee. thank you very much for being
here. >> always a pleasure. >> the response from the rnc to your pledge that the democrats will not use tacked material in the upcoming election and asking republicans to do the same. the republican spokesman pointed to mcdaniels's priest comment, saying that mcdaniel made it clear where he stands in a breech of our organizations regardless of parties and a friend to all of us and should come together as americans. it's important to do all we can to safeguard our elections. is that good enough? >> of course not. if i were in a court of law at the justice department, i would say objection, your honor, nonresponsive. this is simple. if a foreign adversary steals information that's private and tries to traffic is, to anyone, you should say no. period, this is not about right
versus left. that's the simple proposition here. we know what happened in 2016. the russians hacked the dnc and hacked into john po testa and others and used that stolen information because they wanted to help donald trump and hurt hillary clinton. we are saying that candidates shouldn't participate in such activity. this is a lay up or should be a lay up, but apparently not for ms. mcdaniel. >> or for the tv lawyer, rudy giuliani. former follow prosecutor. here's what he said on cnn regarding the thing you were just speaking about. >> there is nothing wrong with taking information from russians. >> there is nothing wrong with? >> depends on where it came from. people get information from this person or that person. you advising those who are running for president to be
prepared to have information from foreign adversaries used against them and what will be the plan of the democratic party or the national committee in the event that that happens? >> we are at war right now. it's a cyber war. unfortunately our kmocommander chief is immasculated because he was a victim of that. we have just completed the third training of candidates to make sure that they understand the weaponization or the potential weaponization of data. we are absolutely preparing for a repeat of 2016. why? because there were no consequences to the russians from this administration. they welcomed it. you saw all the obstruction that occurred with this president. i think it behooves us to absolutely have all hands on deck on cyber security.
that's what we are doing not only at the dnc, but for the candidates. we hired a top flight team of cyber experts and others in the ecosystem. this isso democracy on the ballot. the nonresponsive answer of chair woman mcdaniel and the absurd statement of mayor julian whoa is a former prosecutor who ought to know better. a 10-year-old would know better, joy. you don't traffic in stolen information. >> it's not just data. the aspect is important, but you had the chairman of the trump campaign, paul manafort share good old fashioned polling data with a russian oligarch. hand it over to him. that data on crucial states. michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania and minnesota. is the party prepared that the
candidate, donald trump will simply run the same playbook again. it's not about cyber security. the mueller report found they were not involved in the hacking portion, but disseminating the information that resulted and the attempts to sow discord on social greed encouraged on the right. don't you think donald trump might run the same playbook again? >> there is absolutely that danger. what's clear from this administration and what's clear throughout the entirety of his business practices is that they will lie, cheat, and steal. they doll anything to win. they have so eroded institutions of democracy, that is why there is health care on the ballot and we will continue to point out that the democratic party is the party fighting to save your health care. the republicans are fighting to take it away. so many other things. our democracy is on the ballot. joy, you are right. we have to be prepared for
lying, cheating, and stealing. they have an approach to under mining our democracy that is shameful and we are organizing everywhere. that is why we are preparing for every eventuality. we won in 2018 across this country in historic manners. i am have been sober about the realities of the upcoming campaign. they will try to suppress the vote wherever they can. they will try to cheat, they will try to weaponize things. that's what we are preparing for at the dnc. that's unfortunate. our democracy is truly on the ballot and i'm confident we can win. it saddens me to no end. this is not who we are and not the party of lincoln. the party of lincoln has officially died. the party of trump is not a party that represents our democratic values. >> tom perez, thank you so much
for your time. appreciate it. >> always a pleasure. >> coming up, is there another primary challenger ready to take on donald trump. the governor who could make things interesting. just ahead. ould make things interesting just ahead you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. flonase. you know that look? that life of the party look. walk it off look. one more mile look.
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inauguration in late january. people asked me to give this serious consideration. i think i owe it to those people to do just that. >> trump faces one challenger, former massachusetts governor bill held and could face another ohio governor, john saysic. hogan is a sitting governor and a popular one with a sky high approval rating in a blue state. he referred to trump as dear leader and criticized the rnc to give trump undivided support in 2020. >> i'm for building the republican party into a bigger tent that can appeal to more people. i think we are doing the opposite right now. the republican party is shrinking the base down to only a certain percentage of white males. >> trump remains extremely popular with republican voters, but appears weakened in the wake
of the mueller report. he tied an all time low of 39% and never not for a day of his presidency had the support of the majority of americans. trump is likely to survive any and all primary challengers, they could have an impact even if he loses. when a sitting president faces a serious primary opponent, the incumbent is weakened and ultimately loses to their opponent in the election. he could be focused on focus on challengers when never trump republicans coalesce around a candidate. trump's name may not even be on the ballot. 18 state legislatures introduced bills requiring a candidate to release his or her tax return fist they want to appear on the ballot. breaking news from "the washington post." the president has just spoken to robert costa and provided
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. we have breaking news related to our top story tonight. the white house's utter refusal to cooperate with congressional investigations. donald trump said that he is opposed to any current or former white house aides testifying before congress. trump said that since the white house cooperated with the special counsel's investigation, quote, there is no reason to go any further, especially in congress where it's very partisan. obviously very partisan. joining me now is rose lyndh helderman "the washington post" political investigative report and coauthor of the new book "the mueller report." thank you very much for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> the president has expressed his view that he doesn't have to comply and anyone associated with him doesn't have to comply with congressional subpoenas. what about the people to whom those vupz being issued, people like don mcgahn?
are they in agreement with this? he says they don't have to that they don't have to? >> i think those people are trying to figure it out right now. we understand from someone close to don mcgahn that he's going to let the process play out. he's going to hear from the committee, hear from the white house, and then figure it out. we were told by someone close to mr. mcgahn that he doesn't want to be in contempt of congress but doesn't want to be in contempt of the ethical and legal obligations because he's a former white house official. >> are there obligations you know of just in your reporting that would prevent a former white house counsel from implying with a duly issued subpoena. >> if the white house objects, they will say his testimony is stoudge executive privilege and the president has asserted his executive privilege. that's tricky legal argument because don mcgahn already
testified to bob mueller, and the white house agreed to allow his testimony to become public with the publication of the report. ultimately if the white house chooses to assert that privilege, this will be decided by a judge, and we could be looking at a fairly lengthy court battle. >> just to read from the report here that you coauthored, white house lawyers plan to say they will be asserting executive privilege. trump maintained that the white house counsel's office has not made any final decision whether it will block congressional testimony, but that he oppose cooperation with house democrats who he claimed were trying to score political points against him. do you know of any precedent for a president saying because he believes the opposing party to score political points that he can assert anyone who has worked for him in the past or present doesn't have to comply with the law or a subpoena?
>> there's actually a fairly recent precedent where harriet meyers under george w. bush was subpoenaed by congress and the white house tried to prevent her from testifying. that case was litigated and there was a ruling that went against the white house, but the matter continued on appeal. ultimately it wasn't really fully resolved prior to president bush leaving office and the new administration settled the case. so there isn't a fully binding court precedent on this issue. but what we've had so far is that suggestion from a judge that the white house may not win on this front. >> rosalyn, thank you very much for your time. thank you. i'm joined by jason johnson, msnbc political analyst, and marissa. marissa, i'm going to start with you. the president of the united states saying that he will
essentially opposite anyone in his administration now or formerly in his administration from implying wicomplying. >> even nixon gave up tapes when he was subpoenaed. i think his aides are going to have some interesting times ahead of them while they work with their lawyers to decide what their own obligations are. it is sort of interesting to say that there are now executive privilege when they obviously waived executive privilege before with respect to being interviewed by the special counsel. so i'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out. >> you clerked for a supreme court justice. can you think of any precedent in law that a president does not have to follow the law simply because he doesn't like the other party? >> there's nothing that is obvious that comes to mind. of course the president does have executive privilege and
what will be interesting is is the president asserting new executive privilege or is he trying to do with ones made public already. >> jason johnson, where do the democrats go from here. they keep issuing subpoenas and letters and asserting they're going to do the process of oversight and they keep getting told, make me, by the way. >> they need to subpoena some backbone and then combatant it througho -- implant it. you need to stop other things happening in congress. you need to stop the funding that goes to anything this president has to do. all of this leads back to what we've been talking about since the mueller report came out last week. this president exists to obstruct the normal function and constitutional functions of this government. if you allow him to be embolden him, do you expect him to allow himself to be investigated for
the next two or three years? the democratic party has to recognize they're not dealing with a normal president. they're dealing with a pro protodictator. if they're not willing to shut down everything in this administration to get things done, donald trump will win. >> mastrissa, is there concern that donald trump will simply assert the powers of dictatorial power? >> it does seem like he has been taking that stance, although the mueller report didn't say that he would be eligible to be held guilty or press forward on an obstruction charge, there's certainly evidence. frankly, it would create a constitutional crisis to indict a president, but certainly you've seen from the report evidence that he will try to obstruct justice, he will try to assert himself in ways that are unprecedented. >> jason, has the democratic response been adequate in your
view at this point. >> no, it hasn't been, especially in a situation like this. the president can't just keep expanding his powers and snap his fingers and make everybody incapable of testifying in front of congress. >> jason johnson and marissa malek. that's it for this evening. the "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> he seems to be trying to do so. he managed to slow down but i do not believe he can stop them. >> i hope you're right. i hope you are correct because you are almost always right so i'll go with that. >> i love the sound of that, but i don't feel like i'm persuading you. watch the a block and then tell me in the commercial if you think i'm right. >> thank you to you at home for joining us this hour. the correct title of the song in case you need to look it up is whoomp, there it is. the first word is whoomp w-h-o-o-m-p, whoomp, from 1993, from a band from miami called tag team.