tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC May 23, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
city. two breaking stories we're following now. the search for victims and injured after huge destructive tornadoes plow through the midwest leaving behind what looks like a war zone in some places. we are live in missouri this hour. also as hallie mentioned, house speaker nancy pelosi set to take to the podium any moment now after that big blowoff with president trump that actually happened roughly the same time yesterday. where do democrats go from here after the president vowed to stop working with them until the investigations stop. keeping a close eye on that podium. expected to speak any moment and also expected to take a few questions as well. we start with this escalating battle of words between the president and the speaker of the house. in the last 30 minutes or so, nbc news reported two democratic aides say pelosi told colleagues
that president trump "wants to be impeached." with me hans nichols at the white house were and the political table team. jake sherman and anna palmer, also with us. hans, start with you. walk us through this new reporting what democrats think the president wants out of this process? >> reporter: it's clear listening to officials all morning they want some sort of negotiation but doesn't seem like they're ready to put the president in front just yet and have them rejoin the conversation at a presidential level. the vibe all morning has basically been, well, of course, conversations will go on, or that's the feeling, most recently on usmca. the sentiment here is very real. listen to how sarah sanders put it moments ago. >> the democrats have shown that they're not capable of doing anything else. so far they've been unwilling and, you know, able to sit down and solve any real problems. it's very hard to have a meeting
where you accuse the president's the united states of a crime and then an hour later show up and act as if nothing's happened. >> reporter: we haven't had a chance to ask the president whether or not he wants to be impeached. peter alexander is reporting that's what nancy pelosi is indicating. she thinks the president wants this. fascinating to listen and get yore readout from policiy shortly as she's digested yesterday over the last 24 hours what she thinks her next steps is and how she's reading the president's behavior. craig? >> hans nichols, stand by if you can, sir. mr. sherman what would you expect that we would hear from speaker pelosi here any moment now? >> congress has two responsibilities, legislating and oversight and they're mot mutually exclusive. what she's going to say. the particular ed does think and part is a vibe as hans put it, that they can't do both. they can do both, because they did it under george bush, did it under barack obama.
that's kind of how government works. let me land this spaceship back on planet earth a second. the president on -- sorry, tuesday night sent a letter to pelosi saying, he wasn't interested basically in a $2 trillion deal. he wanted to cut $1 trillion of spending to get a $2 trillion infrastructure deal and blew up these talks way before pelosi said he was involved in a cover-up. i just -- the reality doesn't line up with what is coming out of the white house, but it was, would have been incredibly difficult to get a $2 trillion infrastructure deal anyway. frankly, as we put it this morning, congress should take the lowest common denominator, get a quick budget deal, and retreat to corners, not anything big happening before the 2020 election. >> anna, the trump/pelosi relationship. your colleagues at politico wrote, third time in barely six
months, between the president, speaker and chuck schumer blew up in spectacular fashion. in each case trump handed pelosi a huge gift. a priceless unit helping unify the democratic caucus behind her at a crucial time. anna, what is it about nancy pelosi that seems to really get under this president's skin? >> it's phenomenal, actually, when you think about it. he really does not know how to deal with her. there's a respect and reverence the president has for pelosi, but every time they've come up against a friction point, he has blinked and she comes back stronger. before yesterday's meeting a lot of talk about impeachment and kind of her factoring where she wants to hold the line, doesn't want democrats to move too soon down that pathway. the president has given her one of the biggest gifts. all in alignment against trump
making her very strong in the capitol and very sflong negotia strong isn't dealing with the president. >> won't do business with democrats as long as the investigations continue. his declaration yesterday. what are republicans on the hill say about it? >> a lot of republicans are backing him up. he told us this back in september. on his mind a long time. not willing to sit at the table with a party while investigating him. something he thought about for an extremely long time, but has to do some business with them and republicans have to come along. by the way, republicans on capitol hill have no problem with working with democrats while investigating the president, because they understand the congress, for 200 years. trump might be new to this but the country around a couple hundred years and congress has investigated and legislated. it's how the cookie crumbles.
no president likes it, but congress always does it. i understand the president might think the not possible for him. it's been possible for many other presidents before. >> this idea that the president may be trying to goad democrats into impeaching him, because he thinks, or his advisers think that might be a winning strategy going into 2020. what are folks on the hill saying about this idea, impeachment used as a strategy? >> yeah, i mean two things are important. one, this president made impeachment very personal. he talks about this as an attack on him personally. he responds in terms of inquiries on twitter personally. it's not the white house counsel or lawyers going back and forth, and i think democrats a long time have felt that he wants them to go down this path, because he thinks it's a winning message for him out on the campaign trail to say, look, all democrats doing is a witch-hunt. they just want to go after me and aren't a responsible party.
you see nancy pelosi trying very hard to pull back her rein for those calling for impeachment because they don't think it's necessary. we talk to those who say if they go down this route democrats will lose the house in 2020. >> a lot of those folks advising nancy pelosi, i imagine, they probably remember what happened in the '90s when the party in power tried the very same thing. and describe this in the playbook as donald trump and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. this is how democrats in the room describe what went down yesterday. >> orchestrated almost to -- oh, poor baby, point of view. came in to the room and said that i said that he was engaged in a cover-up and couldn't possibly, couldn't possibly engage in a conversation on infrastructure as long as we are investigating him.
>> it was planned. when we got in the room, curtains were closed. >> there was no chair set for where he regularly sits. no doubt in my mind this was a, a show. >> that's what happened this morning. it was very, very, very strange. >> you know, jake, as it went down yesterday, and the administration tried to assert this was spontaneous, what struck me was the fact they had a placard on the president's podium. supposed to be a spur of the moment thing. do they just keep those lying around? >> no. i would think not. i mean, it certainly seems not spontaneous and, frankly, as i mentioned before, the white house had laid the groundwork for blowing up this conversations before pelosi said anything about a cover-up. they said that democrats needed to justify spending, that the president and democrats agreed on the week before. they said that they needed to find spending cuts. something that the democrats
would never go for, to do an infrastructure bill, and by the way, the president indicated aides beforehand something i kind of forgot to put in "playbook" he wanted democrats to stop the investigation before they negotiated, before they came to the white house. so this was not, it didn't appear to be a spontaneous thing. podium set up, a placard, you noted. seemed an ambush. everything we could see publicly, seened it was a premeditated, preplanned thing to kind of lay the blame at democrats' feet. >> we are, again, expecting speaker pelosi to take to that podium. roughly 90 seconds from now. we saw a young lady, i assume is a congressional staffer come out and give the two-minute warning about 60 seconds ago. any moment now anna and jake, we'll go to that podium. anna, quickly here. again, this idea that the president won't do business with
democrats. what does that -- what does that >> i mean, there's been virtually no ledgislating done but things the president has to work with congress on. raising the debt limit. we have to budget talks, trying to do a disaster relief package right now. things that are going to get done whether this president says he's not going to work with democrats or not. the bigger question to me, some of the other issues that are necessary but don't have a timeline where they have to get done. infrastructure, for example. anything else on the agenda, if he wants to be able to bring to, you know, voters, to say on trade for example, usmca, he needs to work with nancy pelosi. that's just a fact. so while right now you have kind of yesterday's, him blowing it up in a very hollywood spectacular fashion, i just don't think it's a tenable line for him to hold for very long. >> we should also mention representative james clyburn,
assistant democratic leader, expected to join us here shortly after we hear from speaker pelosi, any moment now. jake what would you ask the speaker, if you were in that room? >> i don't know what i'd ask her if, when i go down. one quick thing. the president is about compartmentalizing, taking bad things that are bothing you and still able to conduct the business of the country, which we're seeing right now despite the president's insistence he would love to work with democrats, if they, when they won the majority, he's not been able to compartmentalize things that upset him, and the business of the country, which is going to really put in for a really long two-year sense until the 2020 election. by the way, predicting now, seems like it's all but over legislative-wise. we're only a quarter into this congress and the president cannot separate these two things. democrats are marching head-strong into a host of investigations and the president saying, stop them. only ramping up these
investigations. my question for pelosi in a round-about way i'll answer you, do you anticipate a budget deal? i mean, huge, steep budget cuts going into effect beginning of next year. based on the president's behavior, do you believe you'll be able to sit down and work with him to prevent billions of dollars of spending reductions aimed at the pentagon and domestic spending in january? a critical question will have impact on the economy, the country, something we need to get our minds wrapped around over the next couple months. >> anna, also it seems as if based on two court decisions this week, and the state legislature here in new york, their vote yesterday, it would seem as if lawmakers are much closer to getting their hands on the president's finances than they were just a couple weeks ago. we'll talk about that on the other side, anna. if you guys can stick around. right now let's listen in to speaker nancy pelosi. >> thank you for the delay. we had a little -- took a little
longer on the floor. than i had anticipated. but the floor -- was we go into memorial day weekend, which is such a beautiful time for us to remember, respect and honor, we honor the service and sacrifice of our heroes in uniform, and reaffirm our sacred duty to never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. the service of our veterans reminds us mission to build a future worthy of their sacrifice. and we do so honoring the oath we take to support and defend the constitution and to protect the american people. honoring that oath this week, the house passed nine bills to support veterans protecting their health benefits, financial security and taking action to end the crisis of veteran suicide.
this week we're also passing urgently needed fix for military families facing tax hikes under the gop tax scam. with the kiddie tax, republicans took half a billion dollars from working families and gave it to big corporations and the wealthy. half a billion dollars. the kiddie tax. it is unacceptable surviving children of our fallen heroes who suffered so much are now forced to pay thousands of additional dollars in taxes on their benefits. they cannot be forced to sacrifice twice. as democrats take action to protect military families who are also hard at work to protect our workers in stark contrast to republicans special interest agenda. today in the same legislation that contains the kiddie tax act, to tax fix, to fix what the republicans did in their tax scam, we are passing the secure
act, passing strong measures to help workers have a secure retirement. and yesterday congressman's first act reversing administration's destruction of a consumer bureau, which, the consumer bureau returned nearly $12 billion to 30 million seniors, service members and veterans before being gutted by the trump administration. also to honor our oath, we're hoping to have disaster supplemental bill passed before we leave for the district road trip. that was our hope, what we've been working on into the wee hours last night. however, we had sent legislation bipartisan legislation passed in the house to the senate. it would be helpful for those in the disaster stricken areas if the senate would just pass the bills and send them on to the president. we passed a bill a while back, months ago, and then in light of other disasters that occurred in the spring, we then passed
another bill that expanded the areas that were affected. that's sitting over at the senate. they could well just pass it. and send it to the president. that would send such a beautiful message to those areas that are affected, and continue to be affected. you see what's happening in missouri as we gather here. what the problem is, it's that the trump administration has put in conditions for border funding that are just totally unacceptable. really don't have anything to do with what we're trying to do for disaster assistance and we have not been able to find common ground. we understand our responsibility to protect our border, but what they are doing is just not right. and it's important to note that in the ten years before this, not a single child died in custody of the border. now, six children have died in the last several months.
six children have died in the last several months. further honoring our oath means honoring our constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of the president and the trump administration. that responsibility has been resoundingly affirmed again and again, making absolutely fair that the house has a responsibility to follow the facts, uncover the truth for the american people. yesterday's historical bank concluded put simply the power of congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process, and in the major's case on monday the judge declared there can be little doubt that congress' interest in the accuracy of the president's financial disclos e disclosures falls within the legislative sphere. but the president's priority is his personal political interests, not the public interest. yesterday as you know democrats went to the white house prepared to offer the president the opportunity to launch an
historic infrastructure initiative. we had met three weeks before. the idea that it was a good, positive meeting, about how we build the infrastructure of our country, roads, bridges, mass transit, broadband in rural areas and underserved urban areas as well. water systems, both wastewater and safe, clean, drinking water, infrastructure for our satellites so that our technology works here. for all of these things we were optimistic. we also were hoping to are housing and school construction, as a further part of the conversation. but the question is, how is it paid for? the president was, the plan was, we agreed meeting three weeks ago the president was supposed to present his proposals at yesterday's meeting's well, everyone it started -- sending signals he may not be ready or interested the night before he sent us a letter to chuck
schumer and to me saying that he doesn't want to do infrap structure until we do the u.s./mexico/canada if that's not the accurate, some call it nafta 2.0, anyway, that trade agreement, and that was a strange juxtaposition, but nonetheless, the next day you know what happened. i think what happened, he said it's because of cover-up. i know that strikes a cord with him and he's afraid of cover-up, but, afraid of being accused of cover-up, but i really think that what, he knew the one court decision was getting into territory he did not want touch and they did not allow the mueller report, mueller investigation to go into the president's personal finances. so a major setback for him, and then must have known the deutsche bank decision would be consistent. in any event, against his
presentation, he pulled a stunt. now, i truly believe that the president has a bag of tricks and the white house has a bag of tricks that they save for serno cases. they don't necessarily apply to the occasion, but they're a distraction, which is his master of distraction. we all agree on that. that's something he does well. distract from problems that he has. he changes, tries to change the subject. and while he tried to say it's because i said cover-up, we've been saying cover-up for a while. and our meeting was wan we have anyway, so it had nothing to do with him. i think what really got to him, the court cases and the facts, that the house democratic caucus is not going to pass to impeachment and that's where he wants us to be. when he saw that was not happening, that, again, with the cover-up, which he understands is true, just struck a cord.
it's really sad. as i said to some of you yesterday, thomas jefferson, one of our, our third president, had the first infrastructure initiative. he taxed secretary of treasury, and i said that to secretary of the treasury yesterday, after the president left the room, that he tasked the treasure of the secretary to put a plan to follow the lewis and clark expedition to build into the infrastructure, erie canal, things like that, so important to our country in terms of commerce and mobility and the rest and 100 years later, teddy roosevelt, he initiated his -- his infrastructure plan, which was green. the establishment of the national parks service. later in the century, president
eisenhower put forth an interstate highway proposal. very bipartisan. leader in the senate was lindened johnson, in the house sam rayburn and the president of the united states, a republican president, eisenhower, working together to make, pass that for the good of the country and its purpose under president eisenhower was that it would unify america. it was a defense issue. what we're telling you about now, infrastructure, president said the i word, thought he was talking about infrastructure, roads, bridges, mass transit. said some of those things already. i thought we could give him the opportunity to make a historic contribution to the safety, because it's a safety measure. it's the best commerce, best safety, best mobility product to market and in addition clean air, clean water. a better future for our country, much needed, billions, trillions
of dollars in deficit in terms of well or no maintenance. it's never been partisan. we don't want it to be partisan now, but i can only think he wasn't up to the task of figuring out the difficult choices how to cover the cost of what the important infrastructure legislation, that we had talked about three weeks before. so -- so, but the president, again, stormed out. and i think, first -- pound the table. walk out the door. next time, have the tv cameras in there when i had my say. that didn't work for him either. now this time, another temper tantrum -- again -- i pray for the president of the united states. i wish him and his family, his administration and staff would have an intervention for the
good of the country. yes, ma'am? >> madam speaker, would you be prepared to change your rhetoric given the landscape and the president's temperament, your prayer comment almost suggested certain for his well-being? >> i am. on behalf of the united states of america. >> would you be prepared to do something different, getting more done, to not use cover-up or perhaps provoke him. that was not a reason -- that he did that yesterday. that was an excuse for him to do that. in response to your question, i do not intend, not to honor my oath of office nor do my colleagues in the house of representatives, to honor our oath of office to protect and defend the constitution, which has a system of checks and balances, separation of power in it, and, again, the question of the american people, understanding that what he is doing is in assault on the constitution of the united states.
we can walk and chew gum at the same time. i hope he can, too. >> yesterday you said that the president made mention of impeachable offenses yet today you're not on the path to impeachment. can you explain why you're opposed to launching impeachment inquires? many democrats wa unt to do this? >> let me be very clear. the president's behavior in terms of his obstruction of justice, the things that he is done, it's very clear. it's in plain sight. it cannot be denied. obstruction of justice. yes, we should have impeachable offense but i intend, we're -- three things. you might understand better if you remember these three things. we want to follow the facts, get the truth to the american people. with a recognition, too, that no one is above the law, and,
three, that the president has engaged in a cover-up. and that i'll say. while we deal with this is a decision our caucus makes and our caucus is very much saying whatever we do we need to be ready when we do it, and i do think that impeachment is a very divisive place to go in our country, and unless we can get the facts to the american people to an investigation that may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment, or not, but we're not at that place. >> madam secretary -- >> would you -- with the president after what happens? work with him on anything? >> of course. i mean, you know, we're dealing with a situation that is becoming more predictable. but i do think that we have a responsibility to try to find common ground. funny you ask that question, because yesterday i was going to start the meeting in terms of, of course, putting it in historic perspective as i've
done here but of course, today, we're very busy people. the leaders in the congress. especially the president of the united states, i think. and a meeting between leaders of the congress and the president is an historic meeting. this is not a casual coming together of democrats and republicans. this is -- this is a historic meeting, with the leadership of the legislative branch. the first branch of government and the president of the united states. so let's make it count for something. let's really make it count for something. it's a preparation by respect of each other's view, understanding on point to get results for the american people. but, he obviously was not prepared by way of preparation, he was not prepared and used an excuse to go out the door. did not take responsibility. pointing out the truth.
>> -- kellyanne conway, end of the meeting expanded on her -- >> i'm not going to talk about that. i responded as speaker of the house to the president of the united states. i respond to tapes -- that's what -- >> is it now obviously, you have a lot of issues you need to address, some of the things. the secretary here talking about raising the debt ceiling, you're going to need democratic votes. especially now. how do you go back and might not get infrastructure, keep the government open, raise the debt ceiling and democratic -- have that to -- >> and the question was the president of the united states, ask the president of the united states. we have always been responsible. left to our own devices our -- i'm an operator for that culture, intelligence and appropriations, and in those days, they were not really
partisan arenas. so on the disaster system could, have gotten there, left to their own devices, appropriated until the white house intervened. so we will have to cast the pro precision bill, pass it and hopefully will do it in a very timely fashion. the debt ceiling will have to be lifted. a matter of a conversation we're having on the debt ceiling. we're not saying that the president said, if you don't, if you don't stop investigating me, if you don't stop honoring your oath of office, i can't work with you. that's basically what he's saying. maybe we wants to take a leave of absence. i don't know. but on the other hand, we understand what our responsibilities are, we're fully prepared to go forward. it's merely up to them to have somewhat of an opportunity. >> and in better position to ask because of the blowup yesterday?
>> we want to do what we have to do that is right for the american people. respectful of all that has to do with -- one more. yes? >> you said that you -- today that the president wants -- can you please explain that a bit? also explain the comment -- >> okay. the intervention? >> you made a comment you thought -- >> oh. i thought you said statutory. that would be good. article 25. troublemaker. that's just an idea. glad you suggested it. take it up with my caucus. not that they haven't been thinking about it. but your support will be important to them. oh, yes. the question. the white house is crying out for impeachment. that's why he left yesterday. because he was hoping, because
he was somehow or other you all have the story that isn't real. i mean, want to believe there's all of this unevenness in our caucus. that simply isn't the truth. we have respect with diversity of opinion in our caucus and i say to the caucus our dwesty is our strength. our unity is our power and we have unity in our caucus. so when he saw -- he's saying, you called that meeting at 9:00. no. we had the meeting. mr. president, it's not about you, but it is about whatever is current at that time, and so -- so however, you keep perpetuating the story, i don't know why, because it isn't factual, but nonetheless, that was what disappointed him, because he didn't see it as rush to impeachment coming out of our caucus in our 9:00 meeting which he thought was called specifically for him.
and then, his family and his d administration, his cabinet and staff in the white house, it is not behavior that rises to the dignity of the office of president of the united states. having said that, as i said, i actually ardently pray for the president, because we need -- i don't know. sometimes we're talking to him he's -- he agrees. and then i said one time. who's in charge here? because you agree and all of a sudden something changes. what goes on there? who's in charge? and he says he's in charge. and i suspect that he may be. and i suspect he may be even more since yesterday, because i don't think that any responsible assistant to the president of the united states would have advised him to do what he did yesterday. that's it. thank you all.
and there you have it. house speaker nancy pelosi. it would seem as if she is doubling down on what we heard from her yesterday. at one point during the course of this conversation -- let's listen back in. she may be -- >> and this morning -- [ inaudible ]. >> thank you. couldn't make out exactly what she said at the end there. we'll try to find out if it was newsworthy. at one point during the course of her comments she accused the president of being, again, engaved in a cover-up, also involved in impeachable offenses including obstruction of justice currently. and at one point encouraged his family and staff to stage an intervention. this, as well. let us bring back jake sherman anna palmer.
our team, and jake, i'll start with you here. again, we have congressman clyburn standing by. jake, one of the things i also found very interesting. beginning of her comments there, speaker pelosi claiming that part of the president's motivation yesterday and in leaving that meeting might be what we talked ak right before she started. the decisions handed down by two separate judges this week with regards to the president's personal finances? >> reporter: yeah. i think there's a lot of things to unpack from that press conference. i think that the president was obviously set off by this meeting. democrats set it at 9:00 a.m. a meeting they freefquently ask for. unpack this. speaker of the house indicated the president's family should stage an intervention, yes, he has engaged in possible impeachable offenses and questioned who's in charge in the white house suggesting the president, in fact, was no in charge and there's another force besides the president's
decision-making that is guiding him. these are extraordinary comments for which we see obviously evidenced over the last couple of weeks and months, but extraordinary set of comments from the speaker a day after the president basically kicked them out of the white house. sent them back to capitol hill and set off this stalemate over the one piece of pro active legislation democrats and republicans could have gotten done. >> and this deutsche bank decision, anna, do you get the sense, have you gotten the sense, as you talk to lawmakers on the hill, this is something that perhaps bothers the president, concerns the president more than maybe a lot of folks realize? >> reporter: i think democrats feel like these two wins in the courts are fundamental to their case, and i think they feel like they're getting closer and closer to issues that the president doesn't want to talk about. the president, if you remember, during the mueller investigation
said over and over again his finances weren't to be investigated. it wasn't about this. now you have this investigation by house democrats that's going into territory the president is very uncomfortable with. >> all right. anna palmer, politico playbook, anna, big thanks to you as well. bring in congressman james clyburn, house majority whip at that oh, so brief meeting yesterday, as i understand it. congressman, before we get into the speaker's comments there, take us inside that meeting at the white house. that really escalated this tension. what happened? >> well, that meeting was very surreal. i've been in many meeting there's in the cabinet room, and on yesterday, when we entered the room, i noticed something very different. all the curtains were drawn. as you know, that room, the windows, open out on to the ros
rose garden, and for good reason. they had moved all of the media into the rose garden. they set up as we found out later a podium and posters in preparation for what they knew was going to be an aborted meeting. so while we stood in darkness, the president entered the room. waving some papers in his hand. and he made it very clear we would either legislate or investigate. that we could not do both, and until we as members of congress give up our constitutional duties of oversight, we would not be able to work with him, or he was not willing to work with
us, on trying to legislate. so it was kind of surreal. nancy pelosi after he walked out of the room responded to those who were left, us and his staff, with a 200-year review of our important infrastructure, how important infrastructure is to the country. went back to thomas jefferson and his big infrastructure bills involving the railroad. all of those things that made for great infrastructure needs in our country. then she came 100 years forward to theodore roosevelt and what he did on infrastructure. the national parks service, such a benefit to this country that we enjoy today. then she came another 100 years to today and said that we thought we were going to help this president become someone as
accomplished and jeff zorn and theodore roosevelt, but that was not to be. congress hopes we can come back after the break and be able to get these talks back on track. >> congressman, quickly here. we just heard from speaker pelosi that weekly briefing allude to the idea maybe the president isn't in charge in the white house? what -- what is that? do we not think that the president is calling the shots anymore? >> well, i have no idea. what i do know is that the president, when we met two or three weeks ago, we had a very productive meeting. he is the one that put the $2 trillion figure for infrastructure on the table. we were all supposed to come back this week offering our suggestions as how to pay for it. maybe he wasn't prepared to offer any suggestions as how to pay for it? maybe he wasn't prepared to take leadership as he should.
why he's not prepared, i don't i did not know. is it because he has not gotten his permission from wherever? i do not know. all i know is, he did not seem to be prepared to come to the table and be the leader of this great country that i had hoped he would be. >> do you think that the president is trying to goad you and your democratic colleagues into impeachment? >> absolutely. and i've been saying to all of my colleagues that we have to be very, very careful of that. look, we were having significant victory. we've had now two court decisions. one on yesterday and one earlier this week giving us all that we have been asking of the courts. now, they'll appeal these cases, but who is to say we won't still win on appeal?
we'll had in the ranks of the gop on the calls for impeachment, it's now a bipartisan call. so i am not a member of that group at this point. i really believe that what we need to do is continue to develop our case. build a platform. have our investigations. do our oversight, and then bring the public along with us. more people in the public now favor impeachment than did two weeks ago, and within the next two or three weeks, it will be even more. but until we have bipartisan broad public support for such a political move. >> yes. >> that's what impeachment is. i'm not comfortable with our caucus moving in that direction. >> house majority whip james clyburn. congressman, thanks for your time, sir. >> thank you very much for having me. coming up -- we will go live to missouri once
again where deadly tornadoes ripped through neighborhoods, tore off roofs, destroyed homes. left a swath of damage like the one you see there. and that the pentagon is proposing to move more american troops to the middle east. introducing you to two heroes. medal of honor recipients as we head into this memorial day. me. boost® high protein. be up for life.
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violent tornadoes that tore through jefferson city and left three people dead and several others hurt. nbc's morgan chesky remains on duty for us there in jefferson city, missouri. morgan what are you seeing now? what are people telling you? >> reporter: craig, we knew the damage would be bad when we heard about the size of the tornado. when our crew drove in before dawn, our first glimpse how bad this tornado was when it made its way through just after midnight and this was, believe it or not, a storage facility, and a quick look is all it takes to see the power that this storm had when it made its way through early this morning. so many people safe at home overnight when it struck, showing up to see if their possessions are safe today. it's an 50/50 whether they're still here or gone. the sad story, a lot of these older cars are actually belonging to the owner of this facility, who brought them from the nearby airport here because the airport, another garage, was
supposed to get hit by severe weather. as you can imagine, a lot of frustration today. people showing up trying to lend a hand because jefferson city hit so hard by this tornado. a chance to hear from the governor today about his reaction when he pulled into the city for the very first time tis morning. >> we're watch aring all of these warnings take place ourselves live to make sure people were warned. i think the city here in jefferson city, the county, the emergency personnel did a great job getting warnings out last night and i think people heeded the warnings and took shelter. very important. thank goodness it worked the way it was supposed to work. >> reporter: and the governor, again, giving credit to the early warning system. last check, 20 people injured by this tornado here in jefferson city. no one killed here. the three fatalities reported about an hour and a half northeast just north of joplin. and the big priority, making sure no one else is trapped in
the hard-hit neighborhoods and making sure they can get the roadways clear for emergency vehicles, still having a tough time in and around areas of jefferson city today. so a long road ahead, but definitely on it here in missouri. craig? >> so jarring to see so much of people's personal belongings just scattered there in jefferson city. morgan, thank you for checking with with you later. thank you, thank you. this memorial day weekend americans should be honoring those who made the ultimate s k sacrifice to protect our freedom and think about our nation's veterans and give thanks. we have rare privilege today, joined by not one but two medal of honor recipients. sergeant petri and sergeant sammy davis as well. gentlemen, thank you both so much. >> thank you for having us, sir. >> it is my honor. sergeant petri start with you. you received a medal of honor saving fellow rangers from a grenade in afghanistan, and one
thing i've come to know about you guys, you don't really like to talk about the circumstances surrounding that day. i won't ask you about the circumstances specifically, but what does it mean to wear that medal? >> well, to me, it represents everyone who has served or is serving especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. this memorial day, i tell a lot of folks that we shouldn't wait until someone is injured or killed to honor them. we should also be honoring our military, our veterans still in our communities. >> sergeant davis, you received yours, as i understand it, for fighting off the vietcong while you were wounded. >> yes, sir. >> and then useds an air mattress to get others across can the river during the vietnam war. what does it mean to wear that medal? same question. >> you do for your brothers what you know they'll do for you. when i was looking across that
river and i seen three of my brothers standing over there, i was, i had been shot. my back was broke, ribs crushed, but when i seen my brothers over there, i knew they would come get me. so how could i not go get them and i used me, so how could i n get them. i used the air mattress because i was not confident i could swim that well. i used the air mattress to get across. i put the two men most severely wounded and jim held onto that and we got back across. >> sergeant, you have a service dog. i got to meet your service dog earlier. he was barking in the studios. he's not in with us now. maybe this isn't true but someone said it to me and i'll ask you and you can correct me if i'm wrong. is it true we weren't had a suicide committed by a veteran who has a service dog? is that accurate? >> as far as i know, yes. >> why do you think that is?
>> hold you accountable to someone other than yourself. young female she was at that point where she had already written the letter and ready to commit suicide and looked at her dog and she couldn't do it. they become your family. they take of us as much as we take care of them just like our buddies in the military. we have to take care of one another. >> sergeant davis, what are some of the biggest issues affecting, sp specifically, vietnam war veterans right now? >> in my experience they don't talk about what's happened. f i've found it's more healthy for your soul to talk about it. it doesn't mean it goes away. when you get it out of your soul and put nit in the sunlight, it eats the moss off of it. it's still there but because
you've been able goat to get it it helps your haeart and your soul. >> the pentagon announced it will request 10,000 more troops to the middle east and escalating tension there is in the region with iran, specifically. what would you like decision makers to know about serving in that part of the world? >> i think i would like them to know that we trust our military leaders and that if they ask us to go, absolutely, 100%, continue to support them in their decisions. they've been doing this for their whole lives. to not be haste on that. we all know what we signed up for. if they need us to go, we should be ready. don't hesitate to support them when they say that's what they need and continue to support them all the way through. >> thank you for your service. thank you for your sacrifice.
>> thank you. >> sergeant davis, thank you. >> i appreciate you. >> many jobs as long as we do our job, the job gets done. >> amen to that. when we come back, democrats vying for the white house making free college a corner stone of their campaign platforms. we're going to take you to state run by a republican governor with its own free college program. program. my time is thin, but so is my lawn. now there's scotts thick'r lawn 3-in-1 solution. with a soil improver!
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free college is a popular topic for 2020 democratic hopefuls. a program in tennessee is providing the blueprint for some candidates. >> reporter: home to jack daniels and trump voters will nearly 80% voted for president. there's a buzz about a program most often associated with progressive democrats. free college tuition. >> we want to improve that cardiac output. >> reporter: specifically free community college tuition known as the tennessee promise. >> what kind of difference has tennessee promise made? >> i feel like it's encouraged me and other students to go to college. >> reporter: mckenzie is studying to be a nurse at the community college. one of four children in her family. she's the second to go onto tennessee promise. paying for two years of community college or technical school regardless of income.
saving her and others up to $2200 a semester. >> what difference does it make in your life? >> i know it's really helped me stress wise. i know i would have been stressed having to ask my parents to help me or look for a job that would help me pay more. >> reporter: funded by the lottery, tennessee promise passed with bipartisan support five years ago. sold by then governor republican bill haslum as an investment in tennessee's economic future. >> the reality is most jobs in the future will require more highly trained people but it will take less of them to do that. the state that's able to have those highly trained people is going to win. >> reporter: answering the call dr. michael torrence. graduating students with technical and troubleshooting skills. sdp >> what's the feedback you're getting back from employers? >> i was just at a company yesterday and they are pleased.
they are pleased with our students. we have a warranty program that if there's an employer that is not pleased or feels there needs to be some additional retooling of skilling of a graduate from one of our programs, they can send them back to us. >> how many have sent them back? >> i haven't seen one. >> reporter: the college going rate jumped from 57 to 63% since the promise took effect in 2015. success lies in its simplicity. >> we've had financial aid programs in the state before. most of the time they were kind of complicated. you had to get a certain gpa, a certain income level. it's pretty powerful just to say you can go to college for free. >> let's look at signs and symptoms. >> reporter: all students get mentor and must do community service. in exchange, they learn the skills to get a job and build a career. >> i just know that as long as i put my mind to it, it can be done. >> that was ann thompson
reporting there. thank you. thank you as well. that will wrap up this hour of msnbc live. i'll see you tomorrow morning on today. right now andrea mitchell reports. thank you. impeachment trap. speaker nancy pe he slosi says president wants to be impeached calling the actions villainous. >> the house democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment and that's where he wants us to be. >> is the president putting his own job ahead of the american people by saying no legislation if you keep investigating? >> that's insane. the president is putting the american people first. it's the democrats that don't want to do anything. nc put buttigieg accusing the president of faking a military. in other words calling him a draft dodger. >> this is something who, i think it's fairly orve lly obv