tv Deadline White House MSNBC May 22, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
it's 4:00 in washington d.c. where today nancy pelosi accused the president of the united states of engaging in a coffer cover up. it's a charge that put into motion a day of fireworks and feuding between the president and the speaker of the house. they're headed for a shutdown. >> we believe no one is above the law, including the president of the united states, and we believe the president of the united states is engaged in a cover up. >> that accusation from pelosi came amid mounding pressure on her from within her ranks to commence impeachment proceedings. the charge of a presidential cover up landed underneath donald trump's skin and he responded by whipping up a poster of the mueller investigation, storming out of a meeting on infrastructure, and calling a press conference in the rose garden. >> i walk in to look at people
that just said that i was doing a cover up. i don't do cover ups. i'm the most transparent president probably in the history of this country. bottom line they said there's no collusion. no collusion with russia. the crime was committed on the other side. this whole thing was a takedown attempt at the president of the united states. all of a sudden i hear last night they're going to have a meeting right before this meeting to talk about the "i" word. the "i" word, can you imagine? >> we can. donald trump's i don't do cover ups an undeniable echo of richard nixon's i'm not a crook. as nancy pelosi went further this afternoon. >> the fact is, in plain sight, in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice and he's engaged in a cover up.
and that could be an impeachable offense. ignoring this -- ignoring the -- ignoring the subpoenas of congress was article 3 of the nixon impeachment. article 3. he did not honor the subpoenas of congress. as they say, the cover up is frequently worse than the crime. >> and today's dramatic escalation of tensions between trump and pelosi is where we start with our favorite reporters and friends. annie karni. chuck rosenberg, the host of the podcast the oath. senior political reporter for "the washington post" aaron blake is back. eli stokeles reporter for the los angeles times. and former democratic congresswoman donna edwards. donna, let me start with you. it seemed that nancy pelosi started the day on the defense
within her own caucus and ended up on the offense with the president. does that buy her time within her caucus? >> i think it absolutely buys her time. she was able to have her chairman present their case for continuing investigations. it managed to quiet some of the loudest voices for right now. but i think it's only a little bit of time that it buys, and i think not only is speaker pelosi going to have to deal with elements within her caucus but there's a growing ground swell of people outside, at the grass roots, who want accountability for this president and that may only come through impeachment. >> chuck, just put the politics aside for a minute. from a law and order perspective, or sort of the history of impeachment, explain the point nancy pelosi is making about one of the articles of impeachment for richard nixon. >> sure. the cover up. you know, to your point it's often worse than the crime or it often is the crime.
when the president says he doesn't do cover ups, i think he means he doesn't do them particularly well. because they've all been in public. now, you also have to be careful, there are valid assertions for instance of executive privilege, all presidents have asserted it. but using it to preclude the congress from an appropriate investigation is a cover up. so because he asserts it all the time about everything, it's hard for us sitting here to know what's valid and what's not. but you don't have to go there, nicole. you can read the mueller report, you can read volume two, the extent of his attempt to interfere in a legitimate ongoing investigation is staggering. so i don't think he's right. i think he does do cover ups and he is not particularly good at it. >> blake, you've been analyzing the back and forth all day long. just sort of take us through the president's downward spiral.
he started the day agitated what he heard from nancy pelosi, in his mind he has a bond with her, whether real or imagined, she has good manners, he thinks she treats him with respect, she does treat him with respect and it seemed to unravel him psychologically for her to accuse him of a cover up this morning. >> if you look at the president's tweets this morning he tweeted out the phrase witch hunt five times before the clock struck noon. this was on his mind maybe before he heard about the comments nancy pelosi made. i think nancy pelosi's comments are interesting here. she has obviously, as you mentioned, been doing a difficult balancing act between a caucus that is very much more and more interested in impeachment, a democratic base on board with that for a while, and wanting to take a cautious and more politically smart approach to this. what we're seeing is while she started out and said the president is not worth it, we're
not going to do it unless republicans are on board with this. she's leaning more into it, at least rhetorically, perhaps because she realized she needs to play ball rhetorically with those members of her caucus and not dismissing them out of hand and this might not end up in a place they might not want to go. >> where is that place? if you look at the -- we cover the campaigns, if you look at beto o'rourke last night, he's done it before, elizabeth warren, every democrat running for president is calling for at a minimum the commencement of impeachment proceedings to strengthen their tools because you have a white house stonewalling. >> it's difficult for democrats to on one hand say the president obstructed justice, there might have been some form of collusion, even if there wasn't a conspiracy here. and then to layer on top of that you say there's not only those potential crimes there's also a cover up involved here. how many of these things do you need before you get to the point
where you said we need to invoke our constitutionally protected right to hold the president accountab accountable. crimes plus a cover up, how is that not reaching a level of impeachment, that's a question that nancy pelosi is going to have to answer, even as she leans it into more. >> one nerd dy legal point. >> please. >> starting an impeachment inquiry ju inquiry unlocks a particular evidentiary door which is grand jury information. remember, grand jury information is prohibited unless it's in conjunction to a judiciary proceeding. and the courts have ruled that impeachment is a judicial proceeding. so if they're stonewalled at every turn by executive privilege, one way to get stuff, a grand jury information, is to open an impeachment inquiry. >> the justice department expected when the redact d version of the mueller report was in the hands of the public
and congress that process would likely commence and that was the trigger they anticipated would put into motion having to overturn underlying evidence and those things. do you think there's been too much caution on capitol hill? >> that seems to me a political calculation. and i'm not good at making that. but i can tell you, if they're upset about not getting stuff, this is a way to get more stuff. it opens the legal evidentiary door, because it was ruled back in the mick snixon era that the congress could have grand jury information in connection with the impeachment inquiry. >> this was not a spontaneous eruption from the president we see plenty of those from the president, that's him in his pjs watching "fox & friends," but this was a poster board and press conference, straight from his tv persona. what was this morning?
>> i had people telling me the president was upset from the moment he walked into the office this morning. this is a president we know is always watching tv, what's he been seeing on tv the last few days, democrats more and more of them talking about impeachment or as he put it, the "i" word, not infrastructure. and yes, nancy pelosi is trying to placate members of her caucus who feel he's goading them into impeachment, because even if they don't have the votes in the senate they feel it's their responsibility to do this. so she makes this comment and then he thinks well, she's -- they're coming to the white house, i don't want to deal with them, i'm angry. so he flips the script. but it's this attempt to assert control. he's struggling right now with a lack of control. yesterday we had a federal judge in washington rule that an old accounting firm of the president has to turn over financial information. new york state lawmakers today are passing a law that the
governor is expected to sign that will enable the state to release trump and other elected official's public state tax returns to make those public. so there is a lot happening that is running up against the president's efforts to block further investigations. and i think he's frustrated, he's lashing out, he's saying we're not going to operate on two tracks. i think another piece of that, when it comes to infrastructure, everybody in washington laughs about it, but the president was given three weeks to come up with a funding plan. he didn't have a funding plan. last night he sent a letter to schumer and pelosi, he said, before infrastructure you should pass my revamped nafta. so he's always moving the goal post, this was a convenient way to get past the meeting and vent a little bit, according to the folks i talked to. >> amazing the presidency serves as a vehicle for a 70 plus-year-old man to vent but
such it is. here we are. annie karni, great reporting since this started happening this morning. this was your beat. what was supposed to happen today. when he said "i" word i thought of the reporting you've done around immigration, infrastructure week, and the backdrop it's hard to hear anything above the din of impeachment. he could have been talking about any of those things. they're all the spinning plates they've been juggling. >> one thing that was supposed to happen when chuck schumer and nancy pelosi go to the white house, we don't know what's going to happen. three weeks ago they came out saying it was great. and schumer made a point saying we can't do two tracks, doing oversight and legislation. i was pleased to hear that. other times he brings the cameras to the oval office.
so it's always surprising. he managed to surprise us again with this impromptu press conference. i think he learned the chuck and nancy playbook. they walk outside and give their version of the meeting first. this is the first time donald trump has walked out of the meeting and given his version of the meeting first, so he pre-empted them in a sense. but they got him on the record to say i won't do any legislation while you guys are conducting your oversight work. it's akin to in the oval office where they got him to say i'll own a shutdown. in these meetings he often gives them a sound bite that is helpful to them. now chuck schumer and nancy pelosi as we saw them do later in the day say we wanted infrastructure, we wanted to give him a signing ceremony to do this, to help build roads and bridges and broad band across the country. here he is in the rose garden saying i won't do that while i'm under investigation, which is a
parallel plank that is congress' job as well. so that's what happened. >> it's such a good point and this president ovften projects his weaknesses onto his enemies. is there any recalibrating, any reaching out to you on the phone to try to clean that up? >> no, i think that there was some sense of titilation among white house aides watching this happen. hold onto your seat belts, he has something planned. i heard from people in the rose garden that aides were watching and smiling at the spectacle. so from the white house perspective, i think they were happy that he staged his own communications strategy here.
from a legislative perspective, we saw their legislative director announce she's leaving and part of her reasoning was she doesn't see a lot moving forward in this period of the presidency. let's take a big step back here. the infrastructure plan, no one thought that was going to happen. so it's not that he -- he was about to sign and he couldn't sign now. but no, i don't see a lot of walking back from the president's performance today. >> it's so revealing, aaron, a lot to unpack in what annie is reporting. the head of legislative affairs resigned because it's clear this is a white house that doesn't plan on governing. i remember i used to get the heads up, the last one i got was before the midterm about the faux caravan and crisis and we ended up not taking it because the aide couldn't keep a
straight face. so this idea, though, that they've sort of tied a hand behind their own back. they said this morning, and i'm sure they feel good about it because the president feels good about staging a tv production this morning. but he's laid down some structural dee f structural defin sis for the sbierp republican party by saying i'm not doing anything until i'm not under investigation. he's going to be under investigation until his dieing breath. >> this was something that the president campaigned on. he was talking about a $1 trillion infrastructure package when steve bannon was running his campaign. by saying i'm not going to move forward with this, he is saying i'm not going to move forward with something that is, in fact, one of my major campaign promises, something he talked about repeatedly, devoted weeks -- we laugh about infrastructure weeks being held over and over again.
he likes the idea of doing omething big like this. for the next 16, 17 months isn't just a big loss for democrats. it's also a big loss for him. and i don't think democrats had illusions it was going to happen again. >> and for the country. nothing happens. no one talks anymore -- we're down this rabbit hole with him. the we did for you, donna, i think it's undeniable that nancy pelosi time and time and time again by being a cool competitor gets the better end of him. but it's undeniable she's in a political vice herself right now. >> she is. but here's where the president really loses because the speaker controls the house. they can pass a reasonable house infrastructure plan. democrats can introduce the same thing in the senate and where does that leave republicans without a plan at all? democrats passed a prescription drug plan last week. they can, you know, do that again in the senate. i think it again stacks up against the president saying,
you know, we're not going to legislate until you stop investigating. well, democrats continue to legislate. so i think for right now the speaker is probably in a good position as long as they continue to investigate and it begins to bear some fruit. if they get held up in the courts you'll see the same frustration come that we've seen in the last several days that we've seen from democrats saying they're stonewalling us in the courts now. we have to begin an impeachment process in order to open the door to the materials that chuck talked about. >> it seems like by doing this on a couple tracks they're having some early victories. aren't there legal victories for the democrats to point to that would argue for pursuing a political and legal process? >> there are preliminary legal victories. i say preliminary because the losing side can always take an appeal. the house issued a subpoena for president trump's financial records from his accounting firm, and a judge in washington d.c. said the other day that
they're entitled to it. he said i'm not going to second guess whether or not there's a legislative purpose behind it. there seems to be, they said there was, i trust the congress has one so they can have the records. >> and oversight is one of the constitutionally mandated, legislative responsibilities. >> absolutely. and congress can do over and legislate simultaneously, they've been doing it for two centuri centuries. but president trump's team can take an appeal on it. so victory, yes. preliminary, yes. >> it seems to me that congress investigating donald trump is going to make donald trump miss the mueller witch hunt, as he likes to call it. that was a single, opaque investigation, in can which he had joint defense agreements with a lot of witnesses.
this is congress, dozens of committees, court cases here, there and everywhere. does he have the fortitude to be under scrutiny under a democratic run congress? >> i think the answer is no. he's showing acknowledgitation frustration and behavior that's adding to the case about obstruction because he's so resistant to this. granted this is being done by congress, he feels comfortable he has republicans in control in the senate. they're not going to let him get removed. he feels comfortable about that. that he can sell the top line conclusions of the mueller report and portray democrats as trying to get a redo as he said a lot of times. so he's going to continue to play this in the political realm and offer a political response even as a lot of that response is giving further fodder to the democrats to pursue these investigations. >> i want to ask you a bigger political question, annie.
we know the president's attention has turned to the democratic primary. he's putting the pieces in place for his own reelection campaign. as eli just said, the self-soothing of this president has always laid in conservative legal folks reassuring him over and over again that impeachment in the house would be survivable because he'd never be convicted in the senate and being an unindicted co-conspirator in the southern district of new york any reporting that he might be charged, he's always been soothed by his prospects pm i wonder if there's any fears that should the republicans lose the senate all those hopes and dreams may be dashed. >> that's a lot of ifs. if he wins, if the republicans hold onto the senate. but he is focussed on winning it all back as he said, i think last week. last week he said we're going to hold onto the presidency, win back the house and hold the
senate. he understands that it's all the piece to protecting him. but i think mostly -- mostly he's looking at the 2020 elections as a referendum on himself. that's the one that reflects mostly on himself. that's the one he's following the most closely. and i think that, according to his advisers, the ones they're watching with most fear is biden is the one that could challenge them in the rust belt states they need to hold onto. so i think that's the preliminary fear is holding onto the presidency. you're right he needs to hold onto the senate as well. >> i think we're going to watch him holding onto all sorts of things, calling you guys to the rose garden on any given wednesday. after the break, fact checking a presidential tantrum, donald trump packed as much spin as heat at his morning press conference. we'll brake out the lies for you. also ahead. the president has gone to
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>> a die tribe on honesty from president trump himself. we can run through our top five. first on transparency. >> i think most of you would agree to this, i'm the most transparent president probably in the history of this country. >> the truth, trump himself refused to sit for an interview with robert mueller and he's right now refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations and the only president in decades not to hand over his tax returns. not to mention he's all but eliminated the white house press briefing. another statement that didn't quite ring true to us, has to do with russia. >> i don't speak to russians about campaigns. when i went to wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania, i don't say let's call russia. it's a hoax. >> the truth not only does the
mueller report reveal at least 140 contacts between members of the trump campaign and russians, there was also this gem of an overture. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. >> another lie this morning, trump claiming that he respects the rule of law. >> i respect the courts, i respect congress, i respect right here where we're standing. >> respect, this whole rose garden tantrum was an announcement trump will no longer work with democrats on anything, including oversight, as for the courts remember the dozens of attacks on judges when rulings didn't go his way. and finally the lie to end all lies. >> i don't do cover ups, you people probably know that better than anybody. >> you've been indicted basically for one.
this is the president whose signature is on checks to michael cohen who paid hush money to a porn star. the table is back. chuck, i need your calming -- your blood boils listening to him. >> he does do cover ups, just not particularly well as i said earlier. he here's the interesting thing to me, nicole. remember the "access hollywood" tape, not that i want to conjure that up really but he said later it wasn't his voice or maybe it was not his voice, he can take up and say it's down, take white and say it's black. when he says that the report, that the mueller report showed no collusion, no wrong doing, it's all a hoax, a witch hunt, that's only if you don't read it. because if you read it, it's exactly the opposite. >> right. >> so i don't know that i'm going to say anything right now that's going to make you feel much better. but it's deeply disturbing to see this juxtaposition of
falsehood and fact. the president can't keep it tra straight. it has to be what? an attempt to cover up. >> it is so central to who he is as president. it is, as chuck said during the campaign. i think even before the election it got out that even though he was forced essentially to deliver a hostage tape style apology for the "access hollywood" tape, he was attracted to conspiracy theories, this wasn't me -- thank you, we relied on your great reporting and analysis after that briefing -- this is a president that will stand before god and country and lie his you know, bleep, off. >> it's interesting he's refu refuting the cover up language nancy pelosi has used. if there's one thing the president has been good at as far as his messaging, he picks a phrase, a simple phrase and uses it over and over and over again. i feel like the use of cover up
by nancy pelosi is that phrase that can stick and drive home the point that democrats are making. but this is also a president who his entire kind of political ethos is he says something one day and something completely at odds another day. but he says something that allows his supporters to believe what they want to about what happened. the other thing that makes him get plausible denieblt. and that's what this press conference was about. by saying i don't do cover ups, he's trying to combat that talking point by nancy pelosi. >> i agree. and i think cover up is the attack on donald trump that has the benefit one of being true, two of crossing over from everything that mueller looked at to what we know trump is guilty of, being an unindicted co-conspirator in the southern district of new york, and covering up sex with a porn star. if you can't understand russia
sharing the goal with trump in 2016's election. everyone understands covering up sex to keep it from embarrassing your family, which is the most generation explanation of what went on there. this smear of blaming the media, putting up the poster board on the steps of the mueller campaign. this has hit him not just embarrassing but where it can be politically damaging by him. >> he's always driven that he's under attack and responds to every one saying they're out to get me. he said it today, all the democrats are out to get me. >> all of us. >> >> yes, the media of the democrats. they're out to get me. that tape of me telling russia to discover the emails i was joking. he has an explanation for everything. chuck makes a good point saying white is black. he is shameless about doing this in a way we have never seen from
a president, probably too many politicians throughout american history. the way he sprinkles his remarks with, you know this, you agree with this, he's talking to the press, the press can't respond, he's delivering a monologue. yet he's giving the impression there's agreement in the crowd, the media, broadly speaking, what he's saying is the truth because he knows the only person on camera is him saying that, he's trying to deliver that impression. it's another thing we might refer to as the tell. >> i love the tells. >> the opposite is true. that's how he's responded to the situations, believing he can talk his way out of it and say if i'm against it, it's because people are against me. it's because of unpure motives on their side, not because investigators are following the facts, the media is pursuing the truth. it can never be that. it has to be they're out to get me. >> so much of going against him is sort of the way you handle a
teenager, because the conduct is p pej lance. what's been operationaoperationw do democrats go up against someone saying up is down, black is white, yes is no? >> i think it's been very difficult because when you deal in a world of facts it's complicated to deal with somebody who doesn't enjoy facts at all. here's the thing. i think that nancy pelosi's use of the term cover up was very intentional today and also because i think she wants to draw a line between what happened with richard nixon that we all understood to be about a cover up and what's going on now with the president of the united states. and it's important to draw that link because then it puts you on a pathway to try to deal with
accountability. i also think pelosi is a grandmother and there's something you know about being a grandmother that helps you deal with this kind of childish behavior. so i think that helps as well. >> do you agree that's what the democrats have to manage? >> i think they do. i think they have to respond in a way that's really not in kind. the other thing i would say is for democrats, what they're looking at down the line is to hold this president accountable. and you can't do it by meeting him with every single blow. but you can do it by using language that then gets him to e mote and that's what he did today. >> that's exactly what he did today. when we come back, the president trying to keep his taxes from congress is delivered a blow from an internal irs memo. we'll bring you that story next. memo we'll bring you that story next. . that karl brought his karaoke machine? ♪ ain't nothing but a heartache... ♪
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what's in those tax forms? >> no, i don't. presidents are not required to, and the american public knew that he didn't release them before they voted for him. >> i'm reclaiming my time now. do you know what the president is hiding? >> can you repeat that? i'm sorry. >> do you know what he's hiding. he doesn't want anybody to see them. >> i don't think he's hiding anything. >> so you don't know, is that what you're saying? if. >> i don't know about his tax returns. >> we are all down -- he's not hiding anything, i don't know what's in there and you don't have a right to see it american public. i wouldn't be surprised if he's kept far from the campaign trail. that's steve mnuchin saying he doesn't believe the american people have any right to know what's in their president's tax returns. but a big blow was delivered to donald trump's stonewalling campaign last night. that plot twist is the blow came from donald trump's own branch of government, a memo crafted by
the irs and just coming to light, argues the president's taxes cannot be held from congress. that memo first reported by "the washington post," said that steve mnuchin's efforts of withholding trump's taxes is unwarranted. the memo argues that the law does not allow the secretary does not have discretion. the irs responded by saying the memo in question is a draft, it was not the official position of the irs. we know it was done in the fall when the democrats were making it clear they wanted to see the tax returns. and just another hit happening now, a judge said deutsche can turn over the information. >> first on the taxes steve mnuchin to the extent he's right
is right that a memo doesn't bind him. he's in charge of the treasury department, if someone writes a memo, he disagrees, he's the boss. but you know what does bind him, the law. the law says those tax returns shall be provided, not maybe, not every other thursday but shall. the law the congress passed in 1924, that she's ignoring, that's what matters here. the memo is interesting because what it demonstrates is that people in the treasury department are embassed. >> they knew the law. >> they knew the law. they don't need 10 pages. you need the statute and it couldn't be more clear. >> i worked in the white house, executive privilege didn't protect me any one of the five times i had to turn my emails over. >> so you're familiar with the issue. >> very. >> presidents can assert it, it doesn't mean they have to.
most presidents, including the one you worked for, tried to accommodate congress. so this constant assertion of executive privilege over everything challenging every subpoena is not transparency, and it's not accommodation. and so, that's what i find disturbing. if you want to cooperate, you find a way to cooperate. i'm sure you didn't prefer to turn over your -- >> no. but in fairness, i was a communicator, so i existed at the end of the food chain. i wasn't -- isn't executive privilege to really preserve advice between a senior adviser and the president. >> to elicit confidential information and advice about sensitive matters. >> right. >> so legitimately invoked certain cases. here it's invoked ill lee jut matly in some cases and simply to stymie congress. that's the problem. >> eli, so much losing. now a hurdle clear canned for
transparency in terms of the documents under subpoena from deutsche bank and capital one. >> and the president does not want that information to be out. i'm sure there will be appeals that will be filed. so this may drag out longer, and i think the president and his lawyers would like to drag it out indefinitely. i think at some point this comes to a head. at some point steve mnuchin said he would comply with a court order. if a court order forced him to turn those over. so i think it may take that. i don't know how many times we are from that, but at some point you're going to see actions from the court that forces this material out into public view. that's going to be an interesting day for the president given how he reacts to small things, to things like cover up, when this information he's tried to protect for so long emerges, buckle up for that one. >> isn't it interesting we're hanging our hat on the fact that
the secretary of the treasury said he will comply with a court order. that's what passes for good news? >> the other thing i'm thinking is we're now sort of hanging all of our hopes on transparency. we've given up basically on the executive branch doing anything in sort of the vain of good government or responsiveness to congress. i turned over my email because i worked in the white house, for better or worse, that recognized congress' authority to have an oversight role. we're now hinging everything on the courts? >> i think what we've seen over the past two years is that when a president like president trump wants to stretch the norms of american politics to their -- you know, as far as they can go. there is some give there. the reason that this hasn't been done before is because one, maybe the politicians and the presidents couldn't have pulled it off and gotten away with it. >> the political pain was too much. >> the political pain would be too much. >> i think we're seeing, especially in the last week here, this is a blanket
strategy. we are going to do whatever we can, not necessarily to deny congress these documents but to delay this. just to draw this out. but we're seeing that in all these cases, i think the judge last week where he basically laughed at the trump lawyer's case where he said congress has no right to investigate a president because it's not a legitimate legislative purpose. there are limits to this, we are running into that, the question is if you are the trump legal team and the white house counsel be, are you going to risk pushing this and losing battles or pull back. i think we're seeing that. >> they're going to keep stonewalling. she's a former cia operative, a writer and political survivor, now she's running for congress. my friend valerie plaim joins us next. e plaim joins us next
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challenge president trump. but many are aware of winning the senate and keeping the house are just as crucial. one of the democrats who threw her hat in the ring for congress is valerie plame. the former cia officer whose identity was leaked in the bush administration. as an aside valerie and i are friends of mine now. valerie said this, my career in the cia was cut short by partisan politics but i'm not done serving our country. we need more people to stand up for what's right. her priorities are getting easier access to health care and lower prescription drug costs. joining us now is former cia agent my friend valerie plame. now running for congress in new mexico. >> hi, thank you for having me. >> take me through your thoughts
where we stand today with nancy pelosi herding cats in had congress, to control any sort of move on impeachment. where do you come down on the commencement of impeachment proceedings for this president? >> i agree with earlier sentiment in the program that she is the perfect political foil for someone like trump who is impulsive, child like, impet which you s chous. she conveys standards of what needs to be done. my thinking thus far on impeachment has been this, we have an impeachment already set up, it's called the election of 2020, i like the idea that the population would be allowed to make that decision. however, over the last week we have seen increasing disdain and contempt by the white house, by the president for the rule of law, for constitutional rights,
ethics, morals, and so i'm -- i've been persuaded that there's investigations still needs to go on, but i don't know how -- how much more the whole system can discussion on this previously was really worthwhile. >> does it tip you over the edge? most standing up for presidential nomination calling for at least the commencement of an impeachment proceeding which as chuck rosenberg has said, would strengthen some of the tools of democrats. would you be for that? >> more because once you start down that path, you cannot turn back and the other aspect of impeachment that i find dismaying is it will take so much time and energy to put into that and that distracts from what congress needs to do. we have so many challenges, so many issues facing this country
right now and we all know that impeachment proceedings will be a huge distraction. so if they begin, it better be all in, and it will take much longer than november 2020. that's where i am right now, but subject to change. >> a lot of current and former national security officials bemoan this phenomenon you're describing, that so much of our attention into donald trump and his me llodrama. what would you do to bring those back to sort of the public debate? >> well, right, there's been a lot written recently how the president makes everything about himself. he's inserting himself in absolutely every single small and big issues, but what that does do is ignore real issues. my expertise in the cia was all about the nuclear threat.
so i'm still watching and very concerned about what is going on and what is not in north korea. what is going on in iran. we have seen in recent days that iran is feeling that, well, the united states unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal. why should we abide by anything that will continue to enrich uranium? those are the things on an international scale that concern me but as you know, i'm running for a seat in northern new mexico, so i've got to balance too. it's the people i'm talking to here, what they care most about are access to quality health care, what they care about are the immigration issues and the opioid crisis, which is affecting the district that i'm running for deeply. >> obviously, your candidacy focused on those three issues and other things that pop up and you have to field on the campaign trail but also about someone's story and yours, obviously, is having endured
really, the political scandal of the presidency in which i worked. you and i became friends and that's a longer conversation for another time, but how much is that part of your story? how much of that is part of what you say, send me to washington, i can go toe to toe with donald trump. i've been part of this movie before and came out on top? >> i love my career. i was so proud i got to serve my country and as you well know, nikole, it was cut short well before i was quite ready to say good-bye and this opportunity opened up to run for this open house seat and i thought this might not come around again. my kids have gone off to college. i'm ready for a new chapter. i want to take, not only, i moved here, fled washington in 2007. deeply immersed myself in the community. so i want use those experiences as well as my experience
internationally, on the national level. i'm here in new mexico because of my work with the labs. so i want to be able to use both and i think for better or worse, my name is well known. so that if i have the honor of being elected and serving in congress, i get to hit the ground running, day one. >> anita hill was recognized last night at the pen literary gala and said this with "the new york times." she worries that the democratic women in the presidential race are not being taken seriously as presidential candidates. she said i think if we don't take them seriously as presidential candidates, we're not going to hear those voices. i think the context was about people like senator kamala harris and stacy abrams who isn't in the race yet, as possible vice presidents. what do you think about this moment for women in american politics and what do you think about this current crop of
democratic candidates? do you have a favorite yet? >> so the election of 2018 was fantastic, at least for democrats, because we got to see a lot more people of color and women, really strong voices. you want our congress to represent who we are as americans, and i've been in touch with, well, right now we have quite a few female representatives in congress and from new mexico and that has been wonderful to see what they do. i think right now, the democratic field, we have an embarrassment of riches. i think it is fair to say that any one of them would do a brilliant job and far better than the incumbent. i don't yet have a favorite. i am, like all americans, i think, really just listening and paying attention and this primary period will tell a lot. i love that there's so many in the field and i love that it's a really diverse and rich field.
so i think mayor pete was asked, what are you going to say to people who say when president trump says america's not ready for a gay president, he said, tell him i said hi. that was just, what else? so we're fortunate, the democrats are fortunate to have so many. hopefully, we all coalesce behind the front-runner and go full-on because i don't want to see another four years of trump. >> valerie plame, always like your thoughts. thank you. >> thanks so much. >> we'll sneak in a break. we'll be right back. so much. >> we'll sneak in a break. we'll be right back. imu. a civin buying a new car. let's go. limu's right. liberty mutual can save you money by customizing your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh... yeah, i've been a customer for years. huh...
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thanks to chuck. erin, eli and donna, all of you for watching. that does it for us. i i i'm nicole wallace. mtp daily with chuck todd starts right now. >> i was just tweeting. i was buying the five seconds. thank you, nicole. tonight, are we varying towards a constitutional crisis? president trump abruptly ends a meeting with democrats. he won't legislate if they litigate. did speaker pelosi lay out a case for impeachment? one on one with hoyer, an eyewitness to it. the biggest question, what do they do now? if it's wednesday, it's "meet the press