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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  May 15, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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time. >> jim vandehei, thanks for your time this morning. jim will head over to the big desk for "morning joe." we'll be reading axios am in a little while. viewers can sign up for the newsletter at signup.axios.com. >> that does it for us. i'm jasmiyasmin vossoughian wit geoff bennett. "morning joe" starts now. breaking news out of the middle east. just days after the u.s. embassy in baghdad issued a security alert, the state department has issued a do not travel advisory for iraq, due to terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict. in addition, all non-emergency u.s. government employees at the embassy in baghdad and the consulate have been ordered to leave the country. this is developing overnight. joe, quick thought, especially with escalating tensions with ir iran. >> this is a white house divided
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on theish shoo yo issue. mo most want the military options on the table. attack iraq, the same as venezuela? the president, last week, was pushing back on that, trying to push his advisers away from armed conflict. it continues. there is an article in the "washington post" this morning talking about the march to war in iraq. we shall see. certainly, when you hear all non-essential -- when you hear that most non-essential personnel in iraq have been taken out because of the fears of a coming war with iran, that certainly is reason to be very concerned. >> we'll be following it this morning, and we'll get into the details on this and bring the latest to you as it develops. welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, may 15th. along with joe, willie, and me, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle. co-founder and ceo of axios, jim
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vandehei. washington anchor for bbc world news america, caddie kay. there is more breaking news for us to cover this morning here at home. la late last night, the alabama senate approved a bill that would create the nation's strictest abortion law. the bill would make it a felony, punishable with up to 99 years in prison, for a doctor to perform or attempt the procedure during any stage of pregnancy, except to save the mother's life. the overnight vote followed hours of emotional debate between lawmakers, as the republican-controlled legislature unilaterally removed exceptions for rape and incest. it passed overwhelmingly, 25-6. the move is part of a larger push across chunks of the deep south and midwest to challenge the supreme court's 1973 roe v.
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wade ruling, by whittling protections to its most restrictive. opponents of the bill protested in the state's capital. the bill heads to the republican governor, who has not indicated whether or not she'll sign it. joe? >> so this is complicated issue, mika. looking at it politically. >> right. >> if you want to look at it political politically, there's a series of polls that have been coming out recently. there was a poll out that showed a swing toward americans who identified themselves as being pro life. but there's always a caveat to abortion polls. it is this, and i think best exemplified by a fox news poll that came out earlier this year. when you asked respondents, were you pro life or pro choice, that was split down the middle. it has off and on over the past decade been split, for the most part, down the middle.
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usually more pro choice than pro life, but certainly voters have been moving towards pro life for reasons that i've stated before, having to do with technology, 3d imagery, a lot of different things. in fact, i must say, in this merrist poll, it is interesting some of the biggest movement toward pro life voters came from democrats under 40. younger democrats who, again, as i've been saying all along, who are having children, who go and see the 3d imagery, understand the viability, the medicine, the technology, medical improvements have vastly changed over the past 50 years or so, since 1973. the viability of a newborn baby has certainly moved, and it is earlier and earlier. that said, even if people
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identify themselves as being pro life, here comes the caveat, and it is a big caveat. when you ask those same people, do you want roe v. wade to be overturned, those numbers plummet. the latest fox news poll, only 21% of americans wanted roe v. wade overturned. that is one in five americans. which, again, not making everything about politics, but this is the car that donald trump does not want to catch up with politically. this would be a nightmare scenario for republicans going into 2020, if roe v. wade were overturned. i mean, four out of five americans, obviously, would be against that move. it would energize democrats in the way that very few things have in a very long time. >> yeah.
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you've got those competing impasses, right? the politics of this, when it comes to overturning roe v. wade, has not shifted much in america, though younger democrats do seem to be moving toward some of the more pro life positions. yet, you've got these conservative lawmakers in places like georgia and now in alabama who are clearly supreme court shopping and want this case. they've even said it explicitly. they want this case to go the whole way to the sprupreme cour. they've drafted the bill in a way they think it has the best possible way of getting to the supreme court because they see this as their best opportunity in decades, with a very conservative, more conservative supreme court, they see this as their best chance to get a favorable hearing up here in washington. donald trump is going to have to wrestle those two potentially political forces, if the alabama bill makes it to the supreme
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court. >> let's bring in danny ceval s cevallos. we've seen the heartbeat laws in georgia, kentucky, mississippi, and ohio, where you can't have an abortion after six weeks when there is a heartbeat. the law expected to be signed bans abortion all the way across, except in the rare case it affects the mother's health, life and death of the mother here. i think katty is right, and this is about brett kavanaugh. this is about the supreme court justice. you've heard it from activists inside the state of alabama. one saying, quote, why not go all the way? this was not possible until this moment. we feel we have a chance. if this makes it to the salespeopsupreme court, we could overturn roe v. wade. >> there is a good chance roe v. wade would be overturned. we've known since the '70s roe v. wade stands on a weak foundational basis. whether you're pro life or pro choice, roe v. wade is really about, do we have an individual, fundamental -- do women have a privacy right in the constitution that overrides
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state legislatures' abilities to make laws affecting abortion. it is interesting to note, year 1900, almost every state prohibited abortion. by the time roe v. wade was decided, it was down to 30 states. the trend was that abortion -- prohibiting abortion was going away. now, by giving it to the supreme court, it creates a precedent that can be overturned. the bottom line is, even if you are pro choice, the right to privacy does not exist, either in the history or the text of the constitution, which is why row has always been ripe to be overturned. >> you know, danny, it is interesting you say that. mika and i were talking about this this morning after the news broke overnight. i said that my constitutional law professor, who is very progressive, said though i agree with the conclusion of row, it
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is a terribly written case, and its logic is baffling at times. all that being said, we have a chief justice who, i suspect, is not going to want to uproot 50 years of precedent overnight any more than he wanted to hand republicans a political victory on obamacare. here, fox news poll saying 57% of americani ins saying let roe wade stand. 21% saying overturn it. half of americans consider themselves to be pro life. isn't there the belief, the feeling, that justice roberts is more of an instrumentcrementali? i could be wrong, but doesn't it seem if we're looking at the president, with how the court handles cases like this, they'll let the lower court overturn this alabama law, then they'll
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just deny cert and refuse to hear it, like they do with the gun laws? >> that is possible. you may see the supreme court say, we don't want to deal with this. the lower court decided it. as it stands now, this law is facially inconsistent with case law. it is likely a court will say, this doesn't fly. here is an infunctiojunction. we're stopping this now. there is a chance the supreme court may decide to not hear it. star si d-- when constitutionality is at stake, we're more likely to take a fresh look at a case. if this case makes it to the supreme court, roe v. wade is in jeopardy. >> all right. at a news conference yesterday, florida governor ron desantis said russian hackers successfully gained access to voter databases in two florida counties ahead of the 2016
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election. desantis emphasized that while the two counties experienced an intrusion, the hackers did not manipulate or change any data, and election results were not compromised, according to the "tampa bay times." desantis told reporters he had been breach iefed on the breach said, quote, i'm not allowed to name the counties. i signed a non-disclosure agreement. adding he'd be willing to name it, but they asked me to sign it, so i'll respect their wishes. as the "tampa bay times" points out, it is highly unusual the federal government would ask a governor to sign a non-disclosure agreement in something involving the governor's own state. what would be the circumstances that he needs to sign an nda? who are we worried about here? >> well -- >> the american voters or -- >> well, the trump administration has been worried for a long time, a very long
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time, about transparency in this process. he's had all his intel chiefs tell him the russians tried to hack our election elections, th russians tried to influence our elections. he's dismissed it and called it fake news. others suggested it was a couple facebook ads being bought. that's clearly not the case. >> joe, wouldn't it make sense, you need to know what counties are here, the voters deserve to know? >> yes. >> in order to prevent the problem from happening again, isn't a certain -- why would he be asked to not disclose the counties that were potentially breached? >> because donald trump and those working for donald trump believe that transparency in this process is actually a danger. jim vandehei, it is surreal. this is like saying -- having the federal government say, two buildings were attacked in new york city on september 11th but, you know, no cameras are
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allowed, and we're not going to let you know. or let's say -- we'll take it back. say there was a plot to blow up another institution. we're not going to let anyone know so they won't be prepared next time. this is really crazy. once again, points to the fact that donald trump is aggressively trying to cover up any evidence that intel chiefs, or his own cabinet agents he has, are trying to pass along that the russians tried to, in the words of kirstjen nielsen at dhs, the russians are trying to interfere with russian democracy. >> when you have the president waving people off of the idea the russians were infiltrating elections, whether at florida or on a national scale, yes, the intel community continues to do its work, but if he is not putting the pressure on it, you're taking what might be the single biggest threat to
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american democracy and diminishing it, not putting the full force of the government behind it. look whatt ehappened with what' app. look how vulnerable your data and privacy has been on facebook. look what happened in the last election, what robert mueller painted. if you are not all in on protecting us from cybersecurity threats, and the ability of the chinese, the russians, others to manipulate our elections, you do it at your own peril. it isn't a partisan topic. if you talk to anybody who spent any time inside a government, the thing that scares them the most is some kind of cyberattack, some kind of ability to manipulate the vulnerabilities of technology, to do really bad things, whether tip an election or screw up our electricity system. that's why this is problematic beyond florida. >> danny, what jim just said is true, and you have a sitting governor in florida being told by the fbi, you know, dade county, collier county in florida, they both got into
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their electoral system, but sign this nda, this non-disclosure agreeme agreement, so you won't name the counties in public. what would happen to the governor, in this case, the governor of florida, if he said no? >> they're separate sovereigns. the state governor could arguably say no. he is not a federal employee that signs a non-disclosure type agreement when -- as a condition of getting classified information. it might set up -- >> why would it be classified? >> i'm saying the example would be in the federal system, often, employees have to sign something similar to a non-disclosure agreement. in the case of two separate sovereigns, like the state and the federal government, arguably, under the principles of federalism, there is no basis for the federal government to force or insist that a governor of a state, any state, sign a non-disclosu non-disclosure agreement. there would be, arguably, a basis to resist. >> yeah. you know, mike, you know practically speaking, danny is right legally, but practically speaking, if you talk to federal
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authorities, you're governor of the state and you want the information, and they say, we'll give it but you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, practically speaking, you sign the agreement, you get the information. then you tell the press, like ron desantis did, so it gets us asking all of these questions. i just -- again, it does seem bizarre, doesn't it, mike? i don't think the governor of florida can take any action. he certain ly shouldn't reveal the counties until he gets the go-ahead from the federal government, only because he signed the non-disclosure agreement, but it was a ridiculous thing to force the florida governor to do. >> well, and it just seems to add to the suspicion that many people have, that at the top of the pyramid, the top of our government, we have a sitting president of the united states who consistently denies the extent to which the russians hacked into our system and attempted to thwart democracy. >> mika, the fact that, again,
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they're working overtime to not be transparent, be as elusive as possible on the information. listen, i don't mean to bore our audience, but that's what i do. i get paid to bore you. let me bore you again. the director of the fbi said the russians tried to subvert american democracy. by the way, trump appointed him. >> yeah. >> the national director of intelligence, top of the food chain for the intel community, who donald trump hired, said the russians tried to subvert american democracy. the department of homeland security secretary, who the president appointed, said the russians tried to subvert american democracy. the cia director that donald trump appointed said that russians tried to subvert american democracy. military leaders said the russians tried to subvert american democracy in 2016.
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we're going to try to do it again in 2018 and 2020. now, here we have evidence. >> down to the locality. >> far from what testimony has been from trump administration officials in the white house, or from donald trump hyimself, thi wasn't a couple facebook ads being purchased. this was about russians learning how to hack into our voting systems. guess what? they got a couple in florida in 2016. they've been working night and day. as you and i have been sleeping, they've had people working, getting ready to hack into michigan, hack into mississipwi getting ready to hack into pennsylvania and florida. mika, this is very serious. >> it is. >> we need to know what the two counties are, and the president needs an attitude adjustment on
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this. >> more now. >> he is doing vladimir putin's bidding. >> ron desantis, i have to appreciate a lot about what he is doing. i haven't, you know -- he's definitely not on my side of the aisle, but he mentioned that there was this nda. he could have said, i can't disclose that. it seems to me he cared enough about america to say, i'm a little frustrated here. i signed an nda. i would like to share what these are. i very much appreciate that he was as transparent as he can be. we'll talk more about that. ahead on "morning joe," three key voices from capitol hill. chairman of the house democratic caucus, congressman hakeem jeffries. congress up tell committee, congressman jim himes. also, james lankford on how the trade war is impacting farmers in his state of oklahoma.
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willie, there were many people asking the question, why in the world did the boston red sox resign chris sale? >> oh. >> he got off to a horrid start. of course, mike barnicle will tell you that jonathan lemire and i never would have asked such a question. >> oh, my gosh. >> certainly not after watching last night's performance. he was on fire. mike, willie, his stuff was sick. >> i was in mourning after the knicks didn't get zion willian s -- williamson, so i did not see this. what happened? >> seven strikeouts through seven innings. sat him down at 108 pitches. bullpen came in. boston red sox bullpen gave it up. the red sox lost the game, 4-3, in 11 innings. chris sale was awesome, joe. i know that you and lemire have had strong confidence in the strength of his shoulder all the
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way. you've never uttered a negative thought about sale's future or the resigning of chris sale. he proved it to you last night, that you were correct once again. >> listen, i was correct once again. i would never doubt the strength of his arm or his shoulder. i'm quite confident that we're going to see pitching performances like this at least until the all-star break, before we put him on ice for three months. i will tell you -- >> this just in, joe, chris sale is going on the injured reserve list. i'm kidding. >> it was in a loss? >> they lost. >> oh, man. that's brutal. >> bullpen gave it up. >> gave it up. lost 5-4. i'm very surprised. donald, i know you watch every morning, and you picked up on jonathan lemire and i saying to take credit for the offensive output. you're slowing your twitter game, mr. president. i thought you'd credit chris sale, since you took him into the oval office for that pitching performance last night. willie, you know, as chevy
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chase might say, francisco franco is still dead, and the new york knicks still suck. >> it's only been 46 years now that they've sucked, joe. actually, we had a good one when patrick was there, michael was in the way. the new york tabloids aren't taking this well. zion shame from the "new york post." zion williamson is a freshman, played at duke, will be the number one pick in the draft. knicks fans had this idea it'd be zion. get kevin durant, kyrie, kemba walker. it happens and we finally get a title. last night, their ball did not come up where we hoped it would. the knicks get the third pick in the draft. new orleans got the first pick in the draft. zion williamson, in all likelihood, will be in new orleans. i was consoled a little bit because there are three great players in this draft. the knicks likely will end up with r.j. barrett from duke, who was zion's teammate on that team, and he is a great player,
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too. zion would have taken over this city. now, he's in new orleans, which is another great town. good for them. >> great town. of course, getting into politics, former vice president joe biden explained why he is not going to attack his fellow 2020 democratic candidates running for president at a new hampshire rally yesterday. >> you will never hear me speak ill of another democratic candidate, and there is a simple reason for that. we have to be in a position, whomever the nominee is, to be able to win. what may disappoint you, i'm not going to get into mud wrestling with them. i'm not going to stoop to his level and engage in name calling. >> president trump, on the other hand, makes no such promise. >> of course he doesn't. >> here he is yesterday during a speech highlighting energy, infrastructure, and economic growth in louisiana, offering his analysis of some of his
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potential 2020 democratic opponents. >> i got boot-edge of ed-edge. i got them all. i've got beto. beto is falling fast. what the hell happened? remember about four weeks ago, he said, i was made for this. he was made for it. he was made to fall like a rock. what happened to him? he's tried to restart his campaign. that generally doesn't work out too well. political geniuses, when you have to restart your campaign, history has said that that does not work out well, right? i don't know what the hell happened to biden. what happened? i said, that doesn't look like the guy i knew. what happened to him? bernie, you know, he's crazy. bernie is crazy. bernie's got a lot more energy than biden, so you never know. it is going to be one of these people.
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even as democrats, i can pick better than that. >> bad. wow, we're talking through the sound bite. it is sort of interesting. >> jim vandehei, a couple weeks ago, when donald trump said, i'm young, i've got more vigor than them. >> right. >> look at a clip like that, and he does. he just does. let's be blunt about donald trump. that guy can do on a campaign stage what nobody else can do. he can engage the audience. he can engage viewers, despite the hateful rhetoric, despite everything else. you can see that guy is gearing up for 2020. yes, democrats, he is going to be hard to beat, because he does look like he is about 20 years younger than a lot of democratic candidates. >> there's no doubt that he is
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good box office and funny up on stage. i thought the more interesting thing was biden has really run a shrewd campaign since getting in. i've been surprised by his ability to say, i'm the front runner. what he was doing there, saying i'm not going to attack my fellow democrats, was basically trying to inoculate himself by scaring them off from coming at him, the front runner. the single bigg egest dilemma faciface ing democrats is how do you take him out? trump didn't win being polite. someone is going to have to go after biden, make a forceful case for why he wouldn't be a good president or why he wouldn't be the most electable or the best representative of democrats as they stand today. other than sanders, no one is really doing it. the longest biden can float above it, and his poll numbers rise up, he'll see a huge fundraising surge as a result of
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that. you'll see more people rally around him. he has run a shrewd operation for the last couple of weeks. other people have stumbled. he has benefitted from the fact that beto has run not a good campaign. when you're rebooting, like trump is right, you're losing and probably going to have a hard time getting the reboot off the ground. >> mike, biden is looking shrewd. you look at what jim said. he allowed everybody to have their introduction to the public. mayor pete had a really remarkable start. he has to figure out how to win black voters over, or he is not going anywhere. that seems to be his biggest challenge right now. joe biden, it is a brilliant move. i'm not going to attack my democratic candidates. no, no, we can't do that. he is sitting at 41%, 42%, 43%. who in single digits is going to take the chance of taking themselves down to zero by
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attacking joe biden throughout their campaign? it is a losing proposition. as long as joe stays on script, as long as he reads the teleprompter, again, i mean, we're just at the start of the race, but this guy is in pole position. it is going to be hard for any of the other candidates to attack the guy. >> yeah. no doubt about that, joe. you look at the race thus far, and it is extremely early. i mean, they're not playing exhibition games yet. they're on the practice field, spring training. the former vice president is out there and has a considerable lead already. he is probably thinking, geez, i could have waited until july 4th or labor day to announce, the way this is going. in terms of being attacked by the other candidates in the field, good luck with that. i think in each performance that the vice president has been involved in, each appearance, you see him reiterating the same words. basically, the underlying theme is, we need to be calme.
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we need to be confident. we need to be strong and pulling together. there is only one objective in this campaign. that's for the democratic nominee to be able to beat donald j. trump. all the other heissues take a backseat to the one issue along the non-twitter voters out there. people aren't on twitter the way we are in washington, new york, and los angeles. they're just out there. democrats are out there waiting for the opportunity to have a candidate to retake the white e. >> you know, willie, mike brings up a great point about non-twitter democrats. "new york times" wrote one of the most important pieces, i think, of this young political season a few weeks ago. they talked about how twitter so poorly reflects where rank and file democrats are. joe biden needs to ignore the blue check marks. he needs to ignore the costal elites. he needs to understand that even the pathway to the democratic nomination does not run through newsrooms or editorial boards or
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on twitter. it runs through places like south carolina. >> he's made it clear, has the vice president since launching his campaign, he understands that. i was having that thought as mike said it. you're watching other candidates beat themselves up, apologize, and hang their heads in shame for everything they've said and done over the course of their political career, and apologize for their privilege. apologize yesterday, as beto o'rourke did on "the view" for doing the cover of "vanity fair." >> wait, wait, hold on. >> whoa. >> yes? >> what happened? >> did he apologize for doing the cover of "vanity fair"? >> come on. >> he was asked on "the view" if he regretted doing the cover of "vanity fair." he went on this long and winding thing with his head hung about how it was part of his privilege that he did that. >> no, no, no. >> if you watch -- >> that's -- >> if you watch the interview, he was apologizing for a lot of the things he's said and done. joe biden is not playing that game. joe biden is saying, yes, i voted for the crime bill. here's why we did it.
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yes, i feel bad. i called anita hill. i shouldn't have conducted myself that way. some cases, he has gone back and cleaned things up, but by and large, he's not playing the twitter game. he's not playing the activist game, where he feels he has to apologize for everything he's ever done. >> and -- >> one other thing. >> go ahead. >> you interviewed mrs. biden, mika, last week. she is a tremendous asset for the vice president, in terms of what you raised, willie. >> corinincredible. >> i don't know whether she said it there or in the past, but it is time to move on from the issues. we're in the year 2019. we've got an election in 2020. things you're talking about occurred 30 years ago. let's move on. >> well, she's also so tapped into his message and his connection with middle class americans, with working class americans, from all walks of life. as a community college teacher, as a professor in the community college system, she wants so
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much for community colleges to be seen for what they are, a place for people who want a chance. a place for people who want a leg up. she wants to work -- she wants to continue doing that, even if he becomes president. that's how committed she is to that. i think it folds into his very, very strong message. >> so interesting, during the interview, jill biden said that many of her students did not even know that she was second lady of the united states when he was vice president. >> she didn't tell them. >> she had that effect. she has not been impacted by her time in washington. very, very impressive, just like joe biden. i want to say, and i am dead serious here, i am campaign advice for beto, if he is re-launching his campaign. it is this, pet tbeto, stop apologizing. don't apologize for being on "vanity fair." own it. do not apologize for having a very rich father-in-law.
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own it. do not apologize for taking republican positions in the past. that's what you did, okay? that's what donald trump did. he took democratic positions his whole life. own it. explain why you did it. do not apologize for being white. do not apologize for being privileged. do not apologize for -- >> being a man. >> -- any -- for being a man. also, beto, do not apologize for getting great press coverage. >> i feel i need to give him a know your value speech. >> what you want is great press coverage. let your opponents whine. ignore the blue check marks. if you're on twitter, get off of it. just start talking to voters. they don't live on twitter. they do not live on twitter. stop apologizing. okay. that is my free advice. you're paying people to give you advice? let me tell you, it is bad as vice. still ahead -- >> okay, sweetie.
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>> be strong. >> know your value. >> it's what democrats as well as republicans want, be strong. don't apologize. they want somebody stepping in the ring that will beat donald trump. >> boy, i've trained you well, joe. kyx. >> that was it. david 's new book, "foreign adversaries have figured trump out." this is a frightening piece. we'll talk about it straight ahead. at panera, our salads are uniquely crafted.
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welcome back. david ignatius has a new piece. >> who is better than david ignatius? >> nobody. there is a new piece in the "washington post" titled "foreign adversaries have figured trump out." president trump has styled himself in foreign policy as the great disrupter. for a time, this unpredictable approach served him reasonably well. trump's problem is that after two years, foreign nations seem to have figured him out. rather than crafting quick deals trump can tout as wins, these
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adversaries have played a waiting game. they appear to sense in trump an impatience and a hunger for the spotlight that undermine his ability to negotiate. trump has moved toward confrontations with china, north kor korea, and iran. in each case, the white house has maximum goals without a discernible strategy for achieving them. trump's statements oscillate between hard line rhetoric and invitations to personal diplomacy. sometimes he appears to contradict positions that his advisers have taken. once this back and forth might have produced leverage for trump. now, it often just yields confusion. i would argue even worse. >> katty kay, david ignatius, of course, right. for the first year or so, the chinese were having a hard time trying to figure donald trump out. at times, it seemed that trump actually had the advantage in negotiations because he did keep
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them off balance. as we go into the third year of the trump presidency, i love this line from david ignatius. one sentence sums up donald trump's performance as a foreign policy president. it is this. the white house has maximum goals without a clearly discernible strategy for achieving them. there is no strategy. there is no long-term look. he is a day trader, and he is playing for cheap headlines every day. >> yeah. you could apply that same principle to north korea, iran, venezuela, china, as well. what are they actually trying to achieve from this? something pretty remarkable happened in china this week, where they noticeably pushed back against washington's strategy. talking about 5,000 years of battles in which the chinese have prevailed, saying we don't particularly want a fight, but we're not afraid of a trade war. we're prepared to sit this one out and win it. the chinese have a long game. they know that donald trump is
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going to be around for four years, possibly even for eight years. there is increasabingly a belie in china that they can wait this out. they see, like everybody else, fractures in the white house. it is obvious not everybody in the white house is on the same team. larry kudlow went on television on sunday and told everybody the white house is not on the same team on this. they realize that donald trump says one thing, whether it is over china, whether it is over north korea, people aren't on the same page in the white house on north korea. they're not necessarily on the same page over iran. you have john bolton with a tougher approach. possibly a military action in iran. seems president trump doesn't want that. they've figured out they can play off the cracks in the administration. while trump, you know, acts like a sort of gambler, he doesn't have the team fully behind him
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to implement the strategy, even if there is one. >> there is no long-term strategy, katty, and that's the problem. willie, foreign governments will often spend time, a lot of time, trying to develop a psychological makeup of the president of the united states and other leaders in america. what i find so fascinating is, donald trump has not changed throughout his lifetime. go back to 19 l 87 when he wrote "the art of the deal," when he was losing hundreds of millions of dollars. read the first five pages of "art of the deal." you will see, that is the same donald trump as we have now, running the u.s. government. his approach, of just showing up at work, never planning ahead, never writing anything down, staring at a phone, waiting for things to happen, responding and just playing for that day, what he wrote in 1987 still holds
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true today. it's what is driving u.s. foreign policy into the ground. >> so true. so much of what is happening in this country over the last couple of years is based on the personality, the ego of one man. one thing we know, he responds to flattery. the saudis knew this from the beginning, projecting his face on the side of the hotel at his first foreign trip as president. kim jong-un knows this, if you flatter this man, you get what you want out of it. he knows you can get things out of other leaders by this, which is why he flatte erters kim jon. there is a bold move, then nothing after it. pull out of the iran deal. okay. now what? what's the plan? have a summit with north korea. what follows from the summit? there doesn't seem to be much follow after the bold move that begins the moment. >> it can seem, sometimes, that people are piling on trump.
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i think the fear among even republicans is that what do the koreans, the iranians, the chinese have in common? they all want us to be destabilized and want us to be weakened. what else do they have in common? they all buddy up with vlad mahvladimir putin. the four of them are in informal cahoots to wait it out. they'll know there will be bluster, but the more instability and turmoil we have here, the better it benefits those countries. i think that's why this matters. you do have a president who is not just at war with mueller and congress. he's at war on four continents. we're trying to overthrow the venezuela government. we have a standdown with the koreans about what they'll do with their nuclear weapon program. the iranians with their nuclear program. the chinese trade war. there is not a foreseeable future for any of these. they can drag to 2020 and beyond. >> they certainly could.
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willie, you talk about the saudis. it reminds me every time we go to des moines, how the residents will project mike barnbarnicle' face on the structure there. giving him seconds at the breakfast bar, it'll give him a mention on the air. it works. >> that is not a projection. it is a mural painted by high school students. it's been there for decades. >> you'd know that. kids love -- >> so old, i had hair. >> oh, my lord. >> the kids love mike barnicle in west des moines. ahead, president trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, has been quietly working on an immigration plan. when he met with republican senators yesterday to discuss it, he left them with more questions than answers, and that's putting it kindly. plus, remembering a comedy legend. tim conway. we're back in three minutes. ♪
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willie, music category is '80s music. pretty good with '80s music? >> i think so. >> mika was singing songs during break. >> want me to sing now? >> dear, no, it's fine. no. the first two were remakes o kaka kay? >> who did the remake of "i think we're alone now"? >> tiffany. >> oh, my god. yay. >> this is a little tougher. >> broke through new jersey malls, which is exactly where i broke through as a young man growing up over there. >> no, that's where you were loitering. i don't want to hear about your personal life. >> i'm going to go out and start playing jersey malls. "rhinestone cowboy." >> you'd be good, joe. >> i can't get in. the manager is incredible. another remake. "always something there to remind me." who did that? >> i got the song.
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i can't think of who sang it. oh, man. this is bad. i should know this. >> this is the makeup, the remake. >> i don't have it. who is it? >> naked eyes. >> oh. >> remember that? >> i remember the song. >> finally, "luca." >> my name is luca. i live on the second floor. >> yes. >> i live next door. >> katty kay, you have to know this? >> i have no clue. i know the song. mike barnicle will sing it. >> red hair. >> nobody knows. >> you'll have to remind me. "luca." >> it is going to kill me. >> sussan fagen. >> one for three. my bad. >> katty kay, jim vandehei, thanks. >> i'll do my '80s prep. >> thank you for coming on "morning joe." you and jim vandehei will leave with consolation gifts, including a stay at the 57th
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street holiday inn, along with willie and myself downstairs smoking. of course, rice-a-roni. coming up, donald trump jr. strikes a deal with the senate init will ejens commtelligence . the president's son is expected to testify next month for a second round of questioning after being subpoenaed. plus, we'll be joined by senators from opposite sides of the aisle. republican james lankford and senator jon tester will be our guests. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. introducing the first-of-its-kind lexus ux and ux f sport. also available in hybrid all-wheel-drive. lease the 2019 ux 200 for $329 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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the visionary lexus nx. lease the 2019 nx 300 for $359 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. so you're not suggesting though that spying occurred? >> i don't -- well, i guess you could -- i think there's spying that did occur. yes, i think spying did occur. >> do you believe they're engaging in spying when they're following fbi investigative policies and procedures? >> well, that's not the term i would use. >> did you have confidence in christopher wray after he said he wouldn't -- >> well, i didn't understand his answer. i thought the attorney general answered it perfectly. i certainly didn't understand that answer. i thought it was a ridiculous answer. >> william barr is apparently
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willing to do whatever it takes to stay in president trump's good graces. >> humiliating himself, actually. lied to congress. a lot of things. >> christopher wray, it seems, is living by a different set of principles. >> thank god. >> welcome back to "morning joe." joe, willie, and me. wednesday, may 15th. we have mike barnicle. nbc news, capitol hill correspondent and host of "kasie d.c.," caskasie hunt is with us >> did we do the lightning bolt? >> we have too much going on. >> no, no, no. there we go. now she thinks it is about her. >> no. >> good morning. >> there you go. >> national correspondent for pbs news hour, lucky to have her. >> yes. >> and political writer for "new york times," and msnbc political analyst, nick con , who just wed a baby boy.
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>> oh. >> he's beautiful. >> congratulations. >> look at those cheeks. >> thanks, guys. >> okay. when we're on set, i want you to bring him in so i can hold him, okay? >> sure thing. >> the name was interesting. morning joe willie mike. >> wow. >> actually, yeah. >> that's a mouthful. >> it is a long name, for sure. >> gosh, he's cute. >> congratulations. >> thanks, buddy. >> that's wonderful. a lot to get to this morning. donald trump jr. has struck a deal for limited testimony before the senate intelligence committee after a subpoena to president trump's eldest son, signed by the republican chairman richard burr was met with outrage from the president's allies. a source tells nbc news that the closed door session will be under oath and is expected to take place in mid-june. it will be limited to five to six topics. trump junior's appearance will
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last between two and four hours. last week, senator burr told his republican colleagues that the subpoena was the result of trump junior twice backing out of what were to be voluntary appearances. that did not stem the criticism, which the president amplified through his twitter account this weeke weekend and in remarks yesterday. >> my son spent, i guess, over 20 hours, testifying about something that mueller said was 100% okay. now, they want him to testify again. i don't know why. i have no idea why, but it seems very unfair to me. >> kasie, can you give us the background of what it is lilit d to? did burr back down from pressure, or was this the wise step to take, to get a witness there without a subpoena? >> here's what i have to say about this.
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i have to be careful how i frame this. i would say that the idea that his testimony is limited is not necessarily something that is shared across the board with members of the committee in positions of power, in the sense they'd give a witness special treatment is not something that everybody agrees with. i think it is clear that, you know, those close to donald trump jr. felt a need to kind of put an end to this story, say that there was an agreement. obviously, he has some say in ow limited it is, because he can show up and take the fifth amendment if that's what he decides he wants to do. i wouldn't say that senators on the committee are going to consider themselves limited in the topics they are going to be willing to ask about. now, that said, you know, this is obviously going to be focused on the things that are relevant to their investigation. i wouldn't think of this as kind of an all out, you know, ask anything of donald trump jr. they're particularly interested in the trump tower moscow meeting, of course.
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that's something i think they want to focus in with him. it is clear that richard burr felt backlash from within his own party after he did this. the fact that it actually happened at all says a lot about the state of the investigation. the fact it continues to be bipartisan and the level of t s frustration around how don ju junior has treated the committee. we've talked about instances in which members of congress have been willing to let congress just get rolled. in areas where they'd normally stand up for their own institution. here, you know, we have an example that has been outside the norm of how congress has acted. richard burr has led that. >> so any evidence that richard burr backs down under pressure, or was this a decision that was made jointly with his ranking member, mark warner?
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those two have worked extraordinarily well together. i'm wondering if they were in agreement on this decision. >> so we're not getting any pushback from democrats on the committee about the idea that there had been an agreement struck, to have don junior show up to the committee. now, i do think that the characterization from those close to don junior, that this is going to be a limited affair, is not something that there's necessarily agreement on. i do think that if they had agreed to donald trump jr., say, submitting written questions, there would be little question that richard burr got rolled. that's not what's happening here. i think a lot is still to be determined on how don junior conducts himself. you know, assuming he actually does show up, as he said he's agreed to. >> the house intelligence committee is examining whether l lawyers for president trump and his family obstructed
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investigation. according to michael cohen, and what the committee says is corroborating evidence, to conceal the extent of a trump proposal to build in moscow. the lawyers of the president, his daughter, ivanka, jared kushner, don junior, adam schiff wrote this. among other things, it appears your clients reviewed, shaped, and edited false statements cohen submitted to the committee, including omission of material facts. clients may have engaged in discussions about potential pardons in an effort to deter one or more witnesses from cooperating with authorized investigations. a statement on behalf of the lawyers responded this way. quote, the house intelligence committee appears to seek a truly needless dispute that would force private attorneys to violate privileges and ethics rules. as committed lawyers, we will respect the constitution and defend the attorney/client
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privilege, one of the most sacred in the law. >> we have volume ii of the mueller report, opening up to schiff and others in congress, the idea of obstruction that bob mueller left over. volume i, he said there was no conspiracy between the russian government and trump campaign, but obstruction is an open question. >> we'll see months and months of exploration of this question. i think house democrats believe this is their job. mueller put this to them and said, look, i can't get to the bottom of the legal question, but here are some of the facts i have. you should go after it. it's fascinating to watch the contrast in the house and the sena senate. it is the last republican oversight in congress. burr and warner have worked hard to keep it that way for two years. the house is very partisan. what you see is an effort by democrats to push as hard as they can do get answers, to move slowly and carefully.
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republicans will try to paint that as a sore loser investigation, basically. >> some democratic members of the house judiciary committee are growing impatient with president trump's attempts to block their russia investigation. they're calling for a second look at impeachment. nbc news spoke with several lawmakers who are urging that stronger tools be used, including impeachment proceedings, in order to get access to documents and witnesses. just last month, trump said special counsel robert mueller shouldn't testify before the committee, and sought to withhold portions of the mueller report from congress by invoking executive privilege. congressman said, whatever you mi find in the findings themselves, the subpoenas and refusals to cooperate with constitutionally required oversight is in and of itself basis for impeachment. another member of the judiciary
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committee told reporters, the more that the president denies us the ordinary, lawful demands for witnesses and documents, the more unified we are. other members of the committee, including chairman jerry nadler, remain firm that the committee needs to exhaust all other options before impeachment. nancy pelosi wants to be mindful and disciplined about this, even worried the president is goading democrats into impeachment. i think many watching this, interested in oversight actually happening, are frustrated at how many norms and laws this administration is just running over and saying, nope, huh huh. >> yeah, mika. there are a number of fronts right now in which members of house democrats are fighting this administration. senate intelligence seeking the
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interview with don junior is one example of a bipartisan effort to get to the bottom and answer some serious questions both parties want to know about. house judiciary is still seeking the unredacted mueller report. they are seeking access to don mcgahn. they still want to interview robert mueller. house ways and means is still seeking the president's tax returns. to the point earlier, that trail left behind by the maul mueller report is one the democrats will continue to walk wherever it leads them. we hear whether or not this is a constitutional crisis, as members of congress continue to try to pursue their oversight duties and responsibilities. the administration pushing back in a very aggressive way. what we hear again and again from a lot of experts is it is basically a series of conflicts right now. conflicts that probably aren't going to be resolved any time soon. >> every day, we sit here and follow this stream of subpoenas being issued from the house,
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some from the senate, and the refusal of the white house to reply. they basically ignore all the requests and subpoenas. in your reporting, do you encounter any democrats in either the house or the senate who worry that out in the country, people are more concerned with the threat to the aca, to obamacare, the final gutting of the health care bill by the justice department and this administration, rather than all the subpoena coverage? >> i certainly think that there tends to be an overplay of the influence of the voices on the left who are loudest around, you know, whether it is impeachment of the president on down, through all of this. and a relatively quiet majority of the new majority, people who come from swing districts, suburban areas, red seats, you know, who really want democrats to be talking about what are they actually doing for the american people? this is a constant, constant
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tension. the administration's approach to this has, to a certain extent, worked, in that it has made democrats' lives harder. you know, they do think that showing that they're doing oversight of the trump administration, holding the president accountable, is an important piece of their message, but the way this approach has, you know, agitated and angered some of the people at the top of these committees. the fact the impeachment conversation is growing louder, you know, that is why nancy pelosi is saying, the president is trying to goad us into impeaching him. i think there is a sense, certainly among democrats, they think if they go down the road, it'll remind republicans why they're republicans, the same way the brett kavanaugh fight did, and they'll be on the losing end of it. >> campaigning in new hampshire. former vice president joe biden said he believes republicans will find their way back to working across the aisle after president trump is out of off
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office. >> i just think there is a way and it will fundamentally change things. when donald trump is out of the white house, you'll see an epiphany among my friends. it's happening in the house. people were not willing to vote for any democratic initiative, even if they agreed with it, because they didn't want to be the odd person out of it. there's no sense in getting politically beaten at something that's not going to happen. if it can't change, we're in trouble. this nation cannot function without generating consensus. >> wow. so much there that i'm glad he said. joe, is it possible the fever will break? a lot of these republicans put crossed them in order to stay
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with trump. will it go away? >> it can. it certainly can. it's interesting that talking about consensus, talking about bipartisanship, sounds like a radical message. that's how bad things have gotten in 2019. willie, if you get somebody who knows how washington works, let's -- you know, bill clinton, for instance. bill clinton was forced to support a lot of republican initiatives that bill clinton didn't like because they were very popular. everybody talked about the contract on america. well, it was contract with america. a lot of times, you have democrats voting for it because the way the issue was framed. they had no choice. bill clinton after that spent the rest of his term coming up with plans that republicans could work with, as well. he had governed for a long time and also knew washington, d.c.
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we've had people in the white house that haven't known how washington works over the past 15, 20 years. i think somebody like biden actually has the ability to get things working in d.c. again. i love what he said at the end. we have no choice. we're in trouble if we can't start working together again, republicans and democrats alike. that's a hopeful message. americans want compromise. americans want both sides talking with each other and working with each other. that's biden's message. >> yeah. biden was criticized by many progressives for saying that. people saying he sounded naive in the age of trump. >> oh, my gosh. >> all these republicans who pledged to the president of the united states the last couple years might come back and work together with democrats someday. if that's not possible, what are we doing here? i think that's sort of the point that joe biden was trying to make. as you say, he's been doing it for 36 years or so in the united
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states senate, then as vice president. amna, you were in iowa talking to voters last week. nine months from the caucuses. i understand you interviewed castro and o'rourke, who candidates running to become president. what did you find as you talked to voters more broadly, about what exactly they're looking for? are they thinking about donald trump? are they thinking about who can beat him? do they have specific issues they want to check boxes with each candidate? or are they testing the waters? >> it is a really interesting thing because the head of the iowa democratic party there basically said, look, we stopped trying to keep up with all the kacanadkancandidates coming thr. if we hear about them, we can act like the welcome wagon, great. the pace of candidates coming through iowa is already working at such a clip. the voters we talk to who, by the way, consisted of self-identified democrats but also republicans and independents who said they would be open to voting for a democrat this time. caucusing for a democrat in the caucuses and potentially voting
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down the line in a general election. they've become unhappy with the republican party so far. there are a few things they're looking for at this stage, right? you know as well as i do, iowa voters take themselves seriously. their responsibility is the first nominating contest. they ask specific questions that run the gamut. health care. campaign finance. national security. immigration. i saw both o'rourke and castro at work, in action, taking questions across all of those issues. the number one thing that all the voters i talked to said they want to see among the democratic presidential candidates right now is civility. they said, lessons learned from 2016, we want to see these guys talk about the issues. we want to see them talk about what they would do if they were elected. at the same time, there is a tension there. the next thing they say they want to see in someone they could support is someone who could beat donald trump. so those two things are going to have to come into conflict at some point. right now, they're just kicking the tires and seeing where
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everyone stands. >> also, senator elizabeth warren turned down the opportunity to appear in a fox news town hall. in a series of tweets, the massachusetts senator explained her reasoning behind the decision yesterday. calling the network a, quote, hate for profit racket. gives the megaphone t conspirac. fox news did not immediately respond. bernie sanders and amy klobuchar have appeared on fox news town halls. mayor pete buttigieg is considering one, as well. >> what do you think about this? if you think that fox news is what elizabeth warren said she believed it was, do you reach out to viewers who may watch shep? may watch other newscasters. chris wallace and others that do
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the news pretty darn straight. don't you want to reach out to swing voters and go on fox news? >> yes. but i think there are a couple things. just because there's a bunch of good journalists who work there doesn't erase what's going on there, which one could argue is exactly as elizabeth warren describes it. a direct connection from a corrupt president who is a racist, to megaphones who people who pedal it. that does happen on fox. that is clear. but i would argue that a presidential candidate should be able to walk into any situation, walk into any fire, and have the confidence and the ability to put it out, by spreading the democratic values and his or her beliefs. i think they should go into fox and do all the town halls they can do. fox, you could argue, is smart to be doing these.
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that's a sign of some sort of change. >> yeah. >> hopefully. at least an opportunity for it. nick, what do you make of elizabeth warren's strategy here? i guess she's raising money on this. >> right. the first thing i saw is a press release and email to reporters to raise money off of this, looking for a viral moment to stand out from the crowd. >> might work. >> i do think that, look, you can't get votes you don't ask for, and you can't win in places you don't actually visit and campaign in. the person who wins the white house for the democrats is going to have to persuade some people who voted for trump to vote for them instead. the people doing the town halls is not sean hannity. it is the newscasters. >> right. >> the question is, is there value for someone like elizabeth warren, making her case directly to people in the middle who watch fox news? probably there is. in her line, i think it doesn't outweigh the sense she's endorsing what happens on
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primetime on that network, basically walking in step with the white house. >> willie, we're talking about, for the most part, primetime there. you have democrats that watch fox news. vicini independents and swing voters watch fox news. you have to get out in front of people who may not agree with you. barack obama in 2008 talked about how he won in places like iowa. he'd go to counties in iowa that might be 70/30 republican. instead of saying, well, i'll never win there, he'd go. he'd try to lessen the margins. maybe 60/40. maybe 55/45. fox snnews is a great place to pick upswi swing voters at the y least. who knows? you can get support from people who never supported you before.
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>> senator warren has appeared on fox news as a guest before. there is an element of politics to this. senator elizabeth warren is very smart. she's rising in the poll s slowy but surely. she knows what she's doing. i tend to agree with you. this will play well with a lot of people who will already vote for her, and it will raise money, but i don't think going on fox news in a town hall setting with, say, bret baier, martha wallace, is an endorsement of primetime on fox, if that's what you're worried about. you're not talking to the hosts at fox news, it is the viewers who may be having doubts about president trump. if you can win a couple votes, seems to me to be worth it. far be it from me to give senator warren advice. as i say, she's doing pretty well right now. >> get on fox though, and say what you think of primetime. national correspondent for pbs news hour, amna, thank you very much. ahead on "morning joe," we are joined by republican senator james lankford. we'll talk about the president's
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trade talks with china and the american farmers feeling the impact. >> mika, i just want -- let's talk really quickly about your book. i'm getting so many calls, getting tons of text messages. this book is doing so well. "earn it" with you and danielle. so many people are inspired by your message, the message you've been talking about for years now, about how women need to fight for -- to get what they deserve in the workplace. to get the money they deserve in the workplace. you team up with danielle pierre bravo, an undocumented worker who became a dreamer, who is now a best-selling author. it is really, really inspiring. it is really striking a cord. >> this book is for the first phase of a woman's career, the first, second, and third job.
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it is so important because you can really carry out the know your value techniques that we teach in those jobs. you can really have it down before you get to the next level. you can, from your pay to your success, i think, really jump start your career. it is a guide book. we're getting great feedback. i thank you all for the support. >> great feedback. i'm learning, willie, from it, as well. you know, of course, as you know, i wash dishes around the house here all the time. >> right. >> mika has actually -- because i know my value, she's actually gotten me some really nice new dishcloths. >> that is weird. >> i think it is just because i told her, i deserve better than a brillo pad. >> you want the sponge that has the handle on it. you don't want to directly hold the sponge itself. congratulations on that. >> thanks, pal. >> you can get a copy of "earn it" at know your value.com. we'll be right back.
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we're having a little squabble with china because we've been treated very unfairly for many, many decades. i think it is going to be -- i think it is going to turn out extremely well. we're in a very strong position. we are the piggy bank that everybody likes to take advantage of or take from. the relationship i have with president xi is very, very good. we are in a very strong position. they want to make a deal, it could absolutely happen. in the meantime, a lot of money is being made by the united states. a lot of strength is being shown. >> do you understand american consumers may suffer because of this? >> yes. >> do you think you're winning the trade war, mr. president? >> do you want to know something? we always win. >> are you concerned the proposed tariffs will end up hurting americans more than the
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chinese? >> one thing i think we all agree on is nobody wins a trade war. we're all hoping, as others have suggested here, that these particular tactics get us into a better position. >> can you acknowledge taxes are tariffs paid by american consumers? >> as i said, ultimately, nobody wins a trade war, unless there is an agreement at the end, at which tariffs go away. hopefully, these tactics will lead us to that day. >> the answer, of course, to that is yes. mitch mcconnell would always tell you, throughout his entire career, that tariffs are taxes. >> he didn't want to answer it that moment. it'd get him off message from what has been kind of a disaster. fair to say? >> they hurt american consumers. let's bring in republican senator james lankford of oklahoma. couple things. first of all, trade.
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i must say, we alabama fans have an unfair trade imbalance with oklahoma. you get jalen hurts, possible heisman winner next year, and we get nothing. what is oklahoma going to give alabama in return for one of the greatest quarterbacks in college football? >> i would be willing to try to negotiate good seats to the heisman trophy presentation, for the alabama fans to come, because it'll probably be our third one in a row. >> could be your third in a row. let me ask you a question. this is a general question. summer is coming up. where is a place in oklahoma that if somebody is traveling there on business or for families driving across the country, or if they're going toward oklahoma, where is a good place for them to go this summer? >> absolutely. coming through, on i-44, 40, or 35, you'll come through oklahoma. stop in. oklahoma city and tulsa. many of our communities are
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beautiful places. tulsa has one of the largest city parks in the country. it is called the gathering place. it is a place that has to be experienced. if you like by tulsa at the gathering place. oklahoma has more barbecue than any other state in america per captain tha capita. we have barbecue to enjoy. >> mika, we'll be spending a lot of the summer in oklahoma. >> okay. >> i did not know that. the capital of barbecue. i'm there. let's talk about trade. mitch mcconnell knows, because want to say it for political reasons, but tariffs are like taxes. they hurt americans. right now, american farmers and working class americans are being hurt. what can you tell us about oklahoma? who is being hurt by the tariffs in oklahoma? is it a pain that is worth your
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constituents experiencing to get a better deal with china? >> most of my constituents, the folks i talked to in oklahoma want to see a deal with china. they do see the fact we've had decades of dispute with china. china has been unfair in straight practices. they're not necessarily looking to win but to open markets and have a fair exchange. right now what we're experiencing is retaliatory tariffs on agricultural products. it is harder to get products in. we have the 301 tariffs. you'll hear those kicked around all the time. the 301 tariffs are directly hurting some oklahoma companies. we've got a company in oklahoma, for instance, that produces l.e.d. lighting products. they do the design, the engineering, the sales, intellectual property patents. all those things are in oklahoma. they do manufacturing in china. they're delivered to home depot, lowe's, pwalmart. you've seen their products. they've paid millions in tariffs the last year and are scheduled
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to pay millions more. it is not a chinese company paying that. it is an american company. it'll cause a rise in prices for the consumers. it directly hurts american companies, and it does bring people to the table to talk. i hope it also brings some urgency, to be able to get resolution. >> what farmers are being hurt the most by the tariffs in oklahoma? >> it depends on the week and what the chinese are doing. they stopped on soybeans for a while, stopped shipments. when negotiations looked like they were going well, the chinese purchased more soybeans. then it becomes cotton, beef, or corn. it alternates around. it does have a definite destabilizing effect. farmers can't just switch crops on a dime. they have to actually plan in advance what they're going to do. get it scheduled out and ready to go. certain crops work in certain regions. when the chinese move around, what their different retaliatory tariffs will be, it has a real
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effect. >> senator, as conservatives, you and i have long believed the power of open markets, the power of free trade. something i understand even in the ice age in congress in '87, a lot of us were complaining, even on the republican side, about the chinese stealing intellectual property, persecuting christians and other religious minorities. now, of course, there may be 2 million muslims in concentration camps over in china. how do you as a conservative today balance your belief in free trade with the importance of getting china to finally move after, again, what, '95, like 23 years ago, almost a quarter century we've been going through this with very little progress. how do you balance those two things? at w to get the best deal we can get. >> i think you push on the human
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rights issues. that's one of the areas i pushed on hard when we were talking about the transpacific partnership. when we engage with other countries, it is a unique moment to talk about religious freedom, free press, freedom of speech, freedom of movement. those are american values that are really human rights values worldwide that we want to push up. trade negotiations are the moments to talk about those things. i think we continue to be able to drill down on those things. in the declaration of independence, a complaint against king george and he was hindering our trade with people around the world. this is something we've done always and will continue to be able to do, to be able to trade with other countries. places that block us out, we have to push that and restore it, or we have to decide, we're not beginning to be there going. if we're with china, we want to have an open market and not have
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them steal our property. >> let's talk about religious persecution. back in the late '90s, i worked with abe rosenthal, legendary former editor of the "new york times" on the topic of christian persecuti persecution. we talked about what was happening in china. right now, of course, there still is pears cursecution of christians and other religious minorities. again, i want to go back to the situation where 1 to 2 million muslims -- according to the pentagon, 2 million muslims are being put into concentration camps. what can you tell americans about that? what can you and the senate do -- again, in our lifetime, concentration camps because people worship their god. what can you do? what can the senate do? what should the president do to bring relief to these believers in the god of abraham who are
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suffering at the hands of the chinese authorities? >> the chinese have moved a group of muslims into what they're calling re-education camps, which we would call concentration camps. isolating them. saying they'll re-educate them toward a more chinese way. trying to be able to limit their access to other people. trying to be able to manage who they are. facial recognition is tracking every place they go. they're managed in their travel. this is true isolation for a group of people solely because of how they worship and who they worship. we saw this in christian churches a few years ago, where the chinese went and made crosses, public crosses on the outside of churches, all coming down. officially recognized state churches had to remove it because you had to be uniquely chinese, not recognizing any religious faith or any kind of difference, saying your first identity is not your faith. first identity is to china. our founders in the united states, our founders saw our faith as a unique, private possession. the government can't reach in and try to remove someone's faith, just like they can't take away a private property right
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from somebody. that is unique private property. we have actively worked toward isolating china, calling it a country of particular concern for state department regulations and sanctions. multiple letters trying to expose them in the public media. trying to expose to the world, this is not an area that we agree with china. this is similar to what was done with tibet years ago. allowing people have to free travel and movement. >> senator lankford, willie geist. good to see you this morning. >> good to see you. >> i want to ask about a different question, iran, and the news this morning the state department is evacuating non-emergency employees from the u.s. embassy in baghdad because the state department says there is a threat from iranian-backed forces to americans in iraq. some people have disputed that claim, including the british in charge of the troops in the allied troops there, who said we do not see an uptick i violence from iranian-backed forces.
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there was a story in the "new york times" that a plan was being devised to send 120,000 troops. we have the "uss abraham lincoln" going to the gulf. with the iraq war fresh in the minds of the american people, a lot of people see a drum beat towards perhaps a war with iran. are you con surgecerned about t >> i'm always concerned about iran because it's been a war-like nation. what is happening in yemen now is because iran is stoking the controversy and providing weapons in yemen. it is a proxy fight with saudi arabia. iran was propping up bashir al assad in syria. they sent their revolutionary guard and other fighters so syria to fight with assad in his murder of his people. we saw this in iraq, as well. when we were in iraq in that war, iran was pushing technology that killed over 1,000 of our united states soldiers that were there, based on weaponry and technology that iran was pushing
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in to attack us. this is iran's mode. we need to be careful and cauti cautious, knowing iran means business. when we push forces in the area, it is responding to what iran is doing, not pushing toward a war. quite frankly, our beef is not with the iranian people. it is with the regime that's there. that regime in iran, they've seen a green revolution years ago because the individuals within iran are frustrated with their own regime because they're taking money and sending it to hezbollah and sending it to terrorist groups, rather than taking care of their own people. >> yeah. i mean, i don't think anybody would argue that iran has been a bad actor around the world and continues to be. do you believe the steps we've seen recently, particularly with john bolton as national security adviser, a man who makes no s t secret of his problems with iran, and perhaps his wish to do something with iran. do you believe we're on the precipice of a war with iran sf. >> i do not.
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i don't blame john bolton for wishing the iranian people had different leadership. i think the iranian people wish that, as well, but it is up to them to make the transition. the british leadership hasn't seen an uptick in forces, but it is very different from someone saying there has been an uptick in threats. if we have intelligence information saying that the iranians are planning to do something against american forces in iraq, we should take that seriously. that doesn't take additional forces. they already have forces on the ground there. in some ways, i'll split hairs with you, to say the british leadership wasn't disagreeing with us. they aren't seeing more forces. we're seeing intelligence saying there are additional threats on the forces. >> i'll read the quote. there has been no increased threat from iranian-backed forces in iraq and syria from the british deputy commander. >> our intelligence disagrees with that. we have increased threats from them, not necessarily increased people on the ground from iraq -- in iraq. they do have forces on the
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ground right now. if they choose to be able to carry out an attack, they have the capability of doing it. >> senator james lankford, thank you very much for coming on the show this morning. >> glad to be able to be with you. m ccoming up, some house democrats are calling for a second look at impeaching president trump. a member of the house leadership, hakeem jeffries, is standing by and be weigh in on that. just a note. join us tomorrow night at prohibition in new york city. joe and his band, they have a great jig. the show kicks around late, around 8:30 p.m. stop by if you're in the area. it is late for us. everyone else, it's normal. join us at the independent counsel of funk, playing at prohibition. we'll be right back. we'll be right back.
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joining us now, the chairman of the house democratic caucus, congressman hakeem jeffries of
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new york. he's also a member of the judiciary and budget committees. congressman jeffries, thank you so much for being on this morning. you know, obviously, you're hearing the headlines. we were talking earlier. nbc reporting about rank and file members of the house really wanting to revisit the issue of impeachment. where do you stand on that, and what are the pros and cons? >> well, founding fathers made clear that impeachment should be a question of last resort, not a question of first resort. so my view remains the same, consistent with the standard that our speaker, nancy pelosi, has articulated, which is that the case must be compelling, the evidence should be overwhelming, and sentiment around impeachment should be bipartisan in nature. yes, we should continue our focus to serve as a check and balance on the out of control executive branch, but we should do so methodically and carefully as we proceed.
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the overwhelming majority of -- >> one quick follow up to what you just said. i mean, what could be more compelling than what we have seen in this presidency? i don't want to list the compelling have seen in this presidency? i don't want to list the compelling possible i peachments because it could take too long. are we overlooking our noses in front of our face? when we're talking about norms and laws that are being broken or stretched to the limit? >> no person is above the law, not even the president of the united states and so-called attorney general. we are going to take that constitutional responsibility we have as a separate and coequal branch of government seriously. chairman nadler indicated we will conduct hearings on obstruction of justice. we will conduct hearings on abuse of power. we will conduct hearings on the culture of corruption that exists but we need to do so methodically and that means
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making sure we get the full, unredacted mueller report. we cannot trust the attorney general's redactions. he's a fixer for the president, not the people, and we need to hear from bob mueller himself, who are working to make that happen. >> congressman, just to follow up on this, i take all of your points about the process and you all have been very deliberate about all of that, but it is starting to look in the aggregate as though you can't get the trump administration to give you or do anything. how do you convince americans your strategy is actually going to work? and what is the strategy in the courts to try to force the trump administration to comply? >> first of all, our strategy is to deliver on the promises we've made to the american people and in connection to the people's agenda. that's our overall strategy. we promise we will lower health care costs --
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>> burt yt you issued subpoenasa whole host of topics, gone after tax returns, security issue, bob mueller, don mcgahn. it's clearly a priority. how do you know you're going to get someplace? >> i was home last week and i had a congressman on the corner event, i was on the street corner three hours in new york and not a single person brought up a question of tactics and strategies related to impeaching donald trump or holding him accountable. the first thing to point out is the american people want us to hold our promises to lower health care costs, strengthen conditions and the affordable care act and that's who we're doing this week, with legislation on the floor tomorrow. that said we've taken a step in holding the administration responsible in defiance when it comes to the attempt ofp
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congress subpoena. we expect that will come to the floor and then we will have to force that contempt citation and we believe the case law and jurisprudence will stand on our side. >> congressman, i just want to follow up on that. it's obvious now that the white house has adopted a strategy of trying to bait the democrats into impeachment. they're going to deny you everything. witnesses and documents, ignore the subpoenas, fight everything in court and they want this fight. is there any danger foredemocrats, do you think, in fighting the fight to have normal oversights to get these documents and witnesses? and if that fails, are you prepared to initiate proceedings for impeachment? >> well, it certainly is important, consistent with upholding the rule of law and the fact we have a system of checks and balances to make sure we have a robust oversight function that continues to proceed in congress. over the last two years, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle unfortunately conducted themselves like wholly
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owned subsidiaries of the trump administration. and the reality is the house as a separate and coequal branch of government do not work for donald trump, we work for the american people. but we can't overreach, we can't overpoliticalize or overinvestigate. we should proceed aggressively and i'm comment that's what chairman nadler and chairman cummings and chairman richard neal is going to do. >> congressman, you alluded to something i think is universal in this country, congress on the corner. you live close to the corners in brooklyn and queens that you get home a lot. i want to ask you how often is it you bump into the combination of exhaustion and frustration with everything happening in washington and people who look you in the eye and say, what do you people do down there? how do you handle that? >> there is a great deal of frustration in terms of the impression that all that happens
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in washington, d.c. is sort of conflict and chaos crisis and confusion. >> isn't that the case? >> 1600 pennsylvania avenue has it every day. let me say one of the things i'm often able to point out is congress trying to work together led by house democrats. last year we were able to come together and pass historic criminal justice reform. we worked with jared kushner in the administration. congressman doug collins, my good friend, conservative republican from rural georgia, led the effort on the republican side and i worked with members on the house democratic side to get things done. we're proceeding to do the same exact thing on lowering the high cost of life-saving prescription drugs and dealing with the anti-competitive practices of the pharmaceutical companies as well as on infrastructure. when i explain that and talk about our forward-looking agenda to deal with pocketbook issues, that puts my constituents off at ease. >> congressman hakeem jeffries,
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thank you so much for coming on the show this morning. still ahead, new overnight, lawmakers in alabama have approved the nation's most restrictive abortion bill setting the stage for a potential supreme court battle. plus, the governor of florida says russians were able to hack two voting databases in the state. but he won't say which counties were affected. also this morning, senator jon tester, the only farmer in the senate, joins us to talk about the impact of the president's trade war with china. you're watching "morning joe." a packed 8:00 a.m. hour is coming your way in three minutes.
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it is wednesday, may 15th, along with joe, willie and me. we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle, co-founder and ceo of axios, jim vand high. washington anchor for bbc world news america, katty kay. late last night the alabama senate approved a bill that would create the nation's strictest abortion law. the bill would make it a felony,
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punishable up to 99 years in prison for a doctor to perform or attempt the procedure during any stage of pregnancy, except to save the mother's life. the overnight vote followed hours of emotional debate between lawmakers as the republican-controlled legislature unilaterally removed exemptions for rape or incest. it passed overwhelmingly, 25-6. the move is part of a larger push across chunks of the deep south and midwest to challenge the supreme court's 1973 roe v. wade ruling by whittling down existing protections to its most restrictive. opponents of the bill protested in the state capitol. the bill now heads to the republican governor kay ivy, who has not yet indicated whether or not she will sign it. joe? >> so this is complicated issue, mika, looking at it politically. you want to look at it
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politically, there are a series of polls that have been coming out recently. there's a maris poll out that showed a swing towards americans that identified themselves as being pro-life. but there's always a caveat to abortion polls, and it is this, and i think best exemplified by a fox news poll that came out earlier this year. when you asked respondents were awe pro-life or pro-choice, that was split down the middle. it has off and on over the past decade been split for the most part down the middle. usually more pro-choice than pro-life but certainly voters have been moving towards pro-life for reasons that i have stated before. having to do with technology, 3d imagery, a lot of different things. in fact i must say in this mar is poll, it's interesting that some of the biggest movement towards pro-life voters came
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from democrats under 40, younger democrats who, again, as i have been saying all along, who are having children who go and see the 3d imagery, understand that the viability, medicine and technology, medical improvements have vastly changed over the past 50 years or so since 1973, and the viability of the newborn baby has certainly moved and it's earlier and earlier. that said, katty kay, even if people identify themselves as being pro-life, here comes the caveat, and it is a big caveat, when you ask those same people do you want roe v. wade to be overturned, those numbers plummet. and the latest fox news poll, only 21% of americans wanted roe v. wade overturned.
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that is one in five americans, which, again, not making everything about politics but this is the car that donald trump does not want to catch up with politically. this would be a nightmare scenario for republicans going into 2020 if roe v. wade were overturned because four out of five americans obviously would be against that move and it would energize the democrats in a way very few things have in a very long time. >> yes, you have those competing impulses, right. the politics of this when it comes to overturning roe v. wade has not shifted very much in america even though younger democrats do seem to be moving towards some of a more pro-life position. yet you have these conservative lawmakers in places like georgia and now in alabama who are clearly supreme court shopping,
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and want this case, they said it specifically, they want this case to go the whole way to the supreme court. they drafted the bill in such a way that they think it has the best possible chance of getting to the supreme court because they see this as their best opportunity in decades with a very conservative, more conservative supreme court, they see this as their best chance to get a favorable hearing up here in washington. and donald trump's going to have to wrestle those two potentially political forces when and if this alabama bill actually does make it to the supreme court. >> let's bring in now msnbc legal analyst danny cevallos. danny, we've seen these heartbeat laws in georgia, kentucky, mississippi and ohio, where you cannot have an abortion after six weeks when there's a fetal heartbeat. this law -- not a law yet but the republican governor expected to sign it, bans abortion all the way across except in the rare case it affects the mother's health, life and death of the mother here. i think katty is right this is
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about brett kavanaugh, the supreme court justice. you heard it from activists inside the state of alabama, one saying, quote, why not go all the way. this was not possible until this moment. we think we have a chance if this makes it to the supreme court to overturn roe v. wade. >> there's a very good chance if this makes it to the supreme court that roe v. wade will be overturned. we have known since the '70s roe v. wade stands on a weak basis. whether you're pro-life or pro-choice do women have a privacy right in the constitution that overrides state legislature's abilities to make laws affecting abortion. and it's interesting to note, in the year 1900 almost every stay prohibited abortion. by the time roe v. wade was decided, it was down to 30 states. the trend was that abortion, illegalizing or prohibiting abortion was going away. now by giving it to the supreme
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court, it creates a precedent that can be overturned and the bottom line is that even if you are pro-choice, the right to privacy does not exist either in the history or the text of the constitution, which is why roe has always been ripe to be overturned. >> danny, it's interesting you say that because mika and i were talking about this, thi after the news broke overnight, and i said my constitutional law professor, very progressive, said, though i agree with the conclusion of roe, it's a terribly written case and it's logic is baffling at times. all that being said, we have a chief justice who i suspect is not going to want to uproot 50 years of precedent overnight anymore more than he wanted to hands republicans a victory, political victory on obamacare. and here a fox news poll saying
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50% of americans saying let roe v. wade stand, only 21% saying overturn it. roughly the same poll where more than half americans consider themselves pro-life. isn't there the belief, isn't there the feeling justice roberts is more of an incrementalist? this is my prediction, i could be wrong, but doesn't it seem like if we're looking at the president -- at least how this court handles cases like this, they will let the lower court overturn this alabama law, and then they will just deny cert and refuse to hear it like they do with all of the gun laws? >> that is possible. you may see the supreme court say we don't want to deal with this and the lower court stand with it. as it stands now this law is inconsistent with constitutional case law. it's likely a lower court will say this doesn't fly, here's an injunction, we're stopping it now.
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it's possible the supreme court will decline to hear. the principle of starry decisis is let the case stand. but justices like alito have suggests when constitutionality is at stake, we're more likely to take a fresh look at a case. if this case makes it to the supreme court, roe v. wade is in jeopardy. >> at a news conference yesterday florida governor ron desantis said russian hackers successfully gained access to voter databases in two florida counties ahead of the 2016 election. desantis emphasized while the two counties experienced an intrusion, the hackers did not manipulate or change any data and election results were not compromised, according to the tampa bay times. desantis told he had been briefed on the breach but was not allow to share whichted. quote, were not allowed to name the counties, i signed a
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nondisclosure agreement. adding he would be name it but they asked me to sign it so i will respect their wishes. it's highly unusual the federal government would ask a governor to sign a nondisclosure agreement, especially in a case involving that governor's own state. joe or danny, what would be the circumstances that he needs to sign an nda? and who are we worried about here, the american voters? >> the trump administration's been worried for a long time, for a very long time, about transparency and this process. he's had all of his intel chiefs tell him the russians tried to hack, tried to hack our elections, that the russians tried to influence our elections. he's dismissed it. he called it fake news. others have suggested it was just a couple of facebook ads being bought. that's clearly not the case. >> joe, wouldn't it make sense you need to know what counties here, that the voters deserve to
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know? also in order to prevent the problem from happening again, isn't it a -- why would he be asked to not disclose the counties that were potentially breached? >> because donald trump and those working for donald trump believe the transparency in this process is actually a danger. jim vandehei, this is surreal, like having the federal government say two buildings were attacked in new york city on september 11 but no cameras are allowed and we're not going to let you know -- or let's just say -- we'll take it back and say there was a plot to blow up another institution but we're not going to let anybody know so they won't be prepared next time. this really is crazy. once again, points to the fact donald trump is aggressively trying to cover up any evidence that intel chiefs or his own
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cabinet agency heads are trying to pass along to him, that the russians tried in the words of kirstjen nielsen, dhs, the russians are trying to subvert american democracy. >> here's the bigger problem with it, right, when you have the president keep waving people off the idea the russians were infiltrating elections in florida or national scale, yes, the intel committee -- community continues to do its work but if he's not putting the pressure on it, you're taking what might be the single biggest threat to american democracy and diminishing it and not putting the full force of the government behind it. look what happened with whatsapp. look how vulnerable your privacy has been on facebook. look what happened in the last election and what robert mueller painted. if you're not all in on protecting us from cyber security threats and the ability of chinese, russians and others to manipulate our elections, you do it at your own peril. this isn't a partisan topic.
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if you talk to anybody who spent any time inside a government, the thing that scares them the most is some kind of cyber attack. some kind of ability to manipulate vulnerabilities of technology to do really bad things, where it's tip the election or screw up our electricity system. that is why this is problematic beyond florida. still ahead on "morning joe" -- president trump says he doesn't know what happened, what the hell happened, to joe biden. it's the same joe biden's who's up 30 points. >> what does he mean by that? i don't get that. >> i don't either. >> a look at the developments from 2020 campaign next. i can't believe it. that we just hit the motherlode of soft-serve ice cream? i got cones, anybody wants one! oh, yeah! get ya some! no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance with geico.
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here'sshow me making it. like. oh! i got one. the best of amy poehler. amy, maybe we could use the voice remote to search for something that you're not in. show me parks and rec. from netflix to prime video to live tv, xfinity lets you find your favorites with the emmy award-winning x1 voice remote. show me the best of amy poehler, again. this time around... now that's simple, easy, awesome. experience the entertainment you love on x1. access netflix, prime video, youtube and more, all with the sound of your voice. click, call or visit a store today. former vice president joe biden explaining why he's not going to attack his fellow 2020 democratic candidates running for president at a new hampshire rally yesterday. >> you will never hear me speak
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ill of another democratic candidate, and there's a very simple reason for that, we have to be in a position, whomever the nominee is, to be able to win. and the second thing, what may disappoint you, i'm not going to get down in the mud wrestling with him, i'm not going to stoop to his level, i'm not going to engage in the name-calling. >> president trump, on the other hand, makes no such promise. >> of course he doesn't. >> here he is yesterday during a speech highlighting energy infrastructure and economic growth in louisiana offering his analysis of some of his potential 2020 democratic opponents. >> i got boot-edge-edge, i got them all. beto. beto's falling fast. what the hell happened? remember about four weeks ago he said i was made for this. he was made for it. he was made to fall like a rock. what happened to him?
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but he's tried to restart his campaign. that generally doesn't work out too well. political geniuses, when you have to restart your campaign, history has said that does not work out well, right? i don't know what the hell happened to biden. what happened to him? i'm looking, i said that doesn't look like the guy i knew. what happened to him? and bernie, bernie's crazy. bernie's crazy. but bernie's got a lot more energy than biden, so you never know. >> going to be one of these people, pocahontas i think is probably out. boy, you got some beauties there. 350 million people and that's the best we can do. i don't think so. even as democrats, i can pick better than that. >> tim vandehei, a couple weeks ago when president trump said i'm young, i have more vigor. you look at a clip like that, and he just does. let's again, let's just be blunt
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about donald trump. that guy can do on a campaign stage what nobody else can do, he can engage the audience, he can engage viewers despite the hateful rhetoric, despite everything else, you can see that guy is gearing up for 2020, and, yes, democrats, he's going to be hard to beat because he does look like he's about 20 years younger than a lot of democratic candidates. >> there's no doubt he's good box office and maybe funny up on stage. i thought the more interesting thing was biden has run a shrewd campaign since he got in. i'm surprised by his ability to say i'm the front runner, what he was doing saying i'm not going to attack my fellow democrats is basically trying to inoculate himself from scaring them off attacking him, make them look petty when they come at the front-runner. the biggest single question facing democrats is how do you
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take him out? how do you go after him? you have to do what sanders is doing. if you want to win this, you can't be polite. somebody will have to go after biden, make a forceful case why he wouldn't be a good president or why he wouldn't be the most electable or why he wouldn't be the most representative of democrats as they stand together. other than sanders e. no one is doing it. the longer biden can flow above it and his poll numbers seem to rise up, he will see a huge fund-raising surge as a result of that, you will see more and more people rally around him. he really has run a shrewd operation for the last couple of weeks, and other people have stumbled. he has benefited from the fact beto has run not a good campaign and you're rebooting and you're losing and you will probably have a hard time getting that reboot off the ground. coming up in "morning joe," in the words of david ignatius, foreign adversaries have figured trump out.
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welcome back. david ignatius. >> who's better than david ignatius, nobody in the world. >> nobody. you have have a new piece in "the washington post" saying, president trump has filed himself as a great disrupter and it served him reasonably well. trump problem is after two years foreign nations seemed to have figured him out. rather than crafting quick deals trump could tout as wins, these adversaries played a waiting game. they seemed to have sense in trump and patience and hunger for the spm that undermine his ability to negotiate. trump moved towards confrontations with china, north korea and iran. in each case the white house has maximum goals without a clearly
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discernible strategy for achieving them. trump's statements oscillate between hardline rhetoric and invitations to personal diplomacy. once this back and forth might have produced leverage for trump. now it often just yields confusion. i would argue even worse. >> katty kay, david ig nisnatiu right. the first year the chinese were having a hard time to figure donald trump out. at times it seemed trump had the advantage in negotiations because he did keep them off-balance. but as we go into the third year of the trump presidency, i love this line from david ignatius, and if one sentence actually sums up donald trump's performance as a foreign policy president it is this -- the white house has maximum goals without a clearly discernible strategy for achieving them. there is no strategy.
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there is no long-term look. he's playing -- he's a day-trader and he's just playing for cheap headlines every day. >> yeah, and you could apply that same principle to north korea, iran, venezuela, china as well. what are they actually trying to achieve from this? something pretty remarkable happened in china this week where they noticeably pushed back up against washington's strategy, talking about 5,000 years of battles in which the chinese prevailed saying we don't particularly want to fight but we're not afraid of a trade war and we're prepared to sit this one out and win it. the chinese have a long game. they know donald trump is going to be around for four years, possibly even eight years, but there's increasingly a belief in china they can wait this one out and they see, like everybody else, the fractures within the white house. it's obvious that not everybody in the white house is on the same team on it. larry kudlow went on television sunday and told everybody the
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white house is not on the same team on this. they realize donald trump says one thing, whether it's over china, whether it's over north korea, people are not on the same page in the white house on north korea. they're not even necessarily on the same page over iran. you got john bolton with a much tougher approach. possibly some type of military action in iran. seems like president trump doesn't want that. and they figured you out they can play on those cracks in the administration. while trump acts like a sort of gambler sometimes throwing out these positions, what is his actual strategy? what does he want? what does success look like? he doesn't seem to have the team behind him, fully behind him, to implement the strategy if there is one. coming up on "morning joe," montana's governor took a pass on running for u.s. senate to run for white house instead. we will talk to the state's other senator, jon tester, about the dynamics of that decision and much more next on "morning joe."
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we need a strategic way to use them because we really have to level the playing field with china. they had it one way all of this time. american goods are not getting in there. we have to create a bigger market than soy beans for american products to go into china. you might pay a few bucks more, maybe 20 krechcents for a t-shi. if you're putting somebody to work, isn't that a good idea? >> that was jim hoffa defending president trump's trade war saying there needs to be a bigger market than soybeans for american products in china. joining us the veteran for affairs and appropriations committee, senator jon tester of montana. >> senator, thank you so much for being with us. am i right, are you the only farmer in the senate? >> well, there are folks that have connections but i'm probably the only active, engaged farmer around. i signed a paper at the fsa
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office, yes. >> so tell me, how is the trade war impacting farmers, not only in your state, but across america, especially in the midwest? >> we're getting hammered. the fact of the matter is that the prices are incredibly bad. i talked to a guy in the airport when i flew back on monday who farms on the high line of mnt montana, i said are you done seeding yet? he said i can't even get started, i'm not excited about planting for stuff that isn't worth anything. and that's wheat, barley, cattle, hogs, it doesn't matter. family farm agriculture is in trouble, farm-gate prices are terrible. bankers will tell you we have a serious disaster on the horizon and quite frankly some of these farms have been in the family for generations. this is a manmade problem, and a state like montana, where we need export markets bong
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domestically and foreign to get prices at the farm, this has just been a killer. just been a killer. >> senator tester, it's willie geist. good to see you this morning. we had your colleague on a few minutes ago and his argument seems to be if the tariffs are part of a larger strategy, okay, i'll go with it. but if you're just doing it to do it, then it's not a good idea. do you see a strategy from the white house to bring china to the table as part of a bigger deal? >> i don't. i think what they want to do is hold them accountable on stealing technology and that kind of stuff but i do not see a strategy to get this over with and that's part of the problem. i've said it would have been much wise irinster instead of a war to go after their fchbl system, utilize our allies. that would bring them to the table quicker and you wouldn't be throwing away family farm agriculture in this country at the same time. that didn't happen. the trade war continues to go on
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and on and on. i know the president's offering up a $15 billion bailout. i can tell you most farmers don't want that. they want to get their check on the marketplace. they're not big on socialism and that's what this is a form of. >> a different colleague of your, of utah, also a farm state, weighed in on the crisis farmers are facing with the trade were in china. here's what he said. >> these tariffs will hurt chinese and americans, i will grant you that but i think they will hurt the chinese more than americans because they have been cheating for so long. there will be sacrifice on the part of americans, i will grant you that, but it's minimal compared to the sacrifices soldiers make overseas and in arlington drk. >> you can't compare those two sacrifices. >> when i'm home in arkansas i hear from products opening new markets and they also understand china is a serious competitor in
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the united states and wants to displace also around the world and look at the sacrifices soldiers, sailors and airmen make around the world and looking to bear some of those sack ra fiss in the short term to hopefully ensure our long-term prosperity and security. >> senator, putting aside the odd comparison to our troops overseas, what do you make of the general take? >> he needs to look at tpp, we're not taking power from china, it's empowered them. the mcaa is still not firmed up yet so our largest trading partners in canada and mexico is in limbo. i think you can go back to the ignatius article you talked about before this segment, i don't think there's a plan for trade. i just don't. the president figured they will try to bully him around and they're going it's not going to work. you guys are right, chin plays the long game. they play the long game on everything and if you don't have
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a plan, you're going to lose. and i don't think this administration has a plan and the people who are going to lose is the farmers. >> senators, you just mentioned the banker/farmer relationship. can you speak to how tenuous that is now? >> yeah. in the best of times the profit margins aren't that great, i will just tell you. i'm not crying poverty here. agriculture and farming is the best lifestyle in the world. i love it. but the truth is margins are not that high when prices are good. now we saw some of the best prices ever from about 2008 to 2014, at least in the grain markets, it was outstanding. we saw land prices double in the state of montana. now we are seeing grain prices that are a third of what they were in that time frame i just talked about and we are seeing input costs continue to be high because they went up too when the prices were good. it's put the farmers in a real pinch, between input prices and bad market prices, when they go
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to the bank to get their operating loan, there's no -- there's no collateral there for them to utilize because they've already burned it all up. it has put a lot of farms and ranches that have been in the family for generations at risk. and i tell you, i would love to say this will be over with by the first of june. i don't see that happening. what is the end game here? if the end game is these guys go broke and consolidate more agriculture, that's not good for our food system, not good for food security, it's not good for the country. >> all right, i want to ask a little politics here, your fellow montana democrat, governor steve bullock announced his presidential candidacy yesterday the. those many democrats hoped he would run for the republican-held senate seat instead. here's part of his answer on why he did not run. take a listen. >> as a governor i have been
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frustrated with the inaction of congress. you see so many people congress people frustrated. that's why we have record retirements. i think i could be more effective in helping it work here. >> two questions, will you be endorsing your home state governor? second, what do you make of his state on fixing the senate from the executive branch? >> i will tell you we need good people to run and we will have a good person to run in montana, somebody that has a fire in their belly and willing to do the sacrifice needed to do to win a senate seat. steve bullock is a very good friend. i've worked with steve on everything from access to public lands to campaign finance reform to increasing health care options. he's been a longtime friend and a good one. i've got a lot of good friends in this race because there are so many people running for president. and i would just tell you, i want to let things move out, we're 18 months before the election. like i said, i've got to work with all of these folks and
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hopefully get policy done over the next six, eight months, next year and a half. and help move the country forward. but i will say this, he is right about congress being dysfunction and the senate is as dysfunctional as i have seen it in my time here. but you need good people, it's not the rules, it's the people who serve. if you have good people, you can turn things around. we're going to have a good candidate in montana and good candidate in colorado and north carolina, all over the country. >> all right, senator jon tester, thank you very much. and tomorrow on the show we will have montana's governor, the newest entry in the 2020 democratic field, steve bullock will join us. >> going to be great to have him back. let's bring in political strategist matt morrison, executive director of working america, a political organizing arm of the afl-cio. matt wrote an op-ed for "the new york times" on the best way for democrats to win working class
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voters. how do they? >> mika and joe, thank you guys so much for having me. democrats can win working class voters by doing a lot of what we do every night. when you have around a million or so conversations every year with working people from philadelphia to lima, what you start to hear what's on their mind, affordable health care, retirement, security, will their kids have the same economic opportunities they had? if they get the message through to those folks, they will do well in a lot of places we struggled last year, last election. >> yes, matt, i was toalking to -- i will just say a political figure who knows pennsylvania very, very well. he was talking about the culture disconnect between a lot of democratic candidates in the past and the democratic party. he said there are a lot of people that democrats that say oh, well if i get the union
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endorsement, i don't need to go work the union halls. that's said wrong. you got to fight for every vote because half of them are probably predisposed to vote for donald trump. would you agree with that assessment? >> well, i certainly think if you want the full support of the people you have to show up. one of the challenges we have to acknowledge is people don't of on hear about where you stand in the first place, especially if you're taking a constituency as important as working class voters, union members, et cetera, for granted. >> so matt, there's a lot of argument on the left right now that the best way to get the vote out and best way to win these voters is go big and go left on big ideas, a green new deal, medicare among all for others. i'm curious if you think the left of the democratic party is misreading the moment and what appeals to these voters even inside the democratic party.
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>> certainly there's actually an appetite to go big. if you look at the long-term trend line where these workers are, where these voters are, they're looking at loss ground for the last 45 years or so in terms of their wages while the economy is booming. so any policy prescription, any of them, green new deal, medicare for all, et cetera, that can legitimately connect with their interests, they're going to take a hard listen to them. >> matt morrison, thank you very much. we appreciate your being on. and weeks after the fatal crash of lion air flight 610, american airlines pilots pressed boeing executives to find a solution, urging authorities to take emergency measures and ground the 737 max. "the new york times" citing reporting of a november meeting between pilots and union reps and the plane maker, reviewed by the newspaper, reports boeing executives resisted, saying that
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although the manufacturer was assessing potential design flaws with the plane, they would not make a more aggressive approach because it was not yet clear that the new anti-stall system was to blame for the lion air crash. less than four months later, i'm openian airlines flight 302 crashed, killing all 157 passengers on board. nbc news has not reviewed the recording. boeing declined to comment on the report. both boeing and the faa are facing intense scrutiny for certification of the maps as well as for their response to the two crashes. at a congressional hearing later today, lawmakers will question federal regulators about how the max was certified. meanwhile, "the wall street journal" reports that an internal review by the faa has tentatively determined senior agency officials did not
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participate or monitor crucial safety assessments of the 737 max's flight control system, according to industry and government officials. the review also found that during the certification process, boeing did not flag the automated stall prevention feature as a system whose malfunction or failure could cause a fatal event. flagging the system would have led to increased scrutiny by regulators. >> we've been saying this for some time, the news just keeps getting worse for boeing. you have union reps warning of this problem. we find out boeing knew about this problem long before, even while they were denying it to union reps, bad to worse from boeing every day. this appears to be a terrible cover-up. >> we have a pair of tragedies and now a scandal with boeing. when you think about it and take a step back and you understand this critical piece of technology was an add-on, an
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upgrade, something extra you had to pay for, you do have a scandal here and that's why faa administrators will be on capitol hill kbinitoday to answ questions from congress to get some of these documents and some of these recordings out about who knew what when and why there was such pushback from boeing to fix a problem after the first crash and before the second crash that proved again to be tragic and deadly for so many people. >> you know, mika, i sat next to a pilot one time when i was a teenager flying, and i was nervous flying. he said, you know, usually when there's an accident, a plane accident, it's not one thing that goes wrong. it's like 10, 15 things that went wrong. you look at this situation, and even before the plane took off, countless things went wrong. boeing had a design flaw they knew about and covered up, it appears. they had as an extra add-on to be able to fix that problem.
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federal regulators did not get involved in the way they should have gotten involved. union reps complaining, brushed off. told nothing to worry about here when boeing officials knew there was a problem according to news reports, and, again, one mistake after another. again, the news keeps getting worse for boeing. up next -- pennsylvania files a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical giant over the opioid epidemic. plus new from "the washington post," trump's prized doral resorts is in steep decline, according to company documents. losing money. keep it right here. alright, i brought in ensure max protein...
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when you're able to restore what cancer's taken away, you see that transformation firsthand knowing that she had options that she could choose, helped restore hope. my team made me feel like a whole person again. cancer treatment centers of america. appointments available now. "the washington post" is out with a new story this morning that says president trump's prized florida golf resort, trump doral, is in sharp decline, according to a consultant for the company. according to federal disclosures, in 2015 trump listed doral as his biggest money-making hotel. however in the two years since, the resort's net operating income has fallen by 69%. to explain the decline, the trump organization issued a statement to the paper blaming
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various factors, including fears associated with the zika virus and hurricanes in 2016 and 2017. meanwhile, trump tower now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in new york city. bloomberg reports over the past two years, condo sales in the 36-year-old building have sold at more than a 20% loss. the commercial portion of the building has also been struggling with more than 242,000 square feet of vacant office space. nick confessore, what do you make of these reports? >> it's fascinating, mika. the focus has been on the president earning money off these while in the presidency gut we see in these stories, it's bad for business to be president with trump, bad for properties. people are staying away because
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he's the president and he's trump. he's scaring people away from his own properties and it's costing him money. >> another internal chaos at the national rifle association appears to reveal major cracks in the handling of viewer funds. a review of nra's tax records by "the new york times" reports through shed shaky finances they relied on cash and other questionable transactions funded by its affiliated charity adding up to at least $2067 million since 2010. the longtime ceo wayne lapierre is said to be one of the biggest spenders, even with a $1.4 million salary of his own. according to recent documents, lapierre recently billed $275,000 of purchase at a luxury store in beverly hills and $217,000 on flights and mihm scenes services on a trip to the bahamas and italian lake resort, among others. the nra denied the spending was,
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quote, improper in any way. yesterday one of the board members, retired lieutenant allen west, pulled his backing for lapierre and called for the nra to clean its house. meanwhile the new york attorney general's office is investigating the nra's management of funds and assessing its current tax exemt status. this is a story we talked about last week from "the new york times," flushing it out further. you have to wonder what the rankling file members of the nra feel when they see where their fees are going. >> if you gave them money it must be exasperating to know they charging for stuff they cannot afford and bilking the found to support lavish trips for executives, flights to europe, shopping trips in
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beverly hills. this is not the image the nra presents at its national convention. health news now, this week is national women's health week, a week dedicated to remind women to make their health a priority. this is very much part of the know your value message. according to a study of more than 45,000 people women, more than half only visited their ob/gyn and less than 6% visited a primary care doctor. and the cdc says over 13% of women over the age of 18 were either in fair or poor health in 2017. joining us now, renowned heart surgeon, cardiologist, best-selling author, dr. steven gundry. his new book is "the longevity paradox: how to die young at a ripe, old age." women's health, this is right in line with everything i talk about with know your value. you can't value yourself in terms of your pay or your work if you're not healthy. you say women should advocate for themselves more in terms of
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their health. how? >> that's exactly right. women do not get enough attention in a health care professional's office. we have been trained as health care professionals to look lightly at women's complaints. and what i found in the last 20 years of listening to women, women will tell you 80% of the time, if you will listen what is wrong with them. and what frustrates me as a physician who takes care of a lot of women with autoimmune diseases is women have to request and find a physician or health care professional who will actually take their complaints seriously and investigate it, because these are fixable problems as long as we will listen. >> some takeaways from your advice, do not stop your search until you find a health care professional who will take your complaints. like for example depression, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, swelling in the morning.
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you say take it seriously, it's not in your head. >> yes, that's exactly right. women are often brushed off as oh, it's in your head. believe it or not, the complaints of women's heart disease, of having heart or chest men. oftentimes the only things that will point to women having heart disease is fatigue or nausea after you eat. and that's certainly not in any of our textbooks about crushing chain pain or elephant sitting on your chest or pain in your arm. what's interesting is women will tell you that there is something wrong, and it's up to us as physicians to actual tlak thely these things seriously and find out what's wrong. >> the book is "the longevity paradox: how to die young at a ripe old age." dr. steven gundry, thank you very much. our last story to tell you for the morning, the state of
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pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit against purdue pharma claiming the oxycontin maker fueled the state's opioid epidemic through an aggressive marketing campaign that targeted the elderly and military veterans while downplaying the drug's addictive qualities. the suit adds to more than 1,600 claims against purdue. the drugmaker has vigorously denied the claims against it. and speaking of that important health news, know your value is taking a hard look at the topic of addiction and how it disproportionately affects women. that conversation is happening right now at knowyourvolume.com. check it out. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. mika, hi, there. i'm stephanie ruhle. we've got a lot to cover this morning. and our team of extraordinary nbc reporters is here with brand-new information on the most important stories of the day that you need to know about,

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