tv Deadline White House MSNBC April 25, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
thank you for watching "deadline: white house" with nicole wallace is next. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. the 800 pound gorilla in the democratic primary entered the race today with an 800 pound message. joe biden taking a two by four to donald trump's appeal to racist. biden becomes the first candidate in the democratic primary to open his campaign with a stinging rebuke of donald trump's equivocation after the deadly protests and counter protests in charlottesville. we don't know how the democratic primary will turn out for biden but a new bar has been set in terms of calling donald trump what he is, a threat to the unity of this country in his
official announcement, biden cutting right to the bone articulating the stakes of the next presidential election as being about the soul and character of our nation. watch. >> it was there on august of 2017 we saw clans men and neo nazis come out in the open. their crazed faces illuminated by torches, fangs bulging and baring the faces of racism, chanting the same bile heard across europe in the '30s. they were met by a courageous group of americans, and a violent clash ensued. and a brave young woman lost her life. and that's when we heard the words of the president of the united states that stunned the world and shocked the consciousness of this nation. he said there were, quote, some very fine people on both sides. very fine people on both sides?
those words the president of the united states assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. in that moment, i knew the threat to this nation was unlike any i had ever seen in my lifetime. i wrote at the time that we're in the battle for the soul of this nation. that's even more true today. we are in the battle for the soul of this nation. i believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an abrent moment in time. if we give donald trump eight years in the white house, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are. and i cannot stand by and watch that happen. >> a powerful takedown from the new democratic front runner of the divisiveness that has come to define donald trump's
presidency. but even trump welcomes the fight, tweeting welcome to the race sleepily joe, i only hope you have the intelligence long in doubt to wage a successful primary campaign. it will be nasty. but if you make it, i'll see you at the starting gate. and that's where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends all on set. nick comp sorry, heidi prezbella, and our front donny deutsche. i'm going to start with you
donny, if you had to distill the single most damaging thing trump has done and be a force against it, that was it. >> it was brilliant and it was brilliant because it was him. a 78-year-old can do that, not that anybody can't say it and have the right to say it. he immediately took one of the perceived negatives, he's been around too long, he's old, remember how holebrook and wall street were the voice of reason. it's comfort food. that's what this nation needs now. and he also figured out how you run you have to be the anti-trump. you have to package a way that's relevant. the important thing going forward you can't just stay on right and wrong. you have to flip that what does that mean to a voter. we can't put sme ball. ball. the powc% you have to go down into women's active wear, basketball. stay up there they pick him apart on the policy. but he has the overarching brand architecture that nobody else
can have. and i think the other thing he has going for him is compassion. the thing he got ridiculed for, the hug, i made a joke, the country needs a hug, that was a big hug. >> listen, democrats shouldn't listen -- i am the last person to weigh in. my position on the democratic primary i will vote for someone's bus. whoever you nominate i will vote for him or her or the bus, it. however, david axelrod, president obama's former chief strategist said at a campaign event every election is a reaction to the one that came before it. if we are looking to react to trump and trump-ism, that's how i want to be made to feel. >> right. but here's the problem. he can't stay there, because he's got -- that was a beautifully executed video. and i thought it was smart to go to charlottesville and not talk about the white working class, which is i think what people expected him to do. but to answer the question about justice and race. but you can't stay there because you got to go -- the next day you got to show up in iowa or
houston, go to she the people. he becomes immortal now, he becomes another candidate. i know what the biden team is worried about are these high expectations. being the front runner particularly the democratic primary, the front runner usually doesn't win because they're coming in usually artificially inflated. there's a lot of obama nostalgia behind this candidacy. maybe this is a time it works but it generally doesn't. >> y'all are so hard on -- >> go back to normal, i understand. we want to wash away the trump presidency, and i would love -- >> i pushed back against -- >> in the republican primary. >> let me get chris truss tchri make my case, saying today in a podcast that if biden can make it through the pry marys, if he
can make it through you policy types he's the one democrat candidate who appeals to the white working class voters who handed the election to trump and could hand 2020 to biden instead. >> if he can get through the democratic primary. how much can he sustain this? it's a battle of attrition when you're a front runner like this. when you lose altitude, every question you get is why aren't you doing better -- >> you sound like you're scarred. >> i'm wise. >> she's also speaking from experience. i covered the clinton campaign, you were there for the clinton campaign, and one of the criticisms was whenever hillary was, you know, facing a moment of stress, she would go back to the temperament argument and go back to defining trump versus talking about her policy ideas. i understand the frustration that she talked at length and in great detail, more detail than
any candidate about policy ideas and couldn't garner the same media attention. so that is why i think it's smart this is the way he started out. why? because in talking to democratic voters over the past two years, they are shaken. this speaks to their deepers anxieties about what they witnessed over the past two years to joe biden's point, is this who we are or is this an aberration? and if you talk to these democratic voters, they say they realize the things they've seen, like charlottesville, the pittsburgh shooting, they didn't realize we had this in our bloodstream. that is an open question to them, is this who we are or is this an aberration? so for him to start this way, it's a smart idea. but 100% with jen as well, beyond that he has to stay how do we course correct in terms of specific policy because democrats will demand that. the base will demand that. >> i want to ask you a question
about political journalism. we sit here and talk about candidates, cut off their head, cut off their heart, cut off their hands. voters don't vote like we analyze here. that's how we missed 2016, to be blunt. we treated the voters like their ears will hear grab them in the bleep, their hands will not vote for trump. that is not how they vote. they take a gut measure of a man or woman and go with the least awful choice. people don't like politicians and they pick the least bad person if you're really lucky and good like obama, sometimes they vote out of their better angels. but i thought this play today was about the whole person. i thought this was hanging a lantern around who he is and what he can do. it's not the age that lets him come out and rebuke
charlottesville. it's the father, the grandfather, someone whose heart was broken by the death of his son. who stood there and said this guy is breaking my heart when i watched charlottesville. we can do better. >> campaigns are a story telling. he's telling a story of himself as a national emergency candidate. he's saying, look, we can talk later on about medicare and these other issues. but the problem right now is this one guy, he's an aberration, we have to get rid of him. the problem for biden is there are a chunk of democrats on the left saying things were not that good in 2016, restoration is not what i'm looking for. i have problems with the way the country was running back then and i want to see change and solutions. the question for me is who's the real audience for all this? i'm not sure it's the white working class. it sounds to me like the audience is the people who voted for democrats in the midterms, people in the suburbs who don't like trump that much who can be
convinced to move away from him. who went to him the last time at the last second, who were republicans. he can peel some of those folks away. >> he is the answer versus anything that has the word socialism anywhere near it. you want those voters with those 49 districts, that's what you got. put the guy on stage next to trump. i love him on stage next to trump. i love his height, that he threatened to get in a fistfight with trump, and he is the ultimate anti-trump. he is a kind human. now mayor pete, that's another -- >> he's an old white guy. >> -- another kind of anti-trump. he's got that stuff. if he gets to the general, i think by far, and the republicans are most frightened of him. >> how does he avoid the same criticism that hillary clinton got from african-american voters on the crime bill? they both have the same record and a big part of her problem
was turnout with african-american voters. so after republicans have run the ads and done the answer on joe biden -- >> it's simple, i'm 78, i've learned over the years. anita hill, shame on me. the same way if you talk to a 78-year-old african-american man he's probably said some inappropriate things to a white man, he's 78. so the difference is genuine or real, and people respect that. i've lost two children, i've seen what pain is, i've been on the other side. if it's genuine, it's not a flip flop. we think differently at 78, i think differently at 60 than i did at 25. i think any of the older candidates have a chance at scrubbing. >> i agree they have a chance to do that but there's so many options. when he has to do it on anita hill, the crime bill, some other
credit card votes, he has to do it so many times and you have these other options, i think that's where it becomes a problem. and democratic primaries, better or worse, it's never the person who's at the lead in the front end. that's not who takes back white houses. who take back white houses was jimmy carter, bill clinton, barack obama. there's a curse about being the front runner. it's hard. you get more scrutiny, it's not fair, there's higher expectations. i know the biden team is concerned about that, they'll be glad to hear me raising these flags. he could end up as a nominee and take a dip in popularity, that's likely to happen. >> you just said the front runner never wins. >> i did say that, but i learned -- >> she's pushing back. >> i'm trying to understand -- >> it's like first of all --
>> you can't make predictions anymore like that. but it is -- i'm just saying, i love him and i'm concerned for him that the expectations are too high, and i actually think it's going to be hard. and i think what his staff feels is like history is against us. vice presidents normally don't win, front runners don't win, everybody don't think this is locked up. and he needs to show, i don't think i have this locked up and i'm going to go out and work hard every day just like every other candidate is. so that is -- he's going to become -- he's -- he'll have to become immortal, the way when beto first got in the race, everyone was like it's over. and then kamala harris got in the race, everyone thought it's going to be her. you have to slog it out. how do you live through the experience with that? it's hard. >> are democrats prepared to keep their fire pointed at trump or do they want to kill each other?
>> i think they don't want to kill each other. they want to keep the fire trained at trump. the first of eight when that happens next six weeks or so, in june you will not see anyone attack anyone else, they'll stay there till the fall and then it can get tough. no democrat goes -- i don't think bernie sanders went after hillary clinton thinking he was doing damage to the democratic front runner. these people really believe what they say, and for better or worse, that's how our primaries go. >> back in 2016, this is my opinion here, but the battle between clinton and bernie sanders was far more tame than it could have been or was on the republican side. they had arguments, they attacked each other, but by the standards of politics, it was not like a crazy fight between the candidates, the supporters online that's very different. >> you mean the rhetoric? >> yeah. >> one thing that was deadly about it, the right and left were making the same argument
against her. that kills you. >> and bernie staying in contributed to her loss. >> i'm saying it's possibly to have a vigorous debate in a party that isn't a mud fest. and the republicans it was, and the guy that gets down in the mud you won. >> one thing i think you hit on, you felt something today when he spoke. >> you did. >> when i say "you" -- >> i'll vote for the bus. >> what was different today than what we've seen and some people have done things well and others not so much. you felt it. you listen to the news before and after, impeachments and tweets. you took almost a deep breath. that was the gut thing you're talking about. >> can i push back? i'm just teasing. >> i'm reminding myself looking at my notes. there are big advantages that he has, when you think about whether democrats are going to go for the progressive fire brand or go for the gray beard.
if you look at the word clouds they're using, the polling word clouds, trusted leader, stability, these are the words that come up time and again in terms of what democrats are looking for. and after this experience of having a number of them stay at home and seeing that the end sum of that was a trump presidency, many of those voters are going to be in very different position in 2020 than they were in 2016 when for whatever reason we just didn't see the same kind of turnout numbers. again to remind people, donald trump got less votes than many other republicans, including mitt romney. the problem is a lot on the democratic side didn't turn out. >> i want to put you on the spot j jen because we're friends. the most negative things about biden have come from hillary clinton and obama staffers. is it because you saw him upclose? >> i love joe biden -- >> i'm not talking about you. i'm saying privately.
>> i think -- so candid, okay. >> shame on you. >> i actually think -- okay. so i wanted joe biden to get into the race in 2016 because i am probably the only hillary clinton staffer who did because i thought more competition would be good for her and i thought she would probably beat him. but if not, if he won, so be it. there is some -- you know, so there's a little about him, you know -- he wasn't always the most supportive from the sidelines. so you might -- that might be reflected in how the clinton staff feels. and obama staff, i was an obama staffer who worked great with the vice president and had a lot of respect for him and think he is a very good person at governing and very good person at politics. not everybody felt that way. >> all right. keeping it real. pushing back, keeping it real.
>> this is super real. after the break with, donal trump has come a long way from tealing totally exonerated from the mueller report, how the new attacks play right into the hands of the democrats. also ahead, abuse of power, donald trump's obsession with using his justice department to prosecute hillary clinton. and where is president trump getting his information on the democratic primary and how some are using fox news against the president. stay with us. you.
often a real time window into his state of mind what we saw this morning might have been fear. lashing out at his former white house council whose cooperation with robert mueller exposed damaging accounts of the president's conduct. trump tweeted, quote, as has been incorrectly reported i never told don mcghan to fire robert mueller even though i had the legal right to do so. if i wanted to fire robert mueller i didn't need maun cgah do it, i could have done it myself. hang on, mueller staid thaid th tried to fire -- can we get him a fact checker. mueller said he tried to fire mcgahn. nevertheless mcgahn has been served a subpoena to testify before congress which the white house said they would fight but
the legal basis for the push back is unknown. "the washington post" reports, quote, the white house has waived its right to executive privilege twice when it comes to don mcghan, the first allowed him to speak to mueller, resulting in 30 hours of interviews, and then it declined to assert executive privilege over redactions in the mueller report ahead of the report's release last week. joining our conversation annie karnie and harry litman. let me start with you, harry. what is the president talking about? >> he's talking about lawless power. he doesn't know. it's been waived not just twice, three times. when he comes out and talks about it that's a third reason there's no executive privilege here.
you can't come out in the public and talk about your own view and then say don mcghan can't talk about it. mcgahn is a private citizen. there's no recourse for him to be said that he can't testify, and all trump can try to do is assert executive privilege but it's a nonstarter. it's waived three ways to sunday. annie your colleague writes in the "new york times" this, mr. mcgahn has expressed frustration about the situation, he advised the president in 2017 against cooperating with mr. mueller and believes if mr. trump had followed his advise he would have a far stronger argument that their conversations were protected by executive privilege. we've had conversations since the report has come out about putting the tooth paste back in the tube. it seems the other problem the president has is a political one. he's attacking someone who may very well end up testifying before congress and telling the story of the trump presidency, of these dramatic moments and
these dramatic scenes and i've said it before, trump as the tv producer is probably much more afraid of that than he is of being charged with a crime. he sees the presidency as something that can protect him from that. >> that's right. mccgahn, as discussed before its not clear what he wants here. he wants to follow the law and trying to present himself as someone without a stake in the game. everyone is a human. if he does end up sitting in front of congress and the president has been personally attacking him for weeks t a that point it can't help but factor into your view of the man you used to work for. he is a human being after all. your point is right, throughout all of this, what trump does is react to the coverage. so the idea of mcgahn in a hearing that's carried on wall-to-wall cable shows is what he would dread, certainly. the flip side of that is he needs a foil, he needs an enemy, he needs a fight and this is the
one that's available to him right now. >> harry, i want to read you something from law fare. he writes, the spectacle of the president of the united states urging witnesses not to cooperate with federal law enforcement and entertaining the notion of using his article 2 powers to relieve them of criminal jeopardy or consequences if they do not is one of the most singular abuses of the entire trump presidency. one has to ask of congress, what is unacceptable of congrean act. the debate for better or worse has moved beyond what robert mueller was either able to or willing to describe as criminal acts that were chargeable. he was limited by, and acknowledged being limited and constrained by the doj policy of not indicting a sitting president. but this argument that this is almost textbook abuse of power
seems to be pushing more and more pressure onto congress to do something. whether it's ultimately an investigation or something. it would seem as the picture comes into focus. as more dots become clear, there is a pretty stark portrait of abuse of power. >> it is perfectly lawless. unprecedentedly lawless. law has literally no place in the whole universe of the trump thinking. it does seem almost unnecessary. go back to mcgahn. mcgahn is going basically say he was ready to resign because trump was essentially ordering him for another saturday night massacre. why does trump need now to fight that out and obviously have a credibility battle that he will lose? it's just because he can't stop himself. and all the subpoena stuff, the four separate orders from
yesterday alone are a portrait of an administration making decisions with not the slightest consideration of what the law requires. at what point must a senate republican, at least when forced to the issue, say this is -- we just cannot run a government this way. >> annie, your paper has a big long front page story about the politics of impeachment and almost all of our conversations, because of pelosi sort of publicly grappling with this have been around the politics. but the rest of your front page and inside, tons of reporting on the substance of the mueller report, the details of the conduct. there's new information, whittis writes how the president's obstruction may have affected their ability to investigate manafort's conduct saying manafort did not end up cooperating to mueller's
satisfaction. so the president's conduct actually did obstruct the investigation. the president hinted manafort should not flip and he would take care of him and manafort acted in a fashion consistent with those relying on those assurances. you and your colleagues reported on the dangling of pardons and this conduct. i wonder if you think the frame is widening this week, sort of the second week we had to digest the substance of the mueller report, is justice good or bad for democrats, does the president let himself paint himself as the victim in the corner, but is the weight of the conduct changing that do you think? >> the pressure is going to ramp up on the democrats. and their issue right now is they don't want to look like all they're doing is oversight hearings of the president and attacking the president. that's where my -- and charlie savage writes today, winning might not be the goal here for
trump. winning lawsuits or forcing lawsuits. the goal will be to continue tweeting presidential harassment and make the democrats look like they're not working on infrastructure or health care. and i think the democrats are aware of that bind he's putting them in. nancy pelosi we saw this week requested a meeting with trump to talk about infrastructure. it's the first time they will have a face-to-face meeting since the shutdown. i think she's aware they can't be painted in this box of looking like all they're doing is investigating the president and allowing him to scream presidential harassment. that's the bind he's putting them in. >> here's the way the dems thread the needle. >> pelosi did a smart thing with that in mind. she made it much easier to hold an officer in contempt. instead of the big drama and every vote playing out that way, it'll be much more sort of business like. permit the democrats to continue to follow a legislative agenda
but still advance the subpoena battles but in a more low key way. >> here's the way they handle the legal stuff. they say, this is part of the same rigged system that screws the guy on taxes, screws them on health care, and there are two sets of laws. so you paint it in a bigger brush as opposed to each of the things that -- you almost say it's criminal already, the same way they screw you on taxes, the same way they crew you on health care, they screw you on laws. they don't have the same laws. and you keep it up there in a single minded headline. that's how you keep it alive. >> what you're seeing is a campaign strategy. it's an effort to make the democrats harass him with lawsuits file paper in court and delay it. his narrative in this campaign is i was vindicated, no collusion, nothing to see here. who are these people wasting their time trying to get my stuff. he wants to make them look like they're trying really hard to
persecute him. that's the point of this. perhaps they'll find a judge a couple times that doesn't matter. it's drawing it out, slow rolling and make the search for the information more important than the underlying information itself which is he asked don mcghan to fire the special counsel. >> so found the hundreds of witnesses that were interviewed by the special counsel. >> so mcgahn told the special counsel. >> who was both an angry democrat and the best we've seen. when we come back "new york times" pulling back the curtain on more of trumps abuse or attempted abuse of the justice system behind closed doors. we'll give you more attempts by trump to prosecute his former rival.
worse face in special counsel robert mueller's criminal obstruction of justice investigation it's the testimony of another former top aide that may present a greater political threat to the president. new reporting from the "new york times" reveals on three occasions donald trump set to have his attorney general jeff sessions investigate and prosecute his former rival hillary clinton. from that report, h.r. mcmaster's report released last week brimmed with examples of -- but his question of mr. sessions and two similar ones detailed in the report stands apart because it shows mr. trump -- everyone is still here. heidi, this would seem to be the kind of material in that mueller report that lets democrats paint the kind of picture harry and nick are talking about of just
textbook abuse of power. >> this is something nicole that i think is really under covered and we will learn years from now about the extent of this president's attempts to interfere with the justice department. we're only scratching the surface of it. we've seen it in many manifestations, including when the president warned as a candidate that he would never allow the at&t/time warner deal go through and having the justice department step in. we don't know the whole story there. like we don't know the whole extent to which he pressured sessions, the current attorney general, all things that were stopped or attempted to be stopped after watergate. that's why the u.s. created a contacts policy against this type of interference by the executive with the justice department because the justice department and the attorney general is not supposed to be the president's personal attorney. >> you worked for hillary clinton.
can you imagine the specter of investigating, prosecuting hillary clinton. >> it makes me physically ill. after we lost, that was the thought on thursday, was he's going to lock her up. he's going to do it. he's going to put her in jail. and it's still chilling to this day. and thank god people at the justice department fought it. but, you know, this is -- and all of this is getting dumped in nancy pelosi's lap. i agree with what donny said before the break about how 23 you can structure this message wise this is a broader pattern of corruption, that's great. but that's hard to execute day-to-day. i trust nancy pelosi to be able to balance this. i think a lot of people think she's really scared of impeachment, i think that's not true. i'm sure she's given trump a lot of report to say we need the report, we need the unredacted report, we're going to go through hearings, i don't want
to jump to conclusions. but she's prepared to do her constitutional duty. she's prepared to do it. but she's also savvy, so if i want to talk about infrastructure, meet me at the white house that's going to get a lot of coverage and the democrats are still going to do their job to hold the president accountable. >> what this says about the "new york times" story is that sessions -- i understand everything is relative, but sessions is the hero and trump is the villain in this anecdote. trump going to sessions three times saying prosecute hillary clinton and sessions saying no. >> thanks for clarifying that. >> i want to show you who the new attorney general is and ask you if it would go down the same way. >> i think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. it's a big deal. >> so you're not suggesting, though, that spying occurred? >> i don't -- well -- i guess
you could -- i think there is -- spying did occur. yes, i think spying did occur. >> harry litman, that's the country's new attorney general, someone who embraces the fringeiest view about the authorized surveillance, authorized by a fisa court of carter page, one of the early people known to have contacts with russians at the very beginning of the investigation into contacts between trump's orbit at a time when they were assumed to have perhaps been unwittingly in contact with russians. the country's attorney general described it as spying. a lex con only heard on fox news and talk radio. the next time trump wants to prosecute hillary clinton, that's the man who will pick up the phone. what do you think he'll say? >> and he also wrote something about this as a private citizen.
look, actually one of the great details in the report jeff sessions took to every time he met with trump carrying a resignation letter in his pocket. what i think he'll say, i think he'll say no just because -- this is not just vicious, it's completely unhinged and one gets the picture of king -- mad king donald skulling around in his own grievances and coming up with crazy ideas and coming down and ordering people around. i see what you mean, trump has been a champion of executive power, et cetera. but it is such a looney toons idea that whatever champion of trump he's been to date, that i think is a bridge too far. >> harry, donny, we've talked a lot on this show that the southern district was always the problem for trump, not mueller. how does it work?
they've been working on investigations, and barr is the scariest to show up. does he have the ability to call up the southern district and say executive privilege, hold off on anything? that's the scary thing to me. when i watch "billions" jeff calls up chuck and says i can't do that. how does that work as far as a direct line into the attorney general? >> he can definitely do it. in theory the deputy attorney general does it but he does it. you're right, it's a matter of fortitude and character. so could sessions so for that matter could whitaker but the southern district of new york has always had ways to fight back. which it still does. some of them sneaky, some of them flatout aggression. if they actually butt-heads, the ag wins. >> i think you saw in that hearing that phase one of the trump presidency is over and phase two has become.
although a lot of people in the democratic party feel the white house is full of enablers and lap dogs what we saw in the mueller report is there were a fair number of folks trying to keep guardrails on the president's behavior. most of those people are gone, they have left. they've been replaced by people that are acting, can be dispensed with more easily, and now we have an ag who compares a duly authorized warrant to spying in a way you could compare a cop executing a search warrant of breaking and entering. it's not the same thing but he is there for that purpose it seems. >> one follow-up, is there anyone in the mueller report that comes across as a guardrail that's still there? >> i don't know. i'm thinking of people like sessions and don mcghan, for example. and those guys are gone. what we saw in the report is they held firm at key moments. and it's hard to see from the outside but we now have the ultimate sort of white house
memo memoir, which is the mueller report. we can see that there were people trying their best, not on policy in some ways, but constantly fighting against things that the president wanted to do. kirstjen nielsen for example not always winning but trying. they're gone. >> i guess just to underscore your point replaced by in the attorney general -- and i want some of whatever harry's eating for breakfast because i don't share his optimism. replaced by someone who put his finger on the scale on the question of obstruction. did the letter that mueller refused to do. and trotted out on surveillance language that you only hear on fox news and right wing radio. and less covered, trotted out an asylum policy that hadn't been championed before authorizing the indefinite keg tensiafinite seekers. when we come back, a
it's always stunning to hear what he believes. >> he wears nirvana t-shirts. >> her comments as a sitting senator have been some of the most despicable in washington. >> and let's not forget princess running left, elizabeth warren. >> creepy, crazy, uncle joe biden, facing a serious backlash for, you guessed it, being creepy. >> she was literally handed a senate seat. she took it. >> bemayor pete shtick, he's desperate to oust trump. >> i'm sorry for that, guys, it
will make sense in a sect. that's how donald trump's favorite network is covering the primary race. >> we notice where the piece last monday, that trump is more influenced by those on fox than by his own white house staff and cabinet. the best display was the government shutdown over funding over the border wall, which jane he describes as this. trump staff indicated he would sign a spending bill with money emarked for border security. that night ann coulter and rush limbaugh sailed the deal. next time they were pounding trump. the nest day he refused on to sign the spending bill. the hosts kept cheering trump on, even as polls showed that the american public was increasingly public opposed to the shutdown. joining our conversation, chief washington correspondent for "the new yorker" jane mayer.
jane, i have been watching the president tweet his rage, his consternation, that the democrats are appearing on my network after the bernie sanders thing. he wrote this -- so weird to see crazy bernie on you fox news. very strange and now we have donna brazil, and much more. now that's what your reporting revealed. >> you can see why when you look at the clips. it's basically an sense of the trump white house at this point. i was i amazed that among the people that fox turned to for analysis of the 2020 race did lara trump, who as an expert she happens to be a daughter-in-law of the president.
it's so unstay tunedingly unprofessional. who would they say if you had chelsea clinton's husband up there sort of handy capping the trump administration. people don't do this in really distinguished and respected news organizations, but fox plays by its own rules, and obviously trump thinking that they're a rules he should a help set, which is why i guess he was so displayed to see there were democrats actually addressing audiences on fox, because no one asked his consent, i guess. >> like he missed the staff meeting, how do you feel about the buttigiegs town hall? are democrats sort of turning the president's best weapon back against the president by appearing to do a town hall? i believe klobuchar is in talks to do one, as is mayor pete. are democrats trying to co-opt the president's best marketing
network? >> first of all, i think there's been a certain amount of misunderstanding about it that i tried to correct this week in the piece, which is that history is the democratic presidential candidates have pretty much always gone on fox. this actually is not something new. and i think the controversy stems from the fact that fox has become evermore seen as a propaganda operation, so thats antti -- that the ante is going on for them. and the political operatives on the democratic side describe over the years. it's a large audience for cable, and it's an audience that, you know, any candidate wants to get every vote they can get. i think it's interesting, because having watched a lot of fox in order to write about it, i know that the audience doesn't get to see what democrats really
say. it's always coming through this snide filter that's, you know pretty much censorsingli what they're sailing. i think the moderators, bret bair looked taken aback. >> i know die bait rages inside the democratic party. i'm not sure it's fair or not. i understand all the reasons why not, and i think every candidate has to run their own race and appear there if it serves their political needs. like you, i stud it like anthroploj cal. all fox news is not the same. some coverage -- and -- has been scathing, but just your thoughts
before we lose you about the democratic party not agreeing to do a debate on fox news. >> well, what they're not agreeing to do is a primary debate, which is where they've always been. fox has never hosted a democratic primary debate, all democrats uppens each other. i try as a reporter not to make the political calls for the parties on either side. i understand, though, when you watch the coverage why there's reluctant. fox was founded by roger ailes in order to be a much more conservative answer to cnn. it's purposefully slanted, and i can see why people have concerns about that. and may not want to make this the year they decide to change the rules. >> makes sense to me. jane, please come back. we love having you. >> thank you. we'll sneak in a break. don't go anywhere. we'll be right back.
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