tv Up With David Gura MSNBC May 12, 2019 5:00am-6:59am PDT
click, call or visit a store today. that will do it for me this hour of "weekending with alex witt." i'll see you all again from noon to 2:00 p.m. eastern. now it's time for "up." this is "up." the president lashing out at his former white house counsel as house democrats continue to demand don mcghan testify. >> we've subpoenaed mcghan, and we're expecting him to show up on the 21st. and if he doesn't, he will be subject to contempt. >> a new report calls it the most expansive white house obstruction effort in decades. the white house is blocking more than 20 congressional
investigations with donald trump jr. subpoenaed by the senate intelligence committee, it's become personal for the president. if he fails to answer, he ought to be put in jail. he has no privilege, prison is the only answer. >> and call me maybe. president trump's hang-up with the former secretary of state who brokered the iran nuclear deal. >> john kerry tells them not to call, that's a violation of the logan act. and frankly, he should be prosecuted on that. >> it is the 12th of may, happy mother's day, everybody. just like a perfect mother. >> no, i wasn't. >> yes, you were. you were always so calm and sweet with me. >> that's because every moment was a joy. [ crying ] >> why won't you [ bleep ] sleep? >> up with me, tim o'brien, executive editor of "bloomberg opinion" and contributor. ali vitaly, an msnbc political
reporter, lisa green, author of "on your case." and chris lui, he was cabinet secretary in the white house and before that chief deputy in the house oversight committee. we begin with president trump launching his first attack on white house counsel don mcghan whose testimony was invaluable to robert mueller. we learned that he rebuffed at least two requests by the white house to declare publicly the president did not obstruct justice. president trump responding to that reporting, quote, "i was not going to fire robert mueller, false, by the way. in fact, he was allowed to finish his report with unprecedented help from the trump administration. actually, lawyer don mcghan had a better chance of being fired than mueller. never a big fan. he claims. seemingly forgetting what he said in the past. >> don mcghan's a really good guy. been with me a long time. and a lot of affection to don. he's done an excellent job.
>> any concern about what he said to the mueller -- >> no, not at all. not at all. >> president trump is attacking don mcghan as he tries to prevent him from testifying on capitol hill. and the "washington post" is calling this this morning a noncooperation strategy. there have according to the "post" some 20 separate investigations in congress being blocked in some way by the trump white house. it is the most expansive white house obstruction effort in decades. tim, let me start with you, have you react to the back and forth between the president and don mcghan. i tweeted this yesterday because i saw the tweet, went to the historical record. looked at the announcement, when president trump announced that his campaign counsel was going come, his white house counsel. he has a brilliant mind and deep understanding of constitutional of law. we've seen this movie over and over. one falls out of the president's graces and there's an amnesiay that -- amnesia that he once
loved them. >> mcghan cooperated under protest. he said he thought it was a bad idea. the white house wanted him to cooperate. he said this is going to void the privilege if i do this. they told him to do it anyway. now they're upset with the results. i think the only person who should have any remorse about how this played out is the president himself. the reality is he's now pressuring a private citizen. mcghan no longer works for the white house. not too cooperate with congressional oversight procedures. and i think it's also worth remembering that when the congress drafted impeachment papers on nixon, one of the articles of impeachment was his willing sort of ignorance and disallowable of subpoenas. this transcends trump and mcg n mcghan. the separation. powers, legitimacy of congressional oversight, and the administration's willness to subvert that. >> alleie, write being the
assessment of the ways -- writing about the assessment of the ways the white house is blocking the investigations. what do you make of the way this is coalesced into the noncooperation strategy? >> unsurprising, right? i don't think any of us thought, okay, the white house is going to buckle down and get all of the oversight documents for the committees. that was never going to happen. but i think that the way this is percolating now is in a way that on the campaign trail where i spend most of my time we're aware that voters aren't necessarily thinking of mueller every night before they go to sleep, right. i would say when we were out with elizabeth warren, she was asked not about mueller specifically, but about the obstruction from the white house and about what that means for democracy overall. and that gives candidates an opportunity to say, hey, look, i'm running for the same job the president has, and i'm concerned even about what this means for democracy going forward. everyone should comply because no one is against the law. it makes it more of a battle on
principle and on the constitution which i think is a fuzzier space for republicans to operate in. >> lisa, someone who is thinking about robert mueller every night in bed, and you can see the construction continues. as tim says, this is a private citizen being asked to testify on capitol hill. his lawyers in response to what was reported in the "new england journal of medicine" -- in the "journal" and the "times" saying this about the president of the united states, pressure is being applied continually on the private citizens and others. >> yeah. the president was around during watergate, and one thinks of john dean. i remember when michael cohen was about to left people saying this is going to be the john dean moment. michael cohen was no john dean, but my conjures of one of the things he did by testifying. kind of elevated the issue of obstruction beyond the underlying offense. in nixon's case, that was the burglary. in trump's case, it was the russia interference. and we see mcghan unwillingly i guess at this point reminding everyone that obstruction is
really important. of course, the difference here is mcghan is declining to testify. and if he's subpoenaed, he is subpoenaed, but if he declines on may 21st, it's going to take a while for the courts to sort it out. i don't think we should be setting our dvrs if people still set dvrs to see mcghan testify. >> let me draw from your experience on the hill. you look at the investigations being stymied. if i'm the chairman of the committee and read it in the newspaper, i'm aware things have not been working for some time. is the result to be defeatist, or what can one do? >> i think that's the challenge. i-95 been both sides of pennsylvania avenue. i've written the presidents and had to answer them at the white house. what happens is there's an accommodation between the branches. if the disputes don't get resolved, if goes to the courts. there's always a system of norms and traditions to make sure we
don't get out of whack. we've never been tested in such a way by a president who says, look, i'm not cooperating, go ahead and sue me. if i don't get a decision i like, i'm going to attack the -- >> are you in the constitutional crisis camp? >> i am in the constitutional crisis camp. we vent talked about a president -- we haven't talked about a president shifting money for a border wall. he won't defend the affordable care act even though it's passed by congress. the question comes what can do think in the end. some are talking about the interherent contempt power. the other thing is the power of the purse. are they going to defund offices? >> i keep going back to the column in the "times" this weekend. if you really think there's a constitutional crisis you got to act on it. democrats have to do more to wield power and influence over this process. in light of what chris is saying there, are there any tools left
in do that? is it an issue of if you open the box there's a will to do this them? >> he said they could fine $25,000 a day. >> there is no jail in the congress. >> we've heard that, too. you know, i think obviously the c calculus is is there a political cost to impeaching, being more great britain. the other side -- aggressive? the other side is where are we in a larger historical sense about how the government should operate. i think people should act according to their conscience. i think they're dealing with an administration right now that thinks it's above the wall, that's put people in place constitutionally to allow trump to act unilaterally. i don't think he's going to stop acting unilaterally. some of that's going to become dangerous. i think as we get closer to the campaign, i think you'll see more specifically on the foreign overseas issues. highs going to start to try to flex his muscles.
i think oversight and restraint are going to become real issues voters are concerned about. >> a lallie, braurn is a prairi- elizabeth warren is a prairie populist. she's been calling for impeachment, calling out members of the administration. what's your sense from her staff, from those going to those rallies about the resonance of what sheets been ta's been talk that there needs to be impeachment proceedings. >> the first thing that came out is this is not the foundation of their campaign. >> not the marquee part of the plane. >> that's not the plan. to her she's made the argument that was elected to defend the constitution. she plays it out in a way that makes sense, she saw three things in the mueller report that made her think there's are things here that are impeachable. for her, this is a part of the campaign. it's not the full campaign.
i think democrats would do well to remember that. most of them are not on the impeachment train. as they begin to potentially get on it, it's important for them to remember the 2018 lesson which is that you need to campaign on issues that people are going to bed thinking about at night. the stunning thing to me is this is something of the white house's own making when you look at the mueller report. ty cobb said we should be able to give what they ask for. the president signed on the strategy, you're totally right that this is his fault. and don mcghan is not someone who's going to buck what the president says. it's not surprising he's not running to the hill. also he's the one who is the problem in this mueller report. >> we're going to come back in a moment. coming up, president trump attacking the latest report on his finances. he he's able to rationalize the loss of more than a billion dollars. we have one of the few people who's seen the president's tax returns. that's coming up next. sident's x returns. that's coming up next.
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there is "up," i'm david gura. "the new york times" reports that president trump lost more than a billion dollars over the course of a decade in the '80s and '90s. president trump saying those losses were for tax purposes. he said, "i won the 2016 election partially based on no tax returns. while i am under audit, which i still am, and the voters didn't care. the democrats want to relitigate the matter and make it part of the 2020 election." according to the "times" it's based on irs transcripts and the
original tax returns, not on the forms themselves. legislators move aid step closer to passing a bill that would allow state returns to be released. house democrats in washington issued new subpoenas to treasury secretary mnuchin and the irs commissioner, demanding that president trump release tax returns by 5:00 this coming friday. tim is one of the few people who's seen tax returns, "author of "trump nation: the art of being donald trump." you wrote as one who saw donald trump's more than a decade action, he sued me which was dismissed, you tick through six questions that might be answered. income could business activities, charitable giving, tax planning, transparency and accountability. as well. when you look the at it, help us
understand what that tells us and what doesn't. >> we're looking at decades of returns. i think there's different issues. the issues raised in the "times" reporting, one, was he a "your busines business" -- was he a good businessman. it gets to what his real capabilities are. is he somebody who could do what he said he could do, he was such a great businessman, i will bring that policy to washington and policymaking. he was an abysmal businessman. he almost went personally bankrupt in the '90s. he needed his father's help financially to avoid being put to the curb. i think those returns, when trump says actually, all those losses were become a took advantage of the tax code, it was depreciation and write-offs. one, that's not true. the "times" reporting shows most of the losses were because of inept business practices. if, however, he is saying that he managed to take advantage of tax codes that weren't available or weren't straight forward,
then there's a possible issue of fraud. i think people should entertainment both responsibilities -- entertain both responsibilities, that he was a bad businessman and may have committed fraud. i think the most important tax returns, however, are not 195 auto -- 1985 to 1994. there's a period around 2004 to about 2009 where several hundred millions of dollars come into the trump administration organization that seems mysterious to me. he went on a spring spree. he bought -- spending tree. he bought a golf course in scotland, the trump hotel. where does the money come from? if it comes from overseas, eastern europe or the gulf states or china, does a foreign power have its hooks into the president. and does that period of time suggest to people that long before trump ran for president, was he on the hook to someone else who had control over him. and did that affect hislisa, le
washington, d.c.. when you look at how narrowly tailored richard neal's task was, and we saw steven mnuchin reject the first ask for the returns, how optimistic are you of what happens friday of this week? >> the ways and means is clever because it's predicated on the item that tim raises which is it's important to see what the audit processes are like when it comes to the united states president. mnuchin says, no, that's impossible. what you come up against is the fundamental issue of separation of powers. shouldn't the house have the right to look at the tax returns. they were floating a law that said congress could look at any return which seemed a good idea. there's a parallel case in washington with a hearing this week about subpoenaing the president's accounting firm. what we're seeing is this interesting parallel play where a president who ran on his business acumen absolutely
reskbrekts the idea that anyone can peek into his taxes. >> let's look at albany and what happenedment we saw this in the case of the mueller investigation. states positioned themselves to potentially move if a pardon were to be granted, some of the principles in that matter. what do you make of what's happening in albany? it's for the state tax returns and the double jeopardy bill. >> i mean, the president will 50s figh face fights on all fronts, at least the remainder of the next two years. you've got the 12 cases from the mueller report farmed out to u.s. attorneys. states are saying we're going to continue our state actions. if we get a legitimate subpoena from a congressional committee, we'll provide the tax returns of any individual. and so this is a reasonable thing that states are doing, and it just shows the amount of jeopardy that the president is.
let me make a personal point. when i was nominated to be the deputy secretary of labor and went before the u.s. senate, i had to provide several years of tax returns. i had to provide extensive financial disclosure documents. if that's the case for anyone who works in the federal government at a high level it makes no sense that the president, as tim, who potentially could be compromised by financial interests doesn't have to do it. >> how interesting would it have be been with acting? and courting eye to eye with the president on several issues. how the administration is trying to smooth things over with putin as trump invites him to the white house again. first, the campaign early that "saturday night live" took to heart. buttigieg -- butte edge-edge. they say edge-edge. always keep your eyes open, be careful, and let law enforcement know when you see a kook.
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gura. authoritarians are on the agenda for the trump administration this week. secretary of state mike pompeo is traveling to russia for a meeting with president putin. in washington, president trump is welcoming hungry's prime minister to the white house. he is a right-wing nationalist and the latest strongman president trump has embraced. "the new york times" writing he shares with mr. trump a dislike of immigration, independent institutions that can check his power, and an international institution they say undermine national sovereignty. the former under secretary of state for political affairs joins us. the practice at the howard kennedy school. and joining me, director of color, of change. pick up the "globe," orbahn is called a mini trump who they're his skill and eliminate late the politics of fear. this visit ostensibly about natural gas, medium-range mills. what's it really about as you see it?
>> it's about the battle of ideas underway in europe now. the biggest issue, david, in europe right now is the rise of the far right anti-democratic popul populus. it's happening all over, challenging democratic leaders. and orban is a mini putin. he's curtailed press freedoms, judicial freedoms, he's thrown out the american-led, central european mutually, and the problem is that donald trump in the battle between our friends, germany, france, britain, the canadians, all led by democratic leaders, against the right-wing anti-democratic populus. and at a tight when he's receiving victor orban, of course secretary pompeo canceled a visit to see angela merkel, the most important democratic leader of europe. we're on the wrong side of one of the most important issues facing the west and night and the western alliance.
are bee going to be supportive of democracy or far-right democratic populus. >> set up the conversation here at the table. i saw a news item out of hungary that prime minister orban wants to talk about immigration, that there's some hope there down a global evolution of like minded individuals when it comes immigration. i want to hear about how it ae' dockly reverberating --domistically reverting rating around the world. >> orban's led the effort to try to block immigration into europe and refugee acceptance. there are 68 million refugees and displaced people in the world in the eastern part of europe led by hungry, it's closing its doors. the west european democracy saying we have to take in some in order to achieve global stability order, to do the right
thing to people fleeing persecution. again, president trump on the wrong side of this issue here in the united states. currying favor with someone who's leading, frankly, sometimes an anti-muslim campaign in europe. >> rashad robinson, we've heard the president's comments on free speech, for instance, being used by other leaders as ammunition for their own agendas. now we're seeing it with immigration and security, as well. help us understand the ramifications of that. this is a new american ideal being spread. perhaps the distaste of many. >> you know, who has speech and who's able to speak loudly and clearly has always been about power. i do think in some ways this speaks to some of the ways in which the left has failed to tell a full story to people, that has helped them understand what's happening in the world and what's happening in this country. when we talk about the challenges we've had with our economy, we've talked about challenges we've had with so many issues, oftentimes, the democrats, particularly the elected democrats will tell people that it's a structural
problem. when people think about poverty, they say, oh, no, it's structural, instead of calling out the enablers, the perfect who manufacture the problems here in this country and worldwide. and so whether it's what we've done in other countries that have sort of incentivized people to want to flee these countries and need to flee these countries. when we say things that it's structure and don't actually name the villains because we're afraid of calling out corporations, we're afraid of calling out some of the people who made it happen, our opponents can fill that in with immigrants, with black people, with, you know, women's equality, about so many other stories. and that's a much easier story for people to hold on to. so donald trump in many ways is being fueled to tell this story about what's happening in this country, the strong men around the world, able to fuel that story because we haven't told the full story about the challenges to our economy and our democracy exist. it's not about, you know, people fleeing for a better life. it's about the things we've done
worldwide to force people to have to flee. >> allie when you're not on the trail, you're in washington. you've seen who's come through the white house doors. "for trump the aim will be deepening ties to autocratic strongmen he publicly admires such as russian president vladimir putin, egypt's assisi, and italy's fatini." there is a long list of questionable sorts that have made their way to the white house. >> that's true. even when i covered the white house, it was stunning because it was the first year that we saw he was embracing strong men. it wasn't necessarily surprising based on what we knew about trump, but it was surprising based on what we know about presidents of the united states. where trump has been successful, frankly, is maybe not necessarily domestically on a policy front. he hasn't necessarily executed a lot of things on his agenda in that way. but he has certainly had a lasting impact on the world stage simply because of where he chooses to put his attention. so it doesn't necessarily require a lot of energy on his part. it requires picking up the phone and sending a readout, and that
in and of itself shows where the united states is willing to put their time and energy, and that's where he can be successful. >> we're going to stay here. next, president trump making bold allegation against former secretary of state john kerry. he's calling for prosecution for violating the logan act even though allowed one of his advisers to do something very similar. sers to do something ve similar. not this john smith. or this john smith. or any of the other hundreds of john smiths that are humana medicare advantage members. no, it's this john smith. who we paired with a humana team member to help address his own specific health needs. at humana, we take a personal approach to your health, to provide care that's just as unique as you are. no matter what your name is. ♪
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john kerry tells them not to call. that's a violation of the logan act. and frankly, he should be prosecuted on that. >> that's president trump sounding kind of jilted at an event on drug prices of all things. accusing former secretary of state john kerri. breaking the law by discussing -- john kerry of breaking the law by discussing iran deals after he left office. the president went on to say secretary kerry should be prosecuted for violating the logan act. this is a statement from his spokesman, "everything president trump said is simply wrong, end of story. trump's wrong about the facts, wrong about the law, and sadly he's been wrong about how to use diplomacy to keep america safe." what is the logan act? it's been a while since we talked about it as far as one of president trump's advisers. signed into law in 1799 krjizing negotiation by unauthorized importance with foreign government having a dispute with the united states. if john kerry were guilty of it,
president trump's former adviser michael flynn would be, too. he discussed sanctions relief with russia during the transition period before donald trump was inaugurated. at the time, the then-president elect said it would have been okay with me if flynn did it. i would have directed him to do it if i thought he wasn't doing it. back with us, nicholas burns. you in your post-government life travel widely, talk to sitting officials from governments around the world. are you in a position not unlike secretary of state john kerry is in. your reaction to how the president see this as a violation of that 18th century law. >> you know, david, it's a diversionary tactic, a classic trump move. you want to change the subject. i think few people have been charged with the logan act -- >> two -- >> in 200 years. no one's been convicted in 200 years of american history. this is a division, the president is following a policy that is not working. we had iran, excuse me, contained through the iran
nuclear deal of 2015. we had taken away their ability to create a nuclear weapon through either plutonium or uranium processing. the president has blown that apart. he took the united states out of the iran nuclear deal. he's weakened the international coalition against iran. he's made it more likely that iran will try to strike out and rebuild that program. it's a mess. and now we're imposing secondary sanctions on companies in britain, france, and germany. we've turned our ire against our closest friends. i think that's why he went after john kerry the other day because the policy is simply not working. >> chris lu, it's another personal attack, the likes of which we've seen time and time again by the president. yes, it's diversionary, it might concern some, as we were talking about during the break, this could affect any number of people. it is the president targeting an individual. >> exactly right. the irony is it happens on the same week that his private attorney, rudy giuliani, was supposed to head to ukraine to try to open up an investigation of vice president biden.
>> to meddle, meddling is okay in this -- >> giuliani said i'm going as a private citizen. he arguably would fall under the logan act, as well. exactly as the ambassador said. this is a diversionary effort. the president's effort to try to find a new relationship with iran after blowing up the iran nuclear deal failed. like his efforts come come up with trade -- efforts to come up with trade agreements after end tpp, as well. he thinks he can go after john kerry. as the ambassador said, two people have been indicted, and if you are going to start prosecuting, you would start with the trump folks. >> this was a conversation we were having about michael flynn just a matter of months ago. >> right. i'm sure that registered with trump. i mean, obviously donald trump did not know what the logan act was before he became president. there's a lot of par sip pells of government so how it came to
register in his consciousness is an interesting thing. i imagine it ties to mike flynn. the larger thing that's concerning is again the president is using his office and the powers of his office to target individuals. and i think that that's something we all should be disturbed by and concerned about. he said this week that he had no problem if joe biden got investigated. he's done this time and again. and he's got an attorney general who's referred to federally sanctioned law enforcement investigations as spying and wants to use the power of his office to go back and do some forensic work to see if people were loy al to the president. there's a major trend to unilaterally use law enforcement powers and executive powers to target people. >> there was -- james baker, former fbi council, was on rachel maddow. the first question, how are you doing in light of what he's done through. she was asking about how he's budget the subject of the president's tweets. he talked about how earth shattering, how upside down that can make when you you're the subject of the president's
targeting. help us understand just the ramificationses when it comes to cultural discourse, to the way we behave when we know we could be targeted by 280 characters. >> it's changed the way people respond. the fact is that because we don't have the type of strong oversight in congress, because we don't have the rule of law respected, because so much of the conventions are being thrown out -- i oftentimes like to think of donald trump as a change-the-rules candidate. the previous candidates were change candidates and trying to change in the conventions. we may not have agreed with housing and urban development secretaries, but we know they would have done something for housing and urban development. the things thrown out, the way we expect, that court rulings would be upheld, subpoenas would be followed, those are thrown out. the same with the way the
president used his bully pulpit. as a result he's been able to get us to follow that. follow the treats. follow the statements because he is the payment. as a result he end up taking our eye off the ball of the thing that's sitting in front of our face about sort of whether or not our laws and our standards are being upheld. >> ambassador, last question to you. we're going to talk about ambassador john bolton in the next hour. john hudson wrote the piece you on in light of venezuela ambassador bolton has been the subject of the president's ire. talk about the role he's playing when it comes iran, his views on the condition are not a secret. how are they shaping how the president's acting here and the policies changes that we've seen over the last week? nbc news reporting in that exclusive piece this week about this meeting that ambassador bolton convened at cia headquarters to deal with iran and iraq. >> certainly john bolton historically has been someone who has favored a no kprom icom and no-deterrence policy,
seeking to undermine the regime and engage in regime change. in the second term of president george w. bush, there was a consensus among most democrats and republicans that iran is a major problem in the region, a troublemaker, a destabilizer, got to try to contain the iranian power. but this is a nuclear deal that's the best way to stop them from becoming a nuclear weapons power. i fear that john bolton never really shared that view and is trying to seek, lead the united states government into an ill advised and i think ill-informed confrontation with the iranians militarily. it's not in our interests to do that. we're so much stronger than iran. we can contain iran. but the problem is if we go too far in a military direction, you know, you never know what you're going to enter into and the. c -- and the consequences before it starts. i think prunes is prudence is a.
>> appreciate your time on this mother's day. thanks for joining us in new york. michael cohen reported to federal prison on monday. he is still making headlines. questions swirling around a prominent evangelical leader's endorsement of donald trump brokered by the president's former fixer. ered by the presid former fixer you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase sensimist relieves all your worst symptoms, including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist.
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i hope that when i rejoin my family and friends that the country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice, and lies at the helm of our country. there's their still remains much to be told, and i look forward to the day that i can share the truth. >> newfound optimism of michael cohen, telling reporters he's got to to tell. he stepped out of public spotlight to begin his three-year prison sentence it up the river. michael cohen may be out of sight, but he's not out of the headlines. "reuters" published an exclusive report that michael cohen claimed he helped destroy personal photographs of liberty university's jerry fall well jr. before the leader endorsed donald trump for president. in a taped conversation reviewed by "reuters" which nbc news has not obtained, michael cohen is
reportedly heard saying jerry falwell jr. and his wife wanted to keep photographs, personal photographs, from becoming public. i actually have one of the photo photos,michael cohen said, without going into specifics, it's terrible. falwell declined to comment through the article but his attorney denied the report in the "washington post." quote, while the falwells have a long-standing friendship with michael cohen they never engaged or paid cohen to represent them in any likely or other professional -- legal or other professional capacity, and cohen did not resolve a legal matter on their batehalf." was the legal photograph connected to that in some form or fashion? that's what we asked "reuters." >> there is no link that we could find between the fact that there was an endorsement and this claim that michael cohen had assisted the falwells in this other matter involving these personal photographs that they didn't want exposed.
>> i think chris hayes' eyebrows say it all there. no clear link. tim, your reaction to the story -- >> wow. >> you drew the short straw here at the table. what do you make -- i'm astounded at the friendship between jerry falwell jr. and mike. >> i mean, i think that donald trump told them perhaps that michael cohen's a good fixer. and they had a personal problem -- i think they've parsed the issue neatly by saying it didn't involve a legal matter. >> he flew down to florida to talk. >> yeah. there's no indication that there was a legal matter. there seemed to be personal embarrassment involved. i don't want to think about what might be in the photo. >> they're terrible. they are terrible. >> yes. you know, the evangelical community's support for trump has always been a curiosity at best. here's a president -- >> confounding. >> it's confounding. he's consorted with porn stars, cheated in a serial fashion on his spouses. he is not a moral paragon. he's never going to church on a
regular basis. he is not somebody who's a bible thumper, but he understands the uses and abuse of power. and i think the fact that the evangelical community has come behind someone who doesn't really embrace most of their values, there's two things here -- either he's a useful vehicle for them for getting policies enacted that they care did, the reason that a lot of people of different stripes support president trump -- >> sure. >> or perhaps trump had dirt on them, the uglier reality of presidential campaigning and the issue of michael cohen would suggest that. >> allie, you were covering president trump on the trail. how important was the endorsement? a surprise because i think senator ted cruz launched his campaign at liberty -- >> he did. when we were out there, i remember all of us scratching our heads and saying what does jerry falwell jr. see in trump. yes the evangelical makes no sense for all the reasons you laid out. in digging into that, the thing
they hinge ist on is conservatie judges. they probably have don mcghan to thank more than donald trump. the jerry falwell was always a huh, what happened there. >> let's step back and assess who michael cohen has been good at. in a way that like ken feinberg is good at this type of fixing. as we learned in this piece, it's a narrow wisconsin expertise. >> he has demonstrated -- >> they don't teach in in law school -- >> subject matter expertise from the essential consultants agreement that worked hand in glove with the "national enquirer" to eliminate the impact of the stories of women coming forward to this, which it seems all it took was michael cohen pointing out extortion was the law. but cohen is the gift that keeps on giving in another way which is his testimony before congress is linked to donald trump jr. being subpoenaed for -- from
additional testimony. and i think we may see thanks to his friend tom andrnold or frie -- or frienemy talking about what's in the vault, took the documents. have we seen the end of cohen's reference -- i think so. >> he's the seed that has sprouted the investigations or -- >> i literal have no interest in jerry falwell's photos. >> you don't want to see it? >> no. i will stay out of your private photos if you stay out of the private loves of who people love and the reproductive choices that they make. >> very good. tim o'brien, help us step back. nooik prison for here's -- michael cohen in prison for
three years. and now help us mark the moment as he steps into prison, how much. a turning point is it in the story? as you followed the narrative of donald trump for so long, this chapter closed. >> michael cohen wants a deal. every time he "i have more information" or "people should be shocked by what i have to say," when he gets out of prison he wants a book deal. i've never thought that michael cohen was a sort of fulcrum in all of this in the way that others might have when he first came into the southern district's targeting. i think, however, what michael cohen's important -- his important example is the ongoing investigations of the president that exist beyond what robert mueller was doing. i think the southern district investigation being paramount among them, and we know that the investigation has looked at other people in the trump organization, trump's business dealings and others. the thing about michael cohen he
is first in what may be a series of domino that's tip over around the president in his extra characteristic laugh dealings beyond the white house. his charitable organizations, his business, and foreign dealings. >> thank you all for being here. tim, take one of these cookies home for your wife for mother's day. lisa, happy already mother's da of you. thank you to all and thanks to rashad rabin son, as well. next, service to the president or loyalty to the rule of law. a source that president multiple trump advisers the chopping block. and the white house may be running out of adults in the room. and house speaker nancy pelosi, to impeach or not impeach. why the president is doing a good case himself to do it. at average risk. honey have you seen my glasses? i've always had a knack for finding things... colon cancer, to be exact. and i find it noninvasively... no need for time off or special prep. it all starts here... you collect your sample, and cologuard uses the dna in your stool
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this is "up," i'm david gura. starting with a question of higher loyalty and a choice that's become binary in this administration. are you serving the country or serving the president? the that question again front and center this morning as the president lashes out at former white house counsel don mcghan tweeting this, "lawyer don mcghan had a better chance of being fired than mueller. never a big fan." don mcghan reportedly sat down for 30 hours of interviews with the special counsel and his team. but mcghan, as we've learned in recent days, will not offer the president what he wants -- a statement that he doesn't think
president trump obstructed just. mcghan not the only official frustrating the president by adhering to the former lawyer. here's former secretary of state rex tillerson. >> i could sign on to just about all of his objectives. they're good for america. our differences were always on tactics. i'd have to say to him, mr. president, i understand what you want to do, but you can't do it that way. it violates the law. it violates treaty, you know. and -- and he, you know, just -- he got really frustrated. >> we can't forget anonymous, who wrote the op-ed for "the new york times" three months before that. quote, it may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but americans should know that there are adults in the room, and we were trying to do what's right even when donald trump won't. we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic. in white house exit interviews,
former national security adviser h.r. mcmaster his colleagues are a detriment to the constitution or see themselves as rescuing the country. the white house is described as a place where higher loyalty is sacrificed. he beaked, we schemed, we backstabbed, some of us told us it was to protect the president, to deliver for the people. but usually it was for ourselves. and that was something john kelly was thinking about. here's what he said to "bloomberg news" this week. >> nowhere in the oath of office that you take to support and defend the constitution of the united states, nowhere does it say you should be stabbing your colleague in the back so that you look better. you serve the nation, and if you take the oath seriously, you've got a job, and i want you to stay. >> the guardrails are gone according to "the atlantic," all the aides who defied trump have
long since departed, gone, too, where were the guard rails they erected to keep trump out of trouble. so trump has given his top staff a makeover replacing independent-minded aides with acolytes. which brings me to the question, are white house aides and officials serving the country or the president, or as don mcghan demonstrated this week, they doing a little bit of both? the president rails at him on twitter for not saying he didn't obstruct justice. don income began is refusing to comply with the congressional subpoena to hand over documents related to the mueller investigation. with me, contributor to abovethelaw dow and maria hinojosa for npr, and derek hague who has broken bread with us over the transom the past few months, here in new york, msnbc correspondent. allie, let me start with the curious case of don income began. what do you see of the back and forth, the way he's frustrated
the president by not offering the statement that he wantsy to badly. >> they're not serving the country and not serving the president, they are serving themselves. all of these people, mcghan chief among them, petty people in it for their own particular policy objectives. brett kavanaugh is here because of don mcghan. that is don mcghan's fault that we have an alleged rapist on the supreme court. and he's willing to put up with everything, all the bad words that he was willing to put up are because he wanted this particular policy goal. that's the same thing with tillerson, that's the same thing with jeff sessions. what they don't like is the way he does it. everything that he actually does, these people are forment i'm sick of -- they're all coming off -- out here like meatloaf, talking about i would do anything for trump -- ♪ but i won't do that >> bravo. ♪ but i won't do that >> mic drop. >> beth, i read the question
ontations, played the tape -- quotations, played the tape of rex tillerson, there's a sense once you leave that there's been a whitewashing over what's happened in the course of the administration. we're seeing that with don mcghan. to ali's point before the meatloaf quotation -- >> can't top that. >> for sure. don mcghan is somebody who had a profound impact on the policies the administration put forth -- >> he's right. don mcghan came in, he was part of the team that had the federal society list of jurists who were going to be acceptable to conservatives to choose for the supreme court, you mentioned kavanaugh, but also the lower courts. it was part of mcghan's list. in his own way he severaled the goal that he had set for himself. he wasn't going to just walk the plank for trump on his entire
reputation. he's been through the white house, in trump's mind betrayed the president, could cause problems down the line. you don't want to get in the cross hairs of the president of the united states. >> help me understand, we know my friend across the aisle, distinguished gentleman, et cetera, et cetera, we're seeing that in the back and forth over don mcghan's part of the committees, his lawyer characterizing the documents from the president one issued cordially. how is he regarded on capitol hill in light of what beth and ali talked about, the work on capitol hill, him as a figure? >> by republicans, he's incredibly highly regarded especially by mitch mcconnell. mcconnell doesn't say much if anything about the white house, but mcghan put out a statement saying this was a partner of his he was going to lose. he's been the indispensable
leader in confirming the judges. he will go down as a consequential figure in remaking the judiciary and will still be respected for that. you put him in a category maybe with only jim mattis as folks who left the white house, with their reputation at least among their own party largely intact. what happens next in terms of how he responds to the subpoenas and things of that nature i think will be interesting. i don't see him being a singular figure to defy about the barricade having the trump people testify, but he has receipts, right. the 30 hours that he spent with robert mueller, that's something that that information could come out whether or not he deigns to cooperate with congress at all. i think we will hear much more. i think mcgallon will remain a sing -- mcghan will remain a singular figure. >> i set it up, but you're describing don mcghan as still has connection to party. >> who can tell me what the republican party stands for now beyond what trump says it stands for at any given moment? i'm not saying that to be glib,
but the policy positions has been a moving target. don mcghan was a bush guy before he was a trump guy. he's managed to stay in whatever the middle lane still is in traditional republicanism. and everyone else, not everyone else, but a number of people including in congress are trying to chase that. they don't know where they are supposed to stand. you're a small government until you're not. you're free trade until there's a tariff war. i go back to mattis, too, again, and again they had a better idea of where they stood and when it swung the other way, they were done. >> maria, it's not a policy tour but a reenvision tour. john kelly -- >> i get to talk about john kelly? >> you get to talk about john kelly. >> you going to sing? >> i don't know who the anchor is with "bloomberg" television but seriously, that interview was ridiculous. >> it happened, i should say, on the sidelines of anthony
scaramucci's tour. and this was john kelly sitting on stage in a collegial, friendly fashion -- >> ridiculous -- >> with the person that he fired 11 days into the job. >> anyway, i'm glad you asked about john kelly because i actually had him -- as i was preparing my notes, i'm like didn't men inside -- [ alarm ] >> the alarm went off. >> gee, am i being listened to? okay. decent men inside, question mark. like barr, question mark. like john kelly, question mark. because we all know now that john kelly is serving on the board of directors of an institutional that is going to be making money because of the housing of children. putting them into -- >> the confinement. >> the confinement, the kidnapping some say. so this notion of decent people all, mcghan as well as kelly, they all know -- for me, i can't get beyond a couple of things. one, yes, the putting of babies in cages.
that's like -- >> beyond. >> okay. and showing comfort to white supremacists, that's a problem for me. these guys were all okay with that. for me, i'm with ellie, i do not feel they are protecting the country. they're in it for themselves. they're writing books and getting big, fat, you know, advances. out there talking. it's very disquieting when we have this happening in our country. >> and beth, you've covered politics for a while. this type of reinvention in the middle of an administration is a strange thing. >> we have never had an administration that's quite like this. let's start from that. >> always. the eternal caveat here. >> there was -- typically republican and democrat alike, the folks who come in to serve in the white house tend to do it with great reverence for the institution and for the three separate branches of government. at least they profess to. and yes, when the rubber meets the road, sometimes there's some fighting back. we saw that in the obama administration, the bush administration. but ultimately, both -- both of
those presidencies and those before were -- saw themselves as part of an arc of history and they're only occupying that address temporarily and want to respect the institution. we don't have that with president trump. he is a singular president who's here to serve himself, for himself. and basically the people around him have had to bend to that reality. that's why we're seeing folks making a decision about how far they want to go in terms of embracing a policy that they might never have done before. you know, as republicans. serving the will of one man. that's what -- >> is this a king? do we have a king here? is that what this is about? >> we need to denormalize the people. the revolving door that's supposed to happen, they go to work for fortune 500 companies or go to work for big universities, then they write them -- that's where we have to start putting pressure on next. i don't want any of these people getting a job at harvard. that should -- that should cause protests at harvard when sean spicer shows up there. when don mcghan shows up there. that should be a problem for
harvard. that should be a problem for koch if they want one of these people on the board of directors. the people who object to this administration have to not just subject when they're in d.c. -- not just object when they're in d.c., but wherever they are around the country. >> tease the next segment. we'll look at the "washington post" poem on how 20 investigations are being stymied. talk that about how that's bee t erected. >> it's simple. they have just said no to everything that congress has asked of them. they are making democrats prove what power comes with controlling one branch of congress. it -- is a sufficient a magic bullet or not, and what happens if one branch of the government just says no to the others? what do we do? i mean, that's where we are right now. there's not a lot of complicated tactics here. if you say no to everything, it's a high wall to climb. >> good tease. coming up, nancy pelosi
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trump is goading us to impeach him. that's what he's doing. every single day, he's just like taunting, taunting, taunting because he knows that it would be very divisive in the country. but he doesn't really care. we can't impeach him for political reasons, and we can't not impeach him for political reasons. >> i hadn't seen that snapping, but i'm into it. welcome back to "up." impeachment continues to stymie democratic leadership. is house speaker nancy pelosi starting to change her tune? the "washington post" reports the trump administration is currently blocking more than 20 separate investigations, causing speaker policy to coin a new phrase. the president, she told robert costa, is self-impeaching. obstruction, obstruction, obstructi obstruction, ignoring subpoenas
and the rest. this after voting along party lines to hold william barr into contempt of congress after refusing to hand over the full report. and jerry nadler, chair of the committee, rights that it is up to congress to determine if it, quote, warrants them taking any further steps on the check on the executive branch. that includes whether to approve articles of impeachment with respect to the president or any other administration official. one indication congress would remain saying they are sarply divided. here's a quote from "the new york times," as the wows and congress institute the showdown, president trump and his team are trying to call what they see as the democrats' bluff. the message -- put up or shut up, impeach or move on. how is this issue playing out? i was struck by how quickly the phrase "constitutional crisis"
migrated to nancy pelosi. it seems retroactively. >> it's on the campaign trail, too. it started with elizabeth warren. she was the first of the major candidates to call for impeachment. now a number of other candidates are. beto o'rourke, who i spent a lot of time covering, says this has to be done, there has to be some accountability for the president. but if you're from one of the majority maker districts here, getting in a fight about president trump is essentially playing on his turf. that's kinds of what this comes down to. we could all agree that there would be nothing president trump would like more than to have the entire country watch hearings about him for 30 or 40 days talking about him all the time. it would make him the absolute center of the political unive e universe, where he wants to be. that is not where democrats want to be. it's not how they won the house. it's not how most think they'll win the white house. politically, it's a mess. and pelosi is in this interesting position here. she will ultimately be the person who has to pull the trigger. she has said for a long time you
cannot go down the road unless the american people are with you. so far she doesn't believe that they are. >> beth, i'm interested in impeachment as a tool, as a necessary tool. i mentioned this piece in the "washington post" and you see each of the inquiries hitting a wall. there were those saying impeachment is the way around this. this could end up in the courts if you don't go the impeachment route it could take a long time. as lawmakers keep hitting a wall, that wall dividing them from the white house, not getting documents or personalities up to capitol hill. it becomes something that becomes more and more necessary i would say. >> to garrett's point, pelosi's in a tough spot. she has said repeatedly that she doesn't want to go this route. she said the president is not worth it. she says shown little sign that she's thinking it. she's repeatedly -- reminds everyone that the congress is a co-equal branch of the government and congress do what it wants and get away with it. she can't say both things and
continue on the parallel track. if congress is indeed a co-equal branch of government and this white house is thwarting it at every turn, she's got to do something to step up and protect the institution. on the other hand, she knows that it is deaf out there to press for impeachment. there is no support for it. you look at polling after polling showing us that. democrats on the trail want to talk about health care, want to talk about education, about the economy. they don't want to talk about impeachment on and on. it's -- there's really a no win at this point for her. >> i want to point one out for the institutionalists. if i had a bottle of beer i would do it. beth is laying out the contrast. you have institutionalists worried about the politics. if are an institutionalist you cannot worry in that way. >> you hold up the constitution, point to article one, you say this is the law, and you go forward. the majority of the country is actually -- more people are in favor of impeachment than are opposed to impeachment. yes, it's a slim majority, yes, we live in a divided country. and i elected the democrats to be my voice in that divide.
i didn't elect democrats to sit on the sideline. the republicans are clowning us. the republicans are clowning the democratic party because as you say, garrett, all trump does is say no, no, no, what are you going to do. the republicans on the congressional economies are saying, y'all are trying to conduct impeachment hearings without having the stones to impeach the president. right now, the democrats are getting all of the blow-back for trying to impeach the president without trying to impeach the president. >> can i ask a kenn-- a technic question. there's talk about impeachment and then the stands alone and removal -- >> the process you mean. >> right, that's where it would go. he would be impeached in the house, and that would be the end of it. there aren't the 20 republican votes that you need. >> i think when we're asking regular citizens what they think about impeachment, they're jumping straight to remove. do we think the president should be removed from office which is not what impeachment is.
impeachment is investigative process that needs to start. think about all of these people, you were talking -- we were talking about mcghan. in the previous segment you were talking about other people -- like all of these -- cohen, you were talking about. all of these people need to be brought back to testify in public. impeachment is a process. people are jumping ahead to the conclusion. i'll say one more point, like -- >> good because i want to say something. >> you go. >> no, no. >> go. >> susan collins, john cornyn, mcmcconnell, all of these people are running for re-election. i want them on record as to whether or not they support the president or not. >> so impeachment, impeachment is about abuse of power, right. and i agree with you. i think that a lot of people just think impeachment, he's going to be removed. no. it's a process, right. my question is, so is -- again, i'm sorry to go back to this, but sometimes i have to continue to say this. is it abuse -- it an abuse of
power taking babies and putting them into cages? is it an abuse of power -- is that an impeachable offense? we're talking about impeachment within this one small construct. but actually what this president has done, if we look from his own words, has been a continual abuse of power. for me, i -- i understand the difficulties of the political conversation. but again, i became a citizen, right. i -- i had to, you know, lift up -- swear to the oath. i'm like, do your job, members of congress. this is your job. i know it's scary, we don't what's going to happen. that's when it's like to live in a democracy. let's keep it a democracy do. your job, do your accountability. >> standing on the family separation thing, it's interesting you bring that up. that's what pelosi and the house democrats wanted to do when they took over the majority. they didn't want to talk about all the things about how trump became the president and the
unseemly things about that side, they wanted to go after him on specific policies. they wanted to do big hears on family separation. they wanted to do big hearings on all of the controversial things he has done since he has been in office and prosecute that case, not the sort of backward looking case of how he got the job in the first place. >> they need to be saying that. >> now you have the wall across pennsylvania avenue that's stopping from all oversight. >> lastly to you, beth. >> can i mind a final point? all of the major polling shows trump at an all-time high approval rating. there is working for him. the fight, the standup, he's up to 48 perce% in the government tracking poll. nancy pelosi knows it as well. president trump directing his ire at john bolton, his national security adviser, next. national security adviser, nt.ex it's tough to quit smoking
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florida. in washington there's turmoil over what happens next in venezuela. according to the "washington post," the president is getting frustrated. trump has said that maduro is a tough cookie and that aides should not have led him to believe that the venezuelan leader could be ousted last week when juan guaido pushed the opposition. john bolton, the president's national security advisor, according to the "washington post" the president wants to get him into a war, a comment he's joked but in the past but now is in more serious terms. john hudson, national security reporter joins us now. help us understand the tensions between the president's advise oh foreign policy. the target is on john bolton at this point. what does that mean in real terms? >> david, the president's feeling boxed in right now. he feels misled. he feels that his advisers led him to believe that the ouster of nicolas maduro and the
opposition of juan guaido would be much easier. he feels aides such as national security adviser john bolton, marco rubio, the senator whose office has bun running a lot of the policies from the initial stages, led him to believe that this could be done quickly. and what we've seen is that's not the case. this has taken a long time. ousting dictators who have the backing of large countries such as russia and china would be quite difficult and drag on. >> john, what you and your colleagues highlight is the tension between a president who ran on not being interventionalist, he didn't want to get involved in conflicts and crises overseas, and a national security adviser who is, i think it's safe to say, made his career doing that. trying to get involved, trying to export american policy to other countries overseas. how sustainable is this? you write in the piece that his job is safe at this point. but it is a real tension, isn't it? >> absolutely. and you know, you saw the president acknowledge it this week. he said that -- he has to temper
john bolton. and he said, isn't that surprising that i'm the one causing one. my advisers to have push back on him. obviously they have a different foreign policy doctrine. john bolton has been on the harder edge of some of the more aggressive foreign policy viewpoints in the american system. president trump has long put forth the notion that the united states should not be getting bogged down in conflicts around the world that don't have a direct impact on u.s. national security. >> we've heard of the corollary, a phrase thrown around. two years into the administration, how coherent is the foreign policy strategy? certainly there are members of congress who have been pushing for intervention in venezuela for some time here. how confused are lawmakers with the foreign policy direction of this white house? how crystalline clear is that? >> almost entirely. this goes back to what the republican party is standing for
in congress. it's particularly challenging on foreign policy. you have a company that built itself around exporting american ideals abroad, in the john bolton tradition. but also strong alliances being part of nato. i mean, pushing even for the transpacific partnership, an economic partnership, but in a lot of ways one that has national security implications to it. all of that is gone now. and so the effort of republicans when they control both houses of congress to try to hold on to some of these traditional alliances has really been pushed by this president. you will have a very hard time finding anyone in congress who will defend the president's position on rogue states, on his relationships with putin and -- and his love letters to kim jong-un and his attitude toward turkey, for example. it is as challenging as anything for members of congress. and this is a tricky one, too, because democrats who control the house don't have a lot ofnisment here. the foreign policy is still the president's show. it's not clear that anyone in his administration knows which direction it's going. >> i see you've written regime
change is hard. >> can you read upside down? >> is that domestic that you're talking about? >> you know, how do people feel as we're talking about foreign governments intervening in our own elections. how do we feel. and so when people are talking about, well, we thought it was going to be done quickly in venezuela, it's like we're talking about human beings here. and this kind of notion as it has always been that latin america is, you know, the neighbor that you can just come and trample on. so it is very complicated. my response to this was, you know, trump came out saying, oh, this whole thing about maduro and -- it was supposed to happen quickly, and i don't want to go there. when did that happen actually? after his 90-minute phone call with putin. it was in his phone call with putin. putin said, yo, by the way, remember, hands off venezuela. it's mine. away. and trump can understand that. oh, okay, it's yours. we got it. we got it. so it is -- but this is the way
we're -- the united states is talking about its intervention in latin america it doesn't feel good. >> last question to you, john hudson. the week begins, victor orban, the head of hungary meeting with the president. help us understand why he's been invited at this time. >> the president made clear that he is very interested in reaching out to populist right-wing leaders. he sees a potential kinship. and this is a stark change from the obama administration which really tried to express -- he made clear the changes were in opposition to the values that the u.s. has. i think it's going to be an interesting meeting. you know, the president likes to speak on the fly. there's going to be a lot of, you know, eastern and central europe watchers who are very nervous, who have been opposed to this regime that they feel have trampled and done a lot of democratic backsliding.
so i think it's going to be interesting, and i think it's impossible to predict where it's going to go. >> victor orban, the head of a liberal democracy coming to washington. john hudson will be covering. it pressure the time. >> thanks. next, our producers are listening to the latest sunday shows. you can stay tuned to msnbc. intelligence committee chairman adam schiff explaining how the trump administration may be stretching the definition of executive privilege. we'll have part of that interview coming up. e. eg we'll have part of that interview coming up. (music throughout) ...to give you the alrprotein you needin ensure max protein... with less of the sugar you don't
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welcome back to "up." moments ago house sbeps chairman adam schiff was addressing the stonewalling of congressional investigations by the white house. take a listen. >> the trump administration has decided to say a blanket no, no to any oversight whatsoever, no witnesses, no documents, nothing. claim executive privilege over things that it knows there is no basis for, there's no executive privilege over the hundreds of thousands of documents regarding events that tax place before donald trump was president. you can't have a privilege, an executive privilege when you're not the executive. they know vast categories are inapplicatible so they're stonewalling. >> i'm turn to the lawyer to my left to talk about this. we saw the white house invoking this during the course of the week. how ironclad is it? he's making a distinction saying that -- there has to be a reasonable case for it to be
executive privilege, otherwise it's stone wouling. -- stone walling. your take? >> hot garbage. it's a terrible argument and won't hold up in court. once it gets to court -- that's where the democrats need to move faster. that's where the entire country needs to move faster. one of the most important stories this week to me is judge meets mayeda, what trump is suing to stop his accounting firm from complying with congressional subpoenas. it's another terrible legal argument. ma mayeda said we're going to do it live, we're going to hold the hearing on tuesday. i'm going to judge on the merits. that is a serious fast track. we need to be fast tracking all of these terrible airports through the court system. we'll say, oh, justice moves slowly. i have a piece coming out to looks -- if we treat trump like a normal president, justice moves slowly. if we treat company like a normal criminal president, like
what we did with nixon -- let's. forget, the nixon white house had the injunction against the pentagon papers that came out on the 14th of june. the supreme court ruled against nixon by the 30th of june. that is the speed that we need the courts to be handled these terrible legal arguments. >> the conversation, beth, focuses semantics and constitutional crisis is the latest phrase being parsed on the right and the left. and senator ckamala harris was talking about her sense wherever we are when it comes to the state of this union on "state of the union." let's listen to what kamala harris had to say. >> i'm seeing a failure to appreciate the importance of testifying before congress in a way that's truthful. yes, it's fair to say that we are looking at a crisis not only of confidence but potentially a constitutional crisis. >> never has that show been so aptly named as we talk about where we are in this country. people have been calling it a
constitutional lahardball, what your sense of the unity that the branches don't seem as co-equal as they're supposed to be? >> we are in a constitutional crisis by virtue of what you said. if there's no -- >> no comity, with a "t." >> it's inarguable that we're in one. it doesn't mean magic things happen and it comes down from the sky to solve the problem. to ellie's point, the difference between the nixon era and now is that the issue of whether the -- the judiciary, the courts were politicized wasn't -- it wasn't the same sort of thought. the supreme court ruled 9-0 against president nixon. now with our -- you know, the beliefs have been instilled across the board florithat judg your team or the other guy's team, there's no sense that the judiciary could even resolve this. you tell me, are we to the point
where we think there's a judiciary that get to the bottom of this and do it quickly? >> no. >> you on my scribble, scribble, another of my skribls, i was like federal judges, i need to know more. because now lime like, wow, i'm smart, i'm ape journalist, but if you ask me to speak specifically about federal judges and their position, i'm kinds of like, i don't know a lot. >> that's where this is headed. that's where this is headed. >> a problem for -- >> before we say that, i want to say the other thing here, it got washed out -- >> happy mother's day. >> it says imperial presidency. i mean, is this really what we're talking about in authoritariani authoritarianism. i'm thinking to the lead up of what happens when he doesn't leave office after he loses -- >> and the house speaker speaking frankly about that. >> i mean, we have to start -- the problem is we cannot normalize it. all yours. >> i'm going to leave the
imperial president for a second. when i was covering congress i would talk to democratic lawmakers about there all the time. the democratic party as a whole forgets that the judiciary exists until there's a supreme court vacancy. it is not an issue top of mind of democratic voters at all. >> all the while the waves as they're described by the white house -- >> it comes to the context of roe v. wade, and that's almost it. the judiciary disappearance for democratic voters. it's just not the same for republicans. 2016 is a perfect example. mitch mcconnell holding the merit garland seat home because conservative voters, i'm talking old-school conservative voters, absolutely care about the judiciary and not just the supreme court all the way down. and democrats come to this late at their peril. >> come back to don mcghan, i guess. your last comment. >> yeah. they might do it again. i think obviously i think this needs to be more of an election issue for democrats. but to really try to answer beth's question, i do think that more often than not there are institutionalists still in the judiciary. trump has stacked the courts.
he hasn't fully taken them over yet. even when you look at the supreme court, i still think there's a lot of hope that a john roberts won't completely debase himself for this administration. we don't know that, but that's still a chance. >> you're hopeful? >> i -- i have -- >> elie hopeful. >> always hopeful. >> elie hopeful. >> and robert barnes of the post sat down with john paul stevens, 99 years old, but he talks about what you're describing, the faith in the judiciary to handle that. this week coming out this week. pete guj stapunitive damage starting his -- pete buttigieg starting his campaign and questions on whether the honeymoon phase is ending. neymo. good, cuz i'm a little worried about my information getting out. why's that? [bird speaking] my social is 8- 7- 5 dash okay, i see. [bird laughing] somebody thinks it's hilarious. free social security alerts from discover.
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ask your doctor about ibrance. the #1 prescribed fda-approved oral combination treatment for hr+/her2- mbc. i'd be happy to debate faith, happy to debate service, i'd be pretty happy to debate marriage with this president. [ cheers ] >> this is "up," i'm david gura. that was pete buttigieg at a gala hosted by the human rights campaign. the largest lgbtq civil rights organization. in a keynote speech, the democratic candidates also called out his party for playing identity politics. >> these divisive lines of thinking have even entered into the consciousness of my own
party. when we're told we need to choose between supporting an auto worker and supporting a trans woman of color without stopping to think about the fact that sometimes the auto worker is a trans woman of color and she definitely needs all the support that she can get. >> the mayor has faced what's being characterized as a diversity issue in his campaign. he told a crowd in south carolina, quote, i need your help shaping the base of supporters we are building to not only help this campaign but to hate also that it to people who perhaps don't look like you. and last night from caesar's palace, may 10a
how real is it -- how much are they considering it? >> i think the clearest evidence is the fact that he said what he said last night. the campaign thatt he's tryingo sprinkle all of his remarks regardless of the venue, comments that are specific to the needs of the african-american community. they've been making a real point to bringg on staff that are diverse and that show that he's making a commitment to address this despite the fact that he can't change the fact that at the end of the day he is, you know, a white man. >> elie, how easy is to put a frame on a campaign like this? in other words, he's saying the right things, how much can he shape or change the campaign? >> is he saying the right things? right nowinri he's basically to
cruise screaming, "i love black people" like into a phone. i'm glad that he had lunch with al sharpton. that's great. al sharp to be is not the king of black people. it's important that as we get to the 2020 primary there are democrats running for president that maybe they need black and brown people on their side. maybe they need to have policies that speak to the needs of black and brown people. if i hear one more white guy tell me i can't talk about identity politics when the specific problems facing my community and communities of color are so different than the problems facing white communities. though don't have a pick is plplan -- a specific plan or program to address police brutality, to address daca, criminal justice reform, okay. so yeah, the honeymoon -- the honeymoon is over amongst white people. but the honeymoon never started amongst people of color. >> beth, how much of an outlier is he? >> he's not an outlier.
that's a huge problem for at democrats. the point you make, particularly black women are the heart and soul of the democratic electorate. they are going to choose the next nominee. if a candidate does not haveoi relationship with that community, they are not going to win. we sawno that with bernie sande int 2016. he perhaps could have beat hillary clinton if he had more of a relationship to the black community that had h buibuilt t over the decades in public life. it hasn't gotten any better for him. elizabeth warren is struggling with bringing black people, too -- divert -- i'll defer to garrett about beto o'rourke. it's the only thing that matters. it's one of the reasons thatat biden is doing so well because of the support of the black people. >> garrett, help us understand how big an issue it is for beto. >> it is a real challenge for the white male candidates. i can speak as a white man myself, a you would like to believe that you write on the issues it doesn't matter. but that'sis not for us to say. i think o'rourke has the same prosecutor. o'rourke made himself a national figure with the viral moment that he had defending
african-american football players'ca right to kneel durin the faminational anthem. he had gang buster numbers in houston, texas. he was popular there. he'sul got credibility with his panic itvoters, too. --te hispanic voters, too. he's there, but not there-there. i think biden is the holding place for voters. >>r thanks for gets up ea ting. there's soccer to be played, and i'm up against a hard out -- >> there were more notes, david. >> there were more notes. >> you can't just eat tacos. >> follow maria on instagram. she'll be going through the notes. a treat to have all of you here. great to have you here in new york. i premier league soccer is coming up next followed by more news here on msnbc starting at noon. >> tech: at safelite autoglass, we know sooner or later...
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