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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  May 16, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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perch, that can really bust through the noise. >> thanks for your time. you can sign up for the newsletter at signup.axios.com. >> that does it for us. i'm yasmin vossoughian alongside geoff bennett. "morning joe" starts right now. >> in those days the deputy job was a lot different but i'll tell you now, the attorney general job was a lot different also. you like records. this must be a record of attorney general being proposed for contempt within a hundred days of taking office. >> attorney general william barr joking about the contempt resolution. now he seems to have more material. >> you saw what happened yesterday with barr and nancy pelosi. >> bar and speaker of the house
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nancy pelosi crossed paths during the national peace officers' memorial day event outside the capitol yesterday. a bystander said he approached nancy pelosi and said "did you bring your handcuffs?" >> you know, it's a good thing that we have an attorney general that's laughing at being held in contempt of congress and also laughing about the fact that, well, he committed perjury before congress. >> he's hysterical. >> he thinks it's a joke, thinks it's funny. >> it's all a game and it comes in the context that the white house is shutting down any request from the white house
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committee. you'd like to think the attorney general views himself as independent from all that. as we've seen over the last month or two, he's not. >> actually, he's laughing about breaking the law. he's laughing about being held in contempt of congress. the white house is laughing. the attorney general is laughing about them breaking the law that requires the president of the united states, the irs, to turn over the president's tax returns to the ways and means committee. and, mika, of course he committed perjury not just once but most likely twice while testifying before the united states house of representatives and the senate and he's laughing about it. if you're a trump supporter, take that as you will. i guess that's where we are now, the rule of law which conservatives claimed was so important when bill clinton committed perjury that he should be run from office, now it's nothing more than a punch line. so the very things that we once
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valued, we republicans, people who champion the rule of law, mika, now with this trump republican congress, it's nothing more than a punch line. >> well, let's bring everyone in. welcome to "morning joe." it's thursday, may 16th. along with joe, willie and me, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle, eddie glaude jr., susan del percio and david ignatius is with us. >> let's start with the screaming headline, mika. you and i talked about this. it going to move world markets. i think we've already seen overnight what they're now calling the geist rally on the nikkei. it going to sweep to the united states today. willie, i'm predicting 500, 600-plus day on the dow because of your father's book.
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>> how amazing. >> congratulations! >> my wind-up is getting longer. but the geist rally, starting the nikkei, when word of "lake of the ozarks" is the "new york times"'s best seller. he made the list and the world rejoices. >> i didn't know where your comment was going, joe, but here we are. thank you for the shoutout. yeah, my dad's look late last night we learned he made the "new york times" best seller list at number eight. it's the best any of his books have ever done. i got to make the phone call to tell him he was on the list and he was absolutely thrilled. for a lot of reasons, this was his most special book and not the easiest one for him to get out there. we're so happy he did and so happy people responded it. thanks for mentioning it. >> mike barnicle, willie got the
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news and called his father late. and when -- >> no, it was kind of early. >> when he picked up the phone, he said why are you calling me some damn late, son? don't you have a job to do in the morning? but, mike, i mean, you've been working on a book for half a century. this doesn't just happen. >> listen, if my wife is up -- >> i apologize. this has been a bone of contention. nobody knows this but mike called bush 41 and said, hey, i'm writing a book about baseball, can i come up and talk to you and he went up to talk to him and he still hasn't written the book. i think you wanted free drinks in kennebunkport. when are you going to write your book? >> my research assistants are still typing up the context of the conversation we had with the former president. my wife is probably up now
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watching the program. we love bill geist. this is a great book. this is a lot of fun. we're happy people are buying it. and it took him 40 years to write it. so i'm 38 years into my work. it's almost done. >> so you're doing great! >> you're right on time. mika, we have a lot to cover over the next three hours. we have two presidential candidates that are going to be joining us live this morning. i'm not really good in math but i think that's about 2% of the entire field. >> they got to stop jumping in. that's all i'm going to say. it's time for them to stop. >> the pool is closed. >> a third is expected to jump in the race in about an hour from now and i have some serious questions about this. senator michael bennett and governor steve bullock are with us today. and mayor bill de blasio will be with us tomorrow. "the new york times" is already
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taking aim at the mayor's soon-to-be candidacy. >> let him get out of the gate first. we talked to dick durbin and congresswoman elissa slotkin. i love her! we have new head-to-head matchups between president trump and his leading challengers in battleground pennsylvania and once again joe biden is out front. >> as i've said, mika, quoting the great tim russert this year, if 2000 was florida, florida, florida, chances are very good this year is going to be pennsylvania, pennsylvania, pennsylvania. >> it really is. >> that's the state to watch. >> we'll start there with joe biden, who will be spending a lot of time in pennsylvania this year. the "philadelphia inquirer einq reports he has chosen philadelphia for his campaign headquarters. though a new poll shows he would most likely lose the keystone
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state if the election were held today, a quinnipiac university poll of pennsylvania voters found joe biden defeating trump by 11 points, 53-42. while bernie sanders beats the president by 7 points, 50% to 43% and trump is in virtual dead heats with elizabeth warren, pete buttigieg, kamala harris and beto o'rourke. >> mike barnicle, as james carville famously said, pennsylvania is philadelphia, pittsburgh with alabama in the middle. >> right. >> which actually could be a good way to explain a large chunk of wisconsin, minnesota and michigan as well now. but it does look clear at least from this poll, i know it's early, but no candidate in any political race wants to be down by 11 points when everybody --
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100% of the people know who you are. that said, this is a strong, strong start for described and suggests a lot of those people that voted for barack obama in 2008 and donald trump in 2016 are saying no mas. >> it interesting. we've had good news about the economy for many months and the economy is going along very well, except the real economy is beyond wall street, beyond the stock market, beyond your 401 ks, it the week-to-week paycheck and that hasn't moved a lot, especially for people in the middle of pennsylvania, a huge state. you can already see the contours of the campaign and given what he says and how he basis in the campaign trail. it a restoration in some part of normalcy in the voters' minds, what we endured during the days of the trump presidency, sometimes multiple times a day
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is not seemingly normal, the reaction to everything, the language that the president employs, the way he basis, it's -- a lot of people sort of get it's not normal behavior for the president of the united states. joe is a normal human being, he's addressing real needs, real issues of people and i think the economy is going to be pivotal in a state like pennsylvania, in every state actually, but the week-to-week paycheck issue i think is going to be huge. >> even for people who support the president's policies, so many of them tell me anecdotally they find him exhausting, the day in and day out tweets, day in and day out fights. shut up and keep us out of war. they do find it exhausting day in and day out. by this point it seems quite obvious he can't modulate himself. it's so interesting in the 2016 campaign as we talk about pennsylvania and these numbers.
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you and mika and i would talk from the very beginning about the fact that donald trump could actually win the republican nomination and there's an outside shot he could win the presidency. most people mocked us and said we were wrong, except for those people in the summer of 2016 that would go on family reunions in pennsylvania. i swear it happened five or six times, they would come back and say we were at a family reunion in western pennsylvania and 18 were voting for trump. i'd never seen anything like it. pennsylvania started moving before the rest of the country, it seemed, before the rest of the country in 2016 for trump. if you look at these numbers, it got to cause worry for trump and his campaign team. >> in philadelphia, it was two people, ed rendell, and the vice
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president of the united states, joe biden, who came into that bar where woorp doing that show waving a red flag and saying all these democrats that are celebrating, we're going to beat this guy, he's a reality show host. you're not going to beat him in the state of pennsylvania. so when you look at these spreads and you see joe biden of course of scranton, pennsylvania, up by 11 points, that 2016 election was a game of inches. in pennsylvania the spread was 45,000 votes, which can move either way. wisconsin you could say the same thing, in michigan the could you say the same thing. pennsylvania is going to be huge coming up next year. >> it is. and the takeaway from the poll is joe biden can increase voter participation. as you said, they didn't turn out necessarily in high numbers in 2016. the other thing working for joe biden is this is fulfilling his narrative of he's the best person to take on donald trump.
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every time one of these polls show him beating donald trump, especially in double digits, it really does put him ahead and feed that narrative for him to really come out successful in the primary. >> you know, mika, there were actually willie brought up two guests. i remember three very memorable guests that we had, those philadelphia shows during the convention in 2016. joe biden, ed rendell, and the rat -- >> oh, the rat in the bar. ooh, i was up on the chair. that was so scary. >> that's what we call foreshadowing. >> it was amazing. it was like a riot. >> that was terrible. >> we had ed rendell, a man who knows the state of pennsylvania better than anybody and joe biden were warning us during the convention trump's going to win this thing. they're not running it right. >> they knew. and actually tonight there's a
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special edition of "hardball." they'll be in wilkesbarre, and, david ignatius, pennsylvania will be quite a battleground for the two nominees. if it biden, gosh, it will be a showdown. >> it's the bellwether. it was angry democratic voters leaving the party to go to trump. i just of in eerie, pennsylvania up on the lake doing research for a new book. ery -- eerie was a place that
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voted for trump but they're not voting for trump anymore. maybe it's a sign that the initial enthusiasm among blue collar democrats turning towards trump has dissipated. we'll see. >> we'll see. >> in pennsylvania a new poll shows there are a lot of democrats if they can get to him of beating donald trump. joe biden is gaining ground in his first three weeks as a candidate. he's claimed five points, 16% ahead of bernie sanders. and pete buttigieg falling to sixth place with 4%. if you look in head-to-head matchups biden and bernie do the best. but kamala harris, pete buttigieg, beto o'rourke, they all run about neck and neck with
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president trump. >> what's interesting about the pennsylvania poll, it shows a complication of how they understand pennsylvania. they're not only attracted to joe biden, but they're attracted to bernie sanders. it not simply biden helping someone who can beat trump. if we read that data closely, it's the fact that every day, ordinary working people are being pinched. they have on-the-kitchen table issues they want addressed. and bernie sanders is addressing them. i think it's important we read pennsylvania in a complicated way because it is complicated. >> eddie, i'm not sure how you stumbled on this to show because we don't do complicated here.
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we try to keep it as simple as possible. i want to follow up on something you just said. it reminds me of a news story that broke last night about larry kudlow and donald trump getting into a shouting match over a telephone call after kudlow admitted that these tariffs were going to hurt working class americans and admitted it to the great chris wallace on fox news. and kudlow kept talking about how tariffs did hurt working class americans, to which trump angrily responded don't worry about who's hurt by these tariffs, which really was the headline of the story. here's a guy who, again, he pitched himself as a populist, at the end of the day he's a plutocrat. you look at what he's done on
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the tax bill, he bragged to his millionaire friends, "i just made you a lot of money today." it's complicated. there is more to this poll in pennsylvania and just joe's a good guy and donald trump exhausts people. his policies are really squeezing working class americans. >> absolutely. and to be honest with you, if joe biden thinks that the on thing he needs to do is put forward a big vision, is to say i'm the guy that can beat donald trump and not put forward policies that will address those kitchen table issues around wages, health care, manufacturing jobs, if he can't tap into that populist message, i don't think it will be enough for him to be perceived as simply the regular guy. he has to speak to those issues. remember, many folks think that bernie sanders is way over to the left as it were and here we see in this poll that
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pennsylvania, alabama, between pittsburgh and philadelphia, they are attracted to bernie sanders. so he has to do more. >> david ignatius, let's move on to another story that donald trump is becoming increasingly agitated that many of his foreign policy advisers are out ahead of him on iran and he is not ready to march off to war and yet the visors surrouadvis are. >> the trump administration for month s has been moving toward the confrontation we're watching now, advertising it was imposing crippling sanctions over iran, iran oil exports have fall ren
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from 2.6 million barrels a day to one million barrels. >> how much is that impacting them financially? >> in lebanon, hezbollah has cut salaries. in syria where rannian proxies were so important in shoring up, they're feeling the squeeze even in the revolutionary guard corps. the point is that the trump program of crippling sangctions in a sense is succeeding all too well. my sources tell me about two weeks ago the iranians clearly made a decision they couldn't just wait this president out. their how the thought had been
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let's wait until january 2020, january 2021 and then the sanctions will go away. i think they've realized that the waiting game doesn't work. i think we're seeing an effort by iran to counterdisrupt in small, deniable ways. meanwhile the u.s. is moving in enormous amounts of military force. and we have the classic situation in which mis calculaticall -- mi miscalculation by either side and somebody makes a mistake, it's a dangerous situation. final thing i'd say, joe, is this president, who in a sense is allergic to middle east wars, we know that about him, is looking at this gathering storm and saying, hey wait a minute, this is not where i want to bewibe. with donald trump, you were never sure where this iran
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pressure is leading to. i think he believes they'll make the super deal barack obama could never make. but they are in no mood to bargain with the united states. >> but, david, you brought this up yesterday, this is another great example of foreign leaders figuring trump out. i remember you being on the show and accurately pointing out the first year that donald trump had made the chinese and the iranians and many people who considered themselves our adversaries, had made them off balance. now now they've figured him out and the iranians have figured out that donald trump is all bluff. this is all a bluffing game. he's not going to go to war in the middle east. it seems to me this proves your point they know he's just bluffing and is not going -- he'll send military presence
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over there but he's not going to attack iran and they know it. >> i think you're right, people had figured out this model that trump does, fire and fury and now people have decided just let the storm blow itself out. the problem is that at certain points trump or anybody else, if he's ignored, doubles down. he's done that in these china trade talks. he keeps thinking china is going to capitulate and it doesn't and we get deeper in a trade war. and i worry that the situation in iran is going well beyond what trump imagined. he said as recently as yesterday they'll want to talk to me, they'll want to come back to the
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table, sort of imagining he'll be rescued by ayatollah hominnee. >> senator lindsey graham says he ready to support trump again iran. and other senators are far more skeptical. and alabama governor signs the most restrictive abortion bill in the country but acknowledges it's unenforceable because of roe v. wade and perhaps a surprise take from pat robertson. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. i can't believe it. that we're playing "four on four" with a barbershop quartet?
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alabama governor kay ivy signed the nation's most restrictive abortion guidelines banning the procedures in almost all cases. ivy, who had been quiet about the controversial bill, as it pushed through the state legislature took a moment to call it meaningful but unenforceable. the law does not hold women criminally liable for seeking abortion but it would punish health care providers with up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion. the on exception would be if the woman's life is in jeopardy, if the fetus has a lethal anomaly or if the the pregnancy takes
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place outside the womb. >> does the bill make exception for a victim of rape? i know the answer. can you tell me why it doesn't? >> it allows for anything that's available today is still available up until that woman knows she's pregnant. so there's a window of time, some say seven days, some say ten, there's a window of time that every option that's on the table now is still available. so she has to take a presidency test. she has to do something to know whether she's pregnant or not. you can't know that immediately. it takes some time for all those chromosomes and all that that you mentioned. it doesn't happen immediately. >> we'll talk about the legal challenges to this. even the governor of alabama saying it's probably
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unenforceable. but just your impression of that man in the legislature lecturing about -- >> willie! >> apparently i learned something about gynecology. >> i don't understand how such a person can be elected to office who can represent a state. it is beyond ignorant in coming forward with this proposal that doesn't allow for rape or incest. it's disgraceful. you see 25 men determining what should happen to women, not even knowing what he should have said and what he was referring to there, which is actually against most pro-lifers is the day after pill, which if you are attacked, women do have that option. but it really leaves you speechless to see such ignorance out there. i mean, chrome ozo chromosomes ?
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they -- even pat robinson says it's too far. >> let's go to that critic of alabama's new abortion law, someone who brought evangelical christianity to the forefront of the party. here is pat robert san speaking yesterday. >> they passed a law that will give a 99-law prison sentence to people who perform abortion, there's no exception for rape or incest. they want to challenge roe v.
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wade but my humble view is this is not the case we want to bring to the supreme court because i think this one will lose. >> wow. >> i tell you what, my grandma watched pat robertson, family been watching pat robertson for 40 years now and if pat robertson says that your pro-life bill, your anti-abortion bill is too conservative, friend, you need to go back and redraft your abortion bill because that is something that in all the time watching with my grand mom and my family for 40 years i've never heard. >> beth ani mandel writes i think both sides of the abortion debate are overplaying their hands. after 20 weeks is barbaric but
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the bill in alabama goes too far for most americans. >> this is an extraordinarily emotional issue for people on both sides because it's the balance of liberty and life, of course. our republic was founded on the belief that all americans have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. so it has been an emotional issue. but if you just look at the numbers, as i said yesterday, the majority of americans are split down the middle on whether they consider themselves pro-life or pro-choice, but then you go another way and say do you want to repeal roe v. wade, only one in five americans want that repealed. and then you look at that tweet talking about that 20 weeks mark where a lot of legislatures have passed bans after the 20th week, which is sort personal to me.
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i know about it because of jack. and when i talk about the 3d imagery and everything else and i say look at my 10-year-old boy at night, i see his profile in everything that i saw in the womb when he was at about 19, 20 weeks. he was born early. he was a preemie. but you look at poll numbers and the majority of americans also oppose abortions after 20 weeks. americans are trying to figure out exactly where they stand here and they seem to support the right that is given in roe v. wade up to 20 weeks at least and then after that in some cases three out of four americans oppose it. and as you and i have talked about as far as late-term abortions, that number dips down to only 15% of americans support that. >> the most recent polling shows
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i think it's about 15% of americans only support abortion in the third trimester and even among democrats it's down in the teens. so we talk about this issue on both extremes but we're talking about the one in front of us right now and let's just be explicit about it. what alabama is saying is if you are raped, you must deliver your attacker's child under this law. >> it's unbelievable. >> if you are raped by your uncle, for example, you must deliver your uncle child. these are rape and incest. these have almost always been carved out when people talk about pro-life but in this case they're not, unless the mother's life is in jeopardy, mike. >> and it's also right now in this country the language of division is becoming more and more prominent when it comes to each and every issue. and this issue, abortion, right to life, right to choice, is increasingly divisive. it couple of weeks ago the president of the united states was in green bay, wisconsin
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speaking to one of his saturday night political rallies. it didn't get a lot of play perhaps because his speech occurred on a saturday evening and it wasn't covered. but here is what the president of the united states said in part about this very issue, about abortion. "the baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby." those words were uttered by the president of the united states about an issue that tears at the fabric of the country. >> and we should highlight, it's a lie. it is a flat out lie. >> of course. yeah, yeah. i mean, people of goodwill on both sides of this issue try to
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go through their lives wrestling with this. and to your point, joe, the gifts of technology have changed the course of this debate. when you can see the contours, the outline of your son or daughter yet to be born but in the womb, where you can recognize facial characteristics that are familiar to you when you look in the mirror and see yourself, that utterly changed this debate. >> it does. that's why we talked about this for some time, that's why the numbers have been changing, especially for younger americans. even in the latest poll, more younger democrats are considering themselves, quote, pro-life. an important caveat, it doesn't change the fact that most of those also want roe v. wade to stay in tact. but, mika, when i hear the president lying about abortion
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and doing those ridiculous -- talking about executing babies wrapped beautifully, i mean, this is a guy -- what makes it all the more preposterous is this is a guy that for the first six and a half decades of his life was pro-choice and told anybody who asked him that he's supported a come woman's right to choose. if he sounds like a clown when he's talking about abortion, if he sounds ignorant, it's because he doesn't believe it himself. he spent 65 years, even more, being pro-choice. >> yeah. he's pretty hypocritical on this front. the effort to overturn roe v. wade continues as missouri stayed senators worked through the night to pass a bill to rival the abortion ban just signed into alabama law. after a 28-hour filibuster,
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missouri's fetal heartbeat proposal now heads to the house. >> it drs. would face up to 15 years in prison for providing an abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy, with the exception of medical emergencies, but not in cases of rape or incest. >> can we stop right there? what is with this -- >> i don't know. >> where these legislatures are rushing to make sure that a 14-year-old girl who is raped by her father or uncle and gets pregnant has to deliver that baby? who are these people? >> you got to wonder. the bill has a provision that requires a parent to be notified if the person is a minor. it calls for missouri to become one of the strongest pro-life
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states in the country, following alabama's near total abortion ban, which was signed into law late thursday. meanwhile, in louisiana, a similar bill banning abortions as early as six weeks -- >> let me just stop right here. susan del percio, this so energizes not only the democratic base but those suburban women who stood in the line in the pouring rain to elect governors from all across the country who stood in line for hours to challenge donald trump's people. i'm just saying as a former republican, this is a nightmare for republicans in the suburbs.
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their support melts down even more. there is no crawling back from this. and we're talking about pennsylvania. would somebody look to tell me how they think this is going to play in bucks county, pennsylvania, how this is going to play in the philly suburbs? oh, my god! mark it down. this is a nightmare for republican candidates in swing districts. >> absolutely. as a republican who worked to elect republicans in a blue state like new york, let me tell you, we run for the hills when this kind of thing happens. you're right, joe, this is going to be more of a motivator for the suburbs. >> and what's so interesting, we kept saying when is who going to try to appeal to other people. his plan is to just have his base come out stronger. but on the flip side, in the democratic and independent size, they're going to turn out in
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droves. this is this will ensure nancy pelosi will remain speaker of the house i would submit these people now feel they have license and they've been given license by the president of the united states. >> i agree with this. >> now, there is no person on earth who has ever received the kind of media attention that donald trump has received. he is the most famous person in the world because we cover him multiple times a day and no matter what he says, it goes out on the i was just thinking about that, pee what are the words? well, words are weapons that the president uses the idea of
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dividing. taking an issue and using it to divide people. he does this every single day but on this issue, which gets to the core of who we are, and he uses the issue to really further diride country and peel feel they're entitled to do again, eddie, it's all a scam. it all a carnival act. this guy not only was was pro-choice his entire life, he also supported gun control his entire life. so now he's taking these cartoon, positions because, as you said all along, he's not a republican, he's not a conservative, he's not a buckley conservative, he's not an edmund brk conservative, he's not a
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russell kurt conservative. he's just a -- he's a guy that loves power and exploiting these divides when he doesn't even believe it himself. >> he's not even an evangelical christian. all the women who marched right after his election, this sort of legislation will motivate them even more in 2020. that's the first thing. the second thing is that this is about in some significant way an at and it's bound up with this desire to go back to an age, a time in the country when women were in their place and men could control their bodies and control their choices. to go back to a people and at
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the hear of this is in some wa and we have people who mend the garment of the country in order to go back to this period of time. at the end of the day, joe, this is an attempt to control women. and we need to understand that for what it is. and i know that not on women but those who stand in sol daft with them, who will resist this. and lastly, let's think about the instant mortality right in alabama, in louisiana, in louisiana, in missouri. the babies who are here, who aalive they don't want to take care of yet they want to show concern. it makes no damn sense. excuse me. >> and, joe, of course there are rinsed only 13% abortion being
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legal in the third trimester. it's not an issue that learned itself to a lot of nuance but what we're talking about right in front of us is barberism. we're talking having to deliver the child of your attacker, if are raped. >> when that infant is born woor going to tack away your food stamps, your health care. we're going to continue to le you go to schools that are substandard and good luck with your life. >> exactly. >> well, you know, for so many
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of these people unfortunately, they're pro rife until the point that the baby is born. and then they don't feel a responsibility and for chrn who were born into terrible circumstances, that won't get the health care that that won't get the head start to that they need to be kpe kpif with other people in their classes. that kwont get the helping hand that's so important. by is pulled there are a lot of women of good faith and of faith
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who are pro-life. in fact, in my campaigns, some of the most i think empassioned pro-life supporters were in fact women. and but again, in this case when you even have pat robertson saying this bill is too extreme and you have other pro-life conservatives saying this bill is too extreme, i suggest that these legislators are doing themselves no favors. >> none. >> and they're doing their cause no favors because what i suspect will happen with all of these cases is the lower courts will rule them unconstitutional and the supreme court will not hear the cases. and that will be the established precedent. by overwhaereaching, they're hug
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their cause politically and also constitutionally. >> we started listening to the inane conversation about the alabama legislature. if you're a woman and you feel strongly about this, run for office, on every level run for office and win so we can have some conversations about women's bodies with women. still ahead, lawmakers are demanding answers on iran. senators from both sides of the aisle want to hear from the administration about the white house's claim of rising threats. more with david ignatius on that. and jeremy bash joins the discussion next on "morning joe." nothing says summer like a beach trip,
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the senate foreign relations committee is charged with writing the laws that authorize the use of military force and of the oversight of the state department and the safety of those who work there. and yet the trump administration
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has not provided any information to this committee on the intelligence behind their decisions or what they plan to do in iraq or iran. mr. chairman, i hope you'll join me in asking the administration to immediately provide this committee with a briefing on the decision to order the departure of the embassy staff, the intelligence on what iran may be planning to do and any plans to go to war with iran. >> the president shot down the idea we're going to deploy 120,000 people, but removing personnel from embassies and consulates is clearly a serious move by the state department. they feel the threat. i would urge the state department and d.o.d. to come down here and explain to us what's going on because i have no idea what the threat stream is beyond what i read in the
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paper, and i think there are a lot of people in my shoes that are going to support standing up to iran, but we need to understand what we're doing. >> senator lindsey graham speaking there yesterday. legislators demand the trump administration brief them on the claims of rising threats in the middle east and the potential for military action against iran. david ignatius is still with us. also joining us former chief of staff of the cia at the department of defense, jeremy bash. jeremy, we've got a year or so agos president demanding with the with draw the deal and just there week the emergency withdrawal of the americans from the embassy baghdad because the administration says there is a threat from iranian-backed interest inside iraq. what are you seeing play out here? >> well, i've been talking to
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national security professionals in and out of government and they believe we are closer to military conflict with iran than we have ever been. certainly since november 2012 when iran launched an su-25 fighter and took a shot at a u.s. aircraft flying in international airspace in the persian gulf. it's dangerous, willie, because i think it's not part of some overall strategy other than perhaps a bolton-led strategy to provoke a crisis, not waste the crisis and and engage in full scale military conflict. >> that's pretty scary what jeremy just said. we now have in washington, d.c. a government where hundreds of conservatives have been appointed to the federal bench in the last year and yet the authorization for use of military force passed really about 2001 is it still in
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effectnd we don't know what is going going on in. >> you could hear from senator men endeses and from senator graham, this ear ear fooling of mouchlts by adversaries that threaten the united states, there's this sense of a drumbeat move toward war, moving military assets in the middle east. it just feels too much like walk who are of this request of kwiring congressional author and that's really telling. my sense about this just in general, i'm carious wa
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administration has been pursuing this maximum pressure campaign without having a clear tense i don't think there's been clarity as this machine of chase that so there have been multiple paths for -- i will say that the threat to shipping in the has been something we been waping for a lock time, and now we have word potential will from this the "new york times" report yesterday that the iranians have been putting rocket artillery or mortar pieces on u.s. boats but
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it isn't david, you said something earlier that i would strike people of a certain age, the misreading of a radar blip and the gulf of tong tongion. >>. >> it was said to me yesterday.
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in the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general dunford, is as measured and sensible a military leader that we've had in decades. he's going not going to let mill assets be used for improper pr
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mr. president, you were elected to keep us out of wars the problem is we're right now on the knife edge and any mistake, any little can quickly lead to a disaster. >> we are now at the top of hour on "morning joe o ". thank you spro the fear that many people have that the united states is on a path to war with iran. obviously iran has been in the they've been it en te in the region and now if you talk to most arab leaders across the middle east, they will tell you
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that they fear an existential threat not from railroad it shows jooiden hammering drpt dprp talking about an awful lot today, including that alabama abortion law. from david, i'd love to go back to you nom that may not be following middle east news close le about a march toward iran may
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the the sflm it has given made them enemy number one for the sunni arab world. >> iran has been a destabilizing force. i often visit lebanon. lebanon is a country where the iranians asserted the right to there s sflm. and they're waging a proxy war in yemen.
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so foss. >> so they've been supporting the administration's effort to get tough. i think the problem is this cam pawn sfrom? the juanians feel backed into a zbrnlt unability to export oil. so they seem to be pushing back, prap pramtsbut there's a lot of trn nm frl -- yesterday we saw
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significant movement in in far away war in yemen to finally go along with a peace plan there. there's discussion about referring to the united nations, some of these tanker incidents in the gulf so that the u.n. would play a role. and finally, i am certain when mike pompeo visited vladimir putin in sochi this week, one of the things they talked about was the possibility of joint u.s. action to deal with this emerging crisis of iran in the persian gulf. >> david ignatius, thank you so much for being with us. we know you have to go but we greatly appreciate your time and as you always, your great insights. let's turn now to peter baker. peter the news cycle over the past 48 hours has been filled with stories about how the united states may be marching towards warwith iran and yet donald trump over the past 12 hours forcefully speaking out
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against that saying he's not going to be pushed into war with anybody. what can you tell us? >> it was really interesting of course. one of the things that donald trump ran on was to get out of these middle east kwag kwa here and and so, you know he's in a position where very hard line advisers who are pushing him and certainly wary of iran and had been for a long time, mike pompeo, bolt john blt be kind of a test for him to see how does he apply the philosophy he bought to office with the reality on the ground in the middle east and within his own circles ofs have tr pr where you
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could easily find yourself in a series of escalating steps that you don't want to get in confrontation but it leads that way. >> because of the misleading intelligence around the war in iraq and failures of intelligence in the press to be more aggressive in the leadup to the war my question to you, is, the four tankers that were alleged to have been damaged in the gulf the united states blaming iraq. how serious is this threat right now? >> i think it's serious. i think whenever the state department orders a departure from non-diplomatic facilities in iraq, you have to be concerned that there are threats against our embassy, against our kons late. i think the photograph but i
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think in some ways there's a higher bar now because of the iraq experience. i think the executive branch should come forward and declassify as much. >> all right, jeremy bash, thank you very, very much. we have breaking political news. moments ago new york kicked off his campaign by posting this video to social media. >> here in new york city, a place that is legendarily tough and complicated. good thing about norrers, a
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city, a rural people in every part of this country feel stuck or even look they're going bark wards. but the rich got rich are. >> as president, i will teak on the wealthy, i will take on the big orpgss. i will not rest until as march of the largest city n. i'm bill de blasio.
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i'm running for president again. it's time we put working people first. >> what do you think? >> it's just a great kickoff ad. even before seeing it, the thing i thought de blasio would have going for him is he's obviously, you know, he's grown up politically in the toughest political market in america, just like donald trump. there's a reason why donald trump knows how to work the press, knows how to play the press, can take all the punches because, again, he grew up in new york city tabloid culture, he gave as good as he got. you've got the same thing with de blasio where you grow up in this media hot house and suddenly you're getting, you know, negative headlines elsewhere aren't as much of a problem. susan, you've obviously ben engaged in new york politics before. i know there are going to be skeptics with bill de blasio,
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but we never know how these elections end until they end. i thought that was a pretty impressive start saying, hey, i'm a new yorker, i'm tough, i know who joe, i agree with the point of handling the news but i didn't hear anything new there. i didn't hear anything that makes him unique. the only thing that i figure he's going to stand out among in crowd is he's six inches taller pb than be in. >> all right. geez, all right. don't hold back. >> i disagree in this respect. let me bring inamy. >> use susan who can you imagine
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standing up on the stage with donald trump in a debate, someone who is going to give as much as they can take. that's certainly a more aggressive, more strident style than we've heard, wasn't it? >> not to think about the maybe 30 other people that are going to end up running from democrat being primary but independent when chuck hume has could, i'm thinking about the joe biden video which really talks about charlottesville, that talks about lifting the crisis of america and then bill de blasio
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talked about dealing with wall street and working class people. i think in some cases it was very much a new york video but trying to bodden it out. think in a lot of ways he's le have and he'll mack s as and to discuss his new campaign for about i'm here to see 8.4 million people. montana, colorado and washington. historically is at about 40 to 42% in this city. that are not money in fact, there was a cue po they want him
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to stay here and take care of the city. >> i'm trying to be charitable here. bill de blasio is a anyway guys. we need to put our driven by two new york city police officers. he's got a privileged life, as he ought to have. he's the mayor, he needs protection. but, eddie, i don't know that he pose as threat to bernie sanders or but i think it's important that a voice like bill de bla o
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blasio's is in the to kind of parse middle america over against, you know, the coastal cities. it's not to talk about white, blue collar workers in prn it's to talk about the dignity of work across. >> >> don't you think it's there now? >> i this about. but you can have sfwln if you want to see style trump substance in the ot in offer the
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past 20 years. donald trump flob it sure as hell wasn't because of policies because he had no policies. that's why i would be less focused on what lane did if he tax it to trump on the campaign trail, if he makes headlines every day like trump did by not being bombastic but being addition additional in terms of crime and employment at low levels, and yet there is this initial
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skepticism from almost. sfm the idea talking about living class seemed very sflchbl snp, what is it you plan to do for the state of new york that you plan to do for the rest of the country? i didn't hear him talk about that. >> we'll have him on tomorrow. we're going to get back to the 2020 conversation tomorrow.
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but first, democratic congresswoman elissa slotkin of michigan. i know you're rolling out, co-sponsoring a massive health care bill today. want to talk to you about that. but first try and freight lane. take a look. >> does the bill make sem specific it allows for anything that's available today is still available um until that woman shoes nochb at that.
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from so she has to take a pregnancy test. she has to do something to know whether he's spobl pb pb prb. >> well, i feel educated about apparently about how a woman's body works. what's your response, not on to what's happening in the state of alabama, but to that conversation specific country? >> yeah, i mean, i don't think anyone feels good about that conversation. and the idea that a sfrrm obviously other states like mine are looking at similar-type laws. for me it's dio what and that
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was a bill painful to be honest. >> troom to. state, local, federal. you have massive health care it a package of six bills. it aimed at a hutch. flochlt and dealing on the state as issues with the a frm sflchblt fmt and are constantly playing defense on constant attempts to undercut the.
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from and it like people have noticed up here and if you happen to have a preexisting condition, you shouldn't be counselinged your entire life. those two concepts, wherever you are on the political spectrum, people seem to believe with time. . >> between this set of bills and your expertise, it runs the gamut between respect for the rule of law and the need it the person in isand think it
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important we need to provide checks and balances about, but think no. and go ahead and try to illegally invalidate the f fmtsfchlt and assistant a second for international security. a lot of people are concerned about what they're seeing right now given the experience we've had in this country with wars t the. a as someone who zwrnl so to me
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i feel like many of us sp and us extremely important to be judicious this this whole thing. there's a lot of sfn and it's aify rahal sfchl sfrm our allies, the britts sfrk frnl our deputy commander of our.
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n if we need to see the underlying intelligence. i think there is a deep concern among national security professionals on where in is headed. >> you anticipated my next question. i think i know now the answer, which is do you believe the 2001 authorization of use of military force after 9/11 to go to war with afghanistan covers a war with iran? >> it absolutely does not. i want to be clear and you can check with every legal scholar out there. it's about al qaeda and who attacked us and to be very clear. >> congresswoman elissa slot their onp. >> come being.
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so let's go to peter baker right now. we were talking last hour about a new poll out in pennsylvania in a shows joe biden up a great deal. for people in a know the samein philadelphia usually democrats take 400,000 plus votes out of there but said drft did extraordinarily well in the scranton area. that's joe bidenan yes, sir back yard why why. >> talk about the importance of pennsylvania and donald trump's challenges if he does face joe
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biden. >> yeah, this is the central argue mpt for joe biden's campaign, which is that he can take the states or compete in the state that hillary clinton lost to donald trump and it made the difference. patien patients, he communicates with people on a value level, an hey, joe level, it that may or may not, you know, get him through a democrat being primary. highs a as as po if and
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philosophical background. >> and yauky, you have a pull-out like this that shows biden beating donald trump by 11 points in what is arguably the most important state in the 2020 election. what sort of crowding out impact does that have on candidates that are at 1% or 2%, 3%, 4%, even if it is early? >> i think it's hard to tell because there are a -- if you look at that, there are these ideas that bernie sanders is also polling well and most of the democrats, at least the top five or six democrats are pretty close to each other in terms of numbers when you look at pennsylvania. that said, the trump administration reports, including in politico, they're worried and weary about pennsylvania and are already sending people to pennsylvania to mack sure they look at that
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improve our lives, we want it be is sflo and we believe that person is going to be able to help manufacturing and working class people. i think the democrat who can really articulate that the best right now seems to be joe biden just beet on these poles. so while justice department will say i can't do my hebds we at pbs have been reporting there as this idea he's going to put up this plan that is in some way dead on arrival in congress. he wants to overhaul the legal system of immigration. part of that is really coming down the number of people coming to this country with family ties and wanting o but also modernize
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sorts of entries. >> a reminder, a very special edition of "hardball" tonight will be in wix twice then tn for trump. still ahead on "morning joe," mayor bill de blasio's announcement came after another krapt jumped in. montana governor steve poll being and as we go to break, just a note that joe's band has a gig this evening at prohibition in new york city. it's going to be fun. yes, you and me tonight around 8:30 it kicks off. >> are you going to sing? >> i'm not singing, don't worry, so stop by. >> will you dance? >> i'm not dancing either. well, i might a little bit.
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if people want to speculate about running mates, i encourage that because i think that joe biden would be a great running mate. as vice president, he's proven he knows how to do the job and there are certainly a lot of other candidates that would make for me a very viable and interesting vice president. >> senator kamala harris in new hampshire yesterday looking to squash continued talks within her party that she would make a good vice presidential running mate. >> that's exactly what you need to do when people keep talking about you being vice president when the campaign hasn't really started. >> i don't think people understand how insulting that is. meanwhile, kamala harris has no plans to appear in a fox news
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town hall. it was reported that harris will not participate in a moderated event on the network. a campaign aide told the hill that position news has, quote, reached out but we haven't entertained it "she called the network a, quote, hate-for-profit mayor pete buttigieg will at peer at the:00 a.m. on the in the work picked. >> we said that democrats should appear on fox news, you thisin the recall part of the contest.
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joining us now, democratic candidate governor steve bullock of montana, who was just endorsed by aye i can't state's attorney general. >> that's big. >> the first mayor statewide iowa endorsement in the race. great to you have on the show. >> good morning, mika. >> good morning, good morning. i'm going to start asking all the candidates who jump in at this point this question -- there are so many of you running so what is so unique, so unusual, so important about you that you have to jump in, you have to join this huge, huge range of candidates because you make the difference. >> ear than your winning smile. >> what is it? >> what is it? >> i think we're at a dangerous point in it 243-year experience
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called fundamental democracy. i want to make our political system work so everyone gets a fair shot. i've actually -- my legislature is 60% republican. most of the things that people in the field are talking about, we've been able to accomplish in montana. >> hmm. >> we've also led even before i was governor, i was attorney general, fighting against the corrupting influence of outside dollars in the post-citizens united world. fundamentally if we don't address that, we're never going to address the other big problems we face. >> we quoted kjohn kennedy sr.
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who said he's going to sell so flaksoap flakes. how do you get in a position where you can win? >> great question. i'm late into this and i signed my last bill on monday and announced on tuesday. fundamentally with that legislature, i had to get things done, got medicare expansion reokr reoccupied, i had to get my job done back at home. weep need to win back places that we lost in 2016. have i i have a proven record of doing that, bridge the divides that makes politics work. the average american really
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hasn't had a pay increase. when lindsey graham says we have to get this tax cut through to make our donors happy, it's not spack being to most people outside of washington, d.c. and the coast. if we're not giving them a reason to vote for us we're not going to win. i sell by showing up, by basically talking about the shared values we have no matter where we live and by giving people a reason to believe that both the government and the economy it work for them. >> governor, i suspect as you get into this race, a lot of people will look at you and say i like this guy, seems like a good guy but then they'll ask themselves about mayor pete buttigieg. yes, he got things done but it's a state of 1 million people. what makes you think can you run a country of 330 million? >> what a time for american politics when you have the mayor of a city and a mayor of 2000.
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now only have i been able to get some of this work done in montana, but we've led the country when it comes to net neutrality, making a fundamental difference making the internet for everyone. we've led in areas like campaign finance far beyond montana. i think fundamentally when you look at what i've been able to do and the way that i've been able to do it, i surround myself with bood so i think from that perspective you bring that excan i have experience and it can certainly translate into no just in a small are state about across the country. >> as you go from running montana to commanding the world's most powerful army, something like iran, how would you be handling iran right now?
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that's what people will wonder. and promote american values. when you look at where we've been with iran, when this administration came in, we were actually with our allies along the way and saying let's hold iran accountable. this idea of america first becoming a so where you'd begin is saying we need not to be doing this alone but we need to bring in allies and some of our adversaries to the table. >> so you would stay with the iran deal? >> i think we could improve the
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iran deal. until recently, we knew there were inspebors here that they. i fundamentally people are starting to believe that government doesn't work for them. when the economy doesn't work for them and the government doesn't work for them, it's no surprise that people are frustrated, they're angry, they're anxious. and what we've had is a president who has poured gasoline on that fire as opposed to trying to bring us to the in your state if you go to meet your neighbors, ots this is a
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great and diverse country, the tap industry of this nation is multi-colored. what do you tell someone, a parent, a single parent of a child kwhos most dangerous part of the day is maybe the to school? what do you talk about to those people? >> and i really look too, though, there are different challenges based on different communities and i would never equate the different communities but i've had some of those same conversations with native american americans and if you looked at messing and murdered, indigenous wait a minute.
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frrm so what i will do certainly is i'll show up, i'll listen more than i talk, understand that people have different challenges and different historical challenges and i want them toe sable to i was in neighborhood where there was 130 shootings in one weekend. a mall on the south side of chicago wants the same thing as a mom in rural montana wants. you want a safe community, you want a roof over your head, you want a decent job, you want good schools, want to believe you can do better for your kids and grandkids and even yourself. so the values the same. the challenges are different along the way. i think we're finally at a place in this country where we have to address those unique challenges
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and i'll bring people to the table to help me. >> governor, let's do a quick lightning round here. >> what can go wrong? >> things have gone terribly wrong on this show before, the before. are you a capitalist? >> i am a capitalist and i think there are parts of capitalism that's broken. the fact that a secretary or a legal assistant is paying more taxes than am yvonne which has $10 billion in profits is a problem. the fact that you have trillion dollars of stock buybacks when 80% of the stocks are owned by 10% of the people are a problem but i think we need to be improving that. >> okay. medicare for all. do you support medicare for all or not. >> this administration has been doing everything it can destroy and rip kelt care from people the last tfour years.
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there's way to get to accessibility without disrupting or taking about 70% of the private market, private insurance and making them have to change. >> so you would oppose medicare for all then? >> i think there's other ways to get to the same goal so i would oppose medicare for all. >> what about free college? bernie sanders is talking about free college for all. what do you think about that? >> montana has the fourth lowest tuition fees in the nation. that's by design. i had $175,000 worth of loans. we need to address college affordability and we can, but ultimately i'll never forget that day that i wrote my last -- my wife and i wrote that last check to pay off our loans. i want to make sure that it's affordable and accessible but not necessarily free for everyone. >> so how do you do that? i came from a middle class family. i cannot relate unfortunately to
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stories of crippling loan debt because i went to the university of alabama and it wasn't that long ago and i think my -- as an out of state student, my tuition was like $750 a semester. i then went to florida law school which, you know, it was one of the better state law schools in the country. my tuition was $1,000 per semester. why shouldn't the federal government be able to force state schools to say if you want our money, if you want to engage in our loan system, you have to make college more affordable for in-state students. >> i think you could do. you could make it so they're making it more affordable and then from the state and the federal side we could be paying for this. if you look at the last decade, you know, real spending per student has dropped by about 16%. at the same time the college loans have doubled over the last decade.
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we're now $1.4 trillion of debt for 44 million people where the average student is walking out with $28,000 in loans. but i think then how you do it is you actually address and use that 120 some billion dollars a year that we spend on higher education, you can incent vise states to do better. but not everybody is going to go to college. i spent a lot of time over the last few years, seven of my ten two-year colleges. it's not about associate's degree anymore. it's about a professionally recognized certificate or apprenticeship to give somebody that opportunity to get a decent job. >> i've done a terrible job on lightning round. final lightning round question. should the united states embassy for israel be in jerusalem or
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tel aviv. >> i think it's now been moved to jerusalem and i don't think the united states got much out of it. but we've got to get back to working toward a two-state solution. >> willie geist will now ask you lightning round questions about 80s pop songs. >> eddie's got one and susan's got one as well. >> i want to return to something that mike asked you. when i hear the language i want to win the states that we lost, i can speak to that part of america that the party hasn't spoken to, it -- hear it sounds to me as if you're not going to speak to black and brown constituents and many people argue that the path way to the nomination will be through black communities and particularly through black women. >> and it will be. >> as you pivot to south carolina, what specifically -- specifically will you say to black voters as we -- you know, some ways we're living in a
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moment that's been defined in some ways by charlottesville, defined by a divisive rhetoric, but what would you say specifically in terms of policy to say that you should be their choice to black voters. >> i would show up and listen but i would also turn around and say you know what, i was raised more or less with a single mom, delivered newspapers to the governor's house. i went to doing that and raising my family. i had a shot at the american dream and i know because of historical and systemic problems so many people haven't had a shot at the american dream and we need to actually directly address that. the idea that if you're an african american woman, four times more likely to die during childbirth than a white individual if -- much less likely to attend college so what i would specifically say is let's look at where we've gone wrong in the past.
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let's recognize that you haven't had a shot, a fair shot at what i've had and others have had and how can we specifically address that. >> how would you go about healing the rift that has been left by the divisive rhetoric? >> yeah. i mean, the divisive rhetoric and the rift was caused in the last two and a half years more than anything. i mean, he's ripped band aids off of where we've had challenges in this country for decades and i would want, you know, my cabinet and the people around me to look like america. that's what i've tried to do -- i've tried to make my cabinet and folks around me look like montana. and i'd say that, you know, no matter where we're from, we want that shot for our kids and grand kids and if we don't recognize that -- like this wasn't just slavery. this wasn't just segregation. this is red lining, this is things that are occurring even
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to this very day. there's a reason why if you're in the lowest economy that you know, less than 30% of kids go to college, 9% complete in college. you have been deprived of economic opportunities, many people have, for a lot longer than the last two and a half years and we've got to address that. >> governor, switching to the economy, tariffs, hitting this country very hard. particularly montana. but it's more than just the farmers and agriculture, it's everyday americans too. it's the washer and dryers have gone up in costs et cetera. what would you do if you were in a position right now to negotiate with china, what do you want to see happen with the tariffs? would you remove them immediately if i gave you that power? what would you do? >> yeah, in a place like montana, our producers are getting hit on both sides. they're losing their markets and any payment from the department
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of agriculture isn't going to replace the market when brazil takes over and they're inputs. steel and aluminum is much higher. every american at a 25% tariff to china, a family would be paying about $2,000 for goods a year. so fundamentally, i mean, and again, this -- it's sort of just this knee jerk response that a tariff is sort of a instrument and it's tomb to make it fair t. we haven't really been able to open up their markets since they got mfn status in 2000. so fundamentally, i would address, try to bring opening, recognize opening to their markets. i don't think just tariffs alone does it. i think we have to work with the international community. >> but what about specifically with china? what deal would you want to reach with them? we point a lot of fingers at donald trump saying he's playing
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the wrong hand. what's the right hand. >> where i think that trump is right is that china is a threat and a threat to our economy. and from the long-term perspective -- and they're looking at this long-term, not just short term. i think that what i would end up doing is saying let's talk about each of the sectors that we're really concerned about. 25 years ago china did this in steel. so in some ways we're fighting a battle from 25 years ago. right now they're doing it in tech and negotiate not to say we're going to have blanket tariffs and an escalating trade war but let's come to the table and say that american goods have accessed the chinese market. when we do we don't have to give away all of our american technology and it's not just access for our ag products. it's access for everything in our economy. >> final question for you. perhaps the most important of the morning. i notice in the first couple of days of the campaign you raised $1 million in the first 24 hours. you got the endorsement of the
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iowa attorney general but you also got the backing of jeff bridges. >> that's true. >> will you pledge here and now, governor, to give the dude a place in your administration if you are elected? >> you know, jeff bridges and i worked on childhood hunger, other things. i was excited when he came out and consider him a good friend but a good advocate for ending childhood hunger. >> welcome to the race. good to have you. >> we'll continue talking about you because it is the top of the hour now on "morning joe" on this thursday, may 16th. still with us, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle. professor at princeton university. eddie glaude. susan dell percio and joining the conversation we have his torreon, author of "the soul of america" jon meacham.
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he's an msnbc contributor and coauthor of the forthcoming back "songs of america." we were just speaking with montana governor steve bullock who until this morning was the most recent entry into the democratic 2020 field. this morning new york city mayor bill de blasio kicked off his campaign by posting this video to social media. >> here in new york city, a place that is legendarily tough. and big. and complicated. >> good thing about new yorkers is they look the same whether they're really pissed off at you or they like you. >> we put an agenda that puts working families first. >> doesn't matter if you live in a big state, small state, doesn't matter your ethnicity, people in every part of this country feel stuck or even like they're going backwards but the rich got richer. i'm a new yorker.
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i've known trump is a bully for a long time. this is not news to me or anyone else here and i know how to take him on. don't back down in the face of the bully, confront him. take him on. as president i will take on the wealthy. i will take on the big corporations. i will not rest until this government serves working people. as mayor of the largest city in america, i've done just that. >> de blasio for president, guyguy guys. >> donald trump must be stopped. i've beaten him before and i will beat him again. i'm running for president because it's time we put working people first. >> you know, i don't know. i think i'm in the minority here. i like the ad for a lot of reasons. i like the tone of it. i like the aggressiveness of it. there are a lot of democratic candidates where you go okay, they're smarter but can they really fight donald trump? can they really stand with him toe to toe? and i think -- i think that's a
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good ad stylist cli but who knows. we shall see. i want to bring in jon meacham to try to add some weight to this conversation. make us feel a bit smarter about ourselves. >> i'll fall asleep. >> so i really like steve bullock an awful lot. we're going to be talking -- >> he was great. >> -- to the colorado senator, that is running, michael bennet very soon. i'm also a big fan of his. i read a really positive column about kamala harris, thought she had a great launch. mayor pete, we had to ticker tape parade here on "morning joe." we like elizabeth warren, i'm adopting harold ford jr.'s apreach, you're right, i like all of them. you're hearing the people say
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there are too many people in this race. i'm reminded of '92 where they talked about the seven dwarves and one of those -- >> '88. >> was it '88? well, that just blew it straight out of the water. >> sorry. go ahead. >> i want to show you -- no, i'm glad you corrected me. i'm going to show you how nimble i am on my feet. the 1998 democratic convention, bill clinton droned on and on. he was practically booed off stage. he was a joke. when he ran in '92, bob kerry, a man that we all respected said that clinton would be opened up like a rusty tin can if he won the democratic nomination. and we have certainly -- i think history will show the most effective president in him in a long stretch along with ronald reagan and lbj, so we don't know
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what emerges from a big field or who emerges from a big field, do we? we just -- i think we know the more the better. >> i think the more the better. the other thing about the last say, 50 years or so is a, you wouldn't necessarily have bet on the winner of the presidency at this point in the process. right? i mean, you would not have thought that clinton -- clinton announces remember, one of the points about 1992 is he doesn't announce until october, november of '91 because president bush's approval ratings have been so high after the gulf that remember governor cuomo decides not to go. there was a sort of this vacuum there. and it was a fairly small field. it was jerry brown, bob kerry, bill clinton, i'm sure i'm losing somebody there. but then you go to you know, george w. bush in 1997 or so,
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wouldn't necessarily have thought that was going to happen, barack obama, they all -- remember everybody thought that was interesting for him to run. vice president and maybe some day we might be ready for that. that turned out differently and most importantly the incumbent president of the united states. who until what, 11:30 p.m. eastern time on election night people didn't think was going to win. so you just never know. and you know, the democrats who have won the presidency since johnson have been seemingly unconvention until. you would not have bet on president carter at this point. remember? >> right. >> i'm jimmy carter and i'm running for president. when you have to explain that you've got a long way to go, but he did it. president clinton was clearly a long shot. obama made history and so the other thing about this whole
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climate. you don't know until the dynamics of these primaries take place. the other thing is of course there are this many democratic candidates because as president kennedy once said in a very different era, people ask me why i'm running for president, i look around and i think, god, i can do this if they can. >> right. >> if these folks are looking at donald trump, you know, they figure they're ready for rush more. >> and not only that, but the democratic nomination is more valuable now than it's ever been because they're going to be running against a guy, the first president in modern american history that has not cracked 50% in the approval wsh a approval ratings and you look at a president with a 31% re-elect in wisconsin, a 31% re-elect in michigan, down 11 points to joe biden right now in pennsylvania. suddenly you think, man, that brass ring is worth reaching for
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even if 22 other people are doing it right now. >> yeah, we showed those head to head polls in our last hour and to a man and a woman if you go down, that's the state of pennsylvania, almost everybody is either beating him or tied with donald trump. i mean, in this top tier and the second tier and even getting down into the beto o'rourke tier as well. so jon, i guess i would ask you as a matter of history, but also obviously as a matter of what's going on right now, with joe biden looking so strong at this point, are we giving him too much weight at this point? is -- are we not playing the long game or is he as strong as he appears right now? >> i think he -- he is as strong as he appears, but the dynamics of politics are such that nobody has ever gotten -- ever, it would be hard to think of an example in our modern history which really begins more or less
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in 1968, '72 in terms of this many primaries and the way the process works really post '72, the -- the eventual nominee always gets knocked down at some point. the ronald reagan lost iowa to george h.w. bush. george w. bush lost new hampshire resoundingly to john mccain. barack obama wins iowa, but loses new hampshire to secretary clinton. so there's always a drama here and the test is what can a candidate on the fly learn from defeat? he's actually a pretty good test run for the pressures of the office. and so the one thing about vice president biden is he's had so much trauma and tragedy in his life he knows -- he knows how to be resilient. that's now tragically second nature to him because the nature
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of his life. but i think it -- to me the biden efficacy of the candidacy right now, what tells me the most is that most of us and most of us who live -- spend too much time on our phones and too much time thinking about this stuff actually, are only talking to a dedicated side logically driven part and they're talking to each other more than they're talking to a lot of those folks in pennsylvania you were just showing the poll on. so a lot of the progressive left may say having an old white guy is the last thing we need right now or this old white guy anyway, but that doesn't represent the fullness of the party. and it's the fullness of the party that will have to decide, are they going to show up in
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caucuses? are they going to show up in primaries and are they going to vindicate this biden momentum or will he end up not making it all the way. but there will be an early stumble. he's lose something big early if he's going to win. that -- that you can bet on. >> as usual, dr. meacham you're correct in your assessment of the state of the nation when it comes to this campaign and the longevity of it and you're especially correct i think about joe biden that one of the things that the vice president, former vice president has going for him that is not to be underestimated is the impact of emotion on voters. and the fact that the man standing in front of them as he speaks, he's not only a familiar figure but they know instinctively and they know from what his life has been all about, he understands the concept of loss. not just political loss, but the losses that so many americans suffer from each and every day.
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the loss of a job or whatever, the loss of a loved one. and to the extension you know, the longevity of the campaign i would go way back machine and refer you to the all time great running in new hampshire in 1976. many accomplished people running for president. he was in a barbershop, walks in, introduces himself, i'm mow running for president. the guy says yeah, he says we were just laughing about that. >> that's -- i would -- mrs. obama was just here in nashville last -- on sunday for her last book event and the line is still outside. just incredible number of folks. people were walking out of meeting her with tears running down their cheeks. literally. and what mike says is really
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important because i was sort of watching it somewhat clinically and thinking, is there any other figure in american or global public life who could -- whose story would have this resonance? and i couldn't think of one. but one thing that the vice president, former vice president has that also mrs. obama has and you don't think of those two together in the same frame, is there is this emotional component, this sense of connection that is separate from the content of the political message. because he does talk about as mike says, he talks about i try -- when i grab someone's hand, when i'm talking to someone i try to think what kind of pain are they going through? ronald reagan was one of the great communicators and the vote getters but he didn't have that exactly. he appealed to a big vision of
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the country. that personal connection, it's -- and i hesitate to use this word but it's almost therapeutic. it's this -- something that is separate and apart from politics. it may not make him president but it is going to make him very, very durable out there. >> for the most part, this democratic field i would say has been relatively civil toward each other, not fully -- bernie sanders has gone after to some extent joe biden. elizabeth warren as well. senator kamala harris says she takes issue with vice president biden's stance that the 1994 crime bill that he voted for did not lead to mass incarceration. she told reporters yesterday, quote, i have a great deal of respect for vice president joe biden but i disagree. that 1994 crime bill, it did contribute to mass incarceration in this country. senator harris explained the bill ins instituted a federal three strikes law and also funded the building of more
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prisons. is the crime bill, eddie, going to follow joe biden throughout this campaign or do you feel like he's dealt with it and moved on? >> it has to. it seems to me it will. if it doesn't then it's going to show the gendered nature of how hillary clinton was treated because hillary clinton, as first lady, had to deal with bringing them to heal. and remember how progressives continue to hold her to account, young black lives matter, activists continue to hold her to account. so it seems to mow not only be vice president biden have to kind of respond to -- he wrote the legislation the 1994 crime bill. he's going to have to respond to his position with regards to bankruptcy and credit card industry. he's going to have to respond to his legislative record and how he does that in interesting sorts of ways will determine how folk i think respond to him on the campaign trail. but he has to be held to account for -- if not then we could say clearly that it was gender at
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work when hillary clinton was held to account. just by being first lady at the time. >> i don't know whether it's still in the books but california had a truly punitive three strikes and you're out. >> and kamala harris. >> and she's been criticized for that. joining us now, primary contender senator michael bennet of colorado and republican senator bill cassidy of louisiana. they are leading a bipartisan effort in the senate to pass legislation aimed at protecting patients from unexpected medical costs, so let's start there. senator cassidy, i'll start with you. what does the bill do? i think it has three points to it. >> well, the bill is to recognize the principle first that the patient should be the reason for the care, not an excuse for the bill and if there's a dispute between the doctor and the insurer, you have an automatic okay, let's go to the average of what is paid. but if for whatever reason that is not satisfactory to either
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party it can trigger into arbitration. that said, the patient is taken out of it. she is not getting a bill for oh, my gosh, tens of thousands of dollars. no, she gets what she would normally pay for an in network rate and we do focus on those docs and providers who are nonelective. you go to the emergency room, you can't choose your doctor. the pathologist and anesthesiologists so we think we get it. >> michael bennet, jump in. where else do you see this bill really having an impact? i know this is an issue that's very important to you. >> it is and i'm so pleased to be doing this with senator cassidy who is actually a doctor so he understands what we're trying to do, which is to protect americans from getting a surprise medical bill when they're out of network after an emergency. 15% of people that are treated in this country end up with a staggering bill because it's not in their insurance network and this just says that's not going to happen anymore. we're going to allow -- we're
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going to say that doctors can charge and insurance companies can charge the median bill when they're out of network for emergency treatment or other treatment and i think we've actually worked very well together to create support outside of this place for this bill and we actually have a chance of passing a bipartisan bill around here which is a rare and welcome occurrence. >> senator cassidy, being a republican, i want to know how do you think you're going to -- how the president will react to this? i mean, we hear a lot about bipartisan talk but we don't see it through fruition and will this bill if it makes it to the president's desk will he sign it? >> i think the president will sign it. the president is clearly concerned about surprise medical billing. he's clearly concerned what i call those families around the kitchen table, what impacts them and this is what impacts them. michael and i would both agree, this is not a republican or democratic issue. it is that kitchen table issue and i think the president's
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going to be with us. >> so senator bennet, as you know i'm kind of slow so i want you to break this down for me in plain english. i go to the emergency room. >> right. >> i need a quick outpatient surgery done. it involves an anesthesiologist. i have blue cross, blue shield. >> exactly. >> i leave, i go home, thinking oh, boy, my insurance coverage and then three, four weeks later i find out the anesthesiologist is not covered under my health plan. who gets the bill? what do i do about the bill when i get it? >> that's exactly it. you get the bill and because it wasn't blue cross blue shield it was a kayser doctor, let's say, you end up having to pay full freight. i just had prostate cancer as you know, it cost $94,000 to have that operation. i was covered by insurance and it cost me $1,800. if i i was out of net work and in the hospital for an emergency i could have easily been liable for that bill. in fact, every single day in
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this country, that's what's happening to americans and i think senator cassidy and i just think that's totally unfair and that's what we're trying to fix. >> and under our system the patient would only be billed that which would be in network. to the anesthesiologist is out of network, then the anesthesiologist would receive from the patient that which he would pay for an in network case. >> all right. senators michael bennet and bill cassidy, thank you for working together and for being on the show. >> thanks. >> still ahead, the white house says congress doesn't get a doover when it come to the mueller report. we'll talk to senate majority whip dick durbin about the administration's efforts to block democratic investigations. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. (woman) when you take align,
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$1.1 billion class action lawsuit in canada is targeting more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies. the suit filed yesterday uses multical companies including perdue pharma of promoting addictive opioids despite knowing their risks and manufacturing an opioid crisis that killed thousands in the process. it comes the same week as the attorney general of pennsylvania sued perdue pharma for allegedly using deceptive marketing tactics to sell opioids. the suits are two of some of the 2,000 cases that have been brought against pharmaceutical companies for their roles in the ongoing opioid crisis. let's get the medical and legal
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take on all of this with "morning joe" medical contributor dr. dave campbell and state attorney for palm beach county, you guys were speaking on this yesterday. dave arronberg on the legal front is this fair to blame the drug makers for making something that the people take themselves. where's the connection between the crisis and the companies that make the drugs. >> well, this epidemic was man made and years in the making and created by corporate malfeasance and professional greed and so the drug manufacturers and distributors could be held accountable. oxycontin was billed as being safe and nonaddictive when it was neither. now you've got millions of americans addicted to this stuff and corporate america needs to be held accountable for their role in this. and now it's a fentanyl epidemic and the top thing we can do is get tough with china which is the lead exporter of fentanyl
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into this country. that should be at the top of our list. >> absolutely. is it possible these drug companies had no idea that these drugs were highly addictive and could destroy lives? >> no, i think that's unlikely. i think they more likely knew and were effective in their marketing techniques to doctors like me that were actively practicing and all types of fields from trauma surgery to orthopedic surgery and pain management. so there certainly is some culpability there but we have certainly evolved from the pain pill epidemic to the heroin epidemi e epidemic now to the fentanyl epidemic and this week we have to start watching cocaine and methamphetamine and these psychoactive substances. this is an evolving crisis. >> so medically and legally, dr. dave and then dave aronberg how does this compare to cigarettes in terms of the addictiveness of it and the knowledge on the part of the drug macher?
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>> let's look at the death rate. there's 480,000 or so deaths from tobacco. 80,000 or so deaths from all substances. we almost hit 50,000 deaths a year with opioids. so in my opinion, tobacco is dramatically more harmful and we would have to go way back to -- to link the tobacco knowledge, which was done 50 years ago to the health risks that were known for a long time as tobacco was and remains sold. >> obviously there are parallels between what the tobacco companies knew in the 50s and 60s and what opioid companies knew in the '90s, a corporate malfeasance does share -- there are a lot of similarities between these two industries. right? >> exactly. and the lawsuits that were successful against the tobacco companies will provide precedent
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for lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies when it comes to these opioids and unfortunately i think the pharmaceutical companies that are on the hook for their opioid sales will follow the lead of the tobacco industry. after the tobacco companies were sued successfully they started selling their product to the rest of the world with extra aggressiveness and it made them billions of dollars. expect to see the same thing happen with the opioid ma manufacturers and distributors. it's going to be the world's problem pretty soon. >> so talking about the pharmaceutical companies there's a big step between the pharmaceutical companies and the patient and that is the doctor. what culpability have doctors had over the last decades in overprescribing opioids? >> a couple different areas to think about. most doctors have been very thoughtful, compassionate and provided care when pain needed
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to be treated, they treated it. the outliars were prescribing more than they should knowingly. the vast majority of doctors, this caught us by surprise. >> there's one other thing that seems to have caught people by surprise and the way this epidemic has hit women specifically. can you go into that a bit? >> yeah, 20 years ago the numbers were dramatically different. it was a male dominated epidemic. those numbers have shifted now 400 times increase in women being addicted. >> 4,001,234. >> yes. now we see that with fentanyl, surprisingly, that sumner is changing. so more men than women. i think the numbers will confuse us a little bit. if we think about the effect on women, there are a lot of social issues, family shieissues that not the same. women have responsibilities that are different.
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take one for example. when they go to rehab they need child care. so they're less likely to go if the rehab facility doesn't have child care. most men won't think about that. >> wow. all right. dr. dave campbell and dave aronberg, thank to you both very much. up next, dick durbin is standing by. he joins us straight ahead. and as we go to break, a quick note on "earn it." it's going so well and i'm so happy. >> meet paul, the cat? >> it's for young women in the first stage of their careers. it's an amazon best seller. >> number one in resumes. number one in work place culture and number one in businessmen torring a-- mentoring and coaching. >> i cowrote the book.
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she's gone from undocumented immigrant to dreamer to best selling author to look at this, cover girl. >> there you all are on the spring issue of resident magazine. of course, willie, this is a magazine that you and i and beckham have tried to get on even saying that we would -- we would let them go behind the scenes, kind of like you did, smoking cigarettes, watching family feud, holiday inn, they were like no, but look at this, man, huge for mika and daniella. >> begging to be on the cover of the magazine is not the right approach. you have to write a good book. >> go to know your value.com to get your copy of" earn it" today. we're back in three minutes with dick durbin. n three minutes with dick durbin. ♪
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>> welcome back to "morning joe." the trump administration continues its blanket defiance of congressional oversight. informing the house judiciary committee that they will not turn over records and staff testimony provided to the
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mueller investigation with a letter from white house council that uses the president's rhetoric quote, congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized doover of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the department of justice. so much there to talk about. joining us now the second rarnging democrat in the senate, member of the judiciary committee, minority whip dick durbin of illinois. i guess i'd like to start right there. very seriously has -- has there been a situation where subpoenas are just run over? where the white house just says no, we won't comply, where -- what happens after this and what's the precedent for it? >> well, of course at this point the question is the accountability of this president or any president under our constitution.
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the office of legal counsel came up with an opinion which bob mueller noted in his report which says the sitting president cannot be held criminally liable and now we have the statement by the administration they will not cooperate with congress that other branch of government when it comes to accountability by producing documents and witnesses. so by what standard is this president under his theory accountable to anyone? and that really is the bottom line question which i'm afraid has to be resolved by the courts. >> actually i'm kind of hoping you'd have the answer. i mean, is he at this point -- if oversight is supposed to hold the president accountable, what happens when the president refuses to comply? what's the process or do we have to wait eight, ten years and watch a lot of things happen to our country in the meantime? what is the process to hold him accountable now? >> there are two steps in this process. the first is the judicial branch of government to make a decision as to whether or not this president has violated the constitution with this new
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policy and secondly, of course, the american people have the last word in the election of 2020. so it isn't going to be a matter of eight or ten years. i hope it's resolved much sooner and i hope the administration comes to its skeenses. the republican led congress went to extraordinary lengths to have hearings, call witnesses and so forth. when it comes to their own accountability they're arguing it's political. we shouldn't be held accountable. >> so which is going to come first? is it going to have to be the american people who decide without information or will the courts be able to make the president comply earlier? >> well, i think the american people can draw the obvious conclusions. when this president goes to these extraordinary lengths not to disclose his income tax returns, something done by previous candidates of both political parties, the inference is obvious. there's something in there that is troubling to this president and he thinks will be troubling to the american people. they're certainly going to take that into consideration in 2020. >> senator, topics which you
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hear, iran, the front page story in the "new york times" the other day. the possibility of 120,000 military troops. do you understand from this piece of legislation that's been on the books since about 2001, does it cover the deployment of troops to iran and when is the president going to be given the ability to revise the use of military force. >> it does not include every invasion of every country in the middle east that any country might come up with. it was clearly in response to 9/11 and the specific threat of terrorism to the united states. when it comes to when the time may come for the senate or others to demand our constitutional right, our authority to declare war, that really is up to members of the senate and the house of
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representatives. we are going to have to force the issue. i don't believe that this administration is going to come to us hat in hand asking for permission. the notion that john bolton believes we should start talking about 110,000 military, i think is reprehensible and completely inconsistent with what this president promised during his campaign. >> senator, it's willie. good to see you this morning. staying on that topic, in october of 2002, 13 months after 9/11 through with great pressure to support the idea of war in i iraq. you were only one of 23 senators to vote against the use of force in iraq. you were among the 23 who voted nay in that case because -- and you went into length in discussing this and explaining it. you were on intelligence. you hadn't seen enough to vote to authorize that war. do you feel like you're seeing the beginning at least of some kind of replay of that war in iraq?
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>> unfortunately i do. i think we're reaching a gulf moment if we're not careful. it's clear the iranians are doing things in the middle east that are totally unacceptable. they may do something that's provocative that involves an american serviceman for example that this president or john bolton with use to move forward with more military action. i think that's a serious mistake. >> so what can you do right here and now to put the brakes on this, at least to slow down, to see the intelligence, to make sure we don't rush in again like we did in iraq and the disaster that's followed in the generations since. >> we're asking for a briefing so that we can see in detail. some of us have already had a briefing but other members to see in detail what is leading up to this threat from john bolton and the president's advisors. and we have to do that in a timely way. they've told us well, we'll get back to you next week. i hope that isn't too late.
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>> president has set to unveil his new immigration plan in the rose garden today. what -- is it dead on arrival? he's not really addressing daca or the dreamers or the undocumented workers in the country currently, so what is your reaction to the plan as it's currently laid out? >> let me tell you, two years plus with this administration discussing immigration has been a total frustration. we reached the point in the united states senate last year where we had a bipartisan majority in the senate ready to move forward on immigration. president trump killed it. every time we have tried to respond to the crisis in immigration he's really played to his base and made the situation worse. what we face now is truly a humanitarian crisis. i think the detainees who are being held at the border now are in dangerous and even life threatening circumstances and i've seen it firsthand. today i'm going to appeal to the international red cross to take a look at the detention facilities being used by the american government for these people presenting themselves at
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our border. we must enforce the law of course but when it comes down to it we -- at the end of the day we cannot engage in inhuman conduct which we cannot account for in the future. >> all right. senator dick durbin. always great to have you on the show. >> thanks. let's turn now to business before the bell with sara eisen. >> good morning. well fortune has released its esteemed fortune 500 list. list of the biggest companies in the u.s. and the world by revenues, by total sales and amazon topped the list for a seventh year in a row. but the biggest headline here is that the big get even bigger. what do i mean here? well, 500 companies produced enough sales in total to equal two thirds of the entire economic output of the united states. looking at the list here, exon mobile number 2. apple moved up a spot to number
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3. other big takeaway is that it's all shifting west. it chose the power and sort of outsized influence and glowing influence of technology, data companies on our economy. just to narrow that down even further, 40 companies were responsible for 52% of the earnings. so giant companies, huge influence on our total economy. 27 of the household names earned at least $10 billion in their most recent fiscal year. there were some newcomers on the list that i could mention including way fair, the popular furniture shopping website. broad com coming in at 150. so always interesting to see that the newcomers on the list, but overall, it just shows how big these companies have gotten in terms of revenues and market value really which is another way we track it. if you look at market value, the tech names dominate even more.
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amazon, apple, facebook, google among the top names. also wanted to mention boeing because a lot of the faa administrators were on the hill yesterday and i think one of the buggest takeaways and surprises is that the acting administrator in part blamed pilot error for some of the problems on the crashes that led to the deaths of more than 300 people and the grounding of the 737 max planes. clearly there was some boeing issues as well and the technology which led to those groundings but it's interesting to hear and goaded a little bit by some of the republicans that were more supportive of the trump administration officials within the faa that they blamed some of the foreign pilots for not using the technology correctly when it came to those anti stall systems that ultimately led to the downfall of those two deadly planes. >> yeah, this story is not going anywhere for boeing for a long time. sara eisen, thanks so much. >> coming up next on "morning
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joe" we go back to the beginning. we talk to best selling author rick atkinson about his new book on the revolutionary war. more "morning joe" in just a moment. ing joe" in just a moment (indistinguishable muttering) that was awful. why are you so good at this? had a coach in high school. really helped me up my game. i had a coach. math. ooh. so, why don't traders have coaches? who says they don't? coach mcadoo! you know, at td ameritrade, we offer free access to coaches and a full education curriculum- just to help you improve your skills. boom! mad skills. education to take your trading to the next level. only with td ameritrade.
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newest edition to the 2020 presidential field tweeting a short time ago, the dems are getting another beauty to join their group. bill deblazio from new york city, considered the worst mayor in the u.s. will supposedly be making an announcement today. he's a joke but if you like high taxes and crime, he's your man. nyc hates him! what do you think? >> once again, the president gets something wrong in a tweet. crime, to dill de blasio's credit, crime has continued to fall. it's just again the president getting the facts wrong. >> that's true. and we are here in an amazingly safe city. bill de blasio will join meek and joe here on "morning joe." now tell us about the new book titled "on democracy" which you wrote the introduction in your spare time, i assume. >> it's edited by his
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granddaughter martha white and i must admit writing an introduction for e. berks whib.s is a daunting task. known mostly for "charlotte's webb" and stuart little but in time he was known as one of the same voices of american lit dhur, one of my faces pieces ever in the collection is a piece from 1943, from the talk of the new york in the new yorker where he decides to define democracy and what we're fighting for. mike will appreciate this, democracy is a score the he at the top of the ninth, it will not go bad, mustard on the hot dog. he said the line that forms on the right, the don't and don't
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shove, the hole in the shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles. remarkably sane and wise insight into this disputatious and complicated country we live in. >> speaking of sane and wise, joining us now the author of "the british are coming, the war for america: the first in a trilogy on the revolutionary war, as i said, the great rick c atkinson joins us. your book and the history of this country, especially "the british is coming here," it was formed and fought for by ordinary citizens, farmers who blame militiamen. tell us the capsule story about this. >> this book is about the first
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two years in the american lucian. 2.5 million living in america in 1775 when the war begins. 500,000 were black slaves. it's a civil war really because probably 18% to 20% of the white americans living here are still loyal to the crown. we will see for eight years, it's not only fighting against the crown for independence but fighting within the country to determine what kind of country we're going to have. so it's a pretty bloody thing. it anticipates the larger civil war of the 19th century. >> it strikes me, and i'm only 75 pages into the book, but it strikes me once again in the retelling of this story that is so vivid and formative in this country's history we don't know our own story in this country. we don't teach history the way it ought to be taught or used to be taught. this is one more effort to say pay attention, this is who we
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are. >> it's who we are, where we came from and forebearers believed. the most important question anyone can ask themselves, what are they willing to die for? and those questions need to be referred to repeatedly to understand where we came from, what the country was founded for and where we think we're going. this book also tells the story from the british standpoint and trying to understand why king george iii, who was not crazy, who was quite extraordinary in many ways, came through 60 years, why would they fight for eight years across 3,000 miles of open ocean in the age and sail? what was so important to keep their clutches on the colonies? i think understanding that is important also. >> jon meacham? >> i just want to say for the record, my own child, who refuses to read anything i write, is such a fan of rick atkinson's we once made a fan visit to his house. so i continue to be grateful for
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that. rick, what does -- what role did the military activities of this period of the first volume, how did that impact the political decision that are more familiar? the independence hall, declaration of independence, the story that we tend to get when we don't really think about what was happening in the field, what was the intersection of the two? >> the continental army is the institution in the forming of what will be the republic, and indispensable mayhem in that institution is george washington. washington is making it up as he goes along in many respects because the notion of being subordinate to civilian control is not a given. washington acknowledges it from the day he arrives to take command in cambridge, massachusetts, on july 2, 1775. for eight years he will acknowledge his subordination to
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the united states' congress. he spends a lot of his time writing letters to the members of congress, to governors. that's an important legacy that he left for us in understanding precisely why the united states' military has never been a threat to our common good. >> let me ask you this question, why is it important for us to return to this story now? i mean, so what does it mean to tell the story of our beginnings in a moment where it feels like we're coming apart? >> i actually think it's more important now than ever. one of the things we can see the nation was born bickering. discomputertation is in the national genome. that's important for us to understand when it seems like we're always bickering now. that's who we are and there's nothing inherently wrong with that. we can also take comfort in the
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fact no matter how difficult our tree vei travails are today and they seem difficult, we had it more difficult in the past, and we mastered them and overcome them. that should also give us comfort. i think understanding in times of difficulty, great men have arizin to lead us. great men who have republican virtues, small r, that should be the northstar for every citizen today. washington is an example. probity, absolute commitment to honest government. the commitment to a cause greater than himself. that's a concept and that's a concept that we should continue to embrace embrace in the 21st century. >> your notes in the book are expensive, your research beyond thorough. i want to know what is the nugget you took away in doing your research that surprised you
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the most? >> one of the things that surprised me were the strategic mistakes the british make, errors they have in their anying about us. first of all they believe the depth of the loyalty to the crown is broader and deeper than it actually is. that's a pretty steak error. they believe if the american colonies slip away that next to go will be canada, ireland, the sugar islands in the caribbean, india. and that will be the end of the british empire. the empire that had been created in 1763 in the victory in the seven-year war, he french and indian war as we call it. that's the first predicate of the entire war, huge losses, believing if america slips away, it's the end of the empire. that's wrong as it turns out. so that surprises me the depth of misunderstanding. >> the book, great book, is "the british are coming: for america
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lectures into princeton" one more piece that gives you part of the greatest story ever told, the greatest story of america. thanks, rick. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage now. thank you very much. it's 9:00 a.m. on the east coast and we have a lot to get to this morning. and you're in luck. our team of nbc news reporters are here to explain the issues affecting your life today. president trump set to unveil his new immigration plan suggesting a merit-based system that would prioritize immigrants with specific skills. this as an nbc news exclusive report reveals plans for u.s. military to build six new tent cities near the southern border to house migrants. two more states are moving forward on anti-abortion bills after alabama's governor officially signs the country's

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