tv Deadline White House MSNBC May 20, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
always you can reach me on social media. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicole wallace starts right now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. and then there was one. one republican member of congress willing to say out loud what any honest broker who's taken the time to read the mueller report would say, that donald trump's conduct described by robert mueller meets the threshold of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors in any other moment in history would not be a debatable conclusion, but in this moment with this president who told his supporters not to believe what they see, what they hear and not to trust his own appointees at the justice department or fbi this one relatively unknown congressman has done something extraordinary, by reading the report that explicitly says robert mueller could not
exonerate donald trump on obstruction, republican congressman justin amash came to his own conclusions, one attorney general barr deliberately misrepresented mueller's report. two president trump has engaged in impeachable congress. he adds this, contrary to barr's portrayal, mueller's report reveals that president trump ebb gauged in specific actions that reach the threshold for impeachment. it didn't sit well with trump who tweeted this, justin is a loser who plays into our opponent's hands. but the congressman may be the rare republican not afraid of his mean treats. amash is doubling down on his calling for impeachment double
checking trump point by point. this comes as the white house leans on its pals at the justice department to offer a legal alibi of sorts for former white house counsel don mcghan not to testify. the white house announcing in the last hour that mcgahn has been directed to defy a congressional subpoena and skip a house judiciary hearing tomorrow. the move will set up a lengthy court battle and potential contempt proceeding for mcgahn. it's another aggressive step by the trump administration in their efforts to stone wall lawmakers. that's where we start with our former reporters and friends, joyce vance joins us, mike schmidt is back, john heileman is back from "parts unknown" -- >> so far-off the grid it wasn't clear i'd ever get back. i somehow did.
>> and david jolly, who i have to say, i saw an echo of what you've been saying in congressman amash's tweets. and karine jean-pierre is here. all, of course, lucky for us msnbc contributors. mike schmidt let's start with you. your story popped up an hour ago. you reported that mcgahn was going to get this legal opinion from olc at doj, the opinion in the white house saying our guy isn't showing up. is he really their guy and is he really not showing up? >> he's really not showing up. putting the legalese aside, basically the democrats can't find a witness here. they have a 400-page report that they say contains this stuff that they believe is unbecoming a president, could be abuse of power, could be all sorts of things and what's happening is they can't get anyone to testify. they can't get a witness up
there. and this has obviously killed their momentum, they do not have a lot of investigative momentum and we're coming into the summer where look could the interest in this part of the story sort of drop off. it's that killing of the momentum that the white house continues to do. >> mike schmidt, any insight into whether that is what robert mueller wanted, for this to fall into the black hole that you just described? >> i don't know. that's the thing, we still haven't heard from robert mueller either. there's no clear indication when that will happen and whether he wanted congress to deal with something like this. some people thought the mueller report could be a road map, could be sort of a way to allow congress to investigate it and sort of a launching off point, but they are really, really struggling to move forward at all and face the white house on all these different fronts and the white house could go to court here and this could go to
court and continue to drag out. >> joyce vance, a justice department source told me the only vehicle for them having to turn over things like underlying evidence or the kind of witnesses mike schmidt is talking about would be the commencement of impeachment proceedings. are there any other tools available to democrats? >> i'm not sure that's a correct statement of the law, nicole, it would be for certain if congress did commence formal impeachment proceedings they would fall within the statutory provision that sets in motion all the turnover of information because it's a judicial proceeding. but i think there's a good argument even with things as they are, with investigations, with hearings ongoing that congress is entitled to have these items provided to them, these witnesses testify in front of them. the problem and the one that mike eludes to is all of this gets worked out, apparently not in negotiation or accommodation between the two branchs of government but rather it will be kicked to the courts with lots
of delay and that appears to be this white house's strategy, delay, delay, delay. >> that's what i was going to ask you to square with mike's reporting, joyce. if the white house is now in a -- i think we can all recognize patterns. the white house now has a reflex around all requests from congress, whether it's the president's taxes, whether it's testimony from don mcghan, whether it's the appearance of robert mueller, their strategy as stated and now executed in the opinion we saw today is to stone wall. if you're saying congress has other tools they're so far pr e proving ineffective with this administration. >> the question is whether or not congress is willing to use the tools that it has. because they're almost at the point where it does require that they go to court, and that's, of course, a very uncertain part of this process. congress can, of course, look for other witnesses, witnesses who might show up, as mike points out, they're in a holding pattern until they can get witnesses to drive these things
forward. i suppose they could start reading the mueller report which some folks have done from the floor. but a what they need are witnesses who can make the story sing for the public. so what forces us to do is take a step back and talk about why should this white house, why should this president get away with this level of stonewalling? you know, don mcghan could say, i'm going to go ahead and show up and testify. i don't think anyone believes that will actually happen. but we are not talking about a routine inquiry into a president being advised by his senior advisers. we're talking about alleged criminal conduct by the president of the united states, his white house counsel was apparently privy to some of the alleged obstruction. to keep that from coming before congress seems to me should be something to make us all stop and treat this differently from any similar process. >> congressman amash seemed to get through the second volume of the mueller report and detail on twitter over the weekend what he
thought amounted to high crimes and misdemeanors. a lot of that holds -- would seem to be incidents that don mcghan who's cited 157 times in that second volume could testify to. could you just remind our viewers how central don mcghan's testimony and interviews with robert mueller and his investigators are to that second volume? >> he's essentially the narrator of that part of the report. and he is someone who mueller says he trusts, who he believes is telling the truth. and who, in detail time and time again, shows the president trying to do everything possible or whatever he thinks he can, to maintain control of the investigation. and the biggest event in them is the president's attempts to fire mueller and how mcgahn wouldn't go along with it and after that was publicly reported how the president tried to pressure mcgahn, tried to get him to go back on what he told mueller about that incident.
look, mcgahn, as we know from our reporting a few weeks ago, the white house wanted mcgahn to put out a statement in which he says i don't believe the president tried to, you know, obstruct justice. my guess is mcgahn would have probably said that, because he would have had to quit as white house counsel if he thought the president was breaking the law despite his advice. my guess is he would be a mixed bag, he'd say things both sides would take and use for their advantage. i don't think he's a john dean for the democrats. >> i don't know, david jolly, if we're in a climate -- there are no disputed facts. if you just read the mueller report outloud and you have the occasion of mcgahn's testimony, the it of it that he would be on congress testifying -- and the same goes for mueller. mueller doesn't have to be some extraordinarily dramatic witness. if they simply read through the
pages of the obstruction report it could sway enough people to give democrats the political cover they seem to be looking for. >> so look, i'm a lawyer's lawyer, i don't think they need the political cover. impeachment is a political process but nothing says it has to poll well. michael and joyce are right, this is not a criticism of them, it's a criticism of democrats in the house and republicans who refuse to act. michael is right, democrats seem desperate to find a witness in this case. and joyce is right opening an impeachment inquiry may give them additional tools. but do we think for one minute if the house opens an impeachment inquiry that the white house is going to abide by the law as it applies to an impeachment inquiry? which is why i go back to the fact every one of these witnesses in the mueller report swore under oath to tell the truth already. what's in the mueller report is sworn truth. we know when somebody lied to mueller he would bring them up
on charges of having lied to the special counsel. i'm afraid what is happening is on the hill and off the hill, among many of us who talk about the hill, we're all falling for donald trump's trap. which is, yes, he wants to extend this and they're going along with it. for the next year they're going to chase witnesses and figure out let's open up an impeachment inquiry in three months, what do you have? you have 400 plus pages of a special counsel report that already has sworn affidavits, essenti essentially, that the president committed a crime. >> jeff daniels is on later, can congressman amash, can one man change the conversation? >> probably not amash because of how he's situated in the current gop caucus. they already primariried someone against him four years ago and he beat them back. i served with him, i will tell you even among the freedom
caucus members he's a principled member. this is somebody tries to be transparent, justifies every vote on social media to explain to his voters what he did. i believe he read the report, came to the conclusion and put it out, nothing more than based on his own conviction this was the right conclusion. i would say people who turn and say where are the other republicans? just inamash has gone further than nancy pelosi did. i think we need to have nancy pelosi explain to the american people how she understands the mueller report. if she understands it doesn't rise to the level of impeachment, explain that. all we're getting is a policy argument from nancy pelosi and they fall far short of justin amash. >> there's not one democrat that doesn't believe the president hasn't committed impeachable offenses in the mueller report. the reason the democrats are losing, someone pointed out
that -- >> they have what? >> the democrats talk about -- they're bound on facts paper. democrats basically say well, the president is a bad guy, may have broken the law, the president maybe has committed impeachable offenses but we have to get to the bottom, maybe we should impeach, maybe later we shall impeach. the president says no collusion, no obstruction. he's winning the argument because he's strong and wrong. he's strong and clear. democrats are all over the place. i have heard maybe more than a dozen democrats say i believe the president has committed impeachable facts but we need to investigate it further -- what? y'all think the president broke the law, you think the former pros c prosecutors you think he obstructed justice. if you sit with your families, go to a bar with your friends and say obviously the president
obstructed justice, go and get the impeachment ball rolling. even if there's political risk, strong and wrong beats weak and right. i don't think they're wrong about this, they don't think they're wrong either. all they're doing is they're stalling for time because they are afraid of what will happen if they lead. they're afraid of what will happen if they just speak their truth which is they think he obstructed justice, think he broke the law. if you think that guys, it's time to go. or stand up and go we're too weak and sad and too afraid to do this and shut up about it. but the middle ground place they are now is not a winning position politically and it's not the right place to be morally in terms of how history is going to judge them. >> i miss you when you were gone. a former national security official said to me there are some questions that are if x and
y, he said, if x is the obstruction of justice volume of the mueller report has ten crimes of incidents committed and robert mueller refused to say that wasn't the case then y is impeachment, if it polls at minus 40. >> right now it doesn't poll at minus 40. the american people, there are people reticence, on the fence why? because they haven't read the report either. these things are sworn testimony, sworn fact, robert mueller investigated them. but in the end they need people to stand up and tell the story. they need witnesses because they are people in the middle of the report -- working on a criminal case or a civil litigation and i've read the deposition. i still sit and do the interview. if i do the interview with you, even though i know what you wrote in the email or said in the deposition, i can ask you
questions that make you put a human shape on the story, that will be emotional, give a sense of gravity, authenticity, even people that read the report, it will illuminate it, dramatize it, democrats are right to want to get witnesses up to talk about this stuff. but i think it's the case that an impeachment hearing would put a pressure, to move into this, to do it, if they believe in it, it puts pressure on the witnesses, there's nothing in the report that says they can't testify voluntarily, there's no way to stop don mcghan, no way you can stop robert mueller. it might be the congress can't penalize them. but the white house isn't saying they can't testify voluntarily. i think the drama of an impeachment hearing, the gravity of it, would put a moral pressure on people like mcgahn who are in the middle somewhere. they're afraid to testify. guys, democrats, let's do this thing if you all really believe that he's broken the law, i'll
guarantee you every democrat thinks so. >> karine jean-pierre, i want to give you a chance to do two things, defend nancy pelosi from david jolly, tell me what's going on inside the democratic caucus and tell me if it's what john heileman describes as blinking. >> i agree with john heileman, 110%. i respect nancy pelosi, she's been a fantastic speaker. she's dog walked the president as we talked about many times before. but in this instance what they're thinking about is 2020. they're thinking about holding onto the house, thinking about the presidential, and that is the wrong thing to do right now. because what will happen is if they do not act in a way that is effective, not in this process way, they're going to handover power to the president of the united states which is donald trump. you do not want to give him that power. and i've said this before on your show, we are -- they are fighting on his turf.
they need to take the fight to him. and john is right, if you have impeachment proceedings can you imagine the coverage of that, the wall-to-wall coverage, the folks testifying like mcgahn, like mueller, and how you will bring the country along with you? i want to bring some numbers in. watergate, before the impeachment proceedings, 37% of americans were not for impeachment. by the end of the hearings -- >> were not for or were for? >> were not for impeaching nixon, were not for it at all. they didn't want anything to do with it. by the time it was over, it was at 60%. by the time the hearings were over it was 60% they wanted to impeach him. this is what needs to happen in this case as well. people have said, majority of americans have said, he's not exonerated, donald trump didn't think he's exonerated, majority of people said he committed a crime, they're still with them, they just have to tell the
story. and by the process, no one understands the process, everyone knows donald trump is not listening to subpoenas, telling mcgahn do not testify. hoping that mueller -- making it really difficult for mueller to do it as well. so that looks like we are losing. >> yes. mi mike, you write the story with your colleagues this afternoon, any reaction from chairman nadler or anyone else on the committee? >> i hadn't heard anything by the time we walked on the air today. look, i'm not sure what there is to say. they had the same incident come up two weeks ago when mcgahn was supposed to hand over documents in response to a subpoena, in this similar incident sort of played out. now they're confronting it again. i think it comes back to the basic question, what are they going to do to get momentum behind what they believe.
i'm not sure they can do that here. they have struggled time and time again to have a witness. if the white house is going to block all the witnesses and they can't get mueller up there, what are their options? is it time to move on from the mueller report? >> joyce vance, is it time to move on? i think 800 prosecutors signed onto a letter saying if donald trump were anyone else he would be charged with a crime. do you think they're going to reach the conclusion mike just described, decide it is time to move on from the mueller report? >> it is not time to move on from the mueller report. the problem we have is the attorney general did the president a great service but the country an enormous disservice when he made it possible for the president to parade this false litany of no collusion and no obstruction for a couple of weeks before the report itself was available to the public. so now we live in this twilight zone where there's two versions
of the mueller report. one of the president's supporters you think he's close to exonerated. if you read the report like congressman amash and those of us on the show today you know that's far from the truth. so we need to have the opportunity for the american people to understand exactly what happened here. we can only move forward on this once there's a shared set of facts and those facts come from the mueller report itself. >> joyce, how do you do that short of an impeachment proceeding? >> i think congress can continue. i know some people think this is maybe not aggressive enough. but prosecutors don't walk into their office one morning and decide to indict out of the blue. congress can hold some hearings. the problem might be getting some witnesses lined up, some witnesses may come, they have testimony and documents. so congress needs to structure this in a way that helps to educate the american public.
that's the job here. >> joyce and mike, thank you for getting us started. we're grateful. >> when we come back buttigieg gets a standing o at a fox news town hall. joe biden hits donald trump where it hurts with an economic message that strikes at the heart of trump's case to his own base. what would atticus finch do, how the star on the hottest play on broadway sees the turmoils for one of the greatest fighters for justice imagined. jeff daniels joins the table. all that coming up. joins the te all that coming up your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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what's going on right now it's because we are living in on one of those blank pages in america's history and what comes next could be ugly or amazing. i believe running for office is an act of hope so is voting for somebody, supporting somebody, and volunteering for somebody. i hope you'll join me in making sure the next era is better than any we've had so far. >> thank you, mayor. and thank you -- wow, a standing ovation. >> a standing ovation on fox news for a democrat looking to replace donald trump. buttigieg's performance last night and the audience's largely positive reaction to it is likely what spooked trump before the town hall began, he
previewed the event on twitter writing, quote, hard to believe that fox news is wasting air time on mayor pete as chris wallace likes to call him. fox is moving more and more to
the losing wrong side and covering the dems. they got dumped from the democrat's boring debate and they want in. chris wallace said, whether you like his opinions or not, that mayor pete has a lot of substance. gee
he never speaks well, of me. i like mike wallace better and alfred e. newman will never be president. what a loser. i have more to read but hang on a second. what a flipping loser, heileman. >> the dude just, you know -- >> he's a loser. >> i don't want to stoop to that -- >> he's the president we can stoop. >> it's pathetic. the other thing is, it so reveals all -- his id is on display in all of his tweets. if he's afraid of something, he doesn't try to be the tough guy.
>> he doesn't pretend his hands are big enough. what a loser. >> i'm not going there. >> i heard this and read this, but reading it outloud from a teleprompter made it real from me. what's wrong? it's pathological. >> you wouldn't except this behavior in an elementary school teacher. >> you'd get suspended. >> notice what mayor pete did yesterday when confronted with that said i don't care about the tweets. i think a lot of democrats are saying let's get past this. mayor pete is going to be in this race for a while. can he get out of south carolina after new hampshire and iowa, i don't know we'll see. what he demonstrated last night, he's not just smart on the policies. he's savvy. when elizabeth warren said i'm not going on fox news because they peddle hate and sell advertisers, there was a difference of opinion. mayor pete went on. but mayor pete took a swing, a hard swing at some of the fox
hosts last night and specifically said i know the viewers aren't necessarily bad intentioned. that was a brilliant, almost bill clinton like political move. >> he is the best political communicator. do we have that sound where we talks about the fox news hosts? let's watch that and talk about that. okay. we're looking for that. we have it? there it is. >> especially when you see what goes on with some of the opinion hosts on this network. you have tucker carlson saying immigrants make this country dirty. you have laura ingram comparing detainment cages to summer camps. there's a reason why people have to think twice before participating. i think while some of the hosts are not there in good faith, i think a lot of people tune in to this network who do it in good
faith. there are a lot of americans that our party can't blame because they'll never hear about it if we don't talk about it. so that's why going into the viewership of fox news or geographic cli going to where democrats haven't been seen much. we have to find where we are, and update our vocabulary so we're truly connecting with americans coast-to-coast. joining us is peter baker. you write about the president's vocabula vocabulary, talk about the piece you have today. >> it's not new to say the president goes places other presidents haven't before on so many different levels. one place he goes is towards the use of profanities that we can't say on this network. i was struck by it on friday he gave a speech to the national association of realtors, and reeled off several of them, i fired his blank, this about
sources is bs, and it strikes me he's increased that in the last few months. he's feeling more comfortable, perhaps. it's a way of reaching out to his audience, supporters. it's a shock jock way of speaking. as you know your president, president bush, would never have said these things in public. when he got caught on live mic saying something nasty about a "new york times" reporter, it was a mini scandal. today it's say day in, day out and nobody notices it anymore. >> peter your thoughts on the angry tweets last night. as john heileman is saying there's not a thought or feeling that donald trump can have and not express on twitter. obviously very, very, very bothered by his friends at fox news rolling out the welcome mat for democrats. >> well, nothing rolls off his back. this is not a duck. this is somebody who's going to tell you what he thinks at all
times on all subjects, even if it's not politically smart. the politically smart thing, according to the smart people, you don't dignify somebody who is a third place runner in the other party with comment by the president of the united states. but he is. he's obviously troubled that pete buttigieg did get a good response on fox. the idea that fox is supposed to only cover one side of the equation is what's sort of -- one thing that's troubling about our politics right now. and, you know, it's not, in fact, meant to be -- brit hume said this on twitter, all networks cover both parties we don't just cover one and chided president trump for not submitting to an interview by chris wallace. so i think it suggests that fox doesn't want to be entirely seen as president trump's network. and it is going to explore the
democratic race because it's a good story, that's what networks do. >> let me put up joe biden who also i think tried to get at donald trump where it hurts this weekend with an economic message. >> i know president trump likes to take credit with the economic growth and low unemployment numbers. but just look at the facts. president trump inherented an economy from the obama/biden administration that was given to him. just like he inherited everything else in his life. and just like -- just like everything else he's been given in his life, he's in the process of squaunderring that as well. >> a devastating political message from joe biden. basically calling trump a hoax. in and of himself, his wealth was a hoax, his presidency is a hoax, his taking credit for the
economy is a hoax. >> and that's what donald trump has done. he's made this whole presidency a disaster and debased it, he's a hoax himself, a conman as some would say. i think 2018 lays out a perfect path on what these candidates should do. which is, you know, yes, it's about donald trump, about beating donald trump, but also about ignoring donald trump in the tweets, focussing on the issues, ziering in on how you're going to make people's lives better. that's how it worked in 2018. that's how we were able to beat donald trump in 2018, at least take back the house and the hate lost there. >> mayor pete, the most brilliant thing about his presentation first was i'm not going to pay attention to donald trump you should ignore the tweets. then he goes on to say it's hard to look away, like a car wreck, which allows him to appeal to
people don't pay attention to trump which says trump is grotesque which appeals to people in the democratic base. he gets to have it both ways. i think in addition while trashing the prime time host he's flattering chris wallace in the room. >> and the viewers. >> and the viewers. >> there's a lot of brilliance to that. i will say this, i don't think -- i think this is one of those things deciding on going on fox news for a democrat, it doesn't have to be one answer is right and the other is wrong. i think elizabeth warren may have done for her purposes the right thing, the voters she's appealing for, it's right to not do the fox town hall. for pete buttigieg the voters he's appealing to, it's right to do a fox town hall. there can be different answers that work for different candidates. >> peter baker, thank you for spending time with us. i love your piece today.
after the break one of my favorite actors of all times plays one of my favorite actors -- characters of all times. jeff daniels joins the table. me. jeff daniels joins the table this is rick blomquist. his life is pretty comfortable. then, he laid on a serta and realized his life was only just sorta comfortable.
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we have to heal this wound or we will never stop bleeding. we have to make good this crime. we have to show tom robinson justice in this courtroom. now we can start gathering the animals two by two because we'll be showing god's justice in a hurry. we can't go on like this. we know that. so let's hasten the change. let's hasten the end of the beginning. let's do it right now. let's begin by restoring this man to his family. let's begin with justice. >> that was jeff daniels in his tony nominated performance of t
atticus finch. it's a story of one man doing the right thing and conducting himself as though all of our children are watching. "to kill a mocking bird" on broadway is as important now as it was when it was written. it's been nominated for 9 tonys and recently broke the record for the highest grossing american play in history. jeff daniels who stars in it is here. thank you so much for coming. >> i'm happy to be here. >> how do you know each other? >> he's a masochist. or sadist. >> you have not missed a single performance. >> no. we are in our seventh month of a year-long run. eight shows a week. no, not yet. i've been sick twice. >> and you've done it anyway. >> the line is what do you do when you get the flu on broad way? eight shows a week. you do it. >> why are you doing the show?
>> it's atticus finch, the play was written on the book, beloved book, revered, one of the iconic heroes in america, happens to be fictional but still you can put -- people put him up there with washington and lincoln and all of that, you get to play him. you get to become him. and every night you walk out there and we pin the ears back of basically white america. >> talk about that. >> white liberal america comes in and they go, we had no idea it was that tough. and it's a slap in the face. it's a wakeup call. it's also a decision -- at cuss has to go through a change different than the book. we made him more of the protagonist who had a change. his change is to mayor pete's point earlier. the people on the other side, they don't have bad intentions, not all of them atticus finch
believes there's good in everyone. that's being challenged now. >> i get to come back and talk to you after, and i confess it was me weeping in the fourth row when atticus is at the jail and the kkk comes for him and it's cal that recognizes one of the neighbors. atticus's children are played by extraordinary actors in the play. and it's the reminder at this time in our politics children are watching. >> children are watching. and i live in michigan. after the election, i was surprised some of the people. i said, can you believe this election? they go, yeah, isn't it great. you're going whoa. my wife's on facebook, we got another trumper.
you didn't see it coming. atticus goes through this. they're good people. there are reasons why. he's an apologist, an enabler. i think there are people in the midwest, between the coasts, who don't care about this, don't have time for this, who have to make a decision now. you have to decide whether, like atticus you believe there is still compassion, decency, civility, remember all that, do unto others, you still voted not for hillary, for trump, where are you now? your kids are looking up at you going, but he lies. i think there are a lot of people in the midwest going -- it might be enough for them. we'll find out if the big gamble is to go to november 2020, which i agree, and lose, it's the end of democracy. >> one of the people who came to
see "to kill a mockingbird" in january was former fbi director jim comey who's the tip of the spear of the justice department and the fbi and the president, and texted him today and asked him what it means in this moment, he sent me this. do we have it? i'll read it off my phone. he said, the whole family went in early january. we were so excited to see it that patrice fell on the sidewalk, broke her clavicle and refused to go to the hospital. it's the perfect play for our time. it reminds us that people can be deeply biassed and flawed but the truth is a real thing and our heroes in the long run are always those who stood up for it. the thousand little cowards melt away. there will be no play for the republican party and its passion for truth. i think anyone who's been in the political arena can't escape the
parallels of the cowardice, the mob. >> and sorkin writes to that, i think it's cozip wsorkin who pu, that a mob acts on emotion absent fact, absent respect -- absent contemplation and absent responsibility. what they get is anonymity. a mob is a place where people go to take a break from their conscious. you lay that line out every night. you hear them go -- >> they go -- when i was sitting there. is that's what's happening? >> that's what i see at trump's rallies, the lies spewing at people, i have to believe in something, he said he'd bring my manufacturing job back, she didn't, and i'm all in. but at the end of the day, aside from i don't want to pay taxes, it's race. it's race. this is about -- this is about
the republican party -- or a wing of it going this is our last chance to save the party. if we don't, it's the end of the republican party. the only way they can do that was to tap the race button and say go ahead, it's okay. and he did, and they did. that was the only card they had left to play and they played it and they aren't going to go quietly. that's why you look at the cowardice of the 15 or so republicans in the senate who are quiet. i'm not talking about jeff flake or bob corker. that's not courage, that's making sure you have a job somewhere after politics. courage is standing up and being a true patriot like we had back in 1776. who are the heroes going to be? is it going to be the pentagon papers guy. who's the guy going here, "the
washington post," here's the unredacted. i'm waiting for that guy. >> we're all waiting for that guy. >> we need people like that. to look at congress with their politics, if i do this, i can't do that. you are all worthless to me right now. i need people to stand up and be heroic because democracy is at stake. >> wow. >> can i ask a question? >> you sure can. >> the answer is it's true -- >> you're right about the mob. i attended one trump rally for professional reasons, and your points resonate, 10,000 people -- you go to church with, that you see in your community that you would never think would go to this forum and express such anger. here's my question for you. you argue the case in the courtroom eight times a week.
does part of you, jeff, or even atticus, see that little glimmer hopes the verdict comes back differently one of these times? >> you hope to appeal to the better angel in them, the white christian farmer jurors that are sitting there, that are faceless but there they are. you hope that there is good. and i think that's when atticus gets the punch in the face, there may not be goodness in them. >> that's the most dramatic scene where you're hoping they have that moment. that's the bunch in the gut. >> we know what the father is and the daughter gets on like she's a puppet of the father and she's more racist than the father. it's generational. >> you're not going anywhere p. we're going to sneak in a break. we're going to sneak in a break.
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your tongue-tied host is back and starve to kill a mockingbird jeff daniels is back. >> i want to go back to race a second. i think it's great as a white guy that you are saying there's a part of the republican party that is indeed have gone far and beyond and have become very, very racist because when people like me say it, we're told that's not what's happening, it is about the economy. that's what it was for folks that went from obama to trump, for folks that voted for trump. >> and it is. >> that's part of it. there is this conversation that we avoid happening, and it is the race conversation. i want to explain it more. you do live in michigan and you said you heard from neighbors and they mentioned, they voted for trump and you were really surprised by that. why do people run away from that? why can't we not have that conversation, you being on broadway right now. >> why can't we have that -- here's what you get. this doesn't effect me.
it doesn't really effect me. border wall, where is that, texas? that's not in michigan, doesn't matter. i just don't try making more money, i get my taxes done. i need jobs. where are my manufacturing jobs. white, black, i don't care. but at the end of the day, this shouldn't be a white country, because we read the data that says in 2045 the white race will be the minority, so we have to move now. >> do you think they're scared by that? >> yes. i think it is part of a whole bigger thing. i think this is about get the government, get the power, put your arm around putin, look at china, and go we're the new allies and going after the north pole because mike pompeo says you can save money if the climate change happens and there's shipping lanes. save 20 days on shipping. let it melt. who is going to control that. who is getting oil under the
north pole. that's the next world war. let's get the position, the government, that has nothing to do with race, but race is part of that, then so be it. because we are not going to give up power. that's what this is about. and it's a shame because that's not who we are, who we are supposed to be. >> i have a craft question and politics question. you talked about playing atticus finch, the iconic character. you work on sorkin as a writer. and you're one of the few actors that can do that. you're used to that, it is fast, a challenge. >> uh-huh. >> we also have a moment, the trump moment, right? so you have a historic play, a moment in time, a great writer, right? what are the things that get added to the play to make it meet this moment. there's no explicit in vocation of trump or semi explicit. it seems like a period piece if you're not paying attention
closely, but i know you did some stuff to tweak this to make it meet this moment. what did you do? >> the thing we did was that even atticus was guilty of minor racism when he took the tom robinson case in the play, the black maid, he tells her i took the tom robinson case, she goes good, he leaves, and she says you're welcome. and calls him on it later. >> she becomes the hero in this version of the story. >> yeah. and atticus has to learn that it's not okay just to sit on your porch and let bob ule come by and go are you going to the lynching thursday, you missed the last one. is that your car? hate to see it torch, atticus stays away. now he has to get involved. what are you going to do, wait for better angels, what are you going to do, as scout says at the end of the play, it is not just doing the right thing, sometimes it is trying to do the
right thing. and then she says all rise. and atticus says you rest now, son, because i'll be doing the fighting from here on. he is going to become an activist to change this, much like a guy like frank johnson did who is a federal judge in alabama who could have been atticus growing up, who was the judge sitting on the bench and handled rosa parks, george wallace, put kkk guys in jail. >> do you see any atticus finchs on the political landscape? >> not yet, no, no. >> this is my second question, right? part of the reason why you're -- i mean, you've done hollywood and been a new yorker, but also you live in michigan, looking at all of the democrats. is there not an atticus, but when you look at the democrats, think of who can inspire, has the performance skills. do you see any democrats and say i am watching that guy? >> i am watching intelligence. politics is 180 degree swing. i think that's part of the 8
years of obama. let's go for the whitest guy we can. there's an element out tlin the the middle of the country. the other thing, what was the question? >> who are you watching? >> so to go away from the toddler in chief, let's go to kamala harris and go to somebody with a brain in their head, with some intelligence that doesn't tweet all day, mayor pete. i'm looking at intelligence. i love joe biden. is he the guy can stand up and punch him in the face and win? that's for you guys to decide. >> now you're going to a break. >> one more break. be right back. >> one more break. be right back.
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