tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC April 27, 2019 9:00am-11:00am PDT
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thank you. good day from msnbc world headquarters in new york. it is high noon in the east, 9:00 out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." i'm philip mena in for alex. a new poll on impeachment and whether the american public thinks president trump lied about the mueller investigation. >> if there are dark and spooky men taking us, he doesn't have a bidding for the future or mention president obama, who he served for eight years. >> joe biden under attack, but it's not just coming from the administration. >> i don't want to be on camera. but i come to the white house to get serious. listen, i'm not a big fan of your wife's dad so please, i don't want to be on camera. they snuck me in. >> so you did go? >> i did go. we had a great conversation.
>> charles barkley on how he snuck into the white house for a meeting with jared kushner. a new poll showing the president's credibility taking hate for the public. 58% believe he lied to the public about matters of the investigation by the special counsel, this as the president continues to bash the investigation >> there has never been a president that's been more transpornt for tran transparent for me and the trump administration. i let white house counsel don mcgahn testify. i let everybody testify. again we have to go through it? this is a pure little witch-hunt. they tried for a coup. didn't work out so well. >> earlier this morning house oversight committee member robben kelly spoke to my colleague morgan radford on how democrats are confronting the president's messaging machine. >> he lies so much. he's not transparent and he's not honest.
but i think that we have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. we have to, yes, do an investigation and hearings in those kinds of things but we also have to prove to the american people, to our constituents, we know how to govern and move this country forward >> meanwhile, the numbers know sho a majority of americans oppose calls for impeachment proceedings against president trump. 56% say congress should not begin impeachment in the wake of robert mueller's report. but elizabeth warren joined my colleague earlier and doubled down on oaths. >> i have an oath to the united states and after i finished reading the mueller report, i reached the conclusion the house must start impeachment proceedings. some things are more important than politics and that's our constitution. >> also this morning, new questions about what rod rosenstein did to stay in charge of the counsel's special
investigation. "the washington post" reporting the deputy attorney general told the president, quote, i give the investigation credibility. i can land the plane. a former chief spokesman at the doj under obama now questioning rosenstein's approach. >> the way to understand rod is that he's weak and he's always been weak. he was weak at the beginning of this investigation when he signed off on the comey firing and gave the president the excuse, despite we now know having read the mueller report he knew why the president was firing comey, it was over the russia investigation. >> later today president trump will be rallying in green bay, wisconsin, as he skips the white house correspondents' dinner in d.c. for yet another year. so the white house now and nbc's hans nichols. on the road, rod rosenstein, what do we know about what went down there? >> that's one of the key questions about this, what assurances did rod rosenstein give the president on whether or not he would land the investigation a certain way? he said i'll be able to land the
plane. we should all know this is being reported by "the washington post" and not independently confirmed this but we know rod rosenstein was emotional at the time and there was tension at times between him and the president. rosenstein was speaking to us just the other day and here's what he had to say talking about what he thought the media's responsibility in all of this was. >> some of the nonsense that passes for breaking news today would not be worth the paper it was printed on if anybody bothered to print news these days. one silly question that i have yet from reporters is is it true that you got angry and emotional a few times over the past few years? heck, yes, didn't you? >> so that's a lighter approach to some very serious, weighty issues, philip. i think what we may learn here is to what extent democrats will
zero in on rod rosenstein and whether they will ask him to testify as well, what sort of claims the president may make. remember, he's hinted strongly they will do executive privilege and not allow any current or white house officials teo testiy before congress. and what role did this conversation when asking for the job have on the overall evict of the investigation? we know william barr and rod rosenstein made the determination based on the facts in the mueller report not to charge the president with obstruction of justice. when you hear people like elizabeth warren talking, they're saying when they look at the same fact pattern, they do see an obstruction of justice charge. it's a fascinating report. we have not confirmed it here but it does cast doubt on how all of this went down. >> hans nichols, thank you. joining me now, a democrat and member of the house judiciary committee. congressman, thank you for joining me. let's talk about the rod rosenstein report. he was a witness in the mueller
probe. do you now feel he could have been compromised from the very beginning here? >> what was he doing talking to the president of the united states? you have to rewind the clock to before the trump administration and remember when everybody would recognize that as a major breach of every legal and constitutional norm we have that the president is getting involved in an criminal investigation that rempted to the president. so here we have the deputy attorney general of the united states, who apparently is trying to save his job and appease the president by assuring the president that he will give a venire of credibility to the investigation, and he will be able to safely land the plane in the president's interests. so the whole thing is just a complete destruction of the proper roles of the attorney general, deputy attorney general, and department of justice, vis-a-vis the president of the united states. >> the attorney general, william barr, is set to testify before the senate judiciary committee before appearing for your committee on thursday. what questions do you want to see answered in those two
hearings? what will you be asking? >> well, i know the committee is interested in the propaganda rollout of the mueller report, the redefinition of what was in it. we want to know why he went around parading the president's phrase of no collusion when on page two of the report i think it is the special counsel mueller says we don't deal with the question of collusion. that's public vernacular ytd that's idea that's been injected by the president. they deal with the question of criminal conspiracy and whether there's evidence to show conspiracy. we're interested also in why he endorsed the president's talking point that he was spied upon by president obama or by the government, and just generally why he did everything in his power to package the mueller report in such a way that it would give a very distorted and
one-sided understanding of what's in there. we're still trying to recover from that. we will have witnesses come before our committee to explain what's really in the report so the public could hear for themselves. how many people read the mueller report? could it be 1%? i doubt it. it's 450 pages. we want the people who are actually in there talking about the ten episodes of alleged presidential obstruction to hear from these people. we want the public to hear from don mcgahn, the white house counsel who was told to sack the special counsel directly by donald trump and prepared his resignation papers rather than execute that unlawful order. we want the public to hear from the people who are describing the president's interference with the investigation. >> and there was a time when democrats seemed to think bill barr and rod rosenstein would protect the process. you think that's all gone? you think they portrayed their duties? >> i certainly never believed that of bill barr. he wrote a single-spaced 19-page
memo as a job audition for the president in which he said the president could never be guilty of obstructing justice because the president sits on top of the law enforcement function. so he can fire the prosecutor to tell them to prosecute this person and not that person, drop the case against someone and so on. it's a skre extrevery extreme a eccentric view. >> what about rod rosen steen, do you think he betrayed the president? >> it's impossible to say for sure what he's done when he stood behind barr when he misrepresented the mueller investigation's report. when he said things like the special counsel found there was no collusion.
i'm surprised he's been so passive in the case of this aggressive prop 2k3w57aganda ca by attorney general barr, who essentially resigned as a attorney general and acting as a personal defender for the united states. >> it's important to remember rod rosenstein essentially signed the birth certificate of the mueller report. now we see president trump is doubling down on disputing a very key finding of that report. that he ordered former white house counsel don mcgahn to fire the special counsel. let's take a listen. >> i never told don mcgahn to fire mueller. if i wanted to fire mueller, would i have done it myself, it's very simple. i had the right to. frankly, whether i did or he did, we have the absolute right to fire mueller. >> congressman, is the president's word against don mcgahn's word? >> obviously it is. and i think at this point no one really trusts donald trump, who's told thousands of lie.
but the key point is what he said at the end and that's what their hinging this on. he said whether he was going to fire him or i was going to fire him directly doesn't make a difference because i had the absolute right to fire him. that's the so-called unitary executive view that's being propounded by attorney general barr, who has clearly taken over this operation art this point. trump believes he can fire the special counsel, and whether or not that's true vis-a-vis the department of justice, and pretty much it is, given who's in charge of the department of justice, it's certainly not true vis-a-vis congress. we should go back and study his history with richard nixon and saturday night nascar. that w massacre. that was the beginning of the end for nixon when he sacked the counsel and decided he controlled everybody in the department of justice and prosecutors and if he didn't like when they were going, he could get a little too close for him, he just fired them. and that's the position donald trump has taken today >> we're talking a little bit about don mcgahn here.
it was your committee which subpoenaed him. can you tell us if he's any closer to appearing and if he does, just how impactful do you think that will be? >> i don't have any new information about where we are in terms of his appearance before the committee. william barr said he had certainly no problem with mueller appearing. but everybody owes their testimony to the congress of the united states. president trump, whose obstructionism we read about in the mueller report, has continued the obstruction as if it leapt off the pages of the mueller and came right to the congress' door the past week. he has essentially pulled a curtain down the executive branch of government saying he will not participate with any lawful orders, subpoenas, and and so on. this was after they got millions of documents from not just the trump administration but obama administration and clinton
administration. this is complying with the law enforcement branch of the government and the president is hurdling a crisis between the branches as the congress demands information. >> and you're on the front line, sir. thank you for your time. president trump claiming victory for the mueller report but why does he keep bringing it up ever chance he gets? ♪ when heartburn hits, fight back fast with tums smoothies.
you are correct partly that the 2020 election is a referendum on president trump insofar as every re-election is a referendum on the incumbent president. but it's not a referendum on only donald trump, it's the donald trump presidency. so whoever comes in has to argue against the monster growth numbers yesterday of the gdp. >> kellyanne conway, counselor to the president, making an argument 2020 will be a referendum on trump administration policies. joining me liz goodman, political reporter for ""the boston globe"" and a political reporter from politico. thank you both for joining me. is kellyanne conway right or do you think it will be obscured by president trump himself and his overall approach to the presidency? >> i think it will be obscured. there's no distinguishable notion between the administration and himself. he's known to go off or change
his message and in a day he can be talking about immigration. yesterday we saw after touting the good headlines of the economy with e, gdp number, gdp went in to talking about the mueller report, talking about a so-called coup, talking about guns because he was at the nra meeting, convention he was at. we know the president doesn't always stay on what would be considered a good message for him. >> a new poll shows most persons believe the president lied to the public about matters that were under investigation by the special counsel. liz, how much concern does trump advisers have regarding the character question? >> i think a pretty bad scenario for the trump administration, one they are concerned about is the idea of former people who were close to president trump such as don mcgahn testifying at a televised hearing about his thoughts on the president now. because i think they think, you know, when democrats say trump
lied or when democrats say trump did this or that, his supporters and independents who support him are going to think, democrats have an agenda. but when you have someone who worked for trump, who went to bat for trump, testifying about some of the other unsavory things the president asked them to do or that they heard him say, that really hurts him. >> laura, the same poll also showed most persons believe congress should not begin impiechment proceedings. what do you make of that? the majority of the public believes the president lied about this but yet they don't want to see his impeachment? >> yes, and the majority, like you said, they think the president lied about this so i think democrats are engaged in a balancing act. we heard from representative raskin, who's on the judiciary committee, and it's very clear how aggressively they want to push their investigation. they want to hear from people
who were involved in the mueller report. they want to hear from don mcgahn. i think that they don't really run a risk by doing that since they know that the public wants to know as much details as possible. but they may not want to begin official impeachment proceedings and that's the difference because if they do begin that, democrats know that with impeachment proceedings, there's also a political risk there and as they head into 2020, they want to hold their house majority. they also have the hope of winning back the presidency. but that doesn't mean they're going to stop their other lines of investigation. >> liz, how should democrats grappling with this question of impeachment read those numbers we just saw there? >> i think the number that really would jump out to a nancy pelosi, for example, would be the support among independents for impeachment has dropped. so a lot of democrats who read the robert mueller such as elizabeth warren, some of the ones running for president, read the report and thought wow we really need to impeach. look at all of the evidence for
obstruction, look at robert mueller saying congress has a role to play here but a lot of independents apparently digested the coverage of the report and instead saw there's no conspiracy with russia, so let's move on. and i think that's where the political risk lies for 2020. >> i want to get your reaction on these numbers, laura. new data shows hispanic numbers turned out in much higher rates in 2018 midterm election prior to earlier cycles. it went from 27% to 40% in 2018. what do you think is behind that, laura? >> i think a lot of things are behind that. we saw that there was an increase in the number of latinos as well as women who were interested in becoming politically involved once trump took office. a number of progressive groups sprouted up in reaction to trump's presidency. a record number of diverse candidates ran for office in reaction to that.
so i think that's part of it. a big piece of trump's presidency is immigration, which has also woken up latinos to voting. and we know they're on track, latinos are on track, to become the largest nonwhite ethnic group that will be eligible to vote in 2020. so we could even see those numbers increase the next election. >> what do you think those numbers will mean for the next election? >> hillary clinton in 2016 was really counting on the latino vote. she thought that would put her over the top in places like florida and she really made a go of it in arizona. if those numbers stay as high as the midterm suggests, i think that's good news for democrats. >> liz goodwin and laura lopez, thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you. walking a tight rope, a new report about rod rosenstein and his efforts to protect robert mueller and save his job. (mom vo) it's easy to shrink into your own little world.
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october, and a new report reveals controversial discussions around that time between the president and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. "the washington post" reports rosenstein guaranteed that the president, quote, i can land the plane because he gives the investigation credibility. joining me now to discuss this is a former federal prosecutor from the southern district of new york and msnbc legal analyst, mimi rocah. let's get right to the point here, should the united states deputy attorney general be talking to the president about an investigation that he is the center of? >> absolutely not. i mean, you don't have to be a lawyer to know that. it's common sense. part of the job of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general is no make sure that the public has confidence in the decisions that are reached. and by doing this, at the time many of us said this smacked as a loyalty test. rosenstein was fearing for his
job, he's summoned on this plane with trump. it reminded me of the many organized crime cases i prosecuted where the mob boss summons an underling to make sure he's still within his circle of loyalty. and then to have trump come out of that meeting and say we had a great discussion and now we know that it's in part because rosenstein apparently assured him of things he shouldn't have been discussing at all. how can the public have confidence in the decisions that have been reached? it really just taints the whole rut of the investigation. >> sources say rosenstein was hoping to, quote, assure the president he was on his team. are there rules against this? was he pledging his loyalty to a subject of an investigation? >> there's no sort of written rule. i think that as a matter of policy and common sense, frankly, no prosecutor or someone in charge of an investigation would or should talk about it with the subject.
his informing trump that he wasn't a target, i think he can technically explain that was true because trump could not be indicted. so technically he was not a target. but phrases like i land the plane and i give credibility, you know, it just looks like he was begging to keep his job basically, and so the question is not only what did he say to trump, but what did he then do in the rest of the course of the investigation and its wrap-up to make sure that trump was pleased with him to keep this job he's so badly apparently wanted. and you have to be willing to walk away on principle as necessary. so we need to know now and rosenstein now needs to testify again, as does mueller and as does barr. you have barr writing this letter and wrolg out the report in a way that was very beneficial and overtly beneficial to the president. he looked like he was trying to protect him. the question is, was rosenstein,
did he just look that way or did he also do something to protect the president? >> is there a case to be made maybe rosenstein thought he was the only one there to protect mueller? >> i and others definitely thought that throughout the course of this investigation, that understandably, rosenstein was walking this very thin line of trying to keep his job and make sure the investigation was finished. and that's a hard line to walk. so many of us defended him on that basis. but when you see him sign on to that overtly partial letter that barr wrote to trump, which i just simply cannot be explained based on the facts that are actually in the mueller report, when you see him stand behind barr and misrepresent what mueller said and then you hear about these conversations, it's really hard to keep giving rosenstein the benefit of the doubt. >> on thursday rosenstein tied the president in with the roule of law and talked about the doj
responsibilities. let's listen to that. >> here's the term rule of law describing our obligations with neutral principles. as the president pointed out in his remarks last year, we governor ourselves in accordance with the rule of law rather than whims or views or dictates of collective will. its not our job to render conclusive factual findings. we just find if it's appropriate to file criminal charges. >> what do you make of those kmechbts? the president tried to get the deputy attorney general to lie about comey's firings. do those comments make any sense to you? >> no. when i saw that line in the speech which i read last night, really my jaw dropped. the idea rosenstein, who i have heard and read speech of his before under the rule of law and they actually have always rang through with me as someone who's been hard on the department of justice and heard many speeches like that and really believes in those sentiments. but to hear him invoke donald trump's name, i don't care what line trump read at some speech,
this was a man who just tried to run over the department of justice, insulted law enforcement repeatedly and as we know tried to interfere with a lawful investigation. so the idea that he invokes trump for that is just baffling. i don't know any other word for it. >> we always appreciate your expertise. thank you so much for joining us. up next -- charlottesville question, is the president's answer rooted in politics or racial insensitivity? and will it matter in 2020? when you can stay home with neulasta® onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection. in a key study neulasta® reduced the risk of infection from 17% to 1% a 94% decrease. neulasta® onpro is designed to deliver neulasta® the day after chemo and is used by most patients today. neulasta® is for certain cancer patients receiving strong chemotherapy. do not take neulasta® if you're allergic to it
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anybody who just says, gives a slur and the statement people and said he meant neo-nazis is lying about what he actually said at the time. and they're doing that and very disappointing the former vice president would do that. >> kellyanne conway, counselor to president trump, taking aim at joe biden's campaign announcement video. joining me to talk about this, dan many moody mills, host of wolf af on sir yis xm and host of the dean owing dahlia show. danielle, i want to start with you because i like the name of your show. >> thank you. >> what do you make the president's comments about charlottesville?
>> well, we know they have no problem on the line, which is what they do on a regular basis. we know what the president said during the march in charlottesville by neo-nazis and it wasn't a bull horn, it was a dog whistle and hes with saying and hailing the nationalists by saying there's good people on both sides. i think what joe biden did is just remind us of how vile that was, about how insensitive and insane it was for a sitting president in the oval office to say that people who spread hate and people who work to eradicate the hate are somewhat morally equivalent. and that's what joe biden said and it's the truth. kellyanne conway and the rest of his sycophants to go on television and back him up, they know the truth. but they tell us don't believe what you hear. just believe whas who coming ou the president's mouth and i know the truth, he's a white
nationalist. >> let's talk about the president responding to that question exactly yesterday. >> i've answered that question. if you look at what i said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly. and i was talking about people who went because they felt very strongly about the monument to robert e. lee, a great general, whether you like it or not. >> do you buy that, rick? >> this is what i buy, joe biden, who has quite a play here. he puts out this video, brings up charlottesville directly at the president knowing full well we would once again be able to watched videos of skinhead nazis and the president would do what? he was going to be asked about it and what is he going to do? he will take the bait and associate himself with all of these people. i hand it to the sagacity of the biden campaign in knowing full
well what they were going to do and how trump would wake right into it. >> there was no mention of robert e. lee the first time around. but, dean, joe biden used charlottesville as a key part of the launch video we saw. and some from charlottesville have taken issue on that. what is your take on this? >> i think it was very effective and donald trump yesterday had a chance to clear it all up. donald trump called the media the enemy of the people. so donald trump could have said white supremacy are the enemy of the people, neo-nazis are the enemy of the people. he called congressman ill har bad americans and he never used the same language with david duke and white supremacists. i love what joe biden did and i can tell you why here, because, yes, democrats must talk policy. that's very important. but still i want democrats to acknowledge the hate and bigotry and racism of donald trump that's caused pain to so many communities.
i'm muslim-american. he's demonized my community where we see young muslims getting beaten up and hate crimes against it. you do not talk about the pain trump caused the african-american community, elect community, muslims, blacks. you're ignoring, dismissing our pain. is everyone like it? no. but i think it was supported and needed. >> we heard from kelly ann con way but she social security led joe biden's kickoff video was dark and spooky and lacked a vision of the future. what do you think about that? >> i would say the division she works for is dark and spooky and created so much anxiety and stress over the american public and it does paint a picture. it paints a picture of exactly where rear under the regime of trump, where there are people being oppressed and to dean's point, his hatred and rhetoric escalated. hate attacks against people escalated hate crimes in our country that was trending
downwards. you can't ignore that data. i know he likes to say it's all fake but the reality is rhetoric is absolutely amping up white nationalists and anti-semites and he doesn't care. he did. he was given an opportunity to say i did not mean what came out of my mouth a couple years ago, there are not fine people on both sides, nigwhite nationalis are a danger to this country, he an opportunity. but instead tout the great robert e. lee, and that's what the people were doing? rbt e. lee was a trader, died a trader and captured. so the idea the president is lifting up confederacy, another hot-button issue in america 6789 statues have been coming down and flags coming down but he's celebrating it as if it's okay and it's not. it's another nod to the white nationalist, to the kk kfrmt,
confederate lovers who believe that is the american way. >> i want to turn to the suntbjt of impeachment. my colleague had a conversation with senator elizabeth warren. here's warren talking about the impeachment proceedings. >> sometimes more important than politics and that's our constitution. we have a congress under republican control that has simply backed off from its responsibilities. i mean, notice that you just make the assumption that no matter what's in that rart, that republicans in the senate don't even have to read it. that they're going to rally around their president because of the party and they're going to put party above the constitution of the united states. >> do you think republicans would be in favor of impeachment if it weren't for party politics? >> impeachment is an inherently political process. you can get to impeachment but remember no president has ever been removed from office by
impeachment. only two presidents had been impeached again. they were never, ever removed. congress is not going to move towards impeachment, or we just had a poll out i think yesterday that says 58% of the people don't want impeachment. that means that's where it is. it doesn't mean you can convince people the same. i think elizabeth warren is right we have to have congress with an oversight responsibility. and in investigating and validating what is found in the mueller report over time, people may come to the conclusion this president needs to be impeached. but the congress is not going to -- let's say this, the senate in particular, which is controlled by the republicans, is not going to convict and see this -- right now it's not ready for impeachment. you have to follow this process. impeachment is the political death penalty, it's the worse thing that can happen. but in the end, whether they remove the president by impeachment or convince, seen as long odds to me, or remove him
at the ballot box. they both have the same result, remove the president. there's no punishment here upon impeachment. >> your issue on that? >> i think you have to have impeachment. we cannot allow a adonald trump or future president to accept help from the russians, even though it was not a conspiracy for the committee. and witness intimidation. i'm a lawyer. elements were still for witness tampering and construction of justice. we have an rl looking into the impeachment of donald trump. i think it's important to send a mess age. this is not politics, it is just slightly round. if it goes to the founders and comes around today, this is the guy we parade and move forward. this is the one. >> danielle moody mills and rick tyler, have to leave it there. thank you so much for joining node. up next, the voters who appear to have a problem with joe biden and how they could possibly jeopardize his hopes in 2020. feo
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2020 democratic contenders are getting ready to make their pitch to the largen union. it is quite a lineup. what are you expecting there today? >> it really is, phillip. this is a forum on wages and working people and i expect all. candidates speaking today to focus tightly on the issues, how to make a minimum wage into a living wage, how to improve economic fairness in this country and what are your plans for the economy and working people? as you mentioned, this is being hosted by one of the largest unions in the country, sciu, but this is an issue for democratic candids more broadly. here in nevada where the union vote is a big, big part of getting nominated out of caucuses and in the election where union voters will be so crucial across the country. of the six candidates we are seeing today i expect to hear a lot of questions about what are your specific plans? they are trying to get folks up to that $15 minimum wage.
and the closing speaker today is elizabeth warren. i have covered a number of these multi candidate forums over the last several weeks. she sells in these events. she comes with plans, ready to go. i suspect we will see a strong performance from her. they say they are somebody who's bhn with her for some time. she's a well-known person here. kamala harris also today expected to be warmly received and beto o'rouke, who i have been following around here in nevada the last couple of days. he seems very at home in this state, which compares to his home state of texas, his home city of el paso. all of them coming up this afternoon. with the guy who's not here, joe biden, who's been so popular with union voters looming over this whole thing. phillip? >> great opportunity for the candidates to get their message out. the 2020 contenders also courted another large voting bloc earl yeaher in the week in
houston. democrats lined up to make their cases and answer tough questions. >> i actually was at the march on washington with dr. king back in 1963. black women will be an integral part of what our campaign and what our administration is about. >> why should women of color choose you? >> so -- it's -- >> we will wait. we will wait. take your time. . >> spit it out, beto. >> joining me now, erin haynes, national writer on ethnicity and the press. thank you very much for joining me. you were at this event. people are still talking about those moments. what's your take? what were some of your favorite responses from the candidates as well the crowd? >> yes, i was there, phillip. thank you very much for having me and good afternoon to you. really it was a chance for eight
2020 democratic hopefuls to really make their case to black women and latina women, really seen as the backbone of the democratic party about their agenda. zmekted they expected to hear about that and to the extent they did not from any candidate, senator sanders particularly got the brunt of dissatisfaction when they didn't get answers they felt were satisfactory. >> what issues emerged there that they think are most important to black women? and what candidate would you say made the best impression there? >> i think talking to a lot of the attendees who included organizers, students, candidates, former candidates, successf successful candidates for office in recent cycles, hearing from them, a lot of them said elizabeth warren, the senator from massachusetts is the one they felt stole the show. a lot of them referred to her as a rock star. they particularly cheered every time she was asked a question
and would respond and saying, no, i have a plan for that. that was something that was really popular with a lot of them. also her storytelling ability is something that really resonated with them. a lot of women with color come from a culture of strong storytelling. her ability to do that is something that i think connects with them on a personal level. >> amy allison, founder of she the people, said women of color account for one in five primary voters and 25% of all voters in texas, south carolina, georgia, florida and arizona. all states that trump won back? 2016. so are we likely to see candidates from both parties fighting for this vote in 2020? >> i think you already are seeing candidates of all colors fighting for that vote because they do know how crucial it is. the democratic primary goes through women voters of color. i think especially as you see the calendar start to shift, you know, to south carolina and then south and out west. we are going to see women of
color being dominant in thighs primary election decisions. and i think just as we give a lot of credit to the voters of iowa and voters of new hampshire who were able to kind of vet these candidates for the rest of the country, i would argue that black and brown women are among the most discerning voters in america and they certainly expect to have an opportunity to vet these candidates for themselves. >> you wrote that although joe biden has maintained strong ties to the african-american km community over the years, many women of color are frustrated by his decision to run. why is that? >> well, i think what i heard, especially at she the people this week, were a couple of things. one, i think for black women it is not necessarily a given that the answer to defeating president trump next year, which is the priority for a lot of them, frankly, is electing or nominating a white man to be the democratic nominee. they are open to looking into someone else, somebody that
excites them and that they feel is better addressing their priorities or their agenda to do that. and another thing i will say talking to a lot of them, you know, anita hill did come up for a lot of them and that is whether they were younger black women or older black women, they still were not satisfied in terms of what they in what he's learned from the 1991 hearing of which he presided as president of the committee. this is something he anticipated being a potential issue ahead of his announcement and it's clear women of color are still waiting to hear from him about what he's learned from that experience and how that is going to factor into their experience about them. >> we will delve much further into that. the ne thank you so much. next, why the battle for the
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joe biden making it rain in his first day of fund-raising, but president trump tries to dampen his bid for the white house. >> i am a young, vibrant man. i look at joe, i don't know about him. >> if he looks young and vibrant compared to me, i should probably go home. >> young and vibrant in their 70s. the question about age in 2020.
what does biden's nonapology to anita hill say? i will ask someone who urged him to make the call, reverend al sharpton. good day from msnbc world headquarters in new york. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." i'm phillip mena. first up, breaking news this hour, retired lieutenant colonel oliver north has just announced he's not serving a second term as president of the national rifle association. his announcement comes amid interturmoil in the gun rights group. nbc's hans nichols joins us from the white house. hans, you were with the president at his nra speech yesterday. do you have any insight into what happened here? >> this is a forced resignation. ollie north had his friend read the resignation from the spate spot donald trump spoke at yesterday. it was clear he wanted to stay on for another year. he had a one-year contract as
president. it was also clear he was clashing with wayne lapierre, the vice president of the group. lapierre had been with the group for a long time. what this really gets at is a political shootout of the top of the guns right organization is the direction of the nra. was it about protecting second amendment rights and also firearms safety and shooting straight or was it more an overall brand and overall culture and overall lifestyle, and it wasn't simply coming an appendage of the republican party? there's also a lot of money involved. there are lawsuits taking place between what the nra is and their longtime advertising agency, which is out of arizona. they're suing them and they want a better accounting of how they spent all of their money. but it is clear to the two leaders at the top, wayne lapierre and oliver north, were not seeing eye to eye. it does appear oliver north is the first casualty in this. but we don't know whether wayne lapierre will survive this or whether there are allegations he could have did anything to make
him be afoul as well. there's one thing reported in "the wall street journal" thursday night, lapierre accused oliver north -- remember from iran-contra fame, of trying to extort him and force lapierre to resign because otherwise north said he would release damaging financial information. so there are a lot of recriminations taking place. the context for all of this is an nra feels bolden and empowered, their members do, but they're very concerned being out there yesterday, they're very concerned about what democrats might do to their guns if they take over in 2020. phillip? >> hans nichols helping us out with the breaking news this hour. thank you. also this hour, a brand-new poll shows a majority of americans oppose calls for congress to launch impeachment proceedings against president trump. 56% of americans saying congress should not begin impeachment hearings in the wake of special counsel robert mueller's report. but 2020 presidential candidate elizabeth warren joined my
colleague joy reid earlier today and doubled down on her calls. >> i swore an oath to uphold the constitution of the united states, and after i finished reading the mueller report, i reached the conclusion the house must start impeachment proceedings. some things are more important than politics, and that's our constitution. >> those new numbers also show the president's credibility taking hate with the public. 58% of americans say they believe he has lied to the public about matters under investigation by the special counsel. this as the president continues to blast the investigation. >> there has never been a president that's been more transparent than me or the trump administration. i let white house counsel mcghan testify, i let everybody testify. then we have -- again we have to go through it? this is a pure political witch-hunt. they tried for a coup. didn't work out so well. >> earlier this morning house
oversight committee member robin kelly spoke to my colleague, morgan radford, about how democrats are confronting the president's messaging machine. >> he lies so much. he is not transparent and i is not honest but i think we have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. yes, we have to do the investigations and hearings and those kinds of things but we also have to prove to the american people, our constituents, we know how to govern and move this country forward. >> also this morning, new questions about what rod rosenstein did to stay in charge of the special counsel's investigation. "the washington post" reporting the deputy attorney general told the president, quote, i give the investigation credibility. i can land the plane. last hour how judiciary committee member jeremy raskin said this raises political question. >> what was he telling to the president of the united states? you have to rewind the clock to
before the trump administration and when everybody would recognize that's a major breach of every legal and constitutional norm we have, that the president is getting involved in a criminal investigation that relates to the president. later today president trump will be rallying in green bay, wisconsin, as he skitched the white house correspondents' dinner in d.c. for yet another year. joining me now betsy woodruff, politics reporter for "the daily beat" and msnbc contributor kyle koeppen, washington correspondent for "the san francisco chronicle." "the washington post" is reporting rod rosenstein not only discussed the mueller probe with president trump but also reassured him he gave the investigation credibility and he could, quote, land the plane. betsy, how concerning is that to you? >> look, this is something that has surprised a certain portion of people who have been watching the mueller investigation but ever since the mueller investigation's genesis, people close to rod told me one of the
most important things that gets overlooked when we talk about him is the fact he has incredible political savvy. rod rosenstein is one of the only attorneys to serve under a democratic and republican administration. he was under president bush and then held it under obama. that's not entirely unheard of but almost unheard of. and he also had a significantly significant job under both a republican and democrat is because of political talent. this is something we're now seeing with rosenstein, assuming "the washington post" is correct, i have not confirmed it but no reason to believe it's not correct. what this points to is the fact rosenstein knows how to manage some of the complex and high-pressure political issues within both the justice department and the white house. many people overlooked that when viewing rosenstein simply as kind of apolitical civil servant who wouldn't have any dog in any
fight when it came to the mueller probe. but the reality people close to him have always been aware of is he quietly has a ton of political skill. >> talia, what is your reaction to the rosenstein statement? >> we keep seeing over and over one day they're a hero to some and villain to the next and flip-flop. this came out as comey as well, he made critical remarks of hillary clinton and then vilified by democrats and then he seemed to turn on president trump and became a cog. i think we see in this really highly charged environment, yes, there are important questions that are raised by what rosenstein might have told the president about an ongoing investigation, but it's also further evidence how every little thing gets parsed in
washington where democrats for a long time wanted rosenstein there to be sure to keep the investigation impartial, now they're concerned because he was talking to the president about that represeutation and that pendulum can swing really dramatically for some of these officials as it relates to this probe. >> meanwhile attorney general william barr is set to testify before congress. this is coming as the white house has pledged to fight all subpoenas from house democrats. betsy, you write about the president stonecalling subpoenas from congress and changing the way people think about impeachment. can you explain? >> for sure, a top congressional democratic aide told me the temperature in the house democratic congress has risen significantly since trump said he would oppose all congressional subpoenas flat out, no extensions, no throat clearing. it's really important that the president said that because the third article of impeachment against nixon, of all people, was the fact he tried to obstruct legitimate congressional investigations.
for trump to say he's going to fight all subpoenas essentially just because he can, was trump verbally communicating something many democrats on the hill view as obstruction of the congressional process and, therefore, by definition grounds for impeachment? it took the impeachment question and it made it a lot hotter and for many democrats much more immediate. that was the reporting that has been brought out as my colleague and i spoke with a number of lawmakers and aides that are really close to this process, the fact that the president made that comment changed things. >> and the president, he's scaling up his attacks dependence the mueller report. he's also denying some of its findings. let's listen to that. >> i never told don mcgahn to fire mueller. if i wanted to fire mueller, i would have done it myself. it's very simple. i had the right to. frankly, whether i did or he did, we have the absolute right to fire mueller. >> first off, why does the
continue continue to bring up the mueller report? >> it was a total vindication. i'm not sure if you heard that from him. he's obsessed about this for two years. he does seem to obsess about certain things and it's not surprising he's misconstruing the findings. we've sign heen him do it time time again. if anything the mueller report confirmed that. he's been exposed in instances where he or members of his administration intentionally said things via the press to the public that they knew to be untrue. so it just screams credibility that he would deny something that don mcgahn said under penalty of perjury to robert mueller that mueller was able to verify for trump to deny it off the cuff. i don't know that the american public, other than his die-hard supporters who will believe most of what he says, i don't know
the american public takes it with all that much credibility at this point. >> and a new poll believing most persons lied to the public about matter that's were under investigation by the special counsel. betsy, how much concern do trump advisers have regarding the character question? >> i have not discussed this particular poll with trump advisers but i have to tell you they watch these numbers closely. the president during the campaign was obsessed with this kind of data and it would not surprise me at all if he looked at this particular material and consider it. for the president and his advisers the question of whether he's fit to serve ais very mucha political one rather than legal one. they know the biggest threat to the president staying in power at least up until the 2020 election comes from whether or not there's a surge of political sentiment demanding to the just impeachment in the house and then that the senate, including a bunch of senate republicans, decide he's no longer fit to hold that office. polls like this are kind of a
very small piece of a much larger puzzle when it comes to the question as to whether or not senate republicans change their thinking. it's very unlikely right now that they do but if more dramatic revelations continue, it's something the white house without question is keep ago an eye on. >> what are your thoughts on that poll? >> it was interesting i saw someone dug up a poll from the bill clinton era that was done in a similar time frame and asked basically the same question and there were actually fewer americans who believe the house should have proceeded with impeachment against president clinton right before they did. so polls give us some insight, they give us a wi7dio into what the american public thinks and certainly they are something people watch. but at the same time, right, we saw numbers on the campaign trail for president trump, unlikability numbers, that were sort of unheard of for somebody potentially being able to go on and win and economic favorability right now is very high relatively and yet you see his overall approval lagging
which is something in the past would not be disconnected like that. again, it's sort of as indicated, you take these polls with some sort of grain of salt but you have to put them in context. just because they go one way does not mean votes will go a certain way or politics will follow them quite like you might think. >> thank you both so much for joining me. >> sure thing. >> joe biden's first call to anita hill. we're learning it came after reverend a.m. sharpton, among others, urged bietden to reach out. what did this accomplish? i will talk to the reverend al sharpton. why did jared kushner allegedly sneak charles barkley into the white house? we're oscar mayer deli fresh and you may know us from...
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>> i've answered that question. if you look at what i've said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly. and i was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to robert e. lee, a great general, whether you like it or not. >> that is president trump defending his charlottesville comments from 2017. it comes in response to joe biden's kickoff video emphasizing how the president handled that incident. with me now reverend al sharpton, founder and president of the action network and correspondent here on msnbc.
what was your reaction to hearing that? >> i think that offended many of us, including myself, two year ago and he was even more offensive what he said yesterday. to say robert e. lee, who was the general of the confederate army that fought to keep blacks enslaved, keep blacks as property, was a great general and if you continue hearing his comment and that generals have told me in this building, the white house, they admired him, you admired a man that led an attempted coup against the united states government, he's the president of the united states praising a man that tried to overthrow the government of the united states, and defend slavery. that is as offensive or more than when he said there are good people on both sides, referring to some that were marching for that statue to honor this man. because we're talking about a man that tried to overthrow the government to keep slavery in.
>> he did. i don't remember him mentioning anything about robert e. lee the first time around when that happened >> no, he did not mention robert e. lee in my memory the first time. he talked about good people on both sides, which is atrocious. you had people marching the night before talking about they will not replace us and blood and soil, which is a nazi slogan. now he comes back and doubles down with a confederate general. and mind you he was talking at the same time that he was questioning the people investigating him, the mueller report and all, and they were trying to pull a coup. while he's praising a general who did try to pull a coup that costs tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of american lives. >> according to the huffington post, there are several charlottesville activists railing against joe biden saying they did not want him to use their city as a campaign prop considering they had just called susan bro, who is the mother of charlottesville victim heather
higher, it was nearly two years after that incident he made that phone call. do you think the characterization rings true here, do you strike this as purely political? >> i think that when you look at the political career of joe biden, i don't think it's just political. i can understand the activists' feeling because they're dealing with not only what happened two years ago but there's been recurring trauma there. but i think joe biden has in the course of his career, even though i disagreed with him on the crime bill and other things, identified certainly more than donald trump in opposition to people like donald trump these kind of racial anti-semitic, bigoted kind of situations. i think what biden was trying to say is the bigger picture of we are not going to be that kind of america. so i have an understanding on both sides because i think he was generally outraged that the president of the united states
many in ways normalized what happened in charlottesville like these people were good. no, these people were defending a slave-enforcing general that wanted have a coup to the united states. >> i want to play sound for you in the first interview since he announced his run, joe biden addressing the fallout behind his conversation that he had with anita hill. let's listen to that. >> i'm not going to judge whether or not it was appropriate or whether she thought it was sufficient, but i said privately what i have said publicly, i'm sorry she was treated the way she was treated. i wish we could have figured out a better way to get this thing done. i did everything in my power to do what i thought was within the rules to be able to stop things. >> "the new york times" political correspondent jonathan martin, he's tweeting this right here, i want to show this to you, biden's call to hill came after much urging from allies including the reverend al
sharpton and barbara boxer. but the vp's camp thinks hill continued criticism showing it can't be moll fayed and that those hitting him were never open to him. saying first called hill a month ago before calling again wednesday night. reverend, can you give us insights into your conversation with joe biden. >> i don't think i directed him to call her. he smoke on martin luther king day and to my surprise in the speech, he basically dealt with the crime bill which he and i disagreed with in 1994 and came forward i thought in a very straightforward way and said that was something was handled wrong in terms of the ramifications. so when he was leaving, we talked -- he had not said to me that he was running. i said if you do run, i think you've got to keep doing what you did this morning about the crime bill and anita hill will come up and you're going to have to deal with that.
i think he chose on his own to make the call. we never talked about him calling. but i think he did discuss he's got to own mistakes. if you have been in public life, whether senator, vice president, you will have to own your mistakes. i think that was our conversation. he seemed pretty much that was what he was going to do. >> do you think he's gone far enough or do you think he owes her a direct apology? there were questions about how he worded that apology to anita hill? >> i think the one who has to determine that is anita hill. she's the defendant here. many of us were certainly supportive of her and was offended by the tone of the hearings and how she was treated. but ultimately i think that when you own that you did wrong, the person wronged has to be respected and regarded, whether it was 20-some-odd years ago or now, i think anita hill has to answer that. but i think joe biden has to own that and other things and say to
people, these are the things i've done. on the other side of the equation, he fought -- and i can tell you as one who had access to the obama white house, he fought many important issues from same-sex marriage to policing to jobs that i think has got to also be put into the equation when we look at the career of joe biden. >> now, i want to talk about nba legend and frequent trump critic charles barkley. he talked about being snuck into the white house by the president's son-in-law, jared kushner. he said it stemmed from a donation he made to support from trade schools. i want to listen to some of that sound. >> i said listen, jared, number one, i don't want to be on camera. i don't want to see your father-in-law. >> right. >> but i will come to the white house if you're serious. listen, i'm not a big fan of your wife's dad, so, please, i don't want to be on camera. they snuck me in. >> you did go? >> i did go. and we had a great conversation.
and hopefully it will go farther. like i say, i'm on my mission, and hopefully he can help me with my mission. >> what's your reaction to that? do you think it's okay to work with the trump administration on purposes like that? >> i think that it's -- if there are certain limitations that you are really working on something real, i remember about a month after the election president trump called me directly and i told him no, i'm not coming to meet with you unless we bring the head of other national civil rights groups because, as i think barkley is saying, nobody wants to be used for just a photo-op when your policies are antithetical to what we stand for. but if there are concrete things like when kim kardashian went and was able to help negotiate someone getting someone's sentenced commuted, though i think that's one drop in the ocean, but that drop was good for that person, do that. but don't be used or misused. i can understand what barkley's
saying. >> reverend, you spoke to several of the 2020 presidential candidates at the national action network conference. earlier this month your conversations will be featured on a special airing tonight and it's called "not just black and white: race and the 2020 election." what can we expect to see tonight? >> i talked to each one of them individually and asked questions about how they want to deal with the race gap. there's a class gap in this country and there's also a race gap. i think we've not dealt with that as a mainstream political issue and we wanted to make sure, yes, we've got to deal with issues like climate change, the economy, criminal justice, but we also have to deal with the race factor in them. and tonight we're going to have them respond and we're going to have a panel that will analyze their response because we can't sidestep race. this whole thing about getting away from identity politics, no, we need to deal with respecting everybody's identity so they're treated equally. unequal treatment based on race
needs to be dealt with and no one should be president if they do not want to be dealing with it. >> you will be dealing with it head on. catch al sharpton's special "not just black and white: race and the 2020 election" airing tonight at 8:00 p.m. here here on msnbc. reverend, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. a house standoff, how democrats are trying to get their hands on the president's tax returns yn it could lead to a court battle to the white house. ♪ ♪ ♪ no matter when you retire, your income doesn't have to.
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there has never been a president that's been more transparent than me or the trump administration. i will absolutely give my return, but i'm being audited now for two or three years. every year they audit me, audit me, audit me. i'm not releasing tax returns because they're under audit. they're under audit. they have been for a long time. they're extremely complex. i'm under audit. when you're under audit, you don't do it. i'm under audit. this is a pure political witch-hunt. >> the president claiming transparency as he fights back against house democrats in an effort to keep his financial footprint con seemed. the treasury department missed two's deadline to turn over president trump's tax returns that were requested by the house, ways and means committee.
joining me now is democratic congressman from pennsylvania brendan boyle. he's a member of the house ways and means and budget committee. congressman, thank you for joining me. >> thank you. >> white house officials said the president's tax battle is a hill they're willing to die on, threatening a supreme court battle even. do you think his taxes are worth it at this point? it's been two years. do you think the public still cares about this? >> well, yes, first of all i do believe that it's worth it. i think getting the tax returns, which let's be clear despite everything president trump has said on this issue, which is certain degrees of lying and misinformation, the law clearly for 100 years in the irs code gives the house ways and means committee chairman and his or her counterpart the ability to subpoena the tax returns of any u.s. citizen. so this isn't a matter really very much in doubt. if they fight it all the way to
the supreme court, i'm confident that the court would rule in our favor. in terms of why this is necessary, there are so many questions about the ways in which this president might be personally kind of being held over a barrel when it comes to the financing of his businesses. and the ways in which that might impact actual u.s. policy. so that alone, combined with what we know he told his own personal attorney cohen, he admitted according to what cohen testified to congress under oath that trump believes he's underpaying taxes. and if femme were able to look at his tax returns, they would see he's underpaid them by hundreds of thousands of dollars. that, according to cohen, is what trump admitted. >> the president was asked about congress's attempt to stonewall questions. >> i never had transparency like this and they said let's do it
again. i said that's enough. we have to run a country. frankly when i go through the house and senate and no collusion, no collusion, no obstruction, no obstruction. and then we have to get through it again? >> do you think he's making a point there that they could be fatigued by all of these investigations? >> i'm pretty confident of one thing nowhere in that pack and series of lies did he make anything close to a valid point. the reality is this is a function of article one of the constitution. this is the oversight function of congress. the republican congress for the last two years just looked the other way and did not live up to their constitutional obligations. we, the democrats now in leadership, are not going to gop down that path. but at the same time i want to stress that's not all that we're doing. whether you look at hr1 meaningful campaign and voting rights reform, whether you look at the first gun control bill to pass in a quarter century,
whether you look at the actions we're taking to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, we're able to address the bread and butter issues while at the same time upholding the constitution. >> you voted against one of the early impeachment efforts back in 2017 because you thought the house should focus on mueller's investigation and, quote, evaluate its results before beginning impeachment proceedings. is what you read in the report now impeachable? >> well, what i would like to see are hearings on the reports. specifically i want to see robert mueller come and testify in front of congress to lay out the evidence, talk about what's in the report. it's important that congress finally get the full report, by the way. let's not forget, a few weeks ago it was being reported when barr released his four-are page letter which we now know was such a misleading effort and in no way fairly representative of what was in the report, it was being reported at that time a few weeks ago that we had gotten
the report. that's not correct. we now have about 75% of the report. we still don't have the whole thing. so i want to see robert mueller testify before congress. i want to see the witnesses like don mcgahn who clearly testified or gave more evidence than almost any other witness in the report, those hearings are important so congress and the american people will be able to evaluate the evidence and then draw their own conclusions. >> and vice president joe biden, just to change subjects here briefly, he kicked off his presidential campaign with a fund-raiser in your district, philadelphia. you endorsed the vice president. but there is a new op-ed out in "the washington post" that questions whether the new democratic party is, quote, too woke to nominate biden saying he probably isn't the future of the democratic party but could end up being its present. what's your opinion on that? >> first it's remarkable we have the biggest field in the history of our primary process, which is basically existed for both
parties since 1972, we have 20 candidates but we have a record breaking field not just for size but also its quality, its depth and its diversity. so i would be happy to support any one of those 20 candidates against president trump. in my view, biden is our best bet to win pennsylvania and to win the white house. i think his combination of experience, particularly being vice president for eight years under barack obama, i have decided to go with joe biden, as i mentioned, but at the same time i just want to make sure that at the end of this process, we all come together as democrats because i do believe that the 2020 election, i think we're the slight favorite entering it, but it will be another hard fought, tough election >> congressman brendan boyle, thank you so much for your time today, sir. >> thank you. president trump's repeated claims of an attempted coup, harmless talk or potential danger? (mom vo) it's easy to shrink
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president trump is now describing the investigation into his 2016 campaign ties to russia as an attempted coup. in a speech to the nra, he once again accused u.s. intelligence agencies of illegally spying on his campaign. former cia director john brennan is pushing back. here's what he told me colleague hallie jackson. >> i don't think it's surprising at all that we continue to hear the sociopathic ramblings of mr.
trump claiming that there was this effort to try to prevent him from being elected or to unseat him. and i welcome any type of continued investigation in terms of what we did during that period of time that we were in government. and i have testified in front of congress and i would do it again. >> you would do it again? >> absolutely i would do it again. >> joining me now nbc's chief international security and diplomacy analyst. admiral, what do you make of the president's claims here? >> well, phillip, i spent three years as commander of the u.s. southern command in charge of all activity south of the united states and four years supreme allied commander of nato. i have seen what a real coup looks like in latin america. i watched in one in turkey when presidenterred owe wan was almost overthrown. this is anything but a coup. the title of the report is accurate and i encourage people to read it, it's pretty short,
investigation into the russian interference into the 2016 election. that's what the property is and it's not a coup. by the way, i'll add, john brennan, who i have known for decades, rock-solid servant of this nation and patriot. >> admiral, if this were another country, a claim of an attempted coup would carry some pretty severe implications, one other world leaders might be reacting to. what do you think the outcome is that the president is hoping for here? >> i think you put your finger, phillip, on what's truly dangerous of labeling this a coup and repeating it. and the danger is kind of on three different vectors. one is obviously here in the united states where it has an extremely polarizing effect on our politics, which are already wretchedly polarized but overseas where there are less filters, they don't understand perhaps the nuances of what's going on, when they hear the president of the united states saying that he is the victim of a coup attempt, think of how our allies feel about that, how
discouraging that is, and worst of all it's how our opponents look at it. it encourages them. just this week we've seen president xi hold a big convocation of world leaders in china, one belt, one road, economic zone of cooperation across the globe. when they hear our president talking about a coup at home, we look less re engaged, it hurts us in the world. >> i want to talk about "the washington post" report that north korea demanded $2 million before releasing otto warmbier and u.s. officials signed a document agreeing to pay that. president trump said he didn't pay it. admiral, which scenario do you think is more likely here? >> i think what's very likely because we're dealing with a monstrous regime in north korea is they did in fact give us a bill, if you will, for otto warmbier's medical treatment, which they caused the need for. with my tongue firmly in my cheek i would say they want $2 million, that's two tomahawk
missiles, send them to pyongyang. more realistically phillip, i suspect a demand was made and u.s. diplomat said we will never pay it and never should but what it shows us is what a terrible regime we are dealing with. that ought to be factored into our thinking as we go forward diplomatically to try and deal with the threat of north korea. >> as a diplomacy expert, what do you make of the whole kim jong-un and vladimir putin summit we saw this week? why is president vladimir putin injecting himself into the u.s. and north korea standoff? >> because this is what putin does very successfully globally. russia is kind of declining power in so many ways. its population is falling, its economy is kind of a one-trick pony tied to oil and gas. what putin does cleverly though is inject himself, into syria, into ukraine, into the politics of europe, interfere with our
election. this is another example of vladimir putin seeking to position himself on the global stage. plays well for him inside russia in his politics and allows him to kind of put sand in the gears as we try to come to a diplomatic conclusion to north korea. classic vladimir putin. it's no substance. it's all show. it's to annoy us more than anything else. >> admiral, thank you so much for joining me sir. >> you bet, phillip. thank you. >> the president versus congress in a fight over subpoenas. will democrats, right or wrong, overplay their hand?
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liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ . now to the president's escalating battle with congress and his across the board refusal to allow anyone in his administration to testify about his taxes, his doings over the mueller report and other subpoenas, despite a number of requests from congress. joining me now to discuss this is peter emerson, worked in three democratic administrations. republican strategist noel mcpour and "new york times" writer waja ally. and is president trump trying to slow walk the battles so they could drag on until after the 2020 election? >> well, it is his -- it is too
his advantage certainly to slow walk these items to get through 2020. if your looking at the republican side of this, you're looking at this through a trump lens so to speak. it is to your advantage to resist, resist, resist because if you open that door, that's going to be 24/7 in the news and a headline, and it is going to be a negative headline and i think he knows that. so he's kind of learned to -- how to play the game and to resist it and buy time as long as he can. >> here is what president trump is saying about his efforts to stonewall congress. let's listen to that. >> i let everybody testify. there is never, ever been transparency like this. then i get out, the first day they're saying let's do it again and i said that's enough. we have -- we have to run a country and frankly when i go through it with the house, and the senate and we have no
collusion, no collusion, no obstruction, no obstruction, then we have -- again we have to go through it -- >> is the president right here in any way? are democrats as risk of overplaying their hand with all of these investigations? >> their at risk of underplaying their hand. they won a blue wave tsunami election in the midterm and picked up 40 seats and american people including republicans want accountability and oversight over this president who has a low popular rating with america. his rating went down 3% after the mueller report and most americans don't trust him. most americans think he committed obstruction of justice and he's so transparent. he hasn't released his taxes and he fired comey over that russia thing and according to don mcgahn, the white house lawyer who spent 30 hours with mueller, he tried to influence mcgahn to fire mueller. so this is a president who needs accountability and oversight and i believe the democrats in the house, especially representative nadler, should exercise the full extent of their power to get accountability. nas why they were elected. and by the way, they should
actually arrest some of these people. they should arrest steve mnuchin and nobody will lose sleep if he gets arrested. he's like harry alice from die hard, like an 80s villain and exercise your power and say no one is above the law. donald trump you are a servant of the people and you are not above the law and we want accountability and we elected democrats to the house in a tsunami and we'll have the answers and subpoenas and investigations and we're going to get to the bottom of it and i guarantee a majority of the american people will be behind that. >> peter, do you think some b should be arrested over this? >> i completely agree. but the point is this. that donald trump and his really treasonous puppets are doing exactly what they want to do. they are sowing mistrust and stonewalling have a very polite word for what they are doing against the democracy and constitution and here is the problem now. the u.s. congress does not have the enforcement tools, meaning the federal marshals and the
capitol hill police are no match for the secret service and the army, bo -- both of which donal trump controls. >> naomi, do you think this is a jailable offense here? >> well, i mean, i don't know if it is a jailable offense. i feel that as a republican we want to put this behind us. i feel like trump feels vindicated and i feel like he is ready to move forward. if you are a democrat, you're angry and you're ready to see justice served and you want to proceed on with digging into it further to get this guy out of office. so i mean, there is two sides and it depends on which side you're viewing this from. >> waja, there is a new poll saying although they believe the -- the american public believes that president trump lied about the mueller report, they don't think that he should be impeached.
what are your thoughts on that? >> look, historically there is only two impeachments and people are adverse because it slows down the normal routine of government and it is seen as partisan in-fighting but this is say unpopular president and sometimes you have to do the right thing. remember the anonymous op-ed in "the new york times" when someone talked about invoking the 25th amendment and a president who seems to not care that russia attacked the election. so i think democrats should do their job and impeach. do the right thing. >> all right. waja ali and noel and thank you for spending time with us on this saturday. it may be the last place the president would want to be tonight, in fact 900 miles away from there. the reason why in the next hour. feast on new cedar-plank lobster & shrimp. or new colossal shrimp & salmon with a citrusy drizzle. tender, smoky, and together on one plank... ...but not for long- so hurry in!
we have reached the top of the hour which means i'm out of time. up next, my colleague kendis gibson. kendis, it is nice to see you get out of the house. closer to the action. >> and into the big house here in d.c. philip, thank you. have a good day. and good day. i'm kendis gibson. live from washington, d.c. age appropriateness. president trump is 72 and joe biden is 76 but they're trading insults like they're 5. >> how old is too old to be president? >> well, i think that i just feel like a young man. i'm so young. i can't believe it. i'm the