>> you guys are all amazing. i'm so blessed to sit here with all of you. thank you. if you don't have this book already, buy it. it's called "earn it!" read it and tweet all of us about it. we'll keep talking about it. thank you so much for watching. i'm nicole wallace. how jealous are you, chuck? >> i'm always jealous. i'm always jealous. that's a fun table. well done, nicole. hi to everybody. good evening. i'm chuck todd here in washington. it's thursday. the president hopes to not to go to war with iran. democrats hope bob mueller wants to testify, and nancy pelosi hopes the threat of impeachment will force them to obey their subpoenas. we have a lot to get to tonight, but we begin with a freight train heading towards 2020. then honestly neither side seems to be ready for. floodgates are opening after alabama's governor kay ivy signed into law the country's most restrictive abortion law.
>> now joined the wie of states passing some stricter anti-abortion rights bills. this one bans abortion at eight weeks, and like alabama, it does not include exceptions for rape and incest. abortion is an issue that republicans would usually say gives them the upper hand. these laws are in some cases draconian measures that they don't want to defend. democrats, on the other hand, usually run away from these kinds of fights because they fire up republican voters and can turn off independents. in this case democrats are the ones that are directly running towards this issue thanks to alabama. >> it is wrong, and it is unconstitutional. >> this is outrageous. this is an assault on human rights. >> this is an all-out assault, an all-out attack by the
>> george, utah, arkansas, and ohio. congressman and 2020 candidate tim ryan had this sobering message to his party after ohio passed its own version of what's called a heart beat bill. >> this is what happens when we keep losing elections. then we can't get anybody on the supreme court that protects a woman's right to choose. ohio has been nasty about this over the last, you know, several years. one of the worst states in the union when it comes to women's health, and, you know, i'm worried. i'm worried that the supreme court is so conservative on some of these issues.
it's gone to the extreme and way too far. if this issue comes up, then donald trump and these legislators who passed this in ohio and other states, they're on the wrong side of this issue and the wrong side of history where whereby. >> it is an issue that in ohio voters have always sort of been on the right side of this aisle. not the left side. >> well, voters in ohio, michigan, wisconsin, they're compassionate.
what moved me, chuck -- you're right. when i came to congress, i grew up, and i went to catholic school. i was a pro life catholic. then i got to congress, and i started hearing the stories of women who have had to deal with this situation. it moved me. it moved me emotionally. it moved me intellectual.
>> you got elected as a democrat as well as a democrat. is there room in the democratic party for pro life democrats anymore? >> should there be? >> well, i'm a big ten democrat kind of guy, and i think we should have room for people of all different viewpoints, and i will just say this, chuck. it was our friends at narol, our friends at planned parenthood, cecil richards and their team over the years, rosa delora, pro choice women, who engaged me in the conversation when i was pro life democrat. and helped me understand. let's make sure we have open dialogue and conversations about these really tough issues, skps what you will find out if you come with an open heart and you are willing to listen and respect each other's views, you can move people. i'm a perfect example of that
happening, so we should try to do that with others as well. >> well, so, i guess you're trying to -- i'll be honest. it sounded like you were trying to have it both ways. you want to be a big ten, but you think nebraska that comes in as a pro life democrat, the job should be to convince them to change their position. >> well, you're going to have a much better shot of convincing them. >> but we've got to be a big ten party, too, chuck. i mean, we can't be turning people away. look who is in the white house now. you know, there were a lot of pro life democrats that voted for the affordable care act a few years back that made that happen. to provide health care for everybody in the country. i don't have to agree with them. i got a lot of democrats. i don't agree with a lot of stuff that is important to me,
and we need to stick together. >> if you are president, would you be essentially having a roe litmus test for judges? >> yeah. yeah, i would. most definitely. just to sign something to be messed with. >> at this moment in history, people could try to dance around it. i will. you know, i will have someone who will protect roe v. wade. no question about it. >> you said something interesting that we played earlier that we were referring to when the ohio law was passed. this was basically a failing of the democratic party, i guess, for the last 20 or 30 years blsh not winning enough of these elections.
>> many believe you should have been in there vetoing that bill other than being 24 people running for president today. what do you say to that criticism? >> well, it wasn't my time. >> you can't look in the rearview mirror. my main point is, chuck, we have to win elections. we can't have all these outside discussions about the electoral college or about all these other things. it's like we've got to learn how to win, win in ohio, win in western p.a., win in wisconsin. we've got to learn how to talk to working class voters. we have to make sure we connect with them. we have to make sure we go there. we have to make sure we have a plan for them. you know, i grew up. i live my entire life in the epicenter of deindustrialization. there were two life people who
voted for democrats because we were so with them on economic issues. that's why we lose people on cultural issues because we don't have the robust economic message anymore. >> a lot of people are looking today, especially with the addition of bill de blasio, you count mike a bunch of high school kids are trying to get him to run, and 24 candidates are running for president. there's a lot of democrats that look down this list, and they sit there and say, boy, there's tim ryan that ran for governor and been governor. they wish is there a point of
too many candidates and it's pralgsz for those trying to figure out who to support? >> i would encourage hickenlooper and bull to coock for senate. >> i bet you would. >> in all honesty, i this i it's going to wino itself down, and everyone has to distinguish themselves, and i believe that i have got a distinguish iing rese in the fact that i have grown up and spend my whole life just outside of youngstown, ohio, watching this economic train wreck happen for 40 years, and the government not do anything about it.
>> when i go to ohio and new hampshire and down south, this is resonating with people. tlept to win the future and solidify the middle class again, and i'm the one who can do that. what do you bring to the table that joe bidin doesn't? >> as i just said, i've been living this for the last 40 years right here in youngstown, where i am. the steel mills closed. >> biden would say he has been in scranton. you say youngstown. he says scranton. >> yeah, well, i've been doing -- now today. last week. two weeks ago. two months ago. i was in a union hall crying with people who have lost their jobs, and i have been thinking about the f i've been
working in an area where everyone left us here. no one gave a damn about us, chuck. the congressman with the local community had to come together and work on additive manufacturing. i didn't know what that was. social and emotional learning in the schools. foods, medicines. all these innovations that are happening in the world. we learned about them because that's how we position our community for the future. i know that. i've been doing that, and i need to do it at the national level now because there's a movement that has to happen if we're going to save our kids' future. that's really the issue here. what kind of future are they going to have? right now it doesn't look very good. >> tim ryan, congressman, much appreciated. thanks for coming on and sharing your views. stay safe for the trip. >> well have another of the 2020 candidates tomorrow. montana governor steve bullock will be my guest.
i'll ask he thinks of tim ryan's idea and his future. coming up, president trump versus his own top advisors. it's not just tensions with iran that are growing. it's tensions inside the white house about tensions over iran. ist been two weeks since the mueller report will be made public. when will he himself be able to go public? >> do you think there's a chance that mueller doesn't want to testify? >> i have no way of knowing that. testify? >> i have no way of knowing that even if it's a better car class than the one you reserved. so no matter what, you're guaranteed to have a perfect drive. [laughter] (vo) go national. go like a pro. see what i did there? (door bell rings) it's ohey.
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>> i believe that's the point. >> let's turn to some of our smart political minds here. editor in chief of the wash wash free beacon. donna abrams, former democratic congresswoman of the great state of maryland. i want to start with you because on your side of the aisle it does seem as if republicans are trying to not -- they're not comfortable supporting, obviously, this law right now, the elected republicans, but they don't want to look like they're trashing it, either. they know that that could actually create a backlash. they do seem a bit paralyzed by it.
>> now it's the extreme on the pro life side getting rid of the exceptions that have basically been the consensus republican position, and so the republicans find themselves on the defensive. >> donna, democrats now. that is, they could speak with one voice on this one. it was interesting here. tim ryan never sounded so pro choice. i have never heard him sound so pro choice. usually a democrat like tim ryan is always trying to find that middle ground because it's a whole lot of pro life catholics in the ohios, pennsylvanias, michigans, and wisconsins.
>> yeah, but the fact is that three-quarters -- almost three-quarters of the american public support abortion rights, and so i think that democrats are traveling in the road that they need to be on when it comes to supporting reproductive freedom, and, you know, i don't see how you're a democrat and you get out of a primary across the board without being pro choice at this stage, and so, you know, i listened to tim ryan, and i think, well, great that there was a conversion, but he is exactly where he has to be. >> by the way, i was mildly surprised that he didn't throw -- he didn't try to mealy mouth the litmus test question. he said, yep, i'll have a litmus test, period. >> i think he is right in saying that because the threat now isn't just, you know, a bunch of women out there screaming about what might happen. this is real. this is going to the courts, and susan collins, listening to her just makes me laugh in a way because she's the one who
actually opened up the avenue on the supreme court for kavanaugh to be on the court and potentially overturn roe versus wade. >> do you think they're ready for this to be among the front and center? it's going to be a much higher up thing than democrats or. >> at one time of the year one side is calling the other extreme, and now that side is calling the other side extreme. if you look back at 2018, the election of 2018. the abortion issue was one of the lowest issues on the rankings, and on, i believe it was the fox poll, 2% of voters said that was the most important
issue. >> dan brings up something important. the passion on this issue has always been on the right. more so on the left. that is you talk to any republican candidate or strategist. they will tell you the most important volunteer group are the pro life activists. they're the ones that will do the door knocking. they're the ones that show up and make the phone calling. it's why trump had to basically switch his positions if he wanted to get out of a republican primary, and he did. will not being fully supportive of one of the state laws cause any dampening of that?
eriksson is worried that when the courts push, it might dampen conservative turnout. is. >> what happens if that moment happens, right? >> then i think you could see some type of dampening of enthusiasm by pro lifers. >> just the opposite, donna. you know, you have your planned parenthoods and your -- they'll say, hey, roe v. wade is on the ballot, but as dan pointed out, even with kavanaugh last year,
you are upset about it. you singled out susan collins. there isn't that movement on the left yet. >> no, but here's what i think. for democrats we've never really galvanized around the courts and the shaping of the courts, and i think a debate like this rather than just focussing on abortion will begin to focus on the courts and who shapes it. those senate races that are up. who is going to be in the white house? those are issues that i think have the potential to begin to move democrats more passionately on this issue. this thereby a few more questions about roe and judges, but, you know, does this help or hurt joe biden who at one time sort of always wanted to sort of straddle the fence? >> right. i would expect that joe biden will sound similar to tim ryan on this. i think the party -- anybody seeking to lead the party knows it's a pro choice party, and it
wouldn't surprise me if more and more than suggest that they would also have a litmus test. the one time that the left has -- where the left side of the spectrum has gotten energized on this is when the court has ruled and restricted abortion. i mean, way back in 1989. >> 1989, right? >> that galvanized pro choice voters, and created energy, but normally the energy is still on the right. >> when -- on the republican side of the aisle here, does this give an opening to doug jones? i actually look at this, and because suddenly you got some of the primary candidates in alabama who perhaps aren't comfortable supporting it without the exceptions, and yet, that could become a litmus test in there, and create a too conservative of a nominee. i mean, suddenly it feels like this could actually get -- if the reason i bring it up is because doug jones might be the
single most important race to decide control of the united states senate. >> sure. it's possible. remember, though, the thing about these laws at the state level is they're being passed through the legislative process. by quite significant margins in both houses in alabama and it's a female governor who signed it into law. it's representative of the public opinion in that state. i who say republicans and pro lifers do well when they focus on restricting abortion towards the moment of delivery. it's when you get into issues concerning very beginning of pregnancy and you start saying that we're going to outlaw it blanket, no exceptions, or very limited exceptions in the case of alabama, that the pro life movement gets on the defensive. >> one of the things that feels like this brings up, dan, is the fact that what we're seeing these last three years in the state legislatures is the culmination of a 40-year effort
by the conservative movement to do this, and it's a reminder of how the democrats were asleep at the switch in state legislatures. >> that's totally right. along with that what you now see is governance by red or by blue depending on the makeup of the state. >> we're going to start to see blue states cod few parts of roe, aren't we? >> absolutely. i think going back to your conversation with tim ryan, the reason that we need governors and state legislators and senators is to protect against this very thing. >> do you wish tim rooen had run for governor? >> i do. it begs the question of why some of these candidates are in the race for president of the united states. >> yeah. it's a big tv stage. that has something to do with it. if you build it, they will announce. >> up next, meet the newest 2020 democrat. we call him 24. bill de blasio jumps into the presidential race, but could we end up with yet another -- how about stacy abrams?
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has just learned that all senators are going to be briefed next tuesday. this news comes as the white house is pushing back on reports suggesting the president is not on the same page as his top national security advisors. washington post is reporting the president has grown frustrated with the national security john boldon and mike pompeo over what he sees as "war-like planning that is getting ahead of his own thinking." one official tells "the post" that the president wants to talk to the iranians. he wants a deal. then this afternoon the "new york times" reported that the president directly told his acting defense secretary patrick shanahan that under no uncertain terms does he want a war with iran. joining me now is a guy who is an expert on both presidential intrigue in the middle east.
not, to feel the need that it was time to at least -- well, not to get in a war-like setting to be on a higher alert. >> from all of my reporting, i think the intelligence is real. >> the iraqis don't buy it, do they? they're upset about the decision that suddenly we're -- >> a lot of people are skeptical. our european allies are skeptical. they began doing things to have, in effect, county punch.
>> our allies, although they buy the basic facts of intelligence, think that our overreaction is creating a cycle that is going to get us -- >> maybe in an accident. >> and everybody in the region into trouble. >> what do the gulf states in israel want. in some ways they basically bonded. sflo what do they -- the sufrt true answer is what they want is regime change. they fundamentally do not believe that this you can keep
turning the screws on sanctions and create economic dislocation, and end up with a better situation. it's not going to work that way. you're going to end up with the harder liners more powerful than before. >> it's really worked with north korea. >> yeah. >> always good to see you, sir. up ahead, are democrats any closer to the decision on impeachment, and what are the chances that we'll ever hear from robert mueller himself? we'll break it all down. that's coming up. that's coming up winds? or plan for tomorrow? at kpmg, we believe success requires both. with our broad range of services and industry expertise, kpmg can help you anticipate tomorrow and deliver today. kpmg
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>> new information about what mike flynn told the special counsel's investigation about efforts to possibly interfere with their investigation. our own investigative reporter tom winter joins me now. this is all from a brand new unredacted, i believe, sentencing memo on one of the mike flynn issues. walk us through this. >> right, chuck. so basically when michael flynn was set to be sentenced back in december, a federal prosecutor working for special counsel robert mueller, they filed a sentencing memorandum, and then there was an attachment to it, which said the things that michael flynn cooperated with. a significant amount of that, because obviously their investigation was ongoing, was redacted, but today they have published several new filings, and they've unredacted several sections, and i'm just going to read it to you because it's two sentences. this is what appears to be the
most important part. it says the defendant who was michael flynn informed the government of multiple instances, both before and after his guilty plea, where either he or his attorneys received communications from persons connected to the administration or congress that could have affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation. the defendant, who is michael flynn, even provided a voice mail recording of one of u one such communication, and some of those instances, the special counsel's office was unaware of the outreach until being alerted to it by the defendant, michael flynn. chuck, what's interesting about this to me is i can't recall and perhaps i've missed it, in the mueller report where these specific instances were referenced. the addition of congress that somebody may have reached out to michael flynn from congress is also new information that the special counsel's office has been --
important information in this filing. >> i was going to say, i'm trying to think where this would be in the mueller report. i'm going through in my head. where could it have been? i can't recall where it would have been. i think it would be in the obstruction section. we went through with it a fine tooth comb. >> most of the redactions, they were pretty obviously roger stone reactions. >> exactly. some of that was also unredacted in here. most of that information we had already previously known so that's why i did not discuss it with you. yes, that was as well.
it appears there's outreach and physical evidence. it is one thing to say i was at a function last night in washington and somebody stopped me on the way in and that, hey, mike, we'll take care of you. in this instance, a particular piece of evidence, a voicemail, that would have given some information about it. so this is going to probably trays temperature even further as far as getting robert mueller in front of congress. >> you're a former member of congress. you already have a bunk of congressional democrats that i would say are sort of, there's no more buffer. that's the match that sets it off type of thing. you never know which thing becomes the match that just says, fine. >> and here we apparently have a
voicemail message. >> evidence matters. >> physical evidence really does matter. i think that for so many democrats, they are just, they have been just waiting. and i think you know, when i listened today, the more the president and the white house and the attorney general were rebuff rebuffed, i think there aren't too many more options. impeachment is the only way they'll get to this evidence. >> so we have a part of mueller report where some of this is referenced here. late november, 2017. i know you just got this piece of research, too. the personal counsel left a message for flynn's counsel that said i understand your situation. let me see if i can't state in it starker terms. it wouldn't surprise me if you've gone on to make a deal with the government. if there is information implicates the president, then
wave national security issue. we need a heads up. for the sake of pregnanting all of our interests. what the president and his feelings toward flynn and that still remains. so this was in the mueller report itself which may be why it has already been redacted. >> yeah. so obviously, now the report is out, the investigation has concluded, that's why we're seeing the series of unredactions, if that's even a word going on in these court filings. so it's not surprising this would be unredacted today. it should be unredacted. it appears this voicemail was referenced. i don't know if we've seen a reference to congress. there are a lot of folks digging through. i don't think that that congressional reference is in there. and then on top of that, that voicemail is interesting. it's interesting as to why that
came about. and it sounds like we would like to know a lot more about it. >> that's what you would find out in a congressional investigation. if there were a congressional investigation. and there isn't one yet. >> and it will take some time. what he was talking about, to get to that point. the only question is, will the special counsel appear before congress and answer some of these questions? and we don't know the answer to that. >> it seems to me, matthew, that at the end of the day, everybody will hear from mueller first before any decisions get made. ultimately, it is about, what is interesting, bob barr today, bob barr? bill barr. i keep doing it. bob barr is the last impeachment. bill barr on a trip to central manager said, it's fine with him if mueller testifies. the president has said it is up to barr. but something seems to be shaking things up. it seems to be delaying this or
whatever. no matter what, it seems as if no decision will be made until we hear from mueller. >> i think a lot of democrats have made up their mind. >> plenty already are saying it though and they feel volume ii is enough to be impeachment proceedings. what bob mueller, should he testify, can contribute to that, i'm not quite sure. for two reasons. one, mueller most likely is going to stay within the bounds of his report. so i'm not sure what new information he would reveal. and two, the person that is keeping the lid on all of this impeachment talk is pelosi. and pelosi doesn't want to engage in impeachment because she doesn't want to interfere in the 2020 election. and she knows that right now, with america as a whole, impeachment is unpopular. so how mueller will change nancy pelosi's calculation, i don't
know. >> it is interesting though. she is talking like somebody who is ready to do impeachment even as she says she's not ready to do impeachment. here's a bit of her today earlier today at georgetown university. i am told we don't have that set up here. she said the president every day gives grounds for impeachment in terms of obstruction of justice. and yet, she, as matthew said, she is not there yet. >> i mean, i think she's trying to give the process the opportunity to work if the process works. but each day that the president stonewalls, avoids, and continues in my view to engage in obstructive acts, it makes it really difficult. what other tools does pelosi have? i mean, the congress doesn't have any other tools to bring this evidence forward. to bring mueller, if he's not going to come voluntarily.
so i mean, i don't think that there are a lot of options that are left. i do believe that pelosi is trying to string it out as long as she can to protect her caucus. to protect their majority. >> people said something today. the way the president behaves, that's baked. in he gave an answer that to me has been very similar to why blin wasn't success, bill clinton clinton said. none of this is surprising to them. that's why the focus should be on 2020 and the next election. >> that's the division within the democratic party. if you are a member of house democrats, you are and actively trying to do an investigation and you are completely rebuffed, that gets your anger up to move toward impeachment. if you are farther away, if you
are out on the campaign trail, lots of the people who are listening to the democratic camp base have made up their minds. they know what they think about. this impeachment would not change their mind. >> i'm curious. your political story, of sorts, do you look at the impeachment process of bill clinton and say, is that the republican party? or good for the republican party politically? they didn't win in '98. they did win the white house in 2000. >> i think politics moves so quickly. it is hard to extrapolate. if you look at the government shutdown, we were saying disastrous from president trump and the republicans. now his approval rating is at the upper end of that band which it usually stays. so it is hard to know. democrats who have a 17-seat majority in the house are
worried about, we have a majority that is vulnerable in 2020 should certain things go certain ways. to spend all of our time on an impeachment process that will die when it reaches the grim reaper in the senate, are democrats it fromering our two years in congress? >> i think long term, the democrats will say, if they don't this, they are feckless. >> i worry about the base of our party that is saying, who is out there protecting democracy? who is actually out there protecting the article 1 powers of the congress? it turns out, maybe no one. and i don't think an election resolves the question of whether this president has gotten around the rule of law. it doesn't resolve that question. >> well, the clock is getting too close to 6:00 so i can't resolve it today.
two more minutes, we would resolve it and the whole system of checks and balances would be restor restored. tom, i have to thank you. matthew, donna, dan, thank you all. we'll be back tomorrow with more "meet the press daily." i know what ari will be leading now if he wasn't before. we begin with breaking news in this michael flynn case. there is a brand new court filing in michael flynn's case. and it just became public moments ago. this is important because while it overlaps with things we know from the mueller report, it is a new filing. michael flynn, telling mueller's investigators about specific documented incidents where people linked to the trump administration may have affected even his willingness to cooperate. mueller spelling out the details in his report that include a transcript of a voicemail that one of trump's own personal